Sunday, July 10, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake RULES, but Smurfs ROCK MY WORLD!

Some Favorites From My Personal Collection
I loved the 70's, and the 80's, long before VH1 did.  I have consistently retained my 1980's hair, downloaded the best axe-grinding power ballads I can find on ITunes, and am frequently found sporting shredded Levi's. Is that so wrong?  I may be delusional, but I still think ripped jeans are cool.  I'm not talking about carefully cut up True Religion Jeans for $300.00, although I love those too, I'm referring to real Levi's brand denim jeans, the kind that are beat down and worn out, because I loved them THAT much.  I'm also totally stoked that neon colors are vogue again, along with the resurgence of shoulder pads, big hair....oh sweet joy, I knew the 1980's were going to make a come back!  I've been waiting, patiently.  Grateful I lived long enough to enjoy it for a second time.

One of the best parts about being a kid growing up in during the 1970's and 1980's was Saturday morning cartoons.  OMG!  LOVE.  There was no Cartoon Network, no YouTube, no Tivo or Netflix.  Saturday morning cartoons were an event, a treat!  If you slept in, had to go to dance practice, were at your grandma's house and she didn't believe in TV, whatever, too bad.......and if you missed, the seven days waiting for the next opportunity were an eternity. The only thing that could be worse was accidentally missing A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, we only had one shot per year at those, and missing.....well it was simply devastating.  Check out this fabulous vintage picture; here I am on Christmas morning with my Sweetie Face Doll, stuffed Pink PantherMork and Mindy suspenders, our Hungry Hungry Hippos game in the background.  Does it get more 80's than that?  Look how much fun I was having!  Just chillin', playing, man, I'd love to go back.  (To my DIY/craft peeps, notice my early crafting; the Mod Podge Vases on the television, the golden soup can decorated with macaroni that my little brother made, and that DAMN ANGEL HAIR!  What was my mom doing, trying to slice us all up, one kid at a time? If that angel hair reference went over your head, read this).  Oh yeah, and for those of you who haven't seen something similar before, that big brown thing with the buttons, it's a television.

It Came From the 80's
I used to anxiously wait all week to watch Fat Albert, The Littles, The A Team, The Pink Panther, Rocky and Bullwinkle; Fractured Fairy Tales, and my two absolute FAVORITES:  Strawberry Shortcake and the Smurfs.  YAY!  I've been re-living many of these shows late at night via Netflix, I just love that The Pink Panther was so awesome, and never a word was spoken.  Genius.  Sponge Bob has nothing on my childhood lineup!

Yes, it's my real hair.
As a child, I was a member of the Strawberry Shortcake 'cult' if you will.  She was awesome, and she smelled like berries, what better? In the 1980's, toy companies liked things to smell, and I was on board.  Scratch N' Sniff Stickers, dolls, bears...we were a nasally fixated generation.  Since approximately 1984, I don't think a year of my life has gone by that someone hasn't given me a birthday card, stickers, vintage glassware, bed sheets, binders and folders, wrapping paper, paper plates.......something depicting Shortcake herself.  So fun. I appreciate that my friends and family pay attention to my obsessions. Last Halloween my son suggested I dress up like my cartoon idol, brilliant.  I hadn't worn a Halloween costume since the last time I was at a fraternity party.  I had abs back then, there was less of me altogether, but I went ahead and donned the outfit anyway, much to the excitement of the little girls that live next door, they think I'm the real Strawberry Shortcake.  One day they saw me leave the house in work clothes, their poor little faces looked so crushed.  Now, I hide from those little girls, I don't want to buzzkill their dream.  I would have been totally into it if I thought there was a real live cartoon living next door to me as a kid.  Must be how Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley felt all of those years when KISS couldn't go anywhere without the makeup. It's a lot of responsibility being a cartoon.... I guess I will have to dress up like her again this year.  I think I'm going to mix it up a bit and get the 'modern' version of her costume.  Strawberry Shortcake experienced a makeover a few years back, now she's all stylish and stuff.  She lost the frilly apron and weird red dread-locks, she's gotten a nice new blowout, clearly some type of laser resurfacing or a chemical peal, WAY BETTER's good right?  I respect her wanting to renew her look, she's gotta keep up with Kim Possible and those Bratz and Barbie Dolls.  It ain't easy being a cartoon in 2011.

Strawberry Shortcake, Before and After
This morning, while waiting in line at McDonald's, I was greeted with a sight that always gives me a bit of a thrill.  Strawberry Shortcake toys, and Star Wars for the Boys!  Well, actually Clone Wars, but who cares, I'm not concerned about the boy toys.  I don't ever buy Happy Meals, I won't have friends always hook me up with the toys, and then I hoard them.  (That's an epic post for another time, I'm not ready to come out of the closet on my McD's toys situation yet).  It's honestly not even about the toys though in this case, I just like knowing that little girls still like playing with SS, and she's still scented! You know, the circle of life and all of that Lion King crap.....I'm glad the redheaded little doll didn't disappear from the social vernacular, like so many of her toy counterparts.  Teddy Ruxpin, Hollie Hobbie, Baby-That-Away, The Brooke Shields Hair Styling Head, Glamour Girls....nobody gives a crap about them anymore.

Photo Courtesy of
As I turned the corner to get my coffee, which is the bomb at McD's btw, the billboard that greeted me was EVEN BETTER than my Strawberry Shortcake discovery. SMURFS!  OMG, I'm so excited, you have no idea.  Once the Shortcake/Clone Wars promotion is finished, there will be 16 adorable Smurfs to collect.  Now that, I cannot resist.  Aren't they totally ADORABLE?

Photo Courtesy of
I used to babysit to collect money to buy the original Smurf figurines.  I still have them all, stashed in my original pencil box from 2nd grade.  I told you, I hoard. Speaking of hoarding, there was a Hoarders marathon on TV all weekend, and I learned that hoarders think they are collecting, not hoarding.  FYI, I'm collecting them all, with no shame, and I can't wait.  La La- La La La Laaaaa,  La la la la la laaaaaaa.....ya, you know the song.  Admit it!  Here's a few pics of my stash from back in the day. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Little House On the Prairie and Hoarding

I'm very mesmerized by the A&E television show, Hoarders.  I think the new season starts this week, I'm pretty excited about tuning in.  I don't know if there will be an episode that can possibly trump the one with the lady that had thousands and thousands of dolls and teddy bears, but it's worth watching to find out!  I know, that's a pretty tragic admission, but it's the truth, I love that show.  I suspect I could become a serious hoarder without much difficulty.  But, I would be an organized hoarder, meticulously labeling all of the  hoarded items with my P-Touch. Wait! I already do that, uh oh.  Is it still considered hoarding if all of the junk is neat and labeled?

In the spirit of self-help, I'm going to try and purge some of the items I don't need.  The experts say if you haven't used it in three years, get rid of it.  I can't begin to express how hard this is for me.  I am attached to my stuff, my memories, I need them.  Recently, my dad forced my hand on one particular item that I probably would have stacked in a 'keep' pile.  I received a phone call from pops informing me that he was throwing away my book report diorama from grade school.  GASP!  There was no negotiating, and with hundreds of miles separating me from my childhood treasure, I had no choice but to let it go.  What if I need my book report from thirty years ago, what if?  Dad didn't care, he was sick of a faded piece of cardboard taking up space in his garage for the last three decades.  Can you blame him?

Dad begrudgingly agreed to take a picture of my little keepsake.  Is it weird I demanded he photograph it before sentencing my art to the dump? All of these years later, I still think my 'award winning' report on The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, was pretty sweet.  I highly doubt I read any of those books, I hated reading.  I loved the television show though, I still watch it on the Hallmark Channel all of the time.  If you think about it, this is possibly my first primitive example of Knock Off Decor, not sure if Beckie will count it as a true knock off or not! If you are/were a fan of  'Little House' as we die-hard fans call it, then it's obvious I just copied the NBC version of the cabin.  I give myself a solid 10 for the knock off!  It's awesome when one can win a hand-made ribbon for a book that was never read, before the days of Internet plagiarism.  I can't believe my dad felt the need to trash something so wonderful that won an award for 'mood' and everything!  Clearly, he doesn't understand my talent.  'Honorable Mention' goes out to my mom, I'm sure she did the angel hair as snow, she never would have let me touch that stuff. Every Christmas she would rant and rave, "Angel hair can cut worse than a knife, people have died from handling angel hair."  I made up the part about people dying, but it was funnier that way.  She probably just didn't want us fooling around with her Christmas vignettes, but her warnings worked, I'm still terrified of the stuff ripping my meat hooks to pieces.  Ah, the memories.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mob Bosses and Crocheting

The women in my family crochet, I'm talking SERIOUS crocheting.  They don't crochet ugly afghans like the ones that are stereotypically draped across the backs of couches in white trash situation comedies, I'm talking the kind of needlework that will blow your mind.  Their creations are a true art form, a craft, a talent.  I'm lucky enough to be the recipient of some amazing crocheted items from my talented aunts, grandmas, sister-in-law, and cousins.  Everyone crochets, and they all do it at an elite level.  One of my aunts in particular has gained national recognition time and time again for her crocheted pieces, I'm always so impressed, she is seriously a crocheting genius.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Office Evolution, Part 1

Back in the day, I was on the recently-divorced, broke as a joke, single-mother budget.  Classy, I know.  For those of you that haven't had the pleasure of living on that particular financial diet, it's not really very exciting.  At the time, I think I was making about $10.00 an hour, decorating was not my priority.  Survival, and diapers, quickly became more important than Pottery Barn, which was a fairly painful realization.  Years later, I am still in the same house, still a single mom, but have managed to find creative ways to decorate that don't always involve laying out the big dollars at the pricey decor stores. I have lost count as to how many gallons of paint I have utilized trying to change the aesthetic of every room in my crib.  In fact, if I were to have the house surveyed, I suspect there may be less square footage from the layers of latex that I've brushed and rolled throughout the years.  I'm going to go ahead and blame that old TLC show, Trading Spaces, for my painting problems.  For years, that poorly-produced show got me through some lonely Saturday.  Although most of the designers were usually fairly sloppy with their work, which annoyed me to no end, I typically ended up in a home improvement store buying paint the next morning.  Thanks Vern and Genevieve!