I know the title is ominous, but there is less than a one in four chance that any picture you see will be a clown. I did put a couple of extra good things in to make it up to you.
First good thing: My monarch butterflies emerged from their chrysalises! It had been two weeks into a process that was supposed to take a week to ten days. How on earth could I screw this up? Turns out, I didn’t. I went to bed on Sunday night with two poisonous green chrysalides hanging in the take-out container. Monday morning, they were both black:
Turns out, they weren’t just black, you can see orange inside, and a few minutes later, this was in the container:
I can’t tell you how happy this made me. It’s been a long awful year so far, and even just a bit of good news feels absurdly wonderful! I texted my neighbor, the science teacher, and at noon, she put stickers on their wings to register them, and we put them on my butterfly bush which still had a few flowers, thank goodness:
The male is on the left. You can tell because his black lines are thinner than the female’s, and he has two pheromone glands which are the small black dots on the lower wings closest to his body. The female is on the right, and I named her Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course! The poor male didn’t even get a name, which is the fault of B.H. I mean, do I have to do everything? RBG left about two hours after the picture, but the male hung around until mid-morning the next day. We’ve volunteered to do this again next year.
We have seen many weird things in thrift stores over the years. This is right up there:
Hey Hon, what did you find at the thrift store? Dental floss! Really!? It’s like when we see tubes of unguents that are open, or used makeup. I hope that none of us ever find ourselves in a position where buying those things at a thrift store is our only option. I do think that the dental floss could be useful in the craft department if a minty fresh odor is part of your project.
This might be more sad than anything, but it is a horrid clown:
Unless there was a windup that we couldn’t find, it looks like this clown has lost his will to live. Even his balloons are at half-mast. I feel the saddest for his poor china rocking horse who didn’t get a say about passengers. We kind of think that someone’s clown collection ended up at the thrift store because NO ONE in the family wanted any of them!
We saw quite a bit of furniture, which all seemed to sell quite quickly. We weren’t surprised that someone snatched up this cute little chair:
I looked it up because we couldn’t quite figure out why it only had one arm. Turns out that it’s a thing, the one-armed ladies’ chair which went into your parlor. They were quite popular in the latter part of the 19th century. I was thinking maybe they had one arm because of how big women’s dresses were with the bustle and all. They frequently came as part of a set with a sofa, and a two-armed men’s chair. They fell out of fashion in the early 20th century, so this was quite old. Who knew? Certainly not us.
I feel quite confident in saying that this isn’t a piece of fine furniture:
It’s so busy, and those are pretty poopy pansies. We like pansies, a lot, and just could not work up any enthusiasm for this couch. It took a couple of weeks to sell, but it’s gone now so maybe it’s living in someone’s breezeway. You could certainly sit on it to put shoes or boots on, and I’m sure the dog would appreciate a nice soft couch.
I feel like this is one of the most bizarre pictures I’ve ever taken:
Honestly, I didn’t even notice the doll in the background until cropping the picture. I kind of feel like this could be a scene from a Gothic horror novel: she was lost on misty moor and was terrified when this grotesque clown appeared through an opening in the fog. I’m sure she screamed and ran, falling several times, until a Duke happened by and rescued her. After several more adventures, our heroine and the Duke marry and live happily ever after. The clown still roams the moors today, scaring the bejesus out of innocent hikers with his cattywampus eyes. The End.
I have a couple more observations to make about this Murano glass clown—who picked those colors and who designed those eyes? I can’t believe anyone ever bought it in the first place.
Here’s something bad that looks almost good in comparison to the last clown:
I like tree burl furniture, lamps, and art for the most part but there is something kind of off with this lamp. Maybe if the lamp was only made from the burl and the tree trunk hadn’t been attached to it it would have worked. I think the maker might have been better off making a bowl from this, or maybe an animal statue. It’s a pretty big fail as is.
Last clown, I promise! Someone spent a lot of money very unwisely on this evil Murano glass clown:
This one means business, and it’s not funny business! He is evil from the top of his poo hat down to his shoes. I feel like there is a story about his left knee, but I don’t want to think about what it could be. It kind of looks like a balloon—no, stop it right there. We all need to move on, right now!
Let’s finish on a nice sweet picture:
Right out of The Mikado, we have Three Little Maids from School. A perfect clown antidote! B.H. and I love The Mikado and go to see it whenever someone is performing it. Although, perhaps Fraiser Crane’s version of Three Little Maids from School is the funniest.
We always feel sorry for these dolls. They are really pretty, but how many can one person rescue? They did disappear, so hopefully they found a new home.
Well, that’s it for the regular post. Stay safe everyone, and we’ll be back next week, same time, same place.
For the purse lovers out there, you know who you are, I have another installment of:
Oh those Seventies. We make fun of them all the time. It was mostly a disaster for fashion and decorating. The Sixties has so many innovations, and the ’70s came limping along afterward.
I think the ’70s were a relaxed, informal time where women were increasingly interested in equal rights and working outside of the home. Music was influential on style—Jimi Hendrix wore those velvet fashions, which were cool. By the mid-seventies, rock stars like Elton John, Queen, David Bowie, and ABBA were influencing fashion, as well as the Disco look towards the end of the decade. There was a lot of overlap with all the style, too.
Think about all the different shoes and boots from the seventies. You could wear suede boots with fringey trim, a moccasin-type shoe, tennis shoes, as we called them or deck shoes, wedges, clogs, or those crazy platform shoes and boots. It was all over the place as far as the feet went!
At the beginning of the decade, clothes were more unisex with jeans and t-shirts becoming very common for all ages. I can remember that in junior high, it was a special treat to wear jeans, while in high school, 1972-75 it was your uniform. But, women and girls also wore mini, midi, and maxi dresses or skirts as a break from your giant bell-bottom jeans.
Then think about Annie Hall, which came out in 1971 with the layered look in neutral colors. You could carry a soft fabric bag, or a leather bag with that look. I carried cloth bags a lot, made from anything from denim to velvet with embroidery, metal work, or whatever struck me as decoration. So, you can see it was a time where you could wear pretty much whatever you wanted.
The small picture in the lower left is Jackie Onassis, shopping in a casual outfit, carrying a straw bag. She always was a fashion icon, and this might sum up the ’70s as well as anything.
There was some quirky materials used in odd ways:
I’m mostly speaking about the fur purse at the top. Fashion started to be imported from all over the world, not just France, Britain, and Italy. India, central Asia, and Peru were influential off and on for fabrics, patterns, and styles. I have a purse similar to the one on the bottom right, and always felt it was from India. I just wouldn’t have dated it to the seventies.
So, there were hippie purses, the fashionable set purses, old lady purses, and the working woman purse all illustrated on this page:
You could have a bead bag, like on the top of the left page and be young and hip. There is a clutch from Gucci on the bottom left that looks pretty fabulous and dramatic, as is the red purse beside it. On the top of the right page are more traditional style handbags, and on the bottom is a working woman’s large leather purse that could take her from day to evening along with her pantsuit. Everyone kind of did their own thing!
Towards the end of the decade, designer labels started becoming more important. Gucci had their “G” initial on their handbags while Christian Dior started using the iconic white and brown initial fabric and leather. This became even bigger in the 1980s.
The last fad is one I don’t remember, but here it is:
The rise of the athletic bag and logos. Exercise and an active lifestyle was becoming more important. You needed bags to take clothing and equipment to aerobics, yoga, or Jazzercise in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Well, that’s it for this installment. Stay tuned for the ’80s, ’90s, and a section on the special designers. After we’re done, I’m going to give away a vintage purse.