Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Time at the Maloy's

Aside from Halloween, Christmas is my favorite time of year to decorate.  I build up my decorations throughout the year finding more to add to my collection with many a thrift shop visit.  We didn't do much to the outside of the house other than adding some red bows to a few light fixtures on the house.  I was happy to put up my tiki Christmas wreath again this year.  I am in the works of creating another wreath which I hope to share in a DIY blog to follow soon.

Dave and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase a new, to us at least, Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree.  This one is so much more fuller than our other tree having 96 branches in total. Having more branches also allowed us to put more ornaments up on the tree this year.

The following are a few of our favorite ornaments on the tree this year.  Below is a moai tiki which was gifted to me a few years back, as well as a pink cosmic bulb which was a recent thrift find.

These vintage "Santa TV" and deer ornament were gifts from my bridal shower earlier this year.

Every year my grandmother gives me a new ornament for the tree.  This lovely glass Santa figurine was my new ornament for the year.

I also started a tradition of making a new purchase every year for the tree which will hopefully represent a major event for Dave and I.  I had some dumb luck finding this husband and wife glass ornament.  The photo of the ornament came out nicely with no flash.

However I cracked up at the effects a flash had on the grooms face!

Jack Skellington is once again adorned at the top of the tree in his annual reach for the Christmas tree star.

Behold the glory that is the color wheel!

A view of the living room.

Another view of the living room.

Below are some of the beautiful knickknacks I have scattered throughout this place. 

This lady was gifted to me from my dad years ago following a trip to Russia.  She is one of my favorite decorations to put out every year.

We have our vintage Christmas vinyl all ready to go at a moments notice.

 We found a nice place to hang our stockings since our house does not have a proper fireplace.  This ledge on the display case will do for now but I truly look forward to having a home with a fireplace someday.

My grandmother recently gifted me her "Hope Chest".  I am in love with this cedar chest and it will surely remain in the family for years to come.  It was a great spot to display my vintage collection of plastic and ceramic Christmas figurines.

The three kings once belonged to my great grandmother.  The wooden manger is a souvenir my grandmother brought me back from a trip to Jerusalem.  The angels are two new recent thrift finds.

The carolers and angels in the back are various thrift finds. The three elves in the front row also belonged to my great grandmother.  I found the two matching ones on the outsides thrifting.

We made sure to infuse some Christmas spirit among our tiki as well.

I only have a few decorations in the kitchen other than Christmas towels.  I found these vintage Santa mugs for 20 cents a piece earlier this month.

My grandmother also gave me this cute Santa which was made either by one of my uncle's or my dad when they were in grammar school.  It's another favorite to put out on display during the holiday season.

Below is the Portuguese version of Santa Claus, know in Portugal and Brazil as Pai Natal or Papai Noel.  Parents tell their children that it is Jesus who helps Santa with the presents. I love how every country has a different yet similar version of Santa.

I close with one last photo of our beautiful tree.  I simply cannot have enough photos of it.  It truly is mesmerizing to look at in all its gleaming splendor.

We hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Till' Next Time,


Friday, December 5, 2014

Interview with Kelly Patterson: The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en

A few years back I purchased and watched the excellent documentary about the Polynesian pop and tiki scene called "Tikimentary".  It featured video footage from the Hukilau gathering at the Mai Kai, located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, as well as footage from Tiki Oasis; which if you didn't know takes place annually in San Diego, CA.  Among all these fantastic visuals were interviews from tikiphiles from all over the USA including Paul Spencer and Kelly Camille Patterson.  This led to me finding Kelly's fantastic YouTube webseries "The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en".  

Each week, on a Tuesday, Kelly posts a video featuring a kitsch take on hosting and entertaining with some appetizers and cocktail drink recipes.  She offers some advice on cooping with present day matters, seasons, and filling your life with more kitsch with some colorful food and tropical libations.  Below is an interview I did with her as I wanted to know more about the background of Kelly and her Kitsch-fabulous show!                                        

1. Tell me a little about your webseries. When and how did it begin and what inspired you to start the series?
It started as a one-time thing, when I was given the challenge of creating a 50's cooking video. It was well-received and we had such a great time that we just kept going! It’s funny how different it looks now to me from when we began. The first one has a really loud refrigerator running in the background and it has become more “retro” at this point than specifically 50's.

2. When did your love of tiki first begin?
I grew up in Southern California, around boats and the water, so I was always exposed to the nautical side of tiki. Driving with my parents I’d see tikis outside of restaurants and was always fascinated. I always saved the umbrellas and cocktail monkeys that came in my kiddie drinks when we’d go out. Also, my aunt was a Continental flight attendant from the mid-60's until the early 2000's and her route was Honolulu when I was a kid, so she was always had swizzle sticks and great photos. It all came together in my mind as pretty amazing!

3. Do you remember your first tiki drink or tiki purchase? What were they?
My family bought me the bar you see in our episodes at an antique mall back in 1994, before I even had a place to put it! My mother kept it on her porch, covered with a tarp, for months. When I moved in with Paul it became the centerpiece of our living room and of course we needed to stock it! Our first cocktail book was the Sardi’s Bar Guide, which is really weak on tropical drinks, but I still love that book. We later discovered Beachbum Berry and our tropical drinks improved tremendously! Our first tiki purchase was a mug in a thrift store – a screen printed souvenir mug from a college fraternity party!

4. What is your most treasured vintage item and why? Do you remember where you found it or how you happened to come across it?
Definitely our bar, which I described above. Other treasured items tend to be things that have been handed down in our families, such as the Trader Vic’s swizzle stick that my mother-in-law saved the night she got engaged in the early 60's and things my aunt brought back from her travels in the 60's and 70's.

5. Do you have a favorite web series episode?
For our show it’s tough for me to say, since they’re all kind of my children. I think my favorite moments are when something I have in mind, like a special effect, works the way I’d hoped or when we pull off something that we did not think we could get away with, like shooting at our local courthouse or on the steps of City Hall!

6. What about a favorite recipe or drink recipe?
I love most cocktails, but am partial to tequila and champagne (not necessarily together, but that can be nice, too!), so I do a lot of Margarita and French 75 variations. My absolute favorite thing to eat, which only happens once or twice a year, is lobster. Lobster and champagne together is like heaven for me!

7. What are the top ten must haves for a home tiki bar?
Tikis, rum, limes, tiki mugs, exotica/surf/hapa haole on the sound system, stuff collected from your travels near and far (not stolen, though!), paper parasols, ice, good friends and someone who wants to tend bar! It’s wonderful to have items like puffer-fish lamps and fishing floats, but my favorite details in any bar are the unique touches that the owner has added, such as a bust of Elvis or a photo of their grandparents in Hawaii in 1960.

8. Do you have any good advice or tips for anyone that has considered starting a web series?
Do it! It’s a lot of work and can take over your life, but it’s amazing having a project that is entirely yours. We were completely clueless about things like promotion when we started, so we’ve played a lot of catch-up, but there are lots of resources out there to help you, such as the YouTube Creator Playbook (on the YouTube site).

9. What has been your favorite and or most gratifying part of creating and being a part of this series?
As an actor and writer it is amazing for me to have the ability to write and do whatever I want. I’ve learned that I really love producing my own work and not having to answer to anyone. We’ve also met so many great people on this journey and had the opportunity to teach at Tiki Oasis and shoot at places like the Mai-Kai, Frankie’s Tiki Room, Tonga Hut Palm Springs, Plimoth Plantation and many more. I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.  

10. What is on the horizon for The Velveteen Lounge? What can we expect next for the series?
We definitely want to do more location shooting and road trips. More music videos are on the horizon and I definitely want to shoot at more events. I also have a fantasy of completely remodeling our kitchen into the vintage TV studio of my dreams. That one may take a little while!

Please check out Kelly's website for more information with past videos and recipes and subscribe to her YouTube channel (Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en).