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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Watercolor pretty

I have cranky face because the TV was talking about Rick Perry. (Dyed-in-the-wool/womb Democrat, here.) I love this shirt, though. It's very watercolor pretty. It was a thrift find of my little mama's. She has very eclectic thrift taste for me, and only sometimes hits it on the mark. Other times, I am apparently supposed to dress like a 80's business drag king. I...don't know. I always rave over the stuff I like, but I think she's actually just messing with me. "Let's see, two good things, an awesome shirt that is slightly too small and will therefore be mine, and a pile of random pieces I pick up with my eyes closed. That'll teach her not to come in, and sit out in the car reading!"

Shirt - A.N.A., Pants - Denim 24/7, Shoes - Viva La Diva, Jewelry - selfmade.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sun rise in the East, goes down in the West

I look very adventuresome in this outfit, don't I? This is my 6 month work anniversary. Theoretically, now that I've been in my job for 6 months, I could apply for other jobs here at the university, but seeing as how I actually like my job, I think I'll stay. My little sister's birthday is coming up next week (Tuesday!), but she's going to get her present from me tonight for various reasons (excited now, Jen?). I've been looking around Pinterest (follow me!), and pondering what DIY crafts I might make for Christmas/Holiday pressies. You know, men really ruin present making. Other than food stuffs. Why do they have to do that?

Tip: Listen to Hugh Laurie's album Let Them Talk. Because it's awesome.

Cardigan - Simply Be, Tank - thrifted, Pants - Cato Woman, Shoes - Earth Spirit, Jewelry - JewelMint.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uptown Downtown Purpletown

Everybody, Everywear: Colored Tights

I love these footless tights...but I don't wear them. Because AH! skirts above the knee! See, I tend to sit in a cross-legged or out of a chair. And that's just not conducive to wearing a non-maxi skirt. But, for EBEW, I will keep my knees together today, or at least try. Also, I shaved my legs for you people! And not with my handy dandy Intuition razor. Nope, I didn't have a spare head. So I used an old fashioned pink Bic. And promptly mangled my legs like I was trying to off myself via tiny slashes to the legs. I need the little wires across my razor to keep me from butchering myself!
Shirt - B'leev, Skirt - Fashion to Figure, Tights - I have no idea, Shoes - Dexter, Jewelry - self-made.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boots are my friends

Viva La Diva is my best friend

This picture is a little overly bright, but it shows off how I can tuck in, (yes you read that right) tuck in my pants to these awesomely wide calf boots. We have an all-staff meeting this morning outside in a tent (don't even ask) and I knew I would need warm feet, so I popped these babies on. Because when my feet are cold, I am sad and bitter. Really. It's pretty pathetic. It's not my most business casual outfit ever...but we have to go meet in a tent! Outside! With no heat!

Boots - Viva La Diva (Simply Be), Cardigan - Simply Be, Top - Avenue, Pants - Lands End, Necklace - Self-made.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oh sweet mystery of life at last I've found you!

Zip-up pants that fit both my waist and hips!

An oh-so-flattering picture.
Simply Be WOW Cords. They have an elasticized waist, so I don't have that huge gap at my back that I usually do. (The joy of have an hourglass figure with almost 10 inches difference between waist and hips.) That's what I'm showing off in the picture, not my pale lower back. (Oddly enough, the WOW jeans did not fit at all. It was actually ridiculous how poorly they fit. 20 - way too large, 18 - way too small.) Mine are a little long - I should have gotten the petites, but the regular were on sale for half price. They are a beautiful chocolate brown and so nice and warm! They're styled just like bootcut jeans, but they look nicer in corduroy.

Top and pants - Simply Be, Watch Necklace - Amazon, Shoes - Earth Spirit.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I have boots! That fit my legs!

My watch necklace is still working. And it totally works to wear my new dark brown boots with my black/red outfit. If you disagree, you can curse at your screen. I was just so excited to get them that I had to wear them!
I wear these with the shearling turned up under my pants.
I am now a Viva La Diva boot/shoe convert. THEY FIT MY CALVES. I have very large calves, and it's not just a plus size thing - so does my little (older) sister. Muscular, thick calves. (More muscles on Jen, more chunky on me.) It is like fighting a twelve-armed devil to find boots that fit.  But take a look at the boots below (another Viva La Diva find). They fit my calves with enough room to tuck a pair of regular jeans in!!

Cardigan, Shirt, Boots - Simply Be, Pants - Avenue, Short Necklace - Handmade, Watch Necklace - Amazon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The jewelry makes it

I was cold all day yesterday, hence the big sweater. I love pockets; they give me somewhere to put my hands so I don't look so awkward! Often, my jewelry is itsy-bitsy, so you guys don't get the full loveliness of it. Today you get an actual picture of my pretty jewelry I made (pieced together) with my own little hands! (We have updated our shop on Etsy again, for the holidays, so if you like the jewelry I wear - take a trip over to our shop!