COLLECTIONS: RANDOLPH STREET MARKET — BICYCLES AND PICNICS

imageA vintage card (you can find lots at Randolph Street Market) with old fashion bicycles.

I am so excited to share the information on this season’s first outside/inside Randolph Street Market http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com that will occur on Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28 from 10 to 5 and I thought it was the perfect time to think about all the wonderful picnics we can have this summer and what better way to get to them or travel around when we find the perfect location than on a restored Schwinn bicycle!  Well, lucky us we have just the thing at RSM (of course, we do!!!!) Mike’s Bikes returns for the 11th season.

imageLooks like a perfect day for a picnic.  Not only can you find the right bicycle but you can find all the “fixings” for your picnic as well at RSM.  All you need is a beautiful setting, some yummy food (yes, you can also get some goodies at the Market!) and good friends.  Chicago and all the suburbs have wonderful spots to picnic, or go to Ravinia for one of the fabulous concerts, Harbor Country or neighboring Wisconsin for all their summer events…you can picnic every weekend through October.

Basically, the first thing you see when you arrive at the Randolph Street entrance to RSM is Mike’s Bikes.  Mike is an encyclopedia on the history of Schwinn bicycles, by the way, the company was founded in Chicago in 1895.  He only restores vintage Schwinn and each is totally unique and Mike wants to pair his bikes with the perfect person and lovingly takes the time to talk to each client and explains every detail of each bicycle. I have seen many a happy smile on the new owner’s faces when they leave with a treasure, either to relive their youth and/or form new memories for themselves or their families, it is wonderful to experience their pure joy!

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Michael Mitchell has shared his passion with me and I now share it with you in his words.

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“I have been selling vintage Chicago manufactured Schwinn bicycles at Randolph (May-Sept.) for ten years and I have enjoyed every moment. Along the way, I have met so many interesting people who share the love for these bikes. The bikes make their eyes light up and they begin by reminiscing and sharing childhood experiences of riding bikes with family and friends.
The complete process of reconditioning the average vintage lightweight Schwinn takes approximately ten hours. The process of reconditioning a bike begins with:
1. All bearings cleaned and greased.
2. Worn parts are replaced ( brake pads, brake and gear cables, and ball bearings.
3. Replacement of tires and inner tubes ( if needed)
4. Paint cleaned, polished and waxed.
5. All chrome polished.
At the end of the reconditioning process, the bike is like brand new. If needed, the spokes are replaced and the wheels are trued. And to top it off, all replacement of parts are made with original Schwinn parts.
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I recondition 1960’s – 70’s Schwinns as well as vintage Raleighs (manufactured in Nottingham, England).
As a result of the reconditioning process, each bike is priced individually because many of them require more parts and labor.
I retired from teaching school ten years ago, but prior to that, I was reconditioning the bikes for fifteen years. I was always fascinated with the Schwinn brand since childhood. Schwinns by far were at the top of the list when it came to quality and price. As a child, my family could not afford to purchase Schwinn bicycles, but whenever I saw one, I could see the quality of the bike in its paint, chrome, constructed welds, and overall styling. At the age of fourteen, I had saved up enough money to purchase a 10-speed Schwinn Varsity; I’ve been loyal to the brand since.
The 1960’s-70’s vintage Schwinn bikes that I sell are steel framed bikes that were manufactured in Chicago. These are comfort styled vintage bicycles that were designed to provide the rider with comfort seats and upright handlebars. The popular Schwinn models being sold are the Breeze, Racer, Speedster, Collegiate and Suburban bikes. Each bike is reasonably priced and ready to ride without any expensive repairs.”

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Looks like heaven to me…you can find similar goodies like everything in these photos, maybe not the flowers, at RSM!  The settings are up to you.
How about a couple of recipes for your picnic….one from me and the other from Tom Mantel’s recipe box….
FROM TOM MANTEL’S RECIPE BOX
SPINACH/MUSHROOM QUICHE
Ingredients:
8 oz mushrooms sliced
10 oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup Swiss cheese
1/2 cup fontina cheese
4 eggs
2 cups half and half
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pastry crust
Method:
Sauté onions and mushrooms until tender.
Add spinach and a couple tsp of water and cover.
Cook stirring frequently until spinach is wilted, let cool a little.
Place pastry crust (can be homemade or store bought) in Quiche plate or a deep dish pie plate.
Distribute cheese over pastry.
Distribute mushroom onion mix over cheese.
Beat eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper until blended but not frothy.
Pour egg mixture over the spinach cheese mixture.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.
Let cooL before cutting
Can be served warm or room temperature.
Nena’s note, I have had this and it is amazingly delicious!
FROM NENA’S RECIPE BOX
DEVILED EGGS
This is just a what I put in my deviled eggs and it’s really not a recipe…you have to do it to taste…sorry!
Remove the yolks from the hard boiled eggs mash with Durkee’s Dressing (a little goes a long way, you can find it with mustards in your grocery store), Miracle Whip (my mayo), salt, freshly ground pepper and a dash of sugar until smooth (no lumps allowed!) either spoon into whites or if you want to be fancy, use a pastry bag with a fine tip and pipe into whites.  You can add a herb sprig to the top or if it is a very special picnic a dollop of red caviar, why not!  Obviously, the amounts depend upon how many eggs you are doing.  They go like hot cakes so be sure to make enough.
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All images from Pinterest photo credits not available.
Mike’s contact information:

 

COLLECTIONS: WHITE AMERCAN POTTERY

imageA rather moody photo in my white bathroom.  A distressed white antique mirror and shelf.  The shelf holding some of my white American pottery collection.  You have seen the chandelier in my post on chandeliers.

I started collecting white American pottery several years when I saw a collection that friends of mine had in their cabin in Indiana (I also have a collection of green pieces, of course, I do, you by now know it is my MOST favorite color!).  The pieces pictured above are not miniatures but mid-sized.  I have a collection of mirrors in the room (I posted that story previously) and I also have shelves anywhere I can hang or find a space for them for storage and/or display.  Many were made for me by a friend and others I have collected over the years, yes, you guessed it, at the Randolph Street Market http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com.

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Some of my white pottery collection is McCoy, some Hull, and others are marked USA, they come from potteries all over Ohio.  Many of the “big” names in pottery such as Roseville, Weller, and Rookwood are from Ohio as well.  I don’t pretend to be an expert and have purchased my pieces from many sources at many different price points because I liked them and because the larger pieces (I do have some bigger ones) took up too much space and space is at a premium in my home.  The miniatures have been collected over many years and are on a three tier vintage hanging shelf behind the door in the bathroom…a fun surprise when you peek behind the door. My two favorites and probably the most costly are the two center front on the bottom shelf….love them.  Most, as you can see are urn-shaped.  All are about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches in height.

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imageI also think the two little jugs are charming.

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A comment…..I don’t collect items that I think will increase in value, rather I collect things that bring me pleasure and I find collecting, (always have), fun, entertaining and joyful.  I like my possessions but don’t feel possessed by them.  I also love looking for things for my friends that will fill their collections.  The most important thing is to collect what you like, use it, enjoy it, share it….that is the Ivon way of collecting, what is yours??!!

There are many, many books on Ohio pottery, find one that works for you if you now have pieces or you want to begin your new collection.

All photos taken by me on my iPhone.

A couple of organizations that might be of interest….

http://www.mccoypotterycollectorssociety.org

http://www.hullpotteryassociation.org

COLLECTIONS: OPALINE

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One of my treasures given to me by Mark and Linda Heister a vintage gilded green opaline piece with lusters. I sometimes put a pillar candle inside. It is one of a pair and they flank the mantle of the “malachite” fireplace Mark created for me.

A disclaimer before I even begin….you by now know I like to take my own photos for my posts and I am usually pleased with them.  Today is an exception…no apologies just fact, they aren’t my best work.  You see, as I have told you many times, I live in a very small space and each and every surface is covered with collections, books, etc. therefore it is often difficult to stage and capture the exact image I want due to lighting or space limitations…please forgive me on this occasion and enjoy my collection of opaline. I appreciate your indulgence.

Actually, it was my Mother who started this collection.  Again, you know blue isn’t my favorite color, I am a green girl (and yes you will see green in this post!) but my Mother, Ruth, adored anything blue and I adored her so it became a part of our home for many years.  The breakfront I have featured in the past was filled (jammed) with her Bristol blue collection which she had acquired over many years.  One night I came home from work and found the cupboard with a totally different look…she had sold the entire (almost) collection!  Needless to say, I was totally startled and asked why…her answer, it was time for a change.  Understand Ruth would constantly rearrange our home on a regular basis, sometimes weekly, so this wasn’t an unusual occurrence. I, on the other hand, loathe change.  We did keep several pieces and I still have them and treasure them.

imageTwo opaline sconces on one of the walls, this wall is on the side of my French daybed.  You can see a little peek of one of my early needlepoint pieces, actually, Ruth drew the violets (her favorite flower) and I needlepointed it and framed in in an antique frame. Needlepoint with be a multi posting in the future.  These sconces can be put together and form a chandelier.  In my mind, I think we purchased these a zillion years ago at a Lake Forest Antique Show.  They are two of my favorite things.

imageA close up of one of the sconces.

imageA companion chandelier hangs over my desk, where I write nenasnotes.  The cord is covered in shirred apricot silk taffeta.  You can see an oil on wood painting in a distressed ornate gilt frame which I look at each time I sit at my desk, and, of course, books that are on a vintage bamboo shelf, one of many, on my window ledge.  The painting and shelf purchased at the Randolph Street Market. The April market is this Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30 from 10 to 5 http://www.randolphstreetmarket.com.  Perhaps you will find similar treasures, do come and see!

imageThe remains of Mom’s blue collection, some opaline some milk glass most collected many, many years ago others I have recently added, these grouped together on top of one of my Chinoiserie file cabinets.

imageHere a great example of the multitude of shades of blue (not gray!!!) in opaline and milk glass. Both vases are handpainted and again from Randolph Street Market.  The box predates RSM.

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A small lid that is handpainted with forget-me-knots another favorite of the Ivon girls.  The bottom long gone but I thought this was too interesting to trash.

imageAn apricot opaline base for a tiny lamp which sits on top of books, of course, it does! I imagine it was once a vase or candle holder, probably a pair.  It has always been a lamp to me.  The piece to the left is a beaded handpainted fabric and barely visable behind is a portion of a heavily appliqued lace curtain, both from RSM.  My home is mostly green but I have accented it with shades of apricot as well as picking up colors from my paisley shawl collection and the pastels in my vintage Chindia rugs.

imageA vignette of a portion of my green opaline collection. The tussie mussie holder encases an antique lace dollie and silk violets.  Behind it is a collection of candle holders and the water color is from my trip to Russia.  Under all a vintage handmade crazy quilt, another collection.  I have a couple of full quilts as well as many remnants.  All from the Randolph Street Market.  Perhaps this might inspire you to mix and match your collections…as you know Victoriana is a passion of mine and the Victorians always felt more is more!!!!  I most certainly agree. I think my opaline collection is what led me to start collecting Jadeite which I use as my everyday dishes and have posted an image of some of it on my kitchen shelves.  You can find reams and reams of information on Jadeite, (which was cheap as chips when it was first manufactured and now commands very high prices, but you can find all manner of Jadeite at all prices at RSM), but not much on opaline, I couldn’t find a single book on the subject!!!  Do let me know if you know of some.

imageVery unusual color for opaline, a putty, handpainted with my favorite flower, lily of the valley.  The small vase is a celadon green it also handpainted with lily of the valley.  Both are one of a pair.  The larger pair sits on either side on top of my breakfront and the small ones are placed in front of the lusters on top of my fireplace.

imageAnother pair, this time handpainted with beautiful English rose buds, forget me knot and lily of the valley…three of my favorite all on one vase, bonus!  You can barely see the gilt dots at the base and around the top.  They are on either side of the top of the drawer portion of the breakfront and hold dried tree hydrangea.

imageA close up of the painting…I love its three-dimensional effect.  All the above vases I have gotten at the Randolph Street Market and they have been collected over the years.

Please share your comments and what you like to collect, I am thinking of doing a “contest” with the prize being a season pass to the Randolph Street Market….your thoughts!!!???