9 Ways to While Away Your Holiday Weekend!

memday1

It’s here! It’s here! The summer holiday season has officially started. Happy Memorial Day dear readers! If you are looking for some fun activity suggestions look no further, Ms. Jeannie has just the thing. Whether you want to get out or stay-in, celebrate or sleep, here is a list of nine different ways to while away your weekend…

  1. Go Stargazing!

stars
The How and Why Wonder Book of Stars. 1960 edition. Find it here in the bookshop.

Give that neck of yours a break from always looking down, down, down at computer and phone screens! Nothing is more relaxing or more magical than taking some time to simply look up at the stars. Right now, in Ms. Jeannie’s section of the globe, the constellation Hercules is taking center stage in the night sky, which is appropriate for the holiday weekend because Hercules led an exhausting life performing all sorts of daunting tasks in service to King Eurystheus before succumbing to a fiery death. He needed a restful break, just like you and he finally got it in his after-life as star of the spring/summer sky. His kneeling pose proves that he is truly relaxed (finally!) in the night sky.

Hercules is the upside man in gold. Photo courtesy of RetroPrintMaker.
Hercules is the upside man in gold at the top of the picture. This antique constellation print can be found at RetroPrintMaker via Etsy!

You are never to old to enjoy astronomy from a child’s point of view, and that is exactly what the How & Why Wonder Book of the Stars brings to you directly from 1960. Whether you read it to yourself or to a little one, you’ll come away with a new found sense of the solar system that is both whimsical and wise. Find the book here. And visit EarthSky to find out what stars will be appearing in your specific section of sky tonight.

2. Feed Your Friends and Family!

Cooking for a Crowd - vintage style!
Cooking for a Crowd – vintage style!

Whether you are grilling out, picnic-ing, pot-lucking or just plain partying this weekend bring something new to the festivities with a vintage recipe! Find all the inspiration you need in Ms. Jeannie’s instagram feed and in the vintage kitchen section of the blog, where she features recipes from all the vintage cookbooks available in her bookshop.

3. Plant Some Flowers!

vintage planters

Liven up your indoor spaces with some outdoor plants and flowers! These versatile vintage planters transition so well between all the seasons. Great for herb gardens, micro plants and artistic succulent-scapes these ceramic vessels bring pretty personality to any shelf, table top or sill. Find the the above assortment here.

4. Go Birdwatching!

birdwatch_collage
Fall in love with your favorite birds day after day after day with these vintage 1950s bird botanical prints. Find a large assortment here.

This past week Ms. Jeannie’s neighborhood was taken over by an unexpected kite festival. Not the colorful cloth kite flyers that you find at the beach but the bird species, the Mississippi Kite.

The falcon-like Mississippi Kite in all it's silvery beauty. Photo via pinterest.
The falcon-like Mississippi Kite in all it’s silvery beauty. Photo via pinterest.

Dozens of these intriguing characters swooped and dipped and dived for days around the house giving Ms. Jeannie the opportunity to take a break and look at the wonderful world happening around her. Closely resembling falcons, kites have silver under-bellies that shimmer in the sky like diamonds. And just like star-gazing there is something both calming and curious about looking and listening to the bird world around us.

5. Get Back to You!

tea_collage
Bright and cheery vintage tea treasures can be found in the bookshop here.

Sometimes we all just need to calm the heck down. Tea helps in this department immensely! A pretty personalized tea service and some embroidered vintage linens make the presentation of your soothing experience all the more zen-like. Dive into a novel set in China, written by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author Pearl S. Buck, and you have set the mood for a mini-vacation in the making.

pearl s buck
A vintage 1969 edition of The Three Daughters of Madame Liang can be found in the bookshop!

6. Go to the Zoo!

Speaking of unusual nature sightings, if you want a little bit of whimsy take yourself to the zoo! In the land of Ms. Jeannie curiosity comes in all forms, and travel happens both literally and metaphorically, so if you find that you don’t have access or ability to a real-life zoo – no problem! Take your imagination on a pictorial adventure with Robert Lopshire and his polka-dotted pal. Find them here.

zoo1
This 1960 edition of Put Me In the Zoo is so cute and colorful! Find it here.

7. Go on a Date!

dressup_collage
Sometimes all the dinner date inspiration you need is wrapped up in one vintage clothing piece. Make new memories with old classics like this 1960s beaded cashmere sweater or this snappy vintage silk bowtie.

One of the few seriously great and often overlooked activities in the warmer months is eating outdoors. In the South practically no one eats outside because of the humidity except for Ms. Jeannie! Whether its a bustling city cafe, a rural garden restaurant or even just the back patio of your favorite local hangout, nothing says easy summer like a breezy Memorial Day dinner that you have no hand in preparing (or cleaning up!). So pull out your best dress and your date’s summer suit and make this Memorial Day the most romantic one on record!

8. Have a Cocktail!

Vintage 1950's flash card spells out the sentiment of the holiday weekend! Find it here
Vintage 1940’s flash card spells out the sentiment of the holiday weekend! Find it here.

Or maybe two or three! It’s the sign of a spirited environment when your fellow weekenders say “I’ll have another please!” One of Craig Claiborne’s favorite May-inspired cocktails was Luchow’s May Wine Bowl, which featured two stars of the late spring/early summer growing season: woodruff and strawberries. If woodruff (the herb) is unavailable in your area you can substitute it for vanilla.

Luchow’s May Wine Bowl

1/2 cup dried woodruff (or two teaspoons of vanilla)

1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar

1/2 cup cognac

2 bottles Rhine or Moselle  wine

1 bottle champagne or club soda

1/2 cup whole fresh strawberries

  1. Tie the woodruff up in a small piece of cheesecloth. Place in a bowl and add sugar, cognac and one-half bottle of wine. Cover closely and let stand overnight.
  2. Strain the woodruff-wine mixture into a punch bowl containing ice cubes or a large chunk of ice. And the remaining still wine, champagne and strawberries. Serve in stemmed glasses. Yields eight to 10 cups.

This recipe was featured in Craig’s Herb and Spice Cook Book which you can find here.

9. Take a Trip!

travel_book_collage
Find a bevy of assorted travel books and other vintage reads in the bookshop here.

This may be the ultimate luxury on a three day weekend! But if you can’t afford a trip away this holiday, do not fret! Traveling is a mindset as much as it is an experience. Relish in the adventure of reading with this selection of travel inspired books that will transport you to other places and other times.

Hitchhike your way around 1970’s Europe in the Hitchhiker’s Road Book; kiss the shore goodbye as you head out on ocean waters in Let’s Explore the Seas; fly through 1930s Africa in Following the Sun Shadow; explore 1960s New York City with composer Ned Rorem; learn how to parlez vous in French like a local with Collins French Phrase Book; and take in the sights around London with adorable Zachary Zween.

As you can see, holiday adventures await in an assorted number of ways. However you chose to spend this festive weekend, Ms. Jeannie hopes that it is magical!  Happy Memorial Day dear readers. Now… let the summer begin!

*** From Friday through Tuesday, take 20% off your purchase in Ms. Jeannie’s shop using the coupon code: MEMORIAL2016 ***

 

 

 

 

 

A Book By Its Cover

destinybay

It is not often that Ms. Jeannie will tell you to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of Destiny Bay, a vintage fiction novel recently listed in her shop, she wholeheartedly recommends it. In an on-going conversation about book collections and what fuels them, we’ve talked about book batches centered around a favorite author (F. Scott Fitzgerald!) or a common theme (Africa!). Today’s post is all about the first impressions that draw us in and keep us going – the face of the book.  A book’s aesthetic is often one of the key motivations in amassing a collection. Some people collect books with eye-catching covers for their color arrangement…

bookcollection2

or for their stunning graphic layout and design…

Book covers from the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's
Book covers from the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s

Collections can be built around books from a specific time period, like this antique collection…

This is an antique collection with gorgeous decorated book spines.
This is an antique collection with gorgeous decorated book spines.

or for the artist behind the image like these contemporary book covers designed by Chip Kidd…

chipkidd_collage

In the case of Destiny Bay, there are a lot of things going for it in the pretty presentation department. By far, it is one of the most attractive books that has ever come across Ms. Jeannie’s bookshelves.

destinybay2

From its whimsical illustration, complimentary color palette and stylish graphics this edition of Destiny Bay fires on all cylinders in the book cover department.

The story, originally published in 1925 by Irish American writer Donn Bryne, centers around the MacFarlane family of Ulster County, Ireland and combines romance, comedy and tragedy. The story is set against the sweeping Irish countryside with its beautiful topography, exiting horse race tracks, and idyllic country estates and features an eccentric cast of characters including blind Aunt Jenepher, gypsy Lady Clontarf, butler James Carabine and red-blooded Uncle Valentino to name a few. Combining the themes and characters of the book  California artist Frank McIntosh (1901-1985) illustrated a cover that symbolizes the bright green landscape of Ireland and the colorful personalities of the family.

The stylized dust jacket via font and graphics are a nod towards art deco  – the 1920’s style that was popular when the book first debuted.  The colors are a compliment in opposites with bright spring greens and tangerine oranges each elegantly outlined in black ink. An overall dramatic and glamorous aesthetic that always seems to be in vogue no matter what the decade!

McIntosh built quite a career utilizing the sleek lines and sophisticated detailings that became so iconic of his work. He came of age in the 1920’s which no doubt left quite an impression on him and he carried that passion throughout his design career.  Taking him from California all the way around the world to Paris and back again, he traveled in both commercial art circles and fine art circles.  These are three of his beautiful covers for Asia Magazine…

asia_mag_collage

We know from Destiny Bay, he was also a book designer and most of his work in the publishing world carried the same delicate disposition…

book_collage

A robust career in advertising and freelance illustration left time to exhibit independently as well and kept his title of working artist relevant throughout most of the 20th century. Examples of his work in popular poster form are all so highly collectible now…

poster_collage

That makes Mr. Frank McIntosh a superstar in Ms. Jeannie’s world! His books look stunning on a shelf and his posters look equally amazing next to the shelf! So go ahead dear readers appreciate Destiny Bay for face value, and in doing so you’ll be pleased to discover that the story is equally beautiful as well! A gem of vintage book collecting all wrapped up in pretty package! Find the book here.

Open up more discussion on why you like to collect books by adding your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

 

60 Pieces of Curiosity: Vintage Scraps of Paper Found in Old Books

note_first

As a vintage bookseller, Ms. Jeannie often comes into contact with various bits and pieces of paper tucked inside old books. Sometimes they are just blank scraps acting as an impromptu bookmark or place holder and other times they are incredible finds worthy of their own story like the White House letter Ms. Jeannie found tucked away in a vintage art book last year.

whitehouse1

Today’s picture post is all about the pieces of paper ephemera that Ms. Jeannie has found in vintage books over the past few years.   Each tells their own story about past readers, past events and past importance. They range from the commonplace (names, numbers and business cards) to the intimate (photographs, holiday cards, a letter to family that mentions Hitler and the war in Europe); from the topical (advertisements, recipes, lists) to the nostalgic (a letter detailing what to pack for camp) and from the unusual (a receipt from a cat breeder) to the campy (travel postcards).  All these pieces of paper came from books published before 1970 but they cover a wide time span of the last century. The oldest is a scrap of paper dating to the late 1800’s and the most current is a handwritten recipe from 1980. Because they offer glimpses into past lives, Ms. Jeannie has blocked out any personal info that might still be traceable today so you’ll notice a few have some blocked out parts, but other than that they are unaltered. Let’s look..

note1

note2

note3

note4

note5

note7

note8

note6

note9

note10

note11

note12

note13

note14

note15

note16

note17

note20

note18

note19

note21

note22

note23

note24

note25

note28

note26

note27

note29

note31

note30

note32

Photographs are especially interesting. Was this woman below someone’s sweetheart? A sister, a friend, a reminder not to be forgotten?

note33

note34

note35

note36

note40

note37

note38

note39

note41

note42

note43

note44

note45

note48

note46

note47

note49

note50

note51

note53

note54

note52

note58

note56

note55

note57

note_last

In the swoop of a cursive letter or the fold of an envelope or the mark of a typewriter key each piece denotes a moment in someone’s life that ties us to humanity. From the 1950’s photographer who was late on his bills to the woman “enduring life as it comes” to the first time camper getting ready to spend a summer week away, these moments of tangible history are compelling in a timeless way. Just like vintage books! Endlessly fascinating, a book is not only a story between two boards but also a holder of life between two worlds.

This is just Part One of the paper collection. Look for Part Two coming soon later this season…

until then… happy reading!

 

Reading Seasonably: 15 Vintage Books That Begin in Spring

springbook2

Happy Spring dear readers! It seems only fitting that the season so well-known for new beginnings and fresh starts would spill over into the world of books as well. In Spring, the words “chapter one” are both literal and figurative. Ms. Jeannie thought it would be fun to look at the variety of one season as it traveled through a century of books and affected a century’s worth of readers. Words are blooming on the vintage bookshelf! Let’s take in the view…

Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1939
#1. Tender Is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1939
We Were There with Lewis and Clark - James Munves, 1959
#2. We Were There with Lewis and Clark – James Munves, 1959
The Confidence-Man - Herman Melville, 1857
#3. The Confidence-Man – Herman Melville, 1857
American Captan - Edson Marshall , 1954
#4. American Captan – Edson Marshall , 1954
The Royal Road to Romance - Richard Halliburton, 1925
#5. The Royal Road to Romance – Richard Halliburton, 1925
On Golden Pond - Ernest Thompson , 1979
#6. On Golden Pond – Ernest Thompson , 1979
The Diary of Anais Nin: Volume Four 1944-1947 - Anais Nin , 1971
#7. The Diary of Anais Nin: Volume Four 1944-1947 – Anais Nin , 1971
The Seven Caves - Carleton S. Coon, 1957
#8. The Seven Caves – Carleton S. Coon, 1957
Land of Sky-Blue Waters - August Derleth, 1955
#9. Land of Sky-Blue Waters – August Derleth, 1955
Letters of a Woman Homesteader - Elinore Pruitt Stewart, 1914
#10. Letters of a Woman Homesteader – Elinore Pruitt Stewart, 1914
The Friendly Road - David Grayson, 1913
#11. The Friendly Road – David Grayson, 1913
Theophilus North - Thornton Wilder, 1973
#12. Theophilus North – Thornton Wilder, 1973
The Shoulders of Atlas - Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, 1908
#13. The Shoulders of Atlas – Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, 1908
I'd Rather Be Flying - Frank Kingston Smith , 1962
#14. I’d Rather Be Flying – Frank Kingston Smith , 1962
The Roosevelt Myth - John T. Flynn, 1948
#15. The Roosevelt Myth – John T. Flynn, 1948

That’s 122 years of Spring in one blog post! In keeping with tradition, this is the first post in a series about book collections that centers around a common theme. Lots of people collect books for lots of different reasons which makes for a big variety of interesting bookshelves. Ms. Jeannie collects books on travel writing, Africa and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Mr. Jeannie collects books on inventors, big ideas and Frank Lloyd Wright. Some people collect books by color or by cover, by title or by theme, by genre or design. Bookshelves are extensions of ourselves and how we choose to see the world. What kinds of books do you collect? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

*** To celebrate the new season, Ms. Jeannie is having a book sale! Take 15% off your next book purchase thru March 20th using coupon code SPRINGBLOG15 upon checkout. Book #3, #5, #12 and #13 are available in Ms. Jeannie’s shop along with a bevy of others here.  ***

Happy collecting!

 

20 Vintage Books That Became Contemporary Movies

Photo via pintrest.
Photo via pintrest.

Boring. Irrelevant. Out of touch. Those are three of the most common misconceptions Ms. Jeannie encounters when discussing vintage books. How could something written 50, 100 or even 200 years ago still be compelling in today’s modern world? Thanks to the lovely marriage between film and books Ms. Jeannie is going to show you how with these 20 examples of old books that made fabulous modern films. Movie trailers are linked to each picture, so click on any and all to get a feel for story lines. Chances are if you like the movie (or in this case, the trailer) than you’ll love the book even more!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a short story written by James Thurber in 1942 in this collection of his work. The movie starring Ben Stiller was released in 2013.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a short story written by James Thurber in 1942 and published in a collection of his short works, My World and Welcome To It that same year. The movie, starring Ben Stiller was released in 2013.

 

There Will Be Blood was based on the book, Oil by Upton Sinclair which was published in 1927. The Academy Award-winning movie, starring Daniel Day Lewis was released in 2007.
There Will Be Blood was based on the book, Oil by Upton Sinclair which was published in 1927. The Academy Award-winning movie, starring Daniel Day-Lewis was released in 2007.

 

The Nutcracker ballet was based on a novella written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816. The movie version of the ballet starring Macaulay Culkin was released in 1993.
The Nutcracker ballet was based on a novella written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816. The movie version of the ballet starring Macaulay Culkin was released in 1993.
Miss Julie was a play written by Swedish author August Strindberg in 1888. It was made into a beautifully filmed movie starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell in 2014.
Miss Julie was a play written by Swedish author August Strindberg in 1888. It was made into a beautifully filmed movie starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell in 2014.
The Last of the Mohicans was a book written by James Fenimore Cooper in 1826. Daniel Day Lewis starred in the film version in 1992.
The Last of the Mohicans was a book written by James Fenimore Cooper in 1826. Daniel Day-Lewis starred in the film version in 1992.

 

Jerzy Kosinski published Being There in 1971. Peter Sellers starred in the film adaptation in 1979.
Jerzy Kosinski published Being There in 1971. Peter Sellers starred in the film adaptation in 1979.
In 1782 French author Pierre Choderlos de Laclos wrote Les Liaisons Danger. Just under 200 years later, the movie Dangerous Liasiasons premiered starring Glenn Close
In 1782 French author Pierre Choderlos de Laclos wrote Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Two hundred years later, in 1988, Glenn, John and Michelle starred in the film version.
Truman Capote created flawed heroine Holly Golightly in 1958. Audrey Hepburn made her iconic in the film adaptation in 1961.
Truman Capote created flawed heroine Holly Golightly in 1958. Audrey Hepburn made her famous in the film adaptation in 1961.
In 1899, Joseph Conrad wrote the book Heart of Darkness which became the inspiration for the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.
Joseph Conrad wrote the book Heart of Darkness which was first serialized in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1899. The story became the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary film Apocalypse Now in 1979.
Karen Blixen published her memoirs of life on an African coffee plantation under the name Isak Dinensen in 1937. Meryl Streep brought her to life on the big screen in 1985.
Karen Blixen published her memoirs, Out of Africa, about life on an African coffee plantation under the name Isak Dinesen in 1937. Meryl Streep brought her to life on the big screen in 1985.
The king of science fiction writing, Philip K. Dick wrote the magically titled novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in 1968. The story was adapted for film in 1982 titled Blade Runner.
The king of science fiction writing, Philip K. Dick wrote the magically titled novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in 1968. The story was adapted for film in 1982 and re-titled Blade Runner.
Vanity Fair was written in 1848 by William Makepeace Thackeray. Mira Nair adapted it beautifully to film in 2004 starring Reese Witherspoon.
in the late 1940's Thor Hyerdahl defied logic by following the path of KonTiki across the ocean on a primative sailing vessal. He published his account of the experience in 1953. In 2012 a group of Scandinavian filmmakers brought the nail-biting, edge of your seat experience and infectious spirit of adventure to the big screen.
In the late 1940’s Thor Heyerdahl defied all logic by following the path of KonTiki across the ocean on a primitive sailing vessel. He published his account of the experience in 1953. In 2012 a group of Scandinavian filmmakers brought the nail-biting, edge of your seat adventure to the big screen.
Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon in 1930. It became a popular film-noir in 1941 thanks to Humphrey Bogart.
Dashiell Hammett wrote The Maltese Falcon in 1930. It became a popular film-noir in 1941 thanks to Humphrey Bogart.
Before Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005) entertained us as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, author Roald Dahl created a candy-coated world for kids in his 1964 confectionary.
Before Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005) entertained us as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, author Roald Dahl created a candy-coated world for kids in his 1964 confectionary.
Evelyn Waugh wowed the world with his literary wonder Brideshead Revisited in 1945. In 2008 Matthew Goode turned out a handsome performance in the beautifully captured film adaptation.
Evelyn Waugh wowed the world with his literary wonder Brideshead Revisited in 1945. In 2008 Matthew Goode turned out a handsome performance in the beautifully captured film adaptation.
Doctor Zhivago swept the histrical romance world thanks to writer Boris Pasternak in 1958. Seven years later it became a Hollywood giant starring Omar Sherif and Julie Christie.
Doctor Zhivago swept the histrical romance world thanks to writer Boris Pasternak in 1958. Seven years later it became a Hollywood giant starring Omar Sherif and Julie Christie.
In 1969, English author John Fowles published The French Lieutenant's Woman. Twelve years later, in 1981 Meryl Streep portrayed her on film.
In 1969, English author John Fowles published The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Twelve years later, in 1981 Meryl Streep portrayed her on film.
Henry Fielding created the adventures of Tom Jones in 1749, two centuries later Albert Finney charmed the world with his charismatic portrayal of the title character when the film premiered in 1963.
Henry Fielding created the adventures of Tom Jones in 1749, two centuries later Albert Finney charmed the world with his charismatic portrayal of the title character when the film premiered in 1963.
Before My Fair Lady was the darling of stag and screen it was a play called Pygmalion written by George Bernard Shaw in 1913.
Before My Fair Lady was the darling of stage and screen it was a play called Pygmalion written by George Bernard Shaw in 1913.

These are of course just a few examples of the themes timeless books lend to our lives. More examples will come in a future blog post, but for now Ms. Jeannie will leave you in the good hands of these good characters. Go right ahead and fall in love with Tom Jones, even though he’s 200 years old.  Feel the confident energy of Thor Heyerdahl even though his adventure occurred six decades ago. Relate to Holly’s vulnerability and Karen’s isolation. Get revved up by Chance’s take-life-as-it-comes attitude and Walter’s grab-life-by-the-horns manifesto. Fun things never age and fun books are no exception!

Need help finding a good book? Ms. Jeannie’s your gal. Post a message in the comments section and she’ll be in touch!

Help! This Deer Needs A Name!

deer

Dear readers, Ms. Jeannie needs your help! Her resident deer needs a name. He’s been a handsome part of the Ms. Jeannie landscape for almost a year now, quietly adding some elegance and dignity to the library where he lives. But this morning he woke up on the wrong side of the shelf. He was upset, and most rightly so.

For close to 365 days he’s just been called Deer. That was fine in the beginning but now he wants a proper name. It seems Deer will just not do any longer. Upon hearing this, Ms. Jeannie racked her brain. She couldn’t come up with anything creative except for George Eliot, which Deer reminded her was the masculine pen name for a lady writer. He wants something manly. Rhett Butler she suggested next. But they both knew that wasn’t quite right either. What then? Ernest, F. Scott, William? Tolstoy, Kipling, King? There are a million names, a billion names, centuries worth of names, but Ms. Jeannie couldn’t think of one that seemed fitting. What could a good name be?

This is where you step in, dear readers, with one of your super sensational suggestions.  Deer has fabulous taste and a shining disposition. He’s statuesque in style with a head for poetry and a heart for adventure. Before he met Ms. Jeannie he lived in an attic for so long he forgot his own purpose and turned the color of dust. Now he grazes everyday on the great words of great writers and acts as shepard to a growing flock of books.  Now he wants to be called something captivating… something big… something bold. Now he wants a name of literary proportions. Now, now, now he says!

Please help! Contribute a name in the comments section below.  The one Deer loves the best will win a prize and a place in his heart forever and ever.

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 icecrownsamoyans.com
Photograph courtesy of icecrownsamoyans.com

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.

sweater2

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.

dogs1

There’s Going to Be Some Changes Around This Place

book1

Dear readers! There’s going to be some changes around the land of Ms. Jeannie Ology. If you have been a regular reader of the the blog over the past few months you might have noticed a more book-centric theme winding its way through each blog post. After many months of deliberation, in a breakthrough finally come to light thanks to The Artist’s Way, Ms. Jeannie is tailoring both her vintage shop and her blog towards the greatest love in her life (aside from Mr. Jeannie Ology, of course!) … the world of vintage books and the eclectic decorating of the well-appointed library.

Ta-dah!

What does this mean exactly?

Visually you’ll notice a new banner at the top of the blog as well as in Ms. Jeannie’s Etsy shop. You’ll also notice a new theme running through the veins of every blog post from here on out: a vintage book. Now hold on, there tiger – it doesn’t mean stuffy book reports or boring book reviews. The blog is still going to be all about cooking and decorating, about vintage treasures and about movies and gardening and traveling here and there. It’s just going to tie in a vintage book in one way or another.

Let’s take a look at some past examples of this unique twist…

On August 20th, 2012, there was a post about the curious life and legacy of children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown born from Ms. Jeannie’s introduction to her 1942 bestseller The Runaway Bunny…

the curious life and legacy of margaret wise brown

Another year, another August brought Tuesday in the Kitchen making Chicken with Scallions (or Kotopoulo me Kremidakia Freska)  thanks to a recipe from the 1960’s Art of Greek Cookery cookbook by the clever fund-raising ladies of Long Island’s Greek Orthodox Church…

greek8

January 2013 brought an interview with a modern-day French bookbinder who uses antique books as a springboard for her one of a kind handmade journals and guest books…

From the world f Spellbinderie
Love From Lyon: Bookbinding Born From New Beginnings

and in March 2015, the winter landscape was warmed up with a cheery post about the 1948 publication day for world-renowned mineralogist Edgar T. Wherry and his book of wildflowers…

On This Day in 1948: Flowers Bloomed In A Book
On This Day in 1948: Flowers Bloomed In A Book

So you see dear readers, the vintage book to Ms. Jeannie is like a spinning top toy.  Ms. Jeannie as the spinner can twirl a story in a hundred different directions –  all unique, all unusual.  You just never quite know where it all is going to land and that is what makes it fun and exciting. Ms. Jeannie promises to keep it most interesting.

What does this mean as far as vintage items offered in Ms. Jeannie’s shop?

A more literary look! With an eye towards appealing library essentials, you’ll find all sorts of new themed treasures unveiling themselves over the next several months. There will be bigger things like vintage chairs, rugs, wall art and lamps…

Vintage Brass Library Lamp
Vintage Brass Library Lamp

and a collection of smaller things that can be tucked in or on a bookshelf.  Like vintage bookends and one of a kind decorative accent pieces these are the types of details that add life and style to your space…

wood horse

There will also be cozy vintage blankets perfect to curl up with on a cold winter night…

Vintage 1930's Feedsack Cotton Blanket
Vintage 1930’s Feedsack Cotton Blanket

vintage tea cups to keep you hydrated during that book reading marathon of yours and even a few handmade vintage book paper crafts to add whimsy and dimension to your space.

Handmade Book Paper Wreath made from 1930s and 1940s romance novels
Handmade Book Paper Wreath made from 1930s and 1940s romance novels

 

And of course, there will be plenty of vintage books spanning all genres in the shop as well!  So you get the idea, dear readers. A fun and varied collection of timeless and classic library-ish decor.  Ms. Jeannie is really excited about this newly refined direction.  Cheers to new chapters! And cheers to you dear readers, the very best readers in all the world:)

Introducing the Vintage Book of the Month Club!

The English philosopher, A.C. Grayling, recently said “To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.”

Ms. Jeannie could not agree more! While re-reading Wuthering Heights a few months ago, Ms. Jeannie got to thinking about vintage books and how their stories, while old in years are often times, not old in spirit. They are just more settled and sometimes overlooked by their shinier, more alluring contemporaries.  But Ms. Jeannie aspires to shake these vintage stories up again – to churn their waters of words and wisdom, of history and social commentary, of status and symbolism.  So it is with that in mind, that Ms. Jeannie is thrilled to announce the launch of her new Vintage Book of the Month Club!

b2

The book club operates on subscription basis, with a choice of either six months or one year. And there are a few categories available: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s books. The former broken down further into “him”and “her” categories and the latter into “boys” and “girls” categories.  That way if you were giving the book club subscription as a gift you could personalize it with the types of books the recipient likes to read the most.

Every month, subscribers receive one hardcover vintage book in the mail. Written or copyrighted before 1970, each book arrives gift wrapped.  A card detailing the history behind the book and/or author is also included along with a bookplate that bares the recipient’s name.  This is a what the bookplate looks like…

bookplate2_color2

When Ms. Jeannie designed the bookplate, she went with an Art Deco theme since that is one of her favorite periods in history. The soaring antelope-type deer reminded Ms. Jeannie of the soaring feeling a good story can give you.

It also reminded Ms. Jeannie of the time that she was picking blackberries from a hedgerow in Pennsylvania. It was a lovely lazy grey, green day. Storm clouds were just working there way into the landscape and the birds were singing their hearts out. The blackberries that year, were the biggest Ms. Jeannie had ever seen. The bushes, equally girthy, had grown together and formed an alley of a row that seemed as long as a mile and as tall as a giant.  Full, heavy berries dangled feet above Ms. Jeannie’s head taunting her ability to reach them.

But Ms. Jeannie had more than enough supply at eye-level, so she got to work with intentions to gather enough for a pie and then possibly some tarts for her neighbor. Within 30 minutes, she had pickd an entire bucket full and was working on a second, when all of a sudden,  a dark shadow passed fast overhead. Ms. Jeannie looked up in time to see a furry, white belly sailing through the sky. As she watched the arc of the belly go from front to back, she saw it land, noiselessly behind her and bound off into the woods.

Do you you know what this mysterious flying creature was? A deer! Most likely spooked by something in a neighboring yard this deer was on the run, saw the hedgerow and thought “yeah – I can clear that,” and up and over she went. Ms. Jeannie was awe-struck. It was a magical and dangerous moment. If Ms. Jeannie had been standing just a few inches further back than she was, the deer would have landed right on top of her.

To have the whole scene play out without a single noise (except for the birds) was stunning and surprising. You’d like to think you could hear such a commotion coming.  The event was marvelous and left Ms. Jeannie a bit giddy with excitement to tell Mr. Jeannie all about the day a deer flew through the sky like a bird.   Looking in on the scene – you’d have seen a woman among a batch of berry bushes, but stick around and invest a few minutes of time there, and eventually you’d have seen a bit of magic.  Isn’t that just the epitome of a good book? At the start you think, “oh this is a nice pattern of words” and then without warning those nice little words pull you into the storyline in one effortless swoop and carry your imagination away.

That’s just the effect Ms. Jeannie is hoping for with her vintage book of the month club. As for the types of vintage books that one might receive, the field will be varied. Non-fiction readers could expect a variety of topics including biographies and memoirs (can you ever really get enough information about Ernest Hemingway?!), books about nature, cooking or history. Fiction readers could expect vintage editions of classic literature from Henry James or Mark Twain, tales of romance complete with gorgeous retro dust jackets or a vintage suspense novel or a book of poetry.

The fun part of an “of the month” club is the surprise element behind each package and the appreciation of the item in form, content and appearance.  So just like when you participate in the jam of the month club, or the wine of the month club or the coffee of the month club – you come away just a little bit more enlightened about the subtle differences of a singular subject.  Each of the vintage books in Ms. Jeannie’s club, will be of good quality and will be hand-picked for its story, presentation and/or subject matter.

The children’s book option includes a variety of board books and picture books, tall tales, nursery rhymes, and early education materials.  Ms. Jeannie thinks that this subscription would make a really fun gift for a baby shower or a new mom. The little one’s library would grow bigger and bigger, month by month, just like them, and hopefully they would become the building blocks for a new generation of readers altogether.

So that’s the book club in a nutshell. Fun for gift-giving or fun for yourself, Ms. Jeannie’s Vintage Book of the Month Club looks forward to entertaining a dynamic group of readers.  If you’d like to sign up for a six month subscription, you can do so here. Or if you prefer a one year subscription, you can sign up here. 

b4

And of course, if you have any questions, please ask!