Retro finds!

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This is a love story, really.

It all started in the local antique shop, where I spotted a tea cart with gold starbursts on both shelves.  Anyone who knows me and my vintage tastes knows that this is not a good combination because it will take every ounce of willpower to hold me back from purchasing something like this. Read the rest of this entry »

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One year and two months (to the day!).  That is how long of a break I have taken from blogging, and now I’m ready to get back in the game.

Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the hiatus was needed.  My life kind of fell apart.  I got divorced.  Life took a sudden, rather violent turn and I’ve been hanging onto the steering wheel with white knuckles ever since, trying desperately to stay on all four wheels. Read the rest of this entry »

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After my last post, I just could not get the image of my imaginary retro tree out of my mind.  So I started searching the ‘net for either a silver tinsel tree or a white one.  In the end, I abandoned the idea of a silver tinsel tree because I knew I wanted to add shiny ornaments to the tree, and that would all be a bit . . . much.  Even for me.  So I concentrated on white and looked around.

And looked and looked some more.  Sheesh!  I only wanted to spend, like, fifty bucks on this tree, since I had planned it to be a second tree in our house – one on which I could play around with decorations, etc.   Needless to say, nearly everything I encountered was well over a hundred and almost everything is prelit.  I didn’t want a prelit tree because I wanted to be able to change the lights around if I wanted to.  Don’t force me to have white lights, people!

Obviously, this retro tree chase was not going to be easy.

Then last weekend I was visiting my sister in Minnesota, and we decided to take a quick trip to a certain superstore that begins with W.  While we were there, I said I wanted to check out the Christmas trees to see if they had any unadvertised white ones that were within my budget.

And there, stacked alongside the green trees, was a simple little box containing a 6.5-foot white tree.  Unlit.  $40.

I tried not to do a little happy dance as I snatched it up.  Next stop: ornaments.

It was getting harder and harder NOT to do a happy dance as I saw what the ornament aisle held for me: sparkly starburst ornaments . . . for a dollar.  ONE FREAKING DOLLAR!  I found the silver ones and tried not to feel piggish while I snatched up every last one.  They had a whole slew of silver ornaments (and gold, and red, and green) so I grabbed some silver snowflakes as well.  I remembered I had blue, white, and silver ornaments from a couple years ago, so planned to use those to go with the blue and white lights that I purchased too.

Behold: my creation.

The ornament above was one I found last year in a dollar store.  Sadly, they only had three of them.  But hey, they go nicely with the dollar starburst ornaments:

. . . and the snowflake ones:

. . . and the blue, silver, and white ones:

And the white and blue lights look so pretty nestled among the white branches:

The best part, obviously, was the price.  In all, this creation probably ran me about $80 with the ornaments, lights, and tree topper.  And although it’s not quite from my favorite era (too 60’s-ish and not 50’s-ish enough), I am in love with it.  I can pretty much guarantee that my tree is unique.

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If you’re an Etsy addict like I am, don’t you absolutely love how lucky you feel when you start sorting through the thousands of items, only to find a great new listing that you pounce on?

Yeah – I felt like that the other day.  I had sworn off buying retro dresses for awhile, because it always seemed that the measurements weren’t quite accurate and I ended up with a dress that didn’t fit.  But hey, I’m not one to learn from a few similar experiences, so I had to snap up this dress as soon as I saw it.  I won’t quite look like Mad Men’s Joan in it, but oh, it’s so perfect . . .

There’s something about that collar and those cuffs that make it so deliciously retro.  I’m considering wearing it to a Halloween party this weekend.  I’m sure the retro look has not quite caught on as a mainstream costume choice.

At least it hasn’t yet in the middle of Iowa.  I think it’s safe to say that.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Ok, so I don’t know the secret lives of chalkware fish, but I am fascinated by them.  Ever since I stripped off the ugly basket-n-bunnies wallpaper off my bathroom walls and painted the walls blue, I’ve been on the lookout for some blue chalkware fish to adorn the walls.  No retro bathroom is complete without them, in my humble opinion.

I hadn’t had the best luck finding the exact fish that I wanted.  The ones I found were either the wrong color or were in bad shape, and I wanted to wait until I found the right ones.  Well, my husband came to my rescue once again, for when I came home from work the other day, I found two little blue and gold fish lying on the counter.  He scored them at a local thrift shop.  And that’s why I love him.

Ok, there are other reasons as well.

They look quite at home, swimming in their blue-walled world, don’t they?

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I saw this posting on Etsy this morning and I just had to feature it.  Any readers from Nebraska desiring a chrome table?  This one is so unique — from the black trim to the crazy pattern on the Formica.  Even better: the seller will deliver it within a 100 mile radius of Fremont, for a small fee.   Even if you don’t live in NE, it’d be worth the shipping costs to bring this baby into your home, methinks.

If I had to name this Formica, I’d name it “Party People.”   😀

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The stand

I got the stand that I wrote about in my last post.  🙂

It’s in rough shape and will need to be repainted, as most of the gold paint has flaked off or is corroding off. Note the subtle difference between this stand and the one I found on Etsy last week that I posted about:

The only difference seems to be in the lay of the lines going up the side.  I happen to like mine better, but it’s curious as to how two products would exist with such a minimal difference between them.

Looking at this stand, I wonder a couple things.  Obviously the bottom is used for newspapers or magazines.  But what about the top rack?  The wide spaces between the bars makes it impractical for what you’d think it’d be for — holding cigarette packages or other smoking paraphernalia, keeping them close to the ash tray.  However, I’d think it’d also be impractical for holding things like magazines or a telephone book, because really — who’d want paper products right next to the place where ashes would be flicked?  The top rack is an enigma, for now. Any opinions as to what to use it for?  Anyone have one of these stands in their house “back in the day”?

More importantly, does anyone have a rectangular ash tray measuring 5 5/8″ x 7 3/4″?   Because, you know, I’m starting to feel like the search for this ash tray (one that has already commenced) is going to be akin to finding that good old needle in a haystack.  Or finding the perfect shade of red lipstick.  I’m still working on that one.

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Yes, it’s a bit of an odd thing to write an entire post about.  Normally, I don’t give much of a thought to magazine racks, but a recent visit to the local antique store changed that.  As usual, I found something that I liked, but didn’t buy, because I wanted to “think about it.”  Then I went home and thought about it and realized two hours after the store closed that yeah, I wanted it.  Too late!  My adventure will have to be continued another day.

Truthfully, it wasn’t that I wasn’t sure if I wanted the rack, for I liked it well enough.  But the top part of the rack has a shelf with a hole in it, designed to hold an ash tray (of course).  The original ash tray had been replaced with a really ugly ’70s one, and I hesitated in buying the rack until I could be positive that I could find a replacement ash tray.  Etsy to the rescue!  I found several that I think might work.  I just have to confirm the measurements.

I was surprised to find one on Etsy that is almost exactly like the rack that I’ll be buying.  Here it is:

Almost everything is identical — except for the lines on the side of the rack.  What caught my eye to the rack in the local store was the way the lines started off wider apart at the top, then converged in a near-V formation toward the bottom.  Hellooooo, atomic lines!  This one has everything but that.

So I’ve been spending some time on Etsy, messaging random sellers with requests for the specific dimensions of their ash trays.  There’s a chance they think I’m nutty, and I’m OK with that.  But hey — if I can find a replacement and have this rack sitting in my living room, I think it’d be a nifty thing.  This rack may already be affecting my choice of adjectives.

If you have fallen in love with this little magazine rack, you can have the one on Etsy.  Happy ash tray hunting!

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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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