Wednesday, March 31, 2010

House of A Different Color

It's finally spring and the weather has been fantabulous! It was time for a walk about town. I took a few photos here and there and while I was out I stumbled on several nice older homes that are up for sale......and we seem to be plentiful. This house is listed at $39,900.00. I didn't think homes like this existed anymore at this price. So it got me thinking about what it would look like with a new color. Photoshop is a wonderous tool and with a quick slide of the hue bar under "Hue and Saturation" I was able to come up with several new color ideas. It made me think anyone could use this simple tool by photographing the room they want to change using the same technique. the top photo is of the original house color.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Barbie in Retroland

I am so weak! If it's not lamps it's toys. I love them. I could not resist this sweet little table and chairs made in 1963 by Deluxe Reading. Just another part of the American landscape Deluxe Reading dolls were often referred to as "grocery store dolls" and were fairly inexpensive. Based out of Elizabethtown, NJ they were in business in the 50's, 60's and 70's. This set is available on ETSY.

Is everyone gearing up for summer garage sales? I am!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Inspiration: Charles & Ray Eames

"The legendary design team Charles and Ray Eames made films, houses and classic midcentury modern furniture. Eames Demetrios, their grandson, shows rarely seen films and archival footage in a lively, loving tribute to their creative process."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All Hail Georges Briard

I've been mildly interested in Georges Briard pieces for a while now. He's never really been given the recognition he deserves in my opinion. Born in 1917 in Russia as Jascha Brojdo, he was a prominent designer of dishes, gold plated glass pieces and enamel cookware. He moved to Chicago from Poland in 1937 and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His signature pieces were a common sight at Neiman Marcus throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's. Georges Briard became his commercial name and in 2004 he was honored with the Frank S. Child Lifetime Achievement Award by The Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators. He died in 2005 in New York City at the age of 88. I am especially fond of the Ambrosia series of enamelware, as seen in the photo of the coffee pot. The colors are vibrant and oh so retro. I have seen some of his glass and tile pieces and they are extraodinary in color and design. He is a very undervalued mid-century designer and his pieces can be purchased at a very reasonable price just about anywhere. Buy now because once he's rediscovered it'll be difficult to find his stuff for the current market prices. Not to mention the fantabulous designs!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Surviving The Recession and Living Well

We're all in this together folks. This isn't the first recession I've lived through but I am hoping it's the last. I learned from the first recession that I need to be versatile in how I earn a living, how I live and how I love. It's a time to use your hidden talents, the ones you thought were just a hobby, and make it your life. I had to retrain in interior design in the 80's to make it through and those skills are coming around again in 2010. My grandparents did it during the great depression and survived. They didn't find work, they made work. They took in laundry and they paid their bills and fed their kids. Consider buying used instead of new, buy your groceries in bulk, discover the pleasure in a home cooked meal, the satisfaction of making your own clothes and be willing to make your own work. If you sew make it your work. People always need alterations and there is still a market for handmade items. Doll clothes at Christmas and bonnets for Easter can all be made from gently used clothes sold at garage sales for under $1.00.

This sunny little sewing box may have been in my grandma's house in the late 50's or early 60's. The outside is quilted vinyl with no missing threads. The inside plastic lift out tray is in good conditon. It has a bakelite handle and is in very good condition for it's age. It's available on Etsy.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nipper are you listening?

I believe
this little RCA Victor radio is circa 1955. It's a real treasure of a find because it has two cameo images of Nipper the dog! It's not working, it makes a hum that will drive away mice, rats, spiders, people or anyone within a mile of the house so it's going to need to be repaired. It's available on Ebay.



This was such a unique little lamp that I just couldn't say no and as a confessed lampaholic I had to find it a new home. I have to wonder where it's been for the past 55 years. How many letters were coined under that light? It's available on Ebay.

American Pickers?

Ok this is the first time I watched the show, American Pickers. More power to them, someone needs to be rescuing some of this stuff. Our history is rusting away. I'd pick with them anytime. :)

Here's The Deal

I've been replacing and adding kitchen utensils and appliances for the past year. Many of my things are just worn out or simply don't work. After 30 years of marriage it was time to replace. The majority of items we have purchased new but I wanted to add a few classic things from the past just for fun! Hence I have also picked up a few items that I thought others might be interested in as well. Garage sales are great for this type of item but in the winter months garage sales are scarce. Kitchen items are in great abundance at the Salvation Army stores, Goodwill and many church related thrift stores. Last week I was able to find a few little items for my kitchen at the Salvation Army store and the best part is that many Salvation Army stores go half price after noon. But hey the prices are so reasonable it doesn't really matter when you go.

Yesterday the sun was shining and we decided to go on an antique mall journey to new and unexplored territories: Markel, IN, Decatur, IN and Van Wert, OH. The mall in Markel was very well kept with a variety of items and pricing. They did not have much in the Eames era but I was able to find a dynamite olive green oven proof casserole dish. The prices for the items I bought were reasonable. We drove on to Decatur and found a flea market in the Armory. I didn't find much in kitchen items but I would suggest it to anyone headed that way. The antique mall in Decatur was neat but pricing was fairly high. There was another antique mall in Decatur but they closed at 2:00 pm. We moved on th Van Wert and found two antique malls. I purchased the cool little red hand mixer by W.T. Grant circa 1973 at the first antique mall. The owners were extremely helpful and the pricing fair. The second mall in Van Wert was filled from top to bottom with stuff. We were greeted by a guitar strumming man who was very welcoming. The mall was dusty and most items were overpriced. But if you like looking through lots and lots of stuff they had it. It was packed!!! I found a couple of items in the basement, a world globe with a Danish Modern base and a a few other items. Unfortunately the globe wasn't priced so I sent my husband upstairs with the globe to get one. The guitar playing man happily tried to call the dealer but was unable to reach her and would not sell it. I understood it wasn't the guitar playing man's fault, he tried.

People like going with me when I'm on a antiquing trip for one reason, prices. Most antique malls have a standard mark down policy but only if you ask. I ask. Actually all new furniture stores have the same policy. The standard is 10% off for anything priced $20.00 or more but in the winter you might be able to get more discounted for all priced items. It doesn't cost anything to ask. How you phrase your question can make all the difference. First be courteous, compliment the proprietor on their business. Second, ask right away which dealers have sales. Third, if you find something ask for a better price. In general I offer a better price at 20-25% off. The hand mixer above was $25.00, instead of asking for a better price I offered $20.00. They said "yes" and now it's mine. When I find a proprietor who has the authority to make decisions to discount for items at 20% I return and I purchase other items at full price. It's a win for me and a win for the dealer. I appreciate a consumer positive shop. :)