November 3, 2012

Hope for All of Us Fashion Wannabes

Every now and then you hear one of those success stories about how someone went from rags to riches thanks to their incredible talent and good luck. This is one of them, and yet it isn't. This is the story of how an African-American Texas postman became the only American to ever design for Hermes, but also of how he has continued to be a postman and experienced mind-rending tragedy. As you will see his work is very unusual and hauntingly beautiful. A few examples from his website follow.

This is my favourite of his Hermes scarves.
How a Texas Postman Became an Hermes Designer

Not all of his works are scarf designs of course. He also does incredible paintings on various themes, largely religious.


And I Saw Heaven Open and Behold a White Horse..


I find this one particularly fascinating.

Beneath a Pale Destroying Angel a Mouse Kneels Devouring an Apple Before Silent Angel Trumpets

The horrific tragedy that turned Oliver's life upside down has inspired many dark works. I cannot help but think that this is one of them.

Skeleton Running Before Ominous Clouds

There is something intimate in his work, as if we are being allowed a glimpse into his battles with faith and reason and the evil that abounds in this world.

If that one doesn't get to you, you are probably dead.

Make sure you read Kermit Oliver's fascinating story here, to learn what his methods are and what his life has been. I'm hoping someone, preferably Mr. Oliver himself--will make a book about his life and works. I would love to read it!
How a Texas Postman Became an Hermes Designer

November 2, 2012

Get Ready to Party!

For most people, the holidays mean parties. Honestly, for me they don't. But let's pretend that they do just for the fun of it.

I love that twenties-style dresses are becoming easier to find. Here are two great ones from ShopRuche.
Gatsby Lace Drop Waist Dress

Fleurs de Nuit Tiered Dress

These dresses remind me of my all-time favourite movie, Singin in the Rain! And that brings me to this dress, which is covered in music. (Actually, there are some really neat swing dresses with musical notes on them in the movie during the montage that leads into "Beautiful Girl" and I've been wanting one of my own ever since I first saw that movie at age 5 or 6).

In the Key of Chic Dress

For a slightly more practical (for winter) option, I love this fun long-sleeved dress.

Dotted-Sleeve Solid Dress

Stars are trending at the moment, which is great because I've been collecting star jewelry and fabric for ages. Anyway, here's a great dress that will allow most shapes of women to look like stars. Sorry, bad puns aboundtoday. Be glad you don't have to live with me!

Glamorama Turquoise Star Print Pocket Dress

Dig For Victory's official Christmas 2012 dress is a lot of fun with its dirndl styling and dramatic fabric. Just remember that the sizing is British!

Red and Gold Imperial Print Heidi Dress

Finally, if you're looking for something a little over the top for a holiday party, I can't imagine anything better than this velvet gown from Poor Pitiful Pearl. It also gets props for looking incredibly comfortable.

Long Velvet Oxy Dress

Yay! I managed to make a list without a single "little black dress" on it. That just might be a fashion miracle!

November 1, 2012

Upcycle a Fork!

If you think eating utensils are just for eating, you need to think again. Stars for Streetlights has a great tutorial for making your fork into a unique bracelet.

How to Make a Curly Fork Bracelet

Just be careful not to get carried away making jewelry or you won't have anything to eat with!

And speaking of forks, who knew there was such a thing as a snail fork? One learns something everyday!

October 31, 2012


First, let me apologize...I was going to do a daily post counting down to Halloween. I screwed up and haven't posted a thing for the last few days. Sadly, I don't even have a really good excuse. I posted every day even when I was sick with a sinus infection that was causing a permanent migraine, but once I started feeling better I stopped. I think the truth is, I was worn out and felt like it was too much stress to even try to get a blog post together. Just trying to keep a 15 month old happy and out of trouble, the dishes washed, laundry done, and supper cooked was plenty. Oh yeah, I've been trying to get some new stuff made for Etsy too! But anyway. Finally, I'm back.

And it's Halloween! I hope yours has been as fun and interesting as mine has been. I say interesting because...well, how else can I describe it? You'll see what I mean.
The Precious's costume was all planned out because we found a cute dress at a yard sale on Saturday and it had reminded me of a matryoshka doll.

Kokka Matryoshka Dolls Fabric

We decided she would wear the little dress over a long-sleeved onesie and tights, we would tie a piece of fabric over her head for a scarf, and of course she could wear her "ruby slippers" because they're just so darn pretty. Well, that is a great idea...carrying it out with a very active 15 month old is just not as easy as we'd hoped.

We put everything on her and it was just adorable. She looked a lot like a matryoshka...or Little Red Riding Hood! In fact, we decided it would save time just to tell people that she was Little Red Riding Hood. Then The Precious began to move around.

Yep, the hood/scarf was constantly falling off, and The Precious wouldn't be still long enough for my husband to get a nice picture.

I tried holding her still. It didn't work. (And yes, I am dressed as a cat. Not very original, but I ran out of time. My husband wore his old ring-wraith robes and was Death, by the way. I was so afraid someone was going to run us over with all of that black fabric between us!)

Soon The Precious was trying to escape out of the door, refusing to wear the hood at all. I tried to get her to hold the little pumpkin her grandma gave her, but no dice.

So we went for our Halloween walk around the lake dressed as a cat, Death, and Little Girl Not Wearing Her Red Riding Hood. Or maybe Heidi. Um, yeah...that was it! She was dressed as Heidi. It wasn't long before Heidi was screaming and crying. She didn't want to ride in her stroller, was not happy pushing it, and didn't even want to be carried by Death! So we turned around to head back home early. Apparently this made her a bit happier. When Death made her stroller pop wheelies, she started saying, "Whee!" and laughing. So we ended up going around the lake a bit further, with The Precious pointing out every dog as we "adults" admired the costumes. The most creative one that we saw was a woman dressed as this image.

It took us a second or two to figure out why there was a toy dog hanging from the back of her night gown though!

One family had made a tiny Hell's Angels camp under a big historic tree, but the cigarette smoke, which was making us all cough horribly as it was, was even worse at the "camp"--appropriate, I guess, except that they were luring kids into the smoke cloud with candy. I really wish there would be some sort of smoking ban during children's events like this, but more than that I wish that there would be no need for one. I wish that grownups would care enough about their kids and the kids of the neighborhood to not want to expose them to toxic gasses. I mean, trick or treating takes at most an hour...couldn't you wait until you get home to light up?

Near the library was a Viking ship calling itself The Krewe de Yak, complete with people in Viking helmets and the Addams family music playing. Yes, we found it confusing too. But it turns out that the "Krewe" is a club that donates money to charity and does floats at Mardi Gras. In fact, they have a website!

Our church had tables in front of it with people giving out glow bracelets. We spotted our priest and had to go say hey to her and show off The Precious. Of course, everyone thought she was adorable and they gave her a glow bracelet, which she treated with the wonder it deserves. I helped put glow bracelets together while we stood talking and enjoyed it a lot--the crackling noise they make when bent is oddly satisfying!

The Precious was getting tired so we headed back to the house, listening to NPR's broadcast of Rachmaninov's The Isle of the Dead. The piece was inspired by the painting shown here in this video.

Nice and eerie, isn't it?

As my husband, no longer in his deathly robes, brushed her teeth, I hung The Precious's glow bracelet from her ceiling fan so she can see it when she wakes up in the dark, and now she is (hopefully) dreaming wonderful dreams of her Halloween night.

As for me, I am still dressed as a cat and am eating candy corn, which for some reason tastes even better on Halloween.