Sunday, May 31, 2015

Before She Was Queen: Princess Elizabeth

Today I thought I would share a few pictures of Queen Elizabeth II before she was queen.

Here is Elizabeth and her sister Margaret. I love the snowy background!

Here's a shot of the bridesmaids at Elizabeth's wedding. The flowers on their skirts are just gorgeous.

Margaret as a bridesmaid.
Elizabeth in South Africa.

Elizabeth playing tag on the RMS Queen Mary on her 21st birthday.
All images found via Pinterest

Friday, May 29, 2015

"The Green Poodles" by Charlotte Baker

The Green Poodles (1956) by Charlotte Baker is a story of a girl and her champion poodle, Juliet, who travels from England to stay with her only surviving relatives, the Greens of Pond Farm. "A Green is a Green and Greens stick together." They start a dog kennel for money with the help of C.O. Seymour, the author of The Poodle Primer. The book tells how they train their dogs and enter them in dog shows.

Every time the Westminster Dog Show is on I am in the mood to read this book. It is an awesome book with great illustrations. The only problem is, my copy is missing a page on one of the suspenseful parts. I forget about it every time I start to read it and then I get to that part and wish I knew what happened. Then I keep reading it and forget about it until they refer to that part of the book again. My mom read it aloud to me and my brothers when we were little and I have read it several times on my own. Read it! Another great dog show book is The Shy Ones by Lynn Hall.

Cast Iron Poodle Book-Ends
Green Poodles towel
Poodle Grooming Chart
Emerald Poodle Pin
This post was originally posted on Phyllis' Book Reviews. It appeared on 4/29/15.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ghost Gables

"When Lois McDonald learned that the mysterious old house, known as Ghost Gables, was to be occupied, she had to get all the facts about its new tenant promptly. At Ghost Gables she met pretty Glenna Brockman, who had plans to turn the old house into a dormitory for girls from the adjacent college. Mystery followed mystery as the girls tried to put the house into shape. And the strangest mystery of all was the locked room. The plot really thickened when several different ghosts were to be seen stalking the grounds at night. Added to the existing puzzles was the appearance of the tramp in the nearby woods, a tramp who puzzled Lois and whose identity finally helped to resolve the biggest mystery of all."

Mildred Wirt Benson books

This post was originally posted on Phyllis' Book Reviews. It appeared on 10/30/14.


I would love to read this! I didn't know she wrote any books under her real name. Thanks for posting.
She actually wrote a lot of books under several names! Here's a great site that lists all of them -

Monday, May 25, 2015

Quarry Ghost

KRISTIE ROLLED a sheet of copy paper from the typewriter and, with a quick intake of breath, raised startled eyes to the shadowy doorway. Across the street from the deserted college journalism office, the chimes of Old Trinity carillonned the hour of seven.

Not the clear cadence of the striking chapel bells, but another sound had caught the girl's attention. Footfalls, soft and steady, whispered along the freshly-scrubbed hallway, padded closer and now hung suspended at the entranceway to the student newspaper workroom.

Aware that she sat alone in a slowly darkening room, Kristie snapped on the overhead, swinging electric bulb.

Framed in the doorway stood a tall man with angular features. His well-cut tweeds and gold-rimmed spectacles suggested that he might be a faculty member. Kristie, however, was quite certain she had never seen him on the campus.

The glare of the unshaded light accentuated a gray-fringed, bald head as the visitor politely removed his hat in approaching the desk.

"Good evening." His voice was low-pitched, friendly. "May I see your journalism school director, please?"

"Mr. Munn? Oh, I'm sorry, sir, he left an hour ago." Kristie smiled to cover her nervousness. The caller's easy manner had quieted her initial alarm. Nevertheless, she was fully conscious that she sat alone in a deserted office. It would be nearly an hour before the Daily Collegian night staff would straggle in to get out the early morning edition.

Long before that time, Kristie expected to be at the women's gymnasium swimming pool, preparing to compete in an important meet at 7:30 p.m. She had remained at the journalism office only to finish an assigned story on the student council election.

"You are in charge here?"

"Not exactly." Kristie squirmed impatiently, wishing the caller would state his business promptly. Any delay now might make her late for the swimming competition.

Quarry Ghost manuscript

Quarry Ghost was published in 1959 by Dodd, Mead & Company. It was Mildred Wirt's last published book and remains very elusive to acquire. It was reprinted in 1960 in the UK under the title of Kristie at College. I really like both covers.

Millie dedicated this book to her daughter:
To Peggy, a champion swimmer, who lost a race and launched a story.

This post was originally posted on Phyllis' Book Reviews. It appeared on 10/24/14.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Before She Became June...

Barbara Billingsley, born Dec. 22 1915, was in movies for 12 years before she became TV mom, June Cleaver. They were usually bit parts which she wasn't credited for. Let's take a look at some of them (the few I could find pictures of).

Here she is in The Argyle Secrets (1948)

A receptionist in Pretty Baby (1950) - a romantic comedy with hints of Bachelor Mother (1939), this one starring Dennis Morgan, Betsy Drake (third wife of Cary Grant), and Edmund Gwenn.
She plays a minor character in Three Guys Named Mike (1951). You can watch the full movie here.
As a hat-check girl in Angels in the Outfield (1951)

And as a costume designer in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) with Lana Turner
You can watch the scene here (just the first minute).
And finally in The Careless Years (1957), just before Leave it to Beaver began.

All images found via Google Images
A long time ago, I played a lot of these roles that were seemingly nice, but underneath the character was really the murderer. So, I didn't have to do a lot of research for this character. I just had to understand what she was thinking and feeling.

June's Dresses in "Leave it to Beaver"

I am currently watching season 1 of Leave it to Beaver and I thought I'd share a few of June Cleaver's outfits with you. (I was also curious to know how often June repeats outfits so I've been keeping an eye out.)

This dress with a wide collar and matching cuffs is in one of the very first episodes.
I always wear a dress like this when cooking, don't you?
 This unique 3-button dress has shown up in a few episodes (I'm halfway through the season so far).
Here's the 3-Button dress in another episode. She's wearing it with a cute apron.
A better view of the apron.
I really like this fur-trimmed collar suit. Perfect for an afternoon of looking at vacant lots.

Here's a publicity photo that shows it better.

 Here's one of June's Sunday suits.

Hat and gloves required.
This dress is quilted on the skirt part.

 Another view. Note the straw knitting bag with the poodles on it.

Here's a close-up of the print.
Fashionable sling-back heels for an evening of cards with the Rutherfords.

A cozy looking sweater to wear when you're serving sandwiches.
I wonder what color it was??

Here she is in season 4 wearing the same sweater!!

This sweater has a V-pattern knitted in.

Here's a ruffle-front striped shirt dress. It's actually a small gingham print with stripes.

 I found this publicity photo of the same dress.

 This gingham dress has a tie collar and matching belt.

 Note the pointed pockets.

This shows the bow better.

In another episode the points on the pockets are pressed down.

 This dress has tabs on the pockets.

A better view.

Here she's wearing a pretty print blouse and a straight skirt with tabs at the waist.
(Ward's digging down the seat of the chair if you were wondering about his expression.)

Here she's wearing the V-pattern sweater from above with the tab-waist skirt.

 This dress has a slim skirt and a fancy belt.

It also has unique split sleeves.

This pretty gingham dress has a gingham trimmed collar and pin-tucks down the front.

 This shot shows more of the dress (note the turn in the stairs).

Here's a cute plaid dress with a leather belt.

 And another plaid dress.

This one's a sheath.

 This dress has delicate lace trim up the front.

You can see it better in this picture.

You can see here that it has the same trim up the back.

 This sweater has the same unique grouping of 3 buttons as the first dress.

This plaid skirt has a matching plaid neckerchief.

Another view of the skirt and her straw sewing basket.

 This appears to be a knit dress but I included it for the apron holder on the wall behind June.

Here she is taking it down. I'm not a fan of her hat.

 Here's a cute striped sailor dress.

 A view of the back.

Front detailing.

This dress from the last episode of season one appears to be a small paisley print.
I imagine it having some purple in it.

It has decorative trim all the way down the front.

It also has trim on the sleeves, collar, and pockets.

Lastly here's June in her robe (and pearls). It has a small floral pattern.

Fashion advice for the homemaker in TV Guide - click here to read what she has to say.
Barbara Billingsley on June Cleaver's Wardrobe.
I am also taking screenshots of their house. I really love their living area - lots of bookshelves! As I've posted before, I have a Classic TV House Plan book and the Cleaver's home is the first one featured. So far it is pretty accurate. I hope to get screenshots of all the rooms and post them soon with the house plan. Does anyone know what episodes show Ward and June's room?

[on comparing real-life families to the TV families]:

I just wish that we could have more families like those. Family is so important, and I just don't think we have enough people staying home with their babies and their children.

Here's a few screenshots of Beaver's 2nd grade teacher, Miss Canfield. She also had a re-occurring role on Maverick starring James Garner.

 Simple shirt-waist dress with a gingham belt for contrast.

 Miss Canfield is always understanding.

A pretty floral print shirt dress in a darker color. (Principal Mrs. Rayburn opted for a business-like tweed suit.)