Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday Decor - Vintage Tree Bling

Tired of using the the same Christmas ornaments year after year? Looking for something different and unique for your holiday decor? How about tree ornaments made from vintage jewelry! This is something I've wanted to do for a while and this year I finally did it! I used my collection of sparkly vintage odds and ends to decorate a table top tree. You can do the same!

Here is what you will need. It's handy to keep a list of the items you hang on the tree, specially if you are using small items like earrings. That way you wont loose anything.
  • Christmas tree (I should note that I use a small fake tree for this so there was no fear of pine pitch. No vintage was harmed!) 
  • Christmas Lights
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Assortment of vintage jewelry and sparkly bits
Start by wrapping your tree in lights. Necklaces, and some bracelets, can easily be looped or draped across the branches. Because earring are small I tend to keep them together or at least place them close to one another on the tree. Vintage dress clips and clip on earrings are great because you and clip them right to the branches. Thread a loop of ribbon through your favorite bangle and voila! Instant ornament! You can do the same with any pin or large brooch.

Most of the items shown here came in one large box lot from and antique shop several years ago. Many of the pieces I've picked up over the years are missing stones or are damaged in some way so I got a really good deal on them. But that's OK because you don't notice the flaws once they are on the tree. :) Keep your eyes open at yard sales, flea markets, etc. and you will find some good deals. One thing I sometimes see at antique shops are mason jars full of beaded necklaces and other odds and ends of mis-matched jewelry. That would be perfect for a project like this. I've found some nice non-vintage pieces at thrift stores too like the cat pin seen in this post. My favorite victory pin (the large V with rhinestones) is even hanging on the tree!

Here is what you do.
  • After selecting your vintage pin, cut a piece of ribbon 5-6 inches in length (longer if desired)
  • Thread the ribbon through the back of the pin. Even out the ends of the ribbon and tie a knot leaving a small tail.
  • Use your scissors to curl the ends of your ribbon OR tie the ends in a pretty little bow 
  • Place your ornament on your tree and you're done! 

I've been collecting 1950s/60s rhinestone necklaces for a long time and these look especially pretty draped across the branches. I find them everywhere and have to stop myself from buying them all lol! Prices vary but on average I never pay more then $10 or $12 for a necklace. Often they are less then that. Occasionally I will splurge on a nicer piece like the one I wore for my wedding. Or blue and white one seen below that came with matching earrings. 

The rhinestone necklaces like those at the upper right are commonly found at antique shops. The necklace and bracelet at the bottom right I wore for my wedding.
Dress clips, shoe clips, and earrings can be clipped to the branches.  Tip! With a fake tree you can bend the ends of the branches so these little pieces sit just right.

Vintage Dress Clip Tree Ornaments
Vintage earrings make lovely ornaments too! The pink pair are from the Etsy shop of Chronically Vintage.
Thank you Jessica!
Have fun with this and don't be afraid to mix in some modern pieces as well. My little tree looks so pretty at night. Sadly my camera doesn't take very good pictures in low light but it's so sparkly! :)

Stay tuned for another post this week about vintage holiday decor! I can't wait to share with everyone how I decorated my fireplace mantel.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Blog Post I've Been Avoiding

As the title of this post says, this is something I have put off writing for a while now. I haven't posted on my blog in a little over two months. I've been posting a little more lately on Facebook and on Instagram but certainly not up to my normal online interaction in regards to sewing and all things vintage. But I'm getting there, slowly.
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As some of you may already know, my brother Christoper passed away very unexpectedly in August. He was 30 years old. We are all still trying to process this and our hearts are shattered. I'm so thankful there is a loving network of friends and family who have all been amazing and I know you will all continue to be. Thank you to everyone who has offered your love and support during this difficult time. I never thought I would say, thank God for Facebook, but it's true. The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and even complete strangers online has been truly amazing and humbling. The reenacting community especially has been wonderful and supportive. Our family has received messages from reenactors who personally knew, or knew of, my brother from all across the U.S., Canada, the UK and even Belgium. It just proves what a small world we live in.

This is a post I've had to write by starting and stopping several times over the last three months. Often I'd just sit here starting at the blank page. I really didn't know where to start but felt it was important to say something. How do you sum up the life of a loved one in a single blog post? The truth is, you can't. It's cannot be done in a blog post or multiple posts to social media. It cannot be done in a collection of photographs, though these things can come close. (We created a slide show of photos and music for Chris's memorial service and it was over 30 minutes long! With plenty more to add.)

Grief is a difficult thing to go through for everyone, and it's been a real struggle for those of us that were closest with my brother. I posted briefly about the passing of a close friend this spring and was still struggling with his loss when I heard about my brother. We must all find our own way to deal with and process grief. And it's going to be a different journey for each of us.

Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal. 
- William Penn, Fruits of Solitude

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Chris was many things to many people; son, brother, husband and friend. Everything was falling into place for him and life was going so well for him and his wife. They celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary in June. Chris was an incredibly talented person, always looking to learn new skills and apply them to the things he enjoyed most in life. He had settled on creating a career involving horses and had set out on the path to makes those dreams come true. He and one of our sister's planned to take over the family farm and share those dreams together. There are now, and will always be, horses on the farm but it won't seem the same without my brother. Sometimes I just pretend he's off on some great adventure, which in a way I guess he is. This whole post seems inadequate but as I said, I felt I needed to write something.

I cannot say, and I will not say 
That he is dead. He is just away.
With a cherry smile, and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land 

And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you – oh, you, who the wildest yearn 
For an old-time step, and the glad return,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here.
Think of him still as the same. I say,
He is not dead – he is just away.
James Whitcomb Riley

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My brother loved history and living history was a passion we both shared. To honor his memory, friends and family members have made donations to The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH, an open air living history museum where we both spent a great deal time. Through volunteering and reenacting at The Fort at No. 4, Chris worked to help ensure the museum's long history as a site for educational and living history programs. As a way to honor him, donations to this site in Chris' name will be used to repair and maintain the museum to ensure the continuation of Chris' passion at a place very dear to him.

The holidays this year are going to suck. There's no other way to say it, but somehow I know we will all manage and find the strength to laugh and smile. We will create new traditions in Chris's honor, tell rude jokes and funny stories to keep his memory and energy alive. Even though it may be hard at times, these are things we need to do. And I've learned through all of this just how important friends and family really are. I have also learned that grief is a process. There are many stages and there are going to be many crummy days before things begin to seem brighter on a more regular basis. There will be good days again but for now it's perfectly fine to just have OK days.

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I am planning to post with more regularity on this blog over the winter and to continue doing and sharing the things I love. I know Chris would want all of us to continue doing what we enjoy. It's all part of moving through the tunnel of grief. I have several posts waiting in my draft folder and many exciting things to share. But if I disappear for days or weeks on end, don't worry, I will come back. Sometimes it's important to take time for yourself.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

It's been long time since my last post. Lots of things have happened this year, and not all of them good, I'm sad to say. But more on that later. I hope to have my blog back up and running with more regular posts this winter. So until then, thank you for sticking with me! I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween.
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Here is a throw back post to last year with a recap of some of my Halloween outfits.

Originally posted on November 3, 2016.
A very quick for Throwback Thursday! I thought I would share our Halloween costumes from the last couple of years. I don't have pictures of our costumes for this year because our party hasn't happened yet! I know crazy, but this coming weekend was the best time for all our friends to get together. It's going to be awesome. :)

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf
Bonnie and Clyde

Popeye and a 1920s film star in gray scale
 Charlie Chaplin and my Carol Burnett inspired Gown with the Wind costume.  Photo by Kris Jarrett Photography and Media Production
The last two years our friend's parties have had themes. The first was based on the movie Clue (Cori wasn't able to attend but I went as Mrs. White) and last year was cartoon/comic book characters. We went as Cruella de Vil  from 101 Dalmatians and Zap Brannigan. This year the theme is Joss Universe, so anything or anyone created by Joss Wheden!!!

Photo by Kris Jarrett Photography and Media Production

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Giveaway Time with RVS

Hey everyone!! Have you pre-ordered your new shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes? There is still plenty of time, you have until August 10th.

And guess what else?? RVS is hosting a giveaway for one lucky winner to receive a $175 gift certificate to their shop. Visit their blog to learn how to enter.

Rosie WWII Double Buckle Boots for Women

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Vintage Life Miss September Contest

Hello everyone!
I entered the Miss September photo contest for Vintage Life Magazine! The Vintage Life Team will pick the winner but they do take the number of likes, comments, and shares for each photo into consideration. Here is the link that will take you directly to the photo album. The winning photo will be published in the next issue of the magazine! Please "vote" for me. :)

I would love it if you could like, comment, and share my photo! Even if I only make runner up, I admit it would be a little dream come true. ;)
Thanks everyone! :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

MAAM WWII Weekend 2017 - Pt 2

As promised here is my second post about the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's WWII weekend. This time I thought I would share some fun photos from around our camp. To give you an idea of just how big this event is, have a quick peek at this map of the site.

Part of the US Navy "air station" on Wake Island

Communications bunker on Wake Island
Here is most of our group!

Here are a few shot by Emileigh of Flashback Summer who joined me that weekend.
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Our kitchen for the weekend. Three square meals each day, thanks cooke!

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Breakfast time!!
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I love this one, the guys were having too much fun reading the ads in this 1940s Life Magazine!

Here are a few shots from the French Village. I wish I had taken more but was having so much fun visiting with friends I only took a few.

Watching the vintage planes during the air show portion on the weekend is always a highlight!

That's all for now! Hope you enjoy! :) Be sure to check out Flashback Summer's post for more photos.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Photo Shoot with A Timeless Collection - Pt 2

As promised, here is part two of our photo shoot with A Timeless Collection. Thank you so much for your feedback on the first set of photos. We had so much working with Joani Jasset and can't wait to work with her again. If you have not visited her Facebook or Instagram pages, please do. Be sure to Like them and follow along to check out all of Joani's amazing work!

(All photos by A Timeless Collection. Please DO NOT COPY without permission. Thank you!)

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Our inspiration for the train station photos were similar images of soldiers and sailors leaving and returning home from WWII.

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I had a really hard time choosing which photos to here on my blog!

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You can see more photos in this post. I wrote a review of the 1940s Nita shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes.

A Timeless Collection is currently seeking summer clients so send them a message and schedule a session. You won't regret it! 

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Nita Shoes from RVS

I'm sure by now that many of you are familiar with the Royal Vintage Shoes brand of reproduction and vintage style footwear. If not, I encourage you to pop over to their page and have a look around. Last fall RVS debuted their first collection of reproduction shoes based on classic styles from the 1940s. I originally ordered the Marilyn pumps in red but even after sizing down, still found they would not work for my feet. Sadly, I have a hard time with pumps. But I must say I was super impressed with the quality and style!

Photos in this post are by A Timeless Collection. Please DO NOT COPY without permission. 
Thank you!

Fast forward to this spring when I found myself, ahem, in "need" of a new pair of shoes. I had scheduled a photo shoot with the extremely talented Joani of A Timeless Collection and simply had nothing to wear! lol!! We've all been their, right? ;)  (Check out part one of our shoot. Part two coming soon!)

The Nita shoes are completely different from anything I have in my vintage and vintage style shoes collection. They seem to be a versatile style that will go with a lot of different outfits, both day and evening. I actually wore these to a friend's wedding a few days after these photos were taken and danced most of the night it them!

I was a bit worried about sizing but after consulting the size chart, asking others who had purchased this style, and a quick note to Lauren the shop owner, I decided to order my normal US 6 1/2. These shoes are comfortable right out of the box, or in this case, suit case!!

The ankle straps are adjustable and the material is real leather so after wearing them a few times I find they fit really well! The heel, though a little taller than I like for everyday, is balanced and very comfortable.

As you can see, we did a bit of walking around for this photo shoot. The Nita's did great!! Even walking down the railroad tracks!

There is a lot to love about these shoes!

So, where will your RVS shoes take you? ;) Oh, and right now they are having a summer sale!! :)

Outfit Details
Suit - Wearing History closet sale
Hat - Stone Village Antiques
Stockings - What Katie Did

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