Thursday, September 26, 2013

wedding story

As far as I knew, Pete and I were gonna wing the whole wedding thing on our road trip through Mississippi. Playing up to my severely idealistic nature, Pete suggested this idea to me a week before our trip, over some wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. “Why not”, I thought, “perhaps some old blues man will marry us in a dilapidated juke joint out there.” However, behind the scenes, Pete was coordinating everything, and had been for a good month or so.
our room at the Shack Up Inn, decorated by the wedding crew.
embracing after the proposal, which was the first surprise. Another surprise was that Pete had invited my best friends to come out to Mississippi. There's Desiree, my best gal, happily watching from the sideline. At this point, I'm completely unaware that she is there.
In fact, I heard whooping and hollering in the background after I said "yes" to Pete's proposal, but I figured it was just friendly Southern folk. But when I turned to give my gratitude, I found that it was my best friends and Pete's folks. I was so excited and shocked. really shocked.

hugging Mikey, my and Pete's mutual bestie, also Pete's best (wo)man.
Ma and Chuck were there too. They drove all the way from Arizona to be with us.
Mikey and Des giving me the details of how Pete had set the whole thing up, and how hard it was lying to me for a month.

Mikey helping Pete to get ready before our wedding, which was to be held in the Shack Up Inn bar/chapel.
Desiree helping me to get ready for the big moment.
Chuck, Pete's step dad, married us. The gals planned their outfits without knowing what we were gonna wear, and coincidentally their mustard dresses went really well with our black glitter get ups.
the wedding crew
Mikey and Desi.
having too much fun.
This was definitely the most joyful day of my life, and the good times continued throughout the night.
Po Monkey's, the last juke joint in the U.S., where we basically had our wedding reception. photo by Annie Liebovitz

Later that night, we carried on the celebration at Po Monkey’s, one of the last standing juke joints in the U.S., open only on Thursday nights (lucky for us our wedding day fell on Thursday). It was the Fourth of July, and although we didn’t see any fireworks, fireflies lit up the dirt road that led to Po Monkey’s. Po Monkey’s, run by the charmingly bawdy Willie Seaberry, aka Po Monkey, was once a sharecropper’s shack, but has been open as a juke joint for over 50 years. Po Monkey greeted us and the rest of his guests wearing a red clown wig, railroad striped overalls, and an apron tied around the waist. When the moment was right, he lifted the apron, exposing a ridiculously large plastic floppy black weiner. This kind of raunchy humor is commonplace at Po Monkey’s, like when the dj played Clarence Carter’s Strokin”(much to my delight), or when the new friends I made joked about how I was gonna “get it on” later that night, or how there’s a picture hanging on the back of the women's bathroom door of a beautiful black gal shot from behind, wearing a tennis skirt that just happens to be tucked into her underwear. No uptight folks here, and I felt right at home, gleefully exclaiming to all “this is the stuff I daydream about.” We all danced with joy on those hard slanted wood floors until it was time to return to the Shack Up Inn to watch Kenny Brown perform (R.L.Burnside’s guitarist and adopted son). We must have caused quite a scene that night because the next day in town, everyone knew that we were the young couple that had just got hitched.

My wedding day was made even more special by the presence of my mother, who visited me that morning in a dream when we were still in our motel in Indianolo. She appeared to me with milk braids in her hair and dewy youthful skin. It had been so long since I had seen her look so radiant. She told me that she was happy and that she was with someone who loved her unconditionally. I woke up overwhelmed with emotions, and grateful in the knowledge that my mother was as happy in heaven as I was on Earth.

Further reading: 2007 article from the New York Times on Po Monkey's


wedding photos by Austin Britt

Monday, September 23, 2013

New In Shop: Knits

1960s Pastel "Triangles" Mini Dress S/M
1970s Grey Geometric Shapes Bell Sleeves Tunic Sweater M/L
1980s Light Tan Knit Triangle Short Sleeve Top SMALL
1970s Muted Striped Long Sleeve Knit Top XS/SM
1990s natural-hued Open Weave Punk Slouchy Sweater S/M
1970s Burnt Orange Great Gatsby Ribbed Cardigan 20s style S/M
Hey everybody. It's been a while since I've posted a shop update, but you'll be seeing a lot more updates in the near future, as I finally got my own studio work space! I feel so blessed to have found one that fits my criteria - affordable, natural light, wood floors. As a bonus, I even have an exposed brick wall! I worked for a few hours in the studio over the weekend, and was able to finally add some items to the shop. You can check out these knits and other items here. I look forward to sharing my studio space with you once the decorating process begins. Hope ya'll are well!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Washing my spirit clean: Three Rivers and the Sequoia National Forest

my sis
Anna, my niece
Nate, Pete's nephew
Nate & Anna playing in the river
gathering rocks from the river
Pete and the big trees
Anna and her mom, Bev (my sis)
In mid-August, I visited my favorite place in the world - the Sequoia National Forest, where the largest trees on the planet exist. I feel completely at peace here.  I knew that I wanted to share this special place with my niece, Anna, so I rented a cabin on the river in Three Rivers (just below the entrance to the national park),and invited Pete's family along too. The water in the river was the perfect temperature and so relaxing.  We played and swam in the river until sun down. We also gathered rocks (I brought a few of them home), and tried to skip rocks like my momma used to do (she was the best at rock skipping). At night, coyotes howled from the mountain tops, and in the morning, we were visited  by deer.

Anna hiked 5 miles of forest with us, though she had a few melt downs. Kids these days are not fit enough, which I always find somewhat annoying. (Come on kids, you’re supposed to have boundless energy).  I spotted a bear in a meadow from our car window, and we pulled over to check it out. Anna was  thrilled with the bear sighting. I'm hoping that'll stick in her brain rather than the memory of our "tortuous" hike. What is your favorite place in the world?

"Keep close to Nature's heart.. and break clear away once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." - John Muir

Outfit: vintage bathing suit (thrifted), safari hat from West Africa (Downtown LA Flea)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

cosmic neon thrifted mash up

What magnificent force is responsible for uniting thrifted pieces together in such wondrous harmony? I shall never know, but when it happens, I’m positively pleased. I’m pretty sure this look is inspired by Kathleen Hanna’s wardrobe in The Punk Singer. In the documentary, she wore a wonderfully gaudy lime green and purple vintage outfit combination, and I thought “her outfit must surely be thrifted, and golly those pieces were meant for each other, and my, she looks so young.” And then I realized once again that the fountain of youth is a boisterous outfit and a bad ass attitude.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Pete & my niece, Anna

If you're ever in Bakersfield, CA, be sure to check out the Five and Dime Antique Mall, which is set in an original Woolworth's Department store. The prices for antiques and vintage are phenomenally low, and one can still order a meal or a soda pop from the original Woolworth’s Luncheonette counter. Pretty neato!

This weekend, I tried to get some rest to recover from a summer cold that I've had for far too long. But I can't rest all weekend! I watched "The Punk Singer", the story of Kathleen Hanna, at our local art theater here in Long Beach. I really enjoyed it, and it was such a joy to see all the theater seats filled. I also went to the Belmont Shore Vintage Car Show, where Pete's 1964 Buick Riviera had its maiden voyage. The vintage car show reminded me of how much I want to drive an old car again. Perhaps a 1960s convertible American Rambler or Ford Falcon.  Oh ya, and Dwight Yoakam is still the best singer around (I went to his show on Friday eve).  Hope ya’ll had a nice weekend!

Outfit: yellow vintage shorts (vintage store in Fullerton), 60s crop top (Ebay), Van Doren Vans shoes, 50s sun hat (Five and Dime Antique Mall), 60s floral beaded purse (thrifted).

 Five & Dime Antique Mall: 1400 19th St  Bakersfield, CA 93301

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hwy 395

Lake Sabrina, near Bishop.
looks like a Bristol Cone tree
our lodging for the night
Keough Hot Springs pool, Bishop, CA.
amazing Hollyhocks in Bridgeport, CA.
Pete and I spend Labor Day weekend on Hwy 395 in the Eastern Sierra nearly every year. Even though we’ve been there several times, there is still so much to discover. This year, we slept in a covered wagon in Bridgeport, swam in the historic (built in 1919) Keough Hot Springs pool (it’s actually not that hot, since the pool is regulated by a cool water mist fountain), and hiked a few miles up the majestic Mount Whitney to the magical Lone Pine Lake (not pictured in this post. Still need to develop that role of film). In the Inyo National Forest, we found all kinds of creeks and lakes in which to play. I’m even considering taking up fly fishing for next year’s trip. While in the towns along Hwy 395, we ate at local restaurants and bars. In Jake’s Saloon in the town of Lone Pine, we shared a sweet remembrance of an old friend prompted by a David Allen Coe tune. Also in Lone Pine, we stumbled upon a real-deal garage sale - as in vintage accessories were like 25 cents a piece. I came away with several vintage hats and purses (including the red sun hat I’m wearing in this post) for $5!

Happy Friday! I’m stoked for tonight because I’m going to see Dwight Yoakam perform at the Palladium in Hollywood. Yippee!

Outfit # 1: 50s plaid shorts, vintage cotton top, vintage hiking boots (thrifted) \
Outfit # 2: Baja hoodie (thrifted) jeans with a name so stupid I’m too embarrassed to tell you (American Rag), reissued Van Doren daisy print shoes by Vans.
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