Sunday, 25 November 2012

Vintage Comic Books

Today's post is dedicated to all the artists, illustrators and writers who worked in the vintage comic book industry during the last century.

It's amazing to think this artwork was created well before computers revolutionized the graphics industry. I imagine an illustrator sitting at a huge drawing desk with a colored pencil kit close by, one behind the ear and a coffee cup close at hand. Amazing!

Here are a few samples from a box full I recently acquired at an estate sale. Enjoy!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Results Are In!

Just wanted to give an update on the previous "Earth Day" post. 

The first monthly water bill has arrived from our municipality and we have officially dropped our water usage by more than half with the install of our new Stealth toilet! This amounts to a savings of $25 per month! At this rate the unit will pay for itself in a year. It also flushes smoothly, quickly and quietly!

Saving energy and resources is proving addictive, but it could also get expensive as we're now looking all around our home to see where we could improve our energy footprint. 

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Happy Earth Day!

As much as I love vintage, sometimes it just makes sense to go modern. 

Our 1960s home has many of its original vintage features and fixtures that we've been carefully preserving as we go through minor renovations. 

However, we're very excited to be getting rid of one vintage feature that has been a source of constant frustration and costing us lots of money - the old 1960s American Standard toilet in the main floor bath. 

It has been a water waster to the max using close to 23 litres of water per flush. Recent flapper valve problems and leaky seals have been plaguing us and parts have been impossible to find.

So, in a few days we'll be replacing the world's most inefficient toilet with the world's most efficient. Soon we'll be sitting on a new Profiency toilet (also marketed as the Stealth toilet) that uses a mere three litres of water per flush. 
It's Canadian designed and qualifies for two LEEDs points. It's supposed to be quick, quiet and compact. Online reviews are extremely positive and it should pay for itself by reduced water charges in two years. 

It might make me weird, but I'm really excited about our new toilet. And it's a fitting way to celebrate Earth Day 2012!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Authentic 1970s Jean Purse

I just had to share this awesome early-1970s purse made from a pair of GWG blue jeans! 

I love the hobo design and all the retro patches. I especially like the "Kiss My Patch" placement.

Vintage items always have a past and when I dug into the history of GWG jeans, I learned some interesting facts.

According to Wikipedia, the Great Western Garment Company (GWG) was a Canadian denim and western wear clothing company founded in 1911 in Edmonton, Alberta by Charles A. Graham and Alexander Cameron Rutherford (the first Premier of Alberta).

The jeans appealed to a working class demographic with their affordable pricing, which was usually 2/3 the price of red-tab Levi's jeans. 

During the 1950s GWG's Donald Freeland developed the stone washed technique for its products, increasing the softness and flexibility of the rigid denim fabric. 

GWG became the largest clothing manufacturer in the British Commonwealth when it produced up to 100,000 pieces of military clothing per month for the Canadian and Allied armed forces during WWII.

In 1961 Levi Strauss acquired 75 percent of GWG, expanding these holdings to 100 percent in 1972, at a time when GWG held roughly 30 percent of the Canadian jeanswear market. 

Demand for designer jeans in the 1980s and beyond eventually resulted in the demise of the GWG brand. The Edmonton GWG factory, along with all remaining Levi Strauss factories in North America, closed for good in 2004.

What fun to find an authentic GWG pair of jeans preserved in this way! It's also great to see crafters continuing to re-purpose their old jeans into these wonderful hobo bags! Sew on!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Fabulous Package Arrived Today!

Don't you just love surprises? I do and today I got a super nice one!

It all started when I re-ordered some scrumptious lip gloss from an Etsy shop called Blackbird Soap Company of Colorado Springs. This stuff works wonders during these dry winter days (and I swear it healed a cold sore in less than 4 days, which usually takes 2 weeks). I use the Java Junkie flavor, but this time around I had ordered one in the Frost Bitten flavor too (yummy, tingly spearmint). Heather, the shop owner, emailed me to say the order was delayed but she was putting a little something extra in the package for me.

Well, I couldn't wait to rip into the package when it arrived and try my new lip gloss. To my surprise, Heather had sent not only the two lip glosses I had ordered, but a full size bar of her Goldilocks soap and a container of Padrona del Venice creamy body mousse to try out as well! 

What great customer service! And an excellent marketing technique as well, because if these other products are half as good as her lip glosses, I know I'll be coming back to her shop again and again. 

This is also a prime example of why I love shopping on Etsy. It's been my experience that the shop owners give great personalized service and the products are second to none at great prices. It's a huge marketplace set up so both the customer and the shop owner can find success. 

As of this month, there were 290,877 sellers with millions of items available. If you haven't already, you should check it out soon for its handmade, vintage, and supplies merchandise. Many items are one of a kind and I hope you experience the great customer service that I've been receiving.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A Burst of Energy

A fantastic way to add "pop" to your home decor is with a splash of color and Pantone's 2012 color pick of the year - Tangerine Tango - will certainly do that! Its an orangy-red that evokes a burst of energy and it looks great in all shades. Picture a feature wall this color or perhaps a vase or even a coffee set arranged on a dining room buffet. 

Or how about a great enamel pitcher full of flowers on the dining room table? 

Give a summer outfit a shot of sophistication. 

Pantone is famous for its color selections and designers everywhere take notice. According to Wikipedia, Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics. This system has been widely adopted by graphic designers and reproduction and printing houses for a number of years now.

Watch for the exciting Tangerine Tango to show up in home decor (including personal electronics and home appliances), both women and mens fashion, and the cosmetic industry during 2012!

(For more information on any of the items pictured, please visit Retro Junction on Etsy)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Exploding Photo Album

Much to my surprise and delight, I was chosen to receive this beautiful photo album from a fellow blogger and Etsy store owner, English Lavender Studios of Calgary, Alberta.

It measures about 4 inches square and ties with a creamy satin ribbon. Unfolded, it spreads to 22 inches wide and 11 inches high with lots of spots to display my prints. It's beautifully handcrafted and I love the subtle colors. The first photo is the back of the album, followed by a front view.

Debbie mailed my gift just before Christmas, along with a package of her divine red and cream gift tags. I have to say they are both absolutely stunning! What a lovely gift just in time for the Holidays! 

She was celebrating the one year anniversary of her blog with the prize giveaway. If you haven't discovered her blog already, you really should check it out. There's lots of great ideas and tutorials on paper crafting projects, baking, decorating, etc. If you're interested in viewing (or purchasing) more of Debbie's items, please visit her Etsy shop.

Thank you so much, Debbie! Keep on blogging! 

Happy New Year!