Monday, October 30, 2006

Wheee. Its Halloween.

......................Once you're a parent, Halloween is for kids. No more dressing up in ghoulish yet sexy adult costumes to binge drink with fellow singles on a mission to get some. I will say it was always one of my favorite nights to go out......the costume coupled with the fact that the Saturday night Halloween bash always fell on daylight savings time, when we set clocks back an hour. Most bars around here would do that at midnight, so magically you had another HOUR to whoop it up! More alcohol consumed, more bad choices to be made, worse hangover the next day. Ah, fun times.

So what did I do this last weekend for the holiday's festivities? Took the lovely child to her pre-school party, dressed as she insisted....Cinderella. There was a brief fascination with the idea of being a butterfly, but one day a few weeks ahead of time she announce she would be Cinderella, and that was that. I have solemnly vowed to her I will NEVER force her to wear a costume she doesn't want to wear. Thats cruel....Halloween is for kids! Why make your child wear something they hate wearing?? Thats what school picture day is for.

Her school is wonderful, I'll say that. I was impressed with how they set the whole thing up (aside from the haunted house room, which scared my sweet child. come on, these are wee children). But well intended, and its Halloween. The best part to both of us was the room with the dance party, complete with DJ & sound system (and balloons. LOTS of balloons.). Spinning mostly kids tunes, of the mind numbing variety but hey, the kids loved it. And then.......whats that? Huh? Screaming Jay HAWKINS? Yes, yes, "I Put A Spell On You" has a slightly Halloween vibe (as does Jay in general), but at a pre-school party?

It went over fine, kids loved it......for me, the surrealness of it was only outdone by the dance remix funky fresh version of ELMO'S WORLD. I believe Elmo's voice was somehow tweaked to be even MORE shrill & annoying than usual, too. I guess you gotta give props to the DJ for trying to dial down the sugary schlock most kid's music is made of.

Anyway, I'm going to get crazy tonight & take the little one ACTUAL old school trick-or-treating. We're very near a wealthy neighborhood that should be safe.........wish us luck! Ang

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Dress A Day Nod

.....................Was pleased to see my Claire McCardell dress mentioned on the fabulous blog, DRESS A DAY
(one of the only blogs I bother with daily, its very well written and entertaining despite my lack of sewing skills!). Yes, the dress is expensive.....but I challenge any one of you to find more then 5 McCardell's available at the same time on the planet, in a wearable size & this fabulous!

I've other things to babble about but I also have a ripping nasty cold, can't breathe & need to be lying down. That is, after I get dressed....get the child dressed....and go to the grocery for caffeinated soda (for me) and chocolate milk (for her). Ang

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Meet Margaret

.....................Of glamour lounging fame. Many previous posts have gone on & on about her apartment (of the deeeeluxe in the sky variety, floor 10 & about a $300,000 street value)....and more importantly her wardrobe! Her estate was where I found the 2 Helen Bond Carruthers, the fabulous silver & maribou Odette Barsa, the Pucci tunic and SO much more. This lady knew how to dress! I got to see some pictures of her in the early 50s on a trip to New York City....she dressed well no matter the era.

Most of what I got is late 60s to early 70s, and little of it was to be worn outside the penthouse. Looking at liquor content of the pantry, I believe she entertained quite a lot! And looked smashing doing it. Its a totally different type of vintage for me, but I have come to really love all the bold, colorful prints, the sheer silk chiffons, the flowing caftans & exotically inspired loungwear. The estate executors were so amazed at my interest in her and this portrait (that I really only wanted to take a picture of, its HUGE!) that they gifted it to me. It would have otherwise been thrown away! Its lovely, and I have no clue what I will do with it but its mine now!

I've only a minute tonight so will post a pic of the glamorous Margaret & be off. Feel free to click to get to the listing for the glamtastic silver Odette peignoir set! Ang

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ready For Close Up, Part II

.................That giant sigh of relief you may have heard around noon today was me, finally getting to see the picture that went with my interview published today in a local business weekly. The interview was fine, I was one of 2 women interviewed as work at home Moms ("Mompreneurs" we are, yes indeedy. Clever). Anyway, I don't come off like an idiot & my website is in it, so thats all I cared about as content went. It was the PICTURE that was freaking me control over a picture several, maybe HUNDREDS of people will see? NO CONTROL? Thats not my style. I hated it, hated waiting......dreaded seeing it & finding it was unflattering. But its GOOD! Pic needs resized, will return someday.....

Thats all I got for today........busy, listing everywhere, tweaking the website in case anyone looks. The good news of the day.......I'm not so bad in print. Thats all I wanted! Ang

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Oh, Those Crazy Goth Emo Amish Kids...

.............Look, I won't claim to understand emo the way I (mostly) do rockabilly. Goth I pretty well get. Emo? I'm not sure what it IS, however....I am positive it isn't this.

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Its ACTUAL title is "TeacherChurch Amish vintage Black Tuxedo Dress GOTH Emo". Amish. AMISH.

I looked a little more into the Amish spin on this dress, and found that the vintage sellers these days are working a small trend (hot off the runway, no doubt) called "modest". Its apparently the polar opposite of the nasty skank-wear sported by the likes of Paris, Lohan & their ilk. Likely fully supported by PARENTS......but really, are the parents shopping eBay for Amish style clothing for their teenage daughters? I'm all for cleaning things up a bit, a little less skin showing on the kids & all. But AMISH fashion for the mainstream teen? Oh, Paris....what have you done? Ang

Thursday, October 19, 2006


..........................I got annoyed today, searching Ebay for vintage things. I sell, yep. But I also BUY. As both a seller and a buyer, I have pretty well had it with sellers who don't research a damn thing & take a gamble on popular keywords to get people to see their wares. I got so irritated at the whole Ebay realm, at how the search is set up to how so many people have no idea HOW the search works, that I wrote a GUIDE to perhaps help people shopping for vintage on Ebay. Its a start. Someone might read it.

And by reading it, in theory one would avoid things like this. The much over-used keyword ROCKABILLY. I won't even bother going into what rockabilly IS, you can take a quick peek at the VIVA LAS VEGAS site to get an idea if you don't know. Now don't get me wrong.....I'm cool with rockabilly. I used to be fairly into the scene myself, even attended VLV one year. I realize, to a degree, the term is open to interpretation. I respect those who push the boundaries of 'billy. Hell, I was the one at VLV sporting a Frank Sinatra tattoo and wearing a black 40's peignoir set as a dress (realizing, of course, the Nazi-billies would frown upon that, but without care). Its cool to stray a bit.....I'm not the one to sit with a Nazibilly & philosophize as to who was cooler, Eddie Cochran or Gene Vincent? I have no idea, like 'em both, but just as likely to put on some Duke Ellington or perhaps a little Kiss. Part of the reason I strayed from the scene was that hardliner attitude. That said, I may not have bought into the look whole hog but I know what it IS.

So, on a lark, I decided to type into the Ebay search "rockabilly dress". I'd love to show you the ROCKABILLY PRAIRIE style denim maxi 70s dress, but the images were protected by the evil minions of Bettie Page of the Prairie. However, I can show you some other swell highlights........

MOD ROCKABILLY, falling in between old school & the 80s revival, I suppose....

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BOHO ROCKABILLY, for the more earthy types....this one also titled INDIAN PRINCESS...

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Wearing that, you'll need your BOHO ROCKABILLY BOOTS, naturally....

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And lastly,, yeah, titled ROCKABILLY. Aint it though?

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Thats a fine example of some rockabilly gear available on Ebay right now. Mind you, there are GREAT things out there! Its harder & harder to find on Ebay, but for some truly GENUINE rockabilly from a seller who knows her man 'billy, check out FAST EDDIE'S RETRO RAGS, some cool men's RAB stuff & great vintage for the ladies, too. And I promise you, despite my own personal bent toward dressing slightly outside the defines of all that is the 'billy, if I list & call it rockabilly (which I rarely do), it IS. Ang

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm Ready For My Close-Up

.....................I was interviewed via phone last week for a local business publication, a story about entreprenuerial Mom's (now I need a shirt that says that). Anyway, they wanted a picture of me with some vintage, so a guy named Duane came by yesterday morning and snapped a few. As a woman I am prone to vanity, particularly when having a picture taken that thousands of people will once I was ready, I did some practice pictures to see how my ensemble & make-up translated to film. I'll not bore you with the good ones (and the really bad ones are deleted!) but this one amuses me to no end, particularly with the freaky mannequin peeking over the mirror.

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I made the poor college student who was tagging along shadowing Duane for job training take a picture of the "process" here's Duane, and a rotten side shot of me but what the hell.......

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Article will be online, I'll link when it comes out if I approve! Ang

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Heart Leopard

...........................I do. I know its everywhere, I know its cliche & trendy & overdone. I know I know I know but God help me I freaking love these shoes. Thats all, thats the blog today. Leopard love. Yes, I also love the springolators and will for life. But in LEOPARD? Sweet fancy Meatloaf. They end soon, started high but no bids yet....go get 'em. If I could, I wouldn't share! Ang

Sunday, October 15, 2006


.....................We did the Target run yesterday. I love Target, its really the only retail world I enjoy shopping in these days. I despise the mall, detest grocery store chains and would rather chew my arm off than go to Wal-Mart. Target is nice. Clean, open, easy to find things. One cannot live on vintage alone, and the little one needed a winter coat......I needed yet another rolling rack for clothing. My Mom has a part-time job with Target & likes them as an employer, another plus in my eyes. Most big box retailers suck to work for (6 years with Home Depot has left me bitter), so its refreshing to hear of one someone LIKES. If you like Target, you should check out this nifty blog, SLAVE TO TARGET, a seriously cool read and just quirky enough to fascinate.

Target has a deal where they feature some funky young designer on a rotating basis. Whoever it was this month, Paul & Joe? Joe & Frank? JoeBob & Ernest? No idea. Anyway, cute CUTE little cotton camisole with very folk-artsy looking floral...screened to look as if handpainted. Adorable! Alas, only an XS, and I do like to cover BOTH my breasts when I leave the house. Its warmer. Anyway.....said cami got me thinking about painted clothing. And shoes. Because shoes MATTER.

I've owned these for many years, they were my Grandmother's (yes, Dorothea)....diminiutive size 4, hand painted 50s springolators.

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Ebay is always on in my home, because its my JOB after hey, why not see whats handpainted in the vintage world? Found this fantastic dress, the UK seller says "THIS DRESS WOULD MAKE ONE HELL OF A XMAS PRESENT" (seller being male).....and OH would it!!! If I could shrink both my figure AND feet to fit the dress and Grandma's shoes, imagine my GLEE!

People are taking their handpainteds pretty seriously, check out these SHOES, a little bigger than Gram's but not QUITE my size....

Lastly, a nod to the underappreciated handpainted TIE. I used to thrill at finding cool mens' ties from the 30s through 50s......great deco prints, wild themes, screened & painted silks. But something quite horrible happened to the market......collectors got their fill, men stopped shopping online....certainly, the waning of the neo-swing movement chilled the once hot "belly-warmer" crazy. At any rate, I still buy them, and have several hanging around I'm leery to list as they perform so poorly. But THIS tie.....come now. PUPPIES? Even T (Swingers, the film, kids) would have to roll with THESE puppies, sans ice cream. THIS you could get at a steal, and thats a pity but a happy thing for the big winner!

Shop all the handpainted ties! Some seriously cool ties and great prices....there's a nude getting some serious attention (shocking, no?) but the rest are up for grabs! Ang

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Working While I'm At Work

.................At my secret part-time job. Not LEGALLY secret, the IRS knows (settle down, minions o' George). But my little part time job no one really knows about, thats best kept that way. Nice thing is, I can be online & do my vintage thing, the blog thing, the MySpace, surf, shop. I came in today as a favor of sorts so I had no sitter, so not only am I working at the SHOP, I'm working online AND minding a bored 3 year old. Who just now reminded me she "almost puked three times". Yep. The joys of motherhood.

I was interviewed yesterday by a local business publication (aspiration....ROCK STAR! reality....BUSINESS STAR! sad, that).....but they asked me why I thought women were better suited to starting their own businesses. I'm not necessarily sure that IS true, but if it is.....its because we multitask better, and aren't afraid to ask someone to pass the Zanax. Ang (who will of course wear vintage for the photo shoot for said business mag, and will not be partaking of the Zanax that morning)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Blog?

..............The theory is, so people will read it. Some blog to share life stories, to write & create, to touch people. Some to amuse. Some to create controversy. But ultimately, we're all blogging to get people to look at us, for whatever purpose that serves. I'm not as blog savvy as I'd like to be....I imagine there are keywords I could be using to be found by the search engines, I have yet to play the affiliate game with Ebay to make myself some money while doing this (oh, but I will. I like money). I don't troll blogs to add random comments to get myself seen. I don't play the game well, and I am so weak at it I can't even keep up with posting daily.

But I'm honest. I created the blog to attempt to get my website name out there. I sell vintage clothing for a living, not as a lark or a hobby (which is all well & good, just not how I approach it). I support my family with that income, and so experimenting with marketing techniques is integral to running the business. Do I like writing about vintage? Sure, sure. The experiences that go with this odd little career are often fascinating, and its nice to have a place to write about them. I'd certainly love to know SOMEONE was reading them, and I aspire to one day find comments here (nice ones, thanks ever so) and respond in kind. Banter. Feedback. Speak up!

Until then, I'll show up here on occassion & share some stories about vintage hunting, finds, etc etc. Meanwhile, I am also blogging for eVintage Society (click below)....& if you MySpace, subscribe to the blog! I do the non-sewing part (I'm a non-sewer, sadly) & Jen at MOMS PATTERNS does the DIY part. Its a hoot, check it out~

To see what eVintage does, look at the eVintage Society site! A plethora of wonderful sellers with things almost as fabulous as mine........Ang

Monday, October 09, 2006


.......Margaret style. As mentioned last week, I had a call to go finish up getting clothing from Margaret's penthouse apartment. I had been to the actual sale a couple weeks ago, a sale that had been set up hastily by the family and the estate sale company. A sale that was not advertised, as the management of the building would not allow it (wouldn't want lines of scavengers sullying the appearance of the foyer!). A sale set up & run in a speak easy manner, if you weren't in the know, you'd never find it! I consider myself EXTREMELY lucky to have gotten a call & then to have been let in at all!

Funny thing is, I almost didn't go. It was less than 24 hours after having had to make the wrenchingly painful decision to have my cat euthanized. Hobbes was 15 & we'd been dealing with something in his throat (starting off as suspected mass in the chest, etc etc).....weeks of tests, waiting, more tests, Xrays, ultrasounds. We finally came to the conclusion he had paralysis of the flaps above the larynx, and he was scheduled for a surgery at a very good animal hospital. When they went in to do the surgery they found a mass ON the larynx, small, but large enough to be limiting his ability to take in air. They did a biopsy & we were waiting again.....Hobbes stayed there in kitty ICU. He was doing well, then suddenly vomited, aspirated some matter into the lungs & larynx & stopped breathing.

He made no effort to TRY to breathe, and his heart was failing. The biopsy showed the type of cancer to be the worst, a kind not treatable with chemo. So I made the horrible decision from 50 miles away to let him go....clearly, he was trying to go, and keeping him alive on artificial means seemed cruel & wrong. It was a decision I was not prepared to make that day, but I had to respect what Hobbes seemed to be saying to me and let him go. Blessed be, Hobbes.

That very next day I got the call to GO to this estate sale (not at all feeling up to doing some savvy vintage shopping).....a friend had gone & he said there was no real vintage, but the woman had high end designer pieces that were pretty wild. I hesitated, it meant taking my 3 year old along. That gets tricky in tight spaces with glass set out on tables & a lot of people! But something told me to make the effort......and it was WELL worth it! Upon arrival I went through some huge metal automatic doors, was allowed in by a doorman once inside. Elevator to the 10th floor (this was the highlight for my daughter). Penthouse at end of hall, corner apartment. Really quite spacious! This was not so much a retirement community as it was a "private" community. The fact that there are a lot of older people living there speaks more to the building being private than anything else....there is no assisted living, no medical staff. Clearly, to live must be LOADED. I didnt catch what it would cost to BUY the apartment, but I was told fees to be in the community ran around $1200 a month.

Plush golden tan carpet throughout.....all walls papered or painted in exotic murals. Immediately in the entry way there were two large oil painted of our Margaret, one of her long deceased husband. Margaret looked stunning, a painting likely done in the 60s....she appeared in her 40s, blonde hair swept into an elegant updo, white sleeveless gown with an empire waist. She reminded me quite a lot of Grace Kelly. The apartment was clearly decorated in the late 60s as well and never really updated. Greens & yellows throughout, gilded & crystal laden lamps & chandeliers, curio cabinets showcased collections of crystal, Lladro & expensive whatnots. All around the outside corner of the apartment were sliding glass doors to a narrow, L shaped patio with huge picture windows looking out over the city.....carpeted with green indoor/outdoor carpet & furnished with elaborate white iron patio furniture.

Heading quickly into the bedroom, I could immediately assess what kind of life Margaret had lived of great, GLAMOROUS leisure! Her bedroom was as is she were Zsa-Zsa Gabor. Two huge closets were literally bursting with closet, mostly 80s & 90s comfortable designer wear for the wealthy "older" woman, i.e. St Johns, Misook & more. The bed.....completely covered with scarves, hats, handbags. The other closet! The source of the glam. Superb loungewear........brilliantly colored & patterned silk caftans, kimonos.....lace & ribbon trimmed peignoirs by Odette Barsa.....maribou, beads, sequins, pailettes. A few gowns for events she'd kept....wonderful velvets, chiffons. Traina, Beene, Givenchy. All late 60s to early 70s, all full length.....but all SO dramatic & over-the-top!

The estate company knew what they had, and priced accordingly. I wasnt able to buy much that day, but DID walk away with two Helen Bond Carruthers sweaters (see my website for the yellow one, the blue one sold nearly immediately, thanks Chellie!) well as the silver & maribou Odette Barsa in my Ebay store now, shown in last entry and some other great pieces. I spoke to the estate company & was told they would call me when it was over & talk deal to buy what was left.

The call came last week, & I went on Friday as mentioned before. I was surprised at what was left, and took it all. They had also unearthed a stash of Victorian & Edwardian whites, gorgeous lacy pettipants & petticoats, corset covers & blouses.......quite a contrast to the leopard print caftans & Pucci tunic dress! But it was clear to me that Margaret knew beauty. She herself was a gorgeous woman.....her home impeccably lovely. She had the best lingerie, from Vanity Fair slips of the 60s to lush Wacoals of the 90s. I even discovered a demure white umbrella with a rhinestone encrusted handle & tip! She did have beautiful things, and its been fascinating to work with far, I have only been able to photograph a few things but there is so much to come!

I'm waiting on some pictures of her from my friend at the estate company & I will share what she looked like when I get them. Til then, you can get to know Margaret as I've been doing.....through her wardrobe.

Margaret's HOLLYWOOD VASARRETTE black lace slip in a 34D, on Ebay..

Stunning LUCIE ANN peigoir robe in aqua nylon with 200" sweep....

Two wonderful 60s half slips, hot pink with black lace BOW applique by Vanity Fair, the other pale aqua with soft brown lace trim, both at Babylon Mall....

And the PUCCI, for Formfit Rogers....seen in last entry, available now on my website.

Friday, October 06, 2006


The aforementioned estate visit went well, to the tune of my first EMILIO PUCCI for Formfit Rogers! Technically lingerie, its a lightweight, silky nylon tunic easily worn as a mini dress. A few minor flaws made up for by it being a 42 bust! Fabulous. Listed on the website already, click to buy!

This lady's wardrobe was high fashion, stay at home & entertain GLAM circa late 60s & early 70s. Some 4 piece luxe boho set consists of Palazzo pants, sequined tunic, full length vest & wide fringed sash in a vivid paisley print.....

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Hong Kong 60s beaded gown by "Helen", matching clutch....turquoise & gold beads on shimmering gold lace....

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I'll add details about our stylish Margaret soon........rhinestone encrusted umbrellas, Lucie Ann peignoirs, Gotham chiffon gowns, Givenchy & Traina......such a wardrobe!! Ang

Vintage GREEN ACRES Style

..........Just about to head over to the sky-rise penthouse where I found THIS.....

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I came away from this lady's original estate sale with 2 Helen Bond Carruthers sweaters and THIS homage to Zsa-Zsa......

A silver pleather-esque peignoir set, feather trimmed gown AND robe with tinsel mixed into that maribou. Click the picture to own it yourself! By renowned peignoir/lingerie designer Odette Barsa, no less. Ace Frehley style glam! I also made off with some other feathery goodies, more Barsa, and a Lilly Pulitzer located now in my Babylon Mall shop (see right for link).

Point is, there was MORE, not out for the public. Beaded Honk Kong 60s gowns, etc etc....and in an hour & 1/2, I'm headed over to GET IT! One on one with the estate dealer, perhaps I can glean a little more about this lady with such expensive & over-the-top taste. Maybe even find some more trinkets for my swell new mirrored vanity! Ang

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


When I BUY vintage for my business, I prefer to buy the whole estate. There are obvious reasons for this, especially in cases where there is a LOT of clothing.....if you start to pay by the piece, it really adds up. You also may miss out on gems like this....

What's more, you build a relationship with the dealer (or family) of the deceased (or retiree). Which can often lead to being able to get your hands on something like this....

Let me tell you, seeing that picture put a whole new spin on that ensemble! A 40s dressing gown, shortened & packed away with men's Edwardian knickers? For the life of me I couldn't figure why it was so BIG, the lady who's estate it came from was quite small. Well, leave it to those wacky kids in the early 40's, always funnin' it up. I ended up, in this case, with several Halloween costumes & pictures which are all listed now on Ebay.

When I call my site/business "more than just a pretty dress", its exactly this kind of thing I have in mind. Not only does it enable me to offer the vintage collector or wearer a more complete ensemble (or bizarre photos), but it satisfies my slightly morbid curiosity as to WHO the original owner of the things I am aquiring was. How they wore it, perhaps when, how they looked in it. In the case of this costume, it came from a large estate that was mostly one woman's (Jean, to be precise), who I have written quite a lot about on my blog at MySpace, linked on your right. I also got letters, cards, her wedding ensemble......literally the fibers of her life. She had no family, and its somehow been left to me to see she is remembered. Her unwitting contribution to MY life has been that what I have been able to sell has paid my rent, bought food, payed for daycare. She lives on in pictures & words, and clothing.

I've managed a decent relationship with estate dealers so I have actually ended up with a couple more estates, much smaller & none so far with pictures.....but some good stories. It will be my goal, and pleasure, to share them here & muse about the lives of these ladies. And if I find more pictures of these gal's husbands in'll be the first to know.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Shiny New Blog

Blogs intimidate me, I'll be honest. I know its the new thing, the way to blogs, write blogs, link blogs. Its freaking blogtastic. Bloggerific. Its MIND BLOGGLING. Yep, I said it. Yet I have no idea what I'm doing........I've done my own wee bit o' blogging on MySpace but I made this one a while ago to be able to COMMENT on blogs and quite honestly, I'm getting jealous of all those bloggers getting the attention while I merely comment weakly from the sidelines.

No more. Today, I have no idea what the purpose of this blog is but to have one. Sure, sure....I'll dish up some vintage schtuff, mine...others....hell, its what I DO. I figure its going to be a happy marriage of White Trash Mom, Slip of a Girl , and She's a Betty sprinkled with biting dash of Fug. I can only aspire to the following as well as the blog-writing talent of Erin at Dressaday.....but watch me try! And you'll have to pardon my arse-kissing where other blogs are concerned. What you WILL find is that I intend to share regularly what blogs I'm reading & why....and if I'm going to get addicted, you are too! Ang

PS, In keeping with the shiny new blog theme, here's a shiny new dress I listed in my Ebay store. Stunning cinnamon crepe rayon woven with golden metal threads....real metal, not lurex!....gorgeous drape, sexy button details up both hips & a smashing back view! Perfect for Fall into Holiday soirees.....

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