Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Just Because I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi Like You Very Much

I love birthday presents.  I love Christmas presents.  It is a fact that I love presents of all varieties, but usually I protest the opportunity to be a recipient because I was raised with the notion that a gracious decline (see "no gifts please") was good manners.  No matter how much I protest, which I usually doth too much, there is no denying the joy of fiendishly tearing into the aluminum foil (What?  Everyone doesn't ensconce gifts of the heart in food-grade wrapping?) to uncover something that is meant just for me; growing up in a family of five children, there were very few things that I could claim as mine alone.  The only thing better than a birthday gift or Christmas gift, is that gift that comes totally unexpectedly at a time when a little pick me up is needed but no such expectation can be justified because the major gift-giving holidays have just very recently passed - the "just because" gift.  When that rarest species of gifts just happens to be old-timey AND wacky tacky, then you know you have hit the "just because" jackpot!

Many people will say that they were "born in the wrong decade," but I am convinced that the same people would be reticent to abandon the luxuries and basic comforts provided by the modern world.  I see it as an episode of The Twilight Zone - an unwitting protagonist wishes to go back in time but fails to read the fine print and promptly contracts polio and lives in an iron lung for the rest of his life.  Despite the obvious pitfalls of time travel, I will admit that I too have been guilty of spending an inordinate amount of time planning the clever and productive use of a time machine should such a device ever become available.  Few things make the desire to explore the flexibility of the space-time continuum more profound than a "just because" gift I recently received from my pals Jesse & Emily.  Just four words....




Don't you want to live in a time when a South American songstress was popular enough with the whole family to warrant a coloring book?  Even if you didn't want to live in 1942, wouldn't be a nice place to visit?


Carmen Miranda, having been featured previously on our blog, is a true icon of wacky tacky.  Our credo of "More is more," is a natural extension of her outlandish hats, beautiful costumes, and mile-high platform shoes.  Owning this nearly-untouched coloring book is a bit intimidating because the large pages are just begging to be colored (a favorite wacky tacky pastime) but the nagging feeling that it is somehow wrong to color a vintage coloring book can't be denied.  What do you think?



There are a few colored pages but it is obvious that the artist, Mary Ann, applied a gentle and loving hand.


All I want is a trip to Copacabana Beach - circa 1939

It is amazing to me how with just a few simple lines, the spirit of Carmen is captured in the pages of this book.



Thrown in for good measure?





The details are all there, right down to
 those famous platform shoes!

This generous gift is even more meaningful because Emily is a huge, classic movie buff; she has a beautiful blog called The Silver Screen Affair.  For her to have a little piece of movie-related history in her hands and be magnanimous enough to give it to me was a truly kind gesture.  The greatest part about a "just because" gift is the opportunity to pay it forward and make somebody else's day.

"I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi Like You Very Much" - Carmen Miranda

Thanks Emily & Jesse!!! I, yi, yi, yi, yi, yi like you too!!!


Cheers!

Mr. Tiny

35 comments:

  1. You had me at "just four words". OH. MY. GOD. I. LOVE. THIS. I want to print out a copy of one of these and do a paint by number! Wouldn't that be the living end!? Happy "just because"-- you've got some great pals! :)

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    1. I think that is what I need to do; I'll get my coloring fix by printing out copies! A paint by number would be incredible!

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  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful gift! Good luck resisting the urge to color those glorious pages. The cover alone is to die for! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Isn't it great?! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. Some people have recommended copying the pages so I could color without guilt!

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  3. That is amazing! What a great gift. What about scanning or photocopying a page? Those are amazing drawings, I think it would be spectacular in a tacky frame, too. I love that little Mary Ann signed her drawing!

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    1. BEST IDEA EVER! Sometimes it is the the best and most obvious solutions that evade me. I NEED to color Carmen and now I don't have to ruin the book. Thanks Tasha!

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  4. Truly fabulous! Copacabanna beach circa 1939 sounds wonderful right about now, I love the stylish cruise steamer in the background. Carmen Miranda is one of my VERY favorites, I even have a 1954 lamp of her! When my dear forgiven exchange student friend "May" came back to visit from her home town of Rio Brazil she brought me two canvas silouhett paintings of the "Brazillion Bombshell". What a wonderful gift indeed, a delightful stop in 1942.

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    1. That is a great gift! How awesome! Anything Carmen related is tops in my book!

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  5. Oh. My. God. *faints*
    I am so utterly jealous..I actually shrieked when I read 'colouring book'. I LOVE colouring,so I would also be torn.

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    1. Isn't it great...it took all I had to remain upright when they handed it to me! I think I will go with the suggestions and photocopy the pages so I can color to my heart's content.

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  6. Thoughtful gifts are THE BEST! Now I have to go look for an Audrey Hepburn coloring book for myself.

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    1. It has set me on a new quest; I now want to collect as many celebrity coloring books as I can get my hands!

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  7. FABULOUS! I love Carmen Miranda. What an awesome gift!

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    1. Thanks Jana! The only thing more awesome than the gift itself was the total surprise!

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  8. So amazing!! Definitely, you MUST resist the urge to color any more in. I'm thinking along the same lines as Tasha...photocopy and color to your heart's content!!
    Oh and BTW...that comment about the iron lung almost made me spit-take my Chai :-))

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    1. Thanks Dina! I'm glad you guys thought of it because I really thought my only choices were to color or not to color (I can be pretty dense at times). I can't wait to break out the colors and go crazy!

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  9. OMG!!!! I am super jealous of you right now!! I LOVE this book. Carmen Miranda is one of my Idols. You are very, very, lucky Mr. Tiny. You truly have great friends.

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    1. Carmen Miranda is the best!!! She was kooky and over-the-top, but she had the endless talent to back it up! This coloring book is definitely one of my favorite gifts!

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  10. I say color a few, and leave the rest blank. So glad you liked it! It really was calling me from afar. It was saying, "Chirs, buy this for Chris..." Haha!

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    1. Thanks Emily! I really do love it! You should ALWAYS listen to those voices when they call out to you!

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  11. That truly is such a fun gift!! I agree with Emily - go ahead and color a few! And don't forget to sign your name to the page! It's so funny, I was just bemoaning the fact (to myself) that I didn't receive a super large box of Crayolas from Santa! Have fun coloring!!!

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    1. Isn't it great that Mary Ann signed her name? It just adds to the charm of the coloring book! I truly do love to color - totally therapeutic.

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  12. Love this! I dressed as Carmen Miranda one year for Halloween, but I bought plastic fruit that was way too solid. My headpiece was so incredibly top heavy that it kept falling off of my head :-). She had such flair! Fabulous gift indeed.

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    1. I keep threatening to make a Carmen Miranda costume for Mary for Halloween, but I never allow enough time because I would want it to be a faithful recreation. She is one of the greats for sure!

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  13. I agree with Emily, color a few pages! Just like you enjoyed Mary Anne's treatment of the book..in several years when someone else happens upon this beauty, they will marvel in the stylings of Mr. Tiny.

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    1. Thanks!!! Oh geez, now I'm conflicted again; I had decided to copy a few pages and color those, but now I like the idea of adding to the book's history!

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    2. If you do make some copies of the coloring book, count me in, I would love to have one!!! You can make a contest to see whom colored it best, and as the grand prize, give away one of your dinosaur wacky tacky t-shirts. Just an Idea :)

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    3. That is a brilliant idea!!! Remember when EVERY grocery store had coloring contests? I haven't tried scanning the images yet - they might be too big for my scanner; it is a LARGE coloring book!

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  14. how perfect! those are such beautiful drawings, so much better than the crap they make for kids today. i have an old lassie coloring book hoarded away. i need to make some photocopies to I can color them! it isn't quite as fabulous as miss carmen miranda though!

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    1. Maybe that's what we need to do; I'll print extra copies of Carmen and you'll print extra copies of Lassie, and we'll do a coloring swap!!!

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  15. What an awesome gift - and so thoughtful! I love both giving and receiving gifts 'just because' - those are the best kind, and usually tend to be the most personal, because you saw it and thought '(insert name) must have this!' :)

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    1. I'm with you. If I never had to give another Christmas present, I would be okay with that. I love giving (and getting) gifts "just because."

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  16. GOBSMACKED!

    Definitely copy off a few choice pages for coloring at the very least. I'd love to see an update post with a few colorful editions a la Mr. Tiny.

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    1. I will definitely do that. I like the idea of a wacky tacky coloring contest so everyone can participate!

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