Match D Brooch Winner!

It is time to announce who won the wonderful, new and improved tortoise shell Disneyland inspired D brooch by Match Accessories! Thank you to all who entered! It means so much to me that a great deal of you expressed interest in a company that is so near and dear to my heart!

For reference, 1 is the first person who commented, and 41 is the last. Reply comments that were added later for clarification were not counted. And the winner is…

TWO! Which looks like Danielle! And looking at the e-mail, I believe is one of my friends. I’ve never had so many friends enter one of my giveaways before! So I guess it was bound to happen. I’m so glad to know it’s going to a good home, and that it will be your first ever Match brooch! I’ll be in touch and I believe I can hand deliver this gorgeous brooch to you!

Once again a MASSIVE thank you to all who entered! Every entry matters and without you I cannot host giveaways! And, again, thank you for expressing interest in Match Accessories, a company that means so much to me! Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram, they recently shared a peek at a new addition to their Halloween collection, which I know many of you commented as some of your favorite pieces!

Your Questions Answered!

Awhile ago (and I apologize for the delay!) I did a shout out across various platforms of social media to see if any of you had any burning questions for me! And I got such a wonderful response in both the number of questions and the range of subjects! Thank you! Now, let’s get to those answers!

xoxogothixgirl asked a few questions via Instagram.

What do you think has been the most significant change in your wardrobe and how you shop for it over the years?

I think I have moved away from being period perfect all of the time. Slowly I have begun to cultivate my own personal style (one I call “California Gypsy Chic”, or “Cosmic American Fashion”), and outfits can include items from various decades. Additionally, I used to eschew repro/vintage inspired clothing, however recently I have been embracing it, especially as repro is excellent for visiting amusement parks. So I have found myself shopping from various repro/vintage inspired lines. Since moving I have noticed I don’t thrift nearly as much as I used to. Which is due to many factors, like not having the easy perfectly mapped circuit I had in Portland, and vintage simply getting harder to come by at thrift stores.

This outfit is a good example of repro doing good. A Pin-Up Girl Clothing peasant top and Vivian of Holloway shorts for when we spent the Fourth of July at Disneyland.

What features do you look for as you hunt for your mid-century home?

For me, the most important thing is actually space, specifically closet and bathroom space (I have a lot of clothes). But I also want a nice open floor plan and a unique roofline. Period fixtures, such as countertops, hardware, and appliances are always nice, but not deal breakers, as we can put in whatever we want later.

rivkah86 also had a few questions asked on Instagram

How has the vintage community you have been a part of changed or had an influence on your perception of the value of dressing/living a vintage-inspired life style?

First I would say I have been a part of three vintage communities over the years. First is on-line, the other two are location based, Portland, and then southern California. On-line, it has changed in that there are more people on-line and blogging than ever before. Which means there are so many more resources of inspiration and knowledge! I don’t think I remained in Portland long enough to see the vintage community change much, and with southern California, it is somewhat the same in that I have not lived here long enough to see it change yet. However, there are a lot of differences between the two. Portland was small enough that everyone knew everyone. Southern California is different and there are so many separate groups, some of which focus on very specific time periods (for example, there is a larger 1920s centric group and an Art Deco Society). I’m constantly meeting new people, and learning about new events.

As for any influences on my perception of the value of dressing or living a vintage-inspired lifestyle; the on-line community proves that there are so many ways to go about dressing, and I like that. And bloggers range as to their dedication to a time period. Some, it ends with the closet. Others, like myself, it extends to their home, and what they listen to musically. But for others still, it extends into every aspect, including how they cook, clean, and structure their whole lives. On a location based note, the same types of people exist, but I have also seen first hand, in both locations, how dressing in the manner that many of us dress, people treat us. In Portland I can say that vintage attire was often meet with two types of looks and comments, either leering and comments by men saying things like “It’s nice to see a woman dress like a lady” or people sneering and just flat out starring, asking “Why?” I think this was because Portland was a very laid back type place that actually put very little stock in what they put on in the morning. In fact Portland was ranked number 13th in “Worst Dressed Cities” by Travel + Leisure. Portlanders tend to focus on wearing what is comfortable and practical, which is understandable considering the climate (rain, rain and more rain) and activities available in Portland (outdoor sports such as rafting, hiking, etc.). Southern California is different, a place that has been known for fashion, and puts high value in attire. I’ve been met with more compliments than anything else. I’ve also received what is best described as “special treatment” by various establishments from restaurants in downtown LA to Disneyland simply because of how me and my friends dressed. While shallow, yes, I find more value is dressing in southern California than I did in Portland.

Do you find it difficult to maintain your wardrobe, as in, is there ever a time where you question how deep you want to commit to it?

Great question! The answer is yes, and I have made changes to adjust accordingly. I used to wear stockings with a girdle or garter belt nearly every day, now I rarely do it. I made the change for a combination of reasons, one was that it was expensive. While I wore both vintage and new stockings, the continued wear meant I went through stockings rapidly, and was always buying more. Now, I wear stockings typically only for special occasions, or events where I want to be period perfect. I also used to buy vintage shoes, and that is something I actually try to avoid now. I lost taps (resulting in going to the cobbler quite often) all the time, and had multiple pairs simply self-destruct. I still own a few pairs of vintage shoes, but I’ve only bought one pair of vintage shoes in the last two years. Also, vintage clothing, while I believe superior in quality when compared to most of today’s garments, does have issues, such as popped seams, missing buttons, etc. So I always have a pile of garments in need of repairs, which is annoying. Sometimes I would find garments with such issues, and bought them anyways, knowing I could repair them, but as my repair pile grew, I knew that unless the garment was spectacular in some manner, I should let the item go, for another person to find and cherish.

These rhinestone detailed blue velvet shoes are the last pair of vintage shoes I have bought. But worked so perfectly with the evening’s ensemble I had to get them! I found them at Elsewhere Vintage in Orange.

Do you regard yourself as an inspiration or or example to others? And if so, in what ways do you hope to encourage your followers/impact their experience?

I would like to think so… It’s what I want to be. I would love to encourage/impact people on two fronts. One is simply being who you are. Dress how you want to dress, and don’t let anyone put you down for doing it. The other is something I have been working on more on the blog, and continue to plan on, which is sharing my experiences at unique destinations and museums, and their historical or cultural significance. I want to encourage others to either go to their own local museums and weird locations, or visit the ones I share here. History is so important, and I want to encourage others to see the value in it too. History lives on through us, and our continued visits to historical sites and museums, and our ability to vocalize those experiences through the various forms of social media, or just talking with friends.

Carla asked “How has your wardrobe changed since moving to Southern California? Is it easier to choose outfits? And what outfits to you miss wearing from your Pacific Northwest days?”

What a great question! The first thing is I wear coats and jackets a whole lot less! And some of them I do miss. I also wear wool a lot less, which I don’t miss that much. I have yet to wear my overshoes down here, and sometimes I miss them. But perhaps the thing I miss the most are my muffs. Especially my fox muff, Earnest, pictured below with brother, Algernon. Another thing that has changed since the move is one I mentioned in another question, I’m less about being period perfect, and have come to discover my own personal style. As for it being easier… I’m not sure. It was annoying and sometimes difficult to always have to think about a coat that would go with the outfit, or how the rain would impact an outfit, but now I think a lot about the heat, like “Do I want to sweat in this?”

Talk about throwback – this is from Portland Fur and Feathers, January 2013.

Kathryn asked “In the past, you had pictures of a red wool felt purse made from a vintage Mexican tourist jacket. Could you please tell me more about it? Did someone make it for you or does it have a label?”

I am so glad to have another kindred spirit with the Mexican tourist jackets. This Mexican tourist purse is one of my most prized possessions, which I received this purse as a birthday gift from my friend Lyndsie of Retro Rejuvenation, as she knew my obsession with the jackets. Sadly, it does not have any labels on the inside, it does have a small coin purse though, which I did not showcase in the blog post, so I snapped an interior shot with that for you. The inside is satin lined, with a small pocket that fits the coin purse perfectly. I think it was home-made, based on the interior stitching, and its lack of a label, however I don’t think it was made from a jacket, simply based on how the embroidered images are placed within the space on the purse. I think a woman was inspired by the jackets to make this purse, and may have used transfers from a Mexican tourist jacket sewing pattern (like this one here) to design the purse.

Alicia asked “Are you OK with readers saying hi in real life?”

Yes! I love it when that happens! In fact some of my closest friends started as readers and/or fellow bloggers. But be prepared I can be pretty kooky in real life – I talk a lot and am quite loud! If you follow me on Instagram be sure to check out my stories for videos of how I act in real life.

Jessica asked “I have wondered for a while now, if your lengthy fingernails are real or not – and if so, first, wow!!!, and second, do you have any tips on keeping them long and healthy that you’d like to share with us?”

I get asked this a lot in person. Yes, they are real. My mother’s are super long as well, longer than mine in fact. So, I think a lot of it is genetic, however I do take Biotin, which is for hair, skin, and nails, and use “nail strengthening” nail polish remover when removing polish. But I just use the Target brand. Nothing fancy.

Ashes asked “Do you have any other hobbies that your leaving out of the blog because they don’t fit here, if you do do you mind sharing what they are?”

I really try to present all of my interests on here, sewing, cosplay, museum visits, etc. because I never want to be boxed in, so I’m trying really hard to expand what I talk about on the blog. However, I do read a lot of comics, and I’ve thought about sharing reviews of the ones I’ve read, as they often fall under similar subject matter I already discuss here, such as World War II, westerns, and the Victorian era. There is one hobby I don’t do as much anymore, which is archery. But any time I come across a bow at an odd location here and there (like Hicksville which we hope to return to soon), I do. I know there is a range at Balboa Park in San Diego that I hope to visit next time I’m down there. Also, I used to follow NASCAR extensively since I can remember, and have been to a few races, but since moving I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to watch races. But I would still jump at the opportunity to go to a race.

Sara asked “Where are the best places to buy vintage pants?”

With regards to true vintage pants, it’s really a gamble. Even the best vintage shops may not have pants in stock at any given moment, let alone in the size needed. But with regards to vintage reproduction or vintage inspired, I can recommend the following:

Vivian of Holloway
Freddies of Pinewood (for jeans)
Pin-Up Girl Clothing’s “Doris” pants (I own these, though they have yet to be featured on the blog)

JoAnne asked “Your photo shots are always so perfect! How do you navigate the crowds especially at Disneyland with your photo shoots? Do you ever feel self conscious posing with a lot of people nearby? Your shots are always so great and I never see people/crowds in the background. I was at Disneyland last August and couldn’t believe the crowds!”

Thank you! Wherever I go when I know I am going to want outfit photos, I always try to pick a secluded location, one not in the line of traffic, this especially goes for Disneyland. If I know I’m going to be at the Disneyland Resort all day, we shoot when we arrive in the morning, often it is less crowded, or people rush for rides, so there are less people milling about. But more than once I have had to move locations because of being in a designated character meet-and-greet location, or people have encroached on the space. And, yes, sometimes I do get a little self conscious, especially when people stare at me like “Who doe she think she is?” or “Why is she taking so many pictures?” because Patrick takes way more photos than I care to admit.

These were shot in what is known as the “small world mall” which is a raise area used for it’s a small world queue overflow during very busy days (think Christmas time) and for seating during parades, but it is a great place for photos!

That wraps it up! Thank  you so much to everyone who submitted questions! I love these Q & A posts because I feel like they really open up the door for me to learn more about what you all are interested in, and you get to learn a little extra something about me that I may not have shared otherwise! We’ll do it again soon!

A Perfect Match! *CLOSED*

Most product reviews I do here on the blog are typically from one of two types of companies; ones I have never heard of, or ones I have heard of, but never purchased from. So today’s product review is different in that I am reviewing something from a company I already know and love, Match Accessories. Recently they revamped their wildly popular Disneyland inspired “D” brooches, and I was recently given some of these newly revamped brooches, and asked to share my thoughts on the changes they made, as well as host a giveaway!

Match Accessories, best known for their Disneyland inspired “D” brooches, sells brooches, earrings, and necklaces, all with vintage vibes, and I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed in a piece. But, I’m not everyone, and, sadly, some people had issues, and Match listened. Previously, Match was gluing on their pin-backs, and they were getting a few reports of brooches separating from their pin-backs, falling, and shattering. They have now remedied that in several ways, and I’m really impressed! This new generation of “D” brooches are thicker, by a good margin. Just check out this side by side image. The new brooch is on the left, the older brooch on the right.

They also moved away from just glue, now pin-backs are riveted on, and much more secure. The new pin-back sturdier, and still features the locking clasp. The new D is on top of an older one in the image below.

Since receiving my new brooches, I’ve worn several to the Disneyland Resort, including wearing them on attractions such as Tower of Terror and Big Thunder Mountain, and haven’t had any issues. I also got a slew of compliments! Minnie Mouse even spied it on me and simply loved it, pointing to it and jumping up and down excitedly.

And best of all, you can enter to win your very own “D” brooch in their latest style, a new faux tortoise shell! Perfect to wear with any and all tortoise shell jewelry or “root beer” bakelite!

Just follow the rules below, you have until September 29th to enter!

  1. Follow Match on either @matchaccessoriesTwitter or “Like” them on Facebook.
  2. Visit Match’s website and take a look around!
  3. Comment below with which form of social media you follow Match, and what your favorite piece off their website is!
  4. You may enter only once!
  5. Cross your fingers!

Please note that if you have not commented before on my blog, your comment will be automatically held for moderation, and will not appear instantaneously.

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PST, Thursday, September 29th. The winner will be announced, using Random.org, a week from today, on Friday, September 30th! The winner then has until October 3rd e-mail me (using the Contact Form) with their shipping information or another winner will be selected. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given a selection of “D” brooches, including one to giveaway, free of charge, in exchange for a honest review. All Match Accessories are designed and hand-made right here in the USA, by Samantha and Jeremy, founders of Match Accessories.

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thank you for entering and/or for your interest. Stay tuned for another giveaway in the future.

A Song for You

Patrick and I didn’t have much down time after leaving Portland, because I had booked the weekend at the Joshua Tree Inn months ago, as the weekend marked the anniversary of Gram Parsons’ death at the Inn, and I was lucky enough to secure room eight, the very room in which Parsons passed away in. Yeah, call me morbid, but to me, it’s one step closer to history.

ar-jtisept16-00

During our visit to Portland, I hung out with my friend Alicia, an amazing artist who recently started designing gorgeous ouija boards. I told her I wanted one featuring a cowgirl and a jackalope, and over lunch we discussed the design, and I was blown away when she presented it to me while we were out for drinks the night before started our journey home – she knocked this out in just two days! She even told me it was Gram’s eye that she drew on the planchette. So it was this ouija board I took out with me during our stay to see if I could make contact with the legendary musician.

Sadly, there was no response from Gram, but if I’m honest, I think he’s either too cool to stick around as a ghost, or has found peace.

This was my third time staying at the Joshua Tree Inn, and I love it more and more with every visit. Gram’s connection aside, it is one of the most relaxing places I have ever stayed. It’s just the most perfect place to chill out and recharge, I can’t wait to return.

Outfit
Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels tee: Worn Free
Skirt: Fables by Barrie
Shoes: Minnetonka
Coral & Mother of Pearl Necklace: Ebler’s Leather & Saddlery Emporium, Columbia, California
Turquoise & Coral Cuff: West of Texas, Redlands California
Rings: Here and there, included West of Texas

Swimsuit: Esther Williams

Oujia Board by Alicia find her on the following sites: Facebook, Instagram, Etsy

Ghost Towns along Highway 49

I am sorry to report I don’t have any images from our time spent in Portland. I was incredibly busy constantly visiting with friends and family, and shopping of course! What I do have to show for our trip though are some shots I took of some ghost towns. we visited during our journey back home.

Honestly, I can’t recall when I first fell in love with the old mining towns along California Highway 49. What I do remember though is being very young and marveling at the old buildings the small town of Mariposa, where my great aunt and uncle used to lived (they have since moved to Seal Beach). We visited them every so often during our trips to California, and I always loved returning to that town. California’s gold rush is a unique moment in time, and a driving force in California’s rich (no pun intended) history, much like the Spanish missions and Hollywood. The towns that sprung up from it continue to draw me in whenever I get the chance to drive through them.

After crossing the border between Oregon and California, we peeled off I-5 just before Sacramento and made our way down Highway 49 visiting Amador City, Sutter Creek, Mokelume Hill, Murphys, Angels Camp, and Columbia. Sadly, we didn’t make it into Mariposa (it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I was there) but there are still many more gold rush towns I wish to visit, and I know we will make it there one day. But today I just want to share with you some of the images I took during our visit to these quiet and peaceful towns.

A couple of years ago we visited Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, and you can take a peek at here.

Patrick and I didn’t have much down time after getting home. In fact we are off to Joshua Tree for the weekend! So I better go repack my suitcase! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

The Jewel of the West!

Recently I have seen a wanted shift in my blog. I want to write about experiences more, sharing what I wore will always be an aspect of that, but I want to share experiences of the fun things that I’ve done, and the unique places I’ve been, such as museums, abandoned locations, etc. I hope to inspire others to go on and have their own unique adventures and maybe travel to one of the places I mention here. Today’s post is an example of that. Albeit a more exaggerated example. Today’s post is much more of an exception than the rule. The number of photos in this post is more than any other post I’ve shared. But it is because the experience of Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town Alive is unlike anything else. This is also the first time I have written an open letter on the blog, something I doubt will become the norm, but something I feel is well suited for today’s post.

At first glance, Knott’s Berry Farm looks like any other amusement park, and may not appear all that unique, but it has always been unique in its origins, and its Ghost Town, which helps separate it from other amusement parks, and this summer Knott’s Berry Farm stepped up their Ghost Town Game with Ghost Town Alive, which was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and wanted to revisit over and over again. It should be noted that Ghost Town received a proper town name, Calico, during Ghost Town Alive. I say this as to not confuse readers with the real town of Calico. The following is both an open letter to Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as a thank you to those who helped create it and bring Ghost Town to life.

Continue reading

Yeehaw for Calico!

Patrick and I just returned from our trip to Portland. I had hoped to blog while away, however I ran into a few hiccups, so now I’m blogging on events much later than I prefer, but better late than never! So before I dive into our travels, or other recent happenings, I must share two more Knott’s Berry Farm posts from our visits before leaving.

Over the summer Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town celebrated its 75th anniversary. As mentioned previously, normally the buildings within Ghost Town are there just for you to peek in and observe a scene taking place, such as a man getting a shave, or the sheriff in the middle of a card game, but for the anniversary, Knott’s opened up this buildings and the citizens were no longer wooden figures, but real life humans for you to interact with!

This move by Knott’s quickly became the highlight of my summer, and my friends I spent roughly the last two weeks of the event (as it came to a close last Monday, September 5th, and we left for Portland that evening) enjoying it as much as possible. Patrick shot hundreds of photos, and I wore many outfits, but only one day did I get to properly take outfit photos. Which I will share with you today. But stay tuned for another post, which will likely be an open letter to Knott’s Berry Farm, but will contain loads of other photos, including some snaps of me in the various ensembles I wore. But for today I’ll focus on my favorite.

It should be noted I became a deputy, hence the badge you’ll spy in the photos, but I’ll share that story in the next post!

The interior shots here with the red wallpaper is inside Goldie’s Place, which quickly became my favorite go-to place for a rest, along with the sheriff’s. But I honestly wanted to live inside Goldie’s Place, with its amazing wallpaper and fainting couch. I won’t lie, I kind of want to base my dressing room on it, if I ever get one.

Look for another post soon that discussing more on Ghost Town Alive, and sharing loads of photos that Patrick snapped. It was such an amazing experience that I want to share and praise.

Outfit
Peasant Top: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
John Wolf Textiles “Western Town” Skirt: VintageCritter
Shoes: Olvera Street
Vintage Knott’s Charm Bracelet: Not sure…
Sheriff’s Badge: Earned at Knott’s
Calico Brooch: Made by me from a poker chip from playing cards at Knott’s.