Friday, January 16, 2015

A little winter gardening in California

It's time to start the garden year for 2015! I'm so happy I wet my plants. ;-)

It's true, that tomatoes and marigolds will come later in year, there are so many seeds to plant now, for growing your own food. Whether you garden in pots like me, or have a 1/4 acre plot, a big big backyard and front yard, there is simply no greater joy in life than to grow your own food.
You feel strong, you feel smart, you feel a connection with the humans from centuries past, and since you are what you eat......
doncha wanna eat good and healthy? Yes, you do!
Even if you can't grow everything, I can't certainly, but I can grow a lot of food in a few dozen pots and planters.
Follow along with me this year, because we are gonna see some miracles of life, and some of the best food any human has ever eaten!

 Oh yes you can!  if you live in a climate that has a few easy frosts in the winter, say below 32 degrees only a few times during winter, you can plant so many seeds.

Here's a short list of what you can plant, and what I planted mid January here in Northern Cali.

Spinach, beets, radish, lettuce, pak choi, broccoli, mustard, parsnips, rutabaga, and kale.  I always check the back of the package to be sure it says, NO GMO.
Why in the hell would you trust a for-profit corporation that specialized in pesticides to sell you seeds to plant for food?
GMO's are not safe for you. I don't plant them, and I sure don't eat them when I buy food at the supermarket. I have been buying organic, which is 100% NON-GMO, and I read all the labels to be sure it isn't GMO.

See, it will say on the package.  Here is a list of NON GMO seed companies.
The saddest news I have to report after almost 60 years of gardening, that MONSANTO now owns about 40% of the seeds sold in the US and worldwide, where GMO's are allowed, which is almost nowhere!!
They also own some HEIRLOOM names of very old seed varieties. How's that for Evil!!
Monsanto bought Seminis, "Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc. (“Seminis”) has grown to be the world’s largest developer, grower and marketer of vegetable seeds. Monsanto Company purchased the Seminis business in 2005. Seminis offers seed for commercial farmers and home gardeners. For the home garden market, Seminis offers bean, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melons, onion, peas, peppers, spinach, sweet corn, tomato and watermelon seed."

Beware! What home garden seed sellers are OK? Here is a link and a list.
Good Seeds........ 

This link to the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive, has an article, a long long list, and it will take time to read, if you want to avoid Monsanto. And I know you do!

What seed companies took the Safe Seed Pledge?  Here is a list.
You can depend on these, and many others.
Renee’s Garden , Seeds of Change, TomatoFest Organic Heirloom Tomato Seeds, Lake Valley Seed,  Select Seeds Company, The Pepper Gal , Henry Field's Seed & Nursery Co., Seed Savers Exchange,  Ferry Morse Seed Company,  Johnny's Selected Seeds , Annie's Heirloom Seeds,  Nichol's Garden Nursery ,  Territorial Seed Company, Cooks Garden,  Ed Hume Seeds, Jung Seed Co. , and many many more.

2005, Monsanto grabbed approximately 40% of the US vegetable seed market - See more at:
2005, Monsanto grabbed approximately 40% of the US vegetable seed market - See more at:

first I had to pull all the dead plants from the frost last month, and here are the last blighty tomatoes. This year, I'm gonna start tomatoes that are blight-resistant.

Then in all my pots, I stirred in some organic compost, some chicken poop and stirred it up.
I made little indentations, and dropped in some seed according to the package instructions and gently covered them up, and watered with a gentle stream from my watering can with a rose.

A few weeks ago I bought a few pansies to brighten up the winter garden, and I trimmed back the alyssum, and gave the garden a general clean-up.

The potted garden is a little bleak, I'll admit, but it is nice to see what survived the frosts:
Alyssum, nasturtium (with a few damaged leaves), and all the perennials, that I just cut back to half, or some, to their stems leaving about an inch.

I also tossed in some winter flowers to bloom ASAP! These all have tiny seeds, so only cover them just slightly.... about 1/16" to 1/4".
Godetia, Evening Stock, Garden stock, calendula, more alyssum,  all are reliable early Spring bloomers.
I have some sprouts... so next bloggy post, I'll show pics of what some of the first ones up look like.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Trailer Park Xmas

Trailer park, mobile homes, RV's and 5th wheels are my neighbors here and their human inhabitants love to put up the Xmas lites! or Christmas lights!

 Mee toooo. In the  vintage Winnebago, on the front dash, we put a vintage light up Snowman and a vintage light up Santa. They are both blow molds, made in the USA, by Union Products, Leominster, Mass.
What's a blow mold? It's an awesome piece of Americana. We Americans saw the need to make figurines of plastic, brightly colored, and we needed them to light up and we needed them to decorate our yards and our American homes.  clicky that link up there and learn more!

In 1960 John Steinbeck, the Californian, got in a pickup truck with a custom-made camper and a poodle and went on a trip to find America. Yes Steinbeck had his own RV, his own mobile tiny house. The book is "Travels With Charley".
One of the things he found was a mobile. home. community.
And he stopped to visit and chat with people who had bought one and lived in a neighborhood of other like-minded folks. What Steinbeck found was that people loved their mobile homes, their trailers.  Some of them knew this was the only house they would ever afford, and became "house-proud" and were content.
And some used their years in a mobile home park as a jumping off place, and a chance to save a lot of money to one day, be able to afford a "real house".
And now today, we have another resurgence of people who, though they may be middle class, they may have just left the middle class, they wish they could get in to the middle class, are, once again, loving the small home movement.
No need to build a tiny house on a trailer frame, but you can if you want. If you want your own home, buy an RV, buy a trailer, buy a camper on a truck, buy a 5th wheel set-up.

yeah! Blow molds of the Nativity.

I've always chosen "marginal housing" because you get a lot of house for a little bit of money, and you live in very interesting neighborhoods.
My trailer park is no exception to that astute finding! I have the most interesting neighbors, so many of them choose to live in a manufactured home, rather than a Stick Built, or brick and mortar home, or a home built of 2x4's and permanent foundations.

Here is a little video I made with retro tiki lounge music by John Deney, to show a few of the trailers and mobile homes. Merry Christmas trailer park people!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lurex shiny bright!

oh about 70 years ago, during World War 2, a bright shiny thing happened. Metallic film to wear, was given to mankind. Where there was once war, there came Bright. Shiny. Happy. for the people.
It just wouldn't be a proper 40's Post-war Midcentury Modern life without it. It was used in that 50s chenille fabric for living room upholstery.  You know it and have probably worn it. If it has sparkle and shine and wasn't a sequin it was most likely LUREX®.
It's a shiny metal film applied to a synthetic surface, like a fabric, and then cut into threads to weave cloth or knit pantyhose, sweaters and threads and novelty trims. It is also twisted with other threads to make threads for weaving, sewing and accenting boring clothes.

50s Star Pillow is yes, PINK with gray, and it has Lurex silver threads in the textured fabric.
Yes. sold from my shop. :-(

Take a look at Rose Brands, and see it in all it's Wowza Beauty! silver, gold, velvet, tissue, knit, all kinds of fabric and patterns.

Here's a vintage 50s dress, for sale in our shop at etsy, in turquoise, green, gold and ruby, and woven through with shiny threads, very likely Lurex, altho, with most vintage dresses of this era there are no content labels.

 and what would the 80s be without shiny shiny dresses for Prom?
Boring. As. Hell.
Pick this little mini number up also in our etsy shop for some sparkly New Years Eve fun!
This is a Double Shot .. It has loads of sequins and a ruffle skirt, a wide sash and a BIG rose too!
By ZumZum.

Oh and who can forget Julie Newmar as Catwoman, in the 60s TV show, Batman. Of course her skin-tight catsuit was made of black sparkly shiny Lurex.  For more of Julie, stop by her website and buy something.

You can buy it made into thread for embroidery, you see it knitted in sweaters and it isn't a vintage thing at all! Modern designers and clothing companies use it all the time.

The Lurex company put up this cute little film featuring vintage fashion starring Lurex!

 Here's just a very few of our vintage fashions as examples of Lurex in vintage fashion. A 60s velvet top with heavy gold metallic trim, very Sgt. Pepper, sold.

Here it's used as an accent woven in a silk sheer fabric for a 70s party dress by Nat Kaplan.
On the swirly feather print are dots and feather tips in shiny golden Lurex.

80s! Oh yes, that Luxe Lurex. This is a tissue poly woven fabric made into a very glam Grecian party dress, also sold.

Lurex can be any color in addition to gold, silver and copper. Green, blue, rainbow.... you only have to dream it for it to be true!
 Here's a shiny green dress made of a heavier satin woven with some Lurex also. Sold.

One of our favorites, bright blue Lurex with accents of black stripe bow and lots of big ruffles for a sweet dolly party dress. Sold.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall into Autumn Lookbook with vintage Levis, Pendleton and

wooly plaids, Harris Tweeds, more Pendleton, and all the vintage things that funkoma loves.

Vintage Pendleton, worn vintage Levi 501 jeans, leather boots, a red bandana and a vintage fedora. And the funkomavintage car of choice, a vintage Volvo 122.
Toss on some Ray Bans, or a pair of vintage black frame glasses and you have a classic and cool look for men. Vintage is timeless, quality, and we're always happy to present a great collection for fall and winter.

We shot this Lookbook on location in the Napa Valley with palm trees, maples, oaks, Monterey pines, and an mellow pastoral vibe rather than the cliche Grapevines, grapevines, grapevines. Grapevines will appear in some of our upcoming Lookbooks shot on location - but for now, let's see a different side of the valley, from the perspective of a native Napan, a native Californian.

A vintage Levis corduroy vest with acrylic sherpa faux fur is layered over a vintage red and black buffalo check jacket, edged with leather and leather elbow patches.

as the sun sets

A navy and black plaid Pendleton jacket.

A vintage 60s bronze wool fedora, vintage Ray Ban sunglasses, and a red plaid Pendleton 49er jacket, paired with a stripe polo shirt, a chambray shirt, Levis and brown work boots.

Most of the men's vintage clothes are at the website. clicky here.

Other vintage men's shirts and jackets, are in the Etsy shop. 

Vintage green plaid Pendleton shirt.

When the weather turn colder, here's a pea green windowpane Pendleton vintage 60s overcoat. It's a shorter length, giving it amazingly cool style!

Worn underneath the Pendleton coat is a 60s Nordic print fuzzy acrylic zip front sweater.
Layers are the best way to stay warm, and mixing and matching or unmatching pattern and color is the key to great vintage style that doesn't look like a costume.

A classic red and black plaid wool hunting jacket is key for a great vintage men's wardrobe.
funkomavintage, the website.

If you are new to funkomavintage or have shopped with us for years, you know how much we have always loved vintage Harris Tweed.
We get so happy when we find those rare Harris Tweed patterns that are not produced anymore. We always stock the classics too, in blue, brown and gray herringbone fleck tweed.

Vintage Pendleton plaid shirts, and a much-needed Pendleton Indian Blanket sweater.

Napa palm trees, the famous native oak, and autumn light.

Looking west towards the Pacific Ocean and the curdled clouds, and an autumn sunset.

Loaded up and ready to head home for cocktail hour, the vintage Volvo takes a last look towards the setting sun.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tiny House, Vintage Camper and the Front Door

Sometimes you just don't want a big big big Xmas tree. Sometimes you want a tiny one. Sometimes you want something made of reclaimed pallet wood and a bit of burlap.
Have I got a thing for you! yes yes yes.

Burlap and old wood is always a favorite combination of mine. The Winnie has burlap curtains... and old wood. Yeah.
Back in the mid-70s, my house on Dry Creek Road had a boring wall behind the wood stove so I thought that would be the perfect place to put a covering of old barn boards. We lived in the country and old barn wood was not a problem. to find.
So I cajoled the old ex into seeing my vision (a common occurence), and saw and nail we did.
Recently, I was staring at the pile of coffee burlap bags in a downtown coffee shop, and staring at the huge coffee burlap bag I use to set up my pictures with, and staring at the tall stack of pallets we collected.
Oh no. Oh yes.

Of course our steps are pallets and we love them!

A small sample of the pile of pallet wood.

And burlap curtains in the Winnie.

So, I designed a small tree, a Christmas tree if you wish, but you can put it on the wall all year long, or on the front door.
You can decorate it. or not.
I painted it rustic white and added burlap.
And if that wasn't clever enough, I designed it to fold up for storage.
Yes! I include a strip of vintage cotton muslin to tie a bow and to make a bow on the treetop if you wish. Feast your eyes.
Yes, a copyright design, from your pals, funkomavintage.
You can buy it at the website, or from the Etsy store.

You can decorate it, or put tiny LED lights around it, or leave it up all year for some rustic cheer, just plain and simple. Suitable for inside or out, but protect it from rain, snow and sunshine.