Fur & Feathers Comes to LA!

Just a little preface: This post will show a lot of vintage fur. To read my views on fur please read this post. Please also note that unkind comments will be deleted from the comments section.

Long time readers of my blog will remember an annual event that Julie of FabGabs Vintage would put on, called Fur & Feathers, which I attended multiple times during the time I lived in Portland. Fur & Feathers was boasted as a time when vintage lovers could break out their beloved pieces that featured fur and feathers, hence the name, as well as incorporate items of alligator or snake, or other wearable items derived from animals, insects, etc. When January came around in 2015 I saw many of my vintage loving Portland friends attending the luncheon and I bemoaned missing out on the event. But in the last year I have met a slew of vintage lovers here, and I was able to put together the first ever Fur & Feathers: Los Angeles! We wanted to include the men folk as well, so prints were also encouraged, and the men came out wearing fun ties featuring birds, feathers and other animals!

In Portland, the Fur & Feathers Luncheon was held at Huber’s, Portland’s oldest restaurant, but for LA I decided the newly remodeled Clifton’s would be quite fitting because it is home to quite a few pieces of taxidermy.

We had an awesome turn out, I think we had 22 people! Including friend and fellow blogger, Christine of Smitten. And we received quite a lot compliments, which is always wonderful. I can’t wait to do this again next year!

Vintage Fur Wrap: Christmas present from Patrick
Hat: Expo
Dress (which features one of my favorite labels, Miss Hollywood): Plucky Maidens Junk Fest
Shoes: Farylrobin
Bracelets: Belonged to my great grandmother

Join us on our Patio

My relationship with plants has often been described as a hateful one. As a child I went on many hikes with my dad through Oregon’s many forests, visiting majestic waterfalls and spectacular views. I loved these hikes, but as I grew up I began to get a destain for Oregon’s evergreen forests with their creeping ferns and looming trees that never changed color. They bored me, and for some reason no longer beckoned in a friendly manner. And the rain that turned pathways into mud didn’t help my affection toward Mother Earth’s creations either. I didn’t care for flowers much, especially tulips and the roses that Portland was known for. But with each trip to California I became entranced with the palms, cacti and bizarre plant life that dotted the streets. My visits to Joshua Tree solidified that passion for the strange and otherworldly like plants that called California home. Living in Oregon, having plants or a garden was never high on my list, mostly because I knew that my choice in plants may not survive the wet climate, but when we moved into our new place here in California I couldn’t wait to fill our patio with plants that looked as if they just came off a 60s Star Trek episode.

Over the last month or so Patrick has been surprising me with various cacti and even with vintage planters he scored on Ebay. He has done a fine job in selecting succulents, and also purchased two small patio umbrellas and outdoor lights. Prior to all of this, our patio just had two butterfly chairs and a small table. He even built some stylish palettes for our plants to sit on, so they would have a smooth surface, but not take up room on the concrete. Much of the inspiration for our patio stems from our visits to California lush missions (hence our Madonna) and the Joshua Tree Inn.

I simply adore sitting outside in the warm sun with a book. So I thought I would share a peek into a lazy day at home on our patio.

We also wanted some covering for a bicycles, and purchased this swell shed on-line. It keeps our bikes from getting faded, or rained on (which still happens!). Like with most apartments, we suffered from some restrictions that are common when renting, and it made Patrick and I all the more eager to own a home. But in the meantime, I’m happy to have this lovely patch of paradise.

Tee & Shorts: Buffalo Exchange
Mocs: Minnetonka
Hair Arrows: Gifts
Jewelry: Here and there – mostly antique shows I think!
Book: I’m with the Band by Pamala Des Barres, available on Amazon

At Home in Orange Part 2

While I haven’t been feeling too hot these last few days I finally felt good enough to snap some pictures of our bedroom at our new place! Our bedroom got a bit of a western theme, as I couldn’t pass up this massive covered wagon black velvet painting my dad found, which set the tone for our bedroom. My dad also found this marvelous western states pillow.

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At Home in Orange

This post has been a long time in the making! You are finally going to see our new apartment! Well some of it anyways. While the driving portion of our move was pretty uneventful, the settling in process of the move went slower than maple syrup on a cold day. We faced multiple hurdles, some of which we had to rely on our apartment’s maintenance man to fix, while others we did ourselves. We also chose to get rid of a few items prior to packing up our truck, which we then had to replace upon moving in, and when you furnish your home in mostly vintage, it’s sometimes difficult and time consuming to find just the right pieces, which is what happened to us. There are still some bare spots, as we chose to get rid of some of the artwork we had, and we are still deciding what to put up. Additionally, this is going to be a bit of a series, as there is so much to share and it’s quite a big space. So today I will just be sharing our living room, dining area and a wee bit of our kitchen. But enough with the excuses! Onwards with the pictures!

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The Summer Wind

Over the weekend Julie of FabGabs hosted the monthly get-together, Church of Sinatra, at her home. As it is summer, she kicked off the evening a little early and we barbecued hot dogs and grilled some veggies while cocktails were mixed up.

It was a lovely evening spent around a small fire as it got slightly chilly as the evening went on and we chatted. Jesse of Brighter Bakelite was there, and I got to take a peek at some of his delightful pink beauties that he was gearing up to list, but not before Sarah of Simply Vintage put them on her arm and took ’em for a test run herself. It’s hard to resist pink Bakelite!

Patrick snapped a few pictures near the end of the evening, after I tired on a few of Julie’s garments from her shop’s inventory that are slated for her upcoming photoshoot. (Let’s just say I have my eye on a Shaheen that would have come home with me if Expo weren’t coming up!)

Blouse & Hair Flower: Don’t recall…
Red Slip: FabGabs
Skirt: Which is actually part of a suit! House of Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Snood: April’s Bag
Earrings: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Bracelet: Gift from my dad
Shoes: Aris Allen, Dancestore.com

Patrick’s Shirt: BillyGoat Vintage, Portland, Oregon

Preserving the Past

Recently I was contacted by fellow blogger Hannah, of Just Peachy Darling, about a project she was working on. She was asking several people to express why they are interested in history and how they are preserving the past. Since this subject is so near and dear to me, I was eager to get on board with this and put in my two cents.

What is preservation? For me, preservation means safe-guarding the past for future generations. We do this in several ways, and I certainly do a heck of a lot of it, if I do say so myself, albeit in my own, small way.

I feel that I have always had a strong tie to the past, mainly because of my parents.  My parents were in the antique business and filled our homes with antiques, I also grew up attending antique shows and thrifting. I understood at an early age the importance of antiques, from their cultural value to their monetary value.  I also grew up going to museums, and understanding the historical context in which the items in our home came from.

While my parents loved the turn-of-the-century items, I thrived on the mid-20th century items with their killer style, and quickly amassed quite a collection of vintage furnishings before my vintage wardrobe ever grew. I quickly learned what I was loving was called “mid-century modern” and that there were specific designers that I really admired, such as Eero Saarinen, and my bookshelves began to fill with books about designers and architects.  Vacations in my family usually meant driving, and we enjoyed taking the back roads of America, and as I enjoyed photography as well, I began using my dad’s old 35mm Minolta to shoot images of abandoned Americana.  All of these acts, from buying vintage furniture to photographing old buildings and signage were a way in which I felt I was helping the preservation front. I was saving items from the land fill or those crazed shabby chic ladies with their paint brushes loaded up with crackle paint.  I was also capturing images of faded painted signs, broken neon, and dilapidated buildings to share with those around me, while also educating myself on the imagery and design I loved so much, with facts at the ready to educate those around me too.

As my home was now full of vintage furniture, my closet began to shift too.  I already had a handful of vintage pieces, some of which were my mother’s, and soon my high school duds were traded at places such as Buffalo Exchange for true vintage pieces.  And like my interest in the designers of the furniture, I attempted to learn about what styles of vintage clothing I liked, all while also earning my degree in history and learning about the circumstances that all my furniture and clothing bore witness too.  I love learning about history because it showcases how we have changed over the years, what we have lost, what we have learned and reminds us of things we need to work on.

Additionally you can’t dress vintage or decorate your home in vintage housewares without raising a few eyebrows and getting a few questions.  This is another way in which I think I am aiding in preserving the past.  I fill my home with objects from the past, I am keeping them safe, but I am also using them, and in doing so opening a small doorway to the past, especially when I interact with others who are unfamiliar with the periods I so enjoy.  Questions on the street about my attire lead to conversations not just about the past, but about the current economy as well.  For example, when I am asked why I dress in vintage, I can easily discuss the quality and fit of vintage garments, and how they compare to today’s garments. I can discuss how war affected fashion.  I can also mention that in wearing vintage garments that my money goes toward a small business or that I am recycling.  People may become inspired to learn more about the current clothing industry or pursue vintage themselves.  When people visit my home, they will see items of superior design and craftsmanship, and how function and style can actually go hand in hand.  All of this leads to discussion, which leads to education.

When we are able to see the past, whether with a building or with a garment from a certain time period, we are instantly inspired, we want to ask questions, and questions can lead to learning.  People can learn about the importance of quality and the economy and history.  A dress from the 60s may jog someone’s memory about that time their mother participated in a sit-in. Vintage items are instant conversation pieces, they can lead to the most intense and informative discussions and without these items to jog our memories, we are lost. Without them we are without reminders of what we should strive to achieve once more, and what we still need to work on.  For me, I see myself as a little museum, I see my home as a little museum too. We each have artifacts and are informative. Visual cues and sharing information helps make this world a better place.  This is why preservation matters.

The Annual Fur & Feathers

Just a little preface: This post will show a lot of vintage fur. To read my views on fur please read this post and this post. Please also note that unkind comments will be deleted from the comments section.

Yesterday was spent in the grand company of many of Pacific Northwest’s finest vintage gals as we got together for the annual Fur & Feathers luncheon at Huber’s.

As much as I wanted to wear the tiny top hat I purchased at the last March Expo, I realized that I had three fabulous items from my wardrobe that had yet to make their debuts, all of which didn’t really go with my hat. I don’t own too many hats with feathers, due to their fragility, and the best fitting hat was the Frank Palma bird hat that I wore to the first Fur and Feathers I attended. But it is so marvelous that I felt it deserved to be repeated!

I was really looking forward to this year’s event because my dear friend Lyndsie, owner of Retro Rejuvenation, was able to come up for the weekend!  (We spent all of today shopping!) I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures at the actual event, due to the fact we were all having such a grand time, the lighting is really never that great at Huber’s, and by the time we all tumbled out it was getting dark out.

There were so many lovely ladies, and a few gents even, in attendance, including Jennifer of Jumblelaya Vintage, Sarah of Simply Vintage, fellow bloggers Anna of Anna in Technicolor and Sarah of Lilies and Remains, and of course Julie of FabGabs, who put the whole event together.

I always look forward to these get-togethers. They are a wonderful time to mingle with our “tribe” and learn from one another. There are talks of a western themed event in the near future! I’m giddy with excitement! What to wear!?

Frank Palma Bird Hat: Gift
Mink Capelet: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
1940s Magenta Dress: Patti Smith West, Portland, Oregon
Vintage Stockings & Gloves: Who knows!
Alligator Shoes: Thrifted! Crazy, I know!
Armand the Armadillo Purse: Some antique mall along the coast, I think.
Brass Bangles: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Bird Double Brooch: Belonged to my Grandmother