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.



Chip off the old block: stuff we do just like our dads

monkey father and son

chip off the old block

Whether by nature or nurture, we all have things we do just like our dads or like people who are like dads to us. Some of them are big, like following them into the family profession. But others are small. And those are the ones that really make us chips of the old block.

So we wondered, what are the chippy things you do just like your dad?

Here are ours along with thoughts about fathers from people who are not us:

I am SO much like my Dad (and I love him SO much)! Just like Dad – I am logical, a creative thinker, love bird watching, daring adventures, and I have a soft spot in my heart for special memories, family, and animals. Dad taught me to believe in myself and to enjoy EVERY day as if it were a gift. When I was little and had frequent bad dreams, Dad suggested “Angel Feathers” – to reach up before I went to sleep to grab a handful of angel feathers that would protect me and keep me safe in my dreams. To this day, I still reach up and grab those angel feathers each night and I have taught my own kids to do the same. Thanks Dad for being you! 143 – JayDee (

mark twain quote

Easy for me. Just like my dad I love birds, wear the same LL Bean rain hat, eat vanilla ice cream daily and I am always be ready with a snippet of song (embarrassment of children definitely required, not optional). – Laurie (

erma bombeck quote

Thanks to my papa-san, I am a huge sports fan, a voracious reader and am competitive, especially when it comes to card games. I love fast cars, shopping for gifts and have yet to meet a cookie I didn’t like. – Linda (

fathers day quote

Just like my dad I am an extrovert and enjoy being funny! I always thought we both could have been professional comedians. We both love singing and don’t mind being the center of attention, when we want to be there. We are both sensitive, require sincere acts of affection, both headstrong and stubborn, both articulate. Wish I could give him a biiiig kiss! – Mary Ellen (

father's day quote

I was lucky enough to have two Dads and I loved them both.  I loved my stepdad for being totally devoted to my Mom. My birth Dad was not which is why I ended up with a stepdad! LOL!  I guess the thing I got from my birth Dad is I like to eat wild game, fish, etc.  He was an outdoorsman and he lived to go hunting and fishing. As kids, we ate a lot of different critters he caught and brought home. Dad caught it, Mom cooked it, although Dad was a great cook too, and we ate it! Yumm. Oh and Mom always said I had my Dad’s legs. Thanks a lot Mom!  – Tina (

Father's Day quotes

Are there any ways you are a chip off the old block? Leave a comment below! 




8 ways to make your mother’s day – vintage style

vintage mother and child

mother kangaroo

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.

pin ball

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.

barbecue grill

Backyard BBQ

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.

photo album

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! 

to do list

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! 

cell phones

Unplug yourselves

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.

freaky friday

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. 

road and rainbow

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.”





Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

It’s Cinco de Mayo! 

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)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 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

Filling Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade.
  2. Place steak and onions in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well.
  3. 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.)
  4. Pre-heat grill and grill meat.
  5. Grill steak on med high heat to desired doneness. A little char is good.
  6. 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

Cilantro Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, place jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped.
  2. Add cilantro (stems are fine) and Italian parsley (again, thin stems are fine), pulse again.
  3. Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined.
  4. 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:

  1. Finely dice tomato, onion, jalapeño and cilantro.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and lime. Add diced avocado and a couple splashes of Tapatio hot sauce, if desired.
  3. 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:

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns or coriander seeds.
  2. Add your choice of sliced radishes, slivered onions, thin sliced carrots or what ever else you like. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes (or refrigerate until cold).
  4. Remove and place in a serving bowl or jar.
  5. Top with a little fresh cilantro.

Garnish Ideas:

  • Lime wedges, avocado slices, cabbage slaw, crumbed queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional), Tapatio hot sauce, sour cream avocado, cilantro


  1. Follow all instructions above for the various components of this dish.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve everything together, along with garnishes, and a fresh margarita of course!

Shop Vintage with a Mexican Flair!

Easter Greetings With Vintage Easter Postcards

It’s Spring! And Easter is not far away. 

Instead of buying modern Easter cards for your friends and family, how about using Easter postcards from 100 years ago!

Here are some of my favorite vintage Easter postcards.
TIP: Click the images below to download the cards, then print them or use the digital images to send electronic Easter greetings. More ideas are included for using the cards when you click the images.

A Joyous Easter…



Easter Greetings…



Easter Greetings…



A Happy Easter…



A Joyful Easter…



A Joyful (Baseball) Easter…



Share with your friends! Happy Easter!

Oh, How We Love SPRING!

Happy First Day of Spring!

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Dot ( – Living in the south our Spring comes earlier than most. What is still a dream to some we have already experienced. BUT – the best part of that is we get to enjoy Spring many times over through the social media photos and tales from our friends as we watch their flowers and trees bloom and blossom and their little birds nest and hatch their young. It’s like having 3 months of Spring! I LOVE that!

JayDee ( – I love EVERYTHING about Spring! Spring is like a “do over” – the trees wake up with tiny buds and the anticipation of GREEN is on every branch. Johnny Jump Ups spring up from the woods everywhere you look with their purple and orange happy faces. Under the snow, the grass is just waiting to turn lush and green in anticipation of bare feet dancing on it’s carpet. Warmer temperatures mean Spring animals return, and oh! the deafening sound of thousands and thousands of FROGS! You just can’t help but smile in your heart when you hear all those frogs! Oh! And open water! There’s nothing quite like watching the last of the ice melt, leaving behind moving water. How I’ve missed watching the waves. There is just no other season as exciting as Spring!

Laurie ( – I love early spring, when there air is warm and there are small areas of melting snow and the streams are full and the mud is squelchy. I love middle spring when everything is fresh and bright and full of promise for the summer to come. I love late spring, when I can finally declare my feet free from the tyranny of socks and let my piggies tiptoe through the tulips and any of the other spring flowers that the rabbits have decided not to gnaw down to nubs.

Linda ( – I love the promise of Spring….the anticipation of what Mother Nature has in store for us. Trees budding out, baby birds chirping, the desert colors beginning to emerge. Spring is a sign of what is to come which makes it my favorite season of the year.

Mary Ellen ( – I know Spring is fast approaching when the goldfinches at the bird feeder perk up to their brilliant yellow plumage. The smell of fresh cut grass and newly raked dirt promises a new season of growth and still makes he happy after all of these years. Best of all the first scent of Spring rain which will never be replicated by even the best perfumers.

Pam ( – Springtime is my favorite time of the year.  The crisp cool mornings, bright blue skies, and new growth all signal a renewal of the circle of life. Every year I know Spring has arrived as I have a dove who makes her nest under my front awning and watches over her eggs and babies. The perfect new beginning.

Tina ( – Spring is like a rebirth of the earth every year.  The trees burst into buds, plants sprout from the earth, and the birds start their migration back north.  We watch for the first robin to appear and then we know it’s officially spring.  

Spring Things…

National Cold Cuts Day – Vintage Style!

Today, March 3rd, is National Cold Cuts Day. It’s a great excuse to have a few friends over for drinks and a snack!

Cold cuts are precooked or cured meat. Some people call them sandwich meats, deli meats, or lunch meats. No matter what you call them, cold cuts make tasty sandwiches, and fun cheese and meat platters that you can share with friends. 

Types of Cold Cuts

Here is a short list of some of the cold cuts that you might be familiar with:

  • Prosciutto
  • Salami
  • Braunschweiger
  • Liverwurst
  • Summer Sausage
  • Pepperoni
  • Bresaola
  • Corned Beef
  • Head Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Roast Beef
  • Pastrami
  • Mortadella
  • Dutch Loaf
  • Basturma
  • Bierwurst
  • Bologna
  • Olive Loaf
  • Plockwurst
  • Soppressata
  • Zungenwurst
  • Thuringer

Vintage Magazine Ads for Cold Cuts

Cold cuts have been popular for many years. They have been served at luncheons and dinners. Made into sandwiches and packed in school lunch boxes. They have been served as appetizers at cocktail parties and other social gatherings.  And they make a darn good late night sandwich… just ask Dagwood Bumstead! 😉 Here are some vintage magazine ads featuring cold cuts:

TIP: Click on an ad you like (once to view the ad on a separate page, then click again to enlarge the ad), then print it on a color printer. Laminate the ads and use them as placements at your next gathering – they are sure to be a hit!

Meat and Cheese Snack Platter

Cold cut platters were not just your Mother’s idea of a party! Here’s a modern day snack platter that makes all those cold cuts look pretty darn good!

And, since you’ll be serving cold cuts at your next party, you’ll need something to serve them on. Don’t forget the cheese and crackers…

What are your favorite cold cuts? Share in a comment below!

Share this post and tag it #NationalColdCutsDay

12 Intentional Acts of Kindness for Random Acts of Kindness Day

Today, February 17th, is National Random Acts of Kindness Day in the US – a day to celebrate and encourage random acts of kindness. 

Josh de Jong of New Zealand is the person who created this recognized holiday as National Random Acts of Kindness in 2004. Since then there is also a National Random Acts of Kindness organization here in the United States.

Kindness is contagious and when people see one another being kind to someone, they want to “pay it forward” to be kind to others.

While I encourage you to act in the moment and do some random act of kindness today (and every day), here are some “intentional” acts of kindness you can use to get you started.

#1 Mail a Card

Make a handmade card for a friend or family member that doesn’t live near you and mail it to them. Include a photo of the two of you together as a special memento. Take it a step further and send a note to a random stranger in need through the website More Love Letters. Everyone needs a little more love, right?

#2 Donate Used Books

Gather all your used books and donate them to a school, local library, or local shelter. Take it a step further and ask your neighbors if they would like to donate too, then pick up their donations and deliver them along with your donations.

#3 Leave a Note

Write a thank you note to your mail carrier, trash collector, or newspaper deliverer to thank them for doing a great job. Attach a piece of wrapped candy as a special surprise. Don’t forget to leave a note for your spouse and your kids – tuck it under their pillow to make it more special. Vintage postcards make the notes even more unique.

#4 Make It or Bake It

Make or bake a special treat such as cake, bread, dessert or cookies (placed on a vintage platter), and deliver it to your neighbors with a handwritten note that let’s them know you are thinking about them.

#5 Learn from Your Elders

Go visit an older relative and ask them to teach you something they remember from their childhood. Perhaps a song, how to knit, how to play a game – you get the idea. Take it a step further and teach them something you know how to do.

#6 Help the Animals

Fill a vintage basket with old blankets and towels, a bag of dog and/or cat food and bring it to your local animal shelter. They are always looking for donations to help the animals. While you’re there, volunteer to walk a dog or play with a cat. It will make your heart feel good.

#7 Go To Lunch

Invite a friend or family member to lunch, and pick up the tab. If you don’t have time for lunch, invite them to coffee, or go have a piece of pie together. Take it a step further and do this once a month!

#8 Finish That Task

Finish a task that someone has started, but keeps putting it off. For example, wash someones car, mow their lawn or shovel snow off their driveway. Surely someone you know needs an extra hand!

#9 Clean It Up

Grab a large trash bag (or two), then go for a walk in your neighborhood and pick up all the trash you see on the ground. Invite your neighbors to join you. Take it a step further and clean up a local park, too.

#10 Give Back

Pack up things you no longer need that someone else could benefit from, then use a Give Back Box to send your items (free) to Goodwill. Things like clothes, small household items, and books are perfect for the Goodwill. The Give Back Boxes are free and can be sent from any state in the USA.

#11 Pick Up the Phone

Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time – perhaps a friend who has moved out of state, a distant relative, or even your next door neighbor. Tell them you’ve called because you missed hearing their voice. Make the conversation be all about them and ask them questions about how they are, what they’ve been up to, etc.

#12 Plant a Seed

Be kind to the Earth and plant a seed! Whether flower, vegetable, or tree – grab a pot, fill it with potting soil, and plant that seed. Tend the seed until it sprouts, and when it is large enough to be transplanted, plant it in your yard or garden. The Earth will thank you.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)

What random acts or intentional acts of kindness will you do today?

Psst!  Share this post and pass it on!

Show Your Love With Vintage Valentine’s

Ah… it’s almost Valentine’s Day. The day to show your love for the special people in your life.

Sure, you could run to the nearest gift store and buy a modern Valentine’s Day card, but some of the cards from 100 years ago are even more fun.

Here are some of my favorite vintage Valentine’s Day postcards.
TIP: Click the images below to download the cards, then print them or use the digital images to send electronic Valentine’s Day greetings. More ideas are included for using the cards when you click the images.

The score was twenty love…



Sending love from the angels…



Love birds and Forget-Me-Nots…



Poppies for your Valentine…



Love’s greeting to my Valentine…



Two hearts join as one…






With fond love…



Did You Know? Around 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. That’s a LOT of love!