Fun Friday: Redbirds for your hair
Oh, the colour of these swallow hair pins is just so rich, isn't it? These pretty birds are a lovely currant  red, and shiny enough that an experimental nibble could be very tempting.  These pretty little doo-dads for pulling back unruly strands or adding a little extra interest to a chignon (for me, that is when this kind of thing is doing double duty) from VeryVintage are just $5, and made from vintage cabachons.

Available in a plethora of colours, the pins come prettily packaged in a gift box, meaning they're ready to go if meant to be a gift, and adding that extra-special touch if they are something you need for an upcoming wedding or just "my hair is driving me crazy, it needs to be pulled back" days. Best of all, at $5, these are a very pretty and very sweet gift for just about anyone on your list, and likely to be quite appreciated.

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Oooo, pretty...
It's not often we see a denim skirt as pretty as this one, but Funky Frum has us covered (literally).  The deep blue is elegant and grown-up, but it's denim, so...it's comfy. How about that!  It has a little bit of flare and very attractive contrasting stitching about the hips and hem — so cute. Denim skirts are extraordinarily  versatile, and this one will add a bit of femininity to an American classic.

$63, and in sizes 10-14. However, since they seem to think most women have only a 4" waist-to-hip differential, chances are you can buy one of these sizes and take it in if necessary (I'd have to go six full sizes up to fit my hips though my waist is small, so this girl would definitely be at her sewing machine - what is that all about? Oh well...). Regardless, this is an adorable skirt for all seasons and almost all events. 


The tops at SewMoe really captured my attention today. These long-sleeved ones, like this teal meets tan tee, have a really...hm...well, it's just an elegant flair, don't you think, with that collar? It reminds me of something British queens wore — you know, the big collars? Obviously this is a bit more daily-life friendly, of course, but it's definitely a unique look and one I find especially attractive. With the long sleeves, they're perfect for the wonderfully crisp fall days fast approaching, and for the not-so-wonderfully bitterly cold days that tend to follow autumn. Forecasters are and have been predicting one of the coldest winters in years, so perhaps now is the time to stock up on warm duds! 

This $40 top, handmade, is made of thin cotton jersey. Personally, I tend to wear a cami beneath long-sleeved tees in winter anyhow, and that is probably what you'll want to do in this case. (Your neck will be warm, though.) It is a medium/large, but other sizes and custom sizes are available (the bust and hips on this are 41 with  a waist of 33).  You'll want to check out some of the other long-sleeved tees, like this adorable one with a retro-style owl collar. Also at SewMoe are pretty little short-sleeved tops with button details on sleeves and wonderful dresses like this one with green polka dots. It might not really be appropriate for winter, but if you throw a snuggly sweater over it, you'll probably be just fine and no one will know you're wearing a sleeveless dress. 


Fun Friday: For the wanderer (or lost) in you
When Dad sees this one, I know he's going to laugh. You see, your correspondent has a tendency to get lost. Breathtakingly lost. The first time I drove out to visit now-Hubby in Pittsburgh, I was got so badly lost on the way home it added about 3 hours to my return trip. 

So it's safe to say that this compass ring would definitely come in handy for someone like me (provided she remembered to wear it). Of course, it might also come in handy for hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing trips, don't you think? But if someone asks whether you get lost often, you can just flash them a winning smile, laugh, and say, "Not when it comes to style!"

Just $6 from Aoi's Art, where you'll also find adorable things like this singing donut stuffie for baby girls, a pretty rose ring,  and a very happy felt tortellino pasta.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Beauty in all things

Well, this isn't exactly the kind of thing everyone in the world is going to see, but I'm a big believer in surrounding oneself with order and loveliness. It makes us feel better, more joyful, and it also encourages us (in my opinion) to look more carefully at the world around us, since our eyes and minds are already primed toward beauty. 

So there is nothing wrong with pretty little accessories and goodies; even during the Great Depression people did their best to bring beauty and grace into their lives. Indeed, I'd say that they were better at it then we are (based on my wanderings at a few fantastic antique shops this weekend).  As a matter of fact, inventories of the Pilgrims' things onboard ship notes that they had bed linens, valances, and pillows of various colours. Black and white, my tail. 

This darling zippy pouch from Carissa Black's shop of bags & accessories is a perfect example. It's useful but very pretty and attractive, and reminds me of the forget-me-nots blooming in our front yard (in Remmy's memorial garden). Not ostentatious, it's still attractive and the sort of thing that'll bring a twinkle of happiness to your heart every time you pull it out of your handbag. It's big enough for change, cash, your credit and business cards, makeup, tissues, cough drops...whatever! And at just $7, it's not a splurge by any stretch of the imagination, is it?

Also in Carissa's shop, you'll find wristlets, checkbook covers, totes, and other fine goodies along with a cheerily-coloured and patterned collection of zip pouches. Everything is very well-priced and looks to be very well-made, too. The fabrics she chooses are delightful, and I think you'll really like her shop.


M is for Marvellous!
Wow. Wearing this cotton-and-wool be-bowed cardigan would make me look worse than death warmed over, since yellow isn't my colour at all, but...darn! is this cardigan not wonderfully darling? From Modcloth, the cardigan has soft and ladylike puffed sleeves, not to mention the shimmery trim and buttons. And the bow! What a perfect top-off to a perfect (well, except for that colour, for me at least) sweater. Perfect with everything, everything from jeans to skirts, this retro cutie is just $54.99.

I suppose the fair-skinned among us who can't wear yellow can always console ourselves with this blouse, right?

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Fun Friday: Fused Fun
Well, after all the excitement of the conventions, Hubby and I are going to enjoy ourselves at home with The Big Country. A William Wyler film (he's the man who directed Ben-Hur), it stars Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Burl Ives, and some jaw-dropping cinematography and landscape. Indeed, the landscape alone makes this one worthwhile; you'll melt to see these vistas. Hubby missed it, though, and I enjoyed it, so we're watching again tonight thanks to the wonder of Netflix. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a good movie. One of the female leads is a really weak link in the film, to the point of being exasperating; I'm not sure if it is because the character is somewhat annoying of the actress is bad. It seems to be a little of both. Overall, though, it is an excellent movie and highly recommended. Plus...Heston and Peck? What more could we ask? (Some excellent horses, too, especially Heston's mount.)

So that's us tonight. But first...how about these darling, whimsical rings from the Polka Dot Glass Shop?  They're irresistible. Though my eyes first fell upon the bird ring, which drew me into the shop, I've fallen a little bit in love with the adorable, sweet, winsome little green pear elf ring. The preciously semi-surprised face! The darling little pinwheel on his jolly little dotted cap! And of course the green is delightful, too, but I've never been one capable of resisting a juicy bright green. 

Both pieces are handmade of fused glass, and securely attached to white gold-plated rings. The bird is $10, and our jolly elf is $12. There's plenty more at the Polka Dot Glass Shop, including pendants featuring critters, cityscapes, gnome houses, and retro televisions (including one that makes me think of an apple).

Have a great weekend!

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A Fall Favourite
Thanks so much for all of your concern about my health! I'm feeling much better. Ugh! Summer flu...thank goodness it didn't last terribly long, and better yet, wasn't the "green at the gills" kind of flu (just the "ouch, my bones are burning and melting within me" kind). Whew!

I'm not sure what it is about fall, but it seems to me that autumn always means headbands begin to make themselves seen once again. Perhaps they're like deer, apple cider, and pumpkins: they're at their best in the fall. Maybe it's simply that we spend a lot of time outdoors in the fall, watching football games, enjoying the fall colours, and picking apples, and with colder weather comes stronger winds; headbands keep the hair a little neater. Whatever it is, though, it's fall now, and yes, the headbands are peering around corners and watching us from the still-beleafed trees, waiting for their moment to really arrive.

If you're in the market for some new ways to dress up your locks (or just keep them from blowing into your caramel-dipped apple), Stylish Mode is going to have you more than covered. Though this retro mod one caught my eye, there's plenty to choose from: pretty plaids, more traditional florals, stripes, dots, ethnic prints, paisleys — even martini-loving kitties, retro martini glasses, and sheet music. Headbands range from $6-12, though some are more scarf-like headbands than your classic headband style.

One thing I like about these is that they go all the way around your head, courtesy of hidden elastic in the back of the band. Continually re-adjusting the placement of one's headband because it slides over hair so easily is not a great way to spend the day at the office or the homecoming game, is it? All of the headbands are machine washable, fully reversible, and the artist is more than happy to make a headband larger or smaller if necessary (they'll fit a noggin 21-23" around).

Stylish Mode also offers cute and funky ponytail holders as well as fashionable, chic key fobs and lanyards.


Well, I seem to have somehow contracted the flu. Even so, though, you can check out the end-of-summer (*sob*) sale at Femmina Style and Shade,  clearance at Christa-Taylor, or the new fall duds at Funky Frum?

And watch out for the flu.

In August!

So uncool.


Ah, yes, wooden jewelry, one of my very favourite things. If there is something wearable composed in or featuring wood, I'm there. The natural beauty is, of course, undeniable, but I really seem to find something peaceful, relaxing, and grounding about it.

Additionally, wood seems to go with everything for some reason. Go figure!

Regardless of my reasons for so enjoying wooden jewelry, though, we can't deny that Lala B.'s designs are beautiful, graceful, and charming. Formerly featured only in Hawaiian boutiques, through the wonder of the internet, we can all snag a pair of our very own, or perhaps for a friend.

Lala B. earrings are made from salvaged pieces of wood from artist Julie's husband's instrument-making business; he constructs guitars and ukeleles.  It's a family affair: Lala B. is named after the couple's daughter; Julie designs, assembles, and sands the earrings; Julie's husband sprays the finish onto each earring. 

Earrings are available with either sterling silver or gold-filled hooks; each is made of native Hawaiian Koa hardwood. The grain and colours of this wood really are beautiful. Julie sets
many of her pieces most beautifully by accenting the wood with beads, wire, tiny rhinestones, pearls, and other lovely things. Never outlandish, each pair of earrings is sophisticated and lovely. Some are sheer elegance, while others are more fun and whimsical, but there's no denying that the work is winningly pretty.

Each pair of earrings is handmade, and the range of prices is extremely reasonable: $15-$30.


Friday Extra

I know this is supposed to be fun Friday, but I saw these two perfectly lovely dresses on eBay, noted they were in difficult-to-find larger sizes...they had to be shared.

First up is this remarkable lavender dress that simply must have a fascinating history behind it. Purchased at a Hollywood studio auction, this linen-rayon beauty has embroidery along the topside of each sleeve and right up the back. Beautiful! I've seen nothing like this, but can just imagine Mitzi Gaynor or Donna Reed or even Marilyn decked out in it. Don't you just wonder for whom it was originally purchased, and why it wasn't used? Hmmm...

The exceptionally interesting embroidery aside, this frock is flatteringly cut, with cuffed sleeves, a pretty (but modest) V-neck collar, and an A-line skirt. The belt is included, as are the union-made labels.

If it were closer to my size, it would be mine. As it is, though, the dress, which appears to have never been worn, is a 38/40-34-44.  Bidding starts at $25 (there is a reserve) and the auction ends Sunday. This is definitely one worth having...it's marvellous.

 Also seen is this moire taffeta dress from the 40s. Again: fabulous cut, a stand-up collar, and really a really unique drape on the pockets. Though there are a couple of missing buttons and a few spots of sun-fading, I think these can be pretty easily remedied. 42-33-44, and bidding begins at $9.99.

Happy bidding, and have a wonderful weekend.


Just Your Size Retro!
If y'all wouldn't mind praying for my family, I'd appreciate it. My grandfather suffered a very (very) mild stroke Saturday and is still in the hospital due to an infection. The doctors seem to think he'll be fine, and he'd regained some use of his arm and hands by that very evening, and was speaking lucidly just hours later, but...still. We'd appreciate your prayers just the same! Thanks.

Now, August or not, the nights are getting cool...very cool. Downright chilly, in fact. So it's wise to keep a cardigan or three around for evening excursions of simply sitting on the porch watching the world go by (or wandering around the yard while munching on a peach and stargazing, like I do). For some reason, though, simple cardigans that still have personality can be hard to find. It's either Christmas Horror Hell or bland, bland, bland fitless sacks of knit silk and cotton.

Thankfully, Heavy Threads has a solution: cotton knit cardigans with retro embroidery bedecking them. This black atomic cardigan really does look like something straight out of the 50s, doesn't it (also available in dark grey and several other colours)? The starburst pattern was created as a wearable homage to the fabulous 1950s Franciscan dishes starburst pattern. Delightful! 

Wearable with just about everything from jeans to skirts and camis to daydresses, the cardigans are custom-made and come in sizes extra small to XXL. $42, hand-embroidered right here in the USA! No way can even Target match this coolness.

If you want something a little more girly, don't be afraid to try one of the bubblegum pink cardigans with a single, large starburst. Very cool, very retro, very adorable, and just $40.

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Fun Friday: 30s Chic
Oh, this is simply adorable, isn't it? Hand-crocheted, this cloche-style hat definitely has a 30s feel to it, and the styles of that era are supposed to be big again this fall (if you care about trends; I generally don't).  The colours are delightful, but really, this is just plain fun, not to mention a smart way to keep your head warm this fall and winter. Can't you picture Jean Arthur or Greta Garbo donning one of these?

Soft and snuggly, handmade in the USA, for just $14 by All Ways In Bloom

Have a lovely weekend!

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Adorable dress from Delia's
Though I do prefer to feature indie stuff, sometimes there is no resisting mass-made apparel. For one thing, there are a lot more modest items available mass-market than there are in the indie market (speaking of, there's a thread on the Etsy forums where someone asked what people would like to see more of on Etsy, and "modest clothing" was mentioned several times; designers, take note!).   Additionally, mass market means more of the item, whereas on Etsy, often there are only a handful of them. That can be nice, of course, but only if it's in your size, colour, and you get there first, right? And to tell the truth, the size range on Etsy tends to be child through fourteen year-old a little too much of the time (not that you should stop looking, because there are some great designers making normally-sized clothing).

Anyhow, tonight's dress is from Delia's, a company I admittedly tend to associate with a sort of grungy college look; not really my style. Still, I somehow received a promotional email the other night, and I thought this was just the cutest thing. The kinda-square neckline, of course, is definitely something that will catch my eye, but the whole dress is very feminine and sweet. It's a bit short for my own wearing, but I have very white, Irish legs, and it really wouldn't be difficult at all to add a longer ruffle at the bottom to either replace or double-ruffle to lengthen this darling dress.

The Alyssa dress is made of swiss dot cotton (I think), and features buttons up the front and those delightful ruffles. The cap sleeves make this a perfect go-to for fall and spring, even the chillier days; just bring a sweater along. There's a tie at the waist for a better fit, and the dress comes in dark blue and classic black (personally, I'd go for the blue, but that's me). 

$44.50, and in sizes 00 to 13/14; Delia's size chart is here, and it's relatively forgiving. This dress, on the other hand, needn't be forgiving, because with its classic A-line skirt, fitted bodice, cap sleeves, and those ruffles I keep coming back to, it's going to play up all of your best features without revealing anything that oughtn't be. Pretty, ladylike, and modest...just what we like to see!


Taking a sick day...
...Ladies (and any gents), I'm sorry, but some evil critter is coming at me with all guns blazing. No post tonight, since I really ought to be taking it easy and still have work-work to do. But you know how to respond...just meander over to Etsy and see what is going on!

Fun Friday: Whimsy from Lori Delisle
Friday at last! First of all, I want to alert those of you who live near the Lincoln Highway that tomorrow is the final day of the High-Way Buy-Way, which spreads across the Lincoln Highway (primarily in WV, OH, and IN, though) from sea to shining sea. Really, I'll have to let you all know well in advance next year, because rumor has it there's a lot of vintage beads and jewelry to be found along this sort of nationwide yard sale. Anyhow, we're heading out tomorrow...if we had a bigger car, we'd take Ben with us and stay out all day!

With that out of the way, let's head to the cute. This Provision ring, from Lori at Delisle Designs, is just so cheerful and hopeful, isn't it? Made of turquoise and silver, it is appropriately named; Lori's inspiration is one of my very favourite verses: Matthew 6:26.

"Look at the birds of the air, for the neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

Such a humbling and comforting reminder of God's care for us in all things. The ring itself features a pretty little bird safely ensconced in its nest atop precious eggs. $18, the ring is sized especially for you. A matching key ring, bracelet, and hair sticks are available as well. Whether you like it because of the meaning or just because it's pretty, it would be hard to glance at it, knowing the inspiration, without recalling God's word that He will always care for us because we are worth so much more to Him than the sparrows, for whom He provides everything.

In addition to fanciful but meaningful treats like the Provision ring, you'll also find extremely elegant, beautiful jewelry at Lori's shop as well. I must admit that the Rose of Sharon bracelet and the very lovely matching ring caught my eye, with the sterling silver, coral, and jade (also: red, hello). They make me think of representative jewelry from the 20s and 30s, never a bad thing. You'll also find the cheery mother-of-pearl Go-Go bracelet and Living Water ring, which features a dyed freshwater pearl set in a swirl of silver.

Very beautiful things...I could go on and on. The Salt of the Earth collection is beautiful as well, but you'll just have to visit the stop to find it for yourself. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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