Thursday, May 30, 2013


I got this really sweet figural planter a few weeks ago, which is marked on the underside 'hand painted BETSON'S.'

Nice, right?  

However, having grown up in Philadelphia, Betson's means only one thing to me: 


To this day, if you're in a crowd of people and someone asks, 'Hey, where did everybody go?' at least one person will day 'They went to Betson's.'

Friday, May 24, 2013

party time

Mad Men style!!!

The idea is to pin one of these to your clothing and, hopefully,

hilarity -- or something close to it -- ensues.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

hat blocks

What, you ask, is a hat block?

Or maybe you don't ask because you already know what it is because you're an antiques dealer or a milliner or...

Well, anyway, it's a thingummy for making hats.  See, you shape the hat you're making over the block.  They come in all kinds of shapes for all kinds of hats.  

This one's kinda plain vanilla, I think.  You could make all kinds of hats with this one.

It's a mystery to me what kind of hat this one makes.  A complete mystery.

I'll bet this one makes a jaunty personality-intensive hat.

True fact: My great-grandfather, Harris Levine, was a hatter.  Other than that fact, I know very little about him and have never seen a photo.  

Here's the sum of my knowledge:

He met my great-grandmother on the boat to the US.  His brother Abe was also interested in her, but she chose Harris.

Harris taught himself to read and write English, and when going through my parents' leavings after they died, I found a letter Harris wrote to my grandfather, inviting him over to play cards.  The letter was written in the early 1930s, when few people had telephones, and it was not unheard of to communicate via letter to someone who lived in the same town as you, or even as close as a few blocks away.  My grandfather would have had to have taken a couple trolleys to get to Harris's house.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Say it's only a paper


I got a bunch of 1960s/'70s UNCUT paper doll books from this guy who buys records from me.  I buy paper from him.

Aren't these neat?

And for your listening pleasure:  The Mills Brothers singing Paper Doll

And here's Ella singing Paper Moon

Saturday, May 11, 2013

accessories of awesomeness


teeny tiny 1940s salesman sample alligator shoes

How teeny and tiny are they?  

Just look.

Utterly marveloso 1960s Lewis fabric handbag

perfectly Persian Delill trapunto purse late 1960s

Hernandez snakeskin shoes circa 1980

It's three - three - THREE early 1960s patent leather handbags in one!!

You can also remove the center panel on the above, and just have a plain vanilla black patent leather bag with buckle detailing.  

Next, a divinely and unbelievably awesome Don Anderson hat.  Nautical meets rose-ical.

Gianni Barbato handmade boots!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Adorable Adoptables issue no. 3

New kitties for you to consider making your own!!

Above is Raisin, who is SOOOOO much better-looking in person.  Raisin is, I believe, of a new generation of cats who have little tiny 8-cylinder engines in their throats, so loud and VROOM is his purring.  He's a happy guy who will make you happy, too. 

And this is Roscoe.
Handsome Roscoe is staring into the future, i.e. a happy and somewhat cuddly future where he has a home and people to call his own.   

Could you be one of them?  ADOPTED

Here's Bobby.
Bobby came to us from another planet entirely populated by adorable cats, some of whom travel to earth to experience what living happily with loving humans is like.  In exchange, Bobby will share his out-of-this-world sweetness, playfulness, and loveability.

Next up, our little calico lady.
This is the very graceful Juno, who is working on her special dance series entitled, 'Adopt Me and I'll Love You Forever.'  In addition to her terpsichorean talents, she also is an experienced ball player and champion cuddler.  ADOPTED

Next is the very special, and completely awesome Moonshine.
Dear Moonie has only three legs, but according to the people who study these things, he is three times more loveable, three times more playful, and significantly more handsome than other leading cats.   You just have to watch him furiously chase a ball to know that one little leg missing means nothing to him.

You can visit all of these charmers, plus Leni, who appeared in Adorable Adoptables issue no. 2,  at the Petco at 9717 Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia.

Adorable Jasmine from Adorable Adoptables issue no. 2 came down with kitty sniffles, and had to be sent to Wellness, which is PAWS's in-house vet clinic.  She may return to Petco, or may be adopted through another PAWS adoption spot.  But she WILL get adopted sooner or later.  We wish our little doll the very best.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A photo essay from my fascinating life!!

Last Sunday, we got it in our heads to go to Cape May because a) we adore it, and plan to move there, and b) I'm renting a space in the Cape May Antiques Center, and I wanted to see if I sold anything.  

The day started, like all our weekend days, at the Philly's (not very) famous Quaker City flea market.
We were there kind of early, which explains the sparse crowd above.  

Somebody was selling...
Part of a confessional.  My husband took the opportunity to ask for forgiveness for his sins.  His most egregious sin is leaving his crumpled up paper napkins on my kitchen table after he eats.  That drives me insane.  And when he cooks, anything he's used that came in a can, he leaves the empty cans in the sink.  If that's not an actionable offense, I don't know what is.

We came upon this
And he said something hilarious about the picture on the left, and I thought, 'Ooh, I gotta put that on my blog.'  But now I forget what he said.

There was only one find, but it's a super-neato cool one, to wit:
TWENTY-ONE Dark Shadows novels.  And one plain vanilla gothic novel by the author of the rest, Marilyn Ross.  

Back in the day, they would put out paperback novels based on the characters from popular shows.  To this day, I remember the opening line from what I think was a Columbo novel:  
                         "The girl was very young, very beautiful, and very dead."

Going to the car to go to NJ.
For a small flea market, Quaker City gets gajillions of people.  They've opened another parking lot to handle the crowds.

We missed church that day, but I read my Bible in the car on the way down.  It was early when were getting close to our destination, but as we were near Woodbine, NJ there was a roadside antiques store that was open, so we went in, to find
History's most cockamamie lamp.  If it had been metal rather than chalk, I'd have bought it.  We bought some other stuff, an slightly less wild lamp, a piece of adorable retro jewelry, and two lady and gent wall plaques made from black coral.  I'd give you the name of the shop,but I forget the name.

The back of the shop opens to this big field, which looked to me like some agriculture was going on.  My husband said, 'Yeah, way in the back there, it's an orchard.'  But I wanted to know what this green stuff in front of it was:
 He said, 'Oh, they're just weeds.  

If they're really weeds, they're the world's most organized, disciplined ones.

There was another shop down the road, Teaberry Something or Other, but although the sign screams '60 DEALERS!!!' as least 59 of those dealers are selling new, Made in China garbage.

It wasn't too long before we arrived at our destination.

Wanna see my case?
My case is not the only one carrying awesome, must-have stuff (it's just the best one), there's lots of other cool things to buy (not as awesome and must-have as my stuff, but desirable nevertheless.)

But here's the kind of thing that can give your antique co-op a bad name.
A piece of phony baloney 'Roseville' (yeah, right) made in China.  This is one of the WORST examples I've ever seen.  In REAL Roseville, the colors are part of the glaze, which goes into the glazing oven, or whatever they call it.  The example above was cold-painted, i.e. painted by some grunt with an air-brush. 

If I were running an antiques co-op, fakes and repros would not be permitted.  Actually, I'd be VERY tough on what gets in and what doesn't.  

What doesn't would be new anything, ESPECIALLY new Made in China anything, no new craft items, no new clothes, nothing gross or tasteless.  Everything would have to be legitimately old, and not offensive to my sensibilities.  Thank you.

After we left, we went into Cape May proper, to get a look at the house we're planning to buy.
ha ha.  That's the Inn of Cape May.  It would be a little big for just the two of us.

We ate at... well, it was very OK, but not so awesome that I'm going to give the restaurant's name.  Because I care.

Where you DON'T want to go in Cape May is a certain white tablecloth Italian restaurant in the Washington Street mall (it's an open air strolling dealie, not a real mall) which may or may not be named Cucina Rosa.  I had a seafood stew at this restaurant, and the shrimp were not deveined.  I've worked in tons of restaurants, and a lapse like that would have have heads rolling in the kitchen, and at the very least the chef coming to the table to beg for mercy.  The treatment I got?  Not only was there no apology, but even though I send the entree back, and didn't want a replacement, they still added it to the bill. 

The Fish Market, also on the mall, is a decent place to go, plus it's the only restaurant in Cape May that features a man wearing

a lobster costume.

Here's what I consider the number one attraction of the mall:
This is in the window of a toy store or a kids clothing store.  The little puppets bounce up and down in an adorable little dance.  I could look at it all day.  It's THAT cute.

My husband doesn't see the appeal.  Here's the seashore thing he could look at all day:
This is on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ.  Smoke comes out of the ship and the pirate's gun, and the parrot's head moves.  I could park my hubs in front of this, wander the rest of the boardwalk, return to him two hours later, and he'd still be staring at it with awe on his face.

Here's some more stuff:
The above is Cape Island Baptist Church.  This is where we go then we're down there.  You should go.  Pastor Berger gives a very fine sermon, and they have a good choir. 

Some pretty nature: