A very Merry Christmas brings!
Vintage Card from Rust Craft
A very Merry Christmas brings!
Vintage Card from Rust Craft
Before I’m accused of not knowing the words to the famous poem, I’d like to say this is the Tammis Keefe version – a version for a more mature audience.
You may remember a post from several years ago, where I found one of these Keefe designs that was ripped off and used without crediting her. I had seen the cocktail napkins on one of my favorite etsy stores, CallMeJasper, and was wanting them badly, but could not manage the justifiably high price tag. I did eventually break down, return to the thrift store and buy the plate, but I’ve been looking for a set of the napkins ever since.
You might imagine me, walking through the antique mall on Tuesday, hoping something would catch my eye, and then I look down and there they were, a complete set of eight tiny slight tipsy reindeer. I snatched the set up and hoped for the best as I turned the price tag over so I could read it. $12. I felt like a bandit as I ran to the counter to buy them before someone realized that just one of them was worth more than that.
And so it is in the collectibles business. Sometimes you have to over-pay to get a marvelous thing, and other times you find a bargain of the very best kind.
Merry Christmas to me!
I took the above photo last week at the market I attended, and was planning to use it as yet another example of how it’s often best to just leave stuff alone. I know next to nothing about vintage costume jewelry, but I do think that the combined value of all the stuff that went into making this tree would greatly exceed the $130 asking price.
This was a huge fad in the 1960s into the 70s. Take all of Granny’s old, out of style costume baubles and glue them to a board in the shape of a Christmas tree. Display it for several years until you realize it is beyond ugly and then put it in the closet where you rediscover it in 2011 and try to peddle it as mid century art.
I know some of you are going to say you like it. Okay, I’ll admit that it does have a certain charm that would be greatly enhanced if these were actually MY grandmother’s jewels. Still, please let me make my point: sometimes it is best to just let well enough alone.
I went on a quest to find more of these to use as example, but my feeble search phrase, “Pin Christmas Tree,” led instead to Christmas tree pins. Suddenly the clouds lifted and I was delighted by a nostalgic trip to a mid 1960s jewelry counter. One of the advantages of having been in the world for 56 years is that I’ve got some darned great memories. One of them is Christmas shopping in the 60s. In one particular year, around 1964 or so, my mother let my older brother and me pick out a Christmas pin for our teachers. I can remember how hard it was to pick, as even our little home town department store had a large selection. It was a very popular gift of the time, and I can imagine that teachers in the 60s amassed a huge collection of them.
And that is reflected in the abundance of them in antique store, flea markets and online. On etsy alone there are over 1000! It would be very easy to get hooked on these, as most are very inexpensive. I’ll share a few I really liked, in all price ranges. Click on the caption to go to the sale page.
O Christmas Tree – Vintage Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Gold & Rhinestone Christmas Brooch Pin
Retro Christmas Tree Pin with Pink, Blue & Green Stones
Silver Toned Eisenberg Christmas Tree Pin
O Christmas Tree Vintage Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Silver tone Rhinestone Christmas Tree Brooch
Vintage Corocraft Cristmas Tree Brooch
Is there any feeling like going to the mailbox and finding a package with your name on it? And then you look at the return address and realize the package is not something you ordered, it is from a friend. I can’t think of anything that could create a holiday feeling any faster or more completely.
Yes, quite unbelievably, a friend actually sent this wonderful box of vintage wrapping paper to me. Amanda, who lives in Vermont and who runs a greenhouse and sells vintage clothing knew I’d love this, and she was right of course. Even though I’ve never actually met her, Amanda is a good friend.
This is probably the most unexpected side-effect of blogging and having an on-line presence. For close to 15 years I’ve been meeting people online who share my love of vintage clothing, and who are interested in carrying on a conversation about it. In my “real life” I’m hard-pressed to find anyone who will sit still long enough for me to go on and on about the wonders of Harris Tweed or Vera Neumann, or any other topic that just tickles my fancy.
So I’d like to thank Amanda for the lovely gift, but I also want to thank all of you who take the time to read The Vintage Traveler, and who make such thoughtful comments. This is such a fun part of my life, and I appreciate having you with which to share it. So many of my posts are directly inspired by the comments made here and by what I find on your blogs. I know the word is terribly over-used in regards to online activities, but I do feel like there is a sense of community.
Lately, I’ve worked toward narrowing the focus of my online activities. It used to be that an adequate online presence was a blog and a Myspace page. Today, the choices are simply overwhelming, with twitter, facebook, tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, Linkedin, google+, not to mention all the online sites for just fashion people like Independent Fashion Bloggers. It just gets to be too much.
I’m glad that I’m not trying to make a living off The Vintage Traveler. You do realize that there are fashion bloggers making in the six figures from their blogs. To me that is just astounding. They have relationships with fashion companies, relationships that are highly sought after and coveted. Turns out the latest buzzword in blog marketing is influence. How influence is measured is a very tricky thing, but several websites like Klout claim to be able to calculate how influential your online presence is. The higher your influence, the more companies want to “work with” you.
I’ve decided I can’t worry about my influence scores. I can see that we in our vintage community influence each other, and seriously, that is simply good enough for me.
So keep adding those great comments, and don’t forget to leave a link to your own blog. I always visit the sites of new commenters, and try to leave comments too.
Here is my all-time favorite vintage Christmas card. There’s just something fresh about this young woman, all dressed and ready for that special Christmas party. Of course, today, you might used the current favorite catch phrase of the ebay and etsy seller to describe this one: Mad Men.
And for once, you’d be correct, because this is vintage early 1960s, and very sophisticated in the Mad Men manner.
So which of the women of Mad Men would send such a card? It looks the type of card a single girl would send, but I just can’t picture Joan or Peggy sending this card. No, this is an Allison card – sent before the office party.
Apologies to those of you who do not watch Mad Men.
Vintage card by Hallmark
I think the most striking thing about the shoppers in this 1930s card is that they seem to be actually enjoying themselves! Now that’s a novel idea – Christmas shpping as fun. Today, most people I know look at it as a task to be gotten out of the way. “You ready for Christmas?” accompanied by a worried frown, seems to be the common question going around at the present.
Maybe shopping looked like such fun because during most of the 1930s, many people were not doing a whole lot of it. Perhaps this card is just a lot of wishful thinking!
At any rate, I’m ready for Christmas. My family has never been very big on lavish Christmas presents, and this year my husband, my MIL and I have decided that what we really need was to help out our favorite charity. So one small present for each of us, and a donation to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation will be our Christmas. It was surprising how writing out those checks made us feel. I was almost giddy with knowing this money will help find good homes for dogs and cats who have been abandoned. And that is the BEST kind of feeling!
Illustration from a card in my personal collection
photo courtesy of callmejasper
The above cocktail napkin is the current object of my affection. No, it is not mine, and neither are the others in this super adorable set from Tammis Keefe. You will find these in the etsy store of Callmejasper. I really wish someone would go there and buy these and save my Christmas budget, as I am weakening…
Because I’ve been so enamoured with these, I had no trouble at all identifying this modern, plastic plate I ran across in a thrift store today:
But, look what’s missing – the Tammis Keefe signature. I was completely shocked to see this wonderful graphic, by one of the best mid-century hankie illustrators, on an object with no indication at all of its origins. As a person who looks at a lot of vintage clothing, and who reads all the vintage related blogs, I know there is concern within the vintage community of modern designers taking a vintage object, reproducing it, and calling it their own. Unfortunately, that seems to be an accepted practice – one that has been going on for some time. But to take a graphic like this and totally erase its history is so wrong, especially since Keefe is not as recognized as I think she ought to be.
I was so shaken that I didn’t even buy the plate, and that is saying something!