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New Year’s SALE at Belle à Coeur!

Yes, it’s that wonderful time of the year. The time when, due to the flip of yet another calendar page, we humans think we will start afresh. (Ok, I know … most of us actually have to hang up an entirely new calendar, but let’s just go with the flow here.)

I’m not. I started on December 27th thinking I’ll do that afresh starting thing EARLY! That’s right – early. I’ve never been early for anything in my life before, so let’s try that. Guess what. The best laid plans … (wait, how many years has that been in my first post of the year?)

So now I’m resolving … late … I feel like myself again … to never repaint another room after a child leaves home. No more. Never again. Just close that door. The room doesn’t exist. No more thinking about the wonderful adult-y things (out of the gutter, kiddies – I’m thinking OFFICE things) I can do with that room. Nope.

Good news – I think I can keep that resolution. That was the last one to finally move out. Whee! (Boo hoo!) Whee! (Boo HOO!) Note to self: change locks so they can’t get back in and hang a fake address on the door to confuse them. Muahaha! Actually, I do like my (now) adult kids. They work for food. They also work for their own rent, which keeps them out of my house and in their own. Which is why I am standing at the top of a ladder cussing like a sailor, dribbling paint down my arm.

I hate painting. Not only do I hate painting, but more than that, I hate the crap that happens because you’re painting. That doesn’t even count the part about discovering that the paint color makes you want to start painting black specks on it because all you can think of is mint chocolate chip ice cream. I like mint chocolate chip ice cream, but prefer it in my mouth and not on the wall that I was planning to appear as light sage green. Oops. And because everything is out of the room and there is new, fresh, clean paint on the wall every stinking flaw stands out like a huge pimple on Abe’s nose on Mt. Rushmore.

Like that big red Kool-aid stain on the carpet that I tried to get out and made worse. And the blinds I tried to clean but discovered I don’t even want to try to figure out what that is that is splashed across them. Fortunately, both are about 35 years old – we’re pretty sure they came original to the house. The carpet padding is essentially gone. So guess what? Now we need new carpet and blinds. (See paragraph 5, sentence 2.)

What does this mean to you? It means I’M HAVING A SALE! Take 15% off (that’s for 2015 – remember, I’m late for everything) your order totaling over $50. Use Coupon code PAINT. This sale will be good until midnight, Eastern Time, on Thursday, January 15, 2016.

Pop Beads Who Knew They Could Be So Elegant

Who doesn’t just love pop beads? If you’re old enough, you either wore them as contemporary fashion or maybe you played with your mother’s. All the different colors to arrange in a zillion different ways!

My friends at the Jewelry Ring recently were discussing vintage plastic pop beads that look like faceted crystal called Crystelle Poppits and it carried me off to do some research.

Crystelle Poppits Blue Richelieu

Crystelle Poppits Blue Richelieu

Crystelle Poppits Pink Richelieu

Crystelle Poppits Pink Richelieu

I’ve had a few of these necklaces in my shop and never knew that they were made by Richelieu in the early 1960s. Apparently only the earrings were signed – I had no idea there were matching earrings! The necklaces came with hangtags, which of course, are almost always missing.

Always curious when I find out new things, I went wandering around the internet to see what I could see. It always excites me when I find something that documents when a piece of vintage jewelry or clothing was made, like a catalog or newspaper advertisement, and I found one.

This time it is a newspaper article from May 7, 1962. To quote the article, “These are Richelieu’s new Crystelle poppits in clear or colors, with matching eardrops. Can be lengthened or shortened, at will, into choker, bib, rope, even bracelet.” So we know that these unique pop beads date to spring of 1962!

The entire page is just full of more great fashion information from early 1962 – mostly about summer jewelry trends, the latest styles from Napier, Marvella, Trifari, and Kramer. I am absolutely drooling over the fringed earrings and RING(!) from Napier. I only found one pair of vintage fringe earrings signed Napier when I went on the hunt but I really can’t tell if these are the same as the ones in the article. I also love the ad for the Anne Adams pattern. Check it out – it’s a little grainy but readable.  “Cool Look in Jewelry Takes Over for Summer


A New Year – A New Place

Happy New Year!  I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since my last post … I hang my head in shame.  Ok, I’m over it now.  LOL

I have a good excuse.

You see, the building my shop was in has been for sale for 2 ½ years and, finally in October, it sold.  I had to move rather quickly.  I’m still deciding on the final destination for the antique inventory, but so far have put a nice selection in The Crow’s Nest mall in Wabash, Indiana.  It’s a very nice, well-run antiques mall and I’m pleased.  The balance of my inventory – my antique and vintage clothing and jewelry is finally settled in a new little studio.  It’s a little squashed in here, but once I finally get things organized properly it will be cozy.

You know … “they” say you HAVE to include graphics/photos in a blog post.  Please forgive me for avoiding it this time.  I took some photos of the studio space but pride seems to be keeping me from including them.  Still too much of a mess.

But this is a good time to say that I’ve got big plans now that I can devote almost all of my attention to vintage clothing.  For starters, I’ve updated the website structure by consolidating clothing categories in the 1800’s decades to a single category called (get this) “Victorian”.  I’ve also started to remove some of the “best of the best” items that have sold from the regular pages and placed them on a museum page called GALLERY.

My current newsletter subscribers know they’re lucky to see a newsletter every 6 months.  Our Facebook page serves just about the same purpose, so LIKE Belle à Coeur Treasure Trove Vintage on Facebook!

It’s not a lot to start, but I have tons of ideas just trying to come together.  It’s a brand new year and it’s a great time to freshen things up.  I’m really looking forward to being able to focus more on vintage and be more creative this year.

May you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

“Chic Chicago” Exhibit at the Chicago History Museum

Why has my blog been so silent the past couple of weeks?  Other than being busy beyond belief, we took our annual mini-vacation to Chicago.  It’s a treat for us all and a “thank you” to my son and his girlfriend for helping at the vintage clothing shows throughout the year.  We started the tradition about 3 years ago and had so much fun we can’t stop ourselves now!

The museums in Chicago are superb and there are always new, rotating exhibits to see.  Pierceton is close enough to Chicago that we have some Chicago stations on our cable system so we always pick up new ideas of places to go and things to do.  As if there could ever be any boredom there!  Yes, we love to visit the Windy City.

If you hang out with me very long, you’ll find I’m torn between food and fashion.  (Here’s where I have to maintain a little dignity and mention that I CAN still wear vintage clothing, but a girl’s gotta have some fun!)  We discovered Tuscany on Taylor Street in Little Italy.  You know you’re in for a treat when the basket of fresh Italian bread is delivered to the table with a huge roasted garlic bulb that the waiter mashes on a plate and mixes with olive oil.  Oh my.  And accommodating!  My son prefers white sauces and asked if a particular dish could be served with white sauce and before he knew it, the entire dish had been personalized for him.  Our waiter was a complete doll.  We are going back soon, even if we have to make a special trip.

But I digress …

Other than finding a couple new POPs (Pig Out Places) one of my favorite exhibits was at the Chicago HistoryMuseum.   Here’s where I beg everyone’s pardon for the lack of graphics since, understandably, no photos are allowed of the museum collection.  BUT the Museum of Science & Industry has an  Old Town area where fotofanatics can run amok and I got a nice picture of some shoes!

The exhibition “Chic Chicago” displays an exquisite selection of beautiful designer dresses that include antique Worth gowns from as early as 1861, early Chanel – a personal favorite,  Madame Grès, Poiret, Christian Dior’s early New Look, Halston, Givenchy, Vionnet, Versace, Mugler …. plus so many more.   And ohhhh … I was particularly taken with a 1938 evening gown by Gilbert Adrian influenced by Cubism and intrigued by the 1954 “Butterfly” ballgown by Charles James.  The “Butterfly” gown exhibit included a smaller, touchable version that I really appreciated because the wings and bustle are truly a feat of engineering.

Then there was the Fortuny Delphos gowns.   Sigh ……

They had to call the janitorial staff to follow me around to mop up the drool.  Those museum people are so fussy.

Imagine the thrill discovering that there was yet another special exhibition there at the same time, “Bertha Honoré Palmer” that included more breathtaking gowns worn by Mrs. Palmer, wife of Potter Palmer who built The Palmer House hotel.  This exhibition featured antique gowns and personal items owned by Mrs. Palmer that dated from the 1880s to the early 1900s.  Particularly enjoyable to see were more unusual items such as a winter coat, circa 1885, a court presentation gown from 1892 with a 9 foot train, a 1908 teagown, and circa 1910 red velvet shoes.  Remarkable fabrics … fabrics which are so sadly unavailable today.

Yeah, the janitors mopped up there, too.

So if you’re anywhere NEAR Chicago, be sure to take the opportunity to check these two exhibitions out at the Chicago History Museum.  “Chic Chicago” is only open until July 26, 2009 so HURRY!  The Bertha Honoré Palmer exhibition will run until January 4, 2010.

Both exhibition catalogs are available at the Chicago History Museum.  Janitorial services extra.

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