Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Kitschtastic Father's Day

For Father's Day, my husband's dad surprised us with dinner at this joint not too far from our house. He loves the 50s movies, cars and music, and knows that I love everything retro, and he thought we'd love it. He was right! It was kitsch overload and 1950s Americana retro heaven!

The menu is huge, and I was delighted to find a delicious avocado sandwich on rye amongst all the burgers, hot dogs and fries. If my readers from other countries have ever wondered why Americans can get so fat, just look at the next two photos.

Our food, Grandpa and Daddy-O and two hungry and over-stimulated kids.

The whole place was jam-packed with repro tin signs, old toys, movie posters, etc.

Even an old Chevy coming right through the wall. I tried to do one of those "look, I'm holding up something really heavy" shots with Miss June...these are really hard to do with wiggly kids.

A couple of my favorites: Elvis, of course...

and my perennial favorite, Marilyn...

This one is especially for Keith of The Dino Lounge:

And for all of you retro-renovators wondering what to do with those unsightly vertical blinds, here's an idea:

Just spray-paint giant portraits of your favorite stars of yester-year! Just kidding - that's a bit too kitschy, even for me!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day and a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My First Slide Show!

Wow! I think it's working! This is my Flickr set on the house we bought last year in Yucca Valley, in the Southern California high desert. If you've heard of Joshua Tree National Park (yes, like the U2 album), it's the town next door.

Here is our remodeling journey on that house, our second. It was during this time that I discovered the blog RetroRenovation, and I sure would have made some decisions differently had I had all the resources and expertise from Pam and her readers before then! We learned a lot with this house, and we still own it (it's rented out) because of the bad market. There are many things I miss about the house. Let me know if you can tell what some of them are!

If you want to see the photos with all my titles and captions, just click on over to Flickr and choose the set "Yucca Valley house"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Disneyland and Tikimama's Photo Debut (sort of)

This post took me an extra day to do, and I don't know if I'm going to get to my Paint Chip Fun because....I have been having all sorts of troubles getting my photos to import from my camera to my computer using Picasa, but after diddling with it off and on all day yesterday, I think I found the solution. I hate it when computer things don't work right, and I don't have the know-how to fix them!

On Wednesday, we went to California Adventure and Disneyland to celebrate Miss May, Miss June, and their now-2-yr-old cousin Mr. June's birthdays! My sister and her boyfriend both work at the Land, so we are lucky enough to get signed in for free, and are able to use their employee discount - still spent about $150. I was taking photos all day, with my blog in mind! Seems I'm always composing posts in my head these days...I wonder how you daily bloggers manage it!

When we finally managed to get all ready and in the car, it wouldn't start. Went to grab my car-savvy neighbor (husband was at work) and it started right up for him. Whew, problem solved, right? Ha! We were meeting up at a McDonald's near D-land so I wouldn't have to pay for parking and after a quick bite, same thing happens. My sister and Mr. June had gone on ahead, so my bro-almost-in-law did his best to figure out the problem. Finally called AAA (for you non-Americans, a membership car service) and they got it to start by banging on the underside with a big metal pipe! At least we were finally off. So, on to the photos....Here is how the day started.

We got into California Adventure, which we had never seen before. It was really nice, and we only ever saw a small corner of it - we'll go back another day. They were closing at 6 pm (!) for Grad Night.
I liked the snacks available in the Monsters, Inc. ride - Sugar, Salt & Fat! Finally truth in advertising!

We had a reservation at Ariel's Grotto for the birthday meal. It was expensive, but at least it was worth it. The food was delicious and the kids were beyond thrilled to meet, talk to, and hug the princesses!! I am going to try to select just a couple of photos (family can go check out my Flickr account for all the kid-overload you can stand).
Beautiful atmosphere, and under-the-sea theme.
Excellent chow. Nom, nom, nom.

Very happy kids!
Miss June, Ariel, Miss May and their cousin Miss August (almost 16!)

Little Mr. June - he's wearing a Jack Skellington t-shirt that says "Your Worst Nightmare"!

The one thing I had in mind to get done for sure during this trip was an official coming-out-of-relative anonymity photo. I say relative because of that photo I posted of me with my Crafty Pals a long while ago; not my best look. (Hope some of my good blog buddies will follow suit - it's fun to put a real face to a blog's personality!) Figured it was a good opportunity to get me dressed decently, hair done and makeup on. The plan was to get the Official Tikimama Portrait, where else but outside The Enchanted Tiki Room, with my two girls. Well, first of all, this happens, of course:

But Miss June happily posed with me (she never falls asleep when there's fun to be had):

Yes, for those of you who see me IRL, I took off my glasses because I'm vain.
Then, inside with a still-sleepy Miss May, posing by Pele, Goddess of Fire:
So there you have it. My hair is currently flaming red (husband does not like it so much, but I do!), I don't have any cool vintage clothes to wear, but I do have a fab new necklace and I'm carrying my amazing bag from Atomic Livin' that the familiy got me for Mother's Day. More on that later!

So what if this is how the day ended?!

Sitting in the parking structure in our car that wouldn't start...again. Miss June got it to start with her magic finally, after waiting about 45 minutes, just as the AAA towtruck was showing up with security. Headed straight for our mechanic, got hubs to pick us up, and finally bed at midnight.
But it was a wonderful day!
Tikimama with Miss June in The Enchanted Tiki Room

Stay tuned for more Tiki Goodness in an upcoming post!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A "Better Late Than Never" Paint Chip Project

Veronica was M.I.A. last Friday, but now she's back and sharing her latest paint chip piece with us!
It's funny that she made bricks like MoonDoggie, and couldn't decide between two versions, like me! Great minds think alike.

This is "Humpty Dumpty" - two versions. Visit her blog to let her know which one you like best!

And if you create your own work of art this week, send it to me at AtomicTeaParty [at] gmail [dot] com to be featured this Friday!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Paint Chip Projects - Week 5

Remember the Paint Chip Fun Project everyone? If you're new to the Tea Party, or you've forgotten what we're trying to do here, check out this post. Then look at our First PCFP, Second PCFP, Third PCFP, Fourth PCFP - guess that makes this number 5! Yes, the last two are links to Veronica's blog because I dropped the ball those weeks!

I'm not too sure where our esteemed leader and creator of the project is this week.... Veronica's been oddly quiet. As soon as she pops up, I'll make sure to let you know.
**Update** She "showed up" via email Sunday night (June 7) totally fine! She didn't even know about Jenn Ski's interview with her being published! Boy was she surprised!

Here is MoonDoggie's "Mid Century Living Room". I love the paint chip bricks on the fireplace (looks like mine)! Do you see the 'pod type chair' (as she calls it) on the right? Smoooooth.
MoonDoggie said she felt like being creative and making something for our project, but she didn't have any glue! I'm glad that didn't stop her from sending it! (And send your hubs to the art store for your glue; he probably wants to go anyway.)

My attempt this week I'm calling "Tree of Life". It sure is hard for me to get the colors right when I photograph artwork. This is pretty close, though.

I actually made this last week, but couldn't finish it in time for Friday. I put it up on the wall, and kept thinking it needed something more. Tell me what you think - which version is better?

Original version:

Second version:

Please join in on the fun next week! You can send me an email with your image/s at any time to AtomicTeaParty [at] gmail [dot] com.

A Grosgrain / Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!

I keep seeing these wonderful dress giveaways from Grosgrain on other vintage ladies' blogs and they sure look like fun!

Here is the newest one (I think this would look just fab on me, don't you?)

The link to enter the contest is:

The company, Shabby Apple actively supports a non-profit that helps impoverished women world-wide create businesses to support themselves and their families - how cool is that?!

To find out more, visit the Grosgrain website!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I'm quietly going about my morning routine of avoiding housework by scrolling through Google Reader, and what do I see but "Interview: Veronica Diago" by Jenn Ski!!!

Go immediately and check it out! (No, wait, go after you read MY post!)

Jenn's blog and art was one of the first I really got into as far as modern people channeling the mid-century vibe and aesthetic I love. She does interviews with other artists from time to time, and it's a great way to find out about people you may not have heard of.

Veronica, you didn't tell us you had a Jenn Ski interview in the works!! I'm so happy for you! I hope it brings you many new visitors to your blog, Flickr, and Etsy, and lots of new fans.

AND, I got to finally see a photo of my friend! I'd been thinking lately about asking some of my blog friends to "show themselves" so I could replace the imagination-picture I have of them in my head with their real faces! Veronica is sweet, shy and lovely, just like I pictured! Here she is, courtesy of the photo I snagged off of Jenn's site:

And was that a little shot of a corner of your home? I've been asking to see your place, V! Guess I'm not as famous and powerful as Jenn, huh?? :)

Okay, now, everyone go check out Veronica's interview! I'm so happy for you, my friend!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ebbo's Tiki Art has come to the Atomic House!

First off, apologies to MoonDoggie and Ebbo for this post being so delayed! It's been on my mind for days, but life has just interfered with blogging!

On to the good stuff - this is what I opened my door to the other day - how often do you get a package that coordinates with your doormat??!!
Opening the package - look, there's a kid inside!

Beautiful packaging...the suspense is killing me by now!

Oh, my breath was just taken away! It's my custom-order, smaller version of Ebbo's "Unified Front"!

MoonDoggie and her husband Ebbo being the lovely people they are, included a special gift as thanks for being their first international customer!! I am so touched! It's a portrait of me, Tikimama, and Miss May and Miss June as little tikis! I tried getting them both to pose, but Miss May was feeling too shy. Miss June is never too shy, so here she is!

Now, if you read my last post, you'll remember how I was envisioning an art wall in our dining room. Well, the lighting in this room, just did not allow me to hang this piece on that wall - it's too dark! So, above my little kitchen desk (where I do my blogging and spend lots of my day) it goes! The Tikimama and Kids piece is propped up there for the time being, until I find a good way to hang it. They make a nice introduction into the tiki lounge, which you can see through the door, heading into the family room.

I just can't thank them enough! I am starting to feel like a real art connoisseur!
Find more of Ebbo's amazing art and MoonDoggie's stylish mod graphics and some of her vintage finds at her Etsy shop and Misi shop. She runs one super-cool blog, too!

The same day I got the call that my Derek Yaniger prints were framed and ready to be picked up, so they got hung on the art wall. From the left: "Let's Flat Git It", "Enchanted", "Moai Munchkins" (which came with the set of four tiki mugs), and "Wildsville".

By the way, you should be able to click on any photo to see it bigger and get all the details of these great pieces.

Where oh where, you may ask, is "Gotham City" by Veronica Diago?
I just thought it was getting lost in the Yaniger prints, and needed its own spotlight! So, it now hangs where the big sunburst clock hung, the clock got moved to the other wall, and the art that was there got bumped into other rooms! Whew!

Now, of course, I'm thinking I need more Diagos! Ha ha! That will have to wait until our budget improves! Make sure to check out Veronica's blog and shop if you haven't already! It looks like she's got her first print up for sale for only $20!!! More, Veronica, more!