Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vintage Christmas Classics

 No christmas is complete without a Christmas Movie. So today I thought i'd make a list (and check it twice) of my all time favourite Christmas Movies and Shows. 

Numero Uno hands down is The Christmas Story, directed by Anne Wheeler. Who doesn't love the leg lamp! Here's a clip...

Next of course is the unforgettable Grinch that evil, so evil green piece of nastiness whose heart was two sizes too small.

And the inspiration for the green meanie Good Old Ebineezer Scrooge.
Thankfully they both bounced back from their Miserly Ways. I like the 1938 classic version best.

And last but not least, the classic Charlie Brown Christmas in which Charlie Brown discovers that the true meaning of Christmas lies in in the oldest story of all, the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

and so I bid you all A Very Merry Christmas!  May you spend it in the loving arms of family and friends, and if you can't may you be the family or friend of someone who has none.

I'll be taking a break over the next couple of weeks, See you in early January, HO, HO, HO!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Very Merry Vintage Christmas To You

A Very Merry Vintage Christmas to all Who Celebrate. I'm in a very Christmas mood today as it's snowing for the first time this year (and most likely the last) here in Lotus Land. We rarely get snow at or on Christmas so when it does snow I like to be out in it. So while I'm out I'll leave you with some Vintage Christmas images to use for gift wrapping. (If these don't print properly just google "free printable vintage Christmas images" and you'll be amazed what comes up) Don't forget to think re-use for your gift giving this year, protect the future, preserve the past.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks and a SALE

Today I'd like to take the opportunity to thank my valued customers. To all who share my love of all things old, I thank you for your continued support, whether it be purchases, comments, or just encouragement in general, I do appreciate it immensely.

And to show my appreciation I'm having a winter sale.

Beat The Winter Blues Sale! 
Until December 9th, purchase any item/s over $25 in my Etsy shop and receive a 15% discount. 
 Just enter the coupon code "auntbetty25" at checkout. 

Thanks for making this a memorable year.
All the best this holiday season.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Antiques in the Garden

This morning, after a restless, tossy turny, sleepless night,  I awoke in a thick fog, eyes swollen and puffy, head pounding. That's a sure sign to me that I need some time in the garden. The Garden is my refuge, my solace, my cure for all ails. It is the place I run to when the world seems to be falling apart around me or when (like today) I just can't seem to get started. It is especially appealing to me in winter when decay has set in and little pockets of colour and texture seem to stand out so much more. Today whilst I was meandering I noticed something else in the garden that gave me the idea for this post, Antiques in the Garden.

  Just a block away from my home is a fabulous guerilla garden (a garden started on derelict property without permission). It has become a beautiful hub of summer activity and community. A place where people who have no outdoor space to call their own can stretch out and awaken their creativity. What I noticed today is how many objects, usually old and often collectable, there were in the garden. I know it's not a new idea, but today I want look at the the garden as an extended room in which to display ones collectables. NO, not the precious thousands of dollars collectables, just the ones sitting around taking up valuable space and collecting dust.

Like this old Trike

And this old stove plate

Together they create a nice little vignette.

Old Pots, vintage furniture, pepsi crates and like items seem to fit right in especially in the winter months. They provide a sculptural element as well as adding texture and form.
 In this garden even the existing railroad tracks are part of the design.

Add a few broken old pots, a plinth or two and, voila! Gorgeous garden rooms ready for quiet evening strolls, daily dog walks or just old fashioned family gatherings.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ode to the Polaroid Land Sx70

 It's high time for a post about vintage cameras. Long before I started selling vintage goods I was fully ensconced in photography. As often happens to photographers, I became fascinated with vintage cameras but for me it was specifically polaroid vintage cameras. I had seen these beautiful soft focussed images, heavy with grain and bits of  undeveloped edges and I needed to know how those were achieved.

It was the lovely hippy urban girl (who just happens to be my sister in law) who turned me on to The Sx70 alpha1. I had tried the 80's plastic polaroids which are fun for parties, but I wanted an SLR camera and the Alpha1 is exactly that. It was love at first sight......

For a while when the film was still easily obtained I preferred to shoot with polaroid. Even though the film was almost always expired it didn't matter as sometimes that resulted in beautifully decayed looking images.

As the film grew scarce my friends an I began to discuss whether shots were "polaroid" worthy or not.
In the fall of '99 Polaroid folded instant film production entirely. We began to buy expired film in lots of 25 and 50 packs. Those eventually became too expensive and so I reluctantly turned to 35mm film and rediscovered the joy of shooting with the camera I first learned photography on, my Yashica FR.
As friends and family learned of my interest in old film cameras I began to receive 35 mm cameras and gear until soon one whole corner of my bedroom was taken up with camera storage.
And on it goes.... My home is now filled with Vintage cameras some usable others just for show, but my true love is and always will be Polaroid Sx70 cameras.


Post script: I haven't completely left polaroid photography behind, I just (at this moment in time) don't have the kind of cash it takes to fill my need for film. is still producing film and it is absolutely beautiful and every bit as nostalgic as the original TZArtistic. If you have the means, do get some, you won't regret it and it just may lead you on to ever more creative discoveries.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fashion forward from the past

As fashion often does, today we are looking to the past for ideas for men's fashion and some of the hottest accessories right now are cufflinks and pocket squares.

 I think cufflinks of the past are most interesting and unique. Top names in vintage cufflinks are Krementz, Anson, Foster and Hickok, with Krementz being the highest quality. You can go as plain or fancy as you like, base metal or 14kt or sterling. Popular styles are brushed metal, diamond cut and rhinestone, not to forget novelty styles like fly fishing flies cast in resin. Natural stones and other materials like these beautiful black coral cufflinks are de rigueur.

For pocket squares I'm of the opinion there is only one kind and that's silk. Plain or paisley, subdued or flashy, those are personal choices but if you want to impress it must be silk. Look for hand rolled, hand sewn edges and designer brands like Dior and de La Renta and you can't go wrong.
 So weather it's a formal dinner or a night on the town there's a link or square for every occasion. Just remember a few simple rules and you'll look fabulous.

Number one, match your metals. If your buttons and belt buckle are silver then silver links it is. Same goes for the square, pick one colour from your suit or tie and complement it. How you fold or scrunch it depends on the occasion but it shouldn't overpower your whole ensemble. Having said that, breaking the rules is sometimes what fashion is all about.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tin Treasures

This week we're taking a look at antique and vintage tin items. For the purpose of explaing the processes I will focus on biscuit tins but these can be applied to any type of tin collectable.

Tins, a brief and abridged Wiki history:

"Biscuit tins are made of tin plate. This consists of iron sheets thinly coated with tin by being dipped into the liquid metal. The sheets are then bent to shape....  Biscuit tin manufacture was a small but prestigious part of the vast industry of tin plate production,...
The earliest decorated biscuit tin was commissioned in 1868 by Huntley & Palmers from the London firm of De La Rue to a design by Owen Jones. Early methods of printing included the transfer process (essentially the method used to decorate porcelain and pottery since about 1750) and the direct lithographic process, which involved laying an inked stone directly on to a sheet of tin. Its disadvantage was that correct colour registration was difficult. The breakthrough in decorative tin plate production was the invention of the offset lithographic process. It consists of bringing a sheet of rubber into contact with the decorated stone, and then setting-off the impression so obtained upon the metal surface. The advantages over previous methods of printing were that any number of colours could be used, correctly positioned, and applied to an uneven surface if necessary. Thus the elaborately embossed, colourful designs that were such a feature of the late Victorian biscuit tin industry became technically possible."
Modern tins use the photo litho process which takes away the graininess found in the previous processes. Though the images are sharper, I much prefer the imperfection of transfers, lithos and direct lithographs. 

I like tin lithos because they are not only decorative but often functional and can be used for years and years. Because of their decorative nature, they can be passed on for future generations to enjoy. I think all collectors should have at least a few good tin items in their collections. Here are a few of my faves...

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Art of the Scarf

How I love a good scarf. The scarf is so versatile and can really add that final je ne sais quoi to any outfit. But if you are like me you sometimes struggle with how to wear them. Do I tie or wrap, should  it go outside or inside my jacket, knot or bow, long and flowing or short and bowing? Here is an essential guide to scarf tying and wearing, in video form.

Here are three beautiful vintage scarves available now on my etsy site.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Polaroid Luv and a Heavy Heart

Come to my kiosk at the fleamarket and you'll see a load of Polaroid cameras that pretty much forms a line around the whole shop. It's no secret that I love everything to do with the original polaroid cameras and film and now the new generation of impossible instant film. I have in my personal collection no less than 10 cameras at any given time and the fridge is forever stocked with film, new and old.
So it is with a heavy heart that I have listed on ebay the following very hard to find items. 
But, alas .... a gals got to eat.

Here are two lenses for Polaroid Sx70 Alpha1 along with attachments, a lens hood and a close up lens. All are in excellent condition.

If they don't sell as one lot I will consider selling them piece by piece.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Everyone Needs a Little Pink

Sometimes people ask me why, when the economy is flailing, would I be selling collectibles and antiques? Well the answer is simple, because we need beauty to help us rise above. Yes it's hard, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. And I can say with absolute certainty, this is not easy!! But it is fullfilling, and worthwhile and most of all brings me and my customers much, much joy.

When I recieve feedback from buyers who are thrilled with their purchases I feel I have done my job and I view that job as spreading joy and preserving special moments in time. No, we don't need things to make us happy but they can help us express our selves, especially for those of us who aren't particularly crafty or artisitc. And we can (though indirectly I suppose) support art. Isn't it wonderful that there are still Tiffany Lamps, Baccarat Crystal and Stueben and Lalique Glass out there? I for one want to live in a world that includes beautiful objets d'art.

So without further ado my pick for this week is the Art of American born Canadian resident Robert Held. His glass art makes me swoon and every time I find a piece of glass made by him I want to keep it. 

This little gem is no exception.
This is an earlier vase made when his company name was still Skookum Art Glass. It is signed Skookum. I love the irridescent blue spatters on delicate blush pink because, you know, everyone needs a little pink.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Les Bijoux!

It's been said by more than a few of my friends and family members that I am somewhat of a crow as  I am easily distracted by all things shiny. So I was absolutely delighted to find this slightly dog eared 1980's  French copy of

Les Bijoux
De L'art Deco
Aux Annees 40
By Melissa Gabardi

It is a fabulous resource for jewelry from the 20's 30's and 40's. 
It's in French so it's a bit of a challenging read for me, I basically just pour over the images anyway which are fabulous with rich colours and good documentation.
I may have a tough time parting with this one.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School

Wow, it seems impossible to me that the summer has flown by so fast. In just a couple of weeks the boy will be back to school, the hubby will be back teaching and we'll be resuming our old routines again. I always find it rather bitter sweet, nice to have my working world back to normal but sad not to have their company and our less hectic schedule. 

Good thing I have some cool time pieces to keep me on time. And here are a few ideas that  I hope will help you make a smooth transition also.

Ultra hip polka dots and fashionable large dial will make this retro 80's pop swatch a hit with teens.

And for the mature student a fabulous Geneva swiss timepiece from the turn of the 20th century. 
This one needs some work but would look fab just as a bracelet.

Math teachers might appreciate this British made Boxwood Folding Yard Stick for teaching imperial to metric conversion. 

 What will be the talk of the school yard though is this near mint awesome Snoopy Wallet made in 1965!

So, here's wishing you all a safe and successful beginning to the next school year, Good Luck.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Parrots, Chijuajuas and Storks

A peek into my booth at the Flea Market.

 One thing I love about the flea market is the continuous parade of interesting characters.
Last weekend seemed to be bring your pet week, which I must 
say I do love. Say hello to an Indian Ring Necked Parrot

              and an adorable little chi hua hua I just had to snap.  
But seriously,
here are this weeks new finds in my stall

in my online store