Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hanes Silk Reflections Pantyhose


Okay, so it’s not the most exciting topic to end the year with. But for many, sheer pantyhose are a necessity for work or eveningwear. They certainly provide that finishing touch. Hanes Silk Reflections have been around for years and are the most popular pantyhose in America. You can pay less for pantyhose at your local discount department store, but you can’t beat the Hanes value and durability. If you’re a novice to pantyhose, the selections can be very confusing. Control top vs. non-control top is pretty straightforward. Once that decision is made, you decide whether you want a reinforced toe (RT) for closed footwear, or the sandalfoot (sheer, SF), for open toes There is also an open toe Silk Reflection style, but lets not confuse things here! The Silk Reflections style shown here (715) has a slight sheen. It also comes in many different shades. Barely There and Barely Black are the most popular. These Hanes list at $8.00, but we sell them for $6.50, so that’s quite a savings if you are purchasing several or more, which is what we usually see. Our US shipping is $3.85 up to $30.00 in purchases, then it’s free.
HANES HOSIERY

Stay safe tonight and have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Changing Styles?



This is a photograph from a Life Magizine story,  circa 1960 and shows two quite similar gowns from two distinct eras. The gold lame gown on the left is a Chanel of Paris, 1936 while the one on the right is a Bill Blass "knockoff" from their fall 1960 collection. It's just one more example of how the past continually  comes alive again when it comes to fashion and style. It holds true today. One quote was telling: "Some fashions were hardly out of date before they were in again."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Movie Recap and Review




I forgot to include The Santa Clause and Planes, Trains and Automobiles in my holiday movie list a few days ago.  How could I forget Planes, Trains and Automobiles? That one was hilarious and is one of my all-time favorites. We watched some new ones (to us) from our list and here's the recap:

Holiday Affair with Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum, delightful.

A Christmas Tale (French) with Catherine Deneuve, dreary, so didn't watch it all.

I'll Be Seeing You with Ginger Rogers, Joseph Cotten and Shirley Temple, melancholy, ditto above.

The Shop Around the Corner, with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, another charmer, it stays on our holiday list.

And finally, last night we watched Balalaika, made in 1939, with Frank Morgan (Wizard of Oz), Ilona Massey  from Hungary (often compared to Garbo and Dietrich), and Nelson Eddy. It's a musical set in 1914, at the brink on WWI and the Bolshevik revolution and is a love story between a Cossack prince and a pro-Bolshevik singer. "Made in 1939, the film reflects Hollywood's interest in non-czarist Russia, our soon-to-be ally against Nazi Germany. But ultimately, Balalaika is pure entertainment...full of tender and funny moments*."  We agree and it, too makes our holiday list.


*(quote from the video cover)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Persian Terrace - Hotel Syracuse


Marty here. The Hotel Syracuse was one of three upscale hotels in downtown Syracuse, N.Y. during downtown's time of prosperity, from the 20's through the 50's and on into the 60's. The other two hotels were torn down during the "Urban Renewal" (now known as urban destruction) of the later 60's. The Hotel Onondaga was replaced by a monolith-type offfice building, and the Yates Hotel was supposed to be replaced by the same, except it never happened and it remains a parking lot to this day. The Persian Terrace was, and surprisingly still is a formal dining hall. The only reason I remember it is that my father used to go there with buddies occasionally after a union meeting (Steamfitters Local 818) for a nightcap. This is a menu from there. Unfortunately, I have no idea when this is from. Given that you could have a steak dinner for the price of what would get you a McDonald's Happy Meal today, I would guess that it might be from the late 40's?
Here's a link to the present day PERSIAN TERRACE



Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Thanks

Marty here. We wanted to recognize several people who make our life much easier. At our local West Hyannisport Post Office there's Joe and Tony. I'm the delivery person, so they have to put up with me bringing in tubs of packages everyday, many times clogging up the line. Joe never minds how many I bring in and always has a great sense of humor; Tony moans when he sees me coming, but in a humorous kind of way (most of the time).  Thanks Tony and Joe!
       Also on a daily basis is a trip to the West Yarmouth UPS to pick up shipments from our vendors. Patty and Chris are always on top of things and always greet me with a smile. I felt sorry for Patty this past week as she was inundated with customers looking for last minute packages. She still remained calm and courteous. Thank-you Patty and Chris!

Joe



Tony

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Silhouette Cascade Balconette Bra

This lovely bra is brought to you by Silhouette England. Besides the high quality and beautiful styling, it comes in many hard-to-find sizes -from 30D up to 40F.
SILHOUETTE CASCADE 3108 BACONETTE BRA

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Movie Favorites


It's been a while since I've posted any movie suggestions and I thought it's a good time to make a list of memorable holiday movies that have made it into our collection (or library circulation).

Besides, the classics from TV -- Rudolph, Charlie Brown, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The House Without a Christmas Tree, One Christmas and so on, there are several oldies we've come to love. If you do the holiday movie marathon, a favorite to start or end with is Raymond Briggs,' "The Snowman," narrated by David Bowie, with an ethereal soundtrack that takes you with it.

Some I'm listing are new to us this year, discovered from other blogs and the book, "The Great American Christmas Almanac." Not all are Christmas-centric, but rather have references to the season in them. We haven't seen them all, so if you have, please do share (or share some of your favorites). Without further ado, here's the list:

A Christmas Story (of course! can't leave out Ralphie) and Home Alone

White Christmas, Holiday Inn, Going My Way and Bells of St. Mary's (this list would have a huge hole in it without Bing!)

Boys Town, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol (and it's many incarnations, including Scrooged)

Love Actually (watched it for the first time this year -- a keeper!) and Home for the Holidays

The Shop Around the Corner and It's a Wonderful Life with James Stewart

I'll Be Seeing You, The Shop on 5th Avenue, Holiday Affair and Balalaika

A Christmas Wish

Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck) and The Bishop's Wife (Cary Grant), both hilarious!

The Grinch and Prancer

...and who can forget that other made for TV heartwarmer that launched a series, The Homecoming Christmas?

Happy Happy Joy Joy Have a Merry Peaceful and Safe Holiday Season
~from Marty and Patricia

Monday, December 21, 2009

Year End Recognition - our Models

Marty here. The end of the year is a good time to recognize those who have helped us here during the past year. First up are our models – the faces of the business. Some apparel manufacturers provide great images, so we seldom need to model their products. Others, especially those that may cater more to brick/mortar stores may be lacking in good pictures. That’s where our models step in. They do a great job, especially given that many of the lingerie garments modeled are far from “pinup” in nature.
Here they are:

SOPHIE


LYDIA


KERRI


AND OF COURSE PATRICIA

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland


Marty here. Blizzard conditions here on Cape Cod this morning. We've had about a foot of snow so far. I'm not sure how strong the wind has been but the weather service was forecasting gusts up to 60 mph. I love snow in December right before Christmas. It reminds me of growing up in Syracuse, N.Y. Maybe we'll have a White Christmas here, although a true White Christmas is when it's actually snowing on Christmas day, not just snow on the ground.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carnival Merry Widow


Carnival has been in the lingerie business since the 1940’s. Their specialty is bridal wear and this has been one of their more popular items –a front zip bustier with garters. It is very similar to Warner’s Merry Widow, first seen in the 1950’s. We have a “later” version from the ‘60’s on Little Pink Dress. Since there is such a bridal wear focus with Carnival, it’s easy to overlook other possibilities. It looks very alluring in black, one of Carnival’s optional colors.
Carnival 386 "The Silhouette Maker" Strapless Braselette

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1965 Sears Christmas Catalog



Marty here. As a kid, one of the most exciting parts of the Christmas season was when the Sears and Montgomery Wards Christmas catalogs arrived. This is a Sears catalog from 1965. Looking it over, a few things stand out. Televisions were really expensive back then - over $800.00 for a 25 inch?!! How about a kid's oven that heats up to 400 degrees? Many of the toys would probably be banned today. Somehow we survived unscathed.















Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hungry


I'm a bit hungry at the minute -- it's just about time for my afternoon cookie and tea. One of my favorite bagged chai teas was on sale recently (today's the last day), so I went for broke (literally), and bought a box of 100 that arrived yesterday. I couldn't resist, I mean, 55% off and free shipping??! All I could think of was how much money I'm actually saving making my own tea lattes rather than buying them out. So easy with this tea, some raw sugar and heated milk whipped to a froth with this little gadget.

** image from Mighty Leaf tea website

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Book


Another post for Kesley. One of my favorite holiday books is actually The Hundred Dollar Holiday by Bill McKibben. It covers the simple joys of the season that I aspire to return to. Last year was the first Christmas in a long time that I kept to a low budget and even made many of my gifts. I make gifts every year but last year I made more.

The book isn't necessarily about making all of your gifts but rather focusing on what makes this season of light memorable in the course of our lives. I mean, think about it, how many gifts do you really remember from your childhood holidays? It's the experiences I remember -- going to school plays, playing and singing Christmas carols (I love caroling through the neighborhood -- one of the best times I had with my kids), driving around looking at lights, going to midnight Mass, decorating the tree with cheerios or homemade paper chains, baking cookies, going ice skating or sledding, exchanging cards (does anyone do that anymore?), trips to see Santa and so on. It's the people, the events, not the crazed shopping that we remember. This book is a reminder to slow down and enjoy the truth of this season's beauty -- togetherness, family, friendship, light, song, joy, color, taking a breather from the everyday.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Seamed Stockings


Seamed stockings were commonplace everyday wear until the later 50’s. A lady was probably making a fashion statement if she wore anything but back-seam stockings when wearing a dress or skirt. Today, they are fashionable, fun and out of the ordinary. Brabarella carries Cette (pronounced "set") Berlin stockings in black, and recently added "tendresse", which is a nude/beige shade. We sell these for $12.00/pair, real value for these Belgium-made stockings. If that’s a little too pricey for you, we also carry Berkshire back-seam style stockings at $7.00 per pair, made in the USA and another real value. Now these are traditional nylon stockings, so they won’t stay up on their own. You’ll need garters, a garter belt or a girdle. If you don’t want to go that route, we also carry Berkshire Back Seam Pantyhose.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pashupatina


I forget what the name means -- I think Natalie may have mentioned it years ago and she is one of my favorite jewelry designers. She is fearless in how she combines beads in all kinds of wild explorations that somehow work. I have two of her necklaces and have yet to tire of wearing them. It's only a matter of time before her work skyrockets into collector's status and lands on a runway or some fashion magazine's pages somewhere.

I wondered why she had dropped off the radar after what seemed like a long lapse -- well, now she's back to her bead wrangling and her work is as gorgeous and unexpected as ever. The reason for her absence is now two years old and naps are the perfect time for Natalie to indulge her passion for beads. Check her work out here.

But don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Come September


We're in the middle of watching another Rock Hudson and Doris Day movie, but before we started this one, we watched Come September with Rock, Gina Lollobrigida, Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee (who married after the movie).

It was a light romantic romp of a comedy, good escape in gray weather and a grayer economy.

Rock plays an American millionaire who visits his Italian Riviera villa every year and when he does, spends his time with his Italian girlfriend. Only this year, he arrives early and finds his staff running the villa as a hotel complete with teenage American coeds on semester break.

He and his girlfriend can't get a moment alone, and are caught up in teenage love dramas and mischief. Rock's parental advice to the teenage girls regarding what a boy wants totally backfires on him when Gina gets wind of it, but that's all I'm saying. Check it out at your library and have some fun yourself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Berkshire Hosiery



Berkshire has been making hosiery since 1906, back when nylon was unknown and stockings were silk. In 1977 the Mayer Hosiery Company, another long-time hosiery maker, purchased Berkshire to form Mayer Berkshire Company. The company has taken pride in keeping its manufacturing in North Carolina rather than farming out production overseas as all too many apparel manufacturers have done. This detail shows in the quality and long-term consistency of their products. Berkshire makes close to 100 styles of nylon and nylon/spandex hosiery and pantyhose, including fishnet, thigh high, ultra-sheer, back seam, control top, toe-less, opaque tights, and on and on. All are made in the USA and more than reasonably priced. Combine that with our low shipping rates - $3.85 for up to $50.00 purchased, then free on orders $50.oo or more - and you have real bargain.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In the News


Occasionally, the front page news provides me with a good laugh tather than gloom and doom. Such was the case tonight when I saw MSN's headline: "FBI on the lookout for an elderly "geezer bandit" on the loose after robberies." The article describes the gent as appearing to be in his 70's. I know plenty of folks in their 70's and they don't look nearly as old as this guy. He looks old enough to be Butch Cassidy. That thought got me to researching Butch -- his sister and doctor appear to have claimed he did indeed return from Bolivia. Hmmm....

Other news: stock up on Eggo waffles while you can -- Kellogg's is predicting a shortage through the middle of 2010 and will be rationing stores.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Little Pink Dress Update

Marty here. Little Pink Dress, our vintage website, is slowly growing. Most categories, with the exception of Dry Goods and Accessories have items for sale. We figured that it would be late fall/early winter before it was "fully stocked" and that's still looking about right. The other day we had a customer ask about combining orders between the two sites. Brabarella's shopping cart is different from LPD's, so that's not possible if you're trying to do it yourself. However, if you let us know what you want, we can send you one invoice and combine things that way. You may notice that LPD's shipping rates are slightly higher than Brabarella's. That is due to the fact that we have flat-rate shipping and what we sell on LPD tends to be heavier-weight than what we sell on Brabarella.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Contempt and the Thrill of It All


Yep, our two movies this week were a couple of oldies, both from 1963, vastly different from each other -- Contempt was a French existential drama modeled slightly along the story of Ulysses on different levels (aren't many philosophers French? I know Marty has some in his heritage). It starred Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, and as we were watching it I knew we'd seen it before. Marty had no recollection until the very end. Still, I'm glad to have watched it a second time because the second time I was all of a sudden able to follow the story line as it evolved.

On the other hand, The Thrill of It All, with Doris Day and James Garner, was rather irritating to me at times -- I tend to bristle at stereotyped roles a la Hollywood. It was a comedy though and it did deliver -- very funny in certain parts. James Garner is the doctor, Doris his wife and she ends up being a hit actress doing commercials for Happy Soap. James isn't so happy but the ending is, so watch it and just have fun (when you're not rolling your eyes at the absurdity).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

To all the fallen soldiers, the ones who never came back, the ones who returned and the ones still there -- THANK YOU.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today


Went to Giving Tree Gardens today with my girl Janice, after meeting her in Sandwich at Paul’s for tea. I love taking people there; it is a special place, and always lifts my spirits. That I was with a friend only made it better.

It is women owned and operated – a mother, daughter, and sweetest redhead manager. Judith was on the grounds doing fall cleanup, and stringing lights for the solstice season. The shop has the most exquisite jewelry and some random gifts mixed in. Judith’s daughter, Rachel, is doing awesome tee shirts screen-printed with original photographs and inspirational quotes. The business has evolved over the years, the first time I was in there I bought my nephew a mezuzzah for his bar mitzvah. I still owe his brother one, but by the time Luke was bar mitzvahed, Giving Tree was doing mostly jewelry. At one time, Judith also had a cafĂ© on the lower level – I can only imagine the dreaminess of that space.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Brussels Sprouts

Last spring I planted Brussels Sprouts in our garden, not realizing how much square footage they would eventually grow into. I just knew that I loved buying the stalks so much last year at the farm stand (actually it was the roasting, not the buying I loved so much, but anyway...), that I'd grow my own this year. I planted 6 which ended up taking up about 1/3 of our small garden. But no matter -- it's now harvest time and last week I harvested and roasted my first bounty. I went out with a huge kitchen knife, trying to be discreet about it, being Halloween and all. Those babies are tough stalks to cut with a knife, you really need a machete or a hand ax and that's what I'll use the next time, yet again, discreetly, although Halloween is now past.

Many people don't know that Brussels Sprouts grow like little trees with huge leaves and at the base of the leaves near the stalk is where the sprouts grow. I stripped the sprouts from the stalk, washed them up, and put them in a roasting pan with olive oil, kosher and/or garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. Gave them a toss to coat them well, and put them in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or so.

They go down like candy, so tasty and sweet, and will definitely give you a belly ache afterward if you're not sharing (I'm the only one who likes them here), but I'm willing to make the sacrifice, for the season is short and when you eat locally and seasonally, you must seize the good eats while you can.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sunday


This past Sunday I spent a lovely hour or so at Borders browsing magazines before buying my intended purchase, Heidi Swanson's cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. I don't normally buy new cookbooks, most of mine were gifts, thrifted, or very carefully considered -- I like simple, tasty, healthy recipes -- not a lot of ingredients, or time consuming preparation. Heidi's book fits the bill. After checking it out from the library several times and renewing it several times, I figured it was time to buy it (plus the coupon burning a hole in my pocket made it all the more tempting). To get a taste of some of Heidi's recipes, head on over to her blog, and prepare yourself for some mighty good eating.

** book image from Random House

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Weekend


This year I got as far as an actual costume for Halloween but ended up not dressing up. Crazy, because so much of what we sell is great for costuming -- think theater festivals, Renaissance festivals, fairy festivals, Carnival, etc.

We did do a couple Halloweeny things though -- Friday night we went to a "Vampire History in New England" talk at a local library. It was to be followed by ghost hunting for actual ghosts (the library has an old wing that I am very familiar with and I would not be surprised to encounter some ghosts from my past there). However, we left after the vampire talk as it was so disappointing -- I like to learn something new and stories of old New Englanders mistaking consumption for vampirism is nothing new. The lack of spooky atmosphere (the bright lights were on), the difficulty hearing the "storyteller," and no vampire-y costuming didn't help the cause. So, we came home and watched a World War II movie about the Dutch resistance.

Saturday morning we went to our favorite diner for breakfast (get the number 1 for $5.99 -- 3 eggs any style, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, home fries and your choice of two (huge) pancakes or french toast. The artist who moonlights as a waitress there is great, and the crowd is always interesting, from the regulars, a Rip Van Winkle (after his 20 year sleep) lookalike sitting at the counter next to the wanderers -- a biker dude, and the occasionals like us.

Afterwards it was on to Plymouth for the last outdoor farmer's market of the season. Plymouth reminds me of a smaller version of Salem on the south shore. It's got some good, spooky history. Before we left, we wandered through the ancient cemetery (ancient for the New World) on the hill where many famous names from early American history lie.

Fortunately, in writing this blog post I stumbled across the site for Dead of Night Ghost Tours, so I am off to dreaming now -- of not having to wait for another Halloween to encounter spirits and mystery.

** image from Dead of Night's website, designed by the daughter half of the team...

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Negligee

Google has quite an archive of Life magazine images. Of particular interest to us are classic movie star and negligee pictures Here are some:

Jayne Mansfield from 1956

Rita Hayworth in a "Gilda" negligee from 1945
Actress Carole Landis
Rita Hayworth – low cut chiffon negligee

Joan Fontaine at home in a sheer negligee

Long Flowing Nightgown

From 1945, a strobe image of a model dressed in a bra, girdle, stockings and negligee leaving her dressing table to pick up her slippers. Not having YouTube back then, this was perhaps the next best thing?

Multiple exposure of a model in a negligee

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Farmer's Markets


Farmer's markets are winding down around now in southeastern Massachusetts, but I was thrilled when I got an email from SEMAP this morning letting me know Plymouth's is still going on until Halloween. I checked out Hingham's farmer's market site -- from the photos it looks like it could be a good one also. All I know is that when we've gone to the Great Cape Bakery the past couple of Saturdays, most of their donuts are at the Hingham market, but we've been lucky enough to score a handful of what's left. I particularly like their cranberry and cider donuts , but any of them will do. They are the perfect yummy, old-fashioned donut, hand rolled and cut.

This week the Plymouth market is definitely on the agenda as I wasn't able to get back to one a couple of weeks ago -- I wanted to catch up with Dylan, the little boy selling magic rocks at his grandmother's booth (thought she was his mom -- you go, Gran!), and I have to stock up on more of Phil's goods. As far as the doughnuts go, we're lucky enough to be able to scoot over to the bakery in Marstons Mills anytime. They were working out of their home for a few years but have recently moved the bakery to the back of an old market in the village. It's a sweet little scenic ride for us on a brilliant fall morning.

** photo from Hingham Market site -- I couldn't resist that little guy and his pumpkin!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rago Shapette 9051 Body Briefer


The Rago Shapette 9051 corselette is one of the more popular firm-control body briefers on the market today. Why? Well besides what it does for your figure, it’s also very lightweight, has some style (unlike much of the shapewear you see out there today), and it’s comfortable for most wearers. An added bonus are the detachable garters, allowing you to wear this as regular shapewear during the day, then dressing up in the evening by adding the garters and some nylon stockings – back seam perhaps. To top it off, they're made in America and priced at only $40.00! When you see the detail that goes into Rago girdles, and the hardware - metal, not plastic, I'm always amazed at the value.
RAGO SHAPETTE 9051 BODY BRIEFER

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Tween Season


October's the time of year when we get hit with some beautiful Indian Summer days in between days like last Sunday -- the Patriots played in the snow. After the last few balmy days, today is again brisk. Which brings me to warmth and fashion. It can be a challenge to be fashionable while staying warm and sometimes comfort wins out. Fortunately, in the case of two of my favorite boot brands, you can have both warmth and fashion. After many winters in northern Vermont, I have tried all brands and kinds of boots claiming warmth, comfort and water resistance. Not all claims have born out, but in the instances of Steger Moosehide Mukluks and Canadian Sorels, I've always come out a winner -- and a warm one at that. I particularly love Sorel's Joan of Arctic, Mukluks, well I tend to want one of each. Sadly, Sorels are no longer made in Canada as Columbia bought the company and moved the manufacturing to China. But, mukluks per Patti Steger continue to be made right in Ely, Minnesota.

** Kodiak Mukluks image from Patti's site

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Recommendations



Okay, so now for a mention of a couple favorite non-fiction writers. Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods and I'm a Stranger Here Myself are clever and hilariously good reads. Easy to get into if you're new to nonfiction. He's a great storyteller. Whether fiction or nonfiction it's all about the story. A Walk in the Woods is about his hike along the Appalachian Trail, I'm a Stranger Here Myself about his repatriation to the USA after several years in England.

Then there's Diane Ackerman. Her work is more serious than Bill's but no less fascinating. I particularly enjoyed A Natural History of the Senses and The Zookeeper's Wife. A Natural History of the Senses is just that and The Zookeeper's Wife is about a Polish zookeeper and his wife sheltering Jews during the Holocaust. Diane Ackerman's site describes it best.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arianne Ginger Chemise



It's never too early to start your Christmas wish list, so here's a stylish, high quality little chemise from Arianne. As we've said on many occasions, selling Arianne products online can be difficult because a picture can't capture the quality, detail, color and feel of their selections.
ARIANNE GINGER CHEMISE, STYLE 8876

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grenier and Real Corsets


Before you go out and spend big bucks on a corset from a maker you know little about, remember Grenier. This is a picture of a corset from their 1887 collection – Yes, 1887! And they were well established by then! Here are two from their current collection, both under $100.00.
GRENIER SATIN CORSET
GRENIER JACQUARD CORSET

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Report


Time for another book report -- more fiction. Writing about books has reminded me of how much great fiction is out there. I'm going to have to mix it up more in my own reading life -- I've been overdosing on nonfiction for a while now and some fiction will just keep it real for me -- odd, huh?

So, two more of my favorite books: Children of Men by PD James and The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, both about the future, both very now, both very real. Cards replacing cash (from Handmaid's Tale) became more of a reality within a few years after Atwood wrote that book. PD James? I'd always read her mysteries -- Adam Dalgliesh and so on, watched the shows on PBS, and I loved her work. She's Brilliant, with a capital "B." Children of Men was completely different from her detective novels, but excellent as always. So there you have the book report for this week. Enjoy!

** cover image from CLAMS

Monday, October 12, 2009

Little Pink Dress Vintage Clothing Update

Little Pink Dress is partially up and running. It's still a work in progress, but it is functional. The link is to the right.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Beckoning of Lovely



I'm not sure if I've written about Amy Krouse Rosenthal's books and projects here or not. I enjoy her books and I love her projects. Here's a follow-up to her original Beckoning of Lovely project. There are always skeptics out there about this sort of thing, but I am not one of them. Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reading

This post is for my friend Kesley. She's caught the reading bug. It never occurred to me until recently that there are some folks who are latecomers to reading -- I say "better late than never."
I have always been a bookworm -- I read constantly and go to the library regularly. Oh, and I've worked in libraries off and on for a number of years.

I love books, what more can I say? The thought of the printed page becoming obsolete is not something I like to consider.

So on to two fiction authors I've always enjoyed -- I rarely read fiction any more but when I do, I like good storytelling (same with nonfiction, for that matter), and these two women are superb -- Louise Erdrich and Toni Morrison. Yes, they have made the bestseller lists and no, I am not a bestseller fan; however, they write beautiful prose. I recommend you start with The Beet Queen and Song of Solomon, then read everything else they've written (because you'll want to once you read one).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

About time for another Weather Post

It's monsoon season here on the cape -- I drove back in drizzle all the way from Western Mass, only to hit a downpour on the Mid-Cape, complete with wild winds, buckets of rain hitting the windshield and typical Mass drivers flying along regardless. My dad would be one of them. Me, I channel Evelyn and adjust my speed limit. I'm just not into hydroplaning. If I wanted a pilot's license, I'd fly a real plane.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

History, Herstory, Your Story, My Story, Our Story

Went through family memorabilia with my dad last week before he put my parents' house on the market.

I feel lucky to be going through it while my parents are still alive. It was pretty cool finding the baby book my mother kept for me when I was born. She was amazing at keeping records from my first tooth to first step to first lock of hair.

She kept my bracelets, got autographs from the nurse and doctor and kept her special dinner menu -- she had filet mignon and she even kept the red plastic stick they put in it (she likes her beef rare)!

I am looking forward to scanning some of the mementos. There was just so much history, and I realized it's much bigger than me or any individual, it's all of us. And it's not about the house or even the stuff but the memories inside of us that they trigger when we search -- my father's collar stays, a photograph of him with his five brothers, his film from Vietnam, my mother's yearbook and boxes of cards, letters and more from my sisters and me. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be -- and it's pretty easy to figure out the stuff that matters and what to let go of.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Flower Bali Review

The Flower Bali bra has been around for years and was always my favorite for years. I don't know why I ever left it. It's a great bra, smooth cups under tee shirts, pretty, durable, comfortable and great support. It's a classic and for well-endowed women I consider it one of the best bras for support. It washes well and lasts for a good length of time. (This is if you launder it in a net bag in the wash and then line dry). It's an incredible value.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Clearing Clutter


Marty and I are doing some clutter busting. My sister-in-law got me started a few years ago and I made huge progress with personal files a couple of Septembers ago when Molly was off to her first year in college.

Some favorite books include Julie Morgenstern's Organizing from the Inside Out and Kolberg and Nadeau's ADD-Friendly ways to Organize Your Life. Both books keep it simple and very clear, highly recommended, otherwise organizing can become overwhelming. Right now I'm reading Peter Walsh's "It's All Too Much," and I am liking it so far. My biggest struggles are with sentimental attachment to memorabilia (boxes of it), and "string too short to be saved" that I save anyway, because you just never know (especially if you're the creative type).

**image from Amazon.com

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wicked

Yep, it was my big day this week. My "birfday" as it's pronounced in Bawlmerese (Baltimore-ese for those of you unfamiliar). Got a card from Cafe Hon for a free dinner but I won't be back in Baltimore for a few more months. We went to Wicked for dinner. Here in Massachusetts it's common for people to say things like, "wicked good, wicked cool, wicked rainy," and so on. I had a wicked good birfday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bookworm


Marty and I are clearing space. Getting rid of stuff so energy can flow more freely around here. This pasty weekend we made a lot of progress in two rooms downstairs and hauled off a pile of books to the swap shop. And wouldn't you know it? I found a vintage classic vegetarian cookbook, Vegetarian Epicure, in excellent condition. Naturally, I brought it home for my cookbook collection. The recipes are simple, heavy on dairy (as this is from the 1970's), using ingredients easily found. We both enjoy food and I like basic cookbooks, especially the classics, such as Joy of Cooking and my Betty Crocker. I remember trying to follow the old Fanny Farmer cookbook years ago (my friends had that one), but those recipes were written in the old style, that is to say measurements that were not the cup and spoon fractions I understood.


**Image sources: Betty Crocker from abesbooks.com, Vegetarian Epicure from goodreads.com