Orange Vintage Shopping Guide

Within even a short time of moving to California I was receiving e-mails of people planning visits to California and wanted to know where to shop. I have wanted to do a vintage shopping guide for awhile, but I wanted to really get my feet wet before offering one up. And now with over two years under my belt, I feel like I can. The greater Los Angeles area, and Orange County area have many different areas that you can visit to find antiques and vintage clothing, so I plan to do several posts like this covering each area. Today I’ll kick it off with the town I call home, Orange.

You can easily spend an entire day shopping in Orange’s “Old Towne”, also known as “The Circle”, and today I share with you the shops I frequent the most. So it is important to note that not every antique mall and vintage shop is listed here.

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Yeehaw! Saturday at Knott’s

As mentioned in my last Knott’s Berry Farm post, lots of visits are planned this summer, because Ghost Town Alive is just too much fun. So over the weekend, Patrick and I went for the day. We’ve been having a bit of “June Gloom” recently, but I didn’t mind the mild weather, as it worked out perfectly to wear my new (to me) vest that I recently bought.

I want to thank those of you who commented on my last post where I shared my vintage California linens. I think my charm bracelet collection will be the next collection I share. Also, feel free to keep the post suggestions coming!

Outfit
Hat: Redlands Galleria, Redlands, California
Shirt, Boots, & Purse: Buffalo Exchange
String Tie & Coral Ring: I don’t remember…
Vest: Paper Moon, Los Angeles, California
Skirt: Dolly & Dotty
Rodeo Queen Ring: Gift

Vintage California Souvenir Linens

Not too long ago I asked you, the readers, what you would be interested in seeing on the blog. I had an idea awhile ago to share some of my collections, but I was afraid you might find that boring! But when asked many of you had words of support! So today I bring you my collection of vintage California linens.

Today I decided to focus on table clothes, scarves, and handkerchiefs, but I also have aprons and pillow shams, that perhaps I’ll share in another post. This is an extremely picture heavy post. While I am sharing ten linens, there are over 70 photographs, as I wanted to not just share overall images of the linens, but also close-ups of some areas to highlight the delightful detail and humor of these works of art. You can also click on the images for a larger view. I hope you enjoy!

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Petersen Automotive Museum

First off, I want to thank those of you who commented in my last post about what you wanted to see on the blog. It was so wonderful to get ideas from you, as well as receive support for the types of posts I already do. It’s your positive comments that really keep me going. I have many post ideas now and I can’t wait to start working on them. Also, keep the suggestions coming!

Now, to the subject at hand! Over the weekend Patrick and I went to the Petersen Automotive Museum. Some of you might remember that Patrick and I visited in spring last year, but only for the unveiling of the Back to the Future DeLorean, and were unable to explore the rest of the museum. So it was nice to return and see the amazing collection the museum has to offer.

I’ll kick off the post with what I wore, with photos and information about the museum after.

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What Do You Want to See on the Blog?

I think it’s important to both stay true to yourself, while also listening to your audience, which is why every once in awhile I love hearing what you, the readers, want to see on the blog! So today, I’m asking!

I know many people love tutorials, but I have to admit, I don’t feel confident enough in the areas most in demand for tutorials (such as hair and make-up). Hair is still very much hit-or-miss for me, and I am rather minimal in my make-up. Recently I had given thought to sharing some of my collections, such as my vintage California souvenirs (scarves, table linens, etc.) but part of me thought y’all would think that boring! I shared this on Instagram and Facebook earlier, and received support with the California souvenir post, as well as interest in sharing my charm bracelet collection, vintage shopping tips, a post where I discuss the evolution of my style, and a book recommendation round-up. If these sound interesting to you, please feel free to show your support in the comments! And if you have more ideas, please share those as well!

I’ll also take this time to address a previous request. Last year I received requests for a Disneyland tips post. Which I happily obliged. You can view that post here. However, it should be noted that there is a good deal that is out of date now with that post, and later this summer I will be posting a new guide. It is something I hope to stay on top of and do a new one every couple of years. If you are interested in tips for other theme parks (such as Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios), please comment below!

Thank you again for all of your support and interest in my little blog here! Summer is going to be lots of fun, and I can’t wait to share those adventures and more with you all!

The Return of Ghost Town Alive

Last summer, Knott’s Berry Farm did something that was nothing short of magical, and something I gushed about repeatedly here on the blog, Ghost Town Alive. If you were ever a fan of the original film Westworld, or have been caught up in HBO’s reimagining of the 1973 film, it’s easy to relate Ghost Town Alive to that – a theme park, where there are citizens (or “hosts” as they are called in Westworld) that reside in a typical western town of the late 1800s, and each of these citizens have a plot that plays out over the course of the day, and it’s something you can be a part of. You can read my open letter to Knott’s Berry Farm that describes the experience a bit more here. The main point is, it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had, and was overjoyed when Knott’s announced they were going to bring it back for the following summer. And for the first day, Patrick, myself (along with a newly created Knott’s themed parasol), and friends were there to experience the first day.

 

This train border print skirt, along with a few other western themed border print skirts, has been on my wish list for some time now, and I recently scored it from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Trove Vintage. While it was on the big side, I was able move the hook and eye over, and iron it some to make it several inches smaller, without ruining the integrity of the skirt or seriously altering it! It was a perfect skirt to kick off what can best be described as “the second season” of Ghost Town Alive.

For photos from the events of the day, keep reading!

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Knott’s Preserved

By now it’s no secret I have fallen head over cowboy boots in love with Knott’s Berry Farm. The literal farm turned theme park has one of the most unique, interesting, and classic American dream stories that there is. The book that helps tell that story best is Knott’s Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm.

With extensive research, interviews, and massive collection of vintage photographs and ephemera, co-authors Christopher Merritt and J. Eric Lynxwiler, weave a tapestry of berries, chicken, and a sudden theme park that sprung up as a result.

Walter Knott, along with his wife Cordelia, began their small berry farm in Buena Park in the 1920s, and eventually Knott cultivated an unnamed berry he acquired from Rudolph Boysen, who had long given up on the hybrid of blackberry, red raspberry, and loganberry. Walter took the plant and nurtured it, and soon it was producing large berries that were rich in flavor. Knott chose to name the berry the boysenberry, after Rudolph Boysen. Walter sold berries and other fruit from a small roadside stand, and a tea room was added where Cordelia sold sandwiches, rolls, jam, and fresh berry pie. It was really a family operation, as the Knott children helped in making the pies. When the Great Depression arrived, the Knott family looked for a way to raise their income, and one night in June of 1934 Cordelia did something that would change their lives and the southern California landscape forever, she made fried chicken.

Word spread that this was the best fried chicken, and very soon Cordelia’s Tea Room had regular customers, and long lines. Soon one of the Knott daughters, Virginia, began selling small gifts from a card table in the lobby to aid both income and in entertaining people awaiting tables, and in 1938, just four years after serving the first dinner, the restaurant saw its first expansion, and Virginia got her very own gift shop, which still bears her name to this day.

But guests were having to wait a rather long time to be seated. And Walter wanted to entertain them. With volcanic rock he ordered from Death Valley, Walter built a waterfall for guests to enjoy while waiting. He quickly followed up that project with another, a millstone vignette, where guests waiting were encouraged to sing “Down by the Old Mill Stream”. Then inspired by a trip to Mount Vernon, Walter recreated George Washington’s fireplace. These were the first “attractions” Walter built to entertain customers waiting to be seated, and guess what, these three attractions are still at Knott’s Berry Farm, and free to the public. They are also something I have wanted to share for awhile, and this book offers a nice way to introduce them.

Today, tucked behind the Berry Market (which is part of the larger Marketplace shopping center just outside the main gates of Knott’s Berry Farm) you can still find these three original attractions. So if you stop in for a bite at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, be sure visit these hidden treasures.

But these small things couldn’t entertain the thousands that were flocking for a taste of Cordelia’s chicken, sometimes waiting over three hours, and soon Walter got the idea to pay homage to his grandmother, who came to California in a covered wagon. In 1940, construction began on what would become the Gold Trails Hotel, and would house a unique diorama depicting a wagon heading west. From this, Walter thought he needed more western buildings to give frame and context to the Gold Trails Hotel, and soon a real life Ghost Town sprung up! Here, guests could spent time as they waited for their tables at the Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Soon Walter’s Ghost Town grew to have a life of its own, and buildings continued to be added, some of which were real buildings that he relocated to the property, others were built. Some of these buildings were called “peek-ins” as guests could literally peek in through the window and see a scene, like a barber giving a shave or card game being played at the sheriff’s office. These peek-ins were followed by panning for gold, a real antique train guests could ride, and before Walter Knott knew it, he had a full fledge them park. What is so wonderful is that Knott’s Preserved offers a perfect commentary on how each attraction was developed and added, and how the Farm had to change with the times, including stories I had never heard before. It also discusses the many hard working people who joined the Knott family with their project, including the self-taught wood-carver Andy Anderson who bought so many of the original peek-in characters to life, and artist Paul Von Klieben who designed buildings, painted gorgeous images for various locations, including the awe inspiring Transfiguration, which you can see and read about in my post about the Knott’s Berry Farm auction.

People came from all over southern California to visit. Patrick’s grandmother originally hailed from Nebraska before moving to California, and after marrying an Italian immigrant, she stuck to cooking Italian food for her family, but every once in awhile the family traveled to Buena Park from Burbank just for fried chicken and so she wouldn’t have to cook. My dad recalls visiting often (although from the much closer town of Downey), and I am lucky enough to have a handful of photographs from his visits (which I’m planning to share in a vintage Knott’s Berry Farm photograph post).  And stories like these aren’t at all uncommon as Knott’s Preserved shares.

Knott’s Preserved beautifully describes the path of Knott’s Berry Farm from its first steps as a simple farm, through the development of Ghost Town, and the later themed “land” and ride additions were made, not all of which were successful. I learned so much about the Knott family, long forgotten attractions, unrealized attractions, and how the Farm grew into what it is today, including the origins of Knott’s Scary Farm in 1973, and the unique addition of the Peanuts Gang in 1982.

For some, Knott’s Preserved will be a walk down memory lane, for others, like myself, it offers a wonderful glimpse into what Knott’s Berry Farm was once like. It is something any person interested in Knott’s Berry Farm should read.

Knott’s Preserved is available for purchase at Knott’s Berry Farm, both at stores inside the park, as well as Virginia’s in the Marketplace. It is also available for purchase through the the publisher’s website.

Disclaimer: I was not approached by the authors, publishers, or any employee of Knott’s Berry Farm to do a review Knott’s Preserved. I wrote this review of my own accord.