Capital City Antique Mall


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Every year my tiny local library hosts a mad hatter tea party, the attendees dress up in insanely large hats, rabbit ears and gather at a large table surrounded with books and tea and various bite-sized crumbly sweet things that go well with tea. I was unaware of it until this year when by chance I serendipitously returned a book just as the event was ending. I was delighted! Any event that promotes two of my favorite things - tea and literature is bound to be a success.

Now tea and books aren't the only things that go well together. Tea also goes well with quiet whispered conversations, intimate moments, date night, sick days, skiing, and american revolutions. Now what tea doesn't go well with? Plastic cups, styrofoam abominations and basically anything that will fill up a landfill, destroy our oceans and reek havoc on the planet. Whoa, thats the tea talking, I know, a bit much for a Friday - so onward to my point. Why continue using those icky styrofoam cups when you could have this beauty!  Imagine taking a break at your desk - someone stops in to ask you for a last minute budget report that will take hours, but then they see your teacup....a teacup that calmly tells them you are serious about tea-time and they should just come back later - they realize they have disturbed you and profusely apologize and meekly back out of your office. That is the power of the teacup. And hey you have also averted planetary disaster...for at least a little longer because of your eco-friendly choice to buy vintage at the Capital City Antique Mall.  

You could also collect a number of these lovely cups and saucers and have an event of your own - a large event with cucumber sandwiches and lemon cookies or something smaller, tea for two? And when not in use these lovely little pairs of china delight the eye and brighten up the kitchen. Needless to say these are any easy choice - and the price is practically perfect...$3.50 and up for a cup and saucer, these two were around seven dollars and are available at the store.

Oh I forgot the other nice things that go well with teacups...puppies, hedgies and duckies of course (and other little tiny creatures...HuffPost did an article here. 

Gorgeous Wedding Shoot at Capital City

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Hello amazing wedding photo shoot! These stunning shots were taken in the store for a styled shoot from Haley Hoover, an incredible Utah photographer. Her idea came to fruition early in the morning as she reserved the space here early before the store opened (YES its true, you can reserve the store for photo shoots, send us a message for info). Needless to say - her shots were on point and intensely beautiful. Here are a few of them - but feel free to click to her blog and see some of her other projects, as well as her full post on this shoot. We give the girl serious props - and thank her for showcasing the beauty of our store. These photos by Haley Hoover Photography. All of her sources for stylists, flowers etc. are listed here on her blog post.

Not just for love potion...

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The magic potion to cure any and all of your ills came in bottles of various shapes and shades. The hues varied from golden peach and brown, to pale blue, cobalt, and sea glass green. Each brimming with a, beauty, freedom from pain and discomfort, or even a cure for the brokenhearted. These claims came from reputable medical professionals and some who were just out to take advantage of a growing market.  Until 1868 there was no regulation of drugs, prescribed medicines or the ingredients found in these "cures" and often you may have gotten a side effect instead of a solution. Case in point Alice in wonderland...she drinks a bottle of mysterious liquid after falling down a rabbit hole - just because it says "DRINK ME" and then...well,  it's all walruses and mad hatters and disappearing cats after that. I think she really had a victorian cocktail meant for a stomach ache - it probably contained opium.

In all reality historical victorian cures contained laudanum - which was an opiate. There is an exhaustive article here about how widely abused it really was. Mostly as a "children's quietener",sometimes called Mother's Friend, this opium syrup caused death and severe illness in numerous babies and children, silencing them completely. Apparently they used opium derivatives to control diarrhea, relieve a cough, and “pain of every kind, affording a calm, refreshing sleep without headache." My favorite is how the doctors prescribed it for 'female troubles', and the vapours, which we all know is code for mood swings and hormones. Apparently chocolate wasn't yet prescribed.

Under glass they look even more elegant - ah the art of the medicine bottle. More photos from this article

Under glass they look even more elegant - ah the art of the medicine bottle. More photos from this article


It is always fun to look at the labels, for example look at the lovely ladies pictured here.  As the sad dark haired beauty sits brooding in the corner, the stage is set....You can just imagine the tagline, Suffer from acne? Here have a nibble of these absolutely harmless arsenic wafers....they will produce a lovely complexion! Did I mention they are natural and made from the purest ingredients? Yes thats one hundred percent pure poison. Don't believe me, check it out.

THE SECRET - one box
 Dr. MACKENZIE’S IMPROVED HARMLESS ARSENIC COMPLEXION WAFERS will produce the most lovely complexion that the imagination could desire, clear, fresh, free from blotch, blemish, coarseness, redness, freckles, or pimples. Post free for 4s. 6d. ; half boxes, 2s. 9d.— S. HARVEY, 5, Denman St., London Bridge, S. E. Use Dr. MacKenzie’s ARSENICAL TOILET SOAP 1s. per Tablet; No. 2, unscented, 6d. per Tablet. Made from Purest Ingredients, and Absolutely Harmless.
BEWARE OF THE MANY IMITATIONS. Have Dr. Mackenzie’s or none.

The labels are often laughable and deserve a read - before you buy that precious bottle and give it a place of prominence on your mantle, better to check what that vintage word really means - a heads up for the under-researched...piles is the vintage word for hemorrhoids. Um, ew, so wash that bad boy out.   

Plastics weren't used for pill bottles and household items until much later and so fortunately we have these glass beauties that still have their stories to tell. Since they are probably not going to be used for syrups and vitamin powder - perhaps you could use one to make your own love potion... or enhance the decor in your living room. They have many lives...I have seen antique glass medicine bottles at the ever popular Anthropologie - they use them in a store displays in creative ways.  A growing number of interior designers put this colorful glass - literally under glass. Placing them in living rooms or on bookshelves to add some sparkle and mystery, besides what doesn't kill you just makes you more interesting right? Hence the crazier the contents the more sought after the bottle.

But don't let that limit you - use them to light up a room as a handmade lamp like these guys made here
or create some decorative upcycled artwork.  Anyway here at the antique store - these little glass bottles wait patiently in gleaming clusters waiting for you to dust them off and tell their stories for them. From crazy to dark these cures will entertain and delight and make you glad that you were born in an era of plastics and real medicine that is actually backed by science.


The Best Kept Secret of the MILLIONAIRE Author...

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It isn't what you might think. Its not education or an angel investor, or even a genius IQ - let me tell you what the greats have in common....a steely friend that makes magic on paper all with satisfying clicks. The typewriter. What? You may question, a mere mechanic tool that doesn't use batteries or electricity or the internet??! Hush now,  I told you it was magic. Now read on.

Lets name drop shall we? Jack Kerouac wrote his famous novel, On the Road using a typewriter and a scroll of paper that turned out to be 120 feet long (single spaced) I am positive his publishers JUST loved it that way. Ernest HemingwayGeorge Orwell, and John Steinbeck all wrote some of the most poignant American classics on typewriters. And one author who had never written a book, said that all she "...had was an old typewriter and a big idea " and that idea was Harry Potter, and now umpteen books, movies, theme parks, etcetera etcetera she is a BILLIONAIRE!!! All I am saying is that the typewriter should NOT be dismissed.

A typewriter is better than a blank page, it is inspiration itself. Ernest Hemingway said "There is nothing to writing, All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. In an age of digital publishing, a typewriter is an anchor to the glorious real, the missed tactile experience. Its sturdy metal body gives deeper meaning to a simple sentence. Because each key is struck, so finally, the letters imprinted on a perfect page, without a chance to erase or to edit. One must be certain before hitting a key. At the New Year we all make resolutions, but do they stick? Perhaps if we had typed them on this Remington they may have. But it isn't too late for you - this gunmetal tool for writers, list makers and aspiring novelists is for sale right now...yes this exact typewriter, Along with about 15 of his dearest friends - all waiting to go to substantial homes where they will be used!


And even if you decide to not use this machine for its true purpose, its decorative value alone is worth its weight in gold. I mean look how stylish is this lady? And she is just standing next to it!  

I have see it used as a planter, a calendar, a prop for weddings, a card or photo holder - check out this article by Apartment Therapy on how great they are - need I go on? No?

Convinced that you need to come to the antique store and adopt one of these little guys today? Well come on over before they are all gone or on etsy for four hundred dollars each - eek!  Right now they are affordable, especially when you come to the source - anywhere from about 50 dollars and up. I am telling you this little Remi is going to be one of the first to go...make sure you look at the one one behind the cashier - it is small enough for you to put in your purse or man bag and take on the plane! Earliest tap-laptop ever! WORD.

So in conclusion...stop texting on your phone and start writing the next great American novel....ON A TYPEWRITER.

The Art of Manliness - What your lunchbox says about you!

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If you are reading this thinking of your sadly wrapped, sea foam green fabric covered, misshapen lump of a lunch with its printed elephants, unfortunately knowing that it closely resembles a large child's diaper - perhaps you should re-evaluate what your lunchbox is saying about you. As it sits in the over crowded work fridge, silently labeling you as the man whose wife shops for him and has no sense of fashion of his own merit. It is time to rebel, and allow your playful, ironic or manly side come into play - and invite co-workers to notice, nay, openly gawk and admire the box of tin and aluminum that has survived decades and says, " I AM a lunch of a deeply interesting and stylish person."  

So obviously a box of this caliber can't come from Walmart - to inspire conversation and ensure lunchroom envy it has to come from the antique store. Duh. Take a look at a few of the gems I found and what they will say about you and your epic lunch.

1 - The Bonafide lady-killer. You can rock a man mullet fro with the best of them. You have a dead sexy car that talks to you and basically -- You are in for a helluva ride.

2 - You are patriotic, protective and extremely Pro-Second Amendment. This is your version of tupperware....and Bambi jerky is inside.

3 - A truthful, mysterious, ruggedly handsome boy scout. You are all about righting wrongs and you truly believe justice will prevail. And you wear the white hat well.

4 - And of course, the James Dean of lunch boxes. This says you are a legend. A rebel, a free spirit who rides a motorcycle just to feel the speed and the wind in his hair. Manliness incarnate.

So take your pick - or switch it up as you go back to school or back to work. Know that the pink printed butterflies and rainbow kittens on your old bag are doing you no favors and getting you no respect or new attention - so drop that bag off at goodwill and find a unique bag that tells your story - and keeps your food fresh and unsquished.

Oh and I lied about the rainbow kittens, that would actually score you points...I was trying to be dramatic...but I went too far. I can see that now. Keep Calm and Get Your Lunch On.

Does Your Marriage Date Predict Your Happiness?

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Do you believe a date can predict the happiness in your marriage?  We have reached the summer of love, when weddings are almost every weekend, taking advantage of the warm weather and relaxed atmosphere.  In every culture there are superstitions and traditions that surround the union of a couple. Wearing white, in addition to something borrowed, blue and old will ensure your luck and success in marriage.  

Traditionally, verses were followed to dictate the most auspicious or lucky date to marry. Each global tradition is different - see if your marriage month predicted your happiness correctly! Also look at these lovely antique brides for some fashion inspiration :)

"Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true.
When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden and for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you'll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you'll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily bred.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see
Marry in September's shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last."

“Married in January’s hoar and rime, Widowed you’ll be before your prime.
Married in February’s sleepy weather, Life you’ll tread in time together.
Married when March winds shrill and roar, Your home will lie on a distant shore.
Married ‘neath April’s changeful skies, A chequered path before you lies.
Married when bees o’er May-blossoms flit, Strangers around your board will sit.
Married in month of roses - June - Life will be one long honeymoon.
Married in July with flowers ablaze, Bitter-sweet memories in after days.
Married in August’s heat and drowse, Lover and friend in your chosen spouse.
Married in September’s golden glow, Smooth and serene your life will go.
Married when leaves in October thin, Toil and hardships for you begin.
Married in veils of November mist, Fortune your wedding-ring has kissed.
Married in days of December’s cheer, Love’s star shines brighter from year to year.”

"Monday for health
Tuesday for wealth
Wednesday best of all
Thursday for losses
Friday for crosses
Saturday for no luck at all."

o time to go to the antique store - pick up some gorgeous photos of weddings past - or an antique veil or small blue earrings - after all it will be something that is old, new to you AND blue! So keep up the traditions and share any photos of your antique or vintage wedding inspiration!

Game Night

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Long nights of card playing, laughter and good-natured rivalries was the magic of game night. Our family bonded over Boardwalk and Park Place, shooting the moon and the little black bird known as a rook. We celebrated family birthdays with dinners and cake always followed by the ritual clearing of the table and few rounds of Hearts or Rummy. Game playing is an ancient tradition - one that holds more value than just that of a past time. It teaches how to operate within parameters, with clear rules and consequences. It demonstrates how it isn't always fair and you must deal with the hand chance has dealt you, although as your skill increases so does your luck.

My father taught me how to play chess with a beautiful carved set he bought when traveling. Each piece was intricate and beautiful. The lessons I learned were more than anticipating my opponent. I cherish those times with my Father. Many games have changed through the years and therefore are worth snatching up if you want to share them with your family. Game tiles can be quite valuable as they used to be made from bone, ivory or ceramic.

Some games have fallen completely from popularity...My grandmother had a card game called "How Silas popped the question." It was a victorian era card game where Silas had questions for his beloved - they were mostly silly questions until you got the one where he asked her to marry him, and then the game was over. Now, it may not be as titillating as some of the LARP games online, but hey I remember my sister and I laughing pretty hard at the antiquated game. All I am saying is June is an excellent time for late nights of family bonding. So skip the grocery store games and get one that is vintage or antique that will challenge your mind and make your soul sing. There are plenty to choose from - so get shopping!

Who Patented Patent Leather?

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There are always a few questions when talking about Patent leather: Is it real leather? Was it ever patented?  And why is it sooooo shiny?? Antique and Vintage patent leathers ARE real leather with several layers of linseed oil and lacquer to give it that mirror like sheen that makes it easy to double as a mirror for your lipstick application ;)  The high gloss finish was waterproof, durable and popular with the upperclass.  It was brought to the US in 1818 by Seth Boyden - and ironically he NEVER patented his process.  Modern patent leathers usually have a plastic or synthetic coating and can often be made of other materials. So to recap, patent leather is not patented, and yes it originally it was real leather.

The glass-like finish that catches the light has been captivating trendsetters and fashionistas for decades and still rules as the most formal version of leather one can buy. It dominates men's footwear for formal occasions, such as weddings and formal balls, and it often accompanies dress military uniforms. Women can choose from footwear and accessories with the high flying sheen. Even royals like Kate Middleton turn to its everyday stunning elegance in a favorite pair of nude patent pumps. 

If you choose to buy a high gloss item - beware these pretties scratch and scuff easily - but not to worry a little clear lacquer or acrylic gloss gel will fix it perfectly. Add some patent leather to your wardrobe to glass or class it up a bit! Fifties pumps or a shiny black clutch and you will be set for high shine adventure!

Unlock the mystery...

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Skeleton and closet, door and dresser. Keys themselves evoke a slight thrill of mystery and secrets. These ancient door and lock openers lend suspense and promise. The rust and patina of the years is captivating and the mere presence of a key makes one curious where it came from and what it opens. Most antique keys that you see are "bit" or "barrel" keys. The bits are the teeth at the end of the shaft of the key that operates the lock. Sometimes these same keys can be called barrel keys when their long shaft is hollow - like the barrel of a gun. This style of key was used for more thank 1,500 years a duration that holds little merit because the companion locks to these keys were super easy to pick. Now, some of these keys you find are skeleton keys - which open many doors, a master key of sorts. But generally speaking the odds are your key only opens one lock. 

But beyond its value of securing doors, cabinets and attics full of treasure - the keys themselves are representatives of history and make beautiful statements in a purely artistic way. So even if you never discover the origin or the lock to the lost key you possess, here are my favorite ways to incorporate these antique keys into your life and to unlock new meaning and purpose for them.

1. Use a handful of old keys as table markers for the guests at your wedding, to show you and your beloved are unlocking a new era! This idea and photo were found here.

2. A WIND CHIME!! Here are two examples of easy DIY wind chimes with antique keys.  
his charming teapot/key concoction was a DIY project that you can find here. But just looking at it for inspiration might be enough. The second is an even easier approach using a wooden needlepoint hoop, some twine, old jewelry and of course, a generous helping of those unique keys. 

3. String a piece of leather through the bow  or top of any antique key for a gender neutral necklace that is really chic and lends an air of mystery to any outfit. 

4. Or do what I have done and add one of these keys to blank ring for an easy and stylish keychain.

Well hopefully this has unlocked a few ideas for you! 

Is it Vintage, Antique, Retro... or is it just out of style?

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The words antique, retro, and vintage still leave collectors in open combat as their meanings and their proper use. Our language is ever changing, and we continue to redefine words and use them in different ways. For example, try to read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in its original middle english vernacular you will see just how far the english language has changed. HINT: Try reading out loud - or just read the translation below.

And of the feste that was at hir weddynge,
(And of the feast that was at her wedding)

And of the tempest at hir hoom-comynge;
(And of the storm at her homecoming;)

I wol nat letten eek noon of this route,
(I will not hinder not anyone of this group)

Lat every felawe telle his tale aboute,
(Let every fellow tell his tale about this,)

And ther I lefte, I wol ayeyn bigynne.
(And there I left, I will again, begin.)

Cars only need to be 25 years old to be considered antiques - According to that definition I am already an antique!

Cars only need to be 25 years old to be considered antiques - According to that definition I am already an antique!

Um, yep...words like "bitwixen", "weddynge" and all of the crazy spellings can drive a modern american english speaker to madness. This illustrates to how a language can evolve. In 2014 the words hashtag, selfie, tweep and duck-face were all added to the dictionary - and I can almost guarantee in five hundred years english speakers will have no idea what those things area....I laugh to think of the futuristic wikipedia entry that will describe duck-face.  

ANYWAY, getting back to the topic on hand - should you list it as an Antique? Or when you buy something how do you know if its vintage? Or just someone's old clothes that went out of style, like the chunky square toed heels your mom used to wear in the 90's? What is the difference?

Often modern conversation has attributed these definitions to the following words:
1-Antique. Something that is really old, dusty, possible made of carved wood... maybe it came from your grandma's parents attic or basement.  My niece equates antique with old and ugly, i.e. "That dress is practically an antique!"...but vintage is old and totally adorable...or "totes amazeballs."
2-Vintage. Old but cute enough to charge double the price for it. Usually nostalgic is some way or could be useful as a movie prop.
3-Retro. Either something that is in the style of something from the past and its brand new or its something that is outdated and coming back into style.

As you can see these definitions are totally nebulous and inconclusive. Easily interchangeable in common conversation their true meanings have been lost except when we look in the dictionary. Here are the official definitions that I found in an article by

What is antique?
According to Merriam Webster, an antique is "a relic or object of ancient times" or "a work of art, piece of furniture, or decorative object made at an earlier period and according to various customs laws at least 100 years ago."Ruby Lane, an online marketplace of independent antique and collectible shops, offers a similar definition, explaining, "Most authorities consider the actual definition of the term 'antique' to mean an age of at least 100 years. If an item is not definitively datable to 100 or more years in age, it should not be directly referred to as an antique."

What is vintage?
If antiques are things that are 100 years old or older, what are vintage pieces? The defnition of vintage is trickier. According to Merriam Webster, the term vintage relates primarily to wine and is an altered form of the French word vendage, meaning "the grapes picked during a season." One of its secondary definitions is "a period of origin or manufacture" (e.g., a vintage 1960s Mercedes) or "length of existence: age." Ruby Lane provides a much more helpful explanation, noting that "an item described as 'vintage' should speak of the era in which it was produced. Vintage can mean an item is of a certain period of time, as in "vintage 1950's" but it can also mean (and probably always should) that the item exhibits the best of a certain quality, or qualities, associated with or belonging to that specific era. In other words, for the term vintage to accurately apply to it, an item should be somewhat representational and recognizable as belonging to the era in which it was made." Ruby Lane also suggests that'vintage' should not be used in reference to objects less than 20 years old

What is retro?
According to Merriam Webster, retro is "relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past : fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned." Retro furniture may not actually be old but it references styles of the recent past. Retro can also mean something that is not very old but is old enough to be more than just "so last season". (i.e., the woman wearing the early 80s high-waisted jeans because she hasn't updated her wardrobe since the Reagan Administration is not retro. She is just outdated.) I am still not entirely clear on the difference between retro and vintage, I must admit. There seems to be some overlap.

So as you can see - clearly defined - but people will still use the words interchangeably so its always best to meet a buyer or read all the information so you know how old that "vintage" piece really is. Happy antique hunting folks!

100 year old Throwback Thursday

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Few people on Facebook can do a throwback of about a hundred years! But that is the beauty of the decades past - they define us and give structure to our modern society.  Our lives and our cities build on the memories of our collective history - a foundation that gives us a unique and rich past, one that is should be preserved and celebrated. 

Salt Lake City was founded by sheer pioneer will and was fortified by the entrepreneurial western spirit of its settlers.  They tamed a wild uninhabitable desert and made a thriving city.  They used their skill to construct beautiful architectural gems all over our fair city, some of which still survive today. If you are a fan of antiques and antiquities - at one time or another you may have become enchanted by the gorgeous and ornate victorian architecture of the past. Take a look at what life was like in Salt Lake then AND now.

Here is that borderline crazy and definitely plucky pioneer attitude again. Pretty sure that wasn't good for the car or the steps - the cops must have been pretty lenient back then. 

Here is that borderline crazy and definitely plucky pioneer attitude again. Pretty sure that wasn't good for the car or the steps - the cops must have been pretty lenient back then. 

Yes that is a legit steam-shovel working away at completing the Utah State Capitol building in 1915

Yes that is a legit steam-shovel working away at completing the Utah State Capitol building in 1915

Um, how adorable is the River Queen paddling on the pond at Liberty Park...can we bring this back puhleease!

Um, how adorable is the River Queen paddling on the pond at Liberty Park...can we bring this back puhleease!

This is George A. Smith next to his car, right next to the Salt Lake City Temple

This is George A. Smith next to his car, right next to the Salt Lake City Temple

Old timey fire engine, two horse power.

Old timey fire engine, two horse power.

Ladies waiting for the street car to take them home after shopping, they are right across the street from the Social Hall - which no longer stands, and The Belvedere is the large building being built behind them. They are right next to the east side entrance of the current City Creek Mall.

Ladies waiting for the street car to take them home after shopping, they are right across the street from the Social Hall - which no longer stands, and The Belvedere is the large building being built behind them. They are right next to the east side entrance of the current City Creek Mall.

Don't you love how they have a giant sign that says "beware of pickpockets"!?

Don't you love how they have a giant sign that says "beware of pickpockets"!?

1910 City and County Building 

1910 City and County Building 

The Lion House

The Lion House

The Crane Building

The Crane Building

Argh! This streetcar is so cute!

Argh! This streetcar is so cute!

Take a look at the archived Deseret News article with the full gallery of 88 pics here.  Happy Thursday!

Surprising device that stops rain!

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Of course its an umbrella! But not just any umbrella!! Its a vintage one! The vintage umbrellas were often made of solid wood with details like lucite or bakelite handles.  Their stylish fabrics and shapes are unique and beautiful. In addition to being valuable, the higher domes they sported compared to today's modern counterpart are more effective in keeping you dry from the rain...AND they are much better suited to those of us that are tall - so we can share our umbrella and still stay dry ourselves. Although April is almost over more showers are still headed our way - so i think you should definitely get one...lets just call it an investment for a rainy day - wink wink :)

Cat Lady Chic

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Time to embrace your inner cat lady and indulge in all things feline. There are a host of superstitions, stories and stereotypes that surround the mysterious cat. Are cats unlucky? Well it depends on where you live.  In America, black cats are unlucky, in Japan and Britain the opposite is true. Egyptians revered cats as an incarnation of Bastet, the playful goddess of protection - thought to be the daughter of Ra.  

Now angry cats, cats with hats and cats that speak are memes on the internet,  and we have coined phrases like 'crazy cat lady' insinuating that if woman owns a cat - she must slowly be losing her sanity or she is just trying to fill a hole in an otherwise unfulfilled life . False! Look at all the talented, incredible women who have owned cats and all they have accomplished! If you are a cat lady, fear not - you are in excellent company. Here is a list of cat ladies to look up to....former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton (current presidential hopeful), Taylor Swift, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), Elizabeth Taylor, Dolly Parton  - and about a million more!  Along with the leading ladies above the gents have a soft spot in their hearts too! Abraham Lincoln, and JFK had cats in the white house; Mark Twain and Albert Einstein sang the praises of the furry, purring pets. “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” - Mark Twain

Karl Lagerfeld says his fluffy white siamese, Choupette, is a 'famous beauty' and is his muse.  She even has her own twitter account.

Karl Lagerfeld says his fluffy white siamese, Choupette, is a 'famous beauty' and is his muse.  She even has her own twitter account.

I am not saying you need to buy the real thing - but maybe a little cat decor to bring some luck into your own life. Hey if cats are good enough for Elvis....then why wait?!

So jump on the cat wagon, and catch on to a trend that is only going to get bigger. Shed these silly stereotypes from your life and we can return to our pre-internet days where cats and humans co-existed peacefully and stylishly. Embrace your inner cat lady and buy a lamp or replica of this feline divine. I guarantee it will lift your spirits - and bring you luck, no matter the color!



Which one is worth something?

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Schools in session! So take a guess....can you see it? If you guessed the second stamp, the one with the inverted plane for 24 cents, you would be correct. The 2 dollar stamp is a reprint and the stamp with the plane right side up was the most common representation of the stamp.

If you are a newbie to collecting or just want a general idea if your antique is of value or not, here is your education in a nutshell. Five things that will help you with a purchasing or determining value of a vintage or antique item are: Rarity, Aesthetic, Desirability, Authenticity, and Condition.

How rare is it? If there were only a few made...or if its made special by an artist mark or a misprint then congrats it is generally more valuable. The inverted jenny stamp is an extreme example of this. There are only seven in existence. And only one that was acutally postmarked and used. Your chances of coming across one are about as high as you being hit by a comet. Extremely low. But for the rest of us mere mortals take a look through what you already have. An old family heirloom? Vase? Wedding present? I recently had a bookseller friend of mine tell me that although trade paperbacks aren't generally worth anything...if you have a first edition or a signed copy it could be worth don't toss it out until you check the first few pages.

Does it please the eye or does it leave something to be desired? Bizarre things may sell just because they are strange but is the exception rather than the rule, and generally if it pleases it will sell better. Etsy is a great example of this...just because it doesn't have any value it may appeal to someone, such as a collector or enthusiast just because it has a great aesthetic.

Are there people clamoring for it? Is it on trend right now? Mid century modern furniture is valuable now because it is so en vogue and on trend - in another ten years it may be worth less...or more depending on the demand for it. So watch the trends to help determine value.

Can it be authenticated? Do you have a certificate or signature or something that proves its origins, if so cha-ching! It just got more valuable.

5-Excellent Condition
This goes without saying...a well kept piece that has no flaws is worth infinitely more than that dirty mistreated pile of broken junk in the garage. So keep it nice or prepare to be surprised at the drop in value!

So pay attention to detail and don't miss what could be valuable right under your nose! Happy hunting to you all!


Spring! The Beginning of Planting Season

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If you have ever yearned to dig in the black earth, be one with nature and and bring forth a fine crop of juicy strawberries, peas or tomatoes....Now is the time to get planting! Spring is a time to enjoy the blooms of the perennial bulbs such as the cheery daffodils and the satin shine of the rich hued tulips.  As most avid gardeners know - with the warming temperatures and melted snow the earth yields easily to spade and trowel - allowing seeds to take route and flourish. Here in Utah it is short lived, however, as the summer progresses and the strong desert sun bakes the earth - the ground becomes about as soft and yielding as concrete. So its time to take stock, and replenish your garden toolkit.  

Trowels, hoes, shovels, spades and rakes are by far the most common tools you will find and often they have a character that is all their own, ranging from lovely patinas and hardwood handles to mixed metals or a more elegant design.  Inspect the tool for any makers marks, metal content, which can make the tool valuable, and then make a purchase. Check the joints, condition of the wood and metal to make sure the structure is still sound - ensuring the tool will be strong for a long time. Better to have a garden tool that has many successful seasons under his belt that one from a big box store that is mass produced and has little soul. Did I mention these tools are usually a bargain? Antique tools are often cheaper than those you find brand new. So get out there and start the hunt for the perfect gardening companion...and if tilling the earth isn't your thing, well tools make for excellent rustic decor!

Novice gardener? Want a little advice on how to get started? Amazon has a wealth of books on the subject here. As well as your local library- which I love to patronize :) Just search for the subject "gardening" or even by state to get the best results. This book is one I am going to read next! 

A-tisket a-tasket come and get your basket

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A-tisket a-tasket
A green and yellow basket
I wrote a letter to my love
And on the way I dropped it,
I dropped it,
I dropped it,
And on the way I dropped it.
A little boy he picked it up and put it in his pocket. 

The first ten people to come into the store, and say "A tisket a tasket, can I have a basket?" will get a free little spring basket with their purchase! First come, First serve! There are only ten freebies and once they are gone they are gone! So hop on over here, and bring your peeps! Just a little spring surprise for our loyal readers! 

Check out this Dual Action Superstar

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Tired of those black padded backpacks that lovingly cradle your camera yet ruin your outfit? They scream, "Hey I am a utilitarian camera bag - and I couldn't care less if you are stylish!!" Want something that can be a dual action superstar - make you look fashionable and create a small safe haven on your shoulder for your camera? WELL...look no further I have the best idea for you!

First, Go find your camera and measure it. How large is it - be generous with the measurement to include room for padding.

Second, get you to Capital City Antiques to buy a super awesome leather tooled bag from the seventies...okay you can choose ANY bag....but I really like leather as it wears well and is totally on trend right now. Make sure the camera will fit - bring your measuring tape...or the camera itself. Remember to leave room for the padding.

Third, buy some foam padding from Hancock Fabrics, I got the cushion foam in 1/2" You don't need very much just enough to line it or if you want to be super fancy to create a divider and multiple compartments for additional lenses etc.

Last, use your measurement, cut, snip and put the foam inside the bag. Easy peasy. Then put your camera in :) I just lined the inside and not the bag flap but do it however you wish! Voila! Instafab! Now you can snap pics in style - just in time for the spring flowers :)

Get your greens - Jadeite!

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One week left until St. Patrick's Day when we have a bit of fun - so start collecting green things to guard against getting pinched and bring a bit of the luck o' the irish into your home.  Parties themed around the cultural celebration of the Irish could include these gorgeous green glassware known as Jadeite.  Jadeite was originally designed as food storage containers with flat lids for stacking in the mid-20th century, but it expanded to include everything from measuring cups and butter dishes to cake stands and glass chickens!  There are many fans of this dreamy green glass and Martha Stewart has an extensive collection.  Scroll through the gallery to take a peek at her gorgeous collection here. Don't be jealous or green with envy, you can start your own collection at Capital City Antique Mall for a fraction of the price online. 

Real Book Value $$

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I have a number of books that are from my great grandfather's collection. These books are priceless in my eyes because of the family connection.  I cherish the bookplates inside that say "from the library of" and bear his ever so elegant signature, I would never sell them. 

That being said, I am somewhat of a book hoarder and I have piles of books from various locations and trips that I need to sell.  Now if the books aren't modern enough for an ISBN number you have to search by individual book.  Here comes the fun part!

So I am using a 1927 edition of Advanced Geography by the Macmillan Company to use as my test book.  Its old and doesn't have an ISBN so it fits the bill.  So I entered the book title, year and publisher - Presto! Comparative pricing :)

1- Book Finder - Easily found my book, there was a seller who priced it at $23.00
2- Amazon - could not find my book :( I recently met a bookseller who said 80% of books are sold on Amazon but most of them are modern - vintage and antique books are harder to value and sell.
3- - Easily found my book, and it had the most comprehensive information, including pages, publishers and contributors. Very nice. Similar copy valued at $20.00
4- - I really liked this search site because it searched halfprice, amazon, abebooks and others showing three books from different sites. If you only use one site I would go to this one! Copies from $20-23.00

Now you could search through the internet for hours or simply box up the books you want to get rid of and take them to a bookseller. Sam Wellers takes rare and and vintage books and so does Capital City Antiques.  A quick solution to overstuffed bookshelves and leaves you room to peruse for more! We will explore book arts next week as my tribute to NATIONAL BOOK MONTH continues!

Dyed and gone to heaven

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So what do you do when you buy a vintage piece of clothing that has a spot on it. *Gasp* Its already been worn!!! Shocker. Most used, vintage or antique clothing has been previously loved and may have a few repairs to make.  I found this gorgeous white silk blouse with an unsightly orange spot on it on the ARMPIT, Cordon Bleu - its ruined - the gorgeous winter white is not worth having….but wait….there may be hope. So I go through the rigors of trying to remove the stain with ALL kinds of things - nothing worked, not spot remover, color remover, era, tide, bleach, vinegar, club soda….nothing…I promise I tried it all. So I turned to the talented team of people who developed color dye palettes at Rit Studios.  They have the latest colors in easy to follow recipes. Check the spring line out here.

What luck I could have an on-trend color in my closet with a vintage look! So I decided to try toasted almond.

Toasted Almond

2 tsp Tan
1 tsp Petal Pink
1/8 tsp Pearl Grey
1 Quart Water

 I followed the instructions on the Rit dye box:

1 - First I got a large tub of water that would completely cover the shirt, filled it with about a quart and a half of hot water, let the shirt sit in the water.  

2 - I added a cup of white vinegar to help with color steadfastness 

3 - I mixed the powder dyes into liquid form then measured them according to the directions.

4 - I stirred the shirt constantly for about 15 minutes ...and because I wanted it a little darker I added more tan and grey.....and then let it dry on a rack....AND THEN!!! (Scroll down to see the finished product)

Voila! Gorgeous warm toasted almond - A little toastier than the original color, I added extra dye to cover the stain completely. The unexpected thing was the thread didn't take the dye like the shirt did. I learned natural fabrics take the dye so much better than poly blends and the shirt was silk but the thread must have been polyester.  Added bonus as it turned out beautifully! Bring on the spring!