Posts Tagged With: art

Rust and Renovation

Rust is very popular among a certain group of people who love things in their natural state of aging, I am one of those people.

Now don’t get me wrong I like a shiny new thing now and again but I love the history of an item that has aged in place, doing the job it was made for through long years of heat, rain and all sorts of weather.


I went along as “the sidekick” to a tow yard/ Wrecking yard/private collection to check out some vintage gas pumps but there was a whole lot more to see!


The owner of the place went from “I don’t know that I am selling any gas pumps today” to “Wait a sec, let me get a key and show you the inside of these containers” as we walked the yard and he became more comfortable with us, found more common ground and generally were his kind of folks.

Rusty hood, flatbed stage, Westcoaster & Merry-go-round

Rusty hood, flatbed stage, Westcoaster & Merry-go-round

My friend bought a couple of pump panels and a few signs and I had a great time wandering around the place taking pictures, talking Jeeps and sharing tall tales.



Plus he had a Quonset hut…I have always wanted one of my very own.

All photos this week are straight out of my phone, it is all either of us remembered to bring since we were too excited about the junking trip while trying to look all calm and cool!

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Hazy Los Angeles Sunset

Last week I went to dinner at an amazingly delicious establishment in Silverlake, Black Hogg. Thank you Ayleen for this wonderful dining experience!

We arrived a little too early so backtracked down Sunset a little to spend some time at Barnsdall Park and view the exterior of Hollyhock House.

Hollyhock House is a Frank Lloyd Wright creation atop a hill in East Hollywood and though it is lovely in it’s own right the views from the surrounding grounds are real showstoppers even on a hazy evening.


North: Griffith Park Observatory


Northwest: The Hollywood sign and comm towers


West: The city and her people

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Old, Obsolete Or Overlooked

Many items reside quietly in garages and gardens, on shelves, in lofts, under hedgerows, hidden away in the forgotten nooks and corners where they were once tucked away to remain safe for a next use that never arrived.


Antique shops are full of these estate and barn finds, waiting to begin again in another garage or home. They can be put to their original use or more often to an entirely new purpose as an item aged into a form of art.


This post covers the rest of my recent Arizona trip and the road home to Southern California.


Empty and Obsolete just awaiting a new owner with another idea in Skull Valley AZ



The way home via the road less traveled on a still hazy Spring morning.

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Zerolene The Standard Motor Oil

Zerolene Motor oil and Grease was a product of Standard Oil Company of California, now Chevron.


I am sure lots of people across North America feel chilly as this bear on ice this week since folks from the Midwest to the East coast are dealing with below Zero weather.

This wraps up another round of ABC Wednesday and I want to say it has once again been a pleasure to meet and blog with all of you out there!

Thanks to Denise, Roger and the entire team at ABC Wednesday for their hard work all through the year!

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Letter H is for…Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland is perhaps the largest antique sign I will be posting for ABC Wednesday this round.Built as a real estate development advertising tool in 1923 on a hillside of Mt.Lee above the Hollywood District of Los Angeles the sign’s 43 foot tall letters became an iconic part of the landscape.


The housing development was never built  and by 1944 the sign became property of the city after years of decay and disrepair. In 1949 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce removed the last 4 letters took over the care of the landmark, they still do so today in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles and The Hollywood Sign Trust.


The sign is not only large in size and scale it is a vessel for dreams larger oft times than their dreamers.

If Morpheus has a West Coast home it is surely atop these storied letters.

The sign still simply reads Hollywood today but the dreams continue, some are fulfilled, others turn nightmarish though most remain with their dreamers to be cherished and recalled with a wink and a smile while their lives play out across the canyons, valleys and beaches of Southern California.

Learn more about the Hollywoodland/Hollywood sign here:

Thanks to our team at  ABC Wednesday you can see more of the letter “H” here:

Also posting for Skywatch Friday:

Note: Through the efforts of The Hollywood Sign Trust’s efforts, the Sign received a fresh new paint job in 1995, courtesy of Dutch Boy Paints whose history is recounted a few pages back for the letter “D”!

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Just Jumbled Junk

Many items that are now considered collectible, vintage and antique also spent a portion of their shelf life being called JUNK!


It is true what they say “everything old is new again”.  Household and garage items are a good example as the items in the photo above were once considered Junk. The tin can of Check Shock automobile shock oil was once brand new, shining on the hardware store shelf, ready to help make a drivers ride more comfortable as well as prevent needless wear and tear on parts both automotive and human! The long wooden  box ensconced a  loaf of cheese that nourished a family as the main player in a cheese sandwich or sauce to make the vegetables of Summer still taste special in early March when they were thawed from the deep freeze chest in the basement.

This sort of thing was meant to be thrown away, it is the container or wrapping for the real product that was purchased and used long ago.

Some of them survived, saved by thrifty souls who used them to store other goods or put on a shelf because “there is a little bit left…someday I will need that” and that day never came along, the carton or can was pushed farther and farther back into the depths of the garage or kitchen cupboard.

Now is the time of being Junk! Spring cleaning,the sale of a home, a parents estate needing to be cleaned out swiftly, all are reasons to be tossed into the bin and and on to the landfill.


Now is also the time of a shrewd shopper at an estate or garage sale asking the folks running it about these things that linger on the shelf, Squirreled away,soiled and dusty but ready to move onward now that 40-60 years have gone by, now they are “Vintage Collectibles” and “Automobilia”.

Soon they will move into fresh kitchens, recreation rooms, garages and even now and again museums!

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Caveat Emptor Fake False and Faux Finds

Fake, Faux, False all are terms for a copy or reproduction.

With cheap import reproductions entering the collectible and antique markets daily it is important to be careful when shopping for these items.

There is a certain wholesale house in the Southern part of the united states that is bringing in huge amounts of reproduction Glass (Jadeite style they call it), Black Americana, Cast Iron and copper with fresh Faux patina, Shawnee and McCoy pottery that is labeled “Marked”  even reproduction “Antique style” Confederate Armory locks and keys! All very cheap and they make no bones about the fact that these are reproductions, I do not fault them at all on this.

It is when these items leave the dealer or shop who bought them from the warehouse that the story often goes awry. A third or fourth buyer or family member has them and now thinks they are real and/or valuable sells them as such and so it goes down the line like a game of  telephone.


I think there is a place for repro items in the market as long as they are marked as such. For decorative purposes on a vintage car or around the house a reproduction label or decal is fine if it pleases the buyer and they are aware if it. Rare and difficult to find items can be made available this way to use on a  regular  daily basis without worry over damaging an expensive antique.

I have lots of real, authentic vintage around here and I also have some repro items that either were in short supply or unaffordable in their original form.

BritRootBeer - Copy


The first photo is of a very good reproduction water slide decal, a new product made to look old. Buyers should ask and examine this kind of thing, is the backing paper aged? thin? is it really a water slide or is there adhesive?

The second photo is of real, vintage labels that are in very good condition because they were never used, overstock from a warehouse find. The backs are slightly light brown with age but free of any glue since they were never applied to bottles. The paper is light and thin, no plastic or gloss involved.

Bottom line for Sellers is never pass off a repro or fake as original even if it is very good.

Buyers should always be aware, ask questions and feel good about the answer before you make a purchase. Buy what you love and if it calls to you bring it home to enjoy whatever the age.

This post has been brought to you by the letter “F”.

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