Tuesday, August 9, 2011

love is all around

Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? It's Mary Tyler Moore, that's who! And if you watched TV in the early 1970s, chances are you were watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

I remember enjoying the show with my parents when I was a little girl, and then rediscovering MTM in Nick at Nite reruns as a college student. I must have watched every single old episode in my dorm room ~ the show held memories from my childhood, but now as a young woman, I found it newly inspiring. Mary Richards was a single, fashionable career gal who was as smart as she was pretty and likable. Best of all, she had the ultimate pad ~ and I wanted one just like it.

Mary's Minneapolis apartment was cozy and always neat (her parents instilled cleanliness ~ remember the episode when her father came to visit and checked the top of the mouldings for dust?). Check out the floor-to-ceiling windows and wall-to-wall shag carpeting. Her parties were notoriously lousy, but somehow people never wanted to leave and they always kept coming back!

In fact, Mary's friends Rhoda and Phyllis would "drop in" at least once every episode, and she would always welcome them with a smile and a beverage. Love the beer stein on the table, the lush fern in the background, and the groovy 
stained glass window in the hallway.

I remember being so impressed by the fact that Mary had a place for everything, and everything was in its place. Why wasn't my home like that? Her walk-in closet held only what she wore and needed ~ and her stylish luggage pieces 
had their very own spots too!


By day Mary had a comfy brown sofa ...

... which by night became her bed! 
(The flower power sheets and bedspread are swoon-worthy.)

Remember the awesome stained glass window that pulled down to separate the kitchen from the living room? That way Mary could perform her hostess duties in peace while her guests conversed and sipped their cocktails! 
(Notice how the funky purple and red tea towel hanging in the background 
complements Mary's and Rhoda's outfits.)

Everything in Mary's apartment was functional or stylish, or both ~ from the manual typewriter she used to type her correspondence, to the wicker ottoman she sat on, to the now-ubiquitous "M" hanging on the wall. What was not to love?

If you haven't seen the Emmy award-winning Mary Tyler Moore Show, check it out. The universal themes of relationship and career struggles and triumphs still resonate today, and lovers of vintage fashion and decor will be instantly inspired.

The It Girls of TV Land

For more on Mary's apartment and the history of the Victorian house that contained it, visit this site where I found most of the images in this post.

Monday, May 23, 2011

fab finds: what cheer

In my last post, I promised to share what I brought home from the What Cheer Flea Market. At last, here are my fabulous finds from that fun day:

A Georges Briard enamelware bowl ~ I have admired his designs for so long, and I'm excited to finally own a piece!

 A sweet 1973 Gigi figurine from World Wide Arts

A set of four small apple trays ~ so cute!

A super mod Aries tea towel, in need of a good wash and iron!

A festive set of Holt-Howard Christmas puzzle blocks

A great 1946 ad ~ can you imagine cooking in this dreamy kitchen? *sigh*

This 1955 book's amazing illustrations made it too hard to resist!

Now ... what do all of the above items have in common? They were each one dollar! I know ~ I couldn't believe it, either!

I also picked up these two beautiful Josef Originals reindeer, in perfect condition ~ a steal at two for five dollars:

Last but certainly not least, this was my big splurge of the day:

The dealer told me that this set of speedway lights came from the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville, California. It's big and heavy and sure to be a great conversation piece in our home!

Linking to Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl, and to Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures ~ be sure to check out all of their fabulous finds!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

what cheer

If you ever find yourself in southeast Iowa during the first full weekend of May, August, or October, you'll want to head over to the small town of What Cheer, to the Collector's Paradise flea market. It's a beautiful countryside drive along Highway 21 to the Keokuk County Fairgrounds. The market always features an eclectic mix of antiques, collectibles, and junk ~ priced to sell ~ and the people are some of the friendliest you'll meet. The angus burgers and funnel cakes aren't bad either!

I look forward to this huge flea market every year (especially after a long winter), and I was so excited to take a vacation day from work and spend this past Friday there with my dad. We browsed the grounds for almost seven hours, and I think we maybe covered one-half to two-thirds of the dealers. I could've easily spent another day or two at the market (but I'm also a pretty slow shopper ~ I like to take my time and see everything!).

Here are just a few of my favorite things seen at What Cheer:

I could fill the walls of my home with vintage advertising like this.

Hubcap or piece of art?

 A perfect trio of vintage horsies.

 Loads of cool old junk at every turn.

Vintage oil cans ~ calling Mr. Frank Fritz!

 A solemn cigar Indian.

 This time I saw lots of these old metal dollhouses ~ someday I'd like to buy a couple to use for creative storage.

 I adore '60s and '70s Barbie stuff.

 Rows of handcrafted birdhouses.

 Yesteryear AmEx.

I had to stop and compliment this dealer on her gorgeous displays.

Next post, I'll share what I actually brought home from What Cheer ~ including some fabulous dollar-bin finds and one very heavy conversation piece!

Monday, April 25, 2011

fab finds

Flowers, jewelry, money ... are these gifts from my paramour? No, although our anniversary is coming up this week! Actually, these three words are clues to my fabulous finds from the past week (all found on a trip to my local Goodwill):

A pretty bunch of flowers on this delicate English saucer.


Gorgeous shades of aqua on this three-strand necklace ~ one of the nicest pieces of costume jewelry I've come across in a while.

Who wouldn't want to save money for college in this cute little owl bank?

Linking to Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl, and to Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures ~ be sure to check out all of their fabulous finds!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

office space

I think I could spend each and every day rummaging through thrift shops and sifting through junk on a never-ending quest for vintage treasures, and I don't think I would ever tire of it. But the fact is that I work full-time in an office ~ and it's a typical office with its dull, flat surfaces and neutral colors. Lately I've been trying to un-boring my office space by adding some bits of color and whimsy here and there:

A wonderful house of pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks, created by my 
seven-year-old son.

Rainbow colors scribbled by my two-year-old daughter.

One of my favorite quotes, next to a paper flower.

This paper bird with bell was a souvenir gift from my boss's trip to Copenhagen.

Another reminder of my son.

This Liberty of London melamine bowl contains binder clips.

A cute winking owl holds notes or business cards.

I was elated to find the vintage bowl and cup to hold my paper clips and pens. 
I found them on two separate thrifting excursions, but the colors match so well 
and are so cheery ~ I love them!

I continue to search thrift shops for more unique items to add to my office space. Next on my list is finding some neat vintage planters to use for plants on my office window sill.

How do you brighten up your work space?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

fruit and flowers

On a recent visit to my parents' house, I walked into their sunroom and beheld the loveliest set of 1950s enamelware bowls. My stepmother had recently acquired them ~ the large bowl is painted with roses, and the one medium bowl and four small bowls feature a pretty fruit pattern. The saturated colors and layered graphics combine for a striking result. J'adore!