Getting Lost and Being Found

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I’ve cleaning and organizing our studio because that’s often what I end up doing in times when I’m stuck at home (such as the ridiculous amount of time we’ve been snowed in lately). Our house and all of her cupboards, closets and drawers have slowly been organized and sorted since I’ve moved in but never so much as lately. I can’t get enough of discarding the old, jaded and faded and replenishing with all things good and sometimes new. In this spare time I’ve also found extra moments to spend sorting through packages, boxes and files filled with photos, letters, nostalgia and clippings. Things I had forgotten about and things I had chocked up as gone — casualties in the divorce, move and hard reset of my life.

Wendy & I at Midland Antiques

Wendy & I at Midland Antiques

I’ve realized that in finding these fossils of my past life I’ve also found a part of myself that was neglected to the inner and outer war that has been going on since around age 15. Losing yourself teaches you a lot about the hardships and the long journey you have ahead of you to try to find yourself again. It teaches you about the you you always hoped and planned to be, the yous that you left behind and want to find, the yous that you’d prefer to grow apart from for the extent of your waking hours.

In realizing these things exist you find you have changed, your life has changed and quite possibly you have found the person you know you will be. I believe this happens to each of us a bit with every new year, we reflect. However, in my experience, unless a grand change is made resolutions will be forgotten and old habits will resurface.

I lost myself once and I am still looking for myself. Who I wanted to be as a young girl, the things I wanted to do and see, the life I wanted to live. I’d gotten so closed in, I magnified certain aspects of my goals and forgot about others. For instance, I wanted to get married and have a daughter but I forgot I had wanted the most grand love there ever was. I forgot that I didn’t want to just be content, that I wanted to experience pure love for a beautiful man, to experience a love like we hear about in fairytales only more real and passionate. Someone I didn’t want to change but someone whose love changed my life. I didn’t just want to have a child but I wanted to bring a child into a love-filled family of magical wonder, a magnificent home life and many adventures lined neatly with security and stability. With parents who love one another more than anything else, with siblings that give, teach, take and give some more.

by David Cunningham

by David Cunningham

I saw that I wanted to write. I found many old memoir notes and pages of manga dialogue, articles, fairytales and more. I lost the motivation in trying to do anything other than to fix things that were far too broken and then zoning out completely when they appeared impossibly broken.

I saw that my art was a major focus in my life, other than true love and family, and designing everything I do. I saw my plans for paintings, illustrations and web sketches; designs that never made it off the paper and into illustrator because I lost the ambition and self-esteem needed to go.

Now that I am finding myself in so many ways, I figured there were others that have lost important pieces along their journeys as well. Others that might need a little push to gather those pieces strewn along the ground and trudge on through their own adventure of finding their true, superior self. The self they are, were and wanted to be. What have you lost and found along the way?

Happy New Year.

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Recycle your Vintage Scarf into a Necklace

This is a style that I wear all the time and it’s easy easy to make. I’ve loved vintage scarves but for ages I was stumped as to how to wear them without looking like the queen! Finally a brainwave brought me to the knotted scarf necklace …

You will need a patterned scarf of square of fabric, about 30″ (76cm) x 30″ to start!

scarf

1. Lay your scarf flat, pattern side down.
2. Fold it in half, so the patterned side is on the outside.
3. Start rolling from the corner …
4. … Until you have a long sausage.
5. Tie three knots – one in the centre, and two either side.
6. Finally, tie at the top, and there you have your necklace.

I’ve used a green paisley scarf for this one, but it works with any pattern, or even a plain silk scarf. I especially love it in a nautical or equestrian print.

I think I’m Miseducated because I don’t wait for beautiful things to come to me, if I have something pictured in my mind, I’ll try and make it. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail but it’s all worth it when you get complimented on your outfit and you can say ‘I made it myself!’

My Little Nest in Chicago

Let us take a trip
to a vintage land called Chi,
where the streets can tell you stories
and the buildings brush the sky.

chitownapartment012Nestled near the center,
in a place called Lincoln Park,
you’ll find a little haven
where the 20’s left her mark.

As you journey through the courtyard,
please step lightly and with care,
for it’s in this entry garden
you’ll find bunnies with brown hair.

Once inside the building,
behind a door with printed V,
you’ll find a little nook,
home to M and feline Zooey.

The chairs are bathed in velvet
[they’re the best for kitty’s naps];
the hardwood floors are shiny,
one can hardly spot the cracks.

The walls are filled with pictures,
an homage to icons past:
Edie, Audrey, Norma,
with their style unsurpassed.

This space is filled with history,
years are painted in the walls;
braided wire o’er the doorway
was once used to import calls.

The gas stove, it cooks with fire
[such a cozy, retro feel],
tempting single Misses
to don aprons for a meal.

Though not much from door to window,
rays of sunlight kiss the walls;
and there’s one grand walk-in closet
just in case things feel too small.

Wonder fills this palace
[or so it feels to those within],
there’s nothing more like heaven
than to feel your life begin.

Customizing a New Home

CUTiE BookTurning your apartment, house or beach-side bungalow into a home? I’ve moved a lot only recently. After being smothered in a small-town, for way too long, I was ready for new adventures and surroundings. First I lived with a family in my heart*throb, japan. Then we moved around in Indiana’s capital delicious wonderland city Indianapolis, from downtown apartment to east-side apartment. During the summers, I shack up with my lovely best friend in California and always find new places and friends to love. I’ve found amazing people I want to forever keep in my life (there are still many years for us to end up together) and I knew if I explored to find my own paradise in the US I would be truly at peace with my world. (I still plan to visit Japan always until I finally accept a job there -why don’t you???- and live my dreams)

delicate & sweet a balcony for me shoes in a row

So we’re picking up and moving again! This time to a paradise we fell in love with together, Nevada. Now Las Vegas is a kitschy tourist attraction, mind you, but there are always amazing things going on that you can be involved in, it’s not far from L.A. and the sunshine replenishes your body with Vitamin D as well as inspires your mind to produce melatonin.

The most important thing about a new home is what new whimsical world will unfold as I place items around and attempt to customize my surroundings (this gets tough in city apartments!). In case you need a kick start or just a push in a new direction, enjoy the inspiration and let your home drink it up!

Let’s Get Started!

Need some furniture or decor inspiration? Take a look at the resources listed at the end of the article.
Be sure to hit up local thrift stores and flea markets, you could find delectable art-deco, mid-century and antique goodies to paint/ design for your home for a fraction of the cost of most designer deco. One of a kind items are always smile inducers while lounging in your quarters.

With some sanding and a few coats of glossy enamel you can turn a sad, chipped and rusty 60s wall shelf into a new sleek treasure.

paint it~

Starting to see endless possibilities in creating your ultimate wonderland on earth?

Yummy Inspiration & Boutiques

Urban Outfitters: Apartment
Brocade Home
IKEA
Mason Reve
The Paris Apartment
Espirit Cabane
Jeu de Paumes Books
Three Potato Four
Decor8 Blog
Design*Sponge

Miseducated Articles

A Spare Roomedy
Apartment Seventy-Seven
Pretty on Penn St
Home in South Korea
Interiors of Amelie
Gwen Stefani’s Chic Space
Lala’s Kitschy Paradise

Thrifting and Touring Bloomington, Indiana

If you’ve ever been to Bloomington, Indiana you know there’s no shortage on fun places to explore. It’s absolutely bustling with thrift shops, cute cafes and anything you could ever want to eat. The ever-growing small businesses are always changing for the thousands of college students which attend Indiana University nearby. It’s a great spot to find one-of-a-kind thrifty goodies and delicious food. Whether you’re looking for food to find old favorites in restaurants or to try something new, you’ll more than likely find what you’re looking for in Bloomington.

rosey outlook

follow the leader

enlightenment

My mother grew up in Bloomington and has always had a soft spot for the college town. She loves to see the new changes and reminisce about her old favorite hot spots. Luckily she wanted to take me around to some of her favorite places, recently, and I took my camera along for the ride. Feel free to skip along my steps and enjoy thrifting, international markets and fun for many.

Chow Bar

216 South Indiana Ave

Amazing buffet with delicious Chinese food and tons of bubble tea flavors/options! Better yet, the fortune cookie at the end of this meal is chocolate flavored.

bubble horizon

chow bar

Cactus Flower

322 East Kirkwood Ave # 202

this way

hotrod sinners

rainbow wave

heart string

on sale

step in time

heart sale

hidden away

looking in

see you

dressing

jewelery stand

Soma Coffee House

322 East Kirkwood Ave

soma

soma's tv

Vintage Warehouse

401 East Fourth Street

to the shop

array of clothing

Sahara Mart

106 East Second Street

In the market for chocolate? a new teapot or tea cup? Wine? Tea? Go here no matter what market goods you’re looking for because you’ll find it and a whole bunch of other things you always wished existed here.

chocoholic

dressing up

tea crazy

Oriental International Market

408 East 4th St

tasty joy

.. and as I traveled Bloomington, Indiana…
stumped

laughing planet

pick your poison

Spank! Japanese 80s Revival Fashion

Spank! fashion! It’s a shop promoting the girly, sweet clothes most of us wore in the 80s and reviving and reworking them into new outfits for fun and raving. The shop is owned and opperated Tavuchi and her cute friends. If you’re ever raving in Tokyo, you’ll surely spot Spank! girls frolicking amongst the colour and lights making everyone’s night a little sweeter.

Spank-a-rama

Spank!

Try this style by pairing frilly mini-skirts and eighties toon nighties. Don’t forget to LAYER, as this is also important. If you view decora (or FRUiTS) fashion you will notice many differing layers. Colour, texture and pattern all differ creating a rainbow of color upon every cutie and toys are used as accessories and more. However instead of the many different decora colour palettes, Spank! uses the soft, feminine pastels of the 80s girl’s fuzzy companions and cartoon favorites.

Spank! Video

Lala’s Kitschy Paradise and Thrifting Tips

Something I noticed when first talking with Lala is that she is a different kind of girl. She has so many amazing, random interests that it’s hard to focus, when talking to her, solely on thrift shopping and her amazing home. She plays the drums, bass guitar and even customizes hot rods in her spare time!
In the past she has owned her own ‘Studio 54’ disco club and edited, published and wrote for dozens of underground magazines.

To say that she is interesting is an understatement and now Miseducated gets the inside scoop on her most prominent hobby and her fabulous home.

Q

What is it about thrift shopping that gets you going?

A

“Definitely the thrill of the hunt! You never know what’s waiting on that table or in that box on the ground. At any moment you can find a treasure you’ve searched for five years, or you can go forever just having fun looking. It’s a great outing, can be great exercise and is the perfect way to spend time with friends.”

Q

How would you encourage someone to go thrifting if they had never been?

A

“Just about everyone collects something, so pointing out that any collection can benefit by a good thrifting trip is the first step to getting someone into the thrifting mood. A trip to a large antique mall, or a flea market that is known for vintage and antique items is ideal. You’ll be amazed with what a trip down memory lane a thrifting outing can bring.”

Q

What tips would you give someone who has never gone?

A

“If you’ve never been to say, a flea market before, or any antique venue, really– just ask your friends and relatives if they have any recommendations of good places to shop in your area. There are also flea market finders and antique store guides online, which are very helpful if you don’t know where to shop in your area.
Make a little ‘wish list’ in your head of what you would like to bring home with you at the day’s end, and tell anyone who goes with you what you’re after. It’s great fun to look for your friends, as well as yourself.”

Q

What are some of your favorite finds?

A

“Some of my favorite finds are things I didn’t even realize I would enjoy so much when I initially bought them. Little jewelry boxes, a small ceramic deer or a yard of colorful fabric can turn into something that puts a smile on your face each time you see them.
It’s always nice to find a good buy, too. When you find something that you thought was out of your price range for a real bargain, it can make a piece even more special.”

Q

You claim your house is authentic to the 60s’, tell us about it. What are your favorite pieces in your home?

A

“My house was built in 1960, and luckily some of the original lighting fixtures and other features are still present.
You have to remember, the 1960s were the golden age of the space-chase and “atomic” era. My grandparents who built the house spared no expense with placing the modern conveniences of the time into the house.
Some of the neat things that are still intact are an intercom system throughout the house that also can also double as a room-to-room stereo system, sputnik chandeliers, and electric switches located upstairs that can “pop” open & unlock the front and downstairs door. The stairwell banisters are also original and contain a popular 1950s “color block” pattern in very distinctive colors.
The craziest thing is probably the elevator. Yes, there is an elevator in my house that was installed in the late 1960s. It still works! Everyone can’t get over it. That’s why I love old houses– so much character!”

Q

What is your favorite piece of furniture?

A

“My favorite piece of furniture is a great blue swivel bucket chair from the early 1960s. It was bought for under fifty dollars from an antique mall in Virginia. It’s perfect.

Q

What are your favorite resources for kitsch and vintage?

A

“Estate sales! A decent one is so hard to come by, but if you can find one with the style of items you’re after– they are unmatchable! I can be like a kid in a candy store in the opening minutes of a great estate. Bargains galore and incredible finds!”

Q

What makes your home special?

A

“How many people can say they’ve lived in the same house there entire life? Most people can’t wait to move away from home when they “grow up.” I couldn’t wait to grow up and “inherit” my childhood home. The house was built in 1960 by my grandparents and has always been the center of attention in my hometown. In the ‘60s, a few of my uncles’ friends– the too-hip rock band, The Royal Guardsmen even held band practice in the downstairs rec-room. I’m currently trying to restore it to where it authentically looks as if you have stepped into the era that it was built.”

Q

What is your advice to readers looking for the vintage, kitschy feel?

A

“Flea markets, thrift stores, antique malls, garage sales, auctions & estate sales are all great places to find authentic vintage items. The best advice for any purchase you make it to buy what you like, then you’ll always be able to relate to your atmosphere.”

Q

What did you try to do in your home?

A

“That’s funny you should ask, I just repainted my bedroom a light lavender two weeks ago.
Currently I’m trying to “lighten” my house up a bit. I had dark orange and deep purple walls which were quite odd when you think about it. A can of paint can change the entire feel of a room. Sometimes if paint can’t help there are other solutions. For example, I couldn’t get the color of my living room walls ‘just right’ so I made an entire wall mirrored.
I try to never steal design ideas, but after seeing Elvis’ basement party room with wall to wall mirrors, I had to cop the idea. He was a man of great style!”

Q

What else inspires your decor? Do you read any decor information?

A

“I’m actually inspired by the items I find. I’ve been known to even build an entire room around one item. I collect vintage fabrics, textiles and crafting supplies whenever I run across them at thrift stores and yard sales. I save them and whenever I get the urge or the need for a new item, I try to make it myself. I pride myself in trying to be original and having one-of-a-kind items. I’ve learned the best way to achieve that is to make it yourself.”

Create a Record Bowl

Q

Can you teach us how to create anything ‘fab’, or point us in the direction of how to create something kitsch for our home?

A

“Here’s a really easy tip that can change a room’s whole appearance almost instantly. An old trick for instant art in the 1960s was to take a canvas frame and staple a piece of bright colorful fabric that you love, especially one that has an exciting pattern to it. I see copies of this style in decor stores now for well-over fifty dollars, when it is easy-as-pie to create your own for practically pennies. Plus, when you make it yourself– you pick the size, shape and pattern.

Record bowls make great conversation pieces, instant works of art, and great places to keep odds-and-ends! They are also pretty simple and fun to make. Follow these directions and you will have your very own record bowl in near-to-no time!

First of all you need to choose a record to make your bowl out of. A good choice is to find a newer VINYL record– ones that still have a little static cling when you run your hand over them work best. A neat twist you can try is to use colored vinyl! Colored vinyl, especially a few different colored record bowls in different sizes (7”, 10”, 12”) on a table together look really awesome!

Your first step in actually making your bowl will be preheating your oven to 350ˆ F.

Next put an oven-safe bowl slightly smaller than the record you are using on a cookie sheet on lowest shelf of the oven. Once the oven is nice-and-hot, use oven mitts to balance your record on top of the bowl in the oven.

After three or four minutes start checking for the record’s sides to start drooping over the sides of the bowl.

When the sides drop, carefully remove the whole record/bowl/cookie sheet from the oven. Now, pinch your record into the shape that you wish your bowl to be in, then leave it to cool.

If you happen to make a mistake, put your project back in the oven and start over again.

Enjoy your bowl!”

Q

Thank you for sharing your fabulous style and crafty project with us, Lala. Any last words for our readers?

A

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about the things I love most! I hope that no matter what your style is that you have great success with creating a unique ambiance that makes you happy.”

Don’t forget to visit Lala’s official website for more kitschy-vintage fun!