Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Cheese Aisle Party

For whatever reason, today has felt exceptionally delightful. A delight to the point that I feel comfortable saying, "I had a great time at the grocery store and bank today!" like I was just hanging out with all the buddies I'd never met before, depositing our checks together and hanging out at the cheese aisle party.

I've put a considerable amount of effort into a healthful diet lately, which is likely to be credited for my high spirits. While meat and dairy products are still in my fridge, I'm choosing to eat vegetarian and vegan more often, letting fruits and vegetables run the show now that we're finally back to garden season. With a lot to be sad, worried, or stressed about right now, I am full of nutrients and positivity. And the sleep has been outstanding. A real dream. Get it?!
Shirt: Thrifted and altered from a crew neck to a v-neck, $1.00
Skirt: Genuine leather pencil skirt, $1.75
Necklace: Golden tassel pendant, from a church sale, $2.00
Shoes: Tom's brand purple oxfords, holiday gift, $FR.EE
Approximate Total: $4.75

Weekend Adventuring

Last weekend, I spent time in Peoria visiting some of the beau's beloved people: family and friends from way back--all the way back to fourth grade. Jake is so loyal and lovable that he keeps all the buddies he meets along the way. Considering Jake is one of my oldest friends, meeting when I was 19, this is a quality I hope to eventually rub off on me.

In lieu of any Brog-relevant content, here are two of the best things I saw on our mini-trip.

It's carpet. Carpet printed to look like wooden flooring. Man alive!

These buddies are all over the back routes of Illinois. I asked Jake to pull over so I could pat one, but was denied. Thanks for all of your hard work, turbines! XOXO

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fancy! Feminine! Florals!

 Top: Sheer vintage blouse from Thrift Mart '11, $1.00
Skirt: Thrifted and shortened, $2.00
Belt: Vintage, $.25
Necklace: Dainty chain with three small crystals, amazing and beautiful gift from Carissa
Tights: Old and tattered because I can't allow myself to ever look TOO prim & proper, $3.00ish
Boots: Thrifted butter-soft leather booties, $4.50
Approximate Total: $10.75
Tonight I'm headed to Peoria, IL to spend time with some of Jake's friends and family. The official plan is karaoke at the old lesbian-turned-not-lesbian bar. I think I may try singing some Ted Nugent for the first time after admiring Carissa's renditions for years. That'll make a good first impression, right?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Class Act

At least my stains are classy, right?

Shirt: Leslie Hall team shirt, found here
Skirt: Gifted by Carissa, then re-sized and appliqued a pocket on its pocket
Belt: Thrifted braided belt, $1.00
Tights: Target, $3.50
Boots: Vintage from Artifacts in Iowa City in 2009-ish, $15.00
Approximate Total: $19.50


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thrifted Favorites of the Past

Roget's Collection, Friends of the Cedar Rapids Library booksale, $5.00 for a large box of used books.
Small table lamp, Semi-annual Thrift Mart church sale, 25cents
Afghan and embroidered pillow, Goodwill and Artifacts respectively, less than $5.00 each
Hospital signs, 3rd St Resale pre-flood 2008, $1.00 each
Tree print table cloth, Goodwill, $2.50
Happy Valentine's Day trophy, Goodwill, 25cents
Ghetto blaster, Goodwill, $3.50
Swedish tea kettle, Marion Antique Mall, $8.00
Hand-embellished bird wall-hangings, Cellar Door, $5.00 for both

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On Dressing with a Motive

Whew. I just polished off my first 11pm episode of Seinfeld in probably two months. For a long while, it was my evening ritual to perch on my couch and enjoy a little Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer. It's no secret that I am mostly annoyed by TV and its culture--and lived happily for a couple of years without a television or computer (or microwave!)--but I can't deny the appeal of daytime PBS or a little nighttime Larry David comedy. I've missed this!

That was a pretty weird tangent, but it illustrates how I feel about my day. It feels like summer out, even the late evening air feels warm. The sun was shining all afternoon, and I had a day equally accomplished and lazy. Today felt like the day that everyone was reminded how life is outside of the winter doldrums, and everyone began to feel like their ideal selves--their summer selves. That is probably a gross generalization. Geeeeeez.
Outfit, Boyfriend & Girlfriend Edition
Top: His: screen-printed by Ramona, $15ish. Hers: Thrifted men's button-up tied at waist, $1.00
Bottoms: His: Thrifted Lees that fit the rump perfectly, $3.50. Hers: Vintage pleated skirt, $2.50
Shoes: His and Hers: Loafers given as gifts, FREE
Sunglasses: His and Hers: Both thrifted at Thrift Mart at different times, $.50 total
Approximate Total: $22.50 for the two of us
To get our bodies back into their ideal summer selves as well, Jake and I have started limiting our dinner date nights. Tonight was our one for the week (or weeks?), and we chose a local pub-style restaurant for their in-house brewed beer and outdoor seating. Cedar Rapids, you disappoint with your lack of beer gardens and patio dining!  We were one of two "parties" outside enjoying the weather, the other being a young couple of co-ed friends catching up over some drinks. On her way inside, the girl next to us commented on my outfit, noticing how "adorable!!!!" I looked when we first walked out. She was pretty adorable herself in cowboy boots! Be still my heart!

Oh yes, it's flattering. Flattery is always nice, if not maybe a little awkward. There are a lot of politics that go into clothing and appearance and vanity and dressing for others, but my greatest issue is this: clothing can be the first word in a dialogue. Yes, wearing things I like gives me confidence, but wearing things I feel confident in also gives me the chance to promote possibilities. These are the possibilities within thrifted, recycled, and second-hand clothing. There is such satisfaction in letting complimentary strangers in on the secret that this SO ADORABLE! ensemble came from a thrift store. 

You spent HOW MUCH? on that pleated skirt from Urban Outfitters?! Because I spent $1.00 on this one! And there were three more in different colors for just as cheap.

The idea is that I am a walking promotion for attempting a more sustainable lifestyle. Yes, putting on a precious sundress only to cover it in coffee grounds every day has one foot in vanity, but the other is foot is strapped into advocacy. So maybe I like the compliments, but it's really all about you, Mama Earth.

YADA YADA YADA. See what I did there?

Hey, how'd you like those (unintentional) matching T. Rex arms?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Laundry Day

So lucky am I to have a rare free weekend align with the nicest day of 2011 (so far). I'm taking advantage of it by taking advantage of my mom's absence. Her empty house means free laundry, cable, and lovely lush backyard.

Laundry Day Outfit
Tank: Bought new off a clearance rack, $1.00
Tunic: Made entirely by myself out of an upcycled tank and vintage fabric from a church sale, originally meant for the Recycle In Style show but deemed too unflattering, $.25-ish
Leggings: New off clearance rack, $2.00
Shoes: Gift from momma
Sunglasses: Bought from my favorite discount store (check out that signage!!!) for costuming--these were marketed as SUNGLASSES. Worn here solely for comedy and to demonstrate ineffectiveness. $1.00
Approximate Total: $4.25

Bike Weather

 Yesterday, work was short and the day was beautiful.
Top: Vintage from Monday's Salvation Army date, $.75
Skirt: Thrifted, $2.38
Tights: Clearance from Target, $3.00
Shoes: Saddle shoes, bought years ago on the internet, $13.00
Sunglasses: Lost and found rescue, $FREE$
Bike: 90's hot pink Schwinn Cruiser. Handed down from a tall woman at the hospital, $FREE$
Approximate Total: $16.25
I also discovered a new hidden talent. SUMMER 2K11 RAINBOW HEIDI BRAIDS E'RY DAY, YA'LL.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Look Ma! No Hands! (A BIG OLE UPDATE)

I'm glad to be back to normal life for a couple of weeks before the BIG MOVE kicks into gear. This time is so, so precious.

Today, May 4th
Top: Vintage big girl's top, extra large for extra comfort, purchased with a Goodwill gift certificate, priced for $2.38
Belt: Thrifted vintage, $.25
Necklace: Vintage gold fringe pendant--looks like an octopus! Bought from Thrift Mart spring '11, $2.00
Jeans: Not pictured. Teen jeans bought new but old enough to have holes in the crotch now. $10ish?
Boots: Not pictured, vintage tan calf-high currently being held together with velcro, $4.38
Approximate Total: $19.00

An afternoon off with the beau always means THRIFTING. The vintage head scarf keeps me looking fresh (and crazy) while pulling things over my head again and again.
This handsome fella did my dishes. Hubba hubba!
 Tuesday, May 3rd: Sunglasses Inside Edition
Top: Vintage and extra large for extra comfort, $.75
Necklace: Tiger's Eye from Thrift Mart Spring '11, $1.75
Sunglasses: Taken home after a long stay at the work lost and found. If these are yours, you can claim 'em (and feel proud--these puppies are featured in a soon-to-be-released music video!)--FREE
Pants: End of season clearance rack, $5.00
Approximate Total: $7.50
Top and necklace detail.
Hilarious sewing failure of the week. A camera pouch with serious construction issues. Made from fleece and vintage fabric scraps, with plastic canvas inserts. NICE TRY, me.


Here are a couple of video highlights from Recycle in Style 2011. Visit Goodwill of the Heartland's youtube channel to see so many more!
Also note that I am credited as "Broke (prn. 'Brooke')." What a giggle.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We did it!

Recycle In Style show. What a success!

Here's a small sampling of what I made and modeled for the big show on Saturday. More (professional) photos of the other looks will surface soon. And excuse the messy apartment! The past three weeks have allowed me only the time to sleep, eat, and work work work. It has since been cleaned up for my own sanity.
Left to Right: 1: Two homemade tops made of made of thrifted fabrics, paired with leggings and a necklace rescued from a family member's pile to donate. 2: Polka-dotted wrap blouse fastened with a handmade broach and a floral skirt shorted by myself. 3: Black lace bra under a white lace top. Paired with a square-dancing skirt, vintage petti-coat, and polka dotted belt. 4: Vintage blouse printed with horses and an ascot, worn with a skirt I shortened and re-hemmed in a silly way. All items were thrifted or made with thrifted materials with the only exception being the black leggings in the first look.
I am so thankful to have been a part of the process and being able to showcase the potential within sustainable clothing. Many people approached me after the show, asking for tips on creating similar looks on their own or, "was that leather skirt really less than $2.00!?" Yes, yes it was. Behold! the glory of a thrift trip.
Behind the scenes with Mona and Carissa. Their collections were amazing! Psst!--Our dressing room was inside of a docked semi truck.
Sonya, of Ladyfits, took a leap of faith in me. She allowed me to participate in her precious child, Recyle in Style, without any real proof that I was capable of "bringing it." In the end, I am proud of what I accomplished and believe that I met the organizers' expectations.

Ya'll, this was my first time doing anything like it.

Thank you to all who came! I'm enjoying some quiet time now, after the big projects and before the big move.