Sunday, October 24, 2010

Work. Shoes. Fun.

Tomorrow begins the third week of my job. Thank you everyone for all of your nice comments and congratulations!! I am very happy to be employed once again.

Working is way better than being broke but it takes up so much TIME!! I'm having a hard time with my schedule. For the last ten years or so, I've managed to arrange it so that I get in super early and leave around 4/4:30 pm. At my new gig I don't get to leave until 5:30 and it is killing me. I feel like I basically get home, eat, go to bed and start all over again. I hope that I start to relax into my new schedule soon. At the moment, I'm so tired and busy that I feel like I barely have time to blog, much less read everyone else's blogs. I miss you all so much!!!!

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I've worn my new shoes (not the boots tho) more than once and have found them to be mostly comfortable.

The Clarks are the best of the bunch as they broke in almost immediately. I had a little rubbing on my baby toes on day one but that was all. They are nice and wide, for a pump, and the leather stretched out to fit my feet really quickly.

The Sofft are second best. The arch support is really great and while my toes did get a little achy on the first day, it was definitely manageable. By the third wearing, my toes were happy and snuggly. No pain. Good shoes. LOVE that arch support!

...and I kind of accidently bought another pair.

The day after my big shoe binge, I was killing time in Ross and I found another pair of super cute comfort shoes. They just happened to be a pair that I'd wanted to try on at Macy's but they didn't have them in my size. When I saw them at Ross, I had to get them. They were $22 at Ross and $85 at Macy's so it was a no brainer. They are Aerosoles Beninsula.

Cute huh? The peep toe (which is impossible to see in my photos) just kills me - too adorable. I really wish they were more comfortable. They are very flexible and the heel is nice and sturdy but they aren't leather. By the end of the first day my toes were really pinchy and I couldn't wait to take them off. The second time I wore them it was better but I am worried that they will always hurt a bit, since plastic doesn't stretch like leather. They would have been more of a bargain if they were leather. Oh well. Live and learn.

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Tonight is Halloween. We bought some candy to give away, but we haven't had any trick-or- treaters. This is first time in years I've been home on Halloween night, so maybe I'm doing it wrong? The porch light is on... Is there something else I'm supposed to do? Do city kids even trick-or-treat? I guess they probably all go to the mall or something? Or maybe everyone did thier Halloween stuff Friday and Saturday night?

Hubs and I attended the Zombie Prom on Friday night. He was a calavera and I was a flapper. I took a few quick shots of our costumes before we went out, but I was in a hurry. They are not the greatest snaps ever, but you get the idea.

I am especially excited to show you all my hair-do because, shockingly, it totally worked! I hope that's not too immodest. The fact that my hair worked at all was a miracle as I really had no idea what I was doing.

I dampened the front with product, slapped in some wave clips and let those sit while I put the lower sections in Hot Sticks. I applied some heat to the wave clips with a blow drier, just to be sure that the waved areas set properly. Once the hot rollers were cool, I unrolled the sections and pulled them apart with my fingers, just to fluff them a little. Then I re-rolled them loosely and turned them so that the curls were flat against my head. It was extremely difficult to pin them down and hide the pins at the same time, so I had to re-do the rolls a few times and re-position the curls. I probably still had some pins showing but I tried very hard to camouflage them as much as possible. A good shellacking with hairspray and I was ready to go.

See? Good hair! Amazing!

We had a wonderful time at the prom, although I ended up overindulging a little bit. (Damn you, tequila.) There were so many great (and scary!) costumes. I wish I'd brought my camera. Kim over at The Kim Show has lots of great photos of the event so you really should pop over there and have a look.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Job, New (Work) Look, New Shoes

After a year of unemployment I finally have a job. Naturally, I celebrated by buying new shoes!

I need new shoes for my new job. No, really, I do. ;)

I've worked for as an assistant to lab scientists for the past ten years, but my new job is at a trade organization that serves the local biotechnology community. That means have to dress a bit more like a professional than I have in the past. I'm trading my jeans, t-shirts and cardigans for skirts, dresses, and blazers so, of course, my Converse are being replaced with footwear that is more office appropriate.

Admittedly, I already have a LOT of shoes and lots that would work in an office setting but most of them are cheaply made. Cheap shoes are, unfortunately, not the most comfortable thing for wearing all day, every day. Luckily, several of the comfort brands have come out with some really cute vintagey options. I am now the proud owner of three new pairs of comfortable office-appropriate shoes!

First I bought a pair of boots to wear while commuting when the autumn rain starts. Fleur's post from last year inspired me to keep an eye out for a pair of modern boots with vintage charm. I think the Arrow boot from Fitzwell, fit the bill nicely. To me, they look like a modern twist on the galoshes that Emily from Livin' Vintage scored at a flea market. If I could find galoshes to fit over my shoes I'd be in heaven!! Until then, I'm happy with these warm and snuggly boots.

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These are Venezia by the brand Sofft. I think they have a very nice basic look that goes well with pencil skirts and pouffy dresses. The best part is, they have actual arch support so I know I can wear these all day without pain.

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These are my favorites! They are Diamond Star from Clarks Artisan line. They have a wonderful '40s look and will be great with trousers and a-line skirts. They are super flexible and comfy and feel like sneakers.

Also, now that I have a job, I can afford to buy notions and linings and...fabric! YAY! Sewing will return to Sewing Is Hard. From my first paycheck, I intend to get my machine tuned up and buy some nice wool blend suiting so that I can whip up a few more office appropriate skirts and maybe a pair of trousers. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Awesome Neighborhood Thrift Store, Bad Blogger

The Hubs commutes to work every day on his motorcycle down a long stretch of our neighborhood's main street. It's not much of a main street because most of the business cater to the industrial portion of the neighborhood and are primarily hardware stores, dry cleaners and sandwich shops which are only open from 8-5. I would love a little breakfast spot, more restaurants that are open for dinner, and one or two boutiques, but I think I will have to wait a bit. The neighborhood become less industrial in the last few years, but it will be a while before the greater number of shop owners expand their focus to serving the residential population.

Anyway, last week on his way to work The Hubs happened to pass a brand new thrift shop on the main drag, down by the freeway on-ramp. We took a nice long walk on Saturday morning and popped in to see if there were any treasures to be had.

Mrs. Jenkins Clothing Store and More is a lot like a church charity shop: it's not super organized, there is a ton of inventory, and you need to dig to find the good stuff. The prices, however, are amazing. I found two adorable home sewn items: a super cute 60s house dress and and a drop dead gorgeous 50s strapless evening dress in hot red satin brocade with a wing bust. I paid a grand total of $6 for both items. Wow!!

Mrs. Jenkins herself is adorable. She told us that she opened the store on her birthday last month because she's 75 years old and wanted to finally do something for herself. She has gospel music on the boom box just out side the door and a TV on in back by the sales counter and she loves to chat with her customers, which makes for a bit of an intense sensory experience, but she's just so darned sweet and she has some good stuff. You just need to be patient and carefully comb through all the racks. The Hubs and I fell in love with her and will definitely be back in a week or so to see what new treasures she's got in stock.

Here's the '60s house dress. ...I"m pretty sure its '60s... The cut of the collar (which you can't see in the snaps) and the tent-like shape of the dress make me pretty sure that it was cut from a 60s pattern, but the fabric is a gorgeous rayon and it looks '40s to me.

The photos don't do it justice. (I'm still trying to find that perfect photography spot.) It's even cuter in person.

I wish I could show you how incredible the red dress is, (this is the part where I fail as a documentarian) but I only took one stupid camera phone picture, and I can't figure out how to get it out of my phone. ...and I've already given the dress to a friend as it didn't fit me properly. I suppose I could have altered it, but it occurred to me that there was someone out there who would look a zillion times better in it than I.

I saw Kim (of The Kim Show and Vanity's Only Virtue) on Saturday night and told her that I had a dress that I thought would look awesome on her. She stopped by the next day to try it on and I was right. It looked amazing. Really, truly. The color suits her skin and hair so well. It looks like it was made for her. I really should have taken a picture of her in it. I am the worst blogger ever!

OH well. This was a great reminder to always photograph everything if you want to have pretty pictures to add to your blog. Oh, la! If I can ever figure out how to get the damn picture off my phone, I'll add it to this post.

UPDATED: Thanks Sarai!

Friday, October 8, 2010

In Which a Movie Trailer Greatly Improves My Attitude (and a Giveaway)

Sorry 'bout the radio silence. The home improvements are at a bit of a standstill and I haven't been sewing much at all. I'm sort of dying to start a new project but my machine is acting up. Something about the tension isn't right, and I can't seem to get it to cooperate. I think it needs service...which I can't afford.

Honestly, I've been in a bit of a funk. A deep, unpleasant, cobwebby funk.

However, last night a friend and I went to the movies (The Town. Really liked it.) and when we were leaving, I saw a poster for this.

(image found here)

Oh. My. God. I am SO excited. This movie looks like it's gonna be reeeeeely bad, in the best possible way. I can't wait.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want either of these ladies to suck. I love Cher and she can act. And Xtina? I love her too. Her voice kind of gives me a headache when she's all belty over the top, but when she just sings, I'm floored. Her talent can't be denied. "Beautiful" is inspiring and makes me cry every time.

Even so, I am really hoping for a camp disaster/unintentional comedy classic. By all indications, I think I'm going to get one. Hopefully it'll be Showgirls bad, not Glitter bad...I'd even settle for Coyote Ugly bad.

Here's the trailer. So. Much. Awesome.

And here's the frame-by-frame trailer breakdown from Jezebel. Love!

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So that this post isn't totally Random Junk, there is a sewing related GIVEAWAY over at the Blue Gardenia. You could win this vintage Vogue sewing book and a totally cute handmade pincushion. Drawing ends October 10 at 3:30 pm PDT. Go check it out!

Hopefully I'll be back with a sewing project soon...