Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fake Fez

For Christmas, my husband surprised (spoiled?) me with this wonderfully unique vintage fez hat.

The fez style of hat (and other tall-crowned hat styles) enjoyed brief popularity around the end of the 1930s and early 1940s. I find this particular vintage "fez" hat fascinating because it's actually made using the hat block mold for a tilt crown of a fedora or other "non-fez" hat block.

The hat is decorated with a fake bird (missing its poor little beak) that has a gorgeous spray of iridescent (rooster) tail feathers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ruby Red & Over My Head

Meet Ruby!

My James Mcreery & Co. hat arrived today, after being 3+ days late (and nearly presumed lost)!
This particular hat is circa 1940s-1950s. Earlier Mcreery hats can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Truly a unique and beautiful hat!

This belonged to the seller's mother, who recently passed away, leaving an enormous estate of high quality items collected from all over the world. The mother left specific instructions with this hat, which I just have to share because it makes me smile: "It was to be worn toward the front of the head, slightly to the right and slightly down on the forehead. The plume feathers extending back and standing proudly in the air!"

The hat is circular and covered in red feathers, with a red-feathered mock bird curled around the front, and the black iridescent spray of rooster tail feathers coming out the back.
Better pics coming soon!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fabulously Flapper

We had a great night out at our Prohibition costume party!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thrift Store Gem

This is probably the most expensive vintage item I have ever purchased at a thrift store (not counting any sort of annual Collectibles Sale) - it was $27 and I HAD to have it! A gorgeous example of the 1950s "New Look," with a strapless bodice covered by a sheer material, fitted bodice, and multi-layered poofy skirt. It has a metal side zipper and snaps.


It needed some minor repairs, since due to age the sheer material had torn in a few spots. Thankfully, my ever-so-crafty grandmother came up with a great solution to fix those areas, so you really can't see any of the repairs unless you know where to look!


This Saturday, I will be time traveling back into the latter half of Prohibition. There will be Moonshine and Flapper Girls, and I plan to be one of them!

To celebrate 5 Fab years in business, Elements (a local tapas bar) is hosting a "Prohibition Party," complete with "Prohibition-Era Cocktails" (which is a bit of an oxymoron). My lovely friend, Lady H, and I have come up with authentic 1920s costumes to wear, and of course my handsome husband will be escorting us. The party starts at 9 pm, which is normally my bedtime, but I told Ryan that I wanted to go to this since (1) There's no cover charge (unlike the last Flapper Costume Party we had to miss due to the hefty ticket price), and (2) We are young and should go out once in a while and have some damn fun!

So, here is what Lady H's ensemble will consist of:

Authentic Flapper-Era Dress (courtesy of the lovely Jeanna!)

Modern era (but flapper style) cloche hat

1930s fur coat (a bit too late to be "true flapper" in the normal style that we associate with that, but Prohibition wasn't repealed until 1933, so technically the coat works). Love the big bakelite buttons on this beauty!

My own outfit is a bit less "true," but still awesome!:

My dress has elements of the flapper look, but leans more towards the 1930s. This dress is a perfect example (to me, anyway) of how the two styles are morphing (and will later transform into the 1930s classic look)

My feathered cloche is actually from the 1950s, but a cloche is a cloche and I love wearing this one!

My fur coat is from the 1960s or so, but my authentic flapper era coat (the gorgeous blue one of previous blog posts) won't be quite warm enough for me to wear in this teen's-and-20-degree winter weather!

Ryan will of course be wearing his handsome three-piece suit and fedora.

Guys have it so easy.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Back in Time...

Every holiday season our fabulous (historic) little town of Jacksonville goes all out and hosts a "Victorian Christmas." People dress up in full Victorian costume, there are stands offering roasted chestnuts and hot coffee on the street, loads of lights and Christmas trees on display, and even horse-drawn carriage rides! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but living near Jacksonville during this time makes it even better! I had wanted to go to the Christmas parade last night in Jacksonville too, but it was far too cold to drag my pleurisy-prone husband (it was 35 degrees at 6 pm, and 27 degrees at 9 pm - oh yes, and 20 degrees for morning chores today!). I had to console myself with making humorously dementedly-shaped gingerbread cookies at home instead:

I DID drag my husband out this afternoon for a quick (and COLD!) walk around downtown Jacksonville.

I wore the gorgeous 1940s wool suit that Ryan had purchased for me earlier this week, which also happens to look fabulous with my "new" vintage hat ("Binky").

We were told we looked like we had stepped straight out of a movie.

We got our picture taken with the Victorian-costumed town crier and joked that the photo celebrated "100 years of fashion!" :)

Friday, December 02, 2011

A Thing of Beauty...

Omnivore's Dilemma aside, this (to me) is the Perfect Meal! - coffee & vanilla bean-marinated prime rib roast (from our locally raised, grass-fed freezer cow (thank you, Yale Creek Ranch!)), lemon & thyme potato gratin, kale-potato-sausage soup, and a glass of dark & fruity port from a local vineyard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FAB New Dresses Hitting Our Etsy Store!

I'm so excited!! This week we've got some really FABULOUS "new" vintage dresses coming into our Etsy store!

Everything from Adolph Shuman for Lilli Ann

To 1950s Kay Windsor Original Novelty Print Dress

To a dress Joan of Mad Men would die for

To the holiday spirit (complete with sparkles!)

And everything else in between!

They are listed at GREAT prices, so happy shopping!

World's Sexiest Couple?

I think soooooo...

(This would be why we don't have more pictures of ourselves together)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Here's my latest birdie hat from the Ebay auction! I was the only person who even bid on it, so I won it for the starting price (yay!).


Like a true goof, I have named the hat ("Binky" - just because.). It has what I call a parrot beak, so I am assuming it's a mock parrot.

I was very pleased to discover that the hat was not in as bad of shape as the pictures on Ebay led me to believe! The only thing I will have to do is put a few more stitches into the "tilt headband" to make it a bit stiffer and therefore able to more securely stay attached to my head!

Happy Day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winter Storm Watch

Well, we're battening down the hatches here, as the saying goes, in preparation for what is supposed to be the first significant snow storm of the season. Lately, it's been fairly mild and occasionally rainy, but nothing too terrible as far as extremes. Late this morning, the wind began picking up with a chilly bite and the storm front started moving in. You could see it in the way the clouds came over the western mountain - sort of a long, thick band stretching out as far as the eye could see on either side...We had just run out of firewood, so I started up our hydraulic log splitter (one of the best investments we have ever made!) and began splitting madrone logs. The one silver lining in having to cut down all of those hazardous trees on our property over the years is that we have a pretty significant store of firewood, especially pine and madrone. The downside is that most of it is in the wood lot and needs to be cut down into moveable chunks and hauled up and over to the house. Thankfully, we already have a winter's worth of madrone logs (in assorted sizes - from colossal to tiny branches) behind the house, so I didn't have to walk too far. That being said, hauling large logs out of the firewood pile and over to the log splitter, then splitting and stacking, is still a great deal of physical labor for one little person! However, it's a million times easier than doing it by hand with an ax, which is how I USED to get our firewood every winter.

So now there is at least a 4-day supply of wood stacked next to the back door, the fire is crackling merrily in the hearth, the kittens are sleeping on the hearthstone, and I have a glass of wine waiting for me after evening farm chores.

Let it snow!

Snatch This Beauty Up ASAP!

Just listed this in our Etsy store:

Here Comes Another One

I want to take you back 6 months ago to my birthday last May. That was the day that I wandered into a little antique store in Jacksonville and fell in love with two very different hats. One, an "Original by Ranel" chapeau with adorable pheasant birdie, ultimately came home with me that day. The other, an adorable tilt hat by "Erna," remained at the store to await a different fate...or so I thought.

Fast forward to last week: I happened to stop into the little antiques store again, and who should greet me at the counter but that precious little tilt hat. I decided then and there that I had to have it. Afterall, it had sat in that store for six months, patiently waiting. It was time for my little tilt to come home.

This tilt hat is a very interesting style - one that you don't often see. In true tilt style, there is a solid patch of fabric in back to hold the hat to the head (as well as the more traditional felt band) while it tilts forward.

The truly unique aspect of this hat is that the crown, which slouches forward in a very charming fashion, is actually slightly (and purposely) off-center of the brim!

Very interesting, and rakish! Finally, the hat is decorated with a curled ostrich feather on one side, and a veil in front.