Saturday, October 25, 2014

Tales of Tomorrow

  Many years ago, while perusing one of my cool, older brother's British import music magazines, I came across a fashion spread influenced by the iconic 1968 film Barbarella.  I fell in love with the look, and filed 'retro space girl' as a costume I wanted to attempt someday. Campy, vintage sci-fi and B rated movies hold a special place in my heart.  Along with the lurid covers of trashy pulp fiction novels from the era, the female characters, while highly sexualized,  were often bold, brazen, ass kicking heroines.  This was really one of the few places that females were portrayed as anything other than a love interest or a damsel in distress.  
  Big hair, mod boots, and laser guns, f*ck yeah!
Outfit details:
Early 1960s silver dress: thrifted
underbust corset (modern): Ross
Laser Blaster: Ebay
Silver Steve Madden boots: thrifted and spray painted
Sputnik headband: made by me
Anne Francis in Forbidden Planet, 1955
Fashion designer Edith Head with her design 
for the Venusian Womens' Home Guard, 1953 
Moon bridal hat by Bettmann, 1956
Dyna Sputnik, 1958
1950s Air Vornado Advertisement
Worlds Within, 1950
Barbarella, 1968

Friday, October 24, 2014

Waking the Dead

  The blog posts have become a bit infrequent as of late.  I've been having what I lightly refer to as a major freaking life crisis! :)  I was enrolled in several online classes this semester so that I could apply for a nursing program, full time next fall. I had started this process after my eldest son was born, ten years ago.  I had loved the classes then, and it seemed like a practical, responsible decision.  In fact, even though my plans were put off for many years so that I could stay home and raise my babies, I always planned on pursuing nursing, and never bothered forming a plan B.   A couple of weeks into my classes,  I fell into a deep depression.  I loathed my classes, and couldn't fathom the idea that this was my future.  In fact, I started questioning everything in my life.  I realized how unhappy and unfulfilled I have felt, and how many of my decisions were based on the needs of other people and not the desires of my heart.  I dropped my classes and am doing some major soul searching to figure out my next course of action.  I started seeing a therapist, and have been journaling, and making long lists of things that I feel I need to explore.  I have literally been putting my life on hold for a decade.  It's time to be bold and maybe a little selfish.  We are only given one life and it's up to us what we make of it.  So here's to the death of settling, falling into old patterns, and not living up to our potential.

Outfit details:
1950s wool wiggle dress: estate sale
1950s black and red corset belt: Copper Alligator 
1940s black bird veil: antique store
black and white backseam thigh highs: Ebay
shoes: Poetic License
Ouija board brooch: Wacky Tuna Vintage
xox, Hannah

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Czech me out

  This August, my husband and I were flown to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to give  a presentation at the Iowa State Preservation Conference.  We left on a Thursday and returned on a Sunday, so we had a bit of time to explore the city.  One of our best friends, Jenny, drove 5 hours from Minneapolis, MN to spend the last two days with us.  After a bit of aimless wandering, we got a recommendation to head to Czech Village, also called New Bohemia, or Newbo.  My only regret is that we didn't find out about it sooner.  Newbo is an arts district filled with restaurants, bars, and tons of cool antique shopping.  We discovered a darling little vintage shop called, The Copper Alligator.   Unfortunately the shop isn't listed under vintage clothing, but rather "costumes" so I almost missed out.  There are tons of affordable treasures packed in this shop and it's totally worth checking out.  I left with a sundress, THE BEST kitten themed apron, and some 40s ties and tie clips for my husband.  I'm sure there the dress and apron will make an appearance here eventually.
The shop is next door to a little Czech bakery, and across the street are a couple of really good antique stores including Treasure Chest Collectibles and Czech Village Antiques.  Wade bought a WWII Czech military jacket that fits like a dream, and some Czech civilian patriotic pins from the same era.  Next we headed down to Mad Modern, a vintage furniture shop specializing in mid-century modern.  I have to admit, walking into Mad Modern made me a really good way.  I was sad that we were flying home, and couldn't take any furniture with us.  Luckily, there was a small section of clothing, ties, purses, etc and I found a fantastic navy dress.  
Outfit details: 
Navy 50s dress: Mad Modern
WWII Czech pin:  Czech Village Antiques
red bow belt: Ebay
assorted Bakelite bangles: thrifted & Ebay
vintage leather lace-up boots: Ebay
1940s telephone cord purse: Ebay

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

  This Labor Day weekend, we tried to take advantage of all our favorite summer activities that were winding down for the season.  We saw a movie at the drive-in theater, went swimming at the pool, and headed up to the Manitou Springs' Penny Arcade.  The arcade is one of my favorite places in Colorado, and I love sharing it with my own children.  The arcade is filled with antique pinball machines, skeeball, derby races, peepshows, 1950s Love Testers, photo booths, and plenty of automated fortune tellers to keep us entertained all day.   A lot of the really old games cost between a penny and a dime, hence the name "Penny Arcade."  You can also buy fresh salt water taffy, cotton candy, and chocolate truffles. 
Outfit Details:
Early 60s Toni Todd novelty colonial farm print dress (with rooster weather vanes, of course)
matching belt and hair scarf (not pictured): Estate Sale
Assorted Bakelite bangles: Ebay and thrifted
1950s poodle brooch: birthday gift
Green 40s inspired t-strap wedges: B.A.I.T. footwear

Monday, August 18, 2014

Where to take a date in Pueblo

  A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I were discussing where to take someone for a day while visiting Pueblo.  There are a couple of really unique things about this area of the state, and we wanted the list to highlight all the original things that make P-town stand out.   Hot and sunny Pueblo receives around 300 days of sunshine a year, so it's no surprise that Oregon natives, and brothers Mike and Dave Hartkop came here to open a coffee shop that uses solar power to roast coffee.  Solar Roast Coffee is my favorite local shop, so after you pick up your latte, be sure to walk the ARTery, a huge collection of professionally painted murals in the alleyways Downtown. Next you can head over to the riverwalk and do some shopping on  Historic Union Ave.  At the corner of Union and B. St. is a fabulous bakery, Hopscotch, where you can grab a quick treat and head down B. St. to view the Union Depot and do some shopping at the Robot Exchange, my favorite vintage clothing store.  
   In addition to its abundant sunshine, Pueblo is famous for its green chile.  The chiles are grown locally, fire roasted, and then added to about every dish you can imagine.  In addition to Mexican food, local restaurants serve them on pizza, sandwiches, pastas, and desserts.  If you order "chili fries," you are probably going to get fries smothered in cheese and green chile sauce.  One of the most popular, and my personal favorite is something called the Slopper.  It's literally a bun-less cheeseburger, smothered in green chile.  It's highly debated on who has the best Slopper in town, but I prefer Gray's Coors Tavern, and while you are there, you can order a schooner of beer (or two!)  
  If you want to cool down you can head to the Nature and Raptor Center and go tubing in the river (life jackets are a must, the Arkansas River is serious business).  Or you can walk/bike the many miles of trails that connect to downtown.  Located nearby is the Pueblo Reservoir, and for the price of a parking pass ($7) you can swim at Rock Canyon swim beach, walk trails, rent a boat, or go camping.  Did I mention it's hot and sunny? Wear sunscreen!
   One of the best activities on summer evenings is to head out to the county and see a double feature at the Mesa Drive-In.  The theater opened in 1951 and is only of 7 drive-in theaters left in Colorado.  The films don't start until the sun goes down, so dress the kiddos in pjs and bring some blankets.  Even with all our sunshine, it cools down quickly in the evening.  Mesa Drive-In is super affordable (8.50 per adult, and kids under 12 FREE), and has a full concession menu that includes things like cheeseburgers, ice cream cones, and FUNNEL CAKES!
Outfit details:
Navy dot hair scarf: Estate Sale
1950s navy pinstripe dress (matching bolero not pictured): Buffalo Exchange, South Broadway, Denver, CO
1940s white leather sailor fish belt: Everyday People, Minneapolis, MN
Navy shoes: Poetic Licence
Assorted patriotic Bakelite: Ebay & thrifted
Pueblo is being added to a national list of Hidden Gems
 in an effort to make traveling easier, cheaper and more affordable. There is a rental car company called RelayRides that allows those with an underutilized car to rent it out to someone looking for a car. Not only does this mean there's less cars being added to the road (yay for the environment), but also means that both the parties win because the owner makes money off a car they already own. The renter typically saves around 40% compared to using a corporate car rental counterpart. This Pinterest places board will be used as a resource for our community to make finding places while traveling that much easier!
Check out the board for other Hidden Gems in your neck of the woods.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Beach Wear

  I created a board of my summer essentials in cooperation with a campaign from Raise Raise is the first online marketplace to buy and sell gift cards.  You can buy discount gift cards to your favorite stores or sell your unwanted gift cards for cash.   The best thing about all the items on this board, it that they are all available from brands on's vast array of gift cards.  
 This site lets users purchase gift cards for less than their value, helping to save you some extra cash! I love to go shopping for end of summer sales, so when there’s a big purchase I want to make, I always check out this site first to see if I can score any deals on gift cards — I’ve seen up to 15% savings! Seriously, guys, check this site out!

Philadelphia, PA: Haunted prisons, 80 lb tumors, and Benjamin Franklin

  As I may have mentioned, this year my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We planned a vacation together in Philadelphia around a Preservation conference my husband was scheduled to attend.  We flew in my wonderful mother-in-law, all the way from Florida, to stay with our 4 children for the week that we were away.  I spent a lot of time walking around the city, visiting museums, and seeing all the important Colonial sites while my husband attended board meetings, poor guy!  On one of the rare days that we were able to site see together, we visited Eastern State Penitentiary.  This prison was built in 1829, and was the first prison in the world to isolate prisoners in their own cells so that they would receive spiritual enlightenmentand truly be "penitent," hence the name penitentiary.  Prisoners were forbidden from leaving their cells or communicating with other inmates or guards.  Their cells had only a bed, a trunk, a chamber pot, and a bible.  No other reading materials were allowed at Eastern State in the beginning.  Also interesting, was the fact that Eastern State housed both men and women until 1923.  Eastern State is also well known as one of the most carefully studied buildings for paranormal investigations.  Unfortunately, I received no ghost flirting or harassment... total let down!
Also worth visiting
The Philadelphia Museum of Art.  On Wednesday evenings, visitors get to choose the price of their admission!  If you're feeling especially ridiculous, you can pose next to the Rocky statue located at the Museum's entrance.
The Penn Museum, especially if you have an interest in Egyptian mummies.
The Mütter Museum, which is a collection of medical oddities; including skeletal, mummified, pickled, and wax filled humans.  The bottom floor has some of the more creepy exhibits, including an 80 lb ovarian tumor, and a necklace made from genital warts.  Maybe eat lunch before you go, because the "ick" factor is pretty high.

I took a walking tour through of all the Ben Franklin related sites (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, first post office, Ben Franklin's grave, etc).  The tour guides rely on tips so you essentially get to pick the price for the tour.
The Dream Garden @ Curtis Center, which is a Maxfield Parrish designed mosaic done in Tiffany glass: it's FREE
Macy's in the historic Wanamaker building: FREE
Walk through JFK Plaza and then check out City Hall, which is beyond gorgeous!
Reading Terminal Market is a huge indoor mall of restaurants, with limitless great food options.  Bring cash though, because a lot of places aren't equipped to take cards.
I personally think you can't go wrong with a Philly Cheese steak, but Jim's Steaks has the coolest 1939 Moderne building!

Philly has a lot to offer if you are looking for gorgeous architecture, great museums, and really good food.  I was however, totally disappointed with the vintage shopping.  I hit about six different vintage shops and found them to be really overpriced and depressing.  The only shop worth mentioning is Briar Vintage, which sadly for me, was only men's clothing.
We had a great vacation together.  What are some of your favorite things to do in Philly, PA?

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