Friday, January 27, 2012

No Shopping Today

I didn't go shopping today. 

Mr. KV told me the other day that 'the basement is full of stuff, there's furniture in the barn and the edges of the garage are so full we can hardly get in and out of the cars.'  And his point is...?

Seriously, I did get the point!   I think there should be a 12-step group for thrift shoppers.  I always have the feeling that the next sale will be the one where I find that perfect deal and that I'll be missing something if I don't go to at least one sale on a weekend.  Maybe that's how compulsive gamblers feel about that next hand or the next spin of the wheel. 

At any rate, I didn't go shopping today, but went to the mall to 'fluff' the booth.  It's been a pretty slow month and at first I thought it was just me, but have found out that all (or at least most) of the dealers have been saying the same thing.  Perhaps people are all shopped-out from the holidays or they've made a New Year's Resolution to avoid antique malls!

Here's what the booth looks like now...
This one's really fuzzy, but I took it with my phone
So I don't have any great bargains to share.  I did just fine without going to a single sale today and found that I didn't even miss it.  The sun's shining and it's a beautiful day and I got much accomplished without spending a dime -- there's a lot to be said for that! 

Here's my fun find to share with you... I saw this picture on Facebook this afternoon and it just made me smile.  I don't know if it's genuine or computer-enhanced, but it really doesn't matter.  I hope that  you (and I) will always find this much joy in every day things!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Aloha! Would You Have Bought This?

I went to an estate sale last week just because it was close to home -- something that doesn't happen very often.  Almost everything there was new(er) and not very interesting to me.  Still, you never know what you'll find in a dark corner of the basement or garage.

I found this:

It was in the darkest corner of a long workbench in the garage, back behind piles of old extension cords, jars of nuts & bolts and empty broken boxes.  At first I thought it was a planter but, regardless of what it was, I knew I had to have it as soon as I dug it out!  It was really dirty. the wiring was loose and covered in cobwebs & dust, and it didn't work when I plugged it in. 

Do you know what it is?  Would you have bought it? 

Mr. KV thought I was nuts to bring it home (hint:  he wouldn't have bought it).  It's a 1958 Lane & Company Hawaiian Leaf TV Lamp.  I did a little research to see what I could find out and found this website, devoted entirely to TV lamps.  Apparently, I got a great deal!   If you go to the tvlamps page, scroll down about 15 pictures and you'll see my beauty.  Here's the rating they give it:
value:  rarity:  
It cleaned up beautifully and is in MINT condition!

The wiring just needed a little TLC and a new bulb
Beautiful, isn't it?
 I haven't figured out if it's going to into the booth, on etsy or ebay or into my living room.  In the meantime, I'm posting it on Junker Newbie's Would You Buy It Wednesday.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun Time in a New Town!

A week ago I went to visit a dear friend who'd moved about an hour away to Jackson, Michigan.  We had lunch at this great little deli and then, since my friend also likes to go thrift shopping, we went picking.  Well, actually, we talked a lot, then had lunch, then talked a lot more and then finally hit the road.

I'd driven through Jackson, but had never really spent any time there, so I was looking forward to some new places to 'pick'.  It turns out that Jackson is pretty much the center of the resale universe (okay, that's an exaggeration)!  There are no less than 9 thrift stores!  We went to most of them and found some great bargains.  I'd also found a family-run estate sale and we went there even before lunch, but still got there too late to get the best stuff.

Here's what I came home with:
Anchor Hocking Forest Green Luncheon set, Cookbook & Log Cabin syrup pourer
A few Christmas Items... the red bordered fabric is really 4 Christmas pillowcases that someone made into gift bags.  I'm going to turn them back into pillowcases.  The basket is a really big one and has cloth handles. 

The pyrex percolator was one of the great deals of the day.  I love the cream and sugar and will find it very hard to part with them on Etsy or in the booth. I really like the art deco tulips that are INSIDE of them!
This is a neat satin pillow with seed pearl design.  I'm not sure how old it is, but it's pretty

These were actually bought at our local thrift a day or two before, but I wanted to include them because they're so cool!  I listed them on Etsy and (sadly) they've already sold.  I wish I could keep everything!
I also bought a big white painted, homemade bookcase for the booth.  It was too big for the Kitschy Vintage Van, though, so I'll just have to make another trip to Jackson.  That means another lunch with my friend and  more thrift shopping at the resale shops.  It's a dirty job, but it must be done -- I guess I'll just have to suffer through it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Merry Christmas to Me...

I was working on my booth at the mall last week and after I was finished I decided to walk around and see what was new.  This is always a good way to a)see how others stage their booths,  b)see what their pricing is like for my similar items and c)SHOP.  One of the other dealers, Ben, loves mid century kitsch just as much as I do.   I've bought LOTS of things from him (he laughs that I'm one of his favorite customers)!  If you're reading this Ben, here's a thank you to you for making my home more kitschy-ful!  

At Christmas, this treasure was one of his finds (now on my kitchen windowsill):
A Lefton Santa & Sleigh
I always check out his booth to see what's new and this week there was this wonderful find!  Harlequin is my favorite Homer Laughlin pattern -- even more than regular Fiesta.  I was so excited to find the covered casserole & snapped it up right away to buy with my Christmas money from my Aunt Gene (that didn't last long, did it?) 
  Thanks, Aunt Gene (and Ben)!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fun & Snowy Friday Thrifting

It's been a long time since I've gone estate sale shopping on a Friday and I've really missed it!  There were a few today that looked okay but not really exciting -- they were in Lansing (about 45 minutes away), so it was a long drive if they turned out to be frogs.  We got 1-2" of snow overnight (which is nothing), but Lansing got 3-6" and the bulk of it was coming down exactly when I would be driving over.  I almost decided to stay home and work on listing Etsy items, but the thrill of the hunt was just too much to resist!  Even though I saw several cars in ditches and people were going slow, I pressed on.  I was really glad I had the Kitschy Vintage van, because it handled the snow much better than my little hybrid does.

Because of the snow and slower traffic, I got to the first sale right after it started.  It turned out to be pretty good.  The prices were fair and the ladies running it were really nice.  They even had breakfast snacks and coffee on the front porch for the people waiting before it started (how's that for hospitality)!  I got a few things that I'd seen in the pictures and hoped would still be there.

I decided to go to the Lansing thrift stores while I was over there, but was disappointed -- the Volunteers of America didn't look like a store, so I didn't go in.  The St. Vincent de Paul had burned down before Christmas, so I went to the new location, but it wasn't open yet.  I couldn't find the third one that came up on my GPS, so I went on to my next stop, which was in Holt, a small town south of Lansing.

The roads were even worse down there -- completely untouched -- and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find the sale, because it was a Craigslist sale.  It turned out to be a real PRINCE, though!  It was super-organized and everything had a price on it (that's a real bonus).  Even though it was the first day, the dealer was willing to deal and I got some great stuff.  I was happy to sign up for their email list because I'd love to go to more of his sales.

Here are the treasures I found:
A cake carrier and assorted kitchen stuff
A box of jars for $2 -- including a glass & zinc lidded canning jar, a blue Ball jar and a few half-gallon canning jars
A brown redware teapot, recipe box (with recipes), Blendo glasses and some assorted china pieces
Some old snapshots, an 8x10 lucite frame (complete with smiling couple), some shakers & figurines and a BIG cement frog
Art lesson books (I used to love these as a kid), a child's Christmas carol music book and a scrapbook from the 1960s
A complete set of 1958 My Book House books -- I love these and have the older, 1930s edition, so I'll sell these
Blow mold lightpost lights.  These were completely filthy and falling apart, but thankfully had all the electrical parts and they work!  They're not hard to rewire, but it's much nicer if you don't have to.
I got home in plenty of time to clean and sort through all my stuff!  I'm really glad I braved the elements and went out today.  How was your shopping this week?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My 'Picker' -- My Friend!

What's almost as much fun as going to estate sales?  Having an out-of-state friend who goes to estate sales for you!

I have a dear friend, Kally, who lives in Minnesota.  You might remember that I introduced her to the wonder of thrift shopping a few months ago -- now she can't get enough of it!  I laugh with her that, if she brings too much old  junk stuff into the house, her husband won't let her play with me anymore.  He says he doesn't mind, though, as long as it always leaves and comes to my house.  Some people just don't appreciate the thrill of the hunt or the beauty of inexpensive, rusty, or shabby.

Anyway, Kally and her husband came to see family back in Michigan over Christmas, and we got to have them here for a short visit.  She brought me two boxes of treasures!  One of them was hand-picked from her mother-in-law's downsizing garage sale.  The other was an entire BIG box of things picked up at estate sales in Minnesota (and they have some great sales there).

Here are some of the great things that her mother-in-law saved for me:
A collection of colored glass, including a couple of moon and star pieces
A Prince Charles & Princess Di wedding souvenir tray
Some vintage sewing things & a cookbook.  Check out the little lady (who sadly has no feet).  She has woven ribbon wrapped around her with a ribbon needle.  I'm not sure what they did with her.

Some Pyrex gooseberries, garland & some thermoware.  The plastic bowls are Cap'n Crunch giveaways
Some cool odds and ends.  See the laundry sprinkler in the front?  I've been looking for one of these for a year or more!  I was so excited I had to call her right away and thank her!
A candlewick plate (I think it's candlewick and not Boopie)
A child's luncheon plate with Mary & her little lamb
A very tiny set of fireplace tools & books + bookends -- for a doll's house
 There was also a woven sewing basket that looked like this, but yellow:

I gave to my son's fiance, who loves to sew and likes old things -- I was really happy for her to have it!

There were lots of things from estate sales, too.  The most exciting 'find' that Kally picked up was this collection of English Cornishware from the 1950s.  I think I'm going to do some research on it -- it's just gorgeous!

 Most of the pieces have a flaw or two, but it's still wonderful!  I just love it!  Here's how the pitcher (called a Dreadnought Pitcher) and the bowl (called a Pudding Bowl) look in my kitchen cabinet of 'pretties'.
 There were a few china pieces, including a Johnson Brothers sugar bowl and 3 casserole lids.  The lady at one of the sales collected the lids and hung them on the wall as decorations.  I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they're very pretty!

Two painted Christmas trays

 There's LOTS of paper ephemera -- I just love it all, because it's such a window into history!
A collection of painting books & Pennsylvania Dutch patterns for large serving trays.  I've seen those trays everywhere, but never realized they were painted from patterns by people.
A thermometer set and some seed catalogs from the 1930s
LOTS of Meyercord decals -- I can't get enough of these!  There are also a few really large decals.
A collection of old pictures, including one of Ralph Lauren with his autograph.  The owner from the sale used to work for him. 
 Didn't Kally do a great job picking?  I'll let her shop for me ANY TIME (especially if she can come to visit to deliver it personally).  Thanks, Kal -- you're the best!