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New Year's Closet Resolutions

12/30/10








 People make resolutions to loose weight, quit smoking, and so on.  Since this is a fashion blog, I'm making some wardrobe-related changes (in addition to the usual personal resolutions)
I hope to revisit this post in a few months to see if I've stuck with it.. This year, I will follow these steps to build a better wardrobe.









1.) I won't buy anymore blue! I have several blue dresses, blue cardigans, blue skirts, etc. I love blue but my closet is being over-run and could use a punch of other colors. I will try to add more greens and warm colors to my wardrobe this year.

2.) I will add high quality pieces. In the beginning of my vintage obsession, I would buy just about anything with the hopes of "rocking it anyway" or "revamping it". Well, I've been there, haven't done that! This year, I will only purchase quality pieces. They must be in good vintage condition (or at least able to be easily repaired), from the 30's to late 50's- no scratchy 1970's polyester, have pretty details that make them stand out, and most importantly- have the right price.
 3.) I will finish the projects I've been putting off. I have a bunch of half-sewn things, fabric I bought to make something, clothes that need repairs and so on. This year, I will finish those projects.
4.) I will make complete outfits- That odd colored skirt without a top to match, those shoes that are SO cute but I have nothing to wear with them. I will hunt down items to complete these outfits.
 5.) No more cruel shoes- Getting all dressed up with perfect rolls and makeup doesn't mean a thing if I'm limping around like I've been hit by a bus. This year, I will get rid of all of my uncomfortable shoes and only buy shoes if they are a perfect fit and are comfortable enough to wear all day.

6.) I will sew more.I have bought so many beautiful vintage patterns and they sit, unused and abandoned in my train cases. I truly LOVE  sew. My husband, Pj says " I love to watch you when you sew. You always look so happy!" and I am! I just need to make the space and time to do it!!

7.) I will spend more time looking for pretty accessories- I have always loved accessories. In my early vintage collecting, I spent a lot of time looking for accessories. Accessories like hats, purses, scarves and jewelry can help you to make the most of your wardrobe. This year, I will look for really amazing hats, unique brooches, colorful purses and things of that nature.


  8.) I will make the most of what I already have- This is the most important closet resolution that I will follow this year. Realistically, I don't need another stitch of clothing in my closet. I have bought so many beautiful things and only worn them once or twice! This year, I will catalog all of those garments in my closet organizer and I will actually wear them. I will re-invent new outfits with them and really mix things up to make the most of my wardrobe.

 Do you have any closet resolutions for 2011?

The Cracked Egg Feathers Her Nest

12/27/10

from http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbaresco/
Well, our house-buying adventures have come to a halt and it turns out that we'll be sticking around in our current place for at least another year. Even though I'll continue to cook in the world's smallest kitchen and have the world's smallest garden and closet, I'm pretty excited about it!! Pj is on winter vacation until January 3rd and I am REALLY enjoying having him home. He's been a dear, helping take care of Olivia and putting our house together after Christmas exploded upon it.

This week, we're re-evaluating our small space. We're bringing another little person into this 2 bedroom townhouse and that means we're also bringing in more stuff! Luckily, I really do enjoy organizing and I've found some excellent space saving options at Home Depot, including this awesome adjustable garment rack, which will allow me to hang twice the amount of dresses in my teeny tiny miniature closet.

Today, we re-arranged Olivia's room to make room for another crib and her new toys. Prepare yourself for this, I have thrown away 22, yes- that's twenty two bags of trash (a.k.a. crap I don't need and refuse to inflict upon anyone else) and I've gathered 9 boxes and 3 bags of things to donate to the Salvation Army. I've pitched 2 bags of fabric scraps that I'll never use, donated a whole bag of blue jeans and a load of other things I don't care to even think about. It feels SO great to get rid of that stuff. I feel like I've lost a thousand pounds in two days!!

Now that the crap is gone, I'm in full nesting mode. I've emptied every drawer, cabinet and box and thrown most of its contents out the door. Tomorrow, I'm whipping up some cute things to hang on the walls of the nursery for the little man and I'm going to start sewing his quilt and other crib bedding. Nesting is a fun thing, both for the mommy-to-be and people watching her. Some women cook, some decorate, some fertilize the lawn at 3am. I clean! When I was nesting while expecting Olivia, I spent 4 hours, scrubbing my kitchen floor, including using a butter knife to scrape up any grit in the corners and I scrubbed down the walls throughout the house, convinced that they needed a new paint job. The floor was so clean, you could have eaten off of it!

 That time, no one was home to witness my temporary insanity but this time, poor Pj is home and worst of all, I ask him to help me do these crazy things. I pray for his sake that my instinctive need to clean wears off soon!


Speaking of nesting, I bought this adorable book on nursery decor when I was pregnant with Olivia, called "Feathering the Nest". It's all about eco-friendly ways to decorate your nursery, which includes using vintage decor and furniture in your scheme. It's full of beautiful decor ideas, DIY tips, color palettes and loads of vintage inspiration. It's been a big help with ideas for decorating the nursery this time around. It's a wonderful distraction for an insane mother-to be! :)

I'm finishing up with putting my home back together tomorrow and then I'll be back with loads of vintage loveliness and projects! :)


Tutorial: 1950's Holiday Outfit How-to

12/21/10

One of the perks of not having to travel for the holidays is that you have those few extra days to do last minute shopping, wrapping gifts and of course, planning your holiday party outfits.

I found these great little party clothes how-tos in a vintage magazine over the summer and have forgotten about it till now. These can be adapted for Christmas, New years or any other fancy parties throughout the year. Click images to enlarge, scroll down for complete directions and feel free to re-post and share with others! These are all from Good Houekeeping December 1958.

                                                            Belle of the Ball Skirts

For the skirt, you can sew your own, use one you have or find an inexpensive skirt at a thrift store. For the holiday decorations on these skirts, check your local craft store Christmas decor section. Pair your party skirt with a simple blouse and sparkly jewelry.
                                                                  Holiday Headliners
Some of these hats may leave your friends and family questioning your sanity but some of them are quite cute.


                                                         "The Most Beautiful Stole"

This one requires some time and sewing but would look great with your party skirt. I think I'll attempt one of these next year.


                                                                      DIRECTIONS

Belle of the Ball Skirt Directions
The Most Beautiful Stole Directions

Hat Directions page 1

Hat Directions page 2

Christmas with 5 Generations of Chicks

12/20/10


On Saturday, we went to my grandmother's house for Christmas dinner. I made Great Grandma's clam chowder, which turned out pretty good. However, I always tell Great Grandma "It was okay, not as good as yours!" and that makes her smile!

 It's always really special getting together with Great Grandma for Christmas because we have 5 generations of girls. Here we are:

Great Grandma Alma, Me with Olivia, My momma, Grandma Amanda (or Grandma Peek-a-boo), and my sister, Chelsea.

 Olivia got this adorable set of farm animal puppets. My brother, sister, Pj and I all put a puppet on and ticked Olivia with them.
                                                                           




After dinner, Chelsea and I busted out the tiramisu and had fun licking the creamy coffee dessert off of the plastic thingy that went around the outside of the cake. We had a race to the middle. Yes, we're such proper young ladies! :)

 It never fails at family gatherings that I will end up in the kitchen, cooking or cleaning (or licking things like a 5 year old) at one point. If you're a kitchen gal like me, be sure to tuck an apron in your handbag to protect your pretty party dresses while you're being helpful! This blue vintage apron belonged to my great grandma. It buttons all the way up the back and ties under the bust, It's so cute, I'm thinking of wearing it over a button-up blouse as a vintage maternity top.


For this party, I wore my new green dress from Amanda. So many of my clothes don't quite show off my baby bump yet but this dress does and that's fun. As much as some ladies feel like a whale when they're pregnant ( and I often do, especially towards the end) I always love how incredibly adorable gals look with that big round belly. I never got very big with Olivia and I doubt that I will with this one either so the more I can flaunt my new "curve" the better!











Outfit
50's green dress: Christmas gift from Amanda
50's green satin hat with bows: St Charles antique mall
Brown low-heel shoes: thirfted, Value Village
bakelite bangles: misc. places
gold momma bird pin: thrifted, St Vincent de Paul

Let the Holiday Parties Begin!

12/19/10

 This weekend begins my long adventure of holiday get-togethers, which started Friday night with a meet-up with Amanda at a little Chinese restaurant. We had dinner, hung out and exchanged gifts. Amanda spoiled me with gave two beautiful vintage dresses, a brick red bakelite bangle (pictured below) and 2 pairs of earrings to match my dresses. She knows that my closet is seriously lacking in green (my favorite color) so one dress is green and the other is an adorable handmade maternity-looking dress with retro novelty print babies in carriages all over it. The green dress has the prettiest collar detail and I just love it. Well, you'll see it tomorrow!


I was lucky enough to find a vintage alligator purse for her, which she has wanted for ages. Its a bizzare thing with a head on it and everything but half the fun of vintage oddities is making people do a double-take. It's really cool because the stamp on the inside says "Made in Cuba" and the US doesn't get anything from Cuba anymore.
After dinner, we got to chatting about our local St Vincent De Paul Thrift Store so we pleaded with our guys to let us go shop and they, of course, said "sure!" They hung around reading books and we poked around the thrift store.
For this outing, I wore my new gray wool skirt, thrifted last weekend from Value Village. The waistband was all stretched out and messed up so I fixed it Friday afternoon and now it fits perfectly! The skirt lining is kind of a peachy coral so I paired it with this pink knit top and coral gloves, which I bought this summer and never got a chance to wear. I love this 1930's Spirit of St Louis airplane brooch. It's missing a few rhinestones, but I think it adds to it's character.

  

 My week has been downright dreadful and I was in much need of a little irresponsible retail therapy. On Thursday, Pj was sweet enough to take me to a thrift store and let me roam around until closing time. I found this beautiful pink knit top for just a few bucks. It reminded me of one of the gorgeous knits from A Stitch In Time so I had to grab it!

  Today is day 3 of this pincurl set. Its started to flatten out a bit so I fluffed it up with my boar bristle brush and pinned it back on the sides and it's looking pretty good for 3 days!

A Day at my Momma's House

12/18/10

Every once in a while, we go hang out at my mom's house for the day. We catch up on HBO shows that we love, Olivia gets to play with her grandpa and we hang out and make dinner. We went to visit last Saturday and this was my comfy day ensemble. Oddly, nothing I'm wearing is actually vintage but I was comfortable and relaxed in my knit top and stretchy skirt. I am so in love with this waitress diner top, which was one of my Value Village finds.  This was the day of -awesome- pin curls. Seriously, they were the best I've ever done. Unfortunately we had to run a few errands in the morning and it was very cold, very windy and raining so they flattened out quite a bit by the evening. I just did a very basic set this time, parted down the middle. I pulled my fringe up and styled it into a little roll just to get it out of the way.



















          pink and black knit top: thirfted, Value Village
          black skirt: thirfted, St. Vincent De Paul
          black flats: thirfted

Fashion and Film Friday: Cry Baby

12/17/10

I can't believe that it has taken me this long to do a post about Cry Baby! It popped up on my netflix instant queue last week and I've been thinking about it ever since.


For those who have never seen this Johnny Depp classic, Cry Baby is a fun Friday night movie for the light-hearted. My husband best described it as "cheese-tastic" and he's so right! The whole thing is goofy, over-exaggerated and full of delightfully ridiculous musical numbers.



 Cry Baby is about a gang of juvenile delinquents who battle against the "squares" (preppy, good kids) and of course, the teenage romance between members of each side.

crybaby traci lords as wanda

crybaby traci lords as wanda

crybaby girls hatchet face pepper and wanda, traci lords

crybaby girls hatchet face pepper and alison

crybaby gang johnny depp hatchetface wanda traci lords

johnny depp crybaby

crybaby and alison


Cry Baby is full of great 50's-60's hairstyles and rockabilly fashions. I think Wanda has the best style!


crybaby alison red dress




crybaby movie fashion and costumes






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Thrilling Thrift Nights

12/14/10

Thursday nights are date night for Pj and I. We drop Olivia off at Pj's mom's house and we're baby-free for the evening. Some nights, we go out for dinner, a movie or something else fun, some nights we go home and enjoy the quiet house and some nights we just cruise around town and shop. This past Thursday night was a shopping night. First, I was able to stop at Walgreens for some much need hairpins, hand lotion, powder and makeup brushes. Olivia loves to sit with me at my vanity and destroy my makeup brushes. She has chewed the bristles on some of them, ripped the metal part off the handle and so on. I think that Santa may be bringing her a vanity of her own- Thank goodness!!

I truly adore these eco-friendly makeup brushes by Eco Tools. The brushes are made from -super- soft, cruelty-free hair (synthetic Taklon), the handles are bamboo and the metal is made from recycled aluminum. I'm all about being kind to the Earth but what really sold me (to be honest) was the softness of the brushes. They feel like feathers on your skin! Lucky me, Walgreens had them on sale buy one get one 50% off so I picked up the set of 5 plus an extra big brush. When I was a little girl, my mom always wore Coty powder and the smell reminds me of her! :)


 My mother in law lives right across the street from a big Goodwill.  I noticed last night that my coat won't zip over my belly anymore so I stopped in to see if I could find a vintagey coat to fit my growing bump till the winter is over. Usually this particular Goodwill doesn't have much of anything but as luck turned out, I hit the jack pot this time around! I found a great 1950's black coat that will last me through the winter for $12! The best part of all...It's cashmere!
   I always look for suits when I'm thrifting but rarely find anything decent. This time, I found this adorable little brown suit (originally from Walmart, if you can believe that) and a beautiful 40's style gray blazer. The suit is fabulous because even though it's not a maternity suit, the skirt fits well right now and it can be worn above or below my belly and I'll still be able to wear it once the little man is born. I love the little flower detail on the skirt and jacket.I promise, I'll get better pics of me in this suit soon! :)
close-up of flower detail on skirt

Even though it's December, it was a really nice day on Friday so I really enjoyed being able to get an outfit pic taken outside without freezing!

Friday night, we picked up Amanda after work and headed to another excellent thrift store, Value Village. Here we are before our shopping began...


My outfit:
Motherhood Maternity button up blouse: ebay
brown pencil skirt : thrifted, St. Vincent de Paul
bakelite bangles
peep toe wedges: etsy
1930's bird brooch : flea market
black snood
navy purse: thirfted, Value Village

Amanda's Outfit
Green Cardigan: thirfted, Salvation Army
Navy Belt: Thirfted, Salvation Army
Leaf print navy 40's dress: Candy's Vintage, Boulder, CO
Second hand Remix Shoes: ebay
navy Purse: thirfted, Salvation Army







My wardrobe has been lacking in blouses so poured over the blouse racks with great determination. I left with 5 new blouses (including a beaded cardigan that Amanda spotted) and the most comfortable pair of shoes that I've worn in a very long time. I also found a great gray wool skirt to match the blazer (mentioned above). I rarely find suits that fit so sometimes I pair separates to make my own "suit".

   After Value Village, we went to an antique mall right next store. Some of the booths at the antique mall had a really cute set-up. I love this retro kitchen booth!

Amanda found these adorable dress patterns, all in larger sizes! I can't wait to make time to sew these.
 
The evening ended in many hilarious wardrobe disasters. After our shopping adventures, we stopped at a little Mexican restaurant for dinner. As we were getting ready to leave, Olivia's sippy cup spilled soda all over my lap. When we got up to leave, I was trying to crawl through the smoky sea of people to get to the door and I noticed that the sole of my shoe was broken and was flapping around behind me! *lol*. When I got to the parking lot, it was dark, so I slipped my skirt off right there and sat in my blouse and slip all the way home. Hehe!!
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