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As a former tax preparer, I have a tendency to get my taxes done fairly early compared to most people. Mainly because when working as a preparer, if you don’t get them done early you may have trouble finding the time to do them yourself and on time. Plus what self-respecting tax preparer would even think of letting someone else do their taxes for them. All this means is I filed my taxes and received my modest but decent sized tax refund in a timely matter.
Now what did I do with my refund? I invested some of it by buying bonds, and put some of it toward paying off debt, and some of it went to savings. The rest went towards some items on my wish list. Just a few things I have been eyeing for a while and thought would be useful to have for Spring as well as the rest of the year.
First off, you may have notice in the picture at Phoenix Comicon (see Catching Up - Conventions Anyone?) I’m carrying a white parasol. I sort of made it myself, specifically for the con and for Spring.
It start out as a white umbrella from World Import Co. on eBay. It costs $16.99 with free shipping. It came in just a few days in this cool triangle box. I wanted to keep it but I somehow couldn’t think of a good use for it. Such a shame.
Anyway, here’s the umbrella along side some bubble wrap, yay bubble wrap! This umbrella is the “parasol” style, so it has a ruffle on the bottom.
I mainly bought it for the white color and this handy hook shaped handle. They come in other colors that were tempting, but I just stuck with the white. Still, it would be interesting to have a pink umbrella. The thing is that the handle is a tad thicker than I was expecting. Thicker does mean less likely to break which is good, but it also means slightly harder to hold. At least it does with my small hands. It’s just something I have to get use to.
I do like the pointed end though, it’s one of the things I look for when buying umbrellas. It just looks really nice and gives the umbrella a certain vintage touch.
The ruffle is pretty okay, it adds a sweet touch and saves me time since I was planning on adding a ruffle anyway.
The thing that really concerned me was the sheerness of the material. I wanted to use this umbrella for both rain and shine. If it’s too sheer will it offer enough sun protection?
That problem was easy to fix. I had originally planned to add just a little lace trim, but instead I completely covered it with row upon row of pretty and water resistant lace. It took quite a bit of time, but it was so worth it.
Here’s the results. I forgot to take a picture immediately after finishing, this one was taken after using it for several weeks. The problem with white is that it is so easy to get it dirty. Oh well, at least it’s pretty.
I also bought a new petticoat, my other was dying on me. It actually fell flat on me almost immediately after this one arrived, maybe out of jealousy? I found the new one on Amazon, sold by Rose Boutique for $25 including the shipping cost. They shipped it out quickly. It was estimated to arrive in about 10 days, but it came early so when I got it I didn’t know what it was. It came in this really tiny package.
I still didn’t know what it was when I opened the package until I read the included washing instructions. I thought that was helpful at least.
Behold the unwrapped poufy petticoat. It expanded like crazy after I unwrapped it. It’s a 50’s style petticoat, so it has a bit of an a-line shape to it. A little too a-line sadly for my use, but I was able to easily alter it to give it a softer and rounder shape. Now it’s perfect and it cost a fraction of what similar shaped ones would have cost me to buy/make.
I also bought a couple of blouses I’ve been eyeing from Bodyline. The total came to 5,998 Japanese Yen with free shipping, which comes to about $25 each. Considerably more than what I usually pay for clothing, but they were worth it.
They came wrapped in these cute red bags. I saved them because they were so cute, I think they would be useful for organizing accessories or even paperwork.
The first one is this short sleeved blouse. It has beading lace on the collar and down the front, rose shaped lace down the front too, and faux pearl buttons. It also has lacing on the back to give it a fitted look which is nice. I found the wide crochet lace on the collar and sleeves a bit awkward the first time I wore it, but now I love them. I bought it in a size medium and it fits okay except its slightly too big at the shoulders. I’ll take it in eventually, but for now it’s okay.
I also got this long sleeved blouse. It has some of the same types of lace as the short sleeved blouse which is so great, but there are a few problems. It has the same fitting issue as the short sleeved blouse, the lacing on the back isn’t quite as nice looking, and then there’s the buttons.
First one of them actually snapped off when I simply tried on the blouse, possibly the result of damage during shipping. It did come with one spare button, just one though. The first time I wore the blouse a second button snapped off. Luckily the buttons were definitely not my favorite part, now it will be easier to just switch them out for nicer buttons. Otherwise I still really like both blouses.
There actually is one other thing I purchased over the last few months, but I’m saving that for another post because it involves a special surprise. Look forward to it. :)