Thursday, August 29, 2013

Black and White...

Hi all!!!

I know I said that I wouldn't do another post til Sunday, but I thought a post was in order for a special anniversary in American history.

As many of you know (especially if you live here in the States) yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the famous "March on Washington".

The "March on Washington" was held August 28, 1963 and was a demonstration in protest of the unfair treatment of minorities in the U.S. It was a march demanding better jobs and better treatment of blacks in the nation. It was a march that included a quarter of a million whites and blacks fighting for a common goal. Racial equality.

(This has always been a favorite photo. The beauty and grace with which this woman and her child stand under the sign is amazing. Dont know where the pic was taken but it is circa 1956)

This was the March that included Dr. Martin Luthur King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech and included many entertainers of the time including Mahalia Jackson, Ossie Davis, Josephine Baker, Marlon Brando and Peter, Paul and Mary among others.

At first I was thinking of doing a history centered post of the March but have instead decided to do a post featuring mostly photos. We always hear of the horrible way whites treated blacks in those days but I wanted to do something a little more positive.

As a black girl who grew up in the South I have seen actual KKK rallies and have experienced my share of (silent) discrimination. It was nothing like what my parents and grandparents have experienced but there where times that I felt that I was being treated differently than my white friends. BUT I have always had just as many white friends as blacks. I was lucky enough to attend schools where race was never a factor. I have felt true camaraderie and love for my white (and other race) friends.  This is why I wanted to show a side rarely seen when the civil rights movement is discussed. Its true that the majority of the country was against integration and equal rights but there were many people who knew which side of the issue was the right side.

So in honor of working together and unity here are some of my favorite photos that represent the spirit of the March.

Students protesting 

Mugshots of students who were arrested after protesting together, 1961

Paul Robeson and civil rights protesters, 1948

School integration, 1955

Black and white mothers enjoying each others company in a NYC housing community, 1956

Not sure what year this was taken,but shows protesters being harassed at a sit in

Integrated Washington D.C. classroom, 1957

Congress of Racial Equality march in honor of church bombing the killed 4 black girls in Birmingham, Alabama 1963

One of my favorite pictures. Two girls primping at a party meant to introduce blacks to whites. 1958

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
August 28, 1963

Hope you all have a great day!!! Spread love and positivity!!!


post signature

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vintage Christmas Prep: 4 More Months and Norman Rockwell

Hi All!

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have been a little AWOL for an entire week! That's because things are starting to get into full swing on the dance school front. The middle of August means summer intensives for the students (which also means teaching everyday from 9am til 5pm) and meetings and brain storming for the faculty. So that's where I've been. Starting September 1st my schedule will level out and I'll post more. For the next two weeks, though, I'll probably only be doing one post a week, more than likely on Sundays.

Anywho! Well, it's the 25 of the month and you know what that means!!!! Rudolph Day and 4 months, or 122 days, til Christmas!!! So with that comes a Christmas prep post!

Before I begin I want to share with you all some of the Christmas organizing websites I frequent. These will REALLY come in handy for those of you with little ones. I use them because we love to entertain at least once during the holiday season and these sites give you a helpful little timeline of when you have to get things done in order to keep your sanity during the holidays.

Christmas Organizing
Organized Christmas Holiday Grand Plan- I really like this one!!! It helps get your ENTIRE home clean for the holidays! Its like spring cleaning in the fall!
101 Days to Christmas

They all start the preps next month so that's proof that I'm NOT off my rocker and it really is time to start preparing!

Ok! On to the real reason for the post...

As I was researching recipes to include in this post, I kept coming across beautiful Christmas illustrations by Norman Rockwell. So needless to say, what started out as a recipe post became a vintage Christmas image board of sorts. Not a typical preparation post but one meant to prep your spirit instead.

How amazing are these December covers of the Saturday Evening Post? All from the 1940s and by Norman Rockwell. Images are from The Saturday Evening Post.

Then there are these from various time periods.

Don't these pictures evoke images of the perfect Christmas in your mind?

They have a sort of innocence  and magic about them. Some of the pictures make you remember Christmas as it was in your childhood. When you knew that anything was possible and that OF COURSE a jolly old man could some how squeeze himself down your chimney (and find other routes if you had no chimney).

Others are a more realistic, adult view of Christmas. One that is exhausting but fulfilling at the same time. Even though at some point, most adults stop believing in Santa Claus, they still believe in the magical feeling that only Christmas can bring. That even when all is wrong with your world, a little Christmas spirit can do wonders.

Then there are us adults that have never given up on the child like idea of Christmas. There are those of us who still believe in Santa and who believe in keeping the spirit of Christmas the whole year long. Christmas, after all, is the time of year when everyone is just a tad nicer and just a bit more loving and giving. I think the world would be a much better place if EVERYONE were able to keep that Christmas feeling the year round. After all,  at the end of the day, aren't we all looking to be more loving, more giving and kinder to our fellow man?

I guess that is the real reason I'm so in love with the holiday. Not because of gifts wrapped in red and green paper or decking the halls and shopping for the perfect gift, but because I live a life where I strive to be better to people than I was the day before. Where I want to look for the beauty in everything that life brings. Christmas represents that for me. So I celebrate year round!!! YES, even in August!!!!!

 I'm still working on a recipe post with recipes from the 40s but that will have to wait until next month. I have a lot of goodies up my sleeves for the upcoming posts leading to December. I can't wait to share them with you!

"Christmas is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas."- Dale Evans

post signature

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dancing Guys and Dolls: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

It's been forever since I've done a Dancing Doll or Dancing Guys post but watching this movie made me want to do another!

Have you seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers? If not...go find it...NOW!!!! It's the cutest movie ever (albeit a little on the sexist side. But what 1950s movie isn't??)

There's a lot to talk about with this movie, so I guess I'll start with a short synopsis for those of you who haven't seen it. So here we go:

Adam Pontipee, the eldest of seven unruly brothers goes into town (he lives on a farm outside of town near mountains) to find a bride. He goes into a saloon where he meets Milly, a pretty waitress who is tired of constantly waiting on men in the saloon. Adam asks Milly to marry him...on the same day that they meet. Milly is lonesome and thinks Adam is handsome, so she agrees right away. On their way back to Adam's home in the mountains, Milly tells him of her hopes and dreams of belonging to and taking care of just ONE man... Then, she arrives at Adam's home where she meets his SIX brothers (who are all named in alphabetical order with Biblical names: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank and Gideon), all of which Adam forgot to tell her about. And they all live in the same house!!

Needless to say, Milly is very upset. Not only is she surprised to find 7 men living under one roof, but the brothers are rough and love to fight! The fight over food and over who has the worst name and she is expected to cook, clean and take are of all the men. Eventually she becomes fond on the brothers and cleans them up and tries to teach them how to court girls.

One day the whole family goes into town for a barn raising. Each boy meets a pretty girl and of course sing and dance the night away. Eventually the night ends and they have to return to their farm.

On a lonely winter's night Adam tells the boys the story of The Rape of the Sabine Women (a story about Roman men who kidnap and make wives of women of Sabine families). So you can just imagine what happened next...Yes... the Pontipee brothers set out into the night and kidnap the girls they fell in love with at the barn raising!

As they head back to their farm with a wagon full of girls, they cross a gorge that is prone to avalanche. The boys purposely cause avalanche which blocks the passage back into town so that the townspeople can't come looking for their stolen girls. With that, the girls are stuck on the Pontipee farm until the snow melts in the spring.

Of course Milly is furious when she finds out what the brothers have done. She demands that the brothers stay in the barn, while the "brides" stay in the house. Adam is surprised  and offended by Milly's reaction to the whole situation and goes to live out the winter alone in a trapping cabin away from home.

During the winter the girls, who have not yet taken kindly to the brothers play the most hilarious pranks on them as revenge (as well as to pass the time). By spring, Milly has given birth to a baby girl and of course (in true 1950s musical fashion) the girls have fallen in love with the brothers.

Adam returns home when he learns of the birth of his daughter and realizes that the parents of the stolen girls must be saddened by their kidnapping. He tells the boys to return the girls. They refuse. And so do the girls. They hide so as not to be taken back home.

The townspeople are finally able to pass the gorge and plan on seeking vengeance.  Of course a misunderstanding occurs and the townspeople think the girls have been violated and a fight starts. During the fighting one of the girl's father, who is a minister, hears the baby crying. He asks who the baby belongs to and all the brothers and their "brides" claim the baby is theirs. Since he is not sure he orders all the brothers to be married to their girl in six shot gun weddings.

Whew...that's a long one!

In between all of that are the amazing songs and beautiful dance numbers!! Some of the best in musical history. And that's not just me saying that! Every time I see a TV special on dance and Hollywood musicals this one always comes up. It even has one of my favorite male ballet dancers in it as brother Ephraim (Jacques d' Amboise). And Jane Powell stars as Milly!

The cast is made up of other well known actor dancers of the day including Julie Newmar and Russ Tamblyn (from West Side Story)

Its a great movie! It has a million laughs in it! The songs are great and have that iconic 1950s musical sound. It's just an all around good film and was an Oscar nominee in 1954.

 Try to find it and snuggle up with some snacks and enjoy! You'll thank me later!!


post signature

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mid Century Housewife: Before There Was Martha (Stewart) there was Ida (Bailey Allen)

Wow!!! How fast does time fly. It seems like it was this month that I started my Housewife posts! But lo and behold it has been over a month now since I did the first post.

Well, as promised here is another post in the series.

Today, I was online sorting through and organizing all of the blogs I follow through Bloglovin. I separated them into categories including a baking category. You would be surprised how many baking and cooking blogs I follow. While doing this I came upon THIS post on a vintage recipe for biscuits. Of course I had to check it out! In the post the blogger, Libby (from the blog Cooking With Libby), talks about her husband being in the military and how he loves to pick up vintage cookbooks for her when he's away. He bought her a cookbook by Ida Bailey Allen on his last trip. Libby did a little wikipedia search on Ida Allen and  found out that Ida was the premier domestic goddess of the 1930's and 1940's

A vintage Martha Stewart!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!  I don't know if I ever told you all this but I have a home making crush on Martha Stewart. I have since around 2005 (after prison...oops) when I decided I wanted to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner and picked up a Thanksgiving issue of Martha Stewart Living. That's all it took...

Born in 1885 and residing in Connecticut and New York (just like my adored Martha), Ida was definitely her generations Martha. She didn't just cook, she was a specialist in nutrition and formal eating. She was editor of Good Housekeeping Magazine and was featured in countless other women's magazines. People wrote to her from all across the country to seek her advice on cooking and homemaking.  She did many lectures about cooking during WWII and even had a radio show in the 1940's called Ms. Allen and the Chef. From that show a club was started called National Radio Home-maker's Club. This was a club that joined women together with a common thread...Homemaking...

She was said to have tons of influence on housewives to be the perfect hostesses and homemakers. She had so much influence over housewives of the day that in the forward of her book Ida Bailey Allen's Modern Cookbook 2500 Recipes she says (I'm is a copy of an article about the book) that once during Christmas she mentioned that little ones might love to see their mothers wearing festive red clothing during the holidays. That every woman that could, should wear a red dress on Christmas...What do you think happened? Women across the country were seen donning fashionable red Christmas dresses that Christmas!

She had dozens of endorsements including Coca Cola and Royal Baking Powder.

Ms. Allen wrote countless cookbooks that focused on things ranging from nutrition, to meals on a budget to the most fashionable dishes of the day. How fun is that?!?!?!

I even listened to an old radio show from the 40's that she appeared on!!!

Here is a pic I found of her in her kitchen.

Aren't the similarities between Ida and Martha uncanny?

Unfortunately, Ida was widowed three times and passed away in 1973 at the age of 88.

I really am loving all of the new things I'm learning this year. This was a fun post to research and read about!

If you come upon a Ida Bailey Allen cookbook in your vintage pursuits be sure to snag it. I'm going on Ebay now to see if I can find one!!!


post signature

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Visions of 50's Coats Dance in My Head

Yes...that's right! I'm coat shopping.

I'm not rushing summer along at all but it's cooled off significantly in the NYC area. I'm sure we have a few more sweltering days left but I'm feeling like the cool weather may come along sooner rather than later. Last year we had the first of our cool days shortly after the first week of Autumn.  The way the weather is looking now, I wouldn't be surprised if that happens again this year. By that time, winter wear will be in all the stores and online. Not to mention cool weather outerwear will be at some of it's highest prices. Even for us vintage lovers. So...why not start the hunt now and beat the rush. And the cold. I don't want the weather to sneak up on me. Especially since I need a new coat BADLY.  The one I have is 2 years old and while super cute (a princess coat, which I still love) is not vintage. I need something that is not going to clash with the rest of my wardrobe on days I decide to go totally vintage or vintage appropriate. Last year was the beginning of my style change. I wasn't ready to invest in a vintage coat until I knew for sure that I loved my new look as much as I felt like I did. And...I did...Now, I am in the (long) process of switching my wardrobe season by season, it's easier on the purse that way.  It went over quite well for the spring and summer, now it's on to fall and winter. Rome was not built in a day, so goes my vintage (and vintage inspired) wardrobe.

On to the coats!!!

I love the look of the fitted coat with a full skirted bottom. So that's what I think I'm aiming for. Something like the blue one here.

And this one is gorgeous!

How pretty is this one! Listed on Etsy by Dear Golden

I LOVE the color of this one from Hollie Point, although this is definitely not an "on my way to teach" type of coat. It has special occasion written all over it!

I also like the look of some of the more roomier, over sized coats. They look terribly warm, comfy and stylish.

How fashionable is this lady? The hat is a beauty too!


I think this one would be perfect for everyday wear.

So those are my general ideas as far as coats go. I'm brainstorming and window shopping right now but plan to purchase early to mid fall. More than likely early fall.

I also need to get shoes (yes, the dreaded shoes thing again), boots that I can wear when it snows and hats. Can you believe that I don't own one vintage hat yet?!?!?!? I don't know why but it never really crossed my mind until recently! Basically, I just need winter wardrobe help. I think I have most of the fall under control. I'm just nervous for ridiculous cold winters we normally have. I want to be prepared so that I don't have to worry about it later.

I know some fellow bloggers have started posts on cooler weather clothes. I also know there is plenty of posts out there from years past with some great advice on vintage winter. If you know of any, send them my way!!!

Hope you all are having a fabulous August 8th!!!!

Until next time


post signature

Friday, August 2, 2013

Vali Myers: Painted Lady

Have you heard of Vali Myers?

I hadn't until yesterday but I'm excited to delve into her life.

I was going through the dozens of old emails that I have acquired and for some reason opened one that was from the W Magazine mailing list (adore that magazine by the way. There is usually nothing vintage about it but I love fashion of any era. Sometimes you can find articles about fashion icons from the past along with fabulous photo spreads). The email featured an article about the life of an artist named Vali Myers.

It was this picture of Vali from the 50's that reeled me in...

The photo is circa 1950 but this woman looks like a model from the 80s, 90s or even now.

Vali Myers was not technically a model, even though she was the muse of many photographers and artists. She was an artist herself. Born in Australia in 1930, she was at first a dancer. In 1950 at the age of 20 she left her position as principal dancer with the Melbourne Modern Ballet Company and went to Paris. There she became friends with famous artists and authors of the period, including Tennessee Williams.

I, unfortunately, could not find much on her life. What I did find was fascinating. She seemed to have been a free spirited, tragic soul (the was an addiction to opium during her lifetime).  Vali circulated in the bohemian world of Paris and was loved by the beatniks and eccentrics of the 50s and 60s.  It was said that some called her la morte vive because of her pale skin and her heavily lined eyes (I guess what we would call a smoky eye today, hehe). Her artwork seemed to mimic her life. It's very mythical, ethereal and somewhat magical. I also think that has a lot to do with the fact that she was said to have grown up in the Australian bush...always around nature.

From the little I've read about her life she definitely reminds me of an Amy Winehouse type figure. Extremely talented but extremely tortured. Her fashion was always edgy for the time, on the verge of being disheveled.  But unlike Amy she was able to live a full, if not wild and crazy, life until 2003, when at 73 she passed.

I'm not sure why but I'm very curious about her life and her work. I am in no way "bohemian" but the lifestyle sometimes appeals to me. A number of my friends are very bohemian in lifestyle and I totally get them. I guess it is the performance artist in me.

There is a biography about her, Vali Myers: A Memoir, that I hope to get for my birthday. After I read it I will revisit this post and hopefully be able to give you more incite into her life and work. For now, here are some photos that I have found.

post signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...