Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Top Shelf Flea - Calling All Men!

The Top Shelf Flea is just days away and I wanted to send a word out to the guys. Now, I have been posting quite a bit of jewelry and a few colorful dresses here to entice the vintage divas, but, guys, this flea is for YOU! I have a few items for the guys (see some above) as do some of the other vintage clothing dealers to take part. Keep in mind though, that An Affordable Wardrobe is ALL about the guys, as are the goods from Zach! You should hear these two talk about men's clothing, they know their stuff. And speaking of knowing someone's stuff, are you aware that Bobby from Boston has center stage??? He is all about killer vintage for everyone and is taking a day off from outfitting Hollywood stars to peddle his wares in Somerville for YOU! And even if clothes are not your thing, and, even if you are only heading over just to keep a woman company, there are records (vinyl!), books, furniture, and, even a bar if you get really bored. So guys, take note, this one is for YOU!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Glorious Spring Day

After a typical New England winter, an abundance of early spring torrential downpours and a battering of hail and lightening earlier this week, Rhode Island experienced a glorious spring day today!  Clear skies, warm sun, cool air; ahhhhhhh.  My husband and I took a trip to historic Bristol, along the lengthy RI coastline, to visit the library, eat some organic lunch and soak up a little sunshine.
Most pictures of Bristol look like the one above.  In fact, I stole this pic (with appropriate credit!) from the town of Bristol site.  It is picturesque and charming, and, they've got a bit of money, so they have quite a nice site for tourists.  And why not?  The East Bay bike path ends there.  It's on the water, there are historical sites, great restaurants, antiques shops and lots of lovely old New England houses to gawk at.  There are plenty of places to walk and sit and just enjoy the view.  Although the waterfront is lovely, I wanted to take pictures of things like this garage door:
My husband said it has no merit but I thought it was fab!  What do you think?
Something about this pair of weathered buildings right along a main street caught my eye.  There are businesses, cars and pedestrians all just beyond this shot, but, I like how the little alley between them ending at the water looks like it leads to a quiet cove in Maine. 
I comment on this bright red fire escape every time we walk by.   I just love the contrast of the bright red paint with the peeling paint of the one building and textured brick of the other.
We really enjoyed the day - how could we not?  And if you visit RI, be sure to visit Bristol. 
 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

These Frugal Times

"My mamma made all these things from Dailey's Needlework $axx"  Imagine!  Before Etsy, before on-line shopping, before shopping malls, America was once before in a time of great frugality.  The Great Depression of the 1930's began an intense level of frugality that lasted through to the beginning of the second World War.  People made their own clothing and other practical items not as a trend or because they were sucked-in by that great pattern at Jo-Anne Fabrics but because if they did not make something themselves they would not be able to have that "something."
People purchased items like feed, for their animals, and, flour, for their baking in bulk cloth bags.  The manufacturers of these bags would print them with wonderful., colorful designs to advertise.  At some point, the manufacturers became wise to the fact that these cloth bags were being re-used by frugal housewives and started to cater to the re-use.  Some goods were sold in colorful, permanently-printed fabrics that women would use to make dresses for themselves and their children.  Other goods were packed inside bags printed with sewing and needlework patterns designed for the pattern markings to wash out easily once the pieces were cut and/or embroidered.  Above is an example of a pattern for a bedjacket.
Sometimes colored patterns were printed as well, like this wonderful Santa designed to be stitched and stuffed into a Christmas doll for a child.
Of course the companies still printed their logos, along with all instructions onto the bags as well.  All the bags shown in this post are flour sacks.
I had been lucky enough to find a couple of these wonderful embroidered laundry bags before realizing that they were made from flour or feedsacks.  A laundry bag used up the entire sack, but, was a highly practical item, used daily, that was made more enjoyable when embroidered with a charming design such as the dog making off with freshly cleaned laundry above.
An example of instructions for embroidery on the "Needlework Sak" designed by Percy Kent Art Service.
Often the designs included a small graphic image of the finished product like this Humpty Dumpty Apron pattern above.
Designs included clothing, housewares, pillow cases, aprons, towels, dolls, and more!  Above is a pattern for a chair cover with two arm covers as well.
These patterns, along with the fabulous colorful prints are highly sought after by collectors.  I was lucky enough to find all of the above flour sacks, plus more, together at one location and soon to be offered at Carmen and Ginger.  If you wish to learn more about the history of these items, including viewing some tempting items for purchase, take a look at the following links:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Carmen and Ginger LIVE

If you've got a hankering for for rockin' vintage duds that you can try on, model in the mirror, & get your friends' opinions on before committing to, then, Carmen & Ginger's got just the spot for you!  The Top Shelf Flea!  Sunday, May 2 in Somerville, MA, Carmen and Ginger will set up shop LIVE (as opposed to on-line) with racks of clothing, tables of jewelry and accessories and a barrel full of funky mid-century housewares! Click here to see all the vendors that will be at the flea that day. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010
Noon till 6 p.m.
George Dilboy V.F.W. Post 529
371 Summer Street
Somerville, MA, 02144

The venue is indoors so stop by rain or shine!
It is FREE to all!
Cash bar inside from noon to 6:00 pm
so come and hang out!
(and spend your cash, the preferred spending medium)

C& G is still gathering the goods and putting together the items that will be offered for sale.  Please note that while there may be a smidge of overlap with items previously seen at Carmen & Ginger, most inventory is FRESH and NEVER BEFORE OFFERED by C&G!  So, tell your friends, twitter this, link to this, Facebook us and anything else you can do to get the word out.   We will add more posts on this topic as the date draws near, but, for now, feast your eyes on this sampling of vintage Women's Hawaiian Dresses!  (all to be offered at the flea)
 

Friday, April 2, 2010

April showers bring...

...a lot of water damage, mold and heartache, especially for many Rhode Island residents.  Thankfully, none of these houses is my own, and, aside from own car-related expenses of this week, my stresses are far fewer and less costly than many of my neighbors'.  Take a moment to think about what it would be like to have your home or business look like this, then add being unemployed for a year and already "underwater" on your mortgage and you will begin to understand life for many Rhode Island residents this week.
On a shamefully lighter note, my true reason for posting is to show the status of my Amaryllis.  I was lucky enough to have both a good friend and generous family member give me Amaryllis bulbs as Christmas gifts.  You know, those bulbs you force to open mid-winter inside your house to bring a spot of color to an otherwise dreary winter?  You may have seen my neighbor's blooms, already on their way out, they look like this:
Sigh.

My blooms, as you can see above, are in slow motion.  My house is so cold that they have taken the past 3 or 4 months to even get started!  At first I had them in the warmest room, but, they would not budge.  Then, after a month or so, I moved them into the sunniest window and about a month after that I saw the first teeny tip if "tongue" poking out of one to tell me it was alive.  Two weeks later the second showed signs of life and they are now both in that 1/2" a day mode.  If this continues, I may have flowers before May!  Not exactly the intention but I'll take them just the same.  Either by luck or design (with these two gift-givers the latter could be true) both bulbs have "double" blooms so when they all open up there should be an abundance of color!

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