October brings a cornucopia of events for the collector. First up is the huge annual sale that benefits the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Then downtown Pleasanton will play host to one of the last outdoor antiques sales of the season. And then ephemera collectors will have a brand-new show and sale of postcards and vintage paper to shop at in San Jose.
Here's the lineup:
Few things in life satisfy the soul like getting a great deal and knowing you helped a truly worthy cause. It's one of the reasons so many folks make a point of going to the annual Pumpkin Patch Boutique. This time around, the date is Oct. 12.
All year long, the industrious volunteers of the Thrift Box, an upscale resale shop in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, set aside the best donations they receive for this single-day extravaganza. All proceeds go to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
Attendees may anticipate seeing lots of artwork, such as botanical prints, hand-tinted lithographs, small oil paintings and more, with price tags from $5 to $100. Expect a variety of wares created by manufacturers such as Waterford, Wedgwood, Haviland and Lladro to abound. And that's just for starters.
You'll also find jewelry galore, designer purses, toys, dolls, silverware, pottery, ephemera, scads of kitchen collectibles, a huge group of trinkets made in occupied Japan, vintage furs, plus an old abacus, sewing basket, tons of vintage books, a pewter mug dated 1903, even a copper whiskey still. It's all priced to sell.
Besides the vintage wares there are beautifully crafted centerpieces, wreaths and other items suitable for your holiday decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. Scour, as I do, for bargains on all sorts of paper party goods spread atop the sale tables.
Once you're done shopping, treat yourself to lunch. It is time to relax and share your new acquisitions. Cost: $10. And let me say, this is a crowd-pleasing meal.
The organizers of this shindig know it attracts crowds from around the Bay Area. Here are several tips from a veteran shopper: Arrive as early as possible to get nearby parking and first dibs on the loot. Wear shoes with good support. Dress casually. Buy your lunch ticket once you get to the sale. Be patient. The checkout stands move fast, but you may have a short wait.
And please stop by to say hello. Ask for any advice I can provide regarding a purchase or two. You'll spot me in a blue lab coat from 9 a.m. till lunch is taken up around 11 a.m.
The festivities are at the First Congregational Church, corner of Hamilton and Leigh avenues in San Jose. Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: $3. For details, ring up 408-294-4490, or view www.thriftbox.org.
And if you can't make it to the bash, visit the Thrift Box at 1362 Lincoln Ave. in San Jose. You'll find reasonably priced merchandise every visit.
East Bay shopping
The fall Pleasanton Antiques and Collectibles Faire is one of the final outdoor shows to take place before the wet, colder weather arrives. More than 400 merchants may be participating in the sale set for Oct. 13.
The downtown part of this charming East Bay enclave is closed off to traffic on the big day, allowing shoppers an easy way to roam up and down the chief thoroughfare (Main Street) and several byways.
You never know what will be on display, but chances are you'll find plenty of glass, ceramics, furniture, books and jewelry. I usually locate a funky advertising piece and a holiday decoration or two I'm keen about.
Once again, I'll be on hand to offer visitors informal evaluations of their vintage belongings. There's no fee for this service, but there is a limit of three objects. No coins, stamps, military or precious gems will be appraised. You'll find me beneath a tarp from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Information Booth at the intersection of Main and Division streets.
And speaking of time, while the show officially begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m., wise collectors begin shopping at dawn. Admission and parking are free. Details: 650-242-1294; www.pleasantonantiquefair.com.
Postcards and more
I'm tickled pink to tell you that San Jose will finally host a postcard show, thanks to the veteran promoter Hal Lutsky. This happening -- formally known as the Silicon Valley Vintage Paper Fair -- goes on one day only: Oct. 19.
I can hardly wait. Lutsky always manages to corral the choicest sellers of all things paper for his shows. Besides the postcards, there will be brochures, trade cards, old fruit labels, stereoview cards, sports memorabilia and much more.
To get in on the action, be at the San Jose Elks Lodge, 444 W. Alma St., San Jose. Admission and parking are free. Details: 415-814-2330 or 323-883-1702; www.vintagepaperfair.com.
A learning experience
The venerable San Francisco Ceramic Circle, founded in 1972, sponsors some incredible lectures. Their next one -- "Flowers and Faces: Painting on Lenox China," given by author and scholar Ellen Denker -- is scheduled for Oct. 13.
The program is held at the Legion of Honor, Florence Gould Theater, 100 34th Ave., San Francisco. Time: 9:30 a.m. The lecture is free, but museum entrance for nonmembers is $10, seniors $7. Details: 415-750-3551.
Mark your calendar
The New California Country Antiques Show supporting the Los Altos History Museum will be held Oct. 20. Look for the specifics in my Oct. 19 column. In the interim, go to www.californiacountryshow.com or call 626-437-6275.
Contact Steven Yvaska at email@example.com or 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190.