Tuesday, April 28, 2015

~ love letter to my legs ~

Yes, you read that title right.  This post is truly one long letter of appreciation addressed to my legs.  And no, I'm not joking.  So, if you're not in the mood for a whole heap of honesty and a solid attempt at body positivity, turn away now.

Ready?  Here we go.

Friends posing on Kirra Beach, 1938.Jersey shore, 1942.

Dear Legs,
     We've been through a lot together, you and I.  I've often taken you for granted, cramming you into too small skinny jeans and mismatched socks, letting half of you go uncovered in an attempt to get rid of a shorts tan (which doesn't work, by the way), and whacking you on the edge of the counter every single time I walk into the kitchen.

You put up with a lot on a daily basis, and for that, I am grateful.  So legs, here's something I've been meaning to say.

I'm sorry for the time I was three and covered every inch of you in Arthur and D.W. bandaids and refused to let anyone remove them for a week.
I'm sorry for cramming you into uncomfortable, sweaty tights, several days a week for 12 years.
I'm sorry for looking at you in the mirror and pinching areas that were too fat for my liking.
I'm sorry for hating your stretchmarks.
I'm sorry for that time in my life when I shaved you every other day, without fail, with nothing but a razor and some cold water.
I'm sorry for all the scars from years of raising kittens, and baby squirrels that fell out of trees during hurricanes.
I'm sorry for all the cuts and bruises from climbing over fences, skinning my knees, and that one time I fell and rolled ten feet down the sidewalk in the rain when I was late to class (though I totally blame my slippery Converse All Stars for that one).
I'm sorry for all the twisted ankles and hurt knees and pulled muscles that I ignored in an attempt to be a "serious dancer who doesn't let pain get in the way."
I'm sorry for hating you when you were muscular, and then hating you when you lost the muscle.
I'm sorry for obsessing over that weird cluster of freckles that you couldn't do a damn thing about.
I'm sorry for thinking you were fat and ugly and that my knees looked like displeased babies.
I'm sorry for hating your cellulite and covering you up so no one would see it.
I'm sorry for all the summers I wore jeans and long skirts so I wouldn't have to look at you and I'm sorry for going running in leggings, so that I wouldn't see you jiggle.

I'm sorry for caring more about what you look like, than how you feel.  I'm sorry for last week when I decided against wearing that dress because it showed my knees.  And I'm sorry for setting impossibly high expectations that even the strongest of legs would fall short of.

So even though it might take me a while, and I might have to re-read this post several times to encourage myself, I'm hoping to make up for my 19 years of bad behavior.  No more Jergen's self tanner, no more laziness, and no more leg-envy.  Let's begin, shall we?


Thursday, April 23, 2015

~ the nineteen twenties ~

I'm often struck by a feeling of homesickness when listening to music or watching a movie from the 1920s.  Perhaps this connection I feel to the past is due to the fact that I was brought up on old black and whites and jazz records.  Or perhaps it's due to the multitude of stories that my grandparents would tell me when I was little.  Or perhaps it's due to the fact that I've been reincarnated and I was once a teenaged showgirl living in Paris (I'm only slightly joking).  But despite the reason, I find myself undeniably drawn to the past as though I'm attached to it by a string.  I watch old movies, I collect old clothes, I listen to old music, and I listen intently to stories from the past.  And I count myself very lucky to live in a time when my fascination is not only allowed, but accepted.

Some days I feel more homesick than others, and on those days I drop everything and play dress up (that's what adults do, right?).

Personally, I think there's no better way to spend a morning than in a velvet opera cape from the 20s and ten pounds of beads.


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.