A Yard Sale, Memorial Day Weekend, Big Flowers & Godzilla!

Back from a slightly extended Memorial Day Weekend, and getting back on my regular vintage work schedule. I actually did pretty good today, getting some slips, nightgowns and day dresses typed up for next week's update. I worked at my part time job two of those 'vacation' days, so it wasn't a total vacation everyday. But the weather was beautiful and I was happy to be in my favorite place.

New windows were put in at my little place at the Shore, and I had the fun task of reworking my curtains. I like the new pine trim around the windows and I wanted to leave as much showing as possible. So I re-used my hummingbird curtains that I bought a few years ago, along with some cut down lace panels on the bottom and a vintage embroidered doily hanging in the middle. Above the window I have 3 green dishes hanging. In front of the window is a little enamel top table with the perfect-for-me green edges. On it sets my green depressionware stacking refrigerator dishes, which hold my tea bags and sugar (I love that!) Pretty pink flowers courtesy of Acme on my nice wide windowsill. (Ignore the old water heater there. The place is over 100 years old and started out as a boat shed, so the water heater didn't have a proper camoflauged home, it ended up just stuck in a corner of the kitchen) I put up one of those clear plastic bird feeders that stick to the window, and I've got little birds eating seeds in there already.

On Friday, before I headed to the Shore, we went to a nearby yard sale, and I grabbed some goodies, all for me! (It's so much more fun to buy stuff for myself rather than for resale!) First, to the right, was a set of two prints of pretty ladies. They're really cool because they are raised. They have a signature under the matting, but I can't read it. Below is a closer view of one of the pretty ladies. Then the next photo is a set of matching doilies in green and pink. It's that loopy stuff, what do you call it? Plus I bought a set of 4 black and pink tin coasters, I would guess they're from the 1940s. And lastly was a very cool Art Deco chrome frame with painted glass.

I returned home to find our front yard all in bloom. Giant rhododendrons looming large behind Little Dog in the 1st photo below. This year the Laurel is really blooming allover, we didn't get hardly any blooms last year. In a few more days they'll be fully open. The deer have been spotted again in the yard, we hadn't seen any since October. Last night there were 2 raccoons out there shoveling corn into their mouths!

Finally, here is a shot of my new friend Godzilla, a little skink who likes to sneak under the screened porch door, and lay in the sun up on my wicker table. He's really cool looking, he has a red head. Other little skinks have bright blue tails. They're little and cute and they can be seen skinking around our deck or on the front porch.

Meg Cabot answers our questions!

Thanks for submitting your questions! 'Queen of Babble' author Meg Cabot took some time to answer the questions that I forwarded to her about the book. And here are her replies -

We asked - What sparked her interest in vintage/how old was she when she had her first "vintage encounter"?
Meg says - I fell in love with vintage after seeing the movie DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, which to a small town girl in Indiana was a very eye-opening experience. I decided then and there I was moving to the Village in New York City after college graduation, and that I would wear bustiers over my clothes. My mother was horrified when I started buying "used underwear," which you could only buy in a shop owned by "a homosexual" over the local punk record store. I used to trade the owner--my gently used Levis for his silk smoking jackets etc.

We asked - Does she wear vintage herself and if yes: which is her favoured vintage item/which are her favoured items in her own wardrobe?
Meg says - I don't wear my most treasured vintage finds anymore because they're too small--I'm a bit larger than I was in high school and college--but I still have them. My best find was a size 2 black suede Chanel jacket I found in a thrift shop for one dollar. It actually fit me and I wore it for years until finally...it no longer fit me. But I still have it. My second favorite is an exquisite silk pink cocktail gown from the fifties--no label, but I found it in an attic in France, all wadded up (this was actually the inspiration for the wedding gown in QUEEN OF BABBLE) around a filthy rifle. I was never able to fit into it because it was so small, but I did get the stains out, and I do still have it. It's lovely.

We asked - What was her aim in writing this book and in which way does she feel she is personally contributing to World literature?
Meg says - I feel that there aren't enough books out there about girls who can't keep a secret, talk too much, and collect vintage clothing. Because, truthfully, I'm just writing about myself. Don't tell anyone!

We asked - I see there is another Queen of Babble book coming out, does Meg have an idea of how long the series will continue, and where does she want to take the charactor of Lizzie?
Meg says - Absolutely. In Queen of Babble in the Big City (out on June 26) Lizzie moves to New York City to pursue her dream of become a vintage wedding gown restorer, with surprising results (not to give anything away, but...she's a hit). In the third book, which I'm working on now, QUEEN OF BABBLE GETS HITCHED, Lizzie starts planning her own wedding...but just WHO she's going to marry (and what she's going to wear) is a surprise...maybe even to her.

We asked- Where did she come of with the cleaning tip of using tartar sauce to clean the Givenchy gown?
Meg says - It's actually cream of tartar, not tartar sauce, and I got this tip from my dry cleaner in New York City. He is really an artist with stain removal. I have never actually encountered a stain he hasn't been able to get out. I have stained clothing in my home in Florida and waited for a year until I got back to NYC in order to take it to him to remove because I don't trust any other dry cleaner, and truthfully, I would much prefer to leave it to him and than try it myself. He was the inspiration for the professional wedding gown restorer Monsieur Henri in QUEEN OF BABBLE in the BIG CITY and QUEEN OF BABBLE GETS HITCHED.

Thank you Meg for taking time from your busy schedule to answer our questions. Thank you to Eva, Jen and Rosalita (jump a little lighter) for submitting the questions that were used.
The paperback version of 'Queen of Babble' is available now

Babble Winner & VBO Sale

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the 'Queen of Babble' book giveaway. The names were written on pieces of paper which were put into a hat, and a winner was chosen at random. Da-da-da-Daaaa - the winner of the book is Lizzie, from FuzzieLizzie Vintage Clothing . Watch for more giveaways in the future.

Starting in the wee early hours of Thursday the 24th, is another famous VBO sale on ebay. The 'Vintage Blow Out' Sale runs through Memorial Day weekend and it's a time when vintage sellers offer great items at bargain prices. Everything is Buy-It-Now, no bidding - see it - buy it. And everything is $19.99 or less. I won't have anything listed, but check out this sale. If you see something good, grab it, because the best things go fast! Click the image below to pull up the VBO items. Check back often, because many sellers keep adding new items throughout the weekend.

In my own vintage world, I'm working on dresses, slips and nightgowns, but there won't be an update on the website this Monday, because I will be away Memorial Day. So I'm not sure if I'll do the update Wednesday, or just wait until the following Monday. Also, I received another call about some vintage clothing, and I'm waiting to hear on that Thursday.

Bette, The Gilmore Girls, Sir Laurence and other chatter

So last night was the last episode of The Gilmore Girls. Good. Good ridance. No, actually I did feel a little sentimental about the show ending, even though I've spent the last year or so complaining that it was no longer as good of a show as it used to be. I'll miss Richard & Emily, Paris and Luke and everyone in Star's Hollow, except maybe for the Gilmore Girls themselves, because I'm still mad at them for becoming selfcentered and immature. Boy, Rory sure got over Logan fast. Good, I never liked him. Why didn't she realize he was just like Christopher?
Rory's other ex-boyfriend Jess, is now on my new most favorite show ever - 'Heroes' which airs it's last show of the season next Monday. It will be a long Summer waiting for new episodes of that show which is so well written, so unexpected and exciting and man do they have a great looking cast of guys! (oops, my girlishness is showing) It reminds me of the early days of the X-Files (now my geekiness is showing) when every episode was fresh and the writing was good and the actors were enthusiastic and appreciated being on a good show. Then the writing became lazy and self indulgent and the actor's bad attitudes showed in their performances totally spoiling the show during the last 2 years of it. Man, why do I watch tv? Well, at least SpongeBob never disappoints.

Oh yeah, there's Bette up there. Today I received a copy of her 1962 autobiography The Lonely Life - that I bought used on amazon. Even though I'm only about 40 pages into it, I think it is now my new life manual. I want to be Bette Davis! I want to live by her philosophy of life - well, maybe I shouldn't make that commitment so soon, maybe I should finish the book first. I'll let you know if I'm still devoted to the Goddess Bette and her words of wisdom by the end of the book.
Yesterday, one of the old movie channels celebrated Sir Laurence Olivier's 100th birthday (even though it wasn't actually his birthday yet) and they showed his movies all day. I must confess having a bit of a crush on him in his earlier roles. I was working though, so totally missed watching 'Pride & Prejudice' during the marathon, even though I must say I kind of prefer Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy after seeing that version a few years ago. I did watch 'Wuthering Heights' yet again (after The Gilmore Girls finale) I remember some reporter asking Johnny Depp many years ago, I think he was dating Winona Ryder at the time, if he was romantic. And he said something like 'yeah, I've watched Wuthering Heights five times' and I remember thinking, what a dumbass, there's nothing romantic about Wuthering Heights. It's a tragic story about two people who wasted and destroyed their lives out of greed, spite and anger. So they died and were finally reunited to be happy? That's not romantic, I'll pass on that kind of romance, Thank you. But I love the movie anyway! It's still a great story, just don't say it's a romantic love story or you'll make me mad!

So I'll finish this mish-mosh of a post by showing off another purse that I made. This was the 2nd set of wooden purse handles that I had snatched from a load of vintage. It took me a while to settle on what fabric I wanted to use. This is one of my most favorite pieces of old fabric and I had a hard time getting myself to cut it. I'm not sure what the original piece was for, either a runner for a table or bureau and it was backed with a muslin lining, so it did make a very easy purse with lining already included. I broke down and cut the fabric and I still have a piece of it left over to display among my other favorite fabrics. I really like the way the purse came out and it goes with alot of what I wear too. You know, black, and jeans.
Mish-mosh reminds me of a district manager that I had when I worked in a clothing store, many years ago. She'd come out of the bathroom, all 'fueled' up and ready to work. I remember her saying 'mish-mosh' all the time among other rantings, screaming and cursing - in the store - in front of customers. Once she yelled 'what is this mish-mosh' and totally flipped over a round rack full of clothing. Thankfully she only came to the store once or twice a month. And thankfully I no longer work in a store. I'm a tough boss though, and I do curse at myself sometimes!

Queen of Babble - Book Giveaway!

I have been invited to help promote the paperback release of the book 'Queen of Babble' by Meg Cabot. The publishers have provided me with a freshly printed copy of the book to offer as a giveaway to my vintage customers and the readers of this blog. Pretty cool, huh?
The paperback version of the book is due to be released on May 22nd. Meg Cabot is the successful writer of 'The Princess Diaries' series as well as many other books. Her biography lists her birthdate as February 1st, 1967, and I was born on Feb 6th, same year, so I thought that was kinda cool, you know what a dork I am about things like that.
I'm working on reading the book this weekend, and so far I'm several chapters into the book, which seems like a fun read. The book is about a recent college grad who majored in Fashion History and works in a vintage clothing store (now you see why they contacted me!) There's been a few references to vintage clothing so far. She's kind of unsure of her future when she finds out that she hasn't actually finished everything needed to get her diploma yet. Plus she is headed to Europe, chasing after a boy of course. Here is a blurb from the official press release -

"Lizzie Nichols has the biggest mouth in the universe. (And no, we don’t mean that you’ll be seeing Julia Roberts running off to Lloyd’s of London to up the coverage on her legendary lips.)

Lately, the LBS (“Lizzie Broadcasting Service”) has been getting her into more trouble than usual, especially now that she’s blowing her college graduation money on a trip to visit her long-distance boyfriend Andy in London (instead of using it to fund her big city job search and the down payment on a Manhattan apartment). She can’t keep a secret – except the one about not really graduating college until she completes her senior thesis needed for her “History of Fashion” degree – and once again, her big mouth is going to get the better of her.

The trouble starts to tell-all when Lizzie’s plane touches down in Heathrow. Lizzie has two passions in life: vintage fashion and Andy. And Andy turns out to be a walking fashion faux-pas (he meets her in a Michael Jackson, Thriller-esque jacket, red leather, epaulets and all) – how much can a girl to attribute to quirky British fashion sense? Then she discovers he’s told her two big whoppers: not only is he sharing his brother’s bedroom at his parents’ home, where Lizzie has to sleep in a jerry-rigged bed above the washing machine (instead of in a posh flat with friends); but instead of working at a prestigious primary school for gifted children, he’s collecting welfare while working as a full-time waiter. Oh, and he’s in debt up to his ears from running a college gambling ring – and he wants Lizzie to help him pay off the goons looking to collect the money he owes.

With a non-changeable airline ticket – the return date home to Ann Arbor is set for exactly one month away – Lizzie is running out of options. Fortunately, there’s Shari, Lizzie’s best friend, who’s spending her summer in the south of France, catering weddings with her boyfriend Chaz in a sixteenth century chateau. One call to Shari, and Lizzie’s hurtling through the Chunnel on a train bound for Souillac…who cares if she only speaks rudimentary French? (It may keep her out of trouble!)

Once onboard, a tearful Lizzie unleashes an outpouring of angst on a handsome fellow passenger. He gets the whole sordid story – down to a certain “gift” Lizzie wishes she could get back from awful Andy. When she gets off the train, she’s smitten – and stunned to learn that her seatmate is none other than Jean-Luc, a.k.a. “Luke,” Chaz’s best friend – and the son of Chateau Mirac’s owner. Why did she have to tell him about … all that? Lizzie is in fine form at Chateau Mirac: no sooner has the first cork been popped than Luke seems to hate her, the bride is in tears, and it looks like Chateau Mirac is in danger of becoming a lipo-recovery spa. As if things aren’t bad enough, ex-boyfriend Andy shows up, looking for a big pay-off and word is that everything is coming undone – especially Lizzie’s chance at ever finding real love……unless she can figure out a way to use that big mouth of hers to save the day."

So - If you'd like to enter for a chance to win a new paperback copy of 'Queen of Babble' - then either post a message in the comments here (please make sure there is a way for me to contact you) or you can send me an email with 'Babble' to carol@dandelionvintage.com - The winner will be chosen on May 22nd. Anyone, anywhere in the world is invited to enter, shipping for the prize is free.
I've also been offered a chance to do a Question & Answer thingy with Meg, so if anyone has any questions that you'd like to ask her about this book or any of her books, send me those too!

Find more info about Meg and her books at her website - http://www.megcabot.com/

Happy 100th Katharine Hepburn

'We're going to talk about me? Oh Goody' - May 12th would have been Katharine Hepburn's 100th birthday, so since I saluted Ms. Davis on her 99th birthday last month, it's only fair that I salute my other favorite ballsy gal too.
So my favorite Katharine Hepburn movies are 'Bringing Up Baby' with Cary Grant and 'The Philadelphia Story' with Cary again and with Jimmy Stewart. I also like 'Stage Door' although I wish that movie had been more of a comedy than a drama. If you make a movie with Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball and Eve Arden in the cast you'd think that it would be a snappy, biting, smart-assed movie with those 4 gals. Not that it doesn't have it's smart-assed moments, but it was supposed to be a drama with just a light funny side. Also, the late 1930s clothing in that movie was fantastic! I also like 'The Lion in Winter' - 'Rooster Cogburn' and 'African Queen'.
Just like when I was young and saw Phil Donahue interview Ms.Davis, I saw his interview with Ms. Hepburn too and thought 'who is this cool old lady?' What was funny about that interview was that Donahue spent who knows how long interviewing her, and at the end he asked for her autograph, and she said 'ok, what was your name?' He was in a huff because she didn't know his name. Well, she's Katharine Hepburn, she needn't bother herself with trifles like remembering names of insignificant reporters.
Another great interview she did was with Dick Cavett, and if you ever get the chance to see this on one of the old movie channels or to buy/rent the DVD - The Dick Cavett Show - Hollywood Greats - you should. She's comes off as very independant and confident, just like Ms. Davis, and it's funny that they were both born the same time, and both had New England upbringings. Kate's father was a doctor who wanted to educate people about venereal disease during the early 1900s when that was just not discussed by 'proper' people. Her mother fought for women's right to vote and for making birth control information available to women. There's not an actress around today that I find as interesting as Ms. Hepburn, none of them have that enduring quality.

Some quotes from Kate -

'Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high- class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four'

'Enemies are so stimulating'

'Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do.'

'Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.'

'Life is hard. After all, it kills you.'

'We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - you can blame anyone but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you're the one who has got to change. It's as simple as that, isn't it?'

Here's a clip from 'Bringing Up Baby' that I grabbed from Youtube, I'm not sure why there are subtitles, but it's funny anyway.

Surprise vintage call

I had a surprise call for some vintage yesterday, and this morning I was able to go through a nice load of clothing. The first 3 photos here are just real-real quick shots. I know, you can't really see anything, because I hadn't sorted the clothing yet, it was just piled and hanging. So I'm really just teasing you with these photos.

After sorting and writing up an inventory, I ended up with 180 pieces! NO lingerie this time. I ended up with 60 Day dresses which is such a relief because my Day Dress stock has been pretty lacking lately. The dresses are lightweight and from the late 50s to early 60s, most have full skirts. There are a very few 1940s dresses and coats. The lot also included 62 SKIRTS. Wowee, I've never bought so many skirts in one pop before, this gal must have loved the skirts. Half are full cotton skirts, and half are really nice wool skirts (wools are being packed away until mid August, which is when I start to list cool weather clothing, unless I run out of clothing before then!) There were about 20 hats and only a few blouses.
The caretaker of the house apparently went through and started throwing out all of the clothing before someone told him to STOP IT! So that may explain why there were no purses or lingerie, unless another dealer had been in there. Everything was on hangers, turned inside out, in plastic bags, with notes saying the last time they were washed or rotated in the closets. Not only did the gal love skirts, sounds like she was a little obsessive.
So, you're thinking, what is Carol's reward after working all day sorting vintage clothing? My reward is first pick of the goodies! I only kept a few things, and actually I haven't tried the things on yet, so if they don't fit, they're yours!
The three photos below show my booty - I snatched a cool brown cotton skirt with black and white circle designs, a 1940s wrap lounger, which I'm going to try to convert to a regular dress, a pretty blue floral dress, a pink dotted Swiss chiffon blouse and a mint green blouse. (sorry for the quick and sloppy photos)

The cleaning starts tomorrow, so you won't see any of these fresh items until the following update. I already have purses, garter belts and hankies photographed for this week's update. Maybe I'll be able to get a few dresses from this new load cleaned in time for this week's update.

From the previous vintage lot that I bought, I only kept one little purse - a pretty straw bag with embroidered flowers.
Also, I recently bought two pairs of great unworn 1940s shoes on ebay. They were a good price and they actually fit me! My foot is only a sz6, but I have a wide flat foot which is hard to squeeze into those narrow old shoes. I need at least 3-1/8 inches wide, and these are that wide. Yes, those shoes are green, aren't they fantastic (you know I love green!)