Sunday, June 29, 2014

Frog of doom

Yesterday was family day and the five of us (my brother joined us) headed up to Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary for a walk followed by a dinner of lovely fried seafood.  The Sprog once again manned the camera and captured some great pictures of the many assorted creatures we saw there.  So I'm handing the blog over to him today to show off his work.  

Hi, I'm Sam. As a VERY novice photographer, I go to all the places I can to test the limits of my picture taking ability.  As said, yesterday we went to Mass Audubon's Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. While there, we saw TONS of wildlife. The wild life ranged from the size of a baby mouse to turtles the size of platters.

Without further ado, I present, the animals!
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14

I love this picture. You should have seen the size of these things. they were small. I and I mean SMALL.  I love the macro setting. 

Speaking of which...
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14
Im not sure what to say About this other than: dragonflies. They're cool huh?

Little bunny fufu was hopping through the forest, *speaking fast enough to fit in one verse* PHOTODOCUMENTING EVERY FIELDMOUSE HE SAW...
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14
Oh man, this guy was CUTE! I resisted the urge to pick him up and sneak him out of the park. 

Hold on!!! What about plants you say? Fear no more. I have more plants to come. Well, really only one more, but still.
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14
Have I said how much I like my zoom and macro?

And finally, best for last...
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14
Sam R. Silver © 6-28-14
AWWWWW YEAH. I have no clue what kind of frog this is but it is PRETTY. 

This is where I have to say "sorry about the copyright, but you don't get to keep it." 
IMPORTANT*Because I don't know what I'm going to do with my work, all copyrights are all rights reserved.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Boston in Bright Red Lipstick

Thursday was my day to finally get to see Stacy's new condo. She bought the place almost a year ago so I've been hearing about it but this was my fist time seeing the beautiful home she has made for herself.  I love getting to see where people live, it puts them into context.  

I took the T to the Prudential Center to meet Stacy after work. I got there early so entertained myself with a little shopping.  I recently discovered that my red lipstick has gone missing.  I suspect it's hiding in one of the vintage purses I use for evenings out with Hubby. Yes, I have a vintage purse collection which I will show you later this summer when my life gets boring again.  Anyway, I went into Sephora to see if I could find a replacement. I'd never been in there before so it was a little overwhelming. I wear very little makeup and what I do own I've bought from Target. Once I had sorted out how to tell lipstick/lip color from all the other colorful tubes I was in better shape. I finally settled on Sephora's luster matte long-wear lip color. I've never used the paint on kind so it was a bit of a challenge to get it on my lips and only on my lips but I think I'll get the hang of it will some practice. But looking at this picture I think it was all worth it.  

Look at me posting iPhone selfies like a grown up blogger. I joke because I feel self-conscious, but wow I like this picture. 

Here's what I wore last night. 

Nothing you haven't seen before. 
Sun dress: Old Navy (thrifted)
Cotton sweater: Decree (thrifted)
Sandals: weinbrenner (thrifted)

Bakelite barrette made by me from a pair of clip on earrings and a game piece. 

And an assortment of vintage plastic bangles on my wrist. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Playing Tourist in Boston

Today was a nice quiet day at home hanging out with my parents, something we definitely needed after tromping around Boston in the heat on Tuesday. We met up with my almost sister, Shannon and her two daughters. Our moms were college roommates and I've known Shannon since she was born.  Despite both having grown up in the area neither Shannon nor I spent much time in Boston so we played tourist for the day. 

The first stop was the Public Garden where we took a swan boat ride. 

The Sprog was telling me that the sun was in his eyes when I snapped the photo. Oh well, you get the idea. It was a fun, silly little thing to do and entirely enjoyable.  The last time Shannon and I rode the swan boats we were little kids. I was so pleased that the three teenagers got into the spirit of it and had fun. There wasn't an eye roll the entire day. 

Next we walked over to the graveyard at the Park Street Church.  

We paid our respects at Paul Revere's grave. 

It's fascinating to look at the old grave markers, read the names and ages and speculate about what might have happened. 

The art is really cool too.  

Then we walked over to Faneuil Hall for lunch and tourist shopping.  

A cart selling water color prints caught the Sprog's and my eye so we decided to pick out a picture to take home as a memento of our trip. We settled on this one of the swan boats. I went to pay for it ($10) and the gal asked if I'd be interested in buying 3 for $25. I declined.  Then she offered to sell me 2 for $15. So at that price, what the heck?  

Sprog picked out this one to bring home too. 

After ice cream (everyone else) and a cannoli (me) it was time to brave the "T" (Boston subway system) at rush hour and make our way home.  

It was hot and I was dressed more for trying to stay comfortable than for making a fashion statement so it didn't bother taking an outfit picture. Well, really I forgot in the morning and by the time I got home in the evening I had been sweating so much that there was no way I was going to take a picture of myself. Tomorrow I'll be heading back into Boston to meet up with Stacy for dinner. I'll try to remember to get a picture of my outfit before I head out into the heat. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Thirty Years is a Long Time

The Sprog and I are back at my parents' house after a glorious weekend on Cape Cod.  We had two days of absolutely perfect weather in which to enjoy strolling through quaint towns, wading in the ocean, swimming in the pond, walking through the salt marsh, and eating the most delicious seafood.

Here's my lovely Stacy gloating over the goodies I brought her.  I gave her an assortment of my favorite  things but in her colors. 

Vintage rhinestone pin with green stones
Real pashmina scarf in a green, blue, and pink plaid
A stack of plastic bangles which match the pashmina nicely
A vinatge beaded purse
(All thrifted)

The Sprog is turning into a rather good photographer. Here are a bunch of his lovely photos from our walk at Mass Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Bullfrog tadpole


Painted turtle

Stacy and me enjoying the amazing view. 

Very picturesque boardwalk through the salt marsh

Love this one!

Fiddler crabs

Me with my binoculars doing one of the things I love best. 

When I was a kid my family took several vacations on Cape Cod and I have wonderful memories from those trips. But the last time I was on the Cape was over thirty years ago.  It was so wonderful to finally get to go back and to have the opportunity to show this lovely place to the Sprog.  A big thanks to Stacy's mother for letting us use her house and to Stacy for being our tour guide. It was a truly memorable weekend.  

Friday, June 20, 2014


It's been an eventful 24 hrs. Thursday was a crazy good day for me. It started with an email letting me know that one of my designs won first place in the Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar.  The prize money is a nice windfall.

The next happy happening was selling a Laura Ashley dress for a tidy sum.  I found the dress at the thrift store last week but it was too small for me so I decided to see if I could find it a good home and listed it on ebay I was sure the auction would end without a buyer but someone snapped it up at the last moment. Even better, they paid right away and I was able to have it packed and off to the post office.

And thirdly, I got a design acceptance email.  I love yeses!  I can't show you a picture of the design yet but it will be out in the fall.  

In amongst all that, I was finishing up the packing and getting Sprog and myself ready for cross country travel. Luckily, all my prep paid off and there wasn't too much left to do so we were able to have some down time. The day was beautiful so we decided to go hang out at the park for a while after running the last of the errands.  

Ducklings make good thing number four!

Hubby, Sprog, and I went out to family dinner at a Korean BBQ place and stuffed ourselves silly.  Kimchee - YUM! (And good thing number five.) Then it was time for Hubby to take us to the airport. 

We are now safe and sound at my parents' house in Massachusetts after an uneventful, if exhausting flight. I have no idea what day it is anymore.  Heck, after a night on the plane not sleeping I'm not even sure of what my name is.  But I'd better figure it out because I'm supposed to be driving to Cape Cod this evening with Sprog and my dear friend Stacy for the weekend. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Celebrating a Milestone and Preparing for an Adventure

Last night the Sprog graduated from middle school.  Now before you start rolling your eyes, I agree, the idea of 8th grade graduation is pretty silly.  Academically it's not much of a milestone nor even a big transition point.  However, in Sprog's case it marks the end of 10 years at the same school and so for that reason, it's a big deal for us.  Each kid got up and gave a presentation (speech, song, video, etc) and Sprog did us truly proud.  There were tears and kvelling.  All in all it was really rather bittersweet. All three of us are excited for high school next year but it does mean leaving the school that has been his home since he was four years old, the school where he learned to read and count, where he made close friends and even had his heart broken for the first time.

Giving his presentation. He told me before graduation that his goal was to make me cry.  He succeeded.  Sniffle! 

The Sprog expresses himself best in verse rather than pros.  Here's what he wrote.
People are asking me
what did you learn?
how to write an essay?

This is the easy answer
The easiest answer is not
always the best one

I have learned
to make yourself heard
when no one wants to listen

I have learned
That backing down,
is not
the end of the world

I have learned
to love your family
because they do more for you,
than you will ever imagine.

I have learned
that I
am capable
of anything.

These lessons
I share
with you


The most important
lesson of all

Never stop learning.
Never stop teaching

Never stop speaking your mind in the unique pattern
that defines you


Receiving his certificate. 

Because this is a style blog (or at least trying to be), here's a close up of Sprog's shirt. 

I originally modified this shirt for his Steampunk bar-mitzvah last fall. It turns out that shirts with French cuffs are hard to find in kid sizes and when you do find them they're unacceptably expensive.  However, plain white shirts are plentiful and cheap at Goodwill. I cut the original cuffs off the shirt and added my own French cuffs. The watch mechanism cuff links were a special request from the Sprog and purchase on Etsy. Instead of a button-down collar it has a screw-down collar.  Those are actually screw head buttons I found quite a while ago while rummaging through a button bowl at an antique mall. 

This morning my attention has turned to preparations for our upcoming cross country adventure. We leave Thursday. This is one of the most complicated trips I've ever packed for.  I'm anticipating weather ranging from 90s and sunny to 60s and potentially rainy with activities ranging from dinners out with friends in Boston and Philidelphia to hiking in Glacier National Park. Oh, and there's a 10 day stretch when we won't have access to laundry facilities.  But we're limited to one small suitcase each so there's a lot of strategy involved. Layers and multi-use pieces seem to be the key.  For example, I have a couple of light weight blouses that can be worn unbuttoned over a sundress, buttoned up with pants, or layered over a long sleeve t.  I laid everything out to make sure it all worked together and did a test pack to make sure it will all fit.  I think I've got it dialed in now.  

I ended up with:
2 dresses
2 pairs of pants
2 skirts
3 t-shirts
1 long sleeve t
2 camisoles
3 blouses
1 scarf/shawl
1 short sleeve cotton sweater
1 fleece 
3 pr shoes (sandals, the red clogs, and a pair I can do light hiking in)

I still need to decide about jewelry and sort out which knitting projects are coming (also known as, "how much yarn can I stuff in the nooks and crannies?")

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Just squeaking this in under the wire. In honor of Father's Day here's a picture of Hubby helping Sprog with his tie on the morning of his bar-mitzvah.  

I love my guys!

And here's my Dad also from the bar-mitzvah last fall.

And lest you think we belong to a really odd sect of Judaism, the bar-mitzvah was Steampunk themed!  But that's definitely a whole post all to itself. 

Happy Father's Day to all the men out there who are raising, or who have raised kids.  Keep up the good work guys!   

Friday, June 13, 2014

Buying Retail and a Vintage Hat

The dramatic change in weather today gave me an excuse to start breaking in the pair of Frye boots I bought last week..

Shoes are the one thing (besides unmentionables) that I will buy retail.  Most of my shoes are from thrift stores but occasionally I see something I just love and I'll treat myself.  I've been drooling over Frye boots for years but have always found the price daunting.  So when I found this pair on the clearance rack at Nordstrom for over half off I decided to splurge.

Love the buckles!

Breaking in a new pair of boots requires a fair amount of walking around and where better to walk around on a rainy day than a couple of thrift stores?  

Apparently today's theme was hats.  I found this darling little vintage number.

The hat itself is wonderful and I adore the rust colored velvet band but the catywumpus feathers made me sad.  So a quick redo...

Much better!

It perches so perfectly on my head.

And to go with the hat I also found an assortment of hat pins.

I bought the group for the two glass ones on the left.  The next two are wood, in rough shape, and will probably get some sort of redo.  The last one is just a pin that comes with boutonni√®res and corsages from the florist and will go in the stash.

I also found a silly little gift for Hubby for Father's Day but, shhhhh, that's a secret.

I'm only posting pictures of my head and feet today.  In between was just a pair of jeans and a long sleeve T so you're not missing anything exciting.  

Oops, I almost forgot!  Here's a picture of my wrist.

Vintage Henkel and Grosse bracelet (thrifted)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Marimekko Maxi

I've been in a bit of a sewing slump lately so it was nice to successfully bang out this skirt today.  It started life as a pair of Marimekko pillow cases I picked up yesterday at the thrift store for $3.00.

I like strong rich colors but not necessarily bright colors.  As a result my wardrobe can start to get a bit dark. I've been looking for a skirt to help liven things up.  This fit the bill and it's made of super soft cotton to boot!  

And look! I just happen to have a stack of bakelite bangles that are a perfect match.  

I'm thinking that rather then trying to create daily (ish) outfit posts, I might instead post a picture of my wrist each day. Then you can just extrapolate the outfit from there.

And since the maxi and the bangles are 60's-ish I'm going to link up with Spy Girl's 52 Pick-me-up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This Time the Thrift Store Goddesses Smiled

Gee shucks.  I had to go to the thrift store today because the Sprog needs shorts for summer.  And, well, you know, as long as I was there...  

Several months ago I ran across a picture of one of these micro mosaic pins from Italy and suddenly remembered that I had one when I was a kid that my grandparents brought back from one of their trips to Italy. I had completely forgotten about it until the picture suddenly triggered the memory.  I have no idea what happened to it.  But that memory of holding the pin made me want to have one again.  I've been casually looking on ebay and over the weekend finally decided that I would pick one I liked and treat myself.  This time timing was on my side and I found this little beauty for a whopping $2 before I had a chance to bid on anything on ebay. I've been thinking about my grandparents all day.

I also picked up these Marimekko for Crate and Barrel pillow cases.  The color is a bit washed out from the bright sun but I'm not complaining because, sun!  I'm going to make a skirt and will post better pictures of the finished product soon.  

And yes, I did also come home with a couple pairs of shorts for Sprog.

Today I wore...

Welcome to my back yard.

Skirt: Kikgirl (thrifted) 
Cami: Jockey (thrifted)
Jacket: RB Collection (thrifted) It's actually a dress that I've been wearing open as a long coat.  This is one of the things I bought for my up coming cross country adventure. It works well as a layer over an assortment of different outfits and can also be buttoned up and worn as a dress in its own right.
Shoes: Esska (thrifted) So comfy!
Assorted plastic bangles (thrifted)

Love the pocket details on the skirt.