Book Review: Fashion the Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute

We went to a book sale last fall in the next town over.  They were charging $5 for a paper bag full of books.  When we saw how amazing the books we bought were, we gave them a little extra.  I thought that one book looked like something our readers might really enjoy, but never hear about in the normal run of things.  How it came to be in the small town of Windsor, CO, who knows, but we know quality when we see it:

Fashion was published in 2014 by Taschen.  It’s 686 pages of fabulousness, with so many wonderful photos.  The collection covers three centuries of fashion, both male and female, from the 18th century to modern times.  It would be worth it to fly to Kyoto, Japan just to spend a week wandering the Costume Institute.  Besides the clothing itself, it includes undergarments, hats, gloves, stockings, shoes, buttons, fans, and closeups of the beautiful fabrics.  I had to be careful while looking through it so that I wouldn’t drool all over the pictures.  BTW, the garment on the front of the book, by Worth c. 1885, shows the back of a jacket which was slit and decorated to accommodate and emphasize the bustle.

This first picture shows details from a stomacher:

A stomacher, which is a triangular panel that is worn over the robe (dress) and has a V or U-shaped bottom.  They were pinned to the robe so they were pretty labor intensive.  The stomacher was worn to take away attention from the bosom!?  This is a Swiss example from the 1760s.

These two charming dresses are from the mid 1760s:

This style came about because people wanted simplified and more comfortable styles, believe it or not.  The short-sleeved jacket and fingerless gloves were considered practical.  It seems incredible to us now that this was more comfortable and practical than previous clothing styles, which must have been similar to straitjackets!  That silk satin fabric is just scrumptious.

I don’t want to neglect the gentlemen:

The leftmost ensemble is made from wool and gold braid and was worn in 1740s  England.  The suit includes a coat, waistcoat, and breeches.  The other suit, also coat, waistcoat, and breeches, is French from 1765.  It’s made from velvet.  They would also have worn stockings and pretty darn fancy shoes, which might have had a fairly high heel, gloves, jewelry, and a hat.  It might have taken men just as long as women to get dressed for a fancy party.

This is my favorite headdress from the entire book:

The whole outfit is French from the 1780s.  It wasn’t enough to wear a stunning gown, with panniers.  You had to do something amazing up top, too.  I don’t know how she got into a carriage wearing this!  Kathy and I read a book by Vonda N. McIntyre called The Moon and the Sun.  It’s a fantasy novel set in the court of Louis XIV.  It’s wonderful, if you like a good fantasy, and the book spent quite a bit of time describing the headdresses which French women of fashion wore.  I think that lot of the story followed along with history, so that was fun, too.

I loved the detail of the bodice of this round gown from 1795:

It’s made from white silk brocaded taffeta with silk and gold embroidery.  The pin tucks  provide texture, and the lace is a gorgeous touch.

We’re jumping ahead to the Regency period, and these outfits are from the 1815s:

These are riding outfits.  The gentleman is wearing buckskin breeches and his riding boots with a different color leather at the tops.  His outfit looks practical, if you think a tight jacket with tails can be practical.  She is wearing a hunting jacket which is called a spencer, and a muslin petticoat.  I have no idea how anyone rode sidesaddle in that getup.

This is a plain-weave cotton day dress from the 1830s:

I have read Regency novels for 50 years and never knew what a fichu was.  It’s a small shawl worn around the shoulders.  You can see the lace fichu on this dress.  Also, the sleeves are a style called gigot.

I kind of skipped over the Victorian wear, although the dress above could be considered really early Victorian and this next gown is late Victorian, from 1894:

It’s a Worth evening dress, made from silk satin, with a chiffon bodice.  It features “… ‘morning sun with clouds motif’ [which] forms a powerful association with Japan, ‘the land of the rising sun.’ ”  Japanese imagery was coming into fashion in Europe, and this gown reflects that trend.  It must have been stunning—imagine a Gibson Girl wearing this.

The book also had some lovely traditional Edwardian fashions, but I adore these party costumes from Paris, 1913:

Orientalism was common in Paris and Eastern Asian fashions and designs were the rage.  Poiret, the designer of these costumes, held a very influential fancy dress ball in 1911 where he debuted his “Oriental” collection.  The Ballets Russes in 1909 was also part of this trend.

I love this crepe de Chine shawl from 1920s Paris:

This shawl was designed by Paul Poiret again, to be worn with a matching dress.  The design was called “Insaalah” so East Asian designs were still in vogue.  The red crepe de Chine was woven with gold to get that lovely luster.

Elaborate long dresses were back in fashion in the 1930s, and here is a stunning pair:

These were designed by Jeanne Lanvin in the mid to late 1930s despite the Great Depression.  The mermaid dress on the left is made from black linen organdy with an underdress of crepe de Chine.  The pattern was applied with embroidery.  The velvet gown on the right has dramatic detachable sleeves.

The years of WWII were a bit grim, and fashion was an afterthought.  The book has quite a bit about post-war fashion—Dior, the revival of Parisian Haute Couture, the rise of ready-made fashions.  It makes for interesting reading.

With all that, I thought these two dresses were so typically 1950s with the wide skirts and thin waists:

The dress on the right is one of Jacques Fath’s last works, as he died in 1954.  Polka dots are the best!  I could imagine Audrey Hepburn wearing either one of these dresses.

Skipping on to the 1960s.  The book has some fab outfits that would have been someone’s pride and joy.  I’m not sure this Pierre Cardin design of a unisex suit was something anyone really wore:

I’m not sure zippers are more unisex than buttons, but okay.  The vest and knickerbockers are made from wool flannel and the white sweater is plain wool.  Of course the belt is patent-leather.  It does look more comfortable than the suits from the 1740s.

There were pictures of chain mail fashions, Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress, and all kind of craziness, but I think this speaks to the 1960s as well as anything:

This paper dress is called the “Souper Dress” and came out in 1966 in America.  The description says that the designer is Anonymous.  Probably because they used Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Can design.  Andy himself made the “banana dress” and the “fragile dress“.

Take it from us, nothing good happened with fashion in the 1970s, NOTHING!

I really like these late 1980s suits by Thierry Mugler, Paris:

These are the power suits that I would have worn, if I could have afforded them.  I double-dog dare the boss to ignore you when you waltzed into the office wearing any of them!

There were some more modern fashions, but there is only so much time and space to devote to this post.  I will leave you with this last fashion that is more art, than something to wear:

This dress was designed by Yohji Yamammoto in 1991.  It looks so structural, almost like armor.  Sitting must be a nightmare! 😉

If you have an interest in fashion and costumes, I cannot recommend this book enough!  It’s something to savor and revisit over and over.

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Travels in Thrift Store Land

I gotta say, we have been having a pretty mild winter here in Colorado.  Apologies to the rest of the country suffering through the polar vortex, the snow in Seattle, the snow and wind in Hawaii, and the general craziness of a wacky winter.  For once (knock on wood) we are taking it easy.  Maybe a little light on the moisture, but hey, it’s what we always complain about in Colorado this time of year.  Even with the better weather, we have still been pretty short on garage sales, and the estate sales are just starting up again after the holidays, so we have been relying pretty heavily on the thrift stores.  So, come and take a trip with us around the world via the thrift store.

Maybe we should start out slow, and visit our own back yard:

At least that is where normal squirrels are supposed to hang out, but these two critters are not very normal, are they?  I think that the one on the right is going to get into trouble with PETA for the size of that tail he is sporting.  Surely it can’t be his own appendage, but only his hairdresser knows for sure!  The one on the left is mostly harmless, although he has taken begging to a whole new level what with carrying around a big ole acorn cup.  I know the bird feeder is empty, but really?

Now how about the desert Southwest?:

Nothing compliments an interior like barbed wire and a plastic cow skull.  I have never understood the fascination with barbed wire, although I have visited the barbed wire museum in Texas.  It was interesting, but not worthy of putting in my living room.  That being said, I would rather have a spiked cactus than this:

OMG what were they thinking with the snake?  Now if you wanted to keep me out of your living space forever, just let me know you own a giant snake figure, and I will leave you alone till the end of time.  Surely, that could not be the full impetus behind this?  I have it on good authority that some people like snakes, but this is going too far.

How about we set sail for adventure:

We had to take a picture of this cute little lusterware tea set, mostly because the decoration was so unusual:

Normally, they have some sort of little Oriental scene, or a cottage or something like that.  We have never seen one with a galleon on it.  We kind of liked it, but where would we put it?  That’s the age-old and eternal question in our respective homes.  We are so thankful that often just taking a picture of something stops us from buying it!

Here we have another entry in the “you made room in your suitcase for that?” category:

Seriously, I love Italy as much as the next person, but when visiting the mecca of design, you come home with a cheap plastic fan, made in Japan, with pictures of the Doge’s Palace on it?  Sheesh, buy a postcard.  You could fan yourself with that just as well, and no one has EVER had to explain away a postcard.

A trip to Ireland probably explains this little box:

The top swiveled on the screw to open up.  Deb loves boxes, but this was just kind a miss.  Just not good enough to bother with, but not so heinous that we it makes our worst of the worst category.  We tried to like it, honest we did, but if we have to work that hard, it might as well be a giant snake.

We are not sure where these wooden cats came from, but they should probably go back:

We are glad they have each other, cause no one else is going to take something that homely to live with them.  That being said, they were gone the next week.  The stores do purge the shelves, and we frequently hope that some things just get tossed on general principles, but we are probably wrong.  We also hope that the crafts-person responsible for this bit of whittling has since moved on to a less upsetting sort of pastime, like sitting in the corner twiddling their thumbs.  It would be safer that way.

You know us, we can never resist looking at dolls, no matter where they are from.  We are sorry we did:

Gosh, I am just positive this ginger-haired hellion is possessed.  I wouldn’t trust her alone in a dark room, and you’d better believe she is getting nowhere near my house.  I swear that I heard sinister music playing in the background just while looking at her.  You know the kind; the tune that lets you know in no uncertain terms that the star of the movie shouldn’t do the thing they are just about to do.  You can yell at the screen till you are blue in the face and they never listen.

To make up for that, here is this charming lady:

We wondered what her original outfit looked like, but we are giving full marks to the mom or grandma who made the groovy ’60s togs.  They were so well made.  It’s a good thing they were not Barbie sized, or we would have been plunking down hard-earned cash to get Babs some new threads.  We didn’t get the doll out of the case, either; she might have been something fabulous, but we will never know.

Let’s end up back in the kitchen, as all the best trips do.  What is traveling without food?:

Come on, you know you like it.  At least deep down inside, we all may feel the need to own a bright orange fondue pot, right?  Oh wait, there is still one in your cupboard?  I won’t tell.

I think the second pic is closer to the real color.  And no, we didn’t buy it.  We don’t mind forcing fondue pots on our readers, but we will pass.  Of course, I am pretty sure each of  us has one somewhere, in the depths of the pantry, that seemed like a good idea at the time.

While we are Seventies-ing, thought I would share this dress:

Would you be the hit of the cocktail party in this or what?  It’s a pretty fabulous dress, and it sure needs a good home.  Take a look at it in my Etsy shop, if you think it needs to live with you!  Both Deb and I have shops, so don’t forget to check them out now and then to see if something we loved made the cut!  We will feature an item from Deb’s place next week.  Till then, keep thrifting and traveling—just skip the plastic fans.

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Love is a Battlefield

I’ve always wondered how and when Valentine’s Day started.  Apparently, it was a Roman holiday, Lupercalia, a celebration of spring and fertility, which was appropriated by a pope in the 5th century.  (We can’t have those pagan fertility rituals being celebrated!)  There were several martyred men by the name of Valentine, so there is some question of which one was celebrated on this day.  Somehow, around the 14th century, it started being associated with romantic love.  According to legend, one of the Valentines wrote a letter to his jailer’s daughter and signed it, “your Valentine”.  The real reason is probably lost in the mists of time, but still, this is a very old holiday!

Traditionally, the usual gifts were candy and flowers and maybe a nice card which were first printed during the 1700s.  If that tradition were followed today, we wouldn’t have a thing to write about on February 14th!

When I see stuff like this in a thrift store, I’m thankful, but sad.  It’s good that the owners see the errors of their ways, but it feels like we’re howling in the wildness.  I guess we aren’t influencers:

I wish I had a rolled-up newspaper to swat the nose of whomever manufactured these and the store buyer who bought them.  As a small aside, I would NEVER swat my dog on the nose, just so you know.  But, the instigator of this group deserves some punishment.  We can’t be sure what they say or sing because none of them worked—yay!  But you know it’s something godawful.  I’m extremely worried about what the ape in the yellow raincoat is up to; the best scenario would be him singing, “It’s Raining Men”.  When I was at ARC this week, all of these were gone, except the ape in the raincoat.  I hope they were bought for kids, and not sweethearts.

However, these miscreants were still on the shelves waiting to trick the desperate or unwary:


It made me want to cry, “No, no, no, have we taught you nothing??!!”  It’s hard to say which is worse—the flower or the caped heart.  Each is horrible in its own special way, and neither conveys the message, “You’re special”—it’s more like, “I’m an idiot!”  Personally, if you HAVE to get me a stuffed animal, I’ll take the stegosaurus next to the heart.

I can’t believe this is still around:

Do you think it was used as a classroom decoration for Valentine’s Day?  My guess is that someone made if for a little girl’s bedroom in the 1980s or ’90s.  It is pretty horrible, but once again, it was gone this week.  What are people thinking?  If you need to decorate, why not use this garland:

It’s kind of hard to see, but those shapes are Xs and Os in various shades of pink.  I thought it was a fun garland, and this was the reason I swung by ARC this week.  I wanted to buy it on Senior Day when most things are half off for those of us over 55 years old.  Even the Micky and Minnie sticker set next to it on the end cap would have been a fun way to decorate for smaller kids.  Or, you could give the stickers away as Valentines.

We have seen these stuffed dolls before:

It would be super weird to get one from your S.O., but maybe your sympathetic sister or girlfriend could give it to you.  I’m not sure what’s so romantic about him inviting your parents over for dinner; that’s sort of the anti-romantic in my book.  But, I would never complain about breakfast, or even a cup of coffee in bed.  Sadly, this little cloth man could say the words, but never follow through.  The most useful thing about him is the two AA batteries included in the box.  You could use them in your remote … or something.

This made us laugh:

If you don’t get your handsome prince, at least you will have a foot tall squishy frog.  Somehow, I think the frog might be less trouble.  Do you remember Prince Charming from the movie/musical Into the Woods?  Prince “I was raised to be charming, not sincere”?Give me the frog any day!

Okay, we did see some fun, nice things:

You could use this as a vase and put one rose in it—so nice.  If you wanted to use it as a glass, then fill it with chocolates.  Hey presto, gift giving problem solved pretty darn cheaply.

Or, how about this matched pair:

Well, don’t get me started on the word, Bae, but the sentiment is good.  Plus, cups are pretty essential when you’re serving breakfast in bed for two, which would be a wonderful way to start the day.  Or, if you’re not a morning person, hot cocoa in the evening while listening to music or watching your favorite chick flick.  So much better than most of the things in this post.

Stephanie G. please contact us with your email address and we will send along the patterns for those mid-century modern pillows on the leaflet cover from last week’s craft post.

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and are showered with love, flowers, and chocolates.


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Crazy and Not-So-Crazy Craft Patterns X

Well, we did it again.  Yes, we made the mistake of going into our favorite used craft supply store together.  It seems we always find a whole lot more stuff when we are together, and this time was not an exception.  We found a full stack of vintage craft books, and you know what suckers we are for those.  Some of them look pretty innocuous on the outside, but delve deeper and the craziness starts.  Let’s begin here:

The cover doesn’t look too bad, and who wouldn’t want to help out a worthy cause by donating a handmade goodie to the local craft bazaar?  The lady on the cover sure looks happy to help, but when we look inside:

OK, who decided to crochet a lampshade?  I am giving them full marks for some creative crocheting, but as a pattern, it is probably a complete fail.  How hard would it be to find the exact same-shaped shade?  While we are on this page, what is up with the inflatable pot holder?  I see no earthly reason that it is should pop up like a lantern, and yet it does, or so they say.  The baby bootie pin cushion is actually pretty cute, and you could make some sweet baby shower favors with that pattern.  Now, we come to the crocheted necktie.  I think we all need to take a moment and send up a silent prayer for all those poor men who were gifted with one of these.  They must have been absolute saints to keep a straight face during the grand opening of the box, and then the poor schmucks actually had to wear it to show their appreciation.  Imagine the sidelong looks and smirks they got around the water cooler.

In another book called Crocheted and Knitted Kitchen Crafts, we discover this page:

Come on, I dare you not to at least crack a tiny little smile—they are at least cheerful.  Notice the Fiesta wannabe cups and saucers near the top.  Not sure about the striped tea cozy, but the flowers on top are fun.  Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any way to open the teapot after it is on, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a bloomin’ teapot?

This next one gets full marks for a perky model on the cover.  Don’t you just want to grab those knitting needles and crochet hooks, if they make you look that happy.  Personally, I think it was a gin and tonic that did it, but that is mama’s little secret:

This was my favorite page in this leaflet:

I honestly tried to hate them, but they pretty much all pushed over into the “so bad they are good” category.  It might have something to do with the shade of pink used, and some bang-up photography, but the whole page is pretty cute.  That is not to say that they might not come and take you away, if you ever actually tried to make one of these, but hey, no law against browsing.

I actually did like these collars.  Update them in more contemporary colors with some cool beads, and hey, they could work.  The instructions don’t even look too bad.  Don’t forget to wear them with your favorite cashmere sweater, though.

You didn’t even have to go inside for the crazy to start with this next booklet.  Considering they recommend these for your bazaar, too, I may be very glad that all of that was before my time.  Although I have been to craft fairs where some of this, sadly, might feel right at home.  Not dissing the pretty hankies, but that doll nut dish is about as bad as it comes.  I do feel that the only things that ever got made from any of these instructions were the hanger covers, considering how many of them we unearth on our adventures.

Have to give you at least a taste of the inside, mostly because I am a fan of the Porky-Dot pincushion at the top of the page.  (At least that is what they called it!)  The eyeglass holder is a real miss, but what do you do if you are a myopic elephant?  I have no idea what those slippers would be good for.  Maybe they are just to decorate your feet, as I don’t think they would keep them the least little bit toasty.  And hold on—yet another hanger variation.  This one with clips for hanging your dainties.  At least it was practical, and if all else failed, you shut the closet door and no one was the wiser.

Deb had to pick up this one, as she loved the mid-century look to the items on the cover. Pretty hip for a craft book:

That lamp is awesome!

Also found this doll crochet book, and it is one I didn’t have.  (That is pretty rare as I have a LOT!)  The front looks fairly safe.  Most little girls would be fine dressing their Sweet Sixteen Barbie doll in this:

But once we get inside, we see some doll torture going on:

Cara seems to be wearing an afghan.  Poor girl.  I don’t know how anyone would drag around that much yarn.  Imagine it human-scale.  I’ll wait.  See, poor thing.  Plus, I am stumped at the use of human-scale appliances for props.  I guess there was nothing else, so they grabbed whatever was in the storeroom and plopped the dolls on them.

Not content with messing with Babs and her friends, they tried to tell Ken that this was the latest thing in blazers.  He got the snickers at the water cooler, too, as well as a rash from that scratchy yarn, but at least he isn’t drowning in it.  Poor Barbie has never seen so much red yarn in her life, and it’s all piled up on top of her.  At least she won’t freeze to death, but it may mean the end of her career as a fashion icon, if the paparazzi get a load of that.

We also snagged this in a big bag:

We didn’t see the World’s Fair label on it to begin with, and Deb knows I am a huge fan of Barbie patterns, so she let me pay a whole dollar for it!  The kit came with several basic pattern pieces in it, and then each “look” had a small picture and the fabric you were supposed to make the outfit from.  Some of the views have been made and are missing, and sadly, I am missing a couple of the pattern pieces.  If anyone has this, I would adore some copies, so at least the set would be complete.  Looking around, it seems to be a pretty rare item, as I couldn’t come up with another example.  I never know quite what to do with things like this, but I MUST own them.  Hence, the state of my house!

Last, but not least, Deb found this pattern for 21-inch dolls like Cissy, Dollikin, or Sweet Sue Sophisticate:

Those are some fancy duds for the big girls.  At that size it might not be too awful to make all those ruffles.

As always, comments welcome, and if for some reason, you really want the instructions for any of these, drop us a line, and we will try to copy them for you.  Be aware that once they go into storage, it’s harder for us to find them again, but we can sure try.

Posted in Book Review, Friday Finds, Weird Collections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

If I Could Talk to the Animals

I need to be smarter about my procrastination!  I waited until the last minute to write my post, and then the internet is down—duh!  Thankfully, it’s up and I’m making hay while the sun shines to get ’er done, to mix my metaphors.

First off, let me brag on Kathy; she won’t do it herself.  She has taught herself to needle felt and made me a miniature of my dog, Koko:

She knitted the pink hat, too.  She has tons of talent and uses it for good.  The felt dog is very like the original, Kokopelli:

So glad my dollies get to have a snuggler for their very own.

Just as I was typing the “get to business” paragraph, Koko started barking like a fool.  Got up to look out the window, and this is what got his dander up:


The nerve of that doe, to push my bird feeder while looking right at me!  This is why I didn’t fill it last night before the snow.  Three licks with those big tongues, and a quart of bird food is gone.  It is hard to resist those big eyes, though.  To top it off, the poor birds didn’t get much seed since my ginormous squirrel, Peter, pretty much emptied the whole thing.  Time to hang another feeder up in the trees.  And, for those who don’t know, I live about 250 feet from a four-lane main arterial road, and a quarter-mile from even a larger road.  The mule deer seem to navigate around those obstacles.

Okay, on to Second Hand Roses business!

There were a couple of extreme examples of vintage lamps that we saw in the last couple of weeks.  First up, this strange, but amazing pair:


The first things I saw, from the main aisle, were the silk shades.  It’s hard to minimize how fantastic they are.  We have never seen anything quite like them; they are probably custom-made for the lamps.  Then, the lamps themselves.  It’s hard to know where to begin!  At first I thought the figures near the top of the base with green bottom halves were some sort of angel mermaids, but now I don’t know:

Although, this isn’t the best angle, to be sure.  Now, I think they are just angels with their feet together.  I kind of feel that these might be from Italy, although Portugal or Spain are also a possibility.  The group of women on the body of the lamp, motionless, staring up, and some of them topless, is a puzzle.  I don’t think it’s a religious scene, but I’m not an expert.  Even though the decoration is strange, they are high quality with the brass stands that are also decorated.  For someone with a funky sense of decorating, $40 would buy you a lot of lamp(s)!  I was at ARC on Tuesday, and predictably, these lamps were gone.

This floor lamp was more to our taste:


It appears to have some age to it.  Those are rattan poles, I think, bound with brass-colored wire in three places.  It would have had another piece to support the shade.  I looked around on the internet, and couldn’t find anything quite like this.  A lot of similar type lamps had wicker or woven shades, which could be right.  The nice thing about this lamp is that you can fix it up, and put whatever kind of shade you like on it.

I saw this sign, and am completely confused:

Why are we siding with the bears?  I like bears, from a safe distance, but actually siccing them on someone seems wrong.  As far as sporting events, this seems a little too fancy and cutesy to take to football game.  Those aren’t Chicago Bears colors, although I think the Baylor Bears have some green.  Maybe, it’s a sign for The Bad News Bears?

Oh, this takes us back:

I was never a huge fan of Topaze perfume by Avon, but I think comparing it to skunk spray is a bit harsh.  What the heck, 1970s, smelling better than a skunk is a pretty low bar!  I wonder if the original owner wasn’t too fond of it either, since it’s still in its box?

Sorry cat people, but all the cats in this post are not that great.  First piece of evidence for the prosecution:

What is going on here?  I’m not sure why a cat would even dress so dowdily in the “good old days”.  Cats strike me more as clingily-dressed, come hither types, rather than the Victorian dowager duchess type.  It also makes me wonder who on earth would want to give this space in their house?  There are lots of super cute cat representations out there; my advice is to not settle for something like this!

We were looking at the dog plaque on the left:

It’s wooden, and carved pretty nicely.  We were wondering where it came from, when one of us casually glanced to the side and noticed that black and white monstrosity next to it.  We decided it was a cat, because, well, what else could it be?  I’m not sure that is a mirror at the top, but even if it were, well, that hardly makes up for the rest of it!

We have a couple of craft oddities to finish up with.  What would you make out of this?

That’s a tough color for anything but Chewbacca or Bigfoot and there isn’t anywhere enough fur for them.  It could be made into a goat or a dog, but the scale is all wrong for a small version, and again, there isn’t enough for something larger.  I guess I don’t have enough creativity to use this, but then again, neither did the original owner, or anyone who has passed this by in the thrift store.

These two things made us laugh:

The Star Wars crochet kit was a hoot.  It’s in a plastic bag, so we can’t tell you what was inside, although, in retrospect, we could have looked at the back cover.  This might be a fun kit for your little Jedi.  The dip and drape took us back to when people made figures from cheese cloth and watery plaster, or watered-down Elmer’s.  Dip ’N Drape looks a little neater, but I’m not sure if the end product is any better.  Plus, you’re left with those figures when you’re all finished, and that’s not a lot of incentive to even start.

Thanks for stopping by and giving us some of your time.  We are always looking for guest bloggers, ideas, or pictures from the peanut gallery.  Contact us if you’re interested.

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Let’s Do The Time Warp

I gotta say, I am not a big fan of January, but as far as the month in general, it has not been too bad.  We had a lovely day last week when it rained all day, which is really crazy weather for Colorado this time of year.  Usually that would be a big old snowstorm and require loads of shoveling.  Any moisture that I don’t have to remove from my driveway is a VERY good thing.  Deb was still feeling under the weather last week from a cold she acquired while traveling, so we kind of cut our shopping short.  We skipped lunch, and headed for home, so it wasn’t as satisfactory as it could be, but anything to get out of the house.  Because we were out a limited time, I decided to go back in my archives and visit an estate sale that I went to with my husband last fall.

We walked up to the yard and saw this:

That is one fabulous Emperor’s bed.  It was shiny red and black lacquer, and actually was in pretty good shape.  I don’t know where you are going to find the black and red satin bedding to go with it, but I think it would be an absolute MUST if you owned this.  You will probably have to paint your bedroom red as well, but isn’t that a small sacrifice to feel so royal?

We stepped back in time to the living room:

I don’t know what Philistine put up that black floating shelf, but they should be shot.  I mean really, when you got it, flaunt it.  Go all out, embrace the ’60s.  Find yourself one of those couches that is about 14 feet long and really jazz up the room.  Maybe some of that extra-long shag carpet too.  There were too many things in the room to get a good pic of the fireplace, but it matched that California style ’60s look.  It was a very popular look in our town and a lot of homes were built with the local sandstone for fireplaces and stone cladding on the outside of the home.  Deb’s house is similar, but she missed the outrageous walls.

Oh course, you’ve got to know what color the bath would be:

Yep, pink it is.  I think the other baths in the home had been redone, but they kept this one.  I am not even too upset by the gray walls, but it sure needs some fabulous accessories to really get this going, but luckily, pink bathroom stuff is still not a rare breed.  Hope whoever purchased the house kept this, but probably not.  Sigh.

Of course, if you have the house, you need the furniture:

I have to admit that I think this is a terrible thing to do to a cedar chest.  Actually, I don’t think that there is even any reason to line it in cedar, as no self-respecting moth is going to have anything to do with stuff stored in something that ugly.  You would have to leave the chest open just to be able to live with it, and that sort of defeats the purpose.  There wasn’t a whole lot of furniture that fit the time period, so I think someone younger was trying to put their stamp on the house.  It was a curious mix of old and new.

Did spot these in the garage, though:

A whole orphanage of little waifs!  I have to admit to never getting the appeal of these.  I did have some “pity kitties” in my bedroom growing up, and I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for those poor felines living in the alley, but the little girl ones really didn’t turn me on.  Still don’t, and these weren’t flying off the walls, either.

This next item was not at the sale, but it sure could have been:

Is that about the cutest hot water bottle you have EVER seen?  OK, he might be a little disconcerting while flat, but I bet that he is much better filled up.  Even his backside was cute:

The rubber on this is so old and frail, that I wouldn’t ever try to use it, and what good is it just sitting around?  Still, if you were little and sick, this would be better than a plain one at making you feel just a tiny bit better.

I am apologizing in advance.  Just found these in my archives, and decided to use them, just to get them out of the way.  Sorry:

Unfortunately, they would fit in the house too, but I would like to think the original owners had more taste.  I have been trying to decide if the one in front has a clubfoot, or is he about to bean you with a soccer ball?  Either way, they are the stuff of nightmares!

Here’s hoping that Deb is feeling better, it doesn’t snow any time soon, and we will be getting back into our old routine.  More pix, more stories, and probably more clowns coming your way, but we will try to keep the last one to a minimum!

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Today is Going to be a Great Day!

I’m not sure why, but a good friend gave me this calendar:

She also bought a couple more for herself and another friend.  We are going to share positive thoughts, and that seems like a good idea for 2019.  Today’s message was, “Make Someone’s Day”, which just might put a crimp in my snark!  Hey, that might be the “why”of the gift—just a little too much snark in my daily life?

I did have a wonderful time in Michigan with my sisters, their kids, and my brother.  I hadn’t had a family Christmas for far too long; not since my S-I-L and nephew braved the wicked winter and traveled from TX.  My sister needs to be careful about infections, since her illness several years ago.  Of course, B.H. caught a terrible cold that required a New Year’s Day visit to the local Urgent Care.  When I started to get sick, it was time to get out of Dodge and take our infected carcasses back the way we came.  I will not comment on the horridness of driving 1300 miles when you aren’t feeling great.  Thank you, non-drowsy cold medicines!  Time for another look at the calendar again after writing the last part of that paragraph!

I hope you can see this picture.  Enlarge it as needed:

If I were driving behind someone with that bumper sticker,  I would have to pass and give them a thumbs up.  Hopefully they aren’t standing in my way with their staff and sword!  That was an awesome scene, and finally made me aware of how powerful Gandalf really was.

With my new positive attitude, it looks like this post is mostly nice things that we saw at estate sales.  Amazing how that works when looking at pictures and deciding what to use:

We both loved this little rocker.  The designs on the back are so wonderfully done.  It’s not in half-bad condition for an old wicker chair.  It wasn’t overly large, so maybe even kids used it, or a small woman.  We don’t buy a lot of furniture, and what the heck would we do with a chair that neither of us could sit in?  $230 buys lots of dolls, jewelry, and other goodies.

Oh my, Art Deco design is one of my favorite things:

This Seth Thomas mantel clock was fantastic.  I loved everything about the shapes of those numbers and hands.  The clock case itself was pretty nice with an unusual shape and sort of a billowing curtain effect on the sides.  Again, I have useful clocks, and don’t need a mantel clock!  But, I did have to talk to myself, sternly.

This might be the cutest closet storage box in creation:

There wasn’t anything in it, so who knows what they used it for.  The graphics are what every little girl would love.  In fact, the box does look well-loved, and was in enough disrepair that we thought it probably wasn’t worth the price.  Just like the clock, it was great to see it, snap a picture, and move on.

Just what you need for your girl Friday:

A handy-dandy stenograph machine, with stand, case, pads, and manuals.  I can see Humphrey Bogart (Linus Larrabee) giving dictation to his secretary who would be glad to have such a machine.  I suppose that in Sabrina, we see Linus using a dictograph in his car on the way to his office.  Steno pads never seemed like a good idea, especially for novices trying to decode their smudgy messes.  I couldn’t ever get the hang of stenography, although we were quickly shown the basics in high school typing class.  That was one of the most useful classes I have ever taken, and I use touch typing to this day.

Kathy had quite a fight with herself about these:

They are for cookouts so you can prepare hamburgers, etc. to everyone’s taste.  Just stick the marker in the meat with the desired level of doneness showing.  I don’t think there was a side that said, “moo”, which is what my uncle always said.  They are quite silly, but having the box was nearly irresistible.

This was the table that the meat markers were sitting on:

It was pretty fun, all in itself.  I especially liked the plate at the back.  It had an abstract mid-century modern vibe.  I don’t think that it had some fabulous mark, but there were some great unmarked pieces made back then, too.  We didn’t think that the Fiesta teapot was vintage; I think the yellow was a deeper gold color back in the day.

The final estate sale find was something right in our wheelhouse:

A #1 Barbie with case and clothing for $1000?  Way too good to be true.  We wrestled with ourselves about this, but we finally told them that they were off.  They knew that #1 Barbies have holes in their feet, and this one didn’t, but maybe it was a #2?  We looked her over and decided that she was a #3 because she smelled like crayons.  #1 and #2s have those grey/white eyes that really look hand-painted, and this girl had blue eyes.  We also had to break it to him that $1000 was crazy talk and he should probably lower the price if he wanted to sell her.  This group is new to estate sales, and they have a lot to learn.  We have been disturbed by some of their tags being misleading; but they were eager to hear our reasoning and learn.  I didn’t go back to check if they had changed their tag and price. ( Kathy here, I did, and they had. )

Finally, while walking through a vintage mart, I had a million-dollar idea.  It was close to New Year’s, when everyone is making their resolutions.  I could introduce the ultimate diet safe for people who need to keep cookies, etc. around, but can’t keep out of them:

Take a look at the cookie jar in the bottom right!  I know!  Never, ever, would I try to take something out of this cookie jar.  It gave me the shudders from across the booth.  What in the heck were people thinking, putting their children’s cookies in that evil thing?  I’m sure I’m onto something big here and will be floating in cash!  Let Evil Mr. Chuckles guard your cookies and you will have no desire to snatch a few.

Thanks for coming by and visiting our blog.  If there is a topic that you would like Kathy and me to write about, please share.  You all know that we collect a ton of things, so we could probably scrape up a post on most anything!

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