Classic cars show their timeless style

studebaker

Classic cars have timeless style. But restoring and maintaining a vintage or antique car is not the least bit timeless, in fact, it’s extremely timeful. Owning a classic car is a work of love, sweat, grease and sometimes money. Okay, lots of times, money.

If your ownership of a vintage car lives only in your daydreams, a visit to a classic car meet up will definitely give you a heaping enough helping of car envy to stock your nightly dreams as well. Not only can you touch and breathe in the aura of the chrome-infused past, you can enjoy the wonderful documentation some owners share of the whole restoration process. And you can bet they are more than happy to talk about their car.

The 2017 Northborough, MA Applefest included a Sunday morning classic car show. Father/daughter organizers  Alan Archibald and Laura Zeiton rounded up more than 60 cars aged from the days when you needed goggles and a duster to current space age vehicles.

One of the most defining features of a car is the front end. For sure cars have lots of style points, but those front ends, they set the tone. Animators use the headlights and grill to give cars human features because the front of a car is all about personality. With that in mind, here’s a collection of classic car fronts…think of them as the equivalent of a performer’s portfolio headshot!

 

Early Ford car
Early Ford runabout
1932 ford
1932 Ford
1936 ford street rod
1936 Ford street rod
1941 Ford F-1 truck
1941 Ford F-1 pickup truck
1950 Dodge Custom Royal
1950 Dodge Custom Royal
1951 Studebaker Commander
1951 Studebaker Commander
1955 Dodge
1955 Dodge Custom Royal D500
1966 Chevrolet
1966 Chevrolet
1969 Chevy
1969 Chevrolet K20
1969 Dodge Charger
1969 Dodge Charger RT
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle
1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
1971 Corvette
1971 Chevrolet Corvette
1972 Chevy vega
1972 Chevrolet Vega
1973 Chevy Nova
1973 Chevrolet Nova SS
1975 Olds 88
1975 Oldsmobile 88
1978 Ford Ranchero
1978 Ford Ranchero
1985 GMC 4x4
1985 GMC 4×4
1988 Alpha Romero
1988 Alpha Romero Spider
1989 Sachsenring Trabant
1989 Sachsenring Trabant 601S Deluxe Universal (East German–read about it here)
1994 Chevrolet Camaro
1994 Chevrolet Camaro
2016 Polaris Slingshot
2016 Polaris Slingshot

and because everyone likes a celebrity sighting…

herbie the love bug
1963 Herbie the Love Bug beetle reproduction
herbie the love bug
Herbie’s details

Which of these classic cars most suits your personality?

I’m not sure what this reveals about me, but I have to confess that the friendly and marginally flirty front ends of the 1951 Studebaker, 1972 Vega and the 1988 Alpha are the ones the ones that make my knees weak. Perhaps the main thing it reveals is that I do not have a future in covering the car industry!

 

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Lovin’ Vintage – Get The Look

 

Hold On To What You Love

 


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10 What if’s from Mother Nature


What If: the daily forecast was warm and sunny everyday?


What If: it rained just enough for the flowers and trees to grow?


What If: the breeze was always just right for sailing?

 


What If: the ocean waves were always “Hang Ten” worthy?

 


What If: the mountains maintained the perfect fresh powder for skiing?


What If: lakes and rivers remained full and teemed with life?

 


What If: deserts were always in full bloom?

 


What If: forests constantly renewed themselves?


What If: natural disasters only happened in uninhabited areas of the world?


What If: we all took time to love and maintain our planet?

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Collecting and dating Snow Babies made in Germany and Japan

snow babies
December 1912 Ladies’ Home Journal illustration of Christmas Table Decorations featuring German Snow Babies at play.

Bisque ceramic Snow Babies will melt your heart!

Perhaps you are wondering why I would want to give you tips about finding and collecting a Christmas item in the late summer. It is wiser to collect and search for snow babies anytime but the yuletide. My last score was on a very hot day in May at an estate sale when nobody else was thinking Christmas. Aging collectors are downsizing their beloved possessions in order to move to a smaller home and to be fully in charge of passing them on to another collector. So go to estate sales and living estate sales and even flea markets and keep your eyes open for these little darlings.

 

This jointed doll was made before WWI and has a finely modeled face and and painted features. Note that it is all white but for the face.

I believe the ceramic bisque snow babies were preceded by an edible confection called Zuckerpuppen or sugar dolls, which were made as far back as the early 19th century to adorn cakes, the christmas tree and even as holiday decor. A confectioner commissioned Hertwig and company to create an inedible and enduring version in ceramic around  the late 1800s. There is some speculation of who created and when these first ceramic figures came into being. The first snow babies were larger figures with the most amazing painted and modeled faces complete with dimples. Their eyebrows were brown and the eyes have extra finely detailed features. Even the nostrils had little red dots. Shoes were black, brown or no color at all, if color is used it was generally pastel and the poses were inactive. If there was a ski pole as part of the figure, it would be only one which would look large and heavy. These first snow babies were featured in the 1911 December Issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal in the USA. They may or may not have a Germany stamp on them. The start of WWI brought this first version of snow babies to an end.

This between-the-wars snow baby in a bright red sled pulled by two dogs was also made in Germany.

 

The second generation of snow babies were produced in Germany between the Great Wars. These items were smaller and in more active poses. Bright colors of red, blue and yellow were used on these on shoes and even props. The eyes are little more than black dots and they were more roughly painted. They were often cold painted which means touching or cleaning their faces can remove some of the paint. With the onset of WWII the production of this group of snow babies ceased.

After WWII you can find made in Japan snow babies. These were stamped with Japan on their base and may have been inspired by earlier German figures.

 

Newer Snow Babies from Department 56 are being collected and enjoyed by a younger crowd. From Fishbone Collectibles on etsy.

In 1987 Department 56 put out their line of Snow Babies which are delightful, larger, more active and even year round collectibles. These can be bought new or used at flea markets and yard sales if you are lucky.

There are books that you can purchase or borrow through your library to learn more about the antique snow babies. I have the Snow Babies book by Mary Morrison. Like almost any thing that is collectible in vintage and antiques, it pays to do some reading and research to increase your knowledge.

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Fantasy Islands: Which TV show would you escape to for a day?

vintage tv set

vintage tv set

Ever wish there was a magic portal where you could jump through and escape to just for a little while? For some of us, there is one: the world of television. Whatever you needed, you could find it on TV. Adventure? Glamorous international espionage? Wild adventure? Quirky neighbors and friends? Fantasy? Any profession you can imagine? Any place you can imagine?

Vintage Unscripted decided to dish on our secret TV wish and to ask some of our readers and friends to do the same. Here’s our “As Seen on TV” destinations: 

Bonanza 1959-1973

I love ranches. I love horses. I love the outdoors. And while every single female I knew was in love with Little Joe, it was Hoss Cartwright that stole my heart. It really seemed that there was never a dull moment at that ranch. From horse thieves to drunks in town to kidnapping the Ponderosa always wound up in the thick of it and while I could have done without some of the excitement (if I were there) I truly believe I would have never tired of the 1,000 acres that made up that ranch. Can you even imagine a homestead that large! — Dot, Attic And Barn Treasures

Gilligan’s Island 1964-1967

I would have been the professor and I would have gotten us off that island right away! Or…. maybe not…. They ate good (fresh seafood every day – yum – my favorite), were always safe, got along well, and were always doing something. No pressures from work or timelines or deadlines. Had the entire island to themselves. Zany, good clean SIMPLE, uncomplicated fun, with never ending inventions and contraptions – and nothing but time on their hands. They didn’t build a new boat because they LIKED where they were! –JD, ThirdShift

Little House On The Prairie 1974-1983

I don’t know anyone that didn’t like Little House On The Prairie with its heartwarming stories that taught us life lessons.  It was just a good clean family western/drama.  The setting was in the 1870s and 1880s so everything came hard to the family. Charles Ingalls was played by Michael Landon, who we all knew from the show Bonanza, played the perfect husband and father to three daughters.  I liked that the kids went to a one room schoolhouse where they always seemed to have an encounter with mean Nellie but also always seemed to turn the tables on her.  Just a wholesome family show. — Tina, GirlPickers

Lost in Space  1965-1968

I would love to tell the Robinsons to never believe anything Dr. Zachary Smith tells them and to watch him like a hawk! I would name the robot (I don’t think it had one) because it was smart and was very protective of the family. “Danger! Will Robinson!” All the characters got along with the exception of Dr. Smith, of course. My favorite episode was the one where Penny met the boy in the Magic Mirror (played by Michael J.Pollard) which my friends can tell you I had a major crush on in my early teens! The opening theme music was awesome and apocalyptic and the space costumes were groovy! — Mary Ellen, AuntHattiesAtticVintage

MacGyver 1985 – 1992

How fun it would be to spend a day with MacGyver on one of his secret missions. He was an agent for the Phoenix Foundation, an agency devoted to righting the wrongs of the world. He was their most unusual agent because he refused to carry a gun. Instead he relied on his scientific knowledge, his wits and the occasional roll of duct tape, paper clips and other household items he happened to have handy to ensure each episode had a happy ending. I think the real world could use a few more MacGyvers. — Linda, Selective Salvage

Perry Mason 1957 – 1966

Oh to be one of Perry Mason’s clients. The facts are all against me, but I’m ultimately vindicated by the relentless sleuthing of Perry, Della Street and Paul Drake. The California noir vibe, Della Street’s clothing (she is hands down the best dressed woman to ever be on television), Paul’s street smarts and let’s be honest, Raymond Burr’s long eyelashes…make me sigh. Even their honorable opponents, Hamilton Burger and Lt. Tragg, have a charm of their own. I even love that you can definitely tell the night time scenes (and there are plenty of them) are filmed during the day with filters on the camera.  — Laurie, NextStageVintage

Audience members Patty, Jim and Steve would also willingly sign on to spend time with Perry. To quote Steve: 100%. They maximized black and white, had every character actor in the business on one episode or another, and production values that still satisfy all these years later. Would binge-watch.

Will and Grace 1998 – 2006, 2017 – ?

To live in a New York apartment and hang out with the likes of Will and Grace.  What fun to design homes for the jet set elite and have great friends in the city that never sleeps. To shop in Karen’s closet and spend the weekend in the country or taking in a Broadway show. Dinner parties with Jack and the boys. A whirlwind of fun and you never know what will come out of someone’s mouth. They were brash and outspoken, funny and emotional, and the best of friends. And now they are coming back to TV! — Pam, Vintage Renude

Here’s a few suggestions from the studio audience:

Happy Days 1974-1984

The Cunningham’s weren’t perfect, but they were interesting. And fun. A family that had fun and had each other’s backs. –Diane

Garage Sale Mystery 2013-?

I don’t care for much of what is on TV these days but I love the Hallmark Channel. I’d love to live in a Hallmark world. –Mary

Laverne and Shirley 1976-1983

Two funny girls and Squiggy living in Milwaukee… — Denise

Hotel 1983-1988

I wanted to live in San Francisco and so why not at the (real) Fairmont hotel?! –Donna

Twin Peaks 1990-1991

I’d escape to Twin Peaks, but only during the first season, before we learned who killed Laura Palmer. I love the Pacific Northwest setting, and I could hang out all day at Norma’s diner drinking that black coffee Agent Cooper raved about, and do what I could to convince Shelly that Bobby is no good for her either. –Russ

Murder, She Wrote 1984-1996

I would LOVE to live in “Cabot Cove” for at least a day. Maybe when Jessica is out of town! (Ed note: there’s an awful lot of murders when Jessica’s around). –Karlene

And Holly would hightail it to Fantasy Island 1977-1984. No need to ask why, she’s an author and would definitely want to write her own story. 

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If you could teleport into a TV show, where would you go?

 

 

 

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Hello Fall- Get The Look

September, the time of year when it dawns on you that Mother Nature’s palette is changing from the bright greens of summer to the golds and browns of autumn. Happily vintage treasures come in all those shades so the time is right to welcome FALL into your home. 

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” — Helen Hunt Jackson

 

 

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” — Marshall McLuhan.    One more reason to BUY VINTAGE 

5 ways to make beauty with broken china

china pieces

bavarian china plates

The world is full of china that still has beauty that either can’t be used for serving anymore or is past it’s prime, usually because of condition flaws like:

Crazing: China with crazing in the top clear coat glaze should not be used for eating. Crazing looks like a series of fine cracks–sometimes you need to tip the plate in the light to see it. The clear coat is what makes the surface of the plate safe to eat on, it seals in the colors and decoration underneath it. Once that layer has cracks, it’s time to retire the china.

Cracks: A hairline crack can cause a plate to fail quite unexpectedly. No one wants to wind up with a lap full of meatloaf and smashed potatoes.

Chips: As someone once told me, the hostess uses the chipped plate. Which is true. Chipped plates with no sharp edges are fine to use, but sometimes they are voted off the island for their lack of eye appeal.

Cutlery marks: Favorite china often has a lot of knife marks and wear in the center. But the edges are usually just fine.

Calamity: Wet hands, slippery plate. Get the dust pan and brush, but save those bits.

Luckily, creative souls have found interesting things to do with china that’s shabby but not chic anymore. Here are 5 ideas that make china into art:

China Mosaics

Kitty and Jennifer, the sisters behind the blog Running with Sisters have a wonderfully detailed tutorial for how to turn china into small pieces that can be made into colorful mosaic flower pots. The same techniques could certainly work on other surfaces like tabletops.

china flower pot mosaics

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China Necklaces and Pendants

Decorative china often has an elements that then cropped and framed make beautiful jewelry. Interweave has a detailed tutorial by Laura Beth Love for turning an part of a plate rim into a statement necklace.

china necklace

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China Chalkboards

Take advantage of a plate with a pretty border by turning it into a pretty memo board with this tutorial from Women’s Day magazine.

china chalkboard

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China Stack Lamp

This pretty has been on my personal to-do list for years. Vintage Revivals spunky/fierce instructions for turning stray bits of crockery into a funky family heirloom make me want to run for my drill to start creating.

china lamp

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China Spells

Words have power and so do Sharpies. That go everywhere, do everything marker is up to the task once again, transforming plates into art with something to say. Tutorial by Angel in the North.

lettered china plates

Last china bits

A badly damaged piece of china is also a perfect candidate for experimenting with drilling techniques. If you’re considering creating a tiered organizer, for example, best to experiment on an expendable piece of china so you don’t inadvertently turn a pretty plate into a pretty sad pile of shards.

Look for china at thrift stores and flea markets. And, because it never hurts to ask, check in with local vintage and consignment shops that sell china. China pieces that are damaged are often discarded rather than reduce the quality of a set. They might be happy to set those pieces aside for you.

 

 

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Good jeans: denim gets the job done

denim blue jeans

Most of us have a favorite pair of denim jeans. Comfy and casual, jeans are a staple in most people’s wardrobe. It’s common to see people wearing jeans almost anywhere now from the office to the club, out on a date to doing yardwork.  

But jeans were not always fashionable. Jeans used to be work wear. Worn by men who labored for a living and needed pants that would hold up under heavy stress and not come apart. While some jeans are still made as work apparel, they are more often a fashion statement with a pair of designer jeans costing upwards of $100.00 or more.

denim blue jeans
A classic pair of well worn jeans can make an outfit just as a poor fitting pair can ruin one.

While the story of Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis who created the first pair of patented riveted denim jeans in 1873 is a part of history, there’s more to it than that. The success of those first riveted work pants lead the company to continue to innovate to this day. Many companies were quick to follow in Levi’s footsteps.

But Mr. Strauss and Mr. Davis tapped into something much bigger than just work wear.  They created a new fashion that would far outlive them and their wildest dreams. Denim jeans as we know them didn’t become a popular fashion item until the Hollywood bad boys like James Dean and Marlon Brando started wearing them both onscreen and off.  America was taken by storm and the rest of the world was not far behind.

Jeans are now the most popular pants throughout the world.  It’s said the average American owns 7 pair of jeans. They run the gamut in style, fit, fabric weight, and price. A well worn pair of vintage jeans is a coveted item and can sell for thousands of dollars. So next time you are out garage saling, wandering the flea or thrifting, check out that rack or pile of denim and see what treasures you can find.

denim blue jeans

Denim Jeans Day fundraising

First came Casual Friday. Then someone had a lightbulb moment: could the power of casual be harnessed to go good?  The concept is simple, if you want to wear your jeans to work on a declared “Jeans Day,” you gotta ante up $5 for a non-profit. Fundraising doesn’t get much easier or more comfortable. The beauty of an idea that’s this uncomplicated is it can be done on both a national or local level. So…who can you help with your favorite blues?

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5 fast pedestal perfect decor ideas

amber pedestal

Cake pedestals are a fine thing. They can elevate a box of store-bought cupcakes to a gourmet delicacy. And they are also quite versatile around the house for both decorative and functional uses. As summer winds down, you might be feeling that urge to tweak your decor just a bit. Go no further than your serving pieces; grab a pedestal that is way too pretty to be hiding in a cabinet and treat yourself to a quick change up. 

♦♦♦craft room pedestal

A pedestal in the craft room

Stacked pedestals offer multiple layers of storage, convenience and style. Easy to arrange materials for your current projects and keep them close at hand. While this is probably not a great long term storage solution, it does keep your work surface tidy and makes you feel elegant at the same time. Design from HGTV.

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kitchen cake pedestal

A pedestal on the kitchen counter

Gain a little counter space and elevate your dishwashing game by using a pretty pedestal to elevate your dish liquid and hand soap. Find a pretty bowl to be a sponge caddy (if you’re still using a sponge after the horrifying bad press sponges as bacteria colonies got this summer–ewww). Design from Liz Marie Blog.

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perfume pedestal

A pedestal on the vanity

Pretty perfume bottles deserve more than to collect dust on the vanity. Tiny works of design, collecting them on a pedestal gives them a chance to see and be seen. Add a little WWAD (what would Audrey do) touch by snaking a string of pearls through the bottles. Design from Helpful Homemade.

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cake pedestal with plants

A pedestal on the windowsill

If you’re enamored of the tiny succulents that are sprouting everywhere, the power of many has much more design punch than the loneliness of one. Group three little plants on a cake pedestal for a temporary display. Don’t forget to add a saucer, you don’t want mineralization from watering to mar your pedestal surface. Design from In the New House.

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pedestal with jars

A pedestal in the center of everything

Whether your keep a stash of jars or you have to raid your recycle bin, pedestal plus jars plus snips from the garden makes a sweet summer impression. Sneak in some shells from the beach or stones from a hike. Add some of the magical-mystical-make-everything-amazing battery powered micro lights to soften the earlier twilights of late August. Design from Southern State of Mind. 

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Vintage FYI: vaseline or uranium glass

Vaseline glass or uranium glass is commonly seen vintage glassware that comes in many decorative shapes and colors. It is a favorite with collectors because glows when exposed to ultraviolet light. It earned it’s name from its yellow or green oily look similar to petroleum jelly and because it’s made with uranium oxide. Production began in the 1840s and continued for about 100 years before being heavily regulated by the U.S. Government in 1943. In 1958, the use of uranium was deregulated and production began again.

Vaseline glass has carried with it a stigma regarding the amount of radiation it emanates. Similar to the “Radioactive Red” Fiesta ware, radiation levels have been proven to be relatively harmless in comparison to average daily exposure.

Over the course of its many years in production there have been myriad manufacturers of vaseline glass leading to a wide variety of colors, styles, and price ranges.  With the extensive amount still available it’s easy to start a collection or add to one.

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