Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mural is FINISHED!

This happened last week while I was on Christmas vacation, but I haven't had time to take decent photos. For now, please enjoy this crappy iPhone picture:

Took me 2 years to finish this thing. Totally worth it. Ignore the random box, please.

Isn't it fabulous? The dorm room Christmas lights only add to its splendor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Treasuries Galore!

Who doesn't love a good Etsy treasury? I've included a few of my favorites below, all which include a piece from Rockin' B Clothing....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back at the Ranch - Home Design Part Deux

Continuing where I left off a few days ago... Part Two!

I've slowly been working on other rooms in our house outside of the "public" rooms. Our bedroom has been a bit of a challenge, I've been in my house for about 2 years and the bedroom has been on a delayed schedule of sorts. The public rooms were so easy for me - but our bedroom has one small window and presented a challenge for fitting in a queen size bed and select furniture. I like a lot of open space in bedrooms, however this one is pretty small for a "master" bedroom - old house, small rooms. My goal for this room was to create a focal point around the window and bed, creating a giant headboard look. Also, I love sleeping under an open window all year-round. Fresh air helps me sleep so much better!

Sad, sad bedroom before:

Bedroom after. Reggie (cat) included:

I think the window treatment helps create a lot of height. The white coverlet reflects a lot of light. The cat adds drama.
I repainted two bookcases the same color as the walls so they would give a bit of that "built-in" look. The wall color is not quite so saturated - it's a more delicate aqua in real life. The roman shade I made from some vintage style repro cowboy barkcloth, repurposing the mini-blinds mechanism that originally hung in the window. The curtains are IKEA relics from my college days (I think those were like $10 brand new at IKEA? Love it!) I need to get photos taken of the rest of the room, but honestly it's still a work in progress. There is a lot of random wasted space along the walls, I think it will take a bit more thought and experimentation to finalize the rest of the room. Please ignore the ceiling fan - it's needed for airflow, but I really need to find a sleeker model (maybe this one?) I hate those dingle-dangle lights - ugh.


I love hunting for vintage housewares. LOVE LOVE LOVE. As I said in my previous post, thrifting is one of my favorite hobbies. Nothing like the thrill of the hunt - I really do get an adrenaline rush when I spot something I like... approaching it quickly and quietly, lest a fellow hunter reaches it first... quick assessment, quick iPhone lookup for price comparison and value, quick buying decision. I usually decide on larger pieces in about 3 minutes - gotta be quick on the draw!

I found these awesome lamps at the flea market a coupla weeks back. They were a very quick buy, I couldn't resist for $30:

Got them home and started the rewiring process (I ALWAYS rewire vintage lamps - electrical fires are not fun. Take heed, take heed!) After taking apart the lamps, I discovered that the ceramic bases had been painted. Originally pink - PINK! - so of course I had to restore them to their original bubblegum glory. A bit of graffiti remover and a LOT of scrubbing were required.

Polished up the brass pieces, put the lamps back together, and they're perfect. They now live on my dresser with my other favorite pair, my very large brass 50s deer. Those babies are heavy, made out of solid brass! Another flea market find and snap decision - who doesn't want giant brass fawns in their home?

Final piece for show and tell is my latest Goodwill find. For $6, you too can own a cool MCM magazine rack, though it depends on the quality of your local Goodwill. Ours have been going downhill lately in the furniture department (we have 3 locations in town), but I was happy with this find. A lot of Brasso and scrubbing to make this one shine, but it was worth it! Now housing Atomic Ranch and Vogue, so handy! Also makes a delightful kitty jungle gym, as I discovered after hearing strange noises coming from the living room.

Whew... that's all I've got for now. I have a friend coming over in the near future to photograph the house properly, so I'll soon have better pictures of all our rooms. Real photos, as I keep telling hubs. iPhone photos don't count as "real" photos I've decided.

Over n' out!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home is Where The Heart Is - Part One

Yet again I'm terribly behind on posting. It happens - life just gets so out of whack sometimes; my husband and I feel completely out of sorts! The past two weeks have been avowed "return to normalcy" weeks, which have been very helpful and I genuinely feel much better mentally and physically. Something about a messy house, a hectic life and no downtime really does me in - talk about MAJOR burnout. Rockin' B had a long summer full of shows and traveling, which I enjoyed very much; however I love being able to spend time at home working on house projects and haunting my favorite thrift stores for housewares and furniture. Working on our house is definitely what I consider "downtime" - I love doing projects and improving/refurbishing things, it really clears my head and gets my creative juices going. After a long summer, I've been able to turn my attention back to my home and the cozy, kitschy world I've managed to carve out for us.

Interior design has long been a passion for me (can one consider crayon-embellished walls a decorative treatment? I started young.) I've been able to take some time to work on my ongoing house projects and collect more fun stuff for the house. I have a weekly schedule of thrift stores and flea markets that I stick to in a fairly strict manner, and it's been paying off this fall. I wanted to post some photos of my projects, so I don't feel like a complete slacker in blog-land. I've dubbed my decorating style "Atomic Rodeo Queen Meets Deco". Yes, totally serious. Or not so serious. Whatevs!

Our house is a very well-maintained 1920s Craftsman bungalow, with gorgeous original wood trim and doors throughout. We have lovely little leaded-glass bookcases in the living room, and our kitchen is a classic pre-war setup with the original cabinets and cast iron farm sink. I'll be honest, I bought my house for the kitchen. I gasped when I walked in and saw such a well-preserved vintage dreamland! I couldn't believe that someone would preserve it so lovingly, opting to NOT rip out the cabinets and stainless steel countertops. The people I bought it from took such nice care of everything, and it really shows. Thanks Dan and Judy for being so nice to your house for so many years! Ryan and I really appreciate it.

Here's our awesome kitchen sink and countertops! I've replaced the hardware on the cabinets since this photo was taken... no pics, apologies!
We haven't made any intense physical changes to the bones of the house, other than ripping up almost all of the carpet to free the hardwood floors underneath. I did take down the monstrous ceiling fan in the dining room and replaced it with a super atomic sputnik chandelier. However, most of what I've done is purely cosmetic - namely painting/decorating. Boy do I LOVE painting. It's one of my favorite things to do, absolutely therapeutic - I LOVE PAINTING! Every room in our house has been repainted, excluding our sad little bathroom (which is on the soon-to-be-remodeled list).

Here's a quick peek at things I've done to the house so far:
  • Living room/front door. I decided to paint a giant paint-by-numbers mural on the blank wall by the front door. Before photos are labeled (obvs) and the 2nd photo is the "after".

Not quite done, just a few more colors to add!
  • Dining room - I removed that horrid ceiling fan, and replaced it with my atomic sputnik chandelier. WHICH I LOVE. Also stenciled the walls to recreate a wallpaper pattern that I LOVE but is very, very beyond my price range - the Navajo pattern by Cavern Home. Everyone walks in and assumes it's wallpaper, but no - just 2 solid weeks of my hand-painting handicraft.
See our pretty leaded glass bookcases? Fancy! This is taken from the living room looking into the dining room.

Actual dining room. HIDEOUS FAN IS HIDEOUS!
I would like to point out that the after pictures are a motley mix. The nice, professional looking photo with our goofy mugs sitting pretty is actually from our engagement photo session. It's the only good photo I have of our chandelier and stenciled walls. Oh, and our kitchen clock.

Sputnik! Such a nice improvement. Also - hubs and I mugging for the camera. Oh, engagement sessions... photo by Dave Evans

This is the wall seen in the second "Before" photo, right next to the door into the hallway. Sweet baby sputnik lamp!
OK OK - enough of this for today. I will be posting a few more of my projects/rooms tomorrow. I'm going in for a medical procedure of sorts on Friday, so I have to prepare myself all day tomorrow - basically no eating. I will be a cranky-pants person, to say the least. But I have a pretty bedroom to show you! And rehabbed vintage lamps. LAMPS! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Late to the Party

Sorry for slow-to-no updates lately, I've been super busy in the shop, keeping Rockin' B going. One custom dress was made and sent on it's way to the Cowboy Hall of Fame induction ceremony 2 weeks ago in Colorado Springs - I must say that my client looked smashing. One of my favorite Dale dresses got packed up and shipped to London last week to a happy new owner. Apparently, we're going global.

My summer intern and I have been hard at work developing two new styles for Rockin' B, one is an eight-gore swing skirt that flares ever so gently when twirled - the perfect dance skirt, with no danger of showing one's unmentionables while spinning around the dance floor. Then again - some people enjoy showing their unmentionables; I admit that I myself get a certain thrill out of shocking the more "buttoned up" swing boys by flashing my bright red dance bloomers on occasion. It's good for them. Most of them rarely see the outside of an engineering lab (my swing club is located at a very prominent engineering university... we're all a bunch of nerds/geeks, whatever you prefer).

In other news, my gallery show at K. Dees Coffee as been very well received, this week is the last it will be hanging. See it while you can! My exhibit was also featured in the paper, a full front page article in the "Living" section or whatever they call it this week - how exciting! Note goofy photo of me, squinting into the sun like a cave creature. It was a rather warm day out on that pavement, trying to get some decent photos with the photographer. Sadly, the link to the article is now long gone on the paper's website, I'll try to get the actual paper article scanned and posted - it was awesome!

Here's a brilliant blog post by Kristy Miley at Heart of a Home, she and I had a great chat-slash-interview a couple of weeks ago about everything vintage (and a bit about my exhibition/work). She took lovely photos of the work I have hanging at K. Dees as well, thanks Kristy!

Look, it's squinty me!
Photo copyright of Heart of A Home/Kristy Miley

In other news, I'm in the market for a tiny vintage camper/trailer. Anyone have a lead? Shasta, Scotty, Airstream, etc. By tiny, I mean 13' at the most. I'm looking to remodel, so beaters are preferred - though not too leaky. If you DO have a lead, email me at Seriously! I can't wait to get my hands on one.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Goodness Gracious

My little ol' blog got featured in the local paper today. How exciting!

The actual printed paper features a goofy headshot of my face. Awesome.

In other news, I would LOVE to someday make a quilt featuring heirloom Craftsman designs such as this one. However, I'm short on time, so it won't be happening anytime soon!

Over n' out folks!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Summer Fun! New Shows, New Clothes

Howdy everyone, I've got a lot of exciting news about Rockin' B's summer schedule! We will be making appearances at several events here in the Midwest, and we are also opening our first gallery exhibition in downtown Lafayette, Indiana at the beginning of June. I've also got some quick preview pics of some new garments - I've been working hard on some beautiful one-of-a-kind dresses and skirts!

Please stop by and see us at BEATERSVILLE on Sunday May 30th in Louisville, KY. I'm very excited to be a part of such a cool event, and we will be sharing space with Saved Industries of Louisville. Beautiful clothes for vintage-loving people! We are also very excited to be meeting up with the folks who run Pinup Lifestyle - make sure to stop by and check out their fabulous site. They will be hosting a meet & greet at the Phoenix Hill Tavern during the show.

Rockin' B may also be appearing at the Road Rocket Rumble in Speedway, IN this coming June - the dates are June 24-June 27. I will keep you posted on developments with that, again it's a big "maybe" - but I'll let you know! Even if we do not end up vending, the show is FABULOUS and I will definitely be there as a spectator. Amazing bands, a great car show on Saturday, a live pin-up contest and lots of fun to be had all around. The Road Rockets sure know how to throw a party!

I'm also VERY proud to be presenting several one-of-a-kind garments from Rockin' B at a gallery exhibition in downtown Lafayette, IN - our new show is titled "Uptown in Cowtown". The show will be taking place at K. Dees Coffee and Roasting Company, opening reception will be Saturday June 5th at 6:30 PM. The show will feature one-of-a-kind garments and some of my working sketches. "Uptown in Cowtown" will be running through the end of July - please stop by and visit if you're in town!

(click to enlarge poster)

In conjunction with our K. Dees exhibition, we will be presenting a LIVE show featuring lovely models wearing Rockin' B, during the June 12th Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette.  The show will take place at K. Dees, so keep your eyes peeled for our gorgeous retro-lovin' ladies working the crowd. Mosey starts at 6 PM, and we will be strutting our stuff throughout the evening.

On to the really good stuff:

Here are a couple of progress/work photos for Rockin' B's newest dress style. I'm really in love with this Asian-inspired floral print, and I've been using it in quite a few garments.

This first photo demonstrates my process for making custom piping (a bit tedious but worth it!):

This photo show the progress of the front bodice yoke on the new dress. Several layers, 2 different types of piping, pearl snaps - the whole nine yards! I love how that custom piping turned out...

That's it for now - stay tuned for more info and more photos of pretty dresses/skirts as Beatersville approaches! Oh yeah, and you should add us on Facebook - modern technology my friends.

Happy trails 'til next time!