Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tiki Tuesday...Faves from My Own Closet

For this installment of Tiki Tuesday, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite tiki-themed items from my own closet.

My hands-down favorite is this late 1950's cardigan sweater:

I saw a similar one on eBay, a couple of years ago...almost exactly the same, except a brown-on-cream colorway, instead of blue-on-cream, and I was just gutted when another bidder won the auction.
Some months later I found this one at the Vintage Expo in Santa Monica and I was ecstatic!!! I like the blues even better :-)
I think that technically the figures are more African-inspired than Polynesian, but whatever...I love it.

I also have this cute little short-sleeved rayon shirt.

I think it's actually from the 90's, by Reyn Spooner. I like the subtle colors, and the classic styling. I wear it with shorts in the summer.

The newest addition to my collection is this amazing sundress I got off Etsy a week ago:

Here's a closeup of the print:

I don't know if you can tell very well from this pic, but the turquoise shapes behind the green tiki are supposed to be a map of the Hawaiian islands.

Don't you love it?
It needs a teensy bit of alteration to fit perfectly, but nothing I can't handle myself.
The seller had it listed as 1970's, but I think it's a bit earlier.

I have a lot of other vintage goodies that have a tiki "feeling", but these are my only clothes with actual tikis on them...I think it's a lot easier to find tiki stuff for guys than for girls!!
Hope you like them!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Day In The Life...Estate Sale Madness

I'm thinking you lovely readers might enjoy a peek into my daily work life.
Something I do a few times a month is go to estate sales. I've learned the hard way that the early bird gets the worm, and by worm I mean the killer vintage goods...

So here I am at 5:50 a.m, in the pouring rain, a couple mornings ago.
You can't tell from the pic, but it's pitch dark out. And pouring rain. Did I mention it was raining?

'Scuze the blurry pic...there was water on the lens! I may look like I was having fun, but I wouldn't say getting up that early is ever fun. I'm actually laughing in the pic because I'm amazed that a fellow dealer was already there and had been there since 5 am!! He's really happy because he's #1 on the list.

What we do is start a list of names, and that list determines who gets to go in first. After scoring that coveted spot on the list, I usually go home for an hour or so (if the sale is close to my house) or go to Denny's, Starbucks or something and wait til the sale starts.
This sale was supposed to start at 10:00am. By this point the rain had tapered off. The estate sale company was nice enough to put up a canopy so that everyone wouldn't be drenched. It's a small crowd because this is a mailing-list only pre-sale day...the sale to the public opened the next day. Pretty much everyone in the photo is a "dealer" of some sort...except one lady who was dying to get a nice set of Brown Jordan Art Deco-style patio furniture. I hope she got it!!
let us in or we'll riot!
Here I am looking ticked off because it was about 10:20 and they still hadn't opened the doors.

This is my usual estate sale-going attire: hat to cover my bedhead, washable dark colored jacket to deflect weather and dirt, small hands-free purse (some estate sale companies won't even let you bring in a purse this small...you have to just carry your wallet in...I hate that) and tucked under my arm is a ginormous shopping bag that folds up really small.

So, what do you get for waking up at the crack of dawn and standing in line in the rain (oh, and a pile of cash)?
If you're lucky, quick, and plan your strategy well, you get a pile o' vintage booty like this!

At this sale I got mostly 60's stuff. A few gorgeous beaded cardigans, some killer gold lame' shoes with rhinestones on the heels, a few fun purses, and lots of other goodies.
I got several beautiful silk cheongsam dresses, which is wonderful because I'm currently reading a book I ordered from Amazon called "In The Mood For Cheongsam".

I also scored a couple of fabulous coats, including this snakeskin-print early 60's raincoat

My February Elle magazine had lots of snakeskin!!
and this fun striped number:

Yowza!!I dare you to have S.A.D. in this!!
Like a lot of my estate sale finds, both coats need mending...the snake coat has a cuff that's dangling off. I'm hoping I can fix it on my sewing machine. The striped coat needs buttons...they're all missing.
All these goodies will make it into my Etsy shop at some point!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Introducing...Tiki Tuesday! Episode One: The Tonga Hut

OK. So one of the things I loooove is Tiki Culture. Tiki bars, tiki drinks, tiki anything.
Some people think tiki stuff is tacky, and perhaps it is, a bit, but I like many things that some consider tacky so let 'em. I'll be over here enjoying my Mai Tai :-)

In indulgence of my tiki passion I'm rolling out a new feature here on Vintage Advantage called TIKI TUESDAYS. Yes, I'm yelling because I'm excited about it!

So with no further delay, here is my first installment:

The oldest surviving tiki bar in Los Angeles!  It's a teeny tiny little hole in the wall bar, on a nondescript corner in North Hollywood. For those of you who aren't familiar with Los Angeles, that's in the San Fernando Valley, which is the sprawling suburban wasteland north of LA proper.

The Tonga Hut greets you with a mysterious green light and a big Moai tiki.

Right inside the door is their mascot, "Big Mo" another enormous Moai

You can't really see my outfit here very well (I'm still learning to use my new camera) but it consisted of: vintage high-waisted jeans, vintage printed Darlene cardigan sweater, one of my trusty vintage leopard-print handbags, and a big pile o' Bakelite on earlobes and wrists.

The inside of the Tonga Hut is dim and evocative, and every inch is covered with some cool tiki relic. Many of which were rescued by the most recent owner from various demolitions around LA.

There's a hang-out nook with padded benches, a Polynesian 3-D map by Kirby, a classic Witco ship panel, and a fantastic bright-red mid-century fireplace.
Love it!!!

 Look at that awesome fireplace! I want one just like it sooo bad. Here's a closer look:

They sell an assortment of collectible tiki mugs including some that have been commissioned just for the Tonga Hut.

One of the most fun things at the Tonga Hut is the "Drooling Bastard", which is this tiki fountain:

They do this thing called the Royal Order of the Drooling Bastard...if you drink one of every single drink they make (and that's more than 80) you become a member of the Loyal Order and you get your name on this wall.

They keep a big book behind the bar of everyone who's trying for it, and a record of all the drinks they've had.

Our bartender, Ian, was friendly and helpful (I know! Shocker! That's one of the reasons I like Tiki bars...the barkeeps are always friendly...unlike at the ubertrendy bars near where I live) and on his recommendation, I chose a classic Mai Tai. The Tonga Hut makes their Mai Tais with the real, historic recipe so it didn't taste like one of those horrible too-sweet things you might get it you ordered a Mai Tai at, let's say, a TGI Fridays or some such horridness.
The vibe was low-key, and the jukebox had a nice selection of Exotica and tiki music along with some rockabilly, some soul, a bit of this & that and (weirdly) a whole bunch of English punk. Some guys had loaded the jukebox up with 10 bucks worth of quarters, all punk...which is what actually drove us out of the bar! We'll be back, though...and maybe I'll start workin' my way through those 80+ drinks!!

Here are the details:
The Tonga Hut is at 12808 Victory Blvd, in North Hollywood, CA
They have a great  website too!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Something Fun Comes This Way

Oooh, I'm so excited!

I just ordered a custom playsuit, shorts and a top, from RockabillieBetties Retro Re-Do's!

She posted a pic, months ago, of a little romper she'd made in a green Alfred Shaheen tiki print and I just drooled over it. It was too small for me, though, so I mentally moved on.
(I think it's still available through Etsy)

Then a few days back she posted on Facebook that she had two new colorways for the tiki fabric, a brown toned one and a teal/gray/blue...both are so cute!
Here's the teal/gray/blue:

Here's the brown:

So I took the plunge and ordered the playsuit in the teal/gray/blue.

Here's what it's going to look like:

I do believe that I got the last of the teal fabric. I think she might have the brown left, though...and it's really cute! I actually think I like the brown better, if it was just a stand-alone thing, but for my skin-tone and hair the teal is a better complement.
I've never really had anything custom made for me so it's exciting! If it fits & looks great I think I'll wear it at VLV, for the car show or around the pool.
When it arrives, I'll do a follow up :-)

Thanks to RockabillyBettie for the pix! Here's her facebook page...give her a "Like"!
Rockabilliebettie on Facebook

Here she is on Etsy:
Rockabillybettie on Etsy

Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Addition in Feline Form

I've not been blogging too much, lately (I'm sure you've all noticed, har,har) and here's why!

This is our new little kitty, Marlowe!

She came home with us on New Year's Eve :-) She's so adorable, a little pur-ball and of course tons of fun.

Sounds all well and good, I know, but there's a problem, and his name is Quincy.

Mr. Quincy is not amused, and although we've been taking it very slowly, like you're supposed to, Mr. Quincy pretty much attempted murder on about their third face-to-face meeting. So we've back-pedalled a bit and, not to drag you into the boring details, it's taking up a lot of time.

I'm sure we'll all be a happy family soon, although some Prozac may be involved, and I can't say for sure that it will be just for Quincy!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Round 'em Up and Move 'em OUT!

You all know by now that I run a couple of Etsy shops...
Last year was a great year! Sales have been really fantastic, but I love to hunt for great stuff, and I find it faster than I can sell it.
So I just started a giant CLEARANCE SALE in my MoMoDeluxeVintage shop because things were really starting to pile up!!! Everything in the shop is 30% off. Maybe that doesn't sound like a *really* big sale, but I price things very low to begin with so I can't go 50% off and still make a penny...

I have a few things in my shop that I think are so fantastic, I honestly can't figure out why they haven't sold.
For example:

this cute red jacket
Such a gorgeous cherry red color! Fabulous boucle' texture! I'd keep it for myself, but seriously folks...I live in southern California and I really don't need another coat.

UPDATE: this jacket is SOLD :-)

How 'bout these:

aren't these sparkly shoes fab? So sexy, amazing condition, and they'd go with practically every evening dress or outfit.

this adorable leopard print robe is only 26 bucks, people!

Look at this fantastic skirt:

this 50's cutie by Tabak comes with a matching scarf!

 OK that's enough blatant self-promotion for now :-)
Hope you all had a lovely Holiday!