Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Recap

Christmas Eve was lovely! My husband and son watched the Polar Express while dining on cheeses, crackers, summer sausage and other assorted finger foods. The snow we had been wishing for all week started coming down heavily around nine so we decided to go for a walk. We don't get snow here very often so when we do it is a big treat!

My son finally got to make the snow angel he has been longing to make all season. Our dog Sparkie loved her first snow and thought it was a toy to play with, biting at it and racing around the yard! After that it was time to go in and warm up with a bit of eggnog and brandy.

Christmas Day was quite and ended with a dinner of roast pork loin with plum sauce, and red velvet cake for dessert.

I hope your holiday was filled with love, joy, and family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It Wouldn't Be The Holiday's With Out Them...

My favorite classic Holiday films, that is.!
Here are the original trailers for several of my very favorites. If you haven't seen some these be sure to look for them. They are a treat!

Christmas in Connecticut is my #1 favorite and I always save it to watch on Christmas Eve.

Holiday Inn

It's A Wonderful Life

White Christmas

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Remembering Jennifer Jones

Old Hollywood lost the lovely Jennifer Jones at the age of 90 today.
In memory here are some photo's from several of my favorite films of her including Portrait Of Jenny, Love Letters and Since You Went Away.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Wonderland Is In My Home Town

From the age of 3 until I married and moved away at 24, I lived in the small North-east PA town of Honesdale about 30 minutes from Scranton. One of my favorite stories of the town is the one about Dick Smith, the man who wrote the lyrics to one of my favorite songs: Winter Wonderland. His inspiration for the song came from seeing snow covered Central Park; his house having it in perfect view.
I came across this wonderful article written about him that was published in the town's news paper The Wayne Independent in 2007. It tells the story better then I could so I am sharing it here with you. I have taken creative liberties and added a few additional photo that did not originally accompany the article. Enjoy!

Thanks To Him, The World Knows Honesdale As A Winter Wonderland

By Peter Becker
Wayne Independent
Fri Dec 21, 2007

Parson Brown would be a fine name for your next snowman, especially if you have any connection with Honesdale or Wayne County, Pa.

Keeping the legend alive, here goes our annual tribute to Dick Smith and his song, “Winter Wonderland,” the holiday song Wayne County can claim as its very own.
It was here in Honesdale, Pa. that Dick Smith was born, September 29, 1901 on Court Street. When just a toddler, four years after, he and his family moved over to 922 Church Street, which remained in the family for the next 85 years.

This highly talented lyricist, whose expectations were as bright as the glistening snowflakes he penned in his trademark song, lived only a brief life of 34 years. His inspiration was firmly rooted in the place of his nativity. His younger sister Marjorie W. Smith was the last surviving member of the family, who died in 1997. She kept the Smith homestead until the early 90’s, and always admired the beautiful Central Park right across the street. Marjorie always said her brother was inspired by the winter scenes in the park, when he wrote “Winter Wonderland.”

Lived across from the Park

Indeed, growing up across from Honesdale’s main park provided any boy or girl with a lovely “front yard.” In those days building snowmen were much more common, as well making snow forts and having snowball fights. There was no Christmas Star on the cliff in Dick Smith’s time, but what was Christmas like in his boyhood days?

A look at editions of The Wayne Independent around a hundred years ago gives some idea. Honesdale was prospering with merchants and mills, somehow surviving without any mall. An editorial was found, however, lamenting that some local citizens would board the Erie train in Honesdale and go to New York City to shop for Christmas, rather than cater to any of the fine stores lining our bustling Main Street.

Honesdale was a full member of the new day of the 20th Century. When Dick Smith was born, streets were still a few years from being paved with brick, but cars were starting to appear. A 1906 issue reported that automobile drivers were a menace to horses and farmers’ wives coming to town. One-horse open sleighs were not yet nostalgic images for calendars or Christmas cards, but were still a way people got about especially in the countryside in those winter days when snow measurements were legendary as compared to today.

Electric lights and phones had recently become a reality.

In addition to the snowy park, in those days children enjoyed ice skating on “Park Lake,” a wide, dammed section of the Lackawaxen River along 12th Street. Dick’s sister Marjorie told the writer she loved to skate there. People would go about singing carols, Christmas trees were lit with candles, and St. Nick was as expected by children of Dick’s day probably as much as today (although Rudolph had not yet joined the herd).

Marjorie once recalled to the writer about the great trees that once lined Church Street on both sides, giving shade to the streets that also became quite muddy, she added. Those same arching tree limbs would have been quite a sight laden with freshly fallen snow, outside Dick Smith’s bedroom window.

The Smiths went to Grace Episcopal Church, a half block down the street. His father was John H. Smith, who was partner with a local cut glass manufacturing plant, and served on the Episcopal Church Vestry. Dick’s mother was Eliza Bruning Smith. He had a brother “Change” (Warren), and two sisters, Marjorie and Marion. One can easily imagine Eliza wrapping up her little ones in scarfs, mittens and coats, and heading down to church on Christmas Eve where luminary would be set out to greet the worshippers. We’d like to say his minister was “Parson Brown” but actually in his boyhood his minister was the Rev. A. L. Whittaker.

Sadly, Dick was only about age 7 or 8 when his father died. In the house sat an upright piano where we are sure young Dick Smith found fascination with the music and likely started making up his own little songs. A few years ago, the writer was able to interview a couple of Dick’s classmates- who have since passed away. Margaret (Kreitner) Morrison, who was a long time school nurse, said Dick showed a gift for piano from his school days.

Honesdale High School was only a block up Church Street, between the Presbyterian and Methodist churches. Like every other boy in town, Dick could walk to school, to church, or wherever else boys would go. Some would scale Irving Cliff- carvings and dates of a hundred years back attest to that. Some would play in the old canal or the left over coal piles behind Main Street (surely to be scolded once their mother saw them). They did have their own buggy, and a horse named Prince. Marjorie said she tried to learn to drive and took a Model T Ford once around the block- and that was enough. She never would drive again.

Another likely source of musical inspiration was the Lyric Theater, which opened on Main Street (where Turkey Hill Market is today), in 1905.

“Dick was witty and clever at making verses,” said Mrs. Morrison in 1994. “He had a keen sense of humor- a nice, fine fellow.” She counted him as a friend, adding, “Dick was very popular, very outgoing and sunny. Everyone wanted to be a friend of his.”
Surely these characteristics would serve him well as he embarked in the fast paced, competitive career of entertainment.

Mrs. Morrison was secretary of the high school class, and recruited Dick Smith to write poems for each of his fellow graduating seniors for Class Night.

Grace Bentley, a sister of Mrs. Morrison, recalled that Dick Smith won a lot of contests, including slogan writing for radio commercials and art contests. Dick graduated from Honesdale High School in 1920, with 28 other students.

He went on to Penn State College, where he conducted his own orchestra, graduating in 1925. He later managed the Fox Palace Northeast in Waterbury, Connecticut, the Rivoli Theatre in New York City, and the Trivoli Theater in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
He didn’t only write songs about snow.

Dick wrote 10 songs that were published in the early 1930's. They were:

• “The Breeze That’s Bringing My Honey Back to Me” (July 1934) written by Tony Sacco, Smith and La Lewis
• “Winter Wonderland,” written in 1934 by Smith with music by Felix Barnard
• “I Thrill When They Mention Your Name,” written by Tony Sacco, Smith and Peter Tinturen
• “I’m Keeping Those Keepsakes You Gave Me,” written by Smith with music by Smith with music by Fred Ahlert
• “The Bluebirds are Singing a Blue Song”
• “Tumbleweed”
• “When a Gypsy Makes His Violin Cry,” written by George and Bert Clarke, and Smith
• “Early to Bed- Bein’ Good While You’re Gone,” written by George and Bert Clarke, and Smith
• “It Looks Like an Early Fall,” written by Smith, with music by J. Fred Coots
• “Campus Moon,” written by Smith and Tony Sacco, with music by J. Fred Coots.
This list was supplied to the writer several years ago by Marjorie Smith, who was so proud of her brother and kept a copy of “Winter Wonderland” sheet music on top her piano.

Smith’s success seemed to be making the Big Time, but was cut short at the prime of life after contracting tuberculosis (TB). Mrs. Morrison recalled the TB started in his knee and took sick in 1931, shortly after marrying the former Jean Connor of Scranton. They never had children.

Smith spent a lengthy time at West Mountain Sanitarium, Scranton, where he remained undaunted in his writing, including radio slogans. These included contests for Maybelline Eye Shadow, Old Gold Cigarettes and as recalled by Mrs. Bentley, Armour Ham.

Mrs. Bentley said she took Marjorie many times to se Dick while he was at the Sanitarium. It was here that Dick Smith penned his most well known work, the words of “Winter Wonderland.”

The song was an immediate hit, being featured in its first year as the opening song at the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. It was used by Guy Lombardo with the Royal Canadians in the Ziegfields Follies.

His illness claimed his life on September 28, 1935, a day before he would turn 34. That year he had also signed a contract to write Hollywood musicals, but died one month before he was to move to California.

“Campus Moon” was published after Smith’s death.

“Winter Wonderland made it to the top in 1943 when it was acquired by a new firm, Bregman, Vocco & Conn.

Mrs. Bentley stated that Smith and his wife continued to receive about &7,000 a year in royalties on “Winter Wonderland.” His widow lived in Clarks Summit, and died around 1990.

The song’s title has been borrowed countless times by marketers and advertisers. The song itself, especially the first stanza, is forever a part of the holiday parade, heard the world over.

Me in Central Park, Honesdale PA Circa 1978

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My 5 All Time Favorie Actresses and 5 Least Favorite

Being inspired by this post by Lolita Haze who was inspired by this post by Amy Jean...I am now compiling my own list. This is not something I really had to give much thought to as being such a classic film fan for my entire life; I have thought about this many times before.

My all time LEAST favorite actress is Katherine Hepburn.
Granted, I loved watching Bringing Up Baby when I was little but I think it was mainly due to the big cat. I can tolerate her in Alice Adams, posibly because she is very young and not totally obnoxious. And I love Desk Set simply because it is a cool office movie. Anything else, you can have her!

Joan Crawford~ Apologies in advance to my husband who likes her.
I can tolerate her in Grand Hotel. In Mildred Pierce I totally forget that I don't like her. Love the movie and love her in it. She truly does a great job in that. But that is where it ends for me.

Marlene Dietrich
I have no desire to see anything she has done.

Greta Garbo
Like Joan, I put up with her in Grand Hotel but that's it.

Rita Hayworth
I love her hair but I don't care for her face or her films. I have tried to like her, honestly I have but I just don't.

Now on to my favorites! These are in no particular order since these ladies all hold special places in my heart.

Jeanette MacDonald

A beautiful lady with a beautiful voice. Her films with Nelson Eddy are my favorites.

Deanna Durbin
She's charming when she is a child and is a beauty when she gets older. Another beautiful singer!

Ann Sothern
I have always felt Ann was a totally under rated actress. From her Maisie movies to her TV career in Private Secretary and The Ann Sothern Show, she has charm and wit that is unbeatable!

Ginger Rogers
What can I say about this lady that has not already been said? She is wonderful in all her films with Fred Astair but I think she truly shines in the films where she is not required to put on her dancing shoes. My favorites are The Major and The Minor, Once Upon A Honeymoon, and Kitty Foyle.

Teresa Wright
It's easy to tell Teresa was a stage actress at a young age. Not as glamorous as others but totally charming. My favorite films of her's include The Best Years Of Our Lives, Shadow of A Doubt, and The Little Foxes.

I could most likely keep going beyond five in this category as there are other ladies I adore, but these are on the top where they will always remain.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Recall

I know Thanksgiving is a week in the past now, but I still wanted to share what we did. Every year is pretty much the same; a quiet family dinner with my husband and son. However, this does in no way stop me from cooking up a storm! I start the day before and make the pies and anything else that can be pre-made such as the stuffed mushroom appetizers and the cranberry sauce. Hubby requested a mince meat pie this year.

Then at 7 am on Thanksgiving Day, I am up and making my stuffing. I make a fried bread stuffing just like my Grandmother did; she made it just like her mother did, who you know as Arthelia!
It is a simple bread stuffing with celery and onions that gets fried in butter to give it a bit of a crust before being stuffed into the turkey.
The rest of the menu included: pearl onions in white sauce (my favorite), mashed potatoes and gravy, butternut squash, traditional green bean casserole,dinner rolls, apple pie and white Muscadine Wine from the local winery Wiederkehr Wine Cellars.
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving filled with warmth, family and fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tis The Season......

Even though the first day of Winter is not officially here until December 21st, I am already in a winter mood. I have started dreaming of snow and hoping, "maybe this is the year we get a decent snowfall." Vintage winter imagery is delightful. So much snow but still so much warmth!

I love songs about winter from the greats like Dean, Bing, Andy, and Ella. I would love to curl up in front of a fire, sipping a Hot Toddy.

Winter shopping is also a delight! It would be so nice to stroll down busy bustling streets like the shoppers in The Bishop's Wife. I remember gazing in windows dressed for winter as a little girl. But now the delight in winter shopping comes from the goodies that can be found online. Here are some treasures I have found while browsing some of my favorite shops:

This coat would keep any vintage lady warm. It's from 13bees on Etsy.

And wouldn't it look spectacular paired with this hat from Helen's Hassack!
I know there are many who don't like the winter, snow and cold, but I believe there are many wonderful delights that come with the season. Please share some of your favorite things about winter!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Goodbye Cherry Red Lipstick And Lace

For the past several years my main interest involved working with vintage dolls. I became interested in doing this through online friends that I had and my love for collecting vintage dolls from the 30's through the 50's. I have boxes of desperate dolls as proof of my passion.
I decided to take my love for the dolls and my sewing skills and combine them into a business. I did minor repairs for people, and made reproductions of old doll dresses.
The problem with this was I didn't get ton's of work and it took me quite some time to get the projects I did get completed. I also found it very stressful to work on someone else's doll. Since I have had my Etsy shop I have found less time to do the sewing so I have made the decision to quit doing this kind of work. The items in my shop are mostly knit and crochet which I find much less stressful and easier to fit into my schedule. So this is a goodbye to Cherry Red Lipstick and Lace. Here are some of the outfits I created over the past years. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vintage Goes Modern

Last week I was contacted by the lovely Nina McDermott for a custom order for two of the 1940's style snoods. Nina is a makeup artist and a talented jewelry designer. She wanted the snoods to use in an upcoming professional photo shoot. This was quite and honor for me and Nina was kind enough to share some of the lovely photos with me!
These show the snood in Cherry Red:

The photographer for this shoot was Mimi Haddon. She has also featured some of the other photo's on her blog
I really love how these photo's show how the snood can be worn with modern styles as well those that are vintage inspired.

Here is a closeup of Nina's earrings. Aren't they lovely? You can see more of her pieces in her Etsy shop.

The gorgeous model is Kara Birkenstock. Her hair was done by Jonathan Howard.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For Your Vintage Kitchen

Ahhhhh...the vintage kitchen! Is there anything more delightful? From the gleaming chrome to the glossy vinyl chairs there is something magical about it. If you are like me, you may have tried to incorporate this look in your own kitchen. From the jadeite green walls to the black and white checker board floor, all the work was well worth it! But even if you are unable to do major remodeling there are always subtle touches that can be added to give your kitchen the warmth and love of those in days gone bye.
I am pleased to offer a new item in my shop that may be just the little accent your kitchen has been needing.
These darling red and white potholders are made from an original pattern from 1953 and are made from 100% cotton! They can also be custom ordered in other colors to match your own kitchen's decor. See them here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The day has arrived! If you have been wanting to place an order for several snoods, a new dress for your favorite doll or something vintage, this is the weekend to do it! Arthelia's Attic is celebrating it's first anniversary on Etsy. It took me a little while to find my groove, and I may have gotten off to a slow start but sales have been wonderful this summer. Thank you to all my lovely vintage loving customers! In appreciation and celebration of this event I am having a Buy More Save More Sale this weekend. It will start today, Friday September 18th and run through Sunday September 20th.
Discounts will be as follows:
Purchase 1 item save 10%
Purchase 2 items save 15% off your total
Purchase 3 or more items and save 20% off your total. Be sure to convo me for a personal invoice to get your discount!
I am thrilled to have gotten such wonderful comments from my wonderful customers! Here is a sample of some I have gotten:

" Love them! They are very true the 1940's style and stay snug to the head even without pins. Will definitely be buying more. Thank you so much."

"You're soooo sweet!!! The snoods were better than I expected and for sure they worth waiting!!! As for your present I really like it, so I put it in my bedroom in order to see it every day and remind me that there're still people greatly appreciated all around the world."

"I received these today from Naomi, and am very happy with the snoods and the service. The snoods are very well made, and were packaged like a gift, and I couldn't be more pleased with the service and communications with Naomi. I will definitely buy from her again!"

" Perfect snoods! Excellent communication, super fast work & shipping. I couldn't be happier!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

My how time flies! Arthelia's Attic is getting ready to celebrate it's first anniversary on Etsy!
What better way to celebrate then with a sale? The sale will start on the official 1 year anniversary, next Friday September 18th and will run through the weekend until Sunday September 20th.
This will be a buy more save more sale and will include custom orders. As long as you convo me during the sale you will get the sale price on your order.
Discounts will be as follows:
purchase 1 item save 10%
purchase 2 items save 15% off your total
purchase 3 or more items and save 20% off your total

So mark your calendars for 9/18-9/20 and start thinking about what you can't live without!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And Then There Were Five.....

Only five days left! This will be my final reminder that the basic 40's style snood that has been so popular in Arthelias's Attic will be $12.99 as of September 1st. I will be out of town this weekend but I will leave my shop open. If you are interested in ordering any snoods through August 31st, feel free to convo me and let me know what you would like. As long as I receive a convo from you before 9/1/09 I will honor the $9.99 price even though your order will ship in September.

I would like to thank all my customers who have ordered this snood and left me such glowing feedback! You have all been wonderful to work with! I have so many great new items planned for the fall and winter months. I am looking forward to getting your feedback on them. My fingers will be kept very busy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Color Has Arrived!

I have been considering some new colors for snoods and thought this dark Mulberry was lovely. It is slightly darker in person then the picture suggests. It arrived a few days ago so I thought I would make one up right away. I have yet to be able to look for matching ribbon so I added a basic black bow for now (which looks blue in the picture). Cream might be nice also. I have added this snood to my shop as a ready to ship item.
Also, don't forget that there are only 2 weeks left to get snoods for $9.99 each. If you have been considering getting some, take advantage of the discount and save $3.00 each.

I think this color would also look good made up as the headband snood. I have a nice chocolate brown picked out for the fall that is next on my "to order" list!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What A Month!

What a month July was! The last two weeks proved to be especially busy for me in the snoods department. I had a total of 15 orders to fill and I have finally caught up! This will be the last month that snoods will be $9.99 each in my shop. The new price will go into effect on September 1st. I shouldn't admit this but I am actually hoping I don't get too many orders to fill over the next week or two because I am in the midst of working on a doll repair and dress re-production project for one of my doll customers (*waves*).
When I can I have also been working on running a test pattern on the vintage headband snood I showed in my previous post. I found some beautiful black glass beads that will look stunning on it! They are almost a cross between a bead and a sequin. I'm sure you will love them!

Since my last posting I have noticed I have a few new followers on my blog. I would like to take a minute to say Hello, Welcome and Thank you for joining me!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Patterns from Arthelia's Archives!

I am always trying to come up with new accessory items to add to my shop. My Mother recently sent me another of JoHanna's patterns. I think since the snood pattern has been so popular I think these goodies will be too! This pattern is from 1945 and I have scanned up a few pictures of several of the pretties I would like to make up first.

This first one is a fancy snood attached to a headband, studded with beads and has a matching purse. The suggested color is hunter green and is exactly the color I imagined for it before even reading the pattern. Can't you see it with a beautiful Holiday gown this winter?

Next, is a wonderfully unique 4 piece set consisting of a hair comb, earrings, choker necklace, and bracelet. It is done in pink with black velvet trims. I think it is utterly charming and can't wait to see it worked up. Have you ever seen anything so fabulously forties and feminine?

There are several other jewelry set like this in the book too!

Next are several darling headbands. Ribbed, flowered, and sequined...what could be better? I am really exited to have this pattern! It is like nothing I have seen before and am looking forward to being able to offer them to you in my shop. Their are also some wonderful glove patterns, rosettes and bows for adorning your dresses and sweaters, and a stunning lace crochet blouse! Be sure and post your favorites too!