More Fifties!

Well it was my 24th Wedding Anniversary on Monday past.  I couldn’t help but think about how it was for my in-laws when they had their 50th Anniversary in 2007.  I wondered too if any one planned a party for us in 2038 if the eighties would seem as cool as the fifties. Not really sure I want to see the mullet again or broad shouldered suit coats, etc. Anyways …here are some more photos from the 5oth Anniversary which included things that I got to design and build…or paint…or print…what FUN!

My Father-in-law had been in the Royal Canadian Air Force.


So it seemed a good idea to make him a poster from the Fifties with his face (from the Fifties) on it.  The original was a scan I did from a book.  Next it was Taken into Corel software and the fun began.  One of his wedding photos was masked and cropped as you can see on the right.  Some adjustments were made to the tone, etc and then by over-saturating the image in the red I was able to get some manly skin tones in there.  I think the poster was 18 X24 but I can’t remember.  He seemed really taken with it! (As you can see from the video link below)

More photos on the use of prints that I designed below. The Elvis and  50ft Woman posters were store bought 





The Burgers and Fries were T-shirt  iron -ons that I made for some of us wearing white Tees. The Tv shaped posters were made of metallic bristol board and glued together.  There are little glass mirrors glued to some and silver pipe cleaners for antennae.

Actually Today is their wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe this all took place 5 years ago!  Happy Anniversary Barb and Brenton!


Back to the fifties

Continuing with the 50’s Anniversary theme, for which I had the pleasure of designing set decorations, I’d like to show you a few of the smaller decorations I had designed and created. Again this was a load of fun for me in trying to create a fifties feel on a small budget  but it can be done!


I wanted a clock with lots of chrome.  Very Shiny!  The actual clock-face was  designed with CorelDraw and based on the logo I designed.In the left photo you can see there were two clocks.  The bottom was my first choice and it didn’t seem shiny enough even after spray painting chrome finish on it ( which I wasn’t sure would hold up anyway).  The cost of one of the clocks was only 12 dollars at Zellers ( I think).  The other wasn’t much more.  The display on the right is now in storage in my studio.

Quest for things Fifty

The internet was a great help.  Perusing thousands of photos and articles allowed for a taste of 1957 and it set my imagination on fire.  My wifes Dad was in the airforce and so that info would also be a great help.  What was launched in 1957 ?  Answer:  The Sputnik.  The space race was on between Russia and the U.S.A.. This fact lead to America putting the first man on the moon- Neil Armstrong (r.i.p.)

So here was a great opportunity.  Take a look at Russia’s Sputnik below.



How to Build a Satellite 

There were only  several of these decorations made so as not to overtake the theme. Essentially the sputnik is a ball with 4 long antennae.  The ‘ball’ was made with a styrofoam ball seen above and bamboo skewers which both were purchased from a dollar store.  First paint them with acrylic white paint such as Decoart or Americana.  You will get better reflectivity with the metallic paint if you undercoat with white first.  Also the latex (acrylic) paint will protect styro-foam from harsh chemicals such as acetone that will virtually eat the foam…not good.   You can brush on gold acrylic paint on the skewers.  Then brush on a silver paint (acrylic) on the ball.  Next (outside- do not breathe in fumes) spray a chrome finish on the ball.  Put a dab of white glue on the sharp end of the skewers and then when all the paint is dry shove the sharp (glued) end into the styro-foam ball at equa-distances.  There you have a Sputnik.  The other material is simply silver pipe cleaner, christmas beads and small ‘disco’ balls bought from a dollar store.

The print-outs of Sputnik which I made on the computer have since faded some from the bright sun I get in my room. It’s amazing what you can do though with a just a 40 dollar printer!  The decorations proved fabulous and you can see i made some mini-sputniks to be a little thematic that were used around a small window/counter.

Here’s some more photos for you!  More next time!

Is that a Sputnik I see in the halo?!! ha!

Here are some more of the resource photos that came in handy.

The Center Piece (that was off to the side)

It was my wife’s parent’s 50th Anniversary and I was happy to do the art and decorating based on a fifties theme. As discussed in the first part of this post “One of the Funnest Things…” I thought it best to use colour and branding to give the whole event a “feel” as though we were in 1957.

After deciding on the basic colours and designing a logo of sorts, it was now time to build something that would actually iconify (is that a word? ha) the event. So the idea came to me to build a transportable mini-set or display that would be an actual dimensional  piece and add to the ‘realness’ and the fun. The above is what I came up with in CorelDraw.  Below is the actual piece in the hall made from masonite and a pine frame then painted.



The diner display sign used small Christmas lights with a flashing bulb unit.  Not quite neon but still it was effective.

The laminate counter top is really an illusion. I created this by using a rag rolling technique.  First the masonite was

primed and then a light grey acrylic house-paint was rolled on with a fine sponge roller. Then I twisted a rag, dipped it in a darker colour paint.  I did a brief test on some spare masonite (hard board) then I remember basically drawing in a deep breath and then just going for it. This is how it turned out.  Most people thought it was real laminate.  Also the top dark grey layer was part glaze and part paint. For the chrome moulding around the upper edge, well, it’s just woden decorative molding first primed white and then spray painted chrome.

The model cars were made by my youngest son and I. They seem to add to the 50’s ambience.


The sign was made of masonite as well and hand painted and lettered.  I did print out the font to help as a guide.  I still get a kick out of it.  The last main element was the diner clock. ( sorry for switching from past to present tense, so much).

I bought the clock at Zellers for around 12 dollars, removed their paper clockface and replaced it with I designed on the computer.

Visit again and in the next post I hope to show you more pictures of the event plus some of the decorations I made,etc

Take care! K

One of the Funnest Things I’ve Ever Done!

The  Fifties Invitation I designed for my wife’s parents with a photo from their special day.

It was 1957 and my wife’s parents chose the perfect year to get married.  I say “perfect” because their 50th anniversary would be 2007 and I was there to share it with them.  Well, not just me , of course , but I had the priviledge and honour to take part.  My wife and I hatched the idea that their anniversary should be a reach back to 1957…a kind of time travel, to bring back the feel and excitement of those days.  I was delighted and thrilled to be left in charge of all those decorating and artistic challenges.

One of the first difficulties we would face was secrecy.  This was going to be a surprise.  I’m sure they suspected that their children and  significant others would mark the day with some sort of celebration but they had no idea to what extent it would pose.  To add to this my Mom -in-Law is an inquisitive person.  She intuitively can tell if something’s “up” and likes to be involved instead of sitting back and relaxing.  We knew however that the element of surprise would make it more enjoyable for both of them.  We did manage to keep it secret and it was a huge success!  In these posts I’d like to share with you some of the ideas and things I did to bring us all back to the fifties.  Please remember that all of the family was involved.  This is just the area in which kevincameronartist got involved and it was one of the funnest things I’ve ever did!

The first step was to come up with a kind of branding that would immediately give guests the idea that we were in the Fifties. One of the basic ways to do this is of course through COLOUR .  Fortunately everyone recognizes those fun ‘ice cream’ colours of powder blue and poodle pink that are reminiscent of the times. 

Next I needed  a sort of logo.  Something could be place on random things such as T-Shirts and other decor. This would be done by creating the idea that we were all in a semi-diner setting- a place that people liked to hang out back in the day.  This project required hours of internet searching and viewing posters, ads, book covers, album covers and anything that was ‘fifties’ , particularly 1957.

I’ll tell you more and show more pictures in the next posts. Below:  Just a handful of pictures I downloaded for research.