Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Style Me Vintage: Passing It On

Some of my very favorite pieces in my wardrobe are hand-me-downs. Being in the vintage clothing business means I have zero aversion to pre-loved things, and my favorites are items that are really infused with love! I've mentioned before that my mom saved a lot of her wardrobe and let me wear it in my own youth. There are several things that I still use and wear quite often, and I think it's noteworthy that they are the pieces mom is wearing in numerous photos I have of her. Great accessories usually stand the test of time!

This cotton scarf is a good example. It's cotton and a versatile large size, in bright primary colors with paisley. Mom used it as a hair accessory throughout my infancy, and then gave it to me for one of my early Halloween costumes (I was Gypsy several years running, isn't this scarf perfect for that!?). I have always loved it, and find myself using it on many a bad hair day! Scarves are such a fun way to accessorize, and can really pull an outfit together by matching colors to the rest of your ensemble. I usually wear them casually, with jeans and a solid colored top of some sort. There are all sorts of ways to tie them up; YouTube tutorials abound. My favorite way is just how mom wore hers though, draped over the head and tied in back.

Another favorite accessory is a pair of 1970's enamel hoop earrings. They are the perfect shade of navy blue and pair well with vintage and contemporary outfits. In the included photos of my mom, you can see she is wearing them. I updated them a bit when she gave them to me, adding a medium sized bead and new posts. Some other favorites I get a lot of mileage out of are a pair of beautiful micro mosaic earrings and both of my parents class rings. I was thrilled when my mom gave me the rings a couple of years ago, I'd been admiring them in her jewelry box for as long as I can remember.
  Easy to wear and style hand-me-downs... what's hiding out in your family's closets?
Christine is the co-owner of Living Threads Vintage, a vintage clothing shop in downtown Portland, OR.   Each week she brings her talent for wearing a vintage modern mix to Nicole B Vintage.
All photos by Travis and Christine Taylor

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Turning One

My Hank turned one year old on May 12th.  That is one entire year that I have survived being a mother.  One entire year of poopie diapers, holding him in the middle of the night when he cries, bath time, play time, hugging time and silly time.  One entire year of learning what it means to give up my wants and desires to care for another person.    

I figured that meant it was time for a party.  My mom said, "don't make such a fuss, he'll never remember it".  I felt like it didn't matter, I will always remember it. And maybe, just maybe, I needed it. 

It all went off without a hitch as they say.  It was sunny and 87 degrees out that day.  Hank played with all of his cousins and friends, we sang happy birthday and received so many amazing presents.  I'd say he is a very blessed little boy, or is it the other way around?  I might say that it is him who blesses our lives every day, with his smiles and his hugs.  His laughter and his cries.  His silly faces and his "look out I'm coming through" mentality.  Thank you God for Hank, who teaches me every day that the most important things in life are the people who love us.     

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Tips for Using an Oil Based Paint

Have you ever used oil based paint before?  I only had experiences working with latex paint.  Latex paint washes off with water and generally doesn't have a bad odor.  The oil based paint that I was just using is about the exact opposite of latex based paint.  If it gets on your skin there is no washing it off with water and the smell, oh my, the smell!!

The reason for using an oil based paint was to paint a pair of chests for our bedroom.  I know it will hold up and brace yourself, you can buy a small can of Rustoleum at Home Depot for about $9.50.  They have some great basic colors. 

Here is the finished product:

My Tips for Using an Oil Based Paint on Furniture:

1. Even when the surface is smooth, use a soft roller brush, not one of those tight super smooth ones

2. Wear gloves and if you get it on yourself use olive oil with sea salt to scrub it off. Follow up with dish soap to remove the oil. 

3.  Let it dry for a few days if you can.  The smell is incredibly strong so let the furniture piece dry for a few days before you bring it inside the house. 

4.  Be prepared for your brushes to get totally ruined, unless you dip them in the paint remover before you begin painting.  Remember this paint doesn't just wash off. 

Happy Painting!

Nicole B.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Style Me Vintage: Wardrobe Essentials

Portland Spring weather is finally here, and that always puts me in the mood to wear dresses. Wearing vintage pretty much guarantees a few dresses in my closet, and if you don't have one yet for the warmer weather, that is a perfect excuse to try out a vintage one! Specifically the shirtwaist dress.
One of my favorite styles of dress, a shirtwaist is pretty cut and dry. They borrow a little from menswear, while staying feminine. The tell-tale sign is a "shirt" like bodice featuring a buttoned front, cuffed sleeves, and sometimes a collar similar to a men's button up shirt. They have a tailored waist and always a full cut skirt that accommodates any size hips. Undeniably cute and extremely easy to wear. I own about a dozen!
Shirtwaist dresses are insanely versatile. Depending on your mood, they're easy to dress up or down for a more casual look. They look fantastic with flats, pretty sandals in the summer time, small heels (for dressing it up), or even cowboy boots! Throw a simple cardigan over one to keep it looking vintage, or a solid colored blazer and oxfords for an updated look. Many vintage ones you can find with their original belt, if not no problem. A skinny belt for the waist is readily available anywhere from Target to mall stores, in any size and color. I find that a belt subtly accents the shape of the dress on any body type, but it's not required. These dresses are all about your comfort zone, a big reason that I love them so much. You can find them in any size and just about any fabric too.... cotton, polyester, wool.... and any color or pattern. So fun! You'll find many for sale online (try Etsy & eBay), and I have never been in a vintage clothing shop that did not have a few to choose from.
These are some of my favorites that I own and wear all the time. I particularly love the 1950's novelty print one with little Daschund dogs!


They were popular in the 1940's, 50's, early 60's, 70's, and most recently, a couple of seasons back.  Easy to wear and classic. Go ahead, try one. You'll love it! - Christine

Christine is the co-owner of Living Threads Vintage, a vintage clothing shop in downtown Portland, OR.  Each week she brings her talent for wearing a vintage modern mix to Nicole B Vintage.
All photos by Travis Taylor