The Vintage Stylist’s spring table

Mimi Shepherd, the Vintage Stylist, asked if I might share her featured tablescape table here on the blog and it was so pretty, I agreed.

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She has a way with design style: the bright sunshine yellow table runner, the all-white, new beginnings plates, paired with those crocus-blue patterned napkins. The Cotswold sheep at the centerpiece were collected just outside Windsor Castle and a great inspiration for her shop’s followers. She reports the new tablesetting display feature is receiving much interest, along with the usual vintage selections of clothing and accessories. I think her shoppers are anxious to get on with pre-Covid normal life and that includes small dinners to entertain friends and host family gatherings.

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From the sweet, fresh blue and yellow-faced pansies, the mini daffodils, and the goblets ready for toasting and bringing in a brighter season, the table is joyful and celebratory. She’s invited me to join Rhose Guerin from Yellow Pansies in a Blue Cobalt Jar, and Annie Savone and Julie Bishop from Loving Vintage. I can’t wait to see them all again!

Wishing all a happy and healthy Spring!

I love “Chateau Diaries” on YouTube

With all the many Corona Virus restrictions in place over the past three months, entertainment opportunities to offset tedium during this same time frame have been meager indeed. Travel is practically non-existent,  viewing entertainment sorely limited, family and friend gatherings measured out via number of face masks and square-foot real estate. However, as a writer, these same limitations present me with a silver lining. I can escape to my current work in progress, The Vintage Stylist, the third and final book of my Loving Vintage series. But even after getting lost in my fictional world with characters: Annie Savone; Julie Bishop; and Mimi Shepherd, I need to shake myself out from that world and take a stretch. Mummy with Vintage Telepath

One of the brightest parts of our day now is to view the YouTube channel, Chateau Diaries. This is an amazingly entertaining, informative and special pandemic escape vlog created by this Chatelaine of the 16th century Chateau de LaLande tucked away in the center of France. This is the ongoing vlog series of Stephanie Jarvis and her passion to lovingly renovate and restore the chateau to its former glory. She lives there full time and is visited by Isabel Jarvis Attfield, her spirited and intrepid Mummy, friends and other family. They are joined by Workaway volunteers from the four corners of the earth who search for a different way of life other than the universally accepted nine-to-five drudgery as they help in the restoration effort. As an anniversary gift to Mummy and with love and gratitude for all the entertainment value Chateau Diaries has added to our days, I sent some of my stories for Mummy to add to her To Read stack. My heroines are very much like Isabel … strong, thoughtful, courageous, woman, most of boomer age, who are willing to think out/plan a solution to an everyday problem or one that philosophically challenges their living circumstance and quality of life.

This YouTube channel  is so relaxing to view! Stephanie, Mummy, Scotman, Michael, Oliver, Nati, Selmar, Diesel, Thomaz, Marie, the Illusive Nic, Dan the Gardener, Antoine, Marie Wiik, Mary “Poppins,” Percy Attfield, the “Ians,” the peacock, peahen, and peachicks … all these wonderful characters will brighten your day and grow a huge smile on your pandemic weary face! I highly recommend it!

Discovering a new genre

I do enjoy attempting to solve puzzles and this often morphs into trying to locate missing persons, and the more fact-based study of actual genealogy charts and the genealogical universe for family history. This interest of course, found its way into a major plot point in my story Loving Vintage.

Boomer heroine, Annie Savone takes on a determined quest to examine how she came to be with very little information; information that must be extracted from the murky depths of a muddled private adoption. Actually the story does become something of a dectective story … what a surprise.

Enter a new read by author, Nathan Dylan Goodwin with a genre new to me, Forensic Genealogy. An English author, he sets his stories in charmingly historic real life locations in beautiful Sussex, England. As a reader, I always attempt to Google story locations and thrilled when they return real places. I can even map street names. So exciting. When I first started writing, I chose to set my stories locally even though many tried to change my mind. So here was a shared commonality.

Goodwin’s Forensic Genealogy series is based on main character, Morton Farrier, a gifted genealogist, and his cases. The first story includes forensic insight for how to analyze an old photo in terms of time the image was taken, noting background detail, and the angle or perspective from where the photo was captured by a photographer. I was hooked immediately, as I had processed these qualities in my story and pleased that I had thought enough about what would be relevant in an old photo, to be helpful to the heroine. I was thrilled my fledgling insight had created a storyline that was relevant and productive.

I am excited there are eight more books in this series, eight new reads for me to enjoy and learn from a master at building a satisfying story for my readers. I hope you grab a Quarantine-silver-lining to read through some titles and escape via a great story. Stay safe.

The Vintage Telepath

The world of vintage clothing introduced in the Loving Vintage series opens an entire new realm of clothing history that mixes both past and trending fashion. How the two worlds collide is up to how yesterday‘s pieces are paired with today’s—an art form for self-expression.PRINT cover Vintage Telepath

In The Vintage Telepath, we follow Julie Bishop, the Loving Vintage authenticator, who feels publicly humiliated because she knows things unknown to everyone else merely by holding an object. Julie is a clothes telepath. While this makes her job as vintage authenticator easy, she hides this ability from everyone.

There is much to learn about vintage. For instance, clothing categorized as Vintage is 20 years prior to current date, and Antique is applied to items older than 75+ years. The best way to learn is immersion. Visit many shops and experience how vintage makes you feel.

Hints to help with the process:

  • Don’t pass by items that may not look good on the hanger, try it on
  • Try on items for fit rather than relying on garment’s actual size, sizes have undergone standardized changes across the years and often use Vintage sizing versus Vanity sizing
  • Incorporate one piece at a time
  • Dead stock vintage means the items are vintage, but have never been worn
  • Don’t feel comfortable in it? Hang it back up

Once you dip a toe into the Vintage world you may be pleasantly excited by its design and quality workmanship. Included below are links to popular Vintage shops across the nation. Enjoy exploring!

RaleighVintage, Raleigh, North Carolina

Hey Betty Vintage Clothing, Pittsburgh PA

Rue St.Denis, New York, NY

Screaming Mimi’s, New York NY