Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Regular While

Southern expressions are quaint and sometimes puzzling; especially if you haven't lived here for long. I'm a Southerner born and bred, so I am used to it. I use these expressions myself without even thinking about it.

My talkative, older neighbor came by  the house this afternoon to drop off some squash and zucchini from his garden and we discussed plants and recipes and canning for  awhile.

He was explaining to me how he goes about canning stewed tomatoes.

"I bring them to a bol (with a southern accent, 'boil' is just one consinant, pronounced without the 'i') and I turn down the heat an let em cook down for a regular while, then I hot pack the jars and can'nem."

A Regular While basically means "an appropriate amount of time", varying according to whatever it is you're doing, or where you might be going.

For stewing tomatoes for canning, A Regular While of simmering is about 20 minutes.

For driving distances, A Regular While is open to interpritation.

If you're from someplace else, but have been living in the South for A Regular While, you might be considered an honorary Southerner, like my husband, who has been living in the South for 12 years.

The neighbor and I shot the breeze  about getting the deer out of his tomato patch,  methods of cooking okra, how I like my brand of canner, Kevin's work schedule, hay field yields for the first cutting, and of course, canning stewed tomatoes. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.

Or, I should say, A Regular While.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blackberry Season

It's Summer. And summer means blackberries (among other things). This year they're really abundant! I can't remember when I have seen so many. And they're fat and juicy; not puny and tart like most years.

So this calls for black berry pie! I made one for our Father's Day picnic last weekend.  Yum!

Wild Blackberry Pie

4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 pie crusts
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. sugar

Add the flour and sugar to 3 1/2 cups blackberries. Place in pie pan lined with one pie crust.  Place remaining 1/2 cup berries over the top. Top with second pie crust, crimp edges, and make a few slits in the top. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. 

Bake 15 min. at  425 degrees; then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 20 - 25 min. more.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tip: always use glass pie pans. The crusts turn out so much better than with metal ones. Also, use the refrigerated pie crusts or make your own; the crusts that come in the freezer section of the grocery store are really gross. A nice home made filling deserves a good crust(s). 

Here are a couple more pics of our picnic....... I made some flower arrangements with flowers in my yard and in the fields on the farm.

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Good Looking Sister

My sister recently gave herself a "Bettie Page" style haircut. (Bettie Page was a pin up model in the 50s) I still can't believe my sister has the guts to cut her own bangs, but anyway......

We had a Fathers Day picnic at my house yesterday and she was sporting a great vintage look so naturally I had to snap some pics.

She had asked me about a method of tying a scarf on your head in Rosie the Riveter fashion, and I steered her towards the tutorial on Solanah's blog, Vixen Vintage - which is the best one I have ever seen, by far. 

I also instructed my sister to invest in a  tube of red lipstick if she was going to go with these kinds of vintage looks.

I think she pulled it off really well, don't you?


I am sponsoring a giveaway on Kellie's blog "Accordion to Kellie".  Here are the items I am giving away:

For details on entering, you have to visit her blog.

I'd like to welcome all my newest followers; thanks for stopping by and hanging around, too!

Y'all come back now, 'hear?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Work Perk

The people I work for have a hedge of blueberry bushes in their back yard; and I am allowed to pick all I want and take them home.

Organic, lovely blueberries with no pesticides or chemicals of any kind sprayed on them.



By the way, my third generation zinnias are thriving. I got a bag of dried flower heads from my friend Jackie two years ago; last year I planted them and cut off all the heads as they dried up and saved them, planting them again this year - and they're just as healthy as can be. I think zinnias are essential to any cottage style garden and I am thrilled I can continue harvesting my own flower seeds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Boho Maxi Skirt

I have loved the maxi skirt look for awhile now. It reminds me of my Mom. My mom was a true, genuine "Bohemian" hippy in Florida the late 60s - 70s. I mean the real deal. Handmade leather moccasins, Volkswagen Bus, bell bottom jeans, peasant shirts, beads, long hair, health food.... all the things that qualify people as hippies and living the bohemian lifestyle, she did/was.

I usually wear my skirts knee length or maybe just above; but the maxi skirt look has been nagging me. I have always admired the look on ladies with a long, slim shape; and never thought I could pull it off with my short, stubby legs. I passed one up a few months ago in a gorgeous lavender and purple print, but I kept thinking about it afterwords, and regretting not buying it.

So when I found this one yesterday I snatched it up. I figured either I would love it, or hate it; and for $4.00 there was no huge loss if I did end up despising it.

I wore it to work today, and I find myself really liking it! I wouldn't say  I love it,  but I definitely like it. It is very cool and breezy. I think it's a keeper.

Skirt: Goodwill, $4.00
Tank top: H&M
Sandals: Thrifted
Locket Necklace: Etsy
Straw hat: Vintage; made in Italy. Giveaway building at  my recycling center - that's right!! FREE
Carved wood bangle: Thrifted, $2.99
Metal bangles: Target

(I only include prices on newly purchased items I have never shown before.)

You can buy an identical skirt on Etsy; click here. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Road

The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.
- J.R.R. Tolkien

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hick Chick.

My sister and I had a bit  of  fun in the hayfield after we returned from a baby shower to help the rest of the family pick up hay bales on the farm.

Yes, that is one of my husband's collection of International Harvester tractors.

And yes, I have driven it.

The back tires are taller than I am, and it intimidates the heck out of me, and I don't drive it very often - but a farm girl's gotta do what a farm girl's gotta do.

Dress: Marshalls. Purchased for my Grandmother's funeral three years ago. I cannot put on this dress and not think of that day. 
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Jessica Simpson, thrifted. 
Necklace: Vintage. Milk glass beads. 
Ring: Vintage 60s, Etsy

Friday, June 8, 2012

Color Blocking

I know "color blocking" has been a huge big deal this Spring and for the Summer, too.

I am not sure how I feel about it. I went out and bought myself some teal jeans and I just haven't brought myself to wear them outside of the house yet. It doesn't help that they fit weird on me. But that is a wholenuther story.

Like mint green is a wholenuther story. I am not convinced that mint green is going to last very long, and those persons who went out and bought entire wardrobes for Spring and Summer built around  mint green articles of clothing may come to regret that impulse decision.

(When did "wholenuther" become a word, anyway? Is it even a word? Because I say it all the time.)

So while the one "color blocking" experience might be wearing teal jeans with a coral shirt, I am naive, and thought color blocking was this (until I was enlightened by some show I saw on TV about trends for Spring):

Suede color block oxford shoes, 1960s, size "totally small" and "painfully narrow".

Color block suede handbag, 1960s, and yes, this was also in a post from a few days ago, so?

A purse I sold a long time ago.

This was what they called "color block" in the 60s. I personally find it..... mysterious, and a bit odd - like mint green clothing, for instance.  But hey. Whatever, man.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

You Know It's NOT Vintage If...

I read a lot of fashion blogs... you know, the ones where there is a photo every day of an outfit and the breakdown of each thing and where it came from and how much and so on.
I've done some posts like that myself; but it's really not my "thing" - too stressful, putting together an outfit a day and dolling myself up to be presentable in front of a camera.
Plus, I feel like an idiot, taking photos of myself. And most of the time I look like a (fat) idiot.

But there are some people out there with a knack for this kind of thing and I am amused by those blogs so I read a lot of them. I especially like the ones where all the items in the outfit were thrifted and cost hardly anything! Love it.

But sometimes I get really annoyed with how the definition of "vintage" is tossed about kind of carelessly to describe items of vague origin.

Items of vague origin does not equal vintage, lovely people.

For one thing, the term "vintage" was something that just filled the void in the fashion universe for a term to describe items that are old but not necessarily antique, if you know what I mean. (In my opinion.)

"Vintage" is a word that basically describes an item crafted in a certain era - any era. For instance, if I make a ceramic object today, it's "vintage" would be 2012, therefore making it "vintage" 2012.

But in the fashion/collecting world the term "vintage" means anything older than 20 years old, but not old enough to be "antique".

So back to fashion blogs...... (And, unfortunately, some Etsy shops I have seen, and reported, for peddling items of mysterious origin - and often, very obvious, modern origins -  as "vintage", as well).....

Often I see a great outfit with the breakdown reading something like: Pants: Target. (check) Top: H&M (check) Necklace, Forever 21 (check) Shoes, Marshalls (check) Purse, vintage. Ummm, not check.  That purse is totally modern, sorry. In fact I saw it at Ross or someplace last year.

- If you bought it at Goodwill and it has no tags in it, that does not equal vintage.

- If a friend gave it to you and you have no idea what brand it is, that does not make it vintage.

- If the tags in it are a known line from a department store, but from a few years ago, and you bought it at Goodwill, that does not make it vintage.

-Just because you bought it at Goodwill, does not automatically make it vintage.

- If it is currently being sold at a department store, discount store, or any store, it is not vintage.

- If your friend made it it is not vintage.

- If your mom pulled it out of her closet and gave it to you, it might be vintage, but check to make sure.

- If you bought it at American Eagle and it looks vintage, that does not equal vintage.

- If you bought it at Goodwill and it has no tags and you can't think of how to break it down in your outfit breakdown, say it's "unknown" or something;  not vintage (unless it really is vintage).

- If it's new but has been altered, dyed, or re arranged in any kind of way, it is not vintage, it's re-fashion. Which rocks, btw.

-If you bought it at Goodwill and it's Target's clothing line from two years ago, and it's frumpy and worn out, and the patina is awesome, that does not make it vintage. That makes it frumpy and worn out, with vintage patina. 

-If it's from the mid 90s it's not vintage. Some vintage sellers (myself included) would say that nothing from the 90s is vintage, but according to Etsy's definitions, at least, some 90s items are Etsy legal for being sold as "vintage". Some people I know (myself included) would question whether some things from the 80s are "vintage", too. Some sellers tag items as vintage 80s without giving reasons why they know it's from the 80s... and try to get away with tagging an item made in, say, 2000 as "1980s" like the "1980s" is just a virtual bin for all somewhat cool looking items of mysterious date. Back to the "Items of mysterious origin" thing again...

Today's trends leaning so much in the direction of yesterday's fashions tends to blur the lines between vintage and "vintage inspired". I was in H&M in Virginia Beach with my sisters when I heard with my own ears someone pick up a dress and exclaim "I love this! It's so vintage!" Backing up my sad observation that people are not identifying and appreciating true vintage items. And the depressing fact that, with vintage looks increasing in popularity, modern clothiers are cranking out the vintage inspired fashions and stores are stocking racks with what looks just like real vintage pieces; and naturally they're priced so that they're pretty "cheap" in comparison to real vintage.While I love the trend towards vintage these days, it kind of stinks for vintage sellers like myself - people would much rather buy a vintage inspired dress for $50 than shell out $250 for the real McCoy.

So I guess you could say this is "rant" or that I am "venting" here.... yes and yes. Not that any fashion bloggers read my blog. Not that anyone reads my blog - because I blog for me. It's like scrap booking and journaling all in one, for  me. And if others look at it, so be it.

If you are a fashion blogger and you're reading this, or if you know a fashion blogger who needs to read this, please take a bit of advice from a vintage lover, collector, self proclaimed amateur fashion historian and vintage seller who tries to make a bit of a living identifying and selling "the real deal" vintage - learn what makes vintage fashion vintage. respect it. Identify it correctly.

There are tons of resources out there, on the net and also in books and such.

Thank you.

*climbs down from soapbox*

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Old Lady Pocketbooks - I Love 'Em

It was my adoration of vintage purses and hats that got me into this whole vintage "thing" in the first place. As a teenager I loved old purses and hats and collected them; even though at the time it was a little "odd".  To this day I find it terribly difficult to let go of old purses. Something in me wants to hoard them all for myself. I hoard quite a few for myself, still.

Last week I patronized my niece's Youth Group yard sale fundraiser. I confess, I had been tipped off by my sister in law that there were, in her words, "old lady pocketbooks". This, of course, piqued my interest.

So we went.

And the promise of "Old Lady Pocketbooks" was delivered upon. As I sorted through dusty boxes like a tornado, I kept stacking the purses (and other items) up on my husbands outstretched arms while he just stood there shaking his head and grinning at me. 

Keeping this 70s leather shoulder bag for myself... I am getting into shoulder and cross-body bags these days. This one is really nice, soft leather.

 Plus, I am keeping this little navy blue leather handbag as well. For awhile, anyway.

These purses are for sale in my shop:

1950s Black boxy vinyl purse

1950s white leather purse by Kessler

1970s Bohemian "carpet" shoulder bag

1940s brown suede handbag

1950s Black patent "leather" kelly style purse 

1960s color block suede purse

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Vintage Bed Before and After

I have funny hang ups about beds. I like beds with tall headboards and foot boards, and posts. Our bed in our master bedroom is a vintage  mahogany (short) four poster with carved rails that I picked up  at the Salvation Army store for $30 the first year we were married. One of the most outstanding finds of my entire life, to date.

In our guest room I had a vintage "spindle" style (but not the true antique turned "spindle" pieces from 100 years ago) wood bed I bought from a guy on Craigslist and painted white. It just wasn't "tall" enough for my liking so I've been "kinda but not really" looking for a replacement.

That is, until I can find a antique iron bed, which is my ultimate goal for the guestroom.

Last week, I bought a (short) four poster at Goodwill for $20. It was painted in a dingy coat of almond colored paint that looked like it had seen better days.

I primed it with Killz and shot it with white Kraylon.

No curtains..... my light, white gauze basic curtains were in the wash when I took this photo. Not a fan of curtains much anyway. The guest room is done in pink and vintage green; but I am soon going to be ditching the pink altogether. I have fallen out of love with pink. :/
The bed is temporary but I like it much better than the spindle piece; which I listed on a local Facebook "Yard Sale group" page and sold an hour later for $20.00 which made this new bad basically free; except for the paint I bought. (If you are not a member of your local Facbook Yard Sale group, I suggest you join one or start one! I have made some extra dough this week by listing my items; and they sold so much faster than when I list on Craigslist.)

Of course I always layer beds in vintage linens.... soft old floral cotton sheets, embroidered pillowcases, chenille bedspreads, and pillows made from vintage linens... the Crazy quilt pillow with pom pom trim I made from a crazy quilt top I found in the barn when I moved in here. The yellow chenille pillow is a Mary Jane's Farm pillow I bought at Goodwill. The vintage yo yo pillow I bought at Salvation Army, and the embroidered pillowcases I bought at an estate sale in Michigan for $.75.

The bedside table I found in the back barn under a pile of old tobacco sticks. It used to look like this:

And now, painted in my favorite vintage green (Kraylon's "celery").....

So there you have it... a little Before and After action for your Sunday! (Or whatever day it is when you read this....)

I am getting excited about the end of my big stair case revival project; it.looks.gorgeous. The old walnut steps are just...... beautiful. It was so worth it. I will never understand why people covered up gorgeous old wood "back in the day". I am finishing the painting, and then I have a stack of vintage framed art I've been collecting for the wall... and then I will post the reveal. :)