Category Archives: Ephemera

New in the Shop: Handmade Vintage Notebooks


We’re excited to announce the debut of our new line of handmade vintage notebooks this Saturday, from 10am-4pm as part of the Urban Outfitters, UO Marketplace!

Our handmade vintage notebooks are made using discarded library books that were too damaged to stay on the shelves. Each notebook is unique using beautifully illustrated pages for the cover. We’ll also have a mix of vintage pencils, staplers and clips for the office supply lover just in time for back to school.

Urban Outfitters, 507 E. Green St., is celebrating the local community by hosting UO Marketplace, featuring shops and creatives from the Champaign-Urbana area. This Saturday’s UO Marketplace will also feature Plant Mode, Neutral Cycle and the University of Illinois Metals Department.

Vintage Find: Liquor Labels

My husband and I decided to stop in Galena, Illinois on the way home from our annual Minnesota camping trip. If you haven’t been to Galena before, it’s a beautifully historic city with an architecturally stunning downtown that features restaurants, specialty shops, and antique shops galore. Although I usually stick to estate sales and thrift shops, one antique shop caught my eye. Piles on piles of vintage items stared at me through the window—now that’s my kind of place!

I could tell the owner was a life-long collector with an affinity for vintage cameras. I can relate. But I was looking for something more unique, and more within my budget. I’d know it when I saw it.

An overflowing pile of color caught my eye—a box of vintage unused labels in pristine condition. The digging began. I ended up selecting four liquor labels for their delicate design, unique typography, stunning colors and gold sheen.

Now, it’s about time I put them to good use. I’m thinking of framing and hanging them on our wall so we can enjoy their typographic beauty everyday. But I’m still open to suggestions—what would you do with them?

The Thrill of the Hunt

Note: This post was written as a guest contribution for the News-Gazette’s Area Extras blog. Thanks to Meg Dickinson for asking me to contribute! See the original post here.

When I was growing up, I used to play detective. I’d make up stories, investigate mysteries and record them in my trusty day planner (bought with my allowance instead of toys like the other kids). I’d search for treasures and find old chairs and tables in the woods, believing that at one time this was home to a living civilization. It was a thrill to go out into the woods and not know what I’d find.

As an adult, the detective in me lives on when I head to an early-morning garage sale or an evening church rummage sale. This time, instead of carrying my trusty day planner, I’m armed with tote bags ready to fill them up with found vintage treasures — ephemera, office supplies, housewares, local history, fabric, photographs, postcards, books, travel posters and anything else that catches my eye.

What can I say? I’m addicted to the thrill of the hunt.

While going “sale-ing” has been a long-time hobby of mine, I never dreamed I could turn it into a small business. As the new owner of an online vintage shop, Dear Home, I get to spend each day doing something I have loved since my childhood.

Although I never became a true detective, I find myself “playing detective” as I head out into the neighborhoods to find treasures and return home to investigate my finds. It’s exciting to find more items for my personal collections and special vintage pieces for my shop that others can enjoy.

Is there a childhood pastime that you still enjoy? Do you have a hobby that you’ve been thinking about turning into your day job?