Pink Lady

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace
I found this blouse in a flea market about a week ago, and I completely adore it.  Even though it was labeled 1930s on the tag, I think it's from the 1910s.  I love the delicate, feminine details of Edwardian garments like this.  This blouse is even made of the softest, floatiest silk and trimmed with pretty lace, and that makes it even better!

Pairing cream and a dusty rose pink is one of my favorite color combinations ever, so this is probably in my top favorite outfits I've put together.  I also found it interesting, this outfit got a lot of compliments throughout the day, so there must be something about it that is appealing to modern fashion tastes, too.  I think it has to do with how different it is from modern trends.  Nowadays, a lot of trends are streamlined, sharp, and androgynous.  This outfit is decidedly feminine, soft, and graceful.  It's a stark contrast from the leather jackets and leggings going on right now, and I think it caught people's eye because of that.  (Though don't get me wrong, I love me some leather jackets and leggings.  Just not today!)

I need to repair a couple spots I discovered, so it's getting added to the mend pile before I wear it again!  Oh vintage and the ever-present mend pile.

P.S.  Pardon the skirt wrinkles!  This is how it looked after sitting at a desk all day.  I DO iron my clothes.

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace

Flashback Summer: Pink Lady - 1910s Edwardian Blouse, 1930s hat, 1940s shoes, 1950s blouse, 1980s necklace



Outfit Details
1910s blouse: Relics Antique mall
1950s skirt: Retro 101 (St. Louis, MO)
1940s shoes: Decades (Springfield, MO)
1930s hat: flea market
brooch: belonged to my grandmother
necklace: 1928 brand, belonged to my mother
1940s coat: Etsy

Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps

Flashback Summer- Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps

There's nothing that causes me to take sewing and shopping shortcuts like desperately needing an item right now.  As in actually needing it.  You know, a snowstorm hits and suddenly I realize I don't have a warm coat.  Which happened this winter.  Moments like that.

So, NO MORE!  This year I'm going to work on "pre-season wardrobing," or the idea of working ahead a season in my clothing purchases and projects.  That means that now, while it's winter here in the northern hemisphere, I'll be taking on my summer sewing plans.  Below are my process steps on how I'm deciding what to sew and when.  It's a bit involved, but I wanted to give you guys insight on my full thought process, just in case you're in the same boat I am!

1. Make a list of pieces I absolutely do not have that are necessary in the summer.

Right now, I have no shorts.  I made some a while ago that never fit right, and I have zero pairs now as it is.  Shorts will be high on my list, along with a summer hat and 1-2 pairs of jeans.  (I currently have two me-made pairs that I wear ALL the time, so they're getting a lot of wear and tear.) I also need some more undergarments, mainly bras.  I'd like to make my own 40s style ones, though.

2.  Decide which items I would really like to have, but aren't as versatile and/or necessary.

I would love some 1930s style palazzo pants and playsuits.  Luckily, the playsuits can work with my shorts plans, so if I coordinate shirt fabrics with the shorts, I can make my own!  This will help my wardrobe be more versatile, too.  I could also use some flat and heeled, practical summer shoes as well.

3. Determine which items need repaired or altered to be wearable this summer.

I have a pair of culottes that I got that had some janky hem work done on them, so to wear them I'll have to re-do the hem properly.  I know I have a bit of other mending to do as well on a couple blouses before summer comes.

4. Check my closet and crafting stash to see what can be reworked, styled differently, or created into something.

I know I have yarn and supplies for a short sleeved sweater, but I need to start on it now if I want it by the summer.  I also have lots of fabrics I can use for playsuits, shorts, and some of my other wants.


Flashback Summer- Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps
5.  Figure out what supplies I need that aren't in my stash.

I have lots of patterned fabrics, but hardly any solids.  To make shorts and other pieces that can mix and match well, I need to track down some solid fabrics to coordinate.

6. Create a wardrobing schedule.

This is where we get down to the nitty gritty: how can I get all these things done by summer?  I plan on working on a sweater and the culottes/mending a bit here and there between larger projects as I go.  I'll also be keeping my eye out for summer hat and shoe options, hopefully on sale since they're out of season!  As for the other wardrobe bits, here's the order I will sew in:

Undergarments
Can't build unless you've got the foundation first!  These will probably take the longest, too, so I'll do these now so I don't feel rushed later and tempted to cut corners.  These will get the most use, too.

Shorts
I plan on making only very simple variations on the same pattern, so I can churn these out assembly-line style!  Obviously I'll be wearing them all the time, so I need some good staple pieces to build outfits around.

Blouses
Some will go with the shorts as playsuits, and others are for general mixing and matching.  Button-downs will be fabulous for summer, and I plan on making some other warm-weather tops!


Flashback Summer- Pre-Season Wardrobing: Spring/Summer Preparations in 6 Steps


Jeans
I bought a Craftsy class on how to make my own jeans, but I'm a little intimidated by it.  I'm going to really look through the materials and gather all the right materials before attempting this.  I have a couple pairs of jeans, so it's not completely desperate, and I want to be able to take my time.  I'll do these later.

Non-staple/non-versatile wishlist Items
Palazzo pants and whatever other summer whimsy projects strike my fancy will come last, or possibly before the jeans, if I'm still needing time to think over the process.


Granted, not everyone can sew like this.  I'm very much a git 'er done type of sewist and I like to order things by need even though it may not be what I feel like I sewing.  For me it helps me be efficient and avoid major gaps in my wardrobe.  For others of you, though, this may be a little too boring, and you might want to alternate between boring staple pieces and fun whimsy pieces to keep yourself motivated!

Do you have any ways you prepare your wardrobe for the season ahead? What summer projects do you have in the queue right now?

3 Things I Learned From Holocaust Memorial Day

source


I discovered today is Holocaust Memorial Day (UK), so I've decided not to let it pass without thinking about the tragedy and learning from it.  I think it's one of most telling representations of humanity at its best and worst, simultaneously.  Some of the greatest cruelty was committed, and some of the bravest, most selfless heroism exhibited.  It's astounding.

On this day, if I think about it hard, it can bring up a lot of emotions.  Of course, I wasn't there and I didn't experience the Holocaust, but I've read so much about it, and so many of my heroes and role models come from this era that it affects me very deeply.  However, it doesn't do any good to just have an emotional experience and a good sniff, then move on with my day.  The point of a memorial day is to look back and learn from the past.  Here are some of the things I have learned from the Holocaust:

Fear and ignorance are incredible weapons.
Nazi Germany is one of the most profound examples of the power of fear.  Today, we are amazed at the seeming powerlessness people embraced in the face of impending destruction.  How could they not see it, we wonder.  Why didn't they do something about it?  Self-inflicted ignorance and fear.  People were unwilling to believe such atrocities could exist, and when they realized they were really happening, many chose to stay silent.  Not all people on the side of Adolf Hitler were haters; a great many were simply afraid.  Afraid for their families, afraid for their lives.  Although they had good reason, this fear turned them compliant and silent.  What would have happened if more people stood up against Hitler?
So in our lives, how much room do we give to fear and self-inflicted ignorance?  Knowing that they have been used as weapons of mass destruction throughout history time and again, how much of a place should they have in our hearts?  How is fear at the root of so many issues in the world right now like immigration, terrorism, and racism?

source

Don't dismiss faith.
All of the people that did stand up, however, deserve our respect. But what makes people act so boldly, so selflessly, so nobly in the face of such darkness?  We see it time and again in the biographies of people like Corrie ten Boom and Dietrich Bonhoeffer: faith in God.  Of course, not everyone during WWII embraced faith; many lost it.  But there seems to be a common thread in the lives of truly faith-filled people during this period.  They made an impact, and they either gave their lives to save others or lived to extend unfathomable forgiveness after the war to those who had mistreated them.  What force brings about effectiveness and reconciliation like that?  Even if you aren't into religion, the stories of these people should make a great case study.  If you normally dismiss faith, perhaps it could be worth it to see what made these deeply religious people so strong in a horrible time.  There might be something to it.

The ten Boom family and some of their "house guests" during WWII.  Source.

Everyone has a voice and something to offer.
I think we often confuse persecution with being voiceless.  In some cases, as with children, people truly can't stand up for themselves; they don't have the capacity.  We need to fight for them.  However, being in a situation that may require extreme sacrifice doesn't equate to voicelessness.  It equates to a very difficult choice: use my voice to speak against evil and possibly pay with everything I have, or stay silent and possibly keep what I have?  In situations like these, we still have a voice.  We just have to decide if it's worth it for us to raise it.  How many people spoke up against evil and died for it in WWII?  Though they spoke up, how long did the war drag on?  Even if it doesn't evoke immediate change, does our voice have value?  Thoughts to ponder.
For my own life, I decide now that I will have the courage to stand up for what's right, even if it requires extreme sacrifice.  You can all hold me accountable on that.

Source

Have you ever thought about what the Holocaust can teach you?  What sorts of things have you learned from this period in history that you can apply to your own life?

Solving the Mystery of the Kanga Dress

Flashback Summer: Solving the Mystery of the Kanga Dress - 1950s vintage Africa fabric dress, Queen Elizabeth II coronation commemoration
While perusing Facebook one day I ran across photos of this INCREDIBLE dress.

It is the epitome of intercultural vintage, a holy grail of clothing!


You all know how much I love combining vintage and different cultures, and this dress is a real vintage example of someone else who had the same idea!  Its owner, Robyn, was kind enough to take a few photos for me to share with all of you.  A bunch of us in a couple Facebook groups have analyzed it, and I can't wait to share all the cool details with you!


Hey, I'm Emileigh. A Q&A Video

Flashback Summer: Hey, I'm Emileigh. A Q&A Video


Back in this post, I asked you guys if there was anything you wanted to ask me in an effort to get to know me a little better.  I wasn't able to answer all of your questions in this video (thank you so much for your enthusiastic response!), but I answered a few!  

Videos are not my forte, but I hope you can get to know me a bit better in this video, and hopefully I'll be able to answer more questions in later installments!


Actually Easy 1940s Cardigan


This is the first cardigan I have ever knitted, and I completely love it!  It has so many features that make it a simple, quick knit.  If one of your New Year's resolutions was to learn to knit, make more garments for yourself, or bust that ever-present stash, this would be a GREAT project for it.

I got this 1940s sweater pattern at an Etsy shop that is on holiday until April, but after that you could get the pattern for yourself there at a very reasonable price.

I wanted to focus on making buttonholes and box sleeves, since I had not done that in knitting before.  The simplicity of the rest of the cardigan was fantastic because I could use my brain power in those areas!  There really isn't much to discuss about the sweater because it was very straightforward.  I HIGHLY recommend it for those new to knitting or vintage patterns.  The whole thing is ribbed, and the pattern is easy to follow!  There are more details on the construction below if you're interested.






Outfit Details
skirt: from a suit made by me
shoes: vintage 1940s
sweater: made by me
blouse: made by me
tights: Kohl's?

Here is a summary of the pattern details and things I changed:
Yarn: 100% wool, "Wool of the Andes" Worsted yarn in "Cranberry" (I used 2-3 balls, I believe)
Pattern: Sun-Glo 40, No. 2292 "Undergrad"
Year: early 1940s
Notions: five buttons
How historically accurate is it?  Very!  I used vintage buttons and wool yarn. 
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  Nope!  Just be sure to buy buttons after you make the buttonholes to make sure they aren't too small, or buy larger buttons than you think you may need for that size buttonhole.  Knits stretch, so the buttons need to be larger in proportion than on non-stretch fabrics.
Did you change anything?  I made the sleeves a bit tighter and shorter for my petite self!
Time to complete: One week at a pretty easy pace
First worn: December 2014
Total cost: yarn = about $20, pattern is part of a pattern book that cost about $4
Notes: I really like this pattern.  It has a fantastically 40s silhouette, and a short sleeve option is available, too.

Old Fashioned Beauty Tricks - Ice, Egg, Orange

The idea of starting fresh in January put me in mind of things I can do to start fresh every day, especially when it comes to skin care.  My skin is high maintenance, so my beauty routine has been evolving to try to find something that is optimal for it.  While I'm on the search, I'm always intrigued by the beauty tips and tricks I read about in vintage sources.  They use things I would never think to use these days, and I wonder about their effectiveness.  Oftentimes they're coming from movie stars whose skin does, indeed, look radiant, so can it be that these things really work?

Here are three vintage tricks I decided to try out for myself and share my experience with you!

Ice
On the Glamourdaze site I ran across an old article that described a movie star's solution to large pores: ice!  (I can't seem to find the page for the life of me, I apologize.)  This made sense to me, since we've been told to use warm water to open the pores, the opposite must be true to close them!  I have large pores, especially on my cheeks around my nose, so I tried it a few mornings in a row before I put on my makeup.  It's not like my pores completely disappeared, but I did notice a difference!  It also seemed to help keep my makeup just on the surface of my skin.

Orange and Lemon Tonic
I found a recipe for a 1930s orange and lemon tonic (facial), and I made it and tried it out.  The milk and the citrus mix strangely while cooked, and it was a very clumpy texture to spread on my face.  I put it on and let it sit for a bit, and while my skin did feel a bit tingly, it was only marginally softer when I rinsed.

Egg Shampoo
I don't have an exact source for this, but I do remember reading several stories as a kid that talked about getting an egg shampoo (perhaps in an American Girl book?), and I knew I had to try this one!  The things I do for you guys.

It felt weird, very weird.  I shampooed with an egg, left it in for a couple minutes, then rinsed and let my hair dry.  It might be a little shinier and softer... but I can't say that it is by much, if any. It might work well for other hair types, though.


Would you be willing to try any of these?  Have you tried any old school tips?  Did they work or not?

1940s Sweater Dress


I have long wanted a fabulous sweater dress since I found out vintage versions exist.  I've had trouble finding them in my size, however, so it was a long search until a St. Louis trip!  I found this beauty in a shop with a few holes in it, so the price was great!  I simply stitched them up, shrunk the top in the dryer a bit to fit me, and it was ready to wear.

I LOVE this set, even though the color isn't the most flattering on me.  I think it's because it's my first sweater dress (and, currently, only one!). I paired it with a 30s-40s fur tilt hat I found, with its original box!  The neutral colors really let the textures shine, don't you think?

Outfit Details
hat and hat box: flea market
sweater dress: Ruth's Vintage Clothing (Cherokee Street, St. Louis)
stockings: vintage deadstock
shoes: Decades (Springfield, MO)
coat: thesarahmarieshop on Etsy





Tidbits From Aria: Starting Fresh & Making a Plan

As part of the new plan for a new year on the blog, this is the first of Aria's posts on holistic healthy living.  Pragmatic and New-Year's-Resolution-hating me loves this post for its honesty and realistic attitude, and I'm sure you guys will find it useful, too!

It’s hard to believe another year has gone by, placing in our hands a new season, a new beginning. Welcome to 2015, friend. You made it. It’s a crisp-blank-page of a new day, and you’re holding the pen.  Let’s revel in that fact for a moment. 

I can assume that since you’re reading this, you’re alive, and if you’re alive, it means you have today to make a mark on that blank page. What better way to begin a new season than by setting goals? It’s cliche to discuss in January, but setting goals can help you live intentionally in order to really become who you want to be. One of my dreams is to be that ol’ granny who climbs mountains on the weekend (literally), but if I never get off the couch when I’m young, how will that ever come about? 

And so, I set goals. Small steps that will lead to that mountaintop. Habits that will build a solid foundation for the future. Tangible behaviors that will help you and me both to become who we want to be. It’s going to require thought, change, brutal honesty, and saying no sometimes, but sticking with your goals will allow you to say a resounding YES to the life you want to live and the person you want to be. 

Goal setting involves three parts: 1) Establishing ground rules 2) Self-awareness and 3) Putting the pen to paper. Ready? Let’s go! 

ESTABLISHING GROUND RULES
Before you set out on changing your life, you’ve got to first establish some rules for yourself that will help these changes be sustainable. I’ve provided some examples:
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself.  Guess what? You are valuable, beautiful, desirable, and capable. End of story. Give yourself a break. 
  • Be willing to give it time. Long-term lifestyle change is going to take time…Possibly a lot of time. Don’t expect to see immediate results, but be willing to give these steps time to take effect. 
  • Allow space for laughter and failure. You may fail a few times. Don’t let failure be the end of the story, but identify what went wrong and adjust accordingly. Laugh, because it’s not over! 
  • Be honest. During the process, you may be confronted with uncomfortable memories, feelings, and conversations. Things can only stay stuffed down for so long, so work through them now and be honest and kind with yourself and others about what you need. 
  • Remember you can only change you. Only you can control your behavior, and your behavior alone.  Flourish by taking control of your own life, and allow others the freedom to do the same. 
Maybe you can think of other boundaries you want to establish for yourself. Write ‘em down! 


SELF-AWARENESS
Now that you’ve established the ground rules, its time to observe. You probably know which areas you have trouble in. They’re those areas you ponder before you slip into sleep, promising you’ll do better tomorrow. Before you set goals, take one to three days to simply observe your own behavior, because in order to change and reach your goals, you must behave differently. 

If you want to rearrange your finances, take time to observe what you’ve bought over the past month and why. If you have health goals, take time to observe why you eat the foods you do, and when you are most susceptible to doing what you shouldn’t. If you have relational goals, observe how you interact with those you care about, and identify your own behaviors that are preventing deeper connection. 

It may seem unproductive and tedious at first, but taking time to write these observations down is a critical part of setting and reaching your goals. This is because each action has a cause and a consequence, and becoming aware of why you do what you do will help you identify what exactly needs to change. Writing them down also helps you to see change across time. 

PEN TO PAPER
Alright, you’ve heard it before. Achievable goals are specific and measurable. 

My goal of being a fit granny is pretty vague, so for the start of 2015, I have set the goal of working out at least three times a week for the spring semester, as a continuation from last semester. In the past, I went from working out zero times to six times per week, and it wasn’t sustainable. Instead, I’m starting small and will work up to where I want to be with time.

An aspiring weight-lifter doesn’t enter the gym for the first time and bench 400 pounds. Or rather, someone doesn’t pin curl their hair just right the first time (I’m still working on that…and benching 400 pounds…).

Effective goal setting is taking small steps in the right direction. Want to become a better photographer? Set aside a specific time once a week or so to practice and develop your skills. Want to be more thoughtful? Budget funds from your paycheck to give to others, or set a specific time to call your mom once a week (or whatever!). Set a specific goal and give it a deadline of six weeks, two months, etc. When the deadline comes, reevaluate your goal and set the next deadline for completion. 

Whatever area you most want to work on, make a goal that is focused on a specific, measurable behavior, give it a deadline, and write it down where you can see it often.
Alright, so there you have it, a few thoughts on setting effective goals. In the past, you may have succeeded, you may have failed, and you may have done both. This year doesn’t have to be like last year. Even if you’ve scrawled on a few of the pages already, it’s still got that new-book smell, and what remains is delightfully blank.  

Go, friend. You’ve got the pen. 

And 2015 is your year. 


Why do you (or don’t you) set goals at the start of the year? What has helped you reach your goals? What has hindered you from reaching them in the past? 

The History of Rayon and How to Care for It


Flashback Summer: The History of Rayon and How to Care for It - vintage fabrics, sewing

I'm VERY excited to share this fact-rich post with all of you on one of my favorite topics: rayon!  It took me a while to learn about rayon and what it is exactly, not to mention caring for it, because it's so rare in clothing nowadays.  In this first month of starting fresh in 2015, I've been preparing for the year's sewing projects, and I've needed to think about fabrics for each of these. I'm sure this post from this month's sponsor, Snowma of Time Capsule Fabrics, will be hugely helpful to you if you're considering a rayon for your own projects and immensely eye-opening if it hasn't been on your radar before!

Flashback Summer: The History of Rayon and How to Care for It - vintage fabrics, sewing
Photo Source: Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage Blog

Hi everyone! I'm Snowma and I'm half the team behind Time Capsule Fabrics, an online fabric store catering to the vintage sewing community.  I want to thank Emileigh for hosting this sponsored Q&A. Our store is chock full of hard to find apparel fabrics like challis, lawns and crepes. One of my favorite fabrics is rayon, and because it's become tricky to find and many modern sewists are less familiar with it I want to share some of the reasons I love it.

Flashback Summer: The History of Rayon and How to Care for It - vintage fabrics, sewing
Photo Source: Lucky Lucille Blog


What is Rayon?

Rayon was invented way back in 1855 as an alternative to more expensive silk fabrics.  At first commonly referred to as Artificial or Art Silk, it was widely available to the home seamstress until relatively recently. Rayon is considered a semi-synthetic because it's made by processing wood pulp, but unlike polyester, acrylic, and nylon, it is not petroleum based.  Rayon is more similar to natural fibers.  In The Women's Institute's Library of Dressmaking (1923), Artificial Silk's entry reads:

“An imitation of natural silk, produced by treating cellulose until it becomes a gummy solution and then pressing it through tiny holes so that it comes out a fine thread with a glistening, white, silky appearance.”

Rayon is prized first and foremost for its drapability. It mimics silk. Unlike polyester, it breathes, is absorbent and holds body heat. In my opinion it's got it all, and more seamstresses should make it a go-to fabric.  

Flashback Summer: The History of Rayon and How to Care for It - vintage fabrics, sewing
Photo Source

Are there special care considerations when sewing with rayon?

Rayon is a pleasure to work with but there are some things to keep in mind. Dry cleaning is always appropriate, but as I prefer laundering at home, here are some guidelines. In all my years wearing and sewing rayon, I have never had a problem machine washing rayon on cold. Never wash on warm or hot as rayon can shrink significantly.  Because it's weakened when wet, choose a gentle cycle if your rayon is especially delicate.  Line dry instead of putting it in the dryer.  Use a warm iron and press the wrong side of the garment to avoid scorching. Rayon can sometimes ravel easily so using fusible interfacing or stay stitching when sewing can be useful.

Flashback Summer: The History of Rayon and How to Care for It - vintage fabrics, sewing
Photo Source: Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage Blog

Why is rayon harder to find these days?

Read the back of a pattern envelope from the 30's or 40's and it's clear that the modern seamstress has fewer options than her earlier counterpart. Fabric types that were once common like dimity, pongee and bengaline have disappeared from the shelves of fabric stores.  Rayon, while not extinct as a fabric, is becoming harder for seamstresses to find.  I attribute this to two factors, the shift by fabric stores to focus on quilters and the increased acceptance of synthetics like polyester and nylon.
         In LA's wholesale fabric district, shopkeeper after shopkeeper told me how common rayon once was and how hard it is to find now.  Undaunted, I managed to score some beautiful solids and prints for the store in my favorite fiber!  As more of us take up the once common practice of sewing our own clothing, I'm really optimistic that the fabric industry will respond with more diverse apparel fabrics and that rayon will see a comeback. 

This is Emileigh again. Man, do you want some rayon or what?!  I sure do!  I wish I could get my hands on some of that rayon satin in the ad above... I reviewed a couple kinds of rayon Time Capsule Fabrics offered, so if you'd like a good rayon source I can highly recommend Snowma's shop! 

Compact of Character: Starting Fresh & Asking Questions




I'm proud to present the writer of this post... my younger sister, Aria!  As I hinted at in my post about the plan for this year, she's a great writer and an incredibly wise lady, even at a younger age.  This is the first in a series that will introduce each month's theme here on the blog, beginning with January: Starting Fresh and Asking Questions.



Hey, Flashback Summer followers! Happy 2015! 

Before I get to how cool this year will be, let me first introduce myself. 

My name is Aria, and I ask a lot of questions. I love questions. Remember those email questionnaires that were popular in (my) elementary school days? The ones where you’d fill out all 1,500+ (slight exaggeration) questions about pointless things, like what your favorite color is, what your second child’s name will be, and your reflections on beef jerky? I may have filled out every one I received, and passed them on. Vain…maybe. Fun…for sure. 

Since my elementary days, though, I’ve learned to not only revel in answering questions but to also delight in asking questions, in discovering who people are and what makes their hearts sing (and maybe I also delight in being melodramatic—you tell me). I’ve learned to treasure people’s stories and to learn from them. 

So—you knew this was coming—what’s your story? 

The way I see it, this new year is a blank book, a blank page. There will be more on that later this month, but this blank book idea and talking about questions has stirred a new question in me: If you could have one question answered this year, what would it be? 

I have a feeling you probably got sassy just then and thought of something like, “Why does chocolate taste so good?” or “Why is Jimmy Fallon SO COOL?” Maybe that’s just me. 

Seriously, though, what question would you want answered? We know that some are impossible to answer, and some take a lot of time to reveal the answer. 


As a twenty-one year old college junior, two questions have surfaced in my mind time and again these days. Maybe you’ve considered them, too. 

WHO AM I? AND WHO AM I BECOMING?

Simple questions with profound ramifications. As I reflect on this new year and the idea of goals, I can’t help but wonder how these questions factor in. When I think of goals, a lot of times, I think of external achievements, like business deals, pounds lost, friends made, and dreams materialized. Effective goals have measurable ends, so it makes sense. These questions have lead me to think of something much longer-lasting, however. We’ve all seen, some even firsthand, the effects of people who seem to have it all, but are eventually ruined by their character, or lack thereof. Weaknesses and character flaws can be uncomfortable and even painful to look at, so it is easy to put them aside and make excuses for them. They can only be ignored for so long, however, before the cracks begin to show and something breaks, sometimes breaking apart families, businesses, organizations, or communities.

So, who are you? And who are you becoming? 

Have you considered these questions as you decide what to focus on this year? This new type of post here on Flashback Summer is called "Compact of Character," and it exists because we all have room for improvement. In a production-driven society it’s easy to push character development to the fringes, but in the long run, deciding who you want to be and what you will value in life will help to give you direction, focus, and authenticity in your lifestyle, today and into the future. 

I ask again, who are you? And who are you becoming? 

A deep question to begin our blog friendship, but I don’t ask questions I’m not willing to answer. One of my answers has to do with what I eat and why. Although I strive towards healthy eating habits, I have a tendency to eat my feelings. This year, I’m changing that. Some of my greatest and deepest questions have been answered by discovering Jesus’ love for me, so instead of turning to Ben and Jerry for comfort, I’m making a practical effort to find more freedom by turning to Jesus first. 

I mentioned before that I would talk about how cool this year is going to be. Oh, friend, it’s going to be cool. It’s going to be fun sometimes and painful other times, peaceful sometimes and stressful sometimes, but wildly beautiful all the same. Your character is going to affect your response to everything life brings this year.

So, let me ask you: who are you? And who are you becoming? 

New Year Q&A Call!























IT'S 2015.

WHERE DID 2014 GO?!

Pretty sure that was one of the fastest years of my life.  And I hear they only get faster.  It seems like I was only a kid yesterday, my life is slipping past me, I'm getting older so quickly, the years are--

Okay, I'll stop the old lady life crisis train and get to the point of this post.

One of my goals this year is to be more real on my blog.  Of course, I haven't been an online alter ego on here or anything, but I've found myself tempering what I say or how I say it in an effort to be PC or relatable or more broad-audience-appealing or.... I dunno, really.  The way I write doesn't match the way I talk all the time, often because sarcasm and wit doesn't write down so well.  I'm definitely being myself, but I think you guys haven't seen much of the ridiculously sarcastic, Frasier & Niles, weird part of me, and I'd like to share that with you.  (Feel so privileged, don't you?)

That being said, one of the ways I've gotten to know bloggers is through Q&A videos.  I swear to make it awesomely fun. (And since I don't have many video skills to actually follow through on that promise, I'll be begging a booktube friend to help me.  But she doesn't know that yet. Heh heh.)


One of my top reasons for starting a blog was to make friends, and it's difficult to do that without getting real with people.  So this is my effort to reach out to you guys with some authenticity!

So if there are questions that you would like to ask me about blogging, vintage, life, stories, etc., now's your chance!  Please leave your question in a comment below or email me, and I'll answer them in a video coming soon!

In case you need a bit of inspiration in your questions, here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:

- If a taco and a grilled cheese got in a fight, who would win?

- What are the top five photo bloopers you've had for a blog post shoot?

- What the heck does being a Christian mean to you? What's the point of that?

- What is an embarrassing story you have from living in Africa?

- What do you wear around the house in your downtime?  Do you wear vintage?

- How do you handle critics on your blog? How 'bout in "real" life?

If you actually want me to answer any of those, then let me know in the comments.  I'm just trying to get the question inspiration going for ya.

This Year Holds Magic

Flashback Summer: This Year Holds Magic - 1920s flappers

Over the break, I pondered ideas for the blog in the new year.

I really feel like the blog has come into its own in the past year, and I've been discovering my "niche" more every day.  However, for this year, I wanted more direction, something fresh, sometime new, something deeper.  I think I've figured out some ways to make this happen, and I'm SO EXCITED to share it with you guys!

I've always wanted this blog to be more than just a vintage fashion blog of pretty dresses. I want it to be a hub of sharing ideas, inspiration, personal growth, and thought-provoking posts.  I hope to continue this and deepen it through monthly themes this year.  These themes are centered on the idea of developing character and and beauty that goes deeper than perfectly coiffed hair and designer outfits.  It's my goal that each month will help us further explore the kind of people we would like to be and develop into them.  Since I like vintage, of course there will be a vintage spin on all of this.

Does that mean there will be no more outfit posts, crafts, or sewing?  Absolutely not!  I'm a firm believer in the idea that who we are translates tangibly into every area of our lives. {Tweet this}  Our character and personalities are expressed through our clothing, our art, our values, our relationships, and our hobbies, so I'll still be including all of those things!  However, they will be arranged around each month's theme and have a bit more cohesion than in the past.  I love me some intentionality.

The other exciting change will be a couple posts a month coming from my amazing sister, Aria!  You've seen how she has so graciously helped me with photography on the blog the past couple years, but she is also an INCREDIBLE writer.  She's younger than me, but I think you'll find her posts on holistic healthy living to be full of life insight that you won't believe is coming from a 21 year old.  She's like a young, more spontaneous (and better-looking) Yoda, and I'm elated to have her helping me here on the blog!  She's gonna punch you in the face with some serious life wisdom, in a great way.

In a couple days I'll be elaborating on January's theme: Starting Fresh.  I've got lots of different kinds of posts that coordinate with the theme, and I can't wait to start off this year and new blogging style with all of you!