Fowl Play

Thanksgiving looks really different this year for most of us. The thing that hasn’t changed is that we’ve seen so much Thanksgiving blog fodder, starting from just before Halloween up to this week. Which means we’ve been subjected to a pretty constant stream of holiday badness—just like always! God help us, Christmas decoration started showing up a couple of weeks ago, so we had Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas crowding around each other all at once. It was disorienting—which honestly isn’t hard for us, since we’re teetering on the edge of not knowing what day it is constantly. I feel for retailers who need to beef up their sales while trying to compensate for fewer shoppers with smaller budgets.

All of this week’s offerings are turkeys in one way or another. We are constantly amazed that such a stately bird can be portrayed in so many zany ways.

We kind of liked this pin:

For us, the problem is paying four whole dollars for a pin that we would wear once a year! Plus, it has some wear on it, so we really think it’s probably worth a dollar or two. Yes, we are that cheap! If we’re going to plunk $4 on a well-loved brooch, it needs to be something better than this. Now, I noticed it was gone fairly soon after we took this picture, so obviously, thriftiness doesn’t run rampant in Fort Collins.

We have quite a few crafty turkeys. I want to start with the ones that made us laugh:

If you were hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you could do worse than have these around the house full of nuts, candy, or even candles. I think it’s the giant fake leaves as tails that put these little pots over the top. The googly eyes don’t hurt, either. Although, on second thought, the candles would need to be somewhere supervised so you don’t turn a holiday gathering into a four-alarm fire. The other good thing about turkey clay pots is that you could fill them up with leftover snacks and send them home with your company. Gift bags are popular, so I don’t think gift turkeys are a bridge too far.

I think that this felted turkey could have been a craft project, slightly more advanced than the flower pots, but still homemade:

I’m less enthusiastic about this because it isn’t all that useful, and felt is sort of problematic on a dinner table full of feasting revelers. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t look the same splashed with gravy or whipped cream. It also has a surprise item in the tail area:

I’m not sure why it needed leaves in amongst the felted tail feathers, buttons, and stitching. I also didn’t realize how thick the turkey was with three good-sized layers. It’s not awful, but not as successful as it wants to be.

Now we’re veering off into the danger zone of holiday crafts. There is a lot going on here, and I have questions:

So, obviously, this is supposed to be a turkey. You tell me that the beak doesn’t look like a duck bill! The weird deflated balloon wattle hanging over it doesn’t distract me one second from the unmistakable round flatness of the beak, er, bill. And, is that ropey hair on top of its head? It sure doesn’t look like feathers. Turkeys are kind of sleek on top, nearly bald if I remember rightly. The tail feathers are okay, but why have the batting show? It’s distracting me from the attempt at folksy charm. This may just be a fabric representation of a Turduck without the en,which is just a waste of everyone’s time!

Well, this turkey is certainly big! If you put some sealer over the paint it could sit outside, which is a point in its favor:

I’m going to just ignore the pilgrim’s hat because it’s necessary to make sure people know that this is a Thanksgiving turkey. What fascinated me about this project is that apparently they painted it with a paintball gun which at least has a fun factor going for it. Hopefully, all the neighbors don’t get their paintball guns out and join the party. This turkey could get lots crazier over the course of one afternoon.

I know that the turkey in the foreground isn’t homemade. These things always mystify me—why does a turkey wear a pilgrim’s outfit and carry a fabric gun, or even a real gun? And looking at said gun, I hate to even speculate what’s in the muzzle. I hope it’s not my least favorite emoji!

No, the amusing part of this picture is what’s going on in the background. Those weird clay pot Pilgrims are certainly being propositioned by a doll shooting for a scarlet “A” of her own. They are probably thinking, “For what we are about to receive, we give thanks!”. We can’t blame shoppers for setting this up; it was all staff.

I don’t know if this was a regular fabric turkey that someone “enhanced” or did it start out all sparkly and bohemian?

You can’t tell in the picture how much sparkle was in that dress. I’m not sure about the nylons (?) without shoes—it is pretty weird looking. I think that they missed the boat with that hat. It would be amusing if they had her wearing something feathered. As we like to say to each other, “We know why this was dropped at a thrift store.” It’s pretty hopeless.

We saw this enormous thing at Joann’s over near the cute squirrels and foxes made out of natural materials. It isn’t bad, necessarily, you would just need a big space to do it justice:

And, definitely not near your fireplace with a merrily burning fire. Again, it’s not a great Thanksgiving if you have to call 911.

I think this was at Tuesday Morning:

Which means it already failed to sell at a different store. I want to like it, even if it’s distressed to look old and has a white metal pumpkin for a body. I think that the tail feathers are cool and interesting, which is distracting me from the rest of it. I want to make a coach for Cinderella from that pumpkin body—Salagadoola mechicka boola

You can’t go wrong with simple decoration and this is a classic:

Just don’t try to pull the turkey from the oven with this on your hand. You could get a serious burn, and start a fire if you weren’t careful.

Don’t forget that we’re doing the drawing for the Whiting-Davis chainmail purse this evening, or maybe tomorrow morning. I forgot to mention that it still has its little mirror in the interior pocket. All you have to do is comment here, on Facebook, or Doll Divas/In the Pink, or email us to get in on the drawing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers in the U.S. Hope everyone stays safe, no matter where you are. Wear a mask when you have to be around others. The lives you save may be someone you love, or a healthcare worker!

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This and That

This year sure is weird. Here we go, headed into the holidays with nary a gathering in sight, at least in my family. I am having a hard time deciding if it is worth a turkey for three! Maybe just a nice big chicken. I know we are all missing family and friends. Deb and I are still being super careful and just going to ARC early on Thursday morning when the store is practically empty. We get a tiny fix, get to see each other, and shop a bit for our Etsy stores. We wear our masks, stay away from others, and only are there for 45 minutes or so. I have discovered the joy of local online estate auctions, and that has been a boon. Here are a couple of sites that might have some in your area:

Both of these have had a few fun local things. You bid on the stuff, and then can go pick it up in person. The companies here are super good. They gather your stuff and hand it to you, while wearing masks. Some of them even have timed pickups. If nothing else, it’s fun to browse.

Luckily, since we still shop, blog fodder continues to appear. Let’s start with this. That way you can spend the rest of the time wondering what it is:

Honestly, we can not decide if this is a three legged anteater, a bear, or something else entirely. Looking at it from the front didn’t help at all either:

At least from the side it looks a whole lot happier, although I have no idea why it should be happy. If I looked like this, I would spend a whole lot of time slinking off into a dark corner and hoping no one saw me. Hmm. Hardly noticed the nice little piece of Iris pattern depression glass behind it. Too bad those aren’t worth anything. Still pretty.

This sounds like us:

I think this would be even better as a doormat. Of course, I am really not that picky about wine. Bring me something pink and make it snappy! White will do if you’re out of pink, just keep that red stuff for yourself. And hey, if it has a screw-on top, well that just makes it easier to get into.

I think this would be vastly improved with some wine, preferably a whole lot of it:

What a lot of sickly sweet angels. I bet they can’t even carry a tune in a bucket, and yet they made a debut on this clock. Notice even the clock couldn’t stand it anymore. See that spring sticking out? It was hoping someone would chuck the whole thing off the stage into a very deep orchestra pit … or a cesspit, who’s being picky?

I know that a few years ago, animal prints were in vogue:

Well, this footstool has it in snakey spades. Was it really necessary to even upholster the legs? I will give kudos to the little Chinese lady who probably did it, as it was a nice neat job. Sometimes you wonder about furniture these days. They go a long way to disguise that there is any wood at all in it, so I just assume everything is made of cardboard and go from there. I get kind of cranky about our remodel-constantly throw-away society. If they made better furniture, you could spend some money, get something you love, and live with it for a long time. If it isn’t good enough to withstand my life, and live to pass on to my kids, it rarely makes it into my home! This would not slither past the front door, or the back one for that matter.

I love cats, I really do:

OK, not these cats. Ugh. I have seen lots of cute versions of these, where the female cat is cuddling up to the male who is rolling his eyes. Here is a pic of cute set. This fails on so many levels. A waste of clay, glaze and kiln time. I’ve threatened to use things as target practice way too many times, so let’s just take a hammer to these and be done with it.

This necklace has just about everything:

We didn’t say it was good, or even attractive, just everything. I don’t know how you even wear something like this, but I will lay odds that your neck would be a peculiar shade of green anytime you had it on for any length of time. Let’s hear it for the nice little 1928 basket pin beside it. Save the other to use as a lethal weapon.

I am a native Colorado girl, well almost, Army brat born in Italy, but I don’t remember that, as we were here by the time I was three months old. Deb has been here quite a while (38 years and counting) and we are proud of our state, but there is no way we are donning this:

While weed may be legal here, we don’t think we can ever get that high. I do have a suspicion the crafter that created this might have been having a bit too much of the “wacky tobacky” though. All we can say is that it would probably keep your ears warm, and it might keep folks from getting too near you.

Alright, we really do need to end with something good, so how about this adorable little muff:

What little girl wouldn’t have been thrilled to find this under the Christmas tree? Perfect for going to church or maybe a trip to the skating rink. A charming little memento of a simpler childhood time. Would that we could all be that young and happy again.

Don’t forget to post a comment here, on Doll Divas or In the Pink to be entered into the drawing for this lovely Whiting & Davis bag to celebrate the end of the purse book. The deadline is 11/20/20. Hardly any entries so far, so hurry and enter:

Well, I hope you came through the election in one piece. I was so glad to see how many people took the chance to make their views heard. I had a social studies teacher in Junior High, who always said, “Voting ensures your right to bitch!” If you don’t vote, then clam up! Whether your candidate won or lost, be proud that you put your two cents in. Thanks for standing up and being counted! Please continue to wear your mask, social distance, and wash your hands. Yes, I know it sucks, but it’s important!

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The Final Chapters: A Century of Bags. Plus a Giveaway!

Well, I just decided to finish off the handbag book with the chapter on 1990–2000 plus some of the designer pages. Even if you aren’t interested in the handbag book, you might want to participate in the giveaway. It will be at the end, and you’ll have a couple of weeks to enter.

According to the author, the 1990s were all about purses as accessories to complement your outfit, or to add some pizzazz, such as a “punch of color”. Women were still dealing with all the things they needed to function during a busy day of corporate soul-sucking, kid wrangling, and maybe if they’re lucky, some evening fun. Capacious bags or totes were still being dragged around, as well as “small, lady-like bags” in the early 1990s. They could have the over-the-arm straps, or shoulder straps. Some of the popular handbag designers were DKNY, Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Fratelli Rossetti, Coach, Mulberry, Sonia Rykiel, Chloe’s 1992, Feragamo, Valentino, Yves St Laurent, and Chanel. They all had different interpretations of the smaller bags, and women bought them up.

Designer backpacks became a thing in the 1980s (nylon bags made by Miuccia Prada), but reached the peak of popularity in the mid 1990s. There were a fair number of materials used, sizes, and some very wild colors. All the designers had their own twists. Their practicality made them popular, and the designers made them attractive.

There was a mood of romanticism sweeping through the beginning of the decade (e.g., Laura Ashley) causing some women to worry that these “sweet and dainty” bags and clothing style would set them back in the workplace, after fighting and clawing their way to be taken seriously. Other women thought that self-confidence would cover a wide variety of styles both at work and out on the town. Designers were starting to coordinate fashion styles with the accompanying accessories such as jewelry, shoes, and yes, handbags:

There was also a fondness for “the good old days” with some purse shapes channeling the stylings of the 1950s. There were the vintage/antique styles of Ana Hindmarch, Dolce & Gabbana, and Anne Sui versus the minimalistic and modern styles of Bill Amberg, Dollargrand, and Jill Sander. It was pretty much pick what you like and carry it. Purses were made of leather, fabric, and man-made materials, with some see-through PVC bags and totes being made by the likes of Prada, Ferragamo, and Chanel. Animal prints and themes were popular again, from leopard spots and tortoiseshell, to reptile skin. However, it was more popular to use faux fur, tortoiseshell, and even lizard or snakeskin.

Shoulder straps became even more popular as the decade went on, although there was an oval cutout handheld style by Gucci that contrasted with the longer shoulder straps.

Evening bags were quite distinct from daytime styles. They were decorated with sequins, rhinestones, embroidery, and cut stones and were made by the fanciest designers such as Paloma Picasso, Nina Ricci, Yves St Laurent, Lacroix, and Herve Leger. Velvet and silk drawstring bags matched the fashions of the day and could be in a vintage/antique style so popular at the time.

The snap-locked bags made a big comeback, too, from the 1950s. Think of Judith Leiber’s collectible purses putting a fun spin on an old style for evening bags. Versace and Donna Karan made evening bags that dangled from wrists so as to not interfere with the evening festivities—smart.

That’s pretty much it for the last decade of the 20th century. Mixed amongst the decade chapters were special sections about the prominent designers. I thought it would be fun to look at a few prominent designers.

The oldest designer in this book is Whiting & Davis:

Whiting & Davis started making mesh bags by hand in the late 19th century. By 1910, they had mechanized the process and still made very high quality bags. By 1920, less expensive materials led to prices easier on the budget. They started making flat mesh bags with geometric patterns for the Flappers, and had some very interesting Art Deco bags. Mesh bags declined in popularity, but W. & D. are still in business which has expanded to jewelry, fashion, and other uses for chainmail.

Before I had decided to do designers separately, I did show Elsa Schiapaprelli’s pages in the 1930s decade, found here.

The next designer associated with a decade is Chanel in the 1940s:

Coco Chanel was active in fashion before the 1940s, but she closed her design house during the WWII occupation of France saying, “… this was no time for fashion”. She reopened and by 1953 was busy making her tweedy suits. This was also the decade she started making her iconic quilted bags made in lambskin or jersey, with the braided leather and chain shoulder straps. Coco died in 1971 and in 1983 Karl Lagerfeld took over the design house and updated the original designs.

In the 1950s chapter, the designers are S. Launer & Co who make handbags for Queen Elizabeth II. The other designer is Lulu Guiness, who probably more properly belongs in the 1980s–90s part of the book, but that’s a crowded field, so Fifties it is:

She first designed a leather briefcase, the Lulu, but she is probably better known for her evening bags, specifically the tiny bucket bags with flowers. These come in many shapes, colors, and styles. There is a display of her bags at the Victoria & Albert museum in London.

The 1960s chapter has a section on the House of Hermes:

Sorry for the lack of diacritical marks, I haven’t figured that out yet for this editor. Hermes started in 1837 as a harness and saddlemaking venture. They were very successful, but when cars took over for horses, the company started making wallets, traveling cases, and handbags. In 1917, Emil Hermes saw zippers in Canada, and brought them back to France, obtained a patent, and added them to bags. These zips were called Hermes closures. In 1950, the company launched the “Kelly” bag which was favored by movies stars, and was the ultimate in luxury handbags. All Hermes bags are synonymous with quality, have a box shape, and display a simple style.

The 1970s chapter talks about “the Biba Phenomenon” and the Mulberry Company. Biba was very popular in the 1960s and ’70s and her lines were famously affordable. The company went out of business by the end of the 1970s. The Mulberry Company was started in the 1970s and is famous for high-quality leather goods, with real brass fittings.

The 1980s chapter has a couple of famous designers. First up, Bill Amberg:

He was born in the heart of the British leather-making county and traveled the world apprenticing himself to leather makers learning the trade. When he started producing bags, he worked for high-quality designers such as Donna Karan and Coach. He designed merchandise for major British stores, and really had an eclectic career designing corporate designs for Apple and Virgin, duffels, fancy briefcases, and purses of various styles.

The other 1980s designer is perhaps even more famous—Louis Vuitton:

In the mid 1850s, Louis Vuitton began to work in something known as trunk packing for the rich, packing the big hoop skirts and fancy dresses of the time. He had learned carpentry from his father, and so began to make fine traveling trunks which were appreciated by the European rich and famous. He improved on his trunks; his son invented a five tumbler lock and the iconic monogram patterned canvas to cover the trunks. The smaller traveling bags were the forerunners of handbags, and they used the design of a duffel bag made for a champagne maker as the model for the famous Noe bag from the 1950s. Louis Vuitton company has always made luxury goods for those who appreciate high quality at high prices.

Finally, the last chapter has several designers. I wish I could afford to buy one of her evening bags:

Judith Leiber started her own business in 1963 after working for other fashion houses. She says that she loves to “design beautiful objects” and she has won several prestigious awards. One of her most famous creations are the jeweled miniaudieres, a French word meaning charms. There is a reason these bags are so expensive. They are sculpted in wax, cast in metal, then gold-plated and lined with leather. The design is painted on before being recreated using 7,000 to 13,000 rhinestones. They are works of art!

Next designer is Prada:

Prada’s history is similar to Vuitton’s in that they made luxury trunks and suitcases starting in 1913. Mario Prada had a leatherworking background. They were regarded as the epitome of luxury travel goods. However, by the 1950s they demand for their goods had declined. In the late 1970s, Miuccia Prada took over the business, reluctantly, but it seems that designing was in her blood. In the 1980s she designed a nylon backpack that became a hit and they were produced in many colors and styles. In the late 1980s, Prada branched out into fashion and handbags in their Miu Miu stores.

Lastly, Kate Spade:

I really like her style and consider a Spade bag very usable by almost anyone who could afford one. We’ve found a number of knock-off secondhand Spade bags, and even they are stylish. Kate Spade started out as a fashion journalist, but she decided that there was a market for “classically-shaped handbags in unexpected colors and fabrics”. She was right. She started her line in the 1990s, and was successful pretty quickly. She wanted to keep her prices down, and that lead to some innovative design. We were both shocked and saddened by her death in 2018.

Well, thanks for hanging in for the marathon. Here’s your reward, so to speak:

We’re having a drawing for this Whiting & Davis mesh handbag, probably from the 1960s or thereabouts. It still has its mirror in the pocket inside, and the mesh is intact. It has wear because a previous owner loved it, but it’s still perfectly usable. Please leave a comment on the blog or at Doll Divas or In the Pink saying you want to be included in the drawing. If you have a favorite style of handbag, please share. The drawing will be held 11/20/20 and I’m willing to ship this anywhere, so if you want it and live outside the US, please enter!

Thank you all for your kind attention. Next week we’ll have a regular post, and then probably it’ll be time to start on Thanksgiving. Keep your chins up, and wear your masks!

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Quick update our our fire situation. We had 14 inches of snow in Ft. Collins this weekend and even more fell on the two main wildfires. We are not out of the woods yet, but progress has been made. I have never been so thankful to shovel snow in my life! Because of the huge snowfall, a lot of folks had their Halloween decorations affected, but at least I was able to get a pic of this local display before the weather hit:

It was causing a bit of a traffic jam when it first went up. I give them full props for imagination, and I would love to know what they used for a base for these racy pumpkin folks, as they were holding up to our 40 to 50 mile an hour winds with aplomb.

We have another full slate of Halloween winners and losers this week, so hold on to your brooms and here we go.

This time of year, we can all use a helping hand or two:

Sort of like Thing’s distant cousins. If they could cook and dust, I would be all over them. I am pretty sure Deb saw these on her own, or I might have had to have one. Elegant creepy is the best way to go. If you don’t want fingers on candles, how about your wine glasses:

Again, I kind of like these. I have seen the before, but for some reason have not felt the need to dedicate some of my precious Halloween storage to them. Mostly because I have not been having my Bunco group around for the last couple of years, so alas, I leave them be. And while skulls are all very well and good, that masked one just loses it in translation. For one thing, whoever passed on to leave that skull was one funny-looking fellow, as I don’t think those wide bulging eyes would have been at all normal.

While we are doing fancy creepy, this amused us no end:

One of those super subtle Halloween decorations for those who are just too too! It’s like the scion of the noble family said they couldn’t have any decorations, so they just poked them politely in the ribs and hung this. If the Vanderbilts had to decorate, this is just what they would use, but it would have genuine diamonds and gold leaf. For us peons, it’s just gold paint. Sigh.

On the other hand, this is just in your face:

It’s pretty funny, and would be loads of fun for a Halloween party. Just think what you could hide behind the shower curtain, and how many folks would fall for it and pull it back. I have seen cute displays with a skeleton in a bubble bath, but this calls for full on zombie, or ax murderer. And hey, it’s useful. After you murder your mother-in-law (just an aside, I have a delightful mother-in-law, who is never in my black books, but many are not so lucky!), or whomever was on your hit list, no one would even notice a bit more blood on the mat. Shower it all away!

Next up, a couple of witches. This one didn’t have anything going for her:

Except that she was big and purple. Purple is good, but after that, meh. Not fun enough to be cute, and not scary enough to be spooky. It does seem that she sheds little white ghosts though. Just look on the floor. Now if she would wander around the party and do that, she might at least be useful.

On the other hand, this lady was all that and a bag of chips:

She was working her fabulousness from the tip of her witchy hat, past her cool cat cape, to her spiderweb skirt, and finally her black felt high heel shoes. Plus, let us not forget those knobby knees encased in orange striped stockings. I don’t think this was an artist piece, but it was nicely made. She was pretty large as well, so didn’t make the cut for either of us. We hope she found a home with some nice coven somewhere.

The thrift store always has manikins with costumes up, and sometimes they are pretty fun. This first set is rather well done:

Classy and not too crazy. If you really did it, the spider on the shoulder would be a nice touch, and hey, every vampiress needs some shades. Gotta keep out of the sun somehow. While we liked the blowup in the next set, the costumes were not as big a winners:

Mr. Vampire traded in his cape and hat for a unicorn head, for no earthly reason that we could see. The other one is for someone too lazy to find a full costume. Just pop on a giant head, and you are ready to go right? The tiara across the eyes is not a lot of help for the whole look either. On the bright side though, if she had a hot date for coffee later, she would be ready to go, just throw the head in the corner and go. Oh look, someone already did:

Or maybe they meant it to be a lampshade? We certainly hope not, as this is an epic fail if ever we saw one. The lamp is not anything to write home about, but it really didn’t deserve this.

Last up, a little warning:

I love vintage Halloween decorations, and here we have some VERY new reproductions of Beistle decorations. They were kind of pricey, so I didn’t buy any, but I did spend some time looking at them. There are the cats, and the tissue dancer pieces. I have some of each of these in the original, and the biggest difference I saw was the weight of the cardboard. These are much lighter. I am hoping there are some new dates on them, but I do not know for sure. Anyway, buyer BEWARE. Vintage Halloween is a pricey collecting category, so it’s good to know these exist. I am fine with repros as long as they are marked as such, and I do not know for sure with these, so take care.

Please stay safe this Halloween and follow the guidelines from the CDC for Halloween fun. Wear your mask, and if you haven’t voted yet, get it done!

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Have You Come to Sing Pumpkin Carols?

The two month holiday season is gearing up; fortunately, it starts with our favorite holiday, Halloween. I’m really bummed that networks aren’t showing, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown this year! I’m sure I can stream it from somewhere, and if all else fails, I’ll borrow Kathy’s copy. I haven’t even asked her, but I’m 99.99% sure she has the DVD. ( Kathy: Yes, of course! ) This is just another demerit for 2020 and if this year doesn’t shape up, it’s going on double secret probation!

There may be some good news on the fire front, after today’s eruption up near Estes Park, which is right outside of Rocky Mountain Park. ( Thought you might like to see this photo of the iconic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park featured in The Shining. That is not photoshopped, the air is really that color! Not my photo, but scary indeed. )

We have cooled off quite a bit which is helpful in fighting the fires as cool air holds more moisture. Plus, we are supposed to get snow on Sunday and possibly Monday which is what it takes to put these huge fires out once and for all. We need some good news after the expansion of the fires. It’s been a tough fall!

Well, enough of that; it’s time to get the show on the road.

I’m doing all the pumpkins and a few rando finds. These pumpkins were at Joanns, I think. They kind of reminded me of the Hellraiser movies, and not in a good way:

In case you don’t know, Hellraiser features the guy with all the pins in his face, and these pumpkins look like they’re full of upholstery tacks or something equally poky. I think they would really work for a head-banger Halloween party, especially with lots of studded dog collars and piercings. On the other hand, it would be a horror show to have these at a toddler’s party. There is no way that one of the little darlings wouldn’t pick up a poky pumpkin and wobble off unsteadily.

OMG, we weren’t impressed with this Jack Pumpkinhead at all:

Huge and ugly creepy, not scary creepy, doesn’t work for us. You can tell he is really trying with that “please love me” smile, but we know why he was donated. It turns out that it’s even worse than we thought:

He’s your candy bucket?? I think that he must have sat on a chair by the door to hold the candy being given out. If my parents had given this to me as my trick-or-treat candy container, I would have ditched it pronto for my pillowcase, or even a plain paper bag. That would have solved the problem of what to do with it years later. There wouldn’t have been much left after a Michigan winter spent in a ditch.

There are some fun pumpkins on this thrift store end cap:

I’m especially fond of the three smallish pumpkins on the top shelf. Pure silliness, not that there’s anything wrong with that! They have some charm and obviously don’t take themselves seriously at all, both pluses in our book. It’s shocking, but outside of the ugly gold skull, there isn’t anything too terrible on any of these shelves.

Wish I could say the same thing about the pumpkins on this next shelf:

I’m not sure why you would need a gold fabric pumpkin with black lace inserts. I guess it is boudoir-chic Halloween décor—if you’re running a bawdy house. I know it’s the chi-chi elegant decoration thing, but that’s a fine line that’s easy to tumble over into something a madam might choose. It’s the main offender in this lineup. I give the rest a pass, even the big fella on the right who will drop glitter all over. You can tell he’s worried about that very thing by his expression.

I rather liked this pumpkin for some reason:

Maybe he reminds me of the mayor in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which we watch every year while decorating our Christmas tree. Don’t ask, it’s complicated! Back to the conical pumpkin. He would look very cheerful on your porch on Halloween; something a little different, but not too scary for the little kiddies. Someone else must have liked him, because he found a new home.

I know the witch isn’t technically a pumpkin, but she looks like a pumpkin and hangs out with them, too:

We looked at this for a while trying to decide if it was a craft project to paint, a candle holder, or something else—chia pet witchy poo? Probably not, as there aren’t any grooves in her to hold the seeds, but goodness, she needs something to make her more interesting! Of course, if you painted her, she might end up looking even weirder, like the pumpkin with the white stripes behind and to the left.

Well, she’s not a pumpkin, but she hangs out with them:

We thought she was kind of cute in a goth/lacey kind of way. We both have a soft spot for owls, and it would take something much worse than this for us to be critical. I just don’t know what it is about the eye-let lace, but I found it pretty funny.

Well, now we’re out in left field with this scarecrow, and not a pumpkin to be seen:

He’s one of the rando pictures that don’t really fit in anywhere. He has a sweet face, but oh my, that outfit is verging into clown territory! He was handmade, and honestly, she should have thought a little harder about the scraps she used to dress him. I do really like the straw coming out of his shirt, and the cord around his trousers and sleeves.

Finally, this shirt was in with the costumes, but we aren’t sure why:

What do hot air balloons have to do with Halloween? It would be kind of a cool and scary way to float over town looking at the decorations, but not so good for trick or treating. I guess the one balloon has orange on it and the shirt is black, but that’s weak sauce. On the other hand, you could do a costume based on the kind of person who would wear this. Here’s a close-up:

With all those sequins, it would weigh a ton! Wear some crazy purple and yellow pants and sing, “Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon“. That would mystify anyone under 55 years old and unacquainted with The 5th Dimension.

Well, that’s it for this week; consider it your down payment on Halloween! I’ll finish up the handbag book in November before we get started on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Stay safe everyone, please wear your masks! And while I’m nagging, go vote! It’s the patriotic thing to do and a great way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

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Fire On The Mountain

Ack, it’s my turn to play with the new format for WordPress. Gotta say, not a fan. I hate it when I am perfectly comfortable with something and then some dratted programmer with too much time on their hands thinks they ought to “improve” something, thereby making my life miserable for the sake of having something to do. For God’s sake, go clean the house or something, or better yet, come clean my house, so I can have some time to play with dolls or go yard saling.

Our local fire, the Cameron Peak Fire, has now become the largest in Colorado history, Oh, happy day. I went to the grocery store yesterday, only to be greeted by this sky:

While pretty, in a scary kind of way, it became no fun later in the day when ash rained down and the air was too thick to breathe. I was supposed to be painting siding, but there was no way that was going to happen. The fire is moving closer to towns along the front range, but for us there is a big honking reservoir between us and the fire, so we are in no danger. Send a kind thought for all those brave souls fighting this! And about a foot of snow would not be a bad thing at this point.

OK, on to happier things, well, at least more amusing:

Thought I should start with something cute. We thought this was fun in a goofy sort of way. We both strongly approve of the recent owl craze, for the most part anyway. Owls are pretty cool birds, and cute ones all the more so. Neither of us brought this home, not for lack of charm, just lack of room.

No way we were getting near these ladies:

On our worst crabby days we do not look this scary. That would be me giving Deb the stink eye, if it were us; and we never ever do that, as we are busy having too much fun. If you don’t believe us, ask all the folks at the thrift stores who see us coming!

This doll was also about as crazy as they come:

It’s like a Martian came to land on Earth in the sixties. Stopped in at Woodstock to get some threads, and then took those mesmerizing blue eyes of his out to hypnotize innocent children into doing his bidding! I don’t know about you, but I am worried about all our futures. Also, I want to point out the fake eyelashes in the background. Yes, Deb did buy those. Check out her Etsy store if you want those for your very own. The doll we left to terrorize others.

These were almost as bad as the doll:

These were sort of 3D shadow boxes with weird little figures in them. The pix don’t do the oddness justice. Can’t imagine why someone would pay $10 each for them, but I don’t believe they were there the next week. All the faces were sort of creepy. Kind of like little baby Stepford Wives. Sometimes I wish we could take you all shopping with us, so you could see just how bad some of this stuff is. On that note, if any of our loyal readers are ever in CO, let us know. We will use any excuse to shop.

We really liked this purse:

It was perfectly round, and just a bit smaller than your average basketball. Carrying it would have been an exercise in patience as it bounced against your thigh, but hey you would be ready for any pickup basketball games that came your way. We had quite a conversation about this with another shopper, who obviously was shopping for resale. He was looking it over carefully, and none of us could believe it didn’t have a name on it. It might have been a purchase for any of us, if the large glass gem in the clasp had not been broken, but sadly it was, so there it stayed

This was about the biggest footstool I have ever seen:

It was a solid three to four feet square. I know there was a fad a while ago, could still be happening for all I know, of using things like this for coffee tables. While I like to put my feet up, and use my table on a regular basis, I would rather have something solid to put my coffee cup on, than to have something cushy for my feet. By the time you put a tray on this to rest your cup on, there is just too much clutter. Plus, any house that has a self-respecting cat in it, is just asking for that fringe to get clawed to pieces. All in all, seemed pretty useless, but I suppose that is why it was there.

Speaking of cats. I found this pin today at the thrift store, and it tickled my funny bone enough to make me pay more than I usually would for a newish pin. This is the front:

You tell the cat, hey, look at me, I want to take your picture, and what do they do? Turn their back and ignore you. They are after all, CAT. But take a look at the BACK of the pin:

Yeah, that’s where the cat’s face is. I love that only the wearer will know this. I have purchased jewelry by J.J. for years, and it is just because of this sort of whimsy. It is still a newish company, but I think in later years they will become very collectible because they make people laugh. They do it for me most every time.

The ’70s called. They want their dishtowel:

While I give it full marks for being able to wake you up in the morning. I think a cup of coffee would be a much kinder awakening. Even if someone tossed it in your face! The crafter gets full marks for matching the towel and yarn perfectly, but I am not sure it was worth the effort. The recipient of this gift must have felt the same way as we did, as there it is in its pristine glory, even after 40 plus years. How deep was the drawer that hid this away that long?

Looks like we will have enough pix to do two Halloween posts, so get ready for those. Please take care of yourself and others. Wear a mask! And do your civic duty and get out and vote! We all need to make our voices heard.

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Sit Back and Relax; This Won’t Hurt a Bit!

OMG, they have totally changed how posts are written on a day when I’ve had it up to here with everything.  I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to write a post, so hold on to your hats, folks.  Right now all I can say is that I HATE WORDPRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But, guess what, we can link to our podcast and embed our videos!  YAY, as soon as we lose our minds and start a podcast or actually record our trips to the thrift store, we’ll let you know.  Rant over; I’m not a two-year-old!

Fall is well and truly here and we have the colors to prove it:

my burning bush is on fire and this next picture is looking down the street at a nice Autumn Purple Ash:

the ash is in the lower right corner and it’s a small one. They are fairly reliable for color here, unlike maples and oaks, but they’re under attack from the ash borer so I’m enjoying them while we still have them. Actually, the tree to the left forefront looks like a regular white ash, and it’s showing some awesome color, too.

Our fires are still burning merrily out of control, and the huge fire in southern Wyoming has crossed the border into Colorado, so there is quite a bit of smoke in the air. I now wear a mask outside for any number of reasons. You can tell it’s time to go in the house when your throat gets sore:

Usually, we have beautiful bright blue skies and those dark outlines at the back of the picture are the foothills which are usually crisp and highly visible. Our air just looks foggy which is weird when the relative humidity is hovering around 12% and it’s 80 degrees F.

I just don’t have it in me to show you anything too awful, so sit back and relax; this won’t hurt a bit!

This might be the worst thing I have to show you this week, so let’s just get it out of the way:

Why on earth would anyone take an old ice wagon toy, I’m guessing, and turn it into a lamp?  I’m kind of flummoxed as to what kind of shade would be best here, and just how much light are you going to get from a lamp that is less than a foot tall?  Shows what we know because it was gone in a week or two.  Hope someone got it on half-price day because it’s ruined as a toy, too.

Here’s a lamp that we both can endorse:

Nothing obnoxious here, just a color palette that will go with most decors.  It’s tall enough to be functional, and we love it’s Mid-century vibe.  Hardly anyone would look at this lamp and wonder why the heck did they buy that?  

We actually loved this plastic tray:

The back is the shiny black that’s supposed to look like lacquer, and the front has that pebbled finish. The decoration is pure Sixties/Seventies weirdness with birds flexing their flower power, or whatever. The big bird’s tail feathers aren’t even attached, so maybe it’s time to stop worrying about what’s going on and just enjoy the colors and shapes. Sometimes life isn’t any more complicated than that! I would have bought this if it hadn’t been ridden hard and put away wet. It just wasn’t in good condition at all.

It’s so us that we did not like the squirrel on the left:

and I bought the squirrel on the right. There was just something about its cubist, robotic looks that appealed to me, while the squirrel on the left is a hot mess. That’s about as subjective as it gets, and I admit it. How about if we go with the excuse that I didn’t like the left one’s tail? And what’s the deal with the acorn that is the same size as his body?

This vintage photo album was pretty dang cute:

It might have come home with Kathy if if didn’t have quite a bit of water damage. The cover was old fabric, and whenever I try to fix water damage, I end up making it worse. Maybe Kathy has some handy hints for us? That poor cat in a dress is so classic. Growing up, my cats would have taken your fingers off if you tried to put clothes on them. Meanwhile, a couple of friends had cats that would allow you to dress them up like dolls AND play with them. Our cats were always too busy catching critters and chasing the neighbor’s dogs.

We like buttons, and we own lots of buttons, but this picture just made us laugh:

Someone painted a big couch-sized canvas with some of the most boring buttons in the world, excepting the grey one in the center. Was this some passive-aggressive pushback from a high school art student who didn’t like their assignment? We will probably never know, but it was gone this week. Maybe someone planned on reusing the canvas, which might be for the best. I guess you could hang this in your sewing/crafting room, but you can just look at your buttons while you’re in there.

We are usually making fun of shell crafts:

But, this is one of the prettiest shell pictures we’ve come across. Whomever did it had a great eye. I can’t usually arrange flowers as nicely as these shells are put together. Amazingly, I don’t think that any have fallen off, either. Usually the glue fails after 10 or 20 years, but this is still going strong. Several years ago I had three shell pictures from the 1940s with a domed frame. They were amazing, but I decided to sell them. I still think that maybe I shouldn’t have:

All three were different, but they did have a few shells missing here and there. I think that, outside of the framing, the one we found at the thrift store was comparable.

Well, that’s it for this week’s post. I guess I made it through. It was just an unwelcome surprise on Thursday night! Stay well, everyone! We have lots of fun stuff for Halloween, so stay tuned.

For those who have been following along with a century of handbags, this week’s decade is the 1980s!

Oh, the 1980s! What a time that was here in the US. Ronald and Nancy Regan, Dallas, Dynasty, the Rubik’s cube, Punk Rock, and Preppies. With superior good taste, Great Britain introduced Princess Di:

The decade started off with a taste for quiet handbags of suede, in soft grays, burgundies, and browns. But as finances improved, fashion became more bold and the rise of the designers began. In the US it was: Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Geoffrey Beene, Calvin Klein, and Adrienne Vittadini. In Europe, popular designers included: Cardin, Armani, Claude Montana, Versace, Lacroix, Channel, Galliano, Alaia, and Ozbeck.

Women were working in even greater numbers and needed purses and totes to manage all the necessaries they needed for the day. The Enny All in One bags were one solution but you still needed your main purse to take out in the evening. Donna Karan had a whole system of organized totes as did Mark Cross Leather Goods. You could carry quite a large shoulder bag with your tailored suit and leave the tote or brief case in the car.

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel started decorating handbags with chains, chain and leather straps, tassels, and quilted leather. Other designers did the same.

My favorite on these two pages is the red angled shoulder bag and shoes by Charles Jourdan in the lower right corner. Very stylish, and not so decorated that it detracts from your outfit. The Moschino bag in the center right is also fun, but I would lose most of the extras and just carry the bag! You can see that many of the daytime bags on these pages are large and could hold your lunch, your appointment book, your makeup, and pretty much another change of clothing!

Finally, the ’80s also saw the rise of the traveling bags, as done by designers. You couldn’t just dig out your duffel any more. You needed Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Ghurka, Prada, or Donney and Bourke bags to see you off. It was a time of great commercialism which hasn’t quite left us yet.

Just a couple more weeks of purses and then we will have the great purse giveaway. I hope you all participate whether you’ve been with us from the start, or joined in the middle. We appreciate all of you, and want to show our gratitude for providing us an audience.

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Well, 2020 just keeps plodding along.  We just had to replace the furnace and AC in our rental house.  (Do we have AC in our current house, noooo, of course not, and there went any extra money towards it!) and hubby just had to have a bunch of dental work done.  Honestly, the hardest part is really that I can’t complain.  There are a whole lot of folks in the world who have it much worse, people have lost loved ones to the Covid outbreak, and there are more and more homes being lost in wildfires around the US.  Our local wildfire is still making the skies super smoky, and displacing humans and animals.  This little fella showed up at my feeder this week:

This is a Steller’s Jay, and they mostly live in the mountains around here.  Many animals are fleeing the fire and heading to the plains and into town.  We are getting lots of extra deer, mountain birds, mountain lions, and a mama bear and two cubs that have been seen multiple times in the neighborhood.  We haven’t spotted the bears yet, as they are hanging around water sources more, but I feel for them.  On the gardening front, they will be working on a dam at our local reservoir this fall, and today is the last day we can water anything.  Yet another reason to pray for snow!  Can you believe I said that?  So with all that said, we had better move on to something much more amusing.  OK, they might not be amusing, but we can sure make fun of them!

We need some help from the hive mind.  What are these scissors for?

At least in the first pic, they look normal, other than the supremely blunt ends, but look at them open:

We can’t figure out if they would really cut anything, and if so, what?  Maybe it’s just scissor theater.  You know, just the idea of scissors, and you will stay completely safe.  You can’t actually cut anything, but that includes yourself, and the three-year-old’s hair that big brother is itching to get at.

We just hate it when we can’t figure something out.  We both have a LOT of experience in vintage and antique furniture.  We have seen tons of it over the years, but this one had us stumped:

At first glance it looks like an ordinary china cupboard, but let’s take a peek at the side too:

There are so many things wrong with this piece, I barely know where to start.  The tin sides were supposed to make it look like a pie safe, but pie safes have tin everywhere, no glass.  On closer examination the front crown was added on poorly, and the doors have panels in them that are an entirely different kind of wood.  The drawer handles are NOT old, nor are there proper drawer guides to make the drawers work.  For the life of me I can not figure out why this Frankenstein’s Monster was cobbled together.  It was gone the next week, so some poor schmuck took it home!  The Keno Brothers would be appalled, and so were we.  We have learned our lessons well, and know better.

Speaking of making things, or at least things that shouldn’t be made:

How desperate for a centerpiece were they?  Plastic grapes and jelly jewels glued to a tin bucket?  Nothing says fall like a hot glue gun.  The only way this could be saved would be to rip off all the grapes and fill if full of chocolate.  Heck, you might not even have to pull off the grapes if you brought it out with two bottles of wine to go with the chocolate.  (It’s that bad, at least a two-bottler!)

Here is another DIY Don’t

I am thinking this looked really cute on Pinterest, but in execution it failed miserably.  The shade is too big, and way too boring.  Cut the shade down to half size, make it white and decoupage a bunch of fun coke logos or pictures onto it and you might have something that shouldn’t be tossed straight into the recycling bin.  On the bright side, as it stands now, you CAN recycle the bottle, use the lamp cord on something else and toss the shade, and hey almost zero waste, other than the time it took to put together the original.

How about this head scratcher:

Yes, it’s a fabric wall hanging, but why is it a clock, too?  There was a real working (well, I supposed it worked at one time or another, not sure now) clock mechanism in this.  Not the pendulum part, that is just printed on the fabric.  I might have given this a pass if they could have pulled off that engineering feat!  Of course the weight of the clock pulled the banner backwards, so that there is no way to make it hang straight unless you nailed the bottom of the banner firmly to the wall, and while you are at it, I think you would need to tack up the top a bit more than that rod it was hanging from.  Oh, go ahead and get out the stapler or the nail gun.  That is the only way this would work, and even then you would be stuck with holes in the wall and an ugly clock.

A boy and his goose, it’s beautiful thing, or not:

It’s a good thing they have each other, as no one else is going to take these losers home.  We are pretty sure this is someone’s ceramics project, and in general we try not to be too mean, but seriously, this needs to be made fun of.  Poor kid is cross-eyed, pigeon-toed, and homely.  We have no comment on the goose.  Heck, the goose might be dinner for all we know.  OK, now I feel sorry for the goose.

We are not sure which one of these is goofier:

We are not sure what is up with those elephants.  We didn’t know elephants could assume that position, well, without being up to something slightly naughty, that is.  The dog looks perplexed, too, although I think the dog looks a brick or two shy of a load, or maybe he is just dropping a load, but that is a pretty odd look even for a dog.  Sorry dog people, you know who you are.

There is something fishy going on here too:

We didn’t do this, honest.  We found them in this position.  I don’t know which one of them looks guiltier, but they are up to something.  I am not saying that their plans are nefarious, but perhaps of questionable taste.  There might be a whoopie cushion under the next Victorian lady figurine to come their way, or they put salt in the sugar bowl, or … you fill in the blank.  Let yourself go, really come up with a doozy.  We know they are.

Here’s hoping we can all muddle through the rest of this year in one piece.  Stay safe, wear your mask, and try to love one another as best you can.


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Your Blog Forecast: 25% Chance of Clowns

I know the title is ominous, but there is less than a one in four chance that any picture you see will be a clown.  I did put a couple of extra good things in to make it up to you.

First good thing:  My monarch butterflies emerged from their chrysalises!  It had been two weeks into a process that was supposed to take a week to ten days.  How on earth could I screw this up?  Turns out, I didn’t.  I went to bed on Sunday night with two poisonous green chrysalides hanging in the take-out container.  Monday morning, they were both black:

Turns out, they weren’t just black, you can see orange inside, and a few minutes later, this was in the container:

I can’t tell you how happy this made me.  It’s been a long awful year so far, and even just a bit of good news feels absurdly wonderful!  I texted my neighbor, the science teacher, and at noon, she put stickers on their wings to register them, and we put them on my butterfly bush which still had a few flowers, thank goodness:


The male is on the left.  You can tell because his black lines are thinner than the female’s, and he has two pheromone glands which are the small black dots on the lower wings closest to his body.  The female is on the right, and I named her Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course!  The poor male didn’t even get a name, which is the fault of B.H.  I mean, do I have to do everything?  RBG left about two hours after the picture, but the male hung around until mid-morning the next day.  We’ve volunteered to do this again next year.

We have seen many weird things in thrift stores over the years.  This is right up there:

Hey Hon, what did you find at the thrift store?  Dental floss!  Really!?  It’s like when we see tubes of unguents that are open, or used makeup.  I hope that none of us ever find ourselves in a position where buying those things at a thrift store is our only option.  I do think that the dental floss could be useful in the craft department if a minty fresh odor is part of your project.

This might be more sad than anything, but it is a horrid clown:

Unless there was a windup that we couldn’t find, it looks like this clown has lost his will to live.  Even his balloons are at half-mast.  I feel the saddest for his poor china rocking horse who didn’t get a say about passengers.  We kind of think that someone’s clown collection ended up at the thrift store because NO ONE in the family wanted any of them!

We saw quite a bit of furniture, which all seemed to sell quite quickly.  We weren’t surprised that someone snatched up this cute little chair:

I looked it up because we couldn’t quite figure out why it only had one arm.  Turns out that it’s a thing, the one-armed ladies’ chair which went into your parlor.  They were quite popular in the latter part of the 19th century.  I was thinking maybe they had one arm because of how big women’s dresses were with the bustle and all.  They frequently came as part of a set with a sofa, and a two-armed men’s chair.  They fell out of fashion in the early 20th century, so this was quite old.  Who knew?  Certainly not us.

I feel quite confident in saying that this isn’t a piece of fine furniture:

It’s so busy, and those are pretty poopy pansies.  We like pansies, a lot, and just could not work up any enthusiasm for this couch.  It took a couple of weeks to sell, but it’s gone now so maybe it’s living in someone’s breezeway.  You could certainly sit on it to put shoes or boots on, and I’m sure the dog would appreciate a nice soft couch.

I feel like this is one of the most bizarre pictures I’ve ever taken:

Honestly, I didn’t even notice the doll in the background until cropping the picture.  I kind of feel like this could be a scene from a Gothic horror novel: she was lost on misty moor and was terrified when this grotesque clown appeared through an opening in the fog.  I’m sure she screamed and ran, falling several times, until a Duke happened by and rescued her.  After several more adventures, our heroine and the Duke marry and live happily ever after.  The clown still roams the moors today, scaring the bejesus out of innocent hikers with his cattywampus eyes.  The End.

I have a couple more observations to make about this Murano glass clown—who picked those colors and who designed those eyes?  I can’t believe anyone ever bought it in the first place.

Here’s something bad that looks almost good in comparison to the last clown:

I like tree burl furniture, lamps, and art for the most part but there is something kind of off with this lamp.  Maybe if the lamp was only made from the burl and the tree trunk hadn’t been attached to it it would have worked.  I think the maker might have been better off making a bowl from this, or maybe an animal statue.  It’s a pretty big fail as is.

Last clown, I promise!  Someone spent a lot of money very unwisely on this evil Murano glass clown:

This one means business, and it’s not funny business!  He is evil from the top of his poo hat down to his shoes.  I feel like there is a story about his left knee, but I don’t want to think about what it could be.  It kind of looks like a balloon—no, stop it right there.  We all need to move on, right now!

Let’s finish on a nice sweet picture:

Right out of The Mikado, we have Three Little Maids from School.  A perfect clown antidote!  B.H. and I love The Mikado and go to see it whenever someone is performing it.  Although, perhaps Fraiser Crane’s version of Three Little Maids from School is the funniest.

We always feel sorry for these dolls.  They are really pretty, but how many can one person rescue?  They did disappear, so hopefully they found a new home.

Well, that’s it for the regular post.  Stay safe everyone, and we’ll be back next week, same time, same place.

For the purse lovers out there, you know who you are, I have another installment of:

Oh those Seventies.  We make fun of them all the time.  It was mostly a disaster for fashion and decorating.  The Sixties has so many innovations, and the ’70s came limping along afterward.

I think the ’70s were a relaxed, informal time where women were increasingly interested in equal rights and working outside of the home.  Music was influential on style—Jimi Hendrix wore those velvet fashions, which were cool.  By the mid-seventies, rock stars like Elton John, Queen, David Bowie, and ABBA were influencing fashion, as well as the Disco look towards the end of the decade.  There was a lot of overlap with all the style, too.

Think about all the different shoes and boots from the seventies.  You could wear suede boots with fringey trim, a moccasin-type shoe,  tennis shoes, as we called them or deck shoes, wedges, clogs, or those crazy platform shoes and boots.  It was all over the place as far as the feet went!

At the beginning of the decade, clothes were more unisex with jeans and t-shirts becoming very common for all ages.  I can remember that in junior high, it was a special treat to wear jeans, while in high school, 1972-75 it was your uniform.  But, women and girls also wore mini, midi, and maxi dresses or skirts as a break from your giant bell-bottom jeans.

Then think about Annie Hall, which came out in 1971 with the layered look in neutral colors.  You could carry a soft fabric bag, or a leather bag with that look.  I carried cloth bags a lot, made from anything from denim to velvet with embroidery, metal work, or whatever struck me as decoration.  So, you can see it was a time where you could wear pretty much whatever you wanted.

The small picture in the lower left is Jackie Onassis, shopping in a casual outfit, carrying a straw bag.  She always was a fashion icon, and this might sum up the ’70s as well as anything.

There was some quirky materials used in odd ways:

I’m mostly speaking about the fur purse at the top.  Fashion started to be imported from all over the world, not just France, Britain, and Italy.  India, central Asia, and Peru were influential off and on for fabrics, patterns, and styles.  I have a purse similar to the one on the bottom right, and always felt it was from India.  I just wouldn’t have dated it to the seventies.

So, there were hippie purses, the fashionable set purses, old lady purses, and the working woman purse all illustrated on this page:

You could have a bead bag, like on the top of the left page and be young and hip.  There is a clutch from Gucci on the bottom left that looks pretty fabulous and dramatic, as is the red purse beside it.  On the top of the right page are more traditional style handbags, and on the bottom is a working woman’s large leather purse that could take her from day to evening along with her pantsuit.  Everyone kind of did their own thing!

Towards the end of the decade, designer labels started becoming more important.  Gucci had their “G” initial on their handbags while Christian Dior started using the iconic white and brown initial fabric and leather.  This became even bigger in the 1980s.

The last fad is one I don’t remember, but here it is:

The rise of the athletic bag and logos.  Exercise and an active lifestyle was becoming more important.  You needed bags to take clothing and equipment to aerobics, yoga, or Jazzercise in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Well, that’s it for this installment.  Stay tuned for the ’80s, ’90s, and a section on the special designers.  After we’re done, I’m going to give away a vintage purse.

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Jewel Tones

Well, we had our snow, and it contained a bit over an inch of moisture which is more than we have had all summer, so we are grateful for that.  It knocked down our fires a bit, but we have had a wind change, and the smoke is coming back in from all those poor folks in California and Washington.  Our hearts break for you, and we are keeping you in our thoughts as we all try to get through this.  If only we could corral a hurricane to drop some of that excess moisture our way.  We also had a freeze scare with the snow.  They were predicting temps in the low twenties which had all us gardeners running for the tarps and buckets, picking fruits and vegetables (which meant some hurried canning and freezing) and generally trying to cope.  Then it only got down to about 31 degrees.  A reprieve for now, and we can have our regularly scheduled fall, at least we hope so.

Deb and I are both avid jewelry nuts, we literally have hundreds, heck we might even be breaking a thousand pieces of jewelry, and yes we wear a lot of it.  I don’t know why we don’t write about it more, so we will try and make up for it this week, with some good and bad.

Let’s start out bad:

Well, thank goodness they put a pearl luster on it, as that made all the difference in the world.  If I remember right, this was a pin.  Sort of looks like someone scraped some bubblegum (remember Dubble Bubble?) off their shoe , after it had been well stepped on, added some dusting powder, and slapped a pin on the back.  Surely no one is desperate enough for a pin to pay $1.99 for it?

We decided that several of these must have come from the same person, who thought they were crafty:

In the photo, this doesn’t look so bad, but you have to know it was a solid four inches across!  It was practically a breastplate for a tiny Amazon.  It’s not even particularly attractive or well made, so unless your American Girl doll needs some armor, this will be a hard pass.

Maybe the owner had a fascination for large pieces of brass?

This was almost as big, and just as ugly.  This one looks like it came from India, or some Middle Eastern country, but they should have kept it there.  I know that many of these countries do amazing metalwork, but they just put out the cheap junk for the stupid American tourists, who fall for it hook, line, and sinker.  Like shooting fish in a barrel.  We think there may be a camel on here, and maybe some other weird anthropomorphic creatures, so maybe it is a representation of aliens who came down and took the owner prisoner in an episode they would just as soon forget.

We thought this was pretty funny:

In case you loose one soccer jersey pin, at least you have extras.  Of course what earthly good even one of them is escapes us.  Why can’t they make souvenir pins like this more fun?  Most of them are ugly and useless and get tossed into a donation bin, and then sent to the trash, as who wants them?  Make ’em with flowers, rhinestones, and cute animals, and they will stay with folks for life, at least they would with us.

Take this one for example:

True confession here: I bought it.  It’s pretty goofy, but it was signed Betsey Johnson.  I didn’t have anything by her, and I think she is a hoot.  The cat is a couple inches across, so I don’t know if I will wear it much, but I will enjoy owning it.  I looked at her things and she has a whole lot of really fun critter jewelry, and if it has a bug, bird, cat, dog, or just about any other animal on it (other than alien camels), we are in.

We also like this piece:

Lots of folks should not be let near a beading needle, but this person knew what they were doing.  Nice eye for color and well executed.  Kind of a nice vintagey piece.  Not really our style, so we left it for the next hippie chick.

We left these for the old lady hippie chick:

How about some nice clip-on love bead earrings?  I don’t think I have ever seen anything like these.  Most of your average hippies had pierced ears, and these are kind of old lady looking at the best of times.  Not to disparage old ladies, as we are a pair of them ourselves, some days more than others, but you know what I mean.  Maybe someone made these for Grandma, as she was way cooler than your average senior citizen, and needed to be an honorary love child.  Let’s stick with those happy thoughts.

We also liked this little lady:

Well at least the felt part of it.  I don’t know why they added the crochet flower backing, as it really didn’t improve anything, and the the little felted portrait is about as cute as they come.  I would like to know the story of the flower pot on her head, but hey, who am I to judge fashionable headwear?  We probably should have rescued her and revamped her a bit, but did I mention hundreds of piece of jewelry.  Think how hard it is to get in the club.  (Apparently not too hard, as we wouldn’t be in this position otherwise.)

Got one more nice one with a cute story.  There is a group of ladies in our town called the Quota Club, who do a lot of charity work with disadvantaged women and children, but one of the ways they raise money is through estate sales.  Last week I popped over to one of their sales and scouted around.  I bought a couple of things, but a few things were priced a bit higher than I wanted to pay, so I came back the next day for half price.  We got the larger item we were looking at, and I was showing this necklace to hubby:

Debating on whether I needed it or not, and the lady at the sale just plucked it out of my hand and added it to our pile!  Needless to say I paid for it with a smile.  It’s a rather stunning example of high quality late ’30s or early ’40s costume jewelry.  It’s heavy and extremely well made, but not a maker’s mark on it anywhere.  Still it’s a cool piece, and yes, make that a thousand and one.

Hoping all our loyal readers are staying safe from fires and floods; please take care!

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