August 29, 2008

Retro Stamps: Eames to Mickey Mouse

Just got back from running errands and to my husband's surprise I brought home everything I've always wanted:

An Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman, an Eames Storage Unit & a set of Eames plastic Stacking Chairs.

What more could a gal ask for?!? How does a self-employed gal swing this, you ask? Just ask the US Postal Service.

This commemorative set of stamps illustrates the breadth and depth of Charles & Ray Eames innovative 'good design' from architecture, art, exhibits, film & furniture.

This got me to thinking...what other design related stamps are out there?

USPS's American Design series showcases a stylized treatment of a Chippendale chair made in Philadelphia between 1760 and 1765.

I may want an original Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman, so I guess I'm OK with my honey bringing home any of these four polished & chromed beauties any day of the week.

Built by four different manufacturers, each of these retro mahogany watercraft are still in use today:
  • Frolic, 1915 Hutchinson Brothers Launch
  • Dispatch, 1931 Gar Wood triple cockpit Runabout
  • Thunderbird, 1939 Hacker-Craft
  • Duckers, 1954 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout

From vintage watercraft to Steamboat Willie, the USPS's most popular stamp series of all time, 'Art of Disney', will be calling it curtains soon.

Mickey Mouse and his friends rule as the most popular stamp series with $211.5 million in revenue. However, Elvis remains king as the single most popular stamp subject of all time with an estimated $124.1 million collected.

This 'Art of Disney' imaginative design features:
  • Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie
  • Mowgli and Baloo from The Jungle Book
  • Princess Aurora and her helpers Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty
  • Pongo and one of his pups from 101 Dalmatians

For more retro & fun stamp facts visit the USPS newsroom:

It only seems appropriate to shut down the laptop now and break out a pen & paper to let someone else enjoy receiving one of these retro stamps.

August 25, 2008

Retro Toys: LEGO Miniman turns the big 3-0!

The LEGO Miniman turns the big 3-0 today! The 'over the hill' celebration is in full effect over at

1978 Police Officer minifigure

According to, the LEGO minifigure represents the world's largest population of people! Over 4 billion minifigures have been produced in the last 30 years. There are over 3,000 varieties of the LEGO miniman.

The Miniman's blog hosts vintage LEGO commercials, a "Go Miniman Go" fan challenge and even boasts an interactive LEGO Miniman Timeline where you can view the original seven Minimen and check out the Minimen of today including SpongeBob and Harry Potter.

1978 Space Astronaut / 1989 Pirate

2002 Harry Potter / 2006 Sponge Bob

I don't know about you but I can't resist picking up the retro & quirky collection of 5 famous figures through the years...from the vintage 1978 Astronaut to the 2002 Mad Scientist. I found the link to the Lego shop to pick up the Vintage MF Collection Vol.1:

For a more modern twist on these classic yellow & plastic men, check out the blog for Band of Outsiders LEGO® project - this site celebrates the little man's Bday with a collection of photos and also information on their miniman T-shirts that will be available soon.

August 16, 2008

History Lesson: The Legend of St. Christopher

For years I've been wearing the retro & original St. Christopher medals in various colors on my travels. Whether it's an adventure in Thailand, roaming around Prague or a weekend trip to San Francisco with the girls. I’m often asked what it is I am wearing & why.

Usually I tell the short story of St. Christopher who is said to bring luck and good fortune to travelers.

According to there is the legend about St. Christopher where he was crossing a river when a child asked to be carried across. When Christopher put the child on his shoulders he found the child was unbelievably heavy. The child, according to the legend, was Christ carrying the weight of the whole world. This was what made Christopher patron saint of travelers. St. Christopher is often revered also by athletes, sailors and drivers (

More recently in the 1960's surfers wore St. Christopher medals as a good luck piece to protect them while surfing.

During those retro times a St. Christopher medal was synonymous with fleeting romance as “Moondoggies” and “Gidgets” exchanged them as a symbol of "going steady.”

My favorite story of giving a St. Christopher medal is that of Truman Capote’s novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s where the narrator gives Holly Golightly a St. Christopher medal for Christmas.

“ ‘I’m afraid it isn’t much,’ and it wasn’t: a St. Christopher’s medal. But at least it came from Tiffany’s. Holly was not a girl who could keep anything, and surley by now she has lost that medal, left it in a suitcase or some hotel drawer. “ (Capote, 59-60)

Holly Golightly may not have kept that medal close to her heart - she just might have with the vibrants colors of St. Christopher medals of today.

Our new fun colors at Retro Republik (from our partner Getbackdesigns) include:

When to Give a St. Christopher:

Travelers: St. Christopher jewelry is believed to bring safety and good wishes to travelers, and would make an ideal gift for someone leaving on a trip or who travels frequently.

Kids: A St. Christopher medal is a special gift for young children and babies as it reflects the start of their journey through life. This would make a lovely gift for a baby shower, baptism or 1st birthday.

Drivers: Many cars are seen sporting St. Christopher medals wishing them a safe return home. Great gift for that ‘road warrior’ or new driver.

August 6, 2008

Welcome to Retro Republik

Retro Republik is the online showroom for hand-picked retro + modern designs and furnishings

Over the last few months we’ve been busy building the site (launching soon!) and partnering with talented designers & manufacturers to bring you designs to outfit your life, products will include:

• accessories
• art
• books
• eco-friendly
• furniture: home + office
• garden + outdoor
• jewelry
• kids + baby
• lighting
• mobiles
• pets
• textiles
• shop by color

I’m guessing that if you’ve found this remote blog it’s probably because you’re a friend or family member.

Speaking of family members we already have a few happy customers that are enjoying their products from Retro Republik. Check ‘em out:

Reese (my baby niece - AKA Baby Cakes) and her Mommy (cousin Amy – AKA Amy Cakes) think that the Oval mobile (Oras Designs) in berry + white + lime looks fresh & playful in Reese’s nursery.

Part mobile & part art, this wall piece will grow along with Reese as she transitions from her nursery to her ‘big-girl’ room through the years.

Our buddy, Fast Freddy (the Whippet) loves his new retro patterned pet bed (Lexie Lew) with built-in burrowing pocket! Perfect for the pup that likes to get cozy and sleep under blankets.

Freddy is also a fan of his Retro Bullet Planter (Hip Haven) turned toy chest – and I’m a fan of the stylish and vintage shape & color. Retro Republik's retro bullet planters come in: chartreuse, tangerine & turquoise.

Looking forward to sharing the Retro Republik journey with you. We appreciate all of the support!

-Taryn O.
(plus Joe O. + Fast Freddy)