Monday, April 19, 2010

'It's Good To Be QUEEN'

I have always been fascinated by English royalty. Maybe it's because
of the direct line of lineage that goes back beyond what I could ever
imagine. Maybe it's because my maiden name Brewer, can be traced
back to Old English roots. Maybe it's because the history of the royals
is filled with intrigue, marrying cousins, hemophilia & beheadings
or maybe it's just because of the
Crown Jewels!

Queen Victoria was born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24, 1819.
At the tender age of 18 years old, she became the Queen of England
& on that day she inherited the Crown Jewels. Victoria loved
diamonds & in 1857 she commissioned this amazing Collet necklace
& earrings. The necklace consists of twenty-nine collet diamonds adding
up to a weight of over 160 carats of diamonds. The necklace contains
a famous stone as the pendant named the Lahore Diamond which weights
22.48 carats. The earrings are of typical design, large brilliant followed
by a smaller one, with a large pear shaped drop... OMG!

She is wearing them in both of the photographs above...
can you even imagine?

Queen Victoria bequeathed these jewels to the Crown in her will.
Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary wore the necklace at their
Coronations in 1901 and 1911 & Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother)
wore both necklace and earrings in 1937, as did her daughter
Queen Elizabeth II at her Coronation in 1953.

Queen Alexandra is seen here with her 2 daughters, wearing the
Collet necklace... but with all that bling I have to use a magnifying
glass to find it. A top her regal head sits the George IV State
Diadem Crown made in 1820 for his Coronation.

100 years later or so, here it is on Her Majesty the Queen.
{can you see Queen Victoria's Collet necklace peeking out from under
her stole & yes, those are the matching earrings}

The King George IV State Diadem Crown in all it's stunning Glory!
The diadem includes 1333 diamonds weighing 325.75
carats with 169 pearls along its base.

And last, but most certainly not least, the Vladimir Tiara.
Bought by Queen Mary from the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia,
the Aunt to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II, after her exile.

{Did you know that Queen Victoria was the Grandmother of Alexandra,
wife to Nicholas II whose family was murdered by Bolsheviks in 1918?}

And now we've come full circle as the Vladimir Tiara rests gently a top
the current sovereign's royal head. I didn't mean for this to turn into a
history lesson, but I did tell you I find it all sooooo fascinating!!!

So, what's the moral of this story you may ask?
Sometimes it's Good to be Queen, look at all the awesome jewels
you get to wear! But, maybe we should ask the wives of Henry the VIII
what they thought before we jump to that conclusion.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Costume Design & Imagination

{The Young Victoria}
Here's a little eye candy for you, my bestest friends, from some of my favoritest movies.
Look at this stunning yellow dress with cream lace, how gorgeous it looks accented against the deep, green hedges.

{Pride & Prejudice}
Mr. Darcy..oh Mr. Darcy, I take in every detail of his costume from the buttons on his waistcoat to the ruffles on his simple, opened necked, white cotton shirt...ahhhhhh! {look how the sun rises like a halo in his hair}

{The Duchess}
Whether it's the simple grandeur of the English countryside or the lush dreaminess of a palace in France, I am transported to another place & time, making me long for petticoats & lace, hats & ribbons & a long skirt with a slightly muddy hem, dragging on the path behind me.

{Marie Antoinette}
Who wouldn't want to eat french pastries & wear diamonds & wonderful, lavish gowns if you were living in Paris at the palace & money was no object? {well, I mean it was an object...she just didn't quite understand how much}

{Sense & Sensibility}
Can you see that 'ever so sheer' neck scarf Marianne has on? It's just enough to be proper & yet still sheer enough to be naughty...I love it!

{Age of Innocence}
And what about lace parasols...battenburg lace parasols. The idea of a women's skin being so sensitive & fair that it needs to be shielded from the sun at all times is just too romantic! I want a lace parasol with a bamboo handle. I close my eyes & see myself walking down a path in the English countryside along a sparkling lake with the sunlight filtering through the leaves. I lift my face up to the sun just as I open my parasol & in that moment...all is right with the world.

Smiles friends & thanks for coming with me!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Pillows, Pillows & More Pillows

I'm in love with PILLOWS right now! Maybe it's because it's spring & I'm nesting {literally} or maybe it's because after doing the bathroom, I'm obsessed with finishing my bedroom make-over or maybe it's simply because I've been going to some of the most posh, chic interior design shops in LA...but right now, all I can think about is PILLOWS!

Now, I have a couple of these from Pottery Barn & adore them in my living room.

And this one from Pottery Barn is a 'Must Have' on my to-get list! {but they've been sold out of these the last few times I've gone, I hope beyond hope I might still get a hold of one}

This is Rachell Ashwell's favorite design at Shabby Chic Couture, the Union Jack pillow & I must admit to you, they are fabulous!

And BURLAP...what about BURLAP! The texture & neutral color with the wonderful graphics & text on them...I LOVE these pillows from Mothology. {& that messenger bag is toooo cute}

And here's a few of my favorites from etsy. I adore these pillows on the settee made by Jolie Marche, I could decorate my entire bed with these.

Petit Coterie has some gorgeous french inspired pillows too, I just love the touch of blue down the center of this one & since it's 'Good To Be Queen', the crown does seem fitting! So friends, if you have a FAVORITE pillow or a Great line that I should check out, please share with me cuz as you can see, I am still on the hunt for the PERFECT PILLOW!!!


Disclaimer: Yes, I know there are a lot more important issues to be concerned about in the world then pillows, but, I DO Love them so...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sneek Peek at Give-Away Goodies

Look, there's a gift bag in that planter & it looks like it came from Rachel Ashwell's shop 'Shabby Chic Couture'! I wonder what's in it, do you think anybodies looking? I feel a little naughty, but I just can't help myself...I have to know what's inside!

Oh, it smells sooooo good & I think I see some bling...what could it be? I know what it is, it's your 1st Sneek Peek at vintagesusie's 100 Friends Give-Away from one of the coolest shops in Santa Monica. Only the best for my friends!!! Inside we find a delicious vanilla RA candle & a pair of her antique gold, glass votive holders trimmed with vintage rhinestones, they're gorgeous!

My visit to this chic little shop was absolutely soooo fun. To my surprise & joy, Pom Pom's Santa Monica shop was only 2 doors down so I got a 2 for the price of one experience. This is the spring, summer color board at Shabby Chic, the florals were luscious, mixed with layers of linen & burlap texture.

Rachel's cotton's are the yummiest, you can't help but want to climb into her bed's with their huge fluffy down comforter's covered in pure white linens, to die for!
I adored her idea of taking petticoats & making hanging lamp shades out of them, they looked wonderful hanging from their high ceilings.
And I had to get myself something, right!!! I choose this simple cotton tote with her initial & a crown on the front & a sweet soft pink bow tied on to one of the handles, it's a good thing!

Can you tell I'm totally bag obsessed right now, I can't get enough of them. This is my bag I got a couple weeks ago at Pom Pom. Don't you love the little french number on it? It's made out of a softer burlap & it's really big...perfect for the swap meet or farmers market or just for everyday when you carry as much junk around as I do. Well friends, I hope you had fun on our Santa Monica shopping spree! We all got some good stuff & hey, don't forget to tell your friends to come by & enter my Give-Away to have a chance at these great little gifts.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Yeah...100 Followers Blog Give-Away, Yipeeee!

Wow friends, who would have known when I picked up my 1st Artful Blogger magazine at Barnes & Noble in Baltimore, MD last May, I'd have my own blog, I'd LOVE blogging, I'd have made soooo many amazing friends, I'd have 100 fabulous followers & that blogging would become a part of my everyday life, actually my very being...I wouldn't have guessed any of that! Thank you, thank you, thank you friends & as a special thank you, let's have a Grand Give-Away! To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Comments can be made up until April 25th, 2010 & since I roll Old School, I will draw a name from my favorite straw hat on April 26th & announce my lucky winner! Over the next few weeks, I'll be giving you sneak peeks of what will be in our BIG WINNERS GIFT BOX. I'll have a few of my handcrafted by vintagesusie items, a few Lambs & Ivy Boutique items & a few of my Fabulous Flea Friday items, it will be a Potpourri of Wonderfulness all for you Friends...I promise!!! Again & sincerely from my heart...I heart all of you!!! Thanks for being my friend...
{& thanks Elizabeth at Clear Blue Sky for helping me get there!}

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1959 Pathfinder & a Gynormous Bird of Paradise

Friends, you are all soooo cute!!! Have I told you lately how much I adore all of you? Thanks for reliving my ticket debacle with me & for each one of you who answered any combo of my silly questions, I will be contacting you for your mailing address & sending you out some love along with one of my Vintage Fabric Flower Brooches...Yeah Friends!!!
Here's where we stay when we're in Hollywood, in our 1959 Pathfinder Travel Trailer. It's our home away from home, our pride & joy & look how nicely it tucks into our clients drive-way.
Now, when I stand in the doorway of our trailer & look out into this lush, vintage, CA yard, I have the delight of looking at this truly Gynormous Bird of's amazing!!! You can't tell the size of this beauty from my photo, but it towers over our trailer & is taller then the owner's house. How long would this plant have to be growing here in order to get this big? The house was built in 1924, could it have been an original planting? Just too cool...I had to share this with you!

And I have one more bit of exciting news before I go...drum roll please, I am about to have my 100th friend follow me here on vintagesusie & wings, how fun & awesome is that!! Looks like we are in the market for a really GREAT 100th Follower Give-Away, my mind is already mulling over the grand gift possibilities! Stay tuned friends...I can't wait to celebrate with all of you!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LA, Pom Pom Interiors & A Give-away

I'm back friends & here are the pictures from my day of shopping at Pom Pom Interiors in Los Angeles & let me tell you, it was even better then I could have imagined. I started the morning at their shop on Melrose only to find out that their main shop was on La Brea & was 7,500 sq ft of yummy vintage, shabby chic deliciousness...a dream in cream for sure!
The whole store was set-up in a wonderful 1920's California bungalow that you meandered in & out of rooms of, through courtyards, down hallways, looking at every inch trying to take in all of it's rich fabulousity!
After browsing thoroughly & changing my mind at least a dozen times, my two 'MUST HAVE' items were...a 2' dress form & stand that I had to have for displaying necklaces on at my shop & a burlap purse with a french enamel number 30 on the front. I ADORE them Both!!!
Now, to make a short story long here's the REST of my day. Parking in LA is in a word a 'NIGHTMARE'! There IS NO parking in LA & if your lucky enough to find an empty space, you then have to deal with parking meters that just happen to take a lot of change that a person like me who lives in the mountains & has no parking issues never seems to have. So.....on a little side street right next to Pom Pom, there were 2 parking spaces. I pull up to the 1st one. I grab all the change I have in the car which is $1 in dimes. I get out, go to the meter, get ready to put it in & realize the meter is blinking "FAILED", "FAILED", "FAILED". Thinking maybe this is an error, I decide to put a dime in to check, it's not an error & now I'm down to .90 in change. Should I move? Is this my fault that the meter is broken? I couldn't get a ticket because their stupid meter is broken, right? I move to the other space begrudgingly while trying to remind myself that I'm going to have my FABULOUS day in LA, so BE happy!
Putting my remaining change into the new meter, I now see that you get 6 min. per dime...shoot I'm down to 54 min. to shop, I can do this. Into divine Pom Pom I walk, now I'm happy. I am transported to another place & time, I'm on a heavenly journey in search of the perfect items to bring home with me. I relish in my $120 purchase, a splurge for me & skip joyfully back to the car. {well, not skip..sort of waddle} I arrange my packages carefully in the back of the car, jump in & start her up, look at my watch & note that I'm perfectly on time for my Paramount Studio tour, look up & notice someone has put some trash on my windshield, I hate that..damn LA! Yeah, you've got it...that's exactly right. It wasn't trash, it was the very thing I had tried so hard to avoid in the 1st place...the dreaded $60 parking ticket. I hung my head in shame & disbelief. Now, if I had stayed at the 1st meter, would I not have gotten a ticket because it was broken? If I had not wasted one of my dimes, would I have been back in time? How did my $35 studio tour turn into a $180 adventure? And what was the actual price breakdown of my 2 purchases? Anyone who comments & gets this RIGHT will receive one of my Vintage Fabric Flower Brooches just because if I'm giving it all away, I might as well give it to my friends right!!!

The moral of all this...even when an adventure goes bad, the story can still be good! PS: No tour, I just wasn't in the mood.