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Monday, June 8, 2015

Babs and the Door Project



Hello  RetroBabs fans and fellow artists,




I am involved in a community art project called Opportunity Knocks.  My hometown of Oak Forest has obtained 20 doors from an apartment building they were demolishing.  The alderman have put the word out that they wish these doors to be painted by the public and artists living in Oak Forest.  The doors are to be painted by artists, school children, Brownie troops, etc.  They will stand until the end of fall at which time they will be auctioned off.  Hopefully, businesses or individuals will purchase them and the money raised will go towards next years project.





I promised you a glimpse of the door project. So here I am in my grubby painting clothes!


This is the back of the door. I had to incorporate  the I-beam/struts into the design.  I think I did a pretty good job to camouflage those poles. 

Oak Forest's 1st community art project called Opportunity Knocks.
20 painted doors on display at 159th and Cicero.
Presentation on Saturday, June 27th

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summertime

Summer is finally here and things are cranking along at RetroBabs.
Bec is busy with her two kids, Wynn and Calla.
 I spend my days in the garden and going to estate sales, garage sale, thrift stores to find treasures for ya' all.



Here is a Mother's Day photo I love.

Wynn, Bec and Calla  (aka' BEEB)
I am involved in a community art project in my town.  We are painting doors and the theme is Opportunity Knocks.  I will post a photo of the final project soon.

One of the best things that happened since March involved our whole family being able to get together.  There are 17 of us now so it was quite a crowd. 
 My nephew, Adam Carlton, took this photo- Check out Adam Carlton Photography on FaceBook.

It is hard to get babies to cooperate. At least the adults are looking at the camera!!!





My latest find was a butter dish lid to my beloved Temporama dishes. Long live the thrifters. 
Finding the lid ONLY was a miracle!

Hope you are having a wonderful summer, thanks for checking us out and feel free to comment!
Blessings Babs



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Up Coming Sale

The RetroBabs shop will be having a sale for St Patrick's Day.  Hope you can take advantage of it.  10% off items from March 1st to March 17th at midnight.
http://www.etsyonsale.com/sellers?referralCode=DQTTWBU7IF
sale

I don't know about you all but I cannot wait for SPRING to arrive.


Morning Glory vine from my garden.  Don't you love that sky blue color??
Here are a few photos to get you in the spirit of spring.
Have a great day! Blessings Babs

Monday, February 16, 2015

Rare Typewriter

My son-in-law told me he thought "Cursive" writing was a dying art.
 (CURSIVE-You know the handwriting we learned in elementary school, the Palmer Method for penmanship. ) Kids are now allowed to print their homework and handwriting is a personal choice.
(I think I am showing my age!!) 
He is a Graphic Designer who specializes in fonts and has created a few unique ones of his own so he must know what he is talking about. ( Check out Digital Kitchen, a graphic design firm in Chicago and the title font for the HBO series TRUE BLOOD, which is his work.)

If this is truly the case then this typewriter will be fabulous for the collector.
It is from the 1970's, an Escort 55 by Montgomery Ward, a vintage manual typewriter with cursive font.


with a dual ribbon it types in red and black

It was made in Spain and it is a CURSIVE font typewriter!!!

Too bad I do not know how to spell Etsy!!

They are calling it script type on this sticker which is still attached to the typewriter.

Montgomery Wards is now closed but was a great major department store in its day.

Manual typewriters used to come with carrying cases for portability. Can you imagine lugging this thing around??
I thought you would enjoy this trip down memory lane and feel free to comment. Check out the shop for more info.

 I for one still writes everything in longhand, from the grocery list to a personal thank you note. 
Cursive is not dead but it may be dying!!  I hope not.



Sunday, February 1, 2015

Upcycled chandelier

Happy New Year and Happy Superbowl day!

 We were scheduled to have a party today but a foot of snow fell in Chicago so people kept cancelling. I cannot blame my guests but what am I to do with 5 lbs of spicy wings and a 20 inch pizza??  Hubby and I ate a few pieces and we froze the rest. 

I thought you might like to see my latest project.  My mother graciously  gave me a chandelier that I believe came from my grandmother.  It is an antique and has beautiful hanging crystals.  I have always liked it and would never give it up because of the wonderful memories BUT....... it didn't really fit into my decor.

 So I asked my hubby if he had anything we could put "around" it. 
He has made other items for the yard as art- globes, obelisk type ornaments etc.
Here is what he came up with once I described I wanted to do a Pottery Barn hack.

He said the metal was from a snake  (a long ,thin piece of metal you put down a drain to unplug a clog).  I am not sure I needed to know that much info (YIKES- do I want to know where that thing has been??). But it does have a nice patina on the metal !!

I slipped it around the chandelier and didn't even have to remove the chandelier from the ceiling. I am happy with it.  Feel free to comment and tell me what you think.
 It is a bit wonky because it is hard to make a perfect circle/sphere. The sphere seems to project a funky pattern of shadows on the ceiling which is growing on me!

I hope your favorite team wins and stay warm and safe out there.
Blessings Babs

Friday, January 2, 2015

I love vintage - especially mid-century modern

1.  That tin from the 1950's came from my father-in-laws garage!
 It was filled with nuts and bolts.  I had to have it- Isn't it fabulous?
2.  Hill-Rom desk, Lurelle Guild chair, and 1960's Royal manual typewriter.
3.  My beloved Temporama dishes and Dryden pottery. 
Did I mention I collect all things ATOMIC ?
4.  Vintage Pyrex coffee carafe'
5.  Bar cart featuring my father's martini shaker and my collection of aluminum serving set.
6.  Yellow Blendo popcorn bowl with six side dishes.
I use these on movie night and fill them up with kettle corn. YUMMY



Wanted to start the year off right by giving you a little "share fest" of my personal collection.  

1.  That groovy little metal tin is from the 1950's and I fell in love with it instantly.  I couldn't let it sit in a garage and rust. Nuts and bolts nonsense!

2. Hill-Rom desk is special because it has an aluminum body.  Hill-Rom makes hospital furniture and hospital beds to this day.  The Lurelle Guild chair is also aluminum and is the perfect place to sit while I type a note on my perfect, aqua blue, Royal manual typewriter.

3. Temporama dishes are my number one LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  They date back to the 50's and they have survived over 60 plus years.  I use them everyday and I own every piece of the set.  How do you like the casserole chaffing dish? 
The aqua pottery tea set is Dryden.

4.  Check out the Trio of coffee carafes especially the one that has the Temporama design.  That one is a bit hard to serve from as it has NO handle and one can burn ones hand while serving!!  I wonder what they did in the 1950's?? Potholders?  Maybe the handle is just missing- I cannot be sure.  If anyone knows the answer please leave a comment.
 Help a vintage sister out!
Pyrex and Anchor Hocking had the market in tempered glass covered.

5.  Rolling bar cart filled with my deceased father's chrome martini shaker and the aluminum set below was put out by Alcoa.  I love serving ice cold Kool-Aid out of these in the hot summer months. Nothing tastes better.

6.  Yellow Blendo bowls with fancy gold rim edges.  Sometimes I use this set as salad bowls or for punch bowl.

I hope you have a wonderful 2015, Happy New Year from RetroBabs.






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5 inexpensive ways to refresh your bedroom

I recently was working on a project to freshen up my bedroom.  The hubby never cares what I do so I decided to move all the furniture around. I have a rather long narrow room with many windows.
I decide to create a mood:  I was going for a 1950s Tiki vibe, Hawaiian tropic sort of motif. 
Vintage Bark cloth in Hawaiian theme framed in hoops and wooden frames. This fabric usually has a scene woven in.  Our grandmothers had draperies made out of Bark cloth.  Some vintage fabric has threads of fiberglass which was a new innovation in the 50.

Use your collections to enhance a space. My groovy wooden bowls are teak, monk wood and cherry wood. Each are hand turned on a lathe and I consider them works of art.

1. Use your collections to freshen things up.
 I collect vintage fabric called Bark cloth.  You know you have seen this type of fabric.  It is made out of natural fibers and dates from the 1950s. Your Grandmother's drapes were probably made out of this fabric.   I particularly like Hawaiian themed motif. So here I framed my precious fabric inside  embroidery hoops and wooden frames.  This fabric usually has a scene on it or flowers are very common also.

2. Find ways to display and organize your accessories.


Old display shelf originally for spools of thread now organizes my earrings.


Walnut two tier cupcake tower, circa 1950s, originally for food, now used for bracelets.
In the above photos you will notice I have my earrings displayed on a vintage plaque/easel for spools of thread. I also re-purposed a vintage two tier cupcake stand/candy dish.  This one is made of solid walnut and houses all my bracelets/costume jewelry.

3.  Use what you have and what your love in a new way- Recycle, Re-Purpose, Refurbish.



Family heirlooms, antiques, refurbished and reupholstered furniture. Notice more wooden bowls hold make up and hair products. An old dresser or a secretary desk can become a vanity. Display your baskets, candles, jewelry etc.
Here is a vintage small dresser/desk that was antiqued in the 1970s. I love it because it a pull out shelf on the top.(See the little knob in the middle)  I use this as my vanity to put on my make-up.  The chair was a find out of the garbage.  It also is made out of solid walnut and I reupholstered it in more Bark cloth fabric. 
As I look at these photos I realize everything is green!!  I guess that is one of my favorite colors!

4. Feel free to use your TALENTS- sew, paint, design, wallpaper etc.

I made the pillow in the foreground out of my precious fabric.  Are you feeling the Hawaiian theme?? ALOHA!!

I made this to hang my many necklaces. It is fabric stretched over a picture frame.  The hooks are drapery hooks and work very nicely.
5. There are no rules! It your own bedroom- Who is going to see it everyday???- YOU- so do what makes you happy.
More framed Bark cloth.  It might not be for everyone but I like it and I am the one who looks at it everyday!!  Blessings to you, Babs

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

10 Ideas for the DIY Vintage Wedding

Welcome to the backyard wedding
June is the month for weddings and here at RetroBabs we thought you might like to see how we used our vintage items and ideas to make Becky's fabulous wedding.
Bec and Camm
1. Use old picture frames hanging from ribbon to make a portrait for photos.  Guests will have a fun time framing themselves. It is a good idea to provide a backdrop for group photos.

Gingham themed backdrop is a flannel blanket!
 
2.  Make a Chupa' (tent/awning) out of old tent poles, trampoline parts, fabric etc.  Make the perfect spot to be married. Say your vows, a kiss for luck, create a focal point.
PVC poles and trampoline arch add structure to the yard.    


3.  Make flags and bunting to enhance the venue.  Use fabric sewn to string, old doilies, old handkerchiefs etc.

4.  Make lighting for the evening hours, use mason jars with candles inside, fish bowls dangle from wires for a chandelier etc.

5.  Use vintage items as props, old bicycles, weather vanes, milk cans etc.
Vintage bike photo op.

6.  Make a destination sign to include all your guests.  They travelled far to see you so include them in the festivities.  Old fencing or barn wood make great planks of wood, easy to paint, be sure to include north, south, east or west and the mileage!

7.  Table settings set the mood so make sure you have a theme.  Bec went with the gingham fabric for her "real simple" wedding.  She hand sewed quilted table runners as well as 600 feet of gingham bunting!  All the vintage plates were garden themed with flowers or plant motifs- not one matched the other. The linen napkins were all different colors and found at resale shops.  Bec washed and ironed each one before tying with twine.
Mason jars make excellent drinking glasses and beer steins!


8. If candles don't give enough light for the evening hours use clear X-mas lights, Edison bulbs, lanterns, whatever it takes to create that ambiance you want.

9.  Tents and awnings protect your guests from the sun but don't forget about the mosquito netting to protect them at night!

10.  Flowers can be bought in bulk and fashioned into a simple bouquet tied with ribbon.  Gerber daisies are hardy and drought resistant.

It is also helpful to have a big group of family and friends that help set up! Thanks to all (you know who you are) for making a wonderful dream come true.

These were just a few of the ideas we incorporated into Bec and Camm's wedding.  We hope it gives you brides out there ideas and tips. Enjoy!
Blessings to you from Babs and Bec.
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