Welcome Home, Ida.

I’d like to introduce the latest addition to our family:

(Getting the typical inspection from Moxie…)

Her birth name is PAC-1 (sounds like a Droid, doesn’t it?). Actually, it was just Herman Miller’s abbreviation of Pivot Armchair with Cast aluminum (or Contract) base and 1-piece upholstery.

But I’ve decided to call her Ida… as in Ms. Ida Blankenship. Let’s pause here for a moment. If you do not know who Ms. Blankenship is, please do not Google her. Rather, I implore you to go and watch Mad Men (starting with season one — no skipping!!!). Like, now. I mean it.

For those of you still with me, based on a little research at the Eames Office, my guess is she’s from the early 70s. So she’s a little rough around the edges, but she’s still got plenty of spunk.

This is a bunch of iPhone shots I took of Moxie and Moo trying her out (okay, so I pretty much forced them to sit on the chair in attempts to get cute pictures… Doesn’t everyone do that???). Well, Moxie wasn’t really feeling it. But Moo has really taken to her. Unfortunately, for him, I’m pretty sure Ms. Ida will be taking her rightful station at the desk. I just hope she can catch on to all that advanced technology…


PTA On The Road: New Items

There’s something that I love about vintage maps…and with summer arriving, and thoughts drifting to traveling, I present a couple of new PTA projects that I’ve had in the works…

Going Places magnet set:

Cartographic symbols are overprinted on the actual pages of a 1969 Hungarian historical atlas, so each set is unique!

And a new series of greeting cards I’ve been calling Earthly Sentiments:

Red text overprinted on images of late nineteenth-century vintage world maps.

Each card comes with a red A7 (approx. 5 x 7) envelope by French Paper Co.

I’ve corrected the grammar since I took this picture

The new cards and magnets will make their debut at the Olivet Flea Market this Saturday (22nd & Mt. Vernon Sts., in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philly). I will also have my other magnet & pin sets, letter magnets & pins, and the remainder of my natural candles and other greeting cards…oh, yes, and my yummy granola, too! (Phew!)

And mark your calendars, I will be at the OCCCDA Flea Market on June 19th, as well!

Please come out and say hi!

My New (Older-Than-Me) Bike

Last weekend, I found a vintage Peugeot bicycle on Craigslist (thanks, Dgls!). When I called the seller, I was surprised to find out that no one had snatched it up yet, and set a time to check it out. Sunday afternoon, we put the bike rack on the car, packed up Moxie, and drove about an hour northwest to check it out. Long story short, we drove home with a two-wheeled passenger from France. Long story long, we had to stop a few times on the highway to resecure the bike on the rack, which was not designed with the needs of a lady’s bike in mind (big surprise, right?). But, eventually, we got ‘er home in one piece.

I was tempted to add a bling to the back fender in Photoshop, but I resisted. :)

Tourisme Dames PX45 (5-speed) as pictured in the 1975 French Peugeot catalog
(image courtesy of Bike-boom Peugeot)

If you’re into needless details (like I am), you’ll want to know that, as far as I can tell, this particular model was never sold in the U.S. Rather, it was what Peugeot marketed in France and Europe as a Tourisme Dames (Ladies Touring) bike. After comparing it against vintage Peugeot catalogs online, I’ve deduced that it’s a circa 1975 French model PX45. From what I can tell, the bike and all parts are original and made in France, right down to the tires and tool bag.

Michelin 650Bx44mm Semi-Confort Tires. Vertical ribbing on the sidewalls helps turn the generator wheel for the head and tail lights (they still work!). Unfortunately, Michelin no longer makes these tires. Hopefully the dynamo will still work with replacement tires.

I took the bike for a rough test spin up and down our block a couple times. I gently shifted through all five gears, and the chain only slipped once. Not bad, considering. The brake pads are old, so I didn’t expect to be able to stop on a dime, and I was not disappointed in that respect. ;)

At thirty-five years old,  she’s due for a tune up and a sprucin’ up (couldn’t we all say that of ourselves?). Hopefully she’ll be in riding shape sooner rather than later.

Those of you with bikes: where do you like to ride?
Any suggestions for some leisurely rides in the city?

Emeco in Our Home

Last summer, I posted about the legendary Emeco Navy® Chair. At the time, I was a bit obsessed, and after much ogling, I won one on ebay. Now it lives in our dining room!

The chair came from a guy not far from the Emeco factory in Hanover, Pa (also the home of Utz snacks). I liked his creativity with packing materials – he used gallon iced tea containers to take up extra space in the box. Most were Rutter’s, but there were a couple Turkey Hill ones in there, too.

This is a vintage chair, so, it’s not in mint condition. The finish shows wear and it has a few dings, but most noticeably, the back of the chair has the word “PLASTICS” etched into it. I’m sure this reduces it’s “value”, but I like that the chair has physical evidence of it’s history. I only wish I knew a bit more about it’s provenance. Anyone have any ideas?

What about you? Do you own any vintage pieces that have mysterious markings that hint at it’s previous life?

Flea Market this Saturday!

As I promised, here is a peek at a few things I’ve been working on lately.

I will have these items at the OCCCDA flea market this Saturday (June 13th), along with the other products I currently have in my online shop. As I mentioned before, I’m sharing a space with Becky of Lucky Dog Accessories. She’ll be selling her cute handmade ID holders, hand bags, and dog collars. We will be set up in the OCCCDA parking lot starting at 8am and will be there until as late as 3pm.

PTA business cards in tin holder

One-of-a-kind letter magnets made using pages of vintage Boy Scout badge booklets

One-of-a-kind magnets made from pages of a vintage bird guide

Stack of greeting cards (with envelopes) also made with vintage book pages. Available greetings: Happy Fathers Day, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Good Luck, & Hello

Take home your purchase in one of these little bags !

Please stop by on Saturday to say hello and check out our stuff!

Before & After: McCobb Headboard

My use of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on my Pro-Keds was just a bonus side trip on the road to its original intention.

Last fall, we won a McCobb headboard on ebay for $50. We picked it up in Connecticut en route to our anniversary weekend spent in Concord, MA. While we were loading the piece into our car, the guy told us to just take it – no charge. It had been part of his mother’s bedroom set, and he was glad to see it go to a good home. Nice! (But, I do wish we had gotten a few of the other pieces of the set…)

The headboard is not in perfect condition (but, hey, neither is anything else in our house). Overall, though it’s a solid piece. The top had a lot of water rings (many bedtime water glasses) and scratches (more like graffiti), and the sliding grasscloth panels had some nonuniform staining. So, I applied Howard Restore-A-Finish in Golden Oak (the lightest shade available at our Home Depot) to all the wood, and Erased away with all my might on the sliding panels. And here are the results:

As distracting as that nasty wall paneling is, I hope you can see why I am so happy with the way the panels came out (not quite as happy as I was about my Pro-Keds, though!).

As for the wood – most of the water rings have been greatly reduced. But, I’m thinking we should have used the lighter Maple/Pine shade of Restore-A-Finish (the piece is maple, afterall). Because now, the scratches are more accentuated. Now, we can more clearly see that, at some point, someone really wanted us all to “Eat at Joe’s”.

Before & After: Royal Hi

I love Pro-Keds…evidenced by the fact that I have five pairs (and want more).
I really shouldn’t be buying more sneakers right now, so keeping the ones I have looking good, is about the best I can do.

Enter Mr. Clean Magic Eraser:

All the scrubbing I’ve ever done before with soap, water, and a toothbrush has never gotten the dingy outsoles this clean. I mean, it’s like years of ground in dirt has been magically erased…from existance!

(My pair of Royal Hi Pro-Keds before and after an encounter with Mr. Clean)

Excuse me, now I have to go soak the laces! (This has me way too excited.)

Craigslist Find (One Down, One to Go!)

After a few negative experiences, I had sworn it off for a while. But in the past few months we have found a couple of good things at good prices, sold by good people.
I now have a somewhat renewed faith in Craigslist.

Just last night, we picked up this vintage butterfly chair from a couple in the Italian Market section of Philly. The wife said it was her favorite chair, but the husband didn’t like it. With space in their loft at a minimum, it had to go. And we were glad to take it off their hands!

The frame is in great shape, and the seat is a newer canvas one from Circa50. The only requirement was to give the cover a washing and a good once over with a lint roller (it was coated with black cat hair) – no biggie.

All for less than the cost of a new cover alone! Yay Craigslist!

So, thanks Lillian and Ed! Don’t worry, we promise to take good care of it!