Friday, April 22, 2011

Post Preview: Vintage Pan Am Bag

I haven't blogged in a few days so I thought I'd show a little preview of my next post. I had wanted a Pan Am bag since I saw Catch Me If You Can. So classically 60s. I was pretty close to buying a Marc Jacobs Pan Am bag on eBay but I knew I'd appreciate it more if I found an authentic one. Well lucky me because I found this bag at a certain popular Cleveland vintage store last year.  Stay tuned for my full post covering one of my favorite places in the city!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Festivus III Event at Vanity Lab

When I found out Vanity Lab was hosting this unique event, I knew I had to be there. Between Vanity Lab and the Gathering Place in Westlake, over 40 local artists and businesses were in attendance sharing their wares to promote shopping locally and raise some money for the Gathering Place. Seeing how local boutiques and such are the main focus of this here blog I'd thought I'd share a little from it. 

We were only there for a short while but let me just say more things like this event need to happen around town! Similar to my feeling after I went to the Ingenuity Fest in the fall, so many great, fun and cool things go on in Cleveland, and we can never have too many! I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to Vanity Lab on Saturday night. Sad to say I have never been before, but my friend gets her hair done there a lot and has bought me a few fun gifts from there as well.

If you don't know about Vanity Lab, it's a salon/spa/boutique in Westlake. For their Festivus event they had a whole bunch of tables set up in the front shop part. We were immediately drawn to the City Buddha display. The flower design of these bracelets also came in necklace, ring and earring form. They were just too precious to handle. City Buddha also had some great stretchy beaded belts with wooden clasps that I might just have to go back and buy soon.

Another display that was right up front was Sparkle, which is always offered at Vanity Lab. I am such a sucker for aesthetically pleasing displays and when I saw their long necklaces hanging from an open suitcase trunk I about died.

As we made our way back to the salon, the hallway was full of people, but more importantly some great photo prints, many of them of Cleveland. Someday my future home will be full of Cleveland-centric artwork, it will be impossible not to know where I hail from. In the back among Vanity Lab's salon chairs, sinks and hair dryers were tables of raffle baskets as well as local artists individually selling their fabulous goods. There were some really beautiful necklaces, one in particular I could have added to my always-growing Celtic knot jewelry collection. Another vendor had this great gold bracelet with postage-stamp sized and shaped plates with different Parisian landmarks.

Unfortunately we couldn't stay long and couldn't make it to the second stop of the event at the Gathering Place. But I must say it was a great event to at least be a part of if only for a little while. As I said before, I only hope that more locally centered events like this continue to sprout up. They always make me #HappyinCLE (as do the fab stuff we snagged!)

(Techie comment: The photos on here should be clickable if you want to see any of the items up close!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I ain't lyin...and blue

An animal and a color? What other place could I be talking about but Lion and Blue! This subtly cool and friendly hippie-vibed shop has been in Lakewood for over 10 years and, for native Lakewood girls like me, has been the go-to place for a unique present that any friend or acquaintance would forever love you for.

Like a lot of the places I've written about, Lion and Blue is quite understated. Although I do appreciate local businesses that promote themselves on social media and make sure everyone and their mother knows about them, Lion and Blue keeps fairly quiet. But it really speaks for itself and has been making noise for anyone who has ever stepped inside.

I came to know Lion and Blue perhaps a bit later than most Lakewoodians but once I step foot inside I knew I'd be back. The first thing I ever bought there was a patch work satchel bag several years ago. It has experienced some wear and tear but when you sling it around your shoulder every day that's bound to happen. I do still use it from time to time and it always puts a smile on my face. Every good bag has a few good pockets and this one has one on the inside and a zipper pouch on the outside.

As I said before, Lion and Blue is the perfect place to shop for a cute little gift for anyone. Not only have I bought gifts for people there, several of my friends have bought me things from there too! I got this picture frame and candle for my birthday a few years ago. I have yet to light the candle because I just love it so much. Although I suppose I could always use the jar for something else once the candle inside melts...

 Not only is Lion and Blue a great place to buy things for friends, it's a great place to take friends. I found myself and my friend from out of town in Lakewood on a beautiful summer day walking downtown when I suggested we browse around.  She loved it.  We both found some great stuff including this skirt she bought (and sent me a photo of!) It's a wrap skirt that you can wear a million ways and looks totally different every time she wears it.

During the same outing, I bought a new pair of knit mukluk slippers. I love that these are high so I can wear them with my red leopard print leggings (around the house of course!)

I'm also a big headband fan and there was an entire basket full of them. It took me forever to decide which one to buy and even then I bought three. I'm pretty sure they set me back around a total of $10 for all three. My favorite is this flowered one that I wear with my hair up and down, bangs and no bangs.

Another one of the headbands I bought was in a dark blue that I probably wear about five times a week. It's nice and comfy and stretchy and keeps my flyaways in place. Plus I love this blue color and it works with about every kind of outfit, on cute days and hot mess days.
(That's me wearing it with my good friend Ringo in London)

 It would probably take me hours to find everything I have from Lion and Blue. Oftentimes at boutiques, you might not always find something worth buying. I can honestly say every time I have gone to Lion and Blue I have made a purchase - usually more than one! Lakewood, much like Cleveland is going through a bit of makeover with new businesses sprouting up here. But there will always be those places that have seen the ups and downs and many changes of the city over the years and Lion and Blue is one of them. On top of all that, you will be sure to be greeted with a smile and a very enjoyable shopping and browsing experience.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flowered Headband

I've seen a lot of fashion tweets lately about flower accessories for spring. This floral headband not only goes along with that trend, it's part of my next post!

Here's some hints on the next Cleveland area boutique I'll be blogging about:
- It has been a staple in my hometown for over 10 years
- You can find anything from clothing, hand-knit accessories, jewelry, candles and incense
- The name includes an animal and a color

Check back later for the answer and the full post!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quick post: Recycled Lamp Shade

As I've been scouring through all of my most prized locally bought possessions to find the best things to post, I simply couldn't pass up this lamp shade. I bought it two years ago when I moved into my own place.  I wasn't crazy about the already installed lighting so I was casually looking for a lamp of some sort to take the place of the bright industrial lighting that killed my eyes. I happened to stop into One World Shop (also known as Ten Thousand Villages) in Rocky River one day and behold, my lamp! It was basically a socket with a long white cord that you hang from a hook on the ceiling. But it's the shade itself that is truly a wonder.

Everything in One World Shop is fair trade, meaning of course that the artists and artisans from all around the world that make each item is fairly compensated for their work. This in itself would make this shade special, but in addition to being humanely conscious, it's environmentally conscious as well. The entire shade is made up of recycled materials tightly rolled into a sort of soft wire that is layered all the way around. Really a work of art in itself, it's functional and easy on the eyes. I took the environmental thing a step further by putting in a CFL bulb. How green of me, huh?

One World Shop is part of the national Ten Thousand Villages group but has been a local staple in Rocky River for years. They have everything from toys, jewelry, home furnishings and so much more. There are also many recycled items including picture frames, coasters and bowls, if that's your thing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Style Stashed!

In preparation for this post I wanted to check back at the web site for this particular store. You can imagine my shock when I saw it was closing! Upon further investigation I found out that it's only relocating. I'm talking about Stash Style, formerly in Chagrin Falls.

For the last few years I've taken a quick trip to C-Falls around Christmastime. It's such a cute downtown area that is always decorated for the holidays. For any Gilmore Girls fans out there I refer to it as the Stars Hollow of Ohio, gazebo and all.

I discovered Stash Style two years ago and instantly fell in love. There is nothing I revel in more than a shop that has every inch filled with stuff. It's kind of a quasi vintage boutique with goodies ranging from locally made jewelry, vintage clothes, yarn, doorknockers, chandeliers and everything -- literally everything -- in between.

The first time I went I bought a pair of pink chandelier earrings that I've gotten so many compliments on whenever I wear them.

I knew once I saw this print I had to have it. A cute sign, fun phrase, and nice RENT reference. There were others that featured various phrases and sayings. What can I say I'm a sucker for word and text art.

This past year I thought I did pretty well on my tight budget. Every item I purchased was $2 and under!
This little vintage Christmas tree was too precious to pass up. A nice start to my own holiday decoration collection.

This roll of lace I believe was a dollar. They had it in a few extremely light pastel colors that I loved. I used it for some of my Christmas gifts and I'll probably end up using the rest for a headband.

My eyes were drawn to a bowl full of gold keys. I bought one for just about .50 and added it on a gold chain I already had to wear it as a necklace. It's stuff like the key and the lace Stash Style sells that almost forces you to be creative with it.

As I mentioned before I am quite saddened at the moment because of the news Stash Style just closed (as in three days ago!) Apparently they had a sale with almost everything 50% off. What I would give to go back in time and make it out to Chagrin Falls last week... But alas, I cannot.

However there is light at the end of the tunnel! Stash Style lives on in a different form than its avid customers are used to. The owner will be holding open sales at her home in Rocky River as well as other locations every so often. The next one will be on Friday, May 6 at 780 Bates Rd. in Rocky River. I just might have to make it!
Check back at the Stash Style web site for new updates on sales and events.

Chandelier Earrings

Wondering what the answers were to my last post? Well even if you aren't I'm telling you anyways. The key necklace I showed you WILL be included in the next full post AND I was wearing it yesterday! So that means it is not the key to my house. So don't get it copied, you won't be able to break in. Not that you know where I live...

...but I digress. Here's another tasty nugget from the next Cleveland spot I'll be exploring. 

Excited? Think you know the place? Make sure you check back early and often! The full post will be up soon!

Key Necklace

Two truths and a lie about this key necklace:

1) It’s featured in the next Crooked River Couture post

2) It’s the key to my house

3) I’m wearing it right now

(Hint: #1 is true!!!)

Check back for the answer!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The original snarky Cleveland T-shirt company

Ok, it may not be the original, but it's the first one I heard of and it's still ahead of the game. I thought for my first post, I would explore the phenomenon that is C.L.E. Clothing Co.
If you're not familiar, you might not think it's a phenomenon, but in the competitive business of Cleveland t-shirts, C.L.E. Clothing is head and shoulders above the rest.

If I remember correctly, I first found out about this t-shirt company from a blurb in Cleveland Magazine. It featured a few photographs of some of the t-shirts and a short description about them. I, being a die hard Clevelander, thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. The design that caught my eye, which turned out to be the one that caught a lot of people's eyes, was the "I ♥ CLE" shirt. Appealing to the sports fan in most NEO natives, there were a few different versions featuring Indians, Browns and Cavs colors and in place of a heart was a baseball, helmet or basketball respectively. I had been looking for a new Cavs shirt and thought this was a nice unique choice.
In case the awesome designs aren't enough to tickle your fancy, let me just say they are the comfiest Ts I have ever worn. When the Browns played on Monday night football last season a quick pan of the crowed showed a fan in the brown and orange version. I got quite excited that a local place got a nice shout out on national television.

Since then I bought two other shirts from them: The "Font" shirt which appealed to the typography nerd in me.

This sort of collage of Clevendisms is probably my favorite. (Note: if you look closely I had to take a sharpie to a certain part of this shirt last July.)
Both of these have since been retired, but a new version of the collage shirt is currently featured on the site.

What impresses me the most about C.L.E. is their use of social media. They are constantly posting new design ideas on their Facebook page and really taking user comments into consideration for which designs actually make it onto the shirts. You would be smart to follow them, they're always posting discounts and promotions including 20% off if you send them a photo of you in one of their shirts. Sometimes they come on quickly like offering all Cavs shirts for $15 after the team beat the Miami Heat.

From a few fun Ts, they have now branched out into sweatshirts, kids sizes, buttons, totes, hats and even underwear! There's something for every kind of Clevelander, from sports fanatic to music junkie, Irish, Slovak and everyone in between.

You can check out all of their current designs at or at Native Cleveland in Waterloo Arts District of Collinwood.


I have lived in Cleveland my entire life and if you ask anyone who knows me, I am all about finding fun and new places to go and things to do in Northeast Ohio. There are plenty of places online and elsewhere to keep up on bars, clubs and restaurants especially in this foodie-filled town. But one thing that might get overlooked is the great shops, boutiques and overall fashion in Cleveland. Sure we can just go to the mall or Target and consider ourselves fairly fashionable individuals. But what's more fun than thrifting, scouring through vintage shops, or checking out local boutiques that have one-of-a-kind items? That's where I come in. Cleveland has a lot to offer in this department, you just need to know where to look. I'll give you some heads up on cool places to check out and show you some of the fun stuff I've picked up along the way.