Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Category Archives: Trunk

Looking for a Job? (Circa WWII)

There’s lots of jobs open for women . . . and they pay not less than $1.04 an hour.  Ruey

Detail of a 1943 letter from a high school chum encouraging a friend to leave her senior year of college, and join the workforce in the war effort.  Which she did.

Letter w/ads$1.04 an hour

$1.04 an hour?

Minimum wage was .30¢ an hour in 1939, and .40¢ in 1945.

A sample of employment ads the letter included targeting female applicants from the Oregonian, 1943 (Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA).

Fred Meyer 1943

There’s a place for you


Swing shift

Two full pages of opportunities; a few less if you were over 40.

Other possibilities:

Between 1940 and 1945, the female percentage of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home.

Female workers wanted

May 1st is International Workers’ Day.  Thanks for taking a small peek back at US worker history, or perhaps herstory, to see how things have progressed.


Today Collections:  Thoughts and Things celebrates its two year blogiversary.

With a click of publish, this will be my 234th post. Woo hoo! Now why doesn’t seem like there’s a least a bit more space in my brain?

In lieu of a cake, here is a photo buffet. Each links to a blog post for a clickable mini-history.

Vintage Dance Cards Jr Prom 2

First Post. Vintage Dance Cards

Antique Kings Safety Goggles 1

One of my favorite collections, vintage glasses

 Hand-stitched antique gown. And speaking of heirlooms, or just plain looms, I have a few . . .

Antique Baby Gown

Can’t imagine trying to button the row of tiny pearls on the back of a wiggling baby.

A surprise find right under my nose. OK, just above it.

The BOAT, UW gold medal crew

The Husky Clipper

New on the blog was joining Instagram this summer–too much fun! All of my favorite things literally at my fingertips: architectural details, thrifty finds, Paris and ponies. Oh, yes of course, my family, one of whom now has me hooked on corgis.  Speaking of corgis . . . an Australian postcard stamp. I love the colors.

Queen Elizabeth II Australian Postage

The Queen looks quite lovely, even with the shark postmark heading towards her hat.

While following steps in the How to Start a Blog  video, I wrote this for the ‘about me page’.

I quite love finding old things, everyday things, and celebrating them. I try to mix beautiful/useful with reduce/reuse/recycle with an occasional dash of feng shui.  For the most part I am craftily challenged, have a brown thumb (plants lean away from me) and I may be APP (A Procrastinating Perfectionist).   Employing a ‘use what you have decorating’ theme, while juggling the ever-changing schedule/needs/charms of my favorite collection–four kids.

Breathe, Be Grateful, Smile, Take your vitamin.   And welcome to my collections of thoughts and things.

Reading it today it still holds true, except for the plant part, I am fairly close now to a certified black thumb.

Thanks to my family & friends, & old garages. Inspiration abounds, and I’m looking forward to year three.

A birthday cake. Kind ofCelebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Celebrating @ Creativity Unleashed link party!link party palooza banner

The Other Side of the Flea Market

For the first time, my thrifting buddy and I moved from vendees to vendors at a vintage market. (Must admit, we’ve completed significant amounts of  ‘research’  attending as shoppers.) The right sale? Not too big, not too small, not too chic, not too straight from a very old cardboard box in the garage.    We found a once a month sale with a little corner snack bar, gift bags for shoppers, with no entry fee. Just our cup of tea coffee. Now it was time to select and release some treasures back to the  universe.

To quote Frozen, “Let It Go”.

Time to part

Time to part.

From Flea to Shining Flea

From Flea to Shining Flea. Wash & tag time.

We bandied about the idea for over a year. This decision gave us a new understanding of the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.   Between us, we have seven kids.  Finding a weekend that didn’t conflict with any sporting, school, vacation or holiday plans was quite a challenge.  How does the White House ever schedule state dinners? A date mercifully fell when the weather was both clear & mild.  With the help, and then subsequent ever-so-quick disappearance of said children and hubbies, we were able to set-up the space the night before.  A final fluffing in the early am, then we spent the rest of Saturday ‘on the floor’.  (Yikes, an old retail term just returned.)

Crazy busy.  The pictures are from set-up wonky in color and bit blurry. But here they are. The first two pictures are from my flea buddy’s side of the booth. Once the doors were opened, we were off.

Half of the booth. EP

Eggplant’s side during set-up

Half of the booth. EP

What an incredible amount of things can fit on, near and under three tables. My half is in the photos below. Taken during set up. Not much space left for anything short of offering to sell my earrings.  And yes, editing  is on the list for next time.

Vintage Market 1

Vintage Market 2

My side during set-up

You might spot a “Downton Abbey” moment below, with an empty water bottle near the tea tray. One of my favorite displays was a number of vintage travel pins hanging on a window screen. (Leaning on the shelf.)  Cute, cute pins at 2 for $1. Many compliments on the display. Yet not one sold. Phooey.

Vintage Market 3The pins were offset by the black & white US Navy 8×10’s I used to identify the ‘man stuff’ area. They sold. The vintage games sold. And the blue metal toy phone, loved but never displayed. A basket with antique postcards and pamphlets was almost emptied. Even sold some vintage records. (Yippee, just a ninety-seven more to go . . .)

I’d have bought these atomic mod candlesticks.

Nickel? Stainless? Aluminum?

Nickel? Stainless? Aluminum?

Well, I guess I did originally. But they came back home. The gentleman who purchased an unused embossed dragon teapot was thrilled with his purchase. He was born in the year of the dragon. (Then he read my palm–a first for me–but that’s a story for another post.) Definitely a win-win transaction.

My kids whipped up a fine faux frappuccino® as a pre-sale test for this 50+ year old turquoise beehive blender. Delicious. It was sold to another vendor with a retro blue kitchen.  I barely got it out of the box. So glad to have found a new home for it.

50+ years old, and made a fine  faux Frappuccino®Sales had a nice pace for most of the day. Entertaining to talk with people as a vendor. I love to find out what & why other people collect.  However, very difficult when asked, “Are you sure you want to sell this?”  Yes.    No.    Maybe?

It was a terrific starter sale. Immensely enjoyable when customers are enjoy quirky, quality items too.  We sold enough to downsize to one van load when we packed up for the day. We headed to St. Vinnie’s to donate on the way home.  Then time to un-wine-d, I mean celebrate the adventure. Whew.

A huge nod to all who collect, create & display the vintage magic we so adore on a regular basis.

Can’t wait to stop by soon.  Ahem, as research of course . . .

Working with a theme may be a goal for a second foray to the other side of the flea market.  Then who knows? Perhaps The Farm Chicks 2018?

A Spooktacular Vintage Hallow’een

If you are lucky to have lived in a (very) small town, this might ring a trick-or-treat bell.

In addition to births and graduations, awards and engagement announcements, newspapers often carried a report of an illness, a promotion or a bumper blueberry crop.  At eleven,  I remember being impressed to see my name in print after visiting my grandparents in rural Idaho. “A lovely visit was had by all. Iced tea and apple bread were served.” How did they know? In hindsight, perhaps my grandmother submitted the details. However, an out-of-state car parked on a three-block Main Street was noticeable.

Here is a precious example of an event featured in 1926. Social Column 1926The sixteen children attending included two Ruth’s, two Betty’s, one Myrtle and two boys.  This notice, and the following items, were found together in my trove of “an only daughter of an only daughter” treasures.

This event started with an invitation to kindergarten friends and neighbors. 1926 Hallow'een InvitationPumpkin invitation This jack o’lantern garland is one of the decorations that “carried out the Hallow’een motive so dear to the hearts of youngsters.”  Each of the dual-sided faces express such personality.

Vintage Paper Pumpkin 1920's 6

This pumpkin has an earnest appeal, reminding me of Buster Baxter in “Arthur” episodes.

 I have not found a makers mark, but believe the garland was made by Beistle.

 See how the eyes have changed direction? This little pumpkin below maybe distressed because the price was marked on his face.

Vintage Paper Pumpkin 1920's 1 with price15¢!

Cute in 1926, and hanging out todayNot so spooky mantel

 Treats were served on crepe paper placematsVintage Crepe Paper Halloween Placemats

I am less enthusiastic about these graphics, so they stay in the box. Something is frightening as all the characters are running or flying away. The image on the right may be a manifestation of a Halloween “turducken”. A flying pumpkin in a witches hat?

A few bright orange and black crepe paper nut cups remain.

Vintage Halloween Crepe Paper Nut CupPlus some irresistible placecards Vintage Halloween Placecard Bridge? The gold-edged vintage placecards were found in the same keepsake box. Maybe a memento of this party, or a later Halloween bridge night.

What might a hostess wear to play “appropriate Hallow’een games”?

CAM12344A fairy costume, of course.

This party sounds like such fun! Did this gang celebrate Halloween again?Handmade Vintage Childrens Halloween InvitationWhy yes they did.

Halloween in the News, Party #2

Happy Halloween!

Vintage Halloween Sticker

I Can See You

Of course I can’t actually  see you, but I can share a collection of vintage eye wear.

First, a classic pair of spectacles.Vintage Gold Framed BifocalsA basic item, bifocals like these were worn by many. Love the details and patina. The frame is delicate, yet the glass lenses are fairly heavy. The prescription is so strong it makes me dizzy.

Who knows how many times the thin, thin gold wires with a tiny bit of etching were tucked behind ears at the start of the day.

And this pair?

vintage climbing goggles 3

Vintage climbing goggles. (Admittedly these are sitting upside down, but flipping the photo gave a slight sensation of vertigo . . . I probably shouldn’t have tried on the first pair of glasses.)

This view should help.

vintage climbing goggles 2

These nimbly fold to fit in your backpack until needed. Peripheral vision is key, and the four lenses protect your eyes. (Thanks to the model.)

This pair of spectacles belonged to my grandfather, they are frightfully horrid when worn by anyone else, but he looked wise and welcoming. Probably because he was.

Vintage glasses Lester 1Like many folks who experienced the Great Depression, he kept things forever.

Vintage glasses Lester 2, practical

And my favorite pair. When I found these I pictured a dapper motorist out for a drive in a horseless carriage.

Antique Kings Safety Goggles 1

Or maybe I was just thinking of Professor Caractacus Potts, out for a spin in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Anyhoo, these safety goggles are over one hundred years old, and they still have an aura of cool.

Mesh sides, moving parts, and funky nose pads; this collection makes my heart sing. Plus if cars do start to fly, I’ll be ready for a convertible.

Fly Me To The Moon

To Celebrate 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission, and Moon Landing on July 20, 1969.

Issued May 5, 1969

Issued May 5, 1969

Showing the Earth rising over the Moon, this stamp design was based on a photograph by William Anders, one of the Apollo 8 astronauts who took part in that historic December 1968 mission — the first manned lunar orbital flight.

The biblical quotation represents not a religious observation by the Post Office Department, but a famous Apollo 8 moment. Instructed by NASA to “say something appropriate” from space during a Christmas Eve transmission, the astronauts alternated reading verses from the Book of Genesis as viewers across the country watched the Earthrise on television.

My parents (like many) kept quite a trove of newspapers and magazines with historic headlines.   I was fairly ruthless as there were reams of documents to go through, and the information is easily available. Plus may were stored in the basement, a less than archival environment.  (And yes, I cried too.) I gave away and donated many, and recycled most.  But like a good book, sometimes it is just nice to hold an item in your hand. This lovely stamp was tucked away in the stash of memorabilia with a card and envelope.  I may need to liberate it for a project.  These items below also reside in the 2″ stack remaining of the time capsule. (And yes I forgot about it until yesterday. But look what I found.)

Seattle Times 7,21,69

Detail from the front page article on July 21, 1969,

The word Groovy appears twice

The word ‘groovy’ appears twice in these 1st few inches of the article. What else was on the front page?

Luna 15 Landing


This was a surprise to see on the front page. Of course I know about the race to the Moon with the Soviets. But if I’ve learned that the Russians landedan unmanned craft on the moon 500 miles away from Apollo 11, almost to the day, I certainly have not retained it.

The Seattle PI July 20, 1969

Seattle PI 7.20.69

I’m guessing the use of color, even on the front page, was a significant too.

 Summer reading program 1969.

KCLS Summer Reading Record 1969Kids across Seattle joined in the Astronaut’s Reading Club. Love the graphics.

Buzz, Neil and Michael weren’t the only ones to complete at trip to the Moon that summer. (See Buzz, I put you first.)

Buzz, Neil and Michael weren;t the only ones to complete at trip to the Moon.

For readers in this millennium , I recommend The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story  by Lily Koppel.  Perfect 45th anniversary summer read.

In both 1969 and in 2014, July 20 fell on a Sunday. Cool. Or should I say groovy?

Fine, yes I realize it’s now been 45 years and two days, before I hit publish.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (Set 5)

The Magic is about to begin!  Whether you make the magic, or believe in the magic–let’s enjoy.

Vintage Christmas Cards Set 5 – Merriment & Whimsey

Card 1Pup 1 Pup 2Card 2 reminds me of the party in “A Christmas Carol”. Especially the Mr. Magoo version. I’ll call it “The Fezziwig”. Fezziwig 1Fezziwig 2Greetings Miss BelleFezziwig 3Card 3Timmy1

Timmy 2

This little lamb has not had his tail bobbed

Timmy 3Card 4Gunsmoke 1Jingle bells might have a different ring if the “Oh what fun it is to ride” was in a four horse stagecoach.

Card 5Patriotic 1 Patriotic 2Top hat, Stars, Stripes, Holly, Milk and the American Way. This craftily shaped card has it all for a 1940’s holiday greeting.


Over the River & Through the Wood (Set 4)

Vintage Christmas Cards Set 4 – Home.

Card 1 The simplicity and nuanced welcome of this classic cabin setting is so pleasing.

Home 1

Silver touches & stars

Home 2Genuine calmness.

Card 2

Home 2a

At first glance, is it a festive outhouse? A closer look reveals brick details.

Home 2bCard 3

Home 3a

A peek into a 40’s living room. From whence the term ‘ roaring fire’ was coined.
Christmas and Scotties.

Home 3b

Greeting (Card 3)

Card 4. Graphics swoon, love this card.

Home Sweet Home

From the 30’s.  Love the weight of the card, the colors, the snow frosting of fantasy, the effort evident in the child’s printing.

 Card 5. Home-ish; a significant journey to a temporary home. From LeRoy and Ruth.Xmas 5a Xmas 5b Xmas 5cHome

   Thanks for taking a moment during the busy holiday season to check out cards from the past.

Hope you and yours can be home for the Holidays.

   “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s Decorate!

In a Winter Wonderland (Set 3)

Vintage Christmas Cards Set 3 – Wintertime Activities (from 1938-45)

Card 1. Hit the holiday slopes with this snow bunny! Xmas 2a

Xmas 2b

Girl power 1938

Card 2


Hark are the Bells

Card 3.  A Jolly Christmas

Sledding 1

Watch your noggin, we’re on the toboggan!

Sledding 2Card 4

Xmas 4a

Dropping his pocketwatch and fountain pen, going to crazy lengths for a photo, it is a paparazzi?

Xmas 4b

Nope. Just a birdwatcher

Card 5

Blue Christmas 1

Unique blue paper, feels homemade

Blue Christmas 2

Most most favorite font. Quite like the simple greeting

Card 6.  Delivering presents!

Santa 1

That’s a real feather for Santa’s holding

Santa 2 Santa 3All of the above to you too.

I Saw Three Ships (Vintage Christmas Cards Set 2)

Vintage Christmas Cards  – Ships, all early 1940’s

Card 1. From a member of the US Naval Academy

Porthole Peek

Detail of embossed porthole peek.

Card 2. Hand-tied bow, embossed ship, also from a Navy pen-pal. Xmas 3a

Xmas 3b

Bow detail

Xmas 3c


Xmas 3d

Love the font

Card 3. Also from a USN member. Ship 3a Ship 3bThere is a War on people, what’s with the gentle glances at elegantly presented schooners?


OK, Three ships, and a compass.  Card 4 seemed naval-y too.

Aunt M 1 Aunt M 2 Aunt M 3Hope Aunt Margaret can see that her card still sparkles 70 years later.

 Please see earlier Navy posts, if high quality bond, blended with intriguing graphics during a time of war sparks your interest. My guess is that having something nice–almost a gift in an envelope–small and tactile, to personalize and send, would have been comforting. I hope it was. And all correspondence was, from my view point still is, definitely treasured.