I’m thankful to be with you again. 🧡
(In which we learn what happened to this blog)
Anyone remember back in 2005, when Mariah Carey released The Emancipation of Mimi? It was her comeback album and all that? Just me? Well, that’s where my mind went when I began writing this post. Is this my comeback? Here’s hoping!
So, what happened? Well, somewhere around 2016, I lost my muse. I still loved vintage, but I struggled to write about it. Then, my work-life balance unraveled and I watched my passions become problems. Several moves, bringing my work home, buying a house, beginning grad school, my favorite aunt passing away, and my mother’s decision to sell my childhood home… well… it wasn’t pretty.
So, how did the blog get broken? Well, somewhere in the midst of all that madness, I had the idea that if I could monetize my blog that it might help me move some of my extra stuff along to its forever home. Nothing against other blog platforms, but I moved out of my depth – fast! Everything I had learned to do blogging-wise was gone in an afternoon. I figured it was gone forever and, by this time, I had started grad school. But, every month, my former blogging platform continued to bill me for my domain and I didn’t want to give that up. I added looking into what I could do to get my blog back to my to-do list.
In the meantime, I discovered Facebook Marketplace and, let me tell you, it has been a godsend. One of my stumbling blocks with selling vintage has always been shipping. Facebook Marketplace gives me a place to locally sell some of the vintage items I would like to see go to people who will appreciate them. Once I got used to its quirks it became a way for me to make space.
So, that’s it. Nothing sinister. I tried to be like the cool kids, pressed some buttons, and my blog was gone. In the meantime, I graduated with my master’s degree and, I’m starting to pick up where I left off. Let me tell you, it feels good. I’ve missed this part of my life and I can’t wait to share it with you again.
– Mary Beth Meece, owner and creator of Meteor Vintage ❤️
Welcome Back! How were your holidays? Alex and I relaxed as much as possible and we’re slowly but surely settling into Louisville.
My current thrift obsession is Bakelite, an early plastic used for everything from radio and telephone casings to kitchenware, jewelry and toys. There’s a trick to Bakelite identification (I use Semichrome polish) and the thrill of finding a piece at a thrift store fills me with a naughty sort of glee since I am a bargain hunter as well as a vintage one. If you are learning how to identify Bakelite through trial and error as I am, the thrift scene is more forgiving of your budget than an antique store is likely to be and you don’t beat yourself up as badly when you make a mistake. Sadly, Louisville’s thrift scene is rather spartan compared to what I became used to in Denver and the pickings have been slim – Bakelite or otherwise. That said, if you’re from Louisville and think there are any thrift or vintage stores I should check out, please let me know via comment or email. I will happily give you credit for your recommendations!
So, have you put together what today’s “I Spy” is about? If you guessed “Vintage Plastic” you are correct. Specifically, “Vintage Plastic Jewelry”. I thought I was becoming a fairly savvy vintage plastic jewelry shopper, but this Instagram post from Anne (@jarekwastaken) gave me pause:
Did you know about Lea Stein? I sure didn’t. A quick Wikipedia search taught me that Ms. Stein (1931-) “is a French artist and accessories maker.” Around 1965, her interests turned to plastic and she partnered with her husband, a chemist, to create a unique process of layering thin sheets of plastic, baking them and then cutting them into shapes. This description of Ms. Stein’s process reminds me of how croissant dough is “laminated”. To make croissant dough, layers of dough and butter are alternated, formed into shapes, baked and cooled – a difficult process that can take several days. In Ms. Stein’s case, the thin sheets of plastic can be thought of as the dough and the colors, textures and fabrics can be thought of as the butter. Instead of a few days, Ms. Stein’s process can take as long as six months.
Many of Ms. Stein’s works were created between two periods: The first being 1969 to 1981. This initial grouping is considered to be “vintage” and pieces created from 1991 to the present are considered to be “modern”. Bakelite is among the types of plastic Ms. Stein worked with in the vintage grouping. I don’t know about you, but thinking I might come across a piece that is a Lea Stein and also Bakelite makes it twice as much fun to hunt for these goodies. So, keep an eye out! Ms. Stein’s brooches are named (for example, “Ric the Airedale Terrier”), feature an inscribed clasp and each named design was usually created in more than one variety of color and/or pattern. Lea Stein brooches and bracelets are highly collectible and often sell for hundreds of dollars. Do you own a Lea Stein?
Car repairs. Need I say more? I’ll be posting items for sale on Instagram this Sunday. Pyrex, Vintage, Vintage Kitchen Items, Kitsch, Coffee Mugs and anything else I can pull out of my stash and get photographed by Sunday! Let me know if there’s something you’re looking for and if you’d like a tag.
I apologize for the long break between posts. March saw me working every day (sometimes at both of my jobs) and following that I had surgery. What’s a girl to do? (Not post, is what I’m guessing.) Let’s take a look at what I’ve found over the past month!
Michelle at Thrift Obsessed posted about The Plaid Thermos‘ “Fake or Bake” Bakelite testing kits and I think they are simply brilliant. As Rebecca of The Plaid Thermos states on her blog, “No more wondering if a piece of jewelry etc. is Bakelite or not while standing in a thrift or antique store (or going through existing jewelry at home). Now you can easily take with you a “Fake or Bake” kit! It fits easily in your purse &/or pocket!” I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve purchased a piece of jewelry thinking it was Bakelite only to get home, test it and find that it was not. “Fake or Bake” kits run about $11.00 and can be purchased from The Plaid Thermos’ Etsy shop here.
Have you ever seen anything more lovely? Imagine that quilt in a guest or child’s bedroom. Suzanne of Lake and Garden shares the process of making the above quilt here.
Need something to listen to while you sew? Maybe a little punkabilly? The Koffin Kats shared recently via Facebook that they are part of a new punkabilly compilation titled ‘Punkabilly Shakes The World’. I’m always up for finding new bands to listen to. I discovered The Koffin Kats through a similar compilation. As its title suggests, ‘Punkabilly Shakes The World’ features punkabilly bands from all over the world.
After you sew your quilt, you can cuddle up and celebrate the 24th anniversary (25th if you’re going by the year the show is set in, 1989) of Twin Peaks. Instagrammer @dollymaevintage posted about these fabulous Twin Peaks travel posters created by Jazzberry Blue. Prints from Jazzberry Blue’s Etsy shop run as low as $22.00 and feature several mid-century modern inspired prints that are nothing short of stunning.
Once you purchase and frame your Jazzberry Blue prints, you can use the following tips posted by Black Dog Architectural Salvage (the same shop featured on Salvage Dawgs via the DIY Network) to hang them. The tips come from Driven by Decor and are a popular Pinterest pin.
I don’t know if The Simpsons qualifies as “vintage” per se, but it is the longest-running American sitcom. Now in its 25th season, the creators recently did a couch gag I absolutely had to share. For those of you who don’t know the show, the opening sequence almost always ends a little differently and the difference always revolves around the characters’ couch; hence, the name “couch gag”.
If you know me, I have a soft spot for French. I studied French in high school and I love what I know of French culture and films. In 2003, when The Triplets of Belleville came out, I was hooked. Triplets is easily one of my favorite animated films. Eleven years later, I still recommend it to anyone who will listen. It is a fabulous little film about the adventures of a woman whose grandson goes missing during the Tour de France. I don’t want to give anything away, but if Vaudeville and 1920’s/1930’s performers are your thing, you should definitely check Triplets out. The soundtrack alone makes it worth it.
What does this have to do with The Simpsons? Well, Sylvain Chomet, animator of The Triplets of Belleville, was the one to create their latest couch gag! Look for the subtle French details of Homer eating snails, Bart discovering a DIY foie gras kit (“For Kids!”) beside the couch, Lisa playing an accordion and Marge shouting, “Ou est, Maggie?” as she looks for their ever-endangered, but always resilient youngest.
Fermer la porte avant!
As I was going through some odds and ends in our living room this week, I found a craft project flyer I’d picked up a while back at Hobby Lobby. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve been on a 1920’s kick lately and this craft fits right in. It’s called, ‘A Case for Creativity’ because you use pillowcases to craft these items:Here is a link to a printable pdf of the flyer, which has more projects included than just the two above, or you can read and follow the instructions as I’ve typed them out below.* I think the bloomers are a “must” the next time I get the craft room organized!
*This craft, its photos and all directions are courtesy of Hobby Lobby. The directions I have typed out come directly from the pdf link above and all credit goes to Hobby Lobby.
en-cased in glamour (refers to the picture of the flapper-style dress):
Cut a band of fabric from the closed end of a simple white pillowcase before stitching up rows of fluffy fringe. Then, use the hemmed end of a second case to make straps. Some beaded trim…and baby, you’re in!
lacy linens (refers to the picture of the, as I call them, “bloomers”):
A single pillowcase provided the fabric for these simple shorts, an easy sew using SImplicity #3696! Grab some lace trim and some coordinating ribbon, and then follow the step-by-step instructions below.
- Place pillowcase on flat surface. Measure up 16″ from the hemmed edge and draw a line from left to right. Cut on this line and discard upper half of pillowcase.
- Cut remaining piece in half vertically. Each piece will be 10″ wide. Open the two pieces and lay flat with right sides together.
- To create inseam, measure up 6″ from hemmed edge and 1″ from the left side. Mark this area with a fabric pen, curving the corner slightly. Cut on this line.
- Now measure up 6″ from the hemmed edge and 2″ from the right side. Mark and cut as in Step 3.
- Sew horizontal rows of lace to the right side of each piece. Use the same spacing on each piece so lace will match up at center front and center back.
- Pin the two pieces with right sides together and stitch the sides with 5/8″ seam allowance. Press open. These will become the center front and center back seams of your shorts.
- Match center front seam to center back seam, aligning inseams. Stitch inseams with right sides together, using 5/8″ seam allowance. Press open.
- To make casing, press under 1/4″ on top edge of shorts. Turn the pressed edge to the inside 1″ and pin in place. Stitch along this edge, leaving an opening to insert ribbon at center front seam.
- Insert ribbon through casing, using a safety pin to thread through.
The 1920’s are hot again for the first time since 1974, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Therefore, it was no surprise to “spy” the following on a friend’s Facebook page. Admittedly, I am a Guns N’ Roses fan and would typically mock modern reinventions of the things I remember from my youth. However, this interpretation of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is far from modern unless by “modern” you mean “Thoroughly” and “Millie”. Congratulations to Postmodern Jukebox and Miche Braden!
In Denver, we had snow yesterday morning (yes, in October!). Happily, the ground is still too warm for it to stick much and within a few hours it had melted.
I am not a fan of winter weather and snow reminds me that the holidays are not far away…a time when I like to knit.
I met my husband while knitting. It was winter then too. The best decision of my life was visiting the girls in my knitting group that day.
I consider myself to be a novice knitter. I finished a tube sock once and that has been my singular knitting accomplishment claim to fame. That doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about becoming a better knitter and there are plenty of vintage knitting patterns out there to drool over. For example:
This crocheted 1940’s fedora pattern is available for sale on several sites around the internet. At around $3.00, it’s very tempting.
Or, you could go the free route:
Several years ago, I found the above J&P Coats – Clark’s knitting pattern leaflet, Everyone Wears Sweaters at a garage sale and fell in love with the patterns and art. Oh, the art…
Some lovely person has posted the art and patterns from this leaflet on their site, Free Vintage Knitting. There is even a link so that you can download a digitally restored, public domain pdf of the whole leaflet. There are a lot of advertising links in the margins of the Free Vintage Knitting site, so I urge you to be careful what you click on, but I think most everything else about it is legitimate.
When Coats & Clark say “Everyone”, they mean Everyone. The leaflet also contains the above dog sweater pattern. Couldn’t you just die from cuteness? Free Vintage Knitting has loads of downloadable public domain knitting pattern books besides mine, so, if you’re in the mood to knit up something vintage-y, I urge you to check it out.
Grumbling that you don’t have a size 0 waist with a large bust like the gal in the above pattern? That’s okay, neither do I. Don’t stress! Plus size vintage knitting patterns -do- exist as evidenced by this pretty 1940’s pattern:
It takes a bit of searching, but vintage knitting patterns are out there in all shapes and sizes.
Still not inspired? Maybe an afghan is more your thing. This one is pretty and it shouldn’t be too difficult to knit a big rectangle, right?
What do you like to craft during the holidays?
I love Halloween. It’s been my favorite holiday ever since I was a kid. To that measure, I wrote this week’s “I Spy” in favor of the creeptastic. Continue – if you dare!
September 30th marked the 58th anniversary of the death of actor, James Dean. In 1960, the car Dean was driving at the time of his death (nicknamed “Little Bastard”) mysteriously disappeared on its tour around the country. Reportedly, “Little Bastard” is cursed, several claims of which have been corroborated. In 2005, the Volo Auto Museum of Volo, Illinois and George Barris (who purchased “Little Bastard” after Dean’s death), offered a $1 million reward to anyone who could prove they owned the remains of “Little Bastard’. To date, no one has come forward to claim the money.
Last year, Wil Wheaton (Yes, *that* Wil Wheaton) posted links to some absolutely fantastic Halloween tunes. Like me, Wil remembers being a kid and hearing songs sung and stories told by people like Boris Karloff and Vincent Price this time of year. His recommendations bring back a lot of memories for me. Download these bone rattlers for yourself here.
My friend, Stacy, was at it again and discovered this post about never-before-seen letters and envelopes from Edward Gorey to his friend, Peter F. Neumeyer. I have enjoyed Edward Gorey’s dark humor and artwork ever since it first frightened me as a child watching Mystery! on PBS. Several years ago, I came across the website, Gorey Details. It’s a great website to shop for Gorey goods as well as other fun, creepy merchandise.
If you were scared of Large Marge as a kid, you will be happy to know she will not be able to send anyone to the Wheel Inn ever again. Sadly, the diner where Pee Wee found out he’d hitched a ride with an in charge spectre has closed. The nearby Claude Bell dinosaurs’ fate is still to be determined.
Vintage Toyz posted the above photo of Frankenstein and his matching 1960’s Frankenstein Pez dispenser and it reminded me of this photo:
and several articles that were going around featuring behind the scenes photographs from horror movies.
Did you know that vintage dress you love might be infected by demons? Evidently, Pat Robertson does and urged followers of The 700 Club to pray over their thrift store purchases. Hmm. Could it be that those stains I soaked out were pea soup?