Saturday, December 31, 2011

LUCITE...Reverse Carved Pins

Anyone who knows me or has visited this blog before knows of my eternal love for lucite handbags.  I saw a lucite purse one day and fell madly in love, love, love with it (see lucite post)...and have been collecting ever since.  The lucite pin has a very similar history in my life.

My husband and I were somewhere in the Central Valley, California.  I think we were there for flat track motorcycle races (motorcycles being another joy in my life) and we decided to pop into an old antique store.  Lo and behold, sitting in a dusty case of clutter was a reverse carved lucite flower pin.  I think I actually heard the angels of collecting sing as a single sunbeam broke through the clouds and illuminated the lovely piece of jewelry.  Okay, not really about the sunbeam, but you get the picture.

Prices on these babies vary widely.  It pretty much comes down to how much you want the piece.  They are easily found on Ebay and Etsy, along with many other online buying sites.  Sometimes I find them for a steal and other times, I just really want the pin and pay the premium price.

Check out for ideas of how to wear vintage pins.  If you want to see pages and pages of pictures, click on the link reverse carved lucite pin pictures...and voila, tons of beautiful pins.

So, as winter turns into spring, and we all throw on those coats and jackets and sweaters...think of dressing it all up with a bit of vintage style...add a lucite pin.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bakelite, Celluloid, Plastic Bangle Bracelets

Click clack, click clack....the sound of bangles sliding around on my wrists.  I love to wear bracelets, stacked and instant pop of color, sound, and vintage fun.  It brings back the whole feel of dress up...being a little girl, piling on Mom's jewelry during a session of dress up...
I don't wear anything too fancy.  My bakelite is plain, but I love the mellowness of the colors.  I started buying about 8 years ago, when bakelite was already highly priced so my collection is also interspersed with some plastic and celluloid pieces that mix well.  And isn't that what wearing vintage is all about?...mixing and matching to find a look you like, while being affordable to your wallet and lifestyle.         

So, if you crave a little clanking and clacking in your life, go find some vintage bangles, mix them in with your favorite outfit, and enjoy wearing something that not only gives you a stylish look, but also makes a great sound!
these celluloid bangles have the most gorgeous
colored rhinestone

great mellow vintage colors

chunky, plain bakelite 

these remind me of candy, they are so
yummy looking

and this is how I store them...a piled jumble
in a favorite piece of pottery I found in

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vintage Embroidery...Patterns and Pieces

I am an energetic type of gal...I get itchy fingers if I sit in one spot too long.  The cats and dogs of the household must occasionally hate me because the minute they get comfy on my lap, and I start to hear the soft animal snores, I start to squirm.  So, I knit...I embroider...I hand sew...anything to keep the restlessness at bay.  And that, my friends, is where the vintage embroidery comes in.  Knitting is nice...until I have to concentrate enough to follow a pattern while being social or trying to watch tv.  Hand sewing is also nice, but takes forever when I know I could just turn around and whip the project out on my sewing machine.  Hence, embroidery.  The perfect sitting in my chair kind of activity.  I call it a coloring book for adults.  It is fairly mindless, but keeps the hands busy and produces something lovely in the end.

This is my market carry-all...a vintage pattern transferred onto a new canvas bag...

There are a lot of great contemporary embroidery patterns out there (I love to shop Acme Notions online...a great resource for embroidery patterns).  And that is what I started with, contemporary patterns or reissues of older ones (thank you Aunt Martha's).  Until I started spotting really old embroidery patterns and pre-stamped linens in the second hand and antique stores.  Then, the vintage purist kicked in and another collecting bug was born.  So, I still embroider great new designs and such, but I always have my eye out for that vintage embroidery pattern tucked into a dark corner of some antique booth, a vintage pre-stamped linen or some other such embroidery thing buried under lots of ugly stuff at the local thrift.
Another vintage pattern transferred onto a canvas bag...

A lot of times the older patterns I find will no longer transfer.  There are many ways to go about using the design from an older pattern, many ways to trace and transfer.  I suggest doing an internet search for techniques  as it is way too extensive to cover here.  Just search "transferring old embroidery patterns" and you'll find a way that works for you.

Vogart vintage are fairly easy to find...

These are 2 vintage pillow cases that I embroidered...I just need to hem the
bottoms and attach ruffles...

An apron that I found in a second hand shop...I love the dog with its tongue hanging out...  

Lady stamped on a linen runner...

A pile of old patterns...I pick them up whenever I see them...pieces here and pieces there...

A vanity set that I have every intention of one day embroidering and hemming... or framing...


Friday, September 2, 2011

Vintage Kitchy Pottery

Hull, Sunglow pottery...

Kitchy...there is no other word that sums up this pottery better than kitchy.  It clutters my kitchen, is a pain in the butt to dust and wash, and every piece make me smile every time I look at it!  As a collector of vintage things, I buy what I love...what makes me happy...what I feel enriches my "vintage stylized" life.  These small pieces of pottery
are not very functional but are just make me happy.  Whimsical is another good word for them.  Some are just little statues, while others are planters, creamers, or a cookie jar.
There is the little dog that peeks out at me in the morning from on top of the microwave...and the little DeeLee girl that daintily stands, partially hidden behind my kitchen window curtain.  There is the poodle that holds coffee stirrers and the cats that sit atop my refrigerator.  As I zombie my way to the coffee pot every morning, I am surrounded by happy, silly pottery figures...and I can't think of a better way to greet the day! 

microwave dog...

cat cookie jar and

The top of my kitchen cabinets...
pottery goes around 3/4 of the room!

To the left is a little wall-eyed dog
that I just love...

My little Lefton's poodle
holding coffee
stir sticks

novelty planters...

And the grand finale is Crazy of my absolute favorites!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vintage Metal Basket Purses with Some Lucite Thrown In Too...

One of the original bling purses...shiny and eye catching...the vintage metal basket purse.  Popular during the same time period as my beloved lucite lovelies, these purses were crafted out of woven metal strips and often had lucite or plastic details.  Dorset Rex was the best known producer of this type of bag, but Majestic and Tyrolean also produced boxy purses using metal detail with plastic.

These purses tend to age better than the all lucite bags in that the metal holds up better.  Lucite and Bakelite can become brittle, chipping and cracking easily. For this reason, I do not use my lucite purses very often.  The metal purses are much easier to throw a wallet, cell, and sunglasses into without worrying about damage.  They also tend to be lighter weight than solid lucite.

A great book for pictures is:

Plastic Handbags  
Sculpture to Wear                                       
                      by Kate E. Dooner

It's an older book, first published in 1992, but the pictures of all lucite and lucite/metal purses are incredible...definite eye candy for purse fiends.  It's also a great resource for a purse collector because it lists the major manufacturers from the late 40's through the 50's, gives you a chapter on each, and gives you a sense of each company's style.  I often have a good idea of who made one of these vintage purses just by looking at it because most companies did have a unique style.

These purses also tend to be less expensive than their lucite counterparts and ship better if you're buying off the internet....two great reasons to start collecting these beautiful purses.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Telephone Cord Purse?


I first spotted one of these babies years ago and was immediately hooked.  Talk about funky...a purse decorated with telephone cord.  I think part of my infatuation was the nostalgia of the cord, having grown up in the pre cell phone days...sitting in the kitchen talking on the phone that was attached to a coiling cord, that was attached to the wall.  In those days, your parents could hear the whole conversation...can you imagine!?  Anyway, like I said, I spotted a black and white telephone cord clutch and had to have it.

even the bottom of the bags have the cord detail

I was at a yearly Antique Market in Moss Landing, California, cold and foggy, as it is held right next to the Pacific Ocean.  The lady selling the purse obviously didn't think it was all that special because she asked next to nothing for it....SCORE!  So, after the first purse, I wanted know, like the addict I am.  I started to ask around at all the antique stores and the workers would all look at me like I had grown a second head.  A purse with telephone cord?  They'd never heard of it.  I searched it on Ebay...with no results.   I hunted for the elusive telephone cord purse for several years...with the occasional sighting in a purse book.  Each time I found one in a store, I would buy it, until I now have a decent size selection of purses to choose from.  And they are great to use....very durable and if they get dirty, just wipe them off.

At first I thought that the purses had to be newer...possibly the late 60's, but found out they were a 50's thing...a lot of great plastics came out of WWII, and the plastic technology was used to create some pretty terrific bags in the 50's and 60's.  Now, plastic is just plastic...something we debate over whether to drink water out of.  But think of a time when plastic was new and exciting...

Maybe they're not everyone's thing, but I just love them...all the more because they are not everyone's thing!


this is my absolute favorite...bright red and white with a twisted handle


the purse that started it all...the clutch in the front