Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recycle-Reuse-Create

http://www.smackhippie.com

Create. Recycle. Reuse. Create.
That is the mantra for all PaisleyGirl art. The pieces are salvaged and repurposed to accomplish artistic transformation. Furniture pieces are either 'picked up from the side of the road' or thrifted. The artist restores and hand paints the furniture pieces individually, turning each one into a 'bohemian hippie chic' one of a kind.
Inspired by the hippie peace and love movement of the sixties, the colors are hypnotic.  The colors breath new life into a mundane, vintage furniture piece.
Paisley Girl art is fun. Paisley Girl art is vibrant. Paisley Girl awakens the senses.
Stay alive. Connect with your inner hippie.....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life

Live. Laugh. Love.

It can be over in an instant. It can change in one dramatic moment. Learn about everything. Share everything. Be a leader and a follower. Help those who need you. Be there for those who want you.

Embrace all of it, for there is no promise of a tomorrow. Laugh at the funny stuff. Laugh at yourself. Turn a bad situation into a good one. Smile at a stranger. Stop and smell the roses.

Live today to the fullest. Love this very moment.......
Connect with your inner hippie. Pamper your kitschy-koo koo side.
http://www.smackhippie.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fabulous Flamingos

Flamingos. Reminiscent kitsch of days gone by. Yet, our fascination continues with them. I see a Flamingo and I time travel to Palm Springs and Miami in the fifties. Perhaps I like them due to my weakness for the color pink. Perhaps I like them simply because they are elegant and unique. Tall, thin and pretty. 
If I lived in a tropical region, I would inevitably own a Flamingo farm. I have no doubt. They would wander freely about, exuding their finesse gently and quietly as they do. Truth is, I don't know the first thing about the nature of a Flamingo. What they eat. What they do for fun.
The Flamingos I have met in my life have been made of porcelain and plastic. They have greeted me at my Grandma's house, both indoors and out. They have watched me pass by from a neighbor's lawn. At times posing towards me. Other times staring off into a different direction. 
My reaction has always been the same. I acknowledge their presence, smile at their beauty and continue on my way with a desire to pin curl my hair. 
I do not own any figurines remotely Flamingo related. I am afraid that if I start with one, I will end up surrounded by them in every corner of my life.  Probably the reason I do not live in the tropics. Or, maybe the only reason I have a pressing urge to relocate to Florida someday.
And, if I do wind up there one day, a pair of Flamingo's of my very own will adorn the lawn. Forging a lasting impression on the countless children who will notice them, the same way I did....


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scarves and Baubles: a true love affair


When I look around at my collection of 'stuff ', I can't help but wonder where all of it will end up upon my demise? Will I live long enough to auction it off myself? Or will my boys marry glamorous women with a passion for fashion like their momma....
Then again, this isn't your regular Target stuff we're talking here. This stuff has defined me for ages. It's the stuff that made a trip out here from New Jersey, met up with the cousins in Vegas that stopped in for coffee in the closet and never left.
The cousins invited their friends, and their friends invited theirs, and it became a family affair. Teen-aged scarves grew up and had baby scarves of their own. Some scarves married hats and they multiplied by the dozen. Everyone was checking everyone out. Before you knew it, there were gloves, shoes, purses, coats, tops, skirts, and dresses all over my closet.
The accessories have multiplied and taken over. They are of all ages and colors. There are fat ones and skinny ones. Tall and short ones. There is the bright and colorful personality mixed in with the dark, mysterious one.
I love them all. Unfortunately for them, there's not enough of me to go around. Still, we manage. I find occasions to show them love and allow them the spotlight. I show them off and they receive well deserved compliments. This strokes their ego and after a day of being paraded, they are happy to quietly go back into storage.
Some of the family members are getting up there in age. Many of them manufactured in the late forties. They have identical sisters scattered throughout the earth. Some continue to live a good life in someone's closets.  Others have found their homes in storage boxes. Then there are the one's who have met their untimely demise in a landfill along the way.
I once counted my scarves. I have well over 200 in my collection. Most of them from decades of long ago. Necklaces? Another large number. Mostly vintage. That is what makes them so special to me.
For now, my 'stuff' will live here with me. There will come a day when they shall find a new home. A new Mrs. to call their own. I just hope that they stay within the family and are well taken care of. I will roll backwards in my cremation urn, should they carelessly and unlovingly become tossed back to the thrift store from which they came from......  :-)
http://www.youtube.com/user/MsDVintage

Sunday, March 20, 2011

SmackHippie....who,what and where it is...



 http://www.smackhippie.com    
         Recycle. Reuse. Create.    

I am a thrift store junkie.


Red Rooster Antique Mall Las Vegas, NV

My first introduction to the Salvation Army was back in the mid to late 70's. This came courtesy of my mom's hippie friends, who shopped there regularly. 'Shopped there?' Are you kidding me? In my mind, I could not imagine why anyone would possibly refer to that as shopping. SA was located right smack in the middle of the busiest street in town. Mind you, we were a small town at that. That meant parking was on the major street and if any of your friends or classmates happened to pass by and see you, you were scarred for life. Doomed. I mean, what kid wants to be associated with shopping at the town junk store? My personal Carrie moment would kick in: "They're all going to laugh at you......." Ugh.

I have vivid memories of my first few trips there. More than likely because they were such traumatic experiences for me. The place was huge. The racks of clothing seemed endless, because they were! That was a good thing because I could hide, in case someone saw or recognized me. The glass windows took up the entire store front. People walking by would stop and press their faces up to the glass. Peering in with their hand shielding their eyes. Looking to see what this junk store was about. For the town busy bodies & Chatty Cathys, looking to see which families shopped there. They would then discuss it at the PTA meeting. This one would tell that one. That one would tell this one. Before you knew it, the news had traveled to the depths of earth and there was no escaping the junk store mark. You may as well have worn the letter's JS on your forehead.

Parking and walking inside for me, was the hardest part. I would run up close to the building, slow down, and scope out my surroundings. I would let everyone go inside ahead of me, until I felt comfortable that nobody (I mean nobody) had seen me. Sometimes I would 'scope' for 10 minutes or more. Once I was in, I was safe. To avoid recognition, I could hide behind clothing or crawl on the floor among the shoes. I am 5'1" as an adult. As a 12 year old, I was smaller. Imagine the hiding places I came up with.

The treasures inside that place were ridiculous. What I would do today to rewind that part of my life and go back there. I would stock up on treasures. I would beg my mother to buy me everything. "Mom, I am going to need that dress & purse in the future!" Those were the days when clothing cost a quarter. Shoes, handbags, coats, everything was marked $1.00 or less. Housewares were abundantly spread throughout the store. The items left over from 30 years prior, were just hanging around competing with each other to get purchased.

Nowadays, vintage items have become nearly impossible to locate at any thrift store. We live in a time where all of life's guilty pleasures can be obtained via the internet. Voila, your source for vintage everything. My heart hurts reliving that part of my past. When I stop to think about how I was surrounded with so much vintage clothing back then, and I took it for granted, I want to scream.

The Salvation Army became a place I grew to love and respect. I frequented it often during the 80's, and continue to do so today. I would pull up to the SA in Paterson, NJ and would practically run in from excitement. My friend would use the families 1982 Mercedes to drive us over there. Yes, poor people stared at us. They needed to shop there, being that was all they could afford. We, on the other hand, were not shopping there out of necessity. We shopped there because we were inspired by vintage fashion. (Notice I refer to the term shopping.) Our only necessity was finding coats and dresses from those decades past.

I was completely in true, head over heels love and marriage with vintage. I eventually took a job on weekends at the town thrift store. There I scored hats, purses, coats, pins, earrings, pill boxes, you name it. I just couldn't break away from it. I was addicted to the high of finding neat things. My heart skips a beat when I see the word 'Thrift.' I can't pull over fast enough. I can practically smell the moth balls from inside my car.

All I can say is that you can take the girl out of the thrift store, but you can't take the thrift store out of the girl. Wherever I go, whoever I am with, I look for the local thrift stores. I have them mapped out as part of my trip. For me it's all the same. Shopping at Nordstrom, or the closest Goodwill. Yet, I prefer the thrift stores every time. Over 90 percent of what I own is true, unreplicated vintage. I have collected most, if not all of my life. It's who I am. It's who I have always been. Thanks be to my mother & her courage to venture into SA and shop til' she dropped. Never caring about what people thought or said. Little did she know, she had awoken a fire within me. A stubborn, relentless flame that refuses to be put out. Viva La Vintage as I continue to remain in touch with my inner Priscilla. Presley that is....for she was the most beautiful, vintage looking goddess I had ever seen back then. Like many females of that time, sexy, sultry, and well, sixties fashion queens.






Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

1940's Gilfillan Radio


Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Black Celebration on a Green Day.

25 years ago today, Mute records released Depeche Mode's 5th album. It was aptly titled 'Black Celebration' for it's dark and haunting sound. Collectively different from their other pre-poppy sounding stuff. Yet, in terms of pop music, the only cross over song that had any radio play in the early eighties was People are People. When you heard Celebration for the first time, one of two things happened. You either instantly connected with it, or you hated it. It was just that simple.

So, as one of the most devoted Devotees on the planet, I am going to tell you that I hated it. Yup. This die hard Moder could not connect at first. My best friend back then, was really into them. More so than I was at the time. I gravitated more towards disco and a happier, dancier new wave sound. I had really liked DM's stuff up until that point.

The first time my friend played it (on cassette), we were driving down to Seaside Heights. It was about a 2 hour drive on the Parkway. Loading up the music for the drive down was very important, if not the most important next to a full tank of gas. We had every band of the 80's era packed up & ready to make the trip with us.

When you listen to the opening track, Black Celebration, it is a drawn out keyboard melody that risks putting one to sleep. When it eventually picks up, it continues to sound tragic. The lyrics are confusing, yet deep. The song tracks run into each other, and that dark sound continues throughout the entire record.

Listen to it over & over, to see what happens. You become engrossed in the lyrics, enamored with the sound and dancing to it at a slower pace. You fall in love with this record, starting with the cover, the intro, all the way to the last song, But Not Tonight. Can you ask for a more beautiful, melodic song to close such a dark record with?

I don't know what these guys were thinking at the time of recording, but, it worked. BC has sold 4,400,000 times & still counting. It defined their future sound and solidified their place in the world of 'new' music.

Needless to say, Black Celebration became and remains my all time favorite DM album of all time. I have followed them for over 25 years and my love for them remains the same. Talk to any fan of Depeche Mode & you will feel the passion come through. Talk to me & I will show you my music collection, my license plates, t-shirts & tattoo. Yes, folks. For me it is that serious.

In closing, the lesson learned was to give everything a fair chance. You just never know who or what will sweep you off your feet.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Love Love Love Lucy



She was the epitome of talent. Hilarious beyond words, yet exuded all the class of the fine actress she was. Then, of course, throw in the red hair & lips, the cat eye glasses, & the pearls. The full skirt dresses and sweaters that, to this day I scour thrift shops and rummage sales for. You now had a fashion icon & sex symbol all in one package.

Lucy could make you laugh. She could make you cry. She can still make you laugh so hard that you do cry.  The reruns are great therapy on those downer days. To me, they remain escapism at it's highest form. There is something so grounding in watching those episodes, knowing that televisions funniest woman back then, had a life full of everyday dilemmas like the rest of us.

It has been documented through Lucy's testimony, that life with 'Ricky Ricardo' was no picnic off screen. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had their fair share of family drama. I recall interviews where she spoke of her failed marriage to Desi, and shared some deep feelings of resentment  towards him.

Despite all of it, Lucy was a trooper. A true pioneer of her time. She made it acceptable to (fashionably) continue working throughout a pregnancy. She was one of televisions greatest working moms, who often took her kids with her 'to the office.' She subsequently continued on with the Lucy Show, after the original sitcom had already ended.

The world loved Lucy then and still does now. Generations to come will continue to get a kick out of vitameatavegamin, conveyor belt chocolates, and good old fashioned wine making. I love those episodes just as much as the next guy. Yet, my favorite one has to be when Lucy announces that she is going to have a baby.....and, you can just feel that raw emotion right through your tv screen.

Yes, Lucy made us laugh. She made us cry.  She has left her red mark on us and we will always remember her for that. The pioneer. The glamorous lady, who made it lady like to be funny. Thank you Lucy. We love you.

Remembering my old friend Kool Aid


Ahhh, to be young and thirsty again. As kids growing up back in those days, Kool Aid was the ultimate thirst quencher. Actually, I was more a kid of the seventies, but the allure was all the same.  We could actually not care less about 'damage to teeth and gums.'  Kool Aid was served at every meal and in between. Your mom just couldn't resist. And, as kids, we made mom do it.

I remember those weekly trips to the grocery store. My brother and I could not wait to run down that Kool Aid aisle. There were so many colored packets to choose from. They were only pennies and we always left with at least 10 different flavors. We were not at all interested in shopping for anything else. Except for maybe cereal, but that's a blog for another occasion.

There were many times we opened the packets and downed them like pixie stix. All that colored sugar just settling on your teeth and in your tummy. Back then, summer was all about the Kool Aid adventures. All the neighborhood kids gathered around the 5cent Kool Aid stand with their friends. The plastic Kool Aid pitcher (sold separately) only added to the sugar high. You almost expected it to talk to you just like in the commercials.

Nowadays, I sadly could not even tell you what aisle Kool Aid is kept in or even what flavors it comes in. Thanks to modern medicine/dentistry, we have been conditioned to steer our kids away from such frivolities. Welcome to the 21st century where Kool Aid is no longer cool & sugar-free is a way of life. Where your childhood memories are flushed away with Listerine.

I cannot recall the last time I saw a Kool Aid pitcher or even heard a child utter the words. In fact, my son is 9 years old and come to think of it, has never had Kool Aid. Poor Kool Aid. He is slowly meeting his extinction. Someday he will be resting in peace, along with Fluff and Tang. However, he will not be forgotten.

During his eulogy, I am certain some critic will bring up the good, the bad & the ugly stories. As long as they remember to mention one thing: "Kool Aid. You were so cool that a rap star named himself after you." Wow. That's pretty deep stuff. After all, how many other powdered drink mixes have been immortalized that same way?





The Paisley Bowl

What a beauty she was. Not because I painted her. Simply because she really is stunning. Those colors, so unbelievably lavender & purple. She was even shaped like a paisley. So many times I received comments about this piece. Everybody loved her. Everybody wanted her. She made you smile just gazing over at her. Paisley bowl was sold at In Every Corner last summer. I never met the customer who made that fine purchase. I'm sure she has her displayed somewhere in her home where she receives many compliments.  Each PG piece is hand painted. Every piece is different & hard to duplicate. As you can see from the photo, the bowl is double sided. I also sign every piece with the Paisley Girl logo. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

skulls.

The sexy skulls. 

once upon a chandelier.

Once upon a time, I bought a house that came with a standard light fixture. It was a cast iron replica.
Over a Labor day weekend, I had painted the entire fixture white and had left it that way for a long time. I was never sure what I was going to do with it. After all, I had other projects I was working on. I proceeded to paint the kitchen garnet red. This color made the white chandelier stand out even more. It was very pretty indeed. Just too simple & plain for me.

So, one day I venture off to visit with my friend Dorothy. She had told me of a 'surprise' that she wanted to share with me. Something magnificent she had done in her dining area. I was not sure what to expect. Oh my heavens. When I arrived, I was greeted by the prettiest multi-colored chandelier. I was in awe of this thing hanging over us, flaunting it's beauty everywhere. It was acrylic and had so many colors. I could not stop staring at it.

I went home and obsessed over owning that chandelier. I think I even lost a little sleep at night...hahaha. Until one day, an idea came to me. The light bulb did not only go off, it exploded. I decided I didn't want to have the same exact chandelier, being that it was Dorothy's awesome centerpiece. (She actually didn't mind & had offered to get one for me.) However, I needed to come up with something of my own.

I set off to create my own meaningful masterpiece. And, voila! This happened! Can you believe your very eyes?

To this day, I just love this chandelier. I created this, along with my son who was 6 years old at the time. We would come home every night and work on it together. It took us an entire month to complete. Yet, it was so worth it and so much fun to make.

So, thank you Miss Dorothy, for your impeccable taste & bringing that inspiration chandelier into our lives.

My Sunbeam Mixer......

It still has the original black cord (you can kinda see it in the back there.) The best part is that it still works like a charm. I can't tell you how many modern day appliances I have gone through over the years. Irons, coffee makers and toasters seem to be my appliance enemies. They just don't make stuff like they used to! This mixer has maintained it's shape & stamina through proper diet and exercise. That's for sure. Mixing all those batters at high speed is the secret to a healthy pink Sunbeam glow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

http://www.smackHippie.com

Go ahead! Put some color in your life w/these awesome painted beauties. Mention Twitter and receive 10% off your order.     http://www.smackhippie.com

Saturday, March 12, 2011

BEFORE.....

So here we have a fab lamp from the 60's/70's.
I 'rescued' it from ending up in the hands of a non-vintage lover. (LOL) All jokes aside, this was a great find I picked up while thrifting. I believe this was waiting for my arrival at Goodwill. ($8) It is brown & composed of a ceramic like material. If you look closely, you can see where it has gold painted rings. It did not have a shade, but, I instantly connected with the shape. Plus, I knew it would be painted some awesome color & the brown state would not matter. Truth is, it looked awesome in brown. I happen to love color; hence, my prior post.  Therefore, the color fest begins. I am allowing it to dry & will post pics. after it is painted.

This is going to stay in my living room & I plan on keeping it for many years to come :-)

a cross on wheels?


The Jetsons Live in Vegas

  • Yes. They really do. Ask my 9 year old son. This is the Fashion Show Mall, located on the world famous LV strip. Or as kids know it: that flying saucer thing. I just need to know, which make-up counter I can find Judy at?

Good Ol' Trunk a Wood

It is vintage. I would say 60's/70's. It is a wooden candle wall sconce. I painted it PG style. And it came out gorgeous. Unfortunately, this photo does not do it justice. I posted it on my site. (http://www.smackhippie.com)

I remember years ago, I had someone tell me they were against painting wood. I agreed, and disagreed.
Here's the thing: Wood makes a great canvas for painting. It is my favorite surface to paint. I say this being that some artists prefer cement, sidewalks, cars, and traditional paper. :-)  Some of the most fabulous pieces I have painted over the years have all been vintage wood. The pieces are already unique in texture and design. The paint colors just make them stand out even more.

However, (and here comes the big but) not all wood is made to painted. There are many different woods and many of them deserve to remain in their natural glory. In fact, they look beautiful in the tree phase. 
It can be painted, varnished, stained, white washed, carved, molded, you name it. 

Wood is one of the earth's most precious elements to me. It has given us cabins & homes, garages, roofs, boxes, furniture, cabinets, doors, picture frames, and the list goes on....... 

I honor wood by painting it. Providing it with yet, another level of beauty. Agreeing all the way that it is breath taking in it's natural splendor. Yet, arguing that it is sexier in a poppy shade of red.
I'm so pretty.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Not today

Out of respect for the victims, families and friends of the tragedy unfolding in Japan today, I will not be posting to my blog. It will remain dark today, in honor of those less fortunate. Those images are heart wrenching & unimaginable.  I will reflect on what is around me and be thankful for where I am. 


I hope you will join me in doing the same. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meet the lovely LuLu

My Bosty. She is Hollywood gorgeous and picture perfect. Three years ago, when she came into our lives, I was not so sure I would (or could) get used to the idea of having a pet around. That three years, now seems like forever ago. That thought process, is alien to me. Wow, did I really feel that way? Not a single night goes by that my sleep is not interrupted and my blankets are not hogged. LuLu's my little friend. It's official. Yet, what else is official, is that she has a best friend named Mr. Meemers. He is our midnight black, rescued feline. They nap together and 'love bite' one another. 
All I can say is animals make you see the world differently. With that said, anyone out there contemplating a pet Bosty, or any other furry one......follow your heart. Go for it. 
And, remember. You only live once.
No, I don't really hate to cook. I have just always giggled at the cover of this book. I think my mom had a copy somewhere in our avocado and mustard colored kitchen. 
One of the last original Vegas signs left standing. 

A History On The Flip by Columnist Pat Jacobs

One of the 1960s’ signature hairdos has endured over several decades.

“The Flip” was hip and initially favored by younger women-shoulder-length hair was backcombed slightly at the top and then curled out at the ends.

There were flips that were totally ‘out to there’ Some women combined the flip with a bouffant (This style was achieved by setting the hair to dry in very large rollers, often as many as 25 (!), using a LOT of hairspray followed by vigorous teasing, and was completed by brushing the top layer into a smooth barrel or bubble shape.

And there were often rather complicated instructions for brushing or combing out to achieve just the right look, “a bouncy flip with flair through the bang section and a saucy up-turned effect on each side demonstrate the simple casual look for medium length hair”.)

Whoa!

The classic style that Mary Tyler Moore wore on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was considered a flip/bouffant combo (MTM could carry this off; she looked very cute in it!) And this became very popular (along with Jackie Kennedy’s classic bouffant) among famous and “civilians” alike throughout the decade.

Lesley Gore had a SERIOUS flip (I bet it took an entire can of hair spray to hold THAT do in place!). Patty Duke sported one for a while, as did Dolly Parton, who had a HUGE country-style one early in her career.

Many Miss America and other beauty contestants wore a flip (or a variation of one) so often, it became commonly referred to as “Miss America or beauty pageant hair”. Actress Delta Burke, herself a former pageant winner, wore a longer, far less bouffant version.

Pyllis George, a former Miss America (1971),and Cybill Shepard, yet another pageant winner, also sported this look. (Even in the late ‘90s, many contestants still used this style in updated variations.)

Diana Rigg wore a flip as Mrs. Emma Peel on the British import series, “The Avengers” (Didn’t she look great as she was kicking butt?). And who can forget Marlo Thomas’ great flip (for the first few seasons) in “That Girl”?

Elizabeth Montgomery started out with a flip on “Bewitched”, then grew it out into a more casual version, with soft waves. Or at least it seemed so.

Thanks in large part to Condoleeza Rice, the Flip has made a bit of a fashion comeback, but in softer, modified versions.

(Even Rice has softened her ‘do; she had a rather tight, severe looking one at first. The new version looks so much better on her, don’t you think?)

This style is very flattering to all types and ages, and gives any face an uplifting look.

(Oprah Winfrey, Cathy Moriarity, Ellen Barkin, Barbra Streisand, Jessica Alba, Jodie Foster, Kim Basinger, Calista Flockart, Jennie Garth, and Hilary Clinton have all worn modern versions of the flip.)

Most people will look best with a flip that ends somewhere between the chin and the ears.

(A longer one will be harder to maintain and more prone to drooping, thus dragging the face down.

Flips are now easier to create with a curling iron, hot air brush, or those ever-reliable rollers.

And there are a variety of techniques.

A looser flip, for example, will require larger rollers or a large-barrel curling iron.

For a tighter one, small to medium curlers or curling irons will be needed.






Lesley Gore
Lesley Gore
Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore

Diana Rigg as Mrs. Emma Peel
Diana Rigg wore a flip as Mrs. Emma Peel
I am a sucker for these things. {sigh} 

'Bohemian Chic'

Now, who says painting your walls green isn't awesome? Throw in some shabby setees and you are on your way to a magnificent beauty of a room. Some might think this room is rather ugly. I happen to want to just sit there and become enveloped by the green magic surrounding me.....If only.

One of my fave pieces

This is a nightstand from the 1960's. I painted it PaisleyGirl Style and fell in love with the outcome. It also sold in the store to a gentlemen who fell in love with it just as much. He purchased it as a gift for his daughter.  I believe it was a birthday present for her. I had difficulties parting ways with it. She was lovely. I hope the young girl who acquired it, keeps it for years to come. I can only hope that someday she will realize the fabulous treasure gifted to her by her dad....