Friday, July 31, 2009 0 comments
I've got a lot of scrabble tiles that I've managed to hoard collect for some time now. I decided to turn some into magnets for my grandkids to help them learn their ABC's. I used some thin sticky backed magnets that I cut into 1/2 inch pieces to fit behind each tile. (the sticky side helped remind me which side to place the glue on) I glued each magnet on each tile using E6000 glue. I've heard people swear by this glue.... I think it takes for'eva to it is not for those of us who like instant results. Anywho, after gluing each magnet on each lettered tile, I placed several heavy books on top of the lot and let them dry overnight.I think they turned out super cute! Now, I've just got to make doubles of certain letters so we can start making words!

How to Carry a Purse and Wear Gloves Like a Lady - 1968

I never thought the lessons I've been sharing this week about poise and grace would be so popular! Thank you all for your positive comments. It would seem that within a generation or two, we have lost these basic rules for moving like a lady. Today's final lesson deals with purses and gloves.

Today, purses have become a much more important part of your fashion statement than they were in 1968, but the basic rules for how to carry your handbag still apply. Above all, you don't want to appear awkward and unbalanced as though you are carrying a burden. Your purse should be an accessory that you carry neatly and effortlessly.

To carry a handbag, slip your hand through the handle from the outside and let the handle rest on your wrist. Turn your palm up with fingers relaxed. Place your wrist lightly against your waist so the purse rests on the flat of your hip. Don't carry your handbag under your arm like a football, as this can ruin the lines of your dress. Don't carry your handbag down by your side with your arm fully extended, as this can not only bump your leg repeatedly, but also become an obstacle for passers-by.

To carry a clutch purse, hold the bottom of the bag in your hand, resting it on the length of your index and middle fingers. Rest your hand against your hip, letting the bag relax to an angle.

To carry a shoulder bag, rest the strap on your shoulder. In order to keep the bag from swinging when you walk, grasp the center of the front strap to hold it in place. Don't push down on the top of the bag. Don't slip the strap over your head and wear the bag criss-crossing the body. This ruins the lines of your garment.

Gloves have started to come back as an important fashion accessory. Do you know what to do with your gloves?

How to put on gloves:
1. Slip your hand down the glove and gently ease it on by grasping the cuff.
2. If the gloves are snug, smooth the fingers on gently to avoid splitting the seams.
3. Never pull by the cuff, as this can stretch your glove. Instead smooth the glove with upward strokes from the fingers up the arm.
4. Never push between the fingers. Smooth the fingers with upward strokes until the glove is comfortable.

How to remove gloves:
1. Pull gently at the tip of each finger until you can hold the fingertips of the glove.
2. Grasp all the fingertips of the glove in the opposite hand and pull gently to ease your hand out.
3. Never grasp the cuff to pull your gloves off, as this will turn them inside out.

How to hold your gloves:
1. After removing your gloves, ease away any creases and reshape them.
2. Fold the thumb of each glove in and press the two gloves together, palms in, with fingertips and cuffs even.
3. With the cuff end facing out, fold the gloves over the side of your hand between the forefinger and thumb. Hold them in place with your thumb.
4. If the gloves are long, fold them in half lengthwise and place the folded part out, then hold between the forefinger and thumb.

Remember, a lady always wears both gloves, not just one.

How to Enter and Leave a Room Like a Lady - 1968

Thursday, July 30, 2009 0 comments
This week, we've been looking at how to move like a lady, from a 1968 book. Are you finding these moves awkward? Are you thinking about how you move, and how it looks to others? Are you finding, as I am, that these moves require strong core muscles?

The impression you make as you enter or leave a room can be your greatest asset. Here are some tips for making a good entrance and a graceful departure from a room.

When entering a room:
1. Avoid bursting into a room. Hesitate for a moment in the doorway, compose yourself, and glance quickly around to note names, faces, and the environment. Before you step into the room, you should know where you are going and to whom you will be speaking.
2. Smile.
3. If there is a door, grasp the knob with your hand. If the door opens into the room to the right, use your right hand, and vice versa. Keep your arm straight and open the door as you walk forward. Step sideways and reach behind you with the opposite hand to grab the inner door knob. Step backwards to close the door without turning your back on the room.

When leaving a room:
1. Leave a good impression. Smile.
2. Back out slowly, facing the people in the room. (OK, this is the first rule I have to disagree with. Maybe it's rude to turn my back, but walking backwards out of a room is just weird.)
3. If there is a door, walk up with your back to the door, reach behind and grasp the knob. Straighten your arm and walk forward opening the door behind you. Step to the side, grasp the outer knob and back out of the room, pulling the door closed. You are literally closing the door in your face. (Again, weird.)

When bending to pick up objects, keep your back straight and bend from the knees. Keep your head up. This is not only graceful, it protects your back from injury. to handle accessories.

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Transformation Thursday~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 0 comments
This week for show & tell...I am showing off my stool make-over. I picked up this cute old stool at a yard sale for $2 about 15 years ago.... I have no place in my house for a stool. I just liked the legs on it. The gal I bought it from said it came from her family farm and that it was old. Whenever anyone says that to me....that just tells me they are going to be asking a lot of money for whatever it is, but two bucks had me sold on it!I've used it as a plant stand, a purse stand by the front door. I've had it in my closet with my sneakers on it, its been outside on the porch, in the garage and it has even been in the "donation" pile several times only to be pulled out at the last minute every single time..... until now... now it has a "place" in my home. Now its a little stool. Perfect~I placed the stool upside down on the table and measured up 10&3/4 inches making a little mark with a pencil. I then took a small level and went around each leg off of the original 10&3/4 mark making a continuous level line around each leg. The line (and later the cut) has to be slightly on the diagonal to make the stool stand flat. Easy-peasy. Now I want some more stools!! I will probably stick a tray on top of the left over base for an impromtu table... which will probably end up with a plant on it, by the front door, in the closet, the porch, the garage and on the donation pile--- ah the circle of life~

You can see more Show & Tells over at Kelli's blog "There is no place like Home" You can also view more transformations over at "Shabby Chic Cottage" and over at "A Soft Place to Land" Kimba is hosting a "do it yourself" linky party. The Coloradolady is also hosting a Vintage Thingie Thursday. Last but not least...Leigh over at "Tales From Bloggeritaville" is hosting a Thrifty Thursday linky party~

Handling Stairs and Cars Like a Lady - 1968

Yesterday, we looked at how to sit like a lady. It seems many of you are wearing more skirts and dresses now, and this advice from 1968 is quite timely! Ambika wondered about how to get in and out of a car like a lady. Here you are!

Getting in and out of a car in a "bottoms up" or "legs sprawled" position can be unflattering and embarrasing (remember Britney?). Here is how to do it with poise and grace.
1. Stand close to the car facing the same direction the car is pointing.
2. Place the foot nearest the car on a line just in front of the seat, and the outside foot one step forward.
3. Lower yourself with your weight carried on your thigh muscles until your head is clear of the car roof and sit on the outer edge of the seat.
4. Swing your knees to the front and bring your feet inside the car.
5. Arrange your skirt.

To get out of a car:
1. Lift your derriere slightly off the seat and straighten your skirt, pulling it gracefully to cover your knees.
2. Slide to the outer edge of the seat, knees together.
3. Place the foot that is nearest the door on the curb, bending the other leg at the same time to keep the knees close together.
4. Step out with the other foot and lift yourself from a sitting position with your thigh muscles, keeping your back straight.

Have you ever had nightmares about making a grand entrance that involved coming down a staircase? Here is how to handle stairs like a lady.

1. Balance is key. Use your best posture. Don't bend your head to look at the stairs. Glance down with your eyes only.
2. Don't lead with your head. Move with your body erect, head up, weight on the back foot and placing your full weight on the front foot as the torso comes over it.
3. Place your entire foot on the step without letting your heel hang over the edge.
4. Take your time!
5. On narrow stairs, place your feet sideways.
6. When getting on busses, trains, etc., face in the direction the vehicle is moving and hold the handrail. Step up with your feet sideways on the steps.

How do you handle stairs when wearing a long dress? You don't want to trip on the hem or hold your dress up too high.

In a narrow skirt, bend your knees and grasp the fabric of the skirt a few inches above the knee. Lift the skirt until it is just above your ankles and glide up or down the stairs.

With a full skirt, use both hands. Bend your knees slightly and grasp each side of the skirt a few inches above the knees. Lift the skirt until it is just above the ankles. to enter and leave a room.

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How to Sit Like a Lady - 1968

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 0 comments
I found a little book from 1968 the other day on how to move like a model. I thought you all might get a kick out of the rules in this book for basic movements most of us don't even think about. But if you've ever watched old films with women like Grace Kelly or Jackie Kennedy, you may have noted how they moved with poise and composure in public. They learned the rules and practiced. Today, let's look at "How to Sit".

1. Approach the chair holding your best posture. Turn so your back leg brushes against the chair seat.
2. Slide one foot back 2-3 inches under the chair seat.
3. Lower yourself into the seat keeping your head erect and your back straight. Most of your weight should be carried by the thigh of your back leg.
4. Ease down into the seat gracefully...don't flop.
5. For deeper seats or upholstered chairs where you can't slip your foot under, sit as above but on the edge of the seat. When seated, lift your weight slightly and slide back.
To rise from a sitting position, simply reverse the above steps. Lift yourself gracefully in one easy motion letting your back leg muscle do the work. Don't push up using the chair arms.

While seated, arrange your legs at a slight angle to avoid looking to square and boyish. Cross your legs at the ankles or knees. If crossing at the knees, be sure your skirt is long enough to cover your knees. Rest your hands in your lap, palms up.

If you are sitting in a slim skirt, you may have to sit a bit more forward in the chair to keep your knees discreetly covered. If you are sitting in a full skirt, place your hand behind you and grasp the center back of the skirt. Bring the skirt out to one side before you sit down.

Apparently, if you follow all these rules, you'll have all the men flocking around you!

Today, notice how you sit down and get up. Try the above rules. This method will probably feel alien and strange. Now move a chair in front of a mirror and compare how you look when sitting down normally and how you look sitting with the rules. Is there a difference? Which do you prefer?

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Tuesday Treasures~

Monday, July 27, 2009 0 comments
Here is some stuff I bought this past weekend... A huge container of stamps & ink pads & embossing powders all for $3.Here is a close-up of what I'm keeping.Here are the stamps I don't want. A lot of them have never been used. I guess I could do a give-away right here and now if anyone is interested in having them, just mention tossing your name in the hat to be drawn out on lets say..... I dunno.... ummm Friday.This stack of old books was a $1.00 for the lot. The oldest one was from the late 1800's. Smells nice & old too...good thing old musty smells don't bother me, cause I am always sniffing old books! The two lights were .25cents for the big one and .10cents for the little one. Both work. Crazy prices huh? The buttons were .10cents...and the linens-- several hankies, one huge square piece with an embroidered "M" on it...and a delicate small square table cloth...all for $1. (I hope to share how to remove stains easily from linens soon....) I got this rose painting for $ is actually a lid off of a trunk. It is new, painted to look old... you can tell because the side pieces are pressed wood! I am going to do a transformation on this piece for an upcoming Transformation Thursday, so stay tuned for that :-PLastly, this huge pile of old games for the crazy sum of... nadda- zip- zilch... Fa---REE! I know right? Are you crazy lady? I'da paid ya' for 'em~ okokok, not much, but I would have bought them. I don't know what I'm going to do with them...but I have them, isn't that all that matters? Head on over to Diane's blog to see more Tuesday Treasures on her linky for "2nd Time Around Tuesday" Kimm is also hosting a linky party for her "Trash to Treasure Tuesday" Also.... if your wanting to see even more treasures stop over at Rhoda's blog "Southern Hospitality" If you have linked to my blog and wish to view more.... you can click here.

Mmm mmm Monday~

Whats a girl to do when its 112 degrees outside ...why you bake inside as well! This is a pretty tasty/easy treat.Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars
1 (12-ounce) package butterscotch flavored morsels
1/3 cup margarine or butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (crumbs not chunks like I did lol)
1 cup chopped nuts (any kind, I used pecans)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can of Sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for a glass dish) In a saucepan melt the morsels and the margarine...stir in the graham cracker crumbs and nuts. Press half of the mixture firmly onto the bottom of a greased 13x9-inch baking pan. In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, then add the condensed milk, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Pour into the prepared pan, top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, chill before cutting into bars. Refrigerate leftovers...not that there will be any~
I think next time I try this recipe, I will try vanilla wafers instead of the graham crackers... and also I am thinking I'd like to try chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch.....

Separates Make the Dress - 1949

I talk a lot on this blog about the versatility of separates. Here, from 1949, are some examples of how sewing separates can give you the look of a dress. And, may I just say, I love the little floral posy as an accessory. Pinned at the waist or at the bottom of a V-neckline, they add a touch of whimsy to these outfits. You can find posies like these by doing a search for "vintage millinery flowers" on the web.

Sewn from 1949 Advance pattern number 5173. The V-necked halter top and full skirt worn together give the impression of a dress. Add a short sleeved jacket when the air-conditioning is too cold.

Advance pattern 5173 from 1949

Here, sewn from Advance pattern 5174 from 1949, a sleeveless blouse is matched to a full skirt to make a dress. A self-fabric belt is worn at the waist.

Advance pattern 5174 from 1949

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New at Couture Allure - Vintage Designer Dresses

Sunday, July 26, 2009 0 comments
New at Couture Allure this week are several great vintage party dresses. We've also added lots of new things not shown here, but you can find them under the What's New tab at our site. There are a few things I wanted to show you today, including a Lilli Ann suit and a Hanae Mori couture dress, but they've sold already. Are you checking the Couture Allure website frequently for updates? We list new items 2-3 times a week!

Remember the Rosalie Macrini dress from last week? It is now sold, but this vintage 1950's cream satin strapless dress by Fred Perlberg comes from the same estate. AND it is new, old stock with the original tag still attached!

Thierry Mugler is hailed as one of the most important designers from the 1980's. This vintage Mugler dress is fashioned from an unusual combination of brown and purple gabardine.

This vintage late 1960's mini dress sparkles with lots of metallic gold thread, huge rhinestones, and beads. The unusual cut-away armholes take this dress over-the-top!

Black velvet is ruched at the center front and forms a fitted bodice with dropped waist on this 1950's party dress. That satin skirt is a full circle when laid flat.

If you march to a different drummer and are always looking for something different to wear, I've got just the thing. This vintage 60's cocktail coat is fashioned of metallic silver cord that has been sewn into a lacy openwork design.
When perusing vintage magazines, I sometimes come across designers that I've never heard of. This dress is by Lisa Meril, an unsung maker of high-end dresses in the 1960's and 70's. Lisa Meril dresses were featured in Vogue, and sold for beaucoup bucks back then. This one, from the late 1960's is mini in length and comes with a matching scarf. I love the silk burnout fabric.

Weekend Eye Candy - Azzedine Alaia 1989

Saturday, July 25, 2009 0 comments
azzedine alaia for tina turner, 1989While we're on the subject of Azzedine Alaia, here is a dress he made for Tina Turner in 1989. A complete departure from the garments featured yesterday, this strapless wonder was made of black silk chiffon embroidered with gold pearls. This dress may have been worn by Turner for her 1990 European tour.

Azzedine Alaia 1992

Friday, July 24, 2009 0 comments
"When I see beautiful clothes, I want to keep them, preserve them...Clothes, like architecture and art, reflect an era." Azzedine Alaia

I couldn't have said it better myself. Here, three pieces from Alaia's Spring 1992 collection. These pieces were all part of the exhibit "Radical Fashion" at the V&A Museum in 2001.

Bouffant Hair Styles 1963

Thursday, July 23, 2009 0 comments
Sleek cuts with added volume reigned supreme in 1963. These styles were heavily influenced by the popularity of Jackie Kennedy's bouffant hairdo, created by Kenneth Battelle. Warning: Lots of hairspray is needed to hold these styles in place!

Here, the hair is tight to the head at the front, then sweeps up gracefully behind the bow.

In this style, the hair sweeps dramatically from the left front to the right, then back and is blended perfectly. Did I tell you you'll need lots of hairspray?

Swaths of hair are woven in different directions. Hair pins hide under the top piece to hold the front piece in place. Did I mention hairspray?

Here the side pieces are slicked under and pulled to the back of the neck, where they are pinned. The hair at the back is lifted over and swept to the front. And, oh yes, you'll need lots of hairspray!

Accessorize a Basic Dress - 1953

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 0 comments
A 1953 magazine offers the following ideas to accessorize a grey dress by Henry Rosenfeld. Using accessories to change the look of a basic dress is a smart way to stretch your wardrobe dollar in today's economy. Spend your money wisely on a simple but high-quality garment that offers a blank canvas to decorate in many ways. Then look for less expensive trendy accessories that will give you a variety of looks for little money.

Here, the dress is worn with a V-neck top that peeks out at the neckline and a wide belt.

A white hat, ascot, and gloves give the dress a completely different look.

Tuck a scarf into the neckline and add wide bangle bracelets. Printed scarves in trendy patterns would also look great.

Wear a scarf or shawl as a topper, or add a jacket or sweater for even more looks.

Transformation Thursday!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 0 comments is my transformation for this week. As mentioned last week, I said I was going to make some paper roses using pages from vintage books. I have a huge collection of old books dating as far back as the late 1800's, most I picked up for .25cents each. (I've never paid over $1 for an old book!) What to do with so many books right? I mean I've glued the pages onto just about everything..... Soooooooo why not make a bouquet of paper roses! Of course that would be the next logical thing to do right? Now.... I am wanting to make some tight rose buds!! Now, how cute would that be?? (thats on my ever growing "to do" list) For now, I just plunked them in a milk glass bowlie/vase and added some glittered flowers & other stuff that was close by to fill it in a bit. I like how it turned out.... the pages from the vintage book I used were slightly brittle, causing some tearing on the roses curled petals, but not to much. (I just cut those bits off) Here is a closeup... I think I'll take these out of this container and place them in a cone of sheet music and take them to an upcoming party as a small hostess gift gawds, you just never know what junk I'll bring to your house! :-) The next batch of roses are going to be a lot better/cuter since I've now worked out the bugs on this dozen... the next ones are for me! This is a very easy-peasy do it yourself project... Just don't overthink it, just go with the flow...every rose is different, no two are alike.... and if they turn out ugly... you can recycle them, so everything is right with the world~You can also view more transformations over at "Shabby Chic Cottage" and over at "A Soft Place to Land" Kimba is hosting a "do it yourself" linky party. The Coloradolady is also hosting a Vintage Thingie Thursday. Last but not least...Leigh over at "Tales From Bloggeritaville" is hosting a Thrifty Thursday linky party~