Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Different Kind of Three Piece Suit

You know how sometimes you see something you've never seen before and you go "Wow, I've never seen one of those before..."
and then of course the next day you see that same thing again somewhere else?

Over Thanksgiving (in a land far away) I found this ladies 3-piece suit in a thrift store. A basic ladies suit, but with a matching coat (in a slightly larger but identical tweed).

 As it happened, though, I had bought only the coat, taken it to my car, fed the meter, and then instead of going to breakfast decided for some strange reason to go back into the store.
I guess it was one of those moments when the thrift Gods were saying
"Go Back, Go Back... you're not done... there's more in there for you..."

I always listen to those Thrift Gods.

I'd never seen a suit with a matching coat before, but when I went back in the store  the skirt/jacket/belt, which had been hung up 7 aisles away from the coat, jumped out at me as extremely familiar.

Needless to say, it was very rewarding to reunite the suit with the coat and display it all together on a dress form,  but it only lasted one day. This luck y customer snatched it up immediatly, and I snapped some pics.

As for seeing the same thing twice, the next day I was cutting up an old 1939 department store catalog to jazz up paper shopping bags with

and sure enough, there was the 3-piece "Wardrobe Suit Ensemble" for only $12.99.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Finding LoVe at the Salvation Army Thrift Store and

a Merry Christmas to all!
Five and DIamond will be open today, Christmas Eve, until 5 PM.
(I generally don't encourage buying vintage for others, but Gift Certificates are available.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

still lucky

Almost an entire year after being mentioned in Lucky Magazine
Five and Diamond Vintage

is still reaping the benefits.

These two women both drove a long way, and both had the clipping stashed in their purses...

Too cute! I love that's there's real paper five and diamond ephemera floating out there in this ever-s0-digital world. Thank You Lucky!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More than You want to know about the Cleo Costume

but I'm putting it out there anyway

Halloween isn't officially over until I've crammed my costume into the costume closet and blogged about it.

In the 6 weeks leading up to Halloween this year, this scrappy little blog received over 3500 hits, from people checking out my Barbie and Morticia Addams costumes. People definitely appreciate the effort of a homemade costume, judging from my image-google ranking. (One woman even called the shop and pleaded with me to rent the Barbie costume to her -just name any rediculous price! --I declined).

For my Cleopatra costume, I did some image-googling myself, and made an inspiration file, from which I created a sketch that incorporated all my favorite elements : A headress, a collar, simple straight skirt and sash, and meshy cape.

This did not involved any dressmaking or fancy skills. I simply pulled together a bunch of parts that all fit together into a bigger picture. Ultimately, this costume is just a combination of circles, rectangles and triangles dressed up in gold, with some dollar-store spiders, snakes, and rubber cockroaches thrown in.

90% of the materials were recycled, (big thank you to Carol Lavender at The Second Show Thrift Shop for the shower curtain and mesh!)

The first thing I tackled was the headress, built from a vintage nurse's cap I found in my own archive of tattered junk.

Painted it gold

And then just kept adding adding adding.

using gold trims and hand-cut craft materials.

The collar was a disk, made from the shower curtain and reenforced with interfacing,

and attached to a cheap second hand snaky choker necklace, then adorned with
cake decorating leaves, plastic fan parts, and the cockroaches.
Anything that wasn't already gold was spray-painted gold.

The cummberbund is a rectangle of shower curtain fabric

rouched and gathered party-popper style, with a zipper added.

And underneath the cummerbund is a thrift store slip that has a rectangle of gold hanging from the front and back, basted on.

(all parts, including skirt, are jazzed up with hot-glued details. Here, more trim and painted doilies)

Then a tie-shaped sash is attached to the cummerbund, using hooks and eyes, Jazzed up with Egyptian symbols cut out from leftover scraps.

The deco shaped mesh cape was adorned with gold x-mas beading (also from Carol) and attached to arm bangles (paper lanterns) with hooks and eyes:

I sacrificed last year's Morticia wig so I wouldn't have to buy a new one.
Here's Gretchen chopping it off during the "dress rehearsal":

And here's the lovely portrait she painted that day:

which I have to admit looks way more elegant than the actual finished product:

But I had a blast nevertheless.

Fun to make,

Fun to wear!:

(photo by Walter Hill)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Costume Ingredients

Vintage Nurse's Cap
Paper lanterns
SPray Paint, Cake decorating leaves, rubber cockroaches
Plastic Souvenir Fan from Florida
Gold shopping bag, bangles
Gold Decoupage Trims
more trim
Bead strands

Shower Curtain

The Corner of Fifth and Diamond

I promise to get back to the subject of vintage clothing after Halloween next week. Meanwhile, some now-and-then pics of our freshly primed baby....






Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Bags!

Behold ! the new Five and Diamond Shopping Bag:

Artist Laetitia Hussain helped me tweak the design, and then made the silkscreen. She screened 100 bags, and they are already selling. More importantly, I am no longer contributing to the plastic shopping bag crisis.

The flip side, literally, is Snoopy.
These bags are also already recycled; deadstock-promo give-aways originally issued by Met-life. I saved 1300 of them from landfill fate, for the same amount of money 1000 plastic bags would have cost me. Storing them takes up about fifty times the amount of space, but the good karma makes up for it.

The Five and Diamond bags start at $5 each. The price drops as you purchase goodies to go inside it. The Snoopy bags without the 5&D screening are still free with purchase.

Monday, September 21, 2009

blog clog volume iii

Nothing in particular to blog about today

so in between stirrings of yet another dye bath

(virtually everything shown in my last blog post sold quickly, and it seems I've created a bit of a demand for chocolate, plumb, and eggplant clothing now)
I'm just going to unclog the accumulation of random shop-related tidbits show-and-tell style ---

1) You may notice a box at the right of this page, showing a Five and Diamond facebook link. If you're on facebook, I urge you to "Become a Fan". The statuses will update you on any special news or events, like the big sidewalk sale I usually have during Hudson Artswalk (Columbus Day Weekend), or, special open days/hours, secret passwords for secret discounts, etc etc. If you want to post pictures of your Five and Diamond purchases on the page (or here on the blog), we can arrange fun stuff like that too. Anyway, just join up; I promise it won't be too spammy.

The Twister™ window:

Big Hit. I found the circa 1970 numbers dress on a trip upstate a few weeks ago, the same day I took this picture of the Partridge Family School bus out on Rt 23.

I generally don't like primary colors (hate'm really),
but they were calling out to me from everywhere that day.
Even the bad paintings I bought that day (occupational hazard, and only $5 each)

were all about blue, red, yellow.

3) I visited the Adirondack Museum recently, and really enjoyed that they feature a fair amount of old, interesting clothing in their exhibits.
Check out these mittens made out of guess what--- Collies! Yikes.

And here's Teddy Roosevelt's overcoat,

which in fact was pretty damn boring except that I noticed that all the buttons had been moved over substantially at some point, making the front of the coat awkwardly asymetrical. I'm guessing Teddy must have lost some weight and was too frugal to buy a new one that fit...? Fascinating, right?...

I did love what they called a "camp dress":

and this corduroy blazer, (both ca. 1920).

(I highly recommend the Adirondack Museum if you're ever up that way.)

4. This is drummer, singer, songwriter, poet Simon.

Simon likes to call me at odd hours and make me open the shop on my days off.
Sinse he's a travelling, rambling musician on-the-go I always accommodate him.Then he picks out some stuff and haggles relentlessly (I love him anyway).
Recently I had to talk him out of this totally yummy leather jakcet
because I hadn't had a chance to put it on a mannequin and show it off yet. I talked him into this one instead, which was $100 cheaper:
He still wanted to haggle.
But I think 85 bucks for a beautifully worn in motorcycle jacket that fits like a glove is a total steal, so I stood firm.

5. Oh, yeah, guess what- the 80s are back.

"..for like the 80th time" (- Mike Albo)

Enough already. I'm too old to appreciate the "vintageness" of the 80s (and those primary colors), but I did slip up a bit the other day when I bought this 80s cocktail dress, because it's a throwback to the 1940s. And is backless. And sideless. And has a cleavage keyhole.

I've got it priced at $35 so it doesn't take up precious space for too long. If it were really from the 40s I'd want almost three times that price. Come and get.

6) It's getting cold out. Here's a great old authentic US Navy P-coat I picked up at the Madison-Bouckville flea market in Auugust.

Check out that fat collar. I don't think they make them like that anymore.
Plus it's as wind-proof as an x-ray blanket.
It was 90 degrees the day I was there, and I didn't want to schlepp it around, so I tried my best not to buy it. just keep walking, just keep walking...

The seller started barking at me:
" It's the real deal, but it goes in the dumpster if nobody buys it", He said.
"Dirty Trick" I said.
Then he showed me the inside.
The lining had a whole hand-me-down provenance of all the sailors who wore the coat.DC = discharge.
VC =Very Cool.
The deal was sealed. What was also kind of sweet was how me and the seller simultaneously pulled out our identical pocket spiral notebooks, and jotted down our identical record:
"P-coat ... $5"

Last but not least, some recent happy customers
(who I forgot to say "Smile!" to:)