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May 30, 2014

Today's Before & After Friday Projects post is going to take a different look at renovations.  We're going to view commercial transformations.

 A dated office reception area received a sleek makeover:
What a stunning makeover - so much more professional and organized. 

The Roth Design Group of Los Angeles
converted an uninspiring conference room:

. . . . into an amazing creative modern space:

They also turned an unused restaurant basement
into a bar where diners can wait in comfort:
The previously unused space now generates revenue for the restaurant.

A downtown Chicago duplex was a neighborhood eyesore:
. . .  but is being restored to its former glory:

Storefront Architecture is a fairly new term that refers to the movement of designers and developers "rescuing" abandoned and neglected city properties:
Before                                                 After
Makes cents to me!

Some people might think, "What does commercial property have to do
with my home?"  The answer is surprisingly simple: if commercial
property falls into disrepair then the entire area suffers.  Tenants move
out, businesses are relocated elsewhere and home values in the area drop.
From a plain blank wall to a work of art:
Before                                                    After
An apartment building was starting to be vandalized with
graffiti.  The owner challenged a group of young artists to
leave their talented mark.  Gorgeous!

A struggling retail store went from cramped:

. . . . to shopper friendly:
So much more inviting, isn't it? 

A 30 year old commercial building at the beginning of its transformation . . . . . .

. . . . is now an asset to the local economy:


 When a commercial building undergoes a major renovation it
encourages other local businesses to improve their properties, too.

 When a pediatric center relocated to a larger property their old building was converted into a neighborhood bistro and wine bar.
 Empire Development

Studies show that office workers are much more
productive in a well decorated and colorful office:

I'll bet this doctor's patients like going to his office
a lot more now that he's renovated the building:

T. Clayton Jenkins Construction
And the neighbors feel better, too!

Check out the before inset in this photo:
It's hard to believe that it's the same office.

I'm going to close today's post with a commercial makeover
that might be closer to our hearts - a thrift store!

Design Sponge
Now we can see the treasures so much better!

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope you have a great weekend.

May 29, 2014

Future Flea Market Finds
Today's post features present day treasures that might have
a chance of becoming collectible over the next 20 to 30 years.

Environmentally conscious brides have been carrying vintage
jeweled bouquets for a few years now and they're incredibly
appealing.  Imagine how collectible they'll be in another 50 years.

Etsy Source
One of the appeals of collecting antique jewelry is that most of
the pieces were custom made and are one-of-a-kinds. Today's
craftsmen are creating exquisite designs such as this Morganite
and diamond engagement ring set in 18k rose gold.  Stunning.

Personalized wedding gifts will be future family heirlooms.

Okay, enough love stuff.  Let's get to practical matters!

Jan Matson
Known for her whimsical animal paintings, beach scenes
and landscapes, Jan Matson's distinctive style will surely be
just as popular in years to come as it is today.

Etsy Source
We've all had a good laugh at today's many moustache-themed
crafts but future collectors might have the last chuckle.

Gasoline price placards have given way to the digital age
and have already become challenging to find.  Imagine how
popular they'll be in years to come.

Authentic 90's leather Prada sneakers can be purchased
today for $95 without their original box.  Might be a good idea
to keep an eye out for vintage tennis shoes at yard sales.

Most of us think of hand painted china as an art form from the
past but today's china painters are producing beautiful and
unique pieces which can be purchased at very reasonable prices.

Have you seen a 365 Day Knitting Clock?

This wall mounted 3 dimensional clock actually knits as time passes.
Instead of showing time in numbers this clock knits one stitch every
half hour, 24 hours is marked by a full 'circle' around the tube and a
year produces a 2 meter length scarf.  A new skein of yarn has to be
loaded after one year.  Will future collectors think this gadget is
weirdly charming or just depressing?!

The Keep Calm poster phenomenon actually began in England
during World War II to encourage the British people to keep
a stiff upper lip.
Unfortunately, the novelty has worn off with the limitless
imitators of the original slogan.  Give it another 50 years and a
whole new generation of collectors will think they're cool.

Etsy Source
Hand crafted wraps and infinity scarves are sure to be future collectibles
as they have become staples of today's stylish wardrobes.

Home D-Zine
Forget ghastly stuffed deer heads, today's wall art designers
came up with a better idea - fabric animal heads.  If you can
keep one clean for 4 or 5 decades it's sure to increase in value.

Etsy Source
I don't know how long silhouette décor will be popular
but I do know that it's bound to come back again. 

Maybe we'll have an entirely new term for collectibles - Boomerangs!

While it's impossible to predict which of today's fads will become
future collectibles, the one thing I DO know for certain is that it's
all tied to your basic Supply and Demand principle.

Remember the manic hysteria of Cabbage Patch Kids, Beanie Babies,
and baseball cards?  Mass production will ruin the value of an item
faster than Kim Kardashian can change husbands. 

If antique, vintage, or retro décor appeals to you then enjoy it.
If it goes up in value - bonus!   

May 28, 2014

I'm searching for one word that expresses surprise, confusion, and humor.
Until I can come up with that specific word I'm going to go with the
inadequate flummoxed. But, after reading this post, let me know a
word that you think describes my discovery.
Le Petit Poulailler is one of my all time favorite blogs.  The photos
are amazing and it's an interesting, short read that perks up my day.
Last week I was astonished to find on the site a photo of an antique
folk painting that very closely resembles a painting that I've
owned for over 10 years:
The caption simply states:  ca 1810-30 Artist unidentified;
possibly Pennsylvania, USA, 'Baby in Red Chair’
Here is a photo I took this morning of
a painting that is in my living room:

 In the bottom center of the painting is written:  S.B. Scribner 3/65
which I've always interpreted as having been painted by someone
named S.B. Scribner in March of 1965.

Written in red pencil on the upper back left corner is 300 which I've
guessed was the price ($3.00) of the canvas when it was purchased in
the art supply store or maybe even sold at a yard sale many years ago.
 On the back of the painting is also a sticker from the
Fine Art Stationery Co., Westport, Conn.  There's a red
stamp above the label that says Albemarle Canvas Panel.
 "Where did you purchase your painting?" you ask.  Honestly, I
can't exactly remember but I'm fairly certain that it was at the
Renninger flea market in Mt. Dora, FL, over 10 years ago.
I've always been completely captivated by the Americana folk art
appeal of the painting and am sure that I didn't pay over $20 for it.
I do remember joking with the seller about the 300 on the back and
asked if that was the price.
All these years I've thought that I owned an original vintage painting
but, apparently, it's a reproduction of a very old piece of Americana art.
Am I unhappy?  Not at all.  It just adds another layer of mystery to a
treasure I happened upon many years ago and I actually appreciate
my little folk art tyke even more.
So, do you have a word to describe my discovery?

UPDATE:  Thanks to Sarah at Hyacinth for the Soul much of the
mystery of my 50 year old folk art painting has been solved!  She

actually saw the original work, called Baby in the Red Chair, and it is
hanging in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in
Colonial Williamsburg, VA. 

I'm guessing that S.R. Scribner saw the original painting and, in 1965,
decided to paint a copy of it.   Is the internet great, or what?!  Thanks so
much, Sarah.  Now, to track down the S.R. Scribner family . . . . .

May 27, 2014

Things I have absolutely no use for but
would definitely buy at a flea market:
Willis P. Hazzard, Philadelphia, 1854

Um . . . . especially adapted to the use of professional people? 

The ultimate paper weight:

A reproduction of a Medieval iron armor glove.

Etsy Source
I would love to have one of these vintage tricycles
to put in the garden.  Brings back such memories.

Weird Vintage
An 1969 ad for a hip huggin' hair extention - only $1.95
when it was new.  Groovy!

A 1920's photo of a bridal couple seriously ahead of their time.


In a campaign to discourage teen crime in the 1960's local
police published 'prevention' photos of fake felons.  Does
anyone from Minneapolis remember Donna Lethal?

There seems to be a niche of collectors for just about every subject, including memorabilia on Albert Einstein.  The advertisers were clever to state that Mentos might help people get ideas, not get smarter.
Cool Picture Gallery

I've heard of these but I've never seen one:
 It's hard for many of us to believe but between 1920 and 1933,
a period called Prohibition, it was illegal to produce, import,
transport, and sale alcoholic beverages in the U.S.  Vintners
became marketing geniuses in efforts to save their businesses.  A
New York state wine grower invented a concentrated Wine
Brick about he size of a pound stick of butter that you supposedly
could mix with water and produce wine.  (I'll never look down
my nose at boxed wine, again.)

 We've all seen bronzed baby shoes but has
anyone ever run across a pair of bronzed lips?!

 What Pez aficiondo's collection would be
complete without a space gun dispenser?

Younger readers might not know that showers weren't
regularly built into bathrooms until the 1950s.  The new
contraption introduced a new industry - shower caps.

For only 10¢ you can buy a book of luck, dreams, and charms.
Also cures coughs, colds and all lung troubles.  What a bargain!

Yes, flea markets are interesting treasure hunts and similar to
a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get!