Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New roommate, more garage shopping, plus an announcement

It's been a long and very busy week for me (because of my work and life schedule, I tend to think of Monday as my Saturday, so the week is just ending for me).  It was a day of 4 12+ hour workdays in a row, including Saturday night when I didn't get home from work and picking up the church van until almost 11:00 PM, and Sunday I was busy from 7:00 AM until almost 11:00 PM again, not to mention the fact that a roommate moved in this week.  Meet Mary Poppins, who is currently engaged in a death match with my tablecloth, but is otherwise practically perfect in every way!:

Mary Poppins is a very young mommy rescued from a farm.  She has been
fixed and litter trained, and has moved in to my house in the city.  
Her babies
are finding homes at the Kirkwood Animal Hospital, if you're interested.  And
yes, I'm even thrifty about this.  She was free, from a friend at work whose sister
owns the farm on which she had her 9 kittens (she's not even a year old herself!) 

I feel bad for Mary Poppins that she moved in during a week I've been home so little, but we're bonding in fits and starts, and she's been a very good girl - no broken treasures, no litterbox-related incidents, and I'm very hopeful that after awhile I will adjust to her dander and stop being allergic to her cute self.  I am currently having a blast saying things like "Aw, Mary Poppins is chasing her tail", but when I talk to her I usually call her Poppy, except when I'm singing to her "It's a Jolly Holliday with Mary", which I can't seem to stop doing.

Oh, and look - I may have figured out why I needed the cool old chicken-housey thing I got a couple of weeks ago:

Mary Poppins' new house?

Anyway, as you can see, it's been an awfully busy week, and I'm still on a no-thrifting diet at the moment, so I had to shop the old garage for items for the booth again this week, but I'm pretty sure it's all stuff I've never posted before:

4 small smoked glass ashtrays?  Change trays?  I love love love the monorail one!

Royal Haeger Aztec Gold vase in a fun atomic shape in shiny, shiny gold.  So glamo-funky!

Pair of pretty embroidered napkins.

I had a matching kitty in the shop, but somebody already snapped her up.  If you're reading
this, kitty buyer, there's now a matching pup, albeit in less awesome shape than she was.

Two teacups and a sugarbowl from the Anchor Hocking Rainbow Glass collection.

Glasbake casserole.  Don't know the name of this cute pale green pattern.

I added several other items that I apparently failed completely to photograph, but here's how the booth is looking now:

See all those hats and purses and awesome vintage clothing?  if you're anywhere near St Louis, you might want to hop on over to the 2ndhand Moon Facebook Page for an announcement on an exclusive sale on all clothing and accessories!

And don't forget to check out all the great linkups I'm linking to:

Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday, Cap Creations Thrifty Love Link Party, Her Library Adventures Flea Market Finds, and Me and My Shadow's Magpie Mondays.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cheapskates' Paradise, part the 4th

If you've been following along at home, you may recall that my satisfaction at learning that Kipplinger's online had named my hometown the top pick for cheapskates has lead to the only real ongoing series of posts I've ever done, unless you count droning on endlessly about my booth at Kenrick Antique Mall or bragging on my thrifty finds as series, but since that's pretty much all I do most of the time. I don't think that counts.  Anyway, you can find previous Cheapskate Paradise posts, in which I wax poetic on the topic, here:
Part 1: Didja Hear About the 'Lou?  Reaction to the news, plus the St Louis Zoo.
Part 2: Cheapskates' Paradise, Part Deux!  The St Louis Art Museum, aka SLAM.
Part 3: Cheapskates' Paradise Junior-Junior A trip to the county: Laumeier Sculpture Park/Poweder Valley.

And now we arrive at part 4 of my cheapskate love affair with my home town.  Today's topic? 

The St Louis Science Center!

Now, like the Zoo and the Art Museum, the St. Louis Science Center is also situated in Forest Park and is also - and you can sing along if you know it by now - Free To The Public (dun-DUN!).  It started out as a single, spectacular building on the South side of Forest Park - the McDonnell Planetarium.  An architectural gem on par with our gorgeous Gateway Arch, if you ask me (I love the crispness of the sweep of white against the sky), it was designed by Gyo Obata, who was later, not coincidentally, chosen to design the National Air and Space museum in DC (also free admission, by the way, but we got the better design for ours!):

The James S McDonnell (yes,of McDonnell-Douglas) Planetarium - sleek!
Other buildings were later added on the South side of highway 40, on Oakland Avenue, with an enclosed bridge linking the two (where you can look down on cars racing by, and even clock their speeds). 
The main building.  Image borrowed, oddly enough, from NASA.gov, here.

There are over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space, and much-to-most of it offers hands-on experiences to engage the visitor.  You can, for example, learn building/engineering principles in the Structures gallery, including building a replica of the Gateway Arch from soft blocks (an exhibit that's helpful for kids who are afraid of a trip to the top of our tallest national monument - they'll learn what makes it so strong!).  You can also marvel at the cheesiness of the giant animatronic dinosaurs, check out fossils and watch lab types perform science-y goodness for your enjoyment.  Also, you can design your own fish, which is kind of adorable, try out flight simulators, and play around with dozens of other cool exhibits all for free! And if you are lazy, tired, easily amused or probably also if you're one drugs, you could just watch the giant rube goldbergian Energizer ball machine for an hour or so:
One section of the enormous contraption, from the 2nd floor after hours.

Parking in the main lot does cost, but there is free parking available.  And if you simply must spend your hard-earned pennies, you can spend them on:

Planetarium or Omnimax shows, the Discovery Room (great for the smaller kiddies), or Lego MindStorms.  You can also fork over some dough to ride a Segway around the joint, enjoy whatever big travelling exhibition is on at the moment, or to raise a fork at the concessions.  But I've been going to the Science Center for years, and have yet to shell out for any of that, and it's still fun every time!

It's especially nice this time of year, when kiddos are off school and temperatures are outdoorsiness-limiting.  Tons of activities to keep the kids entertained for hours without making a dent in the pocketbook - nice! 

And beyond that, I wanted to get a post on the Science Center out around now because of two big bonuses currently in place to bless your cheapskate soul:

If the temp outside is over 95, tickets to the main exhibit, and to any Omnimax show go for only $5.00 a pop - what a fun way to beat the heat!

A great one for grownups who want to get their awe on.  On the first Friday of the month, the Science Center gets jiggy after hours, with discounts to the exhibits, free music, cheap Omnimax shows and Segway rides, free Planetarium shows and public telescope viewings, and at 10:00 PM, a free viewing on the Omnimiax screen.  August's First Friday freebie will be Batman:

The campy 1989 version - 40% less angst!

That's the main reason I wanted to get this post out now - First Fridays is a blast.  I went last month, which is why the above picture of the Energizer ball machine seems empty and dark.  I had to work until 9:00 pm, so I missed most of the festivities but I got there in time for the most important thing.  Last month's free Omnimax showing was of my very favorite 2-parter of Doctor Who: The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances.  

The only thing better than The Doctor is The Doctor, Omnimax sized.  See how happy it made my friends?
There's apparently a Doctor Who fan club in the 'Lou who turned out complete with Doctors 10 and 11!  I was way too shy to speak to them, but plenty creeper enough to snap a photo or two from afar:

11th Doctor had the look down pat.
10 was less convincing to look at,
but you should've seen him do the walk!
They cleverly chose this 2-parter as a tie-in, as the story features prominently some sub-atomic critters.  Fits nicely with the current summer exhibit: Amazing Nano Worlds, about nanotechnology.

I had a wonderful time last First Friday.  Check it out for yourself next weekend.  If you do, let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family time

The other day, my Parents and I paid a visit to my Dad's Aunt and Uncle next door to my Great Grandmother's old house.  So how did we get there?  Via the Mother Road, of course!

On our way to Steelville, Missouri, we planned to stop for lunch, so when we saw the signs for Missouri Hick BBQ (or Bar-B-Q, or Bar-B-Que - it's spelled all 3 ways on the main page of their website, which I just looked up to see what their "correct" version was!), we naturally followed them off highway 44 and onto the real, old Route 66 near Cuba, MO, a self-described "mural city" with lots of great nostalgia to recommend it.  While the prices weren't overwhelmingly thrifty at Missouri Hick, they were reasonable, and the food was tasty and plentiful (I had the brisket, which was tender and tasty even without sauce or seasoning).  My corn on the cob was a little soft, but I enjoyed everything else.  They have 5 barbecue sauces on the table to choose from.  My favorite was the honey, but it was even better when mixed with a bit of their original sauce.

The food was plentiful, but that plate may be a slight
optical illusion.  Still, look - you get your own onion stalk!

The place itself was not vintage, but included vintage and rustic elements in fitting with its name, and was quite nicely done:

Stone and rough-hewn cedar staircase - lovely!

Yes, the table base is an old singer sewing machine base.
The treadle still worked on ours, likely this one as well.

Mom and Dad enjoying the handmade bench out front.  How cute are they?

I only just recently learned of the existence of an old Route 66 motel in Cuba that has been restored to it's former glory, and while if I had been on my own I'd have made a point of looking for it, on a day when we had a plan and a destination, the most I was hoping for was to catch a glimpse of the old neon sign.  So imagine my surprise when, after lunch, we found that the Wagon Wheel Motel was right next door!

The station/cafe (now motel office and gift shop).

One of the "cabins".  

Fabulous sign! 

According to the history on their website (see link above the pictures), the buildings were built with stone from local farms.  How cool is that?  But we were in a hurry by then, to pick up a cake to share and get on down to visit Aunt Grace and Uncle Gerry.  In fact, you may be able to tell by the shadows, these pictures were taken after our visit, not right after lunch.  But this next one was:

Cuba Bakery & Deli.  As it turns out, they only bake cakes to order, so we weren't able to
get one here, but next time we'll know to call ahead!

We did find a cake at the local supermarket, though, and finally got down to the business at hand of visiting!  Grace is my Grandma's sister.  She and her husband Gerry have always been such a sweet, fun couple.  Gerry's having a hard time these days, but Grace seems to be getting along really well, and when, while catching up on our various lives, she learned about my booth at the antique mall, she happily showed off for me some of her own vintage treasures, which I was more than happy to gawk at!

This fabulous lamp I actually started gawking at
the minute I walked in the door.  It's gorgeous in person!

Grace's treasures - a lovely dancing couple.

This pretty lady didn't have a dance partner,
but she looked like a perfect southern belle.

Stunning peacocks, and some cute brass animals.

A butter-warmer for your lobster.

Wall-mounted tropical birds.

This one Grace had labelled on the back so she wouldn't forget.

It's real vintage, not a repro -purchased at the
Chicago World's Fair by someone in the family.

And as a grand finale, Grace showed off her wonderful kindness and generosity, and passed on to me a planter Grandma Barbara (my great-grandmother) had owned.  It's so ornate and lovely:

Grace says you can tell it's old because the gold bits are so thick.

Now, the only plants I've managed to keep alive thus far in my life are the riot of aloe vera on my kitchen windowsill that all grew out of one overgrown pot of the stuff I picked up at an estate sale for fifty cents.  Somehow I do not think this is an aloe vera sort of planter!  I'll have to think of something special for it.  All I have to do now is be very, very careful not to break it, so I can think of Grandma Barbara and her amazing 100 year life whenever I look at it.

And I'll leave you with this shot of a portrait of Aunt Grace and Uncle Gerry from long before I was around to know them:

Can't you just picture these two hanging out with William Powell and Myrna Loy?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shopping my garage

My friend Beth came with me yesterday afternoon to check out the booth and see what I might have room to fill in, and I was So Very Excited to see that this 3-piece set of blue vintage luggage had sold:

Which left me with quite a lot of floor space it had previously been taking up.  And since I'm on a thrifting moratorium, we went to what is arguably the best thrift store in town at the moment: my garage, where everything is free, since I bought it already!  I buy vintage luggage semi-obsessively, I'll admit, but it's been a really good seller for me, as well.  I believe that since mid-February I have sold 5 suitcases, 2 train cases, a leather satchel, an army-style messenger bag, a small overnight travel bag and, also this past week, the Pringles duffle bag:

So, with a suitcase-sized space emptied out on the floor, I found no reason not to replace it with more suitcases!  A pretty green one with a cool trapezoidal handle and another leather-ish Samsonite, of somewhat better quality than the one that's already there, also with the included hangers and whatnot still inside (not pictured - I didn't have my camera along yesterday, so these are all quick phone shots:

The one on top was already there, the other two are new to the booth.

The picture doesn't do this one justice - white vinyl
overnight bag with red trim - very clean and bright.

Cute Mickey Mouse knapsack, possibly 60s?  I can't find a match online.

And, because they were being stored inside of some of the bags, and because my little book/record shelf wasn't really intended to display purses, I added a bunch more books.  Children's books as well as craft, cook, gardening and fashion books from the 50s 60s and 70s.  Here are a few of them:

Books, books, I <3 books!

Project Cat, about a group of kids in a housing project befriending a stray cat, is a great one, and we found cutouts from the St Louis Post Dispatch from 1972 in the Vogue Sewing Book:

The other sides of these two clippings from May 12 and November 16 have sewing tips on making a mandarin collar and sewing fake suede, respectively.
I had no idea when these movies came out, but lets be honest.  If, 40 years from now, some random person were to come across two totally random clippings from a current newspaper of movie ads that were actually clipped for the information on the other side of the page, do you think they would find 4 movies out of 5 that they totally knew all about?  I'll admit I've never sat all the way through Deliverance or Funny Girl, but I know exactly what they are, and I bet you heard the little banjo riff from Deliverance in your head the minute you saw the ad, didn't you?  Ok, well I did.  I'm afraid to even Google "Dirty Little Billy", so I'll leave that one a mystery, and the name is cut off of the one at the bottom, but as it has Peter O'Toole and Alastair Sim both in it it's got to be something called The Ruling Class, where apparently Peter O'Toole's character thinks he's Jesus (thanks IMDB!)

No idea what to do with these little bits of ephemera, but it was such a fun find!  I did snatch them out of the book to keep, in case anybody has any ideas!

And, to round out the Garage Shopping, Beth found this cowboy hat in one of the bags, which now graces the booth as well:

It's very small - size 6 3/4 if you have a little head!

It turns out, shopping the stock I already have is almost as fun as hunting down new treasures, since my prodigious disorganization makes all things new again!  Which is good, because I need to keep doing it awhile longer.  How about you - finding new treasures?  Rediscovering old ones?

I'm linking up again:
Her Library Adventures Flea Market Finds, Me and My Shadow's Magpie Mondays, Cap Creations Thrifty Love Link Party  and Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday.  Don't miss all the great finds!

And an announcement will be coming soon on the Facebook page about a big sale on vintage clothing in the booth with exclusive first dibs to Facebook followers, so go Like the page!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Introducing the competition

It's been a little over five months now since the snowy February morning that I made my wide-eyed debut peddling my vintage wares in booth 78 at Kenrick Antique Mall, and since then, to be honest, I haven't met many of my fellow vendors.  In fact, I've yet to meet the one I'm about to introduce to you all, at least in person.  But when her booth popped up shortly after mine, I felt like I knew her, or at least like she'd be a fun person to know. So of course I I had to stop for a good look.

A snap I took of the booth shortly after I first spotted it.
I wish my walls went all the way up like that!
Our styles were similar.  We both stock vintage rather than serious antique items, generally from the 40s-70s.  We both seem to have an affection for cheery colors, toys and a bit of kitsch, and we both sell crewel work and vintage luggage, but right from the start she was brave and savvy in a few ways I'm still not yet.  This booth sold furniture, brought vintage pieces new life with bright, glossy paint and, cleverly (now you know my inspiration for finally getting 2ndhand Moon on Facebook) engaged in branding.  The booth was, adorably, called "Jack Loves Fronie".  The kind of name that sticks in your head.  So I asked my good friend Google about it, found the Facebook page and sent a message.  

We've swapped stories a bit since then, and found a few more things in common, and almost from the beginning I thought how fun it would be to do a little profile here on the blog - to share with you guys what awesome (and friendly!) competition I have for your interest when you wander the aisles of our mall.  So I finally got around to it, and now you get to meet Rachel Mowrey, proud proprietor of booth 12 at Kenrick Antique Mall.  Here's her smiling face now, with two of her adorable children:
How exactly does a mom of 3 manage to also keep up with an antique shop?
The one question I didn't ask her - every superwoman has secrets to keep!

I did send Rachel a list of questions, and here are her answers, interspersed with pics she supplied of some of her favorite items you've already missed the chance to snap up - her favorite sales!

How would you like to introduce yourself? What should readers know about you?

I'm Rachel. I'm the wife of an amazing guy, mom to three sweet kids and a graphic designer who finally realized it's ok to shop at thrift stores! I'm hooked and always feel like there's a treasure out there waiting to be found!

Gold-striped coffee carafe
Golden hearts Pyrex dish

I love your booth - you have a fun, lighthearted retro vibe. How would you describe your style? Where does it come from?

I'm starting to grow into my style, I'd say. It's definitely unstuffy, retro and eclectic. My philosophy has been, if I like it, somehow it will fit. I am drawn to mid century, but not always modern. I love pattern and color and like to pair things that don't belong in the same style family or era. I like to think of our home as my constant art work in progress!

I credit my style to my grandparents (the shop is named after them: Jack + Fronie...short for Florence), though I doubt they would take credit! I always loved the style I saw in faded photos from their youth and my mom and uncle's childhood. There was something so alluring about the 1950s and 60s...almost like a dream. Visiting my aunt and uncle's house and seeing their nostalgia on display and hearing their records constantly turning created a spark in me.

Damask chair
Fun blue floral chair

Have you always been interested in 'old junk'? What got you started?

I have always been interested in old junk! It's funny to think that it's always been in me, but as I grew older, I didn't feel the freedom to explore. As a child, I would collect small trinkets and hide them in a bottle with a corked lid and tuck it away. I'd forget about it and then, when I would discover it months later, I'd spend an hour pulling each trinket out and savoring the memory or beauty of it. As a teenager, I always preferred shopping at thrift stores but my family couldn't understand why I'd ever want things that had been used by someone else. It took hitting my thirties to realize that I'm not the only one into this sort of idea and that, actually, it's a really helpful outlet for me to express myself creatively!

A trio of kitschy big-eyed owls - so cute!

And a pair of chi-chi fancy peacocks

What's the first vintage item you remember acquiring? Do you still have it?

The first vintage piece I remember acquiring would be an old 1940s hat. I started collecting them around age 8 or 9. But a fonder item would be a rusty, vintage Clash of the Titans lunch box I got at a flea market and took my lunch to school in faithfully my junior and senior year of high school.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened to any of those things!

Big, bright, pretty crewelwork basket of flowers.

What's the best treasure you've ever scored? 

The best treasure I ever scored was a 1960s Plycraft Mr. Chair off Craigslist. It wasn't listed for sale but I saw it sitting in the background of someone's garage and got them to sell it to me for a song. It needed reupholstering, which I never ended up getting around to, so I resold it and now it resides with Mr. Modtomic who recovered it himself!

The (envy-worthy) chair itself, after Mr Mod's
ministrations (photo linked to his awesome site).

What sorts of things insipre you?

I'm easily inspired, I think. I love small towns and movie theaters, where it feels like time has not passed by too quickly. I love little details, soft light in the evening from a great old lamp, the comfort of quiet habits like cups of coffee in my favorite mug in the morning (or afternoon). I love seeing how other people take old things and give them a new spin, though, most often, I find the original beauty of things even better. As a design major, I can't avoid saying I appreciate beautiful typography, poignant photography and great illustration. But most of all, I am inspired by that sparkle in my family's eyes that comes from me thinking of them and creating spaces that makes them feel cozy and cared for!

Bright, fun, funky luggage.
Saucy electric blue mirror.

Where do you usually find your treasures? Any secrets to share with other vintage lovers like yourself?

I find most of my treasures out thrifting. My favorite spots are any of the Value Villages, Goodwills or Salvation Armies. I hit St. Vincent DePaul off South Kingshighway a few times a week since it's near my house. Most of the really great stuff comes from estate sales, but I don't often get the chance to do estates much. My biggest treasure trove is small town shopping, usually when I visit my mom in northeast Missouri. Things are much more affordable there and I stock up on lots of inventory when I travel to that neck of the woods!

Pretty buttery sofa
Dramatic red velvet sofa

Can you believe all the fabulous stuff Rachel has already sold?  But don't worry, there's still plenty for you, if you've missed out so far!  Here are a few of the items that stood out to me when I took a peek at the competition the other day:
Round suitcase
Cute toy piano!
Pretty cookware - Fire King?
Adorable bright cups/saucers

And here are some pictures Rachel provided to give you an idea of how her booth looks and what's for sale now:

Love the mushroom/butterfly wall hangings!
Great stuff on a great shelf!

The whole big lovely booth - isn't it fun?  You know you want to check it out!

 So now that you know all about my competition, why don't you come down to Kenrick Antique Mall on Watson Road in Shrewsbury and check us both out?  Rachel's booth, Jack Loves Fronie, is booth # 12 at the end of the first row as you walk in, and the 2ndhand Moon booth, #78 is about 2/3 of the way back on the east side of row 3, and both are chock full of goodness just waiting for you!

And don't forget to check out the Facebook pages:
Jack Loves Fronie and 2ndhand Moon