Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Atomic Bomb Dexterity Game

This may not be PC, but it sure is cool. It’s yours for a Buy It Now of $49 on eBay.


This seller has the same characteristic side view preview photos for all their clocks.


I was interested in one of their clocks, so emailed them a nice question. Being polite is a dying art, so I make sure to keep it alive.

They replied with a rude, snippy answer, so I started looking at their auctions, and lo and behold, they have what seems to be an endless supply of “vintage” clocks, all brand new looking, all “converted from key wind to battery”, and multiples of the same, identical clocks.

If you are selling reproduction clocks, be honest about it. And once a seller is rude to me, I don’t care if they are selling Herman Millers for $10, I’ll never do business with them again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

More 1950's Interior Photos (Continued)...


1950’s Interior Design ll

For your pleasure, 15 photos of pure mid-century interiors. Brought to you by Better Homes and Gardens.

Here is what I want to stress as you look at these photos:

Notice the lack of what most people today consider quintessential mid-century modern design. Yes, there is one tripod leg table, a couple hairpin legged tables, but no double or triple tiered fiberglass shade lamps, no bullet planters, no starburst Howard Miller clocks, no sputnik lamps, very little geometric patterns, etc.

I once saw an episode of Antiques Roadshow where one of the Keno twins explained how an Art Deco poster copyrighted 1927 was like “Art Deco on steroids”. The poster was actually a 1980’s fake. But he was right. It was TOO Deco looking to be original Art Deco style.

Keep this in mind if, like me, you don’t have a limitless designer budget supply when buying things for your mid-century home. And keep in mind, a lot of things are mid-century looking that sell for cheap on eBay, and furniture can be bought brand-new sometimes for less, if you look for 1950’s style.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Moving Day

A U-Haul loaded full of stuff, headed out this morning. It’s about time. Not my stuff, the stuff stored here for too long by someone else.

As for what little “stuff” is left over, I will throw out what looks like junk and box what’s left and move it into the shed out back until this person comes to get the rest of it in November or December.

Meanwhile, the room is in much better shape, and I will clean the rest of the few things out in the next few days, and commence getting the things from the living room into that room so I can get my floors sanded.

This, my friends, is the price you pay when you get a fixer-upper. I know it will be worth it, eventually.

I got both pieces of 1950’s barkcloth, which are better than pictured, and that fantastic black fiberglass dish planter on the tripod stand. It’s bigger than I anticipated which thrills me.

This cheered me up.

Still no sign of that triple tiered lampshade and I’m getting anxious about that. I double-checked and the seller is sending it parcel post Ugh, so it may take a few more days. I will email the seller soon if it does not arrive this week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

$100 eBay Lamp Disaster~ Seller Name wisconsinantiquesmarket

Here is that disaster of a lamp I got scammed on.

Description reads:

Mid-century mod, retro vintage FLOOR LAMP tall cone shade

Very mod 1950's - 60's vintage floor lamp with the original tall parchment shade. This stands 42" tall overall.

The lamp is made to light both the cone and the base. The natural colored parchment paper lining to the base has some red spots from the upper shade bleeding color onto it, and the upper shade does have wear, and discoloration from spotting and fading. It looks as though it wouldn't be a difficult job to cut a new shade, using the original shade as a pattern.

The lamp itself and the wiring look good, and this works.

Seller is: wisconsinantiquesmarket


There isn’t any bleeding of the red into the lower white portion, (maybe they sent me a different lamp?) but do you see any place that shows or describes that both the light sockets were literally hanging upside down by their wires, or that clearly there was a fresh burn spot on the side of the lamp where they tested it and because the sockets are flopping around, and the hot bulb rested against the parchment and burned a spot on it?

Neither do I.

Seller has a good rating of 99.8%, so I shopped responsibly, but they fucked up here and I’m not happy about it at all. Without the exact, small-sized screws that go into a small metal plate and into the base of each socket to hold them in place, they flop. And am I going to pay for the initial $35 shipping to me, and $35 to ship it back to them? Nope. Wonder if I can file a credit card dispute? Should I give them negative feedback?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where Is My Triple-Tiered Fiberglass Lampshade?

It’s one day shy of two weeks since I won and paid for it. Grrrr.


I hate waiting, don’t you?

Tomorrow the person who is getting the massive amount of “stuff” from the one room is coming. I can’t wait for this to happen and have been moving the “stuff” into the living room so it can go out the door even faster. I need that room to put the things from the living room in there, in order to get the floor sanded and varnished.

This is what it SHOULD look like:


I almost started painting first, but a smart friend of mine pointed out that the sanding will create a huge amount of dust, which will cover the walls and ceiling, so best to wait until after the sanding is done to paint anything. And it’s taking much longer than I want it to. Blah. Same thing happened when I converted the garage into my art Studio. It took about two years. But I was working from the bare studs up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1950’s Bargains

I have found, as I am sure many of you have, that in order to find some of the deals on eBay, you need to search out the items that are NOT labeled “Atomic”, “Eames” or even “Mid-century”.


I found this Ichibana type fiberglass planter or bonsai dish (or anything dish) by doing some general searching. No, it’s not one of the now-coveted bullet style planters (why are those so expensive again?) but pop some rocks and an air fern in it, and it will do just as well. It looks like it had water in it at one time, hence the staining, but that can be covered up in a thousand different ways.

Remember; just because some select things are very popular, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I saw an awesome spaceship or flying saucer hanging lamp that sold for only $40 but since it wasn’t one of the “Sputnik” lamps, it was very affordable. I let it pass because I’m not quite to the point of buying new hanging lamps In fact, I may keep the one’s I already have which are original to this house and forgo different one’s. If I can come to terms with the oriental style one in the kitchen. Ugh.

BUT, oriental items on eBay are one of those things that still sell for very affordable prices. Something to consider if you are decorating mid-century on a budget. The Orient was still mythical and mystical back in the 1950’s.

By the way, thank you to the person who left a comment on one of my prior posts, Be darned if I can figure out yet how to respond to it in the post it was made lol.

1950’s Barkcloth

Snagged these two pieces of vintage barkcloth in the hard to find colors I want: black, red, gold and white.


The photos are poor, but the colors of the background are white, or so they were advertised. I will make pillows to match the d├ęcor in my living room.

That mid-century wallpaper sample book (samples pictured below) sold for over $200. Wow, perhaps a designer bought it.

I am still amazed certain 1950’s things sell for so much money on eBay as compared to other things. And mad at the things which are so popular now, that I didn’t think were very important, like my “Jere” style metal and wood cattails statue which I placed in my fish pond and eventually fell by the weather wayside. Who knew that would be something “special? This was only a few years ago.

And the things that sell for big bucks? Chess sets. What’s up with that? Chess wasn’t all that popular in the 1950’s. No more so than many other things. Maybe someone can enlighten me about these things.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1950's Videos

I'm not sure if these are supposed to be funny, but some are, and some are rather sweet.

I still don't know how to make this a link, so you will have to copy and paste it in your browser.

Other 1950's vids located on the same page in the menu.


Monday, January 19, 2009

1950’s Barkcloth

Here are some nice barkcloth auctions right now on eBay. A bit pricey for me at $50-$80 a small piece each, but the designs are really cool.






Today is a holiday so no mail to look forward to, and no eBay purchases. I have two Classic movies to watch which I love. I often look at the set design for inspiration and for a peek into what “real” 1950’s style looked like. Someday I will list the movies with some of the better sets ranging from the 30’s to the 50’s.

Can you believe the 1950’s is already 60 years ago? And the Art Deco era is almost officially “antique” at almost 100 years ago? The older I get, the faster times flies. When I was a kid, a day seemed to take forever, didn’t it seem that way to you? Waiting for my favorite holidays like Halloween and Christmas took months, but summer was gone in a flash.

I have photos taken of my house and inside back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, and I will get those out and photograph them and share. I should use them to create a logo for my blog here.

Meanwhile, while the interior project moves much too slow for me, I surf eBay and look forward to all the smaller things I am passing by for now until I see what I want and need for each room.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1950’s Wall Paper Samples








These are from a sample book currently selling on eBay right now.

I think I’ve figured out what “Hollywood Regency” means. It means everything costs 5x-10x what all other mid-century things cost. Other than that, I don’t see a whole lot of difference in the items. Is it me?

In clearing out the master bedroom, I am disheartened to see that the hardwood floor will need to be refinished as well. The other two bedrooms are not bad and can forego refinishing, but I thought my floor sanding and varnishing would be confined to the living room and hallway.

Friday January 23rd is the scheduled date for the things from the bedroom to be picked up. One way or another, they will be out.

I picked up some barkcloth in the hard to find colors I am using in the living room, and have my eye set on another piece.


These will be for pillows because I have 6 floor to ceiling windows and I don’t think I will ever find the right amount in the colors I want for that much window space. I am going to buy 6 white sheets and do my own design on them using rubber stamps I will have to make myself.

Still waiting on the three-tiered lampshade to come.


I’m excited to try it on my big black lamp.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1950’s Dreams

I had dreams of hiring people to sand and varnish my hardwood floors, come in and paint for me, sand and paint my kitchen cabinets, fix all the electrical and plumbing, paint the exterior, retile the bathrooms, even do some landscaping incorporating 1950’s style plants and design. Of getting a lot done quickly.

But alas the bad economy has trickled it’s way down to me, and judging by the past few months, I will have to do as much of the work myself as I can.

When I converted the large garage into an art Studio, I did most of the work myself: the insulation, had help hanging the drywall, I taped and finished it myself, had help installing a window, skylights, and painted, of course, so I do know how to use power tools and brushes. But even that alone took two years.

But doing it myself will take time, and I am anxious to get it done asap. I want to be able to get everything out, all of my vintage things, all of the furniture I have put in the rooms they need to be in, and enjoy the fun part: the decorating and perhaps buying of things I want for fun to add to the spaces.

At this rate, not even to the point of sanding the floors just yet, it seems like it will take forever. I am waiting on someone to come get their things out of one key room, which will make space for what’s in the living room to go in there to get the room completely empty. I’ll have to move a heavy wood dining set out to the Studio, and in moving things around from room to room, the disorder makes me uncomfortable. Seems to me in order to get things IN order, I’ve had to push the same “stuff” around and around. Will it ever end?

Trying to cheer myself up, I went to the local bookstore to thumb through 1950’s Interior Design books, and discovered they had none. Not a single one! A book on Danish Modern was predictably full of photos of designer furniture and little else.

I see there is a magazine called Atomic Ranch but back issues are selling for over $20 a copy on Ebay. Sigh. I’d rather buy something vintage for $20 than buy a magazine sight-unseen.

On the upside, I do work here from home, so I can push furniture and things around in between work, play here on my blog, browse Ebay, and do what I can while I am waiting for the next step to happen. I have already found a few other cool 1950’s blogs with folks redoing 1950’s homes, but I am so jealous because it shows them getting tile work done, painting and all sorts of things I am unable to do at this time.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, January 16, 2009

You Have To Live With It

When it comes to deciding 1950’s era colors, remember, you have to live with it. So just because a color scheme was used in the 1950’s doesn’t mean you have to use it.

It seems most living rooms have the standard orange, turquoise, green, pink, brown and taupe colors everywhere you look, if you look at modern reproductions.

As a professional artist and amateur designer, I find having a big mix of colors to be too busy and visually irritating.

Keeping a color scheme simple, say, two basic colors, helps you to choose all that goes into that room, and makes it look cohesive. It also cuts down on the extraneous buying of a lot of “stuff”. And most 1950’s homes simply did not have all the “stuff” we tend to collect today.

Coming off the tail end of the Depression and WWll, streamline was still the basic feeling in most rooms. This is the point consumer buying started to kick into high gear, but far from what we seem to have today.

Now, I have been haunting Thrift stores, Antique Malls and eBay for many years now, so I have acquired a lot of vintage stuff. Sadly, I had to resell some of it several years ago when I needed some money, and I’m still kicking myself in the ass for selling a box of plastic flowers because you can’t seem to find them anymore, but I do have things in most of the basic colors of pink, green, blue, aqua, etc. So my living room may evolve from grays and blacks to that standard color range after all.

I have some vintage things packed away, and to be quite honest, I don’t even remember everything I kept and what I sold, so I am anxious to get it all out.

Authentic is what I have always strived for in my art and decorating, so having things from the 1930’s-1940’s was very conceivable back in the 1950’s. Look around your own home and I am sure you still have things from the 1990’s and 2000.

So I will happily keep those vintage items I picked up from those era’s as well. As I mentioned, Art Deco is my very favorite era, but with a 1950’s Ranch house and the price of Deco way out of my league anyways, mid-century is what I will concentrate on.

More 1950’s colors:



I know the a href thingie, but can't seem to get it to work here. Arg. And these don't turn into links, even. Sorry for being such a noob at this folks. I'll learn it soon enough.

Original 1950’s Interior Paint Colors

Here are some examples of 1950’s interior paint colors, thanks to the fine folks at populuxbooks.

Now there were many color schemes back then, same as there are today, but thought I’d post up a few examples.

When it comes to deciding for myself what colors to use, some rooms are easy, such as the kitchen which already has pink Formica, and I have a 1950’s green crushed ice Formica and chrome table and chairs, so pink and green, the old color scheme it is now, is a given. And it looks very nice. The inside back of the cabinets is pink, so the whole kitchen might have been pink at one time, but the green color has been on the walls since the early 60’s, I believe.

When it comes to the living room, my decision wasn’t so easy.

I believe the original color was a very pale gray. The windowsills are still that color, as is the frame of an original oil painting that was up on the wall.

I converted the large garage into an art studio, as I am a professional artist, and after some trial and error in there, I came up with a medium-dark gray for the walls and carpet, with black furniture and black and white artwork and photography on the walls, with accents of red. The results have been so stunning, I will do the same in the living room. Hence the black and red lamps I have purchased so far.

If it does not work out, I will simply paint it another color. The hanging lamp is one of those rich iridescent brown-warm-rainbow colors, so that will clash. Not sure what to do about that except to get the warm tan-brown fiberglass lampshades I have been.

The hallway will be white, same as the main bathroom, and the Master bedroom pink as it always has been, with green accents, similar to the kitchen.

Still deciding on the two other bedrooms. Ugh, hard to decide. Inside the closets are also an original medium gray, but I believe one bedroom was soon painted a pale yellow, the other blue. Now one is pink and one blue, and I may stick with that.

Have you had this much difficulty in deciding on your interior colors?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ebay Buying Adventures

After working very hard for a very long time, I decided to reward my new project and myself with a few things from Ebay.

I had not bought anything from Ebay in ages, so I dipped my toes in with small pieces of barkcloth and a green wall pocket.

Not sure why I went with Asian. The hanging lamp in my kitchen has an Asian influence, and my Mom has quite a bit of vintage Asian things, but I keep fighting it. It's simply not the look I am going for.

The green wall pocket turned out to be yellow, and the barkcloth is wonderful, but will need to be made into pillows.

My next purchase was to get another pink Western Electric dial telephone like we had in the kitchen, and this one did not disappoint! The salt and pepper shakers have that wonderful starburst design on them, the boomerang vase is bigger than it looks, and the pink and green rose candy dish is perfect and goes well with the pink and green kitchen colors.

The Deco green salt and pepper shakers were for fun, and because I still cannot deny my favorite era is the Art Deco era.

I had to get this pair of "Sputnik" style German barometers. Space age stuff is undeniably cool, and I have been fighting the urge to get a lot more of it. It would make my living room more masculine than it is already, so I resist. The gold Mirro tray on tripod-like legs was for fun, and these boomerang ashtrays were an absolute must!

Next was this red fiberglass whipstitched tripod lamp, which is bigger than it looks here and turned out to be a good buy.

Had to have these atomic lamps, which cost less than the pair of two-tier fiberglass lampshades I bought for them. Ouch those lampshades are expensive! For a while I thought maybe the atomic black lamps might actually be from the 1980's, but have since seen a chartreuse one on ebay, and they didn't make too many things in that color in the 80's. Whew.

Next I got what was advertised as a red two-tier fiberglass lampshade for a big round black lamp I already have. But when I tried the shade on the lamp, I discovered it's a heavy paper which shows no light through the material at all, so I got a three-tiered fiberglass whip-stitched shade which was, once again, quite expensive. That has yet to arrive, but I'm sure it will look fantastic.

My biggest Ebay disaster so far is a floor lamp I bought for over $100, which arrived with the two lamp sockets clearly hanging from their wires, so I had to rig them up with string. Ugh! It needs a new paper shade as well, so I really got screwed on that deal I hate to say.