Friday, September 29, 2006

A WIP, A Fashion Infraction, and a Nomination


A WIP
My bathroom has been taken down to the studs. I am NOT a shower girl.I like to soak in the tub. I must trust that it will soon be shiny, new, and amazing. Until that time,I am a shower girl.

The fashion infraction.
Crooked Halo wears a uniform to school. It is a somewhat simple equasion,white collared shirt paired with black,khaki,or, navy pants or skirt.So naturally my tragically hip one likes to push the envelope.She decided to pair black leggings with her skirt and purple converse.It seems the purple Chucks were just fine,it was the leggings that were questionable. She also had a lanyard (for her ID badge) that was covered in wee skellies. This combo proved too subversive for the establishment. She was asked to remove both items. Now I will certainly and firmly, steer my daughter in the direction of following the rules.However, I must note here that it warms the cockles of my heart that she's already bucking the system and marching to the beat of her own drummer. She's quite dramatic about how this uniform is squashing her creative spirit. Its interesting how she is adding her own flourishes of style even WHILE following the rules. So she keeps pushing the boundaries and I keep pushing back . Its a beautiful dance!

The Nomination.
This week I was nominated for a Leon Rabin Award(the Dallas equivilant of the Tonys) for best actress in a musical. I played Mrs Walker in the Pete Townsend rock opera ,"The Whos Tommy".As you can see I followed the path set out by Charlize,Halle,and Nicole ,go dowdy and they'll love ya.Oh,and its true, its just an honor to be nominated.photo by Mark Oristano

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Demeter Fragrance Library

Among the smells I love the most, I would have to list; rain, movie theatre popcorn,my babys sweaty head ,the backstage of my highschool theatre,and sweet things being baked.Of all the senses ,the one that transports me to another place and time the fastest is the sense of smell. Summer Mimosa ,I am tree climbing in my childhood back yard.Watermelon,I am at the 4th of July in my grandmas backyard.Tar, I'm waiting in line for the log-flume ride at 6 Flags Over Texas.
There is such a place online for you to re-visit those childhood smells that take you back. The Demeter Fragrance Librarycan give you this time-machine experience. It is also the go to fragrance folk for that signature unseen style element.Grapefruit tea,Turpentine,Thunderstorm,Ginger Cookie,Laundromat,Caramel,Funeral home(what the heck must that smell like),and in a limited edition for its 50th anniversary ,Playdoh.Bannana Flambe is my present obsession,but for the Fall ,I'm wishing for Pumkin Pie and Mulled Cider.For those who wish to walk in the room and smell like NO other,this is the site for you to explore.

Monday, September 25, 2006

September Thriftventures !

Here it is with less than one week left in September, and I just had my 1st significant Thriftventure of the month,(save snapping up that wonderful felted pony skirt on a 5 minute estate sale dash).I think it was worth the wait! I stumbled into a moving sale with 75% off clothes and 50% off of everything else.For the Fall collection I grabbed a wonderful pair of hi-waisted,full-legged,fully lined ,pleated wool trousers ala Kate Hepburn,for 1.50. I can take them for a spin and if the style doesn't suit me,oh well back to the thrift store they go for good thrift karma. A celery satin party frock for 2.25,and what of the black bustier? A very wise 3.00 purchase for this girl. I have many sheer vintage blouses and as an actress,one just can't own too many bustiers. To fan the flames of my passion for tooled leather the billfold was 2 bucks!The mini vase AND the little birdie were 75 cents and will be used as props for future dollie stories.The apothacary or canning jar has vintage fairy decals and wil be a new home for my buttons,only 200. I simply could not resist the portrait brooch ,my most expensive item at 6.00 (and it matched the party frock!,not that I would pair them).
The last purchase I made was this amazing graphic Vera scarf from the 1960's ,bought for a wee one dollar bill. WEEEEEEEE!

Friday, September 22, 2006

WIP friday ,my kitchen,before and during

I am actually repeating a pic because, I'm afraid I might offend some readers delicate sensibilities (especially mine)if I begin this post with such a harsh image.The time has come for the Pagoda to have "a bubble bath and a pedicure". We are having the counter tops redone in a deep taupey/grey quartz. We are keeping the cabinetry,for they are original to the house. Note how the cabinets angle in for more leg room. That is how the architect ,Cliff May ,intended. For those who have been through this process you will notice on the "during"pic below ,we have had our backsplash ripped up. The kitchen is actually the painless portion of the "nose powdering". On tuesday one of our 2 bathrooms will begin to be taken down to the studs. Iam both scared and excited to go on this re-model adventure and I am hoping my excitement will buoy my spirits during this process.I'll keep you posted.
You may click on this image to enlarge the soon to be gone counter tops.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pandora Radio

With regard to my surroundings ,I have always craved the inclusive aesthetic experience. What do I mean by that? Not only do I wish for an orderly and beautiful setting to go about the daily business of running the Dream Pagoda,but I MUST have a soundtrack to the movie that is my life.Thats where Pandora Radio comes in. On it you can create a unique radio station,just for you . As I type I am listening to " The Cocteau Twins " radio station, with specifications made just for me.Kate Bush ,Brian Eno ,Jane Sibery,and ofcourse my beloved Cocteau Twins. This is what I groove to as I bring you my musings.If you are unfamiliar with this MOST amazing musical panacea,get thee to this site post haste! Um...pun rather intended.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My Own Vintage Clothing Fashion Magazine


When I was a child my parents loved visiting Colorado in the summer to get out of the Texas heat.Mind you it was NOT for skiing or some other hi-falutin' activity. My parents loved the simplicity of going camping. Even as an obedient daughter camping was NOT my cup of tea.Thus I find it a bit ironic that while traveling on one of these rustic events, I stumbled upon one of my life-long passions.The town was called Cripple Creek and my memory of it is very dim.What I do remember is going to some antique/junk store. While shopping there, my eyes fell upon a black silk blouse from the early 1900's. It had leg-o-mutton sleeves and I was in love. The price was 5.00( I think I had been given a budget of 10.00 to spend for the whole trip).Now I was a tiny thing and that blouse was not gonna fit me for a couple of years atleast. I bought it anyway along with a celery green ,lace-trimmed bed jacket,for 3.00. Thats how it all began, my complete and total devotion to vintage clothes.
As I sit here typing,what am I wearing? Say it with me...vintage clothes.Believe me I am not immune to trends or a few retail items.In fact my almost encyclopedic knowledge of fashion designers tends to fall in the nerdly category ,(or at least the category of useless flotsam and jetsam floatin' around in my noggin).Honestly, I couldn't wait to get skinny jeans this fall, its just that I PREFER items with a bit of history and patina. As my closet began to overflow with these garments I wondered ,why is there not a fashion magazine devoted to this subject? Today I still ponder that question.Ah, but today I shall remedy that situation as I bring you...My Own Vintage Clothing Fashion Magazine.The above pony detail is from a vintage wool felted circle skirt from the 50's. I snapped that up 2 days ago at an estate sale for 2 dollars,and it just fits!I paired it with thrifted black cowboy boots and a black cardigan with silver embroidery and rhinestone buttons,inherited from my Grandmother.I could not resist adding my Frida Kahlo bottlecap necklace(you may click on any image to enlarge). Lastly I will carry my black tooled leather clutch for(read with southern dialect)red lipstick, change for a lemon coke with plenty of chipped ice,and my cellphone.
One last ironic tid-bit . I never did wear that leg-o-mutton sleeved blouse.After finally growing into it,the delicate old thing disintegrated as I attempted to wear it with a lovely velvet pencil skirt.She shall never be forgotten.

Friday, September 15, 2006

WIP Friday,Dyed Vintage Slip ,and finished in one day!

Back in July I posted about a future project I was contemplating.Isn't it the height of decadent self-indulgence to link to ones self?
It involved a strapless vintage slip with corset boning.So today I died it cocoa brown for a fall option.Whatdaya think? I also quite enjoy the art of accessorizing and styling outfits. Actually I'm thinkin' it looks a little pink,maybe it is still a work in progress. Perhaps more brown dye?
Here is a close-up of the corset. I paired it with cowboy boots, a tooled leather purse, a vintage beaded sweater,2 strands of pearls ,vintage brown beaded neclace( I'm totally into layering neclaces)and as an after thought I added a cameo to the brown beads.Wasn't it CoCo Chanel who said look in the mirror and remove 1 item? Well , in my world of accessorizing I can follow CoCo's advice and still have plenty of adornment!
Yep, I'm thinkin' more brown dye.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd? Yes We Did!


Whats the best reason to keep your child out until 11:30 on a school night? In our household its to see a loved one play the revenge obssessed Sweeeney Todd in Stephen Sondheims masterpiece by the same name.
Crooked halos godfather kicked arse (as his murderous sidekick Mrs Lovett would say)!You see in the musical theatre kingdom ,playing the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is akin to playing Hamlet. To check that role off of your actor to-do list is no small feat,and "the Don" was as sharp in the role as the blade his character used to do his terrible work.
As a side note of interest,the actress playing Mrs Lovett was also quite brilliant,and is perhaps most well known in "mommy world" for being the voice of Baby Bop.This morning my oldest baby got right up to go to school. No complaints from her,if your gonna dance at the party you gotta be willing to pay the piper. Shouldn't that be "pay the choreographer"?

Monday, September 11, 2006

More back to school clothes for my little sweetie.


Now that Crooked Halo is old enough to reject my meager offerings of art to her, I must rejoice and revel in the knowledge that I have another captive little body to wear my creations(as she typed, she twisted her imaginary moustache in delight).With school beginning she has a place to wear them, and I can now churn out more little embellished garments out to my hearts content!
Even if the little pinafore is a little short ,it can always be paired with jeans and cowgal boots!
Pieces used : denim jumper,fantastic crocheted doily,embroidered linen used as apron.
This takes but a jiffy.


I simply cannot post today without remembering the events of 5 years ago.I had just arrived at the gym and entered the cardio room. The buzz in the room was that the pilot had somehow made a grave error.Moments later the 2nd plane struck and the talk turned to terror.The days (daze) after were spent by me glued to CNN. I felt it was my responsibility as an American to learn the names and stories of those lost.Somehow I just cannot turn the news on today,but those events are heavy on my heart today. It is a forever changed America.
My husband travels quite a bit and as he prepares to leave tommorrow it is with reluctance and a prayer that I send him off, I'm sure I am not alone with those thoughts.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My Fantasy Shopping Trip to the Perfect Thrift Store

My littlest flower blossom and I are off on a THRIFTVENTURE.

"Why ,I've never seen this thrift store before."

"Sweet God, they serve ice coffee!"

"Hmmm, should I leave her here with all the other big-headed babes?" "Que sera!"

"Yum!Cowboy boots,60's dresses,tooled leather suitcases..."

"A vintage X-mas room! And what are those,solid gold donkeys pulling wagons? How X-masy and only 5.99, just under my 6 dollar limit!"
...and back at the Pagoda. "Was it all just a dream"?" WEEEEEEE"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Random Cuteness from the Dollar Store


I'm a sucker for owls and deers,and pretty much anything that is quite as adorable as these are. Just thought I would share some eye candy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Back to School ,Preschool Wardrobe

Checking to see if the toy bread tastes real.I am finally back to creating.One of my favorite things to do is to make things for my girls. Alas, the oldest no longer wears the embellished goodies I once so prolifically churned out.Crooked Halo and I are now into a deconstruction phase. I'll let you know if I succeed on this front.
That leaves my Littlest Flower Blossom. She has a love for all things dainty, cute, and puppyish.Here is my completed,
long ago WIP project.
The materials used are:thrifted dress,embroidered linen,blue crocheted doily, and white hand crocheted lace.
This little brown dress was embellished with the same crocheted lace and a vintage tea towel ( I love that term ,much better than dish towel). This little towel,used here as an apron, has the cutest graphic of a little kitchen couple on it.Click on images to enlarge.
I like my little creations to be "3 dimensional", so I always add a little sumpin-sumpin on the back.

I thought I was going to be more emotional about my baby going to school, but so far the feeling I have is excitement. Ofcourse I was the one IN the classroom taking the pictures. We'll see how I feel tommorow when I drop her off.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

5432 Etsy


I have decided to take part in my 1st challenge.
5432 etsy. This challenge asks of you to spend 5 dollars a month for 3 months at Etsy. It allows you to search out a fun new artist and sample their wares and then post about them each month.I love this. For many years I was a struggling artist, and I can think of no better way to give back.
The artist I am choosing to profile is Janelle Pietrzak, of
greta and lux. She has a wonderful blog called
Tchotchke Attackand you can get a sense of her style from her lovely site.
I chose to order some GORGEOUS vintage pagoda ribbon(hmmm, I wonder why?).Click on images to enlarge and please forgive the lop-sided blogtography.There was so much of the ribbon ,and it was only 5 dollars.What I really want is the shirt you clicked on just now. Alas it is not for sale.Watch her folks ,I think Greta and Lux could get her own line!
I'm having a wee bit of trouble getting you to her etsy shop so lets try
her home page.

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