April 30, 2010

Dear Mr. Knowitall... Help!

Today I woke to the morning sunshine, filled with vim and vigor, aka ambition. With it being my day off, I was determined to get things done around the old homestead. I decided I had enough with mild attempts... Yes, I decided to go on the offensive with the living room floor in our humble little home. No more Mister Nice Guy!

First every stick of furniture in the living room had to be squeezed into two bedrooms, and some went out the door to set in the backyard. Yes, I was going to get things done.

Next, since I was already expecting to scrub the wood floor within a inch of its life, I may as well mop the bathroom and kitchen as well. Why pass up killing two birds with one stone, right? So some of the kitchenette set went out the back door to join the others as well. It was starting to look like I really meant business now.

My brother, a.k.a. Brother Dear had suggested that a floor sander would take care of my floor situation. But for a while I've been doing a little bit of atomic research of my own for ways to remove stubborn water stains from wood floors... ever since the icky old carpeting was torn out last year. One idea is to use household vinegar, another is to use bleach, and if all else fails, try oxalic acid. Though I had my doubts, I chose to go with vinegar first, just to see what would happen.

After three applications, I discovered that the only result was that my house now smelled like a Subway sandwich restaurant.

"What did you do next" you ask? Not to worry, I shall tell all in due time.

I passed on the use of household bleach. Too risky, I thought. With my luck the floor would turn pale white. Not a very appealing image. So I trucked on down to the local Q.P. Hardware after having a Kids Meal lunch with my Junior at school, and picked up a small tub of oxalic acid crystals - a bleaching agent safe for treating stains without bleaching the natural color of the wood. Mind you, this stuff is poisonous so please treat it with utmost respect (eye protection, adequate ventilation, rubber gloves, etc...)!

The day was already half over. I dumped the crystals in a warm gallon of water and used the hard-working mop for application so I wouldn't have to handle the acid. And so I began mopping the wood. And mopped. And mopped. Scrubbing it repeatedly into those nasty stains. After four applications (waiting at least ten minutes between each) the floor was then gone over with a wash of plain water, applied three separate times to remove the acid.

The verdict: My wood floor did indeed lighten up, almost to the natural wood color. And a few discolored spots lightened right up. But (and there's always a "but") those mean old dark water stain rings lightened up only slightly. Definitely not enough that I'd dare think of refinishing anything yet.

Anyways, to cut a long story short... a thunderstorm moved in as the final wash was still drying. All our valuable goodies outside had to be rushed back inside as the rain drops started to fall. Now the furniture is almost all back in place. I haven't felt good all night (*gasp* oxalic acid poisoning??? Or maybe it was that second fast food cheeseburger for the day topped off by a treat at D.Q?) ...And Brother Dear still thinks I should have rented a floor sander.

Oh well...

Some days it just doesn't pay to be ambitious ;)

April 27, 2010

20th Century Colors Released

Thanks to Pam at Retro Renovation for getting the scoop on this one!
California Paints announces their new 20th Century Colors of America paints. According to the manufacturer "Color experts from Historic New England, working in partnership with California Paints, have analyzed every color in the collection to accurately record each color’s point of origin. This research allows us to offer authentic color documentation for each color in the collection."

This is big news for us homeowners struggling to match period correct colors through the painful process of researching old print ads... which may not be 100% accurate to start with.

The article continues, "Every color of the 20th Century Colors of America palette features its own biography. These color stories are unique and distinctive. Each story begins with the year of that color’s emergence in our collective color history. Using that as a guide, our color experts document how each color was used, in what settings, and list specific design elements that were often implemented with each color."

Here's some of what California Paints has to offer:

1940-1960 Mid-Century Modern colors

The post-World War II housing boom and the popularization of modern architecture brought bold colors in deep tones into popularity once again. Earth tones dominated exteriors, while interiors featured sophisticated, modulated neutral shades like bone, gray-beige, pearl gray, and taupe alongside saturated accents in fuchsia, teal, evergreen, charcoal, and chocolate with strong contrasts in chartreuse, tangerine, gold, and sulfur yellow.

From looking through the selection I immediately recognized the color Weatgrass as being used on the exterior of our home, with Modern White accents when I was a kid.

I'm excited! Finally a selection of paint colors that takes out the guesswork.

April 26, 2010

Going... Going... almost Gone on eBay

Mid Century Modern Entry Chest

Izzy Modern has such cool goodies to share. And they can be very tempting even if you're trying to live on a budget like your's truly.

Unusual European design with a decorative black glass top, contrasting blond and teak wood veneers and cool metal drawer pulls. Angled sides and legs add extra design punch. All original. Glass top with gold design of angled stripes. Sides are a wood tone veneer. Front is a yellow glaze over wood. Metal pulls. Black painted wood legs and Case is particle board with veneers.

Simple and unique.... all over MCM eye-candy.

Bah! Who cares about a budget!

Shop Izzy Modern Store on eBay.

April 25, 2010

Philco's retro PC references 1950s TV sets

Philco PC from Dave Schultze on Vimeo.

Yes my friends, it is all too good to be true! The new PC is more of a conceptual piece than a consumer ready product.

This is the Space Age

Behind the Curtains - Space Age Design
Looks like sombody stole one of the props from the Jetsons. I can see this working with a lot of futuristic mid-century settings.

Trackback Here!

A Classic Design Comes Back

The Aloha: Atomic Age Lighting offered on Rejuvenation.com.

Era: 1953-1963

The classic shape that breaks through the sound barrier and makes one clear statement: You have entered the Space Age.

This tremendously easy to shop site may eat up your free time. You can try online various finishes and positions for the lighting. There's plenty here to browse.

April 24, 2010

Better Living Today through MCM Inspiration

DSCN0375, originally uploaded by kevinfandrey.

A recent flicker post which caught my eye. This home owner shows a good MCM sense when it comes to adopting, adapting and improving for their own unique blend for what otherwise could easily be too ordinary or too much.

April 17, 2010

Elkay Space Age Sink on eBay

Whoever thought that doing the dishes could be this Thrilling?

A dashboard style light & control panel, streamlined fixtures, and three basins - how could any one resist? Understandaby this is a rare find. Who knows how many of these are still around?

This I Like! Too bad the seller doesn't ship :/

April 12, 2010

Spiral Cone Legs by Lance Stephenson

Spiral Cone Legs - Indoor or Outdoor use - Original design handmade direct from artisan.

These legs are made of 1/4" steel round bar, formed and welded into a spiral cone ending at a 1-1/2" diameter solid steel ball.
They are very sturdy and can support a heavy table, with you dancing atop all the while.

The angled and straight legs of the same height, can be utilized within the same table, as in my Concrete computer table, pictured, which has two angled and one straight leg. The legs are sand blasted and powder coated for a long lasting durable finish.

April 10, 2010


Rotary Dial Phone Sources

These two sites must be shared.

Antique Telephone Repair Help Page Tons of info for the do-it-yourselfer. These guides helped me troubleshoot the hookup for my Automatic Electric to a modern outlet (specifically the ringer) so that my new/old phone was a happy phone - Proper Hookup of Ringers. If your trouble goes deeper, the author can also repair/restore your phone - Rotary Dial Telephone Repairs.

Vintage Rotary Phones A true fan site with discussion, sales and lots of photos.

There's plenty more to Google out there, but you'll have to excuse me... the phone is ringing.

April 9, 2010

Fired Up

Warmer weather may be on the way, but these Hot fireplaces are never out of season

In the 50's, Lovett designed the metal, freestanding fireplace, sometimes called a "firehood" with it's inverted space-aged coneshape with a parabolic opening to reveal the warm glow.

One of the big wannahaves of my lifelong MCM Dreamhome list has just been checked off. I've seen similar models, but last week when I stepped into my favorite retro shop "The Nest" I was lured, enticed and teased by these lovelies - two metal stand-alone fireplaces with that classic Lovett inspired design.

Firehood Find, originally uploaded by Space Commander.

One was a faultless white porcelein wood-burning beut by Majestic. She would be ideal for placement against a wall ("D"-shaped). The other was a red-orange electric by Preway ( "()"-shaped). There's been a vacant corner in my livingroom which has defied everything I've tried to make a home there. Everything was there, the retractable chimney, the screen, electric logs and the hidden heater unit. No dings, no rust. And with it being "off season" I got it for half the asking price. What a deal! Both fireplaces were likely manufactured by these companies in the '70's, but they are unmistakable in the inspriation of their design.

Here's one link I found helpful while researching my Preway and Majestic finds:
Tiki Central Forums - A Shag Style Fireplace

April 6, 2010

Make it or Leave it

Make-it! A Do-it Yourself Guide to Mid-Century Modern

As stated on the site "These twelve of the MCM-inspired how-to projects will show you how to make a Calderiffic Mobile, Eames-embroidered napkins, a fantastic Girard-ish ottoman and more!.

Each article includes background on the designer who inspired it, a materials and tools list, and detailed step-by-step instructions with high-res photos.

Got a DiY-er in the family? This book makes an awesome gift. Fanatic about MCM? You'll have plenty of cool projects to work on for months to come!"

Its a book that any MCM devotee can't help but love. There's projects for Calder mobiles, an Eames coat rack, the Saarinen tulip chair and a Nelson atomic ball clock.

Now where was this guide when I made my own atomic ball clock???

Download the PDF or purchase the book here!

Lili Chin's "Boogie On" Series

July, originally uploaded by lili.chin.

See Lili's full set of the moderne dog art at her Flickr page.

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