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April 28, 2010


If you want to be taken seriously, make an effort to look the part. The current trend toward casual dress for office workers has made people more lax about what they wear. You might be the smartest person in your team, but if you dress sloppily it is going to hold you back.

You and your colleague might be equally knowledgeable, but who is going to get that next promotion?

Okay, so neckties might not be commonplace at your office any more. But instead of a necktie, show some flair with a nice pair of cuff links, or a subtle belt buckle. And don't forget your feet. A good pair of shoes, in a well-maintained condition. All clothing should always look clean and fresh.

Look the part and your bosses will notice. Back it up with some knowledge and the sky's the limit!

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Other Links - What is your workplace dress-code like? Leave a comment to this post and share your fashion experiences.

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April 26, 2010


The full title is "Celebrity Crimes - The Dark Side of The Limelight".

I have just finished reading this book and found it very interesting. As you can tell by this site, I am interested in anything vintage. How people acted, how they reacted, how they lived their lives, what shaped them. This book fell right into all of that.

The book is broken down into these categories:

  • Victims
    This covers victims of crime, such as murder, kidnapping, or other. The Lindbergh baby, the Manson killings, the Munich Olympic massacre, John Lennon, and more.
  • Survivors
    These celebrities were attacked but, thankfully, survived. Andy Warhol, Monica Seles, George Harrison, and more.
  • Killers
    Read more about Lana Turners daughter, Marlon Brando's boy Christian, and the OJ Simpson trial, and more.
  • Misadventures
    This covers a number of topics including accidental suicides, and troubled former child stars. Betty Ford, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, John Belushi, Drew Barrymore, River Phoenix, and more.
Celebrities have always had to make deals with devil - fame, fortune and extraordinary experiences in exchange for the limelight. All the people in this book are celebrities whose lives have somehow gone wrong. And as they traded their private lives for success, we watched them go down and, sometimes, resurface. From Wild Bill Hickock and Jesse James, and the drugs and deaths in the 1920s to the mystery murders of Joy and George 'Born Free' Adamson and the tragedies of celebrities like Versace, "Celebrity Crimes" has all the killings, suicides, victims of crime and drug crimes that shocked the world. The tragic deaths of Beatles stars John Lennon and George Harrison are included, as are the 'trials of the centuries' of OJ Simpson and Lana Turner and her daughter. Then there are the misadventures - Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the tragic lives of the former child stars - River Phoenix and Dana Plato.

This book is easy to read and well written. I noticed a couple of typos, but they do not detract from the reading pleasure. I found it a very interesting read and do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with similar interests.

Celebrity Crimes is available from Amazon Books.

Have you read something similar lately? And want to share it with others? Leave a comment to this post.

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April 25, 2010


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.





April 24, 2010



Click on the pictures for more information.

"Family Tree Maker 2010 Essentials" is a software package to help you create your family tree. Discover your story, preserve your legacy. Step-by-step instructions and tips that will help you easily build and grow your family tree. Family Tree Maker 2010 is the #1 selling family history software.

The other three are Paperback Books:
- The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy: A complete resource to using the Web to trace your family history
- The Family Tree Problem Solver: Proven Methods for Scaling the Inevitable Brick Wall
- Genealogy Online For Dummies

Genealogy is a passion and joy, discovering people from your past, finding out more about them, how they lived, where they lived. It is one of those things that pulls you in and you're hooked.

If you already have a passion for vintage jewellery and collectables, try genealogy too!

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April 23, 2010


Recent times have seen a fantastic resurgence of interest in Vintage Accessories. Whether it is ladies or gents, people can't get enough of it. Just take a look at your local Op Shops. People are rummaging through clothing, vinyl records (LPs), chinaware, toys, you name it.

My preference is vintage jewellery. I find that vintage jewellery has a character that is not seen in today's modern pieces. Modern jewellery seems sterile by comparison. Clean and clinical.

Vintage jewellery is like an old soul. Unless it has been kept in its original packaging and never seen daylight, vintage jewellery comes with character. Like an elderly gent with greying hair, a few wrinkles, and a cheeky twinkle in his eye. Vintage jewellery might have fading colour, some minor scratches, and a gleem of intrigue.

Some people say that vintage jewellery talks to you, or you get a vibe from it. Others say it means a piece is haunted.

Sometimes it is a sense of pride that comes with your accessory. Did it belong to a grandparent, or a loved one? You get to tell its story, or even cheekily make one up. Who is going to argue that it didn't belong to your grandfather?

The pride you feel when someone asks you about a special accessory is amazing. You can't help but tell its story with gusto. A piece of jewellery that has been around longer than you have deserves at least that.

If you have a collection hidden away, treasure it and treat it with respect. Dust off your pieces and wear them proudly.

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April 22, 2010


affiliate links ($US) - click on picture for more information

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April 21, 2010


21 April 1910 was the day that Mark Twain died.

Born Samuel Langhorn Clemens, 30 November 1835 during the appearance of Halley's Comet.

Clemens worked as a river-boat pilot and this is where his pseudonym Mark Twain comes from. The call "mark twain" means the river was only two fathoms deep, the minimum depth for safe navigation.

Writing under the name of Mark Twain, Clemens was an accomplished author and satirist. Best known for "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876), "The Prince And The Pauper" (1881), "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884). As time progressed, the pseudonym took over.

Twain predicted his own death. A year before his death, Twain commented, "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it..."

Mark Twain died on 21 April 1910.

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April 20, 2010


Castledare Miniature Railway
Castledare Miniature Railway is a fond memory from my childhood. The joy of riding around in an open cart pulled along by a miniature steam train. The train travels along a 5km track along the Canning River. It is a memory I'll not forget.

The Railway is located in Wilson, a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia, on the grounds of Castledare Boys Home, an orphanage run by Christian Brothers. It was a purpose built institution for the treatment and training of intellectually handicapped children, underprivileged boys, and English migrant children, in many ways ahead of its time. It is the only known school developed according to the new ideals for treatment of the intellectually handicapped in the late 1920s in Western Australia.

Castledare is a site of early settlement in the Canning district, and the homestead Niana represents the growing wealth of the district at the turn of the century.

Castledare Boys Home closed down in 1984, but the original Niana homestead remains in place, and the later development into a children's home remains clear. The miniature railway continues to run today.

But sadly, in the 1960s and 1970s, the swamp around the area was filled using asbestos tailings from the James Hardie factory at the invitation of the Christian Brothers. The base for the track was also laid using asbestos, as were some of the old paths.

James Hardie has been embroiled in Asbestosis and Mesothelioma cases from previous employees for a number of years. But now there is a case involving a visitor to the Castledare Boys Home in the 1970s.

Child's play sparks fears of a new breed of asbestos victims - The West Australian, August 2009.
Young asbestos victim a 'tragic case' - The West Australian, April 2010.

Modern asbestos laws would not allow this to happen today. It is a shame that such a fantastic memory is now tainted. My heart goes out to the victim, to Castledare, and to the people who grew up and worked at the home.

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April 19, 2010


1770 - Captain Cook and his crew first sighted the eastern coast of Australia.

On 19 April 1770, officer of the watch, Lieutenant Zachary Hicks, sighted land and alerted Captain Cook. Cook made out low sandhills which he named Point Hicks, although he did not yet know whether they formed part of an island or a continent.

Cook went on to chart the east coast of what was then known as New Holland, and claimed it for Great Britain under the name of New South Wales.

Can you imagine what life was like back then? They had only recently worked out that the world wasn't flat. There was land we didn't even know about.

We take it for granted that the countries we know today have always been there, and they were, we just didn't know they were. It must have been an amazing time.

But then I guess most people would not have even been aware all this was going on. There were no newspapers or internet for the everyday Joe. Maybe the rich people knew what was going on, but they were probably too busy being socialites.

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April 18, 2010


Whether or not he used a card-cheaters clip, we will never know. But Wild Bill Hickok was certainly one of the Wild West boys.

Wild Bill grew up on a farm, became a stagecoach driver, a constable, a scout for the union army, and later a professional gambler, before returning to law enforcement. Hickok acheived fame after killing a number of outlaws. But his good deeds also produced many enemies.

When he played poker, he always sat with his back to the wall of the saloon, preferrably in a corner. He poured his drinks and handled cards with his left hand, so the hand holding his gun was always free.

His undoing came one afternoon when he had been unable to find a corner chair. With his back to the door, he was shot in the back of the head.

According to legend, he was holding a hand of two aces and two eights. Since then this goup of cards in poker is called a "dead man's hand".

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April 17, 2010


This intriguing little clip is actually a gentleman's antique “Wizard” Cuff Holder from 1889. Back in the late 1800s, gents’ shirts came with detachable cuffs and collars so they could be easily replaced to give the appearance of a fresh clean shirt. This wonderful little gadget was designed to hold the cuffs in place.

Can you imagine what a wonder of modern technology this must have been!

Folklore suggests that the more imaginative of the Wild West poker players managed to use this gadget to hide an ace up the sleeve. With one end clipped to the clothing and the other end holding a hidden card.

I imagine this would have been a very difficult task to perfect. With your back to the wall, one eye scanning the room for would-be assassins, one eye on the cards and the pot and the other players. And somehow managing to fiddle with your sleeve to produce the elusive ace. All the while, not drawing attention to yourself or your cheating actions.

How stressful it must have been to live in those times. And let's not mention the dire consequences of getting caught cheating!

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April 16, 2010


1889 - Charlie Chaplin was born. Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr, was believed to be born on 16 April 1889 in either London or Fontainebleau, France, but there is some doubt as to both his birthplace and his date of birth. His parents separated soon after he was born, and his somewhat unstable mother eventually suffered a mental breakdown, living out the remainder of her years in an asylum. He is best remembered for his "Little Tramp" character, with his toothbrush moustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane and his funny walk. It is said that the Little Tramp character was born when Charlie Chaplin borrowed clothes from Fatty Arbuckle for a skit. The character was such a success it became Chaplin's signature. The Little Tramp made many movies and became a worldwide hit. Chaplin died on 25 December 1977 in Vevey, Switzerland, where he had lived for decades, and was buried in Corsier-Sur-Vevey Cemetery.
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April 14, 2010


1912 - The luxurious and unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg, eventually sinking, killing 1517 people. The Titanic departed on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, bound for New York City, New York, on Wednesday, 10 April 1912. On 14 April 1912, the temperatures had dropped to near freezing. In response to iceberg warnings, Captain Smith altered Titanic's course about 20 km south of the normal shipping route. At 1:45pm, a message from the steamer Amerika warned that large icebergs lay in Titanic's path, but this warning, and others, were never relayed to the bridge. The ship hit an iceberg shortly after 11:40pm on the 14th, buckling the hull in several places and popping out rivets below the waterline over a length of 90 metres. The watertight doors closed as water started filling the first five watertight compartments, one more than Titanic could stay afloat with. The huge volume of water weighed the ship down past the top of the watertight bulkheads, allowing water to flow into the other compartments. In all, 1517 people were lost in the disaster, whilst only 706 survived. Most of the deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the -2°C water.
Visit Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition in Melbourne - 14 May to 17 October 2010.

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April 13, 2010


Take an unforgettable journey back in time this Mother’s Day at the Ballarat Heritage Weekend.
This year, the Ballarat Heritage Weekend is themed around travel and tourism. Grand buildings, enchanting gardens, intriguing memorabilia and collections will be on display – many just for the weekend – allowing visitors to delve into history they’ve never had the chance to explore before. Nearly 100 activities and events are planned, most free of charge, others with a gold coin donation or cover charge.
More information on the range of events and activities on offer throughout the Ballarat Heritage Weekend is available from
Ballarat Heritage Weekend

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April 12, 2010


MTrains Co UK
I don't collect trains, but I have very fond memories as a child playing with my father's train set. He took great pride in his impressive train terrain, with tracks running this way and that, through tunnels, past barns and farmyard animals, stopping at the platform. I remember learning to drive the train. Moving the transformer handle slowly so the train could pull gently away from the platform. Learning to slow down to take the bend, and gently hooking onto a new carriage. It was a masterful art, one that I am very pleased my father shared with me.
Here's a little train site I came across -
MTrains Co UK

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April 10, 2010


Have you ever given a thought to the cuff link toggle? Most people haven't.
US Patent 2472958 was granted in 1949 to Jacob M. Oldak, a jewellery designer from Brooklyn, New York. Mr Oldak was the inventor of the modern-day cuff link design, an invention that should have made him rich beyond his dreams.
Unfortunately, many of the large jewellery houses used his toggle design without crediting his invention. Mr Oldak spent a fortune on legal fees trying to protect his rights to this design. Swamped in legal fees, he eventually gave up the fight.
So spare a thought for poor Jacob next time you put on your cuff links. His invention made our lives so much easier, but not his own.
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April 9, 2010


When I think of classic style, I think of Donald Draper from Mad Men, or Dr Frasier Crane, or Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, or even further back to Upstairs Downstairs - even the butlers looked immaculate. It's a stark contrast to today's falling down, sloppy jeans and faded t-shirts. In today's world, comfort has taken priority over style. Not that style was uncomfortable. Today is more about me and how do I feel, rather than how do I present to others.
Well-dressed gents were an awesome sight. I wish the trend-setters would turn back the clock a little. A dashing young man in a three piece suit is a sight to behold.
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April 8, 2010


One man's trash is another man's treasure. Nothing could be truer when it comes to vintage items. Many an item has been discarded by someone who doesn't see its worth. Luckily, we treasure hunters come along and give these beauties a new home.
For some, it is a leisurely stroll around a vintage marketplace. For others, the same marketplace can be a frenzied attack of systematically scouring the whole place to get to the treasure before the competition. And still others do their hunting online - with the whole world at their fingertips, and a cup of coffee in hand.
Whatever your preference of shopping style, there is treasure out there to be found. The internet gives you the opportunity to scavenge the whole country, or even other countries. This is a strange place to be in. We yearn for things from the past, but we use modern technology to put us in touch with these things from the past.
Perhaps that makes us the lucky generation.
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April 7, 2010


I wanted to show you this handsome eyeglass hook. With an elegant design, similar to a safety pin, these hooks were pinned to the clothing and attached to a chain connected to the eyeglasses. See? Ever since glasses were invented, people have been forgetting where they put them. Hence, the invention of the eyeglass chain and hook.
This piece is from the late 1890s. It appears in the Sears Roebuck & Co Catalogue of 1897. The hooks listed in the Sears catalogue are rolled-gold or gold-filled. Elegant and impressive. A great conversation starter.
Vintage Antique 1897 Eyeglass Hook - Estate - Very Rare
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April 6, 2010


Do you think hats will ever make a comeback? I know there are hats here and there, but not like they used to be. Remember The Big Chill... "I think the man in the hat did something bad." ... pan across to the TV set and every man in the room is wearing a hat. Where did those days go? Back in the days of the old black & white movies, there was a grace, an air, a sense of pride in dressing well.
And no, a baseball cap facing backwards doesn't count.
Do you think hats will ever make a comeback?

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April 5, 2010


I found this great blog page over the weekend. If you're a Hornby Dublo enthusiast, take a look at this page.
The Hornby Dublo Collection - Ramblings from a Derailed Enthusiast.
Hornby Dublo Collection
There's some great photos and some great thoughts. It's not just about trains. There's other things too. It's an interesting page. I hope you think so too.

April 4, 2010


This handsome vintage damascene tie clasp features a beautiful Japanese landscape with Mount Fuji in the background. A remarkable antique piece, with the luxurious hue of yellow gold metal and matt black background. Elegant and impressive.
Vintage Antique Tie Clasp - Estate - Japanese Damascene
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April 3, 2010


Damascene, or Japanese Damascene, is a centuries-old art first brought to Japan about 2,000 years ago, reputedly form Damascus. Usually with steel as the base metal, items are produced through a lengthy process. A design is drawn and then transferred onto the metal surface with a fine chisel.
The outlines are cut and undercut before gold or silver threads are hammered into the tiny grooves. The item is then corroded with acid, cleaned with soda water, washed in salt water and baked over a fire. This process is repeated eight or nine times a day for at least five days.
Washed and baked until all the rust in the steel has been conducted out. The clean surface is then dipped into thick red-clay mud and baked again. This is repeated from 50 to 100 times. Then the surface is coated with powdered charcoal and oil, baked, and repeated from 10 to 20 times. Once cleaned of black powder, it is rubbed to a polish. The last step is to add any necessary carvings, monograms or handwritten names of the purchasers, if desired.
To retain the original polish, the article should be rubbed once a month with a soft cloth dipped in olive oil.
Here are some examples of stunning damascene pieces -
Vintage Japanese Damascene Cravat Clip Tie Clasp Bar Vintage Japanese Damascene Chain-Link Cuff Links Vintage Japanese Damascene Chain-Link Cuff Links Vintage Japanese Damascene Chain-Link Cuff Links
If you are lucky enough to own some damascene, take another look at it and marvel at the amount of work that has gone into it. Keep it clean and polished - a respectful status it deserves. And wear it with pride.
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April 2, 2010

Vintage ANSON Mens Gold-Tone Cuff Links Estate Square

Vintage ANSON Mens Gold-Tone Cuff Links Estate Square
This handsome pair of vintage cuff links display the brilliant glitter of yellow goldtone metal. The background is a lightly brushed surface. The feature line is a twisted goldtone strip laying inside a diagonal cut-out. They are very interesting and stunning cuff links.
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April 1, 2010

Vintage Mens Gold-Tone Cufflinks Scroll Panel Estate

Vintage Mens Gold-Tone Cufflinks Scroll Panel Estate
This handsome pair of vintage goldtone cufflinks features magnificently detailed edging around a plain scroll panel.
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