Monday, December 21, 2009

Delightful Retro Finds

Me and a few friends went to lunch at Wendy's today. I love Wendy's. Anyway, they are selling travel mugs for $2.99, and all the proceeds go to the Disabled Veteran's Memorial Fund. There are two style choices. The one I picked has two vintage Coca Cola ads on it from WWII. It's a great stocking stuffer or treat for yourself. Plus you get coupons inside! I tried to find a picture but didn't have success.

My second find of the day was the book "Make Do and Mend". It is a book of reproduction instruction leaflets from WWII. I had seen it on Amazon a few months ago, but found it today at Daedalus books for $5.00. It is full of wonderful WWII-ness, but the info is practical and
useful today: how to darn socks, repair a button hole, storage of your clothes, saving fuel, making slippers, cutting down adult clothes and turning them into children's clothes — and that's just scratching the surface. It is definitely a must have for those of us looking for vintage books and resources.
There is also another book in this series, "Eating for Victory". It's next on my list. ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just a few photos . . .

Here are a few pictures I found sitting on my computer. Enjoy! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Vintage Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Here is the second Christmas cookie recipe from the December 1949 issue of Women's Day.

Sugar Cookies

Costs 34 cents

Yields 2 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, grade B

2 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Confectioners’ sugar icing

silver shot


Cream shortening; add sugar, flavoring, and eggs one at a time; beat until light. Add sifted dry ingredients; mix well. Chill for 2 hours. roll thin and cut with floured Christmas tree cutter or other fancy cutter. Bake on greased cookie sheets in hot oven, 400 degrees F., about 10 minutes. Cool on racks; decorate with icing, silver shot and bits of citron or other candied fruit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Vintage Christmas Recipe: Crisp Ginger Cookies

As promised, here is a cookie recipe from the December 1949 issue of Woman's Day magazine.
If I had a scanner I would post the whole magazine! Sadly, I do not. So here is recipe 1 of 52 vintage cookie recipes from the article "The Cookie Jar" by Glenna McGinnis.

Crisp Ginger Cookies
(Costs 30 cents)

Yields 2 1/2 dozen

1 cup molasses
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sifted flour
2 to 3 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon [baking] soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar icing
Cinnamon drops

Heat molasses and pour over shortening; add sifted dry ingredients; mix well. Chill overnight. Roll very thin on floured board; cut with Santa cookie cutter or other fancy cutter. Put on greased baking sheets and bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees F., for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on racks. When cold, outline cookies with icing; 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Put in small pastry bag or a frosting gun. Decorate with cinnamon drops.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Cards and Barbara Stanwyck

Imprinted Christmas cards bother me. Can't we take the time to sign our own name? I understand if you have mammoth amounts to send out, but still — it's so much more personal and meaningful if it's in your handwriting. That was my rant for today ;)

The other day I was browsing a movie catalogue and came across "The Barbara Stanwyck Show". I never even knew Miss Stanwyck had a show, and I am absolutely thrilled!!! You can buy it on Amazon here. Only one season was made, and this DVD collection (volume 1) has 15 of the 22 episodes. Each episode is a drama, and they are full of guest stars. Barbara Stanwyck won "Best Actress in a Dramatic Series" for her show. (Which makes it surprising that there is only one season!) As a bonus feature on the DVD you get to see her making her Emmy acceptance speech.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas time is coming!!

Ok, not to rush things, but I LOOOOVE Christmas!! It's my favorite time of the year. So I thought I would blog about a few of the things I do to make my Christmas a little more vintage.

I like to tie candy canes on my presents for friends, or put them on their Christmas cards. To me there is something nostalgic about a candy cane. I like to use Spangler Candy Canes. (The Spangler company started in 1906).

Sending out Christmas cards. Sometimes I wonder if Christmas cards will become a thing of the past. I work at Hallmark, and I've already had someone tell me that they refuse to send them out because of postage. I understand, but sitting down and writing out Christmas cards — even if it's just to your close friends — puts you in a Christmas mood. Here is a website where you can buy reproduction vintage cards.

Putting money in the Salvation Army bucket. It goes to a good cause, and you have to admit — you feel good putting it in and being wished a "Merry Christmas". That bell has been ringing since 1901. It's featured in the opening scene of "Holiday Inn" with Fred Astair. Dropping your spare change in their red kettle is such an easy way to be a blessing this holiday season. You can read the complete store about the red kettle here.

Baking Christmas cookies. Put on some swingin' Christmas music, and tie on an apron! It's especially fun if you do it with a friend or family member. Christmas cookies also make nice gifts. My mom used to tell me how baking Christmas cookies was such a big deal when she was little. Her mother used to make tons of them and store them in tins in the bedroom — because it was one of the cold rooms and it kept the cookies fresh. And when company came over, my grandma would bring out Christmas cookies, and also send some home with the guests. I'm going to try and post some cookie recipes from my vintage magazines.

Foil wrapping paper. It's classic. It's also hard to find. Hallmark does have a style of wrapping paper this year that is somewhat close to foil. It has deep gold, cranberry, and green stripes with large snowflakes printed randomly. It's not the real thing, but it's close. There are other papers and gift bags in that line that have a 60's feel.

I know that some of these things aren't necessarily authentic "vintage", but they add nostalgia and whimsy to the holiday for me. Stopping to write cards or bake cookies with my mom — it's a pause in the hectic way Christmas has become. It's a little "homemade" in the "store bought" world. It's memories that will stick with me when the materialistic things fade.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lana Turner & Bob Hope: Priceless!

This video of Lana Turner, performing with Bob Hope on his show, is simply wonderful!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oops . . .

I didn't realize that I had slacked off the blog for ten days! I apologize. ;)

Lately I haven't stumbled across any noteworthy vintage to spark my blogging fancy. Maybe I just need some inspiration.

Here are some lovely photos I had sitting on my hard drive. Enjoy!

Linda Darnell:
Miss Darnell was such a beautiful actress! I'm really loving her hairstyle in this picture. I'm wondering if it would be hard to recreate?

Joan Leslie:
Miss Leslie was very much "the girl next door" in many of her movies. She is still alive and will sign autographs. I encourage you to write to her here.

Ann Miller:
She was such a fabulous dancer! I love watching her. She dances with passion, yet makes it look effortless. And her swimsuit is adorable!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Now I Belong to Jesus

I love hymns. They are so rich! They are "deeper" than many of today's worship songs. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of modern worship songs that I love, but there is something about a hymn. It's as if there is more of a reverence to God written into it.

Anyways, we usually have one hymn in our Sunday worship. I'm always checking to see if there is a copyright to tell me when the hymn was written. It's rare to find a copyright, since most of the songs are public domain. If you do find a date, it's usually from the 1800's through the 1920's. But today's hymn, "Now I Belong to Jesus", was written by Norman J. Clayton and copyrighted 1943. This made me excited! I don't know of any other hymns that are dated during the war. Here are the lyrics:

    Jesus, my Lord will love me forever,
    From Him no pow'r of evil can sever,
    He gave His life to ransom my soul;
    Now I belong to Him;

      Now I belong to Jesus,
      Jesus belongs to me,
      Not for the years of time alone,
      But for eternity.

    Once I was lost in sin's degradation,
    Jesus came down to bring me salvation,
    Lifted me up from sorrow and shame,
    Now I belong to Him;

      Now I belong to Jesus,
      Jesus belongs to me,
      Not for the years of time alone,
      But for eternity.

    Joy floods my soul for Jesus has saved me,
    Freed me from sin that long had enslaved me
    His precious blood, He came to redeem,
    Now I belong to Him;

      Now I belong to Jesus,
      Jesus belongs to me,
      Not for the years of time alone,
      But for eternity.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Movie: Battle of the Bulge (1965)

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. He is very into WWII, and part of the reason I love the 1940's.
I bought him a couple war movies, one being Battle of the Bulge starring Henry Fonda. Some war movies are completely fictitious, and others are very pro-American propaganda (usually ones made during the war). However, I found Battle of the Bulge to be informative, eye opening, and accurate (something my Dad confirmed). I'm not as familiar with the European side of the war as I am with the Pacific Theatre. I was shocked to find out that America had NO CLUE about the attack the German's were planning, and that we nearly lost the Battle of the Bulge.

I feel it is very, very important to watch realistic movies about WWII or read accounts of the men who fought. We need to understand the depth of that war. We need to understand why the homefront was saving scrap metal, rationing, carpooling, and planting victory gardens. Every time I watch an old movie about the war, I am shocked at what our soldiers endured and sacrificed. I ache when I think of what they had to process when they got home, and the memories they had to live with for the rest of their lives.

If you see a veteran, please do not hesitate to walk up to them and say "Thank you. I appreciate your sacrifice." They gave more than we will ever know.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Vintage Pyrex

Today I decided that I would choose a vintage Pyrex pattern, and start collecting pieces for my hope chest. I headed over to PyrexLove and chose Snowflake Blue (also known as Snowflake Garland) from the vintage patterns guide. I like the vintage feel of Snowflake Blue, but it will also be easy to mix in other patterns with blue in it — such as Eyes, Foulard, and Starburst — as well as solid pieces. Pyrex has such a glamourous 50's housewife feel to it! What better way to add some vintage to your kitchen? My wonderful Mom is letting me pick out a piece for her to give me as a Christmas present. She's great. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


In 2007, I discovered that you could write celebrities and ask for autographs — a whole new world opened up! There are many stars from the 40's, 50's, and 60's who will reply to your fan letters and send you autographs. I thought I'd post a list of the older one's I've heard from so you can start your own collection! (excuse the photography. I know it's not the best.)

The rules for requesting autographs are to include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your letter. If you are writing to someone overseas, include an international reply coupon (available at the post office.) For some of the older stars, I sent my own photos.

I get all my addresses from FanMail or ReelClassics.

This was my first success!
I couldn't believe it when I opened the envelope and had a picture that Lauren Bacall actually touched!! I was giddy. Lol.

She provided the picture.

Probably most known for her role in Mildred Pierce,
as Joan Crawford's spoiled daughter.

She provided the picture.

Starred in Royal Wedding with Fred Astair and Peter Lawford

My photo.

Starred with Doris Day in Move Over, Darling and The Thrill of it All.

He provided the picture.

Here is a link where you can view some more of my autographs. Trying to post them on here is a little tedious!

I urge you to write fan letters to these stars from the Golden Era. Not only will you have a timeless treasure, but I'm sure it means a lot to them to still be receiving fan letters. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear back for a while. It took two years for me to hear from Pat Boone and Jane Russell. Some of my favorites are Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Leslie, Joan Fontaine (Joan Fontaine charges $5.00. But she provides a beautiful 8x10 photo!), Jane Russell, Cobina Wright, and Lizabeth Scott. There are many others not included in that list. If you are looking for a certain star, leave me a comment and I will be glad to let you know if I've had any success.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo Friday: Ann Sheridan

Today is bonus day: you're getting three pictures instead of one! (Honestly, I just couldn't pick one. Haha.)

I love this picture of Ann Sheridan sitting on her vanity, applying her lipstick. It's just so classic and glamorous! (This photo is from Listal.)

Ann Sheridan is such a pleasure to watch as an actress, but I don't know too much about her life and career. She was paired with James Cagney in several movies. Her movie career was steady through the 30's and 40's. But by 1950, it was hard for her to find work. Sadly, she died in January 1967 at age 51, from esophageal and liver cancer.
Ann Sheridan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7024 Hollywood Boulevard.

During WWII, Ann was a very popular pin-up, and was named "The Oomph Girl".

Isn't her skating dress adorable?? It's typical to see publicity photos of the stars on the beach or by a swimming pool, but I believe this is the first one I've seen with figure skates. You can also see the cigarette in her left hand.

If anyone knows what movie this would be from or for, please let me know. I was looking at a magazine add for "Winter Carnival" (1939), but her hair and make-up have a more 1940's look.

(This photo is from Dr. Macro. A fabulous place for high quality photos of the stars.)

I had to post this one because of her fabulous hair style, and her great shoes! (This photo came from SkyLighters.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Movie Monday: Orchestra Wives (1942)

To me, Orchestra Wives is simply delightful. You have wonderful actors, Glenn Miller and his orchestra, and fabulous 1940's fashion all in one great film!

I don't want to give away any of the movie, so I'm using the plot summary from IMDB: Connie Ward is in seventh heaven when Gene Morrison's band rolls into town. She is swept off her feet by trumpeter Bill Abbot. After marrying him, she joins the bands tour and learns about life as an orchestra wife, weathering the catty attacks of the other band wives.

This movie will have you up and wanting to dance — especially when they perform "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo."
The acting is good. Carole Landis does a wonderful job at being a catty orchestra wife; Cesar Romero is fun and humerous as the girl-chaser, George Montgomery as the famous trumpeter who falls in love with Connie, and Ann Rutherford as Connie - the small town girl who's just crazzzy about Bill Abbot and his music.

This is a fun movie, with a little, light drama. Plus you get to see Glenn Miller and members of his band acting (who can be less than convincing at times, but still enjoyable). Be sure to check out Ann Rutherford's wardrobe . . . it's gorgeous!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Photo Friday: Carole Landis

I love this picture of Carole Landis! She was so beautiful. And check out that stunning bath robe! I found this picture at Simply Classics. Simply Classics is a fabulous website with an outstanding gallery of High Quality photos of the stars.

Carole Landis had a very tragic life. She was in a string of successful movies in the 1940's. Two of my favorites being "I Wake up Screaming" with Betty Grable and Victor Mature, and "Orchestra Wives" with Ann Rutherford and George Montgomery. Landis often played the second female lead.

During WWII, she toured with a USO troupe in England and North Africa. She also entertained soldiers in the South Pacific with Jack Benny. Carole Landis spent more time visiting troops than any other actress during the war. She contracted amoebic dysentery and malaria while traveling and almost died.

Carole Landis was also an author! She penned several newspaper and magazine articles about her war experiences, as well as the book Four Jills in a Jeep (which I am currently scouring eBay for!) that was later made into a movie.

Plagued by depression all her life, Carole attempted suicide in 1944 and 1946. Her career was declining and her marriage was falling apart in 1948. She had an affair with Rex Harrison who was currently married to Lilli Palmer. The story is that Landis was crushed when Harrison would not divorce his wife for her; unable to cope any longer Carole commited suicide at her home by taking an overdose of Seconal. She was only 29 years old. Her final night alive was July 4th. Harrison and the maid found Carole on the bathroom floor on the afternoon of July 5th. Some sources say that Landis left two suicide notes, one for her mother and the second for Harrison. During a coroner's inquest, Harrison denied knowing any motive for Carole's suicide, as well as denying the existence of a second suicide note.

Cesar Romero, Van Johnson, and Pat O'Brien were among the celebrities at her funeral. Carole Landis has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1765 Vine Street.

Her life was so sad. My heart breaks for her. Did anyone try to reach her? To show her that her life was valuable? That Jesus loved her and treasured her?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vintage Interiors

My apologies for not posting on Movie Monday or Website Wednesday. I've been working a lot and have a lousy cold. 

I stumbled across this website by accident, but it's fantastic! is chock full of pictures, vintage advertisements, product recommendations, and much more. It's a fabulous place to load up on ideas and inspiration! Someday I hope to have a little place that I can decorate with 40's flair. I swiped this picture from RetroRenovation.

<-- I LOVE the red and chrome dinette set! It's my dream to have one of those. I start salivating whenever I see them at antique shops. However, I'm quite smitten with the pint-sized dinette, too. I've never seen one like that before.

I'm currently on the prowl for a vintage vanity. Preferably a wooden one with a BIG, round mirror and art deco styling.  (Photos of Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner are from the Love Your Place blog.)

I'm also trying to find some shelf edging paper. It was very popular in the 40's and usually came in a scalloped edge. Here is a 1947 magazine ad. You were supposed to clip out the paper and try it on your shelves. I would like to find one with a checkered design, or cherries. If anyone knows where I could find some, I would appreciate your wisdom. :)

That's all for now, kids!
-Miss 1941

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Friday: Lana Turner

Last week, Google led me to the fantastic website,, where I found this photo. I think it's absolutely fun and adorable! Lana Turner making sure the seams of her nylons are straight. Priceless.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Website Wednesday: Recipe Curio

A while ago I stumbled across, so I thought I would share it with you.
This is a fantastic website for digging up vintage recipes. They have everything! I'm particularly fond of the hand written recipes and the vintage recipe booklets. Be sure to check out the WWII & Rations section — it's very interesting to find cake recipes without butter or sugar as an ingredient.

Sometimes I wonder if we could survive if we had to go back to rationing. "Make do or do without": I've tried to put that WWII saying into practice before, but I'll admit I soon failed and blew my budget. Lol. I've even contemplated starting a Victory Garden, but whenever my Dad plants tomatoes they never make it .  . . . must be the soil. 

I find it so amazing when you look at magazines or little sewing booklets from the 40's. It's very impressive that the average house wife could make a dress out of old curtains, and then recycle the dress into an apron or place mats! Amazing.

Anyways, stop by the Recipe Curio this week. You just might find the recipe for something your Grandma used to make for you. If you do try a recipe, please leave me a comment and tell me how it turned out. I wish you the best of luck in your vintage recipe endeavors! ;)

V for Victory!
Miss 1941

Monday, September 7, 2009

Shall we?

If there's one thing I wish at least once every day, it's that I could go back in time and live in the 1940's. I can't imagine a more wonderful era! Everything about it seemed good — except for the war. However, I feel that much of the goodness of the era was brought about by World War II. There was this sense of unity among people, everyone pulling together to pull through it. The war effected everything, right down to women's hair styles! Life was horribly tough and depressing, but people kept going and learned to "accentuate the positive".

Perhaps the greatest escape from life at that time was the movies. Movies were being made and released constantly! Movies to brighten your mood, to make you laugh, to give you characters to sympathize with, to introduce you to the next great swing band, and movies to motivate you to do whatever you could to help with the war effort. Movies stars were glamorous. They were untouchable. (I guarantee that you would have never seen Lana Turner walking down Sunset Boulevard in a sweatsuit, looking like she just rolled out of bed.) When you went to nightclubs, you danced. And I mean DANCED! This dancing did not involve grinding. It involved swinging and triple-stepping and lindy hopping until you couldn't feel your feet. Give swing dancing a try sometime. If your not athletic, exhaustion will probably hit you before the second chorus.

By now you probably get the idea of this blog. It's a place to reminisce about a great era. I'll be musing from time to time, as well as posting whatever interesting articles, photos, or websites I come across. But don't be surprised if some non-1940's posts sneak there way in here. ;)

The gal in the profile picture isn't me (although I wish it were!). I just don't have a picture of me handy right now.

Until next time,
Miss 1941