Monday, September 29, 2014

Death and Decay and Stiletto Boots

Certain people (you know who you are Curtise and Melanie) have been discussing clothing the "coulor of mould, decay, detritus, and fungus."  I'm not sure it was meant as an inspiration but I took it that way.  

I love the details and shape on this top but I have to admit I feel a little like a I belong in a zombie movie when I wear it.  Oh, well, I shall embrace the macabre.

I fancy that paired with a long black skirt and stiletto heel boots, this outfit makes me look tall and lean.


(Just give me this one.)

Everything thrifted except the beret which was designed and made by me!  Pattern available here if you're interested.  And linking up with the FABULOUS Style Crone's Hat Attack!

I used to have a more typical reaction to fall, feeling loss as I watched the world around me shut down for winter.  And then one year I had the good sense to go and get pregnant in July. By the time fall came and everything was dying around me I was just starting my second trimester and the baby and I were flourishing.  But it was also a quiet, introspective time for me.  I was was lucky to have a schedule that allowed me to rest a lot and focus on getting set up for the baby.  I spent the winter tucked away at home, getting ready. Every day I was aware of the quiet but inexorable growth and change that was happening inside me.  I was truly "expecting."

I no longer dread fall and the winter that follows.  I know it's a time when things shut down, not to die, but to rest.  During the cold dark months the world is quietly nurturing the wonderful things that will spring forth when the time is right.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pluviophile Dressed in Plaid and a Petticoat

I wasn't planning to do a post today.  I have a million other things I should be doing.  But Patti's post from yesterday about plaid must have gotten into my head because when I opened my closet this morning I picked my one plaid item without even realizing it.  Then this came across my facebook feed.

There's a word for me!  And with that I knew I had to do a post about my rainy day and I'm feeling fine in plaid outfit.  It makes me feel cozy and content but also put together.  It's definitely my style.  (Oh, hello style, how I've missed you all summer.)

The shirt is from Target several years ago.  The rest is thrifted.

Sorry about the harsh shadows, I'm experimenting with indoor locations.  I also realized that I have my wrist tucked behind me so you can't see the big stack o' plastic bangles I'm wearing today.

Here ya go.

Petticoat and menswear inspired booties; I am thoroughly gruntled!*

*Gruntled: adj. pleased, satisfied, and contented.  Don't ya just love words?

Linking to Anne's 52 Pick-me-up "Plaid."

Monday, September 22, 2014


Summer has finally relented.  Today is cool and overcast and like some perverse anti-flower I'm blooming.  Relieved of my heat induced stupor, my energy and creativity have returned.  Today's outfit features one of my all time favorite skirts and is inspired by Ann's 52 pick-me-up prompt, "hibiscus." I love how hibiscus flowers look as they're opening, a graceful whorl of petals.  The shape of this skirt reminds me of that.

And look!  Shoes that aren't sandals. 

Earthies maryjane pumps.  These are seriously comfortable shoes.  They have gel or maybe memory foam in the insole.  And only $5 at Goodwill.  Seriously!

I added the berry color top and pink jewelry as a nod to the hibiscus color palette.  

The earring are blown glass.  I got them on my trip to Italy when I was 17.

The bracelet is also a piece from my teens.  There was an antique store in Porter Square that I used to frequent when I was in high school.  Mostly I'd go in and drool because the prices were way out of my range.  I'd always take a long look at the case full of rhinestone jewelry.  I so desperately wanted to own some of that glittering beauty.  I ended up settling for this cuff because it was less expensive than the other pieces and taking home one stone was better than taking home none.  It may have been a compromise at the time but it has turned out to be a very wearable bracelet and I've grown very fond of it.

Linking to Visible Monday.  Thanks Patti!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How About a Quickie?

As part of Malabrigo's October Stockpile on Ravelry, I'm offering my Impetuous Cowl pattern at 50% off now through the end of October.  Just enter code: QUICKIE when checking out.  Not on Ravelry?  No worries, you can get the pattern on etsy already marked down (no code needed.)

Impetuous is the perfect project for when you want to knit something RIGHT NOW. Knit of Malabrigo’s super bulky Rasta, this neck warmer can be finished in just a day or two and uses only one or two skeins depending on size. The ruffles at top and bottom allow for a good fit at the chin and shoulders and give it an elegant and feminine look. The first set of ruffles is made with paired decreases and the second set is formed with paired increases. Two buttons hold the piece securely closed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I've Got My Dancing Shoes On

Wow! It's been nearly a week since my last post. With all the assorted house guests (planned and unplanned) it's been a bit zany around here. I dropped my folks at the airport yesterday morning. We had a very nice visit and I'm sad to see them go. 

On Sunday we went to the wedding of a truly fantastic couple. It was a beautiful ceremony combining both Buddhist and Jewish beliefs and traditions. The ceremony was followed by just the right amount of toasting (nobody droned on), yummy food, wedding pie (yup, PIE!), and dancing.  It was a wonderful evening.  Mazel Tov Marc and Amelia!  

I was still finishing my dress Saturday night but I'm really happy with how it came out.

I designed it myself and I ended up drafting my own pattern. 

And I got to wear my new Fluevog shoes (bought retail but on sale.) 

I really love these shoes!  

I went with sparkly jewelry to complete the look. Crystal rhinestone screwback earrings (converted to pierced), crystal rhinestone, red rhinestone, and ruby and diamond bracelets, and red rhinestone pin. All vintage except the ruby and diamond bracelet which was a gift from Hubby. 

It was so much fun to dance in. 

How seriously yummy is is this vintage box purse by Etra?

While my mom was here she was talking about how hard it's been for her to find jeans that fit her the way she wants them to. Everything is low rise these days and she prefers them at the waist. So I suggested we check Goodwill. She scored a pair of 80s era Wranglers for $3.50 that were exactly what she was looking for. 

As long as we were there it only made sense for me to check the racks for goodies too. This is a great time of year for finding vintage clothing at Goodwill. They aside anything they think looks like a costume and then put it all out in the fall for Halloween. This means there's a lot of funky vintage stuff mixed in with the sexy-whatever costumes.  

Party dress by Sylvia Ann. The details are lovey. I especially like the crystal pleated ruffles.

The kittens (the unplanned house guests) are adjusting to life with people and get cuter by the day.


At this point there is only one who is still hiding but she's slowly coming around too.

We have appointments lined up for people to come meet them so with any luck we might be kitten free by the end of the weekend. 

But I am going to miss these fuzzy little faces!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Some of my favorite things

Yup, whiskers on kittens!

Sprog climbed under the porch to round up kitten number 5.  He was without a doubt the hero of the night.  All five are now safely in our care and have gotten a clean bill of health and first vaccines from the vet.  We still have some work ahead of us socializing the shy ones but we are now starting the search for their forever homes.

Two more of my favorite things are Fluevog shoes and knitting and next month the two come together in the most lovely way.

Yippie!  I'm one of the 6 local designers.  I'll have my books there along with samples to look at and try on.  I even designed a hat pattern just for the event.

So if you live in the Portland area and either knit or have feet stop by, pick up a free copy of the pattern, check a whole bunch of great fiber stuff, and try on some super cool shoes!

REALLY cool shoes like these.
Sigh...  Maybe I'll sell enough copies of Hat Couture next month to bring these beauties home with me. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


I really though I had this week in hand. Sprog was settling into his new school and I was getting used to the new schedule.  I had a handle on the cleaning and planning that had to get done in preparation for my parents' visit next week.  And I even set aside some time to go hunting for treasures like these beauties!

Beautiful soft floral double knit. So retro and so romantic

Groovy barkcloth yardage. 

Love these bold bakelite dangle earring.

And, wow, oh wow, look at this!

Goldworm made in Italy maxi dress. SO cool!

All listed on Etsy.

Yup, it was gonna be tight but I could make it all work.  And then this happened...

Came home last night to discover a litter of kittens under our porch. 

Kaboom!  Plans? What plans? The universe laughs at plans you puny human. 

Being the conscientious, responsible suckers that we are, we couldn't just leave them out there. We were able to scoop up four last night leaving the fifth with momma.  The plan is to coax the fifth to us tonight with food.  

So far two are tame and two aren't. But they're young enough that we should be able to bring them around.  

What a mug!  

We'll keep feeding momma for a few weeks and then trap her and have her spayed. We have an organization here that with do spay/neuters on feral cats. We'll then have to release her which isn't the best solution but at least she won't be dropping any more kittens. It's a decent solution to a tough problem. 

The kittens we'll tame, have tested and vaccinated, and then find them homes. Want a kitten? 

Have two, they're small.  Seriously, if you're in the Portland, OR area please pass the word that kitties need good homes.  Thanks!

Luckily my folks love cats and understand the chaos that my house just became. I think they're actually looking forward to playing with the kitties. 

Now if I could just get Sid Vicious to stop biting me, all would be good.  Off to find the band-aids...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Making Plans and Making Messes

I'm feeling a little lost this morning.  I dropped The Sprog off for his first day of high school. I'm so excited for him and he's definitely ready for the change. But I can't figure out how it happened so fast. One moment my little boy was cuddled in my lap and the next this gangly almost-man is telling me I can just drop him in front of the school. 

As for my home alone time?  Well, best laid plans and all that. I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet house and being on my own schedule. And I actually accomplished quite a bit but the sewing plans flopped. After 2 muslin mock-ups I still wasn't entirely happy with my dress but decided I was close enough and started in on the real material anyway. Oops! Should have listened to my gut. The dress isn't a total loss and I'll pull it out again later this fall and finish it for a fancy occasion in December. Spending all that time on the dress with nothing to show for it was frustrating and ate up the time I was hoping to spend on my wide legs pants project so I didn't even get to touch that one. What a mess!

But I did spend lots of time working on two different sweaters I'm in the middle of knitting while watching hours and hours of Dr Who. Both sweaters are in "just knit" phases which means I don't need to think very hard about what I'm doing. My hands can do their thing while mind does something else.  Very relaxing. 

And I dyed my hair - finally!  I got black dye everywhere (what a mess!) but in the end am very happy to have my ebony tresses back. 

All in all it was a very nice experience.

This week's Share-in-Style prompt, "Sailor" inspired this outfit.  

It's a bit of a departure from how I usually dress but that the fun of responding to outfit prompts!  Besides, the fancy linen jacket (originally from Nordstrom but bought for a song at a thrift store) needed an outing this summer.  The brooch has bits of abalone shell and the hair clip has a (faux) pearl.  Definitely marine!

Here I am dreaming of sailing to far away places...

with Giant Dog at my side!

And on my wrist this really cool stretch bracelet made of scale-like celluloid pieces.