Sunday, July 26, 2015

~ one hundred hats ~

Someone wise once said that once you hit a certain number, a hobby becomes a collection, and once you hit another number, a collection becomes an obsession.  From then on, you (and everyone who has the great misfortune to visit your house) enter, dangerously, into hoarder territory.

I think, now, of my grandparents.  One who kept everything that contained one speck of sentimentality.  Another who routinely vacuumed the floor under the table after every meal with such tenacity that even the smallest of crumb didn't stand a chance.  One who kept every single dress, hat, baby shoe, and letter from summer camp neatly tucked away in boxes, garment bags, and heavy trunks.  Another who would gladly have thrown away everything that wasn't nailed down.

Wager a guess as to which one I'm most like.

I might as well point out that I have excluded two hat boxes, one travel hat case, one suitcase, and the countless hats that liter my vanity table (and every level surface in my bedroom).

As of last week, the grand total hits somewhere around 50 - a number that makes me both proud and a little scared for the sagging shelf in my closet where nearly all fifty hats are stored.  Now what, you may ask, do I DO with all of these hats?  Despite my mixed emotions (equal parts adoration and fear), and the baffled looks on the faces of those who are not hat collectors, this question set me out on a mission: style and photograph all 50 hats that are currently in my collection, and the 50 more that will inevitably take their place on the closet shelf.

Welcome to the OneHundredHats Project!  Watch my Instagram (@vintagerosegirl) for photos, information on the hat style, label, age, and where I found it.

Hat No. 1
Hat No. 2

Hat No.3

Happy collecting!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

~ flower power ~

Do you ever buy a new (old) dress and suddenly feel that, for that moment, everything is right with the world?  Or is that just me?  Yesterday my friend Alex and I walked in to Other Side Vintage in Railroad Square and this dress caught my eye within the first ten minutes.  It was too hot to try on the 50s plaid skirt or the 70s knitted dress I had also picked out, so I stuck to the 60s dresses and 50s button ups.

Maybe it was the soul-draining heat or the power-punch of protein from having just eaten a veggie burger the size of my head, but yesterday was undoubtedly one of those everything-is-right-with-the-world experiences.

A 1960s blue/green/white explosion of flowers that can be worn with sleeves rolled up or down, with a (matching) belt or without, can be worn at any time of year, and is currently my thing in my closet.

The tag reads Shannon Rodgers for Jerry Silverman, a brand that dates back to 1959.  

How strange to think that a design that is nearly 60 years old is still as relevant and stylish as the day it was produced.  I don't know how Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman would feel knowing that their design is being worn and loved all those years later, but I like to think it would make them proud.

So thank you for your design, gentlemen.  And don't worry - I'll take good care of it.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

~ mrs. robinson ~

For someone who loves cats of all kinds as much as I do, you would think I would own more leopard print than I currently do.  But for now I only have two large leopard print scarves, that when skillfully placed, can give the appearance of a leopard print top, leopard print turban, and leopard print lingerie (see below).

Now, this is definitely a good start, but in order to reach my dream wardrobe, I'll need to take a leaf out of the book of these rad ladies and go into full-leopard mode....


Gene Tierney with leopard

Grace Kelly in all her leopard glory.#Grace.

Gloria Swanson #smoking

Gloria Swanson - that is a fabulous outfit! :)

And of course, saving the best for last...

"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?" -- The Graduate (1967)

After all, what's life without a little leopard?


Friday, June 19, 2015

~ barbie girl ~

When thinking back on my childhood, I see flashes of swimming pools, birthday parties, Hot Wheels, tree climbing, and playing Oregon Trail (not the computer game) in the front yard with a wagon full of Ritz crackers, bundles of grass clippings (for the oxen), a thermos of hot chocolate, stacks of blankets (for fort-building), and all the things one would need for embarking on a day-long journey through the dangerous terrain of rural north Florida.

But most of all, I think of playing dress up with hand-me-downs that floated through the closets of every single kid in my neighborhood, and concocting elaborate plots, acted out by my vast collection of Barbies and Barbie paraphernalia.

vintage Barbie bookletBarbie and Friends, 1962   Sears catalog  ad detail/edited  I would play with these right now if I could! How much fun to switch the wigs around and stuff. SOOOOOO cool. As a girl I didn’t get into the doll scene so I never played with barbie…except one, wait a minute, two: Growing up skipper whose breasts grew out and she grew taller all with the crank of her arm and Malibu Barbie with her real live tan…! I just HAD to have those.      File Photo

I absolutely grew up in the era of Barbie, let me make that clear.  My friend had a hot pink, kid-sized Barbie jeep and was the envy of all she met/nearly ran over.  I had ten Barbies (four stolen from my sister) and dozens and dozens of outfits for every season and occasion, from summertime at the Malibu beach house, to parachuting out of the second-story window.  It was an exciting life.
I had, and still have, a kick-ass kitchen set - complete with a frying pan that would flip pancakes, an ice maker that had tiny plastic pieces of ice that were just small enough to settle into the carpet and give you a rude awakening when you walked across the room an hour later, an oven that would make a sizzling noise when you put in the fake turkey and ding when it was fully-cooked, and cabinets and drawers FULL of plates, bowls, serving dishes, breakfast cereal, canned goods, cake mixes, drinking glasses, and a vast array of cutlery.  It was 90s-child heaven.

To fuel our obsession, in between the time we spent getting stuck in trees and fantasizing about Chad Michael Murray, my collection of friends and I would spy on my sister and her friends who spent hours choreographing and rehearsing a dance to Barbie Girl (that I still remember to this day and will perform in exchange for a crisp fifty dollar bill).  It wasn't until a decade later that I googled the lyrics and realized that what once flew right over my head was now as clear as day, but c'est la vie!  The damage was already done.

Now, let's be honest here.  My Barbie collection is in a plastic box, either shoved under my bed, or somewhere in my closet.  I'm no longer in love with Barbie or envious of her waist.  I've been made aware of the over-sexualization of young girls, the ridiculous gender stereotypes present in the toy aisle, and my feminist self cringes at the recent onslaught of "girl toys" that, yet again, put the emphasis on outward appearance rather than inward growth.  But even I have to admit; vintage Barbie rocks.

The hair!  The makeup!  The clothes!  The picnic sets!  She makes my heart flutter.

And until someone makes Barbie dolls without funky feet, a wasp waist, and permanent makeup, she'll have to do.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

~ tuesday ~

It's 9:30.  I'm currently sitting in bed, ceiling fan going full blast, with a record playing on a brand-spankin' new record player.  I have nothing I need to do.  No one I need to communicate with.  No papers to write, no floors to vacuum, no plans to make.

Bliss.  How would you define it?

If there's something I've forgotten to do (and there probably is), I'll remember it in the morning.  
But for now....bliss.

This morning I went to yoga, which started me off on the right foot.  And now I've just seen the most beautiful sunset - the rosey end to a hot day.
What a perfect Tuesday.  
You have some mighty big shoes to fill, Wednesday.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

~ confessions of a former packrat ~

Let me take you on a little trip down memory lane.  Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a world of innocence and a room full of dress up clothes and canned goods.  She would go "shopping" in the kitchen, in the bookshelves, and in the underwear drawers, collecting specimens and carefully placing them in her plastic, kid-sized shopping cart, ringing them up with her plastic, kid-sized price gun and conveyor belt, and storing them under her bed, in her closet, and in her kid-sized refrigerator. Nothing in the world could possibly stop her.

Until one day when her mother noticed pieces of mail had suddenly gone missing from the coffee table and cans of tomato soup were no where to be found.  In that moment, a raid was conducted and months and months of hard work (and diligent hoarding) came to a close.  The perpetrator was caught and charged with mail theft, shop lifting, and endangering the public, and she never stock-piled canned goods again.

The End.

In a perfect world, that would be the end of the story, but as we all know (and spoiler alert if you didn't already know) this is NOT a perfect world.  It wasn't easy, but I eventually learned my lesson about the electric bills and cans of soup, the kid-sized fridge found a new home, plastic boxes replaced piles, and the rod in my closet only slightly sags under the weight of vintage prom dresses and hat boxes.  To put it bluntly: I got my shit together.

Now I'm no domestic goddess (and have no interest in being a domestic goddess), but cleaning my room is no longer a 48 hour ordeal that ends with tears, hair-pulling, and a fiery tantrum.

My shopping cart survived being thrown down flight of stairs (not my doing) and is probably still in the attic somewhere, but my conveyor belt and price gun met a fateful end during a battle with a can of shaving cream.  So, the lesson learned here?  As my mom so wisely says, nothing in a book about child-rearing could possibly prepare you for giving birth to a hoarder.  But please take my advice.  If you are so (un)lucky to bring a hoarder into this fine world, don't give them a shopping cart, and for heaven's sake, put them in the bedroom with the small closet.  You'll thank me later.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

~ takin' it easy ~

Do you ever take a look at your life and realize that everything you're striving for on a daily basis might not happen?  Or that what you always thought you wanted out of life might not be what you actually want?  Or that you haven't washed your bras in a frightfully long time and Martha Stewart would not approve of how you fold your sheets?

I think about that a lot.

I'll be moving cities relatively soon, living on my own for the first time in my life, and working towards getting my degree (majoring in production design, minoring in photography), all while attempting to remain sane - and I am FREAKING OUT.  I hate change, even incredibly wonderful change, so someone will most likely have to push me out of my front door, force me into the car, and push me out of the car door once we reach our destination.

But until then, I've adopted a new attitude.  I'm not going to think about it!  I'm going to do yoga and go to the beach and spend time with family and friends, and snuggle with cats, and live in a blissfully ignorant mindset for as long as I can!

I'll stop making to-do lists, eat way too much homemade salsa, watch all the historical dramas I want, wear nothing but vintage ball gowns and bathing suits, and not think about which kitchen utensils I'll need or whether or not my mid-century chair will fit in an elevator or how many of my vintage hats I can justify taking with me.

There will be time for all that.  And that time is not now.