Interview with a “vintage” hunter

Something new for me – an interview with my friend and fellow blogger Wanda over at http://www.awandafulthing.com.  She is also a vintage/antique hunter and I thought I’d share some of her thought on one of her favorite pastimes.

  1.    What got you interested in vintage items?

It stems from the fact I spent most of my childhood with my grandfather and his philosophy in life was only replace something if it is broken, can’t be fixed or is worn out. He always paid cash for everything and he never paid full price – back in those days you could barter. I witnessed his bartering many a time and I know that’s where I get it and why I love to do it – reminds me of him and they are such great memories.

So I was surrounded by what is now antique and vintage stuff – I remember his desk (he worked a lot from home) and he used a inkwell and a quill pen – I inherited that desk and it’s one of the only pieces I probably would never refinish as it has inkwell stains still on it :0 )

I also grew up around old stuff, vintage and antique stuff at my parents house (they still live there) an old two story house with original wide mouldings, hardwood floors, solid wood doors with glass knobs.  I can remember my dad always got a thrill out of finding old bottles either buried where old homesteads were or sometimes exploring the ruins of an old house.  Some of the colors always fascinated me as well as the fact it is something that keeps me and my dad close – I still get excited to phone him and tell him what my latest discover is – I had the good fortune of spending three weeks with him this summer and we spent many an hour sorting through his stuff and me showing him what I just bought. I was super excited to show him an old Javex bottle because I couldn’t remember ever seeing one before….his comment was “oh I have one of those in the barn, I’ll go get it for you dear” and he did and now I have two…lol

2.    Where are the best places to shop?

Tough question really as I have had luck at auctions, thrift stores, yard sales, online sites and sometimes I score really cool free stuff during “freecycle events”.  I think it all depends on what it is you are looking for.

3.    Any specific items to keep our eyes open for?

If you are just starting off and you like glassware I would start looking for milk glass and depression glass…or old bottles, like pop bottles,medicine bottles etc. check the object over really well, run your fingers along the edges and hold the item up to the light – check for cracks, chips and scratches.

wandacollections
4.    What are your favorite vintage items and some repurposing you have
        done with them?
wandacollection2

The majority of furniture I buy or come across I usually repurpose or use it in a different way then intended – it usually comes down to what I need and when I see a piece I instantly know where I can use it.  One of my favorite vintage finds was actually free – it’s a side board meant to be part of a set and used in a dining room – however I do not have a dining room so I now use it as beverage station in my kitchen.  I changed out the knobs, but it still needs to be painted and that, along with most of my paint jobs, are on the list for fall and winter.

I bought an old fruit crate at an auction a few months back and it’s in the process of becoming a bed for my cat.  I have old coca-cola crates being used as display shelves and turned a 10 gallon cabbage crock into an end table.

Electric light repurposed into candle holder
Electric light repurposed into candle holder

5.    Do you have any research sites you recommend?

Not sure this qualifies as a research site but my go to site to figure out what I have is the vintage section of Etsy.com. I always have good luck finding either exactly what I have or something very similar which then gives me more of a history on my item and I can type into google the name of the item plus “history behind” or patterns for….etc

There are also some great books out there on identifying vintage glass patterns.  My significant other is addicted to pyrex and has quite the collection – he is even well versed on most of the patterns and our next purchase is a book or two to identify not only pyrex but other vintage types of glass, like pressed glass, cut glass, vaseline glass, blown glass, jadeite, cobalt blue glass – there is so much out there and I’ve only scratched the surface.

As crazy as this sounds. I only buy items that I’m drawn to – I don’t intentionally set out to buy pyrex today or jadeite or melmac – I see something  that looks interesting or I pick it up and I instantly like it.

I only have one rule, even though I am a seller of vintage goods, I will not buy it or bring it into my own home unless I’d be happy to keep it.  I think the main reason I sell things is so that I don’t get reported for being a hoarder – LOL.

Thank you for your interest in my hobby and for taking the time to ask me these questions.

xxoo
Wanda
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