Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hearts and Daisies

I'm ba-ack!
 But still semi-sick and the temperature here has sky-rocketed which does not make a good combo. 
Where are the places that are still cold? I was watching a baseball game on television and the people were wearing scarves and jackets.

Scarves and jackets.

My ideal living situation would be Alaska. Or Siberia. Maybe Antarctica? The colder the better because I love me some sweaters, but dislike me some sweat.

I'm powering through, though. 
Thanks to some happy, bright colors and adorable brooches!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Stay in School: An Update


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I hope everyone had a nice Easter! Mine wasn't the best. I've been quite under the weather the last couple of days and school is sucking the life force out of me, so I have not been able to focus much on the shop or the blog.
Hopefully, after this week my schedule should calm down a bit, I'll start feeling better, and I'll be able to get back to keeping up the shop and posting here a lot more! :-)

And unfortunately there will not be an "Estate Sale Weekend" post this week because we ended up empty-handed this time, despite spending almost 2 hours standing outside of an estate sale with 90 other people on Friday.

Wait...maybe that's how I got sick...

Whoops.

-Melissa

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Estate Sale Weekend #3

Last weekend was pretty rough. I didn't find anything, really. Just walked away with some furry wood knob Viking dolls.
Which are cool, don't get me wrong, but vaguely disappointing.
This weekend, however, was much better and there was certainly a lot more to be found.

Friday started off pretty bad, but at the last sale I found this coat in a closet next to the front door. I originally walked right past it, as coats are not usually my bag, but spotted a fur collar out of the corner of my eye. I back-tracked and took a peek at the label.


So that was a nice surprise! I also found a great Catalina jacquard sweater in another closet. There were some pretty vintage Hawaiian dresses, but they were in very rough shape and the estate sale company still wanted my first born child for them, so I had to pass them up. My mother got lots of vintage fabric and patterns, too.



Also, in a strange act of "it's a small world after all", we ran into the son of The Shop Lady at that sale! So weird!

On Saturday, at a sale of an artist and sculptor, we found a bunch of great jewelry and jewelry-making findings, beads, etc (which will be in my mother's shop). There were some great art deco, art nouveau pieces mixed in with the bunch, like a repousse locket, lion-head bracelet, and etruscan buckle cuff.




That's just how garage-saling/estate-saling (are these still not words? I need to write Webster and figure this out...) work sometimes. One weekend will be horrible and the next will be great. It's such a random thing a majority of the time, whether you get anything or not. It's all timing and dumb luck.
Especially when it comes to vintage clothing.
There aren't 1920s flapper dresses (in my eight years of doing this, I've sadly never seen one of these), 50s ball gowns, or 40s novelty prints waiting in every closet at every sale. 
They're like grapes: they come in bunches.
Every time I've gotten vintage clothing it has happened in large groups and occurred maybe once or twice a year. My shop's stock is 4 years worth of garage/estate sales! Single pieces pop up every now and then, but the truly great sales need special circumstances.

1. Women who liked to shop.
2. Women who saved their clothes.

And the most important factor of all...

3. Women who properly stored their clothes.

But these special sales are what keep me going. The bad weekends are outweighed by the thought that maybe that next weekend or the next sale will be special. That the next house will be stuffed to the brim with amazing pieces. Maybe one day I'll find that 1920s beaded dress or that Ceil Chapman ball gown. Maybe I'll find that reverse carved fish bakelite bangle that haunts my dreams or a whole closet filled with 40s rayon. 

When you love things like these, you keep trying to find them.

It's the rarity and the history that make vintage things worth the effort.

-Melissa

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Little 1940s


It's not often that I build an outfit around an accessory, but I've always really loved this hat. It's from the 1940s and covered with velvet flowers in pretty soft, muted spring colors. I've had it for years and it has served me well.


Read on for more!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

If Only I Could...

Do you ever have those moments when you see something you love and you think:

"If only I could sew/knit/cook/weld...I would totally make that!"

I have moments like this every time I see a great circle skirt or cute crafty thing until I remember that I cannot, in fact, do any of those things.
I want to and it's totally not for lack of trying, but I quickly find that my efforts at crafting/paper-folding/knitting start unraveling.
Literally.
I crafted as a child! I made one mean clothespin caterpillar that still holds a elementary school portrait of me on my grandmother's fridge.
Well, a picture of me taken when I was in school and posted on her fridge, not a picture of nine-year-old me sitting on her fridge.
That'd be weird.
Perhaps it's because I don't have the patience any more or maybe I have good intentions that just go awry, but I hope that there are other people out there like me who hit 20 and accidentally dropped the crafting gene like a sack of potatoes. Or, people who start a project, get bored, turn on the TV, notice Pride and Prejudice is on, and decide to watch that for the 50th time instead.
It's just so much more cost effective to make your own things and it gives you a burst of pride when somebody else likes your work!

So, in hopes of igniting the fire, I thought I'd share my lengthening list of all the things I would make if only I could...

Sew

Pinafores, pinafores, pinafores. I would sew me up some grand pinafore/jumper/suspender skirt dresses in all colors and patterns. People would wonder if I owned pants.

Vogue, August 11th 1954

I have deep-rooted aspirations of making a pair of shorts that have the perfect high waist, length that isn't too short or too long, and have a vintage sailor vibe. Also, they have to be denim and they have to be dark blue. And have buttons.
Easy enough, right? :-D

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Knit

I have had my eye on this scarf (or "mantle" as they call it in Vogue) for a long time. The extra-long length, bold stripes, and fringe are perfect. Knitting is priority #1 at the moment as I need to recreate this come fall and, also, make a super long, chunky mustard scarf too.

Vogue, August 1st 1954

And oh, the glorious novelty sweaters I'd make...

1950s Sailor Jumper by Subversive Femme on Etsy
1940s Cherry Jumper by Subversive Femme on Etsy

Make Hats

This one is the most far-fetched out of everything, but I can't help but dream of quirky vintage hats. They are absolutely works of art (demonstrated by the fact that these were shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art...) but extremely hard to find. I have so much admiration for milliners- so creative and inventive! I have vintage mesh hat forms that I bought at an estate sale, but they continue to remain untouched in a hat box.

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Needle Felt

Like I need another reason to be addicted to sweaters. Needle felting is a great way to patch up holes in sweaters and you can add adorable little details to plain cardigans to jazz them up. I am all over this!

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I am very much aware that these are all attainable things and with some practice and dedication I can definitely accomplish all of my goals. With a little faith and courage, I can spread my wings and-
Oh, wait.
Pride and Prejudice is on.

-Melissa

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Estate Sale Weekend #2

Some grown men got yelled at like four year old children this past weekend.
It's not incredibly shocking that people having estate/garage/yard sales are a little...how can I put this...

Persnickety.

In my years of going to sales I have run across the gambit of overwhelmed or jaded garage sale runners.
Usually they are dealers/professionals that have had numerous sales before and had one bad experience with somebody rude or pushy and been tainted for life after that. This isn't the norm, however, and usually people having sales are incredibly nice.

Garage/estate sales are not like thrift stores or antique malls, though. There sometimes isn't a lot of law and order.

Kind of like the Wild West, but with knick-knacks.

My mother and I are as friendly and polite as they come and most of the time people behave perfectly well, so when a pair of older-than-middle-aged men were scolded for looking too early through a screen door at the sale inside, we were slightly shocked and mostly bemused.

They weren't going to break and enter, people. 

Nobody wants your Hummels that bad.

But all that nonsense aside, we had a pretty decent weekend again.




We didn't end up getting anything at the angry-man house, but I found a vintage knit dress, mod lime green coat, an Art Deco style top, and some pretty jewelry at another sale run by a very nice lady. I also got a lovely hand-painted floral porcelain mirror compact at another stop. My mother fared very well and found some antique sterling silverware, mid century pottery, and various other antiques.

Hopefully next weekend nobody will have to go in time out! :-)

-Melissa