Retro Themed Melamine Dinnerware for the Modern Home

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Melamine TV Trays from Target - Photo by Rebecca D. Dillon
I was in Target yesterday when I happened across some of the coolest TV trays ever. Since Scott and I don’t really have any sort of living room tray to use for our place, I bought one of each. I purchased the TV Melamine Tray for myself and the Record Player Melamine Tray for Scott. Both are available at Target stores for $9.99 each.
Retro TV Melamine Tray - Photo by Rebecca D. Dillon
These fun retro themed trays are not only functional, but they are fun to look at and are a great conversation piece at parties! And, because they’re made out of melamine – the popular plastic of the 50s for dishware – they are microwave and dishwasher safe. Plus they stand up to quite a bit of abuse making them less likely to break if dropped.
I also picked up two sets of plates from this collection. Two plates in a Chevron pattern and two plates in red. The bottoms are ridged for easy stacking and compact storage. The plates run just under $2 each. They were also perfect since my 50s vintage plates don’t fare well in the microwave. However, there’s no need to stop there! If you’re looking for even more fun to add to this collection, be sure to check out Target online.
Cool retro melamine dishware from Target
Target online offers Chevron Appetizer plates, Triangle Record Appetizer plates, Camera Appetizer plates, and a 3 Melamine Cassette Tape Bamboo Tray. There’s also a lot of cool glassware including a set of 8 Black and White Cassette Tape Tumblers. You can view all of the fun, retro themed pieces from this collection at Target online.
Which one is your favorite?

Instagram – My latest creative discovery

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I’ve seen a lot of instagram photos around lately and I’ll admit I was curious. But my LG phone just wasn’t equipped to take decent photos nor did it have a flash. It also wasn’t the most intuitive phone in the world. So when my phone suddenly stopped working after only 5 months of use – my boyfriend has also gone through two LG phones with little success – I decided it was worth paying a little more to buy an HTC Android. After all, I not only use my phone for emergencies, but my business and at work as well. I stuck with the regular last year’s 3G model and saved a hundred bucks, but still got what so far is turning out to be a great product. It’s like when buying a used VCR would cost you $800 (back when VCRs were the latest and greatest) but that sucker lasted for 20 years before breaking while the modern $50 versions killed over in about two. Or how Atari’s in all their retro wonder glory continue to work while my son’s original XBox crapped out due to overheating. Or all those PC’s that died in 3 years, while my macbook just keeps on truckin’. You get the picture.

So now that I have a decent phone, my own picture has gotten even bigger. And I’m having fun exploring the world through my camera phone. My goal is to try to find at least one creative shot a day and post it to instagram, my personal facebook page, twitter and my tumblr.
I started with the dead beetle at work, then had my boyfriend take a shot of me. Then I took a photo on my daily walk through the neighborhood followed by a game of Clue at my parents’ house. Here are the photos I’ve taken so far (with captions.)
Our mascot at work. Everyone needs a dead beetle to vent to.
A very happy me. Scott registered for college classes today.
Our neighborhood yards are often full of interesting surprises.
Clue. Sometimes you wish people would just get one.
I’m excited by the prospect of building a portfolio of my very own through instagram. Do you use instagram? Love it? Hate it? And how are you using it to stay creative?

Cute Holiday Printable Gift Tags or Sticker Set

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This gift I wrapped with a brown craft bag I cut apart and some twine I found. I then decorated it with Free Rustic Holiday Tags I downloaded and printed onto sticker paper from vol. 25 blog.

I also made some of my own holiday gift tags today featuring a cute penguin in a heart top hat, a pastel colored camera, a round panda bear, and happy stocking ice skate. I drew them with pencil, outlined them with a black Sharpie marker, then scanned them into my computer and colored them in Gimp.

This set of adorable holiday gift tags (pictured above) is available as a free download so you too can share in the frugal fun of printing off your own gift tags. (They are free for personal, non-commercial use.)

Simply print the pdf file for these free printables onto sticker paper to create a fun sticker set for the kids, or to stick on your presents as gift tag labels. Or print onto card stock, cut out and punch a hole in the top. Attach to your gift with ribbon or twine and write your gift message on the back.

The set includes four large printable gift tags and six medium sized printable gift tags that are perfect for either Christmas gift tags or winter birthday tags. Also don’t forget to check out my free printable Japanese Kawaii inspired holiday tags I also created in this blog post!

Hello flower garden. Smile for the camera.

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I have had a spot on my camera for the longest time. It was most annoying but it didn’t seem to be on the lens. Apparently it was dust on the sensor, and after discovering that yes! there is a cleaning mode for this, I think I finally got the sucker. I haven’t tried a close up shot since “dusting” but the test photographs from normal range I took today aren’t showing any signs. Fingers crossed I got it.
Anyhow, I really wanted to get my camera cleaned before tomorrow because tomorrow is our annual Local Colors Festival and I want to get pictures of the parade. It’s always so colorful and fun with amazing costumes and the cutest kids ever.
In the meantime, I did take a few “practice shots” of my parents’ flower gardens. I think they’re really pretty and just wanted to show off all the hard work my parents have done to whip them into shape.
(Pictured above.) Looking toward the yard. The lighthouse was handmade by a co-worker of my brother’s and given to my parents one year for Christmas. The purple flowers up front are verbena. They make great ground cover because they spread like wildfire and come back up every year. Plus they bloom all spring and summer long!

Same area, but looking toward the street with the driveway on the right. I wish these were brighter but the day was pretty overcast with no sun in sight by the time I got home from picking my son up from school.

I love this little flower garden with the fountain. These little pink flowers are one of my favorites! I have no idea what they’re called though.

This arbor is a recent addition. I believe they added it last year – at least I know the plant climbing it was put in then. It’s already gotten quite a nice start this spring. Along the side of the house we have vegetable gardens that are tiered in much the same way because it’s along a slope.

Do you have flower gardens that you’re especially fond of? What’s your favorite flower?

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

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Yesterday evening I was watching a sort of twisted romantic, indie comedy called Camille on Netflix instant queue. It was strange for more than one reason but the main ones being a.) I don’t watch comedies, b.) Camille is pretty much dead through most of the love affair, and c.) she has a fascination with her Polaroid camera.
Camille is a newly wed who takes photos of absolutely everything from the planning of her wedding – a photo of a magazine couple in their wedding garb with the faces replaced with cut outs of hers and her fiance’s – to the day of the wedding when she carries the camera up the aisle with her – to the journey to Niagra Falls for the couple’s honeymoon where she shoots the strangers she meets in a diner along the way.
Anyway, the movie made me miss Polaroid cameras. And it kills me that the neither the film nor the cameras are being produced any longer. I have hopes that in the next decade or so when all of the film has been extinguished from ebay, some sentimental company will pop up and take on the journey of reinventing the nostalgia of our “young adulthood” again. I mean, haven’t they done that already with the many toys and movies of our childhood?
In the meantime, I discovered this diy project for creating Tiny Polaroid Magnets over at Ambrosia Girl Blog. While the final product isn’t actually a Polaroid picture – the song “Hey Ya” is coursing through my brain now – it does offer the semblance of that once popular trend. The Polaroids are created in Photoshop, though Gimp is a free option that I use, and can be manipulated for any photograph you’ve uploaded to your computer. The author of this craft tutorial even offers a .zip file for download of a Polaroid frame you can use. You can find instructions for this entire project over at Ambrosia Girl Blog here.
In the meantime, I want to see more Polaroid shots! Should you know of a Polaroid craft or photo, please share a link! I’d love to see any craft projects, pictures, or products for sale that are related to or inspired by the long lost Polaroid!