Friday, February 28, 2014

Mardi Gras Madness

Mardi Gras seems to grow in popularity every year.  After years of knowing it as "The Big Party in New Orleans" (if you've never been to New Orleans, you know that they don't really need a reason to have a big party:), I decided that I wanted to learn more about the actual history of the event.    

Essentially, Mardi Gras (translated Fat Tuesday) and Carnival is the celebratory time leading up to Lent.  A time to lose yourself in costumes, rich food, dance and maybe a few cocktails:)

Beginning in medieval Europe, the tradition of Carnival is linked to a time that was the epitome of the "haves and have nots".  Peasants would come out in the early spring and parade past nobility, entertaining them in the hopes of receiving a meal after a long and sparse winter.  Other accounts claim that it was the peasants way of making fun of nobility...maybe it was little of both...or possibly, it was merely fables passed through time.

The tradition evolved throughout Europe, in the 17th & 18th centuries, with the Celebration of the Boeuf Gras or Fatted Calf, that began at France's ruling House of Bourbon (hence Bourbon Street) and made it's way to France's territories.

The first US Mardi Gras came with the brothers Jean Baptist Le Moyne de Bienville and Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville.  King Louis XIV had sent the brothers to claim the area that was Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.  The first Mardi Gras (1702) was celebrated at their settlement point in Mobile, Alabama....lots of interesting here, should you choose to delve further.  The brothers had very different ways of dealing with Native Americans of the region and some of that would translate into the "secret society" that is now the, "Maris Gras Indians".

...And the rest is our usual, over the top, American way of turning most things into a party:)

For great info on modern day Mardi Gras (including pertinent travel info and schedules, as well as historical info) visit

Mardi Gras Jewelry from Mi~Kollectibles on Ruby Lane  

I love these Colorful Rocks Glasses from

Visit Pinterest for Mardi Gras Recipe Ideas


Visit BetweenNapsonthePorch for Mardis Gras Tablescape & Party Ideas

Thanks so much for reading and Enjoy your Mardi Gras...wherever and however you celebrate!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Elephant In My Shop

Renoir Triple Leaf Copper Set

From Suzy's Timeless Treasures on Ruby Lane
Dealing in vintage & antiques is always interesting and sometimes perplexing.  I've called this post The Elephant In My Shop, not because the pieces that you'll see are truly undesirable, but because, as purveyors of the past, occasionally we come across incredible finds that, for some reason, decide that they are going to keep a permanent residence in our shops.  They can be perfect in every flaws, a complete set, priced competitively, great pics...and still they sit.  As shop owners, we scratch our heads and wonder, "Why is this still here?".

I have found, personally, that touching one of these items and saying to my husband, son or dog, "I can't believe I still have this!" seems to have an amazing way of it selling within the next couple of days.  "So why don't you do that with all of your items?", you ask...well, it just doesn't work that way.  It has to be spontaneous.  "She's nuts!", you say...maybe, well probably:) but every business does have it's superstitious side!

The gorgeous Copper Renoir Full Parure above is from my good friend and fellow vintage shop owner Suzy's Timeless Treasures

These rare book pieces are a wonderful find and include, the necklace, earrings, bracelet and brooch!

Vintage 1950's Italian Porcelain Nursery Figurines - Set of 4

From WhimsicalVintage on Ruby Lane
My (Baby:)) Elephant is this lovely set of Italian Porcelain Nursery Figurines.  In beautiful condition and such a wonderful gift idea for the new mother or mother to be.  The type of gift that will become a family heirloom for years to come.

Thank you so much for reading and stop by next Tuesday for more from The Elephant In My Shop Vault:)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday 70's Flashback

Ahhh, the 70's...I was a growing teenager who lived in hip huggers and halter tops.  We hung out at the lake or at parties (deep in the Connecticut woods far beyond our parents' reach).  Our group was an eclectic one, conversations were easy and keeping to yourself was okay too...not a lot of drama by today's standards.  We were teenagers, living in a time that was without too many concerns and in an area that was insulated from woes of the world.  It's amazing how little drama is created when you're not tied to some kind of hand held technology.

Our parents had rules, that we did our best to follow and when we broke the rules, the consequences were always very clear.  When you made the decision to break a rule, you knew what you could be up against. There were no gray areas and very few second chances.  Basically, you were grounded and without technology in the home to rely on...the last thing you wanted was to be stuck in the house.  They gave us independence without bubble wrap and expected us to appreciate the gracious gift of responsibility that came with it...not that we always did and some of us pushed those boundaries more than others (present company included:)).

Bonfires (at the lake, not in the woods:)), The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Bell Bottom Jeans, Earth Shoes, Platform (Wedges) Shoes, Frye Boots, Farrah Fawcett hairstyles for the girls and long hair (at least shoulder length) for the guys.  The fashion trends of the 1970's were definitely unique...

Our mothers were sporting bold colors and styles that ranged from form fitting to flowing.  Our fathers, well that was a little scary...from leisure suits and wild sport jackets to baby blue tuxedos!  The 1970's wasn't really the best time for male fashion:)
All of that being said, it was quite a ride!

Vintage 1970's Malcolm Starr from Glad Rags & Curios

Vintage 1970's Anne Klein from The Vintage Carousel

and for your listening pleasure...

Stop by tomorrow for Pink Elephant Monday!  Beautiful vintage pieces, at sale prices, that have somehow made it into our "Pink Elephant" category.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday 60's Flashback

The fashion, the music, the mind set...The 1960's & 1970's were an amazing time to grow up. While change was in the air and the devastation of the Vietnam War always loomed, music and fashion remained positive.  Simpler times with less distraction and more time to focus on what was important.  We thought about the bad and tried to change it but enjoyed the good, while it lasted.  I was very young in the 60's and grew through my teenage years in the 70's. I remember my parents' serious conversations on the war and politics, yet saw them enjoy the moment that they were in.  The 1970's brought the end of the war, harder music and my growing generation...but we'll leave that for the next blog post.... 

Hullabaloo TV Show (originally aired on NBC) link via PBS

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Technology & Vintage - A Societal Change

from Appletree Junction Antiques on Ruby Lane

A recent flurry of activity on vintage & antique telephones has me thinking about how our communication has changed and thus, how society has changed. 
My generation (baby boomers) has experienced more technological change than any other.
We struggle with teenage (or grown) children that are glued to smartphones and various other devices. Conversations, that require eye contact, have become scarce.  There's a lot to be said for having to look someone in the eye and actually take the time to think about what you say (and not type).
Growing up, we mostly had wall phones, although I do remember having this phone at my grandmother's house.  Either way, these phones were not mobile and making a call meant preparing for it, thinking about what you would say and then actually listening to what the other person was was a conversation.

 from Fenwood Studio on Ruby Lane
from Fenwood Studio on Ruby Lane

Ahhh...the good old radio!  I remember listening to whatever stations I could pick up(fortunately, they were the NYC stations).   Again, not mobile and the radios that were mobile, transistor, etc., were really only moved or used when it was some type of big event.  A picnic, tailgating at a football game, at a pool or on a get the picture.  I know that the ease of music now is a wonderful thing, in so many ways...but because today's generation can customize their listening to such a degree, they miss out on the exposure to many of the vintage greats.  Yes, thanks to MadMen and many other shows, vintage music is back but it's still not the same as when you only had a few stations to choose from and many times had to listen to what your parents' choice was.  My dad loved oldies (from the 50's), my stepmother loved classical and the pop music of the 60's/70's. 
Depending on who I was with, determined what music I was exposed to.  At the time, I was naturally devastated by any decent teenager would be...but as I've aged, I appreciate the well rounded musical taste that I've acquired.

from Ruby's Room on Ruby Lane

A business trading board game from Parker Bros...somehow I think this is more beneficial to the young mind, than GTA, Halo, Cookie Clicker or Cube World.  It wasn't one person gazing at a screen or a few people connected by headset, it was the family at a table.  Even my own dysfunctional family, loved their board games!

These small things taught you how socialize, plan and communicate.

My son is reaching the age where he'll be on his own soon and I sincerely hope that I've instilled some of my vintage ways into his personality.  If I had to raise a young child now, I would have a phone like the one at top, a radio to be played during dinner or at least a variety of music.  Dinnertime would be the parent or parents' pick of music...a little exposure to something different, consistently every night for an hour....and don't forget the dinner conversation (no phones at the table).  Finally, sneak a good old fashioned board game in when you can.  They're inexpensive and I think you'll be surprised at how interesting they can be!

A Pinterest pin of a chalkboard, in what looks like a coffee shop, says, "No We Don't Have WiFi - Talk to Each Other!"...I think that about says it all:)

Thanks so much for reading and big thank you to
Appletree Junction Antiques on Ruby Lane

Fenwood Studio on Ruby Lane
Ruby's Room on Ruby Lane


...and to "A Beginner's Guide to becoming an Antiques Dealer" for the inspiration:)

Remember to stop by our G+ Community Vintage/Antique Reference Link Guide