Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A New Spin On Vintage : The Paraders 2012 Collection

Sometimes I stumble upon really awesome projects and ideas online and I get all antsy and excited and suddenly am overcome with the NEED to share them with others.

Today, I am doing just that.

A few days ago, I heard about a project on Kickstarter that nearly brought me tears. A girl by the name of Rachael Hammon is trying to raise money for her new handmade vintage-inspired dress line. Rachael has been a life-long lover of all things vintage and has sold beautiful vintage clothing in her Chicago-based store, The Paraders, for about three years.

After struggling for years trying to find the perfect vintage fit with each item she came across, she had the idea to recreate vintage with a handmade line, custom fit for the modern woman's body. This is such an exciting project and I'm overjoyed to be spreading the word. I totally understand Rachael's frustrations since I am also a lover of vintage but often times have trouble fitting into the vintage treasures I find.
I know I'll be purchasing one (or two, or three) of her dresses in the near future, and I really want to help her get the word out about this project, so I've asked her a few questions and will post the Kickstarter information below.

Find Rachael here:

The Paraders has been a business for almost three years now, but before that, I had been buying and collecting vintage for years. It began as a simple hobby and then just took off from there! I find a lot of my pieces at thrift stores, antique shops, friends', families, you name it! There's no place I won't search. :)

How long have you been sewing, and when did you start designing your own vintage-inspired pieces?

To be honest, I suck at sewing. I'm better at designing and hired a professional to get the job done with the new collection... I don't want to sell anything that's "crafty" or "handmade." Wait. I shouldn't say that. All of the pieces ARE handmade, just by someone who does a much better job than me. My specialty is design. I started seriously designing just this year but have had design ideas in my head for years upon years upon years. The new collection is a spin on everything I love about vintage. I have a secret... Sometimes I don't like wearing vintage. And it's solely because of the fit. It's never worked for me as well as some other lucky ladies and I wanted to do something about it! Create the styles I like but in a much more wearable way.

I definitely think she succeeded! The pieces I've seen so far are incredible and I would LOVE to try one on and spin spin spin.

If you choose to back The Parader's project on Kickstarter, not only are you helping an awesome project, but Rachael is offering amazing prizes as well! One of my favorite prizes is for those who pledge $35 or more. You'll receive a hand-drawn and printed paper doll by Kate of Flapper Doodle/Scathingly Brilliant based on The Paraders dress collection. 

In addition, you will receive a thank you e-card, inclusion in The Paraders exclusive mailing list, a shout-out to you/your business/your blog on The Paraders blog, and a one of a kind signed polaroid taken during The Paraders Lookbook photoshoot. Pretty awesome!

There are tons of other prizes hereYou have until September 6th to back her project, and every pledge counts, so please visit her Kickstarter page ASAP! :) 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Instagram Lately

   A few Instagram shots from my phone this past month. :)

   // Bella and Sierra, loungin'.
   // Andrew and I on our last night together before he left for Qatar and Greece.
   // Mia loves hiding in bags!
   // An older photo of my Sylvia Plath tattoo.

   // Breakfast of champions.
   // We brought Bella to the dog park. I think she really enjoyed it.
   // Dinner with Hamad.
   // In the midst of packing, I came across some old Polaroids.

   // While Andrew was in Greece, he sent me lots of photos of white kitties!
   // Sprinkles with friends.
   // Sierra as a uni-pup.
   // Hamad and I went to a market where he bought lots of maps.

   // On my way to the airport to pick up Ashley!
   // Visiting Pinkberry was a must while Ashley was here. 
   // Founding Farmers is the best place on Earth. No joke.
   // Beautiful day in DC, visiting the capitol building.

   Follow me on Instagram @amanda_face!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ashley Visits DC

  One of my best friends, Ashley, visited DC last week and we had an amazing time exploring the city together. Ashley and I grew up   right next door to each other in Wisconsin so not only is she my best friend, but she's a big sister, too! For a first timer in DC, the   monuments and memorials were a must. We visited Arlington Cemetery, The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, The   MLK Memorial, The WWII Memorial, The Holocaust Museum, The Newseum, The White House, The Capitol, and more. There are so   many things to do in DC, it's impossible to see everything in under a week, but I think we did a pretty good job for only a five day   visit! Our legs and feet were SO tired by the time she left Monday evening. (But in the best way possible of course. Totally worth it.)

  Here are some snapshots from her visit! :)

  I love this city so much... It has really grown on me. I may be saying good-bye soon (I'll save that for a different post), but I know it   will always hold a special place in my heart. You have been good to me, DC! ♥ ♥ 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Favorites // 08.17

  Happy Friday!

  Here are some of my favorite things this week on Pinterest. 

Hair // Cat // Yay

  I'm in love with that Jonathan Safran Foer quote. He's the best.
  (I met him once and somehow didn't faint!)

  You can find me on Pinterest here.

  P.S. I finally decided to create a Facebook page for Little Tranquility yesterday. You can find that here! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


  A friend of mine from Wisconsin is flying in tomorrow to spend a few days with me in DC. I've been looking forward to her trip for   weeks and I can't wait to see her! Today is my Friday at work, and I'm feeling all smiley and excited, daydreaming about the time we'll   be spending together the next couple of days. She's never been to DC before, so that makes the trip even more exciting. Is there   anything better than showing a loved one around your stomping grounds?

  Since I'm feeling the travel love, I thought I'd share a few places I'd love to visit; places that don't even seem real! I'm not so sure DC   is quite as breathtaking as these sights must be, but it's still special in its own way and I can't wait to be my friend's tour guide.
 // Italy via Max // Hitachinaka City via Travelet //

                                                                                      // Lake Rebta in Senegal via News Corners //

                                                                                // Lavender Fields in Provence, France via Reddit //
                                                                                         // Moraine Lake in Canada via Covertress //
                                                                                   // Tunnel of Love in Ukraine via Oleg Gordienko //

  Is there anyone out there in the blogosphere who lives in or around these places that would like to be my personal tour guide and show   me around? I'm all yours!

  P.S. I was featured in a blog of the month post today over on Then There Was Us. Check it out, Yesenia is so sweet!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Screen On The Green

Earlier this week, Kendal and I headed over to the National Mall for Screen On The Green. We brought a blanket, picked up some 
snacks, and made our way through the sea of people to find a nice place to sit.



It was the last night of the season, so to end with a bang, they played Hitchcock's "Psycho." Can't say I was disappointed! Hitchcock was definitely a genius and way ahead of his time. Norman Bates, you creepy, sad little man.


Screen On The Green is awesome and I highly suggest attending if you're in DC at any point over the summer!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Etsy Interviews V.6 // Emily from Kissen Studio

When I started my interview series earlier this year, I knew I'd be asking my friend Emily to partake. I've always admired her work and it's pretty safe to say that she has been a huge inspiration to me since we met back in high school. She's so sweet and has loads of talent and I'm so excited to share some of it with you today. Emily is also generously offering a $25 gift certificate to one of my readers to spend in her Etsy shop! (Details near the bottom of this post.)

Name: Emily Moser
Instagram @ kissenstudio

1. When did you first fall in love with creating things by hand?:
My mom taught me how to embroider and sew when I was eight years old. It was Summer and I had just moved from Texas to Wisconsin. I didn’t have any friends because school hadn’t started yet, so I remember embroidering dish towels and fabric that I would later turn into small pillows all Summer long. Since then, I really haven’t stopped creating things!

2. What inspires you?:
I love bold colors, geometric forms, and natural materials. Learning about the materials I love to use and the process that goes into making them really inspires me and helps me see the material’s full potential.

3. What are your all-time favorite items that you've created?:
I was once asked to make a replicate of the paper-mache duck from the Groucho Marx television series You Bet Your Life, for a show at the Fireside Theater. I had never made anything like it before and I totally made it up as I went along, but it turned out perfect. I gave it the Groucho mustache and everything. Aside from that, I love making pillows because there are endless ways to decorate them. I am constantly trying to learn new smocking and embroidery techniques that I can incorporate into my pillows.

4. Has your Etsy shop become your full-time job? If not, would you like it to be?:
Kissen Studio has not yet become my full-time job, but the plan is to make it so within the next few years!

5. Any advice for others trying be successful on Etsy?:
Network. It’s really important to put yourself out there and reach out to people. Running a business is not easy and there is a wonderful community of like-minded, supportive people out there who have probably run into a lot of the same problems you have and might be able to offer you valuable advice. Don’t be afraid to ask. Also, be confident about your pricing. Don’t underestimate your personal time and value.

6. Have any personal or business goals for 2012?:
I’m really trying to gain a bigger social media presence. I recently started a blog and created a Facebook fan page. My personal goal this year is to explore Chicago. I just moved here a few months ago and haven’t had a lot of time to do so.

(Photos via Chris Lee and Joan Marcus)

7. Have a fun fact or anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your shop?:
I’ve been sewing professionally for nine years and I’ve made costumes for Christopher Lloyd and Taye Diggs! I’m also a strict vegetarian and mushrooms are an ingredient in nearly every meal I make.

*******GIVEAWAY CLOSED*******

In order to enter, just leave a comment on this entry telling me which item in Emily's shop is your favorite!

For additional entries:
// Follow Kissen Studio on Etsy
// "Like" Kissen Studio on Facebook
// Follow Kissen Studio on Twitter
// Tweet about the giveaway: "Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to @kissenstudio on the @little_tranquil blog! http://little-tranquility.blogspot.com/2012/08/etsy-interviews-v6-emily-from-kissen.html"
// Follow Little Tranquility on Google Friend Connect or Blog Lovin'

The giveaway will end Monday, August 13th at 12pm EST. Good luck!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday Favorites // 08.03

I'm a day late, but that's okay, right? Here are some of my favorite things lately on Pinterest.

Follow me on Pinterest here.
Happy Weekend!