Tutorial: poodle pin curls and pigtail braids


Here's a fun summery look to try. I wore this hairstyle both last summer and few weekends ago when we went camping. It was great for playing in the river all day because it kept my hair out of my way and it stayed put, even in the heat.

vintage poodle pin curl hair style with braids

easy vintage poodle pin curl hair style with braids

Start by sectioning off the hair from the top of your head to your bangs and lining up with the edges of your eyebrows at the sides.  Tie the rest back into a ponytail for now

Split this hair into about 10 sections, more if you can! Pin curl each section into stand-up pin curls. To do this, take one small section and hit it with a little hairspray or dry shampoo. Backcomb at the root to give it some long-lasting height.

wrap the end around your finger. Remove your finger and hold the hair like a disc, rolling it down toward the scalp. Pin into place my inserting a pin into the tiny roll.

Repeat with all 10 sections.  If your bangs are tricky, you can use more hairspray or dry shampoo for grip and roll it around something small like a mascara tube.

Next, part the rest of your hair down the middle and braid into equal pigtails.

Finish off with a sheer scarf

Check out all of my hair tutorials here

Memory Book Monday: 1930s Fashion, A Formal Dance and the First Day of School


Hey guys! I haven't posted much this week, I've been crafting like crazy for Christmas! Chirstmas in August? Yeah, I know- too early to even be thinking about it. But, I'm working hard on a new ebook to release this November, which means I have to get an early start to finish it in time.

 Here's just a tiny peek, if you didn't already see it on my Instagram and Facebook page this week:

The house is covered in glitter and bottle brush trees but I'm hoping to have the crafts done in the next few weeks so I can start designing the pages and writing!

Anyway, on to a peek inside Great Grandma Alma's memory book. Today I thought I'd share my very favorite page- her 1930s wardrobe plans! I was so excited when I found this page in her scrapbook because this is the kind of stuff that I do all the time. Doodle an outfit and stick a piece of fabric on it for an idea of what I want the finished result to look like.

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

 I had no idea that she ever did these kinds of things. It seems like such a day-dreamer thing to do and the Alma I knew was not a day dreamer. She was very set in practicality and spending time studying. But there was obviously more to her than I ever knew.

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

1930s fashion scrapbook via va voom vintage

With 3 young girls in the family and especially during the Great Depression, I'm sure there was a lot of home sewn and not a lot of store bought clothes.

For my prom, grandma sewed a little wrap and matching evening bag for me and I remember sitting with her one evening while she worked on the tiny perfect little stitches. I asked "What did you wear to prom, grandma?" She said "Oh, I don't know if we had a prom exactly but we did go to formal dances sometimes. We didn't wear really fancy dresses because it -was- the DEPRESSION!" She always raised her voice when she said "depression" and she had this annoyed tone and eye roll every time.  This ridiculous, inconvenient time in history that she had to deal with. She might as well have said "The damn depression". And surely, it was a terrible time but from the way she told the story, it was just more irritating for her than anything. She smacked her lips and continued,
"I did have this real purty pink silk dress with a little flower corsage and this lace in the skirt. I wore it to quite a few dances because well, that's just what girls did back then. Back when I was a girl."

In her memory book, I found evidence of one such dance, a whole page dedicated to her evening at the 36th Annual Military Ball in Columbia, Missouri 1936. It includes her first corsage and card from the florist, given to her by her date, Paul- her dance card (which only includes Paul for the first dance!) and newspaper clippings detailing the event. Unfortunately, there are no photos to go with it so we'll just have to leave the beautiful details to our imaginations.

1930s scrapbook from va voom vintage

 1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card via va voom vintage

1930s dance card from va voom vintage

Alma continued....
"When I went to school, was my first day of school. We didn't have kindergarten but it was like that. My mother made me the most beautiful little cotton dress out of flour sacks. You know, the old fabric bags that feed came in?"
I said "no.", not having any idea about flour and feed sacks at the time.
She said "Well, back in those days, mother and all of the ladies in town bought flour from the general store in cotton bags. The women would cut the bags up and make clothes for their children. Well, they were just awful, ugly dresses. My mother bought flour sacks with the prettiest little flower print and made me a beautiful dress and I went to school on my first day just so proud of that dress."

1924-1925 school children via Va Voom Vintage
Alma's Class, near Columbia, MO mid 1920s

1924-1925 school children via Va Voom Vintage
Alma in the middle

I hope that you all enjoy this class photo as much as my mom, grandma and I did. Just look at all of the sour faces! What on earth did the photographer or teacher say just before this photo was taken?! There's no date on the photo but since Grandma Alma was born in 1919, I'd guess it's around 1924-1925.

That's all for this week's Memory Book Monday. I hope that you enjoyed this look into the life of a teenage girl in the 1930s. Next week, we'll meet grandma's boyfriend before she started dating my grandpa and I'll share a hilariously inappropriate letter from their friend!

DIY Blog Graphics with BeFunky


It's been awhile since I shared any blogging tips so today I thought we'd do a little DIY blog design with a really neat new site, BeFunky, where you can design your own graphics for your blog, social media pages and Etsy listings.

how to create custom professional blog graphics with BeFunky

I've been using sites like this for a long time to design blogs for friends, family, other bloggers and myself. I've only just started learning to use Photoshop but if you're a blogger or business owner on a budget,  graphic design sites like this are invaluable.  I use similar photo editors on a near daily basis so I was excited to start playing with the features from BeFunky.

This week, BeFunky launched a new Designer Toolset with loads of professional templates designed for bloggers. Today, I'll show you how to use the blog images templates and blog titles templates to give your post some extra pop. A well designed graphic with text overlay and quality photos will help draw attention to your social media posts and bring more traffic to your blog. Let's get started!

When you log into BeFunky, click the colorful "b" at the top left corner and you'll see a drop down menu of options. From here, select "blogger templates"

The blogger templates section includes everything you'll need for promoting your blog on social media, creating Pinterest friendly graphics and beautiful eye-catching title graphics for your blog.

A title graphic is a great tool to implement in your post. When your readers scroll through their blog feeds or Facebook, these attention-getters really draw them to reading your post so make it a good one!

For this tutorial, I'm going to use an old post, my vintage girdle guide. This is a great post but it doesn't get much love so I'd like to bring it back to life. Giving old posts a face lift is a great way to promote old content. I'm going to start with this template, which has nothing to do with vintage or girdles, but you'll see how easy it is to make a template your own!

First, we'll replace the background image. Click the photo icon on the left menu and the next menu will pop up. You can choose an image saved to your computer, your Facebook page or select from over 430,000  free images from Pixabay.  I used some keywords like "vintage" "lingerie" "retro fashion" to search Pixabay but I didn't find anything that jumped out so I used a vintage girdle advertisement instead.

Click on the image in the template and select "replace image". Choose the image that you would like to use on your desktop

To change the text, simply click on the text in the template and a text editor menu will appear. Each line of text can be styled differently, deleted or added to. BeFunky has a large selection of excellent fonts under the "Ours" menu but you have the option to use any of the fonts downloaded to your computer under the "Yours" menu. Change the color, size and spacing in the "edit selection" menu

As I was editing the text, I quickly realized that the text would be difficult to read with my image background, which is a common problem. It's very important to choose images with plenty of blank space or a background that isn't too busy, that way your text will pop. Select colors that stand out and compliment your background image as well. In this instance, the background is both black and white so there wasn't really any text color that I could select that would stand out as much as I had hoped. Luckily, I can just grab by image background and move it off to one side, leaving plenty of blank space for my text

When mixing fonts, you can almost never go wrong with one bold font and one curly font. Here I'm using Grand Hotel and Langdon, both available from BeFunky.

You can also change the decorative graphics. I flipped these little lines and changed them from white to dark gray to match my image. To flip the decorative graphics around, just click them and the menu to change it all around will pop up. Play with it and move it around until its just perfect.

 Next, I saved my design to my computer and opened it up in the BeFunky photo editor so I could add a frame. I selected the simple border and dragged the color selector over my text so I could match the colors exactly.

      Before Customizing the Template                                           After working some BeFunky magic

Use these techniques to customize any BeFunky template for your blog. Here's a look at what you can do with the blog images template, using a stock image from Pixabay. Blog images are a great way to promote events on social media, use in your sidebar or in a post.

BeFunky Template                                                          After Customization

And here's another before and after using one of the Pinterest templates. In this example, I kept the layout, swapped out the image and changed the color of the circle graphic and re-sized it just a smidge. I'm using Abril FatFace and Raleway fonts. I didn't find any curly fonts that stood out to be so I mixed bold and skinny type.

There's really no limit to what you can do! Also check out the photo editor and collage maker, which has dozens of pre-set templates or the option to make your own, all priceless time saving tools for bloggers.

This post is sponsored by BeFunky. Please see my full disclosure policy.

Bus Stop


 This morning, my little girl got on the bus to go to her first day of school as a kindergartener and I'm feeling so excited and so devastated at the same time!

Many of you have been reading this blog since the beginning, when my little girl, Olivia was just 3 months old. You've seen her go from being a little baldy girl to a grown up, stylish little lady.

 The bus pulled up and I thought she must be really nervous but she ran up the stairs and wasn't going to stop for pictures until the driver told her to turn around and smile at mom. She picked a seat and was too busy waving at a friend from up the street to wave at mom, dad and grannie out the window. She's ready!

What I wasn't fully prepared for was her poor little brother. He was all excited about this school stuff until he saw his other half hop on that bus and drive away, out of sight.

He cried "I miss Olivia!"
His Grannie tried to reassure him that she'll be home soon. She said "Will you make her a card for when she comes home today?" "no." he sobbed. "Will you make her a lego house?" "no." He trudged up the front steps, came inside and plopped in front of his lego box with teary eyes.

We spent a long time talking about all of the things we will do together, just the two of us. We can cook, watch movies, go to the park with our friends, play games, build legos. I'll climb under the tents we'll make with blankets and we'll eat popcorn. We'll play in the pool and in the snow, just the two of us. And next year, he can start school too.

I'm very excited about this big change, though. Olivia will love school and while she's away, Rhys and I will have lots of time together to get him ready for his big day next fall. Without the world's biggest mess maker in the house, I look forward to getting more blogging in, lots of sewing projects, knitting and cooking. It's strange not knowing what she's doing every minute of the day but it's a very welcome change. It's been a few hours since she got on the bus and even Rhys is enjoying himself!  I can't wait for her to come home to hear all about her first day of school!

Vintage Sewing Pattern Sale Preview and Pattern Grading Roundup


Tomorrow, my friend Katie, author of Cool Shit I Thrifted will be listing some gorgeous vintage sewing patterns that she found for sale on Instagram! Being a pattern hoarder, I had to pick one too. I've been in love with this suspender skirt from Modcloth and look at this, now I can make my own!

retro suspender jumper skirt vintage sewing pattern

There's some wonderful Mad Men style patterns, a few beautiful 40s separates, lots of great skirts and combination patterns to sew a whole outfit to mix and match. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Peggy Olson black and pink mini dress sewing pattern

mad men joan brown wiggle dress vintage sewing pattern

mad men peggy stripe neck tie drop waist dress vintage sewing pattern

mad men betty draper junior league neck tie blouse vintage sewing pattern

vintage shorts sewing pattern

vintage puff sleeve full skirt dress sewing pattern

Many vintage sewing patterns are in the smaller range but they can be graded to a larger size. Here are some fantastic resources and tutorials for sizing up your vintage sewing patterns:

How to Grade Up a Vintage Pattern from the Curvy Sewing Collective
How to make a sewing pattern bigger or smaller from Melly Sews

for more in-depth grading and videos, also check out Craftsy's course, Create Any Size: Pattern Grading for Sewers

Follow Katie on Instagram @coolshitithrifted. The pattern sale starts at noon CST Sunday!


disclosure: this post contains link to my affiliates. Please see my full disclosure policy
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