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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What does your home say about you to others?

I have always been somewhat a rebel and independent spirit. As far back as I can remember thinking on such matters (early childhood), if the majority liked a certain color, lets say blue, I would choose a different color for my favorite. Not just to be different, but because I needed to choose what I thought reflected me as an individual.
My actual favorite color, hmmmmm, I do not have one. My choices happen to be multiple colors but deep saturated colors are where I lean. Now don't get me wrong I am also drawn to soft soothing colors found in nature but I can't live and thrive in a home with all neutrals or an all over repeated color theme.
 I need colors and objects to speak to me or jump out at me and sometimes even make me laugh or smile.

This room says welcome to me. It has colors that are warm and playful and does not shock or go overboard. It tells me this person has their own style and wants to feel invited and inviting to others when in their home. This person is warm, friendly, sharing, artistic and wants you to stay awhile. Notice the beauty of the wood against these colors, if these walls were white maybe the cabinet would stand out but it wouldn't look so warm.


When I enter a home that the over all color is lets say beige and kinda sparse (boring), two thoughts automatically pop in my head. Where is the homeowners true personality and can I really feel comfortable in their home for very long. True some homes have a dull or neutral color theme through out and then are decorated in accessories with colors, shapes, attitudes, and maybe a bold statement or two. That is great and I can appreciate that because it shows character and gives warmth and a welcoming experience.

This is a deeper neutral that I like on the walls, colorful objects hanging on the walls would really pop out and not clash with the color. Now this is not my style for many reasons but I can appreciate it. What I do like is the use of an antique wood writing desk for warmth, with retro pottery on top. The use of the retro chair, which I would reupholster in a pattern, shows how you can mix styles or periods. But the over all feel of this room doesn't say to me comfort, it does say styled and shows some personality.

I have a theory or thought process about design, and that is that if you don't get something unique, antique, custom or vintage in the mix why bother trying to decorate at all. Did I mention I can be somewhat opinionated also, ha!

I know this speaks to many but for me it is to sterile and not enough personality. I do love the pop of green on the cushions which help draw your eyes to the table and reflects the great outdoor view. I would probably add on the wall some art of  landscapes and or florals. It does look well styled but does it say come over for dinner sometime?  I also like the mix of wood with modern chairs and light fixture, but only because I do like mixing different styles and periods.

Might not want the whole room this color but what about one wall? What you have here is a good mix again, bold and yet simple or peaceful artistic display. This person shows that they are sometimes bold, other times thoughtful and at peace. They love art and objects but not clutter, and want to share why they have grouped these items and tell you about the objects and their stories.


Go cheap, inexpensive if your home is not going to showcase who and what you are or welcome others into your world. Just the idea of buying a $900 coffee table that many other people have isn't terribly appealing to me.


 I'd rather have a a trunk with a glass top, or use an item (recycle/repurpose) that normally wouldn't be thought of as a coffee table. Plus 99% of the time that unusual item you use is cheaper dollar wise, has already stood the test of time for durability, speaks to you and others about you and your character, shares history, but mostly feels warm and inviting. With this option you have many choices and decorating styles.

Put your feet up, cuddle up, let your home embrace you and others with interest and style. Also consider a little whimsy or personal flair somewhere.


Whatever your style celebrate who you are in your home decor and with what you love. Share yourself with those you deem worthy and invite them to your home.

Hopefully you will consider adding some Antique, Vintage, Retro, Collectible, or Repurposed items.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lucite Purses

Green/Black with Shells unmarked
unmarked pearlized White Clutch

Lucite purses got their start in the early 1950’s, when post war technology came up with the idea for a higher class of plastic called lucite. This material was ideal for use in boxy style handbags and could be manufactured in opaque or translucent color. 

Decorations were easy to add and included confetti, shells, flowers, or just about anything else you could stick on a purse!

Pieced Gray/Black  pearlized Shoulder  unmarked




These purses became all the rage of bigger cities such as Miami and New York City and the handbag companies loved these bags because they could be made into unusual shapes easily. The most expensive lucite purses were made by Wilardy of New York and were showcased in major department stores throughout the country. Of course with popularity came replication and many cheaper versions were made.

marked Y & S pearlized chain shoulder bag

Wilardy  Original Black



Do you think you have found a genuine high quality lucite purse? The best of the designers were Wilardy, Rialto, Llewllyn, Gilli Originals, Patricia of Miami, Evans, and Myles and Maxim. These companies marked their handbags on the inside with a stamp on the metal frames or a clear label. These bags are now collectors items that sell for large sums but, unfortunately, some of clear labels have fallen off with age making absolute identification difficult.

*****All Photos above of purses are what we currently have available*****

Wilardy History  (

Wilardy Originals began in 1946 as Handbag Specialties.  The original offices and factory were in New York, and moved to Union City, New Jersey in 1953. 
As a boy, I remember seeing all of these women's handbags in various states of completion throughout the factory and thinking, "I know my mom has lots of these but, where are these all going to, I don't see many of my friends' mothers with them?" What I didn't realize was that these were very exclusive items costing plenty at the time. These lucite purses were being sold in Hollywood, Miami, Paris, London, and Fifth Avenue in New York.

1950's catalog pages

These last few decades have shown a renewed interest in the Wilardy handbags, as they become sought-after collectibles. I'm grateful that my dad, Will, is here to experience the recognition of his work as the designer and owner of Wilardy during his own lifetime. Many books have been published on handbags, and in each one Wilardy is given a special place, known to have had the highest quality standards of design and manufacture from that time period. Perusing the catalogs and photos on this site should prove to be enjoyable for casual and serious collectors alike. Any serious research questions may be sent to Will.
- Billy Hardy 2008

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great Summer Refreshment then and now

                                       THE COLD, HARD TRUTH ABOUT POPSICLES
                                                                  By Ben Marks

During the past couple of years, artisan ice pops, what you and I know generically as popsicles, have outpaced those hipster favorites, cupcakes, in the race to be America’s most popular nostalgia dessert. Like cupcakes, popsicles are portioned controlled, which limits over-consumption by those watching their waistlines. Unlike cupcakes, today’s ice pops are a healthy sweet, usually made from organic fruit picked at the height of the season. No wonder trendy ice-pop shops and paleterias (paleta is ice pop in Spanish) have popped up all over the country, from the Chelsea Market in Manhattan to the streets of Nashville, Tennessee.
“I’d definitely draw the line at a turkey-leg popsicle.”
Other than their temperature, these fancy new lower-case popsicles have little in common with the upper-case trademarked treats that preceded them. “The Popsicles we had when we were kids were just frozen water and artificial flavors,” says pastry chef, cookbook author, and all-around dessert expert Emily Luchetti, “but now popsicles are seen as a low-calorie, delicious dessert made with fresh fruit and good quality ingredients.”

Rebecca Rouas, who runs SF Pops and sells her chocolate avocado, tangerine beet, and grapefruit cinnamon clove ice pops at farmer’s markets north of San Francisco, also grew up on upper-case Popsicles. “I’m sure my first popsicles were made by Popsicle,” she says. “My favorite flavor would’ve been cherry, but I also liked the artificially flavored grape and orange.”
Ironically, the very first Popsicles may have had more in common with the contemporary versions of the treat than we might think. According to the official Popsicle website, Popsicles were the accidental invention of an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson, who, in 1905, “left a mixture of powdered soda, water, and a stirring stick in a cup on his porch. It was a cold night, and Epperson awoke the next morning to find a frozen pop.”

At the height of the Depression, Popsicle introduced a two-stick version of its frozen novelty, which was first introduced as a one-stick treat (see image at top).

For many years, the corroborating detail in this gauzy creation myth was the “fact” that young Frank was living in San Francisco at the time. Indeed, this crucial bit of evidence even made it into Epperson’s 1983 obituary in The New York Times. Problem was, weather records show that it never got that cold in San Francisco in 1905, leaving some to speculate that the birthplace of the Popsicle must really have been Oakland, where the adult Epperson patented his novelty in 1923 (the first flavor is thought to have been cherry, but the data is sketchy on this). Significantly, in 1905, Oakland temperatures did dip below freezing, but only three times.
Within two years, Epperson had unloaded his stake in Popsicle to the Joe Lowe Corporation, which immediately began suing competitors such as Kold Kake Company of New Jersey, M-B Ise Kream Company of Texas, and Good Humor of Ohio, for patent infringement. Ultimately, Popsicle and Good Humor (which are now both owned by Unilever) came to a wary truce, in which Popsicle would only make frozen desserts from water and Good Humor would own the ice-cream market. Popsicle, however, wanted to diversify, which led to the development of an ice milk (not cream) product in chocolate or butterscotch called the Fudgicle, later renamed the Fudgesicle.

In 1927 and 1928, the words "Frozen Suckers" were found on Popsicle ads, the result of a complicated marriage between Popsicle and its chief rival, but by 1929, the words were dropped.

Two-stick Popsicles were introduced during the Depression, when the company was looking for ways to make its products more affordable to consumers, who had little money to spend on frivolous frozen confections unless they were a really good deal. Eating a regular Popsicle had always been a drippy, sticky undertaking, but these two-sticked pops posed a new quandary: Should you break ’em in half and share with a friend or sibling, or figure out how to eat the melting mess before it fell apart into your hands?
“I had a sister very close in age,” says Rouas, “but I never broke my pop in half. I definitely ate both pieces. It’s a very awkward shape. Everybody just seemed to gag themselves with the stick as the pop got shorter and shorter. We didn’t understand that we could eat it as far down as we could, get rid of one of the sticks, and then start going at it from the side.” Luchetti was more of a purest. “I ate the whole Popsicle, with two sticks,” she says proudly. “I kept it even on both sides.”

Other players in the contemporary artisan ice-pop scene are unburdened by such memories. “Being from Italy, born and raised, I had my first pops on the Italian Riviera beach during summer vacations,” says Reuben BenJehuda, who runs Popbar in New York. “Since moving to the United States, my tactic has been to start from the top and when I get about halfway down, split it in two to get to the bottom.” Fany Gerson, owner of La Newyorkina, also doesn’t know from two-stick Popsicles. “I grew up in Mexico,” she says simply, “and we didn’t have those kinds of paletas.”
Of course it’s the range of ingredients and flavors, rather than the number of sticks, that sets contemporary ice pops apart from their mass-produced forebears. Ingredients such as cardamom, jicama, and saffron are not unheard-of in artisan pops, although familiar fruits such as strawberries, peaches, and raspberries are just as typical. Sometimes the familiar is paired with the unexpected, as in a mango-chile ice pop, which is the best-selling paleta at La Newyorkina.
In the early days of Popsicles, ads for the product had to explain what it was by calling it a "Frozen Lolly-Pop" and "A drink on a stick."

Like a lot of her contemporaries, Rouas also uses some ingredients for the textures they produce and the associations they conjure. “Don’t be turned away by an avocado pop,” she counsels those who might hesitate at the prospect of a chocolate-avocado ice pop. “The avocado is for texture not taste. Think chocolate pudding, not guacamole. And vanilla is a wonderful ingredient for imparting an ice-cream-like flavor, as if there’s ice cream in the pop, even when there’s not.”
Still, not every flavor lends itself to an ice pop. For example, you wouldn’t want to make, let alone eat, sushi ice pops, would you?
“Do they make those?” asks Luchetti, taken aback. “That’s disgusting.” How far is too far for her? “I’d definitely draw the line at a turkey-leg popsicle,” she decides. Rouas has her own line in the sand. “I love pickles,” she confesses. “I’ll eat pickles with almost everything, but a pickle pop? I won’t go there.” Gerson, on the other hand, is not ready to rule that out. “I’ve heard that pickle-juice ice pops are popular in Texas, but I haven’t done them. I would never do an anchovy popsicle, though, or anything with bell peppers.”

               In England, ice pops are called ice lollies. In Mexico, they are called paletas.

One of the hottest trends in ice pops is something little Frank Epperson never could have imagined, the alcohol pop. Rouas is enthusiastically in favor of such products. She’s experimented with a few recipes at home, but as someone who’s trying to make a living on ice pops, she’s a bit skeptical about building a business around them. “A booze pop is a great idea,” she says, “but it’s hard to get the liquor to freeze. Usually I just take my fruit popsicles, cut them up into cubes, put them in a glass, and then top with the alcohol of my choice. For example, I’ll cut up a Meyer lemon pop and flood it with tequila. It makes a really good margarita.”
Or, as Luchetti puts it: “Who’s going to say ‘no’ to a mojito popsicle?”

                              This cardboard sign from 1931 was designed by G.W. French.

Strawberry Orange Popsicles, by Emily Luchetti

What’s the best thing about ice pops, other than eating them? Well, they’re super easy to make, as this recipe, courtesy of Emily Luchetti, proves. This recipe makes 8 ice pops, each 1/3 cup.
2 pints strawberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Large pinch kosher salt
Hull the strawberries. Cut them in half and puree in a food processor. Strain the puree through a
medium sieve into a medium bowl, discarding the seeds. Add the orange juice, water, sugar, and
salt. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Measure the puree and add more water as necessary to
make 3 1/3 cups of puree. Stir until blended.
Pour the puree into molds. Insert sticks and freeze until frozen, about 6 hours.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Take A Moment--Be In Wonder

Sometimes we are surrounded by so many amazing things, we lose the sense of how truly wonderful they are or take for granted without a second thought. Objects such as a one-drawer stand, pewter candlesticks, or a wood bowl may be commonplace, plentiful, but consider any one of them as an object with a story and history, and you might find yourself in awe.

They were made centuries ago in times and places that are today unrecognized, by the hands of a person who lived a life we have not, and may know nothing about. They traveled longer and made more possibly treacherous journeys than any of us have ever experienced.

They were used and carried and worn down by people who are now nameless to us and long dead. They sat in rooms where people were born, died, or silent witnesses to daily dramas and to the vast panarama of history itself.

 If you just take a moment to really see and think about the objects around you, you may discover a whole new aspect. Maybe even renew your love and passion for the objects, collections you already have.

Living surrounded by pieces of history and art--thats a blessing. Be thankful you are or were able to be a temporary steward for these items.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Roseville Pottery A-Z

The Roseville Pottery Company was founded in 1890. Roseville initially produced simple utilitarian ware such as flower pots, stoneware, umbrella stands, cuspidors, and limited painted ware. In 1900, Roseville Rozane became the first high quality art pottery line produced by Roseville.

In the early teens as demand for the more expensive, hand-crafted art pottery declined Roseville pottery shifted production to more commercially produced pottery. Roseville's ability to nimbly adapt to market conditions was one of the potteries' greatest attributes as Roseville was continually able to produce the most popular patterns and styles compared to their immediate competitors.

Roseville pottery introduced Pinecone in 1935. Pinecone became the most successful and highest volume pattern produced during the existence of Roseville pottery. The pattern includes over 75 different shapes in blue, brown, and green.

World War II necessitated another production change for Roseville pottery. During this time period, Roseville introduced such patterns as Fuchsia, Cosmos, Columbine, White Rose, Bittersweet, and Zephyr Lily. While these patterns were still the best quality art pottery in the market at this time, it was not enough to save the company. Roseville Pottery ceased operations in 1954.

Throughout Roseville's days of production, its versatility and innovativeness served to keep the company at the forefront of the various decorating styles and buying public trends. Even to this day, Roseville pottery still represents the most widely known and most collectible art pottery ever produced.

I've included a complete list with photos of all their art pottery lines. Followed by photos of pieces we currently have available.



24.Crystal Green
25. Crystalis
28.Della Robbia


33.Early Carnelian
34.Early Velmoss

11.Imperial I (Textured)
12.Imperial II (Glazes)
18.La Rose
21. Lotus

1. Magnolia
2. Mara
3. Matte Green
4. Mayfair
5. Ming Tree
6. Mock Orange
7. Moderne
8. Mongol
9. Montacello
10. Morning Glory
11. Moss
12. Mostique
13. Normandy
14. Olympic
15. Orian
16. Pauleo
17. Peony
18. Pine Cone
19. Poppy
20. Primrose
21. Raymor
22. Rosecraft
23. Rosecraft Hexagon
24. Rosecraft Panel
25. Rosecraft Vintage
26. Rozane
27. Rozane 1917
28. Rozane Patterns
29. Russco

1. Savona
2. Silhouette
3. Snowberry
4. Sunflower
5. Sylvan
6. Teasel
7. Thornapple
8. Topeo
9. Tourmaline
10. Tuscany
11. Velmoss
12. Velmoss Scroll
13. Victorian Art
14. Vista
15. Volpato
16. Water Lily
17. White Rose
18. Wincraft
19. Windsor
20. Wisteria
21. Woodland
22. Zephyr Lily

Now here are photos of what we currently have available.







Clematis,Water Lily,Peony




Apple Blossom