366 Bow Ties: Day 144

We have this little ensemble. We call ourselves The Perfect Melancholies when we play at the Old Town Market and other things. We also happen to be the music ensemble for Hill City Church, which is the new church we're starting in Rock Hill.

Wednesday night was what my old prof used to call a 'tweener. We played lots of our market tunes (folktified versions of U2 and the Cranberries; a few Over the Rhine, Patty Griffin, and Randy Newman tunes, etc.), but since it was a church BBQ, and the reason we got the gig was because they liked our take on the old hymns one Wednesday night in the church fellowship hall, we played some of those, too.

The home was from the first half of the 19th Century, and was haunted by antebellumness of various sorts. We played on the front porch to a happily BBQ'd audience.

(Above 3 Photos by Bill Marion)

And I wore a snappy combo, perfect for the event---if I must say so myself. Brown chambray on one side; green candy-stripe cotton on the other side, cut in classic shape. Throw in the blue jeans, the suspenders, the new US ARMY eyeglasses, and the bucks, and I think that about did the trick.

Grab this bow tie and get yourself to an antebellum BBQ pronto. Or throw one yourself. Be sure to invite The Perfect Melancholies to play on the front porch.



366 Bow Ties: Day 131

The Old Town Market has become one of our favorite events in our beloved city. Our neighbor-farmers set up tables full of their delicious produce and meats. Our neighbor-artisans set up tables full of their fine craftsmanship. And we get to hop up on a stage a few times each summer as The Perfect Melancholies (which, coincidentally, is the same line-up as the Hill City Church band) and provide entertainment.

About the time our neighbor-farmers were picking fresh produce for the market from the earth, our Belles picked a red silk necktie with pretty blue flowers (sorry for the lack of specificity; I'm no gardener) from the box full of would-be bow ties and made this classic bow tie for our market performance.

We'd be delighted to come and play at your neighborhood farmer's market---or better yet, in a quaint old theater on your Main St. Just let us know. In a couple weeks we are providing entertainment for a Chester County church's community BBQ. That sounds about right.

We'd also be delighted if you took this gorgeous bow tie off our hands, and put the cash into our project to bring beauty and delight to children in Haiti. Grab it here.



366 Bow Ties: Day 101

If you were to mistake me for the President of Winthrop University in a bow tie like this, you could be forgiven. Garnet and Gold look pretty handsome with our fabulous local garden, Glencairn, in the background. In fact, the whole thing makes one think "school's great, but it's almost out."

Had this old pair of Bass black and brown saddles from the thrift store, but could never figure out how to wear them. Figured it out this spring: laceless, shoeless. Black shoes are awful in my opinion. Black clothes--unless it's a t-shirt or formalwear--are just awful. And these shoes are pretty awful. But if you casual them out beyond all recognition, all is well.
Did I mention the garden is beautiful?
Deacon looks like he could be teaching a Winthrop botany course too, come to think of it.
So anyway, get yourself this bow tie, named after Winthrop's founder, David Bancroft Johnson.  If you can prove that you're a Winthrop student or alum, or that you're buying it for one, I'll give it to you for 5 bucks off. I'm neither, and I still think it's a swell tie.
My man Aaron donned one with a new white button down oxford, khakis, and bucks yesterday for our garden graduation party. You should have been there. Mint juleps.

366 Bow Ties in 2012: Day 9

I think that if I had a couple pair of Wellies, I could easily live in some shabby place like Seattle.  I've been waiting, ever since returning from holiday vacation in Ohio, for South Carolina to hurry up and be rainy.  I'd been noticing all the ladies around here who have great rain boots, and wishing there were a manly option.  (You may debate the manliness of the entire notion of wearing such things when not gardening or hunting, but you'll not convince me.)  I found these from Le Chemeau, and they're just the ticket. Absurd. Provocative. Utilitarian. Incredibly styling. Classic.  Thanks to Ellie for a fantastic Christmas gift!

But this is about bow ties.  And what a bow tie we have here!  I'm going on the working assumption that whatever I part with, I'll eventually be able to replace with something at least as cool. That assumption is a stretch when it comes to this beauty.

This was one of the first bow ties Ellie ever converted from a necktie.  Vintage silk. Teal blue with a red & white floral foulard pattern.  Diamond point. Bursting with throwback personality. Don this to an audition for Bagger Vance II, and you're not going to be an extra; you may just replace Will Smith.

The great thing about being a "bow tie person" is that people already don't know what to make of you. That is incredibly liberating, allowing you to wear delightfully ridiculous things like Wellies. But the first step is to get yourself a bow tie. Start with this one. Available until it's no longer available, at our store.




Here is the latest thing that gets me extra-super-giddy.  My new windowboxes!  I found these planters underneath some big ugly bushes on the side of our house last week.  They were filled with roots and dirt and the roots were actually digging through the holes in the boxes into the ground.  They were so discolored they had green and brown splotches all over them.

So I pulled them out, cleaned them up, primed and painted then filled with beautiful wave petunias.  What do you think?  I think they are perfectly romantic.  

The hardest part was figuring out how to install them.  I'm super cheap, so I didn't want to spend money.  I basically tied a rope around the box and tied the rope around nails I hammered inside the window.  The windowsill is supporting the weight of the boxes, the rope just keeps it from tipping over onto my lovely children.

Weeeeeeee!  (I told you I was giddy)

May 05, 2009


Finds › In the Garden ›

Flowers in the garden

When I came back from my trip to Phoenix I found a blooming rose bush- didn't even know I had a rose bush.  She is mixed in an enormous hedge at the side of the yard.

I also planted a couple of moonflower plants today that I had growing in a pot.  The moonflower is a climber so I planted it next to a pillar by our walkway.  I hope it works (like this lady's vine) Maybe it will climb up the decorative flower first.  The flowers are said to be big, fragrant and attractive to beautiful moths.  

After Andy picked me up from the airport we stopped at the Junior League thrift store and I picked up these babies.  I know I'm like the last person in the world to finally get cool rain/gardening boots, but I couldn't ever justify spending $20 on rubber shoes.  I'm glad I waited.  These were only $8, LLBean brand, quite comfy and they don't go all the way up my leg which makes them much more cool.  I wore them all morning while we played outside in the damp yard.  

And the little white and pink flowers by the boots are begonias.  I planted them just for fun.  As long as I can keep the kids from stepping on them and the dog from peeing on them, they should be in good shape.  I think we've already ruined a few of my begonia plants for those reasons.  Everyone has heard me raise my voice enough to stay clear of my flower patch now.


As I was walking through my yard with a friend, we discovered bamboo.  That was about a month or two ago.  Since then, it has emerged from it's dormant winter state to grow grow grow.  And boy does it grow!  

This can be either a wonderful treasure or an enormous annoyance, depending on how we take care of it.  I plan to think of it as a treasure.  I have great plans for crafting and using the bamboo around the house and in the garden.  I cut one down a few weeks ago and used it as a curtain rod (camera battery now dead, pictures soon).  I cut a few more down to create a border around my heirloom tomato plants.  I may plant some pole beans and let the beans climb up the bamboo shoots as well.  

I plan to purchase THIS book from amazon today so that I can learn more about containing it with a plastic underground barrier and more crafty projects I can do with bamboo.  What fun!  What a treasure.

April 26, 2009


In the Garden ›

This place has been busy

Yes, this weekend was jam packed and emotional.  I sang, I played, I volunteered, I learned, I cleaned, I gardened, and I prayed and I mourned.  My aunt passed away on Friday night and my thoughts and prayers have been with my father's family all week.  I will join them this weekend as the family gathers with her dear husband, Uncle Bob to mourn with him and to celebrate her life .  

Andy and I will go to bed quite tired this evening as we recover from a busy weekend.  He cared for the children by himself a bit more than he's used to so this weekend wasn't much of a break for him.  The poor guy is tired and hot and I won't let him turn on the air conditioning. 

We are blessed with glorious spring weather and I have been tending the garden all week with two dirty children underfoot.  We have planted four o'clocks, moonflowers, basil, parsley and chive seeds.  We've uprooted many weeds and watered our planters as we anxiously wait for the little shoots to pop up.

I'd like you to notice two things from this last photo- 1) Deacon's shoes, 2) the patch behind them.  What was overgrown weeds last week is now a bed for two baby gardenia plants.  They are said to be very fragrant and attractive to birds.