September 30, 2010

Handmade Trifecta

First Knitting Project

First Knitting Project

First Knitting Project

In my journey of learning to knit I have found that I apparently knit backwards or something like that and that I am a total dunce when it comes to reading patterns. Sigh. So while I try and figure them out better I decided to wing it and make myself a hat. I'm reading I Capture the Castle, and it popped up in my Netflix queue recently so I watched the movie the other day. Cassandra had this hat that I am now obsessed with. It was this gorgeous knit cap in a dusky rosy cranberry and this grey-ish brown. I love it !(and searched for an hour for a picture of it. I couldn't find a yard in the same rosy red, but found the brown and set about knitting my own. Mine looks nothing like the one in the film. But I still love it. The one I made is my slouchier (like a beret) and I added the tassel to compensate the rather ridiculous point at the top (which I'm not sure what went wrong there), but it will be perfect for when the cooler weather actually decides to show up. And truthfully I was really impressed that I actually finished a knitting project! I'm working on a making scarf using the rest of the skeins from the hat, but it's only got about four or five inches to it right now.




(I'm really not having a bad day... I just look particularly glum for some reason...?)

And then there's this. The dress I refashioned from a horrid (and rather huge) dress I found at a rummage sale earlier this year. I may have payed a dollar for it. I've been wanting a jumper similar to this for a long time and finally began cutting and fixing this two weeks ago. I'm not 100% thrilled with the result, but now I know what to do differently next time. The skirt it too narrow, I hate the back panel thing, It needs to be just a bit shorter, the straps should cross in the back, the front should be more sculpted... But I'm not counting it as a failure because I will wear it, especially for around the house kind of things, and considering the way I worked with the odd shape of the dress (I have a picture somewhere, but can't find it...), I'm happy enough. We'll call this a working prototype.


As for the blouse, this was a shirt I bought at some thrift store a while ago that just looked boring to me. I wanted to add a Peter Pan collar originally, but I really like it this way. All I did was add lace around the neckline, and hand stitch together a bow of black velvet and stitch it to the shirt. Easy as pie, and much cuter now. Everyone who's seen it has really loved the blouse! I was told by one person that I looked like Dorothy Gale, and by another that I looked like grown up Raggedy Ann. Either way, I'm pretty happy.

September 29, 2010

Open Season

Henry Hamilton

Two weeks ago I popped into an antique shop I never get a chance to go to. I found this. It is probably the best find I've ever found. And for $3 to boot.
Henry Hamilton

Henry Hamilton

Henry Hamilton

There was a part of me that is used to today's watered down politically correct ideas, that was totally taken aback by this. Then there was a larger part of me that smiled and laughed out loud. Oh how times have changed. I've been searching local draft records for a local-ish Henry Hamilton trying to find out what happened to the guy. The closest I've found was a guy out of San Diego who was in the Navy, but the trail goes cold after that :-( But my inner Nancy Drew is still up to the challenge!
Henry Hamilton

September 28, 2010

"New" Skirt

Last night I went Swing Dancing! I had a total blast too! And honestly I didn't do so bad. I was actually surprised by how many people there (who had been to far more of the lessons than I) who were much worse than I was! I may not have the co-ordination for dancing, but I can at least move to the rhythm. There were people all over the place, wiggling, and flopping about! But really, it was fantastic and I am for sures going to go each night. I'm also going to stop telling my partners that I'm terrible because then they act all pedantic and start mantra-ing "1-2-roo-ock-step, 1-2-roo-ock-step." I have two left feet guys, not the inability to count music. After all I trained in Opera for only 12 years... Actually I had about three different partners who each told me "hey you've got great rhythm" which I'm assuming was one of those, let's point out the good things and sugar coat the vast majority of bad things, compliments. Oh and Andi, thank you for the leader tip! I did far better when I was with a guy who actually knew what he was doing! It gave me hope! haha! 


Brooch- Vintage, gift from my parents from Magpie Vintage Portland, OR
Earrings- Target!
Bangle- Vintage, thrifted
Skirt- Elsewhere Vintage, Orange CA
Shoes- BC Footwear

I bought this skirt Sunday at my favourite vintage shop in Orange, Elsewhere Vintage. I never leave that shop empty handed. And I always have to leave things behind. Which is kind of awesome! The selection is absolutely great and the owners are just wonderful! It's family owned and run and they have a smaller men's vintage shop two doors down called Joy Ride (which my brother in law is a big fan of!). If you're ever in Old Town Orange, drop in for sure! Tell them I sent you (and read the dressing room signs!! haha!)!




I actually almost didn't get this skirt, but I'm so glad I did in the end! Holy Krakow I love it. I can't tell what kind of fabric it is.  It' very lightweight and almost cotton like, but it's a heavier weave, almost like canvas.... And of course there are no tags, but all I know is it is a perfect year round skirt. Plus I've been trying to get more green in my wardrobe. And I do have to point out that it was actually my dad who picked this out. I was browsing the dresses (which were drool inducing), and he called me over and showed me the skirt (he was looking for one for my mom) said he thought it was my size and I curled my lip initially. It's most definitely a 50's skirt and I do not like 50's skirts (or much else from the 50's for that matter). The length is all wrong on me and I always feel guilty altering vintage clothes. But I tired it on (with a blouse that I also bought that totally does not match at all) and was completely smitten. The length still annoys me a bit, but with heels I don't mind it so much. I had intended on styling it more 40's, but ended up with a definite 50's look. I don't mind it so much, though I oddly feel much "older" in it...?

Apologies for the somewhat wonky photos. The temps peaked at 111 here yesterday and we had the weirdest cloud covering. today it only got up to the mid 90's, which was saddly a relief!



September 23, 2010

Blackberry Pie

Forrest Path

(I apologize for my absense this week. I apparently messed up my back sometime over the weekend and Monday I stood up from my desk in the afternoon and was is excrusiating pain. I think it was a pinched nerve but it's only starting to work itself out today. Needless to say I haven't been in the mood for much! Oh and then this morning I stabbed my foot with a knitting needle. Like a for real stab! There's a hole in the side of my foot and it is not a happy feeling! Just my luck! haha!)

Autumn Colours


Sunday afternoon my dad suddenly got it into his head that we all needed to go blackberry picking. So we drove up to the creek we used to go to when I was a kid. There are wild blackberry bushes all over the place and as long as you've got a parking pass, you're free to pick them. So we went up there. We used to go to this particular place multiple times a year and every late August/early September we'd go blackberry picking. One year we ended up with about 10 gallons of blackberries which were frozen or made into jams and all winter long we had fresh blackberry pie. That was the last time we'd gone and it was when I was 12. So Sunday we went there.
San Mateo Creek

San Mateo Creek

Self Portrait


Unfortunately it's changed alot since I was a kid. Most of the trees that kept the place nice and shady have been cut down, fallen down, or burned down in the many fires that sweep throught the area. We were a little dissapointed to see that there wasn't alot of berries left, and most had wilted up. Some still hadn't rippened, but most of them were shrivelled up. And the nice little paths that people had cut when I was a kid? Oh yeah those are gone. So you have to go traipsing through blackberry bushes. Which have thorns. Really nasty ones. And if you happened to be the one who was brilliant and wore a vintage dress and SANDALS to g blackberry picking, well then my friend you had better be prepared for some major, major painful battles between you and many a blackberry bush. I came out alive, but just barely:

Berry Patch



My dad, Chelsea, and Eric wore appropriate clothing and were far more willing to get stuck inbetween a bush, a log, and a pair of eyeballs staring up at you that I am pretty sure was a raccoon. My mom and everyone else had just gotten over the flu (as did I, but I sucked it up and got dirty in the name of blackberry pie!), so they just went down to the creek to play in the icy cold water (we'll get there, but in case you were wondering, it was wonderful!) . Being that there weren't that many berries and I at one point was stranded on a log being eaten by some form of bug or another I picked for a good hour (yeilding a whole 11 berries!) and then went to go soothe my sliced up legs in the water. Not before my dad to a rather epic tumble through the thorny bushes which I did not manage to catch on film much to his delight.

San Mateo Creek


3 Little Redheads...

We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon swimming, wading, and relaxing in the cold mountain water which really was quite wonderful. The day was beautiful and it was just alot of fun. Grace and I discovered a little natural pond-like area that was deep enough for her to swim around (it hit me about mid thigh) and we went up there for a while. There was a few more secluded areas too where none of the other people there would bother you. It was just lovely. And in the end we had enough blackberries for two pies, neither of which I got a picture of, but I can assure you they were incredibly tasty!

There's more here.

San Mateo Creek

End of Summer Mountains

September 17, 2010

Honey I’m still free, take a chance on me.

Eleven Dollar Dress




Dress- Vintage
Belt- Thrifted
Pumps- Thrifted w/ tags on!
Bow- Walmart

Yesterday was like a yo-yo. It had it's good moments, but it also had it's not so good moments. However, the good moments did outshine the bad. For example: I needed a new guitar tuner and stopped by the music shop downtown. Across the street is a place called Rob's Vintique. It's like, the only true vintage shop in the county (I may be exaggerating, but probably not.), but I've only been there a few times. They tend to be a bit overpriced and carry mostly 70's and 60's stuff, which while I do appreciate it, it's just not me (at least not anymore). They also never have anything in my size, so I usually just skip it. Not that this fact makes it a bad shop. I hate it when shops get bad reviews for not carrying larger sizes, when the truth is that larger sizes are just not as common. But the point is, yesterday I took a chance. Well turns out I had misjudged the shop. They actually had quite a lot of older vintage pieces, including this bordeaux 1930's dress with peach-y lace (which was really alot better than it sounds now!) I'd have killed for. And their pricing was pretty standard, and even really good on some items. There were a couple of dresses in really good shape for $20-$30. They had some up in the $60-$70 range, but for the most part it was pretty decent. I saw this white 40's dress on the rack and it looked to be my size, but I passed on the $35 price tag. I'd just spent $40 on a dumb guitar tuner, and was trying to be mindful of my pocket book.




But, a little further down the rack, there was my 40's white dress again (technically it's a bit off white from aging, but...)! What, what! I picked this one up to see what size it was, and it was exactly my measurements.... weird right. So I checked the price of this one: $15 as is. There is a tare in the shoulder and at one of the buttons, but that's it! And it's easily fixable! So I went and tried it on. It fit like a glove! The fabric is absolutely wonderful! It's a seer suckered nylon/crepe blend (I'm assuming this was some sort of uniform which would explain why there is a tag with measurements and fabric content) and other than the two problem spots, the fabric is really sturdy (which has not deterred me from being terrified of ripping it!). So knowing that I was NEVER going to find anything this perfect on me again, I went ahead and bought it. It's only $15 after all right? Oh no, they were having a store-wide sale that I didn't know about, and it actually ended up coming out to $11.29. Yes, for a mere eleven dollars I procured an incredibly well fitting 1940's dress with minimal damage. Of course I couldn't wait to fix it to ware it, so here you have my pretty amazing "new" dress. Needless to say, I think I will be back to this shop again.

I didn't get all the measurements for the shop my closet sale, so I'm postponing it until tomorrow.

September 16, 2010

Little Girl Blue

Little Girl Blue



Late 40's Day Dress- Vintage, Etsy
Belt- Thrifted
Socks- Target
Brown Penny Loafers- Thrifted Ralph Lauren, gift from my sister! (Thanks Bri!)
I bought this dress on Etsy probably a year ago. Somehow, either I, or the seller messed up on the measurments because I got the thing and it was huge on me. Like tent status. So I put it in my mending pile and forgot about it. When my parents were on vacation in August, I started trying to get things mended and found this dress. So A couple of darts, and about five inches taken in on the arms and it nearly fits me. It's still too big in the bust and I have a small issue with altering vintage clothes. I just don't like it when people chop up these perfectly fine, but not meant for you dresses when there's someone else out there who it would fit perfectly. It bothers me, so I try not to do it. Especially with larger dresses because I know larger sized vintage is hard to come by (all my alterations are easily reversed!). So I was planning on re-selling this dress. Except when I put it on today I found some blue spots all over it! This dress ended up in a pile of other people's clothes and was not washed by me, and apparently there was a load of laundry that came out with blue spots and no one bothered to check this dress before hanging it up to dry! So I'm going to attempt getting the spots out because it really is a lovely dress! I'm so, so sad!!! But I am wearing it today while cleaning and re-organizing my room (pictures to come!). It's so comfy, and easy to wear!




On that note, I am going to have a little shop my closet sale tomorrow (after I finish measurments!). My car's ready to kick the bucket and I need to unload some things that don't get enough lovin' around here. So watch for that!!