Monday, July 16, 2012

Eight Treasuries in One Week!

One of the most fun parts of selling on Etsy is making treasuries (collections) and being included ones that other people have made.  A treasury is a collection of items related by theme, content, color or pattern -- pretty much anything the curator can imagine.  I've created several and always enjoy searching for my 'hook' -- whether it's flamingo pink, or weddings or items that all link to 'bark' (think dog planters and barkcloth purses).  The only 'rule' is that the curator doesn't include any of her own shop items and also tries not to include more than one item from any one shop.

Each day, Etsy chooses treasuries to feature on their front page -- I'm hoping one day that either one of my items or one of my collections will end up there, too.  

In the past week, Kitschy Vintage items were featured in 8 treasuries -- what an honor!
Here's where they've been:
Tropical Nights
EVT Takes a Trip
Happy Daisies
Time to Hit the Road
Pink and Gray
Blast from the Past
Down on the Farm
Sun and Sky
If you get a chance, click through to some of these treasuries and see all the great vintage items that Etsy (and the Etsy Vintage Team) have to offer!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bye, bye, Thelma -- I'll really miss you!

Let me start this post by saying...
I know they're just chickens.  I know they have a short life span.  But...

One of my old girls, Thelma, died last night.   I loved Thelma so much!  She was so gentle and sweet -- any time little children (or scared adult newbies) came to see the chickens, she was the one I'd get out to let them pet and hold, if they wanted to.

You wouldn't think that poultry would show much personality, but they do!    She didn't like to go to bed at night -- she was ALWAYS the last girl to come in at dusk and the last to perch.  She also didn't like to fly up to the perch or down in the morning.  For years, we'd lift her up and down, until she got to old for the top perch and slept just one foot off the ground.
Thelma -- the Grand Old Girl (8 years old)
 She was a Buff Orpington (one of the heavy breeds) and, in her prime, was really hefty!  Lately, she's been light as a feather.  She was 8 years old, which is really old for a hen.

 We originally got 12 girls. 
We got two of each of the breeds that I wanted because (stupid ME!) I thought they'd like to have a sister like themselves.  I didn't process that they didn't have the faintest idea what THEY looked like, themselves! 
Baby Thelma (the little yellow one) about 5 days old
 So I had 2 Black Astralorps (LaVerne & Shirley), 2 Buff Orpingtons (Thelma & Louise) and 2 Speckled Sussex (Lucy & Ethel), along with 6 others. 
Baby Thelma with her sisters (and 2 brothers) -- one of the yellow chicks (a few weeks old)
Teenager Thelma (about 6 months old)
 Of the original 12, only LaVerne (the MEAN girl) is left.
Bye bye, old girl!  I'll miss you!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Miles and Miles of Frogs

I went out to the mall today for my usual Friday fluff of the booth -- it really needed it!  I'd sold a cart earlier in the week and the employee had mistakenly emptied and taken the wrong table up front.  When they brought it back it was just put in place of the cart, but nothing returned to where it had started.  The booth was trashed!

Since the mall is about 19 miles from my house, I went to garage sales out there  and farther out.  I went into parts of southeast Michigan today that I'd never seen before!  I drove for LOTS of miles on dirt roads and saw alot of this:
For those of you who live in other states (or countries) and who thought you'd misread the previous line -- yes, I did say dirt roads!  We've lived all over the midwest and I've never seen as many dirt roads as we have in Michigan, including lots of them with big, new houses on them.   The roads get really rutted and washboard-like in the summer and the dust is everywhere.  The old Kitschy Vintage van really got rattled and dirty today!

I went to lots of froggy sales -- all with signs that read HUGE SALE (4 card tables and an old door on sawhorses) or BARN SALE (even people who don't have a barn advertised this).  One was listed in the paper as a 'picker paradise' and literally was items spaced far apart on 6 tables.  No picking there!  All of the sales were far apart, too.  I have a friend who lives closer in to the city and can hit 30 garage sales in a morning and only drive 6 miles, but it's nothing for me to put 60 miles on the car going to sales around our area.

The last sale I went to was unadvertised and just a sign at the crossroads on the way back to the mall.  It turned out to be a true barn sale with a real barn, some good picking through really dirty stuff and good prices.  Here are the few things I ended up with today:
Some old canning jars and milk bottles
Galvanized coal scuttle
A small (4") souvenir ashtray from the 1950s -- some general store in Fredericksburg, VA (because I'm a sucker for vintage souvenirs!)
A perfect, working (though dirty) Fisher Price pull toy
The treasure of the day (drum roll here...)
A 1960s microscope kit -- complete with instructions and slides!
It's all in here!
 One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was a constant stream of text messages back and forth with my friend Kally who was going to a WONDERFUL estate sale in the Minneapolis area.  We had looked at together last night (via the wonders of the the phone and internet) and scoped out everything she'd want to look for.  The sale was really big and jam-packed with great vintage items.  She and her friend got there at 8:30 for the 9:00 sale and she was number 95!  She got in about a half hour after it started an then the texts started flying -- in the end she got some real treasures.  She has another sale in mind for tomorrow.  If she keeps doing that, her husband won't let her talk to me any more!

Tomorrow I'm going to Williamston Antique's July sale & flea market with my friend Bargain Hunter.  It should be a fun time!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fun Thrifting on a HOT Friday!

I go out to the mall on Fridays to check the booth, rearrange and fill any holes left by sales (always a happy thing).  This week, there was an estate sale on the way -- something that seldom happens out here in semi-rural suburbia.  It was billed as a professionally run sale of the estate of collectors and advertised lots of Fenton, Pyrex, Fostoria and salt and pepper shakers. 

That was true...except, perhaps, the professional part.  It seemed, from the way the workers were talking, that it was family-run, and it was certainly priced that way!   The kitchen was loaded with Pyrex -- there were probably 30-40 primary mixing bowls and a few fridgies -- all priced at or above mall prices!  There were 3 double width shelves of salt and pepper sets -- all at $10 each.  Who would pay that at a sale?

I got one or two bargains -- things that were priced lower than they should be (which also points to a family run sale).

As I left and headed for the mall, my GPS took me by the back roads and I passed a sign for a yard sale.  It was SO hot out and I was late for the mall, so I decided to pass it up.  After I was well away from the road it was on and saw 2 more signs for the same sale, I figured I'd turn around and go back -- it had to be a SIGN that I was supposed to stop for it!  It turned out to be another case of 'I'm glad I did!'   There were good things to be had, even though it was about 98-100 degrees outside and closer to 110 under their canopy!

Here's what I found on my quick trip to the two sales:

The tablecloth has a few holes, but the green background with white pattern are great for either a totebag or some throw pillows.  The three suitcases and umbrella were some other true bargains from the high-priced sale
The little chalkware birds and the pitcher are in great shape!
The planter is McCoy -- one of the few items that were underpriced.
I already have more Fisher Price than I know what to do with, but at $4, I couldn't pass up a complete farm!  The high-priced sale sold one in the original box for $30 (not to me!)
I love this spruce green Boonton divided bowl!   I plan to list it on Etsy, but don't know if I'll be able to part with it.  Maybe I'll foster it for a while...  The black and gold elephants are redware
This is a cool chrome thermos.  It has a flattened place in the back and needs to be cleaned up, but it's still great!
Yes, another double cake carrier!  This makes #3 double (though I think they all used to be triple, but the bottom sections were lost or damaged).  I like the pattern & colors of this one, though -- it might be a keeper or a foster-find
 The weather has finally broken and it's *only* 85 degrees today.  Who would ever think that 85 would be classified as cool?  Anyway, it's time to go out and work in the garden!  I hope you had a fun thrifting week of your own!

Oh, as a note on the previous post -- thanks to Jill for letting me know the name of my mystery Pyrex -- Blue Floral! It's so much fun finding unidentified Pyrex!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hidden Treasures

I mentioned in my last post that I've been working hard straightening up the basement.  I've found many things that I'd just forgotten I'd bought (or remembered and couldn't find). step closer to being a hoarder!   

I thought I'd share some of the things I've found (along with a few little items I've bought in the past few weeks of not-shopping)  -- a few of them have gone to the booth and others have made their way to Etsy, but here are a few.
These two mid-century glass trays are very cool
I don't know what pattern this is, but the covered casserole is pretty neat
I can't remember if I shared these or not -- they're sweet little sherry glasses (very mid-century)
Eight West Virginia Glass Blendo glasses
Two Dillon's grocery store glasses -- I have to research these, as I've never heard of Dillon's.  It's probably a Detroit-area store from back in the day.
This owl is so cute!  It's pretty big (about 12-18" high) and all the 'feathers' are made of vintage fabric.  It matches all my yo-yo things -- quilt, pillows and yo-yo dolls

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thrift Shoppers Anonymous?

A friend pointed out to me yesterday that I hadn't posted in a while.  When I looked at the date of my last post, I could hardly believe it!  June 14 -- more than 2 weeks ago! 

I've been so busy, but have really missed writing here (and catching up on all of your  posts).   I took a week off of work because our vacation year ends on June 30 and I still had 6 days left (they'd be gone if I didn't take them).   The most wonderful part was that I stayed home and tackled several projects I'd been putting off. 

I got so much work done!  One day I reorganized my booth (with some very valuable advice from my friend Sandy -- the Booth Whisperer).  It needed an major overhaul, so I brought some things home, took some new stuff in and seriously rearranged.  I'd gotten tired of looking at the items that weren't selling and if I'm sick of them, I'm sure the shoppers are, too.  The mall was getting ready to have their 10 year anniversary sale and I gave 20% off just to move some things out.  Sandy encouraged me to bring in a metal cabinet and put it in the middle (I never would have thought of that), as well as a really cool industrial cart I had at home.   Here's what the booth looked like when we were finished:

  I spent a day and a half ironing -- do you believe it?  I ironed 20-25 dish towels, 4 sets of cloth napkins, at least 20 aprons and about 15 tablecloths.   Then I took a little suitcase I'd bought for display and the industrial cart and filled them with dish towels and tablecloths. 
I love this little Knickerbocker bear from the 50s and the way he looks with the dishtowels
  I really need to get a hanging rack to display the aprons.  A friend who lives in Minnesota is going to cut out the base for me (as soon as I draw up the plans and send them to him).  He's a great woodworker and does such careful, beautiful work that I'm sure my hanging rack will be the Sistine Chapel of display-ware!

I haven't been shopping much at all, as working on my 'storage' space (that's a fancy term for piles of stuff) has allowed me to see all the great things I'd bought but forgotten about.  So, other than a few trips to the local thrift and some stops at garage sales, which were almost not worth the gas, I've been keeping my money in my wallet.

At the sales last week I picked up this nice enamel farm table and Santa with one reindeer:
I think Santa needs some work -- like all good Christmas things, he's 'some assembly required'
It's hard to slow down on shopping!   I've finally realized that being a thrift shopper is like being a compulsive gambler:  you're always sure that the next great bargain is at the next sale!  I think there needs to be a Thrift Shoppers Anonymous, because finding great stuff is addictive.   Now I've got to and auctionzip emails just hit my inbox...