Paramount Ranch: Set to Screen

Over the last week my friend Mel (of Deela Designs) was staying with us. Mel is a fellow cosplay friend, with a passion for all things nerdy, and during her stay we had many fun adventures, including a visit to Paramount Ranch. Like me, Mel enjoys HBO’s Westworld, and after she heard about my visit to Paramount Ranch, she wanted to see it for herself. As luck with have it, her visit coincided with a unique tour of Paramount Ranch called “Set to Screen” which gave us the rare opportunity to actually step inside some of the buildings.

The tour is lead by a volunteer ranger of the National Parks, as Paramount Ranch is indeed a National Park, and takes visitors on an hour long tour of the buildings, and includes showing photographs from the various TV shows and movies that have filmed there. Unlike many backlots, which uses facades for exterior shots, and sound stages for interior shots, most of Paramount Ranch’s buildings are practical, so they can be filmed from both the outside and the inside. But Paramount Ranch isn’t without its very own sound stage as well! Which I had no idea existed, as it is inside an old barn. The sound stage was home to some of the interior sets for Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman when it shot at Paramount Ranch during its run from 1993 to 1998. During the show, it developed a westward expansion of the railroad plot, and was in need of a train station, which it built, and left. However, the church that sits in the field is not the one from Dr. Quinn, but, like the train station from Dr. Quinn, was built for Westworld, but left at the request of the park. Apparently HBO was a little reluctant to leave it, so they altered it by removing the steeple, taking off the shutters, and repainting it, so it didn’t look as iconic at first glance. I also learned more about how movies and TV shows work with already established buildings to change them to look totally different. For example, the large orange building was given a brick facade when this area was used in another HBO series, Carnivale, but was of course removed so the building could return to its western esthetic. I highly recommend taking this tour, which is free, you just have to stay tuned to the events page for the Santa Monica Mountains. The tour is an hour, and only involves walking around the western town portion of the park, which is small, with no steep inclines. If you take the tour, please remember to be respectful of the buildings as they are almost 100 years old, and just barely standing, and let’s face it, they aren’t going to get too much funding from the government who is basically having a mini war with the National Parks, but you can do your part by donating if you visit Paramount Ranch, as they have a small donation box near the entrance.

You can check our previous visits to Paramount Ranch here and here.

Outfit
Hat: Playclothes, Burbank, California
Top, Boots, & Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Tie: The Blues, Redlands, California
Skirt: Dolly & Dotty

Frontier Day

If you follow me on Instagram, then perhaps you know that I was behind the “unofficial theme day” Frontier Day that happened last weekend at Disneyland, a day that celebrates Disneyland’s Frontierland, and of course western wear was encouraged!

Dapper Day is perhaps the most well known “unofficial theme day” at Disneyland, but there are countless others, including Tiki Day, we’ve I’ve attended many times and blogged about. These theme days are “unofficial” meaning that they exist without any official approval or involvement from the Disneyland Resort. Disneyland plays no role in planning these days. They are simply organized by people who have a mutual love of Disneyland and something else – dressing dapper, tiki, pin-up, there is even a mermaid day! Typically the days consist of group photos and “ride takeovers” where we all gather to ride an attraction together.

As for Frontier Day, well, it wasn’t all me. Last year a girl decided to create a western themed day in the same vein as these other days. She called it Ranger Day, however in speaking with people I learned that many didn’t get why it was called that, even though I did. Shortly after getting the ball rolling on Instagram, the gal behind it (someone I do not know) said she had to step down due to personal reasons, and asked if anyone would like to take over. I found this out as I had many friends texting me and tagging me on her post telling me I should take it over, and I did. I changed the name to Frontier Day. I looked at other theme days as a template and created a day of ride takeovers and even trivia about Frontierland, and western Disney characters. The trivia allowed me to work with some of my favorite companies and artists to offer up unique prizes for attendees. We had somewhere around 70 people show up, which was pretty darn neat!

You can learn more about Frontier Day through Facebook and Instagram, and you can learn about other unofficial them days by following the Unofficial Park Days account on Facebook and Instagram, which tries to keep track of all of the different days that happen throughout the year.

Outfit
Hat: Redlands Galleria, Redlands, California
Jacket: Ebay
Blouse: ???
Skirt & Davy Crockett Button: Found by my dad
Davy Crockett String Tie: Junk for Joy, Burbank, California
Boots: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Davy Crockett Guitar Brooch, Big Thunder Inspired Goat Brooch & Frontier Day Pin: Match Accessories

Batman ’66 Exhibit

Over the weekend some of my friends and I went to the Hollywood Museum to see the recently opened Batman ’66 exhibit. We also took time to explore the rest of the museum, which is housed in the famous former Max Factor building, a stunning Art Deco masterpiece. So, needless to say, this is a pretty picture heavy post, as it features my outfit, pictures of the Batman exhibit, as well as parts of the rest of the museum.

Being the huge 60s Batman fan that I am, I had to do some sort of themed outfit! Which included late night crafting to make an utterly ridiculous headpiece to wear. I was inspired by my favorite scene in Batman: The Movie where Batman is attempting to get rid of a bomb. The whole scene is comedic genius, and Adam West’s deadpan delivery of “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” gets me every time. Not familiar with the scene? Watch it here!

The Batman ’66 exhibit is made up of toys from the era, a combination of screen-used items, and scree-accurate recreations, as many of the original costumes and props did not survive, and more.

Continue reading to see more of the museum, including a pair of the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe’s famous USO dress!

Continue reading

Sparkle

Happy New Year! Over the years I have celebrated New Year’s in a variety of ways, but this year, for the first time ever, we hosted a New Year’s party. We decided to combine our housewarming party with New Year’s Eve, and it ended up being utterly amazing. With good food, good company, and Disneyland midnight fireworks right outside our front door. Yes, that is true. In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, we have an insanely good view of Disneyland’s fireworks from the front yard of our new house, which inspired me to host a NYE party.

I originally planned to snap photos before everyone arrived, but due to the large amount of food prep we had to do, we tragically and horrifically clogging up our kitchen sink! We had to call a plumber just two hours before guests we slated to arrive, and were unable to get any pictures before the party started! These photos were honestly snapped at 2:30 this morning after everyone had left, so my hair and my make-up are a little worse for wear, but I just had to share my ensemble!

I’ve had this dress in my closet for going on three years now, and have never worn it, despite it being one of my all time favorite dresses! Like many amazing garments, I often want to wait for just the right occasion to wear something for the first time. I also baby this dress, as it is a Luis Estevez! You can read more about the spectacular designer here. This dress fully represents what I absolutely love about 1950s clothing; it utterly epitomizes the space age influence, and I wish I had more garments that were this dramatic and atomic-esque. Plus it reminds me of Jane Russell’s gown in the infamous dinner club entrance scene in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

We are a shoe-free household, which meant it was the perfect opportunity to wear another items that rarely gets wore – a pair of vintage Daniel Green slippers! If I had it my way I would own every pair I come across in my size and live in of them, but I know that is rather unpractical, so I just have three pairs that come out every once in awhile for house parties.

A few thoughts on New Year’s…My feelings and attitudes toward New Year’s have fluctuated over the years. When I was younger it never meant that much to me, especially when I was in school. It wasn’t a “new year” to me. That didn’t really happen until September, with a new school year, when the summer gave you a chance to explore and develop. Now that I am older, I find New Year’s a rather refreshing time period. January, for me, represents cold blues, crisp air, and trees that are gorgeously skeletal against a bright blue winter sky, all of this represents clean starts to me. A bare tree is one of the more beautiful things in the world to me, and it helps me remember we can shed things from the past and grow something new. I don’t often like to look back at the past year (which is why I rarely do yearly recap posts), instead I like to look ahead. While many of my fears from the last year continue to be very real for me and others with this current political climate, I recognize there is a lot of good and happiness still in the world, and I want to focus on that, being thankful, and trying to do good for myself, family, friends, and where I live. I don’t believe in accepting what you can’t change, because I believe (nearly) everything can change (there are a few rules of physics and science we are bound to y’all). You can be speak up, march, protest, and be a part of a larger movement that can change the world for better.

Outfit
Star Crown: Elsewhere Vintage, Orange, California
Dress: Simply Vintage Boutique, Portland, Oregon
Slippers: Buffalo Exchange
Jewelry: I can’t remember where any of this stuff came from!

Christmas in Frontierland

Like spending Christmas Eve at Knott’s Berry Farm as become a tradition, spending Christmas Day at Disneyland is also one for us. It’s one of the few places open on Christmas, and while it’s usually very busy, we always enjoy ourselves. I thought it was also a perfect opportunity to wear my vintage Guatemalan Weavers skirt, as it features red and green (okay, it’s more olive, but that’s still green). Guatemalan Weavers was a shop in Adventuerland that sold wares from, you guessed it, Guatemala! The shop lasted at Disneyland from 1956 to 1986. You can spy the shop in the background in this picture from the blog Stuff from the Park and you can see a picture of the label here from a previous time I wore it.

I hope all of you who celebrated had a wonderful Christmas! And here is to the New Year! We are combining our house warming party with New Year’s this year, so we’ve been busy gearing up for that. I do hope to at least share pictures of what I wear for that!

Outfit
Jacket: Thrifted
Sweater: I honestly can’t remember!
Skirt: Ebay
Mocs: Minnetonka

Rootin’ Tootin’ Christmas Eve

Last Christmas Eve we spent it at Knott’s Berry Farm, or Knott’s Merry Farm as it is called during the holiday season, and decided to make it a tradition, so this Christmas Eve found us once again walking along the beautiful lighted streets of Ghost Town, and enjoying all of the unique holiday offerings. I also took the opportunity to wear some one of my fancier western wear shirts and string ties.

I’ve had this vintage California Ranchwear (the west coast label for H Bar C) tucked away for awhile, because it had some issues, but I finally got around to fixing them. While western wear is sturdy, I treat this garment as if it were made of lace, as the floral/leaf details on the yoke and cuffs are made of leather, as is the fringe on the cuffs. I normally shy away from western wear that features leather detailing (you must have them cleaned by a professional leather cleaner), but this is just one more of the many gems my dad has found for me other the years!

Outfit
Hat: Redlands Galleria, Redlands, California
California Ranchwear Shirt: Found by my dad
Skirt & Boots: Buffalo Exchange
Belt: ???
Barrettes: Knott’s Berry Farm
Christmas String Tie: Joyride, Orange, California
Earrings: Back in Time Antiques, Redlands, California
Gloves: Red Barn Antique Mall: Beaumont, California

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Sorry for the lack of posts, let alone festive outfit posts! This holiday season has been hectic with the new house, multiple birthdays, and a cold, which has left little time for fun outings to wear holiday inspired ensembles, so I had Patrick snag the camera when we went out to do some extremely last minute Christmas shopping last week.

As weird as it may sound, I have odd feelings about this outfit…it’s a good outfit, perfect for the holidays, and I love this shade of red…a more cranberry if you will. But I just felt too much like my old self…my Portland self. Like this outfit was a step backward in my personal style journey. I didn’t give too much thought though to my personal style when I got dressed on this day…I just thought “You’re getting over being sick, it’s a wee bit chilly, so go for something comfy, cozy, but festive” and this was the result. The only things I really adore about this outfit are the shoes and the hood of this coat (I’ve realized I really only dig the dramatic stuff of the 40s and 50s the most, plus any hood like this reminds me of Lynn Bracken of LA Confidential, so it’s a given that I’ll like it). Like, if this coat didn’t have a hood, I likely would have parted with it long ago. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweater set, as they are the comfiest things I own, but overall this outfit is rather uninspiring for me. While I have moved on in my style from more direct era inspired outfits, it is nice to have old standbys in the closet for those days where you are more about functionality over style. Do any of you have feelings like this toward some ensembles you put together?

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Stay tuned for my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day outfits!

Outfit
Coat & Tights: Buffalo Exchange
Sweater Set: Antique Alley, Portland, Ore.
Belt: Nordstorm
Gloves & Ice Follies Brooch: ???
Shoes: Faryl Robin
Purse: Lux de Ville