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Thrifty Thanksgiving

 Mark and I hosted Thanksgiving this year and as I looked around at the faces I was grateful for, I  noticed that the thrift store needed to be thanked, too.  Our home would not have been nearly as festive without it. From the tablecloth found at a church sale, to the funky dining room chairs I discovered in a barn while doing my "real job" as a real estate appraiser. To the retro serving pieces that kept the side dishes warm. And the coffee maker and mugs that dispensed our after dinner coffee...as we all unbuttoned our pants while simultaneously eying up the pies. And the pumpkiny decor. Even my cousin's 1-year old enjoyed my thrifting of this busy-barn toy.  $5 can get you a lot of giggles. Unfortunately, I forgot to light this little pinecone candle I'd found at a yard sale this summer. I'll save it for Christmas. Meanwhile, on the other side of the thrift store shelf - I did not decorate with this little whatchamicallit because I, frankly, didn't know wha

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Tips from our favorite shop keeper

Real or Reproduction

As you are hunting around for treasure at yard sales and flea markets, you will come across things that make you wonder if they are original or reproductions. It can be hard to tell.

These are a couple tip offs.

One, does it look a little worn? It should if its really antique or vintage. Even the best kept china got moved around in the cabinet, the doll's vinyl body and hair faded a bit, or the lunch box got a little rust around the hinges. If it looks shiny and new, chances are it is.

Two, are there a lot of them? If you are in a shop or flea market stall and there are ten of the items you've been looking for and haven't been able to find...they have probably been manufactured. Unless you are at a reputable dealer who specializes in that item, then you may have hit the jackpot for your particular collectible.

A good way to gauge if it is a reputable dealer is they will be happy to answer your questions about if the item is authentic or not, and how you can tell. A dealer with a passion and knowledge about that item, will enjoy explaining that all to you. A disreputable dealer, not so much.

Carol Ann Miller
Proprietor, Miller's Fine Antiques