Friday, September 30, 2011

Trip down Market Street, 1906

I first saw this video on a 60 Minutes segment (totally worth watching) and I was blown away. This short film was shot in San Francisco in 1906. The cameraman sat on the front of a streetcar traveling down Market Street, hand-cranking the camera and just letting it run as he headed toward the Ferry Building. Life goes on around him. It is remarkable to see all the people on the road (the dresses, the suits, the hats!) as well as the buildings and other forms of transportation on the street. Eerily, the video was shot just a few days before the great earthquake, when over 80% of the city was destroyed and thousands of its residents killed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Scarab clover

Another amazing piece of jewelry from Erie Basin. This late 1800s brooch is a mix of classic Victorian (clover) and Egyptian Revival (scarabs). And the beetles are so green and beautiful!

Image courtesy of Erie Basin

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I did it!

Do you remember this little DIY post I mentioned back in July? Well, I finally got around to doing it this past weekend and I'm really happy with it. The hardest part was deciding which hankies to frame. I ironed and tested out a couple dozen but these six made the cut! I bought the frames here.

And P.S. The big cross pillows on my daybed are from Liane at Enhabiten. They are amazing and stuffed with all-natural kapok. If you are looking for some comfy throw pillows she makes some really nice things!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ruby slippers

A pair of ruby slippers created for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz will be up at auction this December. The satin pumps, which are chiffon lined, beaded with thousands of burgundy sequins and accented with bows, were one of several pairs created for the character of Dorothy in the movie. There are only three other pairs known to exist and this pair is expected to fetch $2 million! You can read more about the famous slippers here. I would love to be a fly on the wall at that auction!

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Monday, September 26, 2011

Victorian Sensibility Update

I've got some beautiful antiques as well as some Victorian Revival lovelies for you today, all done with the characteristic restraint and sensibility of the Victorian period. Can you guess which piece is the hardest for me to part with? Contact me today with your response! The first five folks who get it right will get a secret discount code to use in the shop in October.  I'll reveal the answer tomorrow morning in the comments. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's jumper time

I found this jumper while I was cleaning out/changing over my wardrobe earlier this week and I love it. Who doesn't enjoy a good jumper come fall? I figured I should probably wear it while I can - 26 weeks and counting now! As for the jewelry, I borrowed the cider ring from the shop and I gave the 1920s bangle and faux-goldstone locket a test run - they will be part of Monday's Victorian-themed update. Bon weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A California-Kansas love connection

I found this Czech glass bracelet in California and the brooch in Kansas - and now they are reunited in the shop! Two beautiful examples of 1910s-1920s Eastern European glass and enamel jewelry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1930s wedding bands

1920s-1930s wedding bands are just about the prettiest things. Here is an ad for bands from my 1932 Fort Dearborn catalog. I recently listed a sterling version of these platinum/white gold bands in the shop. It has the same "blossom and baguette" design as the advertised rings in the right column - so sweet! I wish I could find a dozen more like this one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hidden Victorian kitchen

When was the last time you went exploring in your basement to find a ca. 1830s, mostly in situ Victorian kitchen? That's what happened to the owners of the house at Cefn Park, a turn of the 19th century estate in North Wales. The kitchen was in disuse for about 100 years before being blocked off at the start of WWII. The contents include a full oven, pots, kettles on the stove, utensils, a large dining table for the servants . . . everything that a stately house would require. Amazing! Here is the full article, complete with great photographs.

Photos courtesy of The Daily Mail, copyright Cascade News.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hello piano

We disturbed the early morning quiet of our neighborhood yet again yesterday morning (we've been landscaping all week . . . more about that later) when the family piano arrived chez moi. The piano is very special to me because it has been in my family for over thirty years. It originally belonged to my Grandpa, who was a piano theory teacher and a great player. That's my Grandpa, the piano and me in the last pic! After he died the piano traveled from Kansas to Iowa to be passed down to my dad, who also loved to play. We had it at my house from the time I was about five and I learned to play on it. Fast forward twenty-five years . . . . when my mom and brother decided that the piano should be passed on to me. So now, after a road trip from Iowa, it is in my living room. I'm so happy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bakelite and baby bump


I know, I know - more bakelite jewelry! That's just how it worked out this week. I'm wearing a few of the bangles from yesterday's post, as well as a rad bakelite pendant (still can't believe I found it) and my new "every day" ring.  And hey - I'm 25 weeks pregnant with this little guy! His new nickname around here is "Baby Bear." I took these pics in his room so that you could see the birch tree decals we just put up. I really like how they look.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Honeydew bakelite

I recently found this set of bakelite bangles - tied together with a ribbon and just waiting for me. The colors remind me of melons (honeydew, cantaloupe, etc.) Or maybe squash is a better comparison, given the season we are headed into? A couple of these will appear in an autumn update in a few weeks. I'm keeping the rest!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rocky things

These agate necklaces from Noble Town Vintage really tug at my heart. My family vacationed on the rocky shores of Lake Superior for many, many years and I've spent countless hours hunting for pretty rocks like these. I even thought about being a geologist for a while in college! I still have lots of rocky reminders around my house, including some amazing close up photographs that my dad took.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paper bag purses


I really like these "bag" purses from Marie Turnor. They are leather and they have a hidden, magnetic clasp. The brown ones look like fancy lunch sacks!

Photos courtesy Mohawk General Store

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


When I was little, my family went to the swimming pool almost every day in the summer. One of my favorite ways to entertain myself was to play the Mermaid game. This basically involved trying to swim with my arms at my sides and my legs together, looking beautiful and graceful like a mermaid. Actually, I probably looking like I was having a seizure. It is really hard to try to swim like that, have you tried?

My mermaid antics were inspired by the movie Splash, which is burned into my brain. I absolutely loved it. Was anyone else entranced by this movie in the 80s?

Also, have you seen the video for U2's Electrical Storm? Um, it's pretty hot. Samantha Morton plays a mermaid.