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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Embracing Going Gray ~ Turbans

Turbans available Lacey Rose Creations 

Recently I shared needing to cut off my hair due to health issues and not being as comfortable with the look as I once was, especially in my retro look lifestyle... even tho Jean Seberg once made a similar crop very chic to have after she cut her hair off for Joan of Arc, as well as actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron to name a few who also went short, but not quite as drastic as Jean or myself. Health was the driving force, but I could have left the hair a bit longer, but was just not wishing to deal with the "skunk stripe" , especially with being in the public eye. I did not even consider how I would feel with a "buzz cut" however. So here I was, 90% of the colored hair was gone, but so was what was to me, a retro style identifier...but that is just rehashing my last post. I shared then that I was now wearing scarves and true turbans, and that even my entire family had not seen my hair. That continued for a week, even after revealing my new cut via my latest YouTube episode; they really do not watch. I finally decided to unveil it to them and it was a mixed reaction, not bad or negative, just maybe taken aback. I still have not posted photos to Instagram or FB, so unless you have seen my video.... OH and just two days ago I shortened the fringe so that it would be less whispy and it removed even more of my faux color, leaving me with just a tinge of blue black on the top. I am now obsessed with berets, scarves, and turbans even more! Especially during the colder months and well I am not ready to unveil to my nail gal either...sometimes it is easier to hide than explain. 

Short hair has me hiding....
*Jean Seberg 

Now when I ordered my turban from Lacey Rose Creations via Etsy, I was not too knowledgeable about them in 1950's or early 60's style, I had seen a few photos, but for the most part I thought of Turbans as a more 1940's style, and of course they were very popular then, they were bigger and elaborate and I often see many of the ladies on Instagram that do the more 1940's look using them to top off their look ....even when I received my turban in the mail in the note card it was mentioned that they were more 1940's. I was curious, so I started doing a bit of research on the subject and collecting images. Now I do not mind rolling in a bit of the 1940's to my look, you have all seen me with a scarf on ala "Rosie the Riveter" , but that seems more accepted and the norm and is done with a  chiffon scarf or bandanna style scarf. I was amazed at how many images I did find that was women from the 1950s wearing turbans. 

Wearing a chiffon scarf ala Rosie
*brooch and earrings from
Housewife Chic by Ruby on Etsy 
If you are not familiar with the definition of the turban, here is a break down.... The word Turban is a description of a millinery design where fabric is wrapped and twisted and secured to create a turban/head wear that is now closely molded to the head.  It usually covers most or all of the hair. Of course how it looks, how big, be it stuffed, stiffened or adorned depends on the era, or fashion choices or even  ethnic/religious groups that may be wearing one. Turbans have been worn by women since as early as the 18th century, perhaps even further back, and there has been varieties of turbans through to modern day and not just by retro/vintage women or by women forced to cover their head due to health, religious or cultural reasons. 

Examples of turbans over the years in Hollywood
So what about in my style pocket, the 1950's ? Well, draped turbans sbegan to regain popularity again in the mid 1950s .  The Times reported in 1955, upon a ensemble designed by Dior that was  compromised of a sheath dress created in brocaded silk, with a  matching jacket trimmed with sable fur and then as a finishing touch a brocade silk draped turban. Turban styles were adapted to accommodate more bouffant hair styles. There was also a report of  Milliner Claude Saint-Cyr , who was in charge of designing hats for the Queen. One that was mentioned within all my research was a soft "supple" felt turban created in 1956, that covered the ears and rose to a draped peak at the back of the head. Similar if not the one to the one in this photo from 1960/

The Queen with Harold Macmillan in November 1960
Photo found via google search and not owned by me. 

I can imagine that if the queen wore it, it would not be long before a style firestorm would begin and many a woman would work a turban into their wardrobe, much like how women in the states followed the starlets and first ladies to guide how they dressed in their own life. That has not changed, don't we all still look up to those in the public eye to inspire what we wish to look like and how we dress? But I digress. This is about the fact that I am now trying to embrace my grey, but getting started on that path ( yet again) and do it in a drastic way; by cutting off all my hair. The thing is I still want that feeling of being chic and retro ( in my own eyes), and avoid a lot of explanation when I go out and run into people I know, or when I post photos to social media. This is also about me trying to cope with how I feel when I look in the mirror having just recently having had hair and a hair color that inspired others, and was an instant visual that represented to others and even to myself that I was a retro/vintage lady, even if in just a pair of jeans and a T shirt. Having hair this short , although it being something women did have in the 1950's as photos ( all of starlets mind you) I shared in my last post showed , for me , in my eyes, when I look in the mirror does not scream 1950's. Askewed thinking, yes, but it is what bounces around in my head. So turbans and scarves ala Rosie it is, at least for a couple months when the buzzed portion lengthens and softens a bit. At least now know that turbans ARE something that was around and worn quite a bit in the 1950's so I can feel a bit more like myself while I follow this path of embracing grey and my new much shorter hair. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Shades of Gray

It is that time of year when days are shorter and gray days out number that of sunny days, and that is applicable to many things, some days my temper is shorter, my patience, and often my mood is more gray. I hate to think I have seasonal disorder as I actually do not dislike that the days are shorter or more gray, but obviously it does play a factor into my daily life. But that is not the shorter or grayer that I am here to chat about today. Today I am here to chat about going shorter and grey AGAIN!

A couple of years ago I shared cutting all my hair off and going all natural ( and not for the first time in my life) and embracing it and loving the ease and never having to color again. That rarely lasts with me. Each time I tell myself all that and even last time I honestly think I believed it and flaunted my silver, till one day I dyed my hair, just in the fringe with a bit of pink, just for fun. Before I knew it I was doing my whole head in shades of was a hit with my fans, friends and family. I eventually decided over the summer to go more fuchsia and shades of deep ruby pink, but it began to become a really hassle to keep it looking fresh...and would fade to an ugly tone that made me just want to cringe. Then I discovered Overtone conditioner and I thought that would help, but no luck, not by fault of the product, just my hair, so on a whim I decided to go over it with a deep blue black....OMGoodness it looked amazing and I felt snazzy, and the compliments came flying. But it faded VERY quick and that sickly pinkish brown came through, so I decided to go over it with GHASP permanent blue black...which it turns out was more black than blue *SIGH* I added more blue via ION brand ( my favorite) in a few shades mixed together...not helping myself, at least as far as I could see, but I did "bleed" blue each time I shampooed more than I had ever done . I ordered Overtone silver and deep blue conditioners hoping to create as my hair grew, a denim shade and blending out the black some, softening it. Before I knew it, my head began to burn, YES BURN! Was it the non stop playing with color? Was it the permanent color ? Or was I suddenly having a reaction to the dye components in the Overtone colored conditioners ( as I did not have any reaction to pink I feel that was the only thing it could be), I did not know, but what I did know was my scalp was on fire, daily, and all day! When it was not burning, it was itching and feeling warm and even hurting.

 Now I do have fibromyalgia and so my head, even my hair does hurt on some level, but my scalp has never itched or burned. Could this be a flair? Or as I stated above did the over use of coloring products do it?  I have never had a reaction to any hair coloring in my past, I have been coloring my hair since I was 12! No matter the reason, I made the decision to go get my hair cut, cutting off my signature "Housewife Flip" last week and I shared this fact and the new haircut on my weekly YouTube video. I did not cut all the hair off, instead choosing to go with an Elizabeth Taylor style choppy pixie cut. it did not really remove all that much color, but I figured it was a start, and hopefully within a few months and before my photo shoot in April when I will be going to Viva Las Vegas, would be a good length and color all gone by then. The hair cut was a hit, but I was not loving that I suddenly had to blow dry, flat iron and work against my cowlicks just to look decent....Ok before you roll your eyes as you all know I used to have to wet and set my hair daily, using curlers and clips, prior to the cut , but I never used heat or at least not often, and as I soon found out was that my hair quickly dried out, my arms due to the fibro and arthritis, holding the blow dryer was difficult and uncomfortable, and then my scalp stayed on fire due to the heat! So here I was, color not gone, skunk stripe emerging, scalp on fire and not really even totally loving my hair. I was no better off. 

As each day became torture over the last week, I did a spur of the moment thing. I drove, while out running errands for my youngest daughter's 25th birthday, stopped at a Super Cuts near where I needed to pick some things for her party, went in, told the Jeanette, the stylist there to cut it all off. I said " Just take it! She looked at me wide eyed. I clarified and showed her a photo f me taken the last time I cut off all my hair color, two years ago, clippered short on the sides and back, and scissor cut very short so the hair only goes forward towards the front of my head, leaving my fringe long. She was a bit timid and suggested first a 5, then a 4 setting on the clippers, but I said do a 3, tho I was tempted to do a 2. I then made her take the top even shorter and shape it with the clippers as well as I have a horrible cowlick that makes my hair stand up on the side of the crown of my head. She did the best she could do to make it all lay smooth. Not all the color was removed on the top of my head, I probably have one or two more rounds to go, but 98 percent is gone from the sides and back up to my crown in the back.  It was a relief but also on some level I lost part of my identity. My Ruby's Musings Housewife Flip was gone, my 1950's Elizabeth Taylor cut was gone.... How would I be "me"? Would when I dressed in my 50's esq wardrobe and go out, be looked upon as authentic, instantly recognizable as being a retro/vintage woman? I do not even have enough hair to wear my hats right now! Suddenly I plunged into despair and regret and even embarrassment. I came home and put a scarf on my head and three days later not even my husband knows what I have done, other than seeing the charge on the bank account because of wearing a scarf during the day and a sleeping cap at night.  I shared with my bestie who told me she loved it. I shared with my youngest as I knew if anyone would "get it" she would. A couple random Instagram friends know, but have not seen. 

Two years ago, when all the color was cut off ,
except fringe and so I bleached it and dyed it
bright blue till it grew out. 

With a scarf on you can not tell I have gotten another
cut as the fringe still has color. 

There are a few ladies within the retro/vintage/pinup culture that have short pixie haircuts, but nothing like what is under my scarf...which is like the one above with blue fringe. I shared in my YouTube video "Power of the Pixie" all the actresses of the 1950's and early 1960's ( my style pocket) who had varied lengths of pixie haircuts. some where very short, even dare I say as short as mine is under my scarf, and tho they were not the general populous, they still wore feminine clothing as I love wearing, with the skirts and petticoats, but not living in that era I have had thoughts of would I still be identifiable? Would my brand I have built still remain intact?

Jean Seberg queen of the very short pixie,
mine is shorter. 

Mia Farrow, still longer than what I have.

Audrey Hepburn at her shortest length
 Yes, hair grows and eventually I could have my flip back, and look like my banner at top, but that will take nearly a year or longer. Certainly will not happen by the time April rolls around , when Viva arrives and some of the most "famous" pinup and retro ladies gather all in one place and I have a photo shoot that I have already partially paid for... what then? Will I stand out for the wrong reason? No longer fit in because my look is incomplete. Irrational thoughts? Yes, maybe, probably, most likely , won't know until the time comes. Am I being silly? I am pretty sure my bestie would say so with the utmost love. I am sure my hubby could really care less, and I have had a few in the culture that I shared this with support and comfort me...but for right now, for this day, or for the next few days, maybe weeks, my mind is as in as many shades of gray as the strands on my head...and I will most likely be rocking a turban quite a bit. Have you ever had a crisis of identity, made a beauty blunder or changed your appearance in a big way and regret it? I would love to hear from you. Have you embraced the gray and never looked back? Did it take you several tries? Go back to color? Perhaps you grew it out and just lived with the roots etc or did you cut it all off and then grew your hair back? Again would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Once Upon A Time (Dress)....

Where better a place to wear a dress that calls for a Halloween themed setting?! 

A short time ago I received a message on Instagram from a follower by  the handle @lovelyinlilacofficial , she had a proposition for me, in exchange for being seen, posting to Instagram and tagging her I would receive an incentive to make a purchase. Now this is not the norm, usually sponsors send me their products to try out, shoot with, review and promote, but I took a look at what Lovely in Lilac has to offer and I decided that I would agree to move forward...especially after chatting with the woman behind the company. All it took was a few exchanges back and forth and I knew that I wanted to be a part of what turns out to be the very begging of a new venture within the retro clothing world. 

Within the back and forth conversation I decided that I wanted to do more than just share a photo on Instagram and a tag, but I wanted to tell a story with the chosen dress and more so I wanted to tell the story of how Lovely In Lilac came to be, where it is now and where it is going to be headed in the very near future. Lovely in Lilac's social media presence is run by @lovelyinlavender on Instagram. She runs all the day to day operations and social media promotions. The company/shop was formed with two of her dear friends that she has had since high school, both being social media shy but of important talents to a clothing company, or any small business of any type; one is an arts major in collage and the other is attending business school and are involved with website design and graphics, and they have helped develop the business plan model for the business now known as Lovely in Lilac. 

I asked "Lavender" as I shall call her for the rest of this post, to tell me a little more back ground about Lovely in Lilac.... " I came up with the idea one night while we were all together (I have always had an obsession with quirky dresses) , and asked them for their help... I also agreed to take care of the social media needs since they are social media shy, it has been such a fun experience so far.  This northern California based company, founded earlier this year is still in the soft launch phase, and they are currently featuring "unique statement" printed dresses from companies such as Folter ( which the dress I am wearing is from), Retroliscious ( which has their own website, and social media presence as well as supplying smaller companies through wholesale) , and Voodoo Vixen. LIL has started out with a small stock of designs and offerings and has for now been seasonal, mainly Halloween for obvious reasons, but they are phasing out those prints, again for obvious reasons. They try to keep all sizes and styles in stock and ready for shipment within 48 hours of an order, but some sadly do sell out and are on back order which is out of their control, but they do their best to keep the website up to date. There is exciting things on the horizon for this small business, " in January we will expand to unique accessories and statement purses.... we are also working on the launch of our own house brand dress line, which is almost done with the design phase with the production phase starting this month!" I asked Lavender to expand on what is in the future for LIL, " We are also currently looking for more dress companies that carry the type and style of dresses similar to the style of dress we are going for, with a main focus of trying to stay with 'made in the U.S.A. " I then asked her to tell me about their customer service practices as that is a major thing with me, if customer service is lacking I often will stop shopping with a company no matter how good a product is, and expressing that "Lavender" did her best to fill me in on their policies and goals.... "We want the customer's experience to be an enjoyable one, that is one reason we try to work with them on every level through out the whole way we add to the experience is that we gift wrap all our outgoing orders.  " In reading through their policies and in chatting with "Lavender", they offer exchanges if something is not as the customer expected or if the fit is not quite right, but if that is not what the customer desires then they will happily offer a refund upon the return of the full order in original shipped condition; pretty standard, and you can read the fine details on their web site or email them with any further questions. So what about shipping ? That is always a decision maker when considering online shopping.... " Shipping is free for any order over 100.00 or a flat rate of 7.50 within the United States; we also offer international shipping and it is 20.00." 

This my friends is the "Once Upon A Time Dress" ....

Now let me fill you in, before I share the mini photo shoot I did for a small Halloween slide show that I shared that day, on my thoughts on the process and the dress. First off, "Lavender" really helped me with size, fit and even to directing me to a style that would suit me, alleviating any fears I had from trying a new to me brand. My choice did indeed ship within 48 hours and I received it very quickly, mainly because I only live a 2 hour drive from their home base, but also because of the speedy rate of my dress being sent out. The dress was indeed wrapped up like a present to myself, always a nice and appreciated touch. I tried it on immediately in case an exchange was needed and it fit like a glove, and was even more stunning in person than it had appeared on the website. I could hardly wait to wear it out and about, but wait I did as I had an event that was coming up the weekend before Halloween and I knew it would be perfect for it. So with no further wait, here are the photos from the day that I got to wear it. A little disclaimer first tho, it was windy, chilly and my husband and myself were nearly in a car wreck on the freeway, not once, but twice due to a motor home looking to change lanes and not caring or seeing that we were there and in bumper to bumper traffic, so the stress from a panic attack shows all over my face, so bad timing, but LOOK at the dress, that is the real star of the photos...and be sure you check out Lovely in Lilac, follow them on Instagram AND at the bottom of this post look for a discount code !! 

Visit Lovely in Lilac .....Tell them Ruby sent you!
receive a 20 percent discount code using...


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Halloween Hodge Podge

Silver Terrace Cemetery . Virginia City , Nevada
* this photo not taken by me, found via google search 

Every year I try to do a Halloween themed post. I have shared all sorts of Halloween Ghost stories, legends, history and even my own experiences. After doing this for 6 years it is harder and harder to come up with new material. I had planned to go on a local ghost tour before it would come time to post this, but unfortunately that was not to happen.... maybe next year. I also had planned to get to a few of our local cemeteries and take different mini photo shoots and then tell of the lore associated with the location, but weather and my photographer ( aka my husband) having to work either at home or actually going in to his real job, also made those plans get set aside. So what is this post going to be about? Well, it is going to be a hodge podge ; a bit of everything. So up first a few fashion photos taken at the Silver Terrace Cemetery in Virginia City Nevada,  that I visited for the second time in the last 5 or so years during a recent mini getaway to Reno.

Dress is available through Le Bomb Shop , gloves are Amazon, shoes and petticoat are also Amazon, sunglasses and straw hat are vintage , pearls are Tiffanys . In the distance, you can
see the township of Virginia City a short drive from Reno Nevada.

Nestled in the hills above Virginia City, Silver Terrace is a mix of many different social levels and religious diversity and a combination of several cemeteries combined into one.

Graves like this is plentiful, but so are small wooden crosses and rustic wooden
picket fences with unmarked graves . 

You could spend an entire day exploring Silver Terrace, but if you plan to do that be sure that you
bring walking shoes, it is not heel friendly to say the least and some of the trails can be quite steep. 

The Silver Terrace is just one of many haunted locations in and around Virginia City Nevada. Explored by many a professional and novice ghost hunter ( get permission before you decide to have your own , as the cemetery closes at 8 p.m.) , and is rumored to be the home to not one but many spirits, some showing up as glowing orbs of light with no source, and the apparition of a young woman in a brown dress circa late 1800s. With so many deaths of miners, prospectors, ladies of the night, and even every day citizens from babies through adults that lead the tough lives that living in this remote western gold mining town dictated. Lives ended prematurely from disease, fire, and mining accidents to murder....perfect demises that might tie spirits to this charming western town. Read more stories here and learn more here

Have you ever felt like someone is watching your
every move?
* earrings are from Twinkleburst and the brooch
Housewife Chic by Ruby.... find links in the web version
of this blog in the side bars 

Next up in this Halloween themed hodge podge post, is a little spooky moment or two that I have had here at Muse Cottage. I have had many spooky experiences throughout my life, and quite a few I have shared here. I have always been very sensitive although I do not have control over it, as it is not like a light switch, I can not just turn it on and off at will. My most recent experiences began after having to put our dear Queen Bitty Kitty to sleep. I began to feel on occasion as if a cat was rubbing my ankles while at the kitchen sink, or a tiny fizzy paw touching the top of my feet when sitting on the couch and even stranger the feeling of a small animal jumping up on my bed, walking gingerly across and over my legs and finally settling down at my feet. Other times I have witnessed my grandpuppy Winston seemingly seeing something in the living room and then go looking for it under the furniture, specifically the couch Bitty used to sleep under most of each day, especially as she began to not feel so good. We see his reaction and body language change as well, much in the way that it did when Bitty was still with us and he was trying to make friends and she was having none of it. Muse Cottage before it became such, even while we were looking it over when considering purchase, had an odd feeling in parts of the property and I was not the only one who felt it...some spots, mainly our garage and storage sheds just had a foreboding feeling , they still do...and once again Winston's reactions to a few locations here make us wonder if he is not sensing something from the other side. Then there is late at night when I get up for one of many shuffles to the restroom and I feel as if someone is in the living room watching me, following me with their eyes until I close the door....I recently had a friend stay here and they too felt the feeling of not being alone and a presence or eyes upon them. It does not feel threatening, but it most definitely a regular presence that gives pause. 

Halloween is never complete without a visit to the Pumpkin patch! Here, my bestie @SweetStephStarr  on Instagram and Sweet Steph Starr on FB and myself stopped at  Boa Vista Orchards in Apple Hill area of California outside of Placerville
to take a few fun snap shots.

Sponsor mention....

Recently a lovely woman Jamie Corp aka Betties Beauty bar on Instagram and FB agreed to be one of my sponsors and also asked me to try and review products from the cosmetic company that she represents, Younique. She sent me a wonderful array of things to try, including a contouring kit, some skin care, and a great deep blue red pencil and lip stick....and later I also purchased one of the Splash liquid lipsticks also in the prefect blue red in Sizzling ( of which I am totally in love with) .... I have been doing mini reviews on Instagram and the liquid was part of the discussion on my FB fan page Live broadcast that I do each Monday afternoon. If you are interested in any Younique products visit the Betties Beauty Bar web page, and look for my mini reviews on Instagram and YouTube. 

Be sure to connect with me on my other social network homes Instagram, FB, Twitter and YouTube . Live broadcasts Mondays at 3:30 p.m. unless stated otherwise on the Ruby's Musings FB fan page and New Episodes of At Home with Ruby's Musings on YouTube every Friday.