Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Few of Miss CherryBubbles’ Favorite Autumn Things...

Fall is my favorite season of the year and I observe many annual autumn traditions of my own making. One tradition involves reading books and watching movies with an autumnal backdrop or theme. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you...

Nothing says autumn like the biggest college football game of the year. Now, I'm certainly not the biggest football fan around, but I am a Nancy Drew fan. So, what do football and Nancy Drew have in common? They both appear in the 1932 fall-themed Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene, the 8th book in the Nancy Drew series. Nancy solves a mystery revolving around an unusual letter she receives at the beginning of the book, but most of the action takes place at Emerson College, where Nancy cheers on her special friend, Ned Nickerson, in the big game.

"Indian Summer is like a woman."  So begins Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, published in 1956 and quite controversial in its time, for revealing those things about small towns that one wasn't supposed to reveal. Sometimes I read the book... sometimes I watch the film version, starring Lana Turner. Sometimes I even read Return to Peyton Place.

The gorgeous fall foliage of northern Vermont provides the perfect backdrop for my most favorite autumn film, The Trouble With Harry. I simply can't imagine the movie taking place in spring or summer. It just wouldn't be the same. Although I have read the book it was based on, nothing, in my opinion, surpasses Alfred Hitchcock's film version.

What are your favorite autumn traditions?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Are You Prepared?

The area of Pennsylvania that I live in experienced a major devastating flood six days ago, courtesy of Tropical Storm Lee. My town experienced floodwaters higher than the "Agnes Flood" of 1972, an equally devastating flood that I have childhood memories of. And further back, in 1936, there was another major flood in this area. Thankfully, my house is on a hill, but we were surrounded by water for a couple days, with a travel ban in effect and many roads and bridges closed.

 September 9, 2011. The view from atop the cliff in my backyard.

 September 9, 2011. The building with the pillars on the corner is the town library.

Along with hearing about the recent Tropical Storm Irene flooding disaster in the state of Vermont, the situation of being basically trapped at home without access to necessities, like food and water, really made me wonder if I am truly prepared for that circumstance...  I wasn't this time around, but I will be in future.

In this particular case, my pantry was fairly well-stocked with canned goods and my husband thought quickly enough to fill lots of jugs with water before the real flooding started. Luckily, we were not without electricity. We do have emergency candles, an old-fashioned kerosene lamp, and a flashlight, but no stock of batteries for it. Nor do we have a basic first-aid kit. And we were almost out of dog food for Mr. Lucky. These are things that will be remedied.

 September 14, 2011. My re-stocked pantry... after today's trip to the market.

My town has also been under a boil advisory since last Friday, and until further notice. In other words, all drinking water must be boiled before using. We have a public water system here, as well as a public sewer system, both of which can be contaminated or damaged by flooding. Thankfully, the public sewer system was not damaged.

It is amazing to me to realize how much I, and probably most other people, take for granted in everyday living. Take a moment or two to think about how you would survive without those taken-for-granted things, like electricity, communication systems, or water coming from the faucet when you turn it on... now, let me ask you... 

Are You Prepared?

Links to information about emergency and disaster preparedness:

Disaster Preparedness Kit Video by FEMA

Emergency Kit List from American Red Cross

Preparedness Fast Facts from American Red Cross

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Have You Visited the Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en?

They're the hosts with the most!

Kelly and Paul of Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

It goes without saying that one of my favorite web series, or vodcasts if you prefer, is the Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en... oh heck, I'll say it anyway! I love this show! While at Ohana: Luau at the Lake last weekend, I was pleased as punch to meet Kelly and Paul, those kitschy-kool kids who bring us all the fabulous tips, advice, and cocktails needed for mid-century modern living.

Love the matching togs made by Kelly herself!

Kelly not only makes fabulous hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, she's quite a crafty seamstress as well. Paul is a music maestro and grillmaster extraordinaire. Their shows cover all sorts of fun subjects, including camping, how to survive in a bomb shelter, midnight snacks, and, most recently, a visit from hippies!

This particular episode is chock-full of tips for your next cocktail party...

What are you waiting for? Head over to the Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en now - you'll be glad you did!

Miss CherryBubbles enjoys a tiki-fied hot dog at Ohana, courtesy of Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day...

Here's to all the swell dads and granddads who've been a part of our lives and made living them that much more wonderful!

Little Miss CherryBubbles and her very own swell Dad

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home on the Range... and Blond Furniture Revisited

I'm thrilled to pieces and just had to share that my Grandma Elverna's Frigidaire stove is coming to my house!

My grandmother's stove in her pink and red kitchen.

I can't wait to cook with the range that my grandmother used to make me real hot cocoa when I was a child... and that she cooked so many wonderful family dinners with. I also have one of her aprons... I'm sensing a photo op in my future.

This stove has a deep well on the range top and it has TWO ovens. Oh Miss Frigidaire, the soup and cookies we will make, you and I!

Just for fun, here is another view of my Grandma Elverna's kitchen, showing the cute little shelves above the sink...

Grandma Elverna and Grandpa Bud in the mid-1940s with their two boys... the little guy on the left is my Dad. :)

Now, as I recall, I promised to let you know when the Heywood Wakefield furniture from Grandpa Bud and Grandma Elverna's house would go to auction. The furniture will be sold on July 12 in a special auction of higher end antiques at Travers Auctions in Dallas, PA. There's also an antique oak sewing cabinet & machine in this auction that my Grandpa Bud brought from his parents' house several years ago. It looks like the auctioneers have some really terrific items for this auction, so it might be worth the trip if you live in or near northeastern Pennsylvania.

So, who has a suggestion for a good first thing to make using my grandmother's stove?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Giveaway Drawing You've Been Waiting For...

SEE... Miss CherryBubbles actually draw the winning name!

Video Director & Editor: Mr. Mantiki / Spokesmodel: Miss CherryBubbles

Many many thanks to all who entered and...

Congratulations to SusieQT, winner* of Miss CherryBubbles' Mahalo to My Followers Giveaway!

Susie QT has a lovely blog, so go have a look!

*Dear winner,
Please email me at the address in the sidebar with your contact info so I can send your goodies on their way to you :)
Miss CherryBubbles

Friday, May 6, 2011

No Man of Her Own... and Giveaway Drawing Coming Soon!

I just watched No Man of Her Own (1950) the other night for the first time. What a terrific film!

Basically, Barbara Stanwyck plays an eight-months pregnant woman whose unfaithful boyfriend hands her a train ticket back to where she came from. When the train wrecks, she is mistaken for another pregnant woman on the train whose husband is also killed in the wreck. The husband's parents and brother accept her and her baby as their daughter-in-law and grandchild. But, this deception is in danger of being exposed when... oh well, maybe you'd better just see the movie.

I found it interesting that, while the movie has all the elements of a typical film noir, Barbara Stanwyck plays the lead character, rather than a femme fatale (as in Double Indemnity). Of course, she was smashing as a desperate average woman helplessly pulled into desperate circumstances. If there isn't a "chick noir" subcategory within film noir, maybe there ought to be...

As is so often the case, Edith Head did the gowns for Barbara Stanwyck. She did a great job costuming Barbara as an average woman. It seems to me I read somewhere once that Barbara Stanwyck was rather long-waisted, which had to be compensated for in costumes designed for her. Anyone else ever hear that little tidbit?

I loved the interesting shots and scene changes in the film, and the way the train wreck is presented completely from the inside of the train. Mitchell Leisen directed this movie. I think the only other of his films I've seen is The Mating Game (one of my favorite movies). Daniel L. Fapp was Director of Photography (he was DP on West Side Story).

The only criticism I have is that the title doesn't seem to fit the film though. The title of the Cornell Woolrich story that this movie was adapted from is I Married a Dead Man... now, that's a film noir title!

Here's the first 10 minutes of the movie to tempt you...

Now, contrary to what you might think, I haven't forgotten about drawing a winner for the Mahalo to My Followers Giveaway. I plan to take care of all that in next week's post... can you handle the suspense? ;)

Tune in next week when Miss CherryBubbles chooses a winner!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Too kool for skool...

... don't you think?

I only have time for a quick post at the moment, but have wanted for awhile to share this fantastic photo of my parents in their glorious high school days. It is one of my favorite pictures of them. Seriously, aren't they just too cool?

Now, if you haven't entered my 100 followers giveaway, you've still got until May 1 to enter. Head over here and enter in the comment section. Good luck!

Catch ya on the flip side, kats & kittens!

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's a "Mahalo to my Followers" Giveaway!

A while back I reached the coveted "100 Followers" mark here at Past Life... and then I threatened to host a giveaway to say thank you to all of you. Well, the giveaway is finally here!

It took me a little time because I wanted to make something special for the prize package, in addition to the vintagey goodies included. So, without further ado, I give you...

The Mahalo to My Followers Giveaway!

Mahalo is, of course, the Hawaiian word for "Thank you." I decided on a sort of Hawaiian/tiki/tropical theme for the giveaway because I've been looking around for just those sorts of things for Ohana Luau at the Lake in June. (See my Ohana post from back in February.)

Here's what the lucky winner will receive:

☛ A lovely goldtone palm tree brooch - take the islands with you wherever you go...

☛ A pale sunshine yellow Hawaii souvenir chiffon scarf with hula dancers and various Hawaii scenes...

☛ A kicky wicker & lucite handbag - fully lined, with a zippered inside pocket and roomy enough for all your important girly stuff...

☛ A fun red hibiscus flower barrette - designed and crocheted by yours truly, Miss CherryBubbles...

Now, here's how to enter for a chance to win:

1. Leave a comment here telling me about your tiki/tropical/Polynesian favorites - could be a movie, a cocktail, an island, apparel, a fruit, etc. Just to get you started, my favorites are pineapple, tikis, teatimer blouses, Hawaiian slack key guitar music, and mai tais.

2. For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway and be sure to comment here with a link. If you don't have a blog, you can still get an additional entry by spreading the word on Facebook or Twitter and letting me know that you did so.

3. If you become a follower of my blog, you'll receive an additional entry - just let me know that you're a new follower in the comments below.

**Don't forget to include an email so that I can contact the lucky winner**

Okay! You've got until Sunday, May 1, to get your entries in!
Winner will be chosen in a random drawing and will be posted here.

Pomaika`i! Good Luck!

Friday, April 8, 2011

If Grandma Was a Hollywood Starlet...

There was a whole chest of photos to look through in preparation for my Grandma Jane's memorial service this weekend. My mom and I were putting together a photo collage to display at the service. I was constantly amazed by the photographs of my grandmother that I'd never seen before. I just had to share this one with you...

Both my mom and I thought she looked a like a Hollywood starlet, perhaps awaiting her next scene in a picture that takes place "in the country." I wish I could look so well-put-together and beautifully-coiffed.

On another note... rest assured I haven't forgotten about the giveaway I've been dangling before you. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. I'm hoping to have everything ready next week and I hope you'll enjoy this one!

Til next time...

Aloha ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Please do not adjust your set...

... we will return you to your regularly-scheduled blog posts shortly.

I'm still putting together a swell 100-follower giveaway package to be announced soon, so stayed tuned.

In the meantime, please enjoy this video clip, chosen especially to give you the merest hint of the giveaway theme...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In Memory of My Grandma Jane...

I count myself among the lucky for having known all four of my grandparents (and even a great-grandparent!) while growing up. I am greatly saddened though, that my last grandparent still living passed away on Monday night. I'll miss my Grandma Jane very much.

Elnora Jane was born in 1918 near the end of the First World War, or the Great War, as it was known then. She grew up on a farm, was the middle daughter of three girls, and lived the majority of her life in the same Pennsylvania county in which she was born.

Jane (she always went by her middle name) probably never experienced the decadence of the "roaring 20s", but she was teenager during the Depression, the new bride of an army soldier during the Second World War, and a high school "cafeteria lady" in the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1930s or very early 1940s, Jane, one of her sisters, and a cousin all went to New Jersey to work in a button factory for awhile. I often think that must have been a great adventure for three young women at the time.

Since my Grandma Jane has appeared in a few of my past posts (here and here and here), I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos of her...

On her wedding day in Hugo, Oklahoma, 1943. She traveled there to be
married because my Grandpa Alf was stationed at Camp Maxey in Texas.

All dressed up, possibly for her high school graduation in 1936.

Probably sometime in 1944. Grandpa Alf was likely on leave.
My grandmother still had the vase of poppies picture (in the upper
right corner of photo) hanging in her room at the personal care
home where she lived for the past seven years.

Jane, the middle daughter, seated between her two sisters,
Marge and Helen.
I love the bold print on her dress!

Gone fishin' ... in Canada. (circa late 1950s/early 1960s)
This is one of my absolute favorite photos of my grandmother!

Jane and her granddaughter.
I treasure my memories of the times I spent with my Grandma Jane.

Elnora Jane, 1918-2011
Rest in peace, Grandma.

**I chose "Bluebird of Happiness" as one of the songs to go along with this post because my grandmother was quite fond of those handblown glass bluebirds of happiness that were popular many years ago. She gave me a pair of them when I was younger that I still have.**

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Never Knew I'd Write a Blog...

...let alone win an award for one! *(A Nicole Kidman quote, sort of paraphrased.)

Oh my stars! I've received my first award as a vintage-y blogger! Thank you, Thank you to the lovely Miss Dee, who has bestowed upon me, the Stylish Blogger Award! Miss Dee writes "Of Pearls and Petticoats," a delightful blog that you ought to visit, if you haven't already. Go ahead, click the link, I'll wait here until you're done...

Now, as I understand the rules for accepting this award, I must share seven facts about myself and I must pass this award on to seven other bloggers that I enjoy reading...

So, here are the facts (just the facts, ma'am)...

1. I love a mystery. No, really, I do. Anything unsolved or unanswered piques my interest. I blame Nancy Drew for starting the whole thing and David Lynch for egging me on.

2. I was a Girl Scout... and, in a pinch, I could still make a Buddy Burner out of a big coffee can. Yep, that's me in the middle, with the Elvis sneer and cupcake icing on my face. Hmm, I'm pretty sure we didn't use a Buddy Burner to make those cupcakes.

3. Up until 2006, my mister and I visited Vermont every year (sometimes twice a year). In fact, we "eloped" there on February 18, 2005. I'd love to live in Vermont someday.

4. I have a master's degree in Library Science and did my internship in a large historical society library. My project was to organize and catalog a manuscripts collection from an early 1900s girls' camp in Maine. I think completing that project was the most fun work I've ever done.

5. Oh, wow, I'm only up to five facts... well, let's see... I have the same middle name as my mother and grandmother! It's like having a family heirloom that you can never lose, break, or have taken from you.

4. The first time I ever dyed my hair, I was 31 years old... and I dyed it black. My mister loved the new color, but it didn't go over so well with my Grandma Jane. She was much happier when, several years later, I decided to go blonde (perhaps I was subliminally influenced by my two blonde friends in the photo below?).

7. As a wee tot, I had a pet bunny called "Mitzi." I'm not so sure Mitzi was enjoying herself in this photo, but I look pleased as punch wif my widdle bunny baby.

And now... it was tough (I mean, tough!) to choose seven from amongst the so many wonderful blogs I follow, but, my choices for the Stylish Blogger Award are:

For The Love of Pete

Lemondrop Vintage

Livin' Vintage

Practice In Time

Sassy Lassie's Vintage Life

Tart Deco


Do drop in on these terrific blogs - there's always a post worth reading!

Say, while I'm expressing my appreciation today, I'd also like to Thank all of you for jumping in the jitney and riding along with me here! And since I've now passed the 100-followers mark, keep your eye out for a GIVEAWAY in the coming weeks!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dreaming of the Tropical Paradise of Northern New York...

Although I'm more of a fall/winter kinda girl, this chilly weather has had me thinking a lot about Ohana Luau at the Lake, a fabulous weekender held in June at the Tiki Resort in Lake George, NY.

My mister and I vowed that we would attend this year. We've got our room reservations made and, as soon as tickets go on sale, we'll have those in hand too. Then there's vacation-time-scheduling and figuring out where Mr. Lucky will be vacationing while his people are away. Preparing for a vacation, even a short one, always seems to be chock full of details to remember

But, of course, one very important part of preparation is finding tiki-rrific outfits to wear! I have a fun orange vintage sleeveless barkcloth Royal Hawaiian shirt, a vintage muumuu by Penney's Hawaiian, and I'm considering taking this tiki-ish print dress along as well...

I still haven't found a belt that suits this dress better than the white one I'm wearing in the photo. Guess I'd better add that to my to-do list.

Here's a close-up of the print... novelty-licious, don't you think?

Now, since Ohana is four days and three nights, I'd like to have a few more swell items to wear. As I've been pouring over Etsy, I've run across so many fabulous tiki, Hawaiian, tropical, and Asian/Polynesian things that I thought I'd share a few with you...

A lovely Ui Maikai dress from Jitterbuggin...

Tropic orange passion flower necklace and earrings set from VintageEyeFashion...

Fabulous Hawaiian tea-timer blouse from WearItAgain...

A terrific red & white hibiscus dress from FastEddiesRetroRags...

A completely adorable coconut purse from BossaCubana...

And a tiki-rrific Hawaiian barkcloth shirt from MomoDeluxeVintage...

Oh, and don't let's forget about tiki mugs, like this collection of eight from AtomicMiss...

Well, that warmed me up a bit - how about you?
Now I really can't wait to go to Ohana!

Are any of you going to a weekender-type event for the first time this year?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Revisiting the $5.00 Box of Photos...

Light snow is falling outside my window today, so it seemed a good day to stay indoors and revisit the $5.00 box of vintage photos that I bought back in aught-nine... 2009, that is.

As I was wandered through time in a box, I came across these photos....

I do believe they are photos of Miss CherryBubbles and her faithful canine companion, Mr. Lucky, in a past life.

And here's Miss CherryBubbles and Mr. Lucky in their present day "past life."

I'm often amazed to come across photographs, prints, or illustrations in thrift and antique shops that could be me and my puppy dog somewhere back in time. And I usually feel compelled to add them to my growing collection...

Have you ever found vintage photos of yourself and your pet in a past life?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Bevy of Beautiful Blondes in My Grandparents' House...

My family always referred to the light-colored, beautifully-streamlined, modern-looking furniture in my Grandpa Bud and Grandma Elverna's mid-1950s-built house as "The Blonde Furniture." To me, as a child, it always seemed extra-special and somehow more than just an ordinary table, chair, or desk.

While you will most likely recognize it right away as Heywood-Wakefield, I was an adult before I ever heard the name mentioned in relation to my grandparents' Blonde Furniture.

I thought you might like to come along on my trip down memory lane and see some photos I took last fall at the house. At some point in the near future, all this furniture will be headed to auction.

Let's start with the china cabinet... full of the Franciscan Desert Rose dinnerware that I fondly recall my Grandma Elverna using for many a family dinner...

And here's the buffet... I always loved the sliding door on the one side...

One of six chairs for the dining room table - four armless and two with arms... my grandfather always occupied an arm chair at the head of the table (well, actually the end closest to the kitchen)...

The table ends fold down and the "legs" are three arches of wood... my grandmother always used a tablecloth for dinners - often one that she had embroidered or cross-stitched herself...

End tables and coffee table in the living room... my grandmother used to have lady-head vases on each of the end tables...

My grandmother's dresser... the mirror always seemed so huge to me...

My grandfather's dresser... complete with a green Roseville "Hyde Park" monogrammed ashtray that doesn't look as if Grandpa Bud ever used it (even though he was a pipe and cigar smoker at one time)...

The headboard with sliding door compartments... the quilt rack next to the bed was made by my Grandpa Bud...

And, last, but not least, the awesome desk in front of an oft-sunny window where I remember my grandparents taking care of their bookkeeping and paperwork...

I hope you enjoyed meeting this bevy of beautiful blondes! I know I will always associate "The Blonde Furniture" with fond memories of my Grandpa Bud and Grandma Elverna.

What stirs happy family memories for you?