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Tips for Dressing Like a Hippie

thumbnail (56)Although most people associate hippie fashion with the 1960s, lately it’s started to make a comeback in some of the hottest trends of today. Someone who goes retro is sure to stand out from the crowd, proclaiming their own independence while paying homage to the free spirits of the past. Here are some tips for how to dress like a hippie and show off your style.

Flowing Clothes

Choose clothes that are loose and flowing. Long shirts are a great option, and so are dresses with billowing skirts. You can even layer your clothes for a unique look—the more fabric, the better.

Colors and Patterns

Bright colors and bold patterns are a staple of hippie culture, so avoid browns and blacks. You can go with something in vintage floral or big stripes to really stand out; if you prefer solids, then make sure that they still make a statement. Whites, dusty pinks, and yellows are all good choices, although you can choose from many different colors.

Symbols and Shapes

Hippie symbols are another way to dress like it’s 1969. Flower children almost always spring to mind when discussing hippies, and fake flowers or flower patterns are a good way to enhance your style. Peace symbols are another great choice. You can also choose items that have words associated with hippie culture on them, like “love,” “peace,” and “speak.”

Accessories

One of the most important things to remember is to accessorize. A hippie headband is a quick way to transform your look; wear a thin chain or woven strand across your forehead. It’s even better if it has flowers on it. As far as shoes go, look for sandals or open-toed heels. Show as much of your foot as possible if going barefoot isn’t an option. Get a big bold handbag, and you’ll complete the look.

There are a lot of ways to look like a hippie, which means you can endlessly personalize your outfit. The hippie movement was all about freedom, so get out there and create your own style!

posted by Hyacinth K in Fashion & Beauty,History and Facts and have No Comments

Advantages of Vintage Jewelry

thumbnail (55)Some people worry that wearing vintage jewelry will make them look old-fashioned. There’s no need to worry, however, because there are many advantages to wearing vintage jewelry.

A Top Trend

One of the top advantages is that vintage fashion is currently in style. The trends from the fifties, sixties, and seventies are currently making their way back into the designs of top fashion houses. Although it seems counterintuitive, wearing retro jewelry helps you to look more current and trendy. Even if this trend eventually dies out, you can keep wearing the retro pieces as an homage to past decades.

Wide Variety

There are many different styles and fashions in vintage jewelry, ranging from the long dangly necklaces of the Roaring Twenties to bold geometric designs straight out of the seventies. Vintage jewelry can come in all sorts of fun colors and materials, giving you thousands of options for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. There’s sure to be something out there just for you, which means that you can customize your wardrobe to fit your style.

High Quality

Vintage jewelry gives you more bang for your buck. Older jewelry is often made of high-quality materials that make it more durable and longer lasting. But because of the age, it can also be cheaper than some of the newest modern designs, which means that you can usually get a sturdy piece for a low price.

Wardrobe Options

Vintage jewelry gives you a lot of options for your wardrobe. One possibility is to combine it with modern clothes to give off just a hint of retro style. On the other hand, if you prefer to go all-out, you can pair your retro accessories with a vintage outfit to really show off the spirit of the decade.

There’s no reason to worry about wearing vintage jewelry since anyone can pull off a retro look with a little bit of work. Whether you’re looking for a subtle statement or want to really stand out, vintage jewelry adds the perfect touch to your outfit. You can use actual vintage pieces, or go for modern jewelry designed in vintage fashions.

posted by Hyacinth K in Fashion & Beauty,History and Facts,Shopping and have No Comments

Marantz

xl_av8003_front_thumbnailMarantz has been the sure thing in home entertainment for over sixty years now, and today, in the midst of all this technology, Marantz components still emulate the vision and high quality that first inspired Mr. Saul Marantz to expand the sensory horizons of even the most demanding of aficionados.

The name Saul Marantz should be synonymous with premium home entertainment.  A classical guitarist, Mr. Marantz was dissatisfied with the hi fidelity equipment of his day, so he created a better sound system first for his basement, and later in a factory for the public.  He remains an icon in the industry he helped establish.

The 1960s saw a transition from tubes to transistors, and the 1970s brought a decade of intense growth and expansion, fueled by imaginative product development and demanding quality standards.  In 1982, consumer digital audio became a North American reality, and Marantz’s first publicly announced CD player led the way.  Marantz also became involved with video for the first time with a Laserdisc player.

Marantz continued to lead the way in the 90s, with all the gusto and enthusiasm that comes from great corporate unity and success, and the first Marantz LCD video front projector was born, in addition to the first of their much-praised plasma monitor series.  Sadly, however, the company lost Saul Marantz, but not his dream and passion for being the leader.

And now, it’s the dawn of a new era, with high definition digital audio taking center stage and the new Reference Series is kindling the fires of Marantz passion once again.  Have you had the pleasure of listening to Marantz?  It should definitely be on your bucket list.

posted by Hyacinth K in Recreation and Entertainment,Shopping,Technology and have No Comments

Paper Straws Come Back

thumbnail (50)Until some time in the 1960s, when you asked for a straw you would be handed a paper straw. There were no plastic straws, and paper was the only way straws were manufactured for the public.

During historical times, the Sumerians drank beer through straws made of reed, purportedly to keep from drinking the beer’s sediment, which would lie on the bottom of the container.

Until 1888, natural rye grass was used for straws, until Marvin Stone tired of the grass straws breaking down and leaving gritty residue in drinks. He created his first attempt at a straw by winding strips of paper around a pencil. He then removed the pencil, gluing the strips together. He later refined his design by using paper that was coated in paraffin to keep the straws from becoming soggy. Stone thought the perfect straw to be 8 ½ inches long with a diameter that was too small to accept items like lemon seeds from being sucked up with the tube.

So in the 1960s, somebody saw plastic straws as being “cooler” and more modern that paper straws, and the rest, so they say, is history…except for the fact that we’ve come to see the downfall of plastic and how damaging it can be to the ecosystem.

Plastic straws are everywhere. You get them at school with your juice, at home you use them, and every fast food establishment throws some in the bag with your fries. Restaurants give them out with every beverage served, and all in all, that’s a lot of plastic. In fact, what is reputed to be the world’s most popular fast food chain reports going through 60 million straws every day.

Paper straws have been making a huge comeback… and you can get them in a lovely variety of colors, too. It’s a good thing, because we do like our straws, but we are at last too educated to keep on using the plastic variety.

posted by Hyacinth K in History and Facts and have No Comments

The Story of Pepsi Cola

drinkwarePepsi Cola is one of the two most popular and beloved drinks in the whole world. The refreshing tasty beverage has been around long enough for it to be remembered by members of three, or even four, generations. During that time, Pepsi became one of the most recognizable brands and one of the largest soft drinks companies in the world. Today, the company makes a variety of popular drinks, and is still aware of its roots and the idea behind Pepsi Cola, the original soft drink.

It all began in the American South-East, the state of North Carolina, city of New Bern. The man with the idea was named Caleb Bradham, and he was a pharmacist who sought a formula for a drink that will be both tasty and healthy. The original formula was called Brad’s Drink, and it was invented in 1893 and sold in Caleb’s drugstore. The formula contained, among other ingredients, pepsin, an enzyme our bodies use in digestion, and kola nut extracts, which became the basis for the drink’s new name – Pepsi Cola, established in 1989. Three years later, Pepsi Cola Company was formed.

The company, and the drink, really hit the spot – over the next two decades it expended immensely, changed the logo a couple of times and moved into bigger factory locations. It went well up until Caleb started making bad bets on the price of sugar, lost a lot of money and left the Pepsi Cola Company bankrupt in 1923. The company’s assets were bought by Craven Holding Corporation, which resold it Roy C. Megargel.

It wasn’t until Pepsi was bought by the president of the Loft Candy Company that it started becoming the Pepsi we know today. Charles C. Guth, the new owner, shrewdly realized that there’s a great opportunity for Pepsi to thrive with good advertising, and the history of both soft drinks and advertising got a pivotal moment – the first ever advertising jingle that was aired was Pepsi’s “Nickel Nickel” jingle back in 1940.

From there, it went straight up – both the drink, the company, and the advertising industry continued to grow together, up to the point when you’re reading this, maybe with a bottle of Pepsi on the table. The Pepsi you know, with the recognizable bottle shape, logo, and the refreshing taste.

posted by Hyacinth K in History and Facts and have No Comments

Not Too Matchy-Matchy: How to mix Prints and Plaids in Home Décor

thumbnail (16)You know it when you see it; you admire it in chic magazine spreads, and Martha Stewart’s freakish ability to do it makes you hate her a little… It’s OK, you can admit it. I too have spent far too much time wondering how designers know what goes with what.

I overcame my fear of mismatched, or worse yet, matchy-matchy home design, and you can too! Some of the best things all those HGTV home decorating gurus have given the world are shortcuts to take the guesswork out of creating the perfect blend of nonchalant pattern and print pairings. They did this by creating signature lines of fabric! Laura Ashley may have done it first (and become an unfortunate casualty of home décor cynicism), but now we can find all kinds of fabric and décor choices, pre-selected to match flawlessly!

Here are the basics: Find the color palette that suits your decorating needs. There should be one major theme color, usually the darkest shade in the palette but always the one that holds the theme together. For our purposes, let’s say you’re choosing a summery palette and navy is the major theme color. Your mind might leap to the country staple red, white, and blue, but there’s SO much more you can do with it!

Now, look in your favorite online fabric outlet and scroll through their offerings. Do you tend toward Victorian inspired designs? Find a lovely cream and navy scrollwork (looks like patterned wallpaper) and a lush mauve or lavender shantung-look cotton. Add to those a delightful cream and Williamsburg blue gingham check, and voilá! You’ve just created a complete decorating fabric palette! These colors used in a room with light eggshell or blue walls will create a light and airy feel with a solidly traditional aesthetic.

Not into Victorian, no problem! Take the same navy base and locate trendy BoHo batiks in a rainbow explosion of hues. Once you find a design that speaks to you, choose the palette from the corresponding batik colors. You can go tie-dye crazy or tastefully spiritual, it’s all up to you.

If you really are worried that your room will wind up looking like the hideous offspring of Martha and Laura gone terribly wrong, look for home décor collections. These are the pre-sorted collections of solids, patterns, and prints that are pretty much dummy-proof to help you update a room with as little fuss as possible.
You need not fear using fabric in your home décor, even if you don’t sew, there are tons of ways to glue and iron on adhere home decorating fabrics, or any adorable fabric find, to make pillow covers, window treatments and even lampshade covers.

posted by Hyacinth K in Recreation and Entertainment,Shopping and have No Comments

It’s How We Roll!

thumbnail (1)I remember “back in the day,” the day in question being somewhere around 1989; I’d plug in my hot rollers and let them heat up while I showered, my dry, frizzy hair securely under a vinyl cap. Once I’d dried off, I’d start rolling! The standard hot roller kit at that time was multi-sized with everything from poodle-curl inducing 1/4” diameter wands to the then seemingly subtle wave of the 3/4″ roller. The “old fashioned way” was to grab a roller, start a strand of hair from its ends and roll it around the wand. That was it, one way only; roll it from tip to root and secure it to your head with a single metal pin dug into your scalp. You’d leave them in for about thirty minutes and hope they tamed rather than grew your frizz, and then follow it up with the crazy “curling brush” to again try to smooth. There was no heat-shield product, no ionization, and no guarantees… Ouch!

Thank goodness those days are gone! Now, I strive to find products that keep my shoulder length hair frizz-free and also allow me to tame my natural corkscrew curls into smooth, seductive waves. My first introduction to the enhancements being made to hot rollers was ionization. Rollers now come in velour covered softness to baby your fine strands, not beat them into submission, and the ionization process works to reduce static and overheating, which reduces frizz. Products like heat shields, leave-in conditioners, and fantastic essential oils (like the silk infusion of Chi) work with the heat process to lengthen and bend hair strands without breakage, and with little to no frizz.

The latest advancements in hot rollers though are Nano Titanium barrels. This wonderful technology works to eliminate hotspots and builds on the ionization techniques of the decade before to reduce frizz. While many still offer the metal clip for security, you can also get much easier on your scalp plastic professional butterfly clips—these clips work much more readily with the updated way we ladies roll today. We’ve learned—start your curl near the base of the follicle, near the root and use your hands to twist each section of hair before winding it around the roller barrel. This creates that super-model, mermaid hair we’re all after, with little to no frizz. And forget about the poodle-sized wands—most are a standard 1” or more for seductive waves for day or night. Roll on, Ladies! Roll on!

posted by Hyacinth K in Fashion & Beauty,History and Facts and have No Comments

Selecting the Right Embroidery Pattern

thumbnail (12)The first consideration in selecting embroidery patterns is to pick a pattern that is within the skill level of the person who will be doing the stitching. To choose the best embroidery patterns, it is good to first consider the purpose the needlework will have, and if it’s intended to be a gift, think of who is going to receive it. Another very important consideration is the length of time it will take to complete the pattern.

It’s a good idea, before even beginning to look for patterns, to think about the type of image that will be embroidered along with the skill level of the stitcher. Choose a theme first, and then select an image that the embroiderer is capable of completing in an acceptable amount of time. Some images are easier to stitch than others. Line drawings are usually easier to complete than patterns that require complete filling-in of the areas with stitches.

It’s important, when the embroiderer is a bit of a novice, to make sure to get embroidery patterns that come with enough instructions, as some don’t really provide more than a picture that the stitcher is to transfer onto a piece of fabric, while others include detailed instructions recommending types of stitches to use for each area. A more advanced embroiderer may be fine simply transferring the picture to the fabric and making do with the stitches in his or her repertoire, while a novice will probably need extra guidance when it comes to selecting the right stitches for the job.

And finally, it is very important to pick the right sized pattern for the application. Some patterns may end up creating a bigger pattern than the surface upon which it will be embroidered. It may be that the pattern will lend itself to being shrunken down while maintaining its scale, and it may not. For clothing, it’s best to avoid large, elaborate patterns. Small, simple patterns work much better. And if you end up choosing a pattern that is harder than you’re capable of finishing, your level of frustration may leave you not wanting to embroider further, so start simple and build your skill level while you increase the level of proficiency needed for each project.

posted by Hyacinth K in Recreation and Entertainment,Shopping and have No Comments

The Styles in the Buttons

thumbnail (3)Many people would like to be able to have more autonomy in the designing of their clothing and outerwear, and while they could learn how to create from scratch the items they wear, it takes a lot of time and training to learn.  There is a way that anyone can take a little bit of time to totally transform garments and outergarments:  by changing the buttons.  It’s difficult to believe that something so small could be such a defining part of a garment, but buttons truly serve to define the garments they are on, and the seemingly insignificant act of changing them out can completely change the entire “feel” of whatever article they are on.

There are basically two styles of buttons, or methods in which they are to be attached to a garment, with the first being the shank button.  Shank buttons have a loop or hook on their back which must be hand sewn.  Being that there are no holes or thread visible from the front side of the button, these buttons can be made in a variety of ways, from fairly plain and stamped fronts, to large domed creations interspersed with embellishments.  And like any buttons, they can come in a multitude of shapes, from circular to oval, square to rectangle and more.

Flat buttons come with two to four holes in their surface, which are there to be attached with thread to the garment.  They can either be hand-sewn or attached by machine, and the thread is visible, as well as the direction of the stitches.  These buttons must be fairly flat, but they, like shank buttons, come in a variety of shapes and diameters.

While any garment can be fully made over by changing its buttons, overgarments like coats, jackets, sweaters and blazers are some of the best articles to start with.  Coats are mostly worn during the cold winter months, and then, they are the most visible part of what we wear.  Coats are designed with the intent to last longer than many other articles of clothing, and for that reason, they tend to last a long time.  When a coat has begun to feel like a uniform, it’s time to change out the buttons on it, for a whole new look.  Blazers are usually found in mainly solid colors, so changing the buttons offers a perfect solution for giving them an entirely different look.

The navy pea coat is well known for coming adorned with anchor-embossed metal buttons, which was the original standard-issue from the navy, and while they are perfectly adequate, a pea-coat can become a fully different item just by changing out the buttons.  For instance, you could replace the anchor buttons with some lovely antique fleur de lis buttons to give it a more feminine look with a more romantic appearance.

posted by Hyacinth K in Fashion & Beauty and have No Comments

Capri Pants on the Scene

thumbnail (1)There are a lot of names for capri pants, such as capris, crop pants three-quarter pants and clam diggers.  Basically capri pants are mid-calf pants that are typically worn in warmer months.  Some capris end just below the knee, and some end just at the top of the ankle.  They’ve been widely popular for wear by women in the United States and Europe, and they are also worn by men in many countries, especially in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Introduced initially in Europe by fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948, Capri pants have remained a fashion staple for all the years following.  The island of Capri is where the name of the pants originated, and its where they rose to popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  The American actress Grace Kelly and the French actress Audrey Hepburn were among the first movie stars who wore capris on the island, thereby creating even more of a following for wearing them as a fashion statement.

Acceptance and adaptation to capri pants in the United States was greatly influenced by the 1960s television series The Dick Van Dyke Show, where the character of Laura Petrie created a fashion sensation wearing capri pants on the show.  The young housewife, as played by Mary Tyler Moore, caused a bit of controversy by wearing the capris as they were overly snug-fitting for the times.  Unlike the show’s predecessors I Love Lucy and others, where the heroines were traditionally clad in full skirted dresses, Mary Tyler Moore wore capri pants during the show’s entire run.

In the years between the 1970s and the 1990s, capri pants suffered a temporary drop in popularity, but this drop didn’t last long with capri pants returning to a position of statement fashion sometime in the late 1990s.

posted by Hyacinth K in Fashion & Beauty,History and Facts,Shopping and have No Comments