Saturday, February 23, 2013

Estate Sale Adventure - A House Worth Seeing

Mr KV was out of town yesterday & today, so this morning I got a chance to drive down to Ann Arbor and go to a couple of estate sales there.  Both of them looked like they had things I would like -- it's always so hard to choose which one to go to first.  It's a little like line-jumping at the grocery store:  the one you choose always seems to go slower than the other ones.

Anyway, I chose a family-run sale at a mid-century house.  The family was really nice and friendly and they just wanted the stuff to go away, so they were willing to make deals -- I always like that!  There were some they held firm on (which is only fair), but they were nice about it and not crabby.

I was number 12 in line and we all got right in.  I got some of the things I wanted, but not all.  I saw a great turquoise speckled melmac butter dish go away right in front of me -- I was so sad!  the same lady also go a couple of orphaned round Pyrex casserole lids (I always look for those) and 1960s gravel picture, similar in technique to these:
I remember making these with my mom -- it was so much fun to do!  We just didn't realize that someday those would be collectibles!

I got this great step chair, though:  it's in very good condition, with just one worn corner.
A great mid-century step chair -- it might have to live in my studio!
I also got these little goodies there:
7 Little Golden Books and a 'Let's Go to a National Park' book from the 1960s
Two quilted satin lingerie or jewelry drawer organizers
A Christmas box full of wooden spools and some other sewing stuff
I really like this clear vinyl clutch!  It has gold speckles and gold leaves, as well as being laced with  gold thread.  This is truly kitschy!
 I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember these:  sleeves to go over glasses to keep them from sweating.  I remember drinking grape kool-ade in the summer out of colored aluminum glasses and it was always a big deal to pick out the cup color and the sleeve color to go over it.  These are brand new, unused, still in the box!
Hi-Jac sleeves for drinking glasses
My next stop was only a mile & a half away, but it could have been on another planet!  The first sale was in a regular 1950s-60s orange brick ranch house -- a lot like all the other houses on the street, in a regular post-war subdivision.  The second house was a National Historical Registry home , built in 1915.  The entire street was one huge, big-money house after another (a far cry from the subdivision).  This house had 3 stories and servants' quarters, complete with back stairs to the kitchen.  There were 6 bedrooms, an elevator, beautifully tiled vintage bathrooms and even a darkroom in the basement -- the whole house was just magnificent!  Even if I hadn't found anything to buy, it would have been worth the stop just to look at it.

It was hard to take pictures because there were so many people there but I took a couple, and I hope you won't mind looking at them.  Unfortunately, the major rooms (the solarium -- yes, there was a solarium off the living room and below the second-floor porch -- living room and dining room) were all too crowded to get any pictures...
A wonderful 50s turquoise stove in the kitchen
Even the basement bathroom had character -- a TINY corner sink and frosted window out to the rest of the basement.  The floor was great vintage black and white tiles  
Don't get dizzy -- this is the shot up the central staircase (three stories)  All of the woodwork was original and had never been painted.  
What a beautiful house it was!
 Back to the shopping...
I got a few little things there to start with.

When I got to the third floor, I found this suitcase (below).  It has LOTs of international stickers from all the trips it had been on.  How exciting!  The estate sale listing said that the couple who owned the house were world travelers, and it was obvious by looking at this suitcase.  The inside is in great condition, too.  AND it was really inexpensive -- even better!

The great buy of the day (or perhaps the month!) was this picture (below).  It's hard to get a good image of it, because of the glass and reflections.  That's my kitchen chair it's on, so you can see how big it is.  It's a 3-picture (old sepia-tone) panoramic view of Jerusalem.  It's in a great old frame, though the frame has some damage.  I couldn't believe how cheap it was (only $5) and that no one had snapped it up.
Are you able to see the divisions of the three photographs?
Here's another view
This is the caption -- written in old -style with white pen
This picture is so wonderful!  When I took it to the check-out, the lady (who owns the estate-sale company and does most of the pricing herself) did a literal double- and triple-take.  She couldn't believe that she'd really priced it at $5 -- I was afraid she was going to raise the price on me, but she didn't.  She just kept shaking her head and muttering about 'missing that one' and 'I don't believe it'.  Lucky me!

Now the hard part is figuring out A) how old it is, B) how to go about selling it and C) how to price it.  Not a bad problem to have, at all!

I hope you had great shopping and that you've found lots of treasures this weekend, too!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Better Late than Never

I went to a sale last week after work because I hadn't been to a good sale in such a long time!  I knew I wouldn't get there until it had been going on for most of the day, but figured I'd see what was left -- if I was meant to have something, it would still be there.

It had been advertised as a pickers' sale and the pictures showed that it was packed with stuff.  By the time I walked in (about 5 hours after start), almost everything was gone!  I was disappointed, but went through the house anyway (hope springs eternal...)

I found a few fun things.
This yellow and blue blanket is old -- the pattern is woven in.
The main part you can see is the back -- the plaid pattern is on the right
When I took it to the checkout and asked if it was double, they thought it was twin.  So we opened it up and I was surprised. . . it's twin width (or just a topper for a double) but is double length!
The rumpled part at the end is the triple-folded extra length!

I figure I can cut the bottom off, add a satin blanket binding and then make some great throw pillows from the remainder.  It looks so good with the yellow chenille bedspread in our guest room!

I really liked these mirrored base vanity lamps -- especially when I saw the pretty pink original shades with them! They're micro-pleated rayon shades.
Aren't the shades beautiful?
I want to keep these, but know I'll need to swap them out with some other favorites, because I don't have room for another set of lamps in our room. 

This was my good deed of the day (not a big deal at all...)  I saw another dealer from the mall at the sale -- she's just moved in across from me and I've gotten to know her a little.  I'd just picked up this cake plate and another just like it when she got there.  She told me they were Fenton Silver Crest and that they were worth well over what the sellers were asking for them.   Glass is much more her thing than mine; she's got lots of it and more 'classic' stuff in her booth.  I offered her one, but she wouldn't take it, no matter how much I insisted.  So, when I got ready to check out, I took it to her and told her I wasn't going to take it and was putting it back and did she want it -- of course, she did!  Since she was the one who helped me know what it was, it was only fair, after all...

I also got these souvenir pennants.  I pick these up whenever I can find them and they always sell well on Etsy.  I especially like the United Nations one, though it has a lot of soil and I'm afraid to wash it.

Here are some other little goodies I've picked up in the past two weeks:
Made in Japan chintz tidbit tray
Skinny 1950s rose picture
An assortment of stuff -- I'm keeping the Fred Press turquoise & gold glass
A WEIRD baby picture!
The babies are paper and all the rest is real -- satin, lace, crocheted booties and sewn garments.  SO  peculiar!
A travel bar from the 1950s or 60s  -- so Mad Men!
Pretty much complete!
I also found this clear Pyrex Colonial Mist mixing bowl.  I'd seen pictures, but never saw one in person.  I don't really love it, so I'll put it in the booth and hope someone else does.
I know I'm a week behind on this post, but I'll just have to catch up to this week's finds (if there are any) over the weekend.  We're supposed to get some ice and snow tomorrow, so there might not be any shopping for me!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Picking Things Up Along the Way

As I said in my last post, I've been really trying to avoid sales for a few months to try to 'destash' the basement as I sell in the booth and on Etsy.  That was SO hard to do, though!  If a sale was really close by (within 10 miles -- and that doesn't happen often) or if I was driving by the local thrift store, I'd stop by to see what was around.

Here are a few things I picked up along the way.  Not as much fun as a fill-the-car prince of a sale, but good stuff nonetheless...
1960s sewing chair -- has a torn place, so I think I'll recover it in barkcloth and add big buttons.  I think it will look awesome!
It opens up to store your sewing supplies
1934 Brookfield Zoo souvenir pennant
A really realistic looking lacquerware turtle box

A Wolverine toy kitchen cabinet
I LOVE this breadbox -- it just screams 1950s to me!
It's hard to see how nice this picture is -- I got it at the local thrift.
A totally kitschy tin Christmas tray
1959 wedding cake topper -- so cool!
A mirrored tissue box cover.  This looks like Hollywood glam to me!
Faux french provincial jewelry box -- not my style, but cool, nonetheless

I have to tell you about these next little gems... I always search for Queen Elizabeth II and King George VI on Etsy and the third glass from the left came up a few weeks ago.  The seller was in Michigan and said she'd be happy to let me pick it up.  Then she asked if I'd like to see all the OTHER royals' glasses that she had?  Do you think so?  Absolutely!  In the end I bought NINE of them...I only left two behind because I didn't like the graphics on them.

I was going to resell the extras in the booth, but as I started pricing them, I just kept keeping them back one at a time.  The only one that went into the booth was the coronation procession glass, because that was a double for me.
The first three are souvenirs from King George VI's reign -- his coronation and then two from his visit with Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth & Princess Margaret to Canada.  The last is from Queen Elizabeth II's coronation
Four coronation glasses -- Queen Elizabeth II & her father King George VI
One glass that's not pictured is a green printed 'God Bless Our King' for King George VI -- I liked that one so much it immediately went into the kitchen display cabinet.

The last great thing I bought was a waterfall wardrobe.  It's out in the barn and I keep meaning to take a picture of it, but forget when I go out to put the chickens in bed.  One of these nights I will and then I'll add it here.

So, those are a few of the things I picked up while I wasn't shopping.  Gee, I hope Mr. KV doesn't read this post and see them all!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Snowy Sale Trip

I haven't been to a good sale in a LONG time and I've been missing them!  Mr. KV is always my biggest cheerleader and encourager about my booth and Etsy shop, but back in November he told me that he really thought I had "too much stuff".  Have any of you ever heard that before?  Anyway, he thought I should try to sell off some of my inventory before I went out and bought more.  I thought he had a valid point, and for a long time my wrist and arm hurt so much it ruined the fun, so I've been (trying) to skip the sales.  It's been SO hard to do!  I could really see the difference it made in the basement, though -- I know it was a good idea.

Anyway, that was November and now it's February!  How much can it hurt to go to a sale or two?    There was one about an hour away today that advertised "lots of little goodies and vintage books".  It looked like there were several things I'd want and I'd planned to get there about a half hour before it opened.

Then last night we got a few more inches of snow and when my alarm clock went off this morning, my under-slept self decided the roads would still be icy early so I should sleep in instead.  So...I got there later than I planned and pretty much everything I'd been interested in was gone, but I still picked up a few things.

I got this metal utility cabinet (it's still in the van, so this is the listing picture).
 It was in the basement and after I told them I wanted to buy it, the checkout lady pointed to a sign and told me that I had to supply my own people to get it to my car.   Fortunately, there was a couple there who used to have a booth at the antique mall and he helped me wrestle it up the narrow, twisting basement steps and into my van.  What a guy (Brian, you'll probably never see this, but you're the best!)  The cabinet needs some TLC.  I think it will look much better after the Contac paper on middle section is removed and after the whole thing gets a good cleaning.  I'm not sure about the rust in the corner...I hate to paint it, but don't know how well it will clean up.

That was the only thing I wanted from the sale that was still there when I got there.  I got this great set from 1952, though.
A bowl and 2 birds made by Los Angeles Potteries in 1952.  The picture doesn't do it justice -- it's a lovely conbination of pink and gray
 I also bought an old Kodak Brownie Starflash camera in its original box.  I've just been camera crazy lately.
This next thing was the oddest buy of the day -- it was filthy and had (empty) spiders' nests on the outside and has lots of wear and torn sections.  If it hadn't been so cheap, I'd probably link it to Junker Newbie's 'Would You Buy It Wednesday'.  The estate sale lady said "I'm so glad someone is rescuing that -- we found it in the rafters of the garage."
The surprise was when I opened it.  It holds a child's mirror, brush and comb (like the suitcase, they were not in the best shape).  How much fun is that?   I'm thinking of lining it with barkcloth and seeing if I can't glam it up a bit.
After that sale, I went to one other family-run sale, where I got this set of Lefton Holly pieces.
 As I was walking out, I saw this sparkle plastic chip and dip bowl in the Free box -- what a find!
Sparkle plastic (I don't know it's real name) always reminds me of trips to my friend's grandma's house, where we got to drink kool-ade out of sparkle plastic cups.  I might just be more excited about this bowl than anything else I got today!

I went to a few of the local thrifts and found a few other nice things.  It was snowing again, though, and central Michigan was going to get a few more inches, so I headed for home early.
Harvest gold therm-o-ware -- SO 70s!
Two Fire King Gay Fad fridge dishes (only one has its lid)
Not a great haul from a long snowy trip to Lansing, but at least it was a sale!  I'd love to find a REALLY good one to go to soon.   I hope you've had better luck on your junking trips!