Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Hair Color! Fall is Here!

Now that Fall is pretty much here, I decided to freshen up my red hair color and cover up my summery highlight chunk. My hair is naturally a light auburn but over the years, the color has faded into a warm, dirty blond.

This is pretty much how my hair looked when I was younger:

And this is how my hair currently looks in its natural state. (Just imagine this shade 1/2 level lighter):
Before I visited my stylist today, I knew that I definitely wanted to cover my blond highlight chunk. I was envisioning a darker, richer shade for fall. But, there was a part of me that wanted to go totally natural. After much thought and consideration, I realize that my skintone looks better when I have my red hair.

So, at noon today, I visited my amazing hair genius, Corry, and we decided on a true, rich red:
Here is another view:
I love it! I feel so autumn right now even though it is 77 degrees and DC is has been bombarded with the remnants of a tropical storm since last night! This is how it looks outside my office window right now:
Nevertheless, tomorrow is the first day of October and the temperatures will be in the low 60s this weekend! I cannot wait to wear my 50s wool cardigans and rolled jeans!

So, what do you girls think about the new color? Do you ever change your hair color to match the seasons?

A Night on Capitol Hill

This is a view of the the Capitol in Washington, DC taken last night. My company and I went to a reception on "the Hill" that kicked off "Cyber Security Awareness Month" for October 2010. It was neat to meet a few government "big wigs" along with a couple members of the House of Representatives.

Due to the nature of last night's events, I had to keep the vintage at home and wear a black suit. I often feel like I am "in costume" whenever I am not in my usual vintage attire! Despite my "typical DC-ite" look, I still wore red lipstick and did my hair in rolls:
Here is me posing with the Capitol in the background. Notice that my brooch looks wonky? It's kind of heavy so it tends to migrate!:
After the meeting/reception, our group visited the recently updated Capitol Visitor's center:
Because I have lived in the DC area for 16 years, I often overlook the majesty of the city.  We are the home of the federal government, Supreme Court, and the President. There are scores of amazing museums, including the Smithsonian Institution. The city has so many wonderful dining and entertainment options and most importantly, DC is the epicenter of our nation's politics, both past and present.

Speaking of dining, upon leaving the Hill, the gang and I went to Capital Grille on Pennsylvania Avenue. The restaurant was filled with lobbyists, lawyers, locals, and tourists. I was surprised how packed it was for a Wednesday evening! It was hard trying to find a spot in the bar while we waited for our table. A yuppie in a suit even tried to hold a bar stool (just so he could use two stools to chill on) by saying his wife was sitting there when clearly he was with his buddy and he was not wearing a ring! Uh, if you are going to lie to people, at least do it with some originality! Talk about lame!

Anyway, after we got seated, our dinner was amazing! The service was impeccable too! I am so glad I got to see and experience DC in a new light.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Retro Kitchen Updates!

Last week, I realized the round gold knobs on my kitchen cabinets needed to be replaced. The knobs' shape was not only boring, their tawny color was seemed out of place in my atomic-inspired kitchen.  Moreover, they were very reminiscent of the soulless, 1980s decor that plagued my childhood. In other words, the knobs had to go! 

While searching various online retailers and Etsy, I discovered that the vintage milk glass knobs and the artisan, handmade creations I liked were too expensive. One site had these amazing square-shaped, grecian blue knobs that retailed for $24.00 each! I needed 14 so the total would have been $336.00! Yes, each knob was handmade and drop-dead gorgeous but I cannot even imagine spending over 300 bucks on knobs! Can we say 'crazy?!'

After conceding my online quest for the kitchen hardware of my vintage dreams, I decided to visit the Lowes Hardware store near my office. I was so happy when I found a 1 and 1/2 inch round pale sea blue porcelain design. The color was a perfect match for the already-present colors in my kitchen and the price, 85 cents each, made this unexpected find even better. I grabbed 14 knobs and walked to the register. The total came to be $12.50!

Here is a view of the knobs overall:
Another view:
I also made a small tablecloth using a 1/2 yard of Circa 50 fabric in "Space." I found this pattern on Etsy. I paid $7.50 USD. Here is the fabric itself:
This is how my tablecloth looks on my dinette set:
I may add some blue fringe on either end of the tablecloth but right now, I am going to wait since I am not sure.

So, there you have it, girls! Has anyone else been updating their vintage abodes lately?

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Latest Home Updates!-The Power of Target and the Glue Gun

This is Misty, in bed with me yesterday morning. She and I were feeling too lazy to get up and make coffee. We were both up late sewing and using the hot glue gun on various projects.

Anyway, I have been quite lazy when it comes to blogging as of late. I have been busy with work and family and buying new wares for the house.  Also, my cell phone decided to get sick or rebel. I am not sure. Nevertheless, now that my beloved Blackberry is working again, I am excited to show you the latest additions to my "vintage abode in progress."

I went to Target on Monday to buy detergent, Dryel, and a few cosmetic items. While there, I decided to check out the home goods section and I was amazed when I found two great rugs and two lampshades that looked very vintage/atomic!

This one of the rugs in my den/TV room:
This is another rug in my foyer.  It is a shag rug and it feels very soft. The weird, small "things" on the floor are Misty's toys:
This is an upclose view showing the detail on one of the two matching lampshades I bought. They look very 50s to me:

Here is how one of the lamps looks overall in the living room. Just to the left of the lamp is Misty's cat tower. It needs to go into the basement!:
I made these curtains using Circa 50 fabric (pattern is called "Starbursts") over the summer. I added the blue beading using the hot glue gun last night. I think the beads make the curtains look more "complete:"
I also made a tablecloth for my kitchen dinette set and a matching pot holder using another Circa 50 fabric (called "Space"). I did not like the way the pictures turned out.  I will take more photos and post them soon. 

Yesterday afternoon, I changed all the plain round, gold knobs on my kitchen cabinets to light sea blue porcelain (1 and 1/2 inches in diameter) knobs I bought at Lowes Hardware store. They only cost 85 cents each! I bought 14 and the total with VA state tax came to $12.50! I will also post pics showing my new knobs!

Monday, September 20, 2010

We Have a Winner! MAC Penultimate Brow Marker Giveaway!

I want to thank EVERYONE who subscribes and posts to my blog! I enjoy hearing your thoughts and sharing your ideas and views when it comes to all things vintage! Thank you all so much for making my blog even more fun to do!

So, I had taken pictures of the drawing in progress but my blackberry camera phone decided to crash on me. I need to take it to a Verizon store! Rats! I am also sorry this post is late! I wanted to post the winner this morning but I had to take my parents to the airport and then head off to work.

Anyway,  we have a winner for the MAC Penultimate Brow Marker! The winner is Shrinky Inky of Shrinky Inky's Fine Adventures!

So, Shrinky Inky, when you get a moment, contact me at with your address so I can mail your brow marker to you!

To all of those who participated, thank you! I will be doing another giveaway soon! The next giveaway will be a brand new, MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Prolong! I will more than likely post it next week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is It Just My Imagination? -Seemingly Increasing Vintage Prices on Etsy

Today while browsing Etsy for a few Fall skirts and dresses, I noticed several higher-priced items. I know this is normal. Even though 'vintage' equals 'used clothing,' people will pay big bucks because it is well, vintage. However, in the last few weeks or so, I feel like vintage prices have gotten higher overall.

I usually conduct my Etsy searches with "lowest prices" first and today it seemed like the gap between cheap and expensive was quite narrow. Is it just me, or have prices for vintage increased?

I suspect, and I could be wrong, that the reason for the price hike (if true) is due to the popularity of TV shows like Mad Men and the fact that many designers debuted vintage-inspired designs at the fashion shows earlier this year. Now that Fall is pretty much upon us, autumn couture is now available in the retail market. Since fashion dictates most people's purchases, I bet the demand for vintage/vintage-inspired clothing will be higher this season.

Now that vintage is even more chic, I think sellers are looking to cash in more than before. Until the current couture trends die down, I am guessing that most of us vintage gals will have to really 'crank up the heat' when it comes to finding a great vintage find for the right price.

So, what do you girls think? Have you noticed any increase in the cost of vintage?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Giveaway Time! MAC's Penultimate Brow Marker!

This is my second giveaway! The last time, I gave away two sets of atomic-looking, rub-on transfers. Today, I am starting the giveaway for a brand-new, in the box, never-used MAC Penultimate Brow Marker!

When the brow marker debuted this past January, I bought one and believe it or not, I am still using it! These markers were limited edition and so I went back and bought two more. I am keeping an extra for myself and now, the other is up for the giveaway!

I use this marker to maintain my brows daily. I get my brows tinted and waxed every 6 weeks by my amazing esthetician and friend, Gina! My natural eyebrow color is pale, white blond and any vintage girl will tell you; well-defined brows are a MUST for a true vintage look!

The Penultimate marker comes in one shade: a standard, universal shade of brown with chocolate undertones. The color works will most shades of hair and most skin tones. When I had black hair, I used this marker along with a black pencil and the result was lovely!

The marker boasts a felt-tip applicator that can create feathery strokes as well as strong, defined lines of tint:
Once applied, the marker lasts all day! It does not smudge, flake off, rub off, or move an inch! However, when it comes to removal, all you need is cleanser and water!

The giveaway starts today, Thursday, September 16th and will end on Sunday, September 19th. All you have to do is join/follow my blog (if you don't already) and add a comment to this post. I will draw the winner on Sunday and the winner will be announced on Monday, September 20th.

The winner will be then asked to send me their address via e-mail so I can mail them their very own eyebrow essential!

Good luck and have fun, gals!

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme Review-Prolong Red: UPDATED- 4 Hours of Wear Later

Today in MAC stores, the new Pro Longwear Lipcreme was released! There are 12 shades, ranging from nude, orange, red, bright pink, and cranberry. These lipsticks retail for $16.00 USD. The standard MAC lipstick costs $14.50 but they are .10 ounces and theses are .12 ounces. So, even though the cost for the new Lipcremes are higher, you do get more product.

Before this release, I had been browsing the Internet looking for reviews and swatches. After some research, I decided I wanted "Prolong," a true red with a slight blue undertone. The color reminds me a lot of MAC's Ruby Woo. 
The tube is longer and skinnier than the standard lipstick:
For those familiar with MAC's now-discontinued Mattenes, the Lipcreme features a slanted tip:
Here is a swatch on my inner right arm:
And here is me, wearing the Prolong red shade:
I am wearing my glasses today. I was feeling too lazy to put my contacts in this morning.

Anyway, here is my overall review:

MAC claims these lipsticks are long-lasting for up to 12 hours. I have read others' reviews stating that the average wear is about 3-4 hours tops. I will post the longevity of this product later. I have only been wearing it for about an hour and so far, so good.

The formula goes on super creamy and then it quickly dries down to a firmer, slightly tackier feel. I would not call the sensation, "bad" or "problematic" but I suspect that the formula may dry out a bit throughout the course of the workday. Whenever I wear the dry, matte Ruby Woo, I usually put on Nivea lipbalm on top and I am fine. If my lips get drier as the day goes on, I may try the Nivea.

The color is amazing and I really love it. It has a great combination of bright and deep. The blue undertones are evident but I would classify this as more of a neutral that leans cool.

In conclusion, I will have to give this lipstick a few more hours to see how it performs but like I said earlier, I am impressed thus far.

So, if you are looking for a lipstick that is intense in color payoff, long-lasting, and matte; then give Pro Longwear Lipcremes a try!


I have now been wearing this lipcreme in "Prolong" for 4 hours now. I just had to touch up my lip liner and this is how my lips look now:
I have not re-applied at all! My lips still feel the same. They do not feel drier nor is the lipstick feathering, bleeding, or pilling up on the inside of my lips! I have to say MAC did a GREAT job on the Lipcreme formula.

Here is more positive evidence showing the longevity of this lipstick: I just blotted my lips on a piece of tissue and look at how little product actually transferred onto the suface:
 Any standard lipstick would have left more behind.

So, girls, what are you waiting for? Go check out the Lipcremes!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bringing Middy Back! (Sorry, I had to! LOL)

This is me after putting makeup on this morning before leaving for work. My hair is dirty and I am wearing my 40s vintage dressing gown. This look is basically "pre-fixed Middy Plus."

After getting a poorly-done Middy Plus haircut two weeks ago (by another stylist), my stylist of three years, Corry, was finally back at work after his hand injury and today at 2:00 p.m., my Middy returned! Whoo-hoo!

I feel so much better and my hair is happy. It was also great to visit with Corry and see him working. Like I said before, Corry had one of his hands injured while boating with friends. He was out of work for two weeks. Corry's his hands are his livelihood! If he cannot work, he doesn't get paid. I have the luxury of covering up a bad haircut with a snood or scarf. But poor Corry has bills to pay and income to make!

Nevertheless, it was so awesome to have him back! (He is still recovering and will be for a long time.) My hair was recut and it is now a true Middy Plus! The overall length is 4 and 1/2 inches. The sides taper to 4 inches and then to three inches by the ears. Corry also reshaped my Bettie bangs.

When I get my hair cut again in 6+ weeks, my overall length will be 5 and 1/4 inches. And in early December, I will be able to have a Femme Fatale (6 inches overall)!

So, here is my hair now:

Here is another view:
Here is the side:

Notice the proper U-shape in the back? My previous cut did not have this. It was more like a "wide C on its side" shape.

I am also wearing my new late 50s, nylon dress! It fits so well and the fabric just hangs beautifully!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My (Real This Time) 50s, Atomic-Era Fabric Tablecloth!

Recently, I was duped by repro fabric on eBay. Even though the fabric is fabulous and looks authentic vintage atomic-era, it is indeed repro. Despite the fabric's modern age, I love it still. I made a curtain, table coasters, a table runner, and a pillow. My TV room looks great.

After my repro purchase, I have been searching for real vintage. Last week, I found an amazing listing for a 22 x 46 inch rectangle of 50s, atomic barkcloth on Etsy. The fabric cost $15.00 and with shipping, the final cost came to just over $18.00 USD.

When I received my package yesterday in the mail, I excitedly opened the padded envelope and instantly, I could smell the true scent of authentic vintage barkcloth! Yes!

I let the fabric air out and then I ironed it. I pulled out my sewing machine and stitched the edges to make a simple tablecloth. Viola! My atomic beauty was done!

Here is an up-close look at the fabric! I just love the design:
I was also impressed that my green candles matched the fabric! The two pewter candlestick holders and bowl are Norwegian designs that were given to me by my parents (Dad is from Norway). The set is vintage 1960s.

I would love some more vintage fabric. I would like to make curtains for my dining/living room area. The only drawback to vintage fabric is of course, the price!

So, have any of your girls made any vintage fabric creations? Where did you find the best fabric and/or deal?

My Most Recent Etsy Purchases!

Here are the vintage-fabulous items I recently bought off Etsy! I had been so good until now! Oh well, I do not feel too bad since most of the things are for my house.

A 50s vintage aqua-colored plastic napkin holder ($8.00) for my atomic kitchen:
A Salem North Star gravy boat ($10.00):
An atomic-era red ceramic dish for my TV room coffee table ($18.00):
A late 50s/early 60s coffee percolator ($22.99)!  My 14-year old Mr. Coffee died:
A light powder blue melamine sugar and creamer set ($12.00):
And, finally, a late 50s silky nylon dress ($30.00)! I wore this on Saturday for me and the husband's date night:
Earlier today, I bought a pair of 1950s stilettos in black leather for $28.00! I also bought a 22" x 46" piece of 1950s atomic fabric! I made a tablecloth out of it. I will post pictures soon!  All I need is some atomic-looking floor rugs and my main level will be pretty much done!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Saga of the Botched Middy Plus Continues!-Using a Diffuser

Last week, my stylist of three years was unable to cut my hair due to an injury. Since my cut and color were already way overdue, another stylist in the same salon refreshed my color and cut my hair. The color is amazing but the cut is not really a Middy. It is layered incorrectly and even looks like a mullet on one side.

After experimenting with various blow drying techniques, steam rollers, curling irons, and velco rollers; I decided to give my old diffuser a try. When my naturally wavy hair was very long, I used to diffuse my hair daily using Paul Mitchell Styling Glaze and Sebastian Shaper hairspray.

I simply towel dry hair and apply a quarter-sized amount of the glaze throughout my hair. Then I spray on a little bit of the Sebastian spray and diffuse my hair in sections. When the curls are dry, I use my 5/8" Gold N' Hot curling iron to better shape my hair. I put in two bobby pins, spray with more hairspray to set, and then I am done.

Before my stylist, Corry, can fix my hair, I think I am going to wait at least 5 weeks for my next appointment so my hair can grow out more. Until then, I am going to diffuse and curl my hair. I think this method covers the misshapen layers well.

The following pictures were taken yesterday before going out with the husband:

This is the left side :
The right:
The front:
I am glad I pulled my diffuser out of the storage closet! I was really having a hard time trying to style my hair with a barrel brush. I cannot wait until my poor Middy is fixed!

So, have any of you used a diffuser? What are your methods for getting hair to cooperate?

The Latest Home Updates!- Using the "Not-So-Vintage" Atomic Fabric

Recently, I posted about buying two yards of "vintage," atomic-era fabric on eBay. Well, MaryDeluxe commented that my beloved fabric was actually a repro. I am so thankful for her heads-up and I am also annoyed that the seller lead me to believe the fabric was vintage. After reading MaryDeluxe's comment, I went home and looked over the fabric itself and saw a glaring "2003" copyright on the edges.  I guess 7 years is now vintage? (Lol!) 

Despite my ignorance and the fact the fabric is modern-made,  I love it!  The pattern is very true to the 50s, Eames era look and it was easy to sew.  I made a table runner, a pillow, coasters, and a window curtain.

Slowly, but surely, my home is becoming a 50s-era abode (even though my home was built in '85). I am currently on the hunt for 50s vintage wallpapers for my powder room and master bath. In addition, I plan on re-flooring my kitchen with a more 50s-era appropriate style.

Without further ado,  here are the items I made with the repro fabric:

Here is the window curtain:
This is the pillow on my sofa:
Here is the table runner:
And here is an upclose look showing the beading I added to the ends:
An interesting note about the above table; my mom and dad found it at Goodwill for super cheap.  I think the table was made between the 1940s and the early 1960s. My mom is very talented at furniture repair and staining. Mom sanded the entire table, re-stained it, and spruced up the hardware. It looks so new! I also have a vintage, stained-wood foyer table that my mom repaired.  It was actually found at the dump! I am amazed at what people toss out!

My vintage home is work in progress and I am having fun! A huge part of me wants everything done now but the real thrill of vintage decorating is the hunt and watching the transformation from modern blah to retro wow!