Monday, December 27, 2010

the sweet life

It's a horribly cold day, with a mountain of snow outside.  I'm inside, warm and busy, and my honey is upstairs happily sawing away at his violin.

Life is good.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

an eager beaver

And it's a candle holder/candlestick!!

No, not the beaver, silly.

The thing he's gnawing at.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

intern news

Our slightly hard-working intern Ivy Spivington (originally I called her 'Ivy Spivey'  She recently corrected me, saying the surname is Spivington, pronounced 'Spy-vington.'  Got that?) went in for a common kitty procedure last week, which will prevent her from bringing more kitties into the world.

A world bursting with kitties would be a wonderful, wonderful thing, but only if said kitties all had good homes, which is not the case currently.

Hence, the surgery.

She's back to work and doing very well.  She fervently hopes that you will -- if you can -- provide a good home for a deserving kitty who may be without one.  Your local shelter probably has several for you to choose from.  

Is you is, or is you ain't...

a golf nut?

Found when I was idly strolling the upscale cousin of MVFTS.*

Those there graphics are embroidered onto the sweater.  Here's another sweater with embroidered critter that I found not long ago:

 Neat, huh?  

Why don't they make stuff like this anymore?

It's not like we wouldn't fill our sweater drawers with it.

Am I right?

Of course I am.

*Check earlier posts for what MVFTS stands for.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Which is why you need a coat.

Something like an authentic circa 1970 tapestry coat, perhaps?

Art Nouveau...

in brooch form!

This is in such mind-bogglingly fine condition it makes me wonder if it ever left its original jewelry box.  

I only wish I could have gotten a photo that would do it justice.  In person it's about four times as attractive.


I just love anything this colorful.  

How neat would they look on a summertime table?

They're old Made in Japan.

But then, I'm sure you knew that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This has nothing to do with that Lucy, or any Lucy.  It's LUCITE

My colleagues in the biz call cabochons 'cabs' and occupied Japan 'OJ.'  Why not call lucite 'lucy?'

As in "I got this really cool reverse-carved lucy brooch.  And it's not flowers like most of the others you've seen.  It's sailboats!  How cool is THAT?"


Sunday, November 28, 2010

These boots were made for walkin'

And that's just what they'll do.

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you!

Are you ready, boots?

Start walkin!!

It's been a great month for boots finds.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Night of a Zillion Rhinestones

This cuff bracelet is a recent auction find -- from a boxlot fulled to the brim with a bunch of other fantabulous vintage bling.

Also in my Etsy emporium. 

from the Carmen Miranda collection

It's fun, AND it's fruity.

Another Quaker City Flea find!!!


For the sartorially aware gent, enjoy this exceptional wooden tie-rack thingie, which also has a box dealie in the back for a brush.

Perfect for getting in touch with your inner boulevardier.

Another fabulous find from our fair city's eminently dumpy, frequently dissed Quaker City Flea Market.


Bought this gorgeous Ukrainian vase from an actual Ukranian last week at Quaker City Flea Market.  It is so heavily lacquered, you'd swear it was pottery, but it's actually wood. 

I put it on Facebook, and my brother -- who's interested in all things Russian and Russian-related -- emailed me five minutes later asking if the guys in the boat were Varangians.

My email to him: What's a Varangian?

What followed was a brief lesson in medieval and early Renaissance Ukrainian history, to wit:

"The (Varangians were) Vikings who gained a foothold in the Ukraine. They eventually become the rulers, the Rurik Dynasty af the Kievan Rus, and then Galicia-Volhynia until the 14th and Muscovy until the 16th century. The last Tsar from the Rurikid dynasty was Fedor I, who died in 1598."

This from a guy who spent his formative years on the couch munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while watching the Hawaii 5-0 reruns and screaming at the TV, "Book 'em!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So, boys and girls, dig this if you can: I was noodling around in my car eating drive-through when I got the idea to hit the Sal on Rising Sun Ave.

Now, that Sal hasn't been worth my time in years, but look at what I found this time:

A totally fantastic 100% inlaid wood lamp, circa 1935 or so.

Unbelievable condition and yes, it works!

They also had this eye-popping ultra-colorful Italian lamp - cherubs, flowers, devils and probably 20 other things, but there was some unforgiveable wear, plus the price was 2.5 times what this cost.

Which was practically nothing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I say yer yella!

A fantastically shabby chic yellowware bowl, but with chips on the rim.

Got it at an auction a few weeks ago, and then almost immediately regretted it, thinking 'Who's going to buy a bowl -- even an antique yellowware bowl -- with this much wear?"

I took the pictures, but then let the bowl sit on the living room floor for three weeks.

I finally broke down on Tuesday and listed it on Etsy.  It sold less than an hour later.


It's completely bearable.

A recent find from the upscale cousin* of MVFTS (aka My Very Favorite Thrift Shop).  Some manly man type would probably love this for Christmas or his birthday or the first day of hunting season.

*Here's the recent story of MVFTF: For a few years they had four stores in town, located in the worst possible neighborhoods.  Each store offered a chance to a) get your car vandalized or stolen, and b) find a find worth hundreds of dollars for less than five bucks.  Over the last five or six years, they've closed three of them.

Then they rented space at an adjoining site to the Big Mall (if you're local to the City of Bothersome Love, you know the one I'm talking about) and instead of keeping the name of the chain, gave it a hoity-toity retailey moniker.  It has decent lighting and somewhat safe parking, and almost all the employees speak basic English, but the mind-boggling, life-changing finds are extremely sparce there.  I was lucky to find the bear.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Isn't she lovely?

An old bisque rendering of a famous bronze by J. Morie.  I haven't seen it, but I can't imagine that the bronze version as anywhere near the personality and appeal of the ceramic version. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

kitty coffee break

OK, OK, I understand that even an intern needs a break every now and then.  I'm down with that, OK?

But what's with the naps?  And I'm not talking one 5-minute power nap, I'm talking seven or eight naps lasting up to an hour or more.  How could anybody sleep that much on all that coffee??

And don't get me started on her "work" habits.  If she's not napping, she's playing silly games like trying to hide one or more of her limbs and having me freak out, thinking they fell off or something.  Like in the photo, it looks like two of her legs are MIA.  But they're not, OK, because I checked. 

a gentleman caller...

... has come with flowers for you.  Will you accept?

my new intern

Now that she's capable of doing things other than eating and sleeping and purring, little Ivy is interning with me to help get my antique and untique finds to the market more efficiently.  

Above shows her going through the bags from Sunday, which will help me prioritize what should be looked at first. 

She will also be working in the area of materials testing, i.e. which fabrics are impervious to her attentions and which are not; and determining which ceramic materials can be swatted off of my desk and remain intact. 

If you have an idle kitten at home, I would encourage you to register him or her in some sort of work-related program.  It's good for their intellectual development, and it increases the likelihood that your kitten will some day learn a measure of self-control, something that is very difficult for today's over-coddled (and over-cuddled) kittens.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

a great GREAT weekend of buying

Saturday I found some FANTABULOUS barkcloth at the Golden Nugget Flea Market in Lambertville.

My brother was in town, and after the flea market, he wanted to go to the Orvis store in Lahaska. 

I know you'd rather see the barkcloth (and soon you shall, my pretties) but until then, enjoy what the back of the Orvis store faces.

On Sunday, my honey and I went to Adamstown, which is pretty much the navel of the universe, antique-ally speaking: three big flea markets - Renninger's, Shupp's Grove, and Black Angus, plus a gazillion co-ops.  Renninger's and Shupp's you can actually find things to buy.  Black Angus is more of a museum, since practically everything is priced at about ten times what a sane person would pay for it.   

Anyway, I got a TON of stuff at Renninger's and Shupp's, which has not yet been photographed.   Until such time as I do, enjoy the above photo of the area right next to Renninger's. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

God Bless Our Shabby Chic Home

It just doesn't get shabby chic-er than this.

The sentimental sentiment, the colored foil used for the lettering and the flowers, the loss of silver paint around the borders. 

What's even shabbier and chic-er about it is that my honey retrieved it from a trashcan situated at a flea market where I set up now and then. 

I wish the concept of shabby chic weren't so trendy.  A lot of us been a lovers of the old and imperfect for years, and will be long after the home decor mavens have moved on to something else.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Just the thing for that steampunk decor scheme, ya know?

more than just cough drops

Colorful, is it not?

I don't remember if Luden's had the yummiest cough drops or if it was Smith Brothers.  

I haven't seen either of them in stores for a long time, but then I'm not really paying attention.  Maybe I'll check on my next trip to Walgreen's for lip gloss.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What happened here?

"What happened?" meaning why did wall pockets go the way of the anti-macassar?

It's rare to go to an auction and not see at least one, but why aren't they making them anymore?

Most of what completely disappears goes because it's no longer needed -- wall-mounted match safes above the kitchen stove, for example.   But these were almost purely decorative, and most people still live in houses with walls, correct?

Wall pockets came in a staggering array of designs and materials, and they still look really neat on a wall.  So you should maybe start beating the bushes (thrifts, flea markets, yard sales, auctions) and find a few to put up.    

You really should. 

Who's afraid...?

of my Big Bad Wolf mask?

Got this at MVFTS* (see fine art post) when they were having a 'buy one Halloween or Christmas thing, get one free.'

Donnybrook deco coat

These coats, which I'm guessing are from the 1980's, turn up now and then and wherever and whenever that is, I never get the chance to buy it.

Except this week (YAY!). 

Have a seat, it's a fascinating story...

I drove to the back of the Sal that's on Torresdale Ave to drop off some no longer wanted clothing.  Then went around the front into the store entrance because it was Family Day, and lots of stuff would be half off, and there was a remote possibility that there would be something I would want to buy.

For the longest time, this particular Sal has been devoid of anything of interest.

But hope springs eternal.

I found a very cool skinny tie, striped AND made of silk, which is rare for skinny ties.  I know.  I only have about 200 of 'em.

Then I found a Seventies men's shirt, nylon with a ridiculous print. 

Then I found a little sweater for myself which, it turns out, I look rather hot in. 

With these three finds I headed toward the check-out counter, but something told me No!  Go back and look some more!!

I heeded this voice.  Even though I'd rooted through EVERYTHING already.  But no -- going back to the dress rack, I found a Gianni Versace silk crepe dress.  Half-price: $3.99.

So I then I skip happily back to the check-out counter, but notice I've dropped the tie. 

Retracing my steps, I bump into the coat rack (which I already checked thoroughly!) and BAM!  Here it is.

Never did find the tie. 

Back at the counter, I notice that the coat doesn't have a price tag, and tell the clerk.    She gives me a look that says, "Yeah, right," then announces the price -- a big $30.  She says this like it's $30,000 and I'm just gonna slink away dispiritedly, my scam discovered. 

(I know people do take off tags, switch tags, etc.  But I'm in that store fairly regularly, so she should know better.)

Here's what the front looks like.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

some fine art

Painstakingly hand-painted on a cafeteria tray, and dated 1963 on the back.

Yep, a cafeteria tray.

I found this in my very favorite thrift store.

My very favorite thrift store (MVFTS, from now on) is in a horrible neighborhood, the kind where you (meaning me) could expect to get your car broken into.  Also, expect getting your pockets picked.

But the occasional mind-blowing find is worth it. 


Arnold would come out to look at your Sylvania for TWO DOLLARS!

Not to be undersold, Harold charged the same.  

I'd go with Harold.  Harold's service was immediate, whereas Arnold's was just prompt.


Once the largest bakery in South Jersey.


We ate here two or three times a year when I was a kid. 

Try the scungilli en brochette!

I'm fascinated by old hotels. 

I don't think this one's in business anymore.

I love this picture

I thought I'd seen every mass-produced print depicting Jesus with a struggling present day person.  Then I saw this at a yardsale around the corner from where I live.

The timing was really interesting.  A few weeks before I found the picture, a friend of mine who is all about being Christian and all about animals had agreed to foster six 2-week old kittens whose mother had been killed.  

So I sent it to her, and she loves it as much as I do.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ooga chaga

How completely and totally nutso are these??

Not surprisingly, they're from Japan, from whence all crazy vintage things come.

vintage emo salt and pepper shakers

Even back in the day, there were sensitive souls like these available to hold your condiments.