Monday, December 31, 2007

Swapatorium = Love

I have had so much fun checking out all the great old photos, illustrations, and other goodness over at Swapatorium that I just had to share... Angelica has a large collection of unique scans on her blog, and a really cool store called Snapatorium that has a wide variety of vintage photos that are for sale. Here are a couple of my favorites from her blog:


Angelica doesn't stop there though, she is involved with three other blogs devoted to collage art, which are full of so much great work it really blows my mind! I've dabbled in collage myself (it's on my "things I want to devote some real energy towards before I die" list), and looking at these blogs gets me all fired up to try it again.

Fantasy Rooms - I LOVE this idea! Funky, retro, surreal interior landscape collages - here is one of my favorite examples:


Scrapatorium - The talent overwhelms me:


Scrapiteria - This is a group project - "Scrapiteria is made up of collagists who work in the traditional cut and paste method. Each week, one of the members posts a new theme which we all interpret in our own way."

Much vintage geek love to Angelica for all her hard work!

The Name Saga - Update

First of all, a big thanks to everyone who commented on my eBay user name dilemma, I really appreciate it!

I worried over it for a little while, and finally decided to just go ahead and change everything up and be done with it! So I did, and of course I didn't fully realize the extent of what all needed changing until I was beyond the point of no return. Logos, links, templates, email... the list goes on and on.

I have the major stuff taken care of now, but I am still working on fixing all of my store listings. That is a huge project, but I am kind of happy that I am doing it. Sick, I know. But, it is giving me a chance to look at some of the things I listed back in June and adjust their prices, keywords or categories to see if I can get them to sell.

I really just decided that the change was the best thing to do for the business, thinking long term. A pain now, but worth it in the end.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Kitsch Collection

I know Christmas is officially over, but I just found this post on LiveJournal in the Vintage Color community and I HAD to share. It is a truly impressive collection of vintage Christmas kitsch!

Click here to see the entire post...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Uh oh.

Out of curiosity, I just did a search for the .com that would match my eBay name - eclecticvintage - and it is taken. I mean REALLY taken, as in it looks like they have been around for a while, and on eBay long enough to have the .com in their user ID.

It's all rather disconcerting. If I want to move to a more general web presence, I need an identity that can't be confused with someone else. Preferably an identity that ties in with my eBay identity. So, it looks like the only option is to change my eBay ID, which just really sucks - I have spent so much time creating my identity there around that ID.

*sigh*

At least I don't have business cards printed up yet.

End Of The Year = Musings

It's almost Christmas, which means (for me at least) it is time to start mulling over the fact that another year is gone, and a new one is on the horizon. It's been a crazy year, but I love the fact that the new year is going to be lived entirely on my own terms, that it is going to be a year of working on creating the life I have always wanted to have. Scary, yes, but pretty damn cool.

My mind has been on priorities lately. I never feel like I have my priorities straight, and would love to be able to focus on that in the new year. Focus is something else that has been on my mind, I feel scattered a lot of the time and really want to narrow down where my energy goes and expend it in a more controlled and consciously thoughtful way. Which is where the priorities come in.

So, where am I going with all this... I've been thinking about the blog and where it is on my priority list, and where I would like it (and all the other ideas that I have that relate to it) to be in the future.

I really like doing this, and I want to be able to expand on what I am currently doing over the next several months. I keep hearing about Wordpress, and have come to the conclusion that to do what I really want to do, I need to have a domain name and use Wordpress to create my site. It has a ton more options than Blogger, you can add whole pages of content and really create a website and not just a blog with it.

I'm a little intimidated by it, I have to admit. I have never had a domain name before - or used Wordpress, for that matter - so it will be all uncharted waters. I don't really have any reason to be intimidated, I know I will figure it out pretty easily, it's just getting past that mental block and actually DOING it that is the problem.

I'm going to be here for a while more though, it will take me a few months at least probably to get the new site set up and ready to use. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

First auction promo!

I have a great batch of auctions ending tonight - tons of amazing vintage linens (tablecloths, tea towels, a barkcloth curtain panel, napkins, etc.), a whole set of vintage Valmont China dishes, some cool VW cork coasters, an AQUA manual typewriter... the list goes on and on! Click here to check it all out!

Ending tonight!

Casino Memorabilia - Featured Collectible

I researched my casino ashtrays, they aren't worth a ton, glad I didn't pay much for them! I did discover, however, that some vintage casino memorabilia goes for seriously big bucks - for example:

Vintage 1960's Sands Hotel Casino Room Key - $112.53

Vintage Dunes Casino Chip - $76.55

Vintage 1950's Tropicana Hotel & Casino Sterling Charm - $80.99

Apparently there are some dedicated collectors out there, especially for those room keys and chips, prices can really go sky high - I was surprised! I guess they must be hard to find...



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Monday, December 17, 2007

Vintage Catalog Archive!

Oh. My. God.

I just stumbled across an amazing site - wishbookweb.com

Talk about a priceless resource! Complete catalog scans from Sears, Spiegel, Wards, and JC Penny. The dates run from 1944 to 1985, and it looks like they have a huge list of catalogs still left to add. It does seem like it has been about a year since they updated, and I couldn't get the Forum page to load, but no matter - there is so much goodness there it makes my heart hurt.

All the catalogs are Christmas editions, meaning they are chock full of everything you could ever think of - clothes, shoes, toys, dolls, jewelry, perfume, accessories, household items... the list goes on and on! I think the men's clothing pages are really invaluable, vintage men's fashion doesn't get enough attention. Here is one example - helloooo, Hugh Heffner!

And here is one I can't resist sharing... *swoon*

I could go on and on and on with the goodness, but you get the idea. Before you click over, be sure you have a few free hours and plenty of snacks!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Featured Collectible - Mustard Seed Charms

A quick Google search solved the mustard seed mystery!

"If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed...nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Matthew 17.20. A wonderful old Victorian belief held that the mustard seed symbolized faith. For this reason, the small golden seed was encased in glass and worn as an amulet."

"In the gospels, the mustard seed is used as a metaphor for the kingdom of heaven. Mustard Seeds are very small but they grow into very large plants that birds build nests in and call their home."

Pretty cool! A quick eBay search brought up a lot of results, in a variety of styles.



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Yay for winter morning estate sales!

Just when I was starting to think I was going to have to check myself into a yard sale rehab center, two estate sales popped up, one on Friday and one this morning. I managed to get to them both before the snow hit today, thank you thrift gods for holding back the storm so I could get my fix!

It feels a little not right to post pictures of stuff I am going to sell (meaning you will see them again at some point - though it may be 6 months from now knowing me!) but I buy so little to keep these days that if I want to post my scores I really don't have a choice. Besides, cool stuff is cool stuff and good scores are good scores! So here we go, excuse my hurried and oh so not elegant photos:

First batch of things from Friday's sale. It was a pretty decent sale, I could have bought a lot more if their prices would have been lower. She said they were going to go to half off on some things today, but when I drove by it was starting to snow, and it was packed with no place to park, so I passed on by.

These awesome striped dishes are marked Embassy Vista, I haven't been able to find anything about them online, not even on Replacements. They are so awesome, I can't believe there wasn't anything on eBay at least! (I am so tempted to keep them, those mugs rock my world.) I love to buy and sell old cookbooks, this Mud Pies one looks interesting and has an introduction by Erma Bombeck!

These dishes are marked Edwin Knowels, I haven't tried to look them up yet. I just really liked the shabby flowers! The Pillsbury Cookbook is huge, it's a bit dirty but it should clean up really nice.

There was a good bit of jewelry there, most priced too high for me, but I did manage to find a couple interesting things... a bizarre tribal charm bracelet, a sand dollar pin, and a faux pearl sweater clip that I think has a mustard seed charm on it. That is the second time I have seen mustard seed jewelry, I am going to have to research what that is all about...

FINALLY I found a Tupperware salt and pepper shaker stand! The shakers are not in great shape but I think I have a better pair floating around here somewhere that I can replace them with. The chopper is interesting, you can't tell very well from the pics, but the glass has a kind of bubble design on the sides, I have never seen anything like it!

This is from the sale this morning, it was also a good sale that I could have bought a lot more stuff from if the prices were cheaper. They are also going to have things at half off tomorrow, but the weather man is saying it is going to be a windy snowy mess all day tomorrow so I doubt I will go out in it. The ashtrays are all Las Vegas casino and hotel ashtrays! How cool is that?

Now the flatware I have to explain a little... My eBay guru, Lynne Dralle (The Queen of Auctions) sells flatware all the time that she picks up at sales, and she says you can usually make a good bit of profit from it. I have never really found any before that I thought was worth buying, but when I saw these at a good price I decided to give it a try. They are all stainless steel and are marked - two are Oenida and one is Stanley Roberts, which I have never heard of. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I thought the patterns were really pretty, especially the second one there with the roses!

This batch is from the Friday sale... a fruit tablecloth and SEVEN aprons! The tablecloth is in very good shape too, just a couple little spots here and there. I really love these old linens, they have so much character!

I have some more old aprons around that I need to list, I haven't really tried selling any yet so I have no idea how much they are worth. I will have to look into it and decide if it is better to sell them individually or in lots - and I definitely have enough to make a good sized lot (or two) now!

And that's all for now - not too bad for a December weekend in Ohio!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A couple changes...

First - I made the executive decision to move my email newsletter off of Yahoo and on to a regular email list server. I am thinking that maybe having to have a Yahoo account was keeping people from signing up. That is my current theory anyway, time will tell if I was right!

Next - I have decided that maintaining this blog plus a separate blog for my auction promos is too confusing. All that signing in and out of different accounts is too much for my poor mind to bear! I imagine it is a bit confusing for my visitors too, so I am going to put a notice over there to come over here from now on. Look for auction promos to start here next week!

Last - Permanent apologies for all past, present and future episodes of flakiness on my part... I'm a Libra, I can't help myself. ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1st Annual Useless But Wonderful Contest

Pam over at the awesome blog Retro Renovation is having a contest! Here's the scoop:

What is the most incredibly wonderful, but basically, utterly useless vintage whatever that you found this year?

For me: 11 feet of wax paper, for Ranch House Enriched White Bread. I just had to have it (from ebay), even though I have no idea what to do with it.

So, everyone: Make me feel better by assuring that you, too, appreciate wonderful yet useless items from our past for their simple beauty. I read recently, in fact, that our culture identifies “art” by the fact that it is “purposeless.” That is, it is beautiful for beauty’s sake. My bread wrappers… with no contemporary purpose… are art, and you must have some, too!

Send me your jpegs and your story — and I will post as many as I can. The contest runs through Dec. 31. If the web guru and I can figure out how to install a “poll,” everyone can vote for the final winner. If not, I will be queen and choose.

Email your entries to: pam@retrorenovation.com

The prize: hmmmmm. I haven’t figured that out yet. It’ll be something good, most likely useless but wonderful.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dreams + Fantasies = Musings

No photos for today's post... Just a bit of rambling stemming from some daydreams I've been having lately. I get lots of ideas - most of them never make it out of my head. Some do though, but then proceed to die quick deaths.

I'm happy that starting this blog hasn't fallen into the dearly departed category. I am having fun with it, even though a lot of what I wanted to do with it isn't coming as easily as I had hoped. Which has prompted the daydreaming - my brain is searching for alternatives.

I had a little realization. The essence of what I want to create really leans more toward an online magazine than a blog. I want articles, features, spotlights, photo spreads... the whole nine yards. Maybe it's my newspaper background, or my never fully realized zinester tendencies. I don't know.

Two problems present themselves - time, and content.

Time of course is the big issue, which is why I started a blog. I can update when I have time, no schedule or deadlines or rules. An e-zine would require all those things plus content quotas, and more. I just don't know if I can make that happen when I am just getting my business started. I don't know if the traffic it brought my store would be enough of a trade off, or if I could make enough money with affiliates and advertising to justify the time... It's a huge project.

And the content is a big concern too - the response to my pleas for contributions for the blog has been less than overwhelming. There is no way I could create all the content for an e-zine myself, unless it was just like a bi-annual publication. So, figuring out a way to get articles, photo submissions and interviews is a must. I am wondering though, if people might be more open to submitting to an e-zine format over a blog format?

Anyway, these are the thoughts that are plaguing me at the moment. I don't know why I can't just be satisfied with running my little eBay store... I am intent on building an empire! I want an eBay store (or two!), an Etsy store, a website, a blog, an e-zine, a couple different newsletters, affiliate marketing projects... Am I crazy?

Aren't people who build empires usually a little crazy though?

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm getting my first blog mention!

Tonight I listed an awesome matching leopard print faux fur hat, purse and gloves set (you can check out the auction here):

It wasn't long after I listed it that I got an email from eVintage saying they are going to blog about my listing! Here is what they said:

Dear Vintage Seller:

You're going to be BLOGGED! This item of yours has been selected to be featured on the weekly 'ALL PURPOSE RUNWAY' eVintage's MySpace page this week! We feature new vintage items to talk about every Tuesday & Friday.

Since you appear to share our enthusiasm for all things vintage, we invite you to come join the eVintage Society. It's THE place to showcase vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, sewing patterns, fabrics & notions that you have for sale and is a fun place to meet other vintage-minded sellers.

You can find us at www.myspace.com/evintage, or our group is http://groups.myspace.com/eVintage.

Here's hoping we cause a little stir for your item and make a new friend!


How cool is that? I'm pretty excited, hopefully it sends some traffic my way!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bawidamann - New School Pin-Ups!

I have a real soft spot for old school pin-up girl art - think Vargas, Elvgren, Armstrong, Ballantyne, Bass, etc. There are contemporary artists out there that are doing pin-up work, but none have managed to make a real impression on me - until now!

Andrew Bawidamann is right here in Columbus, Ohio - hi neighbor! - and his artwork is amazing. He takes the old pin-up art form and twists it, giving it a unique and stylized modern look. He does a lot of military themed girls which are a big hit with our soldiers!

His work seems to be popular with the tattoo crowd also, no surprise there - how cool would this be as a tattoo?

Ahh, if only I wasn't such a wuss with a needle phobia...

Anyway, here is the link to his site, be sure to stop by and check it out!
http://www.bawidamann.com/home.html

Thursday, November 29, 2007

James Lileks has my dream job.

Well, one of my dream jobs. He collects old ephemera (books, magazines, postcards, matchbooks, advertisements, etc.), dissects them, and makes fun of their vintage quirkiness. It's easy to get lost on his sites for hours, especially on the Institute of Official Cheer, but everything is well worth the time it takes to dig through it all. And not only are his sites stuffed full, he has taken it a step farther and written books! I know, like I said, dream job...

http://www.lileks.com/

Here is just one of the many that made me laugh out loud:

"The Panic Room, c. 1971. Honey, there’s a burglar in the house! Quick, downstairs! I’ll get the gun – you type a letter to the police, then sew up a sack I can put him in."



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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

First post, and it's freakin awesome.

What a way to kick things off.... I found this on a recent post in the LiveJournal group Saucy Dwellings.

Eurobad '74 - Europe's worst interiors from 1974

Most of the rooms are truly god awful, but there are a couple I actually kind of dig, like this one:

And this one, well, it just makes me laugh. (What do you think that kid has in his briefcase, anyway?):