Book Review

February 10, 2012

Julia & Paul Child Valentines Tradition


I recently finished reading My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme. Julia's humor and wit delighted me throughout the book. One of my favorite parts in the book are the photos of the valentines that her and her husband Paul would send out each year.

Here's an excerpt from the book with Julia Child describing the valentines:

"Come February, all of our time off was spent composing letters for the hundreds of valentines we sent out around the globe. Valentine cards had become a tradition of ours, born of the fact that we could never get ourselves organized in time to send out Christmas cards. With our ever-enlarging network of family, friends, and Foreign Service colleagues, we found that Paul's hand-designed valentine cards-usually a woodcut or drawing, sometimes a photograph-were a nice way to keep in touch. But they could be labor-intensive. One year's design was a faux stained-glass window, with five colors in it, each of which had to be hand-painted in watercolors-which took hours. For 1956, we decided to lighten up by doing something different: we posed ourselves for a self-timed valentine photo in the bathtub, wearing nothing but artfully placed soap bubbles".

You can purchase a copy of the "Julia & Paul Child Valentine's Card Bubble Bath" for $25- over at i-concepts

You can purchase My Life in France for $8.95 over at Powell's Books

July 25, 2011

The Winner of Vintage Notions is...

Vintage notions

The winner of a copy of Amy Barickman's book Vintage Notions is Tracy H with the comment:

"I absolutely LOVE vintage fabric, notions and whatnot! I enjoy going to second hand thrift stores and auctions to find vintage material, notions and stuff for my projects. My Granny taught me how to sew, crochet and knit when I was a child in the 70's & 80's. I loved to sew with her by my side. She made many of my clothes and my doll clothes for me as I was growing up through the years. Later, when I was a teen she used the scrap material from all the things she had made me to piece together a quilt for me. It is my favorite one that she has made for me. I have 3 daughters and they love crafting with vintage things just as I do. I have recently gotten into quilting and I love creating quilts from vintage patterns. I grab every magazine I can that has vintage items/patterns in it so I can get ideas".

"My favorite recipes are the old family ones that have been passed down to me by my grandmothers that have.....a pinch of this or a dash of that in the ingredients list ;). It was a slower paced lifestyle when I was a kid and we took time to savor it. I want my girls to have those same memories"...

Thanks to all who entered, and a big thanks to Amy Barickman for her book!

July 18, 2011

*Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions Book Giveaway*

Vintage notions book 2

Amy Barickman kindly sent me two copies of her latest book Vintage Notions One copy to keep and one copy to giveaway!

*You can enter to win Vintage Notions by leaving a comment on this post about your love of vintage inspired sewing, crafting, cooking, and living*

*The winner will be announced on Monday, July 25th*

Vintage Notions is a wonderful book that features select articles from Mary Brook Picken's Inspiration and Fashion Services newsletters that were originally published from 1916-1934.

Amy Barickman has divided each of the chapters in the book into the months of the year. She opens each chapter with "Modern Notions" her personal modern take on the vintage advice and articles that are featured for that month.

The book is filled with delightful vintage illustrations and advice. In flipping through the book my favorite idea that I have come across so far is "Men's Shirts Put to Feminine Use" in which we are given instructions on how to turn Men's shirts into aprons. I am looking forward to a fun and inspiring time as I read Vintage Notions from cover to cover.

To purchase a copy of Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions head over to Indygo Junction

To learn more about Amy Barickman check out her website

December 22, 2010

Holidays on Display

Holiday book

I recently bought this book Holidays on Display at Powell's. I have been enjoying reading about how holiday window decorating originated. Department stores would devote a large sum of money for decorating their windows and the insides of their stores with elaborate holiday themes.

The heyday of elaborate holiday window displays peaked before I was born- so, unfortunately I was not able to interact with any of these grandiose displays. I know that I would have been enchanted.

Nowadays the art of holiday window decorating is all but lost here in Portland. The bright and inventive spot in store windows here is the Anthropologie store in downtown. It features an incredible twisted tree that looks to be fashioned out of brown waxy paper. The tree has a little door and there are rabbits and snow at the foot of the tree.

December 08, 2010

I Heart Powell's Books

Powells books

Part of what I love about the location of my store is it's proximity to Powell's Books.When I opened my store I looked forward to all of the time I would be able to spend perusing the aisles of Powell's. Unfortunately I have been too busy to do anything other than drop by quickly and pick something up. Later today my dream of taking some time and wandering the aisles is going to come true. I close today at 4:00 and then I am going to run some errands and enjoy some time at Powell's.

What makes Powell's so great you may ask? It is gigantic and houses a huge collection of books on every topic imaginable. My favorite areas are the Fashion, Antiques, Interiors, Crafts book area as well as the Art, Architecture and Design section.

I have been shopping at Powell's ever since I was a child when my parents would take me to the Beaverton store location. For every birthday and Christmas my dad gives me a gift certificate to Powell's.

Check out Powell's City of Books located at 1005 West Burnside in Portland, Oregon or browse and shop online


April 15, 2010

Cool Women

The other day Chris and I were at a thrift store when I came across an apron from the 1980's that said, "I went to four years of college for this?" I thought about whether or not to buy the apron to resell. But, then I thought how awful it would be if someone bought it seriously, feeling that they identified with what it said, that they were laden with housework and child care instead of using their education. I expressed this to Chris and he agreed with what I said. He also thought that the other type of person who would be buying it would be someone who would give it as a "gag" gift. Someone poking fun at their friend for becoming a housewife. In the end I decided that the apron was too depressing and that I didn't want to be the one passing it along.

Cool women

What females of all ages need are good role models. A couple of months ago I bought a book called Cool Women from a local thrift store. It's a book from Scholastic intended for school girls. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel that it's a great inspirational read for anyone. You can read about strong women that you probably already know of like Harriet Tubman, Georgia O'Keefe, Annie Oakley, Joan of Arc, Madame Curie as well as learn about strong women you may have never heard of.

This book is available used from $1.99 over at Amazon

April 14, 2009

Greta Garbo in Mata Hari & Four Fabulous Faces


Some people share their birthday with Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn or Myrna Loy, I share mine with Mata Hari. I never really knew much about her other than she was a femme fatale spy.

Last night we watched the 1931 Mata Hari movie which stars Greta Garbo. This film is loosely based on Mata Hari's life. Garbo plays such a mesmerizing version of Mata Hari that you don't really care if it's accurate or not. This movie had me gasping with amazement at some of the lavish, decadent over the top outfits that Garbo was wearing including an outfit that involved intriguing gold lame leggings or tights (you can check out a film clip featuring the ensemble on You Tube, look closely at how sensuously she closes the curtains towards the end of the clip [Garbo's gowns were designed by Adrian]). Greta Garbo's beauty and talent shine in this movie.

Speaking of the beauty of Garbo, I was lucky enough to come across an incredible hardback book titled Four Fabulous Faces, which contains tons of photos of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson. I have only just begun ogling this weighty tome, and so far it proves to be fascinating.

For any Silver Screen and Old Hollywood fan I would most definitely recommend watching Mata Hari and reading Four Fabulous Faces.

Four fabulous faces

March 17, 2009

The Winners of The Kitchen Linens Book Giveaway are...


HeidiAnn of Gold Country Girls and Kristen of Shabby Vintage Mom

Thanks to everyone who entered! Be sure to check back for future giveaways!

Check out the cute little button that you can get for your blog or website over at Apron Memories...

TKLB_Tie One On button

February 24, 2009

*The Kitchen Linens Book Giveaway*


I have two autographed copies of EllynAnne Geisel's latest book The Kitchen Linens Book to giveaway!!!

*You can enter to win one of the books by leaving a comment about your love of vintage kitchen linens*

The Kitchen Linens Book features wonderful graphics and photos, EllynAnne's recollections of kitchen linens that have played a roll in her life, as well as other people's memories of kitchen linens, old fashioned recipes, a section of projects for "Reinventing Kitchen Linens", fabric care instructions, and an incredibly cute Butterick Transfer Pattern for creating your own fun retro style kitchen linens!

Thanks to Tammie over at Andrews McMeel for providing copies of the book for me to review and giveaway!

***Leave me your vintage kitchen linen comments and two winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 17th**

October 15, 2008

Bakelite Jewelry- The Art of the Carver


Bakelite Jewelry by Lyn Tortoriello and Deborah Lyons features over 1,000 pieces of Bakelite jewelry from the 1930's and the 1940's.

The book informs you as to which items of jewelry and what colors are most highly valued, it gives you tips on how to avoid fakes, as well as listing current values for Bakelite jewelry.

Bakelite Jewelry features gorgeous photos of a rainbow of Bakelite colors and styles that range from simple to intricately carved designs.

You can purchase the book Bakelite Jewelry over at Schiffer Books

October 07, 2008

The Winner of the Signature Prints Book Giveaway is...

Lizzie of Fuzzylizzie and The Vintage Traveler!
Her comment was, "Sounds like a great book.  I'm glad she included Vera and Lilly Pulitzer - 2 of my faves"!
Congratulations to Lizzie and thanks to everyone who entered!!!

October 06, 2008

*Last Chance to Enter to Win the Book- Signature Prints*


Don't forget to leave your comment on my review of Signature Prints for your chance to win a copy of the book!

I will stop accepting comments at 10:00 a.m. PDT tomorrow, Tuesday the 7th!

September 24, 2008

Kitschmasland by Travis Smith


    In the book Kitschmasland, Travis Smith writes of his love of Christmas decor and decorating that took root in his childhood in the 1960's while living in a mid-century modern home.

    His love of holiday decor continues today and is the basis for this book.

    In the book there are photos and prices for a wide range of 50's, 60's and 70's Christmas collectibles including: reindeer, Santa Clauses, snowmen, angels, ornaments, artifical trees, giftwrap, Christmas lights, Holt Howard as well as many other types of collectibles.

    One of my favorite features of the book is that there are photo spreads of mid-century Christmas collector's homes decorated in Christmas style.

    This book is sure to delight any connoisseur of Christmas kitsch.

    You can purchase your very own copy of Kitschmasland over at Schiffer Books


September 16, 2008

Signature Prints Book Giveaway


I am happy to announce another book giveaway!

This time the book is Signature Prints by Roseann Ettinger published by Schiffer Books.

Roseann Ettinger has written fifteen books on vintage clothing and accessories. Her latest book Signature Prints is crammed full of brightly colored graphic printed clothing including a range of designs from lesser know designers to the world renowned Pucci. Short biographies about the designers are included with most of the clothing photos.

The designers featured in this book are: Aremis, Artemis, Bessi, Don Manuel, Eduardo, Emilio Pucci, Leonard of Paris, Lilly Pulitzer, Marc, Maurice, Mr. Dino, Ogust for Penthouse Gallery, Paganne, Roberta di Camerino, Serbin, Shaheen, trissi, Vera, and Signature Scarves.

Pucci is the most prominetly featured in this book with a several page biography and descriptions of his designs. In addition quotes are scattered throughout the book from designers, magazines, and store buyers referencing Pucci and Pucci style clothing and prints.

Signature Prints is a visual treat for all Pucci and Pucciesque design lovers!

***To enter to win this book please leave a comment on this post***

July 11, 2008

The Winners of The Apron Book & Apronisms are...

It was a hard decision to pick the 4 winners from the 137 people who left comments.
So many people have loving memories of family members in aprons, collect vintage aprons, or sew aprons for themselves or others...
The 4 winners are...

Melinda Claire and Christine each win a copy of The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort

Melinda Claire
"I adore aprons, especially half aprons with a little ruffle. I can't begin to tell you how many aprons I have made. I'm not sure what it is - maybe it is the glamour of the 1950s but when I tie on an apron everything including scrubbing the oven is chic. When I was a child there was a women who ran a store full of beautiful aprons. One day we both helped at a charity event and she gifted me an apron. A black silk and tulle vintage 1950s apron. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and it is still after all these years my favorite apron"!

"Oh wow! What a great give-away! My vintage apron collection started when I found a really fabulous 1950s Christmas half-apron on eBay back in 2002. It has red and white stripes, and a green pocket with a bell on it that says, "Ring for a drink!" From there, I was hooked. I've just started sewing aprons a little over a year ago. Sewing aprons actually ended up being the jumping point that got me into sewing in a major way. Plus, I've always said aprons with personality totally make chores less boring! It's true for me, anyway :)"


Mary Jo and Diane Murphy each win a copy of Apronisms: Pocket Wisdom for Every Day

Mary Jo
"As a preschool teacher, aprons are essential. Every year, I go through several different aprons, which end up coated in paint, markers, clay, etc. Even the apron pockets end up with very interesting tidbits the children leave, like seeds, stones and dandelions. However, my most cherished apron is the one I received as a gift from the children at the first preschool in which I taught. It has all their handprints in different colors of paint, and my name written on the front. Even though the pockets are hanging my strings, and the paint has faded, this is truly an apron I will never part with. It amazes me to look at those handprints and realize the children who created them are now fifteen years old"!

Diane Murphy
"I had to sew an apron for home economics class (a long time ago). I worked so hard on it and it was really coming along. I was nearly finished. I stood up to show my Mom and realized I had sewn it to my skirt. She helped me to pull the stitches and encouraged me to finish the apron. She wore it nearly every day since I presented it to her after receiving an A+ on my assignment. Aprons are symbols of love to me".

*If you would like to be added to EllynAnne's email list, visit her website Apron Memories*

**Thanks to everyone who shared their memories of aprons**

July 10, 2008

Dinner with EllynAnne & Book Give Away


My husband Chris and I just got back from a plane/car trip out to St. Louis, Missouri.
We flew from Portland to Denver and then drove to St. Louis.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing photos and stories of our vacation with you.

Just a few days before we were scheduled to leave I spoke with EllynAnne on the phone and mentioned our trip and the fact that we were going to be driving down to a place near Pueblo called Bishops Castle.
When she heard that we were going to be in the area she invited us for dinner at her and her husband's house in Pueblo.

We were delighted to start our trip off with a tasty home cooked meal!
EllynAnne and Hank were gracious hosts and we enjoyed talking with them.
They have a beautiful home with gorgeous vibrantly colored walls.
Pictured above is a photo of me and EllynAnne in their living room.

Click here to leave a comment to enter to win one of EllynAnne's books:
The Apron Book or Apronisms

The contest ends tonight at midnight (Pacific Time Zone).
Winners will be announced tomorrow!


July 09, 2008

Enter to Win a Copy of Apronisms & The Apron Book

So far, one hundred people have left their memories of aprons!
Don't forget to leave your comment as well!!!
I will stop accepting comments tomorrow- July 10th at 11:59 p.m.

Click on this link to leave your comment, four winners will be announced on Friday, July 11th.


July 02, 2008

The Apron Book & Apronisms Book Giveaways


    I have two copies each of EllynAnne Geisel's The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort and Apronisms: Pocket Wisdon for Every Day to give away!!!
    You can enter to win one of these books by leaving a comment about your own memories of aprons... why you love them, collect them, sew them, cherish them, wear them.
    Click on this link to leave your comment*, four winners will be announced on Friday, July 11th.

    *Please leave your comments, they may not show up on my blog for up to a week- but, be rest assured that I did receive them and that they will be posted!


June 25, 2008

Enter to Win a Copy of Apronisms & The Apron Book


     I have two copies each of EllynAnne Geisel's The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort and Apronisms: Pocket Wisdon for Every Day to give away!!!
    You can enter to win one of these books by leaving a comment about your own memories of aprons... why you love them, collect them, sew them, cherish them, wear them.
    Click on this link to leave your comment, four winners will be announced on Friday, July 11th.


June 20, 2008

*The Apron Book & Apronisms Book Giveaways*


    I have two copies each of EllynAnne Geisel's The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort and Apronisms: Pocket Wisdon for Every Day to give away!!!

    Fun books call for a fun giveaway!
    You can enter to win one of these books by leaving a comment about your own memories of aprons... why you love them, collect them, sew them, cherish them.

    I met EllynAnne Geisel up at The Farm Chicks show and she seems like a great person with a huge passion for aprons and for life in general!
    She has a fun, funny and informative style of writing that will make you laugh but, at the same time have you stopping to contemplate aprons of your past, whether they were aprons of your own or your grandmother's aprons.

    The Apron Book features stories of EllynAnne's own apron memories as well as other people's apron memories, instructions for making aprons, lots of photos of aprons, and even a pattern included at the back of the book to create your very own Basic Bib Apron!

    Apronisms is a pocket sized book that is chock full of EllynAnne's "Pocket Wisdom for Every Day". I read through the book at breakfast and it was a great way to start the day!

    ***Leave me your apron comments and four winners will be announced on Friday July 11th***


November 07, 2007

Travel Italia by Lorenzo Ottaviani


    Travel Italia, The Golden Age of Italian Travel Posters by Lorenzo Ottaviani was just recently published.   
    This book features over 150 beautiful and brightly colored Italian travel posters that were designed between the 1920's and the 1960's. These posters are from Alessandro Bellenda's private collection.
    In the book Lorenzo Ottaviani gives us some background on when multi-colored lithographic posters came about and of how the Italian National Tourism Agency and the Italian State Railways commissioned artists to create posters to promote tourism in Italy.
    I found that two very useful features of this book were: the small maps of Italy, that were located next to each of the larger poster images, showing the area which the poster represents and the chapter of artist biographies that tells of the poster artist's histories.
    This book is a must have for anyone interested in poster collecting, vintage graphics and travel.
    A perfect gift for this upcoming holiday season!
    Please refer to my February 26, 2008 post to view vintage Italian travel posters from Alessandro Bellenda's Galleria L'IMAGE

October 30, 2007

And The Winners Are...


*Style Council member Henriette Weber Anderson of Web Avant-Garde and Green Girls Global

*Marvelous Mouse Designs

*Ulla of Ullabenulla

*Ang of Dorothea's Closet

As of today  Kate, The Woman Who Was Hepburn paperback is available for purchase at your local bookstore as well as online.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

*Don't be disheartened if you didn't win today- there will be more book give aways in the future!!!

October 29, 2007

***Win A Free Copy of Kate, The Woman Who Was Hepburn***



    Today I received 3 more copies of the book to give away to my blog readers and members of The Style Council!
    Keep those comments coming in and I will announce the 4 winners tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon!

October 26, 2007

Book Give Away! Kate, The Woman Who Was Hepburn


    The kind people over at Picador sent me two paperback copies of Kate, The Woman Who Was Hepburn by William J. Mann.  
    The paperback is being released for sale to the general public next Tuesday, October 30- but, one of you, my lucky Lulu's Vintage blog readers will receive a copy for free!
    You can enter to win the free copy of Kate one of two ways:
    -Leave a comment on this particular blog post (I have to approve every comment [because of problems with spam] so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately)
    -Email me:   lulusvintage (at)
    I invite readers from around the world to enter- because, no matter where you live the shipping cost is on me!

October 24, 2007

*Inspirational Costume Book*

    Yesterday I was out window shopping with a friend when I came across this book Masquerade: Costume Inspirations From The 1920s To 1950's
    The book features children's, men's and women's costume designs.
    Some of my favorite costumes are: "Modern Architecture" (a woman with a skyscraper hat and skyscraper decorated skirt- which is like something out of a Busby Berkeley movie), "Eat More Fruit" (a woman dressed up as a fruit basket), "Target" (a woman with a jaunty target hat and target embelished skirt), "Windmill" (a woman with a windmill on her head and a skimpy little outfit) and "The Glad Eye" (a girl dressed up in a jester like costume covered in drawings of eyes- which is very Surrealist/Dada influenced).
    If only the costumes of today were so inspired!
    I have grown so weary of the mass produced pirate, French maid, vampire costumes...etc...etc... that are so common in our culture!
    So, this Halloween why not think outside of the big box Halloween supply store and let your own imagination and creativity run wild!