October 31, 2012

Black and Red Jumper Dress Refashion

Note: I know it's Halloween, and that this has nothing to do with Halloween. I've completely ignored Halloween this year, and shall continue to do so even on the blog. There is no logical reasoning behind this.

Anyway. I bought a jumper dress (which I forgot to take a 'before' picture of) ages ago at a thrift store. I loved the fabric and thought it would be great for fall and winter. I had visions of myself looking super cute like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail. 

Except...no. I did not look super cute like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail. I looked like a complete doofus. Instead of donating the jumper to Goodwill, I gave it a snip.

I cut the skirt portion off, then cut another strip off to use as a waistband.

Then I attached the waistband to the skirt the wrong way and ended up with a seam on the outside of the skirt. Don't do that.

The seam ripper was put into ample use and I managed to sew the waistband on correctly. Then I hemmed the top of the waistband. I left about 2 inches of the waistband unattached to the rest of the skirt; this little tab was where I sewed on a few hooks. The eye closures went onto the waistband at a nice comfortable spot.

And that was pretty much it. One hour of work and I ended up with a cute new skirt.

I wanted a high-waisted-vintagey number, but the fabric was not working with me. For now it's fine, but eventually I might take in the waist and add a zipper instead of the hooks and eyes.

Have fun!

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October 29, 2012

Letter to a Younger Me

Dear Younger Self,

Stop pulling your hair back all the time. What's up with that? You've got hair down to your butt and not a single person in the world (aside from yourself) knows this.

You know how you almost failed gym class in high school because you play volleyball like Daria? It wasn't funny at the time, but it will be funny later. Much later.

Remember when you hated those stirrup pants in school, circa 1994? You were totally right. Preach it, child.

That Guns N Roses shirt you had in high school...please tell the future me that you didn't throw that away. And also let future me in on the location of said shirt.

The world does not begin and end with your experiences. Unfortunately it will take you awhile to learn this one, and you will still have problems with it occasionally in the future. It's cool. For the most part people will forgive your rampant douche-baggery.

That girl? She's still a crotch. Good call on that one.

There are roughly 5.8 billion people on this planet that are cooler than you are. You will discover this for yourself in the summer of 2006, and you will be okay with it. Hang in there.

Wuthering Heights is still the most frustrating book in the history of all book-dom.

I know you like those low-rise jeans, but they will be a source of mild embarrassment in the future.

Love and kisses,

Future Me

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October 26, 2012

Photo Friday: Tamaracks

I cannot hear or write the word 'tamarack' without thinking of a certain Billy Joel song and then I screech "Tamarack-ACK-ACK-ACK-ACK!" for the whole world to hear.  I've mentioned this on the blog before, but now it's turned into an epidemic. Any word that ends in 'ack' now get the 'ACK-ACK-ACK-ACK' treatment.

The worst part of this is that I cannot stand that song. I mean really, how high was he when he decided to add 14 'acks' onto the end of 'attack?'

I digress. Onto the trees!

The fall colors here are pretty much gone, except for a few stubborn survivors and a bunch of oaks that have turned from crimson to brown.

But I am sorry to report that wind and heavy rain over the past few days have knocked down nearly all the tamarack needles, so now everything is looking rather dreary. Which is, you know, normal for this time of year. But I need to kvetch about it just the same.

See you Monday!

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October 24, 2012

How to Remove Wrinkles from Wool

Okay, so this isn't pertinent information for everyone. I doubt there are people all over the world thinking, 'My life would be complete except for this damn wrinkled wool!'

Ahem. Anyway. This is for anyone who has ever looked into the face of wrinkled wool and trembled with fear.

First things first, heat your iron. I put mine on the wool setting, and made sure it was also on the Dry setting, not the Steam setting. No water in the iron, please.

Next, get a clean white cloth (so no dye can leach out into your wool garment; a flour sack works perfectly) and dampen it with water. Wring out any excess.

Lay the portion of the garment to be ironed as flat as possible on an ironing board.

Look at that. Wrinkle city.

Place the damp cloth over the portion of the garment you want to iron. Then, iron that sucker. Steam will rise up from the damp cloth, and the steam combined with the heat from the iron will flatten out those stubborn wrinkles. This is a safer way to iron wool than using your iron as you normally would - i.e., having screamin' hot steam gushing out of your iron onto the fabric.

Note - this will stink. Because wet wool stinks. Like a wet dog that rolled in ashes.

Much better! Repeat until all the wrinkles are gone. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

There is an old-school method of relaxing wrinkles that I have never tried - hanging a garment in the bathroom near the tub while you shower or take a bath. I assume it would work better for thinner fabrics than for wool, but I'll have to try it and report back.

Have fun!

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October 22, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again - Goodwill Finds

It's that time of year...when Goodwill stores unleash the weird.

Any other time of year, it can be difficult to find vintage (amend that to 'damn near impossible' for me) at Goodwill. When Halloween rolls around, however, they have racks and racks full of vintage. Some good, some bad, some indifferent, and some stuff that's just plain weird; all in the name of Halloween. At our nearest store, the costume racks have been up for weeks already, but it's still a good time to go and snag whatever you can find. The prices are higher than what you normally see at Goodwill, but not terrible.

My recent finds:

My mother hates these shoes. With a fiery passion that originated in the depths of Hades. I love them. Obviously. I feel like Louis XIV in these things. Which is probably a bit weird, but I'll roll with it.

A Korean War era military jacket, which is now for sale in the shop.

Goodwill almost always has plenty of Fakelite. Because I have never found real Bakelite in a thrift store, and am severely envious of those that do. I keep my Fakelite in an old quilted pink glove box.

I'm hoping to get to Goodwill one more time before they take down the Halloween racks, just to see what other goodies I can find.

Happy thrifting!

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October 19, 2012

Photo Friday: An Oncoming Storm

A thunderstorm advancing over our rooftop a few weeks ago. 

See you Monday!

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October 17, 2012

The Paine Art Center

Last Saturday the Mr and I went to Oshkosh to see an Ansel Adams exhibit at The Paine Art Center.

The Ansel Adams photos were great, but holy cow...the HOUSE. Mansion might be a better word for it, actually.

They don't allow photos inside the house, but you can take them outside and in the gardens. It was absolutely pissing down rain the whole time we were there, but it let up a bit after we toured the house. I think we were in the gardens for about 10 minutes before it started pouring rain again. And guess who doesn't own an umbrella? Why yes, yours truly does not own an umbrella. I'm beginning to think this is a serious oversight.

The gardens were gorgeous even in October, so I can't imagine how good they look in the summer.

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October 15, 2012

A Roundup

* There are a bunch of pictures from the last month or so floating around on my hard drive. None of them warrant their own post, so today I thought I'd do a roundup. *


Boob potato salad. Go ahead. Giggle. You know you want to. Let it out.

Gummy bear brats, from Ski's Meat Market. They were tasty.

A tree fell on the tractor. No damage done, thankfully, but still. Really, universe, really?

This little guy (gal?) was quite interested in my comings-and-goings in ye olde home office. 

What Scout looks like, waiting for the Mr to hurry the hell up and take her for a ride.

And...DEER! Including 3 of the albino variety.

See you in a few days!
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October 12, 2012

Photo Friday: Why Bloodhounds Sleep So Much

They have built-in eye masks.

Incidentally, this is my 200th post. I have no idea what I've blathered about for the past 199 posts, but am eternally grateful that y'all are still reading.

See you on Monday!

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October 10, 2012

From Woods to Table : Ruffed Grouse

Or, if you're my family, you call them 'ruff-ed' grouse, or just plain 'gruss.' Because life is no fun whatsoever if you don't massacre the English language.

My parents were here for a week last month, and while they were here my dad and husband went bird hunting. They brought home these 3 beauties (ignore the rigor mortis, please):

Which became dinner the following night. (And notice the dog in the background like 'HAAAAAYYY, any of that for me!?')

Pan-Fried Ruffed Grouse

Lard or olive oil
Breast meat from several ruffed grouse, bones removed (double check for lead, if you know what I mean)
Salt, pepper

Heat a scant 1/4 inch of lard or olive oil (not extra virgin) in a frying pan over medium high heat.

Dredge the grouse in flour. When the fat in the pan is hot, add as much meat as will fit without crowding the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until browned and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side for the largest pieces. Smaller pieces will cook a bit faster.


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October 8, 2012

The '60s Called

...and they are so not getting their dress back.

Because I am the reigning Duchess of Dorkdom, I took about 30 pictures of myself wearing this dress and every.single.one is out of focus in varying degrees. So these are the least blurry of the bunch.

I've had this dress for a few months now, but wore it for the first time a week ago. The weather was balmy (balmy, I say!) and I knew this was going to be one of my last chances to wear it before switching to cold-weather clothing.

The dress was an Etsy find, one that languished in my favorites for months because it was out of my budget. When the seller marked it down to $10 (!) I jumped on it.

I accessorized with very Time Lordy nails as well.

Dress - Heart City Vintage, via Etsy
Shoes - Kohl's

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October 5, 2012

Photo Friday: Autumn Hath Arrived

Firewood, foliage, hot tea instead of cold, and carving the shit out of pumpkins. Roll on, autumn.

Milkweed, releasing its strange cottony insides. Milkweed looks like an alien life form. That's all I'm sayin'.

See you Monday!

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