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Archive for the ‘Fashionable Fashion Fetishes’ Category

only you win EVERY TIME! 

Somewhere some shopping addicted soul just clicked on this blog and wanted to slap me.  I don’t blame them a bit.

The best part about visiting the neurosurgeon in Baton Rouge?  The gorgeous lean dark-haired, piercing-eyed doctor?  Well, no.  But that was close!  Daaaaannng…he were HOT.  And, no ring!  For a split second, I wondered how quickly and quietly my wedding ring could be slipped off and stowed in my pocket.  Hey, Paladin, at least, I wasn’t thinking of tossing it at you and jumping onto the doc’s lap.  Ok, for a minute.  Seriously.  He was HOT. 

The best part of visiting the neurosurgeon was that he was next to a shopping center!  A very chic, shopping center at that.  It was the kind of place where you go to look, and then go to Filene’s Basement to buy.  Is that just me?  I should have been born Jewish.  Clearly.  It was filled with boutiques ala Melrose Place, but it also had a few places that you could afford to buy at like Barnes & Noble, White House Black Market, and a cinema and lots of restaurant grills which I realize were also a mix of prices.  For someone who isn’t as penny pinching as me, it would just be normal.  But as Rose from the Golden Girls once put it, I can squeeze a nickel til the buffalo poops!  In general, I do not do full price.  Homey don’t play that.  So when I caught sight of a little place I call heaven, I thought, “I’ll look, but I won’t even THINK of buying unless they have a clearance section.”  Then the pearly gates opened…

Heaven also goes by the name: Charming Charlie’s.  How?  How did you Texas girls not tell me about this???  I would drive to it.  I don’t care that it’s three hours away!  It’s like It’s Fashion (a black girl version of Cato…in other words: Cool…owned by the same company as Cato), but just for accessories.  They have some clothes but nothing over a large.  The main focus is on accessories and I just cannot fully explain to you how awesome this place is.  I could have dropped $300 in 20 minutes flat, and I wouldn’t have been sorry!  The handbags were so very of the moment and most were only $35 and decent quality at that!  The jewelry stole my heart, though.  It’s mostly costume jewelry, but again, it’s good quality and cheap.  I got this for $10:

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The turquoise enamel is thick, the crystals on the edges of the petals are well set, and the faux pearl doesn’t look too “faux” if you get my drift.  Although all of their rings are on adjustable or elastic beaded bands, this is a piece that I can tell will last for many years to come.  In fact, pretty much every piece I handled had good quality construction and value.  In this day and age, that’s like finding $20 laying on the street.  I could have covered over half my Christmas list with less than $200, and everyone on it would have thought I’d spent double that.  The good news is there’s a shop in San Antonio, but it’s near the surely chic La Cantera Golf Course and I have no idea how to get to it.  Hmmm…dilemma.  Charming Charlie’s alone would have made the trip worth it, but then came Madeleine…

La Madeleine to be precise.  I’ll admit it.  I wasn’t impressed.  Not one bit.  I was very put off that la Madeleine turned out to be a cafeteria.  The food was good and because they had a 2 for $7.99 deal going, it was a good deal (as in cheap for that shishi shopping center).  I saw the desserts right up front and since a couple of the mini-tarts were only $1.59, I thought, “Well, I’ll try them.”  I had the rather sweet but vacant girl behind the counter box up a mini-creme brulee tart, a mini-fruit custard tart, and one slice of Sacher Torte ($3.99), and we went ahead and got our trays and had our lunch.  Like I said, I wasn’t impressed especially and I was a little put out that Miss Sweet but Vacant saw us standing there with menu’s for a very long time (the set up at the front door looked like you should wait to be seated) without saying, “Hi, can I help you?”  Instead she just watched us warily.  Finally, we just sat down assuming that the service was crap and someone would notice us seated in their station and say something.  Instead, I notice the ladies next to us had a cafeteria tray, asked her about it, and she explained that it was cafeteria style.  Like I said, Madeleine didn’t have me.  Then we headed out on the interstate and I opened the box.  I can’t say they are the finest, but they were VERY good pastries.  In the rural area we live in, that kind of thing isn’t lurking around every corner.  The raspberry glaze between the layers of chocolate torte made me exclaim; it made me groan in pleasure.  Uh yeah.  I’ll go again if I get a chance!  Besides, they had the best vegetarian choices in the area.

All in all, we had a fruitful day out on Thursday.  We talked and hopefully made just a little more headway in identifying our issues.  We had a nice lunch which turned into a fabulous evening of dessert.  And, I shopped!  I got my ring above and Christmas gifts for Bell and Martian:  a Victorian/goth choker & earring set and a wind-up summo wrestler game.  I’ll let you figure out which one got which gift.  When I came home with the summo wrestler game, I had to make sure it worked (it’s was only $5 on clearance) and Brian’s brother Jon and I started playing with it.  It could be addictive.  I had to make myself put it up.  It was awesome!

Know who else is awesome?  La Dishy!  She gave me this award, and it made my day.  It really did.  It kind of makes me want to make my own award.  Maybe I could use a sumo wrestler in it!  😀

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The only thing is that I got caught up in my own existence and now this lovely award has made its way to pretty much everybody over there on the side.  Hmmm…what to do.  I hate to repeat even if the ones receiving it are awesome enough to get it twice!  So, I’m going to do a total cop-out and tell anyone who hasn’t gotten it yet to have at it.  Just be sure to link back to Dishy and/or myself.  🙂

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No, I didn’t force feed models cake.  Athough…not a bad idea…

 

It’s been one long weekend.  I did a lot of sewing and went to see Mom.  I know.  That totally didn’t sound busy at all, but it was emotionally draining.  I suspect I’ll get into that before the end of the week, but let’s start with the easy stuff.

On Friday afternoon, Paladin and I left the house and stopped by the library (we picked up Red Dwarf…can you believe he’d never seen it?) and the Goodwill.  Somebody please remind me not to go to Goodwill in the future!  Some of them are good, but ours is sort of a ripoff.  For what I spend on a used child’s shirt there, I can buy a brand new one at Walmart!  That’s stupid.  Anyhoo, the real reason I went there was to forage for material. 

I have these jeans that I bought never anticipating that I’d fall in love with them.  They were $12 on clearance, but a little too long.  Smart person that I am, I cut them off and they ended up just a smidge on the Urkel side.  fm_hands  As a result, my Solid Gold dancer pants (ummm…did I mention that they have gold lame on the ass pockets and the brightest brass buttons I’ve ever seen?) fit like a dream but they were too high-water for me to wear in public.  That was fine for a long time because I wasn’t sure I could pull off having a gold lame ass.  Then the comfort won me over.  Suddenly, I deeply regretted having to relegate them to days when I knew the public at large wouldn’t see them.    While making my first wedding dress (Sunday morning I made a second wedding dress…I’ll post it later this week), I kept running into some really cool stuff online and in the stores.  It goes by at least two different names: altered couture and indie fashion.  Basically, it’s people taking apart old clothes and making them into new clothes with a little extra style.  On one site I saw a pair of jeans turned into a long skirt.  It was one of those things you remember people doing way back when, but forgot about.  I thought, “Why not do that to my Solid Gold dancer jeans?”  It’s become pretty impossible to find decent fabric in our area which means you either forage or you break down and drive to Lake Charles or Alexandria.  I wasn’t up for the drive, and figured foraging was the way to go.  Enter this Goodwill $7 coat:

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It’s oh so very Twilight-esque.  Any girly vampire could vamp in it with its plum lace and plum and metallic gold tweed.  Only one problem.  It’s a size 14.  Grrr…  I hate tearing up something so beautiful, but for $7, how could I go wrong?  I decided to go altered couture on its butt!  At first, I was still going to make my Solid Gold dancer jeans into a skirt, and then I thought I might not wear a skirt all that much.  So I did this instead:

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I left the bottom of the jacket raw because the tweed will fray nicely once I throw it in the washer and beat it up a bit.  But, I think the lace on the pockets has to go.  I wasn’t sure about it.  So, I used a very loose stitch, and removing them should be no problem.  I think the lame will just have to speak for itself, and…

PamDebTony

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Yeah, you guessed it; I watched The Devil Wears Prada last night.  Acutally, watched is a relative term especially when you’re doing laundry, washing dishes, packing the car, picking out fabric, and taking the dog out a couple of times.  It only made me feel schlumpy.  I mentioned it to Paladin later.  He had been washing some slacks and was talking about how he used to try to dress to impress me.  I haven’t made an actual effort to dress since Valentines Day.  I’m definitely feeling it too.  I get several girly magazines and I’ve noticed a direct corellation between those and my desire to look better.  Unfortunately, that’s as far as its gotten. 

 

Despite my lack of offspring, I’ve been rocking the mom look lately.  I grab a decent t-shirt or, if I’m feeling fancy, a casual blouse to go with my jeans and tennis shoes.  Over the weekend, every time I stepped out of the house it was with bad hair and to tell the truth, I didn’t really brush my hair the whole weekend.  What?  I was like busy.  I just kept grabbing a clip and throwing it into a bun.  There’s an old country song that says, “High-browed people lose their sanity.”  I think it’s true.  That’s why so many moms just grab what they can to look “decent”…not good mind you…just not skanky.  Lipstick and earrings is the sign that you’ve got it all together.  Layering a ballet necked knit over a buttoned blouse then draping yourself in Chanel baubles and a page boy cap come a FAR second to being able to roll out at a moments notice.  I respect that, but I can’t help but wince when I watch a movie like that with their oh-so-fashionable “clackers” or look at the design pages in the fashion mags.  I want to be that. 

 

I used to try at least.  I used to put actual outfits together.  Now, I just live in jeans.  I know it’s all for the best, probably.  One shouldn’t spend too much time on this stuff even if Meryl Streep points out that every color we see on the shelves had its debut on the runways.  Consciously, I know that in an afternoon I could throw together several outfits with accessories and line them up to be worn throughout the week (I love that the uniform is no long poo-pooed by the fashion elite…Edith Head always extolled its virtues!).    In reality, I haven’t the energy even if I managed to push through and find the time.  It probably doesn’t help that most of my days are spent cleaning, trying to get the house into some kind of decent shape, running dogs about, or occasionally wiping butts (the kids asked me what my job was one day and I answered that ‘I wipe butts’…they think its hilarious…I’m starting to think I need a new job).  I just can’t feel the recessionista vibe right now.

 

Anybody else need a makeover?  😦

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Full length ballgown that took forever to make.

 

Here’s the 2-weeks-o’-torture dress.  Keep in mind that Tina was bunching up her shoulders to keep the sleeves from falling down (yup, she a shorty).  The main dress is satin with old-fashioned roses in dusty mauve and light gold.  The sleeves are a rayon crepe in crème with a sheer overlay embroidered in gold scrolling.  The sleeves came out kind of poofy because of the stiff overlay which kind of made me feel like an 80’s beauty queen (or like I was wearing a tablecloth on my arm).  It looks much better in person than in the pics.  In hindsight, I should have left off the overlay, but it looked so plain without it (and I gots to have my glam).  Then again it would have been fine if it wasn’t so stiff, but considering that the sleeve and straps were entirely improvised, I think it came out ok.  Am I delusional??? 

Close up of the sleeve.

Next time, (haha I AM delusional!) I think I’ll save myself the trouble and just make the original dress with the full frontal dress overlay cinched on the side and bolero (even though I know it will be danged hot).

Simplicity Pattern 5207

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Last day of Clomid!  Now the waiting and peeing of sticks begins.  I’m stocked up on Instead cups and Preseed.  Yeah, doesn’t sound much like the old-fashioned way does it?  Whatever happened to sex for sex’s sake?  Oh, and don’t worry men, I’m not going to blog about this constantly (I know, just as I was about to talk about the sex).  These posts were written for the ones who are online looking and wondering if the Mexican Clomid works, etc.  Does it work?  I dunno, but I’ve definitely had the headache side effect and my ears have been burning a lot (I don’t know who is talking about me at 7am…I’m not that interesting).

 

But, as usual, I should be ovulating while M. is at drill.  Luckily, this time there’s a military ball in Shreveport.  So we’ll be together, but probably in a big hurry.  This is the first ball I’ll be attending, and I’m starting to wish he was still a Specialist.  Sergeants are “encouraged” to attend (too bad that the last time M. got a brown nose was when he fell of his bicycle…was that just last year?  man time flies).  This has left me scrambling for a summer ball gown that still covers my arms (AARRGGHH!!!! why couldn’t they be like all the other groups M. has been with and do it in the winter?).  As a result, I’ve resorted to making my own dress.  This leads to discoveries like Simplicity Patterns are pretty much true to size (no I didn’t need the 26, but a couple of huge darts under the arms tightened it up) and buy every scrap of fabric you can get your hands on (not just what the pattern says…because then you have bright ideas like “instead of making a bolero in plain white I can just improvise a sleeve!”).  It’s a practice in cruelty is what it is! 

 

If that’s not enough to keep me insane, GingerMagnolia is visiting the first week of July (Yay!), and that means that this house needs more than just cleaning (which it also needs…was that a dust bunny or did Pascal shed an ear?).  We need another house!  This place just isn’t big enough for all our crap, and yes, I have cleared the clutter (at least in my opinion I have…I refuse to give up all my décor items because I change the décor a couple of times a year and constantly recycle items for that…besides 2 more boxes aren’t killing anyone).  The problem is that half the stuff in the house belongs in a shed, and we don’t have one.  Hence, our stimulus payment went toward building a porch with a closet/room/shed on one end.  Now I just have to convince the men to finish it before Ginger gets here.  HA! HA!  I’m not holding my breath (but I am praying and offering a lot of bribes…cake counts as a bribe right?).  Our last shed attempt began about this time last year (and for the same reason).  Nine months later it had finally gotten 2 out of 4 walls framed!  That was just before the tree falling crushed it to bits.  I’ve got some shelves to install that will open up some room I hope.  Oh and the air conditioner has to be installed in Ginger’s room (just cut out the hole I left in the wall for it).  The entire house will have to be reorganized once the shed’s up, of course.  Did I mention that I need to replace the ceiling in Ginger’s room too?

 

So, all I need to do in the next few weeks is build a porch & shed, redesign & sew a ball gown, reorganize & clean every inch of the Ghetto Trailer, put up a new ceiling & shelves, do a mountain of laundry, there’s going to be a paper outline due for my class that’s starting this week, and I’m going to be on driving duty every morning…  Oh, and Rachel decided we’d have a dessert night, and I can’t make just one Old-fashioned Peanut Butter Cake because Mom would have a fit if she didn’t get one. 

 

I’m screaming silently now…want a piece of cake?

 

 

 

Peanut butter cake...and tomatoes fresh from the garden

 

 

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Did you miss me?  I know, I’ve been AWOL a lot lately.  There’s really been only one thing going on this week (well, two if you count a chest cold that M. has been fighting since last Saturday…oh the phlegm…or was that the Blob?…eeewwww).  I’ve been writing a paper which is due today, and naturally, I didn’t even start it until about 4 days ago (the hacking from the other side of the bed sent me running in the wee hours…it’s not that I’m particularly gross-out-able but the spitting gets to me after a while…uuugghh).  As it turned out it had to be 20 pages and for once I had picked a topic that forced me to write it from scratch.  Yes, I’m an idiot; usually I just piece something together from other papers I’ve written, but some 18 hours of work later it’s done.  Anyhow, I didn’t think ya’ll would be dying to know the ins and outs of a program designed to spread the Voluntary Simplicity word and provide the poor with charitable donations which would allow them to join local community organizations.  Oy, can you tell my head is still mired in the details?

 

On to something a bit more mindless…

 

I was sitting in the parking lot of M.’s school looking at my Harper’s Bazaar mag, and I couldn’t help but think one thing, “Even if I could spend $150 on a bikini, would I?”  You might recall a couple of posts ago when I mentioned how bored I am with my look.  My current look is carefully crafted mind you, and tends to be a mix of bohemian chic occasionally spiffed up with something slinky.  There’s good reason for this.  Tunics, a boho staple, tend to be my best bet since they often have ¾ sleeves and all their emphasis is on the neckline (never get into an arm flab contest with me…I can beat anything you’ve got…thank you gastric bypass…in my next book the mom/serial killer is using nothing but arm flab as her weapon).  I do love them because I throw on some fab dangly earrings, some funky ethnic bracelets, and my knock-off designer sunglasses and away I go looking oh so put together.  But my tunics are starting to get a bit warn and I’m not seeing many that I like in the stores.  This can only mean one thing:  FASHION CRISIS!!! (the alarm sounds as Mama Armflab flies into action flapping her wings as she takes out plus size designers everywhere)

 

I have simple rules when it comes to my clothing:

 

1.     It must have a sleeve.  And, I’m not talking about those little cap sleeves they’ve been putting on all the cute t-shirts lately.  (wth is up with that, Walmart?…fat girls need real sleeves!…add $1 to the price and give me a sleeve!)

2.     An interesting neckline is a major plus.  I gots the tatas, and I likes to use them.  They are one of the few good things about extra pounds (though I’ve lost volume in those too…but you roll these suckers up and stuff them into a good bra and it ain’t too shabby).

3.     Everything from my tits to my ankles has to be covered.  I don’t have cankles; I have CANKLES!  Even my calves have drooping skin and it just grosses me out.  And, to paraphrase, Suzanne Sugarbaker (aka Delta Burke on Designing Women), like Grandma said, “If it don’t look good, don’t put it out on your front porch.”

4.     When it comes to bright color or pattern, put it on top.  I also gots a big behonky, and although I don’t mind my big booty, I don’t feel the need to make it my sole focus.  Balance is everything; so when I look at an outfit overall and my eye is immediately drawn to the neckline, top, or shoulders, I know it’s just right.  Therefore, most of the cute screenprinted tops don’t work either with their penchant for putting the printing on the bottom.  Make me bigger around the middle?  No, thanks.

5.     If all else fails, take a picture!  If I’m not sure it looks right, I have someone take a digital picture of me in it.  Then I can judge it better.  I suppose if you have a really hard time judging the outfit instead of your hair, etc., you could cut your head off of the picture to make it easier.  J

 

 

Mind you, about a month ago, I found out that we can get our Tricare medical insurance back at a mere $260 a month.  Chances are good it will cover reconstructive plastic surgery (yes that’s me you hear giggling and dancing in the background).  Hopefully, a year or two from now, I won’t have anything but scars in need of coverage.  To quote the geeks, W00t!

 

However, in the meantime, I’ve got cankles to cover.  Consequently, cooler weather is also my friend, even though I freeze to death most of the time (M. took my temperature the other day and I was 96.9…I didn’t even feel cold…makes me wonder what it is when I’m freezing).  Cooler weather opens up a lot of possibilities with all the jackets and layering:  denim rocker chick, preppie in a vest (striped tank over a mandarin collar tunic) & corduroy coat, Dallas reject in a long faux fur (move over Sue Ellen).  But what do I do now that the boho tunic thing seems to be falling out of fashion favor? 

 

Yes, I know they’re still doing the Ally McGraw style of 70’s tunics and caftans (I do loves me a caftan…some cute thongs, big earrings, & an updo makes me a very trendy Mrs. Roper), but I long for structure.  I’m not afraid to show my figure.  I just want the outline of it and not the whole show or a giant sack! 

 

 

Last night was Tina’s birthday (she’s totally old and was really enjoying this Bahama Mama), so after a dinner at The Landing on Front Street in Natchitoches, LA (home of the movie Steel Magnolias), we drove back through Alexandria (where the aunt in Steel Magnolias was supposed to live…you know the one that made that bleedin’ armadillo cake), and had just enough time to hit Burlington Coat Factory before it closed.  I was on the hunt, and I was seriously disappointed.  What I was really looking for was some Calvin Klein Jeans brand t-shirts (if you know where to find them PLEASE TELL ME).  I found one at Burlington before in a 3x which made it loose enough to cover the flab and all the cool screenprinting was done starting at the shoulder (awesome!), but alas, they had plenty like it in the Misses sizes but none in the big girl sizes.  WHY?  They obviously make them! 

 

They did a survey a few years ago that said that something like 60% of people wouldn’t mind not having so many fashion seasons, and I’m starting to agree.  Take a look at pattern books and there are lots of designs, but often it’s the fabrics & trims which make the look change from one style to another.  But I just don’t have the time to run myself up 5 or 6 new tops every few months on the trusty sewing machine.

 

I LOVE fashion.  I do.  I get half a dozen fashion mags a month (Bazaar, Marie Claire, Elle, etc…Bazaar is my favorite for their back page “in & out” section…it will never steer you wrong though I don’t always agree with it…it’s great for those who can’t afford a stylist and are fashion challenged).  But for years I’ve been wondering, where is my store?  Cato’s has a nice selection and so do several other shops that focus on larger sizes (Avenue, Lane Bryant, Roamans, Jessica London, Fashion Bug).  But, inevitably, they have the dowdy-est colors and patterns that make me want to gag, and the more traditional retailers offer up only a few token items for the big girls (and they’re definitely not focusing on covering up my arm flab).  What is a girl to do????  NO, REALLY…TELL ME!

 

 

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