Friday, May 21, 2010

We're moving

Hey Everyone,

We hope that we have some readers.... Anyway, we are moving to as our host site. They just offer some different features that we wanted to try.

Anyway, here's a link to get there; please let us know what you think.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pattern Frenzy

Did we mention that we have a thing for vintage craft patterns? Well, we do. I think being the crafty Martha Stewart ( NOT) wannabes we are, that we can't resist a good pattern. Problem is, we frequently can't resist a BAD pattern. I know, if the dregs of our drawers were turned out, some horrible things would come to light. I decided to come clean on a recent purchase I myself made. In my defense, I only paid 10 cents a piece for these, so it wasn't like I broke the bank dragging something like this home, but they tickled my funny bone. First up is this fun purse pattern:

Now, to be really honest the patterns aren't that bad, especially if the colors were a bit more in line with today's taste, but I really want to know what the reasoning was behind the animals in each bag. Not sure I WANT a bag that has had a chicken in it, if you know what I mean. Never mind the rabbit or the guinea pig.

Next up is this grooooovy vest pattern. I think it rather speaks for itself, but you notice how the man is unable to even look at the camera. Probably couldn't keep a straight face, or maybe he was trying for plausible deniability, "Heck no that wasn't me, I have standards!".

Come to think of it, the gal is not having much better luck. Wonder how much they had to pay for this shoot? OK, one last horrible admission, I have been toying with the idea of making these in doll size. Of course plastic can't talk back, and I would change the colors. If it happens, I will be sure and post, and one of these days, we will come clean on the doll fetish that we share as well as some of our other collecting habits.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Freaky Friday Redux

I'm not sure if the planets were in alignment, the tide was high, or if it was the influence of the new moon, but there was some wild stuff out there Friday!

First up is a trio that taken separately might not constitute a crime against man and nature, but grouped together was painful viewing, at least to us. Again, I ask the folks who make this stuff, what have you got against shells?

Dude, seriously, topiaries? This is a real "what were they thinking?" moment. Check the prices: I think at $6.99 each for the topiaries, and I don't care what price they put on the shell/vase combo, these items will not be adopted even at half price.

Next, we have two flower arrangements, and I say this advisedly. We saw them, and will testify that they were arrangements, just not good ones.

Okay, who ever did this should have saved their thread, that's all I'm gonna say.

¡Ay caramba! Where do you start with this? The nasty flowers? Nah, not bad enough! You should probably know by now that we aren't big cherub fans, at least in home decor. I love all the putti and cherubs that fly in paintings found in museums, ceilings like in the Sistine Chapel, etc. Cherubs with some sort of infectious skin problem added onto a clunky vase? NO, NO, NO, this should not be allowed. No really, look closely, he has GOLD spots!

After this we were feeling a little fragile, but the next aisle contained still more weird stuff.

The second picture gives you a better indication of this bowl's size and color. It doesn't give us any clues as to why someone felt compelled to buy this, or what they used it for. Bad monkeys are becoming as numerous as hideous clowns, what is the deal with that? We refuse to take pictures of clowns; it just encourages them.

There was more, but it was fabric stuff again, so we should probably save it for another post. Maybe one huge post about all the god-awful fabric we see. Before doing this sort of compendium of awfulness, we should probably research whether it would break the internet. ;- )

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Friday Finds--We just aren't saying which Friday!

Here it is Tuesday, and I'm just writing the Friday Finds post. There really isn't any valid excuse, but I'm blaming the weather! If the wind would stop blowing for 5 minutes, I could think straight. Thankfully, the wind has died down, and now it's supposed to snow and we could get up to 7 inches, if you believe Weather Underground. Now that I've distracted you from why I didn't get the post done last Friday, let's get 'er done. ;- )

Well, this is hard to believe, but there really wasn't anything horribly ugly last week. I know! Who would have thunk it? Usually we are spoiled for choice, but this last shopping trip was more pitiful than criminal. We don't make fun of those kind of items, we took an oath. So, instead, we are showcasing some fabric-related items from previous weeks.

This piece of fabric would not be suitable for anything! I wouldn't even make a pillow for a daycare out of it--wretched stuff.

Why would anyone put coats of arms on that color background? Additionally, if you wanted that color of fabric (why??), would coats of arms be the decorating theme you're using? Either way you look at it, there really isn't any reason to ever want this fabric, and so it's presence in the thrift store is explained.

Next up is some wonderful polyester material. Now there was a time that polyester was the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you had spent your life ironing cotton and linen, polyester would be a god-send. Hence, all the little old ladies loved it; even after the younger, hipper crowd moved on. But, only Mesmer's grandmother would wear this pattern:

I'm being hypnotized just looking at it.

The next two beauties were made by someone's aunt, granny, mother who was challenged when it comes to color combinations. These are the people that color wheels are made for, tragically they never use them.

Well, I think that is about all the ugly we can impose on the internet today. As always, if you can top these fabric faux pas, put your money where your mouth is and send us a picture. We WILL post it, believe you me!

Book Corner

Hi there, this a procrastination blog post since we didn't find anything horrible last Friday. It was my job to look through all of our reserved pictures to do a Friday Finds post. Unfortunately I'm a coward and procrastinator, which can be a deadly combination. So, instead of doing the Friday post first, I'm doing a book review, with a bonus thrown in for good measure.

I promised in the Spaghetti Poodle post to review the only known book on the subject (at least according to Amazon): Spaghetti Art Ware Poodles and other Collectible Ceramics by Wanda Gessner.

Amazon has new and used copies, I ordered it and paid about $20, including shipping. First off, I would be suspicious of the pricing guide since the book was published in 1998. We all know that with the uncertain economy, prices ain't what they used to be. The author reproduces the marks and paper tags and lists manufacturers and importers in the introduction. She also includes a brief description of common materials used--porcelain, red clay, or ceramic material, along with a brief description of production techniques. For those of you who have been wondering, the spaghetti is made by pushing ceramic, clay, or porcelain through a tea strainer or similar device and pressing it onto the body, or swirling it to make curly fur. The figure is fired after the painted decoration is added. Often, these figures are only fired once, which would explain why the paint is often chipped or flaky.

After the brief introduction, the book features 101 pages of pictures and descriptions, lots and lots of pictures (400 +) which is just what collectors like. The first section details spaghetti poodles and dogs, then other animals, holiday figurines, and finally miscellaneous. Through the whole book, I looked for my poodles, and found one or two, but for the most part my collection wasn't in her collection. Which makes me wonder how many more spaghetti artifacts are out there.

If spaghetti art ware is your thing, then I would recommend this book; especially since spaghetti ware books are few and far between. It isn't a complete description of what is out there, but it's better than nothing.

The next review is of an excellent guide to jewelry called appropriately enough fun jewelry by Nancy Schiffer.

This book was published in 1991, so again the price guide isn't accurate. But as the editorial review states, " Fun Jewelry contains over 400 beautiful color photographs showing over 1000 pieces and an explanatory text which identifies all marked pieces". Amazon has it for sale for about $9 (used) + shipping. This is a must have book for people who enjoy jewelry, whether it's vintage costume or the real deal. This book details "fun" jewelry made by most important designers including: Tiffany, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels. It also describes "costume" jewelry made by Eisenberg, Miriam Haskell, Trifari, or Sarah Coventry. It has something for everyone.

There are about 150 pages of pictures, lots of pictures along with descriptions. The jewelry is classified by subject, so there is a "Swimmers" section with fish, amphibians, etc., a "People" section with human associated subjects, "Beasts" with animals, "High Flyers" with bird jewelry and so on. This book is amazing in its collections and pictures. I'm sure it isn't complete; there have been so many jewelry makers over the years, but it isn't from a lack of trying. I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in jewelry.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday's Funtastic Finds

For a change, we are starting off with something GOOD!! I know that it's almost impossible to believe, but we have our reasons. We need to balance our shopping karma; if we don't show some nice things, we may come back as dung beetles in our next lives.

The crab apple trees in the parking lot are blooming their hearts out! This is even more amazing when you consider how they were rudely snowed on just yesterday. The lines of trees, all a mass of white, fragrant flowers, are so beautiful! See, we can appreciate beauty when we see it!

So much for karmic maintenance. The next item is so awful that my camera would not focus on it, probably in self-defense. Sorry for the blurry pics. If it's there next week, HA HA, we can take a pic with Kathy's superior camera. I'm sure that you can tell a little something about this even through the blur.

The idea of a desk clock with a lizard on it is basically cool with me. What makes this a "fail" item is the ugly gold leaf the lizard is perched upon. The two together are just ghastly, which is hard to tell from these crappy pictures! The one good thing about it is its size, small, less visual assault that way.

I think we are on a vacation rampage lately. We keep finding weird chotskies that people drag home from vacation. If I were a recipient of such a gift, my thought would be, "I wish you would have spent the money on another drink at that overpriced beach bar". It's never a surprise that these items show up at thrift stores and garage sales.

Ok, is it some sort of mask maybe, or a local god... hmmm? BUT it is made of shells as you can clearly see in the second picture. My question is, what did that shell ever do to you?

I remember this next decorative item being popular in the 1970's, or around there. They have made periodic return performances from time to time, but this example was never very good.

It's huge for a start. The red ribbon board behind and to the right is 25.5 inches tall, so this ship is around 3 feet! As if that weren't bad enough, it's flimsy and cheap. If it were really brass, you would need a couple of well placed screws in the wall to hang it. I suspect a thumbtack would be adequate for this, if you were sure it's the finishing touch your living room needs. If this is the case, be sure and let us know, as I am positive it will still be available for purchase next week.

OMG we are going end with something relatively good; I can feel the yin and yang of our shopping souls re-balancing as I post this.

We both have fairly substantial brooch collections; we like pins. In each of our collections, there are pins that defy explanation. The best way I can put it, is, their presence has more to do with humor than goodness or quality. My weird pins are usually flowers, and Kathy's are cats or other animals. We found this prime example of a Kathy pin today.

When I asked her what she liked about it, she said, to the best of my recollection, "His feet are so cute!". I have to agree, he does have cute feet ;- ) In my defense, I believe the feet were the closer on this item. I am particularly fond of goofy animal pins, and the orange and pink on this fella just screams late 60's/70s. It also helped that he was half price ( $1.50) instead of full price which would have been just too much. It is also a signed piece ( I didn't know that at the time, so really, that is no excuse!) marked LG for Lind Gal jewelry.

Well, we will try to get a better picture of the lizard clock next week. Other than that problem, we had a super day at the thrift stores, followed by a bang-up lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant. Ah... Fridays are grand.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friday Finds

Well, it's happened again. We had another bumper crop of humdingers! Some days are just like that. I never can tell if it is just our mood, or if there really are awful things that come out of the woodwork just to scare us! We walked in the door of our favorite thrift to be greeted with this object:

Perhaps individually, it might not have been so bad, but the whole sequined fruit, wax apple rose thing, and stripey basket just wasn't cutting it. Whoever decided fruit should be decked in sequins should have been shot BEFORE the idea caught on.

Next up is this:

Hubby's reaction was: " OMG what is it?" Well, frankly I am not sure anyone can answer that question. If you can, be sure and let us know. Really the kicker on this one was the tail, the brown tufty off the back. It sort of was the cherry on top. We laughed ourselves silly with this one. What possessed the first person that bought it? Drugs, alcohol, some sort of altered mental state, and a tropical vacation had to be involved. We KNOW why it was at the thrift store.

Next up, this lovely, plastic kitchen decor:

I shudder to think of the kitchen this graced, and must have for many years to be just showing up now. Maybe it would go with the fruit basket? I would accuse the same person, but they were at two separate thrift stores. Wouldn't a blank wall have been better? One of those framed dish towels? Oh, wait, some of those can be pretty horrendous too.

And for our last choice item:

He was about a foot tall, and the photo pretty accurately shows the colors. No really, if this was the only place I had to save my money for a rainy day, I would rather be broke! Maybe the person saving up for a rainy day used some of their funds to buy a new bank--now that would be a good investment.

We actually had a few more, but we will save those for "a rainy day"! Bye for now.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Friday Finds a Little Late

Well, this week we had a sick kid in tow, so we didn't spend a lot of time looking for the evil that lurks at our local thrifts. We did find a little number that will join the Holiday Review, so look for that later.

First up is a ... er... thingie. Honestly, I'm not sure what to call it.

It looks like it might have a base of basalt, but it's just some sort of plastic, petrified wood, resin, we just weren't sure. The boring, uninteresting, blah flowers are scattered all over it, and not in an artistic way. Another strike against this thing is its size, about 8-10 inches tall and maybe a foot long. Those aren't Hot Wheels visible in the picture, but some model cars that someone probably built. The only thing on it that was redeemable was the umbrella. It was really well made, very intricate on the inside, and appeared to be vintage, but not worth $5.99 and the effort it would take to wrestle it out of this ... thingie.

The next item could have been fun, except it failed in execution. I have a friend that talks frequently about monkeys. If I wanted to lose his friendship, all I would have to do is buy him this monkey.

I'm sorry, you need to see a close-up picture to get the full horror, and a better idea of its color and size:

For the last item, we couldn't resist. They hadn't been bought yet, so we moved them next to each other. These pictures had to belong to the same person; there couldn't be two people who thought "I have to hang this in my house", there just couldn't! At least we hope not!

After taking this picture, the following Peaches & Herb song kept running through my head:

Reunited, and it feels so good
Reunited, 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
'Cause we're reunited
Hey, hey

Well, that's all for this week's installment. As always, please let us know what you think of our "finds" or show us pictures of yours. Ugly, horrible what were they thinking (W.W.T.T.) finds, that is ALL we want to see pictures of. At least one of us is a respectable middle-aged lady. ;- )

Speak for yourself. I personally am a spring chicken! (How else do you explain those flaps of skin blowing in the breeze, I know.... don't go there!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday, Sort of?

My partner in crime was ill this Friday, so I had to make the arduous trek by myself. I don't know if I just don't see as many awful things without help, or they are just funnier when we are together. I was about to give up hope when I spotted this lovely item:

I would swear it must have been owned by the person that donated the fat gold cherub last week, but surely not? Not sure if the full effect comes through, but imagine the cherubs in 3 dimensions and made of plaster. The frame is actually rather fantastic, but why ruin it with fat little angels?

Decided to hit one more store that is a little more out of the way, and was confronted with this item:

The really goofy thing about this lovely candle is, it is well over 2 feet tall, but only the small different colored gold piece on the top is available to burn. There was no wick in the rest of it. Personally, I feel that burning it might have been the best solution all the way around, and yet the option was not available! Oh well, when in doubt gild the heck out of it!

Collection Craziness--Spaghetti Poodles

I think everyone must have vague memories 0f these colorful ceramic poodles decorated with clay spaghetti to represent curly fur. Of course, these could be repressed memories; think back to visits to your grandmother's or that ancient great-aunt's house. The spaghetti poodles would be sitting on a mirror or an end table in the living room. Occasionally, they would decorate a boudoir or bathroom; btw, the word "decorate" is used loosely here.

In the 1950's and 60's there was a craze for poodles in general, which was carried over to the decorative arts, so to speak. I can remember being in love with the flocked poodles that adorned our bathroom wallpaper. I have a plastic poodle mirror, a carnival glass poodle powder box, vintage poodle jewelry, poodle linen dish towels, and poodle stuffed toys. Pretty much you name it, there was a poodle version. Hmm ... this could be a future post, all the poodle collectibles together, bwah-ha-ha. The post would probably have to have a warning label, so folks could save themselves ;-)

But to get back on track, today's post is just about spaghetti art ware poodles. Did you know that someone wrote a book about this subject? I know, what are the odds? I just ordered it from Amazon, here's the link:

I'll be sure to review it in a future post just in case you are considering buying it for your reference library.

Ok, back on track again, where was I? These ceramic poodles came in a variety of colors, poses, and with various "friends" attached to them with small chains. Those are my favorites--sort of vintage Japanese bondage, but innocent and decorative. I even have a collection of the "friends" chained together, but missing the main, most important poodle. I just group them with others of the same color; they are orphans after all and deserve our pity. As for why I collect them, well, that there is a key question.

Growing up, our family dog was a wonderful, playful, adorable poodle named Gigi (of course). Just throw all your preconceived notions about poodles right out the window. She was a great kid's dog who loved nothing better than to run along with your bike, or perhaps ride in the basket. So I'm predisposed to like poodles. But as decorations they have a fascination that has nothing to do with happy childhood memories. It could be that they are just such ridiculous, unlikely objects; honestly, why decorate with poodles of all things? Couple that with their little hand-painted faces showing a wide variety of expressions, and hey presto it's no longer a mystery why I collect them.

Enough nattering, here are some pics of my spaghetti poodles, their friends, and maybe a few innocent bystander poodles:

Just for fun you should look at some of the expressions on these poodles faces. They range from flirtatious, to foolish, to downright snarky! Plus you can see some of those orphans I was talking about; usually the poodles came with 2-3 "children".

Here is a picture the only blue spaghetti poodle set I've seen--of course I bought it!!

While these aren't technically spaghetti poodles, they are part of the chain gang, with their non-dog (some call them humans) attachments:

I can see that I'm getting really carried away here, but there are a few more types of spaghetti poodles that need to be documented for completeness:

Fashionable poodles

Look at those beautiful baby blues!

Two less typical variants:

Rhinestones Night light!

As you can see, there are spaghetti poodles to fit just about everyone's sensibility. I bet you're asking yourself right now why you don't collect them. Just so you know, they can be found at fine thrift stores or garage sales near you!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Finds

Well, another week has come and gone. Pickings seemed a bit slim, but they made up for their scarceness by being particularly awful. One of our favorite games is trying to get inside people's heads, either when the thing was purchased, accepted as a gift, or found that perfect spot in the decor. I know, scary thoughts aren't they?

Take this first item:

It was well over two feet tall. Although it was missing its sword, or whatever, we still thought it worthy of a photo. Now, where do you hang it? The dungeon, the man cave?

This next item, we were hoping was a souvenir, but then again, surely there must have been something more appealing to have purchased? Pity the poor recipient that had to come up with something terrific to say about this: "Oh, you shouldn't have, no really!" My beloved husband has a theory about exactly what caused the female figure's surprised expression; you have to really zoom in to tell she has an expression. When looking at the figures, where is the male figure's left hand? 'Nuff said.

And lastly, don't feel like we forget about the fashion faux pas. Really, we know they happen, but we don't usually scan the racks of clothes, so unless something really awful jumps out at us, we don't always see it, but this last item was just too large to be ignored. EVER. Imagine wearing it! It would be most appropriate for a rodeo, or maybe a WWE event.

Well, don't forget to send in your awful finds, or feel free to post on ours!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Hide an Embarrassing Collection in Plain Sight

Here's some handy advice for those of you with collections that make your friends and loved ones look at you with both eyebrows raised. You know the look I'm talking about, it either makes you argumentative (this collection HAS merit) or change the subject quickly when you can't justify your treasures.

You need to incorporate them onto/into an ordinary object, so no one really looks at them twice, if you're lucky:

See how I hid my hideous flower pin collection on this poor innocent lamp? Pure genius, if I say so myself. ;-) I'll talk about this collection in another post, after I figure out why it exists!

Another really easy way to hide a strange collection is to combine it with an innocuous collection as follows:

See how all my weird little animals that sneak into my house are hidden in my perfectly innocent plant collection? Same with rocks I pick up all over the place, into the plants they go! Then there are all the little broken elves that jump into my pockets from free boxes at garage sales. Guess their original owners didn't have the heart to toss them either.

Of course there is another, more honest, more empowering way to display your odd collections. Come to the Dark Side and be an unrepentant pack rat like Kathy. She never explains her collections; there is always an assumption that they are all fabulous, maybe a little eccentric, but never weird!