Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice...

All of these items are now available in the shop! Thanks so much for stoppin' by!

Untitled-1

Exploring Lancaster

d

photos by Tom b.

- 60s mini sweater dress
- AA tights
- 80s boots
- vintage wool beret
- 40s Gladstone style bag

So, how was everyone's Thanksgiving weekend? Our Thanksgiving was rather uneventful but we did have a lovely weekend. From my usual photos you would think I live in the middle of the woods, but it's actually rather the opposite. Our new house is smack-dab in the middle of the city (it's really not much of a city, but that's what everyone around here refers to it as). We took advantage of some warmer than usual temperatures to get out and enjoy the day. We walked around downtown including going to the top of this parking deck. It was fun to have a new perspective of the city. The tall building you see in the background is the Greist Building, the tallest building in the city and right next to that is Central Market where we go to buy our veggies and whatnot.

We also had visitors from NYC on Saturday and we got to eat crepes and analyze the finale of Mad Men and sip champagne while we (the gals, at least) tried on vintage dresses. It was quite a lot of fun! Now it's Monday and time to get back to work. I'll be working on a nice big update for the shop all day long. Hopefully you'll see the fruits of my labor tomorrow!

c

a

b

Quilts of Gee's Bend

a
I've been trying for a while now to do a post on the quilts of Gees Bend but I can never quite figure out what to say. So I'm going take Sgt. Friday's advice and report "just the facts ma'am". I think the quilts speak for themselves!

Gee's Bend is a poor tenant community in Alabama located in what is known at the Black Belt of the south. A common misconception is that the term "black belt" refers to the demographic living in the area since most residents are descendants of slaves. In fact, the term refers to the color of the fertile soil. Though the region functions mostly below poverty level the residents are rich in the tradition of quilt making. The Gee's Bend quilters of the mid-twentieth century were all but cut off from the modern world yet somehow managed to piece together quilts that appear to be works of modern art.

I've always been fascinated by these quilts. I remember watching a documentary about them a few years ago and loved hearing the little ol' southern ladies talk about their craft as it was to them - just another day of work making the most of what they had. Their intentions were not to make "art" but simply to utilize the materials they had to make quilts for their families, just as all quilters do. When the pieces were shown at the Whitney in New York, the ladies wouldn't even get on a airplane to attend the show! They had to arrange a bus to pick them up in Alabama and drive them all the way to NY.
b

Thanksgiving Weekend Randomness

I have a folder on my desktop named "blog ideas" where I throw every random thing I see that I think might someday make an interesting blog post. Some of these I blog about right away while others languish in that folder for weeks or months because I can't quite figure out how to flesh them out into an entire blog post. These days the folder seems to be bulging at the seams (metaphorically speaking) so I think it's time to do some purging. Here are a few things that have been lingering for much too long...

d

I discovered the Lonely Hearts line through Sacaton June's blog. While I'm not crazy about the styling in the lookbook (too tough and grungy for me) I do love the pieces as they were used in the Russh Aug/Sept '09 editorial. The details on that long dress remind me of the sort of art deco detailing you would find on a Lyell piece which is probably why I like it so much.

c

I think another reason I had a hard time putting together a post about this line is because while I found their site clever, it was a bit hard to navigate. I wanted to see some close up photos of their fall/winter '10 line but all I could come up with is this video. The video is beautiful and done quite well but I would love to see some still shots.

Lonely Hearts: What is Your Damage from Nik Riviera on Vimeo.

b

This lovely lady from Copenhagen Street Style may very well deserve a post of her own. She's definitely been added to my "wear this!" folder. Love the bike, the cardigan, the collar on the blouse, the patent leather shoes!

25887a[1]

Wouldn't you love to run across a stash of these little dancing outfits in someone's estate sale? I can just hear them tap, tap, tapping away getting ready for the big show! Photo from Shorpy.

a

This article found via the Life Archives has been sitting in my folder for way too long! I searched high and low for the second page to the story to no avail. It sort of drives me crazy to cut it off at the end of the page without knowing what comes next but at the same time, the first page was just too good not to share. It's proof that the DIY movement is not a recent invention! These gals were figuring out ways to make their short 20s flapper dresses into more fashionable below-the-knee lengths.

I'm not making demands on your far away plans...

4

photos by Tom b.

- 50s black and white gingham dress
- thrifted cream cardigan
- 30s felt hat
- 60s suede oxfords
- vintage Coach purse
- listening to: Walking Concert - Run to be Born "What's Your New Thing"

a
2b

Party Girls

Here's a little peek at some of the dresses I'm working on for the Etsy shop - party dresses just in time for the holidays! There's crushed velvet galore, 60s little black dresses and a 70s flapper style dress. They'll all be available by the end of the night.* Thanks so much for stoppin' by!

*edit: They're all available in the shop now!

Untitled-1

Winter Looks

I'm spending the afternoon taking photos for another shop update. Look for it later today! But until then, I thought we could take a look at a few of the shots that have made it into the "wear this!" folder on my computer. The weather has finally started its turn from fall into winter with gray skies and misty rain and colder temperatures. So, naturally I'm starting to think more in terms of layers and warmth. These are some of my favorite shots right now.

Untitled-1

Looking at these grouped together like this, I suddenly realized three out of four have one thing in common - cardigans! Hmmm. This makes sense. I do love a good cardigan. The sunny yellow one seems just the thing to brighten up dreary winter days. The mossy green one paired with a cranberry velvet skirt on Frances Baker seems like the perfect holiday outfit (note: must find velvet skirt). And how many ways is this outfit on Sacaton June perfect? Too many to count. The best part is, she made the dress herself (another note: must get back on the sewing machine!). Last but not least (and sort of out of order) is this men's wear inspired look from Lulu Letty. This is the odd one out in this group but perhaps the one I'm most excited about. It's giving me all sorts of ideas about my new old riding jacket. Some times I get so stuck in dress and skirt mode I forget about all the lovely men's wear looks I could be sporting.

Holiday Lace

Untitled-3
Fletcher for Lyell top, Anthropologie floating lace blouse, Fletcher for Lyell velvet jacket, Duskin black eyelet dress, Night Spirits dress from Dear Golden Vintage, Rules of the Game top from 13bees, black lace dress from TinyCatVintage

For some reason it just hit me that the holiday season is quickly approaching. This time of year always has me looking at pretty party dresses even though I really don't have any fancy parties to attend. This year I'm especially drawn to black lacy things - dresses, blouses, tights. The more I look, the more I realize I'd like to try to incorporate some black lace into an everyday sort of outfit instead of saving all for a holiday soirée. I was hoping to walk out of the thrift store last week with a black lace blouse but everything I found was tight 90s era grunge lace and I want something looser and more flowy (is that a word?). Maybe I'll have better luck next time.

Half of the time we're gone but we don't know where...

a

- 60s shift dress
- 70s leather boots
- thrifted belt
- vintage wool beret
- vintage Coach purse
- listening to Simon & Garfunkel "The Only Living Boy in New York"

b

Things I'm Loving

9
photo credits: fish bear, hello mr fox, bloom grow love, yyellow bird, emerson merrick, ginny branch, helveticaneue, lina scheynius, bee hives

Things I'm loving right now:
  • Watching the WWII in HD series on the History Channel. It's like crack for history nerds.
  • Dry shampoo! Thanks so much for all of your recommendations. What would I do without you gals? I ended up buying Bastiste because, well, it was the first one I found at Sally's Beauty and it was cheap. Now that I know I like it maybe I'll try something different next time (or try a DIY home version?).
  • Listening to Simon & Garfunkel. For some reason that music just sounds like autumn to me.
  • The My Parents Were Awesome tumblr page. So funny. So good. So true.
  • Looking throught the archives of William Gedney's photography. Especially the San Francisco series. This deserves a post all its own.

Vintage Finds to Keep

2

I feel like it's been a while since I showed you some of the things that have made their way into my closet. I've been pretty good lately, saving most everything I've found for the shop. But every now and then I'll let something slip through. They can at least hang out in my closet for a little while!

The two dress have fallen victim to the "needs buttons" pile by my sewing table. That pile is higher than I would like to admit. The first dress is a lovely 30s wool jumper with pleats that just melt my heart. And it's got the cutest little Scotty dog on the tag. I'm always a sucker for a cute vintage tag. It's missing two buttons and I can't seem to match them so I think I'm going to have to end up replacing all twelve. Luckily I have quite a stash of vintage buttons after exploring an abandoned coat factory a while back. The second dress is in perhaps my favorite color of the moment - a nice mustardy yellow. It doesn't need buttons replaced as much as it needs buttons rearranged. They're a little bit wonky don't cha think? Seriously, who sewed these on? After reading this post I think I'm finally motivated to get on the button sewing bandwagon so I can wear these before the seasons change again.

3

A while back I mentioned finding a collection of cashmere skirts at a vintage shop. There were three in all and this pretty purple one made its way into my closet (I've still got to list the other two in my shop). I love it but I'm torn about the length. It hits well below the knees and I think I might like it more if it were a bit shorter. I just can't bring myself to cut into the fabric. Seriously, it's the most luxurious thing I think I've laid my hands on. I wish I had some sort of tele-touch screen technology so you could feel it yourself. And it weighs a ton!

The last piece is a 50s-60s era riding coat that I found at the thrift store yesterday. It's a good thing I found it because otherwise I thought my head might implode right there in the Salvation Army. I guess that's what I get for trying to brave Half-Off-Family-Day. The place was packed and I'm not a fan of crowds! It was elbow to elbow in the dress section and I'm always paranoid that someone is going to find all the good stuff before I do. And to add insult to injury, I heard Miley Cyrus not once but twice while I was there. Luckily the trip was salvaged when I found the riding coat. It's far from perfect. Check out that stain on the arm! And there are a couple of small holes but nothing so terrible that a little TLC won't bring it back to life. Now I just need a pair of riding boots and a slick bun to do my best Betty-Draper-goes-riding impersonation.

Sneaking up the spine of the world...

Dear Creatures

- Dear Creatures dress
- American Apparel tights
- UO boots
- vintage wool beret
- vintage Coach purse
- listening to Danzig - Lucifuge "Long Way Back From Hell"

Dear Creatures
5

Etsy Update

I've got a big ol' shop update in the works. A few of these pieces are already available and the rest will be soon! Thanks so much for stoppin' by!

2 1

Waldemar and Max

Untitled-1

Monday, Monday. Another busy weekend has left me a bit drained! So now I'm trying to catch up on a bit of rest by snuggling on the couch with the kitties and watching a little Dexter. Nothing like serial killers for relaxing, right? I'm also taking the time to catch up on a bit of blog reading. I just ran across these dreamy images from Waldemar and Max. They've left me trying to figure out how to get some birds to cooperate the next time I'm out taking photos. Bread crumbs in my pockets? Oh boy, I must be really tired.

There's a ship that sails by my window...

1

- Anthropologie dress
- UO tights
- UO shoes
- vintage denim jacket
- vintage wool beret
- vintage Coach purse
- listening to Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See "Blue Light"

3
5

Family Affairs

a (4)


I just discovered clothing line Family Affairs. When I checked a bit further into it, I realized it's literally a family affair - a mother/daughter design team! How cute is that? I don't do a lot of prints, but I'm really loving this black and white star print. And I'd love to get a better look at those velvet (?) high waisted pants. The first two photos are from their current collection while the bottom two were found in their archives. They make me want to pack up an old timey suitcase and take a trip on a train!

a (3)

a

a (2)

Messy Hair

12-french-bun-hair-how-to_sm[1]

Most days I like to wear my hair long and loose. But we all have those bad hair days when nothing seems to work and not even a hat is fixing the problem. My inclination on those days is to break out the pony tail but what I'd really like is a nice messy bun a la cool French girls. That's one thing I've never quite been able to master. Until today that is! I discovered this cute tutorial via A Cup of Jo yesterday and couldn't wait to try it out. It seems so simple but it really did the trick. No more walking around with a hair rubber band on my wrist! Now I just need to find a good place to stash a few bobby pins instead.

Oh, and I also really want to try out some dry shampoo. Anyone have any experience with that? Recommendations?

Untitled-1

I'll never know what it takes for you to feel this free...

b


- H&M dress
- vintage cardigan
- vintage Aigner oxfords
- vintage wool beret
- vintage Coach purse
- thrifted belt
- listening to: Open Hand - You and Me "Tough Girl"

a

Etsy Update

I just finished a little update in the shop! I also have a stack of pretty dresses that I was going to include in this update, but somehow I ran out of sunlight before I got all of the photos taken. I'm obviously not used to the time change yet. But not to worry - my new light kit arrives on Friday! I'm so excited. No more relying on the whims of the sun for shop updates. Woo hoo!

Untitled-1

Wendy Bevan

I'm in love with these dreamy vintage inspired images by Wendy Bevan. See more here.

a

When the day is long and the clouds are high...

11-9-09

- H&M shirt
- vintage denim jacket
- 50s wool pleated skirt
- 70s boots
- vintage wool beret
- vintage Coach purse
- listening to: Starsailor - Silence is Easy "Shark Food"

11-9-09
6

Content

c
see more photos at Urban Weeds: The Sunroom

Seeing these photos from Content in Portland is making me wish for three things: to visit Portland (so much talent in one city!), to stay in an Ace Hotel (seriously, they look amazing!) and see more images of what designers wear (so many cute tights!).

b
a

Mad Men Season Finale

mad-men-0909-04[1]
photos by Annie Leibovitz from Vanity Fair

I just got done watching the Mad Men season finale! No worries, I won't give anything away for those of you who haven't seen it yet. But it was good. Really good! Let me know what you thought after you get a chance to see it. Warning! There may be spoilers in the comments!

mad-men-0909-05[1]
mad-men-0909-01[1]
mad-men-0909-03[1]
mad-men-0909-02[1]