Friday, June 10, 2016

An Unexpected Journey

My morning started with a text message from my junking buddy, Bargain Hunter:  "Can you be dressed and meet me in an hour?"  When I asked where we were going, she just said, "Not telling...but you'll really like it!"

Never mind cleaning the bathrooms...or watering the garden...or working in the barn -- I was going on an adventure!

We'd talked a lot about how the sales always seemed better in the older neighborhoods around Detroit than they are by us and that we wanted to go to some garage sales there.  That's what we did today!  Bargain Hunter had four sales mapped out and ready to go.

The first sale was advertised as 'Pyrex and Vintage'.  I felt sure the Pyrex would be all gone, but it wasn't -- there was a lot there, plus some other good stuff.  I got a few things for my collection and a birthday gift for someone (I can't tell, in case she sees this post)
This Bluebirds casserole and Apple Tree carafe will look great in my kitchen!
Gold spattered Fire King baking dish in a white metal cradle
 Sale #2 was a real frog.  Advertised as 'vintage', but the oldest thing there was from the late 90s -- not my idea of old (I have kids older than most of the stuff at that sale)!

Next stop was an estate sale and it was a Prince (with a capital P)!  The basement was packed.  I got so much Christmas and fun kids' stuff there that I could hardly claim it fast enough.  I filled a plastic salad bowl with Christmas kitsch AND got a Santa & sleigh for just $4!
Santa & his sleigh have the original box.  The spaghetti Santa has blue rhinestone eyes (just a little creepy)
Gurley candles and Hong Kong nativities are always popular
Love this Japanese stocking face pose doll 
I also picked up 2 partial rolls of vintage Christmas wrap and a big roll of commercial Christmas paper.  I think I'll use it to wrap my Etsy orders this holiday season.   Today was the second day of the sale, so everything was 25% off, too!  The estate sale company was a new one to me, but one I'll watch for in the future --  the people running it were really nice and VERY organized (always a plus).
The chalkware puppy will have to stay here, I think...I've really become attached to him
Fun kids' books
I think the paper dolls go with the Betsy McCall set...they have mohair doll hair
Embroidered tea towels
Of course, there had to be a pennant there somewhere!
The last place we went to was another estate sale with lots of fishing stuff.  I got a few lures for my son and a Pyrex percolator.  Bargain Hunter found a live catch basket and an anchor for her son...the guys made out pretty well at that sale!
Cowboy and western glasses are so cool!
So a big thank you to Bargain Hunter and her spur-of-the-moment invitation!  This adventure was a happy end to a long week of work.  I'll be up for an unexpected journey any time.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Perfect Day for a Vintage Flea Market

Today was the first flea market of the season at Midland Fairgrounds.  My friend Bargain Hunter couldn't go, so Mr. KV kindly offered to go with me (what a guy!)  It was fun shopping with him and he even found a few things to buy.  It was a perfect day, skies, wispy clouds and a high of 80.

I laughed with him about how I'd really have to rein in my buying because I didn't have Bargain Hunter's granny cart to use, in addition to my own (I usually end up spilling over into hers when I run out of space in mine).  I really held back!  My total purchases (and his) didn't even fill my cart.  I think having a huge yard sale and still donating a lot of the leftovers may have had something to do with my frugality, too -- I'm just oh-so aware that I have so much stuff!

There were the usual sights to see at Midland...many favorite dealers were back, though their prices were noticeably higher.  Even the 'digger' vendors who just pile their stuff on plywood and sawhorse tables were priced like malls today!

I did see some very cool things, though...
This big Pepsi Santa was pretty creepy
Love this tin toy
This glider and chair sold almost immediately after I took the picture
SO many Hummels!  (and no one was stopping to look at them...)
Great starburst entertainment set and holder!
Outstanding red & gray barkcloth, but not for me at $25

The prize for 'most creative' goes to the man who makes these birdhouses -- he told me that no two are ever alike, since he uses whatever he can find to decorate them.  I'm kicking myself (pun intended) for not buying one of the cowboy boots.

 Here's what I actually bought:
A few souvenirs (of course...)
Some Christmas (also of course...)  The Helen Gallagher Christmas catalog is from 1967 and the ceramic tree is a music box!
Love these flocked apple ornaments with the pixies inside...four will make their way to the Etsy shop, but one will have to live on our tree
My newest passion...colored aluminum!  These dessert bowls will end up on Etsy, too
 You always find the most random and unusual stuff at flea markets -- that's what makes them so much fun!  Here are some of the unexpected things that came home with me:
The Wilken family (whoever they were) published a cookbook and photo album in 1935.  I really like the previous owner's handwritten note, 'very good biscuits', on the front.  It makes me want to try the recipe before I sell it
Stiff cardboard calendar pages from 1937, illustrated with monkeys and orangutans doing sports -- they're very strange
A 'my pal' dog night light for a child's room, a turquoise wall sconce (which needs a really good cleaning!) and a pair of cemetery vases with spikes
Here are my favorite finds of the day:
Black cat's eye glasses decorated with rhinestones (with case), a red Swingline pencil sharpener and best of all, a ceramic 'My Rosary' angel rosary holder, that came with a little girl's rosary.  I think she's pretty rare
 And this is the only thing I actually bought for myself...
Pyrex pink daisy space saver with lid -- in great condition!
It was just a fun day all around...I hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Three States, Seven Antique Malls

This spring, we made our annual road trip to Florida to visit our son and his girlfriend.  They're in southwest Florida and it seems like it takes forever to get there, so we take breaks out of the driving time to stop at antique malls along the way...what could be better?

I took lots of pictures of the malls, the booths and their items, but most of my pictures have disappeared into cyberspace (perhaps they've been hijacked by antiquing aliens...I have no idea where they went)!  I've borrowed a few of the following from the internet to make up for it.

The first stop, on the first day, was in Kentucky.  We visited with my 93 year old aunt in Cincinnati (my hometown), had lunch at Skyline Chili and then headed across the Ohio River to Florence Antique Mall.  We'd been there before and I always look forward to it, but I'd never seen it so junk-y!  This time, it seemed like there were lots more of the newer flea market items -- newer Hot Wheels, newer Beanie Babies and lots of stuff from the 2000s, clearly made in China.  I bought a couple of items for my Etsy shop, but really wasn't impressed, and I don't think we'll bother to arrange a day around that mall again.

Next stop, on the second day, was Big Peach in Byron Georgia.  There again, it was much more junk and many more 'craft' booths than I remembered from past years.  I don't know if I'm becoming more of a discriminating shopper or the sellers have changed....maybe a bit of both.  There are also several dealers at Big Peach who sell reproductions and don't identify them.  I don't have a problem with repros at all, as long as they're clearly marked and priced accordingly.   One of the booths had shelves full of new jadite, priced as vintage.  Big Peach was really disappointing and we felt like it was another day's stop wasted.

I liked this clothespin bag, but couldn't be sure it was vintage and it was priced pretty high, too.  I think I'll copy it, though, using vintage just so cute!
A fun way to use old pillowcases
On the third day, we stopped at a new mall, Ocala Antiques and Estates.  It was not only 'new to us', but seemed like a newly opened mall, as well.  The staff were really friendly and nice and there was a good variety of items, plus LOTS more 'man-tiques' than we usually see at a mall.  It's not huge (about 15,000 sq feet), but worth a short stop if you have time.  I don't know if we'll go there again, just because it's fairly small and there were more primitives and true 100-year-old antiques than we're interested in.

lots of man-tiques and stuffed animals in this big booth
I found some really nice kitschy, made-in-Japan figurines at Ocala -- we were glad we'd stopped.

As we went farther south in Florida, we saw a couple of billboards for Traditions Antiques in Wildwood.  Apparently there's a second, really big mall there -- Wildwood Antiques -- but we ran out of time and didn't drive the additional mile to get there.

Traditions was a very pleasant surprise, after the disappointments of Florence & Big Peach!  It's advertised as about 30,000 square feet and it's really big -- several rooms (the main room has a balcony full of booths) and aisle ways that go on and on.  There was an interesting variety of items and booths, from fine china and furniture to mid-century kitsch.  The owner was really friendly (and funny, too) and the staff nice, as well.  We added it to the 'go back again' list and thanked them for having TWO billboards -- one to get our attention and the second one to get the details of where to exit.

We stopped at Webb's Antiques in Lake City, Florida on our way back home.  It's really big, but it seems an inconsistent mix of some nice booths and a lot of the downright junk-y.  One thing I noticed this time is that Webb's is the place to buy in bulk, if you're looking for a lot of one type of item, as so many of the booths looked almost like wholesalers.  Check some of them out:
Need a bottle (or two or three hundred)?
I only found two things that I couldn't leave behind -- both tiered tidbit trays (and both really dirty and needing a good scrubbing!)  Of course, they were in a booth that had at least 20 other tidbit trays, too...Webb's dealers must buy in bulk!

Our last stop was Gateway Antiques in Ringgold, Georgia and I felt like we saved one of the best for last.  We'll definitely always try to stop there in the future!  It was clean and bright with lots of variety in the booths, which were also really well 'staged' (no junk just piled on the floor).

My photos from Gateway are among the missing, so these pics are from their website.  There's an interesting booth there that's not on their's actually a large room and doubles as a military museum.  There are military artifacts from the Civil War through World War II (or maybe Vietnam, though I didn't see any) and some of them are really rare (with prices to match).  It was fascinating just to walk around and look at them.
I liked this mobile hanging over the center staging of gardening stuff, right inside the door
A cool way to use vintage yardsticks
Right by Gateway Antiques is Antiques by the Fountain (named that because there's a fountain inside).  It was much smaller than Gateway and almost all newer homegoods, displayed really well.  It would be a great place to shop to decorate your home if you didn't want vintage, but not as much for the collector.
Don't be fooled by the door with the OPEN sign...follow the arrow around to the side door

So we've crossed two or three malls off of our list, added a couple of new ones and got some great stuff along the way...all part of a fun road trip!