Thursday, April 16, 2015

~ middle, middle age ~

As adulthood quickly creeps up on me, ignoring my deliberate attempts to delay its eventual grasp (that bastard), I am suddenly facing the horrifying realization that I must figure out what I want to do and (even more horrifying) who I want to be.

Just to set things straight, I have never felt young.  I was probably the only ten year old who would rather spend the half an hour before bed attempting to set her hair in pin curls than watching TV.  Sometimes I speak of "youths" as though I'm not included in that classification.  My idea of a perfect night is a hot cup of tea, my floral robe, 25 pillows, and any movie with Myrna Loy.  The only thing I hate more than arugula is a typical college party.

Let's face it.  I'm an old lady.  An old lady who doesn't have to do her own taxes and wouldn't know a credit card statement if it bit her on the ear.  (and an old lady who fully recognizes her own privilege and is unbelievably grateful for it)

Now.  I have three choices when faced with such a task as growing up.  1. I could run and hide and forge my ID to make myself 19 forever (which has some obvious flaws).  2. I could learn the things an adult must know and walk confidently in the direction of my future (which is obviously designed for someone way more organized and optimistic than myself).  Or 3. I could take things a day at a time and slowly prepare myself, one task at a time (like throwing out six years worth of notes and tackling The Junk Drawer).  A fourth option would of course be to marry rich and never work a day in my life, but that thought makes me slightly nauseous and more than a bit depressed.  So being a competent adult it is!

It's no secret to those who know me well that change is both the thing I dread and the thing I crave the most, so I look upon this next phase of my life with mixed emotions.  Of course, the opportunity to add a new layer to myself and find my place in the world is something I am very grateful for, but at the same time, to say I'm not scared shitless would be an incredibly bad lie.  Leaving the things I have come to feel comfortable with, the people I love, and the grocery store I could navigate while blindfolded, all of which I am so lucky to have, is a really big puddle to jump over.

But soon enough, adult life will be my norm.  I'll get excited over buying laundry detergent,  and the "youths" I complain about will actually be younger than me.

Gone will be the days of sleeping in, waking up to homemade biscuits, and running to an adult when the vacuum cleaner eats a pair of tights and then catches on fire.  I will be the adult.  Youths will run to me with smoking vacuum cleaners.  And that my friends, is a scary, scary thought.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

~ the scarf queens ~

Though the verdict is still out on how long I can go without washing my hair (because I am a very lazy person and I have a LOT of hair - i.e. hair washing is a major production and will only be done when absolute necessary), the verdict has definitely come back in regards to headscarves and I'm pleased to say they have passed with flying colors!  Blue ones, red one, white ones, floral ones, plaid ones, striped ones - you name it, I've tried it.  And thanks to my grandmother who was meticulous in her treatment towards her clothes and accessories, I have enough scarves (in perfect condition) to last me a lifetime of bad hair days, lazy hair days, rainy days, and just plain blah days!

Now here are a few Scarf Queens that deserve your attention.

Such a wonderful, classic 1940s scarf and rolled bang hairstyle.

1940′s Snood; ***I love snoods, they are so beautiful, especially the lacey ones...  :D(Not actually a dress but love the dotted scarf) Photograph by Victor Keppler for a lipstick advertisement, c. 1943.

1941 street fashion - woman at the horse races in Paris (how she's styled her head scarf is amazing!). #vintage #1940s #fashionThis was a huge change to the workforce as women “began to take over ‘male’ jobs and gained confidence in themselves.” (“World War Glamour…”, Glamour Daze). It was asked of women to “play active roles in the industrial workforce, while maintaining morale by keeping up a feminine appearance.” (Walford). This was quite difficult as “Women in factories often wore shapeless jumpsuits and kept their hair pinned up under a scarf tied about their head into a turban.”

Headscarves are such an elegant alternative to hats when keeping the chill of one's ears of a winter eve.

One of each, please.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

~ vintage ephemera ~

Throughout my life I've collected everything under the sun.  Stamps, marbles, vintage patterns, Nancy Drew books, vegan recipes (do those count as a collection or an obsession?), vintage clothes, vintage hats, vintage hankies.....I could go on.

But recently my attention has been drawn in a different direction: vintage ephemera.  That is, books, sheet music, magazines, catalogs, recipe books, etc., etc.  And over the weekend, I hit the jackpot!

Books for 25 cents, sheet music for a dollar, postcards for 45 cents.  JACKPOT.

First up: 1953 South Carolina Mills catalog





1957 Conquering Outer Space

Look For the Silver Lining sheet music

Oh, and one last thing (even though it doesn't qualify as ephemera)....

Paul Revere and The Raiders

I'm quite sure I didn't NEED another obsession, but I'm sure enjoying it.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

~ tightly laced ~

I've never been able to call myself a talented seamstress.  I usually stray from the pattern (or don't read the pattern and assume I can just figure it out on my own), don't take measurements, and then get frustrated when (BIG SURPRISE) it doesn't fit.  So let's just call this my justification for the heap of bragging you're about to encounter.

To no surprise at all, my fascination with corsets began right along side my fascination with period dramas and was perpetuated by ballet and theatre costumes .  I can clearly remember watching Gone With the Wind for the first time and being totally enraptured by the corsets.  Then came the BBC's Daniel Deronda and that pushed me totally over the edge.

So here I am, many years later, and I've finally gotten around to making a corset for myself.  Like a real, honest to goodness corset that's better than any push up bra I've ever owned!

The long wait was due in part to the fact that I've been under the impression that corsets were nearly impossible to sew and it would take me years and years of duds before I made a good one.  Well maybe it was beginners luck, or maybe it was the inspiration I found from scrolling though every single post from Before The Automobile and Rococo Atelier , but I finally finished an historically accurate Elizabethan corset and I couldn't be prouder of myself! (I warned you about the bragging)

The pattern came from (definitely check it out).  

 I couldn't wait to finish one hundred percent before photographing it - so just kindly ignore the pins on the bottom.

All together it called for about a yard of fabric, 10 yards of boning, and a hell of a lot of thread.

I know people complain all the time about inserting boning, but I found it to be very easy, once I got the hang of it.  And as for the grommets (or lack thereof), they are ridiculously expensive so I did without - instead I hand stitched 9 buttonholes on each side, which only added to my deteriorating eyesight.

But I suppose in several years when my prescription has doubled in strength and my back is permanently sore from awkward sewing positions, I'll be comforted by the knowledge that my ability to replicate the most famous waistlines through the decades has been made infinitely easier.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

~ blue skies ~

Spring has finally hit Florida and I couldn't be happier!

I've buried all of my sweaters deep in the closet.  Dresses and skirts and shorts have come out of storage.  The flowers are blooming.  The bees are busy.  And the daytime temperatures are in 80s.

All I need is a Doris Day record playing in the background and a basket of flower pedal to occasionally throw like confetti.

{vintage dress from Avant Garb)

Oh I love this time of year!  I don't want anything to change.  I would be perfectly content watching period dramas in a bathing suit and drafting corset patterns with the windows open for the rest of my life.  Happy Spring!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

~ panama city ~

I love things that are older than me.  Vintage clothes, songs from the 1920s, british actors in their late 30s, etc., etc.  Maybe this is due to always having been surrounded by people, places, and objects older than myself, throughout my entire childhood.  Most of my friends were older than me, I was the youngest in my family, most of my clothes were hand-me-downs, my furniture was antique, my favorite books were from the 1950s, the movies I watched from the 30s, and the music I listened to predated 1990.  This love of old things hasn't dissipated or grown weak with time (as one might think), but instead, has taken over my life and slowly taken over my closet.  With this in mind, it wouldn't take a genius to figure out that one of my favorite things to do is go antiquing - and I don't mean in those fru fru shops that sell antique bird cages and feedsack pillowcases with "live, laugh, love" embroidered on them.  I mean serious antique shops.  Crowded, dark, slanted floors, packed with interesting old stuff, probably a fire hazard.  You know what I mean.  The more cramped, the better.

There are few antique stores that live up to my incredibly high standards, and the best one is a two hour drive from home, so I don't get to visit it that often.  But when I do, I arrive with plenty of cash, a fully charged phone, and a snack, in case I find a bathing suit from the 40s and get light headed (it happens, people).

If you ask me, there's no better way to spend a spring break...

{the coolest movie theater}


These magazine ads came home with me.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

~ ripe city ~

Well, spring break 2015 is wonderfully uncomplicated, so I figured I would go ahead and start a new series on this ole blog.  A brief spotlight on some of my favorite small businesses around town!

In the last few years, Tallahassee has become overflowing with small businesses - restaurants, art galleries, bookshops, vintage stores, boutiques, bakeries, food trucks, and urban farms, among others.  Some have gone out of business, but the majority have hung on, thanks to good planing, good advertising, a public support.

The first local business in this series is the awesome Ripe City, an urban farm right smack in the middle of town.  I've always been passionate about the environment, and in particular, gardening.  Growing up, the day's activities were dictated by what was growing in the garden that season - almost every summer evening was spent picking (or digging up) our dinner.  Corn, butter beans, green beans, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, and tons and tons of herbs.  Now that my life has gotten more complicated and gardening has taken the backseat, it's so great to see a group of people who have dedicated their days to providing people and local restaurants with fresh vegetables.


So if you're looking for great local, organic produce, check out Ripe City - both online (website, facebook, pinterest), on Instagram (@ripecity) and in person.