Monday, April 30, 2012

What's that sticky stuff in my boots?

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.

Even if you ignore 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.

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.

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.

I see this sticky breakdown all the time with the brands Connie, Cobbies and Joyce.
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 dust 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....

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 !

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 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.

(an 2009 archive post, updated for your vintage pleasure)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is It Hot in Here?

archived from 2007...

  Come 2025 there will be more than 1 billion postmenopausal women on the planet, according to Newsweek journalist Barbara Kantrowitz, co-author of a new book Is It Hot in Here? Or is It Me?
So.....about 1/6th of the world's population will be cranky, resistant to your demands for more, and living in stretch pants.......
Mmm, Welcome To My World......

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New places Old vintage

I rearranged a bunch of stuff.....and I have a nice new photo spot...It. has. barnwood. I hope you like me better because I sure do. Moved the lights around it wow, such a difference. Spring cleaning! I needed a change...and now I'm very happy....the pictures are so much better and clearer too.
Lots more work to do...reorganizing my whole work space too...
After ---


The other reason for moving/cleaning and so Mark and I can revamp small furniture and get going on all the projects we THOUGHT we'd be able to do when we moved our shop to downtown Tacoma. ....but, fighting construction woes, building breakdowns, flooding, electricity blowing up, thieves, and general building-sharing fuckery, meant that I was continuously preoccupied with putting out fires instead of..... making things, and staying super-organized, which makes me happy!!!
2 things I learned from that 3 loooooooong years in Downtown Tacoma.
1. I'll NEVER open a shop in Tacoma, ever again.
2. I'll never share a space in a building EVER again.
So, it's good to learn lessons as one goes along....But why are the best lessons always so damn expensive???
oy vey.

random shots....still more organizing to come ...because....I'm going to increase my listings...and so organizing is very important or I will go crazy ...

Monday, April 23, 2012

because they are wealthy, tall, and slim

that's why. No one loves the beauty and wisdom of the oldsters more than me....especially now that I am one....Advanced Style blog has cornered the market on old women and a few old guys on teh interwebz.

And now they have a book! 

 All the pictures below are the Sole Property of Advanced Style!!

I sell style. So I do like to see an article or 2 or 50 about how to look nice, be healthy and enjoy life into the late years of life....but I am really sick of seeing pretty women with lots of money being held up to the rest of examples of the "right" way to age.

Without fail, 99.33% of the ladies he features, are uh, monied ladies. And when you have money, you have it easy. Where are the turkey necks? Few to be seen, that's for sure. And high cheekbones, slim bodies or at least not fat....these are the biases with Mr. Cohen's choices.
So many of the ladies (and I've been reading it since day one), have the "ideal" womanly body in American culture....high cheekbones, no flabby neck, tall, other words, they are just a wrinkly version of any young model on the runway today.

I'm sure they are all just wonderful ladies, real nice folks and all, my beef is the ...Pretty Pressure Never Ends !!  We are being set up. We'll have to be pretty in our fucking coffin. We'll have to remain fuckable when we are a corpse.

This whole "Old ladies are foxy too!" thing just so ticks me off used to be that women could "taper off " the Sexay and the "hey good lookin" as they bumped up to 40...which ain't old. Then Dynasty, that nasty TV show in the 80s.......and thanks! those 40-somethings Linda Evans...and Joan Collins, were primped, polished, padded, uplifted and vaseline-photoed....

and the pressure was on to be horny sexy and seductive when you'd just reached the age when the spread and the comfort of a few extra pounds was earned, and felt comfortable, and was healthier than being starved into sexy and skinny, as the culture demanded.....But no...The Modern Older American Woman Ideal, is demanding that older women stay fancy and wear a lot of makeup and shoulder pads,

Now the age to stay pretty, to stay sexy is pushed to, for crying out loud, to 90? to 100? Dressing in an interesting way is one thing....and I really love that, but it's coupled with the same old pretty pressure way into the elderly years.

French women, as the fable goes...look good all the time....but the dif is...they aren't pressured to be beautiful/youngy/slim/tall/and no turkey neck. They are "allowed" to age...naturally.
Today, older women are under the same pressure as young women to always Be Pretty! Do I need to tell you about anorexia and bullimia, and the headlines about young models...pre-teens pressured into becoming sexy at a very early age......and the pressure starts early and goes on...long into the elderly years.

all pictures belong to Advanced Style

I sell style. I'm all about dressing how one wants and feels, whether young, middle aged or old....but I am really sick of seeing pretty women with lots of money being held up to the rest of examples of the "right" way to age.

It's the same Tyranny of the Pretty Lady....and I am sick of it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Trip thru the Trees to buy stuff and do the Winnie thing

a Winnie trip to the salty waters edge....a drive thru "Ron Paul" country....if you've been one place in Western Washington, you've seen it all because it all looks exactly alike. Only the mountains get farther away...or closer. It's either raining or it's raining real hard. Ron Paul people are scary because if I were to break down, or slip and fall in the Safeway, they would just step over me to get their cheap Medicare drugs....

 Hey! I did a couple of things to the Winnie ...aka,Winnebago, aka, my only home I'll ever own. We hooked up the water since the freezing weather is over now....Oh That was 30 wet and terrifying minutes of my life...but Mark figured out the problem...and we had water, hot water, a flushing toilet ....cold martinis and life was Beauty!!

Most people paint their faux bois 70s interiors white....I think that looks really cool and oh, so pretty, but for me....the faux bois is so very comforting. When decorating, I'm trying to make Ralph Lauren cry.....
 and referencing a California cabin in the woods on the Marin coast, and a bit of classic 70s stuff....the kind of things I had when my kids were little....

I forgot to pack the extra the pics are too dark. ..there will be more pics, oh yes!

I adore the spare simple modern fabrics from the 60s and 70s...All things Vera Neuman...ferns and green plants, and baskets.

I added big fat zig zag trim to the edges of the shades, but I do confess, I'm having big trouble choosing the fabric for the curtains in the kitchen/dinette.
Mark suggested covering the ugly dinette seats with vintage camp blankets, and he is a genius.
I'll probably default to mattress ticking stripes to cover the front seats. (gahd, are they ugly!)

 I hung up the barkcloth curtains along the back window, and green mattress stripe cotton on the back side windows. I have very wooly and warm vintage blankets, (the top one with stripes is a 30s Orr wool blanket, thick and warm)....... and some thrifted Ralph Lauren floral pillow cases....I'm gonna make some striped ones too, and make about 4 or 5 smaller throw pillows in different barkcloth fabrics, in the same brown and green tones. I really adore the barkcloth on the back feels very Arizona desert.

 a super-favorite Vera Baked Fish (!) tea towel, a dried fern....old rusty thermometer...vintage Yosemite pennant

There are several hipster cliches I'm avoiding like...the plague. No chevron prints, and no letterpress anything, no fucking banners, and chalkboard paint. I will have an antler or 2, birch bark and big letters (but I was doing the cabin in the junk yard thing long before those kids were even born!)

So it's happening...

waterfront view for 22 hours....

 Vegetarian Corn Dogs baking in the oven!! yes it works like a dream, and the frig works perfect....

I tell in the Winnie....makes me so happy.
I have a semi-long list of things to get it all set up like a ready-to-go home. I'm trying really hard to spend nothing or close to nothing on the things I need, since, good grief, I have a 45 year collection of homemaking stuff....

Here's a little shade with big zig zag trim....

I am fascinated with oversize replicas of things that are usually very small, and I am fascinated with tiny replicas of things that are usually very large....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden! archive from 2009 & 1995...

I've been a gardener all my life...pulling weeds, which is a vital part of gardening, was my first job (that I remember) when I was 4, and got paid a penny a weed! Them's some big bucks.

I so clearly remember crawling under the big hydrangeas and the scent of the cool earth....the mystery of being the size of a bug under the big leaves and mop-headed periwinkle violet flower balls.......

so, I used to write a gardening column for Tacoma Monthly, then Tacoma Weekly...yes, that one!

I called it At Last A Decent Plot

I researched this article in the Tacoma Library downtown with child (Annie) in tow...she loved it...being inside the library all day...(no really!)

this was originally published April 12, 1995. I've added some internetz links because that is something one can do...that is not too possible with newsprint...much. Besides, I don't think the Google was invented, 1995. Let's go back to the Clinton days of yore, blue dresses and good wars, when acid wash jeans weren't yet ironic.
... I'll try to publish more  new/old articles from those days...and well, continue on writing, cause I like to do things...

Killer Chemicals

The recent subway poisoning incident in Tokyo may seem to have no relationship to gardening--but there is a connection. Sarin, the deadly nerve gas used in Tokyo, was developed during WWII by the Nazis.

American scientists regarding their own nerve gas during the war discovered that low concentrations of some lethal chemicals will act as pesticides, herbicides, or fumigators.

The end of the war left America's large chemical companies with vast knowledge of chemical killers. Knowledge they kept a top secret, right? Not a chance. Seeing the deadly chemicals as a potential money-making bonanza, they aggressively marketed them as new, modern solutions to the "bug problem".

The result has been that, as biologist Rachel Carson exposed in her 1962 book Silent Spring, chemicals synthesized into unnatural molecular chains have permeated nearly every ecosystem on the planet. Scientists have found post-WWII chemicals everywhere they've looked , including in samples taken from the top of Mt. Everest.

Many garden chemicals are billed as harmless, but don't bet on it. DDT, Chlordane and Dieldrin are "chlorinated hydrocarbons", while Sarin, Malathion and Parathion are "organo-phosphates".

Though anything made from elements native to the Earth is by definition, natural and organic, to make this a badge of harmlessness is deceptive. Chemicals in the DDT family are stored in the body. Both the FDA and EPA have agreed that there is no safe storage level because these chemicals interact with other chemicals, producing increasingly toxic results. Sarin and Malathion work on the nervous system, the effects resembling the alkaloid poison, muscarine.

So what are some chemicals to watch out for? Chemical nitrogens available so plentifully at nurseries -- Nu-Life-- is a common brand--work wonders for your plants. The nitrogen makes your plant's leaves green and encourages them to grow. While the nitrogen itself is a good thing, the concentrated chemical soup used to create chemical nitrogen, including ammonia and chlorine -- wreaks havoc on the environment. It's toxic to workers and the area around the chemical plant that produces it. It's harmful to nursery workers who deal with it. And, it eventually pollutes your local water supply.

Phosphorus is another gardening essential. Chemical companies mine rock phosphate, a wonderful source of natural phosphorus, and treat it with acid to create superphosphate. While your plants will become supercharged with phosphorus, they won't thrive. Why? When the superphosphate is added to the soil, it combines with the necessary micronutrients iron and manganese, making them unavailable to plants. Without iron and manganese, the plants become vulnerable to insect and disease damage. To an unsuspecting gardener, this action can create a vicious cycle.

The bottom line is that there is no need to use chemicals in your garden. Unadulterated sources of nutrition such as manure for nitrogen, crushed phosphorus rock for needed phosphorus, and wood ashes for potassium are available for your organic garden. Combined into rich compost, these sources will provide all the nutrients your plants need to stay healthy as well as capable of resisting insects and disease.

Hundreds of organic gardening books and magazines are available to help with basic information. One of my favorites is Rodale Press The Expert's Book of Garden Hints, edited by Fern Marshall Bradley. I also like Organic Gardening Magazine. Once obscure, it's now available on the magazine racks in most grocery stores. Besides information about organic gardening, you'll learn about the latest research on nontoxic insecticides and techniques to lessen the occurrence of fungus or bacterial attacks.

But what about chemicals used by large corporate farms? A scary example of chemicals resulting in tragedy occurred recently in Olalla. Two horses died from eating hay (grown in Eastern Washington) that had been sprayed with an organo-phosphate pesticide. The pesticide had drifted in from an adjacent potato field, said Cliff Weed, program manager for the State Department of Agriculture compliance division for pesticides.

Now that you're afraid of everything you might eat, remember that you're not gonna get out alive. Still the best cure for cancer is to try to prevent it. Requiring multi-national corporations to avoid using dangerous chemicals which contaminate our water, air and food should be an obvious step.

What can we do to save ourselves and future generations of children and wildlife? Make a personal committment to stop using dangerous chemicals in our own gardens as much as possible. Just as important, write letters to congress, imploring them to continue enforcing environmental laws. This isn't an issue that is liberal or conservative. Newt Gingrich and Jesse Jackson breathe, eat and drink the same food and water the same as you and I. Remember, the life you save may be your own.


So there ya go....

across the street from the shop is a chunk of land at the top of a parking lot...I"m gonna just go over there and guerrilla-garden it....I suggest you do the same!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Here's a few of the things I've made in the last few months....