Category Archives: Travels

Enid Collins Purse Love


One of my recent loves are Enid Collins handbags of the 60’s and 70’s. I discovered them accidentally a few years back while looking online at other mid-century stuff.

I have always loved old purses but hers are just so cool! I have managed to get a few for my collection. They do not sit on a shelf for display; I use them all. I get complimented frequently about them, even from those who aren’t into vintage. They can be a bit pricey; I have also found some knock-offs that fit the bill for 1/2 the price.

This was my first purchase, found online. It is called “Cable Car” and has a wood bottom.


Then this “Flower Cart”


“Flower Basket”


Another with a wood bottom, this one is titled “Gift Wrapped” and is super rare. I have never seen another anywhere. I purchased this at an antique mall. It was new old stock and in perfect condition.


This wanna be handbag was just too cool to pass up ! The Paris theme “Charetutte de Fleurs” is just amazing. Translated it means “Cart (or chariot) of Flowers”. The maker of this gem is a mystery. The little Moulin Rouge wallet was a gift from my son, who has lived in France.


This is my most recent online purchase. For some reason the “sea” themed ones are super popular and tend to go pretty high. This is the wood bottomed “Sea Garden”

While on an out-of-town day trip with my hubby and another retro loving couple, we stumbled upon a couple of great mid-century shops that had many Enids in their inventory.

From the first shop, I purchased this knockoff kit purse. It was unfinished and  I put it together:


The second shop had more Enid Collins that I have ever seen in one place! It was like an Enid overdose.


I recently saw these knock offs at a flea market. Super pretty but I just did not need them ūüôā I love the flamenco dancer.


Well, there you have it. A little Enid love for your week.

Does anyone find them locally? They are pretty rare in my neck of the woods.




Retro in Toronto

Retro in Toronto

After several trips to Toronto in this past year to visit one of our sons, I have compiled quite a few snapshots of life there.

I love to see how others do “vintage”. I also am a history buff so visiting an old city is full of inspiration.

This beautiful city does not disappoint.

Of course, what kind of vacation would it be if we didn’t check out the local eateries?

The Lakeview is on old diner. It was featured on the popular television show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.


The Kit Kat is a great Italian place, nestled in an old building downtown. You have to walk through the kitchen and around a large tree growing up the center of the restaurant.


I love the neon signs. And the food.


Did I mention how pretty the currency is in Canada? It is in mid-century colors: aqua, green and lavender. It makes it much more fun to spend! They match my vintage French wallet.


We always managed to hit up some vintage shops. Like any big city, prices are high but still fun to look. Someone made a cool Christmas scene in this old television.


Retro and mid-century lighting:


And of course you must go to a Farmers Market. This is the biggest one in Toronto.


We also took a boat ride to the Islands. How cool is this Tiki themed taxi-boat?


This was the counter in a coffee shop.


Pretty macarons in a French Bakery:


This is the Canadian National Exposition, similar to a Worlds Fair for Canada. The fairgrounds are quite old.


I am a little obsessed with chairs. Here is some retro seating in the reception area of our sons office.


This chair is just crazy cool. Love the little tray for your laptop, paperwork or coffee.


This cool light fixture is in the historic Drake Hotel. They have an awesome brunch.


We do lots of walking when there. I love to snap photos of mid-century architecture. Look at those railings on the balconies of this apartment building.


This 1877 building is all that remains of the old Central prison. It is the former chapel. As you can see it sits among the high rises and is protected from demolition.


We love the coffee shops. And old pots. And coffee.


Some vintage themed travel posters:


This cool motorcycle shop was a must see:


They like Richie and the Fonz as much as we do.


I hope you enjoyed these few snippets of our travels this past year. These little trips were a nice distraction from the long reno going on here at home.

Come back soon as I fess up about my latest obsession: vintage bedding. My collection is outgrowing my linen cabinets.

The France Trip


I am taking a break from my usual ranting on frustrating house projects. I am also not going to show you my latest finds from the thrift store ( although I have some).

I thought I would tell you a little about the trip we took to France last year. I won’t bore you with the usual photos of the famous landmarks. We have all seen them. I thought I would show you some snippets of our trip.

Before you think I am one of those jet-setting types,  I will let you know that I really do not care to travel (at all) and I am absolutely MORTIFIED of flying. I really am just happy to stay at home, thank you.

But…. our oldest son had taken a teaching position in France and was going to be gone nearly a year. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to visit him AND make it a big vacation. And besides we missed him TERRIBLY!

We flew out on March 1st.  United Airlines really tried hard to keep our minds off of that very bumpy and long flight.  They fed us constantly. I probably gained 3 pounds on that 9 1/2 hour flight. I mean what airline serves Toberlone candy bars with the snacks?

We landed at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport early in the morning. At the ¬†baggage check stood our Firstborn waiting for an anxious Mom and Dad. ¬†He had been skiing in the Alps and took the train into Paris to meet us. A few tears of happiness were shed and many kisses were given (at least by me).

We spent 5 days sightseeing in Paris. Our apartment was in the 5th arrondissement and was decorated totally IKEA, right down to the bedding. It was actually a big apartment for Paris; 2 bathrooms!

It is up there on the left, the 4th floor. Of course I don’t like elevators either (naturally), so I walked up 4 flights several times a day!

Since our son had been living here he knew all the great places to eat and shop, what to see, where to go and how to get around. The fact that he also speaks the language did not hurt one bit either. He was on a break from work the first 2 weeks of our trip, so he was able to travel with us.

I have heard over and over that the French are not friendly. I found just the opposite to be true.  EVERYONE we met went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and that we had a great visit.

Here are little children riding the ponies in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris:

Another beautiful boulevard with a street cafe:

After seeing all the sights in Paris, we took high-speed rail to the French Riviera, where we spent another 4 days. Let me tell  you: the French have travel down to a science.

The city of Nice and the very tiny country of Monaco are the most beautiful places I have EVER seen.

This is a bus stop in Nice:

Here are some shots of Monaco:

The famous Monte Carlo casino:

We then headed back north to the Normandy region, where our son was living.  Our first stop was the city of Caen, where we spent 4 more days. This lovely city sustained considerable damage during WWII and much of it has been rebuilt.

This was our hotel. Our room was at the very top. The wonderful innkeeper was so good to us. He made us “American” coffee (cafe creme) every morning and put it on a tray for us to take to our room ūüôā He also helped me decipher a street map as I ventured out while the guys visited another museum. With my limited French language skills, I was still able to spend the day by myself, eating and shopping ūüôā

Our final 4 days were spent in Cherbourg, where our son lived and worked. This city is on the English Channel and has a large shipping port. It was the last stop for the Titanic before its fateful voyage.

On our last day we were invited to the grade school where our son taught English; we were able to sit in on a lesson.  I have to say that made THIS Mom very proud.

We frequented the outdoor markets, ate the local fare and saw all the famous (and not so famous) sights, museums and landmarks. We ate pastries every morning. We ate pizza, burgers and  fries (frites) with a knife and fork. Hubby found a new love: Cassis.  Heck we even shopped at a Paris Flea Market.

The food is fabulous. The French are not in a hurry like us crazy Americans. They actually take the time to enjoy life and meals. And they are all thin. Seriously. No one there is overweight. They walk. And walk. And walk. Hubby and I never gained an ounce in spite of the fact that we pretty much ate 24/7.

I have to say being in Normandy affected me the most. I had no idea of the horrors suffered by the French and also by the Allies who came to save them. Their American Cemetery is absolutely breathtaking. I did not take many photos there; it was a little hard to comprehend the solemness and beauty of that place.

I promise to get back to Mid-Century ramblings soon.  We will be painting the living room, entry and hall in the next several days. Then we will be decking the halls! Remember earlier this year I purchased a vintage  aluminum Christmas tree on Ebay!

Stay tuned.