Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A vintage frock and newly arrived goodies!

I spent yesterday doing a bit of this and that.
The weather was beautiful and sunny, and the op shops were calling my name with their beguiling siren song.
I was hunting down a few items from my "stuff to look out for". I always have a long list of beauties I'm on the hunt for and at the moment it is a purple cardigan, black belt, a vintage crystal bowl to keep hair accessories in, a candy pink hand bag, a taxidermied three toed tree sloth, and if I am particularly lucky, a mauve unicorn with a rainbow hued horn.
The list tends to get a bit more obscure as it goes on, but I am happiest when I am on the hunt, tracking down unnecessary necessities. 
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, as I really don't think we have the room for a unicorn at the moment), I didn't find anything on my list, but I did discover some cool old records.
I wore my recently remodelled  "Alcorso" vintage frock and am just loving the amazing black and white geometric pattern and beautiful orange and red roses.
I think it was the pussy bow at the neck that really  won me over though.
(Tee hee hee - pussy bow!)
I teamed my dress with my new to me vintage red capelet that was a recent etsy purchase.
And the best accessory in the world, Little Miss.
She just loves photo bombing my outfit shots!
These bad boys arrived in the mail last week from an eBay purchase and I was sooo excited to see that they are the "Graceland" brand, just like my op shopped green t-bars.
Isn't it wonderful when you fall in love with something on line, purchase it and find that when it arrives it is even better than anticipated!
I love having little friends for my new items. Now both Graceland lovelies can happily snuggle in my wardrobe and catch up on all the important shoe gossip.
And now I write this from my bed (yes, I haven taken to my bed) as I have finally caught the awful lurgy that has been doing the rounds in my wee clan. My body had fought so valiantly (I like to imagine a little Wonder Woman zapping at all the bugs inside me) but alas the flu now has me in its snotty, achy, broken glass in my throat grasp.
And now I think a nanna nap awaits.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The dress that changed my life.

It sounds terribly dramatic doesn't it?
I can hear a gravelly voiced announcer intone, "It was the dress that changed her life!"
Dum dum dah!
So dramatic, but also so true.
When I ponder my vintage journey I realise that I have always loved the music, the style and especially the fashions of days gone by.
When everyone was listening to Bros in their faded ripped jeans I was bopping away to the Beatles and Elvis (unfortunately still in ripped jeans) and was dreaming of living in different times.
 I'd yearn to live the lives of yesteryear  literature heroines like Anne of Green Gables or Elizabeth Bennet.
I had always had that unsettling feeling that I didn't quite belong in this day and age.
I used to dread looking in my wardrobe. I hated myself in the jeans I felt I had to wear because everyone else was. I despised how I looked and felt that there was nothing that suited me in the myriad of chain stores out there.
Whilst I had always loved the fashions of my vintage icons (Audrey! Marilyn! Judy!) and would watch classic movies over and over just to glimpse the divine frocks and hats, I never even entertained the thought that I could emulate those screen goddesses and wear those fashions.
How could I? Sportsgirl doesn't sell frothy prom style 50's gowns! Never spotted an adorable wiggle dress in Portmans. And to my young and naive self those chain stores really were my only avenue of fashion self expression
Then I discovered this dress.
Just a vintage reproduction of a 50's style frock you may say, but the purchase of this dress was like an epiphany. I had never realised that there were labels like this "Black Roses" that made repro clothes (you have to remember that this was before the Internet was an everyday shopping tool - yes I am that old!) and in styles that I had long coveted and adored.
I began hunting down similar reproduction clothing,  but my poor young self could never afford such expensive luxuries. $150 for a dress? Are you barking mad?
And then I began to op shop and it dawned on me that I could perhaps unearth some frocks that looked pretty damn close to those lovely concoctions in my classic movies that were originals, not just repro's. I could also op shop outfits that had a vintage feel even if they weren't true vintage.
I began to go to rockabilly gigs and burlesque shows and the Internet began to become a vital mode of research in my vintage awakening. The more I immersed myself in this new lifestyle, the more I experimented with these new (old) fashions the more I began to feel like ME. I suddenly experienced the feeling of having my insides match my outsides. And it felt freaking AMAZING!
I feel great in vintage! I love the styles of the 40's, 50's and 60's and when I wear them, I feel beautiful. It is that simple!
I have battled many body image demons, and although I haven't won (do we ever?) the style of the dresses I love flatter my curves and never do I get so many compliments on my clothing as when I am wearing vintage or vintage style.
So this little frock with it's cool skull and rose pattern, is where it all began for me; the beginning of the long journey of discovering who I really was. The journey is, of course, still underway, but bloody hell I am enjoying it! (And I now NEVER wear jeans!)

I wore my epiphany dress to the wedding I recently attended (yes, skulls for a wedding - I was warding off bad energy!) with my Martin Moddel fur capelet and op shopped bag, belt and shoes and I danced the night away, petticoat swirling and swishing to the terrible 80's and 90's dance music that is traditional at weddings and I had a blast!
Do you have clothing that has changed your life?


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lets raise a glass on ANZAC Day!

Image found here
It is ANZAC Day here in Australia, which is our day to commemorate the storming of the beaches at Gallipoli in 1915 and a day to pay our respects to all those brave people who fought and are currently fighting for our country.
Image found here
I've mentioned before that I work in aged care, and I'm lucky enough to organise special events such as ANZAC Day services, which we actually held yesterday as today is a public holiday here in Oz.
I was so moved and inspired by the many memories and stories that my residents shared with us and despite being horrendously traumatic these brave people who served as infantry, in the navy, in the air force and in the AWAS, were able to express their memories with dignity, eloquence and often with humour (as befits the Aussie spirit!).
Image found here
 I heard tales of shattering loss, tales of amazing courage. I heard of tales that belong in history books so that everyone can read and understand the sacrifices made for the wonderful country we Aussies live in.
The brave and wonderful gentlemen and ladies that I'm blessed to know and work with served because they wanted to fight for Australia and our way of life.
But the people left behind; the mothers who said goodbye forever to beloved children; wives and girlfriends never to see their sweethearts return; family; friends, they also experienced such grief and hardship, so for all those touched by war, and those who fought (cheers to my brother who served in East Timor) and those who are currently fighting (my best wishes to Matt in Afghanistan), I salute you, and raise a glass for your courage and sacrifice.
Image found here
I will never forget looking out at all of the residents who normally are bent and weary by age, standing tall and proud as the anthem played, medals shining on their breast and the love for their country clearly shining on their faces.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A butterfly dress and a perfect country idyll.

I have to get it all out of my system.
I need to purge all of my holiday out of my system in a gigantic explosion of photos and memories so I can move on.
(Or maybe that now I'm back at work I just need to remember those carefree sun filled days with no worries and my little clan around me all day long.)
And, of course I have to show off one of my sweet mending projects from a few weeks ago.
Now I'd love for everyone to think that I'm some kind of creative magician that whipped this one up using some old scraps of hankies, table cloths and shopping bags (kind of like a sewing Macguyver!), but alas, this one was just a mere hemming of an op shop bargain.
It's cute isn't it, with its pretty pastel butterflies and flowers dancing across the expanse of black.
And of course I was drawn to its fitted bodice and waist and full flowy skirt.
So why not share my new to me dress worn on it's maiden voyage in the beautiful little village of Tilba.
I've raved about Bermagui but honestly this little pocket of tranquillity is pure nirvana.
We wandered and admired the lovely old shops and gardens.
I was striking some very odd poses. (There were attack butterflies lurking in those beautiful gardens ready to strike and I'd just had a swat at one ferocious beast. It must have been attracted to those butterflies on my dress!)
Of course we sampled some divine cheeses, cakes and even braved the lolly shop.
Look at how happy those little faces are!
Of course we all walked away with some sugary goodies for later (although my selection of fudge didn't last too far into the car ride home!)
Is there a more picturesque spot to eat our morning tea?
Little Miss wasn't fussed about the beautiful picnic spot as she had more important things on her mind!
The fella knows how to enjoy a good custard tart. That's my boy!
Even the church in Tilba is adorable!
A perfect day!
Whew, I've realised I can't possibly fit everything in so sorry people, but one more holiday post, this time from Mogo Zoo. (As if I could resist a visit to a zoo!)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The girl is on a roll!

I have had a week more of holidays after everyone else in my little clan has returned to school/work/child care. Which means three whole days to myself!
I had sooooo many plans for my break; painting, sewing, redecorating and a massive clear out and sale on ebay. Maybe, if I was a good girl, even some relaxing. Bliss!
But the universe decided to throw a spanner in the works. Actually it was more a radiator than a spanner and it had a monumental hissy fit, did a lot of gushing of steam and crapped out.
Not happy Jan!
So for most of this week I have had no car and have been biking it around town on my awesome ride.
My beast of a bike looks rad with its massive old school handle bars and flame paint work, but it has no gears and is REALLY hard to pull  a trailer full of child and school bags.
My lack of transportation should mean that I have been industrious around home but instead I have been hitting my local op shops. Hard. Oh so hard.
I have a problem.
I am just having so much op shop luck lately and the more luck I have, the more difficult it is to stop. And so the huge clear out of my wardrobe is even more necessary.
After my epic op shop adventure of last week I really thought my mojo had run out, but LOOK, more vintage lovelies.
I have been looking for a pair of black low heeled Mary Jane's forever, and this pair are all leather and very comfortable.
Yeah, another pair of shoes. But look how funky they are! And they are kermit frog green and also surprisingly comfy.
How purdy is this frock! It is a hand made number from the 50's / 60's I'm guessing and is sheer and floaty and swirly and good for hiding the odd child in the skirts.
And it is blue! I have never owned a blue dress in my life but I quite like this pale shade.
And finally this bright vintage lovely. OK, I'm going to honest. I had my reservations about this one, but the cool colours and print have won me over.
 There are so many great shades to mix and match with so today I wore it with a cobalt blue cardigan, blue tights and my new to me green heels.
I felt like I was channelling Helga with my bright tights and heels. If only I had that woman's legs too!
 And I really love blue and green together. Just another one of those silly rules that were made to be broken!
I think it is actually very fortunate that I am returning to work next week (am I really saying that?), because my bank account just can't take anymore great shopping days.
Now, how can I hide everything from my husband?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Recent spoils

I have heard so many wondrous tales of small town op shops.
Fables of vintage beauties lying in piles in dusty little shops all with ridiculously low prices, just waiting for the retro loving girl to swoop in and nab them.
So of course I had VERY high hopes of bagging lots of bargains on my recent trip to NSW, but alas the shops in Bega sorely disappointed me (and I'm really sorry anyone who may live in Bega, but WTF is it with you all and staring. Rudely staring. At me and my family.) and the one op shop in Bermi only opens one day a week. Which , of course, was the day we were leaving. At 4am. And for some reason my husband wasn't up for negotiating a later departure date just so I could drag him and the kids into another op shop. (What is with that man?)
I did have a spare minute to pop into Gypsy Vintage in Cobargo and fell head over heels for a fabulous 50's blue and green party frock. Just perfect for the upcoming nuptials I'm attending. Perfect except for the crazy high price. Damn and drats!
I did score this very cute skirt with the loveliest cherry detail and pale green colour.
So what with all the beach romping and eating that made up my holiday I didn't have much of a chance to shop.
It was a whole other story when I returned to Melbourne though, and I was joined by some lovely ladies and we hit some rather posh suburbs like Toorak, Richmond and Hawthorn for a day of op shopping (and cake!).
It was glorious!
It's funny but before I even left for the day, I just knew I was going to be lucky and I was.
I was in the zone and boy did I score.
Some adorable enamel bowls that look like they were made for my kitchen.
Not one but two awesome pair of shoes. The purple pair were brand new, so I was pretty chuffed.
This amazing coat feels like it was made for me and fits me just so with a nipped in waist and flared
Pervy poses just come naturally for me.
Of the many handbags I own I didn't have a tan and this is the softest leather and in great shape for vintage.
But I think my favourite score would have to be this white faux fur capelet. I'm pretty sure I leaped past someone and snatched it from the hanger when I first spied it. I then giggled madly when I saw it was only $12. Score! It is sooo plush and soft and I just  LOVE it!!!
It is  a Martin Moddel and when i got my new lovely home I realised that she had a friend.
Another Martin Moddel capelet I had just finished remodelling!
(Yeah, I have a problem with capelets.)
So I didn't walk away with a fancy new dress for the bloody wedding THIS weekend, but I had wonderful day with lots of laughs, shopping and cake. Huzzah!