Giant Rock

When I told my dad we were headed out to Joshua Tree for my birthday he suggested we visit Giant Rock.

Giant Rock is pretty much exactly how it sounds, an enormous rock out in the middle of the Mojave, and accessible only by dirt roads with small, wooden, hand written markers to point the way. My dad had his reasons for suggesting the place too. While the rock has ties to Native Americans, it is mostly known as the location of UFO conventions in the 50s and 60s, and its easy to see why. All but isolated from the closest town of Landers, the area has no light pollution, and offers a big expanse of the sky, perfect for spotting UFOs. Sadly, we didn’t spy any visitors from outer space.

Prior to era of the UFO conventions, a German radio enthusiast dug himself a subterranean home under the rock, and after his death, George Van Tassel took up residence in the humble home, while also beginning work on the desert icon The Integratron. The other reason for the visit is that it is yet another odd location in the list of places that have ties to Gram Parsons.

Parsons had made friends with film maker Tony Foutz, who was working on a film of his own creation called Saturation 70. The film was suppose to be a 60s counter-culture style update to the classic tale of the Wizard of Oz, starring Michelle Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas), acclaimed rodeo tailor, and the man responsible for the suits that blazed the cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers’ debut album, Nudie Cohn, and the main character was played by Julian Jones, the son of Rolling Stones member Brian Jones. Douglas Turnbull, fresh off 2001: A Space Odyssey, was slated for effects (Turbull would go on to do the effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Blade Runner). Filming was done guerrilla style and without permits. However part way through filming, the project ground to a halt and was abandoned.

Saturation 70 never takes up more than a page or two in any Parsons biography, if it is mentioned at all. The film has been credited for the reason behind the biohazard suits the Burritos don for images on their second album, Burrito Deluxe. In September of last year, what little footage there is of Saturation 70, as well as stills was show and displayed at London’s Horse Hospital, but has yet to make it to any other museum.

For those interested in visiting Giant Rock, make sure you either have an SUV, or your car is in good shape, as the dirt roads are bumpy to say the least, and you may drive only 20 mph or less along the roads. It takes roughly 30 minutes to drive from Joshua Tree up to the rock, and Google even knows how to get there.

Well that rounds out our Joshua Tree explorations for my birthday! I hope you enjoyed!

Cowboy Hat: Found by my dad
Shirt: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Skirt: Buffalo Exchange, Costa Mesa, California
Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Los Angeles, California (yes, I shop a lot at Buffalo, I know)
Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace: Birthday present from Patrick (but I know it came from Magpie, Portland, Oregon)
Turquoise Ring: An antique mall in Astoria, Oregon, I think…

A Girl and her Jackalope

Have you ever just had an idea for something with no real reason behind it except that it would just be cool? Well, I had one of those when we made plans to visit Joshua Tree National Park over the days we were spending out there for my birthday. People love taking pictures with their pets, and sadly, we are a petless household right now, with the exception of one, rather stiff, little buddy, Mr. Van Cleef, our jackalope, with whom I have wanted to do photos with for sometime.

I won’t lie, I have completely fallen head over heels in love with chiffon maxi skirts over the last year, but have had trouble finding some without either spending an arm and a leg, or shopping at stores I hate. So when I found two chiffon maxis (including this one), a few weeks ago, it was like hitting the jackpot. I love the fact that they still evoke an old west feel, but also feel like something else entirely, not to mention are perfect for the heat of California.

Hat and Top: Found by my dad
Skirt: Buffalo Exchange, Costa Mesa, California
String Tie: Elsewhere Vintage, Orange, California
Sandals: Minnetonka
Turquoise Rings: Living Threads Vintage, Portland, Oregon and Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Bracelet: I forget…

It’s a Lazy Day

Not only do I have a long list of places I wish to visit day little day trips here in California, but also a long list of places I wish to stay at. California offers a lot with regards to unique accommodations, from the Madonna Inn to the Wigwam Motel, there are many neat places to visit for small getaways. For my birthday I picked one such interesting place, the Joshua Tree Inn, and specifically room eight.

To the average person the Joshua Tree Inn may not look like much, but it is home to a piece of unique music history – it is the place where country rock pioneer Gram Parsons passed away. Call me morbid, but it is something I have been longing to do since I heard it was possible.

We spent several days out in the desert, mostly loafing about the pool and in the private patio of our room. The Inn is quiet and incredibly peaceful, and was the perfect place to recharge.

Outfit 1
Cowboy Hat: Found by my dad
Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels Tee: Worn Free
Mexican Blanket Print Shorts & Cowboy Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Los Angeles, California
Turquoise Cross Necklace: Wanderlust, Portland, Oregon
Turquoise Rings: Here and there

Outfit 2
Cowboy Hat: Found by my dad
Mexican Blanket Print Playsuit & Cowboy Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Los Angeles, California
Jean Jacket: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Turquoise Squash Blossom Necklace: Birthday present from Patrick (but I know it came from Magpie, Portland, Oregon)
Turquoise Rings: Here and there

That Voodoo You Do So Well

Recently I was contacted by the vintage inspired clothing company Voodoo Vixen asking if I would like to review an item from their new Spring/Summer 2015 collection. As noted in my last post I have recently felt the need to expand upon my vintage inspired/repro collection and was eager to see what was available! The Spring/Summer collection from Voodoo Vixen this year is adorable, with lots of great colors, and fun prints, including many items in a tiki print, which is what caught my eye and I selected their Constantia skirt.

After opening the package I was really pleased when I felt the fabric, as it was a heavier cotton, that felt quite sturdy. And upon inspecting the tag found that the garment was made of 97% cotton, and 3% elastane. I’m not the biggest fan of stretch fabrics, so whenever I find a garment that has over 80% cotton content, I’m pretty happy. Having a 27 inch waist, I selected the small, which is stated as a 27 inch, and and when taking a tape measure it it, is read as a solid 27 inches. The skirt fit perfectly and I was then overjoyed when I discovered the skirt had pockets! Seriously, I’m a sucker for pockets in skirts.

Another feature I love of the skirt is the faux tie belt attached to the front portion of the skirt’s band. It’s amazing what a small touch like this will add to a skirt. I feel like it give it an even greater Hawaiian flair.

When turning the garment inside out, I observed a solid stitch, followed by surging around nearly all of the edges. The areas lacking surging are where the pocket meets the skirt (visible in the below image, lower left), and where the band meets the skirt, which appears French seamed. In comparing the garment to a Pin-Up Girl Clothing skirt, I found the two very similar in construction and feel, and often PUG is hailed as one of the best made vintage inspired clothing lines. Where the two companies differ is their manufacturing, where as PUG is made in the USA, this garment was made in China.

For the majority of the week, Patrick was up in Portland, and when he returned home we decided to go out for dinner and drinks at Trader Sam’s, and I felt it was a perfect place to take my new skirt out for a spin.

I also just ordered the palm brooch from Match Accessories that I know will go swell with this skirt, and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. I would like to thank Voodoo Vixen for this opportunity, as well as this amazing skirt that I can’t wait to wear again and again.

Top: Buffalo Exchange, I think…
Skirt: Courtesy of  Voodoo Vixen. Thank you, very much!
Nude Fishnets: Oroblu, Nordstorm
Shoes: Re-mix
Purse: Belonged to my grandma
Earrings: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Bangles: Here and there. Though I know a few came from Retro Rejuvenation
Hair Flower: Fancy Fruits, International Tiki Marketplace

Disclaimer: I received this skirt free of charge from Voodoo Vixen in exchange for an honest review of their garment.

I Don’t Work Here.

After sitting on something during a recent visit to Disneyland (thankfully nothing too horrific, and I was in a repro skirt), I decided I should buy some more repro skirts, and felt that Pin-Up Girl Clothing‘s boutique in Burbank would offer the best solutions. Additionally Patrick decided it was finally time to splurge and buy some jeans from Self Edge. So yesterday evening we found ourselves in Burbank and LA.

At Pin-Up Girl, I bought two skirts, and also visited Miss Charlotte’s Vintage, an antique shop across the way where I picked up three vintage hatboxes. At Self Edge, Patrick was in denim heaven, and walked out with two pairs of Japanese denim jeans, and it just so happened that Self Edge was across the street from a Buffalo Exchange, which we popped into. And I’m sure you’ll be seeing many of my new purchases soon!

Initially we planned to eat dinner at home, but our stomachs began to grumble and decided to wait out rush hour traffic at a Ruby’s Diner. Now, in case you aren’t familiar with Ruby’s Diners, they are a chain of those joints that attempts to capture the golden age of diners in the 50s, with white and red upholstery, girls running around in adorable waitress uniforms, and lots and lots of chrome. They serve classic American fare, as well as shakes and malts. After being seated, I jumped up to go to the restroom, only to be waved down by a patron. At first I thought it was someone who recognized me from Disneyland, or somewhere, only to be asked if I could bring the check. “Oh! I don’t work here. Sorry.” I said, only to have the woman look at me as if I insulted her, but I just turned and continued toward my destination. I won’t lie, this wasn’t the first time something like this has happened, but it felt odd, as every waitress dresses the exact same at Ruby’s (red and white stripe dresses), and I was wearing nothing similar, with the exception of the color red. How about you? Have you ever been mistaken for a waitress or employee of a retro establishment, be it a restaurant or shop?

Top: Scully by way of Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
String Tie: Elsewhere Vintage, Orange, California
Saddle Ring: Central Park Antique Mall, Bakersfield, California
Turquoise Ring: Don’t remember…
Earrings: Aquanetta
Skirt: Tatyana, when it was Bettie Page Clothing
Nude Fishnets: Nordstorm
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Black Tooled Leather Purse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg

Bunny Hop!

It’s spring, and Easter is right around the corner! And the season and the holiday gives the Disneyland Resort the perfect opportunity to bring out some long lost rabbit friends, including one of my favorites, Roger Rabbit! So earlier this week Patrick and I went to visit them! For the occasion, I pulled out a tee I have had for I would say roughly a decade, one that features Roger’s love of his life, apple of his eye and cream in his coffee, the one and only Jessica Rabbit.

It was a delight to meet Roger, and he quite liked my shirt, as well as my headband. We also visited with other Disney Rabbits, including Thumper from Bambi, the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, Br’er Rabbit from Song of the South, or for those who have not seen Song of the South, (as it has never been released in any form of home entertainment) Disneyland’s attraction Splash Mountain, as well as Pluto who tried to blend in by wearing his own pair of bunny ears. Mickey and Minnie were also present wearing their spring finest!

The Springtime Round-Up also featured a very talented egg decorator, who was meticulously hand painting extremely detailed Disney characters on eggs of various sizes! She even featured some of my favorite characters, including Clarice.

For those planning to visit Disneyland between now and April 12th, you can visit your favorite rabbits at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree every day of the week, but after that, they will only be there on the weekends, through June 7th. I hope you all are having a lovely spring!

Tee: Hot Topic, but like I said, like, ten years ago.
Skirt: Switchblade Stiletto, Naked City, Portland, Oregon
Belt: I can’t remember!
Shoes: Pleated Toe by Re-Mix
Roger Rabbit Headband: Made by me

Paramount Ranch

One of the many things I love about California is its rich history with the film industry. The movies were born here, and there is a wide array of places to visit that offer glimpses into the magic of movie making, as well as thousands of locations to visit. Some are boasted on large billboards, while others are tucked away. One of these hidden gems is Paramount Ranch.

In 1927 Paramount Pictures purchased a massive plot of land in Agoura Hills. With its sloping hilltops and looming Santa Monica Mountains the area offered solitude from the bustling city outside and thus a perfect place to film. Many sets came and went, and in 1953 Paramount sold the land to William Hertz, who built a permanent western set on the land, but sold the property in 1955. After changing hands multiple times, the National Parks Service purchased much of the original 2,700 acres that Paramount had owned, including the western film set. The set was maintained, as it continued to be used for filming, most notably as the stand in for Colorado Springs in the 1990s series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

If you visit, you can see that the buildings have seen better days, but it still feels rich with history, and is still recognizable as the growing town in Dr. Quinn. I was able to spot out her clinic, Bray’s store, Jake’s barber shop, the bank, Robert Lee’s home, and even the area where Grace had her outdoor restaurant.

I had a total geek-out moment when I spied Dr. Quinn’s clinic. I remember watching Dr. Quinn with my mother, and loving it. Visiting locations, be it a filming location or a historical location, makes me immensely happy. I swear, as I have mentioned before, I get some sort of history geek high off of it. I’m all like “THIS THING! It happened HERE! Important/famous people stood RIGHT HERE!” Yep…

We had so much fun walking around the buildings and I took loads of photos! So keep reading for a peek at the western town of Paramount Ranch.

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