Monday, March 31, 2014

Reptile Palace Orchestra 20th Anniversary Show

 Dress: Erin Maxi Dress in Brown Print by SWAK via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Cardigan: Avenue
Shoes: Dansko
Necklace: Age Before Beauty
Earring: ebay seller
Sword Pin: Vintage 80s from The Limited
Photography: Kate & Me (iPhone)
I wore this outfit to farmer's market, a circus, a concert, & dinner. Actually, I may have put it on after farmer's market, I don't recall. I thought this was a fun print, but like all SWAK maxi dresses, this was soooooo long on me. I'm not sure what Amazon women they make these dresses for. I am 5'7" & this drags on the ground at least 3 inches on me. In the past I have taken one side of the dress up & knotted it, but this time I decided to pin it up with a swashbuckling sword pin that I bought at The Limited back in the 80s. I keep everything! Other than the ridiculous length, this dress was a good fit on me in a 4x & I liked the pattern.
Kate wore this NY Collection Dress via GB to the farmer's market & the circus, but changed later. So cute! I had this dress back in November & just loved the colors & pattern. 
The girlie & I went to see The Wild Rumpus Circus. I loved the gorgeous vintage backdrops they used...borrowed from Baraboo's Circus World Museum. Lovely! The production was not terribly professional, but it was fun. They offer circus classes for people of all ages & this was their recital, basically. The music was fantastic. 
Kate changed into this sexy red Kiyonna wrap dress for the evening. 
Once upon a time, Reptile Palace Orchestra was our favorite local band. Kate & I used to go see them several times a year in our reptile print clothing. We loved their Balkan lounge funk sound, but the real draw was their alluring, adorable, sequin adorned singer & trumpet player, Anna. When she left the band in 2010, we stopped attending their concerts. The first time I saw RPO was in 1994 or 1995 while at an Anne Rice book signing with Shane & I continued to follow them, seeing them with Brian, then Kate. When we learned Anna would be joining RPO on stage for their 20th anniversary show...we were soooo excited! I got tears in my eyes seeing her up there singing & watching the faithful frolicking folk dancers holding hands & jumping about. Notice there are !2! accordion players on stage *swoon*. It just wasn't the same when their "new" singer took the stage. 
We left the concert hungry, so when Super Boo texted me that he was making pasta, we picked up delicious dessert from Chocolaterian & headed home. Chocolate caramel tart. YUM. The perfect ending to a lovely day. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pattern Mixing: Dots & Stripes

 Dress: Dotty Ruched Waist Dress from Jessica Howard via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Cardigan: Avenue
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Dansko
Necklace: Me
Earring: etXarte
Bracelet: Babil & Bijou
Photography: Kate & Me (iPhone)
I wore this outfit to work & to wine tasting with Kate. This dress had a great fit under the bust & waist...the perfect ruching. I really liked it, but there were 2 problems that would cause me to not want to own it. First of all, the pointless zipper up the back. I do not understand why designers do adds bulk & causes the dress not to lay as nicely in back. No one would ever need to use this zipper. The second problem was the way the neckline folded over a bit in front. It didn't lay right & that always makes me feel sloppy. I am wearing this dress in a 24, so it runs a size big. I have worn several Jessica Howard dresses & the 24 is always a good fit for me. 
Kate is wearing a top from Kiyonna that looked amazing on her...really highlighted her hourglass figure. As you can tell, it was a tad windy out. I liked how the wind puffed up the skirt of my dress in the second photo. 
We were tasting wine from Italy, poured by a man from the vineyard. He had thee most marvelous accent. It was all delightful & Kate bought a few bottles that I hope she shares with me. 

This bracelet has a vintage 2-sided peep show token on it (I thought it was from a brothel, but I just looked up the description from when I bought it years ago). One side features a bare breasted woman that says, "heads I win". The other side pictures a naked bottom & says, "tails you lose". These tokens were used to open the curtain at a peep show to reveal the star attractions. Samantha finds some really fun & unusual vintage bits & bobs to add to her jewelry...I just adore the pieces I've gotten from her over the years. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I Like Pink

 Dress: Margherita Wrap Dress from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Shoes: Born
Necklace: Vintage
Earring: Me
Photography: Super Boo & Me
I wore this dress to work & Tai Chi. This dress was a total shock to me. I LOVED it. I am going to have to stop being surprised that I like pink. I just do. I felt these colors were extremely flattering on me. And the pattern was marvelously textured. I thought this was a really lovely luxe feeling work dress. I was sad to have to take it off & send it back to GB.  
Also, Urban Decay's Naked 3 Palette was *thee* perfect match, along with Bite Beauty's Rhubarb lip pencil.
I made this fleur de lis earring a few years ago in memory of my best friend, Shane. I wore it on this day because it was the 2 year anniversary of his suicide, March 10. Shane & I met in middle school & I instantly knew I wanted to be friends with him. He was cute, funny, had excellent taste in music, & he could do anything. Shane was the first friend I had that liked me for me. He never tried to change me. He was proud to be my friend. I was an outcast, dyeing my hair pink, purple, green...wearing vintage the 80s in a small town, that wasn't blending in. I got teased a lot. We were inseparable in high school, skipping class so we could spend the whole day together talking...then going home to talk on the phone to each other for hours more. I was the first person Shane came out to. He moved to Madison 2 years after I did & we lived together for a few years. Later, he bought a house a half a mile from mine. He was a part of my life for decades. What I remember most about Shane is his laugh...he'd throw his head back & laugh with his whole body. We laughed together countless hard we'd be in tears. I miss that. I miss you, Shane. 
Above, Shane at my house, Christmas 1999. Below, Shane & I at our fake high school graduation at his parent's house, 1988.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


 Top: Foil Petals Wrap Top from Nic + Zoe via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Cardigan: Avenue
Skirt: Lane Bryant
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Fluevogs
Nail Polish: Burnt Sugar from Colors by Llarowe
Necklaces: Babil & Bijou
Photography: Super Boo & Me (iPhone)
I wore this outfit 3 weeks ago to work & to check out Dan Savage's Hump! Tour. This poor top hung out at my house for at least a month without being was a bit too silvery for me...but I LOVED the gold/copper bits. It ran a bit big, the 3x fit me great. It was a wonderful wrap top that stayed in place without needing to be pinned.
I dabbed a bit of coppery eyeshadow over my lips, but I don't think it really shows up here. I was excited to find these black & sparkley gold socks in my drawer...
 Super Boo & I enjoy reading Dan Savage's column out loud to each other & often discuss what our advice would be before reading his responses. So, I was excited when I saw his Hump! film fest would be coming to Madison. We were told at the door that we were not allowed to use our phones at all & if any phones were seen, they would be taken away & not given, no photos from the venue. The films were mostly hilarious & sometimes sexy.  What struck me most about these short movies was that everyone looked like they were having fun. And isn't that what sex is about? Go see it if it comes to a theatre near you!
This brown/copper holo nail polish was *perfect* with this outfit...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Camera Class

 Dress: Jersey Wrap Dress from Vicky Tiel via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Cardigan: Avenue
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Dansko (they are shiny & red, which is not really showing up in the photo)
Necklace: Age Before Beauty
Earring: Babil & Bijou

I wore this outfit to attend a camera class with Super Boo. I was really excited to try this black wrap dress, but it turned out to be sadly disappointing. Weird fit & too short on me. The extra material along the v-neck kept poking out & made the dress look sloppy. Also, this dress runs big. I am wearing this in a 3x, which is a size down from what I normally wear, & I am sure I could go down even one more size.

Super Boo very generously got me a Canon Rebel for Christmas. It intimidates me. So even though there are plenty of YouTube videos out there that explain everything you need to know, I was not watching them. So, we took a class. The class was helpful in teaching us the basics & gave me an idea of where to start. Since taking the class I've watched a few videos & as soon as it gets warmer here, I'll take the camera out & capture spring...& figure out how to take pretty pictures. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Italian Wine & Dinner Party

 Dress: Chloe Dress in Evening Butterflies from Cherry Velvet via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Cardigan: Lane Bryant
Purple Tights: Avenue
Purple Boots: Doc Martens
Necklace & Bracelet: Vintage
Earring: etXarte
Photography: Kate & Me (iPhone)
Kate invited me to go with her to a Mt. Etna wine tasting & dinner party, & this is the outfit I wore. What a super fun dress to wear! Great colors & pattern. I loved the fit on this dress, it's a 3x...Cherry Velvet dresses run a tad big. And look at that cute loopy neckline! Also, it had pockets, which I'm not sure why Kate & others get soooo excited about. The only thing that bothered me about this dress is it is made of cotton & therefore wrinkles easily. 
I thought this dress looked cute with my shiny purple Docs & purple tights. Note to myself: I need a purple cardigan. 
There was wine everywhere! I was the only non-wine snob in attendance. So I am sure I did not fully appreciate the fabulous $400 bottle of champagne we finished the evening with. But. I like wine! And food. Also, it was a small (8-9?) gathering. But I am shy & quiet, especially with this fancy pants group. I still had fun though. And OH! the wine. The wine was lovely. 
And the food was amazing. It started with a charcuterie/sardine board & Sicilian seafood stew. Each course had two different glasses of wine poured for it. Then it was on to chickpea salad & a sugared ribbon zucchini salad. Both tasted like a summer picnic. 
My favorite course of the evening was this hand rolled, made on the spot, pasta with pancetta, lemon, rapini, & freshly grated parmesan. Why was it so good?! It was one of the best things I've ever tasted. 
For dessert there was pistachio ice cream, also made just seconds before being served, heavily dipped in cashews. 
This lovely woman who lived in Italy for a decade brought with her this sweet dessert bread/cake called Pandoro, which she said was popular in Italy from Christmas through Easter. It comes in a bag in which you dump a packet of powdered sugar into & shake vigorously until it is covered...or in this case, explodes. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Green Dress, 2 Ways

Dress: Whimsy Wrap Dress from Kiyonna via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Cardigans: both from Avenue
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Fluevogs (from the 90s)
Necklace, Bracelet, & Earring: Wendy Baker
Necklace in leopard cardigan: Vintage
Earring: Babil & Bijou
Photography: Super Boo & Me (Canon Rebel, 1st 3 photos; iPhone, rest of photos)
I wore this green dress twice, once to a friend's birthday & then on another day for work & Tai Chi. I love these whimsy wrap dresses. I own one in black with white polka dots although I think the solid red is my favorite. Comfortable, flattering, cute...& totally different looks depending on what you choose to accessorize with. I gave this dress a circus/clown vibe with my multi-colored striped socks & 2-tone shoes for my friend Toby's birthday party. 
Really, I just wanted an excuse to wear these shoes that have been lingering in my closet since the 90s...back when Fluevogs looked like Doc Martens cooler friend. 
For dinner, Angie & Toby served Tamales with many delicious sides. These were not only the best tamales I've ever had, they are the only tamales I've ever liked. Delicious. I think they got them from a woman who only makes & sells them on Saturdays. I think. I mean I've heard people talk about this place before, but I didn't really pay attention as I thought I wasn't very fond of tamales. Also, there was cake. Cake so tempting I went back for seconds & made myself sick. Chocolate & Peanut Butter. It was worth it.
Then we played Cards Against Humanity! 
And this is how I wore the green dress the second time. Which do you like better?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Photoshop Class

 Dress: Larimar Dress from Igigi via Gwynnie Bee (click link to get a free month & help me earn a free garment for a month)
Shoes: Fluevogs
Cardigan: Avenue
Necklace: Vintage
Photography: Kate & Me (iPhone)
I wore this dress to work & to take a free Photoshop class at the library. Honestly, I was not expecting to like this dress. I only got it because it was Igigi & GB, so why not? Also, I was still getting 10 items at a time. This material had great texture & dimension, perhaps you can tell from my jewelry photo? And I LOVED the pops of orange & the way the fabric waterfalled out of the black waistband. I would have bought it (for $22!?), but I felt it ran a bit big, so I have re-closeted it in a 22/24. 
Our new central library that opened last year has a new maker-focused art space called The Bubbler. Here in Wisconsin, what the rest of you call a drinking fountain, we call a bubbler. Which in no way explains why they've called it that. Anyway, this wasn't in the physical Bubbler room, but it's creative, so it was on their schedule. Every Friday for 2 hours they offer a Photoshop class & each week they do a different project. This days project was a Rome themed postcard. Not really my thing, but the techniques used to make it are something I would use. I learned to collage & layer various photos & how to cut things out of a background to use & other things I don't remember. Let's be honest. Despite taking notes, I don't remember any of it...but it's a start. I'll most certainly go back again as the guy who teaches it was extremely knowledgable, patient, & a good teacher. 
Look! I made that postcard AND I made this felted flower! Doesn't it look lovely on my orange coat? One of my goals this year was to make more room for creativity in my life. I think I'm doing well so far.