Monday, December 31, 2012

A Few Pieces of Inspiration

Hello Kittens!

Before I officially kick things off at the beginning of the year, I thought I should share a few items that have led to this Project taking shape.  I've always had the drive to infuse a bit of glamour, to class-up the hum-drum, but that's such a daunting task and I didn't quite know where to begin. 

As my OCD seems to become more pronounced with each day, I have found my love of lists growing immeasurably - I make physical lists for things to do at work, things to do at home, things to buy, and random things to remember.  I make mental lists CONSTANTLY and I am convinced the cat is growing tired of me detailing for him the series of events that are about to unfold.  That being said, it really isn't surprising that there were a few lists which provided some inspiration and some structure for my Project.

First, and most influential, is a fantastic blog - Quite Continental.  Each February there is a month-long feature entitled Quite Continental Charm School.  There are daily posts which all come together to create 'A Modern Guide to Creating a Charmed Life.'  A friend of mine sent this to me a few months ago and I was absolutely smitten - I found the whole concept to be inspired without being preachy or pompous.  Since there are already 57 items between the 2011 and 2012 posts (and I'm crossing my fingers that we see a 2013 continuance) and there are items which will take quite some effort and/or time on my part, my goal will be to go through the list at the rate of at least one every two weeks.  While that's a spectacular plan, my hope is that this blog keeps me honest about actually following through. 

The second item comes from the LA Weekly Blog.  I have always had a love affair with the written word and have sadly fallen into the same rut as most adults - not making enough time to read.  I stumbled across a very interesting item - a tournament to determine the Best L.A. Novel Ever.  As I have what some might describe as an abusive, co-dependent relationship with Los Angeles, I immediately wanted to read all the books in the running.  There is something so ugly, so inherently hurtful about this city...and at the same time so beautiful, so magical, so inspiring.  We may not have buildings that boast 'Benjamin Franklin slept here', but we've got our own glitzy, yet sordid history.  There's a fascinating, seedy underbelly to the City of Angeles and I'm uncontrollably drawn to the stories that emerge from it.  There are 32 novels total - 8 in 4 different categories and I thought I might be able to persuade some people to start a virtual book club with me.  You, perhaps?

And, lastly, there are the two lists that people take great pride in besting their friends on - the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time and also the BBC's Top 100 Books.  Because, really, how charming and stylish is someone who is well-read and who is knowledgeable about movies?  To truly understand literary and cinematic references is fantastic - and let's be honest, it feels pretty damn good when you are not the one who requires an explanation to understand a conversation thread or joke in whatever company you happen to find yourself in!

Now, I understand that working my way through these lists will take time - especially when you consider the novels I've been meaning to read, the movies I've been meaning to see, and the things I've been meaning to do which are not on any of these lists.  Good news is, I've got time.  While I have no predetermined end date for this Project, sharing my experiences with you will hopefully keep me on track.  One film a week is completely doable and I should be able to squeeze at least two books into a month without any problems...and if it turns out that I'm completely off in what is doable long term, well, then I'll simply revisit.

My hope is to inspire you to come along with me on this journey.  Don't misunderstand, we will are not beholden to the contents of the lists above.  I'm not a complete novice - I've got some tricks up my sleeves already.  And then there are The Ladies!  Oh just wait until you meet The Ladies!  It. Will. Be. Fabulous!  And obviously there will be brunch.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Vintage Project Manifesto

Hello Kittens.  Welcome to The Vintage Project.

Perhaps I should give you a little background as to how we've found ourselves here - the short version is that I have always felt like I was living in the wrong time. I've been described as an old soul over and over again and with my love (and if I'm being honest, my pseudo-obsession) of the Jazz Age and Old Hollywood, I do not find that too terribly difficult to believe.  Yes, I rely and appreciate the freedoms and technologies that we all take for granted living today; those that we did not have 10 years ago, much less 60 years ago. 

Like many, I admit I probably romanticize the past, influenced by what we've been shown in photographs and on the silver screen.  There was a time when all women seemed to be poised, confident, stylish, and charming.  When errands were not run in flip-flops and sweatpants (with or without ridiculous words printed on the ass).  There was the glam factor that was present whether a woman was dressed up or dressed down - heels were required and hats strongly encouraged.  There was entertaining at home as opposed to impersonal celebrations at bars, leisurely brunching instead of living life in crisis mode, and women owned their femininity instead of feeling like it was either a weakness or that it implied that you couldn't also kick some major ass.  So many things have happened and so many necessary changes have taken place that, for a myriad of reasons, we've lost so many of those qualities we associate with previous generations.

I'm guilty of going out in yoga pants and sleeping in high school theatre T-shirts riddled with holes.  I cannot entertain on the fly or be effortlessly stylish in any given situation.  And I most definitely do not wear hats nearly enough.  And in the upcoming year, that will change - and it will be chronicled.  My love of vintage, of glam, will be actively integrated into the life of a modern girl - one who could not imagine living without the modern conveniences afforded us by science or the progress afforded us by the feminist movement.

This is my manifesto.

This is my Vintage Project.