Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Junk Love: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

The countdown has begun. Only hours remain until Santa lands on your house, and then you'll wake up to a snowy (or, in our case, rainy) Christmas morning! Unless you live in the desert, in which case it'll be a sandy Christmas morning, and good for you! Anyway, after a delicious breakfast, a second cup of coffee, and a quick kiss under the mistletoe, you'll get down to the business of opening presents and celebrating the holiday while looking utterly innocent and cute. Right?

Well, these ladies make it look easy. You might want to take notes.


And once the living room is covered with crumpled paper, shredded tissue, and wrinkled bows (which someone else should have to clean up), you might want to get a little fresh air. Apparently, this is a pants-optional thing.

And when you return to the house with flushed cheeks, tingling hands, and a bright red nose, the best way to warm up is to make use of that mistletoe one more time....

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Countdown

The Blackbird girls love making lists (just like Santa!), and they often result from heated, near-violent (not really) debates about important things, like movies. And with the holiday season well under way, the only movies worth debating are pre-1960 Christmas movies (despite what all of those headlines and Twitter wars are telling you lately). We may still disagree about the exact ranking, but you know how it goes--she who types the blog gets to pick the order! The players, however, were unanimously chosen, which is one of the billion reasons why we get along so well. And if you're expecting It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street to be on this list, you might as well stop reading now. Christmas joy is great and all, and we've both shed a tear for a kind-hearted Santa in our day, but the BEST Christmas movies are made of humor, romance, and fashion. So here are the top five holiday movies from the golden age of film (and you get Judy Garland as a prize for making it all the way to the end!):

1. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)--This is a major moment, because until two days ago, I had never even seen this movie. In fact, after seeing it I had planned to rank it third on this list, but after a bit of soul-searching, I had to bump it up to the top slot. Barbara Stanwyck is witty and gorgeous. Dennis Morgan is fine. The plot is the perfect mixture of hilarious mixups and romance. The house is fantastic. And, it's got S.Z. Sakall, who is without a doubt one of the most adorable character actors in the history of Hollywood. (The man's nickname is Cuddles, for Pete's sake. It does not get cuter than that.) And, you know, the clothes, like the GIANT SPARKLY MONOGRAM:

2. White Christmas (1954)--Seriously, it's got Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, which are four excellent reasons to indulge in some cinnamon cocoa and couch cuddling on a snowy winter night. Plus, the title song is one of the most iconic Christmas songs, and it's guaranteed to make almost everyone feel warm and fuzzy. And, you know, the clothes:

3. Holiday (1938)--Not really a Christmas movie in the traditional sense, but it does take place during the holiday season (with a climactic New Year's Eve engagement party). Cary Grant. Katharine Hepburn. Already, it's a winner. Add to that a wonderful "money can't buy happiness" plot, plus some great witty (and acrobatic!) moments and between two of the greatest actors of all time, and you've got a fabulous movie. Plus, the clothes:

4. Holiday Inn (1942)--It covers all of the major holidays, but it's really a Christmas movie. Bing Crosby wins again, and he's accompanied by Fred Astaire (so you know there's some great dancing!). And, clothes:

5. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)--Judy Garland makes Christmas. Enough said. And, that dress:

I will give an honorable mention to It Happened on Fifth Avenue, which I need to see again because it's been a while. Who knows? It may even displace one of the movies in the top five. I just don't remember enough about it. But I do remember the coat and hat (priorities!):

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vera Vault -- The Grid Edition

The amount of scarves I can accumulate in a year is both exciting and kind of scary.  I have been stashing scarves as I find them in a bag at our shop -- keeping them separate from the rest of my collection to photograph.  Let's just say the number of scarves in the collection total has drastically increased!  I will be doing a count over Christmas, as soon as I finish photographing the rest in the bag, and you know, after maybe the other Blackbird stuffs a little Vera something-something in my stocking?  <wink>

So enjoy this round-up of some of my Veras (my dear sweet loves!), all with a grid or grid-like design.

Bonus -- It's time for the Christmas windows!

So I know I've been a real slacker when it comes to the blog, especially with the window posts.  We've still been doing the windows at Collector's Antique Mall in Asheboro, North Carolina -- we just haven't been sharing them with you.  So for that, I apologize, offer as a gift to you our newest window, just in time for Christmas.

If you've read our blog before, you know that the Christmas window is not necessarily our favorite one to do.  We have more parameters and limitations with it than we do with a normal window design (the tree goes here, it must be rich and full, blah blah blah).  But we really enjoyed this one.  It came together quickly, there was tons of silver tree junk in storage at the store, and we could use our trusty black and white tiled "floor".  And there's always lots and lots of glassware at the store to use. 

We suspended plastic glittery snowflake ornaments in silver and white from the ceiling, and filled the wall with black, silver, and white framed mirrors.  We wanted it to SPARKLE! and SHINE!  And it does. The effect doesn't translate all that well in photographs, but standing outside at night looking in, it really twinkles.  So pretty.

Balls and tinsel and picks galore!

The tree is so full of stuff, I was afraid it would fall over.  We found a gajillion silver picks and we used them ALL.  We also had tons of that cheap silver tinsel garland (can you see it?  it's kind of buried in the tree), and we debated about using it -- will it look like cheap silver tinsel garland?  But it's kitschy, and I LOVE KITSCH, so we went with it.  And I swear, it made that tree looks expensive.  Who'd have thunk??

We didn't go overboard adding presents under the tree.  Just some carefully curated items, mostly chosen for their colors and designs.

We loved this doll for her white hair and patterned dress.  And the dominoes are freakin' cool!

So we've done a Christmas kitchen, a traditional living room, our Hipster Cabin Christmas last year -- but we'd never done a table and chairs.  We found this great white iron and glass mid century patio table and mixed it with two traditional black chairs.  We were selective with our red accents, and mixed crystal, painted wood, milk glass, and steel for the other pieces.  We think it looks pretty awesome.

We've wanted to use this checked bedspread for a while now.  It was perfect here.
Crystal Christmas tree and Santa says "Hi!"

This has deer heads for handles!  Perfect!
We finished the whole window with angel hair tinsel -- another kitschy classic.  But it's so sparkly, and delicate!  We put it EVERYWHERE.

And the piece de resistance is my disco fringe silver tinsel wreath I made.  Did you see it?

You can make one too!  I started with a Styrofoam wreath base, and used silver bead garland and angel hair tinsel from the dollar store.  I used my handy glue gun to glue random lengths of the bead garland to the top, and I did two layers.

Then I took hanks of angel hair tinsel and wrapped it around the form, hot gluing the ends in the back.  I kept adding it until it was full, then I went back over it and teased out some loose ends for that fringe-y effect.  It was very messy, but you know, whenever I make anything, I make a huge mess.

Messy, but sooo sparkly!

And here it is installed!  Merry Christmas y'all!!