After finishing my last blog I realized we hadn’t actually chosen a container! I think I addressed the size portion of an arrangement but now onto the choosing the container and where to find it. First things first. No, you can’t use an old FTD […]
I am a bad listener at times.
Especially, when I think that some action is required from me. I know. Bad listener and self serving! But, over the years, when I have been able to use the excuse, ” I don’t remember hearing that!!??”
Which leads me to my friend Happy’s call and voicemail. Happy is a dear friend from Canterbury Gardens. Happy does more for our community than anyone I know. They couldn’t have The Crew Classic in San Diego without Happy!!She wanted me to do something on Tuesday. Fear struck me!! What does she want me to help her do now? Happy is very active and sometimes it takes a village. Something about a Roadshow and I would I like to come? A friend of a friend couldn’t go had to work. (At this point is when I stopped listening carefullly) I thought it was a mini Roadshow one of Happy’s clubs was putting on. I was wrong. My husband Don told me The Antiques Roadshow in Coronado was the real deal. Happy also called and straighten me out.It was the real Antiques Roadshow. I said YES! Now, what to bring?
This is not Happy’s and mine first experience at the Antiques Roadshow We went in 2001 when it was being held at The Covention Center. That Roadshow was very crowded. The line snaked around The Convention Center and it took forever. I brought an Indian Crow Blanket. I was sure that I had struck it rich. It was orange with flying crows. I cherished it. Over the years I wouldn’t let my family use it as a blanket or anything else. I explained that this was their inheritance. Well, I was wrong. Really wrong. Not Indian but Mexican and I probably could still buy the same blanket in Tijuana for 20.00. The Crow Blanket has lost it’s status and travels frequently to the beach.
I will do better this time!
Happy and I arrived early to beat the parking crowds. We took our places in line. Happy had brought two old books and an old blue Chinese Vase that came from a Great Great Uncle’s voyages to China. Happy was prepared with documentation. I brought a wrought iron utensil rack that my mother was sure was from the 1700’s. Also, I brought a carved fish (had to be Eskimo right?) As a backup I brought a small silver container engraved 1875 and a stainglass makeup jar. (French??) (Possibly, Marie Antoinette’s?) I bought it at my favorite thrift store for a few dollars. We were prepared for a great day and great appraisals.
I really think one of the best parts of The Antiques Roadshow is waiting in line. It is so much fun to talk to all the people in line with us. Lots of paintings, mid century furniture, rugs, lamps, statues and closed boxes hiding secrets.. The people seem to fall into two catagories, those who are there for fun and those who take this very seriously. I prefer the fun people! We chatted everyone up around us and wished them good luck with their appraisals.
When we got inside The Crown Room at the Hotel Del Coronado we were divided into item lines. Paintings, Folkart, Books, Antiquities, Asian Arts etc. It takes awhile to make it through the lines but they are filming the show right in front of us!! It is thrilling!!
Finally, our appraisals. First off, I want to say the appraisers on The Antiques Roadshow have the patience of saints! I watched them closely. They were so kind, when they told most people their stuff must have great sentimental value but not monetary value They all say this. It such a nice way to tell us that we have junk. Happy did pretty well. Her books were worth about 200.00 each. The Great Great Uncle’s Chinese Vase was a 1800’s copy of an earlier vase. It too, about 200.00. My appraisals were a mixed affair. The Wrought Iron Utensil Rack was a 1960’s reproduction from Mexico.(Again with Mexico) Value: Zero. The carved fish was Eskimo but made for the tourist trade. Value: 20.00 to 50.00. The silver dish was actually a Victorian Spoon Warmer. Value: 200.00 The French Stain glass jar actually was Chinese plique a jour jar and 100 years old! Value: 600.00 to 800.00 Hurray!!
Happy and I finished off at The Feedback Booth which we filmed together was a lot fun. I ended up giving a 15 second interview to NPRRadio and an interview to KPBS Facebook too! The Antiques Roadshow from Coronado will air in January of 2019.
If you have a chance to go to an Antique Roadshow go. It is wonderful! There is a good chance you might have a treasure. If not, they will let you down easy.
I hope I don’t look fat on TV.
Keep on Junkin’
Once upon a time, I had a very magical visit to Louisiana. It started off with going to my daughter Jackie’s college graduation from LSU and spending time with her and my two granddaughters, Kaylee age six and Farrah age ten. These are very magical ages for girls. They love Disney Princesses, fairies, and dress up. My kind of girls. Kaylee loves purple and Farrah loves blue. I love pink. We were all so anticipating the new Disney movie, “Maleficent” with the very magical Angelina Jolie. It was wonderful and she was wonderful in it. The girls and I made necklaces and bracelets on stretch cords and had a blast. When they come out to California I going to teach them how to make pendants and fairy pouches to keep their treasures safe and close to their hearts. They will always be my Fairy Princesses and I will aspire to always be their Fairy Grandmother.
As I watched a few fairytale movies (Actually, a lot of them!) I began to notice that magical necklaces were longer. They make a statement. I have a tendency to make shorter necklaces that lay nicely in the bodice. I love to create jewelry to enhance the blouse or bring the focus of the outfit to the face. I never was fond of necklaces that nestle on the chest area. It brings unwanted attention to my boobs, which I could live without! But, a long necklace is dramatic. It elongates the body. They (I don’t know they are?) call a long necklace an opera length necklace. This makes sense to me because opera is dramatic and over the top. Opera length necklaces can be layered with other necklaces and scarves to create even more drama. The perfect example of this was The Chanel Collection a few years back with all the long opera length pearl necklaces layered together. Fabulous..
Well, I can’t afford Chanel and will never buy a fake, so I say let’s make our own magical necklace. Let’s make a list of our supplies first. Any good Fairy knows that you have to get the potion right to create magic. The first question we need to ask ourselves is how long to make this necklace? I start with a piece of string tied around my neck and look in a full length mirror. Every princess has a full length mirror. Remember, there will be a pendant hanging on the bottom of the necklace and we don’t want our pendant hanging in our crotch,! Not magical…
I like to start with the pendant because this is the focal point. Be brave. Teeny Tiny is not dramatic. Teeny Tiny is little. Little never got anyone anywhere, just ask Alice in Wonderland. I have some great pendants. Some of my favorites are actually chandalier crystals. I have gotten them at antique malls and at lamp stores. The pendant I am using in the project had been part of a keyring fob. I took it apart for the pink crystal. The fillagree cap was cheap and uninteresting so, I wrapped it with wire and added three crystal beads. It almost takes on a nest quality now. The next element I used was part of a hinged bracelet to hold the pendant. I bought the bracelet at the local thrift store. It was not difficult to take apart using my jewelry pliers. It probably would of been okay as a pendant focal point if I stopped here but I want MAGICAL! I buy vintage brooches when ever I see them. I never worry if the clasp is broken or if missing stones because I know I can find a use for them. Case in point, this brooch was missing it’s clasp and it was the perfect pink with the pendant. Using wire I wired it to the bracelet hinge and added a pink crystal bead.
The necklace comes next. This is where our string comes in handy to make sure it is long enough. Don’t comprise with drama. Use seed beads or spacer beads to get the length. The beads I am using here are also from the thrift store. These beads started out as a 1950’s or 1960’s double stranded choker perfect for church or lunch. Note: One strand is longer than the other so make sure you make adjustments that make the necklace hang straight, Crooked is not magical unless you are a witch! I attached the necklace to the pendant using o rings and parts of the brass bracelet. I used the original clasp, which was for a double strand necklace so I added chain to balance it off. I used chain from JoAnn’s Craft
Store. I buy old chain necklaces from the thrift stores but I didn’t have the right color of chain.
The spell is complete. A necklace worthy of Fairy Princess or a Fairy Grandmother. This Fairy Grandmother is going to wear her necklace with a Boho skirt and a long t-shirt or a pair of skinny jeans and long tunic top. Have fun. Be dramatic and find your inner princess and play dress up. And, She lived happily ever after….
When I decided that I wanted to do a blog on thrift store shopping I looked online to see what thrift stores they suggested on Yelp. I was so surprised to find that none of the thrift stores that I frequent were not listed. Then I said to myself,”You Dummy, of course they’re not rated by Yelp because everyone who shops at thrift stores wants to keep their favorite a secret!” Actually, I would rather tell you how old I am and how much I weigh than reveal my favorite thrift stores. I don’t need the competition for the goods. Now, don’t go rolling your eyes at my blog because I know it is true!
One of my dearest friends at work asked if she could go thrift shopping with me one Saturday. She had never been in a thrift store and wanted to try it out. She usually shops at Nordstrom’s and this was a big deal for her. I told her to dress in something comfortable, that she could try on clothes over the top of her clothes. I suggested leggings and flats. Bring a small purse and cash. Many thrift stores do not take checks or credit cards. When we arrived at the first thrift store I opened the door and my friend staggered backwards and squeaked “The Smell” Well, she is right most thrift stores smell like dead people (for obvious reasons) and disinfectant used in gas station bathrooms. This is an adventure!! Of course, there will adversity and the smell is one of them. But, fellow junkers, inside those doors lies treasure. Treasure you did not know you wanted or needed but are so happy to take home. PS bring your smart phone to look up prices online.
I head towards the jewelry first, it usually is in the front in a glass case. Because I am sort of an antique dealer and jewelry freak I carry a loupe to check out the marks on the jewelry. You can use a magnifying glass too. Lots of thrift stores have magnifying glasses for you to use. Just ask. Remember, a lot of great jewelry is not marked. But, remember to look at condition. Make sure it is not broken especially the clasp, they can be tricky to fix. Also, behind the desk is usually where they keep their more expensive stuff. Sometimes it is worth the effort to look at it but most of the time no it is not. I like the cheap goods out in the store. Finding them is the thrill that can’t be beat. A lot of the time they keep designer handbags behind the counter too. Most of them are fakes and do not buy them. It is against the law and worse than that it is tacky, really tacky to carry a knock off bag. In a future blog I will interview my niece Megan, who collects vintage Chanel Handbags and works for a very fancy store selling what else? Designer Handbags! She will tell how to spot fakes.
After the front counter I work the perimeter of the thrift store just like the grocery store. Usually, this can be quick and get the layout down. I have a mental list of what I like to look at and you will have yours. I am looking for things to sell, repurpose and keep. Most of my house has been decorated from thrift stores. There are great and usable goods in these stores. Look beyond the dirt and scuffs and see their beauty. I always look for my family too! My brother collects rock and roll records. I always check those out. My husband loves Hawaiian Shirts. Aloha, I have found some great ones. My girls love cashmere sweaters. No problem, they are out there. My boys collect vintage fishing stuff harder to find but I have found it. My one son collects robots and actually that is hard to find. But, I keep eye out for them though. My older son collects leather bound books and those I have found on a regular basis. After finishing the perimeter of the store I go in to the center.
Clothing. The only clothing I will not buy at a thrift store is underwear. Yucky! Well, I might backtrack a little because vintage slips are so damn cute. I went to a very fancy restaurant at the beach and they had framed vintage swim suits on the walls. Fabulous. Yep, they can be found in thrift stores. Look at the men in your life and grab a tape measure and put there measurements in your phone. I keep mine in the pages app. Have you priced a cashmere blazer lately? Not at a thrift store. Remember, it can be altered for a small fee at almost any dry cleaner. It will be our little secret and you will have saved hundreds of dollars. Look for name brands and where they were made. I am partial to Italy. Don’t have a clue about name brands? Take the time to look at Vogue Magazine and GQ Magazine. There is a reason they are called the fashion bibles. I love hand knit sweaters too. Fisherman Knit sweaters that are from Ireland are expensive but not a thrift store!
Linens. I love vintage linens. I collect vintage pillowcases. So cute. I take my time and make sure they are in good condition. Some stains come out with Biz but some stains don’t. I am not that picky but if you are be careful. Measure your table that you get the right size tablecloth. I will write a blog in the future about tablescapes.
Kitchen Stuff. I saved this for last because it is my favorite area. I love dishes. I really love dishes. I have dishes for every holiday. I have bought most of them from thrift stores. You have to be careful with pottery. If it is chipped, bacteria can live in the unglazed chip. Condition is everything with kitchen stuff. Make sure it is food safe. A lot of pots and pans that were coated with teflon has been found to cause health problems. Don’t buy them. Don’t buy utensils with rust. Yucky. Use your common sense.
Finally, Thrift Stores do smell like dead people! Get over it! They don’t make things like they used to and the things they used to make are in thrift stores. The pictures posted on this blog were all found in one day, one thrift store and I will not be telling you where it is either. Go find your own favorite thrift store. It probably is right around the corner
Next blog the Tucson Gem Show!
Act One Scene One Any Estate Sale in America Actors: The same people you see at every Estate Sale in your town. 7:00 am Saturday I am in line for a sale that opens at 8:00am. The above actors are in line ahead of me. […]