Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Clothes, Cake, and Cameras

I apologise for the poor quality of these photos as they came off my phone. I've recently purchased a new camera, but haven't really had the time so sit down and get used to working with it. I appreciate your patience as I sort things through. 
That beast weighs a tonne! I need a new tripod as my old one would never hold it-even without the lens and flash. Clearly more camera than I require, but it was too good of a deal to pass up. 
So clothes. I've been wearing them, as you do. 
This is a 70's polyester maxi dress and a 70's Ultrasuede coat. I paid $20.00 for the coat, which is much more than I would typically fork over for Ultrasuede. I made an exception because it fitted perfectly, and well...that blue! Yes, I have an Ultrasuede suit in the same shade of blue, but this is a full-length coat so...justified? I'm not convinced, but it is mine now and I plan to wear it to death as Ultrasuede knows no season.

The basket bag is yet another Caro-Nan, this one from Ohio. It is taller than my Nebraska version. I've been lucky finding these bags-they sell for quite a bit online.

Outfit Particulars:
1970's maxi dress-Goodwill
1970's Ultrasuede coat-Hand-Me-Ups
Velvet boots- K Mart
Caro Nan handbag-Etsy
Earrings-K Mart
Fragrance-Tuscany per Donna

We're officially into tartan weather-and this one is a beauty.
 This is a vintage Pendleton in the Boyd tartan. It is wool, fully lined and a joy to wear. The pockets don't gape, and it doesn't have any silly pleats.
The jacket is a Lauren relic from the 80's (look at that collar!) that I don't particularly like, but it goes with everything. The cashmere sweater I bought at Marshall Fields in the early 80's when you could still get good quality cashmere. It has a Hong Kong label.
 Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Pendleton skirt-Can't remember
Cashmere sweater-Marshall Fields, 80's
 1980's Ralph Lauren jacket-can't remember
Valdrome bag-Hand-Me-Ups

Now for the cake.
This is an oatmeal cake with a coconut topping. I can tell how much the boys like a cake by how long it lasts. This one went very quickly. Traditionally it would have chopped pecans or walnuts in the topping but I omitted them due to allergies. Feel free to add half a cup if you like. 

You will need:
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
12 ounces flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cook until it comes to a boil. Add the milk, and again bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Spread on hot cake and broil about 2 minutes. 

Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Pour water over oatmeal in a small bowl and let sit 20 minutes. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Add eggs one at a time beating well between additions. Add oatmeal to creamed mixture. Sift together dry ingredients and blend into creamed mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake about 35 minutes or until cake tests done. About 5 minutes before cake comes out, start making the topping. Spread the topping on the warm cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, and then place under the broiler about 6 inches from the element for about 2 minutes or until the coconut turns a toasty brown and the mixture is bubbling. Cool in pan on a rack. 

Hope your week is going well. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hat's Entertainment

My hair won't do shit in the winter. I could spend time being upset by that, or invest in conditioners/styling products/a decent haircut, etc. but being the practical sort, I looked in my cupboard, assessed my collection of hats, and here we are. Life is too short to spend it screwing around with hair. 

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage wool ski sweater-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage 70's skirt-Goodwill
Boots-K Mart
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Hat-K Mart
Vintage earrings-Thrift shop in Wisconsin
Fragrance-Estee Lauder Knowing (vintage formulation)
Sometimes though, I want a classic, black wool beret. I look like I ought to be puffing on  Gauloises. 
Outfit Particulars:
Poloneck-K Mart
Vintage Kashmiri embroidered jacket-gift
Vintage handbag-Goodwill
Enamel bangle-Goodwill
Fragrance-Chanel no. 22

Not hat related, but I had to show you the Selro necklace I picked up last weekend for $5.99. I nearly fainted when I saw it. The Christmas tree brooches will be added to the collection. I'm going to try and wear them all this season, though I might need to wear five at a time to make it. I was thinking of doing a "Brooch of the Day" feature like the Plaid Tidings I did a couple years ago. Would you guys be up for that in December? 
 This wool and rhinestone 60's hat has been waiting in my collection for years. I knew the right outfit would come along-it just took 5 years! That's okay, it isn't like the vintage will go out of style. The sweater dress is something I wouldn't typically wear, but it was .49 cents at Goodwill so I took a gamble. I really don't like Empire waists, but this one had so many other cool features I was willing to overlook the "Uniboob" these dresses always give me.
I added a faux fur because...November in the American Midwest. 
 The sleeves are decorated on the underside. Me neither.
The lace feature at the bodice is nice though. 

Outfit Particulars:
Tissavel vintage faux fur-Goodwill
Avon ceramic brooch-Thrift World
Earrings-Thrift World
Fragrance-Vintage formulation Emeraude

Hope you're having a good week. Hat's all folks!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Landing Rocks on the House

This has been a busy weekend so far in Omaha. Last evening, we bundled-up (because it is freezing) and walked two minutes down the street to see the Tree of Lights being lit at 90th and Dodge.
 The crowd was smaller this year (because it is freezing!) but friendly and well behaved. There was music, free food, hot cocoa, and reindeer. Really.
Not something we see everyday in Omaha. 
I'm sure the reindeer were fine with the weather. Did I mention it was freezing? Know what else you don't see everyday? Me, in a red wool coat. It took 40+ years but I think I'm finally over the trauma of that HBC red and black point blanket coat my mother made me wear year after bloody year (she bought it big) until I finally, "Lost" it. Those coats sell for a small fortune now, but I've never regretted binning it. Anyway, here I am in a red wool coat which is surely a sign of progress, no?
Saturday brought the start of the Olympic Curling trials in Omaha. We went down to Stinson park to check out the celebration.
Danny was keen to give it a try. He did manage to land his rock on the house (that sounds worse than it is). You wouldn't think of curling being an exciting spectator sport-but it is! The trials go all week and though we can watch online, we're planning to go and cheer people on in person. Tickets are quite inexpensive. 
If curling isn't your sport you can always try bobsledding.
Just don't forget to rub noses with the snowmen for good luck. 
Walking back we passed this under construction building. No idea what it will be home to, but it does seem unfortunate that it has windows that can't open. Ah well, I'm sure it will glimmer away in the sunlight like a glasshouse once completed. Think of what the air conditioning bills will be like!
There's a sports bar in the neighbourhood that caters to Cubs fans. Danny has a few years before he can go inside (drinking age is 21) so we took his photo instead. "Do something Cub" I told him. 
"Okay, how about choking?!" 
That's my boy, the smartass. Some fan. 
Hope you're having a nice weekend. Stay warm (or cool if you're in the other hemisphere). 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Oh Magoo, You've Done it Again!

I didn't put it together when I purchased the new frames, but after wearing them a bit it became obvious...
That's O.K. I do have a bit of a bumbling streak, and I can't see much of anything without specs. That's how life is-you go for fashionable, and end up with Mr. Magoo.
I'm seeing much better now. Hopefully, this will help with the headaches brought on by eye strain. The frames are quite light which is a good thing as the lenses are not. I can't believe how bloody heavy they are. Still, compared to my old frames they are a joy to wear and likely won't freeze my face in the cold. I knew my vision had worsened but I wasn't aware just how severely until I put on the new prescription. Yikes. Lesson learned-get an eye exam every year. 
I'm pleased that the frames are so large I can quit tweezing my eyebrows if I wish, as no one can see them. Unfortunately, you have a now perfect anti-glare-line-free look at my eyes and my cack-handed approach to applying mascara is going to require a bit more finesse. 
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage crochet (or is it knit?) sweater-Goodwill
90's skirt-Filene's (bought it new)
1970's handbag-Goodwill
Beret-Omaha Weavers and Spinners Guild Fiber Arts Show a few years ago (coming up again 18 November 2017. Worth a trip to Omaha.)
Jade (?) bracelet-Goodwill
Danish Modernist ring-Goodwill
Egyptian ring-Thrift shop in Seward, NE
Metallic boots-Goodwill
Mexican necklace-yard sale
Eyeglass Frames-Kate Spade
 I could not tell the front from the back of this sweater! After trying it both ways several times, I gave up and figure if I can't see a difference, no one else will either.
Mr. ETB is doing well after his surgery-thank you all for your well wishes. I'm going to drive him to work for a bit just to be safe, but he seems otherwise fully recovered. That's a great relief as I was worried (probably more worried than he). 

November is shaping up to be a busy month for us, and December...well, between the holidays and Danny's birthday we decided to host a holiday open house for friends and our neighbours on the street, the weekend before Christmas. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either. It will be a nice way for newer people in the neighbourhood to meet people that have been here a bit-if they'll attend. I could be sitting here alone eating cake by myself. In Boston I always had a house full of people dropping in, but in Omaha people just go home at night and stay there. I never see people sitting out in the summer, or socialising. Anyway, we'll do our part for trying to at the very least make introductions, but I'm not overly optimistic. Perhaps the promise of home-baked mince pies and conversation will perform some sort of magic. 

I'll see you (better than previously) later, alligator. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Hey You Turkeys!

The garden looks a bit bare this time of year.
...so I added these turkey hunting decoys. The neighbours already think of us as the strange ones-it wasn't like a couple turkeys in the raised bed would change anything. Even turkeys won't eat the sorrel. 
Life has been busy lately, which isn't a terrible thing. I've been enjoying using Instagram as I rarely have much to say, but often have interesting photos. 
 I've been hauling out some of my better vintage pieces lately. I suppose as long as it isn't raining or snowing it makes good sense to wear these things so I can get some enjoyment from them.
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage beaded cardigan-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage silk blouse-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage houndstooth skirt-Goodwill (part of a suit)
Tights-K Mart
Shoes-K Mart
Vintage Crown Lewis bag-Goodwill
Pressed poppy brooch-Can't remember
Vintage Jerold coat-Thrift shop in Wahoo, NE

 This silk dress is part of a suit with a matching peplum jacket and similar pleating on the collar. It was made either in the late 40's or early 50's and has a Peck and Peck label inside. My mum adored Peck and Peck department store and their trademark red white and blue items heralding the arrival of spring. I'm wearing the lovely blue rhinestone brooch Beth Waltz kindly sent me, and I must say, it looks like it was made for this dress. I don't imagine I'll ever wear a different brooch with it again-why spoil perfection? Thank you again Beth!
Oooh it sparkles.
 The Mongolian lamb jacket was an impulse buy at Hand-Me-Ups. I absolutely do NOT need more jackets (perhaps, ever) but it was too good to leave. It fitted me perfectly which can only be a sign from the vintage gods.

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage Peck and Peck dress (part of a suit) a defunct thrift shop in Portsmouth, NH before Portsmouth became a tourist town
Vintage Handbag-antique mall
Shoes-Thrift World
Sara Coventry bracelet-Can't remember
Vintage suede gloves-Can't remember
Vintage velvet hat-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch-Gift from the lovely Beth Waltz
Fragrance-Vintage formulation, Estee Lauder Knowing

So Mr. ETB had his sinus surgery, he's doing well and resting. You'd think if you had a giant polyp in your nose since the late 60's someone, at some point might have removed it. I mean, his dad was a doctor for fuck's sake. But no, he lived with it all these years. Hopefully, he'll spend the rest of his life breathing much better. They did provide pictures (as with the colonoscopy) so I can now say I've had a good look at him from both ends. I will not be posting those, but trust me-that was one big polyp!

I was surprised the procedure was done outpatient, as they gave him general anesthesia (which he's still upstairs sleeping off). Four hours later I was bringing him home but honestly, he was in no condition to leave. The idea that I was going to be able to help a 6'4 250 lb. man up a flight of stairs was perhaps expecting a bit too much. We made it, but if he'd had trouble I'm not sure what I'd have done. Another hour in recovery would have been helpful, but they really do seem to want you out of there as soon as you can stand so they can bring in the next one. We did both laugh at the nurse asking if he wanted to "go potty." He's pushing 60 years of age and she's asking him about going, "potty"? Geez. He goes back next week to have the splints removed. Until then, he can't blow his nose. I can hear him snoring where I am a floor below, so I guess it didn't help with that. Ah well, at least he can breathe.

I'm using all this time at home playing Florence Nightingale to unpack the rest of my winter clothes and launder, sort and pack the summer. I also crocheted two dish cloths as I waited during the operation-so I am accomplishing stuff left and right ;)

Danny just asked if he could store some baseballs in my freezer. I find it best to not ask why when it comes to this sort of thing. *shrug* Sure, just stuff 'em in there next to the snowman's head from last winter. What else would I need a freezer for?

Frozen baseballs. Okay. Sure. See you later.


Saturday, November 04, 2017

Back in Black

 I wore so much black in my youth that I've made an effort to avoid it in later years. To be completely honest, I don't know what to do with it. My younger self would go for pearls or silver, perhaps a nice scarf but 2017 me? Oh hell, I haven't got a clue.

The selling point for this vintage 50's dress was the buttons-I mean, my god, look at 'em! That, and it cost me $7.99. I have a hard time passing up pristine vintage when I can grab it for a song. That day, Hand-Me-Ups had a cache of vintage dresses that the lovely saleswoman pointed out (they know me too well!). I ended up buying four black dresses and one pink-ish silver silk number from the early 60's. I do not require four black 50's dresses, though one is at present too snug to be worn comfortably. For someone that never wears black, I found myself unable to resist the perfectly cared for clothes. I'll find a new home for the too-small one, but I'm going to consider it a challenge finding ways to wear the rest of them.
 The bust is a good 40 inches on this one, and the waist a very snug 27 inches. I'm guessing the extra room up top is to accommodate the pointy bras that were in fashion, and I'm sure with correct foundations this dress would look a lot racier than it does on me. I look like I'm headed to work as a saleslady at a department store.
 After trying the dress with a cropped leopard print jacket (no), a chenille pink and black jacket (definitely not) and an embroidered coat (uh uh) I finally gave up and went with this vintage late 40's swing coat. Kind of boring, but in the end I don't think I'm capable of making this black dress be anything more than a nice black dress. I though LBD's are supposed to be versatile?!
I went for the second half of my eye exam today. Everything's fine except that I have a spot (the doctor called it a "freckle") in my right eye. Well, that's news to me. We'll have to keep track of it in case it starts to grow, but I thought it was fascinating to know-I'd never heard of such a thing. My specs still aren't finished, but they expect them early next week. I'm looking forward to being able to see better (at least until I notice all the hairs sprouting from my chin or something horrible).
Outfit Particulars:
Vintage dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage coat-Hand-Me-Ups
Shoes-K Mart
Vintage bag-Goodwill
40's brooch on dress-Hand-Me-Ups
Brooch on coat-Yard sale
Machine age bracelet-Sarpy museum sale
Fragrance-Courreges in Blue
Lippy-Wine With Everything Revlon

Speaking of dressing outside my comfort zone...
A pair of Brazil Roxx Jeans
I had to cuff the bottoms which does lose some of the suede, but I was in no shape for towering heels today. I would never spend $389.00 on a pair of jeans, but I was happy to spend $9.99 at Hand-Me-Ups. They were NWT when I bought them. Who spends that kind of money on something and then donates it?! Anyway, I'm not really a jeans kind of woman, but these are just too beautiful to let languish in my cupboard. I wore them once when I purchased them, and then forgot them until recently. 
 As with the black dress above, I don't really have a clue how to style them. Being loose fitting, it almost seems like something form fitting (say, a polo neck) would be best to balance off the look-but really, I don't know. They sit lower on the hips than I'm used to, though that might be from being a wee bit large. I didn't want to go overboard with Western style clothing as I was afraid I'd look like a rodeo queen (not that there's anything wrong with that, it just ain't me). Going with the argument that leopard is a neutral, I gave this cardigan I picked up last weekend a first wear.
Outfit Particulars:
Brazil Roxx jeans-Hand-Meups
Vintage sparkly tee-Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings-Thrift World
Damsacene (technically it is Toledoware a sort of "faux Damascene) bracelet-Goodwill
Inlaid bracelet-New Life Thrift
Rings-all over
Fragrance-Vintage Tigress (had to!)
So, how do you style a black dress or embellished jeans? Or do you just stay clear and stick to the tried and true?