Friday, September 16, 2011

I Love Antique Malls

+++These photos were taken last weekend when I had the rare opportunity of a three hour span of time free from children.  
My sister, husband, and I went for Chinese at our formerly favorite greasy Chinese restaurant in Rolla (perhaps only my fav. if I am pregnant, so that could be why I felt such disappointment in the food this time!).  
Then we went to take photos of some yard work projects at my grandma's house and to see my sister's boyfriend (is that a boyfriend in law?) at his lab.  I took some cool photos from that lab that I'll post soon! 
On our way home we stopped at this antique mall. 
On a whim, I stopped in and Presto! instant bloggy material.

I love antique malls.

Sure, I love regular malls and Target and I wish I didn't prefer mass merchandising and inappropriate labor laws from importing countries... but, shopping is shopping and I think going to antique malls count.
I wonder if these are the original colors, like school mascot's colors, or if they were the "cool colors" back in the day and really fired up the students to perform well in gym class.

I didn't know I loved antique malls until I was 23 or so.  Then I realized that the merchandise in them was similar to stuff my mom had at home growing up, but in more colors and variety.  

And I also discovered that every item is uncommon and has a special story. I love to consider each item in a booth and think about where it spent its life and why it ended up placed in this hodge podge pile, instead of in its original home.

Hah.  For $4, you can learn success with house plants.  

My husband and I enjoy going to these places and finding gems.  We don't often buy them since we are now low on space and still haven't really found our style-vision for our home, but one day I HOPE we put an "antiques" category in our monthly budget.

Of course, this fact kind of hinges upon the fact that we don't have small children to tag along to these stores, because I'm sure we'd blow the budget on accidental broken tea cups or perhaps on old metal farm tractor toys (for the obvious member of my family who would just flip his lid if he found one of those!)

 I like finding items that would be a big hit on design websites, too.  Wouldn't that just be THE dream job?  Finding neat randoms to share online and inspire others?  Just tell me where to send in my resume, and then find me the child care, of course, to protect all those fragile tea cups from my children who could certainly not come to work with Mommy.

This poster is TO DIE FOR. It was over $40, so it didn't go home with me, but it would be SO FANTASTIC in my son's future room.  I could make some DIY, but this one is just so cool.

I thought these were cool, too.  $8 a jar was a little high, especially since I didn't have any sort of plan for these guys.  They would make cool Christmas ornaments or bookends, I think.  They remind me of these stacking robots.
 Something else I like is finding toys from MY past.  This mini play kitchen was our first play kitchen.  My sister later got the deluxe, child size scale kitchen, but for many years, this is what my sister J and I cooked pizzas and burned our hands on.  It was $6, so I probably should have snagged it!

Sometimes there are way creepy things.  Like this clown.
I didn't get close enough to find its price.  But I know why the owner was okay parting with it. (Nightmares!)

When I go into an antique mall, a case that has old Fisher-Price is one that I try to find first.
Usually things in cases are the most pricey.
However, they are set up in a neat collection and usually have accurate tags.
I study these to be able to spot the finds tucked in the rumble of disorganized booths.
I really wanted to buy these guys, especially Bicky/Hot Diggy.

Here's an item my husband was keen on.  He finds objects that I don't notice!
Its a drawer that once housed letters for newsprinting.
He wants to use it as a display case on a wall for some parts of his collections. Isn't that brilliant?
His mom actually does that with her collections, but I'm not sure where SHE found an old print drawer like this.  They can't be all that common, right?
I hope we find one of these things again. It would be a great gift for him for Christmas!

I also look for the Old Dish Booth in these types of stores.
I do have several green glass and amber glass objects, mostly moon and stars pattern and Harvest carnival glass, but I look for other things like Fire King Red Dots.
I'd like to start collecting this Hazel Atlas Candy Stripe pattern because I think it would be fun to use with the Fiestaware we have.  I really like reds and aquas and milk glass. (Hint, hint)

I also look for vintage children's books, usually Golden Books that I read as a child in the 80s or much older books that have some cultural peculiarities that would be neat to show my kids one day.
I've been collecting Christmas books for the last year to use as an Advent calendar project, and antique malls are a goldmine for those books.

I'm also drawn to Christmas paraphenilia, and I especially look for ornaments with the year 1982 on them. Its our birth year, and we don't have anything from that year for our Christmas tree.
I'd especially like these to have Cabbage Patch or Care Bears on them, or something of that nature.  

What do you look for at antique stores?


  1. I love antique shops too! The ones in Cuba are great!

  2. That is so funny that you posted a picture of those lockers because just today my mom showed me the same set of lockers that she had taken a picture of on her phone. She asked me if I wanted to see the cutest thing ever, she was right! I love them! I love antique stores, I am usually drawn more to kitchenware and Mason jars.

  3. Funny story - today my Mom said let's go to the antique store! So we went there too :) I got two vintage suitcases and two Mason jars. I also loved the old fans. I'm not sure that I had ever been in that store! We literally spent a couple hours in there.

  4. Bethany--I didn't know you had a blog! I caught your link on Chrissy's blog and wanted to take a look since you are always so good about reading mine. Yours is really cute!!

  5. Nicole, Mindy, and Kim... isn't that antique mall so good!?! There is one nearby to where I live called Artichoke Annie's. Its also fab, though costs a bit more. And I totally wish away my kids sometimes when I pass by all the places in Steelville! It would be torture for them and less fun for me to bring them in. The next time I am free I'd love a shopping buddy!

    Also, Lisa, this blog is less edgy than yours but what the h, cute? I'm going for less cute and more of a clever. Maybe clever? I hope anyway! Cute is what I would think of a middle school blogger with scrapbooky fonts! :)


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