Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fall 2012 Casual Fashions and Accessories

Vintage & Handmade Make a Fabulous Casual Mix - Fall 2012

Vintage Boyfriend Casual Fashions & Accessories
Vintage & Handmade Go Hand in Hand for Fall 2012

Fall 2012 Fashion and Jewelry Trend - Upscale Casual

This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the wonderful vintage and handmade fall fashions available on Etsy including some of my vintage jewelry.  I couldn't think of a better way to begin than with a handmade updated version of the Boyfriend shirt and a simple pair of vintage blue jeans.  What could be more classic, comfy and versatile?

Dress them up or down for a day filled with shopping, a long brunch with the Sunday crossword puzzle or the latest issue of Vanity Fair, throw on a jacket for a night at the movies and dinner.  Match them up with earthy colors, subtle leathers and show off your statement jewelry and accessories.

The Basics - The Classic Blue Jean & The Boyfriend Shirt

Vintage Levis 517 Denim Blue Jeans 33 x 30 Great Fade
Vintage Levis 517 Jean by PoisonPuddingFaire on Etsy

Boyfriend fashion has been trending for several years now and can be seen on the runway as well as the gossip pages which show the likes of Jennifer Aniston wearing her boyfriends jeans.  What many don't realize, it's roots date back to the 1950s along with the tradition of the wearing your steady's Varsity jacket and pinning.

The Accessories - Vintage Jewelry and Accessories

What's pinning you ask?  "Pinning" was when a couple was going "steady" and the girl would wear her boyfriends fraternity or club pin to let everyone know she wasn't available.  If her steady was in an athletic club and had received a Varsity letter jacket girls often wore those too!  Let's face it we love wearing little outward expressions of love and our boyfriends clothes!

Vintage Jewelry

Classic vintage jewelry will mix and match with ease to give you a designer look for less.  Many pieces will cross over styles, such as the beautiful statement necklace which is actually an art deco piece.  It melds nicely with a southwest and tribal look.  

925 Silver Taxco Hoop Earrings Southwestern Starburst
925 Silver Taxco Hoop Earrings by TheInspiredTrader on Etsy

Sterling Silver Earrings Moon with Filigree - Post Style
Sterling Silver Moon Concho Earrings by TheInspiredTrader on Etsy

Taxco Sterling Silver and Abalone Leaf Bracelet
Taxco Sterling Silver & Abalone Leaf Bracelet by TheInspiredTrader on Etsy

Vintage necklace black Art Deco waterfall glass cascading seed beads with bronze accents
Vintage Statement Necklace by TheVintageFunkery on Etsy

Vintage Accessories

Accessorize with different styles of vintage shoes, belts and accessories for a totally different look! Add a belt with playful studs and concho style accents; it will add a rich layer to your outfit and help define the style.

80s Genuine Leather Belt Designer Brass Accents Studded ORIGINAL Sand Castle NY Paris
Vintage Studded Belt by KMalinka on Etsy

Vintage Black Leather Belt USMECO Cowgirl Belt Unique Belt Studded Belt Metal Studded Belt
Vintage Black Leather Belt Concho Style by anutemilie on Etsy

Vintage Woven Genuine Leather Dark Brown Hobo Shoulder Bag Handbag by Apostrophe
Vintage Woven Leather Boho Shoulder Bag by KMalinka on Etsy

SALE Granny Brown Genuine Leather Boots Vintage Wedge Ankle Boots Nine West  Zip Up Sz 6.5
Granny Brown Leather Boots by KMalinka on Etsy

Thanks for peeking!  Next week I'll bring you a new look from wonderful vintage and handmade on Etsy!  You can see my other fun, funky and fabulous vintage with this link:  TheInspiredTrader

Monday, August 20, 2012

Virtual vs Scrapbook Collecting

New Age vs Vintage Wish Lists Scrapbooks and Collages

You can view my Pinterest "Cabin" Board with this link.

Small Geode Half by TheInspiredTrader on Etsy
When I was young keeping a scrapbook with pages and pictures cut out of catalogs, newspapers and magazines was a way to keep track of the things you loved, wanted, or would dream about.  Many a pictorial wish list was later turned into a letter to Santa or was shown to Mom and Dad with a "See!  This is what I'd like for my birthday!"  Later, I began to make collages with different themes, some political always some type of social commentary or music related.  Mostly glued onto 8 1/2" x 11" pieces of paper I would show them off by framing and setting them on my book shelves among my special books like Rod McKuen, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, as well as the works of Kahil Gibran and my collections of prized "things" such as metal sculptures from a local art show, the intricate inlaid wood box from my father, geodes and other what-not's.

1920s Advertising Scrapbook
1920's Advertising Scrapbook by MaryBethHale on Etsy

Mixed Media Jewelery Holder/ The Natural Bling Lover
Mixed Media Jewelry Holder by PeachFire on Etsy

I often wish I had kept the collages along with my old scrapbook, which got thrown away during some move when I was "cleansing."  Long enough ago that I don't even remember; dismissed as childhood foolishness.  Or taken them to the next level, to be loved and displayed, such as PeachFires mixed media jewelry holder.

But, who knew that 20 +/- years later I would be paid for cutting pictures from catalogs and books, having photographs enlarged and pasting them onto foam core boards with labels to create presentations which would be sent to companies like Trammel Crow, Gables Development, governmental agencies like the State of Florida, the County of Orange.  I also wrote copy and created graphics for Trade Shows which would be seen by hundreds of people a day.  Sweet times, I loved my job, cutting, pasting and creating both on the computer as well as in the tactile world where fabric swatches and wood samples were glued next to photographs and you were expected to trust the Designer or Engineer and use your imagination.

Vintage Scrapbook by TheInspiredTrader on Etsy

These days, that which I love and the things I "collect" are for my shop on Etsy and my audience is no longer corporate but very personal.  I've just started to put my dream collections on Pinterest and however much I adore being able to keep all the things I'd love to have in my "Cabin" in one place to show the world; sometimes I miss the feel of cool metal scissors in my hand, the smell of glue and the crinkling sound of turning pages thickened with Elmer's and magazine clippings.

Which form of collecting dreams do you prefer?  Or do you love them both like me!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Art Mirrored Life in 1920s and 1930s Berlin - Reinhard Hoffmüller Framed Travel Poster

 Reinhard Hoffmüller Framed Travel Poster

Art Mirrored Life in 1920s and 1930s Berlin

I have always been fascinated with life, art and sociology of the late 1800s through the 1900s.  The advances in science and impact of the industrial revolution on man, our environment, and society becomes a circular whirl wind of progress(?) and change which shaped who we are today.  When shopping for something different to offer in my Etsy shop, I often come across something that so captures my fancy I allow myself the luxury of being enveloped in research.  When it pricks at a wonderful or fun memory all the better!

Such is the case with my limited edition Reinhard Hoffmüller travel poster.  When I first saw today's subject I fell in love.  If I could own, if only for a while, something from a time period I had only read about or seen in books, what a thrill!  I had to have the 1920s Reinhard Hoffmüller travel poster for my shop!

While you may think it looks charming with its dancing girl graphic it has a deeper history, it is rooted in an era on which my one of my favorite movies is based.  The movie?  Cabaret!  Which takes place in 1931 Berlin, staring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey.  It was an amazingly accurate description of life in 1920s and 1930s prewar Berlin.  Choreographed and Directed by Bob Fosse, Cabaret, the movie and cast together won 8 Academy Awards.  Sweeping the 1973 Oscars, even though it did not win Best Picture, which was claimed by The Godfather; Bob Fosse won Best Director over Francis Ford Coppola and took just about every other major award.  What wasn't there to love?  Period costumes and amazing dance numbers choreographed by Bob Fosse; resulting in a movie which captured the mindset of the early 1970s and mirrored the free living life style of the times.

Source Wikipedia - Used under Fair Use Doctrine.

Cabaret Academy Awards
  • Best Director (Bob Fosse)
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Liza Minnelli)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Joel Grey)
  • Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth)
  • Best Film Editing (David Bretherton)
  • Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score (Ralph Burns)
  • Best Art Direction (Rolf Zehetbauer, Hans Jürgen Kiebach, Herbert Strabel)
  • Best Sound (Robert Knudson, David Hildyard)

It is important to note in the late 1890's through the 1940's travel was becoming more popular as were new forms of communications and the advent of advertising. Using a combination of large text and enticing graphics these posters were displayed in train stations and in kiosks all over Europe to lure travelers to a destination.

Reinhard Hoffmüller Original Limited Edition Lithograph Art Poster
Vintage Reinhard Hoffmuller Original Limited Edition Lithograph Art Poster - 1920 Click to See Listing

A rough translation: Intimates Locally of the City Berlin - Meet the Wife at the prestigious Barbetrieb to dine and dance. Dancing Tips with Mocha (caffè latte) and Danish at 4pm. At 8pm Dinner and Cabaret Music - Bar - Free Admission - Good Cuisine - Wear your Best - Demonstrate Your Dancing Ability - Performers Names

Cosmopolitan Berlin, as described in the 1930s book "Rues & visages de Berlin" by Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) with artwork from George Grosz, was vivacious with crowds everywhere, in the streets, in the parks, shopping, dining in the restaurants and cabarets.  The Friedrichstraße area was located in the center of Berlin and in particular was a popular cultural and shopping area.  The movie Cabaret along with Giraudoux's book and George Grosz's artwork gives the researcher an accurate description and feel of what life must have been like.  If I had one word to describe it would be Berlin during this time it would be "Ausschweifung" or debauchery.

It was during this period, the above poster was produced.  Travel posters in general, the art category which Hoffmüller's posters are included, were produced in limited runs (in this case 500) as advertisements for ocean liners, automobiles, travel destinations and restaurants. Displayed posters usually did not survive; unless saved by a collector, artist, client or museum so the actual number of surviving posters is unknown.

George Grosz, Im Café
I'm Café by George Grosz

Prior to WWII, the burgeoning middle class had increasing discretionary income and life in Berlin was rollicking! It was a time when transvestites where out of the closet and walking the streets and Berlin nightlife was energetic. Not just businesses used these innovative and creative posters as means of advertising to draw in customers, they were also used to advertise events such as horseraces and balls.  "Nightclub V" by George Gros pictured to the left, recently sold for over $50,000.00 at auction.

It was during this time period that German artist Reinhard Hoffmüller, also a fine artist, was happily creating his advertising posters for popular cabarets, restaurants, nightclubs and events in the Friedrichstraße district of Berlin, one of the centers of Berlin's crazy nightlife.  Using a combination of large text and enticing graphics these posters were displayed in kiosks in the city and in train stations to lure travelers.  His posters were also sold at the Gallery at Gendarmenmarkt - MohrenstraBe 30, 1080 Berlin-Mitte which I surmise is where this poster originated.   I can imagine George Grosz and Chas Laborde seeing Reinhard Hoffmüller's posters about town; they probably ran in the same circles, were acquaintances within the art community, if not friends.

"Rues & visages de Berlin"
As another example of art mirroring life of the time I offer Chas Laborde's (1886-1941) impression of Berlin society pictured to the left which is one of the illustrations from Giraudoux's book "Rues & visages de Berlin". If you look closely at the flat-chested figure in pink, he is wearing a dress and a top hat!

One description of Hoffmüller’s posters referenced a quote from a local poet, K. Mergerle von Muhlfeld, who summed the period up as: ‘Thick air, gossip with booze, kids begging, freshly-painted gigolos, Night clubs! That’s Berlin’

"Hoffmüller's posters have been described on the ArtFact web site as "time capsules capturing the height of the glittering, somewhat decadent lifestyle that became associated with the Weimar period." Frou Frou (pronounced Froo Froo as in fancy) is no exception!  They are certainly fun!

Reinhard  Hoffmüller Lithograph Poster


Monday, February 27, 2012

Strawberry Festival Party

                              Yesterday I shared some entertaining ideas for a fun Strawberry Festival Party and today I'm sharing a collection of vintage offerings from the best shops on Etsy all $25.00 or under. Whether you'd like to incorporate some spring time strawberry items in your kitchen or looking for the perfect entertaining serve ware for your Strawberry Festival party these quality items are sure to please and perfectly fit the theme.

If you would like to purchase am item just click the listing and it will take you to the shop/listing!  Fabulous and frugal and delivered to your doorstep!  What could be easier!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Florida Strawberry Season

Florida Strawberry Season Festivities

It's been a mild winter here in Florida this year.  Indeed, you could hardly call it winter, with warm days and cool nights, not good for those of us who look forward to fires in the fireplace, but perfect for growing strawberries!  Unlike last years expensive freeze ravaged fruit, this year we have a beautiful bumper crop and the prices are astoundingly low, under $9.00 for a flat of perfect ruby red strawberry jewels.  Even in the grocery stores strawberries are running about $2.00 a quart on sale!  Perfectly priced for a strawberry feast!  Typically, in the south, around Valentines Day dessert delights shift from all things citrus, like lemon and orange pound and bundt cakes, to all things Strawberry.

You'll find every Strawberry dessert under the Florida sun offered.  From fancy chocolate covered strawberries, the men strawberries dressed in formal tuxedo wear and the women strawberries dressed in white chocolate gowns, to strawberry pie, and naturally strawberry shortcake.  The local French Bakeries are offering yummy tartlets with wonderful light and flaky butter crusts filled with silky pastry cream and topped with slices of perfect red strawberries.  At Sunday dinner, no one would be surprised to see the cake ladies beautiful white cake split into four layers, each layer stuffed with sugary strawberries, drizzled with juice and an layer of lightly sweetened whip cream, topped with jewel red slices of perfect strawberries!  Is it dessert time yet?  So many strawberry desserts so little time!

My Mother's favorite way to serve strawberries was to make individual meringues pipped into the shape of shallow bowls.  Just before serving, she'd spread the bottom of each bowl with a heaping tablespoon of lemon curd then dress with sliced sugared strawberries and whipped cream.  Beautiful on the plate and easy to serve because the meringues can be made ahead.  A true seasonal treat as humidity is the enemy of meringue and every southern cook, this can only be served during the dry months here in the swamps of Florida.  Elegant yet simple this desert would look fabulous on these bread and butter plates (below), which will do double duty for dessert, offered by Denise and Lizzie in their Etsy shop ClassicTableware for a family Sunday dinner or an intimate celebration.

Available on Etsy using this link:

Now is the time to enjoy Florida strawberries whose season runs from December through March and each year here in Central Florida the season is topped with the annual Florida Strawberry Festival, located in Plant City, just west of Lakeland about an hours drive from Orlando.  This years theme is "Growing Sweet Memories" and the old fashioned festival runs from March 1st through March 11th.  This year promises carnival rides, a selection of music from Blue Grass to Rock, pig racing and naturally a Strawberry Shortcake Eating Contest!

The Downtown Farmers Curb Market offered free Strawberry Shortcake 2/25/2012
The Downtown Farmer Curb Market, Lakeland, FL

If you're not close enough to enjoy the Festival here in Florida, why not make your own sweet memories by creating an old fashioned Strawberry Festival in your home and invite family and friends for a Sunday afternoon filled with fun.  Inexpensive and easy recipes like pulled pork sandwiches, decked out potato skins and a tossed spinach salad with sliced strawberries dressed with a slightly sweet honey lime dressing will mean you get to enjoy all the fun with your guests.  Naturally, you'll want to serve Strawberry Shortcake for desert!  Keep it simple by serving iced tea and coffee.  I estimate serving about 17 to 22 people for about $50.00 with this menu.  Now that's fabulous frugal entertaining and memory making!  If you would like recommendations on recipes for this menu send me an email at

Available on Etsy using this link:

Organizing an old fashioned Strawberry Festival is the perfect excuse to expand your vintage entertaining housewares which will also come in handy for Easter!  My friend Laura from, OceansideCastle vintage, has a beautiful set of  Pfaltzgraff coffee cups, saucers and dessert plates (above) offered in her shop on Etsy.  It takes just a moment to picture your fabulous strawberry desert on these plates served with freshly brewed coffee.  Yum!

So set the mood with your vintage table cloth and napkins and celebrate strawberry season serving buffet style!  Get the kids involved with dessert by having a strawberry hulling and slicing contest.  It's easy and safe when you use plastic picnic knives!  Prizes can be vintage Little Golden Books or Strawberry Shortcake figures also found on Etsy.  All the planning is done, now it's time to have fun!

Living the vintage lifestyle makes life's moments together special!  Enjoy!  Deb

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nikki Schumann Calendar Art Lithograph Posters

One of the most fun and rewarding things about owning a vintage shop on Etsy is the incredible feeling you get when you're on the hunt for treasures and find something like these vintage lithograph posters by Nikki Schumann in perfect condition!  For just a moment you travel back though space and time.  These transported me back to the 1970's and 1980's when I had Nikki's happy calendars hanging on my kitchen wall.  Nikki Schumann was one of the most popular calendar artists in the United States and brought whimsy combined with a Maine sensibility to her artwork.  Known for her use of primary colors, each piece she created perfectly captured the emotions of the season.

Another lovely aspect of her calendars wasn't what was included, but rather what wasn't, the year.  Only the month and days were printed, not only honoring the clean design but also allowing her beautiful creations to be used over and over again.  Just in case you didn't know, calendars can be reused, if you are interested you can find which years correspond via a quick online search.  Any 1984, 1956 or 1928 calendar can be reused this year of 2012.  How fun is that!

Naturally, when I found this Portfolio of 20, 11 x 14, Lithograph Calendar Art Posters I couldn't pass it up.  While you can find her Calendar Portfolios available online, finding the Art Posters without the months and days is a rare treat!  Themes centered around architecture, water, family, nature and celebrated the simple things.  Capturing the moment of bliss found in watching a wedding, children at play, seasonal treats, collections and the rituals that make life special.

Although Nikki retired in 2001, she has a wonderful web site where she offers her hand signed prints, a resource which I used to date some of my prints.  Beyond what I found on Nikki's web site, researching wasn't easy, and I still have one print (pictured to the left) which I can not find the title or the month only the year 1984.  Again as a reminder of life's simple pleasures, she always kept her titles simple too, so I have imagined this one would be called Rock Garden.

Already a Nikki Schumann fan and searching for more information?  Perhaps you are just like I was at the beginning my research for this listing.  Loving research and history, I thought it would be nice to begin a reference resource for her work within the 20 Calendar Art Lithograph Posters I researched.  Below you'll find the information I gleaned for the full set of 20 prints, published in the 1986 Portfolio, selected from Nikki's Calendars bridging the years between the years of 1976 and 1986.  Enjoy!

Nikki Schumann "Beach House" July, 1986 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Porch with Wicker" September, 1980 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Quilt Store" February, 1981 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Woman in Hammock" July, 1984 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Conservatory" May, 1984 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Dreaming Lady" March, 1977 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Baskets" February, 1982 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Teapots" April, 1982 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Summer Wedding" June, 1981 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Lobster Dinner" July, 1979 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Matchbox Trucks" November, 1984 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Unknown Title"  Unknown Month, 1984
(if you have any information on this print please leave a comment)

Nikki Schumann  "College Yard" October, 1984 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Christmas Lights" December, 1979 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Leeks" September, 1981 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Sheep with Pumpkins" October, 1983 Calendar
Nikki Schumann "Fall Wood Pile" November, 1981 Calendar
Nikki Schumann "Seals on Rocks" July, 1982 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Mussel Shells" August, 1980 Calendar

Nikki Schumann "Blueberry Muffins" July, 1983 Calendar

A Portfolio of Prints by Nikki Schumann Cover Page with Portfolio Envelope

Copyrighted materials.  All rights remain with the artist.  Please do not copy any of the photographs on this page without the express permission of both the artist and myself.