Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The vintage goddess has smiled once again on the Xtabay. Beautiful jewels have descended into the store's shelves and jewelry cases, glittering in the display lights and sparkling tantalizingly in the mirrors. Jewels for cocktails at twilight, and jewels for parties that last until breakfast. Jewels for trashy movie matinées, and jewels for clandestine rendezvous in motels on Interstate Avenue.
O.K., you say. Enough with the purple prose. What have you got for me?

Well, how about a dozen pair of Czech crystal earrings from the 1950s? Liz scored some gorgeously cut crystal earrings in amber, red, and carnival green as well as the usual dazzling clear crystal. (I'm not mentioning the milky blue crystal earrings that seem to glow from within, because I don't want you to buy them before I do.) They are screw-ons, so they're the rare pairs of non-pierced earrings that are easy to wear. In candlelight, your eyes will seem to glow in their reflected light.Make sure you try on at least one of the three pairs of delicately branched earrings with rhinestone-centered flowers. I've never seen anything like them. They're designed to showcase a spider's web of golden branches and sparkling flowers up over your ears rather than hang down from them. These earrings are worth learning to twist a chignon for.
Not feeling so fancy? Then check out the racks of 1960s lucite, plastic, and spun nylon earrings in bold geometric shapes and colors. I love the pair of clear, stacked globes that drip to the shoulder, and I have my eye on some lucite hoops that will go with anything. Plus, on the jewelry cabinet is a rack of brilliantly gaudy plastic earrings that would make Twiggy wildly jealous, and they're only $12 a pair.

Liz also snagged some beaded 1920s lariats in gold and red, among other colors. They will look smashing with a richly colored cashmere sweater in fall. Or, try a lariat with a blouse with the top few buttons undone so that it dips into your cleavage.
Here's the real secret, though. There simply isn't enough room for Liz to put out all the fabulous jewelry she found last week! As soon as one case empties, she'll be refilling it with more glamourous brooches, dangly bracelets, and sexy necklaces. Let the rest of the lemmings spend a couple hundred dollars on mass-produced jewelry at the mall. The good stuff is at the Xtabay.


I know you, like me, love browsing in vintage stores, spend hours in bookstores, and value a locally-grown tomato over a grainy, flavorless vegetable shipped in from somewhere else. We also love getting a deal. Unfortunately, browsing local bookstores and then buying the books we find online at a discount--rather than at the store--is killing our neighborhoods.

Check out To keep our neighborhoods healthy, vital, and full of the character we love, we need to shop close to home. That means choosing locally-owned restaurants, video stores, and clothing stores when we make our purchases. It means a little more thought and intention, but the pay-off is big. Nothing could be more heartbreaking than being stuck with Quiznos and the Gap and little else. Shop local.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Holly Andres Portraits of Xtabay

The beautiful and talented Portland photographer Holly Andres stopped by the shop recently and took my portrait. Here are some of the images she came up with. Now if she could only make me look like this in real life...
Liz wearing a 1960's Travilla evening gown.

Thanks Holly for immortalizing us!