Saturday, 24 September 2011

Say Cheese!

For the next few weekends my project will be Photography 101 circa 1972. I have to test a few vintage cameras to check their working condition before I list them for sale in the Retro Junction vintage shop. 

I've bought the 35 mm film and I hope I didn't gasp out loud when the cashier told me the cost. Then I remembered that photography was considered kind of an expensive hobby, at least for me back in the day. Especially if there were dark rooms and supplies involved. This is definitely one area where technology has really benefitted the masses by not only bringing down the cost but by simplifying the picture taking process (I won't say 'dummying down'!)

I suppose the very earliest photographs (those old black and white ones of people looking stone faced at the camera) were grossly expensive at the time but involved tons of talent and equipment outlay.

So, wish me luck! I hope I can remember how to use cameras with F stops and light meters! I picked a great time of year to do this as there's lots of autumn scenery to shoot. The cat and dog will also serve as reluctant models if need be.  

Then I'll have to drop the film off at the store for developing, go back later and pick it all up. I guess I'll get the photo CD and forego the prints. Who needs another album taking up shelf space? Oh yes, and pay again. 

Photography aside, these old cameras do have a certain cachet about them. In all their bulkiness and heaviness, they have a vintage aura that's hard to resist. Even if they don't pass the test for photography, they still capture a time in history and will do a great job sitting on a shelf as vintage room decor!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pins and Brooches

There's something about vintage brooches that I just love. Fashion wise, nothing offsets a great outfit more than a stunning pin. Wear it on a lapel, hat or wooly scarf.

My love of brooches goes beyond the beauty of the settings or gems. I like to hold the brooch in my hands and will it to speak - to tell me about where it has been and under what circumstances. But of course it can't, so it's up to my imagination. I like to think it's been worn by a queen and has brought good luck and happiness to all who have worn it. 

I'm not a jewelry maker, but I admire those that are. To create a little work of wearable art or statement piece that lasts through the ages is truly remarkable. And they come in all styles from funky to traditional. Family heirloom ones are the best! I know one person who used vintage flower brooches to make a bridal bouquet. 

There are endless number of vintage brooches and pins on Etsy and some of the ones pictured here are available at the Retro Junction shop if you want to take a closer look.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Whimsical Jam Pot

My aunt is so full of surprises! During a recent visit, she pulled this from the top cupboard above her refrigerator. So adorable!

It's what they call a pixie, because it's styled after the Holt Howard "pixieware" items of the 1950s.

It features a pot for jam with a combination lid / spoon featuring an apple fruit head that is colored predominately red with a green patch of color on the right side of her head. The pot has 13 vertical red stripes and altogether she stands 5.5" tall. It was made in Japan circa early 1960's for the George Lefton company by ESD and distributed in Canada by An Enterprise Exclusive.

These whimsical pots were made for items such as honey, mustard, ketchup, cherries, relish, pickles, olives, plus many others. They are highly sought after by collectors mainly because not many survived intact over the years due to the delicacy of the porcelain.

They are all so adorable!

If you're interested in adding to your collection or perhaps starting one and want to learn more, this website has lots of information to help you out:

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Coffee's On!

I have a new coffee maker! It's a Universal Coffeematic from the 1950s and it makes the best coffee ever! Hands down. It beats my Tassimo. It beats my Tim Horton's Coffee Brewing Station. And I think it looks better than them too! 

I love the classy stainless steel with black trim, and the etched graphic on the front. This percolator makes 6 cups of coffee in about 5 minutes and has a strength slide controller to adjust for personal taste. It automatically shuts off when brewed (it's got a loud, steamy, bubbling sound when brewing)  and keeps the coffee hot for more than an hour without the coffee getting that "burnt" over brewed taste. Because of its great appearance, no fancy decanters are required. Just unplug and serve right from the machine.

It was manufactured by Landers, Frary & Clark, makers of many products during the 20th century. They began making their coffee percolators in 1912, introducing a new method that brewed the coffee just under the boiling point for improved clarity and taste. They were bought out by GE in 1965.

Coffee has always been one of my favorite beverages, starting I suppose at a pre-school age when my grandmother would give me half coffee / half milk with lots of sugar in a water glass. I called it "cacky" and I remember thinking it was divine.

Now I drink it sugar free with just a splash of skim and I still think it's divine. If you're ever in the's on!