A Return to the Autry

A few years ago during a visit to California we took time to visit the Autry Museum of the American West. I was slightly crushed over the fact I didn’t blog about it, which was for a combination of reasons. First, it was very overwhelming! There is so much stuff at the Autry, and my eyes couldn’t stop darting around at all of the wonderful stuff there was to see! Additionally, museums are notoriously difficult to photograph. And the few photos I did take in the first room turned out so horrible I didn’t bother to continue. But we returned recently and I took loads of photos! Some are still not as great as I would like them to be, but I still want to share some of the Autry’s treasures with you! But before we get to that, let’s take a peek at what I wore, because it was pretty darn awesome.

This suit is one of the most prized pieces in my western wear collection, and one I didn’t even find. In fact my dad found it at the Portland Antique Expo, and sent an image of it to me and only eyeballed the measurements, and when it arrived I was overjoyed that it fit perfectly! It’s by Rodeo Ben, who is one of the pioneers in western wear in the 20th century, along side Nathan Turk and Nudie Cohn. Many credit Rodeo Ben with developing the snap closures, and photographs show his work using snaps as early as 1933. It should be noted however that Rockmount was the first manufacturer to use snaps, beginning 1946. Like Turk and Nudie, Rodeo Ben did work for the likes of such western legends as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. And the Autry even has pieces by Rodeo Ben in its collection.

I paired my suit with another prized piece, a vintage sterling silver and 14 karat gold ranger belt made by Edward Bohlin. Bohlin is hailed as a true artist with it comes to cowboy belt buckles and saddles. His gorgeous “Big Saddle” (there is an image of it after the cut) is on display at the Autry, with a plaque reading it “reportedly took fourteen years to complete and weighs approximately seventy pounds.” The belt is not just an amazing artifact by a well-known maker, but it means a lot personally. It originally belonged to my grandfather, my dad’s dad, who was a bit of a cowboy himself. While born in Oklahoma, he grew up on a ranch in Texas. And in the photos I’ve found while working on our family’s genealogy I’ve uncovered more than one image of the man riding, along with images of my grandmother and dad riding as well. I even found some of him with a lariat.

For those interested in what The Autry has to offer, keep reading!

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Christmas on the Range

As I mentioned back in September, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue will be closing its fences in January as the Disneyland Resort prepares to make way for its new Star Wars themed land, and Patrick and I are attempting to visit quite a few times before that day rolls around. With the holidays in full swing, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue has decorated for the Christmas season, and its talented performers, Miss Chris and Tex Tumbleweed are singing the songs of Christmas for Guests.

I can’t express how much I love Miss Chris’ outfit for the holidays. It’s so delightful, and I am so tempted to make my own.

In the meantime, I’ve been frantically shopping, and getting gifts ready for friends and family. Many gifts have to be mailed out, and Patrick and I still have yet to do our Christmas photo! Yikes! I hope your holiday season is going smoothly!

Top & Black Tooled Leather Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Deja Vu, Palm Springs, California
Nude Fishnets: Oroblu, Nordstorm
Black Tooled Leather Wedges: Olvera Street, Los Angeles
Pecos Bill & Slue Foot Sue Pin: Ebay

Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

Fall is officially in swing at the Disneyland Resort, and while Main Street USA may be lined with adorable pumpkins, one of my favorite areas of Disneyland during fall is Frontierland and the Big Thunder Ranch area. Sadly, this year will be the last autumn for Big Thunder Ranch, which includes the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, and best of all, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. More on that in a bit. And seeing as Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue will be closing up shop come January, Patrick and I are attempting to fill our bellies with as much barbecue as possible, and of course I couldn’t resist picking out some western duds for the evening.

Now, more on the Ranch closing. At D23, it was announced that the Disneyland Resort would be expanding to create a Star Wars themed land. Speculation of this has been going on since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, and soon after it was announced that Star Wars would be taking over the Big Thunder Ranch area, located just north of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Originally this expanse of land was home to the Mine Train, Pack Mules, Conestoga Wagons and Stagecoaches that made their way would Nature’s Wonderland and the small town of Rainbow Ridge. In 1979 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened up, giving folks the “wildest ride in the wilderness”. In the mid-1980s, the expanse north of Big Thunder saw a ranch open up, and various forms of entertainment and dining came and went through the area (including the awkwardly placed Hunchback of Notre Dame “Festival of Fools”), and in the later 90s, the dining area closed, until it re-opened in 2009 as an all-you-can-enjoy barbecue restaurant, and live entertainment with extremely talented western musicians. My feelings about the Star Wars themed land are mixed (I mean I love Star Wars), but one thing I am certain of is that I am crushed to see Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue go. It offers some of the best food in the park, including amazing seasonal dishes, like the above pictured sugar cookie bake with pumpkin ice cream and caramel, as well as incredible ambiance, and, as I mentioned before, very talented performers, and I am hell-bent on visiting as much as I can before it closes. And I encourage anyone visiting Disneyland before January to visit as well, that is if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan!

I would also love to do a shout out to Jackie, a reader here. She approached me when Patrick and I were shooting the outfit pictures, and, Jackie, you were a delight to talk to! This is also a heads up to anyone else who may see me in the park, I love meeting my readers, and hanging out in Disneyland has provided me with a lot of contact that I honestly hadn’t expected! It’s so much fun hearing from you all in person, so, please, if you do see me, don’t be afraid to say hi! Unfortunately I won’t be at Dapper Day tomorrow, as I have to work it, after all, someone has to be there to make magic! But I do plan on visiting the Dapper Day Expo after I get off work. I probably won’t be too dressed up, as I will be taking the bus into work, and will be going straight to the Expo after work, so maybe I’ll bump into some of you there!

Cowboy Hat: Disneyland
Blouse: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Rock Steady via Roadkill Ranch, Fullerton, Ca.
Tooled Leather Wedges: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, Ca.
Brooch & Purse: Found by my dad!
Turquoise Bracelet: LA Vintage Expo
Turquoise Maize Ring: Capistrano Trading Post, San Juan Capistrano, Ca.

Round-Up Time!

On Sunday many of my fellow vintage and Disney loving friends got together under the theme of western wear! I couldn’t have been more excited! It was truly a fun day of getting together, riding rides and even getting to know new people with similar interests.

Per usual, we got constant questions throughout the day, but it’s always fun talking with Guests, and you never know, you may find another person who wants to join in the fun next time!

Shirt & Boots: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Scarf: Portland Outdoor Store, Portland, Oregon
Disneyland Frontierland Pin: Chapman Antique Mall, Orange, California
Hat & Horseshoe Ring: Disneyland
Purse: ???

This Ain’t My First Rodeo

Oh my, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’ve had a lot on my plate lately, and then it actually rained for a couple of days. But last week I tagged along with Patrick when he went into Redlands for work two days, and did a bit of shopping. Surprisingly enough, Redlands has quite a few antique malls and a few thrift stores, where I found a handful of things, but nothing too crazy, mostly practical items, like hatboxes and buttons. Then the following day I decided to head into Riverside after dropping Patrick off at work. I moseyed down aisle after aisle at antique mall after antique mall and wasn’t finding anything! It was sorely disappointing, then at my last antique mall my jaw hit the floor. There in the window was quite possibly one of most magnificent skirts I have ever seen. A western themed border print skirt I had never seen before, so I rushed to the counter to request them to take the skirt off of the mannequin, where I quickly whipped out my tape measure and check to see if it would fit, and it was perfect! I continued to shop, clutching and, a few times, petting the skirt, looking quite possibly like James Bond’s nemesis, Blofeld stroking his cat.

I couldn’t wait to wear the skirt, so it was an easy option when getting dressed to go out for brunch at Arthur’s Coffee Shop, a western themed breakfast joint here in Orange. Sadly my purse strap broke as I stepped out of the car, and it instantly turned into a clutch. The skirt is a most welcome addition to my growing border print collection, as well as to the western themed items. Another new addition is my Siesta jacket. I’ve been wanting one of these wool fringed beauties for awhile, along with a Chimayo, and recently scored this on Ebay. I’ll openly admit, I loathe buying on-line, and it could honestly be a blog post within itself, but sometimes there are items you will have better luck finding on-line, and a Siesta is one of them. And despite how much I love this jacket, and its reasonable price, it still perpetuated my hate of purchasing on-line, as it arrived reeking of cigarettes. Despite shoving it in a paper bag of newspaper and baking soda and letting it sit for a few days, it still smelled. It’s now being shot with Febreze daily, and sitting outside on our shaded patio.

Sadly, the skirt features no label, which doesn’t surprise me, as I believe most of these border print skirts were homemade, and whoever did make it, did a great job, and the hem has one of the best blind-stitch jobs I have ever seen. Additionally, the folded over twice, so the edge is hidden, which is where the makers text would have been. I haven’t come across this print anywhere else, and I would love to know who made it! So, please, if you have any ideas, comment below!

Siesta Jacket: Ebay
Blouse & Tooled Leather Flats: Simply Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Skirt: Guerrero’s Treasures & Collectibles Antique Mall, Riverside, California
Saddle Brooch, Horse Brooch, & Rodeo Queen Ring: Gifts
Turquoise Shadowbox Ring: West of Texas, Redlands, California
Turquoise Bracelet: LA Vintage Expo
Belt: Thrifted
Tooled Leather Purse: Redlands Galleria, Redlands, California

A Girl and her Jackalope

Have you ever just had an idea for something with no real reason behind it except that it would just be cool? Well, I had one of those when we made plans to visit Joshua Tree National Park over the days we were spending out there for my birthday. People love taking pictures with their pets, and sadly, we are a petless household right now, with the exception of one, rather stiff, little buddy, Mr. Van Cleef, our jackalope, with whom I have wanted to do photos with for sometime.

I won’t lie, I have completely fallen head over heels in love with chiffon maxi skirts over the last year, but have had trouble finding some without either spending an arm and a leg, or shopping at stores I hate. So when I found two chiffon maxis (including this one), a few weeks ago, it was like hitting the jackpot. I love the fact that they still evoke an old west feel, but also feel like something else entirely, not to mention are perfect for the heat of California.

Hat and Top: Found by my dad
Skirt: Buffalo Exchange, Costa Mesa, California
String Tie: Elsewhere Vintage, Orange, California
Sandals: Minnetonka
Turquoise Rings: Living Threads Vintage, Portland, Oregon and Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Bracelet: I forget…

Disneyland Daze

After three days on the road we checked into our hotel in Anaheim before doing a bit of shopping, but that’s another post! Right now I want to talk about Disneyland!

This trip to Disneyland wasn’t for any special event like Rock Around the Park or Tiki Day, it was a much more relaxed one, a much needed vacation at the Happiest Place on Earth. The days were a complete blur, and instead of splitting them up into different posts for each day, I’m just going to offer a catch-all Disneyland post of our days in the park, including three different outfits!

Early on one day I met up Chip and Dale, who adored my newly purchased ears, but had a bit of an argument as to which side should face front!

They also liked my Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers tee! And I also popped over to Gadget’s Go Coaster and snapped a picture with Gadget. I hope to go as her for Halloween or for a con sometime.

I also did one thing I’ve wanted for awhile, a parasol from Disneyland, especially since they can now do character designs! I opted for my name, Mickey shaped balloons, castle, and Maleficent, since she is my favorite aspect of my favorite show at Disneyland, Fantasmic.

I can seriously never get enough Disneyland. There is so much to do, see and experience.

Day One Outfit
Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers Tee: Ebay
Black Clam Diggers: Hollywood Babylon, Portland, Oregon
Mocs: Minnetonka
Chip & Dale Ears: Disneyland
Purse: Target (a last minute in Anaheim buy as my original purse broke!)

Day Two Outfit
Blouse: The Brick Basement, Fullerton, California
Shorts: Patti Smith West, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Don’t remember!
Cowboy Hat: Disneyland

Day Three Outfit
Disneyland Tee & Parasol: Disneyland
Shorts: Patti Smith West, Portland, Oregon