Way back in December I mentioned that VMMV’s Etsy shop was going to be published and guess what? It’s here! I’m so excited to give everyone a little preview of my article in the beautiful new issue of Apronology. I got my own copy a few days before it officially hit the shelves but I was holding off from revealing my spread until everyone had the opportunity of buying it so I didn’t spill any secrets.  I was so, SO incredibly surprised when I got my issue because people, I MADE THE FRONT COVER! I’m not the gorgeous pin-up apron on the front, but the “turn to page 86 for a 1 apron 2 styles” plug on the cover is…me!

I am so honored and so excited to have made it to the front. I hope you all go out and find this magazine; Barnes and Nobles should carry it and if they don’t, ask! It’s Stampington & Company’s newest magazine and it has so many beautiful aprons that some amazing sewers create, I can’t get over that I’m among them. The editors were so wonderful to work with, I can’t gush enough about the experience. My apron is just one of so, so many gorgeous ideas, please go support this new magazine and read about all the new and wonderful ways artists are updating aprons.

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a new little badge over on my sidebar under “features.” Take a minute to check out the issue and if you don’t feel like finding the magazine in a store, use the link and order online. This article is coming at the most perfect time. I’ve been so swamped with school that I haven’t had even an hour to spend on this space and it’s been a nagging sort of disappointment. This article forced me to make VMMV a priority just long enough to share and it feels good. I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to a new month. I’m hoping to be able to pop back in to share a valentine recipe for a sparkling wine cake that is super yummy so stay faithful please in my frequent absence! I so appreciate all of you. In the meantime though, go read about aprons!

 – <3 A.

Just Like Esther

esther williams vintage suits

esther williams vintage bathing suitsEsther Williams images and fonts via | 1950’s belted suit | 1960’s pea green suit | 1970’s striped boy-short suit

The lovely movie star / bathing beauty / swimming champion Esther Williams died last Friday at the age of 91. For all her personal success and beauty though, Esther’s story behind the screen, or, rather, outside of the swimming pool, was actually rather tragic as far as her relationships were concerned. She was married four times: Her first husband, a pre-med student, she supported and even paid off in order to get a divorce from him. Her second, was an alcoholic, and gambled and lost many of her millions from her movie success. By the end of the marriage, he gave her three kids and a steep debt with the IRS for unpaid taxes. Her third husband happily paid for his own keep, but wouldn’t let Esther’s three children from her former marriage attend the wedding or live with the new couple. Her last marriage lasted until her death. When asked who her favorite leading man was in all her movies, Esther replied that it had been “the water” of course, for on and off screen the men in her life didn’t seem to lead at all, and the ones who did led her to break off the relationship.

When I was reading about Esther’s life I wondered how she could get it wrong three times. Weren’t there warning signs? A “jerk-face” sign popping up around the guy somewhere pre-marriage? Is being a celebrity in a relationship just really that hard to find even a resemblance of a “good guy”? I suppose I shall never know but I do know that while I might want to suit up like Esther this summer, I think I’ll steer clear of her man-meter, it seemed to be tipping the scales a bit on the wrong end of “lasting.”

bio info via

-<3 A. 

Thanks For the Lift


thanks for the lift / happy mothers daya great deal of trouble / MOTHER / HAPPY MOTHERS DAY / MOM I LOVE YOUR BIG HAIR / sleep thief

 I think I love Mothers Day even more than my own mother because it’s the only day you are frowned upon if you aren’t seen getting a pedicure, drinking far too large of sweet coffee beverages, and drifting through a day doing all things feminine. I can’t speak for the gentlemen who speed off to the card-aisle hours before their mom-date, but for me, I thoroughly enjoy my mommy-time.

– <3 A. 

Vintage Muse Modern Views: Handwritten Recipes

handwritten recipes

There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about handwritten recipes. Complete with jam stains, a coffee cup ring, embedded crumbs and fading ink, handwritten recipe cards can instantly transport you to another time and another kitchen. Of course, we now have a sort of digital recipe book with the wonderful world of endless online recipes and the Food Network’s monopoly on thousands if not millions of recipes available for almost any meal you’re craving at the click of a search button. Yet, after spending a recent Saturday afternoon clicking through 1036 Google results for a recipe I recently liked, made, and promptly forgot where I found the directions, I decided I was going to bring handwritten recipes back to my kitchen and end these ridiculous, time-sucking searches.

handwritten recipes

Of course keeping it simple is the whole point of this project. Modern options of endless creativity are fabulous but don’t you ever get sick of them? Don’t you ever just want to do it the old-fashioned plain way? In honor of simplicity, I was going to just use index cards but I remembered my Vintage Tea Party book had beautiful, free printables available (print them here) that were perfect to feature the title of whatever recipe I was working on, so I decided to get just a little fancy and use them as my template:
handwritten recipesA very wonderful friend gave me a vintage writing set complete with dipping ink and a fountain pen that I finally found a worthy enough project for, but of course that isn’t essential, a regular pen would be just grand. Write your title on the front of your card, add the ingredients and directions to the reverse, and you’ve instantly made your own memory that you’ll never have to Google again.

After I wrote my recipe cards, I reaffirmed to myself that I needed to keep doing this, I was rather saddened by my hideous modern handwriting compared to the old recipes in my box. Oh well, it’s a step in the right direction.

handwritten recipes

handwritten recipesEtsy has hundreds of super cheap, vintage recipe boxes, both sophisticated and fun ones in case you’re searching for your own. They also have some great options for organizing your recipe box with handmade dividers in case you’re a bit organization obsessed. Whatever you desire though, simple, plain, fancy, or cute, write your recipes down! This generation is dangerously veering towards leaving nothing tangible behind when we take our laptops and go, and this is just a tiny way of changing that.

– <3 A. 

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Dear March-Come In

emily dickinson poetry

emily dickinson poetry

emily dickinson poetry

J. Crew Summer Straw hat | Anthropologie cayo bra | Tea seed paper | anthropologie helianthus goblet |Rekindled harpers bazaar dictionary print

“Dear March- Come in-”  is one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems, and I couldn’t resist  the perfect opportunity to share when all of us are saying today, “Dear March, come in.” I never remember being excited about this month in past years, but for some reason, this year I’m really rather looking forward to this month: I’ve seen glimpses of the flowers it will bring, and a few warm, sunshiny days it promises and I’m all in. A summer hat from J. Crew; a spring-print, new, lavender bra; a plant-able “tea seed paper;” a lilac goblet; and a new print for the wall is my spring-clean, just in time to have March stop by with all the freshness it trundles in. Happy Friday and happy new month everyone! I’m absolutely shocked we are at the advent of the third month of this year. Time is flying but I quite like it, there isn’t a moment to feel stagnant and stuck in this swift trot towards Spring.

– <3 A. 

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The Linen Closet: Baby Shower Project

custom vintage half apronsAbout a week ago, a very excited, soon-to-be-first-time Grandmother contacted me about a custom apron project. Custom projects are my most time-consuming option of my shop  but they’re also my favorite. I love working with people to create a real-life version of their mental creative picture. This project in particular was an unusual one, but when she shared her story with me I couldn’t refuse the experience and joining in on what seemed to be a special bond between she and her daughter.

The Story:

When my customer was a first-time mother, a friend had given her an apron that had a dish-towel sewn into the waist-band in order to protect her clothes from the frequent and usually ill-timed baby-messes of new motherhood. When her daughter expressed interest in becoming the second-generation happy owner of her mother’s nostalgia-filled apron, her mum asked me to provide an updated, fresh version of the dish-towel apron complete with the new mother’s embroidered name, the parents’ alma mater colors: Oklahoma State orange, and the new baby’s nickname embroidered on the towel. After a deluge of Etsy conversation exchanges, some fabric shopping, and brain-storming, I came up with something we both loved:

custom vintage half apron

custom vintage half apron

custom vintage half apronIn keeping with my shop’s theme of convertible aprons, I wanted this apron to have the option of wearing it with or without the dish-towel attached. I placed snaps underneath the waistband edging to hide the connection when “Rebecca” didn’t want to wear the towel, or, when she wanted to throw the towel in the wash and wear the apron by itself. It turned out fantastic. I love how personal it is for the new mum, both nostalgic and practical: a little nod to the college where she and her husband met, washable for any mess their new baby creates, and inspired by the apron her own mother wore when Rebecca was just a baby making her own messes. I am so happy to be part of their story in my own way, I wish them the best on their journey with this new little life.

– <3 A. 

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Men of Austen Week: Bingley Stylin’

Sadly, poor Charles Bingley of Pride and Prejudice can’t get out of his wing-man label to the overpowering personality of Mr. Darcy. Often said to be too yielding, Bingley is forever playing second fiddle to the wealthier, more mysterious, and more attractive Mr. Darcy. Take Darcy out of the equation though, and you suddenly see quite the stylish guy. Bingley, though a very eligible bachelor, never gets the celeb-status like the other Men of Austen. Perhaps because he is too agreeable, too charming, and too good, Austen leaves him be. Since he never gets the credit I think he deserves, I decided a post dedicated to him would be just the thing to say, “Bingley, you’ve got some serious style.” 

bingley style pride and prejudice

Chesterfield men’s coat from uniqlo | Monogram tie clip and cufflink | Florsheim Boots | darcy and bingley print

Besides giving him a little more publicity, I was too intimidated to figure out a modern view on Darcy, Knightley, or Colonel Brandon’s style. Those guys can take care of themselves. Getting man-gifts is one of the most difficult things in the world. Surprisingly, they’re extremely picky, and whether their style is a good one or not, they’re loathe to give it up. When I near the birthday/Christmas seasons for my guy, I always teeter paralyzed between “he would love this, or, he would hate this,” and I’m never completely assured of its success. Bingley is so content and jolly though, I think shopping for this guy would be a breeze.

When I am in the country, I never wish to leave it; and when I am in town, it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either! -Charles Bingley, Pride and Prejudice

**Want to know more about the Chesterfield coat I picked? Check out this article for lots of great info on men’s outerwear.**

shaving supplies edwin jagger black PORCELAIN shave bowl | Parker chrome and enamel vintage safety razor | Col. cronk shave soap in bay rum

There’s nothing vintage or modern about a good shave. Universally, no matter what the era, a good shave is a good thing. Recently though, there’s been a resurgence of men wanting to shave away their stubble the old-fashioned way. If your guy isn’t quite ready for the Sweeney Todd-esque straight razor, the safety razor is a good second option. Plus, you still get to use the old fashioned shaving bowl and frothy soap without the worry of  scary, too-close-for-comfort-cuts. If you’re already suffering from those cuts, check out this article for some tips on healing or this one  for tips on how to get a better close neck-shave without the ouchies.

If you’re stuck on man-gift ideas, don’t forget Bingley! He’s got some great stylin’ that still works in 2013. Classy men are always classy, regardless of the century.

– <3 A. 

quote source: Pride and Prejudice, Austen, publ. by penguin books

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Gettin’ Fit for 2013

gettin fit for 2013The general opinion at Vintage Muse Modern Views is that all things vintage usually have a bit of an edge over modernity. Whether it’s personal style, home accessories, a vintage handbag, or a fifties chair, vintage things have just got a little something that makes our modern world feel a little flat in comparison. However, there is one area that modernity beats out days-gone-by every time, and that area is, exercising!

Especially for women, the evolution of women’s sports and exercise philosophy has been a rather slow and rocky one. Even as late as the 1980’s, many people were still stuck on the age-old theory that “working out” was a potentially dangerous thing for the female body. Popular magazines were even publishing articles suggesting rather hysterical “this or that” ideas like this piece entitled “Babies or Barbells: Make Your Own Choice.” Looking a bit further back, when women were first beginning to jump onto the group-sport-bandwagon back in the early 1900’s, some physical education teachers complained that “girls and women lacked the sense of fairness, good judgment and focus that men displayed. ‘When …girls first begin their work in sports…they play as though they had no heads on.'”  Goodness! I object! Thankfully though, women’s fitness theory, practices, clothes, and opportunities have advanced quite considerably. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t have a little touch of vintage inspiration while we (very) happily enjoy a modern workout. So, while you’re working out, follow along what I’m planning on NOT doing, what I’m getting, what I’m running with, drinking from, and stretching in to get fit for this new year:
workout routine

DON’T DO: what Brave Mable does and give up | GET ONE: A routine like flapperdoodle’s 1920’s illustrated workout regimen. Check out this routine from “The Everygirl” for a great upper-body workout, or this one if you want to keep your workout at home but don’t have a lot of time or space.
ipod skin yoga socks water bottle

RUN WITH: This Ipod skin from Flapperdoodle’s shop on Society6. I think I could put in an extra mile with this little flapper staring back at me. DRINK FROM: A custom Jane Austen water bottle from Cafe Press: See Jane (and see me) run, and run, and…run. STRETCH IN: These super cozy yoga socks from Two Sparrows Boutique. I am so jealous of my old stretchy self, and I’m determined to get it back this year. I think these hand-knitted warmers are just the motivation I need.

See? Vintage can still be done, you can still get fit, and we can all be thankful that for some things, the modern world is a pretty great place to live in. Happy Friday everyone!

– <3 A. 

Quote source: Gender, science, and fitness: Perspectives on women’s exercise in the united states in the twentieth century, by martha h. verbrugge, jstor.org

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Sweater Girls

sweater girls

In the 1940’s and ’50’s, the first conical or “bullet bra” emerged, which was the first bra to boast what we would call an underwire, and what the 1950’s dubbed as a sex symbol. Women and celebrities like Lana Turner and Jane Russell began to sport these bras under tight-fitting sweaters, and thus the term “sweater girl” was born. The term and the look became so popular, there were even “Sweater Queen Contests,” where women lined up in their bullet bras, cardigans, and pencil skirts to be judged much like a modern pageant. Pretty crazy, yes? If you’re curious, take a look at this video: Sweater Queen Contest. I got quite the laugh. There aren’t Sweater Queen Contests anymore, although, I think those might be a bit more interesting than modern pageants, but flash forward to the September 2010 issue of Vogue, and it seems as if love for the Sweater Girl just keeps coming back.

September 2010 Vogue Sweater Girl issue

Bra technology has advanced a bit from the conical days (thank goodness!) but the Sweater Girl look has a casual elegance that is both sexy and timeless in 1950, 2010, and now, 2013. Take a look at my picks for donning some sweaters this season:

vintage sweater girl outfit

LACQUERED Bow Studs | Patent Bow waist Belt |Piece of my Heart Heel | Knit Cardigan | Honeycomb Sweater Skirt | Vintage Clutch | Mister Fox Graphic illustration

sweater dress

Kate Spade Careen Glasses | Skinny Mini Bow Bangle | Iris bow flats | Camel Sweater Dress | Trench COat

sweater suit

Wool Tweed Jackson Pencil Skirt |Femme Vega Short Cardigan | Layered Pearls | tahari Alexa Suede Pump | Vintage French leather handbag |Pair of Vintage Birds

So many ways to look so good by wearing possibly the most comfortable item in your closet. No wonder we’ve loved the Sweater Girl for sixty years and counting: she’s always chic, so adorable, quietly sexy, and the perfect vintage muse to make your modern closet work hard at keeping you looking good–while you don’t have to.

– <3 A. 

sources: Vogue images via| clothing pics via polyvore, forever21, Etsy, Kate Spade, DSW, shopruche | Jane russell, Lana turner images via |VMMV original collages

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The Linen Closet

vintage inspired apronsThe Linen Closet is just a piece of this blog, a piece that is constantly being re-thought, and, unfortunately, a piece that is often pushed aside and left to idle while my creative brain-power is being used someplace else. It’s also a piece that I don’t want to constantly flood into my writing, however, I’ve decided a monthly update is probably a good thing since I don’t want to completely lose track of my original vision just yet. Some of the ladies who ordered from me during Christmas-time left some lovely feedback on the shop and they also gave me some great ideas to update it in order to get the ordering process a bit more slick. Custom items are a little tricky on Etsy, so I’m still unraveling the how-to’s over there. In the meantime though, if you haven’t seen it, I’ve updated The Linen Closet page of this blog with some better explanations of available options, including, two different sizes:

half aprons

The apron piece of the blog has been a bit like a thesis that you know in your head exactly what you’re trying to get across, but when you write it down it doesn’t quite fit into the right words. If you’re confused by “convertible apron-top,” “mix and match aprons,” or really what the big deal is about yet another apron thrown into blog-world, hopefully this will clear things up a bit.

vintage apron

vintage aprons

I’ve been taking a break from my sewing room during the craziness that was December, but I’m hoping with this post to get inspired to get back to sewing, or, at least re-think this piece of VMMV. I think there’s something a little bit different about my aprons from everything else on the market and I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel on these kitchen-buddies. Happy Wednesday! (see, you weren’t even counting and it just happened…we’re already halfway to the weekend!

 – <3 A. 

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