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Monday, March 16, 2015

My Typewriter Collection

I thought I'd share with y'all one of my biggest passions and my favorite collection, typewriters. I made it a goal years ago that I wanted to have one from each decade 1960-1900. Last year I reached that goal, which freed me up to go after the more unusual ones and some of the sexier machines.  Just as an FYI, the photos and stories are in the order I bought them, instead of being ordered by age.

I can remember exactly when my love affair started. I was 8 years old and living in a small town in western Tennessee. There was a clothing shop on the square that my mom would shop in from time to time and in the display window the shop owner kept several old typewriters. I could sit and play with them for hours while my mom shopped and chatted. That obsession never stopped. It wasn't until about 13 years ago that I bought my first, a 1967 teal Olivetti Studio 45 with case. I took it with me to college and used the hell out of it. Currently it is with a friend overseas and I miss it.

I only have 2 parameters when buying typewriters, but I'm very strict about it.
  1. They must work
  2. They must be $100 or less. Unless it is an extraordinarily rare or early machine, I just cannot justify spending more. 
I prefer to buy in the wild, but my 2 latest machines I bought online. I prefer not to do so as you are at the mercy of the seller and I like to spend a bit of time with them before I decide. All of these featured in the post follow my rule.

After my Olivetti was my 1960s Smith and Corona Galaxy. This machine is my little work horse. It still has its original ribbon and is in flawless shape.

This is my 1927 Underwood. This thing is a beast. My parents bought it for me as a gift when they went to Round Top. She works beautifully and is just a lovely thing.

My husband inherited his mother's 1940s Royal complete with original desk after she passed. It is such a classic.

A couple years back I picked up a large 1950s Royal for a steal at $15. The tag said it didn't work, but someone clearly didn't take the time they needed with it. After playing with it for a while the keys no longer stuck and it worked perfectly.

While on a road trip with my dad in New Mexico, I was able to check the 1930s off my list with a sleek, portable Remington.

When we got back I found my favorite machine, a 1900s L.C. Smith. My mouth dropped open when I saw it at an antique store with it's case. When I discovered it worked, I about passed out. I keep it covered on my bookshelf. If this thing became gunked up with dust, I'd be devastated.

My lovely parents surprised me again with the most magnificent of all my typewriters, a 1910s Oliver. I mean wow, look at this beauty!

Over winter break this year I found my most practical piece, a 1940s portable, in case Smith and Corona. The only down side of this one, is the case is stinky with mildew. I've been airing it out for a while and it's made a huge difference.

I do have one purchase that I'm on the fence about. I bought it off of eBay and feel a little bit taken. It's my 1920s folding field Corona with case. Nowhere in the description did it say it had rust and you couldn't really tell from the photos. This is why I'm not big on buying them online. They are not easily shipped back to the original owner, so once you purchase it, there's no going back. The rust on this little guy isn't too bad, so I figured it would be a good piece to practice light restoration. Other than the cosmetic rust, it works beautifully and the bell even dings.

My final typewriter and the one I think is the most fun, is my most recent purchase, also via the internet, this time Etsy. It's a 1960s Sears Constellation that types in CURSIVE! How awesome is that! I'm going to get so much use out of it.

It's probably clear from what I own, that Smith and Corona is my favorite brand. They just have so much variation and such classically beautiful machines.

I want to end this with a few a few opinions.

First I HATE seeing typewriter keys for sale. I've spoken with so many sellers that say if they can't sell their working machines, they sell them for parts. It's such a travesty that they would be cannibalized for cheap jewelry. Also, for what you buy one lot of typewriter keys, you could have actually just bought a beautiful working machine.

Second, if you're in the market for a typewriter, avoid Etsy. If you're willing to go through 80+ pages to find one that is a reasonable price, then have at it. It did work for me once, but for the most part the ones on that site are outrageously overpriced, by a couple hundred dollars or more. If you can't find one in the wild, eBay is a better bet, just watch for being overcharged on shipping.   

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bird Dress!!!!

After receiving a big promotion at my job, I bought myself a gift and not surprisingly it was a dress. The most perfect dress I have ever owned. It makes all of my other dresses look hideous by comparison and I told my husband I wish to be buried in it. I'm not exaggerating, I LOVE it. As a side note, apologies for the photos, they are from my phone as my poor camera is sickly...still.

It's so damn cute. I now desperately wish I would have bought the green floral version as well, as it is no longer on their website.

Here's the OOTD rundown:
Dress: eShakti
Cardigan: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Knee Highs: Target
Shoes (in a later photo): Rocketdog
Glasses: Polette!
Ernie: Humane Heroes Rescue

The fit of this dress is divine. I never order their custom sizing as their standard 2x fits me perfectly. The print is so cute with such a diverse selection of birds. It is a no stretch cotton material and is unlined. It will be perfect for all seasons and I expect to wear it until it falls apart. Maybe I should buy a backup. I just love it so much!!!

I had been in a conference all day, so I took my shoes off for the photo, but here's what I wore.

I originally saw them on Modcloth's website, but they were sold out of my size, so I went over to Rocketdog's website and found that they were half off, score! I am a bit disappointed in them as they are a lot thinner and of lower quality than they appeared in the photo, but for $20 it's not too bad.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Glasses Buying Spree

Hey! Like I've mentioned before, I went a bit nuts during the earlier part of the winter with my buying sprees. One of my indulgences was several sets of glasses. I thought I'd share my experience with the companies I ordered from, 2 of which I hadn't used before.

Starting from the top left, I'll go clockwise.

Adorned Cateye: Zenni
I had never ordered from Zenni before and I have to say it was very easy. They had a great selection and it was easy to find the measurements, which is a big deal for me as I have wide side set eyes and a wide face. The prescription is perfect, as is the fit. From order to my face was about a week and a half, so not bad at all. I was overall very pleased with my buying experience.

Sunglasses: Warby Parker
About 5 years ago I ordered a pair of glasses from them and was very happy with the experience. This time was the total opposite. Several days after placing my order, I was emailed to contact them regarding my prescription (you can not type it in, you must upload it). Mine was over a year old, but had not changed and the one I uploaded did not have a date. After speaking with one of their representatives and getting it squared away I was told I'd receive my glasses in 5-7 days. A week later I called after not hearing anything or receiving tracking information and found out my order had been misplaced and I was told I'd be receiving a 20% refund. A week and half later my packaged arrived, but the sunglasses sent had no prescription and were not my order #. I called to let them know and was told they'd mail me return postage and I'd now receive a 30% refund on my order. Finally a month and 1 week after my original order I received the correct pair, however I was never mailed a return label, nor did I ever receive my 30% refund. I ended up sending back the glasses on my own dime and I never heard back from them. Needless to say, I will NEVER order from Warby Parker again. I like the glasses, but was beyond disappointed with the service. It doesn't matter if the representatives are friendly if no one ever does what they say they will. Oh, and this week I received a package from them that contained a handmade owl pinata filled with candy to celebrate their 5 years of business. It made me super angry that they could get their shit together enough to send something that I didn't want nor need, but not a $150 pair of sunglasses that was ordered. So, thanks but no thanks. 

Enough of a rant let's move on to a kick ass company...

Aqua Clear Cateyes & Large Round Brown Glasses: Polette
I LOVE this company! Their selection is unmatched and the website is super easy. To say that these glasses are affordable is an understatement. Both pairs together cost less than $70. The shipping does take a while, about 3 weeks, but they are a French company, so I expected it to take a bit longer being overseas. Plus, after waiting over a month from a Warby Parker, I was more than patient. There is a bit of prescription distortion with my round glasses, but they are very large, so it was really no surprise. I could have bought a smaller pair that would have eliminated that, but I wanted these. The clear aqua pair are perfect. If you are looking for a super cute, stylish, & affordable pair of glasses check them out. I have nothing but praise for them.

Share your online glasses buying experience with me. I'd love to know if you've had similar problems or success.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Black, White, & Aqua

Hey folks! In my last couple of posts I got to talk about the beautiful weather gracing our little corner of Texas, but not any more. It's cold and wet again, outside. If this winter doesn't pull us out of the drought then nothing will!

We've been having a pretty good week. I accepted an amazing job opportunity which is going to change so much for us. I'm excited and nervous, but I think it will be okay. I always love change and this will be a huge change for me professionally.

I finally received the last of my holiday Modcloth orders. This final dress is decent, but not my favorite. I have received quite a few compliments about it, so maybe others see something that I don't.

OOTD Details:
Dress: Modcloth
Black Shirt: Old Navy
Crocheted Cardigan: Gifted
Leggings: Old Navy
Belt: ASOS
Shoes: Target

The top of the dress is stretchy and the bottom is a no-stretch flannel like cotton. I'm not overly thrilled with the top of the dress as it is more plain in person than I imagined. However, I do really like the bottom half and wish the whole dress was this print and material. I also adore the aqua crocheted cardigan. I lovely lady I work with passed it on to me, when she wasn't sure it was her style. I just love it! It's so warm and soft. My favorite thing about this outfit are the shoes! I bought them this weekend and am head over heals for them. I don't know what it is about floral on black that I'm just loving right now. We even just got new bedding with the same theme.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stay Mum

Greetings folks! While the east coast of the United States is experiencing blizzards, we here in Texas are enjoying unseasonably warm 75° degree weather. I have to say, as one who usually enjoys the cold, I'm looking forward to Spring. It's just been too wet this winter for me, which in Texas is a very good thing. This whole week is expected to be beautiful and warm with chilly nights, until the weekend, of course. To enjoy this weather, I've been busting out my Spring dresses, some new and some old.

OOTD Details:
Dress: Modcloth
Belt: ASOS
Shoes: Target

This dress is full on housewife and I love it. I bought it while it was 70% off during the Modcloth sale. Just as an aside, I think I may be addicted to them. This time last year I only had one of their dresses, right now, I'm still waiting for some to come in the mail! When I first put it on I was a little skeptical, as I was worried it looked too much like a costume. But the more I wore it the more I enjoyed it. It's by Bea & Dot, fully lined, and rather heavy. I think it will be more of a spring and fall dress, as it may be too thick for Texas summers. It's a bit longer than I'm used to, which is great as I don't have to wear leggings underneath.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Adventures in a Shirt Dress

I  recently ordered my first top from eShakti, and it didn't go as planned. I was expecting a cute peplum style top I could wear with jeans. It's probably my mistake as I ordered my usual size and ended up with a tent. I was upset at first, but I really liked the print and material of the top, so I decided to see if I could belt it and turn it in to a shirt dress. It's a bit out of my wheel house, as my usual look are fit and flare style dresses, and this is a large belted shirt that arches up on the sides and is longer in the back than front. Once I paired it with leggings, I really liked the look, so I took it for a spin this weekend.

OOTD Details:
Shirt/Dress- eShakti
Belt: Torrid
Leggings: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

I'd never be able to wear this to work, which is a bit of a bummer, but the sides just cut up too far. This outfit was so comfortable and I'm going to be wearing it a ton. I'm not sure I could replicate this mistake in ordering again, but I'm going to try, because I love this look.

On Saturday, my parents and I went on a day trip to the eastern part of central Texas. We went to a few places we had been before and a few we hadn't. It was such a great day with beautiful weather.

One of the places we went was Longhorn Caverns. We'd all been to the cave before, so this time we just walked around to enjoy the weather.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stretchy Style

As I've mentioned before, I took advantage of all the holiday sales. I'm still waiting on a couple of orders to come. I bought a few dresses from Modcloth during their sale, so I thought I'd share them, since some are still on the site.

The first one was the Spontaneous Slow Dance Dress. When I first ordered it, there weren't any reviews and when that is the case I'm always a bit reluctant. In fact both dresses I ordered didn't have reviews, so I had to make peace with the idea that they may not work. This dress however, fit like a charm.

OOTD Details:
Dress: Modcloth
Cardigan: Old Navy
Leggings: Walmart
Shoes: Target

The dress is unlined and the material is very stretchy and knit like. It is a nice heavy weight, which I always love. It's also great because it's so neutral that you can pair it with any color. I'm super happy with the way it turned out and I most certainly left a review to help anyone on the fence about it!

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Over the autumn I ventured into the wonderful world of chambray and I love it. I bought 2 shirts from Old Navy, one lighter and the other darker. I have worn them so much over the past few months. They are perfect to layer with sweaters and dresses.

Not really sure why these photos have soap opera soft lighting.

I will say that the darker shirt's dye has a tendency to rub off on my skin where it makes the most contact with my body. The first time after I took it off, it looked as though I had been in a fight!

Oh, and I have to share my first Modcloth shoe purchase. I bought these during the winter sale and they are so cute! I can't wait to break them in a bit more as the heal is a bit stiff, but other than that, they're great!

OOTD Details:
Dress: eShakti
Shirt: Old Navy
Tights: Target
Shoes: Modcloth
Glasses: Coastal Contacts (Derek Cardigan)

Every time I wear this outfit, I get lots of compliments. The only major issue is the dress rides up quite a bit, so I'm always having to check and tug it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Teal Smoking Shoes

I took advantage of all the holiday sales this year, picking up things for myself and family. One of my favorite purchases of the season are my $4.oo teal smoking shoes. I had never been a huge fan of the style, as they always reminded me a Hugh Hefner type in a smoking jacket, but boy am I a convert. They are so comfortable and the fit is spot on.

*As a side note, my camera has been a bit sickly as of late, so sorry about the dramatic color difference in the photos. I think the ol' girl needs some tweaking.

I'm a bit late to the party on the whole We Love Colors thing, but holy hell do I LOVE Colors!!! I bought 2 pairs of their tights to try out and the saturation of the color is amazing. I was a bit disappointed that the pair in these photos tore really badly the 2nd time I wore them, but I think it's because I rubbed my thigh against something pointy which shredded the back of the thigh. Oh well, I'll have to buy more I guess.

OOTD Details:
Dress: ASOS (a few years ago)
Cardigan: Target
Tights: We Love Colors
Shoes: Old Navy
Glasses: Zenni

I also recently bought some new glasses. I've spoken before about how a few years ago I used to be a one pair girl. However, times have changed and I wanted some cute new pairs that I can rotate. My old Derek Cardigan big cateyes are still my favorite, but I wanted to go back to the days of my early 20s when I used to wear more flamboyant frames.

I had these in my basket for a bit, but wasn't sure if they'd fit my face. I finally saw some photos of other people with similar face shapes wearing them, so got them. They fit great and are the prescription cam out beautifully.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Small Town Adventures

Almost 2 years ago, my husband and I moved to one of the small towns we used to visit. I am constantly on the hunt for another favorite little place and love to drive around and explore. During the research phase of my upcoming exhibition, I was looking for 19th c. cemeteries and in the process came across another little gem of a town. What I like are places that are beautifully preserved and often economically depressed. I took my husband there during my winter break and it's just wonderful. The cemetery is incredible as well. It's off of the highway back in the woods and the earliest grave bares a birth date of 1786, which in Texas is quite impressive.

There are amazing murals all over the town and I couldn't resist stopping at my favorite.
The cemetery in the woods.
I was pretty fond of my outfit that day, so no harm in a quick OOTD.

Dress: eShakti
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: ASOS
Leggings: Old Navy
Shoes: Target

If you ever have the time, I cannot stress enough how important it is to know about the history and space of places around you. It's amazing how doing so can put everything into perspective.
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