Friday, December 29, 2017

Cherries and Berries and Mushrooms: A Walk in the Woods With a Fungi

 Fabulous Felt Cheery Cherries Brooch

Top: Candie's, Kohl's
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Boscov's

Or perhaps I should say "fun girl."  Because when I see these brooches, I think mushrooms, and when I think mushrooms, I think woods.  And when I think woods, I think The Lady Who Lives in the Woods (also, Smurfs, but this is not about them).  The Lady Who Lives in the Woods is Ruth, a recurring character on truTV's "At Home with Amy Sedaris."  Remember Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People?  Well, this is the live action version, complete with guest stars (Stephen Colbert!  Justin Theroux!  Chris Elliot!  Did I mention Steven Colbert?).  To be accurate, the show is more like a dysfunctional marriage between Simple Times and I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, but being a borderline hermit uninterested in entertaining, I never read that one.  Anyway, The-Lady-Who-Lives-in-the-Woods Ruth is a seemingly laidback yet controlling naturalist who lives in a lodge and is always picking passive aggressive fights with her long-suffering, mime-like, live-in girlfriend.  Distinguished by her long, red Earth Mother hair and loden green poncho, Ruth says things like, "Moss -- that's nice" in a soothing yet grating voice that's a cross between Martha Stewart and half of the duo from SNL's "Delicious Dish." (Both of which, fun fact, were played by Ana Gasteyer.  So maybe I'm just saying that Ruth sounds like Ana, in which case, Ana, you're welcome.)  But that's Red -- I mean, Ruth -- for you, bursting the bubble of the myth that the forest is peaceful.  Which is just one of the reasons, I suppose, that she seeks solace in her pet bird, Artemis.  

Anyway, I think Amy would like the brooches.  Because they're weird and retro and could have easily been made by a tree-dwelling seven-year-old.  (No disrespect to tree dwellers.  Or seven-year-olds.)  Also, her show logo is a mushroom.

From one toadstool fool to another, I say: I'm talking to you too, Smurfette. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

We Three Rings of Orient Are and Santa Claus is Coming to Clown

Dress: Target
Shoes: Ami Clubwear
Bag: Macy's
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Ring: PinkBopp, Etsy
Necklaces, pins, brooches: The Tote Trove
White bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Red and lime bangles: B Fabulous
Burgundy bangle: Iris Apfel for INC, Macy's
Slender red bangle: Candie's, Kohl's
Lime stretch bracelet: Cloud Nine

Christmas can be a real three-ring circus.  More than three, really, considering all the references to rings in Christmas songs.  There are the five golden rings in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and "I'll give you my present, a wedding ring, hear me sing!" in Andy Williams's "Christmas Holiday."  Then there are the ring onomatopoeia shout-outs, that is, the sound of ringing in "Silver Bells," "Jingle Bells," and the sophisticated yet haunting "Carol of the Bells."  But the ring I want to sing about now is the one I just bought from fellow blogger and Etsian Samantha over at PinkBopp.  It's so sweet, a little Candyland right on my hand!  Santa, a gingerbread woman, and a mitten spread cheer from a retro-style red plastic cameo in a super adorable collage of Christmas cuteness.  I've been wearing it with red and green outfits all week, and every time I look at it, I feel the magic of the season -- and also, the need to eat gingerbread.  Is that wrong?  If so, my apologies to Hansel and Gretel. 

Speaking of things that ring and sing, I made a fresh batch of lady brooches, this time, like the city in the aforementioned "Silver Bells," all dressed in holiday style.  Then again, their sunglasses say mai tais in Miami.  Mary may have already had one too many, as her hat -- and, indeed, head -- are askew.

Finally, although I'm no Oprah or Maria von Trapp, here are a few of my favorite Christmas things:

1) The husband's hand-carved duck decoys decking the halls (okay, our mantle) in festive felt scarves.  Also, Kermit.  To be clear, Kermit was not hand-carved.

2) Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book, which has Christmas music and classic stories accompanied by Norman's iconic art.  I grew up with this book, and my favorite thing in it was always Ogden Nash's "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus," a wonderfully weird poem about a kid named Jabez Dawes.  He, like me, did not believe in Santa Claus.  Unlike me, he got turned into a jack-in-the-box.  By Santa Claus.  Guess the jolly old elf got the last laugh.

3) And, finally, Christmas shopping.  Here I am at Kohl's on Black Friday with the Abominable Snow Monster from the claymation Rudolph.  It's a rare shot of me and an even rarer shot of the Yeti, but then big bargains call for big guns.

Merry Christmas!  Party hearty and avoid figgy pudding.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Evergreen Screen, Tinseltown Tannenbaum

Me and 3G have decided to give picture-less posting another try.  Now, usually I use my photos-slash-projects as the basis of my hook.  You know, that thread that, however tenuously, ties all my nonsense together.  So this time -- heads up -- I'm using the pictures in my mind.

Let us consider the Christmas tree.  It's but a pleat in Mother Nature's dark green gown, a relic of the outdoors that we bring indoors and domesticate with acres of lights and ornaments, some store-bought, some handmade, some elegant, some primitive, all of them converging in a joyful jumble that should look ridiculous but doesn't.  Yet even all dressed up, sometimes the Christmas tree misbehaves.  Sometimes it falls, narrowly missing Grandpa as he sleeps off his eggnog; other times it hatches insects and reptiles, reminding us that it's still wild and unpredictable despite our efforts to make it conform to our carefully curated winter wonderlands.  But that's okay.  Because at the end of the (holi)day, it's the crazy that makes it Christmas.

Which is pretty much the message of every Christmas movie ever, including the two I just saw: Daddy's Home 2 and A Bad Moms Christmas.  (See what I did there?  Hook, line, and stinker.) Boys will be boys and girls just want to have fun in these festive family free-for-alls.  No sophomore slumps for these sequels; both assault and then rescue Christmas with all the hijinks and heart we've come to expect from holiday features.  Daddy's Home 2 revisits the blended family blues, this time with a marshmallow of a John Lithgow and a hard-ass Mel Gibson joining Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg to stir the Bailey's-spiked hot chocolate pot.  And in A Bad Moms Christmas, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn take a break from being bad moms to deal with having bad moms, namely the trying trio of Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon.  Through criticism, smothering, and good old-fashioned neglect, these mamas serve up fare far worse than fruitcake.  Guess Will Smith was right: parents just don't understand.  Well, at least not until they see the light -- on top of the Christmas tree.  Yep, the very same one harboring larvae and snakes, although no such snafu took place in either movie (but, hey, maybe should have).

You know, the last time I blogged about Daddy's Home, I compared it to Sisters.  And I said (something like) "I liked Daddy's Home better, but Sisters taught me more."  Well, this time I didn't learn anything, and I preferred Bad Moms. Which shows, I think, a modicum of personal growth (because it takes guts to admit that knowledge isn't always power), something our friend the Christmas tree knows lots about.

Oh, Tannenbaum, can't wait to light your candle.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sad Mac Attack Strikes Again

Unlike most artsy people, I don't have a Mac.  But I did see the PC equivalent of a sad Mac frowny face on my laptop, just like our old pal Carrie Bradshaw, and as the Geek Squad guy confirmed, that ain't good.  So.  I did the only thing I could, which was to 1) hightail it to Target to buy some Christmas presents and, okay, a scarf for myself along with a $6.98 bag that I found smushed in the wrong spot, which I refuse to see as anything other than a little gift from the universe, and 2) compose a picture-less post on my 3G iPhone about the ordeal, no small feat considering I have difficulty even typing texts.  Because, pictures or no pictures, not being able to post sucks.  When my poor little HP expired, I felt the window slam down on my world.  On the flip side, with no Pintetest, Etsy, or shopping to hold me hostage, I've had much more time to spend with my reliable old vicarious/virtual reality buds, books and TV.  Which means I'll have lots to blog about once I get a new computer.  Maybe that's the takeaway.

That and don't ignore your laptop when it says its fan is broken for five years.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Trashy Togs and Kissing Frogs: Rags and Refuse Reimagined

Vegas, Maybe Necklace

Cardigan: Hearts & Roses London, Zulily
Top: Merona, Target
Skirt: Material Girl, Macy's
Shoes: Chase & Chloe, Zulily
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Sunglasses: So, Kohl's

Purple Circle Necklace

Sweatshirt: H&M
Skirt: Modcloth
Shoes: Chase & Chloe, Modcloth
Bag: Candie's, Kohl's
Barrettes, pin, purse charm, and sunglasses: The Tote Trove 

Top: Macy's
Skirt: Ellen Tracy, JCPenney
Shoes: Worthington, JCPenney
Bag: JCPenney
Belt: Belt is Cool, Amazon
Sunglasses: Relic, Kohl's
Bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Barrette: The Tote Trove

I always thought it would be fun to do a photo shoot of super-glam clothes amid piles of trash.  Not gross trash, like fish heads and tampons, but nice trash, like crushed Dr. Pepper cans and lipstick-smeared tissues.  Maybe this is because I'm messy and am looking for a way to legitimize my lack of Martha Stewart-like organizational zeal.  Or maybe I just really like Dr. Pepper.  Either way, I think it would all make for a lovely landfill.

Two out of three of this week's necklaces were made from trash.  That is, trash as in this-used-to-be-part-of-some-store-bought-jewelry-that-fell-apart-while-I-was-wearing-it . . . after, like fifteen years (far be it from me to malign the marvel that is mass-produced fashion).  The focal point namesake moon in Blue Moon Swoon was once one of those stretchy rings, and the two gem clusters flanking it were segments in an equally stretchy bracelet.  The charms in Purple Circle were from a Gumby-esque bracelet, too.  As for Vegas, Maybe . . . well, she was minted from Michael's and Hobby Lobby -- so, new money, like most of the high rollers crowded around the roulette wheel.  But that's what I love about making things, the blending of the tarnished with the shiny, of the old with the new.

Fingers crossed one day I find that Dumpster.