Sunday, November 29, 2009

Picking Myself Up....and Starting Over Again!

That's always been one of my favorite scenes from a Fred and Ginger movie, that being from Swing Time of course.  And it's true for my personal life as well....this past year has not been an easy one to traverse and I'm hoping 2010 will be much less stressful!

When I started this blog a few months ago, I did so with the intention of it solely being a way to document my reclaiming of my health, physical and mental.  That intention got put by the wayside when I realized I didn't want to be limited in what I "vented" so it quickly became an all-purpose blog, leaving me free to write about whatever was on my mind. 

Unfortunately, my intention of doing the actual work involved to reclaim my health also got put by the wayside.  I am happy to say that I am re-motivated to get back on track in that aspect.  I also have to say that becoming a part of the Blogger community has been a HUGE part of that motivation! 

As I searched out blogs to read, I kept stumbling across more and more folk who love all things vintage and love the old classic movies of the 30's and 40's.  Sharing that same love myself, I was overjoyed at finding so many people who are of the same mindset!  Now, having older parents, I grew up being exposed to big band music and jazz, and hearing of what life was like growing up in the first half of the 20th century; I was a true child of the 80's though and Wanted My MTV.  But even while I was obsessed with Def Leppard and worked my acid wash jeans and mall bangs to the full hilt, I still had an appreciation of "days gone by." 

That appreciation grew even more when I discovered the work of Ms. Ginger Rogers.  I had heard, of course, of the iconic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers but had never seen any of their movies, nor really even ever seen a picture of them.  All I knew was that they were famous for dancing and that she had blonde hair.  One day in 1988 or '89 (not sure specifically), I was channel surfing and landed on American Movie Classics (back when they were what Turner Classic Movies is now and actually played old movies!) and saw the most beautiful actress I had ever seen before.  It was black and white; she was standing in front of a window, through which one could see it was snowing, and the snow provided a lovely backdrop for her dark, curly hair.  I had no idea who she was, but just that freeze-frame moment captured my attention enough to watch the rest of the movie (which was excellent!).  When the movie was over I learned that it was none other than Ginger Rogers, and the movie name was Kitty Foyle.  What?  Ginger Rogers?  I thought she had blonde hair....and only did musicals.....well, I was hooked.  I kept the channel parked on AMC as often as possible and fortunately, the channel was playing a lot of Fred and Ginger, and Ginger's movies that she did without Fred. 

Now, as years passed, I didn't lose my love for Ginger, nor for old movies or the past, but neither was it the focal point of my life and hobbies.  It wasn't until 2007 that I realized that my love of the past could be incorporated into my everyday life.  That was when I stumbled across The Fedora Lounge , quite by accident.  Here was an online community of people who not only loved the past, but lived it everyday in some form or another!  Here people chat about WWII reinactment weekends and where to buy CDs of old radio programs.....women chat about how to do pin curl sets and what shade of red lipstick was truly authentic to 1940....guys chat about how to get properly fitted for suits and how to care for vintage fedora hats....they post pictures of how they've just installed an oven in their kitchen from 1953 and of the vintage pencil skirt just won on ebay they wore to the office that day.  I was enthralled!  Before this, it had never dawned on me to try and seek out vintage furnishings....or that people existed today who wore vintage clothes (and hair and makeup) as part of their everyday wardrobe.  It never occurred to me that I could do this, too! 

Despite my newfound knowledge, I kept to the fringes and continued to live life in the same way I had for years, until I found myself at somewhat of a crossroads this past July as my life turned upside down and I could no longer ignore the changes I knew I needed to make.  Ever since then I've been slowly, slowly, coming back to life, albeit with a few bumps in the road.

Now, I can't tell you what a shot in the arm discovering this massive vintage (and non-vintage too!) blogging community has been for me!  Not only has it re-awakened my love for the past, reading all of your blogs has inspired me to want to start living life with a more vintage eye for things....and more importantly, it's motivated me (again) to want to take much better care of myself and of my home.  It's so much more than just the aesthetics of's a mindset that touches all aspects of life. 

So basically, I want to say thank you to all of have come to mean a lot to me in this short space of time.  I'm not a religious person, but I believe everything happens for a reason and I feel that I was led to you all by a force much greater than I. 

 I'm off to watch and record The Shop Around The Corner with Jimmy Stewart....have a great night and see you all on the other side!  :)


  1. Oh, I love this song so much! I think I'll be doing it as a song sketch sometime after the holidays.

    And I totally understand about the wonderfulness of finding all these bloggy friends that have so much in common. I'm glad I found you too!

  2. Great post, Gingerella!

    So glad that you are finding things that are helpful and encouraging in the blogosphere...I think this 'blog network' is one of the great things about the internet (to offset a lot of the 'junk' side of the internet) - I think all of us 'feed' off of each other to some extent, or else we probably wouldn't do all this, right?

    As for 'Pick Yourself Up'...I think that whole scene may just be my favorite G&F sequence EVER - where Fred is a klutz until Ginger's job is on the line, and he all of a sudden becomes...well, Fred Astaire! It's a very upbeat and encouraging song, which are unfortunately few and far between.

    And, it is SO COOL that the 30's, 40's and 50's are still being 'celebrated' and talked about...I am not quite ready to wear a zoot suit yet, but I am looking for some 'Big Band / Swing' music, preferably a 'box set' - hard to find one of those, strangely figure Time/Life would have something like that, but nope...It may sadly be that they figure the generation who listened to that music is all but died out at this point...maybe that is when 'classic' becomes 'classical'...?

    Anyway, Here's hoping your 2010 totally BURIES 2009!!!

    Jwalker - VKMfan

  3. I'm so glad you've found a community of folks who share your interests....and some that don't...(just to balance things out). Isn't blogging da BOMB?

    I've met the best people (you included, of course) and am so happy to know you!

  4. I love reading people's stories about how they discovered things from the past. That's the only reason I go online, really. I don't use it for much of anything else than to talk to people who share my vintage interests because most of my friends don't care. Though I've found one good friend in college who has similar interests as I. But regardless, I didn't want to bore my friends chatting about Fred, Ginger, Jimmy (which, BTW Shop Around the Corner is amazing! One of that college friend's favourites!) and the like, so here I came. Isn't it shocking how many classic fans are online? Not only that, I was shocked at how many Ginger fans were here! Ginger seems like such an arbitrary person to have as a favourite, but apparently not too much so.
    Good luck with everything! 2010 should be better since it's an even year!!

    Also, I'm one of those who will work the vintage! :P


  5. emma: Cool, I can't wait to hear it! :) Yes, it's quite nice to know that I'm not insane, lol!

    jwalker: omg, I don't know what I would do without the internet. As pathetic and desperate as it sounds, it's literally my lifeline these days. Yes, there's a lot of junk out there but so much good stuff too. One just needs to know how to weed it out. ;)

    I have a few pounds to drop before I could even begin to fathom wearing any vintage clothes or styles, but something I've discovered recently on the music front is an internet radio station called, which plays "memorable music from 1925-1955." I've been listening to it at work and at home for the last couple of weeks and the lineup is awesome! I'm learning of a lot of artists I never knew existed before. Better yet, each song that comes up shows which CD it's from so you can purchase it. If you like old music, check it out! It's part of a network called, where the stations are "owned" by individual members and the setlists are compiled by the member, not some big corporation computer choosing random songs. And the fellow who runs this particular station happens to be a member of the Fedora Lounge forum, that's how I ran across it. :)

    Kathryn: I never would have run across BlackLog and Smileyfreak and Picture Perfect if not for your blog, which I love! You were one of the first people to read me, and I'm so appreciative of your encouraging comments as I wrote about my job struggles, which are hopefully behind me now! I do love "the good ol' days" but I'm not a one-track person...vintage or non-vintage I love a good read no matter what. I'm happy to know you too! :)

  6. Lauren: That's why I'm so appreciative of the internet: here, this square peg has finally found a square hole to fit in! No one, and I mean, NO ONE I know here is interested in these kinds of things like I am. My husband likes the old movies and some of the old music, so he shares that with me to some extent but he's still not "into" it the same way, and I know you'll understand that, lol. It's just refreshing to know there's people like me out there....if not in my immediate geographical location, at least out there in the world! And yes, I was shocked (pleasantly so) that there are so many Ginger fans! :)

  7. Blogging, like life itself, is about constantly learning, growing and focusing on what brings you joy. I think your blog is fantastic and welcome whatever you chose to write about and share with us.

    Thank you very much for your lovely comments, sweet friend. Regarding the the (adorable!) Christmas poodle skirt - and poodle skirts in general - yes, they really were made of felt sometimes, though other materials such as muslin, chambray, light denim and other cottons were often used too.

    Wishing you endless inspiration and happiness for, and with, your blog!
    ♥ Jessica

  8. I like old stuff...I am old stuff!!

  9. Jessica: You are so sweet, thank you for your kind words! Indeed, we do learn much from each other...blogging is an excellent way to expand ones horizons!

  10. Husband: you aren't old stuff, you're hot stuff! ;)

  11. Glad to hear your feeling motivated :) I love swing music too,I think there's something...soothing about it :) I love your vintage blog,I think it's a modern view on the past but one with respect. Props Gingerella,you've got a very cool blog indeed :)

  12. Smiley: Thank you! It does feel good to be motivated, after so long feeling down in the dumps. I'll definitely be writing about non-vintage things too, as I said, I don't want to feel limited by anything. But as far as the look of the layout....I just adore those old pin-ups! :)

  13. Beautiful read!

    You have a blog award on my site...


  14. Golden Girl of the West: Thank you so much! Now I'm really blushing! :)

  15. ...Thanks for the info about the 'classic' music website, Gingerella! I will check it out soon - I have a few issues cooking over the next few days, but will hopefully have time by the end of the week to check out some stuff!
    Glad to share the 'blogosphere' with you! hopefully I can contribute somthing - albeit ALL Ginger, all the time (maybe being a 'niche' site is a good thing...)...but it is great to read all the great blogs (including this one, of course) and learn about 'classic' movies in general...and as for the 'pin-up' motif...I think you should definitely keep that motif...very much so...yes...without a GOOD.... :-p


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