Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gretel and the Gunne Gift

About a month ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find a package at my door from the lovely and ever-charming Amy Merrick of An Apple A Day. I had almost forgotten her long ago mentioning a certain ebay-acquired Gunne Sax sundress that she thought might work out better for me!

The package within the package was almost too pretty to open, but I was pretty excited about what was inside...

Thankful for the Gift of Gunne

It turned out to be nothing short of a dream dress... velveteen lace-up bodice, ribbon-trim, tiny floral calico print... quite a lovely specimen indeed!

I'm so thankful to Amy for her generosity and beyond flattered that she even thought of me. As such, Thanksgiving seemed a fitting day to debut the dress. We spent a lovely afternoon with my family over at my sister's house, catching up and eating way too much... you know, the usual.

Cozy Cardi

Though we did get some sunshine, it was anything but sundress weather, so layers were definitely in order. It has been all kinds of COLD around here lately.

Pockets :)

Gotta love those hidden pockets! Amy, my gratitude abounds :)

If you've never crossed paths with An Apple A Day, I highly recommend doing so. Amy's posts are always beautiful with wit and charm to spare, and lately she's been posting the most wonderful photos of her travels through Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam with her sister. They've been filling me with wanderlust in a big way!

Hop on Gretel

In other news, Clover's love for all things Gretel has not waned. This was a Gretel-inspired outfit from last week.

Fairy Tales

Over the weekend, she pulled this book of fairy tales out of my vintage children's book collection. I had forgotten that the story of Hansel and Gretel was in there.

Of course, she then wanted to recreate the Gretel outfit in the book.

Gretel and Hansel

And how many extra mom-points would you say this Hansel get-up is worth?... 'cause I'm thinkin' quite a few.

Not to be type-cast though, remember her interest in The Little Match Girl? Well, after watching this Disney short a few times...

Yup, you guessed it. It's amazing the little details she pays attention to, like the socks with no toes, she remembered that, I didn't. Though the best was when she got into character and then proceeded to warn me in all earnestness: "Mom, if I talk to you right now, it will ruin my performance."

I was like: "Ruin your what?" Her reply: "my performance." Though it's even funnier when she actually says it because of her tiny voice and the way she pronounces it "puhfoamance". Yeah, that one totally cracked me up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Indian Mama

Indian Mama

Awhile back I mentioned that I had been given a vintage 70’s sweater dress by my mother-in-law. Well, here it is, as worn to a local art’s district event the Saturday before last.

I love this dress. It’s super cozy and Clover took one look at me wearing it and said: "You are Indian Mama!" Haha. I got quite a few compliments on it that evening. Guess who got even more compliments though…

Gretel Outfit #2

… Oh, Gretel.

Though everyone kept saying “Aw, Little House on the Prairie…” and she would get all agitated, “Momma, I’m NOT Little House on the Prairie.” I had to keep reassuring her by explaining that the prairie dress was throwing people off but that she clearly still looked like Gretel.


Another view of the dress… the shoulder flap thingies are a fun structural element and I love their patterns and tassels. Oosa used to manage a senior housing facility and was often given things by the residents there, which is how this dress came into her possesion.

The vintage leather belt is one I found at the final flea market of the season. It’s currently my favorite belt.

The event, a funky little annual street festival, known as Winter Blast, is an artsy block party of sorts. It happens in the south of A Street (SOFA) area of Santa Rosa which, over the past 5 years or so, has become quite the bourgeoning little arts community.

Many of the buildings in the area have been transformed into gallery and studio spaces which remain open to the public during the festival. Wandering through the maze of converted buildings and back alleys, art and live music were abundant.

The Little Match Girl

A local theatre troupe member as the little match girl from the Hans Christian Anderson tale. Saddest story ever, by the way.

There was a darkened hallway in one of the galleries that people could walk through with "windows" that were lit up with christmasy paper puppetry scenes and this girl who would pretend to be sad and cold as fake snow fell on her. She would take out matches, light them, and gaze into the flame longingly.

As you might imagine, Clover was fascinated by her and I think a bit concerned for her well-being (rightly so if you know the story). She was calling her "the cold girl" and every 20 minutes or so would want to go back in and check on her.

Our friend Joey and his WhiskeyDrunk Cycles buddies set up their awesome cycling contraption, originally built for this year’s Handcar Regatta (one day I will do a catch up post on that event). The “Whiskey Drome” was constructed in homage to the turn of the century velodromes that would travel the country to wow spectators.

That night they even had a band playing in the middle as they rode, which was pretty cool. Here’s a little video I shot of the Whiskey Drome in action!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Altared States

Gallery Gals 1

Last Thusday, Lucas had the day off work for Veteran’s Day so we took a drive south to meet up with his sister Zoe and family to check out her stepmother Helen’s art exhibit at the Donna Seager Gallery in downtown San Rafael. Helen, the artist herself, and her husband Rodger, Zoe's dad (Lucas and Zoe have different dads, incase you were wondering), met up with us at the gallery too.

The vintage floral dress and black granny boots that I wore were both gifted by Milla in her previously mentioned most recent package of thrifted wonders! The dress has the prettiest floral print, I wish I had taken a close-up detail shot of it, and it’s super soft rayon so very comfortable to boot (no pun intended ;).

Clover insisted on wearing the little apron I thrifted for her awhile back because you-know-who wears an apron. It was later that night that we put together her first official Gretel outfit, the one from the previous post.

The exhibition was called Altared States and my favorite part was leafing through Helen's amazing book of sketches depicting shrines and altars encountered during travels through Greece and the American Southwest.

As I looked through the book with Zoe, Helen stood by (that’s her in the glasses) with entertaining stories, anecdotes and explanations to go along with the sketches. Her artwork is quite magical and it was really cool to get to experience it in this way.

She told us of how she picked the book up for 5 bucks at a second-hand art supply sale. The pages are Indian watercolor paper and the sketches were done with walnut ink.

The delicate drawings had a beautiful sepia quality that made the book feel as if it could have been an ancient tome, uncovered after being long-forgotten in the kind of dusty attic you might encounter in a fairytale. There was so much wonderful detail involved in each sketch (photos can be enlarged by clicking for a better look).

Her sculptural paintings, the focus of the exhibit, are quite incredible. The one hanging above the book of sketches was a favorite of mine. How I would love to have that gracing a wall in our home! Alas, it had already sold (not that I could have afforded it anyway, but still) *sigh*

Gallery Gals 2

Working from the sketchbook, she created large oil on birch panel paintings of a number of the alters.

This one, called Shroud, was one that I really loved too.

Shroud Detail 1

Her paintings are fun to examine close-up. The colors and textures are gorgeously rendered and there are so many whimsical details to take notice of. In this case, I loved the skeleton’s jaunty hat and the movement created by the swinging necklace and the smoke wafting from the incense.

Shroud Detail 2

Further down the pedestal, a couple of lovely little butterflies and a cluster of tiny mushrooms :)

Rodger, Zoe, and Helen

Zoe with her dad Rodger and Helen. Can you spot Lucas and Clover? Hey, you can only keep a three-year-old in an art gallery for so long before you run the risk of some sort of major damage occurring.

Rodger is a sculptor (they are quite the talented couple) and the bronzed figure in this shot is one of his pieces. In the background are a series of smaller graphite and watercolor on clayboard pieces of Helen's. I loved these as well.

The one on the right depicts a red-winged blackbird’s nest, and you know how some couples have a song that is “their song” for whatever reason? Well, on Lucas and my first date we walked around a local lake. It was a lovely spring day on which the red-winged blackbirds were being especially vocal.

Hence, our song has always kind of been the song of the red-winged blackbird. Hence, much love for that piece too.

This was one of a really lovely series of walnut ink and watercolor paintings she had on display as well. There was much beauty to behold!

If you happen to be in the San Rafael area and would like to see for yourself, Helen’s exhibition is up through Saturday (Nov 20th) at the Donna Seager Gallery on 4th Street.

After the gallery, Lucas took off to meet up with a friend and journey on in search of surf, while Clover and I joined the rest of the gang for a gorgeous afternoon at nearby China Camp State Park.

The weather was just perfect for hanging out by the bay, warm and calm, blue skies and wispy white clouds. We enjoyed some yummy sandwiches with lemonade and chocolate chip cookies for lunch. Then lounged by the water’s edge, when not busy wandering up and down the beach in search of small treasures.

Clover and Vida spent most of their time sifting through sand together in search of beach glass for Vida’s collection. The little pocket on the front of Clover's apron turned out to be perfect for holding small shells and things.

A Light Bulb Moment

China Camp Historical Museum

There was also a cool little historical museum dedicated to telling the story of the site’s past as a bustling Chinese shrimp-fishing village back in the 1880’s. During some alone time in the museum, I propped my camera up on that ledge by the baskets to get a few outfit shots with a better view of my lovely new dress!

The Dress

It just ended up being one of those perfectly relaxing and lovely days that make you glad to be alive :)

Thanks to my niece Vida for spending so much time with Clover on the beach that day, it was nice to get a little break in such a beautiful setting. Also, thanks to Rodger for emailing me this sweet photo he took of the two of them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Gretel 1

It's official folks, my daughter has a new personal style icon. She's been dressed like this for days now, making people smile everywhere we go!

We recreated Gretel's look from her existing wardrobe just for fun on Thursday night and she was refusing to take it off until I finally convinced her Saturday morning that another one of her dresses was "Gretel" enough to wear while I washed this outfit. She was sleeping in it.

We've started keeping a close eye on the nesting boxes in our chicken coop. The girls are just over 5 months old now, which means they could start laying very soon! Did you notice the new face to the left of Clover in the first photo?

Our suspected rooster did indeed begin crowing bright and early one morning. We ended up trading him in for a Light Brahma close in age. The Light Brahmas are such pretty chickens. I love her feathery feet.

Getting the other three to accept her was a bit more of a challenge than we had hoped for. She's still kind of the odd chicken out, but at least the others aren't trying to peck her to death anymore.

Surprisingly, the little brown Speckled Sussex, which I previously described as being the sweet one, turned out to be the most vicious toward our new friend. Probably a combination of being upset over the "loss of her man" and seeing her chance to no longer be at the bottom of the pecking order.

Clover has been renaming the chickens with random names that include Kettle Corn (little brown one), Hiccup (the new girl), and Phillipe (I don't think she can tell the other two apart so Phillipe is sort of a collective name). I think Kettle Corn and Hiccup are gonna stick. Not so sure about this Phillipe business, will probably keep Hazel and Nettle for the other two, it's almost like I saw this coming...

Gretel 2

Haha, she's such a funny kid. It appears she has inherited my outfit posing genes too :)