Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year from 1950's Atomic Ranch House!

Happy New Year, all you wonderful people!

Mom got this about 25 years ago. She'd seen the same decoration at a place where she worked and wanted one just like it.

It's an over-sized champagne glass filled with iridescent gift packing stuff (what the heck is it called? Looks like clear straw I guess lol), then she bought these Christmas ornaments that look like bubbles, champagne bubbles! Arrange and wha-la, instant New Year decoration!

It's so easy to set up and take down. This is what I love, decorating done easy.

Fingers crossed, next year I can show more than the same green covered dining table har!!

At any rate, I do hope all of you has a safe and wonderful New Year!

No, I won't ask your resolutions...

Unless you'd like to share for inspiration? =)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

1950's New Year

My goodness, is another year about to tick over already? The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by.

By the way, as usual, these are not my family photos, but family photos I "borrowed" from others on the net. By the time I finally came along, and grew a bit, the importance of taking pictures wasn't a big priority. And Dad would take photos, but never get the film developed, so I was lost for much of my youth. Meh, doesn't matter, I'll have fun with these folks' memories.

What do I remember about celebrating each New Year growing up? Watching the count down in Times Square on our black and white, then finally color TV set.

I alway had insomnia (still do, I'd like to think a brilliant brain never wants to sleep lol) so staying up until Midnight wasn't usually a problem.

Dad would get those little poppers. They look like little plastic champagne bottles with a string around the neck. You point them towards the room, pull the string and POP! Little colored paper streamers came out. I was too frightened to pop them (always afraid I'd burn my little artistic fingers), but I was fascinated by the tiny paper rolls of streamers that came out of them. If some weren't unrolled, I'd help them along.

I know they still make those paper streamer poppers, because I have some left from 2000, during the millennium excitement. Our computers didn't crash, did they? Heh.

I used to hear some of the neighbors banging on pots and pans out front. I always thought that was dumb. No offense to those of you who did or do this, I was a kid who was of modest means, and to me, banging pots and pans confirmed to the world that you didn't have any horns to toot or poppers to pop instead. Maybe I was wrong, but, kids will be kids.

And then they'd drop the ball at Times Square, we'd pop the poppers, listen to the horns blowing, Mom and Dad had champagne, I'm sure we had kid drinks, and we'd drag off to bed to watch the local Rose Parade on TV the next morning.

What do you remember about celebrating the New Year when you were young?

Friday, December 25, 2009

1950's Vintage Collection

Clicky-click on the images to see bigger copies.

These are pictures of pictures, and not great pictures, either. But these are the only photos I have of my vintage collection on the shelves in my Studio.

My chrome kitchen appliances didn't show up along the top. But I have a few of those.

I took these about 5-6 or more years ago, because I had bought a lot of this stuff on eBay, then resold a good portion of it on eBay.

I collected it, then needed a bit of money, and I thought I had too much of it (I didn't have the house yet to put it all in) so at the peak of collecting, I snapped these photos.

I still have this vintage baby crib, purchased at a Thrift for $10. One of the few times I got a really good deal. I put some of Mom's hand sewn dolls in it when I put it in the pink room.

So what do you think? Too much?

I paid very little for any one item, but then I had a lot of little things.

I see something on one of the shelves I know I didn't sell, but don't know where it is. Isn't that frustrating?

The only thing I regret selling is a big box of plastic flowers, because they are difficult to find on eBay, I'd gotten a deal for $9 and turned around and resold it for about $75 back on eBay. Go figure! I know why, you cannot find them in large lots.

At any rate, please tell me I don't have the biggest collection ha!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas from 1950's Atomic Ranch House

OK, so my last single photo of my outrageous holiday decorating wasn't enough.

Here, in case you missed it:

Yes, here at 1950's Atomic Ranch House, I go all out lol...


So I finally have most all my lamps set up in the living room and took a few photos of them, since I have spent the last week trying to get the last of the "stuff" cleared out of that room for impending guest.

First up is my $100 dollar eBay lamp disaster! Eh, after living with it for a year, and seeing it finally sitting on this vintage formica two-tier side table, it's not so bad... *cough*
Oh yes, please note the holiday garlands carefully clumped on the lower shelf.

Another lamp that has little stars shining through the black metal cone. Here I have carefully displayed it on one of those vintage metal rolling tables normally used for a typewriter, you know, the pre-computer deal with the keys. My Glade thing looks so festive.

In this next photo I have shamelessly digitally darkened the fireplace so you can't see the 50+ years of dust on it. You know, it took me hours to get the dust clumps exactly where I wanted them to be.

I love this original to the house painting of the western California coastline, but a sea theme is not what I want, so it will be stashed somewhere. As soon as I can figure out where that somewhere is. Oh, slat table I snagged at a thrift whoo-hoo!

Plastic wreath, it must be Christmas!
If anyone knows how to wash off bricks without making a major mess, please share your secrets.

Yikes! This looks so small it looks like some dollhouse stuff!
Please pretend I have also painted this vintage table black and not the ugly green it is now.

Ahh, that's better. One of the best investments I ever made were the two boomerang ashtrays on little tripods.

And my sizable Atomic sculpture thingie. Advertised as "1950's" but the brand new "Made in China" sticker on the bottom sort of gave it away. I'd have been mad at the eBay seller who mislead me, except it only cost me $10. Ha! I love it, love it regardless.

And what 1950's Atomic Ranch House could be complete without a starburst atomic clock? Only $15 at Wal Mart. Yeah, sometimes you have to go with repros because they are too affordable to pass up.

Now, you see how far I have come in the last year? Hardly any! Walls still need painting, floors sanded, plumbing, electrical and more than I care to list. So when you complain about your home project, please look to mine as the slowest home fix on the net! Ha!

Merry, Merry everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Atomic Christmas

I want an atomic Christmas! waaa lol... Photo above nabbed off the internet grrr because I really don't have any Christmas stuff up for this year (floors still need to be sanded and varnished, walls painted, etc etc...)

OK, I have this, which is what I basically posted back in July, except now I have vintage plastic holly garlands and wreaths ha ha.


Yes dear readers, I really went all-out this year! *snicker*

So I have to content myself with browsing all your wonderful vintage Holiday photos and nabbing more pics off of google lol.

Or you can go check out Atomic Playhouses' blog and dream like I did. These are from last year, we want more photos! lol..

Well, I'm short on the inspiration again today. I think I'll cruise eBay and see what goodies I can drool over and post more about. =D

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas Mom

Once again, allow me to emphasize, this photo (above) is not mine. I was looking for 1950's Christmas photos when I came across this.

It reminded me how much my Mom loved Christmas, and how one year she bought two of those plastic light-up soldiers to put on the front lawn, and then built a whole candy castle out of cardboard, making styrofoam lollipops to add to the scene. She painted the castle pink, made glitter cones for the finials and painted red swirls on the lollypops. I think it was from 'The March of the Soldiers' from 'Swan Lake?'
Anyways, she had us all help her set it up with a light stuck in the lawn to light it up.

And then it rained, and her wonderful display melted! I wish I had photos of it.

But Mom loved every holiday, Christmas her favorite. Yes, finally, these next two photos are mine!!


Clearly I suck at taking photos of photos lol, but here she is in 1955 with her beloved Spanial Tuck.

And about the same time, here she is at Calvert Beach, Maryland (?) where she met my Dad, at a vegetarian camp, of all places. Neither were vegetarians.


At any rate, no matter what the circumstances, she would decorate for every holiday, even if it was a few paper cut-outs and a few small flags, for Fourth of July, for example.

Christmas was her favorite, and I hope to have her beloved Christmas things displayed next year (fingers crossed I have the rooms in shape by then).

So I suppose this is a bit of an indulgent post, but I miss her terribly, and Christmas just isn't the same without her. But she did leave me with some wonderful memories.

Hug your own loved one's for me this season and be sure to appreciate them as much as possible. Remember, it's not the gifts under the tree, but the gifts of family and love that matter.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1950's Christmas Photos

Allow me to emphasize these are NOT my family photos!

But I love looking at these. Mostly I love looking at the stuff in the rooms ha ha.You know, the real mid-century stuff.

This poor kid looks frightened of the giant tree behind him lol...

Here's what I'm talking about. I want this furniture!

And this looks like a Dad relaxing during the holidays.

OK, so this post is not as inspired as others. Some days I just can't think of any clever ideas!

Hope your holidays are going smoothly.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Remember...

OK, this may be completely silly, but I have the idea stuck in my head, so I'm going with it!

What do you remember from your childhood, or maybe your grandparents house?

I remember:

Blond furniture in my parents house.

Drive-in movies.

Black and white TV.

The first man on the moon.



My Dads 1957 Saratoga.

Atomic used to be a scary thing.

Watching Our Gang and The Little Rascals on Saturdays, or was it Sundays?

When thrift stores looked like antique shops (but at the time, they were just junk shops).

The Cold War.

A lot more WWll vets.

Using my imagination to play, not having the toys all featured from TV shows.

When smoking was cool lol.

Cars had fender curb whiskers on them.

Seatbelts were optional.

Hand-mixing cake mix.

Waffle irons.

OK, that's enough for now!

What do YOU remember?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Traditional Christmas Candy and Barkcloth

I searched out "Traditional" and "Old Fashioned" Christmas candy, and was surprised to find, not a whole lot came up in my search.

I do remember Mom always having these types of hard candies, the one's with the design inside, and the pillow shaped one's with a little soft candy filling, or jelly-like filling.


But as a kid, my reaction was usually "Blek" lol... As pretty as they were, I didn't care for hard candy.


There is always the ubiquitous candy cane, but we all know about those already. Maybe I'll search gingerbread houses next time.

Meanwhile, and having little to do with Christmas, but oh so very Mid-Century, I saw this barkcloth for sale on eBay and wanted it!


How very atomic Caulder mobiles!

But it was only a rather small piece of material that sold for around $60 grrr. Why do all the coolest designs sell for a lot of money? Ha. I'm going to have to figure out how to print my own curtain designs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Favorite Christmas Memories

Nope, this isn't my family, nor me at Christmas. I think after all the excitement of my older my siblings, my folks were burned out on the "taking photos at holidays" deal by the time I came along, so I have to borrow others' photos ha. I think I have photos of one of my folks' early trees. A lot of slides and such were taken of one tree, I assume it's the first one they had in their new home (this house). But the hanging lamp is different than the one that's in the living room now, so it's a mystery.

At any rate, for some reason, it's difficult to remember my early Christmas memories. Maybe because I didn't have photos to remind me over the years? Dad took some home movies of my siblings fighting over a red peddle car they got one year. Mom thought they'd happily share, but instead they fought like crazy over it.

I do remember coming into the living room one Christmas and seeing what looked like a ton of gifts. and our stockings so full, Santa had to put them on little stools they were so heavy. Even toys in our socks!

And when I was about 5 I wanted a pony. When I was 8, Mom told me that if I learned everything there was to know about caring for one, she'd get me one.

I think she thought that wish would pass, but instead I set about reading every single horse book in the local library, and every library in a 20 miles radius.

I begged and pleaded with Mom, and when I was 13 Mom finally agreed, and with Dads tax return money, I got my beloved pony.

That Christmas, somehow Dad rented a small horse trailer, and we brought my pony to my house for Christmas. I live in a suburban area, not zoned for horses, but it was always a dream for me to have my pony in my backyard for Christmas, and I finally did, after all those years of waiting.

I'll never forget that Christmas.

What was your favorite Christmas memory?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wonderful Mid-Century Christmas Lights!


I have these, a wonderful, beautifully graphic box with a set of these. One of what I consider one of my best Thrift store finds (I never find and Heywood-Wakefield or fiberglass lamps or anything cool in the thrifts around here).


But I looked inside my hall closet, filled with holiday boxes of "stuff" and knew it would be an event to try and get that boxed light set out to photograph, so you will have to imagine a really cool 1950's designed box of Christmas Sno-globe light set ha ha.

Meanwhile, here is a little interesting history about Christmas lights:

The tradition of using small candles to light up the Christmas tree dates back to at least the middle of the XVIIth century. However, it took two centuries for the tradition to become widely established first in Germany and soon spreading to Eastern Europe.

Candles for the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or attached by pins. Around 1890, candleholders were first used for Christmas candles. Between 1902 and 1914, small lanterns and glass balls to hold the candles started to be used.

In 1882, the first Christmas tree was lit by the use of electricity. Edward Johnson lighted up a Christmas tree in New York City with eighty small electric light bulb. It should be noted that Edward Johnson created the first string of electric Christmas lights that were then mass produced around 1890. By 1900, department stores started using the new Christmas lights for their Christmas displays.

Edward Johnson was one of Thomas Edison's muckers, an inventor who worked under the direction of Edison. Johnson became vice-president of Edison's electric company.

Safe Christmas Lights
Albert Sadacca was fifteen in 1917, when he first got the idea to make safety Christmas lights for Christmas trees. A tragic fire in New York City involving Christmas tree candles inspired Albert to invent electric Christmas lights. The Sadacca family sold ornamental novelty items including novelty lights. Albert adapted some of the products into safe electric lights for Christmas trees. The first year only one hundred strings of white lights sold. The second year Sadacca used brightly colored bulbs and a multi-million dollar business took-off. Later, a company started by Albert Sadacca (and his two brothers Henri and Leon) called NOMA Electric Company became the largest Christmas lighting company in the world.

And here are some lights from 1927:


Ahh, it's no wonder we see a lot of "Noma" brand light sets. The boxes were so beautifully designed.


No wonder they were a big hit. And much safer on your tree than lit candles.


A couple more 1920's boxed sets with lovely graphics:


Then we transition to Mid-Century boxed set designs:

You can get these at very reasonable prices, because so many were made and kept over the years.


I display them right in their boxes and use modern lights on house and tree (for safety).


So if you don't have any of these wonderfully designed box sets of Christmas lights, be sure to buy at least one to display in your mid-century home!