Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oh, Be(e)have!

Last weekend, I found a brand-new Nordic Ware beehive pan at Goodwill for $2.99 . Admittedly, there aren't that many occasions (if any) when I have need of a beehive shaped cake-but I like to be prepared for any and all possibilities (with respect to cake, anyway). I now know what pan I will be using to bake honey cake for Rosh Hashanah. The pan has two moulds, so you have to piece the halves together with frosting. That made me think it would also have potential hollowed partially out for an impressive ice cream bombe. See? I'm already finding uses for this impractical pan.

People that know me understand that I have a bit of a Nordic Ware obsession. I've managed to keep it under control (mostly) and have limited myself to two bundt pans, and an aebelskever pan-and now this beehive. If you're not familiar with their mind-boggling array of pans, you may wish to remain ignorant because once you see the pans, you can't un-see them...and you will want them all. I am not being paid by Nordic Ware to say this.

The recipe on the packaging comes from Williams and Sonoma, and that is the recipe I used for the cake:

For the bee decorations I used unsalted butter and icing sugar tinted with food colouring. As I shaped the bees I placed them on wax paper I then transferred to the fridge for a good hour before using. You can do sugar paste with egg whites and granulated sugar but then you have to find something close in shape to mould it in (bottle caps, candy moulds, etc.). I've used both over the years, and if you aren't planning to save the decorations, buttercream is the way to go.

Here's the back view.

The picture doesn't convey it, but the cake is quite small (though certainly large enough for Danny and Mr. ETB) and unless you sliced quite miserly pieces, it wouldn't feed more than 8 adults (6 if they're greedy). It is a rich cake though (a cup of butter, and 4 eggs)so you probably wouldn't want all that much anyway, but be aware it is small.

The weather gave us a nice break today, so I took advantage of using the oven before we're plunged back into the extreme heat/humidity thing we've been in. You might think this would be ideal weather for ripening tomatoes, but they are steadfast in their refusal to so much as blush on the vine. Meanwhile, I have an aubergene of near mammoth proportions threatening to overtake the little plot waiting for a tomato to be baked with. I may need to reconsider, as I don't think "Herman" (what, you don't name your vegetables?) is going to wait for the slacker tomatoes. I'm resisting bringing the tomatoes in, wrapping them in newsprint, and leaving them on the windowsill with a banana like my mother always did, but if they don't start turning red soon, I may reconsider.

I don't imagine standing over the plants screaming, "Ripen you bastards!" would do any good either, but it might be satisfying.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Annie Get Your Gun

Upon seeing me this morning Mr. ETB remarked, "That looks really 70's."
"Which ones?" I asked "The 18, or the 19?"
This style has been around for some time in the United States. I'm fairly certain it never went out of style in Nebraska.
In fact, you'd have to search rather hard to find a wardrobe in these parts that didn't have at least a few Western items.
And we all know how much I love a shirt with snaps.

This necklace isn't Western, it isn't even from the Americas. It is Afghan, but the colour palette worked so well with the outfit I decided I didn't need to be a slave to authenticity. I'm authentic enough in my person, I can take some liberties with my wardrobe. At least that's my story ;)
And the boots? Selena Gomez for K Mart. Really, I bought teenie-bopper boots. Know what? They're the first pair of Western boots I've had that were comfortable. I wish I'd bought ten pair when they were in the stores.

Outfit Particulars:

1970's Western shirt-Thrift World, Millard
Jantzen 1970's skirt-Goodwill, Council Bluffs
Selena Gomez boots-K Mart
1970's vinyl handbag-Goodwill
Silver clamper bracelet-Mum's, 1970's
Earrings-Retail, can't remember
Rings-some thrifted, some Mum's
1960's hand-tooled belt-gift about 40 years ago from my cousin Andi (I'm on the next to last hole on the belt, but I'd starve before getting rid of it after all these years).
Afghan silver and lapis necklace-The Mexican Shop, Evanston early 80's

Anything You Can Do

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flipping the Bird

I thought you might enjoy some vintage bird-flipping
Dontcha wish you could see where that was directed? I hate only having half the story. I really like the ring though-think Dickie bought it for her?

Beautiful day in the neighbourhood, won't you...fuck off? I'm pretty sure this is photoshopped, but fun anyway. I always thought there was something slightly sinister about Mr. Rogers.

Oh come on now, you don't flip off Karl. Really.
Good old Gracie, the voice that launched a thousand flips trips.

I'll leave you with Debbie Harry because...well you don't really need a reason to post a photo of Debbie Harry flipping someone off, do you?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Can't Take Us Anywhere

I hesitated buying this dress. There are things I require in a dress, but a built-in, padded bra isn't one of them. I'm still not sure about it, but that's the joy of thrifting-at worst you're out a few dollars if it doesn't work for you. It does match my hat and scarf extraordinarily well.
I look respectable anyway. Too bad looks are deceiving...

Ugh, god! We seem to have caught some terrible bug. Blerg. Bluch. Blech.


Oh no! Not again!
Him too?! I think we can all guess which "end" the endoscopy went in...
Ugh. What am I to do? They're closed on Sunday.
Uh oh, here it comes!

Sadly, I can't say this is the first time we've taken these sorts of photos as a family. Hard to resist a good medical sign, I guess. I wouldn't let Mr. ETB go around the corner for photos at the Urology associates. We have to save something for another day.

Outfit Particulars:

RK Originals dress-Goodwill
Hat K Mart
Scarf-Thrift World
Necklaces-Both Hand-Me-Ups
Earrings K Mart
Vintage eyeglass sun-clip-Hand-Me-Ups

 And in other interesting news, did you know there is an electric earwax dissolving gadget you can buy? I sure didn't! Imagine the fun breaking out one of these at your next cocktail party.
And ONLY $8.99

Yeah! You just fuck off cotton swabs! I'm getting a Wax Vac for these ears.

Did you have a good weekend? I did, except you really can't find a gastroenterologist on Sunday in Omaha. Otherwise, yeah, pretty good weekend.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Thigh's the Limit

Oh why the hell not? I can see these with one of my church lady dresses. They appear never to have been worn outside as the soles look new, and I didn't see any obvious signs of indoor use like teeth marks on the heels...
I reckon a hooker must have stopped by to donate some footwear today. These are also suspiciously new looking. I guess there aren't too many occasions for this sort of thing-unless you're me!  This morning I had an eye exam, and got new lenses set in my specs. My mother's old frames will have a green gradient tint, and my black Artcraft cat eyes will have the regular clear lenses. I can't wait for them to come back from the lab. I asked the young man helping me with my frames if he thought the bright green tint would look strange.
"Well yes", he replied "But consider the alternative!" I guess I shouldn't have asked the guy in a chartreuse shirt and tie if green lenses would look strange. An elderly couple sitting nearby (and entertaining us with dirty jokes) thought the green lenses sounded terrific. At any rate, I'm sure no one will notice my specs once they get a look at my footwear.

I found some shoes for "normals" as well. The Clarks were $5.99 which seems like a good deal (and they're also unworn).
Today was a first wear for this lightweight 70's dress. I'm not in love with the cap sleeves, but it was the perfect thing to wear on a warm, slightly muggy day.
 I bought the reverse painted bangle when I was pregnant as it was the only thing I could fit over my swollen wrists. It slips around a bit now being large, but I would never get rid of it associating it as I do with my pregnancy. I was so happy to have anything that fit. I gained thirty pounds, but I swear most of it was in my ankles and wrists. Danny was only 6 lbs. 11 oz. I blame the cheese-roll-ups. Oh, you want to know what that is? Take a slice of horseradish flavoured cheese (or a slice of Swiss with a dollop of horseradish) and spread it with cream cheese. Roll it up. That's where the thirty pounds came from. I did lose all of my pregnancy weight (and then some) but I have to admit I still can't look at cheese without feeling a little sick.
All those great shoes need handbags to match. That large tote with the print is actually vinyl inside, and on the trim, so the vinyltastic festival continues. The white bag with the Lucite handles was $2.99 at Goodwill, which is insane for a 50's handbag. I feel like I should keep stalking that store for a bit until all the granny bags hit the display. I suspect someone donated a huge number of these, and they're staggering putting them out. It can't just be luck that every time I've hit that location they've had a rack of crazy vinyl bags. Can it?
Finally, a beautiful enamel pot, never used but with a chip in the lid. No big deal, and at $2.99 for a heavy saucepan I'm willing to tolerate a chip on the lid. You don't eat from the lid. How I wish the rest of the set had shown up in the store-if ever a pot could tick all the boxes of things I love, this is it.

Danny has started printing out cards to hang beneath my crazy wall-art with things like:

                                                                  Homco Sconces
                                                                  Gilt on Plastic
                                                                  American, 1971
                                                                  Museum of Kitsch,

I thought it was funny at first, but now everything in the house has a description affixed to or beneath it. Maybe I really should conduct tours by appointment. Anyway, I'm letting him have his fun for the moment. There's still another month to summer break.

If anyone needs to label their kitsch, let me know and I'll have the little archivist make you some signage.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Because You Can Never Have Too Many Cake Carriers

They take up so much room, they need a seat to themselves in the car, and they're not airtight-but a cling-film wrapped cake on a paper plate just doesn't make the same sort of entrance when it is your turn to bring dessert. This one is so beautiful I haven't taken it downstairs to the storage shelf, but instead have it in my kitchen window for all to admire. $2.99 Goodwill.
Sometimes though, you're asked to bring some, "dip." You can't just show up with a ramekin of potted cheese no matter how good it is (and my potted cheese with Port and mace is pretty damn good). This piece of California Pottery solves the whole, "where do I put the crackers?" issue. $1.99 New Life Thrift.
So we have the cake and cheese sorted, but what if you're put in charge of the libations? You're not going to plunk an ice cube in a cocktail are you? Of course not, that's what the Magic Hostess and her six, scary, rotating steel blades are for. It won't make a bourbon and ginger ale taste less disgusting, but it sure will look pretty. $2.99 Goodwill.
Oh look, Auntie brought some Coronation Chicken. Go grab the pretty green piece of California Pottery, and pile it with lettuce first so the chicken looks less like curried barf. .59 cents, New Life Thrift.
What? The party is at MY place? Quick, dust off the Homco wall sconces, and put in fresh candles.
(from a still growing collection of matching sconces trailing down the stairway) about $1.99 each at varied locations.
Gosh, after all that entertaining, I'm exhausted. Thank goodness I had all the necessary housewares to make the soiree a success.

How about you? Have a weakness for cake carriers or use-specific pottery?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hat's How I Roll

Sometimes all it takes to pull an outfit together is a good hat.
I have a love/hate relationship with this dress. I love the pattern, but I hate how the dress looks on me. To wear it properly, I really should wear a girdle, and friends, I just don't hate myself enough to do that. So I did the next best thing to wearing a girdle-I wore a great hat to draw attention away from my waist.
Admittedly, the pleats don't help, but I don't have issues with my body, and this dress makes me think perhaps I should. That alone is reason to be done with it. I have plenty of clothes that don't make me look like a turnip (a turnip with an awesome hat, but still).
Such a great print. I've considered re-working the dress into a skirt, but I'd feel guilty taking apart such a nice vintage dress in good condition. I suppose I'll just keep wearing it until it falls apart and I can (without guilt) re-fashion it into something else. Until then, I have a decent sized collection of hats.
Some nice shell earrings I thrifted recently. What an overlooked accessory shells have become, which makes no sense as they are cheap and plentiful. I can't remember the last time I saw new shell jewelry for sale.
Outfit Particulars:
1950's cotton dress-Ruby Begonia's, Lincoln, Nebraska
Marvella Necklace-thrifted
Shell Earrings-Hand Me Ups
1960's handbag-Goodwill, Council bluffs
1950's straw hat=Goodwill, Council Bluffs
Cherry pin-Hand-Me-Ups
Oddly enough, people kept stopping me to comment on the dress (and hat). Have you ever experienced that phenomena where you wear something you only marginally like, and a stream of people approach you to compliment it? I can only attribute it to the magic of hats (not a "magic hat", though if I could really pull a rabbit out of this thing it would be impressive).
Now to chase the beatniks from my lawn.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Then a Fella With a Shiny Toaster Stopped to Compliment My Dress

I like green, it is so...grass like. We don't have tons of grass in the city, but someone forgot to tell the wildlife...
I think they're plotting some sort of direct action in the excavator's path. They're digging up this field to build another gas station, but I sense the geese have other ideas.
Oh what do I spy with my little eye? Well nothing really, as I'm not wearing my specs...but pssst...look over my shoulder. Can it be? Is it...
Why yes, it is a new shower curtain. I seem to be on a Vera kick of late (I bought several tablecloths to make curtains and a playsuit). How can I do anything by leap cheerfully into the shower each morning with such bright, beautiful flowers to start my day? I never thought I could love a shower curtain quite this much.

But wait, what else do I spy with my little eye?
A package of Mod joy from the lovely Curtise
I cannot wait to make that cape. Blue and orange together, in a single scarf? Perfection! Thank you again hon, it is exactly what I had in mind.

I'm accessorising these days with gauze and bandages as I managed to give myself a serious burn with...the curling wand. You should avoid clamping it down on your finger. Learn from my mistakes. It isn't really healing over, I suppose I ought to have that seen by a professional. But look how chic!
I look like a walking sherbet. Or a green lawn with dandelions. Your choice.

Outfit Particulars:

Kay Windsor dress and jacket-Thrift World, Millard
Coro necklace-Imaginarium
Floral pin-Goodwill
Rings-Thrifted around
Bangles-Thrifted around
Shoes-K Mart
Yellow belt-Came with something
Handbag-New Life Thrift

"Secretary Dress?" OK, but I don't know shorthand, my typing is terrible, and I make the worst coffee you'll ever taste...but I know how to sharpen a #2 Ticonderoga lead pencil to perfection. You just leave me in charge of pencils and I'll have this office running ship shape in no time. Yeah, you just go ahead and try to sharpen a pencil better than that. I dare you.