Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Can Anyone ID This Pattern?

I got this set of dinnerware many, many years ago at Goodwill. I love this dinnerware, but I don't know anything about it and haven't been able to find any information online. Hopefully someone out in blog land can help.
The dinner plates have either a pink or blue background with a wonderful celestial floral design. The design is very '50s and they are definitely vintage.
In addition to the dinner plates, I also have a pink oval platter and some small fruit bowls and bread plates. The bowls and bread plates are robins egg blue, or aqua, and have no design on them. There are no markings on any of the pieces. I would love to know who made this dinnerware and what the pattern is called. Does anyone recognize this pattern?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nice Surprise from Atomic Ranch!

Yesterday afternoon a lovely surprise appeared in my mailbox. It's issue #4 of Atomic Ranch!

When Jim Brown, Atomic Ranch publisher and photographer, came to our house, I mentioned that I had issues #1 and #2, but there were a couple of holes in my set. I was missing numbers 3, 4, and 5. Jim remembered which issues I was missing and very kindly sent me one of them!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Motel Chairs Get A Makeover

Our old motel chairs were looking tired. The paint was oxidized and there were some rusty spots popping up. It was time for them to be repainted. The turquoise color of these chairs is perfect. For over a year, I searched for turquoise spray paint but I couldn't find any. The color selection for spray paint is pitiful! It was time to go ahead and paint them in the best color I could find.
Before painting, I went over the chairs with an electric sander to roughen up the paint and remove all of the rust. Then I primed the chairs and painted them in their new color...
                                                                                                            .....lime green.
I also painted this red chair pink. The pink chair still needs another coat of paint, but I'm not sure about the color. Before I add another coat of pink paint, I want to make sure it's really the color I want. 
There are two more chairs just like it that also need to be painted. I think it would look better to have the chairs in at least two different colors, rather than paint all of them lime green. I love the color combination of lime green and red. I think I may paint the other two chairs red and keep this chair pink.
I also have this vintage metal glider. The paint isn't perfect, but it is in much better shape than the chairs. I will probably leave the glider as it is for now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fiberglass Lampshade Repairs

This is a response to a post by Space Commander over at Atomic Living about the possibilities of restoring damaged or dirty fiberglass lampshades. The plastic or leather lacing on vintage lampshades often becomes brittle and breaks off. The shade in the photo above was missing a lot of the lacing. This is the lampshade after it's been re-laced. I didn't have a blog way back when I repaired this lampshade, so I didn't take a "before" photo. 
Replacement lacing can be found in most craft stores. It's very inexpensive. I think it costs a dollar or two. This is the same stuff we used at summer camp to make bracelets and keychains. It's plastic and stretchy and has a matte finish with a little texture. It looks sort of like leather. I bought the lacing at either Michael's or Hobby Lobby. It looks nearly identical to the vintage lacing on my lampshade.
I took the old lacing off one piece at a time so I would have an example to follow for restringing the shade. The new lacing looks just like the old, except it's not falling apart. For very little money my vintage lampshade looks as good as new!
Here's another lamp that I tried to spiffy up. The shade on the left hasn't been cleaned and the shade on the right has. I followed the cleaning instructions here. I whipped up some dish detergent in a bowl, rubbed the thick suds into the shade, and gently wiped it clean with a damp cloth. 
Dirty lampshade

There is a noticeable difference in the shades, but the shade didn't brighten up as much as I'd hoped. I don't know if the result is worth the trouble and time it took to clean. 

Clean lampshade

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vintage Cookie Jar

My mom recently gave me this adorable winking owl cookie jar that belonged to my great-grandmother. The cookie jar was made by Shawnee, sometime in the 1940s or 1950s, I think. I love it!
With her light aqua eyes and coral feathers, she looks pretty in my turquoise kitchen.
And, she has babies, which are salt and pepper shakers. If I remember correctly, the shakers didn't belong to my grandma, but were purchased later by my mom. She got them at an antique shop, I pretty sure.  I'll have to add these to my mental list of things to grab on the way out in the event of a house fire. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flea Market Finds

I went to the flea market on Saturday, but didn't find anything. There was a booth with a pile of vintage Lilly Pulitzer skirts. I was excited when I found them, because the tag was marked my size. When I held the shirts up to my waist I remembered that vintage sizes run much smaller. The skirts were at least 2 sizes too small. So the flea market was a disappointment, but what I found at the thrift store made up for it. 
I found this 3-piece set of vintage Duncan Hines cookware at the thrift store.
The pink brushed aluminum knobs are the best part. I can't wait to see how they will look once I get them cleaned up. 
At the same thrift store, I found 2 vintage pieces of Russel Wright dinnerware in a hard to find color, Sugar White. These were made by Steubenville and the line is called American Modern. 
They're not in perfect condition. The vegetable serving bowl has a couple of teeny tiny chips and the rectangular platter has some brown spots under the glaze. Still, they're in pretty good condition and I was happy to find them.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pillows from Vintage Pattern

I used this vintage pattern to make throw pillows for my bed and sofa. The pattern is dated 1962. I looked forever for a pattern for circular and triangular pillows like the ones that were so popular in the '50s and early '60s. Eventually, I gave up looking locally and went to Ebay. The pattern only cost a few dollars. 
First, I made these 3 pillows for the bed. Hancock Fabric had yellow and aqua fabric that perfectly matched the fabric in my drapes, but they didn't have any pink fabric that would work.  I finally found some pink fabric at JoAnn. In the store, it looked like a perfect match, but in my room it looks more peach. It will have to do for now.
The pillows were easy to make, so I decided to make some more to go on the sofa in the family room. In all, I made 9 pillows from this pattern.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Carpet in Living Room

When we replaced the green carpet with tile in the family room and dining area, we also replaced the carpet in the living room. It may seem strange to use two types of flooring, but that is how the house was originally done, and we wanted to keep the house as close to original as possible. It probably makes more sense when you're in the house than looking at photos. The family room, which is tiled, is open to the dining area and kitchen. The three areas have the same tile, and the rest of the house is carpeted, with the exception of the foyer. There was a trend in modern homes in the '50s to tile the family room or children's play area in vinyl tile. 
Here's the living room with the new neutral colored carpet. Now that the bright green carpet is gone, we can put some color on the walls. It will probably take me a long time to decide on the wall color. I don't know if we are going to keep the rattan furniture in this room, or if we are going to get new furniture. We'll just have to wait and see. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kicks on Route 66

Two weekends ago my husband and I went to a car show on historic Route 66 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. I'm still trying to catch up on these blog posts! I took photos some of my favorite cars at the show. 

The intense Oklahoma heat provided a convenient excuse to stop inside an antique shop called "Dewey Street Antiques." It's air conditioned, after all. That's where I found this vintage Russel Wright pitcher made by Stuebenville, that just happened to be in the coral color I've been collecting. Leave it me to go to a car show and come home with '50s modern dinnerware. 
The antique store had some other neat midcentury modern collectibles like this light fixture, which I almost bought because it's nearly identical to the one in our home office.
They also had this little "Budget Balancer" with great 1950s graphics, which I also would have bought if it hadn't been damaged and overpriced. Despite the cool graphics, $20 is too much for a little metal box.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Flea Market Finds

Wow, I have really gotten behind on blog posting! Here are my flea market finds from two weekends ago. I bought nothing but records. Of all the records I got, my favorites are Bobby Darin's debut album and the Coker Family 45s. The Bobby Darin album was one that I didn't already have, so I was happy to find it for such a great price and in such good condition. The Coker Family record is interesting because the sleeve isn't your average picture sleeve. It opens into three sections, each containing a 45 by individual members of the Coker Family Band, Alvis, Alvadean, and Sandy. I also got a couple of 45s by Larry Williams, and one by Little Richard, both on the Specialty label, and albums by The Everly Brothers, Wynn Stewart, and Connie Francis.
Another usual record I got was a 45 by Dwayne Hickman called "School Dance." Yes, the actor Dwayne Hickman, who is best known for his role as Dobie Gillis on one of my favorite shows of all-time, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. I had to get this record to hear how it sounded.
Before I came across this record, I never knew Dwayne Hickman had a singing career. It's not the best song I've ever heard, but it's fun to have just for novelty's sake. Following the success of Ricky Nelson on the Ozzie and Harriet Show, every young actor on television had to follow suit. None had the level of talent or love of music that Ricky had, so they never experienced the same success that Ricky had in his long musical career.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Patio Improvement?

My husband and I attempted to remove the paint from our patio. The photo above shows how awful the painted concrete looked. The paint was weathered and chipping off. If you are ever thinking of painting concrete, I can save you some trouble by saying that paint does not stick to concrete. In a few years, the concrete will look they way mine does in the photo above. The most frustrating thing about this whole project to was the knowledge that the paint was only applied shortly before we bought the house. The paint looked like it was freshly applied, but it didn't take long before it started chipping off. Once the paint started chipping off, we could see that there weren't any other layers of paint underneath. 
Trying to remove the paint was a lot of hard work. It took us two long days to get the patio looking the way it appears in the photo above. First, we thought we could use a paint remover. That idea didn't work because the labels on all of the paint removers warned not to use the product in high temperatures. It's hot in Oklahoma at this time of year, and the concrete surface is even hotter. We had to find another way to remove the paint.
The next idea we had was to use a power-washer. My father-in-law suggested using a degreaser first to loosen up the paint. His suggestion helped a lot. We scrubbed the patio with degreaser and a wire brush. Then, we power-washed it. Almost all of the grey patio paint came off, but the primer underneath didn't come off as easily. It isn't much of an improvement, but my hope is that the remainder of the paint will wear off quickly now that there isn't as much there.  

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Exciting News!

Our house was chosen to be in the next coffee table book by the creators of Atomic Ranch! Jim Brown from Atomic Ranch magazine just completed a two-day-long photo shoot at our house. We were also interviewed over the phone by Atomic Ranch editor, Michele Gringeri-Brown. As a dedicated reader of the magazine, it's really exciting to be a part of the book.
It was interesting to see all the work that goes into photographing the houses. As a reader, you are usually looking at how the homes are decorated, but not thinking about the photography, or the work that goes into creating the magazine. I don't, anyway. I gained a new perspective and appreciation for the efforts behind creating the magazine, or in this case, the book. Look for the book to come out in the Spring of 2012. 
In the meantime, consider purchasing their first book. It's a must for any mid-century ranch house enthusiast.


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