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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Jiggity Jog

THEORY
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!

REALITY
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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Filed under family, friends, vacation

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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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

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.

FRIDAY

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

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

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.

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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.

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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!

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