Tag Archives: blogging

Value of a Blog


There are several sites on the internet where a blogger can answer a few questions and provide a link to the blog, and the site will calculate how much the blog is “worth.”   Not that I’d ever sell The Vintage Traveler, but considering the time and energy I put into this blog, the price is a paltry amount.

The way I see it, the real value of a blog is what happens as a result.  In my case, I’m happy to be a part of a group of people who share my interest in and love of fashion history.   I like to think that we are adding to the body of knowledge that makes up that history.

I said “we” instead of “I” for a reason, as I consider the comments and feedback that are posted here to be as important as any original post that I happen to write.   I’ll freely admit that I often get it wrong in my assumptions, and I’m happy to be led to the truth by a reader.  And I’m always happy to let readers add to any story I might tell.

I’m saying all this because in the past week I’ve gotten two emails from valued readers and friends who feared they were “over-stepping” in their comments made here.  I want to assure anyone who posts at The Vintage Traveler that all comments are welcome (unless they are mean, but that’s another story).  I can tell you that I blogged for five years with only an occasional comment and I felt like I was talking to an empty room.  It is the interaction between the blog and commenters that gives added worth to the original writing.

So, thanks to all who take the time to read and comment (even snarky little brothers).

Another perk to writing a blog is meeting new friends.  Diana of Past Pieces Vintage was in Asheville recently with her friend, and we got together for a very fun lunch.   After talking here and on Instagram, it was like meeting an old, instead of new, friend.  Thanks again, Diana!



Filed under Viewpoint

I Live to Inspire

From time to time I’ve been lucky enough for other bloggers to nominated me for a blogging award.  I usually just say thanks and go along my way, but this time I’ve decided to follow part of the rules and tell seven things about myself.  I’ve never done this because I guess there are not seven things I’ve not already shared here, but I’m going to try and come up with them.  Thanks for the award, Janey of Atomic Redhead.

1.  My love of travel comes from reading Heidi over and over when I was a child.  I wanted to live on that mountain in Switzerland with Heidi and the grandfather and the goats.  I read everything I could get my hands on about Switzerland.  And my first trip abroad was to Switzerland.  I was not disappointed.

2.  I hated school as a kid.  I was just a bit too questioning of authority, and thus did not always get along with my teachers.  What makes that odd is that I willingly spent 28 years of my adult life in a classroom.  I hated being a student, but loved being a teacher.  I think it had something to do with power.

3.  My grandfather got mad at me and my cousin Sandra once and chased us across the street into the neighbor’s yard.  At the time he was wearing nothing but his underwear.

4.  My favorite travel companion is myself.  I love to just get in the car and explore without having to worry about what anyone else is wanting to do.  (Though I do love traveling with my husband and my friends as well.  It’s just that they are not fashion history nuts and vintage shoppers like me.)

5.   I bought my first vintage item when I was in high school.  It was a 1920s beaded handbag.  It came from the estate sale of my grandparents’ neighbor, and I paid 25 cents for it.  And, yes, I still have it.  I also still lament over the other bags I did not buy that day.

6.   I have an great sense of direction, and I always know exactly where I am.  I hate GPS, but love, Love, LOVE maps.

7.   I once got locked in a museum and I had to break out.  Really.

The other rule for this award is to award it to seven more blogs, but I’m a rule-breaker and can’t do it.  Look at my bloglist.  All those bloggers are inspiring writers, so visit them.


Filed under Viewpoint

Leopard Print for Christmas

Fashion bloggers are always getting criticized for their showing off of the free stuff “gifted” to them by companies who want that blogger to say nice things about them.  I get it; we want our favorite bloggers to be free of outside influence and to give only their unbiased opinions.  But this is the real world, and bloggers are offered stuff, and if it fits in with the theme of the blog, I think that’s cool.  Far be it from me to blame Ms. Funky-dressing blogger for  partnering with the Gap.

Even I get offered stuff, and sometimes – rarely – I think it is Vintage Traveler worthy.  An example is Popina Swimwear.   But receiving a special box in the mail yesterday was one of the nicest, sweetest things I’ve experienced since starting this blog almost ten years ago.

When it arrived I could not remember ordering anything, but then I noticed that the return address was from Magda Makkay.  If you have been a reader here for a few months, you certainly remember my conversation with this remarkable woman.  To my great delight, she had made a bag just for me.  Not only that, she filled it with chocolate.  Yes.  Chocolate.

I’d never think to buy myself a spotted cat printed anything, but I’m telling you, this was love at first sight.  Leopard looks great with black and red and grey.  I had no idea how versatile it could be.  But best of all was the note Magda wrote, thanking me for the wonderful gift of my blog post about her.  I *live* to talk with people like her, to record their stories.  To me, I was the one who had received the gift.

All I can say is that I hope I’m still creating at age 88.   And it is such a beautifully thought out and executed bag.  The details are what makes it even more special.  I love the heart zipper pull.

The print is a synthetic, and looks like it will be easy to keep clean.  The black shiny parts are vinyl.

Even the inside is cat print, and there is a little black zippered case that tucks into the tote.  And I love all the pockets.

And to make it official, here is Magda’s label.

Thanks so much dear Madga.  You are one of a kind, and I’m so happy to have “met” you!


Filed under Designers

Blogging Comments

I want to take the time to thank everyone who has posted comments lately.  Your comments are sometimes the very best part of part of this blog, and I especially love it when you all start sharing those memories.  I don’t intentionally post things that I think will bring out memories, and so I’m always pleased when it happens.

A while back I had an email conversation with Susan, who comments here as Fashion Witness.  It was about the importance of preserving our fashion memories.  As important as these digital conversations are, I do hope that you are also sharing your memories with the younger generation.  When I was teaching I would often tell the kids about life in the 1960s and 70s, and of course that included how we dressed.  One of the best questions I was ever asked by an eleven-year-old was, “Mrs. Bramlett, were the Sixties really groovy?”

I was recently sent a digital review copy of an upcoming book that was written by a very popular fashion blogger.   I’ll not be reviewing the book because reading about how a girl lost her virginity to an ex-boyfriend, and her many mishaps with dealing with her period are not my cup of tea.  But I did check out her blog, and was struck at how different most of her reader comments were from the ones here at The Vintage Traveler.  There was a lot of “OMG you are so cute,” and “I love your purse.  Please check out my blog.”  I’m so grateful to have readers who take the time to leave thought-provoking comments.  Seriously, it makes you less of a reader, and more of a friend.




Filed under Summer Sports, Viewpoint, Vintage Photographs

Playing the Gossip Game

I bet you have seen the photo above.  Last week it was the viral image du jour for about four days after being posted on Facebook on a page called Women’s Rights News.   The “conversation” of name-calling and childishness that seems to make up most social media discussions ensued, with “real women” yelling “YES”, and thin women yelling, “And ain’t I a woman,” and nutritionists calmly asserting that fat mannequins would lead to acceptance of fat in our society.

Other than to say that I think mannequins should be 5’1″ , be a size 8 and be 58 years old just like me, I can’t add a lot to that conversation.   It has died down now anyway, but I’m sure it will resurface at a later date with the same old, same old.

When I was a kid there was a game we played at school called “Gossip”.  It took about 5 or 6 kids to play.  The first kid thought up a sentence and whispered it in the ear of the second kid who whispered what she heard in the ear of the third kid, and so on until it reached the end of the group, and the last kid said the sentence out loud.  By the time the sentence got to the last kid it was, of course, nothing like the original sentence, and we always laughed as though we’d not know that the end result would be so twisted.

And that brings me to what passes for news reporting today.

By the end of last week, whenever that photo popped up in my internet reading, I just skipped over that article or blog, thinking I’d read it all, but when it appeared on Worn Through on Thursday  I decided to read.   Arianna Funk presented a side of this photo that I had not noticed, and that is the origin of the photo.

When the person at Women’s Rights News posted the photo, she or he only said that it was from a store in Sweden.  After the photo picked up steam, it was reported by some news site that read “Sweden” and saw “H&M”.   It was then widely reported that the photo was recently taken in an H&M store, but then H&M denied that the mannequins were theirs.  Finally, four days later, a reader informed the Huffington Post that the photo was from another Swedish store, Åhléns.

So every news agency updated the story, but by then everyone had lost interest and had moved on the the next hot topic.   But no one had reported who actually took the photo, and when.  At this point I’ve got to stop and wonder why none of the reporting groups bothered to do an image search?  Google can magically read a photo and detect its presence on other sites.  I’m guessing that by the time anyone thought to search for it, the photo was so splattered across the web that the original source was deeply buried on page 537 of the search results.

But eventually ownership was claimed, by Swedish blogger  Rebecka Silvekroon who had taken the photo and posted it on her blog in 2010.  That’s right, this “news” item was originally posted two and a half years ago.  Silvekroon is now trying to reclaim her lost fifteen minutes of fame by making a website devoted to the issue of body size in mannequins.  I wish her well, because I really think the person who took the photo from Silvekroon’s site without a mention of her was not only stealing, but has also deprived internet readers of the entire story.

In our facebook/pinterest/tumblr culture, images become separated from their original context, thus losing much of their meaning.  In this case, the point could be made that larger mannequins have been used in Sweden for at least two and a half years, and it does not seem to have made Swedish women any fatter.  Or the question could have been asked, why are the mannequins accepted in Sweden  and not here in the US where women are heavier, on the average, than are Swedish women.  But instead of bringing up some fresh issues that are valid, we were inundated with the same skinny vs. fat debate.

Not that the debate is not valid, but why do we insist on the same old single-faceted arguments?

All this has taught me a lesson.  Had Silvekroon watermarked her photo, it would have been impossible to ignore that the image came from her site.  I’ve resisted watermarking my photos, first because I fear it would be distracting, and secondly because I don’t take my photos very seriously.  I’m not a photographer, and I know that the quality of what I present here is not going to win a prize of any sort.  But, the photos are mine, and it does irritate to see one of them on another site with no mention of The Vintage Traveler.

So after years of resisting, I’m seriously thinking about watermarking all my original photos.   Do any of you use a watermark program?  I’m looking for ideas.

Photo copyright Rebecka Silvekroon


Filed under Viewpoint

When Spam Is Not


No, I’m not adding food as a topic here.   I’m going to say a few words about blog comment spam.

I’m not really bothered by spam because WordPress has a nice and efficient spam catcher.  It isolates all the fishy comments into a folder which the blogger can either ignore, or can open and read whenever a good laugh is needed.

The problem is that sometimes it flags legitimate posts as spam.  I try to check my spam folder at least once a week to see if any good comments were exiled there.

Whenever someone new to the blog posts a comment on The Vintage Traveler, I always check out that person’s site or blog if he or she leaves a link.   I also like to leave a comment or two.  Recently I’ve tried to leave comments on three or four different wordpress blogs, and for some reason I’ve been thought to be a spammer, and my comments simply vanish.  Not really; they are in that blog’s spam folder.

So please, if you have a wordpress blog, you need to be checking that spam folder.  You can approve the honest comments, and delete the spam.   Once a comment by a poster is approved, then the program lets that person continue to post.



Filed under Viewpoint

The Mailbag

I’m not actually going to let you read my mail, but I am going to tell you all about it.  All of a sudden my mailbox is filled to capacity with requests for me to accept guest posts from the email writers.  I’m thinking that somewhere there is an online article advising writers to search out blogs that accept guest posts and send out a letter offering to write a post.  I suspect this because three of the letters are practically identical, though they came from different emails and IPs.   And since I’ve recently had two guest posts,  perhaps people are doing a search for blogs that have the term “guest post.”  If that’s the case, I suppose I’m only making the situation worse by using that term so much here!

Most of these emails don’t even spell out what topics the writer has in mind.  In fact, most of them haven’t even bothered to look through this blog to find my name.  Addressing an email to “To whom it way concern” when asking that person to give you a forum for your writing is just lazy.  How long would it take someone to read through my “About” section and realize that The Vintage Traveler is written by “Lizzie?”

At any rate, I’ve added a section to my policies that states that I only accept guest posts from people I  know – either actually or by reputation.   I try to maintain a consistent point of view here, even though it does seem like I do ramble about a bit from time to time.   There are dozens of great vintage bloggers with whom I’d gladly swap posts; in fact I’ll be doing an exchange with Monica Murgia in the near future.  But please, someone put a stop to these random requests!

I also get lots of requests to push this  or that on-line shop.  Sorry, I post links to a webstore only when I’ve found something I like from it.

I hope I’m not implying that I don’t like to get emails, because I love emails, especially from readers.  If you ever have something fun to share, or you have a question for me and you don’t want to post a comment here, feel free to email me.

Sometimes I do get requests from people to post about their event or promotion.  That’s good too, and I usually put those types of things in my bi-weekly links post.  Here are two fun things that were in my inbox this week:

Around the World with Aquatalia.
Enter to win a $400 Gift Certificate to Aquatalia.com.
Match each summer escape with its corresponding shoe style.
3 correct matches automatically enters you to win.

It’s a cute and easy contest where you try to match the best shoe for each getaway.  You only have to get 3 of them correct which is good because I did a trial and I only got 3 right.  But after seeing the answers there are some big hints in the styles themselves.  So take your time and think them through… and good luck!   It would be super if a reader of The Vintage Traveler won $400 worth of Italian shoes!



And for those of you near Sydney, Australia:

Go to Town for the 10thannual Variety Op Shop Ball

For the last nine years party-goers have been stepping out in their finest thrift store finds for the funkiest fundraiser on the Sydney social calendar, the Variety Op Shop Ball.  Far from your average charity benefit, this year’s special 10th anniversary event is set to be the biggest yet, with up to 500 people expected to pack Sydney’s iconic Town Hall on Saturday August 18 for the ultimate night of nights. Think sequins, faux fur, velvet, leather or even your mum’s wedding gown!

The illustration is from a 1948 Santa Fe railroad ad.  Here is the entire ad, and click it for the enlargement.


Filed under Viewpoint, Vintage Travel