Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Versatile and Liebster-y

Two very kind ladies have nominated me for awards!

'Thank You' to Jenny of Singing Bird Vintage for picking me for the Liebster Award! (Many moons ago! I'm so sorry it's been so long!)

and 'Thank You' to Tessie Jayne of Socks with Sandals for selecting me for the Versatile Blogger Award!

It was very exciting for me, being a new blogger and all, to be picked for such lovely awards! I'm so, so flattered and honored that they would think to pick me!

I decided to combine together the two since they both include lists of fun facts (7 facts for the Versatile and 11 for the Liebster along with answering 11 questions and posing 11 new ones) and make a super list of sorts. It took me so long to figure out what to write, so I hope I don't come off too strange!

1. I'm a extremely long-time, avid blog reader/lurker. My interest in and love of vintage came from being inspired by bloggers' styles! It took me a long time to make my own blog, though. Part of that was because...
2. I'm pretty introverted and have a hard time just jumping into new things. I also think that every time I open my mouth and say something it's bordering the line of perfectly normal and totally insane. I've gotten waaaay better in the last few years, but I'm still quite shy. In stark contrast to this...
3. I love acting. Nothing makes me happier than being on stage. I can't talk like a human being to a Starbucks barista, but give me a script and I'm good to go.
4. I hate fruit candy/desserts. They are a waste of time. If I wanted to taste watermelon, I'll eat a watermelon.
5. I don't like to cook and I am very bad at it. I despise cooking almost as much as I...
6. Despise driving. It's so stressful! (I know, how do I function? I honestly couldn't tell you. :-P)
7. My favorite actress of all time is Katharine Hepburn.
8. Pair her with Cary Grant and it's perfection. They are my fave movie duo!
9. My favorite period of time (fashion-wise) is the 1940s to the 1950s. So classic, well-structured, and the prints of this period are always fantastic!
10. My favorite color combo is mustard and burgundy. Second fave? Mint green and pink.
11. Sometimes when I get an idea of a piece of clothing I want in my head, I can't let it go. I will search and search for it at the best price and with all the little details I want until I find it. Or until I lose vision.
12. I love television and movies. I think I watch TV more than I do anything else. And I am not ashamed of it!
13. I can't say I have a favorite show. I like all different types of genres- historical period pieces, crime drama, sitcoms, oldies, documentaries... I will say that I'm on a Golden Girls kick right now. It's wonderful!
14. My favorite piece of clothing is a full, high-waisted, knee-length skirt. I don't have nearly enough so I'm constantly on a hunt for them, which often circles back to fun fact #11.
15. My favorite animal is the orangutan.
16. My aspiration as a child was to be the next Jane Goodall. And then I realized I would have to go to jungles.
17. Which warded me off because mosquitoes love me. Like...LOVE me. No amount of bug spray can deter them.
18. Reading this back I realize I'm kind of a crazy person. But maybe in a good way?...

Part 2 of the Liebster involves answering some interesting questions!

1. Do you prefer night or day and why? Day. I'm much more of morning person! Probably because I've been getting up early for garage sales for so long.
2. What’s your favorite thing to drink on a blistering hot day? Lemonade Ice Tea, which I think is called an Arnold Palmer?
3. Who is your favorite actor or actress? Whoops- this was in my fun facts! I'll say my modern favorite- Meryl Streep.
4. Have you any hobbies besides blogging? Watching movies! Modern or retro, any genre, any time.
5. What’s your favorite holiday and why? Hm. Christmas, I think. I just love the music and the atmosphere!
6. Do you have a favorite board game? Chutes and Ladders
7. If you could just pick up and go on a week-long trip tomorrow, where would you go? Somewhere really beautiful and serene, but not tropical or hot. Ireland, maybe?
8. Do you like sushi? No. However, I've never tried vegetarian sushi so there might still be a chance!
9. If you could move your birthday to a different part of the year, would you? And if so, to which month? I don't think so. I like having a cool weather birthday!
10. What’s your favorite TV show? Ok, ok, if I had to say, my all-time favorite is Freaks and Geeks. It was so endlessly perfect. One season was just not enough!
11. If you were a dessert, what would you be and why? Baked Alaska! I'm not sure why, but it's the first dessert that popped into my head. I wonder what that says about me.

And I now I get to pose 11 new questions!

1. What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word "vintage"?:
2. If you could have any occupation, what would it be and why?
3. As a child on the playground, what did you want to do first and why?
4. Quick: polka dots or stripes?
5. If you could travel to and land on the moon, would you? Why or why not?
6. Quick: apple juice or orange juice?
7. If you could go back in time and purchase one item to bring back, what would it be and why?
8. If you could go back to any time period and stop one fashion item/trend from being invented or popularized, what would it be and why?
9. Quick: popcorn or peanuts?
10. If you could only either wear 1920s party dresses or 1950s cocktail dresses for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
11. If you walked into a packed warehouse of vintage perfection on sale for $1 and only had $1 to spend, which would you buy: a candy bar or bag of chips? :-)

Part of the reason why this was put off for so long was I was too nervous to nominate anyone! I wasn't sure how to approach it or who has done the awards already.
But I'm going to just go for it and nominate:

Jenny of Singing Bird Vintage for the Versatile Blogger Award because of her awesome vintage style and her wonderful vintage movie and celebrity posts!
Katie of Butterfly Loves Snapdragons for either award because her outfit posts are always so lovely and she has such inspirational messages in her writing!
Shauna of Mid Century Girl also for either because of her amazing vintage outfits and terrific posts about all the great vintage shows she goes to!

If you all have done these already, don't worry about it, unless you'd like to do them again!

I know that's not anywhere close to enough, so I'm going to go rogue and open it up to anyone who'd like to do either! :-)

I know- I'm such a rebel!

Fact #19, maybe? 

(To anyone who does do the award lists - do let me know as I love a fun fact list!)


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Estate Sale Weekend #5

There's been about a 5 week gap since we've been able to get out to any sales (due to my poor mother breaking her knee cap and me helping her out the best I could), so this weekend was kind of a "get back in the swing of things" thing. We only got to a few, so this won't be a lengthy post, but I wanted to share a little bit of my adventure this weekend.

Friday was pretty bad. I think we only got to three or four and two of those weren't "opened" when we arrived, so we left. I use quotes because the people were there, the stuff was outside, but they were moving really slowly and just kind of stared at us like we had four heads, so we figured they didn't want to be bothered yet.

The last sale let a few people in ahead of time and then locked the door in my face. :-/ Which doesn't happen often, but when it does, woo boy is it frustrating! But I guess it is their right to do what they please. 

My mother was the only one who ended up with anything- some mid century glasses, a floral brass wreath, and some Victorian-style painted postcards.

Saturday was slightly better. We went to a high school theatre department's rummage sale which had racks of clothing they were purging from their costume room to make way for a recent, huge donation.

They too let a few people in ahead of time, but luckily we arrived at the right moment before they shut the doors and stopped letting anyone in. This turned out to be a moot point because no one else showed up for awhile anyway. But when they did it was a circus.
Most of the items were new, modern things that I'm sure were donated recently and a lot of vintage pieces were in rough shape (it being a high school drama club, after all, and in my personal experience being a part of such a group means beautiful vintage becomes merely a costume for a high school's High School Musical*). 

I managed to find and rescue around 50 of the best pieces (a few cute, little dresses, a lot of blouses, men's Hawaiian shirts, and a few older pieces) that we spent today cleaning and sprucing up. At the next sale (we only got to the two) I did find two other vintage dresses and a pretty tooled leather belt. The summery things will be heading to the shop soon and the more autumnal items will wait for colder weather.

So, this weekend turned out to be a nice way to get back into work after a long time out. It felt great to get back to garage saling- we definitely missed it (I don't know if that's kind of sad or really sad, but whatever!)

I hope everyone had and continues to have a good weekend! :-)


*My drama department did not do High School Musical, thankyouverymuch. But we did perform Shakespeare, which is basically the same.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I have a problem.
I think it's a good thing to admit it because that means I recognize it and want to improve as a human being.


My name is Melissa and I am a pin addict.

Thank you to Jenny of Singing Bird Vintage for inspiring me to talk about my own pin obsession!

My addiction snuck up on me. It starts off with a tiny pin won for being on the 5th grade honor roll, then you find your first vintage brooch at a garage sale for cheap and it all careens downhill from there. You think you can handle it.

They're just pins.
They don't take up too much room.
And they're such a good price!
I'd be a fool to pass this up!

Next thing you know you have brooches and pinbacks, badges and buttons coming out of your ears, taking up every shelf in your bedroom, and collecting so many dust bunnies you could start a Pig Pen-themed petting zoo.

In an effort to make some room in my, well, room, to put a much-needed exercise machine that I bought, I don't know...6 MONTHS AGO...I was forced to deal with this pin problem head on.

I need to remove the shelf contraption much of my collection is on, so I gathered every pin I could find from their various spots; the horrendous over-sized shelf thing, boxes on my dresser, trays on top of drawers, a random few found underneath some scarves, and others re-discovered in, of all places, my sewing cabinet (which I sadly hardly use for sewing...I know, I'M AWFUL).

After I collected the pins I could find together, I thought I'd take a moment to snap some pictures to document my problem in case I might relapse in the future.

The Enamel Flowers

The Animal Brooches

The Buttons

The Novelty Pins

The Tiny Pin Backs

They haven't gone to waste, though. I love and have worn every single one at some point. My goal is to continue to put these into rotation and give the older ones more attention, as I haven't worn them as much as I'd like to since graduating from high school.

These have been collected over many years and I've become much pickier about which ones I buy, so they haven't really been multiplying as quickly as they were before.

It's something about brooches. I wear them far more than any other item of jewelry. I think it's because they're often quirkier or more interesting than a bangle or ring could be. Plus, you can make a lot of small random items into brooches by gluing a pin back on it, as I used to do a lot. Small toys, trophy plates, you name it, it can be turned into a brooch.

Speaking of...I found this old Little Bo Peep Christmas ornament that would make an awesome pin! Oh, and I have a stuffed Frog and Toad ornament!

Wait! There's that other thing, too...

Uh oh.


(My bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings are an entirely separate issue which I won't even go into. Suffice it to say you can sum it up in two words: "hoarder alert!"
Blame my mother. She's actually worse.
Suitcases full.
Suit. Cases.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shop Update!

Here's a little sneak peek of some things coming to the shop this week...
(I definitely didn't mean for that to rhyme.)

Some more jewelry!

A few summer dresses!

Pretty floral hats!

And yes, more blouses!

It's been a pretty wacky summer already for me, but hopefully things will begin chilling out and some new things will coming along to not only the shop, but the blog as well (including, maybe, a way to kind of take people garage saling with me!) So stay tuned! :-)


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Rare" and "Unique"

Vintage can be a funny beast sometimes. I often run across items that I think have to be one-of-a-kind because they are either so incredible and interesting, or they lack an all-important label of some sort. The thing is though, that most vintage pieces are probably not handmade or one-of-a-kind. In sorting through the deadstock or "new old stock" pieces I have I noticed that while they all have hang-tags, some do not have a label inside. 
Some dresses have no identifier except for a mysterious "Lot" tag. A lot of clothing items probably had these at some point, but I have a feeling some women might have removed these because they bothered them or they merely fell off from age.

By the time a lot of it reaches re-sellers or a new owner, it has an air of: 

"This is totally handmade because
A. It's unlined.
B. It doesn't seem that well sewn (i.e. loose threads hanging from seams inside)
C. There's not a tag in sight.
D. All of the above.
E. All of the above plus plenty of other reasons that I can't think of right now but do definitely exist."

You discover this as you casually stroll through Etsy or Ebay looking for a new blouse or dress or something and spot a look-a-like, as has happened to me many times...

I sold this Lee Wentley novelty print dress many moons ago and just saw it's sister pop up on Ebay (I didn't think this was handmade, but I found it funny spotting another one). I wanted to purchase it as I loved the one I had, but it didn't fit. Alas, I missed out, but maybe another one will appear again!

This dress came from The Shop Lady and there was a brief moment when I thought it could have been handmade as there was no label, it was unlined, and there were a lot of loose threads inside. Plus, it kind of just had that vibe, you know? 

However, there was something about it that made me believe it wasn't one-of-a-kind. And then this confirmed it:

Source (this is actually still available to buy!)
Is it weird that I got super possessive and briefly enraged about it?


moving on.

And then there's this dress that I've had for ages and have never listed:

Going by the craftsmanship and detail, you would think this was a one-time custom made deal or by some rare designer.
"There's no way they made more than one!"

Well, actually...

Still Available Here and Here

Sourced Here and Here

Granted, these are a tad different from one another, but they are variations of a theme and I could make a gorgeous beaded cocktail dress army from all that I've seen.

Then there are more that I knew flat-out weren't handmade, but I just got a kick out of finding their twin.

                                   Still Available Here!

                                     Still Available Here

It's actually a good thing that there are duplicates out there because if you're devastated that you missed something you adored, there's always the chance that you'll find another one some day!

I write this because I find it fun to spot something I had at one point and it's useful for when you want to figure out the value of an item, but knowing that just because something is vintage doesn't make it one-of-a-kind causes me to hesitate putting "rare" or "unique" in my listings. Technically, I guess vintage pieces are "rare" and "unique" because they are so difficult to find, but with so much out there already, how many things are actually the last of their kind?

Of course, this doesn't take away from their beauty or appeal, nor does it make these vintage pieces any less desirable. I would never consider not wearing a vintage dress just because someone else has the same one. That's silly. Plus, the odds of that actually occurring are slim.
However, as a person who loves the uniqueness and individuality vintage clothing brings, I sometimes forget that a lot of it was mass-produced, especially the items sold through catalogs or in department stores. And when you look at the big picture, the production of clothing back in the day pales in comparison with the way clothing is pumped out today.

With all that said I sometimes need to remind myself that while there may not be thousands or even hundreds of these items left floating around, the odds are that there is more than one out in the universe, in a closet or attic somewhere.

The goal then is to find them.


(Kudos if you got through all of that- apparently I like to ramble.)