April 28, 2012

Gretchen & Gary, and Some Mini Purse Books

Gretchen and Gary, J. Ingwersen
I found these two little paintings in an antique mall a few years ago. They are quite popular in the antique stores, but you generally don't see them in this mini size. You'll sometimes see these listed on Etsy or eBay as prints by Judith Ingwersen, although this incorrect. These are actually paintings by James J. Ingwersen.

These prints have a strong nostalgic link to my childhood. They were hanging in our home when I was a kid for as long as I can remember. In our bathroom, which is where I have mine hanging now. My younger brother and sister have blonde hair and me and my mom and dad have red hair. I can remember looking at the prints hanging in the bathroom and wondering why my mom hung paintings of my brother and sister and not me!

Speaking of things in my childhood home, I found a box of 50+ of these vintage mini mags or pocket size "purse books." You know the ones at the checkout counter in grocery stores? It's been interesting to read through these books mostly from the 70s and 80s, but some from the 50s and 60s.
The Watson Calorie Counter for Reducing Weight,
Copyright 1953
This book has a 15 day diet on the first few pages. The lunch on the 2nd day consists of Combination Salad (without Dressing), 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, and Sauerkraut Juice. Not exactly sure what a Combination Salad is, perhaps a garden salad, but I couldn't find Combination Salad listed in the calorie section anywhere. And I suppose the Sauerkraut Juice is to be used in place of a dressing, but I couldn't find that in the calorie section either.

Some interesting items I did find in the calorie section: a Tom Collins cocktail has 182 calories; Muffets (shredded wheat cereal) has 86 calories per biscuit; Oreos are listed under Crackers - Sandwiches at 62 calories for 1 sandwich; Junket (a custard or very, sweet cheese dessert) has 107 calories; Bacon Fat has 126 calories per tbsp.; one piece, about 3", of raw Green Turtle has only 89 calories; Hershey's Syrup (used to be spelled Hershey's Sirup, in this book anyway) is 69 calories per ounce; 3/4 cup of cooked Swamp Cabbage has only 18 calories.

Lakewood's Tips for Easy Beauty
Copyright 1981

I'm pretty sure the "beauty" in the lower right corner is Sela Ward. Agree? A few beauty tips from the 1980s:

  • Too much alcohol quickens facial aging.
  • See-through clothing is no protection from the sun.
  • Heating the tip of a hard-edged makeup pencil with a match will soften it enough to work with. (I kept a lighter in my makeup bag for years.)
  • Spend at least 20 minutes a day on stretching exercises. The Royal Canadian Air Force program provides some good, basic ones.
  • Beer straight from the bottle or can may be used as a setting lotion after shampooing.
  • If you're having hair problems that don't seem to get any better no matter what you do, such as breakage, loss, dandruff, brittleness, oiliness, dryness; make an appointment to see a trichologist. A what?!
Dell Purse Book, Outdoor Cooking
Copyright 1964
Lots of information about the different kinds of grills, accessories, and fire starters. Some good tips on shortcuts, foil cooking and clean up. A section on safety suggests a "chief fire-watcher" be appointed at all cookouts and a safety kit is always available (burn ointment, gauze pads, bandages, aerosol extinguishers, etc.)

A few tasty recipes include:

Flambe Steak: Add 2 jiggers of whiskey or brandy to 1/2 cup melted butter. Warm; ignite and pour over sliced steak just before serving. (See page 14 for safety tips.)

Burger Pies: Make large, thick individual patties, forming a deep indentation on one side. Grill indented side first. Turn patties. Fill indentation with creamed or sauteed fresh mushrooms. Finish grilling. (This sounds pretty good.)

Liver Kabobs: Alternate liver chunks wrapped in bacon with tiny, whole (or parbroiled) onions. Grill. 


  1. I recall those mini books, the checkout lines in the grocery store. I always enjoyed seeing the selection.

  2. I have been hunting for that Lakewood "Tips For Easy Beauty" book for years. Would you consider selling it?