Thursday, August 20, 2015

~ summertime ~

As the days grow shorter and summertime draws to a close, the Florida weather is creeping closer to 90 degrees/farther from 100, the air is slowly dehumidifying, and the beach trips are becoming fewer and farther between.  But as any true Floridian knows, summertime is not officially over until Halloween, even though last minute costume changes might be necessary due to overnight temperature plunges.  To celebrate my return to the U.S., the beautiful weather, and my total lack of coursework for this semester, a beach trip was most definitely in order.

I wore a vintage two-tone bathing suit that I picked up from a little shop in the UK.

It was a beautifully clear day, with only a few clouds in the sky and only a few people on the beach.  We ate quinoa salad and potato chips, read, took naps, and then headed over to Apalachicola to snoop in the shops and meet friendly people.  It was a perfect day and a even more perfect way to postpone fall as long as possible.

I'm ready to do it all again.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

~ the stray ~

Ever since I was little and read books like Alice in Wonderland, Linnea in Monet's Garden, and Anne of Green Gables, I've had dreams of running through the tall green grass in a vast meadow on a warm day.

Thanks to beautiful weather and a perfectly-placed flat, I lived out that dream.

And it was just as heavenly as I always imagined it would be.

{Photos by my sweet friend Sarah, who put up with my micromanaging beautifully}

It was a warm evening with a nice breeze (which gave a gaggle of university boys a nice look at my undies), so I whipped out my new (to me) 1980s-does-1950s dress which I picked up in Manchester, and paired it with my favorite bakelite bangles and hoops.

I'd be happy to do nothing but frolick in the Stray for the rest of my days.


Monday, August 3, 2015

~ across the pond ~

For those of you who aren't friends with me on facebook, don't follow me on instagram, or keep your windows shut and therefor haven't heard my excited squeals, I am currently in England!  Right now I am resting comfortably in my friend's dorm room in Yorkshire, which overlooks a beautiful grassy field, sipping a cup of Yorkshire Red tea and preparing for a full day of wandering around city centre and exploring the York art museum.  After navigating three busy airports and juggling luggage, boarding passes, and my passport, a blissfully calm trip is just what the doctor ordered.  So far it's been nothing but wonderful!

Day 01.

I arrived at the Manchester Airport at 9 (UK time) on Thursday morning after a long day spent navigating three airports and attempting to entertain myself during a long lay over.  After meeting up with Sarah, we headed back home for a quick lunch and then caught the train to Stockport to explore the town and tour the hat museum.

After doing a little shopping, we headed back home to make dinner (bowtie noodles with a red pepper and mushroom red sauce and a fresh salad with balsamic dressing), and watch I Love Lucy.

Day 02.

After a great, and much-needed, night's sleep, we ate a quick breakfast and took the train into downtown Manchester.  Despite some key differences, Manchester reminds me of Philadelphia, PA - a bustling metropolis with incredible cultural diversity.

We shopped at several vintage clothing stores, ate at an incredible vegetarian/vegan cafe, and explored city centre (which was great for people-watching).

Day 03.

On my third day in the UK, we took the train into the Manchester-Piccadilly station, and then caught our train to York.  It was a gorgeous day, despite being a little cloudy and rainy, so the view out of our window was glorious!

After dropping our bags at Sarah's flat, we went into town for dinner and some sightseeing.

Day 04.

I spent day four exploring the beautiful land around Sarah's flat and getting reoriented.  We walked to the park, had a picnic on the bridge, watched people playing tennis, and got ice cream from a canal boat.  To top off an already beautiful day, we had a photoshoot in the Stray (details and pictures to come!), and had some delicious tomato and basil soup for dinner.

Ohhh England.  I'm falling in love with you.


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 favorite 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.