Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Melodies: California Dreaming

Just about everybody knows the Mama's and the Papa's song California Dreaming, but in my opinion Bobby Womack does the song so much better. He's got such a fabulous voice and you can just feel the longing. The song is also "aktuell" for me, as they say here in Germany, because I will be going home to California for a three week visit on Wednesday. Although I love my life here in Berlin, I still do miss a lot of things about NorCal, Californiaese for Northern California, especially the ocean. Oh yeah, and my family. ;) Anyway, here is Womack singing to some great vintage California footage. Enjoy!

p.s. I'll definitely be thrifting when I'm there, so stayed tuned for some of my great vintage Golden State finds!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Hippie Soul

My parents were Jesus Freak hippies in the 1970s. This meant, instead of being high on drugs, they were high on the love of the Lord. Everything else was pretty much the same; long hair and peasant skirts, bushy beards, bad acoustic guitar playing, dreams of communal living and living off the land (because, of course, the Lord will provide...) My childhood was filled with fruit-juice sweetened cookies and Hansen's Natural Soda. We spent each Sunday at the Vineyard, a hippie church where we sang handwritten songs cast onto the wall with an overhead projector while women twirled down the aisles with tambourines in hand.
I went through a pretty big hippie phase in my early 20s, with hair down to my waist and a penchant for any clothing that could be described as batik or Guatemalan. I also was a vegetarian for six years and it was definitely because I thought Meat was Murder. Although my style now is not in the least bit hippie, I've always thought part of my soul has probably stayed in Flower Power Land. That explains why I love this vintage bird of paradise navy kaftan.
I will be posting it soon in my shop, but I will probably re-take the pictures first because it's pretty darn wrinkled in these ones. Since I hate ironing it might take a while til it shows up, though I admit it may also be because I decided to keep it. It is oh-so-comfortable and would make a perfect lounging gown. Now if only I can find a place in Berlin where I can buy myself a good ol' can of Hansen's. ;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Handmade Vintage

I always used to assume one day I would make my own clothes. I knew I would probably never be good enough to make anything elaborate but simple dress or blouses or altered vintage clothing, that was my goal. A couple of years ago I finally took a basic sewing class and discovered I am utterly hopeless at it. I was always sewing things on backwards and couldn't draw a straight line to save my life. The teacher didn't know what to do with me. Of course, I did improve a little after a while but I didn't enjoy it like I always thought I would. Maybe my thwarted ambitions as a hobby seamstress are the reason I love carrying vintage handmade clothing in my shop. I always have an eye out for it when I go thrifting or to flea markets. Here are some of the handmade pieces I currently have for sale, some of which are beautifully hand-knit which is beyond amazing.

Vintage 1960s Hand-Knit Bubblegum Pink Cardigan with Floral Embroidery
Vintage Royal Blue Raw Silk Handmade Dirndl Dress
Vintage 1960s Orange Sherbet Hand-Knit Mohair Cardigan
Vintage Handmade Blue and White Checked Dirndl Dress
Vintage Handmade Navy Wool Dirndl Dress
Vintage Deep Red Hand-Knit Sweater With Gray Fleur di Lis

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Do Each Of These Dresses Have In Common?

The answer? Each of them spent some time in my vintage shop before I decided I couldn't part with them. Ever since I opened the shop, I never have to buy clothes for myself anymore. I go thrifting or to flea markets and buy whatever catches my eye without thinking about if it will fit me or not. What often happens is that great clothes literally falls into my lap.

I think I posed for only one picture in this gray-green vintage 1960s dirndl before I realized "Uh-Uh. That one you are keeping for yourself!" Oktoberfest is still going on but any parties that they have here would only be in the touristy areas because, well, Berlin doesn't really "do" Oktoberfest. I'm planning on taking the Alps out of it by combining it with a simple blouse and cardigan topped off with my very favorite Puss In Boots-style vintage brown leather 1970s boots (which, by the way, I bought from the vintage shop my sister runs out of San Francisco. Yes, she did cut me a bit of a deal, but not much of one. Can you say, "shrewd businesswoman"? ;) The necklace is one of my handmade pieces and is still available for sale in my shop, though I'd hurry if I were you. I love it with the dress and so it might just be disappearing from the listings soon....
This vintage 1970s sheer black dress has a pearly, Victorian collar and is patterned with fireflies. It was actually in my shop for a while and got some attention, though I listed it in the summer (the day I posed in it it was sweltering outside so yes, that is a glisten of sweat on my brow...) It will be great for fall and I have a thing for fireflies since they feature heavily in a story I made up for my daughter called When Lights Were Born. I think I'll wear it with the buttons open though because I find it a bit extreme with them closed (not to mention, a little bit hard to breathe!)
This dress was also in my shop for quite some time, though it was modeled on my friend Erica. I've lost some weight recently so I thought I'd pose in some of the older dresses and found myself liking the funky school marm appeal of this one. Erica also probably won't be modeling for me again. Although a really beautiful woman, she actually doesn't like to have her photograph taken (the exact opposite of me, Miss Self Portrait ever since I can remember...) The clothes she modeled in also have barely sold for some reason, maybe because people can sense she is actually uncomfortable? At some point I may try to find a model for the size small and medium clothing, but for now I'll stick with the wall and dress form.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shop Update: Embroidered and Eyeletted to the Hilt!

So I've been busy this last week teaching an English as a Foreign Language intensive course (this is my day job, if you will ;) ) so I haven't really had the time to get many new items for my shop. But on Saturday I did manage to go thrifting and today I sent my husband together with my older daughter for a jaunt on the countryside (Brandenburg ho!) I posed in some of the new clothing while my younger daughter took her nap. I will be posting these items over the next week as well as (non-modeled) clothing in smaller sizes and handmade jewelry, so do stay tuned.

Vintage 1970s Embroidered Black Mexican Shift Blouse
Vintage 1960s Embroidered Dark Green Balkonett Dirndl
Vintage 1970s White Dirndl Blouse (Sold Separately)
Vintage 1970s Embroidered Blue Peasant Blouse
Vintage Lilac Eyelet Blouse, Made in Yugoslavia
Vintage Embroidered Trachten Skirt, Moulin Rogue Meets Pirates of the Caribbean

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And the Two Shall Be One....

Although I say this with somewhat of a heavy heart, I have decided to consolidate my shop Schaufenster Art & Vintage with Curious Knopf. I actually have several reasons why I've chosen to do this, but the main one is that I simply don't have enough attention span to run two shops at the same time. In the feature, you can find vintage housewares and home decor at Curious Knopf such as:

This fabulous Arzberg cake plate with matching tea cup, hand-painted in Bavaria in 1952, with Japanese cherry trees and a Geisha girl nonetheless. And this vintage 1950s shy German girl wall mask from Cortendorf.Although I plan to keep the shop largely vintage-only, I will still offer some small works of art made from vintage materials like my handmade jewelry, so do stay tuned. ;)