Monday, November 3, 2014

How to store vintage postcards, photos and ephemera ...

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Vintage and collectible postcards have become a hot collectible marking many occasions, seasons, lifestyles and important social history of their day. Inexpensive treasures can still be found but high prices can equally be realized so storing and displaying your antique postcards is an important part of collecting this delicate ephemera.

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As paper is such a delicate product with a life expectancy of less than fifty years, storing it in the wrong method could seriously devalue or totally destroy your hard earned collection.  Many attractive album style books are on the market to display your collections.  But do your homework as some may look great to organizing and enjoy your postcards but the paramount feature you need to ensure is that of preservation.

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Archival quality acid free and PVC-free transparent sleeves are the safest method of storing your individual antique postcards while allowing for viewing pleasure. They allow for protection not only from the oils on your skin but from environmental affects as the mylar-like sleeves do not introduce harmful chemical in their structure. Non-archival plastics can contain chemicals which will breakdown and destroy your treasures quickly deteriorating your collection.

For further protection from handling be sure that the sleeves openings are large enough to not have to bend an edge or crease a corner while sliding the cards into place. The sleeve itself should be heavy enough to support your card for viewing front and back with no paper insert which could further deteriorate your postcard through the paper’s chemical breakdown over time.

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Not only the protective sleeves need to be archival quality but also the album cover, boxes or slipcases must be professional collector quality to ensure safe keeping. If using a box method with indexing and tabs be certain the paper dividers are of archival quality also. Some collectors are even using metal boxes ensuring greater protection from outside hazards.  Climate, temperature and humidity can all wreak havoc on your collection and must be closely monitored to be sure moisture or sever heat or cold are not affecting the sleeves and in turn your prized postcards.

vintage postcards at DearNellieStationery
If wanting to both safely store and display your collection at the same time there are many retailers offering archival quality display cases, suitcase-like displays, postcard frames with glass both front and back for total viewing, shadow boxes and coffee table stands. In selecting your storage and display always consider that air, moisture and chemicals damage can lift the inks, fade or discolour the postcards and even disintegrate them over time.

Select your storage wisely for years of preservation and enjoyment of your passion as a deltiologist, a collector of picture postcards.

Happy Collecting,


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All that glitters ...

Palm Tree past stunner Brooch

With the hot fashion statement of vintage so in these days extra care should be taken in cleaning and repairing your lovely vintage jewellery and sparkling rhinestone finds. Antique and vintage jewellery is one of the few collectibles one can buy to truly enjoy and wear as the cost of the imposters to real jewels is minimal the enjoyment from wearing it far outweighs the risk of loss.

Rhinestone costume jewellery beauties, often called foil and paste, are not made from precious metals or real stones so extra care is necessary to keep your less than perfect fun baubles in sparkling condition. The synthetic cut-glass stones often have foil in behind to add more colour and reflection and also as it is so much softer than gemstones it is easily scratched and tends to look duller.

Moisture can and will destroy your favourite piece of rhinestones jewellery if it is not cleaned properly.  Not just cleaning product or water moisture but your own sweat can harm these lovely stones. The moisture can collect under the foil behind the stone eventually peeling it away and deadening the sparkle.

AVON Color Go Round convertible ring

Brushing the piece with a soft clean cosmetic or small artists brush will remove the dust. Any built up residue can be gently eased away with a tiny piece of a lens cleaning cloth moistened on the cloth only, not the gems, with an approved eyeglass cleaner. If any scrubbing action is needed to get the piece clean water damp but well squeezed out q-tip can be used.

Coro Pegasus Bracelet

Cleaning the metal should only be buffed using a soft jeweller flannel-cloth intended for  that purpose with care being taken not to catch any of the setting in the cloth while buffing. Placing the cleaned jewellery upside down while drying after cleaning will help prevent any moisture from seeping into the foiled back between the stone and the metal.
DORLAN past bow pin

To replace or repair any damaged or lost rhinestones care must be taken to not scratch the soft synthetic or glass gems in the changeover. Stone setting pliers and jewellers tools will aid in the delicate process as will a professional glue. Jeweller’s glue, also used in eyeglass repair, will not yellow with age.

Many websites are available where you can find replacement stones in all shapes, colors and sizes such as round, square, flat back, pointed and more can be had to repair your vintage and antique jewellery.

SHERMAN Aurora Borealis earrings
Not all costume jewellery carries little value so cleaning and caring for your gems will protect your investment. Many famous makers of authentic jewels stepped out in the 1920’s and through the post war times, creating intentional fake gem pieces to market to the everyday woman. Many of these synthetic pins and jewels by notable makers such as Trifari, Dior, Chanel, Eisenberg and more are avidly collected and bringing strong prices in spite of their imitation qualities.

Many beautiful pieces to choose from in my vintage fashions  LandLockedCottage shop.
Which is your favourite? I love them all.

Happy collecting,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Giving Thanks vintage style …

For the northern half of North America Thanksgiving has come and gone by mid-October but for the southern half it is fast approaching late November. The mystery of why this similar celebration sits more than a month apart in Canada and the US has as many folklore reasons as the celebrations has traditions. 
click here for nostalgic fun finds
Regardless of how or where you celebrate the nostalgic memories of a large family feast always spark memories of the days past and those little special reminders of a great time of the year.

The vintage kitschy simple household items that come into play on a family holiday weekend are as revered today as they were back in the day.  

over 50 groups to choose from
Perhaps not as dear to the pocket book as they were then still many collectibles are sought after by those recreating the nostalgia and the love of a traditional thanksgiving dinner back in the vintage-loving day.
A special platter or serving dish, a hostess table set and special linens all made the dinner celebration table sparkle.
great selection of vintage linen

For the hostess a dress-apron, a cherished recipe or a surprise new one, welcoming treats for the guests and even a brand new outfit made the day complete.   

Today’s hosts and hostess delight in creating that nostalgic occasion and any vintage lover will tell you it is far more exciting to discover at a yard sale the very same platter dished up at their Grandma’s  back in the day than it is to pop into the kitchen shop at the mall to grab one.  

mid century mod at Thrifty Diversions
Likewise to pour cocktails from a vintage bar cart steeped in sentiment. Recreating a day to remember for future young family members is as important as heaping on the reminiscence of the many family celebrations past.
click for more vintage barware fun 
Whatever the family occasion and tradition bring out the ‘best’ of table service but remember that it is not always the finery but rather usually the simple everyday treasures that are the best reminders of the passing of traditions on generation to generations, dinner table to dinner table, Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving.
all tinware on sale 
 Surround yourself and your guests with what you love and has meaning, it does not have to be the very same special carving set of your grandparents, but rather one the same discovered in a great thrift store find tale to tell is often twice as fun.

Celebrate with vintage love,

ps don't forget to record the celebrations vintage style! 
check out the vintage cameras at Inktiques

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vintage Melmac a summer trending find ...

(this is an updated repeat as it seems that MELMAC is as hot as ever this summer!)

click to check out over 50 groupings of Vintage MELMAC for sale

When the trend to vintage campers, boler trailers, airstreams, teardrops and more became the fun thing I knew it was only a matter of time till people restoring the retro camping gems would shift their focus to collecting all the decorator goodies to make their look complete inside and out. I started stock piling Melmac almost 10 years back filling bin after bin as friends thought I was crazy.

click pic to view
click pic to view listing
By the time the hot retro trend showed up I was ready with wonderful collections and near full sets collected a piece at a time. In the summer of 2009 I packaged it in delightful groupings and I sold it as fast as I stocked my antique store shelves with this colorful dishware. My online stores still feature a great selection although it is getting harder and harder to find first hand and the prices have skyrocketed. Melmac will be one of those items I am happy to say I was ahead of the trend on! 

REGAL Sears Warner Spekcaled ware
With a history back to the 1930’s the use of melamine particles to produce hard plastics has led to decades of popularity for what became trademarked Melmac household dishware. Many manufacturers produced melamine products but the Melmac brand carried the highest standards and quality control. By the 1970’s it declined in popularity as Melmac was limiting to modern kitchens and was slowly replaced with stone and earthenware that could go from the freezer to the microwave or oven, and then into the dishwasher.
click the pics for listings

In its heyday hardly a magazine household advertisement or full spread decorating feature was complete without some version of Melmac featured in the images of life back in the day. It is fun to thumb through vintage magazines and old catalogues and discover the many patterns and displays of Melmac.

click the pic for listing

For your best collecting value look to find only those pieces clearly marked MELMAC on the bottom. Prices go from the pennies to the hundreds so know your market and whether reselling or reusing enjoy your collecting!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

“Another bride another June another sunny honeymoon...”

Still topping the wedding charts is the entire vintage theme. Whether regal elegance of an era long passed or the simple home tradition, a vintage wedding is a hot ticket to a perfect day. The tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue (and a sixpence in her shoe), strikes a nostalgic chord at a vintage wedding. An old aunt’s dress, a borrowed veil, a family treasured bride’s string of pearls, are just the start as guests are greeted with historic treats and old fashioned favorites making a vintage wedding a day to remember. 

Along with the vintage theme of nostalgia comes the biggest of traditions, June Bride, a loved old Bette Davis movie title from the 1940’s and a popular song title back in the 1950’s. This most celebrated of wedding months is thought to go as far back as the Romans and the festival honoring Juno, the goddess of marriage and childbirth in the month of June. Couple that with Celtic calendar celebrating the summer solstice and what was called the honey moon and it seems the perfect time to tie the vintage-knot.

ALL Vintage Wedding on sale - click to shop!
I too was a June bride, just barely squeaking in on the 30th only one year ago and I too had a vintage wedding. Not in an intentional themed party sort of way, but more in a happenstance happy little notice barely planned event after a comical eight year engagement. The rare opportunity to have most all the family in one spot on what was to be a camping at our cottage family birthday celebration weekend turned into a surprise short notice family wedding. Our cottage, being more of a rundown century old shack in a tiny dusty town in the middle of the southern Canadian Prairie was the perfect backdrop for a vintage (not by intent) themed wedding. Of course being in the business of vintage everything we own at the cottage has a certain theme, that of old and used, so couple that with a light hearted family weekend of keeping it simple and you get a vintage wedding that rivaled the likes of those who plan for a year for what we pulled off in ten days.
(Read my last year’s entry here, Man of my Thrift Store Dreams).

Suffice to say with a first anniversary just around the corner, the global vintage wedding theme has grown even more popular and has brides-to-be scurrying in every nook and cranny and thrift stores, looking for not only that perfect wedding dress but also a suiting cake-topper, silk gloves, a vintage hat and a retro going-away-dress to change into post ceremony, custom hand written invitations, charming table toppers and kitschy serving pieces to dish up a family style reception meal, charming old photo albums and guest books  and so much more.

vintage jewelry keepsake
It is as if there is a draw to make the day frozen in time. The way to remember it always may be to keep it timeless and a vintage wedding theme does that in spades.

Happy thrifting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vintage Stationery posting new interest ...

Vintage Birthday fun

Collecting does not just have to be about displaying and seeing one’s collection. In the old-is-new trends of late using your collection, sharing it, living with it has never been truer than when it comes to vintage stationery.
Retro Party Invites

Nothing is more on trend than discovering a perfect vintage card for that thrifty-loving friend. A simple baby announcement on a sentimental old card or a cocktail party on a mad-men retro hot invite reworked for your occasion are now half the fun of the event. A vintage loving bride to be should have that perfect vintage card to go with the occasion as should a not well trendy friend needing some get well cheering up.
Get Well Greetings

Vintage cards are not only perfect for sending off in that old-fashioned mail-a-letter way but also make for sweet instant framed art and are a scrap-bookers dream in creating the ideal page of memories. Whether incorporating the delightful retro images and period true phrasings into multimedia projects or using the retro themed ephemera to honor a timeless worthy occasion, vintage stationery is fast taking the spotlight.
Holly Hobbie Vintage 

It seems with the web-savvy instant messaging quickness of news spread these days that there comes with that an offsetting desire to slow it all down and strive for personalizing the important events and vintage stationery is fast taking the lead in sending off a good old-fashioned greeting for any occasion.

Visit DearNellieStationery for over 100 vintage stationery items!

Happy thrifting,  

Friday, March 22, 2013


check out the many vintage patterns at WritersCraftToo 

In this fast paced generic excessive over-consumerism world it is nice to discover that a simple hand made family heirloom is as treasured as ever. I do think the resurgence in the trend to handmade, to craft with love, is part of our social push back on enough is enough and a draw back to what is real. Plastic, fake, disposable, meaningless are all grating terms that are eroding away our social history not only as a culture but as individuals and as families.  I know in my own vintage shops that there is increasing demand for the old traditional crafting, knitting and needlework patterns. Along with every purchase comes a story of memories of those early baby gifts made with love and of wanting to recreate that nostalgia through vintage patterns and methods. Many are making new family heirlooms like those few that survived the past to see the future but mostly gone now, sad victims to our throw away culture

I recently had the thrill of my welcoming into the world my first grandbaby. Baby Jakobi, son of my second son Joel, is pictured here wearing the very pram set his dad wore home from the hospital knit by his late paternal grandma. Tucked away for over two decades, this little treasure is more than just yarn it is a link to a paternal history and a meeting that will never happen. Jakobi's passed great grandma made this in anticipation of his father's arrival and her excitement to be gradma was knitted into every stitch. The memory for his family on that side of my long divorced past is still a treasure to my grandson regardless of what went ary over time.
 It is a family treasure, an heirloom from the past every bit as much as the future heirlooms I myself knit for Jakobi in the blanket and hat that wrapped him as he took his journey home from the hospital only a few days old, or the little knit socks and sweaters that keep him cosy. The same will be true of the next blanket I am getting ready to lovingly knit for my next grandchild to come later this fall. That baby will also be blessed with my older son Kyle’s heirloom pram set now three decades in the waiting for his next generation and all knit by the same passed paternal grandma.

Knitter extraordinaire, Bonnie Zink, author of the Blog -  Stitching in Saskatoon, shares a fond passion for the love of knitting heirlooms and vintage patterns. “I was gifted my Grandmother's patterns and have been busy carrying on the tradition of gifting knitted treasures for the newborns in my world. The whole process of creation takes me back to when I was a kid and watched her expert hands create knitterly hugs for the sweet babes. I love vintage!"

patterns at WritersCraftToo 
Many creative crafters share Bonnie’s passion regardless of their art form. Sewers, quilters, crafters, knitters, crocheters, tatting and more are many of the skills now finding a way back into popularity and the hearts of the families again honoring heirlooms. It is not only about the end creation it is about the skill set and the knowledge passed down grandmother and mother to daughter, aunt to neice and even now mother to son with many mens' quilting and knitting groups surprisingly popping up. Textile art is not about women anymore than the construction trades are only about men. It is a whole new world out there but the good news is that the love of the simple family gifts, the hand made, the treasures is back in a big way and hopefully here to stay.

Thank you for visiting my many vintage online shops but especially my crafty vintage supply shop, WritersCraftToo, where one can find a great selection of vintage patterns, yarns, supplies, vintage knitting needle bracelets and even wooden sock stretchers from back in the day!

Happy THRIFTING! Michelle