Friday, January 23, 2009

Items of the vintage purses

Vintage 70s Enid Collins Box PurseVintage 40s Purse Hand Bag

Vintage purses are so much fun! They are great for working a little vintage love into any outfit, no mater how much vintage clothing you actually wear. They are also great for mixing and matching eras...pair a 40s purse with a 60s scarf and a 50s dress, who cares? As long as you look great! Every gal needs a purse, so why not have a little fun with it?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Happy Housewife - Homemade REAL Chicken Noodle Soup

Budgets are getting tighter all around, so how about fixing up a big old kettle full of something to chase away the chill, feed the soul, cure what ails ‘ya, AND goes a long way? The Happy Housewife is proud to (attempt) to put into words her “famous chicken noodle soup”, as the little one calls it. Adapt it to your family’s preferences, adding more of this or less of that, until you have it just right. You can make a whole lot, as this keeps for a good week in the fridge, and also freezes pretty well. I like to fill a pretty big Tupperware with enough for 4 bowls, and stash it in the freezer. It makes a great evening’s meal a week or two later, and can be thawed pretty quickly by a few minutes in the microwave and the rest in a pot on the stove. Just add some grilled cheese sandwiches and all will be happy.

The Happy Housewife’s extra budget hint…watch for store specials on chicken breast and coupons for noodles, both can be kept in the freezer for a rainy day.

You will need:
A really big pot, stock pot if you intend to make a hefty batch
2-6 bone in (cheaper!) split chicken breasts, skin or no skin (for less fat)
4-12 carrots, depending on batch size and family preference, diced into 1/8” rounds, half those rounds it the carrots are particularly fat
4-8 celery stalks, diced into 1/8” thick pieces, half if large
1/2 of a baseball sized onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, diced, or 2-3 spoonfuls of pre-diced jarred garlic
1/4-1/2 Cup of lemon juice
1/8 to 1 teaspoon each of poultry seasoning, black pepper, seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground rosemary, or a tea infuser full of dried (the infuser allows you to pull the rosemary out after cooking, so there aren’t sticks in your soup)
2-4 Tablespoons of Kosher salt (start with less, add more if needed at the end)
16 or 24 oz bag of Reames (or other brand) frozen egg noodles

In your really big pot, put enough water to cover the chicken by an inch or two, add your spices and lemon juice. Start simmering over medium heat while you chop the veggies, adding as you go, starting with the onion and garlic, then carrots and celery. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through. Pull the chicken out of the broth with tongs, but allow the soup to continue to simmer (never boil). Let the chicken cool a bit; splitting open the pieces will speed this along. While the chicken cools a bit, put the noodles into the soup to cook..

Once you can handle the chicken, separate the meat from the skin and bone, and dice it, dumping back into the soup as you go.

Check the taste, and add more spices or salt if necessary for desired taste. Serve.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What fella would shop here these days?

Ah, how time changes the meaning of words and phrases. I've had a few items from this former mens & boys clothing store, shown here in a 1967 shot of the annual (even to this day) sidewalk sale in downtown Moberly MO. The items I have had are always nice pieces, each with the store's woven fabric tag neatly placed inside. It was one of the places for a guy to shop, back in the glorious days before the world got mall-and-big-box-store saturated. The owner's name was Dick, thus the store's name.
Still, when I see it, I can't help but giggle at all the fellas from back then walking around with the label "Little Dick" in their attire. I think you'd get thumped for that these days, or at least taunted relentlessly.
Yes, I occasionally have a juvenile sense of humor. It's not the worst thing in the world, right?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The CPSIA plays the part of Burgermeister Meisterburger

Any kid who's seen the Christmas classic Santa Clause is Coming to Town will now be able to relate to the children of Sombertown, the town where toys are outlawed by "The Burgermeister".

In case you hadn't heard, the CPSIA (Burgermeisters!) got a law passed quickly last year as a reaction to the high number of recalls of crappy China-made toys that were laced with lead. Sounds good, right?
Well, the law was then made retroactive. What does that mean?
It means that as of Feb 10th, ANY stock intended for children in any store which was produced before that date, any used clothing, toys, gear, in your kid's closet will be ILLEGAL to resell. Even those without a recall and without lead based materials.
That's right! No garage sale, no ebay, Etsy, no private website, no consignment store, no thrift, NO ONE can legally sell an item produced before that day. Charity shops cannot give it away, thrifts cannot sell it, YOU cannot sell it. Technically, by letter of the law, you can't even hand it down to your neighbor's kid.
Quit trading those 8 month old Pokemon cards, kid, or it's the slammer for you!!

What if it's vintage? Nope, can't do it. It was produced before the date the law goes into effect and was intended for use by someone under 12. Who cares if that kid is now in his 60s?

Where will all this stuff end up? Just guess. The Salvation Army, Goodwill, your local church charity shop...if they intend to follow the law, they will have to dump it. It will fill their dumpsters and they will have to PAY to get rid of it. That means they will have that much less to put towards good causes.

My local SA store makes 5% of their monthly sales off of kids clothing and toy sales. Not much? Multiply that average $600 in sales by 12, then multiply that number by the number of SA stores there are in the country (1370 stores). Suddenly that 5% at my rinkydink SA is nearing $9 MILLION annually that will not be there to provide relief after storms, shelter battered women, provide education and medical assistance to impoverished countries...not to mention giving people a way to extend their budgets when clothing their kids. Same goes for Goodwill's 2200 stores, and their assistance to the mentally challenged who want to work, or the mother who needed some additional education to get a better job.

Yes, there should be something in a law that makes it illegal for these toy conglomos to bring crappy lead laced toys into the country. However, not every toy in the whole world has lead in it. Not EVERY article of clothing should be treated like toxic waste.

My Mom started her business, Kids Caboose, from the ground up, selling gently used, consigned, children's goods. She is looking at potentially loosing everything she's put into this business. She will loose her retirement job, I'll loose my occasional part time job, and every family that shops her store will loose a venue that helps extend their strapped incomes. Her consignors will loose a source of income. It is likely that she will have to close up shop, if not forever, at least for a few years. She is not the only one.

This law needs to be dissected, rewritten, and reviewed carefully.

Will you help? Time is of the essence. Please follow this link to the NARTS website (Natn'l Association of Retail and Thrift Stores).
There you will find out some more info, and can follow links to sign a petition and write your area's representatives to voice your opinion.

Sign the NARTS petition

Jenn, Hatfeathers Vintage

Monday, January 12, 2009

Items of the week...Raiders of the Lost Dresses

Click to see items

The Bradley knit set and the Make-Do Dressing Gown.
I spent several hours in the sun at an auction in August for a Bradley knit set and a few other pieces. Several bottles of water and a slightly red shoulder later, I left victorious!
The dressing gown came to me a while back, as well, gathered from some choice pieces at an estate buy. I was enchanted by the patches of different fabrics, the evidence of mending, probably from a time when fabric was rationed and buying new wasn't an option.
So why, oh why did I not list these before now? I HAVE NO IDEA!

A recent stock shift, studio organization, and website revamp has been very productive. I found a few items that had been forgotten, some that had gotten buried in the business of a few lucky stock hauls, and a few, like our items of the week here, that had been prepped, shot, written up, code written, and...and...nothing.
You see, I try to get a good handful of things ready to go before adding them to the website (working with site code being my least fave part of the job). Somewhere in the swirling winds of life these two fell through the cracks of my mind.
I guess it's a good thing I'm not the milkman(gal)! So, without any FURTHER delay, I give you the slightly MORE vintage Bradley knit dress and war-time bow print dressing gown!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Aloha to an artist, designer, print master

The fashion world has lost one of the greats, Alfred Shaheen, who passed away just before Christmas. A vintage Shaheen halter dress has always been amongst the Holy Grails of vintage fashion. Although I've found several more recent vintage pieces (usually 70s) by Shaheen, I've only ever had one of his 50's items, found rather early in my selling ventures.

Shaheen had a way of making the Hawaiian print into wearable art. His prints were not the garish tropical prints that sometimes give the phrase "Hawaiian dress/shirt" a bad name. His were colorful, true, but never in a way that hurt the eyes. They were always natural and lovely, and truly Hawaiian. So, Aloha to the great Alfred Shaheen!

Here is some eye candy of my favorite Shaheen to come through my long gone to a new home, but still at the top of my list of things I've sold in nearly 7 years, a three piece set with smocked playsuit, full skirt, and kimono wrap top.