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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In Which One Says “à bientôt ma amie”

Tomorrow my assistant, Saria, leaves for Europe for ALL of summer. I will miss her so! Since we’ve started working together, Saria has become more of a friend and sometimes I think of her as another little sister. (Saria and my little sister are a year apart in age. I think. I’m so terrible with numbers, dates, punctuality and things relating to time in general)

abientotmamie_04

Anyhow, at the risk of coming off like an absolute sap (I really dislike people seeing me cry, partially because I have probably THE ugliest cry face in the world) I’ll keep this short and sweet and not too sappy. It does not help that I am listening to Yiruma.

Back in October, Saria shared that she wanted to someday open up a floral design company. I think she had said she wanted to do it in a couple of years. At which of course I nonchalantly asked “Why then, and not now?” Meanwhile visions of a flower shop with baskets of lavender, weathered metal pails of pale pink roses, and garlands of dried flowers dance to and fro across my eyes.

Fast forward to perhaps a week later and little baby floral company Rue Anafel was born. And so began a journey of vintage and flowers. Two of my absolute favorite things.

You know, my mother was a florist? As well as a seamstress. I however did not really acquire the trait of becoming une artiste when it comes to floral arranging. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what colors go well together, which shapes and silhouttes pair nicely. But if you gave me a vessel, some foam, some florist tape, and a bunch of flowers… my brain would not quite know how to put it all together.

On the other hand, Saria creates the most beautiful arrangements in a matter of minutes. It is quite a wonder to see her put together an arrangement in front of you! We will go forage for flowers near our atelier and I of course will throw flowers into a haphazard arrangement. And it is lovely because flowers themselves are lovely. But a true florist will arrange it in a way that you will just want to keep looking at it. Study it. Touch it. Smell it. Be one with it.

No gross, that’s creepy. Did we cross the line?

Yes, yes perhaps we have.

Anyhow, my little florist friend who shares my abiding love for neutral colored clothing and woven baskets is off to Europe and I am sad her sunny spirit won’t be around the studio this summer. But goodness, I am so very happy for her and all the wonderful life adventures she is going to experience! Also, I’m a bit jealous. Even though I was just in Europe myself…le sigh. Why can’t I own a vacation home in the South of France already?! Why did life deal me out such an unfair hand of cards?!

I jest! I jest! I know full well how lucky I am!

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In Which Attempts Are Made to Keep From Melting

Currently, I am sprawled on the floor with a fan blowing directly at me as the heat wave that has come to torment the Northwest region of Oregon continues to rage on. (And for the next 2 days it continues, AUGH!)

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The past couple of days it has taken much effort on my part to peel myself off furniture and attempt some semblance of a social life. I can’t even think about work. A warehouse with no AC in continuous 100F weather is no place to be when one has the capacity of movement as a snail. I’ve pondered in my heat induced stupor if it’s possible for me to spontaneously combust.

The other day, we ventured out places unknown and discovered this Korean restaurant inside of a nondescript grocery store. After a delicious meal of Bibimbap (always a favorite, and perfect for a sweltering hot day) we stopped into an antique mall I haven’t ventured into for awhile. A good long while, perhaps 6 months.

Hurrah! A bit of good luck! I found several floral gauzy bohemian dresses (coming soon to the shop as they’re not quite my size, lucky you!), a couple of antique tops, a beautiful rose peach knitted 40s set (will be wonderful for an Autumnal shop update), and the creme de la creme of vintage finds… a nearly complete collection of Victoria Magazine from the late 80s to the late 90s. All for a song! (You can read my ode to Victoria Magazine in this post)

Oh happy day! Happy day! I was beaming from ear to ear! $3 for sets of 6!

I will be honest, since we have left France I’ve been feeling a little depressed. Well not quite depressed, but other things are going on in my life and so I am wistfully thinking of the beautiful mornings I woke up in Trebosc to escape a little.

Our little window in our bedroom looking out over 15th century rooftops, farm lands and fields. A misty fog cloaking the early morning sun. The light crowing of a rooster. The happy twittering of birds tucked into the trees below. Somewhere a light yelp of a farm dog. Downstairs the smell of hot coffee and fresh bread, a promise of a wonderful day about to begin.

I miss these simple things so very much.

Tomorrow it is back to work. (Actually VERY MUCH looking forward to being back in my home away from home) and time to sow some seeds of inspiration I’ve had tucked away for the past few weeks.

Despite my constant complaint of the heat and swearing I will melt at any given moment, dare I say I am a little thankful for it? It has forced me to slow down, way down. And actually rest. I didn’t realize how much and how fast I’ve been going for so long.

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