Posts Tagged ‘ Philadelphia ’

I got new glasses! And then more new glasses

Finally got lenses put into these white beauties, just in time for Christmas.

white frames

I love them: the shape, the white, the detailed arms. Really, the teeny gems are my least favorite part, you know, for every day.

white frames

white frames arms

Still, I’ve been wearing them every day. They’re a nice break from the red ones that were my regulars.

Then Mister and I popped into the Antiquarian’s Delight while in Philadelphia to find something for my sister. Beelined for the Barbara Blau Collectibles’ booth – she’s been my hookup for vintage glasses for about 10 years now – and while he was deciding on earrings for my sister, I noticed a pair of black frames that weren’t there last summer.

black frames side

Thanks to Barbara’s nudge, I walked out with them too.

black frames

I love mummers

Who doesn’t, really? Fought off terrible cold to sit in the middle of Broad Street (at Washington) for a prime seat to the 2010 Mummers Parade.

cops don't watch the crowds

On the way via Carpenter Street, we found much evidence of a last-minute slipper-goldening.

evidence some slippers got goldened


Classic string band costumes:
classic mummers

string bands

And less classic but equally fun:
hot sauce! and oyster.

Refitting = decluttering

I can’t stand the clutter in my apartment and closet anymore! It’s been dragging me down and occupying more mental energy than it is worth. Plus it’s that time of year in Chicago where I’m itching to put on more than my winter black turtleneck and dark cords.

Of course, I’m all supposed to be working on this other little project, but I’ve reached a point where I need another set of hands. And I’m too germy tonight to ask her, new mama of a teeny baby, to risk infection.


So this eve, I’m home with Svengoolietonight showing The Blob starring Steve McQueen and a sweet Burt Bacharach theme song all from 1958 — and the sewing machine, wrapping up all those little oddball repairs and fixes that have rendered so much clothing a total drag to wear.

This little sheer purple thrifted blouse had its ugly old button stuck on by the previous owner for ornamental purposes replaced with a cutie little flowered one.

Purple blouse w ugly button

Purple blouse after close

Purple blouse front

It’s really see through and needs its own proper slip to wear underneath. I’ll table that for the next time SvenG shoes the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Purple blouse after

Some gray flannel pants needed a good hem. I shortened them with a little cheat technique I’ll post soon.

Gray pants hem

I started taking in a black top with some gold and purple irises on the front. Started pinning in some darts in the back to give the thing some shape. Then I thought about maybe just posting the thing on etsy as is.

top purple iris

Iris shirt during pin darts

And some black knit thrifted pants that were too big got taken in by the rear seam. Not a glamorous enough repair to photograph.

Must say that Svengoolie makes for excellent company.


I didn’t grow up here with him on Saturday nights. In Philadelphia, we had a similar cheeseball horror show called Saturday Night Dead featuring a busty hostess called Stella. Only Svengoolie has better songs than I remember on SND. And he starts at like 9 p.m. instead of 1 a.m.

Here’s hoping somebody ponies up the cash for the glow-in-the-dark Svengoolie t-shirt in time for my birthday. Though I think I’ve blown my t-shirt karma around here in a stack of boxy shirts destined for refashions but still sitting in the pile.

Svengoolie opening

full count

This girl turned 3-2 last week AND celebrated engagement to the Crafty Mister with parents who flew in from Philadelphia to meet Mister’s extended family, cry with happiness, lend advice, etc. The best part of all this celebrating was putting on a purple dress (thrifted of course) and yapping with people I love while sipping on The Recipe. I got some really sweet gifts, too, including tickets from the Mister to *George Michael in Concert* at the United Center Isn’t he a GEM?

I love this backpack picnic basket we can take to the beach and to Millennium Park for free concerts all summer like ANDREW BIRD – from the Mister’s aunt and uncle.

It’s outfitted with everything you need for a meal on a lawn, including a cheese cutting board and wine bottle holder, and enough dining accoutrements so I won’t have any guilt of tossing plastic throwaways every time we eat dinner under the sky.

We bike to Millennium Park maybe once a week starting in June, or to Grant Park for summer outdoor movies, both excellent reasons to put up with the hassles (read: rampant corruption) of living in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

My mother of course gave me leopard pajamas and leopard mixing bowls.

I don’t buy myself PJs anymore since it might hurt her feelings. Also she has a knack for knowing when I’ve worn out the old ones. These are summer weight and trimmed with red. She’s my original leopard lady, and I’ve followed in her footsteps as best I can. since I’ve pretty much given up on retail shopping, spotted kitchen accessories are news to me.

My mother’s friend sent a stunning cookbook – The Silver Spoon – originally published in Italy in the 1950s and recently available in English.

The Mister is coming around to the Italian cooking I grew up with, and is leaning slowly toward those flavors rather than the Mexican ones to which he gravitates. This book is the best bedtime story ever since we could read about food aloud to each other all the time.

I didn’t know some of these vegetables existed — and the Silver Spoon has six ways to cook them deliciously (I do know what turnips are, but not six ways to cook them).

Cousins shared from their collection of vintage campaign buttons, since we both are journalism nerds who like this kind of thing. I ran off with the one from an ancient coroner’s race — when Cook County used to have a a coroner instead of a medical examiner. Can’t wait to make some sort of upholstered frame to stick them on as a display.

And I absolutely love this gorgeous birthday gift:

It’s a limoncello starter, started by one of the Mister’s best friends, the Polch. Polch has been on a brewing and distilling kick all winter, and I’d been admiring the homemade limoncello he and his Lady have been making, so he started a jar for us to keep going at home with citrus peels and more plain old booze, as well as instructions for finishing this delicious southern Italian liqueur. Much as I love homemade presents to give I love to receive them, too.

* More to come in future blogs about outfit for GM.

barf! (+ 6 more months)

Disgusting. I’m so sick of all this cashing in on what should be simplification.

The Phila Inquirer had a bit about the local design school’s trashion show — clothes from shower curtains and magazine pages — the same weekend the silly NYT ran some ridiculous magazine blurb about eco fashion. Now I’m getting better about considering the total cost of food and clothing nowadays, but that doesn’t mean unbleached “green” cotton should cost thousands of dollars. How insulting!

Anybody besides me sick to death of the commercialization and mass marketing of projects like this one we’re all in?

On that note, tomorrow, I renew a pledge:

WR 6 months

“I still pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself for 6 more months. I pledge that I shall create and craft items of clothing for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium.”

I first pledged the Wardrobe Refashion mantra Aug. 1, 2007, hoping to get through the Christmas season without buying new crap. Now it’s just a way of life that’s so second nature. I spend a lot of time thinking about crafting, and really, I should be using more of that time to exercise. But I love looking like noone else around, I love that I spend time making my clothes fit my body not the other way around and I love thumbing my nose at mass produced crap. I also love seeing the creative potential in everything around me.

Life is good.