Monday, August 11, 2014

Taking it outside: Parking Lot Flea Markets

In the dog days of August, almost everything seems to take too much effort. But in Beaverton, OR, the owners of Curiosities Vintage are going the extra mile by planning the Beaverton Flea Market this Saturday, August 16, from 10-4. Knowing they'll draw folks who can't resist a flea market, Jenn and Travis at Curiosities are offering an extra incentive. They've got a big parking lot, and they know how to use it! From the looks of vendor signups, they're looking forward to the biggest flea market yet, with more than 50 sellers. Here's a video showing a recent one, just to give an idea. The booths wrap around the store entrance, for security and (of course!) to offer shelter and more shopping options inside!

A big parking lot has so much potential beyond a place to park cars! Magnolia Antiques Home & Interiors in Carmichael, CA puts on three annual Saturday outdoor marketplaces (Sept. 20, 8am-3pm, is their next one), renting space for $30 along a shady line of big trees at the edge of their parking lot. They've built participation up to 70 vendors. And of course shoppers are naturally going to wander into the air-conditioned store as well to cool off and do a bit more browsing. How can they resist?

Another antique store that has Peddlers Parking Lot Sales the first Saturday of every month (weather permitting) is The Antique Warehouse in Salida (just north of Modesto, CA). Here's a shot of their August 5 event, which is held in a more secure parking lot behind the store. You'll notice they have a vendor selling pizza and hot dogs. Setup starts at 6am with the sale officially beginning at 8, and vendors can download an application online at their website. Check it out at their next one, September 6.

Make no mistake, putting on a parking lot sale/outdoor market/peddler's fair is a lot of work, both for the store owners and the vendors! Setup usually starts in the early morning, and the work goes on until late afternoon with cleanup. The best sales are those that have vetted vendors' stock to ensure quality displays. But often flea market shoppers will also discover the store for the first time, and just might come back some quieter day. If it's planned well, and approached with a sense of fun and enough workers to cover all the bases, a parking lot sale can do a lot to stimulate new business.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Excuse our dust...

While most folks are on vacation, summer's a busy time here at Cochran's offices. Production is in progress for the 2015 edition of the Guide, and construction is underway to improve our website. When it's finished, we'll take you on a guided tour.

The book itself isn't affected by the sawdust, drills and hammers, so feel free to explore the 2014 Guide here anytime. Just click on Contents in the menu above, it'll take you to the Table of Contents and you can select the town or city you want to visit. And if our Guide takes you to one of our advertisers' shops, please tell them how you found them. You'll make their day!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saving the world?

I don't know if it'll help save the world, but the shopping vintage/recycled/used movement has definitely taken off. I remember my mother insisting on buying new when I was growing up, and then she discovered thrift stores and became addicted. Some of my best memories are thriftshopping with my mom. My only regret is that she never got to go to an estate sale.

I've been buying vintage most of my adult life, partly because of economics but also because it's more fun!

Another reason I like to buy at flea markets, estate sales, antique stores, vintage stores, garage sales, etc.: often I can actually find something that wasn't made in China! Some items were even made in the USA! Then there's the damage caused by the clothing industry to the environment and the Third World. So maybe if enough of us did it, we could actually save the world.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Packing it all in

Ever wish you could be around when a container of wonderful old stuff is first cracked open and its treasures revealed? In their current blog, Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage notes that June is when containers from their buying trips arrive, and they show a photo of a container just after it's been opened. They call the game of packing it all in "Heavy Object Tetris" because getting it all in is like creating a puzzle.
Very interesting pieces all packed into a container, just arrived at Aurora Mills
Beyond the fascinating architectural finds that are their specialty, Aurora Mills carries furniture, art, lighting and industrial elements that lend themselves to all kinds of creative uses. In addition to items from factories, bakeries and offices there are goodies like old gym baskets, work benches, old bottles complete with labels, an oak beer keg... and they post photos of most of these ready-for-reuse items on their website. And you can catch up with the latest news on their Facebook page under Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage. Aurora Mills is at 14971 First St NE in Aurora, OR, phone (503) 678-6083.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to the Future

Do you love the Mid-Century look? We're talking about the Mid-20th Century. That postwar era so many of us grew up in and fondly remember.

Barbara Johnson at Timeless Antiques & Collectibles in Aurora, OR, finds blogging on her website the perfect way to show detailed photos of specialties in her store, such as the ever-more-popular mid-century lighting and Heywood Wakefield furniture in complete sets, which go together like ice cream and strawberries.

Lamps from the Fifties feature those fiberglass shades that conduct light so well, and ceramic or metal bases, and creative switch design that allow for brighter or dimmer light.

Heywood Wakefield's designs from the mid-Forties into the Fifties emphasized curvy, clean lines, compact shapes, and honey blonde woods that brighten a room, and futuristic abstract upholstery patterns that collectors are beginning to appreciate again. Furniture from that era is often worse for wear (we're talking some 65 years ago, after all), so Barbara does her research and comes up with the appropriate fabrics and finishes to make the pieces look like Mom just proudly brought them home from the furniture store. Sweet memories.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Painting it Red (or your favorite color) in Vegas

Painted frames by local artists, at Not Just Antiques in Las Vegas

It takes a little courage for some of us to transform an object with paint, or maybe a little inspiration from an expert. And that's where The Painted Attic comes in. If you're in the Las Vegas  area, you could sign up for a painting workshop in their upstairs Recycled Furniture and Craft Boutique at Not Just Antiques, on June 28 at noon.

Bring an object you'd like to paint: a small box, picture frame, something that would add fresh new color to your d├ęcor. The class will provide a brush and a small can of paint for a $45 fee, and help you with your transformation, from preparation to painting to applying a protective coat of wax. The Painted Attic also has quite a few small items to choose from that might be fun to paint. Sign up by emailing

Not Just Antiques is at 1422 Western Avenue near Oakley, in Las Vegas. Call (702) 384-4922 for information. Also visit the store's Facebook page: Not Just Antiques in Las Vegas. Owner Renee Poole is also involved extensively in estate sales, auctions, consignments and eBay sales, and the store website has an Online Shop.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

If You've Got it, Flaunt It, Part II

Want to bring out your Inner Spielberg? There's no better reason than to make a video of your antique store. That's what Collector's Mall in Milwaukee, OR, did, and they uploaded their creation on their The result is a warm, welcoming tour of the store, complete with special focus on what makes the store unique: a rare, authentic 1950s soda fountain with a young soda jerk who proudly whips up a cherry coke and a banana split, for a great nostalgia rush.
Main Street Collector's Mall occupies an old drug store building, c. early 1900s, with an authentic soda fountain that still serves up breakfast, lunch and anything ice cream
Very popular model of the Starship Enterprise at Main Street Collector's Mall and Soda Fountain
Darlene and Pete Davis, owners, make sure there are plenty of photos in their Gallery as well, so anyone considering going to the Portland area is going to want to make a stop in Milwaukie while they're at it...especially this time of year for First Fridays celebrating art, food, live music, poetry, dance and community, from 5-9pm the first Friday of every month. And then there's Farmer's Markets June-September with music and crafts.

If there's anything visual that trumps a picture, it's "moving pictures" with sound. The video camera used to be a pricey and tricky-to-operate item but now technology has put vidcams in iPads and smart phones, as well as digital cameras. So making videos is now accessible to all of us who have the patience to experiment and learn. Have fun with it, fine-tune it and upload it. Make your website come alive.