Saturday, November 27, 2010

27 Kitschy Daze til Christmas!

Estrogen Alert! Level raised to RED (and GREEN)..... ;D
Here follows a Nostalgic Holiday Ramble:

Do you enjoy decorating for Christmas? Or, I guess if you are female, we'll re-phrase that question to read - 'do you have a pulse?'

Of course you do! Check out the above photo I took a few daze ago. The little cat is an anthropomorphic salt shaker, Made In Japan, and he reminds me of Felix the Cat. The two tiny plastic sleighs are early 60's Hong Kong, the necklace is a vintage Sarah Coventry with sterling silver clasp, and the plate on the wall is old Franciscan ware.

I love playing *house* with these old kitschy-cuties, especially during the Christmas season.

I find them so appealing because they take me back to the nostalgic comfort & safety of my early childhood, - when my mother wore nothing but house dresses, where we had a genuine *Florida room*, a silver pom-pom tree complete with color wheel, we faithfully attended midnight mass every Christmas Eve at our Episcopalian church, candy bars cost .25, pop came in glass bottles, comic books were plentiful at .10c each and I could get an ENTIRE grocery sack full with the covers missing for practically FREE at school, I got home just in time to watch Dark Shadows (in B&W) every day after school, and no one expected/encouraged us young girls to be nubile beauty queens in elementary school. AND I had one of the first skate boards eh-vah, a SQUARE one, that I became quite the adept at riding.

Oh, the list goes on and on. Something else, too. Wal-Mart & Malls were non-exist, and most of your *sundry* shopping was done at stores like Grants, McCrory's, Kresge, Woolworth's, etc. We lived just a block away from a tiny *shopping center* that boasted an A&P grocery store, an awesome *mom & pop* family bakery, a drug store that sold Yardley Pot O'Gloss which just TRY to buy that on eBay now and see what it cost ya, and also a Grants store.

Now, unless you're in my age group and remember what they were like, let me describe for you what a typical sundry store/Grants was like. First off, things were CHEAP!!! Really. And they carried everything from those tiny tiny turtles the size of a quarter (before they were banned for some goofy disease-type reason) to beautiful kitschy framed prints for the home, clothing, candy, housewares, greeting cards, toys and jewelry.

Most coolio though, was that there were VERY few standing wall displays like we are now familiar with. Merchandise, in general, especially prints and bulkier items, were set around the perimeter of the store, OR displayed in row after row of flat wooden bins on tables (Even J.C.Penny's used to have these). In other words, items were displayed horizontally instead of vertically, and proper standing 'aisles' were few and scattered. So you would browse among the rows of bins, or SHORT vertical displays of goodies, many of which are what is now termed kitschy or vintage. Both Hong Kong and Made in Japan labels comprised a great deal of the decorative ware then available.

Oooh, and real quick, back to the make-up thing: in 1969 you could get a long plastic tube full of interconnecting lipsticks or eye shadows, that sold for $1. The shades were *mod* pale whites, pinks, greens & blues. Frosted pastels being the *in* thing. Check out old Star Trek re-runs to get the idea, but hair was short, teased bleached blonde, white frosted lips, BLACK mascara and eyeliner, and baby-blue frosted eyelids.
(I even had one of the few PAPER dresses! No lie, these dresses were composed from paper, and if you had a pair of white Nancy Sinatra *Go-Go* boots to go with, you were *groovy*, ladies.)

But anyway, back on track with the Christmas Kitsch thing. In the other photos there are cotton-spun, chenille pine cone Snowmen, a Lefton deer, 1950's postcards, an atomic/Sputnik ornament, Scrabble-tile wreaths I made, a pink Christmas tree with an old cut-out/diorama ornament, and vintage *corsages* everywhere - even the Sunburst clock got hit! :D
Isn't this fun?! Aren't I a nutty old lady?! Wouldn't my kids be thrilled (?) to someday inherit this crap?! ... and don't I wish I had MORE of it?! YES!!!!!!
PS - You just KNOW come January I'll be back on the dieting & minimalism kick again. :P


  1. Looks like a very kitschy Christmas! The wreaths turned out really nice! Are those the ones you were making a while ago?
    We used to go to midnight Mass too, but that was a westcoast (i.e. Hispanic) thing, and you can't find any churches that do that around these parts. I really miss it.
    Have fun delving into your vintage Christmas decor and decking the halls and such! We'll be doing that a bit later.

  2. love the incorporation of scrabble tiles! you're reminding me. i've got to pull out the advent calendar poster. i always seem to miss the first couple days when it comes to start opening up the little windows.

  3. Thank you very much!
    I could just roll around in this neat old stuff hehe [not a pretty sight] ;D