Monday, December 26, 2011

Tiny yet stylish

I've lazed in bed all day, but I couldn't resist posting a picture of my niece. Only six, but with the style judo of someone much older, Miss Ellie threw together this outfit for Christmas Day, and promptly struck this attitude when my sister asked her to pose for the camera.

And lest you doubt her fashion blogger prowess, please note that all her clothes are thrifted, right down to her boots! Ellie picks out her own clothes to wear, according to her moods, veering from fashion plate to hippie flower child to tiny hobo to regular Wal-mart kid within the week. I'm thinking about borrowing her verve AND her moxie. Luckily, though, I won't have to borrow the boots since I have a similar pair.

Monday, December 19, 2011

almost Christmas!

 Last day of work before Christmas break! Yay [Kermit flail]! I went for comfort rather than style today - as if I'm normally a Cosmo fashionista...but still, jeans instead of more dressy pants and a drover style shirt rather than something more worky. The little necklace you can't really see is my skull (a personal non-favorite of my little mama). At the moment it's on a black silk strand, instead of the red braid below. Also, over the months, the gold has aged a bit, so it's now acquiring a rosy-gold/copper patina in places. I personally like this even more than the plain gold! Also unseen: I have my hair up in two mini-buns, aka what my office calls my Princess Leia look (even though hers were over her ears BUT ANYWAY). It's mega cute and pretty non-professional. My niece has a similar hairstyle that she likes and we just call it her kawaii hair.

Top - Simply Be, Under-tank - Hanes (dyed purple), Jeans - Avenue, Shoes - Earth Spirit, Jewelry - JewelMint, Send the Trend, and sister.

Friday, December 16, 2011

So excited for Friday!

 Yay! Friday! It's been such a long week. [Cue frantic smile in above picture.] One week of work left and then Christmas vacation for me. I have mostly everyone's presents - I'm only lacking a few things for the munchkins. I love shopping for other people. The only problem is that when I find that wonderful present for someone, I immediately want to give it to them. I'm not big on waiting, but I actually started shopping in November this year, so it's been really hard on me not just flinging presents at people so I can see their faces.

 This red sweater is about as Christmassy as I like to dress. I'm not an elementary teacher, you know (no offense intended). Red or maybe green (and not both together) is enough for me. I have to stop the little mama from getting me overly Christmassy shirts, or just sigh and wear one on Christmas to make her happy.

Jen says this is a flip - two strands of hair twisted over each other, not a true braid. I've also seen it described as a rope braid.

Sweater - Avenue, Pants - Denim 24/7, and yes, I did put on jewelry and shoes later.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a big ol' rope of hair

Yes, I am this pale. And! This is my actual eye color, often disguised by how squinchy my eyes get when I smile/when I'm tired and look snarky. A light blue-gray, the same as both of my grandfathers had. No one else in my immediate family has them. This sweater is my one exception to cap sleeves, which I hate, because it's not really like they're cap sleeves. Just little sleevelets, really. I would buy another, but the only other color is Aqua (ick, turquoise).

Little full-length photo to reassure you that I still have a body.
  See, big rope of hair. This is a Dutch braid (aka an inside out French Braid). I might need to get Jen to check and see that my hair is still growing out all even. I don't really get split ends, but I had layers (not such a great idea with my hair and my laziness in hairdos) and I'm still growing them out.

Sweater - Simply Be, Undershirt - Mossimo, Pants - Lands End, Boots - Avenue, Necklace - self-made.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let's discuss the word of the day

The word of the day is labyrinth! Labyrinths have been walked as spiritual meditation (solo and in groups) since the medieval ages for certain, although we know they were used by Egyptians, Greeks, and Cretans. I have on a labyrinth necklace, designed to match the one on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral

To jump topics, but not words, one of my favorite fantasy movies (as a child and now) is the 1986 Jim Henson directed Labyrinth starring David Bowie (and his package). I have actually seen Michael Moschen, the man who performed as David Bowie's hands for the crystal ball contact juggling, perform in person! And yes, it was totally awesome, even though he wasn't David Bowie. The movie Pan's Labyrinth is equally fantastical, but also batshit crazy and scary. That's what you get from Guillermo del Toro.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Slightly fuzzy picture today, but let's concentrate on how I forgot about EBEW and didn't wear sparkles! Oh, the tragedy! I didn't even realize it until I saw Mia's post. It seems like I've had to reach for several of the EBEW posts, but I could have totally nailed the sparkle/sequin one. At least I have my watch necklace on to console myself and make me feel a smidgen cooler. It was a busy morning - I had to do my own hair and everything, says the lazy girl. (When my hair is braided, it's a sign that my little Mama or my sister has had time to do it for me.) I know my mama at least loves it down, but wearing headphones almost all day at work (so the quiet doesn't drive me mad) would mess up a "casually wind-tossed do", and my hair gets naturally frizzy over the day as I run my hands through it. A bad habit I know, but better than heavy drinking, I hear.

Sweater - Avenue, Pants - Lands End, Booties - Viva La Diva, Watch Necklace - Amazon.

Monday, December 12, 2011

yes I live in this cardi

It's been a few days since I posted, and I didn't even think to look at my blog to see what I wore last. Which is why I'm wearing the same cardigan, and all black again! I do seriously love this cardigan (they have it at Simply Be in black and purple now). It's very soft with the rounded "stud" embellished shoulders to give it character. And the silvery gray is just gorgeous.  As you can tell, I didn't check my necklace before snapping pictures, though! So very tangled up...

Gracey was sweet enough to include me in her post today about large calves and finding boots to fit them. (sidebar: if you don't read Gracey's blog, start. She's awesome, and even orange hating shorties like me get tons of great ideas from her.) ALSO, the name of our (me and my sister's) etsy store has changed. We are now Stitch and Bead, rather than Birnam Grove. You can even friend us on Facebook!

Cardigan - Simply Be, Tank - Calypso, Pants - White Stag.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Don't you wish you were smug like me?

The message for today: Don't shop anywhere online but Amazon, eBay (rarely), and Simply Be. Simply Be comes in clothing sizes 10-28, and shoe sizes 6-11 (with some 5s and 12s), widths Standard - EEEE, and Calf Width Slim to Extra Ultra Wide. I just had a couple of disappointing experiences with Avenue, a company that makes the best seamless panties, but is highly questionable on other items. Pantyhose were much too short (despite me being firmly within the size guidelines), shirts were much too large...unless you can shop at the store, I wouldn't suggest it.

BUT! Simply Be has served me perfectly every time. Free shipping and returns, always. The only boot brand ever to fit my calves (Viva La Diva - and they're super comfy too!). With the exception of the Glamourosa 2 Button Detail Tops, nothing has ever shrunk. Nothing has ever fallen apart in the wash. The sweaters all keep their shape. It's just...quality clothing. Pricier than Avenue or OneStopPlus, but well worth it, since the pieces last, and are really nice. And not boring nice, but awesome nice (particularly Joe Browns stuff). At the moment, I would like the Bird Print Tee. Flutter sleeves and thigh length!

Today's outfit - Cardigan - Simply Be, Shirt - Avenue, Pants - Denim 24/7, Necklace - JewelMint.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friend is a four letter word

 I know you've seen these shoes of mine a million times. BECAUSE THEY ARE ADORABLE! Gray felt with little extraneous brass buttons! Seriously, how much cuter could they get? And I'm smiling! Fun times for all. Are any of you on Spotify? My blog post is a Cake song, a truly fun band. Come friend me on Facebook (with a little note that you follow my blog so I don't go "I don't know this person! No friending!), and we can share music!

Cardigan - Simply Be, T-shirt - Avenue, Pants - Denim 24/7, 
Jewelry - Send The Trend. (Or maybe JewelMint.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Here's leering at you, kid

 Instead of a cranky look OR a smile, today we have a leer. It's...close to a smile? Anywho, I'm surprised my dad let me out of the house in these pants. Looking at them, they are too short, even with flats (and my dad has serious issues with people's pant length, oddly). These must have been a pair of petites. I have a short rise, and plus size pants, especially, seem to have long crotches. But evidently my legs needed that extra inch or two. The things you learn from pictures!

Dutch Braid

Sweater - Redoute,  Shirt and Pants - Avenue, Shoes - Dexter, Necklace - Send the Trend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Long time coming...and yet not that great.

I don't know what it is, but lately all my pictures have been severely CRANKY-FACED. If you go back in the blog, you'll see that I can actually smile. And that I don't always look cranky and/or drunk. It's bizarre, because I've been sleeping well, but you wouldn't know it from my face.

This is a fishtail braid, in my pretty shiny hair. Seriously, I'm thinking about just cropping out my face until I relearn how to smile in photos and replacing it with photos of my hair.

Sweater - Simply Be, Pants - Lands End, Necklace - Birnam Grove.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Birnam Grove Rises Again!!

I do look happier sometimes. Really.

Birnam Grove is the name of our Etsy store (mine and my sister's). Not only are we totally back up, we now have a Facebook page (go Like us!), we also have a Twitter feed! We also have our Thanksgiving Cyber deal going on: 10% off everything with the coupon code CYBER. I make the jewelry, and my sister does the sewing.

Here's one of Jen's beautiful quilts (Gracey, it has orange!):
$100, pre-discount.

And this is one of my necklaces:
$15, pre-discount.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Awards from Mia!

Real life cranky face
 Mia of Reading in Skirts awarded me with two awards! I feel so special, like an actual people person, and not a misanthrope with a blog!
Here are the rules:
Link back to the blogger you got the award from
Write 7 random things about yourself
Fill in the question form below
Give the award to 10 other blogs and let them know

7 random things about me:
  1. If I am not actually at work, I am tremendously lazy.
  2. I suffer from epilepsy, depression, and anxiety/panic attacks.
  3. I am fat. And I don't really care what you think about it. 
  4. I love to read more than I love to do almost anything else.
  5. No kids are cuter than my niece and nephew. Except maybe little mixed race babies. And little boys with super-thick glasses. But, my munchkins still top the list. Despite this, I never want to have kids of my own.
  6. I sit cross-legged in my chair. At work, at the dinner table, I even lie in bed cross-legged sometimes.
  7. The only person I have ever hit is my sister, but I have an incredibly violent temper. I'm just a complete coward.

Question Form:
Name your favorite song: "The Way It Goes" by Gillian Welch

Name your favorite dessert:  The brownies with peanut butter icing that my sister makes me for my birthday.

What pisses you off: Smug bastards. People who think that because they've gotten over a fight, you must have too.

Your favorite pet: I don't really do pets. As in, I don't see any point in them. [Cue everyone thinking I'm a bad person.]

Black or white: Definitely black. White makes me nervous and prone to spilling.

Your biggest fear: That I will wake up and years will have gone by, that I've forgotten due to amnesia or something. Also, having to go to the bathroom while people can hear me.

Best feature: My fantastic rack.

Everyday attitude: Judgmental and snarky. Other than that, I'm a ball of sunshine.

What is perfection: Taking a nap on Sunday afternoon. Eating candy in bed. Watching a movie in the middle of the day. Basically, being incredibly lazy.

Guilty pleasure: Mocking ice skaters on tv? If I enjoy it, I don't really consider it a guilty pleasure. You should hear me defend reading Nora Roberts.

Give the award to 10 5 other blogs and let them know!
I give these awards to:
Gracey at Fashion For Giants
Carly at Smaggle
Reiko at God's Favorite Shoes
Cammila at Dressed Up Like a Lady

and Erin at Work With What You've Got.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Double Dutch

We were in a rush this morning, and the full picture I have...well, kids, I look drunk. And sort of angry about it. Now, if I wasn't on so much medication for my various conditions, and could have a nice screwdriver, I would look pretty darn happy. But morning, with the busyness and the depressing news, tends to make me look all grumpy-faced. But you do get a braid picture today: Dutch braids to be precise, and a website link. My sister has been watching YouTube videos of braids ever since my niece decided that she wanted fancy braids. Jen likes CuteGirlHairstyles, which has both a YouTube channel and a website. [Yes, Dutch braids are inverted French braids.]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Orange is wrong

 Our university has a night game tonight. I'm not wearing school colors. I...have an intense hatred for orange. INTENSE. Along with teal, it is my least favorite color. Ever. Thank the Lord our colors aren't teal and orange; I would have to slit my throat. (Sorry, Gracey, Mia, Tia. Sometimes color hatred happens.) Jen did another braid on my hair this morning, but it's a little bumpy, due to my hair not being quite long enough and also being so very thick. It's pretty awesome having my own live-in beautician. I might even start sporting nail polish and properly groomed eyebrows...

Top and Pants - Simply Be, Scarf - liberated from little Mama's closet, Jewelry - self-made.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Preeety Braid

There's a distinct reason that I prefer my hair long. When it comes to my hair, I'm all thumbs. I can do excellent buns. And ponytails. And that's about it. I have very thick, wavy, and somewhat coarse hair. All of my Native American roots came out in my hair, not my supah-white skin. BUT! My sister has moved back into the house (divorce upcoming, no more to be said), and Jen is a whiz with hair. Witness the fishtail braid she did this morning for me!

So pretty! Apparently, it is also easier to braid the hair of a 30 year old, than a 6 year old. My niece is prone to wiggling, as all munchkins are. Also, I love this sweater, even though it can sometimes make my tummy look poochy if I mis-adjust the bottom. (Why a band at the bottom, Avenue? Really?) Dolman sleeves are my not-so-secret love. As is the color grey.

Top - Avenue, Shawl - swiped from little Mama, Pants - Denim 24/7, Shoes - Dexter, Necklace - JewelMint.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chronicle Happy Haulidays!

So, this is the second year that Chronicle Books is doing their Happy Haulidays giveaway! If I win, I would get all the books on my list (here), one of my commenters would get all these books, AND the charity of my choice would get up to $500 worth of books (they can choose their own). The charity I've chosen is First Book, a charity that provides books to kids in need. They've distributed over 85 million books so far!   The books I've chosen are a mix of books for me and my family. And I got it right up to the limit almost! It's a random drawing, but in case I win, you would have to comment on this post to win a duplicate set!

 Cake Simple

Recipes for Bundt-Style Cakes from Classic Dark Chocolate to Luscious Lemon Basil
By Christie Matheson Photographs by Alex Farnum
This would be for me!

 Ask Click and Clack Answers from Car Talk

By Tom and Ray Magliozzi
My dad loves them, so this would be a present for him.

Little Bits Quilting Bee

20 Quilts Using Charm Squares, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, and Fat Quarters
By Kathreen Ricketson Photographs by John Paul Illustrations by Robert Shugg
My sister quilts, so this would be a present for her.

Mastering the Art of Beading

Essential Tools and Techniques Every Jewelry Maker Must Know
By Genevieve A. Sterbenz
I make jewelry, but I always need to learn more!

Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth
By Jill O'Connor,Photographs by Leigh Beisch
But the rest of us need this book!

Sukie Iron-On Craft Pad

New and Improved
By Darrell Gibbs,and Julia Harding
The kids (and my sister and me) could have some serious fun with this one!

Made Especially for You

Labels for the Kitchen
Since I want to do some homemade Christmas gifts, these labels would be perfect!

Art Nouveau Box of Labels

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Ditto for these labels!

Dumpling Dynasty Journal

By Fiona Hewitt
This is just too cute.

Pyromaniac Journal

By Yoshitomo Nara
This is equally cute in that cranky child way.

Anne Taintor 2012 Wall Calendar


 My sister needs the 12 month wall version...

 Anne Taintor 2012 Engagement Calendar


 and I need the weekly!


Divine Loophole
By Sanjay Patel
The kids both loved this animated movie.

Chicken and Egg

A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes
By Janice Cole,Photographs by Alex Farnum
My sister keeps thinking about getting chickens....

Moleskine® Volant Notebook Extra Small Ruled

One each of Grey, Purple, Red, Sky Blue, Blue, Pink, Green, Black
$5.95 ($47.60)
The best little stocking stuffers!

The Ivy and Bean Secret Treasure Box

Includes Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and a Cool Secret Surprise!
By Annie Barrows,Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
This set and the one underneath would be for my little niece, Ellie.

Ivy and Bean Boxed Set 2

Books 4, 5, and 6 Boxed set
By Annie Barrows,Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
For Miss Ellie!

The Whitby Witches

By Robin Jarvis
My nephew Killy loves Harry Potter, and is an amazing reader.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Junior Edition Boxed Set

By David Borgenicht,, Justin Heimberg,,and Robin Epstein
Killy also loves science, while being a worrywart.

This Is My Best

Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work

Edited by Kathy Kiernan,and Retha Powers
This would be for my sister.

My Mom, Style Icon

By Piper Weiss
And this would be for my little Mama.

Moleskine® Passions Recipe Journal


For my sister, the excellent cook!

Moleskine® Reporter Notebook Pocket Plain Soft Cover 

$24.00 (2) 

One each for the munchkins, to draw and write in!

The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever

With More Than 500 Recipes!
By Beatrice Ojakangas,Photographs by Susie Cushner

Total of $493.29