Cool Yule

Last week Patrick and I blasted some Christmas tunes and decorated for Christmas. It takes a couple of days to get everything sorted and put up. Between last year and this, we acquired some more vintage Christmas decorations, including a vintage wall-hanging aluminum tree! As well as some more delightful vintage ceramic pieces that belonged to my great grandmother.

What is your favorite part of the holidays? I really love decorating and listing to Christmas music. I have a massive collection, which I’m always eager to add more to, especially quirky, weird stuff. Last year I added Bad Religion’s Christmas album and Bonnie McKee’s “California Winter”, which has the most adorable music video! This year I’ve already added to the collection too, with selections from Kacey Musgrave‘s new Christmas album, which included a cover of my favorite Christmas song, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”.

Salvation Mountain

Each time I would visit Palm Springs and return home I would get asked “Did you go to Salvation Mountain?” Here’s the funny thing about where Salvation Mountain is… It’s hardly “close” to Palm Springs. Palm Springs, and its neighboring cities of Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and Indio are the closest cities of any real consequence to Salvation Mountain, which is actually located in Niland, near the southeastern edge of the Salton Sea, and about 75 miles from Palm Springs. But it’s like, if you’re already that far out into the desert, why not go? And this time we finally made it. So, what is Salvation Mountain?

In 1984 a man by the name of Leonard Knight trekked out to Niland and began to build a monument to God, and the message of “God is Love”, a message Knight felt so deeply and wanted to share with the world. He added to the mountain in a variety of ways every day. He also covered his vehicles in the same message with incredible detail. Seriously. People come for the mountain, but the trucks to me are the real work of art. No matter your religious beliefs, I think Salvation Mountain is a must see for those interested in the weird and bizarre of California’s desert landscape, as well as those interested in folk art, because it truly is a prime example of folk art.

Knight passed away in February of 2014, but Salvation Mountain doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It’s still looked after, and it is still an incredibly popular spot for people to visit, at least a dozen people came and went while we were there.

This pretty much wraps it up for my Palm Springs posts. I did a bit of shopping, and am contemplating a “haul” post, but not entirely sold on the idea yet…so we’ll see!

Hat: Ricochet, Joshua Tree, California
Blouse & Shorts: Buffalo Exchange
Belt: I honestly don’t remember…
Sandals: Minnetonka

Christmas Cheer

When it comes to decorating for Christmas, I used to be of the opinion strictly no Christmas decorating or music until the day after Thanksgiving. Over the years my love of decorating has increased (as has the amount of decorations), and I hauled out the Christmas boxes in mid-November, so our place has been decorated for a few weeks now, but we’ve been so busy I just now had time to photograph!

This year we welcomed two new trees to our collection. Another small silver one, and a large six and a half foot green one. My dad had actually purchased this green beauty a few years ago, and it was the main tree at his house for sometime, but three years of putting up and taking down the pink tapered branch aluminum tree has taken a toll on me and the tree. Last year, while putting it together, I noticed that if I put up just the upper half of the tree I could have quite the adorable three foot pink tree, so I requested that my dad mail me the green one. I love having three different colored aluminum trees and hope to one day lay my hands on a blue one!

Over the years I’ve noticed the amount of new decor items dwindle, and it’s to the point where nearly every piece is vintage (which a handful of exceptions), which makes me extremely happy. Christmas is such a nostalgic time, and it genuinely feels nice handling old items with such care. While some items are family pieces (such as the houses along the mantle, which belonged to my grandmother), many are items I’ve collected through making diligent rounds of antique malls during the Christmas season over the years. How do you decorate for the holidays? New items? New to you items? Or family pieces passed through generations or items loved ones have made?

It’s hard to talk about the holidays without thinking about gifts. And honestly, I’ve been rather terrible about my Christmas shopping so far, it seems I am finding far more for myself than others, because so many of the lovely, but expensive, shops I love have been having sales! But now it’s time to try and focus on others and the season of giving.

Merry Kitschmas!

While I finally finished decorating awhile ago, I hadn’t felt up to photographing, especially since the living room had become a bit of a sick bay for me, complete with blankets, humidifier and mug of tea, Jamba Juice, bottles of Gatorade, and a massive pile of DVDs. But I’ve been feeling better, and as December has arrived, I felt it time to share some of our holiday decor.

The ceramic Mary in the last picture is a new addition, and I adore her to no end. I’m tempted to leave her up year-round. You may have noticed there are quite a number of odd little reindeer. I’m obsessed with these little guys. Most were made by Japanese company Dakin, who created the Dream Pets, a line of kooky looking animals made of velveteen and filled with sawdust. But of course knock-offs surfaced over the years as they became more and more popular. The reindeer are by and far my favorite, and I lovingly call them my “demented reindeer collection”. The current tally is 31.

Like previous years, we managed to get four aluminum trees up! Though two are small, one-footer trees. Our two larger trees are entirely decorated with space themed ornaments, with images of stars and planets on them, and even a few with atoms!

This year took what seemed to be an awfully long time to decorate! I think it was a combination of a new space and being sick. But we eventually found home for everything! Though I won’t be surprised if in our Christmas shopping I come across more festive decor that will be added! Additionally this is the first time Patrick and I have had a fireplace! So we need to get ourselves stockings!

Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

Girls with Cars

Now, normally I just go hunting for pictures of fabulously dressed women when rifling through old photos, but photos of cars stand out to me as well, for reasons described in Boys and Their Cars. So today, I bring you photos of girls with cars.

Other Vintage Photograph Posts
Clowning Around
Real Fashionable Ladies Vol. 1
Bathing Beauties
Boys and Their Cars
Trouser Wearing Gals
Real Fashionable Ladies Vol. 2
Real Fashionable Men Vol. 1
Animal Friends

Ring Those Christmas Bells

December has arrived! And with it, the anticipation of Christmas.  Today I finally wrapped up decorating and am eager to put presents under the tree, that is after I get myself Christmas shopping!

Last year a Christmas dream came true when we bought a pink aluminum Christmas tree, and I was so thrilled to put it up again this year.  It’s one of four aluminum trees we put up in our wee little apartment. Though two are little one footers, which don’t take up too much room.

And, yes, that is a little astronaut angel! How perfect, right? She came with my very first aluminum tree that I bought when I was still in high school.  Our two main tress are decorated purely in space themed ornaments, ones featuring planets, stars and there are even a few with atom like designs on them!  The other two trees are decorated with small, contemporary glass balls of red and green for the gold tree, and turquoise for the silver one.

Do you have your Christmas decorating done yet?

Anchors Away!

Recently I had the pleasure of working yet again with eShakti, the cute, customizable, and affordable on-line collection that takes the perfect hints from the past… This time I was to select something from their Fall/Winter Collection.  After mulling over their collection, I decided the red, white, and blue portion of my wardrobe needed to be expanded and selected their Anchor Print Dress.

One thing I hear a lot about with vintage is that “people were so small back then!” among other complaints, especially from the hard-to-fit gals, whether those who are very petite or plus-size, and I think eShakti fits the bill for those who love the lines of vintage, but have difficulty in finding garments that fit properly.  For standard sizes, eShakti fits size 0 to size 6X, but they also offer custom sizes as well (offering measurement options beyond the standard sizes, in both size directions, large and small).  I opted for the custom size, which I greatly encourage, unless you are a perfect standard size! Custom sizing costs only an additional $7.50, which is a bargain.  Custom sizing offers a very good range of measurements, including arm circumference (a problem I run into on occasion), and will aid those who feel they fall into the hard-to-fit category.  This dress fit me perfectly (I added the belt to bring white into the outfit), so their custom sizing is spot on!

eShakti’s products feel well made, and of decent weight fabric, this dress was made of a medium weight mini-corduroy.  Though I’m not sure what the collar piece is made of, it feels like a polyester of some sort, akin to some of the dresses from the 60s, although polyester is not listed on the fabric content.  The bodice is lined, adding decent structure to the bodice, however the skirt is not lined.  And I’m also really impressed with the amount of stitching! Much of the garment is properly top-stitched, and the inside seams are surged.  The dress also features pockets! Real, wonderfully deep pockets. Which I am always glad for, especially in the days of cell phones.  The pockets are so deep that my iPhone 5 still has a great deal of room above it, and will not fall out when I move about.

The page for each garment offers details of fabric (including if there is stretch), as well as construction, including closures, which is very important to me, as I have a wretched fear of side zippers.  Details also mention the care of the garment, important for those wishing to avoid dry-cleaning.  I really wish all clothing companies that offer on-line shopping were as detailed in their garment descriptions as eShakti.  The one thing that is not disclosed on their garment pages is where the garment was made (which is India), however this is discussed on their About page.  And is very refreshing.  In light of the tragedy in Bangladesh, concerns over labor conditions have arisen, and eShakti felt the need to tackle this issue, stating that India has very strict labor laws, and that the wages payed by eShakti are above the minimum wage of India, and furthermore that those who make eShakti’s clothing are often the main bread winners for their families.

Overall, I am very please with my sailing inspired dress! And I’m looking forward to accessorizing it in a variety of ways in the future!

Dress: Anchor Print courtesy of eShakti
Coat: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Stockings: What Katie Did
Snood: Bettie Page Clothing, Portland, Oregon
Purse: Gift from a neighbor in my building actually!
Gloves: Expo
Bangles: Various
Earrings & Brooch: Don’t recall…

I hope you all (in America anyhow) have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!