In Which I Confess I’m A Little Nuts

I don’t deny I have a mild case of OCD. The cogs in my brain are constantly turning. Spinning, whirring, overheating a lot of times. When someone suggests to me that I should relax and take it easy my initial reaction is to roll my eyes. Like how could I possibly relax? Don’t you realize how many things there are to be done and how many things I want to do, and of course the have to be done and need to be done?

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Ok, I’m going to be candid and honest for a bit. And give me a brief moment to inflate my ego (I very rarely pat myself in the back, so even writing this out is kind of a knee jerk for me)

I KNOW I’m good at what I do. I know my product photography is great and the way I present the vintage wares on my site looks like a professional team did them. I know for a vintage e-commerce shop, Adored Vintage is one of the best.

I say this with pride but also with a funny taste in my mouth. I am my hardest critic. If you find 1 flaw on my website, trust me, I’ve found 50. I don’t know if other people go through my website and grumble about how some photos are better than others.

Or the fact that all the vintage necklaces are photographed so many different ways. (OMG, this drives me nuts!)

Or in some photos the colors are off. Or the dress form is kind of crooked. Or I started cropping product photos at a slightly different dimension so some of them don’t line up. I’m getting all antsy just thinking about it. Arg.

I’ve accepted that I like things to be a certain way and get irritated when they’re not. It’s what makes me good at what I do, but also something that really annoys me about myself because it takes me twice as long to get things done sometimes.

When I was younger I would rewrite my school notes because my handwriting was too terrible in the notes. I mean, what if someone wanted to borrow them and they would think:

Jeez Louise, I can’t even read this! Who wrote this? A caveman?

Sometimes when I’m critical of others I am aware that its stemming from my own self critiques. It’s exhausting to be in a constant state of “Get better, get better, get better.

I am realizing I can’t take on too much. I can’t do it all at once, and it’s always going to be a process. Organizing the vintage studio by decade was a huge undertaking this week and I’m still working on the last bits of it. Now of course I’m working on slowly (but surely) rephotographing the vintage jewelry so it’s all cohesive WHILE ALSO updating the shop with new products.

It thrills me to no end to see everything photographed exactly the same way. I’m literally grinning right now at the thought of them all on the website looking the same way. EEeek… why does that make me so excited? (Because I am a weirdo!)

Oh jeez, I hope you didn’t just waste 10 minutes of your life reading this super boring post. But, you know, if you really wanted to know some of the inner workings of my brain as a vintage seller, then well here it was!

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In Which I Reflect on Ageing

I have never been one to shy away from getting older or hiding my age. In fact, I quite like it. Are there little wrinkles here and there that did not exist? Sure. But with age comes experience and wisdom and acceptance. And the settling into one’s true self. I’ve always loved this quote from Diane Von Furstenberg, about becoming the woman she wanted to be. And I do think, I’m quite on my way.

Adored Vintage, A Vintage Studio in Portland, Ore

“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” – Diane Von Furstenberg

There were a couple periods in my life where I didn’t like who I was or where I was in my life. Of course the only way things were going to change was for me to go do something about it. Which eventually I did, but sometimes it’s difficult to make that leap of faith.

Adored Vintage | A vintage shop for discerning romantics

Adored Vintage | A vintage shop for discerning romantics

Adored Vintage | A vintage shop for discerning romantics

Adored Vintage | A vintage shop for discerning romantics

I don’t really have any great words of wisdom. I wish I did. I wish I had all sorts of life anecdotes about aging and how to improve yourself and life and your house. But I don’t. Actually, I find even in my 30s I am still figuring out so much about life. And work. And running a small business.

There are times I wish a great big book would just fall out of the sky with instructions on how to do life right. But then again, no one could write that book. Because life, I’ve come to realize, must be lived moment to moment. And despite all the planning I try to do, life will go on happening and tumbles forward with every minute decisions made.

Ooo… didn’t that sound all “full of wisdom“? Haha!

Adored Vintage | A vintage shop for discerning romantics

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In Which Some Truths Are Realized

June so far seems to be rumbling steadily along. The past week has kind of been a blur, I’ve partly been in a daze and have been working longer hours than usual. A few truths about myself have been realized and more deeply seeded. I don’t know if you will view these realizations as negative, but as I get older (my birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks!) I’ve grown to accept certain truths about myself, whether they’re good or not. As Popeye would say “I yam what I yam, and dats what I yam.

Adored Vintage | Vintage Floral Dress

Truth No. 1: I don’t like groups of children together. Call me old fashioned, but I believe children should be respectful towards their elders, strangers, and people in general. Unfortunately I witnessed one too many cases this week of unruly children. And what is even worse is the behavior of the adult in these situations. To respond either by yelling or ignoring the child! It’s awful! Parents that do not control their children in public settings irks me beyond belief! A crying infant on a plane, well there’s not much you can do. But allowing your children to play tag in a grocery store or not tell them to be mindful of other people when they’re holding melting ice cream cones so close to your Edwardian dress…

You know once I told a child “Can you say PLEASE, please?” and he looked at me like I had grown horns and a tail. Manners people! Teach your kids some damn manners!

Perhaps it is because I was raised in a different way. In the Philippines we have titles for those older than us. And if you are introduced to someone older than you, you “bless” them by taking their hand and lightly touching it on your forehead. Similar to kissing the top of their hand, except you just do it on your head.

Truth No. 2: I really like my alone time. And if you interrupt it, I am irked for hours or even the whole day! It might be I am just starting my slow metamorphosis into a grouchy old grandma. I don’t know. For instance, I had plans this week to take a nice little drive through the country for a bit of solitary wandering, listen to birds, lay in a field to watch clouds, and then pick flowers. And every single time I pulled off somewhere, there were already people there! I don’t know why this annoyed me so much. At one point in the car I just cried out with exasperation “Why can’t you all just leave me alone! Go home!

Truth No. 3: I hate being inconvenienced by things that really shouldn’t be inconvenient. I won’t express further because I’m already starting to get a little annoyed just recounting all the irritable things that happened this week.

Truth No. 4: I strongly dislike talking on the phone. Unless I call you (which will be almost never). This isn’t a new truth though. My husband, who is a chatter and without fail calls me every day just to see how my day is. Yes, YES. This is very, very sweet. However, when I am in the middle of writing product descriptions and my brain is elsewhere, chatting on the phone is such a hard yank into another reality. My brain just doesn’t switch that quickly. So, my first reaction is of annoyance (that is, if I do answer the phone.)

All, right… that’s enough realized truths for now because this has become a very WHINY post. Let’s end on a positive note shall we?

POSITIVE THINGS…

I stopped by a new little shop this week and found new additions for my wardrobe. Cream, crochet, and Edwardian. The perfect trio.

I also got two new vintage floral dresses that I adore and will probably wear all summer. I’m wearing one right now (it’s the one I’m pictured in)

I found this missing piece to my sewing machine I’ve been looking for. Huzzah! Let the projets d’ete begin!

My French is improving!

I started to germinate some of my seeds! I started with some Bachelor Buttons. They’re so cute!

My hair is long enough to curl. I’m done cutting it for awhile. I miss my Mermaid locks.

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Une Fille et Les Fleurs

I am a creature of comfort and I find comfort in very simple things. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks and a bit of a rollercoaster at the most basic level and so I turn to flowers and nature for comfort. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” John Burroughs, Victorian naturalist and nature journalist.

Adored Vintage | Une Fille et Les Fleurs

I called upon my friend, Esther Jean, this morning for an impromptu breakfast date. She had promised me a delicious home cooked breakfast, and well, when one needs nourishment for mind, body, and spirit… it is a comfort to know one has a friend to call upon.

After green tea, poached eggs (perfectly spiced by something or other, yum!) and English muffin with fig jam (so many new things I must go buy now at the grocery store!) we decided to lift up our semi crushed spirits and go vintage hunting.

And OH! I really must proclaim, retail therapy IS a THING. I picked up a couple pretty things for the shop but mostly got new things for me. Like this vintage 1970s wildflower print dress in faded mustard yellow! So what if it looks like it is made out of an old curtain in a dusty old living room in the South of England. Even better I say!

J’adore cette robe beaucoup! I think I’m that age where my style really isn’t going to change anymore. I tend to gravitate towards the same silhouettes, same color palettes, same prints. More and more… I am turning into ma mère.

Have I told you yet that my mother built a house in the rural mountains of the Philippines and started an Organic Eco farm in the village she lives in? She messaged me the other day to let me know they have gotten two new goats. C’est mon rêve! My mother also loves floral prints, straw hats, and flowers. Oh, the apple does not fall far from the tree!

Adored Vintage | Une Fille et Les Fleurs

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Of Picnics, Fields, & Finding Pleasure in Work

I have a new commute to mon atelier and it is so beautiful! So beautiful in fact that I stopped along the road, camera at the ready, and snapped photos along the way of fields & horses. (How many work commutes can you say THAT about? For me, it’s a first!) The drive to work inspired me to pack a simple picnic and treat myself yesterday afternoon to a little outing to Sauvie Island.

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I also needed to forage some flowers since I have a new way of packaging orders for the shop that I want to try out. Plain packing paper, some pretty brown tape I got awhile back (that I just recently found since tidying up a little more around the studio), and local blooms from my weekly excursions to the wonderful outdoors! So, as you can see…this little outing was not just for pleasure. It was W-O-R-K! Practically backbreaking…

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A Light Lunch for One

One small baguette

A slice of French brie cheese

Seasonal fruit (white nectarine and apricot today)

A cold pasta salad over mixed greens 

A chocolate chip cookie 

The cookie did not make it to the photo as I nibbled on it on the way to my picnic. Ah…well, dessert first I say! I also recommend bringing something to read while going on a solo picnic. I have just started Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

After your light lunch, take a walk along the country roads and photograph as many wispy glades of grass and weeds you see along the way. I know there is nothing original about these photos, but I never tire of looking at grass gracefully bending in the breeze.

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