Monday, February 27, 2012

Home Again

7490 S. Holden Street

1019 E. 2100 S.

Mon.-Fri. 10-6
Sat. 10-5
Closed Sundays

Accepts consignment: Mon.-Fri. 11-4 Sat. 11-3

I can’t remember on which serendipitous occasion I came around the corner of Holden street and spotted Home Again…oh wait, yes I can. I’d just come back from a doctor’s appointment. Anyway, when I saw the green brick façade with “consignment” written on it; I did a 180˚ and pulled into the parking lot. I now own two leather pillows, a small cabinet, and small writing desk type thingey—all courtesy of Home Again.

I love the idea of buying old junk and re-finishing or painting it to create something marvelously quirky and unique. Check out Mandi Gubler’s Vintage Revivals blog for instructions for making genius Thrift Shop Glam projects. But my problem is actually getting around to doing the project. I have two kitchen chairs—one from D.I. and one from a junk sale—that have remained in their junky state for about two years now.

Home Again provides finished projects. Much of the furniture is vintage or retro, but has been given the sanding and fresh paint needed to make it house-ready. My Home Again cabinet is the result of an emergency run to the store, hours before I had guests coming. I just couldn’t let them see my home stereo system balanced precariously on cardboard boxes.

Home Again carries items as small as a china tea cup and as large as an armoire. Home décor, home furnishings, and a lot of personality. The prices are excellent. Not as low as a thrift store—these are finished pieces—but much better than buying brand new.

I like my furniture solid and real. I love texture. I like the feel of real wood. That’s not to say I don’t have pasteboard in my house. Unfortunately, I too own the “build-it-yourself” bookshelves. You know, the ones that don’t require tools for assembly and that shatter like a plate glass window in an action movie if you lean on it. But when I can afford it, I like to buy “real” furniture made in a day when furniture was meant to last. Home Again makes that possible.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Going to the Mall--1920's style

Sandy Antique Mall
8672 S. State Street
Sandy, Utah

Recently a friend asked if she could borrow my vintage hats for a Young Womens activity. I'm the kind of person that has a collection of vintage hats. At least I was. Last year, in a misguided attempt to clear away the clutter, I gave my collection away.

I felt bad about not being able to provide a bonnet, boater, or bandeau. Well, actually, I did have October I purchased a black pill box hat and attached a stuffed raven and black roses, but it hardly seemed appropriate in January.

To the Sandy Antique Mall! The place with the polar bear outside, and the REAL grizzly inside.

I found a couple of reasonbly priced hats, some porcelain ornaments that would be perfect for my mother's Christmas tree, and set of circa 1940 bathroom accessories--little china jars marked "cotton" and "creme"--that will be perfect on a mirrored boudoir tray. I also found some wonderful old children's books, cloth-covered with their titles etched in gold. I didn't make all of my purchases right then. Some I bookmarked in my mind and crossed my fingers that they wouldn't be gone by the time my next paycheck came in.

I've already divulged my weakness for vintage items, mellowed with age and the patina of romance I tend to give them. But have you noticed that the craftsmanship is often so much better? My mom's washing machine is from the 1970's, but it's still cycling, and why should she replace it with one made in 2011 and made to break down in 2015? At a small consignment shop in Leavenworth, KS, I bought a vintage soft peach cashmere sweater, satin-lined, covered in seed pearls. It didn't fit. It never will. But it is a work of art. It's craftsmanship is worth preserving. Even if it remains on hangar, hung on my wall, it reminds me of all things lovely, delicate, and enduring. It looks great on my friend's 11 year-old daughter. Maybe someday it will go with her prom dress.

The Sandy Antique Mall was also the source of a unique birthday present I received from some unique friends (my favorite kind). They bought me 500 of 1000 shares of the West Indies Sugar Corporation. The certificate is stamped Feb. 28, 1958. Although the stock expired in 1960, it's a wonderful old document that deserves a frame.

The Sandy Antique Mall also has architectural salvage, furniture, vintage jewelry, ancient typewriters, brownie cameras, antique dolls, and the afore-mentioned bear. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

By looking up at my clock (modern--bought at Shopko), I can see it's town for Downton Abbey. And so, I bring this missive to a close.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Goings-On

So much to do this month. And I'm not just talking about writing the cards, baking cookies and wrapping gifts. I'll procrastinate those things for another couple of weeks.

There is so much going on in Utah this season. Last Tuesday, Studio 5 let me come on the show and talk about several events. And that just scratched the surface.

The following events are ones featured on Studio 5. You can see the segment here.

Gingerbread Competition at the Shops at Riverwoods in Provo

The Shops at Riverwoods is starting a new tradition this year with their gingerbread house competition. Each of the businesses created a large gingerbread representation of themselves, and they are on display at the shops, and the public has been invited to participate in the competition as well. You can buy gingerbread house kits with the basic tools at the Blickenstaff’s toy shop. All building materials must be edible. The competition will run through Dec. 2nd and the winner will be announced on Dec. 3rd at Shops “Festival of Giving.” Read more about the rules and regulations

International Creche Exhibit at the Homestead Resort in Midway

Dec. 2-5 it is the 13th annual International Creche Exhibit in Midaway, and this year it is hosted by the Homestead Resort. This is a free exhibit of nativity scenes from around the world. The Homestead will also have light refreshments and some fun activities for kids including cookie decorating and crafts for a small fee. The weekend of the exhibit is also Midway’s Swiss Christmas which includes craft vendors, musical performances, and a visit from Father and Mother Christmas. Midway’s outdoor skating rink is also open.
The International Creche Exhibit is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Beehive Bazaar at the Bell Room in Provo

Dec. 8-10, Thurs. Fri.10 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
My favorite craft bazaar of all time, the Beehive Bazaar is opening its doors for three days starting Thursday, Dec. 8 at the Bell Room in Provo—that’s on the corner of University and Center street. This is a true artisan show. All of the vendors are artists and everything is hand-made. These are unique, really creative gifts. You’ll find paper goods and prints, clothing, hand-crafted jewelry, bags, vinyl, custom chocolate, glassworks…it’s sort of a hipsters market place.

Echoes of Christmas: Live Nativity at Liberty Park

Dec. 15-17, 19-21, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
For those who are looking to experience the true meaning of Christmas in a new way, the “Echoes of Christmas” live nativity presentation at Liberty Park lets you participate in the story. Shepherds with torches lead the audience from scene to scene, as you follow the story and draw closer to the stable and the Christ child. This is a 40-minute show with original music. There is about 20 minutes of walking, and the audience should dress warmly. This presentation has been enthusiastically received ever since it opened three years ago. Admission is free. You can see pictures and a video at their website

Imagine Ballet Theatre presents “The Nutcracker”

Founded by former Ballet West principal dancer Raymond Van Mason, Imagine Ballet Theatre (IBT) is Utah’s pre-professional ballet school for kids and teens. Their production of The Nutcracker is truly a unique, Utah production. The scenery has been painted by local artists; the score has been arranged by a Utah composer, and the choreography is by Raymond Van Mason who has also choreographed for Ballet West and the Utah Opera. In most productions of The Nutcracker, Clara and her nutcracker prince dominate the first act, but the second act is taken over by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier. In IBT’s version, the focus remains on Clara, as the story is very much from her point of view.

This is a production that appeals to children. The scenery, the child actors, the story…it’s all magical. There’s a reason this ballet is Christmas tradition for all ages and interests.

Imagine Ballet’s Nutcracker runs Dec. 14-17 and the 19th 7:30 p.m. at the Peery Egyptian Theater in Ogden. There is a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday the 17th.

Christmas Riverboat Cruise

This season, you don’t have to wait for snow for a sled ride. Take a scenic tour down the Provo river with thousands of lights reflecting off of the water. There are Christmas scenes along the shore, Christmas music, and Santa even comes along in his canoe. The barges can hold up to 40 people. The trips happen every 30 min. on the hour and half-hour. This part of the Provo River is very beautiful and isolated; there are tree branches arching over the river. This is a great activity for families. Forget the mall, the line to see Santa, the frightened toddlers. Tickets are just $6 per per person—less than movie tickets. Dec. 2nd-26th, Mon.- Sat. 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. 3606 W. Center Street in Provo, by Utah Lake. Dress warmly.

Diversity Trees in West Valley

The Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley currently has an exhibition entitled “Trees of Diversity.” Fir trees are decorated to represent different countries and ethnicities. Each one has been donated and decorated by a different ethnic group. This is a great way for families to introduce their children to Christmas customs from around the world. There are also nativity scenes and gingerbread houses.

This is a free exhibit, and it is ideal for grown-ups and children, friends, families, singletons—anyone who is looking to broaden their horizons this holiday season.

The exhibit runs from Nov. 17 through Dec. 27th, Mon.-Thurs. 9:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays by arrangement.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wandering Wardrobe

511 South Main Street
Springville, UT

This little consignment shop in Springville, just a couple of blocks away from the art museum, is one of the sights that inspired this blog. I had a job in one of the gorgeous old buildings on Main Street in Springville, and during my lunch hours I'd often wander around town, popping into stores and hunting up the best chicken alfredo pizza (which can be found at a gas station).

Wandering Wardrobe was one of the little gems I found. It wasn't far from a used book store I'll tell you about sometime. After a triumphant lunch time jaunt during which I found a pair of jeans that flattered my rump, I thought to myself, "I'll bet a lot of people don't even know it's here. I ought to let people know."

Wandering Wardrobe is in a lovely little brick home with a bell on the door and a winding wooden staircase inside that takes you up to the "landing" where you get first glimplse of the shoes.

Every piece is stylish, good quality, and in excellent shape. The inventory isn't extensive, but they carry children's as well as women's clothes, and they have an excellent selection of jackets. While I was prowling the racks last Saturday, I saw labels from Wilson's Leather, Ann Klein, Chicos, and GAP. I also saw the perfect shoes...a size and a half too big. (Sigh.) I walked away with two scarves.

Wandering Wardrobe also carries books, DVDs, and some home decor. I spotted a handful of little girl velvet dresses--perfect for holidays, as well as a...wait for it...a triceratops so big you'd have to lift your toddler on to it.

Visit Wandering Wardrobge and tell them you heard about it on "Been There, Done That." You won't get a discount, but it would be cool for me.

Monday, October 24, 2011


18 vampire brides! You gotta admit, Drac has a way with women. And Ballet West's Dracula is all you could wish for: tall, dark, formidable, and bloodthirsty. In the first act, he stalks about desperate for a drink, but his fanatically devoted mistresses are empty husks of their former selves. Unable to slake his thirst, Dracula sends his minion Renfield to the pastoral village at the foot of the mountains.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I'm a huge devotee of the ballet, Halloween, and gothic Victorian mystery. So when I heard Ballet West was bringing Dracula to the stage, I geeked out in the way only a balletomane can, by pirouetting across the room.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I contacted Ballet West's PR department, and commenced begging. They very considerately let me sit in on a dress rehearsal. I even got to walk up on the stage and galk at the massive sets, and they are impressive.

The first act takes place outside Dracula's castle and consists of a series of dances and impressive moves from Dracula and his brides--some of whom fly. This ballet, by Ben Stevenson, debuted in 1997, but it hearkens back to the classic ballets like Coppelia and Giselle. The story just provides backdrop for the dancing. The first act reminds me of another classic Les Sylphide in which the stage is filled with ghostly ballerinas. The first act culminates with Dracula feasting on the latest offering brought to him by Renfield. Once he's satisfied, he leaves the remains for his brides to finish off while he sets off for the village below.

The second act opens in the village below. It's a time of celebration for Svetlana who is turning 18. The village celebration is dampened slightly by an old woman who has a premonition of somthing evil. Svetlana's beau Frederick proposes, and Svetlana joyfully accepts, but not before she 1) dances around a lot; and 2) makes Frederick ask her father for her hand in marriage. This provides one of the lighter moments in the ballet.

Just when a happy ending seems assured, thunder and lightening break up the scene and Dracula's carriage sweeps on stage. This does not bode well for the newly betrothed couple.

You'll have to see the third act for yourself. One of the highlights for me was Renfield's solo number. His frenzied movements made me believe he could give the Orkin man a run for his money.

Costuming, music, choreography: beautiful. While I've seen it close-up in rehearsal, I can't wait to see it again in performance.

Dracula runs through November 1st with matinees on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.
Audiences are encouraged to come in costume!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ghosts a No-Go, but wait, there's more!

I arrived at Capitol Theater tonight, 6:45, only to be greeted by a "cancelled event" sign. Not cool, Ghost Investigators. Not cool. So, I tried, unsuccessfully, to find the new location of the former Elizabeth Tea Room's steak and mushroom pie. I eventually settled for "pommes frites" at a Belgian waffle stand. There was a busker playing a Swedish violin--something I'd never heard before--that made the whole cancellation worth it. It was heavenly.

But the best news of all! (Drum roll please.) Ballet West is going to let me sit in on a dress rehearsal for Dracula! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I can't wait to bring you the inside scoop. I feel just like Jill Krementz!

You know, Jill Krementz?

Photo journalist and author...wrote "A Very Young Dancer?"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hunting Up Some Halloween Fun

We're already half-way through October and I'm already behind schedule. However, I did double duty at Witches' Night out this year (attended both nights), and I made my own chapeau for night 2.

Also on my schedule for the remainder of this month:

Utah Symphony's Spooky Symphonies October 24-25 (come in costume!)
The Haunted Canyon experience on the Heber Creeper
Ballet West's performance of Dracula

And tommorrow night, I'm going to learn about local spooks from none other than the Ghost Hunters of Utah with the Wasatch Paranormal Investigators. Their presentation is actually part of "Dracula Fest," a series of activities put together by Ballet West in conjunction with the debut of the ballet. October 18th at 7:00 p.m., paranormal fans will gather at Capitol Theater to hear local legends and some recordings made by the Ghost Hunters of Utah.

(While I wouldn't class myself as a "fan" of the paranormal, I have watched several seasons of the X-files*, and I love an unexplained mystery.)

One more, non-Halloween event you should know about. The King's Singers will be performing with the Utah Symphony on Oct. 28 and 29. I became a fan when I was 20 and a roommate introduced me to their version of "A New Day."

Do you have any suggestions of Halloween activities in the valley that I've missed? Or maybe just a really great Halloween house I ought to drive by? Leave a suggestion in the Comments.

*my friend bought me a Scully doll at a garage sale! She comes with a stretcher and a body in a bag! How cool is that?