Chats Between the Two of Us

Back from the Rabbit Hole

Pencil drawing of two rabbits dressed in 1920s clothes and carrying bags with letters and drawings on them.

When I started this blog two years ago I had great intentions. I wanted to curate my extensive collection of primary vintage and antique source material, throw in some interesting suggestions for books written from 1910 – 1960, along with a historical novel or two from today, and generally make this a great place to hang out from yesteryear, but in the present time. And that didn’t quite happen.

What did happen was that I fell down the rabbit hole of research. I love research. I love to read, and dig, and burrow, and assemble – which is why I have all this awesome primary material to begin with. It’s what I pull out on rainy days, with a cup of hot coffee or tea to keep me warm as I read. When I turn the pages of these magazines, books, and leaflets, they transport me to another time. That’s what I wanted to bring to you, here.

I don’t have a staff, or an assistant, or a photographer. It’s just me, sitting with a pile of magaazines, books, kitchen implements, favorite recipes, vintage fabric, and a dream. The dream still lives, and I still have all those stories and pictures and recipes.

So let’s try this again, now that I’ve returned from the rabbit hole of endless research. Let’s explore how people lived, cooked, played, created, and sang. Let’s see what they read, what they wore, what they loved. And let’s take the best of those things and bring them into the modern day so that they aren’t lost to the dust of time. Because that would be a shame.

Next time: A correspondance school changes their ad style and it alters their future in 1919. It’s a fascinating story, and I’m going to give you the entire first ad that they ran.

Chats Between the Two of Us

Why Vintage? Answering the Call

The graceful folds of handmade lace.

A tasteful and inviting tea spread.

Party decorations you made yourself.

That short story from World War I that leaves you dreamy… or thoughtful.

Why does vintage or retro appeal to you? And how can you slip it into your life so it flows, so it looks like it was designed to be there?

To begin with, trends run in cycles. Poodle skirts appeared in the 1950s, and again in the 70s. The trendy longline sweater of 1987 found its way to the magazines in 2017 (sans shoulder pads). If the fashion designers can pull from past styles to add spice to today, so can you.

When you add something out of the ordinary, that addition sparks interest. How many times have we stopped to notice landscaping that offered a unique twist — figures of fairies peeping out from under a leaf, or a garden gnome clad in the home owner’s favorite team jersey colors? The same is true for anything you tweak: your decorating, clothing, entertainment, or meals. Adding a spark from the past is a delightful way to add your unique touch.

Dipping into the past can be refreshing. A cup of coffee, an appealing magazine from 1928, an hour to myself, and I emerge ready to face the uncertain, the unsettling world we live in. Once again I am ready to engage.

Welcome to my corner of the world. Here we will delve into recipes from former days, and I’ll show you why they still work today.

Want to throw a party? Use or adapt vintage ideas for a retro party that rocks. 

Learn the secrets of vintage DIY so that you can create masterpieces of your own.

Need some space to disconnect and recharge? Read a vintage short story that transports you. 

Advice from yesterday’s periodicals can be timeless or quirky. We’ll dip into both. Depending on the time or the topic, the suggestions can also be flat-out wrong — those little gems we’ll leave right where they lie, or we’ll talk about safe modifications. 

Fitting vintage into your life doesn’t mean that you have to leave your world. There’s room for both, and each one brings a sparkle to the other.