<![CDATA[JoRetro Vintage Market - BLOG]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 13:42:21 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Green Thumb by Arnold Blanch]]>Sat, 17 Aug 2013 13:46:57 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/green-thumb-by-arnold-blanch
I fell in love with the simple design of this china.  Whimsical vegetables in shades of green dance across the salad set.
Designed by Arnold Blanch in 1950 "Green Thumb" was described as a study of peas, a cucumber, lettuce and a beet.  Commissioned by the Castleton China company.  This was an attempt to use the fine arts in industry.  I'd say it was a wonderful success!
Here's my dining room set for a Summer luncheon using my Green Thumb and Glidden Pottery collection.
Arnold Blanch was known as a social realist and was a prominent twentieth century American painter and print-maker. In 1964 filmmaker and artist Clifford West surveyed the life and work of Arnold Blanch in this excellent film, showing him as a teacher and painter in Woodstock, New Jersey.
Created with a square, rounded corner shape, the plates come in several designs.  I know of at lease three different plate designs that I have in my collection.
Unfortunately this pattern was only produced as a salad bowl and plates, but I think it pairs well with my dark green Glidden dishes
I discovered the salad bowl in an antique mall in Pennsylvania a few years ago.  It was being used to hold vintage handkerchiefs.  I was surprised and amazed to find this wonderful design at the bottom of the pile.  I just knew it was special.  After a bit of research I've been able to collect the matching plates. 
This has been a slow  process as they are rarely ever listed for sale online. 

Discovering and researching Mid Century finds like this is more than a hobby it's my passion! Do you collect vintage china?  I'd love to know what pattern you're completely in love with.
<![CDATA[Thrifting a Closing Antique Mall.....]]>Mon, 15 Jul 2013 01:13:52 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/thrifting-a-closing-antique-mall
When looking for cool retro items for the shop I don't limited myself to only thrift stores.  This week I got a call from a customer that wanted to sell a few items.  I actually ended up buying a bunch of Mid Century pieces, none of which she originally planned to sell.
I'll post those items later, they still need a lot of cleaning.  The Lady Baltimore Train Case in the background was one of those finds.

Today I decided to visit an Antique store that I haven't been to in years.  In fact I thought they were already closed. The first thing I found were these five raffiaware mugs.  They were in a box with other items on the floor like trash.
As I wound my way around the store I had a hard time finding anything I even wanted to buy. Everything was dusty and divided between traditional early American antiques or thrift junk.
I was about ready to give up looking when I found this melamine snack bowl set.  Manufactured by Tempo in the 60's and made to stack or nest, it's pretty cool even without the lid.
The last find was buried under a pile of curtains.  The avocado color caught my eye and I uncovered a kitschy tablecloth covered in stains.
Here it is soaking in the tub, where it will stay for as long as a week...these were some major stains! 

The shopping trip today reminded me why I have my own antique booth. and why this store is closing. 
I take pride in providing clean vintage items that are fun to decorate with and use.  A neglected shop with old broken dirty items doesn't appeal to anyone.
I'm so happy I rescued a few retro treasures today!
<![CDATA[Why I Upcycle Vintage Books...]]>Sat, 13 Jul 2013 00:05:13 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/why-i-upcycle-vintage-books
I absolutely love old books! When I buy stacks of ripped and falling apart books at the thrift store I get the "People will buy anything!" LOOK. 
That never bothers me...because you can see the results of re-purposing those forgotten treasures. 
The other reason I save these books is purely for the creative outlet of making something wonderful and usable.
I've been hoarding damaged books for several
years waiting for inspiration to reuse them.
Now that I've started upcycling
I can't stop...lol!
I made these cute 3" x 3" gift cards by gluing illustrations to manila folders. Use the existing crease in the folder and cut them to size on a paper cutter. I like using a regular glue stick, making sure to get all the edges covered. 
Vintage illustrations make wonderful cards. I like wrapping the book design onto the back of the cards for an added surprise. You can buy envelopes like I did, or you can make your own using coordinating book pages.
These are cards I made from two different 1960's books. The card designs are only limited
by the number of books you find.
I'm so glad I held onto the hardback covers too. I've been upcycling them into notebook journals using a Zutter Bind-It-All.
If you'd like to buy a journal made from vintage books Ex Libris Anonymous provides the best
selection I've found!

You can use the whole cover, or crop yours like I did to make them smaller.
I mostly remove the titles and writing, cutting it down with a paper cutter.
Here they are packaged for sale at my shop in Bahoukas Antique Mall...aren't they cute! 
I used vintage maps for the bag topper, just another way to re-purpose an old atlas.
I really could just go on and on upcycling!

I'd love to know if you save discarded books, and how you use them.
<![CDATA[Happy Mother's Day to our Kick Ass Mom Lucky....]]>Sun, 12 May 2013 03:17:35 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/happy-mothers-day-to-our-kick-ass-mom-lucky
When we were growing up we had no idea our mom was so cool.  She never told us her nickname was Lucky (after her favorite cigarettes) or that she was thrown out of school.....we still don't have all the details...
After finding her high-school year book we started to realize our mom wasn't like most moms.
Here's a little of what her best friend Arlene wrote:
Whenever one of us was thrown out of class or school the other one was also.  The days will never be the same, no more hookin', no more skipping classes. 

Now it all makes sense. 
When Irene and I got caught hooking school, I don't remember mom being upset at all....but dad didn't take it too well.  I'm sure he was thinking three Luckys was more then he could handle....lol
Looks like mom had some admires.....
Mom had lots of friends that wished her and Joe the best...and that it was about time he put a ring on it.....WOW.....is all I can say....lol
Mom's Year Book
Lucky being carefree and boisterous!

Lucky in her prom dress, she sure knew how to "cleanup" to catch her man!
And then she knew how to keep Joe in line....
It really wasn't a shot gun wedding....at least that's what we were told.
"If you're going, I'm going with you!"
Not every chick can keep her man home like this!
Mom didn't settle down much after she had us.  I could do a whole story about her swimsuits and hot cars!
Here's grandmom Lucky with her first grand-baby, Eddie....checkout her red 280ZX!
Mom, we are the lucky ones because you're still carefree and boisterous, and that's just the way we love you! 

Jolene & Irene

Mom in Vintage Fashion
Marriage Advice
More Blogs about Lucky you might enjoy!
<![CDATA[Crafting with Blackboard Paint...]]>Sun, 14 Apr 2013 16:07:17 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/crafting-with-blackboard-paint
Yes, I know everyone is crafting with blackboard paint, just try it and you'll understand why.  Be warned, it's so much fun to transform everyday objects you'll have a hard time putting down your brush!
You may not know that I spent 6 years in collage most of which was in Fine Art school....but I'd still rather paint a clipboard then a canvas...lol
I had a stack of doilies from the thrift store that inspired these storage jars.
The blackboard labels are inexpensive and add a special touch to the glass jars.
Start saving your jars, remove the labels and paint the lids with blackboard paint.
I painted this lazy-Susan with two coats of blackboard paint.  Before writing on the surface, season it by coating the whole surface using the side of chalk.
Now you're ready to get creative....
The centerpiece of any party!  Fill with snacks, veggies, or fruit.
Happy 21st Birthday to my youngest son Luke!
<![CDATA[A Surprising Vintage Postcard.....]]>Fri, 15 Feb 2013 22:49:06 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/a-surprising-vintage-postcard
Seven Falls in South Cheyenne Canon, Colorado Springs
Do you collect vintage postcards? I was wondering if most collectors want unused cards, or do they secretly enjoy reading messages from long ago. Postcards are an interesting glimpse into the past, not just the old photo, but the message on the back can reveal so much too.
Usually they are casual notes sharing a nice trip, a quick hello, or a reminder that you are in their thoughts and prayers.

Sometimes a postcard can be more like True Confessions Magazine.  It's hard to believe someone would put it all out there for the mail-carrier, let alone anyone else to see...but it happens! 
As a side note:
My sister found this postcard while cleaning out an estate, she coincidentally is also a mail-carrier and takes extra interest in any old mail.... 
She told me, "Trust me your mail-carrier knows what's going on in your home!"  From birthday, and sympathy cards, court-papers, past due bills and of course postcards, all these items are a glimpse of the comings and goings in your house.  I just mention this so you'll be extra nice to your carrier at Christmas....lol

Many of you may be aware of Post Secret  an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.  That's what I was reminded of when I read this 1985 postcard from Jr to his Grandmom.
Dear Grandmom,
    I have some rather bad news. I'm on the run again.  Where I'll go, I don't know but in all likely hood I'll leave the country, if they don't stop me first.  My parole officer found out I was staying with a guy who had himself just gotten out of prison and he sent the cops after me.  I had no choice but to run.  I'm not going back to prison again as long as I live.  If I had had somewhere else to stay I would have but I didn't.  I'm really sorry grandmom.  Look I'll keep in touch when I can.  I love you very much.
                            Love always,

I found this so interesting....
Whatever happened to Jr?   
Did he make it to Canada?
Did he get caught and go back to jail?
Did he fabricate the whole story so Grandmom would send him money to escape? 
I kinda like Jr, who wouldn't like a guy that loves his grandmom....don't we all have a relative sorta like Jr....I hope he cleaned up his act and made good for his Grandmom's sake.

Have any of you discovered a postcard or letter that took you by surprise, or made you laugh out loud?  I'd love to hear about it.
<![CDATA[Re-purposing Vintage Planters....]]>Sun, 27 Jan 2013 19:50:59 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/re-purposing-vintage-planters
I'm especially drawn to vintage items that add charm to our hectic modern life.  Throw in the chance to re-purpose vintage and I'm hooked!  After a customer mentioned collecting small kitschy planters, I've been crazy about them too.
Funny how you can over look small items when thrifting because you don't have a need for their original purpose.  These small McCoy pots would be adorably holding a succulent plant, but are also great to organize office supplies.
If you do want to use them for plants follow these tips from Thrift Core.
This telephone planter holds a pencil and note paper.  A cute reminder to leave a note when someone calls.
The blue swan is a perfect size to hold a kitchen sponge.  The pink lamb would be adorable in a nursery to hold supplies on a shelf above a changing table.
Of course any planter with a bit of height is perfect as a pencil holder.  Open pots are great for items you reach for all the time.
This small Scottie dog is perfect for holding sticky note tags.
A little larger puppy planter is just the right size to hold business cards.
Imagine how fab your desk would be with just a few vintage items like these planters!  It's hard to pick my favorite...which one do you like best?
I'd love to hear about ways you re-purpose your vintage planters!
<![CDATA[Havre de Grace is the Best Place in the World... ]]>Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:39:46 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/havre-de-grace-is-the-best-place-in-the-world
Just in time for Halloween a weird coincidence happened in Martinsburg West Virginia.  I was excited to come across a large collection of 1930's cookbooks at a small downtown thrift store.  Little did I know the surprise that was waiting for me.....
Later while flipping through the pages of "The Glorious Art of Home Cooking" 1938, I came across a folded sheet labeled pickle recipe.
Inside was this Fine Chow Chow Recipe  handwritten on stationary from Winfield J. Botts, an Electrical Contractor in of all places, my hometown of Havre de Grace, Maryland.
Winfield J. Botts lived and operated his shop from Ontario street in Havre de Grace, MD. selling Electrical Supplies of all kinds....simple description for a simpler time.
This is the building he lived and worked from, 875 Ontario Street.  As of this post it's currently for sale.
It was very easy to find information about Winfield J. Botts on Ancestry.com I highly recommend this site for research. 
The most exciting thing about finding a bit of Havre de Grace history 3 hours away from town was this one sentence at the bottom of the stationary:
Weird....I always felt that way being born and raised there.  Wouldn't every town be better off if their residents felt that way!
Dated January 1930 Fine Chow Chow Recipe, one I'm definitely going to give a try......

<![CDATA[Upcycled Doily Wreath]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2012 16:30:02 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/upcycled-doily-wreath
I recently purchase a basket full of doilies at a thrift store.  What I didn't notice was that most of them were unraveled in one area or another and couldn't be used for their original purpose.
I thought about how to upcycle these....and with the pink roses and green leaves it was a natural for a wreath.  I purchased two wreath frames, not sure which size would work best.  After gathering the doilies up and laying them along the rings, I decided the smaller would be better.  It's important that the dollies are full so you wouldn't see the wire.
I purchased a silver floral wire so it would be less visible as I wrapped it around the frame.
I used one of the small doilies as a center decoration and attached it first.
I then started gathering the doilies up and wrapped the wire around them.  I tried to hide the wire tucking it around the leaves and roses.
After the doilies are attached you can tuck and pull them until you're happy with the overall look.  The whole process was really easy and only took about an hour to complete.
It feels great to save these intricate crocheted doilies and give them an updated purpose.  I'm really happy with the way this turned out....what do you think?
<![CDATA[Memories of Breakfast in Bed.....]]>Mon, 01 Oct 2012 00:11:54 GMThttp://joretro.com/blog/memories-of-breakfast-in-bed
When was the last time you had breakfast in bed?  I'm not talking about plumping the pillows grabbing your coffee, a protein bar and your smart phone.  I'm talking about a real breakfast, with your vintage dishes, carried into your room on a tray.  Turn on your favorite music and just let your mind wander while you truly enjoy your meal.  Maybe that's just what you need to slow down and enjoy the start of a new day with all its possibilities.
I started thinking about "breakfast in bed" after I found these vintage trays.  When we were little and didn't feel well, mom would fix us our meals and bring them to us on a tray like this.  That was the only time we were allowed to eat in bed.  When I was first married; before the kids came, I made breakfast in bed for my husband on the weekends....though he swears it never happened.....lol
The flowers on this tray look hand painted, giving it a soft feminine feel.  It's the perfect backdrop for my collection of Glidden Pottery Matrix dishes.  I've also used a retro carafe with teal strips and a gold Greek key design.  The vintage mug, and Vera napkin also have a Greek Key design.  Colors and design elements can tie together unrelated dishes.
In this vignette I've used a Fall inspired tray with stalks of wheat and my Glidden Pottery Jungle Chicken dishes, which until just recently I thought was a rooster.   I have vintage items in every room....the pillow in the background, my mom made from an embroidered dresser scarf, and the napkin is vintage Vera.
If you're interested in collecting Glidden Pottery you should buy the book Glidden Alfred Mid-Century Highstyle Stoneware by Ronald J. Kransler, it's a wealth of information. 
I love vintage dishes there's something so comforting about them. 
When I'm at the thrift store looking through the piles of mismatched dishes my mind starts to wander....I imagine a design challenge where I'd have to make a serving set for 8 with what's on the shelves.  Maybe some day I'll do that and leave one of their tables set for dinner.........lol!