Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Later, Nerds...

Antique Farewell #antique #fashion #farewell

Is an outfit still pretty even if I'm the only one who ever sees it? Can I have an experience even if it isn't captured in photos? Does something truly happen if I don't document it? I find myself forgetting and I'm off to remember and see...

Yes, this is a farewell of sorts. Not entirely and not forever, but life is calling me in a different direction. I will probably share a random outfit post or two in the future, but for now...it's a fond and warm-hearted goodbye. I know this is sudden and rather abrupt but oddly, I don't think it could have been otherwise. I'm not the sort to draw things out. If I see something that needs changing, well...I usually just take the leap.

I want to wholeheartedly express my deepest thanks to all who joined me in this brief, fiery flame. Please know that I appreciate all of your support, words, and shared adventures! You can continue to follow along in my life as I will still have my shop and instagram (@chatterblossom) and we can chat a bit there until a possible return.

Farewell for now my friends. It has been a true pleasure.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Snag – One Last Look

My 1940s Foggy Day #1940s #fashion #40s #style #pink #blue #hat

Remember the vintage fashion show I got to the chance to model in (see here)? Well, an amazing opportunity sprung up from that rather amazing opportunity. One of the photographers that shot photos at the fashion show contacted me about possibly doing a photo shoot with him. Uhm yeah! The photographer, Rodney Boles, takes ridiculously gorgeous photos and I couldn't quite believe my luck that he would take his own time to work with me! We set up a day in December that had a warm weather forecast and I began the challenging task of what to wear, what to wear?!

I decided that I wanted to wear something I thought would be challenging to photograph. You know, that way I didn't have to figure out how to do it myself. Leave it to the professional ya know. I knew I wanted something interesting with either texture or color or both. No plain jane stuff. I decided on a blouse that I truly love but hadn't gotten the chance to wear. The color is a light bubblegum and it has the cutest scalloped edges and dots! Which means lots of interest. There is also silver metal ring buttons and a peplum skirt. I wanted it to be the star of the show so I paired it with a simple pencil skirt with hints of bluish teal and navy.

My hat is so fun right?! This was actually embellished by me to suit this look. The hat itself is a brown 1940s tilt with remnants of palest pink feathers along the front edge. The feathers were in quite rough shape and there were some missing on the top. I needed a way to disguise this so I decided to spruce up the hat! I took a vintage silver dress clip and some fun bobble like beaded sprays I had in my supply stash and made an attachment for the front. I LOVE it! I think it suits it perfectly and it is so much fun to wear as the little pieces move and sway a bit.

For accessories, I just took along my navy cord purse (seen here) and chose my 40s pinup shoes (seen here). I felt a little like a vintage cupcake (which I consider to be a good thing by the way), so just to add the cherry on top, I added adorable little round swirl shoe clips to play off the polka dots in my top.

As for jewelry, I kept it in the family. Because I knew I would really love the photos that came from this shoot, I wanted to memorialize some of my family treasures in it. The jewelry I selected are all pieces given to me from family. The bracelet, a 1950s gray shell, was given to me from my great-aunt when she passed away when I was a little girl. The ring, a 1960s turquoise, is my maternal grandmother's (as is part of my wedding ring). My necklace, a 1950s/60s pink enamel leaf choker, belonged to my paternal grandmother.

Rodney did a bang up job! The day I arrived for the photo shoot was foggy and raining. Yes, these photos were done in the rain folks! He is a mad genius and I was just thrilled with the photos. He captured such a lovely loneliness. We did the shoot near some old barns and it felt very much like a woman who was leaving a small town life behind for the big city. Like one last look at the farm before hopping a bus to an unknown new start.

Outfit Details
Blouse: 1940s pink & blue linen from Raleigh Vintage
Skirt: modern pencil (5 years ago) from Express
Hat: 1940s feathered tilt from Beggars & Choosers
Hat Embellishment: vintage silver with pink bubble spray made by me
Jewelry: family heirlooms of mine
Purse: 40s cord purse from local flea market
Shoes: 1940s ankle strap platforms from Ebay
Shoe Clips: 1950s flower like swirls form Beggars & Choosers

Photography by Rodney Boles

My 1940s Life #1940s #fashion #40s #style #photography
My 1940s Day #40s #fashion #vintage #style #1940s

Last Week's Sunday Snag:

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Photo Tip – Extra Equipment

Canon Macro Lens Tips #photography
Last week was the first photo tip shared (see here) about the camera I personally use to take all my shop and blog photographs. Today I'm sharing the extra gear I use to get my shots. First up, my extra lens. The lens that came with my camera is a zoom lens. You can take photos almost like a normal point and shoot camera with it because it will do well with objects 5-6 feet away or whole scenes like landscapes. You don't have to purchase the package, you can actually buy the camera body alone if you already have lens that will be compatible with the body. I did not, so I got the zoom lens with the body when I bought it. 

Now, this lens is a great everyday workhorse. You can take almost all your regular shots of buildings, people, and such with ease. However, I have a shop full of itty bitty buttons that I have to somehow take photos of in great detail. The zoom lens will not do this. It cannot take clear photos of anything less than 5 feet away from it. Try taking a photo of a button that is less than one inch big from 5 feet away and see if you can figure out what the hell you're looking at! Sooooo, I would clearly need another lens. Which means another rather large purchase. But, 'tis life. I want my shop photos as clear as possible or I'm not going to sell anything. I had to think of it as an investment in my shop. 

The lens that I needed to purchase is called a macro lens. After talking to the sales staff at my local camera shop, we determined that a 60mm macro lens would probably be the best bet for what I would be photographing, mainly jewelry. So the macro 60mm can shoot anything up to 5 feet away. This takes some getting used to as I have never had to switch lens before. The sales clerk let me test out the 60mm and it was plain as day that this would make a world of difference. The macro is magic, people. It hones in on the smallest item and produces the prettiest image while blurring out the background. Okay, I'm sold, so what is the damage? Yikes! Turns out buying an extra lens can cost the same if not more than the camera! I freaked out a bit when I realized this. We went ahead and bought the camera and the zoom lens that day at the shop but, I needed a breather before I could buy the macro lens so we called it a day and went home with my new camera.

After some research online, I found the lens that I needed (a Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm Ultrasonic) on Ebay. Now, normally, this would scare me. I don't think of Ebay when I want to make a large purchase as there is some risk that you will be swindled. However, the seller we bought from has sold over 100,000 items and has had over 40,000 positive reviews. This made me feel a lot more secure. Plus, it seems like they just bought a ton of these lens (probably at a steal when they first came out or in bulk or at an early deal) and were just re-selling them at a marginal profit. They had already sold well over 100 of these when I bought mine and there were many buyers that left great feedback for the lens I was buying. Plus, the lens was nearly $300 less than in the store. I took the chance. It proved solid and I have a kick-ass macro lens now. Yippee! 

So the macro is how I take all my close up photos. Every photo you see in my shop is done with this lens and every close up of me or an outfit accessory on my blog is done with this lens. I love it.

My Tripod Tips #photography

The only other piece of equipment I use for photoshoots is a tripod. Every single photo you see of me and my shop items is done with a tripod. Literally, every one. We learned early on that my husband cannot hold the camera still. Not if his life depended upon it. Every photo, no matter how fast the shutter speed, would be blurry with him at the helm. We needed a solution and luckily a tripod is a really easy fix. Yes, it can be annoying to lug the tripod around, but until I can clone myself to take my own photos, this is the only option. We bought a Sunpak 6000PG for under $30. It is very lightweight, adjusts to something like 1 to 5 feet high, and is easy to maneuver. The top has a little piece that screws into the bottom of my camera (most cameras) and snaps in and out of the tripod, making it easy to secure the camera in place. Then you can tilt and turn the camera with ease. There is also a level on the side but I've never used it. I just eyeball it myself. 

I would say the tripod (after the camera of course) is the single most important thing that made my photography possible. Now, we can just go out to wherever we want to shoot and I can set up the tripod and camera exactly how I want it and my hubs can just take a few clicks for me. Then I will readjust the camera and tripod for another shot and he will click a few more. On and on it goes. This also saves my husbands back and knees. He is 6'1" and I'm 5'4". If he had to take the photos sans tripod, he would be constantly be bent and hunched to be at the level I want the shots taken. 

I use the tripod and macro myself for my shop items too. I take very close (just a couple inches away) photos of my jewelry and need to be extremely still in order to take a clear shot of the minute details of the buttons. This has helped tremendously and I don't get as tired because I'm not having to balance the camera for extended amounts of time. I just situate the item, adjust the camera, click a shot, and repeat. Before, I would have to take several shots for one to come out, but with a tripod and the macro, I only need one. Saves an enormous amount of time. 

Last Week's Friday Photo Tip:

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Thrill – Vintage in Cleveland: Part Two

Vintage Shopping in Cleveland #vintage #shopping #cleveland

There are two posts today! You can find Part One here. This is Part Two of my vintage shopping in Cleveland. I didn't get the chance to go everywhere I wanted but I did manage to get a couple visits in while at my sister's house for the holidays. Flower Child Vintage was my second stop. I had bought from them before (a hat shown here) but it was at their booth at All Balboa Weekend. This time I got to go to their actual shop. And boy what an adventure! Just look at this place! It is bursting with treasures! The shop was completely decked out for Christmas too as you can see below. I have never seen so much vintage Christmas decor in my life! Made you quite chipper walking into such a festively decorated place!

You could spend an entire afternoon at this place. There are multiple floors and multiple rooms each with a theme. The whole main floor is full of mid century home decor. There are clothing rooms, accessories rooms, a toy room, a kitchen room, a music room, and a men's clothing room, and many more. Again, hats off to the staff for their decorating. There is a LOT of stuff to try and situate in any orderly way and they somehow to do it quite well. 

I managed to get out of there with most of my wallet intact. I was searching for a specific item (luckily, or you could do some real damage here). I wanted a gold purse to go with my New Year's dress. Mission accomplished! I found a beautiful 1950s beaded purse with a double chain and it even fit my phone and wallet! You can view my purse and my outfit on my instagram @chatterblossom. 

Amazingly decorated vintage shop! #vintage #shop #decor

Great Vintage Display! #vintage #shop #cleveland

Vintage Christmas Display #vintage #shop #display

Vintage Shop Decor #vintage #decorHoliday Decor at Vintage Shop #vintage #decor

Fun Vintage Display #vintage #shop #display

Vintage Shop #vintage #clevelandVintage Shop Holiday Decor #vintage #christmas

Vintage Mannequin #vintage #mannequin #head #hat

Vintage Holiday Decor #vintage #christmasVintage Ornaments #vintage #christmas #ornaments

Vintage Art Mannequin #vintage #decor

Vintage Shopping in Cleveland #vintage #clevelandTiki Room in Vintage Shop #vintage #tiki #shop

Vintage Toys #vintage #toys

Vintage Kitchen Display #vintage #kitchen

Gorgeous Vintage Mannequin #vintage #mannequin

Vintage Record Display #vintage #music #recordsVintage Shop Display #vintage #decor

Vintage Music Shop Display #vintage #music #shop

Vintage Menswear Shop Display #vintage #shop #mens #fashion

Last Week's Thursday Thrill:
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Thursday Thrill – Vintage in Cleveland: Part One

Vintage in Cleveland #vintage #cleveland

I had the pleasure of going to a few vintage shops while I was in Cleveland over the holidays with my sister. I thought I might share two of the places I got to visit and the first, today, is Deering Vintage. It was bitingly cold the day we visited, so I was all too glad to browse around the shop and take photos. 

This is a lovely shop! Sometimes these places can get near claustrophobic with the amount of things stuffed in the space, but this was not the case here. The owner, Cynthia, has done a great job at making it quite breathable and easy to take in with her arrangement of everything. The space has beautiful high ceilings and a large store front window which really helps too. There were goodies everywhere! There were items new and old as well so you might find vintage jewelry next to modern pieces. She had accessories galore, racks of winterwear (seems appropriate for the setting and season), and fun and lovely surprises like mid century decor and sewing patterns. I picked myself up a cute as pie cherry hat from the 1950s and a pair of men's suspenders that I will be wearing myself someday. 

Vintage Wall Bust #vintage #decor

Vintage Shop in Cleveland #vintage #ohio

Vintage Jewelry Display #vintage #jewelry

Vintage Patterns #vintage #sewing

Fun Vintage Zebra Lamp #vintage #home #decor

Vintage Shopping in Cleveland #vintage #shop

Vintage Patterns #vintage #sewing

Vintage Lady Hat Display #vintage #decor #display #hat

Vintage Shopping in Cleveland #vintage #cleveland

Vintage Shopping #vintage #clevelandVintage Clothing in Cleveland #vintage #fashion

Vintage Shop in Cleveland #vintage #shopping

Vintage Jewelry Display #vintage #jewelry

Vintage Display in Shop #vintage #shop

Vintage Shop Window in Cleveland #vintage #shop

Vintage Decor #vintage #lamp

Last Week's Thursday Thrill:

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