Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dare to Wear...Red Lipstick!!!

Hi, everyone! I've had a migraine for the past two days, and am still teeter-tottering on the edge of the "it could come back or it could go away" stage, so while I am feeling a bit better, I thought I would try and write a little something. I found a beautiful advertisement a few days ago, which I have been saving to post about on a rainy day such as this.  Take a look!  (If red lipstick doesn't make me feel better, I don't know what will!)

From 1953--make sure to read the advertisement! I think you'll be surprised!

If you read the words, I think you will be surprised at how incredibly suggestive they are!  It is my understanding that this ad was launched in 1953 and features Dorian Leigh, one of the more popular models of the time.  The ad is obviously playing on the seemingly, everyday, hum-drum existence of the typical housewife--and appealing to her (assumed) secret desires for black negligees and silken sheets. It's interesting that the advertisement is for Revlon, a company which makes money from selling cosmetics to the mainstream, and mostly middle class society.  If you look at the model, poised in her evening gown and draped in luxurious fur, I hardly think she paints an accurate picture of housewifery in 1953!  So...what's the message?  That Revlon understands that housewives want to slip out of their dull "gingham frocks" and into some black lacy number, and exchange their oh-so-boring, shy, prescribed domestic role for a more exciting, adventurous, spontaneous and sexy presence.  The ad's message, and selling point, is essentially this: housewives, use Revlon's Cherries in the Snow and transform yourself into the sex goddess you secretly want to be!  

I don't know, but I would imagine that Revlon was somewhat chided for this shockingly suggestive advertising. I also wonder how much red lipstick they sold after running it!  But my goodness, I want to go buy it now myself, if it can make me look like her!!  (After all, isn't that the principal idea behind the successful advertising of any product?) By the way, here is a link to Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick, Cherries in the Snow 440, 0.15 Ounce if you are interested.

Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick, Cherries in the Snow 440, 0.15 OunceI also have to confess that I wish red were a more popular color to wear.  I think it gives such a pretty, clean and classy look, when applied correctly.  However, reds today seem to be mostly used for special occasions and by street walkers.  Maybe it's all in my head, but when I do "dare to wear" (red lipstick), I feel like people say to me with their eyes, you know, "boy she must think she's somethin'--look at her wearing that red lipstick..."  I've also gotten the occasional, but predictable question, "What are you all dressed-up for?"  But that's exactly my point! I want to wear red lipstick and not have to be considered "dressed-up" or considered  to be "dressing to impress, " and I sure don't want to be mistaken for a "lady of the night!" (Haha!) 

When I was teaching, there were very few days that I walked through the school doors without first arming myself with a fresh coat of lipstick...but it was always pastel pink, or neutral brown, or a peachy-nude...(You know--all those pretty (but boring) shades that the housewife described in the Revlon ad would wear.)  If I did dare to wear a bolder shade, I usually ended up feeling self-conscious about it, and quickly regretting my endeavor of seeking the classic look. (After all, as a high school teacher, the last thing I needed was for my kids to mistake my classic lipstick for clown makeup.)

Even on Christmas, I was shy about wearing red lipstick.  Though I had a red turtleneck (the color red and turtlenecks being my two winter staples), I kept second-guessing my red it too much? maybe it's too distracting? do I look classy or ridiculous? will people think I think a lot of myself? maybe I just look like I want attention....????  So maybe I am slightly neurotic, but I have always been self-conscious about how I look.  In that sense, I have something in common with Marilyn Monroe, who was notoriously late for parties, appointments, and film sets because she spent tedious hours in front of her vanity in preparation.  Contrary to what many assume, she was not chronically late because she couldn't get enough of herself, but rather, because she was so self-conscious about her appearance, she labored for hours over perfecting her makeup, etc. (Not that I'm that bad, but you get the idea...)

So, I've decided to throw all my neuroses to the wind, and break out the red lipstick, regardless of the "looks" I may or may not get as result thereof.  I'm going to continue in my pursuit of "the classic look" (i.e. groomed brows, neutral eye with long lashes, and artfully-lined red lips) a la 1950s, and if everyone else wonders why "I'm all dressed up," then just let them wonder....
For inspiration, here are some famous red lips that you might recognize:

File:Judy Garland in Till the Clouds Roll By 1 cropped.jpg
Judy Garland

File:Monroe listening in The Seven Year Itch trailer 1.jpg
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch

File:Taylor, Elizabeth posed.jpg
Elizabeth Taylor

 Lana Turner

File:Rita Hayworth in Blood and Sand trailer.jpg
Rita Hayworth

So, here's to taking back red lipstick and wearing it proudly! Is anyone else going to dare to wear??

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tomorrow is Laundry Day!

Hello, everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful and restful weekend. Tomorrow is Monday and for me, that means---da-da-da-DA!-- laundry day.  I have to confess that laundry day is my favorite cleaning day.  Washing laundry is hands-down my favorite housekeeping task.  There is something so refreshing about washing: the clean smell of the soap, the sudsy water, the way the clothes smell like a fresh breeze whisping through the hollow...and it doesn't hurt that all the real work is done by the machine!  Having said this, I would also like to note that washing laundry, and folding and putting it away are two totally different things.  I hate putting laundry away.  Perhaps part of my dislike stems from our incredible lack of closet space in the house.  (We have a very old house, about 90 yrs. old, and though the house is built like a "brick house" ---Hahaha!!!! Sorry, couldn't resist!---there are only two closets in the entire construction, and one of them is small and under the stairwell.  This means that my allocation for hanging clothing is extremely limited.)  I'm sure that when the house was built, people simply didn't have all the excessive clothing, shoes and accessories that we are accustomed to today so "closet space" wasn't even an issue to be contemplated.  If I had more space to easily accommodate our clothing, I doubt that I would mind the task half as much.

Love those colors!

I love the accomplished feeling that doing the laundry gives me.  There is something rewarding about taking something dirty (and possibly stinky!), and making it clean and fresh again.  I love the way the laundry soap perfumes the house, and I hardly like any simple pleasure more than slipping between two fresh sheets at night and resting my head on a clean pillowcase.  There is also nothing so hospitable as clean towels and linens that smell fresh and inviting to a guest. (On the flip side, there is hardly anything as yucky as stale-smelling sheets and towels.) Perhaps part of why I like doing laundry is because it makes enjoying these little simple pleasures possible.

However, thank God for electric washers and dryers!  I would speculate that if I had to revert to doing laundry the "old-fashioned" way (i.e. boiling water, and using a washboard and clothesline no matter the weather) it would rapidly fall in popularity on my "favorite to-do" list.  I am too young (or financially fortunate) to know of anyone washing clothes this way, however, I do vaguely remember a ringer washing machine in my grandparents basement when I was very little.  I'm sure that my grandmother had up-to-date electric machines that she normally used, but as she occasionally enjoyed doing things the "old-timey" way, it probably brought her pleasure to reminisce times gone-by while wringing out her washing and hanging it on the line.

Also, on a side note, I thought I would share my newly-decorated cleaning basket with you all, since I told you I may "pretty-fy" it as a weekend project.  I also bought spray paint for my wastebasket, but it was too cold to paint.

It's amazing what a little ribbon can do!

 I got the green and pink ribbon on clearance  for $1 each , and the rosebuds (I think there were 10 in the pack) for a little over a dollar; add some Aleen's Craft Glue and voila!--a cutey-patutie basket! My mom thought it was adorable; my 15 year-old sister scoffed and rolled her eyes at me. My husband says it looks like me...I say, if it makes me want to clean more, I'll do it. 

What about you all; do you have a "favorite" housekeeping task that you find particularly rewarding or enjoyable?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Life-changing Housekeeping Tips (No--really!)

Hi, everyone! I hope wherever you are you are having better weather than we are; we had hail the size of golf balls yesterday! Hypers!! Today, I thought I would share some housekeeping/cleaning tips that I learned from my "new" America's Housekeeping Book (from 1941) as well as share how my new schedule is going. Maybe you're way ahead of me in the housekeeping game, and already doing these things, (I hope so, for your sake!!) but after only one day of implementation, I can truly say that my housewife life has been changed forever (for the better!) by what I'm sharing with you. (No--really!!)

Today was bedrooms and hallway day, as well as monthly task day (plus the general light cleaning everywhere). I ended up having to take Fancy, one of my cats, to the vet this afternoon (poor baby has a nasty eye infection), so it worked out conveniently for me schedule-wise that I haven't even come up with my "monthly tasks" yet, which is what my afternoon was supposed to consist of.  (NOT that I would adhere to the schedule instead of taking my sick kitty to the doctor--that would be unforgivably atrocious!) But, if I hadn't needed to take her to the vet, I would have probably used the time to figure out exactly which tasks are ones that should be done on a monthly basis. Guess that'll have to wait a little longer... I did, however, manage to complete the thorough cleaning of my designated rooms today (which was no light task since one of my bedrooms had haphazardly evolved from a guest room to a junk/eBay/don't-know- where-to-put-this-so-I'll-leave-it-here-room...)  It's not exactly in June Cleaver shape, but it's 100% better than it was, and everything in there is now organized and clean. =)

I also wanted to pass along this housekeeping tip from my recent discovery, America's Housekeeping Book, as some of you said you were interested in hearing more about it.  (By the way, this book was suggested to me by Viv, from Almost Vintage  who sometimes posts on My 50s Year/The Apron Revolution which is a fantastic, vintage blog.  If you have never visited, you should--you will love it! Donna's blog is actually what got me blogging in the first place!)  A couple days ago, I shared my cleaning basket with you, and discussed how I couldn't believe what a difference it made to have all my cleaning supplies right there at-hand instead of making several wasteful trips into another room to retrieve something I forgot. Well, today I implemented another similar suggestion which also works wonders and is yet very, very simple: carry a large tray and a wastebasket with you (along with your basket).

Now, when I say to carry a cleaning basket, large tray and wastebasket with you from room-to-room as you clean, you're probably thinking that would be very cumbersome.  However, if you have a bed tray, or anything similar in size and shape, you can place your cleaning basket and your wastebasket on it and go from room to room.  Here's mine:

My new (old) bed tray is the perfect size for carrying my cleaning basket and make-shift wastebasket from room-to-room(as well as keeping my vacuum attachments in one place while I'm working so I don't waste time trying to find where I absentmindedly laid them down.)

Now, the tray itself has several helpful functions beyond just being a carrying vehicle.  For example, as you do thorough room cleaning or do your daily pick-up, place objects onto it which belong to another area and are out of place, replacing them in their appropriate areas/rooms as you work into them.  Instead of finding a couple things misplaced, and running to another room to put them back, then returning, then doing it all over again each time you find one or two things out of place, this saves time and energy. You simply pick things up and put things back as you come to them, instead of running every-which way every few minutes.  What a great idea!

The tray, as you are doing thorough room cleanings, also serves as a make-shift table.  For instance, when you remove knick-knacks for dusting or polishing of furniture, you can easily move them over onto the tray, as opposed to setting them on a couch, the floor, bed, etc (or moving them around on the furniture which you are dusting) and then setting them back. This is how I used my tray earlier:

Stuff that "adorns" my bedroom dresser, conveniently relocated for cleaning ( I like perfume...)

I found it much more practical to temporarily place everything on the tray, place the tray on the bed, then put things back in their place after I had polished the dresser and had dusted the bottles, pictures, etc. This saved much effort which would have otherwise been devoted to moving these things around, moving them back, then picking them each up individually to dust them off.  (Why didn't I ever think of this before??)

 All perfume replaced and freshly polished
Lastly, is the wastebasket, which is the clear/plastic container on the left side of my tray in the picture above, and which could also use some decorating of some kind. (Hmm...sounds like a good little weekend project...) Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "wastebasket," I always picture a small bathroom-sized garbage can, which is what initially came to mind when I began my search for the perfect container to use for this purpose.  Of course, carrying around a container that big would be very inconvenient; needless to say it didn't take me long to ix-nay that idea. So, that's when I thought, I have a small plastic bucket (that even has a handle) that would be plenty big enough, and still small enough to fit on my tray. Perfect!  Now, when I come across any throw-away items during cleaning, I just toss them in by bucket instead of making yet another wasteful trip through the house to the trash can. 

In retrospect, all these suggestions seem like they should have been obvious...but they weren't! I wonder if I hadn't gotten this book, would I have ever thought of putting all my cleaning supplies in one convenient, portable place, thus preventing many frustrating trips through the house for a forgotten item?? Or instead of making multiple trips to the wastebasket with various items, why not just take the wastebasket with me?? And let's not even talk about all the wasted time and energy running here and there to return misplaced items over and over and over and...  

So now I'm curious, are these things you all already know about and do? Was I the only one who was spending wasted energy and time with my inefficient cleaning methods?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Housework Schedule (Part II)

Cream Puffs are a real treat!
Hello, everyone! Hope you all are enjoying the springy weather like I am! I intended on posting yesterday about my "revised" housekeeping schedule.  However, yesterday was my dad's birthday, and I made him his favorite dessert, Cream Puffs, instead of the standard birthday cake.  (He's not too fond of cakes.) So, much of my time yesterday was consumed by daily housework, Cream Puff-making and visiting with family.  If you are interested in the Cream Puff recipe, you can view it as well as some pictures of the process here. If you've never had them, they are simply delectable!  As my dad would say, "they're so good, you can't hardly sit still and eat them."

I am so excited about my new treasure, America's Housekeeping Book, that I hardly know where to begin talking about it! As I mentioned in several previous posts, I am trying very diligently to develop a housework schedule that is effective, efficient and user-firendly.  So, after receiving my new housekeeping "bible," it inspired me to re-work my original housework schedule.  Today is the first day of implementation, but so far, so good.  In fact I am presently using my "leisure" time to type this post!  This is my new schedule: 

My Housework Schedule


*Check email, etc.

*Tidy kitchen

*Check email, etc.

*Tidy kitchen

*Check email, etc.

*Tidy kitchen

*Check email, etc.

*Tidy kitchen

*Check email, etc.

*Tidy kitchen
*Light Cleaning & General Pick-up

*Start laundry

*Light Cleaning and General Pick-up

*Thorough room cleaning (Bathroom)
*Light Cleaning and General Pick-up

*Thorough room cleaning
(Living and Family Rooms)
*Light Cleaning and General Pick-up

*Thorough room cleaning (Bedrooms and halls)
*Light Cleaning and General Pick-up

*Menu planning for next week

*Short rest

*Short rest

*Short rest

*Short rest

*Short rest
Early Afternoon
*Finish laundry

*Put away laundry

*Thorough room cleaning  (Kitchen and Dining Rooms)

*Make preparations for supper

*Leisure time
*Do ironing

*Put away ironing

*Make preparations for supper

*Leisure time
*Special weekly task (vacuum  & mop floors)

*Make preparations for supper

*Leisure time
*Special monthly tasks

*Make preparations for supper

*Leisure time

*Put away groceries

*Make preparations for supper

*Leisure time
Late Afternoon
*Prepare supper
*Prepare supper
*Prepare supper
*Prepare supper
*Prepare supper
*Wash dishes and tidy kitchen
*Wash dishes and tidy kitchen
*Wash dishes and tidy kitchen
*Wash dishes and tidy kitchen
*Wash dishes and tidy kitchen

As I work through the schedule, and read through my book, I plan on being more specific with my tasks.  I'm sure that I will probably adjust a few things as time goes by, but I think this is a good "skeleton" schedule.  One thing that I'm also going to do, suggested by the book, is to monitor how long it takes me to complete a certain task.  For example, I was surprised to find that my ironing yesterday only took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  (I was in somewhat of a hurry, though, and didn't iron any sheets or clothes of my own--only Hubby's work clothes.) Today, I talked on the phone during much of my cleaning, (today was living room, family room and floors day), and therefore neglected to monitor my time.  Although, after thinking about it, it probably wouldn't have done me any good to watch the time anyway as I'm sure I could have completed my tasks much quicker if I hadn't talked and worked simultaneously!  One thing the book recommends is working toward effecient housekeeping; completing a task effectively in the shortest amount of time possible. The idea is to monitor your time, and then reflect on how to do things more efficiently.

In my last post, I showed you my new cleaning basket which keeps all necessary cleaning supplies in one place and conveniently travels with you room-to-room.  I got tickeled at myself today because even though I had my basket (and thus, supplies) in tow, I walked out of the room twice to go after supplies that were already in my basket! That's when I realized just what a good idea the cleaning basket is because it saves needless trips through the house to retrieve necessary supplies. Isn't that so much better than making 3 or 4 trips back and forth for various items as you need them? Why didn't I think of this before?! 

I'm so excited to share some of the book's helpful suggestions with you all...I just don't have enough time to write everything up that I want! However, it is now time to make preparations for dinner, so I'm off to do that! (On a side note, today during "lunch" I watched  I Love Lucy Episode #33, "Lucy's Schedule," in which Ricky puts Lucy on a housekeeping schedule...How appropriate!) =)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Cleaning Basket

Happy spring, everyone!  I'm so glad that it's officially here...finally!!  This will be a short post, but I just wanted to share that I received my America's Housekeeping Book in the mail today, and instead of doing my housework, spent much of the day leafing through my new treasure. Thanks, again, to Viv for suggesting it.  (I will be posting more about it in the next few days as I have so much to say about it already!)

My new housekeeping "bible"

One thing I accomplished today from the book was to put together a cleaning basket to hold all the necessary supplies when cleaning room-to-room.  I have to say I'm now amazed that this idea had never occurred to me before, but then again, that is why I wanted a book on the subject...I actually didn't have a plastic utility basket, which is what I had initially pictured in my mind. So after hunting around the house in search of something more attractive than a cardboard box (at least to use temporarily), I found a cute lil' basket that once held a Valentine's Day arrangement from my husband. (How a basket of Valentine's flowers evolved over 6 years into a basket of cleaning supplies, I'm not sure...) I don't know that I will be able to use it permanently, because it won't hold anything else other than what I already have in it, but I'm happy with it and at least it'll make housework a little more attractive...haha!

Here's my newly assembled cleaning basket which I will now be using to accomplish many of my cleaning chores:

I've already thought about tying a ribbon or something onto it. It just looks so plain...I'm  thinking a splash of pink would do wonders for my cleaning spirits! 
Right now, my basket includes: paper towels, long-cuff rubber gloves, Bar Keeper's Friend (a magical, abrasive cleaner), glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, an ostrich feather duster, a Swiffer duster, furniture polish, a cotton rag and a large sponge.  Can I also just say that I was actually excited to clean the bathroom this afternoon--yes, you read that correctly--just so I could use my cute lil' basket and try out my new Mr.Clean Febreez "Hawaiian Aloha" all-purpose cleaner (which I love, by the way).

So, until tomorrow! (And, hopefully, then I will have my new, weekly schedule re-mapped.)

Happy Homemaking!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How to Make Perfect Coffee

Image courtesy of

Today's recipe on my recipe blog was for Cafe Mexicain,  a whipping cream-topped coffee recipe which came from one of my new-found treasures, Betty Crocker's Guide To Easy Entertaining. (Click here to view the recipe.) This got me thinking about coffee in general, and what an important part it played in home entertaining in the 1950s. Any cookbook from that time period will have instructions for making coffee, as well as instruction on appropriate methods of serving it. When I first got my  Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, I was surprised to find two entire pages devoted to coffee. It explains how to make coffee according to the kind of coffee maker you have, although most people nowadays only use drip coffee makers.  (I, too, normally use a drip coffee maker, but will occasionally pull out one of my shiny, stainless-steel percolators for something a little different.)  It also gives six essentials for making good coffee, which I will paraphrase below:

Six Essentials for a Cup of Good Coffee:

1) Fresh Coffee: Coffee looses freshness quickly when exposed to air. Keep it tightly covered and buy it often.

2) Use the Right Grind for the Right Maker:  If you grind your coffee at home, your grinder will tell you which setting to use depending on your maker.

3) Use a Clean Coffee Maker:  Wash your coffee maker with soap and water after each use. Use boiling water with soda to remove stains.  Follow cleaning instructions on your coffee maker.

4) Use Fresh, Cold Water:  Always start with cold water; do not use hot water from tap or kettle. Bring to a full, rolling boil before putting the coffee container itself into the coffee maker.

5) Use Enough Coffee for Desired Strength: 
    For weak coffee: 1 T. to 3/4 c. water
    For medium coffee: 2 T. to 3/4 c. water
    For strong coffee: 3-4 T. to 3/4 c. water

6) Serve Coffee as Soon as Possible:  If you must let coffee stand, be sure to remove the grounds (i.e. percolated coffee). Keep very hot until serving; cold coffee loses flavor if it is reheated.

File:Washington Coffee New York Tribune.JPG
Coffee advertisement from
New York Tribune, 1919

Upon reading this, one of the first things I noticed was the coffee proportions according to the desired strength.  Today, instructions on coffee cans usually read "use 1 tablespoon of coffee for each 6 oz (3/4 c.) of water and adjust amount according to taste."  I was shocked to read that coffee from 1950 was prepared much stronger compared to our standards today.  My! Like so many other things, it seems that even our coffee standards have lowered over the years! (However, I definitely fall into the strong coffee-lover category, and may therefore, be somewhat biased about this conclusion...)

Serving guests with "after dinner coffee," which is a very strong, black coffee served, you guessed it...after dinner, was a staple of good hospitality. Any decent hostess would never serve a meal, formal or informal, without offering the required after dinner coffee.  While people of that time period also had their own preferences for coffee strength and preparation, the "after dinner coffee" largely remained unchanged.  After dinner coffee was served in small, "after-dinner" cups, or demitasse cups, which is a French word for "half cup."  (Because of the unique cups, after dinner coffee was also sometimes known by that name-- Demitasse Coffee.)  It is coffee that is made stronger than usual; for instance, my trusty, vintage Betty Crocker cookbook actually recommends using 3-4 T. coffee to 3/4 c. water for each serving (the same proportions prescribed for their strong coffee recipe).    

One of my two beloved percolators

So, those of you who are coffee drinkers:  How does this 1950s coffee methodology compare to your own, and would your after dinner coffee make you the hostess with the most-est?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New (old) Dishes

My little sister came home for spring break, and I went on an impromptu trip with her; thus my lack of blogging for the last couple of days.  My mom, who is a flea market/yard sale/junk store-loving lady  introduced me to a quaint little antique store about 1 1/2 hrs. from my house.  I think the little place also serves as a bed and breakfast, and is owned by a lady who has an enormous collection of various vintage items.  Some of them seem somewhat out of place (i.e. a purple Dolly Parton-ish dress from the 80s, a Jonas Brothers tote), but she also has a huge variety of just old, well, stuff:  books, costume jewelry, glassware, tablecloths, luggage, ceramics, dishes, cast iron, etc., etc... The whole place is kind of eclectic. (She also makes the best coleslaw & chili hot dog I ever ate! The next time I go back, I'm going to have to ask her about what she does to make them soo good!)  

Oven Fork Mercantile
(I took this picture last summer)
I was particularly in the mood to scavenge through the dishes and bake ware, in search of some serving dishes that I've been wanting (not any specific pieces, but of a certain style), and I came away with a couple finds that I am really happy about, so I thought I'd share them with you guys. =)  (On a side note, I did find some others that I'm not posting about, including a very heavy cast-iron, corn stick muffin pan, which I can't wait to try out!)

I really don't know anything about cookware, fine china, dishes and such...I just know what I like.  I don't know what you call this particular kind of material that these dishes are made of, but I think it's pretty much just white, tanslucent-ish glass.  (I'm sure they must have a name...) I just love them! I particularly like these pieces because they could be used as casserole dishes and/or as serving dishes.  Even though I wouldn't know what to guess in terms of their vintage (anywhere from the 50s to the 70s??), I know they're not new, and I know I like them.

Dish 1
With a pretty, green floral design on both sides

Dish 2
Love those cute lil' blue flowers...and I can already smell the meatloaf baking in this one...
Then, I came across a real treasure.  Do you recognize this dish? (I will actually be shocked if you already know its significance before reading my explanation...)

My new-found treasure

This is a bowl that is exactly like the set owned by the Ricardo's in the I Love Lucy show. Technically, the dishes were also used as props in restaurant scenes and such, but these were the Ricardo's household dishes. (I know...I'm a fanatic; but at least I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore! Besides, they say acknowledging the problem is the first step to recovery...haha!)  I do know that the only dishes issued for use on the show were made by Franciscan, which was a company based out of Glendale, CA. 

My particular dish is the Ivy II pattern and was made in England in 2000--or at least, that's the copyright date on the bottom of the bowl.  I'm going to have to do some research to figure out what the difference, if any, there is between the (American) Ivy pattern and the (British) Ivy II patterns.  From what little bit I've read so far, I'm guessing that the Ivy II is essentially a reproduction of the original Ivy, but since the company apparently now only manufactures in England, the Ivy pattern is American and the Ivy II is British--the country of origin being the only difference between the two. But, once again...I am no dish expert.  So, if you are more knowledgeable on such matters, please enlighten me!


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