Levitating at cemetary in Carcassonne_1986

What if there were angels in the graveyard and they wore pink wool coats, suede mary janes, and moved with the alacrity of a seventeen year old on her way to a hot sale at Indie & Cold?

I mean–what if?

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Tessa levitating_6265

Miss Lavender, she of the floral print skirt and polka dotted tights, appears to be on her way to get something.

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Perhaps it’s her pink coat?

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Found it! Hooray!

Tessa in pink and teal_5909

And her scarf, too.  Teal and pink. Works fine on a gloomy afternoon.

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Below:  Miss Lavender does ‘Studied Insouciance’ better than anyone I know.

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In·sou·ci·ance: nonchalance, lack of concern. Word for the day.  But who wouldn’t feel appropriately insouciant in a pink, wool coat?  Like anything else really matters.  (At least for the moment!)

Miss Lavender’s outfit:  denim top, Crossroads Trading, a consignment store in Costa Mesa, CA.  Skirt and shoes, Anthropologie.  Tights, Calzedonia, in Barcelona.  (Very) bright pink coat, Kling, also in Barcelona. Just so you know, we are sale stalkers, bargain lovers, and deal hounds. I seldom pay anywhere close to full price for anything! With four kids, that’s the way Eleven O’Clock Mom rolls.

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Last fall, the mustache was everywhere–here on the continent as well as back home. I thought I’d revisit Miss Lavender’s Mustache Phase. The pin she found at our favorite market, Els Encants. It’s vintage. The tunic, also vintage, is from Shareen Vintage, in Los Angeles. The ribbed leggings are J. Crew, the shoes (maroon Mary Janes, hard to see here) from a boutique in Bamberg, Germany, the glasses from a vintage store in Vienna, Austria.

I love vintage. So did my grandmother. Once, when my mother picked up a floor-length, dark green velvet skirt at a garage sale–thinking maybe my grandmother could do something with it–my Grammy came over, measured me, and took the skirt, along with (respectfully given) instructions that she work her seamstressing magic and turn the thing into a pencil skirt. As thrifty as they came, she knew the value of a buck. A designer, she also knew real velvet when she saw it.

She did indeed make me a gorgeous pencil skirt.

Where that thing is now, I don’t know. I’ve been scolding myself for years for not hanging onto it tight enough, as it would have been a brilliant addition to the petals’ closets.

Miss Lavender doesn’t much care that mustaches may not be the trend du jour forever. Her pin belonged to someone else once and therefore already had a story when she lucked onto it. She is, however, rather infatuated with pencil skirts at the moment. We picked up two the other day at Kling, in Barri Gotic. One is heather gray, the other raspberry pink. That they fit her was a miracle of Biblical proportions. That they were nearly seventy percent off was another.

Hooray for vintage, for sales, for Grammys, not necessarily in that order. Isn’t it fun to play dress-up??

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Right off, let me say that this is not a sponsored post. I’ve nevertheless been wild about Vaho’s repurposed trashion bags since we first wandered into their store in the Gotic district, maybe a month ago.


I LOVE the idea of repurposing: you take an item that is understood to have outlived its usefulness, and you give it a new life. Such is the case with these amazing bags whose creators fashion them from the vinyl street posters you see all over town.


A poster that’s all done announcing whatever it was meant to announce thus becomes a satchel. Or a weekend bag.


Or a wallet. Or a passport cover. Or even a chair. Bright, happy, urban, and hip, they work for everyone.

Miss Lavender and I found their store on Avenida Catalunya and wandered in one afternoon while we were out enjoying some Mom & Me time. She was dreaming big.


But it’s easy to do that in Vaho, where you can so easily imagine what your pocketbook would look like if it were made of, well, a retired vinyl street sign.


But certainly the best part of the day was stopping in at a little bistro and sharing an order of ridiculously good patatas fritas (surely you can translate) and a Fanta limon. Turns out all you need for a brilliant afternoon with your daughter is trash and carbs.  (Wink.)  Ply her with those two things, and watch what happens!

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So we picked up some cheap bikes.

And we go for rides, all five of us. And it’s nuts, because we’re trying to stay together, trying to navigate the fabulously narrow streets of the older part of the city, and trying (mostly me) not to send whole clusters of spectacularly unaware pedestrians to their deaths.

And we’re rolling through the courtyard of the very old and gorgeous branch of the public library in Raval, and a young woman who just walked past us a moment ago is suddenly on our heels, literally chasing us down, and wanting to talk to Tessa about her outfit.

Magnolia Kate_5644

So we all stop. And this lovely young Brit, name of Kate, all out of breath for having sprinted to catch up with us, proceeds to tell Tessa how absolutely fabulous her tunic is, and WHERE did we find it, and could she please, if it’s not too much of a bother, take a photo of it so she can, with some imagination and luck, create her own facsimile thereof?

Now my daughter knows a vintage sister when she meets one, so she happily hops off her bike, poses for a snapshot, then recites the history of the tunic, how we got it in Los Angeles, etcetera, and Kate (effusively grateful in a way that only a vintage devotee who has just collided with a great piece can be) affirms that she is going to make her own tunic, using the now-snapped photo as inspiration, a fact that causes Tessa to smile from ear to ear.

Naturally we had to snap our own photo of the lovely Kate posing with the equally lovely Tessa, the eyes of both fairly sparkling with kindred feeling.

Magnolia Kate_5643

How cool, right?–getting chased down by a girl from Oxford, England, who loves what you’re wearing so much she just has to tell you about it.  And getting your photo taken together so that she can recreate the article on her own, an effort which will no doubt keep the moment alive in her mind the entire time she sews!

Good luck, Kate (pictured here in blue)!  We love your posh accent, your winning smile, and, most of all, your need to stop Tessa so you could tell her just how much you loved the brocaded tunic with the long poet sleeves. May your project go just splendidly!

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