Well, I seem to have somehow contracted the flu. Even so, though, you can check out the end-of-summer (*sob*) sale at Femmina Style and Shade,  clearance at Christa-Taylor, or the new fall duds at Funky Frum?

And watch out for the flu.

In August!

So uncool.


Ah, yes, wooden jewelry, one of my very favourite things. If there is something wearable composed in or featuring wood, I'm there. The natural beauty is, of course, undeniable, but I really seem to find something peaceful, relaxing, and grounding about it.

Additionally, wood seems to go with everything for some reason. Go figure!

Regardless of my reasons for so enjoying wooden jewelry, though, we can't deny that Lala B.'s designs are beautiful, graceful, and charming. Formerly featured only in Hawaiian boutiques, through the wonder of the internet, we can all snag a pair of our very own, or perhaps for a friend.

Lala B. earrings are made from salvaged pieces of wood from artist Julie's husband's instrument-making business; he constructs guitars and ukeleles.  It's a family affair: Lala B. is named after the couple's daughter; Julie designs, assembles, and sands the earrings; Julie's husband sprays the finish onto each earring. 

Earrings are available with either sterling silver or gold-filled hooks; each is made of native Hawaiian Koa hardwood. The grain and colours of this wood really are beautiful. Julie sets
many of her pieces most beautifully by accenting the wood with beads, wire, tiny rhinestones, pearls, and other lovely things. Never outlandish, each pair of earrings is sophisticated and lovely. Some are sheer elegance, while others are more fun and whimsical, but there's no denying that the work is winningly pretty.

Each pair of earrings is handmade, and the range of prices is extremely reasonable: $15-$30.


Friday Extra

I know this is supposed to be fun Friday, but I saw these two perfectly lovely dresses on eBay, noted they were in difficult-to-find larger sizes...they had to be shared.

First up is this remarkable lavender dress that simply must have a fascinating history behind it. Purchased at a Hollywood studio auction, this linen-rayon beauty has embroidery along the topside of each sleeve and right up the back. Beautiful! I've seen nothing like this, but can just imagine Mitzi Gaynor or Donna Reed or even Marilyn decked out in it. Don't you just wonder for whom it was originally purchased, and why it wasn't used? Hmmm...

The exceptionally interesting embroidery aside, this frock is flatteringly cut, with cuffed sleeves, a pretty (but modest) V-neck collar, and an A-line skirt. The belt is included, as are the union-made labels.

If it were closer to my size, it would be mine. As it is, though, the dress, which appears to have never been worn, is a 38/40-34-44.  Bidding starts at $25 (there is a reserve) and the auction ends Sunday. This is definitely one worth having...it's marvellous.

 Also seen is this moire taffeta dress from the 40s. Again: fabulous cut, a stand-up collar, and really a really unique drape on the pockets. Though there are a couple of missing buttons and a few spots of sun-fading, I think these can be pretty easily remedied. 42-33-44, and bidding begins at $9.99.

Happy bidding, and have a wonderful weekend.


Just Your Size Retro!
If y'all wouldn't mind praying for my family, I'd appreciate it. My grandfather suffered a very (very) mild stroke Saturday and is still in the hospital due to an infection. The doctors seem to think he'll be fine, and he'd regained some use of his arm and hands by that very evening, and was speaking lucidly just hours later, but...still. We'd appreciate your prayers just the same! Thanks.

Now, August or not, the nights are getting cool...very cool. Downright chilly, in fact. So it's wise to keep a cardigan or three around for evening excursions of simply sitting on the porch watching the world go by (or wandering around the yard while munching on a peach and stargazing, like I do). For some reason, though, simple cardigans that still have personality can be hard to find. It's either Christmas Horror Hell or bland, bland, bland fitless sacks of knit silk and cotton.

Thankfully, Heavy Threads has a solution: cotton knit cardigans with retro embroidery bedecking them. This black atomic cardigan really does look like something straight out of the 50s, doesn't it (also available in dark grey and several other colours)? The starburst pattern was created as a wearable homage to the fabulous 1950s Franciscan dishes starburst pattern. Delightful! 

Wearable with just about everything from jeans to skirts and camis to daydresses, the cardigans are custom-made and come in sizes extra small to XXL. $42, hand-embroidered right here in the USA! No way can even Target match this coolness.

If you want something a little more girly, don't be afraid to try one of the bubblegum pink cardigans with a single, large starburst. Very cool, very retro, very adorable, and just $40.

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Fun Friday: 30s Chic
Oh, this is simply adorable, isn't it? Hand-crocheted, this cloche-style hat definitely has a 30s feel to it, and the styles of that era are supposed to be big again this fall (if you care about trends; I generally don't).  The colours are delightful, but really, this is just plain fun, not to mention a smart way to keep your head warm this fall and winter. Can't you picture Jean Arthur or Greta Garbo donning one of these?

Soft and snuggly, handmade in the USA, for just $14 by All Ways In Bloom

Have a lovely weekend!

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Adorable dress from Delia's
Though I do prefer to feature indie stuff, sometimes there is no resisting mass-made apparel. For one thing, there are a lot more modest items available mass-market than there are in the indie market (speaking of, there's a thread on the Etsy forums where someone asked what people would like to see more of on Etsy, and "modest clothing" was mentioned several times; designers, take note!).   Additionally, mass market means more of the item, whereas on Etsy, often there are only a handful of them. That can be nice, of course, but only if it's in your size, colour, and you get there first, right? And to tell the truth, the size range on Etsy tends to be child through fourteen year-old a little too much of the time (not that you should stop looking, because there are some great designers making normally-sized clothing).

Anyhow, tonight's dress is from Delia's, a company I admittedly tend to associate with a sort of grungy college look; not really my style. Still, I somehow received a promotional email the other night, and I thought this was just the cutest thing. The kinda-square neckline, of course, is definitely something that will catch my eye, but the whole dress is very feminine and sweet. It's a bit short for my own wearing, but I have very white, Irish legs, and it really wouldn't be difficult at all to add a longer ruffle at the bottom to either replace or double-ruffle to lengthen this darling dress.

The Alyssa dress is made of swiss dot cotton (I think), and features buttons up the front and those delightful ruffles. The cap sleeves make this a perfect go-to for fall and spring, even the chillier days; just bring a sweater along. There's a tie at the waist for a better fit, and the dress comes in dark blue and classic black (personally, I'd go for the blue, but that's me). 

$44.50, and in sizes 00 to 13/14; Delia's size chart is here, and it's relatively forgiving. This dress, on the other hand, needn't be forgiving, because with its classic A-line skirt, fitted bodice, cap sleeves, and those ruffles I keep coming back to, it's going to play up all of your best features without revealing anything that oughtn't be. Pretty, ladylike, and modest...just what we like to see!


Taking a sick day...
...Ladies (and any gents), I'm sorry, but some evil critter is coming at me with all guns blazing. No post tonight, since I really ought to be taking it easy and still have work-work to do. But you know how to respond...just meander over to Etsy and see what is going on!

Fun Friday: Whimsy from Lori Delisle
Friday at last! First of all, I want to alert those of you who live near the Lincoln Highway that tomorrow is the final day of the High-Way Buy-Way, which spreads across the Lincoln Highway (primarily in WV, OH, and IN, though) from sea to shining sea. Really, I'll have to let you all know well in advance next year, because rumor has it there's a lot of vintage beads and jewelry to be found along this sort of nationwide yard sale. Anyhow, we're heading out tomorrow...if we had a bigger car, we'd take Ben with us and stay out all day!

With that out of the way, let's head to the cute. This Provision ring, from Lori at Delisle Designs, is just so cheerful and hopeful, isn't it? Made of turquoise and silver, it is appropriately named; Lori's inspiration is one of my very favourite verses: Matthew 6:26.

"Look at the birds of the air, for the neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

Such a humbling and comforting reminder of God's care for us in all things. The ring itself features a pretty little bird safely ensconced in its nest atop precious eggs. $18, the ring is sized especially for you. A matching key ring, bracelet, and hair sticks are available as well. Whether you like it because of the meaning or just because it's pretty, it would be hard to glance at it, knowing the inspiration, without recalling God's word that He will always care for us because we are worth so much more to Him than the sparrows, for whom He provides everything.

In addition to fanciful but meaningful treats like the Provision ring, you'll also find extremely elegant, beautiful jewelry at Lori's shop as well. I must admit that the Rose of Sharon bracelet and the very lovely matching ring caught my eye, with the sterling silver, coral, and jade (also: red, hello). They make me think of representative jewelry from the 20s and 30s, never a bad thing. You'll also find the cheery mother-of-pearl Go-Go bracelet and Living Water ring, which features a dyed freshwater pearl set in a swirl of silver.

Very beautiful things...I could go on and on. The Salt of the Earth collection is beautiful as well, but you'll just have to visit the stop to find it for yourself. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Beautiful, From Turkey

Wow. Popping onto Etsy this evening, I was greeted by this beautiful ring and simply had to see more. My click-through was well-rewarded; Star of the East has some beautiful, exotic, borderline glorious jewelry. 

The $59 ring, for example is made from a sea urchin found on the seashore. Yes, you read that right: a sea urchin. After being collected, it was cleaned, filled with polyurethane foam, covered with epoxy for protection, and then...well, decorated. And well-decorated, too. Silver thread and a rhinestone were added before the unique cabachon was set onto a detailed, handmade sterling silver ring. Spectac-u-rama! Isn't it gorgeous? Elegant? And oh-so-different.  Coordinating earrings are also available for $37.

Several more sea urchin and seashell rings are available at a broad range of prices (roughly $30-$60). I know that is a wee bit on the pricey side, but for what you are getting...no. It's worth it. Talk about Creation at your fingertips!  There are also some delightfully charming rings, like this one that reminds me of a garden. This mother-daughter team is coming up with some spectacular stuff!

Star of the East has so many beautiful things...it's going to take a while to thoroughly peruse and enjoy the shop. It's one of those where just window-shopping is an experience well worth taking the time for. Also be sure to check out their blog, where a giveaway is going on, their supplies shop, and their more eclectic Gifts & Stars shop.

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Elegance for your Monday
Though you know I won't be a fan of a long-sleeved top in August (or June, or July, or even most of September), this aqua and brown skirt from Taqwa Iman is just about as irresistible as a fancy chocolate. The Batik-style print is fun and cheerful, but the simple A-line of the skirt with its hidden zipper is marvellously elegant and sophisticated. 

Certainly you could wear it to work or church, but I think this beauty offers many other possibilities, especially when paired with a beautiful pair of shoes (perhaps these; keep it simple, because of the intricate print) and a lovely fitted top. On sale for $37.99!

If you're not into aqua and chocolate (!!!), the skirt does come in several other colours: black and white, chocolate and sage, and pink and black. Very pretty, very simple...and that's what makes it so perfect.

Have a wonderful night!


Fun Friday: Felted Hair

Oh, okay, okay, not really, but it's felted stuff for your hair. From Project 31 Studio come these almost snuggle-able, colourful, and very elegant (particularly for felt) hairclips. Topped with filigree buttons, this orange one makes me think of a fun night at the carnival or state fair.  The second one, in lime green with a filigree and rhinestone button, is just plain fun.

Both are handmade, and the bases of your hair blossoms are needle-felted wool. Artist Yu-Ting Feng, a New York based artist, wife, and mom, also has a fun triangle-shaped clip with a tiny flower embedded into the felt available for those who'd rather not get too flowered out (for days on which you have a big meeting, you know?). Tonight's featured clips range from $10 to $12, and you'll also find felted jewelry boasting cameos, eggs, and other pretty designs in her Etsy shop.

I also like her reason for naming her shop "Project 31":

I have always been interested in arts and crafts and have been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that as a hobby. Never really thought about marketing and selling my art since it was so hard for me to part with them and the timing just never seemed right. But when I read Proverbs 31:10-31 and challenged myself to think and pray about this passage, I realized that I can do what the “excellent wife” in that passage did - make things with her hands and sell them - all in honor of the LORD. All of a sudden it made sense for me to start a business and make it my "project" to put Proverbs 31:10-31 into action and update it for the current generation.
Not only that, but I think Yu-Ting is being a fantastic example of the Proverbs 31 woman by using her God-given gifts to His glory and to bless others.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend! 

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