The Bulletin Board Bag AKA Vintage 1970 Pinterest

I ran across this unusual ad in the August 1970 issue of Seventeen magazine. It advertised the Bulletin Board Bag – a $9 wood purse with rope handle – that had a four-sided cork bulletin board. You could ‘design it with love’ by decorating it with snaps of special people, signs, flowers, team heroes, school colors and happenings. Change it to fit your mood or the season. It’s your bag.

The first thing I thought of was that it was a 1970s tactile version of Pinterest! You had to physically put things on your ‘board’, and then carry it with you and share with your ‘followers’. You could change things around according to your whim. We didn’t have the internet or social media in the ’70s, but we had our ways to express our personal style.


The 1971 Yardley Pot o’ Glossapalooza!

Being the vintage Yardley of London freak that I am, I thought I had exhausted all the Seventeen magazine Yardley advertising from my personal collection. But, no; I just found an amazing two-page ad in the March 1971 issue. And it’s for my absolute favorite, Pot o’ Gloss!

The cool thing is that there were a variety of Pot o’ Glosses back then; Tinted Lip Gloss, Cheek Gloss, Eye Gloss, and Skin Inscents. You could be glossed all over! I adored the lip gloss so much that I never paid much attention to the other Pot o’ Gloss items, I guess. The divine scent, the tacky feel, and the pretty look of the lip gloss is burned into my memory forever.

Was is striking about this Yardley ad, however, is the deep suntans of the models. 1971 was not about porcelain English Rose beauty; more like how dark your tan could get. The pale British Mod movement of the 1960s was taken over by suntanned American Bohemians in the 1970s.


The 1971 Ukrainian Folkloric Bohemian Look

I ran across these fabulous Slavic/Ukrainian fashions in my February 1971 issue of Seventeen magazine. This folkloric style was extremely popular in the 1970s, and is experiencing a resurgence with the Neo-Folk embroidered designer dresses of Vita Kin and Ulla Johnson in 2017. Needless to say, my love of this style is just as strong today as when I wore it in the 70s!

The prints were designed especially for Seventeen by Aquarius Fabrics. They had authentic cross-stitch motifs on Natural muslin and canvas. Models Olga and Anya are wearing frilled midi dresses by Ruth Norman for Gay Gibson.

Nadya is wearing a swingy peasant frock, Natalya is wearing a skirt, blouse and lace-up waist, and Irina is wearing a skirt and blouse. All by Collegetown.

The prints are based on traditional Slavic handcrafted embroidery. Culottes and midriff-airing shirt worn along with a babushka. Slim midi-sleeved tunic top keeps peace with runaway pants. All by Stuffed Shirt.

A maxi-romanticist might inspire the poet Yevtushenko, also charm Yuri, the boy next door! Maxi and mini dresses in cotton muslin by Denise Are Here. Beady belt by William Rand.

May this fab style live on forever!


Christie Brinkley – Wrapped Up In 1975

It was really cool to see the photos of Christie Brinkley (63) modeling for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, along with her daughters Alexa Ray Joel (31) and Sailor Brinkley Cook (18). I thought they all looked happy, healthy and gorgeous. Christie is a little older than I am, and I’ve followed her career since she first started out modeling in the 1970s. From my teetering stash of vintage fashion magazines, I found the September 1975 issue of Glamour magazine with Christie on the cover. I’m pretty sure that this is one of her first modeling ventures, and it was the start of the All-American Blond California models that epitomized a good part of the 1970s fashion scene.

In Glamour’s editorial pages Christie modeled chunky sweater wrap-ups that had a handmade look, or could be knitted or crocheted by you. A different look from SI’s Swimsuit Issue (that came about 4 years later), but I think she looks fantastic here too.

Christie also made her way into the beauty pages, modeling a pretty hairstyle. The finished look of soft waves and curls was accomplished in 12 minutes using Clairol’s Kindness electric rollers (a 70s beauty staple).



My Warm and Cozy Hot Water Bottle

My Warm and Cozy Hot Water Bottle | Finnfemme BlogThe past several weeks have been cold in the Seattle area. Actually, more like FREEZING. It’s the kind of cold that seeps deep into my bones and won’t let up, no matter how many layers of clothing I wear. My house is not that well insulated, and I have single-pane aluminum-frame windows that do little to keep the chill out. Since I work at home, I bundle up with layers of vintage cashmere sweaters and my trusty knee-high UGG sheepskin boots. Sometimes I throw my fuzzy leopard print Snuggie or bathrobe over the whole lot, leaving me looking like some sort of a vintage-clad Yeti. 😀

One thing that I’ve rediscovered is the trusty old-fashioned hot water bottle. By the way, in some parts of the world it is called a ‘hottie’. I’ve never heard it called this before, but I think it’s rather charming. This way I can truthfully say I go to bed with a hottie every night 😉 ha ha ha… but, I digress.

I found my newest hot water bottle at a thrift store a couple years ago. It was in new condition, and was clad in its own perfectly fitted cable knit turtleneck sweater, so I HAD to get it. It sat around for a long while until the recent cold snap. Then I realized it could maybe help warm me up.

I’ve used hot water bottles in the past and they really didn’t seem to help at all. What I realize now is that I was using it all wrong. Before, I just used hot water straight from the tap to fill it. The heat never lasted all that long. What I do now is boil a kettle of water on the stove and then fill it. Boiled water temperature is 212 degrees, versus the 120 degrees my hot water tank is set at. It makes a huge difference. The other thing is the addition of the sweater covering. This creates a bit of a buffer for your skin, and also helps retain heat longer.

What I’ve been doing these cold winter nights is preparing the hot water bottle in the evening. I then place it at my back while I’m reading or watching TV – it’s so soothing! When I’m getting ready for bed, I’ll put in under the sheets at the foot of my bed to warm it up a bit. My feet are usually cold, so this really helps warm them up. I then move it around depending on what parts of the body are cold. It heats everything up really quite amazingly. A lot of the times I have to put it on the far side of the bed because it’s so warm. By morning it has still kept a lot of its warmth – it certainly does its job very well.

My wintertime advice is to snuggle up with a hottie. You won’t regret it!




1974: When People Stood In Line For Earth Shoes

Earth Shoes - Anna Kalso - vintage 1974 | FinnfemmeIn 1957, the Earth shoe was developed in Denmark by Anne Kalso. The idea was for a negative heel shoe – a shoe with the heel lower than the toe. The concept was that these shoes would allow you to walk ‘naturally’, like when you walk barefoot in the sand and your heel sinks down lower than your toes. Anne was convinced that this was the natural way to walk, and that this shoe would work in harmony with your entire body. She worked on the design for 10 years, refining details until they were perfected. The sole was also molded in a special way to allow you to walk in a ‘gentle rolling motion’. The toes were wide to keep from being cramped or squashed.

By 1974, apparently everyone wanted Earth shoes. People were standing in line to get them. There was a supposed shortage, and the Earth shoe company was pleading in this 1974 ad to “Please be patient. We’re making our shoes as fast as we can.” Earth shoes were sold only at Earth shoe stores. You could also write to the company (via snail mail, of course), and they would send you a brochure that explained how to order the Earth brand shoe by mail.

My memory of the Earth shoe is that it was a rather short-lived fad. I thought they were incredibly ugly and clunky looking. My brother Bob was a big fan of them though – he wore them for years. I think guys could pull these shoes off better than women though. What’s funny is that a few years back, I found a pair of Earth sandals in a thrift store. I bought them just to try them out, and to see if they had any merit. Well… no. I found the negative heel disconcerting, and the front part was very heavy. Walking in them was more like plodding and slapping the front part down. It seemed to have a negative pull to the whole body. You definitely don’t feel energetic in these shoes.

I donated them back to the thrift store.