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 décor. 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 callReneeEstates@yahoo.com.

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 websitemainstreetcollectorsmallandsodafountain.com. 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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What do men want? Mantiques!

Seasoned antique dealers have always known there are certain items in their collections dear to the heart of male shoppers. While the wife is swooning over ornate old sterling and Meissen porcelains, the husband is drawn to old gas station pumps, toys that bring back his youth, tools and fishing tackle...objects that these days are referred to as "Mantiques." And now there's a guide especially for these objects, Mantiques: A Manly Guide to Cool Stuff, by Eric Bradley and published by Krause Publications.

Mantiques covers quite a wide range of items, from surfing and fishing gear to men's fashions to jukeboxes and barware. And their popularity among buyers has boomed worldwide over the past few years, leading us to lament getting rid of our Generation One MacIntosh computer and Grandpa's shaving mug. This guide will make those antiquing forays Dad used to dread into exciting explorations of everything masculine...just in time for Father's Day.

Also in time for Dad's special fete is a special sale of Mantiques at King Richards Antique Center in Whittier, starting June 9. The most hard-to-shop-for man should get a kick out of something from the store's selection of cameras, watches, glasses, collectibles, sports/auto memorabilia, metal signs, tools, golf clubs, fishing poles, LP's, model cars and more. King Richard's, which has been dealing in antiques for more than 30 years, occupies the historic 100+-year-old Whittier Citrus Association building, which is also home of the College for Appraisers...a good source for appraisals the first Saturday of each month. King Richard's Antique Center is proud to once again win the San Gabriel Valley Tribune 2014 Reader's Choice Award!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

If you've got it, flaunt it

So you have an antique store, and you'd like people to come in and browse the awesome collection(s) you've spent weeks putting together for display. But advertising copy can only go so far. People want to see what you've got, and then let something irresistible grab them and bring them in the door. That's where cameras come in.

Digital cameras have made photography so much easier! I remember when I published a monthly antique magazine and had to take roll after roll of film to the processor, where they'd charge me beaucoup bucks to even look at what I'd come up with, and there was no tweaking possible. If a shot was great but a tad too dark, there was little to nothing I could do about it. And digital cameras are capable of dealing with less-than-optimal lighting situations, too.

Now there's PhotoShop, but even more affordable, a nifty program called Preview (came free with my Mac) that allows me to crop, lighten, turn a photo on its side if that's the effect I want. But the best thing is just to take a LOT of photos, until you get over that attitude that "I can't take good photos." Take enough shots of anything, you're bound to come up with something you like.

How do you get the photos up where people can see them? A website is a great way to do that. Witness Hollywood Treasures' (of Eugene, OR) website, with a gazillion photos on their home page. It would be very hard to go through all those shots without seeing something you'd love to bring home. My favorites are a glorious, understated yet graceful chandelier and a handsome dive helmet of brass and copper. Not only are they very attractive pieces, but the photographer took great closeups of them. (OK, I confess, I did a little creative cropping too...)

Maybe you don't have time or the expertise to put together a website. You can still get your photos online, when you're included in Cochran's Collector's Guide. Stores in the Guide that don't have websites can have a free web page, similar to Hollywood Treasures' home page but with a descriptive paragraph and a map to your location. Take a look under the Free Hosting/Links to Shops Currently Hosted menu above for examples.

Whether you've got a website or a web page with Cochran's, the next important step is to get the web address out there, on your business card, flyers, maybe a poster on your front door, your Facebook page, Twitter...anyplace your store can be publicly viewed. And take fresh photos when new items come in! Your camera could be your new best marketing friend. And it doesn't even have to be a real camera, you can use an iPad, or a smart phone. Just start clicking away!