Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm Back!

Well, I apologize for the leave of absence, but I'm back!

I just needed a bit of a break.  To be honest, I'd thought about stopping blogging altogether.  I think I just let it get a bit out of hand.  I had started this blog as a creative outlet, but pretty soon I became preoccupied for making my posts look a certain way, making sure I was reading every new post on every blog I was following, becoming fixated on the number of followers I had, that sort of thing.  Also, I felt a bit too driven to post almost every day.  It got too overwhelming.  I have a full-time job, I'm studying for a Praxis test that I'll be taking at the end of April, and I just registered to begin my Master's part-time, so I'm pretty sure I'll be too busy to post as regularly as I did starting out, but I'm realizing that that doesn't mean I have to stop blogging altogether.

Also, when I began my blog and my goal of shopping strictly second hand for a year, I had hoped that this would mean that I would shop less, but I was shopping even more on Etsy shops and at thrift stores! I was beginning to feel like I needed new clothes constantly for my blog posts, but I'm going to focus more now on remixing pieces I already own and on posting more of the clothes that I wear to work (I'm a middle school librarian) and some more casual weekend outfits because, let's face it, I don't wear skirts and vintage outfits every day (even though I do wish I had the vintage wardrobe to do that!)

Basically, after a much needed break and a reality check, I'm back.  I won't be posting as regularly, but hopefully that will improve the quality of the posts.  Before my break, I received a request to see a photo of Dan, the man behind the camera.  Well, here he is.  This photo was taken on my Droid, so the quality isn't great, but I love it anyways.  It was taken at the end of last summer at a Pittsburgh Pirates game.  Dan's a great guy, and he refused to acknowledge the fact that I might have given up blogging.  He absolutely insisted I stick with it.  Thanks, dude!

Friday, March 18, 2011

From Generation to Generation

First off, my apologies for being away so long, but I had been ill in bed since Tuesday evening and I was only just able to return to work today, so the blogging was put on hold.  Now, in the past few posts I mentioned inheriting items of jewelry and clothing from Dan's grandmother, and today I would like to share the story.

Last Saturday, Dan called me and said, "You're going to geek out.  My mom has gone through some of my grandma's things and wonders if you would like to take a look and see if there is anything you would like to have."  (It should probably be mentioned that Dan's grandmother passed away before he and I had started dating, so I was never able to meet her.)

Of course I was very excited, and I hurried on over to his house, where he and his mother had spread out some of his grandmother's things on the kitchen counters for me to look through.  As they put it, it was  the ultimate "estate giveaway."  Being able to look through everything and keep any pieces that I liked was like Christmas morning! These are the items of jewelry that I picked out, and I was also allowed to keep the pretty jewelry box to store the items in.  The sweater and cape from the previous two posts were given to me then as well.  It was so sweet of Dan's family to think of me and it is such a special feeling to be wearing a piece of jewelry with history.  I know that these are items that I will always cherish.

Photos by me!

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cameos and Cream

This past weekend was the best weekend for vintage I've had so far! Not only did three of my Etsy orders arrive in the mail, but I also had wonderful luck and the Salvation Army and Thrifty Shopper.  To top it all of, Dan's mother invited me over to look through and keep some of his grandmother's jewelry and clothing.  It was so wonderful! She gave me the warm sweater I'm wearing here, which they believe may have come from Ireland (where his grandmother was born), the cameo necklace I'm wearing here, the forget-me-not necklace from yesterday's post, and the cape from yesterday's post.  And that's not all! I got even more jewelry, which I will be sharing just as soon as I get a chance! It was a vintage lover's dream come true! 

Photos by Dan.

Hat: Thrifted
Dress: Vintage
Sweater: Belonged to Dan's grandmother
Cameo necklace: Belonged to Dan's grandmother
Tights: Three pairs of generic cream tights
Tassel Loafers: Thrifted

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inspired by: The Stone of Destiny

Hello all! So this past week Dan was home all week for spring break, and I had really hoped to get outfit shots galore with him here, but of course the weather didn't cooperate.  It rained or snowed all day almost every day he was home, which made photos pretty much out of the question.  Also, I don't know about you, but I haven't been feeling very inspired lately.  Well, that's not true, I have been feeling very inspired lately - FOR SPRING! I'm SO ready to break out lovely spring clothes and go on a styling spree, but again, mother nature has different ideas.  Every time I open my closet doors and stare at the winter clothes appropriate for the snow that is currently falling outside my windows, I draw a blank.  Luckily, it's mid-March, and I know spring is on the way...hopefully sooner than later.

Ok, enough of my ranting, on with the outfit post! Last night my father and I watched the 2008 film Stone of Destiny.  The film is based on true events from the 1950's and focuses on a young, radical Scottish college student, Ian Hamilton, who is tired of England's rule over Scotland.  To make his point, he decides to steal the Stone of Scone, a major symbol of Scottish pride which had been taken from the Scots by the English.  The stone was being held at Northanger Abbey at the time.  The movie chronicles he and three fellow college student accomplices as they attempt to bring home their nation's symbol and thus reignite the fire of Scottish pride.

My outfit today was inspired by Kate Mara's character, Kay (the only woman pictured above).  Throughout the film she was seen wearing typical 1950's college girl attire, and it was so fun to pick out the similarities and differences between her outfits and current trends.

The navy blue cape and tiny flower necklace belonged to Dan's grandmother.  I'll save the story of how I acquired these lovely items and more for another day.  Also, what looks to me like a hat box or cute piece of antique luggage from the first outfit photo was actually the box that my grandmother's old hair dryer came in that I think is just too adorable to throw away!

Photos by Dan.

Cape: Belonged to Dan's grandmother
Wool plaid skirt: Thrifted
White patterned tights: Vera Wang for Kohl's
White ruffle blouse: The Limited
Loafers: Thrifted
Neckalce: Belonged to Dan's grandmother
Hair dryer box: Belonged to my grandmother

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Shopping!

It's my personal philosophy that one of the best cures for spring fever is a shopping spree! I'm so excited for all of the snow to thaw (it still hasn't) and for warm temps to come my way.  In preparation, I purchased some new (used) spring clothing items.  The first five items are from Ebay and Etsy, and the only item there that isn't vintage is the first dress, which was originally from Modcloth.  The shorts and shoes are gifts from Dan for being such a good secondhand shopper.  I can't wait for these treasures to arrive at my door, hopefully very soon!

Sailor dress purchased from Tambukiki via Ebay

Skirt purchased from salvagelife via Etsy

Dress purchased from cleochrysanthemum via Etsy

Dress purchased from Honey Bee Vintage via Etsy

Skirt purchased from secondskinstyle via Etsy

Shorts are a gift from Dan via Ruche

Sandals are a gift from Dan via Urban Outfitters

Thursday, March 10, 2011

For the Love of Straw

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

I can't wait for warm spring winds and sunshine and an excuse to wear straw hats out and about.  So far, I have a floppy straw hat that I used at band camp in high school (I played the alto saxophone!) and a safari straw hat (because you never know when you might need one!)  What I'd really like now is a straw boater hat, but the cheapest one I could find on Etsy was $100! Maybe I'll look out and find one in a thrift store...otherwise I might have to wait until my birthday in May and cross my fingers that someone reading this will surprise me with a cheaper version from a retail store...hint, hint.

Also, I love hay bales.

(Photo taken by my friend, Claire, in summer 2008)

Also, this post was inspire by this post over at Custard Heart Vintage.  I just love how Maria mixes beautiful photographs of nature in with her shop updates! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Etsy Wishlist: Dresses & Accessories

The following is a visual list of all of the items I'm currently drooling over on Etsy.  The only exception is the little bee pin.  He sold last summer, but he's so cute he had to be added to my list, since I still wish I could  still purchase him.  Had I the resources (and in some cases, the correct measurements), these items would all be on their way to me in the mail.  I do not, however, but I figured I'll still share them with you.  Simply click on each photo to take you to its listing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today I made myself a challenge: style my grandma's 80's polka dot blouse.  It doesn't sound too difficult, but if you could've seen the sheer size of the thing before I tucked it all into the skirt and jammed it into the cardigan, you would've understood my dilemma.  In true 80's form, the top was very oversized.  I don't pull off oversized items well.  I really like them, but I feel that those are more built for the very thin.  When I try to pull off an oversized top or dress, I end up looking very large indeed.  But I know my limits, so I try to stick with what looks good on me.  In this case, it was piling lots of black clothing overtop the oversized item.

I've been dying to wear this hat ever since I purchased it, and today I finally had my chance! I just hadn't found the right outfit yet, but today I figured, "well, I'm already sporting wild rainbow polka dots, why not add a bright red hat to top things off!" The end result was this fun outfit that I will definitely wear again!

Photos by Dan (hooray for spring break!)

Hat: Thrifted
Cardigan: The Limited
Blouse: My grandma's
Skirt: Thrifted
Ankle Boots: Thrifted