Friday, June 27, 2014

Update on manatee fundraiser

And here I thought only my manatee understands me...I am bowled over by the understanding and support Rosie and I are receiving for Save the Manatee Club. Many thanks to those who have spread the word, donated money, or purchased from my vintage collections online. 

For more on the fundraiser, please see this post. I feel hopeful enough to have raised the goal to $600!

Wear scarves: Sophia Loren edition

Bad hair day? I am having a bad hair life, so there’s nothing more handy to me than being able to compensate with a beautiful scarf. This look, glamorized by Sophia Loren, looks vaguely peasant-y while adding vintage je ne sais quoi. 

I couldn’t resist adding the door knocker earrings...anyone need her fortune told?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Update on manatee fundraiser

Rosie and I are back to let you know that our fundraiser has gotten off to a grand start from a couple of very generous donors and purchasers (25% of denisebrain purchases are going to the cause). See the total over on my page.

Thank you!

We can do it...but not without you!

Wear scarves: Make a dress wearable edition

I have a particular reason for wearing this scarf: I love the style but not really the brick red color of this 1970s Young Edwardian dress on me. Changing what’s going on at the neckline can make it perfectly wearable with my coloring.

Good save, don’t you think?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wear scarves: Big square as shrug

Big square scarves are extremely versatile. With just a couple of knots, today’s scarf got to act like a shrug, or wrap. Basically it is like a shrug with full sleeves.

I got the idea from a post on Vmac and Cheese. Check out the other uses for a large square scarf in this post!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What is it about me and manatees?

This is a variation on a theme I’ve written about before, and with my current manatee fundraiser, it seemed time for a reprise.

Every now and then the odd collection of my interests and pastimes seems to baffle people. Take manatees: Why am I, a woman living in Washington State, passionate about the plight of the manatee, which lives nowhere near me?

I have always had a great concern and fondness for endangered creatures of all kinds. I vividly recall first becoming aware of manatees as a little girl, before much publicity was being brought to their plight. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of them before, and was fascinated by such awesomely large, perfectly gentle creatures, the corners of their mouths always turned up like little smiles. How could anything so wonderful be at risk of extinction?

Then in 2000 I had the opportunity to visit my relatives in Florida, and they took my husband and I for a short boat tour at Blue Spring State Park. We saw amazing plant life and any number of alligators, but what we really yearned to see was a manatee. There were hints that they were near—

—but it wasn’t until we got off the boat and were just standing watching the river that we saw some clamor, as a group of volunteers met a van. Out of the van the group of people hoisted a manatee which had been rescued and rehabilitated. 

When this manatee was released into the water, another manatee immediately came up from the bottom of the river and nudged the newcomer, unmistakably like a greeting.

I had tears streaming down my face...I was IN LOVE with manatees!

Since then I’ve tried to find out all I can about this creature, and have been amazed. For instance, manatees are intelligent (“capable of understanding discrimination tasks, and show signs of complex associated learning and advanced long term memory.” [Gerstein, E. R. (1994). The manatee mind: Discrimination training for sensory perception testing of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus). Marine Mammals 1: 10–21.] They demonstrate complex discrimination and task-learning similar to dolphins and pinnipeds in acoustic and visual studies. [Marine Mammal Medicine, 2001, Leslie Dierauf & Frances Gulland, CRC Press]. The manatee’s closest land relation is the elephant, not the cow, despite their being called sea cows in many parts of the world. They are thought to have evolved from four-legged land animals some 60 million years ago.

Think about it: Manatees have made it 60 million years on the Earth and now their survival is threatened.

Katie Tripp, Director of Science and Conservation of Save the Manatee Club, wrote a succinct essay about the threats to manatees and what the future might hold (After Devastating Losses, What’s in Store for Manatees in 2014?). As she concludes, manatees “need our voices and our support now more than ever.”

Please help me support Save the Manatee Club and all they do to protect manatees. I am hoping to raise $500 by the end of the day on July 17. 25% of sales through my business will go to the cause, or you may donate directly at my YouCaring page

If you can’t contribute but would like to do something, please help by spreading the word. 

Rosie the manatee and I are counting on you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

For Rosie and all the manatees

If you read my blog, my Facebook page posts, my tweets on Twitter, or know me personally, you are certain to be aware that I have a thing about manatees. I love the gentle giants, and am deeply concerned for them as an endangered species that is terribly vulnerable.

Photo © David Schrichte

Last year was the worst on record for Florida manatees, with an estimated 829 perishing. With no natural predators, their adversaries are humans. Every year many manatees are killed or injured by boat strikes. In addition, we encroach upon and pollute the manatees’ vital habitat.

With humans so responsible for the grave endangerment of the manatee, we must also be responsible for their survival. Save the Manatee Club is devoted entirely to the survival of the manatee and its habitat. Manatees have no greater friend than SMC, and I support them whole-heartedly.

That’s why today I am announcing that 25% of my sales for the next month (June 17-July 17) will go to Save the Manatee Club, with a goal of raising $500. I have also set up a page for those who don’t find any vintage to suit themselves but who would like to help.

$500 is a lot of money, and a sum I could never offer up on my own, but my customers have always come through, and I know will want to do their part for the manatees again.

In fact, I’m confident enough to pose as Rosie!

Appropriately, I have just symbolically adopted a manatee named Rosie as the honorary manatee of and this campaign.

Rosie is a beloved manatee, known to all who visit Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. She is decidedly vintage, having first been brought into captivity in 1968. Rosie is not a suitable candidate for being released into the wild because she has an equilibrium problem that causes her to swim in right-hand circles. Instead, she is the babysitter to the orphaned and injured young manatees brought to Homosassa for rehabilitation, nursing the calves and shepherding them around the spring waters.

Rosie, photo © William Gavin

Rosie epitomizes all manatees, who are known for their great intelligence and gentle good nature. While Rosie may have a home safe from boats and other perils living at Homosassa Springs, most of the few thousand Florida manatees left do not.

For Rosie and all endangered manatees, please help me reach this goal. I know We Can Do It!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wear scarves: Expo ’74 edition

In 1974, Spokane was smallest city ever to host a World Exposition. It is now the 40th anniversary of Expo ’74, and the denizens of my smallish city are still feeling the fair’s positive impact.

Today’s scarf (a vintage souvenir from the fair) is one I’ve been pulling out quite a bit this year in tribute to the anniversary. It features the Möbius strip, symbol of the fair which was the first to have an environmental theme.

Thinking 70s, I made a wide headband of my oblong scarf, and included a twist à la Möbius.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wear scarves: Natalie Wood edition

Any woman who was young in the 1950s probably had a chiffon scarf tied around her hair or her neck at one point. I chose Natalie Wood because...well look at her:

The scarf I’m wearing today is a 1950s souvenir of Hawaii, and it could be worn the sock hop way, with a knot to the side of the neck.

Or I could go the headscarf route, which certainly shows off the design. (Darn, where is my convertible?)

I opted for a not-so-characterstic rosette made by twisting the scarf throughout its length. A pin holds the scarf together and a clip holds it in my hair.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wear scarves (ties): Diane Keaton edition

In honor of the cool and iconoclastic style of Diane Keaton, and with Father’s Day in sight, this is a post about wearing ties.

I have worn ties ever since...a long time, and still wear them. Yes, I can do a Double Windsor.

You have to have a certain sense of irony wearing a tie as a woman, but heck, it’s almost to the point that you have to have a sense of irony wearing a tie as a man.

So why not wear it without a collar?

Wear a straight tie as a bow tie?

A bow tie as a hair clip?

A tie as a belt?

I believe Annie Hall would approve.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wear scarves: Rosie the Riveter edition

This cute photo Effie shared on my Facebook page reminds me that head-wraps and turbans are some of my favorite scarf looks.

If I had Effie’s enviable long black hair I would do this all the the wrapped up-do!

Head wrap-tying icon: Rosie the Riveter
For one super simple wrap, just halve a big square scarf to make a triangle. The long side of the triangle goes at the base of your neck and ties above your forehead. Hair in or out? It’s your choice!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tie one on

...a vintage scarf that is!

I’m doing just that this month, and I already love the habit.

Here are a few beautiful/interesting new and vintage ideas I’ve seen online (and pinned on my Scarf Tying Pinterest board):

(Images credited where possible on my Pinterest board)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happiness is a long organza scarf

This month I’m wearing my vintage scarves every day. (It is a Vintage New Year’s Resolution.)

I love my two long organza scarves. The one in black is easily the most useful scarf I own. This one is silk in iridescent orange and green.

If nothing else a long scarf is dramatic, and if it is crisp like this, it can be made into very structural knots and bows.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wear scarves - Bianca Jagger edition

Yesterday I was inspired by Grace Kelly’s iconic wrap, today I am tying my scarf à la Bianca Jagger.

I know you will recognize her white jacket, but here is the inspiration for my scarf tie:

To emulate this, I took a small square scarf, folded it in half diagonally and rolled it to make a band. Because the fabric is on the bias, it has some flexibility and makes a comfortable choker. I added a pin to the front and tied the scarf in back. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June resolution: Wear scarves

I have been looking forward to this. Since I-don’t-know-when I have loved and collected scarves.

At the beginning of 2014, I made a list of vintage resolutions, one per month. June is Wear Scarves.

Today? The Grace Kelly wrap...just add sunglasses and convertible!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bee-utiful June

My monthly theme is up! I hope you get a buzz out of it...

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