Marvelous Music

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Hi everyone!

I hope all of you had a great Memorial Day weekend, and took the time out to think about what the weekend really means. As Alexander Hamilton said, “war is the price of liberty”.

I decided to write a post today about music that is currently rocking my world. Most of it is rockabilly music, but I scattered a few more modern songs in the mix as well 😉

1. “Sailor Jerry Rum” by the Faraway Boys – I just love this song, and I keep it on repeat. I discovered it yesterday on Pandora while listening to “JD McPherson radio”. The guitar throughout the whole song just gets you going.

2. “Lonely Girl” by Pink – This song I feel just was written for me at a lot of points in my life. I have never really fit in, and this song just describes it to a T. Linda Perry also wrote and sang on this track, and I just have a huge amount of admiration for her – I think she is a genius! Good stuff.

3. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash – This song just gives me the chills. Cash’s haunting voice is just so perfect for this song, which Trent Reznor wrote.

4. “A Gentle Awakening” by JD McPherson – I don’t think JD can do any wrong. This song just has a great haunt to it, and the piano in this song just really makes the whole thing.

5. “Staying Alive” by The Bee Gees – I know, I know, it’s disco. But I find that the title of this song has a new meaning since the recent passing of Robin Gibb. His memory and legacy will be staying alive through his music, for sure. And besides, this song always makes me want to dance and swag, even despite my bad foot 😉

6.“We All Got Somebody That We Want To Kill” by Hipbone Slim & the Knee Tremblers – Oh yes, I whole heartedly agree. The title of this rockabilly song just says it all. A great song to vent some frustration with.

7. “50’s Pin Up” by Si Cranstoun – If you haven’t heard this man’s music yet, what’s wrong with you?! This song will make you want to get up and start jiving as soon as it starts. Si is surely becoming a superstar in rockabilly scene, and deservedly so, I must say. He’s growing on me like JD McPherson has.

8.“Take A Picture” by Filter – This song has such a floaty, ethereal vibe to it. I remember hearing it years ago, when I was still in school, but I never quite remembered enough to figure out the artist or song title. Only just recently did I hear it on TV, and consequently googled the lyrics. Within thirty seconds, it was downloaded onto my iPod.

9. “Heaven” by I Monster – This may be an obscure band to most people, and it certainly was to me. But a friend and fellow music junkie introduced me to this magical track. Just like “Take A Picture“, it has a very ethereal vibe to it – perhaps even more so. This is a song you could just veg out to while laying in a country field during the night, staring up into the sky, analyzing the stars.

10. “Tainted Love” by Imelda May – This cover of Soft Cell’s ’80s classic is just amazing. I am usually a fervent loyalist to original versions of songs, but this one just really took up residence inside my cranium. Somehow May perfectly melds the main original elements of the song with her own rockabilly gal twist. Good stuff.

All of the songs I have listed are available on iTunes. So go ahead, download to your heart’s content! Help support music and the people who bring it to you 🙂

What’s your current music obsession at the moment? Why do you think that may be?

Get Thrifty, Stay Nifty!

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Hi dolls!

Since my thrifting post seemed to be rather popular last week, I decided to do a post on the top tips for going thrifting. I know a lot of you either have done so already, or there are those of you who have been wanting to go, but just need an impetus. Well, that’s what I’m here for! 😉

1. Know your measurements – One of the best things you can do is to invest in a tape measure (only a couple of dollars at your local drug store or craft supply). Be sure to measure your bust, waist, and hips, as well as the length from one shoulder to another. This way, when you go thrifting, you can bring your tape measure with you to see if a garment will fit you or not. Please allow an inch or two for movement when you are looking at a fabric that doesn’t stretch. If it has stretch, then no worries 🙂 Some thrift stores do not have fitting rooms, so this is a practice that will save you a lot of strain!

2. Put the item under scrutiny – Make sure you take an extra good look at what you have in your hands. Make sure there are no stains, holes, chips, parts missing, discolourations, and the like. Sometimes it can be hard to tell with a quick glance, then when you get it home you notice something that may deem it unwearable. What’s the point in that? It’s not worth it to shell out money for something you probably won’t wear, so just leave it where it is. But if it is something you think you can fix or just deal with, show the cashier the issue and see if maybe you can get an extra dollar or two off. Haggling never hurt anyone! 😉

3. Know what you are looking for – When I go thrifting, I have a certain look in mind for what I want. I know I already want clothing that has a distinctly ’30s, ’40s, or ’50s feel to it. I sift though the racks, looking for something that just screams out to me. And even when I do, I still play a mental movie in my head of what I have or what I may need to go with it to give it an authentic vintage or rockabilly feel. You may initially not see that top as a very great vintage addition to your wardrobe, but surely if you just add the right skirt, shoes, and accessories, you will have an amazing old school feel that you can’t get enough of! I have done that a few times, and I have never missed yet. Also, this practice prevents you from buying things you otherwise wouldn’t wear. And what’s the point of buying clothes if you’re not going to wear them? You might as well just throw your money in the garbage.

4. Study elements of vintage style – I cannot stress this enough! If you are going after a true vintage look while you are thrifting, be sure of what elements of style were around in the era that you are trying to achieve. I believe this to be of upmost importance, so much so that I may do a series on this ranging from the 1920s through the 1960s. You just cannot get a true vintage look without having the necessary elements there. For instance, one of my tops that I bought during my last trip had what is called a Peter Pan collar, and that is a typical style from the 1930s. Any time I see something with that collar, I immediately snatch it up, because it is one of my favourite shirt elements from that period, and it will instantly help you achieve vintage appeal.

5. Match! – The look you are going for is vintage, not modern. Therefore, mixing colours that do not go together is a no-no. We are not doing colour blocking here, sorry. The more you match things, the better. This is a good idea to keep in mind as you shop. Did you just pick up a red and white gingham dress, but have nothing to go with it? Well, then you should find yourself a white belt and a white pair of shoes at least. Also, a white purse is a good investment as well. I am still working on being totally matchy-matchy with everything, but for the most part make sure the accessories match at the very least. For instance, I wore a black circle skirt dress from Bettie Page clothing the other day, but I wore a red belt, red shoes, and red hair flower. I only had a black vintage bag to use, but I know I need a red one, which I hope to get soon. But always make sure that you have things that would match with whatever you are buying. If not, then you get to go on another shopping trip! LOL. Basic black accessories are always a good base to start off at, then white, and so on and so forth.

6. Don’t limit yourself – Try to go to more than one thrift store in a trip. That way you have way more variety, and you have more chances of getting some real scores. This is especially true if you have something in particular that you want/need. Also, along this same vein, go back to thrift stores every two to four weeks, as they always have new clothes rolling in. There might be that perfect item there, just waiting for you, but you decided to stop going there after last time and them not having much of what you like. These stores are not retailers! They get what they get, and sometimes it can be to your benefit or to your dismay. But don’t limit yourself just because of one unfruitful time. Also, be sure to ask the staff when their restocking days are. That way, you can go that day and get first dibs on the good stuff!

7. Cash is king – Try and bring cash with you to most of these stores that you go to. Some places don’t have ATM/credit card machines to pay, and other places require a higher minimum to use it. To avoid all of that unnecessary effort, just bring cash and that will be that!

8. Wash your finds – Be sure to throw whatever you may have bought into the laundry to make sure it is nice and clean, ready for you to wear. Some people just give their clothes without washing, and I am not entirely sure if the stores themselves wash them or not. To be safe and secure, I would wash them just after your purchase so that you can add them to your closet knowing full well that they are ready to wear.

That’s about it for my thrifting tips. This is all a culmination of what I have learned along the way so far, but I am sure I will have more to add at some point in the future. I hope these help you to have the best thrifting experiences you can!

Get Your Thrift On!

Yesterday I went on a glorious trip around town with my Mom going thrift shopping. I went to four different stores each in the span of a few hours. I found some great things, only for a few dollars each – how can you beat that?!

The first store I went to is a place called Encore Thrift. It gives all of its profits to veterans, which I love, having been in the service myself. I would buy the whole store if I could, just to help out! I got my shop on, and found a great white cardigan in a cable knit that I had been looking for, as well as a red gingham shirt (perfect for my high waist capris!), and a beautiful vintage inspired shirt.

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But you have to check this out: the vintage inspired shirt was new – with the tags! You gotta check out the retail price versus the thrift price:

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Amazing, right? This is yet another reason thrifting is awesome and addicting 🙂

The girl who works there is so sweet. I remember her from when I went there when I was recovering from my shoulder surgery, and she was really nice even then. I was about to pay for my things, which equaled $14, but as I gave her my debit card, she said there was a $15 minimum for cards. So, since I was checking out the jewelry bobs and things, I got this one ring I thought was cute. The girl makes them herself, from authentic playing cards from the 1940s:

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After that, I went to another store, called Save Thrift. I was excited, because the money from there goes to helping dogs and cats, another passion of mine. But alas, they only really had house ware stuff, not much else. The store was also rather miniscule. So that was a bust. But the next two I went to more than made up for it! The third is called just the Charity Resale Shop. Pretty plain and straight to the point LOL. This place was gigantic, and had tons of racks of things from kitsch to clothes to purses, belts, hats and more! I squealed with glee when we went in there,and happily perused everything. I checked out the shoes, but I don’t even know why I try – my feet are a monstrous size 11, so I know I am only destined for online foot wear purchases only LOL. But I found a great red sweater tank, perfect with a bullet bra underneath, as well as a bright yellow cardigan, followed by three scarves. I also found a black patent leather belt that I needed for a Bettie Page dress I have because the original broke, so that worked out very well 🙂

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I also found this cute little purse for only a few dollars, great for summer trips and such:

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I believe I spent a total $20 all together in that shop for everything. We next voyaged on to Second Chance Consignment Shop, which was also gigantic. My Mom found out about it from her friend Sheila, who had gone there earlier that day! It was kind of off the beaten path, but well worth the effort. Racks and racks of great stuff! I found three great vintage looking tops, as well as a chiffon scarf for only 25 cents! A grand total of $12 was spent here 🙂

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I would say yesterday had to be one of, if not the best day I have ever had going thrifting. The thrill you get when you find a real gem after all the work of sifting through all of the other junk is remarkable. And then the prices just seal the deal! Around by my Mom here in southern New Jersey, there is a large population of older and retired people, so you have a higher chance of getting really great stuff. Always keep that in mind if you plan on thrifting – if you know of any stores near retirement/adult communities, do go to them, because you have a greater chance of hitting the jackpot. And also, please do go to the charity shops and spend to your heart’s content – your money is going to great causes, so it is completely guilt free shopping!

I plan on getting rid of a whole bunch of old clothes that I am not going to wear anymore since I have gotten into the vintage scene, and I plan on donating them to the military charity shop because they will get loved again and the proceeds go to a great cause. I just can’t throw away clothes, I just think that is a horrible waste! So to the charity shop they shall go. I gotta make more room for other thrifting and vintage finds, ya know 😉

The “Scene” and Unseen

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I have been having this topic on my mind for a while now, because I have been dealing with stupidity, snobbiness, and elitist tendencies from people who also are in this style or “scene”. I wanted to finally get my feelings on everything out there not only to help people, but also to maybe instill the seeds of change. At least I hope so.

Since I have started with my vintage dressing and lifestyle, I have never received so many compliments in my life. It really is a sure fire way to look great. But I have noticed that most people within this lifestyle have this horrid habit of being nasty towards each other and being selfish. I find it incredibly disheartening that whenever I finally find or meet someone who enjoys the same style and life that I do, that they turn out to be nasty, and are ridiculously critical of everything and anything you wear, say, or do. So many people in the scene act like they know everything about it, and that no one could possibly dress better or do anything better than them, and therefore it apparently gives them some right to be nasty, jealous, and hypocritical towards others. I find this to be completely juvenile. Shouldn’t we all respect each other at the very least? Isn’t this style all about expressing yourself and being different? Then why is it that people feel they have some right to make calls on others just because of how they dress, their looks, what they do, and whatnot? Just give it a rest! This should be and needs to be a tight knit community of support, not of shunning and secrecy. I can’t believe anyone would “hide” where they shop for vintage clothes, like other people are going to steal “their stuff”. Help spread the wealth! And mind you, most vintage clothing and thrift stores are small businesses, so you are keeping good business from those that really need it and deserve it.

Let people be who they are. Stop criticizing the girl that you think has “shitty” victory rolls, and go freakin’ show her how it’s done if you think you know better! I gladly and willingly teach and help my clients to achieve styles and looks on their own if they desire to know. No one knows it all or has it all, so lay off. Contribute positively to this community, or keep it to yourself.

Fabulous Fleurs

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I wanted to take some blog real estate out today for the ever important topic of – hair flowers! As any vintage loving gal knows, flowers placed just ever so can really just add that perfect finishing touch to your look. It’s also a unique way to add definition and an element of surprise to an otherwise seemingly blah outfit (*coughworkcough*). So, I made it my mission to give you ladies the what-for when it comes to les fleurs.

If you are just starting out with the hair flower business, surely you must be swarmed with choices as to what to get for your first! The best and most versatile piece is a traditional red rose, a good 3 or 4 inches in diameter. You can pretty much slap that baby on with anything and some red lipstick and be out the door. Of course, this is your base until you graduate up and out, as well as receive a firm education in the decorative floral arts ;-). From there, if I were to suggest a secondary purchase after the rose, I would say go for a white lily. A lot of the ladies you see nowadays sporting hair flowers have at least one white lily in their arsenal, and is quite the pinup petal. It is also very feminine without being too dominant or overly dramatic, which is good to start out with as well until you get used to all that staring from looking so fabulous!

What flowers to wear when? ‘Tis an ordeal, je sais. My rule of thumb is that if it’s not in season during this…err…season, then let it be for a bit, at least until it’s a tad closer to said flower’s bloom time. Also, make note of the colour like any good accessory. Would you find the placement of a bright yellow carnation to be appropriate in winter? No, not really. Keep that gorgeous lovely for the spring and summer, darling. Mums, dahlias, and the like in muted or jewel tone colours are much better for the fall and winter. Keeping this in mind helps to keep the look very authentic, and very much time appropriate.

And how exactly to wear your flower? First, make sure it matches with something in your outfit. We’re not dressing in modern day here honey, where it is all avant garde to mismatch everything and have it look “cool”. Going for the retro look means going for it. That means that you must try to abide by the fashion rules back in whatever decade pleases your fancy. But with any time in vintage fashion, making sure that everything matched together was essential and expected to ensure you’re looking your most magnificent. What I usually do is choose a colour that is secondary within my outfit, and choose a flower in a corresponding colour. For instance, today I wore a black dress with a red belt and red shoes. What flower did I go with? A red rose. Let’s say you have a novelty print dress with just a bit of blue in it. Bringing that ensemble over the top just means putting a blue flower in your hair! Also, please remember the balancing system, as I call it. That means making sure your flower is placed where it “balances out” the rest of your look. For instance, let’s say you did a cold set on your hair and brushed it out with a side part. That hair flower needs to go on the side with the least amount of hair on it, just above the top of your ear, to keep it balanced. And please – no victory rolls with flowers in the rolls – use the side entrance, please 😉

Where is a girl to get fabulous flowers? I have bought all of mine from a great place called HairFlowers.net. As a matter of fact, I just received my most recent order today, that which you see above, containing a white azalea, pink rose, yellow carnation, and a navy blue peony. This brings my total of flowers to nine, and I already have my next order lined up for when the funds come in – a vintage girl can never have enough hair flowers! I intend to have every flower and every colour under the sun if I can 🙂 HairFlowers.net has been absolutely fabulous for whatever I may need or want; I have seriously spent a good couple of hours just oohing and ahhing over everything they have – the selection is second to none. Your order always comes immaculately packaged, just like you were opening up a gift! Great care is taken to ensure a safe transit for your items. I have also found their flowers to be rather durable, and also intricate. They even have flowers for you sticklers out there who want the longevity of a falsie but the feel and touch of the real thing! They also have a lot of flowers that also have a pin along with its clip on the back, in case you feel like decorating your clothes instead of your hair 🙂 And might I add, I am not being compensated or anything by them – they don’t even know I’m giving them the thumbs up. This is my unbiased opinion from my own personal experiences and purchases, and you can always count on that from me 🙂