"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Fleamarket Friday: How To Spot a Deal

When it comes to shopping antique stores and flea markets, beauty and value is in the eye of the beholder -and prices can fluctuate like the stock market.

Although antiques are usually defined as anything 100 years or older and vintage collectibles as pieces at least 20 years past new, determining an item’s price it’s not age but home d├ęcor trends, region, modern lifestyle and nostalgia that reign.

When I interviewed managing director of New York-based, Heritage Auctions, and Antiques Roadshow appraiser Kathleen Guzman for my bookazine, Flea Market Finds she provided this example: "[Right now] nobody wants an armoire. Twenty years ago, people liked armoires because they could hide their TVs…but now, TVs are so thin, its sort of modern and trendy to have a flat screen on your wall like a picture. An armoire that twenty years ago brought $20,000 dollars, may get $500 today. It’s like firewood…Thank God silver has a high melt value right now because people don’t want it, and it’s all being melted…People don’t live that way anymore with expensive flatware services and china and Waterford crystal. You go to any regional auction house and they’re giving that stuff away. They can’t even find buyers for it.”

Which can be good news if (in spite of what everyone else is doing) you happen to like that stuff...

In fact, when it comes to buying cool old stuff, Guzman says buying what you like is really the only thing that matters. “People always ask me, what should I collect, Kathleen? I think first and foremost you should collect what you love…because it’s a lifelong thing. It may appreciate in value in your lifetime, it may not. You may as well enjoy it while you’re doing it."

Bottom line, browsing online auction sites like eBay or comparison shopping at an antique mall can provide a ballpark estimate or price range for items that interest you. If you can find it for less at a flea market or yard sale: score!

Happy hunting!

 Loved this pricey comic strip clip of Steve the "fighting editor" of Snapshot Magazine!
 Desperately seeking Warhol. Tiny, doll-sized soup cans!
 Howdy, Kewpie!
 Is it me, or does Howdy's head look like it's on backwards...
40-Something flashback...pre-My Little Pony era.

Where the fleas are:
This weekend check out
Pasadena, CA
2nd Sunday of every month
coming up: Sunday, Dec.8
every Sunday 9am-5pm 
In the parking lot at Fairfax High School
7850 Fairfax Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
$3 Admission fee is a fundraiser for the high school

Brooklyn Fleas
Brooklyn, NY:
Saturday 10-5
 Saturday and Sunday 10-5
Sunday 10-5

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Crafty: State of Unique

Heads up, So Cal peeps! If you're looking for something cool to do this weekend (literally and figuratively!) head to downtown L.A. for State of Unique -an upscale craft fair featuring a curated collective of more than 300 top notch vendors and Made-in-America creativity.
(Clever clutch by HIPP & Kirk, above)

 Fostering entrepreneurism and good design since 2008, the event held in the Penthouse space of the California Market Center (110 E. 9th St.) now attracts more than 20,000 stylish shoppers who browse, enjoy free drinks and craft sessions, DJ's and workshops.

This year, the schedule also includes presentations at the Unique Clique Stage:

SATURDAY, August 9 2014
2 - 2:45pm: Ellen Bennett,
founder of Hedley & Bennett
          "The Real ABCs of Taking Your Idea and Making It Into a Business"
4 - 4:45pm: Sonja Rasula, founder of Unique USA/The Unique Space/CAMP
          "1 Part Destiny, 2 Parts Washing Dishes: How to Go from Crappy Jobs to Owning Your Own Empire"
SUNDAY, August 10 2014
2 - 2:45pm: Bonnie Tsang, photographer
                      "The Power of Marketing through Visual Social Media"
4 - 4:45pm: Andrew Gibbs, founder of TheDieline.com
 "Global Trends in Packaging & Design"
Jones Country Road

Taylor Donsker Design

Get hooked by Scout Regalia

Candle from Wild Well Supply

Nora Floral Studio

Tickets are $10 (cash only!) at the door. The first 5,000 tickets sold also include a tote bag designed by a local artist. Well-behaved kids under 12 are free. Just kidding, I made that well-behaved part up...munchkins are free regardless of disposition.

State of Unique
August 9-10
California Market Center
110 East 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 
11am-6pm both days
(Parking beneath the building $6; Local parking lots also available)

Follow the crafty crew on instagram @UniqueUSA; or Twitter @UniqueLA.

Photography courtesy of State of Unique.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summertime And The Living Is...Busy!

It's possible you may have been wondering where I've been.  Although I had good intentions about blogging the past week, life hit the override button. In a good way.

In spite of the fact I mentally associate summertime with a pile of books, hours of uninterrupted reading and poolside lounging -it turns out I must have been having flashbacks to when I was ten. Summer is actually a whirlwind that passes much too quickly. Over the past week and a half, I attended the BlogHer Conference (more on that later!), went to two major swim meets, took a quick jaunt to catch up with friends in San Diego, welcomed family from Michigan (hurray!), met for drinks and said tearful farewells to friends moving across the country, celebrated two birthdays, organized a beach bonfire and hosted an amazing young exchange student from Sendai, Japan (complete with Best of So. Cal Hits Tour, i.e. In & Out Burger, Mexican food, Endeavor Space Shuttle viewing, beaches, super-sized markets, games of Connect Four, Uno and more.).

It's been the best of times, the busiest of times. Maybe you feel the same?
I am grateful for the friends, family and activities that fill my days to the brim, and also for days like today that allow me to sit, reflect, catch up on laundry --and yes, actually, blog.

Thanks for taking a moment out of your activities to check in here. Now it's your turn: what you have been doing this summer? Celebrations? Adventures? Relaxing? Or just watching the world go by with a good friend and an ice cold glass of (fill-in-the-blank-here)...I'd love to know!

Cheers to you my friend, and to summer! clink-clink!

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