The Blue Book – A Glimpse into Former East Germany

You all know me by now; I love collecting mementos from the Cold War era! Finding vintage items from the USSR isn’t hard at all; there are countless online sellers living in post-Soviet countries who have entire Etsy shops dedicated to such vintage goods. But finding vintage items from East Germany, however, is an entirely different story!

I’ve read many insightful books on East Germany, and yet it still seems like such a mysterious shadow of a former country. It only existed from 1949 to 1990, as did its other half, West Germany.

East Germany was a communist country though and didn’t have free trade (it was a satellite state of the Soviet Union and therefore, behind the Iron Curtain), and finding vintage items online from there is harder, 30+ years after Germany reunited. There are less online sellers who sell things from the former DDR….

…but I found this!!! And boy was I shocked to come across it on Etsy, from a seller in Berlin. It’s a 1970’s membership book of the Ernst Thälmann Pioneer Organization (it was for East German youth aged 6 to 14).

The photo of Erich Honecker is a real throwback; his portrait was everywhere in the East back then, as he was the leader of the country at the time.

I seriously can’t believe I have this. It’s a real thrill finding historical items from the Iron Curtain countries, and I’m thankful for the Internet, which enables me to further dive into my strange-fascination with fallen communist regimes! 😃

Funny side-note: while Google researching this pioneer organization, I found a vintage poster for it in Google images and the girl reminded me of myself as a kid…we even have the same TEETH, hahaaaa!!!

Now, let’s end this post with an outfit!!! I love this one because it has all sorts of color shades going on and that pop of red and pink. 💖❤️

See ya next time!!! ❤️ Do you have any collections? Feel free to share in the comments!

Uniform Nostalgia

The other day, my friend and I got coffee to-go and walked around the beautiful Fresno High School campus, and I came across this sign, in which I wanted a photo of me with it just because of the irony that I was holding a Frappucino.

Walking around a high school campus got me thinking about my own high school days. The black neckerchief I’m wearing in this outfit was actually part of my U.S. Naval Sea Cadet uniform! I was in the program for 3 years in high school. I decided to pull out the neckerchief from my closet and let it out for air, but this time with a more fashionable spin on it.

Here’s evidence that I was in Sea Cadets (and there’s the neckerchief, too). This was taken at Naval Air Station Lemoore in 2004! I was sixteen! The certificate I was receiving was my completion of Airman Training, which was two weeks of learning about jets, hands-on. I spent a lot of time around jet mechanics and even got to sit in the cockpit of a jet! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one of the biggest highlights of my life.

So I’ve always had a soft spot for uniforms, because of the nostalgia factor. It brings back good memories of my days in Sea Cadets. ❤️

Which leads me to my next neckerchief, which was also once part of a uniform. I found another vintage gem from the former USSR, and this time it’s a red neckerchief worn by the Young Pioneers organization. This one was unissued from 1990!

Reference Photo of the Young Pioneers Uniform

So here’s to bringing old things back to life. Two neckerchiefs that each served as part of a uniform at one point, are now living a new life as a fashion accessory. ❤️

Also, like my new tights?!?!?!?!?! I’m in love with them! They’re each from Amazon and you can find the cat ones here and the heart ones here!

See ya next time!!!

My Vintage Dress That’s Actually a Soviet School Uniform

Woohooo!!! The dress I’ve been waiting so long for finally arrived in the mail! 😍

It came from one of my favorite Etsy shops based in Ukraine that specializes in vintage USSR items, that I mentioned in my last post. When I first saw this lovely dress (I’ve been wanting a brown dress for a really long time, especially for fall), I was amazed to find out it was a 1980’s-era school uniform. All that was missing from it was the white apron and collar/cuffs, but the foundation of the uniform dress remained! And it’s in great shape, to boot!!! ❤️

I’ve always thought Soviet school uniforms were so cute! I found a great photo on Google for reference:

I’ve been fascinated (okay, obsessed) with The Cold War/US and USSR relations/the Eastern Bloc/the collapse of the Soviet Union since I was really young. I have no idea how or when it started; it’s just always been an interest of mine, it seems! So the dress is an absolute gem in my eyes, since it encapsulates both my passion for fashion and history.

Check out the old tags on the inside of the dress, written in Ukrainian:

It makes me wonder what student(s) previously owned this 30+ years ago. If only a dress could talk! And then I think of how awe-inspiring it is that it made its way to me from so far away. I’ll definitely take good care of it and I’m so happy it found a new home with me! ❤️

Lastly, my current read (because it goes sooooooo well with the content of this post and you already know I’m a history nerd), Perestroika by Mikhail Gorbachev (the former president of the Soviet Union).

I’ve been wanting to read this book, written in 1987 (the year I was born, haha), to see how Gorbachev intended to restructure and reform the USSR, which ultimately collapsed in 1991. Had the Soviet Union not fallen apart, would his reform policies have worked in the long run? We’ll never know…but now I have a piece of this collapsed, now non-existent part of history, in the form of a dress. In a lot of ways, I think the dress found me.

See ya!!! ❤️

A Winter Fairytale

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Happy mid-week, everyone! ❤

I’m excited to showcase something I’ve been wanting for a looooooong time, and finally purchased one! I’ve always loved this vintage, winter fashion accessory and now have one of my own. First though, the outfit du jour…

I tried something different with my scarf, and that is, placing it underneath my belt. I like it!

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I sure am wearing this black velvet bow a lot lately. I really like it because a) it goes with everything and b) …it’s a bow. How can you go wrong?!

Now, I did not take my new accessory with me today as part of my outfit (I only took photos with it before work to showcase it…this is more for when I know I will be outside in super cold weather for a prolonged amount of time, so it’s a special occasion accessory):

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Ohhhhhh my goodness, people. Behold; a muff!

You seldom see these anymore! I’ve always thought they were so cute. I’m going with my mom tomorrow night to walk and look at Christmas lights, so it’s in perfect timing.

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It’s sooooo cute!!! I love it. It’s like a dream come true to finally own one of these. It’s super soft, too (faux fur) with a fleece lining inside.

I really love vintage items – or at least, modern things that emulate vintage items.  I’ve been called an old soul on countless occasions…I feel young at heart, mind you, but ultimately an old soul just trying to find my place in the world. ❤

Perhaps I’ve been overly contemplative lately, but do you ever wonder what your place in the world is?

It’s no easy answer, for most of us. Lately though, I’ve reached pretty concrete conclusions for myself (although, things can always change). Mine would be: creating art, listening to those who need someone to talk to, inspiring people in any way, and appreciating life’s simple, beautiful moments. 

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Speaking of life’s simple, beautiful moments; I experienced with some nighttime photography and took this photo. It’s a bunch of dead trees, sure, but I love how creepy it looks!! There’s some beauty in decay, right?

I hope you enjoyed this rambling of a post (haha). I look forward to walking around tomorrow night and seeing the beauty Christmas has to offer with my mom. We don’t go out and do things together all that often, so it’ll be nice!! ❤

Take care! Until next time. 🙂

 

Mixed Bag of Goodies!

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A mixed bag of goodies as in, this post is a mix of topics! 😛

First and foremost, Happy Easter! It’s been a wonderful day, and I started it off with a beautiful church service. I go to church typically every Sunday to begin with, but the message today was spectacular and I felt I truly understood the meaning of Easter. It took me 29 years to finally understand the true meaning, and it hit me hard, but in a really good way. ❤

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I tried to wear the most pastel, Easter-exuding outfit I could come up with. Of course, I couldn’t NOT wear my vintage gingham skirt because it is just so Easter. Lately I’ve been fascinated with pattern mixing, so I tried it out today with a grey T-shirt with pink floral print, and my gingham skirt. I think it worked really well and I want to try more pattern mixing in the future.

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Onto other fun news: I decided to expand my horizons and make my first necklace!

My sweet sister, who also makes jewelry on Etsy (you can see her work here) showed me how to hook the chain onto the necklace itself so I’d be able to easily make more necklaces in the future on my own. I’ll be posting this necklace for sale on my Etsy shop this week! Can’t wait for more ideas to come!

 

 

Art Show & Outfit of the Day!

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Last night was amaaaaaaaaaazing…

Like seriously. Amazing.

I went to a local art show downtown, where people showcased their work. It’s called Art Hop, it’s once a month, and essentially you walk around downtown from one studio to another and admire people’s work. I saw so many amazing artwork, and it made me feel fortunate to know there are so many talented people in the city I live in!

From the photo above: random shots  in different studios, one in which was called Pop Art where you could literally pop all of the balloons and bubble wrap your heart desired! There were balloons on the walls, on the floor…and get this: they served pop tarts. My mind was blown from how creatively thought out it was!

Secondly, I bought a vintage handbag on Etsy. It’s super adorable and it’s from the 1960’s – and was only $25! This thing looks brand new and it’s hard to believe it made it through so many decades unscathed!

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And now, for today’s outfit…

It went from beautiful and warm to cold and rainy in a matter of a day. Not so surprising considering April is upon us.

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Umbrellas make for aesthetically pleasing backdrops though, don’t they?

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With my new handbag, I literally feel like I could time travel back to the mid-century without a transition being needed…

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That bedazzled unicorn was once a necklace, but I seldom wear necklaces, so I turned it into a ring. 🙂

Happy Friday! ❤

This ol’ Thing?

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Outfit post time!

I found this super cute, nostalgic little blouse number at Goodwill, no tags in it, so I’m under the strong impression that this was something that was completely made from scratch and sewn by hand. I can’t tell how old it is, but with its puffy sleeves and floral print, I feel like it’s been around for quite awhile.

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I can’t express how much I love wearing white. I used to never wear white, but I find myself more often than not wearing the color now. I think the white skirt paired really well with the blouse.

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So glad I could get a clear close-up of the details! I love the cinched sleeves at the elbows, and the cute little yellow and orange flowers. I love the silhouette it creates.

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So after taking outfit photos, in the COLD I might add (what happened to the 70/80 degree temperatures I’ve been spoiled with lately?) I drove across town to the cutest little gem of a coffee shop called Yellow Mug Coffee. That’s an iced mocha I ordered, and it’s delicious.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Thursday! 🙂