Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heartless Book Launch Catchup & Contest

One of the fun things about being an author is developing relationships with people all over the globe. One of my foreign language translators who consults with me the most (read: at all) is my Japanese translator. We have a sporadic back and forth on the subject of certain idioms and the meaning of Victorian phrases which I really enjoy. It forces me to stop and think about language as separate from story, which reminds me of my academic days.


In one of those crazy coincidences, right after returning for New Orleans and lamenting my lack of fan, I received the following in the mail from my Japanese translator!


These are cute tiny very light little fans, perfect for fitting into any handbag and the right combination of colors to match almost any outfit I have. Then the next day, on one of the fashion blogs I follow, this broach popped up which looked just like one of the fans! Coincidence if far more common that we think.

 Lucien Gaillard plaque de cou ca. 1900 via Christie’s

So next time I visit New Orleans I shall be ready!




Also, I promised pictures of Octavia. Here she is. She has grand ambitions to be an octomaton (note the gears) but is being distracted by sniffing flowers.


And here are a few more from Friday's event in San Francisco.



Sadly, I did not have a photographer (AKA the AB) present at the Kepler's event last Thursday in Menlo Park, so I have no additional pictures but it was great fun. I am delighted to report people came even though it was the premiere of the new Harry Potter movie and the day before George R.R. Martin's signing! Also I was given tribute: delicious Japanese Gummy candy, exciting new tea to try, teeny tiny fake food (oddly, foreshadowing of a scene in Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School Book the First), and octopuses!


A random moment of pantyhose!

And, just because I feel like it, I've decided to give away the following three books. It is a combination which, if you follow this blog, might appeal just to you.

A signed copy of the UK edition of Heartless by self, Fashion by Christopher Breward, & Tea Wisdom by Aaron Fisher and possibly a few other bits and bobs of cuteness I have lying about.

To enter, simply leave a comment below. You don't have to say anything of import but I am interested in your views on Retro Rack so far. Is there anything you would like to see more/less of? Which kinds of entries interest you the most and which do you skip? Any other thoughts?

The winner will be chose by random number generator, and the contest will end next Tuesday, July 26. I'll announce the winner in this blog, along with the first in an eight part retrospective on the fashions I've worn to WorldCons of old (leading up to Reno 2011).

Have a lovely weekend, Fashionable Reader, and if you are visiting San Diego ComicCon I want a Fashion Report! Pretty please?

84 comments:

  1. This blog is great!! I love the posts on here so far!! (I also have to say, I loved Heartless a lot!! Glad your event for it went well~~)

    If I get to Japan anytime soon, I'd love to pick up a copy of one of your books in Japanese.

    + Tea. Tea is great~

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  2. Ooh, ooh - tea and books! Two of my favorite things. I am enjoying Retro Rack. I haven't skipped anything (you can do that? Isn't it rude?) but I probably don't pay as much attention when it comes to dyeing, since I am probably unlikely to try it myself.

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  3. I'm loving the blog so far. The more photos the better, I say. I especially like the sort of DIY things like the dyeing and the magnet trick for your hats, so if you have any more tips like that, I think they'd make great posts!

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  4. What a lovely Friday afternoon surprise! I shall comment and then make my tea. Am still waiting for your Retro Rack rant on capris or pedal pushers (to those of a certain age - or their mothers)

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  5. I am enjoying this blog. I do wish I had a better understanding of where to find clothing in larger sizes. I have never been successful at vintage shops.

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  6. I think my favorite thing about Retro Rack is that it isn't only fashion-oriented, and you toss in other bits of life, too. It's so relatable that way! And if I could have more of something, it might be more handy little things to know about repairing or slightly altering vintage stuff, since I'm busty but not large, and so there's no way for me to buy anything (much less vintage) without needing to do something to it.

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  7. So, what sort of tea was it?

    I'm sort of torn on hose (pun intended). I really adore hose with interesting details, but I'm really hard on them. I very rarely wear a single pair of hose more than twice, and if I'm buying for a specific event, I buy two pair, because chances are good that I'll rip them. I even bought two pair of the special stockings I wore to my wedding, because I was so afraid of ripping them.

    As for Retro Rack itself, I'd really like to see some of your works in progress, not just the dying. Do you ever do your own tailoring?

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  8. I heartily enjoy Retro Rack.

    i would love a tutorial on a proper afternoon tea for social visits, Alexia-style.

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  9. I adore your Retro Rack blog, Ms. Carriger. I like seeing what's in your closet and how you coordinate everything. Ironically, I had gotten into pin-up clothing just before you started this blog, so it's been wonderful to have your perspective on retro fashions (and other bits and bobs) in my own style studies.

    Keep up the wonderful work ... especially any repurposing and accessory tricks. :)

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  10. Not that I've skipped any of the posts but my favourite ones have been where you show how you put an outfit together, including alterations and then accessories. My absolute favourite was the magnetic hat trims.

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  11. I don't skip any posts - I have this blog in my rss feed, and I love how you put these posts together! It's like a vintage What I Wore :)

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  12. I would just like to let you know that I introduced your books to my mother. When she finished Blameless, she called me (pretty much immediately) to ask - When is the next one?

    Congrats, you have a convert ;-)

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  13. I'm really enjoying reading your blog! Too often I wear very dull things to work, so there are days when I live vicariously through your blog. I'm hoping to get bolder, though!

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  14. Do you take photos of steampunk costumes at the cons you attend? I have started doing so - but as I'm mostly at small media cons there aren't as many steampunkers as I would hope! Anyway, love your contests. Hope I WIN!!

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  15. Tea + fashion + heartless = makes my day.

    Thus far, I really like the blog! It always takes a bit for a blog to get its groove on, but I feel you're doing well (you already have your "blogging voice" down). I like the posts on vintage as well as DIY. I've yet to find a good store that sells vintage near me, but once I do I'll be able to figure out how to take care of it.

    Mippi283 at hotmail dot com.

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  16. Ooh, I agree with genagirl. I recently got into steampunk and it would be great to see what you come up with. It took me a while to realize you know the owner of Clockwork Couture! The ads popped up on Facebook for me and I was confused to see the pictures from your book covers in there.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I'm loving the Retro Rack posts, and the chance to get to know one of my favorite authors :)

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  17. Those fans are gorgeous!

    I love your blogs (and your books). I've been inspired to at least contemplate a bit of steampunk costumery for myself (I FINALLY had an idea!).

    Thank you for all you've written so far.

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  18. I'm loving this blog. I have read every post.

    Hope you're enjoying your summer and keeping cool over in CA. We've been having some pretty hot weather lately here in Maine.

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  19. I want the tea book. There, I've said it. I like drinking tea. (Earl Grey's my favorite.) Back when he was at the Hilton, Barry Manilow used to lend his name to these loose leaf teas. (The Hilton is money-hungry, they'd sell anything they could with his name on it. The store at the Paris is different. A little more upscale and 100% of the profits go to The Manilow Music Fund, not to the hotel.) My favorite was an Earl Grey with vanilla. It was so good just on it's own you didn't have to add anything to it.

    ANYWAY - as to the blog. Of course even as fashion challenged as I am I love it. Even though, like Zoti I have pretty much no luck finding any plus size vintage. I've got the one dress I got from the website LA Vintage - but they're more 60s, 70s, and 80s - no 40s and the few 50s things they have aren't plus size.

    I'd like to see your thoughts on buying vintage "unmentionables." I often see vintage bras, girdles, slips, and bloomers for sale all over the internet. Some of which look like they could fit me but there's just something so creepy about the thought of wearing another woman's underwear even if it's been washed several times. Plus I do wonder about the elastic which I assume is in some of them - though maybe not all. Being allergic to latex I can only wear certain modern brands.

    Do you have an concerns like allergies that you have to look out for when getting vintage stuff, BTW? Like reactions to certain dyes or materials?

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  20. I'm looking forward to reading the Japanese versions of your novels alongside re-reading the English versions! Although that's going to take a while as my Japanese skills are not what they used to be...

    Those fans are beautiful! Pine is for longevity, you know =^.^=

    Overall your fashion posts are just what I want - very simple, lots of pictures, and on a specific theme - so handy. I love how you started offering book recommendations alongside the fashion! It's such a nice combination. The only thing I could ask for in addition would be tea recommendations.

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  21. Fabulous blog. And, your reading at Kepler's in Menlo Park was spot on. Quite good, indeed.

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  22. I LOVE this blog so far! I am grateful for all your information about finding vintage clothing to fit my shape, which was apparently more fashionable 60 years ago than today. I can find dresses that fit my bust AND waist without having to have them altered! Thanks for the great information!

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  23. What a great blog! I love the knit octopus! Super awesome giveaway! Good book + Tea & Fashion!

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  24. I grew up, thanks to a father from the Hebrides Islands (North Uist), I grew up as a tea drinker. I drank tea as a young man and do so still today. And now I am converting my lovely lady away from soda pop (a loathsome beverage meant only for Temperance sorts ... well, though I do enjoy a pleasant root beer or ginger beer ... my, I seem to have diverted from my original point...). In any case I do love a good cuppa.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eELH0ivexKA

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  25. Absolutely adore the blog thus far - must say it's in first position on my reader and I eagerly anticipate every entry! Whether it's commiserating over similar experiences with tea and Rit dying, or the mystifying propensity of sundress designers to not provide ample strap coverage for the necessary support garments, or the wonder of the perfect cape (recently purchased a lovely modern cape as my vintage fur cape would likely get me stabbed in the violently anti-fur city in which I live) - I feel as if there is a lovely, calm tea-drenched voice of reason informing my wardrobe. Thank you!

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  26. W00t! I love hearing about your book being made into a manga. It just thrills my little soul because that is a dream of mine if I ever get my book published.

    And RetroRack is pretty rad. Being a well-endowed woman, though not so well as yourself, it is nice to read about fashions that will suit me. So bring on the rants about clothes made for women without breasts because I am right there with you!

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  28. Obviously, being a fan of vintage fashion (as well as cephalopods) and of an hourglass shape myself, the blog is right up my alley. One thing I would love to see more of, however, are posts on accessorizing; hats, shoes, jewelry, and so on, in a similar vein as the one on capes a few weeks ago. So much of getting the correct look is finding the correct accessories, and that its definitely an area I pay close attention to. Devil in the details and all that!

    (And speaking of details, previous comment deleted and re-posted due to gross typos. I was terribly embarrassed at how bad they were.)

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  29. I am enjoying Retro Rack no end; I love vintage fashion, and here I get to enjoy it vicariously. Thank you for all the work you do putting these posts together, in addition to writing wonderful books and entertaining lj entries.

    I am also a sucker for all things Japanese, especially pretties like your fans (envy...) and brooch, I drink lots of tea, and I would love that set of books.

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  30. When you say "might just appeal to you", you of course mean "would sell you mother for". OK, maybe not my mother (she cooks me food), but totally one of my sisters!

    I love everything about this blog. There is nothing I skip. I have long been a fan of vintage fashion, but have never been able to find much or, more importantly, know what to find and what goes with what and where to look. The advice and inspiration this blog gives me is priceless. If only my city had decent thrift stores...

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  31. I've enjoyed all the posts, but I think my favorite is seeing how you match accessories to make different outfits and how you take pieces you've found and sew/dye/adjust them to fit with other outfits. This is a terrific blog, which I've recommended to a couple friends and my mother (who has recently developed an interest in steampunk, much to my friends' amusement, when they hear us discussing it)!

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  32. Is it bad that the first thing I thought was, "Oooh! That tea book would so beautifully match the color I -just- painted my new kitchen!"

    In general, however, I've been loving the blog. I've never done much in the way of studying classic fashion, and I love seeing your comparisons of old with the new. I'm too lazy to be fashionable, but I love watching you do it so well! :)

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  33. I like all of the posts, but the ones I enjoy most are the DIY (I did not know that you could use tea to alter the colour of a garment) ones and the ones about how to work a retro style garment. I really like the fashions from the 1940-1950 and it nice to have inspiration.
    Cheers from Sweden!

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  34. I love the new blog! I don't keep up with fashion, but watching you do it is fun! My fave things-seeing you mix and match everything. That tea book looks so sweet...

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  35. My favorite part of this blog is the idea of making the clothes fit you, not the other way around. Also, the peek behind the curtain in the life of a traveling author!

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  36. I'd love to see more DIY posts and coordinate posts. I absolutely love your outfits! It makes me more aware of the different clothing styles out there ^.^

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  37. I love your blog and I don't read to many blogs. :o)

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  38. I actually went straight from your reading to Harry Potter. :)

    (The GRRM signing isn't until next week though!)

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  39. You have mad style! I would love to hear/see you do a reading, if only to check out what fabulously retro outfit you will be sporting that day (does that make me terribly shallow?).
    Fashion, tea & a lil bit of Heartless is a perfect trio = delightful giveaway!
    @buttercupcaren on twitter

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  40. I really have a soft spot for vintage clothes - I'm always curious to see your new finds :)!

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  41. I admit I've not always been much of a follower of fashion, usually because what I like is not what is in fashion. But I love this blog, mostly because it's a different type of fashion and incredibly interesting. It may also have something to do with me becoming partial to 50s style summer dresses recently...
    I really enjoy the blog entries on dying things. They are fascinating. And also any about items I've not thought to look at before (the capes come to mind). Though in general I enjoy reading them all. I may not always have something to comment in response but I still read every one. I'm looking forward to the entry on proper attire for conventions.

    Those fans are absolutely gorgeous, particularly the red one. Octavia is adorable.
    I wish I was in the US sometimes because I would love to attend one of your events. Ah well, maybe in the future.

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  42. Salutations! I've just discovered this blog and I'm glad that I did.

    Out of curiosity, what types of phrases and idioms have you had to tweak for your overseas editions? Have you had anything lose its intended meaning or have you had luck with the Japanese equivalents? One doesn't always think of how the Victorian era is seen across the globe. :)

    In reference to fashion, I'm more cost-conscious than anything. If I love it, I have to be able to afford it as well. It probably isn't prudent to discuss how much one spends on clothing, but I am interested!

    And as always, more tea talk please. :)

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  43. Don't change a thing about your blog, Gail! I love vintage and it's always such a pleasure to see tons of information I can read here!
    Thank you for an awesome contest!
    impy80(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  44. With reference to Jamisings intolerance to latex, a friend of mine has become intolerant to all elastic, elastoplast & latex (she also has ME, IBS, arthritis etc etc.). She is not sure how she will cope finding a bra without elastic in it - any suggestions?
    I gave up on fashion years ago & now live in jeans (and the unmentionable Uggs in cold weather). I am too big for vintage as all the clothes in the stores seem to be a UK size 8 or similar. Still its fun to read the blog of someone enjoying herself.

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  45. @Wolf - Well, I found the only brands of bras that don't give me a horrible rash are Victoria's Secret and Fredrick's Of Hollywood. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's the elastic they use, or maybe because, unlike brands like Playtex and Olga Warner, the elastic isn't exposed and rubbing right on the skin. Maybe it's both. I've tried all sorts of bras from cheap to uber expensive and those are the only two brands I can wear. I even tried my mom's favorite brand, Vasarette, and not only did I get a rash along the bra line, but little sores as well.

    But I don't know if that will help your friend or not. If I was her I'd talk to an allergist. I'm sure they'd know or at least have resources that would help.

    I mentioned in Gail's bathing suit blog that I had a bathing suit custom made. I got it from a site called Decent Exposures - http://www.decentexposures.com/ - they also make bras, leggings, ect and you can request latex free elastic - probably if she called them they could make her one without elastic all together though I don't know how the support would be. Again, I don't know if that will help your friend or not. But it's a good start. It can be expensive though. My bathing suit ended up costing me more then I pay on two outfits.

    One thing piece of advice I can give that you're always doing - be really supportive to your friend. There are people out there who think allergies are "all in the head." I actually had one woman send me hate mail about 6 months claiming I was making up my latex allergy to get attention. So there's going to be times your friend will need someone who says "I believe you."

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  46. I love your blog! And I'm still (slowly but surely) assembling your care package. I'm not sure what I want more of from Retro Rack other than appearances by you in the Great White North! Preferably Toronto.

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  47. I love your blog so far! To be completely honest though I read this blog while I'm supposed to be working and lots of pictures help, since I can't read anything too long without my boss going by..like he did just now! Yikes!

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  48. I love matching a cover with the outfit! I would love it if you could talk a little bit about how you style your hair (for the retro inspired styles) and vintage shoes.

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  49. I love the blogs so far! I wasn't very into fashion for a long time because I've always never cared about how I look. But suddenly I have been, probably because I'm getting older. I love the different outfits shown because they aren't like what people around where I live are used to. All the DIY posts are fantastic. But of course, more talk of the wonderful tea. Please?

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  50. I have just recently found Retro Rack, and I love it! Please show more shoes. The most essential part of any outfit!

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  51. I love your blog just the way it is, it's awesome :)

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  52. Loving the blog and the vintage fashions! Being a cook, I don't have much call for dressing up, but one can always dream! Keep up the good work!

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  53. I'm a big fan of looking at the fashion then and how it's being applied now. There's a new 'revival' for vintage inspired/feel clothes and it's fascinating to see how the trend was done then and how we're reinventing it. Also: more accessories and shoes! Definitely shoes.

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  54. As a theatre design/fashion design double major, the DIY posts are my favorite. However, I also enjoy all the outfit posts, as they are good for learning how to actually -wear- vintage fashions.

    Personally, I'd love to see more posts about your hats. What kind of hats they are, what season they're appropriate for, how to wear them, etc. My little sister has started collecting vintage hats, and I occasionally... borrow them...but don't know how to wear them...

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  55. I find the blog fascinating, though I have the exact opposite problem you have. I have no bust to speak, wide shoulders and overly developed legs from athletic endeavors. Nonetheless, I enjoy reading about the clothes and looking at the pretty pictures.

    The posts on dying have been particularly fascinating, since I have a few items I am debating dying.

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  56. I haven't come across anything thus far that you've written that I don't enjoy. Thank you for being so prolific & sharing. I can't say that I'm all that fashionable... BUT- I do find it *incredibly inspiring* to see you have your own style & not cater to what anyone else thinks you should wear. In that respect (in addition to many others), you are a fantastic role model. And for that, I am forever grateful.

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  57. Great post! Thanks for this contest!

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  58. I'm really enjoying the Rack; it's great to see fashion for those of us who aren't model-sized. I think it would be great to see more about how you've altered clothes to fit.

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  59. This makes me cry even more that I can't just walk around the corner to my favourite bookshop and get all those lovely Japanese editions anymore! ;_; The translation style would be most educating and entertaining indeed.

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  60. I love your blog, and its balance between fashion, Victoriana, Steampunk, archaeology, and comestibles. I am very much a fan of your work. Under your influence, I have found myself purchasing hats of late.

    Separately, If you are ever coming to the Washington DC area and interested in an event of the Library of Congress, I can put you in touch with my colleague who organizes the readings.

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  61. I love it, you inspired me to go off and get some vintage gloves. Plus I despair that I ::only:: have a pumpkin teapot and a marmite one lol

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  62. I do love reading your blog and I'd love to be entered into the contest. I really enjoy seeing the things that you wear to all of your events. I'd be a bit more fashion forward if could find stuff in my size!! I dare say, I want a hat just like yours. Reminds me of a little hat box with rim.

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  63. I really enjoy the blog. I like seeing what you find to wear and, if you altered it, how you did it.

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  64. I love your blog! I don't exactly fit your 'retro rack' size, but I value your vintage advice!

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  65. I always love to see the great vintage pieces you find! If you're a fan of hosiery, try Commando, they're the most comfortable things you'll every wear!

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  66. As someone with no talent other than button sewing (and even those are seldom on right)I really enjoy reading about projects that would leave me quaking in my bare feet. :) I haven't quite gotten bold enough yet to try my hand at anything, but this blog is definitely inspiring me to consider it at least.

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  67. I really enjoy the bits about accessorizing. I think something on a bit of a breakdown on complimentary/clashing colours might be beneficial. Sometimes I struggle a bit with that.

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  68. One of the worst things about this heatwave is that it's too hot for tea.

    I have the first three books of the series and I've gotten both my parents onto them. Also my kitten tried to eat one of them, but I think he meant it as a compliment. He tries to eat me all the time and he seems to like me.

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  69. I thoroughly enjoy your posts. As you frequent events where attendees dress in costume, what is your take on those of us of a more mature persuasion wearing steampunk and/or other vintage styles? I love to dress in costume/vintage but am often dissuaded for fear of ridicule. It doesn't help that I have teenagers whose sole job, it seems, is to ridicule any and all fashion choices I make.

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  70. One day I hope you come to Canada!

    I'm looking forward to reading the book in Japanese. I really love seeing the differences between English, French, and Japanese translations, each one provides a completely unique experience.

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  71. Those books look brilliant! Especially the one about tea; my father and I would both enjoy that, since we've been eager to learn more about the mysterious culture of drinking tea.

    I love your blog! What I'd like to see a bit more of, perhaps, are posts about accessories; hats in particular. I quite like hats, especially those little ones. But other than that, I have no other suggestions.

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  72. Your blog is fab. I like when you show your crafty side, so why not do more of that? Besides that I can't think of anything else.

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  73. I adore your blog. It's given me some great fashion advice for the generously endowed and a great sense of community. I've now developed a fascination with hats.

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  74. I love the blog and all of the interesting things you are posting about. I mean tea AND vintage as well as news about your latest book signing or your latest book. What could be better? I have just recently discovered your books and now I am a diehard fan! I love parasols too!

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  75. Personally I find the Retro Rack blog almost as interesting as your writing blog. The more on vintage clothing and accessories the better.

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  76. So far, I am really enjoying your retro rack blog. I'd love to see more vintage clothing.

    I love the little octopus in the picture. :) And I love New Orleans. lol.

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  77. I just found Retro Rack..but I did find it...I am reading Heartless now..and I do love it:D :D

    Lord Maccon kissed her tummy....bless....I Love him....wife!

    Michelle A

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  78. Follow your other blog but love this one too, just found it.

    Reading Blameless so I can get onto Heartless.

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  79. Love the blog, love the way your set it up with visuals, love your humor, love your style, and probably will love the book!

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  80. This is the first time I've read your blog and omg, the Japanese covers are gorgeous. Plus those fans.

    If the book about tea is any indication of your posts here, I think I shall have to read this blog. Also, I would not mind being entered into the contest because I am currently jobless and unable to get your books.

    (My poor library is terribly bereft of your books and I must get them via interlibrary loan.)

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  81. I just absolutely love your books and your website!!!

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  82. I loved the blog! And your books are great! Can't wait to read the next one!

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  83. How delightful! Tea, Steampunk, and Fashion! Three great tastes that taste great together!

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  84. your blog is really great ! thanks for the contest !

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