Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Curse of Looking Crappy











    I think I’ve finally posted the last of my pictures from this winter.  It's probably time to hang up the black leather gloves until next season.  Honestly, this is the only aspect of the changing season that perturbs me.  Man, I adore a good pair of vintage gloves!  I would love to find another pair like the ones I have on in these pictures.  Can you believe they were a $3.00 find at St. Vincent de Paul thrift store?!  They really were one of those, "once in a lifetime," finds.  However those odds won’t stop me from trolling Etsy for the rest of the summer in the hopes of finding another similar pair.  Unfortunately, like most vintage items, women's gloves seem to run small.  Apparently there weren’t many tall ladies with big man hands back in the day.  Yet another reason I should have been a pro basketball player.  Sigh…I may have missed my calling.
   Ironically enough…or maybe not, since I go there so often…the skirt I’m wearing in the above photographs is also from the same thrift store.  It's actually part of a set and came with a fantastic matching cropped blazer that features some of the best structured shoulder pads I’ve seen since the days of, “Dallas.”  Not to get off topic here but I feel it’s noteworthy to mention that the original TV show, “Dallas,” has been the deciding factor of many items I've thrifted over the years.  I often find myself holding a questionable article of clothing while thinking, “Is this piece worthy of Sue Ellen?”  
   While I've not quite mustered the courage to wear both parts of this set together I've worn the items separately.  Did I mention how versatile this skirt is?  I'm just saying, it has a fantastic elastic waistband and pockets.  So not only can I pig out on the new Hershey Cookie Layer Crunch Bars, (holy shit they're good!) while wearing this item, I can also carry a supply of them in my pockets. 
   One might be thinking, “With all these wonderful features why are you not wearing this skirt all the time?”  Actually it would be a miracle if one was thinking that, considering this is a totally pointless post this week and I would be highly surprised if anyone were to read this far.  Anyhow, the reason I don’t have more pictures of this particular garment is because I believe it to be cursed.  Yes, I said cursed.  To explain, every time I wear this skirt the weather turns to absolute crap and I can’t get a good picture to save my life.  It’s so frustrating!  I put it on and always think, "Wow!  I love everything about this skirt.  Why don’t I wear this thing more?”  Immediately upon stepping outside torrential rain and hurricane winds will greet me.  During this particular photo shoot it was the latter of the two.  By the time I finally figured out I had to retreat to the barn in order to get a usable image my hair was trashed.  It actually really irritated me because I was feeling pretty spiffy that day and these pictures simply don’t do those feelings justice...
   …unless, the skirt is not cursed at all.  Could it be the exact opposite is true?  Maybe I simply woke up looking like dog crap and when I put on this charmed item I instantly felt like a million bucks.  Perhaps it took actual pictures to make me realize I really didn’t look so great that day.  I guess my overall point here is, whether it be cursed or charmed, this piece is definitely magical.  Now if it could just prove lucky enough to help me strike oil in the backyard in order to complete my Sue Ellen transformation.
-r.



Jacket:  Casual Corner 
Skirt:  Vintage
Boots:  Dr. Martens
 Gloves:  Vintage

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Modeling in the Muck













   As the holiday comes to a close this evening I feel confident in announcing it’s officially spring in South Dakota.  Finally the weather is warm enough to ditch that overbearing coat.  Unfortunately, I still can’t bust out any fancy footwear due to the fact that my driveway is a mud pit.  As a result, my wellies are the only shoes I can wear while walking around the yard.  Honestly there are serious drawbacks to living in the country when one is trying to keep her kicks clean. I literally store my rubber boots outside the back door at all times just in case I have to traipse across gravel.  Of course this also comes in handy every morning when I stumble outside, still wearing pajamas, in order to feed my little feline friends out back.  Admittedly this look is a far cry from blog pictures.  However I might as well someday post images of myself looking like this, considering someone I know seems to always be driving by the house at this time and undoubtedly stops to say, "Hi!"  I’ve simply stopped explaining to people why I’m wearing a ripped up hoodie, pink ruffle jammie pants, and red paisley galoshes.  I mean hey, it's good enough for the cats...it's good enough for me.
   Lately I’ve been feeling rather guilty about being so crabby regarding how messy the yard is.  In fact specifically today, while I was spending time with friends and loved ones, I was reminded of how extremely lucky I am.  It was just the beginning of last week that a dear long distance friend of mine called to tell me her mother had passed away.  Honestly, that moment was one of the few times this admitted babbler had nothing to say.  I was shocked into silence.  In addition, I’ll admit I was scared.  “We’re too young to lose our parents, aren’t we?” I thought.  For the rest of the week I was consumed with guilt.  I shamefully thought, “Today my friend is probably planning her mom’s funeral and I’m picking out what to wear in blog pictures.”  I am in awe of her strength while facing such a devastating situation.  I truly hope she and her family find comfort soon.
   I think it’s noteworthy to mention that lately the news seems bad everywhere.  In my last post I announced that I finally broke down and got an iPhone.  At this time I should probably say to every person who ever told me to give up my slide phone…and there were MANY..."YOU WERE RIGHT!!!"  I can’t believe how great this little gadget is!  I mean..."My God!"  After a long day at work I can easily shirk my cooking responsibilities by simply browsing my phone.  While on the phone I can look up a good new pizza place to try out, order food, get verbal directions to pick it up, pay for my purchase, and finally...take a picture of me eating while barfing rainbows.  It’s truly amazing.  In addition to that handy little rainbow barfing thing, my phone also gives me news updates throughout the day.  As a result, I’ve become addicted to my BBC News app.  However I’m not altogether certain this is a good thing.  This week alone I've experienced a feeling of dread with every, “ping,” my phone makes.  Between the horrific situation in Syria and the increasingly frightening presence of North Korea I’m not sure it’s good for me to be this well informed. 
   In conclusion, I feel kind of bad for being such a downer on what is supposed to be a joyous holiday.  However today I was reminded of the struggles of others.  Initially this post was intended to be another pointless rant about something mundane like the boggy marsh of my yard.  Yet with everything going on around me I feel ridiculous complaining about, “modeling,” in the muck.  After spending this special day in such pleasant surroundings I'm more than happy to sink down into the safety of my quagmire…because now I’m aware that it is vastly more simple than what other people are going through.    
-r.



Jacket:  Vintage 
Jeans:  Guess
Boots:  Dr. Martens
Purse:  Sonia Rykiel
Necklace:  Vintage (Napier)
Sunglasses:  Coach


Monday, April 10, 2017

"Barabajagal"













   To begin I’d like to state that the title of this post is a reference to an old Donovan album I’ve been listening to lately.  The reason I chose to use this particular word for my title is due to the fact that I have no idea what it means.  “Barabajagal” means absolutely nothing to me.  As a result, I find it the perfect term to use while describing my current rant.  For this post I’d like to concentrate on all things nonsensical, because lately things really don’t seem to make that much sense. 
   I can hear the sighs now, “Not another bleeding heart liberal, blathering on about the end of days."  While I do consider the current political state of our country to be very vexing, the, "nonsense," I’ve been encountering lately has been on a much more trivial scale.  Perhaps I’ve just been concentrating on the mundane in order to deal with the larger reality.  Either way I’ve felt rather bewildered lately and, “Barabajagal,” is the only word I can think of to express these feelings.
   For instance, I simply can’t understand the vintage sweater I’m wearing in the above photographs.  In my opinion it’s one of the most impressive garments in my closet.  I absolutely LOVE the bold colors and print of this piece.  It almost looks like something that would belong in a totem pole design.  There’s something primal about the appearance of it…something almost archaic.  Of course this is the only aspect of my sweater that seems to make sense, considering it appears to have been knit in the 1960’s.  Despite the age of this piece, it’s in immaculate condition and I simply can’t understand who would give up such an amazing article of clothing,  I see it hanging in my closet and reflect back to the first time I laid eyes on it while flipping through the, “Ugly Sweater,” rack at the thrift store.  “Barabajagal,” is all I can think.  It just doesn’t make sense. 
   Furthermore, I’d also like to comment on the purse I’m carrying in the above photographs.  The day I found this ridiculous treasure seemed surreal indeed.  I was browsing one of my favorite consignment stores when I came across the above handbag.  I gasped at the sight of it.  It had to be a fake!  “No one in their right mind would get rid of Miu Miu,” I thought.  However, upon further inspection, I found multiple tags and cards of authenticity in the actual bag.  Whoever had chosen to give up this item…I assume at gunpoint…had taken great care to prove to the next owner that this was a legitimate designer handbag.  At the time my heart was racing…my hands were shaking…and I was certain that even secondhand I would be unable to purchase such a coveted piece.  However, I was wrong!  I couldn’t believe the price the grossly clueless store clerk quoted me and I left that establishment almost cackling, “Barabajagal.”  It just didn’t make sense.
   Lastly, this whole babble is kind of baloney considering it’s not even a Sunday and I have no business blogging on any other day.  Of course, I missed posting yesterday due to the fact that I got my first smartphone and became so absorbed in the mystifying miasma of technology that I literally lost a twenty four hour span of time.  I’ve been blogging for four years and never missed a Sunday post until I got an iPhone and forgot who I was.  When I snapped out of it this evening all I could think was, “Barabajagal!" That was weird!”  I'll admit it's crossed my mind to simply look up the meaning of Donovan’s little ditty.  In fact, now that I have my fancy phone I anticipate it would be easy.  However, that just seems to take the magic out of all of it.  I prefer to dwell in the enchanting land of, “Barabajagal,” where there are beautiful designer purses and vintage sweaters for everyone and any poor schlep can talk to a magical goddess named Siri.  I can see it now.  I'm saying,“Siri call…wait…damn it, what button?...Siri…I’m pressing it!...Yes, I’m pressing that button!...frick…ah, Barabajagal!”
-r.



Sweater:  Vintage
Jeans:  Joe’s Jeans
Boots:  Dr. Martens
Purse:  Miu Miu
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Kate Spade

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mum's Bohemian Behemoth












   Recently it came to my attention that I’ve not yet featured one of my favorite fashion items on this blog.  The day this thought occurred to me I was perusing my closet in an attempt to put something together that was suitable for the weather.  Lately I’ve been finding it difficult to dress myself.  The never ending question seems to be, “Do I really need a coat?”  On the one hand my brain is telling me,  “Rayna, it’s April in South Dakota.  It may be wise to grab a jacket before you go out the door.  We wouldn’t want you to get sick again, would we?”  On the other hand, my heart is saying, “Forget the coat!  I want to show off some outfits.  Maybe I could even feel the sun on my skin for once.”  In the end, the answer to this endless quandary was easy.  “Hello poncho!” I thought.
   As I was putting on my poncho I realized I'd never taken pictures of it before.  In fact, the more I considered it, I began to recognize the fact that I’ve never taken photographs of me wearing any of my ponchos.  I was instantly disturbed.  "Why have I been neglecting something that has had such a major influence on my wardrobe," I thought.
   Truthfully, I’ve been wearing ponchos since high school.  I remember the first one I ever had was given to me as a hand-me-down from my mom.  It was hand crocheted in beautiful teal yarn and had been a gift to her back when ponchos were a staple item for the fashion forward female.  I’m quite surprised she ever allowed me to wear it considering how beautiful it was.  However she did, and as a result I believe my love affair with vintage clothing and retro style began.  From that point on I couldn’t get my hands on enough flair jeans and fringe.  To this day I’m thankful to mom for steering me off the beaten path when it comes to clothing.  Without her influence, (and believe me there was a whole lot more than just that poncho), I don’t believe I’d be the quirky dresser I’ve always been.  Actually mom and I recently came across that very same teal poncho this year. It had been packed away in a box at her house and when I saw it many forgotten high school memories instantly came flooding back to me.  I want to believe the same thing happened to her because when I asked if I could take the treasured item her answer was, “Yes, but please don’t ever get rid of it.  If you don’t want it I’ll take it back.”   I guess I just love the idea that one piece of clothing has such a connection to both of us.  I also like the fact that this garment has fringe…like lots of it.  Great minds obviously think alike.
   Writing this now I wish I would have worn that particular poncho in the photographs above.  However, the choice is never easy when one has so many options.  I remember once discussing with a friend how many ponchos I owned. When I got to about ten I could see the disbelief on her face.  “I had no idea ponchos were even a thing anymore,” she stated.  Honestly I was surprised.  In my mind they’d always been, "a thing."  I mean, didn’t every girl grow up wearing ponchos, fringe coats, bell bottoms, crochet vests, granny square sweaters, clogs, and dad’s old biker belt?  (Unfortunately, other than the teal poncho, this 5’9” bohemian behemoth was confined to wearing only dad’s vintage treasures.  Yep, it sucks when your mom is a petite 5’2” and you can literally hulk rip out of her clothing.)  Anyway my point is I’m so thankful for my mom’s sense of style.  She taught me that weird is wonderful…and this sentiment applies to more than just clothing.  I'm truly so happy to be the daughter of a free thinking, open minded, educated, creative, beautiful, one of a kind hippie lady.  I can only hope to wear a poncho as well as she does.
-r.



Poncho:  Thrifted
Socks:  Ozone
Clogs:  Vintage
Purse:  Banana Republic
Earrings:  Kenneth Cole
Necklace:  Ettika
Sunglasses:  Roberto Cavalli

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Claws!













   I’d like to start this post by stating these pictures were taken a few weeks back when there was substantial snow on the ground.  While the current weather is still sweater-worthy, I’m happy to report the snow has now been replaced with mud.  Yes, I’m happy to see mud…however my shoes are not.  Of course I’ll save that little jewel of a rant for a whole separate blog post. 
   I titled this story, “My Claws!,” due to a seriously deep topic that’s been on my mind.  Yep, it's happened people.  I've become obsessed with my fingernails.  Now I’ve always been privy to painting my nails.  In fact, it’s something that I do weekly as a type of mental therapy…that, and I’m also seriously OCD and can’t stand to have chipped nails or any deviation in my routine.  As a result of this neurosis, I’ve always had fairly decent looking fingernails.  Of course, up until last year I'd been working in the horticulture industry.  Any female in this field can attest to the cosmetic uphill battle that transpires from working with terrain.  Basically, it’s virtually impossible to have long nails when constantly digging in the dirt.  Not only is it unsanitary, but it’s unsightly when every other finger has a broken ragged edge.  Trust me, gardeners are not hand models. 
   However, as we all know I left my job of ten years to pursue a new direction.  While I expected many changes I certainly didn’t consider a physical change would occur.  Yet it did and while I understand it’s only fingernails I feel like a whole new woman!  For instance, a few weeks back I went out for coffee with a close girlfriend.  As we were talking she interrupted me by stating, “I never thought I’d see that!  I didn’t think you could grow those!”  She was referring to the length of my fingernails.  All of the sudden I felt exposed.  It was as if the cat was finally out of the bag.  Someone had finally realized I was a whole new woman.  “I know, it’s weird isn’t it,” I replied trying to mask by my, “new identity.”
   The day I took these photographs I was just starting to get some length on my nails.  I kept looking at them with admiration, which I think was captured in these pictures.  Honestly, these are some of the best images I’ve taken in quite some time…despite the fact that the wind was ridiculous.  I'm super bummed the last picture came out blurry.  I truly believe it would have been a humdinger.  Who would’ve guessed that the length of my fingernails could inspire such confidence…such pride…such downright narcissism.
   Due to these new found feelings of fortitude I’ve noticed a change in myself.  I think things like, “I’m the lady with nice long fingernails.  I can go to that Mary Kay party!  Look at those hands.  That’s a woman whose going somewhere.  I can voice my opinion at work!  Do you see how that nail polish matches my outfit perfectly?  I can attend that baby shower at the country club!”  Honestly, it’s amazing what a slight physical change can do to one’s psyche.  Of course, in the words of the great George Harrison, “All things must pass”…yes, I just committed blasphemy by quoting an absolutely beautiful song during an essay about something so stupid.  
   Just a few days ago one of the children at work decided it would be entertaining to try to juggle rocks.  While I was impressed by her determination I ultimately decided it was not a good idea to allow a five year old to throw rocks…even in the pursuit of learning a trade in the circus field.  As I was literally wrestling them from her grasp…remember I said she was determined…one of my nails got snagged on a rock and it ripped short.  The look on my face must have been horrific since even the preoccupied child exclaimed, “Oh no!  Your fingernail!”   The very next day my OCD mind made the agonizing decision to cut all of my nails short in order to keep things consistent.  “I’m now back to being the woman with short fingernails," I think.  “Maybe I could learn that rock juggling thing.”
-r.



Sweater:  Vintage
Shirt:  Chaps 
Vest:  Thrifted
Jeans:  True Religion
Purse:  Sonia Rykiel
Necklace:  Thrifted
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Roberto Cavalli

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"O Canada..."













   I think it’s safe to state, “I’m desperate for spring.”  I know it’s probably hard to tell since I keep posting pictures of me wearing long wool skirts.  However, underneath all that fabric there are legs that are desperate for…well, long denim shorts.  What can I say?  There’s just something about warm weather that really inspires me to let loose.  This lady is prepared to show some leg…below the knees, that is.
   Basically, I’m just ready to see the sun again.  Of course daylight savings time did help.  Unfortunately right after this change took place I got seriously sick for the second time this season!  Please pardon my, “Woe is me,” moment here but as I’m writing this I’m still in the throes of major discomfort.  My face is throbbing, my nose and lips are chapped, and I’ve been wearing the same hoodie…hood up, mind you…for about twenty six hours now.  I also have a pile of wadded up Kleenex balls by the bed that rivals the height of my nightstand.  Oh yeah, people warned me that the first year of working in childcare would result in a type of, “germ initiation,” but honestly I had no idea just how rotten I’d feel…and look.  My God did I look bad this morning!  Honestly I think I have PTSD from my reflection.  No glamor shot will ever be able to wipe that image from my mind.
   All joking aside, there comes a point each winter that I become extremely depressy.  Today I hit that point.  It started with the fact that I was simply not feeling well.  Of course my foul mood progressed when I finally realized at around 4:00PM it was St. Patty’s Day and what seemed like the entire Facebook population was out, “Whooping it up.”  Meanwhile, I was lying in what smelled like a vat of Vick’s VapoRub watching my eleventh episode of, “Degrassi Next Class,” on Netflix.  Please, go ahead and judge.  I’m well aware of how bad my taste in TV shows can be.  However, in my defense, “Degrassi,” was a hilariously entertaining show back in the day so I was curious.  Yes, it was solely curiosity that made me watch eleven episodes in a row.
   I guess I could argue it was also curiosity that made me fall off the wagon with my Etsy addiction again.  I will state, “It is St. Patrick’s Day and I’m willing to bet many individuals displayed a major lack of control today.”  I’m eternally grateful that my faux pas came in the form of fashion.  My only explanation is sitting here, sniffling in the ugliest hooded sweatshirt one can imagine, caused me to start longing for something better to wear.  What could it hurt to take one little look online?  The next thing I knew I was hours into binge watching Canadian teen soaps and receiving a confirmation e-mail from a vintage shop located in Montreal stating, “Thank you for your purchase!  Your vintage faux fur coat will ship shortly!”  God help me if I end up looking like a character from, “Degrassi,” in it.  Although, you have to admire this woman’s commitment to a theme.
   I guess the theme of this post is that I’m sick…in the head…wait no, that’s not it.  I’m sick of winter and as much as I’ve enjoyed wearing things like plaid wool skirts and leather gloves I’m ready for a change.  I’m obsessed with the idea of summer…that and apparently Canada.  Despite my desperation for milder weather I do hope I get to wear my Canadian vintage coat once before the temperatures change.  I consider it, “My wild St. Patty’s Day indulgence.”  I suspect there has already been a, “Degrassi,” episode entitled this.
-r.



Coat:  London Fog
Jacket:  Gap
Skirt:  Vintage
Wellies:  Juicy Couture
Purse:  (Gift)  Michael Kors
Gloves:  The Limited
 Sunglasses:  Kate Spade