The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!

Yesterday was another theme-day at Disneyland, Rock Around the Park, a day for those who have a mutual love of rockabilly and Disneyland to get together, meet and have a rockin’ good time at the Happiest Place on Earth. In the days leading up to Sunday I had a growing concern I wasn’t going to make it, as I was in the beginning stages of a cold, and today I am most certainly paying for the Day-Quil fueled fun I had, despite leaving the park early after only a little bit of fun and socializing. Cutting the day short also meant cutting the photos short. So there are really just a handful of my outfit.

I wanted to play up the “billy” aspect of rockabilly, while also wanting to incorporated Disney themes into my outfit. While I initially wanted to make another felt circle skirt, the predicted 82 degree and sunny weather thwarted those plans and I instead made a brooch. Though my skirt plans are still on the table. Inspired by one of my favorite attractions, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a roller coaster runaway mine train through gold rush country, I settled upon my gold rush skirt and made a brooch of the attraction’s beloved dynamite chewing goat.

I also swung by to say hi to Disneyland’s resident donkeys and goats over at the Big Thunder Ranch, where you can also visit with goats and horses, and sometimes meet Woody and Jessie. Big Thunder Ranch often gets overlooked by the average Disneyland guest, but it is a nice place to stop by if you have the time and love animals.

Like most group events at Disneyland, a group shot in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is a must, but we hit an unexpected snag, Disney Park’s Frozen Christmas Celebration was being filmed (though to air Christmas day) right smack dab in front of the castle!

And I was amused when I caught sight of the teleprompter. The Christmas spirit was indeed in full swing, and it was very warm with the sunshine beating down on guests. We watched “television magic” happen for awhile, though not new to either of us, having dealt with Heroes of Cosplay filming at Wizard World Portland. But entertaining never the less to witness, and I look forward to catching the special on ABC when it airs Christmas day.

Due to the filming, our group shot was relocated to the Mickey flowers, sadly it doesn’t look like a group shot has been uploaded yet. Right now the next theme day we’re slated to attend is Dapper Day (FINALLY!) which will happen in March, but who knows what will crop up between now and then!

Meanwhile I’m going to crawl back onto the sofa with my Jamba Juice, cough drops and continue my binge watching of Zorro. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Outfit
Blouse: Living Threads, Portland, Ore.
Skirt: Cheshire Vintage
Cowboy Hat: Disneyland
Brooch: Made by me!
Shoes: Re-Mix via a rummage sale

“I Ain’t Nobody, Dork.”

Last night Patrick and I went to the 99W drive-in (yet again! Seriously, it’s the best part of having a car!) to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 and, the biggest reason, American Graffiti. I was super excited that we were first in line too, so we were for sure able to snag my favorite spot.

The drive-in skirt was a rare new purchase for me at Buffalo Exchange . While Buffalo likes to boast itself as a buy-sell-trade joint made up of recycled goods, it does sell new items, you can tell as usually there is more than one of the item, but also these new items bare yellow tags, while all used goods have white tags. While it’s made of jersey, and features an elastic waistband, I just couldn’t resist (and thankful to uncover it was made in the USA by the company Mezzanine). I’ll openly admit that I am a sucker for anything that features drive-in imagery…comic books, magazines, signs, etc. In high school I had a had a purse with a drive-in on it. Hmm…I wonder whatever became of that purse…?

Outfit
Blouse: Buffalo Exchange, Eugene, Oregon
Drive-In Skirt: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
String Tie: Magpie, Portland, Oregon
Shoes: Re-Mix, via a local rummage sale!
Earrings: Don’t recall…

Go for Launch

Last night Patrick and I got a pleasant mid-week treat, one of our favorite bands, The Phenomenauts, who I’ve blogged about before, rolled into town for an evening of space themed rockabilly. I never get tired of seeing these guys. They always put on a great show, complete with lasers, fire extinguishers and a toilet paper gun…blower…thing…Oh just scroll, you’ll see it.

I seriously can’t recommend them enough if you dig rock n roll. They’re still touring, currently with The Creepshow, who also put on a fantastic show. Check their Facebook pages for tour dates!

While last time I saw The Phenomenauts I wore my own take on their uniform, I opted for a more casual rockabilly look, mainly because that uniform was also uncomfortable. It’s time for a re-do soon. But here’s a quick snap after the show and rockin’ out.

Hope your week is treating you well!

Outfit
Phenomoeauts Jacket: Phenomenauts concert, circa 2009
Brian Setzer Rockabilly Riot Tee: Brian Setzer concert, circa 2011
Switchblade Stiletto Skirt: Naked City, Portland, Oregon
Hair Tie (which has little neon green bats on it!): Tini’s Ties
Belt: Nordstorm
Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon

The Dusty 45s

Last night, Patrick and I joined Sarah of Simply Vintage for a night at Doug Fir seeing The Dusty 45s.

This outfit contains two of my more recently acquired prized possessions; the wool fringe vest and the Kachina doll ring.  The vest I picked up a local rummage sale for a mere $5! I was totally stoked. It’s rare to come across real western goods, especially show pieces, let alone pieces that are that cheap! The Kachina doll ring was a recent purchase from one of my favorite vintage shops in Portland, Living Threads. I paid a hefty price to get the beauty resized too, but it was well worth it.

To be totally honest, I had never heard of The Dusty 45s until the day before the show when Sarah mentioned they were playing the Doug Fir. Seeing as Sarah and I have very similar tastes in music, I trusted her judgement when she suggested we go to the show together.  And we had a blast! I really enjoyed their music, which is…hard to describe. I would say they mostly fall in line with country, with hints of rockabilly, and a dash of ska and surf, but then they turned around and did a fabulous jazz number later in the night, before culminating in the lead singer lighting his trumpet on fire and playing it. Crazy awesome, I know. Basically, if you dig Buddy Holly, along with more contemporary rockabilly, you’ll like The Dusty 45s, check ‘em out.

Outfit
Jacket: Simply Vintage, Portland
“BB” Vest: Local rummage sale
Scully Western Wear Shirt: Thrifted when in Austin
Red Pencil Skirt: Jet Rag, Los Angeles
Cowboy Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Portland
Tooled Leather Purse: Birthday gift from my dad!
Earrings: Don’t remember!
Kachina Doll Ring: Living Threads Vintage, Portland

“Cross Yourself in Front of the Hearse”

A few years ago, when I first started sewing, my mother and I went to Fabric Depot so she could buy me some fabric and notions to get me started.  I came across some fantastic fabric printed with little hearses on it. “Oh! I want to make a dress out of this!” I squeed clutching the bolt.  My mother gave me a look, “Really, a whole dress? How about just an apron?” I sighed, and agreed.  And I made this wonderful apron.  The years went on, and I moved on to other projects, but when my dad bought a hearse a few months back, I finally felt justified in making a hearse dress.  Multiple pattern designs in hand, I trekked out to Fabric Depot, giddy with excitement over making such a ridiculous dress.  I skipped over to the Halloween section to discover the fabric was gone. And I mean gone. Not just that it was in someone’s cart, or at the cutting counter, or out of stock, but gone. Out of print.  I was devastated.  After throwing a tantrum a five year old would be proud of, I slouched back home where I designed this…what I am calling “The Julie Grave”

Taking inspiration from my apron, I selected the design of a coffin falling out of the back of a hearse, and figured a slim cut wrap dress would be the best option for getting such humor across, and selected Simplicity 1685, from 1956.  The pattern offers a short sleeve or three-quarter length sleeve option, but I felt that a sleeveless dress was more vampy.  The hearse and coffin are giant appliques I designed and sewed together.  The wheels, door handle, scroll emblem and RIP are embroidered in metallic thread, while the bounce dots are embroidered in plain black thread.

When it came to buttons I couldn’t get the idea of coffin shaped buttons out of my head.  I checked Fabric Depot when I bought the fabric, also visited the Button and Ribbon Emporium, and searched the internet and I could not find any! Seriously? Skulls, black cats, spiderwebs, bats, pumpkins and ghosts, but no coffins.  I would have settled for headstones, yet the only headstone buttons I could find were too tacky.  As I was nearing defeat, Patrick had a brilliant idea to have the buttons 3D printed!  Ooohh…Technology! Patrick then thought it would be nifty to off-set the button’s holes just enough so when sewn on it would appear that they have a cross on them!  He designed them in a 3D modeling program, then uploaded his design to Shapeways who printed and shipped them.

I’m still no brilliant seamstress by any means, and this dress tried my patience and sanity quite a bit, especially with the neckline.  And while I can find a lot wrong with the dress,  (I still haven’t reached the capability to make a muslin or cotton mock-up first.  I hardly have the patience to make the dress in the first place! Let alone two!)  I’m still very happy with it.  Also I know I’m making progress as a seamstress because instead of thinking “THANK GOD that’s over! I don’t want to see my sewing machine for five months!” I’m actually really excited to start my next project!

Rock Around the Park

On our last day in the park this visit, I donned my Zero circle skirt and we joined the rockabilly crowd for Rock Around the Park, a day in which a bunch of rockabilly people get together and go to Disneyland.  We arrived early, being one of the first people in the park, and when this happens, instead of bolting for big attractions such as Space Mountain, I enjoy moseying about and taking photos…lots and lots of photos…

New Orleans Square is my favorite land, and I spent most of the day there.  The Christmas overlay for both the land as well as the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay for the Haunted Mansion is just magnificent.  There are so many delightful details everywhere you turn. If you’re a fan of Nightmare and haven’t been while this overlay is happening, I highly recommend it! The overlay takes 14 days to complete and is done in late September so the Mansion is ready for the Halloween season.  The overlay then lasts just past New Years and is taken down with the rest of the Christmas decor. But please visit Disneyland’s calender prior to planning your visit.

It is also during these months that you can meet Jack and Sally!

I can’t deny that I find it amusing that initially Disney disapproved of Burton’s creation (as well as the original Frankenweenie, both were thought too scary for children) and today both are beloved and embraced.

Midway through the day, all of those who came for Rock Around the Park posed for a group photo in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Patrick, as well as everyone else in my group, insisted on being in it, so I didn’t get a picture.  But you can view it here! And you can even see me, my sister and Patrick! I’m on the left, of course in the yellow sweater, next to a girl in a red sweater.  After our photo we all made our way to Pirates of the Caribbean where we all got odd stares and questions. But as is life for a vintage loving gal…

As part of Rock Around the Park, as a group we went to watch Billy Hill and the Hillbillies perform at Big Thunder Ranch.  While all of the boys are named “Billy”, the lead member said how delighted he was to see all of us rockabilly people, despite how “scary” we all looked.

These guys are highly entertaining, as well as extremely talented.  So if you’re a fan of bluegrass and you’re in Disneyland, I highly suggest seeing them!

Also at the performance of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies we picked up our Rock Around the Park 2012 pins! How swell is that!?

There were many other group oriented events, including a concert by Rumble King at the Tomorrowland Terrace, and post-park drinks at Trader Sam’s, but instead I voted to spend more time in New Orleans Square, soaking up the jazz and eating pumpkin beignets.

I think I rode the Haunted Mansion so many times I lost track…there is just so much to look at both inside and out!

That about wraps it up. Big Disneyland buffs should stay tuned for a bonus post a little later today! And look for the entry with our 120 photos tomorrow!!

Manly Mondays: Hair

When I started styling my hair with a side part about a year ago I used molding paste, a thin hair gel that went in easy, but couldn’t hold my thick hair, and hairspray which would lock the style into place. The combination of the two worked but I had to wash it out and redo it everyday. I also hated the smell of hairspray and the fact that it made my hair feel rock hard.

Enter pomade.  For the uninitiated pomade is often made of a combination of oils, waxes and petroleum products that were the way to style hair from the 60s on back. There are a huge number of varieties, which vary by the amount of shine, hold, and stiffness. When I started, I used Murray’s Brand pomades, which are nice and light but lacked the hold I was looking for. I finally found Bees Knees which is made by a Portland barber who wanted something with a really strong hold without any petroleum products.

Why use Pomade?

  • Pomades are really easy to work with has a great hold even on really, really, thick hair
  • Most pomades have some kind of nice smell, Bee Knees has a great peppermint scent
  • Because pomades are not water based they are not affected by water or sweat
  • You don’t need apply more pomade everyday. It stays in your hair and you can just spend a minute every morning brushing it into a new style
  • A little pomade goes a long way a $13 tin of Bees Knees will last me about 2-3 months
  • Pomade adds a nice healthy shine to your hair

How I Style My Hair

I usually apply pomade right after I get out of a shower. I towel dry my hair and then get to work.

Before doing anything else, I comb in my side part and clean up the rest. This helps me get a good idea of where all the pomade needs to go. If you are doing a part, try to get the line as clean and straight as possible.

Quick Tip: To set a part, just drag the comb long ways along your hair where you want your part. Then comb your hair away from the line you just drew.

Start softening up the pomade with a blow dryer (or in my case the hose from Janey’s bonnet dryer, since she refuses to purchase a blow dryer) until you can build up a quarter size glob on your fingers (use less if you already have some left in your hair). Spread your glob around on your fingers and then work it evenly into your hair. Over time you will learn that some places need more then others, for me my bangs and right side often need a little more then everywhere else.

Once you have it worked into your hair start styling. Use your blow dryer to soften the pomade up in a particular area and then comb it.

And done!

Washing and Maintaining

I’ve started washing my hair every 3-4 days just to keep my scalp and hair clean, this doesn’t totally wash out the pomade so afterward I apply a little more (if I want to wash the pomade out thoroughly, I use common dish soap such as Palmolive in conjunction with my normal shampoo and conditioner). In between washings I just wake up and comb my hair again with the help of the dryer or a run my comb under hot water. It’s really easy to restyle.

Other Brands

There are loads of different pomades on the market with different levels of shine, thickness, hold and scents. Just because I love Bees Kness doesn’t mean you will, it would probably be terrible for someone with finer or thinner hair. The Rebel Rouser does regular reviews of pomade on his blog to give you some idea of the variety you can have. Here is a list of some of the best.

You can buy most of these at The Grease Shop and check out Rebel Rouser’s pomade reviews for some more ideas of what to buy.

What’s Next?

This wraps up all seven of the posts I had pre-planned to do. However next week I’ll pull together a lot of links and lists of items you might want to be on the lookout for.

What do you want to see next on Manly Mondays?