Heritage Square Antique Mall

If you’re ever in Columbus, Ohio and looking for buried treasure, stop by Heritage Square Antique Mall. It’s 53,000 square feet of goodies where you could spend an entire day.

I have never left this place empty handed and often see unusual items you won’t find anywhere. The large black cat pictured below is delightful but vintage Halloween decor is highly collectible and costly. This was almost $300.

Another booth had a number of creepy items like these crazy doll parts.

Plus there’s a ton of furniture and home decor items that aren’t actually old. I found the message on this modern sign ironic. Can you read it?

It says “Collect moments, not things.” Haha. Great advice unless you’re in an antique mall where the point of the exercise is to buy stuff.

Heritage Square Antique Mall is less than fifteen minutes from Franklin Park Conservatory which I told you about the other day. Click here for that story. Visit them at 1865 Channingway Center Dr., Columbus and check them out online at their website.

Vintage en Vogue

There’s a great new vintage shop in downtown Logan, Ohio. Vintage en Vogue is a neat boutique packed with antiques, vintage items, art, decor and even some clothes and accessories.

Everything seems to be good quality and the prices are fair.

It’s also staged so beautifully that I wanted to linger a while. I’m saving for some upcoming adventures but wanted to support them so I bought a cute sunflower T-shirt with the promise to go back again soon.

The owner was delightful and so very welcoming that I imagine there will be a return trip in my near future. You should check them out too!

Find Vintage en Vogue at 45 West Main Street in Logan and be sure to follow them on Facebook too. While you’re in town, check out the other downtown shops as well as the Logan Antique Mall on Rt. 664.

Found Antique and Vintage Mall

Since it gets dark so early, we spent most of our Denver evenings perusing thrift stores, antique malls and bargain stores like TJ Maxx. We were pretty diligent about our retail therapy especially at Found Antique and Artisan Mall in Wheat Ridge.

They have about 65 vendors in 12,000 square feet of small rooms, nooks and crannies. It’s sort of a maze where every turn presents opportunity to find unexpected treasures like these rosettes made from old ties.

They have tons of handmade items and numerous vintage items that I had never seen before. From a mid century era baby monitor called the Baby Sitter to a sixties era Fred Flinstone/ Dino the Dinosaur toy, there are many interesting things to admire. That Flinstones toy is fabulous but comes with a $465 price tag. That was a bit out of my price range but they also have some eighties era Carebears like some I had as a child. Finding them marked vintage was a bit offputting (because I can’t possibly be old enough to call my toys vintage) but they were far more affordable than Fred.

Anyway, it’s a great store in a fantastic space and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the Denver area. They also have a location in Wisconsin if that’s closer for you. Get the details here!

No Spend January

Illustration by Lore Pemberton.

January is a different kind of month for me and I have come to look forward to it. You see, I do what I call a No Spend Challenge.

It’s a simple concept. Bills are paid and necessities are purchased. So I put gas in the tank and buy groceries but try not to eat out or buy a lot of extra stuff I don’t need.

If the heel breaks on my good work shoes, I dig through my closet for a suitable back up. If I feel like it’s necessary to replace them, then I do so but the rule is I can only buy the shoes I need and not something I just want.

If there’s something I think I want (or need that’s not an emergency), I usually write it down. Often times, by the end of the month, I no longer care about the thing. In other words, there’s not a mad dash to the store to buy all the stuff I missed shopping for in the previous weeks.

This isn’t an outlandish concept. After all, many people live within these boundaries every day by choice or necessity.

I’m reasonably frugal and a smart shopper but have a weakness for buying sale groceries, books, and small items at the cash register like Tic Tacs.

These things add up.

January is a great time to do this as there’s no where to be and it gets dark so early that I’m pleased to stay home where it’s cozy and warm.

Focus is placed on using what I have and taking care of my home. I tend to tidy the kitchen cabinets, clean out the closet and purge a few things. I cook more, making extras for the freezer. Activities like reading, puzzles, movie nights and bubble baths take the place of browsing antique stores and running around. In 2020, I wasn’t out shopping in stores so much but did a fair amount of online shopping and driving around looking at stuff.

This month is a method of realigning habits and priorities while killing the urge to shop. Plus I save money.

Last year, I was so pleased with my no spend month that it ran over into February.

In preparation, I spent some time last week listing all the things I can do to entertain myself for free. Hiking, reading and painting made the top of the list that runs seventy items strong. This particular exercise is an amazing way to remember how much there is to do that’s fun or at least useful and that costs zero dollars.

I was practicing the Norwegian concept of Hygge long before it was cool or even before I knew the term for it. Nothing makes me happier than warm pjs, soft blankets, and delicious aromas emanating from a pot on the stove. I’m so excited to be home more and doing this right now.

January is the perfect time to start or to polish these cozy ways.

The image above is a fun illustration from artist Lore Pemberton. I found her on Instagram this year and immediately was entranced by her vision and artistry. I ordered a couple of small pieces from her for Christmas when she had a sale.

This particular image is a depiction of how I think of my life in January.

Home. Warm. Cozy. Reading.

If you have the time, take a look at her work on her website or follow her on Instagram.

Does a No Spend Month sound like something you would enjoy? Comment! I’ll be happy to chat about it.

Ohio Valley Antique Mall

One of my favorite antiquing destinations is the Ohio Valley Antique Mall in Fairfield. That’s in the greater Cincinnati area so it’s a bit of a haul over there but always worth the trip because they have so much stuff and typically good prices.

Best of all, there’s not a lot of the flea market junk we have at some stores closer to home. Instead, there’s a lot of quality booths brimming with treasures.

Someone likes green. This entire booth is devoted to items in various shades of green. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen this done to this scale. This is actually less than one half of the booth.

Then there are the suitcases. So many suitcases!

And a fair amount of ingenious upcycling.

Booths like this always make me think there’s a guy out there who got married and whose new wife wouldn’t let him keep his man cave. I mean, it looks like some dude’s rec room just got packed up and moved to a corner booth!

If you’re into Fiesta, there’s a booth packed with new Fiesta items. Honestly, they have so much stuff here that if you can’t find it, you probably don’t need it.

Want to go? Check out their website for hours and information. They do have restrooms, vending machines and a snack bar. There are also a couple of fast food restaurants in adjacent parking lots.

The Brass Armadillo

Antique malls tend to offer a variety of goods that aren’t actual antiques. From handmade crafts to vintage toys to books, soaps and a litany of other things, it seems you never know what you’ll find.

Imagine a big treasure hunt.

It’s a fun thing to do any day but I usually seek out an antique mall on vacation. It’s a good source of unique souvenirs but it’s also interesting to see what’s available in other areas and how it’s valued.

There are huge regional differences in how many things like vintage Christmas decor, dishes or even Coca Cola products are valued. A Coke crate can be picked up for cheap in central Indiana where there’s a big manufacturing and bottling presence. Whereas they’re about twice the price in Ohio.

As an aside, the company’s iconic contoured bottle was born in Terre Haute over a hundred years ago. That’s a different story for another day.

At the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Denver I found a lot of aviation related items including a nice print and this vintage Pan American carry-on bag. It’s in great shape and was under $20.

It’s hard to even find this sort of thing locally and it would cost significantly more around here.

I also like to seek out old snapshots like the ones pictured above with the bag. These photos can be acquired for as little as fifty cents or a few dollars. The Brass Armadillo had a ton of booths with boxes of pictures and I finally just had to cut myself off. These are especially neat souvenirs as some can be found with regional interest that show local architecture and landscape.

I like vintage photography and always think it’s sad to see family photos tossed in a box for sale. So I collect the ones that draw my eye and affectionately think of them as “The Family.”

We didn’t know it at the time, but this store is actually part of a regional chain. It’s enormous with over 600 vendors and a ton of variety.

Literally, friends. You don’t know what you’ll find around the next corner.

I was dying to bring home any number of vintage suitcases but the logistics of air travel with a somewhat fragile old suitcase were too much to deal with. Another time!

If you’re in the Denver area, I highly recommend checking out the Brass Armadillo. Learn more about them on their website or maybe find a location closer to you.