Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Win a Dress from Shabby Apple's New Mad Hatter Collection!

Have you seen the beautiful new Mad Hatter collection at Shabby Apple?  I can't get enough of the gorgeous women's dresses and skirts in this collection. I especially love the lace dresses, and they are so on-trend for spring 2012.

Would you like to win the dress of your choice from this collection? (I am SO jealous!).  This is your chance!

I'm Late, I'm Late

Caterpillar Skirt

The Mad Hatter

The Red Queen (my personal fav)


For those of you who can’t wait to win a dress or plan to make a purchase, Shabby Apple has offered Serendipity Handmade readers a 10% off coupon code: 


The code is also above the banner on my sidebar and is good for 30 days of savings on Shabby Apple’s array of vintage-inspired women's dresses.


This giveaway is open worldwide and ends on March 13th, 11:59 Pacific Time.  The winner will be chosen by random number and announced on March 14, 2012.  You have six ways to win!  

To enter (mandatory):

1) Like Shabby Apple on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me that you did so.  Please remember to leave a method of contacting you (e.g., your email address) in this comment.

For each extra entry, leave a separate comment:

2)  Browse the Mad Hatter collection and tell me which one is your favorite.

4)  Leave one comment if you become a new follower or are already a follower of Serendipity Handmade via Google Friend Connect. 

5) Follow me on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway (be sure to use @SerendipityVint in the tweet).

6) Blog about this giveaway (be sure to leave a link to the blog post in the comment).

Best of luck!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Party Color

A photo spread of party dresses made from vintage Simplicity patterns in Modern Miss magazine, Winter 1960:

Simplicity 3616

Simplicity 3483

Simplicity 3593, 3538

Simplicity 3183 (my favorite)

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Hate to Housekeep: Part One in a Series for the Reluctant Homemaker

As we are about a month away from the equinox and the turning of the winter into spring, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to the vintage wisdom of the sarcastic and smart Peg Bracken, author of The I Hate to Housekeep Book:  When and How to Keep House Without Losing Your Mind. 

Each year I welcome spring, and each year I could do without the dreaded Spring Cleaning that I feel compelled to do each year regardless of how much I hate it.  I figured that some of you probably feel the same way.   Let's stay sane together during the Big Clean-up.

There are three kinds of housekeepers.  There is the spotless housekeeper, who won't stop, and there is the spotful housekeeper, who won't start.  Then there is the occasional or random housekeeper, whose book this is.

Peg's books about cooking, household, and etiquette, written in the early 1960s, filled a empty niche and became runaway bestsellers.  Heloise and Emily Post have their place, but it was Peg who offered useful advice to women who were honest enough to admit that they had better things to do than be Housekeeper of the Year.  And her books were charmingly illustrated by the incredible Hilary Knight, whom you may recognize as the illustrator of the Eloise books.  I have three of them because I adore her snarky wit.

This book is not for the Betty Crocker types of the 1960s or the Martha Stewart-wannabes of our modern day.  Peg wrote this book for the women, as she described them, who set the automatic timer on the oven to start dinner -- and then forget to put the food in.   Women like me.

You never heard another woman say, "I simply adore Marcia, she's the most meticulous housekeeper!"
Before we delve any further into Peg's genius for housekeeping without tears, there is some very important advice for you and I to keep in mind:

 Act immediately on whatever housewifely impulses come your way.

As Peg states, "...forget the old cliche that anything worth doing is worth doing well.  This isn't true.  When you're going at a high lope, a fast swipe at the sink is a lot better than no swipe at all."

My thoughts exactly. If I'm in the mood to do a load of laundry I had better NOT ignore it, or we run out of clean underpants around here.

I will share more timeless advice next week.  In the meantime, stop polishing those copper pots and give your dust catchers tea cozies to charity.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

This year, Valentine's Day is brought to you by Jergens Lotion and Ladies Home Journal, circa 1949....

The text reads, "We hardly saw the Colosseum, Bill held my hands so tight.  "I won't let these adorable little hands go," he whispered, "unless they promise to come back and be held by moonlight."

(I think that Bill may have a "thing" for women's hands!).

The text continues:

There was magic in the moonlight!  Bill held my hands...our eyes met long enough to say, "I love you".

"This is forever", he said. "Your gentle hands...your dear heart are mine now."

(Are you swooning yet?  If I ever write a romance novel I'm going to lift some of this text, I swear it.).

I hope that you are able to spend some time today with a special someone, some friends, or a family member that you love.

Although we tend to focus only on romantic love today, I think that Valentine's Day is one of those days in the year that we can spread a little more kindness (a.k.a. love) toward others in our immediate circles.

Show a random stranger a little love by wishing him or her a good day. Bring your coworkers heart-shaped cookies.

In our busy world with so many demands we tend to forget ourselves at times, and this is a good day to show yourself some loving kindness. Celebrate today by taking a little time for yourself: eat chocolate, indulge in a favorite hobby, get a pedicure...somehow pamper yourself today.   I recommend more chocolate.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Printables

I ran across these fabulously modern romantic printables and thought I'd share them with you in case you want to share them with your sweetie next week:

Get them all from sissyprint

Monday, February 6, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Avril Rayon's Fresh Flowers

Buy Avril "Flower Garden" in-home camouflauge, and anytime you wish you can hide from your loved ones....

From McCall's Patterns, 1967-1968

Friday, February 3, 2012

Back in the Saddle

When you fall off of a horse, you just have to pick yourself up and get right back in the saddle....

Hello vintage lovers, are you still with me?  I hadn't realized that I would need a long break after the stress of last December with sick family members among the usual crazy holiday stress.  I'm still trying to get back in the swing of things, and I'm sorry that the blog has been little more than a few Madison Avenue Mondays in January.

One of the things I've debated about telling you all for the past 2+ years I've been blogging is about my health.  I've never wanted this blog to be a showcase for every little detail of my life but a celebration of vintage and a place to share my creative interests and passions.  I'm also not a tell-all kind of person.

That said, I think it's time for me to tell you that, like my good friend Jessica of Chronically Vintage, I also suffer from some chronic problems (migraines, fatigue, etc.)  that limit my ability to be here and keep the blog going sometimes. External stress makes it all worse, hence the need to recover over the past month.

So....if you don't hear from me sometimes, don't worry too much about it, I'll eventually be back. 

And just so you know, I love it when you comment or write to me.  A few of you have written me emails that I just haven't been able to read or answer in the past couple of months.  I will respond to you when I can.  I always appreciate it when people write me and leave comments, so please, keep them coming.  That's one of the things that makes this blog worth writing.

Anyway, I'm slowly getting back in the saddle because sharing my collections is fun for me, and hopefully fun for you too.  I've got a couple of projects in the works for you, like an apron tutorial and also a field trip post in the works, so stay tuned.....