Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Every time an Oscar is given out,

an agent gets his wings. ~Kathy Bates

The Academy Awards is on tonight, and I thought it would be fitting to give a little history. The first awards were presented on May 16, 1929, at a private brunch at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people. The post Academy Awards party was held at the Mayfair Hotel. The guest tickets for that night's ceremony cost $10. Fifteen statuettes were awarded, honoring artists, directors and other personalities of the filmmaking industry of the time for their works during the 1927 – 1928 period. Movies had just entered the "talkies."

Winners had been announced three months earlier of their triumphs; however, that was changed in the second ceremony of the Academy Awards in 1930. Since then and during the first decade, the results were given to newspapers for publication at 11 pm on the night of the awards. This method was used until the Los Angeles Times announced the winners before the ceremony began in an early edition, and so since the Academy could not trust the journalists, it has used a sealed envelope to reveal the name of the winners since 1941.Last year Awards created jobs for about 7,000 people and generated more than $130 million in spending. Studios can spend from $2 million to $20 million campaigning for Oscars, including advertising and putting on parties that generate service industry jobs.

According to Nielsen, they were the ninth most watched telecast in 2011 and the only one that was not a post-season NFL game. Last year total ad revenue for the telecast was $74.4 million (revenue in 2008 was the highest ever, at $81.1 million).
This year Billy Crystal will host the Oscars for the ninth time and the first time since 2004. Only Bob Hope has hosted more often, with 19 filmed by the time he finished his last in 1978.

Oscar stands 13.5" tall and weighs 8.5 lbs., and is made of gold-plated britannium with a black metal base.The design is a knight standing on a reel of film with his hands gripping a sword with the five spokes of the reel representing the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians.



Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" features Hollywood and is nominated for four Academy Awards, including best picture, but Allen does not go to the Oscars. According to reviews, "Midnight in Paris," which charmed critics and audiences alike, also earned Oscar nominations for best director, original screenplay and art direction. The tale of a modern-day Hollywood screenwriter, Gil (Owen Wilson), who travels back to the Paris of the 1920s to mingle with Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, is Allen's biggest box office hit ever.
Since opening last May, it's taken in more than $56.5 million in this country, and almost $92 million more worldwide. And at age 76, with 41 movies to his credit, Woody Allen is enjoying some of the best reviews of his career, after a string of films that garnered lukewarm reviews.

According to the new Flea Market magazine (available in the shop), film collectibles are hot.
And, in that decor, my creative friend-same artisan who makes the birdhouses-is making flowers out of old film...you want unique, she does it...I love my elf for her spirit...


















“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” ~Walt Disney

Sunday, February 19, 2012

“The bird a nest,

the spider a web, man friendship.” ~ William Blake
How about a woman friendship...because it was my friend Ruthie...also known as "The Elf"...who made the birdhouses I am featuring today. Note--made in America...right here in New Jersey...just a couple miles from my shop!!! And...back to the quote, my spiders are doing very nicely in the shop in areas that have not had a serious cleaning! But...back to the birds...My research uncovered some interesting facts...like the Turks and the Ottoman Empire are responsible for the design of birdhouses. Bird houses, one of the oldest and most important expressions of the love of and compassion for animals, date to the 15th century when houses were built for sparrows, finches and swallows. Some of these tiny dwellings, whose numbers proliferated with the development of classical Ottoman architecture in the 15th century, were to provide refuge to birds, to protect them from storms, rain, mud and the burning sun.

Europe did not consider the houses as refuge but as traps. They were built to collect eggs or trap the birds for food. Although often made of wood, they were also made of a mixture of clay and sticks. They were designed to closely resemble natural nests so the birds would be encouraged to lay their eggs there.The European clay birdhouse originated from Belgium and Holland and goes back to the 15th or 16th century. In the beginning, wood, basket, or pottery was commonly used but since organic materials do not last, the clay style eventually prevailed. Depending on the era, the clay birdhouse was used as ornaments or talismans in addition to protecting wild birds.
Native Americans used hollowed out gourds for houses as well as wood boxes. They not only understood that shelter was important, but they also realized the birds were helpful by keeping pests under control.The wooden birdhouse design found in North America today was originally used by German immigrants who learned from the indigenous people they met while moving to the eastern part of the United States in the 18th century. Over the years, the design has been changed and improved upon, with some wooden bird houses made to resemble today's architecture and specific structures such as schools, churches and stores.
So, if you are in the area, you can buy some reasonably priced homes! No mortgage needed...because if, as Emily Dickinson wrote, "I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"If you have much,

give your wealth; if you have little, give your heart.” ~Anonymous

And, what better gift from the heart than one of these charming vintage planters from my neighbor Captain Scrap's up the road!(3071 Rt. 9...Seaville, NJ...609-624-0111) Imagine the person who ordered the floral display for one of those planters...the one who received it...not chocolate diamonds or going to Jarrod's or Kay Jeweler's...from a simpler time...that is what an antique shop or antique co-op like my shop feature for today gives you. It puts you in touch with the past...imagine a writer sitting down to one of these...No Ctrl-Alt-Delete!

Sometimes the antique shop gets put down, and people try to avoid the term antique..."Oh, things your grandmother had!" Well, I hate to break it to you, but many of us are the grandmothers now, and I think my things are pretty neat! How many of you have some of these bowls and dishes in your cabinets?And, if you need more, check out the first booth when you come in to the antique co-op.

Now, co-ops are different from the small one owner shop because, like a department store, there may be more variety. Run by Kathleen(camera shy)and her daughter, Caitie, they have to co-ordinate a variety of people and merchandise, and they may not have all the details on every single piece so sometimes you have to be aware of that. Still, much of the merchandise is easy to understand...furniture made from real wood not pressed sawdust!Here's looking at you, kid!
I don't care how modern you may be, this piece embodies not only modern but also design. Just one simple antique or vintage item can give a unique feel to a room...And imagine celebrating a birthday with some retro accents...it is not easy getting old, but getting old with fun memories makes it a little easier to deal with!








Or, how about a martini and a game of Tiddlywinks!










Of course, antiques can create a sense of the past that one cannot get from just words on paper...before GPS, there were maps! Maps that needed to be folded and unfolded...if you are a "boomer," I am sure you have a tale about the map folding adventures in the front seat!And, before there were video games, kids actually went outside and played...even as a girl, I loved cars and trucks...Yes, many of these items are wonderful because of the memories that they stir...but there is hope that antique malls and antique shops will survive...that not everyone needs to be a "Maxxinista" for everything...Taylor Swift stopped in at Captain Scrap's and did some serious buying! A picture is taped to the front counter to commemorate...And...if you are a scrapbooker...you will find some wonderful old unused scrapbooks...So, from neat old paper to let a smile be your umbrella,
you will find all kinds of antiques....vintage...retro...things your grandmother had, and things that will make you smile...I seriously love this bird!To the traditional antiques
remember...if you really want unique...and an experience...an antique mall or an antique shop-and remember-antique is not a bad word-may have what you are looking for...take a time out...
“Remembering the past gives power to the present.” ~Anonymous

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Why, what's the matter, That you have such a February face,

So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"
~ William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Even with the mild winter here, we still wear the sighs of sweaters and jackets. But, the bouquets of flowers in the grocery stores remind us that spring is coming...And you can always just put out a pretty flower plate for breakfast or for your tuna sandwich at lunch...and one of these Victorian "RS" pretties would seal the deal. I truly believe in using these pretties...life is too short to live in a china cabinet.The RS mark refers to German factories in Suhl, Germany. According to my research, there were two factories in Suhl, Erdmann’s and Reinhold’s. Contrary to folklore, these two operations were in direct competition with each other. Reinhold’s factory was founded and initially owned by Reinhold, and subsequently with his two sons, Ehrhard and Arnold. Arnold took over an existing porcelain factory in Tillowitz in 1894,running it as part of the Reinhold Schlegelmilch enterprise until he died in 1934. Erdmann’s factory, in contrast, was founded and originally owned by Leonhard Schlegelmilch. Later on, Oscar, Julius Martin, and Carl Schlegelmilch had a hand in owning and/or running the factory. Oscar Schlegelmilch eventually started his own factory in Langenwiesen, and Julius eventually (1899) took over the ownership of Erdmann’s Suhl operation. From the time of founding up to 1892, it appears that little porcelain was exported to America from Reinhold’s factory. Objects in several mold patterns used between 1889 and 1892 are known to be marked with the RS “Arrow” mark.
Beginning 1893, US wholesale firms began to import larger quantities of china tableware from Europe, and almost all was from Reinhold’s factory. Two events in 1894 appeared to have a significant on Reinhold’s production. First, the second factory in Tillowitz, (Upper Silesia) began to make far less expensive porcelain than the one in Suhl, owing to the closer proximity of raw materials and the abundance of cheap labor. (And...once again, we see that only names and locations change! Think China...) Second, the very high US import tariff on decorated porcelain was substantially lowered by the Tariff Act of 1894. Based on the number and type of entries in American wholesale catalogs, the tariff reduction opened the door to a flood of European porcelain.

Reinhold’s products from the 1900-1905 period were among the best to be made in Europe. Unfortunately, public taste began to change about 1905. The complex mold patterns stocked by American wholesale firms began to be replaced by china in simple shapes. At the same time, imports of inexpensive Japanese china increased. Reinhold’s products were largely replaced by china from both Japan and other European firms. No matter the time, businesses face the same problems...1905 or 2005...nothing changes.
The products made after 1910 are frequently referred to as R. S. Germany, owing to a change in trademark. However, the change in the country of origin is only one of several to have been made between 1895 and 1910. Products made from 1910 to the beginning of WWI are R. S. Prussia since both manufacturing plants were still in operation. When WWI began in earnest, the Suhl factory was effectively shut down since there was no skilled labor. Some talented factory workers were relocated to Tillowitz. The manufacture of porcelain in Tillowitz continued through WWII. Although the plant survived undamaged, much of the equipment used to make porcelain was removed upon Russian occupation. Today, the factory still stands, but the major product is china dinnerware.



But, for now...R.S. perhaps can translate to "Real Soon" for Spring! But as the Japanese proverb states, "One kind word can warm three winter months."