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Madame Butterfly

2/28/10



This morning, we went to the Missouri Butterfly House. It's only about 20 minutes from my house and I've never been there before! It was incredible. The butterfly conservatory holds over 2,000 butterflies. Seeing them all flying freely throughout the conservatory was one of the most magical things I've ever seen. Right now, they're showcasing the blue morphos which come out in March. There were so many stunningly beautiful species everywhere I looked! Here are just a few of the pretties that we captured with the camera:






Before going into the conservatory, we had fun checking out all of the insect species that they had on display. I used to be a receptionist for an exterminator. I hated the job but I loved learning about all of the bugs! While eating my lunch, I'd often have crazy people come into my office, throwing tupperware dishes full of various spiders, bedbugs and roaches on my desk for me to identify, so bugs don't freak me out...but if you're grossed out by bugs, beware of the next picture!! :)
Here's my husband, Pj being eaten alive by hissing cockroaches!! Eeeeeeeek!


The butterfly conservatory was scorching hot and very humid but there were lots of happy little butterflies! One of them flew right in front of Olivia's face!



They have hundreds of cocoons on display every day so you can always see a butterfly emerging, which is amazing to see! Olivia seemed to really enjoy it even though she's just a little peanut. I think that she'll have a blast once she's older!

I'm an avid scrapbooker so we always take LOTS of pictures of Olivia out and about and around town!





After the Butterfly House, we decided to go out to the St. Louis Science Center. Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures from that adventure!
Blouse-thirfted
skirt-thrifted
shoes-target

The Price of Dignity

2/27/10


It was the Christmas of 1968 and Mandy was in college in Kirksville Missouri, expecting for first child, a girl. Her and her husband, Bob lived in a tiny apartment and had about $20 for a Christmas tree, decorations and presents that year. While out shopping, Mandy fell in love with a some tiny bird ornaments. The shop only had about 4 cellophane bags with 3 birds per bag. The tag on the bag was the right price for her pocket-$1 so she snatched them up. At the checkout, the cashier was a snotty old broad. She took one look at the thrifty college girl and said "You do realize that the price is per bird don't you?" but Mandy rolled her eyes, looked down her nose in the same manner as the bitchy cashier and said in her most confident tone "Oh, absolutely! Ring them up!" and she bought them all. When she left the store, she looked at her husband and said "Oh, god- you won't believe what just happened!" Of course, she actually thought the the price was per bag! The young college couple went home with decorations but no tree. Bob was a painter, so they pulled out his old wooden easel and decorated it with the little birds, some of which had little walnut nests that Mandy had made. With the small amount of money they had left, Mandy and Bob bought a little brownie camera to take pictures of the baby, who was born in February. To this day, she says that woman probably over-charged her just to be mean but she couldn't let snobbery get the best of her, no matter what the price was. So, while I help my grandma find places on the tree for the delicate little birds for Christmas, she always tells me about how she spent all of the money they had on those little things but that mean old woman didn't have the satisfaction of insulting her financial situation! I've found myself in that position on several occasions, especially while thrifting. Often times, items aren't marked or the cashier says that it was mis-shelved but I never let snobbery get the best of me either and I always remember my grandma. I bought this awesome trench coat from Goodwill yesterday for $20. In a store, I would have paid $20 but it was way too much for Goodwill but when they guy said "Did you see that this is marked "19.99" I said "yes, that's awesome!" It's like a genetic reflex, I guess!






On a side note, I am shocked by Goodwill's new high prices. I've seen stained shirts for $8, ratty old shoes for $12, moth eaten sweaters for $6 and so on. I remember shopping at Goodwill just months ago and being able to buy shoes for $3! You can buy brand new items for the prices that they charge! Low-income families all over the country depend on affordable Goodwill prices to clothe their families. While the "new poor" think they're getting deals because they're used to shopping at Macy's, us thrift store shoppers know that the price -isn't- right! Has anyone else noticed an increase in prices and decrease in quality or is it just me?
Jacket-Goodwill
Atomic print blouse-thrifted
Skirt-thrifted
Shoes-Charlotte Russe

Fashion and Film Friday: The Notebook

2/26/10











Oh, my gosh! I forgot it was friday! Here's this week's Fashion and Film Friday: The Notebook starring the gorgeous Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. I love this movie. Every time it's on Oxygen, I have to watch it! The Notebook is the story of summer love and teenage rebellion.

When Allie Hamilton meets Noah Calhoun, she can't stand him but after being forced to go on a date, she feels freedom and passion for the first time in her life. After her parents intervene and move Allie away, she becomes engaged to a richer man but her love for Noah never fades.

Not only does the notebook have beautiful 1940's costuming but the hair is amazing! hairstylists who also worked on movies such as Catch me if you Can, Girl interrupted, Chicago, Iron Jawed Angels and Big Fish showcased their amazing talents in The Notebook.
Costumes-Karyn Wagner
Hair- Coni Andress, Dale Brownell, Milton Buras

For next week's Friday Night Fashion and a Movie: Mona Lisa Smile

If you love The Notebook, check out my full week of posts on how to get Allie's classic vintage style

The 3:00 AM Blouse

2/24/10



I
've been such a slacker! Due to late night insanity with my baby, I've been too tired to be inspired, so to go with the theme of the week, I give you the 3:00 am blouse, which was sewn at 3am because I couldn't get back to sleep

After many diaper changes, feeding her, trying some tylenol since she's cutting teeth, etc. she still wouldn't calm down. So I got up to give Pj a hand. After about an hour, we got her to fall back asleep in front of the dishwasher in her swing (works almost every time!). Of course, by then, we were both wide awake, so I popped in Pulp Fiction and we curled up on the couch so we could keep an eye on the snorning stinker in the kitchen. He fell asleep soon after and I stayed up till about 5:00AM sewing this blouse and a matching skirt and craving a "Royale with cheese". The skirt still isn't done yet but I figured I'd post pics of my early morning adventures! It's funny, some of my best sewing is done late at night, or early in the morning in this case. Needless to say, once I finally did get back to sleep, I pretty much slept the day away!

Fashion and Film Friday: Julie and Julia

2/19/10

julie and julia movie fashion

julie and julia movie fashion


This movie makes me so hungry! Hungry for food and fashion! I saw Julie and Julia over the summer when it was in theaters and just loved it! It's funny, it's sad, it's sweet and above all it's about a girl, her passion and...a blog.

 In 1948, Julia Child and her husband, Paul moved to France, where Julia studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu. Julia Child was extremely tall, even by today's standards, which just goes to show you that even when you aren't the ideal womanly shape or stature in the 40's and 50's, you can still look (and be) fabulous! One word of warning, though- make sure to have some sort of sinful and divine snacky type thing or else you'll be running up the street for some gas station cheesecake.

 If you're interested, you can read Julia Powell's real blog here

Tune in for next week's Fashion and Film Friday: The Notebook. 


Pin Culrs: The Sequel

2/18/10

1940s pin curls tutorial and polka dot dress
1940s pin curls tutorial and polka dot dress
1940s pin curls tutorial and polka dot dress
1940s pin curls tutorial and polka dot dress
Thank you to all of my wonderful readers for advice and suggestions for pin curls. I'm a newbie pin-curler but with a little help and vegging out in front of you tube, I think I have it figured out!

Tonight is weekly date night for Pj and I, so I did some pin curls this afternoon and after some brushing out and styling, here's how it turned out! Again, more practice and then I'll post a tutorial for my fellow pin-curling newbies!

Don't you love this dress? We'll, it's actually a two-piece skirt and blouse! I picked this gem up from  Lolo and Ruby's on etsy

Oh, this hat is the very first vintage hat that I ever bought. I used to work with adults with developmental disabilities and every year, we had a tea party to invite friends and family to dress up and have lots of yummy foods,and visit the day program that I worked for. I wore this hat for my first tea party.

So, here I am, dolled up for a date with my hubby (he hates when I call him "hubby" so I don't do it often). We're finally going to go see Sherlock Holmes, just have to get the peach ready to go hang out with her Grannie!

update- see my popular pin curl tutorial: Pin Curls 101
see all of my vintage hair tutorials

Dress- Lolo and Ruby's on etsy
hat- Alton IL shop (forgot the name!)
gloves- (same shop as the hat)
shoes- thrifted 2 date nights ago!
brooch-thrifted

Pin Curls Gone Very Wrong!

2/17/10

1920s style clara bow pin curls via va-voom vintage
1920s style clara bow pin curls via va-voom vintage

I've never tried pin curls but today I thought I'd give it a whirl. They seemed easy enough: take some hair, wrap it around your finger, pin to your head without twisting it...easy, right? WRONG!

Pin curls are taking over my head! I didn't expect them to work as well as they did. I made sure that my hair was wet so the curl would work and I put in small curls because my hair doesn't tend to work well with big chunky curls. I slept in them (quite comfy) and took them out around noon today. Wow- I look like a clown! So, lessons learned: do it on dry hair, maybe, use bigger chunks of hair on top, don't do the curls too high on my head, do bigger curls!

Once I experiment more and get the hang of doing it the right way, I'll post a tutorial so you don't end up looking like me!

I don't know, though- maybe it's so wrong that it's right?


Updated: after much practice, I have several pin curl tutorials on my tutorials page 
the most popular and thorough is Pin Curls 101
1920s style clara bow pin curls via va-voom vintage


1920s style clara bow pin curls via va-voom vintage

My First Bakelite Jewelry!

2/16/10



va-voom vintage green poker chip bakelite owl earrings
mock frog jewelry bakelite poker chip bracelet
I got some new pretties that I have to show off!
Check out my new Bakelite earrings by Mock Frog Jewelry! Mock frog is a mother and daughter team. They create these adorable pieces using vintage Bakelite poker chips and other vintage found objects. The above red bracelet is made from bingo chips. How clever! I'm a big fan of owls so I fell in love with this pair. Be sure to check them out.

va-voom vintage green poker chip bakelite owl earrings

I love my new bakelite bangle. I found a whole jar full at an antique mall this weekend and to my surprise, they were all authentic! It was a close tie between this one and a cute green one to match my earrings but there's just something about the swirly root beer that I love! Maybe next time, Mr. Green!

brown root beer swirl bakelite bangle via va voom vintage
See my entire bakelite collection
How to Identify Bakelite

My Valentines

2/15/10


We had such a great valentines weekend. On Saturday, we finally made our way to the diaper shop for some bigger cloth diapers for my Olivia. My husband is really into leather working so we went to Tandy so he could get some new toys. Olivia is growing like a weed. She's 14 pounds now, so she's growing out of her infant size cloth diapers, so we stopped at the diaper store on the way to get her the next size up.



While there, I wanted to check out the baby carriers. I've always wanted a really good carrier. When she was born, we bought a cheap sling from target but honestly, it was awful! It hurt my back because it put all of her weight on one shoulder and she could only lay in it. So, Saturday, we bought a Moby Wrap and I love, love love it!! It feels like you're not carrying anything! It's so supportive and she's secured in it really well. I thought that this style would be difficult to put on but it's really pretty easy once you get the knack of it. It's one size so the Daddy can carry her too. He often rocks her to sleep while he stands in front of the tv, playing a game late at night.



Olivia had her first piece of candy on v-day, a grape flavored ring pop, boy did she LOVE it!
For v-day my sweetie made me saffron mussels in cream sauce ( a re-creation of our sea-side honeymoon dinner!) and he ordered these amazing kitchen utensils for me! They're reproduction vintage Skyline utensils by Lakeland. Unlike the originals, these ones have dishwasher safe plastic handles. They are so lovely!



We went antiquing for a little while on Sunday and I got a vintage wrap dispenser (for foil, wax paper and such) that just happened to be aqua blue as well as some cute little dishes that match my wallpaper!


Vintage Undies-The Brassiere



I dreamed I was wanted in my maidenform bra vintage ad




My baby and husband are both sick today so I'm taking care of them and cleaning the house. I meant to do much more blogging this weekend, but it was all pretty crazy, so I leave you with another "vintage undies" post and promise that this week (and weekend) will make up for my slacking!  Hope everyone had a lovely valentine's day!!


1950s pink permalift bra advertisment




Mass production if the modern bra didn't begin until the 1930's. It was then that the first elastic thread was invented and could be woven into a stretchy fabric called lastex. This new fabric replaced the need for boned corsets and revolutionized the fashion industry. Before the 30's a bra consisted of a band of fabric with straps to hold it in place.

 By 1935, bras were designed with separate cups for each breast and cup sizes were introduced to enhance the fit of a bra. Fabric shortages in the war led women to wear the "utility bra" or even make their own bra and french knicker sets from parachute silk and old wedding dresses.

By the late 40's and into the 1950's, starlets such as Lana Turner and Jane Russel brought the smooth, pointy silhouette of the bullet bra into style.

vintage kestos bra and girdle ad with finger waves




Here are some of my favorite modern vintage style bras


Rago Longline bra

Exquisite form full-ly bra


What Katie Did 1940s peach bullet bra

Carnival long line bra



The bra really is single most important undergarment on the face of the earth (in my book). Many women are surprised when they go for a first bra fitting. Usually, ladies wear bra sizes that are way too small. Professional bra fittings can be done at any lingerie store  or at most department stores .

Not only will they make your clothes fit better, they will also improve your posture, help an aching back and boost a gal's confidence by changing the way she carries herself. For us busty gals, a great fitting bra will provide the lift needed to give a little more midsection in those high-waist vintage outfits. Check out this site for calculating your correct bra size.

vintage french bullet bra advertisment



Check out my vintage bullet bra collection and bullet bra sew-along
for more bra inspiration see my pinterest board, mentionable unmentionables
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