Thursday, December 20, 2012

Leftover Cuties and Dustbowl Revival at The Mint

Last night the Hubs and I went to a great little club here in Los Angeles called The Mint.
It's actually not far from our house, and after driving by it a million times, it was fun to finally go inside!

The Mint opened in 1937.
It's a tiny place with a small stage, a dance floor, and tables & booths surrounding. A long bar runs along one side. It's a really intimate-feeling place, and a fun spot to see a band because you're so close!

We got there WAAAY too early and had to wait around for eternity, which equals too many drinks!

And too many random bordom-killing photo ops...

It was so cold in there, I kept my coat on the whole night!

 We saw a band that I really love called Leftover Cuties. They've had their songs featured in a number of commercials lately, so if you haven't heard of them perhaps you've actually heard their music.
Here's one of my favorite songs, called Smile Big:

They were fantastic. The lead singer, Shirli McAllen, has such a great voice and she plays a mean little ukelele. The base player makes crazy faces when he plays, which I love!

Then we saw Dustbowl Revival. They're a huge band with a revolving cast of members. They play fantastic bluesy retro jazz stuff, plus they like to have a bit of a vaudeville thing going on from time to time. Last night they had a little swing dance exhibition, and then a guy came on stage and demonstrated how he could get out of a straightjacket in less time than Harry Houdini. Tons of fun!

Here's a little Dustbowl Revival:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Book List for Santa

The hubby and I made a little jaunt to our local Barnes & Noble the other night so that I could get a calendar. I know!! Sometimes I feel like such a Luddite, using an actual analog wall calendar.
I got a great vintage-fashion themed one, that maybe I'll share with you in another post.

Besides my fab calendar, I found soooo many books that I would love to have!
Here's a few you might like, also:

 I love the print on the cover! I think I might actually buy this one.
(there was also a 60's prints one...I like 50's prints better)

 I'm not a super-huge Lilly Pulitzer fan, but I love to read the stories of women who succeeded in the fashion & design world, like Vera and Tammis Keefe.

Fun eye candy! Plus, forward by Dita. What's not to love?

This one was funny to find, because I had thought to myself, literally an hour before this, about doing some research on the history of the cheongsam.

The gentleman who wrote this book actually has a shop here in LA by the same name. I've never been impression is that it's very fancy and uber-expensive, and I get easily intimidated by such places!

This one drew me in immediately, because of the cover. Faye Dunaway in Bonnie & Clyde! I actually have mixed feelings about that film, because Bonnie and Clyde were horrible, ugly people in real life and I don't feel great about a movie that celebrates them, but OMG, the clothes in that film are fantastic!!

I'm guessing that most, if not all of these books would be available on Amazon. First, though, I always check the local library :-)

If & when I do read any of these wonderful-looking books, I'll be sure and write a review for you!
Are then any vintage-related books that you're dying to get your mitts on? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Russian Prison Tattoo T-Shirts...Perhaps a Slightly Bad Idea?

Do you guys like Sourpuss Clothing? I think some of their stuff is really cute, and I've frequently been just-on-the-verge of ordering something. This morning, though, I found something I definitely WON'T be buying.

Are they crazy?
These are T-shirts with designs based on Russian prison tattoos.

Exhibit A:
no offense to the cute model...she's workin' those Bettie bangs!
There are several more designs, but you get the picture.
Offensive much? The first one looks like a big 'ol scary Nazi insignia. I believe that a skull of any kind means the wearer is a murderer. The third one, apparently, includes a very, very foul word in Russian. Such a bad word that the Russian-speaking individual that I asked couldn't say it out loud.

I live in an area where there are a lot of Russian immigrants and I can only imagine the reactions I'd get if I walked down the street wearing one of these shirts.

I mean, at first glance they're kind-of cool looking, and I'm honestly not a prude...I don't have any tatts myself, but I do like them when they're well-designed and well-thought out...I've actually been really close to getting one a few times.
But think about what these particular designs represent!!! The guys that have these type of tatts in real life are murderers and rapists. Torturers. Serial killers. Do we really want to celebrate and glorify that, people?
Think about the innocent victims of these would they feel seeing one of these images walking down the street?

Maybe Sourpuss is going for shock-value here. I'm sure there is a large segment of the population that will think these are cool, bad-a**looking, and will snatch them up right away.

I think anyone who would wear one of these shirts is an ignorant, insensitive jerk.

So there.

What do you guys think? Would you wear one of these shirts?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

EBay Alert...Fabulous Vintage Paper Dolls!

I was just trolling through eBay, as I do far too often, and I found a bunch of listings for some amazing vintage 40's and 50's paper dolls. These are just so fun looking! I really want them and I'm not sure why! I'm going to restrain myself, however, and be content with just sharing them with my lovely readers.


I think I spy Dorothy Lamour, Lucille Ball, and Judy Garland.

Here are just a tiny portion of the ladies clothing choices:

There's some for the gents,'s a stylish cowboy:

and here's another snazzy fella:

Nice, huh?
Here are the links to the auctions:

The Ladies
(auction ends Thursday, current bid is 33$)
This auction has ended! It closed at $190.50

The Cowboy

The Elegant Gentleman
(these two are "Buy it Now"s...19 bucks each)

I don't know the sellers and certainly aren't vouching for them, I just think these are super-fun! I hope you enjoy looking at them!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck - Jazz Legend, We'll Miss You!

This morning I was saddened to hear of the death of Dave Brubeck. He died this morning at the age of 91, just one day short of his ninety-second birthday.
We'll miss you, Dave...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: The Rose Bowl Flea Market

This flea market, in Pasadena, CA, is billed as "the world's largest flea market" and boy, they aren't kidding.
This thing is enormous! Like, there's-no-possible-way-to-see-it-all enormous.

Two Sundays ago was the first time I'd been in 20 years...which is weird because I live relatively close by...
It won't be that long until my next visit! I had a great time and found a pretty decent pile of booty, despite hardly even trying to score deals.

Here are some great things I saw (and passed up):

travel theme needlepoint bag...way expensive!

souvenir pillowslips...including a "Lindberg" one! Very rare.

Drool-worthy furniture

this couch is repro, but isn't it fab?

tables to go with the green couch

bowls for the Airstream (I wish)

re-arranged Italian army bag...huge
Here's what I ended up getting:

like I could pass up leopard :-)

This one's to paint tikis or something on...
all silk, from the $1 table
glitter! Lucite!
This last handbag is one of those convertible styles! The cover comes off and reverses to shiny black patent leather. Without the cover, the bag is navy blue grosgrain-type fabric. Three bags in one! This one's going up in my Etsy shop, I think, once I get it cleaned up.

Here are some tips if you decide to visit:

~wear the most comfortable & supportive shoes you own. Seriously. This place is enormous and all on concrete...your dogs will be barking at the end of the day!

~bring a big 'ol pile of cash, with lots of small bills. Remarkably, many of the vendors still only take cash (dur...ever heard of Square? seriously,'re missing sales).

~wear starts off really cold in the morning, because it's sort of down in a canyon. Once the sun is shining it starts heating up pretty fast. When I first got there at about 8 am I was cozy in jeans, jacket, hoodie, t-shirt, hat, gloves and light scarf. By noon I was down to the jeans and t-shirt!

~those rolly cart things are awesome, but if you don't have one of those, at least bring a big, lightweight tote bag or something to haul your booty in.

~you might consider bringing drinks, water, snacks...they really gouge you for the drinks, and if you're vegan, like me, there are no food options. Next time I go I honestly think I'll bring a whole lunch for myself.

~pace yourself, take breaks, and strategize....focus on what you're really looking for. It's really easy to get overwhelmed and start walking around in a daze like a zombie. Don't become a Rose Bowl zombie!

Last, but not least, here's a link the the Rose Bowl Website

Monday, November 19, 2012

Construction Zone...No Hard Hat Required!

I'm very excited to announce that I'll be making some changes to my blog in the next few weeks!

No protective gear required, however...

Why so serious, Johnny?

 For now, I've got two new ways for you to get your Vintage you can subscribe by email, or you can subscribe by RSS feed!

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grace and Mom

Happy Birthday to the ever-lovely Grace Kelly, who was born on this day in 1929.

Here she is in a publicity shot for 1954's Rear Window, one of my favorite Hitchcock films:

a great example of the influence of Dior's "New Look"

Anyone who loves Hitchcock films like I do, and who loves vintage clothing, certainly has to be fond of Grace...
Her clothes in Rear Window and Dial M for Murder (also released in '54) are so gorgeous! They were designed by costumer Edith Head (I'm reading a fabulously entertaining book about Ms. Head right now...stay tuned for a review very soon!)

I particularly love this beautifully graphic black and white dress:

Ms. Head loved to design beautiful back details

and this fabulous sage-green and white outfit...when she enters the room, it looks so prim and covered-up...

Miss Priss, right?

and then she removes the jacket and the top is so (relatively) can't see it here, but it's almost totally backless!

Hmmm, not so prissy after all!

Another favorite is the beautiful red dress from Dial M for Murder

Scarlet woman

I must admit that for a long while I had a bit of a crush on Ms. Kelly! I think it was because of my Mom. You see, my Mom passed away when I was 17, just a few years after Grace Kelly tragically died in a car crash. I always thought that my Mom looked a bit like Grace, and in that way that teenagers have, I sort of mashed the two together in my memories as this sort of Beautiful Mother Tragic Princess figure...boy, there's one for the analyst's chair!

Here's my Mom:

This Grace Kelly-Mom thing stuck in my head for a long time, and then something funny happened:  I saw  the 1953 movie Mogambo. In this film, Grace plays the young, naive wife of an anthropologist, who meets the rough & tumble game hunter played by Clark Gable on an African safari. She plays opposite Ava Gardner, who's a plucky world-wise show girl.

That was it! Grace's character in this movie is such a simpering wuss, and so annoying, that it snapped me right out of my crush!

Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner in Mogambo

 I wanted Ava to kick her whimpering little butt, but alas, Ava's character was too classy for that. Funnily enough, apparently the three actors, Grace, Ava, and Clark, got along famously during the shoot and became fast friends.

Now, with my crush dissolved (mostly!) away, I can just appreciate Grace for the talented actress that she was...and appreciate her beautiful costumes & style!
What's your favorite Grace Kelly movie?
Think your Mom looks like a famous actress? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dia De Los Muertos

The real Frida didn't smile this much :-)
That was me, last night, dressed up for the West Hollywood Halloween Carnavale. What a madhouse! I was worried that no-one would know who I "was", and man was I surprised! I guess I know a little bit of what it's like to be a celebrity, with all the people wanting to take pics with me & shouting out "Frida!"
It was really fun...I love to do elaborate costumes for Halloween, but I've never gotten such a response before. As an artist & former art teacher, it warms my heart to know that so many people love Frida Kahlo. I guess there is hope for the human race, after all...

It seems that every Halloween has a big trend or two, and last night's seemed to be the "Dia De Los Muertos" costume with flowery skeleton makeup...I saw a ton of gorgeous examples last night, and would you believe that I took ZERO pictures of them? I completely forgot! Derp, lerp....

 Anyway, the traditional Mexican festival of Dia De Los Muertos is becoming a really big thing here in So Cal...
 I love the idea of having a special day to honor your loved ones that have passed away, and I think it caps off the Halloween season in a nice way.
I've been a fan of the sugar skull motif for a long time.

Don't know if you all have seen these, but along with my vintage clothing store I also sell my hand-painted bags (sometimes shoes & other things, too) in my Etsy shop MoMosMadness

Here are a few recent creations:

Love the two-tone...these bags are hard to find!

a petite one

my fave so far...


The last one there should've been finished weeks ago and up in my shop for sale, happens. And by "life" I mean looking at Pinterest and watching The Walking Dead.

Oh well...Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

America's Most-Hated Color

 Or in other words, An Ode To Orange!

Crazy LA orange sky (I took this pic when the space shuttle was traveling through the streets of LA)

The arrival of Halloween always brings with it a blast of a certain color...
Do you like orange? Or hate it? Apparently orange is one of those colors that inspires strong feelings.
I remember reading, a few years back, that when Americans are polled about their most-liked and least-liked colors the color orange consistently comes in last place. Most liked? Blue, of course *****snoorrrrrre****
Nothing against blue, really, it's just so...predictable. Blue is the opposite of orange on the color wheel, so blue and orange really make each other pop!
Here are a few things I bet you didn't know about orange:

~It was Frank Sinatra's favorite color...he said it was the color of happiness.
~Orange is beloved in Holland, where it is the national color.
~Creative people are said to like orange.
~Vincent Van Gogh said that "without orange there is no blue"
~Orange is the color of the Sacral Chakra, and is linked to sexuality and fertility!
~The "black boxes" on airplanes are actually neon orange.
~Alexander the Great liked his hair to be bright orange, so he washed it in saffron, which at the time was more expensive than diamonds or gold!

 I happen to love orange, but I do admit it can be a strong presence! I find that oranges with a bit of "something else" in them are the most spicy oranges with a bit of brown in them.

Here are some fab orange lovelies I found on Etsy this morning:

Fabulous juicy orange peacoat at MoMoDeluxeVintage

Chic orange 40's slides at Decadence Past

Adorable little box bag at Hillbillyfilly

Juicy Bakelite faceted bangle at The Bakelite Temptress

Gorgeous fitted cocktail dress at La Belle Vintage

Super-fun Mod sweater-coat at MoMoDeluxeVintage

So, do you like orange? Or hate it?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Haul: Vintage Fashion Expo Santa Monica

I've been to the Vintage Fashion Expo in Santa Monica at least five times in the last couple years, and honestly, I'm a little over it...the crazy parking fee ($10), the super-high priced vendors, the attitude, the crappy snack all adds up to a less-than stellar experience. Every time, though, I do find a few things that keep me coming back!

 Here's what I got this time:

cute cotton the print!!!

more vintage fabrics for my stash (like I need more)
petite size "souvenir" condition!
Sweet, isn't it?
cute graphics

All the stuff above is from one of my fave vendors, can't remember the name but they are from Santa Barbara and they sell mostly vintage fabric, drapes, dishtowels, scarves, and stuff like that. Their prices are fantastic and I think they are the only vendors that I buy from literally every single time.

Another of my faves is Meow, where I got this awesome Darlene cardigan:

I'm ridiculously obsessed with Darlene sweaters
This sweater is so fab...the picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice!
Meow has fun merchandise and reasonable prices. They also have a store in Long Beach that I never miss when I'm down that way.

Every once in a while there is a new vendor, and when you go a lot, you really notice a new vendor. From this lovely lady, who's name is Bliss,

Bliss and her heavenly handbags

I got this charming petit point bracelet.

Whoa! Macro mode! The tiniest stitches...seriously.
It's honestly not completely my style, but the petit-point reminds me of my Mom, and I've never seen a bracelet like this one...I think mixed up with some of my other bangles & bracelets, "arm-party" style, I'll wear it a lot.

Bliss specializes in needlepoint and petit-point handbags. I've always loved this type of bag. She had a couple with longer straps, that someone had converted from handbags. After-market mods, you might say...I think this is such a fabulous idea!
Her business is called
Heavenly Handbags
What a truly nice person! Her enthusiasm is infectious and her products are the creme-de-la-creme. Bliss said that she just moved here to L.A. from New York...what a change! I wish her much success!

Here are some hints if you'd like to go to the next Vintage Fashion Expo, which is in February.
~I've heard that you can find free street parking if you search, and that meters are free on Sunday in that   neighborhood. I can't say for sure if that's true, but I'll sure check it out next time!
~dress in layers, because they seem to have a hard time keeping the temperature comfortable in the building. Every time I've gone it's either freezing or sweltering. Maybe they keep it so cold, cause they're hoping you'll buy a sweater or jacket just to keep from turning into an icicle!
~bring your own snacks, or eat first...the snack bar is pretty weak.
~bring cash. Now they have an ATM, but it has a $3.50 service charge. Some vendors don't take cards.

Have any of you been to this show? What do you think? What other vintage shows do you go to/like? I'd love to hear!