A Shop Update | Ode to August

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SHOP VINTAGE TOPS & BLOUSES

It has been over 3 weeks since I have moved to Portland and it really hasn’t sunk in yet. Perhaps it is because I don’t live right in the thick of things. When we would visit here we always went to the very touristy places off Division, 23rd, Burnside… and now that I am a resident of Portland… I’ve been spending more time at the farmer’s market, Home Depot, and TRYING to navigate WITHOUT my GPS. Without success.

The other day I went downtown and drove by the Portland, Oregon sign. You know the one, the one with the deer on it! The first time I saw it was during November and the city had put a red light on its nose. So, literally, up until…I saw it again, the Summer after, I just thought it was Rudolf.

Ha ha ha. I am easily gullible. And easily amused. Obviously. 

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SHOP VINTAGE DRESSES

I’m waiting for the weather to hurry up and cool down already! And everyone keeps telling me “OH it’s COMING!” But seriouslyyyy… I have not seen an Autumn…like a REAL Autumn in over a decade!!! The anticipation of Fall is making me dislike summer very much.

See, August, this shop update is dedicated to you! An ODE to you, so hurry on up and be over, and let’s get to the pretty changing of leaves already!

By the way, let me just slip on my VINTAGE-PRODUCT-PHOTOGRAPHER hat so I can whine about how annoying it is to redo and get used to a whole new way of shooting product photos when you move somewhere new.

Perhaps it was because last year I moved SO MUCH and had to do this process SO OFTEN, that this time around I was nearly in tears trying to get the lighting right.

The plus side of the new house is that it has lots of beautiful natural light. Unfortunately most of that natural beautiful light is not in the room I had originally dedicated to be the “photo taking” room.

So, in a Tim Gunn “make-it-work” moment, I shuffled off to Ikea to pick up some makeshift studio supplies then drove downtown to a camera supply store to get a couple more supplies.

And STILL… CRAP!

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SHOP VINTAGE SKIRTS

The truth is, I know most of you wouldn’t even notice the things I get the most antsy about. I’m quite a hard critic on myself and hold myself up to impossible standards on a low budget and without formal training.

I’m a perfectionist to the point where I annoy myself. Well, actually, I’m a perfectionist about CERTAIN things. My desk is never ever tidy. And it will be a cold day in Hell when I can actually keep a manicure for at least 24 hours.

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SHOP VINTAGE ACCESSORIES

THIS shop update, if you DIDN’T NOTICE, and now I am going to POINT OUT, is shot in two different rooms at different times of the day because I was trying to see which lighting I liked better.

But after redoing several dresses, I finally threw my hands up in the air and possibly yanked some hairs out of my head (just kidding, I’m not CRAZY you guys!) and just posted the shop update with two different tones.

I hope you didn’t notice. But now you will because I TOLD YOU. Le siggghhhh.

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A Tale of When I Failed at an Estate Sale

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I don’t think you have to be a vintage shopkeeper to relate to this…but I think I have a shopping problem.

There’s just something about that CHANCE of finding a gold mine that keeps me going on to the next, the next, then the next place of looking for vintage for my shop. Well, and lately I’ve been doing a lot of house shopping at estate sales.

I’m not even going to joke you guys, the amount of items I have amassed in the past few weeks makes me kind of sick. Not just in the sense that flies are starting to fly out of my wallet…but the amount of vintage I now have to PROCESS! I have mini knots in my stomach just thinking about it because it’s just so much.

But I frickin LOVE IT so much too!

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I was going to photograph the new piles of vintage clothes I have recently acquired, but honestly, I kind of hate pictures like that when other people post it. It’s kind of like “Looook at all the awesomeness that I’ve acquired therefore making me awesome sauce!” (Oh, and yes, I’m aware I’ve been guilty of this on Instagram and I always feel like a jackass after posting it. Which is why I never post photos like that anymore.)

Anyhow, this is suppose to be about my story about my estate sale fail this morning! I arrived with plenty of time and hardly anyone was there! I was on cloud 9, like HAHA SUCKERS I’m gonna get all the loot!!

I was number 6 in line! I was gonna get it all!

BUT NO no noo it was not to be so! I had waltzed into the house thinking there’s hardly anyone here, I’ve got time.

I went to one bedroom and then that’s when I realized…

I MADE THE WRONG CHOICE. It was a dead end.

Since there were not a lot of people there, they just sort of let EVERYONE in at once. The layout of this house was not conducive for this! I got TRAPPED in the room. In the room with bedsheets, tablecloths, and random boxes of fabrics, and clothes I didn’t want. When I finally squeezed my way out, I saw a couple other gals with piles of hat boxes, a huge basket of white cotton and lace blouses, and some purses.

NOoooooo. The walls came in closer. I got short of breath. Little imps circled my head going “Na-na-na-na-nahhhh!”

Well I’ll be damned they had that stuff in the BACKYARD!! Who the heck puts the vintage in the BACKYARD?! That’s where pots, tools, crappy patio furniture, and lawn ornaments go!! Not the VINTAGE!!!

AUGH, and to make matters worse, one of the relatives of the deceased wanted to chat with me about the fur coat I was holding in my arms. (At least I got that!!) And well, yes, any other time, I would have been so glad to have a chat with her about Aunt Dorothy who once owned this coat and how it’s just dyed to look like mink and she adored it so and did I notice the details on the cuffs…

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You know lovelies…sometimes you just have to admit defeat. And at this moment, I felt it. In my heart I felt it. Those blouses were not to be mine and too much time had passed that surely they would all be gone. What couple hats were left had mold on them. GROSS.

What clothes were left, literally two pieces, were for babies. Crushed! I was crushed.

On the bright side, I did manage to pick up some new kitchenwares. Oh…side note, seriously, I hardly own anything new in my house. Even my spatulas are second hand!

On another bright side, and this truly did cheer me up, the relative that was talking to me, saw me try on the fur coat later and our conversation went like this:

“Oh, that’s a bit dramatic!”

“Well, sometimes if the occasion calls for it, one should be dramatic!” I remarked snuggling into the coat.

She laughs. “Well, honey, you’re so pretty you can be dramatic whenever you want. When you’re my age, you can’t get away with drama anymore.”

I blushed and said “Oh gee, thanks!” and took the coat off feeling slightly embarrassed.

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I headed home, stopped by Heart coffee on Burnside and saw a neon green “Estate Sale” sign. Oh, well I guess I shop stop by this one too!

No clothes were to be had here, but I am starting to notice how SMALL Portland is. I recognized some other dealers/sellers (well, AFTER the fact) at this estate sale. AHh, and I felt like a total crap when one of them said Hello to me after I just met them last weekend at their garage sale. Sorry for seeming so aloof guys, I was so caught up with the craziness of this sale I didn’t even know who I was looking at. AND, arg, that last sentence makes me sound like an ass too.

Ahh, failing all around today! Jeez!

*just a note, the only things in this photo I got from the estate sales this morning are the magazines*

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The Domestic Arts

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Oh, please don’t shed a tear when you’ve discovered this ISN’T about the beautiful new set of books I scored called the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences! I WILL be sharing those little treasure troves of vintage knowledge soon enough!

Those books and a little perusal on Pinterest… OK, I must say something.

I had intended on going on Pinterest to find “closet organization” tips but instead I discovered a board full of absolutely delightful art and many of which depicted women as lovely housekeepers. So, hence this post!

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I’m also reading Louisa May Alcott’s “Eight Cousins” and just finished the chapter “Bread N Button Holes” and felt a bit miffed that there are so very, very many things I don’t know how to do. I don’t know how to darn socks! I don’t know how to make button holes! I don’t even know how to bake bread! AND I especially don’t know how to “tend to my linens“! I really like the idea of tending to ones linens…what does that EVEN MEAN!?

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On the Set: The Dashwood Country Cottage

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Sense and Sensibility, the 1995 version directed by Ang Lee, is one of my favorites of all the Jane Austen movie adaptations. I just find it all so lovely to look at and the acting is superb and all the characters are likable in their own way. Even that super snotty Mrs. Ferrars!

I know I really quite like a movie when I like everyone in it. I mean honestly, this version is like the crème de la crème of British actors! Well, in my non-movie aficionado opinion. There’s Emma Thompson (adore her), Kate Winslet (before Titanic made her a household name), Alan Rickman (years before he would be Snape), Emma Jones (whom I adore in Bridget Jones’ Diary), and Hugh Grant… just to name a few. It’s also wonderful for me to see all the actors in this setting because I know them from so many other movies. Like Imelda Staunton who plays Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter.

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My favorite scenes of course take place in the country cottage where the Dashwood’s must now go live. I ADORE this house. I want to LIVE here. Everything about it. I kept pausing the movie to screencap different scenes. I love how all the colors are muted and faded. But not in a shabby chic sort of way. I love the quaintness of it all, the smallness. Compared to the scenes of the larger estates, I much rather prefer the country settings.

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I love the mix of textiles and mostly the lack of color. As you probably have guessed, I love neutrals and soft hues. Their blue and white gingham couch in their living room I adore so much but doubt I could ever go that “country” in my own home. But if I had a room just like this one, then it wouldn’t look so country. I mean, American country, like “shabby chic” country which in my opinion when taken to a certain extent looks really terrible and gaudy.

I always find it funny when I see overly done country interiors. The whole point of country living is that everything is more simple. More sparse. And I think that’s why I adore the settings of Sense and Sensibility so much. It seems quite realistic. But, what do I know. I’m not an expert on period piece movies! Simply, a girl that loves pretty simple things.

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A Shop Update | Rest On Your Laurels

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On Sunday I had gone to an estate sale in SW Portland, way up in the hills. I had gone on the last day of the estate sale knowing that most of the really amazing things would be gone, but I just wasn’t in the mood to get up really early and hoist myself up to the sale at 8 in the morning on Friday.

And besides, I decided to go on a wee little vintage hunting expedition on Friday instead!

Which was WONDERFUL.

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The vintage finds on this trip… pretty great although slim pickings, not gonna lie. (If you follow Adored Vintage on Instagram, there are some peeks there!) I drove many, many hours to net the catch I got and every piece was worth it!

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The drive…oh I felt as if I were driving through a picture book of some sort! To me there is something so exciting about exploring new territories on your own accord. To just have a general idea of where you’re going to go then just drive and go with the flow. I re-listened to some of my favorite The History Chicks podcasts, sang along to my “Sing IT Girl” playlist (catchy pop songs up the wazoo!), and drove like a grandma so I could enjoy the green green green all around me.

One of the shops I stopped I remember walking in and feeling a sense of magic all around. Have you ever done that? You walk in somewhere and just inherently know “Yes…yessss. You GET me.” It was in an old building with large front windows and an arched window above the doors. And all the walls were painted white even the brick. And large pieces of antique dark wood furniture about and marble top tables and perfectly worn in velvet chairs. And this ONE tufted floral chair that I would have happily paid top dollar for but the shop owner gave me that little smile and I knew what that smile said.

Isn’t it lovely? And she’s miiiine. Not for sale dearie.

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I remember being in this shop and just feeling like it was MY shop. I mean, I KNOW it wasn’t MINE, but that someday I would have a shop just like it. Lots and lots of light, a beautiful sparseness about it, antiques and vintage paired off together that looks inviting and beckons you to “come, sit a spell, try me on, let’s talk awhile.” There was a messiness and a neatness I liked about it. It just felt like home.

I had every intention of stopping at one of the local small town eateries. There definitely were plenty of mom and pop cafes I encountered, but I kept thinking… there IS treasure out there and I MUST get to it before someone else does!

So I shushed my hungry stomach, drank more coffee, and forged on. It wasn’t until 6:30 PM that I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat but toast and two cups of coffee so I was famished and well, I succumbed to eating McDonalds because it was convenient and I was starting to get lightheaded.

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Dammit! When I think of those pressed paninis and fresh baked pies I passed up! I’m stuffing my face with salty french fries (oh WHY Whyyy do you have to be so good french fries?) and head on back to Portland, the trunk of my car happily filled with lots of antique and vintage goodies which will be unveiled to all soon enough!

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