Grey goose vodka pendant light by uniqueglassware $50
Ever wondered how you could cut a glass bottle with a clean edge without power tools? Here is a simple and fairly quick way to do so! Make luminaries, candle holders, drinking glasses, vases, you name it!
  • put on some safety goggles and gloves.
  • wrap a string around a wine bottle four or five times and then tie it.
  • fill a pot or kitchen sink with very cold water.
  • soak the string in acetone (or nail polish remover) and put it around the bottle.
  • light the string and rotate is as shown in the video.
  • quickly put the bottle in the water when the acetone is about to go out.
  • you may need to try again if it doesn't work the first time.
  • use sandpaper or better yet, a dremel tool, to file the edges smooth. this is most important if you are making drinking glasses!

Acorn sorting game by IndieBambinos $32
What is Waldorf? Waldorf education (also known as Steiner education) focuses on imagination and collaboration in learning. There is a large emphasis on "free play" where children are allowed to learn in their own time and ways. The classroom is often like a home.

Within the Waldorf education program, students generally fall under four temperaments: choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, and sanguine. The temperament classifications help teachers relate to and understand their students and the way they interact with others.

Concepts are generally introduced through stories and images. Many concepts are taught through hands-on learning as well. Students will also usually learn 1-2 secondary languages while attending Waldorf schools. "The goal of Waldorf education is to enable students as fully as possibly to choose and, in freedom, to realize their individual path through life as adults." - waldorfanswers.com In essence, Waldorf education lets kids be kids while giving them a love for learning.

Waldorf toys are iconic in their simple design: usually of natural materials such as wood or natural dyes. IndieBambinos is one such Etsy seller who specializes in the creation of unique Waldorf toys that encourage hands-on and imaginative learning.

Extra Wide Wooden swing by SkySaddleDesigns $98
SkySaddleSwings creates handmade wood and rope swings that can be hung from a backyard tree for years of use. They use natural Manila fiber within their rope and are able to be custom built to a variety of sizes and specifications. 
Same sex family custom dolls by TheEnchantedCupboard

TheEnchantedCupboard is another Etsy seller specializing in Waldorf toys. She is specifically unique in that she sells a variety of handmade and handpainted wooden dolls. Customs are available as well. Another awesome thing about The Enchanted Cupboard is that she offers same sex family dolls and dolls of all different ethnicities. I find this to be an excellent way for teaching children respect, tolerance and love in a happy and hands-on way.

My mother grew up in the South and always talked about how everything food-related involved butter and gravy. I was curious about where some of these "comfort foods" came from. Here is a selection of yummy recipes for a southern-inspired meal with a vintage twist of delicious history. 

 ( 1 )  Old - Fashioned  Mint  Julep

The exact origins of mint juleps are unknown but are thought to have first been described in 1803 as a drink that Virginians regularly drank. Many contemporary mint julep recipes call for whiskey, however a recipe that dates from approximately 1862 specifies the use of brandy or cognac. 
Did you know? Mint juleps have been dubbed the official drink of the Kentucky Derby!

  • 1 Cup brandy or cognac
  • 1 Ounce Jamaican rum
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • Several fresh mint leaves
Step 1:Dissolve one tablespoon of white pulverized sugar in two and one-half tablespoons of water.

Step 2:Take two sprigs of fresh mint and press them well in the sugar and water, until the flavor of mint is extracted.

Step 3:Add one wine glass of Cognac brandy, and fill the glass with fine shaved ice, then draw out the sprigs of mint and insert them in the ice with the stems downward, so that the leaves will be above, in the shape of a bouquet.

Step 4:Arrange berries, and small pieces of sliced orange on top in a tasty manner, dash with Jamaican rum, and sprinkle white sugar on top.

Step 5:Place a straw (across the top of the glass), and you will have a julep that is fit for an emperor.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/recipe/old-fashioned-mint-julep#ixzz20L839C85 

( 2) Hushpuppies

Hushpuppies are basically a deep-fried dumpling made of cornmeal. There are many stories surrounding the creation of hushpuppies. One story goes that when hunters and trappers were out on the trail for days at a time, they'd cook up these dumplings and feed the leftovers to the dogs to keep them quiet or "hushed". There is another story that confederate soldiers would cook up these cornmeal cakes around a campfire. If they detected Yankee soldiers approaching, they could quickly throw their dogs some cakes to keep them quiet.

  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water


Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, egg, salt, baking soda, milk, and water. Mix until batter is smooth and free of any lumps. Batter should be stiff (if batter is too dry, add milk; if batter is too thin, add cornmeal).

Step 2: In a cast iron skillet or a large heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil to 350° F or until a small amount of batter dropped into the hot oil sizzles and floats. Do not let the oil get too hot or the center of the hushpuppies will not cook thoroughly.

Step 3:Using two spoons, push a small amount of batter into hot oil (370° to 380° F). After about 10 seconds, hushpuppies will float to the top and begin to brown. Fry for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning to brown all sides.

Step 4: Remove from oil and place hushpuppies on paper towels; continue cooking the remaining batter (fry in small batches, adding 4 to 6 hushpuppies to the oil at a time). NOTE: They can be held in a 200° F oven until serving time (approximately 30 minutes). Serve hot.

Makes 2 dozen hushpuppies.

Source: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/Hushpuppies.htm 

 ( 3 ) Creole Jambalaya

Here's the main dish: Jambalaya! Jambalaya originated in the Caribbean islands. A mix of Spanish, Native and African cultures all had a part in the creation of this dish as we know it. It is said that the creation of Jambalaya was based on a Spanish dish called Paella. Since Paella calls for Saffron, and early settlers lacked such a commodity, they replaced saffron with tomatoes. The first Jambalaya recipe was printed in 1837 in New Orleans. The name is supposed to have derived from the The Atakapa tribe of the region with an original word sound of "Sham, pal ha! Ya!" which means "Be full, not skinny! Eat up!" 
I found this lovely scanned image of an original creole jambalaya recipe below...


 (4)  Sweet   Potato  Pie

This southern dessert recipe owes its origins to African culture. Yams were a popular produce (and still are!) in Africa. It is said Africans brought over in the slave trade introduced white settlers to the sweet potato and eventually it transformed into a pie, similar to a pumpkin pie. Many recipes were handed down from generation to generation, so there are plenty of variations. Add whipped cream for an even sweeter and festive look. The recipe below includes orange peel, but you can do without the orange if you wish.

  • 3 small to medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of finely grated orange peel (don't leave out)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar 
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Step 1:Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Clean and rinse sweet potatoes. Place into deep cooking pot and boil until tender. Drain and remove skin. OR you could bake potatoes in oven until fork tender. 

Step 2:Place mashed potatoes in large mixing bowl. Add eggs and butter. Blend for 2 minutes with electric mixer. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and milk. Continue beating then add cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, and vanilla. Blend well.

Step 3:Prick bottom and sides of thawed crust with fork; sprinkle lightly with 1 teaspoon sugar. Place pie crust in over for 5 minutes or until crust rises or is lightly browned, let cool. 

Step4:Pour pie mixture into pie crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate.

Yield: 12 to 14 servings for 2 pies.

Source: http://www.soul-food-advisor.com/soul-food-recipes.html 


Tan Whiskey Flask by LiquidCourage
My family and I have been planning to go camping together this coming weekend. Six kids (myself included) and my mother are going to drive a little over 6 hours in two cars to Grand Marais, MN which is about 40 minutes from the Canadian border. We've gone to this same location every year for as long as I can remember. The staples of a north shore vacation include: waking up and getting donuts & coffee, sitting on the beach for at least three hours a day, hunting for agates and having lots of campfires. Sitting next to Lake Superior is like visiting any ocean. It's cold (I've heard somewhere around a constant 40 degree water temperature) and I've seen waves that surfers would be psyched to see. I've had good memories camping-- even when it was 32 degrees one year!
In honor of this illustrious adventure, I have decided to create a little showcase of handmade and vintage camping items.

Enjoy lovelies!

Today's "Get the Look" post is focused on the little black dress. This particular style of little black dress has the elements of a classic silhouette, late 50's to early 60's elegance, short sleeves for summer and the belted natural waistline. A flattering look on just about any figure. Perfect for the career-oriented, romance-seeking and independent woman.

Like   This?

Flared cotton and wool-blend twill dress.

Try   This!

Polyester blend dress with pleated skirt and button-up front.

Vintage phone ipod dock by Woodguy32
Woodguy32 is a truly original craftsmen. I actually stumbled across his art on the front page of Etsy one day and couldn't resist clicking! Not only does he make handmade unique iphone and ipod docks, he also creates really cool computer accessories like steampunk monitors and keyboards. The iphone dock to the right was made with a vintage phone and crafted base--did I mention the phone can also be hooked up as a landline and works??

His unique craftsmanship and design is something I was really drawn to. Why would I go out and buy a regular piece of junk ipod dock when I could get a beautiful work of practical art from someone local? He also creates wood body hot rod cars. You can check them out at http://www.woodieworks.net/.

Resin Wall Elephant by mahzerandvee.
Another etsy seller I recently stumbled upon was mahzerandvee. They make absolutely gorgeous and detailed realistic resin sculptures-- often of animals such as elephants and deer. They are another husband-wife team with four kids who truly have followed their passions.

Their colorful home accessories and decor remind me of an episode of Color Splash on HGTV. You can tell they put a lot of time in the craftsmanship and painting of these very unique pieces. Did I mention they are also quite affordable? At around $130, the elephant head to the right could yours. It's the sort of wall hanging that everyone will be talking about....the perfect conversation piece.

Portrait of Coco Chanel
I was recently at the Family Video store with my boyfriend. We were looking for a good movie to watch. As always, I had to scour the racks of "bargain" movies in which consisted of mostly Shark Night, Jonah Hex and something with badly animated talking animals. However, one DVD caught my eye: a lonely copy of Coco Chanel. I won't be writing a review of the movie as I believe everyone has different tastes. However, I will say I did enjoy it (though it was much longer than expected).

The thing that sparked my interest the most was the story of how Chanel began--in the early 20th century right around the era of the 1920s. She was a forerunner in modern womens fashion in a time when the women enjoyed little freedom in the world-- in society and in fashion.

The '20s was a time of great change in the world of womens fashion. After the first world war, women enjoyed a new sense of freedom previously not enjoyed. It was acceptable for the average American woman to enter the workforce and shed the restricting undergarments of the previous generation.

The silhouette of womens dress became straighter and less form fitting. Not only did WWI have an effect on fashions of the 1920s, but the womens rights movement had an effect as well. For the first time in centuries, women were allowed to wear more "boyish" clothing and hemlines that reached to their knees. Short hairstyles also became popular as they were easier to maintain and also created a better sense of equality in the workplace with male counterparts. Have a look at some lovely 1920s fashions courtesy of the lovely Etsy sellers below.

Also, if you're interested in checking out some real movies from the 1920's, here is a selection of well-liked picks:
-Metropolis (1927)
-Nosferatu (1922)
-The Merry Widow (1925)

1920s Black Flapper Dress by FabGabs
1920s Cloche Hat in Black and Beige by PoppycockVintage
1920s Stretch Rhinestone Belt by JBeseda
1920s Black Leather High Heels by VeraVague
1920s Pink Bed Jacket by iandrummondvintage
1920s Silk Floral Evening Gown by posiesforlulu
Handmade birch bark & wood American flag by MadeAtTheLake
Since the 4th of July is tomorrow, I deemed it appropriate to focus a blog post on our nation's history. One piece that seems to always be in disagreement or misinformation is the origin of the American flag. Did Betsy Ross really sew the first flag? Did Washington create the first flag design? I decided to dig up some answers...

It is believed by most notable scholars and historians today that Francis Hopkinson is the original designer of our American flag and is recorded thus in journals from the Continental Congress. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act saying: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." June 14th is now known as flag day for this commemorative event.

Eventually, as states were added, so were stars and stripes. On April 4, 1818 President James Monroe signed an act that stated there would be 13 stripes (one for each original U.S. colony and one star for each state. New states' stars would be added on July 4th after their admission to the Union. ) Throughout the course of the 20th century, alterations were made to the alignment of stars (six rows of eight each, seven rows of seven each, etc.) 

Robert G. Heft is actually the designer for our most current flag and originally designed it as a school project when he was 17 years old. This was a time when Hawaii and Alaska were being discussed as possible states. His teacher gave him a B minus since she stated "It lacked creativity". His teacher told him he could raise his grade if it was adopted by Congress. So naturally, he sent it to his representative, where it eventually became our most current United States flag design.

Before his death in 2009, Heft said, "I never thought when I designed the flag that it would outlast the 48-star flag. I think of all the things it stood for in the past, the things we've done as a nation that we're proud of. It's not a perfect country, but where else would I like to live?" 

Since my Mad Men party is approaching, I've been searching for little things here and there that will make the perfect "Joan" costume. One thing I knew I needed was a long gold pen necklace.

Joan wears it quite a bit throughout the last few seasons and I knew it would be the perfect final touch. Well, I set off on my quest to find this elusive piece, when lo and behold, I found one right away on Etsy for the steal of a price of $18.99!

HallofFemme is the seller of such customized jewelry, often seen in movies and on TV. I had to order the necklace right away. I received it within the week after paying, and I have to say, it felt like Christmas! The packaging was extremely well done-- a small cardboard box with padding and a felt lining at the top. I could have easily given it as a gift to my designer-loving grandmother. The necklace was surprisingly heavier than I expected-- in a good way. I figured for the price, some of the components might feel a bit cheap. However, I was so pleased to discover that every component of this necklace felt like good old-fashioned quality.

This necklace is full of quality-- from the way the pen smoothly glides open to write something (and yes, you can actually write with it) to the fine quality chain it is attached to. The 35" chain is the perfect length. HallofFemme told me that she can do custom colors as well (which is good news for all you color-loving gals!). I was so happy with my purchase, I think I left like three paragraphs of positive praise in the feedback score. For $18.99, you can't get a better replica of Joan's gold pen necklace.

It is already the second edition of "Get the Look" where I feature a fabulous (and expensive) designer gown and give you lovely readers a vintage alternative for sale in my shop! Wearing vintage does not have to break the bank...

Like  This?

Geometric print silk-gazar dress in blue and gray.

Try  This!

1950s geometric dress size small
Geometric print cotton dress with belt in gray and olive.

© 2011-2012 Bonfire Vintage Co.