Monday, August 30, 2010

Flea Market Finds

I didn't find a lot at the flea market on Saturday, except some old magazines. I got an issue of Woman's Home Companion from my favorite year, 1955, which is the year our house was built. The other 3 magazines are from the 1940s. The McCall's April, 1946 issue shows a little girl holding her Shirley Temple doll, and presumably waving her father off to war. I got another Woman's Home Companion from 1947 and a Ladies' Home Journal from 1941 that has a pretty bride on the cover.

I saw some nice things at the flea market that I didn't buy. There was a really nice aluminum glider with the original cushions, which were upholstered in vinyl with a '60s floral pattern. The glider must have been kept in a sunroom, because it looked nearly brand new. I'll have to start taking my camera with me so I can show off the things I see, but don't buy.  
After the flea market, I went to an estate sale. It was the final day of the sale and everything was picked over. Despite that, I still found a few small things. Everything was marked down by 75 percent.
I found some vintage embroidered tea towels in aqua and pink, a picture frame from the '50s, and an old chrome waffle iron. I have actually been looking for picture frame like this, so I was happy to find it for only 50 cents. 
The waffle iron is from the '60s or '70s, I'm guessing. It has wooden handles, instead of bakelite like the older ones have. It isn't too new, because it is the type of appliance with a detachable electrical cord. Saturday turned out to be a pretty fun day. I had fun looking at things at the flea market, found a few things to buy, and spent very little money!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vintage Cosco Stool - Restore?

Cosco step stools are a '50s kitchen requisite. This one belonged to my Great-Grandmother who lived in a 1930s Craftsman-style house with a 1950s kitchen. Although she lived in the city, she had chickens in her backyard, which we would eat when we visited her house. It was years before I realized that the chickens in the backyard were the same ones on my plate. I was very upset when I found out.
I can remember sitting on this stool in my Grandma's kitchen while eating fried chicken. I was very young at the time and liked sitting on the stool because it made me taller. My brother and I used to fight over sitting on it and we had to take turns.
It has beed used a lot and it really shows. A lot of the paint has worn off the back of the seat.
The vinyl on the seat is beginning to split. 
The chrome legs are rusty and there are paint splatters on the red metal parts. The rubber on one of the steps has cracked and broken off and one of the rubber feet has cracked. There is a defect to nearly every area of the step stool. It's in pretty rough shape, but still very functional. It's a very helpful item to have in the kitchen, especially when you're short, like me. 
I'm wondering if I should try to restore this step stool, or if I should leave it just as it is. I saw a vintage aqua Cosco stool at the flea market recently and it was beautiful. It was in like-new condition. It made me think about the potential this one has to look shiny and new. 
Of course, if I were to change the color to turquoise it would match my turquoise kitchen. 
Has anyone out there ever attempted to fix up an old Cosco stool?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the 100 follower giveaway on the blog, Sassy Lassie's Vintage Life. I entered the giveaway myself, and guess what? I won! The package arrived in my mailbox yesterday. The box was filled with vintage goodies from my favorite era. It included a vintage sewing pattern (I think it will even fit me), and issue of American Girl from 1957, some pretty fabric, and pair of white frames from the '50s that were wrapped in a vintage hankie. 
I've already enjoyed looking at the American Girl magazine. There were even some celebrity sightings in the American Girl magazine. First, I noticed this 7Up ad featuring Tuesday Weld. 

Then, I came across this ad with actress Carol Lynley modeling an adorable polka-dot dress. Like Carol Lynley, Sandra Dee also had a modeling career before she became an actress. Both Carol Lynley and Sandra Dee can often be spotted in '50s magazines.  Thanks, Sassy Lassie! I love it all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Plant Update

Last week, I posted about all the trouble I've had keeping my houseplants alive. This is how my plant looks today. All but one of the branches have fallen off. I figured out too late that I overwatered the plant. When the last branch fell, I noticed that the remaining stub was soggy inside. At least I know what I did wrong, but that isn't going to help this plant, now.

Lots of good suggestions came in on how to keep my plants alive, and some plants that are easy to maintain. However, I've decided not to try another live plant. I'm hoping to find some vintage fake plants to replace this one. Nothing but the most fake, kitschy plastic plant will do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pillow Talk

When I was a child of 11 or 12, I bought this vintage Frankie Avalon pillow at the flea market. I've kept it all these years. I'm an '80s kid, so by the time I acquired it, it was already about 30 years old. Now, it fits in perfectly with our guest bedroom, which we call the "Beach Party Room" because of the Beach Party movie poster on the wall. I've had the Beach Party poster for about as long as I've had the Frankie Avalon pillow. When I was a kid, I also had a Fabian poster and a Great Balls of Fire movie poster. No New Kids on the Block for me!
More recently, I found another pillow to go with it. This one has Fabian on it. Yeah, I know he can't sing, and that he was a totally fabricated celebrity (pre-Monkees) fashioned to cash in on the Elvis craze.  Somehow, that only adds to his appeal to me. Besides, he actually recorded some pretty cool songs.

The Fabian pillow was an Ebay find. This is one of those times when I'm thankful for the internet. I don't think I would have ever found a Fabian pillow if I'd had to track one down in a local shop.
I've often wondered if there were other teen idol pillows in addition to Frankie and Fabian. Might there be a Bobby Rydell, Ricky Nelson, or Bobby Darin pillow out there somewhere? I came across an ad for these pillows in an old magazine that seems to answer my question. The ad showed only the Frankie Avalon and Fabian pillows, so these are probably the only ones ever made. In addition to the pillows, you could also send off for an area rug shaped like a record!
Just for fun, here's a photo of me with Fabian! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cereal Killer

I have a confession. I am a serial plant killer. This is the third or fourth plant that I've put in this planter. Three months ago, it was three times fuller than it is now. And the limbs weren't drooping. It seems that every time I walk into the bathroom, another piece of the plant has fallen off.
Before the plant above, I killed this plant, which is called Lucky Bamboo. Only, it wasn't so lucky. It died.
When we bought the house, this sad old fake plant was in the bathroom planter. I don't like fake plants. A real plant would look so much better. Perhaps the previous owner's luck with houseplants was as bad as mine. 
A friend suggested that I might have better luck with Ivy. "It's nearly impossible to kill," she said.
The built-in planters are one of my favorite features of our house. They were so popular in the 1950s. Our house has four of them, located in the foyer, kitchen, and this bathroom. This kitchen planter is filled with very old plastic plants. The are probably original to the house, although I'm not certain. They have to be at least 40 years old. They don't make plastic plants like these anymore. I love them because they are so ridiculous. Because I love these fake plants, I am not tempted to replace them with new plants that I would certainly kill. 
The foyer also has a built-in planter, which was filled with these fake plants when we bought the house. I made the mistake of replacing the fake plants with real ones. 
The foyer planter has gone through the same series of dead plants that the bathroom planter has seen. This is one of them. It has since died and has been replaced with another plant that is also on its way out. Somehow, I will have to reconcile my love of built-in planters and dislike of fake plants with my inability to keep my houseplants alive. It looks like we'll be going back to the fake plants. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sassy Lassie's Giveaway

Sassy Lassie's blog has reached 100 followers and she's celebrating with a giveaway. The prize is a pair of vintage cat's eye glasses, a vintage dress pattern, some fabric, and an issue of American Girl magazine from 1957. To enter, visit Sassy Lassie's Vintage Life and follow the instructions on the giveaway post. Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flea Market Finds

I found a lot of fun stuff at the flea market last Saturday and spent all of the money I had alotted myself to spend. One of the most exciting things I found was this large yellow platter with a pretty floral atomic starburst design from the 1950s. You might remember many posts ago, when I asked if anyone could identify this dinnerware pattern.  This yellow platter goes with a partial set I bought several years ago at Goodwill. I'd hoped that the seller would have some information to help me identify this dinnerware. She didn't, but she did say that she had a matching pitcher and teapot that she had already sold. The pitcher and teapot were black, but had the same transferred pattern. Now I know that this dinnerware was made in pink, aqua, yellow, and black.
I also got a couple of vintage McCall's magazines from the early '50s. I'm always on the lookout for old ladies' magazines and decorating magazines. They're great for getting midcentury modern decorating ideas that are the real deal. This is the November 1951 issue.
This one is from April 1953. In addition to some beautiful ranch homes and vintage interiors, it also has an instructional article on "How Doris Day Sets Her Bangs."
This Russel Wright lug handled bowl in coral will fit right in with the set I've been building.
Wanda Jackson's album called Reckless Love Affair was released in 1967. Some of Wanda's most violent songs are included on this album, like "The Box It Came In," and "This Gun Don't Care." You wouldn't expect the nice looking lady with the side-swept flip to sing about bringing home her philandering ex-husband in a satin lined box, or to cheerfully exclaim, "This gun don't care who it shoots."

This is Webb Pierce's first album, released in 1955. It's not in perfect shape, but it's playable and it only cost $1. The cover is pretty cool.

This set of fish wall pockets will be perfect for our grey bathroom, which has accents of pink and black. They're usually made of chalkware, but these are ceramic and they're also planters. The smallest fish is probably too small to hold a plant. Every mid-century ranch house needs to have either fish or mermaid wall plaques. 
After the flea market, I went to Goodwill, where I found this big set of melamine dinnerware. It was marked down half price. They're aqua, yellow, coral, and grey with speckles. One day, we'll have a vintage travel trailer and these are dishes that we'll use in it. 

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