39 posts categorized "Family"

My Grandmother's Closet I

Raiding Grammy's closet (4) 

My grandparent's sold their dairy farm and retired to Arizona.  While the loss of my beloved farm & grandparents was heartbreaking, I consoled myself with their promise to fly us out West twice a year.  They made good on their word, many, many times over, and I'll never forget how grown up I felt boarding that plane with my two sisters twice a year.  

Of course, being the middle child meant I never got the window seat, or the aisle, for that matter, but I did get invited to tour the cockpit (obviously pre 9/11)  and took that tiny elevator down a level to the kitchen and "bar".  It's where I tasted my first Grand Marnier, and although I was nowhere near the legal age, the flight attendant consoled me with the fact that we were miles above anywhere I could get arrested.  He even filled my carry on bag with nips (more pre 9/11).  I later wondered if he knew he was going to be fired the next day~~or maybe he was just making sure I thought the skies were really as friendly as they claimed?   I hid them in my suitcase, but I'm pretty sure my grandfather knew it wasn't just gingerale in our glasses . . .

Anyway, on one visit to see them, my (younger) sister decided to raid my grandmother's closet and try on her fabulous vintage ensembles.  You'll get one a day until their gone.  Sort of like the nips.

xx ~ Michelle

Summer's Bounty & Loss

Lunch at Stanley's  

Lunching at Stanley's with your best friend with respective Barbies in tow....

Making sundaes after Mommy's asleep 

Making homemade sundaes when you should be in bed....

 Perfecting her croquet swing at dusk 

Perfecting one's croquet swing at dusk in a swirly frock....

How we eat clams around here

Waiting patiently for a bucket of fresh steamed clams....

The bouquet of fresh herbs on the counter....

Loving thy neighbor for sharing nature's bounty....and agreeing to eat vegetables tonight to make Mom's day....

Saying goodbye to our boat 

Saying "Goodbye & Safe Passage" to a dear old friend....

Goodbye Madishelle

"Parting is such sweet sorrow......"

The flower girls....

Walking down the aisle for an adored friend and her betrothed....

The bride and groom dance a fox trot 

And watching them dance the night away....in the manner of a fox~trot....

1950s Bonwit Teller pink suit~worn to stand up for my sister on her wedding 

Understanding why Mommy is so happy this suit still fits her almost 20 years later....

Umbrella beach 

One thing I have learned this summer is that one must take whatever joy one can from the present.  That is not to say that we can just go hay~wire and be careless about tomorrow, rather, we have to stop and enjoy the moment....for the moment is just that~ a moment~~which, if un~noticed, un~enjoyed, un~appreciated, can be gone forever....and there are enough things that are "gone" in this world before we are ready to see them go...so hug your Mom, hug your Dad, hug your wife/husband, hug your children, hug your sister/brother, hug your cousin, hug your friend, hug your neighbor, ...because I have friends who, at this moment, would give the rest of their life to, just once more,  hug their wife, mom, and friend...

Until we meet again, sweet friend.... 

xx ~ Michelle


I know I said (in my sidebar) I was going to take a blogging break, and I am.  But I had to share this photograph of my daughter, her two cousins and their cousin,  having a very proper tea party over the weekend compliments of their most adored Auntie ...  so sweet.

A very proper tea party  

xx ~ Michelle



The day dawned bright, hot and early... and not nearly long enough after I finally crawled into bed @ 2:15 am.  My sister's arrival at 9:00 pm the night before with a chilled bottle of Prosecco were just what I needed to get my second wind.   With the truck packed to it's gills, we called it a night, desperate for sleep & yet eager for the sun to rise, to get on the road to Boston.

Sunday the 2nd of May just happened to be one of those crazy New England days when the temperature was already 80 degrees by 10:00 am, and would continue to rise to 90 degrees by some reports I heard.   My mantra all the way to Boston? 
"Please let this VFW hall have air conditioning...Please let this VFW hall have air conditioning..."

Top Shelf Flea Market 5-2-10 Boston or Bust!

We arrive at 11:00 on the dot, and for a moment it looks like a mini~version of the New York Garment District back in it's hey~day.

NY Garment District 
(photo courtesy of Absolute Astronomy)

Racks of fabulous vintage clothing being wheeled across the parking lot by men in suits with bow ties and ladies dressed to the nines . . . my heart begins to pound.  The clock ticks away, and before we knew it, the crowd had pushed through the door well before high noon and the pandemonium began.  My heart begins to pound again~~we were nowhere even close to ready for the torrential crowd of vintage~treasure~hunters streaming in.

(Photo courtesy of N'East Style)

The crowd was, I believe, far above and beyond what any of us expected.  The fabulous Christine of Carmen & Ginger is a seasoned Flea~Market queen and said she had never experienced anything like it.  So you can only imagine what the experience was like for this Flea~Market virgin.  

(photo courtesy of Carmen & Ginger)

In actuality, these photos were snapped much later in the day, when we finally had a moment to step out from behind our booths.  

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I met this adorable vintage~loving gal who gladly obliged my request to snap her photo in these fabulous "SULTRY" sunglasses handmade in England (I'm quite sure she told me her name and I apoligize for forgetting). 

 Taylor shopping at The Red Velvet Shoe
(photo courtesy of Red Bird Vintage.)  

The lovely Taylor spent quite a bit of time at The Red Velvet Shoe, and she was a pleasure to behold.  A vision of vintage fashion and was one of three awarded the
 "Top Shelf Flea Market 2010 Best Dressed Award" by Red Bird Vintage.  I would have to agree.  She bought one of my favorite dresses and I am hoping she will manage to share a photo of her wearing it someday!

It was such a pleasure to meet some "fans", if you will, of The Red Velvet Shoe.  "Julie", the winner of my Springtime Vintage Give~Away, was one of the first through the door and was just thrilled that the vintage swimsuit she had her eye on was on the rack~a pleasure meeting you, Julie!  I also met the adorable "Sarah" who found "The Shoe" via a friend on Facebook and made her way down to Somerville to come say hello & show her support.  I hope those of you who found something make good on your word to send photos & keep in touch! 

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 My friend Brooke checking out the goods.

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(Jay & David)

The boys were fine, there was beer.

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(Brooke, Kelsi & Brandi~Lynn)

And lots of pretty girls...

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Fellow comrades of vintage Amy of Artifaktori & Christine of Carmen & Ginger looking fabulous in their vintage ensembles (Amy was freezing, thus the bizarre color combo & hangtag hanging off her sleeve.)   I can't really explain the hat, you'll have to ask her.

Joe of An Affordable Wardrobe 

Our fearless leader & mastermind behind the day: Joe (aka Giuseppe) of An Affordable Wardrobe
donning a real madras sports coat & his namesake "Giuseppe" bow tie from Ellie LaVeer Stager.

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My amazing sister & assistant for the day Brandi~Lynn, with friends & supporters Merrie & Michelle.


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You know you have great friends when they drive over an hour on the hottest day of the year to show their support.   Not to mention sticking around to help pack up & making it fun despite the sensation you could possibly tip over from exhaustion at any moment.  My sister Brandi~Lynn was above and beyond the best assistant I could have ever had and it is quite clear I could not have done it without her.  Of course I have to mention my DH & my adorable daughter for all their help & support for making this day possible for The Red Velvet Shoe.  Suffice it to say that my domestic duties have seriously fallen by the wayside & they did a great job trying to keep things together while I prepared for this fabulous vintage extravaganza. 

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I dressed Coco my dressform in one of my favorite ensembles that belonged to my grandmother.  Apparently, my grandmother had great taste, I think over 50 shoppers asked to purchase this dress, which I had to disappoint them with those heart~breaking words: "It's not for sale."  They found other treasures, though, and shop they did! 

My grandparents c1950s

I also brought this great photo of my grandparents & displayed it on an easel.  As you may know, my grandmother played a major part in nurturing my adoration for vintage clothing & finery, so I had to have her there, if only in a photograph.  One of the highlights of my day was when this lovely girl came up to me with it in her hand and said "How much is this?  I love it!"  (Note to self: mark things that aren't for sale as NOT FOR SALE next time)  I took it as the ultimate compliment.

There were so many vendors with fabulous vintage treasures I didn't even have a chance to properly meet or photograph.  Here are some links to a few other great reviews about The Top Shelf Flea Market which I will add to as I come accross them.

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."  Arnold Toynbee


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Let's just call it a BLUR OF A DAY!!





xx ~ Michelle

"I DO"


This week we are celebrating our nine~year wedding anniversary (you may remember this post a few years ago) and part of my ritual is to look at our wedding & honeymoon photographs.  It's pure nostalgia~~not to mention we were younger, thinner & kid~free (for a little while, anyway!)

Retro summer fashion by the sea

Happy Anniversary Darling 

But I have found
marriage, like wine,
gets better with age.


xx ~ Michelle