Tuesday, August 16, 2011

~Mad for Mad Men~

I am completely and totally hooked on Mad Men. Have you seen it? I can't decide if I want to punch Donald Draper in the face or have him sneak up behind me and put his arm around my waist in that possessive way that he does while he sweeps my hair over to one side so he can kiss my collar bone. And what about Peggy Olsen? I LOVE how she is managing to work her way up in an early 1960's "man's world" but then there's that little thing of her sleeping with a married man and having a baby which she quickly gave to the State of New York. What the heck is up with that? But what I really really LOVE about Mad Men is the fashion. I am new to Mad Men and have been renting the different seasons from Blockbuster. Right now I am up to Season 2 Disc 1. Last night the episode featured Valentine's Day 1961. As soon as I saw Betty walk into the hotel to meet Don for their Valentine's dinner and overnight stay I instantly fell in love with her dress. But....not only did I fall in love with her dress it made me think of how DRESSED she was. Gorgeous dress with full crinoline, stockings, high heels, elbow length gloves, earrings; crystal necklace, fur cape and crystal earrings. (not to mention the lingerie she was wearing underneath!!) Now that is what I would call DRESSED UP! And all of this just to meet her husband for dinner. Seeing Betty in all of her glamour made me wonder when it all changed. When did ladies stop meeting their husbands looking like they just stepped out of a magazine cover. I know we are all busy and trust me I am a jeans and flip flop kind of girl but that doesn't mean that I don't like to get dressed up every now and then. I saw a young girl maybe 18 in a coffee shop the other day and she was wearing a knit dress. I could tell it was vintage and when I commented on it she confirmed that it was. Her vintage dress that she literally threw on with a pair of sandals looked comfy and yet put together and pretty. Pretty being the reason it stood out to me in the first place. Why is it that a vintage item looks more feminine and pretty than one bought today? My young girl at the coffee shop helped me confirm that even though us ladies don't have hours and hours to spend getting ready to see our husbands like Betty did, grabbing any vintage item whether it be a vintage purse, dress, sweater or scarf instantly makes us look more feminine. My advice for Fall 2011.....throw on something from the 1950s or 1960s. You would be amazed at how feeling pretty can be achieved so easily!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

~Styles Come and Styles Go~

My friend and I were having a telephone "bitch session" this morning. That's what I call it when you are so annoyed with something that you grab your phone like the poor thing is the cause of your annoyance (you know what I'm talking about...you start punching the numbers so hard your index finger is throbbing when you are done) and you call your best girlfriend up and just start ranting and raving...now this rant can stay on course , but more often then not it starts with one topic and jumps around to many others. It always seems to start with "you know what???? or Guess what just F#$^ing happened, actually don't bother guessing because you won't even believe it." I love my girlfriends for just this reason. It's also what I like to call "a free therapy session" it keeps us all sane. Without our girlfriends we would all be paying for real therapy because God Bless Them...they always have the right answer. They always agree with you that whatever is SO ANNOYING is the worst thing that she has ever heard and she is ready and willing to jump in her car....tires squeeling and help you take someone "down" if need be! :) So, by the time my friend and I were done we had gotten on the subject of vintage clothing and different era styles. For me, when I think of different eras I think of one or two things. 1940's...pencil skirts and pill box hats; 1950's.....full circle skirts and peter pan collars.....1960's Long Bohemian Hippie Dresses.....1970's Big Collars and Platform Shoes; 1980's Shoulder Pads and more Shoulder Pads.....1990's Grunge. But today....it went much further than that. What if we are talking about non-clothing styles. What if we are talking about ~DECORATING STYLES~These styles aren't defined with year numbers but instead they have all been "named" like for instance Eames Era; French Country; Contemporary; Retro; Paris Apt; and Shabby Chic just to name a few. And they all become intertwined sometimes! How do we know when "Retro" is back in or that it's ok to mix up Eames Era and Contemporary but not French Country and Shabby Chic? For me this isn't the problematic question. For me the problematic question is HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN ONE STYLE IS IN AND ONE STYLE IS OUT OR WHEN ONE STYLE WAS OUT BUT NOW IT'S BACK IN? How does a girl like me know when to stop buying Shabby Chic Pink Roses to offer at Cozyvintagecottage before it's too late? I read the magazines and the articles online but when does it trickle down to real life. I mean have you ever seen some of the outfits they offer in Vogue? You wouldn't actually wear them to your office job in your small city so if someone set up shop in a lil town and offerred clothing like that they would be out of business in a heart beat so you can't rely on Better Homes and Gardens to let you know when French Country has died. So how do you know? When do you stop offering Shabby Chic and start offering Industrial Chic? When do you start forcing yourself to walk away from the pink pillowcases and wander over to the *gasp* antique boat lanterns! *gasp*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


OUT with the NEW and IN with the OLD!! Spring seems to be the time when everyone wants new things. Pretty new clean things. I'm the same way...I look around my house after a long winter like we have had and when the sun starts to shine through the window I notice all the dirt and grime I couldn't see over the dreary winter months. This is when I start to FREAK OUT!!! I start cleaning everything....just ask my kids they will tell you! They give me that look like I've lost my mind and hey, maybe I have after a few hours of cleaning with amonia or bleach. But it's not just the cleaning, it's the want for something new and shiny or super white and clean. You know that feeling when you replace something OLD with something NEW and it looks all nice and fresh. Well my way of thinking is just the opposite. Now, I'm not telling you to go and throw away all the new pretty things and replace them with old grimey ones but what I am saying is MIX IT UP! My 15 year old daugher had a snow day yesterday. Around 10 am she texted me and asked me if it was ok for her to move some furniture around in her room to which I replied "idc as long as you are careful and don't hurt your back or your hip." When I got home she had moved a few things around and as I was standing in her doorway admiring her new found interior design skills I noticed how much I really love her bedroom. Not because of the many pictures she has of her and boyfriend or the billion and one bottles of hair products on her vanity but because many of the items in her room are things I picked up at flea markets or second hand shops and gave "new life" to. Her bedroom is the perfect example of mixing the OLD with the NEW. Her and I have a running argument as to which of us has the more comfortable bed. She is convinced hers is the best in the house. It is comfortable I will give her that. New mattress, new box springs and of course new soft and cozy mattress pad all of which were super white and blindingly crisp when purchased. However those things are sitting on a vintage metal headboard and footboard I purchased for $4.97 and spray painted to give new life to. All those pretty new bottles of hair products are sitting on top of a glass and wood table she uses as a vanity with an antique cabinet door inside the glass which I've painted (twice to be exact..it is now black and white but it was pink and white when she was 5). She sits in a vintage soda chair which was splattered with paint when I bought it for $8 but is now all white and fresh thanks to a $2 can of white spray paint and the mirror she uses to straighten her hair and apply her $10 mascara is etched and cut, not just square or rectagular and I paid $5 for it. Half the cost of the mascara!! The full length mirror she uses to make sure her jeans make her butt look perfect is oak and heavy as heck with crisp white paint, not like the ones kids get today from the local dollar general for $5. Her 1930's "heavy as heck" one..........$1 at a garage sale. I love her room because I love that the items she has aren't things that are mass produced and sold to anyone who is walking up and down the aisles at Target or Walmart. I love the fact that a young woman who is now in her 80s was looking at herself through the same mirror making sure her hips didn't look too big in her dress when she was 15 just like my daughter looks through it admiring her butt. New shiny things don't have to come in a package or a box. Sometimes they are things that have been around awhile and just need a new coat of paint or a new screw or nail. Sometimes out with the NEW and in with the OLD can make the thought of out with the old and in with the new even more exciting because that OLD item has history, it has character and sometimes it might even have class! So mix it up this Spring.....don't be afraid to think outside the "brand new packaged box." Take a few extra seconds to pick up something OLD and think of how it might look with a new coat of paint! That $1 mirror might even make your daughter love her $100 jeans even more! :)

PS: I was watching Sex and The City the other night and Carrie had just purchased yet another pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes, these ones costing roughly $600 and as she walked out of Barneys she made the comment "now off to my favorite vintage thrift shop to find the perfect $8 dress to wear them with." I guess even a city girl knows you can't go wrong with mixing it up!!

Friday, February 25, 2011


"To be, or not to be, that is the question" yes I do know the way the quote is suppose to read but Shakespeare's famous line is more useful in my world when "tweaked" a bit!! I remember before CozyVintageCottage was born treasure hunting with my friend Jennifer who had been selling on Ebay for a few years. I would help her sort through junk and walk the loop with her searching for treasures at our yearly get together at the Longbranch Antique Show helping her find just the right things to offer her clients through her Ebay business, LadyJaneVintage. I would hold things up and say "this is cute" or "how about this" but every once and awhile I would grab something and say "this would be adorable in my (insert one of the following here....kitchen, living room, bathroom....you get the picture) and that treasure would come home with me FOR ME! There was one year that Jennifer invited another friend to go hunting with us. This friend had discovered a leaded glass window leaning up against a tree. The seller wanted $100 for it. I thought it was AMAZING but she did see it first so I politely stood there thinking that "oh well, maybe next time" bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! I'm laughing because for those of you that know me that was FAR from what I was thinking!! I was actually thinking "@#$% it! Son of a #$%^& if only I had not looked through that trunk of old linens for as long as I did I would have been walking slightly ahead of her and seen that first!! I might have even been thinking to myself "I wonder if Jen would be upset with me if I ACCIDENTLY pushed this girl over the bank and made an offer while she was still rolling" :) But in all honestly there wasn't much I could do except stand there and watch. She made an offer of $50 for the window, the guy counteroffered $80, she held tight at $50, he dropped to $60 and then SHE WALKED AWAY!!! Can you believe it??? She walked away for a difference of $10. The window was easily worth more than the original asking price of $100. The shape was like that of a window that had a twin on the other side and opened out, rectangular not square with one knob to pull it closed. I quickly asked her if she was sure and if it would bother her if I bought it. She said "nope it's all yours" and mine it was!!! I paid my $60 brought it home and it has been hanging horizontially on the wall in my bathroom ever since. That was about 5 or 6 years ago. I love that window and to this day it might still be my all time favorite treasure. It might have been that very weekend that I decided to take Jennifer's advice and open my own Ebay store. That is when everything changed!! Now I have to ask myself the question "To sell, or not to sell." Obviously sometimes it is easy. Things that people collect or wear that I find I am quick to offer them up to my customers. But every now and then.....there is that one item that you just LOVE but you know that you can make a big profit on so then it becomes a question of whether you keep it because you love it or you sell it because you love your family and want to make sure you have the cash the next time Abercrombie or Hollister has their end of the season sale. Right now I have a quilt that I purchased for $20. I know I could sell it for $100 at the very least and it is probably worth $300. But I love it and it would look adorable in my family's cottage at the lake. So what do I do??? How do I not keep it?? But then again how do I justify keeping something I could make a huge profit it on? We've all done it...we've all sold that item that we loved and then kicked ourselves a few months later when we think of how perfect it would have looked in our own home. How does one decide what goes and what stays? To sell, or not to sell, that is the question..............