Where the White Fern Grows

Bonus! Susan, of Modcloth, has kindly offered a 10% discount off any order. Just use the code "pretty10" at checkout.

This very pretty red top featuring a lovely fern proves yet again that the cotton tee is one of the best wardrobe inventions ever. Versatile, comfy, and durable, a well-fitting tee is not just flattering but just about always in style. Worn alone, under sweaters or jackets, with jeans or skirts; solid-coloured, printed with a design or logo, and with any kind of neckline - what was once a simple piece of underclothing is now a fashion icon available in nearly endless variety. (And they've only been around in the general population since around 1930, if you can believe that.)

With its slightly retro flair, attractive but still modest wide scoop neckline (think of the accessorizing possibilities!), and the puffy fern on the front are delicate and pretty (anyone else like fern plants as much as I do?), this red tee is cute and flattering. I think it would look fab with jeans or a white or chocolate-covered skirt (your choice on dark or milk). It's 93% cotton, 7% spandex, and on sale at only $20.99. Available - along with plenty of equally cute clothing - at Modcloth. Enjoy!


Talk About "Taste From Home!"

One of my favourite stores back in my pre-marriage home of Berkley, Michigan was the cheery and eclectic Catching Fireflies. That it was within walking distance (maybe a mile away) from my apartment made it that much more tempting. From whimsical little knickknacks (like pretty picture frames) to jewelry and even fabulously retro kitchen goodies, this is my kind of store! I really miss the ability to stroll over on a sunny afternoon to peruse the massive cute at this charming little shop - but thanks to the power of the internet, I can still look and shop via their online store.

There are so many pretty things in the shop it's hard to pick just one, but this cranberry beaded handbag is too lovely not to share. It's a perfect colour (you know how I feel about red handbags) and the embroidered flowers add that little extra something for a dressy, classic look. A 46" silver chain is included in case you want or need to hang this delicious treat from your shoulder, but I like the silver handle - very ladylike and demure.

As the lovely ladies at Catching Fireflies tell us, this really is perfect for a night on the town or a day on which you just want that extra-special accessory to cheer you or add that additional insight into your personality. Not only will the bag look great with a cocktail dress, I think it woul look equally fabulous with a pair of jeans and a crisp blouse or a 50s-style daydress.

$38 from Catching Fireflies. Be sure to check out their site - they cover nearly everything, from babies and pets to kitchen and stationery.

Labels: ,


I'll admit to having known about the wonderful beauty of Kanzashi for a while now - I actually considered wearing one in my hair for our wedding, but they didn't really go with the whole 30s/40s thing (and didn't match the beaded silk gown, let's face it). Still, whenever I see them, I just can't help emitting a sound somewhere between "Ooooo!" and "Awww!". I - and many others - am quite enamoured of these sweet reminders of our ally on the other side of the globe.

Traditionally, these beautiful ornaments were worn in Japanese coiffured hairstyles (as opposed to long and straight) that was popular from the mid-12th to the 16th centuries. They gained popularity again during the 18th and 19th centuries, and since everything good comes 'round again, they're very popular today - particularly due to the indie craft movement.

"Tsumami" refers to the act of pinching, "Kanzashi" means hair ornament; this is appropriate as these pieces are created by pinching small, square pieces of fabric (usually silk) into a lovely piece of hair art (you can see some gorgeously elaborate pieces here). Not only were they beautiful, some historians think certain kinds of kanzashi were used in self-defense! Geisha wear kanzashi, and the manner in which she wears it actually transmits her status to others. Coming in forms from wooden combs (Kushi) and chopsticks (kogai) with dangling flowers, kanzashi is a varying art, the wearing of which is dictated by the season! (As an example, in February, deep pink or red trailing blossoms are worn to symbolize young love and the forthcoming spring - you can read more at Wikipedia, but as with anything from that site, a grain of salt may be necessary. There is also Immortal Geisha).

Today's Tsumami Kansashi barrette comes from the hands of gochemoche, and is made of smooth red kimono silk with green silk leaves on each side. There's a pretty golden bead cap with a pearl glued to the flower itself for a classy - but not overpoweringly formal - finishing touch. It's shipped in a white gift box with darling origami stars for that all-out 'treat' feeling, and is a mere $9.

As you can see, gochemoche has quite a selection of beautiful kanzashi for your perusal and enjoyment - and, of course, for your wearing. There is a variety of other jewelry and very nice goodies, too. Enjoy!

My creation


Fun Friday: Bunnies! (And One Goldfish)
After the response to last Friday's cute sweet pea necklace, I thought it would be great to turn Fridays in to "Fun Friday", where I feature something for nothing other than its cuteness, fun-ness, quirkyness, and/or funkyness. It's Friday, we've all had a long week and truth be told, a lot of the time some of us would be happist just putting on our comfiest jammies, curl up on the sofa with the sentient being(s) of our choice, nosh on something halfway evil like Chipotle or sushi, and watch a good movie or read a fantastic book or do our nails or some combination of the above. Am I right? So, I figured I'd add to the joy of the weekend with the entertaining cuteness I find in my searching. Sound good? I hope so. :)

There are few things cuter than a cuddly, big-eyed bunny - nose a-quiver, whiskers trembling, the soft fur begging to be touched...yes, you know very well of what I speak, don't you? But wouldn't two saucer-eyed bunnies be even more adorable? And if they were bunnies about to Eskimo kiss...well, there go the alarms.

Tonight I bring you this darling bunnies kissing necklace, handmade with etched sterling silver on a 17" silver chain. It's from Danielle of PreciousPups - and since Danielle is a Canuck hailing from my much-missed home state of Michigan, I exhort you to shop at her store with extra heartiness. The back of the pendant can be etched with a name or date if you'd like for a little bit extra; if it's a gift, she'll ship it with an adorable bunny mini-card! She'll even lengthen the chain if necessary. $28 from Precious Pups.

Danielle, the artist, has two shops for your enjoyment - Precious Pups over at Etsy, and one under her own name, Danielle Maveal. I'm also quite partial to this whimsical goldfish ring (also made or sterling silver); her shop is full of goodies from the fun (evil kittens, anyone?) to the lovely (a mod-shaped black acrylic pendant inset with two CZs ).

Enjoy! My apologies for being absent yesterday - the sleep situation is something I'm still attempting to get under control. Have a great weekend!

Labels: , ,

Look at Molly now, here she comes

There was a news story I wanted to chat about today, but not only was I rather busy, I've not been sleeping well of late (as in, only three hours or so a night for reasons unknown over the past eight weeks). It is my hope that we can discuss it tomorrow, although it isn't exactly extraordinarily revelatory.

Thanks to the internet, of course, finding lovely and modest things for you doesn't require booting up my IQ! Since I do so love bringing pretty, wearable-size vintage and indie to you, here's another fabulous treat: a blue Leslie Fay daydress suitable for the office, a lunchtime tea, Sunday service, or those days when going to the grocery store in your usual duds just isn't that exciting. The white cutout and buttons are so simple and chic (seems to be a theme this week!), and while the white belt doesn't come with the dress, soon enough they'll be all over the place. In the meantime, you can always throw on a red belt, right? I think skin-toned shoes would look just fine with this also - lengthening the leg - and if you can find a matching blue, go for it!

Made of linen, the dress has measurements of 34-36/30-32 (the waist is elastic)/42, and 41.5 inches. I really, really like the cheerful shade of blue, and as I've already pointed out, the white cutout and buttons are very flattering and modern for a vintage piece. And for only $21.99? Hie thee to Peppermint VIntage for this and a whole store full of great vintage and restyled vintage goodies!

(Simply must have a white belt so you can take this doll out for a spin? Try this, this, maybe this?)



Simple Gifts

The beauty of simple things is that their very simplicity makes them extremely compatible with so many other things. I'm sure you have, as I do, at least one piece of jewelry in your collection that goes with just about everything - a pair of diamond stud earrings, a string of pearls from your grandmother, the perfect handbag or pair of pumps that can be worn with jeans, cocktail dresses, and everything in between. Such accessories are truly a joy to own - always there to fall back on, always looking perfect in every situation.

Silver has been with us for ages, adorning women (and men) for its cool elegance and ease of styling it. It tends to be less expensive than gold, and therefore more ubiquitous, but its beauty allow it to be comfortably casual or exquisitely sophisticated. Accessible by nearly everyone, silver has lost none of its style and has adorned some of the world's most formidable rulers; indeed, the standard for sterling silver was set by the great Elizabeth I of England - also one of the first women to begin ornamenting herself with jewelry (an affinity she inhereited from her sword-happy father).

This filigree vine necklace from ES Designs is a perfect example of something wonderfully simple, unassuming - but is also that ideal, essential finishing touch to your wardrobe. Far from boring or common, the sterling silver has been gorgeously styled into a clean and unassuming filigree set in a pretty teardrop. Suspended from a silver chain (the length, from eighteen to sixteen inches, is your choice), this handmade pendant is just perfect for nearly everything in your wardrobe. Fine artist Beth sends this lovely to you in a recycled paper gift box with a red bow, and your necklace and pendant wrapped in non-tarnishing tissue paper - perfect for gift-giving, or a gift to yourself!

A mere $30 from ES Designs, where you'll find some truly beautiful things, like petal earrings (even ginkgo leaf earrings!) and rings, freshwater pearl jewelry, and even hammered copper.


Labels: ,

Goody Goody Gumdrops!

I admit it: other than their obvious charm, I chose these earrings because it would allow me to use that title, despite the fact that I couldn't tell you the last time I had a gumdrop no matter how much duress you put me under. (Come to think of it...that's pretty sad. I like gumdrops!) The bright yellow-green roundelles topping off the matte Czech teardrop beads really do make this a delectable accessory quite a treat, a treat you happen to deserve, if I say so myself.

If you've not noticed already, this pair is unique in more than just its design - the ear'rings' are actually on a sterling silver ball chain (the teeniest ball chain made, I assume - look at it!), and one apparently threads the 'needle' through the sterling silver wire findings on which the beads rest. To tell the truth, being blonde, I'm not sure I have explained this properly, so you may want to visit the earrings just to look at the photos in order to see how they're worn - not that it matters, they're cute and yummy looking! With the mix of tones here, these are wearable from January straight through December - winter, summer, spring, fall, they're wonderfully versatile. Just...don't try biting into them.

An original design from Crafty Like A Fox, purveyor of original and vintage jewelry, clothing, and other goodies, and just $18. You can also enter the Happily Handmade Giveaway via the store!

Happy shopping!


Wear Your Veggies
Well, I almost featured a $64 glass bead bracelet, but became more and more uncomfortable with it as I neared the end of the post: I just couldn't do it. If I wouldn't pay $64 for something, why should I expect you to do so? Especially when...well, it was lovely, but more like $30 lovely, not $64 lovely. In fact, I have a bracelet quite similar to the one I wanted to feature, and I paid about $25 for it a couple of years ago. So that's one of the other rules around here - unless it's really an exceptional goodie that makes my heart go pitter-patting into overdrive, I won't feature it if I myself wouldn't pay the asking price. Since I also believe no one can really afford to buy cheap things (because they don't last) and am not afraid to spend a little extra for real quality, you can rest assured the chic factor won't go away (if you are concerned, just check out the items I've featured thus far).

Anyhow, since it's Friday, I thought I would feature something extremely cute and fun - which didn't take long to find at all!

This absolutely adorable sweet pea necklace from The Pebble Collection is perfect, don't you think? Indeed, it's the perfect jewelry with which to really have fun on casual Fridays, or just Fridays in general (that TGIF feeling is almost always palpable, isn't it?). Recycled leather and suede pieces are decked out with beautifully bright pearls to pay homage to one of the more adorable veggies, the sweet pea. This truly entertaining, conversation-inspiring creation hangs from a silver plated neckwire. I suppose some might shy away from wearing veg around their neck, but I say we only live once and might as well have good, clean fun while we're at it. If this isn't one of the cutest things on Etsy, I don't know what is - and it's only $14. That's less than two movie tickets and the fun will last a lot longer!

The Pebble Collection shop has a lot of seriously fabulous, eclectic, sophisticated jewelry - rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, elegant handpainted shell pendants...I love the whole store. Fortunately, if you go on a teeny-tiny shopping spree, you'll get a free gift with any order over $25. At The Pebble Shop's prices, you can add to your own collection, buy something for yourself and a friend, or gift away to your heart's content. Definitely a gem of a designer!

Happy shopping!

Labels: ,

Bag It!

Honestly, this "Two on Days Beginning With 'T' " isn't going to become a tradition, at least not that I know of. I wanted to share a cute purse with you today, but not far from the embroidered handbag of my choosing I saw a cute little accessories pouch. Since they do coordinate nicely (and turquoise-chocolate is such a pretty look), why can't I share both of them with you?

Both are from the talented hands of CandyArgyle. First of all, we have the blue embroidered purse. Made of a lightweight pinwale corduroy reinforced with interfacing (for sturdiness), it has cheerful brown, tan, and golden daisies embroidered all over it for a more feminine look. The straps are long enough that you can carry the bag dangling from a bent elbow (the proper way to carry a bag, per a few of my vintage manners books) or tucked between your arm and body if you're maneuvering through downtown crowds, a mall full of teenagers, or just happen to think the guy sipping coffee at the end of the hall as you're heading to lunch looks a little creepy. (It happens.)

Lined with a light golden fabric that has a large interior pocket for those things that tend to get buried, this bag is big enough to hold all of your stuff and probably even a snack bar for that late-afternoon plummeting of your blood sugar. Cute, isn't it? And at just $26, it's a lot of bang for your buck.

CandyArgyle's shop also has this terrific corduroy snap pouch in a brown pinwale corduroy with the same pretty flowers embroidered on it. What caught my attention here were the snaps, as opposed to a zipper. How cute! Not only will this tug neatly and prettily into the blue purse, I can also see it being used as a clutch. It's lined with a creamy, vanilla ice cream-esque cotton and is reinforced with interfacing. Perhaps best of all - other than the "How sweet!" factor - is the price of $10.

Dare I say: Who needs Target anymore? (I'll have you know I could actually lose friendships by suggesting such a thing.)

CandyArgyle's goodies are all made in a smoke-free, pet-free home, so no need to fear a musty smell or one's allergies flaring up. These two items would make a great treat for yourself - for no reason at all or perhaps for accomplishing a goal - or a fabulous gift 'set' for a friend (throw a pretty compact mirror in there as an extra treat and you're going to have a very happy friend). I like that these are colourful items that still manage to be easily coordinated with whatever one is wearing that particular day. The shop is full of great bags with fabulous patterns (check out the runner-up) and even baby goods that are equally chic, and it's fun just looking around.

Happy shopping!

Labels: ,

Valentine's Day Pink & Red Picks
Valentine's Day Pretty/Modest Picks

I hope everyone had a great day filled with love from their family & friends. In honour of St. Valentine, here is a handful of pink and red for you to enjoy!

This Red Wool Tweed Spitfire Cap with a flower reminiscent of a pansy perched perkily (say that quickly six times!) on the side will keep you warmer while still looking chic in the midst of this wintry weather! Small pearlescent beads in the bloom's center provide the perfect finishing touch. $45 from tomokotahara - where you'll find a wide selection of millinery in an equally wide range of prices!

(Red accessories are always a great choice - they're so bold and cheerful they coordinate and set off a myriaid of other colours beautifully and add a big dose of bold personality.)

Next is a gorgeous, almost-to-die-for vintage DuBarry taffeta, satin, and lace tier dress. Just trust me and click on the link to visit this beauty no matter your size - it's a perfect example of Ye Olde Hollywood Glamour. The tiers of scalloped floral lace are set onto a taffeta body, and of course that lovely satin belt and ribbon swag on one side. The cut is amazingly flattering - darted bust and one of my favourite things, a square bustline.

This is one gorgeous dress (enough to get me to throw in two photos of her!), and it's from one of the best vintage sellers out there, Capricorn Vintage. It's only $34.99 right now, but bidding ends Friday. Best of all, this vintage gem - it would be right at home in a fashion museum, don't you think, especially in her excellent condition? - is a very wearable 42-32-43, and I'm actually tempted to buy it and just grow right into it. Yowza! What a beauty.

Okay, now that I'm done (kind of) drooling over yet another vintage dress, how about this cute red heart pendant? So cute and charming, and yet another accessory that goes with just about anything. The pendant is made of glass and has a red, white, and blue Millefiori bead placed into the glass before the pendant is placed into the kiln. Post-fusing, artist dmetz drills a hole into the top of the stylized heart, fits it with the pretty coiled bail of sterling silver, and puts the whole shebang onto a twenty-inch sterling silver chain. Each of the handmade hearts are handmade and shipped in a satin bag, ready for gift-giving or safekeeping. $38 from dmetz - who also offers equally cute stick pins and ribbon pendants.

Finally, when you feel the need to add some personality to your coat, handbag, tote, scarf, hat - well, nearly anything - why not this Japanese Sakura cherry blossom pin? Sweet in its simplicity, the felt, dual-layered pin is made special with those perfect french knots and stitching in cherry pink perle cotton thread. Isn't it simply lovely? The metal pinback will affix this unwiltable flower to whatever you desire for a cheerful punch of pink and rose - and all for a mere $6! This and other goodies can be had at kitkabbit.

Happy Valentine's Day!

(You might like to check out this article on the history of red, courtesy of decor8 reader Vanessa.)

There you go - your official Valentine's day picks, all - quite mysteriously - in pink or red, those colours that are always chic and perfectly in style. Hm... I hope you've enjoyed them at least as much as Hubby enjoyed the delish chocolate-raspberry ganache pie I sacrificed these cute little raspberries for.

Happy shopping!

Labels: , , , ,

Twofer Tuesday: Kimmeo

I am aware that tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I thought about doing a post of all Valentine-y items a couple of weeks ago, but I'm really rather torn about the day - for one thing, a lot of my girlfriends are still single, and I personally remember some really irritating and lonely Valentine's Days. Seeing 527 jeweler commercials during the evening news, reading all the fabulous "Romantic Meal For Two" recipes in the cooking magazines, the cards and hearts everywhere...it can wear one down, especially when you're alone and would rather not be, or if a romance ended recently, or when every other woman in your office has flowers/chocolates/teddy bears on her desk. Sometimes planning a girls' night still doesn't take the sting away! I don't want to pile onto anyone who might already be feeling a bit bummed or extra-solitary right now.

Of course, red is one of my favourite colours, and it does tend to perk folks up and get the blood moving, so let's see what I can scrounge up for tomorrow, shall we?

But first, there's today to deal with, and I'm very excited to bring you the beautiful, singular work of Kimmeo. Everything she offers is so beautiful, it was incredibly difficult to choose just one thing - but fortune of fortunes, it's Tuesday, and thanks to the beauty of alliteration I can give you a twofer!

The first necklace is Sonja, an almost mouthwatering combination of greens and blues with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure and easy coordinating with your wardrobe. It's on a 16.5-inch silver chain with very pretty silver findings. At only $30, I'd have to say this is a steal for such a wonderful piece of jewelry!

My other choice (and there are several others still battling it out in my head for billing here!) is the beautiful chocolate and sea green, very amusingly named Erin A. Lizardbreath. This 14" asymmetrical choker features the same large brown beads you see in the front in the back as well for a very polished, finished look. I know a lot of women don't like chokers, but since I don't really wear low necklines, I tend to like them - and they do draw attention to one's neck (wear that sunblock!) and collarbone. Ms. Lizardbreath - based on the name, I assume she's single and looking - is another bargain at $35.

Artist Kim, native of Georgia, offers matching earrings for the "Hm, maybe she didn't have her coffee today?" price of $10 when you buy a necklace. She's also willing to adjust length if necessary and sends her artistic gems to you in gift box attractively wrapped with wire. Sounds like a great deal to me (especially the matching earrings).

Kimmeo is a prime example of the high-caliber, often art-quality goodies one can find shopping indie - and at reasonable prices, too. Her work is just wondrous, and I think you'll have fun just looking at her shop - if not buying. ;)

Happy shopping!

Labels: ,

Happily Handmade Giveaway - Start Your Engines!

Your search engine, that is, and to tell the truth, it isn't even that difficult. It's time for the winter 2007 Happily Handmade Giveaway, your chances to win one of fifty gift boxes or one grand prize gift box filled with TONS of indie goodies - jewelry, stationery, candles, skincare, home decor goodies, tees, handbags...

Best of all, you get 80 chances - yes, eighty - to win one of the 51 goodies, just by visiting the HHG's sponsors and following the directions (it isn't hard). Not only do you get a chance to win some extremely wonderful goodies, you can do some shopping while you're at it!

Entries are being accepted from today until March 31, and the very lucky winners will be announced April 2. I'm going to be entering away and keeping my fingers crossed, that's for sure. Be sure to check out the HHG blog to see exactly what kind of fabulousness you can win, and see what last fall's winners scored. (I don't think anyone will need encouragement after seeing those goodies.)

Now get going, and good luck!

* Le Sigh *

I can't remember when, exactly, I stumbled across the wonderful, joy-spreading A Dress A Day blog, but it was instant love. I love dresses. I love vintage. I love good writing. So...what's not to love about Erin's little spot on the web (but never on a dress, of course).

One of the cool things she does is write a series of short stories called "The Secret Lives of Dresses", inspired by dresses she comes across. The dress featured here is her latest bestoried frock, and you can read Volume 11 of her amazing, magical little forays into what dresses might just be thinking and feeling today here. I highly recommend reading it (all of them!), and hope you are as enchanted by Erin's creativity and ability as I am. It takes a specially talented person to so imbue inanimate things with such heartbreakingly human spirit - and Erin is extraordinary at it.

Indeed, the dress you see here is the inspiration for the latest "Secret Life", and it's a lovely inspiration, is it not? Not only is this vintage 1950s darling in beautiful condition, it's a normal (read: workable for many) size - 38-32-52. The pretty floral plisse has been styled into a very flattering dress - the neckline, the waistline, the flare, those sleeves - scratch 'very', it's extremely flattering. There's a tie in the back, too, the better to show off your waistline (note that the cut of this dress will give anyone a waistline, even if she's a teeny thing like my sister). Instant hourglass figure.

If you find it a little 'too much' for work, add a fitted jacket (not a big, sloppy boxy one) or a fitted silk cardigan. But I can't imagine anyone being unhappy to own this sweetheart of a wardrobe enhancer, can you?

This beauty will be off the market as of Valentine's day, so get your bid in now - at the moment, it's only $21.50, a more than reasonable price for such a great piece. This and other goodies - a LOT of them - available from Floozee's Vintage.

Happy shopping!


Lollipops For Your Hair

There is a fabulous pair of shoes in my closet to which I refer as the "party on my feet" shoes. They are so cute, a pair of Candie's pumps I snagged at DSW a couple of years ago at a steal of a price. So much did I like them that I went back and bought the same shoes in another colour - they're that kind of shoe. (I found a picture of them for you.) I feel happy when I wear them, and judging by the compliments and actual squeals of delight from other women I hear when wearing them, they have the great power to make other people happy, too. Not a bad deal!

That's what I like about these absolutely adorable Cream & Orange Candy Hairpins from the super-talented Debra of Red Polka Design. They're a yummy bright orange with fun stripes and dots - people might be trying to pluck these from their hair, hoping for a snack. The polymer clay "candies" are set onto bobby pins, making them two inches long in total. In addition to cutely pinning your locks back, these pins have the added benefit of the "cheer factor" - and probably not just for you!

A mere $3.50 at Red Polka. Happy shopping!

Labels: ,

She's A Classic

Here's an understated stunner for you - a vintage 1960s Beckman's cocktail dress from Red Pony Vintage. Simply put, I adore this dress! Made of a heavy sage-tinted silver heavy rayon, she features gorgeous rhinestone buttons and belt that has a pretty bow. The cocktail dress measures 40-42/30/42, and with the front button-up feature, it's a very attractively cut dress that will slim and elongate, especially with that slightly flared skirt. The V-neckline and the cut of the shoulders broaden the upper torso, which, in addition to that bow-belt, help trim the waistline.

Now, I know a lot of modesty fans are completely against bare arms, but to me, this is just nonsensical, not to mention completely impractical (baring 80% of one's breasts, however, is neither sensible or practical). They're arms, not sexual organs (or body parts turned into symbols of sexuality). Personally, I overheat rather quickly, so if I'm not wearing a sleeveless top or dress already, I wear layers that include a camisole (New York & Company makes some that offer good coverage) so I can cool off quickly and in a ladylike manner - this being opposed to the ever-classy "airing out" wings or, better yet, fanning beneath one's arms. Not a pretty sight! A fitted jean jacket or pretty cardigan (especially embellished ones) can be stylish and comfortable, worn to the office, church, movies, coffeehouse, or restaurant - and removed when necessary.

Anyhow - bare arms, as far as I am concerned, are not immodest or rebellious. I don't see what the big deal is, to be quite honest. (A bare-shouldered outfit at the dinner table, however, is immodest, because from certain perspectives - from behind a tall dish or if she has a tendency to slump, for instance - she appears to be wearing nothing at all. Nor should shoulders be bared during church services, not really, unless service is outside and it's extraordinarily warm - but then one may will want something draped around her shoulders to protect delicate skin from the evil rays of the sun. Hence the beauty of the soft, diaphonous wrap and a whole new avenue of style.)

This beauty is at Red Pony Vintage, where you'll find vintage to tickle all of your fancies. Happy shopping!


A Pageant Contestant With Sense! (And Sensibility)
(I couldn't resist that literary reference...)

Via the Modestly Yours blog, we read that not all beauty pageant contestants are wanting to flaunt the silicone - or bellybuttons, for that matter. Miss America competitor Katie Millar - Miss Utah - took advantage of her moment in the national spotlight to highlight the virtues of modesty despite the number of people telling her that being modest would hold her back in the competition, which she'd entered in the hopes of winning a college scholarship.

In the swimsuit competition she was the only girl to wear a conservative one-piece bathing suit.

“There were 76 options of two piece and about 6 options of the one piece,” says Katie.

Katie was hoping to make a statement about modesty.

“There were a lot of people who said, ‘if you wear this you won’t do well,’” recalls Katie. “People don’t appreciate traditional standards. They don’t appreciate modesty.”

She chose an evening gown with sleeves, a high back, a modest neckline and a slit that came just to her knee.

But it didn’t keep her out of the top ten.

...And Katie took that opportunity to make her statement.

“When I did make the top ten,” said Katie, “the first thing that went through my mind was, ‘I get to wear my one piece swimsuit on national TV and hopefully a girl will see that she doesn’t have to show a lot of skin to get attention or do well in society today.’”

In another interview (including pictures of Katie at the Miss America competition), she said her mission as Miss Utah is to encourage girls that they can "be successful without compromising your values":

"My message as Miss Utah expands beyond just the pageant world," Katie said. "I hope that I am an example to all young women that you can uphold traditional values and be successful at the same time."

While some criticized and others questioned her wardrobe choices, Katie has also received a lot of appreciative comments from contestants and viewers alike. Now that the pageants are over, Katie swears she'll never rat her hair again.

An encouraging story, especially from the world of pageantry (I'm not a big fan, especially after ending up in the same hotel as a JonBenet-style child pageant while traveling to a bridal shower last spring). Katie has won $21,000 in scholarship money through the pageants, and plans to earn her neuropsychological PhD at Brigham Young University next year. Congratulations, Katie, and thanks for boldly standing up for class and feminine dignity - and showing a woman can still be gorgeous without baring nearly all.


A Little More Natural

Sometimes one wants accessories to have a little more warmth to them - in summer, maybe, or with a particularly brightly coloured dress or top. Natural items seem to ground cheery colours in a way that compliments instead of detracting from them.

This pretty necklace with matching earrings is from Spotted Octopus Studios (posessor of the cutest logo ever). It's the necklace that really caught my eye - a wooden ring with pale blue vintage flower beads suspended from an 18" sterling silver chain. The earrings, which also feature the pretty blue beads, are on sterling silver earwires. As you can see by looking at the pendant, the wood - the grain, the colour, the texture - really warms up the icyness of the blue beads and the silver - yet it works, it doesn't clash or look odd. In fact, it looks quite elegant and pretty!

Spotted Octopus Studios has a lot of beautiful items - earrings, necklaces, and pendants - and designer Kirsti definitely has her own style - very chic without being...well, snooty and unattainable about it. And like I said, she has that adorable, almost cuddly-looking octopus logo - what's not to love?

Happy shopping!

Labels: ,

The Epitome of Pretty

This is such a beautiful clutch - and there are four of them, so grab one while you can. This Snowy Clutch from Wendy of Circle Circle Dot Dot is absolutely ladlike and chic, isn't it? The wintry trees-on-cream pattern is topped off with a handmade, hand-beaded felt brooch; the bag is reinforced with medium weight interfacing so it has that semi-formal but still approachable stiffness, and it's lined with a gorgeous raspberry-maroon cotton. Wendy has lined the clutch with cream piping and added a magnetic clasp so that none of your goodies fall out.

My official verdict? Yummy! This reminds me of strawberry shortcake...or strawberry-vanilla ice cream...or strawberries with cream...Well, that's my impression.

Wendy wasn't kidding when she made her store's slogan "Handmade Cuteness". Her whole store is full of pretty things like this at very reasonable prices - oven mitts, brooches, and plenty of darling clutches like this one. Happy shopping!

Labels: ,

All You'll Need Is A Flip

A flip hairdo, that is. Here's one of the lovely dolls I found the other day in my eternal quest for wearable-size, pretty vintage duds that still fit into the modest category (the latter isn't so hard as the size qualification).

This 60s sweetheart is listed at American Vintage as a housedress, but I'm having a hard time seeing anyone vacuuming in it. But she'd be great for just about anything else! Not only are the colors on this dress fabulous, she definitely has her very own style - the sort of half-boat, half-turtleneck, the short sleeves, and the wonderful side gather on the skirt. I suppose some might fine the print off-putting, but I love it - it's fun without being in-your-face or inappopriate for the office, and wonderfully feminine without being drowned in crusty Victorian flowers. While this is the only available photo, she looks very well-designed and well-constructed, too.

This is probably just the first item I'll feature from American Vintage, because they have a lot of terrific vintage that is fairly priced - and a lot of it is in pretty normal sizes, too. Be sure to check them out for yourself!

Happy shopping!


Coquito Cuties
Now, first of all, someone sent me one of the lovely - and even lovelier in person (it was the first thing Hubby noticed when he came home tonight, since I had to wear it right away) - tree pendants from Triplelle I featured a while back, along with matching earrings. But there was no name attached to the gift! I've emailed Lisa, the artist, to see if she can help me out, but I do hate to let a gift go un-thanked for, so if it was you, please drop me an email so I can properly express my appreciation. Thanks!

I was going to feature more clothing tonight, but an email trumpeting Coquito Designs' Valentine's Day sale featured some really adorable stuff, so I meandered over and found a pair of earrings named after a friend - the Elena earrings. How could I not feature these pretty drops of happiness? They're gorgeous and named after an equally beautiful friend! It was meant to be.

The chrysoprase briolettes are faceted for optimum light-catching, and fringed with faceted Peruvian opals in a slightly lighter shade of, hmm, seafoam. The hooks and findings are all sterling silver. Best of all - other than the beauty factor - is that the earrings are 25% off.

Available from Coquito Designs, which offers super-chic, super-cute jewelry on a strikingly pretty website that isn't crazy with all sorts of graffiti and junk. And come on - everything in the store is 25% off! You can't possibly need more encouragement.

Happy shopping!

Labels: ,