Thursday, October 28, 2010

Send a Little Love My Way

Cookie Cutie
Hello lovelies! I am entered in a vintage clothing contest and I was hoping you all might help me out by voting for me. You can vote once every day, so if you are so inclined that would be awesome! The voting ends Nov. 12th.

You can vote for me here.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tin Pan Alley Songbirds

I recently did another gig with my vocal trio Bootless Betties. The premise of the group is that we sing syncopated songs from the 20s-40s in a similar style of the Boswell Sisters and Andrew Sisters. We are accompanied by guitar/ukulele, cello and pots & pans percussion. It's a ton of fun and we are slowly amassing a fund to record a CD next year.

Right now we are rehearsing to do a holiday show in Milwaukee. We are trying to decide if we should perform at a coffeehouse or perhaps another interesting venue like a book store or restaurant.

Question- If you were going to see a group like ours, where would you want to go? I can't wait to hear your suggestion!

Music Player web


Friday, October 22, 2010

Rockabilly Wedding with Cherries on Top

pic from Rock n' Roll Bride, phtos by John Day Photography

Rock n'Roll Bride just featured a white hot rockabilly wedding with the bride in a Vivien of Holloway halter dress (with bridesmaids in the same dress in black or polka dots)and Vivienne Westwood cherry shoes. LOVE IT! The shoes are bit pricey for me ($173 US) but they sure are adorable. If you are a DIY kind of person, you could probably make some shoe clips for yourself and clip on a pair of white shoes. If you aren't sure how to do that, contact me (tartdeco at gmail dot com) and we can chat about having some made custom from me.

By the way, why have I not been aware of Vivien of Holloway before this? I have heard, but never really shopped. Perhaps it is because they are UK based, but their dresses are to die for and not that expensive. Plus they go up to a size 46" bust!

The halter dresses from the wedding above are only $124, which is super good for a wedding dress! They also have the cutest day dress for $70 that I am adding to my wish list.

Tart Deco Featured

I was recently interviewed for the blog Simply Stacie. Simply Stacie is a blog friendly website that started a list of PR friendly blogs that companies can contact about reviewing their products based on the subject of the blog, ie. vintage or music. I am not huge on giving away free reviews, however if I am contacted to look at a product appropriate for my readers and I truly like it- why not? I also like the page of blogger resources on the site.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Perfecting Your 40s Look

I really could spend all day reading the blogs I subscribe to (and have occasionally). If you haven't checked out my new Vintage Blog List page, grab a cup of apple cider and a scone, throw on your comfiest afghan and visit for a few hours. You will thank me, even if your loved ones end up cursing my name from all the extra time you will spend ;)

Getting back to the reason for this post- 1940s fashion! There are 2 posts right now that I am loving on how to nail a vintage look and I thought you should read them, if you haven't already. The lovely Solanah from Vixen Vintage did a guest post on Lingerie Addict on how to buy vintage lingerie for the perfect look.

pic from Glamour Daze via Life
Once you have the foundations in place, you can move on to creating the perfect 40s look by reading this post on 1940s fashion on the Glamour Daze blog. The pictures in this post are incredibly helpful. Make sure to visit the other links provided in the article to view more posts in a series on 1940s fashion.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boudoir & Closet Giveaway Winner

I know you all have been waiting breathlessly to see who won my epic giveaway and I will make you wait no longer.

I had my handsome husband take a break from finishing up his Halloween costume (can you guess what he will be?) to pick the winning name and it is...


pic from
Ms. Darling has been contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond. She entered several pictures that were lovely, but the one I liked best of her entries is this one. I would die for a shoe closet like that!

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! Your entries gave me a lot to think about in my quest for the perfect vintage closet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Own That?!? Seasonal Clothing

pic from
Continuing with my closet obsession, I have recently discovered the joys of rotating one's wardrobe for the season. I don't really know why I haven't done this before- most likely because when I was younger I didn't have enough clothes to rotate and once I did I was paranoid that I would store something I would end up needing and then have to wade through my storage space to find it.

No longer am I a slave to my unfounded fears because I have jumped into the cravice of clothing storage and I like it! No pumas! (If you get that reference you get cool points)

The beauty of going through the process of choosing clothes to store is that you almost always will find something you forgot you had. I totally found a cute shirt I don't remember buying at all! Plus, I always tend to keep wearing the same things because they are returned to the forefront of my closet and are easier to grab again. I came up with all kinds of fun outfit ideas as I went through everything, as well as started a mental list of what would be needed to complete some more outfits.

BUT before you start tossing your clothes into a box with visions of closet space dancing in your head, be sure to follow a few steps so you aren't surprised by a stinky (or mothy) box full of stuff when you unpack again at the next seasonal switch:
  1. Make sure everything is clean. Even if you only wore it once you should wash it again. Have you ever seen a vintage garment that is in almost perfect condition except shredded armpits? That's from your body, dearie, and it will erode away at your dainties and attract bugs. Even if you can't see it, it's there- trust me.
  2. Pick the right storage box. Cardboard may be cheap but it won't protect your cherished pretties. I decided to go with a plastic bin with a lid that attached firmly and tightly. I used masking tape and a sharpie to mark it as seasonal clothes (so I can find it and not weird out- see above)
  3. To help keep bugs from feasting on your wardrobe delights stay away from icky toxic moth balls and go natural. Use herbs known for repelling pests, like rosemary, cloves, and mint. I got some dried herbs from a natural food store (they can be used to brew tea too) and put a mixture of about 1/2 cup in a ribbon sachet I made. Another option is to use nylon leg and tie it at the top, then put that inside a circle of light cotton material and close up with a pretty ribbon. Place it at the top of the bin so the smell is strongest where the bugs could get in. If you want to get really fancy you can wrap your clothes in acid free tissue paper.
  4. Try to store the bin in a place that is well-ventilated so must or mold doesn't form and dark so ultra-violet light doesn't get through. [I found this out through research kids, I have no idea about how ultra-violet light travels or attacks your clothes invisibly. Too high-tech for me!]
  5. For good measure, use this semi-annual culling as an excuse to go through your stuff for donations. I found at least 3-4 things that I was able to part with this time around, plus a couple more that I kept but mentally tagged for future consideration.
So there you are! Go commune with your closet and enjoy the extra 3-5 inches on your clothing rod. That's room for at least one more crinoline!

American Popular Music

pic from
I may have mentioned that in my "spare" time I am getting a dual Masters degree in Library Science and Music History. I have recently started a blog on American Popular Music where I wax poetically on various genres in that subject.

I started the blog to satisfy a course requirement for a class I am in right now so the posts are fairly spread out in time periods and subjects. However I am sure that once the class ends I will tend to concentrate mostly on music from the 1920s-50s which are my favs! I do have a post up on The Hillbilly Casino which should be of some interest to my rockabilly readers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heyday Giveaway (closed)

I love how that rhymes! Actually its the In the Heyday blog that is having the giveaway and it's pretty faboo- a sweet floral Fleur wrap dress! The pockets are my favorite part...

Don't forget to enter my Vintage Closet and Boudoir Giveaway too. It ends on Monday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

1940s Lips

Pic from Vintage Face
The delightful Fleur de Guerre has posted a video tutorial on applying 1940s lipstick on her website Diary of a Vintage Girl. Just in case you missed my post on the 1940s Pinup Face, you can also find a diagram on how to apply the lipstick on that post.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vintage Closet and Boudoir Giveaway (closed)

pic from thevintagehousewife
The last two apartments I have lived in were pretty old (1920s and currently 1884) and they both had very small closets in the bedroom. Being that my husband and I are hoping to eventually buy a 20s or 30s bungalow I have a feeling I will have a similar issue. Thusly, I am obsessed with how people organize their closets.

I LOVE it when I find an ad or picture in a vintage magazine that shows a bedroom closet or when I see an old movie that allows a peek at a boudoir. I am also inspired by modern closets, but vintage examples remind me of how little I really need for clothes, which is a good thing in my case.

So to have a little fun I am hosting a giveaway to feed my closet obsession. I will be giving away a vintage boudoir package to one lucky reader. The package will consist of a pair of padded hangers, 2 handmade ribbon sachets, a vintage hanky or lingerie bag, and a set of vintage shoe trees that have been personally "tarted" up by me. Plus there will be a surprise gift added based on the picture that wins.

What do you need to do to win? 
-Leave a link (and your email) in the comments of this post to a picture of a bedroom closet with a vintage feel that inspires you and tell me what it is you like about it. Please make sure that you include where you found the picture so I can give the proper credit! If you don't give me the pic source you can't win because I like to play nice when using other people's content, k? You can take a picture of your own vintage inspired closet if you'd like and upload it to the web so you can link to it. Just make sure and let me know it is yours.

-You get one entry for every picture you send, but they have to be a different closet (no multiple views of the same closet). Also, once a link for a picture is left in the comments it can't be used again (so no multiple entries on a single picture).

-You get an extra entry per picture of any bedroom closet that is 1950s or earlier

-You get an extra entry if you blog about this giveaway. Make sure and leave me a direct link to the post in the comments to get credit.

- The giveaway ends Monday, Oct. 18th at midnight, central time. That gives you two whole weekends to find your pictures. The winner will be picked by random out of a hat and I will post it by Wednesday of the same week.

- The giveaway is open to anyone in the US and Canada. Anyone outside of that may enter but they will have to pay the difference in shipping to their country.

- Make sure to leave your email in your comments so I can contact you if you win!

Fun, yes? I hope so! I can't wait to see what inspires you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Other Vintage Passion

Figgy Pudding- I'm the dramatic one on the right
I don't remember if I have ever posted about the fact that I love madrigal music, especially the bawdy stuff (which frankly accounts for 80% of the secular music of the time, just read between the lines). Sometimes I hear it in my sleep and have spent hours and hours looking through music books at the library and loving every minute of it.

I used to perform every summer at the Bristol Renaissance Faire for 11 years, first as a madrigal singer in various groups, then as the director, arranger and performer in an amazing all-female group called the Consorte Bella Donna. I still have thoughts about reforming this group because it was all kinds of awesomeness and what else is one going to do with a courtesan costume that sports an 8-yard bustle?

Consorte Bella Donna-Lusty Young Smith.mp3

English Ivy at Stronghold 09
I still perform at Renaissance Faires on occasion and this weekend I am at one in Oregon, IL called Stronghold. I am also selling my Tart Deco hair flowers and wreaths with a few extra Halloween goodies like witch hats. If you are in the area come and visit me!

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