Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I was going to post something entirely useful and sensible but it will have to wait.

My brain is all a-flutter.


It's not like I haven't seen the Australian "horse adventure" movies before. I grew up watching a mini series in the 1980's called "Five Mile Creek", all about a stagecoach line in the Australian bush. Full of horses, costumes, moral lessons, and - of course - tough, muscular, scruffy, manly, sweaty, hard-working men on horses.

Then there was The Man From Snowy River, and the sequel.... and I fell for Tom Burlinson in that hat on that scrumptious horse jumping off that mountain side every single time I watched it.


Just as the romantic lead females all did in the movies/episodes. How could you not?


After all those years, I never got over horses, which explains my barn full of 7 horses..... and all their "stuff".
And indeed I fell for - and married - my own real-life "tough horseman", Kevin - who bears a resemblance to the Man From Snowy River. (Except for the period clothes.) (And mine is American, not Australian.)

What inspired these reflections?

Last night we watched "Australia" the movie - which I had seen before, when it came out in 2008. But hadn't seen it since then - and I was reminded of how much I love it.

The movie takes place in 1939 right as WW2 was cranking up. It stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. If for some reason you have not seen this movie, go thou to your Nexflix account and rent it. Or buy it on eBay like I did for $10.00.

Here are a few reasons why you should do this.

(I need this riding outfit. I need it, I tell you. I cannot ride without it.)




Oh yeah, and there is this:

Need any more convincing?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Recent Vintage Buy

Yes, I am a seller of fine vintage items.


I am a bigger buyer/collector of them. I keep far more than I sell.

So - last weekend, I popped into a local antiques shop and bought out the owner's entire collection of vintage ladies hats!

I had been eyeballing them for the past month, and buying a couple here and there over the past few weeks. The shop is going out of business (*sniff*) and she is eager to make deals on all the items.

She gave me the hats for 50% off her asking prices, and "threw in" the hat boxes, and two Styrofoam display heads (which I will paint).
While I was there I bought about 10 hat pins, and some adorable 1950s clip on earrings. (Which I did not get pics of yet.)


I had to sort through several big stashes of jumbled up costume jewelry just to pick out the four or five pair I chose.

Here are some of the hats (The pictures aren't so great; I apologize):


A pale blue bridal head piece. (Or Bride's maid head piece.)

Black velvet


I paid the most for this one. It is a red, white a blue "Uncle Sam" style top hat with a patent leather hat band and bow.

This is my favorite. It is white satin, beaded all over. The veiling is shredded, however.

This is probably the oldest one - ivory cashmere.


This one is like a pile of ruffles with a veil! A little weird looking, but unique!


There were several more floral ones, and plain black ones; about 16 all together.

I loaded them up in my truck and away I went. :)

Next week I plan on going back after some handbags.

I'm crossing my fingers for that half price deal.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things My Mother Gives Me

I was at my Mom's yesterday afternoon. "I got something for you", she said, walking over to her car.

She opens the back door and there is a big box in the back seat.

Inside, swathed in plastic bags, was a set of vintage violet china.



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My Mom knows I collect violet china.... in fact, I have a whole vast collection of it and she has bought me nearly every piece.

This makes 6 or 7 sets of vintage china for me. Not including all the misc. pieces. I have literally box upon box of vintage china that I never even look at.

But this set is different..... it is an instant heirloom, because of who gave it to me.

Thanks, Mom! You're the greatest.

I should take this opportunity to make a few suggestions on cleaning/storing vintage china: All china should be washed before use or storage. Often, old china will have grime on it from storage or built up grime from use. There's no reason to be afraid to use it once it is thoroughly cleaned.

Place a towel in the bottom of your sink to avoid chips, cracks, and breaks. Use warm water and a grease-fighting dish soap, and gently wash the pieces. Use an old toothbrush for hard to get spots. Be careful handling old tea cups by their handles! Hold by the bowl of the cup only! Don't use any abrasive scrubbers on painted china or gold edging, or any kind of design on the piece. You could damage the piece and reduce it's antique value and beauty. Drip dry or wipe with a soft towel.
Wrap pieces in acid- free tissue or plain newspaper and carefully pack in a plastic tub or sturdy cardboard box. Label the box if you're storing it among other boxes, to avoid accidental mishandling and a big china disaster!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Is Your Favorite Vintage Fashion Era?

I always said I was born in the wrong era.... that I had an old-fashioned soul and was out of place in the modern world.

I've also been known to lament in my journal that "I feel like the only pair of boots in a high-heels world".

I separate my fashion era faves into 2 categories: "Antique" and "Vintage".

Antique being pre-1920s; and Vintage being 1920s and after. I don't know if this is accurate from a professional standpoint, but personally, that's how I look at it.

My favorite "antique" era is pre-WW1; right around 1910 - 1912. My wedding gown was a repro from his era. And the movie "Titanic" is a great example of the fabulous fashions from this time.



And from the vintage category, my favorite is the 1930's - 40's.


This photo is from the movie "Australia" which I LOVE and I adore every single item of clothing Nicole Kidman wears in the film. And Hugh Jackman isn't bad too look at, either. And the horses - Oh!... the horses.


A fashion era I confess I despise is the antebellum era; the mid to late 1800's. Hoopskirts are miserable contraptions and I hate them. And I know; because I own one, and I have worn it on many occasions for contra dancing events, and I hated it. My hoop skirt is now at my mother's house in her walk in closet; it is the only thing I did not take with me when I moved away.

What fashion eras are your faves, and why?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer Stats

I love summer. I always miss it when it's gone; and pine for it until it comes around again.

Here are a few stats from my summer:

49 batches of my home made potato salad (well, maybe not THAT many. But it was a lot!)

2500 bales of hay, and counting.....

1 new kitten, "Spook"

1 new puppy, "Dodge"

0 fish caught, for my part; though I did try

110 quarts of my own home grown produce that I canned myself (Not including the ones we already ate.....)

60 + days of record setting heat over 90 degrees

2 bffs moving far, far away

1 beloved Grandmother passing on

7 nieces and nephews living nearby to play with and watch grow up

3 awesome musicals my niece Abigail performed in

0 good books read. Bad, BAD!

1 trip to Michigan

2 weddings

0 work done on the kitchen remodel....grrrrrrr

0 camping trips. Too hot!

1 piano set to rights, finally

Not enough time horseback riding

8 hours at the Karen and David O'Connor eventing camp in Lexington, VA!

Not enough family get togethers

2 beloved horse buddies we said goodbye to

Three months-(ish) of living in my own personal paradise!

Now, if it would just cool down a little bit, so it could feel like autumn.

Y'all come back now, 'hear?

Friday, September 17, 2010

New For Fall

Here are a couple photos to give you a sample of what new things I will be listing in my Etsy shop for Autumn.

1980's Retro 1950's dress. So twirly.

Pristine, textured wool dress coat, 1960's. Mink collar. Looks like it was never worn; it is in absolutely superb condition.

You have no idea how horrible it was to do a 2 1/2 hour photo session on a 90 degree day photographing wool coats, etc. Upstairs, in a non-air conditioned old building.


I wish it would cool down, already!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Room For Princesses

I have 5 Princesses (nieces), and some of them come and visit me from time to time; and sometimes they stay the night.
Abigail Grace, Alexis Monet, Elianna Amalie, Alana Faith, and Emilie Kate need somewhere to lay their princess heads when they come; so an upstairs chamber in my house is designated for them. (Although, for the record, Elianna has never stayed the night with me to date. She lives in Illinois, and they don't get down here much.) I actually have more nieces than that, on my husband's side of the family, I have Aloh, Melinda, Katelyn, Brianna, and Shawnee.... but they're all grown-up ladies; or very nearly grown up ladies. :)

This is the way the room looked earlier today:


I have been looking at romantic bed canopies and had decided on the one in the Victorian Trading Co. Catalog which is something like $30-$40 dollars. OR I was going to try making one - har, har.

But last week I found one at Sallie's (Code for Salvation Army Store - which I love to shop, because the money I spend goes to an excellent cause, and because the ladies at the store are now my buddies) for a mere $3.50!

So I grabbed a package of these:


Made a pilot hole, got the hook in my ceiling, did a little shifting of the furniture, and "walla"!! Now my Princess chamber looks like this:


And just to give a better feel of the room, there is this:


The room doubles as a stashing spot for part of my vintage collection/inventory. We have no closets in this house; I guess they didn't have much use for closets in the 20s when it was built. We're going to build closets ourselves; but we haven't gotten around to it yet - thus the clothing racks. Yuk.

Oh yeah, and lest you think the room is 100% perfect, Princesses need amusements, and here is what I have on the other side of the room in the "amusement" department:


One of the most adorable features of this room is it's child-sized door. The door opens at chin-height on me. Adults have to duck to get in.... making it perfect for kids.

I also enjoy collecting child-sized furniture, some of which you can see in the photos.

I only wish I had a third bedroom for the cowboys in my life: Dylan, Ethan, and Brendan, Charlie, and Lawrence. I would do it all up in horse/western/cowboy theme. :)

Happy Collecting, everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Black Hats

Wow. By no design of my own, I have obtained a lot of black hats recently. I guess this could be considered a good thing, seeing as we're coming up on Halloween costume time, winter time, formal time, etc. But as a person who prefers variety in my shop, I think I need to try to get a little more color in the hat dept. :)






Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Finds

As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite things to do is go to civic, community fund raisers and spend money. Churches, Women's Clubs, Preservation/Historical Societies, Etc. put on the biggest, best food/tag sale events.

So when one of our local fire departments held a "Community Yard Sale" this Saturday, I was SO there!

Mom and I packed up some of our junk in my truck and paid for our spot on the grass behind the fire department.

It was a chilly, cloudy day, and threatened to drizzle, but there were lots of people there with lots of good stuff to buy.

I made a grand total of $.75 selling my own items, and spent $25.00, not including what I spent later on food!

I bought this cute little antique medicine cabinet/shelf thingy. It closes with a skeleton lock, but the key is missing.


Also in the photo is a vintage 1950's genuine snake skin purse. The label inside indicates it was custom made by a designer in Hong Kong. I am still in the process of researching it, to find out it's worth. A find like that is rare; and I plan on keeping it for my personal collection.

I also bought these sweet canisters for $.50. Not really in the color pallet in my home, but still pretty darned cute!


I also bought several pieces of rose themed china for pennies each; but I didn't take a photo.

The fire department sounded off the sirens at 9:00 am and a moment of silence was observed in remembrance of those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Later, I bought some yummy, greasy, fattening hot dogs and ribbon fries.

When I said "I would like one of those fries," they picked up a potato, and stuck it in this little device with a crank handle, which shredded the potato into ribbons. Then it went in to the vat of frying oil (mmmmmm) and came out all golden brown, looking like this:


Classic fair "fare". Heheheheh They were so crispy and delicious!

The rain came in at 11:00 am and we had to pack up and leave; but finding that purse was worth it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

This Is Pretty Cool.

Ten things Ree Drummond has learned about blogging. Check it, if you're a serious blogger; or even if you're not; or if you're just thinking about blogging; or if you blog and you're not serious about it; or if you blog and you could care less about it and just do it for kicks; or whatever your reasons are, and whatever your attitude towards blogging is; this is interesting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My "Butterfly" Table

I bought a "Caterpillar" table at the Salvation Army yesterday; and turned it into a Butterfly. I love giving "old stuff" a new life! (Incidentally, on the same trip to "Sallie's", I bought a chenille bedspread for our bed, another 1940's, very unusual, baseball player design chenille bed spread - and a tulle bed canopy, just like the one I was looking at buying from the Victorian Trading Co. - for $3.50. *goofy grin* I will use it in my guest room, which is geared toward my girly nieces.)



"Dodge. Leave it! That is Mommy's project area." ("Leave it" is the command we use to tell Dodge to leave whatever he is doing and pay attention. He is learning it very well! And it is better than saying "NO" all the time.)

"I sowwy, Mommy."


I love the Krylon spray paint. I am so glad I decided against brushing the paint on.
It goes on smooth and evenly, with very little dripping unless you get too close with the can.



Table: $9.00
Paint: $2.97 each
Total: @$15.00

I dropped by to see my friend who owns an antique shop and she spied the piece and said, "That is a nice table". So I told her about it, and she just gave me this look. A table like this in her shop would be marked about $50 - $60 dollars.

A few tips on DIY painted furniture projects:

1. It doesn't always have to be white. For this table project, I used Krylon paint in "Jade". Which is like a turquoise-y color - my current favorite accent color!

2. Start with a good piece. If it is not sturdy, is falling apart, or is just trashy all together, don't even waste money putting nice paint on it. For some items, you may need to prime the piece - for instance, last summer, I bought a vintage "spindle" bed and the first coats of white paint looked pink because of the varnish bleeding through. I used a Killz primer and that did the trick.

3. Use good paint. I now swear by the Krylon spray paint! I love it! It is faster, smoother, has no brush strokes in it when you're done, no drips, drys fast, no mess.... so do yourself a favor and buy good paint - it's SO worth the few extra dollars.

4. Don't worry about perfection. On this piece, there was a dent in the top; and I left it; I didn't even bother to sand it away. I felt that it added to the vintage "pantita" of the piece. There were also a few spots on the legs where the dark finish showed through in the cracks and crevasses, and I left that as well. Again; it adds to the illusion that the table is an antique. However, if you are after a perfect look, get out the sandpaper and knock yourself out. :)

5. Keep your puppy away from all painting projects..............

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Red Shoes

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I discovered these today, and rescued them. 1980s kitten heels; all leather; hardly worn. Coming soon to my Etsy shop.

Because everyone needs a pair of red shoes.

And because these are too narrow for me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Favorite Blogs

I've been venturing out into blogging land and discovered some wonderful blogs. I thought I'd share their links with you and spread the love.

Betty's Vintage Musings: Vintage living, decor, fashion, hair, make up - you name it. I love that the writer dresses authentically 1950s just about all the time. Down to the last detail.

The Vintage Housewife..(& Her Closet!)Another vintage diva who is into all the fashion details and dresses vintage every day!Such commitment. :)

Dandelion Daydreamer - An Irish girl living by the beach in the South of France and consequently offering some really outstanding European vintage clothes and accessories in her Etsy shop.

Dream in Cream: A fabulous vintage decor blog and a huge inspiration to me. I love the whites and creams and neutrals.

Life Is Too Short Not To Wear Red Shoes: Super groovy is all I can say. :)

Anyway, check these girls out. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

What I Bought

I haven't done this in a while.....

Here is what I picked up at my favorite charity shops in town yesterday when I stopped by:

Vintage hot pink satin clutch handbag.

Pink Depression glass cake plate. I love depression glass.

White straw hat.

Hunt scene print in the original frame, 1940's

NOT vintage. But cute. And practically new. They still had the stickers on them. And they were only $3.50.