Monday, October 27, 2014

Dogs and Vogs

This was supposed to be a post about breaking in a new pair of shoes and my Margarita hat pattern in honor of Anne's 52 Pick-me-up: Marigold.  But Giant Dog kept photo bombing me.

Shoes?  What shoes?  All I see are fuzzy dog ears.  (The softest, most wonderfully pet-able ears by the way.)

What are we looking at mom? 

She just wanted to be involved; following me back and forth from the camera to the edge of the deck.  So what else could I do other than include her in the photo shoot.  Clearly she was hoping for her big break. 

Um, Giant Dog, that's not your best angle.  Though it is a pretty good one of the hat.  The pattern can be found on Etsy if you'd like to knit your own. 

Explanations were made. 

And finally!  Me in plaid skirt and layered long and short sleeve shirts (thrifted) with new Fluevogs (majorly on sale), hand knit hat, and vintage plastic bangles (also thrifted.)  And Giant Dog in a lovely collar featuring pink skulls on a black background (pet store.)

And the shoes?

So the downside of hanging out with people who like the same things as you is that a lot of enabling happens.  There is a discussion group on Ravelry devoted entirely to Fluevogs.  People discuss fit and sizing issues, post pictures of outfits, give styling suggestions, and generally hang out.  There is also a thread where members post deals and sales they come across and this is where it gets fun/dangerous.  Last week someone noticed that Amazon had these (Hopefuls Luxon) marked way down but only in a handful of sizes.  Well, guess whose size they did have?  So at less than a third of full price I jumped on them.  After placing my order, I discovered that Amazon was running a special for 20% off a purchase of $100 or more.  I found another item I wanted that would bump the total over the cutoff and emailed customer service to find out if I could add that to my order and then apply the discount.  I figured it was a long shot.  Well what do you know? Customer service said they couldn’t add to the order at that point but that they would be happy to give me 20% off the purchase anyway. They just needed to wait until it shipped and my card was charged. Lo and behold, the shoes shipped the next morning and a 20% refund was issued! I don’t know which I find more amazing, that they gave me a discount they didn’t have to, or that customer service actually followed through on what they said they’d do. Yup, brand new, super cute, super comfy Fluevogs on my feet for $74.  I feel a little like I just won the lottery.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Variations on a Theme

This week has been all about knee length knit dresses and colored tights.  I have a love /hate relationship with tights.  I love the look of brightly colored opaque tights but hate having to tug them up all the time.  But last year I discovered that Target sells plain Jane opaque tight in a wide variety of colors that fit me REALLY well.  I won't lie and say I never have to give them a tug, but I can wear them all day without going nuts, so, Yay

This dress is my latest thrift store find.  The color is pretty off in this picture but the cami and boots are berry colored.  The boots are awesome platforms from Kork Ease that Hubby bought me a couple of years ago.  The look great, feel great, and are holding up really well in spite of having already gone through 2 wet winters. Topped off with a vintage men's velvet hat. 

Next up is a wine colored dress with patterned cami and mustard yellow tights.  I've found myself very drawn to mustard recently and I especially like it with red/wine/berry.

Finished off with assorted vintage plastic jewelry and a hand knit hat.  It's the Carmen pattern from Hat Couture.  The earrings are old celluloid. 

My wildly comfortable Danskos are also a gift from Hubby.

And today's outfit is this black and white polka dot (love polka dots!) dress with red long sleeve T and red tights.  I think red tights are just plain sexy no mater what you wear them with. 

The black wool felt hat is a nice shape but a little plain on it's own so I added a big red and pink rhinestone pin which then meant I had to also wear my red and pink bracelets.  That's just plain logic.  

The red bracelet is one of the very first pieces I bought when I started shopping at thrift stores and the pin is the most recent find.  

Do I look pleased with myself?  Maybe it's because my shoes have buckles and I only paid $4.99 for them.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What I Would Do with the Boots

Suzanne posted a lovely Polyvore set based around these scrumptious green Victorian style boots. Her outfit has clean elegant lines that perfectly reflect her impeccable personal style. I instantly fell in love with the boots but started thinking about how I would style them. My tastes run a bit more gothic/steampunk. So here's what I came up with. 

What I Would Do with the Boots

Anyone else want to play?  What would you do with these yummy boots?  Join the link-up and show off your ideas.  Please be kind and add a link back to this post.  Can't wait to see what you come up with!



Click here to add your link: An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, October 16, 2014

His and Hers Closets

I live in a wonderful, nearly 100 year old house.  It has has lots of great features including a stone fireplace and built-in bookcases in the living room and snug cozy bedrooms tucked under the roof upstairs.  But along with all that charm, there is a distinct lack of closet space.  In fact there are only two real closets in the whole house, one in the guest room we use for coats and one our bedroom.  The rest of the storage space is improvised.  

Hubby and I have been sharing this space since we moved in.


It worked pretty well as long as neither of us had very many clothes or shoes.  But in the last few years we have both expanded our wardrobes significantly.  I cobbled up some overflow space in the crafts area.

It's not really ideal for storing clothes and it took away space from the sewing, knitting, and other crafty supplies.  

And then THIS happened.

Our closet had a baby! 

Well, we went out and bought a second closet to keep our first one company.  I've been wanting to get a free standing wardrobe for a long time but have been stumped by our size limitations.  Remember I said the bedroom are tucked under the roof?  Yeah, we have low ceiling and can't fit a standard height wardrobe.  And then pure luck hit last weekend and I found this lovely unit on craigslist.  It was custom built for the previous owner but is near perfect fit for our space.

 Hubby has moved his clothes into the new closet and I get the entire old closet.

It's mine, ALL MINE!  (Except for the shelf I can't really reach anyway.  Hubby's still using that for his shoes.)

And the crafts space?  

I still have shoe overflow in there but otherwise it is back to being used for fabric and yarn storage and feeling a whole lot less cramped.  I really like how perfectly the yarn and fabric fit in these hanging shoe organizers.

It's nice how a little change can make such a big difference. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I find that my interest in things comes in waves and I can easily become obsessed. But let me modify that statement by also stating that I am careful to stay within a budget and I rarely buy anything under the influence of obsession that I don't still love once the mania has passed. I'm currently under the thrall of John Fluevog shoes. To be fair I've had a thing for them for several years now but not the finances to do anything about it.  Money has eased up a bit in recent months and I've treated myself to several pairs. I've also learned where to hunt for them at bargain prices.  Here's such a pair bought for a song on etsy. 

Hi Choice Vannys

They were sold as being in very good condition but in reality the white leather was in pretty rough shape. A politely but firmly worded complaint about the misleading description resulted in a partial refund. And a rummage through the crafts area resulted in a solution - shoe dye!

I wrapped the toes in foil to isolate the strap and was ready to go. 

A few days and many thin coats of dye later and viola!  Not quite like new but much improved. 

I don't know how much longer this obsession will last but for now I'm having lots of fun. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Knitters Took Over the Shoe Store

Last night there was a lovely convergence of fiber arts and really great shoes at the John Fluevog store in Portland.  The wonderful store manager, Crystal put together A Yarnie Fluevog evening, inviting in a number of local designers and dyers for an opportunity to show off our wares.

Here's my set up.  Hats and shoes, such a lovely combination!
Stunning crochet patterns and unique techniques from Laurinda Reddig at ReCrochetions.
Scrumptious yarns from Stephania Fregosi at Three Fates Yarn.   

Cindy Abernethy, owner of Pearl Fiber Arts brought super squishy, ginormous yarn and hand crafted needle to match. 

A riot of colorful samples from Lee Meredith of Leethal Knits.

People shopped, tried things on, mingled, had snacks and drinks, and even sat a knit a while.  It was a lovely evening.  Thanks Crystal!

And don't forget about the Fluevog Beret, now available for sale if you didn't get a chance to pick one up last night. 

Naturally I had to wear something I knit.  I think the Isambard Corset went perfectly with my gorgeous Fluevogs.

It was a great event and very successful but also exhausting. I'm really looking forward to spending some quiet time with Hubby and the Sprog.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Brace Yourself

Just a very quick post to show off my weekend project, my leather bracer for archery. 

There are two areas on my bow arm that need protecting, my forearm and my index finger.  All archers are vulnerable to string slaps which hurt and leave a nasty bruise so there are lots of arm guards and bracers available on the market that protect the forearm.  Modern bows have an arrow ledge which protects the shooters hand so most archers don't need anything on their hand.  I shoot a primitive bow with no ledge so the arrow crosses the top of my hand and sometimes the fletching (which is stiff and sharp) cuts me.  There are gloves available that protect that part of the bow hand but I couldn't find anything that was both pieces on one so I designed and made my own!  (This is a common theme in my life.)

The added bonus of making my own is that I got to pick out my own leather and make it as fancy as I wanted. That's embossed cowhide, not actual crocodile in case you were wondering. 

It took a couple of fabric prototypes to sort it all out and there are still a few little things I'll tweek if I make another one, but on the whole, I'm very happy with how it turned out.  

And most importantly it does exactly what I need it to.  After three hours of shooting on Sunday I came home bruise and cut free!  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's All in the Details

Yesterday was one of those lovely clear cool fall mornings which gave me the perfect excuse to pull out one of my favorite coats.

This coat is so awesome.  It's nicely tailored for a figure flattering fit, it has wonderful details and perfectly sized and placed pocket, AND it's made of cotton jersey!  Yup, it feels like a sweatshirt. 

Great details, even on the back.  

CAbi jacket, Eddie Bauer pants, and red t-shirt, and my lovely red clogs (read the whole silly story here) all from thrift stores. 

One of my projects for the day was to dye a pair of pants I bought last week.  I love the fit and the style lines but the color is really a no-go for me.  

Great seam details.

So into the dye pot they went.  

I didn't get the color perfectly even but I'm envisioning these for archery/playing in the woods clothes so the slight mottling works just fine,  

This morning after a trip through the washer and dryer - Viola!  (There's the jacket again.)  

Now I'm looking around for more stuff to dye!