What to give someone who has everything.

Featured

Is your mail box full of catalogs, flyers and sale papers offering great gifts for friends and relatives? I don’t know about your mail box, but mine has been full of catalogues for the last several weeks… and we are still a couple of weeks away from Christmas. If you have special people in your life and you don’t know what size or color, we have some ideas to help.

PICTURE MEMORIES OF THE PAST

Several years ago, I wanted to give our grown son something besides the normal clothes.  I finally came up with a gift no one else could give him.  Something that he would keep and enjoy for years to come.  It was something that Christmas is all about,…memories.  Ah ha, a book of picture memories.

Those boxes of pictures that are in the closet now were something that had meaning and something that would be treasured for years to come. 

In my case, several years ago, I had regular developed pictures and I scanned each picture and arranged in the kids age.  Perhaps you have pictures of relatives that have already passed away and you want your kids to see them.  Or maybe you have pictures on your phone, that would have memories for your family. 

I planned for 2 books, one for our son and one for my husband. For our son, I pulled baby pictures of the kids, past holiday pictures of the kids and put them in their growing order.  For my husband I did one of our memories of our marriage and the grandchildren.

Now is the time to get out those boxes of memories.  If you cannot afford or don’t have the time to do things on line, first go to your local craft some and get some of those black corners to hold photos in with.  Then get some paper and put together your memories.  Take to any office supply store or UPS / FED EX store and they will scan the pages for you and put together in a spiral bound book or other options.  Make as many copies as you want for gifts.   

There are also many companies on line, who have templates and you can upload your pictures from your camera and put into hard bound books.

MEMORIES OF OUR PAST

A box full of things that they remember,  will bring laughs and smiles.  Here at icollect247.com we are full of memories.  Here are just a few ideas which will bring back memories to your friends and family.  Gift ideas:  a calendar of the year they were born, a vintage Santa, a tiny vintage Christmas stocking, just big enough for a gift card, a record that they remember from childhood, a toy or doll they remember playing with.  How about a postcard from the town or city they grew up in or a tradecard from a business that was in that town. 

With over 17,000 vintage items on http://www.icollect247.com and things starting at $5, how can you go wrong?  These are gifts you can’t find in any catalog or department  store. Something that is special from you!

How Collectors Decorate their Homes and Men Caves

Featured

As a collector myself, I know what it means to feel comfortable in a home (note I did not say a house). Our home is decorated with things I love and feel comfortable with. I live with history and things that remind me of a simpler time and memories. The great thing about collectors is that they are a community of people who have the same passion. A passion to collect and live with their collections.

It does not matter what you collector or how you display it or even if it is in a box, your collection is personal and cannot be found in a big box store. I have been very honored to have been invited into many collectors homes to share their passion. These collectors enjoy showing their collection and letting me take photos. I hope you enjoy these collection’s pictures as well as give you some ideas on how to display and enjoy collecting. No matter if you like country, a theme or have a formal home…home is where the heart is!

REPRODUCTION OR REAL?

If you are new to collecting there are a lot of pieces out there that you will consider buying.  In the last 30 years, we have seen a large number of reproductions enter the market.  Some reproductions are made in the same shape, size and style of the original.  Some are easy to tell from the original, others are exact replicas and made to deceive the buyer.  Some are the exact same size but others are larger and you may think it is a variation.

As the price and demand go up on any collectible, reproductions will appear.  Back in the 1960’s reproductions were being made of Depression glass, cast iron toys, cast iron banks and cast iron door stops. Reproduction signs started being seen in the 1970’s and continues today.

indian1

As for reproduction signs, do your homework on any item that you are investing your money in.  First and foremost, ask the seller if it is an original piece or a reproduction.   Ask if the seller guarantees the item to be an original.  Look at the piece for manufacturer marks and don’t assume just because it has a marker’s mark. We know that reproductions are being made by several companies including Desperate Sign Company and AAA Sign Company.

If you look at the number of holes there will be difference between the original and the reproduction.  Also look really closely around the grommets.oilzium copy

Sign companies who made the old signs used metal that resisted rust.  Grommets were used to protect the corners. If you see rust or lots of chipping around the grommets, beware.  This is not normal with an old sign.  Be conscious of size.  Is the size different from what you have seen…is it smaller or different?  Are the more holes than normal? Reproductions will often be a different size than the original.

Don’t forget to look at the back.  Porcelain does not rust and you can see from this picture it is made to rust to look old. The back of American made porcelain signs WILL NOT look like this. Note lots of rust around the holes. back

Lots of reproduction signs are from India. There are of low quality, feel grainy and the seller will “rough up” the holes and edges, including breaking off the porcelain and rusting them.  These are being shipped in quantities.  Where the problem comes in when they are purchased at a cheap price by US buyers,  than offered at auctions or on line for a high price as the original.  Here are some reproduction signs we have seen available for sale.packard

Willys Overland Whippet

reproduction sign1

reproduction sign2

 

Your best bet is to buy from a reputable seller / dealer who knows what they are selling and can even give you some history of the piece. If you are buying on line, contact the seller and talk to the seller to very they guarantee the sign is old.  At the current time, the only online marketplace to only sell only original pieces (not reproduction)  is http://www.icollect247.com. The sellers on the site only sell original pieces.  There are no reproductions, no limited editions and nothing later than 1980.

cropped-new-logo-2017.jpg

By the way, if you are just using is as a decorator piece or a barn hanger and you don’t care if it is a reproduction, go for it! Reproductions are an inexpensive way to enjoy collecting and decorating.  Just know what you are buying!

 If you end up buying a reproduction piece you thought was real, don’t give up on collecting!  Use it as a learning curve as part of collecting.  No matter how long you collect you will be fooled., believe me there is someone always out there reproducing something to fool the buyer.  Believe me when I tell you that it happens to even the best of us!

Hmmm Neon….It makes most grown men weak in the knees

Featured

Gentlemen… do you knees get weak then you hear that hum and see the soft glow of a beautiful neon sign? It brings back some great memories of when life was much simpler and gas was cheap!

Neon was first used in 1898 with the discovery of the element Krypton. In the sign industry it was first demonstrated in a sign in 1910.  From gas stations to shoe stores, inside and out, neon became used in every type of advertising.

While the tubes were clear, it is the different color gas discharged through the tubes that gave the sign its color. Signs with the most colors are the most expensive due to the amount of tubing and colored gas.  As the sign industry has changed and modernized, now neon has been replaced with fiberoptics.  Sign companies no longer have the demand for neon and no longer offer it.

Thus the demand for old neon is growing.  Just like everything in life the less of it the more expensive.  From clocks to signs, gotta tell you this would look great anywhere in the house or man cave!  Check out http://www.icollect247.com for a selection of old neon!

Please share with your friends on facebook and be sure to subscribe and you will be notified of each new post.