I Enjoy Being a Girl

Well, it’s been awhile since we’ve posted but, darnit, the Portland Swap Meet tuckered us out! We’ve regrouped, though, and are getting back in the swing of things. And, since so much of our recent activity has centered around more manly pursuits, we thought we’d throw in something special for the ladies!

We’ve been lucky enough lately to score some really fantastic vintage clothing and accessory pieces and, since prom season is right on top of us, what better time to feature some beautiful accessories for the teen girl who loves vintage? But, really, even if you’re not going to a prom or even close to an age that you would be going to a prom, these gems are sure to please.

Photo of a vintage black karakul sheep cape on a dress form.First are a couple of vintage karakul sheep pieces. Karakul sheep is also known as Persian lamb or curly lamb and is characterized by a tight curly hair that is usually black or very dark in color. The process for acquiring the pieces to make garments or hats from the karakul is not a kind one and, thus, finding genuine karakul is generally unheard of these days. If these weren’t vintage pieces, we certainly wouldn’t be advocating for the purchase or wear of such a garment. However, these particular pieces are from the 1950’s and come from an era when the the practice was more commonplace.

Photo of a vintage black karakul sheep wrap on a dress form.In any case, we found these pieces as part of a small sale out of storage unit! They are both in remarkably fantastic condition. One is a collared cape with hook closures down the front and the other is a wrap that features pockets on the front. Hurray for pockets! Ladies, you know what I’m talking about! Both pieces are fully lined, too! The cape lining definitely shows wear at the collar and it’s clear it’s been repaired, but, when worn, it doesn’t show at all. The wrap, however, is in excellent condition. It’s amazing they have withstood the test of time as they have. And, while vintage pieces, they are timeless enough to wear today and still look outstanding with nearly any outfit!

Photo of a vintage white hand beaded hand bag with a gold handle.Next, we happened upon two stunning hand beaded handbags. Well, one handbag and one clutch to be exact. The black clutch was made in West Germany and the white handbag was made in British Hong Kong. Both are 50s era and, like the pieces already mentioned, have aged beautifully. Neither shows signs of missing beads or trauma of any kind, which is amazing as we found them buried at the bottom of a cardboard box at an estate sale in a house that looked like it was about to fall over any minute! But, really, these two pieces are just lovely. If you’ve ever done any beading, you know how tedious the work can be. Looking at the detail, especially on the black clutch, I can only imagine the care that went into making these two! Certainly both are special pieces. Can you imagine what venues they may have seen? Cocktail parties, the opera or theater, special formal nights out. The white handbag would be a fantastic edition to a bridal ensemble, too!

 

Alas, as beautiful as all these pieces are, keeping them would be selfish. They really do belong in the hands of someone who has just the right occasion for their use. If YOU are that person, hop on over to our Facebook page and click on the Shop Now button where you can purchase them. But, if you do, be sure to send us a picture!

Portland Swap Meet 2017

Whew! Another successful swap meet is in the books! And what a weekend it was! Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly…

First, the good… We were blessed with the help of a renter on Wednesday night and managed to get our 17′ U-Haul truck filled completely up in short order. Wow. We had never taken so much stuff! Bonus – Karen commanded that 17 footer having never driven anything larger than a large passenger van before! She even backed that bad boy up into the driveway from the two lane road in front of the house! Well done! Karen’s youngest son joined us on the last day of the meet, too, and was a great help loading the truck and unloading back at home!

Photo of a 17' U-Haul truck backed into a driveway with the back open and the ramp extended.

More good came in the form of meeting up with friends at the swap meet. We’re blessed with having some terrific longtime neighbors at the swap meet and we were glad to get to share the weekend with them again. We also saw countless friends that were also there as vendors and attendees. One thing that is fantastic about being in the same spot each year is that people know right where to find us and find us they did! We were happy to do business with them and to create new friendships along the way. Plus, a huge shout out to the organizers and staff of the Portland Swap Meet. This is the 53rd annual show, and it is a HUGE show (the largest on the west coast with approximately 3,500 vendor stalls and over 50,000 shoppers). The men and women that keep it going are so helpful and so nice. We LOVE doing business with you folks!

Photo of Karen and Mark with the guys who are their booth neighbors at the swap meet.

Our swap meet neighbors Randy, Dan, and Virgil. Missing from the pic is Frank, who was picking up the truck to drive them all home.

On to the bad… The weather this year certainly could have been better. Last year we had sunshine all weekend and it was WARM! This year…not so much.

Which leads us to the ugly… If you live in our local area, you know what this last Friday was like. If not, let us break it down for you. We started Friday morning with five popup canopy tents. 20 minutes after raising the tents to start the day, we had four. Despite the tents being lashed to each other, tables, wheels, and more, our casualty tent was lifted up, bent, and thrown on top of another tent all while the two of us were trying to keep the other four tents from flying away, too! We managed to get the destroyed tent down, took another tent down completely, and kept two of the remaining three lowered as far as they could go for the whole day. The last tent wasn’t even extended fully and that’s where we spent the day. Much of the day found Karen hanging onto the frame of that remaining tent to keep it from flying away as so many others did. It was exhausting. And cold. And wet. The dumpsters were full of canopy carnage. We heard that the folks at the swap meet down at the racetrack didn’t fare any better. We’re told that canopies were blowing across the track and that there were even porta-potties that were blown over. Eew.

Photo of the bent up metal frame of a pop up canopy tent.

Not ours but a good representation of what many of us experienced!

All in all, though, we had a great weekend. Lots of great people, great cars and trucks, great sales, and great finds! It wore us out and we were in bed and asleep before 9pm on Sunday, but we’re excited to do it all again next year!

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Rusteration – A Love Story, part 4

Putting a masterpiece back together after it has fallen into disrepair is really kind of a beautiful thing to witness. As all the pieces fall back into place and the luster of what once was returns, it’s almost like there’s a new energy in the room.

Photo of vintage Bowser gasoline pump in the midst of restoration.So it was with putting this old man back together. It’s been mentioned before in parts one and two of this series that Mark is something of a “whisperer.” From the very beginning, he knew this guy had a story to tell. His patience and care in bringing this pump back to life is now written into every turn of every bolt that holds it together.
Photograph of a side view of a restored vintage Bowser gasoline pump.
As faceplates and glass were installed, as panels and doors were attached, it was if the old man was slowly regaining his life. Images of where he may have once stood and the customers who he served over the years began to dance in the air. And, with the lighting of the new globe that sits atop his sturdy metal frame, it was if he finally exhaled and came into his own once more. He may not ever pump gasoline again, but, if you listen carefully, you can almost hear him breathe, “Let me tell you a story about the old days.”

Mark did a remarkable job (and in a very short time frame, too!) in giving this old pump new life. The sharp contrast of deep black, vivid yellow, and bright white are enough to draw you in, but just light this guy up and he’s the center of attention!

Before and after photo of a restored vintage Bowser gasoline pump.

 

We’re very proud of the work that’s been done but we have only been his caretakers for a time. Now it’s time to find him a new home. If you’re interested in being that home, head over to our store for more details. And, if he hasn’t found a new home yet, we’ll have him with us at the Portland Swap Meet, April 7th-9th, at the Portland Expo Center. Come by “Hell’s Corner” (booth #s 6140, 6141, and 6156 just outside the D Building) and see him for yourself! We’d love to say “hi” and introduce you!

Photo of a restored vintage Bowser gasoline pump.

 

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Prepping…

The tables are filled with items to prep for Swap Meet and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet! We’re going to have LOTS of items to choose from! Signage, cans, vintage advertising, parts and pieces, upholstery, clothing, gas pumps, and sooooo much more! Don’t miss us at the meet! We’re in booth numbers 6140, 6141, and 6156 just outside the D Building!

Rusteration – A Love Story, part 3

When it comes to any artistic creation – whether it’s a painting, a costume, a piece of architecture, or even a gas pump – the devil’s in the details.

As you saw in part one of our saga, this old pump was in rather rough shape when we found him. Years of neglect and being left to the elements had robbed him of his once grand stature but surely not his character.

In part two, we stripped him down to his bones and began developing the vision that we hoped would begin to bring him back to his glory. When we left off, his exterior pieces had been sent off to the powdercoater to have him work his magic. In the meantime, there was work to be done at home.

With his exterior parts being worked on away from home, we knew we had some time to begin addressing all the little things that needed to be tinkered with and polished. But, wow, our powdercoater works FAST so we really didn’t have too much time to waste!

There were parts that needed to be ordered such as faceplates, decals, and a new globe. We managed to find some outstanding pieces from dealers in the US and waited for those to arrive in the mail. Photo of a Signal gas pump globe wrapped in plastic in a shipping box.

We were fortunate that the old man still had one piece of original glass in him that was intact. No small feat considering his age! Replacement glass was cut to fill in his missing pieces and we even managed to score an original nozzle from a swap meet we attended at the beach. Chrome was polished and buffed and readied for the old guy. His wiring was reconnected and, with the addition of a couple of new lightbulbs, he lit right up when plugged in (and there were no sparks or fire; hurray!) And then…we picked up the pieces from the powdercoater. W.O.W. They were beautiful!

Photo of a freshly powdercoated yellow door to a vintage Bowser gas pump.

All that was really left was to put him back together. Witness his transformation in part four!

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Rusteration – A Love Story, part 2

Once the Bowser was in the garage, we were able to do a little more assessing of its condition. As noted in part one of this story, Mark began whispering to the old guy, and we weren’t disappointed in his reply.

Piece by piece, the old man was taken down to a mere skeleton of his former self. Doors, top, and side panels were carefully removed and set aside, electrical was disconnected (well, the cut wires at the base had already rendered it disconnected!), and the cleaning began. And, fortunately, all the parts that were supposed to move did! Even more fortunate was that the parts that weren’t supposed to move didn’t!

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This is when the dreaming began, too. We knew we wanted to have the exterior powder coated but what color scheme? We knew we needed to purchase a globe for the top but what kind? There was much discussion and looking online at examples of other pumps and a decision was made. Off to the powdercoater his pieces went while we hunted down the appropriate globe, face plates, etc!

What did we decide to go with? You’ll have to tune in to part three in our series!

Other Posts in the Rusteration SeriesRusteration – A Love Story, part 2

 

Memory Lane

Lane furniture. For some of us, just the name brings to mind quality. Many girls longed for the day when they would be gifted a Lane hope chest, but Lane was known for far more than just that. American made craftsmanship, quality materials, and outright beautiful pieces of furniture were the hallmark of the Altavista, Virgina, manufacturing plant in the sixties.

From 1912 to 1951, the Lane Company was known only for those popular cedar chests. In the fifties, Lane expanded to occasional tables and case goods with accent pieces making their debut in 1965.  And, man, what a splash those pieces made!Image of a page from the Lane Acclaim Series catalog from the mid 1960's.
Lane became a fixture in mid century modern furnishings in America. The Acclaim series was especially popular, appealing to both the traditional and modern senses. Not only did it feature the standard coffee tables and end tables but also buffets, desks, dressers, chairs, and even a snack cart! In fact, one product catalog shows 44 different pieces!

Fast forward nearly 40 years from accent pieces making their debut with Lane, and these two beauties came into Karen’s possession. They had been left behind by a renter that she also acquired when she and her then husband purchased a home. When he moved, the renter indicated that the tables had been there when he moved in and weren’t his so he just left them. Over the years, they were used by other renters and, really, their condition showed it. Still, they were sturdy and their structural integrity stood strong.

Photo of a restored Lane Acclaim Series end table.After sitting in storage for years, Karen’s parents, bless them, took on the task of refinishing the tables. Wow! The end result was (and still is) glorious! No wonder these pieces were popular! Made of walnut and ash, the dovetail finishing is just exquisite.

Only the top 35% grade of walnut on the market is considered for this furniture. Then, out of 100 feet purchased, only 40 feet will meet Lane’s exacting requirements for grain and color. This fine wood is then finished with a mellow gunstock patina, enriched in character with dovetail inlays. -Lane Acclaim Series Catalog

Now, more than 50 years old, this gorgeous pair is awaiting a new home. If you think your home is that place, head over to our shop and seal the deal!

Photo of pair of restored Lane Acclaim Series end tables.

Lyk-Nu…After All These Years

It was the 1940’s and, if you really wanted to treat your ride to the newest 2 in 1 product, you looked to Lyk-Nu Kote-O-Wax! Not only did it clean and wax your car in one easy application, it now came in colors to match your car!

Close up photo of a vintage Lyk-Nu Kote-O-Wax countertop display advertisement.

On a trip to our friend Jim’s salvage yard in Colorado, we were dig, dig, digging in a large cardboard box that was sitting on a pallet outside. We pulled a lot out that was truly just junk but, when we pulled out one particular manila envelope, it simply fell apart in our hands. What we found inside was a matching set of original countertop easel advertisements for Lyk-Nu Kote-O-Wax!

Photo of vintage 1940s Lyk-Nu Kote-O-Wax countertop display advertisement.Even better, they were in near pristine condition with the easels never broken out! Amazingly, the colors were still vibrant and they were remarkably well preserved. Our eyes nearly popped out of heads and we instantly knew they were coming home with us!

Of course, we kept one for ourselves (who wouldn’t?) but we’re passing the other along! This beauty measures 24″ high and 11″ wide. Has a bit of what appears to be water staining in the right corner and a small tear on the right side but, really, it’s a beauty!

Check out the product listing on our Facebook shop for more photos and purchasing details!

Rusteration – A Love Story, part 1

Several months ago, we were fortunate enough to come upon a small cache of gas pumps just waiting for someone to scoop them up and breathe life back into them. This is one of their stories…

This vintage Bowser gas pump had certainly seen better days. When we found it, it had been sitting outside uncovered and completely exposed to the elements for countless months (years?). The old guy whose farm we found it and three others on wasn’t so much interested in selling them at that time.

Photo of 4 salvaged vintage gas pumps loaded in the back of a pickup truck.

Coming home…the Bowser in question is the second to the left.

“I’m going to restore them,” he told us, “after I get rid of all this stuff!”

We looked around. There was a lot of stuff. A LOT of stuff.

Six months later we returned. There was still a lot of stuff. In fact, there was MORE stuff! And, so, we inquired about the pumps again and he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Thus, the Bowser and its comrades came to be in our possession.

Photo of doors from salvaged vintage Bowser gas pump.He was rough, for sure, but he had good bones and, like many other items manufactured well over 50 years ago, he had stood the test of time remarkably well considering his outward appearance. All that was left to do was determine if his moving parts would still move!

Enter the Gas Pump Whisperer aka Mark. Truth be told, the man can whisper at just about anything old and he seems to have an ear for hearing the response. And, as expected, this old guy breathed out a reply…

Stay tuned to hear more of his story!

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