Saturday, August 8, 2009

Only Happy When It Rains

A Tale of Earthly Delights. Literally. (Not like that, you pervs.)

Found Treasures & a History Lesson: Part I

While its true that I'm happier when it rains than when its sunny, today I have an exciting reason to be lovin' on rainy days. Thanks to the past few weeks of nothing but downpours, a few things emerged from under the ground, hidden from plain sight and awoken from many year's worth of sleep. When its a lovely weekend, I'm usually found outside digging in the dirt, doing some gardening. One of the only times I enjoy being outdoors with the bugs and sun and stupid lousy nature. So while digging, I found some majortreasure in the woods next to my house. I'm not talking monetary value, I didn't find a stash of jewels or anything of real value, but the historic and just plain ol' cute vintage value alone are worth a million bucks to me... But don't get me wrong, I'd still rather find cash & gems, but since that ain't ever gonna happen, this will have to do. I'll get to the fun stuff in a sec, but first, the back story:

My house was built in 1950, a little mint green ranch, nothing fancy but certainly cool and exactly what I love. To the left of the house is a tire & muffler auto mechanic place, behind the house is an acre of an empty, grassy lot that turns into woods and on the right side of the house is a wooded lot. The front is a basic small yard and then the street. The back and side yards are pretty utopian, completely private with no houses around, just greenery and peaceful. Back in the 1950's there used to be a car dealership & junkyard where most of the acreage were I live now stands. And what did people do "back in the day" before modern garbage service? They buried it or tossed it in the woods. I'm sure the hardcore "greenies" of today would shriek in horror with the "un-green" practices of not recycling or proper refuse disposal, but we're talking about when this was a hick town, in a remote area surrounded by mountains. It's just what people did, so deal.

Over the past 4 years I've found mostly glass bottles that get uprooted from their dirt nap every once in a while, and since Pennsylvania hasn't bottled drinks in glass in ages (except for, like, Yoohoo and the retro novelty sodas found at Target), these are much older. Besides that, nothing fun ever gets uncovered. Until today. *enter Count Dracula organ music*

The found treasures:


Ok, not groundbreaking stuff here, but still. I find these bits charming!


A cute little vintage plastic clothespin. And it cleaned up well! I imagine it probably belonged to a little girl's toy set at some point. 50's? 60's? 70's? I wonder if any of you guys recognise it? I'm gonna do a little upcycling action and do something with it eventually.


And a sweet little vintage button that I know didn't come off anything I was wearing. Plus, it was about 6" down in the dirt. It didn't clean up as well. That jerk. It has a circle of green around it, but it seems pretty solidly like it was always black. Or maybe it was always green but didn't age well as far as color goes. But still cute.

And last but not least is the mysterious vintage Batchelder tile! Batchelder was a big wig in the teens, creating these magnificent stylistic, Art Nouveau decorative tiles for fireplaces etc., heavy-handed in the Arts & Crafts movement. One of Batchelder's last and largest projects was the Hershey Hotel right here in my 'hood (more or less) in Hershey, Pennsylvania, built in 1930. His own business went belly- up in 1932 due to the Depression, but he puttered around with pottery in a small shop in his home in Pasadena until he died. Batchelder tiles can fetch a pretty penny but sadly mine is neither fancy nor in good shape. It cracked in 2 as I was rooting around in the dirt with a shovel, but Superglue, believe it or not, put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I want to do something with this rare find as well. So what in the hell could a pre-30's tile from a California-based company be doing in the woods next to my house? I'll be going back out there to dig for more treasure, that's for damn sure. Oh man. I love a good mystery.


"Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My (Aqua) Blue Heaven Friday: If You Leave


Welcome to Aqua Blue Heaven Friday! With the recent passing of legendary 80's teen movie-making sensation John Hughes, I thought I'd homage the hell out of him. So to pay my respects in the only way I know how, I've decided to make this week's theme "1980's Prom" (jebus help us all).

(PS. Listen up people: enjoy it now, because the next time I ever show off 80's prom dresses will be never. Nothing against those who enjoy this particular style of dress (stupid hipsters), as 80's prom dresses can be know, with all the lace and matching fingerless gloves know what? I'm sorry I can't go on pretending to enjoy 80's prom dresses. DO. NOT. LOVE. I'm just doing this as a quick sprint down memory lane, plus, wasn't there like, a prom or party in every John Hughes film? Whatever. I'm saying there was.)

Please ignore my grumpy inner monologue with myself and enjoy this week's Aqua Blue Heaven's 1980's prom party...nightmare...I mean happy fun party time! (Double PS: I like all the sellers represented below (just not 80's vintage), so don't be thinking otherwise, ya hear? That's OK. I'm not mad at you. Let's spike the punch and make the meathead jocks and cheerleaders nervous and disgusted when we rock out to "Rebel Yell" on the dance floor. Prom RULES.)


Vintage 80's Jessica McClintock Bubble Party Dress.


Vintage 80's Lace, Sequins & Rhinestones Party Dress.


Vintage 80's Metallic Puff Sleeve Bubble Dress.


Vintage 80's Zum Zum Asymmetrical Party Dress.

"If You Leave" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). Awww.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some Kind Of Wonderful

Sigh, again with the bad news.

Early today, 80's teen flick phenom John Hughes died at the age of 59. You might, nay, you better know him as the writer/director/producer of freaking classics like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, the Breakfast Club, Nation Lampoon's Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off...and about a jillion other movies that cheesehead dorks like me quote on pretty much a daily basis. His absence will, without a doubt, leave a big ol' void in the cinematic world that will be impossible to fill. We will miss you, John.

..."You're going the wrong way!!!"...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Way-Out Wednesday: Hot Child In The City


Lately I've been finding vintage dolls to be charming, adorable, pleasant, fun to look at, normal, perfectly acceptable, sane, good candidates for Way-Out Wednesday, so today I'm keeping with it and showing one more, this Vintage 60's freckle face...someone or other. Enjoy. (?)

Ever wonder what would happen if Marcia Brady, Janis the stoner band chick from the Muppets, Ron Howard, Spongebob Squarepants, an underage 1970's hooker, Joan Crawford, a blowup doll, Carol Channing, Eric Cartman, a pork chop and a transvestite Cher impersonator had a baby?




You're welcome.

"Hot Child in the City" by Nick Gilder.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Atomic Tuesday: Pour Some Sugar on Me


Welcome to this week's Atomic Tuesday! Today's theme is all about a certain type of mid-century modern stacking canisters. For some strange reason, I've been coming across these particular canisters all over the ding dang place lately. I'm concerned. Are the cosmos trying to tell me something? Am I fated to buy a set of these or the world as I know it will end? Have I angered the Gods of Kitchen Condiments by improperly storing my flour/coffee/sugar and tea? Or perhaps it's just a coincidence. (*At that moment the skies darkened and there was thunderclap, shaking the ground below! The black clouds parted and Old Bay Seasonus, the God of Spices, emerged with his garlic press to smite me upside the head for not taking kitchen arrangement seriously.*)

So with that in mind, please enjoy today's vintage 60's/70's stacking canister sets and remember: never underestimate the power of a well-organised kitchen.


Vintage Orange Metal Stacking Canister Set.


Vintage Maroon & Orange Stacking Canister Set. 2-tone you say? Awesome.


Vintage Red & White Plastics Consolidated Stacking Canister Set.


Vintage Green & White White Plastics Consolidated Stacking Canister Set.


Vintage Aqua Metal Stacking Canister Set.

"Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard. Yep. I used a DL song today. You know you secretly love it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Red Hot

One of the last few remaining true rockabilly legends of the 1950's signed to Sun Records, Billy Lee Riley died yesterday at the age of 75.

There will be a ceremony held Tuesday, August 4th at 3:00 pm at the Walnut Grove Grove Cemetery in Newport, Arkansas and a memorial concert is scheduled for Aug. 30 in Newport at the Silver Moon Club, with other greats such as Sonny Burgess, Carl Mann and Dale Hawkins scheduled to play. Cards or letters are encouraged to be sent to his wife Joyce at this address:

Joyce Riley
723 Crest Drive
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401


RIP, Billy. You will be missed.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Love Rollercoaster

It's Sunday show-off! Just wanted to share this killer vintage 50's peasant blouse with an incredibly cool rollercoaster novelty print! Just listed at Fast Eddie's Retro Rags!

You gotta dig those full, blousey sleeves and ruffle cuffs! A little on the shorter side, it's quintessentially 50's when paired with high-waisted cuffed jeans or pencil skirt! Rock your inner b-movie bad girl.


"Love Rollercoaster" by The Ohio Players.