Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Hope everyone is enjoying a lovely day filled with little whimsies and delicious treats. Our table centerpiece this holiday was inspired by the 1939 children’s book, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. If you aren’t familiar with the book it’s a story about a mama bunny who wants to become one of the five Easter bunnies that deliver eggs to children all over the world.

The Country Bunny and Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward

Traditionally, the five Easter bunnies have always been boys. They chide Mama Bunny for wanting to become one of them, not only because she is a girl but also because she is from the country and not as sophisticated as their city selves.

The boy bunnies – handsome in appearance but antiquated in their thinking.

Mama doesn’t let those boy bunnies stop her. And they don’t. Following her dreams isn’t easy but with the help of some golden shoes she proves everyone wrong and delivers the last, most beautiful egg of the season to a brave little boy who has battled a sickness for a long, long time.

Even though this book was written 79 years ago, the story seems especially fitting this year with the rise of women and the empowerment that we are all feeling. To stand strong, t0 be ourselves and to realize our dreams are all the same things the country bunny wanted for herself. It is such a hopeful story. And this, a hopeful time of year when nature is blossoming and new ideas are being born.

The handpainted golden eggs of our holiday table are a small homage to the Country Bunny and her perseverance to never give up on what she decided was important, no matter what anyone else said. The eggs are fragile, but dreams are strong, and the meanings behind them powerful. On this hopeful holiday, we are raising a glass to all the ladies out there going after their dreams.  Mama Bunny would be so proud of you and we are too.

Happy holiday all you adventurers. May you achieve all that you desire.

With lots of love, from the Vintage Kitchen xoxo

9 Ways to While Away Your Holiday Weekend!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

7. Go on a Date!

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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!

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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 ***

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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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…

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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. 

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

The Day Aunt Lorraine Inspired A Storm Sale!

It’s a gusher around here! 7.5″ inches of rain in 3 days.

Just about everything seems waterlogged. The grass is spongy, the first figs showed up fat and bloated, the creek overflowed and flooded the banks. Goodness gracious, what would Aunt Lorraine think?

Aunt Lorraine? But who is that again, Ms. Jeannie?

Well my dears, Aunt Lorraine is that lovely, thoughtful woman that gave young Burt that wonderful gift of a book called Storms: Their Origins And Effects,  back in 1966.

Vintage 1966 Children's Book available in Ms. Jeannie's shop. Click for more info.
Vintage 1966 Children’s Book available in Ms. Jeannie’s shop. Click for more info.

In her inscription, she wrote the following:

Dear Burt: I hope you don’t find this book “too childish”  – I still enjoy studying it. Hope you have a nice birthday. Love Aunt Lorraine.

She pasted her note  into the book on lined notebook paper.
She pasted her note into the book on lined notebook paper.

In honor of the Aunt Lorraines of the world – who enjoy a good storm and see in them, the joy that they can bring to others, Ms. Jeannie is hosting a two day storm sale in her shop. Now through Tuesday evening take an additional 25% of all items using coupon code: STORMY upon checkout.

Click the banner to start shopping!
Click the banner to start shopping!

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Happy shopping!

In Creative May: Where Ms. Jeannie Popped Up Last Month

Ms. Jeannie is never one to toot her own horn, but having prefaced what she is about to say with that disclaimer, she is adding a new category to her blog entitled Press Mentions, which will organize all the places around the web where Ms. Jeannie has popped up in conversation.

She likes this category not for the “look at me” neurosis but for the ability to showcase other talented creatives who have stumbled upon Ms. Jeannie’s shop and and interpreted her vintage items in their own unique way.  Ms. Jeannie discovers so many fascinating people through these features, so many new ideas, so many new viewpoints, that’s what she’d like to pass on to you in these monthly round-ups. Possibly you will discover something new and exciting for yourself.

All of the photographs are clickable links that go directly to each source’s site so get your explorer hat on and ready yourself for a little getaway. In this round-up, you’ll head to to Britain (twice), fall in love with flowers all over again, be introduced to what is fresh and new in beachy cottage decor and be inspired by the possibilities of paper.

Jocelyn is an American expat living in London. With a beautiful eye for interior design,  her blog offers a calm, thoughtful and artful approach to living graciously.
Jocelyn is an American expat living in London. With a beautiful eye for interior design (see her portfolio here), her blog offers a calm, thoughtful and artful approach to living graciously.
Freedom with Flowers follows the adventures of Regan, who just celebrated her 20th birthday and has a gorgeous appreciation of all things floral.
Freedom with Flowers follows the adventures of Rowan, who just celebrated her 20th birthday and has a gorgeous appreciation of all things floral.
Mickey has been involved in the advertysing and design industries for over 30 years. She recently started her own decoupage plate and home decor business. With her relaxed, coastal type feel of her designs - these plates would be perfect for beach houses or country cottages.
Mickey has been involved in the advertising and design industries for over 30 years. She recently started her own decoupage plate and home decor business. With the relaxed, coastal type feel of her designs, they would be perfect additions to your beach house or country cottage.
Peta is also based in the UK. In addition to selling vintage jewelry online she also is the editor a new free vintage magazine, which is gorgeous in both layout and design.  Content ranges from vintage recipes to howto tutorials to interviews that recall all the glamour without all  the fussiness of vintage style.
Peta is also based in the UK. In addition to selling vintage jewelry online she also is the editor a new free vintage magazine, which is gorgeous in both layout and design. Content ranges from vintage recipes to howto tutorials to interviews that recall all the glamour without all the fussiness of vintage style.
Martha needs no introduction! This feature was thrilling for Ms. Jeannie because she has always been inspired by Martha's entrepreneurial spirit.
Martha needs no introduction! This feature was thrilling for Ms. Jeannie because she has always been inspired by Martha’s entrepreneurial spirit!

Happy inspiration! And a great big THANK YOU to all the ladies above for inviting Ms. Jeannie into your thoughts.

Also on quick side note: Ms. Jeannie just joined bloglovin’ which is a handy little organizer that allows you to collect, follow and read blogs from all over the internet in one handy little spot. It doesn’t matter if its a wordpress blog, a blogspot or a personal website – you just gather all the ones you want and every morning your bloglovin’ feed is updated and emailed to you.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/7894337/?claim=vgh2eurpw6b”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Ms. Jeannie on Martha: A Feature on marthastewart.com

Ms. Jeannie was over the moon that a set of her children’s books were mentioned on marthastewart.com yesterday! The piece was about a 17 year old paper artist named Lova, who creates all sorts of paper art, flowers, gift wrap, dioramas and such from vintage paper.

Nature Study
Nature Study; Featuring the amazing work of Lova Blavarg

Lova chose Ms. Jeannie’s Etsy shop as one of her favorite sources for inspiration!

There's Ms. Jeannie's vintage children's books! And a nice quote from Lova:)
There’s Ms. Jeannie’s vintage children’s books! And a nice quote from Lova:)

As a big lover of both paper art and Martha, Ms. Jeannie was doubly thrilled! To read the entire article, click here. To see more of Lova’s work visit her website.

A big BIG thank you to Lova and to Taylor at Martha Stewart!