In Search of Beauty

I am not (yet) as well traveled as I would like to be, but someday I will. All the while I am collecting ideas, moments, thoughts, bits of beauty here and there because someday it will all be good for something. Some grander ideas that perhaps someday I’ll rifle through and go “Hmm, let’s give this a try…” (and of course by then I will have boat loads of money so all my little creative entrepreneur endeavors can be easy peasy)

Currently I am visiting friends in Vancouver, B.C. and while I know the city can be inspiring to some, it hasn’t sparked any inspiration for me. I am disappointed because I was so looking forward to visiting shops I had followed on Instagram for some time and in all honesty, my expectations far exceeded the reality.

Maybe the problem is social media has made us believe in the hype of beauty so much that when we actually experience a place in real life, we’re just setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Maybe I have seen these places too often through a VSCO filtered i-phone photo with the perfect accompanying hashtags that when I am standing there in person, the entire place just falls flat because my eyeballs don’t have filters and I can’t hide a messy corner or a person wearing a bright neon parka just out of frame.

But then I think…NO. I have been in places where I will try and try to capture the ESSENCE of the place in a photo, and there is just no way any technical device could capture that moment. That ephemeral beauty. So many times while we were visiting France I thought, “Oh my GOD, this corner, THIS CORNER needs to be shared with the world… with this antique chair and these wildflowers, and the window here and the way light looks…” and my photos just fall flat of the real time beauty of the space.

I mean, I could just be a really shit photographer. I never claimed to be a good photographer, but I have a definite idea of what is beautiful (in my own definition) and I know how to frame a good photo.

I worry sometimes if I ever open up a shop, that it will always fall short of someone’s expectations. OK, actually, that is a bit of a lie. Because the most important expectation I don’t want to fall short of is the expectations I have for myself. And I place that bar really, really up there.

Perhaps I am afraid I will never achieve that idealized beauty I have built up in my mind of what my dream shop should be…therefore I won’t do it, because reality will never meet my fantasy.

I went to a shop here in Vancouver and this was a trendy place. One of those cool shops I found out about on Instagram. And I get there and I’m like “What the heck?! Do people actually BUY this stuff?! These ill fitting clothes in these God awful colors with this ridiculous price tag?

But you know, I’m sure someone could look at vintage clothes and go “AUGH someone actually would pay $200 for some ratty old dress with stains?!

I get it, to each their own. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that jazz… and again I am aware my idea of beauty is not everyone’s cup of tea…but jeez louise, I just wish my idea of beauty was what was normal and popular. It WAS at one point. 100 years ago!

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A Moment To Gather One’s Thoughts

Has now turned into a week. At first the snow in Portland was a welcome respite from the hurried rush of the holidays. At last, some much needed time off! A week later… it’s getting old. Fast.

As always, I choose to focus on the positive side of things, however, I do need to jot down a few things… Despite today being marked the day that the snow/ice would begin to melt…we are now expecting an ICE STORM. Children have been out of school for a straight week. The office building across the street from our house has been unvisited for 6 days (granted 2 days were Saturday/Sunday)… and last night I witnessed a 3 car pile up at the bottom of our steep hill because cars just slid into one another. The picnic table in my backyard still has 8″ of snow on it. Portland’s call to action for dealing with this weather has been to “sit and wait for it to melt” and it ISN’T GOING AWAY.

Anyhow, let’s get to the positive side of things because this forced hibernation has lead to good things:

  1. I’ve been studying French every evening.
  2. I’ve started drawing/sketching again.
  3. I’ve improved on the ukulele and getting better at switching between chords.
  4. I’ve gotten to spend more time with my husband and having conversations that lead us to getting to know each other better.
  5. I’ve finished mending half a dozen vintage pieces for the shop.
  6. I’ve watched several movies in my Amazon queue.
  7. I finally folded all my sweaters, skirts, and pants and color coded them in my wardrobe cupboard.
  8. I started adding more Pins to a travel board and have fairly convinced my husband we need to go visit Belgium this year.
  9. I organized my bookshelves by color.
  10. I’ve baked herb and gruyere/parmesan biscuits, made several stews, and even brought some to a friend’s house.

It’s all rather been very domestic. So today, yet ANOTHER snow/ice day and yet another day of CANCELED appointments and plans… I will continue to do domestic things and enjoy the quiet and slowness of it all.

I’m not complaining, not really anyway. It’s just I REALLY DO ENJOY my work and I feel bad my customers are having to wait so long to get their packages.

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On The Set / Upstairs, Downstairs

By now you’re well aware that I adore period dramas and series. I wish American television had more period pieces, we ain’t got nothing on BBC!

This is the 2nd series of Upstairs, Downstairs. The original was filmed in the 1970s and I haven’t watched any of it (but it’s on my list!) I like the pace of this show and also 1930s fashions are some of my favorites to watch on film. The series reminds me a little bit of Downton Abbey. I believe Downton Abbey was inspired from the original series as the premise of this show is about the lives of a wealthy family (upstairs) and the people that serve them (downstairs).

Upstairs, Downstairs can be watched on Hulu or on Amazon Video! Here are some of my favorite scenes/settings/outfits from episode 1.

I adore a good makeover montage in any movie/tv show and in the first episode, the Holland family moves into a mansion (where the Bellamy family from the original series lived) and it’s all dusty and old and they’re going to have it all done up! Here Lady Agnes Holland wears another fabulous 1930s fur coat!

Visually, this is a very beautiful series to watch! Just look at this little scene below. I’m really quite obsessed with that dark green color of the drapes in the background.

Lady Agnes is wearing a fur stole with her coat in the above photo. Below she is wearing a full fur coat. All right, so we only see the “in-progress” photos of the mansion for the first 20 mins or so, then…TA-DAH…it becomes this.

Way too colorful for my taste, but I still appreciate the grandeur and beauty of it! In this scene Lady Agnes meets part of her staff. Not pictured is the chauffer. The concept of servants and live-in-help is so foreign to me and I think to most people in the modern world. I have one friend who is ridiculously wealthy. So wealthy he has a Picasso in his foyer. And even he doesn’t have a live-in maid. He does have a cleaning service that comes once a week and he did have a personal assistant.

Anyhow, I don’t want to share too many more images as I really do want you to watch this show. Also, Rose Buck (the one with the short bobbed hair) played by Jean Marsh was in the original series and played the same character. I really like her character in this series, so now I’ll have to watch the previous series to see what she was like when she was 40 years younger and served a different family in the same home.

Here are the last images I wanted to share from this beautiful series. I love little scenes like this! They inspire my own life so much.

Credits for Costumes/Art Direction/Set Decorators: 

Costume designers for the TV show were Amy Roberts (who costumed a movie I enjoyed called Cold Comfort Farm) and Ralph Wheeler-Holes who also costumed Call The Midwife.

Art directors were David Hindle and Dafydd Shurmer. Set decorators were Julia Castle and Hannah Nicholson.

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The Separation of Shop & Self

Well my darlings, the time has finally come for me to call it quits.

Haha, whoa, whoa, so dramatic! Anyhow, I was just doing that for dramatic effect. I’m not quitting AV!

However, I did finally decide to create a personal instagram account that separates my personal life from my work/vintage life because my shop’s account was starting to feel quite bipolar and also I was starting to lose my sense of identity. Where did I, Rodellee, begin? Where does Adored Vintage end?

It’s a very, very self absorbed thought process. I am KEENLY aware of this.

I am also aware that having my personal life tied so closely to my vintage shop started making me feel a little crazy. I felt like expectations were set for me. I had to be a certain way. Post certain photos. On certain days. At certain hours. And GOOD GOD why am I losing so many followers after I posted a photo of X or Y?

It is not a good way to live or think on a daily basis.

Anyhow, I have a new personal account where I attempt to find/live/share “le joie de vivre” and also I’ll probably write my captions partly in French because I am absolutely determined to improve my knowledge of this beautiful language this year. Ce annee. Or cette annee? Je ne sais pas! 

So, if my personal life is of any interest to you, you can follow me, @madamebas on Instagram. It will still be “curated” because, let’s just be honest here, aesthetics is very important to me.

You know, I thought about “mademoisellebas” as my handle because it looks so much prettier, but I’m in my 30s and I haven’t been a Mademoiselle in quite some time. So, choosing “Madame” although it makes me feel old-ish, is symbolic of me growing up and owning up to mistakes, decisions, and taking full responsibility of my life.

Jeez Louise, I am rereading this post and I sound so self important. LOL, I’m trying not to be, I promise.

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Vintage Shop Update | An Ode to the Winter Blues

Since moving to Portland, I’ve not experienced a bitter winter. This current winter season has chilled me to the bone and it breaks my heart a little that this winter is not going away any time soon.

And so, this vintage shop update is my ode to the winter blues. To the short days, to candles being lit in the early morning hours and in the evenings, to copious amounts of hot tea and coffee, and for the heaping layers of blankets on our bed.

Vintage Shop Update | An Ode to the Winter Blues

From Top to Bottom / Left to Right

antique 1910s Edwardian gathered peplum waist top | Highclere Estate Top

vintage 1960s navy black floral sheath dress | Duxbury Harbor Dress

vintage 1930s black embroidered Ukrainian top | Hint Of Anise Top

vintage 1920s navy scattered floral dress | Pekoe Floret Dress

vintage 1930s chambray button overalls romper | Spring Into June Overalls

vintage 1930s blue shooting star hair clips | Wishing Star Barettes

vintage 1950s navy blue lace dress | Piano Rhapsodies Dress

vintage 1930s sky blue stone Art Deco necklace | Winter Tribute Necklace


See & Shop more vintage clothing new arrivals here.

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