Thursday, January 24, 2008

End of an Era; the Watnot closes :(

Here's another blog entry that has nothing to do with my vintage clothing shop, but I spent so much time on it (for my myspace blog) that I decided to duplicate it here. The pictures all get side-cropped on eblogger; but you can see them full view -or bigger- on my flickr page if you're inclined (just click on them)--.....

More of my obsessions....

I drove up to the old Watnot Shop Auction Barns yesterday to a)make sure they were still there, and b) get a pic for the big blog I've been working on this week.

Watnot Barns
I was too late for the magic-hour light, but I decided to get out of the car and snoop around a bit; you know... peek into windows...look for stories....
Watnot Barn Window

'Til I realized my life was in danger:

Woops -- oh right---this was not to be one of my trespassing like a good little scout I got the hell out of there.

boy scout & teny fob

At least 95% of what's in these pictures was acquired at the Watnot Shop.
Richard and Lois Tanner, who owned and ran the shop for over 25 years, cleaned out houses in Hudson, and old farmhouses for miles around.

What wasn't sold at the auction barn got put into storage or brought over to the shop on Warren street.
My T Fine
(I did manage to refrain from buying this vintage pudding.)

I've been shopping there for about 13 years, rarely going a whole week without at least dropping in to say Hello.

You just never knew when fresh old musty dusty merch was going to get churned up from the nooks and crannies. Mostly it would be same old stuff, but sometimes there would be a new cigar box of treasures on the counter, or a heap of old aprons, jar of buttons, or funky vintage $20 amateur masterpiece to pounce on...
quartet painting

...Or maybe a flyswatter for my collection...

But right after Christmas these signs appeared on the shop doors:
end is near....

This is one of many piles of booty I got last week when the flotsam and jetsam was really getting churned up good for the big closing day. I have to admit, the blow of losing the Watnot was softened significantly by the final days of treasure hunting.
unfiled booty

The ritual is to bring the stuff home, fondle it, sometimes research it on ebay, and then file it into my big trinket chest.

treasure chest

Just a few of the categories:
Dice and Jax:
dice & jaX
Old Gumball Charms
gumball charms
Not to be confused with old celluloid gumball charms:
celluloid charms


..Not to be confused with toy balls:

Old Cuff buttons:
cuff buttons
Thimbles and sewing tools:
thimbles and tatting shuttles

(note the Chex Cereal Secret Agent Decoder ring and the Kool-Aid Treasure Hunt Ring.....)

Teeny tiny tintypes (these make great dollhouse portraits)
teeny tintypes
Tokens, Dog Licenses, Play Money, etc
tokens, coins, dog licenses, play money
Charm Bracelets
charm bracelets
Religious Medals
religious medals

and Pocket Saints

pocket saints

and of course loads and loads of Hudson Memorabilia ---Hudsoniana?--- which will someday be bequeathed to Historic Hudson or the DAR museum.
The hula swizzle stick and
girlie sandwich stake are two of my most-favorite-ever finds. Both from "Joe's Hawaiian Paradise Lounge, Hudson, NY".
.... What I would give to travel back in time to visit a tiki lounge in Hudson.....hmmm

I wish Lois and Richard the best in their retirement, but I'm going to seriously miss the Watnot Shop.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I am Not an Animal!

I'm behind in my blogging.
I've been working on my New Year's resolution of cleaning up my clutter and getting my shit organized. Hardly worth blogging about but here I am...

The upstairs of my shop (where the public isn't allowed), has been a pretty scary Collyer-Brothers-Syndrome type of place for a couple of years now. That is, until this week, when I finally decided to tackle it.

Some would've looked at the mess and considered me at least borderline-disposophobic (google it), but really I'm quite sure I'm neither that messy nor compulsive.
I just hate waste is all, Is that so wrong?

Today I filled an entire contractor's bag with fabric remnants from my massive collection of extra "stuff". Just a baby step really---but this is indeed challenging, because (if you've read any of my previous blogs), you know I really can make use of some of the most obscure castoffs---eventually. It's kind of beautiful thing when you want to create something and all the materials are just lying around your house (if you can find them...).

Another recent baby step I took was throwing away the bag of hems I'd been collecting from when I hem people's pants in the shop. I had had this fantasy of someday making a big humble quilt made entirely out of Hudsonians' pants' hems. Long dark strips stitched together log-cabin was gonna be so cool ...Then one day a little voice inside me just said "Oh Jesus Get Real, Lisa", and I threw them out. (The fantasy lingers, however).

It is a vicious cycle, though. For every successful purge there is always some sort of counterbalancing event that keeps the boxes piling up. An estate cleanout, or A gluttonous acquisition of cheap, justifiable goods --like recently, with the closing of the Watnot shop (more on this later) .

Sometimes a relapse comes in the discovery a new thing worth hoarding.
A few years ago someone dumped a huge buttload of old ceremonial Oddfellows' costumes on my doorstep. Mostly boring plain muslin robes --but I just couldn't throw them out . I decided to dye them all kinds of RIT dye colors, in hopes of making them more sellable ((and BTW I'm still selling them to this day)). At the time, though, I had no place to put them, and they sat stored in garbage bags in my basement for ages. To make matters worse, I became obsessed with all the fun colored lint that I was harvesting out of my dryer, and I became a lint collector.

Not long into the accumulation of lint I was vindicated, however, when someone was curating a local art exhibit about things that people SAVED.
My big jar of lint sat on a white pedestal in the middle of that gallery and was a huge hit.