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  1. Marion Isobel Marchant

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

    Some of you may remember a month or so ago when I posted about my Grandpa Marchant's passing. I'm sad to say that my Grandma Marchant, his wife of nearly 68 years, followed six weeks later on September 9. We are all certain that Grandma died of a broken heart, and we all miss her very much. My Grandpa's health was failing, so I wasn't surprised when my mom phoned me to say that he passed. But my Grandma was in good health and had so many plans that she made with her daughters and grandchildren, but sometimes life has other plans.

    I love all my family, but my Grandma - Marion Isobel Marchant (nee Huff), born April 25, 1925 - held a very special place in my heart. She grew up outside of Edmonton (it's now the suburbs) and eventually met my Grandpa here while he was stationed in the Air Force and she was working for the American Army as they built the Alaskan highway. Now that I live in Edmonton and love the 40s, I feel a strong connection to her. She was so beautiful, both inside and out.

     Grandma as a secretary with the American Army
    building the Alaskan Highway during WWII.

    One of the last photos of them together, which I took a few weeks before Grandpa died.
    My cousin Peggy says that there are still some trees from where Grandma's farm used to be in north Edmonton, and I am going to take a trip up there to visit them soon.

    The pain is still very raw and sometimes I forget that she's gone, but I have a lot to remember her by. I wore one of her brooches to her funeral, which mom said I could keep.

    Grandma also told me last winter that she wanted me to have the compact Grandpa gave them on their first Christmas together. I didn't realize I would get it so soon, but I will treasure it always. Mom also gave me one of Grandma's teapots (which was a wedding present in 1944), a tea cup, a vase, a sugar doily, Grandma's sewing things, one of her faux pearl necklaces, a jewellery roll and Grandpa's Legion cap. Auntie Val also gave me some of Grandma's sheets. I feel very lucky to have gotten so many things to remember them by!

    Tea cup, sugar bowl doily, tea strainer, tea pot from 1944, vase

    Tea cup detail

    Grandpa's Legion cap, faux pearl necklace, jewellery roll, compact
     My Grandma was a meticulous note taker and lots of things were labelled!
    "Bill gave this compact to me for Christmas 1944 - Marion"

    The note says "Sewing cabinet from Grandma Belle's home, 1935. Restored by Valerie." (my aunt)

    How frickin' cute is that chocolate tin?

    Buttons and safety pins!

    More pins, a vintage needle gauge (YES!) pin cushions and thread.

    More pin holders. The silver thing is a measuring tape. 
    This holds needles - how cute!
    I miss my grandma so much but I am very thankful for the time we spent together, and also thankful that I have a wonderful and strong family in times like these.

    xo Laurie

  2. Pre-Christmas No Spender Bender

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012

    Regardless of how awesome it is to live solo - from playing the guitar whenever I want to going to bed at 8 p.m. like the old lady I am - it also means that I rely on me, myself and I to pay ALL the bills. Add in the fact that Christmas is fast approaching (3 months from today!) and I'm starting to feel the wallet crunch already.

    So I'm challenging myself to take part in a no-spender bender in the lead-up to the holiday season to scrimp and save for presents, decorations and booze. Especially booze. Besides, I get presents at Christmas so I don't really need to go breaking the bank for myself, do I?

    Rules (via Miss Bee Vintage)
    • no e-bay/etsy/web shopping.
    • You get 3 "free" passes for "emergency" purchases  (something on your wish list you have been waiting for, a deal too good to pass up, that sort of thing).
    • You can of course buy necessities and replace broken items, that sort of thing. Use the one in/one out rule. Basically no crappy purchases just because you feel like it.
    • Entertainment money does not count in this (movies, date nights, dancing). It's all about "merchandise."
    • Basically - no spending and splurging on myself before Christmas.
    I'm adding in a self-imposed kibosh on eating out, going out for too many beers and buying coffee instead of making it (again, I already do this but sometimes I'm tempted by a London Fog), although I've been pretty good at that this last month. I've even been eating lunch again!

    I'll try to update my progress every once in a while - at least once a month. 

    Anyone else dare to join in?

  3. Alberta vintage girls tea party

    Sunday, September 23, 2012

    Saturday's tea party was a smashing success, if I do say so myself! We made way too much food, had lots of laughs and met some lovely new ladies.

    Aside from myself, Miss Bee and Krista Dee, our tea party was also attended by the lovely Erin, Asha, Keri and Julie. 

    Before everyone arrived, we were busy in the kitchen. Look at these two gorgeous hostesses! 

    I was in charge of making cucumber sandwiches.

    Chanel was in charge of sitting on top of the fridge looking cute with her jaunty scarf.

    I finally got to debut this gorgeous hat I bought in Camrose forever ago.

    Keri, the darling that she is, also brought some vintage goodies she rescued from an old building on her farm. I snagged a bread box (which will actually sit empty as I will always forget that I have bread in there), these adorable lamb salt and pepper shakers and a beautiful vase. The bread box really anchors my table and makes me feel like the dining nook is complete now.

    I also took home these glasses, which are from 1971 according to a slip of paper inside. The timing couldn't be better because last weekend Ian broke my glasses after accidentally sitting on them. That's what I get for not putting them on the table!

    I'm going to take them in soon to get my prescription in them and the legs fitted to my face better. Hopefully they can manage it!

    In other news, I am going to enjoy a deliciously lazy Sunday knitting, listening to music, walking and enjoying the fall foliage and doing laundry.

    XO Laurie

    Don't forget about the deal eShakti is offering Retro Reporter readers. From now until December 31, first time eShakti shoppers can receive $25 off their order with the coupon LAURIEMARIECALLSEN.

  4. $25 off first purchase at eShakti

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Hi all! Sorry I've been super slack on the blog front, but expect a big post after this weekend of tea party/burlesque extravaganza with Miss Bee and Krista Dee.

    But before I launch into what will surely be a massive post, I wanted to let you know about a deal eShakti is offering Retro Reporter readers. From now until December 31, first time eShakti shoppers can receive $25 off their order with the coupon LAURIEMARIECALLSEN.

    Happy shopping!

  5. I love those times when my job and vintage love combines. It happened earlier this month when the B-17 Flying Fortress flew into Edmonton. I was there the day it landed (despite the fact that I was *supposed* to be off for medical appointments) and got some photos for work, which you can see here.

    But the day before it left I went to see it with my friend Ian, a photographer for the Edmonton Sun (yes, yes, fraternizing with the enemy, blah blah) so I could dress up and be all glam and get good photos.

    Derpy face, but possible the most giant victory roll ever.
    It kept on hitting the ceiling.

    The tail gunner seat. My Grandpa M wanted to be a tail gunner, but he was too tall.
    Instead he wound up as a clerk discharging POWs from Allied camps.

  6. House tour: Welcome to my bachelorette pad

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    This post has been sitting in draft form - from my head to my Blogger dashboard - for quite some time.

    This summer, G and I have decided to move on from our three-year relationship. It's hard, it sucks but in the end we know it's for the best. He has moved closer to his new job and I have started to decorate what is now my bachelorette pad in downtown Edmonton. I think it will be easy to claim this space as mine as we lived here together for such a little time.

    The floor lamp was one we had from before that I got to keep (I traded the sound system for it) and the other tall lamp was a $28 score from the antique mall. I'm also really excited that I got to keep the credenza. The splitting up of our things was really amicable and grown up. I definitely feel like I got the bulk of the stuff (maybe G didn't feel like moving it :p)

    I found a beautiful teal and gold sectional on Kijiji and latched onto it as soon as I could. For the bulk of August it was sitting in pieces in the living room while our other (also giant) sectional took up the rest of the space. I'm glad it's all organized now.

    Garret's mom gave me her old sewing machine (I'm getting sewing night classes with my birthday money) and so I changed what was G's computer space into my crafting corner. I plan on painting the desktop another colour - maybe mint? Or gold? Who knows.

    The kitchen table and such you've already seen. I plan on ordering some funky fabric from Spoonflower and recovering the lampshade, as well as an old lamp for my bedroom. Here's some ideas, all designed by Charlotte from Tuppence Ha'Penny:

    My house is on a big pink/mint theme, with some red and gold thrown in. Kitchy!

    Now, onto the bedroom. It actually hasn't changed that much since I got to keep a lot of the furniture in here. Mainly, I just bought some purple sheets from Ikea.

    My closet probably had the biggest overhaul. Since I usually don't put a lot in my dresser in terms of clothes, I was able to utilize it for some blanket/off-season storage space. I used to have yarn in here, but that's moved to the craft corner. Now it feels so much bigger!

    Now, onto the kitchen and the bathroom. Again, these are rooms that don't have a lot of changes. Just some minor stuff, like moving things to lower shelves so I can actually reach them. :D

    Fun fact: I've had Audrey in the bathroom in every house I've lived in since high school.