Are you in need of a mood boost? I hear you.
Celebrating small joys, I’ve created a retro active jigsaw puzzle, featuring a few of my favorite 1950s vintage magazine covers from my personal collection. This week’s game pays homage to ELLE. Launched by Hélène Gordon-Lazareff and Pierre Lazareff in 1945, the publication still inspires outfits of the day. In fact, after playing the puzzle a few times, the wild desire to match your protective gloves with your face mask will be much too hard to resist. Not that I tried . . . to fight the feeling. #Guilty
Up my swing coat sleeve, I’ve also got a classic old-school cocktail recommendation, guaranteed to add some sizzle to your puzzle playing experience: Le Train Bleu. Photogenic from stem to rim, this drink will have your social media pals buzzing.
So while you find the old Ikea tumblers, I’ll crank up Dalida’s first hit: “Bambino.” For a record-breaking 45 weeks in 1957, it was the Number One song in France. “Her eyes are pretty, but you’re still too young to play a lover,” Dalida sings to little Bambino. For eye-catching décor inspiration, check out this holiday special clip. Is it possible to adorn a balcony with too many rhinestones and potted ferns? I don’t think so.
1. Gather the ingredients
Natural decorating sugar in periwinkle blue
One ounce Cognac
Two ounces fresh pineapple or orange juice
Three ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
2. Once these have been rounded up
First, rim your glass with natural decorating sugar. Then, in an ice filled tumbler: Pour one ounce Cognac and two ounces pineapple juice. Shake well and strain into the glass. Top with three ounces of bubbly. Decorate the rim with fresh chunks of pineapple or orange slices. Feel free to make substitutions and experiment with the fruit combos.
Serve and chill. Then perhaps repeat? It’s just that easy.
Now, let’s solve the puzzle
Do pump up the volume. Puzzle piece snapping has never sounded so satisfyingly electrifying. My chills are still multiplying. I also recommend the full-screen mode. Keep wearing those masks (and protective gloves, if possible) when you sally forth. Spread some joy!
Access the puzzle here.
Jigsaw Puzzle Key: (clockwise): 1. ELLE, April 1954, 2. ELLE, April 1958, 3. ELLE, May 1951, 4. ELLE, October 1952, 5. ELLE, June 1951 6. ELLE, March 1951, 7. ELLE, June 1952, 8. ELLE, October 1953
I find most of my old magazines at the Marché aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves.
If you’re as easily bewitched by kitsch as I am, add this flea to your must-see list. With its bustling vibe, it’s impossible not to feel happy-go-lucky here. There’s even a piano player. You’ll find everything from plastic key chains, perfume bottles, bolts of fabric and vinyl records, to ice buckets, ashtrays and bottle openers, all sporting logos of French bar classics like Suze, Ricard and Picon. You might also uncover old medical leech jars, shrunken heads, Elvis, or even genuine Old Masters—stageprop perfect for Antiques Roadshow. My eyes have seen the goose bump-inducing glory.
Be safe. Keep wearing those masks (and protective gloves, if possible) when you sally forth. Spread some joy!
Lead photo credit : I’ve created a retro active jigsaw puzzle, featuring a few of my favorite 1950s vintage magazine covers from my personal collection (Photo by Theadora Brack