Mardens, Home of the Has Beens

From the newly opened Mardens Offprice in Scarborough Maine. Which already looks 30 years old, since they only maybe broom-cleaned the ancient Walmart they moved into. Mardens is an offprice last stop for anything from 1970's Eastern European mattresses to 1980's Brazilian cologne to recently expired pallets of Frankenberry cereal. Those obviously would be enough to make Mardens a somewhat regular stop, but occasionally they'll have the most ridiculously wonderful stuff, unfortunately usually due to some tragic mishap, like a fire or a flood, or maybe a bankruptcy, or some sort of expiration. Really it's a mystery where this stuff comes from, and how it's always at least 75% off a normal price.
John and Fletcher and I stopped by to check it out on Sunday, which was one of those ridiculously wonderful days:


Silver Hunter Boots, two pairs of the fantastic Swedish Hasbeens clogs- one black and one one strappy orange, and a pair of Dsquared rainbow-striped sneakers.


Above: How I felt leaving the Mardens parking lot! (photo from the Hasbeens website)

Below: John didn't fare too shabbily either, with a pair of Red Wing boots (made in USA) and some Clarks Wallabees



We even went to the Mardens up in Lewiston today in search of the same magic, but no such luck as at the new dreamy Scarborough one. If you're in town it definitely may be worth a trip.
Photo of Mardens below taken by John (ostensibly to tie in to the previous post.)


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Why Don't You...?

Paint your garage doors to match your car?

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Valley Guy

Living Treasure of California ceramicist Stan Bitters making a cameo in his friends' Joyce Aiken and Jean Ray Laury's 1977 classic, "The Total Tote Bag Book", which, along with their "Handmade Rugs from Practically Anything", and "Creating Body Coverings", complete the must-have holy trinity of 70's craft books (with Alexandra Jacopetti's "Native Funk & Flash" and Peter Beagle's "American Denim" coming in close behind.

* Google mapping that address adds a healthy dose of 70's California Valley provenance.

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...and peacock chair. From the journal "habitat", el dormitorio, 1975.
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From the Ritva Man

Out of the blue the other day came a great, unexpected phone call from Mike Ross, expatriate Portlander and the creator of the Ritva Man sweaters. We wrote a little about the Ritva Man back in December but Mike was happy to elaborate and talk about the (truly humble) beginnings, from his wife Ritva's first dresses she made by altering a crochet bedspread pattern from a Swedish craft book, to his Ritva Man's first "Homerun" baseball-jersey sweaters made by sewing a different color long sleeve to a short sleeve.
It's amazing what they accomplished in the first couple years.

Top: the first Ritva Man Homerun sweater, circa 1969, now in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. In 1969 Mike Ross designed a sweater called the ‘Homerun’, inspired by a traditional baseball under-garment. From this prototype, in two colours with a simple embroidered flower, there followed around 2500 original variations, with stripes, in unique colourways. Ross later produced the ‘Artist Collections’, a series of ‘wearable works of art’, with appliqu├ęd designs by artist friends including David Hockney, Allen Jones, and Patrick Caulfield.
Above: The Homerun sweaters on Mike Ross & teammates, including Allen Jones, Commander Whitehead, and the Hathaway Man, I think. An unused London Sunday Times photo, 1970.

Above: Julie Christie modeling the Ritva Man Allen Jones sweater (top) and Liz Frink sweater, to coincide with McCabe & Mrs. Miller promotions, from the London Observer, Nov. 1971. The headline reads" At last, off the peg sweaters for 40 pounds". Which wasn't actually cheap as chips. Mike joked (but seriously) one of the reasons the labels were so intense was to make the sweaters seem more important, like a work of art, each hand made and very involved, with all their provenence (I'm paraphrasing). Funny that he would worry, but it's exactly what an artist would do. Indeed, if you were lucky enough to buy one back then today you could sell it to the V&A.

Above, the Ritva Man David Hockney sweater on display at the Sheffield Museum.

Images courtesy of Mike Ross.

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Lucite desk

We bought this a couple years ago at a yard sale in Key Largo, via a defunct realtor's office in Miami. It came with matching Rietveldish slab-of-lucite chair and a drawer full of old real estate contracts. Pictured here on its way into the studio to replace the vast expanse of Prouve-esque farm table which I've been using.

Seasonal desks!
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Midnight and yellow

Top: Casa Bricall in Vilassar de Mar, Barcelona, 1975, by Studio PER. From habitat: Areas of Communication, 1976.
Above: 11 Harrowhouse-ish 1963 Ferrari 250 LM (with Dubai plates). From the 1980 Octopus book Great Marques: Ferrari.
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Sika Mobler

Old Sika Mobler teak nesting tables, from a garage sale.
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Kei Bohji-san

A monkey pile of Japanese teak chimpanzees, slightly altered from Kay Bojesen's Danish original. The little one in the middle was on a shelf in my dad's closet growing up and the rest are from yard sales over the years. In the last few months we've used them in our son's room as a mobile (with vine-green yarn)(too dangerous), coat hanger (upside-down off the back of the door-too fragile), and semaphore (Beatles "HELP"-style for "FAOM", which didn't look that good- actually neither did HELP, as they changed it to the more design-friendly NUJV.) The new project is to make a little Ofuro hot tub barrel to keep them in, Macaque-style. If that doesn't work they're going up on a shelf.

Related: the back cover of "This Week: Guide to Wonderful Copenhagen, May 5-May 11, 1973", brought back and stuck in a drawer by my grandparents.

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E.H. Shepard at ther V&A

From last Saturday's pre-yard sale yard saling, an old V&A poster by Her Majesty's Stationery Office for the exhibition of Ernest H. Shepard's original drawings for the books by A.A. Milne.
Brought back to Maine after a holiday in London, Christmas 1969.
Related: "That Sort of Bear", the Sotheby's auction of some great E.H. Shepard drawings, etc., from 2008 *here*

...and more insight into that auction at the ever encyclopediac *Daddytypes*.
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