Monday, 3 December 2012

Circles and Circles

I want to thank you all so much for your kindness and good thoughts about my favourite hen, Maryjane Frystack, to whom we said goodbye on Saturday. She was the most awesome chicken ever, and we were so lucky to have had her. MJ also generously participated in my tulle-and-teacup photos (welcome Lynne and Veshoevius to the series!) - though I just brought her along to Ally's Halloween party and didn't put together a whole post, it's been on my mind to do in conjunction with the Sunshine and Liebster Awards I have been totally neglecting. Stay tuned. 

scarf: Becky's (South Padre Island, TX), last worn here
grey bolero sweater: Costa Blanca (~ 8-9 years ago)
knit tank top: Gabriella Vencini, Winners (also ~ 8-9 years ago)

vintage felt circle skirt: Fran Koret Montreal, consignment
shoes: Arche Gayal, last worn here

This skirt was a lucky find last month, and met my criteria for "new" purchases: that sweet spot taking into consideration cut / fit, quality, condition, colour, and cost vs. my crammed closet. Being such a special piece in perfect condition and its exact and comfortable fit balanced out the cost, and even trumped my really, really not needing anything else in black.

Well, those things together with all the running, jumping, and twirling 
that went on in the store. 

I woke up this day - last Thursday - knowing my heart would be needing a bit of a lift, and that this was just the thing to wear. 

I totally forgive it for not having pockets 
and for the embellishment not continuing all the way around. 

Especially because it's Canadian-made, and at one time belonged to a lady by the name of Freda (which research later revealed to be short for her given name, Aphrodite) - how could I not fall in love with everything about it? 

You know what's coming, don't you? 

While I was taking these photos, I could see Maryjane Frystack through the window. Though the wind was cold and she had lost so many feathers, she found a sheltered spot in which to enjoy the hell out of her last dust-bath - a chicken-equivalent of twirling (in the dust-bathing video at the bottom of this post, MJ is second from the right between the two white hens).

Good-natured and finding joy in life right to the end, all suffering, failed treatment, and our heavy hearts aside - she was loved, and the only thing luckier would have been more time.

See you at Patti's for Visible Monday.


  1. Even though I have been reading your journal for only a short time, it didn't take long to know how much MaryJane Frystack was loved. You have my sympathies, Amber.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about MaryJane Frystack!!
    The new skirt is STUNNING!!

  3. Ah so sad to read of MJ's passing. She had "every gift save length of years." I did enjoy watching the video again, and send you healing thoughts.

    Your skirt is magnificent! Thanks for sharing it with Visible

  4. Amber, I'd start bawling, but my co-workers already wonder about me...So sorry to hear about your sweet baby's loss. Although the time we have with our fuzzy/furry/feathered companions is so sweet, it's never, never enough.

    The twirling makes me smile, tho'. I love a good article of clothing with a history - and a biography you can track down. I often wonder about the people who enjoyed my secondhand clothing before me.

  5. Ahhh, a twirling tribute for MJ, whilst in an amazing skirt made right for such a memorable occasion. Peace.

  6. I'm sure that MJ would have twirled, if she was able. She was obviously very much loved and cared for til the end, and that's all most of us can hope for, is it not?
    That is a beautiful skirt and I love the label and name of the former owner. Those are the little things that make an item of clothing more than just something to wear.

  7. Oh, Amber, I'm so sorry to hear about Maryjane. Losing a pet is so hard; my thoughts are with you.

  8. I have never had chickens as pets except for one year when I lived in Africa. One chicken adopted me and used to follow me to the local bus stop. The host family would not kill this chicken to eat until I had returned to America. I never knew chickens could like people so much. So I am sorry about the loss of MJ.
    Your blog and posts are very interesting thanks for sharing. I would twirl in that skirt too so much fun.

  9. All lives end, but Miss Maryjane Frystack (and your lovely ladies) have been loved and cared for. They're all so beautiful. You've taught me so much about chickens that I had never known. Our animal friends are like stars, some last for a very long time, others wink out, but they all make an impression on our lives. As Lynne said, it's never enough time.

    I love your skirt and how it pairs with the blouse. You've struck gold with a piece that's got history behind it. And it looks so amazing with your Arche shoes. I've loved my Arche boots every single time I've worn them.

  10. Oh Amber, I am so sorry about Maryjane. You know you did all you could for her, and she was as cared for and loved as any hen could possibly be. It's a sweet thought, that she enjoyed her dust bath while you twirled in your gorgeous skirt.
    I am glad you could find it in your heart to forgive Freda/Aphrodite's skirt for not having pockets or pattern all around. We are none of us perfect, it's good not to be too judgmental! And she is so pretty and so right in every other way. The skirt has that homespun, heartfelt quality to it that you talked about before in relation to plain Amish clothing (embellishment apart) - do you see that too?
    And I am rather in love with those shoes. You are looking very ballerina-esque in your poses in this post, I don't know if it's the influence of Freda's skirt or the ankle-strappy shoes! Go twirly dancer! xxxxxxx

  11. Amazing! You look incredible. Love those boots and scarf.

  12. My daughter and I watched the video of Miss Frystack et al and were entranced by her and her friends - I love that wee chirruping sound they make when they're content and chatty. I'm sorry your sweet friend lost her battle, she would have loved the twirling in Aphrodite's beautiful skirt:).

  13. Oh I'm sorry to hear that. My condolences and RIP little MJ. What a wonderful skirt - the shape of it and your twirling reminds me of those whirling dervishes dancing to Sufi music.

  14. Here is a little youtube link to some twirling music to soothe your heart - one of my favourite sufi fusions (with flamenco) - perfect for twirling x

  15. Replies
    1. Oh, Veshoevius - what a gift. Heart-opening and soothing indeed. Thank you. xoxo

  16. O,Maryjane.Must have been the most loved chicken ever!

    that skirt is sheer MAGNIFICENCE!!! Just gorgeous. I do love locally made vintage, and what fun to twirl in it! No way could you go home without it, well done!
    I just bought a very twirly frock yesterday, must be the season...your bolero cardi goes beautifully,as does the shot of multicolour in the scarf!

  17. Aw, I'm so sorry hear about Ms. Frystack. I know you gave her the best life a chicken ever had.

    Love the new twirly skirt! All those vintage labels make me happy.

  18. I love your unique style. Although this is my first comment, I especially wanted to comment about Mary Jane Frystack. I understand your sadness at losing a chicken, my sister's favorite chicken was killed by her daughter's dog last week. Rose was a Plymouth Barred Rock, black and white and laid blue eggs. It was a sad day indeed and chickens do have personalities. Your outfit was sublime!!

  19. Wonderful skirt,and wonderful you, Amber.
    Love the pop of colour.

  20. I'm so sorry you lost your little friend. That's the part of getting older that I'm having the hardest time with ... losing my animals to their short, natural span of life. I didn't think I could grieve so long for them.
    Anyway ... this has to be my favorite of your outfits that I've seen so far. And those beautiful shoes. Twirl away! You need to wear this to a party!

  21. Oh my dear. I'm so sorry to hear that Maryjane Frystack is now laying eggs in Chicken Heaven. They are so totally endearing.

    As far as your "needing" the gray skirt, I always say to myself in these situations, "what's NEED got to do with it?" As long as you follow your heart and your instinct, you'll not go far wrong.

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from

  22. RIP, Maryjane Frystack, Chicken Extraordinaire!

  23. Sorry to hear about your hen :(

    Your skirt is beautiful and the twirling photos are fab!!!

    PS: I am now at

  24. LUV your hair, your shoes, your skirt, your collage of whirling dervish photos! So sorry to hear about your chick.
    Jean & Valerie, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas

  25. I am so sorry for your loss and happy to see you twirling in your beautiful new skirt. Your entire outfit is 'heart lifting worthy.' The perfect dedication to the well loved Maryjane.

  26. I'm so sorry about Maryjane. It's always so hard to lose an animal you love.

  27. Oh Amber! My heartfelt hugs your way!! I am sorry about MJ. I know you were good to her! And for her! And I know you miss her!! I love, love, love that skirt you have on! Very special, and of course you needed it to comfort you! xoxo Lynn

  28. RIP little Maryjane. Your outfit is a lovely tribute to her.

  29. PS -- I love the dancing and twirling!!

  30. Oh, all of you incredibly dear people - thank you so very much for your compassion. It's been a sad week seeing even more clearly in her absence how MJ was the heart and Miss Congeniality of our flock. Starting with Mrs. G's loss in early October, 6 hens were so many fewer than 7, and now 5 seems such a geatly-reduced number than 6. Though we are missing her terribly, your kind words are of great comfort. xoxoxo


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber