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THE SCOUT: ART AND CRAFT

American thrift

January 24, 2008|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

For two decades, Beverly Archer kept audiences in stitches on sitcoms such as "Major Dad" and "Mama's Family." Now, as the proprietor of American Street, she searches the U.S. for amusing and amazing works of folk art: hand-crafted furniture, quilts, toys, tools and containers. "Before there was recycling there was, merely, thrift," Archer says. "Little was wasted because people had little, and waste was considered sinful. So the objects that speak to me are the stuff of leftovers -- scraps of wood, bottles and cans, cigar boxes and used stamps and candy wrappers." Among the pieces of Americana in her shop, which occupies two rooms at Thomas R. Field in South Pasadena: a three-legged table ($225) and a vase ($100) made from bottle caps, above; early 20th century carnival "punks" (from $55), like the one Archer holds below, which were used in baseball throwing games; and a carved wooden canine named Frankie the Dog ($750). 1127 Mission St., (626) 799-8546; www.americanstreet.com.

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