Friday, July 30, 2010

Movie Friday: Roman Holiday

I have a stack of movies piling up that I have collected and not yet watched.  Darn that $5 bin at Walmart!  One of the movies that I plucked out of the bin at some point was Roman Holiday.  I have yet to watch it; I'm thinking that I'm going to be set for those cold winter weekends though (they'll be here all too soon!).

This 1953 romantic comedy stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, who won an Academy Award for her performance.

I have never watched this movie, but I think almost everyone has seen a clip or a picture of the scene of Hepburn and Peck riding the Vespa scooter through Rome.

To get all of the details for the movie (plot, cast, awards, and more), visit the Wikipedia article for the movie here.

Have a wonderful Friday!  Wow - I've posted three days in a row!  How did that happen?  I promise things will get back to normal once school starts again and my life is back to the same old routines!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

1959 Buick Assembly

I know that I've mentioned on here before how much I love my Buick.  I feel like an old grandpa driving that big old LeSabre sometimes, but it is so comfortable, reliable, and believe it or not, fuel efficient (I averaged almost 30 miles per gallon in that big beast going to Colorado and back).  So, lately I've been looking up vintage Buick videos on YouTube.  This one caught my eye because it featured the assembly line process of building the car.  I love those fins and the awesome looking headlights and grille!  It's one mean looking machine.  It looks like it would eat you up if you got in it's way!

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Frankoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...

...oops, that's not how the song a little confused there!

Anyway, I haven't done a lot of treasure hunting lately, this summer has just been too busy (as you can tell from my lack of blog posts)!

I have never been too fond of Frankoma.  It has never been my style.  But, after looking at the awesome set that Mick has at the Casablanca while I was there for the big party, I've been keeping my eye out for it.  I'm still not sure that I completely love it, but I wanted to get a few pieces and try them in the house to see what I thought.

I visited some friends in the town where I went to college late last week and while I was in town, I stopped at an antique mall.  I was stunned by the amount of Frankoma in this place.  Seemed like almost every booth had at least one or two pieces.  I saw many other pieces that I was interested in, but I was sticking to a strict budget on this trip.  So, here's what I picked up:

This vase has an attractive form, and reminds me somewhat of something that we might have made in the pottery factory that I worked in for my first job.  Has one small chip on the bottom.  The white specks on the right toward the bottom are not flaws, just left over sticker residue.  I felt it was a decent deal at $5.

I love the color green, so this Prairie Green dish caught my eye right off the bat.  Very attractive shape with no flaws.  It was also $5.

I love the shape of this butter dish lid (too bad that the base was no longer with it).  It is also finished in the Prairie Green color.  $1.

I also picked up this Imperial planter (which I have seen references to as being made by Hull - anybody know if that is correct?).  The orange color with the white splotches is very attractive, plus it matches my late 60s / early 70s inspired living room (the living room is avocado, burnt orange, and brown).  $4.50.

On a separate trip, I found this beautiful large atomic pattern mid-century platter.  I love the shape, and the white has some speckles in it.  I'm sure that one of my readers knows the pattern name.  It is marked Grant Crest on the back, but I've never heard of them.  This was one of the first things that I found in this store and I almost grabbed it right from the start, but I have a method to shopping at these places.  Firstly, I was the only customer in the store so I wasn't too worried about someone else grabbing it.  Secondly, my method is to walk through the whole store and take everything in, making mental notes about things that I'm interested in, then after going through the whole store with a first pass through, I go back to the things that I found and look them over again.  After this, I pick a few things and leave the rest.  I feel that I got a great deal on this was $3.95.

The real McCoy...I was at a garage sale a few weeks ago and came across this McCoy planter.  The price sticker on it read "$3.00 - old".  Well, I don't normally run across pieces of McCoy at garage sales, and it had such an interesting shape on its four feet.  The white glaze is attractive as well, it has a matte finish.  So, here it is!

Lastly, I found a pair of Pyrex cups.  I really like the blue color of the stripes.  10 cents each.

Well, that pretty much sums up my finds for the past two months.  Not a lot, but I feel that what I have found are quality pieces.  Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Movie Friday: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Last night I went to see my nieces be Oompa-Loompas in the community theater children's production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  So, what else could I choose for today?

There have been two movies produced over the years from this story written by Roald Dahl.

The first was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

This is the original from the early 1970s that starred Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.

The second film made from the original story is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which came out in 2005.

This newer film stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. 

You won't go wrong choosing either movie, they're both great!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Furniture Refinishing Tips

A couple of days ago, I received the following question in my email from loyal reader Mick, of Everyone Goes to Mick's.

"Hey Michael,

When you refinished your console radio, how did you get the final coat of stain/ gloss so smooth?  Any tips?"

Well, what an excellent question!  For those of you who haven't been readers since the beginning of the blog, here is a photo of the console radio that he is referring to:

Here is my reply:


My first tip: Do all the prep work carefully. Use a good quality stripper to completely remove the old lacquer and stain from the piece. I used Formby's Furniture Refinisher to remove the old lacquer and shellac from the radio. After doing this, you'll have to determine if the original stain is in satisfactory condition or if you need to strip the stain as well and get down to bare wood. I went ahead and used a stripper to remove the stain as well. Carefully sand down the entire piece with fine grit sandpaper (150 or higher) and wipe down with a tack cloth to remove the dust. Wipe it down several times. Make sure you wear furniture refinishing gloves when you use stripper...that stuff burns you skin badly if you get it on you.

My second tip: Don't rush anything. The stain may say that you can recoat after 2 hours, but I try to give it more time. I would do one coat in the morning and leave it until after lunch, when I would give it another coat. I applied the stain with cheap foam brushes that I get in a bag of like 10 different sized brushes for $1.50 at Walmart, and rub the stain off with a terry-cloth towel (you can buy terry-cloth rags in the paint section at Walmart - wash them before using them to get rid of the extra lint). (I used Red Mahogany stain from Minwax for the console I refinished). I have used Minwax Polyshades before, which is stain and polyurethane mixed into one simple application. While it looked good, I found that it is easy to chip off. Stick to the old-fashioned way of separate stain and finish for most satisfying results. Don't forget to lightly sand between coats to smooth everything out. Also, use light coats. If you put too much on it at one time, you get runs in the finish that you have to sand out. Many thin layers will prevent this from happening.

My third tip: Forget the polyurethane. I used Cabot Brushing Lacquer on my radio (and the table that serves as my computer desk). This is much more in line with what vintage pieces of furniture were finished with. I used "Super Clear Semi-Gloss" #8057 for my projects. Use a good quality brush for this step. (Clean the brush with mineral spirits between uses). Allow to dry, sand lightly to remove flaws in the finish, wipe down with a tack cloth to remove the dust, and repeat the application of the lacquer. I believe that I used three coats of lacquer on the the console radio and table. If it is too hot where you are applying the finish, it may start to set up before you are ready for it to. Also, if it is humid there (it is incredibly humid here) it will stay sticky for longer than it is supposed to. As with the stain, I prefer many light coats to one heavier coat. The lacquer will want to run worse than the stain, and you definitely don't want runs in the finish.

Remember to work in a well-ventilated area (I worked in my driveway just outside of my garage).

My biggest tip: Take your time! I think that it took me 4 or 5 days to strip and refinish the radio."

Here is the table that I referred to above:

 Disclaimer:  I am not a professional furniture refinisher.  I am a complete amateur that enjoys working on bringing old furniture back to life in my spare time.  Please read and follow all manufacturer information on the products that you work with if you tackle a project like this.  Also, just because I mentioned the names of some products that I used in the above correspondence, please do not take that as an endorsement of a particular product.  I find that many people are satisfied with different brands / products.  The brand of product that you use is up to your personal preference.

If you tackle a project like this, good luck!  Please share photos of your finished product!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Playing Games?

Does anybody else get the feeling that Vintage Christine over at I'm Not Old, I'm Vintage is playing games with us by not announcing the winner of her give away yet?  I can tell she's enjoying keeping us on pins and needles!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

SOS...One More Time

Here's the last video from our awesome mission trip to Memphis last week.  Look for the big white van at the beginning; that's me driving it!  I believe that I've told you all how much I love big American vehicles in the past.  If the truck ever dies...I may just have to find a van to haul my treasures in!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Movie Friday: Rear Window

Okay, I felt like it was time to bring some Hitchcock back to the blog.  My last Hitchcock was The Birds, which from the replies, seemed to be loved by some and some of you seemed to be haunted by it.  Time to try again!

Here's some information from Wikipedia:

Rear Window is a 1954 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by John Michael Hayes and based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder". Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars Jimmy Stewart as a photographer who spies on his neighbors while recuperating from a broken leg; Grace Kelly as his girlfriend; Thelma Ritter as his nurse; Wendell Corey as a police detective; and Raymond Burr as one of the neighbors.

I don't have this one in my collection, and it's been several years since I last watched it on TV (I don't get any stations since the digital conversion, even with a converter box, and I don't have satellite or cable - life is so much nicer without the distraction of TV.  I do still have a TV to watch DVDs on.).  So, I may have to see if I can track down a copy, or else check to see if it has been uploaded to YouTube.  Have a great Friday!  Wow, this week went by too fast!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Party in the USA

See if you can spot yours truly in the video they made while we were on our mission trip last week.  (PS I'm in the shot that you see in the still at the opening...I come in just after this part.)

Have a project going on here, so I'm focusing on that at the moment. 

Found a couple of fun finds yesterday that I'll try to share soon.  Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm Back! (Again!) [AKA Walking in Memphis]

So, I spent the past week on a mission trip with the youth of my church in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis, TN.  Binghampton is a blighted neighborhood which is slowly being revitalized through different organizations, led by the organization that we partnered with, Service Over Self (S.O.S.).

Our church took three teams to work on three different houses in the neighborhood.  14 students and 8 adults gave us three large work teams.

My crew was assigned to the home a a 78 year-old gentleman who was a Korean War vet. as well as a retired postal worker.  Our job for the week?  Reroofing the front of his house. (Have I mentioned that I am terrified of heights?)

Here's the group replacing bad roof decking.

Wednesday is a half day so that the groups can go out into the city of Memphis.  We visited the famous Peabody Hotel to view the city from the roof deck and to see the ducks in the fountain in the lobby.

We then walked two blocks to Beale Street.

In front of the Hard Rock Cafe there was a sign for the Pee Wee Saloon.  The two pee wee's in the group (myself and one of the students) decided that we really needed to have our photo taken in front of the sign.

It was a challenge, but we finished everything we were supposed to finish!  Here's the roof almost completed on Friday afternoon.

As far as I know, that's the extent of my summer travels for this year.  Unless something comes up last minute.  I'm looking forward to just being able to spend some time at home!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Movie Friday: Cinderella

I saw last Saturday evening that Ilene Woods, the woman who was the voice of Cinderella passed away.  So, in tribute to her and the famous roll that she played, this week's movie is the Disney classic, Cinderella.

Have a great Friday!

P.S. - I'll be back with more about this busy and exciting week on either Sunday or Monday!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Movie Friday: From Russia With Love

So, after the news this week of the Russian spies that have been captured here in the US, visions of the Cold War popped into my mind.  Yes, I am old enough to remember the cold war, but I was young when it ended...9 years old, to be exact.  I knew that this week's movie needed to be a great Cold War era spy thriller...first I though of Doris Day's The Glass Bottom Boat, but after searching the blog archives I discovered that I shared that film back in January.  Then it hit me: who better than James Bond?  So, today I bring you From Russia With Love.

A little information from Wikipedia:

From Russia with Love (1963) is the second in the James Bond spy film series, and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film was produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and directed by Terence Young. It is based on the 1957 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. In the film, James Bond is sent to assist in the defection of Soviet consulate clerk Tatiana Romanova in Turkey, where SPECTRE plans to avenge Bond's killing of Dr. No.

There's a lot more information on the plot if you click on the Wikipedia link above.

This brings up thoughts of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

And that's where I'm going to leave you this Friday.  A mid-century Cold War movie...and a short documentary of the most famous American Soviet spies.  A little something to think about.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The House of the Rising Sun

I finally got a needle for the record player in my great 1968 RCA stereo, so now I can listen to the radio, my vintage records, and, when I get things set up, I'll have a CD player hooked up to it.  The way that works is that it has an external jack for a tape deck...well, it uses the exact same audio cables as the audio cables for a DVD player.  So, I'm going to get one of those cheap little $30 DVD players and hook it into the tape input jack and then I can listen to my CDs.  I've already done this, but moving my DVD player back and forth gets old.  Remember my stereo?

Anyway, one of the songs that I've been listening to is The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals.  This has always been one of my favorites.  I ran across a 1964 music video for the song, so I thought it'd be something fun to share!  Enjoy!

I also just noticed that YouTube lets me edit the width of videos more videos too big for the blog!  Yay!