Friday, August 28, 2015

Last of Summer

Even though it's still warm outside, hot in some places, every now and then we're starting to get that nip in the air. And that means that autumn is on its way slowly but surely.

Here's the last of the summer goodies for 2015! There's nothing like a little late-season treat to wear once or twice this year and be excited about when you pull it out next year!

A collection of whites with floral prints made their way to the shop this week.... We're talking 1950s to 1980s floral goodness in XS, S, M and L sizes. 

These pieces could be great transition pieces for your fall wardrobe. There's two pretty sheath dresses from the 60s, some florals with longer sleeves from the 70s and one killer 80s chambray dress. Primarily sizes S/M. Shop now.
Lastly a stunning vintage haori from my trip to Japan last year, as well as a buttercup yellow slip, an XL pattern from the 50s and two great leather accessories.

Visit the shop today and pick up one of these stunning pieces.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Woodland Nursery for Christopher "Little Fox" Jasper

I knew we would do a woodland themed nursery long before we knew we were expecting. We love the woods, and we love nature, and I've been collecting woodland themed things for ...well... a long time. When we first found out that I was pregnant it was actually a bit of a surprise - we had been trying but between work and my Etsy businesses, I had zero time. So I stopped really paying attention to my cycles and lo! Next thing you know it's February and I'm late for my period. And into the picture comes our Little Fox.

We found out it was a boy at the second ultrasound, and I immediately began thinking of names. If it was a girl, we had a few names picked out and we were going to wait until she was born to see what her personality was like, but for Little Fox it just fell into place. Aj really wanted to name the boy after his best friend, and also his father. I really wanted to name him Fox. We came to an agreement and decided on Christopher James Fox Jasper. He'll have plenty of options when he's older for what he wants to be called, but as long as he is little enough to not know better he'll be our Little Fox!

Since I work from home out of my studio, and Aj is working through his electrical courses and still needs a quiet place to study (not to mention play music!) we knew we wanted to have a "Nursery Nook" as opposed to an actual nursery. We talked about that long before we conceived, when we discussed what we hoped for from a baby and how they would fit into our lives. Eventually, I will move my studio to our basement where I already have my Foxburrow photography studio and storage, and we have the guest bedroom. However, we have to put heat down there for the brutal New England winters before I can go anywhere. So while we're raising a baby and remodeling the house, Little Fox will have a more integrated place to stay.

A lot of people really questioned this decision, but now the living room really feels "right" to us, and it just feels like Little Fox will be more a part of the family in a community space. We don't use the living room a lot, so we don't foresee early bedtimes or naps being a problem. However, when he's still a newborn he will sleep in his bassinet in our bedroom. Artwork from Sweet Melody Designs on Etsy - a surprise gift from our baby shower!

I love this fox wall art. It was one of the first things I bought for the nursery - I actually found it at a flea market for just $30. It's so beautifully done, and the detail in the fur and eyes is amazing.

 For the dresser, I bought the Ikea Tarva 3 drawer chest and my good friend from Sand + Sparkle came over to help me paint it. I picked a soft, mossy green. I wanted it to fit in with our living room and feel like an extension of the space, so I picked colors that would work well with our existing furniture and decor.

 The owl rug we had on hand from our first bathroom in our first apartment. (I told you I've been collecting woodland stuff for a while...) I'm actually really glad to find a new use for it...

I painted and decoupaged the knobs on the dresser with artwork from Oana Befort. I considered picking up some woodland critter knobs from Anthropologie, but since I'm self employed now I had to do something thriftier.

We'll be doing cloth diapers after the first week so we ordered a starter set of 10 Best Bottoms diapers. They have little owls and foxes and hedgehogs on them...too cute. Aj really had a hard sell getting me to agree to cloth diapers. The things he described about the process did NOT help. But he finally got me with the impact to the environment over the length of the diapering process. When I did some research I found that cloth diapering has really come a long way from the past, and I set to work choosing the right cloth diaper for us. These have a gridwork of snaps that will allow them to be worn from birth until he's no longer in diapers - yay! They also have the option for disposable inserts for situations when you really don't want to be toting around a bunch of cloth pads to be cleaned. That was a big factor in my choice.

The little fox hat hanging on the picture frame was also a gift from our baby shower, and came from Etsy. The Totoro music box spins and plays the theme from Totoro - it was a gift from my host sister when I left Japan after studying abroad. It goes so nicely with the little mobile we got as a gift! From Etsy shop AmiAmigos

I put his little toys in a vintage plant hanger I found at a thrift store. He doesn't have many toys at this point (and we plan to keep it that way). In the basket there's a crinkle tag ball that I made for him, a blanket fox plush from my god mother, a vintage hedgehog hand puppet that I found long ago and squirreled away for our future little one, and a fox plush from WWF that Aj brought home for me from a trip. Our general philosophy is less is more. We don't want to end up drowning in toys, especially with his space being part of our living space.

The little fox figurines are actually salt and pepper shakers from my grandmother. I thought they looked cute nesting in the leaves. The ivy plant I've had for almost 5 years! It came from the book store I used to work at when it closed. I found the wicker baskets at the Goodwill Outlet for pennies. They're both empty right now but I'm sure they will fill with something or other eventually.

Our glider we picked up from a Facebook Yard Sale post for $20. It was white, and had an ottoman with no cushion. We didn't want the ottoman anyway, so we bought it and painted it dark brown to match our furniture (thanks Ashley!). I definitely didn't want to keep the cushions it came with, and looked at custom options on Etsy. There were lots of nice ones, but the price and the time frame didn't match what we needed, so the cushions came from I had the rug from Pier 1 already, and the white fox statue which was on our mantle, and I snagged the lamp from Target to complete the space.

The wicker basket is to hold my breast pump stuff, and I picked one with a lid to keep the dogs away. Scored that for $1 at the flea market, along with the vintage wicker plant stand (also $1...must be my favorite price)!

The rabbit pillows help make the glider perfect. The fabric I got in Japan last year and I used soft minky fabric for the back. The long rabbit fits nicely behind the neck too.

Next to the rocker are a few of our favorite books, including a couple of my Dr Seuss books from childhood, and Little Fox's first primer on sushi. We have a TON of children's books in our closets and downstairs in the guest bedroom. I've been collecting them for years and years.

Nearby on the wall is his soft glow night light. This is one of my favorite things in the nursery. Here.

How amazing is this fox blanket we got from our baby shower! It's hand crocheted and I know it will be a household favorite. So whenever you're ready, little one...we're ready for you!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Maternity Basics

My Maternity Basics

When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew that I really didn't want to invest a lot into maternity clothing. So I set to making myself a list of basics that I could integrate into my existing wardrobe and make my clothes last as long as possible. I added a couple of things as time went on but here's my "core wardrobe" - the pieces I wear regularly and that can help turn something non-maternity into a stylish maternity option.

1) First up was black and white tanktops. I got mine from and they came in a two pack - one black and one white. (here) These have been my most worn maternity clothes. I wear them under blouses and dresses to "smooth out" my bump or just by themselves around the house and at night. I ended up going back for a second pack so I have 2 black and 2 white.

2) Black and white leggings. I wear a lot of leggings, so I knew I wanted some that would fit my growing bump. I got these from as well (here) though the white ones I had to find in the store. The thing about maternity leggings is sometimes they have the weirdest seams or the fabric isn't soft or it's too tight or too loose. These are perfect. Comfortable enough to wear around all day long, thick enough not to be see through, and light enough for any temperature below 75. A must-have. 

3) Two maxi dresses - one in a solid color that you love, and the other in a fun pattern. These don't have to be maternity items. I got my solid color maxi dress at a thrift store for about $6, and my printed maxi dress from Old Navy for $15 (on sale). The solid color maxi was Liz Lange from Target and I found that you have to have a bump to make it work because I'm 5'4 and the length in the front would be too long without it. 

4) Chambray dress. I'm lucky - I found this item at a thrift store for about $4. Mine is from H&M Mama, and is short sleeve. You can mix this one up with a variety of belts, leggings, and shoes. The look is totally different with a pink belt and flip flops than it is with leather boots, belt and a scarf. That kind of diversity with your existing accessories is a must!

5) A striped shirt. Stripes do something fun to the baby belly and I enjoy wearing a good striped shirt. I went for thin stripes because bigger ones make my already huge bust a little over the top. I picked black and white, and I pair it with anything from a black maxi skirt and jean jacket to blue jeans and flats. 

6) A solid color shirt. I got a pink one in a two-pack from (here) - Can you tell I love the two-packs? This can be paired with just about anything, and I find just a couple of maternity shirts are essential for the days when you try on a number of things and "nothing fits" - You always have a fall back option!

7) Maternity shorts. Being summer, shorts are necessary. I am not a big fan of jeans, and after my first trimester my hips expanded so fast I couldn't get any of my pre-pregnancy pants over my thighs. I take this as a good sign that my body is "getting ready" but it certainly didn't make it easy to have my hips jump 5 inches in a matter of weeks. I do personally find that I like the "full panel" pants and shorts better because they put less compression on my lower abdomen and are more comfortable (but they also don't stay up as well). When I wear the shorter, tighter elastic waistbands they cause cramping and a foul mood, so I recommend trying on any pants/shorts before buying!

8) Maternity overalls. This one was kind of a surprise to me, but sometimes I really wanted to wear shorts or pants without having a waistband to contend with. Overalls are coming back into style, and they look adorable on pregnant people. So grab the advantage while you can! I bought a pair of Motherhood cropped jean capri overalls, and then found another pair of khaki short overalls while thrifting. Perfect. 

9) Not pictured - Black maxi skirt. Find a nice, super comfortable, super stretchy black maxi skirt. You'll be able to pair it with a lot of your non-maternity blouses for a stylish look and because these are usually stretchy anyway it doesn't have to be maternity! So you can wear it after your pregnancy too.

Well I hope this list helps someone out there... I feel like maternity clothing is such a racket. You want to look cute while you're growing a baby, but sometimes it can feel like you have to break the bank, especially if it's your first pregnancy and you don't have any friends you can borrow maternity clothes from. This list of "basics" got me through the first 6 months of my pregnancy without issue. After that, maternity clothing becomes more necessary so I really recommend shopping thrift stores, consignment shops, and EBay. Remember that a lot of these clothes were only worn a couple of times before mama had her baby and didn't need them anymore. It's nice to cut down on the environmental impact, as well as the budget! Save it for stuff you really will need - like baby wipes. Hehe.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

1958 NYT Magazine Swimsuit Spread - The New Two Part Story!

So I bought a scanner! I've really been wanting to scan in some of the wonderful photos I find in vintage magazines (along with some of the funnier ones). Today, I found a copy of the 1958 November copy of the NYT Magazine, and was instantly attracted by this super swimsuit spread.

Here's what 1958 had to say about bikinis: Normal Waistlines may have vanished everywhere else, but on southern beaches this resort season they are not only back but also bare. Not for a decade have so many two piece bathing suits been seen. More daring types may even try the Bikini for maximum exposure to the sun. With these brief swim suits go hats almost as big as parasols. 

(about the polka dot suit) A classically cut, body-molding suit for free-style swimmers has a bit of dash added by dots. This is black on white in cotton and lastex knit. By Elizabeth Stewart. $20 at Saks Fifth Avenue. The shiny licorice straw hat by John Frederics.
(about the stripe suit) The midriff plays peek-a-boo here - covered in the center front by a striped triangular piece hooked onto the briefs. A detachable strap loops around the neck. In black and white lastex wool knit. By Rudi Gernreich for Westwood. $23 at Lord & Taylor.

A large dose of sun is prescribed for this suit. The top is almost pure Empire, cut straight across the front above and below a rounded bosom. Hand-loomed wool and Helanca nylon of a rich green shade, with blue and white stripes. By Margaret Pennington. $30. Available exclusively at Bonwit Teller. The enormous, floppy straw sunshade hat by John Frederics.
The basic black uniform in every woman's resort wardrobe, with this season's difference - cut in two to reveal the middle. Bandeau around the bust is gently shirred for subtle fullness. In hand-loomed wool and Helanca nylon. By Margaret Pennington. This is $30 at Bonwit Teller. Striped hat in red and white denim is a Sally Victor design.

For the more adventurous soul, a Bikini, seen up to now mostly on European shores. This miniscule amount of cotton is printed with a giant Paisley pattern: purple, green and red on white. There is a "surf ruffle" all the way around the hips. By Jeanne Campbell for Sportwhirl. $12 at Arnold Constable after Jan 15.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

DIY Vintage Hair Bow

You will need:

- A sewing machine or sewing needle
- Thread/scissors
- Fabric glue
- Vintage fabric
- A metal hair barrette (I used 3" french barrette)

I used one of my favorite tiny floral fabrics. A beautiful field of poppies and daisies. Very Liberty of  London I think.

First, cut two pieces of fabric measuring 5.5" x 4.5" - The longer side will be the top and bottom of your bow, so arrange your fabric print so it is upright.

Then, cut another strip of fabric measuring 2" wide x 3.5" long. This will be to go in the center of the bow.

Next, place the two sides of the fabric with right sides facing each other. You want to sew the back side of the fabric - if you can see the bright front of your fabric you don't have it placed correctly.  (see here if you are still confused)

Now sew around the edge, leaving a quarter inch seam margin. On one of the long sides of the fabric, leave a hole about 2" long in the middle of the fabric square. Double stitch on each side of this hole.Trim the corners, without cutting into the stitching.

Your end piece should look like this. Now use the hole in the bottom of the fabric to turn the whole thing inside out. Reach your fingers inside and pull the right side of the fabric through the hole, as if you were turning a t-shirt right side out so you can wear it.

Sew the hole closed by folding in the edges and sewing over the hole.

Now, take the long strip of fabric and with an iron (or your force of will) fold in both sides of the fabric strip so that the reverse side is a nice clean strip about .75" wide of right side printed fabric. Again this is for the center of your bow. After you've made a few, try a little knot-work or try doing the center out of a different matching fabric.  

Next comes the tricky part. Take one of your metal french barrettes or whatever closure you decide to use, and grab your fabric glue.

I didn't photograph the next part so I'm going to try to explain this with just words.

Take your fabric square and pinch it in the middle, fluff it up and arrange it until it's just how you like it.

Now, keeping it pinched, squeeze a little fabric glue over the center and hold it closed for about 30 seconds.

Next, open your barrette and place the bow on top of it where the solid strip of metal is. Dab a bit of fabric glue on the top of your bow, in the center, where you will place your fabric strip. Have your scissors at hand for the next part.

Take your piece of long fabric and with the right side facing up, place the center of it on top of the bow where the fabric glue is. Wrap the ends around the metal, and fabric glue them together, trimming off the excess.

Rub in more fabric glue to keep the edge down and secure the loop. Let it sit for an hour, and voila! a new hair bow.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Sale!

Snap up some of my amazing Brimfield finds for 20% off, including the pictured dress above! Wow-ee!

Sale runs from Saturday morning until Monday at midnight EST. No holds, so grab it while you can!

20% off please!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thrift Store Review: Salvation Army in Medford, MA

My favorite Japanese market is in Medford, MA (Ebisuya). They're unbeatable because everything they carry is Japanese, so it's not like a mixed Asian market but a true Japanese market. I visit as often as I can, and recently I took a road trip down just for my favorite Shokupan and bento ingredients. While I was down there I decided to check out the local thrift scene and I went up the street to Salvation Army.

For a Salvation Army it was definitely very small, and (surprisingly!) curated. Now generally I like Salvation Army a huge deal because they do not curate their merchandise. They just kind of throw out whatever looks sale-able and walks through the door. This one, however, was different. With a small amount of square footage they have to be particular, and what results is an experience slightly akin to shopping your friend's closet.

Now the prices were definitely higher, which you can expect considering the area (closer to Boston, and Cambridge where MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and Boston University all reside). And it was actually not a great store for vintage-hunting...but if you're looking for some sweet threads for yourself it's definitely worth checking out!

Here's what I picked up for myself... a little vintage planter which now has a home by my bed, a knock-off LeSportsac bag that is made with a Fifi Lapin print I couldn't resist, a silk floral Mossimo Dutti dress (for sale on Ebay) that I totally would have kept if I wasn't pregnant, and a super-adorable polka dot fit-and-flare dress I won't even be able to fit into until next year, but bought anyway because it's so me!

The whole store was filled with the kind of things you'd find in the closet of a college kid from a pretty wealthy family. Anna Sui dresses, and other name brand and designer items.

An entire rack of colored cords and jeans... Yes please! All Jcrew, Talbots, Banana Republic, etc.

And the movies and books! Never have I been to a salvation army and seen such an intellectual group of books! Not one trashy romance in sight - all of it was literary fiction, psychology, popular science, and nonfiction. I've never seen 3 copies of For Whom the Bell Tolls at a thrift store before...

It looked like you were looking through your friend's bookshelves... Good picks!

And the movies were the same! $2.99 for most every movie, including Poirot box sets, foreign films, a few classic animated titles, 80s classics... it was hard not to walk out with a few movies, but since we downsized after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I try to be really conscious of what I'm bringing into my home.

 Seriously, how could you resist those mustard yellow cords!?!?!?! If I weren't pregnant, they would have been mine.

And the movies! Annie Hall, Benny and Joon, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Random foreign movies... and all in perfect shape.

Their furniture section, while the tiniest thing ever, was filled with amazing mid-century pieces (with price tags to match, though!) Awesome sideboards, china hutches, mirrors, etc.

They also had really clean dressing rooms, and a clean public restroom (amazing! Being pregnant and over an hour from home sometimes you don't have a choice).  So props for that.

So whether it's just the stuff they get donated from their local population, or whether they've learned to curate for what is selling, it's definitely worth a fun visit. Just don't take someone who's your size.
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