Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Charged by an incredible battle with the wind on the lakeshore path early this morning, I cannot keep from you, Merryweather patrons & fans how excited and ready I am for spring! I know I smelled it in the air. This winter has felt especially long, and now the snow from the 2011 blizzard is melting. No doubt there will probably be another heavy dump of snow the last week of March, I mean c'mon this is Chicago afterall.

Yesterday as I set up camp on my window-adjacent radiator dedicating the afternoon to admin work that I do get some crazy sick pleasure from doing, the warm (41 degrees!) air lofting through a partially-opened window laid a feeling into me that this season is going to be a rewarding one for Merryweather. But Crystal and I and out Etsy site can't do it alone. That is why I've ventured to create some postcards to distribute, and have finally created our eBay account for our true collectibles.

The luxury of having an entire afternoon to devote to Merryweather work, getting her poised for success this spring and summer, reminded me why I joined Crystal on the adventure. Sometimes (more often that I like) it's easy to forget that we are nurturing our passion, encouraging it to grow into something more mature (a store), more wholesome (a part of the vintage community). It's a goal that we get giddy over, and while it may have been a bit of a pipe dream initially, I think the knowledge and confidence we continue to acquire will make it a reality in the future.

I suppose the purpose of this post is to thank those of you who have supported us so far, whether with gifts to the collection, with purchases, with kind words of encouragement or with sage advice and counsel.

Exciting things are in the works. Stay tuned, friends!
...check out the weather report... spring for a few days in February at least.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Something Old, Something New.

Its the new year. Happy New Year! Its been awhile since my last post. Granted I always have an excuse for why I haven't been posting, but I think I can blame the tail end of the holidays on this one.

I went back to Ohio for Christmas and I will admit I was extremely apprehensive before I left. It sounds bad when I write it or say it out loud but I hadn't been home in years (since my brother got remarried two years ago in November!) Now that I'm back in Chicago and still reflecting on my trip, I realized I forgot how different it is to talk to someone every day or every other day on the phone yet not be able to see them. That is, until you actually do. Seeing your someone you care about face to face is so much better! I almost forgot. There were so many moments during my stay when I would catch myself staring at my brother or my mom for no reason other than the simple fact that I never have the opportunity to stare at them. I had to absorb all the little details of their faces again to take home with me.

Apart from the realizations and staring contests, I had an amazing time with my family. I also had a lot of vintage fun while I was home! A few days out of my stay, my mom agreed to go shopping with me for Belmont and Merryweather. She was such a huge help! There was a notable moment when we were shopping on Christmas Eve. I came across a scarf that was classic 60s and I started freaking out. My mom just started laughing and said, "I wish I could be with you every time this happens. I have never seen someone get so excited over an old scarf." Clearly she hasn't been around me enough in the last year to become accustomed to my vintage freak outs. Needless to say we had a lot of fun together. I kind of wish she could be here in Chicago to help me shop every now and then. It was nice having a different opinion for a few days. It was refreshing and bittersweet all at the same time.

While I was home I was also able to bring back so much of my fun old stuff! I also brought back tons and tons of my grandma's jewelry from the 50s-70s. I am most likely keeping half of it for myself, but the other half is going straight to Merryweather. I'm excited about all of the new additions.

Here are some glimpses of my found treasures in Ohio. Something I didn't take a picture of but feel compelled to mention is my moms Jane Fonda workout tape. Her and I used to do the workout together all the time when I was little. It was comforting to pop it in and find that I still know all the moves by heart. I hardly have to look at the screen while I'm exercising. How I feel though is a different story. I haven't worked out in a solid year so this exercising almost every day? I constantly feel like I've just been beaten with a baseball bat. I'm not worried though. Jane knows what she's doing.

On that note.....

I realized when I went home that I don't have any pictures of my family. I love this one the most. My beautiful mother on her wedding day. Every time I look at this photo I smile. She's so happy!

My grandmother's jewels. This isn't even half of it.

There are some amazing pieces from the 60s and 70s. I even found some pennies in one jewelry box dated back to 1965.

I made this pillow in the 6th grade. Its the one thing I've ever made that actually looks semi-normal. I also found my bunny. I've been sleeping with her since I was a baby. It feels good to have her back.

No explanation necessary.

My Mickey and Minnie from Disney World! And Pee Wee! Too bad when I pull his string now he sounds like a robot. Actually now that I think about it, thats probably a good thing. If he still did "talk" I would be worried he'd come to life while I was sleeping and kill me. Dolls that talk and living alone? Two things that don't go well together.

This was my favorite dress when I was little. Clearly I'm still the same girl.

Lastly, my Christmas presents from Steve and Junko. This sweater is my new favorite. The hot pink flowers make me happy. And the bag? They are too sweet to me.

Stay tuned! Once we get this last batch of photos done, many more items will be added to our Etsy.

Again, Happy New Year!

xx, Crystal

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's getting oh so close to the Day. This vintage mistress is feeling it.... an even balance between holiday spirit, longing to be with the family and oh yes the stress. But a little perspective will qualm the uneasy feelings. :)

Crystal is driving back to Ohio as I type to spend a few days with her brother, AMAZING homemade almond crescent cookies in tow! I'm still in the city, engulfed by a floor covered in shopping bags turned wrapping paper, receipts, a half packed bag for my travels half watching It's A Wonderful Life in the background.

Life usually runs faster than a mile a minute around here, and this time of year [crunch time] even faster. I think it's really important to remember why we over-extend ourselves. For me, it's the precious moments I'll share with my brother, sister-in-law and six month old nephew who flew in from Alaska this afternoon, the warmness of my grandparents house full with 25 relatives on Christmas Eve, and the solitude and serenity waiting for me at the cottage in Wisconsin on Christmas Day.

My family is an incredible inspiration for everything I do in my life, and the strong connection to the past that I feel through them is why I do what I do with vintage for Merryweather. I'm not sure why, but this fact has become so much more evident to me the past few weeks.

I hope you all can share in the sense that no matter how big or small your family is, or whom you consider your family, know that the memories you create are relevant beyond just recalling them in your minds eye.

Having said that, here are some photos of my inspiration

Grandma Pat circa 1957

The parental unit - May 13th 1979

Paternal Grandparents (aka Nanny & Poppy)

And some creative gift wrapping..... using inside-out shopping bags!

Hope you all have a very warm holiday!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

From the Inside.

As I sit here in my apartment, I'm reminded of how little I'm actually here. I know I continually go on and on about how much time I don't have to relax or to really focus on the things I'm passionate about (mainly vintage and my writing) but I realized tonight how much I sometimes miss having time by myself, here in my tiny apartment.

I really hate New Years and I especially hate new years resolutions but I think one of two that I've been mulling over in my head recently is to spend more quality time alone here. I can't remember the last day I had to sit around, drink coffee, watch bad movies, read short stories and eat homemade food, all while in my pajamas of course. This sounds so wonderful to me right now especially since the arrival of winter. Gross. My second goal of the year is to find more time to shop for Merryweather. I would love one day a week where I can go out, shop, blog and update our site. I am determined to make this happen in the New Year. I envision a new year full of vintage, sleep, fun, pajamas, writing, friends, and candy of course.

Images from the inside....

More to come. One week until Christmas! (I think I'm in denial)

xxx, Crystal

Monday, December 6, 2010


With the holidays coming up, I feel like we've been so busy! I know I say that every time I post but its true. Today I found myself making mental lists at work of what I need to do and buy before I go home for Christmas (to Ohio). At one point I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed. I think it was somewhere between deciding when to get a hair cut and how much margarine I needed to buy at Jewel for all the Christmas cookies I'm planning to make next week. That was my brother's one request upon my coming home. All he wants for Christmas are my grandmas homemade Italian cookies. I'm sure they are going to taste totally different but I'm determined to give it my best shot.

Amongst all the holiday hustle and bustle, Kelly and I took some time last week to photo some of our new items. We are truly dedicated to Merry weather but our schedules have been really conflicting lately so that doesn't leave us much time to work on things. We are trying to make Merryweather more of our everyday lives but I think at the end of the day, its a work in progress. With each day, we are learning something new to guide us in the future. I wish I had all the time in the world to shop, photo, and sit here at my computer, but sadly, with work, I don't have as much time as I would like. Some day it will be different! I know it!

Anyway....Kelly wasn't feeling well last week (she had that cold that everyone around me seems to be getting). Gladly, knock on wood I haven't been really sick yet so fingers crossed! Even though she didn't feel her best she pressed on and we spent Tuesday night sipping herbal tea, playing dress up and having fun taking some great pictures of our new finds. Like always, it was a good time. Normally our vintage work nights turn into, "lets drink a bottle of wine, watch High Fidelity and eat candy) but since Kelly wasn't feeling well on this particular evening, we were all business for a change so we were able to accomplish a lot. Kelly actually modeled a lot of the new stuff and I cannot lie. I found it hilarious. Kelly modeling wasn't necessarily funny but the fact that everything she wore for the shots are all items I myself would own and she would never own made the whole situation quite comical. Now all we need to do is dress me up in floral scarves, gray skirts and brown boots so I can turn into Kelly for a day. I'm not going to hold my breath for that though. I'm quite happy with my gold belts and polyester dresses. Here are some pictures of our night. More to come!

Kelly wearing these amazingly large 80s earrings I found at a flea market. Shes clearly uncomfortable wearing this outfit. I won't lie. I couldn't stop laughing at first. I felt like I was looking in the mirror but not.

Some of my favorite items I can't wait to put on Etsy.

Kel photoing this rad Sequaw Valley Original from the 60s.

We love each other.

xxx, Crystal

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Art of Being a Girl Scout

While out venturing last week, I found myself face to face with quite a few vintage uniform pieces.

Browsing through swaths of dresses, as always the color green jumped out at me. The color green, with a collar, long sleeves and button front? I was intrigued. The instant I liberated this garment from the rack and drew my attention to the tag I developed a sudden urge to eat an entire box of Samoa cookies. Oh yes, it was a vintage Girl Scout uniform dress!

This dress was the standard issue in the 1950s. I was surprised that this particular piece was lacking any patches, but maybe it belonged to a Girl Scout underachiever (kind of like me, really only in it for the cookies!). Here’s an image of how the dress would look complete with patches and neck scarf:

For your sake, I've restrained myself from embarking on a lengthy diatribe about the politics of the Girls Scouts and the imagery as a signifier for the enhancement of separate spheres of masculinity and femininity in the 1950s. [You’re welcome!]

Girl Scouts have been on my mind as a result of this find, and after a little digging I found a treasure trove of pertinent historic images and artifacts, thanks to the Vintage Girl Scout Museum website.


After perusing the “Girl Scout Beauty Kit” section, I wonder what the girls were scouting back in those days.

Anyway, digressing from my cynicism, the images and visual components of this stuff is getting me a riled up! Check out the section The Art of Being a Girl Scout! The set of six Christmas cards featuring silhouetted Girl Scouts participating in the joys of the season…. from 1932! The simplicity of the black white and red color scheme is striking! Right up the Merryweather alley!

It's almost enough to make me want to buy some candy canes.... before Thanksgiving! [That's a lofty statement for this camper!]

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Enjoy the time with your family and friends!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Freedam" Never Looked So Good

Last Friday at BAV (Belmont Army Vintage) I spent the day with Shin. He recently moved here from Japan with his wife.... He sells wholesale and has a warehouse full of rare mens items. He's hoping to one day have his own store in Chicago (like me and Kel!) so we have a lot in common and spend way too much time talking about 60s furniture and estate sales when we're together. I'm trying to help him with his english (particularly understanding the various levels of sarcasm that Americans tend to have myself included and he is in exchange helping me with my Japanese which I will admit needs a lot of work. Hopefully with time, I'll improve. Fingers crossed! I want to be able to at least not feel completely lost when I venture to Japan in a few years.

Anyway, on this particular Friday we spent a big chunk of time looking through Rin Tanaka's vintage collection books titled " My Freedam." He has nine volumes, with more to come including one based solely on t-shirts, hippies, and 60s pop fashion. Steve has every book and Tinaka signs every one he sends! I was in awe while looking at his latest book (volume 9) titled "My Freedam 'Freakout' Fashions from Hippies to Punks" which just arrived in the mail last week. There were so many items in this book that I long to hold, touch, try on etc etc. Every time I turned a page, I would yell, "Shut up!" I think Shin was slightly confused considering he doesn't understand my sarcasm as of yet (not many people do) therefore I spent roughly 10 minutes explaining the brilliance of Fleetwood Mac (give or take my playing 8 or so of their songs.) I vaguely remember playing Neil Young for Shin as well but I don't think that had anything to do with the t-shirts I spent the afternoon drooling over. I think I just couldn't get over the fact that Shin had no idea who Neil Young is. Sacrilege. Sidenote: if you have never seen his tribute concert to George Harrison, you need to see it, and you need to see it now. Its honestly amazing.

Anyway, check out these t-shirts! Also, if you happened to be in BAV while I was looking at these t-shirts I sincerely apologize. I don't normally touch books like that. I simply couldn't get over that Rin Tinaka has all of these t-shirts. I have never truly been able to understand the concept of collecting over selling but now I see. If I had these t-shirts, I wouldn't be selling them either. I would hide them under my bed....in a safe....with 12 locks and a watch dog.

Led Zeppelin Wembley Empire Pool 1971

T.Rex. Holstar Brand

Fleetwood Mac late 70s

ZZ Top Worldwide Texas Tour 1976

David Bowie Tour 4 1974

Paul McCartney Wings Tour 1976

The Who (Peter Townsend) Star Rights Co. 1979

Blue Oyster Cult 1978

Alice Cooper Russel Brand mid 70s.

After reading and looking through all of the "My Freedam" volumes, I have come to the conclusion that Rin Tinaka is a new idol of mine. I cannot believe the amazing stuff he has collected over the years. Its out of control!

Oh a final note, check out this interview Tinaka did in Los Angeles on how he got into vintage in addition to where he finds his inspiration. It all started with a pair of Levis 501s. Brilliant. Its really good.


Until next time...

xxx, Crystal