Home. Fashion. DIY.
Mid-Century Mad Fill your home with 1940s-1960s treasures on a really tight budget
Lovely party dĂŠcor Barn trolley tables Vinylâ€™s steady rise 1940s wartime duds
Easy vintage sheet ideas VintageKC / Spring 2013
Contents Spring 2013 • Volume 1 Issue 4
Features 12 22 28
Vintage Spaces A Northland home filled with mid- century items on the tighest budget 2013 Garden Guide Spring is here! Get inspired by our first annual outdoor special Vintage Fashion War-era fashion of the 1940s takes center stage for spring
Columns 05 08 46
Our Favorite Finds What’s new in the world of online vintage sales? Buy & Sell In the Digital Age, why are vinyl sales still climbing? Vintage Memories Love between a mother and daughter blooms decades later
Do-it-yourself 08 10 34
DIY Décor Easy, flexible party decorations DIY Furniture Rustic barn trolley tables DIY Craft 15 things to do with vintage sheets
VintageKC / Spring 2013
from the editor
Staff Editor Erin Shipps
The Thriving Thrifty
hrifters, junkers, vintage hunters (I’ve even called myself an estate sale rat), we all tend to have one thing in common: We started thrifting out of necessity. Be it the economy, losing a job, or having children, there are any number of reasons money can become tight. And we, the thriving thrifty have found ways to still acquire the things we (and our families) need. From whipping through estate sale after estate sale on a Saturday morning, when items are typically half-price, to digging through barns, scouring jam-packed thrift stores to combing Craigslist and eBay, there are lots of ways to get a good deal. But then, we started to realize we could find wonderful, stylish things at bargain prices and vintage repurposing stores were born. Granted, some of them pioneered this lifestyle years ago, but nowadays a new store is popping up around every corner. When faced with buying a partical board desk at a big name chain versus a lovingly painted (or not) solid wood piece beaming with new life, of course our $100 will go to the latter. And who could dream of a beautifully distressed or restained solid dining room table and chairs for $150? We could. We can. In this issue, we’ll take a walk through Dana Snider’s Northland home, all magnificantly mid-century, and all budget friendly. The lady knows how to find a bargain and besides her couches and beds, she estimates she only spent about $2,000 on decorating her whole house. Remember when the show “Trading Spaces” had $2,000 to redo a whole room? And that was considered cheap? Dana amazes us. We teamed up with the fabulous team at Vixen Pinup Photography for our fashion shoot, which depicts 1940s nautical fashion. This era defined thrifty as supplies were limited and there were regulations on a lot of things. But they still rocked out fashion relevant even today. We’ve got 15 ideas for $2 vintage sheets with help from blogger Megan Kapple, and easy as pie party décor with graphic designer Audrey Kuether. Local craftsman Adam Magers shows us how to build a coffee table with antique barn trolleys, and the Brown Button boys teach us how to buy and sell all things related to vinyl. We certainly share a common bond in this community: We love creativity and a good deal. We here at VintageKC are excited to be along for the ride with you, and we have so many ideas for the next year of publishing. Look out for events and classes starting this summer as we celebrate a year with you. And do us a favor, when you visit a store you see in our magazine, be sure to tell them we sent you! Happy hunting!
Fashion Director Mandy Miller Copyeditor Angela Snell Editorial/Fashion Assistant Calli Green
Contributors Kim Antisdel The Birddog Patio Richard W. Daley Melinda Dennis Michael Fry James Fry Megan Kapple The Potting Shed Deborah Vogler Whimsical Rubbish
P hotography Richard W. Daley William and Jill DiMartino Layne Haley Photography Megan Kapple Audrey Kuether Vixen Pinup Photography
VintageKC volume 1, issue 4 is published quarterly by Erin Shipps, 7730 Floyd St., Overland Park, KS 66204. Copyright 2012, Erin Shipps. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Printed in the U.S.A.
Erin We’re loving our vintage industrial office supply finds right now. Tell us what you’re loving on Facebook.
4 VintageKC / Spring 2013
On the Cover
Dana Snider’s entryway is a mid-century showstopper. Photo: William and Jill DiMartino.
our favorite Etsy finds All of these shops can be found on etsy.com, an online retailer.
ViVifyVintage: Vintage men’s Seersucker suit, size M/40R, $79; vintage men’s golf jacket, size XL, $29; vintage Stetson hat, size 7-1/4, $67. Use code “KCVintageMagazine” for free shipping in the Kansas City area. etsy.com/shop/vivifyvintage
Vintage Heart Strings: Vintage Adamson black felt wool hat, $32; vintage 1930s green glass statement brooch, emerald cut stones, open backed setting, $40; vintage 1970s KC Royals custom made table/desk lamp, $35. Contact seller for free shipping in the Kansas City area. etsy.com/shop/vintageheartstrings
Cosabuena: Eyelet dress, size L, $18; Ralph Lauren denim workshirt, size L, $40; 1980s black leather pencil skirt, size 2-4, $40. Items can be picked up in The River Market area to avoid shipping cost. etsy.com/shop/cosabuena
This is found here: Handmade vintage ribbon rosette necklace, $15; handmade repurposed fabric rosette necklace, $12; handmade repurposed fabric rosette necklace, $12. All items may be found/picked up at Made in Lawrence, or in Etsy shop. Follow the blog at thistooisfoundhere.blogspot.com. etsy.com/shop/thisisfoundhere
VintageIcing: Four 1960s vintage Raffiaware bowls, $14; vintage claw foot bronzed metal Art Nouveau lamp, $39; ornate cherub pedestal bowl, cast metal cherub and colum base, $29. Use code “VINTAGEKCFREE” for free shipping in the Kansas City area. etsy.com/shop/VintageIcing
VintageKC / Spring 2013
buy & sell
It’s the era of the iGeneration, the Digital Age, but vinyl sales are higher than they’ve been since CDs officially stole the spotlight in 1986, projected at 4.7 Million last year. Here’s what you need to know about this growing market. Catch you on the flip side. By Michael and James Fry
hey say that everything moves in cycles. What used to be someone’s garage sale leftovers can become tomorrow’s hottest collectible. While we won’t say that iPods and iPhones are taking a backseat to vinyl, we will go on the record that records are making a significant comeback. Over the last decade CD sales have steadily declined while record sales are more than 10 times what they were in the 1990s. The growing popularity of vinyl, along with the explosion of digital media, has resulted in many musicians skipping CDs altogether when releasing new albums. National stores such as Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters are following the trend by stocking both new and re-released classics on vinyl. At first glance it would seem strange to see the comeback of records in this digital age, with the ability to carry an entire music collection in your pocket. We would venture that it is this intangibility of digital media that is at least partially responsible for the recent rise of LPs. People enjoy putting their hands on a record and watching it spin. Not to mention the fact that album art just isn’t the same on your mobile screen. But these reasons, while good, don’t get to the heart of the matter: If you ask
a true audiophile about the basis of vinyl’s superiority, they will tell you it all comes down to one thing—sound. The tracks on a record have not been compressed like other audio formats and, if played on a quality turntable, you will hear musical nuances that you will never catch on a CD or MP3. The growing interest in all things vinyl creates new opportunities for resellers. As with all reselling activities, a little knowledge goes a long way toward making you profitable. When looking to enter the world of record buyingand-selling, there are three main factors driving value: condition, interest and supply. All three are important when on the hunt for valuable records. You might think you’ve hit the jackpot
when you find a perfect copy of a well liked album such as The Eagles “Their Greatest Hits” only to find out later that it is one of the highest selling albums of all time with little more than $5 in value. Or you might unearth a fairly rare Beatles “All You Need Is Love” three-song Iranian EP that a dog chewed on; the teeth marks dropping its value to $12 instead of the $120 it might have brought. It’s only in the convergence of condition, interest and supply that things really start getting exciting. A good example of a rare LP from a high interest artist would be Johnny Cash’s original self-titled debut on Sun Records. In very good condition it can sell for more than $150. To get you started we have compiled a short list of artists that carry a broad and steady interest in the record collecting community: Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan (mostly his albums from the 1960s), David Bowie, early Elvis Presley, John Coltrane, The Beatles (as a group as well as their solo work), Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones. Beyond this elementary list, the best way to get acquainted with what is desirable and valuable in the world of records is to study selling
Don’t know if you’re getting your money’s worth? Having trouble pricing or finding a good deal on an item? Tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 VintageKC / Spring 2013
buy & sell prices. Check websites like eBay or Amazon, and stop by your local record stores to peruse the shelves. There are several quality establishments in the Kansas City area including Zebedee’s RPM and Renaissance Vinyl on 39th Street in Westport, and Love Garden in Lawrence. When delving into the wide world of vinyl, record players are of equal importance to buy, sell and enjoy. The different types and qualities of players available are as diverse as the music that plays on them. A few categories to consider are: turntables that look really cool but have mediocre sound quality, turntables with good sound quality but less-thanimpressive design, and the magic combination—turntables that sound amazing and have awesome looks to boot. The first category includes suitcase record players. Often made of plastic, they fold in half and have a handle for easy transportation.
He said . . He said
What’s spinning on your turntable?
Michael I enjoy a wide variety of music, and my record collection is not a bunch of LPs I have sought out to buy. I enjoy “the find,” and my vinyl stock is comprised of great albums that I have stumbled upon in garage sales, flea markets and estate sales across Kansas City. One of my favorite bands is U2 and I love the cover art on War. I purchased my mint copy from a garage sale in Olathe for $3. From U2, my tastes (and albums) wander far and wide to include Simon and Garfunkel, Duke Ellington, Elton John’s Madman Across the Water, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, everything Johnny Cash, and of course, The Beatles. I own the “Red” album and I am currently on the hunt for the “Blue” album. Despite the amazing list of artists and albums in my collection, my 3-year-old would trade them all for his vinyl copy of Bert and Ernie Sing Along.
James Being a Kansas City native it seems appropriate to highlight a few noteworthy jazz albums. Jazz is one of those genres of music that seems to always sound better on a record player. The slight crackle and occasional pop coming out of your turntable just adds to the glory of an old Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” or Dave Brubeck “Take Five” record. Other notable artists and albums in this category include John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” Thelonious Monk’s “Brilliant Corners,” Charles Mingus’ “Mingus Ah Um,” Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and to top it off with a few KC originals, Count Basie and Charlie Parker. Jazz singers and crooners also have their own special quality when played on vinyl. Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday are always enjoyable, but my favorite singer would most certainly have to be Louis Armstrong. His gravelly voice never ceases to bring enjoyment to my ears.
Made by companies like Zenith, Crosley, Tele-Tone, GE, and RCA these portable record players are all-in-one, with builtin speakers and no need to be connected to a receiver. They are great for aesthetics and comparatively inexpensive, but to the true audiophile’s ear they probably won’t make the cut. These types of players can be purchased (or sold) in the range of $20 to $70. Let’s skip the middle category (because it’s boring) and go straight to record players that both sound and look grand (because this is where things get interesting and potentially profitable). A few turntables in this category include the Marantz 6300, Thorens TD-124, and our favorite—the Dual CS5000. With casings of solid wood, all three players are great centerpieces for your record collection and will make any album sound amazing. These turntables can range from $300 to more than $1,000 depending on the condition and type of cartridge (or needle) they come with. If you stumble across one of these record players for a low price, you’ve either found a nice profit or exponentially increased the quality of your music listening equipment. (If neither interest you, then give us a call and tell us where to purchase it). Whether you have the ear to hear the quality of a Dual CS-5000 turntable with Martin Logan speakers or you just enjoy finding that rare album that makes your day of estate sale shopping profitable, we hope that we have assisted you on your vinyl journey and we wish you happy picking.
Michael and James Fry are brothers and the owners of Brown Button Estate Sales. Find them at brownbutton.com and facebook.com/ brownbutton.
VintageKC / Spring 2013
diy decor ’
Lovely Party Décor Party supplies can be expensive. They can also be easy, elegant DIY projects. Here are a few simple projects from local graphic designer Audrey Kuether. Projects | Styling | Photography by Audrey Kuether
a. Tissue paper tassles Take decorating up a notch (literally) with flowing, vibrant tassles. String them over a table and along a wall.
b. Customized coasters Add texture while protecting your tabletops with cute patterns and personlized monograms. Coasters with a number are great for birthday parties!
c. Elegant cupCake Stand Elevate your pastries in style with this classy reusable cake stand made from repurposed candleholders and vintage plates.
d. confetti Splash your table with color using different sized confetti. But don’t just stick to solids, mix in some coordinating patterns.
8 VintageKC / Spring 2013
e. Whimsical pinwheels Make your party décor pop color with these adorable pinwheels. Place them in vintage milk glass, silver vases or mercury glass instead of expensive flowers.
f. Cupcake Toppers Another great use for larger confetti; coordinate mismatched desserts with simple toppers made from paper and toothpicks. Customize them even further with monograms or numbers.
Audrey is the creative and brand manager for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America by day, and runs Oh So Lovely, a Kansas City-based graphic design and photography company, in her spare time. She and her husband Ted live in Olathe with their two dogs and are expecting their first child this summer.
diy decor â€™
b c d
To view complete step-by-step tutorials for all ďŹ ve projects visit:
VintageKC / Spring 2013
Barn Trolley Tables By Adam Magers
First patented in 1867, iron hay carriers once served as a barn’s workhorse. Repurpose them now as a sturdy foundation for your coffee table.
arn trolleys or hay carriers were used to help farmers lift and relocate heavy objects in the barn. As many barns have seen the end of their days, barn trolleys are reappearing in antique stores and piles of agri-junk. These extremely heavy hunks of metal are eye-catching and intriguing. Barn trolleys have even caught the attention of the retail furnishing giant Restoration Hardware, as the company sells a barn trolley light pendant. I believe barn trolleys can serve an even better purpose as table legs. If you don’t have power tools, don’t worry. Tables have existed for thousands of years, and power tools haven’t. You can cut wood using a hand saw, and then join the pieces together using wood glue, a hammer and nails. Step 1 Determine the dimensions of your table. Because barn trolleys are so heavy, I recommend 2” thick boards. Next, decide how wide you would like each board to be. If you want a 24” wide table, go with four 6” boards.
10 VintageKC / Spring 2013
However, it is important to know that not all boards actually measure the width they are sold as. So, a 2”x8”-8’ board may only measure 7-3/4” wide because it lost a 1/4” when it was surfaced at the mill. Same with the thickness. Generally, 1” material only measures 3/4”. Sketching the layout of your table will save you time in the long run. Step 2 Cleaning up the barn trolleys is optional. Some people love a rustic look, and rust helps with that. If you prefer a cleaner look, try Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover and scrub the rust away by using a wire brush or steel wool. Be sure to wear some heavy rubber gloves, as well as wear eye protection, and read the directions and warning label. You can also use a drill or Dremel tool with a wire brush attachment to do away with the rust. Wear a dust mask and eye protection as wire bristles will fly and rust particles will be floating through the air. Step 3 Trolleys need to be adapted so they can be used as table legs. Barn trolleys vary
in height, so your wood attachment piece will vary depending on the height of your barn trolley and how tall you want your table. I would recommend attaching a 4”x4” block to the bottom of the barn trolley. Depending on the barn trolley, I like to position it upside down for aesthetics. The best way to attach the block is to use Liquid Nails or another extremely strong construction adhesive. It’s
What you need
Barn trolleys Wood Rust remover (optional) Wire brush (optional) Hammer, nails and hand saw (at least) Drill, screws, Mitre saw/table saw (at most) U-bolts, cable or wire Wood glue, clamp Biscuit joiner (optional) Stain
diy furniture If you want to learn more about the original purpose of a barn trolley, check out: coolmodelengines.com/ also a good idea to attach the block html_pages/barn_carrier_descript.html with some U-bolts, cable, or wire to ensure you’ve got a strong connection. Get creative! them to dry. The biscuit soaks up the glue and Step 4 After studying and sketching your swells, creating a very strong joint. table layout, mark your boards for each cut. After the glue has dried and your joints are Always measure your boards, mark them, good, you can add trim pieces to the outside and measure them again. Lay them out to of the table if you desire. determine which pieces you want to sit next to Step 5 Go ahead and attach your tabletop. each other. Remember to alternate the grain If you don’t have power tools, use nails to nail to prevent the boards from warping, twisting, your top into the block attached earlier. Just or bowing. (Look at the end of each board and make sure the barn trolleys are straight and examine the direction of the grain.) located where you want them. If you have a Assemble the boards using simple glue, pocket hole system, finish your top before clamp, hammer and nails or take it to the next attaching it. All you really need to do is drill level with a biscuit joiner. A biscuit joiner some pocket holes into the block you atmakes small football-shaped cutouts inside tached to your barn trolley, and insert screws the board. Simply push a biscuit joiner against through your pocket holes into the bottom of the side of a board while it’s running, and it your tabletop. makes the cut. It is very easy to use. Make Step 6 Finish your top. First, fill in your nail identical cuts on the joining boards, glue the holes with a little glue and saw dust. After this sides of the boards and joints, and insert a has dried, sand it down. If the hole remains, biscuit (a football-shaped wooden insert) into repeat the process. Next, read all of the directhe cutouts. Then, clamp the boards and leave
tions and precautions on the label of the finish you choose. In short, all you need to do is prep the surface with some mineral spirits, wipe on your desired stain or paint, and apply furniture wax, shellac, or polyurethane. Generally, you will want to use a light sanding block in between a few coats of shellac or polyurethane. Step 7 Relax, and enjoy your new barn trolley table!
Adam Magers is the sole proprietor of Timber Furniture KC, a locally owned and operated small business in Kansas City, MO. After eight years in the U.S. Army, including a tour to Baghdad, Iraq, as a combat medic with an IED clearance platoon, he came home to KCMO to pursue the American dream. He earned a master’s degree in the cognate fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics at Missouri State University, but after finishing grad school he found himself living for his time away from work, doing what he loves most: hanging out with his wife and creating furniture.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 11
Mad for Dana Snider calls herself a “junker,” but we beg to disagree, as she fills this new-build traditional home with style from another era in a really, really cool way.
12 VintageKC / Spring 2013
While Danaâ€™s couches are Nebraska Furniture Mart finds, their clean lines lend themselves well to mid-century style. Her beds are also new, but everything else is from another era.
mid-century By Kim Antisdel | Photos by William and Jill DiMartino
VintageKC / Spring 2013 13
14 VintageKC / Spring 2013
ll those who collect vintage furniture, lamps, cabinets, trays and baubles beyond the space they have in their homes, raise your hand. Ahh, so many of you. The vintage and antique collector stereotype is easy enough to fall into. Stacks of interesting finds in your basement, magazines of inspiring ideas stashed in drawers and Tupperware tubs. A 12-piece vintage dish set sitting in your cabinet that you'll definitely use—someday. Gladstone native Dana Snider doesn't have a clue what you're talking about. In fact, this veteran "junker" (her term) has a rule that would cause the average vintage shopper to hyperventilate: To buy something new, something else has to go. Are you having trouble breathing, too? For Dana, thrifting carefully and with purpose was born out of necessity. At the young age of 22, she married her husband Ron, and the couple faced a very common problem: Their home was filled with lots of love, but not much else. So, armed with love and a meager budget, Dana set out to find furnishings for her home. And the weirder, the better. "I looked for junk, literally," Dana remembers. "I went to thrift stores, Goodwill stores, maybe an occasional estate sale on a Sunday when people were desperate to get rid of stuff. I loved Victorian pieces, so I found a lot of weird stuff. It started out as a necessity, but then it quickly turned to an obsession. It's all about the hunt." That obsession has been a part of Dana's life for more than 30 years now. In part, the art of antiquing is in her blood, as Dana's mother was also an avid junker. What sets Dana apart from the average vintage buyer is her insistence on thrifting with purpose. Dana simply doesn't believe in buying pieces she doesn't need. Thankfully, in 2011, that need resurfaced when her husband took a work promotion that required a move back to Kansas City. Dana saw the opportunity for a renewed junk obsession come to life. She swiftly sold nearly every accessory and piece of furniture from her St. Louis home, ready to start all over again. All that remained after the purge were some family pieces, kitchen chairs and a few pieces from her office. Luckily, Dana has a partner who was supportive of her desire to essentially flush out the entire house. He didn't always understand her obsession, so she explained it in a way that rang true for him.
Opposite page: Dana’s breakfast table features reupholstered chairs, a midcentury lamp and clean-lined table. Above left: If it can’t be dusted, Dana isn’t too interested. Glorious wood pieces like this buffet are show-stoppers. Left: Well-made dish sets from the 1950s serve well on Dana’s tables.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 15
16 VintageKC / Spring 2013
With its antique wallpaper print roller lamp, original vintage art and natural buffet, Danaâ€™s entryway stops visitors in their tracks.
Above left: A sitting area in Dana’s office mixes pretty florals with "My husband's a hunter," Dana says. "He may walk around all day the clean lines of mid-century furniture. She found the chair at a long looking for a bird and never see the one he wants. It's the same for thrift store. Above: Dana’s office furniture features vintage me in hunting for that one great piece. He figured out early on that I Heywood Wakefield furniture. could be gone all day long shopping and only end up buying something for $1. But if it puts a smile on my face, and I've spent $1, he's just fine I can't get rid of it until I find its replacement. So, that means I can with that." shop until I find my new chair. After that, I don't really want or need With her husband's full support, Dana had cart blanche to junk as anything else." much as she wanted to find pieces for her new Kansas City home. And Dana lives hard and fast by her rule of actually using and enjoying in just more than a year, the deal diva has nearly filled her new home every piece she acquires. In fact, the family kitchen is a shining example with amazing finds and unique pieces that would make any other of just that. thrifter green with envy. And she's not afraid to tell you all about it. "I've actually never eaten with stainless silverware," Dana says with "I can't keep my mouth shut when I find these bargains," she a grin. "Our everyday silverware is silver plated that I bought while laughs. "I got my dining room table and chairs for $108. I can't keep junking. People always think you have to constantly shine your silver. that to myself !" You don't if you use it every single day. I have the same mentality for my As she filled the home with her finds, Dana began to realize how found pots and pans. I use everything." much her taste had changed. The Victorian The "use it or lose it" decree may sound and turn of the century flair that she once stifling to most thrifters, but Dana has a sought out is only vaguely visible now. Dana's quiet loophole in that strict rule book—and design sensibility has made a shift into The Future Antiques in St Louis she's not afraid to use it. That loophole mid-century pieces with clean lines. In fact, Way 2 Kewl in St. Joe comes in the form of friends, family and her the Snider home is almost completely filled Kat&Co in St. Joe Pony Express mall in St. Joe two daughters. with gorgeous mid-century wood furniture. Parkville Antique mall "I love finding things for people," she Almost. Good JuJu says. "That's what keeps me going out and "I have one Victorian chair in my bedroom All the shops in the West Bottoms enjoying the hunt. I have found things for that I want to give away," Dana says. "But
Dana’s favorite stores
VintageKC / Spring 2013 17
vintage spaces daughters, my niece, my sister, anybody who tells me to keep my eyes open for something." Dana's family has benefited extensively from her love of the junk hunt. Her youngest daughter Anna recently used Dana's diamond in the rough skills to find souvenirs for her wedding. The mother and daughter team scoured sales in Kansas City to find gorgeous carnival glass at a budget of $15 per piece. With Dana's help, Anna was able to send everyone home with a great memory and a unique piece of art.
18 VintageKC / Spring 2013
And it's not just the guests who are going home with memories. Every trip Dana took with her daughter to find those beautiful glass pieces is a special experience all its own. "I don't buy expensive jewelry, I don't love to go shopping for clothes," Dana says. "I'd much rather spend the day with my daughters or family sifting through junk in the Bottoms than going to Dillard's. We may find absolutely nothing, but we go to the stores all day, laughing and looking. We might find an amazing piece that we can't live without, and that's a memory. I'll have that forever." Dana has a memory and a story attached to nearly every piece in her home, but the one that makes her grin from ear to ear is a simple, mid-century shadow box filled with unusual trinkets and figures. At first glance, it could just be another unusual find that has become Dana's calling card. But in reality, it is so much more.
Opposite page: From her coffee maker to her tablesettings to her cookware, Danaâ€™s modern kitchen takes a step back in time (bottom). She even has a vintage advertisement framed that features her daily use pots and pans (inset left). A display cabinet in her basement holds oddities (inset right).
This page: Danaâ€™s dining room table and chairs cost a mere $108.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 19
20 VintageKC / Spring 2013
Opposite page: Dana’s bedrooms, like this guest bedroom (far left) feature older, heirloom pieces. The game/TV room (bottom and right) feature more masculine touches, while keeping the mid-century thing going. Below: The shadow box containing heirlooms from her mother. Bottom: Dana’s guest bedroom is whimsical and fun.
Ask a Pro "That shadow box was $20," Dana explains. "Everything inside it is from my mom. Each birthday, Christmas, whatever, she lets me take a piece of junk from her house, and I put it in that shadow box. All of that stuff is something my mother has given me." Dana's junking has become an unplanned bind to her family that will never break. In actuality, her one-in/one-out rule is really just a way to ensure that she always continues to look, always continues to find, and always continues to share in the memories that junking will provide. Dana will have a passion for junking for her entire life and has sound advice for anyone thinking of following in her footsteps. "Start at your grandparents' house," she says. "A grandparent will have things that you never knew about and the piece will mean that much more to you when you get it. Don't worry about the value or if it's an original. Pick something that will have meaning to you. Then you can always move on to Goodwill and First Fridays and places like that. Start with your family. You'll be surprised what you can find." Although she calls herself a junker, one thing is for sure in looking at Dana’s lovely home: It’s a far cry from junk. Her knack for design, keen eye and determination have filled her home with a custom style to go with all that love.
Kim Antisdel is a writer, interior designer and sales rep. She is also a complete klutz that can crank out a killer cartwheel on demand. Her favorite place to write is curled up on the couch with her weiner dog and two cats fighting for a spot on her lap.
Deb V ogler
I need to get outside. How do I create an oasis in my own back yard?
ith winter saying adieu, now is the time to start planning that perfect outdoor getaway; in the not-sodistant luxury of your own backyard. Your very own private sanctuary is just a few steps away. Whether it is a living room, a kitchen, a dining area, or all of the above; creating that ideal outdoor getaway is as easy as one, two, three! While you don’t have to settle for a BBQ grill and folding lawn chair any more, I certainly wouldn’t advise passing on any opportunity to soak up the sunshine with your favorite beverage while getting your carnivore on. Designing a functional, flexible outdoor space is much like designing an interior room. Develop your outdoor plan in a sequence, working from the most general to the most specific features. Commit your design to paper, preferably to scale, and include all elements of your yard, including the pool, deck, patio, landscaping and walkways. And think about traffic patterns, both to and from rooms in your home and to areas in your yard. You are no longer tethered to the old constraints of creating outdoor environments. There are literally thousands of outdoor specific products just begging to be incorporated into your design, such as fabrics, furniture, lighting, artwork, rugs, water features ... and it is always a great opportunity to repurpose and recycle some of your favorites. Don’t let your space (or your lack of space) stop you either. Beauty can be had in an area the size of a postage stamp. Depending on your own style, something as simple as a quaint bistro table and chairs perched on an antique rug (in this case you would need to bring the rug indoors when not in use) would add so much ambiance to your area. Add some blooming flowers in your favorite shade—remember, there is no wrong color in nature—a place setting for two and voila, you have the perfect spot for you and a friend, a romantic setting for you and that special person, or a picturesque destination for you and your favorite book. And should you need another reason to create that perfect outdoor destination, it will not only extend your living space but it will increase the overall value of your home. Shake off those foul weather blues and get started. I see good times in your future!
Deb Vogler has been creating her own brand of Comfort by Design for more than 15 years. She deals with all aspects of design, from budgeting, to floor plans (renovation or new construction), to furniture, to color at her full-scale design firm. Have a desigin question for Deb? Send it to email@example.com.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 21
Garden Guide 2013
pring brings new life from the dead of winter. It pulls us out of hibernation under a warm blanket in our homes and gets us digging in the dirt and pulling decorating items out of their winter storage. Spring also makes us take a look around our outdoor spaces and think, This might need a little work. Never fear, our first annual Garden Guide is here. Find new life for rusty treasures, plant in containers you never thought about before, decorate with uncommon finds, DIY some brick pillars, feed the birds in style and use art to add whimsical touches. With a little help from some unique garden spaces and our friends at The Potting Shed, The Birddog Patio and Whimsical Rubbish, we hope you find some inspiration to get outside and get into nature this year. And definitely let us know how it grows.
Find more outdoor and garden inspiration on our pin board: pinterest.com/vintagekc/outdoor
22 VintageKC / Spring 2013
Art immitates life: Vintage framed floral prints are used as coasters on outdoor furniture.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 23
DiM lliam and Jill Photo by Wi
24 VintageKC / Spring 2013
For the Birds When it comes to nesting grounds for our feathered friends, we’re far from square. Check out these vintage houses created by Abby at The Birddog Patio.
Abby says: “My birdhouses are funky and functional because I take advantage of the fact a male Carolina wren will build a nest in almost anything! Aluminum kettles and pitchers (so plentiful at sales and thrift stores) make the perfect bones for a beautiful house. It amazes me to think how someone brought these shiny, modern items into their kitchen and marveled at their futuristic colors and shapes. Not many people keep their orange juice in a Color Craft pitcher any more, but there is some consolation in giving a new life to unwanted objects, even if it strays far from the Abby’s first birdhouse: original purpose. an aluminum drink “I love finding an item that I know pitcher, pewter plate, jello mold, pastry blendwill make a wonderful house. It er, other misc. kitchen takes me a little time to figure out gadgets and a vintage what direction I’m going with it and brooch on top. what type of trinkets I want to add. Some have turned out very elaborate and others are just a 1-1/4” hole drilled into a great item that needs no embellishment. “Most birds are selective about the type and location of their nest. In Missouri, starting late March or early April, the male Carolina wren will begin building several nests within his territory for his mate to choose from. These monogamous birds stay together and live in this area year round. He will build multiple nests and the female will choose one to lay eggs and raise their young in. They are shy birds but have a beautiful song that becomes easy to recognize. “The first birdhouse I ever put together is hanging in my backyard and it was a thrilling moment the first time I saw a male wren duck into the house with a twig in his beak. I’m convinced that if hung in a suitable, quiet location with shade and protection, my houses are attractive to wrens and handy for them to use. And I think their appearance only improves with exposure to sun and rain, but I’m not put off by a little rust! Abby crafted this highly unique bird palace out of an old salesman’s sample stove. Just because it wasn’t intended for the garden, doesn’t mean it can’t thrive there. Use items like metal children’s bikes, high chairs, scales and birdcages in new ways by planting in them or displaying seeds. Add candles to a chandelier or stack ceramic animals for touches of whimsy. Intrigue guests with vintage coolers, almanacs for reading, and outdoor-inspired napkin rings. Finally, turn baskets upside down for light fixtures and elevate plants under a trellis to maximize green space.
Find The Birddog Patio at Bottoms Up, The Fleeting Flea and follow them on Facebook.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 25
Whimsical Rubbish By Richard W. Daley
Follow Whimsical Rubbish on Facebook and flickr.com/whimsicalrubbish
26 VintageKC / Spring 2013
yne Haley Ph
DIY these brick path markers
Photo by La
Ben Hawkins sculpts inanimate objects into art pieces he calls Whimsical Rubbish. A visit to his Overland Park, KS, studio would reveal car parts, vintage refuse, and a few thousand other items nearly impossible to place in a category. “All of these have faces and tell stories,” says Hawkins about his many works. “They draw you into their world before you recognize they are just junk hooked together.” During regular working hours, Ben is a mechanic at a local Dodge/Jeep Jack In The Box made from bait box, dealership. electric tea pot, car springs, garden Staring into the rakes, fishing bobbers, poker chips, bellies of the never and part of a light fixture. ending string of cars provides him with inspiration. “I have incorporated tools that I use at work into my sculptures,” Hawkins says. The reception to his art has been positive. His work has been shown at the Strecker Nelson Gallery in Manhattan, KS, as well as the Discovery Center in Kansas City, MO. The PBS series, “Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations” featured Hawkins in 2007. The varied textures and overall structure of his work brings surprising reactions. “It is always interesting when I show my art and someone tells me what something is that I did not know what it was.” The lamp, keyboard, or bucket of bolts collecting dust in your garage could be a masterpiece if Ben Hawkins ever gets his Metal car parts, garden tools, and hands on them. miscellaneous plastic pieces.
Grab an old carved post to elevate a home for birds, build your own brick pillar path markers, embellish some drift wood with an ornate hanging lantern, give some drama to a vegetable garden with a wire gate, and most of all, show off your rusty relics. After all, the garden is a perfect final resting place for pieces that have gone to rust.
Curious Containers By Laurie Kessler
DiM lliam and Jill Photos by Wi artino
I’ll never forget my first garden tour. The gardens were gorgeous, the containers were an afterthought! Plain terracotta pots, even plastic containers. I was amazed. The right container with the right plant can add just the right touch to complete a garden space. Whether that space is on your front porch, screened porch or layered into your garden plantings ... don’t forget a beautiful container!
Keep these things in mind:
Rust as art
1. Select a container appropriate in scale for your location. 2. Select plants for your container that fit the site needs. Will your container be in full sun, partial sun or full shade? 3. Follow this design principle for selecting plants for your container: Use 1 thriller, 1 or 2 spillers, and 1 or 2 fillers. This gives you the perfect scale combination. 4. For smaller containers, use 1 “specimen” plant. Consider the location and find a plant you will enjoy viewing. 5. Always ensure your container has drainage holes. If you are using a vintage kettle, drill enough holes in the bottom to ensure water can flow through. 6. I use coffee filters to cover the drainage holes to ensure the potting medium does not come out through the holes. 7. Use a good potting soil that contains a slow release plant food. 8. Allow some space for your plants to grow. Don’t “overfill.” 9. Make sure you water your container before it dries out. Water needs increase with the summer heat!
Vintage items that make great container gardens: Special thanks to Becky Budke, Kathi Hardin and Sharon McCarter for letting us crash their gardens in the dry heat of last year’s summer. If you have a beautiful garden or outdoor space with unique vintage ideas, tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Large aluminum kettles, galvanized chicken feeders, bushel baskets—wood or galvanized, concrete urns, metal creamers, and stand washtubs.
Laurie Kessler owns The Potting Shed, offering container planting/ design services. Contact her at email@example.com.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 27
vintage fashion WAITING FOR THE TRAIN On Robin: Suit by Bobbie Brooks, Burlap at Good JuJu, $21.50; anchor pin, MoVi Modern Vintage Mobile Boutique; earrings courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography; shoes, Retro Vixen, $36. On Rhiannon: Snood, vintage naval pants and shoes courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography; blouse, Banana Republic, Arizona Trading Co., $25. Set: Blue, white suitcases courtesy The Ridge Antique Mall. Red suitcases courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography.
28 VintageKC / Spring 2013
FEMININE & FIERCE Hair | Photography by Nikki Moreno-Whipple/Vixen Pin-Up Photography Makeup by Candy Cunningham/Vixen Pin-Up Photography Models | Robin Nelson and Rhiannon Birdsall Styling | Props by Erin Shipps, Mandy Miller and Calli Green
There is no decade of fashion more interesting than the 1940s. At least that’s our opinion. It is so fascinating, because it was born out of necessity.
orld War II changed every aspect of a woman’s life in this decade, from what they ate, to where they worked, but it had an especially profound impact on fashion. Gridlocked from amassing its usual fashion inspiration from an occupied France, New York emerged as a fashion leader, and everyone—from designers blending recycled wool with other fibers to the everyday woman sewing her family’s clothing— was learning how to do more with less. Staunch regulations from the government, focused on the war, led to confiscation of fabrics like wool and nylon (Japanese silk was also banned for obvious reasons), and dictation on how much material could be used for garment making. Thus was born an era of shorter skirts (think knee-length), shoes made of anything but leather (try reptile skin and mesh), casual pants, ankle socks and two-piece swimsuits (who knew those were born out of a conservation effort?). Colors were patriotic including reds, whites, and blues, and earth-toned. But all these regulations didn’t stop women from looking fabulous. Every woman in the 1940s knew enlisted men, and while they were taking over the workforce, they were also raiding their men’s closets and rocking it (think Rosie the Riveter). They knitted snoods to keep their long hair out of machinery, and made minimal makeup cool. In these pages, our fashion strays from true 1940s, but we kept the inspiration there (nautical, patriotic, simple). To achieve the style from this decade, look for blouses tied at the neck, peplums, suit separates, full or puffy sleeves, full-cut collars, and simple shoes with 1-inch chunky heels (even though ours aren’t). For accessories, try large fake flowers (they were cheap and added color back then) or gold lockets (popular while women’s sweethearts were away at war). We’re inspired by the women of this era, for their thriftiness (albeit forced) and their craftiness—both qualities we strive for—while maintaining that delicate balance of hard work and grace. They worked hard, and they ushered in styles that would last well into the Fifties, and be seen again and again throughout history. Here’s to you, 1940s women.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 29
Having trouble finding authentic 1940s clothing? Try looking for 1970s pieces inspired by the 1940s (like this jumpsuit). There was a big revival during that period.
Umbrella courtesy Encore Unique Boutique; jumpsuit, estate sale, $5; earrings and shoes courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography.
30 VintageKC / Spring 2013
Vintage locket, editorâ€™s closet; blouse, Xhilaration, Target, $20; belt, Retro Vixen, $20; skirt, shoes and books courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 31
Flowers, earrings, gloves, bracelet and shoes courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography; jacket, Encore Unique Boutique $22; dress, Rock Steady, Retro Vixen, $75. Telephone courtesy The Ridge Antique Mall; telephone table courtesy Andrea Brown.
32 VintageKC / Spring 2013
COME SAIL AWAY
Hat and shoes courtesy Vixen Pinup Photography; top, Cole of Cali, MoVi Modern Mobile Vintage Boutique, $18; jeans, Rock Steady, Retro Vixen, $56; bangle, MoVi Modern Mobile Vintage Boutique, $8.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 33
15 vintage crafts
Vintage Sheets Things to do with
Projects | Styling | Photography by Megan Kapple and Erin Shipps
e’ve heard that step one to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So, Kansas City, we have a problem. We can’t stop buying vintage sheets. From dainty florals to bold graphic prints, we adore these thrifty fabric finds. But, as usual, when things start piling up, we think, What can we possibly do with this many bed sheets? That’s where local blogger Megan Kapple comes in, swooping in rather, like a super heroine donning a flowing cape of patchwork vintage sheet scraps (at least in our minds). In reality, we put her to work sewing her heart out and crafting away for an entire Friday afternoon. What resulted from our afternoon of sweat and tears are 15 easy projects that you can easily do with any fabric, but we favor vintage sheets for their patterns as well as their price. We didn’t spend more than $2 for any of these sheets, which makes the fabric less than $.30/yard, assuming a flat queen sheet is about 7 yards (don’t even try to recreate our math, we’re right-brained people). So go ahead, grab that sheet at the thrift store, estate sale or garage sale, and put it to good use with these quick, simple projects. Then tell us all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
34 VintageKC / Spring 2013
Check out our pin board for more inspiration: pinterest.com/vintagekc/vintage-sheet-ideas
Tie Seam ripper Scissors Thread (to match tie) Needle Iron
Sentimental Journey ANTIQUE MALL
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK! Monday-Saturday 10-6 Sunday 12-5 Featuring 14,000 square feet of antiques and collectibles 913-768-8088 907 S. Chestnut, Olathe
VintageKC / Spring 2013 35
diy crafts Hamper One of our easiest projects took about five minutes to put together. Grab a pretty pillowcase, add an eyelet (kits can be found at craft stores) to the middle of on opening edge, then wrap it through a large embroidery hoop. Hang it on a hook and youâ€™ve got a great stayopen laundry hamper for any bedroom. It would also be a great catch-all for toys.
36 VintageKC / Spring 2013
Wild Animals Bright, colorful prints are great for kidsâ€™ stuffed animals. For this project, we printed a silhouette, pinned it to the fabric, cut out two pieces and pinned them inside out before sewing. We added the simple ribbon tail, felt ear and button eye and stuffed this little guy with Poly-Fil (found at craft stores). We also turned the pattern sideways on the back for more visual interest.
necklace Cut out interesting pieces of fabric and felt in diamond shapes and glue together. Then fold in half and glue corners together. String pieces on a chain and you have instant jewelry.
Hair pieces Craft cute-as-a-button hair accessories by cutting circles of fabric, folding them in half, then folding them in half again so they look like triangles. Glue the pointed ends of the triangles to a circle of felt working your way in from the outside. Fluff the layers and attach to a headband or hair clip.
VintageKC / Springi 2013 37
curtains Sometimes the perfect sheet screams, “Don’t cut me!” because it would make the perfect curtain. Sheets are often a great length for windows, and if they’re not, they’re easy to hem. Grab some ring clips and you have a new curtain in seconds.
Pillow puffs Little round pillows are the darlings of the vintage world. Make your own with a single pillowcase. For this pillow, cut off the cuff and snip the seam to make it one long piece to serve as the border. Then cut two 12” circles from the rest of the case. Pin one circle on and stitch with your sewing maching, also stitch the cuff closed. Then pin and stitch the second circle leaving an opening to stuff it and stitch the opening closed. Add buttons for more dimension.
Monday Noon - 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 913-209-9479 6009 Johnson Dr. • Mission, KS vintagemissionkc.com
38 VintageKC / Spring 2013
diy crafts Frame it Bold patterns like this colorful floral print make great art. Make a wall collage with different parts of the sheet framed in matching frames. Spray paint mismatched thrifted frames for a cohesive look.
shower curtain Just as you can use beautiful sheets as window dressings, they work equally well as shower curtains. Again using ring clips, clip the sheet to a vinyl shower liner for some vintage charm in your bathroom. You may need to hem the bottom for the perfect fit.
Wrapping A beautiful way to use vintage sheet scraps also brightens someoneâ€™s day with unique gift wrapping. Cut a large square section of sheet, fold in two opposite sides, then twist the remaining sides into a bow. Secure with ribbon. It takes some practice, but your friends can reuse this material as another gift wrap or for any number of small craft projects.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 39
Homemade cards Greeting cards can be expensive, but DIY cards are cheap, personal and fun! Roughly cut pieces from sheets and attach them to cardstock with a sewing machine. The more handmade looking, the better. Wrap pieces around the back of the card for some added whimsy. Then stamp or handwrite happy birthday, get well soon, or something inspirational.
40 VintageKC / Spring 2013
Pillowcase Dress With just a pillowcase and some stretch lace, you can create a pretty spring/summer dress thatâ€™s the perfect size for little girls. Find out how to make this one at vintagekcmag.com/ pillowcasedress.
Apron Instructions Step 1: Lay the pillowcase flat and fold up the bottom edge 8”. Top stitch along the folded edge at 1/4”. (The stitched edge will become the top edge of the pockets.) Step 2: Turn the pillowcase over and fold the bottom up another 8”. There will be three layers of pillowcase. Step 3: Pin the layers together and top stitch around the sides and bottom edges. Mark a line down the middle of the front pocket, pin and stitch. Step 4: Topstitch ribbon at the top edge of the apron (continue along sides and bottom for a more finished look).
Easy apron Another pillowcase project, this simple apron takes just 10 minutes to sew. It’s a great project for even a beginning seamstress. See directions at right.
coasters Think outside the box with these ceramic tiles we scored from Habitat for Humanity Restore for $.10 each. We used a blue sheet with white flowers and cut them so the blue still outlined the flowers and used Mod Podge to affix them. Add some sticky felt circles to the bottom to avoid scratching your furniture.
lampshade Turn around a thrift store lamp or give life to a simple $15 Target lamp like this one by wrapping the plain shade in a sheet. Measure the height of the shade and add about a half inch. Use a hemmed side of a sheet to align along the bottom of the shade with hot glue and then wrap and glue the loose half inch around the top. Use a plain ribbon to hide the loose edge just inside the top of the shade.
Banners Bags Napkins Quilted baby bibs Skirts Cover shelves Cover dresser drawers Recover a desk chair Embroidery hoop art Dresses Wallets Bow ties
VintageKC / Spring 2013 41
where weâ€™ve been
Jan. 19, Old Summit Country Antique Show
Feb. 1, Restoration Emporium celebrates one year in the West Bottoms
5330 Martway Mission, KS 913-722-7788 afabfind.com
Ask about our private evening event space!
42 VintageKC / Spring 2013
where weâ€™ve been
Feb. 1, TLC Thrifty Boutique celebrates two years in Downtown Overland Park.
Feb. 1, Well Traveled opens in the West Bottoms.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 43
stores we love
Junkfest Studios Shawnee
Unleash your creative side at Junkfest Studios, where you can treasure hunt and learn from some of the best artisans around. VKC: How long have you been into vintage? Robin: I’ve always had an appreciation and love for the quality and beautiful lines of vintage pieces. My love of anything old comes from my parents, who loved repurposing and giving new life to old, discarded things, especially old furniture. They were ahead of their times. VKC: How did you decide to open a business? Robin: I have to say that not being able to get the car in the garage during the hard winter we had a couple of years ago got me rethinking my “studio” space. It was great working on and painting my furniture at home but it soon took over every available space. I’d been thinking about holding my own furniture painting classes for a long time and this just seemed like the right next step. VKC: What advice do you have for new painters? Robin: Let go of the fear and go for it! It can always be repainted if you don’t like it. Taking a class is a good way to build confidence. VKC: How would you describe the style of the items in your studio? Robin: The studio is filled with all things vintage with an occasional mid-century piece
44 VintageKC / Spring 2013
thrown in the mix. It’s filled with “shabby chic” hand-painted furnishings and decor. Some of the pieces have been repurposed and painted while others are just waiting to be creatively upcycled and given a new life. VKC: What piece in your own home could you not do without? Robin: I have two favorite pieces. One is an antique handmade rocking chair I bought from a thrift store in the 1970s. I can just envision the artisan sitting for hours carving the curved arms and the design on the headrest. The other is the first piece of hand-painted furniture I ever bought. It’s a hutch that was handmade by a craftsman and then painted by an artist in 1998. Even though the design is definitely dated, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to repaint it. Not saying I won’t! VKC: What experience do you hope your customers have in your store? Robin: I want everyone who enters my studio to feel a moment of bliss while leaving the stresses of the “real world” outside the door. My hope is that the ambience is soothing yet fun and stirs the creative spirit inherent in
all of us. This is a place for the gathering of kindred spirits, whether taking a class turning that “ugly” piece into a show stopper, shopping for the perfect addition to your home or just stopping by to hang out. VKC: Why do you continue to do what you do? Robin: The love of “junk” and creating is in my blood. I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to. I love meeting kindred spirits and sharing creative techniques. The only thing that slows me down is my husband saying “you can’t buy anything else because we don’t have anywhere to put it”! VKC: What else do you want people to know about you and your store? Robin: I teach furniture painting classes using CeCe Caldwell’s Chalk + Clay Paint. It comes in 36 gorgeous colors. It’s 100 percent Green, no VOCs, no sanding, no priming, and USA owned and operated. I also have wonderful artists who teach classes in acrylics, watercolor, jewelry, and repurposing with many more classes coming soon. VKC: Name five stores you love. Robin: Encore, The Ridge, Lone Elm Antiques, Mission Road Antiques and Hickory Dickory.
stores we love
Arizona Trading Co.
You’ll find the best mix of vintage and used at this clothing and accessories mecca wit h two locations and lots of fun! VKC: How long have you been into fashion? Jennifer: My whole life. My mom used to make matching outfits for my sister and I, and I would customize mine with scarves or rolled-down socks, anything to give my outfit some dazzle. We never had money for clothes, so I saved up and bought my own clothes and altered them. I lived in my own version of “Pretty in Pink.” VKC: When did you decide to open your own business and why? Jennifer: I went to school in Tucson, AZ, and the buy/sell/trade concept was already in full swing there. I fell in love with the idea, and when I moved to Lawrence to go to KU, there was nothing like that here, and I hadn’t realized how dependent I’d grown on used clothing stores! I found myself at an uninspired point in school, and my mom offered to invest in a store—apparently I hadn’t been able to shut up about it—and what do you know, a month later I had a store. It was pretty bare bones in the beginning, but I paid the first month’s rent with the opening day’s sales! VKC: What advice do you have for amateur fashion hunters? Jennifer: That there are no rules! If you love
it, wear it. Be imaginative—sometimes a piece can look terrible on the hanger, and amazing once it’s on a body. Try new styles and colors and accessories, sometimes even the smallest change can transform an outfit. VKC: How would you describe the style of the items in your shop? Jennifer: Generally, I would say basic and casual, but then we find really dazzling pieces, too. We try to have a good mix of everything—our customer base is as diverse as you could ever hope for. VKC: Describe your favorite pieces of clothing, the ones you couldn’t bear to sell. Jennifer: You clearly understand how attached one can get to certain pieces of clothing. I think of them as pieces of art, and even if I don’t wear some of them, I keep them because I just like how they look. My favorite of all time is an original “Yo! MTV Raps!” jacket, probably from about 1989 or so. It’s all oversized and leather. Also, I’m obsessed with cowboy boots, not quite sure how many pairs I have at this point. VKC: What is your business philosophy? Jennifer: Focus on what you do best and don’t
worry about what other businesses are doing. Concentrate on making your business a place your customers love, and enjoy what you do. VKC: What is the most unique item you’ve sold? Jennifer: That’s a tall order; we’ve been around for 21 years and have seen many unique things. A woman sold a pair of boots from the Civil War to us in 1993 or so—that was really something. More recently, a vintage Betsey Johnson bodysuit with Marilyn Monroe’s face woven into it, never worn. We see so much amazing stuff! VKC: Why do you continue to do what you do? Jennifer: I feel born to do it, it fulfills me and supports my family. I also really enjoy giving my employees a fun place to work. The fact of having Venus as a business partner makes me feel incredibly lucky. Working with her and Corey, (the Lawrence store manager), is the most fun I could ever hope to have at work. My employees are free to express themselves creatively and really make a contribution to the business. VKC: What other vendors do you adore? Jennifer: River Market Antiques, Wild Man Vintage (Lawrence), Hobbs (Lawrence), El Corazon winery, and eBay.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 45
The love between a mother and daughter continues to grow over time. By Melinda Dennis
had done the drive more times that I could count. I love going back to the family farm. Feeling homesick on a glorious fall day, I dropped our son off at school and hit the road south for the eight-hour drive. I would be at the old farm by late afternoon, where I would receive an unexpected gift. They were waiting for me as I pulled up to the little white house. The front yard was overflowing with them, glowing bright red in the afternoon sun. My mother had called them “naked ladies,” which always made us giggle as little girls. The ladies are a bulb type of flower from the lily family, standing tall and proud on a stalk with no leaves. In my 50-plus years of visiting our old home, I had never noticed them before. Then I realized I had never come here in September. Summer vacations, birthdays, and holidays brought me back home—none of which fell in early fall, the only time these lilies bloom. I knew that my grandmother had planted the naked ladies. She passed away when I was 6 years old. The entire front yard of the home was once a huge flower garden, where I remember playing hide-and-seek. No one has lived here since she died. These perennials were a part of her garden that had carried on for all these years. I would remember to take a bouquet
46 VintageKC / Spring 2013
of these ladies to my 90-year-old aunt, whom I was off to visit in a few days. This farm was where she and my mother were raised. I made the rounds of the property: the woods, the old stock tank, the pastures and my mother’s old climbing tree. I rocked in the weathered swing under the century oak and watched flowers swaying in the warm breeze. I was marinating in the moment, the fifth generation of our family to sit in this place. Before heading out, I stopped a quarter mile down the road to walk our family cemetery. Pulling up to the gate, I could see them shining on the far side of the graveyard: more naked lady lilies, like the ones in the yard at the farm. I made a beeline to the flowers to find they were at my great-grandmother’s grave site. Dropping to my knees, I realized that my grandmother had planted these flowers on her mother’s grave. My great-grandmother had buried nine babies before a daughter, my grandmother, came along in 1890. The letters and cards saved and passed down reflected how much this mother and daughter loved and cherished one another. My great-grandmother passed away in 1931, yet her daughter’s memorial was still alive. The red blooms were a thoughtful gesture from my
grandmother’s garden of long ago. Sometimes we learn about our families in surprising ways. On a sunny September afternoon at the old farm, I received a gift: an unexpected message of love from my grandmother, sent years earlier when she planted those brilliant naked ladies.
Melinda Dennis is a fifth-generation Texan living in Bucyrus, KS, with her husband, son and assorted sheep, dogs, kitties and a couple of happy Longhorns named Lewis and Clark. She is a jewelry designer, art photographer, handcolorist, painter, dreamer, storyteller and cloud chaser. She owns TresMelindas Rustic Pendants and Melinda Dennis Photography (mdennisphotography.com). Tag along at tresmelindas.tumblr.com.
VintageKC / Spring 2013 47