Friday, January 27, 2012

Psst, hey you, kid! Wanna buy some junk?

I can hook you up!  

Seriously though, I signed papers today.  As of February 11, 2012, I will be, like, a dealer!  Of the antiques variety (actually vintage-tiques.  Vintiques?).  

I didn't end up going with the Green Shag Market though.  I wish them all the luck in the world, and I love their inventory so far, but I was a little bit afraid of the fact that they're only open Wednesday thru Sunday, and they're brand new, and they close fairly early, and they're not to terribly easy to find, and I would have had to commit to 3 months.

So instead, I went with Kenrick antique mall.  It's not as chock-full of folks with similar aesthetics to mine, not as hip probably, and there are quite a few booths full of stuff that really doesn't appeal to me at all, but it's 5 minutes from my house, it's been around a long time, it's open 7 days a week, and while the booths are $125 instead of $100 a month, they don't require a 3 month commitment, just a 30-day warning before you move out.  Also, the booth is 8'x8' instead of 8'x6'.  Actually, they have half-booths that are 8x4, for only $65/month, but there are none of those available.  I've asked to go on the waiting list for one of those, in case 8x8 ends up being too much for me.  It's located in Kenrick Plaza on Watson Road in Shrewsbury, just west of the St Louis City limits:

It's also not very pretty from the outside, and is in a
suburban-y shopping center, but it's also next-
door to one of my favorite thrift stores.

Most of the down sides I can see to this location can also easily be up sides, though.  While I don't share an aesthetic with some of the other sellers there, maybe that will make me stand out as different and interesting.  And while I'm not a huge fan of the strip-mall type location, and I doubt that young urban folks or unhappy hipsters will mind going there to find treasures (especially since they can check the thrift store next door first) the way that older, more suburban and/or less adventurous types might mind trying to find the other place, in it's mostly-industrial, somewhat obscure location.

The one real bummer I can think of so far is that they apparently don't have a website.  At all!  Sad.  All I can find is 

So, here they are on citysearch, and until I can post lots of glamour shots of my very own booth of awesomeness, here are a couple of pics from Kenrick Antique Mall that my blog-crush Mister Modtomic posted a while back:


Thursday, January 26, 2012

How's that for thrifty?

A co-worker told me today about something he's very excited about, and now I'm kind of excited about it my own self!  Apparently there are some guys in Finland who make movies on the extra-cheap.  These guys crowdsource pretty much the whole thing!  Cool!

Co-worker-man says they made a Star Trek parody or homage or something a few years ago.  I just looked it up for ya - it's called Star Wreck, if you're into such things:

I'm not sure that having seen the most recent Star Trek movie (cause I love Simon Pegg!) and a handful of episodes of the one with the Reading Rainbow guy quite qualifies me to watch that one, but the new one they're doing sounds pretty awesome, if not as awesome as when martians-stole-santa-claus in the 50s or 60s:

The premise of this new film is that in 1945, Nazis built themselves some cool flying saucers and escaped to the dark side of the moon, where they've been plotting all this time, and now they're ready to come back and conquer the world.  How awesome is that?  The kitsch factor alone makes me smile, but then the co-worker showed me the trailer, and it's really quite beautiful.

This trailer is from 2008, but as I understand it the movie wasn't finished until some time in 2011 and the world premier is in February at the Berlin film festival (there are a bunch more trailers and clips and whatnot on youtube and at their site).  I guess they don't have a distributor or anything at this point, but you can go to their website and if you scroll about halfway down the main page you can "demand" it in your neck of the woods, presumably so they can show potential distributors that it would have an audience.  I totally made my demand - needed to make sure St Louis was on their little map, didn't I?  I mean, I get a kick out of the whole idea, but what's more, I couldn't help doing my part to promote such a thrifty endeavor (without spending money, of course).  So there's that managed - probably 3-5 more people in the world will know about their clever film because of me and my little blog. ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pondering a decision...

So I know I made a resolution-type-thing to get a dozen items posted to the Etsy shop by the end of January, but I'm pretty sure I also mentioned that I'm not very good at resolutions, generally speaking, so perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that I am currently considering abandoning Etsy altogether, at least for the moment, in favor of another venue entirely:

The Green Shag Market

Immediately upon returning from Chicago, I spotted a sign for an estate sale that miraculously was still going after 4:00 PM on a Sunday.  So you know I couldn't stop myself.  I had to swing by, at least for a minute.  And I'm glad I did, because I learned of this great new antique mall on Manchester, just east of Hampton Avenue, on the North side of the street.

What's so great about it, you ask?  A few things, actually!  First off, It's an antique mall, and it's new.  I realize all I've done there is repeat myself, but obviously a new antique mall in which to treasure hunt is a very good thing.  Also, they have this big consignment area that they obviously (based on how I found them to begin with) sometimes use to host entire estate sales, which is a very cool thing.  More importantly, they have a lot of stuff already that is more vintage modern than stiff-collared formal antiques or "country cottage" stuff, so it will attract people who like the kinds of things I tend to buy.  Along the same lines, there are already a few booths with vintage clothing, too!  There web site is pretty good, too.  It offers an "Items to Look for" section, with pictures of various items and booths, which I assume is changed regularly, and you can fill out a wish list, as well, which is provided to the vendors so they can keep an eye out for such things, and then you can be notified if an item you've requested shows up in the shop - I think that's a very cool feature!  Booths are very reasonably priced and they are only asking for a 3 month commitment, so my theory is that I could treat it as an educational experience.  If I were to look for a course in retail vintage/antiques sales, if I found that such a thing even exists, it would likely cost that much, wouldn't be a science anyway, and wouldn't carry with it the possibility of paying for itself and/or making a profit, like this will.   Oh, also, the place is almost directly next-door to a fire station.  That's good to be good, right?  So I'm praying about it now, and plan to make a decision this week.  Has anyone out there seen the place, have experience in this area, or thoughts or advice on the subject at all?  I'm very open, and would appreciate any comments, prayers or advice and consider it part of the education! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

They definitely are giants!

I haven't taken any new shots of treasures bought on my trip last week, but I do have for you pictures of a treasured experience.  I woke up late-ish on Sunday, with a slight headache, and not very well rested due to the very loud heater in my hotel room, so I ditched my plans to take a wander around Bloomington before hitting the road, but once on the road it wasn't long before I was off it again running after something shiny that caught my eye.  I've never seen a wind farm up close before, but I've always had a fascination with kites and sailboats and gliders: things that are wind-powered.  I've always thought of them as being directly powered by God, so when I saw a wind farm a little way from the highway (can't imagine how I failed to notice it before!), I headed for the exit, determined to get closer.  There were dozens of enormous white windmills, starkly beautiful in the snow against the cold, clean blue sky.  A small road ran right through the middle of them, and it was chilly, but I had to get out of the car and look around and drink it in and thank God for what a beautiful sight it was.  They were huge - tall, silent and powerful, and the beauty brought tears to my eyes (I'm sure the cold helped a little).  Don Quixote has been a sort of personal hero of mine ever since I can remember, but I had no desire to fight the windmills.  They were giants, but they were so peaceful.  My headache was gone after that, and all the way back to St. Louis I felt how blessed I am.  I was so wrapped up in that calm, contented feeling, in fact, that I forgot to really make any provisions for getting home from the airport after dropping off the rental car, but that worked itself out easily too.  I really did feel like that little visit with the windmills was like a benediction on my day.  No captions, no explanations, I just want to share the pretty with you guys:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saturday of freedom

Saturday was my free day to do as I pleased before skipping back to the 'Lou, and I know, surely everyone's on the edge of their seats wondering what I got up to!

To be completely honest, I didn't get up to as much as I thought I might, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and left plenty to do and see on some other, possibly slightly warmer Chicago wander someday. I had in my head the whole week that I'd like to get to an estate sale or two while in the Chicago area.  I love treasure hunting at estate sales, but more than that, what a fun way to get to see an unfamiliar city from a strangely intimate point of view.   So I checked online and found a couple that sounded like they might be interesting, and was headed in the direction of one of them.  

On the way, though, I stopped at New to You Upscale Resale.  The world "Upscale" in the name was a turnoff, but when I drove by it looked big, and not too much like a lunching-moms' designer castoffs kind of place, so I had hope it wouldn't be too pricey, and for the most part, it wasn't.  

First, a few of the things I left behind:

An adorably homespun sock-and-broomstick horse.

Cool mid-century table lamp - see closeup of the shades below.

The swirly shades are the best part.

Awesome mid century shadowbox mirror thingy.

I love the mirror piece - I imagine it came from the same home as the lamp, as they share the gold and the swirl and the era.  And look - there are my feet, all toasty and dry in my newly thrifted English sheepskin lined boots!

Now for some of what did come home with me (I picked up a few things not shown; this is all I have shots of so far):

Cute little black frame purse - needs dusting.

Pretty gold brocade clutch.  The little faux-pearl on the clasp has
lost some of it's finish, but the brocade is in great shape.

Sweet caramel-apricot satin lining.

Cool souvenir glass.  Love the colors, the font,
the illustration, and the childhood memories of a
family road trip that took me over that very bridge.

Yes, yet another gold clutch, but this one's lovely-
colored lining is actually plasticy, so it would
make a cutely glam makeup bag!

A pair of what I can only think to describe as lanyard-woven bottles from the 50s or 60s.

Cool 60s Hallmark bridge set.

After a pleasant time at that shop, I wandered a little further North and East to the Oak Park area, where I found no treasures, but had the voyeuristic pleasure of looking through a 11/2 story bungalow with tons of character - mostly original looking, except for the kitchen.  The neighborhood was beautiful under a blanket of snow:

Snow makes everything prettier, doesn't it?

Super cool street lights in this neighborhood, complete with icicles.
After wandering up and down a few streets I suddenly came across a vision of awesomeness in bright orange and turquoise stuck on the front of an old frame house!:

Parky's... I don't even know what to say!

Hot dogs and italian beef , and RC cola - didn't even know they still made that !

Every detail of the place was nifty!

I imagine this little wedge of sunshine in a box gets warm in the summer!


Orange and red!
I'm sure it wasn't really true, but it seemed like no two red vinyl and chrome stools were alike; I love that acquired-over-time indication of the history of the place, not to mention that the whole thing seemed so DIY, from the hand-drawn combo-menu signs to the shelf-tables to the whole entire structure just tacked on to the front of a building.  It definitely had the feel of a local institution, so it made me smile to see some of the reviews online when I looked it up later.  Of course I had an Italian beef sandwich to go.  It was tasty!  It was no Adriana's, but then Adriana's is one of a kind.  

I wandered around some inner-suburb areas and a bit of the city for awhile after that, but between the snow and the cold and parking issues, I mostly just drove around looking and making mental notes for a future visit, then I decided to head to the even-more-outer-suburbs than I'd been to thus far, to visit IKEA.  I picked the Boollingbrook location, since it's close to interstate 55.  I thought I might find some organizational inspiration and/or cheap tools for the same.  Instead I found another Goodwill on the way there, where I picked up a few more treasures (pics another time), and at IKEA itself, I picked up some red drawer-pulls that I may or may not use as drawer-pulls, and one of those wire and clip contraptions that I think I will use to hang a couple of vintage aprons on to serve as a treatment for the back window in my kitchen.  I'll also admit to a relaxicating visit to the cafe there for a piece of Swedish apple cake.  After that I decided to hit the road for a bit so the drive home Sunday would be easier.  I ended up spending the night in Bloomington, Il, in a room with a very loud heater.  Pics of the magical world I visited on Sunday in my next installment!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, The Cure style

I hope everyone's having a lovely Friday night.  I know I am!  I finished my class, and went for a wander in a different direction tonight.  Checked out another thrift store, this one on a cool little small-town-mainstreet looking drag in Brookfield.  For the first time on this trip I didn't find anything there I couldn't live without, but it was a beautiful drive, and when I came out of that shop and looked across the street I had to smile:

Wonderland Multivintage - you MUST go to their site and play with the scanner - SO cute!

I walked in the door and I have to say, there's still some truth in advertising.  It wasn't a very big shop, but it was full of wonder.  It was musty, I admit, but it was also packed to bursting with so much stuff it almost hurt to look.  When I went inside, I didn't see anyone at first, then I heard a little voice and out from behind a counter popped an adorable little girl of 4 or 5, and if that wasn't cute enough, she was followed by her even younger sister (I assume), playing among just piles of vintage toys.  You know how you see that stuff sometimes, all pristine in a shop, and it seems like a shame that they're not getting played with and loved by children?  Well this stuff is getting loved!  It may not be pristine, but it's packed with nostalgia.  I didn't stay long, but I did find a treasure!  I assume I purchased it from the girls' dad.  Its still down in the rental car, but here's what I just had to buy for $4.00, in a pic from Ebay, in case you want one too:

Rocket shaped commemorative glass. 
You can buy this one, I think I'll keep mine!

Then I wandered in a different direction because I had it in my head I wanted Chinese food, but I ended up going with my instincts and stopped to have dinner at Marquee Restaurant in Broadview.  It looks like a dump, but that kind of dump that's full of locals and has one of those pie carousels.  I had good luck at a slightly more upscale version of that kind of place earlier in the week (amazing cream of chicken soup at Mother's Day on Cermak), so I gave it a shot.  I was greeted by a very spry old gentleman who seated me with a smile.  As I settled down I heard him talking to a woman behind the counter, I'm guessing in Greek.  Then I was greeted again by a friendly waitress who seemed like she enjoyed her job, like she was among friends there and having a good time.  The menu was nearly as much of a wonderland as the shop I'd been in earlier, so I asked her what to get, and she suggested the pork chops.  It was some sort of special and it came with soup too.  This was also cream of chicken, and it wasn't quite as good as the stuff at Mother's Day, but it came with a whole  plate of little grilled ciabatta rolls, which I like better than soup anyway.  Then the pork chops came and OH MY!  They were cooked Greek-style, with olive oil and lemon juice and they were covered with what I thought for a moment were nuts, but turned out to be big crunchy chunks of roasted garlic!  So that's when I fell in love with a pork chop.  But I could only eat one of them, so the best part is, I have two more to eat tomorrow, and there's a big old piece of lemon meringue pie, too!

So what I'm trying to say is - wander often, and give a dump a chance. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicago is thrifty!

Hey all!  It looks like I'm gonna get snowed on here in Chicago starting tomorrow.  They're saying maybe 8" by Friday - eek!  But that's okay, I've been thrifting, so I'm prepared - check it out!

The tag says "Draper of Glastonbury, Made in England".
They're suede, with sheepskin lining, and they fit like a glove!

I picked these up last night (when the temperature was in the 50s!  It's really been beautiful here so far.) on an after-class thrift jaunt to the Village Discount Outlet in Little Village, which I think might be a neighborhood in the actual city of Chicago, since it sounds like a funny name for a town.  I have enjoyed seeing the bits of the area that I've seen - I've spent a lot of time on Cermak/22nd Street.  My class is just off of it in Oak Brook, my Hotel is just off of it in Westchester, and following it east it becomes a pretty interesting sort of main drag as you get to the more inner suburbs.  I love all the cool signage, and there are lots of hot-dog/italian beef type places and various other nifty restaurants, and lots of discount stores and laundromats and funeral homes and bakeries and whatnot.  Some of the fun signs:

Cermak Plaza Shopping Center had these windmilly things,
obviously fairly new, all around this cool old 50s sign.  Like!

Scatchell's Pizza, Italian Beef, Italian Sausages, Catering, Frozen Lemonade and probably a dozen other things. 

 I love it - it looks like a movie set.

Laundry World!  It's like a carnival for your blankets and things.

Old Warsaw Polish Style Smorgasbord's sign is the best.

Even the address part of the sign looks cool.

 I've had some pretty good thrifting luck on this trip, but other than the boots I brought up to the room in case I need to wear them tomorrow, everything is stashed in the rental car, so no pics of my other treasures, but I can show you phone snaps of some things I didn't buy (because they were too big) at the Salvation Army store in Oak Park this evening:

Funky mod 60s or 70s chrome/cork/etc table.

Very cool shelf/cabinet (that's the sliding doors for the cabinet intact inside).

Super cool 60s abstract painting.  I wanted this, bad.
But it's huge, there are spots of what I can only assume is
mildew on it, and it was $20.  I even asked if I might get a
discount on it, but the manager said no, because it's big.  Huh?

I did pick up a few things there, as I have at each of the thrift stores I've visited so far on this trip.  You know, I think Goodwill is cheaper here than in St. Louis.  Anyway, I better call it a night.  I'll try to post more on the stores and the finds therein soon.  Good night!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Saturday, to celebrate the birthdays of two dear friends, our whole big crew of goofballs went bowling.  The whole idea of bowling is awesome, isn't it?  It's probably not a particularly thrifty activity, but for someone who likes scouring thrift stores for vintage finds, it has quite the retro appeal, even if I'm not good at it.  At all.  I scored 80 points in the game Saturday, and felt good about it.  I even got two spares!  But the real point of telling you all this is to share the pictures!  I posted the pictures of people having fun on Facebook already, but I saved all the kitschy goodness for you all!

The moon through the window of the van on 70 north of
downtown, on the way there.

Crest Bowl, in Florrissant, MO has an awesome
old mid-century sign.  LOVE IT!

And look, the moon made it into that shot, too :)
So you know I had to give him some up-close attention!

Look how handsome he is!

Check it out - a bowl-relièf!

I don't know what the key is to, but I LOVE the keychain!
And look- tiny pencils!  They play a part in the two kitschiest
family activity/sports in the world.  I heart tiny pencils.

Concession stand, and the bar/pool-hall entrance.

Look at all the colors!  Why don't they make
footballs and baseballs in lots of random colors,
with swirls and sparkles and stuff?

The Glow Machine was not old - it's a vending machine
for glow-sticks and whatnot.  But  it LOOKS fantastic.

Cute mural.

I love bowling shoes!  You have no idea the amount of personal
restraint I have had to exercise not to sneak out with them in the past.