Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Treasury Tuesday – Goodbye July

The end of July is upon us and I would like to share one last ode to that month of stars and stripes, summer heat, and beach fun. 

Asli, from Nirwa Design, has curated a beautiful collection of nautical themed summer items that embodies what July is for me. Isn't that fedora so much fun?! I also just love that little toddler dress and the striped clutch. My large retro post earrings "Sail on Sailor", got to catch the last of the July winds too!

To view individual items in this treasury, click here.

Summertime Gift Guide on Etsy #summer #July #nautical

Last Week's Treasury Tuesday:

Did you know that I'm giving away a $25 gift card to my shop?! Enter here!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Make My Monday – Giveaway on Chronically Vintage

Chronically Vintage giveaway for ChatterBlossom gift card!
Guess what!! One of my favorite vintage bloggers, Jessica from Chronically Vintage, is holding a giveaway for a $25 gift card to use in MY shop! Woohoo!!! If you've been eyeing any beauties from my collection, here is your chance to scoop some up for free! Or, if you are anything like me, you'll use the $25 as an excuse to buy $50 worth of goodies and explain later to your spouse that it was like getting 1/2 off!! 

Plus, the giveaway is open internationally for all you lovely readers outside the US! There are seven ways to enter, so there should be an easy option for everyone to participate.

Get yourself over there pronto and fingers crossed that you win!!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Sunday Snag – Heaven Sent Me These Pants

1950s cropped blouse #vintage #1950s #fashion

This was the best snag I made at the All Balboa Weekend dance event! These pants, that is! The shirt I adore as well, but more on that in a minute cause these pants! There they were, at The Cleveland Shop booth, hanging quietly, quite unassuming, as hoards of girls passed them up for fancy dresses. But I heard them whisper. My fingers felt the lightweight fabric and my eyes caught the pumpkin spice color immediately. I just prayed they would fit! I added them to my human clothes rack/shopping cart (the hubs) and made my way to try on all my finds. 

Well, as luck would have it, they fit perfectly! No alterations, just a few stitches loose that I could take care of back home. Help me out vintage savants, what era are these, 30s or 40s? They have no zipper, just a side button closure. All I know is that I felt like freakin' Katherine Hepburn in this outfit! They feel like walking in meringue people. Light as a feather, probably a silk/cotton blend, and a loose wide leg make them the. perfect. pant. Especially for dancing! You stay cool and they don't stick to you and show sweat. THANK YOU BALBOA GODS! 

I had brought along this adorable top that I hadn't worn yet, just hoping that I would find something to go with it. So glad I did because these pantaloons were a perfect coupling! The blouse, from Fancy That Vintage, is a 1950s plaid in pastel colors of blue, pink, green, and yellow. It is cropped which is fun but necessary to have high waisted pants or shorts (at least for me anyway). The waistband is fitted while the bust is blousey, which conveniently gives the illusion of a smaller waist. Yippee!

You can't see them, but I just have my dance tennies on as I was on my way out of the hotel room to take 4 hours of dance lessons. I don't wear much jewelry when dancing as it can be hazardous, so I just put on my white button earrings. My glamorous bracelet is my event wristband for the weekend. My hair is in second day pin curls that I left the front hair down and pinned the back up with bobbies and two combs. Sorry, I didn't think to snap a photo of the back so you could see it. Next time. 

Vintage Day Outfit on ChatterBlossom #1940s #1950s #fashion #vintage

     Retro Fashion #1950s #vintage #fashionPerfect 1950s Daytime Outfit #vintage #fashion

Side Detail on 1940s Day Outfit #1940 #vintage #fashion

Pants: 1930s/1940s from The Cleveland Shop
Blouse: 1950s from Fancy That Vintage
Earrings: "Sugar Drops" from my shop ChatterBlossom

Vintage Day Outfit on ChatterBlossom #fashion #vintage

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Shop Talk – Anastasia

Early 1900s Buckle Clasp Velvet Necklace #1900s #antique #velvet

Personality: The Lore Lover
Places you'll find yourself: Penning grand romances for future youthful eyes to hungrily devour

Antique Velvet Necklace by ChatterBlossom #vintage #antique #1930s                                                                                                      This old world romantic necklace was created using an antique cloak clasp circa 1910-1930 in a beautiful mottled green celluloid. The pendant is shield shaped with an intricate metal filigree top centered by a large triangular rhinestone that appears to have been teal at one time but has weathered with age. It is sewn to a sumptuously soft German velvet from the 1930s in a light coffee brown. 

Back of early 1900s buckle clasp with velvet ribbon necklace

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Photo Swoon – Birthstone Recap

Starting at the beginning of this year, I put together tributes to those born in each month with an ode to their birthstones. Each month's post starts with a bit of poetry written by me and then showcases gemstone inspired gift guides. I thought I might give you a six month recap now that we are officially half way through the year. You can click on any of the birthstones to see the original post for that particular month in its entirety. 

January, kissed with winter's garnet lips, embodies the deep sleep of a still warm and beating heart.

Year in Birthstones #january #garnet #birthstone

February, a month of magic, fantasizing of the coming spring, spreads her frosty fingertips and breathes a heavy sigh of winter's cool breath among forgotten flowers.

Year in Birthstones #February #amethyst #birthstone

March, the dawn of spring and the twilight of winter, a month of inbetweens. Cold breath, warm expectations, life standing still, but wind rustling her into pressured movement. Like a great swell from the sea, blue winds of early spring rise to remind the earth to green.

Year in Birthstones #March #aquamarine #birthstone

April, mistress of May, dresses in dew and falling rain. Laughing light, silvery notes at Winter's gray glances, playfully mocking him with her spirited dance towards Earth. "Spring is here!", she triumphantly sings, her twinkling eyes alight in crystalline fire.

Year in Birthstones #April #diamond #birthstones

May, that witchy wonder of velveteen springtime, who beckons the sun to creep into souls of earthen things, filling them with glowing life. A lush and unfurling life, ever pounding the lifeblood of summer's awakening.

Year in Birthstones #May #emerald #birthstone

June, that mirrored breath of both spring and summer, lowers her lashes from that first bloom's blush and casts her gaze toward ever lengthening days, those filled with love's bright rush.

Year in Birthstones #June #pearl #birthstone

July, lady afire, breath heated and heavy, casts her blazing eye upon the earth. Daring us to look away from her consuming glance, she treads dangerously close to the edge of an inward flame.

Year in Birthstones #July #ruby #birthstones

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday Thrill – B&B Getaway Part Two

Homemade Mini Biscuits with Raspberry Preserves and Lemon Curd

Last week, I introduced you to the bed and breakfast where we stayed for our 10th wedding anniversary (see Part One here and our date week here to catch up). Today, I'm going to share with you the food. I just want to apologize right off the bat, as you will be jealous and very hungry by the end of this post. 

Part Two: The Food

The Fearrington House Inn, where we stayed for three nights and four days, was a foodie paradise. The hubs and I live for foodie adventures. We've eaten at some extraordinary places and had such great food over the last few years. Actually, it is often the food alone that will determine how a vacation goes for us. Our friends and family know this too and often my sister and her husband will have "food vacations" with us, where we go to all the most interesting places we can find to try out our next delicious crush.

I really value supporting local farmers and sustainable food, so most of our tasty treats are discovered by searching out those establishments that share that value. That is how we initially found The Fearrington. They have a small farm of their own, local gardens, and support the local farmers around them as well. They are what you would call a Farm to Fork restaurant and use freshly sourced, seasonal ingredients. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate these places. It not only helps the community, it also usually equals incredible meals to enjoy too.

The B&B offered a gorgeous (yes, gorgeous) full breakfast every morning, afternoon tea (one of the joys of my life), multiple snacks awaiting us in our room, a packed picnic one day, and a couple of lunch and low-key dinner venues on site. I only have photos of our afternoon tea and our picnic, as I wanted to enjoy my breakfast and dinner with my husband without disturbing others around me with the camera. It was vacation after all.

Afternoon Tea Sandwiches #tea
Breakfast was tasty and served by the friendliest couple of ladies you could meet in the morning. Their oatmeal was heavenly. I know right? Oatmeal. But it was sooooo good. They had a full menu, so we tried multiple items each morning we were there, but the oatmeal was my favorite. It's funny, I heard the waitresses with an English accent regardless of the fact that they were American. Ha! I couldn't help it. I'm so used to traveling in the UK and having these wonderful full breakfasts, that I can't help but associate them with the accent.

Afternoon tea is an especial delight for me and my husband. We are both quiet, slow-paced, comfort loving, romantic people and there is just something about sharing a pot of tea and finger foods with someone you love on a warm and lazy afternoon. It also helps that this B&B had such a beautiful selection of teas and dainty little tasties. I almost always choose a plain black English tea as I love the smooth, rich taste (especially with a drop of cream) and the way it clears the palette to try all the little array of foods they served. They had the typical fare, cucumber, ham, salmon, and egg finger sandwiches for the savory bit, but I have to be honest..I don't really want the savory bit. I am a dessert girl and my sweet tooth always wins. The tiny sweets were so lovely and I had my very first macaroon! It was delicious. I don't have any idea why that particular treat has escaped my grasp until now. They also had THE most delicious little biscuits with clotted cream, lemon curd, and raspberry preserves. By the last day, I very sheepishly asked the waiter if we could have just the biscuits and nothing else. Yep, I'm that lady. Luckily, he obliged and we had a plate of biscuits between us! Being embarrassing FTW!

best macaroon ever #macaroon #dessert

Mini Tea Biscuits, Clotted Cream, Raspberry Preserves, and Lemon Curd #tea

mini pineapple cake #yum #dessert

Lunches and dinners at The Granary, a restaurant located in the Fearrington Village, were satisfactory. They were pretty regular meals, which was expected (although the staff was incredible as always). We did eat at Lantern in the town nearby, and weirdly, didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. Maybe it was an off night or maybe it was just that we felt mildly uncomfortable or out of place, but nonetheless, my Bucket List Dress got a night that was a bit disappointing as its debut outing. No worries though. We were going to have the best meal of our entire lives soon and just didn't know it yet! 

That brings us to dinner at The Fearrington House Restaurant. Oh. My. Heavens. Where to begin with this treasure of the taste bud gods. We had no idea what to expect. We looked the place up and it is a AAA five diamond restaurant (the only to be green certified) and is one of the top 50 restaurants in the US. The chef was just awarded one of the world's top culinary accolades in 2012 and after our meal, he was in danger of a marriage proposal from me. Luckily, I didn't see him or there would have been a seriously embarrassing moment on our hands. 

Our dinner there was lavish in a keenly sophisticated way. No over-the-top or cheap flair. The courses (of which we had easily 10 or more) were delicate, beautiful and prepared with what I can only imagine is a great respect for food. It was quite astonishing really. We also had a Sommelier who paired every course with wines and other such liquid delights. He was so nice, amazingly informative, and a damn wizard if you ask me. I've never enjoyed wine with food (literally, not ever) until that night and somehow I enjoyed every glass he poured. Each one complimented its paired meal in a way I didn't know was possible. One of the later pours tasted very much like the best kiss you've ever had. 

That meal was, hands down, the best meal either of us have ever had the pleasure of eating. It was also the most expensive meal we've ever had, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hesitate to give that chef, sommelier, and staff my car, the keys to my apartment, my pin code, and somebody else's first born to be able to eat there again. They could have easily taken all that from me without a fight regardless, as I had had quite a bit of wine by the end of that night. Luckily, we only had a short walk to the comfort and safety of our room.

The room is where we spent our next day, including lunch as it was raining and we were comfortable with a day in to relax. The staff prepared a picnic for us and delivered it to our door! There was a bottle of Pellegrino, olives, sandwiches, salmon, cheese & crackers, fried chicken, and dessert. Doesn't that sound loverly? It was. We just turned on the in room Bose radio to classical, opened the curtains, and sat together watching the rain while enjoying our lunch together.

Stay tuned for the last installment of our B&B getaway, The Setting, next week! 

Picnic Indoors #picnic #getaway

A indoor picnic done right #getaway #picnic
Perfect picnic for a rainy day #picnic #date

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Treasury Tuesday – Upcycled Summer

It is nearing the end of July (can you believe it?!) and summer is in full heatstroke inducing swing. I've been spending the hottest hours inside at my work table, making little goodies for my shop. I'm sure many people are doing the same and using the hottest parts of the day to work inside on crafty things (preferably in a cool basement...). 

This treasury is a fun one! Curated by Vicky Myers Creations, it features items made from upcycled, or repurposed, materials. These super cute gifts also happen to be in a refreshingly pastel palette, which seems to cool down the raging heat of summer outside. I particularly love the purse made from a vintage Alice in Wonderland book! Whimsical and eco-friendly is a great combo! My tiny vintage button bobby pins, "Blue Betty", got to join this pastel picnic too!

To view individual items in this treasury, click here.

Upcycled Summer Gift Guide on Etsy #ecofriendly

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Sunday Snag – A Paisley Day

1960s Paisley Dress on ChatterBlossom #vintage #1960 #paisley #retro

Gosh, you know, I've never owned a single paisley print item until this dress. It surprised me actually because I quite like paisley. It is such a whimsical print and I was excited when I saw this dress had it in such a pretty magenta! 

I picked this dress up from The Cleveland Shop while I was up there for All Balboa Weekend, a four day long dancing event that also happens to have vintage and vintage reproduction vendors from the area participate. That equals dangerous ground for my pocket book. Dancing plus vintage in one spot?! Hide, wallet, hide!

This isn't the first dress I've gotten from The Cleveland Shop. I picked up a perfectly lovely green floral one at the last dancing weekend I had as well, which happened to be in Raleigh. I wore it to my first craft fair and you can click here to see that outfit. I loved that dress and was super excited to get to browse that shop's offerings again. 

Vintage 1960s Outfit on ChatterBlossom #vintage #1960 #retro #fashion

This dress looks to be a late 50s, early 60s piece in fuchsia, green, and white. It has a front zipper, a fun button flap neckline, and a full skirt where the paisley print increases in size toward the bottom. I did a lot of work to this dress. It fit my waistline when I bought it, but the bust and shoulders were way to big. I figured this would be a perfect alterable dress because the print would mask my junior level sewing skills. I took in the bust about 4 inches and raised the shoulders by 4 inches as well. That made the sleeve openings slightly smaller but I actually liked that, so no harm done. 

The original button at the neckline was a matching magenta one that needed to be moved over to accommodate my alterations. I decided to replace that button with a vintage domed white one to add a bit of contrast to the already very pink dress. The original belt in the same paisley fabric was actually still with this dress, but again, because the print is quite prominent I decided to make a belt that would break up the dress a bit and help define my waist. To make the belt, I used the bottom of a green jersey dress that I had hemmed earlier and had saved the fabric. Because jersey doesn't fray I was able to just cut the fabric and leave the edge unfinished. I have a bag of vintage buckles so I selected a white plastic one that matched my button neckline and just pulled the green fabric sash though to use. The back is just tied in a loose bow. 

I tried to keep the accessories pretty low-key so as not to overwhelm the look. I made a bobby pin flower in a magenta color and the center is one of my grandmother's brooches. For jewelry, I decided to just wear a ring because my neckline was already embellished by the dress and you couldn't see my ears with my pin curls. "Harriet", an antique hydrangea button ring from my shop, was a perfect understated accessory that still brought out some of the green hiding in the dress pattern. 

I got to try out my new pink lipstick too! I never wore lipstick before this year. I purchased my first red lipstick several months ago to try out a 40s style lip and quickly fell in love. This is only my second lipstick purchase and I'm thrilled with it too! I think it pairs quite perfectly with my dress color! 

I didn't get dolled up for nothing. The hubs and I went out for Mexican food and sangrias at my very favorite restaurant in Raleigh, Centro. Yum!!

Retro Paisley Day Outfit ~ ChatterBlossom #retro #1960 #paisley #fashion

Retro Day Look on ChatterBlossom #1960 #1950 #pink #retro #vintage
Dress: Early 1960s from The Cleveland Shop
Hair Flower: From my shop, ChatterBlossom
Belt: Made by me from vintage buckle and jersey
Ring: Antique button ring "Harriet" from ChatterBlossom
Shoes: Express
Lipstick: Mineral Fusion "Intensity"

Vintage Paisley Dress Detail ~ ChatterBlossom #paisley #1960 #1950 #fashion

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Shop Talk – Paging Bettie

Rockabilly Hair Bow "Paging Bettie" #rockabilly #pinup #retro #tattoo #bettie

Personality: The Unabashed and Shameless
Places you'll find yourself: Entertaining everyone who meets you with your free spirited and wild pursuit of fun

Rockabilly Hair Bow with vintage tattoo design #hair #rockabilly #tattoo #pinup

If you caught the word-play, then you know that the inspiration for this hair bow is Miss Bettie Page. Her hard-edged pinup style still influences rockabilly gals to this day. Sometimes it's just good to be bad.

This bow is made from a cotton fabric with a vintage tattoo design. Cool beans note: The bow is reversible! One side has the word "love" and the other side has "hope". It is sewn so that you can slip the attachment of your choice (clip, snap, headband, etc.) through the center to wear with either side facing outward. 

Bettie Page style hair bow #pinup #rockabilly #retro #tattoo

Reversible Vintage Tattoo Hair Bow #pinup #rockabilly #hair #bettie

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