My So Charmed Life

Sparkle & Flannel



Sometimes the thriftstore is just magical. Often, as I’m driving over I’m thinking about the things I “need” and all too often, those items are there for the finding. You guys know I’m on a big grunge kick, and that means old flannel shirts. The above, scored for $6–which truthfully, I feel is a lot at Value Village–has a dirty 70’s vibe I could not resist. Foolish? Well folks, you can pay $6 or you can head over to Urban Outfitters and pay $49. I left at least 7 other flannels on the racks, and I’m sure they’ll be stocking ’em all winter so go grab one, or two, or three. Take that UO!

I was also longing for jewelry supplies.  The knotted vintage double-strand choker above features heavy white glass beads and gorgeous rhinestone rounds. Cost: $2.99. You can pay that much and more for a single rhinestone bead and there are six of them on this necklace. Since I’m into these vintage sparkles in my recent work, my intention was to pull this apart.


Grunged tribal Talhakimt earrings–Write Yr Story–with black diamond vintage rhinestones above would look great with this shirt and necklace combo.


Amazing necklace above is a strand of Czech glass beads in the sweetest delicate shade of pale blue givre, with a little iridescent pink flash. Between each bead, a rhinestone rhondelle! Price: $3.99. Again, I intended to release this strand into my supply stash until I tried the damn thing on. Both necklace finds: definite keepers. Oh, and these rondelles, purchased new, are at least $1 ea, sometimes more. I think there are about 40 on this strand.


The Titanica earrings incorporate rhinestone rondelles, except these are SQUAREDELLES… and how cool is that?! With the best bead caps I’ve ever found–0nce shiny gold brass, they now display a great crusty hand-applied patina.


The ombre flannel above was brand new with tags and thusly priced through the roof at $10. Since these vintage-styled flannels (let alone actual vintage ones) are harder to come by, I bit the bullet and paid. It’s gorgeous, perfectly oversized, super soft. The necklace above  ($3.99) has a great industrial romantic look. I immediately thought about pulling it apart to make earrings. But yeah, you got it. I tried it on… and… CRAP! More jewelry for me! Just what I don’t need. (sigh)


The Rose Garden earrings would be sweet with the ombre flannel with just enough grunge and sparkle. The large glass beads (Czech) are really the bomb. With irregular hand-cut facets, soft rosy coloration and a splash of iridescence… bohemian gypsy chic. The earring collection will be updated weekly for awhile, so I hope you’ll check often.


Also this weekend, a little denim repair a la boro and sashiko with some lovely red flannel. I hope to do a post about my obsession with Japanese stitchery soon.

These Boots


The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) here in DC has a wonderful exhibit up called Women Who Rock. Artifacts — including a lot of clothing — from Billie Holiday‘s mink stole to Meg White‘s embellished suit (cover of Icky Thump) are displayed along with posters, videos and a terrific historical timeline for context. Of course my favorite objéct, by a longshot, were Patti Smith‘s boots, pictured above, circa 1974. At this shrine, I considered genuflection. Meanwhile explaining all of this to my 75-yr old mom, who I was so happy to have with me that day.

That was Sunday afternoon. Last night, I had the surreal experience of standing in a dark basement club (U Street Music Hall) with daughter Molly and her stepmom Beth to see her Dad, Glenn’s band, 7 Door Sedan open for none other than the Rezillos! But that’s not all. As we were dressing to go out, daughter Molly came and asked if she could borrow a pair of boots. She chose my Nana pole climbers, pictured above, which have been in my life and on my feet for 30+ years, rocking around the globe from Vancouver to San Francisco, to Europe, NOLA, everywhere. Words can’t describe the feeling I had standing next to my beautiful kid, age 14, wearing MY boots and big black underage X’s on her hands, in that loud banging club.

Suffice to say, there is no lack of boots at our house. Pictured above are the BF’s black suede pointy-toe Chelsea boots, purchased on the King’s Road in London, circa 1990. They’ve rocked a stage or two. And, b/c the BF is certifiably insane, he has had a SECOND brand new pair in the box since 1990 just in case something were to happen to these.

And should YOU, dear reader, require a pair of killer boots to call your own… and should your feet be a demure size 6.5 or so, you are in luck. Visit the Oh Victoria vintage lace-ups over in the new So Charmed clothing section, a great score and made for walking… or dancing and twirling, whatever your pleasure.

PS: The bands totally rocked it. 7 Door Sedan will have video of the show soon, Molly shot 400+ photos with her new Canon T3, and Rezillos were wild and outta control.

PSS: Got a favorite pair of yr own? Send me a pic and I’ll collect/post ’em.

Fashion Brilliance for Fall


Ahhh, Marc Jacobs. I love everything about this collection. The lean silhouettes with long slim-fitted coats and slender cropped cigarette pants work delightfully against the outsized Mad Hatter-meets-Mac Daddy hats. Hats AND chunky but feminine buckled shoes are whimsical, fantastical, while everything in between is infinitely wearable, even by Washington DC’s conservative standards. The staging and music… creepy/cool! Favorite collection for this fall, fashionistas. PS: Shout-out to Pam for sharing! And in case the embedded video doesn’t load for you:

A New (to me) Designer to Love


So I get a call the other evening from a vintage shop owner who knows me well and she says: I got this really odd coat in and I think it has your name on it. I take such calls seriously. Went in the next day and scored the above-pictured divine asymmetrical muslin garment by Ivan Grundahl. For $20. Perfect fit.

At home I did some research and found out that Grundahl is a major veteran designer from Denmark, whose work is coveted by avant garde fashionistas the world over.

Here are a bunch of photos I found online… his collections are consistent over several years… neutral colors, lots of black, romantic, gothy, asymmetrical, lots of tulle, often shown with clunky gun-boots. Swoon.

Here is the lovely back of my Grundahl coat. I’m going to guess that it is a few years old, came from a ready-to-wear collection, and likely sold for about $400+ new. SCORE!

A Few of My Favorite Things #31… THE GRAND FINALE!


For the final post in this Decebmer series I wanted to bring you something really special and unique and brilliant, so here is the incredible work of pop surrealist, Mab Graves.

I visit Mab’s shop just to hang out with her wonderful characters; stopping by to see what she’s been creating is like having tea with the most charming people in a long lost dream of childhood. There are paintings, prints, and cards as well as some lovely jewelry and the occasional accessory.

At Mab’s Web site, you can see more of her work and read a bio and connect to her blog. I believe the picture below is the pink-haired artist, herself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month of daily posts from the vast world of handmade goods and art, and that the next time you feel the urge to shop for yourself or a loved one that you might return to this collection for reference, or just go on your own journey to find something dear, charming, and made with love.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you and thanks for reading my blog!

A Few of My Favorite Things #30


While we’re on the subject of people treated unfairly on Project Runway, here is Danielle Everine, whose work I love and adore and will be wearing soonest. As of this writing, Danielle’s etsy shop is sparse, but I’m crazy for ALL of the pieces.

Love this Water Buffalo tee with great graphics and a pretty ballet neckline which I greatly prefer.

Danielle has a Web site with portfolio here, as well as a blog, from which I grabbed the above. Don’t you love when artists share their process sketches and the thoughts behind what they do? Here’s hoping we’ll see/hear more from Danielle in 2012.

A Few of My Favorite Things #29


I was, and always will be, a member of Team Mondo. Since fanning him on FB, every once in awhile I hit up his Web site, to see what the adorable trashy one is up to. BTW, when you hit the site, wait a bit for the front page images to load… you’ll be treated to fun slide show of the many moods of Mondo.

How much do you LOVE these earrings?

This special edition t-shirt, which raises funds for the Colorado Aids Project, is really cute too. Hopefully some of his work in addition to these kinds of items will become available soon.

Yeah, Mondo Guerra was the clear winner of Project Runway Season 8. Of course the idiotic judges didn’t realize that, but I’ll save that rant for another time.

A Few of My Favorite Things #28


Having invented the Blog Post with a Soundtrack, I bring you Favorite Things #28, entitled, Who Says I’m Not Relgious?

How much do I love the St. Winehouse candle?

Well, almost as much as I love the St. Johnny candle.

Both of which may be trumped by the MJK Krishna candle.

All of this fabulosity is brought to you courtesy of Berndt Offerings, by LA-based artist, Vicki Berndt. Stay the hell off the drugs, kids.

A Few of My Favorite Things #27


This post comes to you with a soundtrack! So hit the play button on the CocoRosie performance above and read on.

When I first saw the work of Mia Kunyo — BeWakeful, on Etsy– I honestly thought I’d stumbled on the secret clothing design business of Sierra Cassady, the “Rosie” half of sister-duo CocoRosie. First of all, Mia (who models much of her work in her charming photos) possesses the same classic beauty and looks like Sierra’s long lost twin, but more importantly, her imaginative freaky clothing designs, as well as her colorful styling (crayola tribal warpaint!)… instantly put me in mind of the childlike playfulness of a band I obsessed over for many months!

Mia’s work is so original and fun, the dress pictured above is flirty-cool.

Hats, too! Visit Mia and check out her entire adorable line of goodies which include handmade tights, unitards, and collars among other things.

This week one of my FB buds posted a video by Sia, who I had somehow missed hearing about, and I’ll leave you with this amazing video, the styling for which immediately brought to mind the BeWakeful shop, CocoRosie, etc. You’ll need to get through ads on this next one, but trust me, it’s worth it. Spine-chilling good stuff.

A Few of My Favorite Things #26


If you’re joining us late, we’re crusing down the home stretch of an ENTIRE MONTH’s worth of blog posts cleverly titled (not) A Few of My Favorite Things. Originally conceived to invite you to consider buying handmade for the holidays, at this point I’m saying: Didn’t get anything good? Then why not GO TREAT YOURSELF to something gorgeously handmade? This entire post features the incredible work of Angela Rossi at Beat Up Creations, who likes to have fun with cast-off china plates.

Rossi’s shop is chock-full of delightful animal and pop-culture hero images, each married with their perfect plate, as if by destiny. She also sells very handsome art-prints and some art objects as well.

Ironic, hip, and very punk, if you ask me.

Pictured above is the series of plates I commissioned from Angela for the BF’s 60th birthday. Ray Davies, Keith Richards, and Johnny Thunders. They are DIVINE and she was a blast to work with!

Here’s a close-up of sexy-boy Keith, snuggled up with the old wedding china and a collection of cups I snagged from me mum. Spot ‘o tea anyone?

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