Tuesday, December 30, 2014


"I'll find time to compose a post tomorrow" has stretched out into two weeks of tomorrows and no new posts so I think it's time to admit I'm taking a break over the holidays. I'm also going to take this time to give some though to where I want to go with this blog. One change I have decided on is to start using my husband's and son's real names. 

We're having a lovely time. Sam (the Sprog) is on winter break and we've taken advantage of the time to do an assortment of projects in the kitchen. He's becoming quite adept at making caramel. Here's his latest creation which we've dubbed "All wheel drive caramel."  (Because it's like rocky road.)  It has mini marshmallows and pecans in it and a layer of chocolate one top.  It's a bit sticky but very yummy! 

We're currently in California with Steve's (Hubby) family celebrating a late Christmas overlapped with New Years.  The drive down yesterday was nicely uneventful and we're settling in nicely with his parents, brother, and sister-in-law.  The third brother and his fiancé arrive later today. That will make nine of us in a house with two bathrooms. I'm thinking a sign-up sheet might be necessary! 

Angus thought he was coming too. 

I intend to enjoy the next few days lazing around, reading, knitting, socializing, and generally slacking off.  Have a lovely New Year and I'll "see" you all in 2015!  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Chanukah

Last night was the first night of Chanukah and thanks to a little last minute scurrying, everything was ready.  The Sprog lit the candles and he and I said the prayers together in Hebrew. Lighting the menorah with my son always takes me back to when I was a kid lighting the menorah with my parents. 

The bag of tennis ball are for Giant Dog, she loves them (literally) to pieces. 

Chanukah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees (Jewish rebels) over the Greek king Antiochus who had conquered Jeruselem, outlawed Jewish observances, and sacked the temple. After freeing Jeruselem, the Temple was purified and the wicks of the menorah (a ritual lamp kept lit at all times) miraculously burned for eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day's lighting.  Because of this the Chanukah (which means "dedication") lasts 8 days, candles (or small oil lamps) are lit each day, and foods fried in oil are eaten (yum!)

Latkes are fried potato pancakes and are delicious with applesauce!
From a religious perspective Chanukah is a minor holiday, celebrating a military victory. However, because of its proximity to Christmas it has gained prominence and is celebrated by many Jews as a major gift giving holiday.

Life has gotten busy (as it does this time of year) so I expect posts to be scarce for the next few weeks but I'll do my best to remember to take some pictures and check in now and then. 

But for now I'll leave you with a Chanukah giggle.  Happy Chanukah, y'all!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grandma and Dr Who

I'm having a super busy week so this will be a quickie, but I couldn't pass up the chance to get in on Tardis Tuesday!  My grandmother was a big Dr Who fan in the 70s and 80's.  She was also a knitter.  Logically, this means that both my brother and I ended up with Dr Who scarves!  

I didn't like Dr Who when I was a kid ( think the aliens freaked me out) but I'm really into it in it's latest round. 

Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor in his scarf.


 And me in mine.

Who wore it better?

I'm a little ashamed to admit that I didn't appreciate it at the time but I do cherish this scarf now.  The rest of the outfit is all stuff you've seen before.  I've been pretty much living in this cardigan since I got it last week.


And because I can, I'm using a plastic Tyrannosaurus pin to hold the sweater closed as a reference to the Dinosaurs on a spaceship episode!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mellowness and Cookies

It's been one of those weeks where nothing really special one way or another happens.  The days have gone mostly as planned with no particular events to note.  I mostly spent this week ticking off things from my around the house to-do list (I reorganized my sock drawer - crazy, I know!) and kitting a sweater for the Sprog.  I did make it out to a couple of thrift stores too.

Here's a happy coincidence.  On Monday I found the long cardigan, on Tuesday I found the skirt, and on Wednesday I put them together with one of my absolutely favorite pairs of shoes!

Cardigan (CB Designs) - thrifted
Skirt (John Paul Richard) - thrifted
Tights (Target) - New but by way of Goodwill.
Camisole (Old Navy) - Thrifted
The clothing cost a total of $24.
And that's why I can afford the extravagantly priced Fluevog shoes I'm loving so much!

I also found a few goodies for the etsy shop.  You can still get 20% off (any purchase over $10) with coupon code VINTAGEHOLIDAYS.

Vintage Christmas ornaments still in their original package.


Vibrantly pink MuMu!  Who want to go to Hawaii?

Perfectly 70s dress.

It's kinda nice to have this quiet time after the flurry of activity last week for Thanksgiving.  I'm hoping for a couple of more mellow weeks before winter break and holiday craziness starts.

But the week hasn't been dull either.  Get this, it's National Cookie Day!  Seriously, go look it up.  To celebrate I made pumpkin cookies with pumpkin form my garden.  They're delicious.  Here's the recipe.  There's a glaze to go on top but I think they're perfect without.

And lastly I leave you with this bit of cookie related whimsey from my childhood.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We woke up to sub-freezing temperatures this morning which gave a perfect excuse to show off one of my best thrift store finds from last year.

Halston 100% wool full length coat with velvet lined hood and velvet buttons.  I paid $25 for it and I'll confess that I do gloat a little every time I put it on. 


I think the black leather gloves (also a thrift store bargain) add an elegant touch.   The hat was a gift from Hubby from Simply Vintage and I added the bakelite hatpin from ebay.  Linking up to the Style Crone's Hat Attack.

The outfit underneath (which I braved the cold to show you - you're welcome) is based around last week's thrift store find.  I think Giant Dog approves.

My ongoing attempts to add more color and pattern into my wardrobe resulted in this long rayon dress.  It's a serious departure from my usual palette but it blends nicely with the burgundy I'm so comfortable wearing so it works.  It's a summer dress so I had to really layer it up for winter.  The pale blue is definitely a new color for me and works with this week's 52 Pick-me-up: Morning Glory!

My squee of the week is this pair of bright yellow bakelite bangles I got for $2 each.  (The mustard bakelite bangle is a $1 find from earlier in the fall.)

These Fluevogs are turning into my go to shoes.  I'm really digging the burgundy and mustard together.  Linking to Patti's Visible Monday with this color combo!

Friday, November 28, 2014

'Tis the Season

...for shameless self promotion. I'm offering discounts in both my etsy stores now through the end of the year.

For the vintage lovers 20% off any purchase of $10 or more at Mid-Century Mania! with coupon code VINTAGEHOLIDAYS.  

There are all sorts of goodies to chose from.  Fab vintage cocktail dresses.

 Or make your own with authentic vintage patterns and fabrics.  


Retro jewelry to give or to keep.

And for the knitters take 20% off any order of $5 or more at ArgentGal Designs with coupon code KNITHOLIDAYS

There are so many patterns to chose from.

Patterns for quick knits to give.

Or quick knits to keep.

Or start something larger to keep your hands busy and your nerves soothed during holiday travel and visits with the in-Laws.  

And of course Hat Couture would make a great gift for the knitter on your list!

Thanks for checking it all out.  I'll be back to my usual whimsical self on Monday, I promise!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Today is Thanksgiving in the US and I wanted to take a few minutes out from preparing food for the feast we'll share with some of our dearest friends later today to say "Thank-you" to the people who read and support my blog. Working on this for the last six months has been far more rewarding than I expected. I find that I look forward to sitting down a couple times a week to write out the little stories of my day to day life. It has a therapeutic quality in addition to being a creative endeavor. I'm sure I would have let it fall to the wayside if it hadn't been for those of you who take the time to come read my posts and leave such kind and encouraging comments. I am grateful for you. 

Thank-you also to those of you who invite me into your lives each week through your thoughtful, funny, and inspirational blogs. I have found a community of wildly interesting people flung all around the world that has accepted me with open arms.  The feeling of belonging to a group is more precious to me than you probably realize.  Maybe someday I'll get up the courage to write a post about bullying and the lifelong scars it leaves but for now, just know that you have truly given me a gift by welcoming me into the community. 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is truly secular (making it completely inclusive) and because it's non-commercial.  It's about celebrating bounty with the people who you love and who love you. It's about taking a day to focus on what you have, not wishing for things you don't have.  I choose to ignore the retailers who insist on trying to turn it into another shopping opportunity. There's plenty of time for that starting tomorrow.  Today sit, eat delicious food, visit with lovely people, and count your blessings.

Today I am blessed with a husband who smoked turkey leg quarters!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bringing Black Out of the Closet

This week Anne's 52 Pick-me-up prompt is "black."  I have a very odd relationship with black clothing.  In high school and college I definitely had leanings in the goth direction and wore plenty of black. Black has never been a depressed or otherwise negative color for me. It's strong and defiant. It's mysterious and secretive. And sometimes, it's just plain simple.

A rummage through my closet resulted in this all black outfit.  I think the layer and textures give it a lot of interest.

At some point in my mid-twenties, I was clothes shopping with Hubby and trying to decide which color of a garment to buy. I decided to get black because it goes with everything when Hubby pointed out that of course it went with everything because everything else in my closet was black too. Oops!  I guess I had taken it a bit too far. 

I see all of the gorgeous colors and patterns that other bloggers are wearing and keep thinking that I should do that too, but try as I might I keep coming back to dark colors and black.  This tug of war I have with myself over black vs bright colors has resulted in several angsty moments in the fitting room and at least one very odd hole in my wardrobe.  It turns out that in my attempt to not buy black clothing I never replaced my basic black skirt when it gave up the ghost a while back.  I keep pulling out shirts that would look great with a black skirt and then realizing that I don't own one and thus not wearing the shirt.  Or, I should say, DIDN'T own one.  Yesterday I filled the gap with the great basic linen/rayon blend skirt I'm wearing today.  It's just the right length to be long an flowing but also let my shoes show.  I expect to be wearing it a lot. 

All black and all thrifted from head to toe except the polka dot socks.  I threw them in just for fun! Don't you just love a good granny boot?

Vintage rhinestone jewelry.  The earrings are another pair of converted screwbacks.


So, yes, I'm trying to add more color to my closet but apparently not doing a very good job of it. To be fair I do generally wear them with assorted shades of red (but my obsession with all things red is a topic for another post) such as here and here

My Maine Coon is supervising.  He's a giant fluffy marshmallow of a cat and I love him to pieces.

I realize looking back through my outfit pictures on this blog that you wouldn't realize how much black I wear from just looking at the outfits I've shown. Of course that's because I don't bother taking pictures of yet-another-black-outfit, but trust me it's a staple.  Maybe after this post I won't be so shy about posting pictures of outfits centered around black.  After all this is a blog about my style.  (Note to self, stop worrying so much about what other people will think.)

I did decide the all black outfit was a bit much (but I could see wearing that out somewhere) and changed into softer knits for a day of errands and chores.  And on the whole I think I prefer the cheerfulness of the fuchsia. 

Whew!  I had no idea this would turn into a therapy session. 

Also linking with this week's Share in Style: Black and White (there are some white polka dots thrown in with all the black after all) and Patti's Visible Monday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Have a Little Dreidel

I made it out of YARN! This pattern includes directions for both an amigurumi toy and a drawstring gelt (loot) bag using the same charts and techniques. The size of the gelt bag can be adjusted by removing or inserting extra repeats of the checkerboard pattern between each letter chart. The colorwork on this is simple enough to make it a good choice for someone who wants to try colorwork for the first time. 

This is a free holiday knitting pattern available through Knit Picks.  Go get yours today!

When Knit Picks put out the call for pattern submission for the holiday collection I knew I wanted to create something just for Chanukah and came up with this stuffed dreidel toy and matching gelt bag.

It was a lot of fun working out the charts for each of the four letters.  

The letters are נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and ש (Shin).  They are the first letters of each of the words in the Hebrew phrase, "nes gadol haya sham" which means "a great miracle happened there."  This refers to the defeat of the Syrian armies of Antiochus by Judah Maccabee and his followers.  When the Maccabees reclaimed the Temple they only had enough oil to keep the eternal flame lit for one day, but instead the flame stayed lit for eight days which was enough time for more oil to be brought.  

After the State of Israel was founded in 1948 the Hebrew letters were changed for dreidels used in Israel. They became: נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and פ (Pey), changing "sham" (there) to "po" (here.)

Gelt is a Yiddish word meaning money.  Traditionally money is given as gift at Chanukah but because of it's proximity to Christmas, many Jews have taken to giving other presents too.

And since this it the season of gift giving, I'm offering 20% off all ArgentGal Designs patterns.  If you're not on Ravelry you can also purchase patterns on etsy.  Just send me a message and let me know which pattern(s) you want and I'll set up the discount.  It's not to late for hand knit gifts!