Meet the Model: Hedy Hatstand


There’s a new face in town! Meet professional model Hedy Hatstand. She comes to  the land of Ms. Jeannie from a traveling trunk show that toured the country for years and years. Now anxious to be rooted for awhile, Hedy’s happy to be in long-term employ in the bookshop of Ms. Jeannie Ology as the official face of all things vintage head and neck-wear.

Named after Old Hollywood siren turned brilliant inventor Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000),  who is still considered to be one of the most beautiful women to EVER hit the big screen…


Hedy Lamarr was the stage name of Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler who was born in Vienna in 1914.

our Hedy Hatstand comes with her own dramatic beauty face. From afar she sports a milk-tone complexion…


but up close she’s cleverly tattooed in music and lyrics…


from her favorite 1920’s jazz song Nobody’s Sweetheart.

Like Hedy Lamarr’s tumultuous six marriage love life, and like the you-don’t-fit-in-anywhere song lyrics of Nobody’s Sweetheart, Hedy Hatstand’s had her own tragedies in the romance department.

You’d never believe how much frolicking goes on behind the scenes in the hat industry. Between the fedora salesmen and the stocking cap sewers it’s a veritable web of heart strings passing from one head to another. Hedy doesn’t like to talk about it too much but, as is true with any tattoo, the story is all there permanently written on her face…


…wedding bells and vices, dreams and changes, kisses and catastrophes…


Luckily all of that amorous experience, all that life of long-living and layered love has built up quite a beautiful face that makes our dear Hedy just perfect for expressive, one of a kind style. She can model both men’s….


and women’s hats…


with equal aplomb and can even manage a striking bowtie…


The song lyrics for Nobody’s sweetheart include passages like this:

You’re nobody, nobody’s sweetheart now,
There’s no place for you somehow,
With all of your fancy clothes, silken gowns,
You’ll be out of place in the middle of your own hometown,
When you walk down the avenue,
All the folks just can’t believe that it’s you.

With all those painted lips and painted eyes,
Wearing a bird of paradise,
It all seems wrong somehow,
It seems so funny,
You’re nobody’s sweetheart now!

Hedy’s daring neck tattoo may read Nobody’s Sweetheart, but she definitely has one champion in her corner – Ms. Jeannie and she definitely has a place forever to stay if she likes in the bookshop. Of course, life is always  changing and there’s no telling how long Hedy will stick around (she could very well follow in the footsteps of Christmas Pig)  but for the time being, for this Fall anyway, she’s holding down the hat fort in the shop of books. Because she’s definitely somebody’s sweetheart now.

Look for more images of Hedy and her vintage hats coming to the bookshop this Fall and Winter. In the meantime, you can find her in the bow-tie aisle here right now.

Cheers to sweet(hat)hearts:)


Sweater Weather: The Hair of the Dog and The Style They Started!

Photo via pinterest.

Fresh off of NYC’s Fall Fashion week and with a cool nip in the September air, this week’s post is all about sweater weather and a certain style that has gone to the dogs (literally!). This week’s spotlight is on the Samoyed…

photo via pinterest

photo via pinterest

one of the world’s oldest breed of dogs, originating from the snowy lands of Siberia.

Long prized for their happy faces, jovial personalities, strong fortitude and loyal devotion, the Samoyed is often depicted throughout history as members of working sled dog teams and instrumental aides of snow-peaked mountain search and rescue organizations. But they are also famous for one additional factor…

Their mountains of dog hair! Photo via pinterest.

Photo via pinterest.

…their mountains and mountains of dog hair! Named after the Samoyed tribe of the Artic region of Northern Russia and Siberia…

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

the hair of Samoyed dogs is as fluffy as a snow bank and as a dense as a thicket. With the ability to insulate in the winter but also keep dogs cool in the summer, and aided by the massive amount that can be procured from regular brushing, Samoyed hair has been a useful, if somewhat selective component in fiber arts for hundreds of years. One of the most common uses for this type of angora-like hair is sweaters, as seen on this handsome chap from Ireland…

photo via pinterest

Man, man’s best friend and a sweater made from this pup’s hair. Photo via pinterest

which can of course be knitted in a variety of different patterns and styles like these two examples found on a unique fiber knitting forum

This sweater was made with 50% samoyed fur and 50% merino wool.

This sweater was made with 50% samoyed hair and 50% merino wool.


A host of dog hair knitting projects can also extend past sweaters into a slew of other wonders. In 1942, The Samoyed Club of America presented a large display of articles made from their dog’s hair at the Women’s International Exhibit in New York City. Among the many diverse pieces were socks, blankets, gloves, scarves and sweaters.

Of course, using dog hair is not a far stretch from the more traditional fibers like cashmere taken from goats…

photo via pinterest

photo via pinterest

or merino wool from sheep…

photo via pinterest

photo via pinterest

but dogs somehow seem a little to close to home somehow for Ms. Jeannie. What do you think dear readers? Is it creepy or cuddly, this dog sweater style? Is the face of your next fall fashion piece?

photo via pinterest

photo via pinterest

This blog post was inspired by the 1954 book, Dogs and People by George and Helen Papashvily, which is coming soon to Ms. Jeannie’s shop. For other vintage dog-themed books available now, including a marvelously beautiful antique book about a sled-dog named Hector, please stop by and browse a bit here.


Socializing Ms. Jeannie: The Wheres and the Whys


Gearing up for Fall and the busy holiday shopping season ahead, Ms. Jeannie is taking the briefest of moments to highlight where and why you can find her in the world of social media. Besides here on the blog and on Etsy, you can find Ms. Jeannie…

On Twitter:

A retweet from flavorwire

A vintage inspired re-tweet from flavorwire. Bookish business cards!

Here you’ll find Ms. Jeannine tweeting about literary quotes, interesting vintage inspired trends (like the above bookish business cards!), historical fun facts, new shop items, cool places to travel, favorite books and secret sale announcements. Follow Ms. Jeannie on twitter here.

On Instagram:

A sampling of Ms. Jeannie photos on Instagram

A sampling of Ms. Jeannie photos on Instagram

Just recently joined, here you’ll find behind-the-scenes shots of Ms. Jeannie’s blog photo shoots, moments of nature that catch her attention, ideas being crafted in the shop and of course magical moments with Indie – the biggest ham on Instagram! Follow Ms. Jeannie on Instagram here.

On Pinterest:


Some of Ms. Jeannie’s most popular boards include (from left to right): The Vintage House, The Vintage Man and the Vintage Garden

On Pinterest you’ll find a collection of design boards curated by Ms. Jeannie that seamlessly blend vintage items into our contemporary world through decorating, gardening, fashion, cooking, party planning and more. There’s a bit of whimsy floating around that space too! Fun boards include:  Scenes from a Dinner Party Long Ago, True Adventurers and The Vintage Bird. Sign up to follow Ms. Jeannie on Pinterest here.

On Facebook: 


Vintage concrete rabbit bookends available in Ms. Jeannie’s shop.

This is the least utilized of all the social media outlets by Ms. Jeannie at the moment but come September this is where you’ll find new shop items, press mentions, shop sales, vintage item collections and favorite books. Like Ms. Jeannie on Facebook here.

And a big BIG thank you dear readers for encouraging the world of Ms. Jeannie in all the ways that you do. From comments on the blog to social media likes and favorites to individual messages – every single one of your thoughts and clicks counts big time in helping Ms. Jeannie persue her passion. It’s cliche to say she couldn’t do it with out you. But really she couldn’t do it without you.  Thanks for being marvelous.

Please include your social media links in the comments section so we all can find you too!

Combining Past with Presents: A Holiday Gift Guide (Week 1)


1959 Vintage Photograph via ebay

We are just moments away from October and that means the countdown to Christmas is officially on! Don’t panic though, dear readers, Ms. Jeannie is here to help you shop. With just 12 and a half weeks until the big holiday, she’s  excited to launch her holiday gift guide – a contemporary vintage suggestion gift list  that incorporates the old with the new for one completely memorable gift giving experience.

Whether you are looking for a simple hostess gift for your friend’s party, a unique treasure for Aunt Sarah who has everything or a nostalgic gift for your closest family member, Ms. Jeannie will be highlighting a dozen items over the next three months that combine meaning and memory with a modern twist…

So grab a cup of hot chocolate, put on your favorite Christmas songs and let’s start shopping…

Idea No. 1: Lace Patterned Stoneware

Ceramic lace plate made by My mother's Garden - $16.00

Ceramic lace plate made by My mother’s Garden – $16.00


Embossed with vintage lace and crochet patterns, these stoneware dishes and serving pieces combine the  prior popularity of the doily with a fully functional and modern shaped piece of pottery.

Blue Ceramic Tapas Dish made by Blue Butterfly Crafts - $15.00

Blue Ceramic Tapas Dish made by Blue Butterfly Crafts – $15.00

The doily has been around since the 1700’s and was intended to protect wood and cloth surfaces from dirt and scratches. Many (so many!) for centuries were used on tabletops to protect expensive wood and on couches and chairs to prevent dirt and oil from seeping into the fabric. (You’ll notice one on the back of the chair in the Christmas photo above!).

Mostly, these cloth buffers were hand-crocheted – fine examples of a seamstress’ sewing abilities, a love of hobby and a stunning example of utilitarian purpose. But with the advent of modern cleaning products  their usefulness has fallen out of favor in the home decorating market. What used to be an example of pride and beauty and function, now no longer seems quite so stylish in our contemporary lives. Which leaves a bit of a sentimental conundrum. What to do with all those family heirloom sewing pieces?


In Ms. Jeannie’s case, both her grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother were all sewers – which means a fair amount of crocheted doiles have been left behind in their wake.


You may recall seeing Grandma Dorothy’s tablecloth once before on the blog back in February 2013

A lesson from Grandma

It’s a big swatch of a tablecloth full of round flowers and intricate webbing.  Thanks to Ms. Jeannie’s artistic pottery  friend Sloan, Grandma Dorothy’s tablecloth is also a now a pretty platter…

Serving Platter

Ms. Jeannie sent this platter to her mom as a Mother’s Day gift, which made it a three generation gift. A nod to the past and also to the present!


Since the design is rolled out onto the clay and then lifted before firing, the heirloom fabric does not need to be sacrificed for a project such as this. Ms. Jeannie was able to choose the shape, dimension and colors of the piece as well  for a completely custom gift.

Sloan also, as  a little surprise, made three pottery birds (one for Ms. Jeannie and both of her sisters) to use as tree ornaments or a petite wall hanging.


Of course the sky is the limit in the customization department. If you do a search on Etsy for lace patterned pottery, you’ll find a bevy of pretty examples from subtle vases…

Porcelain lace vase made by wapa - $105.00

Porcelain lace vase made by wapa – $105.00

to dramatic jewelry…

Ceramic Necklace Pendant made by  Helihelmed - $18.26

Ceramic Necklace Pendant made by Helihelmed – $18.26

By incorporating lace from a bridal dress or veil you could also transform this idea into a custom wedding or anniversary gift. Imagine what a pretty object this dress could turn into…

Lace Wedding Dress by elikadesigns -

Lace Wedding Dress by elikadesigns –

If you love this idea, but do not have any crocheted family heirlooms in your treasure trove to call your own – don’t worry Ms. Jeannie’s got you handled in that department also.  She has a (non-family!) doily bundle available in her shop here…


Vintage Crochet Collection Containing 11 Pieces – $28.00

Two artists meeting many years apart to form one special gift for your one special person – it’s going to be one memorable holiday:) Stay tuned for Idea no. 2 next week!

It’s All In the Initials: Sewing Advances at the Fair

One hundred and twenty years ago, in the summer of 1893, newspapers across the country were reporting on a grand spectacle of an event taking place in a big city. That big city was Chicago and the event was the Columbian Exposition also known as the World’s Fair.

Silk Handkerchief Souvenir from the World's Fair Chicago 1893

Silk Handkerchief Souvenir from the World’s Fair Chicago 1893

For six months, from May – October, the reception gates welcomed visitors to the downtown Chicago lakefront staging area that was a marvel in size, scale and execution.

Aerial view of the Chicago World's Fair. Photo via pinterest.

Aerial view of the Chicago World’s Fair. Photo via pinterest.

A staggering 25% of Americans attended the Fair in those six months, and Ms. Jeannie is excited to report that one such visitor was her great great grandmother, Martha.


Martha traveled from Iowa to Illinois, armed with a summer’s worth of knowledge about the Fair thanks to the frequent reporting of her local newspaper, the Vinton Eagle who kept it’s readers up to date on all aspects of the Exposition from logistics to exhibits, history to happenings.

In illustrated glory, all the details of the World's Fair as reported by The Vinton Eagle in a July 1893  edition

In illustrated glory, all the details of the World’s Fair as reported by The Vinton Eagle in a July 1893 paper

That year, the Fair commemorated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America and celebrated the latest advances in industry and technology occuring throughout the world.  It was an exciting place to be, not only as an eyewitness to progress, but also for all the hope and possibility that hung in the air as our nation quickly approached the dawning of a new century.

Opening day of the Chicago World's Fair. Photo via pinterest.

Opening day of the Chicago World’s Fair, May 1893. Photo via pinterest.

No doubt, Martha was caught up in the fever and wonder of such marvelous new sights like the first Ferris wheel, the first automatic dishwasher, the introduction of food novelties like gum and ready made pancake mix and the debut of the zipper.

Also in the sewing category came a new piece of machinery, which drew delight to many attendees, especially among the ladies, Martha included. Debuting at the fair was the first on-site embroidery machine that could embroider names and initials on fabric while you waited.

The Palace of Mechanical Arts was where most of the textile exhibits were located. Photo via pinterest

The Palace of Mechanical Arts was where most of the textile exhibits were located. Photo via pinterest

Martha was so enamored with this “instant gratification” concept that she purchased a colorful souvenir handkerchief…

A silk handkerchief momento

A silk handkerchief momento depicting the layout of the entire Exhibition.

And had her name embroidered in the corner…

M. J. Edwards

M. J. Edwards

If you look closely, you’ll notice there is no “s” on the end of Edwards – whether that was accidental or limited due to a specific amount of allowable letters, Ms. Jeannie will never actually know. But she loves that this handkerchief carries a personal touch of her great great grandmother at an event that was so creative and inspiring.

The handkerchief itself is in wonderful condition.  The silk fabric so delicate yet bright with its vivid colors and detailed drawing of the fairgrounds.  The embroidery looks like it was sewn yesterday, instead of over a century ago.  Ms. Jeannie wonders if Martha ever wore it or used it in any way or if it remained stored away as a special reminder of a special trip.

Martha was a sewer herself, so maybe she just appreciated the fact that a machine could now produce something as equally lovely and delicate as initials without having to do it by hand.

At the time of the Fair, Martha was 47 years old, she had been married for 29 years, and had birthed 11 babies. Waiting for her back at home in Iowa, in addition to her own kids  (the youngest which was aged six)  were 10 grandchildren all under the age of 7.

Ms. Jeannie bets that Martha saw her fair share of mending projects involved with that large brood! It’s no wonder that she amazed by this speedy embroidery machine. Imagine how fast all those sewing projects would go if she had one of these machines of her very own!


So maybe this handkerchief represents a time-saving industrial novelty, or maybe it represents a fun travel adventure or perhaps just a stunning flight of fancy from one sewer to another… either way, Ms. Jeannie is thrilled that it has stayed in her family and survived intact for 120 years.  That’s a true marvel in keeping with the theme of the World’s Fair itself!

Paris House: Ms. Jeannie and the Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago, Ms. Jeannie was contacted by Paris House in regards to doing a photo shoot for a few of their products. Sharon at PH was very complimentary of the photos in Ms. Jeannie’s Etsy shop and thought it would be fun to photograph some of the Paris House bags and clutches in similar fashion.

Based in New Zealand, Paris House not only offers completely original bags and accessories but also the experience of thinking outside of the proverbial conversation box. Here are some examples…


Everything is made of of the softest, plushiest leather, and they all contain gold embellishments and quirky sayings, both on the inside and outside.

This is more from the Paris House 2012 Catalog…

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

As soon as the box of bags arrived Ms. Jeannie got to work thinking about fun and creative ways to photograph these fun and creative items. Because the bags are brassy and modern with their sassy gold illustrations and because they are classically luxurious in texture, she thought that industrial type props would be a nice contrast…

Envelope clutch. Click for more info.

Envelope clutch with weathered bricks. Click for more info.

As she was photographing this clutch, Ms. Jeannie started thinking about a little story involving the eyelashes and paparazzi. So she got out her vintage Brownie camera and incorporated it into the photo shoot. It was easy for Brownie to fall in love with the golden eyed beauty.


The backside says peeping tom on it!

The backside of the clutch says Peeping Tom on it!

The inside of the bag says: Love to my sister who just got married.

The inside of the bag says: Love to my sister who just got married.

Next, Ms. Jeannie went on a little travel adventure with a weekender bag that lost his way…

The caption on this bag reads: Should this bag ever wander, smack his bum and send him home.

The caption on this bag reads: Should this bag ever roam, smack his bum & send him home.

The inside had little illustrations that carry the fun from out to in…


Those little fruit characters really called out to Ms. Jeannie, so the next envelope clutch was all about fun with bedazzled fruits…

This bag states

This bag states: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

That sounds like a statement Helen Gurley Brown would have made!

It is difficult to mention Helen Gurley Brown and then right after not to mention men, so Ms. Jeannie changed gears and went to work on the Fantastic Man zipper pouch..

Underneath Fantastic Man it says kisses!

Underneath Fantastic Man it says kisses!

In Ms. Jeannie’s opinion, any well-read man is a fantastic man.  And who was one of history’s most fantastic, most well-read men? Why none other than Hemingway of course! So here’s a nod in his direction…

Ms. Jeannie thinks Hemingway would approve of the fantastic man comparison:)

Ms. Jeannie thinks Hemingway would approve of the deer antler addition.

Then of course, one cannot think about Ernest without thinking of his famous “write drunk, edit sober” quote so Ms. Jeannie carried on into a night of partying with the Two Drunken Couples zipper pouch…


On such a wildly entertaining night as this, of course, just about a billion and a half stories unfolded. So many in fact that inspiration for the Dear Sophie zippered pouch came about from stacks of stories in stacks of notebooks…

Dear Sophie:

Dear Sophie, Everything I have is yours except my boyfriend.

And now Dear Sophie and her stacks of stories from the drunken night now sit on the homepage of the Paris House website…

As you know, Ms. Jeannie just loves everything that tells a story, and these bags do such a good job of giving you a little slice of creative inspiration. Wouldn’t it be fun to combine all  these little sayings into one short story? It would be an interesting one at that! Ms. Jeannie might just have to set out on such a challenge. In the meantime, stop by the Paris House website and peruse their vast collection of fun and whimsical items here.

And, when conversation hits a lull at the next party or dinner date you attend, you can call on Dear Sophie or the drunken couple to liven things up a little bit:)

Happy shopping!