Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tappity tap tap

For the very rare individuals among us collectors who love old and antique typewriters, I just discovered that Blogspot named Fresh Ribbon a "blog of note" this month. A very interesting style for showing their archives is the first thing to catch the eye.

My last typewriter was an IBM Selectric, which was advanced for its time because of its variable spacing, which made the type look more like book type. I can't even remember the last time I heard a typewriter, once the soundtrack for my working life. No, wait! I do remember: a typewriter was used in the background of a Janis Joplin recording, "How Long Do I Have to Wait."

And yes, I am actually old enough to have used a typewriter like this old Underwood, a Standard No. 5, in the privately-owned Selectric Typewriter Museum.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

California (antique fair) dreamin'? Hit the road!

If you're reading this, the antique street fair scene is your perfect choice for a weekend getaway. September offers lots of opportunities for street fair and outdoor fair browsing, either once-a-year annual events sponsored by local merchant organizations, or (because of California's predominantly conducive weather) year-round monthly affairs organized by professional producers. There are so many, you could plot your way down the state discovering a new fair or two every weekend, and even save money by visiting some of their websites and downloading admission discount coupons. Most websites also include maps to help you get there. Get an overview to plan your expedition by perusing all the calendar ads in the Events section of Cochran's Collector's Guide.

Start at California's capitol, with the Sacramento Antique Faire, which takes place the 2nd Sunday of every month from 6:30am-3pm on 21st Street between "W" and "X" Streets. So this year it's Sept. 13. Among their many vendors is the local store, Antique & Collectibles Marketplace (501 Tenth St), which also sells online. See an example of their wonderful pottery selection at left. Another dealer at the SacFaire is Jennie Krausse, who specializes in estate sales and also has a website.

Twice a year, the Petaluma Downtown Association in Sonoma County has been sponsoring an a spectacular outdoor street fair on Kentucky Street, the heart of Old Town, where the iron-front buildings from the late 1800s still rule the street and several antique shops are right there in the neighborhood for a little indoor browsing. Thousands of visitors have been flocking to Petaluma for this fair over the past 23 years. The 2009 fall event is Sunday, Sept. 27...Petaluma's dates are easy to remember, always the last Sunday of April and September. Admission and parking are free, and hours are 8am-4pm. Contact Marie or Jenny, (707) 762-9348, for information.

Alameda Point is the venue for the biggest outdoor antique fair in Northern California

Further south in the Bay Area, you'll find the Alameda Point Antiques & Collectibles Faire, open the first Sunday of every month. Be sure to visit their website, where they've posted a big display of photos of participating vendors' merchandise, plus another photo gallery is available on Flikr! But don't get stuck at the computer, go see it all for yourself. Alameda Point is a unique venue for an antique fair, located on former Navy property on Alameda Island adjacent to a National Wildlife Refuge. Access is via Hwy. 880 as you pass Oakland, through the Webster Tube, an Art Deco marvel in its own right. The Alameda Point Faire has been bringing in thousands of visitors for 11 years, to browse more than 800 booths, and is now known as Northern California's largest antiques and collectibles show. Admission is $15 for 6-7:30am Earlybirds, $10 from 7:30 to 9, and $5 from 9am-3pm.

80,000 visitors hit Niles Boulevard August 30 for the 45th Annual Antique Faire and Flea Market
At the noted antique district on Niles Boulevard in Fremont you'll find the 45th Annual Antique Faire and Flea Market on the last Sunday in August, which falls on August 30 this year. More than 200 vendors bring their antiques, collectibles, art and crafts for the 80,000 visitors who throng the Boulevard. When the September sun is high, dozens of air-conditioned antique stores along the street offer special sales to celebrate the event. There's enough food and entertainment, not to speak of the Railroad Museum and silent films, to make a full day of it. This one opens early—6am!—and closes at 4pm. Sponsor is the nonprofit Niles Main Street Association, which uses the proceeds to help maintain and revitalize the historic Niles district. See their website or phone (510) 742-9868 to find out more.

Marcia Harmon at Cottage Jewel co-sponsors and sets the style for the bi-annual Heartland Antique Faire in Danville.

Labor Day weekend (Sept. 6) is the Heartland Danville Antiques & Art Faire adjacent to the Railroad Center on Railroad Ave. This Monday-only show is definitely offering interesting variety with folk artists, Halloween specialists, re-purposed vintage goodies, gobs of jewelry and all the usual antique surprises. An appraisal clinic will be held at the nearby Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Railroad Ave at Prospect. The Heartland Faire will open at 9am, close at 3pm. Call the Cottage Jewel, (925) 837-2665 for information.

Photo of the crowd at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, from their website

One of the most famous outdoor markets in the world is RG Canning's Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, held the second Sunday of every month, year-round (so mark your calendar for Sept 13). Starting 40 years ago, this event has built up to 2,500 vendors and 15,000 to 20,000 shoppers, including the occasional celebrity like Clint Eastwood or Whoopi Goldberg. Hey, they like to bargain for cool, old stuff too! General admission at 9am is $8 or free for age 12 and under with an adult. Earlybirds are admitted at 8am for $15, or if you're an extra-early riser come in between 7-8am for $15. Or if you're a hardcore VIP shopper who wants first peek at the goods, come in from 5-7am for $20. The last vendors are on their way out at 4:30. Parking is free, unless you want nearby VIP parking. But then, the VIP parking is where you're most likely to spot the movie stars!

Canning's most frequent attraction is the San Bernardino Market in the Inland Empire, open every Sunday at the National Orange Show Events Center, 7am-2pm during the summer, until 3pm the rest of the year. There are usually more than 700 vendor booths, attracting crowds of as many as 10,000. Admission and parking are free. Photo from Canning's website: handsome old armoires are still in demand for entertainment centers.

Rows of palm trees preside over the Ventura Flea Market, held every other month at the Fairgrounds.

But wait, there's more... If you'd rather stick to the Cool Coast, go to Canning's Ventura Flea Market at the Ventura County Fairgrounds on Sept. 27. Held every couple of months, this fair hosts around 500 booths, and general admission at 9am is $5, but earlybirds can enter 6-9am for $10.
Santa Monica Airport is another unusual venue for an antique event: the Marketplace Productions twice-monthly Market. Photo from their website

Then continue on south down the coast to Santa Monica. On the 1st and 4th Sundays of each month, Marketplace Productions holds their Antique and Collectible Market at the historic (c. 1919) Santa Monica Airport (Airport Ave. off Bundy). $7 grants early access from 6am-8am. Otherwise it's $5 general admission, seniors $3, kids and dogs free (yes, this is one of the rare events where you can bring a friendly dog). Coupons for $1 off the following week are available at the entrance. Parking is free. Reviewer Katie Heffernan at Citysearch says the quality of items at this event is definitely upscale. "...they focus on larger, quality antiques with staple pieces like natural wood tables, painted cupboards and carved bureaus," she notes. But there's plenty of elegance and exotica in the smaller decorative pieces, too.

"Eye candy" at the Long Beach Antique & Collectible Flea Market. Photo from their website

And further down the Coast is the Long Beach Antique & Collectible Flea Market at Long Beach Vets' Stadium, held every third Sunday of the month, so it'll be Sept. 20. Harry Rinker, the antique expert and author, calls this one top ten in the nation. The first show was in 1982, and since then it's grown to more than 20 acres, with more than 800 dealers. Here you can get in as early as 5:30-6:30am with the Earlybird admission of $10, or pay $5 to enter from 6:30am-3pm. Parking is free. In the MSN City Guide, writer Jim Washburn calls this event ..."an adventure in eye-candy."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

September's fairly bursting with street fair fun

An ideal mini-vacation is a weekend spent wandering through a lively antique street fair. And why not drop in at some of the local antique shops while you're at it? Often these events are set in the restored historic district away from the madness of the malls. Parking and admission are usually free, and the organizers go out of their way to offer a fun atmosphere for the whole family, with music and food to enhance the day's browsing. It's best to arrive early, before the heat of the day, when parking is easier, and while the selections are still optimal.

Today we'll cover Oregon's street fairs, tomorrow we'll cruise south to California!

Display at the Oregon City Open Air Antique Fair beguiles passersby with lots of refreshing whites and pastels

Oregon has its share of outdoor antique events starting Sunday, August 30 when Oregon City hosts its "Open Air Antique Fair" with more than 100 booths set up on six square blocks of the historic Main Street. A food court will provide the fuel for an afternoon's browsing, the live music from the 60's and 70's will set a nostalgic scene, and appraisers will be on hand to help evaluate your finds. More than 10,000 visitors arrive in Oregon City every year for this successful event, now in its 14th year. Ashley King at the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce can give you more details (call 503-656-1619), or you can visit their website. Oregon City is just off Hwy. 205, southeast of Portland.

The beautifully refurbished old buildings of Albany's Historic District overlook the annual Albany Antiques in the Streets.
Photo by Oliver J. Anderson

In Oregon, the streets of the Albany Downtown National Historic district will be literally filled with antiques on Saturday, Sept. 12. At this 12th annual "Antiques in the Streets," you can find everything from vintage furniture, glassware, pottery and linens to architectural items such as windows, doors and hardware, and many assorted collectibles. Admission to the event is free, and not only are there going to be vendors of antiques and collectibles from all over the Northwest, but there will also be food booths so that you can recharge your batteries with out missing a deal! An appraiser will be on hand to evaluate your own collectible, or the one you just bought. First Avenue will be blocked off for the day, so that organizers can create a bigger and more visible marketplace. Be sure to stop by the Albany Downtown Association booth and get an ice-cream, as well as some literature and coupons to downtown businesses. While in Albany you can also visit the three museums downtown and shop at the Farmer's Market just a few blocks away. The hours for the event are 8 am to 4 pm, rain or shine. Check out the Albany Downtown Association website to keep up with what is happening in Downtown. Vendor space is still available, but you need to call 541-928-2469 soon to get a spot. Albany is on Hwy. I-5, just south of Salem.

If you're already in Albany that weekend and not shopped-out, it's not far to Coburg, where you'll find the 22nd annual Original Coburg Antique Fair the next day, Sunday, Sept. 13. This very popular event also takes place in the historic district, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, and has grown to encompass some 300 antique dealers, so wear your walking shoes for some serious browsing. You'll feast your eyes on an endless array of intriguing antiques and collectibles while tapping your toes to live music and treating your tastebuds to snacks from several food booths. Admission and parking are free, as always. Contact Roxann Emmons at the Coburg Antique Malls, (541) 683-0916 for more details, or check out their website. Coburg is only five miles north of Oregon's capital, Eugene.

Photo: Ruby glass lamp, art and painted furniture at Coburg's Antique Street Fair

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We think, therefore we blog

Sometimes I just like to surf on a subject and find inspiration. My favorite topics are antiques, vintage and collectibles (plus sailing and living in Mexico, but that's another blog). This morning I've added more than a dozen new blogs to my list (scroll down and find it on the right), and you're invited to visit them all, when you've got a free hour or two (it took me an entire morning). Some are about brick-and-mortar antique shops, others are online sellers, and many are collectors who enjoy writing about decorating their homes in old stuff.

If you've been thinking of starting a blog on any of the above subjects, and you need some help with your design, check out for a selection of absolutely free art elements… everything from backgrounds to buttons to blinkies, pretty post dividers, even page headers in your choice of funky or elegant motifs from Megan and her webmaster brother Kaleb.

Here's a button I like a lot…

And this is an example of a blinkie…

There's a detailed, easy-to-follow instruction page, so you can experiment and play with charming bits and pieces to dress up your page.

At Megan's own blog, you can get acquainted and learn more about design, how to use code and tap into your inner artist. She's promising "even more designs, freebies and tutorials" to make your blog fabulous. If you appreciate her generosity and creative spirit, send her a comment! Like all of us bloggers, Megan loves feedback and if she hears from you she might just write a feature about you!
© copyright 2009 All rights reserved. Floral stamps by Rhonna Farrer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A sad loss for Kalama

The historic Heritage Square building in Kalama was destroyed by fire June 10

Owners of Heritage Square Antiques in downtown Kalama, WA called us this morning to report that their historic 113-year-old wood-frame building burned down June 10. What a sad loss! It was reported that the cause of the fire was next-door neighbors tossing an ashtray out their window. The store and its contents, a fine collection of antiques, was totally destroyed.

The fire was filmed and made available on YouTube.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Superb style in the genes

When exquisite taste is genetic, why not partner-up in antiques? Arlyne Meyer and Michelle Cardwell, the mother-and-daughter team at A Moment in Time have opened a second antiques store in the Niles District of Fremont, CA, where they'll feature fine furniture, pictures and mirrors. The new store, A Moment in Time Too is at 37312 Niles Blvd, and the phone number is 510-790-6300.

They'll also continue with their original location at 37396 Niles Blvd, where the emphasis is on exquisite hand-painted porcelains—the largest collection on the West Coast!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quilts, Crafts and Old Radios in Aurora

"If there are no quilting bees in heaven, I'm not going."
from Jean Kirkpatrick's Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community and Craft

If you're in Oregon and you love quilts and early crafts, don't miss the current exhibit at the Aurora Colony Museum which brings to life settings from popular author Jean Kirkpatrick's full-color book, "Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community and Craft." Displayed are not only handmade quilts but artifacts contributed by a number of Aurora families, creating vignettes of home life in the Aurora colony of the 1800s, which lived communally and developed skills in a number of crafts. The exhibit continues through June 6. Shown here is one of the settings illustrated in the book and recreated in the exhibit.

Tomorrow the last Flea Market of the season will be held in Aurora, in the American Legion Hall at 3rd and Main, 9am-4pm.

And radio aficionados should stop in Aurora next weekend, when the Antique Radio Show and Sale will take place, also at the American Legion Hall, 9am-3pm. The Northwest Vintage Radio Society will present a big display of vintage radios.