Thursday, July 23, 2009

La Vie En Rose

The bookstore is so much fun. I can spend hours there...Went last night to find Minor Characters , unfortunately this big chain store in the middle of the desert did not have it. Alas, I did find a magazine printed in the UK entitled La Vie En Rose. (I've always liked browsing through the international magazines, but have only once bought one. That was Lulu and the photography in that issue was so unique...). I attempted a google search, but did not find an official website for Rose.

I fell in love with one of the photo shoots, modeled by Georgina Carolina Verbaan. Named Happy Rehab (March/April 2009), this shoot dons early 60s high hair and bleached blonde fun, reminiscent of a disheveled Marilyn Monroe and a pinned up Bridgette Bardot. These photographs are why I bought the mag:

These are taken directly from the company of the photographer, Fotofloor (Click for more photos from the shoot). This is wonderful that they post these on the web! I just had to share because I love love this layout.

Now I have the urge to bleach my hair again :-/
This mag is pretty darn cool- the English is perfect and elegant, the jokes are shocking but so funny and blunt, reviews quirky artwork that makes you think, and there were quite a few photo layouts rather than just one compared to American fashion magazines. I recommend this to anyone and everyone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I heart 1940s

This last weekend, I attended the first reunion my family put together. Months ago, I decided to splurge a little and purchased a fancy dress. Not so formal, but something light, airy, something I can handle in 100 degree weather without spilling out or looking uncomfortable.

I've been meaning to purchase a dress from Lipstick Vogue, but had reservations about the price range. I took the plunge anyway and treated myself to this little number.
Let me tell, you, it was completely worth saving up for this outfit. It's the Blue Sparrow U.S.O Dress created directly from a vintage 1940's pattern . Ms. Kaela was such a pleasure to work with...she is very friendly and her work ethic is dead on. Quite frankly, it didn't hurt she's based in the same town as I. It's nice to know I am not the only one in this lonely town who appreciates this era.
*Edit: So I spent 3 hours wasting time on Photoshop and turns out the featured photo is small. I will not be fixing this, nor deleting this. Instead I will post a decent size of this photo on my Flickr account.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thick As Thieves

If a man walked up to me wearing this suit, my knees would be a knockin'. I probably will fall in love instantly. My normally coy self would be drooling and hopefully this dream man will have a handkerchief within reach to dab my chin dry. I would be willing to have his babies right then and there...

Even watching those early '60s tv shows where the hubby comes home in one of these slim fit suits, makes me think, why don't men dress this well anymore? I guess the same goes for women...but that's a whole other story...

It's amazing what running into acquaintances will do. I ran into the designer's wife this last weekend. We were catching up and she mentioned he's been designing this line for about two years now. So, of course, I went home checked out this amazing site. I haven't seen anything like this until now... Thick As Thieves.

Monday, July 13, 2009

'59 heaven

Uh oh. Yeah. I did it again. Although, I am quite sure I know what I'm doing this time...

I am sure you have seen glimpses of my '59 Chevy Biscayne. This is my dream car. Almost, not quite done though. There are a few things that I'd like to do: Replace some body panels and obviously paint and re-upholster the interior. It's in ok shape considering and it does run fine on its original engine.

A glimpse of the green interior:

And this is the "what did I do moment": I bought this 2nd 1959 Bel Air as a parts car on Saturday. I figure I will take what I need from it, then resell it. Passin' it on down the line! It's got most of what I need to make mine more complete.

I am patiently waiting for my father to retire from work so we can do this project together.

*edit* Oh yeah- I forgot to mention the funniest part of the delivery of the Bel Air:

Strange, I was watching my father and the seller undo the straps on the car and trailer. They undo the rear ones first, and as I am watching them, I am getting the funniest feeling. Something's not right kind of feeling. They continue to undo the front straps and what do you know-- the car was not in gear and starts to roll!!!!! They obviously don't realize it and I am running to catch up with it...if you can imagine this....stick my arm through the open window, turning the wheel (why? I am not sure at this point) I open the door and jump in, slam on the brakes and still turning the wheel. By this time the guys ran to the other side of the car attempting to stop it.

If I hadn't turned that darned steering wheel, it would have crashed point blank into my beloved El Camino.

My heart was racing, as was everyone elses. That situation could have been bad. But, luckily I reacted pretty well for my old age.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Memoirs of a Beatnik

I am the type of person who will mark up a good book to no end. I am a visual person and to see comments I have written in the margins will allow me to remember more easily. I like to highlight good quotes. I'll highlight references the author makes. I'll highlight a word I'd like to start using in my vocabulary or try to make popular (that never works). This was always a good tool for me in school. When I read, I need a quiet atmosphere, with some low volume music, in this case, listening to The Supremes' Reflections on vinyl over and over was my choice. No one talking to me is always the ideal situation.

Unfortunately my bookcase is overflowing and I have a credit of a gazillion dollars at the used bookstore, I am turning to borrowing books at the County Library. Super great, but I can't mark 'em up. Hence the long awaited review of Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane De Prima. I had to go back and scan the book for items of interest to comment about. I'm not the quickest about things like that.

I was SHOCKED when I read this book. Maybe I didn't pay attention to the reviews close enough, but wow, something I was not expecting. I have never read a romance novel and now I wonder about those middle aged women who do. Memoirs was very graphic about the sexual exploitations encountered in the early '50s. A complete 180 from the stereotyped, young prudish women of the era. The book begins with some nitty gritty details that I hoped would end in the second chapter. They didn't, really. Then, I start questioning my own sexuality. Now, I'm strangely drawn to completing the book.

I feel Di Prima did an interesting take on describing the social class she was partaking in... Her group was coined as the "new bohemians" in which the other classes looked down upon. She wrote about poverty, about the lengths she contrived to live. A bit unorthodox, but much more interesting. Answering ads for "sexy girl models" and also abandoning her cool flat to live in the country for months. I am wondering if these new bohemians were under estimated? Making references to Brahms Requim, lots of jazz music, Chanel's Russian Leather perfume, and many classic writings. Were people back in the day just more educated and intellectual around??? Nowadays those who scrimp to live have never had the chance to experience such cultural references.

I was a little dissapointed with the name dropping near the end. I felt it was a bit shameless. But, it did give an opportunity to recognize other writers in the era.

I took this reading out to the streets, as I do like to shock my friends. :-) The first fella I tried to talk about this with, did not get the point. As someone who has never read a beatnik book, he missed the whole romanticized idea of this generation. I mentioned the sexual exploitations and he just wanted to talk about the sex part. He didn't want to hear my thoughts about the sociology of the book. Thumbs down on this.

A couple days later, went to the bar and chatted with the bartender who loves to read and has read every book under the sun. I mentioned the same things as I did guy #1, right away, he suggested another book that was similar in content. Thumbs up. No sex talk occured. LOL.

This was an easy read, and was okay, in my opinon. I may check out another one of Di Prima's books. But later on down the line.

Sheharazad from The White Mole emailed me to chat about this book, recommending Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir by Joyce Johnson. A little toned down with the love affair she had with Kerouac. (Thanks, sweetie, this book is next on my list!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Peacock beauty

If you've kept up with my blog since it started, you may get the idea I am a day dreamer. I am always trying to perfect certain things in my life. Like the shop, for example- I don't think it will ever be perfect and up to my standards completely. I do try my best at everything I attempt. I wear myself out on too many occasions, but it is just too darn rewarding, I guess.

Well, anywho, I'm jumping the gun yet once again and shouldn't even hint at this, but I am just too excited. I've got something in store that will hopefully be revealed in a couple of weeks. Here's a hint using some cool vintage items I found via Etsy. ;-)

1930s paper ephemera from

Vintage dress from

Cross Stitch from

1970s outfit from