We would like to launch a new feature in our Treasure Shoppe series and give our readers a chance to know some of our vendors. The store is heading into its fifth year and our success is shared among our many dealers. These talented individuals lend their time and efforts every day to make the shoppe experience a pleasant one for our customers. So it is our pleasure to take a few minutes and let you take a virtual walk through the aisles via this blog.
“I craft, therefore I am”, says Mary S., the proprietor of “The Little Store”. Card making is her focus. She guarantees that every greeting card in her booth was personally handmade. She has a huge collection of “stuff” to utilize when she creates. Mary began this hobby after her mother passed away and she was housebound with pneumonia. It proved to be a soul and spirit…
Join us in Philadelphia! New friends, amazing workshops, a swanky hotel and all delicious meals included for this weekend get away!
Each day this week we will be sharing a little about their teaching style.
Up next is Elizabeth-who will be teaching-Perfect Quilted Totes!
Class Description: In this class, students will learn a simple and fun quilt-as-you-go technique that combines scrappy patchwork with utility fabrics to create sturdy panels for a polished tote bag that stands on its own without the use of interfacing. Topics covered in class will include fabric selection, fussy cutting, and quilt-as-you go tricks like finding a perfect stitch length, joining multiple areas of patchwork, and preventing seam allowances from showing through. I’ll also go over some of my favorite bag finishing tricks, including making handles, adding pockets, making a stay-put lining, and making a top facing. Students will leave class with a variety of…
We all come to a point in our retail life, that we lose sight of the big picture. Life as an antique retailer requires us to assume so many roles; accountant, buyer, seller, stocker, etc. that just like the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” we tend to lose our stores identity.
In the haste to grow, we often lose sight of what we originally started out doing and that was to have fun. In the effort to grow profits, our original plan is lost along the wayside; either because we failed to write it down, or failed to read the plan periodically. Either way, we take this to the point where we lose control over what we offer for sale. Suddenly, we look to see a booth full of miscellaneous unrelated items we can’t remember having ever purchased.
Eliminate from your store those items that do not fit. …
Let’s say you love handbags and you just can’t get enough of them. In fact, your closet is filled with so many of them, that it seems as if the store has moved into your very own apartment. The prices of these handbags can range from very cheap to very expensive. There are many of us who are gifted with the talent to make our very own fabric handbags. Creative people who love vintage designs, take handles and other hardware from old out of date bags and apply new / vintage material to them making their own design. However, what material do you use? That is the subject of todays article.
It is important that you at least have a general idea of the different types of fabric or material that is available for the type of lifestyle you and your bag will lead. Much of this material can be found in one of our two stores; either The Treasure Shoppe downtown Colorado Springs, or American Classics antique Mall on North Academy. Our fabrics are on either on the large racks or in the cubbies.
Materials best for handbags.
There are certain types of delicate material that need the utmost care when removing stains. You may not want these for a handbag consistently exposed to the perils of everyday use. While there are other materials that is easier to maintain, you need to that you pay close attention to the cleaning directions of the different types of fabric.
Cotton comes in a wide array of choices when it comes to color, weight, patterns and design. Plus the material is very easy to manipulate and cut. It is advisable to pre-wash cotton before making it into a handbag.
Silk is not recommended for DIY handbags because aside from the fact that it requires dry cleaning, the material is difficult to handle and is more prone to stains. Satin is the same, never the less, silk or satin make a great liner for some of the more elaborate designs.
Linen. The bad thing about linen is that it easily wrinkles. However, the wrinkled look is often desired for that one of a kind design. Dry cleaning is recommended. Use no bleach and avoid designs that require crimping or hard folds, as linen fibers will break.
Leather is a very durable material. The thing is it requires special equipment when you use this plus only a professional can clean it. Suede can be brushed which sometimes may remove a small discoloration or stain.
Burlap makes a very rustic bag. Great for that trip to the beach or mountains. Stains don’t show up as bad with burlap, but even if they do, they tend to give burlap a rustic used look.
Canvas is another great DIY bag material. A little fabric paint for a creative design adds to its long-lasting value.
The fabrics I have mentioned are just some of the many that you could choose from. I strongly suggest that you experiment with a few. We have the selection and we recommend trying the vintage fabrics we have before you invest in new modern imported fabrics. Ultimately, you have the knowledge for what works best for you and your skill in crafting the bag.
The Scranton Lace Company stood as a testament to quality industry. The company was the largest producers of Nottingham Lace using massive Jacquard looms brought in by ships from Nottingham, England in 1896. Construction workers and engineers installed the massive Jacquard looms, planting them firmly on huge concrete footings, then built the plant around them.
Employing over 1400 people in its heyday, Scranton Lace Company had to be a great place to work. The plant; spanning over two city blocks, was not only the largest employer in the area, but it also housed its own theater, bowling alley, infirmary, gymnasium and barbershop. When WWII broke out, Scranton Lace was right there with the troops. The plant shifted some of its looms into producing camouflage and mosquito netting. For looms of this size using Punch Card technology, this was no easy feat.
During the 50’s, import competition from a war-torn Japan looking to rebuild and China with its cheap labor force, forced the company to layoff workers. This hit the town of Scranton very hard as the lace company was it’s largest employer. Then, when risky investments in the fledging Television industry of the 50’s failed to pay off, the company could no longer compete. It held on with a skeleton crew producing minimal lace products, until finally in 2002 the company president – walked on to the production floor and during mid-shift, announced the plant closed – effective immediately. The plant lay abandoned from then on.
Being a lover of fine vintage lace, I started out to write this post to impress you with how lace was produced and to show you one of the best examples of manufactured lace that ever existed. However, words alone cannot give you the full magnitude of this process, nor the sense of loss you feel when you look upon the abandoned plant. To appreciate the process fully, you have to see it and to do that without travelling to Scranton, I recommend the pictorial journey through the abandoned Scranton Lace Plant you can find at http://wiseminds.com/thedigitalmirage/?p=136 . The photographers did a fantastic job of capturing the heart and soul of this plant. It is well worth your time to see the photography; especially the looms and the punch cards used to produce the miles and miles of lace, that came off them.
I caution you however. If you love antiques, and long for the quality produced in an era long past, you will come away from the pictorial journey feeling a sense of loss for an era we can never hope to recapture again. An era when “quality” was a word you heard more often than “profit” in the board meetings.
There is hope for the old plant however. On December 30 2011, the company’s abandoned building was featured in the pilot episode of the Abandoned TV series. That drew national attention to it. In 2012, the factory complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places and then in 2011, plans for restoration were placed before the Scranton City Council.
If you want to decrease your marketing cost, learn to use a well-designed business card. Effective marketing requires you to adhere to the old business Rule of Threes. The Rule of Three’s is: Your customer has to hear you, (conversation with customers) see you, (your smiling face or website) and read you to remember you. Your business card answers the third requirement and is the best form of low-cost marketing antique dealers can use. The more you give the card out, the better the exposure. Even if you do nothing more than smile and say hello while handing them a card, you have accomplished all three requirements. Now go one-step farther. If you want to have repeat customers (and who doesn’t), then make the card work for you. Here’s how.
When you design your business card, VistaPrint will ask if you want anything printed on the…
Did you know that Julio T Buel of N.Y. patented the first bait-casting lure in 1848 and it was the first to go into commercial production? Did you know that in 1883, an insurance salesperson with the last name of Waterman lost a huge insurance sale because his pen leaked? In those days, pens didn’t have reservoirs; most of them were of the dip style pens and you had to carry a small bottle of ink wherever you went. Waterman’s ink ran dry just before the client said yes and the contract was to be signed. He was so disgusted, he set out to invent his own pen, one with a self-contained reservoir and in 1884, he patented the first fountain pen. A day later, his wife scrubbed her little heart out removing the big ink stain from his shirt pocket. (Not a known fact, but I bet…
When you are facing a raft full of gingham, lace, satins, silks and velvet, what do you think? The first thought that came to my mind was “I need to open a section of Mom & Me’s Vintage Linens and Lace, devoted to Victorian / Gothic (Goth) style. The idea intrigued me so much, the more I thought of it, the better it became. Of course, that thinking led my creative side to go crazy. That expansion led me to adding a partner who’s an expert in furniture and the styling’s of the Victorian era, especially the American Victorian era; where, if you were in the south, extended into the Antebellum era. (After war) Naturally, a theme setting like this, demands authentic furniture and they have some beautiful pieces. The more the idea nurtured and the more we talked about it, the better it became. So, we did it.
We added Furniture like a three-piece parlor set with chairs, footstools and a beautiful couch. Add in matching 1860 velvet couches. Not reproductions mind you, serious Victorian era furniture, including a Barrel top desk and a Victorian dresser with a marble top that will knock your socks off.
Want to see what we produced? Stop in at the American Antique Marketplace and right next to my store in space B30, you will see my new addition in space B26, which include the furniture I just described. If you love Gothic, Victorian, or Steampunk, you will be sure to find something that matches your taste here. Stop in, finger the Satin. Run your hands over the Battenberg lace banquet tablecloth that’s hanging on at the entrance. That’s 123 year old lace you’re holding. Still beautiful to this day and it has many more years left to grace your table. However, if you see me holding tight to the 130 year old Rose colored Watermark satin with Battenberg inserts, please try to understand. I’m having a little separation anxiety.
As I write this, it’s cold outside, something close to 15 degrees. It is expected to get to a balmy 19 today. My husband, dressed in his lucky Bronco’s shirt and sweat pants, sits in his easy chair, outfitted with all the goodies he will need for the big game today. Makes you think of Spring and weddings doesn’t it?
I never said I was well. In my defense however, I am sitting here fingering and pricing beautiful damask tablecloths. When I close my eyes, I can see these on a beautiful spring day, gracing a bride’s table at her wedding. Inauspicious patterns intricately woven together – shimmering when you hold it up to the light. When paired against a white satin and lace wedding gown, vintage Damask showcases a bride on her special day.
Something old, something new . . .
Of all the vintage linen and lace tablecloth’s I have in stock, Damask is my favorite. The definition of Damask is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks is woven with one “warp” yarn and one “weft” yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced “satin” weave and the ground in weft-faced or “sateen” weave. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damask) This reversible weave is what makes Damask so durable. One mother told me of having passed her Damask tablecloths to her daughter, just as her mother had passed them on to her, having had them passed on to her from her mother’s mother. Four generations and each generation had used the same tablecloth to grace the brides table on their wedding day. What a special tradition.
My mother’s Damask linens never made it out of the fire they had years ago. I never had the opportunity to appreciate them as I do these I hold in my hand. However, as I look over at my fourteen year old daughter, her head bobbing to sounds only her ear buds and she can hear (thank god), I think that in a few short years, her newly acquired Damask tablecloths, mine that I pass on to her, will be gracing her wedding table. She may be deaf by the time she gets married, but on her special day, she and the Damask will be beautiful.
You can start your own Damask traditions by stopping in any (or all) of our stores and picking out your favorite pattern of Damask linens. Be sure to pick up a brochure with the discount card attached while you are there. And, as usual, if you see a person with her nose buried in the fresh smell of newly laundered linens, it’s probably me. Say hi.