Thursday, March 26, 2009

What Makes a Good Party?

Miss CherryBubbles is smack dab in the middle of preparing for a big family gathering this Sunday.

Since I've still got lots on my to-do list, my post for this week will have to be a bit short. The get-together is a birthday party of sorts for my pop-in-law and it looks like we'll number around 15. I'm sure we'll have a swell time (despite the rain in the forecast)!

In keeping with a party theme, I thought I'd post this terrific Coronet Instructional Film from 1950 on the subject of "What Makes a Good Party." It's from the Internet Archives - a fantastic site to wander around.

Feel free to sing along at the end if you like...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Has Sprung...

and that means it's time to start thinking about the Garden!

So I gathered a few March vintage magazines and some of my gardening books (ranging from 1906 to 1959) to look for inspiration and practical advice.

Don't you just love the March 1935 Better Homes & Gardens cover art? Now that's what I call Spring!

Now, let's get down to business! A particular "old-fashioned" plant I'd like to add (hopefully this year) is a Rose or two or three. Luckily, there's a helpful article in the March 1958 Household magazine about How to Plant a Rose. Mind you, I don't think I'll be wearing my good shoes to "tamp" the earth around the plant.

One of my favorite gardening books is Garden Book published by Popular Mechanics Press, 1942. In addition to revealing the "secrets of backyard gardening", it's full of fantastic garden, landscaping, and outdoor furniture projects. I like so many of them that it's hard to choose which project to try! However, I'm very tempted by the suggestions for creating "Outdoor Living Rooms". Someday, we'd like to have a great big outdoor barbecue-pavilion-patio area... an outdoor living room, if you will.

And check out these options for a nice BBQ Fireplace! I'm partial to the fieldstone ones, but the brick fireplace on the right is pretty swell too.

Well, now, getting back to the actual garden... I was thrilled to find this in my local grocery store, of all places. It's a blue dahlia. I couldn't resist buying this one. I love dahlias and one of my favorite film noir movies is "The Blue Dahlia" (Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix). And it was the only package of the blue variety in the bunch. So you see, it was simply impossible to leave the store without acquiring an actual blue dahlia bulb!

And now, just because I like it, here's a fun garden-related ad I found in the March 1954 Woman's Day magazine... Kate Smith's Garden Special! Who knew you could get free seeds worth 95 cents with the purchase of floor wax?! It was lovely of Kate Smith to think of it ;)

So on this beautiful vernal equinox, I am, as the March 1935 Country Gentleman magazine put it, "Preparing for the Flower Parade". Adding the lovely dahlia, and a few other bulb flowers I recently purchased, to our present garden of daffodils, lilies, butterfly bushes, poppies, hydrangea, lilac, grape hyacinth, iris, and hibiscus will sure make for a colorful Spring and Summer!

Happy Gardening! Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sunday is a lovely day for...

Sunday Waffles

On Sundays, we usually make the breakfast that we don't have time for during the week. Darling hubby makes coffee in a vintage Sunbeam vacuum pot, and let me say it easily makes a fine cuppa. Occasionally, we poach eggs in a 1950s Sunbeam egg cooker - makes three at a time. And if we're having toast, it goes right into the vintage radiant control Sunbeam toaster, which magically lowers the toast in by itself and slowly raises it when toasting is completed. Now, really, we do have other brands of vintage appliances besides Sunbeam... honest. In fact the waffle iron you're about to see in use is a 1920s Universal by Landers, Frary & Clark.

This past Sunday, it was a toss-up... eggs in some form, or waffles. Since we'd been to the local diner and had eggs on Saturday, waffles won the day. So I chose my weapon... oops, I mean apron... and pulled out The Encyclopedic Cookbook (1950) and mixed the batter for Sunday Waffles.

My current batter bowl is a contemporary one, made of the modern version of "melmac" (and, no I don't mean the planet that ALF was from... why do I even remember that tidbit). I aspire to own a lovely jade-ite Fire King batter bowl someday. Meanwhile, this one serves the purpose.

Here's the waffle iron in action - pretty exciting, eh? See the bubbling batter... and a few minutes later - voila!

Just add sweet cream butter, real maple syrup, and a side of honey-cured bacon! Or, for something a little different, try making some Red Eye Gravy to put on your waffles ;)

Here's to a delicious breakfast of Sunday Waffles made whilst enjoying a little quality time with my main man and my prime pooch.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Light is good...

...from whatever lamp it shines. ~Author Unknown

What with the days getting longer and Spring just around the corner, I thought I'd talk about light. Well, lamps in particular. Vintage lamps, more specifically. And I have some to show you.

Our lamp tour will begin in The Lodge Room. Here is one of the first old-timey lamps dear hubby and I ever acquired. It had no shade when it came to live with us, so we looked everywhere we went to find one that looked right. Seems to me that there were 2 or 3 before this lovely glass globe was settled upon. Isn't she lovely?

This is one of my favorites - it features a winter picture on one side of the shade and a spring/summer picture on the other. And I love the driftwood base. Soon it will be time to turn the shade away from winter....

Now here's one that I acquired at an estate auction. I was undecided about bidding on it at first, but then realized I had to have it. The base is conical and black with gold spatters. The fun swirly-patterned shade needed re-threading on top and bottom, which I did myself. I'll admit to using non-vintage cord, but it matched and worked well.

Moving into our tropical/oriental decorated living room, you'll see this terrific shell lamp. It came from my husband's grandparent's house and we suspect that it was acquired on their 1930 honeymoon in Miami. We don't have this one plugged in - need to replace the cord first. But it's still a perfect addition to the decor.

Here's another of my favorites! So mid-century and tropical and leaf-y! This one had no shade when we purchased it either. The current shade is vintage and probably around the same era, but is temporary. I'm still looking for just the right shade to complement this wonderful lamp.

Yet another heirloom lamp from the dear hubby's grandparents. A swell mid-century TV lamp! And another favorite of mine (okay, so they're all my favorite). Unfortunately, the little man lost his foot in a friendly tussle with Mr. Lucky (aka The Dog). He said he didn't mean to do it, but chalkware is alot of crunchy fun. We still love the, and the dog... anyway!

Our final stop is the dining room. This is our "bar lamp". It's actually a marriage of a cone shaped lamp and a glass ceiling light "shade". The inside of the cone lamp is gold, so it makes a very warm soft light. This one goes well with our shiny cocktail shakers and glassware.

Now that you've seen the light....

Here are a couple interesting vintage lamp-related websites to while away some time on. TV is a fun site devoted to everything about, you guessed it, TV lamps. And the Collectors Weekly site has a nice section on all types of vintage and antique lamps.