Thursday, September 15, 2011

Retro Ride

Just got back from a local cruise night, where 600+ vintage vehicles were out on display on the main drag. There were Model T's, Ford Fairlanes, VW Bugs, Mustangs and more....I love the look and sleek line of the cars from the 50's and 60's, they have a sculptural quality to them. Plus all the polished chrome, fins and tail lights add a whole lot of retro punch. Not to mention the smell of  the high octane fumes on a cool September night!

This is a picture of a sweet Chevy Bel Air - would love to be able to cruise in this!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

America the Beautiful

A pretty picture from Minnesota lakes country that I took this afternoon. Wishing you all an old fashioned 4th of July!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Heirloom Garden

I've combined my love of all things vintage and gardening. Years ago I started acquiring plants from my mom and sister. These plants had a history and had been passed down from my grandparents.  I started with hens and chicks, tiger lillies, little purple iris and pink poppies from my grandma Barbara.
I also dug up mint, which my mom and grandma in German Russian speak called schmucket. All of these I added in to my own perennial beds. But I think my favorite are these hollyhocks. My grandma Lydia planted the initial seeds over 45+ years ago behind their little restaurant, the Dakota Cafe. The cafe is gone, but the seeds have grown and self sown over the years. I stopped by one fall and gathered a few seeds and brought them home. 
They bloom in old fashioned crepe paper colors of salmon, yellow and burgundy. Every summer I'm reminded of my family, their memories remain and flourish in my beautiful heirloom garden.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recycled Vintage Feedsacks

I picked up a couple of old time feedsacks for $2 each. These feedsacks in their day, may have held, flour, sugar or grains. They are a sturdy and soft cotton fabric almost denim-like, I can see why farm wives in the Midwest recycled these during the depression. They were often used for quilt blocks dish towels and dolls. Two of the feedsacks had an interesting stamp on them, one was the Bemis Brothers - out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I decided to remake my feedsacks into new cushion covers for my two outdoor chairs. First, I gave them a good washing to brighten them up. The feedsacks have imperfections, which give them character and a history. They are perfect for their next life as comfy, worn-in cushions for my patio chairs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring Bouquet

 We finally  had a good soaking rain this weekend, and the flowers in my garden woke up. Here is just a sampling of a small lavender colored bouquet in a vintage shoe. Iris, lambs ear and oregano make an appearance here - enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bridal Beauty

It's been a busy weekend so I'll just add a quick post. Last night I got the urge to amp up this celluloid mirror and work it into a wedding display. So I gathered up some lace, buttons, rhinestone button cover and these little leaves and  decorated the handle of the mirror. I figured this way I could add a little romance to this vintage piece without damaging it. Now it's all set to be used or displayed on a bride's dressing table!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monkeying Around

Sock monkeys have always had a special place in my husband's heart as well as my own. He had a sock monkey with shiny button eyes as a toddler. This vintage monkey is ours, and is reminiscent of his old monkey pal.

I have a small collection of monkeys that I bring out at Christmas time to set under our tree. I recently stumbled across this cute guy at a garage sale last weekend, he is very well done, has a charming personality and has been loved a much so, that he is missing an ear.
Several years ago my sister gave us the book: "Sock Monkeys (200 out of 1863)" by Arne Svenson and Ron Warren. They document, through photography the unique nature of 200 monkeys. Some have outfits and party hats, jingle bells, sewn eyes, button eyes and even glasses. They all have unique personalities, much like the thrifty moms, grandma's and friends that created them out of cotton red heeled work socks.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Retro Obsession

I've been collecting vintage diner china for years, picking it up at rummage sales and thrift stores when I find it. It is a collectible that you can still find at a reasonable price. Why do I collect it? My parents had a restaurant and used Buffalo China dishes there. They were sturdy, made a great sound when they clinked together, and nothing feels better in your hand than a heavy Buffalo China cup filled with steaming coffee on a cold day!

What's interesting is that you can tell how old your piece is by the code on the bottom. For instance this Walker China cup has a code of J-47. This means it was produced in January 1947.
Buffalo China has a unique code of its own, J-12 means that this stack of  small diner plates  was manufactured around December 1949.
I think my favorite marking would have to be the raised buffalo logo mark, which is most likely from the 50's or 60's.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One Man's Trash.....

So, last night was garbage night in our neighborhood. I looked out our living room window and saw a few items of interest in my neighbor's trash  pile. My husband kind of shook his head as I slunk out the door and grabbed my prizes. I think I found some great items. The best thing was this old watering can -which is vintage and in pretty good shape. I've seen these for sale in antique stores for $25 - $30, so I was kind of giddy to find this one for FREE!
I also grabbed this croquet set, It's not old but still cool. We could use as is or I might utilize the mallets and croquet balls as decorative items. I've displayed the croquet balls in a giant apothocary jar, and they looked pretty cool in there.
My last item was this birdbath base, which I'll either use as a new base for my birdbath basin, or as a stand for a gazing globe. So all in all I think I scored some pretty good junk! Next week is cleanup week in our area, so lots of folks will be setting items out for the curb shoppers to peruse. Maybe I'll have to get out there as well! Fun stuff.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Upcycled Vintage Cloche

I've seen lots of upcycled cloches out there, but here is my take on it......I bought this old mesh colander, and have actually had it for awhile. I was trying to puzzle out some way to add a handle on the top. I had some different metal cookie cutters out for awhile, but that didn't seem to look right. Then I remembered I had an assortment of orphaned salt shakers. So I dug out this cute little squirrel.
I used Super Glue and attached him to the top as a handle. I also wanted to make a cake stand for the little cloche to sit on. So once again dug through my junk and found this pretty floral plate with a silver rim, and a basic white candlestick. I glued the two together and now have a unique cloche and cake stand set, with plenty of vintage charm.
I topped the plate with a little nest and some wooden acorns that I happened to have around the house (I guess I've been squirreling away junk!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Retro Rummage

Well, my sister and I took part in the West Fargo Rummage Sale this weekend, despite the sloppy wet snow we had a good turnout and were able to sell a lot of our vintage wares!

My sister had a bunch of vintage and handmade jewelry that she was selling, she had it displayed in this cute travel case. She's been collecting pretty seriously for a good couple of years. Her faves are bracelets, signature pieces, and shiny glitzy rhinestones.

I also brought some of the upcycled purses that I had made out of t-shirts and felt (all my materials...t-shirts, felt, thread, and snap closures were cast offs from someone, that I had either purchased at rummage sales or thrift stores). I didn't have any luck selling them, maybe I'll find a different venue for them, I think they would appeal to the tween crowd (perhaps?).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Fortune

During a treasure hunt I came across this fun find - Fortune Telling Birthday Book. I knew immediately what it was, as my grandma had one almost identical to it. In the book she had all of her children's and grandchildren's birthdays marked on the appropriate days.

I remember looking through the book and reading all the interesting and slightly mysterious fortunes, of my aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters.

Inside is information that was maybe more common knowledge years ago. For instance I know that a 50th wedding anniversary is golden. But did you know that your fourth anniversary is fruit....and your seventh is wool...and your eleventh is steel? The book also lists the meaning of birthstones, an Amethyst is sincerity, Sapphire is love and Opal is hope.

Hopefully the Fortune Telling birthday book is accurate, here's my fortune: "Your originality in everything  you do, will if cultivated bring you happiness and remuneration." Let's hope for LOTS of remuneration!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Retro Baking with Betty

This is a cool vintage (from the '50's?) Betty Crocker "How to have the most fun with cake mixes" cookbook. It has funky recipes and ideas on decorating and presenting your Betty Crocker cakes. This book was targeted to the brand new homemaker. There are holiday cakes in the shapes of rabbits, snowballs, igloos and Jack-O'-Lanterns.

There are also gingerbread hard sauce clowns which are made with sugar butter and vanilla and candy pieces for a delicious and creepy effect. Plus ideas for  zoo cookies, lemon ginger dessert and ginger fancy!
My absolute favorite is the FLAMING Peach Jubilee Cake - Yikes! Set that one down in front of your family! It uses canned peach halves, lemon extract and sugar cubes for the fiery effect. Thanks Betty, you've been making our lives sweeter for the last 87 years! Now where's my fire extinguisher?

Friday, April 1, 2011

I've got Junkmarket Style

I recently became a member of Junkmarket Style a blog and site for junk design, refurbishing and upcycling. A perfect fit for a person that likes to rummage and thrift and reuse and recycle. I posted a project for an upcycled candleholder, that used old patterns, glue and a basic candleholder from a thrift store. I just found out that I was nominated as member feature for March 31st. How exciting! Here is a before picture, showing my raw items, you can click on the link to see my final  finished project.

Vintage Spring Vignettes

To herald in spring, I purchased these sweet little vintage duck planters. They just looked so happy and made me smile. I've learned long ago that if something "speaks" to you and you have it in your hand, you should buy it! But what to do with them when I got them home.....?? I had some organic oat grass seed on hand and decided to sow it in these little planters, that way I could look forward to a patch of green grass and the smell of spring long before our own yard awoke from winter slumber. I think I paid aboutt $6 total for the two planters. They'd make a really cute display on a spring Easter table, all you'd have to do is add a few colored eggs, some nice china, and you'd have a pretty and inexpensive tablescape.

I also put together this spring vignette, some of the items are new and some of the items are vintage. A good chunk of the items I purchased at rummage sales (as usual)!
The giant egg is a real ostrich egg, that came with a few feathers and only cost a quarter! What a deal! I paired it with these cutie pie bird candles, added some pebbles, and put everything into this cool bowl I found on sale at TJ Maxx. I love the the fact that it fits right in with my vintage finds.
In the background is this great fan that I got at a rummage sale for next to nothing.....great color! The sign in the background was scavanged from my parent's farm garage, its the perfect finishing touch to this blue vintage vignette.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Red Barn Retro on Etsy

Hey, I finally got my Etsy store opened up! As of yesterday I rolled out the retro red carpet, and added some cool vintage finds to my e-shelves. Like this weird lucite pen holder, these 1930's era photos of a Bismarck couple named Sharpe and Mabel and this rusty, crusty country blue garden spade.  I'll be adding more items as soon as I can, have tons of fun stuff to list! Until next time, keep rockin' the retro!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fashionably Retro

I've been buying retro patterns for the last several years, not really knowing what I was going to do with them. I'm always drawn in by the styles, colors and shapes. Found these awesome Vogue patterns, and I am gaga for this one piece summer dress. I may have to try making this.....says its very easy, I guess we'll see. This pattern image is great too, love the sunglasses. So posh....oh pool boy, where is my martini!
Also love this sweet wrap-style blouse pattern, and the Jackie O type suit with three-quarter length sleeves. Can't you just feel the white cotton gloves as you slide them on your delicately manicured hands?
I have to admit, I am most drawn to styles of the 40's, 50's and 60's, the look seems so elegant and kind of old Hollywood. Every now and then I do find cool stuff from the later 60's and 70's. I just found these funky iron ons that would look pretty amazing on some fitted t's or even tote bags, and a few other fun patterns from the time of my childhood! Enjoy the trip down memory lane!