More jewelry from the estate

“Lots of Altered Art assemblage necklaces that the twins designed & made. Bangle bracelets from India that they loved to wear multiples of. I have several purses & canvas tote bags that the girls put Disney trading pins on as well as vests, jackets & sweat shirts. The twins loved to layer” says Kitty Doyle.
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Sneak preview of jewelry to be sold starting July 1, 2014

This is a sneak preview of the Gynomint Twins estate auction starting July 1.
1- Altered Art Necklaces
2 & 3 Mickey & Minnie XLg 5 1/2″ Designer Lilien Czech Rhinestone Pins
4 – Custom Made Lilien Czech bib Rhinestone Necklace
5 – Russian Hand Painted Mother of Pearl Pendant XLg 4″ long
6 – Altered Art / Hand Painted by Lori Gutierrez Pendant Necklace Nightmare Before Christmas
7- Skull Rhinestone 3 1/2″ long
8- Altered Art / Hand Painted by Lori Gutierrez Pin Nightmare Before Christmas
9- Vintage Hat with multiple collection of Vintage Bar Pins
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Flea market dealer makes comeback with hottest estate sale of the century

Shown here on their "Gynotour" holding a copy of Collector.

Shown here on their “Gynotour” holding a copy of Collector.

Gynomint Twins jewelry collection hits the auction block starting July 1st

The way she quit the business was epic. It was the second Sunday in July five years ago and she firesaled all of her merchandise in space HH 93 at the Rose Bowl until every last piece was gone. With the pink slip to her mid-90s white Chevrolet Safari work van in hand she sold that to seal the deal, and hitched a ride with her friend Marcy all the way home to Oceanside. Kitty Doyle had wiped her hands clean of the antique business all in one hot, summer afternoon.

“It is legendary how I retired,” Doyle laughed, adding that she had spent 20 years as a part of the flea market circuit, and had simply ran out of steam. Her biggest claim to fame was selling the estate of Earl Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason author) in Fallbrook.

Nearly five years later, she is back and it took something huge to bring her out of a life of luxurious retirement: walking on the beach, reading the latest novels and frequenting Disneyland as an annual pass holder. She is back with a bang. Kitty now has her hands on the hottest estate since Marilyn Monroe or Jackie O. The difference is, this stuff belonged to the biggest superstars ever in the antique business, and many items can be had for a little as $20.

It took 1,500 pieces of beautiful, blingy jewelry from the estate of the Gynomint Twins to breathe new life into Kitty’s antique passion. Just as she is sure that Diane and Valerie spent countless hours playing with, arranging and categorizing their jewelry, the torch, and enthusiasm has been passed on to Kitty.

She claims that she is researching, but admits that there has been a little trying on, as well.

Some speculated that this notorious collection of jewelry would have ended up in the hands of the Jewelry Idol, Connie Parente or a half dozen of the famous jewelry divas, but somehow, it was Kitty that snapped it up and the circumstances of the acquisition is all but a mystery. She had sold a couple of small items to the Gynotwins years ago, including a pair of candlesticks, but the twins were not her regulars.

In mid-May, Kitty, thrust back into the spotlight after such a long hiatus, acquired a sizable chunk of the Gynotwins jewelry inventory with some clothing and purses thrown in.

“It was really exciting to acquire this section of the estate to get me back into selling again,” she admitted. “I feel blessed that I was able to acquire this many fun things.”

Although she adamantly refused to divulge a single detail of how she came upon the inventory, a neighbor of the Gynomint Twins suspect it was their brother facilitating the liquidation of their estate. How Kitty, someone who had admittedly been out of the antique business for half a decade, became connected to the family, will remain a secret.

“Her family is very, very private and they just want to be left alone,” said Kitty.

However, those who want a piece of the bling that adorned the Gynotwins on their weekend antique adventures, Kitty will be listing pieces with fixed prices via her ebay store, Live 4 Treasures, and in auction format starting at 7:00 p.m. on July 1st.

She expects that it will take her a year to sell off the inventory, but plans to list at least 100 pieces a month until it has all been sold.

After seeing the sheer volume of the Gynotwin’s jewelry and accessory collection, she theorizes that it must have taken them between an hour and two hours to get dressed before heading out to one of the antique shows.

“Their collection was joyful and well thought out just based on the sheer volume of multiples,” she said, adding that they have more than 50 pirate heads, for example, that they would use to adorn purses, denim jackets and vests. Kitty has 22 denim jackets that are really art installations done by the girls and another dozen or so vests loaded with between 20 and 30 Disney trading pins and rhinestone brooches.

“They adorned and wore the vests and jackets and certainly spent time changing out and adding pins,” said Kitty. “They loved playing with their stuff.”

Kitty will also be offering the twins’ original “altered art” pieces.

“They made their own assemblage pieces on silk cords from inexpensive plastic pieces, sterling charms and mixed metal items,” said Kitty.

They had their necklace engineering system down to a science, she explained. Instead of dealing with metal chains and clasps that could get tangled up since they wore so many at a time, they developed a silk cord system that allowed them to easily tie and untie them.

“They really were artists who made their own ensembles,” she said.” Most of the personal necklaces that they made I plan to start out at $24.99 with no reserve and they may have $60 worth of silver charms alone.”

They also hired artists, like Lori Gutierrez of Country Roads, to design and paint pieces for them. Kitty has about a dozen pieces, including a glove form, customized by Gutierrez for the twins.

Among the items she is most excited about is the Lillian Czech Victorian Replica pieces, and not just their standard pieces which are pretty exceptional. The twins commissioned Lillian to do several dynamite Disney-meets-Victorian pieces.

“They were collecting Lillian before it was popular,” she said of the over-the-top sparkly Victorian pieces that were made starting in the mid-1970s. “The twins were big Lillian Czech collectors. They loved the perfection of these high end revival pieces.”

Kitty has hundreds of Lillian Czech bracelets, earrings, pendants and suites, but the showstoppers are the custom made pieces that “the girls” commissioned.

Kitty assures interested bidders that she will be listing one of the best custom made pieces on opening night. It is a huge Lillian bib necklace with dangling Mickey Mouse heads. She is not sure of the starting price yet, but she does plan to start the bidding on most items at well under value.

“I do not end any auctions early so everybody has a fair chance to win an item,” she said.

Kitty also has dozens of John Wind Disney charm bracelets, holiday-themed pieces, and a considerable amount of ethnic tribal jewelry, all of which will be listed over the next several months.

Although the Gynotwins were known for their love of the Disney villains, based on Kitty’s acquisition, she says they were pretty evenly balanced as far as their love for all the Disney characters: for every Cruella there is a Goofy.

“They liked the divas and the villains because they were strong and dramatic, but they are evenly balanced with the more traditional characters,” she said.

Kitty is busily preparing for the first round of auction items.

“Because it’s such a massive collection, its quite an undertaking to be able to categorize and store the items and then to prepare to sell and ship them,” she said, admitting that she has held large estate sale before, but this is the biggest collection she has ever bought outright. “It’s more complicated than it seems on the surface.”

Kitty’s inventory can be seen at live4treasures@ebay.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massive amount of GynoMint Twins’ estate to be sold on ebay starting July 1, 2014

Veteran dealer Kitty Doyle has just announced that she will be selling off a major portion of the twins’ estate. “The reason for this letter is that I have acquired the massive collection of The Gyno “Mint” Twins Costume and Disney Jewelry Estate.  I will begin selling their items On July 1st 2014 at 7pm on eBay at  live4treasures@ebay.com

 Nation’s top coroner couldn’t figure out what killed Valerie

There are no hard answers, but at least some of the crackpot rumors have been shot down.

The toxicology report is out! The news spread through Facebook, blogs, emails, and perplexed phone calls to antique industry insiders like an Ebola virus. After an excruciating ten-week wait for the answer to the biggest mystery to ever hit the antique industry, all that is available is frustration and a few crackpot theories. On November 21, 1980 they answered the question “Who shot J.R.” but what killed Valerie Blackler remains a mystery. What are the odds that a top coroner can’t figure out the cause of a death? They get it right almost every time, especially in one of the world’s largest county’s with the most advanced scientific equipment at their disposal. In a case as bizarre as identical twins dying at the same time, they’d be pretty motivated to nail it. They couldn’t.

This only happens about once in every 3,000 cases.

You would have a better chance of winning the lottery than stumping a coroner. The nation’s top medical examiner, Mark A. Fajardo, with a $32 million budget came up empty. He’s clueless as to what killed Valerie, the Gynotwin who was found dead in her bed in February.

The red scarf of death

However, there is no question about how her sister, Diane, died: Suicide. She hanged herself using a red scarf. She was found kneeling, suspended in the garage from a piece of gym equipment, or possibly a clothes rack. The report says both. She was found wearing a purple long-sleeved shirt, blue bra, blue jeans, blue underwear, and two white socks. When Officer Jacobs found Diane, he described her using these morbid words: “…extensive insect activity noted on the decedent,” “the eyes are decomposed.”

The possible alternative plan that would have allowed them to die together

The officer also noted something curious about their vehicles. “A second motor vehicle, with both the driver’s and passenger’s seats reclined back was noted west of the first vehicle.” This was probably their Jeep with the Mickey Mouse spare tire cover and the California plate that said “TOYHNTR.” This suspicious scene suggests they had a “Plan B” for killing themselves together through asphyxiation by carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage. In addition to the vehicle with reclined seats, the officer noted a disconnected hose in a trash bin along the west wall that could be connected to the tailpipe. As bizarre as the death of Diane appears to be, it’s nothing compared to the mysteries surrounding how 96-pound Valerie passed. In their shared bedroom on the second floor, the officer found her lying in bed on her back, with her arms crossed over her chest. Valerie was dressed similarly to Diane, but not exactly. Valerie was also wearing a purple long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans, but her undergarments were different colors. Valerie’s bra was purple, not blue, her panties were tan while Diane’s were blue, and her socks were blue, not white. Although the report comes up completely empty for the cause of death—not drugs, not cancer, nor any physical trauma, there are three substantial clues that may provide the answer. Possible life altering disease There is circumstantial and medical evidence that give reason to believe that Valerie was in the early stages of a life altering disease. Supporting that was literature on multiple sclerosis found on the kitchen counter, and the coroner’s autopsy report stated in the systemic and organ review that “there is mild thoracic scoliosis and focal cervical vertebrae osteophytes.” Serious, but not fatal Thoracic Scoliosis is serious, but not a fatal curvature of the spine, and cervical vertebrae osteophytes, which produces agonizing bone spurs in the neck. Although the coroner called it “mild,” it is possible that she was enduring a great deal of pain or expected to be faced with life-long debilitating pain. Medical insight Because of the Twins detailed knowledge as veteran nurse practitioners, they were in a position to know what these symptoms may lead to. In the case of the curvature of the spine, it could have led to painful breathing. If physical therapy didn’t do the trick, Valerie may have been forced to wear a cumbersome and embarrassing brace for long hours. If that didn’t work, dangerous spinal surgery was next. Cervical bone spurs can accompany spinal deformity. Valerie may have already been suffering from neck pain and stiffness, radiating pain into the shoulders and arms, and even numbness in the arms and hands. Because the twins, who were even cheerleaders in high school, were examples of near physical perfection, the idea of becoming crippled may have been intolerable. The worst rumors shot down Although the report does not answer the most important question, it puts to rest a host of ugly rumors spreading throughout the biz.

Hoarders

First of all, they had been accused of being hoarders. This calls to mind people who live in utter filth with old pizza boxes and newspapers stacked up to the ceiling. According to the coroner’s report in multiple sightings, “the home was clean and well-furnished…” As we would expect, the house was filled with thousands of dolls and teddy bears and other collecting trophies “arranged neatly” on almost every available surface. This would be consistent with the fact that they were super anal-retentive nurse practitioners who took great pride in their pristine appearance, as well.

More evidence Kevin Lyman said he met the twins 28 years ago when he installed a security system in their home and remained friends with the women. Lyman said the house was filled “floor to ceiling” with dolls and other antiques, but the rooms were always clean and neatly arranged.

“They weren’t hoarders, they were collectors. Everything had its place,” Lyman told reporter Kelly Puente of the Long Beach Register. Lyman’s statement cleary contradicts a widely circulated, dark and grainy photograph that purportedly shows the inside of the Twins’ living room.

Instead of neat showcases it looks like a riotous teddy bear and doll convention from a Stephen King nightmare. It’s so dense with stuffed toys that it would be impossible for the coroner to have stated that the furniture was nice and the house was clean. Because the legitimacy of this photo is in dispute, Collector magazine is not lending credence to this noxious image by printing it.

Another nasty rumor that the coroner’s report shoots down makes the Twins seem unjustifiably weird. Supposedly, according to phantom detectives investigating the case, the eyes of all of their dolls were scratched out with knives and black markers. There is no evidence of this. There was zero mention of this demonic ceremony in the otherwise thorough report. The last one, while seemingly more benign, is actually the most malicious because it makes it appear as if it was a “ritualistic” suicide. Supposedly, when Valerie was found in her bed, it was covered in a shrine of mourning teddy bears and dolls, as if they were weeping over her death. Considering that the coroner mentions a myriad of other details of the house, down to the miscellaneous boxes in the garage, he certainly wouldn’t have missed a funeral scene of stuffed animals surrounding her.

Ever since this horrible tragedy happened several months ago, there have been bucket loads of rumors about the deaths. However, most of these theorists are neglecting to take into account one very important fact. The Gynotwins took a 30-day leave of absence from their job starting on January 1st to take care of a supposedly sick uncle who has never surfaced. This furlough implies premeditation. It virtually rules out the possibility of murder or accidental death. That would be just too coincidental for it to have happened during those 30 days. n It looks planned. However, there are no theories that make sense.

Even if Valerie had all the motivation in the world to kill herself, the coroner, the biz, and even Collector magazine doesn’t know how she did it. Read the reports yourself: collectornetwork.net/valerie.pdf, and collectornetwork.net/diane.pdf.

Hunter’s follow up letter taking Collector to task on what he considers unprofessional phraseology

“super anal-retentive nurse practitioners” and sentences like “There was zero mention of this demonic ceremony in the otherwise thorough report,” read as unprofessional.
Thank you again for your call and for having a discussion with me. It gave me a direct understanding of your viewpoints and goals and I have nothing but respect for your desire to address complaints and take criticism into account.
As far as my expertise regarding writing and journalism, I am currently a Graduate student studying English: Creative Writing at Chapman university with a few published short stories and a short list of screenwriting credits to my name. My thesis advisor, with whom I work closely, is noted journalist and author Tom Zoellner. I have also attended symposiums and received personal advice from award-winning journalist Mike Sager.
First, in your article featured in the May 2014 issue I feel that the journalistic standards for reporting on suicide were not upheld. One of the guidelines for reporting on suicide published by the University of Hong Kong Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention is “Don’t report specific details of the suicide method and its procedures, especially the venue of suicide, the tools used, the amount of pills taken, etc.” I feel that this guideline was violated when the method of Diane’s suicide was discussed in-depth on page 20, as well as when the possibility of attempting to commit suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning was detailed on page 21. Below is a link to the published guidelines.
There are other guidelines included in the above publication, such as “The News report should not attribute suicide as a choice of solution to any problem,” that I think warrant an examination.
Furthermore, one of the guidelines provided at http://reportingonsuicide.org/ cautions not to use “Big or sensational headlines, or prominent placement (e.g., ‘Kurt Cobain Used Shotgun to Commit Suicide.'” I feel that bolded phrases such as “The red scarf of death” in your May article and the title “The Mysterious Death of the Gynomint Twins” in your initial article are examples of the type of sensationalism that should be avoided in journalism.
Also included in the guidelines from http://reportingonsuicide.org/ is a warning against “Describing suicide as inexplicable or ‘without warning.'” I feel phrases in your initial article on the death of the twins such as “For no good reason, one fine day, two gorgeous, affluent women, just decided to end it all,” violated this guideline.
I’m not trying to say that I hold Collector Network to the same standards as The New York Times, but these sort of headlines and phrases read more like something from the cover of The National Enquirer when I know your intention was not merely to shock readers. Having spoken to you on the phone I know your heart is in the right place and I am confident you are not trying to be inflammatory with your articles and headlines. I just want to alert you to the fact that this sort of reporting is often seen as sensationalistic and dangerous.
As far as the writing itself, the grammar is good and I cannot take issue with anything of that sort. However, descriptors such as “super anal-retentive nurse practitioners” and sentences like “There was zero mention of this demonic ceremony in the otherwise thorough report,” read as unprofessional. Phrases that show bias such as describing a rumored photo of the twins’ residence as a “noxious image” and referring to word-of-mouth reports as “nasty rumors” are not the sort of thing found in good journalism. There was some good reporting work done here and I feel it was marred by some of the other elements within the article.
Lastly, I have an issue with phrases such as the one you closed your initial article on the matter with: “There are no answers to what caused the deaths of the Twins; but one thing is for sure. It wasn’t the antique business.” While I know that you strongly want to combat a public image of collectors as hoarders I feel there is a time and a place to do so. Stephen J.A. Ward, Professor of Journalism Ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, writes in an article here http://www.journalismethics.info/ethics_in_news/suicide.html “What counts as exploitation? To exploit is to unfairly use people in a less powerful position to achieve your own ends.” I feel like using the details of the tragic deaths of two people to fight back at those who deride collectors as hoarders is exploitative. Again, I don’t think you did any of this with a malicious intent, however, I do not think this series of articles does your character due justice.
I would’ve been happy to display a magazine featuring an article that commemorated the lives of these two women and expressed sadness over the tragedy of their deaths. In an article of that kind I do think there is a way to give a few details of the circumstances while remaining respectful. Sadly, I do not think that was accomplished here.
Thank you,
Hunter

2238 E 4th Street
Long Beach,CA 90814
562 439 4539
dejavulongbeach.com

Horrified by the lack of professionalism and sensitivity in the article

I am the manager of Deja Vu, a vintage shop on 4th Street’s Retro Row in Long Beach. I am emailing to inform you that your magazine will no longer be displayed in my store due to your piece on the suicide of two women.

I do not know these women, have no ties to them in any way, but I was still horrified by the lack of professionalism and sensitivity in the article. It was a piece that simultaneously revealed private information and also, in some twisted way, sought to defend the reputation of the deceased. There was no journalistic integrity present in the story. The article assumed I knew who these women were and the story of their deaths already. This story was not journalism, it was gossip. I will not display a magazine that prints such abysmal writing in the store I manage and I have urged others on Retro Row to do the same. No future issue of Collector Network will have a place in my shop. Your magazine has been blacklisted by Deja Vu.

In the future, remember that the dead have friends and families and there is a way to write journalism about the deceased while maintaining respect and integrity. You failed to act professionally in your recent issue and it has cost you in circulation and potential advertising revenue.

hunter@dejavulongbeach.com

Publisher accused of “voyeurism and is an invasion of privacy” in regards to article on the Gynomint Twins

IMG_1677To Frank Donadee
Editor of The Collector Magazine

“The reporting of the circumstances of Valerie and Diane Blackler death in the May
2014 issue was certainly a topic which all that knew them personally or by
their consistent joy and happiness they brought to each antique or collectible event
was news we all had waited for. The public media was a bit slow and reluctant to
report on the issues and circumstances but like me, a dealer since 1987 in
Southern California, the antique community waited for The Collector to inform
us.

Although your reporting did clear up some questions, you revealing of intimate details of the color and type of undergarments was completely unnecessary and disrespectful to these two women. Why? Why did you need to disclose this information? It has nothing to do with the case, solving this case or cause of death. It borders on voyeurism and is an invasion of privacy of these woman.

Your extremely poor choice to print this information, showed an interesting side of your reporting priorities and everyone that has read the article that I have spoken with keeps asking “Why? I believe an apology is in order.

Regards, Billy D.

ohana@mindspring.com

Long Beach Press-Telegram finally relents

After a barrage of calls and emails, the LBPT has finally changed their photo caption which claimed that the Twins were murdered. It was assumed that this was no new theory of theirs, but a simple mistake they were too lazy to correct. When it comes to a subject as serious as murder, it’s important to get the facts right; and if they are not right, then they should be corrected.

lbptchanges

Today’s caption; finally fixed.