Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vintage Halloween, California Style

Here in the land of sun and starlets Halloween can be considered a major holiday.  When I was a kid we would dress up, go to school, and parade our costumes from classroom-to-classroom first thing in the morning. Of course we would have a Halloween party with lots of sugary treats in the afternoon.

I found these images of children playing in the schoolyard somewhere in California, circa 1953.  The costumes are just adorable:

via Flickr

Civic parades and beauty contests have also been a traditional part of local Halloween celebrations. These attractive ladies were probably wannabe Hollywood starlets and were contestants in the 1947 Halloween Slick Chick beauty contest in Anaheim, California:

via UCLA

And in the grand tradition of holiday parades, the city of Anaheim, California has held a Halloween parade every year since 1924.  Enjoy the montage of vintage images in this short two minute video:

Have a happy and fun Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday, Halloween Edition: The Wrinkle Is Dead

This oldie-but-goodie Madison Avenue Monday returns to haunt us this year.  Every time I see this ad for Dan River fabrics I can't help but laugh.  Scary!

From McCall's Patterns Fashions, circa the mid-1960s

Monday, October 22, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Who's Home Knitting?

Me!  We'll, actually I'm crocheting.   And wishing for a pair of suede boots like those in this ad.

Who's Home Knitting? ad for American Thread via Serendipity Handmade blog.
Via Good Housekeeping Needlecraft, Summer 1972

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Halloween Goodies, 1940s Style

At this time of year I like to search through my vintage cookbooks and magazines for long-lost recipes, craft, and decorative holiday ideas. Sometimes I enjoy reproducing the recipes or crafts, and sometimes it is just interesting to look at these things through the lens of history.

I found two charming ads in my October 1941 issue of Woman's Day to share with you.  At this point World War II had begun, but the U.S. would not officially enter until December of the same year.  Rationing did not begin until Spring 1942, so sugar, meat, and fat were still readily available in the fall of 1941.

This first ad is for the A & P grocery chain, and features a macaroni recipe that uses evaporated milk but still contains two types of meat, the choice of chicken or veal and ham.   I think it would be very interesting to see how an ad for the same macaroni might change six months later.

I still haven't found a gingerbread recipe that I really like, so I just might try the one written for the Good Little Goblins in this ad:

Halloween Gingerbread

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS. ginger
1 tsp. cinammon
1 1/2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup evaporated milk soured with 1 TBS. vinegar

Cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs one at a time; add molasses.  Sift flour with spieces, baking soda, and slat.  Add to molasses mixture alternately with soured evaporated milk.  Pour into greased shallow baking pan and bake 30 minutes in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F.  Cool and top with Orange Icing.  8 servings. (The Orange Icing recipe is not included here.  Perhaps it was on the evaporated milk can?)

I found this second A & P ad for Jane Parker donuts to be just too cute. I love those individual leaf-shaped serving trays and I wish that they were mine.  If I saw those at a thrift store or estate sale I'd snap them up.   But I have to say that those ghostly little marshmallow faces with cloves for eyes and maraschino cherry mouths just adorable?

What are you planning for Halloween?  Do you have a recipe or a decorating tip to share?  Leave a comment!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Color-Blocking

If you've read this blog for a while you know that color-blocking is one of my favorite trends.  I found this fashion spread of knitwear sheaths designed by Sophie Dess in the Spring-Summer 1972 issue of McCall's Needlework & Crafts.  I think that they can definitely stand alongside some of the color-blocked looks for Fall 2012.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Laura Bennett's Handmade Chic: Book Review + Giveaway

Do you remember Laura Bennett, the fashionable, gorgeous, and witty redhead (and mother of six boys!) from Season Three of Project Runway? She was also on  Project Runway this year, Season 10, Episode Three for the Lexus Team Challenge .   

She was actually my favorite designer in Season Three and won second-runner up at the end.  Thus I was really happy to receive her fabulous book,  Handmade Chic:  Fashionable Projects That Look High-End, Not Homespun,  for review.

In my opinion, this book is truly a stand out in the craft book / sewing book genre because every design is chic, upscale, and reflects Laura's innate good taste and creative skill. It contains 35 projects and is divided into four sections, Small Luxuries, Fashionably Organized, Stylish Carryalls, and Evening Extravagances,  and the projects are arranged in skill-building order, from the easiest to the most difficult.

The majority of the projects are fairly straightforward accessories such as bracelets, wallets, electronic device (smart phones, Kindles, etc.) covers, and bags or totes:  

via Project Runway blog

Many of these projects are unisex and can be made for the man in your life as well, and the man's billfold is obviously designed for a man!  I do wish that instructions on embossing the leather projects had been included, as Laura embossed her name on some of the projects (e.g., the business card holder) and this really lent a high-end look to the finished project.

Laura uses leather, feathers, and recycled fur in this book, but if you would prefer not to use animal products you can easily use a quality vinyl or faux fur for the projects in this book.

I do think that Laura outdid herself in the amazing Evening Extravagances section; it has a wide diversity of truly exciting designs, a few of which require little-to-no sewing. Do you remember this gorgeous beaded dress from Laura's New York Fashion Week runway show at the end of Season Three? 

via TLO

Well you can learn how to incorporate that beautiful rhinestone embellishment into your own look!  The Fade-Out Dress project will show you how to create a similar waistline effect as featured on the dress above, and you can also embellish your own high heels with this stunning look:

I highly recommend Laura's truly chic little book!  Just about all of these projects would make personalized and sophisticated Christmas gifts for someone special in your life.

How would you like to win a copy of Handmade Chic Just enter to win below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

I received a copy of this book for review but as always, my opinions are my own!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Madison Avenue Monday: Great Clothes with Texfi Knits

I am speechless, once again.

From McCall's Needlework & Crafts, Fall-Winter 1973-1974