Friday, July 26, 2013

Saturday Night in Miniature

For those who love dollhouses and miniatures, this unique automaton case with miniature figures is something very special. Richard Wilson, who was known in the Sacramento, CA area as the Master of Miniatures, created this saloon scene called "Saturday Night", possibly in the 1980s, and it has now become an acquisition of Ron Curtis at Antique and Collectibles Marketplace. Ron sent us this description:
The "wood shadow box" is 33 inches wide, 25 inches height and 20 inches deep with a lift up glass front.  Towards the back left corner is an enclosure for the motor, a tape recorder and speaker outlet that measures 13 x 5 inches. 

You plug it in and throw the switch. It will initially play saloon type dancing music from a tape player with 30 minutes of music.  Push another button and the three dancers on the stage begin doing the Can-Can, the piano player begins playing the piano, and the bartender begins raising a bottle. Five wall lights interspersed, along with five lights over the dancers on stage light up the case.

Buried on the second floor balcony to the left of the lady in the green dress is a lighted bathroom with wash basin, mirror and dry sink. At the tables you see a "show girl" on a man's lap, a poker game in progress and four men surrounding the bar.  I believe the Madame is guarding the lower level door to the right. Also, of note is the exquisite balcony and railing to the second floor as well as wood doors.   And, finally added to the attractions is the reclining nude print behind the bartender.

You are probably looking at a one of a kind "house" with miniature dolls and mechanical features by a gentlemen who has since passed away. He was truly a "master."

Everything on sale!

What could be more fun than going to an antique shop where everything is on sale? That's what's happening at AJ's Attic in Castro Valley, CA this weekend, and it's only once a year. Arnie loves jukeboxes and game machines so there's a huge selection of those, but you'll see all kinds of other fun items too, with surprises everywhere you look. It's a great place for "guy stuff" — he could outfit his whole man-cave at AJ's! So take your spouse!

AJ's Attic is at 2540 San Carlos Avenue in Castro Valley and they're open 10am to 5pm or by appointment (call 510-853-8833). Visit the website at

Monday, July 15, 2013

It may be hot, but The Antique Warehouse is cool

July is scorching hot outdoors where I live, so I've been staying close to the air conditioner, making indoor expeditions,  exploring antique-related websites. One of the most professional-looking website presentations I've seen lately is for The Antique Warehouse in Salida, near Modesto, CA. Their abundance of bright photos, smart use of space and color are attractive and easy on the eye.

The chatty blog is updated frequently (find the blog button next to their Facebook logo, in the upper right side of the page). Latest news flash: "Mid-Century Modern items are flying out the doors!"

I was also impressed with their glass selection: everything from souvenir glass and carnival glass to fine crystal. And the vintage fashions grabbed me with great photos of beautiful hats and cool leather jackets.

Enticing selection of colorful and sleek Mid-Century cookware and serveware at The Antique Warehouse in Salida, CA. (Below) Swag lamp and tableware from the 50s
The Antique Warehouse makes the most of their huge parking lot with monthly Peddlers' Parking Lot Sales through the spring and summer, with the next one scheduled the first Saturday in August, and dealer spaces are available for a small fee  (call  209-545-9460 for details). Look for The Antique Warehouse at 5351 Pirrone Rd, off Hwy 99 north of Modesto.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Consignment Shop Holds Firefighter Benefit

Repurposed headboard made into a charming bench, at Consign n Design

When 19 elite firefighters died in a firestorm in Yarnell, AZ (near Prescott), June 30, many of them left behind young families in need of support. With that in mind, Pearls and Consign in Design in Phoenix is having a benefit drive from today (July 4) through July 7, accepting donations to go to the families and also donating 10% of their sales all week and through the weekend to the fund.

Just an example of the bargains to be found: buy one piece of jewelry in Pearls' dazzling display, get a second piece for half-off.

Pearls has established a reputation in Phoenix as the place to go for accessories such as costume jewelry. In May, they moved in with Consign n Design to create an awesome new shopping mecca 

Consign n Design and Pearls Accessory Spot is at 11649 N Cave Creek Rd in Phoenix. They're open today for the holiday 10-4, Friday and Saturday 10-5 and Sunday noon-5. Come shop for a good cause! Visit Pearls' Facebook page at and Consign n Design's website and Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Freedom to Celebrate YOUR Way

Barbecues and fireworks are all very well, but how about, for a change, observing the Fourth of July in a bodacious antique store in Mesa, AZ? Munching hot dogs and slurping lemonade while losing yourself in the aisles of the Antique Plaza—now that's a way to celebrate freedom! Head over to 114 W Main St in Mesa to explore the oldest antique mall in Mesa, with more than 150 dealers in everything from furniture to ephemera, vintage fashion to art and kitsch.

But if you're not in the Mesa area, you can still visit Antique Plaza's website, where you'll find that the concept of repurposing has reached new heights. Erica and Kat, two of the dealers at the Plaza, write a regular blog detailing their explorations into repurposing and sharing their ideas. So, there is a useful future for that old army cot you couldn't resist snapping up years ago, or those old bus tokens that were such a deal but you can't think what to do with them. This blog is full of solutions and notions that can spark your own creativity.

Antique Plaza is one of a group of 26 antique stores and services in the Phoenix Metro region known as Valley of the Sun Antique Dealers' Association, which has a website with a map to all their member stores.
Patriotic display at Antique Plaza in Mesa