Blogs I read – Vintage, Crafting, & Making Things

Retro Renovation – “Welcome to Retro Renovation – your daily dose of mid century renovation resources… design inspiration… fun finds… and a growing community of people all interested in cherishing their mid century and older homes.”

No Pattern Required – “No Pattern Required was started in February 2009 by Ruth in an attempt to vent her overwhelming enthusiasm for everything vintage and mid-century without driving her husband, Tom, crazy.”

Mid-Century Menu – ‘Have you ever looked at a recipe in a mid-century cookbook and thought, “Ew. That is so nasty.” But you couldn’t stop looking at the recipe. Or thinking about it. As time went on, you kept going back to the book, thinking, “I wonder what it tastes like?”‘ (By the same couple that does No Pattern Required)

1972: The Retro WW Project – “I am a Pittsburgh girlwith a passionate love for potatoes and carbs and butter. For some reason, I recreate long-forgotten Weight Watchers recipes from the 1970’s in my own kitchen. Sometimes they are surprisingly tasty. Most of the time they are dreadful. Often my house smells like boiled celery. I get way too excited about buying vintage Pyrex and unmolding gelatine.” (CN: despite being based on Weight Watchers recipes, it’s not really about weight loss. It’s mostly about how the recipes are terrible.)

Dinner is Served 1972 – This is a Julie & Julia type project, but with a hell of a lot more Jell-O – “Dinner is Served is a plastic, guacamole-colored box that contains cards that provide the menu for entire meals: entrees, side dishes and desserts. Sometimes there are even appetizers. They also supply a handy time-line so dinner can be served at 6pm (when your husband arrives home from work).”

Retro Recipe Attempts – Tasting the fare of yesteryear, the disastrous and the delicious.

Betty Crafter – “I am Betty Crafter, a vintage dealer and enthusiast, crafter of all things, and owner of a 1962 time capsule ranch house. ”

Ranch Dressing with Eartha Kitsch – “Hi! I’m Eartha Kitsch! Even though I DO enjoy a good salad, this site isn’t about that kind of ranch dressing. It’s about the restoration, decoration and revival of my 1956 ranch home. It’s also about things that I consider “dressing” like vintage housewares, clothing, recipes and everything else in this old world that makes life interesting and good.”

Scouting NY – “What always amazes me about New York is how much there is to see if you take the time to look. Every street has a hidden gem or two, and yet they go largely ignored by thousands of passersby daily who simply don’t have the time to pay attention.”

Just Hungry – “My primary focus on Just Hungry is Japanese food and home cooking. As a Japanese person living abroad, I do miss the cuisine I grew up with a lot, and that is what I mostly cook at home regardless of where I live.” (CN: talk about weight loss and food restrictions, such as gluten-free)

JustBento – “JustBento is dedicated to the subject of healthy, simple bento lunches, some traditionally Japanese, some not so traditional. The focus is on bentos for health and weight-conscious adults, but many of the recipes and methods are applicable to bentos for all ages.” (CN: recipes, talk about nutrition. It’s mostly recipes and reviews of bento containers)

Tricia’s Obligatory Art Blog! – “Trish is a hairy mammal that enjoys drawing feathered dinosaurs. She also enjoys giving silly answers when asked to describe herself.”

Pintrosity – “This isn’t a site to just laugh and make fun of projects gone wrong (although occasionally giggles and guffaws do come out), but also to help troubleshoot and learn from the Pinterest Fails we all have. “

Pintester – “failing at Pintester pins so you don’t have to” (CN: language, sexual humor, sometimes gross humor, occassional talk of weight loss. It’s funny though)

Atomic Shrimp – “This website is really just about the things I do in my spare time. My interests include wild food, experimental cooking, assorted crafts, multimedia work and the deliberate, but benign and mild-mannered pursuit of the absurd.”

Link Dump – Lapin Edition

In Which My Toddler Helps Me Think of “Character” in a New Way – “Our son, the one we call ‘B-Dub,’ thinks of the people in his life abstractly. Example: if he sees a magazine ad featuring the car you drive, he’ll point to it and say your name. If he sees a spot on the floor where one of the dogs likes to lie down, he’ll say that dog’s name. But it can be even more abstract, to the point where it takes us time to figure out what the connection is – like it’s a little bit of a puzzle.” (from terribleminds)

batman-cover-cosplay.jpg
(Go see the full-size version!)

“Well, you should learn to control your temper” – Why Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is NOT an abuse-apologist narrative. “So what does Belle do? Does she put aside her hurt and attempt to be kind and loving? Does she assume he must have a troubled past and decide to go along with his not-requests until her sweet acquiescence tames him? No. She stays the hell away from him, not even allowing herself to be in the same room with him, and has dinner that night with nice people who care about her feelings instead.” (from Sailor Ptah’s Dreamwidth)

justice-league-of-rodents.jpg
Justice League of Rodents!

1958 Sears kitchen cabinets and more – 32 page catalog (from Retro Renovation)

NPC Characteristics Generator – Linking because it’s also good to give minor characters some sort of background or quirk.

Quickie Character Backstory Generator – another one

Latest (for some value of ‘late) Vintage Finds

Most of these are buys from Attaboy Vintage, which is my favorite store in Ventura. They always have cool stuff and it’s rare that I go in there without coming out with something. I’ve been holding on to some of these pictures for months (a bunch of this I bought right before the RenFaire in July…). Sorry about that. And I have some other things I need to take non-cell phone pictures of to share. Anyway, let’s get to the point – pictures!

Continue reading “Latest (for some value of ‘late) Vintage Finds”

Week 3 – Shopping

I didn’t do much the third week, so this’ll be a short entry.

First was actually something my awesome dad did. I didn’t show you a picture, but my closet is very small, narrow, and not really enough to store all my various junk and my clothes. Therefore, Dad did this:

As you saw before, there’s a little room between the main room and the bathroom. On one side of that is the door to the main room, on the other is the closet (I’m standing in the bathroom to take the picture). Originally I was just going to put up two clothes rods, but there were no studs available, so Dad built a free-standing thing that was then secured to the wall. So this is my ‘dressing room’. (It has clothes on it now).

Next, I finally got a microwave.

Yeah, that was terribly exciting, but incredibly necessary.

I also got a sideboard to hold my table linens, bathroom supplies, and whatever else ends up in there. I got it from a great vintage shop in Ventura called Attaboy Vintage. Two of my awesome coworkers helped me get in my place.

Apparently at one point it was painted white, and then stripped before Attaboy got it. You can still see white paint in the crevices, as well as inside behind the drawers. They only refinished the top. I’ve oiled it and it looks really nice now (although it could probably use more oil). I should probably get a piece of glass for the top (it’s got some scratches and a gouge, but it looks nice).

That’s it for the week. Next week will be light as well. Things are slowing down. I’ll have to get on making some other content for the site!

Arranging – Week 2

I’m going to get right into it. This week involved a lot of unpacking, picking up packages from the post office, rearranging, organizing, and a trip to Ikea! Thanks to my mom for the copious amounts of help.

A hint of things to come:

 New thing #1: 1950s pole lamp! A gift from my parents.

It’s brighter now, since I’ve put new fluorescent bulbs in. It bathes the whole room in a warm red glow. It’s made of four sections of metal tubing. I ended up having to take a section out because complete it was too tall for my ceiling. Once I put it up on the bench it was just about perfect (here it’s got some fabric folded underneath. I’ve since gotten a wooden stand that I still need to paint black.)

Since we’re in the main room, let’s continue there.

As you can see I moved my dress form up onto the bench. The dress form was originally bought to display kimono, and now that my kimono wardrobe is here I can do that! (And I have now). Also new are my folding kitchen chairs. I only have three, and they need some work, but they’re comfortable.

But what’s that piece hiding behind the coffee table?

If you know Mid-century stuff at all, you probably recognize the manufacturer. It’s Heywood-Wakefield. I couldn’t find a stamp on this piece, so it’s conceivable it’s not. I think I’ve posted about it on Facebook. Anyway, I got it for $100. Someone had started to strip it and gave up when they couldn’t figure out how to get the shelves out (it’s not that hard, but you have to take the pegs out). Dad and I refinished it using reproduction stain (we both stripped it, he did all the staining). Unfortunately I only had three original pegs, so they aren’t the same. But doesn’t it look awesome? I may use the extra stain on the kitchen chairs when I get to fixing them up.

Other main room details:

 

Detail of the bookcase all cleaned up.

With stuff in it (and dust in front). Yes, I’ve got a wide range of decades there. A Megabloks ice dragon, a tiger from GI Joe Sigma 6, a Sky BAT from the same line (you can hardly see him) all from about 2007. A Thundercats bank (now full of money) and below it, the Tongue-a-saurus. A norfin troll from around 1990 and a Radix Adventures ogre from around 2005.

The top of my coffee table. Under the glass is a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) that we got from one of our Japanese exchange students when I was a kid. I’m thinking of replacing it with another one, but I’m not sure I have any more that are the right size.

Slightly better pictures of the front of my desk.

It needs to be cleaned and oiled and it’s even more cluttered now. But I’m getting there. On the right is a file drawer. On the left is two drawers.

That pretty much covers the main room. Why don’t we move the the bathroom real quick?

You can see my new 1950s trash can.

Isn’t it cool?

Two not Mid-century things.

The wash cloth was a gift from my parents (with towels, obviously). It’s about the only pink thing I have in the bathroom so far. As far as the towel rack, I originally wanted a 1950s tension rod one, but I couldn’t find one for less than $100 (except for the first one I saw, which I let get away). This one is from Ikea and folds up compactly, so it works quite well.

I know you all want to see the cool medicine cabinet, so here it is.

The door is really heavy duty. Look at that hinge on top! The glass shelves are supposedly adjustable, but it’s been painted too many times and I can’t get the brackets out (bummer). And as you can see, it has the slit for old razor blades! (The cup is just there because it’s cool. Yes, that’s my bathroom cup. It came with some bento box stuff my sister gave me one Christmas. You can’t see it, but the manufacturer is ‘Lube Sheep.’ I am not kidding.)

There’s one new thing in the dressing area.

1950s nightstand. At first I thought it might be Heywood-Wakefield, but it’s not. It was apparently made in Japan, from reclaimed wood. The underside of one of the drawers has a stamp from a shipping crate or something (I don’t remember exactly.) There was another one that was in worse shape.

Why is the Lego Batman shirt there? What does that have to do with the 50s? Well, Lego Batman is awesome. The 1950s are awesome. Therefore it’s totally relevant.

This is getting really long and I still have a bunch of kitchen pictures to show, so I’m going to split that off to a different post.

Kitchen – Week 2

All right, if I did that much in the apartment, what did I do to the kitchen? Well, Mom and I took a trip to Ikea (as you already saw in the bathroom). That combined with some stuff from Target, my stuff, and my mom’s organizing skills led to this:

(Click to see bigger)

Commentary:

Obviously, the wooden kitchen cart is new. It folds. I haven’t need it to fold yet, but it can. It was also somewhat of a pain to assemble, but only because I was by myself. The trashcan is from Target. We switched the dishes and pantry items. Pantry stuff is in the cabinets in turquoise baskets from Target.  You can’t see it, but because the lip of my sink is so high, I stick a saucer under the end of the drainer so it’ll actually drain. And I have a bad tendency to let dishes pile up before I wash them, so the glasses go on a towel on the counter.

The rails and stuff are a combination of Bygel and Grundtal from Ikea. Nice. My silverware is all mismatched stuff from thrift stores. I love it. The knife bar is also from Ikea and I’ve since moved the steak knives to a drawer so you can get to the outlet more easily. I mean to paint the wood bar teal, but I want to paint those baskets too. But I can’t find a spray paint in the right color, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

I have a lot of colanders and strainers. I’m not entirely sure how that happened. I also need to get a few more Pyrex casseroles in middle sizes. That cardboard box in the cabinets has been replaced. My extra dishes (and I have a lot) are in the dead space in the corner. I don’t know when I got the Ritz and Saltine tins. The Ritz one is full. And there’s the cork for the ‘cookie’ jar on the stove.

I only have one of those cherry blossom mugs. I love it. And I’ll probably never fill the teal salt and pepper shakers because they’re huge. I put the salt in one of the blue ones, and I have a pepper grinder so I’m not using the other one. What else starts with P and S that I could put in the teal ones?

Those red tins can also be found in yellow. They’re really awesome for crackers and cereal, because they really do keep it crisp. You do have to bake the knob often though. It doesn’t really turn ‘pink’ over time. It’s the color they are now. When they’re baked they’re bright blue.

Things I still need to do in the kitchen? Besides fill the few holes, get out my Swanky Swigs (I have the wildlife ones. I’m sorry I can’t find an informative link.) I have another Bygel bar to get up, and I need to get a basket for it like the one holding the salt and pepper shakers. And the general reorganizing, cleaning, etc.

Moving In – Week 1

Now it’s time to see some of my actual stuff. I’m only taking pictures at the end of the week, so we’ve skipped over the piles and piles of boxes, the furniture in really strange spots, and other such amusements.

First, some details I didn’t photograph the previous week:

The closet / dressing room door. I need to find an appropriate skeleton key.

Isn’t that drain cute? It looks like a daisy.

And on to the meat of the post: Continue reading “Moving In – Week 1”

Moving – Week 0

I’ve actually been there almost two weeks now, but I’m doing this in order, dammit! =^_^=

So, I moved into my first apartment completely by myself, completely from the beginning. It’s in Ventura in an building that was apparently built in 1907 (according to the sign that I still need to get a picture of).

I looked at another apartment in the building that had a lot of cute mid-century touches (like black and white checkerboard linoleum in the kitchen and bathroom, and peach tile in the bathroom). But I couldn’t afford that one. I got one that is half below ground and very private, except for the laundry room right next door (which is cool). It doesn’t have the same cute touches, but it’s nice. So, to the tour!

Continue reading “Moving – Week 0”