Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bag full of cozy

Well, despite the GORGEOUS day (seriously, go outside, now!), you know that fall is here. It's time to put away your party clutches and mini satchels, the days of just needing some sun screen and lipstick are pretty much over. I absolutely love the start of this season, with foggy morning, unpredictable skies and crisp breezes, but it does call for some planning ahead. I also love big soft purses that are perfect for toting your scarf, sweater, tea mug, umbrella and depressing book that you mean to start reading as soon as the weather is dreary enough. Vintage purses seem especially well suited to this time of year, be it one with gorgeous woven detailing, a classic structured shape, or warm '70s brown tones. The shop is amazingly well stocked at the moment with bags of all sorts:
By far the prettiest backpack I have ever seen (and I've seen a ton). Thick suede leather with lovely embroidered detailing.

I am so in love with this tote-perfectly over-sized and slouchy, it's crazy mix of multi-pattern woven fabric, embossed pleather, and knock-off Birkin style makes for a LOT of look-I would totally pair this with my houndstooth coat just to give people a headache.

Francesco Biasia leather tote with wonderful woven leather detailing. Perfect for work, school or just looking important.

The perfect tote for a day of leaf collecting, and it easily holds a bottle of wine. C'mon, you gotta stay warm some how!

Fabulously over sized doctor bag in cognac brown embossed leather. The thick clips on the corner takes it from cranky grandma to edgy socialite.

Perfectly sized for day or night, this coated canvas speedy has a precious herringbone print, smooth tan leather trim and the most charming tag-line; ' "WHY" will be suitable for you, the active people of today'. Isn't that nice to know?!

Just because you missed Oktoberfest doesn't mean you can't continue to promote beer drinking.

I mean, come on, it's wearing a sweater!!!

These darlings and many more are waiting for you at Half Pint!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tiny Treasures

My entire life has been an exercise in organization. I pretty much figured out that I was doomed to be any thing but put together when I was in the 1st grade and my teacher made me skip recess to clean my desk because I kept loosing my home work. My papers resisted the binds of any Trapper Keeper, and any and all pencils quickly freed themselves from the sturdiest of dollar store pouches. Becoming and adult has changed none of that, except for the fact that my accessories are not brightly colored or decorated with animals. I'm a large purse kinda lady-mostly because I figure the more space I have, the more wallets, make up bags, coin purses, etc., I can use to keep my life in order. Yet, ask me for my phone, a lip gloss, or a quarter, and you'll suffer through me emptying out the entire contents of my bag because the exact thing I need is hidden away in the darkest, most crumb filled corner of my tote. Seriously-I just gathered up $2.64 in change from that little black hole; my coin purse didn't contain a penny of it. While my struggle may never end, there are always plenty of motivators-check out all of these little lovelies that arrived today!

Darling 1910s coin purse-just the right size for those emergency phone booth quarters you mother always tells you to keep.

Lovely variety of leathers, colors and sizes

Gorgeous 1930s  brass and enamel pill box-you could even just use it for mints for a bit of dramatic mystery.
Beautiful vintage Coach zip pouch with blue striped lining-you can be a total wreck and this will still make you feel great.

The best make up bag ever! This would make me even more obsessive about my lip balm just so I could take it out of my purse every 15 minutes.

Awesome green leather zip-around wallet...

complete with your brand-new (80+ year old) identity!
And lots more fun little things to help you fight the good fight!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

All Aboard!

Sigh, isn't it just one of those most perfect days, ever? The kind that almost make you feel guilty you get to live in the Pac NW because generally, the worst thing we have to deal with is "Juneuary", while the rest of the country is (sadly, literally), burning up. Today is the kind of day that causes almost physical pain as you drive past the freeway exit signs pointing towards Ocean Beaches, Mt. Hood, and the airport on your way to your job. What's the point of summer when you can't get away with wearing the same pair of jeans 4 days in a row or  eat only cheese, bread and wine for lunch every day and no one has a problem with it? I have a pretty amazing road trip planned for the end of next month, but the endless waiting, along with the knowledge that the trip will  pass way too quickly, is giving me a bit of anxiety. I think it's time for some arm chair travelling. But first, you gotta (over)pack!
I don't get to travel (in the real world) nearly as much as I would like, so I've never had the need to get "grown up" luggage. Granted, my dream luggage is covered in animals-
this is only my 2nd reference to a Wes Anderson film in this blog. Don't worry, there is another one coming up.
I usually stick with super bright tote bags so I have easy access to all the chocolate and wasabi peas I require for any extended period of driving. Some day, when I am mature enough not to get food stains on all of my possessions, I will move on to a sleeker, sexier version of the good old tote. Something like this!

So, so buttery soft and totally sturdy, it can easily hold a few days of clothing and a pair of shoes.
And, it does tricks!

You can clip the bottom corner to the top and still have space for books and papers and other smart person ephemera!

For the more rugged traveler, nothing beats a classic canvas and leather trim backpack, or a sturdy, old school frame rucksack-

$40 for the frame pack, $28 for the canvas

If you vacation plans revolve around getting a sunburn in exotic locales such as the Sandy River and your parents back yard, all of these sweet bags are perfectly organized to hold your sunglasses, SPF, and at least a couple of beers-
Between $14-$18

For the gentleman of a particular taste, I promise that you don't have to use this only for tennis-
'80s Adidas bag, $32
And you will remind every girl who sees you of our universal crush-
Sorry, you'll have to supply your own hawk.
And, if you're stuck in town all summer and are feeling pretty bitter about it, well, at least all of these bags are large enough to hold a sweater to deal with the insane A.C. in your office-
Color, it makes you happy, right? RIGHT???

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hey, dude

 We have a pretty fantastic selection of men's shoes at the moment, no matter what style of awesomeness you are.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


This weekend was spent on a quick road trip out to Boise, ID, to visit my in-laws. While this is a trip that my husband and have taken several times, we generally do it at varying parts of the year and usually manage to find something slightly new and exciting to brighten the many miles and hours. I had not yet traveled through North-Eastern Oregon during the height of spring and was heartened to spot patches of delicate desert lupine and sunny balsamroot flowers throughout the hills and highlands, sparkling snow-fed brooks coursing through the arid Blue forest, songbirds of all types, and even some pink headed buzzards!
Contrary to my cowboy boot collection, I am a bit of city girl and take a lot of opportunities to poke fun at our neighbors to the East. We stopped at a rest stop right over the Idaho border and came across this sign-
I don't know why you would need to unload your livestock at a rest stop, maybe they need a drinkies?

Got some pretty good thrifting done in the city (vintage is certainly not very well appreciated over there), saw a lot of quail, trucks and Walmarts. My husband took me by this little gem of a bar/junkyard, only 1/4 of a mile from a ubiquitous suburban development-
Who needs a drink and/or buckshot?!
Ok, this place did shut down a few years ago, I'm sure that motorhome is a fairly recent addition.

One of my favorite things about road trips is finding the most ridiculous way to get back home. Travelling along the Columbia on I-84 takes about 6 hours. We decided on a route that added about 40 miles to that path and 4+ hours, doing our best to avoid major highways. Our last stop in Idaho took us to the little town of
Parma, where stands a concrete replica of Fort Boise. 
Hard to appreciate if you are not an old man/little boy

I was much more fascinated by two concrete statues that stood guard in the front. Here's one fella-
"Bigfoot"-but this ain't your Henderson's type of Sasquatch
"Bigfoot was a gigantic outlaw with the measurements of this statue. (about 5'6", ed.) He killed and terrified this area from 1856 to 1868 when he was ambushed and killed with 16 bullets. His death was not reported. So for 10 years travelers thought they saw him hiding behind bushes and feared for their lives." sic.

Not visible in the photo, but my husband pointed out to me the remaining patches of his original coloring-red, of course.

Bigfoot's companion had a more plausible, if even more poorly told, story-
Marie Dorian and child

According to a different infographic, Marie traveled only 200 miles. Hey guys, you both got it wrong! One of the first (documented) women to head  west, she left Missouri in 1811 with her husband Pierre, who had been hired as a guide and interpreter for a large hunting party on their way, and eventually landed on the West Coast. This is a great site for learning information on the intrepid women of the West and gives some great background on Marie's travels and trials,
For a Native American woman to have even this small bit of honor in a highly conservative region is encouraging, but the juxtaposition of the "savage man" with the "wise woman" is not an exactly enlightened point of view, and the crudeness of the statues, together with the fact they stand in front of a military fort makes me wonder what, if any, intentions the artists and community had in the construction. I freely recognize that living in Portland has me living in a thought bubble, and I view mine and others actions with an increasingly liberal dramaturgical eye, but honor served with a dose of "well ain't that just something" just doesn't sit right.

Now, traveling along the Gorge is one thing, the desolation is quick and isolated, and the river and wind ensures profitability and growth of cities and towns. The smack dab middle of Oregon, however, is rife with, well, nothing. Mostly suitable for ranching cattle and growing tumble weeds, several mountain ranges break up the landscape and hold clues to Oregon's past in gold mining in their shadows. At the base of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, a small town called Prairie City is nothing more of a blur and offers little other than a faded historical marker pointing out a small stream. Nothing too unusual for scrubby desert that is at the base of a mountain, especially after an extended winter, but we needed a quick break and hadn't stopped at any historical/geological markers for a while. This small stream was actually part of a large gold mining operation, and was dug by hundreds of Chinese laborers. There are thriving Chinese communities all throughout Oregon but I never gave much of a thought as to why. A myriad of factors led to the exodus of hundreds of thousands Chinese to seek work in the expanding American West, and as the search for gold leached into the NW, the workers followed. Oregon did not enjoy the cultural sensitivity it generally has today, and the workers were hard pressed to find profit or joy in their journeys. One place of respite was a small general store, hostel, hospital and restaurant in the town of John Day, just over the mountain pass, ran by Doc Hay and his friend Lung On. Wonderfully preserved to this day, we were led on a little tour of the building and our pleasant guide was delighted to let us know that even though the space had sat unused for over 60 years, the residents of the town held the good doctor in such regard that they left the building unharmed and warned their bratty teenagers not to break into looking for liquor (of course, this made a few bratty teenagers do just that thing, but they never caused much damage).

My favorite, and most dramatic section of Oregon is the John Day Fossil beds. Best seen on a sunny day, the hills show off salmon and sage layers. There is a really fantastic little river that runs through the canyon at the entrance, we keep telling ourselves that we will one day take the time to do some wandering around, the winding roads don't give much chance for observation.

The last thing of note on our trip was passing through the town of Antelope, OR. Just a blip on the map, it was home to the crazy ass Rajneeshees, who really had a great name but not much else than that going for them other than your typical cult stuff.  We took a pretty crazy 40 mile road from Fossil to Antelope, if we had had access to Google Maps, and particularly to it's Terrain option, we would have opted for the highway, it was super scary, you guys! The bottom of the hills was pretty gorgeous, though, it's an obviously little traveled road. More hills, white knuckled driving, and prairie to Maupin, where I saw my first every buzzard-man, they're ugly! We also saw (and heard!) Western Bluebirds, such sweet little things, I really wish that they lived in town.

There are miles and miles of emptiness, so it's a little jarring to spot broken down houses and barns off in the distance. I'm pretty lucky to be married to a historian, although it does ruin my tendency to over romanticize things. Oregon allowed homesteading up until the mid 20th century. I always thought home steading was kind of  a bum deal, mostly because I am not a fan of physical labor, but it's probably helpful if you can actually grow something on the land that you plopped yourself down on. Modern farming does allow for massive operations and ranching, but to see the evidence of giving up, being broken and moving on, belies that placid demeanor of the grass lands. 
I'm sure you all played that old school Oregon Trail game in elementary school-it was really boring, wasn't it? Maybe next time, we can fly.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feet First

My feet came in before just about everything else. Not that 12-year old's need any help in the humiliation department, but waking up to find size 9's at the bottom of my constantly changing upper half quickly put a stop to my search for the graceful gawkiness that oh so few middle school girls possessed. A year more and a blessed relocation to the Northwest, I reached my full five feet and eight inches of potential and accepted the fate of my podiadatric genes, focusing my energy to creating hieroglyphs on my Chucks and weirding out boys. It was this move, though, that sparked my interest in vintage clothing (Big Bang, rip), along with a great frustration in finding myriads of hot disco dresses that fit like a glove and endless pairs of  dainty disco heels that made me want to just give up, become an English teacher and invest in Germanic footwear. Converse and Doc Martens became not just a statement, but a necessity. If I couldn't buy vintage, I was only going to wear ethically (yeah, right) produced, non-gendered foot wear. It wasn't until college that I finally lucked out in a little thrift shop on 6th Ave in Tacoma and found a pair of barely worn, cordovan leather, authentically '70s loafer platforms. Platforms with heels! Imagining the looks of confusion I would elicit on campus, I skipped home with them, already planning which polyester skirt and blouse I would pair them with on my next shift at the coffee shop. Feeling quite pleased with my sartorial choice, I examined my new kicks in my apartment, only to find, in faded black ink, "7.5". What? No, I am a 9. A 9 I tell you! Yes, they  were, in fact, men's shoes. They were cute! They had heels! What kind of guy would wear these?! Being the master of avoidance that I was at the time, I just pretended that I didn't see those numbers and went on my way. The shoes were amazingly comfortable and really did a lot to help out my over walked, under fed, calf muscles. By the end of my shift, I had told 4 people already, "Hey, aren't these shoes cool? They're GUYS SHOES!!!"  I rarely find a situation in which I feel that sexiness outweighs quirkiness and generally prefer getting a laugh over a phone number. I got a lot of use out of those shoes, and retired them, along with several better-left-unsaid things, at graduation.
These days, I'm strictly boots. Early 80s Dexter Western Boots are my faves, and increasingly hard to find. I treat each pair with much more respect and care than those silly platforms, generally wearing down a pair completely before I search for the next. My life is told in every rain drop that stains them, my miles I walk told in every centimeter I wear into the soft wooden heels. My mother always told my sister and I to be happy of our feet and proud of our height. It is mostly well-taken advice, though I have to constantly remind myself, that if I was able to fit into these size 6-

I would probably fall over. A whole lot. In the long run, I suppose safety really does win over fashion. Well, i can always console my self with these-


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First 2 weeks!

Well, our little shop is now a half month old! Thank you to everyone that has stopped by, it's so lovely to hear all of your nice comments! The neighborhood has been especially welcoming, seeing the same friendly faces every day certainly helps brighten up the crazy grey days. I am expecting a new batch of boots any minute now, looking forward to an afternoon of cleaning, polishing, and constantly running outside to bring my displays in from the rain!