No Cute Tonight...
...at least nothing you can buy. It's my birthday so other things have taken precedence. Still...there is this:

Please meet Benedict

Click for more, if you'd like.

It was really hard, this first birthday without Remmy. His birthday is Wednesday...I always thought it was cool that Rem and I had our birthdays in the same week. I really miss him.

Have a great night, and see y'all tomorrow!


Fun Friday: As if ice cream's not lovable enough...

Check out the happy face on this cute little ice cream cone pendant. Not only that, he's so happy to see you, there are hearts floating through the air about him! Our tasty little friend (looks like strawberry ice cream to me) has been embedded into resin along with those hearts and confetti sprinkles. The pink ice cream is actually real sugar...wearable sweets. As if the mere suggestion of sweet ice cream isn't enough...

$20 from StoopidGerl, who is from my hometown of Detroit. Be sure to check out her big sprinkles resin ring, full of actual candy sprinkles and the triple-sweet ring, full of three different kinds of big and tiny candy sprinkles.

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Pretty dress, pretty lady!

Please forgive me for daring to choose an eBay item that ends tomorrow, but the size and style of this are so lovely I simply had to point it out, in the hopes that some wonderful woman will see it, fall in love, and snap it up.

A vintage dress from the 40s, this pretty navy blue crepe rayon beauty has an ultra-flattering, ultra-feminine cut. The model's somewhat uncomfortable-looking pose nothwithstanding, this is an elegant, sophisticated, very classic dress with great touches like a batwing bust (wowza, how cool!), darted waistline, and a slightly flared hemline that will swish and sway with every move. The seller reports it's in great condition for a dress this old, though a button which had been re-sewn on is a bit loose; an easy fix. One of the skirt's seams is a little bit separated, but again - super easy fix, even for an inexperienced sewer. The lace sleeves feature tiny, sparkly beads and rhinestones for that extra-special touch.

Best of all, this dress is in a larger size: 40-36-42. Definitely worth every penny of the $9.99 the dress currently calls for, and more than that besides. She's a beauty, so are you...snap it up!

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Beads in the Belfry

I suppose this is somewhat appropriate...we rented Masterpiece Theatre's 2006/07 Jane Eyre from Netflix and even Hubby is interested in it, not having read the book (it's one of my favourites, recently re-enjoyed via DailyLit.com). Someone actually borrowed my copy but never gave it back...ah well. My birthday is next week, so maybe I'll get a nice vintage hardcover copy. While there aren't any belfry at Thornfield that I recall, there was one at the church...hey, work with me.

Now, there are so many lovely and marvellous things at Beads in the Belfry it's nearly impossible to choose just one...or two! Nina's choice of beads and arrangements is fabulous.

One of my favourite items, though, doubtless due to its charming whimsicality, is this blue bird on a perch necklace and pendant. Your stone bird has been carved of African Jasper, and he's perched near three coral flowers. Perhaps he's a bowerbird trying to attract a lady bird? All is framed in durable, hammered heavy gauge sterling silver; the bird's wing is made of forged coil as well.

The $52 necklace comes on a sterling silver chain. There's a similar necklace in tan for $42, or you can have one custom-made for the same price!

I'm also a big fan of the spirals galore rings. Cute, aren't they? In sterling silver ($32) and copper.

There's lots of great stuff to love at Beads in the Belfry. Jane might not approve...but perhaps she could learn to appreciate their beauty and charm.

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Nature-Themed Tees

Aren't these tees pretty? From Pepperhem, they're $22 each and hand-screenprinted on Alternative Apparel tees. Available in small, medium, and large (the peacock tee is available in XL, too). The softly curving lines are so feminine and pretty.

Pepperhem warns that the tees are thin and almost sheer, so you'll definitely want to layer these with a tank or cami.

At the shop you'll also find adorable onesies, tees for your kidlets, pretty totes, and kitchen goodies. Everything has a really fun, playful motif printed on it, and in fact...yes, there appears to be a sale on those onesies and kids' tees! Definitely head right on over. :)


Custom Flower Necklace

First of all, I can't believe no one has gone after the positively darling Fun Friday featured dress. Were it my size...it would be mine...

Regardless, tonight we have a fun, photography-centered item for you from Flanders Field Photography: a custom photo pendant necklace. As part of a collaboration with HeartWorksbyLori, you can choose your favourite glossy Flanders Field photograph to be mounted on a pendant. The image is printed in miniature — 1.5 x 1.5 inches — then sealed onto an antiqued brass filigree frame, then suspended from a brass rolo chain. Very pretty, and so many options!

Even better, you'll get a miniature golden easel for displaying your pendant when you're not wearing it. What a wonderfully cute idea! $30.


Fun Friday: Gentress Fishies

Oh my. Not much needs to be said about this fantabulous dress.

Vested Gentress.

Classic lined sheath dress.

Larger size, a vintage 12: 40-34-42.

Great neckline detail.

But best of all...

...that totally adorable fish print.

The world is lucky (maybe) that this is not my size.

But perhaps it's yours?

$24.95 starting bid. Auction ends Monday. Buy it. This is a steal, and you'll likely never see anything like it again.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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Field of Flowers

Clearly, vintage frocks are completely irresistible to me. Here's yet another eBay find, this one an auction ending Monday. The super-broad, stand-up (stand up-able?) collar is wonderfully fabulous, and check out these cotton-candy colours! Pale lemon, pretty pink, and bright blue blossoms are scattered gaily across an icy blue field. The ribbon belt isn't included — as is typical with vintage dresses — but it would be easy enough to replace, or perhaps you could even find someone on Etsy willing to make one for you.

Aside from its classic appearance, this cotton dress has something else in its favour: it's in a larger size. I always try to make a point of bringing dresses for the more cuddly-ly curvaceous ladies, because attractive, chic, modest clothing for some sizes can be difficult to find. This one has measurements of 52-42-open hips.

Bidding is presently at just $2.25, and again, it ends Monday. Jump on it, this one's a real beauty; I was very disappointed it wasn't in my size. Better for you, right?

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Vintage Pretties

Two darling dresses tonight, neither of which could be passed up. Both are eBay finds, so hop to it if you're interested, all right?

First up is this true red cotton shirtdress in a fun red, black, and white print. It has a really lovely detail on the back - a pleats with a button tab. Cute! The sleeves are another fine point, at a 3/4 length and cuffed. Very charming and "finished".

Now, this is definitely a larger size, a rare thing in such pretty vintage frocks. The bust fits up to a 42-44, the waist up to 37, and the hips of course are full. More in-detail measurements are available on the auction page. The bidding starts at just $5.50, with very reasonable shipping prices too. Auction ends next Tuesday, March 25.

Next up is another cotton dress, this one from the 1940s, in a lively daisy print - perfect for a Preakness outing to Pimlico, perhaps? The buttons and belt are original and covered in matching fabric, and there's very sweet velveteen ribbon detailing on the sleeves and collar (in fact, on the collar, the ribbon is finished off with a pretty little daisy applique).

The sizing on this dress is a little oddballish: a bust of 40, but 30 waist. Still, it would be a delightful addition to your wardrobe for this year, and a bust adjustment shouldn't be too difficult. Bidding starts at $10, and the auction ends Sunday.


Grape-a-licious Vintage Apron

Check out this cheerful and sweet vintage apron
at Joyful Abode. I'm in one of those odd stages, one in which things lilac and violet hold a strong attraction over me...much like last year's turquoise and red phase. (Consider yourself warned.) Let's put it this way: of the three unpainted rooms in the home, the smallest one is in danger of being forever hated by my husband because someone is thinking it might look really nice in a pale, neutral shade of lilac. My girlfriends should love it, though...

Regardless, I think lilac and its sister shades make us think happy, vibrant, springy thoughts. If I recall, Mozart or Bach felt the colour was conducive to clear thinking and worked in a lilac-painted room. It's hard to deny the sprightly, airy nature of lilac; why wouldn't we want it in our kitchens? This pretty apron is perfect for serving up Easter brunch, baking cupcakes, or whipping up the first lemonade of the season (it can never be too soon for that). It would also make a wonderful Mother's Day gift. $26.

There are roughly a dozen other vintage aprons at Joyful Abode, as well as darling handsewn and hand-embroidered baby blankets (so cute!), zipper pouches, and a few other surprises. Enjoy your shopping!


St. Pat's Pretty

Believe it or not, despite my being an O'Hara (no, really, I am: Mom's side), the fact that it was St. Patrick's completely passed me by until about noon. It's been that kind of life lately! Of course, as I never have been someone big on drinking heavily, perhaps it's a small wonder that I wasn't quite conscious of the fact.

I find it interesting that St. Patrick, like King David, was a shepherd. Of course, for St. Patrick, it was part of his enslavement, whereas David did so for his father. Moses is another famous shepherd, and of course Jesus is referred to as as Shepherd as well. Like Moses and David, it turned out that Patrick's years as a shepherd were those which prepared him for future service; they allowed him to learn fluent Celtic, the language with which he preached the great message of grace and redemption to Ireland. His time in slavery also doubtless enabled him to withstand the opposition (often quite lethal!) and other difficulties he'd have to overcome in bringing those glad tidings to the Emerald Isle. Funny how God works through even what we see as the worst of things if we are pliable, isn't it?

In honour of the day, I'm bringing you one orange thing and one green one, both from VerreEncore. Both pieces are made of vitreous enamel and fired in her kiln at fifteen hundred degrees. That'll cook up your Easter ham in a hurry (anyone else think it's rather amusing that many of us eat a form of pig on Easter? Was that some sort of cheeky rebellion?). Each pendant is set on a sterling silver jump ring; you can purchase an inexpensive chain for your pendant from VerreEncore or, of course, use your own.

I must say that despite my "crazy Pentecostal Protestant" roots, the Simple and Sweet green pendant is my favourite of the two. It's got to be the pretty shape, reminiscent of a flower (and I just love green). Still, the orange Moshi Moshi pendant is pretty, too, and a little more feminine with the flower motif. This one comes on its own nylon-coated stainless steel cable. $30 and $36, respectively.

There's a new episode of Good Eats on tonight, finally, so I'm going to curl up on the sofa with some hot tea and enjoy. Alton always makes us laugh.


Fun Friday: Robin Week Roundup

Well, unofficial robin week draws to a close 'round here, despite the four or five gigantic robins I saw today. How do they get so pudgy? They all come back looking like feathered Porky Pigs. Amazing!

Just a few little items today featuring those very welcome harbringers of balmier weather.

First we have this very lovely, very pretty robin stamp pendant in a sterling silver frame. It's set behind glass, so the beautiful artwork will be protected. It's on a bail, so all you need to do is slip it over the cord or chain of your choice (plenty of which are available on Etsy). From Kelli Belli Beads. The artist is donating 50% — half! — of her sales to Avon's Walk for the Cure fund from now to July 12th of this year to help her participate in the 39-mile walk this summer. Not only do you get a beautiful piece of jewelry, part of your money is going to a really good cause.

Now, I generally don't feature kid stuff or home stuff, but these two items were just so cute they couldn't be passed up. First is this Bobbin the Robin hair clip from mimisayshi. Just $5, this little hair clip features a darling, pudgy, handmade little robin. It's perfect for keeping your tyke's hair out of her face, or even your own! Hey, why not? It's a two-inch clip, so it may well work for grownups just fine.

Finally, a piece of artwork. It's a little crazy, but were you to see my Etsy favourites, most of them happen to be pieces of artwork. This is crazy because a) I'm a visual artist myself, hello, with tons of my own artwork and b) we've got exactly 0 (zero) pictures hanging on our walls despite having lived in the house for 6 months now. Pathetic. I'm the woman who
always had her artwork up very soon after moving in to a new place...not this time (it could be the hard-to-get-through plaster walls though...). We tried putting artwork up last week, but didn't get too far. Yet.

Anyhow, this piece, too, has been added to my favourites on Etsy. It's a very small piece of art, just 3.5 x 3.5, but very cheery and whimsical. A collage work, it's just $6 and from the creative mind of Sassy Bella Melange. She has many bird-related artworks (I LOVE birds, and were it not for lamentably poor mathematics skills, I'd be an avian vet) as well as other wonderful, lovely, and charming pieces.

So, that's robin week 2008, inspired by the bright-eyed birds flitting about our neighborhood and especially in our oak tree (already!). Have a wonderful weekend.

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Standing out in the crowd

Perhaps this robin is undercover? If so, he may find his cover has been blown soon. Regardless, this hand-drawn brooch featuring one robin amongst martins is very cute and fun. Just $5, it would look terrific pinned to your handbag, tote, or jacket.

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Bottlecap Robin (plus a scoop on great vintage dresses)

The robin illustration on this bottlecap bracelet is so pretty and winsome, isn't it? It appears to be another British robin, but regardless, just looking at him makes me smile. Originally from a vintage fruit crate label, he's now perched on a bottlecap suspended between the ends of a chrome ball chain. There's definitely a retro flair to this piece, and it seems to me that it's perfect for the spring and summer. Just $12.99 from Curly-Cue Design, as shop full of delicious little vintage treats.

I also consider it incumbent upon me to notify you that one of my favourite eBay sellers has oodles of beautiful, sweet, springy vintage dresses at auction right now, and all of them are in larger sizes. Let's see...there's this in the cute print with the ladylike scoopneck, slightly flared hem, and wholly feminine but chic look; the white linen shirtwaist dress that would be perfect with any colour belt under the rainbow; a beautiful soft, buttery yellow dress with delightful shoulder detailing; and of course this almost irresistible blue cotton voile dress. All start at just $10, so be sure to check them and the rest of the frocks in the shop out ASAP!

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Robins of Spring
It must be the changing weather (60 one day, a windchill of 10 and blizzard the next) in addition to the stress that led me to get a nice little case of bronchitis, which in combination with the fact that the Mac was in the 'shop' meant I had no computer or post last night. I guess I'll just say that things may be sporadic here for a little bit still.

Many of you are pet people and have lost a furry kid before, and you probably understand...it's tough. Fortunately, I've had lots of support from family, especially Mom and of course Hubby. What has been strange is that close friends are kind of...cold, I guess, abrupt about the whole thing when it comes up, as it often does still...today being just one month since losing our precious little furball. I presume that maybe these dear friends just don't know how to deal with the pain and grief I'm going through or it reminds them of similarly sad times in their lives, and while it can be a little hurtful to be shut down, I'm not going to press the issue or be mad, since God only knows what they are dealing with. Fortunately, folks who are practically strangers have come through with lengthy letters and remarks of encouragement...so it all balances out.

His urn arrived yesterday. We'd planned to bury him in the garden, planting beautiful blue flowers reminiscent of his eyes over him, but the weather has not cooperated. The urn is very elegant, though, and Hubby and I are quite sure Remington would wholly approve. We still miss him like crazy, though. We pick Remmy up Thursday. *sigh* If I don't post that night...you'll know why.

So, that's why things have been odd 'round here lately. I really am trying to get back into the groove, though it's kind of peculiar; I'd finally, finally gotten into a grove with work and business only to have it shattered with the loss of Remmy.

Anyhow, on a walk today I saw my first robin of the year. At last! Spring can't be far behind, particularly since this was one gigantic robin (so much so that I at first thought he was a raven). So why not feature robin treats? They seem to cheer everyone up, particularly during these ides of March.

How about this charming silver robin ring? No matter what the calendar says, you'll have a cheery reminder of spring's feathered harbringer. It's an English robin, and with no offense meant to our American variety, I've always thought the Brit ones were delightfully pudgy and cute. (Today's robin was pudgy, too, but in a Goliath sort of way.) I just want to grab one and cuddle it.

The ring is handmade of sterling silver, and while this particular ring is a size 5-3/4 to 6, the artist can make one for you in any size. $65. Be sure to check out the brass robin on a square sterling background ring, too.

Both rings are from Shere Design, a shop of nearly ineffable delights and charms. You'll find many bird-related items here, from snowbirds to owls, all beautifully made with a taste of whimsy and sweetness. I think I'm in like!

Have a great night, everyone.


Fun Friday: Very cute Very Vintage

So sorry I didn't post last night...Not sure what happened, really! Things are still pretty sad around here and a little hectic. What makes it really strange is I actually had an item picked! Go figure.

It is a blessing to have so many people sending kind words of encouragement and love at this time. Years ago, the loss of a pet wasn't understood as well as it is today, where many are single or have no children and find pets a comfort as much as the furballs are a pleasure. We feel fortunate to have so many people who've sent notes and prayers our way.

I hope giving you a handful of fun little trinkets makes up for it. Each of these is from Very Vintage, purveyor of all sorts of things that remind me of the 50s, with the sweet, confection-ish colours and adorable themes.

You'll find everything from food to critters on Very Vintage's barrettes, clips, earrings, necklaces, brooches and other goodies. Everything is cheerful, light, and a wee bit cheeky, not to mention super well-priced. Any one of these pieces would make a great treat for yourself or a friend, and are sure to bring a smile to many a face.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and stay safe to those of you in the parts of the country getting hit with inclement weather. Perhaps this shall be the last such weekend before spring arrives.

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Hurry Up, Spring

At least it's March, right? Not only did I lose someone most dearly loved in February, one of my heroes passed away, too, just last week; February shall henceforth be The Most Hateful Month to me.

The calendar change made me cry, turning the page to a month void of our little darling. It's obviously a struggle right now to see the good in things, because even remembering the good things makes me burst into tears right now. Rem always loved the advent of warmer weather, since it meant the windows were thrown open; he'd perch on the sills, excitedly watching the birds and bugs flitting around outside. He especially liked the house, of course, with the gigantic, bird-attracting oak tree in the backyard. So...warmer weather is both good and bad right now, as it reminds me of what is missing. Very difficult. Still, I try to thank God for the time we did have with Rem and the blessing he was in our lives, especially mine.

Here we are at last; despite the tough winter we've had, we actually are closer to spring, and the impending sunshine, expected to reappear within the next 60 days or so, will be marvellous for everyone. The grey and cold can really get to one, can't it?

That's why it was a true relief to see this bright, cheerful vintage dress from FemminaStyle Vintage. The pinks in the pattern make this really sweet eye candy, don't you think? It's a 60s dress, poly-rayon, and would fit a large with measurements of 37-36-41. If you simply just cannot wait to don the frock, toss a sweater over it and hit the road! Just $28.50, and FemminaStyle is offering free shipping on orders over $50 right now. Shop away!


Two marvellous dresses
In wearable sizes and at fantastic prices, no less. What did we do before eBay?

There is a caveat, though; both auctions end late (late!) tomorrow. Decide now or forever hold your regrets if you like either of these cute dresses.

First up is this 50s crepe party or cocktail dress in a fabulous retro floral paisley print (of course, back in the 50s, this print was quite nowtro). In addition to the delightful print, the collar and comfortable 3/4 sleeves are classic and fabulous. Any wearer of this charmer will be the best-dressed lady at the soiree, don't you think?

It's a large, with measurements of 42-33-free hips. Of the two frocks, this has thus far garnered the most attention, with the price going from $4.14 when I first saw it this morning to its press-time price of $27.65. Still, it's more than worth the fight, isn't it?

Next up is this simple, feminine A-line dress, another 50s piece. There's an interesting little bow detail on the front I'll admit to not being crazy about, but my suspicion is that it can be easily removed for a cleaner look. The fluttery little sleeves are very sweet and pretty. 34-36-free hips, with the bidding starting at 99 cents. No, that's not a typo.

Remember, both auctions end tomorrow night.

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Something really different

There is a plethora of brooches and pins from indie artists of all shapes, designs, styles, and colours. Definitely something for everyone! But oftentimes something especially sweet or pretty or unique pops up, and this hand-embroidered silk brooch from Contemporary Stitches is just one of those treats. It almost looks like a tasty confection, doesn't it? One almost expects to see a tray of them at a tony bakery to celebrate the advent of spring.

As it is, though, this is a calorie-free but still long-lasting little treat. The 4x4cm round brooch has been beautifully embroidered with light, airy, springy colours perfect for perking us all up in these final, dreary days of winter. Not only is this perfect for pinning to your clothing, it would also look quite charming tacked onto a cloth headband.

Just $12, and the selection at this shop is quite nice. Her work truly is beautiful and worth looking at for its own sake alone.