Vintage finds and retro handmade--a sweet mix I know you'll love.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Vintage TV Shows, Part 3 Sanford and Son

Lamont and Fred (image http://epguides.com/SanfordandSon/)
One of my local television networks recently started broadcasting reruns of the television show Sanford and Son.  In case you have never seen the show, it is about an old man and his son, Fred and Lamont Sanford, and their vintage/ junk selling business.  The main stage set, the living room, is loaded with vintage goodies of all eras, and the subject matter really hits home with me.

I sell vintage, and I see the charm of it.  Like the show illustrates, even vintage selling is hard work, but old things have beauty and value.  That seems to be reflected in the relationship of father and son in the show.  Besides that, I think it's hilarious!

I am addicted to watching Sanford and Son now.  From the "name that vintage prop" game that I tend to play when watching the show (for instance, recognizing LuRay dishes in one scene or California pottery in another), to the extreme situations the characters find themselves in, I am soaking this up.

In honor of the show, I finally put together a collection on Artfire of things that reminded me of the television series.  If you are a fan of the show, or just like vintage selling, laugh with me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Humorous Shipping Caper

Here's a little light humor for a change of pace...

The other day, I got an order for a large curio shelf that I had listed on Etsy some time ago.  the thing is, I didn't have a box big enough to ship it.  Two days, lots of driving, and two box stores later, I finally did! 

But that is not the funny part of the story.

While at the second box store, I purchased about 25 cubic feet of packing peanuts.  For any idea of how big that is, just picture a bag just over two feet in diameter and about six feet tall.  In fact, it was so big that I disappeared behind it, but not enough to miss the slightly panicked glances other customers gave the bag that seemed to be walking itself to the counter.

The proprietor's wife at the counter gave me a funny look and said, "I am wondering how you plan to take that home with you," as she looked significantly at my two-door Honda Civic in front of the building.

"I think it will fit in the back seat of the cab, if nothing else," I said, way too confidently.

What followed was a 20 minute struggle with a human-sized bag of peanuts, in a parking lot that was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at high noon.  I was sweating bullets, and not just because of the heat!  The store owner even came out to help me and my dad (who had come along to help me out), and said in a deadpan sort of way, "Hmm, this is kind of a square peg, round hole kind of thing."

Yes, I suppose a human-sized bag of shipping peanuts going into a compact car really does constitute a volume logistics problem of epic proportions!

After a couple more minutes of wrestling, the three of us figured out that the human-sized bag of peanuts needed to bend in the middle, and, unlike their human counterparts, giant white bags of shipping peanuts don't have waists.  Perhaps that is one reason why we never hear about criminals stuffing bags of packing peanuts into trunks in this country...

I had just suggested that we open the bag and fill the trunk with loose peanuts (okay, I was getting desperate), when Dad figured out we could lower all the back seats and stuff it through from the trunk.  Two people worked on stuffing the back end of the peanuts bag into the opening while another pulled on the top end from inside the cab.  With a little cramming, we bent the bag and stretched the sides out a little, allowing it to bulge like leavened dough into every crevice of the trunk and into the cab.  Some peanuts were broken, but at least the trunk closed!

The drive home felt a little ridiculous with a giant white bulging thing taking up the whole back seat, but it could have been worse.  I could have had to drive home with the trunk open.  At least now I have enough packing materials for a couple hundred more shipments!  Lesson learned:  Peanuts are designed to take up space, so bring a big vehicle if you are going to buy them, unless you are planning to pack your whole car in peanuts and ship it somewhere...

Ah, the trials of shipping large things!  At least now I can begin reducing my shipping rates.

Now that you've laughed with me (and at me) it's your time to share.  What is the weirdest thing you've ever hauled in your car?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Vintage TV Shows, Part 2

Andy Griffith and Americana

I have recently noticed an interior decorating trend called "Americana."  It is characterized by patriotic colors, stripes and ticking, retro imagery, milk glass, and so forth.  Picture the colors of a picnic or crab boil from the 1950s and early 1960s.

I can't think of a better piece of vintage Americana than the classic television show, The Andy Griffith Show.  From the wardrobe to the quaint small-town setting, it was America as we dreamed of it.  In some places, I think Mayberry really exists in some form, to the present day.

I have recently spotted some things coming back into fashion, like the narrow neckties worn by Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and Barney Fife (Don Knotts), and the fluttery neck scarves with the women's cap-sleeve dresses.

The old beige file cabinets and other details from the Mayberry Jail are all becoming popular elements in the vintage industrial decor style.  I'm also seeing old road signs and rounded appliances coming back as decorator items, rather than their original functional uses.  Picture using the more unusual elements from Gomer's gas station to decorate a trendy loft apartment or den!

Aunt Bea's kitchen knicknacks are all collectibles.  This photo is black and white, but as I remember from the color episodes, they were mostly blue and white, or maroon and white, with pink and pewter accents.

Andy's house was furnished with neutral earthtone colors like beige, rust, gold, pine green, and chocolate browns, with bright pastel blue and peach pink accents.  These days, I see the neutral colors and the pastels separated into two main color themes in decorating.  However, I think if they went together then, they can still be paired now.  Just use one color family as accent pieces.

All images found through a Google image search.  As far as I know, they are linked to their sources on Photobucket and other places.

Where do you get your vintage Americana decorating inspiration?



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Christmas in July Starts Now!

Just wanted to pop in here to tell you that I have started my Christmas in July sales on Artfire. I have two sales running right now.  I hope you'll check them out!


Handcrafted, down to the whiskers!  Sets originally $10, now just $8.35!

  1. I marked down everything in the Sales Deals category.  Please drop in and check it out today!  This section currently includes all of my handmade Christmas ornaments, from mice, to elves, to candy-striped ribbon candy ornaments!  I even have a full table ornament set for Thanksgiving.  Plan ahead for the holiday season!
  2. I have a sale running on all scarves, handkerchiefs, and ties, from now until July 11th!  Take 15% off your order using the promo code 'CIJ2011SCARVES' !  You can buy designer brands, some for under $10, and that includes shipping! 
  Keep an eye on my shop.  The deals will be running all month!  I am partnering with the Artfire Vintage Guild to promote our sales, as well.  Hope you'll come check us out!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vintage TV Shows, Part 1

Rosie, Hazel & HaroldLately, I have been watching a lot of old television shows I had never seen in reruns before, including Hazel, Father Knows Best, and The Burns and Allen Show.  Besides studying the old-fashioned values in these shows, I've been paying a lot of attention to the props and backgrounds.

Whitney Blake & Don DeForeIt isn't often that I get to say, "Hey, I have one of those!"  but occasionally I do.  Other times, I just recognize things my grandmother owned, from thin round couch pillows with a big button in the middle, to seafoam green mixing bowls.  I haven't found picture frames like the ones in the background of the above screenshot, but I do have some old landscapes  from that era.

How about that old banjo clock in this photo?  The drum lampshade is also back in style right now in ultramodern decorating, usually in a pale or earthtones color scheme.  Back in the days of Hazel, the color scheme had lots of earthy browns and greens, with bright splashes of robin's egg blue and coral pink.

By the way, check out Whitney Blake's clothing!  She was always dressed to the 9's in slender pencil skirts, belted sweaters, and flashy colors, all of which I have seen echoed in modern runway fashion.  I have a sweater that is styled like the one in this screenshot; mine is a cadet blue, but I imagine hers was red or green in this Christmas episode.  I wonder when the narrow ties like "Mr. B"  is wearing will be coming back?

Do you ever watch the backgrounds in old tv shows and movies?