In the harrowing tail of the Attack of the Bookshelf, below, I mentioned my father’s personal mishap. I was thinking the other day that when some people think of their dad or grandfather, they sometimes think of a particular actor or character that reminds them. Oftentimes, they don’t think of this until long after their father or grandfather is gone. My father is still with us, thank goodness. He reminds me of Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character, most of all. Aside from getting tempted by strangers, which wouldn’t be characteristic of my dad, the heart of the character us to keep plugging along and making the best of things no matter what crazy thing happens.
Crazy Dog t-shirts has a shirt that I wished I had seen before Christmas, but I think I will put it away and give it to him before hand next year so he can wear it all through the holidays. It reads: “The Griswold Family Tree…It’s All About the Experience.” That is exactly something my dad thinks all the time. It doesn’t matter if you get anything actually done, does it? When in doubt, tie your problems to the rough, right? Trust me, there is just no possibility that he will see this shirt and buy himself before then. He sometimes still just hits “reply” when I send him an email and doesn’t type anything back in response. Online shopping is something we will have to work on in another couple years.
film, gift ideas, modern fashion | Comment (0)
Last night I suffered from a severe blogging injury. It is not a predictable one like carpal tunnel. As you know, I am much more creative (clumsy) than that. I stayed up late working, and I went to bed in the dark. It is just your straight, typical hallway and I have done it many times before, so I had no reason to fear. Than…BAM! I didn’t know what hit me.
Actually, I did. I thought i was turning to walk into my bedroom and I actually hit the edge of a book case. It is an oldie with a protruding top edge (which you will see in the photo at left) so maybe I thought it was the door frame. Needless to say, I almost poked my eye out. I thought I had hit my cheekbone so I put my hand on my face, thinkng erroneously that would somehow help, and I felt blood. Naturally I lost all composure. My knees don’t buckle from the sight of blood (or just the feel of it since it was dark), but when you have an injury that you expect to bruise but not bleed, you have a brief internal freak out. It is not like I picked up glass with my hands or anything. The mind did not turn immediately toward my face, but wondering how much lead paint was under the fifty layers that had been applied to the shelf over many, many years.
Anyway, I ran to the bathroom and saw blood coming out of my eye in the mirror like tears coming out the wrong corner. It turned out that I hit the bookcase so hard that the protruding molding cut me! I now have a cut so dangerously close to the side of my eye, the start of it looks like a natural line coming out of the outer edge. No one gets a crow’s foot in that direction (though of course I have an unaged face with out a hint of any of that nonsense yet a la Dorian Gray of course!).
This morning I woke up with a black eye and a long line that has scabbed over that may be a scar but I am hoping not. It keeps bleeding again throughout the day if I wince, smile or squint. If it does scar, maybe I will just make up a story about an encounter with a shark or something where I almost lost my eye. Or maybe I will tell people that indeed my eye is fake, but is so realistic the way they are making them nowadays.
Bookcases made in the first half or quarter of the century do not hold a lot of good fortune for my immediate family, despite my love of books. When my father was a child, he broke both arms falling out of a built in bookcase. I can see having a bookcase fall on top of you, or fall DOWN frm a bookcase while you are climbing it for some strange reason, but falling OUT was new to me. He explained that he was playing hide in seek and crawled into the bookcase, but decided to hide in something higher than the bottom shelf where they were less likely to look.
The moral of the story is that nobody in my family should own a bookcase. We should just have our books on a sofa table with book ends. With the amount of books I have, I would have have them on the floor and around the entire room like a decorative border.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
By now, you have seen different offers on television about Gold Cash Source offers. If not, let me refresh your memory. You send your unwanted gold jewelry in an envelope and they pay you cash. Remember the excited actors? They also often take silver and platinum too. Since gold is high, it might be a very good time to look at some of the odds and ends you have, such as a gold chain that is unrepairable, or that ring setting you took your diamond out of and really think you will never use again.
There is one thing I want to caution you on. Some people get money hungry or are in a desperate situation and sell some artist made or vintage jewelry. Be aware that sometimes items that are collectible or that are of a certain age, style, or rarity where they may be much more valuable than the mere value of the metal they were made of. I remember a segment on the local news were people were bringing in Grandma’s silver and one dealer was conscientious enough to stop and educate a potential client that their Vicrotian tea service was worth thousands more than the silver that it was made with due to the age, condition, and maker. You may not be so lucky.
So please, before you send in a ring that got passed to you from a relative that died before you were born, or an artifact from an old relationship gone sour, do your research. It is a great service to be able to recycle some bits and bobs, but be careful. Check with someone who is an expert on the era of the item you have. Some may be worth more as gold, but many, many items have historical importance that you may not realize, and if you knew, you may rather pass it down in the family.Uncategorized | Comments (2)
An East West Musical Leather Jacket was featured on Ebay recently. The item was bid up to $1,625.00, but the reserve was not quite met. Unreasonable? Maybe not. East West Musical jackets are very sought after, and are considered one of the “ultimate” leather jackets to own and I have seen particular examples go for upwards of several thousand dollars.
All the jackets have an artistic bent to them. Sometimes it is very obvious, such as hand painting of the leather, or the leather pieced together to create a specific pictorial design. Often, other times, even if a jacket is monochromatic, the tailoring and cut is very inventive. The jacket pictured, offered by designervintagelabels4u, falls into the latter category. Pay special attention to the pocket design and how the front stitching/yokes play a visual part. I would put the value at of course less than the louder and more intricate jackets just because people are willing to pay higher for a theme, but this one is also a very handsome example as well.
If you see an East West Musical label, it is definitely worth taking a second look at the item. You will more likely find them on the west coast, but of course, as anything, people migrate with their possessions. If you are a vintage fashion collector and you spot one at a steal, check the condition of course, but try not to hyperventilate.1960s, 1970s, auctions | Comments (4)
It is not too late to give to the Heroes at Home Wish Registry. It is a project taken on by Sears to help the families who have a loved one over seas, particularly families where a parent is stationed far away this holiday season. It sometimes creates financial difficulties, but more so, sometimes creates a little bit of sadness for not having a mom or dad home to celebrate with them.
The money donated is not tax deductible, as it goes directly to the purchase of gift cards rather than going to a non profit organization. Gift card amounts are divided up evenly among all the registered families. Of course, there are other programs that donate items to families. However, this way, the parent that is caring for the children back in their home towncan buy exactly what they need. They can purchase the size and style and the item that they need the very most. Some of the top Wish List items that families hope to buy are shoes in a range of children’s sizes, and pajamas for both boys and girls. They just grow so fast and need those items every year. Sometimes good, solid shoes are a larger ticket item too.
How do you help? Go to the Sears Heroes at Home on the internet, or go to the register at your favorites Sears store, fill out a slip, and make your contribution.
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I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing as this year winds up. Then it struck me…Mr. Blackwell’s Worst Dress List! Sadly, we bid adieu to Mr. Blackwell earlier this year. Read more details on the passing of Mr. Blackwell in October HERE. His end of year tradition will certainly be missed. Undoubtably, he would have put Brittney Spears on the list as he has done practically ever year. He was probably already thinking about it.
In honor of Mr. Blackwell, I would like to weigh in with a personal opinion. Maybe Karl Lagerfeld, at left, doesn’t merit a spot for the entire year, but he certainly made an interesting statement a few months ago. White on white on white can look extremely elegant. However, I don’t quite get the fingerless silver gloves. Fingerless gloves are “in,” but on men it can only be usually pulled off if you have a motorcycle, if you are going for the Steam Punk look, or if you adopt one of Johnny Depp’s prior styles that evoke the image of an elegant vagabond.
The “my outfit matches my hair” also makes Mr. Lagerfeld look like one of the characters from “This Island Earth.” Is that a cumberund over the table cloth- patterned shirt? Also, I am noticing a “double belt” look. I don’t usually make fun of people, but for someone who has designed things for the rest of us to wear, it is constructive criticism, or in other words, he can take it.
I am wondering if it his personal statement, or is it a sign of things to come for a future line of clothing? I can only imagine…
In honor of Mr. Blackwell, who stands out this year for their misses, rather than their hits?entertainment, modern fashion | Comment (0)
This time of year, I usually read passages in the Bible regarding the birth of our Lord. Concurrently, through the month of December I am also usually reading a novel that puts me in the holiday spirit. Often, it is something nostalgic like the Sherlock Holmes tales I took with me under the covers with a flashlight as a kid, or it may be something that has to do with the winter season in general. This time I am deviating and reading a book I picked up at a used book store on a recent trip. I picked up an old hardcover of the late 40s pulp “The Screaming MiMi” about a Chicago reporter unravelling a mystery about a slash killer. Some of the turns of phrase can be very quotable, and I am writing them down, or slightly cheesey, which befits the genre.
Recently, I had to retire a torchiere lamp that I had that always served as great mood lighting for winter reads, and spied one that was made by Elk Lighting that rather reminded me of a street lamp of sorts. Maybe it would be more likely found in the Big Easy than in Chicago, perhaps. It also reminded me of the exhibit at the museum in Milwaukee that had an indoor section made to look up like old neighborhoods, complete with streetlights, stars, and a creepy lifelike lady sitting on a rocker on her porch. It was made by the same folks who made the “dioramas” behind glass of explorers that were a much more realistic than mannequins that were just accessories to dramatize the museum’s artifact collections.
Of course, it is a bit more delicate than an actual decorative streetlamp for a little downtown or touristy area, but if you are recreating the look inside a house, you would want to merely evoke it. The “real thing” may be too heavy handed or just plain too heavy! I converted the photo to black and white just because it put me in more of a film noir mood. This is something that might just fit the shoes of my torchiere. I will keep you posted on what I decide!Stuff for the Pad | Comment (0)
Merry Christmas! By now perhaps the kids are all collapsed from their sugar high, you are sitting by the fire unwinding after an eventful day and your thoughts have not quite turned to New Year’s Eve, although it is approaching fast. I, for one, always think of formal wear, even if New Years celebrations have become less and less formal. For those of you who will be spiffing it up to ring in the New Year, or if not, you are going to mix in vintage items with casual, a vintage tux jacket dressed down with a banded shirt for the men, or a vintage beaded top or satin brocade jacket with jeans might just be the answer at casual mixers.
I spied some tails on Ebay. The labels reads Stein Bloch, Inc., exclusively for Henry C. Lyttons & Sons. Around 1870, Nathan Stein founded the wholesale tailoring business that would become Stein-Bloch, a staple of the Rochester, New York clothing trade. Up until this point, retailers typically would self label garments that had been made for them. The teputation of Stein Bloch became so prestigious that stores found a great boon in double labelling garments with the maker’s name. Arounf 1929, Stein-Bloch merged with one of its retaikers, Weber & Heilbroner, and Fashion Park, Inc., another similar quality tailor. The conglomerate than was known as Fashion Park Associates.
The store that sold this suit, Henry C. Lyttons $ Sons, opened up shops starting in 1887 with “The Hub” in Chicago, which eventually was eight stories. It expanded by leaps and bounds. A second store opened in Gary, Indiana, and over the years several other locations including Joliet, Illinois. In honor of Mr. Lytton’s 100th birthday in 1946, the name of the store was changed from “The Hub, Henry C. Lyttons & Sons” to Lytton’s. This, by using the label alone, dates the suit to before 1946 without a doubt. It is true that sometimes you cannot pinpoint an item to an exact year sometimes by a label because a maker might have decided to use some extras up, but since the name change was such a big milestone, the labels listing the longer name was probably better orchestrated. Mr. Lytton died at the ripe old age od 103 in 1949. In 1961, Lytton’s was purchased by a conglomerate.
The auction will end on Ebay December 26th in the morning (EST), so please hop to it if you are interested. There are no chest measurements given by the seller, but there are shoulder and other measurements. May be good to buy even as a display piece. Check it out HERE.1930s, 1940s, auctions | Comment (0)
While you are out shopping for some clothes to wear to the Christmas party, last minute gifts, or grabbing a few “Merry Christmas to Me” gifts, please think about your debt. While it is natural to want to outdo others, or to indulge one’s self over all the hard work you have done this year, analyze your rewards carefully. If you put much on a credit card, or rob peter to buy paul a Wii, you might want to rethink things. It is okay, of course, to charge things that you are going to walk on down to another register to pay off to establish your credit, but a string of charges is no better than saying, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
In the UK, an IVA is very popular way to consolidate or look at your debt. An “Individual Voluntary Agreement” is an agreement made between you and everyone you owe money to and is legally binding. It puts everything in writing and you can see what you can reasonable afford to pay in a 3 to 5 year plan. Services are available to help. Even if you don’t have high debt now, using this principle to keep track may help you from getting into a jam you can’t get out from under much later.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Lidian, over at Kitchen Retro, displays a vintage “Christmas gift hint” ad. If you know what’s good for you, it is not something that you will even think of getting the ladies in your life. However, at the TIME it seemed like the item that all women, mothers, and grandmothers envisioned dancing amid the sugarplums in their mind.
What do you think about this? Do you think it is REALLY what every woman dreamed about or do you think even then the guy would get a slug in the arm for romantically presenting it. You will have to check in at Kitchen Retro to see what all the hubbub is about.Uncategorized | Comments (3)
All of the travel I have been doing lately has put me in a bit of a funk. Mentally, I am feeling fine, but I am so worn out. There is so much I had to do in such a short amount of time, I think I overextended myself. It is easy to do anyways this time of year. Right now, I am somewhere where I am pretty much being snowed in! It is weather that makes it unfit to shovel because in an hour you will have to do it again so might as well wait until it is finished and you know what you are messing with. It also is bad weather for taking a romantic walk with the lady wearing a muff for her hands and the guy wearing an overcoat and walking to get their Christmas tree. I have not seen anyone wear a muff this entire season, but I have been surprised before.
It is easy after the holidays to fall into Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I have been turning to things that I have used all summer, like drinking orange juice and taking B-12 supplements to keep myself afloat. I used o get the “good stuff” and now I have relegated myself from getting a generic drugstore brand for the price, but notice a difference in the ingredients. It doesn’t include B-6, which acts as a helper, along with it. For me it is particularly important due to the predisposition towards heart conditions that runs in my family.
Right now the B-12 Supplements from Trivita are on sale for $9.99 for a 30 day supply. It is less of a sale and more as a thank you to new customers. Instead of $24.99, it is $9.99. I am looking forward to trying it out. You can get your box here.
stay healthy | Comment (1)
I recently went on a trip which required flight travel. Of course, I was reading a hardboiled mystery from 1940 that I snagged from a used bookstore, but I always flip through the in flight magazines, particularly the SkyMall catalog. It is like a more sophisticated version o a Lillian vernon catalog in that there are novelty items mixed in with the more standard fare. One product caught my eye, and at first I thought it was a joke!
I rubbed my eyes, but it didn’t go away. Footed Pajamas for adults are a reality. It was a joke on “The Family Guy” where Peter thought life would be perfect once he had a pair. Now, they are in fashion magazines and on airplanes. According to the catalog, they have sizes large enough to fit a strappy lad of 6′ 7″ tall and 250+ pounds. I just think it would really be a little unsettling to see an NBA player retiring for the evening in a pair of jammies with clouds and duckies on them (they have that motif in tall sizes like that!).
Perhaps I am missing the point on this. It would be a good thing to have for children of NBA players who grow in height so that they can’t fit into kids pajamas even though they are only eight years old. Of course, if you were in a theater production, you could have an adult actor playing a child or something like that and it would be the perfect costume. Is there something darker and deeper to all of this? Could it be a high form of cocooning or some type of fetish? Or is it strictly nostalgia for grown up Gen-X’ers who remember their G.I. Joe Pjs and think they still rock.
Jumpin Jammerz offered that they were good for sleeping “or dancing in.” Well, it is sure going to be a darn interesting variation on the “Lords a Leaping” this season for Christmas Carolling, wouldn’t you say?
Any way you slice it, I don’t think anyone here will be buying them, but maybe you will. Well…we could have a pajama party…modern fashion | Comment (1)
Just like payola is something that went down in the history books regarding the history of 20th century rock and roll, the Napster court case was a precedent for the future of the way music is distributed. Kerchoonz, now in Beta, is a new website I just discovered that features free downloadable music. Instead of the artist not being paid royalties and the site acting like your childhood boombox you made mix tapes with, the artists are actually getting paid. In my observation, I would guess site advertising pays for that, though the website doesn’t state.
There are many Indie and unsigned artists on the site which make it very likely for you to be able to discover someone new. Also, since it is free to download the music, you are able to sample the music before running out and buying a CD, and the artists are getting an additional outlet for their music to be heard. The site uses a social networking platform as well, and it sure beats myspace for hunting for music.
The downside of the site is that there is no way to search by genre. With so many new artists, it is hard to navigate only being able to search by artist, album, or song. I just had to randomly guess a few times before I was able to find something. There are lists of the Hot 100 and Indie and Unsigned artists but it is hard to search if you have an idea of the type of music you would like to hear. Go to the site to sample and explore, not to find something specific.
entertainment | Comment (0)
One of the hottest auctions for vintage menswear currently on ebay is one for a 40s Clicker Car Coat. While vintage Levi’s and Hawaiian shirts usually soar, this is an item that I have not seen make the rounds every week.
The blue coat is being offered by seller 9tara9 and with several bidders, the price is hitting the $300.00 mark. The nice thing about the auction is that the seller includes a photo of the label. Quite often, sellers neglect that.
Why is it so important? This way, a buyer can form their own opinion on the age and authenticity of the item. Items that don’t have high profile designer names probably will be the genuine article, but a label’s look and font can tell someone a lot about the garment. If the buyer is knowledgeable about the maker, they sometimes know when different labels were used. Other clues include care instructions that will often place an item in a decade, and sizing scales. If a label is present and fastened in the original way, and clean, it can also tell the buyer a little bit about condition as well.
Showing a label does not give a seller an excuse to not bother to find out exactly what they have, but it is definitely an extra selling point, prevents additional work while the item is already at auction, and will often help the buyer make the decision.
This auction ends in less than 24 hours, so hurry if you mean it!1940s, auctions | Comment (1)
Several times I have received the video of Judson Laipply’s Evolution of Dance, which is the most popular video on the internet right now. Not only is it entertaining, but it is also a trip down memory lane. He recreates snippets of popular dance styles from the 1950s to present. Ever?ything is there form the Twist, to Disco, to the Hammer Dance he represents. Some bits and pieces are things that I have forgotten about. It made me smile to see Brady Bunch style dancing and Headbanging along with the more social dances.
There is now an interactive application on the internet that is Evolution Of Dance starring YOU!. Self Improvement website PeopleJam.com and Saveology.com have teamed up to unleash it on to the internet. You can upload your picture and perform dances with Laipply. Not only is it hours of mindless entertainment, but it serves as a preview to a sequel to the Evolution of Dance 2, which will debut in the New Year.
As you can see, I decided to use the faces of Hayworth and Grant. You can choose the gender of the character that represents you and either have one or two dancers. You can replay yourself over and over again, or share with a friend. If you missed the original Evolution of Dance, the video that started it all, look no further than below!entertainment | Comment (0)