Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Please tell us a little about you and your shop. 

My name is Francesco and I live in the south of the Netherlands, in a city called Breda. A few years ago I used to visit flea markets, junk yards, etc. looking for old bicycle parts. That was my business back then: restoring road bikes from the 60s, 70s and 80s and selling vintage bike parts on EBay. During my search I would often come across all types of other vintage goodies. I decided to give Etsy a go and see if I could sell some of those gems and that is, in short, how VintageBreda came about. The handy thing about living in the Netherlands is that we are that close to Belgium and France that I can travel up and down to markets just for one day. This is where I usually find the best vintage articles. I think it is great that I can offer my Etsy customer a wide variety of vintage items from several European countries. 

What is your favorite era and why?

I love the fifties. So many things we love nowadays seem to originate from the fifties. Movies, music, fashion and design from that era still serve as an inspiration to many, including me. The whole 50s atmosphere very much appeals to me. 

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment and why?

The red Mid Century Desk Lamp made by Philips in the Netherlands is one of my favourites at the moment. I can just picture that lamp on a swanky retro restaurant’s vintage reception desk. The sleek yet simple design is what I like best. Simple and sleek actually goes with anything if you ask me. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shop of the Week

  Meet Cyndie, the owner of Vintage Envy, this week's featured Shop of the Week. 


Ever since I can remember I have had the desire to create! As a little girl you could always find me with a crayon in my hand and a pad of paper. Drawing, painting, pottery you name it I wanted to do it. I also admired the gorgeous brooches and high heels that my mother wore to work and would love to play dress up. She gave me my first piece of jewelry at the age of five which was a jelly belly cat necklace:) 

My passion for creating and fashion has stayed with me in one way or another through out my life from painting murals to decorating homes, wedding receptions and showers. As one of the buyers for a small boutique I always tried to find unique jewelry to sell in the shop. I thought why not make my own jewelry combining a mix of vintage, antique and new elements to create romantic and whimsical pieces. So Vintage Envy was born! 

My favorite era would be the 40’s and 50’s. I love the gorgeous rhinestone brooches and the Hollywood glam! Although recently I have been attracted to Victorian pieces.

One of my favorite pieces in my shop at the moment is a necklace that I made from a vintage rabbit baby rattle. I love how whimsical it is with the bunny jingling sweetly as you move:)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This week's Shop of the Week is 1006 Osage. 
Meet the owner, Pam, and read more about her and her shop. 

Please tell us a little about you and your shop.

I opened my Etsy store about a year and a half ago. My original idea was to open a store with handcraft/art items and I initially named the store Pheinart, a combination of my first initial (P) and my last name (Hein) combined with "art." I thought it would be clever to have the shop name be a different spelling of "fine art." It was a stretch, I know, and probably just as well I ended up nixing that idea and selling vintage instead. I kept pheinart as my user name, but changed the store name to 1006 Osage.

1006 Osage was the address of my grandmother's house. For as long as I could remember she was a treasure hunter and collector. As I grew up, I loved to go to her house and see her many clocks, roosters, and other collectibles. She is gone now, and her house has been sold, but I am happy with the thought of carrying on the family collecting tradition, and her memory, through this online venue.

What is your favorite era and why?
Outside of my Etsy store, I am a Historic Preservationist and research and write about historic properties. I also rehab old houses. This type of work has given me an appreciation of about every era; however, if I had to name a time period of design style that I like the best, it would probably be the Arts and Crafts period and the modern design of the 1940s through the 60s. I tend to prefer clean lines over ornate. 

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment and why? 

I would probably say that this men's trench coat is one of my favorite things in the shop right now. I love how it has simple, classic lines and is blue, something that you saw more of in men's clothing in the 60s/70s. The surprise to the functional exterior is the silky lining featuring the fun pattern of red-colored flying geese. The coat just makes me smile. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

                         Our  Shop of the Week is The Little Things Vintage owned by Jessica.

Please tell us a little bit about you and your shop:

I am a stay at home mother to a sweet little three year old super hero! My husband is active duty military and we will be married 10 years this July. We have lived in many different places in this country and love traveling the summers in our travel trailer!

My shop was inspired by my love of the little things...like the lilys of the valley, they were in bloom when the shop opened. My husband was deployed and my son was 5 months old I needed to do something for me! That's when I discovered Etsy and that I could share my love of little treasures with others too!
There is so much joy in reconnecting people with past happy memories and when customers share their story with me I just love it! 

What is your favorite era and why? 

My favorite era would have to be 1940's. I love the plate patterns, the fashion, and especially the kitchens!. 

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment and why? 

This is currently my favorite item. The colors and the rooster theme have grown on me. I think it would fit nicely into many existing patterns, like my white fiesta dishes! It reminds me of my mothers rooster themed kitchen too.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Shop of the Week: wolfmansmummy


Please tell us a little bit about you and your shop.

As a child, I thought I would someday sign my name as Mrs. David Cassidy, but now I answer letters addressed to "Dear Wolf". Feels just right, actually! My children are grown, my parents gone, and I am enjoying my 7th year with the man of my dreams (shoes Mr. Cassidy could never begin to fill). It was time to do what I wanted without a creepy boss or catty co-workers. Enter Etsy. My shop is still finding its real legs, I don't know where its specialty lies just yet. I only want to present items I truly adore, but then I feel a heart-tug when they sell. Not much of a business model, eh? I would like to offer mostly vintage snapshots, but they are hard to find locally at an affordable price, and harder to part with when I have fallen in love. Fortunately, I have the attention span of a toddler, so I will only collect a particular thing for a short time and I don't believe in storing the good stuff. If I love something enough to have purchased or kept it, what good is it stored in a dark closet or basement?

What is your favorite era and why?

Like many shop owners on Etsy, I don't have one favorite era. My ideal daily costume would be a men's gangster outfit 
from the 1940s, I think--a well fitted pinstripe suit for day and a black or navy sexy slip gown for night. As to collecting items I can only afford to fantasize about, I love the pain and pageantry of the Victorian-Edwardian eras; for example, how the dead were mourned in Victorian times. What amazing tributes the jewelry, styles, and photos were. I think I am drawn to harder lifestyles because it makes me feel better about getting by on less than most people seem to. I don't need the nicest and newest clothes; I just need sturdy clothes. What better compliment to solid vintage wares than to keep using them?

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment?

Any item that makes me smile (or cry) becomes a fast favorite such as old photos of kids making faces. 

I also love snapshots of moms and their children or affectionate couples. There is something magical about them. I love handwritten letters and personal papers that were kept for decades. 

And Pyrex! Love me some bright color Pyrex!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Friday Night Movie: Desk Set

This week's Friday Night Movie post is by Deb from MyVintageVarietyShop

There’s something very nostalgic about watching a mid-1950s movie that explores the worries workers had about computers and how they would impact their job security. (See the IMDb summary here-- www.imdb.com/title/tt0050307/)

The 1957 movie Desk Set is the story of the fictional Federal Broadcasting Network housed in New York’s Rockefeller Center, the home of modern-day NBC. Katharine Hepburn plays chief reference librarian Bunny Watson, who along with three other women, are in charge of researching and answering trivial questions from viewers and other TV stations. The company wants to expand so they decide to bring in engineer and efficiency expert Richard Sumner, played by Spencer Tracy, to install a computer they refer to as an “electronic brain.” It is called EMERAC, which is very similar to America’s earliest computer developed by the military, the ENIAC. The computer is installed along with a lot of predictable problems! Bunny and her staff, and the company’s president are fired via erroneous Pink Slips and the computer fails to produce answers quickly. During all of this, Bunny and Richard start to spar and match their wits and wisdom with the dose of on- and off-screen chemistry.

Never mind the fact that Bunny is involved with one of the executives at FBN, Mike Cutler, played by Gig Young. After seven years, Bunny wants a marriage proposal that may not come quickly. Then Richard starts showing interest in Bunny and while she loves the attention she fears Richard’s first love is the computer and Mike’s sole focus is his career, which she has helped along the way.

The resulting chaos and intrigue underscores the fears and suspicions of the era when modernization, the Space Race, and American technology like television was thriving. It is interesting to note that IBM, which stands for International Business Machines, receives almost as much billing in the credits as the stars—perhaps an early example of commercial product placement!

Here’s the YouTube video with the opening credits and a portion of the opening scenes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK3zmPUxblk and the IMDb movie summary: www.imdb.com/title/tt0050307/

This film offers lots of witty dialogue, great vintage clothing and office scenes and a supporting cast including Dina Merrill, Joan Blondell and Sue Randall. I like the scenes where they are toasting the holidays and the loss of their jobs. I am feeling rather vintage, too, because one of my first jobs was to keypunch IBM computer cards for a bank. I also own and an original movie lobby card with a scene from the movie. You will see it in the Friday Night Movie treasury I created to salute Desk Set.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tastes Like Vintage: Chocolate Cake with Fluffy 7-Minute Frosting

This week's Tastes Like Vintage recipe post is by Mary Ellen from AuntHattiesAttic

My Mom was beautiful - everyone told her she looked like Hedy Lamar. She was petite and had beautiful legs and gorgeous hazel eyes. She was loads of fun and had a very sharp wit and was quite smart though underschooled...but...she could not cook to save her life!

Under her tutelage I learned how to make Jello, moved into My T Fine puddings and finally American Chop Suey. We only made cakes from mixes, which fell far short of the great ones we have today. So when I married in 1973, I started in the task of learning to cook and bake.

I chose this cake and frosting recipe because it is so easy and incredibly moist and tasty. Whenever I eat it, it makes me feel like I’m in Grandma’s kitchen seated at the wooden table, my short legs swinging underneath my chair enjoying cake made with love, shared by someone who loves me no matter what. Sigh! My Grandma died before I was born o that part is sweet fantasy. Thank you for allowing me to share some food with you.

Chocolate Cake

from “National Grange Bicentennial Year Cookbook” copyright 1975.
Submitted by: Thomas F. Eagleton, Senator from Missouri

3 cups sifted flour
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup cooking oil
2 tbsp vinegar 
2 tsp vanilla extract ( I use equal parts vanilla and orange extract )

Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Measure all wet ingredients into a 4 cup measuring cup.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix until smooth. (No need for a mixer I just 
Pour into a greased and floured 13 X 9 1/2 X 2” pan
Bake at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes (Mine usually take 40-50 minutes) until it tests done with a toothpick.

Fluffy and Confectionersʼ Basic 7-minute Icing

From: “Meta Givenʼs Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking” copyright 1959.

1 egg white
1/8 tsp cream of tartar ( I do not use as eggs are very fresh )
Dash of salt
3 tbsp cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 to 2 tsp white corn syrup (I do not use this)

Put the first 5 ingredients in top of a double boiler, then place over boiling water-upper pan should not touch surface of water. Beat with a rotary beater 7 minutes, or with electric beater 4 min, or until icing stands in pointed stiff peaks. Remove from heat. Change hot water for cold and replace top of double boiler. Add vanilla and syrup, then continue beating until icing stands in shiny peaks stiff enought to hold shape. Spread 
on cake immediately. Enough for top and sides of two 8-inch layers. Double recipe for three 8-inch or two 9-inch layers.

( While icing is fresh sprinkle on grated coconut if you wish )

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vintage FYI: Vera Neuman

“Color sings to me.
 Color is such a marvelous way of expressing emotion. 
 We have so many problems in this world;
 color just brings a little bit of joy into our lives.”
– Vera Neumann

This week's Vintage FYI post is by Pam from 1006Osage

This scarf started my love affair with “all-things Vera.” I bought it over 20 years ago from a thrift store. At the time, the gorgeous spring design and fabulous colors spoke to me, but I didn’t know a thing about the little signature in the corner. It would be years later until I researched the “Vera” name and learned about this incredible female designer and marketer working in the mid to late twentieth century.

Vera was born in 1907, and was fortunate to have parents and teachers who encouraged her artistic endeavors at an early age. She went on to study art and design in college and began her solo professional life doing book illustration and mural work.

Vera married George Neumann, a man with family ties in the textile industry. In the early 1940s, they started their first company, Printext, from their home using a tabletop screen printing press. Their early products were primarily table linens. Her foray into scarf design was a happy accident. Linen became difficult for their company to obtain after the war, so they began working with parachute silk. The simple scarf allowed her to continue to work with smaller items, but satisfied one of her goals: providing affordable art for the masses.

Over the years, Vera’s name became associated with many large companies including F. Schumacher & Co, for whom she designed fabric and wallpaper; as well as Mikasa, where her designs adorned serviceware and china. Her signature, along with her ladybug symbol, became known worldwide.
Vintage Vera napkins with ladybug from CoconutRoad

Vera died in 1993, but her designs live on. The Vera Company continues to manufacture and market her designs. Vintage Vera is a favorite collectible. Her signature scarves are always popular, as are linens, dishware, and even clothing. 

Vintage Vera Neumann blouse and hat by judygovintage
Vera’s designs were diverse. She drew inspiration from so many sources including her travels, science, architecture, nature, and pop art. Many years have passed since I purchased that first scarf. Today my closet includes many Vera scarves, each one an incredible piece of art.

For more information on Vera Neumann-
Overall history and tips for dating Vera items:

Great slide show on Vera and her design inspirations http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/vera-neumann_n_1018007.html

Book about Vera Neumann
“Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon” by Susan Seid (Abrams; Thames & Hudson)

Vintage Vera scarf by PopFizzVintage

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tastes Like Vintage: Nippy Cheese Log

Nippy Cheese Log--ready to disappear
This week's Tastes Like Vintage post is by Jacquie from Jacquie Vintage.

I love creating themes for my holiday dinners. I enjoy the culinary challenge of creating dishes I've never tried before, all from scratch.

A couple of years ago, I settled on "Thanksgiving à la 50's" (not to be outdone by my "Jewish Thanksgiving" of a year earlier, consisting of matzo ball soup, beef brisket, kasha varnishkes, and challah bread - delicious!). My inspiration for the 50's theme was a well-worn cookbook from my mother's collection. She had passed away a year earlier and the dinner was to be a tribute to her, with a table decked out in her cherished china and flatware. 

My mom was the type of cook who relied on a small group of tried-and-true recipes, simple and cost-effective for her family of six. She would rotate these recipes so regularly that they became her signature dishes, in all their delicious glory. With that in mind, I explored the 50's cookbook, looking for those little recipe gems that could potentially evolve into signature dishes for me. And, I wanted the dishes to reflect my romanticized version of the1950's: perfectly coifed housewife in apron, serving happy husband and smiling children.

I settled on traditional turkey and stuffing, minted carrots, caraway crescent rolls, and pineapple upside-down cake. Never one to ignore the need for a pre-dinner appetizer to go with cocktails (pineapple martinis!), one recipe caught my eye for its simple ingredients, its title, and how it instantly evoked the 50's in my mind. The promise of the recipe's tag line: "Serve it to your guests and watch it disappear!" was too intriguing to pass by. And it didn't disappoint. I'm happy to report that this recipe has indeed become one of my signature dishes, often mentioned by friends and requested every time there's a party or gathering. Try it and you'll see! Without further ado, I give you:


(Loblaws About Better Cooking, 1958)

1/2 lb. old white cheese (cheddar is best), grated
1 to 2 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons minced green pepper
3 queen size stuffed olives, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickle
1 tablespoon chopped pimiento
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1/2 cup finely crushed saltine crackers
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne

Combine all ingredients. Form into roll about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in aluminum foil. Chill until firm. Remove foil. Serve with Old London Melba Toast.

My notes on the recipe: you can substitute 6 small olives for the queen size, if needed. 1/2 cup of crushed saltines equals approximately 14 crackers. I find the 1-inch diameter too narrow, opt for 2 inches or greater. I form 2 logs of about 10 inches each this way. The recipe yield is enough for a group of 6-8 people. Enjoy!

My mother's china and flatware.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vintage FYI: Decorating your Vintage Easter Table

This week's Vintage FYI post is by Anita from Rollling Hills Vintage

Although Easter has a religious significance, it also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring. As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.

Here's a few ideas for setting your table, Vesties team style:

Vintage Easter eggs from VintageCuriosityShop

Vintage Easter basket from Circa810

Pastel lotus bowls from ionesattic

Vintage rabbit planters from SugarCookieLady