Fun Fridays: As A Matter of Fact, We Do Have Bananas Today

That or I'm going bananas. Writing about world and current events can do that to a person sometimes. ;)

Despite their bad mental health reputation, though, bananas are not only tasty, versatile, and healthy, and also good for your brain. Elvis liked frying them up in his peanut butter sandwiches, while many of us love to find them topped off with some yummy ice cream. Their slippery skin has been the foil for many a bad (and good!) guy and I'm pretty sure I've heard rumors about frozen ones being used as weapons (I prefer them dipped in chocolate myself).

These cute happy banana earrings from Fashion Compassion take this underrated fruit and place them onto your ears. Vintage glass banana medallions are set onto small, lightweight, dime-sized aqua beads for an accessory that is not just a great colour combination but also a culinary statement. Since the banana pieces are true vintage and in limited supply, that means these playful earrings are in short supply too - but at a mere $11, you can snatch them up for those days when you want people to get a chuckle out of taking a second look (just remember your earrings so you don't think they're laughing at you).


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Beautiful Button Rings

Aren't these button rings beautiful and wonderfully unique? Made of beaded memory wire set with petite, elegant vintage buttons, I'd think this is a piece of jewelry one would treasure - just great vintage style, no doubt about it. My favourite is definitely a, with the lovely flower button, although b makes it a tough decision. The memory wire fits (roughly) a 6.5 and there isn't much give, but if that's your size, this might be a really wonderful addition to your accessories!

There's something wonderful about vintage things, especially little things like these buttons, isn't there? It's like holding a small piece of history, and I know that I'd often catch myself looking down at the ring, wondering who bought, what dress or blouse it was for, or if perhaps it was meant for something she was making for someone else. I'd muse about where the button went - a wedding? A museum? A child's birthday party? A funeral? It could have been worn anywhere, by anyone, and to me, that's one of the beautiful things about vintage treats such as these. They give me an excuse to exercise my overactive imagination. ;)

(Additionally, if you sew or craft at all, you know how insanely expensive buttons - even plain, boring sensibly utiltarian ones - are.)

$20 from Mood Swing, a shop full of whimsical, beautiful things. It was quite difficult to choose just one goodie, so I think we'll be visiting them again! I really think you'll enjoy her shop - it's shabby chic less the shabby, if that makes any sense at all (I see you shaking your head, "Um, no." But you can trust me). Enjoy!

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Where flowers bloom, so does hope.

Tonight, Hubby and I meandered around our local hardware place so I could purchase some new flowerpots and soil for our little balcony garden. Some flowers, some herbs (actually, quite a few herbs), and happily, my beloved lilies are alread peeking above the soil. As we rode home from the store, I shook the little seed packets close to my ear, inciting a laugh from my husband. My response was that the sound of seeds rattling away in their little envelopes is the sound of promise, promise in a packet. And they say money can't buy happiness...

Since childhood, I've adored flowers, particularly lilies - especially lilies of the valley, my favourite flower. (It was kind of cool that I played the character of Lily in the musical The Secret Garden, a role I'd love to play again...) Flowers are so wonderful because they really do inspire hope - hope in a new beginning, new chances and opportunities. In their gentle, lovely way, they are capable of reminding us that no matter what is going on in our lives and the world around us, life goes on as before, full of beauty and struggle, death and glorious life alike. Indeed, it is in the death of the blooms we find so lovely that new life is able to begin, and, in the wild at least, the following year's seeds gain richer life from the remains of their parent flower as the roots take nourisment from the fallen leaves, petals and stems that returned to the earth. It isn't that we think about these things so literally when we see a flower, but I think that they're in the back of our mind as part of our human consciousness.

Of course, a lot of us love flowers based on their beauty alone, and there's nothing wrong with that, right? (Every good and perfect thing comes from God, and I suspect flowers are at the top of His list of favourite things too.) So it's no surprise that flowers are such a common subject of and on our clothing, jewelry, handbags, hats, and other accessories.

This beautiful, springy yarrow flower brooch from eye felt is a way to have the beauty and meaning of flowers with you every day. Made of 100% wool felt and accented with a pretty wooden button (I should start a whole new category for wooden accessories, shouldn't I?) and simply perfect contrasting stitches. The 6.5" wide flower pin has been hand dyed with yarrow and indigo - producing the gorgeous colours you see here.

Pins like this are great not just for your favourite cardigan and blouse, but will look briliant placed on your handbag, scarf, the edge or hip of a favourite skirt, a light spring jacket...anywhere! I really think the colours are perfect for spring, but this classic celadon and dusky blue is good for just about any season. This one is only $12.50 from the charming little shoppe of eye felt of New Mexico. Enjoy!

(If you're curious, the title of this post is actually an Eleanor Roosevelt quote.)

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Rockabilly Cute

Sorry about no post last night; we visited my family near the Motor City to celebrate Hubby's and my birthdays - we're a eight days apart - and to pick up the top tier of our wedding cake, which Mom and Dad have had in their basement freezer for nearly a year. (The actual big day is April 22 - I can't believe it's already been a year!) Anyhow, it was a little hectic after getting home late Sunday evening, leaving me so tied up last night I hadn't the time to search and write.

By the way, I did a little adjusting with the template. For those of you who had to scroll downdowndown, down, doooobie-doooobie down to read, is this any better?

On to the dress! I don't think this dress is strictly rockabilly - with a sweater it'll look just at home in the office or church as it will at the state fair or bowling alley without.

A vintage 1950s semi-checked dress (look at the waist detail closeup - it looks like four tiny white hearts inside a red circle), this is also a dress in a somewhat bigger size - 40-30-42. I really like the bright red buttons gaily making their way down the dress - almost good enough to eat, like ripe little cherries. Now, the dress is not mint: a little "VERY light" underarm discolouration and slight fraying along one arm. Some cleaning love might take care of the color issues. That said, I think some white bias tape would probably take care of both problems quite snappily and no one would ever know the defects were there. Besides, this dress even comes with the white patent belt! As a longtime vintage shopper, I can tell you it's often tough to find dresses where the seller will let the belt go along with the frock.

Probably due to the fraying and mild discolouration, this dress is a steal at only $9.00. Yes, $9.00. And bias tape will set you back, oh, three bucks (and if you can't sew it on yourself, I am sure you know someone who can and will - for free or under $10). Even if this is just a dress you bum around the house or to the grocery store in, I think it's worth it. The pattern of the dress is cheerful and sweet, and of course the style is classic, comfortable, and modest without being staid (hard to be staid in red checks, you know). But dash in and snatch it up now - the sale ends Thursday night!


Fun Friday: Things Are Going Swimmingly

This fun swimming goldfish ring is so cute - his graceful fins draping beautifully alongside and behind him as he makes his way across your finger.

There's something about goldfish that make me think of childhood fishbowls and park ponds. Actually, when my husband and I were having our engagement pictures done at Henry Ford's Fair Lane Estate in Dearborn, we looked behind us at the pond (fed by one of Michigan's many rivers) we were standing in front of to see a swarm of goldfish so large it looked like a giant orange blob moving through the water.

It was very strange, to say the least. But have we any reason to fear the cheerful goldfish? Of course not. Even...extremely large schools of them...living in the wild... *cough*

(Maybe some goldfish do end up somewhere better when flushed down the toilet?)

Made of a glass mosaic tile, the metal goldfish is sealed with a glossy resin that adds shine and adds to the illusion of a fish swimming through water. While this ring from PoPkO is red, she offers the goldfish ring in a variety of colours, from white and blue to purple and orange. For just twelve dollars, you can add some real whimsy to your jewelry collection. Enjoy!

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Keep 'Em Close

This keychain mini photo album is too cute - cheery colours (the rest are below), always-chic polka dots - and it's useful cuteness at that. Inside are two spots for photographs of the ones you love - significant other, family, best friends, your pets, or maybe even inspirational photographs that take you on a mini-vacation. You could even insert prettily printed or written quotes or Bible verses that soothe or bring joy to your heart for those moments you need an extra pick-me-up. Since it's attached right to your keychain, odds are good that the faces of your loved ones or some inspiration will always be nearby.

I'd say it might be good for holding a quarter in case your car breaks down or you need a ride, but that just obviously shows my age (hey it wasn't that long ago this was a viable option because cellphones were the size of a large toolbox, nor were they as ubiquitous as they are now).

Your perky keychian mini-album snaps shut and has a split silver ring for easy addition to your keys. According to inspire, it's also scrapbook friendly - this would make a great surprise addition to a scrapbook or maybe even a handmade card, and at $6.50, it's inexpensive enough that business owners, especially artists, could give these away to clients - and you can give them as gifts to anyone! From the magical land of inspire company. Enjoy!


What's In A Name?

Gyl of Rhembein is asking for help - lamb-naming help. There are seven little critters needing names, so feel free to offer your suggestions at her site. The pictures are adorable, so definitely make a visit. :)


Sparkling Your Way Into Spring

We took a later walk than usual downtown tonight...what can I say?

I can say "Buy this fantabulous ring", can't I? This is one of those things I see and just know I have to feature because of its sheer wonderfulness: great colour, a fun style, and reasonably priced. If that's not trifecta, I don't know what is. Only $8.50 at LAMDesigns.

Created by Laura, a professional embroiderer, I'm sure this ring will make you smile every time you look at it. (It's also a good excuse to update your manicure.) This English artist was actually accepted to the Royal School of Needlework in 2002, spending three years learning what is not only a fine but an enjoyable art - embroidery. Isn't that wonderful? (Sounds like a dream school to me.) She has a gallery of her work here at her UK-based site.

It cheers me to see embroidery making a comeback of late; it was a hobby I greatly enjoyed as a girl in but had to give up as life became more crowded. Fortunately, the regular five-hour each way drives to see our families (mine live in Michigan and Hubby's are in Ohio) opened the door for me to begin embroidery again in the car of all places. I'm now blessed enough to spend a little time each night happily stitching away. It's a simple hobby to begin if you want to work with your hands and add a personal touch to napkins, bed linens or kitchen towels, but as you can see from Laura's work, there is an entirely separate level. Her Snow Queen is gorgeous work (in her gallery).

Best of all, though, I think every embroiderer can say this: not only is it a beautiful hobby to partake of, it's very relaxing and fun.

(Full disclosure: Despite never having been there *sniff*, I have a very deep and abiding affection for England and the people thereof. I'm almost as happy to feature a Briton as I am a Michigander. I'm a strange woman...)

Yes, yes, I've spent all this time speaking of embroidery without showing one of her wonderful pieces. How cruel.

Beautiful, don't you think? This hand-embroidered peacock feather cuff is $34 at her shop. The feather is embroidered onto dupioni silk (wonderful texture for jewelry, in my opinion); the cuff fastens with a black ribbon. The Swarovski crystals add just the right touch of glamour, although I think this piece would really be fine without as well - the embroidery is absolutely lovely, isn't it? A piece of curved plastic on the inside of the cuff maintains the crisp shape. There are also matching earrings, a pendant, and a ring. In reality, you're wearing something that is more a piece of art than jewelry alone.

Trust me, you'll enjoy looking!

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Ingenuity = A Shirt For Everyone

Before I get started, I have a question - do you have problems reading the site? Are the posts all the way at the bottom? I've had a couple of emails and can't quite figure it out. If you have better script-writing know-how than I, your suggestions will definitely be welcomed! Thanks.

This morning, my best friend sent me a link to pants like these - we both bellydance - saying she wanted another pair, as she already has a luscious tone ones. I looked at the pants, went, "Oooo! Perfect!" - and then looked at the price. They're $75 plus $6 shipping, so it's $80 for a pair of pants I'd only wear when dancing. In the morning. By myself. $80 seems like overkill, and I said something along the lines of it being too much to me for what is workout wear. If I performed publicly, I might feel differently, but there it is. (I do like the pants. If I had $80 to drop on workout wear, I would probably buy these.)

All of that to say she's going to roll her eyes and laugh about tonight's post.

Most of the time, when I look at clothing (excepting vintage), I say, "You know, I coiuld make that for a lot less. Yes, it will take me two weeks and a few frantic IMs to my mother-in-law, but I'll bet I can make that myself." But sometimes we all see something that is just so cute or perfect it's nigh-well irresistible. The very least I can do is share it with you, right?

That's today's Pretty Pretty Princess shirt from Identity Crisis. Creator Karly (cohost of DIY Network's terrific Stylelicious) whipped up the first of these as a prototype one day and wore it out. After receiving an avalanche of compliments, realized she had a hit on her hands (she walked out of the bar with two orders). How's that for the American Dream? I love it!

Identity Crisis offers several of these, including some in lace and another in a modern but still feminine sheer floral. This one, in navy with a fabulous floral contrast collar and sleeve trim, is probably my favourite just because the contrast is so perfect, isn't it? Of course, navy is a go-anywhere colour and always a classic look; add chic flowers as Karly has done and you are definitely going to end up with a winner. As you can see, the collar wraps around your waist and ties, adding a bit of an Asian flair to your day.

Best of all, this comes in a very wide range of sizes (perhaps custom - bust sizes ranging from 30-43 or 'other' and waist from 23-40 inches or 'other'), so you should be able to get any one of the Pretty Princess styles in your size. I'd probably wear this one with a cami underneath for just a tad more coverage, although the way one works ties might provide enough. This shirt would look great with pants or a skirt, and I think would look particularly smashing with white bottoms. $76 at Identity Crisis. Enjoy!


Betcha Can't Pick Just One

Aren't these colourful, wide and flexible headbands terrific? All are from the Nestlings shop. Coming in a variety of cheerful prints, they fit all ages from 3 to adult. They mimic the look of a chic wrap without having to deal with tying the wrap in a manner that won't rip half your locks out at the end of the day (joy!).

A headband is always great to have for a quick bad-hair day fix and pushing your hair out of your face while cooking, not to mention an always-perfect accessory for work, school, church, getting a mani and pedi, shopping, a party or night out, vacations...this is why headbands are so great. They are good to go anywhere, anytime, and happy to be of assistance. What's not to love? Especially at just $6.50 apiece and free shipping on additional headbands.

From top to bottom, tonight's cuties are the theDaisy, the Karen, Gaucho Girl, Sakura, and the Blue Mosaic. I've featured mostly springy headband wraps here, but Nestlings offers neutrals, solids, and even novelty print headband wraps featuring things like very concerned goldfish and retro mushrooms that remind me of the hand towels in my great-grandmother's kitchen.

Based in Texas, Nestlings also offers a lot of super-cute baby stuff and small accessories for yourself or fun gift-giving. Enjoy!

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Fun Friday: Who, Who?

Who else thinks this adorable owl tote bag (note the orange and green - I am of O'Hara stock, after all) is perfect for a visit to the library, bookstore, or toting books to class? Carrying crafty supplies to a cute-making party or on a vacation? Colourful, chic, and, let's be honest here, pretty darned adorable, this tote will make whatever you're doing a little more fun. How could it not, with this cute owl face peering back at you, surrounded by colourful flowers?

"Hoot" and his bouquet are painted onto a silkscreen and then printed onto a canvas tote bag - as artist BlueThimble says, a 'painted print'. The tote has a decently-sized handle, so I think it can easily be slung over your shoulder if necessary, and the bag itself is 15.75" high, 14.75" long and 4" wide - quite large enough to carry most of what you need. The painting itself is so charming and fun, I know I'd love carrying this around town or while on vacations. The owl's solemn but sweet face is nigh well irresistible. $38 from BlueThimble Handmade Designs, where you'll find more really great tote bags as well as some really, really fun jewelry (we're talking retro veggie necklaces, lemon earrings, and the happiest wearable pair of bouquets you ever did see). I have a funny feeling she'll be back on a future Fun Friday just because of her wonderfully fun style!

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Natural Beauty

Believe it or not, historically some cultures eschewed the soft glow of pearls in favor of mother-of-pearl, which is derived from mollusk shells (hmmm...dinner and jewelry...). Even the famed Japanese pearl divers abandoned the pearls in order to keep the shells which housed them! Egyptians used mother-of-pearl to decorate as early as 4000 BC. (Pearls themselves didn't come into vogue until about the fifth century BC.) Islanders in the eastern Pacific used it to make fish hooks and lures, files, spoons, spatulas, and graters as well as jewelry for both sexes. If you're a vintage clothing buff like I am, you probably know that buttons were often mother-of-pearl, and some higher-end designers still use it as such.

This naturally occurring, iridescent shell that often features a hint of the entire colour spectrum comes in black as well as a creamy white, and can be tinted to just about any colour. The mollusk which provide the luminescent pseudo-gem are found nearly worldwide, in tropical Asian seas, the rivers of the United States, Asia, and Europe, and of course along the Pacific rim.

Now, the classic nature of a string of softly glowing pearls can't really be beat, but I've always had an affection for mother-of-pearl for its soft colours in all their lovely variegations and the gentle changes of shading in each piece. The white variety, which often tends to be a yummy creamy colour reminiscent of a pale butterscotch, is my favourite (although I have this very fun lime green mother-of-pearl necklace and bracelet set that are fabulous fun for summer wear); it matches just about everything and despite the fact that 'it isn't the real thing', it never fails to look sophisticated while still being approachable (like wood, I think it's the naturalness of the shell). The ancients were on to something, if you ask me!

This mother-of-pearl wrap bracelet is one of those pieces you just can't go wrong with. Simple and elegant, perfectly classic, a bracelet such as this really is perfect for anything - out to dinner, a wedding, church, concerts...anywhere! Created with memory wire, it will fit nearly any wrist and wraps at least three times around - four if you've smaller wrists, according to the artist.

Since it would be equally as beautiful with jeans as it would a cocktail dress, and at only $20, I don't think you'll regret your purchase.

From A Pretty Rock, where you'll find some of the most beautiful natural stone handmade jewelry on the web, and it won't shred your wallet into small, whimpering pieces. There's a small page explaining the gemology of the stones used. I think you'll really like the work here - for yourself or a friend.



Spring Hath Sprung!

Yes, it's the official announcement, at least from my neck of the woods. Yesterday we had a temperature of nearly 70 degrees and buckets of glorious, shimmering sunshine. Unsurprisingly, this inspired me to pop out onto our balcony and start moving flowerpots around in preparation for spring planting (which doesn't happen until Mother's Day per family tradition, but I'm organized like that) to find my Stella D'Oro daylilies - those gigantic yellow lilies - are already peeking up through the soil! It was wonderful to see those little green shoots beginning to appear. I hope the weather is turning nicely for everyone. Anybody else get ridiculously excited when she sees the first few flowers of spring begin to appear?

In honour of this joyous and felicitous occasion, tonight I share with you this elegant hair pin from RubyVegas. A simple three-inch pin is made exceptional with the addition of a flower made of silver wire, white glass pearls and clear, light-catching Swarovski pearls. The flower itself measures four inches across, and the petals can be shaped and customized to your hairstyle.

While this would be a beautiful accessory for a bride (or even the mother of the bride), I think any woman could add a touch of beauty to her day by tucking this eternal bloom into her chignon, bun, braid - anything! It's such a delicate, ladylike, romantic piece of jewelry, isn't it? Very beautiful, with a tantalizing hint of glamour and whimsy.

Each flower is made to order in gold or sterling and any colour beads you like. At only $22 per flower, I think this is a great buy - especially having spent countless hours searching for the perfect wedding hair jewels myself last year and finding myself agog over personality-free $45 rhinestone bobby pins that my cat could probably make.

From the talented mind and hands of RubyVegas, where you'll find some terrific wire jewelry. Enjoy!


Stunning Details

I'll bet it's getting pretty easy to gauge my style likes, isn't it? Like red purses, retro and vintage, circle skirts...and jewelry that has wooden components. Yes, a lot of jewelry is natural, and just polished a bit. But there's something warm and far more organic and earthy about jewelry composed of or with wood.

These very chic wooden hoop gemstone earrings are, therefore, predictably up my alley (and, I hope, yours as well). Personally, I like the turquoise - it's so bright and such a classic - but it really looks like there's a stone for everyone. The timeless look of a dangling hoop and stone is made modern with the wood; I think the wood adds a little more fun and whimsy as well. Pair these beautiful handmade originals with jeans and a crisp shirt (talk about classics) or make a statement by matching these up with a suit or dress.

Shown here with turquoise briolettes, these earrings are available in about twenty different stones, including pink jade, onyx, amythest, carnelian, citrine, and quite a variety of quartz and jade, all suspended from what looks to be sterling silver wire. Normally $48, right now artist Rhonda has them on sale for $38 - but only until Thursday, so hurry in with your order! Unsurprisingly, these are one of her bestsellers. Rhonda's work has been featured all over the place, too (as if I'd steer you wrongly?).

These and many, many other truly beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets and anklets are all at Stunning Details and at very select retailers in North America and Australia. From freshwater pearls to gemstones, Rhonda's bound to have something you fall into deep like with for yourself or someone else (remember, now: Mother's Day is peeking 'round the corner), and just perusing her shop is quite the joy break. Enjoy!


Happy Birthday, Sprout!
Sprout Studio Birthday

Can't say I'm up to my usual hunting tonight, as I sliced my hand open during an unfortunate and rather embarassing kitchen incident Friday, making it hard to type without running the risk of making my keyboard look like a set piece from a horror film.

But it's okay, because it's Sprout Studio's second birthday this month! Hooray! Purveyor of some incredible retro cuteness for wearing as well as cheery stationery and charming tea and ceramic accessories (I'm a big fan of tea, how about you?) made by Jenifer's own hands in her own kiln. I know I have at least one pair of awesome earrings from Sprout and get a lot of compliments on them, and I really like my flower tea tiles. Her rings - there's one bedecking an orange up there - sell out ridiculously fast, and you'll easily be able to see why.

Sprout Studio is perfect for gift shopping too; not only is everything really fabulous and chic, Jenifer makes shopping there such a joy it's hard not to keep going back for more. And more. So you can't say I've not warned you.

In addition to the cuteness already in the shop, she's due to add more great things soon (trust me, I've seen the pictures on her Flickr stream, and they are wonderful). There's more than enough to keep you occupied at Sprout 'till the morrow, when I hope my kitchen mishap isn't so threatening. Enjoy, and happy second birthday to Sprout!


Fun Friday: Castles in the...Chocolate...?

There is something wonderful about novelty prints, isn't there? They can be ridiculous, sublime, fun, or a blend of any of the above, but something about them is darn near irresistible. For the most part these days, it seems that such prints (from the "Yikes!" to the "Cute!") are are limited to crumb crunchers (oh - that's Jen for "kids"), and this is unfortunate. As wonderful as solids are, they can get boring and staid after a time. Thanks to Erin, I've regained that lost affection for novelty prints, and have had quite a bit of fun at the fabric store picking up a pile of prints to add to my stash. The craziest of these prints is this, which is forcing me to take pictures of some of the other, truly normal fabrics in my stash. (Honest, that really was purchased on a whim due to its irresistible cuteness, and will look cute in the daydress it has been slated for.)

Moving on. Prints are fun to wear and can really show off your personality and sense of whimsy and humor. Certainly no exception is this doll of a dress from the 50s. The chocolate brown cotton looks innocent enough, of course - kind of dreamy in that "Hmmm, you know, a chocolate bar would be good right now" sort of way. Until you get up close, and see the adorable little golden castles and white pseud-fleur de lis sprinkled over the entire dress! How cute is this?

Not only is the print utterly charming, the cut of the dress is both modest and very attractive (one of the many great things about New Look styling). The boatneck broadens the shoulders just a little (and in a very feminine fashion), thus making one's waist look smaller; the wonderfully swingy skirt does the same thing, which creates or enhances that classic hourglass look. There's a matching tie around the waist, too (and I am starting to think of possibilities there as well - who says you need to use what the dress came with?).

This cutie also comes with a cuffed short-sleeved, collared bolero for cooler nights, hyper-air conditioned buildings, or additional modesty if your church or synagogue frowns on bare shoulders; of course, even without the bolero, this dress is perfectly modest and very flattering. I dare you to wear it and not spend at least 78% of your day being happy.

The measurements are 42-30-free hip, and is $43 right now at Alitza's on eBay (fear not; I've bought plenty of drop-dead gorgeous vintage from eBay; it's pretty safe). The auction ends Sunday night, so hurry in and win this dress for your wardrobe! Alitza has a lot of really beautiful vintage in chiffon, silk, and more; just looking is fun, so enjoy your visit to her shop!

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Earth laughs in flowers!

Well, I hope y'all had a chance to take a peek at last night's jaw-droppingly gorgeous vintage dress. Scroll on down, it's drool-worthy, and anyone who sees you and the reason for the drool won't blame you.

Moving on (to something that wouldn't even hope to dream of going with that dress), I saw this pretty beaded flower necklace the other day and was looking forward to sharing it with you tonight. Made of brown wooden beads - have I mentioned yet how I really like the warmth of wooden beads? - with faceted purple and brown glass beads, green glass potato beads, bronze glass pearls, and a few other beads, the obvious calling card of this necklace is the beautiful large flower pendant. You might be able to wear this pendant to one side instead of dead center for a little interest; it's made of purple glass drop beads with a large bronze glass pearlescent bead in the center, surrounded by a few more pretty green beads to add some life to the pendant. Artist Gillyflower finished this off with a silver plated lobster clasp and silver extension chain finished off with another pretty bead. While it can be worn short - hitting right below the collarbone - it can also be worn longer thanks to the extension chain.

As you know, purple is typically considered the colour of royalty, and we've already talked about the wonderfulness of green. Purple is associated with nobility, luxury, power, wisdom and ambition - fitting, since many of the world's great past leaders liked to wear purple. I suspect the colour's associations came along after a few powerful and well-heeled wearers began to take to it! The dye to create purple - a rare colour in nature - was expensive and rather difficult to produce (it takes about 12,000 mollusks to make 1.5 grams of pure purple dye), so it stands to reason that for much of our sartorial history, only the powerful and wealthy could afford it; purple apparel was literally worth its weight in gold. Many Christians associate Israel's King Solomon with purple, as he used great amounts of purple textiles in the Temple at Jerusalem. Also, if my memory serves me, many past popes wore purple regularly as well.

It wasn't until the mid-1800s that purple became available to everyone. While the mystique of purple is somewhat gone, it still evokes thoughts of wealth, royalty, and nobility in most people - old habits die hard!

A mere $18 at Gilyflower, where you'll find some truly lovely, ladylike jewelry that always has a really fun twist (like these cute earrings). It's the kind of stuff that makes people look twice - first, it's "Oh, how pretty!" and then, "Wait a minute...look at that! How cool!" Wearing jewelry that makes the people looking at you smile, too, is always a good thing, since of course we all want to spread joy and be a blessing to those around us, even if it's just something small like this that makes them smile for a little bit ('tis the little things that count).


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Perfectly Feminine Elegance

First of all, I must warn you right away: this drop-dead gorgeous dress won't be available after Friday afternoon, so if you're interested, hurry over to place your bid now!

Yes, once again I'm featuring one of Kashute's amazing vintage finds. After seeing it, how could I not share it with you? Kashute calls it 'sensational', and I have to agree. This 1950s dream dress is made of rich grey silk charmeuse with a lace overlay accentuating the bodice - which appears to have dove-grey pearls and small rhinestones sewn onto the lace, adding to the stunning nature of this beauty. As you can see, the back has a pretty grey bow topped off with a rhinestone brooch. Beautiful! I can guarantee no one else will have this dress and you'll feel like the most glamourous woman in the room. Measurements are 38-31 with full hips and is 42" long.

This gem, right now priced at $49.99, is in excellent condition. I imagine that she was treasured and beloved by her owner, who probably felt like a queen every time she put it on.

There is so much to fall into deep like with about this wonderful frock. The flattering sweetheart neckline is high enough to remain modest and ladylike (and offering some nice accessorizing options - don't get me started!). Lace, of course, is eternally feminine, and when paired with silk - well, that combination is what makes this beauty so sumptuous. The full skirt, inverted 'V' lace applique, and darts at the waistline work together to create a waistline or accentuate the one you have, and with a full skirt like this, you'll be able to dance the night away without having to tug things back down time and again for fear of ending up in a highly-viewed YouTube video. Overall, this is an incredibly feminine dress - proof that one doesn't have to display everything in order to be beautiful and chic.

(As you know, I don't think 'modest' means looking like a shapeless pillow. We should easily be able to pick you out of a lineup as definitely female.)

Honestly, this is the kind of dress people buy just to display on a dress form purely because of its amazing beauty and perfection. But as I'd much rather someone continue to wear and enjoy the dress on their person...someone go snatch up this truly fantastic dress!

From Kashute - where, trust me, you'll always find at least five things to drool over. There are also several more pictures of this amazing dress on its listing page. Enjoy!

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Come spring or the always too-far-off approach thereof, and my fancy turns to bright, mouthwatering greens. In fact, I have always liked springy greens and since I hail from a long line of O'Haras, perhaps its just genetic. There is something about a vast expanse of green lushness (see: Lexington, Kentucky) that simultaneously soothes and thrills my heart, so any reminder of a rolling meadow makes me a happy lady.

At any rate, green (in Western culture) represents life, nature, freshness and even fertility. Psychological studies have found that green has a very calming effect on our emotions, giving rise to feelings of hope, good health, and even responsiveness and sharing. Furthermore, green apparently has a strong correspondence in our minds with safety, something I find very interesting. Even more so: when London's Blackfriar Bridge was painted green, suicides dropped 34% (makes me wonder what colour it was before...)!

Of course, green is a mix of yellow and blue, and the dominant colour is what tends to trigger certain emotions, so if you prefer yellow over blue or vice versa, seek out greens in those shades. Restful on the eye and reminiscent of trees, flowers, delicious Granny Smith apples and velvety moss, it's no wonder green is a favourite of so many, and many shades are considered a neutral by interior designers.

Suffice to say, when I find something lovely in green I am quite likely to feature it, expecially when it is extra cute, like this extremely fabulous green chocolate bubbles handbag from Puton Verbenero. Not only is the print on the bag itself fun and cheerful, it's fully lined in a soft, linen-look green cotton, and there's a two-compartment pocket for all of your important small goodies. The bag is big enough to carry your entire day's needs inside and you'll look perfectly stylish the whole time.

$26 from Puton Verbenero, where in addition to still more hip handbags, you'll find dressess, skirts, belts, and some truly darling brooches and other jewelry. She even has a handbag with splashes of orange so that all St. Paddy's Day weekend, you'll be fully covered.


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Those little nimble musicians of the air...

Since I was a small child, I've loved, loved birds. We had a wonderful cockatiel named Joey (short for Joseph until she laid an egg, at which point she became Josephine) who was more like a puppy than a small parrot - but then again, that's what psitaccines are like. I could probably have told you just about anything regarding pet birds, since I dearly wanted to be an avian veterinarian, and watching wild birds go about their daily business was (and is) a great joy to me. Birds are not only beautiful but quite clever - so why wouldn't a woman want to associate herself with these golden-throated creatures of the air?

Today we have these pretty, vintage-inspired pendants: Blossom, with a pretty turquoise songbird gazing at a pink flower, Sing (in peachy-orange) and Happiness (appropriately featuring a bluebird) necklaces from Jeweled Elegance. The bird-themed pendants are handmade of antiqued wood and display a hand-drawn bird. Due to the nature of their creation, no two are alike, and each one hangs from an eighteen-inch leather necklace with a small silver lobster clasp. Sing for $22, Blossom right along with impending spring for $22, or bring the bluebird of Happiness into your day for $24.

Yup, that was cheesy. But it's Monday... *ahem*

What really got my attention - other than the bird-ness - is the very pretty, very sweet vintage style these have. Theyr'e absolutely charming and singular in their own right. If you ask me, designer Heather has a good thing going here!

All of these beauties are from Jeweled Elegance, where you can also find wedding jewelry, gorgeous Japanese paper earrings, fun retro-style jewelry (including some fun mod stuff), elegant and playful earrings - all of it wonderfuly designed and made with great attention to colour combinations and detail (as we know, God is in the details, righ?). There's even a collar necklace inspired by Cleopatra that I can picture a few of my favourite bellydancers donning for a show. From whimsical to the sublimely elegant, I don't think you'll be able to peek through Jeweled Elegance without finding something you'd be more than happy to wear. Heather wraps every order in delicious packaging and is currently offering free earrings with every order of $20 or more - so hurry over! And, of course...enjoy!

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Fun Friday: Getting Into Gear
I've been waiting to feature this for an entire week. Isn't it the defintion of 'fun'? Made of old clock gears and a textured sterling silver rectangle, this flower pendant is definitely bound to get attention. Two clock gears form the primary part of the flower (the smallest being a winding mechanism) and the 'stem' is made of sterling silver wire. The pendant is available by itself or on a sixteen-inch sterling silver ball chain (hm, wonder how many more times I can say 'sterling silver'?) with a lobster clasp. It's also available with a different chain if you so desire.

The spiral clock gear pendant is just as fun, with a more abstract design (I think this is my favourite...if you made me choose...) The gear has mounted onto a metal spring with a heavy duty magnet clasp - so you can rotate the gear to match your taste or play with during a dull, mind-numbing meeting to keep yourself entertained and/or unnerve your co-workers ("Hey...wasn't that thing...on the other side?").

Providing us with another fine example of "upcycling" and the definite waste-conscious, creative minds of the modern fine artist and crafter, these charmers are from Katrinbird Designs. All orders ship in a gift box within 2-3 days, and she has several more clock gear pendants, earrings, and other wonderfully ingenious pieces of jewelry for your enjoyment at her shop. The flower pendant is $42 and the spiral is $36. I really like this jewelry - it's stylish and entertaining all at once, and would make a great addition to your collection or an unforgettably cool gift for a friend. Just window-shopping her shop is great fun.


(Don't forget our Modcloth discount, 10% off any order when you use "pretty10" at checkout!)

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Tag, I'm It! (Run. Run far, far away.)

As I mentioned last night, Rhembein has tagged me to show the favorite thing I've made recently. It's difficult to choose, especially since I'm really just beginning to learn (read: teach myself after a crash course from my wonderful mother-in-law) to sew, and still have a not-so-mild fear of utterly ruining something due to my novice status. I could post one of the handmade cards I so love to make (you can see them all here), but since all of the crafty ladies before me have posted a sewn thing, here we go: my cute little handbag. I lined it with the legs from a favorite old pair of pants I no longer wear, and there's a pretty pocket inside to hold my cellphone, lipstick, and other small, easily-buried items.

It's made from my mom's old curtains. When I was in my last apartment, I spent a lot of time painting and decorating to make it comfy and cozy for guests. Mom was also in the process of redecorating my parents' home, and when she visited one day, she said, "You really need curtains for that doorwall. I'll give you mine, since I'm buying new ones." Not long thereafter, I spent the majority of an evening watching All About Eve and hanging my lovely new curtains, which added a beautiful finishing touch to the room.

Sadly, in our new home, there's no room to hang them (there's an odd part of the ceiling which is lower over our doorwall, and I couldn't get them arranged properly). I tucked them into my stash of fabric until one day I decided they'd make a really fun purse with a vintage feel. This is the result of my efforts, and I admit to being pretty proud of the result - it was the first thing I'd made without a real pattern (indeed, I barely measured...eek!). And it's a purse. So it's perfectly modest (providing I don't have $100 bills sticking out of it, which I don't see in my immediate future). ;)

I'm sometimes a little sad that I destroyed the curtains, because they were elegant and chic, but I'm also glad I was brave enough to try this out. And now Mom's curtains can go anywhere with me. :)

Now I have to tag someone, and I think I'll tag my jewelry-making friend Elena, as I'm eager to see her work!

By the way, you definitely want to check out all the St. Paddy's day cute coming in the March Sampler; if you're a seamstress, ReproDepot is offering a 20% discount for the entire month of March! Try not to drool on your keyboard (I know...it's really tough.)

Your Fun Friday item, possibly items, will be up later today.

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Well, I just noticed today that the super-talented rhembein has tagged me, but first things first - I will answer the tag tomorrow (because it'll take that long to figure out who I want to tag!) There are some news items I'd like to touch on as well, so I'll take care of all that fun stuff tomorrow morning-ish.

Tonight I stumbled across this wonderful nuvo-black pin by Yuri Nakatani at the Blissen shop. I can't think of much more to say than this is so pretty and unique, and is indeed a modern twist on the cameos of old. An elegant, dark-haired lady graces this pin, which is made of shrink plastic - so that it is lightweight and won't give you that sagging sweater look. (So frustrating, I know.) I'd say this is the fabulousness of Shrinky Dinks taken to a whole new level, but this is such a uniquely elegant but fun piece of jewelry I am not sure bringing that childhood favourite into play would be maligning the pin or not!

Pins and brooches, of course, are delightfully versatile, and there's no reason to relegate them to upper-body wear only. They make a beautiful, eye-catching adornment on hats, scarves, handbags and totes, even the waistband or hemline of a skirt, where a grouping of similarly styled (and it is hoped lightweight) brooches and pins can make an otherwise simple skirt go from everyday to utterly amazing. Why not use a pin or brooch in your hair as a barette or finishing touch on an updo, or set onto a chain as a pendant? The possiblities are just about endless (that's the joy of accessorizing).

Each of these individually drawn, limited edition pins is $20 at Blissen, where you can also find artwork, baby onesies and tees, stationery, t-shirts (this one is my fave), and other wonderfulness . Enjoy!

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