Tag Archives: vintage jewelry

On the Road–Warrenton Antique Weekend

2 Oct

This past weekend was the Preview Weekend for the bi-annual Antique Weekend fair in Round Top and Warrenton, TX. While a large portion of the Round Top booths and barns are not open, there is plenty to see and do and buy in Warrenton during Preview Weekend. April was my first time to attend the fair and I took my 18 year old daughter. This time, I got a bunch of friends together and we rented a house in Smithville which was about a 35 minute drive to the fields.

The River House is on a great property near the river and a perfect getaway for a family or girls weekend. Bring your earplugs though, because there are a pair of roosters next door who think no one should be sleeping past 4 a.m. Smithville is not known to be a happen hot spot after about 6pm, so head on down to Bastrop for dinner at the Bastrop Brewhouse for beer and grub in a Luckenbach-esque beer garden. The macaroni and cheese is to die for.

Antique Weekend is a mixture of antiques, yard art, vintage clothing, jewelry, linens, tools, dishes, glassware, furniture, Persian rugs, architectural salvage, on and on and on. Pretty much if you are looking for it, you can find it in Warrenton. Even things you are NOT looking for, you can find in Warrenton; like this lovely stuffed raccoon in a bucket of peanuts. It’s on everyone’s Christmas list right?

Also, with Halloween right around the corner, there was lots of tacky Halloween décor, but really, aren’t decapitated babydoll heads way scarier than a tin witch riding a broomstick?

image courtesy of Mrs. V's Vintage

Prices can be all over the place. We learned that you should never buy something at the first booth you see it at because inevitably you will find it at another booth for less. 99.9% of the dealers are willing and ready to deal so don’t be afraid to haggle. I, of course found the .1% guy at a booth where I found a street sign with my daughter’s name on it. Grumpy old hick, why are you even out here selling if you “don’t haggle”?

One thing you will find in abundance is vintage jewelry. Everything from $2 bins of crap to glass display cases of designer costume jewelry. Again, prices on the high end stuff can be well, high. We found this great snake bracelet at a price of $125. Probably not a bad deal, snake jewelry can be pretty hard to find, but, not a dealer friendly price. I settled for a $3 each or 4 for $10 table and walked away with some great pieces. Be ready to hunker down and dig if you really want to find the great pieces. Most dealers likely won’t even have all their good stuff out so if you are looking for something specific, let them know.

One of my favorite places for a chair and latte is the Coffee Bug; a 1969 VW beetle that’s been converted to a coffeewagon. Grab a latte and take a few minutes to show all of your treasures to your friends.

Most of all, Antique Weekend is an adventure. You can go with something specific in mind to buy, but chances are you’ll end up coming home with something you never expected. I think my favorite purchase was a ceramic “Old Rip”, who was probably the most famous horned frog in history. You can read his story here.

Spring Antique Weekend dates are March 23-April 7, so put it on your calendar now. But you can’t book the River House, that’s mine. It will be my birthday weekend so, come by and party with us on Sunday night! Happy Hunting!

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Flea Market Adventures

6 Aug

I have a friend at church whose daughter Lauren is going in to the 6th grade. She is cute and freckly and you can see the emerging fashionista in her with her copper metallic Sperry’s, friendship bracelets and hair bows. She also apparently loves to shop and when my daughter told her recently about our trips to the Flea Market on Sunday afternoons she thought there could be no better way to spend a Sunday. So, even though it is August, and 847 degrees by 10am, I decided yesterday that we’d brave the heat and go check out our favorite Sunday afternoon shopping sites. We invited Lauren to go with us and before I could get the words out of my mouth, she was nodding and grinning bigger than Christmas. I told her to dress cool and bring water and we’d come by and pick her up after church.

Flea Markets are one of my most favorite places to shop for the store. You just never know what you will find. The Cattle Barn Flea Market has its regular tenants, so at the least you can count on a few great jewelry booths and know the $5 parking fee wasn’t a total waste. But aside from the tried and true vendors we always stop at, it’s worth the time to roam the aisles looking for treasures. Our first stop was at Sue’s, the biggest jewelry booth at the Market. Lauren thought she had died and gone to accessory heaven. She has her $5 bin, her $3 bin and then the major fabulousness locked up in jewelry cases across the aisle. I try really hard not to look in those because I usually can’t afford her prices. We dug in the $3 and $5 bins and through the cufflinks and found some good stuff.

My 14 year old daughter that went with me is in a “I want to redo my room” stage. I swear, I think I hear that every 8 months. It seems every third time she opens her mouth to speak, the words that come out are, “I saw this thing on Pinterest…” and now she is all Martha Stewart. Regularly I’ll get texts during the day with random supply lists for her latest project. Thank you Pinterest and Craft Wars for creating a DIYer with a list of projects I now have to fund. In any case, she was looking for anything she could repurpose in her new and improved room. She came across an antique cylinder shaped tin grater on a “50% OFF” table that she thought she could spray paint and use as an earring holder. Pretty clever, I thought. However, it was still tagged $20, and even at 50% off that was more than she wanted to pay.

 

We proceeded on our hunt and came across a booth with some vintage clothing on a rack. I start flipping through and the owner of the booth came over and said that all the clothing was $2. $2?!?! It’s probably all crap, I thought. But no! Some seriously good pieces! It got even better when we found the $.50 boxes of belts and scarves. We cleaned up there, spending a whole $16 and filling our tote bag. Lauren snagged a cross necklace for $2 at another booth, and as we were now sweaty messes, we made our way to the exit. Allison still had the grater on her mind so I asked her how much she wanted to pay for it. $8, she said. Then go over there and tell him that is all you have. She shyly walked up to the booth owner and he told her it was 50% off the $20, so $10. She showed him her money and said all she had was $8. He held out his hand to take the money and the grater was hers. It is now expertly spray painted and holding the vast collection of earrings we bought at our next stop.

As we got in to the car, we told Lauren we were going to Junker Val’s. She sweetly asked if it was air conditioned and we assured her it was. Junker Val is antique/junk dealer who recently opened a shop on Bluebonnet Circle. She is only open Fri-Sun, and it is a treasure trove of all of her estate and junking finds. The biggest draw, for us anyway, is her $10 and under jewelry table. Again, Lauren’s eyes lit up like fireworks. She planted herself in front of that table and it was a good hour later before her I finally had to drag her and Allison away. Finding matching earring sets was highly rewarding and Allison left with 4 or 5 sets. Lauren got 2 bracelets and I found some great cuff links and an awesome turquoise cuff bracelet. All in all, a highly successful day. I promised Lauren we would do it again soon, but maybe wait until it got a bit cooler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Put a Brooch On it!’

22 May

According to Google, the brooch is the most coveted piece of jewelry, worldwide. Most people take them for granted today, however it never goes unnoticed when I wear one with an outfit. So why don’t more people wear them here? Is there some part of the country where woman still don these wonderful pieces of fashion? One of my favorite vintage shops in Minneapolis carries a slew of vintage pins, brooches, even those funny tag line ones from the eighties. Remember the days you covered your backpack in pins with funny saying, until the adult figureheads figured out you were making those snarky comments to them, via Jansport. So much for self expression in the schools.

Brooches and pins haven’t always been as much fun, or fancy. The origin of the brooch dates back to the loin cloth. Yes, I said it…the loin cloth. Obviously those cave men needed something to keep their boys from always making an appearance. And remember those kilt wearing Scots…well, imagine trying to make 9 yards of fabric stay put on your body with out a fastener in sight. I’m pretty sure they encountered the same problem those cave men did. The definition of a brooch is actually just a pin with a clutch back. It wasn’t until the 18th century that people found a way to make the brooch a fashionable item. It was the era of the gem that had brooches donned with diamonds, pearls, and other precious gems, hence the brooch we think of today.


Brooches were wildly familiar in the 50’s and 60’s, and almost always seen on a secretary with her work attire. Some are fancy and flashy, others meaningful. Don’t think that brooch bouquets are a new item either. Made popular again by Miranda Lambert, in her nuptials to Blake Shelton, they gained momentum and are currently offered by many designers, pre made. I even carried one in my wedding, but I made my own since I felt like it would mean more.
While I still feel the brooch is ever present in our daily lives, I still think it just gets dealt a crappy hand. Some think the brooch is just something your grandmother used to wear. Let’s not forget though, Grandma was one flashy and fashionable lady. In a world of fashion where everything old is new again, and there is no original thought in anything these days, why not bring back something as fabulous as the brooch. I’ve also seen the brooch worn as a hair piece, or barrette. But a brooch on a plain handbag and jazz it up. Instead of just tying your scarf, clip a brooch on to keep it together, and give you a looser, less uptight look. On a wedding budget? A brooch bouquet is a perfect solution, and even better, it won’t die in two days. You’ll have a wedding keepsake that will last your lifetime, and your children’s. There are so many reasons to own brooches, and so many uses for them. They are a fabulous piece of jewelry that can take your style up a few notches, and then some. Like I said, any time I add a brooch to my outfit, it never goes unnoticed. The brooch definitely falls in the hat category for me, as in I hear people say all the time, ‘Why don’t people wear hats anymore?’ I happen to think if you like something, you wear it. It doesn’t matter if people just don’t do that any more. You do it. And you look great doing it. That’s all that matters.

The Greatest Thing to Happen to Texas since….

13 Mar

We have been traveling the world, also know as Texas, searching for some incredibly unique finds in preparation for our show this weekend. We will be joining over 50 vintage dealers from all over the metroplex, dealers from online shops, and from other parts of the country in the Dallas Vintage Jewelry Show in Grapevine, March 16-17. Other vintage shops from DFW will be there as well, such as Zola’s, Vintage Martini, and Dolly Python.

The show itself is the first of its kind in Texas. One of the promoters is quoted as saying you can find everything “from Mad Men to Downton Abbey”. This sounds like a perfect excuse to duck out of work early on Friday and head over to Grapevine! Doors open at 3pm, but if you’re like me you can get in an hour earlier for $20 and beat the crowds. Not to mention, secure some of the best deals for yourself.

When our store does shows like this throughout the year, the first question is always what to take. We’ve hit the vintage lottery so much in the last few months that it’d be hard to not take everything! The 80’s Carolina Herrera dresses, the silk Malcolm Starr, our lot of vintage skin bags…who can choose? And our plethora of vintage cowboy boots, they get lonely without enough attention. But don’t fret! We won’t empty the store. You’ll still have plenty to play with in our store this weekend. We know that Easter is right around the corner, and scoring that one of kind, would hurl yourself over a pew if you had a twin at service that morning, Easter dress is top priority. No Easter is complete without a great vintage hat to match.

Pastels mean Spring, and while we hope that was the last cold front of the year, Spring is coming! Whether you come to the store in Fort Worth, or the show in Grapevine, we hope to see you this weekend, with some sunshine and good weather to keep us all in a better mood.

We have the pleasure of meeting some really cool people in the shop from time to time. On Friday we met a couple in town from Austin, escaping the SXSW craze. It was their first time to Fort Worth, so we got to chatting with them of course. He is an inventor, and vintage lover, and she is an adorable young lady who makes everything vintage look good. He is the creator of Vintage Vanities, a small, but soon to be large, company that hand makes pocket sized mirrors. He cuts the glass, crafts a copper material around the edges so they are smooth and never rough, and places a unique image in the other side. His images, he’s chosen carefully, hand picking each to his own taste. Some of the images include the graffiti artist Banksy, Duchamp’s Mona Lisa, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and many other classic images of vintage beauties like Bridget Bardot. Not to mention this pretty awesome David Bowie! Love the hair dude. He also has a line of 19th century images that would make you laugh, or blush, but are great to say the least. These we’ll have to let you discover yourself. His mirrors are carried in stores all over Austin, and are quickly catching on all over. When creativity and small business come together and meet success, that always makes us smile! Happy soggy Monday, vintage lovers!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-Vanities/142526999094400

The Five Vintage MUST haves!

6 Mar

Every woman who loves shoes has her rabbit to chase. Christian Loubiton, Prada, Jimmy Choo. We all have that one pair in mind that we say ‘When I hit the lotto, I’m totally buying that (insert designer name here) that cost more than my rent!’ For vintage lovers, there are MANY rabbits we chase. Kalen is determined to own a vintage Chanel purse. I’m after a vintage Louis Vuitton purse, and at least one thing worn by someone famous in the 50’s or 60’s. So for this week I decided to introduce the top 5 things every vintage lover should own at some point in their vintage loving lives:

  1. A Vintage Fur!

Oh yeah, I said it! A FUR! Call PETA on me or whatever but everyone should own a piece of fashion history. Let’s face it, the animal has been dead longer than my grandmother has been alive. It’s not doing anyone any justice by being ignored, or not worn for “ethical” reasons. What’s not ethic is letting that beauty go to waste! I bought a Mink Stole for my wedding. I love that thing. It’s so soft, of course, and it even smells all vintage-y and good. I wore it on out over my wedding dress on our way home and got many compliments. It’s old Mink. His family doesn’t miss him anymore. They are all long gone too. But maybe not made of coats, God willing.

  1. An Alligator Bag!

The same goes for an alligator bag as the fur, except that lets be serious, we could use less animals that want to eat us in the world, right? Ever been chased by a mink or a rabbit, probably not. Ever been chased by an alligator? Not yet, but that’s because when I went to school in Florida they taught you how to out run one, just in case you ever did. I come prepared. Alligator bags are eclectic, they are always in style. They just LOOK amazing and a pleasing to the touch too. I could go on forever about an alligator bag, but just trust me, you need one in your life. I wandered around Minneapolis one Sunday in November and was lucky enough to run across a vintage Pierre Cardin Rattlesnake skin clutch. It was $12. I take that darn thing everywhere. When people are like ‘Oh my gosh I love your bag’, I say ‘Yea you do!’ We did have this amazing green lizard bag over Christmas that I just fell in love with too. Unfortunately it’s cheating on me with it’s new owner somewhere in the metroplex. I miss you Lizzy!

  1. Vintage Jewelry!

I am not picky here, you just need to own some vintage jewelry. Jewelry is just not made the same way it used to be. Vintage jewelry doesn’t fall apart after washing your hands in the sink, and it doesn’t turn your skin green. It actually has a weight to it. Yeah! I know! It’s mostly costume jewelry, but the good kind. The kind you can pass down, or you get passed down. It lasts generations, and most likely wasn’t made in China. There is nothing cooler than having a piece that you can brag about, and that no one else will be wearing because they sell thousands of them at Forever 21. What’s worse than showing up wearing the same dress as another girl at a party? Having someone say ‘Oh I love your necklace, I have it too. Forever 21, right?’ Trust me NO one stays 21 forever, and they definitely should not.

4.     One Vintage “staple” Dress

If you are lucky enough to be a size where vintage will fit you, make sure you get yourself a “staple” dress. A staple dress is a dress you can wear on more than one occasion that always looks good on you and everyone will envy. I have never had more looks and/or compliments than when I go out to eat with my husband wearing a dress from the store. Sure, he wears a collared shirt and jeans, but I always like to look my best. I don’t want him taking me out in public and being ashamed to be seen with me. Certain colors always look good on certain people. Certain cuts are the same way. A vintage dress that fits, thats remarkable, and probably one in a million. I’m not blessed with the most perfect shape and rarely do I find a vintage dress that fits me perfectly, but every once in awhile I do. And I buy it. End of story.

  1. And finally…(insert drum noise here)…Vintage Cowboy Boots!

I am sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it over and over and over until you completely agree. Vintage Cowboy boots are by far THE best thing to happen to the world since we found out that Snookie is pregnant and we get to make jokes for the next 9 months. The best part about vintage boots are the comfort. My mom hates cowboy boots. I’m not sure why, they pinch her feet or something, I can’t remember. She used to have a great pair of burgundy Wranglers. I thought they were awesome. She gave them away. Had she held on to them, by now they would’ve been considered vintage and have fit ME perfectly. Sometimes the story comes back to what’s best for me. I bought my first pair of cowboy boots almost 2 years ago. They are Tony Lama, 70’s, ostrich. They are amazing, and sooooooooo comfortable. Why? Because who ever owned them before me did all the leg work, literally. They are already worn in and fit my feet like a teddy bear hugging a baby seal all day long. I have since converted my best friend into wanting cowboy boots. She’s a hard sale. She’s picky, she doesn’t know how they are supposed to fit, and she’s against a skin of any sort. She’s a weird one, but I still love her. She got the bug recently because I got her friend a pair first, and she’s a little jealous. Buy your first pair of vintage cowboy boots and you’ll be addicted too. Or better yet, watch someone else buy a pair, and the bug will hit you.

Whoever or wherever you are in your vintage journey, just know the pleasure is in the hunt. So happy hunting you savvy vintage lovers. But remember, if you come between me and my dream Louis Vuitton Bag out there, just back away slowly.