Serious Dress Habit

The Ultimate Stockpilers: SWAP Maine.

Ok, ok.  I go through these cycles where I stockpile then liquidate.  Until very recently I was in stockpile mode… here are some details about the ebb and flow of stockpile and liquidate.  Does it sound familiar to you?  Creative people are crazy.

Stockpile.

I go in to stockpile mode when I’m well in funds, successful in business (2 Etsy sales?  Time for a Goodwill shopping spree!!) or when the opportunities arise (SWAPMaine, anyone?)  It usually starts with a theme in mind (“Ooh, I really need to stock up on kitchen utensils”) and inevitably ends up with a series of purchases of shoes and dresses, mostly not in my size, that I think are ‘awesome’ and ‘can totally be resold on Etsy or Ebay.’  As a result I end up with one or two gorgeous dresses and pairs of shoes for me (Yay!) and a pile of shoes in a box collecting dust or a section of dresses on hangers in my closet making it tricky to get to the more functional, less profitable clothes.  Hrm.  Enter:  liquidation mode.

Liquidate.

Once I’ve stockpiled enough things that don’t make any sense for me to keep in my apartment I seek outlets that are fitting for the items’ trajectory.  Items that I got for free or nearly free that are longer calling my fancy are either re-donated to Goodwill or a clothing swap.  Jeans, shorts and other hardy fabrics are collecting in a bag for Malaika at Hand Me Down Designs.  T-shirts and knit tops that are not for resale are collected for Laura from Sweeter Salt and her t-shirt necklaces.  Items I purchased with the intent of wearing but er… didn’t really fit *cough* toomuchpadthai *cough cough*… are slated for Ebay or Etsy.  Items that I bought specifically because they were awesome and ‘might sell online’ join them.  Great!  Now I gotta photograph these things.  Wait two months and then… ta-da!  It finally happens.

Ta-da!

So, I’ve been listing vintage dresses in my Etsy shop and newer, Banana Republic Goodwill finds on Ebay and would love to share them with you all.  It should also be said that I don’t jive with the trend on Etsy in charging exorbitant prices for vintage – ok, people, we do deserve $$ for finding and curating a line of vintage clothing — but if you got it for $2.50 because you had the right color barb on the Goodwill racks you should pass the savings on to your customers a little!  My Etsy dresses are in the $20 range and the Ebay items start at $0.99.  Start ogling!

Navy and Orange Silk Links Wrap Dress - by Banana Republic

Skinny Girls Navy and Burgundy Striped Banana Republic Dress

Handsewn Sailor Dress (also for skinny girls!) ca. 1980s. Fresh!

Daisy Buchanan 1920s Style Dress from the 80s.

The Mint Julep Swing Maxi Dress... Barely Vintage! But still fabulous.

Re-entry 2011, welcome back to Vacationland.

Well, we got back last night fresh from balmy Vermont nights (seriously, 40 degrees in December?!  Global warming is real, people!) with only three extra boxes in tow.  Which is really impressive considering I went to Vermont with ONE box full of presents so we should have returned with less.  But not me, no, not possible.

Let me explain!  The three boxes are full of genealogical manna, unleavened bread of a photophile’s wet dream from the sky.  Or from Grammie’s crawlspace.  FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS.

And we’re not talking “Trip to Asia 1998” or “The Hotchkisses Visit Disneyland 1989” (which we didn’t, p.s.) but rather a veritable treasure trove of honest-to-god silver-on-paper prints from the 1920s and 30s, a small selection from the 40s, and a resurgence in the 50s + 60s when my father and his four sisters were children.

So while I spend the next however-long-it-takes of my life addressing these wonderful items (Grammie wants them back in April when she visits) I’ll be featuring particularly fantastic ones on my blog for your viewing pleasure.

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Naturally, I am participating in the American tradition of declaring resolutions and then quickly forgetting them and doing exactly the opposite.  In no particular order:

GETRIDOFJUNK,i.e. things that are really junk, not the super-cool version of junk that must be saved, photographed and put on a special shelf in the kitchen.  GETITTOGETHER,i.e. why is the notion of putting clothes in the hamper or cleaning up cat fur tumbleweeds completely lost on me?  I suspect getting rid of junk will make getting it together a lot easier.  PHOTOGRAPHIES!  Do more.  do more art.  Start drawing, too, because it’s really fun and usually way more interesting that a photograph (oh my God it hurts to say that, but is usually true, if it’s a good drawing).  COOKNEWTHINGS!, why oh why are we stuck in a delicious brown rice and quinoa rut?  And everything we eat has sweet potato in it.  Please note:  brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato will still be regularly featured but it’s time to learn some new tricks.  SHAREMORE.  Give people gifts that they don’t expect, send photographs I think people might like to them without being asked (i.e. family pictures).  Just more surprises and nice things, in general.

Lastly, I’ve been suffering from a gradually expanding waistline.  I say suffering because today at work I had to unbutton the top button of my jeans…and this particular pair happens to have a hole (small, but a hole nonetheless) in the crotch.  Seriously, Audrey, get it together (#2).  And I’m pretty sure the hole was caused by a stress fracture in the pants’ integrity due to the girth of my thighs, vying for second place in the ‘parts of my body I am pretty sure were smaller last August’ competition.  As a consolation, I’ve found Allie Munier’s Being Bess Marvin. blog and find comfort in some familiar impulses/emotions/reactions to cheez-related foods.

I’m confused, though – I eat well (not like, ‘a lot’ well, but ‘healthy’ well), exercise regularly, dance even more frequently and have a pretty physical job.  So why does it feel like I’m packing bean bags in my pant-line?  I don’t know, but what I do know is I love bubble dresses and baby dolls, stretch pants and leggings here I come.

Art stuff on its way as soon as I can organize vacation pics and start talking to some other artists for future features!

I’m Going in to the Woods…

 

"Little Elf" figure $6.50 from monkeyjunction on Etsy

…namely, the woods in and around the Green Mountains of Northern Vermont.  I’ve worked hard for a year taking minimal time for myself and now relaxation at Grammie’s house in the woods for SIX DAYS is my reward!  And, all of them paid for.  Score.

Before I load up the school bus (my dad drives a big, yellow Pontiac Aztek) and jump in with father, brother and niece, I thought I’d poke around on Etsy to check out what the folks in the farm-friendly, rustic and rural state of Vermont are up to.

 

Monkey Finger Puppet $6.00 from monkeyjunction on Etsy

The first of my finds comes from a woman named Meredith out of Burlington.  Her Etsy store, monkeyjunction, features creations that are self-proclaimed ‘super-wonky’ which I automatically like.  Preschool-friendly finger puppets, mini dolls and bean bags are on the menu and Aunt Audrey likes.  Likes a lot.  They’re very reasonably priced and with puppet duos like bird and worm or trios of three blind mice, they are great educational tools for wee ones!  Marked as favorite for when K. gets a little older…  Check out a nice site from Meredith at The Sharing Preschool Blog.

 

Bobby Pin Trio – Retro Chic $16.00 from SweetAvenueJewelry

Just down the road, Martha in Colchester from SweetAvenueJewelry creates colorful, vintage inspired jewelry and hair pieces.  I like the selection above because it reminds me of July 4th…which is about as far away on the thermostat as you can get from what we’ve got right now (not that I don’t love that, too).  Martha is a Renaissance woman, in that she creates jewelry and crafts while simultaneously holding down a 9-5 and playing in a band.  Although my pastimes are a bit different, I can totally relate.  Clear vision and sweet execution – I hope I end up in a local shop that carries her work!  And if none do, yet, then they better start lining up.  🙂

Vermont wouldn’t be Vermont if it weren’t for all the farms we pass on the way to Underhill.  From slanted and decaying photo ops to bustling and vibrant active farms the countryside is carved based on an agrarian way of life.  This is slowly changing, which breaks my heart, but for the time being let’s enjoy.

 

Buy 3 and Save Trio of Rustic Farm Fresh Soaps $8 from oldgatesfarm on Etsy

Old Gates Farm sells on Etsy a wide selection of soaps, knitted work, dyed bags, note cards, fabric-covered buttons and more.  Of all the items in her shop, though, these rustic soaps caught my eye.  I might be a sucker for a beautiful photograph, or maybe it’s because I’ve been itching to learn to make soaps.  OR it could be just that I need to shower more!  Whatever the reason, these beautiful soaps are made with homegrown herbs and that’s a-okay with me.

 

Fine Silver Earrings $50 by courtneyreckord on Etsy

Finally, all things can’t be cute or squeaky clean: these silver, industrial-style earrings from courtneyreckord are huge and amazing.  The rough-hewn shapes are just screaming to be worn by someone with amazing, long, curly hair.  My VT cousin has amazing curly hair – maybe I should get them for her!

In addition to some much needed rest and relaxation I plan on scooting around Chittenden county to find some shops and artists from the Great North.  Blog entries may be sporadic over the next few days, but I’ll be sure to fill you all in when I get back!