Zen Place on a Chain

My favorite vintage items are the ones that I’ve had before they were vintage. I’ve had this beach scene charm since I was a kid. Closing my eyes and picturing the beach is the trick I use to calm myself. This is like wearing my zen place around my neck.

Fashion Flashback: High School Rings

During a recent family visit, I found the high school ring of my cousin’s husband and suggested that my cousin wear it on a chain as a necklace. That’s when I wished I had my own high school ring. I wore rings in high school and had already developed a fondness for jewelry, but I had no interest back then in a high school ring. Then Mr. MVP told me he didn’t get one, either. So this sent me to Ebay and Etsy to search for castaway high school rings. I found this one on Etsy and chose it for its color (iridescent blue, so dreamy) and high school name (Pleasant Grove High, which sounds like the name of a school in a book that would be made into a dark indie movie with a really great soundtrack). The Etsy seller wrote that she purchased the ring with a lot of others from an estate sale; it was dirt-cheap and now I have it hanging on a black cotton string made from a recycled T-shirt, with two other childhood rings.

Style Souvenir: Cowboy Boots from Nashville

During a trip to Nashville several years ago, I found these Justin roper boots in teal at a thrift store full of stylish treasures. They were on back wall with shelves filled with pre-owned boots in various colors, styles, and sizes and I walked right up to this pair, drawn to the spectacular color. Talk about luck: They were my size. (They were my size!) I bring them out for special occasions and wore them out this weekend for a birthday party at a western bar. They’re good for dancing, too.

Skateboard Bag Holder

I love a bar that has a hook for a lady to hang her handbag. At the Venice Beach Ale House, they have recycled skateboard wheels. Here’s my vintage Coach hobo (a recent thrift store find).

Easter Florals

I grew up on the East Coast and Easter helped to signify the long-awaited arrival of Spring. Except for the few years I remember a snowfall or cold snap, Easter meant that crocuses were popping up and we were able to play outside in short sleeves again. Also, I was able to dust off the sandals to wear with my Easter outfit. I delighted in picking out a new Easter outfit each year, usually a dress or matching skirt and top combination in colors that matched the Easter eggs we colored. This year, I shopped my closet and wore a green and purple silk floral blouse I picked up at a thrift store months ago but had yet to wear (not new, but new to me).

Vintage Find: Polka-Dotted Skirt

I found this cute black-and-white, polka-dotted silk Ungaro skirt on the bargain rack at a vintage shop in my neighborhood, Venice Vintage Paradise. I was wearing jeans and the shop owner taught me a new trick to find out if a skirt might fit. She told me to check to see if I could wrap the skirt’s waistband around my neck—if I could, the skirt would fit. She was right.

Sipping in Style: Vintage Glasses

I like to drink wine (or juice or water) in vintage glasses. I share this fondness for vintage glassware with friends—Annie owns the blue and gold ones, Kristine the etched, dotted ones. The daisy one is mine (I’m crazy for daisies).

Rock On: Upcycled Fashion at the Oscars

As a dabbler in creating upcycled fashion and accessories, I love to see something shiny and like-new recreated from something unwanted and old—rescued second-hand pieces from a dusty rack that are given new life. I frequently find items of clothing at thrift shops that look promising until I find a stain across the chest, a tear near the neckline, or some other wear-and-tear defect that makes the garment undesirable in its present form. But then I think, hmmm, maybe there’s hope. While so many eyes were on Colin Firth at the Oscars (smoking hot in Tom Ford), I was particularly interested in a closer look at his lovely wife, Livia, who owns a shop that sells eco-friendly merchandise and writes a blog for Vogue UK on green fashion. Livia Firth has become a stylish ambassador for green, making it her mission this year to always wear clothing at events from designers who use organic fabrics and employ eco-friendly practices in the creation of the garments. She calls it her “green carpet challenge.” For the Oscars, Firth’s Oscar gown was upcycled, created by Gary Harvey with material from 11 vintage dresses. Great detail: the dresses came from the same era as “The King’s Speech,” the movie for which her husband won the Academy Award. Gorgeous.