Sunday, May 20, 2018

Who Lives in a Pineapple Amidst the Twee?




Top: Jennifer Lopez, Kohl's
Skirt: Candie's, Kohl's
Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless
Bag: H&M
Sunglasses: Kohl's

Tote.  Trove.  Lad-y!  Or, maybe I should have asked, who lives in a Dutch colonial amidst the pineapples?  (SpongeBob and Patrick would understand; Squidward not so much).  Have I moved to Hawaii?  Or to an alternate universe with a tropical farm market run by cartoons?  If only.  No, I'm talking about plain old pedestrian knickknacks.  The husband and I decided to put one of the pineapple persuasion in every room of our house.  Out of all of them (and there are many), only these two are photogenic.  The other pineapples already hate them and are starving themselves with the hope that they'll be picked next time.



The door knocker was originally brass, but the husband painted it in vibrant shades of green, brown, and yellow.  He spent a lot of time getting the brown just right.  It turned out great, really popping against the red door.

Speaking of home decor, I recently saw a pillow (IRL or on Pinterest; I can't tell the difference anymore) that said "I'd rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff."  And I thought . . . nah, I'll take the stuff.  Partly because I hate packing and hotel duvets and tour buses with guides named Eugene.  Partly because I love stuff.  Buying stuff, collecting stuff, finding places to put stuff, wearing stuff, photographing stuff, pinning stuff, writing about stuff, looking at stuff.  You know how Oprah says, "I love bread!"?  Well, that's how I feel about stuff.  So, when I sat down this week to make some new stuff (and by stuff I of course mean necklaces), it made sense that it would involve pineapples (albeit tiny ones).  And also a cactus.

Good old P & P.  A pair of prickly pals, to be sure -- but more than that, friends to the end.  Kind of like SpongeBob and Patrick.

But not Squidward.  No one likes that dude.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Dish Out of Water: Mother Mermaid Brigade

Bikinis: Venus 


Maybe your mom was an Olympic swimmer.  (Okay, YWCA league swimmer, second string).  Or maybe she took you to the community pool every weekend and disappeared behind the latest issue of Vogue while you dodged loogies and played Marco Polo.  The point is, we all have our own chlorine-slash-sunscreen-soaked memories.  And our cruise director (Lifeguard?  Swim coach?  I don't know; this metaphor is getting away from me faster than a Swimmie sucked up by a pool vac) was always good old mom.  

With Mother's Day just behind us and Memorial Day fast on her kitten/wedge/stiletto heels, what better way to say thanks to matriarchs everywhere than with a little splish splash flash of felt?  I don't know about you, but I've always been a fan of the paradoxically frumpy glam charm of a skullcap smothered by flowers.  Still, I had my doubts that this awesomeness would translate to my hat lady brooches.  Mostly because, before I added the flowers, the caps looked like hard-boiled eggs or alien heads or, horror of horrors, bicycle helmets.  But the more color I added, the better they got.  By the time I was done, I had a bevy of bathing beauties, or, more to the point, red hot mamas.  Unless that's inappropriate.  Poll, please?  Nine out of ten moms say no.  And the tenth one swims in a parka.  

So, it's official: rocking a swim cap is the best way to play retro.  Not that we needed a poll for that.  

In the retro department, anything beats doing dishes.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

South of the Border Hoarder: Let's Taco 'Bout Brooches



Top: Flying Tomato, Marshalls
Skirt: Ross
Sandals: MIA, J. C. Penney's
Bag: DSW, embellished by The Tote Trove
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove

What's mean and green and screams Cinco de Mayo?  Guacamole?  No.  Margaritas?  Guess again.  It's nothing edible at all, but our old amigo Kermit (unless you count frog legs as food, which I do not), and he isn't really mean of course, unless he's had a tiff with Miss Piggy.  You may recall that the husband and I outfitted him in a jaunty red scarf this past Christmas.  Now that it's spring, the husband asked me to pick him up a tiny straw hat on one of my many craft runs.  So I did.


It's a little small, but I think that only adds to its charm.  It came in a pack of ten (whoo-hoo!), so I decked out the extras as brooches.  Luckily, I have a whole drawerful of pompoms, which was perfect for this Cinco de Mayo-themed project.  


The finished quasi-sombreros remind me of those straw hat barrettes that were popular in the early 1990s, peddled by places like Claire's (all roads lead back to Claire's, it seems).  Only, those were a little bit country, with pastel bows and flowers, whereas these are a little bit rock and roll, all boho and neon and befitting a mini mariachi band.  Here they are festooning a southwestern wall hanging I have yet to hang in my office, otherwise known as succulent central.  The current cactus count in there?  21.


Anyway, whether you're hitting the local cantina or hanging out at home, festive flare fires up the fun factor.  Well, festive flare and jalapeno poppers.  To which I say, no gracias, as I have an unadventurous, chicken-and-not-hot-cheese-based palate.  

That's why I'll have the quesadilla.  

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fresh Fruit and Fresh Prints: Panda-monium at Nabisco



Tee: So, Kohl's
Pants: Macy's
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Target
Sunglasses: Target




Top: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: ELLE, Kohl's
Shoes: Two Lips Too, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Belt: Wet Seal
Jacket: Worthington, J. C. Penney's




Blue blouse: L'Amour by Nanette Lepore for J. C. Penney's
Yellow cami: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Pants: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Betseyville, Macy's
Bag: Target
Sunglasses: Target





They say that rap and rock can't make beautiful music.  That they're too different, too diametrically opposed to share the same stage.  But sometimes it's the differences in things that make them stronger, adding layers and contrasts to illuminate new points of view.  Take these outfits.  They've got a kitchen sink aesthetic and should look like uncurated graffiti.  But instead they're harmonious and eye-catching, unified by the very elements that set them apart.  With fruit slices, bold bling, and loud pants-a-plenty, they hit all the right style notes (at least to this admittedly awful singer).  Especially the pants.  A little bit M. C. Hammer, and a little bit zuma, they're like a time machine back to pre-Jersey Shore MTV.

The skirt outfit was challenging.  I wore it last week, leopard trench coat and all.  I felt like a schoolmarm who moonlights at McDonald's and also, maybe, the zoo.  And I thought, what would make this look even more wonderfully wacky?  An animal pin, something cute but uncomplicated, and then I had it -- a panda.  Also, a shot of some animal crackers, which would require a trip to Target.  But that was no hardship, because I love scoping out the Dollar Spot.  I always find the best stuff there -- seasonal stuff, cheap stuff, and stuff that no one else wants.  This week it was the fruit clutches (which are really bathing suit bags, although they'll hold my lipstick and license long before a bikini) and party sunglasses, the likes of which I've seen only on Pinterest.  Why do people wear "fun" sunglasses only at parties, anyway?  Why not rock them at the DMV or grocery store?  (Well, maybe not the DMV; those people would probably taze you.)  Because errands need a dose of adrenaline more than an already off-the-hook rager.

And yes, I know that no one says "off-the-hook" anymore.  Or, for that matter, "rager."  But I love words, so much so that I use them past their sell-by dates. 

That's why you'll find me at ShopRite.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Peach Pit Bit: Tassels and Feathers and Pompoms, Oh My




Hoodie: Macy's
Skirt: So, Kohl's
Boots: Two Lips Too, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Boscov's





Top: Wet Seal
Shorts: Merona, Target
Bag: DSW, embellished by The Tote Trove
Shoes: Penny Loves Kenny, J. C. Penney's
Scarf: A. C. Moore
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove





Top: Zulily
Shorts: LC Lauren Conrad, Kohl's
Flip flops: Sea Star, Brigantine
Bag: Nordstrom
Sunglasses: Brigantine beach shop



I was going to call this post Coach Says Three Cheers for Coachella.  But Coachella was last weekend.  And also, I don't like that title.  So I went with this one instead.  Even though this post has nothing to do with 90210 except for two tops in the same shade as the show's namesake hangout, and tassels and feathers and pompoms, oh my sounds like the name of a southwestern strip club.  

Still, such boho accouterments make me think of Coachella, and Coachella makes me think of that cotton commercial where the woman in white takes off her big, floppy hat and dives down into the mud.  I'm all for taking chances.  But I can't help but think that this supposedly liberating act of rebellion creates more problems than it solves.  (And no, this has nothing to do with my distaste for cotton and my unapologetic allegiance to its nemesis, polyester.)  As in, where is she going to hose herself down afterward?  Certainly not in a yurt or port-a-potty!  Also, you know that that mud isn't coming out no matter how much fun Big Cotton wants her to have.  So she'll end up dirty and sad and most likely alone after her still-squeaky-clean girl squad ditches her for a pack of bun-wearing dudes who pointed and laughed as they watched the whole thing (you saw their faces; you know it's happening).  This is assuming, of course, that she didn't break anything and launch a lawsuit, the best outcome of which can be only a hemp sack full of beads and patchouli.  

Whew.  I don't know where that story came from.  I've never been to Coachella and don't ever plan to be, and the only yarn I know is the rainbow-colored kind in this Pom Flings Necklace.  Would you believe that the pompom started life as a giftwrap doodad?  Or that the pendant and charms in the Geometric Electric Necklace and Jagged Little Thrill Earrings were meant to remain -- horror of horrors -- unadorned?  Then there are the "jewels" in the Feather Duster Earrings and Seeking Sedona Necklace.  Some, I'm sure, would say that they would've been simply elegant on their own, but to me, plain Jane stones without the one-two fruit punch of kitsch and neon are like bread without butter.  

Oh, festival flare, you haven't a care, so fun to make, so easy to wear . . . so long as you stay away from the mud pit.  

Don't be like the floppy hat lady.  Always pick polyester.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

In the Skimmer's Circle With Fruit and Fiber: Good for the Body, Good for the Bowl

From top left, clockwise: Charles Albert, A. C. Moore; Nine West, Marshalls; City Streets, J. C. Penney's; Cherish, Zulily; Bella Marie, Zulily; Katy Perry, Zulily; City Streets, J. C. Penney's; A New Day, Target

The cusp of sandal season is a weird time to extol the virtues of closed-toe flats.  (It's also a weird time for a potty pun, but then, what isn't?)  I don't know about you, but my feet are far from beach ready.  Partly from all the high heels I wear, which are notoriously hard on the tootsies.  As Christian Dior says on the March page of my shoe calendar, "high heels are painful pleasure."  One of these days, I'll fire up the old foot bath and show those callouses who's boss.  But in the meantime, coverage is key.  So I'll keep my secret safe with all the flats I've amassed since last fall.  Truth be told, I wasn't too psyched about the navy and burgundy crushed velvet ballerinas when I first bought them (such deep, dark colors, such an unfortunate comeback of a bad '90s trend).  But I ended up wearing them a lot, as they're super comfy and go with everything.  The Katy Perrys are my favorite, but I haven't even worn them yet (although to be fair, I only got them last month).  I love the little seamstress's tomato on the toe, complete with colorful straight pins. 

Speaking of which (a tomato is a fruit, isn't it?), on to the fruit and fiber.  Sometimes friend, sometimes foe, they keep you fab and help you go.  So, they're not just a cereal, but a way of life.  And also, it seems, a handbag.  I had such a good time embellishing these canvas and burlap wristlets with patches and rhinestones.  And why not?  They feature all of my favorite things: fruit, rainbows, cacti, sweets, and red lips, a veritable crafters' cornucopia of quirky cute kitsch. 




And now, for another one of my favorite things, the compostest with the mostest -- daffodils!  These little trumpeters are tops in the garden -- or in this case, parking lot -- with me.  


Ah, spring things, how I love thee.  Two thousand crushes worth indeed.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Strife Aquatic: Babbling Brooks and Pun(s)






Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Guess, DSW
Bag: Sleepyville Critters, Amazon

They say that water is calming.  Not rapids or waterfalls or floods, certainly, but country creeks and estuaries ('cause what could be more peaceful than scallops and trout peacefully coexisting?).  Everyone knows that a walk on the beach can wash all your worries away, and we've all tossed a dime into a fountain hoping for some magic something to make our lives better.  I'm no different.  Always attracted to agua's tranquility, I particularly love lily pads.  I'm drawn to their fanciful shape, to the splashy flowers against their stark emerald, and to the lazy way they float across a cool pond.  And I've always wanted to make some that are wearable.  So, I turned to my old friend felt and busted out these three brooches and one oversized necklace.  Here they are, along with a list of other things that have a lock down on pads:

- Clothing brand Forever Lily (not to be confused with Forever 21), which is often featured on (and the wordplay keeps working) Zulily

- Clothing brands Lily White, Lily Star, and Lily Rose (who are these chicks?  Entrepreneurial triplets?)

- Monet ('cause you know, class)

-Pond scum (to balance out the Monet)

-Water Lily, a.k.a. Golden Girl Blanche's not-so-secret name for herself (sitcoms are my spirit animal)

- Phil and Lil of "Rugrats" fame

-"Your pad or mine?" Mrs. Wentworth mimicking an amorous frog on that "Saved by the Bell" episode about subliminal advertising (see above about sitcoms)

- Also, frogs

Still, serene-themed or not, these wardrobe waters didn't always run smooth.  I ran into a little snafu while making the necklace.  There was some visible glue on the ribbons (hey, snafu/glue, that rhymes), even after it dried.  And I thought, George Costanza-style, "Why must there always be a problem?!"  But unlike George, I knew the answer.  Life is full of problems and troubles -- and only trouble is interesting (it's what makes those sitcoms spin).  So, I added some rhinestones to cover the glue . . . only to see more glue, seeping out from the rhinestones, later.  I guess the lesson here is, when things get tough, get rhinestones (or whatever your equivalent of rhinestones is).  

You'll still have problems.  But at least you'll be sparkly.