Recap: Portland Antique Show, Bernie Dexter Pinup Shop + More!

Yasmina Greco - Pinup Girl Clothing

Yasmina Greco – Pinup Girl Clothing – Coffee to Start

That time of year again when I head to Portland, Oregon for the Largest Antique and Collectibles Show and this has now become a tradition for me and my sister who is in Oregon. Many of you may not know that I have a twin sister. We look exactly alike too!! I don’t post pictures with her because I respect her privacy, as she is not as social online as I am.

Yasmina Greco - Bernie Dexter Pinup Shop

Yasmina Greco – Bernie Dexter Pinup Shop

I recently learned that the Bernie Dexter pinup rockabilly store is right there in Portland so of course it was numero uno on my list!! I packed very light for the show so I only had a few dresses and I wore one of my beloved Retro Spec’d Vivian in ‘Walk in the Park‘ gorgeous poodle puppy dog border print dress with my vintage poodle purse.

Yasmina Greco - Bernie Dexter Pinup Shop

Yasmina Greco – Bernie Dexter Pinup Shop

The Bernie Dexter shop is located in downtown Gresham on Main Street which has a cute trendy old-townish feel with shops and restaurants all around. The morning sun was not cooperating so pics of the outside of the store were a little hard to take (I thank my niece for trying her very best) but I think you’ll get the idea. Doors open from 12pm-6pm. Once inside it was essentially surreal because the dresses and skirts you see online and drool over on social media are all right in front of you ready to be snapped up and taken home.

I’ve never had good luck fitting into Bernie Dexter styles. I didn’t think they are made for serious curves and large breasts, so, I was always a bit saddened because the prints are stunning and so many gals gush over their Bernie Dexter dresses but, they didn’t work on my body…until today when the awesome and helpful lady working at the Bernie Dexter store handed me a rare gem to try on in a magical style called Chelsea!!! I will do a review shortly on my new Bernie Dexter Chelsea dress because I want to let all the curvy /busty girls out there know that yes, they too can finally get a Bernie Dexter and why the Chelsea works on curvy girls….stay tuned for that post.

Bernie Dexter - Oregon Pinup Store

Bernie Dexter – Pinup Store

Here are some pictures of the inside of the shop that is so cute and charming decorated with a retro French – boutique vibe. It was great to see Pinup pics of Bernie decorating the shop. Adorable settee sofa and those racks upon racks of magical Bernie Dexter dresses!! The shop and dressing rooms are very clean and the lighting is great. The awesome staff really make it an ‘experience’ to shop there and I could see the other shoppers so excited to have their Pinup pictures taken by the staff in their Bernie Dexter dresses they were trying on. I left the Bernie Dexter shop elated with my new treasure!!

Yasmina Greco - Vintage Pink Portland

Yasmina Greco – Vintage Pink Portland

Vintage Pink is located in another trendy area of Portland called the Hawthorne District. I must say the weather in Portland was outstanding pretty much for the duration of my trip. Sunny and high 70s-low 80’s!! I love Vintage Pink and from the outside it’s hot pink color and atomic Mid-Century Modern decorations but I have not been timing my visits properly because the last couple times there, they have not yet opened. Vintage Pink is a multi-dealer reto, mid-mod, kitschy antique mall so each booth has something different. But, on this trip too, they were not yet open, maybe next time I’ll get there when they are open.

Depoe Bay - Oregon Coast

Depoe Bay – Oregon Coast

A lovely trip to the Oregon coast with a tasty visit to the Tillamook Cheese and Ice Cream Factory. Here are some pictures from Depoe Bay in Oregon. By the time we arrived it was getting a little cloudy but still we had so much fun. We stopped for some great espresso then walked along the shops and of course, we had to stop and get some fresh salt-water taffy – yummy!!

Saturday was the largest Portland Antique and Collectibles Show. Over 1,000 booths!! A couple hundred dealers outside and around 800+ inside. My sister and I arrive early so we can park and get in line. We have our strategy for maneuvering the show. This show really does have it all and something for everyone from vintage fashion, antiques, kitchen collectibles, ephemera, tin toys, furniture, atomic goodies, mid-century modern items, art, jewelry, glass, salvage etc… so much!!

Yasmina Greco - Portland Antique Show

Yasmina Greco – Portland Antique Show

Prices this year seemed higher than years past and in some cases double. Dealers were not negotiable today. I did however receive non-stop compliments on my Harlequin Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing . Folks were excited by look and that was so sweet. I stopped for lots and lots photos. I did leave with some treasures and was excited to be getting back home to my husband whom I had been missing. It was a great trip full of laughter, junk food, and great memories!!


5 Holiday Shopping Tips for Buying Mid-Century Modern, Antiques & Vintage Collectibles

This is the time of year when we are all looking for gifts for our loved ones and friends and sometimes it seems that the ones with a passion for vintage, mid-century modern, and collectibles are the toughest ones to shop for and much of our shopping is done in antique shops where All Sales Are Final.

We are thrilled with our fantastic finds for that “someone special” until we get them home and then the dreaded “Oh No”, why didn’t I notice that before I bought it, comes out.

So, to save you some of the grief of the dreaded “Oh No”, below are 5 of my tips for holiday shopping in antique shops during this time of year.

5 Tips for Antique Mall Christmas Shopping

1.    Make sure you REALLY examine the item. Feel around the edges and nooks and crannies for chips, dings, fleabites and repairs.
2.    Have good lighting so you can see if paint color is missing or has been colored over with a Sharpie.
3.    If there is tape on the item remove it enough to get a good full look of what is underneath. Learn from my misfortune.  I recently purchased a gorgeous jam jar that had the lid taped on and when I got it home and took the tape off there were several cracks inside the jar and this was not disclosed on the tag and I would have seen this had I lifted the tape and looked inside the jar.
4.    If an item has the price tag tied on make sure to look all around and under the tag. Again, learn from my misfortune. I recently purchased a lovely vintage figurine from an Antique mall and the figurine had a price tag securely tied to the arm. When I got home and removed the tag is when I noticed the arm had been broken and re-attached and the string was covering this repair up.
5.    Smell your item(s). I know this sounds strange but smell your item. You would be amazed at the coats of paint and varnish vintage items receive prior to being put up for sale. To me, this is not ok when I am being lead to believe that I am purchasing a truly “vintage” or “antique” piece. If the seller has re-furbished the item they should state it on the tag. Also, varnish and paint can have a lingering odor for many days and if you intend to be giving the item as a gift the last thing you want is for your recipient to open it and be assailed with a whiff of varnish or paint.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Happy Holidays.


A Poor Economy is A Great Time For Collectors!


I know this sounds heartless but, tough economic times are great for collector’s because while many folks are effected by a down turn in the economy and some are literally forced to sell-off their precious collectibles just to make ends meet, collectors are out buying up the rare and hard-to-find items, sometimes for pennies on the dollar!

I have seen more garage sales and parking lot sales this past year then ever before and these sales are going on 7 days a week instead of the typical Friday-Sunday as many folks are unemployed so they mize as well hold a garage sale during the week. In some areas folks are hauling their items down to empty parking lots on busy streets and standing out there selling their items.

I have also heard the stories of elderly and retired folks that were victims of Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme and have now been forced to sell-off antiques, jewelry and family heirlooms just to survive and because the economy is in such bad shape they are not able to sell their items at fair market value but rather at bargain prices. All this translates into “It’s a great time to be a collector”.

Here are some tips for bargain-hunting Garage & Estate sales.

•    The hunt often begins with taking a good look at the classified section of your local newspaper(s). You can pretty quickly scan the paper for the garage sale section and learn within minutes what is being sold and where. The Internet is also a great resource as many sales are listed on Craigslist and your local “4 sale” websites.
•    Try to get to the sale before the sale starts and ask if you can look around- most people don’t mind and this ensures you are getting “first pick” at items.
•    Remember to respect people’s stuff as the items were once owned and loved by them.
•    Items are generally “sold as is” so be sure that you are looking the item(s) over very carefully for flaws and damage.
•    If you are purchasing clothing, make sure the zippers zip and that all buttons and embellishments are intact.
•    Sometimes you can get a better deal if you select multiple items and ask “how much for All this” rather than negotiating on single items.
•    Negotiate – its practically expected.
•    If you happen to be at a sale where you are very interested in an item, painting, dinnerware set, etc…and the owner does not want to budge on the price, you can leave your contact information and ask that they call you after the sale ends if they haven’t sold the item and they may be more inclined to negotiate with you at the end of the sale.
•    If you have access to basements and attics go check it out as this is where many great items and deals can be found. I have heard many stories of incredible finds coming from these areas, be sure to go early though as the more people that look the less items will be left for you as the better stuff will get snatched up.
•    Bring a good amount of cash in all ranges as no one is going to accept checks or credit cards.
•    Be sure to put empty boxes, bags, and blankets in your vehicle so you can safely transport your items.

Check back, as I will be posting some articles on items I have bought and what they are valued at as well as what they sold for. It will be interesting, I promise!