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Clothes from casual to classy featured at Pittsburgh Fashion Week Pink Partini & Fashion Bash at Tanger Outlets

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

From pink drinks to rosy rugs, it was a colorful night of fashion on Day 4 of Pittsburgh Fashion Week at the second annual Pink Partini & Fashion Bash at Tanger Outlets.

The event to benefit the American Cancer Society showed off styles for fall, from daytime wear to cocktail dresses. KDKA-TV anchor Kristine Sorensen served as master of ceremonies.

Post-Gazette photographer Rebecca Droke captured some of the fashion on camera. See her photographs from the event below.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week picks up again Saturday with back-to-back student runway shows at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown.

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Plant pansies and flowering kale now for color through winter (with video)

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog pansies in watering canBlack and gold pansies in an old watering can replaced impatiens which were fading. The dusty miller has been growing out of the spout for months. It's another cold tolerant plant. 'Accord Black Beauty' are planted together with an unnamed yellow pansy. Photos by Doug Oster

As night time temperatures plummet, the tender annuals start to fade. Once frost hits, they will be gone.

blog flowering kale 0926This flowering kale isn't too colorful now, but when it gets cold the color will be vibrant.I want color in the garden for as long as possible. I'm planting some mums, but they will probably be short lived. Pansies and flowering kale on the other hand could make it all the way through the winter.

These cold loving plants will provide beauty at least through Christmas.

Pansies come in a rainbow of colors, I found some nice looking black and gold varieties to plant in containers. I'll also be adding more colors as the season progresses. As soon as frost wipes out the annuals, pansies will be planted in their place.

The trick to keeping pansies happy for winter is to be sure they get the water they need before the ground freezes solid.

Flowering kale is another tough plant which will get more colorful as the days grow shorter and the temperatures fall. Planting them in a container which can be seen from the house will make you smile when the snow falls.

Here's a video of an appearance I did on Pittsburgh Today Live which shows some of the plants which love cold weather.

 

 

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Pittsburgh Fashion Week Day 2 recap in photos

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Day 2 of Pittsburgh Fashion Week took fashionistas from bargain hunting at lunch hour in Market Square to wining and styling for the annual "ManStyle" show at the Pittsburgh Winery in the Strip District.

If you missed any of the fashionable fun, Post-Gazette photographers Bob Donaldson and Julia Rendlemen were on the scene. See their photographs below.

Day 3 of Pittsburgh Fashion Week continues at 5 p.m. on the fourth floor of Macy's, Downtown, where tips on fall fashions for Pittsburgh professionals will be shared.

 

PROJECT POP UP: FASHION, MARKET SQUARE

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Vintage Valet fashion truck owner Marissa Zimmerman holds the mirror for customer Pam Palmer to see the crocheted vest she's buying.


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Lunchtime crowds browse the fashion truck displays.


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Style Truck owner Jackie Ging, at right, helps customer Pam Palmer pick out a dress inside Ms. Ging's mobile boutique.


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Passersby browse merchandise outside Style Truck.

Photos by Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette

 

"MANSTYLE SHOW," PITTSBURGH WINERY

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Models spruce up backstage for the runway show.

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Jacquay Hosey, 27, of Homewood gets ready backstage.


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LaMont Jones serves as emcee for the "ManStyle" show.


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Danny Hazlip, 27, of McKees Rocks models what he calls his "always on point" look.


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Guest model Vince Sims of WPXI shows off his suit for the crowd.


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Kenneth Harper models his "urban nerd chic" ensemble.

Photos by Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette

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Straw bale gardening, part deux

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog straw againThese three straw bales are planted with arugula. I hope the fall planting is more successful than the spring. Photo by Doug Oster

In the spring I gave straw bale gardening a try after reading all sorts of things on the Interweb.

I love the idea of using the bales as a container, but I had mixed success. Cucumbers were a dismal failure, greens did OK, dianthus and nasturtiums thrived I even got a few 'Heart of Italy' tomatoes from my plantings.

As the season has progressed the bales have started to break down and compost and I think this is a good thing, so I'm going to try and plant some fall crops in them.

I've added the organic granular fertilizer ReVita from Ohio Earth Food and then compost on top. The first three bales are planted with tiny arugula seedlings. Since they are so tough, I think they will thrive through fall and into winter.

I've got some other bales which I'll do the same things to and plant more cool weather crops.

I'm determined to learn how to make the straw bales work for me. In theory it makes sense to me and I can use the extra room to plant my favorites.

 

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10 reasons for gardeners to love chickens

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog eggs IIChicken eggs still warm from the coop are amazing. Photos by Doug Oster

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Their fresh eggs are amazing and chickens lay more than you can use. Once you taste these, store bought eggs are always disappointing.

Chickens are easy to care for. Give them food, water, shelter and a place to run and they will be happy.

Raising chickens is a great activity for children. Like the garden, a chicken coop can teach lots of life lessons.

blog chickens 25Chickens are pretty.City chickens have names. They are pets in our garden, but would be good eating if you were so inclined. As they age, the amount of eggs they lay decreases, but that's OK.

They don't smell...much. Keep the coop clean, add pine shavings as needed and there's no odor problem. Although maybe it's like the guy who works at a gas station. He can't smell the gas anymore.

Chickens make a great soil additive and plenty of it. The manure needs to be composted for a year and will make plants happy.

The birds are great at controlling lots of bugs. Some gardeners have a portable coop called a chicken tractor which is placed in the garden and moved every day or so. The chickens eat pests and leave some fertilizer.

They will eat just about anything left over from the kitchen. It's another way to recycle.

Chickens are beautiful. From the simplest breeds to the wildest looking feathers, they look amazing.

Maybe most importantly, the birds are stress relievers. They are quiet and make calming noises which is relaxing. There's nothing like sitting with a handful of scratch (a type of feed which is a treat) and letting chickens eat out of your hand as they talk to each other.

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