Saturday, May 29, 2010


I wanted to list the last of my kitchen items for this week today, and, as I sat at my computer and turned to review which items were left I saw this. (above).  Selling on-line has it's challenges.  You have to constantly add new items, you must be extremely accurate in your descriptions, your photos must be top-notch and the perils of mis-communication or postal mid-deliveries are always looming.  Nothing quite adds to the challenge, however, as having "cat helpers."

I do most of my listing in the evening, especially in the cooler months when "evening" starts so early.  To accomplish this, I have all my photos already taken and often already edited, my notes all ready to work from, and, the items laid out beside me.  When I list jewelry, I like to have it right there so that I can inspect it as I list.  Unfortunately, when you have a kitty being especially needy, she also wants to be RIGHT THERE.  This can pose a challenge to getting things done!   (Note to buyers: please accept my advance apologies for any cat-hair in purchased items and/or packing materials.  I really do clean everything and try my best to keep it neat as it heads out the door!)

My calico does not have a lock on monopolizing real estate at the computer.  Often, even being able to use the keyboard at my leisure is a challenge!

And if you open a shipment from Carmen and Ginger, and, a ginger cat pops out, well, I'll probably - no wait - I will definitely send you the money via Paypal to send the little bugger back to me.  Unless of course you really need a "helper" of your own.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Welcome to my kitchen...

I have been a long-time collector of all things vintage kitchen.  I just love the colors and whimsy and streamlined designs of kitchen items from the middle of the last century.  As I prepared my first round of Etsy vintage kitchen listings, I decided to look back at some vintage kitchen photos for fun.
I have also been collecting vintage magazines for years, and, the illustrated ads from the 1940's and 1950's magazines simply cannot be matched!  Look at this wonderful red and green kitchen above powered by GAS.

 Here is another beauty with wonderful Kentile floors and delightful scalloped overhanging soffit with backlighting - wow!

What amazes me about these pics is how little the basics have changed over the years.  Once kitchen counters became the norm in the 1930's they stuck.  Closed cabinets, some open shelving and at least one sunny window are still the norm.  About the only thing lost in many of today's kitchens is the charm!

I know I had more of these vintage Simtex tablecloths ads - in fact, I had two featuring Russel Wright pinch glasses and American Modern! - unfortunately I pulled those out and set them aside at one point and now I cannot find the darn things!  This Simtex ad was still in one of my magazines, though, so I will share it here.

This week at Carmen and Ginger we have started listing our large cache of vintage tablecloths!   We have so many we have been squirreling away all winter.  They are all cleaned and photographed and we will be listing them in groups - along with a few other vintage kitchen themed goodies - over the next month or so.  This week we've started with a bunch of bright yellows.  This one above is just my favorite!

Other items include this fab deco styled pitcher, an, abundance of awesome vintage Meyercord decals, canister sets, glassware, and more! 

In researching our vintage tablecloth listings, I was  reminded that these were a staple of the mid-20th century.  They were not just used for special occasions, but, to add color, cleanliness and protection to the table for all occasions, indoors and out.  This is why they are so prized when found in good condition.  These babies were used!   In looking through some photos in my collection I found this great mid-1950's pic of these two guys at a picnic.  I love that they are wearing suit jackets!  Notice that lovely printed tablecloth dressing up the outdoor table.  Instant upscale!

Carmen and Ginger is not the only Etsy seller to offer great vintage tablecloths at this time of year..  There are many beautiful options on Etsy if you take a look around.  The cloth above is offered by my mom in her shop FindMeAMemory.

Or how about this beauty from CinfulOldies!

 Or this Simtex stunner from HarrietsDaughter!

So take a deep breath of that fresh spring air, take stock of your vintage summer entertaining needs and take a look at what awesome items are available on Etsy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bicycle, Bicycle

At the local flea two weekends ago, poking through a box of old papers, I came across this photo.  What a gem!  This to me looked like it must be a famous photo, one that is reproduced on stationery products and posters worldwide.  But, as I looked I realized it was in fact not a photo repro or postcard but the one-off snapshot I'd hoped it was!  In fact, this is confirmed by the fact that at the same time I purchased another 1930's photo of the same woman.  The quality and depth of field is amazing!  Reminds me of a Henri Cartier Bresson photo, which is timely, as my friend Janet just traveled to MOMA to see this exhibit last weekend.   This is a test, Janet, are you reading?  Do you concur?

I thought a vintage bike pic post would be appropriate with the lovely weather we have been enjoying this Spring - my favorite time of the year!  Of course, that was before this heat wave hit New England with my husband and I already sweating before 8:00 this morning lugging the fans and air conditioners upstairs to be installed.  Nonetheless, this should not stop you from enjoying this great pic I found recently of a group of flapper women on vacation heading out for a bike ride.  Check out those 1920's fashions!

And to round out this little selection of photos I will use this opportunity to post this other amazing photo.  This one does not belong to me, but, instead to my uncle Tom.  At a recent family event he brought stacks of photos from his 1950's youth that even his own siblings had never seen!  What a fun afternoon we had looking though all the photos!  He let me borrow a few to scan and this is one of them.  Unfortunately, he could not recall who the hoods - oops! - I mean guys are in this pic.  Probably friends of my uncle's in Boston in the mid to late 1950's.  Look at those practiced slouches!  Something about the bike just coming into the frame reminds us that these guys are young, and, may not have even been able to afford a car.  They sure looked tough, though, eh?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where Do You Find That Stuff? - Spring Flea

I have mentioned this twice-annual flea on the South Shore of Massachusetts here in the past, so, no surprise I was there in yesterday's gorgeous weather!   In my attempt to document the beautiful items I did NOT buy, I snapped a pic of these chairs (above).  Any regular readers of this blog may have noticed that nine out of the ten times I show a pic of something I saw that I loved but did not buy, it is something to sit on!  What can I say?; I love chairs!
And, speaking of chairs, although I was unable to afford the multi-color beauties up top for $75 each, I WAS able to find these great Lyon industrial stools for $30 for the pair!  My husband and I had been looking at just these 18" square-seat stools for our kitchen remodel.  We will likely remove the seat backs and add casters for our plan.  They do still sell these new, but, this pair new would retail for over $200!   Also, since this design has not changed in years, the casters are readily available.  Win win!
Sometimes when I step back and look at these things I wonder why I enjoy them  so much?  The noise, the dirt and the cigar smoke alone can make it somewhat unpleasant.  Hunting for stuff is in my blood, however (I met my parents there and shopped with Mom as she looked for her Etsy Shops.) and I actually meet lovely people throughout the day each time.  Gorgeous spring weather is a plus!
It also is funny to review the selection of items that come from such things!  From a menagerie of dust, cigarettes, trucker hats and bowie knives I cull mid-century handbags, glittering necklaces and Bakelite baubles!
...and some great hard-plastic ornaments for my Christmas wreaths!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Gem

Here at C&G we do not typically discuss celebrities, unless of course they lived at least 50 years ago and wore fabulous clothing!  I wanted to do a quick little post, however, about a gem of an actress: Martha Plimpton.
It dawned on me recently that Ms. Plimpton had made an appearance in three television shows I typically watch; Medium, The Good Wife, and Fringe.  In each she played a completely different yet compelling character.  On The Good Wife (above) she has a recurring role as Patti Nyholm, an incredibly confident, shrewd, and ruthless opposing attorney who thinks nothing of using her pregnancy to win her case.  She is a delight in this role!
On Medium, she portrayed a world-wise, resolved cancer patient facing death, while on Fringe (above) she portrayed a small-town sheriff very much over her head in the strange events unfolding within her jurisdiction.  In each role, she brings a level of acting sophistication and ease that is rare on the small screen.  This is why I refer to her as a "gem."
She is also much lauded on Broadway - no surprise there except to ask, where does she find the time?

No need for me to repeat her bio here.  If you want to read more about her and see where you might catch a performance you can start with her bio here on IMDB or, just Google her name and go from there!  In any case, take note, and, enjoy this gem of an actress.

Monday, May 17, 2010


The weekly flea market in my immediate area is at the local speedway each Sunday morning.  Yesterday, it looked like this.

It is a pretty low-end flea, and, my friend Marie and I spent most of our day digging through boxes and boxes of old photos and ephemera.  Most people who sell buy at yard sales and estate sales, so, if you have patience to go through piles of old, unsorted stuff, you can find some neat items.  Not too much is neatly laid out for you though!
 I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to also shoot more pics of things I did NOT buy, like this odd but interesting faux lacquered chest with Asian decals.  I really like that funky hardware!  It also was darker black in person but the low sun made photos tough early on.
I have been collecting and restoring these vintage metal garden chairs for years, so, it is nice to see them, appreciate them but NOT actually buy them!  I've already got plenty of beautiful similar chairs at home.
One of my favorite sights at the flea was this pair of doggies in the carriage!  Evidently, the black one is paralyzed in back, so, the white one joins him in solidarity in the carriage to tool around the flea.  What an adorable pair!
One guy had three boxes full of these pulp fiction paperbacks.  $1 each!  I loaded up on gifts for my husband and my brother; each of whom collects different themes, but, both of whom were well-served by these boxes!
I should have taken a "before" picture of all these cards in a bulging scrap book from the mid-1950's.  I purchased the entire book chock full and carefully removed at least 300 cards from it today.  I have entire sets of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th birthday cards if you are interested!  Also, tons of Easter Cards, Valentines cards and Birthday cards, all with those most amazing 1950's graphics!  Of course, the book also held over 60 vintage Christmas cards but, sorry, I'm keeping those for my wreaths!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bathing Beauties

My friend Michelle, over at Tales of a Vintage Wardrobe/The Red Velvet Shoe (yes, the one who keeps sniping me here - and writing to tell me about it!) is trying to date this awesome vintage swimsuit she found just last week.   This got me thinking about some photos I had of vintage swimsuits, which, in turn led to this post.
The top pic has been in my collection for quite some time.  I just love the playfulness of the photo!  I believe it dates to the Edwardian period, perhaps into the next decade.  I think the girls are at a boarding school or college.  I lost one corner along the way (sure I have it somewhere) but it still has charm.  I think I also have a pic showing the same girls from the front but this one is the best!   The photo above, I believe dates to about the same time period.
This girl looks very 1920's to me with that bob and the cut and style of that great plaid suit!
The time period on this one looks very early to me, but it is hard to tell.  I love the action of the surf and the people holding onto the rope!  I wish I knew exactly where this was taken and if the rope was designed for the purpose shown, or, if these people just took advantage of it to dare to wade in some spectacular waves!
We are into the 1930's now and  Oh Boy!  Will you just look at those guys' swimsuits!
I love how people at the beach in 1939 look exactly the same as people at the beach today!
Look at this group of bathing beauties!  Look at those embellishments to their suits!  What a fashionable lot!
These gals look like best pals!  We may be heading towards the 1940's here...
This attractive couple came from an album I have that is dated 1944.  I believe, somehow, this guy has actually returned from the war at this point.  They are quite the couple!
I can't recall where or when I found this photo but I think it is clear why I had to have it!  It is priceless!  What more can I say?
Michelle's post also clued me into a site that I had not been previously aware of.  It is called Glamoursurf and is simply the best collection of vintage swimsuits for sale, and, references for dating vintage swimsuits I have EVER seen!  Really, it is worth a visit as the place is amazing!  The pic above (click to link!) is for a fantastic NOS Catalina swimsuit new with the tags!  In the listing they even show vintage advertisements from 1944 for the same suit.  Impressive!  Not all suits are as pricey as the one I chose to share, take a look!
As always, Etsy is a fantastic resource for some great vintage suits.  Check out this awesome newly-listed number above in a very wearable size from chicvintagevixen.  (PS: She has more...)
This beauty is a Rose Marie Reid (See Glamoursurf for details on the influence of THAT woman on vintage swimwear!) also offered on Etsy by LipstickWhiskey
I think that vintage swimsuits in good condition are more typically found out on the west-coast, but, I did manage to find this little 1950's/1960's  swimsuit romper in slightly faded but clean condition here last year.  It is still for sale at my shop so stop by and check her out!




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