Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Yesterday started out slow, but finished up fabulous! My getting dressed process was a bit more inspired than usual, but I had a big day ahead of me, with the two-hour drive to my sister's house.
There's that bag again. I'm just obsessed with that vintage beaded bag. I purchased it for the shop, and it will probably show up there some day, but I'm not sure how soon. That's the only vintage piece. Cardigan and embroidered sweater, thrifted, shoes and socks are from NineWest two and one year ago respectively. Skirt, target, via Plato's Clost and tights, Betsy Johnson.

On the road trip I got some fantastic pieces for the shop. I officially have my work totally cut out for me. To help with the over-stock, I'm planning a vintage party for November 22nd. Wine, snacks, and vintage! Complete with a gift-wrapping station. Proceeds are going toward the traveling vintage project. Matt and I are saving up to move into a camper and tour the country, selling vintage, seeing the sites, being creative, and living the dream. If you're in Bloomington or near by, please plan to come over on November 22nd.


Monday, November 8, 2010

First "What I Wore" post!

Today was an undeniably beautiful day, no jackets necessary. It inspired me to put forth a little effort, which was nice after spending another lone weekend in winery logo wear. It isn't great, but I thought it was bloggable. This is my FIRST "what I wore" post, so they'll get better with time. My outfit includes:
a sweet little red 70s dress with WHITE SEAGULLS all over it (!)
a fantastic 1960s beaded handbag
a blush lacy slip peeking out around the hem
and some great boots from TootiesCloset, a great shop on Etsy with a killer selection of boots and handbags at no-brainer prices.

Speaking of getting better with time, I picked up a bottle of 2007 Creekbend Chambourcin, which will be an absolutely lovely wine. The local co-op carries a couple of Oliver Winery's estate wines, and 2007 is officially two vintages ago. I'm excited for its silky, subdued raspberry goodness. A quick visit to the local salvation army turned up some great knitwear, a couple of lovely dress, and a totally steampunk/art deco waffle maker. Coming soon to PirateVintage and BirdsChasingBugs.

What a great afternoon!

Hello, world!

I am Matt, and I'll be posting on this blog from time to time too! I'm hoping to breathe new life into Amber's old Etsy shop, PirateVintage, and it's off to a fairly good start. Check it out!
If you're like me, you probably can't help but roll your eyes at the "early adopters" of the 3D television. History shows that stereoscopy comes and goes, it's always worn out its welcome after awhile. So we all have this choice to make: what piece of technology do you want around your house for the .01% of the time when you want to see "3D" images? A $2000, electricity-scarfing, content-starved behemoth? Or the quirky analog charms of the View-Master? Get your depth-of-field fix on the cheap!

You can find this clever post and the viewmaster itself by clicking here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Afternoon Discovery

This afternoon I stumbled across this absolutely riveting project that incorporates art history, museum vaults, and the recreation of hidden gems onto human bodies. The intimacy of these projects goes far beyond any candid photography shoots, and reaches back centuries into art history. Take a look.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gearing up.

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You probably haven't heart yet (since I've been keeping it a secret) that I am starting a shop for handmade goods. I'm really nervous about selling my little watercolor petri dishes, because I feel like the idea isn't quite complete. I'm hoping you can give me some feedback. So here's a sneak peek into OfAFeatherIllustrated. You lucky duck.

Monday, October 25, 2010


When fall arrives, I always have a craving to mix it up with some menswear. The prospect of layering makes my heart go all a-flutter. Ruffles with knife pleats. Plaids with florals. Vests with v-necks. Bomber jackets. I just love adding a little menswear to the mix. These are some of my favorites on Etsy right now. Go ahead, androgynize.

If you want to put all of these items at once, like I do, you can find them here:
* Fabulous Grandpa Sweater on 10th Avenue East, a shop that has a fresh, yet classy mix of vintage

* Amazing High-waisted Wool Blend Pants on HumpAStuff, a shop whose name suggests that there is some adult content (and there is), but that also has a bold collection of vintage apparel and housewares

* Gorgeous Silk Blouse on GreatestFriend, and one of my personal favorites, a shop with quality hand-selected timeless pieces

* UNBELIEVABLE Deadstock Oxfords on kakronti's Bummertown, a shop run by a lovely lady here in my home town

* Totally unique Elk Cufflinks on PossumGully, a shop I'm hoping to see more of in the future

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Sometimes all you need to make the world right again is a little nap. This post is brought to you by my luxuriously long-haired cat, Arno.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Following a thread

After a manageable day at work, I arrived home with enough energy to sink my teeth into an episode of Art21. Marathon consumption of this television show is just not possible for me. I watch this series slowly, for fear that if I tried to take it all in at once, my brain might explode out the top of my head. Episode 2, season 1 introduced me to Ann Hamilton, whose work I found compelling, varied, and exploratory. Her ability to take a concept and translate it into something both profound and accessible is nothing short of magic.
The thing that I identified so strongly with is the fact that she is an artist, not through medium, but through the exploration of a thread of ideas. Ann manages to meander through her artistic notions. The suit above, a simple mens suit covered in toothpicks, originally caught my attention. What a strange combination of materials. How did she join the two? How on earth did she get into that suit?! I immediately identified with this artist because I can see that she is constantly creating in problems, and then solving them, just to keep things fresh.

Ann Hamilton's work seems wrought with possibility, and as I prepare to enter a large-scale adventure of my own, I am sure I will be looking to her work as my inspiration.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Structural Heel

Sometimes they are a geometric phenomenon. I went in search of interesting geometric heels in a range of extremity. You've probably seen the Alexander McQueen collection, but if not, you should check out this article from the Huffington Post For your viewing pleasure:

My inspiration for this post is this pair of 1980s Italian-made Walter Steiger heels avaialable in my Etsy shop. I naturally turned to Etsy for more inspiration.

I found these beauties at Miscusi. These heels are wonderful, and look like they would be so comfortable to wear! Miscus, I am with you: purple heels are awesome. However, the purpose of this post was to entertain the idea of shoes that I would an could never wear, for reasons of balance or budget. exactly does this work?!

On a very important related note, RIP, Alexander McQueen. You will be remembered for you contradictions.... I mean, contributions, to beauty and fashion.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Potential MadMen Bombshell needs your vote!

My friend Katia is one of the most beautiful ladies I know, and she's contending for a walk-on role on Mad Men. If you have time, please visit this link and vote for her!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Navigating social media advertisements for my shop have a little overwhelmed lately. I've been slowly working out what sites I can link with others, in order to kill two proverbial birds with one cyberspace stone.

Paired with the extreme tumult that my home has been experience lately, I have been feeling like I have bitten off more than I can chew. However, in true BirdsChasingBugs style, this Phoenix is ready to rise from the ashes and plaster dust. To celebrate the rising, here's a photo of the bathroom progress. 2 of 3 major fixtures are now functional! Visit my facebook page to see the full photoreel.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I am suddenly dying to get a tattoo

but only if Amanda Wachob does it. Check out her gorgeous art tattoos. They are elegant and painterly, and very different from any tattoo I have ever seen before.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vintage Bathroom Update

The bathroom is shaping up! I have new walls and it looks like I'll be able to paint tonight or tomorrow. The floor should go in tomorrow as well. SWEET! Just days away from having a totally re-hauled, fully functional bathroom again. It will be such a luxury. Stay tuned for snapshots.

And for those of you who are wondering, my foot is doing much better too. I'm finally able to walk around without too much pain.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vintage Bathroom

With the help of my mom, sister, and boyfriend, the hideous bathroom in my adorable Bloomington bungalow is slowly morphing into something beautiful. However, there have been some serious costs! Last night I stepped on a couple of nails, so the project is on hault for a couple of days. Luckily, that means I can bet back to work on the Etsy shop. So here are some photos of the demolition phase. Hopefully work can resume soon, so that I can post photos of the final product! Some of the features will be:
  • a vintage clawfoot tub, complete with copper feet
  • a HEATED slate floor
  • an uncovering of the long-long window that was once concealed by the tub surround
  • a pedestal sink
  • gorgeous vintage-look faucets
  • a faux copper ceiling (eventually)
  • a shaving mirror
  • some built-in cabinets
I have so much to look forward to, but there is still so much work to be done.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Throw a dinner party.

In the midst of the throes of my summer projects, I have realized that my home has descended into utter chaos. Personally, I don't mind working amongst the clutter, but even I have my limits! I read a fantastic tip for house cleaning motivation: THROW A DINNER PARTY FOR YOUR FRIENDS! Brilliant. I don't want anyone to see my house in the state that it's in, so I'm going to schedule a get-together with some of my closest pals. I'll probably stock the table with some local wines and delicious, adventurous light fare. Maybe I'll spring for some fresh flowers from the farmer's market. My favorite part is that I'll be busting out some of the fancier vintage wares hidden away in my kitchen.
Is it time to tidy up your nest? Schedule your own dinner party! The deadline can be a really great motivator to tie up the loose ends on your summer projects. These beautiful BirdsChasingBugs housewares are there for you if you're craving something fancy to spruce up your home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mission Statement

I think it's time that I shared with you all why I am so into vintage. It runs much deeper that dealing in pretty things. At the risk of sounding grandiose, here goes:

I want to change the way that the world buys things. I especially want to change the way that AMERICA buys things. As a society, we have been on a non-stop, production-heavy, highly disposable roll. It makes my stomach turn a little when I think of all of the STUFF that is out there, floating around in the world, unwanted and unused because people opted for new stuff. Don't get me wrong, every once in a while I just crave something brand-new and never before owned. Also, sometimes vintage clothing just doesn't cut it. At a tall and fleshy size 12, I have a really hard time wearing all vintage all the time. Old clothes just don't usually fit me, but there's always a gem out there, in my size, waiting to be discovered. So you bodaciously curvy ladies, you listen up too! Vintage isn't just for the waifs and the long, lanky ladies. Curves are in and they will fit into vintage as well!

Beyond the strictly "20 years or older" vintage rule that Etsy lays out, I also believe that it is best to try to buy used before I result to buying something new, in ANY CATEGORY of daily life. If I need a toaster oven, I'm going to troll Craigslist and the local thrift stores for a good, clean, working-order toaster oven before I EVER think about hitting my local chain stores. This saves the conscience and the wallet. Furthermore, the mixture of things that you end up surrounded by is evermore eclectic and interesting! Want to start a great conversation when some friends are over? Bust out a set of nesting coffee cups that stack into a neat little column and stow away in the tiniest of corners!

I'm rambling, so I guess my point is, if you don't want to be a part of filling our earth with excessive junk, please consider buying vintage or previously-owned. As a society, we need to slow down and think about what it is we're doing to our Earth. It's the only one we get, after all. Be a part in slowing it down. Demand less "shiny new" and turn to things that have already been made. You'll love the result!

Are you looking for something specific? Vintage or not, comment and list items you're lusting after. Name a reasonable price, and I'll find it for you! Simply email me at If it's out there, I can find it! It's the most affordable personal shopping you'll ever find.

So the 4th of July has passed. We've seen our fireworks and had our giant barbecues. What's left on your summer agenda? Every year, after the 4th of July, it seems like our summers fly by! Here's my summer-time list:

  • go on a roadtrip - check
  • go to the quarries - check
  • go to the lake - check, but needs to be done several more times!
  • set up my Etsy "studio space" - NEEDS ATTENTION
  • eat some hot dogs - a girl's work is never done in this area
  • find some fantastic boots for the shop for fall - in progress
  • organize my inventory
  • have an art show - the proposal is in the drafting process
  • get some paintings on Etsy
  • release the "grumpy birds" upcycled line - way behind on this one!
  • oh yeah, re-do my entire bathroom - starts tomorrow
Well, you get the point. It's time to carpe diem, ladies and gentlemen! The clock is ticking.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


It's the last day to take advantage of the BOGO sale at BirdsChasingBugs! If you've been lusting after some items in the shop, don't miss this opportunity to get half off of the lesser purchase!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pinup Heels are #100

100 items in the shop, and what the perfect item for this milestone listing! These shoes are GORGEOUS. I'm not so up-to-date on my garment history, although I'm learning. If any of you ladies out there know some better key words or more technical terms about these shoes or shoes in general, then please share your knowledge with me! It would be so very appreciated.

Some new textures await you in BirdsChasingBugs, PLUS I'll be photographing the loot that I picked up at Salvation Army, so there's something to look forward to in the future ;)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Salvation Army, How I Love Thee...

...let me count the ways:
1. A gorgeous plaid coat for winter, for me or maybe for the lucky someone who gets it first
2. Two beautiful cloche hats, one in cashmere and one in wool
3. Some lovely boots, for now and later
4. A gorgeous 60s handbag in tempting red suede with tiny gold studs
5. Some fabulous 6os heels
6. A gorgeous hand-made mini dress in the colors of gilding and orange sorbet
7. Rain coats with fabulous art-deco lining....

Need I go on?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

For Fun.

This is totally not related to the vintage clothing topic, but I needed to share it. Check out this amazing staring contest between the drummer of OK GO and Animal.

Mod Cloth Feature!

While I was hiding out from the heat this afternoon, I remembered that my friend Karissa had informed me she'd been scoped by a writer from ModCloth. "Remember that yellow skirt you gave me? It was years ago. You'd remember it if you saw it... banana yellow with a pleat in the front...." The conversation went something like this, and I really couldn't remember the skirt, until she pulled it out of her closet. Oh yeah, THAT skirt! I couldn't believe she still had it, but I guess a great vintage piece really will last you for years. Click here to see the mod cloth article and the deliciously nuts-o ensemble that attracted the attention of ModCloth.

Karissa, you are the only human being I know who could pull off that outfit. Lots of love, lady.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Third Dance Today

Last night, Matt and I were discussing whether or not a seller would be notified if their item was tagged in a Storque article on the Etsy blog. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can gladly report that the blogger will not notify you. You just have to find the item for yourself, so read that Storque blog!

A sweet BirdsChasingBugs accessory is listed in this really great blog about organizing a clothing swap.


Hey hey. I just wanted to share this fantastic Ebay find with you. These oxfords are gorgeous and so unique! I just have too much foot and too few dollars for them right now. They are only $14.99 plus shipping right now, with no bids. Ladies, you need these.

Fantastic Day for BCB!

My shop is still so fresh that I do a little dance every time someone purchases an item from me. Today I did two dances! Also, I came home to a message about being included in a new treasury. This beautiful Whiting & Davis mesh bag was included in this very chic treasury. This vintage find is compliments of my younger sister. Thanks, Aimz!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gaga for Silver and Gold Lamay

Ok, no matter what your musical tastes, you must admit that there's something to love about Lady Gaga. She throws in a steampunk piece every now and then, and her videos remind me a lot of Matthew Barney. So, here are some links to items in my Etsy shop that can help you achieve this dripping-in-metallics-and-craziness without being too out-of-this-world to wear to work. Try these Italian-made silver sandals on for size. Craving a flat? How about these gold mesh ballet flats? BirdsChasingBugs is also currently offering a classic 60s era silver clutch for the classier dame who wants to channel the Gaga. You can pick up these molten silver Capezios for day-to-day comfort.

The possibilities are endless!

Navy Treasury!

This lovely little swimsuit has been featured in a new treasury on Etsy! Go here to view the treasury and find other lovely items on Etsy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some eye candy.

Since my first post wasn't much to look at, I thought I would add some photos of items that you can find in BirdsChasingBugs. The shop is rich with color and texture.

Find it on Etsy!

I am a little obsessed with Etsy. I started a vintage shop in March, when I dramatically quit my full-time job (which provided me with health insurance, but was ironically quite bad for my health). I now check my Etsy account every time I see a computer. My main Etsy shop is Along with my boyfriend, Matt, I also have another shop, I'm starting this blog up to keep you updated with my Etsy shop, but I guarantee it will meander from topic to topic!