It’s time for the annual June flea market at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market!

That means, along with all the dealers, we will be having sales inside. Our YES booths,#25-27, will be 20% off. And the LunaTique Art Gallery, Occult, & Oddities space, code ART in booth #55, will be 10% off.

We also will have a booth outside in the parking lot too – right next to the live musical entertainment!

Yes, live music at The FARM!

The Bluegrass Association of North Dakota (B.A.N.D.) will be performing live jam sessions on Saturday and Sunday from 1 pm until 5 pm. So there literally will be pickin’ & grinnin’!

To promote the event, we will be live on the air with Travis of Radio Free Fargo – on his “This Side Of Country” show.  That will be this Friday, June 18th, starting at 11 am with members of B.A.N.D. Details here – please listen in. And do share!

The dates of the flea market are:

Saturday, June 19th, from 10 am until 6 pm.

&

Sunday, June 20th, from noon until 6 pm.

See you at The FARM!

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Part of my job as an antiques dealer (or vintage seller, if you prefer) is to properly clean, research, and identify reclaimed and discovered items in order to best present these old things to potential buyers. Continually making discoveries, uncovering new-to-me stories is one of my favorite parts of this gig.

But sometimes, as I’ve recently noted on Twitter, I go down rabbit holes and end up writing tomes when I list the item. It may not always translate into the best bang for my buck – especially when I fall in love with something which should just be inventory…

Meet my latest crush: Cecil Aldano Moore

More than just a handsome big bear of a man in an impressive fur parka, Cecil A. Moore, aka Mush Moore, was most known for his sensational 6000-mile trek by dog-sled across the US.

He left Fairbanks, Alaska on November 14, 1949, and arrived on April 4, 1951 in Lewiston, Maine (where Moore was from *).

Moore used a sled custom-built and donated by the Flexible Flyer sled company. (The sled had wheels that could be installed when it was necessary to traverse snowless trails or roads.)

The parka Moore wore was worth thousands of dollars; it was made by an Eskimo woman, the finest fur maker in Alaska.

But it was still a rough trip…

Five days in, members of the U.S. Army in Alaska came to look at the sensational dog team ad musher. “The temperature was 55 below zero that day and the officers and GIs marveled that the hardy Moore could survive alone in that frozen waste.”

Traveling roughly 35 miles per day, Mush Moore & his dogs crossed five mountain ranges, 81 lakes, and 129 rivers. And that’s not including the other treacherous & perilous incidents.

Moore finished the trek with nine of the 12 original huskies he started with. And Mush always gave the dogs all the credit for his remarkable trip which made headlines all across the country as he traveled from coast to coast.

Cecil Aldano Moore also worked as an ironworker in many states as well as Morocco, Iceland, & Africa. He was the lead foreman on the Augusta Memorial Bridge, Augusta, ME, which was the largest bridge in span and height at the time of construction.

Arch Soutar, Lewiston Evening Journal editor, who interviewed Mush often, recalled that Moore was “unusually strong, physically resourceful and an enemy of defeat, engaged in a rough and hazardous profession,” adding that Moore “was a man of unexpected inner sensitivity, an outdoor man with a large and almost brilliant vocabulary.”

A larger-than-life man. Yet a man largely lost to history.

(I know I shouldn’t be surprised; no one lives forever, not even film stars with such dreams of living forever on celluloid.)

This rare vintage dog-sledding and sporting history find is currently available for purchase on Etsy. Contact us with serious inquiries.

Clearly designed for fans who followed the amazing trek & came to see him when he stopped in their towns and cities to take care of his dogs, this promotional piece has Cecil A. Moore’s signature printed along the photograph on the front. However, the real Mush Moore signature is inked on back.

This piece of ephemera is akin to the thin cardboard of Mutoscope and old Hollywood movie promo cards. It measures 4 x 6 inches.

* Funds raised from this marvelous event created the Cecil A. Moore Fund for Underprivileged Children at the Healy Asylum in Lewiston (Healy Asylum was built in 1893 as an orphanage for boys, a role it served until about 1970. Now the building is called Healy Terrace; it’s used for affordable senior housing.

PS The podcast will resume soon! (As soon as I can refrain from so many rabbit holes!)

Why Cecil Mush Moore Made The Trek
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(If you prefer, you can listen to this as a podcast! Smells Like Grandma, episode 1 – 5.)

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend washing out old perfume bottles. Well, technically, washing vintage & retro figural eau de cologne bottles – because perfume rarely comes in such bottles. Which is why most of us refer to such bottles as “fragrance bottles,” but collectors consider the category to be “perfume bottles,” a subset of vanity collectibles, or “collectible bottles”, a subset of “decorative collectibles.” But I digress.

I was washing old fragrance bottles. The majority of these were Avon bottles – primarily the figurative types. And perhaps it was the strong smells from the near 100 different bottled grandma scents, but I started giggling.

At the risk of further digression, I feel the need to address a few other things before I completely offend a great number of Avon ladies & Avon fans.

I’ve been an Avon Lady – not once, but twice, including after having reached one of the highest points in the beauty products game by working for Estee Lauder. So I’m not knocking Avon.

Not only is Avon the oldest beauty company in the United States, with a long history of economically empowering women, but Avon has for decades been the #1 fragrance-cosmetic company in the US with high rankings worldwide. Not so much #1 recently (which is a longer story about marketing and changing markets – and corporate buy-outs), but Avon still ranks in the top 10-15 worldwide every year. This means lots more people than grandmas are wearing Avon. But the nickname still holds – as we shall see.

In any case, there’s a whole lot of Avon bottles circulating. And being collected.

While most collector pros will focus on the obvious things (condition, condition, condition – the importance of boxes, true limited runs, fan favorites, etc.), in this podcast we like to talk about objects in context. In this case, the objects are vintage & reto Avon bottles, and the context of “grandma scents” is also a nostalgic nod to scents of the past.

According to science, smell and memory are linked. Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, says, “The quickest way to affect somebody’s moods or behavior, quicker than with any other sensory modality, is with smell.” So collecting perfume bottles, Avon or not, is closely linked to memory.

Vintage scents may link you to your grandma, yes. Maybe it’s a scent she wore. My grandma wore Avon’s Charisma for special occasions, so it’s part of Christmas for me. But vintage perfume scents may remind you of your grandma, or grandmas in general, at least in part, because most fragrances tend to go bad & get that funky old smell after 3-5 years – and who doesn’t have a grandma who has old fragrance bottles getting dusty on her dresser? (Hence all the washing I’ve been doing!)

Or the scents may link you to your own past – a special occasion, your first big girl perfume, your first kiss – your own teen spirit, if you will. Meaning you might now be the “grandma” part of “grandma scent.”

But another part of the context of collectible Avon bottles is the heading-toward-us-like-a-bullet-train holiday season.

As I found in my sink, there is a ton of evidence of the gift-giving of Avon. Perhaps none as obvious as the array of men’s fragrance decanters.

There are a ton of cars, which may seem gifty enough for the generic men in your life. I mean, I guess glass cars look cool… I tend to like the kitschy stuff, including white poodle Avon decanters, so who am I to judge?

But there’s more. Including a plethora of men’s footwear options…

So.

Many.

Boots.

As a woman who used to sell men’s shoes, let me tell you there is nothing – & I mean nothing – like the odor of a teenaged boy’s feet. You learn in the shoe business to inhale deeply before you even begin to bend toward the feet – slowly exhaling as you go, so that you will not need to inhale again before you have exited the danger zone. You also learn to smile with commiseration with any mothers about – because they know what you are going through and are suffering in mortified silence as well.

So anyway, the notion of selling any fragrance in footwear form is, well, it just doesn’t smell right. Yet Avon has more variations of boot cologne bottles than seems possible.

Not that Avon figural bottles are necessarily shaped like scents. For example, the car decanters don’t smell like car exhaust or those cardboard trees. The 12-inch tall grandfather clock Avon bottle doesn’t smell like… clock. Nor does the spool of thread with thimble cap portend of a specific olfactory delight. In fact, most of Avon’s figural decanters seem perplexing to those of us who understand the marketing of fragrance… But still, men’s boots do suggest unpleasant scents. So I wrinkle my nose.

Perhaps my favorite – and by favorite, I mean most giggle-worthy – Avon men’s figural fragrance bottle is the weather vane – cupola combo.

In case you aren’t familiar with a cupola, it’s a small structure on the top of a building. They were used as lookouts, or to hold a bell or clock. Today, these small clocktowers typically provide ventilation or are purely decorative, perhaps holding up a weather vane. Just like this Avon bottle of aftershave. A decorative barn-red cupola topped with a black horse weather vane. “Thanks for thinking of me, grandma!”

Oddly enough, the weather vane – cupola combo container holds Deep Woods or Wild Country aftershave. And neither of those cologne names – i.e. the scent fantasy of a rugged outdoorsman who can’t be tamed – sounds like it belongs to a dude who wants to be domesticated by a farmhouse decor style.

This bottle does, however, lend itself to a gift-seeking grandma or & aunty who doesn’t know what to get a gent over the age of say 12.

Clearly, Avon has banked a lot of bucks from grandmas… But I think most folks would prefer the traditional $5 in a greeting card.

Feel free to share this with a grandma.

This Week's Story Avon Podcast Fargo Fair Oaks Antiques
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The wifey’s new website devoted to her art & handmade items has launched: Luna.Tique.Boutique.

While that was a lot of hands-on creative work, it’s not the same level of physical dirt as creating the mixed media artwork!

While LunaTique art is definitely art work with a goth or dark edge, Halloween also approacheth – so it’s only natural that a lot of black paint is used. And not only the rather easily removed acrylic sort either. Lots & lots of black spray paint is used.

For those who know the pains of trying to get spray paint not only off the skin of the hands but off of (and beneath) fingernails, this little “how to” is for you.

black spray paint on hand

The first step in removing the spray paint is to squirt on some Goo Gone Spray Gel. Most antique dealers and junkers have this in their cleaning kits. (It is a great cleaning tool – just don’t use it on plastics!)

Just a few squirts on each hand, then rub hands together as if washing. Feel free to use a nailbrush or toothbrush to get around and under those fingernails.

 

Step two: Wash your hands with Dawn dishwashing liquid – and  before you rinse your hands clean – use your soapy hands to wipe down the bottles (both the Dawn bottle and the Goo Gone trigger bottle!)

Dawn does a great job of cutting through the oily Goo Gone so your hands aren’t all greasy feeling when done. However, if you don’t have any Dawn on hand (no pun intended!) and use some other soap or liquid dish soap (which likely will require more than one washing as Dawn really is the best), you can get that oily greasy feeling gone by squirting your hands with window cleaner or any standard all-purpose cleaner like 409. Just spray onto your hands, rub together, and rinse.

This photo shows my nearly clean hand after washing. While rinsing I just use my fingernails to slide the remaining paint off & down the drain. (Not so easy to photograph hands covered in paint or the washing process without ruining my phone – but I tried!)

 

clean hands with Goo Gone & Dawn
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We will be at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market’s annual summer flea market this weekend! Not only are we bringing in fresh finds from farms (& other places) for the flea market outside – but we will be having a huge sale inside too: 50% off! That’s half off all items with vendor code YES, in our spaces & cases. (Unless already marked down, of course.)

Saturday, June 20th, from 10 am until 6 pm

Sunday, June 21st, from noon until 6 pm.

No early sales.

50% off Fair Oaks Antiques at Fargo Antiques & Repruposed Market's Annual Summer Flea Market
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Someone made a nifty little list or directory of great places to shop for vintage in the Fargo-Moorhead area – and we are super psyched to be on it!

There’s also a nice little area on what happened to some of the old shops which have closed. Go check it out! Vintage Travels In Fargo-Moorhead.

Directory of vintage shopping & junking in Fargo, North Dakota & Moorhead, Minnesota
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Given the current situation, the dreaded coronavirus, we’ve seen an explosion in DIY and crafting — including a throw-back to Victorian hobbies, such as scrapbooking.

We’re no different; we’ve been putting in a lot more hours in the studio – and not just for custom pieces, but been listing items in our handmade Etsy shop, LunaTiqueBazaar, too.

And we’ve been keeping busy with our crafty-DIY supply shop, KindnessOfStrangers, including restocking with new old stock embroidery kits featuring kitsch-tastic wishing-wells, owls, & mushroom designs!

NOS retro vintage embroidery craft kits

But I, the wifey, came here to blog today to share some images of a sweet old scrapbook we once had in our possession. It was a book compiled by a woman who clearly had spent a long time in 1955 recovering from a hip injury.

vintage greeting cards in old scrapbook

Along with the kitschy old “get well” greeting cards, and an odd note from well-wisher about her icky toe (see below – if you wish!!), the maker of the book had created delightful drawings, including this “stepping stones to recovery” one.

Stepping Stones Leading To Recovery old scrapbook art

Note that this vintage scrapbook page below combines drawing or coloring with glued in images – charming & so much like today’s junk journals, right?!

It’s no wonder so many people today have joined in the junk journal craze!

For those who are not familiar with the phrase “junk journal” – it’s a handmade book, usually made & embellished with found & vintage items, the pages of which you fill with writings, artworks, clippings, doodles, stickers – whatever you wish! Rather combining the best of scrapbooks, diaries, & art journals. So many creative options!

red velvet junk journal
handmade vintage junk journal

(I’ve also written a bit more about junk journals over at The FARM’s blog – there’s a video too!)

The junk journals I sell are often called “naked” because they are created with plenty of blank pages to fill in. As you can see in this video I made. (I am so much better at making journals than videos lol)

Because so many of my extended family members are unable to see one another now (unless it’s on Zoom or something), I have spent most of April making nearly a dozen junk journals & mailing them out as gifts. In fact, we’ve often shown-off some of our junk journal pages in Zoom chats!

The journals were so well received, that I’ve spent the past few weeks taking custom orders for handmade junk journals their friends! Proof that everyone loves – & needs – a creative outlet.

Art is good for the soul.

Like Kevin Smith says,

Only someone who doesn’t understand art tells an artist their art somehow failed. How the fuck can art fail? Art can’t be graded, because it’s going to mean something different to everyone. You can’t apply a mathematical absolute to art because there is no one formula for self-expression.

It’s a quote I put into each one of the handmade junk journals I made for family & friends the past few weeks – hopefully, they find it as inspiring as I do!

For those interested… The icky toe news!

Dear Cousins - icky toe letter
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I fell in love with Iris Apfel when I spotted her documentary on Netflix – I sent everyone to watch it. Whether you adore vintage costume jewelry, fashion & textiles, whimsical decor, or spunky old broads, you’ll love Iris. Most of the world now does. She’s become an icon. And most of what she exudes is knowledge that every self-styled vintage lover already knows. Following her is really following yourself. Rock on, Iris! Rock on all of us!

PS Iris is more than an icon – she’s put in the years of work too.

Iris was a decorator and textile designer for the better part of her career. In 1950 she and her husband, Carl, opened Old World Weavers, a textile firm they ran until 1992, servicing everyone from Emily Post to Dorothy Draper. Iris also was responsible for many White House restorations, including those of the Truman, Kennedy, and Clinton administrations.
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Today is National Beer Can Appreciation Day, honoring the day beer was first put into cans in 1935, and the Farm is celebrating with a New Year’s Old Beers event – featuring a book signing with Alicia Underlee Nelson, of Prairie Style File! She will be signing copies of her book, North Dakota Beer: A Heady History at the shop from 4 pm to 6 pm.

If you want to get in the mood, here’s an interesting article on beer can history: Meet Archaeology’s Beer Can Man.

Also, we brought in some killer vintage beer items for this event!

Circa the 1950s, a Schlitz globe light (incomplete but rare as all heck & cool to boot!), and a 1963 Pabst 3-D advertising piece featuring golf!

Lots more breweriana & beer collectibles in the shop too – and we dealers keep restocking as this has been super popular! So come check it out – and, don’t worry, if you can’t make it today, Alicia will be back on Saturday, January 25th, from 1 pm to 3 pm to do more book signing!

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