My sister won a an awesome contest. She won a photo session with photographer Trisha Alonzo for her engagement pictures. I mentioned before that my sister wants a rustic vintage themed wedding so she asked me for some ideas on some good locations for the photo shoot, locally. She knows I am an obsessed crazy woman when it comes to historical buildings and local history so this assignment was pretty easy for me. Luckily I love in the historical part of our little town, Ontario, California. Yes the city was founded by Canadians. You can imagine the confusion about my address since not very many people have heard of Ontario, Calif.
I have to say we are home to some very big names. The Sunkist factory (we were known for our citrus), the Hotpoint electric iron, one of the oldest wooden baseball fields, Jay Littleton Ball Park (The Babe and A League of Their Own filmed there), and of course, Mr. mid-century Americana, Mr. Charles Phoenix.
One location that I knew my sister would like is the Graber Olive House. The Graber Olive House sits in the middle of what is now a residential neighborhood. But it was at one point a thriving olive grove and packing plant.
After purchasing land in Ontario in 1892, C. C. Graber discovered olives, as cured by the earlier ranchers, to be one of the finest food delicacies of California. After research and study of this method, Mr. Graber cured several barrels and the following season a much greater quantity was demanded by neighbors and friends who had eaten from the original barrels. Thus began Ontario’s oldest existing business.
There are no longer olive trees on the premises, but the old, original buildings and machinery remain. It was fun to explore the living museum of such an old business, and a local treasure. It made a beautifully rustic backdrop for my sister and her fiance’s engagement pictures.
all images Copyright © 2013 Sandra Mendoza. All rights reserved.
June 12, 2013 2 Comments
When I moved into my little 1954 suburban ranch house, the sweet lady who lived here before had some very handy shelves installed in one of the rooms. This made it easy to decide that this would be my work station/desk area since I tend to be a clutter-bug and really could use the vertical space.
I have never liked modern office organizational products. They lack style and personality. So I quickly went hunting for affordable vintage objects that could double as desk accessories to help keep me organized. You don’t have to spend a fortune on cool office products. You just have to slightly reinvent. I was able to find these beauties at my local thrift stores.
A vintage record rack works perfectly as a file and paper holder. I’m very visual so I have to see my important papers.
A clear acrylic napkin holder makes a perfect stand for my computer. It’s equally as stylish and takes up zero visual space.
Another napkin holder, this time much more elegant, makes a pretty letter sorter.
How about you? Do you use vintage items to help you stay organized when you work? Tell me about it in the comments below!
June 6, 2013 6 Comments
I love shopping at antique malls for vintage clothing and accessories. Some malls are VERY organized, some, not so much. Regardless of how well merchandised a mall is, i love that I don’t have to dig too much to find real gems. As a vintage collector, most of the time the prices can’t be beat. As a vintage dealer, I would still rather pay a bit more for the convenience of it just being there waiting for me to take it home. If you are curious about shopping at an antique mall, here are my tips on how to find the best treasures and negotiate good deals.
1. Shop in the afternoons during the week
Dealers usually bring in fresh merchandise during the week when there aren’t too many crowds. Mornings, or opening time, are the best times for dealers to stock their shelves. Wait until the goodies are stocked and take your pick of the treasures! If you have to shop weekends, get there as soon as they open. You know the saying about the worm.
2. Return unwanted items to the front counter
I always walk around with my “maybe I want this” items. If you change your mind about an item, be kind and take it to the front counter instead of sticking it back just anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I found random items in my booth with missing price tags indicating who they belong to. And I would find some of my missing items in other dealers booths as well. It’s just much easier to return items to their rightful spaces if you let the cashier know you have changed your mind.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount
At the antique mall where I rented a space, cashiers knew that a 10% discount was allowable for most of the dealers in the mall. If you want to ask for a further discount, or want to make an offer, ask the cashier. They will call the dealer and get an approval or rejection. Many times the dealers just want to move some inventory, and if your offer is reasonable, they will accept. But please don’t ask for a 50% discount because a dress has a broken zipper. The keyword here is REASONABLE.
4. Visit your favorite dealers frequently
Good dealers will replenish and merchandise their selections weekly. If you have purchased more than one item from the same dealer, visit them regularly to see if they have any new items. I visit one dealer at a small antique mall regularly because I always find at least one designer vintage item, very reasonably priced, each time I visit her space.
5. Got on the dealers mailing list
A smart dealer will include a website or email address on their signage in their booth or on their price tags. Get on that list to find out when the dealers has restocked or when they might be having sales or selling at flea markets or fairs. It’s always a good idea to stay in touch with dealers you like and trust.
Do you like shopping at antique malls as much as I do? Tell me about it! Leave a comment below.
June 4, 2013 No Comments
I ran across this funny (at least to me) article about vintage images of housewives staying in shape while they do their household chores. Of course my vintage-tracked mind went straight for this skirt.
Now, I consider myself a feminist. I believe that women should be paid equally as men for the same job. I do believe some women are strong enough to do very physically demanding work, and I don’t think women are bad mothers or wives if they choose to work and love their careers. Above all, I am happy that as women we are allowed to make these kinds of choices for ourselves, rather than society dictating what our role should be. I am thrilled that I have the option to stay at home with my kids or have a fabulous career. Having a choice is what our foremothers fought for.
So I look at these smiling women, dusting, mopping and wiping, and think, “Look at them multitask!” They are getting their recommended 30 minutes of exercise while taking care of their casa! Because I tried vacuuming for 30 minutes for my cardio – you KNOW that is not exercise. Stop lying.
Did I just regress 60 years or am a true feminist and look at this as one of the many choices I am now lucky enough to have? And look at that SKIRT!
What do you think? Sexist or Hooray for Choice? Leave a comment!
May 31, 2013 2 Comments
It’s been a couple years since I reviewed one of my favorite vintage inspired brands – Popina Swimwear in Portland, Oregon. Popina sells the most adorable and easy to wear vintage inspired swimsuits. I have been so happy with my Popina swimsuits in the past. I was ready for a new suit and I knew Popina would not disappoint. The friendly folks at Popina sent me the sweetest retro bathing suits and now that the weather is warm here in California, I am dying to wear them to the pool!
One of the things I love about the swimwear at Popina is that they are made to last. I still have two suits from previous seasons and they are still in great shape.
This season I am on a black and white polka dot kick. The first suit I tried on was the Popina Retro Halter swimsuit. I’m a pear shape so this suit looks fantastic on me. The bottom covers everything up nicely and the halter balances me out. It’s such a classic suit. I know I can own this bathing suit for a long time and never be out of style.
The Popina crew knows my infatuation with polka dots so they suggested the Jantzen Vamp in black and white dots. Vamp is right! This is such a lounge by the pool, drink cocktails and look glam kind of suit. I think a trip to Palm Springs is in order for this swimsuit! But of course it’s Jantzen and Popina only carries quality suits so I know it can take a whole summer of chlorine and it will hold up for seasons to come. This suit fits like a dream. It makes me look like I have a perfect hourglass figure. The ruffles on the bottom give me a little more coverage. I feel so confident in it.
Popina also sent me this gorgeous suit. It’s a Gottex Profile swimsuit. It comes with a detachable halter strap. I love the ruching on the mid section. Makes my stomach look super flat. And of course more ruffles and a cute bow on the bust. Adorable right?
I can’t recommend Popina Swimwear enough. I know there are other vintage inspired brands that also happen to make retro swimsuits, but the quality just doesn’t stand up to Popina’s selections. And heads up California ladies! The Popina Swimwear line is now being carried at a Venice surf shop called VB Surf.
If you want a cute vintage inspired swimsuit of your own, Popina is offering you a fantastic discount! Use the discount code “sandra” when you check out at Popina and get 15% off!
Check out their page. Which one do you like? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Disclaimer: I received these three suits for review purposes.
May 29, 2013 2 Comments
I told you about my quest for a vintage vanity or jewelry armoire. My current storage solution for my vintage costume jewelry consists of cardboard boxes sitting on my bedroom floor and an array of smallish jewelry boxes. But I couldn’t help picking up one more. How could I pass up the Schiaparelli shocking pink? This little vintage box works out really well for traveling. It’s compact and rectangular making it perfect for an overnight or carry on bag.
How do you travel with your vintage jewelry? Leave a comment! I’d love to know.
May 23, 2013 2 Comments
Some girls love diamonds. I love Lucite. Beautiful, plastic crystal-like gorgeousness that is sculptural and modern. Lucite jewelry was an inexpensive way to to wear fun but luxurious looking accessories. Designers really never intended it to be a faux stone like rhinestones are to diamonds. The designs were always whimsical, sculptural or surreal. Sort of the antithesis of formal costume jewelry. And now Debutante readers get a chance to win one piece of Lucite, vintage or modern, of your very own.
Lucite International, owner of the LuciteLux(R) cast acrylic brand, today launched a Pinterest giveaway to bring attention to its inaugural JUST IMAGINE Awards program. Followers of the brand’s JUST IMAGINE Awards board on Pinterest have a chance to win one of three prizes made with LuciteLux(R): a vintage handbag, an Alexis Bittar cuff bracelet and a Jonathan Adler vase.
To win, you must create a Pinterest board entitled “JUST IMAGINE with LuciteLux(R)” containing a photo of the JUST IMAGINE Award logo and the phrase “justimagine” between now and June 10, 2013 to be eligible. They can post other images of products made with LuciteLux(R) to their boards or rename an existing board “JUST IMAGINE with LuciteLux(R)” and pin the logo image. To learn more, visit here.
I’m entering! Are you? If so, good luck!
May 21, 2013 No Comments
It’s that time! Time to spring clean. And closets need a good cleaning out as much as the rest of your home. Carolyn Schneider, expert bargain shopper and author of The Fifth Edition of The Ultimate Consignment & Thrift Store Guide, offers the following tips on how to efficiently clean your closets
1. Separate Your Clothing Into Four Categories:
Category 1-To sell to a consignment store. Is the item classic, a high-end brand, and in great shape?
Category 2-To donate to a thrift store. Is the clothing older, or from a less well-known brand?
Category 3-To reconstruct. Do you love the fabric, color, or pattern? Do you enjoy crafting, and/or having one-of-a-kind pieces?
Category 4-To keep. Some clothes are timeless staples or have emotional attachment, and belong in your closet for good.
2. Organize Your Closet by Seasons
this will make year-round cleaning easier. It will also give you a better sense of what you need to shop for, and what you may have too much of–in which case, see steps 1-3 above!
3. Know What to Consign for Maximum Profit
When choosing items to consign, designer labels will reap most profit. Items for consignment have to be cleaned, pressed, on hangers, and no more than two years old.
4. Learn How to Give and Receive
When donating to thrift shops, put the items you are donating into large plastic bags. At the store, request a receipt for tax purposes. The IRS allows you to deduct fair market value for items, which is the price the items will sell for in the thrift store.
5. Keep an Inventory List of Items you Would Like to Consign and Donate
Getting your different clothing to its new home may not happen all at once. Keep a running list to stay organized, and so you are not cleaning them back out of your closet next spring.
6. Recycle with Style
Don’t throw out those ripped jeans, turn them into a new and unique handbag! Reduce waste, save money, and update your style by creating new pieces with old clothing. Browse Pinterest or DIY blogs for ideas and directions.
image source: Dear Pao
May 13, 2013 1 Comment
Today is the opening of The Great Gatsby. I bet you are going to the movies this weekend to see it right? Well I can say I was lucky enough to attend a very Jay Gatsby affair at a real life 1920s Hollywood mansion. I was so thrilled to be Heather Petrey’s, of LA Fashionsnob, plus one to Sue Wong‘s Fall 2013 collection preview.
Sue Wong is a master at taking glamorous vintage looks and transforming them into sequined, feathered and beaded modern interpretations. Unlike many designers who take vintage inspiration and strip it of its intricate details, Sue Wong pays homage to past decades with an equal appreciation to the lost art of details that make vintage garments so special. She did not fail with this Gatsby inspired collection. Modern flappers and enchantresses were dripping with figure flattering gowns covered jewels, lace, chiffon, feathers and beads. It’s as if Daisy Buchannon invited her glittering friends for a frolic in her grand home.
The event was held at Sue Wong’s glorious mansion in Los Feliz. The Cedars was built in 1926 for MGM director and screenwriter Maurice Tourneur. The historic Hollywood was referred to as the Talmadge Estate after silent screen star Norma Talmadge who along with Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, Bela Lugosi, Howard Hughs, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed, Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper, and many others, have called this home.
I channeled my inner flapper girl with a 1960s does 20s drop waist dress, a 1970s lariat necklace, a custom made 1920s necklace. You can check out some personal style images on my Facebook page
1920s Gatsby style is going to be huge, I predict for several seasons. I would highly recommend a piece or two from Sue Wong’s collection. Every piece was lovely.
In the meantime, check out some images from the event..
all photos property of Heather Petrey/LA Fashionsnob
May 10, 2013 1 Comment
I have an addiction to vintage jewelry. I wouldn’t say I pile it on everyday. Just buy it by the handfuls. Especially when the handfuls are already beautifully displayed, curated and priced to sell for me. These were all purchased at one time. A very stylish older woman must have passed them on. We are kindred spirits. Sequins, rhinestones, roses and plastic. YES PLEASE!
What have you scored lately? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
May 9, 2013 4 Comments