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I recently heard from a gal in Charlotte, North Carolina, who rescued a red cracked ice table from going to the dump.  She knows the value of a table like this, and while she’s not looking to make money on it, she would like to see it go to a home where it will be appreciated.  Take a look at the photos she supplied: Read the rest of this entry »


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As I mentioned in my last post, I bought a booklet on Etsy the other day whose title made me snap it right up: The Charming Woman, published in 1957. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this must have been one of a string of publications, because there are others referenced just inside the cover, and the articles within also refer to “so-and-so’s article on hats” and the like. Regardless of not having the whole set, this one booklet is an interesting glimpse into the past.
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Just spotted this beauty on Etsy.
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Oh, it’s been a busy couple of weeks!  Semester tests occurred the last 3 days before Christmas break started, and then as the break grew closer, we in the Midwest became aware of a humungous snowstorm that was headed our way — the worst one in years, the chatter among the locals said.  Indeed, as December 22 came upon us, it was painfully evident that yes, there was a storm on the way and that traveling might be a wee bit tricky.  Freezing rain occurred on the 22nd, making things interesting right off the bat, but we knew more was coming.  Lots more.
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Just received my new Home Decorators Collection catalog the other day, and although I planned to quickly leaf through it before throwing it away (lest anything tempt me during this season of low funds!), their new retro-style dessert plates and servingware caught my eye.  I love these!

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I often run across goofy decorating ideas in old magazines — and that in itself is the fun in reading them — but I think I’ve found one that takes the cake.  Back in the ’80s, women everywhere were dressing according to their “season” — remember that?  I was an autumn . . . actually a cross between an autumn and a winter.  I even had a couple teachers in 6th grade who had a girlie bonding moment with my class by evaluating each girl for her “season.”  We thought it was the coolest thing ever.
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It happens every fall.  Just as the leaves start turning and falling off the trees, and the landscape begins to look a little more sparse, I start thinking about Christmas.

I will freely admit that fall and winter are my favorite seasons.  Fall I love for the cooler weather and beautiful colors, and winter I love for the excuse to stay cozy inside and being able to enjoy the occasional snow day.  True enough, after Christmas hits, winter tends to grow old very, very quickly.  I suppose I love winter partially for the rush of being able to decorate another tree and capture that homey Christmas spirit once again.

Each year my tree gets a little more retro.  I haven’t yet gone the way of the aluminum or flocked tree, but it seems that each year my vision pushes me to go with more retro color schemes.  Last year it was blue lights and silver and white ornaments, which would have looked superb on a flocked tree, but still looked cool nonetheless.

And then a few months ago I discovered Bronner’s.  Oh my . . . talk about a gigantic playground for Christmas decorating enthusiasts!  I become even more hooked when I started noticing some of their awesome retro ornaments.

Case in point:


Silvery goodness with a classic starburst design.  It also comes in green, gold, and blue.  Get it here!


Oh my, how I love this thing. It’s called a pine star ornament, and it’s about as retro as they get.  it also comes in gold:


They’re shatterproof, too, which is even better news for those of us with small, hyper, and sometimes violent boys who think that Christmas ornaments make good baseballs.  Or weapons.

Here’s a true starburst ornament, hence its name:


I am in love.  Truly, madly in love.  Is it taboo to feel love for a shatterproof ornament that sort of resembles a sea urchin?

I am not kidding when I say that these ornaments are just a tiny sampling of what this store has to offer.  There are ornaments for every hobby, every era, every nationality, and every quirk.    They also carry lights (amazing how many different types they have!), outdoor decor, stockings, hats, and pretty much every other item that has a direct or vague association with Christmas.  Go there.  Get lost.  You won’t be sorry.


Going on the title, you might expect me to ‘fess up to something really bad — a nasty meth habit or something along those lines. But no . . . the addiction I’m about to peruse here is only a tad more lethal.

::::: Deep breath :::::

I have an addiction to retro Christmas graphics. I buy thin, worthless wrapping paper at discount stores merely because the design is retro. I will buy a bulk lot of 250 Christmas cards (when I only send out about 25 each year) because the font is totally ’50s. I need help, and I realize that this is the first step.

Of course, the addict will go in seek of the poison, and that’s just what happened when I stumbled into Etsy the other day. (I swear I didn’t type the URL . . . I just ended up there!) I saw this, noted it was the correct size for my table, and I was a goner.


A plastic.’50s. Christmas. Tablecloth.  PLASTIC!  I spent money on a PLASTIC tablecloth (new in the package)!

Then again, I have small children, so I can still use them as an excuse.

But the retro Santa, coupled with the nifty ’50s design, sent me over the edge.  I just couldn’t say no, plastic or not.   What’s more, it’ll look right at home on my chrome table.


Many of you retro fans are well aware that there are many sites on the ‘net that carry retro products — either true vintage or reproductions. The true vintage ones are always good, of course, but it can be a pain to find what you want in good condition or for the right price. The reproductions, on the other hand, can be just plain cheesy for those who are going for a true retro ’50s or MCM look. When straight googling doesn’t get us what we need, however, we can sometimes find some gems just by taking the time to browse a store’s site.

I’m a big fan of the Home Decorator’s Collection. (Note: this is not a paid advertisement!) Not only do they have a plethora of products, they have a look to suit just about anyone, including us admirers of all things 50’s. I spent some time going through their site today and came across a few products that would look right at home in a vintage-inspired decorating situation.

abstract geometric wall art

The 50’s were all about geometric shapes — squares, circles, random lines, boomerangs, etc.  With the right color scheme, this wall panel would look almost as if it were original to the house.


What atomic age would be complete without something that looked inspired by the planets?  This mirror looks positively out of this world.  (Sorry — I couldn’t resist.)


Funky, crooked squares — what more could you want in wall art?.  I have a votive holder that looks something like this, and it makes my kitchen complete.  Love it!


Copper canisters from your kitchen.  I distinctly remember my grandparents’ lake cabin — practically a museum for 50’s decorating — having a set of copper canisters.  These give a slightly more modern look to the copper with the hammered texture.


It’s called a raindrop mirror, but we 50’s fans are thinking STARBURST!   Such a classic design.

The best aspect of shopping at the Home Decorators Collection, though, is the astounding array of area rugs.  They have them all broken down into styles, with a huge selection of sizes, and it’s not hard to find some rugs that would spruce up any house with retro styling.


This first one doesn’t try to hide its retro styling; it’s called the Milan Fifties Rug.  And fifties it is!  Sigh . . . I’m in love.


A little more “white space” on this one (er . . . taupe space?), but that design looks like it’s been lifted from some vintage curtains.  Great retro colors as well.


They called it the Atomic Age for a reason, and this area rug, appropriately called Planets, will give your house that “other-wordly” feel.


I love this one for the neutral colors and simple geometric pattern.  It reminds me of background graphics you’d find in an advertisement for . . . well, take your pick of products.  Sheets?  Sure.  Salted almonds?  Yep.  Clear telephone reception?  Uh huh.  That’s the comforting thing about looking at old advertisements: they’re all almost interchangeable.  Different happy faces, a small variety of fonts, but really, they were all pretty much the same.

Great stuff, eh?  It’s so cool to see designers trying to bring back (or maintain) some of these classic designs.  I’m very tempted by the Milan area rug, but I truthfully don’t have a good place to put it . . . or do I?  Oh dear — the wheels have begun to turn. Now look what I’ve started!

Until next time, this is your personal shopper, signing off!


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