Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the Trail Again!

Northward Ho the Wagons,
Soon we'll packing up all our earthly goods, and heading across the pass to Oregon.  There, we'll be de-camping in the Salem/Portland area, site of our new home grounds. The stories and adventures continue in the New Year.
May your path be safe and happy this Holiday Season,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Aussie Alternative to Black Friday

If you're down on the Mornington Peninsula (Australia) this weekend, you won't want to miss this! Gorgeous Aussie artists Leisa Wharington, glass-blower and Flick Pope, jewelry-maker, and a host of other vendors open up their Studio in the bush for a yearly pop-up shopping event.  Indie creativity abounds!  (,
Hop on over, and tell the gals I sent you. You'll see more than kangaroos!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bon Anniversaire...

to Me!
The Birthday Girl

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vintage Halloween Paper Crafts

These Vintage Holiday Party Favors are the "Cat's Meow"!
Have a Happy and Safe Halloween,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

IMAGINE - Esalen and Joan Baez

Esalen Institute just celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Concert by Joan Baez.
 In Big Sur, California, Esalen, with its hot baths, is a magical spot. A spiritual retreat since the time of the region's Native Americans.  Joan Baez is just one of the famous, and non-famous longtime visitors.  She has been performing in Big Sur since the sixties.

 The swimming pool and massage tables balanced on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. 

 Mosaic Garden Designs of Succulents & Stones

Esslen's Organic Food Garden
Pathway Entrance to the (Clothing Optional) Baths
Ms. Baez performed many of her iconic songs from the sixties, and a new song by Dylan. A family affair, she was accompanied by her son Gabe, joined by her niece Pearl, and sitting in the audience was her 99 year old mother.

Her touching finale was the John Lennon song "Imagine". 

Peace and Love,

(Credits: Photo showing Judy Collins, Mimi Farina (sister of Baez) and Joan Baez from Esalen, 1960's; Photo of Joan wearing a Kiyote of Big Sur jacket.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Best Florist in Belgium

 It has just been announced that Tom Nackaerts, owner of Young Amadeus in Leuven, Belgium has been named his country's "Best Florist". 

Young Amadeus Mechelsestraat 41, Leuven

The Shop's fragrant and colorful interior.

The Shop's Tearoom Cafe

Some years ago, while living in Belgium, I was a regular vistor to the first Amadeus, which was the exquisite flower shop of Tom's father Jan.  Also in the center of Leuven, Jan's was one of the first shops in Belgium to create a unique Belgian floral style by combining historical and modern elements.   In fact, Amadeus was so beloved, that when it closed, a rose was named in its honor.  Nackaerts, the younger, most certainly learned much at his father's knee.  Evidently, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! 

Tot ziens,
(Photo immages from Nieusblad, Le Coin Beaute de Katina, Cityzine, Facebook; Antique Floralies 1913 announcement from my collection of paper ephemera )

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hats off to New York Fashion Week

A little nod to New York Fashion Week via this vintage hatbox found at the Yellow Brick Store in Carmel, CA.  There, a cluster of resale shops offer an amazing array of 'trash and treasure' from the local gentry.  Worth a peek shoppers!

Happy Vintage Hunting,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

French School Fashion 1924

Vintage French Dept. Store Catalogue

Bonne Chance Enfants!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chloe in Pearls

Perhaps you were expecting another "fashionista", named Chloe.  But this model, with attitude, is "Chloe" the adorable pug of our Australian friends Ian and Cathy Sutton.  

Although she was the runt of her litter, this in no way has inhibited her pesonality, status, presence or influence in the Sutton family.  She is quite social, and her many interests include: outings to the local villages of Mt. Martha and Mt. Eliza, with stops at the pet shop and hairdresser for special treats; catching up on her beauty sleep in a lap; snuggling with the family under a doona; amusing herself with her numerous toys, or just lying in her basket with a view out to the world beyond.

Here, Chloe is modeling a strand of pearls especially created for her by Cathy, who is a Australian jewelry designer (You can find her at CLS Design

It is amusing to find that the Victorians also enjoyed adorning their dogs.
 Some 19th c. Victorian Die-cut Scraps
Don't they all look marvelous, Darling?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Scent to Savor

An Antique Perfume Card for Rêve d'Or, L.T. Piver, Paris from my paper ephemera collection.  Piver, an ancient French perfume house has been "perfuming the whole world" - from the Court of Louis XVI through the present day.  Though my card was printed long ago, notes of orange blossom, tea roses, geraniums, vetiver, heliotrope and hints of sandalwood still linger.

What is your favorite scent or perfume?

Savoring this Fragrant Season,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer By the Lake - Part Two

 More Photographic Souvenirs from that long ago Summer By the Lake, Circa 1913.

Bon Voyage Friends, Marjorie

P.S.  These photographic postcards, as well as those in my previous posting were rescued from a stack at a local charity shop.  I believe the location is near Long Point Vermont, on Lake Champlain.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ode to the Red, White and Blue

 Red, White and Blue, our love to you,
Every year we all renew,
And passers by will hear us cry,
Hurrah! hurrah! for the Fourth of July!

Poem by Laura Rountree Smith

Happy July 4, 2012, Marjorie

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer By the Lake - Part One

Photographic souvenirs from a long ago summer encampment by the Lake, circa 1913. 

Happy summer days to all the campers out there.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Royal Processions - Then and Now

My grandfather who was born in Croydon, England in the 19th century, might well have been part of the crowds who lined the procession route of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.  Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee procession will take place on Tuesday June 5th, 2012.  Will you be there or watching on the tele?

Practising my curtsey,

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Mystery of the Travelling Violin Case

It was just another day of antiquing here on the Central Coast of California, when I discovered this 19th century violin case.  It is not exactly the type of item I normally look for, or at. In fact, it was a bit creepy.  It was made of wood, painted black, and because of its form, I would later learn is often called a "coffin-shaped" violin case.  Yet something drew me to take a look.  There on the front was a cartouche with copperplate engraved lettering and the owner's name - "Alfred Catchpole Geneva, N.Y.".  Those of you who follow this blog, will know that I am from the East Coast of the United States, and that my hometown is Geneva, NY.  So here on the West Coast was a memento of my childhood home!  

Some preliminary research has uncovered information on the Geneva Catchpoles:  Alfred Catchpole died on August 13, 1913 at age 84.  His wife, Emily, died on May 30, 1905 aged 73 years old. Their only child, Alfred Edward, sadly died on September 14, 1873 aged 14 months.  They are all interred in Glenwood Cemetery in Geneva, NY.  Alfred senior, owner of the violin, was a respected member of the community, and one of the founders of the Catchpole Boiler Works. 
 (Photograph from New York Heritage Digital Collections)

The family home was at No. 9 Genesee Park.  I know this house well.  It is located on the park across from the Presbyterian church where generations of my family worshipped.  I remember this house being home to Ida Smith.  An elderly spinster, every Sunday she sat in a pew at the front of the church, with another elderly lady, both dressed in black, and looking like characters out of a Gorey cartoon.  When Ida passed away, a young family bought the house for a very modest price.  Rumor has it that the rooms were filled floor-to-ceiling with amazing antiques and artifacts, some ending up at the local historical society, some being sold, and some kept by the new owners.  I wonder if the violin was part of this dispersal?

The violin case itself travelled even before it arrived in Upstate New York.  Examining further the metal plate on the front, I found a tiny maker's mark with the name "Delanoy".  Alexandre Delanoy (1850 -1928) was a famous violin maker who worked in Bordeaux, France.  Some of his violins now fetch up to $35,000.  Mrs. Catchpole was born in France, and perhaps she brought the violin and case to the marriage.  Where is that violin now? I do know where the case is! 

It's all a mystery to me.  To be continued ...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother Love

 These endearing images from the pages of a nineteenth century children's book remind us that ...
  Mother Love is ...
With gratitude and love, Marjorie

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cherry Petal Days

Wishing you Happy Cherry Petal Days!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Chic

We're all ready for the Easter parade - I've donned my bonnet, and taken my escort Bunny's arm. Don't we look 'chick'?
Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

For the Love of Loden

This Spring updated versions of 'Trachten", the traditional German and Austrian alpine clothing have appeared on the fashion runway, in numerous stores, and in the Style & Fashion section of the Weekend Wall Street Journal (1-28/29-2012) . Fashionistas of yesterday also favored this style - Millicent Rogers, Wallis Simpson and Edward were among its fans.

Trachten clothing includes:

  • Jackets and capes made of loden, (a type of felt) embellished with antler horn, bone or engraved silver buttons.

  • Hats adorned with wild boar bristle pins and hunting medals

  • Lederhosen (leather shorts with suspenders)

  • Dirndl dresses (a layered costume consisting of a blouse, vest, skirt and apron).

If you're still confused -

just think 'The Sound of Music'!

I, too, have a bit of a Loden past. When I was a teenager, our family took a summer vacation to Europe. We found a low cost air fare on a charter flight, but there was a catch. We had to become members of a traveling German singing group, who had booked the plane. The group looked something like this:

One stop on our tour was Salzburg, where we found a tiny little shop that sold traditional folk clothing and costumes. I entered as a naive teenager from Upstate New York, and came out as Maria von Trapp in my drindl and grey loden jacket. My younger brother picked out a fetching pair of lederhosen shorts.

In college, I returned to Europe as an art history student. Living in Florence Italy I became enchanted by the heavy green loden coats worn by the Florentines. Searching out a resale shop, I purchased a used loden coat. It kept me snug and fashionable during that long ago Italian Spring.

Many years and many lodens later (including a coat and several jackets like the one below)...

Guess what I found last week at the local Goodwill resale shop?
You guessed it - a Loden Coat!

Still tracking trachten,