Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where Today's Cars and Classics Meet

I found a cool car website that is well worth checking out whether your car is new or classic. Yes, classic.  Of course, everyone's definition of "classic" varies on their age, experience, and point of view.

Driverside.com has a few features that you will recognize from other types of sites. You can look up what your car is currently worth, which is nothing new. What is revolutionary is that you can search for parts to buy on the very same site. I typed in 1985 Monte Carlo, just to randomly pick a car that was a bit older but by no means a collector's item. Do you believe there were actually parts listed? It wasn't just a list of parts for cars in the past three years.

What's more, is you can "claim" your car. By selecting your model, make, and year, the experienced is a bit more customized for you. You can store your service records, and get advice also on how to protect your auto investment. I was impressed that you can choose any year of automobile. Literally! The possible dates go way back. I can't guarantee a drawing of every model or parts for every model will be there. However, as the site grows in popularity, it will likely create a demand for more.

This is the first site that I have seen where new cars, "new to you," late models, and classics can all mix and mingle.   It is well worth checking out.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Putting the Horse Before the Cart

All of this talk of renovating, and looking for historic homes has me recall that I forgot one crucial point. It is all about living in fantasy land until you crunch the numbers and can afford to buy a "new to you" home to renovate.

Sometimes, this involves a little bit of credit repair on your part. Occasionally, we just have a few things in our past that require us to take a step back. The "big ones" like mortgage and vehicles are the most important ones to have not defaulted on, but sometimes we forget about the little things. A number of small credit cards can lead up to needing some bad credit repair.

You can attempt this yourself, or there are credit repair services that can help you. It is possible, if there is only one blemish, it can be handled by you. If there is more than one, or if you have something that is a little nebulous, you definitely need further help. If there is something you don't recognize, a credit repair service can help you get it off and keep it off.

Some people report jumps of 50, 100, or 200 points that can definitely help you get that dream home. Even if no one else would think it is a dream home but you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Platform Beds have Come a Long Way

I have focused on the finishing touches that can enhance the restoration of historic homes. More properly I should say a "vintage" home. What about the inside? How do you create a look that evokes the era of a home if you don't want it to look like a complete time capsule. What if you want to make the home look retro, but the items just are not available in good condition?

Let's start with bedroom furniture. The biggest challenge is not a 1950s home, but with a 1970s era home. Because it was not all that long ago, you walk a fine line between looking like Aunt Ellie never bought a stitch of furniture since she married Uncle Ben and a funky pad. In other words the difference between a "dated" home and a "retro" home.

There is a lot of contemporary bedroom furniture out there that evokes the feeling of the 70s. Skip the wooden bunk beds with mushroom decals and go platform. Low slung beds were very popular back then, as well as angular and low dressers. You may think of lacquer when you think of a platform bed, but there are many simple, spare, and elegant styles that would fit the bill. Just look at the modern bedroom furniture available and you can see that platform beds have gone retro.

There are many simple selections in the modern bedroom furniture category these days. If you haven't looked in a long time you will be pleasantly surprised by the styles, quality, and price tag.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Etiquette: Giving Wine or Champagne

It is widely accepted proper etiquette to bring your host a bottle of wine or champagne when invited over for a special occasion. The host or hostess can choose to serve it. However, do not be offended if they put it aside. For the receiver, it is equally as acceptable to set it aside to enjoy later as it is to serve. Champagne Gift Baskets are a good choice for a momentous occasion. If your hosts are newlyweds, sending champagne and chocolate "just because," is also a nice gesture. The hosts have something to enjoy now with their guests, and a few things to enjoy later on.

Nowadays, people may say it is improper to assume that your host or hostess drinks, or that it is just plain tacky. However, I disagree. When receiving a gift, it is equally up to the receiver to exercise the etiquette of ladies and gentleman. If you receive a bottle of wine or one of the beautiful Champagne Gift Baskets that can be put together for them, and don't drink, there are several options. Thank your giver, and you can keep the champagne or wine on hand for guests, even if the giver is the only one who may drink it. You can also learn how to make a number of pasta dishes that require it. You can use the other items that come in the champagne gift baskets around the house. Coasters, glasses, and other nice things can be included.

Whatever you decide to give your hosts, please remember to customize it to their tastes. A bottle of wine or champagne is customary for dinner parties, but a gift basket makes a statement. Etiquette does always dictate to not go purposefully "over the top" to outdo other guests. Therefore, it might be in good taste, if it is not a special holiday, to have the basket sent ahead of the party. Therefore, the hosts can enjoy it, possibly plan to serve some of the items during the party, or if not, at least there will be no awkward feelings from the empty handed guests.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Some Rights Reserved

somerightsreserved-copy.jpgThis blog is copyright The VintageGent, some rights reserved. This means you are allowed to quote the information therein, but please attribute the material with a link back to the source.

All material on this blog is original content, except when other sources are quoted and attributed. From time to time, we may review a product, service, literary, or film work. All opinions on this blog are those of the author, remain unbiased (except on the subject of fashion...which we are very biased in favor of...can't you tell?).

Reader comments are welcomed and encouraged. However, the author may or may not share the views of commenters, and is not responsible for the views expressed in the form of reader comments.

Digital Cameras: A Vintage Seller's Friend

Digital cameras are a must when dealing with vintage clothing or antiques online.  There are tried and true techniques that you can use to enhance the capability of any camera.  The old guidelines of paying attention to the background, the composition, and lighting are so important.  However, when the details are important, sometimes the more suited a camera is to the job, the less time you need to spend editing later.  

There is a site that not only lists different cameras on the market, but provides consumer reviews so one can find the best digital camera for the job.   Sometimes the best ultra compact digital camera is what you hope to find because you can slip it into your shirt pocket inconspicuously when you are on the road, but does it really do the job for print quality work?   The higher the megapixel number the manufacturer states, the more apt it is for print work.  Sometimes the very small cameras will surprise you.

You may not automatically think of it, as you are photographing clothing and not the Grand Canyon, but you may also want to find out what the best wide angle digital camera is for your needs as well.  When you are taking photos in a cramped space, don't underestimate the feature.  If you have a 2,000 square foot studio, that's a different story.   

Also, is the camera good at showing small details?  It may not be a huge consideration if you are photographing a vintage automobile, but on antique clothing or collections it may be.   You can't exactly throw a coat or a hall table on a scanner to show a small crack or to show exquisite detail.

If you can only purchase one digital camera at this time, buy the one with the highest megapixels you can afford to buy, but don't forget the important features you are after. Then check out http://www.bestinclass.com/digital-cameras to see what other people think when they have testdriven your top choices. It will save you a lot of time and money and will help you make your decision.