California Bound

So I’ve debated when to post this…now, or after all of our road trip posts, but I think I’ll go with now. Some of you may have noticed that our trip to California was a bit long. And that is because Patrick and I were on a secret mission! And that mission was successful! We are moving to California! Orange to be exact! And I couldn’t be more excited!

This is a move I’ve wanted to make for a few years now, but it wasn’t possible until now, mainly do to Patrick’s unique job situation (tech start-ups and acquisition transitions are quite complex) and I am thankful that we are now capable of making such a move, and I am thankful for Patrick’s willingness to try this huge shift.

I expressed the desire to move to some in my social circles, some of whom were California transplants, and they became nothing but Negative Nancys about it, and as the notion became more of a reality, I began to button up about it. So if you’re one of those who is wondering why I would ever leave Portland, the mecca of vintage, here are a few reasons.

First off I’m bored. So bored that I am teetering on the verge of depression. The truth is, that aside from vintage shopping there isn’t much else for me to do here. And vintage clothing isn’t all there is to life. And in fact, the frequency of my shopping was causing problems, mainly with space. And while I have a new found love of sewing, it too creates more garments, though as a slower rate. While Portland, and Oregon in general, has a lot of offer with regards to the outdoors, such as skiing, snowboarding, camping, rafting, hiking, that just isn’t my scene. I’m a history and film geek, I enjoy museums, visiting historical landmarks and filming locations. Oregon’s history is dullsville to me, and doesn’t offer much with regards to film history. California meanwhile is rich in history that is actually appealing to me. Additionally, there are way more museums, not just on California history subjects, but on general subjects that don’t have museums in Oregon, like neon museum or an entire museum dedicated to strictly modern art! Both of which Los Angeles have. I realized I could fill ten years of vacations in just California, and I really want to see more of the world, and by living in California, Patrick and I can make day-trips and weekend visits of the long list of places I want to visit, and take real vacations somewhere else.

Secondly, I am tired of Oregon’s trademark rain and evergreens. The rain limits my desire to go outside, as my wardrobe has never been rain-friendly, nor have I ever really seen a way for it to be so without my personality and taste disappearing, and let’s be honest, rain isn’t fun. I began to dread the rain, and the evergreens were boring and creepy. Our multiple visits to California over the last few years solidified a passion for palm trees, cacti and tropical flowers, such as birds of paradise, and I one day hope to have a beautiful garden full of these.

Thirdly, I no longer see a viable career for me here. When I moved back to Portland after graduating from the University of Oregon, I envisioned opening up my own vintage clothing store, but over the last four years I have learned so much by befriending multiple shop owners, and witnessing their struggles. In those four years I became friends with two shop owners to closed their doors, and witnessed two friends open stores, and listened their their woes and struggles, in addition to the already established shop owners I became friends with, and I came to the conclusion I could not be a shop owner, for a variety of reasons. Vintage is getting harder to find and more expensive. And I won’t lie, here in Portland, it can feel rather cutthroat, as we have a plethora of brick and mortar shops, as well as strictly on-line sellers. It takes a special kind of person with an extreme passion for vintage to own and operate a vintage clothing shop, and in witnessing my friends’ struggles, I realized that I didn’t have that passion in me. While I love vintage, I just can’t do what they do to stay afloat. I greatly admire the people I have met who own and operate their own shops, who pay their bills with vintage, but I know I cannot be one of them. Today I have new career goals, and they can only happen in California.

So what does this mean for the blog? Well, there will certainly be a less blogging as we pack up, move and get settled. But I also think this means I will blog more! And more on the subjects I care about! My blog was never meant to be a strict fashion blog, it just became that, and I was growing unhappy with that. I honestly think I will be doing more and wanting to share more, more than just outfits! Visits to filming locations, museums, etc. And what does this mean for my Etsy shop? Well, the shop will go into Vacation Mode sometime soon, and stay in said mode until we are settle, then I plan to continue to keep selling strictly vintage sewing patterns.

To those who were aware that this move was in the works, I thank you for keeping it on the down-low, as I requested. I also want to thank you for all of your kind words of support.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more from our road trip!

Disneyland Daze

After three days on the road we checked into our hotel in Anaheim before doing a bit of shopping, but that’s another post! Right now I want to talk about Disneyland!

This trip to Disneyland wasn’t for any special event like Rock Around the Park or Tiki Day, it was a much more relaxed one, a much needed vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth. The days were a complete blur, and instead of splitting them up into different posts for each day, I’m just going to offer a catch-all Disneyland post of our days in the park, including three different outfits!

Early on one day I met up Chip and Dale, who adored my newly purchased ears, but had a bit of an argument as to which side should face front!

They also liked my Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers tee! And I also popped over to Gadget’s Go Coaster and snapped a picture with Gadget. I hope to go as her for Halloween or for a con sometime.

I also did one thing I’ve wanted for awhile, a parasol from Disneyland, especially since they can now do character designs! I opted for my name, Mickey shaped balloons, castle, and Maleficent, since she is my favorite aspect of my favorite show at Disneyland, Fantasmic.

I can seriously never get enough Disneyland. There is so much to do, see and experience.

Day One Outfit
Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers Tee: Ebay
Black Clam Diggers: Hollywood Babylon, Portland, Oregon
Mocs: Minnetonka
Chip & Dale Ears: Disneyland
Purse: Target (a last minute in Anaheim buy as my original purse broke!)

Day Two Outfit
Blouse: The Brick Basement, Fullerton, California
Shorts: Patti Smith West, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Don’t remember!
Cowboy Hat: Disneyland

Day Three Outfit
Disneyland Tee & Parasol: Disneyland
Shorts: Patti Smith West, Portland, Oregon

The Wagon Wheel

Yes, we are still in California! Although the Disneyland portion of our trip is over, we still have lots of plans! Meanwhile I want to share with you our detour to the Wagon Wheel.

As some readers of this blog will already know, I am a complete and utter sucker for roadside Americana. Seriously, I brake for old neon signs, or in this case, frantically exit the freeway.

On our way south on the 101 my eye caught sight of a ginormous neon sign featuring a buckboard wagon with horses pulling it. I quickly changed lanes to exit the freeway as Patrick attempted to locate the sign on his phone for us to get there without getting too lost. We ended up on Saddle Avenue, and also saw signs of Winchester Drive and Cactus Drive before coming upon a pile of rubble with this gorgeous sign towering above.

As I snapped pictures through the chain link fence, my mind raced with thoughts of what this place must of looked like, and my heart ached to think that yet another piece of roadside Americana bit the dust. Patrick meanwhile was busy looking up the history of the Wagon Wheel on his phone.

Built in 1947 by Martin “Bud” Smith, the Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant quickly became an icon of the city of Oxnard, with its stunning neon, and western themed building. Later Smith added more buildings, including a roller rink and a bowling alley, both of which still stood during our visit, though the Wagon Wheel itself had been reduced to a mound of concrete hunks and twisted iron rods.

The restaurant portion closed in 2005, and the motel shut its doors the following year. Preservationists attempted to get landmark status as plans began to roll out to demolish the motel and build bland, cookie-cutter homes, and a group even sued the city of Oxnard over the project. But, as you can see, history lost in the end, making way for housing. Though it seems like it’s slow going, as I was shocked to learn that the site was bulldozed back in 2011, though it looks as if it were just yesterday!

Lots more to come from our trip to California! Stay tuned!

On the Side of the Road

…just outside of Cholame there is a lonely stretch a road that winds between sun drenched hills there is an intersection that is the location, on a September 30th, one of the brightest stars in Hollywood was snuffed out. James Dean.

I had been to the crash site of James Dean as a kid, in fact you’ll get to see that in a bit, but it had been years, and it was worth a revisit for me, also Patrick had never been.

While there is a James Dean memorial along the highway, the actual crash site where James Dean met his end is at the intersection of 41 and 46 (though in 1955, it was 466), and those in the know pay their respects there. Often it’s easy to spot as those who love Jimmy leave tokens.

It was incredibly winding and brutally hot. I was thankful for wearing a dress that was a little too big and sans belt. Plus we had been on the road since 7 in the morning, so comfort was a bit of a priority.

After stopping at the crash site, we went to the memorial.

I also felt a need to recreate a childhood photo. I think this photo is from 1996…

Shame the rattle snake sign wasn’t there anymore!

I guess it should be noted that we have indeed arrived in California and are off having lots of fun adventures! And as much as I love instant blogging, my 11-inch laptop is quite the change from our 27-inch iMac with regards to editing photos! Also I’m often just beat by the end of the day! So we’ll see if more blogs posts happen while we’re here! Otherwise it will be a flood of posts when we get back to Portland!

California, Here We Come!

Tomorrow Patrick and I are off on our very first road trip together by ourselves! While we’ve driven to California with our families, this will the the first time where it’s just the two of us and our new car! I’m really excited.

We will be doing a bit of sight-seeing along the way before arriving in Anaheim for a few days in Disneyland as well as shopping the the lovely town of Orange.

Our camera and laptops are packed up and I hope to blog from the road. So stay tuned dear readers!

Antiques in the Park

Oh my, it has been awhile, hasn’t it? If you like Atomic Redhead on Facebook then you’ll have maybe seen the status update making note that I have been incredibly stressed out lately, which has lead to a lack of blogging. And while I have done some fun things (which you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram, and if you don’t follow me, just search for atomic_redhead) including going to the drive-in a few items, out to drinks and coloring (yeah, it’s a thing I hope to blog about soon!), the coast for a photoshoot for my friend’s cosplay business, and even to the kitsch-tastic Enchanted Forest for a friend’s birthday, I really just kind of wanted to relax and enjoy those events without really having to worry about photographing along the way for my blog. As much as I adore blogging, it can be an added stressor, as well as time consuming. Okay, enough with that. Let’s move onto something more pleasant! Treasures!

Over the weekend I drove down to Eugene to spend the weekend with my dad and go to a small antique show in the town of Brownsville. There wasn’t a whole lot with regards to clothing or jewelry, but I am okay with that, as both my closet and jewelry boxes are bursting at the seams! But I didn’t come home empty handed by any means!

I bought two ceramic planters, one shaped like a stagecoach and the other a donkey and a man taking a siesta.

I hardly have a green thumb, but I’ve been finding creative uses for vintage planters. Using them for make-up brushes, hair doodads (think Spanish style hair combs, or hair sticks) and I’m sure these two will find uses soon.

I picked up this ashtray from the Horseshoe Club in Vegas.

I’ve always loved vintage Vegas items, though my dad seems to love it more than me, and most treasures end up at his home, but this baby came home with me. Now, I don’t smoke, so you may be wondering what on earth I use vintage ashtrays for, and if you were to ever visit you would notice many of them scattered about our living room. I use them as coasters! Most of the circular, flat bottom ashtrays are the perfect size for glasses or cans of soda.

I was delighted to find this vintage California souvenir scarf too. I adore its bright colors and fun illustrations.

When rummaging through vintage charms I came across this delightful Egyptian sarcophagus pendant, which even opens! Alas, no mummy inside.

I also picked up some Christmas decor. Including two more of what I like to call demented reindeer and a little ceramic girl who matches this girl here (sixth photo down) though in a different pose.

And last but not least, I picked up a bundle of patterns. I have yet to go through them all, but I’m sure some will end up in my Etsy shop.

Speaking of my Etsy shop, it’s important to note that it will be going into Vacation Mode this Wednesday! Patrick and I are headed to California for a vacation at the end of the week. So if you are interested in any patterns, purchase them now! Especially if they are in the Last Chance section! As they may very well expire while I am out of town, and they will not be renewed.

Well, that wraps up the weekend. I hope to get a blog post in before Patrick and I hit the road! I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Bali Hai

For our last night in San Diego Patrick and I went out to dinner and drinks with the lovely Suzanne (of Sweetie Suz) and her husband Dave. After dinner at a swell Mexican restaurant we went Bali Hai, a Polynesian restaurant right along the water, for drinks.

You might remember Suzanne from Tiki Day at Disneyland. She’s the gal who started it all! So it was a pleasure to be able to visit with her again and talk about their recent wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii. I hope our paths cross again soon.

I have strict packing rules when traveling, and didn’t bring any jewelry to match my tiki dress, as it simply wouldn’t fit! So talk about a simple outfit! But regardless of this outfit’s lack of accessories, the dress is one of my favorite thrift store finds! Yes, this dress was indeed found at a thrift store! And it’s a true 1950s tiki beauty! I couldn’t believe my luck when I found it, and that it fit like a glove! And it was a great price too! $7.99!

Well, that wraps up the San Diego posts! I am so glad I had the ability to tag along on Patrick’s business trip. I came home with treasures and I had a wonderful time with Carla, who I bonded with over not just our mutual love of vintage, but also Disney and cosplay! A triple hitter! I was able to discover, for myself, fresh, new places in California that I had never been to before, and want to explore more. Then capped off the trip with the evening with Suzanne and Dave.

And while this may be it for our trip to San Diego, that isn’t it for California! Patrick and I will be returning next month for a trip to Disneyland. Which we will be driving to, and making many stops along the way! As we are now car owners! I am beyond excited to revisit some places I haven’t seen since high school (especially excited to shoot digitally, as opposed to film) and share these places with Patrick. Plus go to Disneyland!