Thursday's Unique Picks - A Fish Called Girly

Happy Summer Solstice to all! 
Just in case you missed it, Summer officially rolled in this week on June 21st at 1:16 p.m. E.D.T. (if you like to keep track of that kind of thing). 

Welcome Summer and say hello to your sunshine with this set of hand calligraphed note cards from sparrownestscript on etsy.  
So, this week instead of recounting any events or tales of historic significance, I thought I would dive into some of my own memories of Summertime, illustrated of course with some great finds from etsy sellers!
 I am going to take you all the way back to 1989. I was singing along with Milli Vanilli (even if they weren't), Playing Tetris on the Nintendo, screening "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids", and I took the plunge into competitive swimming. 
1926 Miss Annette Kellerman's Feats Of Diving And Swimming illustration from Surrender Dorothy's etsy shop. 
I joined the swim team at our swimming pool because...
(one of the following is true, do you know which answer is correct)

A) I am very athletic..
B) I liked getting up early while on Summer vacation.
C) I wanted to see boys in Speedos.
D) I love diving into an ice cold unheated pool first thing in the morning and swimming laps for one hour.
E) All of my friends were doing it.

Adorable vintage swimming pool cake topper complete with bathing beauties from Year 'Round Yard Sale on etsy.
In case you didn't know, I am not the most athletic gal around. I do recall telling my Father, that the reason I enjoyed swimming so much was because I didn't have to sweat, but the number one reason I joined swim team...If you guessed E) All of my friends were doing it, you were correct.
Doggone this is a sweet print created from from original artwork by LittleEllensArt on etsy.
Surprisingly enough, I wasn't all that bad at swimming. I had a pretty mean backstroke.
Since I am kind of a swim team veteran, I wanted to share some tips from my days as an Oak Creek Flipper.

1. Wear a well fitting one piece swim suit. It is never attractive to have a wardrobe malfunction while at a swim meet.
I would have been backstroking in vintage style with this fantastic 1960's swimsuit from  Call Me Chula's etsy shop, but noooo, we had to all wear the same team swimsuit. It is so hard to express your fashion sense when you have to dress like the rest of the team.
Girls on the swim team were lucky because we just had to wear the team one piece. Boys, on the other hand had to wear Speedos. They looked ridiculous. I wasn't too sure what was tucked inside those tiny little bikini bottoms the boys had on, but I was pretty sure it wasn't very attractive.

2. Wear a Swim cap. It reduces drag as you glide through the water...
I spotted this vintage sunny yellow swim cap at saint anne vintage on etsy
Another good reason to wear a swim cap is to avoid the dreaded green hair that weeks in the highly chlorinated swimming pool may give you.
On her, green locks look good. Lovely original artwork by Carambatack Designs on etsy
3. Always keep your undies in a dry place.
The ICKY bag from Petunias' etsy shop is a WETBAG with style.
Speaking from experience...while participating in swim meets, somehow absolutely everything gets wet and quite swampy. I highly recommend having a waterproof pouch to protect your skivvies. When you change out of your swimsuit, you can put the suit in the wet bag and have a dry pair of undies. No one likes to ride home after the meet in a wet baiting suit.

4. No matter how hot it is, when the sun goes down and you are getting in and out of a pool, you are going to be cold and mosquitoes will eat you. Sweats are a must.
If only I had had an awesome sweatshirt dress like this one found in Violetville Vintage's etsy shop. I never had anything this cool to keep me warm.
And that is about all of the tips I didn't actually think I had any advice on how to improve your lap time, did you?

My winnings from my brief career as a competitive swimmer.
After three Summers of being on the swim team, I felt I had peaked, so I decided to retire from competitive swimming while I was on top.

I never won any sweet patches...
Collect them all! Score your own set of vintage swimming patches from Dusty Lorraine's etsy shop.
or got any major trophies...
Who needs to win trophy, when you could buy your very own upcycled swimming trophy wine bottle stopper from ikcdesigns etsy shop. 
No sweat (literally), I still made a splash and had some cool fun in the Summertime! 

Grow For It! Your Choice Giveaway!

The Unique Bird is proud to announce that we are sponsoring a giveaway on a great blog:
The winner receives their choice of either a fantastic vintage pottery planter or awesome handmade vintage fabric garland from The Unique Bird.
Grow for it! Enter to win your choice of either a vintage pottery planter or handmade vintage fabric garland from The
Unique Bird on etsy.
The winner receives their choice of either: Vintage

Lush looking mid century planter by Ungemach Pottery (UPCO). This small rectangular planter measures 8 ¼” long by 4 1/2” across by 2 ¾” tall. It has a rich dark green glazed finish. The planter is decorated with an abstract leaf like pattern. It was produced by The Ungemach Pottery Company, which was founded by Fred Ungemach in Roseville, Ohio, after he left the McCoy Pottery Company. The piece is marked on the base “UPCO, USA, 483”. The planter is in very good vintage condition having no major cracks. It does have two small fleabite sized (1/8”) chips in the glaze finish in two of the corners along the rim. Give your summer plantings a colorful vintage flare with this great planter. This planter can also double as charming table top d├ęcor and small serving dish at your next summer soiree. It is the perfect size for holding veggies, fruits, crackers, etc. It is a fantastic way to dress up your front porch or any room in your home this summer. 

or if you like Handmade:

Lovely handmade vintage fabric garland. The garland was created from sections of a midcentury novelty printed barkcloth fabric. Each round applique on the garland shows colorful and graphic tree designs. The printed fabric is in bright summery shades of cherry red, grassy green, plum purple and has antique white and cool grey accents. The vintage printed tree appliques are layered with charcoal heather grey colored eco felt (created from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles) and backed with an oversized green and white printed plaid vintage cotton fabric. There are seven total appliqued designs (the appliques measure 4 1/4” across x 4” long). The appliques have raw edges and have been secured through all layers with cream stitching as well as a decorative red zig zag stitch. The appliques are secured to 1/2” tall bright green ric rack trim. The garland measures 7’ 4 1/2” (88 1/2”) long. All materials used are vintage, except the thread, eco felt, printed logo label and rick rack trim. Spot cleaning only and Iron if needed. Use this handmade vintage fabric garland over a window, doorway, on mantel or even hang along a table for a unique and fresh Summery decoration at your next barbeque.

 If you win the giveaway at A Geek's Wife and her Dog's blog, you can win either one of these fresh finds!
Click here to read giveaway rules and enter to win! 
Don't delay, giveaway ends June 25th, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.
Just Grow For It and enter to win Your Choice of Vintage or Handmade form The Unique Bird!

Good Luck!

Thursday's Unique Picks - Flying High with Old Glory

Today's burning question...
How did you celebrate on Tuesday? With cupcakes? 
Get your stars and stripes patriotic cupcake wrappers at Your Little Cupcake on etsy
Um...Tuesday June, 14th. Surely you had the date marked on your calendar, right?
Flag day. 
Um...Flag day?
Framed antique cigar box American flags from The Unique Bird on etsy
Yes, I have heard of it, but honestly had no idea about the history of this holiday that is printed in my weekly planner.
 Excellent blogging opportunity in my opinion. Just a little bit of history highlighted by an etsy shopping experience. Why? That is how I roll. I just love a little bit of history and I love to search for great finds from etsy sellers.
It turns out Flag Day is a day to celebrate Old Glory. 
Beautiful original photograph of our flag by Rikki Van Camp at Bare Bulb Studio on etsy. 

You may be thinking to yourself, yeah Girly, that is pretty obvious. Well smarty pants, do you know why we celebrate the American Flag on June 14th?
For your information, on June 14th 1777 the Flag of the United States was officially adopted by the Second Continental Congress. 

The handmade modern patriotic mug rug from All Things Belle on etsy, is the perfect spot to set you celebratory Flag Day Cocktail.

Drop that little nugget of trivia on your friends tonight over cocktails...I bet they will be impressed.
So Flag Day, is kind of like the American Flag's Birthday...but wait, didn't Betsy Ross sew the first American Flag back in 1776?
Re-live 1970's Bicentennial mania in this vintage maxi dress from Parkrose Vintage's etsy shop
This is the part about research that I dislike...finding out that something you thought was a fact, may or may not be true. Is it common knowledge that they don't really know for sure who sewed the first American Flag? 
1960's children's book "The Story of Our Flag" from Grandmother's Attic on etsy. 
Did I miss that lesson in elementary school? The Legend of Betsy Ross? Geeze, What's next? Are you going to tell me that the Easter Bunny is just a man in a suit? 
Ok. So someone sewed the flag in 1776, but it wasn't adopted as our official Flag until 1777. Got it.
 Beautiful handmade upcycled vintage chenille fabric American Flag Pillow from  paddyridge vintage's etsy shop
This part is for extra credit, since I got the answer wrong about who first sewed and designed the flag in 1776.  
"Flag Birthday" wasn't a celebrated date until 1885, according to legend (here we go again).
Vintage real photo postcard of a lovely lady all decked out and holding old glory from  Clancy's Classics on etsy.
 Flag Day celebrations spread throughout the U.S. in the late 1800's, but it wasn't until 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it a holiday.
That was good... but it wasn't an Official holiday until 1949, when President Truman signed an Act of Congress to make June 14th Flag Day every year.
Flag Day, such a simple and straight forward concept that has so many complicated and exciting twists and turns.
Thrilling ride through history, Huh? 
Ride America! Absolutely amazing handmade American flag created using reclaimed bike chains from ReGeared on etsy.
Well, now you and I know the scoop on this holiday, and have seen some pretty sweet etsy finds too. 
We will be better prepared to celebrate Flag Day next year.

Thursday's Unique Picks - National Road Trip

Last weekend the hubby and I set out on an adventure....
We hit the road, the National Road that is, in search of vintage treasures.

Snapshot from the National Road.
Every year, usually around the first week in June,  Route 40 plays host to yard sale mania. 

Snap shot going due East along Route 40 of one of the Historic National Road mile Markers. Photo credit goes to hubby. I didn't spot this right away, because I got distracted by an awesome yard sale.
These yard sales are stretched out along the 800 mile Historic National Road that runs from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. 

In case you wanted to know a little bit of history about the National Road this handy dandy youtube video wraps it up into a tidy six minute package. Informative, yet entertaining. I just love visual aids.

Since we only had two days for our yard sailing adventure, and didn't really know what to expect, we charted our course from Columbus, Ohio, due East on the first day and due West on the second day. 

Snapshot from along the National road Due West. This was a must stop yard sale. Busty mannequin clad in lingerie with handmade quilts and vintage military clothes, heck yeah pull over!
Day one brought us to West Virginia and on day two the adventure wrapped up somewhere in Indiana. 

Spotted at a yard sale in Indiana. I just loved this vintage desk but I think I liked what the price tag said even more.
haha! old.
It is important to note this yard sailing trip is not for the faint hearted or impatient. There is no rhyme or reason to where people are set up for sales, there is no knowing what types of goods will be found. One man's junk is another girly's treasure, but sometimes that man's junk is just junk. On Some stretches of the road, you get lucky and an entire town has tables set up. You can hop out of the the family truckster and walk around, but in other towns...well, I don't think that everyone along the road got the memo. Even though the road was not chock-a-block with sales, the scenery was amazing and the folks we met along the way couldn't have been nicer!
Since I spent last weekend searching for vintage treasure in West Virginia, Indiana and Ohio I decided that for This Week's Unique Picks from etsy sellers would be devoted to etsy finds that were handmade in those great states! 

Going East from Columbus...
Now serving West Virginia. This vintage tray is from VintageUpcycled's etsy shop.

Welcome to some handmade etsy finds from West Virginia.

Flirty fun handmade apron from Surley Girl Designs on etsy
Absolutely adorable handmade toy kitchen  from Mama Made Them on etsy.
West from Columbus...
Smells like Indiana. State of Indiana shaped soap handmade by Columbus, Ohio's own Stinkybomb Soap's etsy shop.
You will run into Indiana and these handmade etsy finds...
(and p.s. by far the best yard sales we found!)

Sweet little decorative handmade clay bird by Davis-Vachon Gallery on etsy
Julian welcomes you to Indiana! Handmade Upcycled argyle sock monkey from  Heidi BG on etsy
What is round on both ends and high in the middle? Why Ohio of course.
Ohio IS the heart of it all! Original painting by Mokopo Creations on etsy.
These etsy picks are handmade in the heart of it all.
Ring a ding, ding handmade ring, upcycled from a 2002 State of Ohio quarter by  Custom Coin Rings' etsy shop.
A girly's dream in aqua and blue, handmade patchwork vintage chenille fabric pillow from The Pink Palace on etsy.
East or West, Home is best. (but I may be a bit bias)
We are now back home in Columbus after our National Road trippin. This vintage trivet I bought for myself in Englewood, Ohio, pretty much sums up the state of my house, as I sort through all of my treasures from the adventure.
My vintage finds from my National Road trip are much like these great handmade etsy picks, definitely unique and quite eclectic. Go ahead, explore etsy, and check out what other great handmade finds your favorite state has to offer!

Thursday's Unique Picks - Salads that Eat Like a Meal

Contrary to popular belief, The hubby and I do eat something other than hot dogs. 
From my personal stash of vintage goodness, The Salad Book  from  1941.
Flash back two years.
Me: "Hubby, what should we have for dinner?"
Hubby: "I dunno"
Me: "What should we have for dinner?"
Hubby: "I dunno"
Me: "What should we have for dinner?"
My dear husband uttered the words that I never thought I would come out of his mouth.
Hubby: "How about a salad?"
Me: "Say Whaaaaat?" 

It is OK to play with this food! Handmade felt salad set from Little Retro Kid on etsy.
Now, every Wednesday night we eat like bunnies. Not really. Come on, there has to be some sort of transition, you cant just leap from hot dogs to salads. I happen to specialize in salads that eat like a meal.

Make salad night special with this handmade kitchen towel, upcycled from a vintage table cloth from franscrafts on etsy 
As you may have deduced, this week's Unique Picks are inspired by salad night with a fresh selection of finds from etsy sellers and may even inspire you to toss around the idea of having salad for dinner.

To market we go...
Darn, forgot my shopping list. No worries this handy 1970's very veggie needle point handbag from Sticky Lipgloss Vintage on etsy will remind you. Buy Vegetables.
What looks fresh today? Well I happen to think these vintage pieces seem ripe for picking...
I just love this vintage emerald green glass bell pepper jar from Blue Lace Vintage on etsy.
Salt and pepper to taste with a sweet kitschy flare. These vintage carrot salt and pepper shakers from World Vintage's etsy shop.
Lettuce not get ahead of ourselves...
Don't forget the most important ingredient in the salad!
"The Lettuce was a head", hahaha this original artwork from the Wicked Tomato Factory on etsy, is quite pun (as they say)!
I just wanted to cover some of our "House Salad Rules"
No onions. They don't agree with the hubby's discerning palette.
Only Ice Burg Lettuce. Why? Hubby says other types of lettuce taste like you are eating grass. 
"Hubby, have you eaten grass?" Husband replies, " No. But I think I know what it would taste like."
More Salads logic according to My hubby.
A salad containing only vegetables is strictly a starter, just add meat and you can make it a meal.
Where's the beef? Simmer down I've got your meat right here...

Meet this meat market masterpiece letterpress poster designed by YeeHaw on etsy
Original block print with a great vintage look by amanda kindregan on etsy.
It is never considered foul to add a little bit of chicken into the salad either. 

A salad sensation that is currently sweeping our house are salads that also feature fresh fruits...and I don't mean tomatoes smarty pants. 
I used to turn my nose up at salads that had fruit, these days I simply can't get enough! The tempting fruits topping my salads...
Scrumptious strawberries
Sweet as can be vintage strawberry stick pin set from Supplies to Inspire by TheThinVeil on etsy.
and Crisp Pears.
Lovely felted wool pear jar by mymarketstall's etsy shop.
My top two current favorite fruit infused salad recipes via the Taste of Home recipe website:
2.Chicken and Pear Salad (check out the reviews to see my variation on this recipe) (yup dork)

Ingredients are covered but can you dish it out? I can take it.
Dish out some salad in vintage style! This salad serving set is from  My Attic's Treasures etsy shop. If you like these, be sure to check out some other great vintage finds in their shop that coordinate with this set!
A little bit of dirt won't hurt, but you might want to rinse off those fresh veggies.
Handmade Stoneware colander from Jake's Clay Art on etsy, has a unique design and would be quite useful.
Chop! Chop! Don't like the hassle of chopping up all of those veggies?
This vintage Salad Making contraption from Admiredhistory's etsy shop, will make chopping veggies a cinch. This handy little machine is rumored to have an attachment to turn it into a meat grinder as well! Double bonus!!
Finally it is time to plate up...and the usual salad sized plates just won't do.
Go for the "Big Salad".

Simple,beautiful,and a great size for a big salad. This vintage set of robin's egg blue dinner plates is from Vintage Expedition on etsy.
You may have heard the famous quote,
 "You don't make friends with salad..." -Homer J. Simpson

This little salad looks friendly enough! One of a kind handmade appliqued salad pocket apron from Snappy Shop on etsy. 
This is no longer a valid statement in our house, because we have become quite friendly with the salad.
Go ahead, make friends with salad, jazz up your weekly menu and snap up these fresh etsy finds!