Friday, July 25, 2014

The Potted Garden of Eatin'

My garden this year was planted in pots, big big pots and a few smaller ones. I scored all of them at yard sales, and I shoulda bought more than I did. Well, next time I will. I bought organic vegetable starts because I got such a late start this year with traveling and moving in March and April, but I did plant some seeds.

In the big pots I stuffed my favorite heirloom tomato of all that I've grown in the last 45 years... the Cherokee Purple, and one Early Girl, and a mini tomato, Sweet Million. Damn, those little ones are so sweet and tasty.

I also planted 2 kinds of eating and grilling peppers, a tomatillo, a small zuke, and a Japanese eggplant.  Since mid-June we've been eating tomatoes and peppers, and now the tomatillo and eggplant are producing.
I planted some climbing purple tiger beans and red flowering beans. No I didn't plant everything I wanted but I did get a lot......
Also, marigolds, sunflowers, nasturtiums, alyssum, geranium, fennel, zinnas, morning glories, chartreuse potato vine, rosemary, lavender, lots of succulents, and  a few corns for fun.

Here's what we started with in the yard.......

We got rocks, cement and asphalt. We got a back fence. And empty space. So...we put up a cheapo pop-up, and a shed. So far so good! Then I planted all the pots with 1/2 good organic potting soil, and for substance, 1/2 of organic garden soil.

this was the garden in early July and then I decide to move all the pots around for less hot sun exposure. This ain't Washington! It gets HOT in California. Too much sun dries out the plants in the pots, even with careful morning watering and a mid-afternoon watering for the smaller pots if need be, when the temp hits 90. Which is almost everyday.

Here's a little tour of the yard. This is right before everything Took Off!!!

The patio under the pop-up, the shed, the backyard, a view from the street, the pallet steps and front yard pots of flowers, a vintage wood dresser for cooking outside (the Winnie gets hot....) and lots of flowers, and lots of good food from just a few pots this spring and summer.
In August, the fall crops will go in the new pots I intend to score at the yard sales around town.

pallet steps (love them!), lots of pots of succulents and sedums. A wood spool (so hippie) and a big pot of trailing nasturtium.

Looking under the awning towards the back yard, the patio with pots of flowers and climbing beans across the front.
To the right is the  shed where we make stuff. I hung a lace curtain in the doorway to help block the sun, but it doesn't keep the neighbor cats from coming in and taking a nap.

Inside the patio........ oh yes the Avocado made the transition just fine and is loving the shady warm patio. Hung up fabric and shades on the sides for sun protection and look.....a cat!

Looking to the backyard between the shed and patio and sunflowers!!

this here in the bottom of the pic is my Meyer Lemon. I am so excited because it's gonna bloom any second now, and then this winter Lemons! yummmmy.

The first Japanese eggplants in early July, and below a zuke with marigolds. I like to plant a lot of annuals that are very attractive to bees and boy are they!
I had 3 pretty bright green squash bugs come a visitin' and a eatin' so I had to squash them. They are hard to kill with chemicals, which I don't use anyway, so squash squash squash.

We're getting something from the garden everyday.... a few tomatoes, a few peppers. Next year I'll start everything I can from seed, and put in pumpkins and squash, and lots more corn too. But for the little effort and the few big pots, we're pretty darn happy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Newest stuff at the shop for mid summer 2014

Vintage Brooks Brothers shirts. Amazing! we love the classics.....  here's a rare Brooks Brothers shirt. Zephyr Oxford. It's a lightweight  cotton shirt, otherwise just like all the other vintage 60s BB shirts. so we'll call this a ZOCBD.

this is a classic 60s mens vintage Oxford cotton buttondown shirt.
It's a Zephyr cotton, a lightweight cotton cloth. The shirt has a pocket, and long sleeves. It also has gussets on the hem sides. Neat!

This blue stripe oxford, OCBD, it's a blend of 40% poly, 60% cotton, a crisp oxford cloth. The shirt has a pocket, and long sleeves. The hem is curved. 6 button front. Made in USA.
The fabric is an oxford cloth, Brooksweave, in a blend, rather than all cotton.

Pretty dress, in a shiny slick Silk print in big blooming roses with a draped neckline.  Excellent size too:   It fits like , a modern size 8 (about), A medium .
bust - 40" , waist - 28" ,hips - 42",back waist - 16.5",Length - 42"

clicky for all the pretty cool summer styles at funkomavintage.......

and some classic fantastic summer Pool Party dresses!!
  Both of these are 60s classics, by Alice. A name you can trust for your summer Tiki party wear.

60s Asian patchwork, this Pake Mu caftan has geometric and pastoral designs on a simple shape. By Alice Polynesian Fashions, it's a tropical Hawaiian classic, made of glossy cotton sateen.  *clicky*

This lovely Alice dress has big bright blossoms in the classic Hawaiian dress style of a fitted front and gathered back, the Watteau pleat.  *clicky*

It's a tiki garden with hot and bright colors with shades of blue.
By Alice, an Hawaiian dress maker, this is a great size, and it has an adjustable waist tab with elastic and hooks and eyes to pull the front waist in, while allowing the back gathers to release.

Shorts, cut-offs, are a gotta have 'em for summer fun, eh??

Vintage 501 Levis  Cutoffs blue denim  Cut Off Shorts worn faded Made in USA  jeans 32

clicky here for shorts shorts shorts! 

 Vintage Black denim 501 Levis  Cutoffs Cut Off Shorts worn faded Made in USA  jeans 32

Monday, June 23, 2014

A very lacy dress or 2 or 3

I love to sew things. It all begins with the fabric, or with the 2 lace dresses I just made and listed.... it begins with vintage Quaker Lace tablecloths.
A beach wedding, even indoors! for a non-traditional bride, these 2 dresses have a bohemian vibe.

when I was in High School in Napa, I made dresses (and tops and skirts and bags and hats...) just like these for a "head shop" that was a few blocks from Napa High.

Back in the day, us hippies and flower children and those who wanted to be like us, shopped for cool threads, incense, black light posters, hippie bead necklaces and so on...... at Head shops.
We made our own stuff, and we made our own economy.

Both of these lace dresses, are for a medium to large size gal. I figured that tall skinny girls will have a million dresses to choose from.... I wanted to make something bohemian with a vintage flair..... so I drew on my years of design, and the kinds of dresses I used to make.
These are new vintage!
I was very inspired to use the lace patterns to show off the intricate patterns.

Not only for a wedding.... these are lovely to wear to any special event, to the beach, the cabin and to all those summer festivals.
I show them with pearls, or with more bohemian accessories, and you can wear them with moccasins, cowboy boots or sandals.....

It has vintage lace collars and the view from the back is as enchanting as the front (very important for a wedding)

This one is Tea Length, about calf length with amazing full sleeves! They are split from the drop shoulder seam, and then are gathered at the wrist with a band and satin ribbons to tie in a bow or to let the tails fly.  clicky here.

When you plan your wedding, I hope you'll avoid the “wedding industry complex”. No you don't have to buy millions of pounds of commercial food, buy expensive invites and all the $$$$, that wedding planners want you to spend on stuff you don't really need or want.
If you love flea markets, estate sales, and borrowing cute decor and details for your wedding decor, then you can have a gorgeous wedding..... a wedding that makes you happy. And you can and should do a beautiful wedding without going into debt.

Your friends and family will be so happy to help you create the lovely day you want, and buying from artistic and talented people and small and tiny business, and even making stuff yourself, will make your day that much more memorable and much more cheap! and you will be thankful you saved money and put it in a savings account.

This longer dress is 20s in style, very Gatsby era with it dropped waist effect and lots of lavish lace. It has a higher neckline and a vintage zipper on the back, concealed with a satin ribbon decorated with vintage shell buttons.
It has bell sleeves and can be worn with its wrap sash of lace or not....... and of course, you can wear it styled very bohemian with leather and long necklaces. clicky here.

The back neckline has a concealed vintage metal zipper covered with a satin ribbon and tiny shell buttons.....  vintage, of course!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Living the Full Time Vintage Camping Life. 1.

This here's the first in a long long series of posts about living full-time in a 1973 Vintage Winnebago Brave. To see more, when we first bought it and some of our trips for the first 3 years we had it while living in a real House... just click over there on the right side,  the Winnie posts, and you'll see them all line up.

(don't know where that pic came from, but it is so cool)
On Pinterest, and all over the interwebs you see lots of trailers and rvs, those cute vintage ones, with pretty pretty adorably accessorized staged sets. Glamping is what the kids call it.
All those pots of geraniums, those tables and chairs, those teapots, saddles, vintage crinolines, umbrellas, coolers, lounge chairs, rugs, banners and so on, have to be packed in the trailer, and then set up for the pretty pictures.

Here's a cute Sisters on the Fly photo:

So for a 3 day camping trip, you would spend a half-day just loading that stuff in ... never mind the food! and then at least 2 or 3 hours packing it outside, setting it up and then you do it again before you head home. Inside a vintage camper (I'm gonna call all RVs, 5th wheels, tiny houses built on towing frames, and trailers, just campers, for brevity), it is small. That's half the charm!

 Here's a pic of the 73 Winnebago Brave, in the kitchen.

That refrigerator is 1/3 the size of a normal home refrigerator and holds about 1/3 of a weeks food. The cute stove/oven is darling and boy does it work, but it is hard to cook for a lot of people, or to bake or boil a large pan of anything. and. Counterspace!

See that  7" space between the stovetop and the tiny sink? yup. That and the cover over the sink is your counter space.  The sink in most small campers is exactly the size of a little bar sink you might have in the basement rumpus room. Small. 10" x 13" is the inside measurement. Just large enough for a dinner plate.

Yes, you can use the table but if anyone is doing anything there..... it becomes difficult. They have to move, or you have to use another space. So...
Doing anything in a camper that resembles doing something in a real bricks and sticks house, requires thought, cleverness, skill and a different way of thinking about routine chores.

Not to say you can't have the perfect life (We do), and super-excellent delicious meals...
because you can. And do. It just changes. And part of the point of going camping.... in a teeny tiny house, is to change your life, at least for a few days.
It's Great! it refreshes the mind, and hopefully, you get to relax and just sit. Or hike, or fish, or just sleep ;-)

The first change you have to make if you are gonna live in a camper full time, is to get rid of Stuff!  Campers have a small amount of storage (at least vintage ones do!).
This is actually a very good thing. I mean really, what do you need? Why do you have thousands of place settings? Do you entertain all the time? Have a large family? Well, then full-time living in a smallll space may not work for you.
Just things to think about.

We entertain outside in the patio, and use paper plates and real silverware. We keep service for 6 in the Winnie. That's too much really, but we do want to have a few friends and family over, so that seems the right amount. We ended up using all the damn dishes just for ourselves, and then have to wash service for 6. That's stupid! We decided we need to be washing dishes more often.... and using them again and again during the day, rather than reaching for a new dish or glass or spoon all day long.

Here's the arrangement for washing dishes we worked out. Once a day! And getting in the habit of washing as you use a dish or glass, is getting easier.
And even this arrangement  is different now. Trial and Error, my friends! here's the current look.....

We bought the smallest drain tray that Rubbermaid makes.... made in the USA! and set our vintage wire dish rack on it, and clipped it securely with clothespins. We use clothes pins a lot.... so handy!

We added a white wire rack to get things off the counter, and we hang the dish brushes up on the curtain rack.  Gosh, we've moved the fire extinguisher too!

Mostly we wash with a soapy sponge after letting them sit in some soapy water for a few minutes to loosen whatever.... and then drain the sink, wash 'em and stack 'em. On a hot day, they'll be dry in an hour, but sometimes we'll just dry them with a dishtowel and put them away immediately. Then just hang the rack on the wall. Works for us! We do have a small plastic bin that sits in the sink perfectly, but we don't use it often (it lives outside under the Winnie in the "basement" aka, under the Winnie).

A note about the coffee pot maker. Yes, that's a 4 cup machine that's missing its glass coffeepot. When we were driving around before we "landed" we stopped for lunch, and someone forgot to secure the coffee maker. That meant, putting it inside the sink so it wouldn't roll around. And fall. And break.
Well, as Mark was driving the Winnie, and I was following in the car, the pot went flying, crashed on the floor, busting the glass pot into a million pieces of tiny sharp shards of glass.
Going around a corner, trying to not get caught by the Red Light Camera (grrrrr) to have the pot Smash on the Floor and KaBoom! was frightful.
I spent a half hour cleaning up that mess. It was my fault, because as navigator and security agent, I didn't do all I needed to. Lesson Learned. Now we have a perfect use for this sweet little vintage pot. So, it turned out OK.
Let's start in the beginning when we first arrived at our sweet little trailer park. First we just set up our folding table and chairs outside for breaky in the sun! I think it's really important to use tablecloths or placemats, and to set a lovely table, because Art adds to Life!

So this is where our full time life started. The spot in our trailer park, the Winnie, and one vintage Volvo.
We drove the Winnie down to Cali, then took a rental car home. Loaded up a big U-Haul, and towed this vintage Volvo. When we arrived a month later, we put a lot of stuff in a storage space, and moved into the Winnie.

A friend drove our Vintage Volvo wagon down the next week, and so we entertained and put up our friend in the upstairs bunk.  
Like this.......  Guest quarters.

We've added a lot of important stuff to our life..... a pop-up patio, a metal shed for my sewing room, and lots of pots of vegetables and flowers. You can take the girl out of the country garden, but you can't take the country garden out of the girl...... oh, yes, we live in the perfect neighborhood. A nursery is One block away!

What did we do for the first month? We arranged and rearranged the inside and outside.
We had to get rid of more stuff, and maximize our room and our lot.  There was the buying of a million things...... the right size poop hose, shower curtains, water hose, pots and potting soil, plants plants plants, and tomatoes, hooks, nails, screws, finding of pallets for steps and other stuff, we moved and removed, we bought lots of small stuff a person usually keeps in the junk drawer and out in the garage.
We found we got rid of the right stuff and the wrong stuff when we were packing to move. Oh well, and more details on that in a later post, if you are interested.

We miss only our family and friends. We don't miss Washington at all, ever.
See ya next post about Living the Full Time Camping Life. 2.