Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a lot of it's original mid-century features intact.  Besides the pink and black kitchen, the house had both a starburst doorbell and doorknob!  For Christmas this year, my mom got me my very own atomic star "bling". What do you think?
1950s style atomic starburst doorbell Just Peachy, Darling
Sputnik was launched in 1957, but the starburst pattern was present in design features starting much earlier.  It was an era obsessed with space travel, high velocity machines, glass and neon, which inspired "Googie" style architecture.  Futuristic visions for the atomic age, had us all "reaching for the stars." 
Schlage starburst door knob retro 1950s atomic Just Peachy, Darling
 I found a similar door knob back plate at an antique store, but am still on the look out for a knob that will fit inside.  If you have any insight or resources about where I should look, please let me know.
sputnik chandelier starglow dishes franciscan starburst atomic Just Peachy, Darling
From top left to right:
Sputnik light fixture, Star Glow dishware, children's Atomic Energy Lab toy, Franciscan Ware's beloved "Starburst" pattern (1954), aqua Pyrex, 1950s bark cloth fabric, Taylor and Smith dishware, and Nelson clock.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hello Lover!

Perhaps, I'm sentimental.  Just as everyone is switching to electronic readers, and bookstores are becoming obsolete, I'm figuring out how to build wall bookcases.  Just as everyone is ditching their landline phones and hooking themselves into the digital age with smart phones and apps that make vocabulary, rudimentary knowledge and directional sense irrelevant, I'm pining over retro phones.  Phones with rotaries, no caller ID, antiquities really.  I can see, in the not too distant future, these things will be hazy memories, we reminisce fondly over...remember, when we had books made of paper? Remember the smell?  The sound the pages would make as we turned them, the spine cracking?  Remember phones? The feel of the serpentine cord wrapped around your finger as you paced the floor, tethered to the wall?  Why do I find myself missing them already?

1930s kettle phone rotary vintage retro Just Peachy, Darling
I love this white phone from the 1930s.  Check out that earpiece!
1940s Bakelite telephone Hitchcock Just Peachy, Darling
This black Bakelite phone from the 1940s reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock, Dial M for modernism, anyone?

Then there was the Ericofon, designed by Ericcson phone company out of Sweden.  The first year of production was the same year my house was built, 1954!  Check out this amazing advertisement I found in a 1959 issue of Homes and Gardens magazine:

50s 60s swedish ericofon cobra phone  Just Peachy, Darling
Now check out all the candy colored varieties:
50s 60s swedish ericofon cobra phone  ad Just Peachy, Darling
Also from the 50s-60s came the beloved princess phone.  It was available in many colors, but my favorite is the pink, COME ON, it's called the princess phone!  This phone required a separate ringer and additional wiring so that it could light up in the dark.

princess phone 50s 60s retro Just Peachy, Darling

Lastly, there was the "donut" or "purse phone." Popular in the 70s, it seems like a more stylized descendant of the princess phone.  Made by Western Electric Sculptura, these can be found in both rotary and touch tone.

purse donut phone 60s 70s mod rotary retro Just Peachy, Darling

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gallery Wall

  As promised, here is a picture of the living room that we just painted.  It went from a lovely spring green called, "asparagus" to a nice neutral gray.  I was in love with that green, but I had a really hard time bringing in artwork and different fabrics, because of the intensity of the color.  Matching green with green is surprisingly tricky! I'm going to show one wall at a time as I complete projects.  I have been admiring "gallery walls" on different design sights and on pinterest for a couple of years now, so I decided to try my hand at one of my own.  It took awhile to gather different artwork to fill the frames, but I'm really pleased with what I came up with.  Plus, as always, I did it on the cheap. 
Like my "new" tufted sofa? Now, my martini olive green chevron pillows look lovely (instead of clashy) in the room!

 Here is a closeup of some of the eclectic things that fill the frames.  The bird/Harmony print was a free download.  I was able to get it printed 11x16 at Office Depot for .35!  Above that, is the lyrics to a song ("Across the Universe" by the Beatles) but you could do any song, poem, quote, etc that suit your fancy.  The "Alice in Wonderland"  and "Girl with Birds" (see second pic) papercut prints are something I bought from an etsy seller I've admired for some time.  The scientific sketch of the seahorse came from vintageprintable.com and the bunny/magic hat pic was something I cut out of a calendar.  My favorite object on the wal,l is the butterfly specimen collection.  Last summer, my children and I got a lot of mileage out of our summer pass to the bug museum.  I'd still like to get a Monarch specimen to hang. We released Monarchs at our wedding, so they hold a special place in my heart, and maybe soon my wall.  I hung the ampersand because I thought it made my little oddities seem cohesive, plus it's lighthearted and fun.

On the other side, hangs the second papercut print, and below two wooden postcards that came from etsy. The good thing about those 4x6 frames is that I can change out the art anytime I find a new greeting card (as this is a common size for alot of the interesting handmade ones.)  Above that is one of my favorite purchases.  It's a screen printed poster that says, "It's a damn fine day."  I love the optimism, the vintage feel, and the tongue in cheek humor.  It makes me smile every time I see it.  Finally, the skeletal hand, which came from a vintage anatomy book (from vintageprintables.com)

That giant blue Morpho Didius is going to inspire my next project...stay tuned for pictures!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Babies, boobies, and burlesque!

   On Friday the 13th, we celebrated my husband's birthday. We met a bunch of our wonderful friends at an Indian restaurant and then walked over to see our first ever burlesque show.  My mother came to our house to babysit our 3 boys, and we brought our seven month old daughter with us. Elowyn is a wonderful baby, and kept herself content, being passed around by our friends, and banging a spoon on the table, during our two hour wait for food.  A couple of times during the night, I nursed her, and she eventually fell asleep to the tunes of a big band show, while we watched some great burlesque.
The next day one of our best friend's came over and told me something hilarious.  Her boyfriend, at some point in the night had caught sight of my boob while I nursed my daughter.  "I'm usually really good about things like that, but I couldn't look away!"  Poor guy was like a deer caught in headlights and clearly felt guilty or uncomfortable enough that he confessed to his girlfriend.  We all got a big kick out of this.  Anyone who knows me well enough, knows that I have been nursing cumulatively for SIX AND A HALF years out of the last 9!! That's crazy, and I'll probably nurse Elowyn another 18 months after this.  Now, I've tried to be discreet.  I've used blankets, nursing covers, layered clothes, etc, but my kids won't stand for it.  They rip those covers right off, to stare lovingly up at my face.  It's only a matter of simple statistics that if you spend enough time with me, between curious babies who pop their heads back to investigate a noise, or squirmy babies who wriggle faster than I can maneuver...you might catch sight of some flesh.  I've come to terms with it.  I've embraced it with humor, because I know my boobs have a higher calling, and my modesty is insignificant by comparison.  First, let me say "I'm sorry," I know biologic processes can be scary to some people.  Maybe, I should send him a card...

breastfeeding modesty public babies burlesque Just Peachy, Darling

I also can't wrap my head around the fact that seeing my boob, performing it's engineered purpose, was so disturbing...yet we went to a BURLESQUE show!  Boobies were everywhere! Then it dawned on me.  Nipples are offensive.  Glue on some sequined, tasseled pasties, and it's classy, hell it's art.  Now ladies, please don't glue on pasties and then try to nurse! Serious choking hazard!  Better yet, adhere a tasteful pasty to the back of baby's head.  This is stylish and refined. Forget barrettes, how lovely would this be?
                         There, problem solved.  You're welcome America!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Great gift ideas for your little fledgling nerd

gift ideas kids children geekery science history best list  Just Peachy, Darling

From top left to bottom right:
1. Who knew evaporation was so adorable? Water cycle print 
2. Glow in the dark Uranium soap? Come on, even I want this,  
3. Albert Einstein philosophy giclee print
4. Know how to knit? How about a cruelty free dissected frog?
5.Feeling crafty? Sew this adorable Chewie doll
6.Appliqued felt atom pillow! Also available in "dissected frog" and "Karo type," among others
7.Does your child like books about history? Gross biological processes? Who doesn't? Did you know that Henry the 8th became so swollen from gangrene that his body literally exploded? Awesome!
8.Strap on their goggles and a bowler hat; it's a steampunk nerf gun!   
9.Upcycled nuclear science crayons




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Original paint colors for our '54 Cape Cod

I found this paint chip color pallette on Retro Renovation.  The turquoise, seafoam, and peachy pink were no surprise (I've found a couple of those colors under chipped walls in my own home).  The bright canary yellow and lime green were a bit unexpected though! I've already painted the living room a color similar to Dove Grey (pics soon!)  This will be super helpful in making color selections in the future.
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