Happy Independence Day, USA!

Favorite Fourth of July memories seem to harvest out of the teen years. Have I mentioned I worked at In-N-Out? Celebrations are better savored when it is known you may not get to have them. A few months back I was pretty thrilled to find this forty-eight star flag at the Folsom Antique Fair. I bought this Tara Starlet skirt, careful they run small, off another gal on OLL Facebook group. The beads were Gigi’s. The sailor shirt below I purchased used off a pro dancer friend, she wore it in a performance, but I totally dig it to wear any time! Burlington Coat Factory for the shoes.

Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Self
Perhaps more lovely Independence Day celebrations are in my future.

Bad Girl or Good Girl?

Upcoming Miss Midnight Mass pageant is casting ten “good girl” and ten “bad girl” contestents, who falls where is up to the organizers. I’m not so sure I make such a great “bad girl”.

What do you think?

Good Girl

Miss Midnight Mass 2014 may choose me to be in their top twenty to compete in person. If selected, they also will cast me as one of ten “good girls” or “bad girls”. I think I make a pretty good “good girl”.

What say you?

Drum Roll, Please

Miss Midnight Mass 2014 pageant has been cast, and I am

B…b…bad girl! I am so thrilled to be among the twenty lovelies in this pageant! Now to settle on an outfit….



I’ve been sorting our pinup photos for some time now, but time I learn to develop our images. I’ve been playing with available functions featured in SmugMug lightroom. Here are my first attempts. Amazes me how different images can become with post-production.

Speakeasy Photos
Styled by Laurie Tavan out of her personal collection Daze of Laur
MUA: Self
Hair: Five days old by Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson

Dad’s Bop Entry Photos

I made mention of some vintage prom dresses acquired in anticipation of a pinup contest requiring contestants to wear authentic vintage gowns. Since the contest never occurred, and we were required to submit photos previously not published, I thought to share my photo entries here. Put them to use.
Above is my dad’s truck, Roger Driver, which I thought to be appropriate given the name of the event. I am wearing a Stop Staring play suit, put on my own makeup, and my mom french braided my hair. Below I am wearing authentic 1950s vintage frames acquired at the Sacramento Antique Faire, authentic 1950s vintage Simplicity dress acquired on OLL, and Irregular Choice Shoes. I sit upon a family heirloom chair with Nonnie’s authentic vintage table at my side which is topped with pieces from her collections as well as some mid-century magazines procured at the Sacramento Antique Faire. MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson. I chose these images for this collection based on the variety of hair and wardrobe styles, as well as presence of vehicles, as the weekend was meant to be focused on classic rides.

I figure a car pageant entry would not be complete without an image of my own ride. Unique Vintage dress and authentic vintage head topper which belonged to GiGi. MUAH: Self

Speakeasy Photos
Oh, and I just received news that I have been selected to participate in Miss Midnight Mass 2014 alongside nineteen other lovely ladies. Will I be cast as a good girl, or a bad girl?

Vintage Prom Part 1

I purchased this dress with hopes to participate in a pinup contest requiring the contestants to don a vintage prom gown. Shopping online, I decided to play it safe and order three. This is by far my favorite, though some of the lace needs to be re sewn and I ought to press the satin sash. I spent time creating photos to submit photos to the contest, perhaps I should now post them here. Tremendous efforts are made to put on events, and having one canceled brings renewed appreciation for the events that are a success. You must have planned a birthday party at some point in your life, imagine guests by the hundreds or even thousands, that party requires a team. Though I must admit, my family appreciates the downtime a canceled event provides. I think my kids are a bit young to appreciate most car shows or dances, and while I look forward to the day they enjoy such activities, I am grounded enough to discover family fun that speaks to my littles and meets them as they are, and as we parents as we are. Preschoolers are exhausting.

Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson
Shoes:Racks Boutique of Sacramento
Necklace: costume jewelry given to me by my Nana before she moved back to TN.

Real Pinup Girl Secret Straight From Midcentury

Efforts Laurie Tavan and I have made toward my waist cincher are providing for me an education on a woman’s curves. We are not only measuring inches around, but inches between the bottom of my rib cage, top of my pelvis, and squish-ability of all in between. In two weeks, my waist easily goes up and down a whole inch and a half! Food bloat or time of the month are possible explanations. However, it pays to keep garments in the closet suitable to those fluctuations. This is where the waist cincher also comes in handy perchance a bloated day lands the same as when I need to wear a certain dress for a shoot or event. Laurie is makes considerations for body measurements I never before thought to consider when dressing myself or shopping.

Some dense weeks I have recently spent purchasing vintage clothes on eBay and a Facebook group. Measurements are given for the garments flat across. Unbelievable the variations in how measurements wear on the body, particularly my body. Some garments have incredible give which is why I am able to order what should be an inch or two too small, those garments actually best flatter my curves. I want to draw a conclusion that for dressing mid-century a gal ought to purchase a size down for true curve-hugging fit, a conclusion never in my life would have been previously made. Ma always bought our clothes on the large side, is “fit” subjective? I now realize that buying clothes online, after six months of giving it incredible zest and fervor, is as many already knew without blowing the dough, a bad idea. Measurements given cannot account for give in fabric and stitching, oftentimes the bust is grossly under measured, not giving allowance for built in cup thrust and now I have even more ill-fitting clothes. This girl is tossing in the towel, because even brand allegiance has failed time and again to deliver accurate fit results. I am moving on to in-person store shopping where I can touch the fabric and try on styles. I got messed over online boasting fantastic photos only to receive a garment falling apart or more severely downtrodden than let on. Biggest complaint by far is inability to measure or communicate fit. The world is now online and some great possibilities exist for vintage clothes enthusiasts, I simply do not have the time and energy to resale every ill-fitting garment, nor is owning so many cast-offs budget friendly. I may take chances with super adorable finds, but give me ol’ fashion brick and mortar to try on from now on.

I am not thrilled with these images of the cincher, so we will re-shoot and post later talking more specifics about my little cincher.

MUA: Self
Hair: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson
Waist Cincher crafted by Laurie Tavan

Metal Prints

Have you heard of metal prints? Have you seen them in person? Shane and I first encountered metal prints at SmugMug‘s company office. Gradually, many prints on display were replaced with metal prints. They are brilliant on the wall. What we love about metal prints 1) Vivid clear imagery display 2) No frames! 3) They arrive ready to hang with mounting on the back 4) Lightweight construction means you don’t need heavy duty huge hole-making accessories to get your pieces on display. We moved enough times the first three years of marriage that our home decor style turned minimalist out of necessity. We tired of patching holes and redesigning so often that our last place before buying a home, we only moved in furniture and zero non-functional accessories. Accustomed to such sparse surroundings, our home now continues in functionality and less in beauty. With one exception, metal prints. We decided to only purchase and display original pieces by us or through work in order to make our home truly personalized. I’ve mentioned before, this quest is what sent us after Pinup photography in the first place.

Now I have a small metal print to display with my car at shows. We hang two-sided metal print ornaments on our Christmas tree and give them as gifts. I love the versatility of size and shape available. Design options to display imagery on walls is nearly endless. Check out Bay Photo located in Santa Cruz, where to my knowledge all metal prints ordered in the states through SmugMug accounts are printed. A Pro account is required for this service. Appreciation for metal prints cannot be cultivated without an in-person experience. You gotta see them some time!

Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson
Swimwear authentic vintage curated OLL Facebook group
Metal print shown measures 8″x10″ perfect to fit in the window should I ever get ’round to purchasing window suctions


I thought myself interested to join a group of women similarly interested in vintage styling. Shane and I set out seeking community in the Sacramento greater area. To join a group, I thought, would equal automatic friendship with folk who enjoy as I do. Friendships cannot be organized, arranged, nor can they be forced. Association does not a friendship make. Friendship is organic and grows from mutual respect and admiration. It takes time to cultivate, seasons to mature and bare fruit, and years to do it over and again. Common interest in Pinup styling makes no faster a friend than having anything else in common, such as simply having a child does not make all parents fast friends nor being a married man cause fast friendship with other married men. As Shane and I continue down this Pinup road, we will do so for the time being without the hassle nor the promotion of group association. I don’t want the unavoidable drama. More importantly, I do not have the capacity to be responsible to much else beyond family right now. We want to attend car shows and other events at our leisure and not by dictation nor time restraint Adulthood is this marvelous institution where control of what one will or will not do is at hand. I’m choosing to wield that. Not a team player? I have a different team in mind, and I am so loyal that I know true allegiance is by nature limited. Several dear friends suggest that we continue doing as we do without an organized group. So you’re not a model? So you’re not a philanthropist? You can still get dolled up, drive a classic, and/or document or otherwise enjoy festivities. Classically styled ladies and gents, by thread or by metal, we look forward to making your acquaintance.

Speakeasy Photos
MUA: Self
Hair: Five days old by Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson
Authentic 1950s vintage Skates and box acquired at the Sacramento Antique Faire
Authentic 1950s clothes acquired from Racks Boutique of Midtown Sacramento

Bullet Bra

Bullet bras are impossible to find so it seems these days. This red one I picked up at the Sacramento Antique Faire. I have purchased many pieces from this dear woman’s wardrobe whose daughter tells me she never got rid of anything. I fit splendidly into little Asian women’s clothing. Pointed tips are a signature silhouette to mid-century high fashion. If you find a bra maker who reproduces these gems, do tell. Sincerely, vintage clothes enthusiasts the world over.

Speakeasy Photos

Contest ABCs

My childhood friend, Lindsey, competed in a beauty pageant as an infant and won first prize. Brittany was our red-haired friend in kindergarten who not only modeled but also competed in beauty pageants so seriously that she was our classmate for only half a year before her mother pulled Brittany from our school to keep up with her busy modeling schedule. Our teacher, and my mother, scoffed. Courtney, my friend in high school, told me the ins and outs of Miss Teen contests bating me to play along with her, Mama would not support so I did not. The following year I watched a boyfriend’s best friend compete in our town’s pageant. Insider info turned the show for me to a different level of entertainment. I knew who would win, as did she who would be crowned, as dozens of hopefuls who dropped hundreds if not thousands in wardrobe compete unwittingly play their part in a set production. Conversations with Courtney revealed that judges like to see in the Teen contest ultra princess silhouettes of a puffy slip, but contestant Jane we will call her had put in her six years to town competitions, this was the year for her come-up-ins. She wore a black sleek dress that looked nothing of the part. Jane put her time in and was a sure thing. So many girls caught up in playing their roles could not see this big picture.

An intelligent, hard working, beautiful neighbor of mine recently posted a cute bit to Facebook about girls competing with one another, and women empowering one another. What is it that causes females to compete? Do we? Not in formal manners, but in life generalized? My kids are ABC, my husband DEF, the food I feed my family is GHI, my home JKL, my career MNO, my transportation PQR, my wardrobe STU, my garden VWX, my choice of worship is Y and Z. Women compete with each other in subtle ways all the time, as do men, call it “my better than”. Psychology students may elaborate, but everyone communicates with the world all the while inside boasting to themselves, as self-preservation, their “better-than”. “I am better than you, because I don’t participate.” It can be anything that you tell yourself when leaving a social engagement. Is “empowering” one another not really just shoving values into anther’s space? Do as I do so you can rise to my occasion. What’s your better-than?

Long curious about pageants and such, Mama never indulged the curiosity and forbade my participation. “You already know you’re beautiful, as does the world, so concentrate your efforts elsewhere. How silly to waste time seeking approval. Be yourself, wear what makes you happy, and for God’s sake put on some lipstick and mascara!” I also choose to build up my children’s self-esteem based in efforts not talents, and seek to never compare them to anyone save their own self. So why do I choose to compete? It is my choice, I don’t need it. A psychology/Bible/Theology BA graduate, I am ever fascinated with the human condition and interaction. People fascinate me and I often approach social engagements from the angle of viewing-in. As an adult entering a formal pageant, I have the where-with-all to keep my head and heart in such situations and to understand that my defining moments are numerous and elsewhere. I would like to think that I am engaged in social experimentation, but also participating in what women do already even without the formalities. Perhaps instead of calling it competing, we may look at pageants as celebrations of people and beauty. I believe beauty to be a core concept belonging predominately the female gender. We seek to beautify and to improve all that surrounds from our gardens to our homes to our appearances and those of our family’s. Our sloppy culture heads farther toward droopy bed clothes being social attire, and I choose to grab hold and celebrate efforts toward mid-century or classic styling. Beauty is not dead, and it is in the eye of the beholder.

Speakeasy Photos
MUAH: Danyelle “The Hair Maverick” Johnson
Dress: Bernie Dexter
Shoes: Authentic vintage 1940s black patent leather platforms