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FAQ

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faq

General FAQ

What's the difference between Midcentury Modern and kitsch?

Kitsch is a German word meaning "in poor taste". It's about pop culture icons rather than classic design. It's cutesy and fluffy and probably pastel pink. You will either love it or hate it. There is no happy medium when it comes to kitsch decor.

Think Featherstone lawn flamingos and garden gnomes. Love them, or want them off your lawn?

Kitsch designs (not designers, note) include:

Midcentury Modern (MidMod) is about the designers and their clean lines. Exaggerated aerodynamics, simplicity of form, streamlined shapes, the atom and molecules, space and the technology of the times, and "open plan" interiors were major influences in design. Think atomic and chrome.

MidMod designers include:

Where can I find vintage collectibles?

When buying and selling vintage collectibles, bear in mind these two factors:

As to where to go, try any of the following:

On a personal note, if you come across an auction site with a reasonable amount of antiques and collectibles besides eBay, do let me know. For certain of my items, I suspect they would sell better in an auction than through a fixed-price listing. Every auction site that has looked promising for the last umpteen years seems to fizzle out after a year or two though. There isn't a single auction site for just antiques and collectibles that gets any reasonable traffic. I'm disappointed since I thought someone would be up to the challenge of running such a site.

What good reference books exist for my vintage collectible?

It depends on your specific collectible. Some items are so popular that there is a large variety of guides on the subject, while others are obscure to the point where you will have to special-order the book.

If you are looking for something specific, check auctions, estate sales, yard sales and garage sales, as well as thrift shops, and used book stores. With a little luck, you can find what you need for very little money.

Note: Don't worry about the publication date of the book. Pricing may not be accurate, but the other information such as maker, dimensions, and pattern names generally will be.

Recipe FAQ

How do I make buttermilk?

Pour 1 tablespoon or lemon juice or vinegar into a glass measuring cup, then add enough milk to fill the measuring cup (total liquid should be 1 cup). Stir thoroughly, then let it stand for five minutes before using.

What is cake flour?

Cake flour is a low-protein flour. You can make your own cake flour easily:

What is the best way to store butter at room temperature so it stays soft?

Use a butter bell. A butter bell is a special ceramic crock used to store 1 stick (1/2 cup or 114 grams) of butter at room temperature. The butter crock consists of two pieces: a lid to store the butter and a base to fill with water. To use a butter bell, fill your butter bell top tightly with butter to remove any air pockets in the butter. Fill the base with water. Insert the top into the base (butter side down).

Keep your butter bell in a safe place and change the water in the base regularly. Your butter will stay fresh at room temperature for weeks at a time.

Warning: Don't store it near the stove or oven, or on the windowsill. If it is exposed to too much heat, your butter will melt completely and make a huge mess!

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