Friday, September 12, 2014

American Converse

If you are gonna tie your Converse shoes, then you may need some very vintage Converse shoelaces. Am I right? Converse shoes, made of rubber and cotton, were invented in 1908 and the laces were also cotton. Now, made of nylon or polyester. So yeah. Here's some very vintage Converse shoelaces we have for auction right now. Hey Nike. you need these.

The Converse artwork is very 20s, and is in the same style as the first Coca-Cola logo, which, still survives today, no thanks to smart people in the Coca-Cola corporation, who are dumb people who sell sugar water, and are very good at rotting your teeth. If I was a dentist, I would own a lot of Coca-Cola stock. Job Security!!

Back to Converse shoes, shall we.

 The "All Star", was introduced in 1917  to get the basketball market. In 1921 Chuck Taylor became a famous basketball player when he joined the Converse company basketball team, sweetly named "The Converse All Stars".   He later went to work for Converse, and made important changes to the shoe design. His name started appearing on the Converse shoes, those high tops,  in the the Converse All Star logo in the 1930s. That, kids, is why we call them Chuck Taylors, or simply, Chucks.

But in the beginning the Massachusetts company made their All Stars all black-- the  cotton canvas with the black rubber soles.  Then came a white canvas with blue and red trim, finally, they switched out the cotton canvas for black leather and a black rubber shoe sole. Post-war, in 1949 then Converse decided to added the rubber toe guard,  make the laces and the edges all white, and there we have the Black/White Cons we love.
But wait, There's more!!

In 1957, Converse designed the  "Oxford" style, (my personal favorite). And even better........... Colors!
So yeah, Iconic Americana. Punks, sorority girls, moms, dads and kids all love their Cons! Folks will even paint them custom for you.  Then Nike bought the company, and moved production to some hellhole. That's why American made Converse are worth it.
Here is our funkomavintage vintage, made in USA, Converse selection available right now ---

US made Vintage RED Converse high top 80s sneakers cotton rubber classic shoes 4.5

and the vintage Converse Christmas Holiday version.  Red stripes, Green cotton, holly on the Converse All Star patch, and green rubber soles.
These had a tiny bell hanging at the back....feel free to add it back again!

and back in the day......funkomavintage has provided you with these sweet vintage Converse.

and a few of my faves in my shoe box right now!
 red and black flannel plaid, dark green, off-white, and some Polo tennies, and a pair Tigers for running. and some very adorable skeleton bone, Tuk red tartan plaids.

Friday, September 5, 2014


 Chickens are so cool. They're cute, they're silly, they're wise, they got their eye on you.

and now lots of urban people are keeping a chicken or 2 in the backyard. Touring the city to gawk at Chicken Coops is a thing.
Some of us are hicks from the sticks, and raised by traditional-minded country people who know that livestock and gardens in the yard is perfectly normal behavior.

So, about that cute white chicken up there,  if you like chickens in the backyard, you can go be a friend to my niece, Edith. She's a chicken.

What to wear in the barnyard, in the backyard, out in the garden?
May I suggest a Chicken and Rooster print 50s day dress?

These days growing your food, bee hives in the backyard, or chickens for eggs (or gosh forbid, to eat them!!), is called Food Security.
And this is a very good thing. Home gardeners used to be looked at like some kinda weirdo, because after WWII it was all about being Modern.
And clean, and sanitary, and buying food from a big supermarket.
The tides they say ... are turning. However, some government entities are harrassing folks for doing what comes natural. Gardening. Providing food for oneself.

Dig in the dirt in vintage overalls.


so yeah.   Cream and tan vintage check overalls. By Cherokee, these are roomy with lots of pockets and a gathered waist and a tie on the back.

Vintage 50s overalls, with lots of pockets.   

Vintage 80s white canvas Sears and Roebuck,  overalls.

and, since you might be shoveling lots of Manure, how about a shirt that says Oh Shit!

I completely agree that roosters probably have no place in the city, that large scale farming is best left to large tracks of land outside the City Limits, perhaps.
But there ain't nothing wrong with neighborhood gardening, small plots turned into food for the neighbors.
Who would be against such a thing? Food Corporations of course. Well, Just Say No to Monsanto, and Big Agriculture.
We have a right to know what's in our food, where it comes from, and all we ask is to label it clearly.

Learn more about urban farming from Seattle Tilth.
Here's some discussion about the early history of pure food and drugs in America. It's not a bad idea, again.

Upton Sinclair, wrote The Jungle to alarm you about the meatpacking industry. In 1906. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

that yountville girl has an Earthquake in Napa

My introduction to living in the beautiful Napa Valley was Yountville. I came to live there as a 2 year old and only left the Valley under mysterious and misleading circumstances. Although parts of me lived in the Pacific Northwest, my blood has always remained in California and the Napa Valley.
The planet has shifted her skin around and we woke up terrified at 3:20 am on Sunday August 24th, 2014.

We were jolted for a good 6 seconds (probably longer) and it was the single most terrifying few moments of my life. I've been in many car wrecks, jumped off a few roofs having fun, broke up with nasty boyfriends, went speeding around the road to Berryessa, and have been left behind while hiking in the mountains near Lake Tahoe.

The earthquake is in all the news, so I won't go over the details here. Many lovely buildings I grew up with are now in shambles, yet, surprisingly, many buildings, homes and streets appear to be completely untouched.

 The inside and outside of our RV immediately after the Quake.

The Post Office in downtown Napa is wrecked, and seeing that... was the only thing that made me cry.
I have a long history with it.

It is a small castle made of yellow brown brick, with 4 huge tureen pots, (big lanterns), a scaled down Art Nouveau-ish-Art Deco-ish  building that exists because of WPA. Inside the air is ancient, it is cold from the marble and slate, and the iron bars and rails are solemn.

I received love letters there, birthday presents from my long dead brother, stood in line for the latest stamps (writing snail mail required a properly matched stamp to one's stationary), stood in line to buy my Food Stamps in the 70s, and in the late 60s and early 70s, I marched in front with other peaceniks because it is a Federal Building, and therefore we did our patriotic duty to Stop the VietNam War, and by golly, we stopped it.

The newer 60s branch on Trancas was destroyed too.

I think some people feel about their church building the way I feel about the old Post Office buildings of the USA. They meant serious business..... getting the mail to us properly, on time, with efficiency and with a sense of patriotic purpose was very inspiring to me growing up.
I had faith in America. I will always despise former California Governor, and then the worst president of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan, that made a mockery and a shambles of faith in the US. As if America didn't have enough problems to solve, knocking the spirit of soulful camaraderie away from us in the 80s, is an unforgivable sin to humanity.
We needed to pull together as one unit, to solve racism, environmental destruction and to further the well-being of all of us on the planet. America is a sad divided country that hasn't been proactive about the national problems since the early 70s when we created the EPA, and stopped the war and the draft.

We are all raw right now. I do keep reliving the few moments in my bed, grasping my husband and yelling out of sheer fright and fear. He has never felt an earthquake, other than a small one, in the daytime. I've felt several, but they never really get "normal"!
He screamed What is happening? and I calmly replied We're in an earthquake.
As soon as the shaking stopped, or rather the jolts, we jumped out of bed in the dark and bolted out the door. He ran to check on our neighbor C. and I ran the other way to check on neighbor P.

In a few seconds all of our neighbors spilled out their doors and we began to ask each other if we were all OK. We all seemed to be. Our trailer park had escaped most damage except, we were to find out later, a few water mains broke leaving us without water for a few days off and on. Our power did the same.... off and on and off and on.

The gas lines are being checked today by PG &E, and let's hope they do a better job than what they did in San Bruno California, where their negligence incinerated a neighborhood.

We live in a fully contained vintage RV, a 1973 Winnebago. Some people laughed at us when we said we were gonna live in it full time. Other people gave us the high 5! Yes we are on the cutting edge here folks..... we're right in the beginning of a "Tiny House Movement", and 160 square feet of inside living space qualifies us.  Most RV full timers are older retired people, and most people in my park are either middle age and on disability, or are struggling young families with low wage jobs.
4 homes here sustained damage. They are struggling to get their homes fixed up again with a tiny amount of money. Oh, the rich rich rich people of Napa Valley can just toss a few thousand out of their pockets, and all the problems caused by the earthquake, in my park will be solved.

So, us, being "of a certain age", and working full time, and a very nice job .... well, we are rather the odd duck of the park, of the demographic that lives full time in an RV, but not unusual if you consider us as living in a mobile home, but not the traditional mobile home...aka, a single or double wide, in a park, or out on rural land growing peaches and tending goats.

We really didn't sustain damage. An RV is made to move and shake and shudder! We have built-in everything, our cabinets lock shut and we have 12 volt systems, and if we run our generator, we have 110 power also. We lost a toaster oven that fell off the refrigerator, but, only because we didn't build the cabinet to hold it yet, so that's on the agenda. We should have had more water stored up, so we'll attend to that. We do have plastic dishes, and all the basic food and other necessities to last a week or 2 easy, although we should have more, we do live in a city so services and food won't be decimated for more than a few days.

Since our dog died in July, we didn't have a hurt pet to worry about, and it was very sad to have to hunt for our friends and neighbors beloved pets, that all did return in about a day of hiding in crevices and under foundations, totally scared out of their wits.

Our office was only a tiny bit messy, with a few objects that tumbled, gently it seemed, and a rack of clothes that rolled out and tipped. In friends homes we saw a lot of refrigerators that "walked" out towards the center of the kitchen, a lot of tipped dressers and open drawers and everybody's jewelry box dumped over! Glass, yes, if you had glass, it broke, some glass-fronted pictures and art, fell and broke, but I was amazed to see What Didn't Happen.
No one in my family here was hurt, but they are very nervous and somewhat afraid. The world doesn't seem so sweet right now, but we do know, that lots of love will help smooth the bumps of life.

I won't ever live anywhere else. This Coast of this continent on the Planet is my home. I am made of this soil, this air, this sun, these oak trees and these stones. My people are buried here, returning to the soil, from which they came.
Ashes and Dust.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mexi Cali Rose

California is its own country, producing everything a culture needs. it's amazing. Swimming pools, movie stars. Oil and gas, solar and wind power. Blow-hard politicians and California girls.

Surfing, skating, skateboarding and flexing muscles at Venice Beach.
The tallest and oldest trees, the most amazing landscapes.
Big egos.
Big problems.
Big solutions.

Summer girls... and California is just Northern Mexico.
California was divided in to ranchos, large land grants, to settlers, by the Mexican government in the 1800s.
so Mexico and Mexican culture is part of the California dream, the California experience.
the towns, the cities, the streets, the rivers and lakes, take their names from Mexicans and the Spanish as often as from the Indians, the natives that lived here before the Spanish/Mexicans and then the whitey.

 art by Lee Bogle.

70s California girl and the California dog on the beach,

40s girls at the pool on the Hearst estate.

art by Jesus Helguera.

Phyllis Diller and a California girl.

And what could a California girl wear on the beach?
How about a vintage Cole of California 70s bathing suit. Boy leg 2 piece, in a op art check in blues and purples.

California is famous for its cowboys and is the West! and of course, Mexican cowboys and cowgirls too.... 

 Embroidered Cowgirl blouse in yummy coral, at


lots of vintage Mexican blouses and vintage dresses, and lacy tops with cotton krinkle gauze. Hand embroidery and lush jungle prints....
So Cali boho, So Mexicali Rose.....

wild jungle skirt...
vintage print mini skirt, with tropical flowers and big big leaves and big round moons.

Vintage boho tunic in black and white.

flamingo? heron? well, that's kinda jungle! gorgeous vintage 70s rayon blouse with a tropic print with long legged birds.

classic white cotton gauze and crochet lace vintage Mexican tunic top in krinkle cotton and satin ribbon.

lace and cotton dresses, jungle love wild print bias cut dress... all part of the West Coast boho life...

crochet yoke and cotton make a white cotton simple summer dress.

hot bright jungle blooms on this vintage 80s strapless mini dress.

hippie boho Cali style, a long 60s maxi with a hood....perfect for festival-going, and desert moon gazing.

Long vintage Mexican cotton caftan, with sheer and solids heavy rustic weave. 

Sweet vintage Mexican mini dress lavished with lace and pastel embroidery.

bias cut rayon jungle dress, and a red cotton crochet and krinkle gauze dress....