May you all be as well dressed as this 1930s skier. Here’s to a fashionable New Year!
May you all be as well dressed as this 1930s skier. Here’s to a fashionable New Year!
Here’s the perfect Vintage Traveler Christmas card, a little satchel with Christmas travel stickers. I’ve had this 1920s card for probably 30 years, long before I imagined I’d be spending part of my retirement writing about fashion and textile history.
I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for taking the time to read The Vintage Traveler, and for all the nice words of encouragement. Slow down, relax, and enjoy the Holiday!
If you haven’t been into a fabric store recently, especially one that carries mainly printed cottons, you might be really surprised at the huge selection of prints. There are novelty prints for every hobby and cartoon character and animal. There are prints for baby, for John Deere drivers, and football fans. There are hundreds of “retro” prints, some that could easily pass for real vintage.
I actually have a few pieces in my fabric stash that I honestly can’t say what the ages of them are. Sometimes the width is a clue. The above pink and red (and awesome) print is 35 inches wide. The width is a hint, but not a guarantee that the fabric is older than last week. I do know that this piece is vintage because it came with an original label.
Isn’t the detailing something?
This piece is also vintage. It is a border print, and it may look like one side of a tablecloth, but it is cotton broadcloth, and was perfect for aprons, gathered skirts, and dresses for little girls.
This is a piece of cotton flannel that I bought from etsy several years ago. It was sold as vintage, and the fabric is 35 inches wide, but I’ve never been 100% sure that it is vintage. I’d like to think it is from 1960 or so. I adore that script font.
I’d like to add that none of these fabrics have information printed on the selvage. Most modern prints that I’ve looked at in the past five years or so do have a printed selvage. “Designer” fabrics are a very big deal in the quilting and crafting world, and many have the designer’s name and even the name of the print.
And finally, here’s another mystery fabric to ponder. I have two eighteen inch squares of this print that I bought at my not so secret shopping place about five years ago. They are edged by an overlock stitch, which might lead one to think they were meant to be napkins. However, the thread is an ugly grey.
If this is a contemporary print, then the designer got a lot of things right. The font looks vintage, as do the colors. The use of the harlequin type diamond print on the packages looks vintage. The stylized Christmas trees with the atomic shapes look vintage. I could go on, but you get the point. It’s almost like every vintage Christmas cliche in thrown into one print. Too good to be true? It won’t hurt my feelings if you think it is new.
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.