Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Far Out, Way Out, Or Way-Way Out?

Amazing super psychedelic disco platforms -- for tripping in all it's various forms.

These and more retro platform shoes at Here's Looking Like You, Kid.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

1910 End of World Souvenir

Found at Ruby Lane, the Seller Says:
This is a very rare French postcard marking the mania over the approaching of Halley's Comet. Published in Germany (FM Cologne noted on back), the text is all in French and the card is described on the back as "the official souvenir card of the end of the world, the 19th of May, 1910." Quite strange, but the sender Lily looks like she followed her name with the word "aeroplane" and a long curving line .... imitating the tail of Halley's Comet. In the Zeppellin, the words are written "On s'en f..... pas mal!!" That's a little risque for Edwadian times....the f.... word stands for fessess or buttocks. The moon with the outstretched arms is saying, best I can understand, "It will be good to come here." "Good by and thanks" a man hanging onto an umbrella says. "Expedition to the moon: grand speed, 200 francs per blow (from the canon)." Le dernier salut" is French for "the last goodbye or salute."

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Drink That Takes You Into Orbit

"You must have been on another planet if you haven't tried smooth, flawless Smirnoff."

We think she's a drinker because with that hair, she's never had the space helmet on.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Craft-Scan Friday: Get Yer Space-Age Santas Here

Remember the 60's and how they promised us a future of hover cars and jet-pack travel? Well, some of us do, anyway. The rest of you can put down your Tommee Tippee cups and see why the rest of us all believed so hard.

See, our moms were busy creating space-age Christmases. Just like Ethel Peterson who had covered the face of her clock (now at a thrift shop near you) with a half-circle of gold-flocked cardboard. "Stars, pasted onto the blue crepe paper, give 'sky' effect."

Pretty potent stuff, merging forever, the idea of travel, space, and free gifts.

Here Santa rides a rocket -- which they call a "jet" ("cut from linoleum rolls and covered with shelf paper, then painted"). Not only better than that, a reindeer rests on the rings of Saturn.

What the heck can be better than typing "a reindeer rests on the rings of Saturn"? Seeing it. I can't wait to make hundreds for next year's holiday craft fair.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Knit Your Own Space Helmet

How sad that, during the sixties, the Soyuz program required its Cosmonettes to knit their own helmet liners:

I can't imagine this was ever comfortable or warm: just look at where the wool touches. Under the chin -- wear a sweater turtleneck, you can at least pull it away or wear something underneath it; in this case, you need it cinched tight. The 'earflaps' go right up to the corner of the eye. A little bit of cat fur on my face drives me crazy, let alone rubbing the only textile made from tiny, tiny needles against the edges of my eyelid. Maybe she knitted her iPod earbuds right into that thing and that's the appeal. It sure ain't the appeal of looking like an astronaut reject.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Accordion Playing Cow in Space?

Music Cows.

That is all.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Children of the Atomic Age

This week's Craft-Scan Friday is the bedroom of the kids of a 1950s rocket scientist -- no Beatles or football or Vietnam here. We're looking to the skies and the future!

The english-mangling caption reads:

In-orbit room for boy has atomic motifs on bedspread, rug with radiant northern lights, sleek tables. String circle, the pillows symbolize sun, moon, and earth. Plane, balloon, show the progress of flight. Setting is by Irma Bolley.

Irma Bolley, it appears, affected a generation with her string art, so it's no surprise she reproduced, as funky string art, something Dave Bowman saw in his descent into spaciness. While she did her best to interpret what a sky-obsessed kid would like, it's obviously what a kid would get if his grandma designed his bedroom using a handful of random space terms pulled from a hat. It even goes so far as to assume some important facts. For example, from the diorama, we can assume that kids who idolize astronauts drink Coca-Cola, eat uncut raw tomatoes, and snack on Shake-n-Bake pork chops. They enjoy the letter M, globes, chess, and Montgolfier. They will appreciate the opportunity to tell their friends that their afghan is decorated with an atomic diagram of beryllium. A truly geeky kid can understand the planetary symbolism depicted on the pillows, and will snort loudly while mocking less-nerdy kids who don't get it. Personally, I think the shag rug might actually be rather enjoyable, lying on my stomach with my nose an inch from that 12" black-and-white TV, even though the 'northern lights' symbolism is invisible even to my tolerant eye.

The amount of media in the room is a nice forward-looking touch, though. Not only is the space-faring child a TV watcher, they're a radio-listener and a record-player-player. Bolley also took the time to make rudimentally-accurate wooden model of the X-15, complete with external fuel tanks, to hang in the room. I admit, without a note on another page I probably wouldn't have recognized it as a real plane, but in comparison they did an adequate job of representing it. The abacus on the wall is nicely geeky, but it was probably as foreign to a kid of the 60s as a slide rule is to a kid today; although, I'd wager that once this kid reached his teenage years, having a counting/adding machine mounted above his couch-cum-bed would lead to knowing looks and innuendo. Having that, his friends might even overlook the creepy string art.

(source: McCall's Needlework & Crafts, Fall-Winter 1968-69)

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