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Celebrating The Turkey Without Killing It

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Hey kids! Here’s some fun, edible goofiness just in time for Thanksgiving. These desserts, place settings and center pieces are all tasty and cruelty free. Some are even good fer ya! Click on each image for the source and how-to, but remember not to go nuts with directions. They are all easy enough to recreate with your own special touch.






Home Bars

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Doesn’t matter if you’re a big drinker or not. Home bars are pretty darn cool. Whether it’s a tiki bar or Mad Men version, what better way to entertain your guests than pretend you’re a bartender?


Who needs a tiki bar when you can have an entire tiki room?


This cute pink bar was in a home for sale in St. Louise, MO. Entire home was listed at $55k.


Outdoor pallet bar. How much does this cost? Oh yeah, free.


Ok, so the house is a bit McMansiony but the idea of putting the bar under the stairs is great. Plus, they have a pool table.

Light Fixture Fetish

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It’s true. I have an addiction to light fixtures. I buy light fixtures like women buy shoes. They go with many designs, they are easy to carry and they won’t make you look fat. Plus, if it’s a bargain, who can resist?


Granted, I’m pretty sure I had enough lighting to cover the whole house, but I picked up three more fixtures yesterday at Vaccaro’s. Although the entire renovation is a potpourri of salvaged styles, the lighting is decidedly tole. I suppose I’m trying to achieve a kitsch bungalow look. I did buy some deco sconces and gothic chandeliers for good measure. Can’t be too consistent! It would get boring.

All lights need to be cleaned, painted and rewired. What fun would it be if I couldn’t work on them?


To Splurge or Not to Splurge?

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After seeing Big Ang’s awesome pink disco kitchen (Yes, I sometimes catch Mob Wives. Don’t judge.) I told my husband that I’d love to create some kind of retro funky disco looking basement in Rockaway. He was all like “Leave the damn basement as is.” But then I walk into Build it Green Gowanus yesterday and fell deeply in love with this couch thingy. 300 bucks. Easy choice if it was my house that I’m going to live in, but an investment property that is already beyond my budget?

It’s just so friggin awesome. Quick! Someone give me a room to design around this thing!

Dances with Elves

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Creepy yet awesome baby elves by Baloo Hallow

Tis the season of The Elf. Check out some of these magical little finds on Etsy.

O.M.G. How cute is Dobby the House Elf by Himawari Land?

Bazel the Elf has a beautiful sad quality to him. Makes ya want to take him home and give him some TLC. By Homespun Dolls.

And who can pass up this Buddy the Elf ornament? Crafts by Suzie Q

Lovin’ this vintage ceramic tea set at Mum’s Cottage shop.

Ride Vintage NYC Trains & Buses

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During the holiday season, the MTA runs vintage subway and buses along certain routes at scheduled times. The cost is the same as any other ride. It just might not get you all the way to your destination. Click on the link to see schedule.The wicker seat trains stopped running in 1969. I am so old that I actually remember riding these a couple of time. I would have been 4 years old. They didn’t come often, but it was a treat when I got one. The lack of air conditioning was always fun. People sweating into the grooves of the seats. Ah, but they had overhead fans! And it was 35 cents for a token. Remember those little coin thingies they had before Metro Cards? Surely, you’re not THAT much younger than me!

If you’ve never been, the NY Transit Museum is one of the coolest places in Brooklyn. You can view these vintage trains and buses any time of the year.

The World of Kitsch Art

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C.M. Coolidge was the legend behind these dog paintings. Born in 1844 in Upstate, NY to abolitionist Quaker farmers, he did not have any formal training as an artist.


This Velvet Lady above is mine. I found her at a garage sale. The big velvet painting boom took place during the 70’s. Most of the paintings were made in Ciudad Ju├írez, Mexico. Elvis was amongst the more popular subjects, but Jesus and John Wayne were up there too. Black velvet paintings are still being produced to this day. Check out the bozos they’re painting now!


Jeff Koons is a well known and much respected artist, but I’m lumping him in here with the velvet painters because he is The King of Kitsch. From his inflatables to his statuary to his prints, it’s all tacky good fun, baby!


In recent years (like the past 20) people have started to collect thrift store paintings. What used to be a $15 find can now cost $75 and up. Portraits especially are really hard to find these days. The Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts glorifies such paintings.


Margaret Keane was the Queen of the big eye paintings. For years, her former husband claimed credit for the work. They are divorced now for obvious reasons and she is alive and well in San Fransisco and accepting commissions. Keane wasn’t the only sad eye painter. There’s an entire website devoted all big eye masters.

*Ok, the Big Eye link was working last night and it’s not up this morning. Keep trying.

Retro Countertops

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**Archive. Originally posted January 30, 2008.


Since we looked at vintage cabinets yesterday, we figured we would give you some options for matching retro laminate countertops.


Formica’s Classic Boomerang: Coral

We all know the biggie: Formica. Their “Classics” collection includes Boomerang, originally designed in the 50’s. This pattern bounces back to us (Get it? Because it’s a boomerang) in 4 historically kitsch colors, including aqua, coral, charcoal and skylark.


Formica’s Classic VirrVarr: Light Blue

Also available from the Classic collection is the VirrVarr, a European pattern. VirrVarr means criss cross in Swedish. This only comes in white and blue.

Read about Formica’s participation in environmental programs such as LEED and Greenguard here.


Nevamar, from Panolam Industries, came out with the Twist N’ Shout retro design not too long ago. There are 3 different color options: orange, blue or yellow.


Nevamar’s LamMate’s “Way Cool Encounter”

Nevamar offers custom print laminates that can allow any digital file to be incorporated into the laminate. They also offer some funky solid colors. They are not as readily available as Formica, so check out their dealer locator.

Nevamar Laminates are Greenguard certified.


Wilson Art’s Retro Mint

Wilson Art offers 4 “retro” designs under it’s Indie Collection. They also have some groovy retro looking designs such as:







See here for Wilson Art’s Green Guard certification and other environmental info.

Tweaking for the Brooklyn Flea

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Tarnished? Yeah, so?

Last week I did ok at the Brooklyn Flea, but not phenomenal. It was nobody’s fault but my own as 20,000 people came through and some vendors actually sold out.

My mistake? I thought people would want a finished product. I made sure to bring only clean, refurbished handmade items. And I charged for them. But I think many people were looking for the bargains. I know that’s I do.

So I picked up a ton of small junky items this week. I’m going to display them, all dusty and sh*t and price them at less than $20. I don’t mind parting with pieces when I haven’t put in the time and effort. I’m having more fun hunting down these goodies than restoring antiques anyway.

Come visit! Bishop Loughlin Memorial HS in Fort Greene, on Lafayette Ave. between Clermont and Vanderbilt Ave. Booth C-5.


I’m not rewiring and it’s so freeing!


How easy to pack fabric and linens!

Design Your Own Wallpaper

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Ever want to create your own wallpaper design? Design Your Wall offers the service for a $25-$150 layout fee plus $6.50 per square foot for the paper.

They accept original artwork or digital and will help with any questions you might have. You can get wallpaper, borders or murals printed up from your own images.

You don’t have to print pictures of your puppy dog. Here’s something else to consider. They can also reproduce vintage patterns. They do have a few lovely samples on their site. Or you can do produce your own.

If you’re buying all that newly manufactured wallpaper, you can alleviate some eco-guilt by created your own green paste for the job.


Sales! published on 1 Comment on Sales!


Gowanus Studio Space
Art Sale and Benefit.
Friday, February 1st. 6pm
$ 7.00. Live music and drink included.
All works priced $40-$70.

Estate Sale by Ann’s Tag Sales
Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 & 2
10am-4pm, Paramus, NJ
Baby grand piano, grandfather clock, Duncan Phyfe style sofa, antique china and flatware, lots more.

The Treasure Shop, 92 Partition Street, Saugerties
Open daily 11-5pm.
Antiques shop closing after 15 years. Owner retiring.
I’m hitting this one myself on Saturday!

Vintage Cabinets Revisited

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Remember the post we did a few weeks ago on those gorgeous vintage 1950’s cabinets? Well, you have to start somewhere. We’ve unearthed the mother load of vintage cabinets: ready for restoration!

Retro Renovation is not only a cool blog, it features a forum as well. There is plenty of information on varying makes and models of mid century metal cabinetry. For sale, wanted, how to paint.

Check out 50sPam’s kitchen below. How jealous am I? I’m as green(ish blue) with envy as those cabinets right now.


The Youngstown sink and cabinet pictured below is on sale for $150 in Ithaca, NY. That’s just one of the listings Pam has chosen for her forum. You gotta have vision, people!


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