Designer Biography, Mid Century Modern

Mid Century Modern Designer Spotlight: Dorothy Thorpe

Dorothy Thorpe was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1901. She began her young adult life by attending the University of Utah as a Music major.  However, a chance finding of an empty beer bottle changed the course of her life forever!

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Dorothy Thorpe with some of her glass pieces

As the story goes, Dorothy found a broken beer bottle or wine bottle, depending on which version of the story you are reading, lying in the street and had the brilliant idea to turn the bottom of the bottle into a drinking glass tumbler. Talk about true DIY works of art! She gave one of them to her brother who in turn took it to work at MGM Studios.  Clark Gable happened to see it and immediately ordered 6 dozen sets.  Dorothy C. Thorpe, Inc. was born!

She sold her pieces in a small Hollywood gift shop and before long her works of art were highly sought after by Hollywood Studios and stars and wealthy and famous people, including Princess Grace of Monaco and the Shah of Iran.

It’s important to note that Dorothy Thorpe did not manufacture glass, rather she decorated glass pieces that she purchased.  The finely etched detail of some of her floral work is so life-like it’s hard to believe she had no formal art training.

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Art Deco Acid Etched Vase with Maple Leaf Motif by Dorothy Thorpe

To identify a truly authentic Dorothy C. Thorpe piece look for the sandblasted trademark like the one pictured below:

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Dorothy C. Thorpe sandblasted trademark

Some of her designs had paper or foil seals and have since been lost so it’s especially important to know something is really a Dorothy Thorpe creation before purchasing.

Most recently her Allegro Sterling Silver Rimmed glassware was seen on the TV show, Mad Men.  These glasses had a 1″ band of sterling silver all around the top.  The Allegro design was on decanters, pitchers, and several different types of glassware such as rocks glasses, footed cocktail stems, roly poly glasses and stemless martini glasses like these:

Martini Glasses

Dorothy Thorpe also decorated dinnerware for companies such as Crown Lynn in New Zealand as well as her own tableware lines. The design below is a glorious cobalt and azure wash with slightly offset gold metallic floral and leaf pattern.

Dorothy C. Thorpe China Set

Dorothy Thorpe’s beautiful creations are featured in museums and are highly sought after.  She was listed in “Who’s who in American Art. And even had done glass decorations and lamps for the Mormon Temple at Idaho Falls, windows for St. John’s Academy at Camarillo.

She died on September 4, 1989 in Carlsbad, California, but her timeless works of art still live on.

Below is a list of resources I used in writing this article and will provide much more in-depth information about the life and career of Dorothy C. Thorpe.

Dorothy Thorpe – Retro Solstice

Dorothy Thorpe Designs – The Hour

Who is Dorothy Thorpe and What Glassware Can Be Attributed to Her? – The Hour

Dorothy C. Thorpe-Mid Century Sand Artist Extraordinaire – High Class Glass

Dorothy Thorpe and Her Ivy Leaves Collection – National Depression Glass Association

Until Next Time,

Kathie

 

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Uncategorized

Vintage Cookbooks

My husband, Pat, and I were at a church rummage sale recently.  It was one of the first nice days we’ve had here in Northern IL after a seriously long and never-ending winter! And as an added bonus both kids were in school, so it allowed me time to browse and lose myself in the all the vintage items they had for sale.

Anyway, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of vintage cookbooks!  I love cookbooks.  Looking through the pages makes me think about what life must have been like back in the 40’s, 50’s and even the 60’s.  It all seems so much simpler than today.

I found a little cookbook called “Food For The Body And Soul” copyright date of June 1947.  Flipping through the pages I found not just recipes, but little poems, scripture verses, rules for your children, and much more.  Everything a “perfect” housewife and mother would need to raise her family and keep them well fed.

Even the first picture in the book is fabulous!  From her simple, neat dress to her simple and clean kitchen.

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Mrs. Frances Youngren – Director of WMBI Home Hour WMBI Home Hour was a radio program on the Moody Bible Radio Station.  Mrs. Youngren was the director of Women’s Studies at the Moody Bible College.

 

And while some of the recipes in this cookbook sound and look a little scary, like Spaghetti Ring with Asparagus and Eggs, some absolute treasures can be found if you take the time to search them out. (And for you dear reader I will skip showing you the picture for the above-named recipe because that is quite frightening – even in black and white!)

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

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  • 1/2 cup chili Sauce
  • 1/3 cup celery (finely chopped)
  • 8 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish
  • Lemon

Combine ingredients and serve with the shrimp in cocktail cups, using a wedge of lemon for garnish. Or, arrange the shrimp on lettuce leaves, on individual serving plates, using the cocktail sauce for topping.

While a fairly common recipe its great for any party or get together and serving seafood always adds a touch of sophistication!

You can find great vintage serving dishes and accessories at www.stonecreekboutique.com to help complete your retro party look!

Until next time,

Kathie

Gifts, Holidays, Mother's Day

15 unique Mother’s Day Gifts Mom Will Love

Mother's Day Gifts

 

It’s upon us once again!  Mother’s Day is coming up fast and if you are like me you are scratching your head wondering what to get your dear, beloved momma.  At this point in my Mom’s life, she seems to have everything she needs or wants – she’s not high maintenance like me.  So I try to find unique gifts that she will enjoy using. I’ve compiled a list of 15 different gifts to get your mom that she will love!

  1.  Mom Fuel Coffee Mug

    This mug is perfect for busy moms.  Fill with your favorite beverage…shhh we won’t tell if you put wine in there! 😉

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2.  Mother’s Day Spa Gift Basket

This is just what mom needs to pamper herself!

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3.  Eat it or Starve Trivet

Everyone Mom knows what it’s like having to find something everyday to cook for dinner.  This funny trivet is perfect for expressing how we all feel on some days.

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4. Zebra Print Tea Kettle

This quirky whistling tea kettle is perfect for making tea but also as a kitchen decor as well!

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5.  School of Fish Stemless Wine Glasses

These wine glasses hold 17 ounces and are perfect for relaxing with your favorite wine or cocktail!

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6. Mother’s Day Relaxation Gift Basket

Perfect excuse for Mom to sit and relax.  Assorted tea, a mug with a nice poem about moms and a cute decorative sign that says “Housework won’t kill you but why take the chance?” Plus a magnet that let’s mom know how much she means to you!

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7.  Simple Pleasures Bath Bomb Gift Set

4 individually wrapped bath bombs in assorted scents all wrapped up in a pretty gift box with a bow.  Mom will love it!

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8.  Metal Wind Chimes Camper Theme

Does Mom love the open road?  Does traveling around in her RV or Camper make her happy?  This decorative wind chime is perfect to decorate her home on wheels or your home without wheels. 🙂

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9.  Mother’s Day Premium Deluxe Spa Gift Basket

This is Premium Deluxe Gift Basket has everything mom needs to relax in style!  Bath Bombs, Shower Gel, Body Scrub, a wonderfully scented candle with a heartwarming message and a bath loofah.

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10.  Mermaid Stemless Wine Glasses

Is your mom free spirited?  Love the beach?  Strong and independent?  Then she will absolutely adore these Mermaid stemless wine glasses!

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11. Mother’s Day Home Decor Gift Baskets

This is definitely a gift for the mom who has everything!  These home decor gift baskets come with a magnet that lets your mom know how much you appreciate her, a cute decorative wooden sign and a sweet ceramic trinket dish that is perfect for keeping keys, change or other odds and end.

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12.  All you need is love and the beach wood sign

Need we say more?  Who doesn’t love the beach?

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13.  Mother’s Day Theme Deluxe Spa Gift Basket

Beautifully displayed gift basket with shower gel, body scrub, bath loofah and heartwarming mom candle as well as a ceramic trinket dish.  Any mom would love to receive this on Mother’s Day!

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14. Plush Throw Blanket with Chevron Pattern

This plush throw blanket is perfect for chilly summer nights and the chevron design adds a stylish look when thrown over the couch or chair.

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15.  Norpro Fresh Herb Keeper

Does your mom love to cook?  She will love these fresh herb keepers.  Perfect to have in the refridgerator to always have your favorite herbs on hand!

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If you are still looking for other ideas for Mother’s Day you can read my blog post from last year.

I will be spending mother’s day with my own mother this year.  The first time in 20 years!  I am so excited!  Hopefully this year will be better than last year’s mother’s day.  You can read all about that here.

Until Next Time,

Kathie

 

Cocktail Parties, Entertaining, Holidays

How to Create the Perfect Place Setting

Perfect Place Setting

Easter is right around the corner and you may be wondering how to properly set your dining table.  Because you know there is always one guest who is going to judge (probably your mother-in-law). Seriously though, setting the table in an eye-catching way will make a beautiful presentation for your Easter dinner or any other gathering you may have in the future.

If you are like me you err more on the casual side when it comes to setting the table for dinner.  Actually, we are really relaxed around here…with our busy schedules we barely get 1 or 2 meals a week together as a family and alot of those are just grab it off the stove and go sit at the table type of affairs.  However, every once in awhile I will properly set the table for a basic everyday dinner.  Just follow the guide in the picture below and you will be all set!

Basic Table Setting

Now, if you are having a little dinner party you can go a bit fancier than what is pictured above.  And adding a nice centerpiece will accent your table beautifully.  Below is pictured a step above the casual table setting.

Casual Setting

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Ok, now on to the fancy schmancy table setting.  I don’t think I would ever need anything as complex as this one, but then again most of our meals involve paper plates sooo….Ha! Ha!  But just in case you decide to channel your inner Martha Stewart below is the Formal table setting.

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To be honest, if I am eating a meal that requires that many utensils and plates had best be served to me rather than me serving it.

If you are in the mood to add some cool retro high-quality wine glasses to your table setting you should check out these beautiful aqua wine glasses.  The etched detail is stunning and will look fabulous for Easter dinner or any spring or summer dinner party.

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Wow!  I may just set the table for dinner tonight.  And I think I will skip the paper plates and go for the everyday dinner plates that are in my kitchen cupboard somewhere.

Until Next Time,

Kathie

Cocktail Parties, Entertaining, Holidays, Mid Century Modern, Uncategorized

5 Hangover Remedies from Years Gone By…

 

 

So, was your New Year’s Eve quiet and tame or rowdy and full of good cheer?  If you had a bit too much celebration and are feeling the effects of the dreaded hangover here are 5 hangover cures from years gone by that may just still work!

1.  Hangover Heaven

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Ok, this looks more like a scary Halloween costume than a hangover remedy, but famous makeup man, Max Factor, created this face mask in 1947.  When first created, this mask was meant for actresses to use between takes on movie sets to cool their faces from the hot studio lights.  However, a few hard-partying Hollywood types soon took it over to use as a hangover cure.  The plastic ice cube shaped squares were filled with water and it was kept in the freezer until use.

2.  Onion Soup Hangover Remedy

 

The onion soup hangover remedy was all the rage back in 1935.  In the above video you can see step by step how to cook this stuff up and it’s pretty yummy to eat too! It’s hydrating and the vitamin B in the onions is good for you.

3.  Tarrant’s Seltzer Aperient

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Tarrant’s Seltzer Aperient was popular back in the 1840’s right into the 20th century. It was described as an effervescing powder containing bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, and potassium.  And while it did probably help get some fluids and minerals back into the body, it wasn’t a full proof cure, obviously, or we would all have it stocked in our cabinets today.  However, back then it was still being “kind to men who have tried to drink the town dry in one night.”

4.  Quaff-Aid

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Quaff-Aid was the hangover cure in the 1950’s.  The perfect hostess was encouraged to have these on hand so that you could “assure yourself and friends a pleasant time and a pleasant tomorrow…”  Basically, these little “Mighty-Mites” as they were called were brewer’s yeast that was rich in minerals and B-complex vitamins. It was so popular it even came in a convenient party pack.

5.  Brenda Frazier’s Hangover Bar Cure

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Brenda Frazier, the original celebutante, had a bar dedicated to hangovers at her 1938 coming out party at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City.  The head banquet man Adolphe Jeantet created the cure that guests clamored for.  A bottle of chilled Coca-Cola was shaken and then squirted into a glass of cold milk.  One sip and a nice long nap and you were good to go!

So, there you have it a look back at some of the old-timey hangover cures from years gone by.  What’s your favorite hangover remedy?

Until Next Time,

Kathie

Christmas, Cocktail Parties, Entertaining, Holidays, New Year's Eve, Recipes, Thanksgiving

15 Fabulous Cocktails You Must Make This Holiday Season

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By now you probably have your Christmas dinner menu planned, but have you thought about what cocktails to have?  If not, don’t sweat it! I’ve compiled some of the most delicious and unique cocktails for you.  Because let’s face it…sometimes the only thing that gets you through dinner at the in-laws is a steady supply of alcohol!

Christmas Cocktails

1. Blackberry Ombre Sparkler from thecookierookie.com

This festive cocktail is perfect for the holidays and I just love the name!  Sort of like a mimosa, this would be perfect for sipping while opening gifts on Christmas morning.

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2.  CRANBERRY LIMONCELLO SPRITZER COCKTAIL from thesnappygourmet.com

Quick and easy to make this cocktail will wow your guests!

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3.  White Chocolate Snowflake Martini from Lulus.com

This cocktail looks so yummy and will add a touch of sophistication to your cocktail display!

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4.  Christmas Punch from sugarandsoul.co

This Christmas Punch recipe can be made with rum or vodka or keep it kid friendly and skip the alcohol!

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5. CRANBERRY CLOVE SPARKLING MARGARITA from suchthespot.com

Both tart and sweet this holiday cocktail will soon become part of your holiday traditions!

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6. Sparkling Christmas Cosmo from happyhealthymotivated.com

Light and flavorful, this cocktail will please everyone – even those guests who aren’t big drinkers.

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7. Santa Claus-Mopolitan from BlueRibbonKitchen.com

Oh my this cocktail looks so gorgeous!  And it’s the perfect signature drink for your holiday parties.

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8. Jack Frost Cocktail from theblondcook.com

Sweet and tropical this cocktail adds a yummy twist on holiday drinks.

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9.  The North Pole Cocktail from halfbakedharvest.com

Vodka, Kahlua, and chocolate syrup?  Um yes, please!

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10.  Cranberry and Cinnamon Whiskey Sour from Bakerbynature.com

A yummy twist on an old classic.

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So, these should get you through Christmas, but what about New Year’s Eve you ask?  Don’t worry we have you covered!

New Year’s Eve Cocktails

11. Tart cranberry gin sparklers from hollyandflora.com

 

 

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12. Sparkling Holiday Flirtini from Thecookierookie.com

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13. New Year’s Eve Champagne Punch from sugarandsoul.co

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14.  Cake Batter Martini from thenovicechef.com

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15.  New Years Eve Champagne Cocktails from Suziesweettooth.com

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There you have it!  15 fabulous cocktails to take you through the entire holiday season!  Let us know which ones you tried and which ones were your favorites.

Until Next Time,

Kathie

Christmas, Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes

10 Festive Christmas Rice Krispie Treats Ideas

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Time’s slipping away and Christmas will be here before you know it!  But don’t panic!  If you haven’t had time to bake any Christmas cookies I have gathered some of the best and cutest Rice Krispy Treat recipes that you can make in no time flat.  You’ll have fabulous, festive desserts for the holidays!

1. Rice Krispies Treat Christmas Ornaments – from eighteen25.com

I just love these!  They are so cute and festive and will look fantastic on any dessert table.

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2. CHRISTMAS WHITE CHOCOLATE-DIPPED RICE KRISPIE TREATS -from thekitchenismyplayground.com

White Chocolatey goodness!  Can you say yum?

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3. Reindeer Rice Krispies – from Thirtyhandmadedays.com

The kiddos will love these!

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4. Sweet and Salty Christmas Mix from tasteandtellblog.com

It doesn’t get much easier than this! The sweet and salty combination is perfect.

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5. Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treat Pops from positivelysplendid.com

These adorable little Christmas trees are sure to add some Christmas flair to your table.

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6. Rice Krispies Treats Presents with a Surprise from meaningfulmama.com

Oh my!  Aren’t these the cutest little things you’ve ever seen?  And the kids will love opening them up for the little surprise inside!

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7.  Merry Christmas Rice Krispie Treats from twosisterscrafting.com

Such a simple idea but these will really wow your guests!

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8.  Sparkling Snowflake Rice Krispie Treats from frugalfoodiemama.com

These are so pretty!  Your guests will think you worked for hours on them.

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9. Peppermint Rice Krispie Snowballs from aspiceyperspective.com

Perfect with a cup of tea or hot cocoa!

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10.  Rice Krispie Snowmen from hoosierhomemade.com

The kids will love helping to make these.

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Now you have no excuses for not having some fun and festive Christmas treats!  Let us know which ones are your favorites!

Until Next Time,

Kathie