Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Wednesday Hodgepodge: Adult Content(ment)

 From this Side of the Pond
1. Growing up, at what age did you think you'd become an adult? At what age did you actually become an adult? 

How do you define "adult?" As in, maybe, a no-turning-back moment?

Probably when I got married (almost 33 years ago), because adulting is not always so much about being able to do it all on your own, as it is about committing to someone else.

2.  What's a favorite item you've bought this year?

I keep coming across fun decorative things at the thrift store and at  flea markets / antique barns we often go to.
But one of the most useful things was this thrifted Pixie Mood convertible backpack.  
Some of the places we shop don't allow backpacks (due to theft and other monkey business), so it's handy to be able to make the backpack part disappear as needed.
Do you see a backpack? I don't see a backpack, I just see a purse.

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...are you a fan? If so, how do you like yours? When was the last time you had a hamburger? Besides the backyard grill, what's your favorite place to go for a burger? 

We have hamburgers fairly often, both homemade and fast-food-with-a-coupon. They're not my favourite thing in the world, but I will eat them without complaint as long as they're not all sloppy with toppings.

4.  How have your priorities changed over time? 

I don't even know how to answer that one, so I guess the question isn't a priority.

5. What's one thing on your June calendar you're really looking forward to? 

A Christian women's retreat at a nearby church. Oh, and our wedding anniversary. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

On the Rabbit Room website, Lara d'Entremont wrote an article called "Who Defines Beauty?" She recalls the first house she and her husband lived in, which was in an isolated place and so beyond-ugly inside that she found herself constantly scrolling through photos of nicer houses and wishing they were somewhere else. She was, apparently, oblivious to the beauty right around them: a marvelous, astounding outdoor panorama, which she describes in the article. And, even more so: I was reading recently about the English/Canadian artist Arthur Lismer, who noticed at one point that his fellow artists often "stepped right over the foreground"--they liked to paint the faraway vistas, but didn't notice things that were right in front of them. So: we need curiosity, and we need contentment. 

And commitment.

And convertibility.

And, when possible, coupons.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Recording the Wednesday Hodgepodge

 From this Side of the Pond

1. What are you currently juggling in your life?

I don't know that I'm juggling too much right now, at least not compared to some other people I know. Other kinds of circus stunts might seem more appropriate.

2. How often do you buy new clothes? What was the last piece of clothing you purchased?

New as in brand new, or new as in thrifted? Actual clothing or accessories? We are in and out of thrift stores at least once a week, so I have opportunities to buy things there. How often I actually buy anything depends on the season and what I need, though I like surprises too.

The last clothes-related thing I bought was today: a vintage scarf, which will go well with other summer things.

3. What food festival would you most like to attend? 

I can't think of a lot of primarily-food festivals I've ever been to or would want to spend all day at. The Elmira, Ontario Maple Syrup Festival, a couple of times, that's probably it. Maybe you have to be a certain kind of person to gravitate towards rib fests and garlic bonanzas.

4. May is the 5th month of the year. Tell us something you remember about your 5th grade year. 

Fifth grade? Learning to play the recorder in music class (we were so relieved not to have to sing for once); and, I think, crochet in an after-school class one of the teachers led. I still like to crochet, but I haven't played the recorder in years.

5. What are your favorite five words right now? 

Green, because things are. 

Warm, because it is.

Art, because that's mostly what I'm reading about. (Pottery dish bought at a yard sale last weekend)

"On sale," and yes, that's two words.

6. Random thoughts?

I think that's random enough already.

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Imagined Becomes Real: Riffing on a Vivienne Files Wardrobe

In a pair of posts (here and here), The Vivienne Files has come up with another example of a small, classic, neutral summer wardrobe, which can then be perked up by half a dozen bright additions.

The thirteen core pieces are a balance of navy and white. They are mainly casual (I think of shorts as casual), and the dress is hacked from a swimsuit coverup, but there is also a  more expensive sleeveless top for dressier occasions (I assume to be worn with navy pants, although it's hinted that it would also look good with a skirt).

The accent pieces take their colours from a Mark Rothko painting in shades of red and pink. There is an eye-popping set of bright pink linen shirt and pants, plus a pink dress and a couple of tops. 

This isn't too far from the spring/summer wardrobe I already posted here. But if I wanted to create a closer match to the VF wardrobe, say for a trip, how would I do it? Particularly considering that I gave away a large bag of clothes that had seen a few too many better days, so there are fewer things to work with. On the other hand, I just bought a pair of white jeans, and also thrifted a summer top that would work well. So let's do this.

The closest thing I have to a fancy sleeveless top is a fancy sleeveless dress, so that checks off both those boxes. Note to self: make sure the dress in Part 2 is more casual.

Bonus dress, neutral and linen though not navy.

Navy shorts and navy pants: yes, I have those. (I also have an extra pair of dark blue shorts, so that's enough for me--I don't wear shorts much.)

White shorts: substituting white jeans. (And goes without saying: a pair of blue jeans.)

Two navy tops: I have one navy top with same-colour embroidery, and I just thrifted a navy and grey top with some texture.

A pinstriped navy linen shirt: I do have a blue and white striped shirt, not as dark but I think it would work.

White summer cardigan: On this one I might have to split between a white linen pullover (which would work some of the time but not with everything), a navy linen-blend pullover (ditto), and a jean jacket which is okay on cooler days but isn't something you're going to want to wear wandering around the beach town in July, right? Note to self: keep this in mind at the thrift store.

White sleeveless blouse: I'm substituting a white t-shirt.

Striped casual top: Striped t-shirt.

Two accent-colour tops or blouses: Since I haven't completely decided which direction I'm going with Part Two (pink? blue? green?), I'm going to play it safe with a blue t-shirt and a magenta one. Note to self: that magenta t-shirt is not in the best shape, so I either need to thrift a replacement, or choose something else I already have. (Bonus points for this scarf that blends with most of the upcoming colours.)

Navy crossbody purse and sandals: I do have navy sandals, and a large navy purse. But I would also include my white (technically Coconut Cream) Pixie Mood purse. And a hat as suggested.

Navy espadrilles and white sneakers: Loafers with bows, and a pair of sneakers.

Navy and white scarf: I don't seem to have anything summer-appropriate in just those colours; I might have to either thrift something or just go with a brighter scarf (see the t-shirt photo above).

Earrings: something navy, something pink. What else would look good? Silver hoops, for sure.

Accent Pieces, Version One

Let's assume we're going with the pinks and reds of the VF plan. Well, I for sure don't have a hot pink linen shirt and pants. But I do have a vintage rayon blouse and skirt set with pink and purple stripes, so that's close.

What about a more everyday outfit? I have a white linen shirt (which offers another option for that white cardigan I don't own). I also have a pair of navy embroidered pants that go with the top from Part 1.

 Some more brightness: last year I thrifted a FIG Voyage dress in pink and red stripes. 

That leaves two tops, but I already added the white shirt, so let's go with one. If I wanted to keep going with pink, I would include this floral sleeveless top--it's a bit dressy for everyday, but sometimes that's what you want.

Two more pairs of shoes: the VF plan suggests pink and gold sandals, but I'm going to go casual with red pull-on sneakers and dark blue lace-ups.

Another scarf: again, I'm trying to pick out something that might be worn in the summer. Instead of going for something small, though, the best option I have is this large but lightweight scarf that includes navy, pink and white (among other things). It could even work as a wrap with a sleeveless dress.

Another pair of earrings (or other jewelry): Although I love scarves, in summertime I'm more likely to dress things up with necklaces.

The VF plan doesn't add any other bags at this point, but I probably would.

Accent Pieces, Version Two

If I weren't trying to duplicate the VF pink and red theme, I could easily go with blues and greens. I have a green t-shirt dress, a couple of green tops, a purse with green sea turtles on it, and a set of Fierce Lynx bracelets in teal and white. You've seen all those things here before, but here's a photo.

Plus a scarf. (Flea market find last week.)
And all that's pretty much what I was going to wear this summer anyway--it's just a different way to think it through.  I'm going to keep my eyes open for a replacement t-shirt (shouldn't be hard), and a white cardigan or small jacket that could be worn with a dress. Otherwise, we're good to go!

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Wednesday Hodgepodge: May's First Day

 From this Side of the Pond

1. Mayday! Mayday!...when was the last time (or a recent time) you literally or figuratively needed to call for help? Elaborate. 

Watching Question Period in Canadian Parliament yesterday.

2. May Day...when was the last time you danced? Do you have a lot of baskets? What's something you keep in a basket? What's your favorite purple flower? 

Baskets: yes, I think we have quite a few of them, mostly on the small side, mostly yardsaled and thrifted. Some are holding things like bread, pens, dishtowels, and a begonia; others are just sitting on their own.

The flower: that's easy, violets.

3. What's something you may do this month? 

I'm still figuring it out.

4. Do you like eggplant? Quick topic changes lol? If you said yes in answer to the eggplant question how do you like yours prepared? Of the following purple foods, which one is your favorite...plums, purple carrots, purple asparagus, eggplant, acai berries, blackberries, purple cauliflower, elderberries, purple potatoes, or passion fruit? 

I haven't eaten any of those things in forever, except for plums (last summer) and purple potatoes when they pop up in a bag from the Little Potato Co. (but I can't say they're really my favourite, I feel like I'm eating something dyed for April Fool's).

How about some purple grapes in the fall instead? 

5. The calendar turns on Hodgepodge Day...

"Then you have to remember to be thankful; but in May one simply can't help being thankful that they are alive, if for nothing else."-L.M. Montgomery

Tell us one thing you're thankful for today. 

A car that has got us places for seven years.

Artists who do those mysterious things with paint and pencils and stained glass and pottery.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens, the first book in a set of Dickens that my father-in-law gave us. I just finished. Next (alphabetically) would be David Copperfield, but I've already read that so I guess we move on to Dombey & Son.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I'm reading about English/Canadian artist (and art teacher) Arthur Lismer. One funny thing about him was that he came from a very ordinary, conservative, straitlaced background, and even as a famous artist he had a very ordinary kind of family and work life. He was also on the spot for the 1917 Halifax explosion and recorded it in drawings, which is a reminder that sometimes God asks us to remember and learn from our stories of pain as well as the good times.

In her 1977 book A Border of Beauty: Arthur Lismer's Pen and Pencil, Marjorie Lismer Bridges remembered the experience of camping with her father:

"In about two hours, whenever he finished a sketch, Dad reappeared and made a camp fire. The meal varied according to our supplies--eggs, beans, bacon. Occasionally someone would give us a freshly caught fish, but my father was no fisherman. Even if we were having cold sandwiches he still made a fire and boiled water for coffee. It was not so much that he loved coffee, but that he enjoyed building a fire."

She also wrote:

“[My father’s] restless pencil was constantly in his hand. He never went anywhere without drawing material in his pocket. Whenever he sketched he usually had a group of people watching over his shoulder, but this never seemed to bother him, and he would carry on a conversation as he worked…[While waiting for meals] he spent the time drawing on menu cards, table napkins, placemats—anything that came to hand. To my mother’s horror, he would even draw on the plates, and then quickly wipe them off with a table napkin when she protested. In any ship or hotel dining room the drawings would be snatched up by the waiters and the diners. Some were even taken back to the chef in the kitchen. There must be Lismer drawings in every corner of the British Commonwealth and the U.S.A. Wherever he was, he illustrated the daily activities, or an item on the menu, or the group at the next table. He never seemed to stop drawing. If he was writing a report he doodled in the margins. If he was reading a paperback book he drew in the blank spaces. He also illustrated his personal letters and his crossword puzzle books…”

Linked from The Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side of the Pond.