"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, September 27, 2010


It was my Dad's 70th birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a 50s party and a little James Dean?!

When guests first entered the house, they were greeted by the "Sock Hop!" table.

I found lots of old-fashioned candy that the kids went nuts for. Using an old car planter as a candy dish and vintage-style popcorn and candy bags added to the over-all theme.

Remember these old candy buttons?

Despite all the sticky-sweet caramels and taffy, Pixie sticks and candy dots seemed to be the favorite among the kids.

At first I thought it was just the novelty of trying something new, but maybe they really liked eating pure sugar?! I can't believe I used to walk down to the Five and Dime and buy these myself!

Adding to the look is a 50s Diner. If you peek inside, you can see my parents! I actually found that old metal car while digging in the Poconos years ago...but, that's another story.

The walls were plastered with vintage soda shop signs, old cars, and 45s.

Who wants a piece with Grampa's face?! (My Dad at 13 years old. Elvis smirk, greased back hair, can you tell he was a 50s kid?)

Be cool, Daddio!

You can't have a 50s party without a Sock Hop! But our house is so small.....Hmmmm.....ok! Time to improvise! Why not move the Dining Room table into the living room? Turquoise tablecloth, plates, utensils, and cups, hot pink napkins, and lots of food made for a good time! Of course, just as I crammed a meatball into my mouth, I heard, "Smile!"

Over the mantle held a picture of my mom and dad. I copied pictures of when they were only 11 and 13 years old and pasted them onto some 50s bodies I found on the internet. Then I decorated with a juke box, old malt shop sign, checkered border, balloons, and the words, "Doo-Wop".

Next to the Living Room, James Dean directed everyone to the Sock Hop! No, our floors are not checkered. It's really a paper floor rolled out to look like an old malt shop floor!

Luckily, I had a lot of help from my sister and her two sons putting this together.

Had to get a picture of the King of Cool with the kids!

Using poster board, felt, and aluminum foil, I made a huge icecream soda, including a huge straw!


These kids were all ready to party - old school style!

Turquoise, pink, and black everywhere! My mom lent me all her 50s music to really get everyone in the mood.

I HAD to buy saddle shoes! Too bad they were too tight or else I would have worn them even after the party.

With some coaxing, we got my parents to dance to "Eddie, My Love". No, my Dad's name is "Matt", but ma liked the song.

Who could resist dancing to "Run-Around Sue"?

I almost lost my father last Christmas to a heart attack. It meant the world to me to dance with him to, "Daddy's Home."

Everybody wants to get into the act!

Believe it or not, this guy can do a mean Michael Jackson! We were able to get the dance floor packed with the little ones and showed them how to do dances like "The Stroll". Of course, the kids 10 and under had a great time, while the older ones were too embarrassed to be seen with us old people dancing!

While the women and children continued to Doo-Wop upstairs, a few of the guys hid in the basement.

After five hours of Doo-Wopping, it was time to clean up. But before the party could officially end, our dog Blue, jumped up onto Dad's lap to wish his own, "Happy Birthday!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Remembering 45s

Remember 45s? In order to listen to them, we'd have to attach a little yellow thingy in the middle of the record player. What were those yellow thingies called? Come to think of it...remember record players? They used needles, rather than lasers.

I remember listening to 45s like these on a child's record player. We had to be careful not to break the needle or warp the records. Sometimes the needle would collect dust, causing the record to skip.

I found this Mickey Mouse record in its original, unopened package. Its got a picture of all the original Mousketeers on the back.

Who could forget Popeye?! He's strong to the finich cuz he ate his spinach, he's Popeye the sailor man! Who else was there? Olive Oil, Sweet Pea, Brutus, and Whimpy who always ate hamburgers!

CDs sound so much clearer than records; but for those who remember actually putting a piece of vinyl onto a turntable to hear the music, isn't there just something special about it? Remember the sound of the needle against the record? The background noise always sounded something like this...chhhh....chhhhh....chhhhhhh.

My sister owned so many Beatles records that sell for hundreds today. Oh, if we only knew then what we know now!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


On a whim today, I drove to the Senior Citizen Center's flea market. Look what I got for a mere $10!!

I was hoping to find some Halloween decorations and felt my eyes grow wide when I spotted these vintage blow-molds on a top shelf. How much? 25 cents each!

Have you ever tried to buy mushroom birds at the craft store? They're EXPENSIVE! How lucky am I to have gotten so many birds for pennies?

When I spotted a black bag filled with craft supplies, I just started grabbing. Everything was stored in ziplock bags and I just took the bags, not really looking at what was inside. I figured for the price, it was worth the risk! And exciting too, not knowing what treasures awaited me when I got home! This little penguin is adorable!

Among the craft supplies were a few bags full of doll parts, many still in their packages. I don't work with dolls so I'm sure these will be listed on Etsy at one point.

More doll hair! I can use this for my needle-felting characters.

Isn't this wrapping paper cute? I especially like the prairie girl wrap.

I'm hosting a "Harvest Moon Party" this October for family and friends. Won't these be cute for holding treats?

Oooooooo! This was a very unexpected score! I bought a bag full of what looked like cheap vintage beads because they had some very cute mini strawberries in the bag (pictured below). Turns out, the beads are actually old mercury glass, not cheap plastic!

Aren't these little strawberries sweet?

I have no idea why this picture is turned around. I have it stored correctly. Bizarre! Anyway, this vintage charm jewelry set is still in its original, unopened box. Every Christmas, I love to intermix vintage toys with the new. Not surprisingly, some of their favorite toys and the ones that last are the old toys. This will be waiting for Mary under the Christmas tree, along with an old tin "Peanuts" top for Nic.

I LOOOOVE Richard Scary! I found 2 packs of these 1998 party favors of Huckle and Lowly Worm. How appropriate for the party that they're orange!

A big orange table cloth and suede ribbon will be very fitting for the party. I also found a plastic black Halloween tablecloth I'm sure we could put to use.

A box FULL of vintage Christmas lights! $4.00 for the box!

I'm not sure the stringed lights work, but for $4.00, I was willing to risk it! They're so chunky!

One never knows what treasures await!

Use it Up.
Wear it Out.
Make it Do.
Or do Without!