Wednesday, September 30, 2009

At the sake of sounding like a boy crazy school girl I'm going to take this moment to gush over how totally in love with my iPhone I am. Because I lack the ability to trust my instinct when it comes to the value of thrift store finds I love that my handy iPhone is there to search the web at the drop of a dapper little hat. Ready to say "that Dansk Paella Pan you're looking at for a whopping $7.00 is selling on Etsy right this moment for $52.00, are you crazy BUY IT!"

I discovered somewhat in that fashion, seeking out the going rate of some item I possessed or longed to possess. It was several months ago, and upon this shocking discovery I weeded through pages and pages and then promptly forgot all about shopping Goodwill online the very next day. Until today while starring lovingly at my iPhone and going through the motions of the above scenario.

My reaction was much the same as the first time, that is until I realized I was midway through today's session of deja vous. First shock, then excitement, (insert deja vous), followed by horror - "I just bought that at Goodwill for $7 and it's selling online for $65 - it's cheaper on Etsy". Upon second glance it was two paella pans in varying sizes making it a bit easier to breath, and finally I'm able to remove my hand from my heart when I notice the set up is an auction format similar to that of eBay.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for the Goodwill making money but I also love a good deal and anything that get in my way is at first a bit jarring. The starting bid of this auction was $3.00 and it's all good, let the people set the price! Beside further research found this same pan selling for $95 so even at $65 that's a damn good deal.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Skeleton Keys

As it turns out El Rastro wasn't a total bust. After the old man changed his tune I turned him down and kept on digging, finally settling for this lot of rusty old keys. They're missing the sparkle and lack detail in the cutout but cost half the price, and I have to admit I'm a sucker for a bargain. And what they lack in sparkle they surpass with a mood of antiquity.

I've been thinking about hitting the jewelry supply stores downtown and making a first attempt at creating some necklaces, key in hand. Or maybe wall art. If I'm feeling lazy I could always dump 'em in a bowl at the booth but what fun would that be?

If you have suggestions please let me know!

Monday, September 28, 2009

El Rastro, Madrid, Spain

It is said Madrid's El Rastro Flea Market is the largest in all of Europe. It certainly appears to be the busiest with tiny merchant lined streets packed from 7am to sometime close to 3pm when locals and tourists alike move from the streets to the bars, and if they're in it for the long haul stay out until some time nearing on the next morning. Note to anyone looking for two thumbs up: it doesn't take much more than flea markets, good food and inexpensive delicious wine.

Not that it's possible but even if you don't want to buy a thing, I didn't come home with much more than several bottles of wine and one little flea market goody, a visit to Madrid's El Rastro Flea Market is worth the effort. Hold your purse at your front preferably with a cross shoulder strap and push your way up the hill through the crowded streets.

There are a couple of main avenues, a small plaza, and several smaller streets to weave through. If you're looking to buy it would be best to A.) speak the language, B.) have a friend who speaks the language, or C.) you could probably buy my friend for a day! I'm kind of joking... kind of.

In addition to the mass of street vendors you'll find store fronts flowing out onto the streets and interestingly the Policia patrolling the streets for unregistered merchants. After all, it is something of a free-for-all when you take away the gates that control our flea markets here in the states. Without these it's the honor system, merchants could sneak in and the public wouldn't have to pay to shop - it's barbaric!

In all it's glory there is one major problem I have with the El Rastro Flea Market. The finds here are wonderful, had everything gone my way I would've taken home one of those ancient purses above, a fine Parisian alarm clock, an electric fan from the early 19th century that had been a prop in a Brazilian playhouse, and all the skeleton keys I saw. But the euro makes the dollar look like a peso and due to the low number, zero, of second hand stores in Spain vintage goods are more expensive than their modern day counter parts.

And so when we were told we could have anything in this tin for two euros I didn't get too greedy, I picked through it and found ten skeleton keys that I really loved, no joke, I have dreams about them, and I almost cried when the mean old man told me he meant two euros for each item in the tin! It didn't seem smart so I said no and caught a picture of him removing my shiny keys from Ivett's hand.

Still, it's my take that Sunday is Madrid's finest day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm sorry, so sorry.

Dear SellingVintage(dot)blogspot(dot)com and it's sometimes readers,

I am terribly sorry for my recent lack of attention to you. Upon returning from Spain I encountered a bout of the blues that left me without words or moxie. I hope you'll understand and visit me regularly once again, after all it's your love that keeps me typing on.

Fortunately for us all my blues are easily cured with a little retail therapy, and fortunately for my pocket book LA has plenty of thrift stores to aid in my rescue. I've traversed the perimeter of the city, I've hit the Valley, OC and Pasadena. Regretfully I passed on some premium products but I found myself a bargain or two along the way, and now I have plenty of newbies to share with you next week.

But let us not forget that I have only recently returned from Spain and I have a debt to pay you - a review of Madrid's El Rastro Flea Market. I know you were waiting on pins and needles for so long, eventually you must have questioned if my computer was stolen along the way (it was not, but on day one my purse almost was!). Tune in tomorrow for photos and more on Spain.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Needs Improvement

For a while, I’m talking a while, now I’ve been meaning to post about the Antique Station. In the beginning days of our booth I spent time browsing and snapping photos (with the handy iPhone) of booths in the mall with the intention of highlighting this space to share with you, and for inspiration in my own endeavor. In the end I posted these images on Flickr, linked my Flickr account in the sidebar here and called it a day. I’ve failed you in this endeavor until today, today I post about the Station.

Regretfully I honestly say that we by far are the winners of the Ugliest Booth Contest. Of course there’s no such thing as a booth contest, there should be but there isn’t, but in my own mind there is and we LOSE. After all that’s what I do to facilitate improvement on my part. I compare my blog to yours, I compare my booth to yours, I see things I like in mine and in yours, and I improve, that’s my intention anyway. So in this non-contest in which I am the only judge, the winner of the coolest, what I aspire our booth to achieve is - da…dadada….

S/he conjures within me a longing to sit a while, a miniature of how one may desire their living room to appear, if said living room was say in NYC and a closet. In my opinion it’s possible that a person could walk into this booth and walk away with practically everything. They would most definitely need to reupholster those chairs, and it helps that I aim to collect just this style for my own home, but admit it they created a real good retail space in this little 10 x 10 square.

There are many people selling kitchen-wares, same as me which may contribute to slow booth sales of my stock (Scott’s stock lacks nothing, we’re killing it with the Star Wars toys and Baseball cards). But the Station is stocked through with Pyrex and kitschy 50’s thingys!

Though I aim to bring home mid-century furnishings I still lean toward loving the “Shabby Chic” look and I’m not the only one. Ever since I made a small, very small, not even close to a fortune, off of that blue Shabby Chic picture frame I’ve been on the hunt for more.

Shabby Chic can be modern and it can be cool, and I don’t think this booth pulls off either of those adjectives. But if you’re going to buy one of these pretty in pink items you’re probably going to buy a few, and that my friends is a great sales technique.

I’m going to follow that last paragraph up with an, I realize this is for a little girls room, but I don’t have kids and when I do I don’t plan to create a little princess.

Something else that we’ve recently come into way too much of is stuffed animals, and that something is something that does not sell. We’ve not sold one and it’s a little upsetting considering we have two HUGE garbage bags full at home. Cute too, real cute, charming and old, Disney, exactly what you may guess someone is looking for but nope, whatever it is it’s not enough. Others sell these as well, others sell baseball cards too but those sell, and in all of these other booths that sell stuffed animals I see a good set up. Which leads me to wonder what am I doing wrong? Why, oh why must we win the Ugliest Booth Contest?

With all this talk about how ugly our booth is you may be thinking, it can’t be THAT bad, but trust me, it is. And you may wonder, maybe you’d like to see a photo of the booth as of late, but I will leave you to imagine if you can, a booth overflowing with junk, lined with bookshelves, filled with junk. The Star Wars toys neatly fill half the back wall, and Scott is proud and they do look nice. No furniture fills the space, a suitcase full of tee’s sits on the floor beneath our “Shabby Chic” (there it is again) table, yes we have a table but it doesn’t help. The floor is lined with junk (there it is again), hanging from the Baker’s Rack is a dress, sitting in a pot there are many ties, and in a basket some belts. The only item in which I have to be proud is a white bookshelf that presents itself outward to passersby in the aisle, with my goodies and my goodies alone. There is a lot to be desired of this booth, and though I will be critical of myself no matter, I know it's bad when my buddies who work the station confirm it's truth. And so my friends that is what you have to imagine.

What I have to imagine is what it will be.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jewels Dahling.

What do you think, do dogs sell jewelry?

That there is Gilles, the hard working doggie model. He likes cheese, high-fives, and tolerates being dressed in jewels.

This is Nadia, my very pleasant "human" model. I'm so lucky to have a friend that will put up with my antics while everyone surrounding her frolics in the sun. To boot she is amazingly photogenic!

I decided recently to start selling vintage jewelry, which I know not a thing about, when step-momma Sandy unloaded a few pieces upon me.

They're so darn pretty! And there's more to be photographed, and more to be had.

Originally I was to sell these in the booth, Sandy sent me home with a display case and everything, but with the current state of that booth it's going to be utterly impossible to find a proper place for it to shine. And shine these babies must do so it's off to Etsy we go! More photo sessions to come - joy joy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vacaciones en España

I probably should've told you sooner but it just didn't come up until yesterday, and guess what... we leave tomorrow!

This summer has just flown by, every little bit lending to a perfect summer break. Okay, slicing my finger open yesterday sucked but only a little, and now with my neon colored band-aids I'll be rockin' a pretty cool thumbs-up all through Spain.

With all the excitement I still find time to miss our little man who we dropped off just today at the "sitter" and will now push him upon you in all of his cuteness. All together now, ahh... whatta cutie! Lucas, mi amor, yo le pierdo.

Swag Bucks, aka Google, has presented me with quite the thrifting predicament. You see, it appears there are very few if any "second hand stores" in Spain, giving me one, maybe two, no three's-a-charm chances of bringing home some serious loot.

Primera Oportunidad: On Sunday morning in Madrid you will find me photographing the streets of El Rastro, vying for the goods to make my suitcase burst at it's seams and to claim upon entering US Territory that I bring back nothing worth taxing. I hope to have such luck at the properly titled El Rastro Flea Market which is said to be Europe's largest!

Otra Oportunidad: Second is not always best. Salamanca, a 2 1/2 hour bus ride north west of Madrid also boasts an El Rastro Flea Market, also on Sunday mornings. It's a pity I'm unable to clone myself, to be in two places at once, or to fly at the speed of light, and it's really a pity I won't be in Spain for longer than one week. But it just so happens that the one, I mean it, one thrift store I learned about it my meager online search is in Salamanca. And to my luck Scott and I will be venturing here on Thursday and Friday. Can you believe it?! In just a few days! To my dismay, that was posted on a message board in 2001. Eeek.

Forgive me now for few blog posts over the next week, I'll blog as I can and will update you for certain upon our return to our home and to our doggie.

That's all folks.

* on second thought - the photos above are of El Rastro Flea Market in Madrid. I stole them from Flickr and have linked the images to the Flickr pages.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Labor Day (weekend) Soiree

We're really lucky to have a fantastic backyard for entertaining, and to live in LA where the weather permits its use more months out of the year than not. Unfortunately in these hottest months when pool days should be booked to the max I'm never home. So when a friend decided we were overdue for a little soiree I was all about offering up the pad, after all there's only one thing I love more than hosting a shindig - breaking out the vintage goodies for said shindig.

As mentioned, as you know if you read this blog regularly, as of late, traveling has been a regular on the agenda. Though one of those trips was a thrift adventure the rest have been a bit slow producing the goods - my way of apologizing if you've seen some of this stuff before, because you definitely did if you read my last soiree post.

Like that beautiful table cloth, I have but one if you can believe it! The easiest thing in the world to store and I have ONE. Not to worry, someday I may have two. In fact, if you didn't know already I'll be a away again... in Spain, and on the hunt for just that - the easiest of things to store. And at the next soiree there may be a new beauty to debut!

But it's not all old news, how about those primary color Pyrex nesting bowls and those shiny green and gold glasses, aren't they gems?

These Bascal tin cups take me back to those summers in the hood, temperatures souring around 120 degrees (it gets that hot in some places!), blue bicycles and broken fingers, cricket and cactus splinters. Some how that equates to good memories.

Are there vintage goods that invoke memories of summer for you? Do dare to share!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Hunt.

Isn't it the pits when you have an exact image of something you want but you search and search and never come close to A.) finding it or B.) finding it within your measly little budget? Eventually you wind up with another item in it's place that hopefully puts a smile on your face when you walk into the room - what I'm ultimately striving for in a new credenza/media center.

I am utterly fed up with the blonde Jetson-esque piece currently hogging the attention in my living room. When I first purchased this piece a couple years ago I was thoroughly ecstatic about it but it's just one of those pieces that, at least for me, doesn't have lasting power. Plus in my defense I looked at when it was dark and was easily pushed over by it's price.

Around that same time I found the media center of my dreams, a long and low credenza with beautiful dark wood and playful white doors mixed with a wood face. Unfortunately I thought about it to long and some lucky soul beat me to the prize, after all that's what happens in the world of Craigslist. Now the closest thing I can find to it is this George Nelson credenza. As it stands I'm kicking myself on a pretty regular basis, if it actually was this credenza then I'm kicking myself even harder.


Look at all those drawers!

The other side.

I love love love how it could sit center in the room - a good backside it always a plus!

Okay, so it's beautiful, it's perfect and it's nuts expensive. I cannot, I will not spend that kind of dough... not now anyway.

In searching for a new credenza I came across some pretty cool ones that I thought I'd share with you here. These finds come via flickr so if you like what you see click the photo to visit that persons flickr page!

Found on Craiglist (can you tell... I'm obsessed!)

And then there's Silica Three in North Hollywood - I'm so obsessed, I want to BE them, I mean I want to buy and sell THEIR goodies!

Isn't it all so lovely? Doesn't it make you want to go out an buy a new credenza?!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Ode to Apple

Oh Mac how you are the Apple of my eye. Without you I would be lost beyond despair, I would literally wind up in the hood somewhere. With the 'Around Me' app you help me to find thrift store after thrift store, and when I'm hungry we stop and lunch. With Google Maps you get me there. And with your camera I take pictures for my blog, top-notch I would like to add. Thank you Mac, I love you for creating the iPhone.

I'm no poet as you see, was that a poem? I didn't intend for it to be. I guess I'm just in a rhyming mood, to an extent obviously. I decided months ago that it would eventually be necessary to blog about my love for the iPhone, my thrifting companion as I like to say. I finally downloaded my first app in January, ever since I've held the world at my fingertips. I don't even KNOW how I would go about discovering thrift stores in new neighborhoods if it weren't for the 'Around Me' app, which conveniently links up with Google Maps. I certainly have things I would approve upon it but that's neither here nor there as I'm happy as can be.

As well you should know that every photo on my blog beside the staged photos of finds was taken with the iPhone camera. Not bad, right?!

So don't you think I should probably buy my companion a gift soon? Maybe this pretty little cover you see above. Or the customized one below.

If you like either of these click on the image and you can check it out yourself. If you don't have an iPhone I'm telling you DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER, they are rad! But you've probably heard that before.