Saturday, July 31, 2010

Vintage Birthday Fun: "She could see no good reason to act her age..."

I just had a birthday this past week. (Whoopee!)  Actually, I would have happily let this one slip by unnoticed, but I can always count on my kids and a few friends and co-workers to make sure I don't forget.

The card above was from a dear friend who knows I'm crazy about antiques - and so he always finds the cutest vintage-inspired birthday cards for me.  

Last year, knowing that I was feeling a little traumatized by a milestone birthday, he gave me the card above.  She's been a permanent fixture on my refrigerator since then - and every time I look at that confident twinkle in her eyes, I feel inspired. 


Oh my!  Watch your language, young lady!

This magnet is posted on a file cabinet in my office. Yes, it's from the same friend.  I hope y'all have a good friend in your life who keeps you feeling young and sassy.  ;-)

I just have to share a recent find with you - a fun collection of vintage birthday napkins!  They're all from the 50's and early 60's.

Here's Space Pilot, Two-Gun Pete and Annie Oakley!

This is so cool!  Look at the poodle on the star...

With Western TV shows like Davy Crockett (mid 1950's) and Daniel Boone (mid 1960's), "Cowboys and Indians" were a popular theme for children's birthday parties.

I always wanted to have drum majorette boots like this...
Here's a jazzy Mickey Mouse-inspired birthday napkin.  Fun!
I'm a doll collector, so this 1959 napkin is one of my favorites.  It's a Ginny doll birthday party, and you can see at the bottom that "Ginny's Pup" was invited.
And who can resist good ol' Yogi Bear...

...and the Flintstones!  Both are dated 1962.

For some reason, I was never a huge fan of cartoons when I was a kid.  But I always enjoyed the Flintstones.  My favorite episode was the one that featured Ann Margrock as Pebble's babysitter who transformed into a rock star.  I remember thinking as a kid that Ann Margrock was just the coolest thing on earth! 

I'm pretty sure I had no idea that there was a real live Ann Margrock in the form of sexy Ann-Margret. 

Enjoy the show...

Birthday Postscript

A few days after my birthday, I received a surpise email message from Carol at the Jersey Girl blog.  I had entered her Divine Diva Giveaway the previous week, and my name was picked as the winner! 

She couldn't have known, of course, but what a nice birthday gift!  I'm excited for my gifts to arrive in the mail!  Thanks again, Carol - I'm humbled by your generosity...

Have you visited Carol's online store, Dandelion Vintage, yet?  She specializes in vintage clothing from the 1900's to the 1970's.  She's also got some lovely items for "the Lady's Boudoir", vintage linens, patterns, and old photographs too.  Check it out!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"In This Ever Changing Age, the Flappers and Sheiks Demanded Something Different...

...and the Black Bottom Dance was the answer!"

I dare you to give these dance moves a try.   First, do the Double Stamp - combine it with the Swing, and strut forward  - then add the Box.   Simple, they say?   Not if you're a heeler like me.

But this flapper certainly is a hot foot!   Watch her arms in slow motion.  It's the finesse of her wrists that really makes this dance smoke.  C'mon - Get hot!

(If you need a flapper era "dance slang" translation - take a peek in the column on the right. And in case you were wondering, being a heeler is not a good thing. :-)

Video courtesy of YouTube's MotorThings

This excerpt of blues era Black Bottom dancing is from AMERICA DANCES! 1897-1948: A Collector's Edition of Social Dance in Film. Visit for a wonderful historical collection of articles, interviews, photos, and more video clips on Blues Dance.

Okay, time to cool down and head to work!  Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gustav Klimt: a Pop of Color

I rarely turn on the TV in my home.  It's a habit that I somehow managed to drop years ago.  (You're probably thinking - What in the world does TV have to do with Gustav Klimt? Well, read on...)

Believe me, I'm not intending to sound snooty or holier-than-thou by telling you that I don't watch TV.  I'm actually a little embarrassed about it because it's made me somewhat oblivious to current culture and trends.  Of course, being completely lost in my world of antiques much of the time doesn't help matters much either.
It also probably doesn't help that I've got such an archaic TV.

Just kidding...yes, this is my vintage Motorola television, complete with rabbit ears, taking up way too much space in my front porch.  But I do have another TV in my living room that's a little newer model.  :-)

Anyway, I bring this up because for the first time in ages, I found myself watching TV last week with my sisters Mary and Jenny, after an evening of babysitting for Jenny's little daughters.  Both sisters are somewhat hooked on HGTV, and that night we watched Design Stars, where interior designers compete to win their own online show.  It was the first time I'd seen the show - and I'll admit I was intrigued. 

Jenny confided that despite watching so many home decorating shows, she still feels like a novice. And she said that the only decorating trick she always remembers is that it's important to add "a pop of color" to a room.  "Pop of color, pop of color," she chanted. "That's all they ever talk about!"  And we all laughed.

Well, I can't think of a better way to add a pop of color to a room than with a classic work of art.  As someone who loves vintage fashion, I find that I'm especially drawn to oil paintings that feature women. 

Here's a favorite Picasso that I get to enjoy every day as I type away on my keyboard, because I've placed it on the wall directly above my home computer!

Pablo Picasso. Woman with Book, 1932. Oil on canvas. 51 x 38 inches.
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena CA

And this Modigliani is in my kitchen.  Perhaps an odd choice for a kitchen, but it adds just the right touch of color against my white walls & cabinets.

Amedeo Modigliani. Gypsy Woman with Child. 1919. Oil on canvas. 115.9 x 73 cm.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

When it comes to "pops of color" one of my favorite artists is Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918) - an Austrian Symbolist painter and a prominent member of the Vienna Secession movement. His primary subject was the female body, which he painted with elegant gold or colored decoration of spirals, swirls and flowers. Many of his works are marked by a frank eroticism which caused a scandal on more than one occasion. 

 A selection of Klimt's work is included in the wonderful video below, compliments of YouTube's Accabadora.  The lovely and haunting music is from Wojciech Kilar's "Prologue: My Life Before Me."

The title of the Klimt work featured on the video above, is Die Musik (or Music I), 1895. I've got this one hanging in my college office.  In the midst of a chaos of white paper, it adds color and calm.

Here are some other Klimt favorites.  I especially love the first one (below), Garden Path with Chickens, 1916.  Do you have a favorite?

In 2006, the 1907 portrait above, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was purchased for the Neue Galerie in New York by Ronald Lauder for a reported US $135 million, surpassing Picasso's 1905 Boy With a Pipe (sold May 5, 2004 for $104 million), as the highest reported price ever paid for a painting.

Gustav Klimt. Hygeia. Detail of Medicine. 1900-1907. Oil on canvas. Destroyed by fire in 1945. (Above)

Detail from Water Snakes II (also called Friends II). 1907.  (Below)

Best wishes for a Sunday that brings you bright pops of color throughout the day.  Cheers!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Creative finds from the 1920's: A Scrapbook and a Beaded Flapper Chapeau

I told you the other day that when I go to estate sales I usually ignore the living room at first (because the highest priced items are there, and aren't usually nabbed as quickly) and head directly to the bedrooms to check for possible vintage clothing, accessories or pretty linens.  

Well, my rush-to-the-bedroom strategy worked this past weekend.  I managed to be one of the first to spot this lovely flapper hat and had to have it! 

It's up for auction on eBay right now (until July 25).  If you're interested, here are the details.

My other favorite finds in the bedroom are old paper items.  Did I tell you how much I love old paper in any form?  Catalogs, brochures, booklets, magazines, books, napkins, post and greeting cards, paper dolls, matchbook covers, etc.  It all fascinates me. 

Actually, one of the best places to find old paper is in the basement. If a paper item hasn't been brought up from the basement to the main floor by the estate sale team - it's usually undervalued, sometimes unmarked, and almost always a great deal.

I found some wonderful old paper at a great price last weekend, and I didn't even have to venture beyond the bedroom for it.  I bought four wonderful scrapbooks filled with lovely magazine clippings from the 1920's (or possibly the 1930's).  I've been paging through them these past few nights - falling asleep with heavenly vintage images in my head. (Much better than counting sheep!)

I'd like to share some photos from one of the scrapbooks with you today, and will continue to share more from the others in future weeks.

A simple but charming cover.

...and a very creative way of binding the pages together!

This last one is my favorite. The "ghostly" children are walking through the radiator and coming out with smiles on the other side!

There are lots more! - but I don't want to spoil you... :-)

I'm still amazed by these gorgeous and quaint illustrations each time I look at them, and I wish I knew what magazines they were clipped from.  Perhaps some are from magazines that were published for children?  I've owned several different "adult" magazines from the 1920's and 1930's and I don't recall so much color and variety.   Do I dare try and carefully remove some of the clippings from the pages and peek on the other side for clues to its origin?  I might have to do that...

For another example of a 1920's scrapbook visit An Apple A Day  (fascinating blog, take a peek - you'll love it!)

And finally, I wanted to introduce you to a lovely book on scrapbooks and their history....Scrapbooks: An American History, by Jessica Helfand.

Here the author gives us a fascinating glimpse into her own vintage scrapbook collecting experience and how she came to write the book.  YouTube video is courtesy of WinterhouseStudio.

Stop by again next Tuesday night for another peek at the Roaring Twenties. Good luck with your treasure hunting this coming weekend!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sneak Preview: New on Etsy...Sarsaparilla's Boudoir!

I've learned over the years that when inspiration strikes, and the creative juices are flowing - that I need to stand out of the way and just let it flow.   If I do that, good things always come my way.

Well tonight, probably inspired by some of the wonderful vintage sellers I've been running into lately, I found myself looking into the possibility of opening up an Etsy Shop.  It started off as just an idea, something I might want to do in the future.  But suddenly I found myself playing around with shop names, and then looking for images for my shop banner.  And before I knew it, I was signing up to be an Etsy seller!

Maybe this is a little premature for me to be sharing this - because I don't have anything for sale yet!  I need to figure out exactly how Etsy works, and then get my shop set up just so before I start selling.  But I'm so excited about my new venture!  So I wanted to at least share with you the name of my shop - Sarsaparilla's Boudoir - and show you the image I created for my shop banner:

I hope you like it.  My inspiration for the name and banner was the 1923 Ribbon Art magazine that I shared with you earlier this week - the one with all those pretty ribboned "boudoir" items inside.  

I wish that I had the power to magically bring these images from the magazine to life - so that I can sell them to you!  But since that's impossible, I will be slowly stocking my new shop with some of my own "vintage lovelies."  

I'll continue to sell on eBay too.  But I'll probably mainly use that venue for my "mantiques" - like the little plastic Hong Kong cars that I'm selling right now.  Or the 1950's men's swim trunks I sold a few weeks back.  And Sarsaparilla's Boudoir on Etsy will be reserved for those vintage finds that have a distinctly feminine appeal.  Girlie stuff.  Sound like a good plan?

Now the only problem will I possibly find the time to juggle all of this!  I did tell you that from nine to five I have a real job, right?  One that has absolutely nothing to do with antiques.  So my blog and eBay and Etsy all have to be managed in the evenings & weekends. 

That makes it kind of tricky to fit in any kind of social life (i.e. men & dating). But who needs men!  Lately, I've been having so much more fun without 'em! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thirties Thursday: "All Trails Lead to Ice-Cold Coca-Cola"

I just realized tonight that I've been a terrible hostess.  I've asked you (in my blog header) to "grab yourself a soft drink" and travel back in time with me - but I hadn't put any refreshments in the ice box for you to grab!

Well, I've remedied that.  If you stop by tonight, I promise that I'll have an ice box full of Coca-Cola waiting for you.  Actually, some of these bottles have been on ice since 1933, almost 80 years - so they should be plenty cold by now.  I hope it was worth the wait!

Coca-Cola ad, National Geographics Magazine - June 1936

Coca-Cola ad, National Geographic Magazine - September 1933

Coca-Cola ad, National Geographic Magazine - June 1935

Coca-Cola ad, National Geographic Magazine - February 1935

Please feel free to stop over any time you need "a wave of wholesome buoyancy to restore you to normal."

I promise to have more Coca-Cola waiting.  Or maybe...a Sip of Sarsaparilla.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Le quatorze juillet...Bastille Day Celebration, early 1960's!

A Happy Bastille Day to my friends in France! I hope you'll enjoy this fun vintage look at a Bastille Day celebration on the streets of Paris, nearly 50 years ago. 

OrinBoborin, YouTube contributor, comments that it was "filmed around 1962, from the Italian documentary La Donna Nel Mundo. Narrated in English by Peter Ustinov, its aim is to explore how different life is for women in the many cultures of the world."   Don't miss the last part of the video - and the intriguing statue-kissing tradition. 

This is my kind of celebration!  ;- )

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vintage 1923 Ribbon Art: How to Make Hundreds of Dainty and Practical Things of Ribbons

This morning Casey of Casey's Elegant Musings was jumping up and down and squealing over her weekend find: a Spring and Summer 1944 Sears Catalog.

I don't blame her for being excited!  These old catalogs are so hard to find at a price that won't cost an arm & a leg.  And for some reason, I've had an especially tough time trying to get my hands on a department store catalog from the 1940's.  So if you've got one you want to get rid of (for some silly reason) please keep your new blogging friend from St. Paul, Minnesota in mind.  ;-)

Today is Tuesday...and for me, that means Twenties TuesdayAnd I've got a weekend find to share that had me jumping and squealing almost as much as Casey!   I found an original vintage 1923 copy of Ribbon Art:  How to Make Hundreds of Dainty and Practical Things of Ribbons.

You might not be familiar with this 48-page magazine. I wasn't either.  But after I found this at an estate sale and started researching it, I discovered that the 1986 reproduction is everywhere!  But nobody that I've run into so far seems to have the real thing.  And I do!

Now if you're not into the 1920's like I am, this might not make your heart sing as much as mine.  But bear with me as I share some of the illustrations inside.

My temptation is to share it all at once, but I think I'll just give you a taste of it this week with more to follow on future Tuesdays.  I always think that when something is really good, it's better to savor it slowly - don't you?

I love the little "flapper baby" on the front cover.  Isn't she sweet, with pink ribbons from head to toe?  I think I'm going to have to incorporate her permanently into my blog somehow, and give her a name.

This past Sunday, I shared with you a couple of photos from a corner of my bedroom, and my new vintage drapes.  Well, if I had my druthers (and a little bit of money), I would completely redo my bedroom to fit my 20's-leaning personality. And this is the bedroom I envision myself in:


And here's what the other side of my new bedroom would look like:

Do you see the ribbons everywhere?

And every day, I'd get dressed in a ribboned gown and chapeau - and would always look fresh as a daisy...

 And I would spend my afternoons eating bon-bons and creating boudoir luxuries like these:

The hat in the first photo was called a hair band - the middle one, a boudoir cap and the last one, a head band.  Which is your favorite?

Good night!  Hope you'll stop back again soon...
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