May 20, 2018:

Hola!

Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...

Jan

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Compassionate Fashion: Vaute Couture

Hola darlings!
Vaute Couture's "Belden" coat
Thanks to a post that my fellow blogger Jill Bielawski did under my "Red Coats" thread, I found out about Vaute Couture, Inc.  Jill left a link and I visited it last night, and spent about an hour exploring the website.  It's not the easiest to navigate but I think I found out everything I needed to know, including looking through VC's fabulous line for its third "run" of custom-designed coats!  I mean, darlings, just check out one of the coats!  This one is called the Belden, and I love, Love, LOVE it!

Unfortunately, I missed the cut-off for online order discount (15% if you ordered by October 24th); AND, as I mentioned in my response post to Jill, every single one of the designs that I liked the most were already sold out!  EEK!  Well, I guess that means I have good taste -- or I'm not avant garde enough to think outside the comfortable norm where everyone else is at!  [Check out Vaute Couture's Fall/Winter 2011 Look Book - tres cool!]

Hmmmm.....   Am I avant garde in my fashion sense?  Hell no.  But I'm working on it, I'm working on it.  In other areas of my life, am I avant garde? Hell yes! 

Anyway, I signed up for the Vaute Couture email newsletter and hope to get word of when the next fashion run will be produced.  I would like to order something to show my support.  I especially want a RED COAT.  LOL!  Yes, I know I'm totally obsessed.  I'd much rather spend a couple hundred more to support a business that is supporting such a wonderful cause and also helping support unique American-based designers, artists and sewists/tailors, not to mention the producers of the sustainable and animal-free materials that are used in the production of Vaute Couture's garments.  I will also be purchasing a garment that will last a long time - not wear out in 2 or 3 years like the crap sold to us from China.
Vaute Couture "elephants" sweat shirt, made
with water-based ink.
The idea of compassionate fashion is new to me, but very very appealing.  Sustainable fashion isn't enough; after all, wool is a sustainable product, coming from sheep, but after reading Jill's and other people's accounts of how wool is process today (absolutely horrifying, don't read about it unless you have a very strong stomach or have no feelings about mistreatment of animals)  I've nixed the idea of buying anything ever again that contains wool.  And you know, it doesn't have to be like that! 

If I ever get any readers, I urge you to do some independent research on how animals are treated - or mistreated - as they provide us with various types of wool (cashmere, for instance) and other natural materials that are woven into fabrics or processed (alpaca, camel hair, horse hair, any kind of fur, any kind of leather, where an animal has to be killed in order to be skinned to provide his or her pelt/skin).  There are humane ways to harvest these materials that we use, and cruel, barbaric ways.  In this day and age, really, why are we still using any method that is cruel and barbaric? Just because it's cheap?  Just because we can?

This isn't an animal rights blog, I'm writing about my personal experiences in discovering a sense of fashion, so I'll leave it at that for now.  However, if we can buy clothes that are made from materials that don't hurt animals, why do anything else?  I mean, really, why do anything else?  Do some research before you buy, check labels before buying.  That's all it takes to live with a clean conscience. 

I love this Vaute Couture sweatshirt that I call "pink elephants!"  I have a collection of glass, ceramic and metal pink elephants, started with one little old pink ceramic elephant I inherited from my Grandma Newton when she died in 1960.  It holds front center stage today, all these years later, in my curio cabinet in a collection of pink elephants (or elephants that have some sort of pink on them) that I assembled so Grandma Newton's pink elephant wouldn't be lonely. 

Elephants, of course, are closely associated with the ancient game of chess.  The piece that today in chess (the western version of the game) we call the Bishop was actually once a mighty war elephant, sometimes in later years depicted with a tower on its back that sheltered bow-wielding warriors.  Yeah, I know this is a blog about fashion, but I'm a chess history fanatic as well, darlings, so you'll have to bear with me :) 

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