Hello! We recently got a new bunch of assemblage robots in from sisters Cheryl Slifer and Janet Alred of Decatur, and they are too fun not to share. Cheryl and Janet aren’t keen on giving interviews, but their work speaks for itself. Check it out!
This rather dapper fellow is Brad. We love his bow tie made from a brooch and antennae fashioned from a wall hook!
Crystal is pretty big city. She’s got her nice purse and her little dog in her arms. I could definitely see her making her way through Manhattan.
Next up is Tattoo Man.
Those are tattoos up and down his arms. His full title is “Tattoo Man aka Snowflake Ain’t No Sissy.” He’s pretty tough with all those tats!
Picture Perfect’s pretty tough, too. I don’t think I’d want to get her angry. She already has her hands on her hips and her head cocked to one side. I get the feeling she doesn’t put up with any B.S.
Don’t even think about touching her purse, or she’ll smack you silly!
A friend of Picture Perfect is Soldier Boy. His body is an ammo canister. Awesome!
Last but not least is Queen Benita. Her name was inspired by her face, a Baby Ben clock. She wears a vintage flower clip and spends her days looking regal.
Hope you enjoyed checking out these wonderfully fun pieces of art! They’re hanging out at VK until they find new homes! Maybe for Christmas?
A few weeks ago, Mr. Boyd Henderson, a local history maven, stopped in with a little surprise to show us.
Not long after we opened, he paid us a visit and told us how NuGrape was once bottled in the building next to us. That building now houses Winterberry Store & Antiques. And, Mr. Henderson says there was a pool hall over there, too, at one point. Quite the hopping place!
An old bottle from Tuscola Bottling Works!
After his visit, we went to our supplier, Homer Soda Company, and ordered a case of NuGrape. Since then, many folks passing through have told me they remember that particular pop from their childhood.
What do you think? Do you like the new look or prefer the old, fun shaped bottle?
They don’t make bottles like this anymore!
Besides sharing a bit of Tuscola history with us, Mr. Henderson also had a tip: Store your pop upside down; it’ll keep it carbonated longer. It”s how the pros in the past did it. See?
It’s been a few weeks now since Ainslie, her dad and I braved the July heat one early morning for an auction outside of Charleston. Since then, I’ve been
harassing customers to guess getting customers to guess what they think our purchase is. Ainslie rolls her eyes, but you want to guess, too, don’t you?
I give a demo about how easily it rolls before telling them what it is. It was pretty fun to see one person’s face this past craft night. She was bent over her project at the cart when the group started talking about it. Hee hee!
OK. I’ll tell you.
At first, we thought it was just one of those industrial carts that are so popular nowadays, but Ainslie’s dad, Fred, knew right away what it was.
A coffin stand.
At second glance, it made sense — the ornate metalwork wouldn’t be on a cart used in a factory.
But the REALLY cool thing about this stand is its history. We learned the former owner got it from a funeral home and built the wooden top for use in his workshop, something we’re all about here at Vintage Karma: using items from the past for a new purpose.
Feel free to stop by and give the coffin cart a test roll. As much as we love it, it’s for sale and would make a perfect coffin coffee table.
Our building houses a former Oddfellows meeting hall in the upstairs. The Oddfellows are a secret society/fraternity that was once very popular a century ago but has since waned in membership.
Random googled oddfellows group shot. Maybe someday we can find a photo from our own building!
Laura and I met a guy the other night that lived in our apartment 20 years ago and gave us a very cool lead about some Oddfellow items that had been left behind, stowed in the crawl space above the apartment. Needless to say, we went on a treasure hunt and what we found was beyond anything we would have imagined.
We knew that there was a hatch in each bathroom to the crawl space so we checked up there…..nothing. We figured that a lot of time had passed and that whatever was up there had been removed at some point. As a last minute idea we wanted to look above the drop ceiling tiles in the laundry room because Laura was curious about the old wallpaper on the ceiling above. That is where we hit paydirt!
There was another hatch! Next to that mystery hatch was a section of the ceiling that we could see through the old wooden lath. (The plaster was gone due to a major roof leak some years ago. ) When we shined our flashlights on it just right…….we could see that something was there!
What’s up there?
What the heck is up there??????
So we grabbed the 15 ft. telescoping ladder to see what things looked like.
Some sort of a hat!
- Pardon the blurry cell phone picture!
Some sashes, and A LOT of dust!
After several hours of carefully tossing down items and gently brushing off the dust/lint/mold/ick/etc. this is what we managed to find!
- 21 sashes of varying ornamentation.
- 4 hats, including one labeled “High Priest” (the second one in).
- 1 torch/candleholder.
Overall the items are in varying stages of condition, but we are amazed that they survived being directly below where the roof leak was. But we are now on to another treasure hunt. For info! Who would hide these items up in the crawlspace and why? How long have you been up there? We started making up our own theories but have no idea if they are anywhere close to the truth.
If you or anyone has any info/stories/photos about the Tuscola Oddfellows and our building, please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been doing some research into our building and my Dad found some images at the local county museum. The first picture is an exterior shot of West Sale Street in the 1970s. It is kind of cool but we can’t make out what the store was at that time. Hopefully, we will meet lots of people with good long memories that can fill us in on the not so recent past of our building.
The best find that Dad came back with is this interior shot from what we suspect (based on the mens’ attire and the hanging oil lamps) is from between the turn of the century and 1915?
Once upon a time, our location was J. L. Dawson’s grocery and mercantile business. They
used the latest technology in making change (National Cash Registers) and getting customers their money’s worth (Dayton Computing Scales). The look and feel of this old bygone era is part of what we are trying to capture with our store. You can see one rather dapper clerk on the far right manning the cash register and then down the counter behind him is another clerk at the scales. There are two gentlemen standing in the center. The one on the left is wearing a more modern suit and is sporting a moustache while the older bearded one on the right is dressed more formally in a vest/overcoat with a bow tie, pocket watch, and bowler cap. I would put my money on the latter being Mr. J.L. Dawson himself.
We know that in 2001 the store was a gift store named “Friends Remembered” before it became the “Chuck Wagon” until it closed in 2010. We also know that our upstairs ballroom was originally an Oddfellows meeting hall and then was repurposed as a church chapel and aerobics/yoga workout space in the 1980s and 90s. Laura and I hope that we can unearth some more old photos and stories about our building. If you have any, please feel free to share!