Friday, 31 August 2012

'For Fall, Sew Your Favorite Silhouette', 1962

Ok, so the dress is lovely, the pattern is lovely....but I can't take my little peepers off that paneling in the background! Whooosh!

Yet again, the dress kind of takes a backseat to that wall hanging! Be still my heart!
Loving this jacket! I do believe I have a pattern for one like this...somewhere...

This is just the best pic of the bunch, don't you think? The dress! The hat! The jacket! The charm bracelet! The gloves! All of which are completely outshined by the wallpaper border(?) in the background! I WANT a wallpaper border like this! I mean, I NEED it! Really!

Angry Bird...Well, Not Too Angry....

I rarely get angry. It takes a lot...usually. But any of you who have dealt with contractors will know what an infuriating lot they can be. Especially when it comes to preserving MCM architecture and understanding the artistic and aesthetic movements that influenced it and how they fit into the design as a whole. Cue the recent unpleasantness....

You'll remember that, in an earlier post, I described the issue with my MCM's gorgeously, geometrically offset front stoop and porch/raised walkway. The walkway/porch had collapsed and was letting water into the basement. I was initially worried that they would opt to make the whole thing a single level porch and ruin the look of the front of the house, which is mirrored in the lovely pattern of the carport ceiling (I'm going to paint this bad boy like a Mondrian when I get the time!):

Luckily, I was assured that the only change that would be made was in an ever so slight widening of the porch/walkway, making the offset ever so slightly shallower, that would cover a little crack in the stoop where the two met and also keep the step up to the stoop itself. Sounded good. Then I arrive the day after they poured it to find what they ended up doing....poured it as a RAMP! Excuse me, Mr. Concrete Man, but a ramp IS NOT a porch! GAAAHHHH!!! The flipping house looks drunk! I might post a pic at some point, but I just...I just can't EVEN at this point! Now I have to wait for what they poured to cure so they can fix the mess...which now can NEVER look the way it did to begin with. So annoyed. Want to punch someone. Hard. Below the belt.

Also annoying is the state of the basement itself. Covered in dust and mildew. Everything. Covered. I must say, my mom and I have been making progress. Opening windows, running fans and dehydrators every day, cleaning EVERYTHING that's been down there. It's a job. My living room suite that was stored down there is actually in better shape than I feared though. Here's the ottoman with half the top cleaned to give you an idea of how the pieces looked when I first brought them out:

I know, it looks bad. But it doesn't compare to the look of the matching chair and sofa when they first came out. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pics of them before the disinfecting scrub down. But here they are now, ready for the upholsterer....

The sofa only needs it's bottom re-padded and the cushions replaced (the original cushions were in great nick, except that they'd shrunk...yup, shrunk! You should have seen the look on my face when I put them on and they had huge gaps in between!). As we can't find the exact match to this particular Naugahyde 50 years later, I'm covering the cushions in a fabric....

Finally settled on an upholstery fabric!  MAHOGANY Floral Fabrics Fabric 10117

The chair needs the same, plus a bit more work...

The chair really does match the sofa, but the light was bad when I took this one and it makes it look less red than it actually is! There's a couple of cracks in the Naugahyde on this poor guy. The strips on the arms will be replaced with the above fabric to get rid of this crack on the right arm.... for the crack in the back cushion, we've opted to fix by replacing the whole panel with the contrasting fabric as well as having them make a new seat cushion in the same fabric:

The ottoman cover can't be saved (poor little nut has a torn seam), so it's going to be recovered in the fabric...but I did request that we keep the original button in the middle!....

There's another chair that, while not a part of the set, is very similar in style and was always used with the suite originally...

It was super dirty when it came out of the basement and was frankly a mess as you can probably see from the pic! YUCK! So I stripped it completely to its bones! While performing the coverectomy, I found the original fabric underneath the seat along with the original tag....

Apparently, Rowe was 'First In Fashion' in the early 1960's! Could you just die!
Later on, I'll have this chair covered in a solid aqua, black, or white to compliment the other pieces in the living room.

Another piece that I've had to strip completely until such a time as I can cover it was a great rocker! It was probably recovered in the '50s or early '60s with the sparkly gold fabric that was on it, which wasn't bad. But what I found underneath was super lovely!!....

Don't worry....that arm you see taped up isn't a bad boo boo! It appears that whoever made the chair spliced a piece in to make the curve on the inside. The adhesive he used to attach it had all but given way in the dampness of the basement and it just dropped off when I touched it! So I taped it to keep it from getting 'done in' in the meantime!

I've not been thrifting much lately, but the one opportunity I had saw me buy my new best friend....a mid '60s stereo console who I've christened "Danno".....
Would you believe I got him for $50?! He needs a slight bit of work, but nothing major that I can't do myself....knob connections cleaned and speaker connections tightened so he doesn't throw gravel at me quite so much! Isn't he a handsome fellow?

I'll keep you lot posted on how I go! It's getting closer to my moving in and you best believe I'll be posting what I find in my long sealed up bins once they come open...honestly, I can't remember what I have, but I know it's almost a full mid-century kitchen, bar, and well, everything else under the sun!

Before I sign off, I want to share some pics of something that just broke my little pea-pickin' heart at the upholsterers'. When I walked in, I was greeted by two of these lovelies....

They're bloody MINT! Check out the little chains on the side!....

And if that wasn't enough groovy goodness, there's a flipping MATCHING MINT CONDITION SECTIONAL too! It was stacked so I couldn't get a good pic, but you get the idea....

What do you want to bet this gets covered in a hideous beige-y colour...or even worse, a detestable Victorian print? God, I wish I could snatch these sweet little swingin' nuggets up and save them from the frump that I know surely awaits them! This must be what it feels like to work at an animal shelter and have to watch poor little lambs go to the slaughter. Breaks my heart!

What have you lot been up to since last we spoke? Any great vintage finds? Any thrifty goodies? Any mid-century hand me downs come your way?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Ad of the Day: Marvalon Shelf Liners , 1961

A far cry from the bland beige, eggshell, and white we're subjected to these days. I wish home product designers (and consumers) of today had half the cojones that mid century designers had.....

Speaking of cojones, these days it would take a man with rather large ones to pull off a fabulous butter yellow paneled bar....but in the '60s, that's just the way they rolled. Pun intended.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Vintage Crush: Andy Griffith

Hi ho, kittens!
You know, for years I've thought that Charlene Darling had the right idea.

And that Ellie Walker was the luckiest 'lady druggist' in the history of 'lady druggists'.

And that if I could be any character on The Andy Griffith Show, I'd want to be Helen Crump because she was the doll who finally won the heart of the iconic, 'Sheriff Without A Gun', Andy Taylor.
That's right, pigeons, I'm a hard core Mayberry-ite. In fact, if I had to choose just one show to watch for the rest of my life, it would without hesitation be The Andy Griffith and white episodes, of course! So, to kick off, a new series of 'Vintage Inspiration' posts (this time for the boys!), I've chosen a man who will always hold a special place in my heart, Andy Griffith.

I first 'got to know' Andy as a small child. Mayberry reruns have always been plentiful in most parts of the country, but when you grow up in the South, not a day goes by without at least one local station broadcast. In other words, Sheriff Andy has been a visitor in my home and put a smile on my face just about every day of my life. Now, how many people can you honestly say that about?

I always felt that the success of The Andy Griffith Show lay in it's familiar characters. In the South (and most likely everywhere else), we all know someone like Aunt Bee. We all know a Barney, a Floyd, a Ben Weaver, an Otis. And if we're lucky, an Andy Taylor. While they're over the top, they're real. And real is always funny!
The best thing about the show's real humour is it's quotability. In my house, just in the past few days, you'd have heard:

"Everybody back on the truck."

"Mornin' DEAR. Mornin' HONEY."

"Winkin'll tell Blinkin, Blinkin'll tell Nod, Nod'll tell Barney, and Barney'll tell you."


"Toot Toot, Tootsie, Goodbyyyyye...."

"Aunt Bee, call the man."

"Jubal, Jubal, Jubal, Jubal, Jubal"

But Andy wasn't always Sheriff Taylor from Mayberry. He started out in stand up comedy....and when Andy was done, no one was standing...they were all rolling in the aisles.
I remember the first time I listened to my grandfather's 78rpm recording of 'What It Was, Was Football'. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and already an avid Andy fan. The record got me in ever deeper. This man was insanely hilarious!

At about the same time, I was old enough to sit down with my father and watch one of his favourite films of all time, 1958's 'No Time For Sergeants'. I was introduced to a character I would come to adore, the lovably stupid hillbilly turned hero, "Will Stockdale Stockdale Stockdale".

Like The Andy Griffith Show, No Time For Sergeants is ever so quotable. In my family when someone does something well, they're "...the best danged Sergeant they is the whole danged Air Force!"
When someone comments on how nice or clean something is, the familial response is, "It'uz my aim to get it just as clean as 'at operatin' room where they're a fixin' ta cut our yor heaaaart!"

Taps always brings the inevitable, "Somebody brung their trumpet".

But the best scene in the movie (and arguably the best scene in any comedy to date) is the inspection scene. Anyone who can keep a straight face when P.L.O. Stockdale makes the toilets salute has no soul!

I was a little older the first time I saw 'A Face In The Crowd', from 1957. In it, Andy's character, Lonesome Rhodes is anything but lovable. He's terrifying.

Although it was his film debut, Andy is remarkable and nimbly makes Lonesome a person you both revile and pity. He was a master, right out of the box.

A tremendous dramatic talent!

But to me and thousands of others, Andy will always be Sheriff Andy...protecting all of Mayberry, North Carolina from

escaped convicts ("Don't do that or it's goodbye Al!")

....loaded goats ("Somewhere walkin' loose around Mayberry is a loaded goat.") girls from Mt. Pilot ("Hello Doll!" "It's BERNIE!")...

.....190 proof 'Indian Elixir' ("What it really does, is give you a buzz")...

.....and rock throwing mountain men ("No hunt beware open and closed no credit.")...

Andy's passing this week has been a sad time for so many of his fans who feel as though a member of the family or a very close friend has died. He's been a part of all our lives and has made our lives better for it.
He'll be missed in the real world, but in Mayberry, Sheriff Andy can always be found behind his desk at the courthouse, on the bench in front of Floyd's, on his front porch pickin' a tune, or out at the lake with Opie. He'll be forever young and handsome and quick with a joke or a lesson. And we can visit him any time.