Roz Goes Eyeglass Shopping

June 8, 2011

See the post for complete details.

1LargeRed3708 Left: These are not my new glasses! But I do like red, and these vintage glasses from the 1980s (or a clown?) are large enough to hold my trifocal prescription. I took a pass on them.

I needed new glasses this year and my friend Diane was going to the Spectacle Shoppe in New Brighton to have her glasses refitted. "Meet me there and we can look at the vintage glasses," she suggested.

This shop has an entire back room filled with shelves and drawers of vintage frames. Cabinets, with 20 drawers or more each, pull out to reveal white plastic, tortoise shell plastic, wire, etc. It's endless and somewhat overwhelming.

Despite that I selected a couple pairs of glasses that I liked. They all looked like the pair pictured in the second image at the right. (The other photos didn't turn out because of the poor lighting we were working in.)

2VintageSafty3705 Right: That's right, these are safety glasses from the 1970s. They are sort of grey blue. When Dick saw them he said, "Those look like safety glasses," to which the salesman and I both said (though I was happily smiling) "Yes, they are!"

Finally Diane and I had looked at so many glasses we were both a bit punchy. We started trying on really outrageous pairs. Here are some of my favorites:

5DianeAnimalGlasses3720 Left: Diane trying on a pair of wire-framed sunglasses that have been embellished with Art Deco style brass animals.








Right: I'm sporting a pair of PURPLE kissing pig glasses. While I thought they were rather charming they weren't deep enough to contain my trifocals.


4LacyGlasses3711 Below: Lacey mask glasses that were available in several different colors!



So which glasses did I get?

Well I put a couple vintage frames on hold and brought Dick in the next evening. You already know what he said about my top choice. Then he said, "I love you no matter what you do, pick the glasses you like." Of course since he has to look at me more than most anyone else I wanted glasses that he at least liked a little. I put the safety glasses aside.

The salesman picked up on what I liked about the vintage glasses and brought out five pairs of current frames. And they all had a "safety glasses" feel.

There is a device at this store used for taking a front and side view of you wearing the glasses. Then they can put that up on a screen with the views of you wearing different pairs. I love devices and this was the coolest ever. No straining to see how you look, and remember it, all without the aid of your real glasses!

As soon as the images went up on the screen it was obvious which my favorite pair would be. A week later I had the glasses. I'm still adjusting to my prescription but I really love the glasses. They are light, hold my trifocals well, and the new prescription lets me see things "crispy" again!

I don't have a photo of me in the new glasses, but I'll post one as soon as I do.
No, I didn't purchase the kissing pigs—though they did sport a lovely rhinestone!

  1. Reply

    Roz, you made me laugh first thing this morning 🙂 It looks like a fun time! Personally, I like Diane’s Art Deco animals, and you in the lacy mask!

    Can’t wait to see what you finally chose.
    Thanks for bringing me a smile this morning 🙂

  2. Reply

    All right, Roz, this is apropos of NOTHING (though the eyeglass shopping trip was fun, and I, too, dig cool eyewear). But I need your help.
    So I bought this ring-bound Canson 9 by 12 to replace the Strathmore sketchbook I misplaced when I started your online workshop. (Don’t ask.) And, like all ring-bound sketchbooks I have used before, the back cover is now unbinding itself. The rings loosen up with opening and closing, and I can see that it won’t be long before it’s a big mess.
    Which is too bad because I have some favorite spreads in there.
    So as the soon-to-be-made-Lance-Armstrong-style-bracelet says, “WWRD?”

    • Holly Waldrop
    • June 8, 2011

    I love the red glasses!! What a fun store! Can’t wait to see what you chose.

    On a side note – Karen – I want one of those bracelets, too, please!

    • June 8, 2011

    So Fun! And you two look so lovely!

  3. Reply

    I like the lacy mask glasses! And the sh*! eating grin you are wearing with them.

  4. Reply

    Hahaha! This is a great story! And perfectly illustrated! Thank you for the laugh, Roz!

    • Miss T
    • June 8, 2011

    Isn’t that place great? I was totally overwhelmed when I went there, but it’s fun. Too bad the pig glasses wouldn’t work with your prescription.

    • Carolyn
    • June 8, 2011

    🙂 Fun!

  5. Reply

    The Kissing Pig glasses rock! As do the art deco animals. Looks like you guys had a blast. Thanks for making me smile this morning. 🙂

  6. Reply

    Aww, man–you took a pass on the kissing pigs? Say it ain’t so, Roz, say it ain’t so!

    I’m crushed. I have to go back to bed now.

  7. Reply

    Thank you all for embracing this bit of fun! I just spent the day chasing around for a new modem and then on line with my computer guy and then the cable guy and then the computer guy, so it was fun to see that people enjoyed this article! I’m so far behind in everything, however, that I’m answering all of you in one big note!

    Camilla, I’m having my photo taken in the new glasses on the 20th so I’ll post shortly after that! (I’m still getting used to them in every way.)

    Holly, the new glasses are red—so you may like them too.

    Than you Liz!

    Melly, After I processed the images I say the fan ones for the “first time” and think that maybe I should have a pair of those. I quite like them! My new glasses are more sedate, but still in your face (according to friends who have seen them).

    Thank you Alex, Caroline and Patti. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

    Miss T, you know I have trouble resisting rhinestones!!!

    Ricë: What can I say, I just need more space for my lenses!!! Drawing first, attractivity second…to infinity.

  8. Reply

    Karen, I can hardly get my head around what you are describing (see earlier message of mine re: modem issues and long day on the phone with tech people).

    I don’t use any Canson wirebound products so I’m not sure exactly what’s happening to your.

    I’ve never had a wirebound sketchbook unbind itself.

    Can you send me some photos at so that I can see what you’re experiencing?

    Your Strathmore didn’t do this did it? None of my Strathmores have and I have worked through 6 of them and have about 5 others that are partially filled and also no wear on the binding.

    I’m assuming your Canson has the same sort of comb binding?

    If it does then the first thing I would try to do is use a pliers to move the bit of the comb, I suppose it’s called the tooth, down and back into place—AFTER you make sure all the pages are the way you want them and their holes are aligned.

    If that’s not going to work then I would suggest that you take it to Kinkos (or whatever they are calling themselves these days ?FedEx Office?) and buy a length of binding coil that will fit in it. They have a hole punching machineg and use binding coils with it. You can simply hand-thread the binding coil through your Canson holes, after you remove the old comb binding.

    Once you get it through all the holes you’ll want to trim the coil at both ends so there’s no overhang, but leave a small bit of the plastic to fold over on itself and essentially create a stop “bead” or sorts, so it won’t roll out. (I have have coils of my old high school notebooks unwind on me.)

    Next thing I would do is look at how you are transporting these books that the binding is failing for you. Either stop buying the Canson, or if it is all such bindings from any maker, then look at how you carry these books and if you’re putting any weight on the binding and causing them to bend out of shape.

    And then find a way to not do that.

    I would suggest a slip case of cardboard, but you’re going to have to make it so that it accommodates the binding and you insert you book BOUND edge first. A little clumsy to get in and out, but it will at least preserve the binding “rings” and keep them from compressing.

    Hope some of this helps. I really have never had this happen!


  9. Reply

    Thanks for your long and thoughtful answer, Roz. I will take a picture, just to answer your curiosity. But I went online and realized that the rings on the (insert bad word here) Canson bindings are different than the Strathmore and from my Aqua Bee, too. The good books have rings that are completely circular. The rings on the Canson binding, on the other hand, go about 8-10s of the way around, then there’s an open space. So as you open and close the book (I’m really not that hard on it!), the ring binding moves around and starts to unthread itself.
    Guess what I’ll do is carefully cut these pages out and paste them into a new, better book, then go on from there.
    Anyway, thanks again for your note back. I’m going to send a pic to you, because it’s IRRITATING, and because you are a sketchbook nerd (I say this with affection), you will want to see it.

  10. Reply

    You have a breathtakingly beautiful smile!

    Thanks for keeping such an amazing blog. The wealth of information found here exceeds many of the published books I’ve bought, and the detail is valued and appreciated. You are a great source of inspiration.

  11. Reply

    Drawing first, attractivity second…to infinity!

    Atrractivity? Goofball.

  12. Reply

    Elizabeth, thanks for the kind words about my smile. I escaped the need for anything like braces as a child and am fond of the irregularities. I have been told that there is a little wickedness in my smile—as if something I’m going to say in another second perhaps will be lippy, and that’s usually the case. So you have to flash the smile and warn folks!

    Thank you also for reading the blog and your kind words about it. It is my hope that the blog is informative and fun. I’m glad you enjoy it.

  13. Reply

    OK, Melly, I make up my own words (just like Humpty Dumpty, wait, he just redefined them to mean what he wanted; I do that too). Anyway, appearance isn’t something that matters much to me—so it’s going to come later on the list, what can I say. Usually it isn’t even on the meter. Drawing is always the most important thing, seeing. Then comfort. Actually I should have written: Drawing first, comfort second, attractivity third…to infinity.

    Big smile. I like being a goofball. Thanks!

    • Cate
    • June 11, 2011

    Roz, when I was eight, my hero was Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to BE her so badly, she was so creative and so in charge, so unruffled and so can-do. She was always experimenting and she always knew what she wanted. She was a real inspiration.

    At the moment, I’m readling Pippi aloud to my second graders, and they too are hooked on her joyous and empowering message.

    And now you go and post pics like this and I’m thinking: Girl, you are a real-live Pippi for Grown-ups! 😀


  14. Reply

    Thanks for the kind words Cate. I don’t think Pippi swears though, and I sure do!

    I am glad you enjoyed the photos and the blog.

  15. Reply

    Those are cool glasses! It must have been fun to try ‘em all on. Hmmm, how much were they? That last one you tried almost looks like a mast by the size of it!

  16. Reply

    Vincent all the glasses in this post were from the VINTAGE room and all were very reasonably priced, typically under $100!!!!!

    Dick vetoed the “safety glasses” frame I’d picked out which were only $65. I went with a current frame, which as you can imagine was a WHOLE LOT MORE!

    The vintage frames are priced in such a way that frankly if you wanted you could have 3 or 5 frames of different looks and the pricy thing would be your prescription, but not the frames.

    While the last frame did look like a mask and was large, it was VERY LIGHT and on the right person, with interesting hair and make up I think it would have been spectacular. Happily those frames aren’t me.

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