Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trash-picked Tuesday: Lawn Furniture, part. 4

Today's trash-picked item is one of those things I love but rarely do I come across. I love vintage lawn furniture (obviously, or we wouldn't be on part 4 of the subject...) and especially spring or motel chairs. I know they're out there at auctions and antique stores, but I usually don't have the time or the money to shop those places. So I'm left to trash pick or thrift them when I can. I don't know why, but I've never had great luck finding them.

This is my one and only trash-picked motel chair. It's obviously seen better days (hmmm, maybe that's why it was in the trash?) but I will fix it up eventually. I like to call it the Lincoln Chair- because if you look at the rust spot on the back, you can see through it.  It is actually a bullet hole (really a shotgun slug, I believe.) Once I get the seat welded and the paint stripped, I think I'll leave the bullet hole there just for kicks. :P

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of School!


Today my baby boy starts Kindergarten. I'm excited for him and glad for the bit of free time I will have in the afternoons now. But I can't help thinking about how it seems like these last five years have gone so quickly! And a little bit apprehensive at watching him get on the bus and going somewhere all by himself.

Someone once told me that when you have kids, "the days drag on but the years fly by." How true that is!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Disneyland '55

I received the following email from Disney today and thought you all might be interested. I'm a Disney fan, especially of the older stuff (who isn't?), and I'd love to attend, but I happen to be on the wrong coast. (The photo above is from our Disneyworld trip in February.)

"Ever dream of strolling down memory lane with the original Mouseketeers? Curious about Kap the pig? Think you know everything about Disney memorabilia? Mark your calendars, because the answers can be found at "Destination D: Disneyland '55," a brand-new premiere event presented by D23, Disney's official fan club, that will focus on a specific area of Disney history.

Hosted at the Disneyland Hotel's Grand Ballroom Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25, the inaugural event will spotlight Disneyland's 55th Anniversary this year, with two days of seminars, entertainment, and experiences related to everything Disneyland – past, present, and future.

Steven Clark, head of D23, explains how the idea came about. "Our first D23 Expo [in 2009] was such a huge success and massive Company-wide effort that we decided to make it more special by holding it every other year. In turn, we wanted to create a special offering during the same time frame so fans would still have an exciting, robust Disney experience in off-Expo years ... and that's how Destination D was born." The fact that Disneyland's 55th Anniversary coincided with the premiere event was a match made in Disney heaven.

Disney historian Paul Anderson, who frequently works with the D23 team, will co-host several seminars over the two days. Steven provides the inside scoop on what Guests can expect. "Paul's extremely funny and is a wealth of knowledge, trivia, and fun facts. He'll present 'Weird Disney' with Archives Director Becky Cline, which features odd oddities like Disneyland's pancake races and Kap the Kaiser Aluminum Pig [from the old attraction]. We've found footage in the Archives that no one's seen before."

Along with Rob Klein and Stacia Martin, Paul will also host "The Wonderful World of Disneyland Merchandise," a look at some of the coolest, most bizarre souvenirs ever sold. "The scope of the merchandise categories throughout the years is pretty interesting – and surprising," Steven adds. "Vendors would test samples at various Disneyland stores to see if the product would sell. If the Park didn't purchase mass quantities, only a handful of collectors ended up with these items."

Those who grew up with the Mickey Mouse Club won't believe seeing their childhood heroes on stage. How hard was it to reunite the original members after 55 years? "That group of Mouseketeers has remained friends throughout the years ... they enjoy doing activities like this together and were eager to participate." Cubby O'Brien, Doreen Tracey, Bobby Burgess, Karen Pendleton, and Tommy Cole are just a few of the familiar faces who'll attend."

While some of those names are before my time, I think from a historian's viewpoint it would be very interesting to participate in this event. I've always been intrigued by the "old" Disneyland, and the one time I got out there (1995), I made sure to see as much of what remained of it as possible. But there have always been long-gone parts (like the House of the Future) I wanted to know more about.  Maybe some of you that are in the neighborhood can go and report back!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trash-picked Tuesday: Lawn Furniture, part. 3

While watching American Pickers last night, I was reminded of the aluminum strap chairs of my childhood. Way back before those collapsible chair-in-a-bag things, these were the portable go-to outdoor furniture we took to the beach, outdoor concerts, etc. We had plenty of these at our house, including a chaise lounge very similar to this one. 

I'm sure they only cost a few dollars new, and they're not hard to find for a few bucks in thrift stores. So I was quite surprised to see Mike of the Pickers pay $15 for a decent example on last night's episode.

And I got this one for free! OK, it needs some new strapping, but that's easily found here, and there's a how-to here.

I plan to re-web it with green and tan; watch for a future post on the finished project.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Peek inside Chez QT: Jayson's room

After my post the a while back (heck, it seems like last year- been really busy lately!) about the ducks I had a few requests to see the rest of my son's Adirondack-themed room. With Jayson's permission, I'll take you on a tour:

(See the ducks in the center of the photo? ;)

Before he was born, we did not know ahead of time whether we were having a boy or a girl, so we did not decorate a "nursery". I figured we'd wait and see, and then decorate the room for either a little boy or girl after the baby arrived.

Well, of course the baby arrived and I could not get anything done for almost a year... which meant that he ended up sleeping in what was still our home office. (Hey, a computer screen makes for a nice nightlight!)

But I did start accumulating some vintage outdoor things for the theme I had in mind. My husband is really into hunting and fishing, so it was natural that we settled on that for a theme. And that also meant that we have quite a bit of taxidermy in our house, so some of that could be moved into his room. (Note: if you are not into taxidermy, there will be some photos of that to follow, so avert your eyes...)

The first thing I did was paint a mural of a giant tree in the corner where the crib was. It came out rather well, I have to say, considering I don't really think of myself as an artist. I do wish I had thought to repaint the walls and ceiling before I did it, though, because now we're stuck with a dreary beige around the mural that I can't stand!

The racoon in the tree and the stuffed coyote (aka "Charlie") were some of my father-in-law's things we got after he passed away this year. Since we don't need the crib here anymore, we're going to set up this corner with a desk for schoolwork in the next couple of weeks. Jayson starts Kindergarten this year and we want him to have his own workspace.

These are some of the wooden plaques Jayson collects now. Our rule is that they have to be an outdoor theme and marked somewhere on the back from a state park or tourist destination. They still make and sell these things; we just bought one new a little while ago on our trip to Crystal Cave. But all the rest in his room are vintage; the oldest ones are dated in the 50s. I think we have 11 or 12 so far. The lamp is a vintage scenic lamp that has a 3-D effect; I posted about another similar lamp in Jayson's room here.

The small plaque in the middle is dated 1957, and a souvenir of a cruise to Norway (Who knew Norway was into frontier kitsch???)

This is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our whole house.

It's a child-size kitchen hutch made in the 1930s as part of a WPA project. It's marked on the back "Michigan State Toy Project" and belonged to my mother as a child. (She was born in Detroit in 1940.) It got passed down through the years to my cousins and finally myself, and has the crayon scribbles inside to proves it. On top is Jayson's thift store lamp score and one of my paint-by-number collection.

And since today is Thrifted Thursday, my favorite thing in the whole room is the wool blanket/bedspread. It's a great vintage piece, probably from the 30s or 40s and is marked "Linn Lake Lodge". I bought it for $5 (it cost me more to get it cleaned!) and I still regret not snapping up a couple more- they had a whole bunch of them!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flea Market Friday: Boomerang Formica

I've been saving this one up for a while; I couldn't figure out whether to put it on Trash-picked Tuesday, Thrifted Thursday or Flea Market Friday....

I got this end table really for nothing at a thrift store near our cabin upstate. You see, my mother-in-law was renovating her kitchen there and had a great old 1950s stove that she didn't want anymore. (And before anyone hollers at me, I wanted to keep it, but we were living in a townhouse at the time and I didn't have anywhere to store it- I do wish I still had it now!!!!)

So we loaded it up and took it over to a resale shop. They gave us $50 for the stove, I think, and while she was completing the deal I found a few things in the store that I wanted. The guy threw them in for nothing as part of the deal.

He practically looked at me like I was nuts when I pulled this old table over; I'm sure he thought it was about ready for the trash. I think he was happy to be rid of it.

But I loved the yellow boomerang formica top, and of course the wire legs. I always intended to repaint the black metal parts, since they have a bit of rust on them. Of course, that was about 8 years ago and they are still waiting for that paint job...

But the best part is the wild yellow formica top with crazy orange and gray boomerangs. It's a mid-century icon that works perfectly for kids (and husbands!) to set their drinks on and no one has to use a coaster!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thrifted Thursday- Duck, Duck, Goose!

Someone out there in blogland had a thing for ducks recently. It inspired me to take photos of these chalkware ducks I thrifted a few years back (but I forget who the blogger was...)

Anyway, I think I paid $4 for the pair of them. They're beautiful old pieces that I believe originally came in sets of three. But two are enough for me and my son, who has them in his vintage Adirondack-style room.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Trash-picked Tuesday: I like toast and jam...

I pulled this 1950s chrome toaster out of that same dumpster where I found the old coffee urn. (You remember the one behind the rummage sale building where the church ladies got rid of all their unwanted kitchen stuff, right? ;) )

After a little elbow grease and a lot of Nu-finish polish, it cleaned up beautifully. It appears to have been hardly used- even the cloth cord is still in mint condition. I plugged it in and "toast-tested" it and it made perfectly golden toast every time.

I gave it to my brother who needed a toaster for his new house, since I already have a very similar one that my dad got new back in 1962. And yep, he got it when he opened a new bank account. True story...