Acorn Earrings

Well, these are very fun, and it's not a Friday, but it is Reformation Day and Halloween, so I'll keep it light (that, and the crumb-crunchers start their trick-or-treating in under 10 minutes). Besides, acorns are imbued with and symbolic of life, not to mention quite the treat for squirrels and deer (like the trio of deer who eat our oak tree's acorns), so these green pearl acorn earrings are quite apropos, don't you think?

They really do look like green acorns, but they're really green freshwater pearls that have been capped with a sterling silver bead cap. Very cute, very fresh, very fun, and quite pretty from Mary and Jane. $24.

Have a great night! Many of my friends are looking forward to passing out goodies or taking their own kidlets out to score some treats tonight, and our basket of candy & miniature Play-Doh is waiting by the door as I type. See you tomorrow, and watch out for those vampires. ;)


In Season

It's late October, so we're coming to the end of eggplant season, but those versatile berries (yes, they're berries!) can still be found at your local farmer's markets and grocery stores. But even when the last aubergine has been roasted or sauteed, plum and eggplant shades are still very popular in the fashion aisle, all the way through March.

This vintage chenille suit with a matching blouse is darling and perfect for the coming winter. This Jackie O-like suit is very pretty, and as you know, chenille is very soft and comfortable. The matching blouse is poly, though of course you could switch it out for a blouse of your own or a simple camisole with very clean lines. The suit is probably a small, definitely for petites: the skirt will fit a waist up to 30" and hips up to 40".

Best of all, this is marvellously priced at just $25 from Bleu Green. Too many women have nothing but black, navy, and khaki-coloured suits in their closet; why be one of the masses? Pick up a charming vintage suit like this in a still-professional colour and stand out from the pack.

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Jazz Square Ring

This red jasper ring is so simple yet so pretty, especially with all of the lines running through the stone. The 3/4" bead has been wrapped with sterling silver wire and topped with a funky sterling swirl. The square shape of this ring is what really attracts me; it's unique but not gaudy or difficult to wear. Just $16 from JeweLyrie.

Remember when Jasper used to be a fairly common name for men? Well...it's doubtful any of us, personally, remember, but surely we've read enough older books where the name popped up regularly. I'm enjoying Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath again in my free time (!), and while I don't believe there is a character by that name in the book, it's certainly an era in which one wouldn't be surprised to come across the name; perhaps that's what made me think of the fact that "Jasper" used to be a fairly common name in the States at least, so this isn't entirely apropos of nothing, right?

Y'all have a good night anyhow. ;)


Fun Fridays: Hooty Hoot

Owls are still hot as far as fashion goes, aren't they? Perhaps with the presidential election approaching (note: please keep the politics off this blog, I do this to get away from that!) people are seeking out wisdom; as the longtime symbol of wisdom, then, it should be no surprise owls are enjoying yet another resurgence in popularity.

This owl is special, though, as an original vintage Hooty Hoot owl pendant from the 1970s. Hinged into three movable parts — head, body, and tail — this metal owl will make a fun and whimsical fashion statement wherever you decide to take him . This is a rather large piece at 5" long and 2.5" wide, but what's the point of wearing something this fun if no one else will get a smile out of it? $15 from Michigan seller Opal Essence; she has plenty of fab vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry in her shop with the promise of more vintage to come. Her bamboo pendants are especially fun.

Have a great weekend! I'll be painting the living room while watching the Breeder's Cup tomorrow; there's six hours of fantastic horse racing from New Jersey's Monmouth Park and four walls for me to paint, so I should be pretty well occupied (frankly, if I time this right, I can be done painting in time to just settle in on the couch for a full day of excitement. I love Street Sense, but am rather hoping older horse Lawyer Ron will take the Classic; with this week's weather, though, the race outcomes are going to be a little more fun to predict. (Besides, I'm not predicting, just expressing my hopes at the moment.)

See you Monday!

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Vintage Plaid

The accession of fall means plaid makes yet another resurgence into our fashion consciousness. Surely I'm not the only one know notices this! Plaid is a strange thing, though: some like very loud, almost clashing plaids, while others prefer to don a subtler ode to Scottish Highlanders (I tend to be in the latter camp myself). Something about plaid is so festive, and for many Americans especially, it reflects a sense of pride in one's forbears, who left the rugged land they'd conquered to tame yet another.

This vintage plaid skirt is a great (if not entirely traditional) example of a fun plaid that won't make other people's eyeballs bleed. While colourful and bright, it isn't overbearing or traffic-stopping. You can wear it with girly heels or your favourite pair of boots - both heeled and flat boots would look terrific with this $32 skirt. The pleats are classic, especially as we ease our way into the more formal styles of the cold-weather months, and let's face it: this is long enough that you can wear it all winter long without having to worry about ill-timed gusts of wind or just plain old freezing your tail off.

From Femmina Style, where they've just gotten a pretty nicely sized wave of new goodies (there are quite a few cute tops, too).

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Snuggle Your Way Into Fall

This has got to be the perfect sweater for fall, bursting as it is with the rich colours of the season: wine, green, red, and mustard with a little white thrown in for relief. The cape collar adds style and depth, while the buttons appear to be made of wood; if not, they're still large enough to make a statement. Don't big, chunky buttons say "fall" and "easy to fasten with chilled or begloved fingers" anyhow?

Hand knit, this soft sweater will stretch to fit your body comfortably, keeping you warm and cozy and cute all at the same time. It's listed as a size small, probably a 2-4, and is $65. From Que Dicha, who is also offering several other tempting sweaters at the moment.

By the way, I've put up some new pictures of our house, including the gorgeous new kitchen colour, the painted garage door, and a happy fall shot of the exterior complete with pumpkins; it's all here.

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Bijoujuju Fall

This autumn-themed pendant from Bijoujuju is perfect for the season and even beyond (as Southern artist Shannon suggests as well). Quite a few people I know consider fall to be their favourite season, so it must be a common affection; therefore, there'd be no reason for you to feel silly wearing this in, say, March, because your fellow autumn-philes will completely understand.

Also, the pendant is named quite cleverly. Just trust me.

The beautifully stylized image — Hubby says the tree reminds him of the trees on Hollin's Gate in Tolkein's mythological Middle-Earth — has been transferred onto the polymer pendant, and it all hangs from a silk cord. The image is protected by a triple seal, and it's just $16.

The nice thing about Bijoujuju is that if you see something you like and ponder it for a few days only to find it sold, she'll do her best to make another of the same item for you. She's also got these fantabulous grab bags of pendants that don't meet her high standards, but she'll sell you four or five "perfectly imperfect" pendants for about $10! They're not imperfect, really; they just have slightly more quirky personalities.

In addition to these polymer pendants, this Texas-based shop (let's here it for the Lone Star State!) is also home to photographic prints, rich beaded necklaces and earrings and fused glass treats. There are even a few semi-precious gems in her shop, so head on over!


Another Two-For-One Monday

Yes, yes, because surely you missed me so very much, you get two treats for one visit today. Lucky you, dahlings! We spent the weekend working here; Hubby did more sanding & joint compound-spreading and I painted our kitchen. The bedroom still isn't much to look at (read: plain drywall and another layer of joint compound), but the kitchen? It went from a rather unsettling shade of butter yellow to a beauuuuutiful shade of robin's egg-ish turquoise. This means our kitchen is halfway done, since all that's left is to paint the cabinets white and put up a cheery backsplash in a pretty shade of green. Hooray! I love to cook — love to cook — so having the kitchen done will tickle me about sixteen lovely shades of pink.

All right, on to the fashion. Two finds for you today, both requiring a small amount of aplomb and courage to wear for some, I suppose, but I think both are great pieces. First up is this merry melon pink fitted vintage suit. First of all, it's a wearable size, what seller Blue Velvet Vintage consiers a large (jacket is 42-36 and the skirt is 33-44). It's wool or wool blend, so if you treat it well it'll last for year, and features snappy pointed French cuffs and a kick pleat in the back of the skirt.

What I really like, though, is the flattering cut — feminine without being childish and with a beautiful curved yoke in front. The yoke is accented by two small rhinestone buttons. See it in that close-up there? Isn't that a great touch? Just beautiful. The front pockets mirror the curve for a pulled-together look. The label inside this vintage wool or wool-blend suit read "Talle Maide Original" and "The Crystal Room, Loveman's, Chattanooga", and the suit is only $95. Trust me, you're not going to find a pretty cut on a long-lasting classic suit like this anywhere for under $100 unless you hit the gold mine at your local thrift shop.

Something else I couldn't resist was this gorgeous, dreamy 1940s velvet coat. Putting this beauty on would make me feel like a glamour queen, and I could probably confidently meet anyone in the world while wearing this, knowing I looked lovely and charming and put-together, even if it was snowing madly outside. Wouldn't it make you feel the same? (I'm tempted put the PayPal account in lockdown until I stop hyperventilating over this coat.)

Lined in satin with hidden side seam pockets, this dramatic coat is made of black velvet cut into a New Look style, with princess seams in the bodice leading to the gored skirt. The cape collar adds to the striking appearance of this coat, and two velvet buttons finish it off beautifully. The label reads "J. Klienfeld and Sons, First in Fashion, Brooklyn", and the $185 coat is 38-30 with open hips and is 43" long. As Blue Velvet recommends, you're going to want to be a bit smaller in order to wear this comfortably over your clothing.

Both available from Blue Velvet Vintage, home of real and repro vintage wonderfulness.

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Fun Fridays: Candy Beads

The striped beads and spacers making up this necklace are so cheery and remind me of lime candies. Indeed, this necklace looks almost good enough to eat! The beads are a heavy resin, so they'll keep their bright colour and shine for a long time. $14.50 from Star Sprinklez.

Have a great weekend!

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Delicious Lace
Christa Taylor has her fall line out at last, and it's beautiful — romantic, rich fabrics and colours in beautiful tops, dresses, skirts and jackets that you're bound to like. One of my favourite items from her new line is this elegant lace skirt: a champagne skirt with a deep chocolate rose lace overlay. A chiffon sash adds a bit of extra interest, and if you didn't want to wear it with your skirt, it would probably look lovely woven into your hair, perhaps in a braid, or worn as a headband. $54.99 and available in sizes small, medium, and large.

Christa Taylor designs these beautiful frocks, and proves modest can be chic, flattering, and lovely. "Frump" is not synonymous with "modest", nor need it be. This skirt is beautiful enough to be eveningwear or worn to a holiday party (ugh...thinking of that craziness already?!) but depending upon what you top it off with, would be beautiful at church or work as well. In fact, it might go really well with one of the Stellarocco shirts featured last night. I know Christa had some production issues when it came to launching the fall line, but it was clearly worth the wait, don't you think? Be sure to check out the whole line!


Pretty Long-Sleeved Tees
Aren't these tees from Stellarocco lovely? The nature-themed designs are fresh but not cliched, and the shirts themselves look very soft and cozy as well as flattering and modestly cut. They're just $28 each and shipping within the US is absolutely free. These are just three of the designs; more are available, and short-sleeved tees are available as well for $26.

The company is named after co-founder Kate's two dogs, and Stellarocco tops are popular at yoga studios nationwide. A couple of these pretty tops will be a fine and versatile addition to your wardrobe.


Seasonally Appropriate

This adjustable metal wire ring is just that, don't you think? The glass centerpiece of the ring showcases original artwork of a branch in what most of us are seeing more and more of as the days pass: nearly-bare tree branches. Handmade by Julie, this ring is entirely of her design and $20. You can even get the matching necklace, or how about a coordinating one with a bird singing away on one of the branches? I'm also rather partial to this copper-wire owl ring, featuring a cute little retro-style owl.

Available from Handmade Julz, whose shop also lets you choose from nearly 100 regularly updated designs created by the artist herself to create your own ring, necklace, or bracelet. Her graphic art is varied and fascinating to look at, from retro to lovely to fun to urban.

I spent the entire day carefully painting our garage door and get to put coat two on tomorrow. I say "entire day" because the colour I initially chose (and the colour that looked perfect in the store) turned out to be rather yellow on the door itself despite a healthy coat of primer! This necessitated a trip to Lowe's for new paint (the charmingly named "Lettuce Alone" from Olympic Paints that is more of a celery, but who's complaining?), re-priming when I got home, and impatiently waiting for the primer to dry before putting the first coat on.

After all that, though, the garage looks very nice and we both love the colour, one coat to go or not! Unfortunately, none of my other work got done, which means the backlog will continue to pile up until it curves over me like a slow-motion tidal wave...

Perhaps it's better to not think about that.

;) Have a great night!


Soft 'n Fuzzy Barrette

Isn't this barrette darling? Not only are the colours suited for fall, but the texture is perfect for it as well. What was once a merino wool sweater has been needle-felted and reformed into a barrette, with its edges dyed a warm cinnamon and charming vintage buttons sewn on top for one of the more interesting barrettes I've seen. The felted bit has been sewn and glued onto a nickel French-back barrette clip. Interestingly, artist Liz offers lifetime repair for her jewelry pieces, and that might apply to this barrette as well. Nifty, don't you think?

The shop is Made in Lowell, the barrette is $18, and Liz's shop offers a plethora of pretty, fun, chic little treats for you, a friend, your sister...maybe even a special "treat" for that favourite neighbor when she comes by with her munchkin October 31. Liz's shop is full of beautifully drawn art cards, felt flower pins, beads, earrings, barrettes, and other jewelry in the most delicious colours, so I'm sure you'll enjoy stopping in.


Fun Fridays: Earth Angel

I stumbled across this tee hoping that another treat would be back in stock (it's not). This black American Apparel tee has been screenprinted with angel wings on the back - no need to run around in underwear from a certain lingerie shop with gigantic, unwearable, can't-get-to-the-barista wings strapped to your back (much less drive!). Slip this comfy girly tee on over your favourite skirt or pants and enjoy the chuckles and grins you're bound to inspire.

(Wouldn't this be a great item for an all-female choir to wear? Just my own opinion, of course.)

Available in sizes from XXSmall to Extra large. $24 from Miss Misa. Have a great weekend!

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A Little Flash for Your Cash

My old wallet is looking pretty beaten and aged, understandably so after several years of use. That means it's time to hunt for a new pocketbook, and entering the running is this one, with room for my checkbook as well as cash, business cards, change, and maybe a picture or two. There's also a change pocket so you don't have to dig to the bottom of your purse for quarters at the toll booth.

Isn't the pattern delightful? It's so vibrant and cheerful, particularly with the pretty lime and blue vinyl lining. The exterior of this pretty thing has been coated with clear vinyl to protect the print from the other chaos occuring in your handbag. Handmade and $42 from Quiet Doing.



Is this loverly or what? It's very rich, with the red, caramel and gold tones — tones that also make it perfect for fall. It reminds me of the turning leaves, of apples pumpkins atop a bale of hay at the orchard, of perfect sunsets. The polymer clay pendant has been polished and sealed with a gloss, giving it a very glasslike appearance (at first, I thought it was glass). A gold-tone rolo chain sets the pendant off beautifully, and this is a one-of-a-kind piece. $24 from JanZio, who I initially found through Flickr and this beautiful piece, one I thought would go wonderfully with the dress featured yesterday. Wonderful, isn't it?

Sorry I've been non-chatty this week - I sprained my wrist, making it hard to type. That hasn't stopped me from spending today priming and painting our front door, priming the garage door, and priming one kitchen wall and slapping the final 2 paint selections on that wall, too. The front door looks terrific, and it feels good to have THAT done, but it began sprinkling, preventing me from taking care of the garage door as well.

We also purchased two apple trees over the weekend - Empire and Stayman - and planted one. The other will have to go in the dirt within the next few days. Interestingly, Stayman trees have sterile pollen, meaning they can be pollinated by other apple trees (apples are not self-pollinating), but their pollen can't work with other trees. We were unaware of this fact when making our purchase, but the neighbors across the street have two apple trees in their backyard, so we should be good. What bee is so lazy she won't fly across the street for some good pollen (they'll fly up to a mile, so we aren't worried)? I'm very excited about the apple trees - it's something we both wanted, but me especially.

We also (finally!) have pumpkins on the porch. Had I not sprained my wrist, I'd have grabbed a couple more at the store yesterday - I love pumpkins, not to mention the yummy seeds that come out of them.

Have a great night!

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Breaking my own rule...

At least this once! I've never featured anything but indie here, and indie goods are, in part, what I'm in the game for, but...rules are made to be broken at least once in a while, right?

The thing is, I have this sateen polka-dot dress from Target and can't wait 'till it's cool enough to wear this myself (though it could be a month). The shirtdress is classically cut, with just the right amount of flare and twirl, with long sleeves that can easily be adjusted as necessary. Of course, it button all the way up and you can cinch that waist with the ribbon that comes with. The chocolate brown with tiny white pin dots is going to flatter just about everyone, and this cute dress comes in sizes from 2 to 18. Wonderfully, the neckline isn't uncomfortably deep, something I spent some time lamenting when wrap dresses were so hot a few years ago. This is definitely a modest, ladylike, and attractive dress.

Shirt dresses have been making what the fashion types refer to as a "comeback", but if you ask me, they're a timeless wardrobe staple. Whether they're cotton, satin, chiffon, or taffeta, the shirt dress is an American classic for a reason: it's flattering to nearly everyone and just as easy to wear.

I'll warn you that these dresses are already quite scarce, if not gone entirely, at local Target shops, so your best bet may be to order online. It's just $27.99, and I can just short of guarantee you'll get more than your money's worth from the dress.

Have a great night!


Songbird Tee

This tee is bound to be another hit for the stevester shop, don't you think? Not only is the screenprinted design charming, just right for topping off jeans, a denim skirt, or under a jacket. The scoop neck and so-pretty cap sleeves add the perfect amount of feminine grace and style.

Best of all, right now at stevester, buy two shirts and get a tote bag free! It's hard to beat a deal like that. Shirts are all 100% cotton and available from size small to extra large.


Fun Fridays: Vespa Girl

It's rather hard to believe this hasn't been snapped up already, Vespas being so chic of late. Winter approaching or not, if you like Vespas, this strapless dress is for you. You could still get away with it depending on the weather where you are, or stash it in the closet and have something to smile about all winter, anticipating as you'll be the day you can wear it.

What was originally a Ruby Rox dress has had a red Vespa applique sewn on, a surprising touch I doubt anyone will be expecting to see on this polka-dotted, cosmopolitan little dress. You could also switch out that blue ribbon for a red one - very cute! There's blue netting beneath the dress for additional fullness and swoosh-iness.

Personally, I find strapless dresses to be rather difficult to wear, but the starlet-used double-stick dress tape is available at places as mundane as JoAnn Fabrics (few things are more annoying than to be pulling up one's dress all night at a wedding or while at a picnic or...well, anywhere). Also, keep in mind that if you're sitting at the table, it's good manners to wear something over your shoulders; otherwise, a lady runs the risk of looking, at first glance, as if she's wearing nothing at all, and we wouldn't want anyone to choke on that rubbery chicken or Grandma's homemade fried turkey legs (or whatever your Grandma makes). A fitted jacket, pretty sweater, or silky wrap would do nicely.

This is a wearable size at 36-32 with open hips and a 35" length. Exclusive to the shop of the peach, where you'll find more Vespa goodies, bags, vintage patterns and clothing, and other splendid little treats.

Have a great weekend!

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Let the Dunder-Mifflin bells chime out your love...

Yes, we're "Office" fans, too. ;D

The colours on this bracelet are really pleasing to the eye and cheerful to boot. Several years ago, a study (how seriously we can take any study, I'm not sure) came out reporting that wearing green and red together actually lifted one's mood, as well as the mood of those around them. I do know that just looking at a bright, springy green lifts my spirit, and if paired with red, the vibrancy perks me up and encourages my own creativity.

The red stones on this are carnelian, which was used to make signet rings during Roman times. It also appears in cameos, was used to decorate the robes of Egyptian royalty — along with lapis lazuli and turquoise, carnelian was used most often in Egypt. The green stones are olive jade, and the silver flower adds just the right touch. Just $22 from ChickRocks, a shop full of fresh, modern jewelry made from natural stones.

By the way, if you like carnelian - which is really beautiful in real life, my sister gave me a carnelian necklace for Christmas a couple of years ago - be sure to take a peek at these pretty, fun earrings, too!


Tree Love

This decoupaged wood pendant is pretty with a hint of whimsy. A small red bird is floating on one side of this fanciful tree, and overall it's a very merry necklace, don't you think? The pendant is finished with a glossy veneer for looks and to protect your jewelry.

The pendant comes with wire backing attached so you can put it on your own chain, ribbon, or whatever you'd like to hang it from, or you can purchase a length of leather cord from artist SparkleNose's shop for just $5. Since the pendant itself is a mere $7, that means you get a lot of fashion bang for your buck!

You'll find many similarly pretty pendants at SparkleNose, some featuring art like this, others bearing beautiful foreign stamps or fun photographs and retro art. The idea is unique, and the price is definitely right - and it never, ever being too early to start Christmas shopping...

Have a great evening!

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Modern Bustle

One of my favourite skirts is a long denim skirt that is flared at the bottom and has a slight bustling effect in the back. Something about that bustling feels so girly and feminine, plus it's just a lovely detail. This beautiful silk bustled skirt from Devotions, a sister shop to Princess Izzy, has the same neat feature. The vintage kimono fabric boasts lovely red and gold flower medallions on a black field, with white vines in between.

The colours are perfect for fall, and thanks to the bustling in back, it will fit anyone from size 10 to 18. This would be lovely for a wedding or a luxe choice for a workday when you'd really rather just stay home (my attitude about such days is that one might as well wear a favourite thing to make the day a bit better).

This one is of such classic style you're sure to enjoy it for years to come. Handmade with love and just $58.

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Collage for Pretty/Modest

There are so many beautiful tops at Flutter Fashion there was no way I could pick just one to share with you. Thus, I give you 10, ranging in size from extra-small to large, and prices from $23 to $80. Also available from Flutter Fashion are jackets and tees, but these colourful and feminine layered-look tops really capture the eye and demonstrate what designers Joleen Rumsey and Rachel Six clearly do best. No matter what style you're looking for, from classic to funky, Flutter will have something to suit your desire - and keep you modestly covered but still looking chic and pretty. No frump here! Most women prefer a fitted top that isn't skin-tight, and I'm sure you'll agree that these offerings fit the bill marvellously.

Row one: Ms. Brown, Catherine, Clementine, Capuchino, Madame Butterfly.

Row two: Sweet Pea, Roxanne, Cindy, Ballet Ruse, and Bridget.

There are at least half a dozen others I'd love to feature, but you'll just have to go see for yourself. All from Flutter Fashion - I'm expecting big things from these ladies!

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