Monday, May 31, 2010

You Know What They Say About Men Who Wear Bow Ties. . .

"I should have listened when my girlfriends told me never to date a man who wears a bow tie.  And look at the atrocious color!" 
"Where's his other hand?"

"Oh No! Now he's spinning it and waiting for my reaction!"

"It's a good thing I thought to bring my Mad Money!"

Here's what Clarice didn't see.  Didn't I tell you yesterday?  Put Hollywood on it and everyone will buy it! 

Virtually undetectable.  Except, of course, for that gigantic red motor sticking out of your neck.  No one will ever know.  Made in Hong Kong.

Here's another novelty item totally unrelated to the others.

"Children will love clipping their nails this new fun way."
Useful.  Safe.  Attractive.  Decorative.  Made in Hong Kong.
There is even a removeable plug on the back foot (feet?) for those errant nails.

What is the reason for featuring these quality items, you ask?  Why, it's a shameless plug for my Etsy store, again!  Surely you know some discerning individual who is looking for useful, attractive items?  No?  Well, then, how about "gifting" someone with them?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

THe Hollywood Cocktail Facial

Today if you search for "Milk Pak" on Google all you find is Nestle Powdered Milk sold in Pakistan or a food supplement for livestock, but in 1936 it was a different story.  The maker of this fine beauty product was Alberto-Culver, Inc of Hollywood, California.  I can find nothing of this company's early existence on the web.  Even the official company website says it was founded in 1955, which we all know is not true, as this little packet of Milk-Pak would not lie.  Wikipedia says the same thing.  I could not find anything in the patents section, either--probably because it is listed under the inventor's name, not the company name.  I learned way more about blackheads than I want to know.  Anyway, enjoy this little item from a time when putting the name "Hollywood" into anything made it worth buying.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Going On A Junket for Junket

I was at an estate sale today and there were so many old paper items I was in Heaven sorting through them.  Found this beautiful book (actually several of them, but this one was unused).  I believe it is from 1935 from printers marks inside and information from this website.  Yes.  They are still making it, although it is hard to find.  Now I am on a mission to find some and try it.

Just look at those beautiful colors!  They have captured the depression ware exactly.

There was even this little brochure inside.

Doesn't that make you want to try it?  Has anyone had this?
I am going back tomorrow for half-off day.  If anyone is reading this tonight or in the morning of the 25th and wants one of these, let me know and I'll see if I can get you one.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Being Rational in the 1940's

I found these wonderful books and case at an estate sale (or maybe two estate sales).  The way things are going we should be seeing these reissued any time now.
This site has a downloadable application for a California Ration Book and explains a little about them.  Every member of the family was issued a ration book and different stamps were used for different goods and different times.  This website has a good explanation.

Book 3 was issued in October of 1943, according to this website.  Everyone in the Tharp family had one.  You had to watch the daily newspaper closely for bulletins about which coupons were good for what at which time.

If you don't need it, DON'T BUY IT!

Book 4 was issued towards the end of 1943 and had a whole different look to the stamps.
Here is an explanation of the different stamps.

Another way to help with the war effort was with War Bonds.  I remember buying stamps every Tuesday (or was it Wednesday?) at school and pasting them in a book to get a savings bond.  I only ever got one bond and had to save it a ridiculously long time before I could cash it for $25.00!

Here is little Eloise Hand's savings book.

Hmmmmm.  Looks like little Eloise spent her dimes on candy instead of stamps!
Someone is actually selling a stamp book for $29.99 at this site.

Also in this folder was this.

Evidently Mrs Tharp did a lot of canning.

Rationing extended to every part of life, including fashion.  Anything that used a lot of material was unpatriotic and there was a lot of recycling going on.  I have a booklet that shows how to cut down men's suits and ladies dresses to make clothing for kids.  After all those years of wearing skimpy skirts women breathed a sigh of relief when Dior introduced his New Look in 1947.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Demented Dishes, Rotten Vegetables, and Depressed Tableware

Honestly, does that face make you feel happy?  Is this something you would wear to keep the children out of the kitchen?  And what about these faces?

What do you suppose has happened to mommy plate?  Did the monster tureen kill her?  Are the spoons being kidnapped?
Why is Mr Plate so angry?  And check out Bat Garlic.
Mr Rotten Red Pepper is making some sort of indecent proposition to Miss Lettuce and love is in the air with the sugar  bowl and tea cup.

The peas are just hanging around , the beets are dancing, and the teakettle is oblivious.

They all live on this vintage badly printed apron from a disturbing time in the past.  If you wish to become more intimately acquainted with these characters the apron is available for sale at my Etsy site. (shameless plug)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Wristlet

This is my favorite gadget of all time and I used it constantly when I was crocheting a lot of doilies back in the 1980's.  You unhook the holder from the wrist bracelet, slip a crochet ball of thread on and re-clip.  It hangs from your wrist, the ball sits on the circle, which swivels down,  and works like a dream.  No more chasing the ball around when it falls out of the basket.

This is an ad from the Evening Post, Rōrahi LXXXVII, Putanga 3, 5 Kohitātea 1914, Page 9.  That's Maori for Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 3, 5 January 1914, Page 9.

A search for the patent revealed that it is probably a Canadian or English patent and not online.  The maker is not listed on the item.

I just found this from an auction site in Sussex, which confirms my English origin theory.

Darn It! I've Lost the Rubber for My Mushroom!

That ought to get a lot of traffic directed to this blog!  Shown below is something today we look at and wonder Why?  Why mend socks when you can just go buy another pair?  My socks always develop holes in the toes, not the heels.  If there is a hole in the heel there is also a corresponding hole in my foot.
The rubber was a rubber band--probably a large o-ring--that fitted into a slot around the edge of the wooden "mushroom".

It looks so simple to do in the illustrations, but darning was and still is a boring thankless job.  Well, maybe not so thankless to the one with the sore feet!  Oh!  This is also useful for repairing cigarette burns on that good wool suit.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Amazing Needlework!

Just look at this beauty!  It is new work and I scanned it full-size on my 8-1/2" x 11" scanner so you could see it close up.  I was browsing an antique mall and found a bookcase full of these.  The proprietor was close by so I asked what country they were from, thinking China or another low labor country.  She said they were made by two ladies in Romania.  There were doilies of several sizes and some large tablecloths, all with this wonderful needleweaving and crocheting.  I just Googled "Romanian crochet" and found this website.  It seems this is called Romanian Point Lace and is from Transylvania.  The "grapes" are formed of bullion stitch.  Here is an explanation of the origin and a slide show.  Be sure to look at the other slide shows at the Lacis site.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hang It All!

Today another non-sewing-related item.  I found this at an estate sale this week.  In wonderful shape and shiny and clean.

Although the patent date is 1926, it wasn't granted until 1928, so should say Pat Applied For.  Jacob Strand, of Stransky Products Corporation, invented this and, at the same time, also invented a pushpin to hold the hanging picture away from the wall, although I do not have any of those.

A little looking around netted me this patent.  It seems the Pat date is for the CARD, not the hangers, but the patent number is for the hangers.  Confusing.  So it seems this card is from after 1928, then.  Anyway, it was a good invention and can still be found today.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Embroider Your Way to Health

This is a timely article for Mother's Day.  I hadn't thought of that when I contemplated writing it, but it works!

Lydia Pinkham was a marketing genius.  She marketed directly to women at a time when most doctors were men and women were reluctant to discuss "feminine problems" with them.  You cannot pick up a magazine from the late 1800's or early 1900's without seeing her ads for her Vegetable Compound

This little booklet is a curious mix of embroidery stitches and letters from actual users of the compound touting their miraculous recoveries from one ailment or another.  A young girl getting her hands on this would be quite afraid to grow up after reading of all the horrible things her body might do to make her ill.  Reading the letters is quite illuminative of what women had to endure on a daily basis before birth control and gynecologists.  This compound can cure pimples, jaundice, menopause, "falling of the womb", whites, nervous prostration, congestion of the bladder, and, it seems, infertility.  It is still available today, although with modified contents.  The wikipedia article gives a lot more information.

Even though Lydia died in 1883 she has a website.  I'll bet you DIDN'T know there was a Museum of Menstruation.  Wonder if they're only open one week a month?  Back in October of 1978 I picked up a copy of MS magazine at Meijer's and stood there leafing through it.  On the back page was an essay written by Gloria Steinem that I thought was the best thing I had ever read.  I didn't buy the magazine but did remember the article.  The magazine has gone, but the article lives here.  To go along with that, here is a funny British ad.

Without further ado, here is the book.  The embroidery stitches are some common ones and ones not so common and there are many I want to try now.  Enjoy!

And finally, Ranger in a chair.

Happy Mother's Day!