Friday, April 29, 2016

Tiffeni’s Birthday . . .

Yesterday was our lovely daughter, Tiffeni’s, birthday. She is her father’s, mine and her brother’s dear heart. She is the epitome of originality. Her creativity, inventiveness, imagination, ingenuity, is a testament to her uniqueness. Ever since she was a tot, she would pursue and strive for goals of which many she accomplished. 

When creating our Family Museum, she was very instrumental in its conception. With all the things that Tiffeni wanted displayed, it was difficult to narrow the items down, but in doing so, told very succinct stories of her life . . . so far. From babyhood, to childhood, to pre-teen, high school, college and developing careers, her keepsakes tell of her experiences, endeavors, interests and eventual direction her life is taking. That is why it is so important for a child to see the physical attributes of their efforts, attempts, strivings & struggles, instead of compilation’s compartmentalized on a computer disc, family photo album, or put away in all those boxes stored away for some future time that may not relate to their current life. And that is why it is so important for your child or children to have their precious things in a Family Museum or a museum of their own.
Here are a few images of Tiffeni's contribution's to Our Family Museum.

Childhood toys & pictures. Her generation was the first to garner lessons from watching Sesame Street. Tiffeni loved Little House on the Prairie.
We even took a trip to Walnut Grove where she gleefully
dipped her feet into Plum Creek.

Tiffeni proudly wore her denim jacket 
with many buttons & pins she collected
over the years.
Tiffeni’s first job was working as a Visitor’s Aid at the Colonial Williamsburg Living Museum. Over the years she has collected some wonderful colonial keepsakes. Tiffeni even appeared on the cover of a book about colonial fashion.

And today, she is a pedagogue, promoting the educational theory first pioneered by the Father of Kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel. Visit her Facebook page to find out more.    

“Not only should we encourage kids to daydream, but also to jump-in and build those dreams.” Ryan Lilly

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Vintage Beauty . . .

My first foray into the cosmetic world was in 1974 working for Revlon at the Carson Pirie Scott Department Store. The only experience I had with makeup was garnered from working as a free-lance model. I had no sales skills but I impressed those who hired me. With two other sales ladies, we worked the counter. Selling came easy to me and the cosmetic training we received was immeasurable. The only job I wasn’t fond of was taking inventory. This stock-taking task was an undertaking. I imagine it is quicker with computerization today, but back then there were no computers. You had to count hundreds of tubes of lipstick, bottles of nail polish, and everything else that Revlon sold and it was vast. And cosmetics consultants had to sell other lines as well as their own, which meant you had to have a considerable amount of knowledge of the other products. And it was difficult not to want to sell your own line because of commission and if you were caught convincing the customer to purchase your line instead of the one they came for, you could get fired.

Fragrances were a challenge to sell. You had to know the top note from the bottom note and the different strengths. If there was any one thing that was the most positive of all I learned, was how to take care of my skin. Makeup can do wonders for enhancing ones’ appearance, but it is more important to start with clean skin in order for makeup to do what you want it to do.   

During this time, I met the Revlon Rep, Naomi. She had a glamorous job, or at least I imagined she did, traveling from store to store making sure the Revlon lines were well represented and presented. She was from New York City and of course extremely fashionable. I thought what a great job that would be, but being married and with one child, traveling was not for me. Alas, I stayed behind the counter, however, one fortunate day while I was flying to New York, I met Naomi on the plane. She was really sweet and invited me to the Revlon Headquarters on Fifth Ave in the city. What opulence! I was gob smacked. Naomi gave me a tour of the offices, even Charles Revson, Chairman of the Board, office. When we ended our tour, she autographed this book she co-wrote, writing, “Here’s to being #1.”      
Then in 1980, my family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. I worked as a cosmetic consultant for Clinique, a subsidiary of the Estée Lauder Companies at Maas Brother’s Department Store. After completing an intense Clinique training seminar, I received my trademark white lab coat and “C” pin which I proudly pinned on my coat. I was now an official consultant for Clinique!   After a year or so, I decided I had enough of cosmetic sales and turned in my lab coat but kept the pin.

So what does all this have to do with a Family Museum? Everything! The purpose of having the museum is to have a place where you can preserve and display your family heirlooms as well as your personal memorabilia. Each and every object you save as a story to tell about your life, and these few things I was able to hang onto played important roles in my life.
Here are the rest of my vintage beauty products and other souvenirs from past days of beauty:
Iconic Halston Pink/Maroon Eye Shadow 

Polly Bergen’s Lucite Box with “Turtle” Insignia (this was one of the earlier gift-with-purchase offerings, the drawers had lipsticks & eye shadows. And this little 1965 Edition of a “Dell Purse Book” of 75 hair styles, none of which was right for me!

There was probably hundreds of other cosmetic bottles & containers, some very artistic & expensive, that I should of, could of saved but didn’t. I do not wear much makeup these days, but the memories of when I used powders, eyeshadows, lipsticks, and blushes, etc., I could fill up several makeup counters.

And makeup always made me feel good about myself. So keep your memories alive and . . . .

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April Showers brought more than flowers . . .

It’s raining. Sky is filled with grey clouds but the landscape is a lush green. Our garden is growing; lettuce was planted earlier and last night, we had the freshest green salad anyone could ask for. There is nothing like fresh lettuce!

So, as the rain falls, I sit at my computer and contemplate what I should post about. This month had several obstacles that got in my way of blogging, but they are over and I can get on with posting. During this time another oddity unearth itself from the basement. And here it is!
My husband brought me these two whatsits with a few more still in a can in the basement. He found them among my (sadly departed) father’s tools and multiple boxes and cans of things. As we examined them, it was determined that they were not hatpins or hairpins or could not secure a scarf. Both have a pretty floral design imprinted on the button face. The two-prong tine is sharp and thick and would certainly leave their marks on whatever it pierced. The metal is possibly antique silver or nickel. Then our daughter thought they might be upholstery pins or tacks. Close but wrong. Though some furniture tacks are decorative, they do not have prongs. So to Google I went in search of the mystery thingamabobs.  After many search pages, I found them on  Here is the detailed description:    

Antique Pins, Doily Pins, Crocheted Doilies, AntiMacassars Pins, Upholstery, Upholstery Tacks, Furniture, Couch, Victorian, 1800s, Supplies
DESCRIPTION: “Set of 2 (two) Victorian Era antimacassars pins. What a history these pins have! They date back to the mid-1800s and were once used to fasten doilies or squares of fabric to the backs of upholstered sofas and chairs to protect the upholstery from Macassar Oil. The oil was used by men of the Victorian and Edwardian eras as a hair elixir to groom and style the hair. Unfortunately, the oil would transfer to the backs of the sofas and chairs, staining it. Hence, the anti-macassar was born! Ingenious housewives began covering the arms and backs of chairs with washable cloths to prevent the upholstery from being stained. The antimacassars were quite ornate, ranging from intricate crocheted or tatted pieces to heavily embroidered cloths. These pins were used to hold the doilies and cloths in place!”

And here’s a little history on the Doily from Wikipedia: A doily (also doiley, doilie, doyly, doyley) is an ornamental mat, typically made of paper or fabric, and variously used for protecting surfaces or binding flowers, in food service presentation, or as a head covering or clothing ornamentation. It is characterized by openwork, which allows the surface of the underlying object to show through.
So now that I know what these are, I wondered where did they come from and why were they with my father’s things. That was the answer. My father’s things and the doily. The antimacassars came from his mother, my Grandmother Anna Yuknavich. Like the description above, “What a history these pins have!”

Anna (nee) Vaicuilionis Yuknavich, Born June 1887 in Vilkoviskis, Lithuania. Immigrated to Pennsylvania where she met and married my Grandfather Anthony.

Very talented in crocheting, sewing, carpet making, knitting and cooking.

I remember as a child visiting Grandma and sitting with her on a very itchy mohair sofa. Burgundy in color, the 3-piece set was bought for her by my father from Sears & Roebuck sometime in the 1940s. And across the backs and on the arms of the furniture were doilies. I honestly can’t recall the pins, but I am sure they were there. When my grandparent’s passed away, the house was sold and all its goods went to several family members. I recall how my father was upset about not getting the furniture, reason being that his wife (my mother) detested it. The furniture went to my cousin and when my father saw them again many years later, I can see the sadness in his eyes. But, he saved the pins and now I have them and they are proudly display in our Grandparent’s Museum.   
P.S. I do not have a picture of the sofa but I am asking my cousin if he does and if so, I’ll post it.