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Sisterhood of the Traveling Bag: Stephanie

Posted on: Friday, September 12, 2014

Finally, the bag was mine! It was my turn!!
Oh, where will we go? And what will we do?!

Maybe a margarita and chips will help make up our minds… 

A few days go on and I am still not sure what our story will be, I take a time out from thinkin' and head to the drive-in with friends and treats and blankets. Such a fun event and it never gets old! 

Still wondering what the purse’s adventures hold, Ruby and I take a weekend and head to Los Angeles for a Jenny Lewis concert. We have followed Jenny Lewis for years—so when we discovered her playing at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, Ruby treated me to a ticket and off we went.

Conveniently the Rose Bowl Flea Market was the next morning, so we were off for a day of boot and clothes shopping—when in Rome as they say. It got so hot and we were super hungry, so we jetted over to our favorite Cuban restaurant and had a cupcake for dessert. The purse is definitely getting the hang of this eating and playing business!
Since we were in town, and it was the last day of the play, Once, at the Pantages Theater, off the purse went (we had to take the purse). 

Then back home to take care of business. The purse and I headed out to a few appointments: a dentist appointment (that makes me crazy nervous!) and the best appointment of all. I accompanied one of my besties to a follow up appointment from surgery and was told she is 'cancer free'!!  Best news ever!!!

The next few weeks host a huge event for Ruby and I, she goes off to college! HUGE! Ruby and I have been pretty much Loreli and Rory from Gilmore Girls—late night talks, coffee, road trips, on and on and on. We both feel ready, although we could use a hand, so Kim accompanied us to on the move. She has been through this already and we both were so grateful she came! We arrived at her dorm, and transformed her area.

The next weekend, the Mister and I go for official drop off weekend of festivities and goodbyes. We all have talked about college for years, especially this past year (it’s been nothing but college talk)! We are so ready, having rehearsed all the goodbyes, so we parted surprisingly without tears. This is where she should be and Ruby is so ready.

What comes to mind is the saying “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.” I didnt know what adventures this bag would have and amidst all my wondering, it was off having a great life alongside me!

MoJo Flea Market

Posted on: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Next Saturday, September 20th from 9a-4p, We are partnering with our neighbors, the Antique Center, to host the MoJo Flea--a market showcasing local businesses and their wares. Come on by the back of our shop (1235 Monterey St) and take a peek!

Current participants include: 
  • Wild Poppy Goods: Taylor Kitto's vintage pop up
  • Vintage retailer Deena: specializes in vintage clothing & has sold at the Rose Bowl Flea for years
  • Carol's limited engraved pumpkins: These are the pumpkins people line up for & we're already getting inquiring calls!
  • Grrrnola: selling a limited edition pumpkin granola
  • Wendy's Happy Heart benefit: we will be selling coffee and donuts from our trailer, with all the proceeds going to help Wendy's recovery!
  • Antique Center: George will be opening up his back shed filled with vintage furniture
  • Local honey purveyor
  • and more!

Keep up-to-date on who's being added by following our Instagram (@rubyrose805) and Facebook.

Yard Sale Benefit

Posted on: Friday, September 5, 2014

This Saturday, September 6th, from 7a-11a, there's Community Yard Sale happening at the home of Ruby Crew members Kendra Aronson and Betsi Clark. Several friends will be joining, so there will be PLENTY to pick through.
Among our vintage + new clothing, there will also be a smattering of tools, surfboards, fish tanks, fishing gear, dark room set, rad furniture, kitchen supplies & so so so much more.

1404 Syndey St

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Everyone needs a snack to fuel their treasure hunting endeavors, and Grrrnola's got you! Our roadside pick up will have loads of oats for sale.

If all that wasn't enough we, Ruby Rose, is setting up a pop-up market in the driveway! All proceeds will be going toward the Wendy's Happy Heart Fundraiser. Wendy has been a long time volunteer for the Leukemia Foundation and recently underwent a heart transplant. Now, she is need of her own fundraising for extended stay aftercare and rehabilitation efforts that insurance doesn't cover. Help our friend pay rent so she can get back to health!

Come, peruse, buy, eat, and donate through your purchases--or just come hang out with us as you drink your morning brew. See you tomorrow!

The Weekly Six

Posted on: Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Before we open our doors for the week, check out our top six vintage picks. We constantly update our inventory, and we want to keep you in the loop of the new things coming in! So, without further adieu, we bring you:

1: Every good chef has a killer apron somewhere at home, and it is time to pull it out of the attic and into the kitchen. We can only assume this vintage apron with its delicate hand work was made with lots of love, making it a feast for our eyes and inspiration to make an equally scrumptious dinner tonight.

2: Pull up the counter with one of these mod bar stools. With their white leather stitched seats and stainless support, food won't easily stick to them--but we'll bet you have a harder time getting rid of guests once they sit down.

3: Ee-e-e-oh-mum-a-weh, ee-e-e-oh-mum-a-weh. This ancient inspired lion with his concrete mane will scare off the pests and add some flair to your garden as you watch the fall leaves turn.

4: We are the official (self-proclaimed) San Luis Obispo Trading Post, selling the biggest selection of Minnetonka moccasins found this side of Higuera Street. Come on down and check out our black and tan leather shoes, we are sure to have one that fits your feet and your fancy!

5: Mix those native roots with some Western traditions, and snag a rosary necklace to pair with your new moccs. Beaded and saintly, these blessed pieces will keep you livin' on a prayer--just by owning one, you're halfway there.

6: Who made these?? It takes a steady hand and real night owl to create such embroidered masterpieces. Snatch one up for yourself, and see what head turners they are!

The Weekly Six

Posted on: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Before we open our doors for the week, check out our top six vintage picks. We constantly update our inventory, and we want to keep you in the loop of the new things coming in! So, without further adieu, we bring you:

1: The eagle has landed in our store, and we just can't get him away from the vintage American flags. Since our flag and eagles symbolize freedom, victory and mission, they are great items to display with pride all around!

2: A little turquoise never hurt nobody. This cuff is delicate and bold, and its classic silver and turquoise stylings play well with other bracelets and rings. A real thing of beauty.

3: Whether you want to read, drink tea, people watch or have an evening chat with friends, this white bench swing will add just the right seat to your porch. Or, hang it from the ceiling like we do and get a new perspective on life from above.

4: Deer terrarium anyone? We have three to spare, complete with an array of growing succulent forests surrounding them. These little guys make great office warming gifts for all shapes and ages.

5: Tea time! We love our afternoon teas here at the Rose, and finding a good teapot turns this time into a ceremony. This green ceramic teapot with its tall, slender silhouette, we have a hard time not using it when we need a little a caffeine and sympathy.

6: Romp around the house or romp around town, just romp. The rompers in store right now are as sweet as they are comfortable! Are you the one in bold red with light lace detailing, or one with stronger metal accents and striped all over?

Junking 101: Pendletons

Posted on: Monday, August 25, 2014

“We have lost much of the past in this country ,and tradition is no longer an easily found commodity, but tradition is alive and well at Pendleton. A pioneer Oregon family continues to manufacture the blankets their ancestors produced specifically for sale to American Indian men and women. A Navajo woman still dances to ancient rhythms in her Pendleton shawl. A Zuni family still bury a loved one in a jet black Pendleton robe. The tide of history washed away the last of its competitors many, many years ago. Pendleton alone remains.”
-Barry Friedman

All photos are from Friedman's Chasing Rainbows

“Life if perfect with a Pendleton!” is Sharpie-inscribed above Barry Friedman’s signature inside a copy of his book, Chasing Rainbows: Collecting American Indian Trade & Camp Blankets. If you have spent any amount of time scouring fleas and thrift stores for items made by this coveted brand, the moment you happen upon one, life does feel pretty perfect. And from decades of collecting these woolen wonders, he knows the feeling well. Though Pendleton’s name carries weight for many of us—sparking notions of bright, geometric patterns concomitant with Native American traditions—their inherent value goes much deeper than current trends and tastes. The tale of Indian trade blankets weaves together the white man and indigenous tribes into a symbiotic relationship after the Indian Wars that carries on through today. If you’re looking for a truly vintage Pendleton, and need a good lens to filter see through the loads and piles of blankets, read on before your next shopping trip.

The Indian Wars results forced independent Native American tribes onto undesirable reservation lands, at the mercy of government aid. Having penned free, nomadic spirits in foreign land, the Native American way of life would be forever changed. Around 1890 Traders settled on reservations, selling trinkets and wares of the West to white consumers as they traveled through, except for the Indian trade blankets, these were made exclusively for the Native American consumer, who used them for dress, sleep, burial robes, etc. At this same time, the Navajo began weaving rugs to sell to traders. So Anglo made blankets designed for Indians’ use and Indian made rugs designed for Anglo homes flooded trading posts and woolen mills manufacturing trade blankets began to sprout.

There were many competing companies with their own distinctive patterns and weave from 1890-1942, but Pendleton Woolen Mills outlasted them all as the only surviving manufacturer of Indian trade blankets, and made more than all the other mills combined. The company got their start in 1896, and more than one hundred years later, we still want one. With a deluge of their blankets, robes and couch covers out on the market, developing a collector’s eye takes talent and work. We are here to get you started. Though this post is hardly comprehensive in it’s overview of how to spot a highly valuable blanket, it will get you shopping more keenly and understanding more clearly what a truly vintage Pendelton is (for more detailed information, check out Barry’s incredible book, Chasing Rainbows, to start—an enjoyable and fascinating read).

The first blankets turned out by Pendleton Woolen Mills had rounded corners and stopped being produced in 1908—if you find one of these, “Eureka!”, you’ve struck gold. These are the most valuable Pendletons. A word of caution, though, Knight Woolen Mills also made round corner blankets, and a Pendleton from 1896-1904 will most likely bear no label (few survived as they were made of cardboard). Find one with a cloth label reading “Gauranteed to be a Pendleton-Pine Fleece Wool,” you can rest assure that blanket was made between 1904-1908, and you should give Barry Friedman a call.

Joseph Rawnsey began working for Pendleton under an ownership change in 1901, and remained their cornerstone designer until his death in 1929. His ability and talent being unsurpassed, blankets made during these years are highly coveted (next only to the round corner blankets): specifically the spectacular, vibrant-colored patterns from the 1911 sales catalog—Pendleton’s first full color catalog. Two of his designs, the Harding and the Chief Joseph patterns still remain in Pendleton lines to this day.

Pendleton Woolen Mills lived up to their slogan, “Where quality decides we always win,” making their blankets from virgin wool and processing the wool with house made soaps. For a few years they wove for the Cayuse Blanket Company in the 1920’s, making a more inexpensive version with cotton warp and 17% reprocessed wool.

Fringe or no fringe: shawls are the fringed blankets intended for women and blankets sans fringe were made for men and called robes. Neither one is more or less valuable than the other, but a couch cover will trump both. Color schemes can hype value, too, with bold primary colors—black and red being tops—as the most desirable.

Pendleton couch cover

Pendleton trade blankets come in eight different design categories, according to Friedman, in order of most desirable to collectors:

Overall: a repeating pattern fills entire the entire surface of the blanket—this is generally the ‘busiest’ sort of pattern.

Banded: In banded blankets, patter is confined within…duh…bands. Areas of solid color separate the bands from one another.
Center Point: features either an individual design element—usually a cross, star, or diamond—in the middle of the blanket that dominates the pattern or a series of the same dominating elements in a horizontal or vertical band across the blankets center.

Six-Element: features two identical large elements reported in three rows.
Nine-Element: features three identical large elements reported in three rows.

Framed: a single large design element in the center of the blanket is surrounded by solid color. An intersecting design running the length of all four side ore h blanket forms a ‘frame’ for the central element. These are exclusive to Pendleton.
Striped: are just that—stripes and nothing else. Every manufacturer made striped patterns, which have always been a great favorite of all the tribes.
Pictorial: features…yes, that’s right…pictures!

Conditions to be aware of which devalue blankets are shrinkage and pilling. If a blanket is less than five by six feet or if the edges pucker when lain flat, it’s been shrunk. Other marks of wear may add to the value for some collectors, and are referred to as relic condition, while other prefer a blanket in ‘like new’, or mint, condition.

Labels can give you a good indication of when the blanket was made. Familiarize yourself with the evolution of labels below, to give you a good indication of when a blanket was woven.

Here is a quick timeline of dates to help place blankets and determine value:
1896-1901: round corner blankets made on dobby looms with only straight line patterns
1901: Jacquard looms replace dobby looms, allowing for increased intricacy and designs with curvilinear patterns; first Pendleton shawl made
1902: bales of twenty assorted robes sell for eighty dollars
1904-1908: round corner blankets with cloth labels
1908-1909: Pendleton Woolen Mills falls into financial difficulty and mill idles until bought by Bishop family (who still owns it today!)
1901-1929: Joe Rawnsey designs for Pendleton Woolen Mills
1910: Tepee patterned blankets hit the market
1911: Pendleton’s most elaborate catalog issued
1924-1929: Cayuse blankets manufactured
1926: Harding pattern coined
1929: Stock market crashes
1930: Chief Joseph pattern coined; patterns become larger designs with diamond, cross and star motifs, using sunset colors of browns and oranges.
1942: all woolen mills converted to war efforts and marks the end of the Indian trade blanket manufacturing era. Any blanket dated prior to this year is of high value!

Ultimately, finding the perfect Pendleton comes down to what you enjoy, this is the most important value to consider. Whether you collect Pendleton’s as a hobby or just love a good wool blanket as the Winter chill sets in, know that wherever you see one, Native Americans are still using them right alongside you—and may we all find some warmth in kinship through our mutual love of these spectacularly woven trade blankets.

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