Daily Outfit, April 7th, 2013

IMG_5888I love this dress & this print so very much! It reminds me of feedsack print, although I don’t know if feedsack is “feedsack” unless it’s printed on cotton. I love this article on The History of Feed Sacks, I swear I read it at least once a year!
IMG_5887IMG_5884These red flapper girl buttons had been knocking around in my craft case for a few years before I decided to make a specific bow for them to go on. This project came from a marriage of my small hoard of feedsack fabrics and my love of glue gunning. These are super easy to make and are perfect if you have scraps of fabric that you’re holding on to but haven’t found a use for. The project takes only 15 minutes – look up “Hair Bow Tutorial Fabric” on youtube (here is a video, but the country music is really bad, sorry!!). Though, I would suggest practicing a bit on some scrap fabric before you go and ruin your favorite fabric on your first go ’round. These would also make darling garter accents or clips for your shoes!
Here’s a smiling photo for all of you who always request one! I’m off to DJ a wedding out in Hill Country.

Daily Outfit, March 23rd, 2013

  • This little crown of flowers is from a 1930s wedding dress that shredded & disentegrated
  • 1930s lace dress with matching peach slip, from Nobody’s Baby, Eugene, OR.
  • Vintage green belt, Decade’s Vintage, Portland, OR
  • Green knee socks
  • Remix vintage reproduction shoes

IMG_5876IMG_5865IMG_5866My pledge to wear more lipstick is easier now that I have found these lipsticks that do not feather at the edges and last for hours and hours. This one is called Hour Glass in Raven. Stila and Kat Von D also make them. Here is my Art Deco compact of a lady sipping a martini. LOVE!
Spring is here early. I have been relishing the early blooms and light rain – the long hot Texas summer will be here all too soon.

Daily Outfit

  • Creme Beret – bought at Disney World at age 13 in or around the French Pavillion at Epcot Center
  • Vintage scarf around neck
  • Creme blouse, Buffalo Exchange
  • Green belt
  • 1930s skirt that goes to a suit set, Uncommon Objects
  • Green octagonal purse, given to me by a friend who moved to Korea
  • Pink fishnet stockings
  • Green cameo ring from Angeliska
  • Creme shoes, Buffalo Exchange

Sometimes I think that burlesque would be a natural direction for me to swim to, but then I get myself into a project that involves meticulously attaching thousands of rhinestones to an object, and then I think, “Nah.”

Yesterday I spent many hours making special deer antlers for costumes I’ll be wearing on Sunday. They involve Pepto-Bismol pink deer antlers, chandelier crystals, velvet, bloody glitter, and St. Sebastian.

Please come see me model two spectacular outfits this Sunday, from 5:30-8:30 for a FREE Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School session: EAST Sketchy’s!

March 26th, Daily Outfit

  • Monocle on chain as necklace
  • 1920s cotton dress from Uncommon Objects
  • White knit socks
  • Black Mary JanesMe & Sophie Tucker in the garden after a breakfast of coffee (me) and watermelon (her).A close up of the print, with zinnas and mums. Pretty good for a nearly 100 year old dress that was a mere $13!

It’s spring in Texas! SXSW is over (whew!) and now I can go back to my favorite morning activity: drinking coffee and watching our hens hunt for worms in the garden. We got four Red Sex Link chickens, and their antics have been a big source of my entertainment for the past few weeks. They each have a different personality, and are growing more tame each day as we handle them.
It’s gallinipper season, and the hens set themselves crazy zipping around the yard trying to catch them. The flies are mostly invisible, so it looks like some kind of demon is possessing the chicken as it runs wildly forward with it’s head darting back and forth.

Sophie Tucker & the ukulele. So named for her size, regal strut, and position at the top of the pecking order. Last of the red hot mamas, indeed! She was debeaked as a chick, and her lower beak is considerably longer than her top. It doesn’t seem to hinder her appetite, however – she’s the largest of the group. I have a red coffee can that I use to dip into the chicken feed, and as soon as she sees me going for it, she becomes my little shadow, following me around.

Ethel Waters – the best chicken! Tame, industrious, and an egg by 10am every morning. If I had to bet on the first chicken to lay, it wouldn’t have been Ethel. She’s considerably smaller than the other chickens, but she’s been laying like clockwork since we got her. Ethel likes to come into the house to have a look around. She’s a digger, too, and has the dirty feet to prove it. Right now she’s in the backyard, cuddling up to a five inch dirt pile she’s dug up to take a dirt bath in.

Meet Billie Holiday, aka Yard Raptor, aka Dinosaur Bird. She comes when you call, and likes to be held. Favorite snack: dried mealworms.

Annette HENshaw – the prettiest & most lovely chicken of the group. Once took a daring leap over the flock to snatch an earthworm dangling from my fingers.

Violinophone & Poppies

Here’s a fancy little get-up starring a darling dress that I scored for free at a clothing swap about a year ago. It’s a crepe-like material with a sheer striped panel on the bust. After 75ish years, I love that these garments can still be in such incredible condition. There are only a few snags & holes, which never really bothers me. Perfection in vintage is only a temporary state, anyway.
The unbearable heat of 100+ days of temperatures over 100F has finally broken! While it’s still very very warm, I’m looking forward to fall, which can only be around the corner. I’m not quite to the point of unpacking my berets & sweaters, but I’m thankful to have the chill of 70 degree evenings.

Black lace headband with 1920s embellishments – Louise Black
1930s poppy dress – clothing swap
1960s? floral tapestry purse – Buffalo Exchange
Pointed black shoes – traded with a friend

This headband has beaded details that hang down and make tinkly sounds in my ear. I’m test driving So Chaud lipstick from MAC, an orange lipstick that straddles a thin line between avant guard & old lady chic.

The newest franken-project involves Reese retrofitting my gigantic phonograph bell to a Stroh violin. We wheeled this monster horn through the hardware store testing out fittings & tubes.

Photo from Wikipedia
The Stroh violin, also called a violinophone, was used a lot in early days of phonographic recording, as the sound is multi-directional and thus was better received by the acoustic-mechanical recording method of the early 1920s. The Stroh has a phonograph reproducer in the body. When played, the strings over the wooden bridge vibrate a tiny nail connected to the metal reproducer below and projects the sound through a trumpet shaped plug-in.

Victor Orchestra as it looked in 1925 with Stroh violins and cello on a riser.

The newly-born circus horn made a test run at the White Ghost Shivers show last night. It looked so neat on stage! Reese has a few more adjustments to make, but we were so pleased that it was SO loud on the test run! Also, it was mistaken as a beer bong on more than one occasion. Please, nobody drink beer through this thing. I’m sure the 100 years of dust and metals would render one hell of a hangover.

Luna Moth Phonograph

Outfit for a special day of dinner parties, phonograph repair & ragtime piano viewing:

1920s cloche hat with leather fern pattern – Avalon, PDX
Sea urchin earrings – made by me
St. Joan of Arc necklace – given to me by Natalie Ribbons
1930s sheer dress with scalloped collar – ebay
Bow belt that goes to a 1950s dress
Straw purse – Amelia’s Retro-Vogue, Austin
T-strap shoes – Target

My spit curls have a way of looking like beetle antenna. This St. Joan of Arc medallion is one of my most special possessions, Natalie brought it back from Paris on her last European tour.

I haven’t been doing that much home repair (107F! Too hot!) so I’ve been hiding inside and mostly doing gadgetry at night. This particular morning glory horn was unearthed at a flea market in San Antonio, with the intention of turning it into a light fixture for my ice cream parlor. Reese retrofitted the end with some foam to attach on to his Victor II from 1907, and it actually sounds really great for being so old! The sound is full and wide, and reproduces bass, piano and high horns quite well.

From the looks of it, this was a much longer horn at one time, and has been sawed off at one point (most likely so that it could fit a more “contemporary” machine). This horn has a place to hook a crane stand, so it probably went to a very early machine.

In a true archeological experiment, Reese used different grades of steel wool on the surface of the horn, and it was phenomenal transformation right before our eyes. Layers of dirt, rust, and 100+ years of age were buffed away to reveal a luna moth green, sky blue, white, and golden pinstripes. These photos were taken before the cleaning, but I will be sure to post the results. 
Here’s the horn from the side. I’m not sure my love for the morning glory bell has quite reached the level of objectum sexuality, but what a sight to behold!

Reese has been busy fixing portable suitcase players, and I’ve been watching intently to learn how they work. I was never very gifted with mechanics, but then again, if someone takes the time to show me step by step how something operates and what tools to use (as Reese does), I’m much more likely to understand it. This is my favorite kind of mechanics: one part engineering, one part craft, and a lot of improvization to find substitutions for obsolete machines.