**This is a guest post by Erica, a new contributor to the blog. She wrote about her first visit to TVB.**
Trophies, glassware, and clothing! Oh my! You could say there’s no place like The Vintage Bazaar. With one of the coziest gatherings yet, collectors beat the cold and met under one roof to admire and shop an intimate selection of of vintage vendors selling furniture, décor, clothing, and accessories. The kickoff party even had free Big Star tacos and Scofflaw cocktails while you shopped — where else would you want to spend your Friday night?!
A beautiful display from NOV
Featuring 25 vendors the hunt was on for the ultimate treasure. I was pleasantly surprised to come across such reasonably priced items and it just made me want to keep buying! Some of the quirkiest goods included Hot House Market’s retro hair salon dryer seat and Morning Glory Collectible’s floral decorated lava lamp, which does in fact work!
Linda Renehan’s Morning Glory Collectibles caught my eye right off the bat. Linda has been selling for over 20 years and described her booth as “Mid-century Kitsch,” focusing on items from the ’40s all the way into the ’70s. As the daughter of a garbage truck driver, Linda learned at a young age the importance of recycling, because a large portion of her toys and furniture were garbage picked. You can expect to find funky, unusual items such as vintage poodles, quirky cats, and mid-century glassware in Linda’s booth. She’s “always kitschy, always retro, and always fun!”
Another mid-century modern vendor was Century Chicago. The husband and wife duo, Robert Smith and Robin Broman, were at DANK Haus this weekend celebrating their 15th show! The two met at a vintage clothing store (how adorable!) and about 15 months ago started selling mid-century modern furniture and housewares together, in fact their first show was actually at last year’s TVB at DANK Haus. The two have been collecting for a long time, and have had a “crazy-successful” first year of selling. Robert filled me in on some great finds he was excited to showcase like the Verner Panton cone chair he had reupholstered to look almost identical to the piece’s original red fabric.
He also shared one of his favorite pieces with me, a 1933 desk with a built in bookshelf attached, mixed with a 1960s Danish chair, upholstered in an elegant dark leather. A peek of this can be seen in one of the sneak peek posts. I was also lucky enough to snatch up a set of four mid-century glasses that have made a beautiful addition to my kitchen and they were only $10! What a steal! For more on Century Chicago, check out their blog or visit their booth at the Broadway Antique Market.
I also spoke to Maranda Powers from Persnickety Vintage, a shop she started in 2009. She even shared a little secret with me: She started selling because she, like the rest of us, couldn’t stop shopping! She found herself drawn to all sorts of styles and eras and knew there was a home for each and every find. Maranda focuses on women’s vintage clothing and jewelry, pulled from several different time periods.
Although her Etsy shop is mainly clothing, she mentioned that it’s her vintage jewelry that customers swoon over at markets. She recently collaborated with her husband, Jon Chambers, and together they started a vintage men’s clothing shop, The Vintage Alchemist, which focuses on men’s jackets and ties.
Overall, TVB’s first show of 2013 was a space to get happily lost in. DANK Haus was lit beautifully, emphasizing the captivating displays in each booth. What a wonderful experience it was to hear the crinkling of stuffed shopping bags and watch my fellow flea marketers laugh with vendors then haul super unique finds to their cars at the end of the night.
Did you attend the event? Leave a comment and let us know what finds you went home with!
TVB popped up at the Renegade Craft Festival this past weekend and it rocked more than the 1st Annual Cat Video Festival (something that totally exists). TVB shoppers happily scoured 50 booths and racks like a cat on a roomba. Smiling faces, friendly vendors and great vintage finds were all around! I got to chat with some of the vendors and got the scoop on their shops, style, and snazzy goods.
I first stopped by the B.F.F. duo of Strangelovely and The Savoy Flea, A.K.A. Kim and Marianne. Their shops were so intertwined, that I thought they were one sweet combo, but they informed me that they’re “good friends” and like to be all cozy at TVB. Strangelovely’s style is “eclectic,” mid-century modern and full of things she’d put in her own home. I was particularly drawn to the colorful croquet mallets, which I quickly swooped up! Right now, they’re looking pretty nice and preppy next to my fireplace. Kim also had some log cabin-esque blankets and a sweet typewriter.
As I stepped on over to The Savoy Flea, I instantly felt like I had walked into a Parisian vintage shop. Marianne is really drawn to refined French pieces, old literature and the “elegant yet odd.” Her displays are what caught my eye – old pages ripped out of novels lined her tent and were also hanging from above in the form of literary mobiles. I was really into the small doll heads in the bell jars. How could you not dig that?
More after the jump!
Friends, antique shop owners and flea market vendors often ask me what I collect and my answer is that I collect memories. In a tangible form that means vintage black and white snapshots and photo booth photos, wedding cake toppers, scrapbooks, greeting cards, antique diaries, charm bracelets and my favorite, antique and vintage lockets. Currently I own over 50 lockets dating from the Victorian era through the late 1970s and I rotate them out to be worn with my thrifted / vintage warddrobe.
Lockets have a long history that actually pre-dates the invention of photography. The word “locket” derives from the idea that the pendant was originally intended to hold a lock of hair from a sweetheart or relative, or in memory of someone that had passed away. Queen Elizabeth I of England was reported to have worn a locket ring containing a painted miniature of her mother, Anne Boleyn. It wasn’t until the advent of photography, however, in 1839 that lockets gained widespread popularity. During Victorian times they often were worn as a piece of mourning jewelry and during WWII women included photos of their brothers, sons or sweethearts in their lockets.
There’s a mystery to lockets, especially when the original photos are still intact inside. Lockets were treasured gifts that were deeply personal to the wearer so I wonder how these mementos ended up at the flea market; fortunately I’m happy to carry forth these small, lost histories through my collection.
I found this hand tinted photo booth photo of a young girl in the 1940s wearing a heart shaped locket in an Indiana junk shop.
The most special locket in my collection is not the most valuable or rare but it’s a family heirloom that my grandmother gave me when I was 10 years old. It was given to her by my grandfather in 1939 on their first anniversary.
The locket contains photos of my grandparents on their first date, since they grew up in the Chicago suburbs their first date was at The Pickwick Movie Theatre in Park Ridge; the theatre still shows movies today.
More amazing pieces after the jump!
When Liz Holder wants a new dress she meticulously searches out a paper pattern and materials, then constructs it herself from supplies sourced at flea markets, antique shops and thrift stores. Unlike a majority of Americans who shop at department stores or retail chains, Liz creates both her everyday wear and special occasion dresses based on traditions and methods popular in the 1940s and 1950s, when it was common for entire families to be clothed in garments made at home. Author of a popular sewing and knitting blog, Zilredloh, Liz shared with me how she came to wearing only vintage and “me-made” clothing the past 2 years.
When did you first get interested in vintage and antiques? What did you initially purchase or collect and how has that evolved over time?
I’ve loved vintage (namely the ’40s and ’50s) as far back as I can remember; my mother has always told me that I was born in the wrong era. It wasn’t until I moved away from home that I started collecting knickknacks and pieces of furniture. With each new apartment I’ve live in I seem to collect more and more pieces of furniture, dishware sets, and odds and ends.
Most recently, my love of all-things-vintage has materialized itself through clothing and accessories. I remember attending the very first Vintage Bazaar in Lincoln Square’s Dank Haus back in 2010 and I felt like a kid in a candy store. Come to think of it, I feel that way at every Bazaar. During that same time period is when I started hoarding I mean…collecting vintage sewing and knitting patterns. Attending these events has and continues to be a great way to build up my personal stash of fabrics, patterns, and sewing notions. There’s nothing better than using vintage sewing notions to completely make a 100 percent vintage garment in 2012.
I shop at estate sales all the time. I’ve been doing it for most of my life. So I forget there’s a learning curve involved in estate sale shopping. I hear this all the time: “I don’t shop at estate sales because I can’t really figure out how it works.”
I hate being intimidated. So I get it. I had lived in Chicago for nearly two years before I started taking the bus regularly because I was afraid of looking like I didn’t know what I was doing. So I’m going to break down the estate sale process for you so you no longer have to live in fear!
1. The ad.
Pay attention to the ad listing on EstateSales.net or in the (ha!) paper. Look for three important pieces of information: the time the sale opens, what time numbers are given, and whether or not the estate sale company honors the list. (More after the jump.)
2. The list.
Say the sale starts at 9am. And numbers are given out at 8:30 (don’t worry, I’ll explain this in a sec). And you roll up to the estate sale and park your car in the line of cars up and down the street at about 7:45am. The first thing you need to do is find the person with the list. This person is usually some psycho nutjob who shows up to the sale at 11pm the night before to stake out. If he’s the first person there, he starts a list. And the list is the line. It tells who got to the sale and it what order so you don’t actually have to wait in line outside when it’s freezing. You can sit in your car.
You may have read about Katherine’s first auction experience earlier this month. (Missed it? Read it here.) After hearing her story, I jumped at the chance to hit the Direct Auction Holiday Party with her. So, last week, I met Katherine at the auction house for an auction preview and holiday snack attack.
I filled my paws with peanuts and previewed the auction goods — Lucite bar stools, cow hide rugs, rattan side chairs, plus loads of art to name some of my favs. I also had a quick chat with Kathy who helps run the auctions — check out a 30 second vintage clip below or on our YouTube channel! See that naive JFK portrait in the background? (Top left corner.) I wanted that thing so much.
For all my talk about being the number one thrifter and picker and knowing all the secrets… last night was the first night I’d ever actually been to a live auction. I wasn’t sure how auctions work, or how to bid at a live auction.
Now I’m addicted.
The auction house can be pretty intimidating. And if you’re like me — a person who did’t take the bus in Chicago for several years after moving here for fear of getting on the wrong line, or not inserting my card correctly — you avoid things that make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing.
I took the bus to Direct Auction Galleries last night, actually. As I neared on foot, snow was just starting to fall outside and there was an interesting assortment of people outside the garage-style space, smoking: a man in a fur coat, a couple of larger men who seemed like they’d spent at least part of their day on tractors, an older woman with clipped short hair, black-rimmed glasses and a cowl-necked sweater, and another lady who looked like she’s just shot an episode of Intervention with her as the star.
The IT room at the Glenview Library demolition sale. I don’t go to a lot of demolition sales. Since I’m not renovating a house I’m not usually looking for fixtures, porcelain sinks, tile, sconces, etc. And I don’t really like …