Thursday, December 23

 Wishing you and yours the absolute goodness and love of this holiday season!

Tuesday, October 12

Online? Shop? Co-op? Goodwill?

Because the past 3 years have been so consumed with health issues,  the poor blog here has taken a sharp back step. It gets hard to write about "things" when you can only focus on making the ol' body better.  One Day at a Time...  I guess that's the story - find the health and beauty of each day as you move along!

Looking at my sweet storage shed and the office shelves piled thick with vintage goodies is, in all honesty, kind of a perplexion at this stage of life.   As a long time antiques dealer I've counseled many many people over the years about the process of letting go.   Now I find myself trying to counsel .... my self!  Lots of trendy sites and coaches will tell you "get rid of it" if you haven't used it in a year.  Well - I never subscribed to that and I still don't.  Best advice I ever got was from an old time toy train dealer who visited the shop over the years:  store it - they don't eat anything!  It's your 401K.  😀  He was a hoot.

So true and yet as I start to move through the 70s decade, time seems more urgent.  I want to share what I have accumulated in a respectful way.  Selling online has become .... a chore ... as the marketplace giants have really taken the fun out of it.  In 1998 when I started selling online it was exciting to sell to folks around the country.   In 2008 when I started the Etsy shop, it was like people walking into my small town store in Caledonia!  Some came from as far away as Australia!  How fun.

Politics - worldly situations - marketplace regulations - federal and state rule changes and of course covid have changed the platform.  And quickly I came to the other side of 40+ years of business.  So it's time to re-think again.  

The antiques business model has stretched, evolved, shrunk and changed greatly.   Lately I find myself yearning for that cozy old co-op setting where one can touch, smell, and ponder in peace upon the items present.   There is a definitely aura in an antique shop you just can't find anywhere else.  Talk about a life lesson on being present!

If I decide to re-open a local shop, I'll let you know!  Till then - I invite you to come and say hi through the online shop.   

Thursday, September 3

Satan and the Suffragette

A personal favorite from my small collection of early suffrage items.   This is a full page illustration from Collier's The National Weekly and appears in the Easter Number, 1909.  Certainly it was a flair to the incredibly oversized hats of the day ... and mi' lady's frivolous nature.  Oh the thought that the gentlemen could easily win the arguments by mere flattery.  A tempestuous tale!

A Springtime Fantasy - Easter Number

by Wallace Irwin -  Illustrated by F T. Richards,   c. 1909
The Collier's, The National Weekly

Click image for a larger view.

Monday, August 3

American Life Through Catalogs

For the past several weeks I have been reviewing many vintage booklets, catalogs, pamphlets and books in my personal library.  My how they accumulate over the years.  I remember several estate attics with corners stuffed with so many wonderful old catalogs that the floor boards creaked when I hauled them all downstairs!  

These were a staple in American homes in 20th century.  I remember being a teen in the 60s and spending wonderful time going through the pages of mom's JCPenny's and the Sears catalogs.  It was common to have a Spring Summer and then a Fall Winter editions,  What a great way to learn new trends and color schemes for the season.   Two of my favorites, The Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs, are so jam packed with goodies I dare say there isn't a thing you couldn't find in them!  

Sears home shopping catalogSears Spring Summer catalog

 Literally everything from the kitchen sink to the corners of the garage!  I marvel at how much time and money it had to take to produce aa 800 to 1200 page volume twice a year.  And every season - they change.

By 1990, with the ease and excitement of online shopping from the home computer, the catalog excitement surely faced it's demise.   Looking at these volumes now, there is a new appreciation for the story they tell. Perhaps the most striking idea came to me that these are complete encyclopedia's of mainstream American middle class households and life.   Going through a large mail order catalog shows every nuance of color, pattern, artistic style, materials used to name a few. When you start to string together year after year of these editions, it is easy to see the changes most homes and family members moved through.  These massive volumes are great resources for dating collectibles!

1970s colors and prints

home furnishings

With the current trend of megga online shopping stores, I doubt we will see these types of books published again.  I guess that's why I love my vintage treasures.  They really are a stroll down memory lane ... even when the power is off!