Tuesday, November 06, 2007

kitsch wish list

Went to E2's new home on Sunday. She's bought a smashing fixer-upper in Westdene. With all the pressed ceilings and wooden floors, it's a little gem. So in celebration we popped the champagne and sat on the lawn discussing the best housewarming gifts for her.

E2 is the epitome of ironic kitsch. The word 'ironic' was diplomatically placed there, because 'outright hideous kitsch' doesn't sound too nice. She collects not cool kitsch – like fuzzy dice – but Morkels furniture kitsch.
The gift registry for her housewarming would be easy: anywhere in Lenasia, the Oriental Plaza or Ellerines.
It's fascinating running through her latest collectors' items (“found this at Oriental. Fifty bucks boet. Fifty bucks for such a gold and plastic masterpiece.”)

To her credit, she's very aware of her insatiable need for and the irony behind the hideous household ornaments, and it is a large laughing and talking point any which way.

Here're three examples:

1) A plastic gold framed Jesus, with disco lights coming out of his head when you plug it into the wall. (And another one of the Hindu god with five arms, and flashing disco lights.)

2) A royal wedding memorabilia plate. Not the Charles & Di (the one everyone wanted back in the 80s), no. She's got the lesser-known, lesser-popular Fergie & Andrew one. Classic.

3) A chrome, gold and silver plastic clock with the words “Good Wishes” on a plaque at the base. The clock is set in a circle, and built into a gold boat, with dancing waves and chrome dolphins at its aft, and a gold windmill jutting from the top. You just have to stare at it in disbelief, it's that revolting.

What she needs is:

Those three porcelain/bronze ducks of variegating sizes for the wall.

A dolphin clock.

In fact, anything dolphin. Preferably with glitter and waves. And painted various shades of bright blue.

A cocheted blanket doily.

[To go on the back of] the velvet, studded, varnished and impeccably-ornate pine lounge suite from Lubners.

The ceramic sombrero with the light behind it.

The pleather sausage dog door stopper.

The “welcome to our wonderful home” plaque, or similarly those wooden signs people put in their pot plants with little Amish ladies hanging off them, “This basil is blessed” or something equally twee like “A beautiful garden shows a beautiful soul.”

The Barbie doll knitted toilet paper holder.

The hand-crafted shell jewellery box you find at coastal curio shops. Similarly the conch with the glued on eyes and mouth, or the shell encrusted base for a lamp that says “I Went To Port Alfred” on it.

A poster of “What Your Name Means” with a description written in a floral font for the back of the bathroom door.

One of those gold cats you see at Chinese restaurants, with the electronic arm that moves up and down.

The snow globe where you can put your own pictures in the middle.

Plastic bunches of grapes for the electric fence, so it looks like a vine.


Buying for her is the ultimate gas.

PS: I parked on the apex of a hill when arriving at her place. And didn't put the handbrake up properly. My car then went on its own mission while I happily drank bubbly inside. I found him – Ludwig – on the other side of the road, his bumper ten centimetres from a tree. My car miraculously stopped just before plowing into a tree. Fuck. How lucky is that? I mean, there could've been unmentionable damage – had it gone down the hill altogether....fuck. How's that for a stroke of luck?

PPS: Holiday in 6 hours.

33 comments:

FiOnion said...

Those snowglobe photo-frames can be found in three sizes at SheetStreet. Pink, nogal! My eight-year-old daughter has an eye for kitsch, which she thinks is 'style', and was begging me for one the other day. (This is the child that puts an orange and pink subdress on under a winter jacket that has faux fur at the collar and cuffs.......)

Other items that will suit your friend's place: a 60s mantelpiece clock that chimes like Big Ben, tea towels that show pics of Dover Castle or swans on the Thames, a copper frying-pan clock for the kitchen, highly overworked oil-paintings of roses in a bowl on a table (preferably done with every shade of brown on the artist's palette), fake-stone carvings of Oriental people in traditional dress.

FiOnion said...

Subdress? Sheez. I meant 'sundress'...

Peas on Toast said...

Fionion - classic! The copper frying pan clock is always a winner - perfect! And your child sounds like a hoot, exactly what I would've done back in the day :)
Awesome list there, thanks!

Mel said...

How about one of those fibre optic thingies they sell at the side of the road? Or those lamps that have a under the sea picture on them and the fish swim round and round as the light is on...

Nessers said...

don't forget the fake flowers with the clear glue that is supposed to be water drops, that plastic stuff you put on top of the carpets so that they stay clean and the cover things that go over the plates on the stove hehehe.

Champagne Heathen said...

Anything with the Big Five. We stay in a rented holiday house that has one massive carpet with all of the big five staring up at you, in about 3 shades of brown. And you just know it is the farmer owner's pride and joy.

Revolving Credit said...

Definitely a 5 metre plastic runner to protect the passage carpets with a matching fake plastic cuckoo clock!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peas, Tam from CT here
my guy wouldn't let me keep my "ironic iconic" giltframed hologram Jesus picture from Bruce Tait (a store which, alas, is gone, no more miltipierced salesman who likes to talk fetish, selling all you've mentioned and more).
Come to Cape Town - a day at Milnerton Market and Long St will furnish her place one time!
My good fortune waving cat says hello...

Peas on Toast said...

This is great guys! I'm in hysterics!
(This is why I love blogging...)

Rev - the plastic carpet runner..hahahahaha! How could I forget?

Champs - anything big five - touche!! The clocks, the tea towels, the wooden giraffe...the list is endless. And let's not forget the prints. Leopard print, tiger print...

Mel -ooh the fish lamp! Perfect - especially if the fish are dolphins...

Nessers - I agree! The best part of plastic flowers are the glue/plastic rain drops, or dew drops. Especially when they collect dust...they look so...natural.

Peas on Toast said...

Anon/Tma - Bruce Tati's Kitsch Collectibles is one of my favourite places in Cape Town - it's an absolute hoot. How can he not let you keep your gilt framed masterpiece?? Love that you have a waving cat by the way.

I'm going to ask Kung Fu Kitchen across the road where I can buy one for E2. :)

SheBee said...

Holy shitballs. You just described my late nana's house. Only you left out the doily table clothes in every flurecent colour.

Amanzimtoti said...

The sad thing is my mom had everything you guys mentioned in our house when I was growing up, except the copper pot clock and disco Jesus. She's gotten rid of most of it now but still has LOTS of dolphin stuff. Oh, and she used to have those ceramic dogs that you got in exchange for old clothes!

Peas on Toast said...

SheBee - oh yes, many nana's are a fan of the flourescent doily. The beauty with doilies is you can put them on the back of the velour couch or whack them on the coffee table.

There use is very diverse.
:)

Peas on Toast said...

amanzimtoti - that's awesome! Tell me more about the cermaic dogs, are they those one's you use as door stoppers?
Cos my mum has those too...

Amanzimtoti said...

Yip, they came in various sizes, so you could use the small ones as door stoppers and the big ones as ornaments. Everyone had them - and everyone's dogs had at least one broken leg that was glued back on. Hahahaha

Revolving Credit said...

You've so gotta get her one of those bright pink knitted barbie doll toilet roll holders with matching fluffy toilet seat cover.

Mel said...

I was actually very recently given a house warming present that would be perfect - wooden salt and pepper shakers in the shape of warthogs. These things are huge, but the best part of all is that you have 2 options as to which orifice the salt/pepper should come from - the ear or the bum...

Peas on Toast said...

Toti - ah yes! Classic! My mum also had those procelain dolls, many with arms/legs stuck back on...one was dressed in a clown suit if I remember correctly.

Rev - indeedy. Which is why it's on the list above :) I need a chocheted old South African flag toilet seat cover, from the likes of Pofadder/or Kleinbietjiesfontein...:)

Peas on Toast said...

Mel - ah beeyay - diful! Fits in with the Big Five theme. Now you just need a giraffe vinegar dispenser. :)

Revolving Credit said...

Not to sure why, but I suddenly had visions of a badly framed, faded blue print of Tretchikoff's Chinese Girl..

Peas on Toast said...

Rev - she's gorgeous isn't she? I really rather like her - I think E2's mum has one of her. I wouldn't mind one for my house either :)

kyknoord said...

"...What she needs is:"

1. A really big bin bag.

Peas on Toast said...

Kyk - aw come on, join in the fun. :)

I know you've always fancied one of those ornate vases with the glazed pearly finish. :)

Ordinarylife said...

Some of the guests to my wedding stayed at a B&B that had a wagon wheel above the bed. If that was not bad enough there were doilies EVERYWHERE. Yes of course the toilet had them as did the toilet roll, but the highlight must have been the doily covering the great wagon wheel! We were all in hysterics by the time they had finished describing the room.

Maybe you should go there for some more gift inspiration.

The Divine Miss M said...

Another holiday?! Where are you off to this time?

*jealous*

Peas on Toast said...

Ordinary - hold on, let me get this straight - before I pop the throbbing vessle in my forehead - a doily was hanging over the wagonwheel, which was displayed over the bed??

Where is this place? This is fucking priceless! I thought we only saw these things in Huisgenoot magazine!

Divine - I'm lucky innit? It's a semi-holiday, if there's an emergency at work, I'll get a call. But it's a dirty week away with 747 on the Natal coast. Swell eh? ;)

The Divine Miss M said...

Oooo, dirty holidays are always fantastic :) I'm very jealous!

Tamiya said...

In my ouma's house, there's still a couple of those scary white porcelain dogs. The one lying down's one foot is missing, and the one standing up has a leg broken and plakked back on...

She also have LOTS of those colorful glass clowns in her showcase.

Anybody interested?

Peas on Toast said...

Tamiya - oooh naaace! DEFINITELY interested! :)

zuzula said...

hurrah for long dirty weekend! Your friend E2 sounds fabulous. My mates and I have an ongoing competition, whenever any of us goes away, to come back with the worst souvenir tat we can find. So on my desk I now have a sheep on a spring (new zealand) a hideous clog-shaped pencil holder (amsterdam) and a camel thermometer (grand canaria). Can you top that?

Peas on Toast said...

Shit Zu, I don't think I can! A splendid idea though, I'm definitely going to start doing that - and I'm pretty certain E2 would step up to the plate as well.

A clog pencil holder? Hahahaha, awesome. :)

Koekie said...

E2 has style. I'm not saying it's good, or bad. But she has a style.

Ludwig sounds like he just had a moment of rebellion. Kind of like a six-year-old threatening to run away from home and only making it to the front gate. That'll show mom...

Ordinarylife said...

Yes, the doily was over the wagon wheel which was over the bed. It is one of those thing you got to see to believe

And where else could it be but the great Eastern Cape. Addo to be exact! Great inspiration for kitsch in this ole' neck of the woods.