Holiday Gatherings, a Mixed Up Affair

I was so excited to see Topanga Vintage Market touted as a top source for vintage china, flatware and all things tableware in this great article about vintage table settings from LA Daily News !

MixnMatch China for Your Table
The Curated Table Is a Hit This Season

Apparently mixing and matching patterns and services is a new thing (my grandmother might disagree!)  I have to say, it looks very beautiful in the photos and makes sense to a “pinch of this, dash of that” kind of gal like me.

I decided to bring out my own special china and create a “curated table” of my own.  I had a limited amount yet very wide style range to work with. Very formal gold rimmed Phoenixware china from England, and hand thrown ceramic Vince Kitira plates from Thailand, a few Russel Wright pieces, and 1930’s bakelite flatware. The Wright pieces were all wrong, but the rest seemed to hit if off.  OK, so here goes!

mixnmatch tableware setting
Patrice’s Special Blend

Not too bad!  Unfortunately I only have enough pieces to do a table for three. Always an awkward number! SO, I guess I will be joining the shoppers at our fall shows hunting for more pretty pieces for larger gatherings around my table.  

Here’s a preview of what you might find for your own holiday table:

Mixed China at Topanga Vintage
Mixed China at Topanga Vintage
Pink Depression Ware Serving Dishes
Pink Depression Ware Serving Dishes
Blue Patterned China
Blue Patterned China from Irene Tompkins
Cut Crystal and an Ethnic Apron
Every Kind of Serving Spoon and Fork

 See you there!  

If you have any questions about these tableware pieces feel free to email


What’s in a name?

"swap meet"
“swap meet”

Swap Meet” is a song off Nirvana’s album 1989 Bleach, but it didn’t make the cut in the 2009 re-release.  Ironically, that means it’s classified as “vintage vinyl”, which means you’re more likely to find it at Topanga Vintage Market, or PCC flea, or the Rose Bowl, than at your average “swap meet” .

Vintage albums and cd's at our flea market
Some of the vintage albums and cds at Topanga Vintage Market.

Of course, a “swap meet” is actually a place where pretty much anyone can sell pretty much anything. When I was a kid, we went to swap meets and swapped stuff.  But times change. Now it’s all about creating your own tiny cash business, so lots of swap meet vendors play it safe and sell just low cost essentials – like socks.  So many, actually, that LA’s Roadium swap meet has a sign saying “No more sock vendors accepted.”  

Swap Meets have Socks
Swap Meets have Socks

Would you buy used socks at a “flea market”?  Wikipedia says a flea market and a swap meet are pretty much the same, but I think not.  A flea market should have old stuff, hence the fleas.  Flea bitten. Worn.  Old.  Some say that the name comes from the famous Parisian outdoor markets, “les marches aux puces”, which means flea markets but sounds way better.  I bet they don’t sell many “socquettes”, but I may need to go to Paris and find out.

Eiffel tower in Paris, in same city as Marche des Puces
Eiffel tower in Paris, in same city as Marche des Puces

So why are we “Topanga Vintage Market” not “Topanga Flea Market”?

Swap meet, flea market, vintage market, antique market – it’s all good, right?  Except at Topanga Vintage Market we didn’t want new stuff, even socks.  We are junkanistas.  We wanted everything from fine to coarse, as long as it’s old.   And while hundred year old antiques are great, Lori loves mid-century glass and I happen to have a thing for all things aluminum, so we had to go with “vintage” – anything 20 years or older.  Including Nirvana.  We wanted to be really clear, cause we’re “all vintage, all the time.”

Topanga Vintage Market - is it a flea market?  Yes.
Topanga Vintage Market is it a flea market? Mais oui.

“Topanga Vintage Market” says it better than “Topanga Swap Meet” or even “Topanga Flea Market”, and we’re sticking to it.  Just don’t ask about the Topanga part.  That’s a whole ‘nother story.



Topanga Vintage Market on Collectors Bluebook

Woodland Hills California
Westfield Promenade Antique Flea Markets

We are conveniently located in the parking lot at Westfield Promenade, just a few blocks north of the 101 Freeway on Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Woodland Hills, CA.

We have over a 160 fabulous vendors of all manner of antiques and vintage goods, from furniture and home accessories to fashion, memorabilia and jewelry, so come early and stay late!

The market is open from 8 am to 3 pm. Sorry – no early birds at this time. Continue reading “Topanga Vintage Market on Collectors Bluebook”