Vintage & Fashion news, pretty vintage items and of course wee bit personal life style ramblings of an eleven year on line vintage clothing seller, avid fashion, antique and vintage lover

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Iva Went to Holland and Fell In Love With Windmills

I've realized most of my friends are honest and speak their mind. I think its one of the things I respect and like most about a person, therefore chose my friends accordingly.

Iva was one of those people. She didn't spare feelings, just laid it on the line and said it as she saw it with no apologizes. Most times she was right, and being so outspoken had few other friends.

She was actually one of my neighbors. Our yards backed up to each other. We didn't hit it off immediately as even I found her a bit abrasive at times. Over the years I respected her opinion and learned inside she had a heart of gold.

Iva never forgot any of my children's birthdays. A cake decorator, she would make the most beautiful and elaborate cakes for them. Christmas meant a huge box of homemade favorite cookies. Every Easter the bunny would leave enormous huge baskets on our front porch. One year Melissa weighed hers and it was over 15 lbs of candles, soaps, candy, books, you name it ~ everything in her favorite color purple, in a purple Easter basket wrapped in purple cellophane. They were from Iva, she loved spoiling my kids.

She wasn't just a good person because she gave my children gifts. It was everything. Being there when you need her, a shoulder, logic, common sense advice as well as always game for a road trip, and shopping buddy locally and even to Mexico frequently.

You would think someone who doesn't hold things inside wouldn't get ulcers, but Iva did. And sadly, she passed away last fall. I miss her all the time. When a rose blooms and I want her to see it, when one of my children does something and I want to share, she's no longer there.

Her husband Wes is just as kind. Now a completely lost soul. He's spent the last year with a dumpster. His way of dealing with the grief. Completely cleaning out the house and filling that dumpster for Tuesday pickup. Downsizing, getting ready to sell and move to a place with less maintenance.

Wes has been bringing things over to me. Small little items he doesn't want to throw away, doesn't want to keep but to find new homes for. He tells me the stories that go with the items, and I listen. I don't tell him most of the stories Iva already has told me during our friendship. Wes needs to talk.

Wes likes to reminisce about their two years spent living in the Philippines in the 1960s when he was an Army medic, and their travels during R&R and other places they were stationed in Europe. He tells the stories just a wee bit different from Iva, but then he didn't have to cook or clean often without water or electricity.. so its fun to hear his perspective.

He brought me some items from Holland, and told me of their one visit there, and how much Iva loved the country, the people but most of all, the Windmills. Wes even built a small one for her in their backyard. He asked me to sell them for him, to find a good home for them with someone who would love the details in each piece of the kitchenware. Wes knows we have no control over who buys our items, but he does know I have absolutely wonderful customers, most who become friends or pen pals and will treasure them as Iva did.

So they are all listed. Beautiful iced tea spoons from Holland with windmills, cake forks and tea spoons with different Dutch designs and even a little napkin holder with a windmill. Pretty set for display or to use and enjoy.

And I'm sure part of the reason Wes brought them over was just to have someone to talk to for a bit. He should know by now he doesn't need an excuse. I miss Iva too.

Vintage Holland Windmill Napkin Holder

Holland Dutch Iced Tea Spoons set 6 Vintage 60s Mint in Box

Sterling Silver Collector Tea Spoons Dutch Holland Figures Set 6 MIB

NIB Holland Figural Cake Forks

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Hand Painted China A History of Family Tradition

One of my all time treasured wedding gifts in the 70s was the most incredible set of hand painted china. Dishes, serving pieces and even a matching tea pot ~ everything hand painted by my husband's great grandmother. I learned it was a talent shared by three generations of women in his family.

We all have admired a dish or a hand painted item, and most likely never realized all the time and work involved in that one little piece of art. From the tiniest miniature oval pendant to a large serving platter; hand painted and signed and usually dated by the artist, often very vintage. Porcelain doll faces are even a form of this beautiful art.

Fascinated, I decided to research porcelain painting. It seems it is truly a lost art, and entirely different from ceramics. It has a most fascinating history, it seems each country claims to have its own history for originating it.

No one knows for sure who first started hand decorating vessels, there are reports of Egyptians painting as early as 7000 BC using minerals as color, China experimented with crushed rock and decorated bowls in the 1500s, their methods kept secret. The French favored little miniatures in later years, decorating tiny delicate plain items.

The most famous seems to be from Germany, where the most delicate and beautiful porcelains in the world were made of local clay unlike any other in Dresden and Meissen. Artists flocked to that area to decorate the amazing local porcelain in the 1700s.

By the late 19th and early 20th century, porcelain painting was a popular hobby for women.

Great-Great Grandma Letty's Covered Bowl painted with berries:

A china painter works on beautiful porcelain, already glazed white from the manufacturer, most pieces so fine and delicate you can see your hand through it when held to the light. Entirely different paints are used instead of glazes, then fired at a low heat in a kiln.

Plate by Great-Grandma Fern of Roses on Openwork

Even more painstaking is the amount of painting and firing. Each piece of porcelain is hand painted and low fired at least three times to acquire depth and dimension, often more if gold or black "outlining" is used.

Pedestal Serving dish of Holly by Grandma Joann

Fortunately for me, one of only three (to my knowledge) sources for china painting supplies was in Hazel Park, MI. My aunt took very little persuasion and went with me for years to classes. Aunt Janie eventually went on to teach classes herself and is often found at highly selective jurried art shows her work is that beautiful.

Decorative Deer plate by Aunt Janie

Me? Well, after one attempt at trying to paint the same identical matching pattern on 12 plates, 12 cups, 12 saucers ~ I thought I would scream of boredom. I'm afraid I'm just not cut out for "repetition" but instead prefer unique single design pieces for decoration, or my favorite ~ hand painted tiles and ceramic tile murals.

A Hand Painted bell with raised paint I painted:

Almost any line of fine china is available to work on as your pallet, from Hutschenreuther to pretty little Japanese coupe plates from scrolled edges to trendy square; as well as vases, little decorative pieces for display, jewelry, lamps and even light switch plates to paint..

If you are not inclined to paint any porcelain yourself, you can enjoy the beauty of other artists, from tea cups or tea pots to vases. The next time you do look at a piece, just remember the hours of work, the time firing and repainting involved and when you see that tiny little signature and often date at the bottom know it was a true labor of love by that artist!

The ironic part of all this ~ as I was inspired to do this blog while dusting it I noticed the dates ~ most of my pieces were done in the 80s are vintage already!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wrap or Zip Vintage Robes for Afternoon Delight

I confess. I live in robes. When I had my own business and had to wear "big girl clothes" I couldn't wait to get home, out of the suit and heels and slip into a caftan or a zip up robe. Later, working retail at a home improvement store it was worse ~ rushing home to get out of my jeans into a shower and then into a robe, after all it was way too early in the day to wear pajamas, so this was a perfect solution, loungewear, yet still presentable should anyone pop in. At night, my favorite item is a velour snuggly robe to cuddle up in with my hot cup of tea and a book.

If you love slipping into something comfortable when you get home from work, still look darling and not like your ready for bed already, we have a few suggestions for you, long or short, lightweight or heavy and warm ~ all

available at
Vintage Outlet

Barbizon Vintage Robe Short Knee length Wrap Fab Color Floral Satin

Miss Elaine vintage long Plush Lilac Robe S Beautiful Embroidery

Unique Stripe vintage Vanity Fair plush lounge Robe,Purple, lilac M S

Sky Blue Vintage Robe Zip Front Vanity Fair long Robe lounger XS S

More added regularly at
Vintage Outlet

Friday, November 4, 2011

Farewell to Austin

Once upon a time there was a man who absolutely worshiped and adored his beautiful wife. Loved her truly, madly, deeply. And she him.

The man was an executive for a major oil company based out of Austin, TX but his job required him to travel extensively. He didn't mind, as he was almost always home on weekends to be with his wife and lovely daughters. When possible, his wife joined him but usually just preferred being home with their girls and their normal schedule.

After 20 years of marriage, the woman suddenly became sick. Bedridden, her teen age daughters cared for her before and after school, neighbors popping in during the day checking on her, and of course her husband trying to restrict his travels.

But, as he did travel, each trip he bought her something fabulous. Always lingerie since she was bedridden. Usually frilly and feminine, but demure at the same time and never the same style. Nothing was too good for his wife. If he was in a small town, he loved little local boutiques. Major cities he often went to upscale stores and purchased from Lord and Taylor, Saks, and Neiman's. He never came home without a special gift for his wife. She was the love of his life, and he wanted her to feel beautiful even restricted to the bed.

Sadly, she passed away in the late 80s. He died most likely from a broken heart just a few years later. Their daughters packed up the house and stored almost everything, unable to part with most of it.

Last year they decided the time was "right" and they knew they had to deal with their parents items, including their mother's lingerie.

If possible and I can corner a family member at an estate sale I try to get provenance for my customers. This time I not only got provenance but a glass of sweet tea when the daughters discovered I had driven from Ft. Worth just for the lingerie and they also shared this amazing love story with me. We also shared tears of course at the great, once in a lifetime devoted love their parents found in each other. The daughters still kept many of her beautiful lingerie, but I bought every item they offered.

Gradually over the last year I have "reluctantly" sold them.. enjoying each item, sadly many still new with tags that she never got to enjoy. Most went to the same wonderful customer, a lady in California that was as touched by the provenance as I was.

Last week my personal favorite sold. I held on to this set as long as I could. Just appreciating the lace. A white vintage set with iridescent ruffles of lace that was absolutely incredible. Ironically, it sold on line, but to a wonderful lady that lived right in my own home town. We met in person and she was thrilled with the set, admitting it was even more beautiful in person. I know the daughters would be pleased it went to such a good home.

And now I'm a wee bit sad. Of all the estates I've been to this one touched me most. I'm down to the very last set. I have truly enjoyed offering her items, and was so grateful her daughters shared the story with me. I am pleased they all went to wonderful homes, and am sure the last set will too.

Natori Peignoir Satin Peignoir Set

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