June 30, 2011

Turntable Blues

     So I've been researching a whole ton lately about record players. I really really want one. I keep finding fantastic records to add to my tiny collection and I have no way to play them. I've thought of buying one used because it'd be super cheap, maybe would only need a new needle, and if it breaks there's not much loss. And then I stumbled upon all the new ones out there that can convert your records to Cd's, or USB, or memory card. What a great idea! There are so many modern ones out there that have great vintage looks and they are all so similar, with the exception of price. I've also read so many of them die after a year, that's just their nature so they say. It's so difficult to decide, so I thought YOU could help by looking at the new ones of course. I'm usually partial to Best Buy and their great replacement plans but they only carry a few that I like. So here's the list of what I found....
Tell me what you think!

4. Crosley Radio CR7002A-PA Troubadour Turntable (Paprika)

1. Pyle-Home Classical Trumpet Horn Turntable w/ Radio CD,Cassette, and USB Recording

June 24, 2011

Find Of The Week: Time Life Record Collection

    I'm so excited to share this find with you. I've been beside myself! I have found 9 of 15 of the TIME LIFE Swing Era Collection Box Sets unopened! Records are in mint condition as they are still in the plastic wrap from the early 70s with expected wear on the plastic. This collection was pressed in 1973 by Capitol Records and was featured in Time magazine as each box set was released. They include 3 records each, with front and back play, and a book telling about the music of that era. Click on the above link for full discography.  

So very cool! If I only had a record player. This is one of TIME LIFE's most popular sets. It has been released four times with different covers. These are from the second release with artists such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Billy May, and Artie Shaw.

Keep your eye out for these items to be in the shop this week!

Shop Update: New Clothes In The Shop

Just wanted to give you guys a shop update. I've been cleaning, mending, and photographing another group of clothes for the shop. Here's what I have up so far enjoy!

June 13, 2011

DIY Natural Shoe Shine

As I come home everyday I pass the Bon Ton Hatters shoe and hat repair shop. It has been there since 1907 and it's the only place in Birmingham where you can still have your hat cleaned and reshaped. There's a wall of chairs close to the door where you can sit and have your shoes shined for $1. I always smile as I pass because you can tell those guys really know what their doing with their stern faces. It's a little peek into history. Although I highly suggest they trade the front doors for the saloon kind and wear holstered guns. It'd be fantastic! Ha I digress, I was thinking the other day that if I had shoes to be shined I'd definitely go there. Then I remembered the racks of shoes I have for D&B that greatly need extra love and care to be ready for purchase. There's too many to take to Bon Ton so I'm going to give it a go. Here at Dean and Bettie we use the natural approach to cleaning and restoring vintage whenever possible and we definitely have a do it yourself attitude. So here's a bit on making a simple organic shoe shine solution.

You'll need to combine 1Tbs lemon juice and 2Tbs olive oil. You can whisk them together or put them in a clean jar, put the lid on tight, and shake away. You'll need to clean your shoes first. I just took a slightly damp papertowel and wiped them down and let them dry completely.

Next, with a soft clean cloth dab some of the shine mixture onto you leather shoe (laces removed!) and rub it in with a circular motion. I used this on our leather purses as well and will be using them on jackets too.

You'll need to repeat this once a month. They really turned out great.

June 11, 2011


Hello guys and gals! Hope all is well today. Here at D&B we have exciting news. We're opening the shop on Wednesday! Please spread the word and see you there!

June 9, 2011

Find of the Week

When I'm out thrift shopping and looking for "lost" treasures I'm usually looking for specific things I need for the shop, rather than hoping I find something. This helps in two ways. One, it saves me huge amounts of time because if I really had my way I'd sift through EVERYTHING on every aisle. It's so ridiculous! It's not like I'm searching for lost people and no one's ever going to find them if I don't. Which brings us to number two, because of this nature of mine while looking for the needed, planned items I of course can't resist at least a little glancing for something that might catch my eye. And sometimes it pays off. Which is how I found this FOTW.

June 6, 2011

Je t'aime

After several weeks of working so hard every single day to get the shop ready for the upcoming opening I've felt exhausted and uncreative. When you get buried in something sometimes creativity goes out the window and you're left a little confused. I needed to recharge and I found some very refreshing and beautiful pictures and a video. I love finding stunning pictures for inspiration because they show you a glimpse of a story that makes them so mysterious and full of possibilities which is exactly what I needed to feel. I thought I'd share these gorgeous works of art with you.

                                              Photo via photographer Paola Reversi featured in Vogue Italia March 2007

    It's taken me a long time to find this picture again since I first saw it years ago. I've never forgotten it. What I love about this picture is that she's so breathtaking as this vintage looking warrior woman. It's so stunning and haunting and the same time.

                                         Photo via photographer Steven Meisel featured in Vogue US in September 2007.


Photo via photographer Steven Meisel featured in Vogue US September 2007.

The feeling portrayed here is how I hope people feel when wearing vintage. It's fun, playful, intriguing, and classy.

You really must click on those links and see more of those photos. These were only my favorites. I hope these were as uplifting for you. And now I will leave you with this last bit of inspo. It's not vintage but it flows with how I feel right now and I hope you love it.

When I Grow Up by Fever Ray

June 3, 2011

DIY Easiest Way to Remove Labels

I love repurposing bottles and jars. I mostly use them to store beans, rice, noodles, and seeds. They're also nice to have around for craft supplies, iced tea on the go, or canning your own food. I have tried many suggested methods of removing labels and all resulted in tired arms, scraped up hands, and way too much use of my time. I've also often had bottles with labels that I couldn't budge. So in combining some of these techniques and my avoidance of harmful chemicals and goo removers, I came up with this method that so far hasn't failed me yet.

You'll need good dishsoap, stainless steel scouring pads (not wool!), vinegar, and a putty knife or scraper with a razor and of course your labeled bottles. Place your bottles (lids off!) in your plugged sink or dishtub and add your soap, about a teaspoon or 2 count pour, and about 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

 Fill with hot, hot water until the bottles are covered. You may use gloves of course but make sure your bottles are filled with water and not floating. As you see my pickle jar is but it was just for the picture of course. Let these sit for a few hours. I've also left mine overnight or while I'm at work.

Next grab your putty knife or scraper and start pushing the label off from top to bottom. It should come off very easy. Paper labels as you see here are cake, if you have a plastic label you may need to lift up enough so you can pull them of in strips. And in the case of a Kombucha bottle you'll have to pull the label of first soak for five minutes more and repeat the scraping process, still very easy.

Next take your scouring pad and a dab of soap and gently scrub the remaining glue or labeling off and rinse. While rinsing rotate your jar around and you'll be able to see any remaining small bits you may have missed. The only bottle I ever had trouble with was a Snapple bottle that had some crazy industrial glue for which I just drowned with scalding hot water while scrubbing. Still it was easy to scrub off. Now you have to be patient and let them dry.

You're Done! Without scratches, scrapes, or exhausted arms you now have clean bottles and jars ready for repurposing. You could even paint the lids matching colors or for the skilled domestic types etch your jars with a pattern or your own label for a classy touch! Enjoy!
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