You get more when you buy an antique

  • Here's help with your spring buying decisions.

    Here's help with your spring buying decisions.

  • Iron Horse Antiques presents the $350 doll surrey.

    Iron Horse Antiques presents the $350 doll surrey.

Published3/14/2009 12:01 AM

Whether it's useful like furniture or a rug or merely decorative, sometimes antiques do not cost any more than brand new items.

But oh, what stories they tell.


The primitive cabinet would look great in your entry, but it also might remind you of the woman who worked so hard a century ago on a farm not far from where you live now.

And the old sign touting a gasoline brand no longer around could brighten your bar or office while bringing back memories of your childhood.

Whether your home is new or also an antique, a mantel rescued from a demolished mansion makes a terrific focal point in your family room.

Fifty-five dealers are selling at the Fox Valley Antiques Show, which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, March 15, at the Kane County Fairgrounds on Randall Road between Route 64 and Route 38 in St. Charles.

One of the special events is a noon talk by Ray McCaskey about collecting Lincoln-related objects.

You can check out a $350 doll surrey in the Iron Horse Antiques booth.

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Admission is $8 each, parking free. Coupons for $1 off are available online.

Visit or call (815) 575-1277.

Easy-to-grow plants that are worth it

It's always a challenge to figure what plants to buy, especially now when we certainly don't want to waste any money.

Author Tracy DiSabato-Aust has some suggestions in "50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants," (Timber Press, $16.95).

Here are a few of her ideas: Gold Heart bleeding heart, which gives you yellow leaves in the shade, and tumbleweed onion, an ornamental also called allium schubertii.

And of course there are favorite natives like blue false indigo and chasmanthium latifolium, which the author calls wild-oats, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture refers to as Indian woodoats.


DiSabato-Aust says all these plants are tough, beautiful and durable. In fact, she promises quite a few virtues including resistance to deer, cold, drought and heat.

Can your phone pick your colors?

Remember dragging husbands or friends to stores to get opinions before making major purchases from furniture to wallpaper?

Those days are over, at least for the high-tech crowd.

An app or software application for the popular iPhone might make it unnecessary.

Here's how ColorMatch from Raisix Inc. works: You download it for $5 from the Apple iTunes App Store to your iPhone.

Then you shoot a picture of say a sofa in a store, and ColorMatch comes up with a palette to complement it.

There's even a boldness level so you can pick your color scheme according to how risky or traditional you are or are feeling today.

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