Friday, November 23, 2012

The Skinny: Nancy Drew is Eighty-Two!

They are easy to spot--those trademark yellow spines. We see them on a weekly basis, either on our own shopping trips, or in neat little stacks on the front counter of the shop where we work. She may have gotten her start in 1930, but Nancy Drew is clearly still going strong.

 From 1930-1961, Nancy's stories (#1-#38) were bound in blue, with a graphic dust jacket. The yellow binding began in 1962. And it's not just the covers that evolved. The plots, characters, even Nancy herself changed through those first 56 books. Initially, Nancy's best friend is Helen Corning. Bess Marvin and George Fayne take over as Nancy's closest crew by book 5, and remain essential characters for the rest of the series. Ned Nickerson is introduced in number 7, but Burt and Dave (beaus of Bess & George) don't enter the group until book 20 of the original series. When the early books were revised, the fellows were written into several of them.

In 1938 and 1939, Warner released four Nancy Drew movies, starring Bonita Granville, which further strengthened the popularity of Ms. Drew and her friends (even if her boyfriend in the movies is Ted instead of Ned).  These films take elements from the books, so the plots are a bit of hodgepodge, but highly entertaining.

Some of the changes throughout the initial series are due to the fact that the author, Carolyn Keene, was at least eight different people, hired as ghost writers. Nancy begins the series as a vivacious, adventurous blonde, and transitions to a cool, perfect girl with more skills than her entire social circle (Nancy can do anything!), and never a reddish-blonde hair out of place. Other changes to the series came in the form of revisions to the early titles, which smoothed out racial issues, updated appropriate social standards, and beefed up, or completely replaced, the original plot lines. For this reason, a side-by-side comparison of Nancy Drew books often yields different cover art, different page and chapter numbers, different internal illustrations, and completely different characters, even though your two books have the same title.
The Bungalow MysteryThe Bungalow Mystery

Nancy now has over 500 adventures under her belt, and has been published in at least 26 different languages, but those first 56 books are, without question, THE Nancy Drew series. However, her international popularity cannot be denied, even if many countries have changed her name (the French know her as Alice, and in other nations she is Kitty). The Danish seem to think that she is sexy:

The Clue in the Diary
#7, The Clue in the Diary

And, of course, Nancy also tends to be highly collectible in alternative formats:

lobby card for one of the films

Madame Alexander Nancy Drew dolls

Earliest version of the Nancy Drew board game

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On the Radar -- Walk the Line

Dolce & Gabbana, Spring 2013

Continuing on in our look towards spring, the Spring 2013 runways were covered with stripes -- from Marc Jacobs to Michael Kors to Dolce & Gabbana.  Since stripes are one of those classic elements that never really seems to go away, I thought I'd just give a glimpse at how they have been reinterpreted.

They can be bold and graphic:

Marc Jacobs Spring 2013

Diagonal and bright:

Issey Miyake Spring 2013 from WWD

Sheer and Gauzy:

Dior Spring 2013

Summery and classic:

D&G Spring 2013

Try vintage to get your fix, like this bracelet from Jennie's Junque on Etsy:

Or this 1970s shirt from our shop!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Junk Love Monday: The Distant Ten

So, we've given away our top shops, big and small, in North Carolina. This week, we whisper into your ear the ten best shops that we've encountered while traveling in other states. Again, in no particular order, we present the following delicacies for your enjoyment:

1. Greater Columbus Antique Mall, Columbus OH
One of our favorite shops that we've ever been to. The layout is confusing, but a fun sort of adventure if you don't mind stairs. They do have an intercom system, but if you need more than one type of help, be sure and speak fast. Otherwise, a speedy employee will appear silently at your elbow, but you'll have to send him to the front desk and back again if you want him to be able to help you with anything else. Example: we needed 3 cases opened in the same area of the shop, but before we could finish describing what we needed over the intercom, someone was there with just one of the needed keys. We had to wait for him to go back for the other two keys, and by the time he got back, we had spotted something in yet another showcase. We tried to catch him over the intercom, but he was just too fast. Those people get their exercise....

Check out their blog:

2. The Factory Antique Mall, Verona VA
Over 90,000 square feet of stuff. We tried, and failed, to do this mall at a quickstep in 90 minutes. One entire zone went unexplored, but alas, even antique mall employees should get to close up shop and go home every now and then.

Their website:

3. Ingrid's Antique Mall, Santee SC
Located at the Santee Outlets, a mostly-dead outlet mall with fewer than 10 shops still open. Ingrid's was hopping, though, and we had to closely monitor our competition so that we didn't miss out on some fine merchandise. Willing to negotiate, and very nice about it. I got 2 pieces of Rookwood for less than $100, and some giant nesting dolls, which bring me joy every time I look at them.

4.South Charleston Antique Mall, Charleston WV
The people here were very nice, and we found some fantastic deals. Best find: a vintage blue spun acrylic light fixture for...well, perhaps I'd better not say. I will say that we spent less on the light fixture than we did filling up the gas tank on our way out of town.


5. Medina Antique Mall, Medina OH
Huge. They regulate their merchandise--items on the main floor have to be at least 40 years old, and there is a separate wing for stuff in need of TLC. They do not take offers. Do not ask for a discount. It makes them unhappy. But, we found some great things, most notably, two framed pinups and some great vintage clothing.


6. 57th Street Antique Mall, Sacramento CA
Part of "Antique Row", where you can park once, eat at Evan's Kitchen (fabulous!), and shop all day. Pure California bliss....

7. Stuff SF, San Francisco CA
I still get palpitations when I remember strolling across San Francisco on a sunny day, not even looking for a junk shop, and then--there it was! I spent several serious moments mentally calculating shipping costs, extra baggage fees, and whether or not an ice bucket would fit into my carry-on, before settling on some unframed pinups. But oh, the memories!

Check out their Facebook page:

8. Pages Past, Kingston NY
My favorite used bookstore ever. The proprietor makes good conversation, but not too much--I love a guy who knows when to leave me alone with the books. Bonus--it is an easy walk to Stella's Italian Restaurant, quite possibly our favorite Italian restaurant (outside of Italy, of course). Books and carbs and cheese!!!!

9. Nostalgia, Knoxville TN
Already mentioned in our previous post about the Tennessee trip. Fabulous!


10. Old Raggedy Ann Antiques, Etlan VA
We found this shop while taking the scenic route on a snowy morning as we meandered toward Pennsylvania. It was the first shop we had seen (the first sign of people, actually), so we figured that it was a good place to stop, stretch our legs, and get a mini junk buzz. It turned out to be one of our top stops from that entire trip. Plus, the area is gorgeous.