Making Changes

Hello friends! I am sure you have noticed that I have not posted anything in quite a while. At first I was just taking a break because I was sick, but soon realized that keeping up with two blogs was a bit much for me, especially as I have been trying to make some changes in my buisness. But, fear not! I will now be posting not only my vintage style oil paintings on my art blog, but sharing my favorite vintage inspirations there as well. So click on over to my art blog, http://EmilyClarke.blogspot.com for much more vintage fun! Thanks. ~Emily

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What will they think about us?

Another great article from my November 1946 issue of Seventeen Magazine: This column works to dispel the myth that the “Gay Nineties” (as in 1890’s) were the “good old days.”

“Haven’t you heard some sillies who moan, “Gosh, it would be wonderful if this were fifty years ago- during the Gay Nineties.  Life was so-o-o exciting then!” Do tales of Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell make you wonder a bit, maybe even yearn to have been a Gibson Girl?  Well, when grandmother talks of the good old days, suggest that she discard the rosy-hued lenses.”

The article goes on to talk about the discomfort of corsets, the lack of variety in clothing, the inconvenience of travel.  The thing that struck me, though, is how I, and many others of us, have this same attitude now about the 40’s and 50’s as compared to today!  I don’t know how many times I have said that I was born in the wrong era.  I guess we will always be looking over that fence to see how much greener the grass is on the other side.

My favorite part of the column was the last paragraph: “Try to imagine the books that will be written in 1996 about life today.  They’ll laugh at our stumbling about with television, and at our offstage, on-street ballet slippers, but they’ll show that 1946 was a pretty exciting time in the history of the world.  Rocket ships, atomic power, another chance for world peace, penicillin, two-way telephones in automobiles.  Want to  become a charter member of my Let’s Appreciate Today Club?” ~Seventeen Magazine, November 1946, pp. 69-70

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Being Seventeen

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A couple of nights ago, I gave a talk for an artist group in Simpsonville, SC.  The woman who invited me had been in my studio before, and knew what kind of work I do.  So, she brought me an old Seventeen magazine from 1946 she had at her house.  You would have thought she handed me a bag of gold!  I have since spent many hours pouring over its pages, the beautiful ads and great stories, and drooling over the clothes.  I wish I could share the whole thing with you, but here is an excerpt from a story that caught my attention immediately.  Being 5’10” myself, I know what it is to be one of the tallest in the room.  But, instead of slouching to hide it, I tend to put on my 4″ heels and flaunt it…

“Put it this way: Not for your are short-waisted or fluffy fashions.  No sweet or girly-girly stuff.  Smooth suits you can wear like a model…dirndls to give you hips, not to hide them…positive classics to lend distinction to your build or coloring.  For you: big hats that would make mushrooms of little girls; slacks that have an air of belonging to your long legs so unalterably that by comparison the short girls appear to be picnicking in their pajamas.” Seventeen Magazine, November 1946, p.53

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Poster madness!

I feel like I have been posting a lot of vintage posters recently, but I just love them!  Making a poster now is no big deal.  We just get on the computer, arrange a few things, and suddenly it’s done (I am not complaining about that, especially when I need a poster for one of my events!).  The problem is that they are not works of art any more, but just something quickly put together to get the message out.  I think that vintage posters, while they had a very clear message that they were trying to portray, were really works of art in themselves.  My recent obsession with vintage posters has led me to want to design and paint some myself.  I will be posting these over on my painting blog soon, but in the meantime, check out a few of my favorite vintage movie posters I have recently come across.

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I can do it!

Hello friends!  I have been so busy with art shows, commissions, and opening my Avon shop that something had to fall by the wayside, and sadly this blog was it.  But, I have all kinds of interesting stuff to share and new projects coming up, so I won’t be going away any time soon!

I have wanted a pair of Rosie the Riveter overalls for a while now.  I would see them on websites or see photos of you fabulous vintage gals wearing them and would be sooo jealous.  The trouble was finding a pair or a pattern that I could afford.  Finally, before Christmas, I stumbled upon the Folkwear site where they had this pattern for a reasonable price.

So, for Christmas, my mom gave me several yards of denim and the pattern my little heart has been longing for.  We put them together fairly easily, and I have to say they are the most comfortable pair of pants I own.  I want to make them in tons of colors and make them my official studio uniform! (Don’t judge me until you make a pair.)

This is my best “we can do it” pose.  Sorry about the horribly blurry photo.  I have been meaning to bring my tripod home for weeks, but it never seems to make it.  I am sure you will see these pants (and several variations on them) many more times!

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Tough Enough

Photo by the amazing Keith J. Carson. This is one of the photos from my vintage pin-up shoot a few months ago.  Want to see the painted version of this picture?  Come to my show at Coffee & Crema here in Greenville tomorrow night.  The reception is from 6-9pm, and music will be provided by the wonderful Stephanie Fagan.  Coffee & Crema is located in the Fresh Market shopping center on Atrium Blvd., between Laurens Rd. and Pleasantburg Dr.

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A bit of instruction

I have seen this video a number of times, but I still love watching it!  Happy Tuesday!

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Even the best laid plans…

So, last night I got all dressed up to go to a New Years Eve party downtown where a friend’s band was playing.  I went out to my car only to discover that I had a flat tire.  It was pretty late by that point, and I wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone to come pick me up for the party, so I ended up spending the evening sitting on the couch, in my fancy outfit and hair, eating chocolate and watching a marathon of The Thin Man movies on TCM. (not a bad evening, but just not what I had planned.)

I was finally able to get my hair in to some form of victory rolls, thanks to this tutorial:

I don’t think her method is completely authentic, but it gives you the look and is really easy to do!  Here is what the final product looked like, even though I am the only one who saw it last night

And, I have to say after watching a lot of Thin Man last night, I adore Myrna Loy!  She always looked so beautiful and sophisticated, but she was also really funny.  I was reading a bio of her recently and was interested to learn that early in her career, she was typically cast as an “exotic”, made to look like she was of Asian decent.  The Thin Man movies helped break her out of that stereotype and into comedic roles.

photo courtesy avanzaza.com

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The holiday of hats

Hello friends!  I hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas holiday as I did!  I love Christmas with my family.  It is all about spending time together, eating, making things for one another, and most of all laughing!  Our whole family’s attitude has always been “why buy it when you can make it!”  This year my mom really outdid herself when she handmade several vintage hats for me.  I will take some better pictures of them when it is sunny, but I just couldn’t wait to share the beautiful work she did!  And I have lots more treasures to share coming soon!

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Merry Christmas Everybody!

I am headed home to Atlanta tomorrow, but wanted to leave you with a couple of Christmas images and a great website to check out while I am gone for the holiday!

I just love Christmas lights.  They make everything seem so magical this time of year.  Although, I could never be one of those people who completely cover their house and yard in lights.  That is mainly because these people pay huge electric bills, not to mention the cost of updating their electrical systems to handle all that extra power.  But also because I am one of those people who gets really annoyed when I see Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, and to put that many lights on your house you have to start sometime in October!

But, I stumbled upon a great site recently that has everything I love about Christmas lights.  It is http://oldchristmaslights.com and it tells the history of electric Christmas lights in America from 1900 through 1950.  Lots of great information and pictures for you collectors.

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