Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Just setting this up...what took me so long? You can follow me here. Be back soon!
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Does Buying Vintage Linens Creep You Out?

Hi there! I'm over at Miss Henny Penny today, talking about how I choose linens at estate sales, and then what I do with them when I get home. Do old linens make your skin crawl? Do you wonder how to get the "smells" out? I'll tell you! Come visit us right over here.

P.S. Have I told you about Miss Henny Penny?  That is a new shop my friend, Katie, and I have started, that has everything vintage BUT paper. So, now you can find me in two places at once! It's vintage everything...but Feed the Birdies is still my paper place. Stick around!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Vintage Mead Data Planner PLUS The Trapper Keeper is Back!

I bet you had one, and if you didn't, you sure did want one. Have you seen the articles around the interwebs about the Trapper Keeper coming back? I'm going to try really hard not to get in a scrimmage over one when they hit the shelves. My goodness, what teacher wouldn't want one?

But, about a month ago, guess what I found in a tiny white closet sitting on a shelf? An unused Mead notebook (Data Planner), and heavens to Betsy if it didn't have a cat on it.  I was giddy, squealed at my daughter a bit, scooped it up and hugged it tight until I got to the checkout. Sorry, this one won't make it to the shop. Sure, it's not a Trapper Keeper, but it reminded me so much of the one I DID have when I was a kid. And it snaps. And has cool folders inside.

Did you know that some schools banned the Trapper Keeper with the Velcro (when they transitioned from snap closure) because teachers didn't like the noise? They went right back to the snap.

A little bit of history about the notebook I found, the Data Planner: it is older than the Trapper Keeper and came out about 5 or 6 years before.  It included a calendar, pencil pouch, and schedule planner, and gray file folder pockets, and then has a clip on the back inside for a legal pad.  It's pretty neat.. AND mine HAS A CAT ON IT. I know how I'm organizing my classes this year. I bet the kids try to talk me out of it.

(Did you know that Mead made the Big Chief Tablet, too? It's right on the front, but I never noticed.)

Well, rumor has it that Target will carry the new Trapper Keeper when it comes out this month. That means any day now.  I'll race ya.

P.S. I've been on a new adventure these last few weeks.  I have an announcement to make in a couple days! Summer is good. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why You Should Read Vintage Magazines

Better Homes and Gardens is my top pick when it comes to buying vintage magazine issues. These three are 1956-58 and I pulled them out of a neat stack tied up with nylons in an old shed. They aren't in the best shape, but there are still lots of things to learn from them! Here's why you should buy...and read...old magazines. 
1. Design ideas. Even if you aren't a mid-century lover, you'll be inspired by tips and arrangements for your home.
2. The articles are very informative, especially if you purchase from estate sales like we do, and need to find out about details like dates, replacement parts, manufacturers, etc. (And then there are articles that are just plain FUNNY.)
3. Old magazines are a super cool history lesson. 
4. And you can see somebody must have cut some things from this issue for a school project, maybe?
5. The recipes. I've found Aunt Audrey's Puff Pastry and a pineapple salad recipe we've searched for, for a long time.
6. The ads and illustrations. Be they ever so sexist, they're still worth the giggles and the surprised look on your face! 
7. You can dream of owning a pink GE kitchen, for $35 per month. 
8. Christmas decor and gift ideas just got a little more nostalgic. 
9. The cars. I want a Nomad. 
10. And, last but not least, take the plans and patterns and create that decade, year, or childhood memory all over again. 

I buy most of my magazines at estate sales, of course, but you can also find them at antique malls, Etsy, or EBay. Others to look for are Family Circle and McCall's. Follow me on Instagram, @feedthebirdies, for my Tonight's Reading posts to see what issues I've read or will read. It's a fun little hobby! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"You can see that Hitler had a grip on the people..."

I may have shown you a few of these before, but they are worth the repeat.  We were shopping at an estate in Garland and my husband bought an old drill from the garage.  In the box, in the owner's manual, wrapped up and hidden, were these pictures and letters. 

We've pondered the story of why they were hidden, and we are pretty sure these came from a French soldier that was killed and then a serviceman sent them home to his family. 

They are eerie and fascinating, and very much a thought provoking discovery. 

Finding things like this has made me much more interested in history itself.  They are real.

They tell a horrible story.

They depict the terror and the devastation of the war. I held back some of the more graphic ones out of respect for the men and women that lost their lives. 

We contacted the local Holocaust museum to see if they would want to use them on display, but we were told they would be placed in the archives. We decided to keep them. We have some of them framed and the rest stored with our own photos.  I suppose I should write the story of how we found them and place it with the pictures for safe keeping. 

Have you ever found anything of such historical value?  What would you do with them? We've sat in the floor and stared at them...trying to figure out each minute of what happened. We have negatives, too.  And two letters. The letters are about family and buying cigarettes, interestingly enough. But the "Heil Hitler" and the swastika are enough to rattle you to the core, no matter the message in the body. No wonder they were hidden. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

All Dressed Up for a Rockabilly Party

Every year, our friends host a huge party to celebrate their birthdays.  It's gotten bigger and bigger these past few years, and what used to take up one hanger on a small air strip now spans three hangers plus a bit. There are hot rods, Miatas, WWII jeeps, WWII aircraft with fly over demonstrations, all kinds of other aircraft, and hundreds of people that flock in for a family friendly day of rockabilly fun.  

One hanger hosts a rockabilly band (this year The Blue Dots) and the other Buddy's Big Band from Fort Worth.  This year they had swing dance lessons for beginners right before the band started to play so you didn't feel like a total newbie on the floor.  

Lots of folks dress in period clothing from WWII to the 50s and early 60s.  The WWII impression you see above is Woody, who graciously allowed us to interview him here a few months ago about reenactment. This is the second year Kate and I went to Lynne of Vintage Flair to have our hair and makeup done (she's done my hair for every pin up shoot as well--and her work is fabulous...I mean, did you SEE the back of my hairstyle? No, really, did you see it??).  Once Katie had it done last year, it kind of became a mother/daughter tradition, and that's perfect since the party sits right around Mother's Day each year. 

Katie and I went in poodle skirts (can't talk William into going as our Fonzie yet, haha) and she was pretty much the Belle of the Ball.  That very last picture shows you what the carnage of a 1950s up-do looks like. Haha!  I was able to wear it two days, and probably could have worn it a third, if I could have figured out how to keep the toilet paper wrap in place at night.  I'm not as good at that as my grandma was.

Going to parties like these makes me wish I dressed this way all the time and did my hair the same.  I love it. I should have been a teen of the 50s and a woman of the 60s.  But I don't mind the attention it gets me when I do dress the part now. 

Have you had an experience like this one?  I wish it was more than just one time each year.  I'm trying to talk William into meeting with these folks for swing dancing each weekend during the summer.  It'd be swell, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No Envelope, No Box: How to Mail a Letter Vintage Style!

My pen pals really inspire me with the unique ways they send their letters, so I have been brain storming fun ways to reply...and not just in the letter, but how it gets to them from here. And, since I am a scavenger for all kinds of vintage paper, I've come up with a few ideas to share, so you can send mail (of any personal kind) in something other than an envelope or a box.  Grab your packing tape and let's get going!

Vintage Record Sleeve--you can find orphan record sleeves in all kinds of places, maybe even in your own collection.  I've seen them in book resale shops, thrift shops, and estate sales.  Find a cute one, add your letter or paper bits, seal with tape, and send it! I used vintage Dennison labels to address mine.

Or try this--a vintage children's record/book. Write the letter on the pages of the book, and fill the sleeve for the record with little treasures, tape closed, and mail. Who doesn't love a memory of a good Disney story?

Adding vintage ledger paper to the inside and securing with washi tape makes a great place for your letter. And it's kind of like a treasure hunt through the book to find the letter! This idea was from Xenia of Saturday Morning Vintage.

Vintage Bound Photo Album--There are almost always old pictures at the estate sales we shop, and I've picked up a few old photo albums from family trips.  Write your letter on the back of the pictures, and let the photos be a trip down memory lane, or if they are not your own, they are cheap entertainment and the subjects remain anonymous!

An old library book makes a great presentation. Xenia, of Saturday Morning Vintage, sent her last letter to me using one.  She wrote the letter on ledger paper that was taped to the pages using washi, but the pictures of the birds in the pages were left untouched for me to enjoy.  This was one of the cutest things I have ever received, and I love her letters. She taped it shut and put the postage right on the cover of the book.  It is beautiful!

What will you mail your next letter in? Show me!