3 Kings Day Potluck

Over the weekend some friends and I had a potluck. We used El Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day – a day that many within our group actually celebrate) as an excuse for a belated holiday get-together, and opted for a more Latin American vibe, with a Rosca de Reyes and other festive Christmas and Mexican decor and Mexican food.

I hope that 2017 has been treating you all well!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Orange Circle Antique Mall, Orange, California
Patio Dress & Bell Earrings: I don’t remember…
Belt: Pinup Girl Clothing
Black Tooled Leather Purse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Succulent Hair Flower: Christmas gift from the lovely Christine (who also does beautiful art!)
Bracelet: Canyon House, Yucca Valley, California
Rings: Various

Mexican Tourist Shoes!

For their Spring/Summer Collection, one of my favorite shoe brands, Miss L Fire, came out with a pair of shoes inspired by one of my favorite vintage garments, the Mexican tourist jacket (which some of you know I collect these, with a current tally of 18, with no two alike), and for the first time ever, I actually pre-ordered a pair of shoes. I had been waiting for a somewhat cool day to take them for a spin, as I wanted to wear them with a Mexican tourist jacket, of course! Well, shockingly enough it’s been in the 60s lately here in sunny southern California, as well as windy! So I donned them for the first time to do a bit of shopping in a frantic hunt for a short slip for an upcoming event this weekend.

This is my fifth pair of Miss L Fire shoes, but sadly, the least comfortable of the group. I found the back portion of the strap cutting into my ankle after walking for a period of time. Unlike my other pairs of Miss L Fires, which are leather, these are not, and I fear they may not stretch and become the comfy treasures I want them to be. But I’ll just have to wait and see. I also ordered the cactus shoes from them at the same time, those, which I hope to showcase soon, are a gem, and very comfortable!

Do you own any pairs of Miss L Fires? (I know a few of you do! I’m looking at you, Francis, of Polka Polish!) Or perhaps pining after a pair? Share your thoughts!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Community Thrift & Vintage, Vancouver, British Columbia
Top: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Purse & Necklace: Gifts
Rings & Scarf: I don’t remember…

Up With Downey

Last night Patrick and I tracked down our folding chairs, as they had not been out since our move, and trundled up I-5 to my dad’s old stomping ground of Downey. One of the iconic suburbs of Los Angeles, Downey is lush with Googie architecture and neon as well as rich with unique American history from the mid-20th century, and last night the Ambassador of Americana himself, Charles Phoenix, paid homage to it.

For those unfamiliar with Phoenix, he is a man with a passion very similar to mine, that of the mid-20th century and its stellar signage, killer modern buildings, classic cars with fins reaching toward the stars and everything that is kitschy. He tours the country doing shows featuring vintage slides from his personal collection that he has amassed over the years. He also shares his glorious images and wealth of knowledge in books, such as Southern Californialand and Americana the Beautiful. You can see all of his books, and more by visiting his website. Basically Phoenix is a bacon of hope and inspiration for Americana lovers, as he preaches the gospel of unique American history and preservation, and last night he teamed up with The Downey Conservancy and the Columbia Memorial Space Center to for a presentation showing the unique and spectacular history of Downey. Plus there were two opening bands! The Ameba People, an awesome science themed rock band (seriously think if Bill Nye the Science Guy had a band), who also happen to be the house band for the Space Center (the only museum to have a house band) and The Noble Gasses, where the bass player is also the director of the Space Center, who played music that was originally recorded at Downey Records.

So, what makes Downey super cool? It’s home to some of the most American icons around, including the oldest McDonald’s, Harvey’s Broiler Drive-In, now Big Boy’s, the original Taco Bell, which I’ll talk more about in a moment, and is the location where they built the Apollo capsules!

Now, about the Taco Bell. I know what some of you are saying… “Taco Bell…? Really?” Look. Fast food is one thing that is uniquely American. Fast food was built around America’s love affair with their automobiles and the birth of the freeway system and the legendary road trip, all of that was born here. Fast food is part of that unique American culture and we need to work on preserving it. So, yes, right now, the very first Taco Bell is in danger of meeting the wrecking ball, and a group of preservationists, We Are The Next, is trying to save it. Seriously, check them out, if you are a SoCal resident, and especially if you are a SoCal teacher, as they do work with schools!

And speaking of Taco Bell, it may have had an influence in going for a Mexican theme with my ensemble for the evening. Originally I wanted to do a space theme, but that outfit didn’t come together for the weather, which was an odd mix of chilly, but humid. But it meant I got to break out one of my favorite, and rarely used purses, a Mexican tourist purse! Yes, Mexican tourist purse!

I look forward to visiting the remaining icons of Downey, many of which my dad visited growing up, as he grew up in the Downey, Bell and Lynwood are. As well as the Columbia Memorial Space Center!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Expo
Dress: Albany Antique Mall, Albany, Or.
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: A birthday gift from my friend Lyndsie, the owner of Retro Rejuvenation
Turquoise Bracelet: West of Texas, Redlands, Ca.
Turquoise Ring: I don’t remember…

Cultivating the Magic

Over the weekend Patrick and I took what is perhaps the most unique tour that is offered at Disneyland, the Cultivating the Magic tour. This tour highlights the vast and unique vegetation found throughout Disneyland. The Park’s history and seasonal changes were showcased as our tour guide took us throughout the park, describing the extensive work that a large team of horticulturists do each day throughout the year, from changing plants out seasonally, such as the iconic floral Mickey, to the detailed pruning that is done to the miniature plants found in Storybookland.

Like with all of the Disneyland tours, this one came with an exclusive pin, which featured the Disneyland Rose, as well as a seed packet for guests to plant at home.

When looking at the various tours that are offered, we were told that the Cultivating the Magic tour changes somewhat with the seasons, and I can say that I look forward to taking it again, possibly next summer, as some plants that were mentioned during the tour were not in bloom, such as the Disneyland Rose. We also enjoyed several attractions, including Storybookland and the Jungle Cruise, in which our tour group were the only members on board, and our tour guide provided the narration to both attractions (instead of the Storyteller for Storybookland and the Skipper for the Jungle Cruise) giving insight into the processes behind maintaining the plants on the attractions, as well as the types of plants used. The Cultivating the Magic tour was certainly fun and informative, and full of unique bits of Disneyland trivia.

For the tour I decided to combine both Disney and flowers by wearing my Ferdinand the Bull pin, as Ferdinand loves nothing more than to sit under his cork tree and smell the flowers. And I pulled from the colors in the pin when deciding what to wear. It was actually a slightly chilly day, but the cooler temperatures allowed me to wear one of my favorite pieces of clothing, a 50s fleece pullover! Yes, a 50s fleece pullover! It is hands down one of the softest things in my closet, plus it’s my absolute favorite color! I honestly can’t believe I debated buying it when I saw it at Simply Vintage.

There are still more Disneyland tours for us to take, and I can’t wait for our next one! I just need to decide! You can read more about the Cultivating the Magic tour, as well as learn how to book a tour by visiting Disneyland’s website. And if you’re an Annual Passportholder, you get a discount!

Fleece Pullover: Simply Vintage Boutique, Portland, Oregon
Skirt: Tatyana (when it was Bettie Page Clothing), Portland, Oregon
Shoes: Re-Mix
Mexican Tourist Jacket: Gift from my dad!
Ferdinand the Bull Pin: Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, California
Hair Clip (not really visible): Gift
Earrings: Aquanetta
Turquoise Bracelet: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Turquoise Ring: Don’t remember!

California Christmas

Over the weekend Patrick and I did a bit of last minute Christmas shopping. We’ve been super busy lately and while getting dressed up to go shopping is always appealing, we were rushing around so I opted for a more casual, but still festive look.

So here’s a somewhat random fact about me, I love Christmas music, and often the funkier the better. I blame my dad, because Dr. Demento’s Christmas album was a staple of my childhood (And every Christmas I change my ringtone to “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”), so I love adding unique and often ridiculous tunes to my already massive collection. Thus I was thrilled to be introduced to some fresh tunes off of the mix Christmas CD that was in Hicksville’s jukebox, including this gem here by Gram Rabbit:

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Don’t remember!
Western Shirt & Cowboy Boots: Buffalo Exchange, Ore.
Jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
String Tie: Magpie, Portland, Ore.
Silver Bell Earrings: Private Sale
Purse & Belt: Found by my dad
Rings: Gift, Expo, and an antique shop in Astoria…don’t recall the name.

The Huntington

In December of 2005 I visited the Huntington Library with my dad for the first time, and I have never forgotten it. It’s been a place I’ve wanted to re-visit for ages, and when I found out that Patrick had never been, we made it one of our top priorities in our list of day trips.

To those who may not be familiar with the Huntington, it’s a wonderful place that combines historical texts, works of art and many bountiful gardens all in one place. The Huntington Library is the work of businessman Henry Edwards Huntington and his wife, Arabella. Interested in art, texts and gardens, they began to amass a collection of glorious items, including important texts ranging from a Gutenberg Bible to original printings of Benjamin Franklin’s paper to the incredible Audubon’s The Birds of America to hand-written documents from Charles Dickens and John Muir. I recall during my 2005 visit there was an original pamphlet of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, which left me giddy (I mentioned my love of Paine in a blog award post). Though sadly I did not see it on display during this visit. The art collection is exceptional, and 50s kitsch lovers will want to visit as the original paintings of Pinkie and Blue Boy are displayed. Then there are the gardens, including a Japanese garden, Australian garden, and my favorite, a desert garden, among many, many more! The place is 120 acres, and it’s almost impossible to see the entire place in a single day, so I think we shall be returning sometime in the future, especially since they have rotating exhibits. Our visit was partly to get some plant inspiration for our patio, which is lacking in greenery at the moment. So a great deal of time was spent in the desert garden.

Recently I finally got some prescription sunglasses! A necessary item in California! Despite the sun, where was a slight chill in the air, and I broke out some wool and a light jacket.

I really intended to share our bedroom with you this week, but we had to wrap up a few more things and hit some unexpected speed bumps along the way! But I do hope to share it soon! In the meantime I also need to prep for Rock Around the Park, rockabilly day, at Disneyland, which is this Sunday! We had such a swell time when we went two years ago, I’m exiting to go again! But I have absolutely no idea what to wear! I’ve had no time to make anything new! I guess I better go rummage around my closet!

Mexican Tourist Jacket: Expo
Blouse: Thrifted
Jumper: Antique Alley, Portland, Ore.
Shoes: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Ore.
Matching Cacti Brooch & Earrings: Brownsville Antique Show, Brownsville, Ore.
Bangles: Here and there…

Buffalo Tour

It’s no secret that a good chunk of my wardrobe comes from Buffalo Exchange, the resale chain, as I spent a great deal of time there due to proximity. So when I heard about an upcoming anniversary sale with a focus on western and vintage, I kind of freaked out. Their twice yearly ‘zine upped my level of excitement when I saw their two page spread featuring “what you may find in our traveling Airstream Pop-Up Shop”, which looked as if it had been torn from my personal closet…

Mexican tourist jackets!? Tooled leather pursues!? Fiesta skirts!? Fringe leather jackets!? The anniversary sale is to commemorate Buffalo Exchange being in business for 40 years. To celebrate, Buffalo tricked out an Airstream and told all of their locations to hold back western garments, and garments they thought had an Arizona vibe to them, as the company originated in Tucson. The trailer would travel to each Buffalo location and load up with all of the goodies the shop had been holding back.

As the sale grew closer I began really going through my wardrobe. I was expecting to drop a good chunk of change at both locations. As I have decided to tailor my wardrobe more, it became easier to part with garments that weren’t in that line, and for several weekends I hauled bags to my local Buffalo to rack up some trade credit.

Portland is lucky enough to have two Buffalo stores, one downtown and one just off of Hawthorne, this meant two Buffalo sales! And boy did I come home with a bundle!

I snagged four Mexican tourist jackets, including a magenta one, a color I was missing!

I snapped up several western wear shirts too, some of which were vintage, others of which were new, but I don’t care! Western wear is awesome, regardless of decade. This first one is a 1950s Panhandle Slim, but features a patch for Idaho’s Canyon County Sheriff’s Posse! The grommets on the right, in the green diamond, are for your badge.

I couldn’t resist this fabulous leather vest, and the label is great too! “Lady Scully” – meaning it was made by the prominent western wear manufacturer, Scully, but designated for women.

While their were lots of skirts, including some patio/fiesta/squaw (whatever you choose to call them) skirts, however none in my size. So I only came home with one skirt, but boy is it a doozy! The print features covered wagons, horseshoes, saddles, spurs, branding irons, cacti and more!

There were lots of fabulous accessories in the trailer too! And I bought a wonderful black tooled leather purse, some swell belts, a pair of boots, a pair of tooled leather heels, and a faux turquoise bracelet.

Overall I am very, very happy with my purchases! And have so many outfit ideas that include many of these pieces.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to dabble in the western wear, check out Buffalo Exchange’s website to see if this trailer full of western goodies is headed your way soon!