Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Traditions- RetroTrend Style

George, relaxing in his favorite Mid- Century chair.

The ice rink that doubles as my driveway is melting nicely and most of the presents are wrapped. I'm feeling surprisingly calm and collected this holiday season, at least for now. Looking forward to seeing friends and family for Christmas and New Years, as well as creating new traditions.

Hosting Christmas dinner for the first time this year- not the usual garlic confit brisket and apricot kugel (insert good Jew here). This year's menu is beef Wellington, fingerling potatoes crisped in duck fat, blanched asparagus, Beaujolais, and a Buche de Noel. Yes, I'll be making the Buche as well. Or tying to. 

Some things should never change, so I'll be watching Auntie Mame on Christmas Eve.

What traditions are important to you and your family?
Which ones have evolved over the years?

No matter how you celebrate- here's to a very happy holiday season.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shopping Slump + Coupon Code = Weekly Round-Up

I am a good half- Hebe. And I shop for a living. So why is seasonal shopping so hard this year? Barely made it through Hanukkah with the "Let's just exchange one big gift this year" shtick (the iPhone 4 rocks, btw!), but Christmas is looming. Everyone seems to be scaling back, which is fine by me. There is little I need or want.

So while my decorations are up and home- made lemoncello is ready to distribute to friends, I still have a lot of present buying to do. From online stores that will deliver quickly. Of course, lots of purchases are arriving via Etsy, in clever packaging and with thoughtful notes. This makes me strive to avoid big- box stores as much as possible - I'd rather support handmade and vintage sellers.

Are you suffering from a holiday shopping slump too?

Maybe this will help:
This weekend only (starting, um, now) use coupon code "15offyay" in any of my three stores (retrotrendRetroHommeVintage and ObjectRetro) for an additional 15% off.
Many items are already 20%- 25% off for the holiday season, so this is an added "Thank you!" bonus for my loyal blog followers (that's you, guys!), Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

I've used the Etsy on Sale API a few times to create sales and love the results. So it was thrilling to receive an e-mail from one of their founders, letting me know I'd been featured on their blog. That creamy canvas speedy bag? Right here.  Thanks for the feature!

Well, it's 5:08 pm here, which means my work day is over and cocktail hour has started without me. Have a wonderful weekend.
P.S.- If the sugar cookies turn out okay this weekend- there will be photos galore to share!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

In an attempt to blog more consistently, I'll be starting Wordless Wednesday.
Why are you reading and not viewing, you wonder? Allow me to explain. There will be a photo posted every Wednesday, something that tickled my fancy. Without further ado...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Decor

It's that time of year. The Hanukkah bush, normally just a weeping Norwegian spruce, has been decorated with blue star ornaments.

Like many households, there is also the Christmas tree, with a mix of vintage and modern ornaments. Yes, that is an (empty) Absolut silver Disco bottle topper. Because a friend came over a few years ago, drank the entire bottle and passed out, face down, at (and on) my dining room table. Hopefully, he isn't reading my blog.
Hard to see in this photo, but a red sequined pair of heels is peeking out from under the tree. Just because.

Proving that crafts and booze don't always mix... And that a glue gun can be a dangerous thing.

By now, I'm sure you've figured out that I am newly obsessed with Instagram. While similar to Hipstamatic is some ways, I like the ease and speed of edits. I use and recommend both.

Take lots of photos and Happy Hanukkah!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bake these!

Late last week, I came across a recipe that only required four items, all of which were already in my possession. A recipe even my pathetically hungover self could complete on Saturday morning while waiting for coffee to brew. Yup, the multi- tasking never stops.
I call them Nutella mini lava cupcakes.

These are still gooey a few days later. Gooey and delicious!


1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 large egg
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (I'd consider these optional, so only 3 ingredients!)


1. Pre- heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup mini muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

2. Put the Nutella and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full) and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.

4. Bake until a pick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, 11 to 12 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Handy ideas for the types (like me) who can't leave well enough alone:

I'd either toast or omit the hazelnuts next time. Never been a huge fan of nuts in baked goods but it is important to follow a recipe the first time. Most of the time.

Next time, no hazelnuts, but I'll swirl in a bit of cream cheese to the tops (with a toothpick) prior to baking.

I doubled the recipe as my mini cupcake/ muffin tin is a 24 count, the recipe still worked perfectly. If you double the recipe (and you should, because these seem to grow legs as soon as they cool), you'll use almost the entire 13 oz. Nutella jar. So, buy the bigger jar. It's time- saving. And economical.

I left these in the oven for about 14 minutes as life interfered. They were unset at 11 minutes but should have come out at about 12 minutes 30 seconds. Guess I'll have to make another batch.

Monday, November 15, 2010


One of my favorite bloggers, amateurian, has solved the age - old question for fellow lovers of snark.

Introducing... The Snark Mark.

Subtly perfect and ready to rock your world. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

HO! HO! Sale?

The Vintage Market Team is hosting a HUGE holiday promotion, running through New Years.

All three of my shops are participating! Current prices reflect discounts taken.
retrotrend is offering rotating discounts on all categories of clothing and accessories.
RetroHommeVintage is offering 25% off of most items.
ObjectRetro is offering 20% off of most items.

Intrigued? Here is the teaser video, put together by the very talented AntiquesGaloreGal.

Need more? Search VMTEAMHOHO for all your vintage holiday needs. Here's to a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Vintage Rescue + Winner Annouced!

When it comes to vintage clothing and accessories, I am a purist.
For example, maxis should never become minis unless damaged beyond repair. If it is stained or has large holes, a mini is better than no dress at all. 

Simple alterations to make an item fit you? Of course!

On occasion, I come across damaged vintage that can not be otherwise used.

 Like this large size 1960s black lizard bag that tugged at my heart strings. The body looks fantastic, the strap was barely attached on one side.

 Cracking, splitting, tears to the lizard and the inner leather layer- a complete loss.
I removed what was left of the original strap.

 I have a pile of damaged belts and vintage hardware for just this reason- sometimes an item can be saved if rethought. A heavy gold tone metal chain link belt (from about the same era), split into two sections (shoulder and hand length), then attached to the original brackets at the top.

 The clasp is a brighter, brushed gold tone but the overall look is luxe and timeless. Not original, but a very good fit and now an enjoyable piece of history.

I'll almost always use as a shoulder bag but do like the hand carry option. Both straps look equally great swagging against the glossy lizard skin body.

Contest update:

There were two entries I really liked but in the end, "Mrs. Robinson" won out.
"Suzi Quatro" was an inspired suggestion and will be used for a variation of the classic Mrs. Robinson. Or a reinterpretation of an Aviation. 

Thanks to all who entered! 

 While Emily's e-mailed suggestion noted that she didn't want a prize, she did score this dress last week, after I force- fed her copious amounts of wine. And cookies were hand- delivered last weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Contest Time! Name that Cocktail, Please.

Fan appreciation? Giveaways? Who knows?
I like my contests interactive and my themes a bit kooky (go figure).
And, I need your help.

Cocktail? Yes, please!
This is my special "I've made it through another day" treatail, usually occurring on a nightly basis.

The recipe:
-about 1/2 oz. lemon juice
-a few drops of Campari
-2 oz. - 4 oz. of Plymouth gin (one of the only brands worth drinking, in my humble opinion)
-a splash of (diet for me, please) tonic

Mix (or shake, if you are feeling frisky!) the lemon juice, Campari and gin over some ice cubes. Add tonic to taste.

Optional garnishes:
-a few loose berries shaken with the alcohol and lemon juice
-a toothpick full of Haribo Gummi Bears balanced on the rim, arranged in some sort of visually pleasing colorway
-stellar MCM Roly- Poly glasses with gold doohickey designs or any (preferably) old (and shiny) low ball glass. I am a fan of these examples.

Why should you care?
RetroTrend enjoys cocktails, this is nothing new. This doe's favorite cocktail does not have a name.
That's where you come in.

The terms:
This is a blog only contest.
Comment with your chosen name for my chosen cocktail.
It is a bit bitter, girlie, and likes to kick it old school, just like me. Bonus points for anatomy, indie music, Mad Men or fashion references, of course!

Start shopping! You'll need to include which item/s you'd chose from one of my shops if you had $50.00 to spend.
If your drink name is chosen, you'll win a one time use, $50.00 credit to one of my three Etsy shops.

This contest ends Friday, November 5th, at 12 noon EST. The winner will be announced here.
Good luck!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How do you wear your (retrotrend) vintage?

Didn't think you hear from me this week, did you? Let's see... Yesterday, I reorganized the walk- in closet in my office so that I now can, once again, walk in to it. Overflowing with vintage goodies that were mostly in the right places, sort of.

Short outerwear, skirt suits, mid length coats, some sweaters and purses, oh my!

I eliminated a bookshelf with some packing supplies, instead opting for an area to hang long dresses and gowns.
More hangers are needed. As is more space. Because there are some beautiful holiday items just waiting to post. 
So, through at least tomorrow, every retrotrend item is 25% off. Yup, even stuff that was already on sale. Even newly listed Mid- Century coats, lady- like hand bags and knee high leather boots.  

And, starting now, any customer who convos or e-mails me with a photo of them enjoying their item/s gets 10% off their next purchase. Realize the photo may very well end up posted here. Like this one:

Yes, you've seen this before, I know. It just makes me happy, okay?

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Snarky Signage

You know all about my love of funny food packaging. Did you know it applies to signage as well?

The deer hopped over the barn, the deer hopped over the barn. With a taxidermy sign attached to his arse.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hats off to...

Coming soon...

It's been busy, busy, busy lately. I've been promoted to the team leader in charge of promotions for the Vintage Market Team. While I've been overseeing the Facebook page for a while now and had worked with the previous promo leader on several sales and promos before, this is a big change. Funretro had been in charge of team promos and did quite a bit of work on the team blog. The search is on for a fellow team member to assist with team treasury challenges and the blog - until then, I am wearing lots of hats. Thanks to Natalie for all of her hard work.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Drumroll Please... Introducing ObjectRetro

As you may have already gleaned, I have opened a third Etsy shop, ObjectRetro (see some items just over there, in the right sidebar).

The first item to sell, a large, antique ram horn.

Why, you ask? Boxes of vintage cameras in the attic, a bar full of Mid- Century glassware, 50 plus vintage and antique glass decanters, vintage tea caddies filled with smaller antique boxes that are filled with antique snuff boxes, patch boxes, etc.

Mid- Century Pyrex, Danish Modern metal serveware and mismatched Bakelite flatware, oh my?
Vintage linen tea towels? I've got a drawer- full.
Fire-King small serving bowls? Pick a color.
And that is just the kitchen.

Yes, the shop was created to cull my personal collections. And as it grows, I will source for it just as I do for RetroTrend and RetroHommeVintage.

"Why not just sell those items in your other shop?", asked a fan. Well, I assume that most guys don't like looking through loads of dresses to find that special retro shirt or tie.
Having three specific shops allows for easier searching.

As always, cross- site combined shipping applies. Purchase items at the same time from different shops and they will ship together, with any overages refunded right back to you. 

The avatar is yet another animal head - metal this time, not inflatable like Mr. McMoosey. He is a vintage coat/ hat rack that I've mounted over the floating fireplace. That photo was taken last Christmas, when he was decorated with vintage ornaments. Don't worry, Christmas dinner is usually brisket with garlic confit and apricot kugel- it's just hard to find Hanukkah costumes for horned inanimate objects.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Aww, Shucks.

I've been honored with a blogging award from one of my favorite bloggers and dear friends, Angi of Amateurian. My friend (and her now husband), Mark, introduced us forever ago and they now live happily ever after with three beautiful children. Beautiful both inside and out- thoughtful, polite beyond compare, intelligent and utterly charming, just like both of their parents. Angi is a multi- tasker extraordinaire, Romantica is a business model she dreamed up. If I hadn't been the recipient of this award from Angi, she'd be on the top of my list to receive it.

The rules (which I will not completely follow):

-Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award. (See above.)

-Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers who you discovered and think are fabulous. (Or three, like me.)

-Share 7 things about yourself. (See below.)

-Contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award 

I am choosing to honor, in no particular order, the following:

Amy of PhotographicAmy, a fellow Vintage Market Team member and vintage-o-holic. I love the way she puts together blog posts. They reference her life and interests, while promoting a love of vintage, photography, design, literature and humor. Job very well done!

Next is Weezi and her amazing blog. She has an eye for patterns, an obvious love of vintage, kitsch and retro. She has her own adorable retail store (in Canada, otherwise I'd never leave it), makes aprons, coats and dresses to die for. Some of Lisa's wonderful pieces are available on Etsy, others on her Facebook page. And she hosts Beehive Tuesdays (and the like) on a regular basis.

Through her, I met HandsomeAndLace, who elevates vintage neckties to headbands, ascots, clip- on bow ties and mini ties for men, women and felines. Neck ties are one of my favorite items of clothing. Not easy for a chesty gal to rock but I love them! Normally worn as neckties tucked into the neckline of an open neck tee, as a belt or headband. Keira makes the beloved necktie a lot more wearable. There are quite a few drool- worthy examples in her Etsy shop.

And now... seven things you (probably) didn't know about me:

1- I have a strong dislike for cheap shoes.

2- I can hold a grudge forever. Literally.

3- I look nothing like my mother.

4- I cut and dye my own hair, and done so since I has twelve. In the past 20 years, I've gotten exactly 5 professional hair cuts and have disliked most of them.

5- I prefer savory to sweet and umami to all other tastes.

6- The Virgo in me does not allow the mixing of sports brands on my body. Since I only wear Adidas sneakers (which are great for feet with higher arches), that means I also only wear Adidas socks, track pants, shorts, sports bras, sports watch, etc.

7- I wish I were taller.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Funny Food Signs and Halloween Ideas

Perhaps it's because lunch is next on my schedule.
I adore funny food signage, packaging and displays. A lot. Frequent stops are made on the aisles of grocery stores to whip out my iPhone and snap away.
We've grown familiar enough with each other and you either tolerate or get my sense of humor, so I now feel comfortable sharing this hobby with you.
This is the screen- saver on my iPhone.
This was taken during a dining show on local TV.
And I've been lucky to be included in Jenn's great costume ideas 3 times. Check out Blue Butterfly Vintage's blog for lots of Halloween inspiration.
My plan is to dress as Isabella Blow. What other great costumes will be seen this year?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kitchen Consignments

For any locals, there is a somewhat new business in Annapolis that any foodie should check out. The Backburner is a tiny shop chock- full of consigned kitchen and cooking items. From retro cookbooks and glassware to new in box Kitchen-Aid mixers, Annie (the proprietress) has an always rotating assortment of goodies.  
I'll be stopping in this week to drop off unused tart pans, a vintage set of four nesting Pyrex bowls in Butterfly Gold and some overflow barware. Who knows what I'll discover?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Friday! Happy National Punctuation Day!

Another week is coming to an end. It has been a busy, busy one around here. 

Part of my week was spent under the needle, getting the right side of this diagram tattooed on my upper right arm.

I'm getting this "untattooable" (according to another artist at a local, well- reviewed tattoo shop) work done at Tattooed Heart Studios, by the uber- talented Markuss Decker. One more sitting in a few weeks and we'll be all done!
 Between this project and random life occurrences (new car, anyone?), you, my lovely blog followers, have been all but ignored this week. Yes, I think of you often but my (lack of) blogging is the easiest to put on the back- burner when time becomes an issue.
Because it is Friday, this is a short and sweet post, just my way of letting you know I care.
Finally, today is a holiday that must be supported and celebrated. Happy National Punctuation Day!
You know how I'll be celebrating come cocktail hour. Enjoy your first weekend of Fall and always watch your punctuation.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Vintage Sandwich Shop And More Mad Men Goodness

As promised, Gwen of CollectableSpectacle and I had a fun day of shopping yesterday. The weather was nice, the lunch was great and so was the company.
Not an everyday meal! The "half" size is 7" long.
Jiffy's Subs opened in 1959 and not a lot has changed.
The prices have been upped a bit. The Snoopy-esque characters let you know the rules.
"Bacon is now available on every sandwich." Sadly, I didn't have my camera- just my iPhone- guess that means I'll have to go back.

Even the exterior signage looks promising.

And my first score, in full- on post lunch, food coma mode...
Hipstamatic-atized for your viewing pleasure.
1960s glasses set now available here. 

And a wonderful way to end any week, this was posted in the Mad Men Fashion File Blog- Don and his retrotrend swim bag.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Donald Francis Draper, Gym Rat?

It seems the whole world has gone Mad Men crazy. And why not? The show is so many things- sexy, subtle, stylish, funny, heartwarming, etc. The fashions have helped fuel a huge movement in the vintage clothing market. Even Banana Republic is getting in on the action (link is to the voting for the Mad Men Season 5 casting call, not to BR). I've been a fan since the beginning. The Sterling- Cooper sets alone had me drooling. So when I sold a bag to the Mad Men prop department earlier this summer, it was very exciting. Sure, I've had sales to companies for archival use, spotted my vintage clothing in movies, TV and commercials, on stage, etc. over the years but it still continues to be thrilling. 

Bag to the ground for a post- swim smoke break.
Still, my heart beat a bit faster when Don (portrayed by Jon Hamm) walked out of NYAC in the opening scenes of "The Summer Man" carrying my bag, with The Rolling Stones playing in the background. Sunglasses and shift dresses, change was in the air.  Already being touted as a pivotal episode for the season, I'd be fibbing if I said it wasn't one of my top choices as well.

I'll be sourcing with the lovely Gwen of CollectableSpectacle later this week so stay tuned for updates of our exploits. And help yourself to a cocktail, retro style. You deserve it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Having Your Birthday Cake and Eating It Too!

I've recently celebrated the third anniversary of my 29th birthday (Okay, I'm 32). For the past few years, my birthday cake of choice has been this lemon- blackberry cake with lemon, cream cheese frosting. So the recipe actually calls for blueberries, which work well. But raspberries and/ or blackberries rate higher on my fruit yumminess scale. So, when seasonally available, they are used instead. For fun, a bittersweet chocolate ganache is usually added.
FYI, the frosting makes at least an extra cup so be emotionally prepared for the struggle you'll undoubtedly face.
This years' version.
Last years' version.
For the past 10 plus years, I've been eating off of flatware that I find rather boring. Fine, I'm snarky- I hated it. Once these were spotted, the choice was clear.
Slim and modern, shiny and abstract without being distracting. Perfect!
Of course, the old service will be kept for extras at parties or deeds deemed not proper for the new hotness.

And if anyone is super- local, 3/4 of a very large and fabulous cake are still in the fridge.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy 9.02.10 Day!

Admit it, you watched Beverly Hills, 90210.
You can blame it on your sibling or BFF but you've seen the show.
I'll start, reputation be damned. I did watch the show. Not every week, not after the first couple of years, but I did watch it. There was a time between my snobby, elementary school brat years and my "Alternative" teenage years- which coincided with the early 1990's.
Remember everyone arguing over who was cuter- Dylan or Brandon? David and Steve? Not so much. Come on, there was the smart but not classically pretty girl, the pretty and popular girl, and the good friend.
So Miss Brenda Walsh rocked the boat with her dark hair and elitist attitude.
But every generation has a show or movie that addresses teen issues in a current way- and for us just barely thirty-somethings, 90210 was that show.
Drug use, drinking, gay rights, abortion, rape, pre- marital sex, AIDS- not the daily happenings of a 14 year old but this show did facilitate open conversations between parents and children.
Brenda trying to dye her hair blonde? Neon leggings? Poke fun all you want- this show was loved by millions and was on the air for a decade.

As such, I've created an Etsy treasury to honor this like totally special day. It was difficult to find examples of the fashions I clearly remember but would rather forget.

That's me, front and center. In Hypercolor. Summer of 1991, with my camp BFF in Body Glove. We'll just pretend my jeans weren't rolled, thanks to signage.

So head to the Peach Pit and order a milkshake to enjoy with friends.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nine Days of Flea Market Finds and We Have a Winner!

Looks like a beautiful weekend is upon us - anyone feel like hitting a Flea Market? How about a nine day long virtual Flea Market hosted by Etsy's Vintage Market Team? Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn't.

Each participating shop sets their own terms so do check shop announcements for details.

I'll be offering a discount on every single item! My terms:
All items ON SALE from 12:01 am EST on August 28th through 11:59 pm EST on September 5th!
Items under $50 will receive $5.00 back.
Items between $50- $100 will receive $10.00 back.
Items over $100 will receive $15.00 back.
Payment is due at time of purchase, through Paypal only.
Discounts promptly made via Paypal.
As always, combined shipping rates and discounts apply, including cross- site savings from retrotrend and RetroHommeVintage.

Search vmteamflea for more items from Vintage Market Team sellers. Don't forget to check out our video by Antiques Galore Gal.

And, a winner has been chosen for my FAN-Tastic Fans Giveaway! Zen Hen chose this amazing silvered tin Modernist link necklace by Luciano of Mexico. Great choice!

Also, a special thanks to the lovely Weezi for featuring one of my dresses in her Friday Finds post. Guess I know where she'll be shopping this week.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's in your bathroom?

Reading or rinsing, plucking or pooping, people spend loads of time in the loo. Don't ignore one of the most visited rooms in your house. Choose a bold color, a large piece of art or anything that will make you smile. A bit of kitsch goes a long way!
Large painting and retro YSL hand towels.

"Approved Sample" pewter box and an antique chamber pot filled with travel toiletries for unexpected guests.
1970s wooden signs. Peter Meter conveniently hangs over the toilet.
Cotton balls are stored in the "Grease" can. Feathers in the "Salt" beaker.
Don't forget to enter my FAN-tastic Fans Giveaway, winner to be chosen Friday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Ladies or Mad Women?

Someone sent me these funny vintage ads the other day and I want to share them with you. If you offend easily, please remember that this was a very different time and Women's liberation has come a long way, baby. This is by no means a third- wave feminist rant. My Liberty of London floral and lace patchwork boy short panties aren't in a bunch, so yours shouldn't be either. Happy Friday. Go make yourself a cocktail and enjoy!

She is way too elegant to ever go postal!
A little coffee related bondage- light, for your edification.
My current Facebook profile picture. Golly, I sure hope she doesn't break a nail!
Sassy secretary to the extreme! That hair, that dress, those shoes...
"And I'm all tuckered out by closing time" really sums this up nicely, don't you think?
What about cleaning? Maintaining a social schedule? And where is her shoulder hiding?