Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Minute New Years Eve DIY Projects

A last minute invitation to a New Year's Eve party has me thinking of some quick favors and decorations to add some festive surprises to the gathering. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Celebrations

I decided against following the lead of the multitude of bloggers who created "best of" lists for the New Year and instead decided to look forward with these lovely finds to celebrate. I know that I would be happy to have any of these finds. In fact, I plan to wear a little black wiggle dress on New Years Eve myself.

 How will you be celebrating?

Oh and don't forget to enter the New Year giveaway contest!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A New Year, A New Contest!

Make your friends green with envy (see what I did there) by winning the Retro Kitten Vintage New Year Contest! You can be the proud owner of a fabulous new handmade vintage 1950s reproduction floral apron and an amazing green vintage 1960s Mad Men era purse.

To enter to win just comment on this entry and follow the Retro Kitten blog. The winning name will be drawn on New Years Day!

The contest winner will be randomly selected. Only residents of the United States are eligible to enter.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Instant Holiday Cheer: The Vintage Eggnog Bar

My family has always had an unnatural affinity for egg nog . As children living in a poor rural community my brothers and I would be so excited when we would see my mother bring home the festive carton.  It was an extra special treat only to be enjoyed, usually once, during the holiday season. 

After reading about vintage inspired eggnog bars I knew that I had to attempt to create a Mid Century modern egg nog bar for my family to enjoy when they visit this holiday. I have been scouring Etsy for the best in mod bar carts and accoutrements. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Vintage Chrome Bar Cart- Imagine this lovely stocked with shiny glassware and top shelf beverages

2. Mid Century Winter Bar Glasses- The perfect shiny accessory for the above cart

3. Danish Modern Bar- Less portable, but still lovely

4. Mid Century Bar Tool Set- What bar is complete without the necessary tools

5. Cheers! Cocktail Sticks- Festive cocktail stirrers in 60s turquoise of course

6. Dark Chocolate Eggnog Truffles- A little treat to accompany that nog

7. Turquoise Ice Bucket- A useful conversation piece

8. 1940s Bartender Guide- A sweet and thorough guide to vintage mixology

For those who are extremely ambitious, why not try to make your own egg nog at home? I never really realized what ingredients combine to create egg nog....

And to add a special touch to any party these egg nog whoopie pies sound amazing! I may be trying my hand at making these this afternoon. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tips for a Happy Vintage Holiday

1. Use some spare pine boughs trimmed from your X-mas tree or perhaps if you are lucky enough to live near a forest, take a winter walk and trim a few branches. Decorate with special family ornaments to create a beautiful centerpiece. You can find the image here.

2. I love handmade wrapping paper. Display your wrapped gifts on stair rail or banister with natural twine for a beautiful decoration. As each guest departs for the evening give them a little gift. Photo inspiration found here.

3. Create this beautiful DIY pine cone garland with instructions Here

4. Who doesn't love a well stocked bar? Vintage bar carts are the perfect way to inject some mobile Christmas cheer into any holiday party. You can find plenty of bar cart decorating inspiration here. Or why not even take it a step further and create a Mad Men style egg not bar. Directions here.

5. I have been collecting miniature house holiday decorations for years. With these easy templates you will be able to create an entire village for a few cents! Templates can be found here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Baby

When my husband's family suggested we all participate in a secret Santa gift exchange this year instead of our usual gift buying frenzy for each and every family member I was a bit relieved. Although I love carefully selecting gifts for family members, the annual gift bonanza has gotten a little out of hand in recent years, with family members receiving many more gifts than anyone really needs.

My relief quickly transformed into panic when I realized the name that I had drawn was a certain technology obsessed family member. My mind raced... What gadget to buy someone who seemingly owns all gadgets? And how is someone who for all intents and purposes spends her days living in the past supposed to select such a modern gift?

Then I realized- How would the person who ended up drawing my name feel about purchasing a gift for moi? Even my husband finds me to be difficult to purchase for at times. I would never give someone a list of suggested gift ideas, (I love surprises) but if I did it would look something like this:

1. Vintage 1940s Red, White and Green Dress
2. Vintage Emerald Shoes
3. A Jess Quinn original Art Doll
4. Vintage Brass Cat Trinket Tray

5. 19th Century French Wedding Throne
6. Vintage 1940s Red and Green Heels
7. Vintage Kitschy Elf Doll
8. Vintage 1950s New England Cook Book

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mad Men Cocktails

For those of you who may not know, I am just a wee bit obsessed with Mad Men. It is for that reason that I was extremely excited to attend the Mad Men September Soiree fundraising event at our local Roberson Museum. 

Mad Men inspired attire was encouraged for the event, so of course I had to create a colorful 60s ensemble to compliment my new red locks. The event took place in the Roberson Manson wing of the museum, a late 19th Century mansion, and included complimentary wine tastings, cocktails and period appropriate hor d' oeuvres. I especially enjoyed the olive tray!

It was a great evening, even Mr. Liu, wearing his black suit ensemble with skinny tie, enjoyed the ambiance and the NY state breweries offering samples. It was so interesting to see how the attendees interpreted the Mad Men theme. 

I cannot wait to attend the next event the Roberson hosts. I plan on returning very soon for their Civil War exhibit. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Meet the Retro Kitten

Big news! Retro Kitten Vintage will be attending the Funky Flea in Syracuse, NY on Saturday June 1st. Meet the Retro Kitten and pick up some vintage goodies and yummy food! More details coming soon!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Behind the Scenes...

I was recently invited to participate in a professional photo shoot as stylist with some fabulous vintage pieces for photographer James Pitarresi. In between sessions I caught a few pics of the gorgeous model, Karen Munson. Check a few of the sneak peeks below. More photos to come soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Moonrise Kingdom Inspiration

 I am a huge fan of all things Wes Anderson. I love the muted tones and the rich beautiful worlds he places his characters in. When I first learned that Moonrise Kingdom would be released I was ecstatic- another world to ponder. I wasn't disappointed.

This weekend I scoured Etsy for Moonsrise inspired items and to my surprise, I found quite a few. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Love List

I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. In high school students would sell carnations or chocolates in the cafeteria during our lunch period. The popularity of female students could be seen in the number of flowers or Hershey Kiss hearts they carried through the halls. 

As I have matured I have developed a begrudging fondness for Valentine's Day. I love the kitschy cute vintage Valentines that grace the counters at antique shops and the fussy over decorated Valentine candy boxes of decades past. But what about V Day in 2013? What is a modern girl with a vintage heart to do? 

Somewhere in my subconscious I have this desire for the perfect Valentine's Day- cocktails, dinner, romance,  and maybe even a little gift? So I decided to create a Love List for Valentine's Day. It is close enough to the date now that I will not have to worry about a certain Mr. Liu feeling pressured.  

Of course I feel that the best gifts are always handmade. (And usually the most thoughtful) 

1. African Violet: Who wouldn't love more plants?
  2. Tissue Pouch: Anyone who knows me knows that I use a lot of tissues!
 3. Love Note Tea Bags: A sweet personalized romantic gesture

Monday, February 11, 2013

Royal Tenenbaums Inspiration

Here are some Margot Tenenbaum inspired collections for your Monday viewing pleasure. Be sure to check out the lovely vintage shops featured!

1. Fox Fur Coat 2. 1960s Striped Dress 3. Margot & Richie Tenenbaum

1. Tent  2. Suitcase 3. Margot and Richie in their tent

1. Record Player 2. Kelly Bag 3. Margot and Richie as children

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Estate Sale Finds

This week I was fortunate enough to receive a call from a man who had sadly lost his mother. She passed away at the age of 97 and left behind a house full of items... The house looked very small from the road, but when inside there were two floors and several bed rooms! 

I love visiting estates. It is so interesting to hear the stories of the person who once lived there and this house was no exception. The family moved there following World War II.

I was so excited to find an assortment of 1960s clothing, shoes, and accessories. I am still sorting out the items, but these are a few finds. The Dooney bag was in great condition. I also found a tower of 60s shoes in their original boxes.

When touring the entire house and almost had a heart attack when I entered the all-original kitchen. I have been looking for a complete set of vintage canisters for my kitchen counter for a very long time. I should say that I have found plenty of them, but never exactly what I was looking for. After noticing these canisters with the pretty mid century design I knew they would look great on my formica counter. 

Some of the 60s clothing items will be making their way into the shop this week! In the mean time remember to enter to win the vintage 1950s Chinese souvenir scarf on the blog and Happy Lunar New Year! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chinese New Year Give Away

As many of you may know I was recently married last September to my husband, Lei. Having been born in China and living there until the age of six, he fondly remembers celebrating Chinese New Year with his family and community. Each year we spend Chinese New year with his parents, taking in a show including the dragon dance, singing and other performances, and a feast of traditional Chinese dishes.  

This year I thought it would be fun to offer this vintage 1950s Chinese souvenir scarf as a give away. The scarf  features cute illustrations of tourist scenes and a prominent phoenix and dragon. To enter in the giveaway mention what you do to celebrate Chinese New Year in the comments section. A winner will be randomly selected this Sunday, February 10th, the beginning of Chinese New Year.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekend Road Trip Plans

I am always looking for new vintage clothing shops to explore. When I finished browsing through antique shops in rural Upstate last week I searched for a new shop to visit. I wasn't looking for vintage clothing in particular, but when I found Clementine Vintage I knew that I would have to make a visit.

Unfortunately it was too late to make a trip and arrive before shop hours closed so I am hoping to pay a visit tomorrow. Here are some shots from their website. It looks very promising :)

I will definitely post photos and details from our trip!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thrifting with JFK & my Brother

A day of thrifting with JFK and my brother...

Today was spent as a thrifting day with my little brother, Ethan. Doesn't he look dapper in his vintage cashmere coat? We grabbed lunch at a local diner, the Skylark. The interior is entirely original with amazing corn flower blue tables and booths with chrome accents- yeah, that's my tomato soup :)

We went thrifting after and found a great portrait of JFK looking sporty on the beach . It would have been mine if it had not been for the high price of $400. 

More pictures of the diner, and pics of the retro motel directly behind the restaurant. I also found this vintage Chinese souvenir scarf- I will be posting more pics of my thrifty finds. I came home with a car full!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Imaginary Vintage Boyfriend

After spending a snowy day inside watching 1930s talkies snuggling with my puppy, I decided that it was time to select this week's imaginary vintage boyfriend- The gorgeous Gary Cooper. 

Imagine the conversations...errr...political arguments we would have over dinner. I could not imagine that I would stand for his staunch support for the Republican party or his activities on the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 

Perhaps it would have been one date, dinner followed by a walk by the water. Once the inevitable arguments had occurred we would have to say goodnight. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Why I Want to Move to Portland

Imagine, one day you wake up and you realize... "I live in Upstate New York."

Surrounded by farmlands and natural beauty you are quickly sucked into the type of aesthetic 19th Century novelists dreamt of. However if you are like me and you have lived among the sprawling corn fields and post-industrial ruins, wearing vintage for your whole life, you may have realized that you were alone.

It isn't that I am unable to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me or the ability to scour amazing antique malls. It is just that feeling of being alone, the type of sinking feeling one might have when realizing no one else can see their imaginary friend.

So sometimes I dream of moving to Portland, and this is a list of why...

1. Um.....What?!? There is a real estate agent devoted solely to mid-century homes. Amazing!

2. Twist & Play vintage Vespa scooter club: A vintage Vespa scooter club? Count me in! 

3. Atomic Ranch Magazine: Published in Portland, Atomic Ranch promises to:

"Atomic Ranch celebrates midcentury houses—from 1940s ranch tracts to 1960s architect-designed modernist homes. With an emphasis on affordable solutions and homeowner renovations, our quarterly magazine shows you how to make your house cool, both inside and out."

4. Vintage Clothing: You had to know that this would be on the list, right? With so many vintage clothing stores/dealers in the Portland area the shopping would be spectacular. Where there are vintage shops there are vintage ladies dressed in their finery. So many of my fellow Etsy shops peddling Mid-Century vintage wares are from the Portland area. Twila Jean Vintage and Fab Gabs come to mind right away. 

5. Tiki Bars: I know that this may come as a surprise, but there are no tiki bars in Upstate New York...None that I am aware of at least. This is the amazing Hale Pele tiki bar. 

6. Fun Vintage Friends: I am lucky enough to have some very nice friends, but our interests and hobbies are light years apart. It would be amazing to have a group of friends who would be interested in vintage picnics, cocktail parties and flick nights. Check out this amazing 1938 picnic hosted by the talented Solanah of Vixen Vintage. Any takers out there in upstate?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Imaginary Vintage Boyfriend

A little feature that I will call "My Imaginary Vintage Boyfriend" that I hope to continue posting approximately once a week.

I am sure this gentleman would have all kinds of amazing stories to share. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Little Jaunt

Playing at collages with the flu... No the best way to spend a birthday, but I suppose it could be worse. This is a little ensemble of what I would like to be wearing thrifting today, but alas, I am stuck inside at home.

A Little Jaunt