Friday, October 21, 2011

A Pick And A Project

It was a meager picking week/weekend but here's the one thing I found last Saturday
I'm not much into white wicker & I don't like the fabric on the seat of this little hamper but it called to me so I couldn't pass it up.  My inclination is to paint it & put a different fabric (black w/pink satin seat, pink w/black satin seat....I dunno, the possibilities are endless - unfortunately my "project time" isn't so it might go to the store for someone to love as it is.

So here's what kept me chained to the sweat shop last weekend - can you see what it is???

Well I sure couldn't when I almost tripped over this pile of stuff on someone's lawn at a yard sale.  But I looked & looked at it when a man came over & asked me if I was interested.  I said "what the heck is it?!"  It was coated with at least an inch of dirt & nearly black with age but I was intrigued.  It looked like something that may have been quite beautiful at some time.  The gentleman explained to me it had been his mother's, who had bought it in the 1940's or very early 50's and it is a two-tiered brass & glass coffee table!  He'd had it in his attic for many, many years.  I could tell it was a good piece but never having restored brass before I wondered if it was salvagable.  He said he thought Brasso would clean it up.  So it became mine for ten bucks & he helped me carry all the pieces to the car.  As we were closing the trunk he said he was so glad someone was taking it that would restore & make it beautiful again.  Whoa!  Easier said than done I tell ya!

Brasso didn't budge it.  I scrubbed & scrubbed & SCRUBBED it.  Then tried Hepcat's miracle cleaner, "Awesome".  Even the Awesome didn't budge it.  Just as I was about to concede defeat & go somewhere and mope, Big Daddy to the rescue!

Along with his items of what looked to me like pure destruction!

You can't see the hazmat suit because I was wearing as I shot this picture

After using an old paint brush to apply THE most harsh varnish remover to all the pieces & wiping them all down with 000 steel wool, then using the little hand buffer for several days on all pieces (I'm exhausted re-telling this!), this is where I'm at

Waaay better eh?!  And here's the pretty little feet

See the difference!  In fact the shiney buffed one on the left is actually much shinier than it looks in this picture.

So my friends, I'm still slaving away at it & I have to go buy a little dremmel tool with tinier buffing pads to get into the small areas, but I think it will be FANNNTABULOUS when it's done.  It BETTER be doggonit!  In fact after a fairly exhaustive internet search I finally found one similar selling to the tune of SIXTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!  Holey Moley!  I won't be selling this one for such a price but it's good to know that I KNEW a "buried treasure" (& it did look like it'd been buried for 60 years!) when I see one.  Oh, and the two glass pieces are a beautiful oval beveled.  When I finally get it all done I'll bring it back to show you & preen my feathers again.  In the meantime......give me the courage to go on Lord!

Here we are at the weekend again (where on earth did the week go?!) & I wish you all the very bestest treasure hunting.  Hope y'all find a treasure like I did - WITHOUT all the work!



Friday, October 14, 2011


There are three “Connie’s” that I most remember from the 1950’s & 60’s – Connie Francis, Connie Stevens and Connie whats-her-name that stole my 10th grade boyfriend.  I got him back but that’s the last time EVER that we’ll mention THAT Connie ;- ).  For now I want to feature the beautiful Connie Francis, my all-time favorite female singer. 

She was the darling of the 50’s and 60’s in America as well as in Europe and made 31 albums & 26 hit singles.  In 1960, she became the first female singer to have two consecutive No. 1 singles, both on the top for two weeks: "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own." That same year, she became the youngest headliner to sing at the Copacabana in New York City as well as in Las Vegas.  She also recorded in 15 languages.  Her most famous (and beautiful) foreign language album, to me, was “Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites”.  Of course I knew NO Italian but I could sing along with every track – phonetically.

 Early in her career, she was introduced to and fell in love with Bobby Darin but her very controlling father disapproved of him & when he learned that Darin had suggested the two elope her father ran him off at gun point & told him never to see his daughter again.  She only saw him to more times for TV programs they both appeared on and she learned sadly learned of his marriage to Sandra Dee on the radio.  She later said that not marrying Darin was the biggest mistake of her life. 

Her fabulous career included 4 movies for MGM:  Where the Boys Are (1960); Follow the Boys (1963) (the title song of which became a No. 17 Billboard single for Francis); Looking for Love (1964), and When the Boys Meet the Girls (1965).   I saw them all when they came out but recently caught “Looking For Love” on a late night classic movie channel.  It was so adorable – sweet, innocent, silly, chauvinistic -  demonstrating the spillover of the 50’s women’s roles to the not yet women’s movement of the later 60’s.  It was a very confusing time & I remember it well.  And it was a time when women were still dressing to the nines and oh my, the clothes worn in that film were to DIE for!  Connie was also recognized for the gorgeous fashions she always appeared in.

Some of the beautiful "looks" of Connie Francis

Her later life was filled with heartbreak and tragedy.  She was brutalized and raped in 1974.  She had 4 failed marriages, and was plagued with chronic depression which hospitalized her many times and kept her from performing for many years.    In 1989, she resumed her performing career. Her most recent CD The American Tour (2004) contains performances from recent shows. In late December 2004, Francis headlined in Las Vegas for the first time since 1989. In March and October 2007, Francis performed to sold-out crowds at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. She appeared in concert in Manila, the Philippines, on Valentine's Day 2008. In 2010, she also appeared at Las Vegas Hilton.  If I’d known she was in Vegas last year I would have BEEN THERE!  My "bucket list" will never be complete until I can see this incredible lady perform.

Unfortunately & incredibly, as of this writing she is still not in the rock & roll hall of fame,  yet she was the first female pop star worldwide.  She has also done a lot of work for victims' rights since her rape in the '70s.

So for now, while I’m working on my current project, it’s going to be Connie Francis week here at Sponge Curlers & I will feature some of my favorite tunes by her on my playlist.  I hope you enjoy them too.  I have gleaned all information from Wikipedia, and added some of my own comentary.   

Have a GREAT treasure hunting weekend!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Auntie Is EIGHTY!

Omigosh!  I invited Auntie to lunch today for her birthday.  I told her to meet me at Cheesecake Factory at 11:30 before the lunch crowd.  I decided to get there early & get a table and greet her.  She beat me.  She was at the BAR with a glass of wine schmoozing with the young, handsome bar tender - yep, that's my "Auntie Mame" - I shoulda known!  Anyway, I gave her a hug & asked her how old she is now (I honestly wasn't sure) & she cocked her head & said eighty.  EIGHTY?!  I truly was floored.  I really can't believe it.  I told her she must have spent every night of her life in a pickle jar being so well preserved.  She chuckled.  She's proud.  And she should be.  I'm proud.  SO proud she's my Auntie Mame & I love her SO much.  So here she is.  And me.  She looking more like a sister than an ELDERLY aunt!  To be fair & honest this picture was taken a couple of years ago when we went on a cruise together (she was a blast!) and we've both aged 2 years, but she's still a stunner,  my Auntie
So, "vintage" we are - but she's NO antique!  Happy birthday to my beautiful, wonderful Auntie!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Show & Tell Monday!

And boy was it a whopper of a Saturday morning pick!  It started out kinda slow, nothing in the immediate area & I felt kinda discouraged so I got a doughnut :- )  That's it - it was the magical doughnut that sent me on my way following one little measley sign that led to another and another and WOW, I was home by noon looking like Granny Clampett with a full trunk & the back seat piled high!  (Big Daddy's just GOT to get me one of those Mercedes Van's like Mike & Frankie have!  Hah!  Fat chance little mama...dream on).  Well anyway, here's my proud pick from the weekend

This one is really a last minute sharp right turn I made on my way home - nearly got rear ended but it sure was worth it!  A total prize to my way of thinking!
A signed, 1969 Curtis Jere wall sculpture!

A gorgeous 1950's (maybe 40's) lamp.  There are no markings but it really is breathtaking & large, 12" tall

And boy was it CHAIR day!  Never found this many in one day - ever!  But boy did I luck out!  It's going to need a bit of light hand sanding & a rub down with tung oil but it's a beauty!

A beautiful Conant Ball Russell Wright chair - Sure wish they'd had the WHOLE set!

And how bout this gorgeous mid-century desk chair in PERFECT condition!

And this is my very favorite one!  Gonna need some scrubbing time with the Woolite Upholstry cleaner, but so worth it

A beautiful Slipper Chair - got to be from the 40's or 50's.  I adore it!

These were all the craze in the 1970's & I had a great collection.  I still think they're adorable
Wish I knew the manufacturer.  Don't know if they're the same or not, but so cute

I'm so excited about this one, I guess because I just think it's beautiful.  Has no markings but I was told it is an art pottery from the 1940's, made in Hollywood - and that's why it's so glamourous!
It's a large, 12"

I love Sorocco!  Especially one's with color

And pretty metal wall sculptures - even if they aren't Jere :- )
Lost one poor little butterfly on the right, but I can snip off the nub & it'll still be pretty

Oh and I RAN for this when I saw it laying on a driveway.  I didn't actually need to run because everyone else was just walking over & ignoring it like it wasn't a GREAT treasure.  Silly people
What a hot ensemble this addition is going to make with the great mod clothes I found last week!  Groovy baby ;- )

And last but not least.....I've been avoiding Christmas stuff all summer because I simply hate that Christmas now begins in July in the stores.  But I really must remember to start planning ahead.  This is a cute little tin tray with four coasters that caught my eye.

So that's it!  It was a GREAT Saturday!  After a beautiful weekend of 80 degree weather, maybe it was an omen that winter is creeping up & it will be the end of garage sailing for a few months (I go into mourning every year bout this time).  But alas there's always those GREAT indoor church rummage sales, estate sales & the flea markets on chilly (but rain free) afternoons.  Hope your weekend was as fun and GREAT as mine!


Friday, October 7, 2011

I've Done It!

Big Daddy says I've crossed the recycling line
But that happened a long time ago & he's just noticed.  He can't fool me, I saw the lust in his eyes.  I happen to like the look, don't you?  Now don't y'all rush out & copy me.  I'm going to patent it.

What I've actually done is really quite another feat for ME....I did it!...

I've got an Etsy store!  Omigosh!  But NOT without a great deal of grief, anger, and added insanity

Big Daddy got REAL lustful when he saw me in this dress - before he saw the gun of course.

But anyway, after a LOT of tears and frustration (I'm a techno-DWEEB) - SUCCESS!

His lust fizzled when he saw me in this dress

So, which one of these BABES is the REAL me you ask?  Take your pick.  Big Daddy gets lustful at all my persona's. Variety is the...well you know ;- )

But yep, I did it!  And I even figured out how to put the link to my Etsy shop here!  (how marketing savy is that?! *snurk*)Wow, I'm feeling quite smug & high tech these days. 

It also saves me (and YOU :- ) the blog about all my treasure finds on my recent, wonderful 600 mile pick-a-rama on the north coast because everything in the store is from that trip - save one or maybe two things but I managed to start a store with it!  (BTW - I will still be inflicting upon you my vacation pictures in the near future :- )  It was a grueling experience getting it all set up & ready to go, but what a wonderful thing when the next morning I awoke to find some very warm & welcoming ladies who had "favorited" my shop as well as some of my items on their store sites & blog sites.  I am very thankful to them and especially to the very sweet & helpful Paris at My Attics Charms for her support and tips.  So, if you would like, please take a peek!  And if you like what you see - SHARE THE LUV & pass it along! 

Tah-Dah!  A Twinkle In Time

So now that I've preened my feathers all over the place, and they seem to be flying everywhere, I will preen a bit more and show you my latest finished project.  (all you traditionalist's close your eyes!).  I found a lovely old (1918) tea cart in good structural shape but needing a bit of a new lease and since I find the occasional citrine martini preferable to a cup of tea I decided to have it MY way & give this girl a REAL lift into NOW!  Who says it has to be for tea anyway ;- )

I've been wanting to try a metallic paint so this is it!  A sparkling, NOW, martini cart!

Okay, I'm going away for now.  I hope you all have a glorious treasure hunting weekend.  The weather in Sacto CA is supposed to get great again so I may miss another picking weekend and squeeze in that old vanity set I've been dying to restore. 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Show & Tell!

Okay, Hepcat says in order to be a successful blogger I must post frequently.  He didn't mention it HAS to be SHOWTIME every day, so I drag my exhausted fat a..... well, you know what I mean :- ) to the computer because I am going to trust him & give it a shot.  And that means that tonight as I share my weekend picks I did NO pretty "staging", just threw the stuff out and here it is.  Even though I spent most of the week and weekend chained to a sander and up to my elbows in paint, I used the excuse on Saturday morning of letting a few pieces dry so I could GET OUT and see what was up in the hood.

First find was this great MOD ensemble!  Obviously I'll be doing some laundering & scrubbing & blocking of the sweater but like I said, this is raw, out of the trunk and I can't wait to doll it up.  All we need is some white go-go boots and we're ready to pony down!  And I love the accessories I found to go with it.

And more Mod!  And no, I'm not so exhausted as to not know the picture is upside down, but this is the best way I could show you an adorable light fixture - again, not scrubbed - and I got TWO of them (for five bucks but don't tell anyone,
k?  ;- )  Won't these be SO adorable in someone's retro kitchen or bathroom or wherever!  I love them!

I've got a real thing for gloves - I guess because I come from a time when they were a very necessary part of a girl's wardrobe so I pick them up whenever I find them - again, some scrubbing is in order.  BTW - while I was not concerned with lovely staging tonight, nor was I concerned with lighting.  Just toss em on the table & snap that pic!  Forgive me :- )

I think this beautiful Maddux of California bird planter might be my favorite pick of the weekend ~ it's so hard to play favorites isn't it! ( I'm going to have a VERY hard time taking this to the store)

I'm really loving the 1950's TV lights.  There are so many adorable ones.  This wouldn't be my first choice but it is in gorgeous condition and maybe someone will love it

And this is a cute little find.  I'm not exactly sure what one will do with it since the TV can't work, but I might paint it a cool retro color and maybe someone will enjoy having it for the radio & clock.

So it was a pretty successful picking day even though I was on the time clock don'tcha think?!

And, here is one of the projects that had me smothered in sanding dust and inhaling paint fumes (which might not be a BAD thing eh?!  Just kidding of course *snurk* :- )  I'm pretty sure this was one of my freebies (God, I HOPE I didn't pay anything for it!!).  As you can see, it was ready for the landfill.  I refer to all my "rescue" projects as "old girls getting a new lease", however, I do believe this old beauty is a CONVICT!!  No kidding!  When I turned it upside down there is a number and a hand written name of Milton Kane on it!  And since I live in close proximity to FOLSOM PRISON, welllll.......  Hey who knows but I hope Milton would appreciate the second time around on his project

Before - a great old phonograph stand/record cabinet.  I LOVE the style & could NOT trash it

And here's the convict with a new suit of clothes all ready to fill his new life with tons of beautiful old vinyl.  (Forgive the store setting - I forgot to take a pic before I left home).  This is a color combination I saw on a couple of restorations Hepcat had done & I asked him if he minded if I replicated it on a couple of my own projects and he very graciously said "No problem" - thank you Hepcat.  So, heeeeer's the brand new Milton all dressed up in a new set of duds!  Ta-Da!

So that's it for now.  I must go rest my weary carcass.  I hope to be able to share my wonderful finds from my 600 mile north coast pick-a-rama SOON! 

Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Congratulations Hepcat!

Today I want to send HUUUGE Congratulations to my good friend Hepcat! 

(Is he THE most adorable Irish Laddie ever?!  And it's hard to tell which one is the silly-willie-nillie-old-bear!)

It's quite a milestone he celebrates today ~ It's his first TEN THOUSANDTH hit day on his blog!  And what a feat for a blog that only began two months ago! 

I first met Hepcat and his wife, the Adorable Mz. Kitty (AKA as Hepkitty) when they came into the store & bought a small retro table from me.  Then they came back and purchased a retro liquor cabinet I had for sale.  The Adorable Mz. Kitty showed me a small picture of a room in their home.  My jaw dropped & I began to wonder what these very sweet & VERY young people were all about and I was dying to see the rest of their home.  One way or another I did wangle and invite to their home and I want to tell you, it was like walking through a time warp, or even better, a step onto a page in Sunset Magazine and I could hardly describe to others this amazing home,  when one day up pops Hepcat Restorations on the blogosphere!  A way to FINALLY share what I'd seen.  These kids have amassed THE most amazing collection of retro living I've ever seen.

But Hepcat's blog is not all about showing off his to-die-for-dream house, nope, it's EVERYTHING a blog should be and more ~ fun, entertaining & informative.  He features the totally awesome, incredible restorations he has done and shares tips on how he did them (an amazing feat for one who does not have a shop & works out of his garage). 

My grandkids would definately NOT mind if grama had THIS item in her home - a totally restored & working 1950's candy machine

And wouldn't mom's old turkey roaster be SO very proud to be sitting on this!
And those are just two of the many beauty's he's given a new lease on life to.

Their collections are gorgeous, for instance Hepcat's floor-to-ceiling collection of vintage paint-by-numbers - WOW!

And the Adorable Mz. Kitty's vintage ceramic fish wall plaques (this is only a sampling of the collection in the gorgeous bathroom!)

This talented young man with an "old soul" is a veritable walking book of knowledge on all things 50's & 60's ~ art, music, entertainment, architecture, and beautiful restoration.  And he shares his "old soul" with us every day with his hard work in putting together THE most fun, informative blog I've ever seen on an entire era gone by.  I am so proud to call him and Hepkitty "friends".  And if you haven't yet visited Hepcat Restorations, you should take some time to step back in time and explore the very wonderful world he has created. 

CONGRATULATIONS My Friend!  And may your life be filled with TONS of jitterbugs & mooshy-cooshy dances!

(Now, I'm off to put the paint clothes back on to continue my race against time with Mother Nature for good weather and finish up all my own restoration projects!  See you soon!)