Month: April 2013

Meet Bettina

At the flea market on Sunday, I dropped $5 on this awesome vintage hair dryer:

Not that I ever really set my hair, because it’s completely curl-resistant and I feel like I look funny with curly or wavy hair, but something about this piece spoke to me.

It could be the great ostrich case…

ostrich case hairdryer

I love the rich caramel color.

Or that she comes with a name…

Bettina, the Universal Hair Dryer

Bettina, the Universal Hair Dryer

Or that there’s a nail dryer…

I'm not sure how you're supposed to position your hand, but I'll figure it out.

I’m not sure how you’re supposed to position your hand, but I’ll figure it out.

Or that she came from New Britain, Connecticut, near where I grew up…

Just in case she needs a tune-up....

Just in case she needs a tune-up….

Anyway, she lives with me now. Welcome home, Bettina.

Our friend Jack thought she was built in the mid-sixties based on the artwork. I found a newspaper ad from November 21, 1963 touting Bettina’s “New ultra chic high-fashion styling with dramatic new gift case” on sale for $23.88 (regularly 29.95).

Bettina the hair dryer.

Bettina the hair dryer.

Once I take her out for a test-dry, I’ll report back on my ultra chic-ness. Stay tuned.

First flea market outing of 2013

Yesterday Tim and I went to the Hollis Flea Market with our friend Jack Younger of Basement 247 & Watch City Studios. It was our first trip of the season, and there were more vendors than I’ve ever seen there before. That may have been fueled by the classic car show down the street…in Amherst, New Hampshire there’s a monthly car show, but Tim and I have never quite figured out the schedule, so we’ve never been.

Jack was on the lookout for rusty gears, which he uses in cool steam punk sculptural things around his studio. He and Tim are both always looking for recording gear, and I’m typically keeping an eye out for jewelry, lady head vases, purses, compacts, and pin-up art. All three of us left with treasures.

I liked this radio.

I liked this radio.

A closer look at the radio's face.

A closer look at the radio’s face.

Look at all that bakelite!

Look at all that bakelite!

The woman with all the bakelite was really nice. She had a great variety of colors and widths and carved vs. uncarved pieces. Even though I loved some of the bangles and they fit me, I managed to resist. I may not pass them up if I encounter them again later in the season though! Then I’ll know they waited for me.

I love the carving in the red bangle and the colors in the butterscotch one.

I love the carving in the red bangle and the colors in the butterscotch one.

I didn’t resist this:

Bettina the hair dryer.

Bettina the hair dryer.

Awesome name, gorgeous ostrich case and wonderful artwork. For FIVE DOLLARS. Yes, I broke the moratorium. But for five dollars, I couldn’t leave Bettina the hair dryer to languish at the flea market. She’ll get her own post with more photos later this week.

Jack found some cool large industrial gears and Tim found something for his studio. We wanted to check out the car show, but by the time we were done with the flea market, we were starving. We did see some great classic cars on our way to and from the flea market, though.

We saw this great truck.

We saw this great truck.

And this beauty.

And this beauty.

We saw tons of other gorgeous cars, but I just wasn’t fast enough with my camera. We’ll definitely have to hit the car show later this summer so I can drool over the stunning rides and take tons of pictures.

 

 

Progress report

The moratorium is still on – I haven’t bought any clothes, shoes, make-up or accessories. I did pay for rock-climbing lessons with my friend Amy…I’m hoping to climb fairly regularly to get back into shape. I have three pencil skirts in my closet right now that I LOVE but can’t quite wear…they go on and they zip, but I can’t sit in them because they’re too tight. I want to be able to wear them again by the end of summer.

I even resisted yesterday’s 25% off at Bettie Page Clothing.

My mother came up for a visit over the weekend and we hit some antique stores. She knows about my shopping moratorium and decided to treat me to a few things we found…two lovely blue bangles from Antiques at Mayfair and a carryall from This Olde Stuff. The carryall needs a bit of TLC, but I’m confident that Tim can fix it for me. The lipstick tube has never been used, and it still has the puff and comb.

Two lovely blue bangles - the color is more vivid in person.

Two lovely blue bangles – the color is more vivid in person.

My carryall came in a red and silver striped box. Pretty!

My carryall came in a red and silver striped box. Pretty!

The metal is in gorgeous condition.

The metal is in gorgeous condition.

Here's where I need Tim's help--reattaching the clasp for the cigarette case.

Here’s where I need Tim’s help–reattaching the clasp for the cigarette case.

The mirror is in decent shape as well.

The mirror is in decent shape.

We saw some fun other things, but didn’t buy them. I’m saving money for Matilda, remember? I’m still on a quest for the perfect lady-head vase, which may be a reasonable exception to the spending moratorium, but since we didn’t see any I liked, no worries there. If only the weather would cooperate and warm up so I can pretend I’m wearing new clothes, even if they’re just things that have been in storage all winter.

shopping moratorium

I am going to take a month-long break from buying clothes, shoes, and accessories. And make-up (unless I run out of something crucial like moisturizer and need to replace it). I’ve bought a decent number of new clothes lately, while getting rid of items that were worn out, ill-fitting, or just no longer suited me. But before I buy anything else, I want to get to know what’s in my closet. And hidden away in my warm-weather stash…I’m looking forward to pulling those clothes out of storage this weekend.

In the meantime, I’ll put the money I would have spent on clothes/shoes/lipstick into savings toward the 1940 Dodge.

1940 Dodge

1940 Dodge

Shoes will last a few seasons – or years, if I’m lucky. That car…that’s a lifetime relationship. Sign me up.

Spring melt

Or, rather, spring meltdown. Yesterday a combination of an ill-fitting dress, allergies, and a difficult project at work sent me over the edge. I’ve had the dress for three or four years, and while I loved it when I bought it, I’ve gained weight since then and it just doesn’t work on me any more. It was squeezing my ribs and making me itchy. My allergies tend to manifest not just in nasal discomfort, but also in….itchy/hive-y skin and eyes. Add the twitchiness of a tight deadline working with marginally cooperative coworkers in a distant office where I can’t just corner them in hallways or by the coffee maker, and…something’s got to give.

I needed to feel like I was in control of something.

I took more allergy meds, sent some pointed emails to my remote coworkers, applied some lipstick and went shopping.

JC Penney was kind enough to send me a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more, and there’s a JCP in the mall I pass on the way home from work. I took that as a sign.

Those are stars, not dots. Super-light fabric, perfect for summer.

Those are stars, not dots. Super-light fabric, perfect for summer.

Cotton dress, perfect for spring.

Cotton dress, perfect for spring.

Forgive the lousy iPhone dressing room photos. You still get the idea. What I love about the second dress: The top is lined and it has lingerie straps so my bra won’t peek out everywhere. IT WAS $35. Truly amazing, because similar styles from the online ppin-up places go for 2-3 times that. You know it. I plan to wear the dress today and will try to get photos of it with matching shoes and hair that hasn’t had clothing pulled on and off over it 85 times.

Now to tackle that nasty presentation…