Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kickin' It Old School: Finding Report Cards and School Ephemera from the 1920s and Beyond

Hello hello! No excuses...but I'm here. :) It seems that since we only have about two weeks of summer before the teachers head back to school, that I find more and more vintage school supplies at estate sales. Plus, I'm planning to be The Teacher From the Black Lagoon 1950s, so I've been busy researching and reading old Better Homes and Gardens and etiquette books and collecting vintage clothing for ME to wear to school.  Wait til you see my OOTD posts. I'm so excited!

I've also started a new little business with my sweet friend, Katie, from school.  We now have a shop: Miss Henny Penny, where we hunt down the vintage and bring it to you.  There are exciting things happening with that right now...we are working on parties of the tell us the decade or theme...we bring the goods.

(teacher's hall pass for my room! yay!)

If you are in the DFW area, we will also have a booth at the Loot Vintage Market in September at Texas Motor Speedway!  WOOHOO!  We are super excited about that one, and don't you worry...Feed the Birdies will be there, too, with some swell papers. No way am I giving this up, or this little space. It will always be near and dear.

(I'll fight somebody if they try to take my Ticonderoga pencils. P.S. Didn't Mrs. Payne look nice in her school photos? She had two...what's up with that?)

It's a good thing I took pictures of these when I did. My cat threw up on them today and ruined the lot. Hmph.

Don't you wish report cards still looked like these? "George is a lovely student but..." He could use careful study habits to raise these grades, too.  What is he thinking? Uh Oh. Not a strong S.

I loved finding these old camp "reports" and the student's American Red Cross swimming card. I wonder what her bathing suit looked like? Very modest, I'm sure.

Then there was this school yearbook that I grabbed at the last second off a book shelf at an estate sale.  It is from 1922 and I really can't tell if it is college or high school.  I really believe it is college.  Here is Grace's picture; she must have cut out her beau. I wonder what that story was.

When I opened the yearbook I squealed like I had found money. It wasn't money. It was her report cards. From 1922-23, you guys. What a neat piece of ephemera. Look at her classes and her grades, and notice she took multiple levels at the same time (junior, senior).

Domestic Art and Domestic Science. Love.
Here is her senior class roster, although she was but a lowly sophomore when this yearbook was printed. Don't you love all of these names?

Here she is. Second row. Far right. From Hope, AR. And I guess that Zeb was her beau. Is that who she cut out of the picture? Oh, I bet it was. He must have really broken her heart that summer. 
They look much older than high school sophomores; I bet this is a college. It's also an agricultural college.

I still have so much to share. Lots of neat textbooks and elementary findings with really funny drawings. It's amazing what an abandoned box in a garage will allot you. Don't forget to dig! 

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?