Tag Archives: polyvore

Secondhand Fashion: First Snow Friday Outfit

Ring in the New Year

Ring in the New Year

Dear Reader:

My Dear Sis, who lives far away in Ohio, is an inspiration. She has been shopping Goodwill, consignment, yard sale, and local for many, many years and always (and I mean always!) manages to look smart, sophisticated, and fashionable on a budget. Hearing about my Polyvore.com/Locally Sourced Fashion recreation idea (obsession?) Dear Sis brought home a Christmas gift I absolutely went gaga over–a recreated outfit!

Using my First Snow Friday Polyvore.com outfit as a guide. . .

Polyvore.com First Snow Friday

Polyvore.com First Snow Friday

. . . she went to her local secondhand haunts and found almost every element.

january 8 2013 003

Gray pleated skirt, oxblood-colored turtleneck shirt, and a belted cardigan.

And the ring shown above.

january 8 2013 007

In the meantime, I snagged the perfect pair of satin sandals at the Biddeford Goodwill for a cool $5.

january 16 2013 005

Just Added: I changed up the outfit with a different skirt from my sister, also from Goodwill, and paired it with suede boots from Marden’s, our Maine-owned discount store and a handcrafted bag of felted wool by friend Sandi Waugh. I wore this outfit to a reporting assignment yesterday, so it is definitely a workable look.

Wake Up & Smell the Coffee

Wake Up & smell the Coffee

Dear Reader:

My coffee addiction is well-documented. I write about it on my blog, on social media, in letters, in my journals, and in my fiction. It is an inherited addiction, as my father always had a cup at hand while grading papers at the dining room table all the years I was growing up. Early mornings, usually around four, I’d wake to hear a spoon clinking—glink, glink, glink, glink, glink–against his coffee mug as he stirred in sugar and milk.

Once in awhile I would steal a sip, and found the taste too bitter. Not until college when I weaned myself from hot chocolate in the morning and forced myself to down a cup of java in the cafeteria every day, did I finally acquire a taste for the stuff–probably right around the time my caffeine addiction took hold.

Ah, coffee. The wake-me-up aroma. The sweet accompaniment to outings with friends. The comforting steam rising as I wrap my chilly hand around the warmth of the mug on a cold, not-quite-winter day. Coffee goes with book reading, lake gazing, woods walking, music listening, breakfast eating, and friend chatting.

I’ve given it up two or three times, enduring the withdrawal headaches, briefly enjoying mornings when I could spring out of bed without a jolt of caffeine, but in the long run I always thought, “But what’s the point of this?” As addictions go, it isn’t so unhealthy. In fact, some research shows it can actually prolong your life! (See Coffee Addicts Rejoice! It’s Good for You)

Well, duh! Of course it prolongs your life–you don’t want to miss that cup every morning, so you just keep going!

When it comes to buying coffee, going local is easy and not easy, depending on how you look at it. Obviously there are no local GROWERS of coffee here in Maine. Brrrr, those beans would never survive out in the pine forests far from their native tropics. However, there are local ROASTERS here in our area:
New Hampshire Coffee Roasters in Dover http://www.nhcoffee.com/about.html
Port City Coffee Roasters in Portsmouth http://www.portcitycoffee.com/
Carpe Diem Coffee in North Berwick http://www.carpediemcoffee.com/
Coffee by Design in Portland. http://www.coffeebydesign.com/
There is also Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont–still pretty close in the New England region, though it is a larger corporation. http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/

I don’t hold it against them, much, because hey, L.L.Bean is also pretty darn big! I’d rather buy from Bean’s than from Walmart. Just as I’d rather buy from Green Mountain than from Folgers. My local grocery store carries Green Mountain, so that’s what I buy, but I’ve also bought Carpe Diem from the coffee shop in nearby S. Waterboro. Maybe I should take a road trip to North Berwick.

While I’m down in that area, I could check out Maine writer,Sarah Orne Jewett’s hometown, South Berwick. Forget coffee, I smell a roadtrip!


One leaf
drifts in
the open door,
skitters on
an autumnal wind–
cold draft
across the floor–
and she, breezing
through that space,
a Goddess
of Leaving
in a bright red dress.


First Snow Friday

Another “localista” fashion look challenge. I’m racking up too many of these to keep up. Guess I’ll be looking at consignment and Goodwill for a gray knit skirt and winter sweater!

First Snow Friday

Skunk Funk

Dear Reader:

I let the dog out.

That was my huge mistake. I came back from a library viewing of Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and Delilah barked and barked at the door.

“Don’t let her out mom; I saw a fox run down the road,” the Teen said. Did I listen? No. I let the dog out, and off she charged, yapping her snout off. After about ten minutes, I stepped outside to call her in, and it hit me…eau de skunk! Not only that, the dog’s barks sounded muffled. Where was she? Not UNDER the mudroom…

Yup, under the mudroom in a little crawl space. With a skunk. For over an hour.

The stench permeated the mudroom and began seeping into the kitchen. I finally got the dog inside, in the bathtub, and worked in a lather of peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap and then relegated the little stinker to the cellar for the night. Fans, open windows, vinegar in dishes to absorb the odor, Scentsy wax warmers, and incense were my weapons of choice.

The next day, I made a run to the market for Febreeze, commercial room spray, and scented dryer sheets, escalating the war on pee-ew to chemical warfare. Hey, I tried the sustainable/organic remedies first, but desperate times, you know?

If the Teen were homeschooled, I might have been content with those dishes of vinegar placed strategically around the rooms. Absorbing the odor? Masking the odor? Both? It did work quite well, but this was full-on war. If this had simply been a case of dog getting sprayed and running through the house, it would have sufficed, but the mudroom is attached to the house. I have no way of getting under there to wash the skunk oil away. So there it sits, emitting stench like a giant jar of critter potpourri.

I didn’t want the Teen to go to school and be known for the next three years as Skunk Girl. When in dire straits, we resort to all the artillery we can get our hands on, right? And the best weapon was surprising. The bottle of Chanel No. 5 Hubby bought me for Christmas last year.

I spritzed it on before I went to the store, and when I inquired whether he smelled any hint of skunk, the checkout boy looked satisfyingly surprised and said, “Actually, you smell really good.”

Compliment aside, this experience traumatized me. I have some anger-at-skunk issues to work out. Fashion therapy below…

Redneck Advertising Campaign

Feathers & Gold

Dear Reader:

I’ve been playing on Polyvore.com again. Sometimes Polyvore automatically shares my creative “sets” with my blog. I rather like this outfit I created today. The shorts are fun. The coat is tres fun. I love the plum tights. My challenge? To recreate these designer outfits from resale, Goodwill, and consignment shop finds. Remember the librarian set?

My version HERE.

Polyvore creation HERE.

Think I can pull this one off? We’ll just have to wait and see! Any other Polyvore users out there? Drop me a line and I’ll check out your creations . . . Outside the Box.

Feathers & Gold

Prabal gurung

Meadham Kirchhoff faux fur coat
$6,935 – net-a-porter.com

Ribbed tight

High waisted shorts
$37 – owntherunway.com

Wedge boots

Alexon clutch purse
$73 – johnlewis.com

Amrita singh

Isharya turquoise jewelry
$52 – pret-a-beaute.com

Farmer’s Market

What does the fashionable localista wear to the farmer’s market? A skirt from Goodwill, of course. Got this one for a mere $4.99. Bringing your own eco-bags is always a good idea.

Farmer's Market

Burberry Brit cashmere cardigan
£349 – farfetch.com

Rene Caovilla flat thong sandals
$750 – neimanmarcus.com

Marc Jacobs zipper wallet
$559 – mytheresa.com

Stone ring
$11 – gojane.com

Vintage jewelry
$17 – etsy.com

Melissa Odabash floppy sun hat
£16 – debenhams.com

Nude lipstick
$15 – vasanticosmetics.com

Body moisturizer
$11 – bathandbodyworks.com

Farmer’S Market Basket, Small Square
$14 – anthropologie.com

Eat, Read, Love

Inspired by Style Theories here on WordPress.com, I have gone to Polyvore.com to create my own design that may work in my house.

Eat, Read, Love

Local Shopping Paid Off

I am obsessed! Polyvore.com is my new guilty pleasure. I’ve discovered that in addition to using pre-loaded images on the site, I can also “clip” images from the internet to use in creating fashion “sets” which allows me to showcase two of my recent LOCAL shopping finds. Last Sunday I zipped over to the Biddeford Mardens and discovered that a shipment of J.Jill clothing had arrived. What joy! What luck!

I picked up the black dress shown below for $9.99 and another one in grey linen with eyelet lace cutouts for $12.99. The Birki’s sandals like the ones shown were also at Mardens, only white with tiny black polka dots instead, for about $30.00.

I will be on the lookout for pink accessories to complete the look, preferably made by a local artisan. The books I can find on my bookshelves or at the public library. Be sure to check out the Pinky Doodle Bug book written by Maine’s Elizabeth Hamilton-Guirano and illustrated by my good friend Sandra Waugh at http://pinkydoodlebug.com/.

Elizabeth and Sandi recently participated in the Maine Festival of the Book, and Pinky Doodle is available at lulu.com and Amazon. Take a look at the website to learn more. There is a second book in the works, and I will be blogging more about this creative duo in a future post.

When I’m on Polyvore.com, my name is Flabbercrabby in honor of my fashion line Flabbercrabby & Stitch.
I’ll have to get to that “stitch” part one of these days!

In the meantime, I hope this inspires you to search your locally-owned stores for fabulous fashion finds at a fraction of the retail price. Happy shopping . . . Outside the Box!

PS: Notice the owl in the corner? My familiar should be familiar to my dear readers by now, but for the uninitiated, the owl was the goddess Minerva’s sidekick.

Children's Day at the Library

A Modern Minerva

I have discovered a new plaything…Polyvore.com. Do you remember Fashion Plates? When I was ten or so, I spent hours putting the plates together, rubbing the black crayon over the bumpy lines to create an image, coloring in my “design” with pencils. Now I can go to Polyvore.com, chose from thousands and thousands of fashion products, and put them together in my own “sets.”

Of course, it is also great marketing for the fashion industry . . .

(continue reading beneath the fashion image and info)

A Modern Minerva

Monsoon cotton cardigan
£38 – monsoon.co.uk

Striped skirt
£25 – republic.co.uk

Jimmy Choo platform pumps
$745 – mytheresa.com

Coach leather tote
$370 – amazon.com

Fine jewelry
£2,110 – matchesfashion.com

Dorothy Perkins scarve
$12 – dorothyperkins.com

Tortoise sunglasses
£14 – debenhams.com

I’ve decided that I can combine my rediscovered love of fashion with my belief in shopping locally. It is rather simple: I create a look on Polyvore and then I go looking in thrift stores, Goodwill, Marden’s, maybe a boutique or two if I’m feeling flush for similar items to create the look for real–locally.

My fiction-writing self is also quite enthused with the idea of creating “looks” for characters. In the past, I have cut pictures from magazines and stuck them up near my computer as inspiration. Now, I will visualize a character’s outfit . . . and in all my spare time will re-create it on Polyvore.

Is this all a tremendous waste of time and creative energy? Maybe. But it is enjoyable, and as my Reiki friend/teacher tells me, if you are going to indulge in something, do it mindfully. If you are interested in learning more about Reiki, check out the Reiki Fusion blog.

As for Minerva, there is a wonderful mosaic of the Goddess of Wisdom at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Libraries are an incredible resource, not only because of the collection of materials and information but also because of the personal knowledge that librarians provide. A librarian can point you to the best databases, reference materials, and archives. Libraries are also wonderful community gathering places…on any given day you might find a new installation by a local artist, a group poetry reading, a book signing, a children’s nature program, or a community sing-along.

Visit your local library this week. Get a library card if you do not have one yet. Check out one of those best-sellers you’ve been hearing about . . . before the next movie is made.

And if you are inspired by fashion, consider local shopping options. You may be surprised how entertaining it is to create “sets” for real . . . Outside the Box.