Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bubble Lights

I just love Bubble Lights. I still stare at them in amazement, just like I did on my grandmothers tree. 

How do they bubble?

A bubble light is a decorative device consisting of a liquid-filled vial that is heated and lighted by an incandescent light bulb. Because of the liquid's low boiling point, the modest heat generated by the lamp causes the liquid to boil and bubble up from the vial's base. The liquid is almost always methylene chloride, but some early bubble lights used a lightweight oil. The light from the lamp illuminates the bubbles from underneath, causing them to shine.

-provided by Wikipedia

Where did they come from? 

In 1935, Carl Otis filed a patent application for what was simply called "Display", a bubbling table top sign.   This patent was to become the basis of his new idea: small, bubbling lights specifically adapted for use on Christmas trees. Carl's idea was not new. Sealed glass tubes with a bubbling liquid inside were first demonstrated by Benjamin Franklin.
Carl's concept for the Christmas tree bubble light, which he called an "Ornamental Illuminating Device ." was his second patent application and was finally granted in 1944. Before the patent was granted, he sent out samples to 10 of the biggest Christmas light companies in business, demonstrating how they could be used in  Christmas lights. Only one company, NOMA Electric Company, showed any interest.

In 1946 Noma Electric Co. was the first company to commercially sell bubble lites in the US. These lights were HUGE sellers, and rapidly became the most popular Christmas lights NOMA had ever sold. NOMA purchased the right to Carl Otis' latest patent, and he agreed to a royalty payment of 3 cents for each light produced. NOMA made more than 25 million Bubble Lites in the first two years of production,
Carl's royalty payment paid off.

The other Christmas light manufacturers were watching the sales of NOMA's new product with great interest, and almost immediately began manufacturing their own versions of the popular light. Raylite, the second largest Christmas light manufacturer and maker of Paramount products, started making their own bubblers for sale during the 1947 Christmas season, calling them Kristal Snow Animated Candles.

Millions of  bubbling lights would continue to be made up until the 1970s, and NOMA lights were always the best sellers of any of the bubbling lights. Many of the bubble lights remain in use today, still bubbling away, just as they first did during the 1940s.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boy or Girl ?

This is the question we did not know the answer to. 
Our friends decided to not find out the sex of the baby.
 I loved that they wanted to be surprised. 
 So what do you give to the couple with old fashioned values?
When I saw this child's sterling silverware set from the 1940's ,
I knew this would be the perfect gift for the baby.


I wrote the following sentiment on the card:
I'm 70 years old in a tattered box,
But I look shiny new.
It does not matter if your a boy or girl,
I will be a new heirloom just for you.

P.S. Just in case you wanted to know .
It's a Baby Boy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I wanted to share with you the tables I decorated for our local Breast Cancer Fundraiser. This event is held once a year with much success. I am pleased to be part of this organization which raises money for uninsured women and men in our county. Please do your part and make sure you are doing self breast exams and remind your "sisters" to do so also.

As with all design projects I usually start with an inspiration piece. I have a vintage Elk Rapids, Michigan  postcard with wonderful colors and beach theme. The High Tea is held in Elk Rapids, Michigan and felt this was a great starting point for the table I called " Seashells and Sea glass ".

I was able to find an eclectic mix of glassware from different eras and pull it all together.
Vintage Hazel Atlas snack sets in Capri Blue and Amethyst .
Green Depression Glass water goblets.
Vaseline Glass salt and pepper shakers and cream and sugar.

I gave each guest at my table a copy of the vintage Elk Rapids postcard, a ring made from seashells and a seashell bracelet used as a napkin ring.

For the centerpiece I started with a piece of driftwood for the base. I used a Japanese fishing float as the anchor and added coral , seashells and sea glass to complete the centerpiece. 

The second tables inspiration came from a collection of vintage seed packs. I also was inspired in many ways by the wonderful farm markets we have in the region.

For the centerpiece I used a gathering basket with an assortment of fresh vegtables. To add a little elegance I hollowed out a head of cabbage, cut a peice of floral foam to fit , and added a dozen red roses. 

I purchased a couple of yards of burlap
for the tablecloth.
I used a mix match of vegetable dishes,
some new and some old.
Finding eight matching water goblets for the table was a challenge. I decided to use two sets of  water goblets . Even though they are completely different, they some how go together in this table setting. This is a good lesson to use for your next gathering. Don't feel everthing has to match. An eclectic mix can be just as elegant and little more fun.  

I used faux green onions and green tulle for a fun twist on decorating the chair backs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I am thrilled to announce my new addition to the
Elk Rapids Antique Warehouse.

This boutique is a great source for Vintage and Designer Clothing and Accessories. Take a look at some of the current fashions to be found.

Vintage Vera Scarfs

A Vintage Red and White Tweed Suit , an enamel Red and White Flower Brooch and Vera floral silk scarf. I can just picture one of the young secretaries at the "Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency"  from the 
Mad Men TV show wearing this ensemble.

The "Mad Men" have not been forgotten. Flair Boutique has clothing and accesories
for the Daper Don's .

Designer Fashions for the devout
fashion house followers. 

A vintage soft blue evening gown from
 London, England.

Fine details of Sequins, Pearls and Rhinestones.

Vintage Lingerie

A nice selection of gloves for your next formal affair.

Vintage angora Kangol hats from England.

A tortoise shell lucite purse.

Shoes, jewlery , belts and much more to see.

Vintage Faux Fur full length coat.

This 100% Cashmere full length wrap coat is a steal at $ 125.00

Brown Lizard Purse.

An Art Deco Waterfall Vanity table.
Here are some AD's I have created for Flair. 
Let me know what you think of them.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Favorite Finds

To Paris with Love....
Here are some of my latest finds from an Estate Sale. I was told the couple did a lot of traveling around the world. I can just imagine them as a young couple heading off to Paris, France for the first time.

 This 1950 " Handbook of Every-Day French "  college textbook belonged to the Mrs. ( her name is printed on the inside) . I could just see her daydreaming in class about a Paris holiday.

A 1960 Michelin French " Paris"  Map. The Mrs. must have passed her french lessons .

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Wonderland

The cozy lobby at the Elk Rapids Antique Warehouse. Wonderful vintage finds for Winter Wonderland Fun. Snowshoes, Sleds, Skis and Skates.

A pine sled just waiting to be pulled out on the ice for an ice skating party.

A nice selection of vintage and antique ice skates,
A Dietz oil lantern to light the way,
A Hudson Bay blanket to keep you warm ,
and a couple of vintage Thermos for your coffee and hot chocolate.

This vintage sled brings back memories of conquering the snow hill.

Can you imagine skiing with wood skis and bamboo poles ?
I rather imagine these over a fireplace mantle in a cozy cabin.

A 1933 Valentine for your favorite ski bunny.

A nice black persian lamb hat and Vintage Valentine for your " Dr. Zhivago ".