Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ribbon Replacement.

Yeah, I know, I didn't write anything for here for like two months. I don't know, it just happened? 

Anyway, I've still been working on some of the things from the last post--that washing pile turned into a giant mending pile (as they do) and I'm back to a schedule of trying to mend at least one item a night while I watch Dancing with the Stars (I miss Derek, sorry, the seasons are just not the same if he's not competing) before bed. 

One of the trickier things are the older, Edwardian or Victorian clothes, not just because they're pretty delicate and require mendings that are teeny tiny, but because a lot of the bits need replacing. Like the ribbons. They seem to rot first, before any of the rest of a garment, and finding new ones that are the right colors and consistency is kind of a pain. 

Replacing ribbons

Replacing ribbons


Replacing ribbons

There is a lack of nice fabric stores around here. We have the usual Joanne's, and it's lovely, but I often can't find exactly what I'm looking for since what I'm looking for tends to be a bit more niche or maybe (at the risk of sounding like a terribly snob) high-end? I needed a silk ribbon, in order for the bow to flop nicely without being overly shiny. I don't want a ribbon that holds a shape, but rather one that sort of drapes and falls in a sort of Romantically Bedraggeled way without actually being in shreds. So, silk. 

There is nowhere near to buy silk ribbon, for example, in the shades and size I need. I ended up finding what I wanted on Etsy, of course, so now it's just a matter of time deciding what colors!

Replacing ribbons

Replacing ribbons

I ended up with this blush pink first, since it's a fairly close match to the original although I might even prefer this shade--it's a tad more neutral. A few of the pieces I've got that have rotted ribbons are yellow, so I might order that next, although I'm envisioning a nice dove grey or blue would be pretty?

Replacing ribbons

It's an odd task, sort of tedious, so I tie a little needle on to the end of the ribbon so I might string it through the lace in under 20 minutes. 

Replacing ribbons

And there! This is one of those tasks that takes no time at all, but getting there I drag my feet. Maybe by the time I make another post I'll be actually wearing this one?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Laundry Days.

I'm waffling today on what to do with my evening. I could, given that I am not required to be up particularly early tomorrow, go see Carly Rae Jepsen for a reasonable ticket price and bounce around to my heart's content by myself. I could also stay home, plug in my headphones and play Emotion, and throw a whole mess of recent antique/vintage acquisitions in buckets and play laundress.

Laundry daysLaundry days

It's not an easy choice for me, I swear! Were it between regular laundry and this show I wouldn't be debating at all--even though regular weekly laundry is infinitely easier than dunking some chiffon thing into a tub and praying it doesn't disintegrate. It's oddly satisfying, maybe even fun? The suspense is sometimes enjoyable even (when it works out), like yes, I have saved this garment, this textile is new again, I have saved it, I am a genius!

(For the record, I didn't do either. After work I was too tired to go stand around at a show for several hours--this is how I know I am now old--even if I went late and missed the opening acts, I just couldn't muster up the energy for that kind of environment. Mom and I went to visit a friend who had surgery, then ordered a pizza and made a salad so really, I'm pretty happy with that activity too. I did finally get to my exciting laundry on my day off yesterday).

I don't dry clean. I mean, sometimes I do. For coats and things like that, but anything that can't go in the washing machine, vintage or new, I hand wash. Sometimes this ends in tears despite all kinds of resources on the internet with instructions on what to use or not used on various textiles (once, early in my collecting, I dunked a black crepe 1940s dress in a bunch of hot water and it shrank to toddler size). It's all very helpful but in the end I suspect there's nothing like trial and error. 

Laundry days Laundry days

I'm not really interested in writing a tutorial for this--there are enough of those out there, better researched and written--and really I don't have much to say on the topic besides lukewarm water (maybe cold water? Sometimes I use cold but in the interest of keeping things as gentle as possible lukewarm makes more sense to me. I'm also a wimp with cold hands who doesn't want to dunk them into ice water), soap flakes (which is a really satisfying thing to make even though grating a bar of soap really, really makes me want to eat it because it looks like cheese), and oxyclean. Which I know can be dangerous but sometimes I just gotta dunk those yellowed whites. 

And synthrapol, a lifesaver. 

I usually get a few buckets going, along with an old strainer we used to use for pasta until the stand on the bottom of it broke off. I throw on some podcasts (lately The Black Tapes. Even though one episode scared me and I had to skip it and then had nightmares anyway) and leggings and get all my potions going in the bathroom, occasionally poking their contents with a spoon, wrapping wet things in towels, hanging them to dry, getting really grossed out by the yellow dust-bowl colored water that has that really distinct old wet clothes smell? What is that? It's not the same as a thrift-store smell, it's much clingier, sort of swampy and alive instead of stale. 

Laundry days

There's something I like about it. The typical line of thinking would be I enjoy bringing something old back to life, the usual vintage collector's song, but I suspect for me it's more in line with the peace of doing something tangible? The end result is great but I like something about the process, the suspense, the puzzle of what it takes to get a stain out. Or maybe I'm just excited to wear something new. 

Laundry days

Laundry days

The next step, the mending. That part I'm pretty bad about. I let the piles sit around for months, usually until I want to wear one of the pieces in it, and only leave myself 15 minutes to fix it before I have to be somewhere. Better late than never?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fall on the First of February.

I'm desperate for snow. Somehow my area of upstate was over the cutoff for the big nor'easter that hit downstate a few weeks ago. I had been waiting to photograph (or even wear) this cape/coat in the snow, since I love a big fur collar in snow! But it's not happening and I need to hop on my blog photo opportunities when I can. 

Even if that means posting images where all the branches and bracken behind me are in focus but I'm not because I have yet to order a remote. It's fine I'm just being extra authentic in posting my mistakes, or something?


Coat: Laura's Vintage, Shoes: Bass Outlet circa 2014, Hat: J. Crew (old), Pin: Vintage, Bag: Coach, Socks: J. Crew

This is the last piece of outerwear I am allowed to purchase for a long while. I love jackets and coats, and as a vintage collector they are sort of everywhere--stronger materials, not worn as much, you know the drill--but really good ones? They're extra good. This one showed up at Laura's Vintage while I was there on a little shopping trip, just stopping in before a dinner and movie date, I think my boyfriend saw my eyes light up with want. It worked out--he had gotten me a gift certificate I didn't know about then for Christmas, so I was able to make this beauty mine shortly after.


I haven't worn it until today though. It's heavy, with that nice collar, but it doesn't actually have sleeves which is kind of a problem in a part of the Northeast where close two or below zero happens on the regular. I already can't wait for next fall though to wear it in the changing leaves! If it does snow though I can pretend to be an alternate-universe 1960s style member of the Stark family (book vibes, I'm still praying to the old gods and the new that the show gets axed).



I've got one more cape to photograph (and let's be honest, to wear in public) before the season is over, so maybe this is my winter of capes? The next one is decidedly more Fellowship leaning, so I suppose this one is my toe-in-the-water to normal daily cape wearing. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blogging Apathy.

I have plans to do some actual blogging/writing about my feelings/thoughts on the blogger subject lately, for a few months now, but when the time comes I somehow can't be bothered. Mostly I don't feel that I have a space in it anymore, or at least not in the same way, but I also don't want to stop doing it. I like snapping a few shots of an outfit here or there, but it's kind of hard not to feel like I should be making some of it, or that I'm holding on to some weird internet space that doesn't really exist in the same way anymore.

Dress: vintage from jessjamesjake on etsy, Sweater: vintage L.L. Bean thrifted, Shoes: vintage from allencompanyon etsy, Bag: J. Crew (current season)


I also like, kind of don't care? That a lot of people seem to have moved on from it, or that it's a whole new animal now. Maybe I'll just keep doing this funny little thing. 



I've always liked to record things in a somewhat public fashion--blame it on those early days on livejournal. It's nice to have a record of things. My skin is changing, I'm trying to grow my hair out, rewriting resumes, trying to work on little creative projects, reading old favorite books. It's that all the usual while starting to look for change kind of thing happening around here. 

I'm not certain how to uh, style myself lately? I'm constantly switching between a messy layered mess of sweaters and leggings and clothes appropriate for doing something messy, and a pretty polished made-up look. I can't decide if I want milky pastels or darker things, I have days where I absolutely can't deal with vintage and others when I'm totally obsessed with it.

I picked up this dress from Jess over the summer, because I'm a sucker for a dark floral, before she even got it into the shop. It's one of those really good 1970s Young Edwardian dresses I always hope to find in a Salvation Army somewhere and never, ever do. She did though so, I'm lucky enough that way! The sweater is a bit old, I'm not sure how much life it's got left in it but I like it's bulky, itchy character. I didn't realize how terrible it smelled of mothballs till I got it home (one of those, when surrounded by old stuff problems) and away from it's dusty environment. A nice little sun bath, and an actual spray bath of various liquids seems to have done the trick. 







For now I just wish it would snow, although I'm pretty okay with not wearing boots for a little bit more.

Thanks to my very nice boyfriend David for obligingly snapping these before heading out for haircuts and coffee <3 p="">


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Creepin' It Real: 2015 T-Shirt Edition.

I mean, I had to get this t-shirt right? I have evidence that I've been using the phrase 'creeping it real' for at least a year, so when a friend tagged me on instagram that they had a shirt emblazoned with it at Target I handed over my $12 almost without thinking (almost, because not one Target in my area had the thing, so I had to order it online and then wait patiently not only for it to ship but for the weather to get sufficiently creepy. I'll wear it in all seasons, but for the first time I wanted it to be gloomy and moody).

Creepin' it real: t-shirt edition

Creepin' it real: t-shirt edition
Shirt: Target, Skirt: J. Crew/current season, Jacket: J. Crew circa 2009, Shoes: J. Crew Factory Holiday 2014, Bag: J. Crew/current season

In hindsight I wish I had tucked it into my tights, because I hate that line it makes visible under the skirt-waist, but then there's the conundrum of the tight's waist popping up above the skirt because I buy them large enough to almost wear them as strapless one-sies. Eventually it'll get so cold that I won't care, and everything will tucked into the top of my tights and pant legs will be jammed into socks to create one seamless outfit that no breath of cold air can penetrate. 

Creepin' it real: t-shirt edition

Creepin' it real: t-shirt edition

Not totally necessary yet. It's still jacket weather around here, I've pulled out the stockpile of thrifted sweaters put away throughout the summer and I'm not sick of them yet--I've forgotten about winter--and October is flying by like it always does.

Creepin' it real: t-shirt edition

Creepin' it real: t-shirt edition

I had plans to do a bit of writing about blogging in general, I've slowed down so much on it, and the general attitude seems to have shifted so much in the last few years. I don't particularly want to stop, but I feel pretty out of step in a lot of ways with what's going on now--my interest in sponsored posts is pretty low, I kind of just want to do my own little thing (whatever that is). I'm cleaning house quietly around here, taking up domain names, working on streamlining and making things prettier. It's all a post for another day--for now it's Wednesday, and there is pasta to eat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Last of the Twenties.

When you turn 29 (or rather, when I turned 29, yesterday) a lot of people do this thing where they tell you how great your 30s are going to be. Which is fine, and reassuring I suppose, but I sort of don't really care? I mean I do care, sometimes I am stopped and frozen with absolute fear at being in my late 20s and still being pretty unsure about so many things (various articles and think-pieces and quotations from lots of authors spread are applied to the corners of the internet where I lurk in a soothing salve of you are not alones and this is what you're supposed to feel likes), but like the weather there isn't anything to be done about it (and, like the weather, I still talk about it all the time anyway). 

Birthdays are tricky. They stress me out. I love making a fuss about everyone else's, and truthfully the last two birthdays of mine have been absolute winners in pretty much every way. There's just pressure, you know? "Enjoy your day!" or "Have THE BEST birthday!" and I don't know, that sounds ungrateful you know? I don't mean that, just in the end I went happily to work, and it rained a lot so I didn't have to water the plants, mom made pasta and I brought home a cake from work and shared it with some stellar friends. I dressed up for two hours and then threw on my ubiquitous denim shorts and striped shirt for most of the evening. I did enjoy my day, once I let go of the internal pressure to make it something out of the ordinary so it seemed silly to go somewhere besides just around the corner to snap a few outfit shots. 

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29
Dress: J. Crew (current season), Shoes: J. Crew summer 2012, Clutch: J. Crew (I don't know when but a few years ago), Starlette Crown: Giant Dwarf

Getting dressed up and going to Target is a pastime I've been enjoying since high school, when my best friend and I did just that, and were luckily interviewed in the parking lot about summer weather (it didn't actually end up on the news).  

This time I went to pick up a movie, only to realize it's not actually out yet.

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

I'm pretty bad at walking in these shoes. I've been giving myself a break lately, in heels but of a practical height, and in these my ankles feel like they're made of tums. Every year I'm obsessed with having a birthday dress, even though it doesn't usually make it the whole way, and somehow the blue seemed necessary (bright blues and dusty pinks are all in my mind these days when it comes to just about everything). None of it is vintage, which I always feel a little bit guilty about, but then when you work in a place that sells clothing it infiltrates your wardrobe and sometimes head-to-toe one brand just happens. I'm 29, I'm learning to let go of caring about that kind of thing, sort of.

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

I'm also trying not to care about things like what my under-eyes are doing, but if anyone has a recommendation for concealers that don't dry out and settle and flake, I am all ears and eyes and wallet (my kingdom for a full night's sleep).

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

At the end of the day though, I'm pretty happy to do anything (or nothing) in my little star crown, a funny dress, eating nice food with cool people and a little bit wistfully entering my last year as a twenty-something--a phrase I've always been fond of, for unknown reasons. 

Thanks to David for taking my pictures!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dirty Sneaker Summer.

I've felt weird about blogging lately--not that I have any intentions to stop, but I'm feeling a shift in wardrobing. Suddenly a lot of what I have seems a little too prim, or sweet, things I thought for years I would never give up. I'm suddenly concerned with appearing too 'done', feeling too fussed with. These days are always in the middle of feeling the opposite, ones when I want to pile on the eyeshadow and curl my hair and be all kinds of outfitted. 

That, and after all this time I still hate running around with the self-timer. There are always people around and it just feels so uncomfortable in front of the camera then! It's my main deterrent, that and taking 300 pictures and hating all of them. I'm constantly torn between wanting to keep up with everyone who has such nice shots, good backgrounds and locations, and wanting to just do what I've always done and keep a visual log of my outfits and thoughts regardless of what's going on these days with sponsors and whatnot. 

Sneakers and a dress is just easier
Dress: J. Crew, Shoes: Converse, finally dirty, Bag: Vintage, thrifted, breaking. 

I suppose this is part of why I've been slowly chopping my hair over the last few weeks. Months, if I'm being honest. The last chunk went last week, this sudden moment of cutting clarity finally gaining momentum into what I suppose is the long bob that's been the thing for a year or so now. I just felt like my hair was hanging there, not doing much, and it had to go. Of course I'm struck with moments of But Elves Don't Have Short Hair, because I think I'll never let go of my Tolkien-life dreams, before thinking yeah but you also don't live in Middle Earth, so. 

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

I'm fascinated by pinterest hair inspiration boards, all these women with that J. Crew undone, slightly fuzzy, but clearly alive hair tucked behind ears with middle or deep side parts. What potion is happening to make that possible? I've got curls down, pins and rags and curling irons, but straight and un-done is a whole different world to me. My hair texture is none--it's smooth like it's been flat-ironed, so I've already amassed quite a pile of products promising texture and volume. I'm trying not to use heat, just let it do what it wants, but after years of being fussy about all of it, letting go is proving difficult. I didn't even like this dress much when we first got it in at work. And then it went way on sale, and despite my efforts at saving lately, which have been going mostly alright, I thought well, I need something easy to get me through, something to throw on without having to think about it but still look somewhat put together: the saving grace of a summer dress.

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

It's also pressing towards August, humid 90-degree days and the occasional soupy rain shower, where every day is a different easy dress with sneakers. All my espadrilles are stained by this point, straps on sandals are starting to come apart from wear, these are the grubby days of summer when we're all gulping up whatever golden days we've got left, dirty soles of feet and chlorine dreams.

Thanks to my dad for snapping these for me!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Almost Abandoned.

Roosevelt baths

In the depths of winter a group of gal-pals and I treated ourselves to a Roosevelt Baths visit. It was, in case there was any doubt, a bath-lovers dream. Especially in January, when things are starting to look pretty bleak. Located in a sprawling park, some of the buildings from the baths original incarnation weren't yet remodeled, and the result was that in the distance some of these buildings were sort of creepily institutional. At least, until recently. I've heard that in the somewhat recent past you could get inside and wander around the individual bathing rooms with their 1930s era tubs and tile (which, to be honest is still intact in the houses that are renovated) but inspecting the buildings these days it looks like a new life is in the works for them. Of course the new ones are lovely for actual use, but my old things loving heart gets all aflutter over cracking paint on door frames. 

Bath house explorations
Dress: Vintage via jessjamesjake on etsy, Bag: thrifted, Shoes: Madewell, old. 

The nice thing is a day spent in the park isn't lost at all, and we spent some time wandering the outdoor hallways (what are those even called, really?), lolling about in the grass absorbing some sun, before heading back into town proper to buy candy and baked goods, rounding out the day at dinner with friends. 

Bath house explorations

Bath house explorations

Pretty typical early summer weekend vibes, where I wanna be pretty but unfussy--ending up in this dress maybe more than twice a week. Jess sent me a shot of it on one of her out-of-town thrifting excursions, and I wanted it. Or, I thought I wanted it. I wasn't 100% certain, but I was pretty sure. Trying it on sealed the deal (doesn't it always?) and I brought this beauty home. It's got that nipped-in waist full-skirt thing that makes summer bearable. 

Bath house explorations

Sometimes I'm like, is a dress by itself really an outfit? Is it worth a post? I feel like I need a vest, a jacket, some extra piece to make it worthy. In the end though I'm a sucker for some true-blue this is what I wore realism, that accessible honesty thing it seems like the internet is obsessed with in an authentic hashtag kind of way (I don't mean to sound irritated here--I love all of this stuff) and aren't the clothes someone throws on most often the most interesting? Maybe not. Either way, love this beauty of a dress. 

Bath house explorations

Thanks to this guy for being an obliging photographer and snapping these!