Monday, September 26, 2011

We Have a Winner! 250+ Follower Giveaway!!

Hello, gals! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Mine was spent visiting my husband's family and I hosted a big brunch yesterday. Despite the fact I cleaned up and kept all my windows  open for most the day, my house still smells like bacon! Nevertheless, the time spent with family, enjoying the conversation, pastries, and mimosas was worth it!

So, without further ado, I would like to announce the winner of the giveaway!

Before my morning coffee, I wrote all 29 entries down on parchment, cut them out in strips, folded them, and placed them into my metal sugar (Splenda packet) container:
I shut the lid and gave the container a few good shakes:
I removed the lid and reached in for a name:
And the winner is:
Melzaelf of Vintage Coconut Blog!

So, Melzaelf, at your convenience, please contact me at with your address so I can mail you your goodies!

I would like to say a big "thank you!" to each and everyone of you for participating in this giveaway and again for following my blog!! Your comments make my blog truly worthwhile!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finding Meaning and Peace After Being Robbed (My Car was broken into, again)

Fairfax County Motor Officer, circa late 40s. Photo courtesy of Fairfax County Police Online.

On the morning of the 22nd of September, 2011, I got into my car to go to the gym before heading off to work and I noticed the interior was disheveled. One of my back seats was flipped down, revealing the trunk and the center console compartment was ransacked. Sometime during the wee hours of the night, a thief and/or thieves made off with my road-side emergency kit and get this, my window break hammer. 

This is not the first time my car has been a victim of theft. In June 2010, my car's back window was smashed and my work laptop was stolen.

The fact this happened again makes me very mad. But unlike the first incident, I had a camera recording the whole thing. In the aftermath of having my car window destroyed, property taken, and having to wait two months to have my window replaced, my husband decided to take action by installing cameras in various locations on our home.

After realizing my car was indeed robbed, I went back inside my house and notified my husband. Then for an hour, he and I both scanned hours of overnight footage until we finally found the frames showing a young male (probably high school age) pulling up to the curb in a light-colored car with an unseen accomplice at 1:16 a.m. The kid i.e. "ASSHAT" is seen attempting to access to my husband's car (with no success) and then observed gaining entry to mine. (Like a total idiot, I left my car unlocked). This brat rummaged in my car for a few minutes before making off with my auto kit and car hammer. I mean, really, kid? You just *had* to steal a 10 dollar car hammer? You are either really stupid or just a loser so desperate to prove to your friends how "gangster" you are. Piece of shit.

Sorry about the language but I admit it. I am mad. What gets me is how stupid someone would have to be to risk getting caught, possibly getting charges pressed, and going before a judge over something as trivial as 10 bucks. Moreover, how can anyone (young or not) think it's okay and/or 'cool' to steal from people? Have they no conscience? When I was 5, I stole a piece of 5 cent "Bazooka Joe" bubble gum from the local 7-11. My dad heard me fiddling with the wrapper in the backseat of our 70s station wagon and he promptly drove me back to the store to pay the clerk and say I was sorry. I was bawling, shaking, and scared! I thought for sure I was going to jail! Even though it was just a bit of gum, I remember the guilt and shame I felt. With that said, how can people steal 'real things' can sleep peacefully at night?

Despite my surly mood and wanting to punch that kid, I took a deep breath and called the non-emergency number for the police. Within 20 minutes, an officer arrived. He took my statement, dusted and printed my car, and my husband made him a CD of the camera footage detailing the theft. Before the officer left, he asked if I wanted to press charges if the kid was caught, I said "Heck yes!" Even though the items that were taken do not add up to much, I want to make a point that actions have consequences.

In spite of my previous chagrin, I am okay now. No one was hurt, my car was not damaged, and nothing of major value was taken. I have done all I can with the police so the only thing now is to let it go and to be more diligent when it comes to locking my car!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Giveaway Time! Over 250 Followers!!

Edit: There is still time to enter the giveaway! If you have not done so already, just follow my blog and/or leave a comment by 11:59 pm EST (United States)!

It's giveaway time again, gals! In honor of having over 250 followers (270 to be exact! Thank you all so much!!) I would like to celebrate with a giveaway! I love doing giveaways! They are so much fun!

Nevertheless, this giveaway will feature a handmade, lacquered tin/container, a handmade, white flower hair clip, and an unused, brand-new-in-the-box, MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo!
The lipstick is a gorgeous, vivid, matte blue-red shade that screams vintage! It makes teeth look so white and the color is the epitome of 40s/50s glamour! The hair flower is wonderful for evenings out, summer nights, and rockabilly events! All you need is a party dress and your dancing shoes! The lacquered tin is made from an Altoids Mints tin that has been cleansed and sterilised. I adorned the outside top with a 50s Jantzen ad along with some vintage lettering.  The tin is perfect for securing bobby pins (kirby grips), ponytail holders, jewelry, and/or travel necessities.

The giveaway starts Tuesday, the 20th of September and ends on Sunday, the 25th. The winner will be drawn and announced on Monday, the 26th.

To enter, just follow my blog (if you don't already) and add a comment to this entry.

Good luck to all and have fun!

A Little Bit of "Mad Men" in My House

(The above artwork is by New York-based artist, Dyna Moe)

Here is her website:

When "Mad Men" first debuted on AMC in 2007, I didn't watch it. There was a part of me that felt the depiction of the early 60s was "too modern." Moreover, the notion of following the tales of a married, cocksure ad man with a scotch and girl addiction was depressing. However, after my TiVo recorded a few episodes in my "TiVo Suggestions" file, I found myself not only watching them, I was entranced! The interior design, the clothing, and the complex nature of the characters made me love this show! In a sense, I became a "Mad Men" junkie!

Speaking of interior design, I was recently watching a "Season 2" episode of "Mad Men" and I saw this:
This is a screen-shot of Pete and Trudy Campbell's Manhattan apartment. I ADORE the art on the wall! The three canvases look like a bas-relief or woodcuts.

Inspired by these pieces (along with the artwork by Ms. Moe), I decided to create my own depiction using three separate 12x24" canvases coated with acrylic paint.

Before I began my paint/color scheme, I made two stencils with sketch paper and scotch tape. Stencils are a good way to ensure uniformity and accuracy:

Then, I painted the canvases with pale pink and a faux fishnet design using a darker, mid-tone pink. When the paint was dry, I traced the outline of the stencil(s) onto each canvas with lead pencil. I outlined the shapes with a Sharpie Paint Pen in Black and filled them out with black gloss acrylic paint. To finish, I accented the three shapes with white acrylic.

Here is the final look:

And here's the overall creation in my foyer hallway:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Tiki Room to Call My Own! (Picture Heavy)

Back in April, my husband surprised me with a bamboo tiki bar for my 36th birthday! I was surprised and very happy! He found the bar online at Target! Target?! Who knew they had such cool items like a real bamboo, thatched roof tiki bar complete with a set of shelves in the back?

The bar is in my sunroom. A room that, until the tiki bar, was a sitting room that did not get much use. Sure, I had some wicker furniture in there but the sunroom was really just a place for my plants and the cat to get sun. (My cat loves to spend her days lounging in the sun beams, working on her fur tan.)

Now that the sunroom has been given a proper purpose, I have been slowly collecting tropical kitsch, lights, vintage prints, and I also have made a few paintings and signs. Many of the paintings are based on real 40s/50s tiki-themed bars and nightclubs. I have even got a set of ceramic tiki mugs from my cousin along with a real puu puu platter (complete with sterno flame) from the husband.

So without further ado, let me show you around!
The tiki bar has pineapple lights I bought in Florida for $6.00 USD!
Martini lights from Party City!
A poster board tiki I made using tape and a hot glue gun! I painted the inside with red, yellow, and orange flames and the outside is done with shades of brown. I placed a fake, battery-operated candle votive inside.
A ceramic hibiscus dish and a pretty fern-like stained glass and metal table bought in Florida.
A few of our tiki mugs along with a ceramic platter.
Our persian cat, Misty Blue, is already a bar regular! She loves Mai Tais and is currently brushing up on her hula dancing.
Here is our puu puu platter from this past Saturday night! It is made of wood, has a lazy susan spinning feature, and has a little sterno grill top in the center. Gotta love Trader Joe's frozen appetizers!
Lastly, and most importantly, here is the "Tiki Bar Rules" sign I painted. Of course the rules are totally tongue-in-cheek!! The reasons for rule #2 and #3 were based on an incident in which my cousin got mad at me because I mentioned that "I did not care for Dave Matthews Band." Well, he asked! He called me a "Rockabilly snob!" Brat! Nevertheless, being family, we got over it, laughed, and hugged. But, I had to put the rules up there just to rib him!

I still want to add a few more kitsch here and there before I can call the room "done." So, what do you gals think?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Power of Spray Paint, An Eager Glue Gun, and Plastic Rhinestones!

Edited on Tuesday, September 13th: new photos.

While browsing the aisles in my local Target a couple of months ago, I found this black metal starburst mirror for $24.99 USD:
Not only was I was pleasantly surprised that Target would have an item like this in their stores, the price was great! I immediately put the mirror in my cart amongst my Dryel, Duncan Hines Brownie mix, and Purina cat food and I made my way to the register. As soon as I returned home, I armed myself with a hammer and a nail and mounted my new purchase proudly on my foyer wall.

This past weekend, I noticed a void on my west-facing den wall. I had an empty space between two atomic paintings I made this past winter and I realized either a sculpture or a starburst mirror and/or clock would fit perfectly. 

I thought about buying a mid-century starburst clock on Etsy but I decided against it due to the high shipping costs and on because most sellers want a pretty penny!

I then pondered the idea of buying another starburst mirror from Target but I did not want an exact duplicate. Then it 'hit me:' I could create a 'new' mirror with spray paint and some flat-back rhinestones.

I went to Target and bought the same mirror. Then went to my local Michaels Craft store and purchased a can of Krylon metallic gold spray paint for $7.49 USD and a set of assorted colored/shaped flat-back plastic rhinestones for $4.99 USD.

Later that evening, I laid down a few layers of newspaper on my back porch. Then, I covered the mirror surface with painter's tape. I sprayed a two coats (I allowed each coat to dry completely) of the gold paint on both sides of the mirror. Using my hot glue gun, I adhered blue square, round silver, and triangle silver gemstones to the mirror. I let the glue cool, removed the paint tape, and hung the mirror on the wall:

It is amazing what a little spray paint and glue can do! I like the way the mirror turned out! I can so see myself doing this again in another room. It is fun and so easy to do! The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"No, you can't, Mother Darling."

Like Edith Bouvier Beale (aka Little Edie) of Grey Gardens, lately I have been covering my head in scarves (or in my case, mostly snoods). For over a month, my hair has been falling out again. In late 2008/early 2009, I began losing hair at an alarming rate. Due to heredity, I have been 'blessed' with female hair loss i.e. androgenic alopecia. My grandmother, mother, and aunties have thin hair that gets seems to get worse with age.

I stopped taking the Pill in July of 2009 (I was on it for 15 years) and by early September of that year, my already-thinning hair began to shed. Plagued with worry, I went to my dermatologist who informed me that not only was I experiencing a hair shed due to hormonal changes but this loss was compounded with the fact I was in the early stages of heredity hair loss. Great.

Nevertheless, my doctor recommended Rogaine for Women (2% Monoxodil solution).  I began this treatment right away and for nearly two years, I had AMAZING results.

Despite the fact I use my Rogaine twice a day without fail, I started to lose hair again in late July. To say the least, I am devastated. I am at a loss why this is happening.

From what I have found via online searches, my recent hair loss could be stress-related or due to a synchronized hair shed (since my hair was put into an overall growing phase due to starting Rogaine two years ago). Moreover, some women experience seasonal hair sheds in the summer and/or early Fall.

I hope that my hair is just going through a synchronized hair shed phase (meaning temporary) and not because my Rogaine stopped working. If I am going bald despite my stringent Rogaine regime, I think I would just lose it.

So, I have to ask: do any of you experience seasonal or occasional hair shedding? Is this normal? And if so, how long does it last?

A Vintage Girl's Must-Have: Freddies of Pinewood Dungaree Dolls Review

(So sorry for the blurry photo!)

First and foremost, I want to apologise for my lack of posts as of late! I have been well busy with family issues and work! This summer has been non-stop! I feel very disconnected and 'out of sorts,' but never fear, I am back, gals! Be damned earthquake, Hurricane Irene, work, and cheeky home decor, I am "back with a vengeance!" 

Nevertheless, I would like to share my review of the Freddies of Pinewood Dungaree Dolls overalls! I purchased these directly from their website on 22 July 2011 and on the afternoon of the 29th of July, they arrived in my mailbox and ever since, I have have fallen under their spell! On the weekends, I find myself reaching for these overalls along with my Freddies' "Classic Indigo" jeans. Not only are the jeans and overalls comfortable, their design epitomises proper vintage detailing and style! Moreover, the quality is top notch!

The Dungaree Doll Overalls cost 50 pounds UK or $80.50 USD. Despite the higher price, these overalls are SO worth it! The denim is a heavier weight and the colour is a true dark rinse. The waist is fitted and the pant legs are wide. In addition, the inseam is long enough (at least for my 5ft., 3 in height) to roll up (cuff) twice. Now, most overalls are too baggy and as a result, are not flattering on a feminine shape.  I had a pair of Gap overalls in the early 90s (when I was at university) and I recall looking very shapeless! However, the Dungaree Doll overalls are tapered in the waist and the bib is adjustable (the two shoulder straps both have two button tabs for a proper fit).

If you are unsure of your size, please refer to the size chart listed. The chart is VERY accurate and if you select your size based on the specific measurements listed, you will NOT be disappointed! I am a 27.5 waist, a 36 bust, and 37.5 hip and the 28 size fits me PERFECTLY! The fitting is so perfect it felts like these overalls were individually tailored for me! Many size charts tend to be an estimate (either too big or too small) of size whilst the Freddies of Pinewood chart is spot-on!

When you order a pair of Freddies, you will need to wash them before wearing.  The darker rinse needs special care. Turn the denim inside out and wash in cold water. Tumble dry low and iron as necessary. If you have any light-coloured furniture or clothing, be mindful as the denim may stain. I have not experienced this with my two Freddies items but I have stained my hands (putting them in the front pockets) with a pair of dark-rinse J. Crew capri denim jeans.

So, if you are looking for an authentic 40s/50s denim style, give Freddies of Pinewood a try! Not only does their product line feature an authentic vintage look, their quality and customer service are amazing!