Going retro without going overboard: countertops

When I made the decision to create a retro kitchen (for now . . . the rest of the house may follow), I struggled with the knowledge that while I loved the retro look, a potential home buyer may not.  We’ve been in our house for ten years, but that certainly didn’t mean that if the perfect house came up for sale on an acreage somewhere near us that I wouldn’t drop everything to go buy it.
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The Charming Woman

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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Diggin’ out and checkin’ in

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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Be one with your decor

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’s never too early to think Christmas!

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.


An unhealthy addiction

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.