Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oprah's interview with Camille Cosby

I am not an Oprah person. I've never watched her show, I don't buy her magazine, etc. But I just read her Spring 2000 interview with Camille Cosby start to finish and it was one of the best interviews I've ever read. I finished it and then I started again. And I know I will read it again. There were many passages that moved me, not least of all her discussion about her marriage to Bill early on and how they made a choice (after about 10 years together) to really be together and work on their relationship. She also talks about how she navigated the pain and grief in the year following the murder of her son, Ennis. And then there is this wonderful passage on aging, which makes me want to be 40 right now!

Oprah: I was in your kitchen once, whining to you and Bill about handling fame. I had the disease to please, and you said to me, "Honey, just wait until you're 40. All of this will change. You will let it all go. It will not be a threat to you anymore." How did you know that?

Camille: At 40 you become more self-assured. You realize that men don't look at you as a toy any longer; they don't flirt in the same way. And if they flirt, it is because you are really looking good. It's the real deal. Everything becomes real after 40. I'm now in my fifties, and my tolerance level for nonsense is zero. I know I'm going to be something else when I'm 60.

Oprah: So your tolerance for nonsense disappears?

Camille: Zero.

Oprah: And the need to please others?

Camille: Out the window. You realize it is a waste of your time, because the older we become, the busier we become. We become busier with things we really love to do rather than being busy with other people's stuff.

Photos credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Friday, April 26, 2013

Snap, zip, button, latch

Imagine a drawer with all of these pouches/wallets/bags inside. I'm having a tough time not making that vision a reality! Each of these pieces has something that grabbed me - a shiny clasp, some pretty stitching, a pleasant shape. Such lovely little things! Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Too much fun

It was rainy yesterday so I played dress up while Severen was napping. It was indulgent and silly, yes. It was also really fun. It was exactly what I needed, in fact. Because I was OVER being a stay at home person yesterday. Really, over it. So I did my makeup and pretended I was Jean Seaberg for 20 minutes. What do you think of this haircut? I 95% really love it and 5% hate it, if that is possible.  Anyway, here are the out-takes. I wish I had been able to recreate this pic! Maybe sometime this summer.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It looks like an urchin!

Since I stocked a coral ring in the shop (the first one ever) I've been looking at other vintage coral pieces. And here is what I've learned: They are amazing. Why? Well, usually they are huge and creatively designed, particularly retro pieces. I am currently obsessed with this ring, which not only has coral but also emeralds, onyx and diamonds. It looks like the underbelly of a sea urchin to me.

via EraGem

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ohne Titel • Spring Summer 2013

This collection from NYC based label Ohne Titel has been flashing across my computer screen for the last few days. I can't stop flipping through their Spring/Summer 2013 looks. The first two dresses here have such a flattering cut and the low trompe l'oeil waistline is very 1920s. The track suit style pieces (my faves!) are so Royal Tenenbaums chic. I can just see a Frenchwoman striding across a Parisian jardin in one of those this summer, can't you? And the last two pieces remind me of the work of Saul Bass, with their dismembered torso outlines and bright, cut-out colors.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gone but not forgotten

Pre-college photo, possibly high school graduation ca. 1935
Engagement or wedding photo, ca. 1937
Admiring my dad, summer of 1943
Dinner in Kansas City, ca. 1984
During one of my visits, 2010
Meeting Severen for the first time, October 2012

Last weekend we attended the memorial service for my "Grandma Duffy," my paternal grandmother. She passed away right before Christmas. She is the only grandparent of mine who lived into my adulthood and I am so thankful for that. She was, like so many women from her generation, a tough goddam cookie. She was born in 1915 and trained as a musician. She worked full-time as a cellist and raised a family of three with my grandfather. When he passed away she found new love and married again at the age of 73. Again a widow at 78, she met and married a third time. She outlived all her husbands. I find it so inspiring that she found new reasons to love and be joyful in the different seasons of her life. My family joked that she could never be alone long before getting snatched up by someone else. She was just too good of a woman. And it is really true. She was so lovely, so elegant, so frank, so quick to laugh.

The majority of the service was made up of short speeches from family and friends. All of her grandchildren (five of us) spoke as did my mom, uncle and a few other people. Here's what I said about her:

As a girl, I was really in awe of Grandma Duffy. She wasn’t like other grandmas. She traveled the world. She was a musician. She made chicken with wine and served leafy salads on fancy side plates. She wore pretty pajamas to bed and her closet smelled nice. She went skydiving. She had lots of interesting friends. She was elegant and worldly and I was totally enchanted with her.

Grandma was also spunky. I have Grandma’s copy of her Junior yearbook from Drury (college). It is easy to see from the messages from her classmates that she had a good sense of humor. One was addressed to, “My petite Miriam” (my grandma was tiny - just barely 5')and another teased, “You were such a pest this year in class!” She was quick to giggle and seemed to appreciate a certain amount of silliness.

When I think of Grandma and what she means to me, I think of three names, her husbands and loves: Grandpa Duffy, Harvey, Jack. We are all here because Grandma said “yes” to love, and to new adventures – not once, but three times in her life. I am so grateful that she chose to say “yes” each time and strengthen our family in love (and numbers) over the years. That took great bravery. I love our hodge-podge family and am so proud to be a part of it. To be a part of what she built.

In losing Grandma, we lost some of our family glue. That means that now, we all need to work a little harder to stay connected to one another. Maybe it means more phone calls or cards or a family gathering once a year. Whatever each of us can do, we must do it. That is the best way to honor Grandma.

In the last several years of her life, my grandma was cared for by the most wonderful women. There was someone with her - keeping watch while she slept, bathing her, laughing with her, eating with her, playing cards, reading the paper - 24 hours a day. The care she received was professional and compassionate. Almost all of her caregivers attended the service and at least one of them brought her family. They, too, had fallen in love with my grandma. She was so easy to love.

You can read her obituary here, if you are interested.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bracelets for summer

After I spotted my buddy and Etsy colleague extraordinaire Amy wearing a maxi skirt from Thief & Bandit I did what any girl would do and spent the next twenty minutes committing their shop contents to memory.

I'll have to think long and hard about whether god intended for me to wear their leggings. In the meantime, I'm thinking of picking up one of their bracelets (images linked!). The fabric and stud pieces are so fun and beg to be paired with a summer tan and a tank top.

P.S. The Thief & Bandit kiddo collection is also excellent. These leggings were made for Severen!
P.P.S. Amy stocks a great shop over at Wildfell Hall Vintage. Her vintage blouses are particularly swoony.

Images courtesy of Thief & Bandit

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

▲ Brown Paper Bicycle Giveaway ▲ {CLOSED}

My talented friend Mia makes the most gorgeous pendants at Brown Paper Bicycle and she just came out with a line of enamel charms and earrings that I am addicted to. I have the minty green triangle charm and I wear it with a vintage locket or my postcard pendant (also from Mia). These charms have become my favorite things to give as gifts, too! Can I also say that I love that she offers three types and five (five!) lengths of chains to go with the charms? So awesome.

Mia is offering one of her triangle charms or earrings (you choose the color!) to a lucky winner here on the blog! She is also offering a generous 15% discount through the end of the month with the code GIVEAWAY15, in case you see something in the shop you have to have right away. Ladies and gents - get in on this one! Here's how:

Mandatory entry:
➤ Visit Brown Paper Bicycle and leave a comment here with ideas for new charm shapes/colors AND
➤ Add Brown Paper Bicycle to your Etsy Circle!

And for a Bonus entry (separate comment, please):
➤ Tweet the giveaway! Be sure to include @jeanjeanvintage, as well as the link to this post.  

Here is a ready-made tweet you can use!
▲Win a bright enamel triangle charm to wear this summer! Visit @jeanjeanvintage to enter today || http://bit.ly/10OtyxL ▲

This giveaway is open to all readers (international folks welcome!) and closes on Sunday, April 14th at 10 PM EST. I'll announce the winner here and on Twitter next Monday. Good luck!


Monday, April 8, 2013

First day back

Hello! We are back from our Kansas City adventure. I'll share photos and a few stories later this week. In the meantime, here are a few new pieces for the shop (images linked). Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shabby Apple $50 Giveaway {CLOSED}

LUTHER scarfPETER PAN necklaceZEN shoe
TUILERIES dressCADENCE swim top and bottom

There is so much you can do with a $50 gift certificate to Shabby AppleShabby Apple is an online boutique that specializes in vintage and retro dresses, although I also really enjoy their bright skirts this time of year. I've picked out a few of my favorite things above (isn't the hammered metal Peter Pan necklace awesome?!) but the winner may use their prize toward anything in the shop.

Here's the scoop on how to enter (U.S. entrants only, please)

✘ Comment on this post and tell me your favorite item in the shop - don't forget to leave a contact email for me, too!

I'll announce the winner here on Tuesday, April 9th. Good luck!

Congratulations to Jessie! I'll be in touch to follow up with you. Have fun shopping!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Short hair, trip report


I got my hair cut! I like it, I do. But now I want it even shorter. Like Charlize Theron's hair - what do you think? I'll tell you what else I like . . . this 1970s wood and goldtone necklace. I plan to wear it with everything this summer.

In other news, Severen and I made it to Kansas City safe and sound. We shared snacks and a nice packed lunch along the way - cheddar and avocado sandwiches!. We had a great time at the O'Hare airport during our layover, playing in the Chicago Children's Museum play area, looking for the Vosges kiosk (we found it), and watching all of the activity out on the tarmac. "Truck" was a word that we used a lot yesterday! The second flight was challenging but we were not in tears and so I truly, truly can't complain.  Severen was quite cheerful the entire day, actually. And when we arrived at our friends' house in the evening he was deliriously happy, which made it all worthwhile.

Important lesson #1 about traveling alone with a kiddo: If you appear to be losing control of your life, people will come to your rescue to save you from total embarrassment. They will. Like when I tried to pick up a dozen spilled crayons in the aisle of our aircraft while breast feeding a 30# boy doing lapnastics (i.e. gymnastics in my lap). Not graceful, people. Also, to the man sitting across the aisle from us: I am sincerely sorry that you saw my Soggy Mom Nipples every time you looked our direction.

Oh! I'll be hosting a giveaway here on Wednesday for the online boutique Shabby Apple. There will be $50 up for grabs! They have some fantastic springy dresses, colorful skirts and rad accessories right now. I can't wait to show you!