Monday, November 29, 2010

The Sisterhood



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I like to think of all women as belonging  to one big sisterhood.  If you’re of the female persuasion, you belong to the sisterhood.  What I love to imagine is that the sisterhood is not catty or jealous.  In the sisterhood, every woman is so secure in her uniqueness that she doesn’t even feel the need to compare herself to other women and judge herself by other women.  The sisterhood welcomes all women. There’s no initiation, no test to pass.  There’s no rule book that is held over our heads.   The sisters encourage each other and revel in each other’s accomplishments.  Sisters delight in the beauty of fellow sisters, they celebrate the individuality of each of our sisters.  Older sisters are revered and honored by the younger, because we realize they’ve lived longer, they’ve walked paths similar to ours and come out stronger, wiser and with their joys written on their faces.

In the sisterhood, we are always team female!  When a sister has fallen, gone off course or forgotten that she is a part of a wonderful and awesome group that has existed since Eve, we rally her back.  No man on this planet could ever be unfaithful to one of our sisters if sisters everywhere stood together and declared to every man with a roving eye, “Don’t even tarry here, just move on.  I WILL NOT BETRAY MY SISTER.  No matter what you offer, no matter what you promise, no matter the flattery that you toss my way; I will be true to my sister.”  Sisters teach their sons to respect and revere women; to treat them with the respect that is due them.  We teach our daughters to love their sisters and to be in awe of this wonderful family of females.  We also teach our daughters to cherish and honor the men in their lives.  We’re not man haters.  In fact the sisterhood celebrates the brotherhood by respecting men and their differences; appreciating the necessity for the masculine as well as the feminine.

As women, creativity is part of our nature.  We build homes out of houses.  We take a group of strangers and make them a family.   We see the beauty in the most mundane objects and help others to see the beauty and wonder in the world around.    We bring civility to a rushed society.  We remind the world that compassion and love reigns.  We love all the pretties that this life brings, but the true pretty, the purest beauty is inside of us.  We are women and we delight in each other and in our lives.  We are The Sisterhood.

Blouse: Vintage, thrifted
Skirt: Cynthia Steffe, thrifted
Boots: Thrifted

Sunday, November 28, 2010

THIS is why I Vintage!


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I actually could have entitled this, “Why I love thrifting” but after my little haul this weekend, I’m saving that for another post.  So, this is why I love vintage.  Vintage clothes have a history.  They’ve lived before, loved before and in most cases probably made some woman (or cross dresser) very happy!  I love that I get to share that.  I know that there’s a very environmentally conscious side to thrifting and vintaging – the whole downplaying consumerism and decreasing the demand for NEW all the time.  But for me, it’s an appreciation of history….a continuity in beauty.  What was beautiful 20, 30 or more years ago is still just as beautiful today; the passage of time not diminishing it’s charm.  Aren’t women the same way?  Time has seasoned us and hopefully as we age, our beauty is more unique and more evident. 

When I put this lovely dress on today, I couldn’t help but wonder if the original owner was as in love with all the details and the print as I am.  Did she feel as pretty as I did when she wore it?  Is she even still alive?  Wherever she is, maybe we’re both a little connected through this dress that we both were drawn to.  After all, we’re all a part of the “sisterhood”, right?

Dress:   Vintage, Thrifted

Boots:  Had for about 20 years!

Necklace:  Vintage, Thrifted

Slip: (unseen)  Vintage Vanity Fair

Ms Blige has gotten me through some times! And this song in particular was my anthem at one time. Enjoy and really listen to the words.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

I don't need Thanksgiving to be thankful


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! About to go put the turkey in the oven. I'm so thankful that I have a wonderful family. I'm very thankful that family is family whether it looks "traditional" or not. I'm thankful for having my share of craziness in my I tell my kids, it just keeps things interesting...adds character. I'm thankful that my family still loves and accepts me when it's ME that's the bit of craziness! I'm thankful that my oldest sons are safe, healthy and learning. I'm missing them this Thanksgiving (my first without them); but I love the young me that they are and are becoming. I'm thankful that God is so sweet and kind and has given me more than I ever imagined. At one point in my life, I didn't think I could have kids, and look at me now - four kids and a stepdaughter later....I can't even believe it! I'm thankful I started this blog and am still meeting amazing and wonderfully creative women! I'm thankful that I'm continuing to discover things about myself, talents and passion after all these years!! That is so exciting! Everyone of you reading this, I'm thankful that you are and I wish for you the best Thanksgiving ever! Mucho Love-O to you all! Big hugs!

Sweater ......cashmere thrifted

Blouse and pin...... Vintage thrifted


Boots......Spiegel (had for years)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day


Do you like jeans? Do you wear them often? I do like jeans but I don't wear them very often. It just seems like it's difficult to find jeans that I feel look good on me. I found these super skinny jeans last Spring at TJ Maxx. I love the fit of them. Baggy jeans don't look very good on me, I've got enough "stuff" without having extra fabric create more! This look has a bit of an equestrian vibe to it. I really like that, because have you ever seen a jockey or equestrian that didn't look FABULOUS? No? Me neither! This is a KEEPER!

Jacket, vintage thrifted

Boots...... Belk's

Jeans......TJ Maxx


You got the green light to wear those jeans!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm Bringing DISCO Back!

I'll be honest. I miss disco. Disco, funk, R&B.....that's pretty much how I roll. That's ma JAM! It's how I get my GROOVE on! In fact, if I ever start feeling funky, I know it's because I'm running low on vitamin D; that's D for Disco baby! All I have to do is plug in my ipod, crank up the volume and blow my ears open with some groovy happy music and I'm back in the game, happy as a clam! (I've never met a clam, but my understanding is that they are just super happy....must be, hence the phrase "happy as a clam"!) Music just has that effect on me. Some of my earliest memories involve music and even when I was a really young girl, I would go in my room, shut my door and fill my space with Donny Osmond pleading with me to, "Go away little girl. I'm not supposed to be in love with you". As I got older, he was replaced with Chic and their "move your butt, can't stay in your seat, oh my GOSH can music make me feel this good?" Freak Out. I learned to dance to Le Freak by Chic and have never stopped since!

I definitely have an affinity for disco. Disco is just plain ol' "happy music". What's not to love? Sparkly clothes, glittery eye make-up, high heels, colorful disco balls and the BeeGees! Are they not the greatest group that ever lived??? Saturday Night Fever's soundtrack got absolutely worn out at my house. I don't think the needle ever left the album! When the BeeGees sang "More than a Woman", I wanted to be that woman! When they sang "How Deep is Your Love", let me tell you, I could have truthfully answered, "Hey you Brothers Gibb, my love is BOTTOMLESS!" This dress takes me back to images of Donna Summer and the 70s disco scene. I fell in love with the color and the pattern. The obligatory 6 inches (there it is again) came off the length and I folded the collar under to make it have more of a wrap feel. Pooped on a little black tank, tights and boots and it was all about the dress. I know it's a bit over the top, but sometimes, you gotta take your clothes like your music: LOUD and FUNKY! Mission accomplished with this little number, a new favorite!


Dress ......thrifted and refashioned!

Boots...... Belk's

Belt......TJ Maxx

You KNOW you saw this coming!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Friend Friday! What's new Copy Cat?! Whoa Whoa Whoa!

What is fashion if not copying? We look at In Style and copy styles that are featured there. We copy hairstyles that we think would look good on us. We copy outfits, jean styles, color combinations, handbags, runway looks and anything else we feel would make us more attractive. It's what we do, we copy. It's what fashion is all about.....copying. That is the marked difference between fashion and style. Style says, "I am unique". Fashion says, "I want to look like you". Style shouts, "I will be me even if it gains me no approval". Fashion whines, "Everyone seems to like you, so I'll be just like you!" Style is a an expression of self whose mission is to inspire others to express themselves. Fashion is a sycophant who mimicks "popularity" to earn her own sycophants.

As just another fishy in an ocean of fashion and style bloggers, I know that there's a thin line between being inspired and copying. It's important to me to stay on the "Style" side, it's an expression of who I am. It's not just about looking cute, but using my wardrobe to express my feelings and creativity. This week, Katy of Modly Chic, has asked us questions regarding copying. These questions are thought provoking and force us as bloggers to examine why we do what we do.

1. What are the 'unwritten rules' about copying content that we bloggers should all abide by?
I know if I post something that's really uniquely mine or inspired by another blogger. It's just the right thing to day and at the very least the "kind" thing to do to credit or link back to my inspiration.

2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when is a post imitation and when is it copying?
Well, I think imitation IS copying. That copying is flattering when credit is given to the one whose work is the inspiration. When a blogger copies and then tries to pass it off as original to them, it ceases to be flattering. But honestly, I think we should be careful to look for the best in our community. There truly are hundreds (could there be THOUSANDS) of fashion blogs. It's entirely possible that 10 of them could have come up with the same pose or prop without EVER having seen each other's blogs.

3. Taking another blogger's idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is necessary to credit the original source?
It depends on the difference between inspiration and imitation. Jessica, of What I Wore, posted a tutorial on attaching a pin to a pendant to create a unique necklace. If I post a tutorial on attaching a pin to a pendant to create a necklace, then I should credit her. No biggie, I haven't lost's just my spin on her idea. If however, I post a tutorial on how to make a necklace out of fishing line using lures as pendants, then that's completely original to me even if her tutorial inspired me to make a tutorial. By the way, if I see fishing line necklaces and lure pendants in the bloggosphere, I'll know my idea was jacked!!

4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other blogs? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?
Going to a plain background and keeping my blog "clean" was absolutely inspired by other popular blogs. I liked the idea of making my blog about easy to read. I've been inspired by Second Skin Style to embrace my love of vintage; and while our styles are completely different, she has absolutely been my inspiration to be more bold in wearing vintage pieces. Sacramento has inspired me to completely discard the question, "Should a woman my age wear.....?" from my criteria for what I wear. I'm so thankful for all the bloggers I've "met" and for their style! It encourages me to embrace my own style!

5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or publication? How did you handle the situation?
Not to my knowledge. I honestly don't know how I would handle it. I guess my reaction would depend on if I was the inspiration behind someone's post or if something was blatantly stolen from my blog and uncredited. I'm really not going to nitpick anyone. I blog because I love personal style. THAT'S what I want to keep the focus on and just leave the petty competition alone.

I'll close out this Friend Friday post with a quote that I think is by Chanel, but I could be mistaken. "Fashion fades. Only style remains." I love that!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From Old Lady to OH BABY!

Sunday evening found me in a creative frenzy. I had quite a few items in my closet that I have thrifted in the past month or so that I needed to tweak or completely refashion. As I started pulling down the pile, piece by piece, this dress fell out. As soon as I saw it, I remembered getting it because I really like the pattern. But this dress was definitely done in the 1940s librarian style.....very conservative, very long in the length and high in the neck and frankly, a bit "little old ladyish". I tried it on and it was snug in the backside and I was about to take it off and just redonate it when I dug past the mock wrap and found that it was stitched down to my knee. I got Sweet Baby to cut the seam almost to the waist (because it was covered anyway with the mock wrap) and it loosened the hips right up!!! THEN, I knew I could work with this! I cut off about 6 inches off the length (I find that I'm always saying "six inches off the length" so either everything I hem is precisely 6 inches too long or clearly everything looks six inches to me. I'm thinking it's the latter!). Then I cut the front down the middle and folded pieces under to make a v-neck (thanks Marissa of New Dress a Day!) and finally, the sleeves were a little too blah, so I cut right up the middle of the sleeves with pinking shears, ran a ribbon through the hem and "VOILA!", I have a peekaboo sleeve with a pretty ribbon detail.

One of the best things about this whole project? NO SEWING AT ALL! Everything was done with hem place it in between the layers you want to hem and then iron it. It sticks! I did the same with the raw edges at the neck. I took the excess fabric that I had snipped from the bottom and made a sash. But can't you just see this with a really big funky belt? Now, I absolutely LOVE this dress and it's one of my favorites! I feel like a complete design genius! Oh, and the necklace is my creation also. One of the benefits of organizing my jewelry is that I found old chains I had. I had snipped this crochet accent off of another dress, cut it down and then threaded my chain through the top. I LOVE it! I was so excited about wearing this Monday, I could barely sleep Sunday night. Like a kid on Christmas Eve! I will try to do better about taking before pictures. I have the attention span of a drunk gnat and so when I'm ready to get to a project, I just get going and don't think to take pics. So, what do you think?


Dress and shoes......thrifted and refashioned!

Necklace...... Handmade


Look of Self old accessory I need to use more often

Because I love Rick Astley and his style AND because this is how I feel about my once "Cast off" dress!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I have no idea....

As I type this, it's 5:30am and I'm laying in bed. Sweet Baby doesn't have to go in this morning and so when I heard him get up, I got up also. That sweet man sent me straight away back to bed so that he could bring me coffee in bed! He brings me my coffee just about every day that he's home when I wake up. He makes the BEST coffee! He boils the water before he even puts it in the coffee pot. I just don't have the patience for that extra step. But I'm so enjoying lounging in bed having my coffee brought to me by my handsome, muscular, wonderful smelling man who is so sweet that he waits for me to take the first sip to make sure I like it!

I wore this outfit on Sunday. I just fell in love with it. Don't you love it when you put something on and just feel so much like YOU? This definitely had a bit of a 50s bobby soxer feel, but yet it also really felt elegant.........Oh my gosh, I'm just boring myself to death with this post......I'm coming clean......I don't have a thing coherent to say (type). At this point, I'm completely filling space. Really. I'm not kidding. If my head were a house, you'd open the front door and say, "Oh my gosh!! All of our stuff is gone!! And who left all this mess?!?" Because that's the whole thing, my brain is not really empty of thoughts, it's just tons of random thoughts that are pretty much unrelated and scatterd....Hmmmm I need to pick up milk and toilet paper today.....oh, yeah, and Dallas has a Dr's appt on Thursday.....did I put on deodorant today? Crap! I can't remember......Am I too young to be going through menopause. That reminds me of the song from the 80's by Klymaxx - Men all Pause. Okay, there it is....random thoughts. If you hung in this long you deserve a goody. A cup of coffee and a goody. Tell 'em it's on Serene.






Shorts......vintage, thrifted and tweaked!

Skirt, Shoes, Socks and Belt...... Thrifted

Blouse......inherited from my mom from my aunt

I find that KC and his little band of sunshine brings clarity to the clouded mind!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I really wanted to be productive yesterday. I have a closet that desparately needs to be organized and I have a bedside table that was overflowing with "stuff". One of my biggest challenges that I had though, was organizing my jewelry. I inherited alot of pretty things from my mom a few years ago. I've been thinking about her so much lately. She died from cancer 5 years ago this December. She was only 56 years old. We knew that her cancer was terminal when she was diagnosed about 1 year earlier. My parents divorced when I was 3 and I never lived with my mom. Just how the divorce papers were drafted. My mother moved here from her home country of Germany when she was 12 years old. She never met her father, supposedly a former French soldier in the Surete. She married my father when she was 16 years old and had me a little less than a year later. I really thought that I'd have her for so many years to come, that we'd be able to share so many more wonderful memories together. But, it just wasn't to be. She passed away in my home surrounded by those who loved her most. There is something a little comforting to know that she and I were together when I came into this world and we were together when she left it. She was the most beautiful dignified woman! Her taste was simply impeccable and impeccably simple! So, back to her jewelry, much of jewelry I have belonged to her and I think I wear it far more than she ever did.

We live in a small and very quaint townhouse; so it's important that I maximize our space. I had jewelry in boxes, hanging on statuettes, in little trinkets.....just everywhere!! I really did not know what I have and how to put my hands on it quickly. Therefore, I know I wasn't really using my jewelry to it's potential. I came up with a bulletin board idea. It's beautiful to look at AND it lets me SEE exactly what I have. I also found a small 3 drawer paper file that I stored my bracelets in. I ADORE cuff bracelets. I THRILLED with the results and for about $30 and no more space, I now know exactly how fortunate I am to have such pretty things! Thank You Momma!!!


Any great ideas on how to organize a closet or accessories?! That's my next project.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thriftin' and a Learnin'

Thrifting has ruined me! It's true. I'm ruined. Yesterday, I missed Friend Friday post because at the last minute I had the opportunity to drive to Charlotte with Sweet Baby. After he finished up some things at his office, we went to a mall on the expensive side of Charlotte. My daughter and I checked out Anthropolgy, Macy's, Dillards and a couple of other places. You know what I kept thinking at every store? "$12 for a pair of socks?!" or "$20 for tights?!" or even "$150 for a pair of BOOTS?!?!" I have to tell you, Anthropology is one of my alltime favorite stores. It's FABULOUS, AMAZING, WONDERFUL and EXPENSIVE! After so much thrifting and being thrilled with what I've picked up, when I see $25 tights, I think, "I've spent less than that at my favorite Thrift Store and walked out with 6 pair of shoes and a gorgeous dress!" I just can't wrap my brain around spending that kind of money on TIGHTS. Then, my daughter and I are looking at some adorable headbands (lowest priced - $32, for a HEADBAND!) and I'm listening to myself say, "Oh my gosh, we can make this same headband by hotgluing flowers to a plain Walmart headband!" In fact, that's what I think we're going to do for my daughter to give as Christmas gifts. I even saw earrings and necklaces at Anthropology that could be replicated with thrifted items and some jewelry making supplies.

I love learning things about myself. Even at my age, I'm discovering new things about old Serene! Yesterday, I discovered that I'm a little more frugal than I thought. I also discovered that what really gets me excited...I mean heart pumping, chomping at the bit, wanting to jump up and down and do a happy dance is the creative process. My favorite part of blogging is putting together the outfits and refabulousing found items. The picture taking is fun, but it's not what stimulates me. I've discovered that in my heart I'm an artist and my canvas is the female form. What does your heart tell you about yourself? No matter our age, discovering ourselves is one of life's greatest adventurers (another thing I am at heart!!)




My youngest son and daughter! Numbers 3 & 4!

Shorts......vintage, thrifted and tweaked!

Sweater...... Inherited Cashmere pullover that I refashioned into a cardigan

Shoes......Coach clogs inherited from my mom

White top......had forever

In the mood for the best thing to come out of Columbia! Juanes!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a nice lady who very much wanted to be a fashion blogger. She had so much fun digging through thrift stores, recreating clothes and generally trying to be FABULOUS! She took tons of pictures and townspeople near and far would run when they saw her with her little Canon digital camera. This woman loved style,family, friends, music and especially PIZZA. There was one thing, however, that the nice lady did NOT like.....DID NOT LIKE AT ALL! CATS!!!


One day, as the nice lady was having her picture taken in yet ANOTHER black and white ensemble, an unsuspecting cat sauntered onto the scene. Very much wanting his picture taken, the cat walked right up and decided to have his picture taken too! He put his butt right in the picture (a little known fact about cats, they're not very bright. They confuse their faces and hynies....scientifically verified by the National Alliance of Chemists Against Cats)!


Suddenly the nice lady was not so nice! She leaned down and got right in the cat's face. "Listen, see! This is my fabulous picture not YOURS, see? You dirty cat, get outta mah picture, see!" The cat looked confused. "Why is she talking to my butt?", he wondered. Mr. Cat was so perplexed that he decided he needed to stowaway on a boat to Katmandu to find out what the Kat Man would Do in a situation such as this. He did not want anything CATaclysmic to happen as it would ruin his chances to play the lead in the off off off Broadway version of "To Kill A Mockingbird", a plum role for any aspiring cactor to be sure. His agent had assured him that he stood (on 4 legs) a good chance of getting the part AND he would get to keep the mockingbird when filming was completed.


The nice lady was so elated to have the cat out of her photo op that she lept with glee. Well, not with GLEE, they won't return her calls!But she was just really really happy.


She even did a happy dance with "That's the Way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it (uh huh, uh huh)" playing in her head.


The nice lady's nice daughter even spun with joy that their little world was once again cat-free.


But just as they were about to celebrate cat riddance with a thick slice of Meat Lovers pan pizza, the nice lady spied 3 cats heading (or backing really, did I mention these cats aren't very bright? Scientifically proven? Oh. Okay, just making sure.) her way - Fraidy-cat, The Mad Catter, and the buxom Miss Kitty heading to the mewseum!!!

A few stray cats I picked up!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Personal...

There seems to be a common theme amongs blogs I'm drawn to....Creativity. I love to see how someone can take something vintage or something thrifted and create a fabulous look! I think it speaks to the notion that personal style knows no budget. If a woman has only $5 a week to spend on clothes, she could dig through thrift stores and yard sales and still put together amazing looks. And the great thing is it would truly reflect her and her creativity. Being new to fashion blogging, I visit TONS of blogs and have a blast doing it. I was confused when some bloggers would list the source of their clothing and I would see "c/o Coach" or "c/o Modcloth". Then I realized that it meant that these were comped items. How great is that to get free clothes in the mail, eh? But then I see where 4 out of 5 outfit items are comped. It makes that blog less attractive to me because it no longer highlights the bloggers' creativity, but rather that garment (or an entire outfit made up of comped garments). There's just not alot of effort required to look good in new or expensive pieces; but to look good on a few dollars? Now THAT meets me right where I live. It makes that blogger real to me, like a best girlfriend and we're sitting around chatting about our favorite clothes. When most of an outfit is comped, I'm basically just looking at a magazine of high priced clothes that I can't afford. Gorgeous to look at certainly, but impersonal. And what is blogging, if not very very personal?


My fabulous friend, Mandy, gave me this skirt yesterday. She picked it up at a yard sale over the weekend and thought it looked like me. When I saw it, I honestly wasn't feeling it. I brought it home and showed my daughter and she said, "Oh Mom, you can work with that!" So I slipped it on and immediately pulled it up like a strapless dress. It was really long so I lopped off about 6 inches and then it was pure LOVE! I got so many compliments on my outfit today and come Summer time, I'll be wearing this sans jacket and a little pair of flat sandals. Just goes to show you, sometimes your friends know you better than you know yourself! Thanks Mandy!

Dress......Gift via Yard Sale

Jacket, Shoes and Necklace...... Thrifted

Belt......Michael Kors via TJ Maxx

My new favorite song, I Will Love You Monday! I love her style!