Sunday, March 8, 2015

White Elephant Sale in Oakland - Rummage in the Fast Lane

I have always loved rummage.  It all started when I was 9 or 10 and my mom Fran was put in charge of the church rummage sales.  In those far away days, there were no thrift shops or vintage and consignment clothing stores to buy recycled clothes and other items - there was only the rummage sale.  The best part was going down to the sale the night before and picking through it.  It was all very exciting.

I had no idea what to expect going to the White Elephant sale yesterday.  It had been advertised for at least a month on TV and I had to see it for myself.  The sale is only held once a year and all proceeds go to the Oakland Museum, which is a great cause.  I took Bart from Berkeley to the Fruitvale district of Oakland.  Shuttle buses took me and the other shoppers to the warehouse.  While in line, I learned from Sharon, a White Elephant sale veteran, that the first day is only for looking around.  The bargains are on Sunday when a lot of stuff goes from 50% to 75% off.  I couldn't do Sunday too so decided if I saw something I collected or could not live without, I should buy it.

The sale was organized into departments and the warehouse was like a rummage department store.  Each department, had its own sales people who answered questions and showed items under the glass and also had its own cashiers.  I visited all the departments, which were mobbed.  The clothing department had a mix of vintage and designer clothes, including a few Prada and Chanel pieces and also rummage clothes by the 1,000's.  Many people were trying on clothes in the aisles.  It was really fun.

I found my one purchase in the toy department, which had some nice vintage dolls.  I am a collector and even though I have slowed my collecting down, I couldn't pass up the vintage Madam Alexander doll dressed in her original satin skating skirt, wearing roller skates for only $35.  The volunteer who waited on me, wrapped my doll carefully in bubble wrap and gave me the most beautiful shopping bag to carry her in.  I came home rather exhausted, but very happy.  I will definitely be there next year.

Best, Toni

 Walking to the White Elephant warehouse from the shuttle

 Entering the warehouse - the trip begins
 Shoe Department

 Women's Clothing including designer & vintage

 Textile Department
 Jewelry Department - Completely mobbed

 Toy Department

 Museum volunteer wrapping up my vintage Alexander
 Boutique Department

 Hats & scarves

 Vintage sewing machines
 Furniture Department

 Christmas trees
 Art Department

 Sports Department
 Gorgeous necklace
My vintage Alexander (in the roller skates) making new friends

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gold Country Vintage 2015

It's been a while since I visited California Gold Country, which is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains where I grew up.  I traveled there to see my parents and to visit Victorian Closet in the tiny town of Amador City.  As usual, I stayed at the Gunn House in Sonora, which has the most dynamite breakfast, including fresh waffles.  On Friday, Fran (my mom) and I went to downtown Sonora and after lunch at our favorite coffee bar, Legends, we went shopping at our two favorite consignment shops, Runway Exchange and Occasion Station both on Washington Street.  At Occasion Station, I took some photographs of beautiful vintage and contemporary evening dresses to share with you and watched Fran shop.

Bright and early Saturday morning, we traveled to Amador City about an hour away from Sonora along Highway 49, the old miners' route through California Gold Country.  Along the way, we passed historic towns such as Angels Camp where Mark Twain spent one winter and wrote a story about a frog that made him famous for all time.  When we got to Amador City, the town was just waking up and shops were opening.  We walked on the old wooden sidewalk, past the local museum to Victorian Closet.  This shop, owned by Sally Knudson, is a time capsule.  In one corner, are wedding gowns from the early 1900's-1940's.  On another wall, are handmade quilts.  My most favorite items were the victorian doll clothes, including one outfit that would have looked cute on Tom Thumb.  Fran bought 2 Storybook dolls that she collects and I took many photographs.

We said good-bye to Amador  City and went to the nearby town of Jackson where, unfortunately, many antique stores were closed.  I wandered into Tinker O'Brien on Main Street because I saw a few interesting items I wanted to photograph.  The store's owner, Michele Jenson, took me in the back and showed me her treasure trove of vintage clothes that I am sharing with you.  All in all, it was a good trip.  I got to have time to bond with Fran and do what we do best - take a vintage clothing trip.  Enjoy! Toni

 Fran enjoying lunch at Legends
 Fran shopping at Occasion Station
 Occasion Station
Sandy, owner
157 S. Washington Street
Sonora, CA 95370
 Lingerie at Occasion Station
 Hot boots
 Evening gowns at Occasion Station
 Fran trying on clothes at Occasion Station
 Wedding gowns at Occasion Station
 1980's evening outfit at Occasion Station

 Black & White evening wear at Occasion Station
 Amador City
 Victorian Closet
Sally Knudson, owner
P.O. Box 141
Amador City, CA
 Vintage wedding gowns at Victorian Closet
 Victorian hats & blouses

 Very cool vest
 Lingerie models

 Love those glasses

 Vintage glasses

 Black velvet bonnet
 Vintage dancing shoes

 Vintage ankle boots
 Vintage bathing suit
 Crocheted children's dress
 Victorian doll outfit

 A view of the store at Victorian Closet

 Vintage lace
 Hats, hats & more hats
 Beautiful quilts
 Tom Thumb outfit
 Victorian boy's sailor outfit

 Velvet beaded bow at Victorian Closet

 Downtown Jackson, CA

 Tinker O'Brien
Vintage & Uncommon Goods
Michele Jensen, Owner
22 Main Street
Jackson, CA 95642
 Black velvet vest at Tinker O'Brien
 Plaid trench coat at Tinker O'Brien
 Handmade 1960's dress at Tinker O'Brien
 Sheer vest
 1960's dress at Tinker O'Brien
1960's blouse for the love-in at Tinker O'Brien 
 Flaming vest at Tinker O'Brien

 Platform shoes from the 1970's at Tinker O'Brien
 Lacy blouse at Tinker O'Brien
 Hats, hats, hats

 Snowflake sweater from Canada at Tinker O'Brien
Michele Jensen, owner of Tinker O'Brien