Friday, July 31, 2015

I am woman, hear me roar! and no, it's NOT my hormones . . .

Sometimes I like to surf the net to see what I'm not supposed to wear, so I can be sure to do just that. Articles that say a woman over a certain age should not wear this or that infuriate me. Age has nothing to do with it. If you feel good in something and you like it . . . wear it!

The way I figure it, we're all flowers in the big ole' garden of life and if every one of us looked the same, it'd be a pretty boring garden.

According to this site, my outfit I wore to a movie with my husband places me in violation of #24 graphic tee, #23 bedazzled anything—my teeshirt sparkles—and #16 hoop earrings (my favorites). All probably double bad on me because they're applying this to women over 30; 30 and I parted company 20 years ago and I haven't seen her since.

Note—on another given day, you would likely find me in violation of rule #20 leopard print or #10 overalls.

I have a penchant for animal tees. I currently have 3, all black (see my Zebra here). This tiger, my latest acquisition, hails from my June trip to Paris. €10 in C&A. I picked up the jacket last week for €8 at an overstock shop. I love its collarless neckline and shorter length, plus it's washable! I love me some baggy boyfriend jeans. I'm surprised they didn't make this particular list, but not to worry, they did make this one.

If you wondered what these baskets I posted here look like on, now you know. I'm sure they're on a list somewhere, no funky baskets for women 50 and over. I hope so anyway.

The hat's from my favorite Geneva hat designer Zabo. Ah, and my bag's an inexpensive canvas bandouliere (strap bag), about the only type I ever carry.

I'm sharing my age inappropriate taste with the lovely ladies at : Fun Fashion Friday, Throwback Thursday, Thursday Fashion Files, Welcome to the Weekend, Passion for Fashion, Fab Favorites, Friday Favorites, Friday Finds, Charming Friday and Turning Heads.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A very Gallic birthday greeting

This very Gallic, very French, From the Heart French Mustache Birdbrain digital stamp just makes me smile. He's soooo French...with his beret, scarf and baguettes. I don't know why it is, but digital stamping doesn't seem to have caught on here in France. I don't know of even one French digital stamp online shop. Do you? If you do, drop me a line, I'd like to find one. The paper is from Sassy Design's Liberty digital paper pack.

This is a birthday card for an English speaking friend who I'm sure will appreciate the humor. I used Heather BTN font for the sentiment.

This is the blog premiere of my new Toga Polaroid die. The banner and arrow are also part of the die. I have the feeling I'll be using this one a lot.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Liberty digital paper pack
Digital stamp—From the Heart French Mustache Birdbrain digital stamp
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Toga Polaroid die (DCG509)
Font—Heather BTN

I'm linking up: Artistic Inspirations #136—Anything Goes, Aurora Wings #17—Anything with Wings, Card Mania #70—Anything Goes, Crafting from the Heart #70—Anything Goes, Craft Your Passion #272—Always Anything Goes, Love to Scrap #58—Anything Goes, and  Not Just Cards #22—Always Anything Goes. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

A university degree at 50 years old? Yes, you can!!!

For the last six years I have been studying with the Open College of the Arts and the University of the Creative Arts, United Kingdom. I received my last class's assessment results today and . . . I passed. YES!!! Now, at 50 years old, I have earned an Upper Second Class (2:1), BA Hons Creative Writing degree. It may have taken me a while, but I didn't quit, and I have to admit, I'm pleased.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Five ways to wear a basic black jumpsuit when you're 50 with gray hair (or you just give a flip)

All those jumpsuits I'd been seeing in stores and on blogs (like lovely Suzanne's and Anett's) had me wondering if it wasn't time to replace the old capri length one languishing in a back corner of my closet. When I came across this Phase Eight beauty last weekend on sale, I decided to try it on. "I'm just curious," I told my husband, who was with me at the time. He looked at me sideways, but wisely refrained from commenting.

In the dressing room I slipped it on and looked at myself in the mirror. "Oh, s**t," I said. I know trouble when I see it. It looked too darn good and fit perfect. I tried to talk myself out of it.

"You don't need it, Shani, you already have one." "Yes, but I never wear it because I look like a clown in it and besides I didn't pay anything for it." Round one to Buy It.

"You don't need to spend the money." "True, but it's on sale and Phase Eight quality can't be beat. I couldn't afford this at full price." Ding, ding...round two Buy It.

"Look, it's almost too short. You won't be able to wear heels with it." "Get real, do I ever wear heels?" And Buy It takes her victory lap to the cash register.

The first photos are au naturel (there's some nice little ruching going on around the bodice and waist around to the back—can you see it?).The earrings I have on are cheapies I bought at Monoprix (if you've been to France, then you've probably been in a Monoprix) about 14 years ago. They're my go to favorites. The bracelets are inexpensive, too, and I've had them almost as long (by inexpensive I mean like under €5.00). Sandals are H&M and my favorite dressy ones.

It really is a great layering piece. I can see myself wearing it all year round. Here are four easy ways I can change up the look:

The look above is how I wore it for yesterday's Saturday lunch with Monsieur. This jacket/wrap/thingy (what is it?!) I picked up in Paris in June and it goes with everything in my closet. Really. Everything. It's a one of a kind piece by a local designer line called Des Habits Tues (Clothes Kill). In Paris and looking for some unique, reasonably priced clothing piece that won't shoot your credit card limit to the stratosphere? Look them up. They also have a pop-up boutique in the Marais, ask them for hours and location.

My husband bought this Anne Fontaine black blouse for me in Paris our first visit there together in 2000. We weren't married yet and he was trying to win me over. It worked.

This yellow linen Max Mara blazer is another oldie but goodie. I'm sure I have had it close to 10 years. I've paired it with a bright inexpensive scarf I picked up recently for €2.00.

I picked up this silk Mauro Cavadini couture blazer in a thrift store in Geneva for Sfr. 5.00 (about $5). It was missing a few buttons, but that was quickly rectified. It's in perfect shape otherwise. He went out of business a few years back, what a shame. I'd say from the shoulder pads it's late 80's, early 90's. It's another piece that goes with any bottom I throw at it. I wore it the other day with baggy boyfriend jeans and a white tee and loved it. try this new fav jumpsuit with more casual looks. You hoooo...baskets, jean jacket, leather jacket, scarves, silver creole earrings...come to Mama!

I'm sharing the jumpsuit joy with: Fun Fashion Friday, Throwback Thursday, Thursday Fashion Files, Welcome to the Weekend, Passion for Fashion, Charming Friday, Fab Favorites, Friday Favorites, Friday Finds, Turning Heads and Casual Friday.

Friday, July 24, 2015

What kind of shoes do French women REALLY wear?

I look at internet 'street style' photos of French women and if you believe these photos you'd think all of us are waltzing around Paris in high heels. Not. Oh sure, there's a few. Tottering along painfully. But not many. And with good reason. In French cities you actually have to do that thing called...walk. Oh, and climb stairs, you do that a lot, too. Neither activity of which is conducive to 5 inch Louboutin heels.

So, what do French women really wear? Sneakers. Only here they're called baskets.

I was doing a little internet shopping research tonight and was surprised to discover that the French are the shoe buying champions of Europe (you see, as a new citizen, I fit right in), buying an average of around 6 pair per year as opposed to 4 elsewhere, with an average budget of around €100 (not buying too many Louboutins with that). And the best sellers are....canvas Bensimon and Converse baskets. These are a few styles you're much more likely to see on the sidewalks of any city in France, than heels.

Canvas baskets from the French brand Bensimon (not much to look at, but affordable and comfortable)

Black Converse baskets

Dressier leather baskets from the Spanish brand Camper

And as the Fila leather baskets I have had for 14 years are beginning to fall apart, I splurged this weekend and bought these funky Nike baskets on sale. Just what every 50 year old gray-ish haired woman needs.

Funky and comfy Nike Free

I'm linking up with: Fashion Friday, Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop #199, Thursday Fashion FilesTop of the World Style linkup-party and Throw Back Thursday.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

African Violets digital stamp all occasion card

I like a nice flower digital stamp. They're about as multipurpose as you can get, perfect for any occasion. I especially like African Violets, they remind me of the ones my grandmother always had sitting on her window sill, so when I saw this new African Violet digistamp from Digitstamps 4 Joy, I was tickled pink (or should I say purple?).

Digistamps 4 Joy has some lovely stamps. If you're looking for stamps that are not the same ole' run of the mill, head on over. In fact it's Digistamps 4 Joy's  Hippo Big Mouth stamp that I used for the card appearing on the cover of  the #133 issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft.

I used paper from Sassy Design's Heather digital paper pack (check out Sassy Design's sale they're having right now, paper packs for only $0.25!!!) to complement the pretty stamp. I kept embellishments minimal for easy mailing and as I haven't decided how I want to use the card left off any outside sentiments.

*Crafty Tip* You don't have to have a sentiment on the outside of your card. I like to have multi-purpose cards on hand, with no sentiment on the outside. Later, when I want to use the card, I finish up the inside personalized to the person and occasion.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Heather digital paper pack
Stamps—Digistamps 4 Joy African Violets
Colored Pencils—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Die-namics Circle stax

I'm linking up with: Digidesigns challenge blog—Hand Colored Image, Crafting with Friends #2—Anything Goes, Digitally Sweet #140—Anything Goes, Simply Papercraft #9—Anything Goes, Sister Act Card Challenge #115—Anything Goes, Stemplesonne #145—Anything Goes, and Cardmania #70—Anything Goes.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Where can you find the best buy on digital scrapbooking paper packs today? Digital paper packs for only $0.25!!!

Right now Sassy Designs is having a sale on their digital scrapbooking paper packs. Actually, from what I can tell, they have ALL the items on their website on sale and for only....$0.25. Yes, you read that right, 25 CENTS! With over 600 paper pack designs to choose from, there's no shortage of choice. Each paper pack will have 9+ designs in the pack, so that makes it a very, very good buy indeed. I have a lot of Sassy Design paper packs and use them often in my creations (search the blog for Sassy Designs and you'll see what I mean). I just purchased this Sock Monkey pack; love the buttons and masculine color scheme.

I'm not getting a thing from Sassy Designs for this post, but it's such a good buy (these normally run $3.99 a pack) and thinking that you're probably like me, trying to stretch that crafting budget as far as it can go, I just had to share.

Click on over! I don't know how long these prices will last.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bonne Fête Nationale ! Happy Bastille Day!

Bonne Fête Nationale a tous et a toutes !

Today is our national holiday in France; Happy Bastille Day Everyone!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dress and mannequin "Just because..." card

Here's a little card for you today using the Dress and Mannequin digital stamp from Digistamp Boutique. This is a wonderful stamp that just begs to be paper pieced, which I did, using an ultra feminine paper pattern from Sassy Designs Diva digital paper pack.

I ruffled the ribbon to create a tulle petticoat for the dress and decked out the mannequin with a pearl necklace. I added a vintage button to the bow.

I used the Crafts Too step card die for the base, but I increased the size of the center piece. The sentiment is Honey Script font (my favorite!).

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Diva digital paper pack
Stamp—Digistamp Boutique Dress and Mannequin digital stamp
Dies—Crafts Too step card die
Embellishments—ribbon, button, pearls
Font—Honey Script

I'm linking up with: Digistamp Boutique—July customer challenge, Crafty Friends challenge #9—Anything Goes, My Time to Craft challenge #299—Paper Piecing, Chocolate, Coffee and Cards challenge #95—1 Button 1 Bow, Digitally Sweet challenge #140—Anything Goes, Really Reasonable Ribbon challenge #121—Pretty Bows theme,  Simply Papercraft challenge #8—Anything Goes, Sister Act Card Challenge #114—Anything Goes, and Stempelsonne challenge #145—Anything Goes.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Funky greenish turquoise and I-don't-know-what-to-call-them polymer clay earrings

You go digging around in your stash and you never know what you'll find. You might even discover some wonderful something you completely forgot you had. It's an unexpected little thrill. All the pleasure of shopping, but without having to pay! Well, actually that's not true, I did pay the first time.

Rummaging around in my bead drawer to make these earrings here, I came across a pack of large polymer clay beads. I hadn't done anything with them as there weren't enough for a necklace and no doubled designs for earrings. They are pretty though, and as I stopped to admire their varied patterns I realized there actually were a doubled pair or two. Et bah dis donc! And wouldn't you know it, two were exactly the color of greenish turquoise I needed to go with a dress for which I have the darndest time choosing earrings.

These were super easy to make. I decided to hang them on a longer ear wire and since the bead hole was large, I added two smaller silver beads to keep the head pin in place. I'm very pleased; they go great with the dress!

I'm linking up with: Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 197, Happiness at Mid-Life's Throw Back Thursday and  Fashion Should be Fun's Fashion Friday link up.