Category Archives: vacation

The bits you DON’T see.

After a weekend spent mostly eating cake and being taught a few new piping tricks, I had a craving I couldn’t shake when I finally got home yesterday. So, new decorating tips purchased. Fresh cake baked. As per usual, I can’t get the texture right, but it’s good enough. The part I really care about is the frosting: my first attempt at a Swiss buttercream. Using the recipe and tutorial from Smitten Kitchen, the experience is easy-peasy and problem free.

Except for one thing. One not-so-tiny thing.

In my jet-lagged haze, I used salted butter.

And so the beautiful, silky frosting is dumped, the cake layers are wrapped in wax paper and tucked into the freezer. There’s always tomorrow.

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Filed under food, vacation

Jiggity Jog

Okay, the flight I’m on is at o’ dark early, requiring me to get up at 4am, but I’ll get home before noon. I’ll get stuff done! Swing by the restaurant supply store for an angled spatula thingie and some new decorating tips. Bake a cake. Pack the shop orders that came in over the weekend. Sear some tuna later for dinner. It’ll be great!

4am where I started is 2am here at home, and I’m hungry so gratefully grab lunch with my gracious airport shuttle friend and now it’s 1:30 and zzzzzzzzzz…

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Viva Las Vegas 14 in pictures

I have gotten so bad at remembering to step out of the moment to take a picture! Click the image below for 130-ish photos taken over the course of the 4-day weekend, and a few very short video clips as well.

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Filed under fashion, friends, music, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

What I wore to VLV13

Because I have friends who are unusually interested in the contents of my closet. Because those friends were unable to attend Viva this year. And because I received a number of lovely compliments regarding my wardrobe during the course of the weekend, and perhaps some of those people are coincidentally readers of my blog.


Thursday’s dress is technically vintage, but a 1980-something repro (by Steppin’ Out) of an earlier style. The print is typical ’80s, though. The black patent handbag is “properly” vintage, although there is no brand mark. I originally bought it for the shop, but fell in love with the chevron and bow detail, which you unfortunately cannot see in this photo. Now I can’t seem to part with it. The shoes, by Miss Me, are thoroughly modern. The snood is from V-Male Detroit Vintage. This outfit and many that follow were worn with vintage RHT stockings by Queen Mary. I brought 4 sets of vintage stockings to VLV, but this one pair managed to get me through the whole weekend without a run, and I cherish them for it. Also because they fit, feel great, and have a nice, dark back seam.

Thursday evening’s dress is one of my all-time favorite vintage finds. Made by Sportlane Deb, the pale pink brocade bodice is decorated with rhinestones and pearl beads, and the dress has side-seam pockets. POCKETS. ::swoon:: I found it for a song in 2008 in the (gasp) Halloween section of a local thrift store. True, it has some popped stitches on one shoulder and a few small stains (which may very well come out with some OxyClean but I haven’t dared to try) but if anyone noticed them, they were polite enough to not say anything. The vintage Lucite purse is also studded with rhinestones, but the “privacy” hankie makes them difficult to see. I must find a better solution. The shoes, by Madden Girl, are silver slingbacks with Lucite heels.


You may recognize Friday’s day dress from some of my previous posts. It was my first attempt at grading (and altering the silhouette of) a vintage pattern, and Nick likes to point out that, true to the 1940s motto of “make do or do without,” I made it from old bedsheets. Really cool, high thread count bedsheets, but bedsheets nonetheless. The crinoline is vintage, made by Cherie of California. The purse was purchased at Hobby Lobby, of all places. Belt by Accessories by Pearl (thrift store, probably ’80s) and the shoes are by Go Max. I bought them a few years ago on eBay, but it’s a brand apparently carried by K-Mart!

The evening ensemble consists of a dress I bought from Boss Vintage for an Oscars® party back in 2006 or 2007. Erin would remember which. Perhaps I should have taken this photo from behind, as the back of the dress has an eye-catching (and back-baring) slit, and the heels of the J. Reneé shoes are hand-painted and studded with topaz-colored rhinestones. The gold lamé purse is also vintage, and like the dress, unlabeled.


Saturday’s car show dress is a modern cotton/spandex fabric construction by Moda International. I shortened the hem by four inches, and it still hits below my knees. The deep side slits are original to the dress (a gust of wind is displaying more leg than usual). The patch on the back is vintage, a gift from Nick who put the matching patch on one of his jackets. The sunglasses are by Ray-Ban, in a cat eye style called Lisbon (W0959). Be wary of vendors selling “vintage” Ray-Ban sunglasses: like this pair, some older styles are periodically brought back into production and may not actually be vintage. If the price is right and you don’t care how old they are, go for it. The shoes and belt are repeated from previous outfits. The cute fella is “Filthy” Rich, bass player for The Infamous Swanks. Photos by Nick, who borrowed a pro Canon from a friend.

The cheongsam was a thrilling find, as I’ve only before come across cheaply made exports. This vintage version is a beautiful heavyweight brocade, fully lined, and fits perfectly in the bust (just a little roomy in the waist). It came complete with a matching jacket, although it’s boxy and unflattering. I thought perhaps it was meant to be a male counterpart, but it has shoulder pads. If anyone has info to share about these, I’d appreciate it. The silver lamé-encased-in-Lucite box bag is of indeterminate age. From the exterior, it looks every bit the mid-century part. The interior, however, is lined in vinyl and has a Made In China tag. So go figure. The satin shoes are by Chinese Laundry.


Sunday’s swimsuit is by Catalina, and to see it sans gold capri pants (by Euro Linea, probably early ’80s)  and bamboo-heeled shoes (by Foot Candy) you’ll have to watch the video posted at iCNN. I show up for a mere second at the beginning, but it’s only 2:12 so go ahead and watch the whole thing. The sunglasses are by… um… well, I bought them at… shoot. I’ve had them for so long, I just don’t remember. They’re modern repros, I know that much.

My evening dress was meant to be my day dress, but the sun was nearly down by the time I left the pool party. I found it at an estate sale, and although it’s distinctly too big on me, I love-love-love it. I took in what I could from the side seams, barring removing and reattaching the skirt, and trust the belt (thrift store, probably 1980s) to do the rest. The dress was missing its original shoulder ties, but a helpful clerk at Hobby Lobby fixed me up with the perfect shade of satin ribbon. The purse is vintage, no brand mark, and the shoes are Candies.

NOTE: If you’re a regular window shopper of my online store, you’ll recognize that (with the exception of Saturday) these photos were all taken IN MY HOME, rather than at Viva. This is because Nick does not have a camera, and I am still not comfortable handing mine to someone and saying, “Please, could you take a photo of me?” Because in my head, it is followed by a silently screaming “I THINK I AM SO AWESOME YES MY EGO IS HUUUUUGE.” Yeah, I have some confidence issues. Stop looking at me like that.


Filed under fashion, friends, sewing, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

VLV13: Prepare to Launch

If you know me, you know that my year pretty much centers around the annual Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekender in April. Well, it’s that time of year again, and so off I go. My flight leaves in about 12 hours, and I am mostly packed. Ish. My planned wardrobe includes four vintage dresses, one vintage swimsuit, and one pair of vintage capris (which still need a tiny bit of mending, it will be a busy day!). Also, one dress that I made with the aid of a vintage sewing pattern. None of my shoes are vintage, because my feet are not an era-appropriate size. I do my best with modern shoes inspired by vintage looks (but I can’t afford the Rocket Originals or ReMix shoes that get all the details right). So let’s see, what’s on the to-do list before I boogie out of here? In no particular order:

– polish nails
– rip Elvis movie to iPhone (in-flight entertainment)
– mend capris
– pack/ship two shop orders
– eat something
– finish packing
– make like a tree and vamoose!

If you’re also heading to VLV and want to find me, today’s travel outfit is (at the moment) cuffed jeans and a red-and-black t-shirt. I hope to be sipping whiskey in the Crawfish Bar by midnight!


Filed under fashion, music, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

VMTEAM “Getaway” Sale

NOTICE: March 20-28 is VMTEAM sale time! Search for vacation-themed items with the ‘vmteamgetaway’ tag by clicking here.

Each participating VMTEAM store has their own special offer for this sale. Please be sure to visit a shop’s main page for that store’s specific details. Here at Tiddleywink, any item tagged ‘vmteamgetaway’ is 20% off the listed price through March 28, 2010.

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Feb 1: Two Months to Viva!


Whew. Okay. As many of you know, my Biggest Event of the Year is the annual Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekender. I first attended VLV10 in 2007 at the urging of (and spending all of my time with) my friends at Peek Photo and a mutual friend of ours. They were absolutely sure that VLV was my bag, Baby, and boy were they ever right. I live a relatively sheltered life, and I did not know that there were people out there, hundreds of no thousands no TENS OF THOUSANDS of people out there who listen to really great music and dress the way I wanted to dress. I was hooked!

VLV10 was a pivotal event in my life. For one thing, I met my now-boyfriend, although I didn’t run into him again (and learn his name) for another 6 months. For another thing, spending an entire weekend with my friends brought us that much closer, and they are just about the only ex-coworkers with whom I still hang out (I am historically bad at keeping in touch with people). And finally, I felt free to dress in my beloved mid-century silhouettes without worrying about what people might think, because I knew that scattered around the globe were more people like me who supported my style. To be truthful, I did get some funny looks. I worked at that time within very close proximity to a semi-upscale shopping mall, where I would frequently head for lunch. I was occasionally aware of someone staring, but for the most part I went surprisingly unnoticed. The only time anyone ever approached me directly was to tell me how nice I looked. This was unexpected!

I bought my first vintage dress during my freshman year of college (boy do I ever wish I still had that dress, let alone the 22″ waist that once fit into it) and I’ve been casually collecting ever since. Those of you who know my age know that references a long time. Now it was my goal to make sure that I had enough vintage and repro clothing in my closet to support another year at VLV! I began to collect more aggressively, spending hours lurking around eBay and diving deeper during thrift store excursions with my similarly-afflicted Bestest Friend In The Whole Wide World. As my collection grew, I also had more to wear on a daily basis. And wear it I did. A different-yet-similar group of friends got together for VLV11, and as we prepared we would hunt in packs for dark-rinse high-waisted jeans and era-appropriate shoes. We studied the events schedule and planned our outfits weeks (months) in advance so that we could pack as efficiently as possible. I managed, after months-months-months of looking, to buy for myself a coveted deadstock-with-tags 1960/61 gold lamé DeWeese swimsuit, lightly embroidered and studded with rhinestones. A swimsuit so stellar that I dared to wear it two years in a row. Of course, I can’t get away with wearing it three years running, so the hunt is on for this year’s swimsuit.

Oh yeah, did I mention the swimsuits?

The weekender is held in early April, but it’s held in April in Las Vegas. 100-degree days are not uncommon. And so the weekend winds down on Sunday with a pool party. While this pool party is the first time that us revelers have a chance to slow down, it is also a veritable gallery of vintage swimwear. People are there to see, and to be seen. In swimsuits. In April. Pasty-white April. Only-three-short-months-from-holiday-excess April. So, when VLV attendees say that they’re starting their diet on January 1, this is no empty New Year’s resolution. This is an Emergency Situation.

Nick’s diet plan included being a complete glutton over the holidays, eating himself sick so that by January 1st, he wanted nothing but juice and salad. And of course, the extra pounds that he had packed on melted right off, because his body never adjusted to that artificially high caloric level in the first place. But from a mental standpoint, those pounds dropping encouraged him to keep going and he has been eating an almost-entirely-raw diet (exceptions made for coffee and Monday night dinner with friends) and he feels fantastic and looks better than I’ve seen him in months.

My own diet is less extreme and less effective, but more realistic for a foodie. On a recommendation from Erin,  I downloaded an iPhone app called LoseIt. It’s helped to keep me on track, and as of this morning I am 2/3 of the way to my goal weight (and halfway to the weight I was when I had that 22″ waist). Jeans that fit a year ago once again fit properly. I very much look forward to them being a little too big. I’ve started my flickr album of outfit planning, which for the first time is overloaded with options. I have an increasing pile of “needs sewing for Viva.”

I have two months to get everything done. Let the countdown begin!


Filed under fashion, food, friends, nostalgia, shopping, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas