A Round Up of Valentine’s Day Table Decor With a Vintage Twist

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but there is still time to find some cool vintage pieces to incorporate into your Valentine’s Day dinner table decor. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Vintage China, Silverware, and Figurines

Pair red and white or pink and white vintage plates with plain white plates to create an interesting place setting. Add vintage stemware for wine or desserts, and vintage silverware for interest. Place a vintage cupid angel or two on the table and you have a great look for your celebration.

 

Decorate With Vintage Milk Glass

Vintage milk glass adds a fun, whimsical touch to any dinner table decor! Fill with pink and red candies, desserts, flowers, or floating candles. So many possibilities!

StyleMePretty

 

Utilize Vintage Crates

Fill a large vintage crate with vases of fresh cut flowers, bowls of candy and a vintage glass pitcher filled with your favorite beverage. Sweet!

 

Celebrate with Vintage Beverage Pitcher and Glasses

Of course you’ll want to serve your favorite beverage on Valentine’s Day. Just fill a vintage pitcher with a fun punch recipe and serve in vintage glasses. Don’t forget the vintage serving tray. Yum!

 

Go Glam with Vintage Trays and Valentine Cards

Decorate your Valentine’s Day table with a vintage floral tray in gold, gold charger plates, and vintage stemware. Place a vintage Valentine card on each place setting, a special gift for your dinner guests. Don’t forget to repurpose a dresser box to hold special after dinner mints. 

TheGlitterGuide

 

Upcycle Vintage Brooches

Turn those sparkly vintage brooches and rings into unique napkin rings! What an elegant touch for your dinner table. You could also use vintage necklaces draped over vases to add more sparkle. Be creative!

ShabbyChicGirls

 

 

Celebrate Houseplant Appreciation Day with Vintage!

Yep… seems like there is a ‘holiday’ for every topic. And Houseplant Appreciation Day is one of them!

Houseplant Appreciation Day is celebrated on January 10th of each year. I think it’s a great excuse to give your plants some extra tender loving care, and that includes updating their planters with vintage.

Houseplants are not only good for your home environment, they also bring an almost zen-like feeling to an otherwise stressful day.

So… how do you celebrate National Houseplant Appreciation Day? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Ideas for Celebrating Houseplant Appreciation Day

  • Choose your favorite plant, and transplant it into a vintage planter. Not only does this give your plant a chance to “stretch it’s roots”, it also gives you a chance to update the look of the plant. See the ideas below for inspiration.
  • What?!?! You don’t have any houseplants?!?! Well, now is the time to get out there and buy them! I highly recommend you buy at least three different varieties to start you off. There are some good choices below.
  • Fill a vintage planter with a favorite houseplant, and give it to a friend. Nothing like sharing your green thumb with others!
  • Talk to your plants. I know, you might feel foolish doing this, but what if your plants really can “hear” you?

Vintage Planters and Perfect Plant Pairs

Jade – Pair a square vintage planter with Jade. Jade is sometimes called a “friendship plant” or “lucky plant”. It is a succulent that is drought tolerant, easy to grow (and maintain), and thrives in bright light. It’s a very easy plant to propagate – just stick a fallen “leaf” into soil and it will start to root. Jade is a very compact, sturdy plant and one that lives a long time.

Peperomia – Peperomia caperata would look very elegant in a vintage brass planter! Peperomia is a semi-succulent plant and is easy to care for. The plant has tall spike-type flowers and thick rubber-like leaves. The plant only gets about 12″ tall and thrives in low-light condition. The patterns on the leaves make it a great focal plant.

Sansevieria – Sansevieria is an extremely care-free plant! It’s also known as “mother-in-laws tongue” or “snake plant”. It tolerates drought very well. The upright sword-shape leaves are dramatic and call attention. It likes bright light, but can grow in practically any conditions. This plant looks right at home in small vintage upright planters.

Bamboo – Bamboo, also known as “lucky bamboo” is actually not really a true bamboo plant, it’s a Dracaena. This plant would look fabulous in a vintage rattan plant holder. This plant grows in very little light to bright light, and is very easy to care for. It can be grown in water or in soil. This plant adds a little Feng Shui boost to your home.

Air Plant – A large Tillandsia Xerographica air plant would look right at home displayed in a vintage soap dish. This curly green and pinkish tilly is easy to care for. Just spritz it with water once a month or so and it will last a long time. This plant produces a spectacular flower that can be 4 times the height of the plant – really quite a conversation piece, and perfect for a windowsill or bathroom vanity. 

Hoya – The Hoya plant is also known as a “wax plant”.  This plant could be potted in a plain terra cotta pot, decorated with a vintage necklace – bling for pots! The Hoya plant tolerates very dry conditions. When watered more often, this plant will flower with a variety of flower sizes. The plant can be grown easily in indirect light conditions. The interesting leaves add character to any home decor. 

Albuca Spiralis ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ – This is such a cool plant! The ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ plant has thick, tightly curled leaves on short stems that grow from a bulb. In the Spring, the plant produces fragrant yellow flowers that have 10 to 20 blooms per spike. The flowers have a slight vanilla fragrance. This plant grows in full sun. Tuck three bulbs in a vintage hardware drawer filled with soil and you have a most interesting display.

 

What are YOUR favorite house plants? Share in a comment below!

Themed Christmas trees: 3 ideas to spark your holiday creativity

evergreen branch

The problem with decorating Christmas trees is that it’s too much fun to only do once a season. The main tree tends to have a well-established theme, recreated every year. It’s an old friend, a welcome one, but still an old friend. Not much room for innovation. That’s where smaller themed Christmas trees hit the spot–a chance to flex your creativity in the holiday spirit.

The basic recipe starts with some sort of tree type object: real evergreens, faux evergreens, aluminum dazzlers, feather trees or unconventional materials like dowels, sticks, frames, stacks of books, carefully piled crates or boxes, cardboard tubes…anything that works within the laws of gravity and physics can be a  tree if you say it is.

Once you have your tree, unleash your imagination. To get those muscles warming up and flexing gently, here are some creative sparks to ponder…

The Kitchen Tree

kitchen christmas tree
From HGTV.com, a simple cutlery kitchen tree.

The kitchen is full of things that deserve a time to shine. HGTV featured this cutlery inspired tree on their blog; how many of us have bits and bobs of antique silver-plated flatware and odd serving utensils lurking in our drawers. To add to the fun, what about accenting it with strings of fresh cranberries

Scale matters: the larger the tree, the larger the items you can hang. Big tree–mashers and muffin tins. Small tree–molds and measuring spoons. And what does the tree stand in–a blue enamel roasting pan, an antique cookie tin or a copper bowl with a linen dish towel tree skirt?

GET THE LOOK

The Boudoir Tree

jewelry trees
Three ideas for trees in your on your dresser or vanity.

I saw my first jewelry tree in the 1980s. My vintage-loving friend David had collected sparkling rhinestone jewelry all year, both broken and complete. And the apartment-sized tree he decorated was fully covered with necklaces dripping like icicles and brooches glinting like exquisite baubles. 

Jewelry trees can express your inner magpie. If you have broken bits, you have the blissful liberation of  glue gunning without a shred of guilt like the photo above left from RetroRenovation. If you are using your own wearables, delicately dangle them from a feather tree, drape necklaces like garlands or dot a wreath with brooches. Tiny perfume bottles; yes please.  Need some whimsy in your life, release the curlers! Need a his and hers? Add bow ties. Add a pretty handkerchief, lace trimmed slip or doily as a tree skirt. Or better yet, nestle it in a vintage suitcase and surround it with your favorite pretties.

GET THE LOOK

The Ephemera Tree

ephemera trees
Two ways to share mementos and ephemera, a DIY frame tree from Organized Clutter or a lavishly decorated tree from Cincinnati’s  Taft Museum.

Whether you like your memories vintage or like them as fresh as last summer, an ephemera tree showcases photographs, small bits of memorabilia, greeting cards and more. What better way to display a decade’s worth of pictures with Santa? Or favorite fishing lures and photos from fishing trips to remember? Decorate a travel memories tree with a paper chain garland made from old maps. Postcards, mais oui! Buttons and badges and car keys and golf tees…anything that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside has a place on an ephemera tree.

GET THE LOOK

Make it yours

When it comes to theme trees, with enough pixie dust and some scrounging in drawers and boxes, the only limit is your own imagination. Look up your sleeve…what’s hiding there might surprise you and dazzle your holiday guests with your creative genius. 

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Thanksgiving Greetings With Vintage Postcards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner – time to start thinking about your family dinner celebration and ways to decorate your table.

Use these digital scans of vintage Thanksgiving postcards to make your table unique! The cards can be downloaded and saved, then printed on a color printer to make placemats, coasters, or name tags for your table.

You could even print the postcard images and use them as cards to write what your family is most thankful for.

Best Wishes for a Good Thanksgiving…

 

To save the images, right-click and choose Save Image As. The postcards are not copyright protected, so they are free to use however you like. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!


 

From the Shops of Vintage Unscripted…

 

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Best and worst Halloween candy: an unscientific survey

candy corn

We took to Facebook to ask our friends three important seasonal questions:
1) What Halloween candy was your favorite?
2) What Halloween candy was their most dreaded? and
3) What Halloween candy were they most likely to steal from their children’s loot bag?

We compiled their results into a poetic lab report:

halloween candyWhen shadows creep and house lights glow,
We slip into costumes and out we go.
Looking for candy with a sack in our hands
But what candies are loved and which should be banned?

We conducted a survey, not at all scientific,
And got some responses, for which you’re* terrific.
Here are the results, compiled for your pleasure
Of the tasty treats we enjoy at our leisure.

The favorite sweets had some common themes.
There are lots of full-size chocolate bars in our dreams.
Milky Way, Reese’s, Heath, Snickers and Mounds,
Almond Joy, Hershey, KitKats and Rolos abound.

Most dreaded were licorice and plump red apples,
Real fruit, it was said, was judged to be crapples.
And since we’re a land of many points of views
Some candies made both lists; here is that news…

Loved and loathed were Neccos, Tootsies and Dots,
Bit-o-honey and Candy Corn were 100s or naughts.
Charleston Chews and Jolly Ranchers won and lost,
Popcorn balls and peanut butter kisses might be kept or be tossed.

Some want the Good and Plenty, which other would skip,
And one person would not let any chocolate pass their lips.
One offer was made to team up to go treating,
Because one’s favorites were what the other wouldn’t be eating.

On whether or not heists were made from kid’s loot,
It’s safe to say that for some treats, in we would scoot,
For Butterfingers, which made neither best nor worst honors,
And Heath bars and Milky Ways and most chocolate’d be goners.

Baby Ruths, Nerds and Tootsie Rolls we’d sneak
And mix up the rest so no one knew that we’d peeked.
We might not be proud and it is kind of tricky
But none of us got caught with our fingers still sticky.

One of the memories a few people shared,
Was of the tiny treat bags filled with great care
With pieces of taffy and jelly beans and wrapped candy.
We all remember those prized bags as just dandy.

So thanks all who served up sweet Halloween dreams,
And shared some nice memories of the night when ghosts scream.
Get your treat basket ready, ghouls are coming to the door,
But remember, kids are not the only ones Halloween is for!

grabbing hands

*Thanks to Kris, Petter, Peter, Nancy, Dot, Linda, Jenni, Donna, Diane, Shelley, Cheryl, Mary Ellen, JD, Susan, Nancy, Diane, Donna, Christina, Russ, Marla, Deb, Pam, Sandy and Erin for sinking their sweet teeth into this unscientific survey for us.

Wishing you no apples in your plastic pumpkins tonight!

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Holiday do-ahead gift: chocolate pudding mix

hourglass count down

Disclaimer: No one likes holiday creep. Thanksgiving has no right to be hanging around in October. And Christmas, don’t get me started. Eggnog at the supermarket before Thanksgiving? Wrong. Boxes of peppermint sandwich cookies? Oh so tempting, but oh so wrong in October. Holiday creep is to the December holidays what DVDs were to The Wizard of Oz. Watching The Wizard of Oz used to be special because it was only on once a year. Now that you can watch it any time, it’s still a classic but it’s not an event. So while posting a holiday-do ahead gift recipe might feel a little bit like holiday creep, this is shelf-stable and mixing it up now will give you a little breathing room later.

♦  ♦  ♦

Cecily Brownstone's Associated press CookbookCecily Brownstone is not exactly a household name now. But for 39 years, she was a syndicated columnist and the food editor at the Associated Press (from 1947 to 1986). She was the cooking equivalent of Dear Abby, a household name that provided recipes and cooking information. Influential cooks James Beard and the Joy of Cooking authors were among her friends. She was a titan in the cooking world for most of her life. Which makes one wonder why she is so little known now.

In one of her published weekly columns, reader Quick Cook asked for an chocolate pudding recipe she could make up in a flash. Ms. Brownstone provided her with this recipe for a homemade instant pudding mix.

Times may have changed, but it’s hard to imagine a world where your friends and family wouldn’t flap their flippers over a gift of instant chocolate pudding mix. Just add mason jar, bow and snazzy label with directions. To really dial it up, add vintage pudding or parfait glasses.

(You also get a bonus salad dressing recipe, but not one you can make and store for months.)

Cecily Brownstone's chocolate pudding recipe

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2000 Years of Halloween

According to history, Halloween has been celebrated in one form or another since the days of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. We’re talking 2000 years ago! This is the time of year when nature makes its dramatic change from warm and sunny to dark and chilly. The end of the harvest and growing season.  

Wearing costumes has been attributed to everything from fooling the Pagan Gods to imitating the souls of the dead. Early Europeans were known to dress up and go door to door playing pranks on their neighbors.

Superhero costumes and pillowcases filled with candy are a far cry from the origins of Halloween. But much more fun! Slowly throughout the years we have gone from celebrating the end of the harvest to purple and orange lights and fake spiderwebs. Halloween has become one of the biggest retail holidays in the US. This year consumers are expected to spend over 9 billion dollars on Halloween in the US alone.

One of the oldest traditions is decorating for Halloween with paper skeletons, jack o lanterns, black cats, and spiders. The Beistle Company has been in business since 1900 and has been making Halloween decor since 1921. They are still in business today and have revived some of the original designs from the 1920’s.

The shops of Vintage Unscripted have some great items to complete your Halloween look too.

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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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 (thirdshiftvintage.com)

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 (Nextstagevintage.com)

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 (SelectiveSalvage.com)

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 (aunthattiesatticvintage.com)

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 (girlpickers.com)

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. 

dandelion

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.”