Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yikes! Where did 3 Months Go?

I just looked back at the blog and realized that I haven't posted in almost 3 months!  It seems like November, December and now January have blown by in a whirlwind of activity....New booth...Thanksgiving...Christmas...and the super-busy holiday shopping season on Etsy.

I went all out decorating for Christmas this year!  It was fun to go to the antique mall holiday open houses and sales and to buy even more vintage Christmas (as though I don't have enough already...).

I got this sweet wooden elf at Williamston Antiques.  He was originally part of a set of 13 or 14, but he's the only one that came home with me.  I put him inside the big (four foot) lighted wreath that my dad made for Mr. KV and me about 35 years ago.  The elf looks like he belongs there!
At Little Red Schoolhouse, I got this great bottle brush tree with a music box base.  It's in mint condition with ALL of its ornaments and mercury glass candles.  (I didn't take a picture of it all by itself -- it's the little tree on the right, next to the beautiful baby).
We found this big wood NOEL at Jeffrey's Antiques in Findley, Ohio on the way home from Thanksgiving.  It looks great in the kitchen.
I picked I added several Japanese pose dolls to the growing collection.  If you grew up in the 50s or 60s, you will remember these -- they have stocking faces and are wrapped over wire bodies so they can be posed.  I got a Santa and an elf this year.
I was lucky enough to get three big blow mold Santa faces this summer and couldn't find a place on the front of the house for any of them.  I'm going to sell one or two of them, but hung one on the back porch, facing the kitchen.  I love being able to look out and see him there -- he makes me smile every time and our little granddaughter loves him.  Maybe I won't take him down.  Is it weird to have Christmas light up all summer?
We found the perfect place for the plywood Santa that I got last year -- next to the fireplace in the living room!  He kept blowing over on the front porch last year, and I was afraid he'd break.  He looked just right there.
After Christmas, I went back to Williamston Antiques with my sister, because it's one of her favorite malls.  I got this great angel display from a dealer who used to be at our antique mall.  It's big -- about 4 feet tall -- and really fragile, because it's that thin celluloid plastic from the 50s.  I don't think it's ever been out of the box.  Isn't it great?

The new booth has kept me really busy.  Two weeks AFTER I moved everything in, I decided I hated the wall color that was there and couldn't live with it.  So I moved everything away from the walls and painted.  Not the easiest way to do it, but where's the fun in doing things the easy way?    It's been a lot of work to keep both booths stocked (that's good news, though, because it means things are selling).  I don't think I realized how much more planning and prepping would be involved with just adding one more booth.  The furniture is starting to thin out a little in the barn and garage, though, and Mr. KV is very happy about that!

The 'Etsy Every Day' project was a real success.  I listed almost 400 items in 2014; well beyond one each day.  I've been keeping it up so far in January, but have really enjoyed not having the every-day commitment to deal with.

I know that there will be lots of flea markets and sales coming in the spring, so I've been trying not to buy now, but rather take a look at what I have and get it listed and in the booth.  I've bought some great stuff in the past few years and completely forgotten about some of it!  It's sort of like a treasure hunt (for free!) or an archaeological dig, going to layer after layer of cool vintage finds.

I found this really sweet tin Valentine candy box from the 1920s.  It was made by Tindeco for the Sanders Chocolate Company, which was a favorite confectioner in the Southeast Michigan area, but are now gone. The box has great Art Nouveau styling and is in excellent condition.
I'd also forgotten about this Franciscan Coronado demitasse set that I got in Kentucky almost 2 years ago.  It's really beautiful!
I looked in a back corner of one shelf and found lots of blue transferware that I'd bought at a sale almost four years ago.  I think I moved it to the back in a 'safe place' and then didn't remember where I put it (have you ever done that?)  How could I completely forget about 3 covered vegetable bowls, a gravy set, 10 plates and a platter?  It boggles the mind!
I'll update more often now and will post pictures of more treasures as I find them in my basement.  I also know that there will be a few sales that I just can't miss and some shopping adventures with my friend Bargain Hunter, so there will be new things to find.

I'm really looking forward to getting back into routine.  In a way, January, February and March are a relief, with no outside work to do and no holidays to plan and just lots of time to get inside jobs done.   Am I the only one who feels like this?  Do you get lots of inside work done in the winter?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Painting and Pricing and Worn Out!

I'm running out of time to get things prepped for the new booth (if the previous dealer vacates on time, I'll move in the day after tomorrow).  I've spent the past several weeks sorting and pricing items and painting furniture from the barn.  Mr. KV is really excited, hoping that the 'hoarder's heaven' in the barn will retreat and we'll be able to see the walls again.  I'm not so sure, but I don't want to burst that bubble of hope, so I don't tell him.  I know that more will arrive to take its place (I have NO idea how it gets there...)!
The barn, before...
The girls don't care what I do, as long as I don't start storing stuff in their coop
My side of the garage is full of tables, shelves and chests of drawers in various stages of being painted.  I've been making my own chalk paint, which I don't think is quite as nice as the commercial brands, but it's so much less expensive!  I shop the 'oops' bin at Home Depot every time I go and usually find some interesting colors in their small sample sizes, which are just the right amount for a batch of chalk paint.
Waiting to be painted (not the white cabinets -- they're great just as they are)
I'm getting Christmas stuff ready for the new booth.  This choir boy is one of my favorites, along with the home-made porch candles.  
The white bench needs a top and I just have to choose which vintage fabric or barkcloth I can give up.  I hate to ever cut them and give them away -- I'm such a fabric junkie!
making progress
These two turquoise pieces will be mod podged with some map pages.  I'm not finished with them yet, so the 'after' pictures are still to come.  I'm really having fun doing things with maps and globes!

The two-tone drawers on this little chest REALLY bother me, but the green is great!  Why would anyone leave just two drawers and the knobs unpainted?  They must have been getting in touch with their artistic side....  I looked into getting a complementary green for the opposite drawers, but it ended up costing too much to make it worthwhile for resale.  Instead, I found a perfect shade in a sample size to match the green and am going to paint just the two odd drawers (but not the knobs).  I might paint the knobs antique white, but I'll probably end up leaving them alone.

Mr. KV and I will be moving things into the new booth Saturday morning (Lord willing and the other dealer moves out...)  One thing we're taking in is a mid-century metal office desk that we've had all of our married life (37 years...).  Neither one of us can remember where we got it, but we know it was when we were newlyweds and one of our offices remodeled, so we got it for free.  It's so cool -- seafoam green with a formica top and all the style of the 60s.  It's in near-mint condition, even though we've moved it to 5 states.

I'll post pictures of the booth next week when the dust settles.  There might even be a barn picture where you can see the walls, but don't count on it!

Find of the Week -- Wedell & Boers Carpenter's Case!

I took time out from painting and prepping to go to a family run estate sale that was on the way to the antique mall.  The sale was in a 100+ year old farmhouse on almost a hundred acres.  There wasn't much in the house that I wanted, so I went out to a little block building (about the size of a big garage) in the back.  It was the milking parlor and was full of old farm implements and tools I couldn't identify or begin to guess the purpose of.  I got an interesting heavy cast iron bowl that was the water bowl for the cow being milked (the elderly son of the even more elderly farmer told me this).

My greatest treasure, though, is this really shabby suitcase!  It's cloth over wood and has a drop-down side with a removeable tray.  It's really beat up and in poor condition, but so interesting.  It turns out that it's a carpenter's tool case made by Wedell & Boers in Detroit, probably sometime in the late 1910s or 1920s.  I'm going to vacuum it out, figure out how to clean it up without ruining it and get it into some kind of shape.




It's a fun bit of history, even though it will never be in great condition.  Do any of you know what these slats were for?  The leather belts snap over them to hold the contents in -- I'm guessing that they were for the carpenter's rulers, guages or metal files.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Monday Sale -- Chenille, Quilts and Yo-Yos -- Oh My!

We went out of town last weekend for a family wedding -- always a fun thing -- and I returned last night to find an email from my friend Bargain Hunter telling me about a sale today.  We've shopped together for so long that we know exactly what the other one looks for.  So, when she tells me "I know you don't want to buy right now, but you have to look at this sale", I pay attention!

And, of course, I saw lots I liked and, of course, I went to the sale.  It was run by a great estate sale company -- really friendly and relaxed (as opposed to frazzled and crabby, as some of them are). Everything was priced, there were plenty of workers to answer questions and the prices were fair to both the sellers and the buyers, so it was a pleasure to shop.

I met one of Bargain Hunter's Facebook friends there, too (who, I found out also reads my blog).  That was a fun bonus...it's always nice to meet new vintage shoppers!

I came home with plenty of cool stuff -- mostly linens and kitchen stuff, but also a mix of good things for the booth and for etsy.

Here are the highlights...
A chenille doll bed cover, a blue chenille bathroom rug and the primary striped throw is a baby bed size -- perfect for snuggle time!
A french provincial musical jewelry box, a large quilted hatbox (it's hard to see it with the pillow inside of it) and a pillow made from a chenille bedspread
This photo doesn't do justice to the soft aqua blue of this quilt and the cool polka dotted accent fabric.  It's frayed and worn, but I think this sweetie has to stay with me (at least for a while)
I love this peachy lap quilt and yo-yo pillow
A set of Cory 'his and hers' individual carafes, a pretty iris tin and what looks like a Fiesta Go-Along vase, spooner or flower pot (Bargain Hunter will know if this is true).  The stripes are certainly Fiesta colors
It's hard to see what this is, but it's an old metal wall-mounted shaving mirror.  And an ice bag with original box
Brookpark Melmac Thanksgiving platter and Made in Japan turkey salt & peppers
Such a sweet painted and embroidered nursery picture and a Plaskool tray puzzle "Let Us Set the Table"
And of course, how could I pass up a pincushion, a bank or some postcard folders?
These yellow kitchen chairs are near-mint!  Look at the great detailing on the back
I know it's nerdy, but I was thrilled to see these while walking out to my car... They're garden mushrooms -- either pottery or chalkware or a combination of both.  The caps are on springs so they'll bob, I guess.   These will look perfect in my new, enlarged herb bed!
 I was thrilled with everything I got.  It's so seldom that I come home from a sale and don't have even one item I regret buying! I usually have buyer's remorse over some bit of 'junk' or another that I know I should have left there.  This time, though, everything was great.

Thanks again, Bargain Hunter, for the heads-up!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Make It Work

I took a leap of faith this month...I commited to rent a second booth at the antique mall.  I'm really a nervous-nellie about it and am worried about making the higher rent every month.  I hope that having twice as much stuff there will generate at least twice as much income.  After all, I can't sell it when it's in my basement (or barn...or garage...or car), can I?

The new booth is right next to my current one and I'd originally wanted them to knock down the wall between, which turned out to not be possible.  They were going to cut a 7 foot wide opening in the wall for me, but I decided against that.  My thinking is that, while it might make it interesting to link the two, it really presented some logistical & arrangement problems and lost me a lot of wall space.

My goal is to get rid of a lot of the furniture I have in the barn and haven't had room for in my current booth.  I also want to have more themes and vignettes in the new one, starting with more clothing & fashion items and lots and lots of Christmas.

That all sounds great, doesn't it?  There's a saying that 'if you want to make God laugh, make plans' -- so true, and I was reminded of it again this week...
I was supposed to move in on October 1, but a management mix-up left the current dealer in place until October 31, so now I don't get in until November 1.  I'd been getting so much stuff ready to take in and it;s all set up in piles everywhere in the basement.  Now we have to walk around it (and work around it) for another month.  What a mess, and what a disappointment!

I went to the mall on Sunday and only took in the few things that I could locate and was sure were for the old booth.  I feel like it's starting to look stale and I don't want shoppers to feel like they've seen it all before, but now I can't freshen it by moving some of it 'next door' as I'd intended.  I'm a big fan of Project Runway and I could just feel Tim Gunn standing next to me with his arms crossed, looking at my tired booth and saying 'It just looks like something we've all seen before.  This is a make-it-work moment for you, so get busy'!

I rearranged everything in the middle of the booth. As I did that, one employee walked by and told me how cute the kids' table and chairs were and 'did you just bring them in?'  Funny, because they'd been in my booth for 3 months!  Rearranging is always a good idea.

Anyway, here's what my 'make it work' booth looked like when I left...
This is the little table that had been there 3 months, but no one had seen...hopefully they will now.  The souvenir trays in the little suitcase were another thing that just didn't have a place to land.  They're totally out of sync with the kids stuff, but it just had to be that way.
I could only bring in a few Christmas items, but these candles had to leave the garage -- Mr. KV was tired of tripping over them!
 The Delphos Bending Co. horse bouncer was the last straw & the final 'make it work' moment!  I was all finished and had nowhere to put him.  I got some cardboard and taped it to the rails so he could sit on top of the cabinet.  Maybe after being tucked under almost every table in the booth someone will see him up high.

I'll take pictures and post when the new booth is empty.  For now, the basement is just going to have to look like 'Hoarders' Heaven'!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mid-Century Christmas Bonanza!

Today was the last flea market I'll get to go to before next spring.  Such a sad time (though my bank account will be happy!)  Davisburg Antique Festival is a spin-off of the big Midland Antique Festival and this was only the second one, so it was still small, though larger the first one...word is getting out to the dealers that it's worthwhile.  My friend Bargain Hunter and I had so much fun at the first one that we were really looking forward to this one.

It was SO chilly and rainy (just like the first one was in the spring)!  I even bought mittens because my hands were so cold!  The grounds were a sea of mud, but the organizers worked hard to make shopping as easy as possible (with boards covering most of the mud puddles) and did a really good job.

I couldn't pass up this great mid-century glassware -- a pink spaghetti-ware martini set and a snack set in the same pattern.  It was hard to get a good picture to see how cool the pink is on the glass, so I added the oh-so-classy trashbag to stand it on.  Nice touch, isn't it?  The photos still don't do the sets justice -- they're just gorgeous!


As usual, I was the big spender (what a surprise!)   I was trying so hard to be frugal, though, and as we walked back to the car, I was congratulating myself that I had most of my spending money left in my wallet.  Until we saw that 'one more tent' that had looked closed before, but now was open.

What a find!  I knew it was going to be bad when, as I walked in, I heard BH laugh and say 'Step away from the vintage Christmas...'  As if I could ever do that!  The older couple who had it were selling off a lot of their own Christmas stuff and there was so much to choose from.

First I got a cardboard fireplace, complete in its box.

Then I saw an aluminum tree, which they were selling with 2 (yes, 2!) colored lights!
It even has the 'reaming tool' to pare down the point on the tree if the wood swells from humidity.


Do you want to see how this works?  I've uploaded a video
That was quickly followed by a Holt Howard angel planter from 1958 (I forgot to take a picture of that one).

The final piece, though was a really cool Glo-lite lighted musical scene from 1949 called 'Christmas Eve Capers'.  It plays Jingle Bells and Santa that flies up the chimney as children that 'run' after him.   It's hard to believe, but I almost walked away from it -- I was trying so hard to not buy so much.  But I didn't and here it is....

You can see a video of it working here
Here are some other images from Davisburg -- stuff I bought and stuff I liked...
This is more Christmas I brought home.  I flat out LOVE the elves with angel wings and tinsel magic wands!
I really liked this booth!  I want to link to her FB page, but have to find her business card first...
I wish I had had time to root through all of these ashtrays (and that they hadn't been out in the rain)
Vintage cameras and photos were really popular
One of my favorite vintage Christmas booths
Check out the ornaments in the jars -- I'm going to do some of those this year!
I HAVE to paint a polka dot chair!
 And while I'm doing show and tell, here's a fun desk lamp and boomerang formica kid's table I got at a garage sale last week...

 If you live in southeast Michigan, try not to miss Davisburg next year -- you won't be disappointed!  Just remember to pack your rain gear.