Helping Jessica of Chronically Vintage

It is rare that I feel compelled to ask something of my readers, unless it deals with something that hits so close to home and someone I know personally. For many, this is old news, as I don’t know anyone in the 0n-line vintage community who isn’t familiar with Jessica of Chronically Vintage, but I want to help and do what I can for someone who, although I have never met in person, is one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have encountered.

Recently, Jessica and her husband lost everything within their home to an arson fire. Jessica shares her experience in a recent blog post, which you can read here. For me, this is a large fear of mine, and for it to happen to someone I know makes it all the more real and tragic. Jessica’s home sounds so similar to my own, and I can only imagine the level of heart-break she must be feeling over such a loss of years of collecting not just vintage, but personal heirlooms and those small pieces that make up the memories of one’s life.

Jessica and her husband, Tony, and not to mention their dear dog, Annie, and their cat, Miss Stella, who has yet to turn up, are beginning again, and I ask that if Jessica has touched you in some way, through her blog, as either a beacon of inspiration for both vintage and/or chronic illness, that you aid her in starting over. No donation is too small, as even $5 can be turned into something necessary like toothpaste, or something that makes life feel normal again, like a vintage scarf. If you feel that you are able to donate, please do so through this site here. You can also learn more by visiting the Facebook group that has been set up to help those who wish to help in what Jessica and Tony need.

Thank you for your consideration.

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!

Have Questions?

It’s been over a year since I did a Q & A post, and I thought it was time to do another one! I did a shout out via Facebook and Instagram, but I realize that not everyone who reads my blog uses those platforms, so I figured I would do a shout out here on the blog!

So, if you have questions about (almost) anything, I say “almost” because I will not answer inappropriate or lewd questions, and if any submitted, they will be deleted. But the point is that the questions don’t necessarily have to pertain to vintage and vintage fashion. Ask about food, music, books, etc. if you feel like it! A friendly reminder that some questions may not be answered, and for some questions that may be because I don’t have a good enough answer, or lack knowledge on a subject.

If you have questions, please submit them via the comment section below for them to be considered! Also, if you have a question, be sure to check my last Q & A post to make sure it was not asked last time.

Happy asking! And also, thank you dear readers! Your thoughts mean a great deal to me!

Interview with Chronically Vintage

Some time ago fellow blogger and dear friend, Jessica of Chronically Vintage started an amazing series where she interviewed fellow bloggers, so we the readers could learn more about bloggers we already follow, as well as discover new blogs for ourselves. She asked those interested to express so, and I willingly offered up myself as a participant! And today my interview with Jessica was published! So hop over to her amazing blog and learn a bit more about me!

I want to thank Jessica so much for this opportunity. She is a gem among the vintage and blogging community, as she is extremely active in her posts, social media, and commenting on the blogs of others. She genuinely cares about vintage and the community it has created.

In the meantime I am overjoyed to share that I will be attending San Diego Comic Con! It’s THE con! And I am shocked I am finally going, through the luck and grace of a friend of mine, Deela Designs. I didn’t make any new cosplays for this con, as it was relatively short notice, but I altered one to work as another cosplay, so I have a sort of new one! Sadly, Patrick will not be attending, so I won’t have my “personal photographer” with me, but I hope that I’ll be able to snap some pictures and share my experience with you either live from San Diego or when I return next week!

Parasol Winner!

Thank you to all who entered the Mickey and Minnie parasol giveaway! It was a lot of fun reading everyone’s favorite characters, hardly any two were the same! And thank you to those of you who took an extra bit of time to say such kind words about my parasol creations! We had 54 entries! And it is time to announce the winner!

And the winner is…TEN! Fellow blogger and Californian, Deborah Holtzclaw of Hellcat Vintage! She shared that her favorite character was Tiana, one of my favorites too! Deborah, please use the “Contact” page to send me your information so I can get you your parasol! You have three days to do so, or I shall select a new winner.

Thank to all who entered! And stay tuned for more parasol creations, and who knows! Maybe another giveaway!

Mickey & Minnie Parasol Giveaway! *CLOSED*

Since taking my first parasol out for a spin at the parks, I have received a wave of compliments both in person and in the virtual world. So, thank you to those who have said such kind words! Also, I was asked if I would be making parasols to sell. I’m still not sure om that, for a lot of reasons that I won’t bore you with, but I thought I would host a giveaway of one of my parasol creations.

I made this special Mickey and Minnie parasol just for one of you lucky readers! A little about my parasols. I first draw on the image with pencil, then I use Prismacolor art markers, which are both lightfast (fade resistant) and water resistant (though I would not recommend getting a paper parasol wet), to hand color the images on my parasols, so this beauty will last and stay bright after many sunny outings. A note about paper parasols. They are fragile, even when new. Sometimes I am required to patch parasols. Sometimes parasols arrive with patches already on them. This parasol is no exception. However, the patches to not detract from the illustration.

The Rules

1. “Follow” or “Like” Atomic Redhead using your choice of one or more of the social media platforms or blog reading methods listed: E-mail alerts via the pink “Follow” button on the right, Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram (atomic_redhead).
2. Comment on this entry below with who your favorite Disney character is, and in which method(s) you follow Atomic Redhead.
3. Only one comment/entry per person!
5. Cross your fingers!

The giveaway ends Monday, April 4th, at 11:59 pm PST.  The winner will be selected using and announced Tuesday, April 5th!  The winner then has three days to send me their mailing information for me to send them the parasol.  Failure to do so means I select a new winner. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the Walt Disney Company, or any parasol manufacturing company. I have not been approached in any way to do this giveaway.

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