Sunday, 7 October 2012

Of A Feather

A very Happy Birthday to Sheila of Ephemera!!! This is my outfit for her super-stylin' party (Hi everybody!!! HI!), what I wore yesterday to an afternoon wedding where Beary was best man, and with which I'm making an appearance at Patti's for Visible Monday as well! Hard-working duds - good thing they're comfortable too. Remember what I said about shorter posts upcoming? Ah well, it'll have to be after this one. 


yellow purse with heart clasp: Fashion Express, Winners
fishnet tights: Calvin Klein, local discount / overstock store
shoes: Fluevog Mini Dollface, worn here


red corduroy jacket: Live a Little, thrifted (new with tags), DIY-shortened
dress: Retrolicious, ModCloth


Forgot to take un-jacketed photos, but the dress is the same style as the one worn here (which I liked so much that when this bird-print version came out, Aw, DAMMIT - I had to have it too). Look! I am wearing hearts and pink with my birds and flowers.


buttonflower: Megan Mae Designs

This jacket is a perfect colour, but was originally an awkward length and quite voluminous - challenging to style, and I could appreciate why someone might give it up unworn. I wore it a few times as it was anyhow, decided to get it shortened, then of course ran out of time to get help from my alterations lady before wanting to pair it with this dress. 




Unaltered, it was just TOO poofy-over-floofy, so I started by safety-pinning the hem up underneath to the yoke in back, executed several additional complex feats of creative safety-pin-origami, and finished with a bit of basting along the front and new hem. The interior is a total dog's breakfast, but it was good enough to get me though the day. I so admire y'all who have actual sewing skills! 




This is me and Beary at the wedding, where he entertained us during the photo shoot with his renditions of "attacked by birds" and "Blue Steel". The forecast was for sunny and 18C, but the day turned out overcast and 4C, hence my over-the-head car blanket at the park. I am glad I also ran out of time to cut my hair, brr! The event itself was really lovely. 




Things do happen all at once, as is often the way. Beneath our smiles and celebration, Beary and I were heavy-hearted, as the night before we'd had to say goodbye to our dear hen, Mrs. Rosie Guidolin, who'd been needing special care and accommodation these last few months. She was named for my kindergarten teacher, and we most often called her Mrs. Guidolin, Guids, Little G, or G-Bear. 




Right from day-old-chick-dom, she was the most frail of our birds, though for the first year of her life she better-than held her own in the pecking order. She was the prettiest, and lorded it over all the other girls. Mrs. Guidolin also had the sweetest wee voice, and would sing to her (palest pink, of course!) eggs with a deep crooning. 


swollen-leaky-over-poofy-over-floofy


Neither of us had chickens growing up, and were unprepared for them to be such engaging and comical creatures. Terry Golson of The HenCam describes chickens as "forever curious, optimistic, and in the moment," and it's true that their approach to life essentially asks two questions: What is it? and Is it delicious?




Though she had a number of things going on which made her life complicated, Little G was a very determined hen. For as long as she was having some joy in life, and was willing to try, well then, we tried too. Lowered perch, ramp to the nest box, a protected grassy area of the run with communal food and water to keep her safe but not isolated, and whatever nutritional treats would perk her appetite and help her keep weight on. She molted early, but grew in her new feathers like a rock star. 




Beary and I only half-jokingly repeat the words of a woman on a chicken-keeping message board whose husband balked at the expense of taking a $4 chicken to the vet: "... so I just told him, they are OUR LADIES ..." We feel glad to have had the care of G-Bear, the sweet peeper whose feathers were so golden and curly, and who accepted us into her flock when she could no longer be housed with the other hens. 


Little G perched on my shoulder.
I could never quite capture how beautifully the sun lit her feathers. 

If y'all would just give your loved ones and precious friends - of any species - an extra squeeze for me today, I would greatly appreciate it. More photos and video below the jump. 


Guids laid the palest of pinky-brown eggs - hers is top row, right. 


G-Bear, our champion sun-bather


This is a short video of our hens dust-bathing, which is their happiest activity ever (though tearing up the gardens, slurping worms after it rains, and June bug season are pretty awesome too). Chickens love to dig holes in which they roll around, flap, and kick dirt all over each other. "Hen party," right? Mrs. Guidolin makes her appearance vocally at 0:25 then provides all of the the chatty narration - that is G who jumps into my lap for her close-up. 




You go on now, little hen. 

Thanks for reading, friends. xo


60 comments:

  1. Oh, so sorry to hear of mrs. G's passing. What a fine looking hen she was,a nd apparently bursting with good cheer. Bless you and Beary for giving her great care and affection.

    You both look divine for the wedding, and for Sheila's birthday. Thanks for sharing all the beauty with Visible Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE how our critters are bestowed with many and varied names! I'll certainly squeeze my pookies when I get home...and I've already squeezed G several times today! So that is my quota, and I'm sorry you've lost a lovely chookie.Eveyone I've ever known who had kept chooks has loved and enjoyed their personalities!
    Now, that first pic makes me all frisky! In fact, all the pix of this fabulous outfit make me frisky! Every details is fabulous! Insane shoes/bird print/awesome colour combination...love it.And that jacket! Gorgeous colour, and yo0u did a great job of temprarily shortening it! I would never have known! Very effective!
    XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Helga, thank you for doing all that squeezing!

      I appreciate your compliment on my jacket, means a lot coming from someone who does this fix so beautifully.

      Delete
  3. The dress is perfect for the wedding. I love the jacket with the buttonflower. I have sewing skills, but please don't look at the interior of anything I've altered. It's usually a hot mess. ;)

    So sorry to hear about Mrs. G. She was a sweet little hen. Her coloring reminds me of my mom's cat, Spike. I love her singing-chatty voice in the video. I someday want to have chickens. They seem like such lovely animals.

    I've been in love with chickens ever since I saw the Silkie chicken who stood over a bunch of chicks to save them from a hawk while the others ran. (The video is a little dramatic, but still adorable) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvVWtwDKzLg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Megan! Glad I'm not the only one with desperately messy interiors. :)

      Mrs. G was indeed sweet, and we miss her.

      You are so sweet for that video link. Aww!

      Delete
  4. Well, first of all I was just scrolling thru your blog admiring your heart & bird dress and thinking about how cute you look in a little hood with your sweet man next to you, then I started to read and I got all choked up hearing about your dear little chicken and I was so engrossed that I didn't even realize that my little pooch, Pancake, was outside in the nite in a confrontation with what I can only imagine was a possum or perhaps - Yikes - a skunk so I had to rush out and rescue him and I gave him a big hug just like you suggested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww! So glad for the rescue and the big hug of the mighty Pancake!

      Delete
  5. The shoes are clunky chic! I love the bolero style jacket. Great color!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, I am so sorry about G-Bear, the sweetest chicken that ever lived, singing to her wee pretty pink eggs. I'm sad about that.

    On another note, your outfit fills me with hope. The first photo where you've captured all the colours in one shot sums it up. I like how you described the inside of your jacket as dog's breakfast - some of my outfits are like cat's breakfast inside and we know what cats are like... I have a similar jacket and I will retrofit with a big of dog meal too. I love how yours came out no matter how you got there! Beary is a very handsome man. Your smile is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melanie - she truly was.

      More messy interiors! I love 'em! All your kind words mean so much.

      Delete
  7. Oh, you are too cute for words this time Ms. Amber. Perfect for a birthday bash and a wedding celebration and saying so long to a dear hen friend. What can be better than a dress with birdies on tree branches that appear to be blooming hearts! (shaking my head) And your design sensibility with safety pin craft is extraordinarily handsome. Bravo, Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Pao - there are just some beings who make us practically bloom hearts all over.

      "Safety pin craft" is one of my best resume items. :)

      Delete
  8. How sad to say goodbye to Little G of the many names, I am so touched by how you have written about her. Our creatures occupy such a special place in our hearts, don't they?
    You look beautiful, the print on the dress is so pretty, and I love your made-over jacket. No one need ever know how it looks on the inside! Great colours, and all the wedding pics, especially the ones of you and your lovely man, are delightful.
    Now I am off to find a creature to squeeze, human or feline, either will do! xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Curtise! I am wicked glad that all of the creatures by you are getting well-squeezed. I appreciate the reassurance that "No one need ever know how it looks on the inside!" Fabulous.

      Delete
  9. You are killing me with this ensemble, Amber.
    The bird print dress, the bloero jacket, and those glorious shoes ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
  10. You and Beary are adorable.
    You do hearts, pink, flowers and birds well Amber, and amazing job with the safety pins!
    Deepest sympathies regarding Mrs. G.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post !

    Love your pictures and articles!!

    A blog like this should definitely be followed so here I am :)

    Stop by mine when you have the time!!

    Love,
    Olivia

    http://mom-works.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. In the midst of happiness, sadness. Such is the way of life. Life is always more frail than we allow ourselves to think. She sounds like a lovely bird, and a real character too. I love your description of the way hens think: what is it? and is it delicious? Sort of like dogs (and probably all animals) in the way they live in the moment. No need to discuss pensions with a dog. He doesn't know there is a tomorrow, but boy, that stick in your hand NOW is incredible!!

    Loved your description of the safety pin origami. It worked great, just as good as if it had been "done properly". Believe me, I can "do it properly" but sometimes it's just such a faff, you might as well go for the shortcut!

    Much love to you and sorry for the loss of your feathered friend,
    Rosemary from www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really appreciate your kindness, Rosemary - thanks!

      Delete
  13. I have always loved chickens. Yours are so lovely. I am sorry for your loss, and will be extra-hugging the four-leggeds that share my home, and all the ones I greet every day on our daily walks. Lately, so many good friends have lost animal companions, that I'm forever mindful of their short stay with us. Mine are some of my very closest friends, so I appreciate the hell outta them. Even when they are eating ca-ca, bossing me around, or repeatedly jumping on sorted mail.

    Ah, now on to your outfit. Only what it looks like on the outside counts in my book. You are a very talented safety pinner. I could wax on forever about the bird fabric and your shoes and your cute significant other, but duty calls :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true, Lynne - that we love them even so. You are awesome for spreading some extra animal-appreciation. Thanks!

      P.S. Beary sure is a cutie-pie. :)

      Delete
  14. That was such a touching story about Little G, and I am so sorry about the loss of your lovely little hen with the caramel feathers. I've never really thought about chickens as the type of creature you get attached to, but as per your story, they do have their own personalities, and I loved your description of their approach to life!
    If I had a pet, I would give them a squeeze!

    Amber, you look so gosh-darned pretty in that dress and jacket - as a fellow non-sewer, I have to give you kudos for the excellent work with the basting and the safety pins! The tights, button flower, shoes and purse are each a statement piece but work so well together. I would imagine you were the coolest dressed guest at the wedding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Shelley! We too were surprised by their range of vibrant personalities.

      Delete
  15. No matter how much time we have with our beloved pets, it is never enough. She looked like a beautiful chicken. Her feathers were such a rich, vibrant color. I had a pet rooster when I was a little girl. Sadly, when we moved from where we had her, some neighbors said they would take care of him, but they decided to take care of him by fixing him for Sunday dinner. The jerks!

    Your outfit is so lovely. Your creativity is inspirational to me. I so admire your talent and love seeing what you put together to share with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, Debbi - so sorry that your neighbours didn't honour their commitment to you and your dear rooster. Thanks for your comment and sharing the story.

      Delete
  16. So sorry about your chicken!

    But I must confess I can't stop laughing about the "attacked by birds" photo pose. I really must try that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendy!

      Beary is a giant ham at just the right moments.

      Delete
  17. Wonderful shoes and dress and I like what you did with the jacket - it looks cute cropped. Sorry about your hen :(

    ReplyDelete
  18. I also love the "attacked by birds" pose - I'm using that for Hallowe'en!

    Love your outfit - thank you for participating in my b-day party!

    So sorry to hear of your lovely Mrs. G. Vizzini will get extra snuggles today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beary will be so pleased to be an inspiration! Thank you for passing along extra love to The Vizzini.

      Delete
  19. now those are some funky fun shoes - I just love the jacket - it goes perfect with the dress.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet hen. She was a beauty. Your dress is fabulous, gorgeous print; the blue Fluevogs just put the whole look right over the top!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm sorry to hear about G-Bear. It's always sad to lose a buddy, no matter what the species. My mom had a pet hen--what personality! They're just as precious as any cat or dog.

    On a sartorial note, I love the outfit, especially those Fluevogs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting, Jean - it's true, they are all so very dear.

      Delete
  22. Oh, I am so sorry about Mrs. G. She was a lovely hen! Full of personality, too! My mother has hens and roosters, and I know how attached you can become to them! They are like little members of the family. I do love the look of your jacket, and I especially love all your adjectives to describe it! And the print on that dress! Be still my heart!

    xoxo
    Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lynn! You describe the relationship perfectly - they're our peepers.

      And dress-compliments mean a lot coming from you!

      Delete
  23. So sorry to hear about your hen. It is always so sad to lose a loved one.

    Somewhat an homage, then, to wear such a fabulous bird dress. That dress is amazing. I love what you did with the jacket. Between this dress and the matching one that goes with your dyed lime green Frye boots, you're inspiring me to work my full-skirted dresses back into rotation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you ever so much! I was definitely thinking about my dear bird while wearing the bird dress.

      Enjoy your floofy dresses!

      Delete
  24. LOVE this outfit! The print of this dress is so FUN! ANd I LOVE the little burgundy jacket - too cute!

    Sorry to hear about your hen. :-(
    XOXO
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:
    http://psbananas.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. My deepest condolences on the loss of your little sweet girl. She sounds like a wonderful companion and a well-loved chickie. May she rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you for your kindness, Louise. She was so loved.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just finished squeezing my dear old dog - I do that many times every day, but I let him know that this was an extra!

    You look so adorable in the bird dress - the print is gorgeous! And you must be some kind of safety pin witch, the back of your jacket is pure magic! The length is just right, and it shows your waist off in the best way!

    The wedding pictures are beautiful, and the car is amazing! I wish someone would take me for a ride in it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much - my love to dear old dog. Yes, that is a wood-framed 1940-something Rolls Royce, which I didn't get to ride in either!

      Delete
  28. Thank you for mentioning my HenCam. Love the look of your blog, and am totally in love with the shoes in the next post. My holy grail of vintage clothing is a Lily Pulitzer wrap skirt with a hen print. I saw one once on Etsy, not my size. If you ever see it, let me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! Hi Terry! Thank you so much for visiting and commenting! Beary and I are big, big fans of yours and being new to chicken-keeping we deeply appreciate the incredible resource of your site.

      I'll gladly keep your holy grail on my radar - how awesome would it be to help YOU with something! - will email re: specifics of the print. Thanks again.

      Delete
  29. What an interesting lay-out for a blog. Very rich with lots of texture, just the best I have ever seen. Those shoes....Awwwwwesome!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Delete
  30. Im so sorry to hear of Mrs. Guidolines passing. Its always sad to say goodbye to a pet, chickens no exceptions. My parents used to keep chickens when I was a child/teenager , such delightful and funny creatures, chickens I mean. ;) I had to giggle a little while reading about "hen party" not far from the human version. Hehehe and Im drooling over the dress, I have been eyeing it on Modcloth for a while....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Monica. Chickens remind me of how delightful and funny we all are - parents, friends, ourselves past / present / future. We have so many sayings about chickens - hen party! - which are wonderful to see in action at their origins.

      Delete
  31. I'm so sorry to read about Mrs G, Amber: losing a pet is the most awful thing - I've just given my Rubin an extra big hug in her honour.

    On a happier note, this dress is the most gorgeous thing - I love the shape, but the print makes it extra special: you look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Amber, thank you for your caring thoughts and the Rubin cuddle!
      Much appreciated outfit compliments too. :)

      Delete
  32. Poor little hen, I can only hope she is in hen heaven having a lot of fun cackling away with other fellow hens!

    I lovemvery single item of this outfit, I am not sure which one I can say I like the most! Brava!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dear everyone - Beary asks me to say that he is so moved by your kindness.
    He also looks forward to seeing your inspired "attacked by birds" poses!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love my chickens so much. I totally understand the affection. I know what you mean about the feathers in the sun. I have tried to capture it so many times but I can't seem to get it on camera. Thank you for sharing. Your outfit is perfect. xo

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments!
- Amber