30 April 2009

If I told you a secret you won't tell a soul...*

top: 50s cotton blouse
skirt: 60s mini skirt
headband: vintage from 1385
purse: vintage
shoes: vintage
*listening to: Travis - 12 Memories "Love Will Come Through"

Oh, I just realized what a terrible blogger I've been when it comes to taking outfit photos. It's been nearly two weeks! Yikes. Sorry about that. If it makes any sense, I think it's because the weather has just been too nice. I've been so busy enjoying it, there's hardly been time to stop and take photos. Today I took some time to sit by the Conestoga river and just chill out for a bit. There were ducks swimming by, plump little groundhogs scurrying about and too many bugs to speak of. Tomorrow Tom and I are heading back to Philly for yet another show (Bat for Lashes - if you see me there feel free to say hi!). I was a slacker last weekend when it came to taking photos but I promise I'll snap some tomorrow.


29 April 2009

Jeepers Keepers

First of all, I want to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who shopped the Professor's Collection! I so glad that you all love these pieces as much as I do. It was exciting to come across this stash of vintage goodies and it's been fun showing them to you and letting them find new homes all over the globe. The second update won't be coming this week as I've just been too busy to get everything ready but I'm working on it for next week. I'll be sure to let you know beforehand.

I thought I'd show you the pieces that I set aside for myself from the collection. Technically you've already seen the brown pleated 50s dress. The plaid jumper is one of several dresses that were homemade using the same pattern. The pattern was obviously one of her favorites as there is also a corduroy version, a tweed version and a couple more cotton versions of the same dress. There were lots of 50s and 60s cotton blouses among the collection. The floral one I know I'm going to keep but I'm a bit on the fence about the green one. I love the collar but I haven't actually tried to wear it yet so we'll see...


28 April 2009

Draped in Silk

I must admit that I am a closet Seinfeld nerd. Whenever someone sneezes I have the urge to say "you're soooo good lookin' " instead of "bless you". I can barely eat pretzels without reciting "these pretzels are making me thirsty, these pretzels are making me thirsty, these pretzels are making me thirsty". I often have to restrain myself from from yelling "get out!" and shoving people in the chest a-la Elaine. Well, do you remember the episode where George Costanza says he wants to drape himself in velvet (if it were socially acceptable)? That's sort of how I've been feeling about silk lately.

I'm not quite sure what brought this on. I started out looking for vintage silk blouses but quickly realized that the search was futile because most silk pieces have long since disintegrated (I'm still searching though!). Then over the weekend while we were in Philadelphia we stopped into Anthropologie and I noticed everything I was drawn to was made of silk. It just seemed so floaty and airy and perfect for spring. I guess the only drawback is I'm not really sure how easy it is to take care of silk. Believe me, I never make it to the dry cleaners. I'm especially smitten with that third skirt (the grey one). I'm imagining it would be the perfect skirt to pair with little eyelet blouses and sandals all summer long.

floral deco
photo credits: silk dresses from Toast (top), silk dresses and skirt from Anthropologie (bottom)

27 April 2009

1940s Shoes

Lately I've been searching for the perfect pair of 40s peeptoe heels to wear with summer dresses. A pair of Remix Vintage Shoes is on my wishlist but the price has kept me from actually buying a pair. This morning while I was browsing Etsy I discovered DejaVous Vintage and their stash of vintage 40s deadstock heels. I'm sort of in love with all of these and they even have the same styles in a variety of colors and sizes so there's a little something for everyone. Now I just can't decide... brown, red or navy?

26 April 2009

The Professor's Collection

All of these piece and more are now available in the Etsy boutique...

Update: Wow! I can't say thank you enough! I've just added a couple more piece so check it out. Thank you!


24 April 2009

Etsy Update


23 April 2009

No Time!

I'm busy trying to pack two days worth of work into one day since tomorrow we're heading to Philly to see one of my most favorite bands. The rain has finally let up and I think I see the sun peeking out from behind a cloud so I'm hoping my plans to get out and take some photos comes to fruition. Lately I've been looking at Anna Wolf's site for photography inspiration. Enjoy!

22 April 2009

Ebay Update

These and more are available in the Ebay store today. I'm working on a small update for the Etsy boutique tomorrow and the first part of the Professor's Collection is still on schedule for Sunday. Thanks so much for stoppin' by!


21 April 2009

Four Ways - Black Silk Tunic

July 1935

I have a pretty regular routine down whenever I visit one of my local thrift stores. As soon as I walk in the door I grab a shopping cart (I'm Southern so I actually call it a "buggy" much to the amusement of the Yanks I live amongst). Then I start to fill it with anything and everything that looks even mildly interesting. I don't bother checking for flaws or stains or fit. By the time I get through the store I usually have a buggy full of clothes, shoes and assorted household goodies. Then the work begins. I sort through each piece, looking over it carefully and usually end up keeping about a third of what I picked up. The last time I was there I found this black silk dress. When it was time to sort through my finds I was see-sawing back and forth over whether to keep it or put it back. It was really long and sort of shapeless but the 100% silk fabric and the pretty pintucks kept tempting to put it in the keep pile. It wasn't until after I got it home that I realized it was reminding me of some of the silk pieces I'd been admiring in the Lyell collection. I ended up chopping about 8 inches off the bottom and happily hung it in my closet. Here's how I plan on wearing it...
  • For daytime black accessories seemed a bit dour so I mixed in some brown to make it feel lighter.
  • The fabric is so soft and draping it's perfect to wear belted as a shirt with jeans.
  • It becomes my blouse and my slip when I wear it tucked into a slightly sheer high waisted cotton skirt.
  • For a night look (as if I ever go out at night!) I paired it with sheer tights, heels and a little embroidered purse.

20 April 2009

The Professor's Collection

The Professor's Collection
A couple of weeks ago when I attended my first estate auction there's one little detail that I left out. I couldn't be 100% that it was a sure thing and I didn't want to jinx anything by saying something sooner. When I was done bidding and trying to figure out how to pay for all of my dresses I was approached by a sweet lady that had noticed I was buying a lot of vintage clothing. She mentioned that she had a house full of vintage clothes she had inherited and didn't want to keep and wanted to know if I would be interested in coming over and taking them off of her hands. I couldn't believe my luck and quickly took her number with plans to call her soon.

On Friday afternoon I finally had an appointment to go to her house and look through the collection. Turns out when she bought the house she's living in, everything was left in it including the entire wardrobe of the woman that had lived there. The house had belonged to a woman that was a professor at a local university and she was quite well dressed! I ended up buying nearly 50 dresses, skirts and blouses from the 40s-60s and we have plans to get together again for more. I'm also going back once the weather turns cool to look for coats.

I was good and only put one dress and one blouse aside for myself and everything else, included all of the dresses you see snippets of here, are going to be sold. I was hoping to get out and take photos today (I have something special in mind for this collection) but it's raining this morning so I might have to wait a day or two. I plan on having the first batch ready to go into the Etsy boutique on Sunday night (the 26th).
The Professor's Collection

19 April 2009

When you stand up and feel the warmth...*

dress: 50s cotton day dress bought from a private estate (more on that tomorrow!)
shoes: vintage
purse: vintage
book: bought today for 50 cents
*listening to: Metallica - Death Magnetic "The Day That Never Comes"

During all the madness this weekend I found a bit of time on Saturday afternoon to wander around downtown by myself and hit up all of my favorite stores. Even though I saw lots of things I liked, I was good and only bought one book for fifty cents. It was a book that was sitting in a sidewalk bin amongst a bunch of old paperbacks and mystery novels. The hardback cover caught my eye and as soon as I picked it up I knew I had to have it. It's Secrets of Love and Marriage by James Parker Hendry. I flipped it open to a page, starting reading and laughed so hard I nearly choked on my soft pretzel.

It was written in 1933 and edited by a doctor. There is a disclaimer in the front of the book stating that it should only be sold to doctors and married people and that those people must agree to "safeguard the book against coming into the hands of minors." It's chock full of antiquated advice, old wives tales and "medical" advice that would make modern doctors cringe.
"While shorts skirts were in style, well formed legs certainly were essential to a woman's appearance. Suddenly a style reaction set in and skirts were lengthened until the hems swept the ground. The reason was obvious. Long skirts are far more appealing to men, as designers discovered."

"...too much emphasis cannot be placed on the necessity for looking into your sweetheart's parentage, to make sure that the parents are mentally sound. If there is a long line of feeble minded or insane in the family tree, avoid that heritage as you would the plague!"

"It is particularly dangerous for a girl to start petting with a man the first few times she goes out with him. She should make sure that he is clean, honest and worthwhile. She makes herself cheap by offering easily won kisses. And no man wants a bargain counter wife who has been soiled and manhandled."

18 April 2009

Crazy Weekend

photo credit: Anna Wolf

This is turning out to be a super busy weekend. By the end of it all, I'm quite sure I'm going to want to collapse into the floor in a big pile of tired (albeit, quite less fashionably than this girl). There's a music conference in town which is keeping us quite busy as well as having a house guest for the past couple of days. I scored a big treasure chest full of vintage finds yesterday which I can't wait to tell you about (more on that later). And the very best part is, the forecast is calling for temperature in the seventies! Woo-hoo! That means my shoulders actually might see the light of day. I'll try to take some photos today to share with you tomorrow. Have a wonderful weekend!

17 April 2009

The Perfect Shorts

Quite often I'm asked if I ever regret selling a particular piece on Ebay. For the most part, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Sometimes when I'm taking photos for the store, I'll try on something and think that I just can't bear to part with it but by the end of the day it's pack in the to-sell pile with everything else. I'm not particularly sentimental about the clothes so it' pretty easy to part with them.

But this one pair of shorts is haunting me. It was at the end of last summer when all I could think about was wearing wool and tweed and layers and tights (amazing how that changes, hmmm?). I was doing a massive closet clean out and threw these shorts in the get-rid-of pile. Now that spring is here (so they say) and I'm looking for the perfect pair of shorts it's sort of driving me crazy that I had my hands on them and let them get away.

I've actually gone so far as to think about contacting the person who bought them just to see if they worked out. Maybe they didn't fit? Maybe they've moved on to another pair of perfect shorts? Maybe I'm nuts for thinking about doing that? What'dya think?

16 April 2009

New Ebay Auctions


15 April 2009


I promise I'm not going to turn this blog into a constant weather update but the rain and cold are such a constant presence these days it's hard not to mention them. I'm supposed to be doing photos today in order to update the Ebay store tomorrow but it's just too dark. Thus is the downfall of using natural light for photos. I need to put "buy a light kit" on my to-do list. Instead, I'm catching up on a few blogs, reading the news and imagining what in the world I would wear if I were actually going to leave the house today (I'm not!). The answer to that question comes in the form of a Polish pixie named Elizabeth. I'm thinking somewhere in the depths of my closet hide just the pieces I would need to recreate one of her prim and quirky ensembles. I've never seen anyone pull off long baggy shorts and still manage to look adorably feminine. Note to self: Also put "buy a cameo to wear with frilly blouses" on my to-do list.

14 April 2009

You and your fair weather friends, it's all fake and pretend...*

photos by Tom b.

dress: 30's silk chiffon
slip: vintage
shoes: 30's oxfords
sweater: Anthropologie
locket: Free People
purse: vintage Coach
listening to: The Caesars - Strawberry Weed "Boo Boo Goo Go0"

After having a nice Easter lunch on Sunday afternoon Tom and I stopped by what we'd heard was an abandoned farm to have a look around. It looks so sunny and nice out doesn't it? Well, looks can be deceiving. I had to take my big winter coat off to snap these photos. You can (kind of) see that I'm all bundled up in the shadow photos. It turned out the farm is abandoned and I want to go back out there once it's warmer to take more photos.

+ A huge thank you to the ladies over at ModCloth for featuring this post as their daily Style Inspiration!


13 April 2009

Etsy Update

I've spent the afternoon updating the Etsy boutique with a few dress, skirts and bags. I was amassing quite a colletion of purses and decided it was time to pass a few on. All of the purses in these photos are in the boutique. Thanks so much for stoppin' by!


Surprise Date Night

Early last week Tom mentioned to me that we had plans for Friday night but he wouldn't say where we were going - a surprise date! All he would tell me was to be ready to go at 4:30. My guess was dinner and a movie because that’s our usual routine but I knew something was amiss when we got onto the highway towards Philadelphia. Hmmm… perhaps he had discovered some amazing vegetarian restaurant in Philly? That thought was dashed when we pulled into the parking lot of the local Baja Fresh. Don’t get me wrong – I do love me some Baja and I don’t think I’ve had any since we left LA but I couldn’t imagine why we’d driven an hour to eat there. I think I devoured my veggie bare burrito in record time and wondered what was in store for us next.

After dinner we drove through a beautiful old neighborhood and ended up parking next to a quaint shopping district scattered with clothing stores and restaurants. It was such a nice night out I thought a little strolling around the shops would be just the thing to do. But when we got to the corner, Tom stopped, turned to me and asked if I had figured out what we were doing yet. I looked around and saw an old timey theater. Ah, so we were going to a movie after all. A movie called… Neko Case?! You can’t even imagine my excitement. I’ve been singing along to Neko songs nearly everyday since the last album came out and I’d memorized all the others long before that.

The show itself was amazing. I’m notoriously bored by opening acts but I really enjoyed Crooked Fingers. It wasn’t long before Neko and the band took the stage. There was lots of kooky stage banter among them throughout the show. Neko sounded pitch perfect - not a sour note all night. If you're a fan at all and have the chance to see her, I can't recommend it enough. All in all, it was a perfect date night! (Collage by Tom b.)

12 April 2009

Hoppy Easter

photo by Tom b.

shirt: 1890's silk blouse
scarf: vintage
hat: vintage velvet bowler
skirt: 50's wool tweed

Today we're going to Tom's family's house to have Easter lunch. I'm responsible for bringing the (vegetarian) gravy and I haven't even gone to the grocery store yet. I better get movin'! Have a wonderful day whether you're celebrating Easter or not!

P.S. I can't wait to tell you about our surprise date from Friday night. It was even better than I expected!

11 April 2009

Organic by John Patrick

It's official. Style.com is calling it "depression chic". Hmmm. Something about that just doesn't sit right with me. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with someone drawing inspiration from the era. It had an aesthetic that no other era has had and I'm certainly drawn to it, but something about the fashion glamazons over at Vogue dubbing it "chic" and turning it into something luxe and expensive just makes my stomach turn a bit. Perhaps that's me being a reverse snob? It reminds me of the early 90s when grunge hit the runway and suddenly became something it was never intended to be. It also begs the age old question of "which came first?" I've been reading about depression era fashion for months on blogs. So... did the blog world influence this trend or were the blogs simply picking up on the trend earlier than most people?

Either way, as much as the idea of $800 depression-inspired designer dresses makes me cringe, I have to admit that I'm drawn to the Organic collection by John Patrick. He states that his spring collection was about "dust-bowl" creativity and points out that the era was about "crazy resourcefulness." I think the collection also appeals to me because seventy percent of the line is made entirely from sustainable materials. That sort of resourcefulness seems to echo the attitude of the original era. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a gingham print mini dress.

10 April 2009

I long to feel some beauty in my heart...*

photos by Tom b.

shirt: vintage
jeans: Topshop
shoes: 30's oxfords
beret: vintage
purse: vintage Coach
*listening to: Doves - Kingdom of Rust "Kingdom of Rust"

Tom and I walked downtown this afternoon to run a few errands - buying fresh veggies at the Farmer's Market, dropping off Ebay packages at the post office and trying unsuccessfully to buy cat food. Exciting, right? On the way home we stopping in this little laundromat that we've always wanted to go into and took a few photos. Now I have to run because Tom is taking me on a surprise date tonight and I'm supposed to be ready in twenty minutes! What to wear?!

09 April 2009

A Little Peak Inside My Head

Grace Kelly (lost the link for this photo), summertime naps, discovering pretty new blogs, Frank Gonzales' bird paintings, straw hats for summer, birdcage wallpaper (thanks for the link Stephanie!), A.P.C. liberty prints, summer dresses, collecting a whole wall's worth of paint by numbers, pretty bowls from Fish's Eddy, looking through the Lyell archives

Ebay Update

Here's a little peek at just some of the pieces I'm working on for the Ebay store. They're not quite done yet but will be by later this afternoon. I'll update this when everything is ready. Thanks so much for stoppin' by!

UPDATE: All of these items and more are now available for bidding in the Ebay store. There's a wide variety of sizes from XS to L so be sure to check it out. Thanks so much!

08 April 2009

Vintage Photos


I love stumbling across archives of vintage photographs. I always want to know the story of each and every person. Doesn't this look like a fun group of girls? I'm especially smitten with the girl in the front row, second from the right. I just love everything about her - from her messy finger waves to her v-neck sweater to her little floral corsage and the pleats in her skirt and her patterned stockings. I'm convinced that she and I would be fast friends had I been enrolled at the Holton-Arms school circa 1927.

I've been wasting way too much time going through the photo archives over at Shorpy. The wonderful thing about this archive is the photos have been scanned in from original negatives so they're all super high quality. You can enlarge them and see all sorts of detail you wouldn't normally be able to view. Some of my favorites are the old pageant photos from the teens and twenties with all the bathing beauties lined up on the beach in their finest wool swimwear (here, here and here). Can you imagine?!

07 April 2009

Four Ways - Short Sleeve Sweater

I don't think it's an overstatement to say that I had a closet meltdown of epic proportions over the weekend. Tom and I had plans to walk downtown to attend the First Friday celebrations when all of the art galleries in town unveil their new exhibits for the month. I swear I stood in my closet for an hour putting on outfits and then ripping them right off. I'd put on a cute dress, tights and sandals and then remember it was raining, so I'd put on jeans and rain boots and feel like I was suffocating. OK, I know that's a bit dramatic but I was having a moment.

It's not that I don't have anything to wear, it's just this stinkin' weather. I can't figure it out. You saw how beautiful Sunday afternoon was from my photos and then last night they (whoever they are) were calling for snow showers. I just can't keep up. One day I'm lying in the warm grass, the next day it's snowy. It's enough to make a girl a little batty.

Sooo... I've been searching in my closet for pieces to get me through these maddening days and I ran across this 50's cashmere short sleeve sweater. I picked it up at a vintage store a while back and it sort of got lost in my closet. "Short sleeve sweater" seems like a bit of an oxymoron to me and I even though I love the piece I wasn't quite sure what to do with it.

  • First, while it's still a bit cool outside I can pair it with a thick tweed skirt and a pair of knee boots. Worst comes to worst, I could throw on a pair of tights and a jacket and be prepared for colder weather.
  • I've got lots of summer dresses hanging in my closet waiting to see the light of day. The sweater layered quite nicely over this one. A good way to keep a little warm while still getting to wear a summer dress.
  • As the weather warms a bit I can pair it with a light cotton skirt and sandals. Just the right mix of cool and warm for days when the weather is unpredictable.
  • It mixes just as well with jeans as with skirts. I just layered the sweater over a little Peter Pan collar blouse.

06 April 2009

I'm going down by the river where it's warm and green...*

photos by Tom b.

dress: thrifted Ann Taylor
top: 1920s net blouse
shoes: 1930s oxfords
belt & purse: vintage
*listening to: Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting "The Vampire Song"

Spring is finally, finally in the air. It seems like over night the forsythia started to bloom and the cherry trees aren't far behind. I just hope it lasts. The weekend was a bit rainy and windy but I didn't mind. On Saturday afternoon I went to a card-making workshop and it was such a good time! I haven't had that much fun with scissors and paper since I was a little girl. I ended up with three lovely spring-themed cards to take home with me. Now I just have to decide who to send them to. They're almost too pretty to part with. Renee, who taught the workshop, also has an Etsy shop - Hopscotch Art. I think they're the perfect way to say Happy Spring!

05 April 2009

Etsy Update Tonight

I'm working on these right now and they'll be in the boutique by the end of the night. Thanks!

Update: They're all ready to go now!

P.S. I get lots of requests for larger sizes. Please note that several of these pieces are larger than the usual XS - S size. They're just pinned to show the proper fit. Thanks so much for stoppin' by!