Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rusty and Dirty!

I let my Etsy shop for The Retro Ranch kind of slide over the last year, but lately I've been trying to restock it and physically get my stuff all gathered together and organized in my storage area (shhh..it's my basement).  Upon moving the inventory from one spot to another to another, I've rediscovered some finds and am excited to share them with the world!  Here are just a few of my newest listings, in all their farm fresh glory...
Way old bottle!

Stop those radiator leaks with chemicals!

String it up.

Instant collection.

The texture of the handles makes me crazy--I love the wear and tear.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Anatomical Hearts

I made more hearts!  I really enjoy playing with this design and was happy to have an excuse to work on more (because I delivered some to a great shop in Lawrence called Essential Goods!).  I've been able to add more pretty textures and salvage pages from original texts.

3.5" x 5" painted fence wood, paper, vinyl

5" x 7" painted fence wood, paper, vinyl
You can see where these started here.
I will try to have them all up on my Etsy site in the next few days, but computer work really bums me out, so I have to go in shifts...

Monday, February 16, 2015


Summer, 2014.  I went for a check in with a doctor.  The office had been in a state of renovation since I'd been going in.  Finally, the work was done.

And these were there.

I don't know, man.  But I love them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Viagra, 1940s Style

My great-aunts dabbled in the chiropractic so I often come across booklets and instructional things...I opened this little one up hoping to find some cool anatomical diagrams or something.  Instead I found an early (likely snake-oily) version of America's most beloved male pharmaceutical, Viagra!
Seems simple enough...

Whoa!  Okay, you have my attention.

$12.00 in 1944 has the buying power of $161.41 in 2014 dollars.

Seems legit.
I wonder how much an ad like this cost at the time...Three color, thicker paper, widely distributed booklet...  And, YES!, Dartell Labs is still around, but I can't find any info on them besides their phone book entry.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pocket Calculator circa 1906

One hundred-six pages of numbers  make my eyes cross!  

Ropp's New Calculator helped farmers calculate all the stuff they needed to in order to navigate the turn of the century farmin' biz.  TECHNOLOGY!!!!

I'd like to use this in art sometime, but I pretty much love it as is.  This is how hoarding starts, you guys!!

I hope I look this good, even if I'm outmoded, when I'm 107 years old.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Anatomical Imagery!

Found in the shed last summer, I recovered a dozen pages from what I assume was a very awesome book with anatomical diagrams and pictures.  Alas, most of the book was gobbled up by critters.  I rediscovered the pages yesterday in my studio when I was tiding up.  So I'll share some here!
The Bones!

Cross-section of head

See and hear with these things.

The Arm.

The Leg and Foot.
I thought I'd sell these through The Retro Ranch's Etsy store, but I really like them, so I might hang on to them and eventually frame them up or something.  Wish I knew anything about the book they came from or the year it was published...  Now, I just need to find more walls...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Old Fence, New Art

This summer I purchased a Tuff Shed.  It's a dream--just wish it was bigger!  (Show and tell about that in a future post.) I now have a place to put my art inventory and tent set up stuff that is only three steps from my truck.  Before, I was going up and down the basement stairs 25 times (literally--I counted) every time I had to load or unload for a show.

I took this opportunity to salvage the fence that had to come down in order to construct the shed...at least, what was left after ALL THE TERMITES OMG IT WAS HORRIFYING!

Anyway, I cut the slats down to 7" lengths, and then did some sanding and painting magic before adding some paper and vinyl in the popular anatomical heart design.  Multiples are fun!
Buh-bye, sucka!

I managed to get 90 pieces measuring 5 x 7 inches

Add some paint!

Sand it and add more paint!

"Fabric paper" with vinyl on painted wood

I like leaving the back rough to help tell the story.
I'm working on more of these for my spring shows and will have them in my booth regardless of if I'm showing clocks or "fine art."  People like 'em and I like making them.

After I deliver some to Essential Goods in Lawrence, I'll add the remaining piece up on my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Burlap Seed Sacks

This summer I discovered some truly beautiful old sacks that were maybe used once and then hidden away in a trash can.  That trash can (it was lidded) was then hidden away in a barrel.  That barrel was placed in a shed.  Then, maybe fifty years later, I came along and found them.  

Love at first sight!
Found on August 16, 2014
I want to flatten and frame them, but I'm scared to really do anything yet.  I've read you can steam old burlap to get the wrinkles out, or even iron them or toss 'em in the dryer for a bit, but what if they disintegrate?  For now I'll just put them under some heavy flat things and see what happens.

It's snowing today, so no picking--except I actually did get some more vinyl from my lovely source.  Then I slid all over the road getting home.  Worth it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Last Custom Order

The most recent wall clock I made was for one of my dearest, oldest friends.  Well, for the baby he just had (on Kansas Day!  Whooot!).  Well, for her room, anyway.

I like the way the animals turned out, all stylized and cartoony.  

12 x 12", white vinyl with black vinyl over colored vinyl that I cut around.

Here's an action shot.  It actually is outside the room because...reasons.

Another great friend supporting my work while I get to contribute to their family's heirlooms.  Warm fuzzies.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What I'm Making Today

Well, I've passed the transition from 2014 to 2015 without even a peep here on the blog.  I was working almost literally up until Christmas and then was too burnt out/lazy to try to write something worth reading.  So I'm going to try to just put up some pictures to get the ball rolling again.


3.5 x 3.5 inches/MDF/paper from old hymnals, Mary Poppins book, and "fabric paper"

When they're done I'll have them up on my Etsy site or they'll go live in Lawrence, Kansas, at Essential Goods!

Happy Belated New Year/Ground Hog Day!