Category Archives: Around Town

When Life Stresses Me Out, My Market Keeps Me Sane

Some people go to the gym to blow off some steam, others get manis, pedis, or massages to decompress from stress; I – go shopping. My life has been feeling quite hectic lately: there’s always somewhere I have to be, something I have to do, and 10 things I wish I would’ve gotten done before the day is through.

Sunday’s are my one free day during the week to play catch-up on stuff or do whatever I please. Conveniently, the Randolph Street Holiday Market was happening this last weekend, so Sunday, I set aside everything I had to do and spent my ‘me’ day at my favorite market. :) It felt nice to disregard my ‘to do’ list for the day and get lost among unique pieces from the past. A few hours of looking at fabulous furs, drowning yourself in drawers of amazing accessories, and sorting through interesting vintage oddities…and you’d forget about the stress of all you have to do too! See for yourself…

  Fabulous Furs

Dior Fur (1)

Dior Fur (2)Wanna drop $3500 on Dior?

                                                                            Drowned in DrawersDrawers upon drawers to go through!

Seeing GreenFilled with all kinds of accessories to try on :)

Vintage Findings

Gold Accessories

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Bunch of Vintage Bracelets

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After juggling jobs & running around all week, there’s nothing better than spending the day by myself – doing my own thing, at my own pace, with no one to report to, and no place I got to be. Simply searching…searching for tiny treasures hidden among all the random things :)

Skinned Zebra Rug (1)

Skinned Zebra Rug (3)Skinned Zebra rug, complete with eye socket still attached anyone? Only $1000!

Tiny People PotsTiny People Pots

Turtle ShellsTurtle shells?!?

Cork Handbags (2)

Cork Handbags (3)Cool Cork Handbags!

It never fails…I always find something! Check out the neat pieces I got this month –

Vintage Fish Pendant

Vintage Fish Pendant (2)

Vintage Fish Pendant (3)Here fishy fishy! This colorful fish pendant looks kind of like a lure found in a tackle box, and it flops back & forth like the real thing.

 Sterling Silver Poison Ring (2)

Sterling Silver Poison Ring (1)This is a poison ring – the top opens up & the center of the ring is actually a small secret compartment!

(It only seemed fitting to use the artistic vintage floral design on my daily planner as a background for the pictures in this post :)

Shopping probably isn’t the best way to relieve stress; (in fact, if you do too much of it it’s probably the cause of some of your stress) but I’d pass up a pedicure & polish change to peruse my market any day of the week. And rest assured, I wouldn’t trade in any of my one-of-a-kind finds for a few miles on the treadmill!!

What’s your stress reliever when you’re feeling bogged down by life?

Modern Vintage Changed my Mind about Michael

I’ve been searching for a nice gold watch for a while now, but have yet to come across one I like. Well, I shouldn’t say that – this Burberry one caught my eye…but I don’t have $695 to drop on a watch right now.

 Burberry Rosegold Watch

So, for the past few years I’ve been sporting this silver Timex timepiece. My grandfather has the same style in brushed gold that I always admired, so I went out and bought one for myself. I like the simplicity of the style, the stretchy wristband (except when my arm hair gets stuck in it), and purposely bought the men’s version because of its oversized, easy-to-read faceplate.

 Silver Timex

With the convenience of purchasing it at Target for the affordable price of only $34.99, it’s a no-brainer buy! Of course, I have had to pick up a couple replacements over the years because I’ve either shattered the front glass or somehow gotten water trapped in the inside; but at that reasonable price, I don’t really mind.

I did however want another one, a nicer one, in a different finish so I could have a second option. Some people will only wear a silver watch with their silver jewelry, while others go for the gold. I tend to mix my metals so it doesn’t really matter for me…but it’s always nice to switch it up a bit.

Out of all the timepieces I’ve looked at over the course of time, the brand I’ve come across the most has been Michael Kors. I’ve never really been a big fan of any of the styles stemming from the Kors collection – it’s either I try them on and they’re so heavy it feels like one of my arms is longer than the other or it has so much bling imbedded into it it’s blinding. See what I mean?!…

 Michael Kors Watches

I’m not trying to be mean to Michael! I’m just not big on sparkly things and for something I wear every day, I can’t have it weighing me down (I’m already crooked the way it is :).

But, I gotta hand it to the guy, he’s obviously doing something right – after all, he does dress the arms of millions of men & women. It’s hard to deny that he dominates the market when it comes to mainstream watchmakers!

Michael Kors (KORS) reported a net income of $145.8 million, for its second quarter. A 31% sales growth in North America was driven by watches, footwear and other accessories; accumulating a total revenue of $618.3 million in the U.S. and Canada. (forbes.com)

Perhaps I was a bit harsh on Mr. Kor’s & his design team to start; for my trip to the Modern Vintage Chicago market last month changed my mind (a little) and now has me eating (some) of my words. While perusing through Plumber’s Hall during the special edition of Randolph Street Market focusing strictly on clothing, accessories & jewelry; I came across this little jem!

 My Michael Kors Watch

It’s a close comparison to the original watch I wanted…and was 1/6th the price! I looked it over to make sure it was in good condition; all the parts are still ticking & tocking, the closure securely fastens, and it has a brand new battery – seemed like a deal to me! I like the basic gold band, sleek black dial, and it’s not too heavy to disrupt my movements. After doing a little research, I came to the conclusion this style was originally produced back in 2010. A little more modern than vintage – either way, a great find at my favorite market!

I haven’t changed my mind about Michael entirely…but one way or another, he managed to make his way into my jewelry box. Way to go guy!

Do you don a watch from the Michael Kors collection? Or would someone have to twist your arm to get you to wear one?

September’s Randolph Street Market Recap

I took a quick trip to California last weekend to work a styling job, but still managed to make it back in time for my monthly trip to the Randolph Street Market.

Last Sunday’s trip to the vintage market was bittersweet because September is the last month the market is both indoors & outdoors. It’s the last month they offer the free trolley to & from. It’s the last month of live music. It’s the last time shoppers have access to the abundance of oddities offered outdoors. And it’s the last time I get to see some of my favorite vendors until next summer :(

I don’t want to say that I was a bit disappointed in this month’s market (because let’s be honest…I could never really be disappointed in the market!), but I was a bit bummed because it felt like there weren’t as many merchants there as usually. After talking to one of my favorites, I found out there were some other events going on around the area, which some of the Randolph regulars attended instead. Regardless, I saw some stuff I hadn’t seen before…and still came home with a couple new things :) Check it out…

There was a definite Halloween/harvest theme throughout the market this month. Merchants sold home décor such as scull & scary cat lanterns and polished glaze pumpkins to shoppers so they could get in the spirit.

Pumpkin Decor (1)

Scary Cats & Skull Lanterns

Yard Ornaments

Fall flowers, Indian corn, and pumpkins were also for sale for people to take home and replace bouquets of summer perennials no longer in bloom.

Fall Flowers (1)

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Pumpkins

This gives new meaning to ‘stuffing the turkey’ on Thanksgiving…

Stuffed Turkey

…or ‘carving’ it. :)

Carved Wood Turkey

A couple other peculiar pieces I found while I was perusing…

This is a pair of oversized facet-stone clip-on earrings. How is something this big supposed to stay on your ear? I put them next to a quarter so you could get an idea of how huge they are.

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A bullet belt…with a peace sign buckle? A contradictory clothing accessory if I must say so myself.

Bullet Belt

What could someone possibly own that they would need a wrench this big to fix? Whatever it is…they’ve clearly got an even bigger problem on their hands.

Giant Wrench

So what did I walk away with this month? Oh, you know…just 2 more rings :)

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Rings

…because I don’t have enough already :/

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Something I didn’t have to purchase – pumpkins, because every fall my mom mails me a package full of pumpkins & gourds she grows in her own garden!

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Even though the market is only inside next month, organizers made up for it by offering two shopping events in the month of October. A special Modern Vintage clothing & accessories event in two weeks, then the regular Randolph Market the weekend after!

Modern Vintage Chicago

Summer Heat Wave Makes for a Really Hot Randolph Street Market!

I had to meet with a client last Saturday morning to do a color consultation which brought me to the West Loop bright & early. I typically only venture over to that part of town when the vintage market is going on, and conveniently, it was last weekend! So after my analysis I walked a couple blocks and spent the rest of my morning rummaging at Randolph Street Market.

Randolph St Market (1)

Unlike last month’s unseasonably cold temperature which had me wearing a sweater in July, this end-of-summer heat wave that we’re having made for a hot & humid day. The extreme heat definitely made an impact on my shopping experience this month! Some vendors put up awnings to provide shade for shoppers; but with not even a slight breeze, it was still sweltering. Everything under the sun – the people, the pavement, and the products was hot – too hot to even touch! Who wants to buy something after it burns you?

Regardless, here are some pics from my trip to Randolph Street Market this month…

Sooo much sterling & tons of turquoise!

Sterling Silver & Turq (1)

Sterling Silver & Turq (5)

Sterling Silver & Turq (2)

Sterling Silver & Turq (6)

Sterling Silver & Turq (3)

Pretend were in Pleasantville and time warp back to the 50’s with these retro kitchen sets…

Retro Kitchen Sets (1)

Retro Kitchen Sets (3)

Retro Kitchen Sets (2)

Retro Kitchen Sets (4)

Retro Kitchen Sets (5)

Retro Kitchen Sets (6)

Retro Kitchen Sets (7)

Want to be a little more subtle with your vintage accents? Pick from these reclaimed door knobs, metal furnishings, stained glass and ceramic tiles taken from torn down homes, schools, and buildings from long ago.

Vintage Door Knobs (2)

Vintage Door Knobs (1)

Stained Glass Windows

Old Ceramic Tiles (2)

Old Ceramic Tiles (1)

Going global…

Globes (2)

Globes (1)

Two weeks til the next full moon jam! I should’ve picked up on of these so I can join the drum circle.

Drums

These life-size figurines would make good friends…

Carved Wood Native American Figures (3)

Carved Wood Native American Figures (2)

Carved Wood Native American Figures (1)

Wizard

Even this guy – he’s so excited…he just can’t hide it!

Skeleton (1)

So what did I walk away with this month?

This ring…

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and this ring…

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From a distance it looks like etched metal, but if you look close, it recites the Lord’s Prayer.

Lord's Prayer Ring

Would you subject yourself to these types of shopping conditions?

Rain or Shine…Randolph Street Market’s on my Mind!

Precursor: I’ve been so behind on blogs lately I just realized I never got around to publishing my post about last month’s trip to Randolph Street Market – and it already came up again this month! I typically write my posts out on paper before typing them up & pressing the publish button. Even though this is a little late, I didn’t want to take the time to re-write about my trip to July’s market (especially since I have August’s trip to write about as well) so I figured I’d just stick with the original draft. Here it goes…

Every morning I wake up with ‘going to the market’ on my mind I awake with an indescribable amount of energy and excitement. I just know it’s going to be a good day! I mean – who wouldn’t be excited to go on a scavenger hunt and spend the day searching for one-of-a-kind treasures from the past?!

But today’s dreary outlook made it difficult for me to pick out an outfit; with a gray, overcast sky & mid-60° high, today felt more like fall than it did a day in the middle of July.  I decided to go with a monochromatic look similar to what a man was wearing walking on the street a few days earlier.

Monochromatic Outfit

I got a little warm on my walk down to the Watertower Place to hop aboard the free trolley. But then, as we were driving over to the market with the windows wide-open, it was a bit breezy and even started sprinkling. Thankfully the rain stopped by the time we reached our destination and it ultimately cleared up to be a beautiful day. Here’s how I spent it…

I saw this tractor trike right away when I walked in and contemplated buying it all day long.

Tractor Trike

But after thinking of 1) how I was going to get the trike back to my studio apartment, 2) how I was going to get it back to Minnesota, and 3) where (in my studio size apartment) I was going to store this thing in the meantime, I decided to pass it up. It would’ve been the perfect present for my little nephew Peter to ride at Papa’s farm. If only I could’ve driven it home I probably would have…after all, I’ve had my practice with an old Oliver on the open road before :)

Driving the 'ol Oliver

Another neat gift for my nieces & nephew would be this vintage rocking horse

Antique Rocking Horse

…but my mom already has one at home from when I was a kid. She spruced it up with a fresh mane and ears made from an old pair of leather boots. Horsy rides, eh hum, rocks like new!

Mom's Rocking Horse

Too big for a rocking horse? Maybe this life-size mare will better suit you. This harness maker’s display horse, circa 1880 – only $4,500.00.

Horse in Trailor

As much as I love it, after two seasons of wearing my stallion sweater all of my co-workers are sick of seeing me in it; if I wanted, I could buy this one and switch it up…but I won’t. Nothing, I mean nothing will stop me from wearing my favorite stallion sweater!

Stallion Sweaters

This worn-in leather horse head makes for a unique piece of home décor.

Leather Horse Head

Enough horsin’ around…check out these stuffed animals…

Animals & Antlers (1)

Animals & Antlers (2)

Black Bear  Raccoon

Lucky rabbit’s foot? How about a lucky otter’s foot…

Otter's Foot

These vendors were asking $200.00 OBO for their vintage Singer sewing machines.

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine (1)

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine (2)

Vintage Singer Sewing Machine (4)

Singer

Best offer…all good thanks! I’ve already got one…and I only paid $30 for mine!

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I may have passed on the sewing machine, but I didn’t pass on this stuff…

Home for my HorseYep! The horse head :)

Small African Snake Vertaebraeand small African snake vertebrae.

Random, yes. But I’ve got something planned for them. You’ll see!