March 14, 2013

Thrifting Tips Part 2

So maybe you remember last week I gave you five of my antique/ vintage hunting tips. Believe me there are a lot more where those came from, and as promised here are five more.

 #1 Ask Questions - This is a big one. If you are already knowledgable and know what you're looking for, get to know the owners of your favourite antique stores. Or the ways in which your favourite thrift stores are run. Ask them what day they usually get their stock. What months or seasons are usually their best. In most cases they will tell you. They want your business after all. And the thought of you interested in their shop is great news to them! Take Value Village for example, they have a colour coding system to tell which items are newest. Be your most polite self and ask which colour is newest that week. Now you know which items are fresh and not as picked over. But of course, just knowing your vintage will help you much more.

 #2 If you regret walking away, go get it! - Never leave a piece behind if you walk away regretting that you aren't holding it in your arms. Big mistake. We have all done this. The thing is, there are lots of antique/ vintage hunters out there nowadays. Everyone wants something and for different reasons. If you leave something behind, someone else will find it and take it home. Maybe in a few days but most likely in a few hours. If it's a treasure to you, it's probably a treasure to someone else. There have been items which I have left behind and have never stopped thinking about. If you love it, just get it!

#3 Look it over - Check for flaws, chips; anything to do with quality. For vintage clothing check for missing buttons, tears, rips, stains and holes. Be observant. Sometimes something can be structural very wrong. If you bring it home and it falls apart in your hands, because a hairline fracture you noticed in the shop turns into a huge crack that snaps right in two...well maybe you just didn't take it as seriously as you should have. Sometimes small things aren't a big deal. Sometimes they can be fixed. Just make sure you know what you're dealing with exactly.

#4 Is it real? - This may not be a huge concern for a lot of people. I'm not too sure. Maybe you just like the look and aren't too concerned with the actual brand of the item. I am. At least in the fact that if something says it's a real edition or rare item, I like to know that it's true. Familiarize yourself with markings and signs of quality. Usually you will be able to spot the fakes. Remember people copied popular or expensive items to fool people and make money off them, and people still get fooled by the same items today, years later! Just as in rule #3, be observant. It's okay to make mistakes. Sometimes that's how you get some really cool and unusual pieces. Just be the best sleuth you can. It's actually ridiculously fun. It's like a game! But you know that.

#5 Multiple Uses - This one's a really interesting concept and some people are better at it than others. I'm not the best, but I'm trying to learn. Okay, so you spotted something really beautiful, like an extremely ornamental old platter that would have been used to serve food back in the day. Now it's old and dirty. It needs a good cleaning, but you can tell there's something nice under there. Maybe it has a bit of rust too. Here's the deal, that awesome dish will probably never be suited for food again, but it would look so pretty in your foyer on a little end table where you put your keys and odds and ends when you come in the door. or maybe in your bedroom on your dresser for your rings and other jewellery. There are multiple uses for everything. if something is broken or unusable in the manner it was intended for, before you move on, can it be used for a new purpose? Think hard! Just recently I stumbled upon an interesting find. They were a pair of circular hairpin metal stands that would have had serving bowls inside, but the bowls were gone. They needed a good cleaning. I thought, wow if you spray painted these a bright colour and put a flower pot suspended inside, these would be cool mid century style planters. Well I was stupid and I put them down. So to whomever got them, good for you. You won them fair and square.

Just writing about this is making me want to go out for a good hunt! My wonderful boyfriend agreed to my decision of wanting only a china cabinet for my birthday. I have a beautiful china set waiting in my basement. I can't wait to display it. So soon we will be out scouring the city's antique stores for the china cabinet of my dreams. I have one style in mind, but finding it is another story. You know, 1950s or 60s, probably teak, really stylish. It's out there and I'm going to find it.

Tomorrow's my photo shoot. Yes me. I'm going to be the model! I hope it goes well. I'm kind of nervous actually. Hopefully I will be quick and edit them all tomorrow evening. If I'm slow, I will post at least a couple. Now I'm off to do some afternoon laundry. See you all later and have a great day!

Marissa xo

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