F.A.Q.

Do you do sponsored or guest posts?

I do occasionally do promotional posts for events, items, or other interesting things. I also love guest blogging on other blogs! If you think you have something that my readers would be interested in please feel free to email me at Elizabeth.L.Royal {at} gmail {dot} com. You know what to do with the at and dot!

Why did you start this blog?

I started Elizabeth Lives... as a personal blog because...erm...uhm. I'm not sure. I started it to show things to my family who was, and is, still scattered. I'm not sure if anyone but my Mom and Sister still read this, but over the years it's morphed into mostly a style/living sort of blog. If I ever become interested in something else, it'll turn into that sort of blog, too. I've often thought about categorizing different projects with different blogs but I've found that I prefer to have one blog and collecting everything that's important to document about my life on it. I've always been a huge chronicler - I have an entire suitcase full of handwritten journals dating back to 1997 at my parent's house, thousands of photographs stored in bins from the days before the digital era, and a flickr account with another couple thousand photos. This blog is a natural extension of that internal need to document, document, document.  

How did you get started wearing vintage clothing? Why do you like vintage clothes? Where do you find your clothes?

I started wearing vintage as a kid. I remember buying a few vintage dresses as an itty bitty kid for dress up and then later wearing them to high school! We lived in the countryside with some great stuff at the St. Vinnies - lots of 1950's plaids, as I remember, so it wasn't picked through. My mom has always encouraged me to have my own sense of style, and believe it or not, I still wear some of her clothes from when she was my age. That being said, I have always loved old, run down things, abandoned cottages, pealing paint, creaky wood floors, hissing radiators, and wearing vintage is just dressing outwardly how I feel inside.

I'm on a tiny budget so most of my clothes and a large portion of my shoes and accessories come from thrift stores. I sew a few pieces of my clothing here and there and when I have time I'd like to do more of that. Sometimes I buy things retail, too, but that's once in a blue moon.

How did you start sewing? I remember you used to make civil war era dresses!

I started sewing as an itty bitty kid. My mom taught me and I made doll clothes for years. Later, when I got into high school I started sewing more seriously - I used to make myself jeans and shirts and alter jackets and clothes to make them more hip. Looking back, it was sort of embarrassing what I was willing to wear out but...hey, at least I can fit a pair of jeans pretty well! In college I got serious about decorating and civil war re-enacting, and being able to work with more complicated patterns opened up a whole new world to me. I sewed strictly 1860's things for a few years, and started branching off into modern things again around the time I graduated college. I made my wedding dress and then took a substantial break from sewing after that enormous project (my train was 14 feet long, and the entire thing was french seamed! What do you expect?) because I was feeling burnt out on sewing and frankly, none of the sewing machines I had were working right and the frustration level was very high.

Recently, my husband and I purchased a Pfaff Select 2.0 that has made my life so much easier. I have never owned a new-to-me machine before and sewing with this machine has been wonderful! Pfaff owners I know mentioned that the motor has a distinct sound, that it's solid sounding, and I have to agree! The machine once sewed through boning for a set of stays a friend was making on it with no problem at all!

I also own a 1952 singer that belonged to my husband's maternal grandmother. It's a beautiful machine but it has some limitations despite the fact that we had it completely rewired and repaired when we received it. I do love that it has a knee treadle but it only takes a certain kind of needle that is no longer made, so when we are out of needles, we are out!

Why do you like art? What does it do for you?

I just wrote a five paragraph essay on this and it seemed inadequate. You will have to wait until one day I wake up and find the answer to this question - maybe there's a bit of the Art for Art's sake in me but really, I think it just has to do with loving beauty and the act of creating and never settling...

Who designed Elizabeth Lives?

I did - I use blogger because it's simple, easy to work with, and allows for a lot of different variations within the program. There are lots of great blog platforms like Wordpress but blogger has always met my needs so I stick with it. I've designed my blog using various things like Photoshop, Gimp, and even screen shots from things typed into Pages.

What kind of camera do you use? How do you get the bokah (the blurry stuff) in the background of your outfit photos? Who takes your pictures?

I use a Canon Rebel T2i. I use it on manual setting and I use a canon 50mm 1.8 lens on a generous permanent loan from a friend that I bought from a friend. I do also use the stock EF-S 18-55mm IS lens from the camera which is used more when I travel since it's better for scenery and landscapes. 

Photography has always been a work in progress with a lot of trial and error - I recently lined up my very first outfit photo on the blog on May 6th, 2008 next to one I took on January 1st, 2014 and the difference (and outfit styling!) is so startling! I've been fortunate to have a good friend who has really helped up my level of photography recently.

I get the bokah by using the camera on manual setting. I set the f-stop to around 2.2, place an object where I will be standing (coat, purse, whatever), manually focusing on it, walking to the spot, and hitting the remote to trigger the camera. I take about 99% of the pictures on the blog by myself with a tripod and a remote. My husband and generous friends or other photographers have helped out, too. They are always credited in those posts. 


If you have any more questions, feel free to comment here or email me! I will try to answer as best I can. Thanks!

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