Monday, March 19, 2012

Sneak Preview! Vintage Jewelry Redux!

          Many good things have been happening recently that I'll be able to share soon...but for now, I'd like to show you something I'm calling "Vintage Redux."  Those of you who know me know that I'm pretty dotty about vintage jewelry of all kinds...but primarily anything with rhinestones, especially the grace and elegance of the older pieces!!

          I was very fortunate recently to acquire a stash of estate rhinestones that had been purchased in Europe, coming primarily from postwar Germany, Austria, and Italy.  There were enough "toys" in this collection to keep the most dedicated of us up to our proverbial ears with new projects for months!

          To start with however, I decided to do some repair work on a lot of vintage pieces whose rhinestones were yellowed, or repaired with yellowed glue, or just poorly repaired.  I have a stash of mountings that I've cleaned out and have been (let's face it!) hoarding, hoping that something would come along to restore these graceful designs.

           I displayed some of the repaired pieces recently at a local craft show and I was surprised at how many younger women fell in love with these vintage designs...I think that that alone shows the artistry of those long ago designers!!  Here is a sampling of a few of the pieces...if you like them, I'll be more than happy to share more (this is much like having your kids' pictures with you...always happy to share!!)

           This is more than likely a 20's-30's era piece.  It's the only one that got to retain some of its original parts, basically because I couldn't find anything else that fit those large "flowers" of the mounting at all the way they were made.  The blue "stones" are plastic, rhinestones are new, and the 4" piece is rhodium plated.
       This graceful 2-1/2" "leaf" style brooch is so elegant.  Can't you see this on the lapel of a suit or along the scoop neckline of a black dinner dress?  
The swirl of the leaves or petals and the graceful circle at the top (almost like a crown effect) gives this piece such a classy look.

          This next one is quite a large brooch, measuring 3-3/4" x 2-1/2", and is quite heavy for its size.
           I hadn't planned to do two brooches with blue, but it so happened that the only marquise or navette stones that were the right size on this one were that deep blue. 
          The effect with all the rhinestones made it an incredible re-do!  Pot metal casting, probably 20's-30's also.

          This sweet smaller brooch is, I think, probably 50's or a bit later.  It is rhodium plated, about 2-1/4" tall, and signed Coro. 
            Poor little thing had had a really rough life and since it has been redone, I don't think it qualifies to stand on its name alone, but its beautiful design makes it a worthwhile "save." 
          It took awhile to find enough baguettes alike to make this little one shine again!

         Hope these few tidbits will whet your "vintage" appetite...there are lots more on the work table...dress and fur clips, as well as brooches large and small. 

          Maybe I'll share some more of them soon!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Ides of February!

          Most years, it's March!  This year is was February for sure!
          Starting with an insane glitch in my health insurance policy that took weeks to straighten out (turned out to be an internal glitch in their computers), a trip to the hospital for my computer (totally unrelated), and ending with what I thought was a sniffling, sneezing bug (turned out to be a form of rhinitis that is affecting scads of people due to our crazy warm winter weather), I readily embraced March with open arms!
         The health insurance is supposed to be straightened out, the computer is fixed, and my medication is taking hold (I had coughed so much I was in danger of losing my voice....and we certainly can't let THAT happen!!)  

         So....let's celebrate the fact that spring is trying its best to be early (which we know better than to believe in Oklahoma) by visiting the Ledger Ladies for some more of their recipes...I marked some interesting ones whilst trying to be quiet.

        Tucked away in the back of the second ledger were those clipped out recipes from the Cleveland Press plus a torn-in-half offering envelope from the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Ohio.  A quick look at the atlas shows us that Lakewood is just outside Cleveland,  so perhaps we can give our long ago ladies a sense of identity and refer to them as the Lakewood Ladies...and perhaps we might not be too far off.
         I've sorted through a lot of the recipes and discarded the ones where the faded handwriting was too difficult to read, or the directions left much to be desired (amazing how many things they "knew" from experience that we would have to have explained today!)    I decided against the recipe that called for "a piece of suet" (aren't you glad!) as well as the one for holiday fruit cake whose ingredients would make your eyes water!
         So...while I'm looking for the arrival of new insurance cards and waiting for the day that my sneezing and coughing will come to a welcome end, let's see if there's something that will interest you from those great gals...the Lakewood Ladies!

Treasure Pudding

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. honey
2 beaten eggs
1 c. chopped fruit  (it doesn't specify)
1 T lemon rind
1 c. grated carrots
1/2c walnut meats
2-1/2 c sifted flour
1 t. salt
2 t baking powder
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. nutmeg
3/4 c. sweet milk

Cream shortening.  Add honey and blend.  Add beaten eggs.  Add fruit, rind, carrots and nuts.
Sift dry ingredients.  Add alternately with milk.
Bake in tube pan 1 hr. and 15 minutes at 325 degrees.  If baked in pan bake one hour.

Orange Sauce

3 T. flour  mix together with 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. orange juice
1 c. hot water, cook until thick.
1 T grated orange rind and
3 T butter.
Serve hot.

Beulah's Frozen Grape Salad  
 (Note in margin says: Good!!)
2 3 oz. pkgs cream cheese
2 T mayonnaise
2 T. pineapple syrup
24 marshmallows quartered
1 #2 can (2-1/2 cups) pineapple tidbits drained
1 c. cream whipped
2 c Tokay grapes, halved and seeded.

Soften cream cheese, blend with mayonnaise.  Beat in the pineapple syrup.  Add marshmallows and drained pieapple tidbits..
Fold in whipped cream and grapes.  Pour into a 1 qt. refrigerator tray.  Freeze until firm.
Cut into squares.  Makes 8 servings.

Nippy Salad   ( Blanche's) 
(This was hard to decipher...thought it might be "nifty"...but read the ingredients.....)

1 pkg. lime jello
1-1/4 c boiling water
1 c. well-drained crushed pineapple
2 pkgs. of Philadelphia cream cheese 3 oz size
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 T horseradish  (it says tablespoons...use your own discretion!)

When jello is partially set, add pineapple, cheese and mayonnaise and horseradish. 
 (I  put mayonnaise, pineapple and 2T horseradish in cream cheese and stir well until smooth and put in jello when partially set...we will assume "I" is Blanche).

          This one particularly intrigued me...I've never eaten an oatmeal cake, but love oatmeal cookies.

Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake 
 9" square pan
1-1/4 c boiling water
1 c. quick rolled oats
1/2 c softened shortning
1 c. gran. sugar
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1-1/2 c. flour
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg


1/4 c. melted butter/margarine
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3 T cream or half and half
1/3 c. nuts, chopped
3/4 c. coconut

Pour water over oats and cover. Let stand 20 minutes.
Beat butter until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
Blend in vanilla and eggs.  Add oats mixture.  Mix well.
Sift together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg. 
Add to creamed mixture.  Mix well.
Pour batter into well greased and floured pan. 
Bake 350 degrees 50-55 mins.  Do not remove from pan.

Mix frosting all together; spread on cake.
Put under broiler for just a couple of seconds until bubbly.

           In the next few weeks I'll be gleaning recipes from some other very vintage sources: cookbooks I've found from the family of an Oklahoma beauty queen...and some down right home cooking from the past from good Oklahoma farm cooks!

           In the meantime, enjoy!