Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Simple Joy: Letters

While I grew up in the technological generation born in the 1990's, I have many fond memories as a child of writing to my grandparents.  I still have a few of these letters, especially the ones which included my grandfather sitting down with his old typewriter.   

A few years back, I also dated a fella in the military and went through the process of writing him throughout basic training and so forth.  Although this relationship ended badly, I still regard this as a transformational time in my life and has led me to believe that every gal should at one time or another receive a love letter. 

I still continue writing my grandmother to this day, although not with the frequency I would like.  I get a far greater joy finding a letter in cute stationary from my grandma in the post office then I will ever be able to achieve from receiving an email...or an IM...or a text message...or...well you get the idea. 

I've spent some time over the years trying to figure out why this is. 

For one, it seems to be far more personal.  The entire process does in fact take more time and because of that gives the impression that the person receiving is worth more time.  With this also comes a sense of truth that I do not receive in other way of correspondence. 

It forces me to slow down a bit and actually go through the process of writing each letter in each word.  Frankly, enough things in day to day life are rushed, therefore this is refreshing. 

In addition, the saved letters make valuable keepsakes...something that I can never picture an email being. 

I personally also find it to be more fun.  I certainly can't write an email on "Frog on a Bicycle" stationary. 

So what are your opinions on letters?  Things of the past or glorious undervalued pieces of the present?  Why do you love them or dislike them?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finally Some Finds!

I have been having a seriously large lack of luck in the thrifting world... this is the second week of finding absolutely nothing there.  I finally broke down and went up to my local antique mall and thankfully found some goodies up there. 
According to my dad, for the sake of storage, I should really limit my furniture intake.  But...then I found this...and I saw the price tag...and the additional 10% off sign... So I couldn't help but cart the yellow Cosco stool home.  Can you blame me?
Also in the same booth, I found this Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book Souvenir Edition from 1965.  I think it will go wonderfully with  my existing collection (See: An Ode to Better Homes) and for $5, is completely worth cleaning off my shelf some.  
There is also finally some new Pyrex in my life.  My dad found this bunch up at the antique mall for only $20...including the two odd bonus bowls.  I'll go with that.  I didn't have much of this pattern.  Okay, so I might not have needed any more mixing bowls.  
What can I say...most girls have shoes, I have Pyrex.   Well that's all for now folks, Happy Thrifting!  Linking up over at Thriftasaurus, The Nifty Thrifty, and Young Heart!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Top: Movies (1930's - 1960's)

First of all, you must know that my dad is a complete movie buff.  I sometimes can't even believe how many he has seen over the years.  Therefore, even as a little tyke, he was introducing me to older movies that most of my generation never had the pleasure of viewing.  Therefore, I would like to introduce my favorites that span from the 1930's to the 1960's.  Hopefully 70's and 80's will be covered in a different post. 

1. Houseboat (1958)
               This isn't the first time I've mentioned Houseboat within my blog and this is with good reason.  It's one of the movies I've loved since I was a little, partially because the concept of re-doing an old houseboat intrigued me.  Since then, I've gained a broader appreciation of it as a vintage film.  I absolutely love Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in it and every time I watch it I am consistently riveted by the wardrobe and props. 

2.  The Parent Trap (1961)
                 Also another childhood favorite, The Parent Trap was re-watched with great frequency in my house. It was the perfect movie for a mischievous child.  It had me on a huge summer camp kick for quite some time.  Sadly, I grew up a little too late to catch the summer camp boom.  I'm not sure if I have ever fully recovered from that disappointment. 

3.  Gone with the Wind (1939)
                 A more recent addition to my list, I am completely awestruck by this movie every time I watch it...even though it's ridiculously long.  Sometimes when you watch a movie, you can tell that it's great but you can't exactly pinpoint the reasons.  That is the case with Gone with the Wind.

4.  Babes in Toyland (1961)
                  We're back to the childhood favorites with this one!  Every Christmas (and sometimes at random points in the year) I would dig out this movie recorded on a VHS tape.  I can still remember some of the commercials from it, including my favorite McDonald's one in which Ronald helps a pup get home to his kid owner.  I love the fact that this one incorporates the musical numbers in amongst the story - which I vividly remember dancing to...a couple weeks ago.

5.  Man's Favorite Sport (1963)
                  Another new one on my list, my dad had me search for this one to order online which he remembers from younger days.  I'm glad he remembered it though, because it is quite funny and yet another of the movies which I can't help but admire all the vintage goodies in.

6.  Follow that Dream (1961)
                   You knew there had to be a classic Elvis film in here somewhere right?  I think this movie has so many amusing parts, I just can't help but giggle.  It's the type that really pulls you in and keeps you hoping for the inevitable happy ending
7.  White Christmas (1954)
                    The Christmas classic of all Christmas classics in my opinion, watching White Christmas is an annual tradition in my family.  Even my dad admits that he can't help but feel better after watching it, it really instills the Christmas spirit. 

8.  Psycho (1960)
                     I found this movie while channel surfing one day and was intrigued by it.  Although not a horror movie buff, I had never seen any of the oldies in this genre so I figured it would be worth a shot.  After all, it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock right?  Good move.  It actually kinda weirded me out for awhile, but it was good. 

9.  The Wizard of Oz (1939)
                     I bet you saw this one coming right?  I mean, it is The Wizard of Oz.  "Follow the yellow brick road.  Follow the yellow brick road.  Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road!" 

10. Beach Party (1963)
                   I have to admit, I'm a big fan of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.  In fact, right now the entire Beach Party collection is in my Amazon Wish List.  So therefore, no list of this era would be complete without them. 

Well that's all for now folks.  So what are some of your favorite classic films?  Any you would recomend? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Framing Fondness

As you may recall from my prior post, "It all started with a desk.", I have had a new project on my mind.  Although I was loving all the new improvements to my room (and am sleeping better), I have been facing an empty expanse on my far wall.  I wanted something that I could easily change up on whim, used some of my vintage goodies in a more modern way, and didn't weight the wall down (if that makes any sense). 

Well it's time to reveal what I came up with.     

I love how amazingly simple it was to make, yet meets all my qualifications as listed above.  All it took was a vintage wooden picture frame (minus glass and back), hot glue gun, scissors, and jute twine. 

I hot glued one end of the jute twine to one edge, then held it to the other edge for easy measuring and cutting, and finally glued the other end in place. 

Although, I just randomly guessed the placing for my twine, you could easily measure out perfect intervals, criss cross twine, or more frequently place the twine to create a more solid look. 

Finally I used paper clips to attach some of my vintage post cards to the twine. 

Now only one more frame to go...hmmmm...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Untold Tales #2: Home Fun

Even prior to the start of this blog, I was an antique store going, thrift store searching, flea market frequenting, yard sale loving girlie.  Which means I have tons of goodies sitting around which you have never saw.  Hence, I bring you the second Untold Tale - to highlight some of my best pre-blog finds. 
Home Fun by Cecil H Bullivant is a rather unique book, at least I've never saw anything quite like it.  Published in 1910, it is basically a big old book of things to do - which comes in handy on those stormy no-electric days. 
To give an example, here are just a small portion of the things listed in the contents:
Amateur Theatricals
Musical Glasses
Ventriloquism in a Month
Concerning Ghosts
Safe Scientific Experiments
The Home Circus
Indoor Fireworks
Elementary Hypnotism
The Powers and Mysteries of Clairvoyance
Telling Fortunes
Parlor Games
Some of those surprised me to find in an older book when I initially purchased it.  As a note: "Vamping Simplified" was also originally featured in the table of contents - however the prior owners tore that one out. 

It is indeed "Profusely Illustrated" as the cover claims.  
Well that's all for now folks!  Linking up over at Young Heart then I'm off to read up on Charades.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

A New Read: Flea Market Style Magazine

I have this thing with magazines.  I really love them.  I buy them, then I look through them, then I fully read them, then I go through and mark the pages I really love, then I go through and cut said pages out and put them in my books (which is another blog post of itself).  I recently picked up a few back issues of this magazine in an antique store for a dollar or two.  I had always saw them in stores and loved the look of them, but never the price tag. 
Well lets just say, the most recent issue was purchased on news stands, full price. 
I can't even bear to cut them up.  I love rereading them over and over again far too much for that. 
What types of articles are we talking that make them that good?  "Tall Order" featured 10 DIY projects for repurposing old ladders.  "Too Cool for School" featured some creative ways to use old school goodies (some of which I may be trying).  "Frame Work" consisted of some awesome ways of framing photos, most of which used items I would have never considered.  Other than those specific project oriented articles, there are also several others on the flea market experience and decorating with all the goodies you find there.  So basically it's like a little idea book that just so happens to expand the wish/to look for lists. 
And makes me crave the flea market season like crazy.  I'm ready for it.   

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It all started with a desk.

I accidentally started out the New Year with some big changes.  To begin with, I have to mention that my room used to be horribly outdated - and by outdated I don't mean classically vintage - but stuck in my tweeny decor from 6 years ago when we moved into this house.  It was getting old and I longed to change it, however I was completely aware that it was to be a big job so therefore I kept putting it off.  Well, on a recent trip to my grandmother's, I came home with a beautiful antique spindle writing desk.  You can bet your bottom dollar I wanted this lovely in my room.  So it began. 

Apologies for the awful phone pic.  Thrift finds include the trash can, blue jar holding pens, saltine tin, chair, and bucket beneath holding magazines.  None of which cost above five dollars. 
I had to move out my old computer desk as well as my ancient desktop computer.  Taking advantage of the opportunity, I rid out all my clothing and sent two full bags off to Goodwill.  In addition, several other bags were sent off in the trash of things which I at present have no clue why I kept so long.  After the long and agonizing clean out process, I finally got to move on to the fun stuff. 

Keep in mind, this all had to be done on a small budget.  I worked with all my existing furniture aside from the desk switch out.  To begin with, I purchased new curtain rods as well as some sheer panels.  Then in an effort to save money, I made some rough curtains using unbleached muslin.  By taking this option, it cost me about a quarter of what it would have to purchase them. 

I splurged on some small details including a new switch plate cover, coat hook, lamp, and shade. 
In order to wrangle some of my random clutter, I purchased some wooden crates from The Home Depot for around $8 a piece.  Not too shabby all stacked together in my opinion. 

All the vintage pennants were flea market finds for under three dollars a piece. 
My biggest purchase involved new bedding.  Although I was hoping to put this splurge off awhile in order to save, after checking online, I decided that this was definitely the bedspread I wanted and I didn't want to miss the opportunity and have them discontinue it.  Therefore, I gathered some guts and got the bedspread, shams, bed skirt, a new sheet set, as well as a couple new fluffy pillows.  Now that's it's all in my room, I'm happy with my decision.  The sheets perfectly match the curtains and the flecks in the muslin are also reflected in the comforter. 

The best part was that I was able to accessorize with some of my accumulated thrift finds. 

The crate was amongst my junking finds from my mom's and the basket was a two dollar flea find. 

The last thing left on the to-do list is to come up with some awesome wall art...and this is what I'm working with.  Hmmm, I think it has possibilities. 

Overall I have to say I'm quite pleased with the transformation.  It definitely is more fitting now!   

Tip-Top and to the Thrift Shop!

The thrifts have been slow around here.  Very Slow.  Alas, I have thankfully not become discouraged and continue to check frequently, so I have found a few small goodies to share.  I've also been hitting the antique stores more frequently.  Last week during some mother daughter bonding time, I got to hit up four Goodwill stores as well as two antique stores... normally this would mean a full car...but sadly the quantity wasn't up to par...luckily, I found a few awesome pieces on my wish list.
I finally found a complete canister set without any cracks in it, hallelujah!  Okay, so it isn't the most beautiful at the moment, but I'm betting a magic eraser and a silver paint pen will really improve them.  And if not?  Well, the full set was only a dollar so it was worth the gamble.  At the same store, I also picked up the Pyrex shaker as well as the turquoise Hamilton Beach Mix Master.  The milkshake maker is missing a beater...but luckily i have the exact same one in cream.  I've always prefered the turquoise one though, so I figure I'll switch the beater over to it and re-donate the cream one.  I picked up the fantastic vintage metal apple trash can at an antique store for $5... I think it's adorable and is already being put to work in my room.  
 But what are those tubey thingys?
At the same antique store, I found these glass Pyrex Lab Ware test tubes.  I don't know what to do with them, but they're the first I've seen and they hold a certain appeal.  Any suggestions?

We have a continuation of the junking experience in my mom's garage before their big move: a vintage metal sign for Tip-Top bread.  I love the colors on it and think it will be perfect in my future kitchen.  Thanks Mom!

Over the weekend, I got to go out for some father-daughter time and talked my dad into hitting an antique store.  I was pretty tickled with the few items I had found.  I picked up the metal bread box for $8.  Although it is missing the handle, it should be easy enough to fix up.  As for the chippy spots?  I love them!  The blue mason jar and "Merry Christmas!" Shiny Brite ornament also came from the same store.  The Pyrex See-and-Store canister, two salt dips, and odd green plastic and glass Corning pitcher like creation were gifts from my mom.  Does anyone have any additional information on the pitcher?

An alternative view of the bread box.
Well that's all for now folks, hopefully next week brings some more fruitful wallet can't take the antique stores forever.  Hopefully y'all are having some better luck. 

Linking up at Thriftasaurus, The Nifty Thrifty, Rednesday, and Apron Thrift Girl!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A New Read: I Brake for Yard Sales

I have a bad habit to share.  As a college student, every semester prior to the start of classes I go through the joyous process of ordering overpriced textbooks that I may not even utilize depending on the class.  During this process I have a tendency to add some extra goodies to my amazon shopping cart.  I know, it's not exactly the most frugal practice, but it's one of the only ways I have found to remain sane.  Somehow, my anger lessens at my $100 management textbook when I also find something fun in the box.  This year I purchased season one of Mad Men and Lara Spencer's book I Brake for Yard Sales (and Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions, and the Occasional Dumpster).  Intriguing title isn't it?

Well tonight I finished my cover-to-cover read of the book and figured I'd put a little review of it out in blog-space.  Overall, I must say I enjoyed it.  It got me rather amped up for the summer flea market season and widened my view of possible things to search for.  I must also note though, that as a seasoned flea market attendee (I have been going at least every other weekend since I was a child), I found very little "new" tips in it for me. 

Throughout the book there were some very interesting before and after pics that I found to be intriguing as well as some good "finds" of her's which she shared.  My only real issue throughout the book wasn't so much with the content, but with the general style featured.  It was focusing far more on the modern mid-century style (think Lucite, faux bamboo, and chartreuse) than I tend to prefer.  Generally I'm more of a shabby country gal. 

As said though, this really was a fun read and filled my time when I didn't really have the time to get involved with a full novel.  If only the "blue-bloods" were mentioned less, *sigh*.  Although I won't be incorporating Lucite into my decor any time soon, there were a few things featured throughout the book that I wouldn't mind finding in the thrifts.  Now onto my next read...well re-read...Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks for the second time before the movie comes out. 

So what have you been reading lately?

McCall's - September 1958

Another inside look at the vintage McCall's magazines in my prior thrift post. Although the may issue had many great photos and advertisements, I found some additional value in this September issue with the actual articles. 
As for the advertisements, I loved this one for Tappan gas ranges.  Although I hope to eventually find an Tappan range older than 1958, this particular brand is my dream. 
This shoe advertisement featured a few pairs which I would love to add to my wardrob.  Clearly they just don't make em like that anymore. 
This dress was featured with the McCall's Patterns.  I love the lines to it as well as the collar. 
Finally, amonst the articles was this one "The Story Noboby tells you..." about the south and segregation. 
There was this photo heavy article on Joanne Woodward that I enjoyed browsing.
Finally, there was "The Riddle of Cary Grant" - whom I personally think is wonderful.  It all started with watching Houseboat when I was younger.  Ironically this article came out around the time of it's release. 
Well lovelies, that is all for now.  I believe now would be a good time to curl up in bed, pop in my old VHS of Houseboat, and grab some hot cocoa to before another day of work tomorrow. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

McCall's - May 1958

As promised, here are some additional pictures from the vintage McCall's magazines I had picked up in my last post.  To begin with, I really love the cover of this May issue, the dress is absolutely adorable.  
This advertisement featured both Betty Crocker and Nestle's and made me quite hungry.  

This Strawberry Festival article created a similar response.  I must say, I love strawberries so I do not doubt I will be putting some of these recipes to use this summer. 

Another of my foodie loves is Philadelphia Cream this advertisement with recipe ideas is also on my to-try list.  

My apologies for some of these pics, I seem to be encountering problems with uploading photos from my computer into blogger, the browse button will not appear.  Therefore all photos must be uploaded from my phone where I am unable to edit them to go the correct direction. 

Please tilt head right for this amazing Pepsi advertisement.  When viewed from the correct direction, it is lovely.   

I was very excited about this particular issue because there was an article on summer cotton dresses.  For instance, I would love to find one of these yellow numbers. 
Also on the lust-list from the article is this blue and green floral one, the detail on the waist is amazing. 

Finally was this polka dot flowy dress with red accessories.  Have I mentioned I have a deep passion for polka dots?

Speaking of summer, there was also this advertisement for Catalina swimwear. 

And last but not lease, a classic, Betsy McCall goes to the children's zoo. 
Well I do believe I have thoroughly increased my excitement for summer.  I don't know about anyone else, but I am itching for flea markets again, especially with my present thrifting drought. Alas, only snow outside my window.  Am I the only one already looking forward to the glorious sunshine?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Not With a Fizzle, but With a Bang.

 And so 2012 draws to a close and 2013 emerges with all it's promises of the future.  To be honest, this past year has been completely fair to me.  I can only hope that 2013 will hold steady at this and perhaps be even better.  But then again that is human nature, to strive for consistent improvement. 
I'm quite excited to share my first goodies of the year with everyone.  Although my luck in the thrifts has been lacking, it has given me opportunities to stop in at some antique stores that I don't frequent on a regular basis (primarily due to higher cost).  I was still tickled at what I found for (decently) good prices. 
First up!  I got the Folley turquoise handled sifter and Shiny Brites all from the same store.  My total there was a little less than $10...not quite as awesome as thrift prices...but I got an indent ornament...and this makes me happy. 
The rest all came from a different antique store that I've had pretty decent luck with.  Especially with chairs; I must have gotten 5 chairs from there.  I was a little disappointed they hadn't gotten more chairs in, but I still found some goodies.  I grabbed these two McCall's magazines from May and September of 1958 for $3 a piece, in excellent condition.  I just loved reading them...they had some amazing advertisements and articles on clothing.  I hope do be posting some interior photos from them soon. 

I was also pretty tickled to find this Encyclopedia of Cooking in 24 Volumes Binder.  As you have likely gathered....I love the little cute cookbooks.  This is like a complete set of them all in a cute little package. 
And it was only $5...I consider that a score! 
Last but certainly not least we have my new compass divided casserole dish in use!  I found out that the divided casseroles are perfect for serving warm dips...  For instance, for the new years ever shin dig at my house, I made buffalo chicken dip... the problem is that I like it really spicy and that very few others are in agreement on that.  The solution:  Half the casserole is spicy, the other half is far more mild.  Perfect. 
Well that's all for now folks!  I'm linking up on The Nifty Thrifty at a living space  Many great wishes that your upcoming 2013 is wonderful!  Happy Thrifting!