Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vintage Workwear Vintage Military

Perhaps because men who do things, who build things, seems to becoming rarer these days, there is a push to honor and collect vintage workwear and vintage militaria. I'm all for it!
I love quality and with the recent garbage that was made in the 1990's and the 2000's ..that Fast Fashion...It is about time that American designers and American workers who have been so beaten in the last 40 years are honored again.
To do something with your own 2 hands is a joy. I guess that's why (hand-crafted) Beer Brewing (and drinking) is so in vogue these days.....the last always looking for a new frontier.
The classics.....Baking, gardening, sewing, chopping wood, painting and creating artful things.....It's Back!

I always have vintage menswear, and here are 2 great practical shirts. First is a 40s era military officers shirt with great style in wool gabardine. It has a few holes scattered on the front but it is still a fabulous thing!

Dating to the late 20s - 30s, this military influence work shirt has really great details...the double layer on the elbows is a real treat to see. The color is deep and glowing and the practical pockets have a slot just for a wood pencil or a metal gauge.

Coming soon to etsy, is this 40s pair of military khaki pants. That wide leg, high waist we love so much!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A thing about Boots....

Now is the time for all good people who buy boots, second hand, to learn what to read, and what to ask of an online seller.

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 !
2 names I see all the time as "vintage boots"....that are not....Steve Madden didn't start making shoes using his name until 1990, and didn't go international until a few years later, so it's pretty unlikely what you see for sale second-hand is really just looks vintage. Also, Wild Pair, cute fer sure, but that company started in Australia in 1994, so not vintage yet. Old, but not vintage, so don't pay a premium price and get duped.

If you buy vintage boots, pay special attention to the lining condition. If the brand is Connie or Joyce, there is a very good chance the glue that was used in the 60s - 80s to attach the nylon knit to the inside is sticky, flaky and breaking down. It's toxic. Sadly, toss those boots in the garbage. Period. Don't buy them....don't  wear them....don't sell them.

This can happen with any brand that uses glues...those 2 brands seem to be the most prone. Not every pair of Joyce 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.

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.

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  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.

Monday, September 13, 2010

You're the Top....

You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,

But if this ditty is not so pretty
At least it'll tell you
How great you are.

(in a bluebird blouse)

You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top!

(in a buckskin frontier leather shirt)

You're the top!
You're Mahatma Gandhi.
You're the top!
You're Napoleon Brandy.

 (in a gray tweed 50s jacket)

You're the purple light
Of a summer night in Spain,
You're the National Gallery
You're Garbo's salary,
You're cellophane.

(in a folkloric floral and check sweater)

You're sublime,
You're turkey dinner,
You're the time, the time of a Derby winner
I'm a toy balloon that’s fated soon to pop
But if, baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!

(in a charming horsey tartan top)

You're the top!
You're an arrow collar
You're the top!
You're a Coolidge dollar,
You're the nimble tread
Of the feet of Fred Astaire,
You're an O'Neill drama,

(in a 50s vintage 101 denim jacket)

You're Lady Astor,
You're broccoli!
You're romance,
You're the steppes of Russia,
You're the pants, on a Roxy usher,
I'm a broken doll, a fol-de-rol, a blop,

But if, baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!

(in a 40s vintage nipped waist wool jacket)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


20 new listings coming up. Classics. Fun stuff. Preppy. Romantic. Practical. and some darling vintage home decor....
And then, later on Saturday, if the rain doesn't wash me out...I'm off to visit a nursery or 2 and buy some bulbs to plant now for spring flowers....Thinking ahead...I want some purple and orange and gold and pink and lime green flowers....
I want some russet and yellow, and wine and rose, and brown and cream chrysanthemums...I want some pumpkins!
So...this week .....fall coats, a warm sweater, a stunning dress, a fun dress, 2 boots, pretty blouses..and more......all with autumn on the brain.......

A Burberry.......

a gorgeous Helen West of California 50s -60s cocktail dress........this is made of butter. Black butter. It is so lovely...the fabric, the style...oh, the amazing cut...sexay.

from the sublime to the practical....

Celadon 60s wool sweater....

and these wine loafers. 70s. classic prep. All Leather. All Leather. All. Leather. These are also made of butter. Wine Butter.
I wish these were my size....I wish the 60s coffee and cream saddle shoes were my size........they are size 8. They are made of bacon. Lucky you!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First peek of the new funkoma estates....

Mark and I haven't had a house since 1999. I am thrilled to have a stand alone home is a luxury that I don't take for granted. I love my's chock full of friendly people with too many pitbulls, which I hate....because I have a little dog.
Mark  & I wanted a pared-down utilitarian look with a sentimental existentialist mood.

 ...ON With The Show!
In the empty box of cream walls and white trim (nice) with wood floors (nicer)....Great light too...East and's a lightfull room. It's the living room and the dining room. This is a very small house..only a little over 700 sq ft. One must only allow so much inside!
Red wall...a very pretty color, but I had to have a different color. I didn't want gray tho I love gray walls, because I wanted more warmth. A brown. But I didn't want to repeat the 70s. Must move on from chocolate. yum ;-)
 This is a milk chocolate...I think it's called Truffle or Pig's Eye....whatev'. So Before:
Choosing colors:

NOW.......Painted, decorated....but with raw silk tossed over the bamboo set from the 60s, a nice heavy cotton in the same shade will by magic! become the new the future. ...Everything is thrifted, found, or bought second-hand....except for...a few things I'm sure. That's the kitchen in the background...with white lace over the refrigerator.

Sleeping Tigger, huge antique empty gold frame, a long vintage frame with the pictures removed and nothing but the shadows and the yellow scotch tape faded stains from some children's graduation pictures from Whitman Elementary, Wilson High and uPS....weird. Another antique framed sepia photo set of 13 ladies from the early 1900's....not a dog in the bunch. Hand-carved walnut frame, and of course, Mark's Valentine's Day gift of 2010....the chihuahua in acrylic.
Big metal 60s keys.
The genie lamp on the right...yeah. Acid green 60's velvet pillow, and a Van Gogh crewel vintage pillow....Vanity Fair, and The Stranger.
Various antlers....thanks deers.

Irish hotel laundry basket keeps blankets and sheets. Military box some grammpy kept in his garage. Milk crates and wood boxes are stacked for book shelves in the corner next to the dining area.

I love the mis-matched chairs...2 are beech dogbone style and one is a 50s Boeing knockoff of an Arne Jacobsen series 7 chair. Love the bleached faux bois formica table with cast iron metal legs in the modern style. It took me choose the fabric I'm going to cover 2 chairs with....That's a piece of faded vintage cotton with olive, chartreuse, graige, and cream modern art/Pollack scribble boxes design! Whew! Grass rug.

You've seen her before....books and mags in a basket. 50s fiberglass atomic plant stand...Look at that avocado tree!! Mark grew them, and I think they're now about 4 years old. It survived the dark shop.
All the curtains are lace tableclothes tied with ribbon on the curtain rods. The miniblinds came with the house...mixed feelings on those things.
Behind the painting are 2 rolled up 30s posters detailing the evils of Alcohol...drinking it, that is. It's a solvent. Thank god.
This is where the nightly cocktail hour begins.

On this wall, across from the couch, are 2 arm chairs, or if pushed together, a loveseat. I've used this set in all kinds of configurations since they are in reality....4 armchairs, and one armless chair, with separate cushions. There is my golden lamp that will hang in the bedroom...soon.
My Scout chair, my daytime husband that models for me, and the desk where the bills multiply after they come inside from the mailbox. The evil evil mailbox. Arch mirror, peacock feathers that spend their life in tilted leisure, and my pride......a California Pharmacist License issued to Edna Allen Bufford, July 24, 1927.

 That's Mark's birthday....not the 1927 part.

The entertainment center....a few albums of the many....empty frames, my lovely mirror, and I love the big pocketwatch...goes with the big keys....I have a thing for watches, clocks and keys. Big and small. We keep the French's Mustard box because it's so Andy Warhol...and it earns its keep by holding our cassettes.
The glasses case holds glasses until they are sold. Lots of old books and brass things, old leather and wood things, and a portrait of  Jean....from whom Mark gets his good looks.

So, in the times to come, I'll show more detail shots and other angles. The kitchen is next, and more work on the Bathroom...ugh! The purple and leopard Maxfield Parrish Oasis of Love bedroom is coming along nicely....

This is a 1943 home....with plaster walls, and very little original detail left. The kitchen was redone in the 60s, and the counter was redone about 5 minutes ago. But I have a kitchen and I have hot water and I am very happy.The yard work starts later this month !! Woo Hoo....time to plant daffodils and tulips and iris and more more more......

Monday, September 6, 2010


Socrates, Eve, Scott and Helen Nearing, Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc, Jesus....
If someone has come before me and was a non-conformist, I'm on it!
So... I love The Beats. I am so Thrilled and can't wait to see....HOWL

The movie of the obsenity trial of Lawrence Ferlinghetti...over the publication of Allen Ginsberg's poetry.

Scott Nearing........what a face.

I hope you watch the glasses, the clothes and the typewriter in this trailer....this is the stuff of how I make my living......
I watch movies and I pick out the's something that Mark and I are very very good at is a bit annoying. For everyone!
50s rhinestone cat eye glasses....

Isn't he great that James funny that he played the HighSchool dumbell...but deep down, a real Freaks and Geeks? And now he's in Columbia’s MFA program for fiction writing, and he should just become a doctoral candidate at Columbia university....which is the same university as ...Allen Ginsberg attended. And Jon Hamm is in it.(what school did he attend, must Google that)...what a ready-made line-up. It better be good! Queers, the 50s, and lawyers....I'm sure it will....

 A pretty dress..not a 50s style, but in mood....very poetry-reading.....classic simple folkloric style....or a real late 50s early 60s modern art pattern...

 a 50s jacket for the fellas....

Late in May, earlier this year, Peter Orlovsky, died. He was the long time love of Allen Ginsberg.
Just after meeting Peter in late 1954, Allen and he moved in together in an apartment in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, which, as you know is the Center of the universe.
And then Allen Ginsberg published Howl and more and more and more.

So, in the July 2010 issue of Interview magazine, Andy Warhol's Interview magazine....The Andy Warhol That Tacoma Hates......
Dennis Hopper (more non-conformism) was also in the July issue, and Dennis also died in late May, so May 2010 sucks.
In the Interview interview, we are reminded that ..."Dennis Hopper bought an early Warhol soup can painting for $75, instigating a lifelong relationship with the artist and a passion for collecting."

Gus Van Sant  (Drugstore Cowboy)is on my top 5 of Directors I love, and it is he whom I  want to direct the movies I Dennis Hopper's son Henry and Sissy Spacek's daughter Schuyler, are gonna be in a Gus Van Sant movie.....The Restless, which should be out in early 2011. Jesus fucking Christ, it must be hard to get a career in Hollywood, in show business, if your fucking parents are you know, Dennis Hopper and Sissy Spacek. ...tough times. I am hoping VanSant kicked their lily white butts.
James Franco was in another film where he portrayed a real live person, Scott Smith, in Gus Van Sant’s movie Milk.
...and of course, GVS is a producer of ....HOWL.

I think that pure talent cannot be Hollywoodized. As people watch Mad Men on cable TV I hope they realize that Ginsberg and the Beats were the exact opposite of everything that Mad Men represents, (that Jon Hamm!), that standardized prepackaged manipulated lifestyles on sale at WalMart, and the Home Shopping Network, and all that Ronald Reagan and Geo Bush were/stand, Here's to pure genius, and not relying on mom and dad to make your life for you. As Ginsberg says ......."who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade, ... ..."

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, 
  hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn 
looking for an angry
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly 
connection to the 
  starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high 
sat up smoking in the
  supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating 
across the tops of
  cities contemplating jazz,

Friday, September 3, 2010

The better to see you with, my dear!

I didn't start having to wear glasses to see clearly until I turned forty-ish. Which means, eyeglasses were not a super-big deal to me until I met Mark.. He wears eyeglasses to see and has had to since he was about seven years old.
Therefore, eyeglasses have always been his fashion statement too.

Here's a vintage sunglasses and vintage eyeglasses preview (ha ha) of pairs I'm listing on Friday.

He's taught me everything I know about good eyewear. And that is why you can always rely on funkomavintage to pick only quality vintage eyeglasses, nifty frames to have your prescription installed, or just a killer pair of vintage sunglasses to do some secret people watching!

Everytime I've bought a new frame to change my prescription over the last 15 years, I've been so sadly disappointed. So, never again will I shop the new eyeglasses on display. It's vintage for me, for always. Over the years it's become much more common for people to take a pair of vintage frames to the optometrist and have a prescription set in or just change over to sunglasses.
It used to be rather tough to find a company that would do it's pretty common and it can be done by mail with the internetz, if your town doesn't have a  place that's willing to work with you.Once you have your new eyeglasses prescription, you can get that quality vintage frame made into a fashionable medical device!
How often is an appliance cute? On your face?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sneaking in the Fall

Temps are gonna hit the 80s, says the weatherman...but we know fall is coming a few weeks! I'm looking at my closet thinking....What?

Brown dotty vintage 50s dress in cotton.... oh yes!

vintage Italian leather cap toe wingtips? yes again.

aww look at these cute kids...Gorgeous birch tree...

Khaki's are nice...a cotton shirt, but now I'm gonna tie a harvest color scarf as a headband....a lot more brown leather.....September seems to want tea-stained linen, some orange and rust, and blue....
Plaid, dark denim, and nature prints of birds and feathers, acorns, home garden fruits and vegetables....

 Rich brown leather vintage jacket....

Early 60s preppy bronze jacket...with bit of sharkskin....
men's vintage.

Amelia Earhart is always my inspiration......those flying scarves..that sepia leather, boots and lace and oh that determination...
 Tall brown leather vintage boots....

Heirloom tomatoes. Looks like Brandywine...and yellow something? 

In addition to eating tomatoes...and frying green tomatoes (my fave I think) you
can throw them like they do in Spain during Tomatina....weirdos.