Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Lights Blink A Bright Red, Green...and Pink

Well, my little family survived our ovenless Thanksgiving just fine - thanks to an electric roaster loan from a friend.   I'm trying to finish up the leftovers as quickly as possible so I can start my holiday diet. 

Oddly, I tend to gain weight in the summer and then lose it during the winter months.  I'm counting on that happening again this year!

My incentive is this great Mad Men era two-piece dress that I bought at an estate sale yesterday. The 60's label: "Carl Naftal Original - California."

I can just barely squeeze into it right now...and I wouldn't want to risk wearing it until I've lost about 10 pounds...but I can already tell it's going to look great! 
The dress is in a textured Dacron Polyester, and it has these wonderful sparkly gold and green rhinestone buttons on the pockets. Even though this is sleeveless, I think it could be great for a holiday party - especially with a vintage fur collar or wrap for a little extra warmth.  What do you think?

Here are some more greens and reds to help unleash your Christmas spirit!

Everything you see here will be up for grabs at Sarsaparilla's Boudoir (Etsy) or Sarsaparilla on eBay either tonight (Sunday) or sometime during the coming week.

Musical 1960's Hickory Dickory Christmas Clock with Dancing Santa; Made In Japan

Vintage 1960's "Cherry Humps" Candy Bars Display Box; Schuler Chocolates Inc, Winona, Minn.

Vintage 1940's, 50's Dutch Boy & Girl Salt/Pepper - Made in Japan - never used! - F. W. Woolworth 39 cents price tag on hat

Simplicity 1950's Sewing Pattern 2757 - Skirt & Weskit

"In the Rough" Golf Balls of Pure Castille Soap; 1955 by MEM Company, NY

1950's Harold Gale 14" Display Santa Claus

Olga Baclanova - June 1929 Photoplay - (Cover illustration only) 

"Night Before Christmas" - 1958 Whitman book - illustrated by Florence Sarah Winship

1960's Red knit two-piece dress: "Lofties, Designed by Lawrence"

Vintage 60's Christmas Elf Apron

The Four Seasons of Romance - Fanny Farmer Candies Vintage Tin

And here's a bit of Holiday Pink for good measure!

10" Magic Skin "Snookie" Baby Doll - by Ideal - 1951 to 1955; with original box!

Retro Pastel Christmas Trees Hankie, pink rolled edge

Vintage Pink Flamingo Ornament, Spun Cotton & Feathers

All this color! But sometimes the best things in life are in black and white...

Here's Bing Crosby in a 1965 Christmas special singing "Wonderful White World of Winter."  Love the dancers in the first number!   If this were about two years later, the women would probably have long hair and go-go boots, instead of suits & hats.

Hope your first week of December is a merry one!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The News From (a city near) Lake Wobegon

First the good news:  I'm staying home for Thanksgiving this year!  That makes me happy because I'm a big chicken when it comes to driving in snowy weather - and this holiday is notorious for dishing out nasty weather either during the drive to my parents' house, or on my way back home.

Now the bad news:  My oven died about a month or two ago - and procrastinator and penny pincher that I am, I haven't managed to get it fixed yet.  So my Turkey Dinner will need to be cooked in the microwave or on my stove top...

Collier's magazine cover, November 16, 1932

Actually, I'm not too concerned.  There will be just three of us for dinner on Thursday - me and my two munchkins.  And as long as my son gets his pumpkin pie, my daughter gets her spinach dip, and I get my mashed potatoes and gravy, we will all be perfectly happy.

My children, Daniel and Rachel, toasting Times Square - 2008 trip to New York City.

This year's Thanksgiving gathering at our home is special for a couple of reasons.  My son Daniel moved out of the house shortly before Halloween to live in Rochester, Minnesota (near the Mayo Clinic), so this will be his first holiday homecoming.  And now my daughter Rachel has decided to follow his lead. She just found an apartment a couple of miles away from home, and plans to move out on December 1.  I'm losing my babies!

Okay, I will admit that for the past few years I have actually been looking forward to having my house to myself.  (Just think, I will have two empty bedrooms to spread out my antiques in!) 

But now that it's only a week away from happening, I just want to turn back the clock about 20 years and be able to curl up next to them in bed at night and read "Goodnight Moon" over and over again. 

Oh, look at me complaining again - when I have so much to be grateful for!
It's always something, isn't it?

Or as this little pup says, "If it isn't Booze, it's Something Else..."  (Ha! I'd like to read that story - too bad I've only got the magazine cover...)

To those of you who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday - my very best wishes to you for a wonderful holiday!   And to those of you who will be heading to work that day, as usual - perhaps when you get home you can have a nice glass of wine or two, and toast your American friends.  And if you forget, I promise to have an extra glass for you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. For those of you who have no idea what "The News From Lake Wobegon" refers to, and haven't had the pleasure of listening to Garrison Keillor's radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion" - here's a little taste of quirky Minnesota humor for you.  Watch it to the end to catch the fun Be-Bop-A-Re-Bop Rhubarb Pie ditty.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

It was nice to get all those warm fuzzies, congratulating me for pulling myself out of my seller's slump. 

But then Mary Van Note came along and had the chutzpah to say, "You should have easy to find links to your shops, though.  I can't find them!"

Oh, Mary - must you be so contrary!  :-)

I thought Marys were always supposed to be sweet like...

...silent film star Mary Pickford, "America's Sweetheart."

And Marys have sweet little lambs for pets...

And they sing sweet, silly songs... the early 1940's novelty hit, "Mairzy Doats."  Here it's sung by a very young, cute-as-a-button Janet Lennon, one of the Lennon Sisters of The Lawrence Welk Show

So sweet!  I always think of my own sweet sister, Mary, when I hear this song.

Mairzy Doats
I know a ditty nutty as a fruitcake
Goofy as a goon and silly as a loon
Some call it pretty,
others call it crazy
But they all sing this tune:

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

If the words sound queer
And funny to your ear,
A little bit jumbled and jivey
Sing "Mares eat oats
And does eat oats
And little lambs eat ivy"

Oh! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

- composed by Milton Drake, 1943

But actually, now that I think of it - most of the Marys that I love best have a lot of spunk mixed in with their sweetness.
courtesy of The Wordslinger

One of my favorite films of all time, Frank Capra's 1946 "It's a Wonderful Life," also features one of my favorite fictional characters: Mary Hatch Bailey, played by the beautiful Donna Reed. 

courtesy of

Yes, Mary Bailey was as sweet and devoted a wife to George Bailey (James Stewart) as any woman could be, but it was her strength and spirit that made us all fall in love with her.

video courtesy of Sarbashrestha

This video features one of my favorite scenes and dialogues from the movie. 

George: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you could swallow it, and it'd all dissolve, see? And the moonbeams'd shoot out of your fingers and your toes, and the ends of your hair... Am I talking too much?
Old Man: Yes! Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George: How's that?
Old Man: Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George: Want me to kiss her, huh?
Old Man: Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.

Some other spunky Marys:

Actress Mary Martin... the 1954 Broadway musical production of Peter Pan!  (Mary was such a convincing Peter Pan, I grew up thinking that she was a rather quirky looking boy.)

...and as Nellie Forbush in the wonderful 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific.  Ms. Martin won a Tony for both of these roles.

And let's not forget about this famous fictional Mary...
Mary Poppins!

Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney film, Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is everyone's favorite nanny: mysterious, adventurous, no-nonsense - and she adds a "Spoonful of Sugar" to everything!

Also... how about the talented actress Mary Tyler Moore?

She helped define the modern American woman of the 1960's and 1970's through two of my favorite television characters Laura Petrie and Mary Richards.

          photo courtesy of Oh Rob! The Laurie Petrie Fanlisting

Mary Tyler Moore as "Laura Petrie" in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961 - 1966)...

                           photo courtesy of The 5 Magazine
...and as "Mary Richards" in the Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970 - 1977)

Switching gears a bit, lets move into the fashion world.

I'll bet most of you know this famous designing Mary...
...the fabulous Mary Quant.

     photo of Mary Quant by Swinging_Sixties

Often when people think of Mary Quant, the name Twiggy immediately comes mind.  Why?  Because Twiggy was the perfect model for Mary's famous 1960's inspiration - the Mini Skirt!

photo courtesy of Strawberry Lemonade blog.  (Take a peek - it's fabulous!)

And here's my favorite musical Mary from the 1960's...Mary Travers.
Miss Travers was the lovely female third of the popular American folk-singing trio, Peter, Paul and Mary.

        photo courtesy of Reverb
 Peter, Paul and Mary with Symphony Orchestra, “The Prague Sessions” (Rhino)

Sadly, Mary Travers passed away last fall, September 19, 2009 - but her wonderful music lives on...

video courtesy of Ppmcsk

This incredible video of Mary Travers singing "And When I Die" is from a 1969 Mama Cass television special.  That's Mama Cass (of The Mamas and the Papas) and folk singer Joni Mitchell sitting on pillows, 60's style - applauding Mary.  Isn't her mini dress fabulous!

Oh, that song was a little sad, wasn't it?

Back to Mary Van Note to cheer us up!

Mary Van Note having a Pajama Party in her 1930's/1940's silk pajamas and 1950's Daniel Green slippers.

Mary Van, it's clear you are in very good company...and I not only forgive you for your contrariness, but you also deserve a big thank you! 

After I read Mary's comment, I decided that I had better quickly list a few more items on Etsy so that my shop had a little more oomph to it.  And then, thanks to her strong suggestion, I decided to come out of hiding.  So there are now links in my blog's side column to both my Etsy shop "Sarsaparilla's Boudoir" and my "Sarsaparilla" eBay listings.

Once again, a blogging friend has come to the rescue!  What would I do without all of you?

Have a wonderful Sunday - and a fabulous Thanksgiving week...
"Sarsaparilla" Susan

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Warm Vintage Thank You from Snowy Minnesota...

I am happy to report that I seem to have recovered from Seller's Block!

Tonight: two listings on eBay and one on Etsy! And if it weren't past my bedtime, I would just keep right on listing...

I feel light as air right now...

Thank you so much, dear friends, for all of your lovely comments, suggestions - and free therapy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seller's Block, Shipping Complex, and Shop Envy

It's November 13 already (brrr, winter's coming!) and I'm a little embarrassed to look back at an old post from July 17 when I excitedly announced that I was opening up a new shop on Etsy - Sarsaparilla's Boudoir - and that you should keep your eyes open for items for sale there "soon."

My intention was to take a month's break from selling on eBay while I got my shop rolling on Etsy.  And then I planned to start up again on eBay in October - in time for the Christmas season.

Perfectly sensible, right?
Well, 117 days later and I still have an empty Etsy shop - and I haven't sold a thing on eBay since early August!

I seem to have a dreaded case of........SELLER'S BLOCK!!!

                             courtesy of Stuart NG Books
Psychoanalysis no. 1 (Mar./Apr. 1955) edited by Bob Stewart and written by Steven Ringgenberg.

I wish there was a virtual couch that I could lie down on, and one of my blogging friends could play therapist and help me figure out what my problem is.

Or how about a "Psychiatric Help" booth like Lucy's? 

Anyone willing to step in for Dr. Lucy?  I'll bet there are plenty of bloggers that would line up at your window/screen.  Just think of the money that would roll in at 5 cents a minute!

Has anyone else out there gone through a spell of Seller's Block? Any suggestions?

I'm so frustrated with myself because I have a house full of vintage things that I'd like to sell, and have even taken photos of a few of them...

But I can't seem to take those next steps to get them posted - and start making some money, which I could definitely use right now!  

I think part of the problem is that I have "Shipping Complex."   Because everything I sell is different weights and sizes, I spend enormous amounts of time finding the right size box and packing materials and making sure I've calculated the proper weight so that I don't overcharge for postage. 

That whole packing/shipping process is looming large in my mind right now and is dragging me down. I'm thinking, do I really want to get into this again? 

Part of me says YES, I need the money and I love the customer contact!  And the other part of me says NO, you don't have time for this! Start selling again and you can kiss your social life goodbye! 

I guess that NO seems to be winning the battle right now.  Thus, my Sellers Block.

Maybe a little "Shop Envy" will help inspire me and get me out of my slump.

cartoons from Bizarroblog by Dan Piraro, creator of Bizarro

I've got some wonderful followers (thank you!) who have fabulous blogs - and some amazing things for sale right now. 

Look at what I found at these lovely online shops!

Adeline's Attic Vintage on Etsy. The lovely Jill / Baroness Von Vintage modeling one of my favorites - a 1930's Lush Merlot Crushed Velvet Evening Coat

Createology on Etsy.  The talented Sherry made this wonderful Limited Edition Wearable Art Boa. Lots more gorgeous things here!  Check out the Caramel Cameo Choker Necklace too...

The Kitschy Collector Home of C. Dianne Zweig.  This book looks like great fun - just like her fabulous blog!  Here's her book, Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles, 2nd Edition, on Amazon.

Fiona aka "Straight Talking Mama" has an incredible selection of vintage inspired items on Notorious Kitsch. Isn't this a fun Anne Taintor What Can I Buy Today Coin Purse?

Lizzie's Etsy shop - FuzzyLizzie Vintage   I've always wanted a pair of Vintage 1940's Daniel Green Comfy Slippers.  And this 1950's Purple and Black Wool Plaid fitted jacket is so pretty!

Katsui on Etsy.  Kat and Suz, my favorite mother/daughter team!  Isn't the Vintage Repurposed Sparrow Necklace with Resin Bird Charm sweet? And the second one - Kat's Meow Vintage Repurposed Necklace - has a resin pendant of Miss Kitty flapper saying "Meow."  Fabulous!

Shona's online store, Heyday!  I love these Heyday Plum Ladies Swing Trousers!  Lots more pretty things there. I was crossing my fingers that I might be the winner of Shona's Fleur Dress giveaway.  But I will have to add it to my wish list!

Vintage-a-Peel from Miss Peelpants.  A fabulous John Bates for Jean Varon - 1973 Dress!

Able Gable  I love their custom order clothing - especially the Miss Ann Darrow 1933 Dress. The frock is worn by Miss Amanda Lee in Ivory and Mlle Fleur de Guerre in Kingfisher.

And one more dress from Jill's Adeline's Attic Vintage shop - because she's such a doll!  This late 1930's/early 1940's Wartime Raspberry Velvet Dress with Scalloped Trapunto Style Details would be perfect for holiday parties...

Oh my, that little shopping excursion was fun!  Especially because in the middle of posting photos, I decided to buy one of the darling handmade flapper figurines from Mitzi's Collectibles.  My new little mascot flapper has a polka dot dress and is named "Etta."   I'm so much better at buying than selling!

Seller's Block, Shipping Complex, Shop Envy...  I can just imagine you thinking - "Excuses, excuses! Girl, you've got to stop complaining, get off of that couch, and just DO IT!"

Okay, I will.  I promise!
The next time you see my happy face I will be the new Selling Queen.

Free therapy, and tough love. That's what friends are for...  :-)

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