Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shop Update - Noir

Black crepe dress, 50s - early 60s, by Howard Wolf.

I love these slippers! If they weren't a size "ultra small" I'd be wearing them as I type this. Daniel Green; with big satin bows on the front. *sigh*

Black earrings with rhinestones; 50s.

Black leather peep toe pumps; 50s.

Black is so classic, so elegant.
I guess that's why I always end up buying more black things than any other color; especially accessories.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hat Collection

My Hat collection was featured on Eva's blog, "Evaelena", as part of her series on collecting.

Here is one photo I didn't send her to use: where my hats live. About 2/3 of my hat collection live in these vintage cardboard hatboxes, and more like it in another room. I fit 3-4 hats per box, depending on the size of the hats. Some of the larger hats with more details require a box all for themselves.


Read Eva's post to see more pics and read the interview.

Thanks, Eva!

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Oscar Night Fave


My favorite look of the 2012 Oscars was Penelope  Cruz's. I love the style (Kind of 50s), the periwinkle color, and her adorable hair style. (Dress was Armani Prive`.)
I also appreciate the fact that she is not scrawny and sick looking like many celebs and movie stars. She has a trim and healthy looking, very womanly figure!

Way to go,  Penelope.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Maud Hundley Needlepoint Handbag

I bought this 1960s Maud Hundley handbag at Goodwill yesterday for a ridiculously cheap price.



This is the perfect mix of two of my greatest loves: embroidery and vintage handbags. The bag is in exquisite condition, and worked in wool. The scenes on each side are of Paris. Notice how the details are worked in petit point ?(super tiny stitches, most often 1/4 the size of the regular stitch required by the canvas or linen you're working on. I have worked a few pieces in petit point and it is not easy. Takes forever, requires a tiny needle, and when I did it, I was working the canvas right up next to my face.) The Eiffel tower is worked in great detail; as are the buildings, people on the sidewalk, and even the tiny street lamps. Wonderful!




I had never heard of Maud Hundley; I guess she is not as well known a handbag designer as, say, Enid Collins. From what I can tell, she is known for custom made embroidered (mostly needlepoint) handbags. When I Google her, all I get is shopping results.

Although I know I can get a pretty penny for this lovely thing, she is staying in my collection of odd and unusually gorgeous handbags for now.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crazy Stuff I Did As A Kid

When I got to work at 8:30 this morning, it was already 70 degrees out; sunny and pure gorgeous. My place of work is a private home perched on a huge hill out in the country; surrounded by cow pastures and the Dan River beyond. There is a red Radio Flyer wagon on the porch, and when I saw it, I had the sudden urge to get in the wagon and go careening down the hill as fast as it would take me.... like I used to do as a kid. That got me thinking about all the crazy, and sometimes dangerous things I did growing up.

I spent my childhood in a rural, farming community of North Carolina; and we did "country" things to amuse ourselves. This was 20 plus years ago.... so my sisters and brothers and I didn't have cell phones and iPads to play games. There was not Facebook and Twitter, and my parents didn't believe in video games. Or TV. We watched movies (on VHS!) but that was it. My parents were old school; and my Mom was a hippie holdover from the 70s, so they believed in the power of imagination and the health benefits of playing outdoors.

In addition to riding our Radio Flyer wagon (gift from Grandma who believed in old fashioned toys like those Radio Flyers from the good ol' days) down hills at insane speeds, and very often crashing in a heap at the bottom (those Radio Flyers didn't have the best steering), we did things like.....

- Roll down the hill over and over until we were dizzy and puked, plus covered in grass and dirt
- Roll down the hill in a rusty metal barrel we dug up in the woods someplace (tetanus, anyone?)
- Ride our bikes across the river to the cornfield and play hide and seek in it's 20 + acres. Plus, we ate the corn, and if you've ever eaten corn meant to be cow feed, you know that it can make you sick sick sick. yeah.
- Ride our horses out in a thunderstorm on purpose; while Mom thought we were at the barn cleaning tack or mucking stalls or something
- Race our horses in John Scott's hayfield, helmet-less
- Swim in the farm pond (The memory makes me cringe. It was like a glorified mud puddle. Both my sister and I got ear infections afterwords. Eeeeeeewww!)
- Swam in the creek while it was flooded and barely made it out. We removed our clothes and tied them together, then tied them to a branch, to give us something to hold onto to get back across to the "home" side. (We swam in the creek fully clothed.) I lost my shorts and walked home in a towel
- Walked up the creek a mile and a half to the huge rock cliff in the creek bend, climbed up 15 or so feet, and leapt off into the murky waters
- Jumped off our friends' boat house roof and  into the lake
 - I snuck up and rode the neighbor's horse bareback, and he bolted for the barn. I fell off and one of his hooves clipped my arm - I made my sister swear not to tell our Mom and Dad and never did it again
- Rode horses on the highway and even raced traffic sometimes
- At the park we'd get on the "big swings", pump as high as we could, and then jump off. Man, when your pockets got stuck on the seats, it was a bad fall. I am surprised none of us broke our necks
- Went sledding late at night after the snow had melted slightly and re-froze, making a slicker surface... for hours we would do crazy sledding stunts with the neighbor kids, very often crashing into things and whacking out heads on solid ice. One night I fell off my sled and hit my head so hard I saw stars. I never told my Mom, and chances are I had a concussion from it. Later in my life, when I had  several serious concussions from horseback riding accidents, I remembered that after hitting my head on the ice, my head felt the exact same way as when I hit my head falling off horses over jumps.

My parents aren't to blame! They didn't know what was going on behind their back. I know that If they knew half of the crazy stuff we were doing out there, they would have stepped in with a "How about let's not do that, ok?"
I also did normal things like play with dolls and decorate doll houses. Plus, my Mom made me learn embroidery and I spent a lot of time doing that; even as a kid. I loved it. And I read books all the time. So I enjoyed craziness - and normalcy. I guess I have been this way my whole life... the best of both worlds.

It was the best way to grow up - I wouldn't trade it for all the electronic stuff kids do today for the world! There is a lot to be said for a good, old fashioned, country raisin'.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend list....

It is such a gorgeous springlike day here in Virginia!

I have an unusual Saturday off..... unfortunately my husband didn't. We can't seem to coordinate time off together these days; with our busy, demanding, and stressful jobs. When he is home, more often than not, I am working. When I am home, he seems to always be working. *sigh*

First thing on my list of things to do today was sleep in. Which I did. Until 9 am. Can't remember the last time I slept so late!

My days off seem to always be filled with all the things I can't get done during the week....

Laundry, dumpster, scour the kitchen sink. (A white porcelain kitchen sink comes with it's tendency to get stained and nasty from kitchen activity and such.)

Wash sheets, clean fridge, stack firewood, visit with the neighbor who drops by to say "hey" and comment on the lovely weather.

Feed chickens, collect eggs, feed the goat, answer Etsy convos, and pack orders to go out on Monday. No, wait -  Tuesday! Monday is President's Day - a Federal Holiday, no mail. 

Throw a stick for Dodge for a few minutes.... he has sooo much energy!

 Make calls about purchasing some hay for the horses; plan dinner, make a grocery list - not that I am going to make it to the store today.

Put away, put away, put away..... so much stuff piles up during the week that just need "putting away"!

BLT wraps and orange frosting on fudge brownies for lunch. (My weekends are for splurging a little when it comes to food.)

The Metropolitan Opera on the classical radio station at 1 PM - Rossini's "Barber Of Seville"!
*Edit: earlier I said it was Mozart - because I had my Barber Of Seville and Marriage of Figaro mixed up. Tee hee*

Catch up on Facebook, email, Pinterest, and blog reading. And writing this. :)

Meeting the hay seller at 3:30 and then hauling the hay back to the horse barn. Then I have to strip out stalls, feed the horses and blanket them for the night.

At some point I have to run to the feed store to get a load of stall shavings, and horse feed - then re-bed the stalls. Nasty weather is in store for tomorrow, and the horses will have to be stalled for the day.

I am now thinking about scratching my dinner plan (mushroom, spinach and Parmesan risotto with steaks) and thinking about picking up Chinese takeout instead; since this day is quickly becoming too full to think about cooking... plus, I can cook all day tomorrow, since the weather will be nasty, and I will be indoors watching the Downton Abbey special on PBS all afternoon. *Claps hands happily at the thought of it*

I will probably finish my day with laundry folding and crashing on the couch with Kevin, Dodge and various cats, watching some pointless television,  and eating some yummy Broccoli and Chicken stir fry and crab rangoon from the Chinese place down the road; even though I know it's full of sodium - I just don't care. Terrible, isn't it?!  :)

What's in store for your weekend?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012



 I remember the day I first realized I was "different" from other girls in my peer group. I was probably seven or eight years old; and it was a all-girls Sunday School class.
 The teacher asked us all what our favorite flower was. Each girl in the room said "roses" but when she came to me I said "daffodils". The teacher was surprised, and some of the girls in the room made sideways glances at me.

I also remember one time, at about the same age, in late spring or early summer, and I was playing in my room with my dolls. I hear the lawn mower in the front yard and ran to the window in time to see my Dad mow off the thick daffodil border my mom has there. Of course the daffodils were done blooming by this point, and the leaves were turning brown and dying away. I ran, crying, to my Mom - who explained to me that they needed to go ahead and be mowed off; and they would come again next spring. I had been thinking that mowing off the leaves killed them; and how could Dad do that?!

To this day, some of my favorite flowers are Daffodils - the first blooms of springtime. The first bit of growth in the frozen brown landscape. The very first sign of Spring.

The daffodils came early - almost 3 weeks early - this year. We've had an unusually mild and warm winter, with very few days getting to the freezing mark or anywhere near it. The daffodils started poking up in the flower beds and yard in mid January.


I am lucky - because our farm has a very old home site, with the house burned up and the remains buried in a hole in the ground - but all the old flower plantings still bloom - mostly iris and three or four different varieties of daffodils. I pick them by the bucket in the springtime. 


 Some people call them buttercups - but to me, buttercups are the weedy little yellow flowers that grow in the fields in the summer, that my Grandma used to pick and then hold under my chin - "Do you love butter?" she'd tease. She said if my chin reflected  yellow when she held the flower there, I "loved butter". Taking after her, one day I held a buttercup under her dog's - and Irish Setter's -  chin to see if she liked butter. She didn't. :)

I firmly believed everything my Grandmother told me; including when she gave me a conch sea shell and taught me to hold it to my ear - "to hear the ocean". She went to her beach home in Florida for the winter, and when I missed her, I listened to the shell and thought of Grandma on the beach, collecting the shells, driftwood, and sea glass she brought back every spring when she returned to North Carolina.

I didn't mean to get all sentimental about my Grandmother in this post - really I didn't.

I just wanted to say I love Daffodils..... and can't wait for Spring!

Oh yeah - Happy Valentine's Day!

(All the photos in this post are mine.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Winner!

I had to re-draw for a winner in the Valentine's Day Giveaway...........

 congratulations, Elisa from Herb Of Grace!

 Thanks again to everyone who participated.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kiss Pies.

I saw this on Pinterest and had to try it.

Pie crust + Hershey Kisses



 Except I didn't have Hershey Kisses; I had Dove chocolates. So I used those, and it turned out just as good. I made my own pie crust, but you could use refrigerated just as well. I used a 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut out my rounds. Also, make sure you wet the edges before you pinch them together. Bake for maybe 10 min. at 350.


Also: I never heard from the original winner of the Valentine's Day giveaway of this necklace (Melody), so I will be drawing another winner on Saturday Feb. 4! If you'd like a last minute entry, please add your name in today. (I never knew "giveaways" could be so complicated!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shop Update: Browns

I know brown is not exactly a Valentine's season color, but I added some new cute stuff to the shop in brown recently and wanted to share.

 Plus, due to another work emergency, I have not had time to do any of the romantic cutesy stuff I had  planned on blogging about for the week leading up to Valentine's day, so......

 I bought this a year ago from Dandelion Vintage. I replaced the zipper, and then planned on selling it; but every time I get ready to list it I can't .... a 60s textured wool wiggle dress that probably had a matching jacket with it at one time, now missing. Very Joan Holloway.

 This hat is NOS - new old stock. It still has the original tags on it! Brown and black tulle woven around turban style, with a veil. Available here.



  This dress is really cute, but not for me. Click here for info


Cute brown vinyl Mary Janes. Click here for info


 60s linen scooter dress. I love this dress, but it's straight up and down design doesn't jive with my curves. So much to my dismay I am offering it for sale. *cries* Click here for info

 50s Lucite "Dorset Rex" basket weave purse. Not really brown but I figured I'd include it. Click here for info

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy February!

I've stated before that I am not a fan of Valentine's day; in the "traditional gift" aspect. That is, I don't like the typical dozen long stemmed red roses, cheesy box of cheap candy, stuffed animals, tacky lingerie, and the like. In fact, my husband and I usually ignore the day entirely. I prefer spontaneous romantic gestures, gifts, dinners out, cards, flowers, etc. - any old day of the year, and truthfully, my man was glad to be "off the hook" form rushing out and buying me something on Valentines Day, that usually doesn't require much personal thought, because the stores have it all set out for the grabbing.
(That's just us! I have nothing against people who do love it, and get into the spirit on Valentine's Day. That's great.)   

That does not mean, however, that I am not a fan of romance, and celebrating love and romantic attachments! I just don't like the obligatory, run-of-the-mill way of celebrating and gift giving.

 So to prove that I DO love romance, and the idea of Valentine's Day, I am going to highlight some cute Valentine's themed things - and food -  this month.

 Starting with these burlap banners I made. (Have I mentioned that burlap is my new favorite textile for decor and crafts?)



To buy:

Mini hearts burlap bunting

"Love" burlap bunting