Vintage Halloween – Black Cats

Meow! Meow! I’ve been considering donning some ears and whiskers for a simple Halloween costume. Nothing’s quite as seasonal as an arched black cat.

“Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence” from Footlight Parade (1933) featuring Ruby Keeler as a bushy tailed pussy cat. This was one of the first 30s musicals I rented as a young girl on VHS from the public library. I do love that cooing!
If there ever really were a true time machine, I’d like to use it to travel back to different parties that I find invitations for. Imagine dancing the night away with an Old Fashioned in hand, listening to Russell Rutledge and his Orchestra, and only paying 35 cents! Adjusted for inflation, that’s only $5.75 in 2012 dollars – still a bargain.If I were to take my time machine, I’d like also to have this hilarious pumpkin on the right, with black cats for eyes and a bat for a mouth. Oh, and I like the dapper gent in the middle with the black cat sweater vest. Who is that behind him? A haystack?
Hello red dress hottie with an owl head hat. That kitties gonna scratch your stockings!
Never underestimate the power of papermache, hula skirts, and card stock.This costume is only to be worn below the Mason Dixon line. The rest of you will need to wear a coat as part of your costume.
Black cat decor. Now, don’t all of you run out and get tattoos of these all at once.
During October, I have to keep myself away from Uncommon Objects, lest I buy up all of their Halloween ephemera. Then I will be one of those people… the ones who have Halloween decor up as proper decor. I am only one of those people who has St. Valentine’s day up as everyday decor. 

Vintage Halloween – Hot Witches

Ohh! It’s October! In Austin, it’s still in the high 80F and 90s most days, but we are due to have a change in the weather this weekend. I’m surprisingly sad to see the hot weather go (this is probably the first time in my residence in Austin that you will ever EVER see me admit this). Hot weather equals good ice cream sales, and as an ice cream parlor proprietrix, high temperatures are my livelihood.

In my search for vintage Halloween inspiration, I turn to my friend Diane Naegel’s pinterest. For those of you who knew, you will remember that Halloween was one of her favorite subjects, and her costumes were always a treat. I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately, Miss Diane. I do miss you so.

When I was wee, I had a costume trunk in my playroom. It was stocked with all sorts of goodies, including lime green polyester dresses, wooden bangles, giant overalls, yards of calico, and other dressup sparkles. My playroom was set up as thus: record player with records, trunk of clothes, craft table with crayons, glue and markers. My mother drew all of the ballet positions in black sharpie marker on the floor for me to practice. This was my “office.”
Among the treasures in the dressup trunk was a black witches’ hat from a Halloween costume. I distinctly remember stomping around the brim, humming the Mexican Hat Dance tune, no doubt inspired by something that Speedy Gonzalas had done.
In case I get to busy to construct a costume this year, I can pull out a Chorus Girl outfit and plop a pointy hat on top.
An enchanting photo of Veronica Lake with fishnets and pointed hat with crescent moon.
I think this is Joan Crawford.
This green dress has an amazing Jack o’ Lantern print near the hem – watch out little owlie!
This postcard looks like a Shakespearian party gone awry -or a-right? Are they bobbing for money, or fortunes?
YES PLEASE – cauldron wear for seriously hot witches.
Oh! Bobbing for cuties!I did make a pumpkin sundae for the shop this week – it has toasted vegan marshmallows that are torched with a creme brulee gun, salted caramel sauce, pumpkin puree sauce, and crunchy pecans. It is amazing!

April Dimensions

At Angeliska’s famous (and much anticipated) Easter party, I was late because I was waiting on my chickens to lay eggs so that I could make these deviled eggs for the party. The amazing John Leach took this photo.

Hens are attracted to anything red – watermelons, strawberries, and my manicure! I was feeding them corn & seeds today and they kept going for my nails today. Naughty chickens!

I’ve been making a lot more deer antler headbands. They’ve become very intricate & involved little projects involving grinding tools, angling, face masks and lots of bone dust. Finally I’ve reached a level where I can make something so awkward (and sometimes heavy!) actually VERY comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

At the last Vintage Vivant, Angeliska and I celebrated our first birthday party with matching feathered turbans. Our next event is on April 29th. To honor the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic  earlier this month, we will be holding an exquisite Oceanic Ball where drowned socialites will find themselves waltzing with sailors, mermaids will dance with starfish, and all manner of sea creatures shall swirl and twirl the night away on the dance floor as we transport you to an underwater fantasy beneath the sea! If you’re in Austin, come dressed in your 1912 Edwardian beaded best, or draped in jellyfish tentacles and sequins!

My boyfriend from college is on twitter now, and recently tweeted this photo of me from when I was 19 – a tin type of me in my 1920s cloche for his Photo II class back in 2001

Reese and I are forming a new project – Austin Phonograph Company, where we feature hand cranked antique phonograph djing at weddings, parties and picnics. You can like our page on Facebook and keep up with our appearances in central Texas.

Oh my! A vegan cookie dough sundae that I made at my ice cream parlor, Sweet Ritual. We were just featured in the newest issue of VegNews magazine, and we’ve been doing well with the warmer weather. I’m so excited for this summer! Within a year, I want to be doing full-fledged ice cream production with frozen pints in local grocery stores. Goals goals goals!

Dark Haired Beauties

In the last few weeks, I’ve been compiling a inspiration pile of photos of dark haired ladies. I knew I wanted to go really dark, but I was afraid of looking too high school goth. Here are some ladies who helped me!

The Boswell Sisters

The Boswell Sisters

Mona Maris. circa 1932

Galliano model

Vintage erotica

Anna Sui ad

Is this Winona Ryer?

I have no clue as to who this model is, but I have a few pictures of her in my pinterest.

Carmel Myers

Don’t know where this one is from, either.

Vintage Beauty Secrets – part I


Anita Page, as compared to “The Ideal Screen Type” versus me

Eleanor Boardman – the actress I think I look the most like.

My list of beauty secrets reads as if my grandmothers penned it:

– I cut my nails at a sharp angle so that they resemble kitten claws. This helps them to grow longer because there is less surface area for the sides to get busted up. This is also how lots of 1930s movies show womens’ manicures to look like.

– Strangers tell me I smell good all of the time. I use essential oils mixed with grape seed oil on my pulse points, wrists and knees. I use a mix of lavender, bergamont, clove, citrus, amber, rose and rosemary, depending on what I feel like that morning.

– Put an index card behind eyelids to prevent mascara application from ruining eyeshadow.

– Ladies pinch; whores use rouge. I am both a lady and a whore, it seems.

– I have deep set eyes so my eyeliner is always stamping little half moons onto my eyelids. I use a lot of concealer on the eyelid to lessen the effect.

– Cotton swabs for everything! I have them overflowing in little teacups in my vanity. In fact, I keep lots of things organized in little teacups and saucers!

– Sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, asprin scrubs, sand scrubs – whatever the method, I exfoliate often.

– Use four different flavors of toothpaste for taste variety and effectiveness (I use: Crest Peppermint, Ayurvedic Clove, Jason Teatree and Tom’s Anise)

– Wet hair and set it once a week. Shower as much (or as little) as I like while wearing a fashionable showercap. Seldom do I shampoo unless I’ve biked 20 miles or am really dusty. I follow the curly girl method for my ringlets.

– Swim in natural springs lots during the summer because the spring water makes my hair move and feel differently.

– Shave legs half as often if I wear knee socks and moisturize the kneecaps

– I always have my toes painted outlandishly because it makes me smile when I take off my shoes in the dead of winter (this week’s combination is brown with silver polkadots)

– Vaseline smeared over kohl lined eyes is a simple fix for classic eyes

– I use a proper setting lotion (1:4 combination of Lottabody:water) and I add some lavender essential oil to it.

– Beer or liquor resets curls. When I had a mohawk I spiked it with Scotch, but now I use beer to recurl fallen tendrils if I’ve been out at a bar dancing.

– I’ve shaved my forearms for 6 years now. I’ve forgotten why I started doing it. Just one of those things.

– I took my lighted magnifying mirror off my vanity and only use it once or twice a month. Who needs to see a macro view of their face everyday?

– Cocoa butter or massage bars from Lush for perfume and moisturizing everything that’s not my face.

Everything Balm for my face and for sore muscles (not vegan but I got it a long time ago and it lasts forever!)

– Steep lavender blossoms in hot water and make a “tea.” Strain and use in a squirt bottle. Lavender water perks up curls and smells heavenly.

– I live in the hot, humid South. I keep a spraybottle of “Arkansas Air Conditioning” in my fridge that has 10 drops of Peppermint Essential oil and water in it. This is invaluable for cooling off on hot days, just keep away from eyeballs, mucus producing orifices and genitals.

– “Arkansas Air Conditioning” is a great way to make friends. Bring a spraybottle to punk shows, house parties, and bbqs and ask to spritz people down. Both charming and helpful!

– The summer is too hot for stockings. If I’m going out and I want a suntan, I’ll do what my grandmother Betty did for pantyhose in WWII: fill a tub with warm water and dissolve 6 black teabags in the water. Soak in the water for about 15 minutes and dry off with an old towel. Draw a line up the back of the legs with brown eyeliner for a seamed stocking look.

– Buy a few cheap paper or fabric decorative parasols from Asian stores and use them instead of sunscreen. I’m only exposed to sun when I walk to the grocery store because I work indoors and have a 3 minute bikeride to work. Why stink like sunscreen all day when you can have an adorable prop?

– Drink 10 cups of tea a day. Eat lots of young coconut right from the shell. Pick my own vegetables. Be raw until dinner.

Me with a parasol, in lieu of sunscreen, March, 2009.

This is a photo of me from April, 2006, when I was still mastering pincurls but hadn’t yet grown out my trademark kiss curls. I have been taking daily outfit photos now for four years!