Afflicted with the fleaver…

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 4.06.34 PM

Hello Retronauts,

Today I thought I’d share a letter from the mailbag!


Dear Dr. Retromat,

I have been gripped by a mysterious fleaver and I can’t seem to shake it!  Can you prescribe a cure!?!?

Yours truly,

Miss Terious


Dear Miss Terious,

The best medicine for those gripped by fleaver? A weekend of yard sales, Todd Farm Flea, and the Vintage Baazar ought to take care of it.  Repeat often – and bring your physician along to monitor your condition.

You’re Welcome ,

Dr. Retromat


And now you may ask, faithful readers, did Miss Terious follow her Doctor’s advice?  The answer is YES.

And not only did we have a spectacular flea-kend where I scored the following finds:


Go on a picnic, take your cake along as well as your rye and scotch. Play some badminton while you are at it, and if that is not to your liking, there is always canasta. Or, um, stretch your shoes. Two pair!

But the young miss managed to cure her ailment by making a very interesting purchase.  Behold!  The 7 Somethings!


What the hell is in there? And who is this being of blinding light?

I can’t really reveal more right now… My patient is in a very delicate state.  But let us just say that I think Miss T. has more than fleaver up her sleever.  I can’t believe her!


And on that note… I am off to clean more out of the camper.  Ciao ciao.


Happy Summer Everyone!

Work is progressing on Rosie the camper, but right now I am celebrating the first day of summer by having an Etsy photoshoot in the backyard.


I promise there are more blog posts coming soon!

Have a great first weekend of summer!

Profiles in Vintage. The divine Dovima, Avedon’s muse.

Dovima, a favored model and dear friend of photographer Richard Avedon, was one of the highest paid models in the 1950s.

She was discovered by a Vogue Editor in 1949 while waiting for a friend at an Automat and once photographed she was signed by the Ford agency and became an overnight sensation – soon after called “The Dollar a Minute Girl” for the salaries she was commanding. Her first paycheck was for $17.50, but her salary eventually hit over $70,000 a year.

She defined the look and feel for high fashion of the era.  She had an elegant, refined, sophistication, even though she never considered herself to be beautiful.  She always envisioned herself as a gangly young girl with a bad front tooth.  She had a filled tooth, from a childhood fall, and so had a habit of smiling with her mouth closed which led to her famous “mona lisa” smile.

I have always appreciated her {albeit minor} role in one of my favorite films, Funny Face. Released in 1957, the film is a satirical look at the fashion industry of the 50s.  {Fred Astaire’s character is said to be based on Avedon – who directed all of the fashion photo sequences in the movie.} As an actress she showed real comedic talent and a willingness to poke fun at her own industry. She comes across perfectly mugging for the camera as a vain model, putting on an absurd accent and reading a comic in a stuffy bookstore.  It turns out that in real life Dovima was a huge comic fan and once took an entire steamer trunk full of comic books on a modeling trip to Egypt.  Later in life she tried acting, but never stayed with it.  The biggest part she scored was as an astrologer  in The Man from U.N.C.L.E..

Her unusual name, by the way, is taken from her childhood years.  She was born Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba.  As a young girl she contracted rheumatic fever and was supposed to in bed for 1 year.  Her mother overcautiously kept her in near seclusion until she was 17 telling her that her heart was too weak to bear being out of the house. During this time she was was tutored at home and created an imaginary character named Dovima, using the first few letters of each of her first and middle names.  She took art classes as part of her tutoring and she signed each sketch and painting this way.  She dreamed of escaping the home-bound life and living as a bohemian artist.  So years later when asked her name by her first photographer “Dovima” was the name that happened to come out of her mouth.  She considered it to be her alter ego.

Screen Shot 2013-06-15 at 11.37.18 AMScreen Shot 2013-06-15 at 11.37.00 AM
Screen Shot 2013-06-15 at 12.14.36 PM Screen Shot 2013-06-15 at 12.14.58 PM Screen Shot 2013-06-15 at 12.15.45 PM
Screen Shot 2013-06-15 at 12.07.40 PM
When she was 35 years old, she left modeling behind, stating simply: “I didn’t want to wait until the camera turned cruel.”
Screen Shot 2013-06-15 at 12.13.48 PM


Exciting news…

2013 Save The Date - VBRetromat and Rosie are going to be at the September Vintage Bazaar and Music Festival in Salisbury MA!

About the Bazaar:

Held on a picturesque flower farm, The Vintage Bazaar is an upscale {yet fun} outdoor festival featuring antiques, architectural salvage, vintage jewelry & clothing, original art, unique artisan crafts and {of course} flowers!  Over 120+ vendors travel from over 10 states to display their vintage finds and handcrafted items at the bazaar.

Whether you are searching for a vintage treasure or a beautiful artisan piece or just looking for something unique to do for the day….The Vintage Bazaaris the perfect place!    Stroll through our display gardens, visit each “outdoor boutique”, and stop along the way to enjoy treats from local food vendors {not your typical fair fare!}.

Live music, mini gardening classes, free activities for children, and a vintage inspired photo-op area.

I can’t wait to be a part of this amazing event.  And now Rosie’s debut in September will be even more fun!  Stay tuned for some new Rosie pics.  The Bunkbeds have been removed, some fabric and interior ideas have been discussed, and soon the real makeover will begin!