Our last article mentioned our frustration trying to find good antique shops while on the Carolinas’ coastal area. We drove down to Charleston, SC from North Carolina for sightseeing with our traveling companions with no time left that day for antique shopping. Our first break came in finding the Cottage Antiques in North Myrtle Beach and with the owner Malinda’s directions to other shops, we filled our day with antique shopping and suitcases with collectibles and antiques.

In a response to our article, Clyde from Charleston wrote to explain our great loss by not antiquing in his area. His website is dedicated to the wonderful experience of exploring the shops nearby. We wrote to ask for an interview and here is our correspondence.

Clyde’s inspiration for developing a website dedicated to Charleston’s antique shops was simply a lifelong passion for antiques, his knowledge of shops in the area and the great people involved in the antique business. He decided to become his own web designer, and learn the tricks of design from the bottom up. Clyde is at that point where he has designed for others as well. He also writes for on the topic of antique shopping in Charleston. All the the time and energy needed to publish his website on Charleston’s shops, is his own. From the time it takes to visit each place and photograph the antiques, to rewriting with the latest info, Clyde does it all.

Pick: “When did you start collecting?”

Clyde: “When I was 12, My great aunt took me antiques shopping.”

Grin: “ What’s your major collection?”

Clyde: “I collect mostly furniture. I like old book cases that I can restore and sell.”

Pick: “Where do you find your items?”

Clyde: “ Antique shops, newspaper ads, yard sales, thrift stores, antique shows and garbage piles.”

Grin: Well that sure runs the gambit. Can we come along to your next visit to our favorite, the garbage pile?”

Pick: “Leave me out.”

Grin: “Are there items you wish you had bought, but passed up?

Clyde: “That is a long list. The odd thing about antique shows, if you do not buy it, you can’t go back to get it. It’s just gone.”

Pick: And if you do buy it, odds are you’ll see a cheaper, better example next week.

Grin: Any words of wisdom for our readers?

Clyde: “You often have to have the time and resources to do the research to be sure the item is what you believe it to be.”

Pick: Thanks Clyde for visiting with us. And readers if you have suggestions on great shoppes in your area for antiques, crafts or collectibles, add a reply so others can share your good fortune in hunting while traveling on the road.

TV or not TV-That is the Question

Pick-Let’s talk some more about the antique recycling in our home.

Grin-Does that mean you are finally going to clean out your clothes closet?

P-No, silly. I mean our “decorating recycling”, things we have saved from a dumpster or land fill by fixing it up and putting it to a good use. How about discussing our latest find-our Big Screen TV?

G-Well, that was your idea and it’s no wonder you want to tell everyone about it.

P-Well, as far as that goes, you have some bragging rights too. You negotiated the price and got us a super-deal. And you made the improvements! It sure is fun to tell our friends and family about our new TV set.  They know we’ve just recently replaced our black and white set with a color TV. So, they are astounded when we make the announcement.  Remember when our son-in-law asked if it was a “flat screen” and we responded with “it’s actually convex.” The look on his face.

G-So why don’t we tell the readers the whole story. It was your off-the-cuff comment while exploring an antique mall that prompted our purchase.

P-Oh, I remember walking into the booth and seeing the old Crosley cabinet – it was in great shape except no knobs or “guts” and I said you know what would look great in that 10” opening, a digital picture frame. You just left and went to the counter to have them contact the dealer, hopefully for a better price. I was not even aware that you were doing that, thinking you were not too thrilled with the concept.

G-The dealer accepted the offer and when we got it home, the work began.

P-Getting the right digital frame was the easy part, but I was a bit concerned about the hardware, especially the little light I recalled from TV’s of my youth.

G-I knew I had knobs for a TV or radio cabinet downstairs. I do keep all of that stuff.

P-And you think I never throw anything out, right!

G-Even with all the junk I have, I could not locate a rotary on/off switch with a long enough neck to fit through the wood of this cabinet.

P-Now, come on. What about your box in the electrical section that reads “rotary switches-long necked.”

G-Very funny, that box was empty. Finally, at the third store I found a switch. It was the type of store that has even more useless things than I have.  I also found a lens that fit into the hole for the indicator light.  You should remember that it took such a long time for the tubes to warm up and the indicator light let you know it was turned on.

P-That’s WAAAAY before my time, but I do know that you have a built-in indicator that tells me when you are warmed up.  I do remember mom sending me in to start it up before the Friday Night Fights came on.

G-Was that any time when your rowdy family got together?

P-You are such a hoot!

G-Our last step was downloading pictures of family and friends and then we were set to turn it on.

P-It worked great but something was missing. To make it look authentic, we needed a 1950s TV lamp.

G-And no TV from that time frame would work without an antenna. We city dwellers would use rabbit ears that could be adjusted to pick up BOTH TV stations.

P-Will we also need aluminum foil for the top of the ears? I think you still have a ball of foil from the “war drive.”

G-What war was that, One or Two? Back to our project. We easily found several TV lamps from that time period and the antenna was spotted at an estate sale.

P-It’s now complete, even have a doily that your mom made to finish it off. And when our son-in-law, the one with the mega-screen saw it, he laughed out loud, but I think I saw a bit of “screen-is-envy” there.

G-You have always been so classy. You are a work in progress too, but good fun. It’s always great to work on projects with you.

P-Back Atcha!

Tip for IV’s Collectors: Unlike regular retail establishments, most antique stores and malls have a level for discounting the price. Be sure to ask at the counter when shopping what is the stores discount policy.  If an item is very expensive, you just might be able to negotiate by asking the mall personnel to contact the dealer. They often comply if you have an offer you’re willing to pay.

Teaching Old Stuffed Dogs Tricks

sweet-vintage-stuffed-dog-faceI suppose technically, this vintage sawdust stuffed dog belongs to my stuffed animal collection, but like Tigger, I resist calling him a collectible.

In truth, I often resist calling things “collectibles,” because that tends to make people think of them as part of some set of things, as opposed to the more individual sentimental reasons for owning them… But in this case, I snatched up this old stuffed dog because it reminds me of my dog.

Well, at least a simplistic or childlike rendering of him.

Ween (named after the band; not short for Weiner), is a mutt with ancestorial Aborigonal roots. He does not like to have his photo taken, and we presume to imagine he fears photographs take his soul or pieces of it. As a result, I have very few photos of this dog. Here’s one, taken with a cell phone — before he figured out that it was a camera too.


So now I must content myself with posing the vintage stuffed dog, rather than my always-eager-to-be-prone dog.



But don’t worry, my sweet old stuffed doygie likes to lay prone too. Quite lifelike. Or as lifelike as an old dog can be.


If you think I’m somewhat crazy for taking photos of my toy dog, check out The Secret Lives Of Toys at Flickr and you’ll see that I’m not alone. *wink*

The First House I Ever Explored





This is the first house I ever explored. I had my first digital camera from my Mother for my birthday/ Christmas, an early present before she went down to Florida for the winter. It was great. But, I did not know I would need to buy a memory card. I assumed the memory with the camera would give me all the space I needed to photograph the house.

I never did get all the way around to the back of it. Not long after the house was demolished so now I never will get back there for more exploring. But, I did learn to do my best while at the site and not leave anything for another trip. Another trip might not happen.