December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

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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