Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Warming

We've been having some crazy warm weather these past few days. I mean it's been highs in the 60s (Farenheit)! So, I paired my new favorite navy blue circle skirt with a short sleeved knit top with a cropped jean jacket. I know it's not totally vintage, but I felt like it worked. 

I also wore an orange vintage pinwheel brooch for a little unexpected color.

And a favorite bangle: orange-red with roses on it. It's fun and chunky and totally baby proof.

I didn't wear this anywhere special, but we did go out to eat and to a store. It was warm enough that I didn't wear any stockings or hose with it. This is crazy weather even for here in December, but that's the things about East Tennessee, you never know what you're going to get. 

Sometimes I'm in the mood to go for an all out vintage look and sometimes it's more of a mixed bag. I realize that's not what everyone would like, but that's part of being me. I don't really live in the past and this helps me stretch my wardrobe a little further. I guess my fashion choices can be a little schizophrenic, but that's why it suits me, whether it fits anyone else or not. 

I love the freedom of mixing and matching, and without having every possible clothing item being either vintage or made from a vintage pattern, it's essential for me to bend a little, and that's okay. It's easy to put pressure on yourself to look a certain way all the time, but in reality you have to be you. 

Outfit Details:
Skirt-made by me
Shirt-Old Navy ages ago (pre-first baby)
Jean Jacket-maybe Rue 21 over ten years ago, but I'm not sure
Vintage Pinwheel brooch- eBay
Bangle-maybe Cato's
Mocassins-by Minnetonka
Vintage bakelite earrings-eBay

Do you mix modern and vintage? Do you like to switch things up every now and again?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Time's a Coming!

Christmas is definitely coming almost faster than I can believe this year and it's already brought with it several surprises. Although it can be insanely hectic for us, it's still one of my favorite times of year and something we all anticipate year long.

Before we had children Christmas was still fun, but there's so much more excitement and things to experience with our kids.

Yet Christmas isn't about kids. It's really about Christ. That's what the word means Christ-mas means Christ worship. So, without Christ, Christianity, there would be no Christmas.

The real St. Nicholas, from whom comes the legend of Santa Claus, was a bishop in the early church. So, even if you're celebrating Santa at your home, it's because of Christ.

Christmas was and is the Christian celebration of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. That means that God became a man, clothed in flesh and blood, yet God with all perfect knowledge and power humbled himself to become one of us and live as we live. Why?

Because "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God".-Romans 3:23

We like to pretend we're all basically good people, but if we're honest, we all have lied or stolen, and in His ministry Jesus taught that if you've looked at someone with lust you've committed adultery with them in your heart or if you've been angry with someone (Matthew 5:28, 22)

He came to die. To take the punishment we deserve for sinning against a perfectly holy God, and He gives forgiveness freely to all who repent of their sins and trust in Christ for salvation.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."- 2 Corinthians 5:21.

My hope and prayer is more than that you would have a very merry Christmas, but that you would also come to know Who it is that Christmas is truly about. I pray that if you have questions about this that you will email me, I'd love to speak with you about it. My email is

Have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sugar Cookie Outfit

I thought this outfit kind of made me look like a sugar cookie with a little color sprinkled on it. I'm not sure how flattering it was on me, but I wore it anyway. 

I wore some gorgeous bakelite earrings. And why is it that some clip on earrings are perfectly comfortable to wear, while others feel like they are cutting a hole through your ear lobe? These thankfully fall into the former and not the latter category.

This outfit needed color desperately, so I added a brown suede belt with lots of colorfully embroidered flowers on it.

 I added colorful bakelite bangles to try and break up the monotony.

 I did a lazy roll with ponytail, because, well somedays are just too hectic for much more. I love the peter pan collar on this dress, by the way.

I also wore a little vintage brooch of two little Russian nesting dolls, but didn't get a picture (Augh!!), and brown tights and shoes (No picture of them either, double augh!!).

I didn't think this outfit looked so blah until I saw it in the photos. So, I'm not sure it worked or not, but I like have a plain simple dress to change with color and accessories. I may avoid this particular outfit again, but the dress will definitely be worn again.

Outfit details:
Dress-vintage purchase from eBay
earrings-vintage from eBay
Belt-bought ages ago when I was going through a slight hippy-ish phase

Do you have outfits or colors that can look blah on you? How do you dress them up so they work for you?

Friday, December 20, 2013

1940ish Sunday

This Sunday I wore kind of a vintage themed outfit. First, may I say I was not trying to recreate exactly how someone from the 1940s would've have looked. I can't do that, but I suppose it's my interpretation of some 1940s trends.

First I wore a vintage dress that I've been anxiously waiting to wear somewhere, and this Sunday seemed the perfect opportunity. I just love it when a vintage garment fits like it's made for me, don't you?

I wore it with a vintage brooch I bought several years ago and still love to wear. The only supposed drawback to wearing this brooch is that it's really blingy looking, but that's not always bad in my book.

I also wore some vintage screwback earrings I bought as a teenager from a local antiques mall. I've always liked the petina of them, so I've never tried to polish the silver to get rid of it. Sometimes I like for old things to just look old.

The dress has rhinestone button ribbon flowers embroidered on the front. How fabulous is that?

For a little more accessorizing, I wore my vintage silver feather clamp bracelet. I think it's uber glam, for me anyway.

I don't own any navy heels (I wish I did sometimes!), so I wore my black round-toe heels. They're not authentic forties, but I like the look of them anyway, and they're comfy.

I only own a couple pairs of perfectly-skin-tone-matching seamed stockings, so I save them for special outings and Sundays. They did seam straight at the time, if you'll forgive the pun.

I wore a long wool coat that I've had for ages and that doesn't get much wear, because, well to be honest since I've had three kids my bustline is a little *ahem* larger, and so it's a tighter fit than I would prefer. But it so matched this outfit that I had to wear it.

I had pin curled my hair the night before and it was perfect for wearing my wool navy merrimac hat. It was also a cold day with fits of spitting snowflakes (no accumulation though), so it helped to keep my head a little warmer. The only bad part was that I didn't think I needed to wear a hat pin to keep it on, but I soon discovered that windy days were the best reason for the invention of hat pins. Thankfully I didn't lose my hat, but I could have.

To add to the warmth, I wore my vintage creamy white leather gloves with bows at the wrist. They are actually very warm, but girly all at once. I must confess, I love a strategically placed bow or two or three.

I'm noticing my wardrobe has a lot of blue in it. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, but it does make me want to reconsider what to buy in the future. I guess we all tend to wear colors that we like and/or we think look well on us, but I'm definitely going to try to branch out a little colorwise this next year.

Outfit details:
Dress-vintage from eBay
Hat-vintage from eBay
Brooch-Homestead Shoppe, a local antiques mall
Bracelet-antique store ages ago
Earrings-Homstead Shoppe
Shoes-by Tommy Hilfiger over ten years ago
Stockings-vintage from eBay
Coat-Old Navy about fifteen years ago

It still amazes me the reactions of people when you wear vintage in public. Now, arguably you could say that if you mix modern and vintage more you will get less reaction, but try going for an overall vintage look and see what happens. I think, oddly enough, I get a little flack because I'm a mom of three, don't have a perfect body, and I'm not nineteen.

There are inevitably giggles from teenagers and early twenty somethings. That doesn't bother me really, because they see me as old and funny anyway. What I don't understand, and honestly does bother me a little, is the way some older women and women my own age react. Like I'm old enough to stop playing dress up and somehow I'm being immodest by drawing attention by dressing differently. Yet these same women get trendy haircuts, wear trendy clothes, make sure they work out and are tan, often all while being a mom/working mom themselves.

I don't get treating people differently at all, but I really don't understand this kind of reaction. After all, it's not like I'm wearing skimpy or inappropriate clothes. I dress to please myself and my husband (who thinks it's really awesome, by the way), but somehow our culture has a hang up about a thirty something mom wearing something a little different. How this is offensive or even disturbing, I don't understand.

I think in the past there was a lot more room for people to look and dress differently and in clothing that flattered them, without everyone treating them as wrong. If you look at the 1950s for example, there were lots of different skirt styles and lengths and colors worn throughout the decade. If you didn't look good in a tight pencil skirt suit, you could wear a fuller skirt and blouse. Both were in style along with pants and dresses. There was a hem length for everyone, and altering/tailoring your clothes to best fit you was the norm.  The idea was that everyone could look good in something, but individuality wasn't crushed by the fashion trends, simply enhanced.

Today everyone is expected to look good in whatever style dictates. If your age, body, or finances don't agree with the fashion trends, then the problem is with you and you should change. Women are the worst at feeling bad and making others feel badly for not being "in fashion". One thing I love about the online vintage wearing community is how most of them are an encouragement to each other in seeking out what compliments them, regardless what anyone thinks you should or shouldn't wear.

Do you get not nice reactions for how you dress sometimes? Will you do something today to encourage another woman about her appearance?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Workbasket Wednesday: Crocheted Curtain Tie

I thought since we are approaching Christmas that a simple pattern you can use scraps to make would be in order, especially if it could be made in festive seasonal colors to decorate your home for the holidays. How cute would it be to change these out seasonally?

These little curtain ties would add the perfect touch to any vintage loving home. The pattern comes from the August 1951 Workbasket Magazine.

As always feel free to share as you like, just be kind enough to add a link back here. Thanks.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Sentimental Jewelry and a Looser Wave

I tried a different pin curl set to get a looser wave this time, and I like it. Sometimes my pin curls can be a little too curly for what I want that day. So, I let my hair dry almost completely after washing and rolled them much bigger. To make bigger pin curls you wrap them around either a larger finger or fingers. (If you still want to try pin curls and don't know how to do them, click here for a great tutorial.) Then, I tried to roll them back and forth facing opposite ways depending on the row of curls. I'm terrible still at doing specific pin curl sets and at following directions for them, but I keep trying anyway. I think it turned out okay and I will probably try to reproduce this again, but I know it won't turn out exactly the same. *Sigh* I hope one day I get good enough at pin curls to be able to reproduce the styles I like.

I also got a new brooch lately from eBay. It's one that is somewhat sentimental to me and it includes a guitar, which I've been looking for good guitar brooches for a while. I play guitar and grew up playing lots of music, so I just like guitar brooches. It's sentimental, because my husband and I love Mexican food and ate it A LOT while we were dating and after we were first married. The restaurant we ate at most always played mariachi music, so this reminds me of those sweet days when we and love were both young. Thankfully, all of our children like Mexican food, too, we just don't eat it as often. 

I wore a brown turtleneck and my new navy circle skirt with it, along with three bakelite bangles. 

I also wore some vintage lucite clip on earrings that I had to have, because they remind me of some buttons I remember being on a brown corduroy sport coat my dad wore when I was little. I was definitely a daddy's girl and I suppose I will always be one. These earrings remind me of my him and just make me smile. I didn't know I had so many sentimental reasons for buying certain jewelry. 

And one of the three little'uns caught me taking pictures and couldn't stand to not be involved and show off the new gap in her mouth where she just lost one of her front teeth. So, here's the cutest little girl in the whole wide world (as her mother, I'm entitled to say that, lol). 

I'm starting to think that many of my preferences and likes have more to do with my family and childhood memories than anything else. It's amazing how much our families, our parents, our spouses, and memories can affect even what we buy and it's value to us. These are definitely reasons why I've always liked antiques and vintage fashion, but it's also a way to connect with those in the past. To be able to connect to my grandparents who have all passed on, to relate to historical events and time periods, and to connect with people throughout history who have and do inspire us. I think wearing and buying vintage/antique items also give us more of an appreciation not only for what those who have gone before us have endured or accomplished, but also can show us that even though we tend to think that our day and age of technological advances and social changes is superior to everyone who came before us just how foolish and arrogant we are. 

There's a verse from the Bible in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that says, "there is no new thing under the sun." I think we would do well today to remember that even though we can look back and see the errors of the past, we are blind to our own errors. The saying, "Hindsight is always 20/20" comes to mind. There is nothing that we feel or face that is really that different from those in the past. Times change, technology changes, fashion changes, culture changes, but people don't change, and I love to be able to feel that connection with the past, even if it is only through their fashions. I end up feeling like I know them and myself a little better because of it. 

And I'll leave you with a song my dad used to sing and play all the time. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you buy vintage or clothing or accessories for sentimental reasons?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Dressing: Outfit #2

This outfit was for a much more informal gathering than my previous outfit for a holiday gathering, and I do apologize in advance for the lack of great photos. I took them all after we got home, and it was late, and I was tired, and I'm afraid it shows a bit.

But I get to share with you a new circle skirt! You knew I couldn't go much longer without using my current favorite skirt pattern, didn't you. I did change it up a little this time, though by lining it for a warmer skirt to wear this winter, and I made it in a solid navy, so it's more versatile in my wardrobe. Now I just want to make a vintagey blouse to match.

I lined the skirt with an old light blue sheet someone had given me, and it not only makes it surprisingly warmer, but also I think makes it a little more stable and able to hold it's shape better.

Please excuse my stocking feet, lol.
Lining it also made the hem a little thicker, which inadvertently makes the hemline have a little more body to it as well. It's almost as if I had lined it with horsehair braid. I used the underlining technique where you cut out a lining piece for each of the pieces and simply sew them all together as if the two pieces each were one. It's super easy to sew a lining in like this.

I also did a little more professional-looking closure on this one, and did a hand picked zipper.

I wore it with a vintage celluloid red bow brooch. Isn't it perfect for Christmas festive dressing?

I also wore an red bangle bracelet with roses on it. I've had this for a long time, and I still love this bracelet. I like to find excuses to wear it more.

I also wore my favorite red shoes from Bakers, but again was so tired by the time we took pictures, that I didn't get a picture with them on. I paired them with some vintage seamed stockings in the color petal, which by the way, is like the exactly perfect shade for my skin, so if any of you find some for sale somewhere in a size 9, please let me know, as I would love to have more.

And some cute vintage bakelite red screwback earrings to tie it together. I had a little girl tell me I looked like I had cherries on my ears, lol.

It's not an especially fancy outfit or even spectacularly vintage, but it was fully appropriate for the event I wore it to, and I think that's important. Believe me, I'm often probably viewed as a little overdressed for the ocassion, just because most people don't get out of sweats, pajamas, or jeans on a daily basis. I do think though that it's important to not make the people around you overly uncomfortable by what you're wearing. Our grandmothers understood that you should think about where you are going, what you will be doing there, and who else will be there, and how will others be most likely dressed in order to choose what to wear. I wish I could wear a full length ballgown some days, but it wouldn't be practical and I'm pretty sure would make my pediatrician uncomfortable or my in-laws a little embarrassed at dinner, no matter how good it looks on me or how much I want to wear it. All this to remind myself that every outfit doesn't have to look like a vintage magazine spread. Part of looking your best is being appropriate and not making others too uncomfortable.

How do you determine what's appropriate to wear?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Save Those Curls!

Ever since I discovered pin curls, I've always thought it's something every woman should know how to do. It may seem like a lot of trouble at first, but it has big dividends. One of the advantages is that it can last for days, keeping you from washing your hair as often, which is healthier for your hair, too. I do have naturally curly hair, but sometimes use pin curls to get a specific look, to tone down the curl, or to have more control over my curls.

If you're looking for a great tutorial on how to do wet set pin curls, check out this video by Lisa Freemont Street. Her videos are amazing for teaching all kinds of vintage and vintage-inspired hairstyles and makeup. I've learned so much from her.
Lauren Rennells also has written a great book that teaches both basic and intricate vintage hairstyles that I highly recommend. She covers everything from traditional techniques to modern heat styles, and all with lots of pictures of each step in detail. Not only does it teach you specific styles, but gives you the information and techniques to make the styles your own and take the basic techniques and create your own unique styles. It's also just a fun and educational read.

Today though I want to tell you a little bit how I keep my curls going for a long time. I once went camping for five days, and never had to wash my hair, just used a dry shampoo at the roots and kept resetting my hair. Please look over the fact that the before pictures are of me without makeup.

My hair was washed and set three days before taking these pictures. (Sorry, I didn't take a picture of them before repinning them, but they were very flat looking and just blah.) I took the basic sections and followed my original curl pattern and rewound them dry. I sometimes do this at night and sleep on them, but aside from that not being a very romantic look for my husband, I don't always remember or feel like doing it then. So, today I did it first thing in the morning, because I knew we'd be home for a while today. My oldest son, who's two, is an early riser and woke up before 5:30 am this morning. Since he share's a room with his one year old brother, they were both up bright and early. Perfect timing for a reset.

It is a little harder to roll it up dry, but I have sprayed a little water on the ends before to get them started. I didn't need to do that today.

It also doesn't matter how messy they look while rolled up, they will turn out fine after sitting for a while. I will spray a mist of water over the curls and they will set for about five to six hours.

You don't have to, but I usually tie a scarf of some kind over them just to keep them tidy. It also keeps little hands from messing with the pin curls.  I often use a shower cap and take a shower like this too, or work out in a scarf, or do cleaning.

Voila! Much fresher looking curls, and it took just a couple minutes to reset them. I've always thought every mom with a new baby could benefit from this, too. Washing and fixing your hair with a newborn seems impossible, but pin curling takes only a couple minutes, lasts for days, and looks like you've spent a lot of time. Pin curls are actually the lazy way to fix your hair and still look good. Did our grandmothers know what they were doing or what?

I hope you try pin curls. I think with some practice and getting to know how your hair works best, you'll be just as sold on them as I am.

What shortcuts do you use for keeping your vintage style fresher longer?