In Which Life Shifts Again

It is a wonder how much one can THINK and DO when one decides to forego the pressure of posting at multiple intervals in a day the going on in one’s life in a square photo for an invisible audience.

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I am talking of course about Instagram. And the internet in general.

For nearly a week now I’ve rarely been active. Coming from someone that normally posts 3-5 times a day on Instagram, 4 days without posting anything new on Instagram is like 1 month in internet time.

Life has taken a shift. Oh those wonderful shifts in life, aren’t they bittersweet? I have this uncanny ability to look for the silver lining in every situation and the current state of things has me all wonder eyed about the possibilities of the future.

I’ve also been thinking a lot. Good things. I’ve been in my own head, musing about life, work, travels. I’ve also been reading again. And doing yoga. And journaling. ACTUAL ink to paper you guys.

It’s been marvelous.

Also, I forgot how wonderful reading was. Depending on the book you’re reading, it’s like taking a vacation or time traveling. Or both. Currently, I am reading “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle. I started reading it at a Bed & Breakfast we went to a little over a month ago in Astoria, and just 2 days ago found a copy at the thrift store. I picked up a couple of other books for summer reading. My brain cells are being dusted off, getting a bit of air, getting a bit of exercise. They’re all thinking “What the devil is this? Words on paper?! Not on a tiny glowing screen?” And then they settle in and we board the train to wherever we’re going to go in the story and it’s a pretty happy little ride.

*side note* Reading Peter Mayle’s novel has me missing our time in Aveyron something fierce.

Amongst my summer reading list is the final book in the Harry Potter series. I have been putting it off for so very, very long. I actually feel like I have to reread all the other books (or just have a movie marathon) because I am sure I am forgetting so many details. Where’s a remembrall when you need one?

I’m feeling quite content about things. I’m sure it will change, but one can’t be content always and forever. If one was, then one is dead. And in Heaven, is my assumption.

To finish off this ramble of a personal post, a list of activities I plan on doing this summer.

  1. Sew a skirt from a vintage 1950s pattern I just purchased on eBay
  2. Frame my pressed flowers from our time in Aveyron
  3. Embroider a few 1920s dresses that are a bit too plain
  4. Sew something recycling old curtains (no, not the 1940s silk ones I posted on Instagram)
  5. Hang up curtain room dividers in the studio (slowly gathering inspiration and DIY instructions in Pinterest)
  6. Begin seedling project with flower seeds I purchased in France (I have nothing to declare!)

All right, that was quite short. But, really, I can’t be too fastidious or overly ambitious. 6 things is plenty and to be honest, the sewing projects will probably take me all summer to complete.

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Les Plus Beaux Villages de France…a Honeymoon Post

Initially, our honeymoon plan was to go for our 1 year wedding anniversary, but plans change. And sometimes for the better!

Side note: If you would like to see some of our wedding photos, I posted them here.

A majority of our honeymoon will be spent in the Aveyron region of France where our friend Bruno is from and also he will be visiting the same time so we will be traveling together! Isn’t that great!?

Najac in Aveyron, France
Najac in Aveyron, France! We are going here for SURE! | image credit: Guias Viajar

DETOUR STORY: My husband owns a shop in Portland called Orn Hansen. Bruno owns a company called Bruno’s Artisans in which he represents European makers & designers most of whom are French. Around the time Bruno and Robby met, I had made an instashop for Adored Vintage called Attic in Aveyron. Robby showed Bruno Adored Vintage and also Attic in Aveyron and Bruno had wondered how I knew of Aveyron since he was born and raised there! (I can just picture him asking in his charming accent!)

Belcastel in Aveyron, France! You can picture me coming down this path wearing an Edwardian dress, right? I'll find wildflowers somewhere to hold...
Belcastel in Aveyron, France! You can picture me coming down this path wearing an Edwardian dress, right? I’ll find wildflowers somewhere to hold… | image credit: Wikimedia

Isn’t life funny sometimes? Also, the reason I named the instashop Attic in Aveyron is because in this region in France is a very small village named Rodelle and I like to pretend I was named after this place. (I wasn’t, my parents made up my name by combining the first two syllables of their first names and then adding a Lee) Father: ROlando Mother: DELia … RODEL-LEE. It’s a very common Filipino thing to do…

All right, back to honeymoon plans (how I do always go off topic?! Now you know what it is like to talk to me in real life…)

The village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie overlooking the river Lot
The village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie overlooking the river Lot (GASPPPP) | image credit: France Today

So, most of our honeymoon will be spent in the MOST BEAUTIFUL villages in France! You know this is a thing! They actually rate villages in France on beauty!! This is what Bruno emailed to us:

Les plus beaux villages de France is avery famous organisation which gives a very desirable label to some villages according to several criteria. When a village has this, there is always a sign at the entrance of the village, as it’s prestigious. With 10 “most beautiful villages of France”, the Aveyron has the biggest number of them in the country.

Did you read that last part? AVEYRON HAS THE BIGGEST NUMBER OF THEM IN THE COUNTRY. And that is where WE WILL BE! I know…I know!

Conques in Aveyron, France (YES, we must go here!) | image credit: Flickr
Conques in Aveyron, France (YES, we must go here!) | image credit: Flickr

But what about Paris, Rodellee? Will you be spending time in Paris? Of course we will silly! But I am much more excited about seeing the French countryside.

Since over a decade ago I have always said my dream vacation would be to travel around the French countryside. There will always be Paris, the city of love.

But you know I am not a city girl. You know I am a country girl at heart. Fields, mountains, sky, meadows, small towns, villages… OH YAS GIRL! At my very core, I am still the little girl at my grandfather’s farm in Carcar running around barefoot playing with the chickens and feeding the pigs.

Perhaps Robby will fall in love with the countryside like I have. My ultimate life dream is to have a modest home out in the country where I can have a garden. Peace and quiet. And be reasonably close to a small city or town.

One can dream. I mean after all, about 5 years ago I dreamed I would have a work studio with exposed brick, arched windows, and always have pastries and tea and coffee at the ready. And that dream already came true.

Counting down the weeks to Aveyron! Oh and Paris too! But that is for another post… and of course, what will I wear? Again… another post. Gosh…so much planning must still be done!

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Somewhere in the Middle, Maybe

Once in awhile I get into these moods where I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. It isn’t necessarily about trying to fit in, but trying to figure out where “my tribe” is. In the fashion/vintage world that is.

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I worked in fast fashion before I went full time with Adored Vintage. In downtown L.A. – i.e. the mecca of fast fashion. I clearly did not fit into whatever fashion trend was happening that hot minute. The ultra-too-cool-for-school 90’s comeback thing. And tight leggings and jeans with those God awful shoes, I can’t even remember who makes them. Campbell? Jeffrey Campbell? Is that right? *barf* (sorry, I’ve always thought these shoes were so ugly!)

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On the other end of the spectrum are the vintage gals. Who just do the whole vintage thing so damn well! They’ve perfected the hair, the make-up, the head-to-toe period perfect ensemble. So many of these gals look like they walked out of a time machine and I’m pretty much mesmerized. I’ve seen a few of these guys and gals at different vintage events and I’m always like “…..” <– that’s me just in awe.

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One time I saw Dita Von Teese, and she walked right by me. I swear our clothes brushed against each other. And I just froze in the middle of the aisle, not breathing. Like maybe I was trying to savor the air particles she just walked through? Ugh, what a creep. Like OMG! Did you guys know she tweeted me once? I practically fell out of my chair. I texted my best friend and husband immediately “OMGGGGGGGGGggggggggggggggggggg

Then there’s a third group. The Vintage FASHION group, who wear vintage and just look so damn cool. Like I just threw on this Zandra Rhodes caftan with a pair of $350 jeans and my $1500 designer bag. (Is that how much designer bags are? I’m just not with the times anymore!) Some of these gals crossover with the Fast Fashion gals.

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Anyhow, I don’t fit into either one of these groups. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a cool outfit ever. Not to say I haven’t TRIED to look COOL (remember, I worked in fast fashion with lots of trendy buyers from Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitters, ModCloth…), but I have rarely felt like I looked the epitome of coolness.

Let’s get something straight here. I like how I dress. Nay, I love how I dress. I wouldn’t dress the way I do if I didn’t like it. This post isn’t a woe is me, my style sucks post.

There are just some times where I think “Oh man, I’m boring. Why do people like this outfit? It’s so simple! You probably even own it!

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My style icons are the women that wore pretty & simple clothes. And country girls. And Edwardian girls. Saria of Rue Anafel and I were chatting about this a few weeks ago. We rarely meet other gals who dress like us. Where are you guys?! Where are you hiding?

Why can’t wearing neutrals and a-line skirts and loafers be the thing everyone wears? Or Edwardian dresses with sandals? I would seriously love that! When I see other gals on instagram wear similar outfits to me I’m always like “I love this! Yay! We need more gals like you!”

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Marching In

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Nature has begun to shed her dried leaves and burst forth with Spring awakenings. And how all of these new blooms make my heart sing! The weather is nearly warm enough to warrant bare legs.

During the day it’s quite fair, but in the evenings I’m quite chilled still and it takes me a long while to warm up. (After all, I am an island girl at heart)

I am very much looking forward to not shivering several times a day. Of course I could just bundle up more, but I’m stubbornly willing warm days to arrive faster! The magnolia trees are starting to blossom! The forsythia is bright and golden. The camellias are so heavy in bloom, the branches bend at the weight of the blossoms.

It is HEAVENLY. I love living in Portland. There must be something here (oh, wait, all that RAIN!) that makes everything so verdant.

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Everything I am wearing was thrifted and from the 80s and at some point were going to go into the shop, but alas…I am a hoarder of all muted colors and soft knits and a-line skirt.

I do adore certain years from the 80s & the 90s. These two decades really do get a bad rep! Not everything was all shoulder pads, terrible mermaid silhouttes, teased hair, and neon lycra (cringgggeeee)

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So Long February

A lot of things happened in February. Firstly, Portland starts blooming! Hellebores, camellias, daffodils, daphnes, and pieris japonica! The temperature has slightly peaked into the 60s which is most heavenly. Most days it is in the 40s-50s which I suppose is much better than being in a blizzard or negative F weather.

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Many revelations and realizations on my part. I suppose this is what “growing up” is all about. Bills, taxes, rent payments… it’s all dull and stressful. And so instead here are all the wonderful things that happened in February because so many great things DID happen as evident by my Instagram!

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So February was… vintage and antique clothing, wearing lots of straw hats, lots of flowers, finding old houses and taking pictures in front of them, and scenes from the Adored Vintage HQ! If you want to follow along on Instagram, my moniker is unsurprisingly @adoredvintage.

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