Monday, November 23, 2009

Harriet Stratemeyer Adams' Nancy Drew Cookbook

From time to time you score a gem on eBay and then there's the icing on the cake! I recently saw a Nancy Drew Cookbook for sale at eBay--signed by Harriet Adams. For those of you wondering who Harriet is, she was Edward Stratemeyer's daughter and she ran the Stratemeyer Syndicate from 1930 until her death in 1982. She wrote quite a few of the classic Nancy Drew books too. The cookbook was put together by a writer for hire and first came out in 1973. I own 2 copies already--a first printing and a library edition. But this one I will treasure the most.

It is signed, "Best Wishes to Barbara From Carolyn Keene (Harriet Adams)"

What was so interesting was some of the materials included with the cookbook--the seller had received these items when he had purchased it originally. These included several newspaper and magazine cutouts of articles such as the obituary piece shown below published in 1982 after Harried passed on. What was so neat was the letter written by "Aunt Barbara" telling the story of how she came to get the book signed by Harriet.

For Barbara, it was a great privilege to visit Harriet's home. She considered Harriet an idol, having read the Nancy Drew books as a child. A friend of Barbara's was Harriet's neighbor. Barbara spent the night at Harriet's and got to visit with her and tour the home as well as visit the offices. Harriet took down her personal copy of the Nancy Drew Cookbook and autographed it to Barbara. This letter will be reprinted in an upcoming issue of The Sleuth.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

2009 Book Hunting for Nancy Drew #5

I was recently in Albuquerque, NM for an art show of my mom's and we did a little book hunting before we left town! At the antique shop on Central Ave called Classic Century Square, I hoped to check out this little book room they had that was always full of tons of series books. When I got there, the room was closed--and they'd moved out only to start their own bookstore. But while I was there, I discovered a lot of old magazines--they had back issues of Family Circle and Woman's Day. I found the 1980 Family Circle issue with the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Christmas story that Harriet Adams had written.

When I got home, I found that this was a better copy than my own, so I've now upgraded it:

Next was a stop at the bookstore, Simmons and Simmons, located at 4015 Central Ave NE, 505-294-9495.

They did have quite a bit of series books on hand as you can see below (click on these for larger images):

I found a book club yellow spine picture cover of Bungalow mystery that I thought might upgrade my own, but mine was just a tad better, so will list this at my website. More books:

Then we stopped in at Don's Paperback Book Exchange at 1013 San Mateo Blvd. SE, 505-268-0520.

They kept most of their Nancy Drews behind the counter. Mostly new flashlight pcs but a few older ones too--a first printing of Mysterious Letter picture cover if anyone's interested in pretty good shape:

We also stopped in at Title Wave Books, always a good stop. I didn't see many Nancys but they had quite a few Hardy Boys and some odds and ends. They're located at 1408 Eubank Blvd NE, 505-294-9495.

Then we were off to our last stop at Page One, which has a rare books room too. A regular children's section too and also a vintage series book section right outside the rare books room. Located at 11200 Montgomery Blvd, 505-299-6766.

Some shots of the books outside the rare book room:

Quite a few Three Investigators too:

Inside the rare books room, they had tons of old Cherry Ames in dust jackets, for anyone interested in these! I didn't check the prices though.

So I came back with the Family Circle issue to upgrade mine and the following--one of the Danas upgraded my white spine Dana of the same:

I was also able to upgrade my #100 Digest paperback, A Secret in Time, so I was excited about that. The Peggy Lanes were on a sales table for 1.00 each.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clues to Nancy Drew Convention Planning #1

A Nancy Drew convention planner you ponder? Yes, it's a delightfully mysterious hobby to say the least ;)

I thought it might be interesting to start highlighting a bit more of what I do here at the Blog, when it comes to planning the annual Nancy Drew Sleuths conventions. You may not realize, but there is a massive amount of time and planning and attention to detail that goes into each and every year's conventions, so this Blog might be a fun way to give you all some insight and let you share in the planning!

The gist of what we do: we walk in Nancy Drew's footsteps quite simply. We pick a location where a classic Nancy Drew book was set (the first 56 hardcovers in print from 1930 to 1979.) We spend several days doing a myriad of activities that Nancy and her chums did in the book, try to throw in some book hunting if feasible, and some free time for people to get out and explore the setting we've chosen. We have a big convention day (or two) with speakers, activities, and a raffle to benefit a local library. Capping off our event is a mystery dinner party with a Nancy Drew gift exchange.

Next year's 2010 convention is our 10th anniversary and it's also the 80th anniversary of Nancy Drew. We're also inviting Hardy Boys fans to come join us. And we're doing two events--land on Merritt Island, FL and a cruise to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral. So it's a mixed bag of themes! Want to attend? Register here!

So where are we at in the planning, you may be wondering? Check this out:

1. We've got less than 5 months to go - the events begin on April 6, 2010.

2. We've still got more cabins to sell on the Nancy Drew cruise to reach our quota, deadline on that is Dec. 1st to book.

3. I've only got about 25 registered for land early, though that registration deadline isn't until Jan. 15, 2010 and people are notorious for registering at the last minute ;) I expect 50 to 100. The real mystery in all of this is WHERE ARE THE HARDY BOYS FANS??? I think we need Frank and Joe to provide a few clues. Pretty much zero response from that fan community. I'd like to discover The Secret of What Cave They're Living In so I can better advertise this shindig. ;)

4. We've got our hotel, activities, and basics set up. Most of our speakers are lined up. We've got a nice program organized!

5. I have yet to get very many licensees of Nancy Drew (those companies that sell products featuring Nancy Drew) on board to attend, sponsor or help out--and many have never even responded to my e-mails :( Frustrating, you're probably thinking! So am I...

6. I need to do a final read through of the basic books that are our themes so I can finalize all those fun little activities and mystery theme stuff that makes the conventions oh so much better!

7. I need to decide on whether local advertising will even be a possibility or not. If you don't have $$$ for advertising, how can you advertise the event to get more people to attend. It's a dilemma, no doubt, and I'd like to find a way to provide advertising to get the locals out to the events!

So, we're left with less than 5 months for me to whip it together as I always manage to do, I don't have a lick of advertising money or sponsors, and I'd really like to see a bit more professional courtesy with responses being more timely...

On the flip side, this is probably going to be one of our best conventions ever! I try to top the last each year and this year in Vegas was really great, I think. Went off without a hitch and lots of fun to boot. Next year, we'll be thoroughly enjoying sand, surf, and sleuthing, there's no mystery about that!


Monday, November 09, 2009

Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Convention: April 2010

Want to attend a Nancy Drew convention? Here's your chance! The Nancy Drew Sleuths fan group is having their 10th annual convention in Florida, April 2010 and inviting Hardy Boys fans to join them!

2 Conventions:

April 6 to 10 on land: Merritt Island, FL outside of Orlando

April 11 to 15 cruise to Bahamas from Port Canaveral

Click on the above links to read all about it, learn how you can follow in Nancy's and the Hardy Boys' footsteps, and perhaps solve a mystery or two!


Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Cookie Crisp Mystery Paint Books

I've nearly completed my collection of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mystery paint books that came in select boxes of Cookie Crisp cereal. All I need is the Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys and The Visitors From Tomorrow to complete my set! If anyone has one to sell, please contact me:

The set included:

* Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys Meet The Mad Scientist
* Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Secret Cave
* Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Sea Monsters
* Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Eerie Castle
* Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Cursed Jewels
* Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Visitors From Tomorrow

Along with the booklet was a strip of paints that you could use to color them in. This was back in the good old days when most toys came in the box of cereal and you got instant gratification! When you didn't have to send in 400 UPCs from the box plus shipping and handling for some rinky dink toy that probably cost 4 cents to make in China ;)

As a kid, I didn't really eat Cookie Crisp, so apparently I missed this promotion--plus I would have only been around 5 when they were available in 1978 and not into Nancy Drew yet. But I loved (still do!) Cap'n Crunch and all the toys that came in that cereal! View more images of these booklets at my website.

Here's the front of the box:


Friday, November 06, 2009

Nancy Drew Tandy Shadow Ranch goes to Toledo Library!


Exciting news! The Tandy Shadow Ranch painting that was auctioned earlier this year is going to the Toledo Public Library.

If you missed this great event, it was discussed here and can be viewed at my Blog by clicking here.

Apparently the high bidder was the library in Toledo through donor funds! I had no idea. The library also houses a super collection of Mildred Wirt Benson's books and series. The painting is being unveiled today and will be on display for awhile before it gets sent off to be restored.

Read about it in the Toledo Blade.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sale: Nancy Drew Shop at Cafe Press

Check out the Nancy Drew Shop at Cafe Press!

There's a sale at Cafe Press right now--no code needed to get the discount--of 25% off ornaments and cards through Friday, November 6. Check out the neat Nancy Drew ornaments/cards we have:


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

More Alicia Klein Nancy Drew Products

More images of the Alicia Klein products, available mid-November at her website!

Wallet is very cool--see images above and below:

Features a quote from my Clues book!

Leather bookmark was really neat! Another quote--about chocolate cake--from my Clues book!

Features a place you can put a picture!


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Nancy Drew Old Attic Halloween Party & Trick or Treats

Weeks of planning and designing=one fun Nancy Drew Halloween party! The local AZ Sleuths wanted to see my Nancy Drew collection, so we decided to have a Halloween party on Friday, October 30. The theme was the 21st Nancy Drew book, The Secret in the Old Attic. I tried to recreate the attic on the front porch complete with items mentioned from the book: trunk, wardrobe with skeleton, cobwebs, spiders, old bottles, sheet music, an old table, hat boxes, a Currier & Ives print and so forth. The Nancy Drew silhouette is featured prominently in the front window.

Inside in the dining room, we had tables set up with vintage Halloween party collectibles and lots of goodies. Take a moment to weed through all the photos from our party from the set up of the porch to the end result and the party festivities plus my Old Attic goodies I gave out the next evening on Halloween to all the trick or treaters!

Spooky Spiders & Webbing in front side window

Spiders light the way on this outside light

It began with a wardrobe - made from 2 cardboard
boxes which were painted brown

Nancy Drew silhouette pumpkin

Silhouette pumpkins by the front door

Poster of Old Attic - Tandy illustration

Skeleton in the Wardrobe & Lots of Spider Webs!

The Attic is Taking Shape with Spooky Footprints!

Might there be a secret behind the wardrobe?

Maybe something hidden in the wardrobe?

Footprints from Martha Stewart Crafts Line, sold here

Old Attic Nappi Cover Poster to set the theme

An old suitcase doubles for the trunk and a candle nearby

Battery operated old-time candle found at Michaels, good for photo op

Lots of sheet music, part of our party game

The Secret in the Old Attic Party Banner

Crepe Streamers, Orange Lanterns, and Vintage Collectibles

Group Photo in front of the collection!

Everyone checking out the collection spanning nearly 80 years!


Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nancy Drew Old Attic Picks


Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Ball & Ginger/Chocolate Cookies

Treats & Appetizers

Awaiting Dinner: Lasagna, Parmesan Chicken, & Salads

Festive Tables Set

Old Attic Treat Boxes for Each Guest

Featuring spider web boxes and ribbons, Old Attic Sticker, & Spider

Goodies: Candy, Googly Eye Rings, Stretch Skeletons, & Keychains

Opening the treat boxes!

Old Attic mystery hunt: Letters on spiders
unscrambled to spell W A R D R O B E

Mini Old Attic books to be found in wardrobe as prizes

Spiders with letters on sheet music -
we hunted for sheet music like Nancy in the book!

Our Nancy Drew Halloween Treat Bag Exchange!

Pumpkin Basket with book covers and lots of ribbons and treats!

Neat Old Attic bag

Another Old Attic bag with image above and silhouette below:

Iron On Transfer Bag with treats!

Neat Mysterious Letter Collage Frame!

Dede, Gail, and Judy brought me this neat
Halloween/Nancy Drew decorated pail shown above and below:


I made nearly 200 goody bags for the kids featuring Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys stickers - And ran out of them! Normally we have around 130 to 150 kids, this year over 200! WOW! Or as George would say, HYPERS!

Little Kids got candy and play-doh plus a bookmark for the girls!

Older kids got candy, spiders, stretchy skeletons, googly eye rings,
and girls got bookmarks. Hardy Boys Skull Mountain sticker pictured above

Inexpensive Jack O' Lantern buckets lit up with battery
operated tea-lights make the perfect lanterns to line your walkway!

Nancy Drew silhouette hurricane next to Old Attic poster

Just before dark, the scene becomes more spooky!

This Halloween was lots of fun and using the Old Attic theme was easy to do. Maybe this will inspire you to decorate your homes next year with a Nancy Drew theme! The kids squealed and were delighted with the theme and the goody bags. When I was a kid, I loved getting the treat sacks, so I like to do that for the kids at Halloween!