DALLAS or Bust!

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>This December finds me dashing through the snow back home to Oklahoma to spend time with friends and family for the holiday season! In addition to stopping off in New York City to visit a friend and do some whirlwind Christmas shopping – this leads to me to ponder, “Is it still Christmas shopping if all the shopping I do is for myself?”I’m also taking a few days to do the Diva Loca in Dallas!!! Although I grew up in Oklahoma, a stones throw away from Texas, I rarely crossed the border. So when it came to shopping in Dallas I didn’t have a huge repertoire of addresses on file.

Victorian Cobweb came to the rescue, posting some toriancobweb.blogspot.com/2009/11/girls-trip-to-dallas-tips.html” target=”_blank”>great antique shopping resources! Thanks Victorian Cobweb!

To read Victorian Cobweb’s Dallas Antique Shopping tips – toriancobweb.blogspot.com/2009/11/girls-trip-to-dallas-tips.html” target=”_blank”>click here!

Have a Happy Holiday Season,
The Antiques Diva™

PS: As always, Diva Tours is closed during December & January! We’ve some great antique shopping tours planned for Spring 2010 – email toma@antiquesdiva.com for details.

Guest Blog: The Antiques Diva Meets Victorian Cobweb

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Today’s blog post comes to you from my Name Twin! A “Name Twin” is someone who has the same first name as you do. If you’re named Lisa, or Elizabeth, Amy or Jessica, finding others who share your name might be old hat, but when you have an unusual, somewhat bizarre, first name like I do it’s an utter surprise (and delight) when you find another person with your same first name! Though you know me by “The Diva”, in real life my first name is Toma and so when a few years ago I crossed paths with another girl from Oklahoma named Toma who happened to be as antiques-obsessed as me, I knew we were destined to become friends.

Over the past few years we’ve emailed regularly – tomas-and-round-top-texas-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>The Two Toma’s going back and forth, modern day pen pals and it’s been such a pleasure. Last year The Other Toma and I had a chance to meet face-to-face and we couldn’t stop gabbing!! But before I babble on, let me stop and turn this blog post over to The Other Toma – we’ll let her tell you our story!

So Ta Ta from this girl named Toma (aka The Antiques Diva) and Hello from My Name Twin Toma, author of toriancobweb.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”>Victorian Cobweb!

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to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 88px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SxjRDYtMNoI/AAAAAAAAD6E/v7-QmY6FQMo/s400/victorianblogbfbloggbanner.jpg” border=”0″ />Did you know that the International Pen Friends actually started in Sweden in the 1920’s, came to the USA and was promoted at the 1933 World’s Fair with Parker Pens and resurfaced in the 60’s as Pen Pals? I didn’t know this until recently and I am continually surprised & interested in what one can find on the internet. I love clicking my way through the internet, discovering one history then another, with one story leading to something else like antique Parker Pens. For me, this is how history is learned and interests are formed, collections are started, and friends are made.

to 10px; WIDTH: 129px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 200px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SxjRC2Y2xbI/AAAAAAAAD50/bRi8e3Din-A/s400/the+two+tomas.jpg” border=”0″ />I got the chance to meet my “21st Century Pen Pal” (my term for a pen pal via internet e-mail) this past holiday season and am looking forward to reconnecting in person this Dec 2009. As those who follow the wonderful blog of The Antiques Diva knows, she is my “name twin”. And that’s how this whole thing came about – our name – Toma.

to 10px; WIDTH: 316px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SxjQ6ZRn4gI/AAAAAAAAD5k/IWGMfXPvuEU/s400/boot.gif” border=”0″ />About 2 or 3 years ago she was in my home town visiting her family and she happened by a little boot store that I pitch in to help on occasion and saw a Christmas stocking with her/my name written on it! Too cool she thought, and for those of you who actually know the Diva know that in her wonderful bubbly-inquisitive-outgoing Diva self had to find out who it was that had her name! So she left a card with the proprietor for me (come to find out she rarely has her calling cards on her person – so clearly her remembering her cards meant we were fated to meet) and the next thing I knew I was emailing her. The whole block (all friends of mine) was abuzz with the “other” Toma as I came to find out a day or two after her shopping trip – everyone was asking and telling me about this young woman visiting from Europe with my name!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 321px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SxjQ6jV17DI/AAAAAAAAD5s/xu3yjyvU5GI/s400/europe.jpg” border=”0″ />So for the past 2 years we have kept up a steady email campaign back and forth – learning about what makes the other Toma tick and along the way finding out that there are numerous similarities in our lives besides our given names. In the meantime I have learned about a lifestyle (what she calls “expat life”) and I’ve been exposed to all sorts of things I had never had reason to think about before! Since meeting the Diva, I learned about geography in a way that my school teachers never taught, numerous other things along the way, but the most important thing is I gained a wonderful friend!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 286px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SxjRDIF5HwI/AAAAAAAAD58/XQQ8c14j1-U/s400/tomas+tuplip+vase.jpg” border=”0″ />This past Christmas 2008 we were fortunate to meet each other and we’re already looking forward to our Dec 2009 encounter! The Diva last year was living in The Netherlands and upon meeting she brought me a beautiful present from Holland! She gave me a Dutch tulip vase and I delved into studying it. As soon as the first blossom appeared (it wasn’t a tulip, but I was so excited to use my vase I couldn’t wait), I plucked the beautiful yellow daffodils that dot the old homesteads and landscapes here.

to 10px; WIDTH: 337px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1QAjajcsI/AAAAAAAAD7E/CVxA10v8em4/s400/Dutch_flag.gif” border=”0″ />When we met, The Diva recanted a bit of history about the Tulip industry in Holland and the odd little Tulip Vases that I thought was fascinating and right up my alley as I love a little bit of history, mystery, intrigue and of course an antique. So, I went to the internet for a bit more information and was surprised at what I found!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 267px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sx1QA_Hr-hI/AAAAAAAAD7M/PcNb2ZLSPow/s400/tulip%2520bulbs.jpg” border=”0″ />In the early 16th Century (which would be the 1500’s) the Tulips came to the Netherlands by way of Turkey and as such they were very expensive. This led to greed and theft of the exotic flower bulbs which in turn fueled Holland’s tulip industry for years to come. This inspired the Dutch potters to make very special multi-spouted vases just for the prized blooms. Only one of the vases pictured below is an antique but all are unique. Enjoy!

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Tulip Vase from Freshome

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DeWit Unica Delftware at Dutch Village Shopping

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Web Gallery of Art
1690’s Royal Collection, Hampton Court

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Dutch Souvenirs
Fun and whimsical vase.

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Tulip vase Piet

Take a moment out of your busy day to stop and smell the flowers! And my advice is to find your name twin and start your own pen pal relationship!

Thanks for letting me guest blog!

The Other Toma,
toriancobweb.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”>VictorianCobweb

* Dutch flag pic courtesy of www.kindergartenteacher.info and the tulip bulbs pic is from www.insidesocal.com

Guest Blog – Estate Sale How To’s & Etiquette

A Quick Note From The Diva:

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Today’s Guest Blog is written by my friend tomas-and-round-top-texas-antiques.html” target=”_blank”>(and Name Twin) Toma, author of the toriancobweb.blogspot.com/2008/11/out-about-in-antique-malls.html” target=”_blank”>Victorian Cobweb blog. I call her “The Estate Sale Diva” for her knowledge is so extensive and her list of local contacts so impressive that she earns the title of “Diva of the Month” or as we say here in Holland, “Diva van de Maanden”! She has only recently started her blog, but has already received rave reviews as she lists dates for fairs & sales in the Midwestern and Southwestern parts of the USA. I’m proud of you Name Twin Toma for what you’ve started – keep up the good work!

Ta Ta From The Antiques Diva and Hello From Victorian Cobweb!

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Victorian Cobweb writes:

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Of late I have had so many people ask me, “What is an estate sale?”, “How do you do estate sales?”, “Do you take a number every time you come?” and “How do they work?” For Antiques Diva Readers, I will try to dispel some of the mystery surrounding one of my favorite pastimes!

Usually in your local newspapers or county shoppers, estate sales will be listed in the classifieds under garage sales, for sale, announcements, estate sale, etc. The ads will usually list the company’s contact information, sometimes not. Sales will be hosted by family, friends or sometimes a church, but most will be hosted by an Estate Sale & Liquidation company that is made up of professionals with extensive backgrounds in antiques and appraisals, estates and liquidations. (Stay tuned for another blog on how these professionals get the estate ready for sale.) Some companies will do early sales prior to the actual published start of the sale. It all depends on the company and the contracts with their clients.

Typically, estate sale ads will read: “Numbers will be given at 8 and sale starts at 9″……this is when you will want to be there. If it say’s 8am arrive around 7:30 (or before) to be one of the first to get inside the house. Numbers are only given the first morning for the first couple of hours. This is to keep the influx of people at a minimum for safety and obviously theft. Your main goal is to see the contents of the house, so you have an idea as to what’s there. I hate to miss anything, so I go slowly through the rooms looking closely at everything. If it is a really full house I will go back several times over the course of the 2 or 3 days the sale is going on, as you invariably find more goodies. And as things are sold the company will rearrange and fill in – it’s all a part of the marketing and set up.

Some people like to come early – early bird gets the worm- some come late. I look for what I think is the best sale out of the listings for any given weekend and then make the others as I can. Also, look through the ads for garage/yard/tag sale for more treasure stops along the way. I prioritize the sales in order of importance, then distance from each other – the best first then distance. Get to know the people hosting the sales – get on their email or call lists – ask questions – don’t be afraid to see if you can come early (they might just let you – you never know). Let them know what you’re looking for. If they know that you are a serious buyer you’ll be one of the first they call when they run across something you’re interested in.

Usually, the first day is full price, afternoon of the second day is 25% off, and the last day is 50% off. Most sales will also take offers on items. Don’t forget your manners – drive safely, be courteous of the neighbors lawns, etc., don’t park in others drives or block them. Always remember this I supposed to be fun, take a buddy and make a day of it.

I once went to a sale that was hosted by the church of one of their dearly departed. The lady that had passed had willed the entire house and contents to the church. Let me tell you that was a rather different Sale! I had heard a rumor that the first day was only for the members of the church (the ad in the newspaper had not mentioned this – but being nosey and curious I went anyway) I walked in and was doing my usual perusing of the goodies when someone asked me if I was a member of their church! The thought crossed my mind to lie as I had seen a number of treasures that I coveted, but I didn’t really relish the thought of being damned to hell over a trinket, so I meekly tucked my tail, said “No” and walked out lest lightning strike! I came back the following day when the “public” were allowed only to find my treasures gone!

Another pretty strange sale was when I was in line waiting for the doors to open and a lady came out with a large bowl and asked us to draw a piece of paper out – each piece had a number on it – the number you drew was when you got to come in the house! So if you got there first and you picked #37 – 36 people went before you! Argh! One guy took a peak as he drew his slip of paper and the lady banned him from the sale! Boooo! Needless to say he was rather furious at the whole mess as were most of us. Several left and some of us stayed. Heck, we were already there and had waited that long so why not stay for the whole show!

I hope this has helped in some small way to dispel some of the mysteries of going to Estate Sales!
Thanks Antiques Diva for letting me write to your readers!

Happy Treasuring,

Victorian Cobweb