I know I said I was going to be a spiderweb for Halloween this year, but the other day I found this beautiful vintage costume which is so Elizabeth Bennet, and required much less work ;)
Everything but the skirt seams are hand stitched, with some smocking here and there, I just love that there's that detail on a costume, we don't even have that on modern everyday clothes!
Pride and Prejudice has been my favorite book since I first read it at 14, and I just can't help but buy more and more copies of the novel. This one is my favorite, it's a beautiful hardback I got at an antique show, but I still have that very worn copy I carried around in high school.
I hope everyone will have a nice Halloween weekend, I'm off to a party at Twila Jean's house, but Halloween night will be spent watching another episode of Sherlock Holmes with kitty and a cup of tea :)
I love knit dresses. I could live in them, they're figure hugging, warm, comfortable, and easy to dress up or down.
This particular shade of green looks fantastic with leopard, more unexpected that the standard red and animal print.
Dress and belt-Urban Eccentric Vintage
Hobbs is sooooo big! Whenever I pick him up he just flops about, unfazed. He sleeps all day, wakes up every morning between 5 and 7 am, and meows in my face until I get up and show him his food. For some reason he needs me to acknowledge there is food in his bowl. Perhaps he wants us to enjoy breakfast together.
And this pretty much explains how kitty petting goes in our house.
Also, I keep forgetting to post that I now have a Tumblr account, go see!
Skirt and hat-Urban Eccentric Vintage
Shoes-Chie Mihara, garage sale
Photo by Twila Jean
During the fall, winter, and spring months, it is quite gray and rainy most of the time here in the Northwest. You'd think everyone would own a trench coat, rainboots, and above all, umbrella, but thats just not so. Hardly anyone uses umbrellas, in fact, locals say "A real northwesterner never uses an umbrella."
But then again most people here don't do their hair everyday, don't wear makeup, and certainly don't care if their ensemble get's rained on.
I however, do care. I have a lovely collection of umbrellas, a fabulous pair of rainboots, and now, what I feel is a staple in any rainy climate, a good trench coat.
But not just any trench, it's a Burberry trench!
When I spotted this in the Brown Bag Vintage Etsy shop, I knew I just had to have it. I'd see them every once in a while (not in Portland, usually California of all places), but they were always too big. This one was perfect, in excellent condition, and Michelle was a dream to buy from! I'm so happy to finally have one after years of wanting and looking, and of course, the quality is top notch.
Thats one item checked off my wardrobe wants list, now where is that New Look Dior suit I've been looking for?
As a vintage/history enthusiast, it is often funny to me how my generation takes credit for ideas, products, and even ways of life that are decades or centuries old. Spanx? Yeah. Thats a weak girdle.
Most people who grew up during the depression or the war are the "greenest" people you'll ever know. Only they didn't call it "green", they just called it life. It was a necessity for saving money, and making the most of rationed materials and guidelines. I know there are many ways modern culture uses the resources we have to conserve energy on a large scale: solar power, recycling plants, etc. But as far as having a green way of life, those people can tell you young whippersnappers how it's really done.
I have a few knitting and sewing books from the 1940s, and they are full of patterns for non-wasteful everyday things. Lots of reusable market bag patterns for instance. Plastic grocery bags were not in existence until the late 1970s, until then there was paper, and whatever cloth bag you brought with you.
Making new clothing out of old frocks was a necessity for almost everyone during WWII. It's now a fun way to take old unwanted clothing and make them into something new, but back then, it was the only way you would get a new dress, blouse, or hat. There are even patterns and how-to booklets for turning old into new, it was especially popular for women to take their husbands, fathers, or brothers suit, and turn it into something for themselves.
Homemade cleaning supplies are nothing new. They did wonders with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.
Canning, buying food locally, purchasing dry goods in bulk, growing your own vegetables, keeping chickens, It's all been done.
Saving the last bits of soap bars, drying laundry on a clothesline, mending good clothes. They did it first.
My favorite online resource for helpful domestic tips and tricks from a pre-Martha Stewart era is Things Your Grandmother Knew. It is full of snippets from old magazines that will make you go "Oh! Thats amazing! Why didn't I think of that!"
Also check online, antique shops, and thrift stores for little booklets and hard back books that contain a wealth of "Make do and Mend" knowledge.
Honestly I think it's more difficult now to live a wasteless life since we live in a disposable world. We no longer have milkmen to drop off bottles of milk in the morning. Our flour no longer comes in cotton bags we can turn into blouses and dishtowels. Our snacks are conveniently pre-packaged in little plastic bags. Even our fruit can come individually wrapped. Toys come with a crazy amount of packaging, even books, books come wrapped in plastic.
What are your "green" methods of living?
Today was a lovely day off.
It's always nice to have absolutely nothing you need to do on a certain day, so this afternoon I let the day take me wherever it wanted. I packed up my preachers bag and picked up lunch at La Bottega, then headed to Officers Row. There were cars everywhere, but hardly any people, which I thought was odd, but later I learned that the Vice President was at a political rally nearby!
I found a picnic table under a huge old tree, and ate a delicious lunch as a the leaves fell one by one around me. I also had an unexpected guest for lunch, Mr. Spider, he didn't really eat much.
After lunch I packed my bag up again and went to the old abandoned military hospital for exploring and pictures. One of the windows on the front door was gone, if I were a braver and more adventurous girl I could have easily climbed through, but I got the chills just standing on the porch peering in.
And then a bug buzzed through my hair I and freaked out and got the heck off that porch. I forgot how often bugs get stuck in my hair when it's long (It's getting there). Oh joy.
Later I was going to the market with my brother and we had to stop at a barricade. About a minute later the Vice President and what seemed like an army of police vehicles drove by. We caught a glimpse and I got a blurry picture, it was neat :)
The day concluded with fried macaroni, Parisian chocolates, Voodoo Doughnuts, a photobooth, and the most magical pink apple ever.
Yes they are really that pink. They are called "Pink Pearls".
And please check out my guest post on The Lingerie Addict this week! It's some basics about buying vintage lingerie at thrift and vintage stores. Go take a peek!
Dress-Ummmm, I don't remember. Somewhere a long time ago....
Shoes-A gift from the ever adorable Jodi
Socks-Also too old to remember.
Today I went to the post office and took a few pictures of the beautiful architecture and detail it holds. I absolutely love the P.O. boxes, there are a few different designs, but these have the original number plates. I just know that one day they will tear them all out, and replace them with awful gray metal boxes, and when that day comes I'll get all the old boxes and line my walls in them, and fill the boxes with buttons and thread, and random little trinkets.
After the Post Office Sam and I grabbed some lunch and took it to the nearby train station. Right across from the tracks is a metal recycling plant (I think, there was lots of metal) so we sat and watched refrigerators climb up conveyor belts. It really just made me think of all the beautiful blue 50s kitchen appliances that have probably passed through there.
I was feeling much better today, so Sam and I took advantage of the sunny, crisp weather and headed to 23rd st in Portland. We actually were headed to the zoo, but there was no parking for miles, so that idea was abandoned. One of these days we'll find parking there...
It was nice to see most of the shop spaces full, last october when we went there many were vacant. We stopped first at Urban Outfitters, where Sam found a new cardigan and pair of pants, and I got the most adorable bow hooks ever. They're on sale for $2.99! I should have bought ten of them. Silly me.
I also went to Pop-up Shoppe where that had some fantastic 50s skirts, but they were either too big or small. Silly skirts.
We had lunch at Pizzicato, where I had the spiciest pizza ever. I think it was called "Pepper Madness". I guess that should have been my clue.
Last but not least we stopped at Alotto Gelato for pumpkin gelato! I really need a pint of that stuff. Or perhaps that wouldn't be such a good idea, it would be gone within minutes....
Dress-A gift from my aunt
Cashmere cardigan, Coach satchel, and locket-Urban Eccentric Vintage
Birdie brooch courtesy of Bombshell Bettie's Vintage
Very sorry for the lack of posting this week, I've been sick and spend my spare time resting up. Actually yesterday and today kitty and I have taken cat naps all day, with a bit of knitting in between.
I knit. Not kitty, he just pounces on the yarn.
Anyway, hopefully things will be back to normal next week, maybe I'll even have my cardigan finished! Meanwhile, have a nice weekend everyone!
So I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I do like the holiday, but don't get super excited for it. I suppose it has to do with the fact that if I want to dress up, I do, not matter the time of year. And I just get really sick of seeing all the cheap, skanky, pre-coordinated costumes at stores, in those little baggies. No imagination. No quality. It's like fast food in clothing form.
Anyway, the only time I really love Halloween, is when I see some vintage costumes, and decorations, specifically from the 1920s. They had the craziest, most imaginative, stunning costumes I've ever seen, even something so cliche as a witch, looks original.
I was searching for ideas for my own costume, and came across the third photo, with the spiderweb costume. And now I am going to be a spiderweb. I was going to go totally 1920s, with an actual black 1920s dress I have stored away, but instead I will wear that sequin leotard I found last week. And I'll just have to make the rest! Although since seeing that crazy picture of the two spiderweb girls and their amazing headdresses, my costume seems much less elaborate now ;)
Set 2, 3, and 4, from Rhiannonmar's photostream
Set 5 from Carbonated's photostream
This morning I went with my grandma and Tia to a few estate sales around town, and found some great stuff! At one sale, a picnic basket full of pretty turquoise and pink plastic dishes (which just happens to be the colors of my kitchen), a doctors bag-ish briefcase that once belonged to a preacher, and some lovely little vintage hand towels. Including one that has my initials! How weird is that? Technically the "C" should be in the middle, but still, having all three initials there is pretty awesome.
At the second sale I found a vintage Christmas bath mat, a beautiful plaid wool blanket, and a brand new pack of 60s Christmas wrapping paper!
After estate sales I went withTwila Jean to The Red Light, where I found a funny little horse tie, girl scout tie, and best of all, a 1950s sequins costume. Not quite sure what to call it. Bodysuit? Leotard? Whatever, it's amazing :)