You may not have heard his name, but you have seen his work and the legacy he created. His name was Nudie Cohn. Nudie was the man behind the famous rhinestone suits of everyone from Elvis Presley to Ronald Reagan and Elton John.
Growing up in North Hollywood, California in the 1960’s and 1970’s meant you often saw a convertible Cadillac El Dorado decked out with silver dollar studded dashboards and pistol door handles complete with pair of huge steer horns on the front driving down the street. The man behind the wheel wearing one of his signature custom rhinestone suits and mismatched cowboy boots, bearing a huge smile for everyone he met.
Nudie Cohn was a legend in his own time. He was a self made man born in Kiev, Russia who moved to the United States and created a fashion genre. He wore those mismatched boots to remind himself of the days when he could not even afford a pair of matching shoes.
Nudie’s store was down the street from my high school. I remember going in to wander around and ooh and awe at the fabulous array of cowboy hats, boots, belts, and assorted clothing items. All one of kind and all embellished with embroidery and rhinestones in all sorts of amazing designs. He was a larger than life local hero who never grew too big for his boots. all were welcome at Nudie’s Rodeo Tailor.
Nudie was not only a local living legend, but he was known throughout the world of entertainment as the tailor to the stars. His personality was as flamboyant as his outfits. You can read more about him at The Official Nudie’s Website. His creations still continue to be collectible items commanding high prices when they come on the market.
It’s 1990. You’re watching TV and you find yourself at the intersection of surreal and plaid. And so many characters and so many subplots that you needed a diagram to keep up with the twists and turns. Yup. Twin Peaks, iconic serial drama. It’s back. Starting tonight on Showtime, 18 new episodes returning us to the mysterious Pacific Northwest town 25 years after Laura Palmer was murdered. Written and executive produced by David Lynch and Mark Frost? Yup. Returning cast members? Yup. Get the look? Yes please.
Graduation marks a passage, the ending of one thing and the start of another. Here in lies the challenge: a graduate knows what it’s like where they’ve come from, but they don’t know what it’s like where they’re going on to. Despite the buoyant moments like tossing their cap in the air and hugging the friends they made on this part of life’s journey and eating cake, every graduate has at least a bit of uncertainty about what adventures lie ahead.
With that in mind, here is a little unscripted graduation advice from the Vintage Unscripted team and from notable thinkers of great thoughts:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
When graduation ends, learning does not. Make it a point to learn something new every day. Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box to offer solutions when you see issues. ~ JayDee, ThirdShiftVintage.com
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
Be kind. Be fearless. Be a friend. Ask questions. Do not settle. Make the world a better place for the generations that follow. Follow that advice and you will happily attend your graduation reunion knowing you made a difference. ~ Linda, SelectiveSalvage.com
“To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too may one day be president of the United States.”
George W. Bush
Stay true to yourself. Find what makes you happy and be passionate and loyal about it. Plan your route wisely and then stay on course. Call your Mother. ~ Tina, GirlPickers.com
“Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.”
Be proud of yourself and what you do and never stand on the sidelines but jump in the game with both feet. Be enthusiastic in your career and always remember to pay yourself first. ~ Dot, AtticAndBarnTreasures.com
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Getting good scores on your AP exams is important. Knowing how to do your laundry is equally important. ~your future RA
“Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child raising, they are unemployed.”
School is based on what you know. Life is based on what you know and who you know. Make friends, build bridges, make connections. You never know how that will pay off in the future. ~ Laurie, NextStageVintage.com
You want your graduation gift to be memorable. You want it to be the kind of thing that will let the graduate know that you congratulate their accomplishments to date and wish them more to come in the future. You want it to reflect the personality of the graduate. And you want it to be useful. It’s also good for it to be honest and true. There’s one kind of gift that fits all those descriptions–a vintage gift.
We know, we know…grads definitely appreciate gift cards and checks. But a gift card or a check doesn’t pack much personality. But it does if it’s tucked in with something vintage!
Here are our Vintage Unscripted ideas for graduation gifts with vintage flair:
Find a great vintage book that relates to their interests or college major–tuck a gift card inside and tie it up with a bow for a gift that will stand out from the crowd.
Your grad may be ready to take on the world, but they still need a place to store their stuff. Vintage suitcases are the perfect gift–storage with way more personality than a plastic bin so they can stow their gear in plain sight!
Give them some useful history. A starter set of tried and true tools from your workbench will come in handy and they’ll always remember it came from someone special.
Use a vintage tin to stash a few first aid essentials, some office supplies or even some photos from home.
Speaking of vintage office supplies, how about a vintage tape dispenser or a stapler made back in the day when office supplies lasted a lifetime or two.
Many vintage evening bags aren’t big enough to hold a cell phone. Sigh. But they are just the right size for a sewing kit. A couple spools of thread, some safety pins, needles, a small pair of scissors and maybe a few buttons can fix just about any wardrobe malfunction.
Or how about a favorite game? The classics never go out of style!
Feeling inspired? No time like the present to buy vintage for your grad:
Luminous white milk glass is easy to love. Lots of us own some, some of us own lots. There are many things in your DIY decorating life that you may regret, like when you painted the walls and ceiling in the basement stairway with citron green high gloss enamel. But having a stash of milk glass will never be something you lament.
Milk glass was made in great volume by many makers
Most decorative glass makers from the Victorian era on made at least some pieces in milk glass as well as other colors. To keep up with demand, between the 1940s and 1970s a lot of milk glass was produced. Quantity combined with inherent durability means there is a lot of vintage milk glass to choose from. Flea markets finds range from the everyday workhorse Anchor Hocking to elegant Fenton. The good supply also means it’s priced right. The biggest challenge with collecting milk glass is to remind yourself not to fall in love with every piece you see.
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Milk glass comes in a variety of styles
If you’re persistent, you can find milk glass that makes your inner aesthete happy. Classic urns or bumpy little hobnail cornucopias, tall swung glass vases or pressed pattern compotes. Buy the pieces that speak to you.
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Milk glass from different makers and different eras work together
You can pretty much buy milk glass pieces you like and be 95% confident they will play nicely with what you already have. The white color is a great unifier. There is some color variation between brands and eras, but it definitely doesn’t restrict your ability to use them together.
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Milk glass comes in all shapes and sizes
From stately punch bowls to tiny toothpick holders…if you’re creating tablescapes or a seasonal display, milk glass is your best friend. Group tall bud vases, pair up urns, mix and match candleholders or combine an entire world of shapes and heights to fit your creative vision.
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Milk glass is seasonless
There is no holiday, no season, no occasion where milk glass won’t willingly be your go-to workhorse. That’s because milk glass is like vanilla ice cream–no matter what you add to it, it’s still going to be fabulous.
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Milk glass fits every budget
You can buy high end, highly prized, highly decorative milk glass at fine antique shops, or you can get ubiquitous pieces like the milk glass bud vase at yard sales and your local thrift. When it comes to decorating, both are satisfying in different but equally valid ways.
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Milk glass makes celebration decor easy
If you’re looking for an easy celebration favor or centerpiece, start with milk glass. A grouping of milk glass vases and candlesticks in the center of a table or along the back of a buffet can make your display dazzle, and then disappear home with your guests as a party favor. They’ll feel like they are taking a piece of the party home, and they’ll remember being there every time they use it in the future.
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Milk glass can be used fearlessly
You can’t use heirloom crystal in the middle of a table at cocktail party without worrying a little bit about it’s safety. So relax, use your milk glass. It will look fabulous and since it’s a nice thick glass, it can survive a little bump from an errant beer bottle.
That same sturdiness makes milk glass fun to use it in unexpected ways. Organize your jewelry on your vanity. Plant herbs in vases on the kitchen window sill. Group top hats to hold condiments at a backyard barbecue. Use glasses in a carrier to hold your paint brushes or drawing supplies.
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Milk glass is easy to collect…and easy to let go of
Why collect milk glass? Why not. It’s an reliably attractive decorating tool. It blends with all colors and decors. It’s easy to find. It can be relatively inexpensive. And when it no longer suits your decorating needs, it’s easy to let it go of, send it to a charity shop to run wild and free and until it finds a place in someone else’s milk glass collection.
Shop vintage milk glass
Fenton hat and shoe by Molly Finds.
Milk glass candlesticks by Simply Suzula
Fenton cream and sugar set by NextStage Vintage
Victorian milk glass vase by Selective Salvage
Milk glass vase set by Girl Pickers.
Hazel Atlas milk glass ginger bottle by Attic and Barn Treasures.
You love your mom and your mom loves vintage. There’s only one way to celebrate Mother’s Day, and that’s by giving her an experience that’s vintage style. We’re here to help you come up with some unscripted vintage ideas to make it a day any mom will remember.
Bring out her game-y side
What fun-time sports and games did your mom do when she was young that she hasn’t made time to do lately? Bowling, billiards, skee-ball, miniature golf, pinball, old-time arcade games. Any day that involves playing Whac-a-mole is a good day.
Dig up some dirt
If your mom loves gardening, there is nothing she would like better than many hands digging up those pesky weeds. Especially if you celebrate gardens that are ready for planting by hoisting high an ice cream cone in tribute.
Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year at restaurants across the country. Instead of waiting in line for hours for meh food and rushed service, fire up the BBQ instead and have a relaxing day with mom on the back porch. She will appreciate the time spent with family and the casual atmosphere too.
Reminisce with photo albums
You know your Mom has tons of photo albums with photos of you and your siblings. Dig them out, head out to the patio with Mom and your favorite beverage, and spend the afternoon looking through all the photos. You’re sure to have some great conversations while you relive old memories. A fun time for everyone!
Become the handy-child
Grab your Mom’s “to-do” list and get ‘er done! Spend the day working your way through all the tasks your Mom has on her list. She’ll love you for it, we promise!
Technology is a good thing. Having a super computer in your pocket is a good thing. But how about trying to disconnect for Mother’s Day, put all your devices in a safe place for the day and do things that don’t involve texting or social media-ing.
Try Freaky Friday
Try real life reverse role playing using either the 1976 version (with Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris) or the 1993 version (with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis) of the Disney classic Freaky Friday for inspiration. Within reasonable limits, of course.
Make today be someday
If there’s someplace you’ve always talked about visiting, a site to see, a restaurant to try, a drive to take, make Mother’s Day the day to do that thing you’ve always said “we’ll have to do that someday.”
It’s not hard to spot an antique gesso frame at a flea market or estate sale. Look off to the side, maybe behind quite a few other things. It will be hiding there. Frames with gilt gold that has dulled and gesso that has gotten chippy aren’t given prime display space. And usually they aren’t given a prime price either, which makes them all the more attractive. These aren’t the high value frames carefully cared for and prized by collectors. Those you will find at high end dealers and auctions. The chippy lovelies you find at a flea market are the ones from the Victorian era that framed art and photographs owned by average households.
A gesso frame is a wooden frame that has applied ornamentation and detail made from a molded chalky, plastery white material. Gesso is a basic artist material. Painters use gesso to prime canvases. Molded gesso was an inexpensive and versatile material for frame makers that had the added advantage of “tooth”–it provides good adhesion for either paint or gilding size if it was to be covered with gold or silver leaf. Molded designs can be as simple as a rope border or highly intricate with small flourishes and flowers.
You know you have gesso frame with some authentic age if you flip it over and the wood looks old, there is evidence the art was held in place with small nails (not staples), the hanging hardware is screw eyes (not more modern sawtooth hangers) and the chipped edges of the ornamental decorations on the front are are white (not wood colored).
There are some frames out there that look like gesso, but are really from the 1950s and 1960s when French Provencial was a hot decorating trend–think paintings of Renoir-inspired ladies, impressionist ballerinas or European landscapes with lots of pinks and blues. They’re pretty ornate around the edges, are usually painted white and gold and may a web of cracks in the heavy paint and finish. There’s nothing in the world wrong with these frames, in fact, they are quite charming. But don’t be fooled into thinking one of these much later frames are antique-old.
Repairing a gesso frame
It is possible to do a home repair on a gesso frame. The Polka Dot Closet has a fabulous DIY blog post on how to do it. Her technique using polymer clay and epoxy putty is simple and pure genius. This works great on your average thrift store frame. Restoration of a true antique frame is best left to a restoration expert.
Decorating with gesso frames
Antique frames as art themselves
Lindsey Ballard of makelyhome.com has a thoughtful tutorial for creating a wall display of stacked vintage frames. She paints her frames and gets a great look. As with all antiques, the question of whether or not they should be painted is an open question with passionate defenders on both sides. It should be noted that if you paint a gilt frame, you have pretty much eliminated any antique value it has. But things should be used and loved, right? So if to use and love it, you want to paint it…
Antique frames to spotlight collections
Antique frames are a great way to showcase a collection of things you love. Photographs, plates, pocket watches, paper ephemera, baby clothes or anything you can stick on a wall with a nail or a tack look right at home arranged on the wall inside an antique frame. British blog boho-wedding.com features a lovely framed photo arrangement designed by prop stylist Hansley Beard.
The larger the frame, the larger the items you can collect in it. I’ve hung a collection of floral plates inside a massive chippy old frame. Branches with Christmas ornaments?Don’t mind if I do. But I use faux plants so I don’t mess with the paint on my wall. Add micro fairy lights? Yes please, for a frame on a horizontal surface where you can hide the battery pack. The nice thing is that if you aren’t squeamish about making holes in your wall, one well-placed frame can be changed seasonally.
Antique frames with added function
Tarah from grandmahousediy.com transformed an old dresser mirror that needed more reassembly than a piece of Ikea furniture into a functional jewelry holder. Although her frame was all wood, you can use the same techniques with a gesso frame. Add extra interest by spray painting the chicken wire before you install it.
Memo board: mount a sheet of cork to piece of foam core board cut to fit the opening of your frame. Use framer’s points if you have a framing gun or tiny brads to hold it in place
Distressed glass mirror: a well-aged frame with a good patina is begging for you to create a distressed mirror. Get a sheet of mirror cut to fit the opening with these instructions from HGTV.
Are you using vintage frames in your home? Share them with us on Instagram using our #vintageunscripted.
Cinco de Mayo (pronounced: [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo]; Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is a celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.
Here’s a video giving a brief history of Cinco de Mayo:
While Cinco de Mayo has it’s roots in history, Cinco de Mayo isn’t celebrated in Mexico as much as it is in the United States.
Here in the US, people have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo since the 1930s. The commercialization of the holiday really took off in the 1980s, and since that time, the 5th of May has been a perfect excuse to celebrate the Mexican culture, heritage and tradition – usually with food and drink – tacos and margarita’s anyone?!
Grilled Steak Tacos
To get your celebration started, pour yourself an ice cold margarita and then whip up a batch of these grilled steak tacos. A delicious, authentic taste of Mexico – a flavorful twist on the traditional Carne Asada Taco.
The recipe includes four parts: the filling, the cilantro chimichurri, pico de gallo, and quick pickles. It looks like a lot of work, but it’s really quite easy to make this recipe. Give it a try!
(recipe from Feasting at Home)
2 pounds Flank Steak (or pounded skirt steak)
1 sliced Sweet Onion for grilling (optional)
Juice of 1 Orange
Juice of 2 Limes
⅓ cup Soy Sauce
⅓ cup Olive Oil
½ teaspoon Sugar
4 smashed, chopped Garlic Cloves
½ cup chopped Cilantro
Tortillas: 10-12, freshly made if possible
In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade.
Place steak and onions in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well.
Let sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. (Or marinate for up to 3 hours in fridge, bringing to room temp before grilling.)
Pre-heat grill and grill meat.
Grill steak on med high heat to desired doneness. A little char is good.
Let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice the meat across the grain.
Ingredients for Cilantro Chimichurri:
1 bunch Cilantro or about 1 cup packed
1 bunch Italian Parsley- about 1 cup packed
¼ cup fresh Lime Juice (1-2 limes)
½ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup chopped Onion
2 garlic Cloves
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ of one Jalapeño Pepper
In a food processor, place jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped.
Add cilantro (stems are fine) and Italian parsley (again, thin stems are fine), pulse again.
Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined.
Set aside in small serving bowl.
Ingredients for Pico De Gallo:
4 vine-ripe Tomatoes, chopped
½ medium Red Onion, chopped
2 green Onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 Serrano Chili, minced
1 handful fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1½ Limes, juiced
¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Pico De Gallo Instructions:
Finely dice tomato, onion, jalapeño and cilantro.
Season with salt, pepper and lime. Add diced avocado and a couple splashes of Tapatio hot sauce, if desired.
Place all in a bowl, mix and let sit for 15 min to 1 hour (makes 2 Cups)
Ingredients for Quick Pickles:
2 cups mix of sliced Radishes, Onion, or Carrots, Cauliflower, or whatever you like
1 cup Vinegar
1 cup Water
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Whole Peppercorns or Whole Coriander Seed
A few sprigs Cilantro
Quick Pickles Instructions:
In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns or coriander seeds.
Add your choice of sliced radishes, slivered onions, thin sliced carrots or what ever else you like. Bring to a boil.
Remove and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes (or refrigerate until cold).
Remove and place in a serving bowl or jar.
Top with a little fresh cilantro.
Lime wedges, avocado slices, cabbage slaw, crumbed queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional), Tapatio hot sauce, sour cream avocado, cilantro
Follow all instructions above for the various components of this dish.
For tortillas – lightly grill, until soft and pliable (or grill directly on a gas burner. flipping and turning for 30 seconds) wrap up in a towel, to prevent drying.
Serve everything together, along with garnishes, and a fresh margarita of course!