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Monday, February 3, 2014

2 february 1925 “Breakfast Alcoves: dreamy intimate seating”

20skitchen3 I have always loved a kitchen alcove. The idea of the little breakfast nook (as opposed to an entire breakfast room which would be lovely as well) just seems so homey.

20skitchen4 The 1920’s kitchen really considered these a necessity. Homes were getting smaller for the middle classes post war and the decline in the ability to have staff made eating and prep in one room more important. The middle class family would most likely have their dinner in the formal dinning room off the kitchen, but early morning with kids off to school, father with his morning paper and Mother happy to have all her new gadgets to hand found the kitchen eating alcove a wonderful addition to her busy morning.

breakfastalcove1 And when space saving is par for the course with the need and want of a breakfast alcove, why not make it do double duty: a guest bed! This would be a great solution for any small house or even for a getaway cottage. With a darling set of curtains in coordinating fabric that says pulled back most of the time, close them when your guest is in there and he’ll have a bit of old 'fashioned train sleeper privacy while you get the eggs and coffee on in the morning.;

kitchenalcove Even when one considers the small bit of space needed, you could almost see simply adding a bump out to your small kitchen. Some 2 x 4 framing, a simple shed roof and this simple 6 foot wide by 4’10” room would be easy foe many a DIY. A 6 x 5 addition would be very low cost and probably quite doable by a family of a few Summer weekends.

I am going to share this little silent film clip which is rather funny but also a good little glimpse into an early kitchen. The clip says 1920’s but it must be very early 20’s I would almost say late teens, as the ladies hair and dress tell me late teens. You can see their higher waisted dresses, popular before the dropped waist of the 20’s. And their hair is taking on the look we will have in the cut styles of the 1920’s but were managed in the teens WWI era with still long hair but wrapped and style to frame the face.

Have a lovely day and don’t forget to put a little Vintage in your Day.

Friday, January 31, 2014

30 January 1955 “Educational Color Decorating the 1950’s Way and Using the Color Wheel”

I have been busy trying to update and coordinate the blog. Trying to ‘keep up with the times’ as far as interactive and layout of the ever changing blog and its subsequent social media can be fun but is also rather tricky and a bit of a headache.

I spent a large portion of yesterday trying to get a simple feature to work on my Facebook page. There is meant to be a button on the right of posts that shows an ‘embed’ button. This allows the ability to cross share things on your blog and Facebok. My main Facebook does not have it. After hours of exhaustive searching for help, asking Facebook (no answer) and messing about. I found out that my Apron Revolution page on Facebook will allow it. So, that is going to simply become my new main blog Facebook page. So, I hope any of you that follow me on the facebook will simply like and move over to that. It is continuing process today.

Thus working on how to integrate Pinterest, Twitter et al into the blog (as I said a somewhat quickly changing experience on the internet) it made me think of planning ones home for decorating. Another aspect of my life that changed with the 1950s. Having been a always of the ‘artistic’ temperament I have always decorated with a sense of my own inclinations, buying and arranging as I find. I like our home and feel it represents my own taste of antiquity and the past (Probably much more 1895 than 1955 with the exception of my kitchen). But, as with most of the learning of the 1950’s, I find that with thought, planning and careful consideration, even decorating can be a science. It allows one to plan and thus save money. Having an organized plan in any way makes for an organized budget. One will spend less overall if you have a plan. You will know you want or need a sofa in this shade and two chairs and a picture here. Things won’t be bought on a whim throwing a plan off.

I, myself, learned this the hard way. And am still now suffering from this. Having bought things at yard sales, auctions and when the fancy struck, I still have furniture and accessories stored in a barn building I have. This building is now slated for a specific purpose and remodel and sorting through the detritus to prepare for that shows how one is better served with a plan.

Therefore as I work away today trying to manage the new look of the blog and the correlation of the other social media, I will leave you with another instructional film. This one was most assuredly put out by a paint company. It is obviously commercial like in that sense, but there are some great images of vintage materials. It also shows the use of the color wheel in a very helpful way. It made me think how we could possibly make our own to help us decide how to approach a room in our home before we commit to buying paint, paper, rugs, accessories, and furniture. Here is how I think we could make one similar to the handy one you see being used in the video.

colorwheel1 First here is a color wheel. This gives you the general layout of the colors.

colorwheel2 This one devoid of color but more simply descriptive gives you a good layout of colors.

What I would propose is take a copy of these on paper with you to your local paint store. And then by your choice of what you are drawn to, pick pain samples, the type wiht the three or four color variations on them from darkest to lightest, that meet all the color. Even if you think, Well I am not a big red/peach fan, still pick some samples in that color range that you are MOST responsive to as you look through them. Then when you have collected at least on sample corresponding to the colors in the color wheel, make your own wheel at home. Using the more simple layout as a guide. Now you have a wheel of color to work with. And I think you could see by the video how the three sections are cut out to coordinate with the wheel. This could be made easily with scissors and a sheet of opaque Mylar paper found at any craft store.

This would be such a helpful tool as you tackle the scheme for any room. Start with your wheel and work from there.  It is much cheaper to find your colors this way, then cut out images from magazines or downloaded images printed in color and pasted to paper than to buy first and think about it later. You can endless change color schemes and design choices this way quite inexpensively before you make the final purchases. And think how wonderful and powerful you would feel when it is all planned out and you know when you head to buy that sofa EXACTLY what you want.

Here, then , is the film and I am off to try and tackle the decorating of the blog and the coordinating of the Social media. Wish me luck. And a wonderful vintage day to you all.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

29 January 1950 “My Handy Kitchen and The Death of the Blog”

I know I am a bit heavy handed with video posts of late, but I really feel as if the daily post needs to be my main goal. In the old days, I would spend large parts of the day researching and composing and editing for my longer posts. I know they were appreciated and I always felt good when they had been done. But, all in all, I feel that the world of blogging is really changing. Even the format and devices one uses to view such things are changing.

I read an interesting little article the other day about the death of the blog. That it is moving away from what it once was. The increased use of more fast paced and easier means of communication i.e. twitter tumbler et al, is better suited to the low attention span of the user as well as their need to have constantly new things to “look at”. I have given up my idealism and hope that one day we would see that this ease of modern technology would lead to more people being self sufficient and enjoying the good old ways with the new easy things. I know that is not the case. I see those around me simply move with ease from one modern thing to the next, as I suppose is the norm of social/technological evolution.

Now, don’t think me embittered about that view. I know what I like and still enjoy seeking it out. But, I feel less like I need a soapbox upon which to stand to try and point out the Emperor is not wearing any clothes. I’d rather be in the crowd saying, “Yes sure he looks great”, then wandering off to my own home and focusing on what I like to do and how much of those likes I wish to share. The Emperor is not going to listen to lil ole me and I am ok with that.

Thus, as my blog became more and more involved and intertwined into my life, I began to sometimes feel a slave to it. I enjoyed it and felt a responsibility to it. And, maybe if I was getting paid in some capacity, like a job with a paycheck, that would have continued to be a mix of passion with reality so I would have the time to continue putting more and more into it. But, like the blog world seems to be realizing, things get outdated quickly in the 21st century. There is no staying power. And our continued love for things Vintage is a sort of anchor it this turbulent sea of rapid change and eddies and swirls of this new device, that new technology. And I am fine with that.

So, my blog is going to evolve, if it can, into more of a touchstone of little moments. A daily drop of a tiny little raindrop into a vast sea of information and entertainment. I continue to find and wish to share old vides and images and books that I think relevant for us to use as branches to hold onto as the current pulls us ever forward towards the future. A few seconds to click and look and think, “hmmm cute” or “whatdya know bout that?”

In some ways the future is bright. I think amid all the turmoil of the unknown situations that we are heading into: continued bad financial times and increasing unemployment (despite what we are actually told), the ever reaching arm of the military and the wars and conflicts that seem just a part of our lives, the pointless items we are sure to need and must have being put before us, are a part of a dying system. 3-D printing, Changing climate of self-sufficiency, a need to connect, while we can, with others in the world before the ‘firewalls’ begin to go up that utterly changes the freedoms of the internet for the little guy like you and me. In its very uncertainty and the mish mash of control and out of control is an interesting path none the less. And, rather we like it or not, we are all going to be going there, the Future. So, until I can manage a Real time machine to get me outta dodge, I have to look more brightly or at lest with more studied vision to that future.

And again I have rambled on. My point is I am going to keep evolving this blog into I don’t know what. But, I want to keep sharing things daily even if it is just a picture or a film or even one sentence and a shot of a darling vintage woman at work. And in that hope there is some relevance to whatever this 2014 shall turn out to be.

Today it is the great little film about a perfect little 1950’s kitchen. It shows the layout and has great simple really common sense ideas to make a small kitchen a great place to function. I love, too, that in this part of the days chores are shared by the children. I often see modern people talking about how much they need to do to try and have some ‘old fashioned’ things in their life and it is always they alone working away while their children do nothing. Helping with the chores and running of the house must be an outmoded form of child care? I don’t know. I have no children and therefore can’t ever give real advice for it would be worth nothing. But, from an historical perspective, it is interesting to note that once we considered it important for children to learn to work. And before the last World War we even treated children like adults in that we expected them to learn and do and that play was a treat or reward that happened sometimes but not always. A good lesson for the world in which they would live as adults. But, today, I suppose with our own endless fun and amusement a lesson in play and constant praise and diversion is a good lesson to teach as our current adult populace seems to be rather good at that as well. But, I digress.

The film and the cute kitchen: Enjoy and Happy Vintage moments, if you can get em.