My favorite time of the year is that fragile and challenging time between winter and spring, when the sun shines most of the time, but it is still quite chilly. Today was one of those days, and I felt it perfect to layer a spring dress with a petticoat and boots to combat the cool wind. Here I am standing in front of the door to our house, it has one of those peep thingys that they have in old movies where you open it and ask for the password ;)
The little necklace I made from an old watch, with a photobooth picture of Sam and I. It's like a less secretive locket. I remember when I was younger I had a locket with a photo of my brother and his wife in it, and people were always asking to look inside. It got annoying, since a locket is like that secret little place that is so close to you, you open it when YOU want to enjoy what's inside. At least thats how I see it, but then again, I always get my feathers ruffled when people look in my purse and flip though my sketchbooks. So maybe it's more of a personal bubble thing than a romantic thing ;)
This morning was sunny and bright, but now I can see the rain pouring down in the Portland hills and the weather is back to normal and gray. I'm still a bit icky feeling, but going to work anyway, hopefully it will be a slow day. I had time to write to Ella last night and this morning, something I've been looking forward to all this busy week. I have some fabulous vintage stationary I got at an estate sale years ago, a box marked "Garbage" was just filled with old hotel stationary and things. I'm glad no one threw it out, they are really pretty.
A pile of ironing waiting to be pressed. honestly there are mostly spring things, so not much motivation to iron until it gets warmer.
I found some linens the other day under a shelf, and just now got to look through them. I love the idea of a woman years ago taking the time and effort to hand crochet the edges of a plain handkerchief just because it looks pretty. That's not really done anymore.
I've started to collect bird things for my kitchen, and so far have traded for this toaster cover from Brittanynoel, (who's a total darling and has some fun buttons!), salt and pepper shakers from Target, and some sheet music I'll frame. I even found an ever elusive light blue tea kettle today which was quite exciting, and Sam's mother bought us lots of fun things including a crock pot, hand mixer, and white bowls, I just love white dishes.
Things have been a bit of a circus lately, hence my lack of posts. Sam was sick this week, as we were moving stuff into our new place, and now I guess it's my turn. But Wednesday I did a circus theme window, we had some fun stuff in the shop for it. To inspire is a fabulous print I bought a while ago of a tattooed girl, she'll hang up in the living room I think. And a "Freaks" card case with the movie art covering it.
So, to catch up, I have not forgotten about the dressing for work guide, or that I'll be posting more cleaning tips from that book I have. I also plan on showing how to do basic rag curls, but I usually do that at night with terrible lighting and no one to take my picture, so that will have to be planned. But I will do it I promise!
A lot of people come into the vintage shop I work at, and complain about being the wrong size for vintage clothing. Truthfully it is more difficult to find vintage larger than a 10, but it is completely possible and honestly, with the right outfit, can be more of a knockout than any little model can hope to be. One turnoff with plus sized clothes is how they hang on a hanger, which is why we have so many great dresses still in the shop that look amazing on a figure but lacklustre on a rack. One reason I love the 1940's and 1950s is because it flatters my figure more than any era, from 20s to modern. I am very high waisted, as are the styles from those times, and while I admire other periods of fashion, I have come to accept that they just don't fit correctly. The same body consciousness should be applied to everyone, and when it is more difficult as a voluptuous girl to find just what she needs, when you know exactly what styles fit best, you can look fabulous whenever you walk out your front door. One measurement often overlooked is the bodice length (Shoulder to waist) but is very important to know. If you have a dress that fits you ideally measure the bodice for reference.
Today I came across a fabulous shop with great plus sized clothing modeled just beautifully. cheesecakevintage specializes in 30s to 60s clothing, and I have a feeling these dresses will go fast.
So while it may be more difficult to find a dress in just the right size, they are out there, and they are fabulous.
The duplex just gets prettier and prettier every time I see it. And so much storage space! Of course I forgot my camera today as we were moving some stuff in, but I am discovering something new around every corner, it has so many original fixtures and details from when it was built. Anyway, I've started a blog specifically for my little hat obsession, named after my bird hat. It will be an inspirational spot and have places to buy hats, how to wear them, and what history I am learning on them. Maybe even a little hat making lesson here and there ;)
Yesterday I headed to Portland with my friends Ellery and Ian, first stop Saturday market. There's a booth there with all sorts of things made form silverware: Rings, bracelets, candle holders, headdresses, and masks. As you can see Ian found a lovely mask.
Of course we went to Powells and Buffalo Exchange, and Ellery found me an amazing vintage sailor dress for only $7.00. They are so weird with their pricing. Also this super cute hat, more fall than spring, but who cares. The three of us try and go to the photobooth in The Ace Hotel whenever we're near, and stuffing into that little booth is quite a sight. I'm so glad they have it though, it looks vintage, but actually works, unlike the one that used to be at The Red Light. We always get caught off guard with the first photo, there's no warning!
Later in the afternoon we met up with friends Anna, Sarah, and Caitlin, and got some food to make for dinner. Someone wanted to try out cumquats, and since none of us had tasted any before, we got some and were excited to eat the peel of something that looked like a little orange. They were soooooo much more sour than we expected. Yet I still ate them, hoping for a sweeter one each time. Ellery found some glitter make-up at Whole Foods, and of course tried out every color. She's like a fairy. I also insisted we stop in Anthropologie, does anyone else think the Portland Anthropologie smells so good it makes you want to buy things? Anyway, I just looked though the home section for inspiration, and snatched a catalogue, there was an adorable little birdie drawer pull I loved, so cute!
*I started a hat blog for those who are interested, I call it The bird hat. After Bird hat of course ;) *
Yesterday at work I decided to try a more simple approach to window decor than last weeks complicated dream, and took inspiration from the latest Nordstrom catalogue. In it are pieces of clothing made from paper, and I just loved the way a brown bag looked with the folds and shadows being it's only decoration. I didn't have the resources or time to create an entire outfit out of a paper bag, but did sew this little bodice, and make a skirt from last weeks newspaper. It would be so cool to do an entire window of brown paper bags, but that would take some real overtime :)
Here is also the little red cardigan I got the other day. I love it, I wore it yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow too, the perfect shade of red, and cashmere! What a find. We went to the bins again today since I listed what I found yesterday. I somehow got to a bin full of 60s dresses before the other vintage dealers, and one nice lady even gave me a vintage sweater she picked up and didn't want. We also found a fabulously 60s chair, that one would either love or hate. I saw it and loved it.
It felt like spring today, so nice to not have to wear a coat out. Of course it will not last here in the NorthWest. Here is a little snapshot of the fireplace in the duplex Sam and I are getting. The place is darling. I'll still be living at home until the wedding, but it will be wonderful to have Sam so close in town, and I'll get an entire finished basement all for Etsy! How lovely :) So my shop is rapidly growing due to so much more space than an industrial shelf between my bed and vanity.
Meanwhile my arms are soar from digging through the bins, and my legs are soar from jumping up and down for that petticoat shot. I am just so in shape.
I found a bunch of household items for our new place yesterday at the bins, from a tea tin to an ironing board, and even a red cashmere cardigan for myself. I even pulled out my collection of Anthropologie catalogs, and took some home decorating inspiration from the fabulous spreads. The wardrobe and set stylists are so creative, always have a vintage flair.
Today was a great day at the bins, I found this darling blue and white 50s dress in a picked through pile, its has sweet little butterflies on the skirt. Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, so I got a couple of tiny chairs for props. There's lots coming this week!
Today my Grandmother took me to a fabulous tea at our local historical society museum. She got tickets for me for my birthday, and we haven't been to a tea in what seems like ages. We met some lovely ladies and had good conversation at our table (those are two interesting gals we sat by), and got a great women's suffrage performance by a woman at the end of the tea. The museum is cute, it used to be the city's library, and has all the old school charm. The exhibit right now is all about baby boomers, and has clothing from the 40s to 70s. In the corner there is a mini living room set up, complete with a 1974 Wards catalogue. Very cute.
Oh and that stud was totally checking grandma out.
I must mention that I have been wanting a fox for quite a long time. Reluctant to get one because, well, I live in a area where all furriers have been driven out of business and whenever I wear a fur collar I get "is that real?" But it seems like such an essential eccentric old lady accessory, and I've really just always loved them despite where I was brought up. A few weeks ago Lisa had a photoshoot for a friend of hers, Kerry, and mentioned that I had been wanting a fox stole. Well she just happened to have one, and passed it on to Lisa to give it to me! How sweet is that? I wore it for the first time today, and got so many compliments, it is definitely a conversation starter. I'm in love with the color, a perfect shade of orange. So thank you so much Kerry! You have bestowed kindness on a grateful girl, and I hope I can return the favor in some way :)
We all have a little drape in us. It was coaxed out of allison, and it can be coaxed out of you too! Here are a few things you need to be a true Cry Baby girl.
1. A Cry Baby girl "Wouldn't be caught dead in a full skirt." The tighter the better, and if it buttons up the front make sure and unbutton it as far as you dare. Here is a fabulous spider web pencil skirt. It even has a zipper all the way up the back!
2. Pepper reminds us that "Our bazooms are our weapons", and that can only be achieved with a true bullet bra with a compact stored there for extra defense. And a quick touch up. Even a tough Cry Baby girl has a shiny nose sometimes.
3. Heels are optional, but if you choose to dance around at Turkey Point then make them high and red. Although flats with bobby socks are great if your preggers.
4. And a leather jacket for those cooler days on the motorcycle, or maybe it gets chilly hanging out the car window taunting some squares. Either way it should be worn with that tight skirt or dress, and have "Cry Baby" written on the back just in case people didn't figure that out from you hanging out with Johnny Depp.
Do you have what it takes?
I watched Cry Baby tonight, and am reminded of why I love the 50s. It has both the full skirt and the wiggle dress, and Wanda makes a too tight skirt about as stylish as can be. Plus she has my ideal hairstyle, smooth pin-up bangs, and crazy fluffy curls. If only I could keep my hair blond.
Alright, a few things to catch up on (Besides filling up my shop).
Market Publique is the a brand new site for fabulous women's vintage clothing. Like Etsy there are multiple sellers and low listing fees, and like ebay items can be bought at a set price, or bid on. Unlike either of those sellers must apply to take part in it, and I was really excited when Pamela invited me to become a seller and get a special sneak peek before the site launched. I love the setup, one thing that frustrates me about Etsy is the teeny tiny thumbnails they use, and Market Publique has big, clear and eye catching ones. Also its only for vintage, so nothing else gets thrown in the mix. I have a few items on there now, hopefully more soon, you can check them out here. Oh and they allow 15 pictures! I'll need to take more photos :)
Last week Modepass used a photo of me in Flair magazine, on an article about wedding day makeup. The photo was taken by Lisa of Light and Shadow Photography and was part of the princess photo shoot over the summer.
Last but not least, Bridget had the fabulous idea of doing a post on how to incorporate vintage into the workplace. I'd love to do this but need some feedback on what restrictions your office or place of work has, whether it be a dress code or just certain obstacles for clothing (I used to work at a pre-school, and learned that if you wear a petticoat your skirt will be lifted all day).
Instead of posting yesterday Sam and I watched Wall-E, which is almost too cute to handle. Really, I almost had to turn it off from all the cuteness. My birthday started off with breakfast in Portland with my brother Josh at the Vita Cafe, he's vegan and had trouble choosing from all the vegan choices the cafe specializes in. I on the other hand had trouble not devouring the perfectly crispy bacon, which can only be matched by homemade, and The Original hotcake house bacon. I'm all about the bacon and the vintage, my two areas of expertise. Ok, not expertise, but I know how to appreciate it :)
Josh gave me The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior himself all wrapped up in a cool map. His little snippets are very informative, and not snobby at all, which always seems to be the way most designers are. He takes care to say in different ways that every woman is different and should dress according to her taste and most flattering fit, not trends. He also considers that not every fashionable woman is wealthy, and often advises for buying to best stretch a tight budget. I never really knew anything about the man other than he died too soon, and would really like to know more, if anyone has a biography recommendation on Christian Dior I'd love to know.
Today at work my Aunt stopped in and brought me a yummy-yummy cupcake from Saint Cupcake in Portland, with charming little sprinkles on scrumptious pink frosting.
And here are my new glasses, with little stars :) I should have worn them today with my old lady outfit. Although I don't like my hair straight, I feel like I have to keep smoothing it out. When I rag curl it, the more fluff the better.
Sam can never wait to give me gifts, they always come right after he gets them. Today he gave me presents a day early before my birthday. This darling set of mouse cheese picks, a sweet little hummingbird brooch, and a bracelet with rows and rows of rhinestones. He does listen to my hints!
Last night I was searching around the internet for a hat rack, with no real interesting ones. Today after my Grandmother told me there was a blue vintage couch at an antique store (my ideal couch), my mother and I went over and instead of the couch, I found this perfect vintage green wooden hatrack! It has a lot of room, and will be so nice to hang all the hats I wear daily. I also got a great pair of vintage cat eye glasses with rhinestones. At the discovery thrift store I spotted this great set of 40s heads and had to get them at only $8, and a pink tissue box for $1.
Today my mother and I got up early and went to the Portland Antique and Collectable show at the Expo Center. I was so glad my new bird hat came (It needs a name) so I could wear it, I just love it. Almost as soon as we walked in I found something, and I wished I had more money to buy all the fabulous things I saw, I actually saw a perfect pink dress to go with those green shoes, but that was toward the end, so funds were scarce.
I stopped and saw Ann at her Lulu's Vintage booth, and she had some fabulous items, along with looking so adorable as always. I bought this darling dressing gown from her which is pretty much spring in a garment.
The green dress I bought to re-furbish. The structure is still great, but there are little dots here and there I think I'll cover with pretty silk flowers. That and probably the girdle will eventually go in my shop. I also found this blue 50s suit that is so unique, but just needs some buttons and a good pressing. The 50s felt skit is adorable! Birds and bows, my favorite, I may wear it tomorrow. And last but not least this fantastic Jantzen swimsuit. Its absuloutely amazing I've never seen one like it. The woman who sold it to me had only two left she bought from the estate of a Jantzen swimwear designer, so this is a sample garment it doesn't have a logo or tags. I cant imagine the treasure that woman must have had. I also got a pair of black high waisted pants, although they are not wide legged, they look pretty 30's/40's.
I took this shirt from Sams closet when he moved, it was hidden in the back and I just love it. It seems I have an attraction to uniforms, as this week I wore the jumpsuit, today I wore his shirt and my red band jacket, and my sailor jacket is one of my favorites. Maybe I like them because I was never required to wear one :)
Yesterday Sam and I were watching I dream of Jeannie, and she was wearing a NASA uniform that was so cute and 60s. A blue collared blouse and high waisted wiggle skirt, but despite its simplicity it was so adorable. Sam has a love for uniforms as well, just the other week he got a great 60s fitted military jacket, and in the winter he'll wear his old European military coat. And of course the peacoat, timeless style.
I got so many comments on my outfit today, a lot from mothers who have or have had sons in boy scouts. The hat I picked up when I got to work, an old boy scout hat, really nice and lined in iridescent silk. I doubt they give boys hats like that anymore. I also got a surprising amount of comments on my hair, I have it like this nearly every day, but I guess the hat was a bit different than usual.
Speaking of hats, I got my new bird hat in the mail today! Its more amazing than it was described or photographed, looks never worn even. Not only is the colorful bird form on the hat amazing, but the actual structure of the hat is very pretty and unusual. I'm going to wear it tomorrow at the Antique show (!), I just don't know what to wear with it. Maybe my blue suit, or I have a great 40s dress to consider as well. We'll see!
I cannot tell you how many times I got called Rosie the Riveter today. I am missing the toned arms though.
This outfit actually pulled together pretty well, I had Clark to match the boots and a black 50s jacket with a leopard collar I added on. I forget jewelry due to rushing out the door, so maybe next time a rhinestone brooch, there needs to be some sparkle. It was so comfortable all day, just what I needed, and having all of these pockets is like being a purse. I remember reading in one of the american girl books that the WASP ladies had notepads built into the thigh of the suit for jotting down notes, which is a terrific concept. Especially for people like me who have to write everything down otherwise it gets forgotten.
P.S. My 1930s sewing pattern cam in the mail and its so cute! Now I just need the materials and I can get started.
I love jumpsuits. Its one of those odd style choices that I just cant explain, because it does not fit in at all with the rest of my closet. At work whenever I look through the rack of long dresses and discover one is actually a dress, I get overjoyed as the garment becomes much more exciting. Last year I bought a halter top jumpsuit with a pattern of blackberry bushes and butterflies all over, and can't wait to wear it again. There's even this ridiculous leopard print jumpsuit at work I find myself oddly attracted to, even though everyone seems to think it's just too ugly. I think it's just too awesome.
My friend Jen has a blue mechanics jumpsuit she always looks adorable in, so naturally I felt the need to find a workers jumpsuit as well. I think my love for those can be explained my my dad being a mechanic, and seeing so many photos of women during WWII in jumpsuits, particularly one I had with three women, and they were all wearing them but had great 40s hair and red lipstick.
I went to the bins today and found a few things, and was happy to find this army green jumpsuit. I planned on selling it, since like I said it just doesn't have an obvious place among my other clothing, but then I put it on and it fit so well, then took this picture and loved the way it looked. I'm feeling creative with it, maybe pairing it with something unexpected like high heels, a belt, I'll probably monogram it at some point, and of course red lipstick in the spirit of those hard working yet fashionable ladies.
Adorable military girls from Women Veterans Historical Collection
1930s jumpsuit pattern from So vintage patterns
Today my mother and I had a hair appointment in Portland, much needed for me, although I just got a trim. Going to the Salon is my time to indulge in gossip magazines and Vogues. The latest Vogue has Michelle Obama on the cover and is filled with pretty things only 0.01% of the population can afford. I saw lots of colorful wingtip shoes for women, something I love, I have a smashing pair in red. Also lots of retro looks, including these from Marc Jacobs and Missoni. The magazine was filled with so many pretty shoes afterward I suggested we go to Nordstoms Rack and see if there were any fabulous spring footwear. I tried on about a dozen pairs and squeeled when I slipped on these super fabulous super comfortable pair. Green as a a sour apple and with sweet little cutouts, they are so adorable! Not to mention the bow. Love the bow. I picture them with a pink dress with my pink petticoat underneath, and a matching green bow in my hair. Now I just have to find the dress and make the bow. Or maybe I could make the dress too! I was so surprised at the price of them, they were on sale for $31! I want to sit in an old chair in my pink petticoat and green shoes and have a tea party. With bugs. A bug teaparty, and all the bugs will wear hats and bowties. Doesn't that sound divine?
Oh, and the chair standing picture reminds me of one from Rebel Angel.