Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Own Vintage Clothing Fashion Magazine,May,Tooled Leather and Hand-Painted Mexican Skirts

Tooled leather will forever be a building block for my personal style....and its not that I take the Texas thing too seriously,but the rich caramel colors they come in are some of my favorites in all the world.Not to mention the incredible shapes and hand work that goes into each piece!
This belt is my favorite belt and cost me 25 cents at a garage sale when I was in High School. Yes,it still fits,but at the time of purchase ,I had to add a few notches,to tighten it up. Now ,its original notches fit me just fine,shown here with a vintage corset slip ,that I hand dyed,and one of my other style tenets,cowboy boots.
These are a few of my black tooled leather treasures,you may click to enlarge. The black shades seem harder to find than the warmer caramel colors.

I was simply agog over these tooled leather pumps from Remix but at THREE-HUNDRED and EIGHTEEN dollars , they were merely a fantasy.That is until I found these ,new in the box "dead stock" ,caramel 50's pumps,up for auction on e-bay.
I was the high bidder who won them for fifty bucks,they are now the crowning glory of my collection.
These belts are still easily found at thrift stores and I never pay more than 4 or 5 dollars for them.The buckles were purchased seperately,ALSO at thrift stores.
So how do you wear tooled leather? I just picked up this taupe eyelet dress for 2.75 at the thrift.Its sweet simplicity will let these gorgeously hand crafted accesories shine,without being over the top.
This Squaw or Patio dress from the 50' with its tiny silver ric-rac and fit and flare comfort,will also pair perfectly with my new pumps and a flirty childs bag.


For about a zillion years I have been crazy for Mexican, hand-painted, circle skirts. I've really only found 1 or 2 at the thrift,and my main source is my favorite vintage store Ahab Bowen.In the fall of 2005 it seemed every retail establishment came out with their own version of these beauties. I felt momentarily "robbed" of my personal style,and swiftly put my own hand-painted gems in the back of the closet. Oh yes ,I have a "Fashion Exile Rule".If any item becomes too ubiquitous or overexposed,I shall either jettison it,or put it into "Fashion Exile".
This Spring I let them come out and play with me again. This voluminous dream,had dark-haired cuties on it that reminded me of Frida,so I could not resist adding the eye-brow flourish.
Tooled leather is a natural complement to these amazing swirly pieces of art.
A funny thing happens when you are known for a devotion to a specific type of garment or accessory. People begin to give you things. Not just for your birthday,but because,folks know no one else would appreciate a piece the same way you would.Crooked Halos adorable kindergarten teacher cleaned out her mothers closet,and knew this lovely piece would find a good home.
Just look at the intracacy of the decoration on this skirt. This attention to detail is one of the reasons why vintage is so special.As they say...they just don't makem' like they used to!

The complete collection of MOVCFM:


September
October
November
December
January
February
March
April

Monday, May 28, 2007

Playing with Dollies and Painting My Own Live Doll's Playhouse

A guilty pleasure that I proudly embrace,is my love of dollies.
Any dollies really,but especially RETRO dollies.I share this affinity for grown-gal dollie play with my sister.Meet the newest Pagoda prop...little Susie Sad Eyes.Inspired by the big eyed waif paintings of Margaret Keane,she is already making herself at home among my oddities.
What I really want is a Little Miss No-Name.I find her quite the creepy little waif(more wraith really) in her burlap dress,and tugging at our heart strings with her crystal tear and blue eye shadow. I also find her quite irrisistable.
Amanda has joked to me before about her fear of"blog assimilation".I'm afraid where Blythe is concerned,my "resistance is futile".
Oh yes,Blythe may very well be the Borg of Bloggy-land!
Crooked Halo wants nothing more to do with her dolls(silly child,she'll be back!). She had all the Diva Stars. Hmm,me thinks they look a wee bit familiar...and their MINE now!!!
Ofcourse my number one favorite doll in ALL the universe is Dawn.She and her freinds are the stars of my Dollie Doppleganger stories.Read them here,and and here .
"The most beautiful doll in the world" ! Who knew? Ofcourse I cast Dawn as Vanessa,Glory plays me.
...and last but not least,and just for Alex ,heres my Jem and the Holograms doll.
Can you tell I'm into You-tube lately?
What did I spend Memorial day weekend doing? Taking the Pink Palace down to a sophisticated toffee color. Can you say ,covered and coated with Kilz 3 times?
I tend to be very susceptible to advertising. My painting break treat was the new "limited edition Carnival" Skittles.You can taste the rainbow in:
Cotton Candy
Bubblegum
Red Licorice
and Green Slushy.
Hey wheres Kettle Corn?

Next up, My Own Vintage Clothing Fashion Magazine,and more on Crooked Halo's room re-decorate!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Flotsam and Jetsom that Floats Around in my Head,Otherwise Known as Inspiration

School is almost out,Oklahoma closed,recitals are done,and the cobwebs in my head are clearing out to reveal a renewed sense of creativity.I have some beautiful new ideas to unleash on you soon,but for today lets look at the world of inspiration .Every creative being (that means EVERYONE on the planet)needs something to inspire them.Inspiration has been a big topic of conversation at my house lately,I believe when you are unable to find inspiration,you can get stuck in the mud. Inspiration is all around us. It can be something you've never seen before or something you re-visit again and again.
Breakfast At Tiffanys is one of those familiar friends I visit again and again when the well runs dry.
When I was little and first saw it I decided Ms Golightlys life was the life for me. New York City,beautiful clothes ,urban adventures,...and a mailbox complete with a mirror and lipstick for quick touch-ups.You better believe ,just as soon as I got a locker in middle school,my own mirror went up for a between classes Holly-like touch-up.
Though I never played the guitar,I sang Moon River many times walking barefoot through my Daddy's beautiful vegetable garden.One of my favorite dates with my very inspirational husband ,was modeled after Holly and "Fred Baby's" day of taking turns doing things the other had never done. The hubs had an impromptu phsycic reading,while I breakfasted at the IHOP,well yes I had been there in the wee A.M. hours,but never after a proper sleep,so "ofcourse it counts".I always thought the perfect Halloween costume would be dressed as Audrey and George on that special date as they pilfered Halloween masks from the 5 and dime.
Though it ended up being my oldest babe....
...who took Halloween costume inspiration from Holly.

If you read blogs you already know that when you find a new site it can be very inspirational.I recently stumbled on Tokyo Bunnie a lovely artist,who among her inspirational offerings showed me this wonderful short from the Russian stop motion animator Roman Kachanov . Stop motion puppet animation and claymation,happens to be one of my favorite things.

Has anyone ever heard of Young Edwardian by Arpega ?

This was the Hubs and I on NewYears Eve,heavens,I don't know how many years ago,but I am wearing a vintage Young Edwardian,inherited from my sister. She called it her Juliet dress,and we both wore it quite a bit(yes thats an ankh(eek!) peeking out of the neckline). Goodness, do I ever wish I knew where that dress was.
Vintage Seventeen magazines from the mid 70's,bought from e-bay,are presently lending inspiration.I know,I know ,always with the vintage!Click ,enlarge(and please forgive my burgeoning scanning skills) and read this wonderful interview with Sue Wong,who was the designer of Young Edwardian at the time.She's an embellishor,just like so many of us!
This Young Edwardian was recently featured on E-bay and a wee bit too small for me,or otherwise.... Note the apron and bird print,just scrumptious!
Has anyone seen these unique shoe creations from Irregular Choice ? A tiger pump...
...and a blanket stitched shoe,truly inspirational !


My littlest inspiration,was bored and cold while waiting to go on for her recital.
Oops,caught in the act of photographing her! "Mommy don't go",who could resist that face? She sure had fun,later exclaming,"Gramma,it was a REAL stage with REAL curtains!!!
Finally ,I am wondering,what makes you say WOW?
My husband has taught me that it can sometimes be inspirational to look at things from a different perspective.HE recently re-connected with a college chum,who is also a writer and "success coach",whose catch phrase for his radio show is "What makes you say wow?".I find this little phrase quite inspiring.
THIS house makes me say wow! We are experiencing some growing pains in our once inspiring house.Since I have established that the Pagoda is really a state of mind ,perhaps the time has come to find a new Pagoda,that makes all of us say WOW !!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kickin' it Pagoda Pace !!!...and the Winners are...

...and just what does "Kickin' it Pagoda Pace " mean?Hmmm,I think its filling your schedule up one side and down the other until your baby decides its fun to "ski" on hills of laundry,and yet you are still able to burst with happiness full of Mothers day pride!!!

Crooked Halo opened in "Oklahoma" this week,and I believe I could recieve no better present than to see my babies onstage.She is seen here on opening night wearing one of mommy's old vintage frocks from my "hacked off vintage Hawaiian mmuummuu" phase!
Here she is in action,rehearsing "the dream ballet".
...and here she is actually performing the number in a "bootleg" cell phone photo.
My Littlest Blossom,gave me the bonus plan ,with a sneak preview in costume for her recital this weekend!They both have recital on Saturday morning, and the big one has another weekend of "Oklahoma".

Here is my mothers day present from my little petal,made in her very sweet pre-school.
In honor of Mothers Day,I would like to debut a new series,that I would like to call:
"WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MOMMYS NOT LOOKING"
"I play with make-up!"
"I set up dollie dioramas and take pictures of them ,just like mommy" !



My sweet Hubs,gave me some free time to meet up with my dear freind Timothy of Epistle of Timothy who was in town to say hello to his new niece(shown here with an equally dear freind).

Timothy's mother day present to me was a collection of CD's including the entire canon of the Edith Piaf like French new wave band, Rita Mitsouko. Please step in your time machine and join me in a bloggy dance break to Marcia Baila. Now,onto Pagoda prize winners !!!!!!
I was full of indecision ,for my sweet Haiku writers,so I chose 3 winners!!!!
These goodies will be among the specially selected packages for my sweet blogpanions!
I know I'm overly sentimental,but these brought tears to my eyes starting with
Rebeccas,
Oh,the Jungle Dream
was finally realized,
and vintage still lives!
Heres Hiedis,
The Dream continues
an online Pagoda
the Jungle is wild!
...and last but not least heres Janes
Crooked Halo Shines
Little Blossom holds her own
Retro goodness rules !
Thank you girls so much,could you e-mail me your snail addys ?
So ofcourse I had to draw 3 names too,only fair right?
My sweet Blossom helped me.
Here are the other girls I will be putting some goodies together for.
Sarah
Elizabeth
and
Jennifer
You can find my e-mail on my profile page,and it would be very kind of you to send me your snail addys too!
Please know I adore you all,and thank you ever-so for celebrating the technological hurdles I have overcome.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Why Jungle Dream Pagoda? Celebrating 100 posts !! ...and a give-away !!!

Blogging time sucker warning :LEVEL ORANGEBlog names are very clever and most often capture EXACTLY the personality of the artist and writer of the individual site.
If you have ever peeked at the brilliant musings of The Epistle Of Timothy it is indeed an ego-centric driven forum,but for all his bravado and James Joyce bottom lining (can that be possible, J.J. bottom linings?)you will detect a distinct flavor of faith fueling his writings.Pandoras Button Box ? Well at Amandas place you never know what creative,yet old-fashioned with a twist project will pop up....and like the mythological creature her site is named for ,you will always find a hopeful and optimistic feel at the bottom of her ideas. How about A Fanciful Twist ,Through the Secret Keyhole? Don't we all feel like priveliged flies on the wall of her studio?So why Jungle Dream Pagoda?Lets just say its an idylic and artistic place that lives in my heart and in my head.
Back in my struggling artist days(daze!),I was still living at home with my parents ,and it occured to them I wasn't going anywhere.They decided if I wouldn't move out on them,they would move out on me! It was their way of supporting the arts you see.Thus they moved out and I became the care-taker of the sweet little cottage I grew up in. The empty house they left me with gave me the perfect blank canvas I needed to create the bohemian/artist salon I had always dreampt of.It was at that time I switched my thrifting focus from vintage clothes to vintage kitsch. My taste in those days was not quite as developed and edited as it is now.My voracious appetite loved anything interesting ,unusual,and breakable,especially from the mid-century.Spaghetti poodles,plaster angels,velvet Elvis paintings,African masks,leopard throws,and anything Asian.
Another passion of mine at the time was the vintage Barbie Doll.I loved the whole ideal. Barbie,the perfect plastic goddess,with perfect tiny vintage clothes for every occasion.Even before my parents flight,I had begun taking them around to fun events(dressed oh-so appropriately ofcourse!) ,(yes my feet are much closer to the ground these days!).
Hard to believe there were no digital cameras around to document bumping into Tim Curry and asking him to sign my dollies leg. He happily agreed and drolly extolled,"How very peculiar."!
As little Barbie vignettes began popping up everywhere in my leopard infused Asian fantasyland.It was only natural to name my world.

I loved this packaging.
So ofcourse,I changed it to artwork in the original Pagoda.
Mondrian color-blocked cabinets,why not?
The fiesta dining room,ofcourse!!!
.....BARBIE'S....
...EXOTIC..... Martin Denny and his Orchestra,was usually the soundtrack of my life in those days.
.....JUNGLE...... Gosh,wish I still had these taxidermied frogs!......NOT !!!!!
....DREAM....
.....PAGODA....
This picture(taken by my dear friend Stephen)was shot shortly before we were married on the day my hubs interviewed for grad school. Doesn't he look comfy (teehee)?Barbies Exotic Jungle Dream Pagoda,was truly an oppurtunity to let my imagination run wild. Shortening my sites name to Jungle Dream Pagoda,captures this same ideal and lets my feet float gently back down to the ground(okay, so they still hover a bit).It more inclusively describes what inspires me most,my fabulous and still exotic family!
On to business!!!
We are celebrating 100 posts(107 if your really counting) here at the Pagoda,and I wish to give something back to all the adorable people that have come into my life. If we've yet to meet, heres our chance.Leave a comment for a drawing, and let me pick some goodies out of my magic closet(this includes my assorted fripperies and tchotchkes),that I think might best suit the individual reader.If you would like to be entered twice,leave a haiku comment. I get to choose my favorite poem as a winner!So that way there are 2 winners!!!!You may comment,and or haiku through next monday,on THIS post.
Heres my Haiku:
Isn't it tragic?
I loved vintage ,long ago.
Tragically hip!

Sending out LOTS of Pagoda love and gratitude for all the support!

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