Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A touch of paint....

                  Thrift shopping this week I picked up a few items which will be needing a bit of work. We're talking color... like paint... loads of paint.  I love having a project to keep me busy, but I am afraid my new thrifted finds are going to have to wait a bit. I've got a few skirts I'm going to work on, a doll to craft for a baby shower, and a lot of spring cleaning to catch up on first. (Not just a lot.....but a LOT of spring cleaning.) Putting off projects doesn't make me very happy, but at least it will give me time to contemplate colors and patterns, and I've put off vacuuming behind the couch long enough. While I was thinking ahead to those future projects, I thought I would show you some that I worked on last summer.... please take a peek!
                I know it might break some of your hearts to see me repainting cute vintage finds.... but.... truly, Mr. Owl told me he is soooo much happier now that he's all fancied up! Excuse the cell phone pictures.... originally the flower wall hanging was simply metal, but I am again caught without a true before photo. (You trust me it's much better now right? Gunmetal flowers are not delightful!)
                Does anyone else love to repaint? Furniture, ugly owls, velvet wall art? When I shop second hand I'm always thinking how I can give my buys a new look, be it by brush, spray paint, or glitter. Ooooh, I just love makeovers!
               I'll have more, newer, repainted goodness coming soon, and I hope you'll be inspired to pull your own paint brushes out too! Till next time- Kendra

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Chickie Easter Craft.

             Now that spring’s here it’s time to pull out all my flowery and sunny home accessories! We have obscene amounts of holiday decorations, boxes and boxes for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even for birthdays! But I realized I don’t have much specifically for Easter. All I have is my mother’s old ceramic green ware bunny jar, and a vintage Crayola rabbit. The house is already filled with bright colors, so buying flowers, shuffling around milk glass and setting out dyed eggs usually feels festive enough. This year though, I want a little more. The weather has been so gorgeous, it just really feels “springy”. I want to celebrate open windows, blooming flowers, baby lambs, and all that jazz. I’m in the mood for a mini Easter project.
I’ve had some white painted sticks in the boy’s playroom since Christmas; they’ve been collecting key chains, and dust since, so I thought it would be nice to repurpose them into a spring time center piece for our dining room. An Easter tree seemed pretty logical and I thought the boys could have fun adding some eggs or flowers to the branches. They were not as interested as I expected however… deciding quickly after we started painting the sticks that they would rather practice their “ninja moves” and climb the trees like “super-kitty-boys”. I guess they’ve come down with a case of Spring Fever.
                 The next day while shopping at World Market for Easter basket filler, I stumbled across a display of fuzzy chicks. They came in various sizes, colors, and themes, like chickens, bunnies, and cuteness. I didn’t realize till my basket was overflowing that they were five dollars a box… and I had maybe fifty bucks worth of chicks who thought they were coming home with me. (Sad face.) I apologized to them as I put them back, and searched the table for a variety pack. (None!) I can’t justify spending that much on chicks, though I did think if I had lots I could make a chickie wreath for  the front door. (Adorable, but still unjustifiable.) I stood there and grumbled for a bit. I often wonder how I look at moments like that…. first squealing and frantically tossing chicks into my basket, then freezing while I poorly do some math in my head… (My husband says my “math face” is pretty tragic.) talking to the boxes as I gloomy dump them back on the table… and next angrily digging through them all searching for that one possible mixed box. Honestly, crazed right? Well, I am not crazed… I am thinking. Thinking I want to do something with these chicks… and when I realize what I want to do is to glue them onto my Easter tree, I think that a rainbow of chickies is better than just yellow chicks! Maybe I am a little crazed… I am throwing a mental temper tantrum over fluffy baby chickens. I am going to blame that on Spring Fever too. Eventually I have a vision of a chick in a top hat with monocle and decide I can just settle on a pack of classic yellow. I’ll try to personalize them at home.
 Romyn was very excited to see the box of chicks and begged to play with them. It seems he’s had a tiny chick in his treasure box since last Easter and he joyfully brought it down to join the others. It’s a bit matted, like he’s loved on it. (Romyn requested its new home be a nest in our tree. So I made one.) We discovered these World Market chicks are craft- quality but not quite play-with-quality, they broke apart in Ro’s rough five-year-old hands. This was traumatizing for the boy, but I was able to play doctor and glue them back together. I used hot glue to customize and attach them to the branches of our center piece, so the boys couldn’t actively help with the construction. Instead they enjoyed telling me all about the hobbies and lifestyles of our chicks, naming them, and bringing me more toys to add to their “tree house”. Inspired by our time painting sticks outside we added a kitty chickie (who likes to climb trees) and a ninja chickie. (Ninja chick tradded his sword off of a Ninjago Lego man for two jelly beans.) If you have older children you could probably personalize chicks with small amounts Elmer’s glue. It all depends on your patience levels. As I mentioned, we’re suffering from Spring Fever, so I knew glue + chicks + boys = bad idea. (I used scrap felt, ribbon, and paper to style our chicks.)
Well, you can see how cute it turned out. We have enjoyed our new chickie friends. The boys like to make up stories about their sorted little lives, occasionally shouting “LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU NINJA CHICKIE!” and adding more paper flags to the branches. It’s gotten pretty crowded since I took these pictures actually. Even now it is surrounded by dinosaurs. Romyn’s even asked if I can glue a set of chicks to the back of his brontosaurus… I am thinking on it.
Happy First Day of Spring!!! -Kendra
*P.S.- We know baby chicken's don't really live in trees, or at least the boys do now, after they thought they could perhaps search for some in the bushes of our yard.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patti's Day! (The week in quick review.)

Here's my green, so no pinching!
We drank to celebrate St. Patties.... Mint Chocolate Milkshakes.

Some noisey geese flew by....
...and Quidjit didn't like them very much.
My nails were cute for a while.
My hair was messy and I found a new lip color. (It's pink!) NYX soft matte lip cream in Addis Ababa. I love this cream and  matte lips so much I went back for another shade, Milan. I even picked up some of their Matte Lipstick in Hippie Chic, the coverage wasnt as good- I will keep the lip cream, and stick to MAC's lipstick I guess.
We had some sandbox time.
We looked out for pirates.
The boys picked me a thousand buttercups....
...and then we blew a thousand bubbles.
And then it was St. Patrick's Day.
Guess I'd better start some Easter crafts huh?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Today I played dress up! (My B.A.I.T. footwear contest entries.)

             I loooooove shoes. I really love to shop for shoes, but usually my pocket book doesn’t allow me to indulge. Well, when I can't shop, I settle instead for shoe-window-shopping. I recently discovered B.A.I.T. Footwear and it’s become one of my favorite “drool over” brands. Many of their upcoming spring looks are on my birthday wish-list. (Just in case anyone was wondering what to get me!)  
When the B.A.I.T. blog announced their "I Wear Pretty Shoes" Giveaway Contest I was giddy with excitement! Shoes!? Possibly given to me!? Yes! Every month for the next year B.A.I.T. will share a shoe on their Facebook page, and all you have to do is submit pictures of outfits you'd wear them with to win! Sounds fun right? I eagerly awaited the first posting.... hoping for one of my favorites styles.... and… first up is.... DARLA! (In Fuchsia.)
Now I am excited to see Darla, though maybe not the color. Despite being almost 30 I have only just recently welcomed pink into my's still, new. (In the past 3 months I've adopted a pink cape, pink tights, nail polish and even pink lipstick. That’s a big deal for a previously pink-less life.) I am a little intimidated by Fuchsia Darla. I double check the rules to make sure I can’t instead choose the yellow or turquoise version. Nope. Ok…. Pink.
Maybe I can do this, think Power Pink! I briefly peek through my closet. (Meh.) The postman brings me the new Boden catalog and I pick out everything I’d wear with Darla…. of course none of this is in my closet. Feeling a little disheartened I briefly contemplate heading to the mall, but thankfully my better sense reminds me buying an outfit for shoes I don’t own is kinda silly. (Sigh.) Thinking I might just wait to see next month’s style, I remember a dress I recently picked up from Target. (Buried and forgotten in the closet, I remembered when I saw Mrs. Elsie wearing it in her “Sister Style” post on her blog A Beautiful Mess.) Hey, I’ve got that dress! (And it's pinkish!) Alright Darla, game on! So after refocusing and “shopping my closet” thoroughly I've put together four looks which I'm really happy with, and would wear with Darla… in Fuchsia! I feel like a big girl now that I’ve conquered that scary pink dragon.
Is this a contest you would enter? It really was fun just taking time out and playing dress up today. Even though I hate fighting with my cell for decent pictures, and I made a huge mess of my room. (Thank you to dear Kati for allowing me to besiege you with many texts of me, looking silly.) My friend Kati challenged me to submit outfits for every B.A.I.T. shoe post this year, but I am not sure I'd be able to keep up monthly. (Maybe though.) I’ll post future entries on HappyWord’s Facebook page. It would be great to play along with all of you as well!
Best Wishes Friends! -Kendra
1- Skirt, Khols. Flower shirt- thrifted. Lace shirt- (old) Old Navy
2- Jeans- thrifted. Shirt- H&M
3- Dress and Belt- Target. Sweater- Torrid.
4- Here I just threw the skirt from outfit 1 over outfit 3.

            P.S- I had a laugh this afternoon. I had hurriedly thrown outfit 2 on in the middle of my dress up session so I could pick the boy up from school. Getting into the car I realized I was wearing PINK SHOES! Oh-My-Gosh! I can't believe all the grief I gave myself over Darla when I've had a pretty pink pair for years. These "baby doll" Crocs where picked up from an outlet for two bucks ages ago! It was the only color there, and despite their pinkness I couldn't pass up such a deal! They are my quick go-to's and I wear them out even though they never match anything I've got on. Is it weird that I wear them weekly with jeans and they never once crossed my mind during this whole Darla challenge? Probably.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fun at the Museum! (And a peek at my rock collection.)

A story about a rock….
When I was little I was playing with some kids (quite unsafely) in a pit left by construction workers. All over this pit where perfectly round lumps of flint, or chert, and when you threw them on the ground they would shatter into a dramatic explosion of razor-like-shards of rock. No joke. For a few days, this was our favorite game, smashing these mesmerizing “rock bombs” against the pavement. At one point an older girl handed me a small nodule to chuck. There had been much of this, pulling up rocks and sharing them among the group. This one was dinky, and when I dropped it on the road, it did not explode. It “clucked”. It clucked and split perfectly in two. As I knelt down to retrieve the pieces, (so I could give them another heave) I noticed within was the impression, in two halves, of a tiny sea star. Now, what happened after the thrill of finding this treasure is a little fuzzy with age. I believe Mrs. What-ever-her-name-was, demanded I give her the stone. She supposed as she had pulled it out of the ground, she had sole rights to it. I certainly didn’t think so, everyone had turns being “diggers”, and I was the one who had actually found the star. I think someone suggested we split it up, and perhaps there was some yelling. Eventually I must have decided I did not want an altercation with this bigger girl so I snatched up my half and ran home. That night her folks knocked on the front door, told my parents I had stolen it, and for whatever reason I could not convince them otherwise.  My star was whisked forever away. I was also banned from the rock pit. (I may still be a little upset about that whole fiasco.) 
(A water plant, perhaps a lily.)

But the experience did give me fossil fever.  I dreamed of finding another star, and smashed every rock nodule I could get my hands on. Smashing rocks meant handling them, which also meant I noticed amazing details and rainbow sedimentary layers I never had before. I didn’t find any fossils then, but my rock collection, and appreciation for them, grew. Later I realized there were more fascinating treasures to be found on the ground. I grew up on R.A.F Lakenheath, a military base in England, and the site of an ancient Anglo Saxon settlement and cemetery. That meant I could find pottery shards and arrow heads everywhere. The local rabbits became my scavenging partners, digging up cooking stones and worked flint for me. After I moved to Germany, it was woodland hikes which yielded me great fossils. Today I have a pretty cool collection.
(I pulled these pictures of the boys and I off the VLM Facebook page- Mrs. Jody was kind enough to bring up a plant very similar to one I have fossilized!)
             This past weekend the Virginia Living Museum hosted a “What is it” event. The public was invited to share their natural finds with experts, be it feather, shells or…. fossils! Enthused to show off my prizes to people who would be just as excited as I was about them, I rushed over with my stash. Here’s what I learned about some of my favorite pieces….
The Fairy Stone....
While on a hiking trip in England as a teenager I stumbled across this tubular rock in a cow pasture. (Totally tubular!) Surprised by the symmetrical hole which passes all the way through the stone I knew it would make a neat addition to my collection. Later I showed it off to a local guide and was told it was called a fairy stone. It seems once upon a time people believed this sort of rock had magical properties and farmers would tie them to the tails of their cows. The rock somehow kept pesky pixies from stealing milk! I wondered how long the field I had found it in had been a pasture, and if long ago some poor cow had been forced to lug the thing around as pixie protection. It seemed finding similar formations in the marshy Fens was common enough and I was curious what could have caused the “fairy hole”. The guide said it was natural erosion or that perhaps a stick had been encased in the stone and long since rotted away. Not able to come up with anything better I figured he might be right. I was enchanted enough by the fairy story that I didn’t need any other explanation. I was surprised to hear later by the VLM geology station, that my rock would be more appreciated at the fossil table. Turns out fairies were not responsible for the hole, but an earth worm was! The interior discoloration was caused by a worm juice chemical reaction. So, it’s basically a prehistoric worm home. (Cool.)
             The Jellyfish....
              The very top photograph is of a rock I found in Germany.  I was chaperoning a trip to a former dig site where college students had been excavating an early swamp. The kids and I had a blast pulling up fossilized grasses and roots when one girl found a strange remain….a round blob with stringy “tentacles” hanging below. (It looked much like the one I have pictured.) An amateur fossil expert also on the excursion classified her find as a jellyfish. Now I know that jellyfish fossils are pretty rare, and it was unlikely we’d pull one out of a swamp filled with grasses and muck. Pointing out that it was more likely a seed with roots was disliked by the kids, and so by popular vote a jellyfish it remained. Now, I’ll admit I was a little jealous of her find… and maybe a bit of my old sea star insecurities stirred up, because I announced we would not leave the pit until I also found a “jellyfish”. JELLYFISH for EVERYONE! (I know what you’re thinking, and I promise I did not steal her rock.) Luckily I found my own after having given up and packing to go. Honest, that one is MINE! (Hers was larger…. well...I am sure  that you all believe me.) In my mind finding two only confirmed that it was a seed and not a jelly fish. The guys at the VLM thought for a moment it might be a jelly, but when I explained there was no other sea life in the fossil bed, no shells, and it was instead filled with grassy remains, they took a closer look. The new consensus is that it was a leaf, rather than a seed. Perhaps even a lily-pad-like water plant with roots. Neat right?! (I’d like to restate again….  I did NOT steal this fossil.)  
(The boys love the VLM! Their favorite booth at the "What is it?" event was the insects of course.)

               And now everything else....
Or some of everything else at least…  I worry that my rocks may have put most of you to sleep. I’ll run through these last ones real quick.
1.       This is believed to be a woody-type-wetland grass and was pulled from the same German swamp as my “jellyfish”. The VLM staff has a similar plant growing on their outdoor trail, and Mrs. Jody was kind enough to bring some in for comparison.
2.       This large rock and  the smaller one adjacent are “cooking stones” from R.A.F Lakenheath. (Possibly Anglo Saxon, though Romans settled in the area too.) Basically they were used in fire pits, the stones got hot, and after the fire was extinguished the temperature change caused them to crackle and split.
3.       My wormy “fairy stone”.
4.       These three pieces are from England, and top to bottom are, Anglo Saxon pottery, worked flint, and possible a brick from a Roman age building. (A few remains of Roman houses were found on both Lakenheath and R.A.F Mildenhall.)
5.       More grasses from Germany, with the possible remains of another lily-pad-type leaf.
The bottom two pictures are the remnants of a German lava flow. In the first photo the bubbly (and smoothed bottomed) rocks are green. Originally I was told volcanic gasses caused the coloring. The VLM geology table think it could have been caused by organic material which may have been growing in the fertile volcanic remains. (Maybe mold?) The last sample is a lava flow sheet. The bottom layer is crackly and stretched, and has encased lots of material in its wake. I love the top “blob” of lava which at a later time flowed in a different direction.
I have more…. but am thinking perhaps this is enough for today. (No?) The boys and I often like to spread my collection of rocks, sea glass, and shells on the carpet and admire them under magnifying glasses. They seem to share my interest, bringing me countless stones from the sand box, exclaiming they’ve found crystals and dinosaur toes. I humor them, after all I am no expert, but I always make sure to check to for sea stars before we chuck them back. (On day....)
Happy Hunting Everyone! -Kendra


Monday, March 12, 2012

What I wore to the museum.... a refashioned Moo moo!

Sunday the boys and I visited the Virginia Living Museum for their "What is it?" event. The museum invited the public to bring in their nature finds, like feathers, stones, bugs or fossils, to be examined and discussed by the experts. Being a bit of an amateur fossil hunter and wanna-be-artifact finder I could not wait to bring in my stash. (I literally have a picnic basket full of rocks and treasures in my bedroom!) Well, I’ll tell you how enlightening our trip to the VLM was later, right now I just want to brag about my skirt! (You must forgive the two cell phone pics, this skirt was a pre-blog project, so I am just glad to have “before” pictures at all.)

Many moons ago while digging in the sale rack at my favorite thrift store I came across this green moo moo dress. I instantly fell in love with the bright green color and vintage ribbon stripes. In L-O-V-E!! I knew I had to have this dress in my life, just… not as a moo moo. Hoping I could easily turn it into a skirt, I paid a dollar for it and worked up the courage to cut it up. I am no seamstress, my mother says I am too impatient to sew anything correctly, and she is right. Patterns freak me out, and I normally do just fine without them. …..however, usually I am making dolls, or bunting, a cat costume or tote bags…. never anything that I’ve expected to keep my tush covered while in public. (That’s not true, I did sew a crazy patch work denim skirt in high school, and it was a mess!) Truthfully this was much easier than I thought it would be, I just chopped it above the pockets, folded the top down and sewed in a new elastic waist band with the machine. Because I didn’t take the skirt in at all I had to add a few stitches into the elastic at the pockets and the seam to keep everything in place. (I am sure you sewers out there are cringing at the way I hacked it all together- I was just glad it only took about an hour and a half, and then I got to watch some trashy TV.)
Originally the length of the skirt was determined by the pocket location. I didn’t want to have to move them down, so I just made the waist right above them. (Gotta love a skirt with pockets right?) Yet, after wearing it around a bit, I decided I wanted it a little shorter, so I took off a few inches from the bottom. Looking at that “before” picture up there though- I sort of wish I had left it.... it looked great right? Well, I still adore it anyway. The colors are perfect for spring and it gets me loads of compliments. (And not the “only you could wear that” sort either!)  I had such a good experience refashioning that tired old dress into this trendy skirt that I’ve been encouraged to do it again.  There is actually a basket in my closet filling up with vintage maternity dresses and more moo moos. I'd love to try and do the next set properly, with measurements and maybe even zippers, but, eh.... who am I kidding? Elastic waistbands are this girl’s best friend. It’s the quickest, and I have Girl Scout cookie pudge to deal with after all! (Nom-Nom!)
             Ha! Looking at these pictures I've realized that I was having so much fun this weekend with my rocks that I forgot to get my bangs cut. Well... I'll have to get to that tomorrow. (And don't forget to like Happy Words and Things on Facebook for a chance to win a Happy Prize Package. Good Luck!)
:-) -Kendra

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Facebook Giveaway!

I love sending out mail almost as much as I love getting it! If you love mail too maybe you should enter my Facebook fan giveaway. Just "like" Happy Words and Things on Facebook here and comment on the giveaway post. You could be the winner! (Hey, why not follow me on Blogger too!)
While I wait to reach my first 50 fans I'll just continue to fill this box with fun things.... homemade magnets.... vintage stationary... maybe even a thrifted item or two. You can't wait right!?
Good luck and lots of love! - Kendra

Cat shoes and the joys of hot glue.

Baelin is a unique boy who loves cats. Loving cats doesn’t make him unique, but perhaps the fact that he doesn’t mind that cat themed merchandise is mostly pink does. If it has a cat, he has to have it. He’ll happily stomp around in a superman raincoat and pink kitten boots any day. Now Baelin doesn’t seem to mind all the pink and purple, but, he is a green loving, fighter jet chasing, monster truck crashing, kitty loving, four year old boy’s boy and I just don’t know how much longer he’ll tolerate all this sparkle with his kittens. Honestly finding anything “catty” that’s not purple glitter or tie-dye feels like winning the lottery. Not wanting to see his love of all things feline eventually discouraged, whenever I can cat-customize something more to his tastes, I do.   
                I found these green slide on shoes this week at Kmart for $7.99- a bargain! Inspired to refashion them I whipped out my stash of felt and spent thirty minutes transforming them into cat shoes. I am pretty keen on felt and hot glue, and do not mind one bit spending an afternoon customizing t-shirts or tote bags for the family. Sometimes I’ll use the sewing machine, I wouldn’t say I can sew though, but I can “craft” with the thing. The instant gratification that hot glue rewards me with however usually wins out over sewing. (It’s just so darn quick and easy!) Romyn of course needed new shoes too, and requested that his showcase blue dogs. He wanted his upside down so they would always be looking up at him. (Yes, they look a bit like rabbits, but they're hanging upside down! And Ro doesn't seem to mind.)

                I’ve included photos of a few other articles I have recently tortured with my glue gun. The totes are from the L.L.Bean Outlet store, they were personalized and then rejected. After gluing some characters over the monograms they are now perfect for lugging supplies to school or toys to the park. Unique totes make my unique boys happy. And unique “granny style” thrifted purses make me happy. I just stitched on some pom-poms and glued on a happy little cloud for an instant cuteness upgrade!  Anyone can win with hot glue!
Happy Crafting Everyone- Kendra

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A few happy things from this week....

 I'm pretty easy to please, so many little things make me happy!
Spotting bright ugly sweaters at the thrift.
(If that v-neck one is still there next visit I might have to get it!)
Like our first visit from the tooth fairy, and boys with lovies.
Like bringing flowers in from the garden and Quidjit, our smelly little dog. (Cutie Quidjiggy-Quid!)
Like finding vintage bow-ties at the thrift store for a quarter each! We love bow ties! Romyn will even wear them to school with t-shirts when he is feeling "fancy".
Like ice cream dinners, sunshine, library books and new music on my Ipod. Happy, happy, happy! I'm going to focus on all these great things today so that I don't stop to think about how fast my baby boy is growing up. (OOOOOOOH a lost tooth!!) Romyn told me last night that he was officially a big boy now, and I should start always calling him that. (Sniffle.) Hey! Let's look at that great sweater up there again shall we?
Have a happy day!

P.S.- Happy Words and Things is now on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The PINKEST of all the capes!

I set a goal last fall to find my dream cape. I’m pretty sure in my dreams this cape was crafted of the finest crushed blue velvet, with cream colored pompoms, vintage pearl buttons, and a peter pan collar. The lining had rainbow polka dots and it granted the wearer any three wishes. (It was also under forty-five dollars.) I hunted all fall and winter long, but it seemed none were foolish enough to pass on such an incredible cape. Honestly, I had trouble finding any capes at my favorite thrift shops. I came across a pom-pommy faux fur number, but really it was more of a shrug than caplet. (And it was awful.)  Once I found an amazing hunter green, hooded, wool cape. It was made in Ireland, and right at my price cap. Elated, I threw it on and went down the aisles searching for my mother.  (Almost tripping over the hem.)
“A CAPE!!” I declare “I found a cape!”
“Yes you did.” My mother raises her eyebrows…
“It’s kinda long.” I consider, swishing it to and fro. “Do I look like a witch?”
“Yes you do.”
“Maybe I could have it altered?” I reason. “So that it comes to my knees?”
“And you’d pay another forty-five for that at least.” Good point mom.
“Hrm, I’m going to think about it.” And I stalk off in the cloak.  I sort of felt crazy walking around in the thing…. I’ll bet I looked crazy too. (But test driving capes is very important!)  The cape was too long, too majestic, and even too inspiring… like I ought to have a wand in hand…. or maybe a staff. It was very tempting to shout “THOU SHALL NOT PASS!!” at oncoming thrifters. I decided this was not the cape for me. It was too luxurious to alter, and I was pretty sure that someone out there was dreaming of this cape, and wearing it to Dragon Con, so I left it right where they could see it.
“Decide against the cape?” mom asks.
 (Sniffle) “Yah….”
 “Don’t worry, you’ll find it.”
Fast forward to almost spring. (ALMOST SPRING!) There’s a booth in the Williamsburg Antique Mall with a little collection of clothes. Usually it’s stocked with wonderfully bad 80s prom dresses and fur coats. Strolling through with Mom again something bright pink catches my eye.
“Wow” says my mother as I pull a corner of it out, “that is really pink!”
 “Ha! Like super pink! Do you think it’s a pea coat?” I ask pulling it out… GASP! “MOM! It’s…. a…. CAPE!” 
                It’s amazing how quickly your dreams can turn from the imaginable to the tangible in an instant. “It’s my DREAM cape!”
“You hate pink.” Mom reminds me.
“Not this pink I don’t.” And I don’t…. it’s so pink…. so very super pink. How can I not like this pink!? I mean, it is pink in cape form!
“I need this…” I say as I flip it on and fumble for the price tag…… eighty-five bucks. Eh…. Just a little out of my desired price range, and more than I could afford until next payday. My helpful mother, who had just been gushing over the pink dream cape, immediately and responsibly switches tactics.
“Look, it has ink stains on the front.” (It does) “You’re going to find another one cheaper.” (I won’t.) “This one is a little too long….” (Meh, it’s pretty close to perfect.) “And you don’t like pink.” (I’ve decided I like power pink.)
I shrug off the cape and peek at the label. It’s vintage and it’s custom made. There is only one power pink cape like this in the whole wide world.
“I guess I am going to have to think about it.” I tell mom, hiding it the best I can between the furs and tulle shirts. Power pink is pretty hard to disguise.
“That’s good, you know it’s been so hot lately you wouldn't even be able to wear it till next year.”
“I’ll be back for you….” I whisper to my cape.
I’m sure the pictures ruined the ending for you, but in case you’re on the edge of your seat I did go back for the cape. It was three looooooong days waiting till payday, explaining to my husband how badly I neeeeeeeeded it, spent scouring eBay and Etsy for alternatives, and dreaming of bright pink capes and riding unicorns.
When I got it home I showed it off to my boys… “Mommy’s found a cape!”
“It doesn’t look like a cape.”
“Of course it’s a cape!”
“Maybe if you had a mask.” (Eye roll)
Alright silly boys, I suppose a pink cape would need a sparkly pink mask, so I quickly flocked one I had laying around and storm their cardboard box fort. It’s not exactly how I expected to break in my new cape but I’ll roll with it.  The mask took the brunt of some rough housing and ended up cracked. I won’t shed any tears over that though, I am too happy to have found myself such an amazing cape! Mom was right, I’ve only been able to wear it out a handful of times as the weather isn’t very cape friendly. (Too warm.) It still needs a little something though, the perfect pin to accessorize it. I’ve tried out flowers and squirrels, dogs and birds but I can’t commit to one yet.  I believe my next shopping goal is to find a rainbow or flocked unicorn brooch! Now either of those would fit perfectly onto a bright pink cape! (And oh so Lisa Frank!)
A few other things to share….
Did you like that batman mask? It has been kicking around my house since Romyn’s birthday last year. I got the idea from the blog Oh Happy Day to set up a photo booth with dress up props and it was the greatest! You can print some out from here and maybe. I dunno…. flock them!
(Romyn in his photo booth.)
And speaking of flocking…. I came across this amazing idea for flocked nails! Why have I never thought of that before!? I'm think it may be a must try for Easter, thanks to Georgina at Cupcake's Clothes for sharing!
Have fun people! - Kendra
*Polka dot tights from H&M, shoes from Rocket Dog, and my cute dog, Quidjit.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What I wore.... and the all too easy destruction of tights.

I have a dinner date tonight with some girls and despite the gloomy weather and pounding head cold I am rocking I'm still in a bright mood. Maybe it’s the promise of spring right around the corner, or the coffee Eric fetched me this morning. Meh, really, it’s probably just me looking forward to dinner out and among grownups which has me so cheery.
Today I am wearing my Jason Wu for Target sweater and skirt. The shirt is from H&M, the clutch is Hobo, thrifted belt and bangles, shoes from Material Girl, and the tights are holey. Yah… holey, but as long as that skirt stays down you shouldn’t be able to tell. After tonight I’ll probably have to trash them and I really wish that I could remember where I bought them. (Sigh)
Everyone knows that Velcro is a tight's worst enemy, and in our house the boys sport no shortage of it. This weapon of stocking mass destruction is on their coats, shoes, and even on their watches. I do my best to steer clear of the stuff, but it’s tricky with cute and clingy, huggable, sabotaging toddlers about. Among the trickier attack moves they have perfected is the “Under-the-table-shoe-strap-tight-destroyer”. You never even see this one snag you, just feel that slight tap and hear the popping sound that signals the end of your newest blue stockings. The most destructive move they have however is the dreaded double whammy “Surprise Mommy Guilt Assault”. The last time I suffered the effects of this powerful blitz was on Valentine’s Day. I had just bought Baelin a treat at Dunkin Donuts and he giddily threw his arms up for a hug, my first thought is …. aaaaaadorable…. my second is THE RED TIGHTS!
“DON’T HUG MOMMY!” I snap, trying to jump back from his open arms and winter jacket.
Too late though. KKKKKEEERRIPPPPPP… I cringe as I try to gently tear him and the longest strip of Velcro ever off me. After examining the damage I notice judgment on the faces of the other patrons. Well, I guess it could have been pity I saw, or maybe stocking shell shock. Something like that can be so difficult to watch. Not only did my tights and sweater dress suffer injury that day, but I had publicly denounced affection from my baby on Valentine’s Day of all days! See? Double whammy. (No worries though, donuts and kisses made all that better.)   
Anyway, these purple tights were another unfortunate Velcro victim.  “At least the destruction is up high.” I think while I hair spray my backside. They just have to make it through dinner. Dang Velcro!! It’s just one of those mommy fashion hazards I guess. Like dodging puke and yanked earrings early on. Or finger paint stains and dunking your fringe scarf into a public bathroom toilet during potty training. (Did that one happen to anyone else?)
Really though, who would even notice holey tights around the best part of my rainbow outfit? That belt! It’s one of my favorite things I have ever picked up at a thrift store. Wearing it always puts me in a good mood, and it is absolutely Velcro proof.
I hope you all have a great weekend! - Kendra

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Well, as long as you know it's ugly...."

Soooo… I am the sort of girl that buys scented nail polish. The sort that eats up bobby pins with little bird heads on them, sunglasses with bows, and Sailor Moon t-shirts. And yet I’d deny being a “girly-girl”. Perhaps it’s because I view “girly girls” as being so polished. To me a “girly girl” cares to a certain degree just how all that girliness is working for her, or at least can demonstrate some flair in pulling it all together. She is serious. I am… not so serious. I’d describe my style as cute…. or maybe fun, I’ve never been able to pull off polished.  I mean, there is nothing polished about tearing through a thrift store rack full of ugly sweaters, at least not how I do it anyway. I triumphantly hold up a great find, shouting “THIS ONE!”, as my thrifting partner in crime… cringes.
“Just wait till I try it on before you judge!” I snap.
There I am, in that retro black and white checkered amazingness, waiting for Kati’s opinion.
“It’s great right? It’s so bad it is GREAT!”
“Ok….” She concedes, “that is kinda working for you. How the hell do you do that Kendra? Only you could pull that off.”
         If hadn’t heard that a hundred times before, I might have been offended. But I’ve learned to take “only you could make that work” as a good thing…. and not so much as the backhanded compliment I used to.  When I’d ask “What do you mean ONLY me!?” the response was normally something like…. “Well I could never wear that, but…..” (Hrm.) Well, I can..... and do.
         I go on…“Well I am hardly serious about it Kati… I sort of think people can see that right? That’s it’s fun? And if they don’t, they can enjoy a little chuckle at my expense, I still would really, really love this sweater.”
         Perhaps I should just embrace the whole girlie girl thing, I mean, I did buy a sweater with flowers all over it. Sure, Ok, I am a girlie girl. Patterned tights and cozy sweaters just make me happy. I wore this prize piece out Monday and then popped over to visit my mother. I had it paired with black corduroy pants and flats. Simple.  The lack of attention I paid to my hair is sort of pathetic, but pony tails are just sooooo easy. (I sort of think a real girlie girl might have made a little more effort up there- wouldn’t she?)
“While I am here would you take a picture of my ugly sweater?” I asked.
“Well as long as YOU know it’s ugly….” my mom responds.
“Of course I know it’s ugly! Come on mom, you know you want one!”
“No…. only you could pull that off Kendra.”
         (Yikes.) Well, maybe my taste is way off the mark, but I am afraid realizing this isn’t going to stop me from wearing it. I am the sort of girl who gleefully wears ugly sweaters.
And now, a story of a boy, and his cats. …….
I am also the sort of mom who can’t tell her three year old that these pictures are really just supposed to be of me and my obnoxious sweater. Baelin saw that camera and couldn’t join me fast enough, squeaking “I waaaaant to get in toooooo!”
Alrightie B. I know one day he may be mortified to be seen, let alone photographed, next to me in such a fine sweater, I am not going to chase him away now. So there he is, with Big Grey Cat, and New Big Grey Cat, under each arm looking terribly cute. My mom had to run some paperwork into a high school she works with after our visit and asked if she could bring Baelin along. Never one to turn down a few moments to myself I stuffed him, and cats, into her truck and waved them off. While on their drive Baelin is of course going on and on about his cats, my mother later tells me she asked him if his cats get to go to school with him.
“No… they have to stay home with Mom.”
“Hrm… schools don’t let you bring in lovies huh? We’re going to go to a school, but since you’re with Grammie special today, I think we’ll be able to bring your kitties in. But when you’re bigger and go to high school, Big Grey Cats will have to stay home.”
          I was told that Baelin had a nice visit with the ladies at school, he and kitties chatted everyone up, and let them know that it was alright  his cats were with him today…. he would leave them at home when he was bigger. On the way out of school, surprisingly, Grammie and B passed by a young man who had a stuffed cat under his arm.
“What do you have there!?” my mother asked him.
(Baelin gasped.)
“Oh, this guy is just coming to visit with me today.” the young man responded heading in doors.
“GRAMMIE!” Baelin exclaimed “You caaaaan bring lovies to BIG SCHOOL!”
“I guess you can B!”
         The first thing Baelin tells me when they return is all about how he will get to bring his kitties with him when he starts high school. When we pick up his brother from school that afternoon, he excitedly recounts his discovery again, and yet again to Daddy when he gets in from work.
“Daddy! When-I-get-to-go-to-high-school-Big-Grey-Cat-gets-to-go-TOO! I can brrrrrrrring my caaaaaaaats!!!!”
Romyn shouts “And I can bring my JETS!” (Big Jet and Little Jet are Romyn’s two favorite stuffed dogs.)
         Eric gives me a look. I am not sure if it is for the cats or for my ugly sweater.
“Baelin had a great day today.” I tell him.
         Later Eric and I reflect on just how fast these kids are growing up. I tell him how Baelin crawled up into my sweater pictures, and wondered just how soon it will be until we as parents become too humiliating.
“Well if he brings his cats to high school I am not sure much will embarrass him.” Says Eric.
“What if I’ve stuffed her into his back pack before he heads out?” I ask, “He has already promised Big Grey Cat he’d take her.”  
“That would be awesome.” Eric laughs.
         I guess with this sort of mindset we’ll become embarrassing sooner, rather than later. Oh well, let the countdown to freshman year begin!