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Spring Cleaning – the 50s way

In the 1950’s, it was expected for a housewife to keep her house spotlessly clean and well managed.

She was also expected to keep the family well organised and cook meals at set times. It was her mission in life for the household to be well organised and everything cleaned regularly!

The cleaning routine would usually begin as soon the kids walked off to school.

Although expectations of women in society have changed (thank god!), some of their cleaning tips could still be relevant today…

To start spring cleaning here are some tips:

Firstly, put on your favourite 50’s music, a 50’s spring dress, an apron and begin!

1. Cleaning mirrors or windows –

  • Collect supplies in your cleaning caddy to easily move from window to window
  • Use a lint-free cloth to save heavy scrubbing
  • Moisten the cloth with methylated spirits in water
  • Use lengthwise strokes outside and crosswise strokes inside to see if you missed a spot
  • Polish with a dry duster

2. Washing curtains –

  • Simply wash in the washing machine
  • Hang out to dry in the sun

3. Cleaning blinds –

  • Hang blinds out on the clothesline
  • Wash with a hose, scrubbing at the same time
  • Leave them in the sun to dry

4. Cleaning the stove –

  • Newspaper is ideal for cleaning tops of stoves
  • Inside stove, remove all removable parts and clean in warm soapy water

5. Cleaning the refrigerator –

  • Defrost with a bowl of hot water placed in the fridge. Replace it each time it starts to get cold.
  • Clean the inside
  • Wipe over the exterior of the fridge with a cloth smeared in vanilla essence

6. Cleaning the sinks –

  • Clean with methylated spirits or warm flour for an added lustre
  • Wash your wooden cutting boards with hot water and vinegar to eliminate rawness
  • Use baking soda to unblock drains

7. Cleaning kitchen cupboards –

  • Remove all the items
  • Wash the inside and outside of the cupboard
  • Hang dried lavender in the kitchen to help make it smell lovely
  • Combine lemon juice and borax to remove rust from porcelain and ceramics
  • To remove rust and stains from stainless steel utensils, use a fine grain sand paper,  then rub with a slice of onion and rinse in hot water
  • Once the cupboard is dry, tidily place back all the utensils

8. Cleaning the shower curtain –

  • Take the shower curtain on to the lawn and scrub with a nail brush and warm soapy water
  • Hose it well
  • Allow the shower curtain to dry on the clothesline

9. Cleaning the toilet –

  • Wash with borax and water, then flush well. You can scrub any stains with lemon juice and borax

10. Cleaning the bath –

  • Smear wet soap powder over the bath, leave overnight and rinse well the next day
  • Vinegar or salt and lemon can remove stains
  • Wrap a bunch of eucalyptus around your shower head to keep shower head and bathroom smelling fresh

11. Cleaning the tiles –

  • Clean with methylated spirits or kerosene

12.  Cleaning brushes and combs –

  • Remove hair from brushes and combs
  • Soak in water with a few drops of ammonia

13. Cleaning the floors –

  • Remove all items and furniture
  • Mop bathroom and kitchen floors
  • Steel wool can be used for marks on lino floors

14. Polishing furniture –

  • Pour olive oil on a clean cloth and rub wooden furniture
  • Polish lightly with a dry lint-free cloth
  • Wicker furniture can be rubbed with vegetable oil to protect from cracking
  • For water rings, put a dry cloth over it and warm iron
  • If your books smell musty, sprinkle a little baking soda over it and leave to dry
  • Rub vanilla extract on light globes for a sweet swelling room

15. Cleaning the carpet –

  • Remove all items of the room & thoroughly vacuum
  • Stains can be removed with baking soda mixed in water

16. Cleaning the walls –

  • Remove all pictures and hangings and clean them
  • Clean walls with a duster
  • To remove mould from walls, spray area with undiluted white vinegar

17. Cleaning winter manchester –

  • Manchester must be washed and hung out to dry thoroughly
  • Fold in linen cupboard with a few drop of vanilla essence on a piece of fabric on each shelf

Featured image

All images from Woman’s World-  M.A. White

Home remedies can sometimes produce even better results than store-bought products! Hope you have a fun time trying these tips, and let me know how it all goes!

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Bodgies and Widgies

I was talking to my Mother and she began to tell me about the Bodgies and Widgies youth culture from the 1950s. My dad was a Bodgie and she was a Widgie. It sounded really interesting so I had to investigate it further.

Bodgies and Widgies were a youth subculture that existed in Australia 🇦🇺 and New Zealand🇳🇿 in the 1950s. The culture was similar to the Rocker culture in the UK 🇬🇧 or the Greaser culture in the USA 🇺🇸

Bodgies and Widgies

The males were known as Bodgies. They grew their hair long and wore satin shirts. Pink was commonly worn by Bodgies, despite still being seen as feminine. Often their attire included very long keychains and later, included moccasins and American drape suits with pegged pants. James Dean was a major style influence who inspired the Bodgie fashion. Typically working class, their interests included alcohol, girls, music and cars.

The females were known as Widgies. They cut their hair short and wore jeans, tight slacks, 3/4 length pants or dresses and bobby socks if they went out, like to a dance.

The confusion was arising between the sexes of the Australian youth. They would regularly frequent Kings Cross and Paddington Milk Bars and were associated with the inner city suburbs. Both my parents grew up in the inner city suburb of Paddington.

Outfits of Bodgies and Widgies

Many in society resisted the Bodgies and Widgies and this created tensions through the generations. The older generations felt the young dressed in strange new clothes and jive-danced to loud music, rejecting the values of their parents generation. This triggered moral panic in Australian society. Police seemed to crackdown on these youths and it sparked numerous exaggerated headlines.

Sydney Newspaper article on Bodgies and Widgies

There were different names for the Aussie Bodgies, some called them Teddy Boys, Rockers, Cafe Racers, Greasers or bikies.

They listened to music like Australian artists Johnny O’ Keefe, Digger Revell, American 50s and jazz music.

Bodgies

Widgies

There was often rivalries between the Bodgies and other subcultures like mods, surfies and skin heads.

Many grew out of it, but some didn’t.

How interesting would it be to step back in time and witness this generation!

Back soon……

Ridiculously Retro Xx

How To Revamp a Cork Memo Board

I mentioned before that I would show you how to revamp a memo board…. This is a quick and easy project and can be useful artwork in your room!

Here are two that I created. For both,  just purchase a cheap cork memo board in whatever size you require.

1. Cork memo board in a frame

I made this cork board to match all the other frames in my bedroom.

The two frames in my room that I put Marilyn Monroe movie posters in, and my mirror

Here are the steps:

  1. Take the mirror or picture out of the frame. Take the cork board out of its frame and trace the mirror/picture shape onto your memo cork board.

2. Next get a jigsaw or knife and cut out the shape.

3. Place the memo cork board into the frame. It is best if your frame has the metal clips to bend back into place. If not, you could hot glue it into the frame. If it is a wooden frame you could use small nails to keep it into place.

4. Voila! You can put your new memo board up and start using it.

2. Cork memo board covered in fabric

I made this cork memo board for my daughter as her room is retro tiki inspired. Here are the steps:

  1. Pick a fabric and iron the piece, as it works best with no creases.
  2. Take the frame off the memo board, carefully, as you will still need to use the frame. You should be able to take it off by opening only one corner.

3. Next carefully staple the fabric onto the cork board at the back. Carefully pulling the fabric tight at all times, prior to each staple, and fold over corners tidily.

4. Place the frame back onto the cork board. Use a staple gun to close the one corner that you opened.

5. Your frame is now ready to use!

3. Some other ideas are:

Example 1

This example is just a cork board divided into 9 sections with each section decorated individually. You can paint them with normal paint or blackboard paint, or cover it in fabric, or leave it plain. Decorate in any style you prefer!

Example 2

The above example is a piece of wood covered in fabric and stapled on the back, then ribbon crossed over and again stapled to the back. In each X section add a pin for decoration & for sturdiness.

Example 3

This example is a vintage frame with chicken wire stapled to the frame back. You could use fabric or an artwork on the back for a different look. Memos are held on with small pegs, that you can pick up in a craft store.

I have given you some ideas…. but the possibilities are endless! Let your creativity go wild. Show me your creations, I would love to see them!!

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

How to Revamp a Peacock Chair

I am so excited that I finally got to buy a good retro peacock chair and at a great price.

My peacock chair

I found this beautiful chair on eBay. It wasn’t too far away and got it at a great price of $75. What a steal!! Most range from the $300 to $600 mark, so I was super excited to get it!

But it definitely needed some TLC. So here were my steps to revamp it:

  1. You will need to clean it up with a small brush. I used a dust pan brush.
  2. Next, use your brush extension on the end of your vacuum cleaner hose to do a final clean.
  3. Cut off any broken bits or tighten them up.
  4. Get a good primer spray and thoroughly spray coverage on the whole chair

The chair once sprayed with primer

4. Repeat to ensure you get full coverage of the chair.

5.  Wait a full 24 hours for the primer to set

6.  Spray the chair in whatever colour you desire. I chose white, as I can change its accessories for a different look.  White looks fresh and bright, and can blend into any decor.

7. You will need 3 spray cans for each coat. You need to spray each way that the cane goes. For example with my chair I had to spray in an x Criss-cross motion to make sure of full coverage on all the cane slats.

7. Once completely dried (24 hours), do a top coat. Again you will need about 3 cans. Then wait another 24 hours for the paint smell to subside and for complete drying time.

Top: front of peacock chair -finished

Bottom: back of chair -finished

8. Now to decorate the chair. I choose a black velvet round cushion and a black faux fur throw, to enhance the white peacock chair.  I recovered the seat cushion by buying another matching throw. I cut 2 layers of the throw 5 cm around the cushion and sewed them together. With the cushion inside, I hand sewed the opening shut.

My peacock chair finished

You can decorate the peacock chair with flowers, coloured paint, pillows, throw, butterflies, ribbon, bows or anything you desire. Here are some other ideas for decorating a peacock chair

Left image

Top right

Bottom right

Have you decorated a peacock chair? Send me photos, I would love to see.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Blow Up Your Life

For so long now I have been trying to get my hands on a 1960s inflatable terrarium footstool…. Finally I did, at the bargain price of $60 on Facebook! So many that I have seen on the internet go for around the price $250, so finding this one at a fantastic price and in such great condition, I jumped at the chance.

My new 60s Inflatable Terrarium Footstool

The vintage inflatable footstool dates from the 1960s and has unique, clear plastic sides to reveal fake grass, flowers and leaves. It has a vinyl top and wooden and metal legs. The blow up nozzle at the bottom keeps it inflated. I think it is a stand out piece! Unfortunately though, there doesn’t appear to be any opening to change or add to the flowers.

In the late 1960s there was an increasing trend with inflatable furniture. In 1968, designer Quasar Khanh created the first piece of inflatable furniture with an inflatable chair, which was a huge trend. The inflatable seats were on trend again in the late 1990s!

Quasar Khanh Inflatable Chair

Model on Quasar Khanh’s Chair

The inflatable furniture trend continued in the 1970s with even more choices.

More choices for inflatable furniture

The TV show Happy Days even had an episode where Marion changed all her furniture to inflatable furniture as it was the latest trend. However she soon put all her old furniture back as it was too hard to live with.

Happy Days TV Show

What do you think about inflatable furniture? Would it work in your house? Let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear. I love the retro look of the inflatable furniture but I think people are too rough in my household to use inflatable chairs. I am sure that they would always be deflated….

Featured Image

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Love Is In The Air💕

It’s that time of year when love is on everyone’s mind.

Vintage Valentine Card

Valentines Day is here! 💕

Vintage Valentine card

Valentine’s Day originated from a Christian celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine. It is recognised as a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance.

Vintage Valentine Card

Valentines developed in Roman times with Saint Valentine who was put in prison for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden from marrying. He was persecuted under the Roman Empire, but before his death he restored sight to a blind girl and wrote her a letter that was signed Your Valentine.

St Valentine

My house is decorated, dinner is booked and gifts are wrapped. Now I just need to organise my outfit. I couldn’t find a dress I liked for the occasion so I decided to create one for Valentine’s Day.

I have a red dress that I purchased some time back but never seem to wear. I also purchased a panel of vintage Valentine images to sew on the dress.

Red Rockabilly dress

Panel of vintage Valentine images

Steps:

1. I cut the panel in half and sewed the edges

The panel cut in half

2. I decided to make the dress into a skirt. Simply, cut along the waist line and sew to tidy up!

The dress made into a skirt

3. Next I pinned the panel to the skirt. You can place the panels anywhere you prefer, on the skirt.

Front of skirt

Back of skirt

4. Next, I sewed the panels onto the skirt

Final product- front of the skirt

Final product- back of skirt

Your other option is to make a 50’s style skirt or dress out of Valentine fabric, but I couldn’t find anything that I really liked so when I found this Valentines panel online I knew that is what I really wanted to use.

Valentines outfit

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines Day and it was spent with the one you love!

Featured Image:

Vintage Valentines Card

Back soon…..

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Pin it here

My brooches were starting to overflow out of there storage boxes and it was getting harder to find the right one everyday. I needed a new option.

I needed a clever idea to make it easier to locate the best brooch to compliment my outfit. Instead, I created some of my own and here they are!

1. Display your brooches on a mannequin torso

This is a great idea to display your collection, for both function and as a decor item. The only issue is it only works for brooches like this….

… where you have a pin going into a safety head. It does not work for pins like this…

with a straight pin and seperate clasp.

2. Display brooches on your favourite cushion

Grab your favourite cushion and pin on your brooches. This allows easy access again! You can leave it on your bedroom chair as a display.

3. Display brooches on a retro foot stool

Attach your brooches onto a retro foot stool and once again it allows easy access and looks great. Of course the foot stool will not be able to be used as it’s intended use anymore! Also, this idea will only work with safety pin brooches!

4. Display your brooches in a vintage suitcase

Line a suitcase with a pillow or fabric and foam. You can attach the pins and it is a great designer piece to display your collection. If your suitcase has a thick lid then do the same to the lid. This allows for double the storage for your collection. Maybe you will need to buy more!!

5. Display your brooches on your pin board.

Get a cute fabric pin board that will allow you to display all your brooches. I will be doing a future blog on how to make a vintage style pin board, so keep your eye out!! This idea will only work with safety pin brooches.

6. Display your brooches on a scarf

You can hang your scarf on a hook or a vintage mannequin head. If you have a large brooch collection then you can use more than one scarf!

7. Display your brooches on a vintage wooden ladder

Image from Pinterest

This particular image displays earrings, but you could easily use it for brooches! They have just attached chicken wire to the back of the ladder. Another idea would be to staple fabric to the back of the ladder and attach your brooches to the front side.

8. Display your brooches in a tackle box

This box is available at any fishing shop! I think this is a great idea to keep my brooches safe in and allows easy access. And you can just keep buying more boxes as your collection grows!

9. Other ideas

  • Buy or make dividers for your drawer
  • Attach them on a lampshade
  • Attach them on an old clothing item and hang it on display
  • Glue strips of ribbon to a pole and hang off the wall & attach brooches
  • Attach brooches on an old soft toy and place it on display

The possibilities are endless……

What ideas do you have? How do you store or display your brooches? I would love to hear about it.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro xx