Sunday, September 16, 2012

Using Vintage for Photoshoots behind on this blog!  Sorry for disappearing, but it's been a really busy last couple of months, lots and lots of work being done!  I haven't had time to photograph any of my new finds, however, I have been using them in photo-shoots non-stop!  So, do you want to see how I've used some of my vintage finds in recent photo-shoots? 

Well, read on!

Remember the Le-Ann 80s metal shell purse from my $3 splurge?  I said I was using it in a "mermaid" themed photoshoot, and here it is being rocked by the lovely Katie from Posche Models!  She's also got on a Laurence Kazar 80s beaded dress that was thrifted long, long ago at Goodwill. It was actually one of my very first thrifted vintage dresses.  I had it hanging on my wall forever actually! We really pinned this one in to fit the model perfectly, I was really happy with the results!
And here it is lounging in the water, came out good as new though!

"Siren's Song"
Here's the scaled metal belt as well from the $3 splurge post! The 80s beaded top was gifted to me by an awesome family member who knows my love for unique vintage finds!

"Secret Garden" with Taylor Montague (Alexa Models)
 This is a 70s Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax dress, it is in unbelievable condition for something so white! I actually wore it for Easter this year too! It was thrifted from our local Hospice thrift store that is easily my favorite thrift store, my grandma and I always find awesome things! The hat is straw with dried flowers on it; I got it from a guy who was clearing out his parent's house for free. You can't beat styling a shoot for less than $5!

"Left Behind" with Emily Cingari
Also from the Hospice thrift store, are we sensing a trend yet? It's an 80s/90s Rampage dress and it was under $5!  It makes me think of a marionette dress, so we went with an abandoned doll theme! It fit Emily perfectly!

from the Swan Song photoshoot with Madeline Hall (BMG Models Orlando)

This dress was bought on Ebay a few months ago for about $10, it said it was a 40s gown (very well might be as it had shoulder pads, which were mostly popular in the 40s and 80s).  It looks fairly good in these shots, but it was really badly stained on arrival, and then this shoot happened. Sadly, the dress didn't really make it through it.  The drop-waisted seam ripped as she was standing up and then practically fell apart at the seams when we tried to wash some of the dirt out of it. Oops. I pretty much commited vintage sacrilege, I try not to feel too badly about it though, since it was already sad when it came.  It just had it's last big adventure! The headpiece is another DIY.

Katie (Posche Models)
It looked especially fabulous in black&white!
 This cobalt blue gown was thrifted from a Goodwill for under $5 and is a Miss Elliette dress with what have been described as pineapple sleeves. Love that description! I've seen a couple of color-ways of this one floating around the net that can't seem to settle on an age.  It's been described anywhere from 60s to 70s to 80s. VFG's label resource pinpoints this one as a 60s gown, quite an unusual one at that! Katie is also wearing vintage rhinestone jewelry from a few different estate sales.

A vintage styled shoot with Shoshannah Kadinger

And here's some cute vintage gloves and a vintage pearl braided necklace! The gloves were my great grandmother's, and the necklace is from an estate sale for $1.

Another with Shoshannah Kadinger
One of my most recent purchases, this 50s hat was $5 at the Labor Day Webster flea market sale! It looked so darn adorable on Shoshannah!  The rotary phone was "picked" from a purchased piece of property, and the doily is the one shown in the $3 splurge post.

Still untitled, but with Brittany Heuser

And from my most recent shoot, I shot with this awesome 60s/70s dress (unlabelled, I believe)! I thrifted itat  Goodwill for less than $5 at the same time as the Miss Elliette dress above. I love the bohemian yet Renaissance look of this one. So magical!

I hope you enjoyed that little peek at some of my vintage collection, and how it's being used in my photoshoots! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Floral Fantasies

 My younger cousin was staying with us for the month, and she was curious about this estate sale thing that I am always talking about.  Well, we decided to take her to two of them that were fairly close to each other.  She was not impressed :P  It turns out that "picking" in not her thing.  No problem though, I love her to death anyways ;)

The first one wasn't really to my liking, some really cute things, but pricey! The second was pretty great though!  I spent $8 and got some pretty nifty goodies!  

First up is my absolute favorite!  I have another one in a similar shape (but slightly smaller)  in black with an embroidered design on it, and it's one of my favorite vintage bags.  I saw this one and I'm pretty sure my eyes popped out for a second or two ;)
 Vintage velvet flower and woven bag $3
 Velvet 3-dimensional flowers?  Yes, please!!   There's so many pretty colors on her, and she was in great condition after a little bit of a wiping with an antibacterial wipe.  There's a vinyl lining on the inside, so washing was super easy!

 Sorry for so many pictures, but I can't help the love!  I'm still trying to date this bag better, I find handbags really hard to date.  To me, this bag says 50s or 60s with the shapes and details, it makes me think of elaborate vintage hats.  However, my grandmother told me that she remembers making these in the early 70s.  You would buy a kit and make them, the details on the front were up to you.  She particularly remembers initial ones with the initials of the maker embroidered on the front. Being made by somebody, this bag does not have a brand name inside, and I think that makes it all the more interesting!

Next up was a few vintage jewelry pieces!  I love unique little pieces of costume jewelry, although I'm terrible at remembering to wear them!

I collect vintage animal pins, it didn't first start out as an intentional collection, but I started noticing a trend with them, and decided to go with it.  This little seahorse was just fabulous, and I couldn't let him get away!  He's unmarked, but he has a lot of character!
Seahorse pin/brooch  $1

Okay, it's not another animal, but I loved this pin too!  It's quite large but made out of a light metal with a cute little faux pearl center, also unmarked.  It's so wonderfully feminine and sweet, I figured it would look great on a dress or even a coat!
White metal flower pin with pearl center $1

And the next two items are necklaces with stone pendants!  I love the look of raw or natural looking stones in jewelry.

 Pretty and simple and small! Maybe Cat's Eye?  $1

 I'm pretty sure I showed off a gold version of a necklace very similar to this one on a blog post a while back.  I really loved it and couldn't resist a silver version as well! $1

I also bought a picnic basket for $1, but I don't have pictures of it. I've been looking for one for awhile, and although it's not the perfect picnic basket of my dreams, it's quite cute regardless! I recently used it in a photo-shoot, so I'll have some images of it soon  :)  And my last item was a handmade triangle scarf made out of an adorable vintage Alice in Wonderland fabric.  You might not know it, but I love Alice in Wonderland!  It's my absolute favorite thing to collect, and my family all knows it! The seller gave it to me for free with the rest of my goods, which was super nice!

So, what else did I see on this trip? A group of owls on a branch that looked like they were all fluff with beady little eyes.  Possibly the cutest, creepiest things ever!  I wish I had snagged a picture of them to share!  Also several fur coats as well as a really creepy fur scarf with the animals heads attached.  Eww!  It almost gave me a heart-attack when I saw them!  I know they were completely normal at one point in time, but they give me the creeps!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The $3 Splurge

My grandma and I were driving down the road, and headed to the seafood market, when we spied a little yard sale!  Of course, we couldn't just not go (that would be plain silly!), so we stopped and gave a good look around.  Some newer stuff, but mostly older stuff, hurray!  I got a fun little bunch of five items for a total of $3, while my grandma got two metal fold-up chairs for $3 each.  I held back a bit since a lot of the items were household things, something I love, but not something I use for photo-shoots. 

This particular items has me baffled, it's a decorative metal plate.

 Why is a metal plate confusing?
 Because it's made by Delft!  Delftware, as its commonly referred to, was a company that made tin-glazed pottery from the 15th century to present day.  This is certainly not pottery, so what exactly is it and why was it made?  It certainly has a Delft pattern.  The only thing I could find that was similar was a child's plate and cup set made out of tin, but this just isn't child size!
 Basically, I bought it because it said it was made in Holland, I knew next-to-nothing about Delft when purchasing it.  ;) I love researching things like this though!

And the next purchase:
A pyrex cup with the gold butterfly pattern!  She told me she had a larger set of these somewhere and that she would call me if she found them, sadly she never called. Probably lost my number!

The next two items are what I got super excited about though!   I've been planning a shoot with a model with a summery glam fashion mermaid sort of theme (slightly confusing, right?)  Anyways, these two items are THE PERFECT fashion mermaid accessories, I felt like such a lucky girl!    I just did the photo-shoot last Friday and they looked great on camera too!
 Don't the metal plates on this vintage belt look just like fish/mermaid scales?  Too perfect, seriously.  I wanted the shoot to be shiny and glittery like a mermaid's tale, looks like I'll get my wish! 
 The seller told me that her mom used to wear it when she was a little girl, but looking online at similar ones, it doesn't look like it could be much older than 70s, which is fine by me!
 You almost wouldn't expect the webbed back with that glam front, but that is indeed the case!

The other item? Even more perfect!  A vintage metal shell purse!  

Also glitzy and shiny just like I wanted!

It's branded Le-Ann, and it's got a great snake rope chain on it!

 The seller didn't mention the age of this one, but she had the belt and this one paired up on the table together.  I figured that they were probably about the same age.  This one is actually most likely 80s though.  In any case, a shell shaped purse, way too perfect!

And the last item from my $3 score, a vintage doily! 
 What the heck am I going to use this for?  Shadow photography fun!  And then, I might use it for it's intended purpose. ;)  
 The pattern on this was just so gorgeous, I can't wait to try it out!

So, that was my quick $3 score at a local yard sale!

Any more information on any of these items?  I never mind a point in the right direction!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hey Kittens, Let's Have a Tea Party!

Cat Teacup, Saucer, and Dessert Plate $5

Sorry for the title, I have no shame ;)  I purchased this lovely a couple of weeks ago at a yard sale.  It's got four of my favorite things going for it: plants/florals, cats, vintage, and it's a teacup.  So, of course, it had to come home with me!

Pretty gold trim!

 Let's break it down: Dessert plate, saucer, and tea cup

 Close-up of the lovely design

And the label: Cathy Takahashi San Francisco, 1984, Hand Decorated

Okay, so it's not that old, but 28 years isn't that young! It's older than me! ;)

Apparently this little guy wanted to join the tea party!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dream Land

I probably should have posted about this while it was still going on, but I ran out of time!  Anyways, from June 11-22, I had a gallery show in USF's Centre Gallery.  It focused on my photography of women in dream-like environments.  
If you didn't already know, I'm a vintage fiend not because I'm always wearing it (although I sometimes do),but because I love using it as styling for photo-shoots.  This started because it was more economical.  Going into the local thrift store and picking up dresses is WAY cheaper than going to the mall and buying clothes for shoots.  However, it's not just cheaper, its also much more interesting.  I love vintage/thrifting because it is so much more unique than other clothing, and because I can find something extravagant that I would otherwise not be able to afford.  
Clothing from other eras have an innate dreaminess to much of them, because of their unfamiliarity in styles to those my age.  I never lived through the 70s. So, when I find a dress from the 70s, I'm often astounded at it.  I can't imagine many people actually wearing something like it now.  We have 70s inspired clothing come back into fashion all the time, but it doesn't look like authentic 70s clothing does.  Why?  I have no idea.  I just know that half of the things I find look like nothing I could ever dream of finding in the local mall.  Maybe it has something to do with craftsmanship or maybe I'm just romanticizing the past, but each garment has a uniqueness that contributes to my photography and inspires it.

So, with no further ado, here's the front wall display of my gallery show.  It showed off the vintage clothing that I used in the photographs on the back two walls.  

 Pretty spiffy, right?  I had so many people tell me that they loved this feature of my show.  Clothing means a lot to me, because I'm so inspired by fashion photography and vintage fashion for my work.  I'm not looking to create a representation of what these pieces of clothing looked like in their respective eras though!  To me that would be too conventional.  I'm trying to create a "feeling" in my photography, an air of romanticism and dreaminess.

Here's some individual shots of the dresses used and one of the photographs they were used in:
80s Lawrence Kazar beaded dress;  Model: Emily Doyle
I bought this one at Goodwill for $3 and change, I actually have a similar one in a different color scheme!  How can one resist sequins and beads for less than $4?
late 70s Union-made lace girl's dress;  Model: Lucy
This sweet little lace dress has a red/white/blue union tag in it, but seems too early to be 80s or 90s, so I'm thinking its a 70s one.  It was purchased for $.50 at a yard sale!  The headpiece (not shown in the display) was a handmade flower crown with some craft-store purchased flowers that have a velvet and felt like feel.
70s "Themes" aqua dress;  Model: Chelsea Perez
This one was purchased at a Hospice Thrift store for under $4, I believe.  I'm thinking it was probably a bridesmaid dress at one time?  It's got a heavy duty zipper in it that looks to be metal.
Vintage slip and handmade flower crown; Model: Shoshannah Kadinger
I'm not sure on the dating of this one, to be honest it's probably 90s or possibly even later by judging the tag.  I don't have it with me, or I'd mention the brand name!  In any case, it was thrifted at a little church thrift store for around $3-4.  The flower crown is handmade.
Vintage 50s? sheer gown and 40s/50s feathered hat; Model: Ali Pruitt
This was my first ever Etsy purchase from a closing shop, around $20 shipped!  While it seems slightly pricey, it's also from one of my favorite shoots, so it was totally worth it! The ad description mentioned it being from somewhere around in the 50s probably hand sewn.  I agree with this assessment, just feeling the fabric it has an older feel.  And the clincher?  It's got a cigarette hole in the shoulder! That might not be the end-all argument for it, but it certainly makes me think of a glam lady lounging around in this (covered in diamonds of course!) with a cigarette holder.  The hat was purchased in an antique store sidewalk sale for $15.  It's stunning in person and in immaculate condition with glossy black feathers. It's even got the Hatters and Millinery Union tag inside.

So, that's just a sample of how I tie my vintage finds into my real life! 

If you're interested to see more of my photography, you can check out my Facebook page here: or my portfolio page here:!