Thanks, Toni

I am sending out a huge round of applauds to my friend Toni of the Mid-Century Modern blog Mimomito for her research skills that helped me avoid the biggest mistake of my antique picking career. Earlier today, David & I stumbled upon a brown Eames style lounge chair listed at a ridiculously low price. You think that the price would have tipped us off but we came across it at a junk store where we have found hidden treasures in the past (i.e. rare 1st edition books for $1). So we were curious. The chair appeared to be from the right era. The leather worn in all the right places. Structurally it was sound. Needless to say, it caught our attention.

But my inner voice questioned whether it was too good to be true.

So I consulted Toni via text messages (love them smart phones) who immediately turned me on to an incredibly helpful website that distinguished real vs. fake. After quickly scanning this website we realized that the chair in front of us was not an Eames but a bona fide knock off. The dead giveaway was that the base was not five star but four. Its arm rests were also flat and made from one piece of leather. Yes, an expert would have noticed all this at first glance but we're still novices.

So thanks to Toni I am not sitting on my fake Eames right now sulking but counting the money she saved me at the click of a button. And I am one step closer to being able to spot a true Eames piece from the wannabes.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Hey, is that a Flamingo I see?

As long as we remain living in San Francisco it is highly unlikely that we will ever have a lawn. So us city dwellers had an unique dilemma. Where in the heck should we display our vintage flamingo lawn ornaments when the closest patch of green was cross town? And chances were - they would have been stolen if left unattended. And sadly, I doubt I could issue an Amber alert if they were kidnapped.

So on top of our refrigerator seemed the most logical solution.

Surrounded by vintage advertisements, our three pink flamingos now truly have a bird's eye view of the apartment.

Should We Sell These?

On our way to Sacramento this past weekend we decided to make a pit stop in Vallejo to check out what was happening mid century-wise. Cruising down Georgia Street we came across Indian Alley Antiques and decided to peak inside. Not more than a dusty hole in the wall, this antique store was filled with hidden treasures. One such discovery was a pair of mannequin heads likely used to display jewelry. Our best guess is that both were from the late 60s/early 70s and surprisingly in good condition figuring that mannequins are not always handled with care. David was in love.

Problem was that they were bald.

Not wanting to spend a fortune on wigs for the girls, we were directed by friends to the "hood" in Sacramento proper. Proving once again that friend's advice in the best advice, we were able to find a wig store with a vast selection of surprisingly affordable hairstyles. Mission accomplished.

But the story gets better.

On our way back to the car we were almost car jacked in the stripe mall parking lot. Lucky for us, our would-be car jacker was over weight making it easy for us to dodge his advances in order to make a clean get away. Although annoyed at the time, I laugh recalling this dude's face when we flat out told him that we didn't have time "for this" and sped off.

So the girls are safe and sound in our living room with their new coiffure. Our only dilemma now is whether we can part with them.

Do Try This At Home

Who said you couldn't be creative with vintage appliances. One of my most favorite tricks is to use an item meant for one purpose for another. One example of this is my recent conversion of a mid century chrome kitchen canister set meant to store flour, sugar, coffee and tea into an office (or in my case laundry room) organizer. Lacking office space, I was at a loss as to where to store necessary (but seldom used) items such as scotch tape, glue, scissors, and calculator. Then it dawned on me.
Voila! Now I have an adorable yet functional office organizer hanging in my laundry room.

Match Made in Heaven

Those who know me are aware of my fondness for Franciscan Starburst dinnerware. So it should be easy to imagine my excitement last Sunday when I spotted a table full of these adorable atomic dishes at the Alameda Point Antique Faire. It was an addict's dream come true. Among the mix was a sugar bowl with lid. It was flawless. Already the proud owner of not one but two creamers, I have been on the hunt for a sugar bowl for some time now. And there it was just waiting for me. A match made in heaven.

So I blame my obsession on my mother. Recently she shared with me that when her family relocated to California from the East Coast back in the late 50s her mom decided to modernize their dishware. Since the Franciscan factory was within walking distance to their Glendale home, she accompanied her mom to pick out the new pattern. You guessed it. They chose the Starburst pattern. But this story takes a sad turn. No one knows what ever happened to that set of dishes. Likely sold or given away after my grandparent's deaths, these once cherished dishes could be in your kitchen right now (or perhaps mine without even knowing it). The good news is that my grandmother was among the masses that helped make these dishes popular back in the day. Pretty cool, huh?

Ice Ice Baby

You cannot get any more atomic than this. The first time we stumbled upon a Dazey 160 ice crusher buried deep inside a box at a local flea market I recall David exclaiming with joy like he found a long list friend. It started with one (the red one, actually) but as you can see our collection has grown (true confession - we own six and counting). With its metal top and colorful plastic bottom, this rocket shaped ice crusher originally launched in the late 40s. Linked to the Populuxe movement I am not surprised why these space-aged crushers remain popular today.