Va-Voom Vintage Blog Recent Posts

Outfit: Beauty Shop Skirt



Mondays are usually housework and organizing days for me but the weather was finally not completely freezing today so I decided to put off my chores til later and enjoy this day because it could snow again any time! The neighborhood has so many pretty buildings and this one had little green splashes of soft moss all over the cracks in ground.







Little splashes of green remind me that the days will start to get longer again soon as spring will be here before I know it. Maybe this winter I'll spend some time repainting my bicycle and getting new tires so I can ride when it warms up.


Today I wore a skirt that I made this past spring but I don't think it has appeared on the blog yet. Its just a simple gathered skirt with adorable retro style beauty shop fabric from Cotton and Steel from their beauty shop collection. They have the cutest fabrics. Every time I'm looking for a great novelty print, they're my first stop. I used the dental floss method to gather all of this yardage and since I tried it once, I'll never go without dental floss in my sewing basket again!



  Its still a little chilly today so I wore capri pants under my skirt for a little warmth but the skirt is long enough that you can't tell! I may get some fleece lined leggings and trim them down to capri length for more under skirt coziness this winter.

This funny brooch was one I made from a jewelry finding that I spotted at the craft store years ago. I just glued a pin back on. The little hands move like a real sign!





After my walk I went home to find the mail lady filled my mail box with black friday ads and reminded me to get cracking on the housework. I'm hoping to organize the living room a little bit and get ready to decorate for Christmas this weekend. I can't believe its that time already! Although fall is my favorite season, I always get excited about setting up our aluminum Christmas tree. Its so colorful and fun and it really helps brighten the winter time. Have you started decorating for Christmas yet or are you waiting til December?


outfit
cardigan- thrifted
brooch- made by me
skirt- made by me with fabric from Cotton and Steel



This post contains links to my affiliates. For more, see my full disclosure policy

Outfit: What I wore in the kitchen



GownTown blue retro plus size dress via Va-Voom Vintage


A few nights ago, before bed chicken and dumplings popped into my head. I don't usually make them because Pj doesn't care for them but I decided I would wake up in the morning and make a batch for myself. My mom always made amazing chicken and dumplings. Hers were packed with vegetables and had biscuit type dumplings. I had a great grandma from Arkansas who made chicken and dumplings from the chickens in her back yard. They were southern style dumplings in a humble but flavorful broth. These were the kind I craved. I should have called my sister in law or mother in law for their recipe because theirs is the old fashioned simple classic that kept me up at night but instead I searched the internet for a similar recipe.



I did find several recipes with great reviews so I picked one and gave it a whirl. I also didn't use whole chicken, I used chicken breast and a really good organic store bought broth. It wasn't the same as a true from scratch soup but it was pretty darn good for my lunch that day.

GownTown blue retro plus size dress via Va-Voom Vintage


The dumplings proved to be trickier, however. I tried one dumpling recipe, which turned out too soft and fell apart. Then I tried dumplings from Paula Deen. You'd think a butter obsessed Southerner like Paula would have a great dumpling recipe but hers were tough. Finally a third recipe from Pinterest yielded not perfect but pretty close results and I was hungry and tired of these shenanigans so I went with that one.

At my sister in laws house for dinner, the night after, she told me her dumpling recipe and promised a chicken and dumplings night where we can make it together and I can learn their amazing family recipe. I can't wait!



GownTown blue retro plus size dress via Va-Voom Vintage


For my housework and soup making day I wore a new dress from GownTown on Amazon. I have been eyeing some of the inexpensive retro style dresses on Amazon for ages but I never bought any because I was afraid they wouldn't be like the photos. I went ahead and ordered two because I figure I can always return them if I didn't like them. Well I loved them! I was pleasantly surprised that the size chart is accurate and they weren't too short. The fabric in both dresses that I got have some stretch too so they're very comfortable. I'm definitely going to order several more GownTown dresses!




Dress: GownTown Dress via Amazon
Apron: Vintage, thrift store find
v for victory brooch: Vintage, flea market find



*This post contains links to my affiliates. See my full disclosure policy*

Cozy Knitting Day



Last night before bed, Pj took the trash out and came inside with big chunky snow flakes clinging to his hair and jacket. We had the first snow of the year! Although I had just tucked the kids in for bed, everyone wrapped up and ran outside to catch a few snowflakes on their tongues and dance around. I love snow at night when everything is so quiet and the streetlights shine through the fall.

 I woke up to a less picturesque scene where the snow had melted and turned to muddy leaves and it was just cold! I was going to go for a nice walk but the muddy trail didn't sound very nice so I decided to put the kettle on and spend the afternoon cozy and warm with my knitting needles instead.

Last month I started the Boardwalk Blouse knitting pattern from Poison Grrls. I found her patterns through a knitting group on Facebook. They had a knit along for this a little while back but I didn't participate because I'm a very slow knitter! This has been a really fun project so far.


Although its a simple blouse, there were some things that were new to me like using circular needles and knitting stripes. I've never knitted anything in two colors before but with the help of YouTube, I figured it out! I'm using Palette yarn from Knit Picks in black and tarragon. I really love the way its turning out. I can't wait to pair this blouse with a black pencil skirt or some comfy pants this winter.




Speaking of sweaters, I found this colorful vintage sweater at a thrift store in Illinois a few weeks ago. Pj had the day off work so he and I crossed the river to Illinois while the kids were at school. I was heartbroken to find that my favorite thrift store on the planet had closed permanently because the owners of the building refused to do repairs and the store couldn't find a new location nearby. I always found the best vintage there. But around the corner was a Goodwill so I stopped in and found this bright cheerful sweater, which is perfect for a rainy ol' day like today.




While knitting, I've been watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, which is absolutely fantastic and terrifying. I finished "The Bent Neck Lady" episode the other night and Pj was so  freaked out, he had to put on The Great British Baking Show to help shake off the creepy vibes.


I have a chicken


1960s plus size fashion popcorn stitch headband free knitting pattern

 I have a sweet little hen, her name is Chickadee. She is the most spoiled chicken in town. She originally belonged to my neighbor but she hopped his fence every day to roam around the block and lay eggs in my yard. She often pecked at my door for treats and water and spent many summer afternoons cooling off under my cucumbers.

In July, she disappeared. The neighbor thought a dog got  her or something but after about a week, we spotted her and returned her to her yard. The next day, he told us she was gone again and another week went by and we found her two doors down, very muddy, thin and laying on a pile of rotten eggs. She had been brooding and she made a nest in someone's front yard bushes.

1960s plus size fashion popcorn stitch headband free knitting pattern



We tried to return her to her yard again but her sisters pecked and chased and didn't let her eat or get in the coop since she had been gone for so long. The neighbor asked if we wanted to keep her and of course, I said yes. She got a bath in my kitchen sink, which was interesting for all of us and we immediately went to the farm store for food, a waterer and I began googling chicken coop plans. 

With some scrap wood that we had and a sheet of pretty blue sheet metal that I found on clearance at the hardware store, we built her a pretty little coop with an attached run. The kids and I painted it and Pj insulated it for winter and built her a nesting box and roost inside.

beautiful colorful chicken coop diy

Every day after the kids get on the bus, I go collect her pretty little egg and let her out into her separate big run for the day so she can scratch and peck and run around. Sometimes we sit on the front porch and she rolls around in a dusty corner of the garden on her back like a dog. She loves a dust bath so we put one in her run so she can fling dirt into her feathers to her heart's content.



She chatters through the fence at her sisters and I call "tuck tuck tuck!" when I flip over a brick and there are tasty crickets to snack on. She doesn't make a lot of noise except on occasion when she lays an egg, she calls loudly "I laid an egg! I'm amazing!"  In the evenings, when the sun goes down, Olivia puts her back in her enclosed run for the night so she's safe from the big raccoons that come over from the riverside. She is amazing at helping me weed the yard and turn our compost.

1960s plus size fashion via Va-Voom Vintage







I'm looking for some no-nonsense winter boots that I can slip on and trudge through the snow every morning to the coop and this weekend, we're finishing up winterizing her coop and run so she can have lots of things to keep her busy. I found some instructions for growing sprouts in mason jars, which is a good special treat for chickens in the winter and I think I'll like some sprouts on my breakfast avocado toast too.




Today I wore my favorite new headband that I knitted from this free 1960s knitting pattern. Its done with a popcorn stitch,. which was new to me but with the help of youtube, I figured it out! I love it so much, I picked up a mustardy color yarn to make another. Its very warm and can cover my ears this winter but I often wear it around the house when my hair is dirty and I just don't want to deal with it. I think I have a pale pink yarn that would be pretty for this headband too!

1960s plus size fashion via Va-Voom Vintage

tee shirt- Target
pants-thrifted
belt- Unique Vintage
vintage cape- thrifted
headband- knitted by me, this pattern



Crazy Plant Lady

plus size retro gingham dress from Unique Vintage


Winter is creeping up faster than I thought it would this year. We had a very warm several weeks and then this cold snap happened and everything has gone from beautiful vibrant fall colors to this dreadful gray. One of the ways that I get through the dark, cold months is by curating an indoor jungle atmosphere throughout the year so even when the trees are bare, I can be cozy and warm inside, surrounded by beautiful green leaves. 



I stopped at Lowes sometime in September and I found several of these big palms on clearance for $3 each. I wanted to buy every single one but I have to remember to make room in my house for Pj and the kids so I brought home the biggest, healthiest looking one they had. I stuck it in a big planter in the living room with every intention of repotting it but I forgot all about it til last night! Thankfully the leaves still look nice but I'm sure the roots are getting pretty tight in the pot it came in. I took it out on the porch for a repotting this morning, after I finished my housework. 


plus size retro gingham dress from Unique Vintage


Today I'm wearing a beautiful new dress sent to me by Unique Vintage. This black and white gingham dress is in comfy cotton with an adorable black peter pan collar and my favorite 3/4 length sleeves. This dress comes in regular sizes but mine is from the plus size range. It has a true circle skirt and came with a matching black belt. I love dresses that come with belts because I often mix them with other pieces in my closet. Gingham is a favorite print of mine and I think this dress will be a regular rotation year round with sandals in the summer and tights when it gets a little colder later this month. 

plus size retro gingham dress from Unique Vintage


Im also wearing my darling bunny brooch from brand new company, Teacup Girl by fellow vintage blogger, Bonita of Lavender and Twill. This is the Run, Rabbit Run brooch, made in layers of sparkly acrylic and hand painted gold details. We've had a lot of bunnies in the back yard, scrambling around looking for cover in the cold rain lately and this little guy makes me think of them.  He arrived all the way from Thailand in the prettiest purple box. 

Run Rabbit Run vintage acrylic brooch from Teacup Girl

Run Rabbit Run vintage acrylic brooch from Teacup Girl

Speaking of rain, after I repotted my plant, it really started to pour and it get cold and windy so I had to run to the back yard and get my little chicky all warm and cozy in her coop and enclosed run for the day. Oh, I don't think I've mentioned her yet but I have a chicken! Come back on Wednesday to meet her! 


DIY Dollar Tree Halloween Audrey 2 Decoration

diy audrey 2 little shop of horrors venus fly trap halloween decoration via Va-Voom Vintage


Lately I've been all about Halloween. We decorated inside a few weeks ago and since this weekend marked the start of fall, we decorated outside too. I hit Target for a few essentials like tombstones and spider webs and a really cool door bell with a moving eye ball. The best Halloween decorations for me have always been handmade. When I was little, my mom was the neighborhood Queen of Halloween. She even wrote the book about her love of the holiday in Llewellyn's Little Book of Halloween. She made a life sized coffin that she would stand in with a terrifying Nosferatu mask and jump out to scare the trick-or-treaters. She made a really amazing ghost to hang in our tree with a styrofoam head and a piece of sheer white fabric. Best of all she always made the most amazing Halloween costumes for my sister and I.

Last month while shopping I saw the most amazing Little Shop of Horrors inspired man eating plant decoration. It was about  3 1/2 feet tall and they wanted $159 for it! I posted on Facebook that I wanted to make one and my friend said "Yeah, with $159 worth of supplies!" Crafting can definitely be expensive and sometimes its not worth it to buy all of the stuff and make your own version but I accepted this Audrey 2 on a budget challenge. Here's how I made my own Audrey 2 for just $16 at  Dollar Tree


I see a lot of tutorials that claim dollar store supplies but some of them include things I've never seen at the dollar store in my life. So, with this tutorial the supplies are all from Dollar Tree store with the exception of my hot glue gun. I also already had scissors, electric tape and two wooden dowel rods and some green acrylic paint at home. I have seen all of those things at Dollar Tree in the past but since I already had them, I didn't want to buy them again. I used my daughter's kids paint set for this since I couldn't find my paint box anywhere. I have seen kids paint at Dollar Tree too so if that's what you can find, it works!


Here's what I did buy:

a plastic planter or bin
two blocks of floral foam
a pack of craft moss
two packs of hot glue sticks
various floral picks that look kinda tropical/spooky
a pack of manila mailing envelopes
a sheet of foam core
a pack of purple craft foam
a set of red plastic french fry baskets


Heat your glue gun and cut two envelopes into strips. Crumble the strips up and gently unfold them.



Trim off a little bit of the end of one of your french fry baskets with scissors. The trimmed basket will  be the bottom jaw.

Glue the strips along the top of the baskets

Glue and long strip along the outer edge, making sure to not cover the red lip of the basket because that will be our plant's lips.




Paint the manila envelope strips with dark green paint. When dry, brush over with a lighter green to just accentuate the crinkles of the paper



Cut a foam core section to fit inside each of the baskets. I just traced the shape of the baskets and cut with a craft knife

Cut a matching piece of purple craft foam to cover the foam core. The only purple foam that I could find was sparkly on one side but I just flipped it over and used the plain back.

Glue the foam core and craft foam to the inside of the baskets




Overlap your two wooden dowels and tape them together with black electric tape. Cover the entire dowel



To prepare your planter, stack the two blocks of floral foam on top of one another and set in the middle. Fill around the outside of the blocks with wadded up newspaper or paper from your recycling bin.

Cut a circle of foam core to sit inside the basket. Cut a spot in the middle of the foam core to insert the wooden dowel stem. Cover the foam core with craft moss





Next cut a circle of foam core about 5 inches in diameter. Cut a cross in the center to insert the dowel and glue individual leaves and petals to the foam core to form a ruff of greenery to go around the plant's neck/stem.


Hot glue the top and lower jaw to one another and cut a hole in the bottom of the lower jaw to insert the dowel.  First place the ruff on the dowel, glued at an angle, followed by the head. I also folded a purple rose petal and glued it inside the mouth to make a tongue.



Glue in individual teeth cut from foam core and hot glued in. If you like skinny sharper teeth, you can also pick up a pack of white plastic forks from  Dollar Tree and use the tines as teeth. I used a kitchen sponge to scrape off the extra paint and hot glue along the lips.

Finish the pot by surrounding your plant in foliage of your choice. I also bought some sparkly purple pipe cleaners to stick among the foliage in little springs but I decided I liked it better without. My foliage had little yellow flowers on them but I popped those off for a more spooky vibe.

diy audrey 2 little shop of horrors venus fly trap halloween decoration via Va-Voom Vintage

diy audrey 2 little shop of horrors venus fly trap halloween decoration via Va-Voom Vintage




If you enjoyed this project, please check out my other Halloween projects!