Posted in Uncategorized

Mad about Mod: Mod Bettie in Today’s Charlotte Woman

Today's Charlotte Woman: March 2014 Risk Takers and Challenge Seekers  It’s always nerve-wracking when someone says they want come and take pictures of your  house. (I’ve even been known to attempt to blog myself out of this feeling.)  Oh I fully realize my house is non-conventional by traditional standards and that’s really not what bugs me. It’s just a really  fast way to hammer home oh-so-quickly just how many unfinished house projects you have on your plate! When you live in any kind of an older house I think this is probably always an issue…and sometimes all it takes is one phone call for you see your that long tome of to-do’s scrolling down the wall in BIG LETTERS in front of you.

Well thankfully all the fab people at Today’s Charlotte Woman Magazine were just great when they came to do the interview and pictures that appear in the March 2014 Issue. Despite the impending two-day snowpocalypse that was in early process–you can see the snow outside the window in some of the pics taken by Ken Noblezada–it’s a great piece!  The article “Mad about Mod” by Kathleen Conroy highlights the fun work I get to do with the Habitat Metrolina ReStores as well as my new venture at Sleepy Poet and a lot of stuff in between. Best of all, she calls me “June Cleaver, with an edge. Minus the pearls.” I’m probably more of a ‘Joan’ than a ‘June’- but either way,  tons of  fun to consider!

Mad about Mod by Kathleen Conroy
Mad about Mod by Kathleen Conroy

Click here to read the article “Mad About Mod” that starts on page 43.

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Posted in ReSelling

For me, it’s about the Story

I had an epiphany recently. My theatre life and my vintage life are more connected that I originally thought…

When I started thrifting around for my 1956 ranch house I would often see great items that I knew my friends and others collected and might want. I often saw items that needed a little  cleaning up,  but after I spent that time, they looked perfectly ready for a new life. I also became very aware that many people wanted to have vintage items in their homes, but just don’t always have the time to go out seeking like I do.  Also, I obviously can’t keep everything I find, but the treasure hunt is an aspect of vintage collecting that I truly enjoy. I opened my Mod Bettie Etsy shop last year and became dedicated to finding midcentury items for resale. Selling online has been successful for me;  I got great feedback from buyers and but got most excited when I would occasionally get a personal note from someone that was happy with their purchase and that was awesome. I sold some items locally in Charlotte and would get to meet the buyers face-to-face; I realized I really loved hearing about the ‘why’ behind their purchase and chatting with them a bit about the items.   Even though I have always been a fan of the swanky style and clever design of the midcentury time period , I was becoming completely charmed by people’s evident connections to the items through their  personal experiences.

I participated in my first Vintage Charlotte Pop-Up Market last June and realized that I loved meeting other vintage and midcentury resellers and being a part of a community of people that were dedicated to re-homing items while also typically satisfying their own obsessions with vintage collecting. During the event itself, my most favorite part was watching people view the vintage  items and actually being able to see the moment the memories appear across their faces-I just LOVED this! The selling was fun too, but truly secondary to the reactions and conversations I was having with really fun vintage-loving customers like myself. I did an second an (even more) successful pop up event at Christmas with Vintage Charlotte and that sealed it for me. I wanted a booth, and I knew where I wanted it be.

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I have shopped for what seems like years at Sleepy Poet  – Charlotte’s biggest and best Antique Mall. When I moved into my new house near my beloved Park Road Shopping Center it became so convenient to go there on a regular rotation with some of my other favorite places. Mr. ModBettie and I would often stop in on our Friday nite date night pre-dinner to look at all the fab vintage goodies. The fact that when first dated we used to do this out at the flea market on weekends is not lost on me- I’m sure there’s a bit of nostalgia working on me there too. You don’t always have to buy- many times it’s just fun to go and nose around and see what you can see, look at how it’s displayed, dream about future  house projects and chat about it of course. Perfect date nite to me!

So starting in February of this year, and thanks to tons of help from the supportive Mr. Modbettie, I now have a booth at one of my favorite places to shop!

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It’s on Aisle 18, down from the awesome vintage vinyl  section and behind the fun clothing and housewares at  Kitch-y Cool Vintage. It’s painted midcentury mod aqua blue so it’s pretty hard to miss.  The best part:  I’m selling what I love: midcentury housewares, mod wall art, kitschy kitchen items (Pyrex! Fire King!) swanky barware, just in time for the Mad Men season Premiere-and more…

ModBettie Booth on Aisle 18 at Sleepy Poet
ModBettie Booth on Aisle 18 at Sleepy Poet

I had great first month, despite the snow here in NC and it’s been so much fun  seeing pictures of re-homed items from my booth in their new spaces on my ModBettie Facebook page and  instagram feed too- (Are you on ig? It’s great for vintage and midcentury décor, fashion, ideas and more. Find me there @modbettie – I love to preview items headed to the store! ).   I have felt really welcomed by the selling community and friendly staff at Sleepy Poet– something I always appreciated about them when I was a customer there. I do love a good hunt and I have already been successful at sourcing some specific items for clients around town.  Hint: a new restaurant opening in  Charlotte in April will have vintage chicken salt and pepper shakers all sourced by ModBettie!

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Looking for a specific mod vintage item? Contact me directly at modbettie (at) gmail (dot) com and I will go on the hunt for you. Just wanna browse around? Come and see my booth on Aisle 18 at Sleepy Poet! And if you catch me there please say hi- if you’re in a mood to discuss your midcentury favorites, know that I’m always going to want to hear YOUR story….

Posted in carpet, Recycle, Vintage 50s

These are a few of my favorite (vintage cleaning) things…

novelty cleaning prods

When I recently did the February ReStore ReNew Event on Midcentury 101 at the Gaston Habitat ReStore I had a extremely popular section on care, cleaning and maintenance of midcentury items.

So, I am taking the good advice of my ReStore blogsister, Jennifer Burnham and recapping my very favorite top three items to revive, clean and care for midcentury and vintage goodies. This is just really good info to pass along to fellow vintage lovers for several reasons because not only is it important to be able to keep your 40, 50 or 60+ year old items maintained, but it’s also very helpful to be able to quickly identify what can be cleaned off an item vs. a permanent flaw that you’ll have to live with when shopping in resale and vintage stores.

(….read the rest of the article  written as a guest post for the Metrolina ReStores Blog.)

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Happy Cleaning!

Posted in Recycle, reupholster

Creative Rule-Breaking Breathes New Life into Danish Mod Chair

(This was a originally a guest post on the Metrolina Habitat Restore Blogsite)

Having a the name of a great reupholster is a must when hunting for midcentury furniture deals. Due to the age of these midcentury pieces the chance that 40, 50 or 60 year old fabric, cushions and upholstery will still be in good shape  when you happen upon them are very slim! It pays to have someone that understands midcentury style and can help you see beyond the current fabric and even possibly the current outer structure of a piece to be able to give it a functional and enjoyable second (or third, or fourth) life for you. Even something as simple as new cushions can turn an mediocre piece of furniture into a fabulous favorite overnight! This is typically easy, fast and less expensive, because after all–it’s just cushions! But oh what a difference it can make….

Case in point: I recently I found this fantastic Danish Modern chair a local ReStore. I actually gasped out loud when I saw it; Danish Mod, in my experience seems a little more scarce and elusive to find. The chair had a white sheet-type Velcro-attached slipcover on the existing original cushions:

 

This white slipcover had been placed over the original and very stained orange tweedy fabric. See how I strategically placed this pillow to hide some of the staining:

Maybe THE most important piece of info here is that the bones of this chair were fantastic. The slats on the back of the chair and the strapping underneath the seat were in not only in tact but in strong shape:

The wood was clearly marked ‘TEAK’ on the underside with a model number-and although it had tons o’ cobwebs and dust balls all over it, it cleaned up beautifully with a little Howards Feed and Wax:

So then I took the cushions to my new favorite upholsterer, Dennis Caldron at Revived Furniture Gallery in Denver, NC.  Even though Dennis will reupholster all types of furniture, his personal love and his furniture  gallery is full of fab midcentury modern furniture. He suggested that we reinforce the basically good cushions with Dacron- they weren’t crumbling or falling apart so they were reusable. He also suggested several fabrics that I truly liked from the large inventory that he has onsite at his gallery. These were the final three to which I narrowed it down out of the dozen or so that he sent me:

…..but then he showed me one in his gallery in Denver that I just LOVED on sight and knew would work well in the room.

And here’s the fun rule-break story of this re-do:

When I chose this fabric out of Dennis’ inventory I really was drawn to it upon first glance; what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was actually looking at the back or dare I say ‘wrong” side of the fabric. The opposing- or “right” side of this fabric is much lighter and more baby blueish. To me the ‘wrong’  side of this fabric was just so much more interesting! In this pic below you can see both sides of this fabric; above the zipper is the ‘wrong’ side and below the zipper is the ‘right’ side:

So who can’t  tell the right side of the fabric from the wrong, right? (Me, evidently!)  But then Dennis told me he had used the back side of this particular fabric before on another project and that it had turned out beautifully. Well that just confirmed my choice, and I went with it! Right side, wrong side…what does it really matter anyways as long as it works for you and your space? And boy do I extra-love someone who is willing to break rules with me….

So here’s the final result:

Wowza, right? It’s so perfect with  the colors in the shade of the fiberglass lamp, compliments the wall color and was just the right choice all the way around. Sometimes wrong can be oh-so-right!  Here’s a little progression:

What a huge difference freshly reupholstered cushions can make. And since I now have Dennis on permanent speed dial, we’ve got some other great creative projects in the works that I cannot wait to show you down the line.

Okay so tell me: what rules have you broken in your home decorating? I’d just love to hear…