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Thursday, June 23, 2016

50's Princess for a Day ~ Tale of a Special Skirt

Introducing Sarah .......

You ever have one of those days, perhaps weeks? It has been that way for me for a couple of months. I am not sure what has caused the malaise, even venture to say indifference to a lot of things in my life at the moment and even myself. I would prefer to stay in PJs most days. They are cute but not very fashionable, even tho I have plenty of pretty clothing, none of it was singing to me recently. and then a sweet doll who goes by the name "Pink Macaroon" on Instagram contacted me and asked if I would be open to receiving one of her skirts to help her launch her new business making them for others. I first off never turn down kind offers of free clothing ( what woman would?) , but when I found out that it was not going to be just another circle or gathered skirt, but something truly special that would be created with a touch of hand stitching, how could I not leap at the chance. 

Sarah, that is her real name, Sarah Bennett as a matter of fact, told me that she was going to be making skirts with pockets made from squares of fabric that she had found, that were hand embroidery floral designs, and sent me a photo of a selection of choices. She told me to pick my favorite and tell her what color I would like my skirt to be to go along with the pocket square. I will not lie, it was very hard, the greedy girl in me wanted each and every one!! Each one was so very pretty and well done, and reminded me of the embroidery that my Grandmother once did and that for a time, as a young girl, I did myself ( only not nearly as good) ; I finally did choose one however. My choice? A lovely Lupine bloom, which was the most divine shade of dark purple with tiny details of yellow and white and deep, rich green leaves...memories of growing up on the family farm as a child playing among fields of just such flowers was the clincher for me. I then decided on the most pale, yummy shade of buttery yellow to be the skirt fabric of choice and once details were discussed, it was time to wait for the creation to arrive. It was so very hard to wait, I was quite excited. Just as I waited to see the skirt, I am going to make you wait a little bit while Sarah shares a bit about herself and her new business. 

Sarah, would you share how you got into vintage/retro....

I've always loved the 1940s/50s. My fascination with bygone eras started as a child; I would look at photos of my grandma wearing gorgeous clothes in NYC in the 1940s... she had such a fantastic wardrobe! I also remember seeing portions of Singing in the Rain and White Christmas on TV and thinking that the clothes and music were just fabulous.

I began sewing vintage reproduction dresses for myself after I finished grad school so that I could dress in a vintage style... back then, vintage and retro were not as popular as they are now, and buying and selling vintage on Etsy didn't even exist (if it did I didn't know about it!) 

A few years ago, I joined the Instagram community and began following many vintage sellers. I became intrigued by the idea of hunting down vintage pieces myself and opened my own Etsy shop, CarlaSue Vintage. I sell both vintage as well as my vintage inspired handmade pieces.

Tell us more about your handmade clothing....

I love creating one of a kind pieces! I always feel more inspired when I have a specific "muse" in mind. I use vintage construction techniques such as hand sewn hems, lapped zippers, and pinked seam finishes in my pieces. I often use vintage buttons, zippers, thread, and even vintage fabric. It's a great way to recycle and helps to give my pieces that almost "magical" quality that I love about vintage clothes.

So before I share the photos, that I hope do justice to your beautiful creation tell my readers about the skirt you created for me.....

I found a collection of beautifully embroidered vintage squares some time back and thought that they would make marvelous skirt pockets. When an opportunity came up to collaborate with Ruby's Musings, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to make my vision come to life! I have several more squares available and am taking custom orders for these one of a kind skirts. 

Well I am very honored! Truly.... Where can others contact you about getting their own skirts and your other designs? 

                                    They can always contact me via Etsy CarlaSue Vintage

A Very Special Skirt.....

Final Thoughts...

From the moment I opened the package and took a close look at the skirt I noticed that it was the highest quality of creations that I have received to date. The stitching was so fine, so perfect, the details from the adjustable waist ( a personal request) to the little touches like the tiny snap closures, and a perfect yellow button, the even and carefully done hem, and the fullness just right and the carefully stitched pocket...all of it just ever so lovingly done with care. When I slipped it on, it fit like a Malco Modes Ivory petticoat was a perfect match!  I happened to have a cute blouse that I had purchased at a local thrift shop that was a close enough to match the flowers on the pocket, and when paired with white shoes, gloves and belt it just all came together. I added a pop of green in my vintage leather handbag and a golden touch to my ears in the form of antique pearl earrings, and tied it all together with my Housewife Chic wine brooch....ready to face the day. 

I felt like a pretty 1950's princess and as it soon turned out, others saw it as well as it soon became a regular comment to say that I looked like Snow White! I did not mind and I knew that in the future this would be my outfit for when I go to Disneyland in September, and I have Sarah to thank for that and the occasional posting of a "will collaborate" image on my Instagram feed. I hope that opportunities will come up again to work with Sarah in the future, at the very least own a few more purchased creations from her skilled hands and self proclaimed perfectionist eye. Thank you Sarah for making me feel like a pretty 50s princess for a day! 

Photos taken at the Amadore Flower Farm in Plymouth Ca. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Picnic Under the Stars

“Mishap at the Picnic” by Harry Ekman c. 1950s

This past Saturday night hubby and myself decided to have a dinner picnic under the stars. This was not a random decision. It so happens that a local winery, Peirano Estate in Acampo Ca. was having a showing of the 1959/1960 classic version of Little Shop of Horrors on the grounds of their winery and tasting room. An evening under the stars, among the grape vines, sipping fine wine , eating our yummy picnic meal and snacking on fresh popped butter pop corn. What could be better ? 

Ready for a lovely picnic under the stars ...wearing
my The Bonnit to protect my hair from the breeze
Of course I wore a Housewife Chic Little Shop brooch....available by special order.

Promises of things to come....
Beautiful and peaceful grounds greet visitors at Peirano 


Always a good sign.....
Skirt by Kitschy Kitty"s Clothing Shop 
Blouse by Moisellea Moureux 

close up of skirt fabric 

We were greeted by the jazz band Symposium 

Our supper, a version of Chicken and Waffles, made with a extra thin wheat pancake, not quite crepe, not as thick as a pancake, a marscapone and maple spread and crunchy chicken fillet.
The grounds at Peirano Estate are breath taking

Lord Blood Rah of Nerve Wrackin Theater fame was our host for the movie. 
Of course I had to have a photo taken with the Lord of ceremonies 

A glass of fine wine among the vines

Date Nite 
Taking time to enjoy the view .....

As the sun sets a natural retro filter occurs.....

Extra Extra ..... Review .....

 Recently a company out of Canada by the name of The Bonnit  offered me a pack of their rain bonnets..I had already ordered a set, but they were nice enough to send me an extra set in another print from what I had ordered. I was excited to get them. I had for so very long been searching for a good rain bonnet like what my Grandma used to have and so when I started spotting many of the retro ladies I follow on Instagram sporting these little gems, I knew I had to have them. 
In each package you get a clear bonnit trimmed out in black and then a cute print on the other and they come packaged two to a little carry pouch. I now have both a leopard as well as the one with the stars on it, seen above. They are well constructed, fit perfectly over a variety of hair styles...and as I found out they not only protect your hair from rain, but wind as well....of course not meant for really hot and sunny days...but this one served in a pinch and did not smoosh my hair as a normal scarf or hat would do. They are reasonably priced, even with the conversion difference and shipping costs from Canada. You can count it as Ruby's Musings Approved.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sweet Baby Cadillac~ Pin Curls and Side Pipes

I have recently become acquainted with a great lady that graciously agreed to be a guest blogger here from time to time.  She goes by the handle Sweet Baby Cadillac and has a brand new YouTube show, actually two now, the first you can find on her channel by the same name. She is a retro housewife like myself, but she is so much more than that! She is genuine, has a big heart, leads a faith based life, and happens to also know her way around both the farm and cars as the title reflects....and one heck of a great style. I hope you will enjoy this, her first guest post here at Ruby's Musings. 

"For most retrophiles and vintage enthusiasts, car shows have been a central way of expressing our culture and joining together to celebrate a lifestyle we all find ourselves attempting to reproduce. From the tiki torches of the West coast, to the glitzy lights of the East, Kustom Kulture and Hot Rodding has always been a central part of rockabilly gatherings. We chop the roof lines of Mercs, and slam Cadillacs. But are the themes and the aesthetics the same in the Mid West? They're called Flyover states for a reason, and the fact that the mid west has earned the moniker “Rust Belt” is a little concerning. Being an Ohio native, I can attest that we have the same vehicles, albeit a little more rusty; as California and New York."

"We pull them from barns, and spend several months replacing parts, shining chrome, and cursing away each day until the first show or cruise of the season. Ohio has some pretty temperamental weather. We cannot, or should not drive our antiques for 5-6 months out of the year. ODOT salts our roads, which is the cancer to all vehicles. Still, when the first two Ohio rains pass through the northern part of the state, we are out driving our junk. Our culture is pretty easy going. We don't cater to Trailer Queens, and have some pretty awesome Car Clubs in the area. The Lucky Aces, Dead Last CC and Piston Jammers are all great local Ohio/ Southern Michigan clubs with amazing hot rods and a flare for the rockabilly lifestyle."

​"In and around Toledo and Detroit, there are the five major shows that are on my “Must Attend” calendar. And they are as follows. Billetproof and Detroit Dragway Reunion is June 11th 2016 at Milan Dragway in Milan Michigan. It has some awesome swap meet action and good old fashioned drag racing. July 15-17th is the 2016 Blue Suede Cruise at Summit Motorsports Part in Norwalk Ohio, If you like drag racing and amazing cars, this is a must attend show. Camping is available through the weekend. The Piston Jammers 6th Annual Panty Raid 2016 is July 30th at Parmalee Park in Lambertville Michigan. This show is an overnight camp out and the theme this year is a Christmas in July. The Relix Riot at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners Michigan is an amazing show with the museum open to spectators. You are also able to camp the night before the show. The date is August 20th of 2016. Then to head off the final shows of the year, we always attend the Pumpkin Run Nationals the FIRST WEEKEND in October. Owensville Ohio Fairgrounds hold one of the largest and (usually rainy) shows of the year. Your entry gets you a chance to win a vehicle. And I'd like to sheepishly admit my family has won the car drawing twice. By total mishap!

Being that my husband is the owner of Lead Foot Customs, our vehicles usually end up at all of these shows and weekly cruises. The slow rumble of high octane engines is something that Ohio summers are notorious for. We like our hot rods, and our rockabilly music. Names like Kentucky Chrome and Andrew Ellis are legendary here.

All of these events rival that of Viva Las Vegas in my opinion because corn fed rockabilly boys and dixie fried pinups will out run most hot weather hot rods. We may build them from a pile of rust, but we know how to bang them through the gears. Call it professional opinion, but I do feel that the fact we manage to get these hot rods and classics for next to nothing, and shove in a big block with little to no body work seems more attractive than the fantastic paint jobs and body filler. Most trailer queen's have never taken their car down a drag strip anyways. Do not mistake me for an elitist, I do adore the perfectly restored classics. But we are talking about the vintage traditionalists that drive their cars every day, rain or shine. Just not in the snow."

"I see little to nothing of women in this culture that actually take their life beyond the cars. This is probably my biggest complaint. Ohio doesn't have many traditionalist women, and if they're a “pin up” they probably only have 1-2 outfits that only get seen at the cruise ins. I long to bring back a heavy rockabilly culture in the Midwest. I want to see guys bringing their girls to the drive in, rockin' that 65 Olds. I want to see pin curls, and side pipes. I want to talk about records and swing dancing, not Pinterest and Forever 21 Sales."

"One thing that East and West Coast have that we do not, is the connection to something larger. But despite our small community, we find reasons to cruise, and people who enjoy the music, and nostalgia. Even if we have to take yearly trips on RT.66 to get back to our roots, we will stay in Ohio and keep this car culture thriving. Most people will simply ooh and ahh when they see me, petticoats a twirling, bubble gum a' poppin' and that is okay. They may not believe I live it every day, I can cruising in my Cadillac, and listening to Lorrie Collins. They may assume I have a job, and that I am not a traditionalist housewife. But I am. I'm not glamorizing the 1950's, because just like segregation was bad, and sexism was unpleasant, so are many of the world's problems today. We're not better off, we have just changed issues.

If car culture, and vintage automobiles give me the best tie to a mid century life, then I suppose I owe it all to the Ohio car scene. It's the people I have met that give me a hope that history will continue to be preserved and remembered. Whether loudly or quietly, cars are going to continue cruising, and we will continue building. Girls will continue to don parasols and cat eye sunglasses. All I can hope for is that we stand united, and continue to help each other, no matter our geographical location."

You can always find this lovely lady, who I can not thank enough for sharing her passion for the culture here with all of us, on the world wide web via Instagram under the handles  @SweetBabyCadillac / @LeadFootCustomsOH and on Twitter: @SweetBabyCaddy
 and her own channel on YouTube  and her blog  HERE