Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Frivolity, Couch Potato Bliss and New Year's Resolutions...

Hello dear readers! Long time, no see. My how time flies when you're having fun...   
I hope you've all been having fun this holiday season too! 

My son gave me an interesting toy for Christmas - a Roku.  Have you heard of it?  It's a little box that connects to my TV and let's me watch YouTube videos, instant Netflix, personalized Pandora radio, Flickr photos, etc. from the comfort of my couch.  Lots of fun - and, unfortunately, very addictive!

Oh, and did I tell you that I've been off of work for a whole week?  The university where I work decided to give all faculty and staff a paid vacation from December 23 - January 2.  What a great Christmas gift! 

But now - after a whole week of holiday frivolity and couch-potato bliss - I'm eager to get back to a more responsible, calorie-burning lifestyle.

Well, maybe I'll start after New Year's Eve.   I've actually made plans to go to an NYE party this year, which is somewhat unusual for homebody me.

But it's in keeping with one of my New Year's Resolutions...
I've decided that after months of social hibernation that it's time to emerge from my cocoon and...

vintage postcard courtesy of flickr - chicks57

New Year's Resolution #1:
Become a Social Butterfly!

This is a good goal for me because I've been way too caught up with getting my new blog going, selling on eBay/Etsy, helping my kids move out of the house - and I can hardly remember what it's like to spend a night on the town getting crazy with friends...

I'm not exactly a Wallflower type, but Social Butterfly will be a bit of stretch for me. 
Hmm, let's see... Who can I turn to for inspiration? 

Ah, yes!  The dynamic duo, Helga Von Trollop and  the Vintage Vixen ...

vintage postcard, postmarked in 1911 - eBay - MrsHavasham

I'll just check out their latest blog posts to see what fun they're having, and then I'll tone it down by about 50% - and it'll be just perfect for me!   (Sorry Helga & Vix - you're just too much fun to tease, I couldn't resist...)

Vintage Postcard, ca. 1910 - eBay - Jockriver

Speaking of New Year's any of you have a tradition of making a list of resolutions at the start of each new year? 

I tend to make my lists twice a year - once on my birthday in July, and then again five months later on January 1.  I like the idea of wiping the slate clean....making a fresh start....turning the page to a new chapter....being born again.  

Obviously the "born again" theme is not a new one.  Aren't the babies in these early 1900's New Year's postcards adorable?   They're currently up for bid on eBay...

"Unsigned artwork of Samuel Schmucker in conjunction with publisher John Winsch, copyrighted in 1910.  Embossed surface with gold accents.  Mailed in December, 1910" - eBay - Marbren

vintage 1913 postcard - eBay - Crappie4

vintage "Made in Germany" postcard, postmarked 1909 - eBay - MrsHavasham

Here are a few possible additions to my 2011 list of New Year's Resolutions.  This is still just a draft, so please don't hold me to any of it!

#2 - Find some creative ways to bring in extra money so that I can a) manage to pay the mortgage each month, and b) have a little left over to cover my new Social Butterfly expenses.

#3 - List six items a week (four on eBay, two on Etsy) - consistently for one whole year.  (Yikes! That might be a bit of a stretch...)

#4 - Lose 10 pounds by March 17, so that I can squeeze nicely into that 1960's green dress with the rhinestone buttons and wear it on St. Patrick's Day. 

#5 - Hire someone to get rid of the squirrels that have taken over my bedroom.  (Don't's a nightmare...)

#6 - Stop procrastinating and get that damn oven fixed! - so that I can start baking some of the fun recipes in my vintage cookbook collection.

#7 - Throw a party to celebrate being kid-free for the first time in 27 years!

#8 - Start playing the piano again.  (This was a strong suggestion from my musical & mathematically minded son who has noticed that his mother's mind has become a bit foggy lately, and thought that practicing the piano might help sharpen it up a bit.)

#9 - Become a more thoughtful and generous person with those I love. 

#10 - Discover the Fountain of Youth.  (And if I find it, I promise to fill you in!)

Enough of this resolutions nonsense...  How about a few more vintage New Year's postcards?  I found these on Etsy.  I think that the tinted  photograph types are especially lovely...

Early 1900's French New Year's Postcard - Etsy - OldeTymeNotions

New Year Greetings Postcard, dated Dec. 29, 1911 - Etsy - Artypharty

Notice that the children in the photos above and below are carrying horseshoes & four leaf clovers, symbols of Good Luck... 

Early 1900's "Made In Germany" Postcard - Etsy - Anantiqueaffair

Vintage postcard dated 1/1/13. Published by E.A. Schwerdtieger and Co. London B.C. 
As the little boy in the postcard says: 

"Be Happy on New Year's Day...
Enjoy yourself wherever you are
'Tis the brightest day on the calendar."

Have a fun (and safe) New Year's Eve - and a Happy New Year!

Oh, and have a Sarsaparilla on me!

Cheers! - Susan

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Favorite Holiday Traditions: Figgy Pudding, Christmas Catnip, Picasso Gingerbread House...

Isn't this a glorious time of the year!

I will admit that I tend to enter the holiday season with somewhat of a Bah-Humbug! frown on my face (Christmas commercialism, ugh!)...but the closer we get to Christmas Day, the merrier I get! 

One thing that helped turn me into a jolly old soul were the wonderful favorite holiday traditions you shared when you commented in my giveaway post.  There were too many treasures there to allow them to just stay buried in the comment I'm bringing them out into the light for all of you to enjoy!

This will be an easy post for me - you're the writers!
My contribution: a small collection of 1950's vintage Christmas cards, and one early 1900's Santa postcard.


Debi (My Happy Sewing Place):  "One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating our mantelpiece for the's always so festive!"

Ivy Black: "My favourite Christmas family tradition is putting all the things the kids made that are still in one piece, on the tree. Oh, and listening to carols whilst making dinner."
Straight Talking Mama!: "I love Christmas so we have a few things we like to do, but my favourite is putting up the decorations.  We have set music we listen to, first up is the Andrew Sisters Christmas Album, in my opinion THE best Christmas music. Then we move on to White Christmas soundtrack, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, you name it. I also like putting up the tree as we buy ornaments that remind us of different trips. We used to visit Switzerland a lot & in Basel they have amazing Christmas decoration shops! We've also got a couple we got when in New York.

Wow I've rambled on, can you tell I love Christmas!"

Twinkles1985 (Old At Heart): "Our tradition is watching A Christmas Carol and going and picking our Christmas tree..."

Mary Van Note: "I love staring at the Christmas tree. When we were kids my brother and I would play a game with the ornaments. Like 20 questions but it was about an ornament. My brother would always hide the ornament he picked so I wouldn't find it."

Vintage Sue: "Favorite holiday tradition? Eating everything in sight of course!!! hahaha"

Into Vintage: "When I was a child, we had the traditon of giving our cat a Christmas catnip gift every year. Starting year two, it was wrapped in a metal coffee can after he went into a frenzy the first year, clawing open packages under the tree until he found the right one. Good times."
Rosy (Sewing Addicta):  We are Catholics, so the gifts are on December 6 in the morning, and are supposed to bring the Kings. So on the night of December 5, children leave cookies and milk in the living room, so that 'Reyes Magos' eat when you come to leave gifts."

Lady Betty (Betty's Vintage Musings): "As for holiday traditions, my father is from Norway and has lived in the US since he was 25. So per Norwegian tradition, we have always celebrated Christmas Eve with a big dinner and party. My parents' friends and neighbors come by and join us for cocktails, snacks, and dinner. My mother (who is from Ireland) will also cook a huge Christmas day dinner as well! Mom also makes an amazing figgy pudding! (Talk about holiday weight gain! Lol)"
Tanya904 (Starry Eyed): "One of our holiday traditions is to watch reruns of The Christmas Story and open one gift each on Christmas eve."

Gina at Vintage Junk in My Trunk: "One tradition I DON'T like is I invariably break a shiny brite (or two) as I hang my vintage ornaments from the tree. Doh! Guess that just means I need to find more the following year!"
Mrs. Cleaver:  "When i was a kid i always loved going up to the mountains to find & cut down a Christmas tree.The pine tree smell always reminds me of Christmas with my grandma.

Now that i have kids i always love leaving the milk & cookies out for Santa & carrots for the reindeer :) My hubby & i try to do things to make it look like Santa has been nibbling the carrots & making sleigh tracks in the dew on the lawn etc:)"

Lexy Mademyday:  "Everybody tells me my Christmas tradition is pretty boring but I like it!! I simply eat the best foie gras (made by my mum) and drink a good champagne in front of the chimney...and to top it all we watch "Pearl Harbor" snuggled up against each other on the couch!!"

Diamond Events by Tiffany (Ramblings of a Girlie Girl Housewife): "We have many holiday traditions but my most favorite is riding around looking at all the holiday lights. We have done this since .... well forever....and just always have so much fun."

Nancy (Waiter Waiter Percolator): "Favorite holiday tradition: Gotta be watching "It's a Wonderful Life" while wrapping presents and drinking hot chocolate. (Before I had a 16 pound, Christmas tree-climbing cat, it was decorating the tree, but haven't had a tree for 8 years now. We go to Granny's and enjoy hers on Christmas Day!)"

Moviemag46: "For the last 26 years Christmas at my house has been all on Christmas Eve. I love how the lights look after dark, and it leaves all day on Christmas to play with any new goodies."

Helga! (Helga von Trollop): "G and my Christmas tradition is to try and get out of town and away from it all!!!Yeehaaaaaah!  XXX "

Vivi.Deluxxxe: "When I used to live with my parents.. on Christmas morning after opening presents, we would make hot chocolate & drink it out of santa mugs and eat Peruvian fruit cake bread. =) "
Lili M.:  "This is the third year in line that I'm sick when I think I should be decorating for Christmas. Does that sound like a holiday tradition? I hope not! We over here have two days of Christmas, December 25th, the first and the 26th the second day of Christmas. Now the first day is the 'family dinner and gifts day' but the second is the stay in your pajama's as long as you wish and play with your presents day. I love that 2nd day of Christmas. There are more than plenty left overs so you don't have to do anything. Everybody should have at least 2 days of Christmas and ending with a third (Sunday) to rest!"

Kristy L.: "My best Christmas memory is my sis and I in our pj's with messy hair ripping open our gifts with much delight. And then looking back on the couch seeing our parents in their pj's with messy hair drinking coffee, also getting much delight watching us. So fun, I wish I could go back just for a few minutes."

ZeldaFitz79 (My Pretty Baby Cried She Was A Bird):  "My favorite holiday 'tradition', I guess, is the fact that my mother, in spite of staying up super late to play Santa and make sure all the gifts are in place, has always, ALWAYS been the first one up on Christmas morning. Sometimes she would have to wake US up...her anticipation level for opening presents is like a hundred times higher than either my sister's or mine. :) " 

Starz (Vintage Down Under): "Ooh love it.We always have the big cooked breakfast drowned in maple syrup and the kids have to wait until Dad has cooked it and everyone has finished before they can touch a present:) We did stop the 'Mother has been getting into the sherry' tradition though after a few 'Mother is drunk by lunchtime' events...." 
Nancy (The Hem M A Blog): "I don't have my own Christmas traditions yet, both this year and last year I've gotten a live tree - last year it died...Oops, I'm hoping that's not the Christmas tradition.  I always remember the great huge boxes of goodies we would get from my Grandmother though. One was full of grapefruits and the other had tons of different types of cookies and fruitcake and little presents. Sometimes bakelite buckles remind me of the shapes of her shortbread cookies now."

Modern Suzie: "My favourite Christmas tradition? That's a hard one but I would probably have to pick our activities for Christmas Eve. We always go out for Chinese food on Christmas eve (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and all) then to my parents place to watch Christmas movies and drink "Moose Milk" (my grandpas recipe which contains egg nogg, ice cream and a lot of liquor).

That or opening stockings on Christmas morning. My parents always put in a mandarin orange (as a treat) and a dirty potatoe (to remind us that we weren't perfect all year)."


Tamarah (Shabby Vintage Junk):  "There's just Mr SVJ & I here & our Christmas is a fairly relaxed affair....The only REAL tradition we have is that we absolutely POSITIVELY have to get our REAL Christmas tree on the 6th December....That's Mr SVJ's birthday & the START of Christmas for us....Mind you....We get the tree on the 6th but it's often NOT decorated for a couple of weeks....As a matter of fact....That is the ONE THING I have to do today....hahahahaha....!!"

Luna (No Soap, No Glory):  "Me and the kids make a gingerbread house the first weekend in December. It's never the same - we draw a new one each year. And it usually ends up as a Picasso creation, haha. When Christmas is over, we smash it to pieces and eat it ;) "

Ann (Madeline's Memories):  "Our family Christmas traditions are not very original: we always cut our own tree and bring the dogs along. We always have appetizers for dinner the night we trim the tree. We always go to midnight mass and then have hot chocolate and cookies before we go to bed. And we always stop opening presents halfway and have breakfast on Christmas morning. (Our boys are in their 20's and no little ones yet.) Merry Christmas!"

 Merry Christmas!



On the First Day of Winter, Antiqua Picked for Me...Two Vintage Winners!

It's December 21, the first official day of winter - and it's time to pick two winners for my Vintage Christmas Giveaway.

I wanted to do it the old-fashioned way - so I've collected all the comments, tossed the names in my Santa hat, and now I am just waiting until midnight (because I said I would) to draw the winning names...

"Pretty Kitty Kelly" Sheet Music, 1920.  Words by Harry Pease - Music by Ed. Nelson.  
(Yes, poor Kitty has a bite taken out of her last name, but for 25 cents she was just too pretty to pass up...)

Patiently waiting...
10 p.m....
11 p.m...
....oops fell asleep! now it's well past midnight!

Okay, I've stirred up the names and am going to close my eyes and summon the Goddess Antiqua (you haven't forgotten about her, have you?)....... help me pick two special vintage-loving winners...

And the winners are...

Garnet Scarabin


Straight Talking Mama! 

Congratulations to both of you!   I'll send you an email to find out which of the four giveaway options you like best...

Straight Talking Mama (Fiona) is a 50's loving gal from Hampshire, UK and has a wonderful blog!  Be sure to pay her a visit if you haven't stopped by yet.  And Garnet (Arizona, U.S.) is a student currently working toward her undergrad in History, and planning to focus on Minoan civilization in grad school.  I don't think Garnet has a blog (yet), but she certainly has a clever profile - so I hope to see more from her soon!

Wish I could pick about 10 more winners - you're all wonderful!   

Happy Winter!
"Sarsaparilla" Susan

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Wish List: 1928 Bulova Watch, 1937 Evening In Paris Perfume, 1956 Fosta-Grantly Sunglasses...

First - a little reminder that my Vintage Christmas Giveaway ends at midnight on December 21.  Thanks to those of you who have already stopped by and left comments.  I've been having so much fun reading about your favorite holiday traditions.  Take a peek - you might get some great ideas.   Modern Suzie has a fun Christmas Eve tradition of drinking "Moose Milk" while watching Christmas movies.  Here's what's in the "milk" - egg nog, ice cream, and lots of liquor.  Sounds perfect to me!

I wish I'd had a refrigerator stocked with the makings for Moose Milk this past weekend.  I was snowed in for a few days because of a major snowstorm that swept through and dumped 15"-20" of snow on the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.  Crazy, but kind of fun - I love extremes in weather.  I guess I'm living in the right place for that!

Since I couldn't get out of the house to get any Christmas shopping done, and I didn't really feel like spending big bucks online - I just curled up on the couch with piles of vintage 1930's - 1960's magazines and did my shopping there...

Ladies Home Journal Magazine, December 1959

Can you imagine if you could magically be transported back in time to the year the magazine was printed - and be able to look through the advertisements and say, "I want this...and this...and this"... and then run off to a nearby department store, and buy them at the low prices of the day?

Well, that's the dream world I was in when I came up with this list...

Wanna go shopping with me?
Let's start small, and work our way up...

Kathryn Grayson, Lustre-Creme Shampoo ad - Life magazine - July 28, 1952

Wouldn't it be fun to find some unopened bottles of some of the glamorous shampoos of the 1940's and 50's like Lustre-Creme...and Drene....and Halo...

Revlon "Persian Melon" Nail Enamel ad - McCall's magazine - July 1957

I like the long sculptured stem on this Revlon nail polish.  But I love the model's dramatic gold and coral outfit even more!  I'll take those pillows too... 

Tangee "Bright 'n Clear" Lipstick ad - Life magazine - June 7, 1954

Wish those stunning jewel earrings came along with the Tangee Lipstick...

Max Factor Lipstick ad - Good Housekeeping magazine - November 1946.  Two-page Ad.

Three lipsticks in Clear Red, Blue Red and Rose Red.  Checking the chart...I'm a Brunette so I guess I'm a No. 3.  (Not very creative names, are they?)

Wembley "White Look" Ties ad - Life magazine - April 23, 1951

Aren't these men's ties gorgeous?  And just $2.00!

Fosta-Grantly "Continental" Sunglasses ad - Life magazine - June 4, 1956

These glamorous Foster Grants will be perfect for all that snow glare...

Prince Matchabelli Cologne Spray Mist ad - Life magazine - May 2, 1960. Two-page Ad

Prince Matchabelli promises:  "In This Push Button Age... He's Yours By Remote Control!"   Wouldn't that be great if it worked!

Daniel Green Satin Mule Slippers ad - Ladies Home Journal magazine - December 1959

Air Step "Vanity Case Collection" Shoe ad - Life magazine - March 5, 1951. Two-page Ad.

Did you know that "A Pretty Face Starts At Your Feet"?  A perfect excuse to buy the Daniel Green satin mules ($8)...and some Air Steps ($12 to $14)....and some warm furry rabbit fur Oomphies ($11) !

Furbelow fur boot by Oomphies ad - Good Housekeeping magazine - Sept 1946

Cannon Towels ad - Life magazine - January 9, 1950.  Two-page Ad.

Wish I could stock up on bright and thirsty Cannon towels at these great prices - 39 cents to $2.79...

Melmac Dinnerware ad - Life magazine - November 19, 1956

A few items for my kitchen...  A new set of Melmac dishes in modern atomic age shapes.  I'll take Pink, please. :-)

Anchorglass "Tulip" and "Polka Dots" Deep-Bowl Sets - Life magazine - April 12, 1954

...and some Anchor Hocking mixing bowls!  I've run across the Tulip pattern before...but not the Polka Dots.  Aren't they fun?

Pyrex Ware Serving Sets - Ladies Home Journal magazine - December 1959

What a perfect hostess I'd be if I had this Pyrex Golden Casserole in a "Shining Cradle"....or the Kaffee Klatch set...

Universal Electric Iron ad - Good Housekeeping magazine - April 1946

Isn't this Universal Cool Grip "Glider" iron a beauty?  I iron my clothes for work every morning - so I deserve a lovely iron...

Max Factor "Hi-Society" ad - Life magazine - Dec. 7, 1959

A case, mirror & lipstick all in one!  I'll take F. "Mother of Pearl" design, $4.50....and G. "Modern Florentine" design, set with a glittering gem - just $3.50!

Lady Buxton "Parisian Pleats" Leather Accessories - Ladies Home Journal magazine - December 1959

I'm not a smoker, but I'll take the whole lot - cigarette case, and lighter too!  How fun to have a red leather covered lighter with pleats!

Richard Hudnet Makeup, featuring Hollywood Star Merle Oberon - Woman's Companion magazine - December 1937

"They Teach Charm in Hollywood.  And a few lucky girls seem to be born with it...seem instinctively to make the right gestures, choose the right clothes, wear the right makeup.  It's girls like these who are quick to praise the new, certain way to beauty...Marvelous Eye-Matched Makeup."

Rhinestone Heels and Sequinned Stockings - Life magazine - January 9, 1950

These rhinestone heels, imported from France, and sequinned stockings are a bit extravagant at $30 and $25 (especially back in 1950) - but I'm worth it!

Trifari "Punctuation White" Jewelry ad - Life magazine - May 2, 1960

White jewelry to match the winter snow - just $5.00 each!

Lady Buxton Jewel Cases ad - Ladies Home Journal magazine - December 1959

Lady Buxton says that there are two ways to protect your jewels:  1. Stay up all night and guard your collection with a six-shooter.  Or 2. Keep it in your Buxton Jewel Case.    I think I'll opt for #2 and the Gold Jewel Case for $20.  Look at the pretty gold satin under the lid!

Lady Schick Electric Razors ad - The Saturday Evening Post - September 29, 1956. Two-page Ad.

The four jewel-like colors on the right are awfully pretty - at $14.95.   But I think I would prefer the "slightly more" expensive Lady Schick Goddess and Lady Schick Classic (below) in silver and gold, with individually tailored  Carrying Cases.

Evening in Paris Christmas Sets ad - Woman's Home Companion magazine - December 1937

"Take the advice of le Pere Noel, the Santa Claus of France, if you would win most fervent feminine thanks for your gifts...Give beauty, as every lady loves it best...with a French accent...Give Evening in Paris Christmas Sets."  Thirty-one sets, $1.10 to $25.00.

Sonja Henie Ice Skates ad - The Saturday Evening Post - Jan. 14, 1939

All I have to do is buy gifts of four 1-year subscriptions of Saturday Evening Post at $2 each ($8 total), send in the coupon - and these skates are mine!

Mojud "Year-Rounder" Slip ad - Life magazine - April 23, 1951

Mojud has such beautiful lingerie.  Aren't these pastel strapless, boneless slips lovely?

Borgana Dawn Beige Like-Fur Coat ad - McCall's magazine - August 1957

"Warm and Sunny When It's Icy Cold" - That's exactly what I need...

Bulova Watches advertisement - The Saturday Evening Post - Sept. 22, 1928

Love the Art Deco design of this ad.  At $75.00 (in 1928!) the "Carolyn" watch of 14 kt. solid gold, 2 diamonds and 4 emeralds is a bit extravagant - but since I'm dreaming...why not!

Royal Portable Typewriter ad - The Saturday Evening Post - August 31, 1957

I miss typewriters!  I'll take this Royal Portable with a "quick-change, no-smudge ribbon...Magic Margin...and extra light touch."   It will only cost me pennies a day and I get two full years to pay it off!

Kroeler Lounge Chair and Ottoman in Red Mohair Frieze - Life magazine - Nov. 16, 1953

My living room needs a little perk up - and this RED chair should do the trick!  Look close at the mohair "frieze" texture and the huge ottoman - perfect as an extra chair!

Admiral Television / Automatic Phonograph ad - Life magazine - March 5, 1951

This TV has a big 17-inch screen - WOW!  And the record player is automatic - very cool!

1938 Frigidaire "Meter Miser" Refrigerator ad - Woman's Home Companion magazine - December 1937

I've got an ugly 1980's beige refrigerator and I'd love to replace it with this 1938 model - as long as I can also have the refrigerator dishes with fruit decals inside...

Whirlpool Refrigerator and Freezer - McCall's magazine - July 1957. Two-page Ad.

Better yet - a PINK 1950's set!....

"New Freedom Gas Kitchen" - American Gas Association ad - Good Housekeeping 1946

...OR an entire 1946 kitchen in Red, White and Green.  It would be Christmas all year long!

Chrysler Royal car ad - The Saturday Evening Post - Jan. 14, 1939

I'd love to have any one of these three vintage car beauties!  
'57 Pontiac "Star Chief" car ad - Life magazine - November 19, 1956. Two-page Ad.

I'm partial to RED...  Do you think I'm going through a mid-life crisis?  :-)

Cadillac Car ad - Life magazine - March 17, 1961

Love the Cadillac convertible...but I'm almost as impressed by the ad design.  The French Embroidery background is from the Brooklyn Museum.  The Jeweled "V" and Crest were created by Van Cleef and Arpels.

"Ice Blue" Aqua Velva ad - Look magazine - December 11, 1956

I said that I was starting my Christmas Wish List off with small items and working my way up. 
So you might wonder why the list ends with a cheap bottle of Aqua Velva After Shave. 

Well....that's because it's the Aqua Velva MAN that I'm after - not the after shave.   That's a TALL order! 
Let's see...he was born in December 1956.  Yep, that would be just about right. :-)

Happy Holidays!  Stay warm...
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