Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 3, 2012 -- First Friday

As readers of my blog are aware, I try to spend the first Friday of every month attending an open house from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Gutierrez Studios (http://gutierrezstudios.com/), a custom metalworking shop led by the beloved widow of my longtime friend, John Gutierrez, who built up a substantial business building gorgeous wrought-iron staircases, lamps, tables and other metal furnishings before losing his courageous battle with cancer a couple of years ago.

These "First Friday" open houses at Gutierrez Studios are always fun. A few exquisite buffet-style food offerings catered by the esteemed Woodberry Kitchen restaurant (http://www.woodberrykitchen.com/) next door or, as in this case, Clementine’s Catering (http://bmoreclementine.com/), are always offered, and usually John’s brother, Glen Gutierrez, can be found out on the studio’s patio near a gigantic bonfire cooking homemade Hungarian goulash in an iron stew pot (imported from Hungary) hung on chains from a tripod over its own wood fire.

Friday night’s offering from Clementine’s included three kinds of curry with assorted toppings over steamed rice. All were delicious. For entertainment Gutierrez Studios offered Caleb Stine (http://calebstine.com/), an acoustic guitarist and singer who serenaded the jovial crowd with sentimental folk tunes which were enjoyed by all.

Since Gutierrez Studios is housed in a cavernous, drafty warehouse and since I almost always find myself outdoors in the chill air assisting with the Hungarian goulash by dicing potatoes and onions and checking seasonings with Glen, I try to dress warmly for the event, especially in February! So for this month’s edition of Gutierrez Studio’s First Friday Open House, I donned one of my favorite vintage jumpsuits, a jet-black, ¾-sleeved, rayon one-piece with a deep crossover neckline and harem-style gathers at the hips narrowing to a fitted ankle, evoking an I-Dream-Of-Jeannie look. There is no longer a tag in the collar to tell me who made the jumpsuit, but I know I’ve owned it for at least thirty five years. In the late 1970s and all through the 1980s it was my "go-to" outfit for a fun evening because of it’s comfortable and very flattering fit.

I cinched the jumpsuit with a triple-buckled wide stretch belt from The Limited Too, added my favorite black platform pumps by Call It Spring for JCPenney, and chose a gold- and silver-metal mix of jewelry including a choker necklace and matching earrings from Tina’s Antiques & Jewelry, a quirky but fabulous little shop at 237 Main Street in Reisterstown, Maryland (410-833-9337), a pair of bracelets and a whimsical seashell ring wrapped in gold that I bought at last year’s Maryland Renaissance Festival.

I had not worn this jumpsuit for almost twenty years, so I was delighted to discover that it still fit me like a glove. I was also pleased at the numerous complements on my attire I received at the Open House. I don’t think I’d been there five minutes before a man approached to ask my name and tell me how gorgeous I looked. Now I call that a perfect way to instantly raise one’s self esteem and set the stage for a great evening!

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