Monday, November 11, 2013

Star Gazing

When David and I decided to decorate our apartment with mid century decor, we knew immediately that we needed to purchase a starburst clock. The problem is that we couldn't stop at just one.






Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TV Today From A World of Tomorrow

Needing a gimmick to boost sales, Philco came out with a line of televisions that embraced the atomic age. With its round semi-flat screen and petite but fashionable base, this electronic miracle was advertised as 'TV today from a world of tomorrow'.


Philco's 1958 commercial claimed that you'll feel like you're looking at 1965 when you watch a Predicta. Oh, so futuristic! Don Draper would have been proud.

So of course we had to have one.

Our chance came when David purchased a 1959 model at a local flea market after haggling with the seller about its poor condition. Filthy is too flattering of a word to describe the condition this Philco was in. Entombed in grime is more like it.

As found
With some elbow grease and an arsenal of cleaning products our Philco transformed back to its original atomic shine. Well, at least on the outside. Despite a few tubes lighting up when we turned it on it does absolutely nothing. No noise, no static. Just a pretty reminder of once was. Ironically, I do feel like I am looking at 1965 whenever I watch it.

Philco Predicta 1959

Dorothy Thorpe vs Queen's Lusterware


I almost kissed the seller when he quoted $3 as the price of this martini pitcher at a garage sale in my hood. Could he have been the only person on the planet who was unfamiliar with Mad Men? Had he not heard of Dorothy Thorpe? I walked away proud for my amazingly cheap find. My bubble burst when I cruised a local vintage collective and found the same pitcher on a shelf. Of course my motive was to determine the retail value of my find but something else caught my attention other than the price. The words Queen Lusterware.

What the f*ck was Queen Lusterware? The novice in me assumed that all 60s era barware with a chrome stripe had to be a Dorothy Thorpe concoction. I was so wrong.

Vitreon Queen’s Lusterware, Ltd. was started by Sidney Sigety in Broolyn, NY around the same time as Dorothy Thorpe's reign.  The design difference is subtle. Where Dorothy Thorpe's design has a solid silver stripe at the rim, Queen’s Lusterware features the signature ‘silver fade’ effect on glassware. Frankly, it looks like the silver stripe was smudged.

Regardless of who designed my new pitcher, I am still thrilled to own it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Raunchy Covers


Somethings are just so vulgar you end up buying them. Enough said.

Instagraming

My name is Rebecca and I am an Instagram addict. It started innocently. A few pictures taken here and there of everyday subjects. My meals. My feet. Cute animals.  Then I started doing themes. Old signs. Old buildings. Anything rusty.

Then it dawned on me. I could use Instagram to document our ever expanding collection of all things vintage.

A cool thing happened. People started following me. And not just my sister.

Majestic Table Lamp

Philco Town & Country

Vintage Games



My Love Continues...

The goal was to buy a birthday gift for David. I looked high and low for a vintage toy that he had not yet acquired. You think this would be simple enough but I live with a toy collector whose sole purpose is to buy back all the toys he played with in his youth. Since I did not know him then, I am usually at a loss.

Then I spotted it.

A mint condition Pyrex promotional balloon Cinderella bowl set.

Pyrex Promotional Balloon Cinderella Bowl Set

It was perfect. Well, for me that is.  I have been on the hunt for this puppy for years. The one time I ever stumbled up on it the bowl looked as if it survived a war with a dishwasher. You could barely make out the balloon print. Adding salt to the wound, the dealer wanted a fortune for it claiming its rarity as justification. I assumed he just smoked something he shouldn't have and walked away.

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this on Etsy. This beauty was imported from Canada. I paid a pretty price and waited a month for it to arrive in the mail before I was able to hold it in my own arms.  It was love at first sight.

As for David's birthday gift, I cheated and had him select something for me to bid online. Luckily no one else really did so it was mine....well, his.

Type 1 Mego Batman

Type 1 Mego Batman action figure with metal joints. It is a cute little guy with original everything. Now I just need Robin.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

49x49



It started by accident.

While waiting in line for a toy show in San Jose, CA I stumbled upon a city-wide rummage sale for the Junior League. With an hour to kill before the toy show doors opened I decided to rummage while David held our spot in line. Passing vacuums, clothing and exercise gear, I found myself surrounded by art work. One oil painting caught my eye. It was massive. Bigger than life. In fairly good condition for the age. And only $20.  It was a mid-century masterpiece and had to be mine.

It measured 49x49. And I am barely over 60 inches myself.

Reality hit me and the panic began. How was I going to get it to the car never mind home? David couldn't sacrifice his place in line so I managed to drag this new purchase of mine to the car stopping every few feet to rest my arms.

Then the fun started. I just couldn't fit my new painting in our CRV.

Pressured for time, I strapped it to the roof of the car assuming that someone would steal it before we returned from the toy show. It felt like one of those days.

Luckily, no one touched my massive painting so we started driving home with it still attached to the roof.

Then the paranoia kicked in. I was convinced that my new treasure would dislodge from our car and smack right into a passing car causing the crash of the century.  I would be forever banned from San Jose. And besides we were 50 miles from home.

So we stopped to check on it and found the my premonition was true. All the ties had loosened. After re-strapping it we set off again but this time I watched from the sunroof window with dread. The wind was so fierce that not only did our painting take air, the back of the frame started splitting. I was ready to chuck it onto the side of the road. $20 was not worth the stress or better yet the fine we would receive once spotted by the police.

Then David took matters into his own hands. With shear luck (or better yet, a second pair of hands) he managed to get the painting into the back of our car with room to spare.  Yes, I felt like the biggest loser on the planet but relieved that no deaths were caused by my obsession for cheap art.

Mid Century Oil Painting by Edwards
It now hangs comfortably in our hallway out of everyone's way. 



For The Love Of Collecting


Sexy Mannequins
Normal folk decorate. They acquire with purpose. They are inspired by design magazines or blogs. They seek functionality. They are drawn to color or texture. They have a plan.

View-Master Collection

Then there is us.


Vintage Glassware Collection
We purchase what we love. Our decorating 'style' is to squeeze new pieces into our apartment without tripping on them.

Multicolored Spaghetti Swag Lamp
Take this multicolored spaghetti swag lamp. We hoped to display it proudly in our living room to only find something else we liked better. It now hangs in our laundry room of have nots. It does create a festive ambiance when I tackle laundry at night. And keeps the pink flamingos we bought for a lawn we don't yet possess company.

Thristy?

You'd think I was obsessed with soft drinks if you saw our apartment. You couldn't be farther from the truth. As a starving college student, I weaned myself off soda ages ago since tap water was free.

Vintage Bottle Collection

Then why all this stuff?

Cola Advertising Clocks

I heart American memorabilia. Even better if they are from the 50s or 60s. 

Drink Coca-Cola

Hence the ever expanding collection of signs, clocks, bottle, dispensers scattered throughout the apartment. 


Vintage Sign Collection

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not Quite Monet

Confession. I cannot draw to save my life unless you consider stick figures art. I can color within the lines but never won any praise from my elementary school teachers. Perhaps this is why I am drawn to the talents of others. Paint by Numbers art from the 50s and 60s is not exactly museum quality but offer an opportunity for those like me to express their artistic side. And some are pretty darn good. Take a look.

Asian Scene Paint by Number



South Pacific Paint by Number


Mid-Century Art Collection

Thursday, January 10, 2013

If Only Elephants Could Dance

Who said barware had to be serious? Luckily, Hazel Atlas didn't think so.

Hazel Atlas Dancing Elephants Bar Set
And this elephant winks.

Close-Up of the Dancing Elephants

My Buddy Margaret

Sad, wide-eyed children make me happy.
Boy with Dog

Girl in Yellow Dress

Boy Clown
I have always been drawn to the work of Margaret Keane. Her portraits reminds us that not all childhoods are filled with E tickets at Disneyland. Plus her heroic gesture in court to prove that she not her husband was the master behind her artwork during their divorce proceedings makes me a true fan.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Some Records


I like to listen to this when I get home from work.
J. Martin Kohl - How To Overcome Discouragement

What is the son thinking...?
Music To Live By

I did play this. It wasn't that bad.
The McBrayer Family - Southern Style

Rodney's head is so round, you just want to spin it clockwise.
Rodney Arias - Love Is The Way

I'm going to leave this one alone.
John Baldry - Good To Be Alive

John Baldry - Good To Be Alive (Reverse)

The pinnacle of 60s showmanship and musicality. Google Elva Miller if you don't believe me.
Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits

I wish I had a 12-year-old niece. I would give her this album for her birthday.
A.J. Marshall - There's A Lot Of Livin' In This Old Boy Yet

A.J. Marshall - There's A Lot Of Livin' In This Old Boy Yet (Reverse)

The guy on the right looks sad. Waiting makes him sad.
The Best Of The Seekers

Hair that big makes them look like they're about to topple over.
The Lewis Family - Country Sunday In Georgia

So clean cut, it's sponsored by a company that makes shaving razors.
Up With People!

Nothing sets the little tykes on the path to righteousness like a song about a bayonet to the heart.
Children's Marching Songs

I want to go back in time to the meeting where they came up with the album title and cover design.
Elizabeth Barraclough - Hi

Hey kids, let's make a record.
The Murk Family In Concert

It seemed like such a good idea before.
The Murk Family - Love For All Seasons

You've got to give it all to get Kong's approval.
The Vast Majority - Kong Mania

I don't know. The tennis shoes break the magic spell.
Tupperware's Big Top Jubilee 1978