Kitschdesigns

The Etsy Treasury Love Continues….

May 2, 2011 05:50 by ehouston

I don’t mean to bore all of you to death, but my shop items have been getting some more love lately and I just wanted to share these two great Etsy Treasuries.  The first is all about pink!  Bubble Gum Dreams was curated by Laura over at Yellow Cab Vintage, a pretty terrific shop!

EtsyTreasury-BubblegumDreams-PoodleCards

My Vintage Pink and Black Poodle Bridge Scorecards were included.  There are some super cool retro items in this Treasury.

And, that darn Love and Dove Day Glo Neon Beach Ball has shown up in yet another Treasury!  Mark Driscoll from Vintage Art Supply put together this story titled, Beach Love Dream

EtsyTreasury-BeachLoveDream-BeachBall

Doesn’t this just make you want to elope on a beach somewhere?

Kitsch Krafts


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Etsy Treasury–Tickled Pink

January 19, 2011 00:59 by ehouston

Yeah!  One of my items was featured in an Etsy Treasury called Tickled Pink.  Evelyn Dombkowski of Evelyn Pelati Jewelry put together this lovely pink-themed treasury from the shops of Retro Handmade Team members.

Treasury-TickledPink-Jan2011

(The pink Texasware Plate Set is mine.)

Please don’t forget to go check out the treasury (here) and leave a comment!

Kitsch Krafts


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Silly Boys, Trucks Are for Girls

May 18, 2009 04:08 by ehouston

I once knew a boy, not a boy friend, but a boy I knew in high school that admitted openly that he flipped for a girl in a truck.  He said it was just such and odd thing to see a girl driving a truck of their own and there was just something about it that made him crazy!  It was one of those weird conversations you have, don't think twice about again, and then one day it just slips back into your mind at some offhand moment.  Today, I attempted to take our old Chevy truck in to have the emissions inspected.  We have had issues with the "Check Engine Soon" light coming on right before we get to the testing center and for those of you that don't know, they won't check your car or truck if that light is on.  It's like an automatic failure.  The Mister and I cranked the old girl up this weekend and decided to dust her off and try again.  She ran fine for two days and this morning as I pulled into the testing center, wouldn't ya' know it, that damn light came on again!  A friend at work had told me about some engine treatments you can use that will help get you through these kind of situations, so I decided to drive my tagless truck up to the auto stuff store and buy a bottle.  [Please note: we have had our truck serviced and it is not emitting anything dangerous.  The light is just goofy, so we have felt rather cheated by this law.  Especially when we see an old hoopty blowing black smoke as it careens through an intersection.  Nevertheless, we abide by the driving laws!]

So, there I am head down under the hood of our little white truck, pouring a bottle of thick sticky liquid into the engine, when I realize there are cars slowing to look over my way.  The store sits on the corner of an intersection with a light, so I was in a fairly busy spot.  I just happened to notice a couple of heads turn my way as cars passed through the light and then several of the men in the auto stuff store lot stopped what they were doing to look my way, as well.  I realized the best part of this scene was that I was wearing a bubblegum pink hoodie that fits close enough to show my pregnant belly.  I bet most of them were thinking...what in the world is this lady doing...not, whoa, check out that babe with the truck!  I started cracking up as I remembered what that boy in high school had told me and I have decided that from now on every time I drive our truck I am going to wear pink!

VROOOM, VROOOM!

Kitsch Krafts


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Collecting - Funky Vintage Graphics

January 7, 2009 18:52 by ehouston

I definitely have the heart of a collector.  I love the visual impact of items in volume and I enjoy the hunt.  However, like some collectors I have a tendency to move from one new thing to the other very quickly...in fact, often times very passionately.  That passion lasts for a short time and then I see something else that I MUST have.  What that means for my collections is that they tend to be a little on the light side.  I have ended up with lots of different smaller groupings of things I just "needed", at least for a short period of time.  A few of these clusters of like items sit around my home and some hide in boxes until I feel like bringing them out to ponder.  The other day I came across a few card sets in the back of a drawer that I had forgotten all about.  This is one of those collections that doesn't match, grew over many years, and is together simply due to the funky graphics.  I was not born with the ability to walk by a paper product at a thrift store or estate sale if it has a cool vintage graphic.  They fall into the MUST have category.  Here are a few of those must haves that I dug up the other day.

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Pink and Black Poodle Bridge Score Cards, [maker unknown].  Yeah, when is the last time you played bridge?  Ever since I found these I have wanted to start a little bridge playing women's group.  I imagine us all gossiping over girlie cocktails while taking drags off of our cigarettes tucked into extra long filters.  This is definitely a dream because I have asthma and would turn blue if I tried this.  But, a girl can dream, right? 

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Extra, Extra, Read All About It!  We are so impressed with ourselves that we are advertising the birth of our most gifted human being on the front page!  Either that or this is the Enquirer and the top story is about a giant baby roaming the streets drowning innocent citizens with huge blobs of drool.  You be the judge.  [Gibson Greeting Cards, Pleasant Thoughts line birth announcements]

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Now, this is definitely the most politically incorrect card out of my collection and I hope I am not offending anyone out there.  This is a set of 10 invitations by Gibson and I would guess these are from the 1960's.

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If you can get past the tacky stereotype you have to admit these are pretty funny little invitations.  For those of you that cannot see the tiny script: Front: Unga Gawa Ooba (You're invited to a Cook-Out), Inside: 'Cause we simply like good people.  Yes, they are are cannibals and they want YOU for dinner.  Sorry, folks, I just think these are hilarious.  Plus, they went as far as to add sparkly gold flecks to the jewelry, headwear and the female's skirt.  That's what I like, quality in my cannibal invites.

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Last, but not least for the post today is a groovy teen party invite.  This is another one that I would guess is from the 1960's or maybe 1970's and it is an American Greetings Corporation invite.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but from the blond hair on the girl in the front up, the card is embossed.  So, her hair, and the folks behind her have a little dimension in addition to their crazy colors...fancy!

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What's the best part of this invite?  The hip way in which they use peer pressure to get folks to come to the party.

I plan on posting these for sale in either my new Artfire shop or in my old Etsy store.  I am still undecided, but soon you will be able to grab some of the coolest flair for your funky paper projects.

;0)

Kitsch Krafts


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DYI- Chair

September 25, 2008 10:07 by ehouston

I am getting geared up to head out to the flea market this weekend and while letting my imagination go crazy thinking about all the great stuff I hope to find I remembered my end of the summer trip from last year.  I had been searching for what seemed like forever to find just the right dinette set for our eat in kitchen and simply could not find the right thing.  I finally settled on something in late spring of this year and as that project is completed I will add a new post.  Last fall I headed to the market hoping to find a cool, inexpensive set of chairs.  What I ended up coming home with is what I consider a really cool shaped chair, but in a color that just did not work for my space.  Sadly, there was only one of these chairs to be had, I decided to reupholster it and use it in my bedroom to create a cozy spot.  With all the other projects that were already on my plate I put this one off until the beginning of the year, and worked on it through the dark and cold winter months.  After just a few evenings I had the thing stripped down, repainted, springs retied and a new cover sewn and fastened in place.  I changed up the design a little and did not use any gimping.  Instead I just tucked the edges of the fabric under while holding a nail in place and hammered through the fabric.  Probably not the best way to do this, but it worked.  The fabric was a great find at Joanne's ETC in the fabric to order section.  I had never really looked through this section in depth before because it always seemed to be full of pretty boring choices to me.  Now they have all kinds of cool patterns, some, like the one I chose, that have a vintage look.  I love the nubby gray on gray fabric and the swirly, almost floral design.  I think it almost looks like an old piece that was well preserved and it seems to fit in nicely with my other retro furnishings.

Wish me luck this weekend!

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KitschDesigns' DIY-Chair photoset KitschDesigns' DIY-Chair photoset

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DIY and The Pink Bathroom!

September 3, 2008 10:46 by ehouston

I just received a message from a FLICKR Group dedicated to saving pink bathrooms with a request to add some of my pictures to their pool.  I am honored to be a part of this retro home revival group and plan to check back often so I can take a peek into other people's homes.  My voyeuristic interest in to where other people live is a sickness that started back in high school when I attended my first estate sale.  It continues to this day, by an unseen force that draws me to spend a Sunday afternoon visiting open houses when I have no intention of moving.  I love getting a look at how other people decorate their spaces and the fun of coming upon a time capsule of life from bygone eras.  The chance to see how these homes were originally decorated is so interesting in contrast to how homes are often portrayed in movies and on television.  It's weird, I know, but somehow very thrilling when you discover something in pristine condition.  It's why I am also obsessed with shows like Leave It To Beaver and Mad Men.  I cannot get enough of the rooms in the homes and buildings on these shows.  I always end up annoying other TV watchers around me with quips about the neat couch or cool lamp in the background.

I recently attended an estate sale just down the street from my home and I wandered around looking in sheer amazement at the amount of wallpaper they had used.  Their home is a split-level too, as are many of the homes in our 1950's-1960's neighborhood, and I really liked the layout of all the wallpaper coated rooms.  One odd area that caught my eye, though, was the staircase to the upper portion of the home.  It sat right by the front door and twisted at a strange angle toward the bedrooms.  It seemed awkward when a straight set would have made perfect sense, but I believe the point was to give a more grand affect when viewed from the front entry.  The funny thing about split-level homes is that "grand" was never a part of the equation for the interiors and it always cracks me up when the owners try to go that route in their decorating.  ...But, I digress....what really caught my eye about the staircase was the flashy wallpaper that lined the stairs and then the upper hallway.  It had a busy, almost life-sized bamboo print in shades of metallic browns.  It was so out there that it had come back again and I have even seen similar patterns in new design mags lately.  The best part about this was that the master bedroom had another version of bamboo wallpaper, top to bottom, all four walls and so did the BATHROOM!  In fact, the over-zealous decorator had even created a shoji-screen style window covering to add to the Asian appeal, and they had continued the wallpaper right across the screens.  It was so awe-inspiringly gross! 

The ingenious decor continued with real bamboo molding.  It had been cut in half, wrapped around the top edge of the tiled walls that are typical for that era, and they had been stained a dark brown to match the dark stained vanity cabinets.  You could tell the remodel had happened in the 1970's or early 80's because of the colors and how over-the-top they had gone with the theme.  Even with the dizzying pattern overkill, these areas of the home were still sort of cool and made me want to try to salvage some of what the owners had been trying to create.  But, alas, the home has since sold and I am sure the new owners will rip out all remnants of this home's past coolness rather than working with the good bones and keeping some of the quirky decor.  Maybe I should slip some of my design mags under their door with the cool wallpaper pages marked for them?  

I really should not give anyone a hard time about ripping out and replacing anything in their older home.  There are many aspects of ranch and split-level homes of the 1950's and 1960's that I love, but sometimes that love does not stay warm in your heart once you have lived with something kitsch for a while.  Take for instance the room that got me the invite to the "save the pink bathrooms" group.  Below is a before shot of my lovely pink bathroom, complete with the old owner's ruffled curtains and seashell wallpaper.

OPkBthSink

We lived with that window and the matching shower curtain (see it reflected in the mirror?) for almost three years before the final breakdown.  There were other rooms in our home that definitely needed more work and were much harder on the eyes, so we gave them what I call "the mini makeover" treatment first.  Basically, a thorough cleaning, new paint, switched out hardware and pulled up carpet to reveal hardwood floors.  The easy stuff that makes an impact and helps you keep your sanity while living in a cosmetic fixer-upper.

After much thought about what to do with this space, everything from a simple spruce up, to taking the seashell theme to new kitschy heights, to just ripping all of it out and starting over.  We ended up deciding that it did not make any sense to rip out perfectly good tile and fixtures and a simple spruce up was all that we needed.  I spent a week pulling down the wallpaper, resurfacing the marred walls, priming and painting in a subtle shade of gray, to pick up on the contrasting band of gray tile along the floor.  We added a new, but vintage inspired light fixture because the old one did not cast enough light and we changed out the only broken element, the sink faucet.  New towels, shower curtain, refurbished wooden shutters and a "frame" set around the mirror and we were in business for a fraction of the price that most people pay for a modern makeover.  No, our bath does not have luxurious real stone tile, or a multi-spout shower head, but it does have a nice sized space, a more subdued palette and it still matches up with the rest of the home.  Plus, after all these years of doing my makeup in this room I have realized that pink really is my color!

;0)

E

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KitschDesigns' DIY-Pink Bathroom photoset KitschDesigns' DIY-Pink Bathroom photoset

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