Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the trees are opening up their hearts in Northern Arizona

wearing some old boy scout shorts that I thrifted when I was 15.

Well, I would have taken more photos of the golden trees in Northern Arizona, but they were most abundant when we were headed out of Prescott and our truck was dangerously low on gas, and I didn't want to pester Pete to stop the car so I could take photos every second, but I am majorly suffering from photographer's remorse now. The trees were the prettiest golden hue and it was like they were all opening up their hearts for us to see. I was quite taken with the stately, iconic, Saguaro cacti too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving in Northern Arizona

Jake & Daisy
I spent this year’s Thanksgiving with Pete’s folks in Prescott, Northern Arizona. It was the first time I’d been away from my family for the holiday, but I made it up to them by taking everyone out eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant yesterday. Boy, Prescott was beautiful in the Fall. All the trees were golden amber and the sky was a jovial blue. I fell off the vegetarian wagon for the Thanksgiving holiday; there are some incriminating photos of me gnawing on a fried turkey wing, which aren’t really appropriate for this here sophisticated fashion blog. On Thanksgiving, we hung out around the homestead, frying up two turkeys (my first time), and cooking (or me watching Pete’s ma cook. She is a wiz at whipping up yummy meals in no time), and then eating so much I had to nap immediately after dinner, and waking up to eat some more and cuddle next to the fire with two silly love-struck English bull dogs, Jake & Daisy.
This 1955 Bel Air is for sale if you're interested. I love the stock peach paint and matching interior.
frying up Turkey # 1

The next day, Pete’s folks showed us a real good time. They took us the Granite Dells at Watson Lake, which was beautiful. The rock formations kind of reminded me of Joshua Tree. We’re gonna come back in the summertime and rent some kayaks. After, they took us off-roading down primitive back roads leading to Jerome, an old mining/ghost town, that we love to visit when we are in town. Unfortunately, it was too touristy on account of the holiday weekend, so we continued on down to the even tinier historic town of Cottonwood to eat at a tavern and do some antique shopping. Later that day, we drove up into the Prescott Mountains to CW’s (Pete’s stepdad) folks’ home to celebrate CW’s bday with a home cooked meal. We were stuffed from our late lunch, but not wanting to let the old folks down, we made sure to eat at least one plate of food that consisted of fried chicken (my favorite), zucchini casserole, vegetables, and homemade tapioca with berries for dessert. Then we went down to Matt’s Saloon, a cowboy bar on Whisky Row, to watch CW’s friend’s country band perform. The music was pretty good too (for new Country) and everybody was dancing. Man, I wish I could be transported back in time to when Buck Owens, Lee Hazelwood, and Waylon Jennings entertained at Matt’s Saloon in the mid 1960s. I sipped about 1.5 glasses of whisky and we watched the band for about 1.5 sets before the Thanksgiving slumber set in, and we all headed home to toast CW with some Honey Jack Daniels whisky, and then off to bed.
Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ

on the primitive road to Jerome

our badass host and hostess ,  CW & ma
I hope ya’ll had a nice Thanksgiving too! Stay tuned for Part 2 of our North Arizona holiday trip tomorrow.

Outfit: vintage cheetah coat, vintage turquoise cardigan, vintage wiggle skirt, vintage peach shoes. (everything thrifted).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

rainy days are gay

Just stopped in for a quick "Howdeeeeee", and will be back tomorrow with tales of my Northern Arizona Thanksgiving.

much love,

Crystal Lee

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a message of love: Salvation Mountain

If only my mother were still alive to sigh and coo and swell with love upon beholding Salvation Mountain - a floral dappled, Seussian looking, striped creation, inspired by Love, and brought to life by the diligent hands, creative mind, and pure heart of Leonard Knight. I am not a bible thumper, though I have many holy rollers on my southern side and both my folks were missionaries, but I do have a deep appreciation for those rare kind hearted and idealistic creatures who follow a calling that is right and noble. It seems to me that Leonard Knight is a righteous man. He lives in a small trailer on the side of Salvation Mountain and put all of his time into spreading a message of love. We were lucky enough to meet him. He was a sweet old man, hard of hearing, with a sparkle in his eye.

I thought it fitting to wear a long, flowing, white dress. Pete & I were later teased for our outfit choices by the entertainment at our humble lodging “Hey, look they’re going to get married.” We stayed at the Desert Hot Springs Spa, a mid-century desert hideaway, with several natural hot springs surrounded by palm trees. This kitschy oasis received a lot of bad reviews on Yelp, but most of the disparaging comments seemed favorable to me – “It hasn’t been updated since the fifties, the lady at the front desk had an actual beehive...” I am so happy that I found out about this place. It’s only a few hours from my home, and I want to return all the time. It was completely unpretentious, and there were all types of folks there. The outside entertainment was provided by an older couple who sang duets and scatted while playing the keyboard and tambourine. One guest gyrated to the music with a glow in the dark hula hoop. At night, the sky turned a velvet blue with smudges of white chalk. The moon was full and positioned itself between two over-sized palm trees. Sometimes, it bounced on top of the roof top as I jumped up and down from a different pool trying to get another look. An elf owl greeted us on our porch, and a reclining tan and muscular lady, most likely a desert local, in the voice of a lifetime smoker, told us that was a good omen. I couldn’t get over how dang cute the elf owl was! For dinner, we ate at the hotel diner where they had several vegetarian options. Later, we watched karaoke at the bar. I didn’t feel like singing that night. I was content to listen and watch everyone else.

The next day, we hit about 10 thrift stores, with several in Palm Springs. Poor Pete, he only came away with one pair of pants. He is always bemoaning how hard it is for guys to find stuff at the thrift store, though he’s been known to score pretty big on many occasions. I did better than I thought I would with the Palm Springs thrift stores - they are usually so picked over. I suppose my best find was a 50s denim playsuit, but I also found several pieces that I turn around and sold at the Rose Bowl Flea Market the next day. Life is sweet.

Outfit: 70s dress (American Thrift, Los Angeles), motorcycle boots (thrifted).

Monday, November 14, 2011

an "outdoorsy" look

Alongside the Donald Trump Golf Course in Palos Verdes, there is a trail that leads to a rugged, rocky, desolate beach. I took the steep dirt trail down to the beach and found myself completely alone, but for the makeshift teepee, created from twigs,rocks,and scrub. It felt good to have the ocean and rocks all to myself, and to be able to take photos of my outfit free from stares. When I returned up the hill, I realized why the beach was so empty - the uphill climb was quite a scramble! Solitary outdoor exploits were enhanced by my quintessential outdoor piece – an LL Bean strawberry print turtleneck. Sorry I wasn’t able to capture the print too well.

This weekend’s mini-trip to the desert was incredible. More on that later in the week. I hope you had yourselves a fine weekend.

Outfit: vintage Jordache shorts, LL Bean strawberry print turtleneck, motorcycle boots (thrifted), headband was once the neck of a turtleneck.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

il y a des cactus

There's no doubt about it, cacti are cool. They make great backdrops for photo shoots. They’re old, gnarly, impressive, awe inspiring, and not to be fucked with. A cactus print bandage dress paired with a plastic gun holster is about the best body armor I can think of for combating tame and uninspired style, which is why I am so taken with Jeremy Scott’s Spring 2012 line. I have often thought of myself as an urban cowgirl outlaw for no other reason than that I wear ridiculous cowgirl outfits in the city. I’ve been know to wear a gun holster just for kicks, and though my style has mellowed out a lot, in my heart there’s always a gaudy cowgirl just clamoring to get out and yell “Yee Haw.”
Jeremy Scott Spring 2012
Giant Cactus in Arizona, Southern Pacific RR Lines, 1943
Jeremy Scott spring
Jeremy Scott Spring 2012
Cactus Jack's Casino, Carson City, NV
cactus sign
Last month when I was selling vintage at the Veteran’s Stadium Flea Market in Long Beach, I saw Jeremy Scott strolling around (I see him all the time), stopping at nearly every booth, carelessly flipping through books, talking to vendors. He seems really chill. He was wearing cut off red sweat shorts, an oversized sweat shirt with a purposefully gaping hole in the back, white socks, and high top Flinestone Adidas of his own design. He has really buff legs. He kind of looks like Popeye. He came into our booth. My voice trailed behind him like an eager pup.

“I love your work, especially the telephone cord print you did for Spring 2007 and those bandage cactus print dresses for Spring. Where can I buy your stuff? Like the phone cord leggings & matching top? I can’t spend more than $200 though. I’m really cheap. I mean even $200 is too much. Even though I appreciate and love what you do, I just don’t feel right about spending all kinds of money on clothes, but ya, where can I buy my favorite pieces from your collections?”

Despite my gauche tendency to talk about how cheap I am and how unwilling I am to spend lots of money on clothes, he responded very modestly and generously to my questions and thanked me for my compliments. I already knew that his stuff sells at Opening Ceremony, but they don’t stock everything & it’s never what I want & like I said, it’s usually too expensive. He told me he’d also be opening a store in Miami that would be stocking some of the best of his older collections. I told him that I’d be saving my pennies.

I’m going to take a quick trip to the desert this weekend, and I’m just so excited to get out of town. We’re gonna visit the Salvation Mountain in Niland. I first learned about this religious pastel creation when I saw the Daydream Nation photo shoot on Rookie. A desert roadside attraction within my own home state! Well you know, I just have to go. Back in the saddle again. Happy Trails, folks!

Images from flicker (click on photo for link) & runway images from style.com.

Monday, November 7, 2011

random snaps

I finally got this coat tailored. After finding Pete about a dozen of these handsome 50s jackets, I'm stoked to have one for myself.

this is not symbolic of my home life. hee-hee.

another "to be mended" dress found in my closet: 50s pastel polka dot wiggle

recently thrifted dress for my niece Anna.

I'm liking this color combo: mustard and pink.

Outfit # 1: 50s jacket (hand me down from my pal, Elliott), 90s houndstooth shorts, Helmut Lang top, Cole Haan loafers (thrifted)

Outfit #2: 60s jacquard pink mini skirt (hand me down, thrifted), 60s mustard sweater with tons of little holes, vintage scarf (thrifted).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

all the babies in my life

Good morning, everybody. The rain is pouring outside my bedroom window, and I am having a hard time getting out of bed. I'm lost in reverie again. When I was a teen, I spent countless hours daydreaming out my window, as the rained poured down, of finding a prince who would twirl me around in the rain while I wore a poufy fancy ballgown. I was always dating schmucks at the time. I feel so lucky to have found a prince who would work hard to bring any of my daydreams to life, though I haven't really pushed Pete to twirl me in the rain; maybe that daydream isn't quite as relevant now.
I'm also feeling fortunate for all the babies in my life. You've all met my niece Anna through photos on many occasion, but you haven't really met Nicholas, my new baby nephew. He is just the sweetest, most well behaved baby. I hold him until my arms get all tingly and numb. I love to cut up in front of him so I can see his big baby grin.

may all your daydreams come true,

Crystal Lee
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