Feathered Aspen


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Vivienne et Cecil et al…

Some photos from the past few weeks.  Sarah, my sister-in-law, and I have been working hard to put on a little vintage pop up shop.  This past weekend, we had our first sale.  Leading up to the sale, we tore out cabinetry from inside her garage, painted the interior all in white, hung rods for clothes hangers, dug up all of our thrifted, vintage clothes fit for sale, made price tags, flyers, signs, steam cleaned everything, took photos in the freezing cold, and created a facebook and etsy site.  It was quite the production, but it was fun, and our first shop was very successful.  We had probably 60 people stop by, and we made almost 70% of our overhead.  We plan to open again on March 14 from 9 to 3, so if you’re in the area, please stop on by.

We named the shop Vivienne et Cecil, using Grandma Vivienne’s and Grandma Joanie’s middle name.

When I’m not working on the shop, I’m snuggling with the girls and traipsing all over this city, finding little adventures.  On Friday, I have my Human Anatomy and Physiology course, and this week is my first exam.  Combined with church, running, and A Simple Year course, my life is decidedly a little less simple and a little more busy, which means that I’m failing February’s mission of owning my busyness and prioritizing few, rather than many.  Oh well, it could be worse, and I am having fun.  One of these days I’ll give ya’ll an update on my minimalism adventures in the past four months.

Lu and Lily.  Lily's face is smeared with raspberry puree from a failed attempt at making Valentine's Day cupcakes....

Lu and Lily. Lily’s face is smeared with raspberry puree from a failed attempt at making Valentine’s Day cupcakes….

Lily, act surprised.

Lily, act surprised.

Lily and one of her best buds on a hike at Matthew Winters.  He's moving to San Diego next month :(

Lily and one of her best buds on a hike at Matthew Winters. He’s moving to San Diego next month 😦

IMG_6267

At the library, playing on the iPad (sort of).

At the library, playing on the iPad (sort of).

My lovely sister-in-law.  Lookin' like an american gangster ala 1960s.

My lovely sister-in-law. Lookin’ like an american gangster ala 1960s.

Cute

Cute

Love the light in this one

Love the light in this one

Nursing Lu.

Nursing Lu.

Clockwise:  Valentine's Day night cuddling with Lu while Joshua is chaperoning the high school dance; in the changing room of our shop, with Lu in her sling and me in my killer hat; Lu gazing up at me <3

Clockwise: Valentine’s Day night cuddling with Lu while Joshua is chaperoning the high school dance; in the changing room of our shop, with Lu in her sling and me in my killer hat; Lu gazing up at me ❤

Clockwise:  shop; changing room; coats and scarves.

Clockwise: shop; changing room; coats and scarves.

Clockwise:  shoes, hats and jewelry; lacy things; dresses.

Clockwise: shoes, hats and jewelry; lacy things; dresses.

Clockwise:  some Nana Made things in the shop; one of the photos of me for the etsy site; Sarah in a skirt.

Clockwise: some Nana Made things in the shop; one of the photos of me for the etsy site; Sarah in a skirt.

Clockwise:  Sarah looking fabulous; me in the coveted polka dots; Sarah in Koret.

Clockwise: Sarah looking fabulous; me in the coveted polka dots; Sarah in Koret.

The poncho (can I really sell it?  It actually keeps me awake at night.); Italian silk; Velour Navy gown.

The poncho (can I really sell it? It actually keeps me awake at night.); Italian silk; Velour Navy gown.

Red Dress; 80s pants and turban wrap; pink cheetah print.

Red Dress; 80s pants and turban wrap; pink cheetah print.

Old Hollywood gown; the gorgeous dress I wore to Caitlin's wedding; all in black.

Old Hollywood gown; the gorgeous dress I wore to Caitlin’s wedding; all in black.


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Before and After

Here’s a shot with all the crap that was inside the craft closet before I got started.

Our bookshelf disaster.

Side-board sans skirt, plus crap underneath.

Empty craft closet.

Linen closet disaster. Even though our house is usually clean, this place always made me feel like there was a boogy man in the hallway.

Hallway linen closet – no longer a disaster. Joshua had left a nalgene with one of his nasty shakes in there for so long that it literally exploded all over the back. I made Joshua scrub out the mold before I set to work 🙂

I love this room. Green curtains, finished side-board (painted pink in NOLA, then blue at Osceola, and now white). Dining room table with sweet table cloth and runner. Covered the chairs in fun orange and striped fabric. Light fixture from Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Obviously, still a work in progress, but a lot less cluttered 🙂


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Bougie-Boho: Packrat Extraordinaire

Just in case you had any illusions about my supposedly carefree and rootless existence, let me disavow those rumors now: my husband and I are packrats. It’s true; although we somehow managed to move our lives cross-country in nothing but a little red Hyundai two years ago, we have since then managed to saddle ourselves with an astounding amount of baggage.

It began with a whisper: I packed the bookshelves and managed to fill a dozen Boise paper boxes and 6 milk crates with just books. In this matter, we have Joshua to blame. I used to be much thriftier when it came to my reading material. Sure, I spent an ungodly amount in library fines because I’m totally irresponsible and the thought of acruing overdue fines actually works like a sedative rather than an impetus for strange breeds like me, but not even my very special 3-digit fines can compare with the decadence I’ve allowed myself when it comes to Borders and new books. Josh made me. Something about the smell of new books and the secret pride of watching your literary collection grow and expand… It’s intoxicating and shamelessly bougeoisie.

It escalated with my wardrobe. The not-so-secret truth is this: I am absolutely and totally addicted to thrift stores. My pulse quickens when I see the blue and white half smiley face of a Goodwill sign; I know every second-hand shop within a 30 mile radius, and I can give you the best routes from one to another; I know which days of the week mark different color tags 50 percent off, and I know which stores have the best selection of which items. I am guru, yogi, connosieur, and savant of the New Orleans second-hand kingdom. I know thrift.

I have 300 gallons of clothing to prove it. Just in case you’re wondering, gallons are the correct unit of measurement when it comes to thrift store clothing, and my particular collection fills ten 30 gallon trash bags. I might have the good sense to be embarrassed by my excess, but I feel a sort of willful pride when it comes to my recycled finds. The tradition began when I was young: while my classmates wandered off to J.C. Penney and Target for their back-to-school purchases, my mothers and I would troll the isles of Savers, Goodwill, Redlight, and One More Time. When we got home, I would model my selections with the price tags still stapled to the collar or waistband. The lower the price, the louder the applause.

As I grew older, my skills became more refined. I learned how to flip through racks at high speeds while also paying close attention fabric quality, cut, and pattern; I began to consider myself a vintage size 6 or 8, rather than the more modern size 2 or 3; and I became more selective: I held out for one-of-kind finds rather than seductive name-brand deals. Now, among my many finds are some favorites: a pair of wide-leg sailor pants that cinch becomingly just above the navel, a selection of empire-wasted sundresses that would make even Joni Mitchell blush with envy, vintage skirts with patterns from poodles to poppies, 80s workout wear, and most recently, a skull and crossbones T-shirt. The fact that they were all under 10 dollars and most were under five fills me with a fierce and self-righteous pride. Joshua, of course, is appalled enough for both of us. My thriftiness in all other things (namely, anything new), was somewhat misleading, and it came as a bit of a shock that someone as tight-fisted as myself could accumulate such a wealth of choices. Fortunately, his initial surprise and perhaps dismay has since faded, and he now views my addiction as a much more affordable form of retail therapy. I even pick him up an occasional button-up or polar fleece.

Our other packing hazard is borne of the same addiction. While I admire the spartan interiors of classier wives and maidens, understated elegance evades me. Sarah’s home decor might well land her in classy magazines like Dwell and Better Homes, but I belong on the last page in the DOS and DON’TS. The adjectives eclectic, bohemian, and eccentric are meant to flatter those with my tastes, but don’t be deceived: hodge-podge and higgeldy-piggedly work just the same. And although I love our colorfully mismatched abode, breaking down and packing up our veritable museum of thrift is quite a task. We’ll be lucky to fit in a 16 foot trailer.