Sunday, April 28, 2013

I got my Fixx in red

I've mentioned before that I cut my own hair. Most times I think I must be mad, and I usually vow to find a new hair stylist, but I'm just too critical, I guess. So I cut my own hair. I can do it whenever  I want, but it is time-consuming. I spend hours cutting it, fixing it over the next week, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping. It looks good for about three days before it suddenly grows too long, and the whole pathetic cycle starts again.

I've just cut it, trimmed up the back into a shorter, rounder shape. With these glasses I felt that I needed more bubble, less mullet. Although I really wanted to try to do it like List_Addict at Fur Earwig - I love her hair (check out this picture)! When I saw someone on the street with a similar 'do, I thought, I've got to try that!

But I didn't. I cut my mullet. So to get my hair to be more complementary with my glasses, I had to get new scissors because the old ones are pretty much impossible to sharpen. I went to Sally Beauty Supply, and guess what - they're next door to Goodwill. Oh, Fortuna! I was jonesin' for some shopping, so I went in and found two red dresses. I'm really into red now. Again, because of the glasses. One thing leads to another.


This one is made by Deva Lifewear, a company based in North Dakota that began as a cottage industry. According to their website, they're currently not producing Lifewear, but are selling existing stock. It's all cotton, handmade in the USA. This dress (previously unworn) will be so versatile, and it's deliberately wrinkled, so no ironing!

silver woven belt - thrifted; sandals - Fred Meyer
necklace made by my neighbor, Molly
Spanish silver earrings I've had since 1975; uneven hair that needs fixing
This other red dress is by Faded Glory, also all cotton and also previously unworn.

Geesh, would it kill you to smile?

The black shirt is from White House Black Market. It was too tight with its original buttons, so I replaced them with black frog closures to wear over other things.


There ya go!          sandals - Shani; leggings - Target; earrings - homemade

brooch - gift from Bella
And I also got a snazzy shirt for Mr. Sparkle, again, unworn!



I'll be at Patti's again for Visible Monday. Oh, that reminds, I need to buy some tequila.

Val

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boogie woogie indugle boy


One of these days I'll write a full and complete post where all loose ends are tied up and all questions answered, and the next time I won't have to write, "In my last post…" But until that day comes -

In my last post I profusely used the word "topper." This is the word used by Soft Surroundings to describe the Torija topper I won, and they use it for their loose, jacket-y tops. It's a handy word, one I hadn't used before, but I hope it catches on. In a comment, Curtise told me a topper in the UK would be a top hat, but in using the word for a top she said, "It is certainly easier than saying a floaty drapey non-structured jacket/cardigan made from a thin, non-knit fabric. So topper it is!" Hear, hear!

Last Saturday I went out with my family to celebrate an abundance of April birthdays. We went out to lunch at one of those places that lure you in with food, desserts, high tea, and an explosion of antiques and vintage paraphernalia. The name of the place is Indulge (which I keep typing as Indugle), but they should just say Women's Porn Warehouse.





Mr. Sparkle, my brother-in-law and step-nephew fled as soon as was polite after eating, but my other nephew (my niece's husband) was right there with us as we looked around the complex. He's so sweet and effortlessly fashionable.

Prince Kenji

Kenji has such a sense of style. If I saw him more often I would include pictures of him in every post.

Not to be outdone by Kenji's little crown, the ladies had a chance to try on our own tiaras.

Princess Niece, Queen Mother, Duchess Sister, and Countess Sparkle
A good time was had by all, and I actually bought very little except some little key charms for earrings, a rusty bird for our fence to stop the squirrels from chewing up the post...


 And a pretty little dish just because it's such a pretty little dish.

The corks are to show scale
 I know, I'm not stimulating the economy enough. I really need to shop more and get some spring and summer clothes. Maybe tomorrow...

Val

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Tale of Two Toppers



It was the best of times (lilacs are blooming!), it was the worst of times (bombs, explosions, Congress-NRA circle jerk). In the course of just a few days I found myself in possession of not a single, but rather two toppers, and thus my fortune was made.

It was the season of black and white, it was the season of color
How did this awesome bounty befall me?

First, I got this black and white fair-trade top from The Citizen Rosebud shop in Seattle (in exchange for buying Bella's lunch, so I got the best of the deal - thanks, Bella!). It's made by Marketplace - Handwork of India, and I showed it off in my last post, but here it is properly outfitted.

"Tellson's Bank by Temple Bar was an old-fashioned place, even in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty."


So many choices for how to style it, so I decided to go against type. It would, of course, look great as a casual top over a T-shirt and jeans or a slim skirt. To be contrary, I've made it business-like by adding a shirt and tie and gray trousers.
shirt - JCP; trousers - Lee; tie - borrowed from Mr. Sparkle

sandals - Clark's
Then when I got home the other day, I had a package waiting for me. I had won a giveaway at Over50Feeling40 for a Torija topper from Soft Surroundings! Thanks, Pam, and thanks, Soft Surroundings!

T-shirt - Walmart; jeans - Levi's, thrifted; sandals - Fred Meyer
My first inclination would be to wear this with leggings, a summery skirt or palazzo pants (if I had some). But again I decided to do the opposite, and I wore it with straight-leg jeans and a black T-shirt.


I'm wearing my grandfather's bolo (previously seen here) and my own Barbie earrings (seen here).



I haven't checked out other Soft Surroundings products, but they were very good at keeping me informed by email when the order was processed and sent, and they followed up to see that I received it. The topper is nicely made, with French seams on the back panels, and nice little gathers at the shoulders. 

  
I'm starting to have difficulty deciding what to wear each day! I can imagine wearing both of these through the "spring of hope" as lightweight jackets and then into the "winter of despair" over a turtleneck pullover. 
 
Which one do you like best? Whichever one gets the most votes in the next day or so will be the one I put on Visible Monday at Not DeadYet Style.

Sunday - The tie is linking up with Visible Monday!

Val



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston, Seattle, and Bella

First of all, I want to add a link to Wendy Brandes' blog. Her response to the Boston bombs was to post a quote from Mr. Rogers, and his quote is one of the most positive ways to balance and defeat inhuman humans. His mother had told him to focus on the helpers. Look at all the good people who rush to help others in a tragedy. Personally, I believe there is more innate goodness in people than badness, and this is why so many people truly want to HELP each other. I hope those hurt by this senseless act can take comfort in knowing there are many selfless people who rushed in to help.

Now I'm going to dry my eyes, blow my nose, and tell you about my weekend in Seattle.

First of all, in my last post I was completely wrong about the weather! It was like this -


I stayed with friends at their "Rancho Relaxo" and I did relax. They've got a huge deck and hot tub, a well-oiled corkscrew, and a hill behind the house that they've landscaped with enchanting little trails and sitting places, including a pirate ship tree house.


View from the pirate ship
I met up with my gorgeous friend Zoe. Look at her fab outfit (top by Carole Little, bought on consignment) and her orange and green accessories next to her!


I wore a sheer top (JCP) with a turquoise camisole (Old Navy) and pendant from my own "atelier."

I went to the Seattle Art Museum and got filled up on culture. I was especially mesmerized by this one by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which is huge -
Mrs. Musters as 'Hebe' - Source
There is so much movement and looseness in the drapery and her hair. I almost caught myself patting my own hair back into place because it looked so windy. And her face is just lovely.

I went to the shop - of course - and bought a couple tiny things, and they gave me a free book!
Free book! and rubber bracelets from Africa
Obviously they were trying to get rid of them, but it's a $50 book with 118 color plates! Yes, I had to carry it around with me, but was I going to say no?

I snapped a pic of my reflection to show you my urban commando outfit: a cross-body bag that is soft and enormous (Target); a black hoodie jacket (Style & Co. from Macy's) worn under a fail-safe, lightweight, black raincoat (no label - I've had this for years and have the pictures to prove it); a scarf (hand-me-down); Levi's (thrifted); and short black boots (thrifted).

I walked through Pike Place Market...


Then to Pioneer Square, where I saw a shop called Diva Dollz. Not really my style, but still drool-worthy.

Diva Dollz

Look at this shoe!
On Monday morning, after a little dip in the hot tub, I went to Fremont for my first blogger meet-up!!!

Bella Q in the Citizen Rosebud 'hood
Check out that amazing dress and the gorgeous smile! Bella is bubbly, beautiful, easy to talk to, and so full of life. We talked non-stop for just a few hours until I had to hit the road. Next time I'll plan for a whole afternoon - it was so fun to meet her!

I picked out this light cotton wrap from her shop. I'm also modeling a sparkly pin Bella gave me.
I'm still off work, so no make-up; ergo, no face photos!

 The wrap is made by Marketplace - Handwork of India, a fair trade, not for profit organization. Check out the label and the embroidery. I'm going to love wearing this!


And here's the pin again, which is very similar to a green one that came from a great-aunt, not sure which one.


So pretty! I'll style these things properly in another post very soon. But by now I'm sure you're a little tired and maybe parched. Go have a drink, a little snack, a nap. Thanks for stopping by!

Val

PS - I don't receive anything from including links, but I just want to save you the time if you want to find out more.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Googlovin'


I'm just about to head to Seattle for my weekend adventure! I'm going stag, and looking forward to five hours of solitary driving. Well, that's easy to say now. Some parts of the trip are really boring, others nostalgic, others just depressing (south Tacoma - ugh).

Here's what I expect the weather to be like in Seattle.

February 2012 - This is a color picture, slightly tilted
I'll be staying with Pete and Danny in their mini house on a hill.

"Men in Motion and Repose" - also February 2012

I probably won't be online much, what with seeing Thomas, Tony, Rembrandt and Bella (!), but I need to know - what's the deal with Bloglovin'? I mean, I use Blogger to write blogs and also to read blogs. When Google Reader goes away, I don't think it will actually affect me. Will it? Will it affect the 5 or 6 people who read my blog? Should I move to Bloglovin'? Would I be writing my posts in Bloglovin'?

As you can see, I''m totally clueless! Technology is a never-ending science class, and I threw away the book a long time ago. Can I see your notes?

Val

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Everybody's working for the weekend

I may have led some of you on a little. When I said I was going to Paris, I meant the other Paris. The one in Texas. And there's only one Texas. If you who didn't know there is a Paris in Texas you probably didn't understand why I kept throwing in the word "Texas" when I was referring to my trip. So now you know there is a Paris, Texas. There's even a film called Paris, Texas, which (as I recall) was kind of weird and boring. But let's move on now.

This post is about shoes because I'm going to link up with The Citizen Rosebud for her first Shoe Shine link-up. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Surprisingly, I decided not to go with sexy or saucy or seductive. I'm wearing some pretty functional Dockers that I thrifted.

I really like the way they slip on with no ties or buckles - just an elastic panel with leather strips. And I like the like yellowish-tan color - I'm not sure what you'd call it.

They look like boots when they're sticking out of long pants. I'm wearing them with some Sock It To Me socks.

The only bad thing is that the heel is pretty chunky, making me walk like I have hockey pucks on my feet. But I'm getting used to that, and I don't wear them if I have to do a lot of walking.

 Square toes. I'm sure they're about 10 years out of style, but IDGAS.

This weekend I'm going up to Seattle to see some friends. That would be exciting enough, but I'm also going to see an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, "Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London." This is the kind of exhibit I dream of, and having it on the west coast of America is amazing!. I love Van Dyck, and I quite like Gainsborough. Rembrandt not so much. This is where I differ from the masses. (Don't even get me started on Van Gogh.)

But wait, that's not all. In my all too brief trip I'm also going to cram in one more delight - I'm going to meet the stunning Bella Q! Lucky me! This is going to be a fabyoolus weekend!

Val