Sunday, December 30, 2012

top 5 of 10 VINTAGE Must-Finds ...

(see previous entry below for #6 to #10 )

With Vintage-Thrifty-Upcycling trends being a HOT theme right now it doesn’t matter whether you are talking fashion, home decorating, upcycling, crafting, collecting or more the love of a great vintage find has worked its way into every aspect of our homes and lives.
The top trending vintage hot must-finds have a varied theme but there is no doubt the current mid-century retro theme is prime treasure hunting fare. 

link to Inktiques on Etsy

1. Vintage Books - It seems the more techno-paperless we become as a society the more drawn we are to the love of a vintage book. It is as if we are clinging to some part of our history being shredded from us as the literary world finds a new way to reach readers. From leather classic first editions to ragged pulp fiction with retro images and titles long past politically correct we are madly collecting all that documents the written word. 

link to DearNellieStationery on Etsy
2.  Vintage Stationery - From vintage cards to artisanal retro stationery there is nothing like sending or receiving a real letter in the mail. Retro hot paper appeals to many a collector of quirky social statements of the day in almost tacky like phrasing, classic traditional baby announcements, tiny little bridal occasion cards, classic get well greeting and so much more. This trend is beyond scrapbooking cool ephemera and post card collecting and now great finds are displayed and framed on the home office desk regardless of the style or era.

link to typeface at Inktiques
3. Vintage Printing Press - This icon to the industrial printing era gone by is getting harder and harder to find. As technology changed the entire print media world large presses went the way of the dinosaur and the lead typeface was shipped off for scrap. Today these little gems of print history are sought after by many mixed media artisans, scrap bookers and crafters but are equally loved by nostalgic collectors, industrial lovers and writers do all kinds the world over.

link to CndnPrairieAntiques on Etsy

4. Kitschy Kitchenalia - Mid to late century retro vintage kitchenalia has never been so loved! The simplicity of a household in the 50's to late 70's brings a draw to all things the current collector grew up with. From vintage aprons and linens, Pyrex colored mixing bowls, kitschy knick-knacks, melmac madness and more the vintage lover's home is a filled with all things retro simple and well loved.

Link to LandlockedCottage on Etsy
5. Vintage Weddings   - Here comes the Vintage Bride has never been a more popular theme for that special day. Whether the theme is regal elegance of an era long passed or the simplicity of 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 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 guest are greeted with historic treats and old fashioned favourites making a vintage wedding a day to remember.

Monday, December 10, 2012


six to ten
for a THRIFTY LIFESTYLE (the top 5 featured in above entry)

link to LandLockedCottage
6. Retro Clothing FashionEverything is in and nothing is out! Fashion has never been more fun and trend-dresser draw from both the finest and the thrift. Gently loved vintage is as at hot as its designer high priced opposites found on everyone rich, poor and in between!

link to ThriftyDiversions on Etsy
7. Mid-Century modern ceramics
With the onslaught of endless off-shore home-dec possibilities in the big box world, the true vintage-lover is turning their nose up to mass produced cheap and happily spending even less on great thrift store finds to accent their home. From cookware to functional pottery to art glass, collectors are hot after the love of the hunt and collecting in a theme to accent their lifestyle.

link to Inktiques on Etsy
8. Industrial
Heavy metal has taken on a whole new life in the love of the industrial look and a drawback to simplicity and mid-century innovation. From industrial green metal desks the weight of a small elephant, to office mid-century grey metal filing boxes of all sizes the loft-style life-style is a perfect fit for this hot trend.

link to Inktiques on Etsy 
9. Past century Ephemera
The home office has now moved front and centre to the main hall, stairwell alcove, kitchen or even featured in the family room. The d├ęcor surrounding is all about framed maps, interesting paperwork of history, theatre tickets and one-off publications from back in the day that showcase the loved collections of the household.

link to LandlockedCottage on Etsy
10. Vintage Luggage & Carry Cases
These gems of the last century are hotter than ever! The sweet small train case was a ladies must-have back in the day and again has gained huge popularity not just as a novelty item but the perfect case for the retro road trip weekend over-nighter. Retro suitcases are finding their way into up-cyclers heaven becoming wall shelves, dog beds, stereo cabinets, and a crafter's storage solution dream.

See the entry above for the TOP 5 and if you have a favourite be sure and drop me a note!
Happy Thrifting,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Interview with COLLECTORS QUEST CEO/Founder ...
For all you History Channel and A+E fans – you may have noticed a tie in with an exciting new web site COLLECTORS QUEST. Created by collectors, for collectors, you can now upload and organize your own interesting collections, meet and talk with your fellow passionate collectors, and see different and unique collections from around the world. You can also find and sell treasures and get global news about the vast world of collecting.
“Our website is about making collecting easier and more fun!” says Elizabeth Kressel, Founder and CEO of Collectors Quest, a website that merges retail and interactive content for the collectors’ community. “We have a very different offering than other sites. We understand the antiques/collectible business as we are collector/sellers ourselves.”
Offering up everything from political buttons to breweriana to antique printing presses, Collectors Quest has a strategic marketing partnership with A+E Networks providing television exposure and online marketing support tied to A+E’s most popular properties, including Pawn Stars, American Pickers and Storage Wars. This partnership extends across all A+E properties to any programming with collector tie-ins and to commerce items directly related to the shows.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Kressel on her exciting venture … I hope you enjoy the insights!

ThriftyDiversions: What made you want to come up with the concept for Collectors Quest?
ElizabethKressel: I grew up in a family of collectors so collecting was always in my blood. When I took a look at what was out there, the choices for collectors weren't great. It's a really visual hobby and most sites were lacking any photos whatsoever and video was nowhere to be seen. I also noticed that the websites that were out there only focused on one aspect of collecting - mostly the purchasing side. However, there is also a huge information side to it. There were sites that had the information but they were so dry - it was like reading the encyclopedia.
Given I came from a media background, I thought there was a better way to present this information. I wanted to combine the information and the purchase piece and add in missing visuals. Also, many of the sites out there had been started by hobbyists so there was little incentive to upgrade the technologies of the site. Given where the tech industry was - there were a lot more applications at my fingertips when I wanted to launch it. My thought was to bring the website experience for collectors into the 21st century.

TD: How long from the initial idea to the web launch this year?
EK: Our site has been around for 6 years but we embarked on a major relaunch in January of this year, premiering the new site in June. It was a major upgrade - new features and functionality and the premiere of fully transactional marketplace. We had done more of the matching of buyers and sellers in past. We had started with a blog, which is in the top 1% of all blogs, not just collecting blogs (as ranked by Technorati) and the aggregation of collecting information across the web and eventually added collector profiles and showcases. We still have all of that but the platform is cleaner, and we now have all of the HISTORY channel showcases like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, American Restoration and Picked Off.

TD: How did you manage to marry your idea to the popularity of History Channel / A+E programming of non-stop collecting theme shows?
EK: Funny enough, my idea originated as a cable network. There was nothing out there at the time, just a few scattered shows with Antiques Roadshow being the frontrunner. However, at the time the cable industry was changing making it harder to independents to be successful. The idea always had a web piece because a large amount of collectors online.
So, it is funny to be back in the cable space. Reality shows are a perfect format for collectors because they tend to have personality and are extremely passionate. It makes for great TV. I was lucky enough to know someone in programming and we were able to show how we could add value to their audience by showcasing relevant content. Many of HISTORY's shows tap into the collector consciousness - we just take them a step further by showcasing the items from the shows, giving them background and context. We also give their audience a platform in which to meet other collectors like themselves or to the more casual viewer - just to see cool items like the ones they have seen on the shows.

TD: What exciting things can we see coming up at Collectors Quest as you grow? 

Liz Kressel, CEO/Founder
Collectors Quest

EK: We are adding features weekly but some of the big rollouts you can expect are bringing collectors clubs on to our platform, as well as well know collecting brands (Coca Cola, Pez etc.) We are looking to build several mobile apps as well that will help collectors locate items of interest. We are also rolling out more tie-ins A+E Networks. This month will start our initiative with Bio Channel and we hope to have the A&E brand shows (Storage Wars, Hoarders) in early 2013.

TD: Personally what is your favorite thing to collect and how do you find it?
EK: That is so hard to pick given I have about 6 very active collections (toy trucks, stone eggs, political buttons, military miniatures among them) but if I had to pick one I would say it is 1930's and 1940's American furniture. I go to flea markets, antique malls and auctions. I also do the occasional garage sale but that is much harder since I live in NYC. I also have pulled stuff out of the garbage - one man's trash right? I was also very lucky to have inherited some of my grandmother's furniture to add to my collection.

TD: Recommendations for newbie collectors?
EK: Collect what you love. Most collectors don't do it for the investment aspect. They do it because there is something that intrigues them about the item. Prices come and go based on desirability but it shouldn't negate your appreciation of it. I give the example of 60's and 70's furniture - it's very hot right now so the prices are up. Is is valuable? Perhaps but it is more a question of supply and demand and the demand is strong. However, when Art Deco is the fad two years later, the prices would fall. So, I personally believe if you collect what you love, you'll avoid feeling taken.
Start with smaller items until you gain more of an expertise. I am a newer political button collectors (about 5 years now) and my price threshold is $50 because I know less about it. That said, I've been collecting furniture for about 20 years and I'm quite comfortable dropping substantially more because I have a better knowledge base. Also, don't be afraid to ask! Most dealers are happy to tell you what they know about an item if they can. I always ask about items I don't purchase as well. It's a great way to build knowledge on the types of items you collect.

TD: Thanks Liz!

visit the THRIFTY DIVERSIONS collections of Melmac Mania, Vintage Hats, Pulp Fiction and more featured on COLLECTORS QUEST at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Man of My (Thrift Store) Dreams …

For those who follow my lifestyle blog, LandlockedCottage, you will already know the news that I married this summer in true thrifty-style. My love of vintage was never more fun than pulling together a short notice small town prairie family wedding. In the whirlwind of planning and excitement one thing I did manage to take time for was creating the most unique of bride’s bouquet to showcase my love of vintage jewelry (pictured here).

I must say it was a highlight of the occasion as were so many other little vintage touches, a simple cake with a vintage topper, wrist corsages made from fresh flowers, vintage linens, the town square gazebo we were married in, and so much more. Best of all was that the positive response, well wishes and fun comments on the day showed me that thrifty isn’t just a trend, it is a simple welcomed lifestyle that is here to stay.
Enjoy below the re-printing of the blog I wrote in anticipation of the event and pulling it off vintage-style.

The Man Of My (thrift store) Dreams
Is it just me or have you noticed a trend of late on the new man? For those who also follow my antique & collecting blog Thrifty Diversions you already know that thrifty is “IN” in a big way! But for those who get a more subtle message eventually and enjoy the slow dance you may have picked up on a gentle shift in all that is circling your history channel viewing pleasure of late.
It turns out the men of the much watched History Channel shows, the Pawn Stars, American Pickers, American Restoration, Cajun Pawn Stars, are the new sexy! Yes ladies you are not only looking for mister right – you are now hoping for mister into-great-junk! Women of a certain love-for-vintage age are wanting a man that will go picking and troll thrift stores and yard sales on a weekend. No elegant late Saturday morning yuppie coffee shop dates anymore, we just want a man who pulls up with two paper cups of no-name steaming coffees and an empty truck bed ready for some weekend action – auction action! A man who travels with a little be-prepared essentials rolling around under the seat of his pick-up next to his fishing gear – ropes, big garbage bags, gloves, multi-head screwdriver, hammer, crowbar, shrink wrap, an old-furniture blanket and the likes as you never know when you might come across an old abandoned barn door to liberate or have to dismantle a century old armoire at an auction to get it in the truck.
Yes ladies we want a man who loves long back road drives in the country at dawn’s first light … looking for good junk! How do I know that to be true? I’m marrying one of those guys this coming weekend! Not only did he come to love the thrifty collecting lifestyle I exposed him to early on he has become a great picker himself, even worked the front counter of my antique store to great success on his weekends off the day job, and an expert tie-down man who can make anything fit in the back of a truck. As I am writing this he just texted me pics of a typewriter he is standing in front of at a thrift store he popped into while he is on the road to see a client – “works $8?”- like sexting to a collector – we call it thrift-porn.
Our wedding is as simple as our love of a thrifty vintage lifestyle, all happening in a small prairie town at our shack of a cottage with no frills, but surrounded by family and fun.  Saturday afternoon ceremony in the town park gazebo, my minister brother marrying us, and a few blocks back at home we will be swinging open the old double carriage house doors to expose the tacky man-cave garage bar surrounded by vintage chrome stools.  The yard will be full of guest campers, reception on patio tables covered in vintage linens surrounded by lawn chairs on the dirt driveway. Food will be plentiful simple family fare off the grill, fresh cut garden flowers all around in mismatched vases and stuffed into cream can urns, wine and beer out of iced topped galvanized pails, vintage mismatched dishes, and even the traditional, almost tacky vintage bride & groom cake topper on a simple real get-eaten white cake. There will be fire pit sing-a-longs, crib tournaments, lawn croquet and best of all a celebration of a perfect match.
If these auction loving, junk-hunting, pickup truck driving, rugged haulers are the new man – can the up and coming round of Mountain Men, Shark Wranglers and Swamp People filling up airways be the next great man to snag? Move over American Pickers – trends don’t lie.
Thanks for all the wedding wishes everyone!

(originally run July 26/12 on LandlockedCottage blog)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

VINTAGE HATS trending …

 I have always loved vintage hats!

 What was once a necessity to cover one’s head in church became a fashion era rage during the first half of the last century and by mid-century was in full bloom with the likes of head-turners such as Jackie O style spinning the hat fashion industry on its head. By the time the free-love long flowing hair rage of the sixties was full-on the fashion of a lady in a hat took a sad turn and by the seventies hats were relegated to hipsters and weddings.

The magic of time is that everything that was old is now new again and that has never been truer than right now for those lovers of all things vintage. Clothing, hats and accessories topping of the anything-goes fashion trends of today have brought back a love of all things lovely. Brits and those on the Continent have always known the charm of a hat and with the latest wedding of a Royal princess the fascinators came out in a big way and awakened the rest of the globe to once again fall in love with the must have fashion accessory. 

Click to link to more vintage hats

A fine hat now finds its way into any excuse of an occasion making a fashion statement as unique as the woman who wears it. Vintage fashion is classic, hot, trending and here to stay! 

Visit my entire collection of Vintage Hats for sale at   LandlockedCottage

Monday, March 19, 2012


click to link to more paperbacks
 Mass market mid-century paperback gems are a testament to a brazen social history. Political correctness aside, the titles alone are worth the price of admission but coupled with equally provocative images in wonderful retro cover art makes these one of the latest hottest must haves to any book collector. Genres range from westerns to mysteries and romance.  As for a sign of the times there is nothing like a title the likes of Bond of Flesh or Spinsters in Jeopardy to jump off the page, with images of wanton women, gun-slinging men and Dr. No or Flash Gordon, and were what sold the book purely on cover art and title alone in a highly competitive pulp fiction market.

Click to link to more paperbacks

The paperback era began in the late 1930’s and continues today but the collector higher value draw is to the early editions of this paperback revolution which took the well established refined book stores by a storm. Mass marketing and the concept of vendor returns on unsold inventory enabled inexpensive titles to be had in supermarkets, corner drug stores, commuter station shops and any sort of vendor who had space to offer the craze. 

Click to link to more paperbacks

 There are many things to consider when collecting beyond just price and condition. Established authors back in the day, with solid hard cover fame, also had a mass market appeal resulting in many editions to any given title. Others wrote under pen names for the pulp trade and discovering the who’s who of who wrote what under which name and then targeting your collection accordingly can be half the fun. The same is true for the artists of the day with many contributing to the desirable highly sought after cover art. Values can range from a couple of dollars to tens of thousands and although many can still be found at thrift stores and tag sales this hot market treasure is fast getting swept up with many titles now on the resale collector markets for strong values and climbing.

Click to link to more paperbacks 

Values can range from a couple of dollars to tens of thousands and although many can still be found at thrift stores and tag sales this hot market treasure is fast getting swept up with many titles now on the resale collector markets for strong values and climbing.   

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Start your deliciously wonderful APRON collection ...

Ruffled Sheer vintage apron  
The nostalgic charm of a VINTAGE APRON ... offers a huge connection to the past for anyone who ever ran home from school and straight to the kitchen to see what smelled so good all the way from the front gate. This fast-growing  collecting trend is part of the popular draw to all things kitschy and a fine example of the ‘tacky’ to some, ‘treasures’ to others collectibles popping up in vintage shops everywhere. Antique linens in general, including vintage aprons, are just one of the many ‘hot’ items tugging at the apron-strings of collectors hearts everywhere.
The item always home made with love and featured fabrics, colours and styles as varied as the women who stitched them. The most popular collectible style being the near new or never worn examples sporting lovely hand work, embroidery, exquisite sheer fabric and heritage laces and worn only on the best of occasions for the finest of entertaining. The less than refined examples are no less of a draw and the trims of bright contrasting colourful fifties-era trims and rick-rack zigzag bring a charm to the simple utilitarian item. Another popular style is the reversible aprons sporting a bright floral and matching plain trimmed pocket on one side and when flipped over offer the opposite in a plain apron with the bright floral featured in the pocket. This style offered the style conscious hostess a quick turn-around to a fresh look after cooking but just before serving the meal.
Round & Red Ric-Rak fun 
Mother size aprons with a matching young daughter-size twins are a special treasure as are the Christmas themed aprons often holding their original starching too special to even wear. The bridge playing set had a look all to itself with lovely handwork featuring black and red aces, spades, hearts and diamond are another hot commodity.  The keen eyed collector may even find the apron matching hand-worked linen napkins and card table cloth with tie-down corners to complete the well-heeled hostesses’ afternoon luncheonette and weekly card game.
Smocked Sweet Vintage 
The gingham aprons are always a crowd pleaser and boast popular hand cross-stitched borders and waistbands and pockets trimmed in a contrasting colour. Many also feature lovely full round hems and smocking delicately stitched into the cinched waistbands.
Most women have a draw to the aprons, not only because they grew up always entering a cooking underway kitchen wearing one style or another, but also fondly remember their first school sewing project and making their own personal apron touting their handwork talents.
Festive Holiday Glitter
As a collector one might still find these gems in thrift shops, although as the popularity increases, they are getting harder and harder to find. In the vintage and antique shops expect to pay from $10. to as high as $60. or even $80 dollars for a prime example of hand work and finery. Once a collection is started it rarely stops at one or two as each style, each print, each trim, brings back a fond memory of an era when the kitchen always smelled wonderful and the apron of the day always reflected the occasions, the season or the talents of the cook. Vintage aprons are a deliciously appealing item to collect. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

MELMAC mania ...

check out over 40 groupings of Vintage MELMAC for sale at:

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. 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.

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. 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!
hard to find the rattan wicker lined melmac is so retro!