Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's that dusty stuff inside your boots?

see these in my etsy shop

Now is the time to learn what to ask of an online seller.
If you buy vintage boots, pay special attention to the lining condition. Often the glue that was used in the 60s - 80s to attach the nylon, polyester or acetate knit to the inside can get sticky, flaky and break down. It's toxic. Sadly, toss those boots in the garbage. Period. Don't buy them....don't wear them....don't sell them.
If a vintage clothing seller tells you "Oh, you can just wear socks to protect your feet!", I say, run! No reputable vintage clothing seller would pass off severely damaged merchandise. The only possible time to offer goods that are very damaged, is in the case of very rare examples of fine vintage designer clothing or antiques than can and should be saved for museum or educational purposes, and then, price accordingly.

What's the chemicals used in these kinds of knits and glues, both in boots and shoes, and vintage clothes?  These are the 4 most used plastics that will break down over time: cellulose acetate, cellulose nitrate, polyvinyl chloride and polyurethane. 
  Some people, some vintage dealers and sellers call this "Devils Dust". Even if ignored for the moment, that the glue/fabric breakdown is toxic because of chemicals and/or minute particles breathed in to your lungs, just ask yourself....Why do you want to buy or sell something that is clearly damaged? Stickiness, flakiness and ooey-gooey isn't in the original condition when new...and it is damage that is in an entirely different class than a few minor scuffs or heel taps that can be replaced.
I see this sticky breakdown all the time with the brands Connie,Cobbies and Joyce.

What's in the glue that is used in boots, and by the way, used to bond nylon knit to fabrics? (you see this in 60s acrylic plaids and tweeds, mostly).
Well, here's a list of what industrial glues can contain: volatile solvents like toluol,  hexane,  trichlorethylene,  acetone, toluene,  ethyl acetate,  methyl ethyl ketone,  trichlorochthane, isopropanol, methyl isobutyl ketone,  methyl cellosolve acetate, cyclohexanone, or other solvents,  or a combination which might be releasing toxic vapors.
EDIT -- 2015. "Hi Anonymous, I'd only recommend cleaning the toxic glue and broken down synthetic lining, if one had a proper professional respirator (and not just a mouth and nose dust cover),and an outdoor area to work in." see the rest of the EDIT in the comments concerning  a proper way to clean and reuse boots with toxic breakdown in them.

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This can happen with any brand that uses glues... but those 2-3 brands seem to be the most prone. Not every pair of Joyce,Cobbies or Connie, of course, and I have a pair of sticky-lined Zodiac tall cowboy boots with feathers that I'm gonna deconstruct and clean-up and install eyelets, so I can save them. ...with a proper respirator mask on, and lots of hand-washing. I think a very good wipe-down with some kind of painter-type stuff like Goof Off will remove the sticky glue after I pull the lining off....

see these in my etsy shop

I love Thank you Some Lady for shopping at Nordstrom or JCPenney's in the 70s and 80s and spending big bucks to buy boots, and thanks for getting bored or allowing your feet to grow, and deciding to sell them to Me !

see these in my etsy shop

The heel caps may be worn out and they can be replaced at a real cobbler shop, for around 15.00 a pair. Call around to ask about quality of the replacement caps and price. Ask them about a return policy too. I've had some replaced that fell apart the very same day I retrieved them from the cobbler....boy I was a mad little elf ! They got a piece of my mind, but none of my return business.

see these in my etsy shop

My faves to find and sell are either unlined, or lined and from Italy. Yugoslavia, Canada, and Brazil make a good boot, and like I said, there are plenty of other brands that do hold up over time.
Most boots made in the US are quality....most vintage cowboy boots are are Tony Lama, Frye, Dingo, Dexter, 9West, Zodiac (most of the time), Aigner,....oooh there is nothing like a silky leather lined pair of Italian boots.

It's a case of Buyer Beware, so ask a seller some questions before you hit that Buy button. So sad, but I'm still seeing sellers on etsy, ebay and around the interwebs that Should Know Better, but still have rotten boots for sale...without proper disclosure.

see these in my etsy shop

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Xmas Dog and Shrimp cocktail beach clean up

My dog, showing his xmas cheer, and being a good sport. He wore it on his walk and didn't complain or whine. Better than a toddler!

A walk on the beach...first, lets's get a shrimp cocktail and pretend we are in SF on Fisherman's Wharf. Homesick, always a little homesick.

View of said Shrimp cocktail looking northeast towards Dash Point and Seattle Wa.

Looking back towards Tacoma......

Second, let's smell the tree pee.

Let's tour the old burned out mill on the waterfront.  I really love leaving the ruin alone .......I'm a big fan of ruin. Saves Time.

Pretty moss.I've been on etsy too long. I think it needs a tiny plastic deer. Or a mustache.

Pretty weeds.
The remains of a snowberry bush. A few months ago it was full of darling white berries, and then the berries are eaten by the birds. That's good.

Time for your close-up Miss Snowberry!

The beach clean-up. 30 minutes of picking up trash at Dickman Mill Park on Tacoma's waterfront. Yes, we picked up the tampon applicator. No, we left the other people's dog shit there. We're not that nice.

Friday, December 24, 2010

the next 2 fave xmas songs....

well, ok 3.....because I can never decide which I love best. Box of Rain, or Ripple, as my #1 fave Grateful Dead song.
What possessed me to go with my daughters to GD's Portland Meadows show in Portland the weekend of May 28, 1995. I followed my desire. And, for that, forever grateful!
1995, the year my life began again I guess.
In early '95,I bought (another) copy of American Beauty....this time on cd, and played it and played it and played it...and I think it lit a fire or whispered the breath of sweet memories hard...and I changed my life.
unusual choices for xmas, but it's the time I look back and take stock.

If I had to try to tell you the way it was in the 60s man....a Dead show, a stroll thru Shakedown Street......that's as close as it gets....

My go-to song for xmas is......this one, because I love Charlie Chaplin, I am a Friend of Judy, and my mom adored this song, and adored Judy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

True Grit....True Joy

I did not want to know anything about the new Coen Bros. True Grit. I adore the John Wayne version, and maybe not for the reasons you may think.
Mattie Ross was, in 1969, a joy to discover...a girl with True Grit. Determined, not soft and not waiting for it to be handed to her simply because she is a female and so much is expected of her.
A longer contemplation of the Coen Bros movie will come later, after seeing it today.
I was stunned to hear a familiar voice singing at the end of the movie. I had heard no mention of the closing song, and of the singer who filled the theater with her singular voice.
She is Iris DeMent.
This is her song, that is my long-time favorite. It is a stunner...
and too much like my own life.
this is a crappy video, because the real nice one won't be embedded.


I always keep the 14 year old inside me. She will never grow old, or grow up. She will always look to life and grab it and shake it. It's all she has.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pretty Dresses.......and 4 Jackets

I thought I was done for the year with the pretty party dresses......but look what I found in my own personal wonderland (ie. storage). These should be listed by ...oh, noonish on Thursday.....I made a new-ish look for my photo area....featuring my old Army wood filing cabinet......a huge coffee burlap bag for my floor....and a few other cute things......

Fantastic 60s MadMen party dress with oodles of beads and sequins.

50s blue silk jacquard party dress...bombshell!

40s blue lace bombshell sheath....

80s Green Metallic strapless !

50s blue beaded jacket....this is so pretty......

a 60s Blue/Green plaid wool cape...

60s white faux fur girly jacket....I've not seen one like this before...

70s Lanvin plaid jacket....sold in Palm Beach!