Monday, October 29, 2012

Harvest Time


Oktoberfest is nearly fini. Still, I must show you a compilation photograph of three generations... celebrating the season wearing traditional gray suede German lederhosen. My husband about 80 years ago, my son around 40 years ago and his son this year. All photoshopped into one timeless image.
Now on to Day of the Dead. The day after All Hallows' Eve,
 it's a 3,000 year old Mexican tradition celebrating and honoring the dead.


Last year, on November 1st, we celebrated Peter's 80th in Oaxaca.
 From music, to marigolds to margaritas... indeed it remains a memorable 100 hours.


How FAB-N-FUN are these “to die for” Day of the Dead wellie cowgirl rain boots.
 I scored them this weekend at a hip resale shop... right here in our hood.

This Fall, I've been noticing a plethora of fur trimmed accessories. This phenomenon may be due to yet another Anna Karenina movie that will be coming out in a few weeks. Just to get into the know/now of it all, I trimmed a collection of vintage fur collars with pearls crystals and beads.



By making use of a few  feet of: "what will I ever do with these" coin & feather trims,
I gave this tired out of date wool purse a much needed Anna Karenina facelift.

Although this classic Art Deco bag is perfection, like icing on a cake, I couldn't resist piling a few jewels atop it's Bakelite crown. Thankfully, TOO MUCH is not TOO MUCH this season.


OK, I'm now officially out of trim control. Our Alameda museum has a charming small town kind of shop...that until now, was a well kept secret. This treasure trove is where I found my latest: “please take me home and freshen me up” bag for two dollars.

Exquisitely constructed out of Australian Ostrich skins, sad to say it was infused with a sort of: “been in grandmother’s attic too long” certain je ne sai quoi kind of scent. I tossed this 1950's beauty into a Bounce tissue lined plastic bag and let it just sit for a week. The odor vanished and the trimming began.

In a deep dark corner of my coat closet, I found this magnificent Russian looking coat. Although it fits like a tight, tight glove, I'm still planning to wear it with a fur hat and boots... at least to the “Anna” movie premiere.


“Need had nothing to do with it”. My piggy bank nearly ran dry after buying this compendium of forever fabulous jackets. I might paint and gold leaf the tired and faded YSL red leather one.

Without even looking at the price, I snapped up this ZAC POSEN number. From black tie to jeans,
 I can snap a waist and style dramatic cuffs into it's silhouette. Yup, I'm mad for this one.


This past summer... a few second hand, or should I say: a few second foot shoes, with my name on them... called to me from various “new to me” shops. I felt that: this girly girl simply had to answer these calls...again and again and again. All flats. All feel fantastic. All flat out fab-boo.

Maybe it's the snob in me, but: “crafts person” is not a title I adore. Designer or artist is the tail one can pin on this donkey. That said... in a crafty way, I painted 75 California Poppies on this $10.00 Salvation Army “Alice Blue Gown” and wore it under a $20.00 flea market 1960's I. Magnin Hermes orange coat to The San Francisco Opera Opening. It was a real twirl of a night with my prince charming.

Last week, after escorting me to the opening of The San Francisco Fall Antique Show, Prince Peter took this picture of me, using a new impressionistic process. After a night of MUCH TOO MUCH, which is always TOO MUCH... I suggest using this very forgiving painterly process.


This year, the theme of the antique show was nautical. The following day, I couldn't resist wearing my: “I've had it forever” 1920's wool swimsuit to the nautical fashions lecture. Although my blouse added a bit of weight to the suit, I can't even imagine ever swimming laps in it.

To finish off this: "too heavy to ever float" swim suit,
 I made a belt out of a STRIP TEASE belt buckle and a STRIP of plastic.


These clear plastic bangles are easy as pie to make. That said: I'd never attempt to make a pie.For starters...  I had 2 inch tubes cut and polished. Next: I simply glued buttons, pins, earrings, sea glass and beads around the plastic bangles. A little gold leaf here and there and now I've got the NOW/NEW/IT gold cuffs goin' on... on my wrists for just a few bucks.



Last month I bought these “every designer is using them on everything” studs by the yard trim and then I waited and waited impatiently for inspiration. Voila the idea came to me: a simple black clutch with rows of trim... and now... just like in the fashion magazines...  I'm all studded out for Fall.



At our First Sunday Flea Market, I noticed a lovely tea set and a pretty creative tee shirt.
 The guy in the red beard kept the “T” shirt while I prepared a spot of “T” in the “T” pot.
Wishing you the time to IN JOY all the magic and beauty that these Autumn days offer us.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Almost Fall


This Ralph Lauren Fall 2012 look is nothing short of spectacular. Although my piggy bank won't allow me to own it, I can borrow a few elements from this beyond perfect trio combo and build a couple of nearly Fall looks of my own.

Leather, glitz, long sleeves and flirty skirts. Yup, I can find those pieces in my closet: twice!


This season, practical oxford shoes harken back to our grade school uniform days. Years ago, I detested wearing them. Today, my feet are saying: hooray! How happy was I to find this never worn pair of Ferragamos... in my exact size... at The Goodwill!?!


Until you give it a try, you won't believe how yummy this veggie topping is. After cooking and rolling your veggies in butter, simply frost them with a combination of grated Italian cheese, crushed peppers and agave syrup. I borrowed the Brussel sprouts hors d'oeuvre recipe from Park Tavern in San Francisco and the corn on the cob finishing touch from a street vendor in Oaxaca, Mexico. Yum.

If you just haven’t had it in your heart to toss out any and all of your ancient oversized winter coats... well, this season you are in luck: They are IN, IN, IN and: the bigger the better!

Recognize these two young men? Karl Largerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent... prize winners, nearly 60 years ago, of the 1954 International Secreteriat Competition. Not 100% aware, these designers were soon to become two of the most outstanding designers...ever. I'm tickled pink..or black and white with this photograph.

Staying on the black and white wicket, Nichole Kidmen just keeps getting better and better and remains one of the lead dogs in the fashion-red carpet world. I was thrilled to find this vintage LLD Little Lace Dress at the flea market. It looks terrific under an oversized cashmere coat that I've had since around the time I was wearing oxfords in grade school... well maybe not that for that long but for a long, long, long time.

Summer is almost over but S'mores will never be over. How cool is it that marshmallows are now available in a ginormous size. This Fall, for a grown up dessert, try broiling them and adding toasted slivered almonds and cocunut to this traditional gooey-n-good “never too old for it” treat.

From year to year, I seem to grow in and out of this Austrian dress. Whoo, whoo this year it fits... and this year it is front and center on many catwalks and in most Fall catalogs. If you have a bit of room in your closet, some treasures are worth keeping.



Maybe I'm getting old (yah think) but this faux croc ad..titled "HOT PROPERTY" really turns my stomach. Come on me this faux croc ad is just that: “a crock”... a HOT MESS rather than a HOT PROPERTY.


Once again... from head to toe for another dazzling year, and in every collection, royal purple is outshining every other jewel color. Elegant and simple or trimmed in glitz, this primary color works with animal prints, stripes, paisleys or sensationally solo.


Because this “had to have” bubble skirt was so fun, so NOW and on $ALE, I bought two.
For the top, my “can make anything work” Mr. Magic tailor removed the bubble part and cut arm slits into skirt number two. My grandmother's house slippers and a nearly vintage purse finished off my IN STYLE NOW jeweled tone cocktail suit.


Although real and delicate jewelry aways works, these dinner plate-sized faux pieces are show stoppers in $$$ and trendy showcases everywhere... especially in passionate purple.

Among the top designers, Miuccia Prada and Louis Vuitton have sprinkled mirrors, big bold beads, metal tubes and chains in Deco patterns onto every piece of clothing and accessory imaginable.

 I thought: “me too” as I embellished a tired suede vest which I now call my “Prauda" piece. I gave a fresh twist to this vintage bag and again a trusty pair of Ferragamos made my feet happy all evening

In the CAT dept:  I even “copycatted” Prada by wearing  this “I've had it forever” animal print Perry Ellis velveteen skirt with my brown "trimmed to the nines" brown suede vest.


“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”... oh and gather ye mint leaves and cherries too. Simply immerse mint leaves in bourbon and hide them in the freezer for Spring mint julips. Next: pit and drown cherries in brandy and let them sit for a while in a jar in the frig to trim up the best Manhattans ever.


Gaga, gracing Vogue's September issue and McQueen design on the edge have made it nearly OK for me to wear this outrageous “hotter than HOT pink” boot and jacket combo. In my golden years, I still haven't found a reason to take life or fashion seriously.... seriously!

Back to the freezer: keep a lemon...frozen... at the ready. Infuse a little vitamin D on fish, in a salad, grates so easily and there isn't any waste or addition to your waist.


Talking waists and: "the waist is a terrible thing to mind"... this idea is so simple. We all have old “got too small just sitting in the drawer” belts with buckles that can now be recycled and made new again. Just buy ¼ of a yard of thick plastic and double stick tape. Cut to fit your waist or hip line and tape your buckle in place. Once you feel confident in the plastic department, try your hand at bringing tired fabric or leather belts back to life. This project is a can't fail simple process.


After seeing metal studs... all over the place … trimming boots, bracelets and clutch bags for Fall 2012... “ I just had to have me some”. I found this “biker looking” trim in a local hobby shop. Now... I'm just waiting for'll happen.

 I leave you with two FUN “D” words of the day. My sister's 4 year old granddaughter named her invisible friend: DAMANDA . The other evening, a terrific girl from New Zealand said: “you are DELUXE”. Of course she is now my new BF! IN JOY these lovely... Almost Fall days.