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!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Alfred Shaheen Exhibit!!

In yesterday's L.A Times, the Travel section was all about of my favorite places. As I've been hoping to go again soon, I was really excited, but then I opened up the paper and was so thrilled to see this!!

Recognize that dashing man? It's Alfred Shaheen!
The Times reports that there is a big exhibition and retrospective of his work coming up, at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, from November 10th, 2012 to February 4th, 2013.

Here's a link to the LA Times article by Catherine Hamm

Here's a link to the museum's website

I'm sure the exhibit will be incredible.

original Shaheen ad from California Stylist magazine

I'm dying to go...I might just be able to swing it! The hubby and I were actually thinking of going to Maui, but not Oahu. We could, however, fly into Honolulu, cab it over to the museum, see the exhibit, and then go on to Maui....hmmmm *gears turning*

Are any of you lovely readers thinking of going? Maybe I'll see you there!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Corsets: Retro-Cool or Completely Insane?

 I just stumbled upon an ABC news clip about the growing trend of women wearing corsets, not just for dress-up, but every day...full-on waist training. I'm aghast!

x-ray of corseted waist and rib deformation

Here's a link to the abc news clip

I do think corsets can be beautiful, and who wouldn't love a tiny waist? But every day? Aren't we taking a major step backward here ladies? What's next, Chinese foot binding?
Here's what wearing a corset does to your anatomy, when you do it to the extreme level that these ladies are doing it:

drawing showing displaced internal organs
 ((not the most up-to-date illustration, but it gets the point across)))

 I did a bit of quick poking around on the old interwebs and found that opinions abound on this subject...I found lots of corset-enthusiasts who swear up & down that there is no medical reason that extreme corset training is bad for you...many of them say that "it's the same thing that happens to your internal organs during pregnancy", it's not?

In my opinion, wearing a corset for a special event, like a costume ball, or for stage performances and things like that seems OK. It really does create a dramatic look, but at what cost? I recently came upon a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, who said, "be the change you want to see in the world". Is this really the change we want to see? A giant step backward into pre- women's rights times? A world where looks matter more than health? Where freedom of breath and movement is less important that image? No thanks!

I think one of the real reasons this bothers me so much is that it hits me on a personal level. You see, I have a weird little medical condition called Idiopathic Gastroparesis. What that means, in a nutshell, is that my stomach empties more slowly than the average person's. I have to eat small meals, and I have to avoid certain foods like carbonated beverages and hard-to-digest things, or I get really, really sick. No-one knows what causes it, and there is no cure. It's not the end of the world, and I'm leaning to live with it, but why someone would do this to themselves intentionally is beyond me. Because, in effect, that's one of the "side effects" of corset training: a person wearing a super-tight corset is basically giving themselves this condition. The "corset expert" in the video even says (a wearer) is going to get really bad heartburn. Lovely! What do these people think heartburn is? It's the acidic contents of your stomach burning away at the sensitive lining of your esophagus. Yeah, that's healthy!!

OK, enough ranting for now...
what do you wonderful readers think? Is this a trend that needs to go away, fast, or something you like?
Id love to hear your opinions :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

How To Turn Clip Earrings Into Post Earrings

If you're like me, and you think the old-school style clip-on earrings are a torture device right up there with the Iron Maiden and the Rack, then you might like this post. It's very easy to change clip-on earrings to posts, and I'll show you how!!

First, gather your supplies.

You'll need some rubbing alcohol and cotton balls, a pair of wire cutters, some craft glue that says it's for gluing metal (easy to find at Michael's or similar craft store), some post earring backs with a flat surface for attaching things (find at a bead store or the aforementioned Michael's) and your clip-on earrings. I also have a paper clip, bent open,  and some of those things that go on the back of your post earrings to give them more support. These are optional.

Here are my earrings:

 They are late 50's or early 60's, with multicolored glitter pieces encased in Lucite. I got them at a flea market for 10 bucks :-)

Here's what the backs look like:

The next thing you'll do is cut off the whole "clip" mechanism, right where it attaches to the back of the earring. Use your wire cutters for this. Depending on the age & type of metal, sometimes it cuts like butter and other times you need to put some serious muscle into it. The ones above were tough! I had to have my Hubby do it :-) Your goal is a perfectly flat surface upon which to glue your new post backs.

Once you've cut off the clippy thing, hopefully you'll be left with a back that's nice & smooth, like the ones above. If you're left with a little ragged bit of metal, try to clip it off as close as possible to the back of the earrings, and if necessary you can smooth any rough edges with a nail file.

Next, you want to clean the backs of the earrings with rubbing alcohol to create a good surface for the glue to stick to.

Once the alcohol has dried (which just takes a couple seconds) get ready to glue. The glue I'm using is called "Industrial Strength E6000" and it came in a little set with three other different types of craft glue.

To make the tightest bond, you'll want to put a bit of glue on the flat part of the new post attachments, and a bit on the earring back itself. I use a paper clip for this. Then join the two together and hold it tight for a minute so it sets.

You can see in the pic above that I didn't glue my backs on dead-center, but instead more towards one side. This was actually a bit of an experiment, to make the earrings hang a bit lower on my ears. I didn't love the results, so I recommend that you glue them right smack in the middle. Whatever you do, just make sure you do both earrings the same!

Read the instructions for your particular brand of glue to see how long the glue needs to dry thoroughly. I usually let mine dry overnight.

Voila!  Non-torturing earrings!!

Just a tip:  this works best on lightweight, or fairly lightweight earrings. If they're really heavy they'll hang down at a funny angle.
I have not yet tried this technique on any screw-back earrings, but I don't know why it couldn't work just as well...I'll update when I try it out!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

And Now For Something Really Random...Giraffes!

I recently had a chance to visit the San Diego Zoo, which I must say is just lovely...
I've been going there since I was a kid, and so I have not-so-objective nostalgic feelings for it, but besides that it's just such a beautiful place! The animals all look so happy and content :-)
Every time I go there I feel like I missed my true calling to work with animals...oh well, in my next life I guess!
My favorite animals are the giraffes. I find them so inexplicably charming, with their giant sleepy eyes, long eyelashes, and gangly shape. The babies are just the cutest!!!

Me, happy to see the giraffes (I know, I'm a dork)

So to celebrate my beloved giraffes, here's a collection of vintage giraffe-themed finds from Etsy! Enjoy :-)

Cute hankie, From Etsy seller Murdups
VintageChinchilla has this cute 80's dress
cute tea towel, at XanaduVintage
from ParlourVintage
my fave, from IngridIceland
If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend finding a place where you can hand-feed the's hilarious!
Do you have a favorite animal??  I'd love to hear about them!!