Valley Relics

After visiting Corriganville, Patrick and I headed to Valley Relics Museum. Valley Relics is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the San Fernando Valley, with a wide array of wonderful and impressive artifacts from businesses from the San Fernando Valley, including a fantastic collection of vintage ashtrays, ephemera, neon signs, and more. And when Patrick told me they had some items belonging to western wear legend, Nudie Cohn, I was even more excited to visit!

The Palomino sign was quite impressive and one of my favorite pieces, as it was where many country-western legends performed, including Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, and personal favorite, The Flying Burrito Brothers.

Valley Relics is located in Chatsworth, about 33 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. It is only open on Saturdays, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, and is free to visit, but donations are always happily accepted.

Goodbye Gill’s

Last Sunday was a sad day in the Los Angeles history books, Gill’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream at Los Angeles’ Original Farmers Market closed up shop after 80 years scooping ice cream. I cannot lay claim to many fond memories spent at Gill’s, as I had only been there once, but I can still mourn the loss of a true “home spun and family run” (as Charles Phoenix likes to say) business. For generations, the Gill family has dished out cone after cone, and legend has it they created the flavor rocky road. So, when we heard that this LA landmark was vacating, we had to go over to bid farewell.

I was very inspired by the look of Gill’s when I picking out what to wear, selecting a pink and white stripe shirtwaist that reflected the pink and white stripes of the stand itself, and taking from the green awning, I opted for a green bolero. As I selected my outfit, I lamented about a lack of an ice cream or Coca-Cola brooch, when true inspiration struck me! As I was getting dressed, I looked at my dresser, atop which sits a vintage Knott’s Berry Farm ashtray, full of my Knott’s jewelry, and I remembered discussions at Knott’s of making brooches out of some of their fun magnets. I then remembered we had a Coca-Cola magnet reminiscent of the signage that Gill’s had! So I used a plain magnet on the inside of my dress to secure the Coca-Cola one. I also chose to wear my vintage, Los Angeles themed charm bracelet, which features a Farmers Market charm on it!

It was delightful to see the outpouring of love that people had for Gill’s, as the line curved its way through the aisles of Farmers Market, and people shared their stories of their visits to Gill’s over the decades. I even had the delight of talking to the great-grand daughter of the founder, which was a really wonderful moment, as she shared her memories with me.

Farmers Market has announced another family-owned ice cream shop will take up residence in the same stall in the near future.

Outfit
Bolero: Gift from Patrick, but I know he got it at Hollywood Babylon, Portland, Oregon
Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Lux de Ville
Scarf: I don’t remember
LA Charm Bracelet: Found by my dad I think…

Clifton’s Pacific Seas Bar

After much anticipation, Clifton’s (which I have blogged about on several previous occasions, including its grand re-opening, Thanksgiving, and the first Fur & Feathers in LA) finally opened the doors to the newest addition to its cabinet of curiosities, Pacific Seas, a tiki bar inspired by the first ever Clifton’s, under the same name.

The Pacific Seas was the first of Clifford Clinton’s chain of cafeterias, and featured a gorgeous pacific island theme with lots of bamboo, gorgeous faux rock features, both inside and out, and even neon palm trees. It was gaudy, outrageous, and utterly amazing. Honestly, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and experiences it. Seriously, take a look…

Pacific Seas opened in 1939 and closed its doors in 1960s, when it was demolished and became a parking lot, which it has remained since. But now Clifton’s guests can either re-live, or experience for the first time, a small taste of what the Pacific Seas was like with its all new tiki bar. On Friday Patrick and I had the pleasure of going the night before its grand opening thanks to a friend. My eyes couldn’t stop darting around at all of the amazing details, and these photos simply don’t do it justice. One of my favorite details was the original plaque to the outside of the Pacific Seas location that discussed the exterior and gave thanks to the artists behind the creation. Sadly, I failed to get any real outfit photos with the exception of a quick snap at the end of the night.

I can imagine we shall be visiting Pacific Seas as often as possible, as it is nothing short of spectacular, and I highly encourage both locals and visitors to LA alike to visit!

Outfit
Dress: LA Vintage Expo
Shoes: Re-Mix
Coconut Bangle: ???

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Just a few hours after arriving home from San Diego Comic Con, Patrick and I were off to LA to attend Charles Phoenix‘s show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, a rare, if not slightly bizarre, gem in Los Angeles. I had heard about this theatre from Charles on a few occasions, but the show he hosted was my first visit to it, and what a treat it was! But more on it in a bit! First let’s take a peek at what I wore…

I wore this cowgirl brooch because her dangly style reminded me a bit of a marionette. She has a boyfriend as well, however, his color scheme didn’t match my outfit as well as she did. So he was left in the jewelry box for the evening.

First off, it should be mentioned that the Bob Baker Marionette Theater runs regularly, Charles Phoenix’s event was a special one (UPDATE: Charles is hosting another event in September at the theater! Learn more here), in which he selected his favorite numbers to showcase, and it was amazing. Seriously, being a puppeteer is an art from, I was blown away by how these performers were able to give life to the marionettes by pulling just a few strings. Plus the marionettes themselves were stunning works of art.

The theater was founded 1963 by Bob Baker, who both made puppets as well as performed with them. Over the decades the Theater was the home of thousands of birthday parties for the children in the Los Angeles area, and a few adults I came to learn. One attendee mentioned he had both his sixth and 40th birthday at the theater. In 2009 the Bob Baker Marionette Theater was designated at Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark. And while Bob Baker passed away in 2014 at the age of 90, his theater and legacy continue to live on. If you’re in the LA area, I highly suggest a visit! They have a Halloween show coming up this fall, which I am looking forward to attending.

Outfit
Patio Dress: Junk 4 Joy, Burbank, California
Pressed Leather Shoes: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California
Purse & Cowgirl Brooch: Found by my dad
Bangles: Various

Sabado en la Plazita

Over the weekend a few friends and I got together for a Saturday afternoon at Olvera Street, dining on delicious Mexican food, peeking into the museums, and shopping the unique stalls and shops along the oldest stretch of Los Angeles.

We dined at Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe, which opened in 1928, and is located within Los Angeles’ first brick building. Afterward we went into Avila Adobe, which is the oldest structure remaining the LA, built in 1818, and is now a museum reflecting the the lifestyle of the early days of California. I also bought myself another pair of the shoes I’m wearing in these photos, except in green. Seriously, these faux tooled (also known as pressed) leather wedges have quickly become a favorite and go-to shoe for me. They are comfy once broken in, and work with so much of my closet.

Also, can I just gush about my dad’s awesome shopping skills for a moment? He spied this beauty of a skirt at an antique mall and sent me a picture of it and followed by calling me to make sure I got the picture text, and asked me if I wanted it. I was in line to me Kylo Ren at Disneyland at the time, and thankful for his call, because this skirt is beyond amazing. Not only is it a spectacular print, it’s in amazing condition and fits perfectly, oh and has pockets! Thanks, Dad!

Outfit
Peasant Top: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Painted Mexican Skirt: Found by my dad!
Tooled Leather Purse, Earrings, & Bracelet: I don’t remember!
Necklace: Made by a friend
Pressed Leather Shoes: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California

Countess Vibes

Last night one of my dear friends celebrated her birthday, and as a fan of the 40s and big band music, she selected one of the big band nights at Cicada to celebrate. As Cicada is house in the oldest art deco building in Los Angeles, the Oviatt Building, many people dress 20s for their visit, and I originally planned to wear a beaded 20s style number I purchased ages ago for an event in April, which was cancelled. But as I thought more about it…the fact the music was going to be more 40s, all the other people in our group were going for a 40s look, and the fact I’m on the tail of a cold, I decided at the last minute to go in a more comfy, yet still glamorous and kind of 40s-ish (but actually 70s) number that I recently acquired. Besides, it also gave me Countess vibes, which was fitting, seeing as Cicada’s exterior was used in American Horror Story: Hotel, and the interior was the inspiration behind the set for the hotel, and when the show was completed, the club acquired the chandeliers used in the show.

So, yes, this gown is 70s, I mean I think it looks it, but also still offer a bit of an old Hollywood vibe, and everyone kept telling me it had a Ginger Rogers feel. It’s also incredibly comfy, and has a cape. So…it’s a win-win. It’s one of the few pieces I kept from my grandmother’s vintage clothing collection (many pieces were too large) when I helped my sister with downsizing our grandmother’s place before her move to an assisted living situation.

Unlike our last visit, where we dined, this time we opted to just sit upstairs and enjoy the music and the bar. I can honestly say that the night ranks among one of my favorites since moving, and in life. I had a complete ball chatting with all of my other glamorous friends, and we even got down on the dance floor joined the conga line there was going for a period of time.

Hope your weekend is going well so far!

Outfit
Gown: Belonged to my grandmother
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse & Bangles: Buffalo Exchange
Earrings: I don’t remember…

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!

Continue reading