I Ain’t Done Yet!

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Throughout the course of my life I have worn a lot of different hats.

I have been a daughter, a runway model, an actress, a taxi driver, a singer/songwriter, a bartender, a shop owner, an antique picker and a wife.

I’ve lived through 6 decades so far and I am nowhere near ready for this show to be over. I mean, American Apparel is using the beautiful 62-year-old model Jacky O’Shaughnessy these days and Betty White is still kickin’ butt at 92.

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When I was young, it never occurred to me that I might want to aspire to do something that would leave me more comfortable in my latter years, so I just did whatever came my way. While this has made for an interesting life, it has made me painfully aware that I am not an expert at anything except living each day to it’s fullest. I think that just may be enough and I have a long bucket list.

But, if I was afforded the luxury of changing just one thing in my past, what would it be?
Would I stay in college and get that music degree? Would I refuse to marry my first husband?

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Would I go to church instead of going to rock concerts? Who’s to say?

I truly don’t think I would change much of anything. Mulligans are for sissies.
Whether through my music, or just from being plain ol’ goofy or kind, if – on any given day I have brought a small glimpse of joy to someone who needed it then I have lived a good and full life.

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There used to be a great TV sit-com called “Empty Nest.” Richard Mulligan was a doctor and Park Overall was his nurse. One of the best lines she (repeatedly) used was,”I ain’t done yet.” She had to say it to finish many of her sentences to the good doctor, but I have adopted it as my daily mantra.

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Live each day as fully as you can. Do the next right thing. Smile A Lot. It confuses people.
Don’t refuse to stop living just because you can’t do the limbo anymore or because times are tough.

I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and I try to always wear a smile, ’cause Baby, I Ain’t Done Yet!

Cheese.B

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Southern Style

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We Southern Gals have our own unique styles. Some of us are very lady-like, some are a wee bit trashy, and some of us are really quirky.

From the Southern Belle to the Bold and Brazen, we all love wearing vintage clothing.

Join me on a virtual road trip to some Vintage Shops in the Southern United States. From New Orleans to North Carolina with a few stops along the way, these shops carry all the right stuff for us to put together a terrific ensemble.

While some of them do not sell online, they are all reputable dealers who offer authentic vintage.

Let’s Go!

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These Butterfly print dresses are just perfect for Spring. I can’t decide which one I like the best.
ImageFunky Monkey Vintage
3127 Magazine St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70115
http://funkymonkeyvintage.blogspot.com/
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Retro Active Vintage shop is just up the block from my house.
Owner Leslie Courreges is very knowledgable & helpful as is her staff.
She offers a terrific collection of clothing, accessories, and jewelry, and she recently opened her menswear shop upstairs. Prices range from $10. to $500.00.

1970s Vintage Dress | 70s Chiffon Cocktail Dress by Miss EllietteImageRetro Active Vintage
8123 Oak Street
NOLA 70118
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Magpie is the best vintage jewelry shop I have ever been in. Sarah Wheelock offers the most amazing pieces.
Many of them are museum quality and the shop is aptly named with all that sparkle everywhere!
I am especially fond of this rare 1950s Selro Charm Bracelet.

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4529 Magazine St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
http://www.etsy.com/shop/hotvintage
$14.00 to $1,295.00
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Identity Vintage is one of those great curio shops where you may find anything.
From the odd to the breathtaking, Identity Vintage is a must-stop on our trip.
$7.00 – $200.00 prices make for some great hunting.
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Old Bay St. Louis MS
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EBV (Everybody’s Buying Vintage) is a great little shop for all your vintage needs.
From lady-like to red hot mama, this Birmingham stop holds styles from the 30s through the 90s.
No reproductions – Only Authentic Vintage here.
I am in Love with this beautiful Red 1950s Party Dress!

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EBV (Everybody’s Buying Vintage)
at Molly Green Boutique
2817 18th St S.
Birmingham, AL
http://everybodysbuyingvintage.blogspot.com/
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This adorable mask pin from Nufound Treasures  is perfect for Mardi Gras. I love the tiny flowers. So girly.

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Nufound Treasures
404 Northside Dr.
Valdosta, GA

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Signed by North Carolina artist Stuart Nye, this 1950s sterling dogwood branch is absolute perfection.
Stuart Nye began making jewelry began in 1933 in Asheville, NC. Pieces depict nature usually – leaves, feathers, flowers, pinecones – all items you would see in the North Carolina mountains. His jewelry is still produced today and is highly collectible.

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T. Kepley Design Studio
@ Alexander Scott
Charlotte, North Carolina
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I hope you have enjoyed our little road trip.
Next week, I will be posting about Mardi Gras, Music, and Spring in New Orleans, Y’all.

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Give Thanks

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“Thank you” is not heard very often these days. These two words can mean the world to someone.  Are we really so busy we can’t take time to say it? Whether by voice, text, or a note, a small show of gratitude is always appreciated.

I have been an very lucky gal throughout my entire life. No, I am not rich in the monetary sense. I don’t own much – certainly not a car or a house. I have struggled, but I have always managed to survive.  My survival is largely due to wonderful friends and family and a belief that I am a mere speck of paint in this mosaic of Life.
I’m very grateful that I can still sing and am working as a musician in New Orleans.
This is my true home regardless of where I was born and I am more comfortable on stage with my band than anywhere else.
I thank my band, bar patrons, bar owners, staff, and everyone else involved every time we play a gig. I want them to know they’re truly appreciated.

L to R: David Roe: Keyboards, Terri 'Sticky T' Cranford: Drums & Vocals, Leisa K. Farrow: Vocals, PR, Booking, Joseph Crachiola: Guitar, Sax & Vocals, Yvette Watkins, Bass & Vocals.

L to R: David Roe: Keyboards, Terri ‘Sticky T’ Cranford: Drums & Vocals, Leisa K. Farrow: Vocals, PR, & Booking, Joseph Crachiola: Guitar, Sax & Vocals, Yvette Watkins, Bass & Vocals.

Speaking of friends and family, I have a handful of very dear friends. We’ve shared some amazing times together. In fact, I believe they have truly helped mold me into the woman I am today.  Aside from my parents, they are my true family and mean more than anything to me.  The loss of some of them has been painful, but their memories get me through the rough days.

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Above and beyond all of them is my Best Friend Carolyn. In forty-one years we have never had a major argument. I love her for not judging me and for being the strong and kind woman that she is. She has a gentle way of showing me my character defects and helping me realize my potential. I love her style, her sense of humor, and her love of unusual things.
Her birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year and I wish I could say thank you to her by giving her a soothing place to relax all to herself.

I am also fortunate to be able to have a little vintage shop online and to make a sale or two now and then. I’ve made many friends on various online retail sites as well as social media sites.
I’ve chosen some of my favorite etsy.com shops where you can find lovely little ways to say, “Thank You” to your own friends and family. I hope you get some great ideas!

All shops found at www.etsy.com

All shops found at http://www.etsy.com

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To all of my wonderful patrons from throughout the years, my friends both old and new, and to my family … Thank You for Everything.

Posted in 12 Steps, Blues Music, Music, Shoppping, Uncategorized, Vintage Fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FOOTBALL!

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Original image © wnyc.com

When Fall arrives, we all know it’s time for football. I have fond memories of “the guys” running around out on the yard trying to pass, catch, and tackle – the operative term here being “trying to.” Living with a bunch of Hippies in the 1970s, athleticism and concentration weren’t exactly in great abundance. But laughter and comradery most certainly were.

Back then, as a freshman in college, the most exciting thing about a football game was what to wear to it. We took great pains in trying to outdress the Sorority girls. That’s where the true competiton was.

This competition between the conservative and hippie girls actually started in High School. Perhaps it was a regional thing, but that’s doubtful. Girls will be girls, after all.

This dress is very similar to what I wore to the Homecoming Dance in 1969. Although I was not a member of the Homecoming Court, my friends and I decided to outshine them. A smallish bag and a little sparkle and would have been added. The term “Bling” wasn’t in use yet.

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All Vintage – Dress, Bag, Bracelet :: http://www.etsy.com/shop/nowandthenstyle
Vintage Ciner Hoop Earrings :: ebay item # 190924814837

 Whether you are inclined to dress lady like or funky, I recommend wearing a vintage garment and accenting it with modern accessories.

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Vintage 50s Knit Dress :: http://www.etsy.com/shop/denisebrain
Bird Cage Necklace :: FrancoisCreations on etsy.com
Bespoke Leather Pumps :: http://www.etsy.com/listing/157677207/bespoke-retro-pumps

Even though the killer shoes above are retro, they are Handmade New to Order by artist Daphne Board in Massachusetts.

Or … Vice-Versa. Either way, you will stand out in a sea of clones and feel great about your personal style.

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Wool A-Line Dress :: https://www.etsy.com/listing/83391413/wool-blend-color-block-a-line-dress
Vintage Fox Brooch :: BROESJ / etsy.com
Black Leather High Heel Boots :: ShopBetsyBoutique / etsy.com

Disclaimer: There aren’t many sports that I get excited about, so you don’t have to worry that this is going to become a sports themed blog. The exception to that is Football. Specifically New Orleans Saints football. Who Dat!

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Must Be the Season of the Witch


© The Strangelings 2009

When my mother’s ancestors migrated from France, they settled in Canada. In the 1600s they migrated to Massachusetts.
During the Salem Witch Trials, one of her great-great aunts was arrested and executed.
The women in our family have always been an empathatic lot. We’re known for being a little quirky, too. I suspect these traits have attributed to my love of Vintage Fashion and my penchant for mixing eras.

3 dice and clear sphere: ThirdShift Witch's Hat: Shabby Peonie

3 dice and clear sphere: ThirdShift
Witch’s Hat: Shabby Peonie

This time of year always brings me back to my roots. I love cats, candles, and a good horror story.
There are many ways for a witch to honor her heritage and look great doing so.
Even if you’re not a practioneer of Wicca or Majick, the styles are fabulous. Pairing an Antique Edwardian dress with a 1960s veiled hat conjures up a unique fashion statement.

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Sheer Edwardian Gown: RanchQueenVintage
Black Veiled Tophat: GoodMourningShop

Accessories play a very important role in getting your witch on. I found this terrific Saint Benedictine medal and as it turns out,  it is also known as the witch’s medal. The proper pointy toe boots are a must-have.

St. Benoit Witches Medal: MeanGlean Edwardian Boots: wretchedshekels

St. Benoit Witches Medal: MeanGlean
Edwardian Boots: wretchedshekels

If you prefer to be an edgier witch, a body-hugging black knit dress is perfect.
Pair it with some interesting high heeled boots, and you’ll definitely put a spell on those around you.

Black knit dress: BethelsVintage Floral High Heeled Boots: ScarletFury

Black knit dress: BethelsVintage
Floral High Heeled Boots: ScarletFury

Be sure to have all of your accroutements on hand. Every witch needs a familiar.
It doesn’t have to be a black cat. A raven does the job nicely.
And don’t forget, you will need a cauldron or large pot to cook up all the fun.

Cauldron or cowoy pot: Modred12 Paper Maché Raven: opendoorstudio

Cauldron or cowoy pot: Modred12
Paper Maché Raven: opendoorstudio

For all your crow’s feet, locks of hair, eye of newt, or buttons and small trinkets, an embellished box is a great idea.
This one is large enough to use for storing your spells – I mean recipe cards.
If you’d like to read about the Salem Witches, there are many books available for you to peruse.
The details on the cover of this antique one written in 1870 are really great.

Black Wood Box with Lace: 4EnvisioningVintage 'Witch Hill' book: WhatCheerProvidence

Black Wood Box with Lace: 4EnvisioningVintage
‘Witch Hill’ book: WhatCheerProvidence

Have a Very Magical Season of the Witch!

All items with the exception of the book are available in Vintage Etsy Society Street Team members’ shops on etsy. The book, “Witch Hill” is from a non-member, but is also on etsy.
This Blog was originally written by Leisa K. Farrow of nowandthenstyle for the Vintage Etsy Society Street Team.

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I Wonder Where This Road Goes

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Mama & Me – Ready to hit the road – 1955.

Cool breezes and the Harvest Moon have me thinking about the Autumn road trips we took when I was a kid.
On many Fridays Mama would pack up some food and drink, road clothes, sweaters and car coats, my blanket, Lady-the-Wonder-Dog’s blanket, and some traveling clothes for us all. Then she would bathe Lady, after which she and I would get cleaned up. When this happened, Lady and I knew that that it was a Road Trip Friday!

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L :: Fabulous 50s Wooly Brown Cardigan for Him from marcjoseph on Etsy.
R :: 50s Jantzen Pullover Red Pom Pom Balls from themagnoliacollection on eBay.

Daddy (or Red, as he was called) would come straight home, pull up to the curb outside the house & we’d go barrelling into the car. Well, the dog and I would. Mama (who was known as Peg) seemed a little more calm about the whole thing.
We’d pull out and my parents would start speaking in Secret Parent Tongues. I guess Lady and I weren’t supposed to know this was going to be another great adventure.
After driving for a bit, Red would take a seemingly new route. His standard line was, “I wonder where this road goes.” This was always follwed by a really cheesy grin and a huge Vaudeville wink.

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L :: Red Plaid 49-er Jacket from vintagevogue on Etsy.
C :: Thermos – Picnic Set from ElmPlace on Etsy.
R :: 50s Rough Rider Plaid Wool Throw from JustSmashingDarling on Etsy.

Sometimes we’d go overnight – often for a couple of weeks. We drove all over Southern California, to Nevada and Arizona and beyond. We went North to Big Sur, Monterey Peninsula, and Oregon. We went to Tijuana.
One time Daddy took Route 66 for as far as he could before time demanded that we head back home.

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L:: 1950s Vintage Hattie Leeds Day Dress / http://www.NeldasVintageClothing.com
R:: Orange Crush Travel Tote / IntrigueU4Ever on Etsy.

Some of my best childhood memories are of these trips. Although I am quite sure they were well-planned, they always seemed like such spontaneous jaunts. That’s what made them so much fun – for my folks, for me, and even for Lady-the-Wonder-Dog.

Join me as I re-visit California and Route 66 in the Fall of 1955. This blog was inspired by the beaded souvenir belt from Chicago where Route 66 actually begins.

Leather & Beads Vintage CHICAGO Souvenir Belt / GoodNPlentyVintage on Etsy

L :: Roy's Motel photo from RetroRoadsidePhoto on Etsy. R :: Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel photo from RaceyTay on Etsy.

L :: Roy’s Motel photo from RetroRoadsidePhoto on Etsy.
R :: Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel photo from RaceyTay on Etsy.

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Nothing New Under the Fashion Sun

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September 17, 2013

There is nothing new under the sun.

This is something my Mama used to say a lot. Peggy was a seamstress and a tailor, and she had a keen eye for fashion. She’s the one who taught me that fashion repeats itself every twenty years or so.

I have been a fan of Project Runway since the first season. I love it when the judges say, “We’ve seen this before.” Truer words were never spoken. While it may be that some of the designers on the show are One Trick Ponies,  what’s closer to the truth is that 90% of the designs have been around since the 1920s – if not earlier.

So, let’s start with three examples of fabulous dress styles from the 1950s. Just because I love the era.

50s.blog

All photos from www.pinterest.com

From Left to right, we have an open back modified halter style cocktail dress once owned by Lauren Bacall.
I’d guess this was rather risqué for it’s day.
The middle dress is a divine Hankie Hemline number with wonderful detail at the waistline.
On the far right we have a beautifully draped evening gown in shades of the ocean.

There is nothing wrong with re-vamping a great design. Adding a twist to a tried & true style has been the mode of many great designers throughout time. Think of the Egyptian Revival look or the Grecian Goddess, still very much used for evening gowns. Many women still love the structured suit made popular by Joan Crawford in the 1940s. Coco Chanel designed wonderfully detailed suits, as did Gilbert Adrian, most commonly known as simply Adrian.

I have seen very similar designs not just on Project Runway, but on the catwalk at Fashion Week, on designer boutique websites, and on modern retail sites.

Left to right : www.jlmcouture.com / www.ebay.com / www.bridesmaidlook.co.uk

Left to right : www.jlmcouture.com / www.ebay.com / www.bridesmaidlook.co.uk
All three of the dresses shown are from 2013 collections.

It isn’t as if today’s designers suddenly rediscovered these great looks, either.

I found all of these wonderful Vintage 1970s & 80s dresses on etsy.com.

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(L)The modified halter dress from the 70s can be found at www.etsy.com/shop/vintagerunway
(It comes with an adorable bolero jacket!)
(M)The 1970s sleeveless hanky hem dress is from www.etsy.com/shop/ebvSHOP
(Love how it’s shown with Modern High Heels!)
(R)The beautiful black & white 80s dress is from www.etsy.com/shop/bycinbyhand
(It really takes draping to a new level!)

So, if you just love the new designs, make note of the key words used when their pieces are described.
You can almost always find very similar garments from another era. They are usually better made and with more sumptous fabrics.
This is just one of the many reasons it is smart to mix eras. Pairing modern accessories with a vintage garment can make an ‘old’ look brand new again.

Posted in Contemporary Designs, Fashion, Vintage Fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments