Thursday, September 30, 2010

Carmen and Ginger LIVE in Providence!

This coming Sunday, October 3 at Met Cafe/Hope Artiste Village on Main Street in Pawtucket (Ok, a stone's  throw over the line from Providence) C & G will have a booth with an amazing collection of FRESH vintage stock for you!  Seriously, like, 10% of this has been on-line if even that much.  I am bringing a TON of jewelry and accessories - handbags, shoes, scarves, hats - a few choice items of clothing if space will allow and some fun quirky stuff just to keep you interested! Oh, and for the guys, some choice vintage Hawaiian and Rockabilly men's shirts, awesome vintage ties and more!  I will be there from 1:00 pm until people stop buying so tweet, text and FB this, bring your friends and your cash and stop by to say "Hi!"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's Twilight Time

Heavenly shades of night are falling...Halloween is all the rage and the "tag" of "twilight" is appearing in my listings.  I have never read a Twilight book nor seen a Twilight movie, however, as previously posted, I have no problem pandering to my potential buyers!

Actually, the upcoming holiday is a great way for me to get some of the rhinestone goodies out there! It's been a while and I do not want to neglect this staple of the Carmen and Ginger shop.   I have acquired some great pieces over the past few months - spiders, moths and lots of jet black - so this is the perfect time to get them seen!

Black clothing is always popular and I have capes, sheer sequined jackets, full length wool and a number of funky dresses to share!

Who better to help me model a black 1940's coat for fall than a 12 lb Ginger Cat?

Oh, and I have a couple of actual Halloween items too...not too many but anything I have and anything I come across soon will be in the shop.  Happy Halloween Hunting, Merry Autumn and may the Romance of Twilight be with they say..." last it's Twilight time."

(As usual, image links will go "live" as items appear in the shop)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Heart Will Go On Home, Baby

A couple of weeks ago, while shopping in one of my usual haunts, I came across a vintage Jessica McClintock Gunne Sax dress.  Not, not a new one, or even a 1980's version, but one of "those" Gunne Sax '70s dresses.  One of the beautifully made dresses from the early to mid 1970's.  There are earlier designs out there, but, this one is a pretty early find, especially for the East Coast.  Also, it is in fabulous condition, and, a very wearable vintage size 13 which makes it about a contemporary size 6-8.  Being all cream with lace it would make someone a terrific Renaissance Style Bohemian Wedding Dress.  With all of these factors combined, I decided I needed to set up a really special photo shoot for this dress. 

There are a number of Etsy sellers who regularly do the whole "walking-through-the-fields-with-windswept-hair-and-great-backlighting" thing on a regular basis.  Most of those people sell higher end items more consistently and live in a climate that supports such things.  I live in a major New England city where the weather changes on a dime, and, there is not exactly a wheat field in my backyard.  Also,  I rarely ask more than $50 for items in my shop so although I take my photos seriously, major modeling photo shoots become somewhat cost-prohibitive.   This dress, though was unique.  I made the decision that if it fit I would have some fun and go for it.  Here are the results:

The Dress

The dress, as stated, likely dates to the early to mid-1970's.  I was surprised, too, at the quality.  The entire lace overlay is all cotton, not synthetic.  It is fully lined and very well constructed.  This dress would make a fantastic wedding dress for someone who is into the earthy/hippie/bohemian look, or, a Renaissance theme.

The Boots
 I decided that the perfect vintage uber-hipster accessory for this photo shoot would be my vintage lace-up leather boots.  The texture is a perfect contrast, and, they are perfect for trekking all over the place to take photos!  Also, found for 50 cents at a church sale about 15 years ago perfectly in my size, these are one of my all-time favorite vintage pieces!

The Photographer

Dad was totally game to not only drive me around everywhere, but, to shoot all the photos!  What a great job he did, and, between you and me, I think he's got the "photo bug" again!

The Setting

 Luckily, my parents live in a lovely Massachusetts seaside town that's got it all; oceanfront, grassy fields, stone walls, historic water towers and pumpkin patches - so we were at no loss for locations!

The Plan
square view
gallery view
Ok, so here's the scoop.  We took a TON of photos and I have narrowed them down to the few you see below.  Because Etsy uses a horizontal format for gallery views, treasuries and blog articles, and, square views for summary views, photos must work in both formats.  Also, the photos are viewed in a smaller size than shown below so keep that in mind as well.

The Photos
Here are the finalists.  What I'd like you to do is help me to pick the shot to use as the "first" shot.  This is the "money" shot; the one that will get noticed, get put into treasuries, get selected for blogs and, most of all, seen by the person who will ultimately decide to purchase this gorgeous dress for themselves!  Take a look, have fun, POKE fun (that's sort of the point!) and help me pick out the ultimate Etsy photo for this dress!

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4
Option 5

Option 6 

Option 7

Option 8

Option 9

Option 10

Option 11

Option 12

...and if you think we need to move in closer, here are some cropped options:

Crop Option 1

Crop Option 2

Crop Option 3

Crop Option 4

Crop Option 5

Crop Option 6

Of course the primary goal of this project was for me to have a lot of fun; that was achieved!  Second to that, is for my readers to have some fun.  (Let's presume we can tick this one off as well).  Next, let's not forget that the point is to show that if someone wants to use this dress as a wedding dress, it looks and photographs great!  If dad and I tooling around in boots and a Honda Accord can make it look like this, imagine what you and a professional photographer can do!  Finally, one side benefit I had not realized until I put all the photos together; if Celine Dion or Van Morrison ever wish to record an album with me, I already have the photos for the project!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Flea

I visited the semi-annual tri-town rotary flea in Marshfield, Massachusetts yesterday with great anticipation.  Unfortunately, although I found a few interesting items (like the $5 late-Edwardian hat above) overall the day was no great shakes.  Great weather, for sure, and, crowded with people buying.  The sellers, however, were surprisingly more spartan than usual on such a fine day.  Also, in unusual patterning, the first three rows from the lot were filled with mostly new crap. which, as a vintage lover, is merely an inconvenience with regard to navigating the event.  As usual, there are an assortment of friendly dealers trying to eke out a living with this sort of thing.    There are always a couple that'll drive you crazy too.  The woman with half her items unpriced (aside from the 8 bubble lights for $100) who chose to file her nails and ignore me as I tried to shop her space was remarkable!  Also,  the guy who told me the photos in the box were each about $1 unless they were "really great" and proceeded to "Ooh" and "Ahh" over every item I put my hands on as if it were the most amazing thing he'd ever seen.  According to him they at first "belonged to someone else" which was why they were not priced.  In his next statement they had "just come from an estate" so he was unable to price them.  Whatever.  I did not need them so simply walked away from this drivel.    I did find a few interesting items though, so, wanted to share them with you here.

Flea markets are usually good for vintage Christmas items and this one was no exception.  For my wreaths, this great stack of vintage paper plates and these wonderful vintage stamped star reflectors.  For my Etsy shop (beginning next month...) an early edition of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and a set of vintage 1960's giveaway bags that are sure to give someone endless enjoyment with their miniature toys and gag gifts.

My husband collects antique Japanese prints - which are hard to find for a reasonable price - so I was incredibly happy to find this beautiful Hiroshige print for $25.  Alas, I confirmed when I returned home that not only does my husband already own this lovely print, but it hangs in my bedroom so that I look at it every night.  Sigh. So THAT was how I knew it was good when I saw it!  (What a dope!) This will then show in my shop at some point this fall as well...

The only thing I purchased for myself is this great 1930's fur clip in the shape of a Mexican woman.  I am really smitten with these painted enamel, and, often, pave rhinestone pieces of late.  In fact, my "What did you keep" list is growing to the point where over the past two years I have to admit I have started an official "collection" of these beauties.  The more patina they have the more I love them.  Not for everyone but I think they are swell...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Perfect Pumpkin Pick

My friend Christine over at Salvage Chic has one of the funniest, vintage-themed blogs I know.  One of her recurring themes is to share what she has on display on her harvest table.  Her most recent table-themed post is here, and, a while back she posted this one as well.  I would encourage you to take a look at her blog, and, if you are in New England, stop by her shop someday as well.  Both experiences are well worth it.

One thing I noticed about Christine's posts though is that although she is very clever at describing her table ideas and finds, she does not typically document the where and how of her finds.  As a blogger, I want to take my readers to as detailed a level as possible with regard to my finds.  Not only do I want to share the photo above of the gorgeous pumpkin I found this weekend, I want to show you where and how I selected it.

Personally, I like to dress up when I go out into the pumpkin patch.  A vintage Gunne Sax gown in a Renaissance style is just the perfect outfit.   Also, I like to take along a personal photographer to capture every moment of the search and find.  This perfect pumpkin was found at a patch in Scituate, Massachusetts.

In my opinion, this attention to detail really adds to both the pumpkin-picking and blog-reading experience.  Don't you?  What do YOU think Salvage Chick?  What are YOU wearing on your hunt?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two Dogrees of Vintage Separation

So, I am getting ready to do one of my "dog listings" in Carmen and Ginger, where I list a bunch of awesome vintage dog goodies that I have been amassing for a while.  They just look so great all together.  So anyway, to support this I wanted to do a post about the popularity of dogs back in the 1930's when many of these pieces originated.  So, I thought about themes and I was thinking about my favorite Hollywood dogs from that time: Asta from The Thin Man movies and George from Bringing Up Baby.  Asta is a natural,  as I have been reading a lot of Dashiell Hammett lately and he of course wrote the original Thin Man story.  But what I did not realize until I took a look on the 'net is that Asta and George are the SAME DOG!  Yup.  Skippy.
Evidently Skippy was a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier quite in demand during the 1930's for his undeniably excellent acting skills.  Here he is above acting like he does NOT know where the bone is, when in fact, he clearly DOES know where the bone is.  The intercostal clavicle bone no less.  What a professional!
If you are not familiar with the movies The Thin Man and Bringing Up Baby then please by all means check them out!  The latter is one of my all time favorite movies, and, aside from the superb acting skills of Skippy; Powell, Loy, Grant and Hepburn turn in typically excellent performances as well.

From ScootersShop on Etsy
In many sources Skippy is credited with bringing popularity to the Fox Terrier breed in the 1930's.  While this is likely true what with his visibility and charming roles, the breed itself is quite likable all on its own. The dogs are friendly, with an active but non-aggressive demeanor.  They are also kid-sized meaning that at about 15" in height or less, they are good companions for kids and just simply "look good" with kids.  I think this is why you see so many of them in vintage children's books and other items from the time period.

From BackGarage on Etsy.
 There are just so many darn cute vintage items to be found on Etsy if you love these little Terriers!  Carmen and Ginger will be listing vintage dog items - including Fox Terriers, Scotties, and more - starting tonight and for the next couple of days.  Take a look at the items offered from these other great sellers as well!  C & G photo-links will be made "live" as items are listed....

From SweetLoveVintage on Etsy.

From BlackScottieTreasure on Etsy.

OMG - it IS Skippy!  From PALEEZE on Etsy.
From SnippetsofTime on Etsy. (Psst - they also have great photos!)

And all items now listed in Carmen and Ginger...
(click photos to be taken to active listings...)

and just way more to even possibly show here right now.  Keep checking this week, so you don't miss anything...




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