Sunday, September 8, 2013

Things I’d be okay with seeing a lot less of in ‘antique’ malls

On several occasions recently, I’ve had the same conversation with a variety of vintage-loving friends regarding the influx of non-antique, non-vintage items being sold in some antique malls.

That’s right. Here comes a rant. Yippee!

Lately I seem to be finding myself in antique malls that are a combination of a small percentage of vintage vendors mixed in with a large percentage of new gifts, toys, collectibles, hardware, crafts, food, and dollar store merchandise. 

 While I’m not opposed to any of those items, I am opposed to them being sold in a shop that calls itself an antique mall.

It would be like going to grocery store for milk and finding the refrigerator section filled with vintage linens.

Or something terrible like that.

My antique mall criteria is pretty flexible -- I’m usually willing to overlook dirt, digging, poor lighting and piles if the price is right. ( And the stuff is old. )

And I also get it when things are beautifully displayed and perhaps a little higher in price because a vendor has taken the time to present their unique finds in an inspiring way. ( And the stuff is old. )

But this? Not so much.

I will now climb down from my (vintage) soapbox and thank you for letting me get that off my chest.

PS Everything you see here I came across in one ‘antique mall’ earlier this week. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

You Are Getting Very Sleepy.

…and when I count to three, you will awaken, open your eyes and remember nothing of the past three months.

Which ought to be pretty easy to do because there hasn’t been anything here to remember.

Hello! How are you?

I. Am. Fine.  Just wandered a little too close to the edge of the internet and fell off for a bit.

Here’s how I’ve been spending my internet summer vacation:

Feeling rustic for Fall. 

Keeping my space at Monticello Antique Marketplace filled and fluffed while looking ahead to the vintage Christmas holidays. Still waiting/hoping to find that big vintage Christmas score out there, somewhere.  An abandoned Shiny Brite ornament factory filled with long forgotten inventory would be ideal.

Which brings us to…

Fortunately I didn't spend an arm and a leg on these.

Yard sale-ing with mixed results.  Is it just me or does it seem as though yard sales are getting less awesome by the minute? Out here in the country, they’re my main source of vintage treasure during the summer months so every weekend I head out with my fingers crossed.

…and then head home with not nearly as much vintage treasure as I had hoped. Where has it all gone? I double-checked and it’s not in my garage.

Well, maybe a little is in there.

Heaven on earth in Alameda, CA

Junking with Ethel.  Earlier this month, she and I made a speedy trip down to the Alameda Antiques Faire (aka The Vintage Mother Ship) in the San Francisco bay area, with many, many stops along the way at antique malls, thrift stores, junk shops and anyplace else that caught our eye.

Currently obsessing over these mini diorama vintage ornaments

Have a wonderful holiday weekend. Missed you!

Monday, May 20, 2013


What started out as a perky update about my antique mall space has somehow morphed into an odd little tribute to one of the items currently for sale there.

Please pardon me while I reminisce about an old friend who was faithful, sturdy and strong, not to mention pretty nice to look at.

We worked well together and even had some banner years.

As they will do, this good friend always supported my projects.

Lots and lots of projects.

And now it’s time for this friend to relax, take it easy and perhaps simply sit in someone's garden. 

I heart funky vintage furniture.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Texas Antiques Week 2013 and what started out as the abridged version but then ended up rambling on a bit

Is it okay if we just pretend that since returning from Texas a week ago, I’ve been mentally processing all that which is Texas Antiques Week and was not bogged down by tedious and boring technical difficulties?

La Bahia Event

I knew you’d understand.

Day One, Stop #1. A random tent on the side of the road.

My most amazing traveling companion*,  Laurie/Magpie Ethel has written THE BEST day-by-day account of our trip, from sweet tea to rolling garbage cans and everything in-between,  starting HERE.

Beautiful display by Marburger vendor J Hill Designs

For me, this trip was first and foremost meant to be an adventure into the junking unknown (cue up theme from Star Trek) and a fact-finding mission for possible future trips. I also hoped to do a little buying for re-selling. And be inspired.

Mission accomplished!

A few of these came home to join my collection

Generally, prices were somewhat higher than what I had anticipated which is what happens when junking 2,100 miles out of my very affordable Pacific NW comfort zone.  I had a bit of sticker shock at first but as a reseller, I also understood why the prices were what they were. 

Not-yet-ironed but terribly affordable.

I confess I didn't understand the $125 very-nicely-ironed-but-nothing-I-hadn’t-seen-before vintage tablecloths. Ouch.  

Luckily, I found plenty of tablecloth bargains. 

Why we kept the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on our hotel room door. 

There were definitely deals to be found, especially toward the end of the week when the “50% Off Everything” signs started appearing and in the end I had no trouble at all filling two suitcases. 

To. The. Brim. (Thank you for the suggestion to nest one suitcase inside a larger, empty suitcase on the trip there – worked like a charm).

Good grief, I'm tall.

One of the absolute highlights of this trip was meeting my longtime junking idol, Sue of Vintage Rescue Squad.  It was a thrill to compare notes about junk, reselling and blogging, in person.  

Enamelware bought to resell.

I really do heart the internet all over again when it makes connections like that possible.

Out in left field. 

Sue, Laurie and I shopped the fields one day and I’m not sure which was more interesting … the shopping or watching what each of us gravitated toward.

Overall, I would give the entire Antiques Week experience 5 gold stars!

Marburger vendor A Wilder Place in Time

Would I go back? Of course!  Want to go too? Let’s make a plan for next year!!

*I could not have asked for a better or more compatible traveling / junking companion. Every single day we marveled about how well it was going and we were together, literally, 24/7 which included minimum 12 hours days of driving, junking and eating.  Thank you, Ethel.  You’re a peach. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A little hodge mixed in with some podge

For some reason, I want to say mod podge even though I mean hodge podge.

It’s possible I have a mild case of Craft Brain.

This little vintage camera was purchased while on a recent non-junking trip.  (and yet, the junk still found me)

That’s right, I do my souvenir shopping at Salvation Army thrift stores.

And I needed a cheap suitcase. Somehow the things I brought along on the trip multiplied or expanded or exploded but in any case, another suitcase was required for the return trip.

It was good practice for Texas.

There’s some mini-purging going on around here.

When a drawer hasn’t been opened in so long that I don’t know what’s in it, it’s time.

A recent shot of my mall space at Monticello.

Do you see the ‘swan’ decoys? I found those on my junk trip to the Oregon Coast.

They remind me of what an odd assortment of stuff has taken a ride in the back of my car over the years.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve uttered the phrase ‘Doily Factory’ here but at long last the cobwebs have been removed, scissors sharpened and fabrics sorted and I do believe my sewing dry spell is over.

If you’re in the Portland, OR area this weekend, don’t forget to check out Plucky Maidens Junk Fest! I’ll be there shopping the junk on Sunday.

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Even the road trips are big in Texas

Not to get too philosophical here but is a road trip still a road trip when there’s an airplane involved?

After a couple of years of discussion and reading about other’s adventures there, we decided this year was the year to see it for ourselves.

Next month, Magpie Ethel / Laurie and I are grabbing the biggest, emptiest suitcases we can find and heading to the Junking Promised Land known as Round Top, Texas (and beyond)! 

Here’s the deal: Between Austin and Houston there’s a series of small towns, Warrenton, Round Top, Carmine, Shelby & Fayetteville to name a few, where thousands of antique & vintage dealers from all over the country come to sell.

And in between those towns are even more towns with more antique shows, shops & vintage events happening. From everything I’ve read, there is more to see than is humanly possible.

More than humanly possible.  Wheeee!

We toyed with driving the 2,000+ miles (and that’s only one way!) from Oregon to Texas, but that would have allowed for zero stops other than gas and sleeping (unless we wanted to be away for a few days weeks months) and I don’t know about you but Ethel & I, we like to stop.

To junk.

Eventually we came to our collective senses and decided for our inaugural visit we will fly to Texas, rent a car and then head for the hills, fields, shops and tents filled with junk, patiently waiting just for us to discover it.

And now, this junker turns to you for advice, suggestions, directions, things to see & do, things to definitely avoid, places to eat and anything else you might think of to share with us.  I thank you in advance.

As Ethel has been saying to me for weeks now, YEEHAW! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

If you pile it, will they come?

I’ve been thinking a bit more about the look of a filled-to-the-brim antique mall space and it makes me wonder if I can be maximizing the real estate in my own little mall space even more?

On one hand, I want there to be plenty of things for a shopper to browse through.

On the other hand, I prefer said shopper not be crushed or lose an eye when a sketchily-stacked mountain of rusty and splintery vintage stuff topples over.

It’s a fine line.

So I’m making a decided effort to really, really (really) fill my space and see if more sells when there’s more to choose from or if it turns into a can’t-see-the-trees-for-the-forest scenario.

Yesterday I learned what selling an item from a packed space means for the fine folks who work at the antique mall where I sell.

Just as I had finalized a total overhaul / rearrange,  a wooden bench that was piled high with a cabinet and shelves (both of which were filled with thousands if not millions of little items) sold ... which meant all that piled junk had to come down in order to extract the bench.

The bench came out and then I started piling it up all over again.

Despite the required re-foof, I’m always happy when something sells and I learned the bench was purchased to be used on the set of Grimm which is filmed in Portland, OR.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!