Saturday, September 4, 2010

Should I be flattered?

I was searching the Internet the other day, trying to find some information on this fabulous vintage platter hat I just bought, and I found a blog that had about 15 pictures from my Flickr site--all hats that I've bought and photographed, shown with a few paragraphs of text this person had written, and absolutely no credit given to me. They even included a few of the wonderful photos I have of my then 13-year-old son modeling a pillbox hat (he'd be so pleased to see the image is getting wide play).

I clicked around on this blog, and eventually it did link up to my Flickr, so if someone really cared they could find out who really owned these photos. I found it vexing, though I certainly knew the risks when I started posting on the Internet, and perhaps I should be flattered that someone liked my photos and collection enough to steal it wholesale.

And I have to humbly admit, it did make a fabulous blog posting. So taking credit where credit is due, here are just a few of the hats I have for sale. See my Flickr site for many more (many of which, alas, have already sold).

Black swirl platter hat, by Modernettes
Vintage red straw hat with feather pompom

Tulle and sequin toque hat by Luci Puci

Navy blue linen cloche with veil

Black velvet bowler hat, by Flechats

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back again, in a small way

Sad (and a little embarrassed) to say that it's be ages since I added anything new to my blog. Well, I'd like to correct that; I'd like to get back into it with a big new, splashy plan for the best blog ever.  But maybe that's what's kept me away for so long. Instead, I'm going to start small. Miniature, in fact.
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This is a Pendulette--a miniature coo-coo clock made in the 1930s. This is the animated bird model by Lux; as the pendulum swings, the bird moves back and forth and feeds its babies. Many of the Pendulettes were like this one--more or less like traditional coo-coo clocks, with a rustic, woodsy look and birds. But there were others shaped like cats or dogs, flowers, or even a Schmoo (and if you know what a Schmoo is, you just dated yourself.

You can see why people collect these--they're just so darn cute. If you can stand all that cuteness in one place, here's a gallery of Pendulettes and a little more on their history.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vintage Wonderland, Day 14

Two weeks into the $10 gift certificate give-away on the Etsy Vintage Street Team blog, and it's finally my turn!

That's right, boys and girls. Hop on over there, make a post with your cyber-name and e-mail and a link to your favorite thing in my shop (bet you can't find just one!), and after 9 pm tonight (EST) there will be a drawing for one lucky person to win a $10 gift certificate to Callooh Cally.

The give-away will be going on through the rest of the month, with a different fabulous vintage shop every day, so be sure to check back!

Pictured here: Some of the fun new things I've added to my shop in the past month:
  • An Olive Oyl marionette from the 1950s. This is one I'm really tortured about selling, which of course makes my kids just laugh. How could one be sentimental about a marionette? Of course, if I tried to sell my French bayonette, then they'd understand.
  • A fabulous Hawaiian flower 1950s tablecloth. How retro can you go?
  • A cruet and caster set in pressed glass and silver plate. At one time, every well-appointed table had one of these.
  • Disneykins Babes in Toyland toy soldiers, by Marx. Babes in Toyland was one of the first movies I remember seeing--or rather, I remember the emotions of watching the film, with its terror and romance. These toy soldiers were released in 1961 after the film came out. Oh Disney, I don't know how to quit you.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Walking in a Vintage Wonderland

My posting on this is a little late (mea culpa), but there's still time to get in on the Etsy Vintage Street Team's $10 gift certificate give-aways. Every day in December (extended until the 31st), a different and wonderful Etsy vintage shop will give away a $10 gift certificate. All you have to do is to post a comment on the EVST blog with a link to your favorite item in that shop (complete details are available here). Today's featured shop is abbysrelics, who carries some of the most fabulous vintage postcards around (a weakness of mine).

If you're just finding out about this, sorry to say you've missed some great shops, but there are more than 20 to go (including my shop), and you can sign up every day. More important, great vintage shopping is available every day on Etsy. Put "etsyvintageteam" in the search bar for some of the best.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a fun fat turkey from my shop--a vintage postcard with embossed vegetables (my favorite kind). Makes me kind of sad about the bird we'll be roasting in a few hours, but I'll get over it.

I subscribe to Bon Appetit and each year scour bask issues for recipes (I always save the November issues). One year we brined the turkey--put it in a salt bath for a few days, changing out the water every so often--and it was absolutely fabulous but (like the year I made chestnut dressing and nearly killed my hands peeling chestnuts) something that's not to be repeated. The memory of that moist bird lives on; both my parents and my in-laws mentioned it.

So this year we're trying a rub with kosher salt mixed with herbs, put on the bird the day before. This is also a Bon Appetit recipe, from this year's issue--unearthed yesterday in our massive housecleaning effort and necessitating a trip to the store for kosher salt (along with eggs and other inevitably forgotten items from our list).

I'll post something later and let you know if it measures up to brining. I suspect it won't, but not having to bathe a turkey for two days will be worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mr. John: Milliner to the Stars

There aren’t very many biopics I’d like to see made, but I just found a character who’d be perfect for one: larger than life, incredibly talented and successful, flamboyant, and yet with a touch of humor, even irony, about himself.

I’m talking (if you haven’t guessed) about Mr. John, one of the glitterati among mid-century U.S. milliners. His accomplishments, in a career spanning almost 60 years, were legendary, yet today he is largely forgotten

Mr. John--John Piocelle, or John P. John as he dubbed himself--led a sophisticated, glamorous life in Hollywood and produced some of today's most sought after vintage hats. He was also noted for work, before their split in 1948, as half of the John-Frederics duo, whose most famous hat was the straw and green velvet bonnet worn by Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Often using pseudonyms, Mr. John designed Garbo’s hat in Mata Hari, Dietrich’s cloche in Shanghai Express, and Monroe’s headdress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Outside of films, Mr. John designed hats for everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Gypsy Rose Lee, from Jaqueline Onassis to Wallace Simpson. Even my mother owned a Mr. John hat, one with a bobbing flower similar to the one in my Etsy shop (pictured above), which she assures me was considered quite fashionable. His hats often showed his sense of humor—a bannana hat with a zipper, a hat for an elephant at the Republican National Convention, an Eiffel tower hat, an airplane hat.

This sounds like enough for a great movie, but his personal life was equally flamboyant. His Central Park West apartment had a white and gold d├ęcor he described as “Louis Unrecognisable” and had free-roaming macaws, cockatoos, and parrots. Once he visited a friend wearing a floor-length gold cape and with a bird on his shoulder.

Despite all this flash and glamour, Mr. John was known primarily for his flattering, wearable hats. Even with the bobbing flower, my mother said she always felt great in her Mr. John.

Now for casting that biopic: I'm thinking maybe Robert Downey Jr?


Much of this information came from a fascinating article by Drake Stutesman.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The park and John Waters

Yesterday I took a dozen pieces of my jewelry over for consignment at one of my favorite local museums, Laumeier Sculpture Park. It's a wonderful place where we frequently picnic or walk the dog, with trails through the woods dotted with hidden sculpture, as well as a vast expanse of lawn and massive constructions of steel. The picture above is of Ricardo Cat, which used to be in the children's sculpture garden, right next to where they hold the art summer camp that my boys attended for years. Behind that you see the museum building, where they have indoor exhibits and the gift shop that heavily features local artists (and that is, not coincidentally, run by a woman who used to teach my youngest at summer camp). Below is another of the outdoor sculptures, La Libellule.

The current exhibit--well worth the trip if you live in the St. Louis area--is by one of my favorite film makers, the very twisted John Waters (yes, the guy who made Pink Flamingos and Hairspray). And it's just as funny as he is. The only other people at the exhibit when I was there was a woman and her granddaughter, who was taken by the sculpture of Michael Jackson as a baby (with an adult face and hair), crawling toward another baby/man. The girl was amused by Michael Jackson but didn't recognize the other baby as Charles Manson (complete with beard and swastika on the forehead).

My favorite pieces, I think, were his photographs, often presented in a long series and taken from films or the news--photos of Jackie Kennedy in the pink suit she wore in Dallas, interspersed with pictures of various actresses playing Jackie Kennedy in a pink suit; a whole series of Lana Turner's back, showing her in various films turned away from the camera; and similar series of Grace Kelly's elbows and Dorothy Malone's collar.

I had planned to see John Waters when he was in town for the opening of the exhibit (and a series of appearances around town), but events conspired and I missed him. But the exhibit runs through January 11, so I do plan to see it again and drag my children (if not my dog) along. We'll check out the gift shop while we're at it.