Tattooed Lady


Alhough I have a few highly visible tattoos, I consider myself more of an admirer than a collector. The time and money required for something spectacular will certainly elude me until my little one is, oh I don’t know, off to college? But the pretty ones I’ve been seeing lately sure have me daydreaming. 

In this daydream, I’m also usually traveling with the circus (in my own velvet-covered train car complete with crystal bead curtains and continuously burning jasmine incense). My husband has a handlebar mustache and a homemade tattoo machine and there’s nothing more attractive to him than a painted lady that he, well, painted. I sport exotic tattoos from when we traveled to India and performed alongside decorated elephants and an inky token of Paris when we made love under the Eiffel Tower after a late show. 

In the real world, I found my muse and her name was Maud Wagner.


maud wagner

Maud Wagner from

Maud Wagner was the first female tattoo artist in the U.S., having begun working in 1911. Prior to trading a date for tattoo lessons with her soon-to-be husband, she was an aerialist and contortionist in traveling circuses. Gus and Maud Wagner were two of the last tattoo artists to use the traditional hand poke method (sans machine) and travelled the country as artists and attractions in Vaudeville and other entertainment venues. They had a daughter, Lovetta, who began tattooing at just 9 years old.   

maud and gus wagner

Maud and Gus Wagner on

maud gus wagner

Wagner Poster from


gus maude wagner

Gus, Maud, and Lovetta Wagner from

I mean, this hardcore lady had a tattoo of a woman riding a lion. Doesn’t get much more badass than that. 

Doesn’t this make you wanna hang out with Maud and her husband in their tattooing circus tent? 

Vintage Motorcycle Babes, Babe

vintage motorcycle babe

Even I have to admit that despite my relentless love and adoration (is that what they call obsession?) for all things Edwardian through the 1960s, there is just something about those super 70’s dudes and babes on choppers that have me dustin’ off my leathah.

The Farrah hair, the tanned skin, the pornstaches, the gleaming metal, the FRINGE denim, what’s not to love?

Of course, this current pet interest may be just a teensy bit swayed by the fact that my guy is in the finals for a Before & After contest on MotoPickers.  Which is a pretty rad local motorcycle television show here in Portland, Maine, by the way.  Think Pawn Stars, but instead of lame celebrity memorabilia, it’s all about totally tubular vintage cycles.

And I mean, I’ll just point out that holy moly is that black 1974 Honda CB550 one styling vixen of metal and chrome.  Are metal and chrome the same thing?  Eh, check it out and then go on to rad vintage photos of biker babes.

vintage motorcycle babe beach

Image from: businessinsider

Vintage motocrycle dude

Bob Tron, Image from:

vintage motorcycle babe

Image from: lightningcustoms

vintage biker dudes

Image from:

Image from: lightningcustoms

Image from: lightningcustoms

vintage motorcycle dudes new york

Image from:

As they say, ‘the best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.’

Ride easy, dudes.


Treasury: Summer in Maine Country

summer in maine country

I just got back from a pastoral pond in the middle of Maine, and I can’t get fuzzy chickens and burnt pastels out of my mind.

A treasury to take me back to there.

summer in maine countrysummer in maine country

Let’s tap a maple and row around the pond.

Vacation is on Vacation

bridal tutu blue

I am incredibly excited to announce that I am both having the most wonderful, phenomenal summer in Maine (of which I will, of course, share photos with you shortly) AND that Anjou Clothing is back from vacation! …while still on vacation?  Who needs sleep!

To celebrate my return to creativity and whimsical moments draped in tulle, I’m sharing a few photos that arrived as pretty presents in my email inbox.  This English bride should seriously consider switching her day job to Vogue model and stylist.  I mean, the blazer…the vintage hat…the heels.  My heart stopped!

So hey, what say you stop by Anjou on Etsy or my online boutique and say hi.  Maybe let me make you a beautiful ballerina or a die hard fashionista?  Will trade for raw desserts or turquoise jewelry.

Happy creative summer, daydreamers and stargazers.

The Great Gatsby fashions come to the silver screen

The Great Gatsby Daisy Cary

Hullo, dames and daddies.  Guess what tonight is?  The premiere of a certain dimly lit and greed-dripping film by tragic romantic F. Scott Fitzgerald and Moulin Rouge’s Baz Luhrmann.

And, well, the bees knees have never looked so glamorous.

Although I wouldn’t say I’m the world’s biggest fan of Leo, the sumptuous sets and sublimely elegant fashion have me wishing I could travel back in time to a more decadent, diamond and silk-filled era.  I wouldn’t even mind the looming Great Depression or taking on a kitschy nickname.  I’d don silk stockings, satin garter belts, feathers and fringe, a dropwaist dress, t-strap heels, and one hell of a cigarette holder.  Not to mention that garter flask and pearl inlay derringer.

With the critics already saying that The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann is an odd mixture of new and old, I thought we could take a look at just that.  Original flapper fashions and couture remakes.

So, dolls, happy 1922.

May Daisy Buchanan manifest in all her bubbly shallowness before our envious eyes.

flapper dress

Jigsaw Sequin Flapper Dress, Oyster by Jigsaw (John Lewis)

The Great Gatsby Daisy Cary



Well I only have 4 hours to travel back in wardrobe time for ‘ladies night’ at the theatre followed by cocktails at a secret speakeasy in town.  But I’ll leave you with the thought that you absolutely must stream the soundtrack, darlings.  The xx, Lana, Q Tip, Beyonce…they’ve all gotten into the raspy swing of things.  And of course, Jay-Z is the master curator.


Everybody scream, BABY COWS!

cow farm vintage

As it turns out, there’s more to this beauty of a state than just charming ole Portland.  About 45 minutes north (on a bus, until I get my truck in two months), is a little mill town set on roaring rapids and nostalgia.  Gardiner, Maine is a-goddamn-dorable.  Water Street, which heads up to the ultra-hip frenemy town of Hallowell has a collection of cute shops, local bars (The Depot), a delicious burrito place (Lisa’s), and the world’s most authentic diner car (A-1 Diner).  Not to mention my Maine besties and their cute-as-pie little miss live there.  There are farms, abandoned mills, beautiful broken-down gothic victorian homes, and a small-town charm that rivals even Capeside from Dawson’s Creek.

Did I just say that out loud?  Moving on!

Bonfires, cows and dogs… I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but if you are as in love with revitalizing vintage towns as I am, my friend Meg is the coordinator for Gardiner’s Heart & Soul project – getting the people involved in the shaping and future of the community – and you should definitely spy what they’re up to.  A good cause for a small town that’s ripe for a renaissance!


















In the words of this most adorable tiny miss whose dad delivers baby cows on the farm nearby,

“Everybody scream, BABY COWS!”

Ruffles from the past

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Meet the world’s most beautiful, genuine, charming, good-spirited, patient, and imaginative bride and woman that ever graced this planet.


This gorgeous little Edwardian-minded lady and I (and amazing mom, Annie!) designed this ruffled-to-the-max and nostalgia-flavored tiered tulle skirt for her late winter wedding in San Francisco this year.  Those ruffles were the bane of my existence, yet the finished product was beyond my expectations.  You guys, I actually broke my sewing machine on this one.  But holy wow, am I happy I ran out in the middle of the night to buy a new one.  5 layers of ivory with a “petti” of peach, beige, and white, this skirt is my favorite thing I’ve ever created.  Though I can’t say whether it was the garment itself, or the wonderful women behind the dream.

Katrin, the likes of you don’t come around too often.  Congrats on your to-die-for wedding and your beautiful life together.


ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt

ruffled tulle skirt wedding

Anjou Custom Ruffled Tulle Skirt


Bisous to Katrin and her new hubs!  Best wishes, you beautiful spirit.

Slept Away

dreamy bed

Oh dear.  I guess it’s been since Valentine’s Day, hasn’t it?

I confess I haven’t been my usual self.  The move to this charming little city has been colder than I anticipated

Loneliness, boredom, nostalgia, stifling New England personalities.  They’re a recipe for regret.  I’ve slept on so many things in the past five or so years and every person, thing, or place I’ve ever loved is in love with someone or something or someplace else because they never knew that I loved them.  I guess I didn’t know either.  And so they gave up and moved on.

But I’m still here and I’ve sewn my wild oats too late and missed the harvest or something like that.

So I’m going to revel in the thought of magical beds where I can sleep, perchance to dream.  And in my dream, I’d go back those 5 years and change everything.  Because I believe in regret.

Here’s something from my journal about someone far away in a weird corner of my heart.  Virginia really was for lovers.

We had sex in an abandoned boat and then we sat on the beach and looked at the stars and you laughed at me because I thought Mir was still orbiting.  Then you crafted me a jewelry box and filled it with cards and golden bees and I missed out on the beauty of it all because I was too young to notice.


I promise the next post will be full of promise (and will come more quickly than months ahead).


Over the Moon for Moonstruck

Moonstruck Cher

My local Rite Aid has suddenly been covered in sparkly red tinsel and doused in the sensual scent of pre-packaged milk chocolate.  That can only mean one thing…it’s almost Valentine’s Day.  The day lovers love to love and those not in love, love to hate.

But my favorite kind of love has always been the one full of strife; so tormented by passion that eruptions of emotion and mad displays of affection practically tear the heart in two.  The movie that, of course, ruined me on this kind of love is the Nicolas Cage masterpiece, Moonstruck.  Every time I watch it, I am reminded of the kind of love that I love to love.

So here are my absolute favorite quotes from the my all-time favorite movie about passion and romance and that damn moon.

Cher Nicolas Cage Moonstruck

I see a wolf in everyone I meet and I see a wolf in you.

I can’t sleep anymore; it’s too much like death.

When he smiles, I can’t see his teeth.  What is he hiding?

Rose. Rose. Rooose.

Who’s dead?

Nobody, Loretta’s getting married.


Cher Moonstruck

I have no money.

You’re rich as Roosevelt.  You’re just cheap.

The moon, brings the man to the woman.  Capesh?

How’s the mother?

She’s dying.  But I can still hear her big mouth.

What is life?  They say bread is life.  And I bake bread…bread, bread.  And I sweat.   And shovel this stinking dough in and out of this hot hole in the wall and I should be so happy, huh, sweetie?

I lost my hand!  I lost my bride!  Johnny has his hand, Johnny has his bride!

Nicolas Cage Moonstruck

Is it just a matter of time before a man opens his eyes and gives up his one dream, his one dream of happiness?  Maybe.

This is the most tormented man I have ever known.  I’m in love with this man.  He doesn’t know that.  Cause I never told him cause he could never love anybody since he lost his hand and his girl.

What’s a matter with you, I mean you think you’re the only one who ever shed a tear?

And now?  Now you’re afraid because you know the big part of you is a wolf that has the courage to bite off its own hand to save itself from the trap of the wrong love.

Son of a bitch!

Where are you taking me?

To the bed.

I was dead.

Me too.

What about Johnny?

You’re mad at him.  Take it out on me. Take your revenge out on me.  Leave nothing left for him to marry.  Leave nothing but the skin over my bones.

Alright, alright.  There will be nothing left.

Cher Nicolas Cage Moonstruck

Old man, you give those dogs another piece of my food, I’m gonna kick you till you’re dead.

What did you do?

What are you talking about?

You ruined my life.

That’s impossible; it was ruined when I got here.

You got them bad eyes like a gypsy.

I love two things.  I love you and I love the opera.  Now if I could have the two things that I love together for one night, I would be satisfied to give up, oh christ, to give up the rest of my life.

You haven’t once said you liked my dress.

I like your dress; it’s very bright.

Cosmo, I just want you to know that no matter what you do you’re going to die like everyone else.

Olympia Dukakis Moonstruck

Okay, you tell me my life, I’ll tell you yours.  I’m a wolf.  You run to the wolf in me; that don’t make you no lamb.

Playing it safe is just about the most dangerous thing a woman like you can do.

Why didn’t you wait for the right man again?

Because he didn’t come.

I’m here!

You’re late.

Love don’t make things nice.  It ruins everything.  It breaks your heart.

Snowflakes are perfect.  Stars are perfect.  Not us.

A man understands one day that his life is built on nothing.  And that’s a bad, crazy day.

Your life is not built on nothing.  Te’amo.


What am I gonna tell him?

Tell him the truth, Loretta.  They find out anyway.

Loretta, in time, you’ll see that this was for the best.

In time you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress.

You love him, Loretta?

Ma, I love him awful.

Oh god, that’s too bad.

Moonstruck Cher

Happy almost full moon and Valentine’s Day!

Under the Tree of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Fashion

It’s been one peach of a busy holiday season for me (thus the lack of posts lately!), but I couldn’t help making a treasury for those who have gift lists yet to make or fulfill.  It is inspired by the only television series that could come close to replacing The Forsyte Saga in my Edwardian-loving heart: Downton Abbey.  The Edwardian gothic romance, the tragedy and comedy, the lush velvet and lace fabrics, and the deep jewel tones make me want to disobey the laws of astrophysics and jump in a time machine traveling backwards.  I’ll even trade my iPhone on the way back for a candlestick telephone and wine decanting lessons.

Happy Holidays and shopping, antique souls!

Downton Abbey Fashion

Downton Abbey Fashion


ps: for an amazing site that I just stumbled upon, check out The Edwardian Promenade: social history, Edwardian slang, and the real story behind Downton Abbey.

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