Wednesday, May 24, 2023

island flair

dancing hula girl bobble figurines

We find a lot of items from the southern Pacific islands here in the greater Portland metro area. Several of our most recent finds are now available for sale at Vintage Vault PDX.

tapa cloth made by pounding tree bark and embellishing it

We love finding bowls and serving platters made with monkey pod wood. These objects are utilitarian, but  quite elegant.

monkey pod wood serving dish

We found a pair of carved wooden wall plaques recently at a thrift shop. They seem Hawaiian but were most likely made in the Philippines. 

A large piece of tapa cloth is also representative of Hawaiian culture, but it was more likely made in Fiji or Tonga.

If you are setting up a tiki bar in the breezeway or just love a little island flair, check out our shop -  Vintage Vault PDX at Etsy. To visit our shop, click here.

Monday, May 22, 2023

looking for a few forever homes


Space. It's the whole problem with being a "quilt magnet". We find so many wonderful quilts, we try to resist buying them, but they follow us home like stray cats. Perhaps we are simply fostering them. Now we are looking for a few forever homes. 

Our Etsy shop is called Vintage Vault PDX, and we have a growing selection of mostly antique and vintage quilts for sale, along with a few newer ones we picked up along the way. 
Some of the quilts were featured in magazine articles and books. The four block quilt in green and cheddar orange was in my first book (New York Beauty, Quilts from the Volckening Collection), and the pastel rainbow Barn Raising Log Cabin was in my second book (Modern Roots). 

All the quilts are photographed and described in detail, in good condition unless otherwise noted, and each one is a masterpiece in its own way.

It's hard to part with these quilts, particularly the ones that appeared in books, but they served their purpose here, and now need to be released into the world to make others happy. 

If you're a collector or if you simply love wonderful, old quilts, we hope you'll visit our shop and peruse the available offerings. Click here to visit Vintage Vault PDX.

Monday, May 15, 2023


Sold! Mid-19th century appliqué quilt from South Carolina

When Linda and I first met, I was a vendor at Antique Alley in Portland. I maintained a booth and a case in the shop for several years, but there were very few months with enough sales to cover the rent. Toward the end, we had problems with the staff. So we pulled out.

Sold! vintage Murano glass ashtray, Italy

The bottom line was shocking. We lost about $10,000 over a four-year period. After weighing the options, we decided to liquidate some of the inventory with a big garage sale, and we opened an Etsy shop. In our first year, we made up for the whole loss. In our second year we started to make a profit. 

Sold! vintage 1979 Inuit stone carving 

Our Etsy shop is called Vintage Vault PDX, and with Etsy we shifted from sparse foot traffic to a global audience. It was a good move. We are selling more things, a wider variety and a number of bigger ticket items. 

Sold! NW Coast Native American carving

Sales were going like gangbusters, but in April everything stopped. Maybe it had something to do with the recent Silicon Valley bank issues, or maybe it was a new algorithm. Long story short, we did a few things to update our listings, and sales are picking up again. 

Sold! vintage watercolor painting

The Pacific Northwest is a thrifting dreamland, and we find new things all the time. We sell art, collectibles and handmade objects. We also have a large collection of quilts, and will eventually sell more of those. 

Sold! vintage mid-century modern patchwork quilt

Our Etsy shop, Vintage Vault PDX offers more than 500 items starting under $20. We have Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, oil paintings, hand painted pottery from Mexico, handmade quilts and fine glass from Italy. Click here to visit our shop

Sunday, May 14, 2023


About a month ago, we had one of those "Keep Portland Weird" moments. The" NW's Largest Garage Sale" takes place a couple times a year at the Clark County Event Center, and it's a huge event. Initially we did not know what to expect, but we wanted to leave before we set foot inside the exhibit hall. Parking was a free-for-all, it was a long walk to the venue, it was very crowded, and the pickings weren't all that great. Fortunately we did find one gem- a shiny, satin crazy quilt.

The event center was wall-to-wall people, and we felt like we were in one big line, which languished up and down the narrow aisles. The moment we realized we wanted nothing more than to immediately leave the building, there was the quilt. It was all folded up and didn't look like much, but I could tell it was something. The sellers had no idea. We settled up with a minimal amount of small talk and quickly left.

We didn't realize how large the quilt was at first. It is 78" x 104", but being relatively thin, it looks deceptively small when folded. It was probably intended as a bedspread or for other decorative purposes. It is mostly satin, possibly with some silk in the mix, and it has no batting. We didn't learn anything about who made it, but it came from someone here in the Pacific Northwest, and now we are offering it in our Etsy shop. In excellent condition, looks like it was rarely used, if ever. To learn more about it, click here.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

slightly obsessed with pottery from Mexico

Confession time. We are slightly obsessed with pottery from Mexico. OK, truth bomb...we are totally smitten.

large burnished plate with bird and foliage, Tonala - available on Etsy

Five burnished figurines, mostly birds and one rabbit first piqued our interest in the regional wares originating in Mexico. My maternal grandparents used to travel to Tucson, Arizona in the winter, and they brought back souvenirs. The quirky tchotchkes sat on my shelf starting some time in the middle to late 1990s, and have been with me ever since.

Tlaquepaque horse bank - SOLD!

The greater Portland metro area has a large Mexican population, and people vacation in Mexico, bringing back trinkets for themselves and gifts for friends. As a result, Linda and I see a lot of pottery from Mexico at thrift shops. We're not sad about it. 

We have our own personal collection, which includes the five original figurines and others in the same style. We also have several pieces for sale in our Etsy shop. 

black pottery pitcher made by Dona Rosa, Oaxaca - now available on Etsy

The adorable owl salt & pepper shakers featured in this post are now available. We discovered them yesterday in the wild, hidden in a mess of knickknacks at a thrift shop. We had to get low to see them, but there they were, peeking out innocently. "Bring us home!" they chirped.

some favorites from our personal collection

Since we mostly collect the earthy, burnished wares from the 50s and 60s, we put the little owls up for sale...but we also added them to one of our displays so we could enjoy them before they leave the nest. To visit our Etsy shop, click here. To go directly to the owl salt & pepper shakers, click here

Friday, May 12, 2023

"...oh look, it's Fratelli Toso..."


Linda and I stopped by our favorite Goodwill in Portland today, and we were not disappointed. The first thing we picked up was a beautiful twisted ribbon paperweight. The polished bottom seemed to say it was high quality, but the price - $19.99 - was a little stiff for Goodwill. 

Whenever we're out thrifting and have a decent internet connection, we use Google Lens to search for information on objects. It's part of the Google phone app, and it's a little camera icon in the search bar, which opens up the camera and lets you to search for whatever the camera is facing. When we pointed it at the lovely glass paperweight, here's what came up.

Murano Fratelli Toso, first comparable on eBay almost an exact match for $125. Needless to say the paperweight came home with us. We found some other fun things: a pair of Starbucks holiday demitasse cups, Tonala owl salt & pepper shakers, and an Italian pottery tile with hand-painted lemon motif. Many of the things we find are available for sale in our Etsy shop. 

People always ask about our shop, so here's the info. Vintage Vault PDX: we are a small business located in Portland, Oregon, with over 500 sales since opening shop in January 2021. We used to have space at a local antiques mall in Portland, but there wasn't enough foot traffic to make it viable. As soon as we turned to a global audience, our business turned the corner. The vault is open! To visit our shop, click here. To go directly to the Fratelli Toso paperweight, click here.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Hello Again

Hello again. It's been a while. Sorry for not posting in such a long time. My last post was in October 2021, and it was an obituary. Probably not the best way to leave things, but I wanted to let everyone know Wonkyworld's heart still beats.

We have been busy, but I miss blogging. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused long enough to write a big blog post, but I'm going to give it another whirl. And since life has changed, so will the blog.

There will be some quilt news, of course. We are planning an exhibit in Tillamook, Oregon this summer. There will also be posts about other subjects: thrifting, cooking, playing pinball, and whatever else we enjoy. 

Life is an adventure for Linda and I. We love thrifting, discovering fascinating objects, such as the stunning piece of art glass by Rollin Karg (pictured above). We have an Etsy shop, where some of these things are for sale - Vintage Vault PDX is the name of the shop. We also play a fair amount of pinball.

Sometimes when a blog goes inactive for a while, it's because the blogger is done with it. And sometimes it's just difficult to know what else to say, but we still have something to say. Check back with us again soon for more updates, and thanks for reading!