Shades of Katie Scarlett...

There's something about curtains that women find irresistible...on the walls or under the needle of a sewing machine, being re-formed into clothing, handbags, and other assorted things. This handmade skirt has a long, proud heritage of sisterhood with fellow re-purposed curtians. It looks so soft, drapey, and feminine...the flowers lovely, but not too fussy. It can be worn as seen, with a camisole, or be topped off with a soft sweater or fitted blouse. 

This is one of those things we can simply call 'pretty', because that is what it is. One of a kind, it's just $15; as a wrap, it will fit a waist from 27-34". 

Handmade and offered by Dragonfly Designs.  The shop offers a variety of things, but most of all I'm quite clear with the number of apparel items that are attractive yet modest - not all of them, but many. In addition to skirts, you'll find several tops and even a couple of dresses.


Fun Friday: Do you love to fly?

If you do, it'll definitely show when you put on this fun and semi-kitschy (in a good way) necklace from the wonderful, mind-candy shop that is little egret. $35, it's handmade and suspended from a string of pretty turquoise beads. It's definitely a great way to add some fun to your day, and if nothing else, is a reminder that somewhere there are pretty beaches, wooded mountainsides overlooking breathtaking valleys, quiet woodlands, or Grandma's back porch and a pitcher of lemonade waiting just for you. A very fun piece.

In addition to the plane necklace, there are similar pieces, mostly featuring critters, all handmade and $35 each:

So sweet and pretty, don't you think? They're sure to make many smiles grace the day.

In addition to fun pieces like those featured, though, little egret also offers dozens of truly lovely, elegant pieces of jewelry suitable for the dressiest of occasions, or even a gift for a bride-to-be or dear friend. There's this sublime daisy necklace featuring pearls and a blossom; the intriguing lavender garden necklace; and one of my favourites, the colourful yet sophisticated Anadem necklace.

It's terrific to see artists who create beautiful work, but have real fun with it as well, and aren't afraid to do things others may consider goofy or silly; those risks pay off all to often, don't they?

Have a marvellous weekend!

Labels: ,

Weekly photo: new family member!
No, I didn't forget...it's been a little wild around here...!

A couple of months ago...

Enjoy large.

...we fostered a little black kitty. She was in dire need of a safe place to stay for a few days before going to her forever home, so we took the little black furball in.

At first, she and Ben didn't get along, but a day or so before she went to her new home, she and Ben were sleeping on the floor together, the little black kitty leaning up against Ben's tummy.

When she left, Ben was actually a bit mopey. Of course, I understood, and promised Ben we'd get him a kitty of his own someday, but Mommy wasn't ready.

Well, you know I've been helping out at the local animal welfare league. I had to run up there last weekend to get some paperwork, and while there, of course there was no way to resist cuddling all of these kitties needing homes (someone has to do that dirty work, y'all).

Kitty after kitty, cage after cage, sharing a little love to tide them over...and then I picked up this tiny little kitten and...well, let's just say he picked me, as Gossamer predicted would happen.

Honestly, I wanted a girl, after what happened to our dear Rem (and still would like a girl). This kitty, who we've christened "Buckley", is joyfully energetic, nosy, playful, and extremely silly. It was a big shock, but I just knew he was the right kitty for us right now.

In a way, it's good his personality is so different than Rem's. Not sure I could handle one so like my true heart forever kitty at this point...

Best of all, Ben and Buckley (no more B's, Buckley just "fit" despite the list of other names we tried for him, trust me!) get along famously. They play together and beg together (no, really); Ben gives Buckley baths after meals (it's hilarious), and they curl up with each other for naps (and a respite I welcome, to tell the truth).

Buckley likes getting pats from Hubby and I, but...he really is Ben's cat! We get the words of our mouth, eh? Buckley runs out of his 'room' to find Ben almost as soon as we open the door, and after nose-to-nose "good mornings", THEN he visits with me or Hubby. It's quite funny and very wonderful; they've become buddies. It's perfectly fine, though; Ben is my buddy, and we're just tickled that these two babies get along so wonderfully.

Interestingly, Ben has gotten notably more protective of the household since the arrival of Buckley. As my mom said...he has a real job now, other than looking really, really cute and sweet. Of course, collies are quite protective of their own, something that belies those precious collie faces and strikes fear into anyone dumb enough to actually mess with a collie's "people" (believe me on that one; I remember our childhood collie, Lad, and the way he'd go from gentle and lamblike to eyetooth-baringly vicious when someone appeared to threaten my sister or myself).

Also, if you've never seen a 50-pound collie play with a three-ounce kitten, you are really missing out.

So, this is Buckley and his big brother Ben. And yes, they've already coordinated a few "incidents" together.

Little girl kitty to arrive, God willing, someday later. Nevertheless, it's so nice having another feline in the house! Rem was super-special but there is something about the cat, isn't there? It's nice, being able to scoop up something soft and furry and cuddle it again.

Buckley does everything at warp speed, so it's hard to get pictures of him. Soon, soon. :)


This mod's for you

What a fun top! A semi-convertible, this soft tricot tee can be worn either sleeveless or as a cap-sleeved tee. In addition to the fun mod print (if you think it's too wild for work, which I doubt, just throw a jacket over it), the neckline is highlighted with three sweet flowered beads. It's longer, too, and probably hits right about the hip area - but is cut long enough that it doesn't broaden them, just hangs down that low.

The base is white, but it's not see-through, so your sense of style, never mind your modesty, are preserved. A medium/large, it's just $28 and entirely handmade by The Screaming Needle.

In addition to other tops and apparel, you'll also find bags, brooches, art, and accessories like this earthy brooch. Screaming Needle is a wholly wonderful little shop, with very interesting and pretty little items.


Pretty is as pretty does

A friend sent me a link to Bellissima! Modesty Boutique. She'd met the designers at a homeschool conference, if I recall, and was very impressed with their work and their mission. And let's face it: sometimes, a great mission can be obscured by not-so-great work or production. Thankfully, Bellissima! gets things right on both counts, in graceful and fun fashion. Owners and designers Marianna and Michelle have terrific taste and style with a flair for funkiness (in a good way, of course). They also understand that not everyone is a size 2 or willing to starve herself to attain that "status", and they've got a wonderfully wide range of sizes that don't make a 100-pound 5' tall woman go..."I'm an 'extra large'?" Even shipping is free! How fabulous is that?

I have to say I think my favourite items currently in the shop are the skirts. Though I am actually a decent sewer, I have to say it's discouraging to come to the end of the project and not be able to wear anything because I need help pinning up the hem into a straight line (scoliosis + curvaceous hourglass figure = help is a MUST when pinning that hem). There are a handful of 99% finished items hanging in the studio closet, just waiting for a hem to be finished. *sigh* So...why not buy someone else's already-hemmed skirt, right?

(Time to ply a neighbor with homebaked goodies, isn't it?)

Especially pretty are the three skirts shown here tonight. All are poly/rayon, except the red and green one, which is poly/Spandex (but obviously not THAT amount of Spandex, if you get my drift, 1987). They're simple and clean-lined, giving you a streamlined and slender look while still being modest and very pretty. The waistbands are stretchy for an easy fit, and they also allow you to change the length of your skirt a bit; that's something that would definitely come in handy when I'm on a shoot, and it's a terrific idea. The material is lightweight and flowy, ideal for summer (just don't forget your slip).

Amazingly, these skirts are just $16.99. $16.99 Wow!

I also feel it is incumbent upon me to direct you to this elegant pleated skirt in floaty golden fabric, perfect for a big evening out (or in...it's the time of year for both fun and sophisticated backyard parties, isn't it?). It, too, is offered at the ridiculously good price of $17.99. You'll also find ruffle-edged, denim, and other skirts. There's a nice selection of tops, adorable jackets, and other goodies. Everything is reasonably priced and reasonably sized, too.

Shown are "Dreamsicle", "Geometric Link", and "Red and Green Flower Summer" skirts.


Fun Friday: Anemone Wear
Well, all, I've no idea what to say about tonight's featured goodies from artist Keri Rounding than "Squeee!" and "How charmingly brilliant and delightful!" Her shop overfloweth with anemone-reminiscent rings, hairpins, brooches, and even necklaces. Everything is made from 100% merino wool which has been carefully felted into shapes similar to what you see here. Fun, quirky, unique, and sure to please, her items range from $5 - $20, an excellent price for marvellous work far different from other stuff out there.

Any of these pieces would make a wonderful gift for someone you love or yourself. I think the brooches and hairpins are my favourite, but I look forward to seeing a lot more terrific work from Keri!

Custom orders are more than welcome, and you can see if she'll be live and in-person at a show near you here (Keri, come to Pittsburgh!). She has some art pieces available as well.

Labels: , , ,


Isn't this pretty bag perfect for those hazy summer days? Made with upholstery fabric and curled around bamboo handles, it's big enough to hold everything you need during the day (trust me, it's 14 x 9). Thee pattern on the bag is particularly attractive, and as upholstery yardage, it ought to be quite durable. It's beautiful and classic, but with a fresh twist thanks to the pattern. The colours are wonderfully, subtly retro. Just $34 from Spongetta.


Clogging through Monday

Not many people like Mondays. After a weekend of sleeping in a little bit, relaxing with family and friends, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, it's really hard to have to get up at 5:30 so you can work out, hit the shower, feed all the people and pets, get dressed, and then race to the office through clogged traffic so you can hurry up and wait all day long. About the only thing that makes a lot of Mondays bearable is that hey, at least we can listen to other people's weekend stories and share ours over coffee or tea and maybe the cupcakes or cookies some blessed person brought in (day one is most likely to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon: Monday).

Personally, I've always found that wearing something especially fun and cute on Mondays helps take the edge off the return to drudgery (also, I can't tell you how many times I've wondered what the world would be like if people were actually in jobs they were competent at and enjoyed; wouldn't it be all-around happier?). Whether it's something with a fun print or a funky piece of jewelry, there have always been several cheery, all-season go-to items in my closet for Mondays. Not only does it perk up my mood, if it's especially cute, I guarantee what you're wearing is going to bring smiles and cheer to everyone else, too, something that's always kind to do.

If you ask me, this adorable handmade wooden shoe dress from Femmina Style Vintage is an ideal candidate for any Monday. The bright, unashamed green; the simple and flattering kinda-square neckline and a-line skirt; the tiny wooden clogs decorating every inch.

Clogs? Yes! Isn't this adorable!

This dress is cute as-is, but would also look darling with a belt around the waist. 100% cotton, it's going to be very comfortable. The short sleeves mean throwing on a sweater for extra warmth or protection from those occasional summer-storm brought chills. This is probably a medium, with measurements of 36-34-36. Just $26.50 and definitely one-of-a-kind!


Fun Friday: Woodland Critters

Well, my parents are visiting for the weekend. Not only is Dad going the help Hubby build some shelves for the basement and a raised garden for our back yard, Mom is going to help me with the front garden area...and they're bringing their new Golden puppy, Gaelen (his name is Celtic for "tranquil", a state of being which he has not yet reached). Ben is looking forward to meeting his young uncle. ;) I'll be whipping up some tomatillo-sauced enchiladas for supper tomorrow, too. Good times! But that also means that I need to post early tonight, since the fam will be here within a couple of hours and there's still a lot to be done.

Yesterday, these somehow-sophisticated squirrel earrings were featured on Etsy's front page, probably resulting in smitten folks all over the place. Aren't these wonderful? It's terrific to see something as whimsical as a squirrel dressed up with black damask, because it's unexpected and fun. The squirrels are actually clear plastic and hand-drawn (yes, hand-drawn!). The owls are the same, and you can acquire these for a friend or yourself for just $10. From BirdUncaged.

Do have a wonderful weekend!

Labels: ,

Time for cherries and blue skies again...!

What a pretty print on this vintage blouse! Pale blue flowers rest on white square medallions against a cheerful red background. Originally a long-sleeved blouse, it was altered to be short sleeved instead, with very pretty effect (come to think of it, I've a dress which looks weird with long sleeves...). The open pointed collar is chic and modern, and will also allow you to remain a bit cooler than a full button-up would, as if anyone buttons these shirts all the way up during the sweltering days of summer anyhow.

In addition to fixing the sleeves, all of the buttons have been replaced with pale blue ones. Overall, this is very cute! While I'd belt this for a more fitted look, you may want to wear this as-is. It's very cute and would be great for the office, camping (wouldn't you look sweet and adorable bringing the s'mores supplies over with this shirt topping some jeans?), or just hanging out. It's also a great choice for Independence Day, providing the weather's cool enough. The shirt fits a 6-8 and is shown on a size 8 dress form; your best bet may be to write the seller, Green Slate, if you want more specific measurements. This darling top is only $15!

Green Slate salvages materials and clothing and re-purposes or refurbishes them, hence the 'green'. Really, they're upcycling, aren't they? The shop also has a very pretty dress available, as well as several aprons for both cooking and utility work (think gardening, or maybe just chasing the kids around the house). Enjoy your browsing!

Labels: ,

Breezy Cool

Are we all under the same heat wave or what? Wow. Of course, I'm not going to complain, because I just love the heat, particularly after the bitter winter (you know, the one that finally ended a week and a half ago?). Still, it makes sartorial decisions a wee bit frustrating depending upon what one is doing (especially the weekends, at least for me).

Now, as a photographer, I spend a lot of time in positions that could be pretty dangerous for someone who never wears pants, having chosen to stick to skirts for a variety of reasons. So there are quite a few longer skirts in my closet, ready for days I know I'll be shooting (especially when I'm shooting cars, because if you've seen my car shots, you know I really get into it). Modesty is key, so long, breezy skirts are not only protective, so to speak, they can also be very pretty and very comfortable in the right fabrics, especially this time of year.

The line between frump and chic is narrow when it comes to longer skirts, but it's worth seeking out. One example of a cute one is this flowery bohemia skirt from O'So Girly Shoppe. Available in navy and khaki, it looks so swooshy and sweet, doesn't it? Not to mention very comfortable. $40 in semi-customizable sizes. Sorry, adorable dog not included.

Also catching my eye tonight is this lace cotton blouse for just $30. It's fitted for shape and comfort, but not skin-tight. The lace is a lovely, feminine touch without being cloying — or worse, 1980s "kountry" (aieeek!). Obviously darling with jeans, this top would be equally sweet with skirts or dress slacks for work.

These prices are fantastic for handmade goodies, and the O'So Girly Shoppe is full of these pretty things, as well as a brand-new line of tees.

Well, I'm going to see if Hubby wants to dash through the sprinkler (I eschew the A/C as much as possible; having the windows shut makes me feel trapped). Stay cool!

Labels: ,

Belmont 2008 Live coverage
Ah, what the heck. Realtime coverage of today's possibly historic Belmont Stakes.


Fun Friday: Mighty Mighty Red Wings Fun!

Well, my boys won their 11th, yes 11th Stanley Cup Wednesday night, much to the chagrin of our neighbors, 98% of the Pens fans who've spent the last few months mocking me as I took Benedict for walks while wearing my Wings jerseys. Suffice to say this was the only house on the block with screaming cheers emanating from the windows, but fortunately, no one complained.

To celebrate, I could not resist this beyond adorable, beyond cute octopus necklace from boygirlparty. Really, I want it for myself, but will share it with you because...look how cute the cephalopod is! Created from a line drawing by Susie Ghahremani, it has been cast in fine metal, including the suction cups...suction cups with which to hold the Stanley Cup...

On a removable ballchain necklace (so you can place it on a different chain if you so please), it's just $22. For my fellow Wings fans (and general hockey nuts), there's a whole collection of cute octopus things (this print would be SO cute in our still-naked entryway). If you're not so into the Wings, or hockey (!), or octopi, though, boygirlparty is chock-full of splenderiffic cute. I dare you to look and not find SOMETHING you like. Susie's main website is here.

Have a wonderful weekend, and do try to stay cool! Instead of imprisoning yourself with the AC (ugh), why not enjoy a book outside, go to the woods and hike around, or see a drive-in movie? It's going to be in the high 90s all weekend here, and the river makes it quite humid...I'll have to make some limeade tonight so it's chilled for tomorrow. ;)

Labels: ,

Copper Art

On occasion, it's fun (and, I think, important) to feature things that aren't just lovely, but unique and artistic, too. I've found another winner in Lucky Rabbit Designs. Brand-new to Etsy, she's offering very interesting, thought-provoking (and sometimes a bit cheeky) jewelry made of copper, sterling silver, brass, and other metals. There are earrings, necklaces, rings, and bangles in the shop, all quite interesting to peruse. I've plucked four of my favourites to share with you here, but encourage you to go look around.

Featured, from top to bottom, are the eclipse pendant on a chain, the very delicate and pretty silver bloom flower pendant necklace; caged, a fascinating pendant featuring wild creatures peering out of a forest at a caged bird; and the heartbreak ring, which allows you to look into a small hole in the copper dome of the heart to see a crack running through the center.

All available from Lucky Rabbit Designs.

Have a great night!


Perfect Tee

The clean lines combined with the nature-inspired, hand-printed graphic on this sleeveless tee are ideal for the hot, humid days of summer, those which have lately and finally arrived. This top will allow you to stay cool and comfy while remaining covered and pretty to boot. I'd pair it with a twirly, floaty skirt for general run-aboutting, or maybe my long denim skirt for a weekend date with Hubby or meeting the girls. It would look great with just about anything...what a terrific top.

A mere $20, in sizes small, medium, and large. Available in brown and red from Kaching Design. She has all sorts of cute stuff, like this adorable handprinted cat skirt, whimsical and fun canvas prints like "Cloud Kite", an original illustration, and kidlet wear.

My garden is not done (goodness, I've no idea where to start!), but we do have a new walkway. The original was cracked and becoming wobbly, something that made it a bit dangerous in the winter and we could only imagine it getting worse. A quick run to Lowe's (and $100 later...) we have a nice new walkway to the porch.

And the bedroom...totally, finally done painting. Hurray!