Well, Somebody Got to Travel

It’s kind of odd that we happened upon some thrift store finds from far away in a time when most of us can’t really travel.  Of course, there are the usual homegrown things, too, just for contrast.

Life is sailing along in Northern Colorado; 2020 CANNOT end soon enough for me.  It has cooled off a bit, thank goodness, and my veggie garden is starting to produce beans and lettuce.  That is a miracle when you consider how late I got it in, and the tomatoes are even setting so I might get enough to freeze for the winter.  I like to roast them with garlic and red wine, and then put the tomatoes through my big ricer to remove the seeds and peels.  That way I can use the versatile preserves as a base for soup, tomato sauce, and casseroles.

I had better get going as it is getting late and we still need to edit!!

We walked into our favorite thrift and found the main display cabinet full of shoes and boots, not jewelry:

We don’t know about all kinds of shoes, but do any of those shoes look like they need to put into a locked case?  We were kind of mad that they took the jewelry out of the case where you can look at it better, and filled it with shoes.  I think that a better use of this case would be to house a silent auction where their better items could be displayed and bid on.  Kathy and I would even help them figure out what is worthwhile and what is junk if we could bid first!

Poor knock-off Strawberry Shortcake:

It’s funny that Grandma crocheted this snowsuit (?) for her instead of the traditional Strawberry Shortcake outfit with her big poofy hat, white apron, and stripey stockings.  We were especially amused by the huge pom-pom that’s almost as big as her head.  Sigh, this kind of present was hard to take, as a kid, because you had to be grateful, but you didn’t really like it.  A Christmas Story comes to mind when Ralphie got that bunny suit.

Okay, why is this rocking chair worth $10?

I think that when you have to put something together for it to be functional, they probably should pay you to drag it home.  Or maybe slap a couple of dollars on it.  Just because someone stenciled the back doesn’t make this anything special.

We found several things that obviously aren’t from around here:

Even with a presentation box, we just couldn’t get too excited about this plate.  It isn’t old, and the decoration just didn’t zing us.  There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it, but there isn’t anything right either.

We were way more excited about these ornaments:

This is a pretty cute set to bring back from Russia.  It was only $2 so for a dollar each, we picked out our favorite three.  I have always loved pictures of the onion-domed churches and buildings in Russia with the fantastical decoration.  These little wooden hand-painted tchotchkes were fun representations.

I was at our favorite recycled craft place for the first day of their fill-a-bag sale, and bought these lapel pins:

They are from the Soviet Union and there are a variety of different shapes and themes.  They’re enameled, but not in an expensive way.  What the heck were they doing here in Fort Collins?  Who knows, but they, a lot of buttons, and hankies all fit into a bag for $5 and came home with me.  If I find out anything about them, I’ll write an update.

We got some information about these pins right away, and of course I forgot to add it!  So, here’s the comment about the pins made by a reader:

I grew up in Arvada which was like 1 of only 2 school districts in the US that offered Russian as a language choice in junior high and high school. I took Russian all those years (can’t remember hardly any of it) and took a trip to the then Soviet Union in 1977 w/ other school kids. These were lean years for the people living in the USSR and we were told ahead of time that we could bring chewing gum to trade w/ the kids there. Indeed, any time we left the hotel we were accosted by kids who would trade buttons like the ones in your post for gum. I still have all my buttons that I *collected* from that trip, and the kids got gum which I assume they used to trade for other desirable things from other kids. Seeing those buttons makes me wonder if someone else from my trip might have settled in Fort Collins and finally let go of them (I know, unlikely, but still)

So grateful that there are people out there willing to share their knowledge and stories!

That’s it for the regular post, so it’s time for another look back at A Century of Bags:

The chapter title says it all: Fashion Feels the Pinch in the Forties.  Not only were most countries slowly emerging from the Great Depression of the 1930s, but war was on the horizon.  Fabric, metal, leather, you name it was needed for the troops.  That left everyone back home trying to make do with cork or wooden soles for their shoes, plastics for jewelry and purses, and either minimal fabric for fashion, or better yet, mend your old clothes.  People really valued the few nice things they might have been able to afford in the 1930s:

I would adore having the Bakelite purse shown in the lower left part of the page.  Really, any of the purses here are pretty collectible, now.  Daytime wear were mostly largish bags with handles because who knew what you were going to have to haul around with you.  Besides coupon books, in Britain, you needed to keep a gas mask with you while out!  Many women were working on production lines to make wartime supplies.  I assume you might want to put a lunch and a couple of snacks in your bag, too.

People were still going out at night:

The tapestry bag in the lower left is a style that had been around for quite a while, but was still popular.  The round case on the bottom right was for traveling and bringing along a few supplies.  I really like the postcard box show bottom middle that was neatly stitched together with a ribbon handle.  I have several baskets made from birthday and Christmas cards that were put together the same way.  If you received a postcard from your honey, it would be a nice way to think about him while he was gone.  Even though all of my pictures show somber colors, women carried colorful purses and wore colorful jewelry to spruce up their somber, practical clothing.

After the war, as much as possible, practicalities were thrown to the winds:

Shortages were still present most everywhere, but without the war going on, all the production could turn to leather, fabric for clothing, and metal for costume jewelry, as well as everything else that was needed: tires for cars, housing, etc.  People started carrying unusual purses, that said, the bird cage could be a perfume holder.  The amazing box purse shown upper right, was made from antelope suede, but the star of the show is the filigree frame.  I really like the colorful purse in the bottom right; it’s so cheerful.  This could have been made during the war as it consists of wooden painted beads.  That would be an easily available material when other things were in short supply.

In 1947, Dior introduced the New Look which emphasized a feminine outline and pleated wide, long skirts; purses and jewelry were not the star of the show.  There was some pushback with the New Look as it wasn’t all that practical for every day.  But women who could afford Dior probably didn’t work on a production line for a living.  Women were carrying porchettes (envelope purses) again, as shoulder bags were just so dang practical and boring.  But, these envelope purses had a thin shoulder strap that could be hidden when you wanted to be stylish, but deployed when you needed a hand.

Thanks for reading.  We hope you are all well and surviving the scourge that is upon us.  We are going to hunker down for a bit with all the students coming back to town from all over; we want to minimize our exposure.  I think that the thrift store on Thursday morning will still be okay so we should still have new photos.

This entry was posted in Book Review, Friday Finds and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Well, Somebody Got to Travel

  1. Robert Heckendorn says:

    Bear with ax is from the Yaroslavl region of Russia NW of Moscow.

    • kathy & deb says:

      That’s interesting, thanks Robert! Someone told about her similar pins: I grew up in Arvada which was like 1 of only 2 school districts in the US that offered Russian as a language choice in junior high and high school. I took Russian all those years (can’t remember hardly any of it) and took a trip to the then Soviet Union in 1977 w/ other school kids. These were lean years for the people living in the USSR and we were told ahead of time that we could bring chewing gum to trade w/ the kids there. Indeed, any time we left the hotel we were accosted by kids who would trade buttons like the ones in your post for gum. I still have all my buttons that I *collected* from that trip, and the kids got gum which I assume they used to trade for other desirable things from other kids. Seeing those buttons makes me wonder if someone else from my trip might have settled in Fort Collins and finally let go of them (I know, unlikely, but still)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.