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Category Archives: The Makin’s Of Our Pad

Hepcat Restorations Hosts a Mad Men Star Photo Shoot!!!


Today was a good day! Here is a shot we took right before Kevin took off.  Thats me on the left, Kevin, my mother Shirl and Step-Father Dave.

So today started out just like any another day when around 1pm I received a text from our friend Tracy, owner of m.a.r.k. vintage. The text was so beyond what I could believe that I had to read it twice. Tracy said a photographer named Tyler Mussetter with Sacramento Magazine wanted to use our home to shoot some photos with one of the actors from the tv show Mad Men!!!!! She said the actor’s name was Kevin Rahm who played Ted Chaough on the recently ended series.


We were so excited to have any association with anyone from that show. This series did such a fantastic job of capturing the attitudes, decor and style of the period. I have always admired the sets they created, and the authenticity they managed to capture.


Tyler arrived early to scope out the areas he wanted to use for the shoot. He chose the lanai (tiki room) and the living room.


Kevin arived around 3:30pm and was such a friendly guy. He was so down to earth, and he was such a pleasure to speak with.


Tyler does such a great job keeping his shoots fun and light. It really helps the subject relax.



I even got to hold the reflector to help with uplighting.



Here is Tyler and Kevin shooting in our lanai.


This was a fun experience. It was also my mothers birthday, so this helped make it memorable.


Here, my Step-Father is making light of his almost non-existent hair.


Keep an eye out for the article in Sacramento Magazine. It should be published in the June or July issue.  We’ll keep you posted.

I really don’t know what could top this. It was such a surreal experience. I wish Mel could have been here, but she was at work. Kevin said it was such a fantastic experience being a part of a show like Mad Men. He said the sets were unbelievable and he also said our home was amazing. This means a lot considering what he has seen. This will live in our memories for many years to come.

Special thanks to Tracy Avenell for letting Sacramento Magazine know about us.  If you haven’t already, check out m.a.r.k vintage in Sacramento.  They are definitely a destination for all lovers of mid century, atomic, retro and kitschy home furnishings.


Happy Memorial Day

To all those who have served and sacrificed. Today, we choose to remember you. This country is only great because of what you have done. The brave men and women who serve today will continue this legacy.  

Glamourpuss Pin-up Studio meets Hepcat Restorations


The Glamourpuss team is made up of Eva the owner/photographer, Julieta the make up artist and Felicia the hair stylist. Eva does such a fantastic job with the poses and lighting effects. Julieta does such an amazing job enhancing beauty with her makeup techniques. Felicia is able to do such fantastic hair styles. Together, they are able to create such a cool and finished image that is breathtaking. Each one of these ladies are so talented, supportive and kind.


Mel and I had the fantastic fortune of meeting Eva, owner of Glamourpuss Pin-up Studios. We were introduced through a mutual friend named Donny, owner of Donnyo Antiques. Glamourpuss came out and used our house for a photo shoot a couple weeks ago. What Mel and I love most about them is their mission: increasing women’s self-esteem/self-acceptance/body confidence one pin-up photo shoot at a time.


As a favor for them using our home as a backdrop for their shoot, Eva took some great images of our home.


 Eva is hard at work editing the photos of the ladies who were shot. Once she is done, we will post them so you can see how great these ladies turned out.


Eva used a lot of color filters to achieve the lighting you see in the tiki room.

Below are some living room shots.



The Seeburg and Moss lamp never looked so good.


Above, you can see some of our Gay Fad barware.




Love those Heifetz Rotoflex lights.




This is in the entry way to our home.


Here is our guest bedroom with the curtains our friend Tracy, owner of m.a.r.k. vintage made. We bought some vintage barkcloth that Tracy offered to sew for us. She saved our bacon!



Below is a shot of our office.


It was refreshing to have some many people from the vintage community partner on this project.  Thanks to all who had a hand in making this happen!

1952 Dolly Toy Cowboy & Indian Wall Plaques


I have seen these wall plaques over the years of our collecting and always thought the imagery is so 50’s! I knew I wanted to collect a few pieces to place in some areas in our laundry room, we kind of have a western theme going on in that small room.


I was surprised that there wasn’t any info on the artist Phil Riley online. His pieces have a Disney feel to them so it would not surprise me in the least to find out he was a cartoonist for Walt Disney.


 I am known for filling all areas on a wall with artwork and 50’s imagery. I knew these wall plaques will fill in areas that were void of visual appeal.


These have been placed on the small area above our washer and dryer.


I love the story that all the Dolly Toy pin ups tell. There is a lot of expression and vibrant colors. I know these were for kids rooms and nurseries but I can’t stop myself from wanting to use them in other applications.


These were placed on the empty wall to the left of the door to the laundry room.


Most of the pieces have the year they were manufactured on them.


Here are the other western theme pieces they released. I plan to try and acquire all the western ones if possible.


As you can see they had a lot of different ones that you could adorn the walls of your kids room with. I guess you could say these predate “fathead” wall pieces.

History of Dolly Toy Company


Dolly Toy has closed its doors. Its name and its products, nursery furnishings called Mother Goose Pin-Ups, were unique in the marketplace and their name was known across the country. H.B. Holtvoight started Dolly Toy in Dayton in 1923 as The Dolly Folding Kite Company. He was later joined in the business by his sons, Hubert G. Sr. and John, as well as his daughter, Mildred.

il_570xN.719967141_2gz6 However, the kite business didn’t prosper, so in trying to bolster profits the company started making toys out of laminated box board. These toys proved successful and in 1929 the business became The Dolly Folding Kite and Toy Company.


Worthy of note is that during the Great Depression there were more than 30 toy and novelty manufacturers in Dayton, but only Dolly Folding Kite and Toy survived the era to continue business.

$_57-9In 1936 the company acquired the property for $6,000 at 245 North Fourth Street from the Tippecanoe Knitting Mill, a subsidiary of Atlas Underwear, which had moved to Piqua. By this time the product lines at Dolly Kite and Toy had expanded to include seasonal novelties for Easter and Halloween.


While many small towns were dying because of the poor economy during The Depression, Tippecanoe was on the move. Dolly Folding Kite and Toy was only one of several companies to start businesses at that time. Joining it were Sun Glow Industries, the New Tipp Theater, the White Mountain Creamery and several one-man stores. Expansions were completed to The International Flare Company and to The Sun Glow Furniture factory. Also opening were a welding shop, a watch and clock shop and a law office along with much growth in housing construction.


As World War II approached, Dolly Kite and Toy began producing various military components out of laminated box board while expanding into Christmas and Easter novelties that had traditionally come from Japan. Prior to the late 1930’s these novelties had been produced exclusively in Germany, then in Japan, but now the United States was the primary supplier.


In 1942 John Holvoight spoke about the problems of meeting the growing demand for their products. One Dolly Kite and Toy order was for a total of $43,000, all in 3 cent and 5 cent items!

$_57-7At the end of World War II one of Dolly’s artists, Phil Riley, designed a new kind of wall decoration for nurseries and children’s rooms, and the popular Mother Goose Pin-Ups were born!!!


Dolly Toy patented the idea and began selling a small number of the Pin-Ups in department stores in 1948. As repeat orders came in they expanded production. Seeing their success, competitors tried to copy the idea and undersell with a similar product, but Dolly Toy initiated a law suit, which they won, and all opoohlampther items were withdrawn from the market.


Later a costumer line called Tidee-Ups was added, followed by nursery lamps in 1958 and crib mobiles in 1963. Tidee-Ups are decorative pegs for hanging up clothes. Business continued to grow so the factory was expanded in 1947 and, with continued growth, a new warehouse was built in 1950. The company name was officially changed to The Dolly Toy Company in 1951. By 1964 the company had surpassed the million dollar mark in sales of nursery accessories. Two more expansions followed in 1967 and 1968.


Along with the Pin-ups and mobiles, the company also made over 500,000 toy houses in 1952 – small Toyland villages designed to go under Christmas trees, on fireplace mantles or in store windows. Several years before they had produced over a million such villages, but the toy business was fickle and the demand varied each year. Additional sets in the Christmas village line had slots in the back for small Christmas lights that glowed through the transparent windows of the houses and churches. This line, designed by John Holvoight, treasurer of the company, also included small evergreen trees and snow bases made of Styrofoam.


Carl Moser, the plant manager in 1952, reported that some of the problems producing these seasonal items included competition from foreign countries with lower worker wages and with the high freight costs in the United States. Dolly Toy had to pay a double first class rate to ship because while each box of toys took up space in the box car, it weighed very little.


Moser said, “This puts a lot of pressure on the profits from a 15 cent item. Profits are slightly better on the higher priced 29 and 69 cent items in the same category.” Moser ended this 1952 interview by saying, “All items aren’t sold in the millions and profits can be small with the $1.25 an hour assembly line labor cost and the high freight rates (here in the U.S.), you never know in the toy business what tomorrow will bring.”


What tomorrow brought to Dolly Toy was the closing of its doors this year. The company will be missed. Dolly Toy Pin-Ups, lamps and other nursery accessories will soon be considered collectible antiques.






Carlo of Hollywood Stallion Partner


As you may be aware, we’re major collectors of Carlo of Hollywood watercolors.  One of our favorite pieces is our large Stallion watercolor.


This is one of the two smaller ones that would have been part of this 3 piece set. When Carlo watercolor paintings were sold, they were usually in pairs or sets of three. In the case of this stallion set, there is one large one and two smaller ones. Usually, one of the smaller ones would be almost a duplicate of the larger one.


This one has some character, but it may just be dirt under the glass. I’ll have to take it apart and clean it up!


We just love the bold imagery of these pieces.  We of course, love the forced perspective/angular frames.


We decided to hang them above our fireplace.


Hopefully, one day we’ll locate the other smaller Carlo.


As always, we hope to enjoy these for years to come.

1950’s Atomic Concrete Flamingo Restoration


Mel and I were out visiting our friends Donny and Romy. While we were visiting, Donny presented a set of vintage concrete flamingos he was looking to get rid of. I have always been a fan of these kitschy lawn ornaments.


As you can see, they are well used.


The necks of both Flamingos had numerous cracks and even chunks of concrete missing.


The paint is beyond faded and just not very impressive.


I knew the first thing I had to do was address the neck cracks and missing pieces of concrete from the neck. I used high performance DAP wall spackling paste that is specifically for cracks.


I had to cover the whole neck with this spackling to repair all the issues.


After the sun cooked them I sanded them, and the necks of these fabulous flamingos are like new!


Now for the fun part, painting them.


Now that the main body has been painted it is time for the detail work.


I looked at so many pictures of flamingos to get an idea of what I should do for the wing portion. Believe it or not, I was unable to find any referencesfor the original paint scheme. From what I was able to tell, it was pretty standard for folks to repaint them over the years as they faded. Because of this, I decided to use my own judgement and customize it. I knew with these flamingos, detail was not the order of the day, simplicity was the rule.


I was able to ascertain what the heads were supposed to look like.


While the flamingos were inside drying I took the rebar I purchased from Home Depot and painted them a coral color. I find sticking them in the ground with newspaper at the base makes it easy to paint them and to get even coverage.


Here is how they turned out!


It took two days to knock this out.


Here they are in their natural habitat surround by greenery. Unfortunately, I won’t be displaying these in our front yard because they might get snatched by someone. I plan to make a form and pour concrete around the feet so they can be displayed inside our tiki room.


Mid-Century China Hutch


We saw this hutch on Craigslist in San Francisco & knew it would be fantastic to hold some of our Tickled Pink china overflow.


This hutch was a steal and it is so clean for how old it is.


I love this dark finish. The whole piece is formica.


This drawer would be great for storing placemats, tablecloths and napkins.


This additional storage is very welcome in our kitchen.


We purchased a good part of our Vernon’s Tickled Pink set from our friend Camila at ModPop.


She even had the original postcard


They really went over the top describing this china and its potential effect on your life. If I am reading this correctly, our lives are on the fast track to wonderful!


The only thing this hutch really needs is to have the feet resprayed to make the gold pop again!


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