Style Imitating Art:  The Singing Butler

Style Imitating Art: The Singing Butler

The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano

Style Imitating Art is a challenge issued every other week by bloggers Jess, Salazar, and Jen; the idea is to draw inspiration from the chosen artwork for one’s outfit. I’ve actually participated once (maybe twice?), but have desired to do so many times. Something inevitably distracts me, however, and the opportunity passes by without my rising to the challenge.

This most recent SIA choice, however, was apparently MEANT TO BE. Not only did I find Jack Vettriano’s work quite lovely and pleasing….but I found it hanging on the wall in one of my favorite local shops – for sale at a VERY nice price!
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(Please pardon the poor quality photo…it was taken with my not-very-smart phone!)

After a delightful chat with the shop owner and a trip to the coffee shop with my friend J to mull it over, I made the purchase and brought The Singing Butler home with me. Yay! I don’t purchase art often, but when I do, it’s because the piece touches my spirit in a special way. This piece speaks of love, romance, and elegance with the dancing couple; and of dedication with their servants, protecting them from the elements as they hold each other close.

Anyway, back to SIA….
Happily, a red dress resides in my closet, so that is what I wore for this challenge. My plan was to wear black heels with it, but my bad foot is acting up, so I went with flats instead. I’d have gone barefoot for the photos, but (happily for the sake of matching the scene at least a little bit) it had just rained and the yard was full of grass trimmings from being mowed the night before and we had church to attend after the photos.
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Outfit details: Merona dress – Target; Clarks Privo flats – eBay;

necklace & earrings – not sure, had them forever!

Umbrella – free premium from Lipton Tea, ages ago.

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After I brought home my new art print, I did some research on it. The Singing Butler is an oil-on-canvas painted by Scottish artist Jack Vettriano in 1992. Reproductions of this painting are the best selling art print in the UK. It has been compared to Grant Wood’s American Gothic. (Info found on Wikipedia.) I’ve decided it will hang in our bedroom, but only after I’ve replaced the blue matting, which isn’t the best color to accent either the print or my walls. In the meantime, it’s propped next to the living room book case, where I can see it often throughout the day. It makes me smile each time it catches my eye! Thank you, Jess, for choosing this piece for SIA, and thank you, Karen, for offering a copy for sale in your shop!
You can see others’ inspirations when Jess posts them on her blog Animated Cardigan after Monday, July 27.
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Summer Supper

Summer Supper

For several days after we returned home from our vacation to Michigan, the weather in the Flint Hills was remarkably cool and comfortable. There was no need to fire up the air conditioning; we slept with the windows open and I took the opportunity to do some baking. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, and muffins went into the freezer. They are all gone now, but I don’t think we’ll get cool weather like that again until September.

I also made myself a quiche. Yep, it’s ALL mine! Some Postman doesn’t care for it, especially if it contains mushrooms, so I can make it however the mood strikes me. At the time, the vegetables available were broccoli and mushrooms, and I had a few slices of Swiss cheese. Somehow, my tummy is fine with Swiss, sharp cheddar, Parmesan, and feta cheeses. I am very thankful for this! But it’s not happy with half-and-half or cream. I’ve tried using almond milk in quiche, but it just doesn’t work too well (too thin). After some experimentation, I discovered that using canned evaporated milk in cooking and baking usually doesn’t cause me any problems. The flavor is pretty close to half-and-half, and it’s easy to keep on hand.

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Oh, yeah…I made biscuits, too! During our long drive to Michigan, I kept seeing billboards for Cracker Barrel with a giant, fluffy, steaming biscuit. One hotel had biscuits as part of their breakfast offering, but they weren’t all that satisfying. Fresh biscuits from scratch just can’t be beat! I experimented with using coconut oil instead of butter with this batch. Can’t say I was thrilled with the results. The biscuits didn’t get very fluffy. But they did taste good – better than the hotel biscuits!

Lest you think I neglected Some Postman, forcing him to eat cold cereal while I savored my quiche and biscuits….I fixed him a tasty supper as well! His supper was a summer time stand-by at our house; squash and sausage. (Now that I’m vegetarian, I make a sausage-less portion if this is supper for both of us.) Our garden is finally producing zucchini, but the yellow summer squash plants didn’t make it. Not a problem – the farmer’s market has a good supply. Fresh basil and onions also go in the skillet, and sometimes I’ll add a chopped tomato. Our garden has yet to give us a red tomato without a black bottom, though.

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Oh boy…writing about all this yummy food is making me hungry! It’s past noon, but I’m not going to raid the fridge because as soon as Some Postman gets home from delivering the mail, he’s taking us out for a late lunch at our favorite Mongolian barbecue, HuHot. Our mail lady came by here early today, so I’m hoping that means my hubby will finish his route on the other side of the river early, too.

Mmm….it’s gonna be so GOOD! 🙂

A Post Script

A couple of days after I wrote the previous blog entry, I remembered the Captain Kirk coffee mug that my friend D gave me. We’d gone shopping together and while roaming through Hobby Lobby, I spotted the mug and found it hilarious. It was too highly priced for my cheapskate blood, so I didn’t purchase it; besides, I’ve got a plethora of coffee mugs already, and Some Postman is forever telling me to thin the herd.

D is a generous soul, however, and gifted the mug to me a couple of weeks later. It is indeed hilarious and makes me smile every time I see the gaudy thing. And of course, I think of my dear friend, too. It’s a bit awkward to hold (and rather disconcerting to imagine sipping from James T. Kirk’s head!) so I use it as a candy dish instead.

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Live long and prosper, D. Set phasers to stun. Warp speed ahead!

The Final Frontier

The Final Frontier

I took a vacation. For real! Some Postman surprised me with the news a couple of months ago that he’d made arrangements for us to travel to Michigan to meet (for the first time in person!) my pen-pal and “sisterchick”, MA. We made that trip the week before Independence Day. It was SO wonderful to see her face to face, and to meet her family as well. We made the most of the time we had together!

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Of course, taking a vacation meant that it took me an entire week after returning home to get caught up on everything and back into the swing of things. But I’m back at it now, so hopefully I will keep up with regular posts.

This summer, graphic tees have captured my attention. There are some really terrific ones out there, and many of them are 100% cotton. Can’t have enough of that in my wardrobe! I found a bunch of super cool tees on Modcloth that are adorable, but alas, they are too highly priced for my frugal self. Thrift stores and yard sales haven’t yielded any great finds yet, but I did nab this awesome shirt on eBay recently:

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Did you know that I’m a Trekkie? Oh yeah…maybe not a costume-wearing, convention-going fan, but I do enjoy watching old Star Trek reruns on MeTV on Saturday nights, much to my husband’s chagrin. I remember watching the show with my Daddy when I was young, too. Some Postman and I used to watch Star Trek Next Generation and Voyager before we moved out here to the Flint Hills and lost access to that particular TV station. (He likes the newer shows, just not so much the original. Too much bad acting, I guess! LOL)

This shirt will probably get more wear over the fall and winter, because it’s black. I’ve learned it is a bad idea to wear a black shirt in the heat of summer. Bad, bad, bad. But once it’s cooled off again, I’ll be ready to show off my awesome Star Trek shirt!