Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's like I dyed and went to heaven!

We've got our nephew visiting from Britain, so we've been doing a little touristing and I haven't had as much time online. Unfortunately, the rain has set in, and he's out now bicycling in a drizzle - poor boy. I'll take him bowling later - the excitement never ends!

But I took some pictures the other day before he got here and before it started raining.

Remember this jacket and this post?

this photo is from last summer

I dyed the jacket and it ended up looking like this?

Yuck!
Now it looks like this!



What a difference it makes to read the instructions! Evidently the cup of salt is not optional.


I also used two bottles of dye, one in denim blue and one in some other kind of blue. And I boiled some water to add to the hot tap water. And I left it soaking a good hour.

And look how nicely it turned out!



I knew the thread probably wouldn't take the dye, but the alternate color looks good with the denim blue corduroy and the interesting seaming. And I don't have to change the buttons.


The micro-mosaic brooch and earrings are probably circa 1930 and once belonged to my grandmother's cousin. My mother had them and then she let me have them.


The socks are by Sock It To Me, the shoes are TOMS, the skirt is Christopher & Banks, and the top is from Target.

I know you're supposed to read and follow instructions, but do you?

May 7 - Updating to include a link to 52 Pick-me-up: Wear something of your mom's. The jewelry was in her possession and via her family. But I also have her crepey skin and age spots!

Val

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The beach in the palm of my hand

I took these photos a few weeks ago, and I need to use them up before they start to smell bad.



I got the striped shirt at JCP on sale for $9.97! It's a cotton and silk blend, and it's got a pattern that will make you go blind when you're ironing it.


Why can't manufacturers figure out how to place the buttons so they don't gap at the widest point? I always have to pin it there. Obviously not for this photo, though.


The yellow jeans are thrifted - Shylo is the brand. And I'm not wearing shoes because I figured I'd head to my beach hut.


paper doll Me inspired by the amazing and multi-dimensional Melanie

This is what I've been working on lately - a little beach hut for me to dream about while I'm sitting at my desk. Actually, I'll be looking at it while I'm sitting at my desk - I'm going to keep it in my office.


My little hut is a cozy place for reading, drawing, walking on the beach.


There's my spare pair of glasses (a staple that I saw at work, curled into exactly the right shape), my lamp (beads), my pencils (toothpicks), and my parasol (cocktails, anyone?).

And it's not just my beach hut - there are three of us on this little beach.

background photo near Burton Bradstock, UK - if you think it looks like the beach in Broadchurch, you're right

My neighbor always loves to have picnics, but has questionable taste in wine.

little tiny snail shells on top shelf were found in a flower pot




And the guy on the end loves fishing. You can see him on the beach in all weather.





little Swiss army knife made from small pieces of wire and plastic - I painted a tiny white cross on it, and that's it!


I made some of these before, and they've been dispersed to Iowa, Maryland, and British Columbia. But I'm keeping these - my own little Echo Beach!




Linking up with Visible Monday, then on Wednesday, 52 Pick-me-up - Geometrics, and Creative Monday at Clairejustine. Bring your towel!

Val


Thursday, March 20, 2014

In Deep Water



It's time for Thoughtful Third Thursday at My Closet Catalogue and A Bibliophile's Style, so I'm dressing like a character in a book. Gee, she looks just like me.


But she isn't like me at all - she's really gutsy and no-nonsense, she can sing, and she owns a gun. Her name is Irma.

The book is called Deepwater Landing, and I didn't read it recently. I read it last year when I was editing it for my husband. Yes, Mr. S is the author! He put it on Amazon last month, so if you're interested you can buy it for your Kindle here.  He's also uploaded it to Smashwords, so it should be available on other e-readers soon.



The main character is a middle-aged British musician who plays keyboards – so, pretty much like Mr. S. The character, Steve, is driving through the rainy forests of Oregon when his car dies in a community called Deepwater Landing. He tries to avoid becoming the prime suspect in a murder investigation, and ends up hiding out at Irma's until he can figure out how to leave. But Irma doesn't want him to leave.



Here's a little excerpt:

“If I go along with this, Irma, you’re not thinking of… I don’t know…” He felt foolish saying this, “locking me in here, or anything, are you? Like a… I don’t know…”

“Like a prisoner? Hah, you are funny! Why would you even think such a thing? Of course, while the police are busy poking around up at the trail, I wouldn’t exactly suggest making a spectacle of yourself out there. But come and go as you please. You’re my guest.”

“You realize that this all sounds a bit weird, yeah?” He would have liked to have said, completely, gibberingly demented.

my favorite T-shirt, from Oregon Public Broadcasting - cogito ergo audio

If that's not your cup of tea, Mr. S has three other books available online. One is a children's book called Cymbelina and the Cat with No Name – it's very good, very British, and lots of fun, even for adults. Then there's The Father's Sins, which is an odyssey of a man and his son fleeing both planned and unplanned crimes in Britain, only to find their trouble compounded in the US. And the third one is my favorite, although it's cynical and misogynistic. It's also the funniest. It's called The Prisoner's Tale, and is told in the first person. There are plots, politics, poison, and paranoia in a dystopian world - or is it all in the mind of the narrator?

If you do read any of his books, please leave a review. Glowing would be nice, but any review would be helpful.

Book reports are due now at Thoughtful Third Thursday!

Val

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Haiku Tu

I know there's still horrible weather in some places, and autumn is on its way down under. Spring is springing here in this part of the world, but I took these photos a couple of months ago and haven't posted them yet. Maybe now is a good time. And I wrote another haiku to go with them.


the stones and the fog
shrouding the winter hillside
silent voices rest




Sunday, March 9, 2014

Black and white and red all over



It occurred to me this year that I've had major things happen in my life in years that end in 4 – it's been 50 years since my first big overseas trip, 40 years since I graduated from high school, 20 years since I met my husband.

So, of course I'm going to mark these anniversaries here on Muse Fondue. I'm kind of excited about this, and I've been getting ahead of myself writing posts and scanning pictures for these future dates (I can get away with a little skiving at work). But I had nothing ready for this post - no theme, no cute little story. I'm just winging it.

I did take some photos of a recent outfit that I really liked. It was so simple I don't know why I hadn't worn this before.




The skirt (Fresh Produce, resale) has one large pleat on the side to give it a little swing and fullness. I didn't wear tights or boots because we've actually had some nice weather lately! It feels like a trick, but I'm hoping it's Spring.

Snow leopard cardi - retail; belt - thrifted; snooty face - I was born with it.

The shoes are Cliff's White Mountain. I think I bought them at TJ Maxx a few years ago. They were plain black, but they were too boring - so I blinged them up. Another shoe transformation!

with veins

I painted the cross strap thingy and added some sparkles on the large buttons.

without veins


I won a prize from Bella at The Citizen Rosebud! I didn't even know it was a contest - I just commented as usual and she pulled my name out of one of her amazing hats, and sent me this package of red delight!


Just what a post-menopausal woman needs - my very own Vinnie's Giant Roller Coaster Period Chart & Journal Sticker Book, and Tampon Case!


Um, yeah, I won't go so far as to say that I wish I was still having periods, but you might as well make them fun. The cool gingham bag is mine, but I'll find another home for Vinnie and his helpful journal ("Really works!") and tampon case.

Visible Monday is on this week, so you know I'll be there with Patti and the gang.

Tuesday it will be time for a Shoe Shine at The Citizen Rosebud, so I'll be hoofing it over there, too.

Have a great week!

Val


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I think I blue it



Here's the outfit.
 

Simple, functional office wear. Lightweight cotton jacket – Marketplace: Handwork of India; top – JCP; gray slacks – Lee; jewelry – Etsy.
 

Here are the shoes.


I (heart) Comfort, cloth, formerly black.
 

Here's the story.

I forgot I had these shoes. I bought them eight years ago when we first moved here and I started my office job. I needed to get some new clothes, cheap and quick, so I bought these in black.

When I found them again a couple of weeks ago I was thinking how I'd like to have a pair of blue shoes, suede or otherwise. Then the shoe fairy threw these in my face as if to say, "Use your imagination, sweetheart. You won't miss them if it doesn't work."

So I bought blue fabric paint and painted them. After taping off the faux leather trim and the soles, I decided that I'd leave the side panel black. I can always change it later.

Unfortunately, the tape pulled off some of the faux leather so I need to fix that – maybe I can make it look like faux blue leopard (as opposed to real blue leopard). Anyway, they're fixable.

 
Now here's where I really blue it. I decided to dye this jacket (photographed last summer), and I wanted a kind of denim color.


This is what I got.

 

The color is supposed to be Royal Blue. It's more like Five-day-old Bruise Blue. I was leery about using the washing machine, so I did it in our utility sink, and I probably didn't leave it in long enough because I got tired of standing in the garage stirring blue liquid with a bamboo cane. Wouldn't you?

The result is not unusable, especially if I swap the buttons. I could also add some layered ruffles to the collar and cuffs. 


But – I – do – not – like – the – color.

So, more dye? A vat of watered down fabric paint? Altered couture to the point of making it unrecognizable? What do you think?

Val