Monday, January 29, 2018

Road Trip Antiquing - Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina

:: For some reason, the spacing is really squirrely on this blog post -- no matter how much I double-check and correct the code, it still comes out too widely spaced! Please keep reading and forgive the goofy spacing!:: I recently did a Facebook post about a wonderful handmade wooden toy farm set that I bought on a road trip. One of the FB followers asked which malls we went to, so I thought I'd do a little 'on the road' and highlight our stops.
No matter where we're driving, we try to stop at at least one antique mall every day of the trip -- more if time allows. We recently drove from Michigan to North Carolina and back and hit a few malls all along the way. We didn't have much time to go on back roads, so all the malls had to be fairly close to the interstates.
not my picture...I forgot to take a picture outside
We went through Columbus, Ohio so we could visit family and went to Heritage Square Antiques in Reynoldsburg. I'd been there several years ago, but didn't remember a lot about it. It's in an old grocery store and is pretty big. It had some really junk-ey booths and lots of country/primitive antiques with some mid-century mixed in. I bought a few Christmas items, but not much else. Many of the prices were more than I would even charge on Etsy for similar things! The oddest thing was that I didn't see a single birthday angel -- I can't remember the last time that happened. The workers were polite, but not really friendly and seemed really frazzled because there were 3 customers waiting to check out. The check out process took a LONG time, too. I don't think I would go out of my way to go back, though I'd probably stop again if it was near Christmas, just to see what the dealers had brought in.
The next time I went shopping was to several places in New Bern, North Carolina. I went to Poor Charlie's Flea Market, which is in a barn-like building very near the Neuse River. The men working there were really friendly and nice and there was a surprising number of booths and a lot of variety for a smaller mall. I only bought two sewing needle packages, but will definitely stop back next time we're in New Bern.
Black Swan Resale
the attic was the least cluttered space
I visited Black Swan Resale Shop in New Bern, too. It looked like a picker's paradise from the road -- the entire yard is full of junk stuff. It's 3 floors of a house crammed full of stuff, to the point that it's hard to walk through the rooms. Many of the things I looked at had no prices at all. Oddly enough, I didn't see a check out desk anywhere and didn't see a human anywhere in the yard or building (I've NEVER seen that at an antique store, or most other stores, for that matter)! I climbed the stairs and went through room after room all the way up to the attic and saw no one. In theory, I guess I could have walked out with anything I wanted and no one would have known. I saw a couple of things I was interested in, but without prices and or a worker to ask, I just left empty handed.
there were lots of animal heads tucked into odd corners
not my picture...there were no leaves on the trees!
After that I went to New Berne Antiques, also in New Bern (and, yes, they spell it New Berne, though I don't know why). I'd been there several times before and always find something. The prices are all over the place from bargains to overpriced, so it just depends on what you find and how the dealer prices. There's a fair amount of what I think of as 'junk' (not in a good way) -- newer things from China, some crocheted crafts and wood crafts. That said, though, that's where I found the wood farm, so I was thrilled! The workers there are always so nice and friendly, which is always a plus and makes you want to go back.
this is how you know you're in the south...two bins of sweet tea and only one of unsweet!
On the way home we stopped at several malls in West Virginia that we'd seen signs for on the way there. First was Landmark Antiques in Bluefield, WV. The Facebook description and reviews made it sound like it might be a 'hidden treasure'...what a disappointment this was! It was poorly lit and really cold (the workers had a space heater by the check out area, but it didn't spread to the rest of the mall. Most everything was dusty and some was downright dirty and most of it was just crammed onto shelves -- certainly not 'staged', as you see in many malls. I love a picker's paradise and have no problem rooting through piles to find the good stuff, but the store seemed more like a thrift store with people's cast-offs than vintage or antiques. The one exception was that there were LOTS of vintage trains and train stuff. If you're looking for that, Landmark is probably worth checking out. It looked like there was a large railroad spur in Bluefield and it could be that lots of train collectors live around there. For me, though, the mall was too many miles off the highway and not easy to get to and we won't bother going back.
Next we stopped at Four Seasons Antiques in Princeton, WV. It was the opposite of Landmark -- it was very clean, well lit and well arranged. I picked up some great deals there (lots of vintage Christmas) and had a good conversation with the owners, who just took over in December. I would highly recommend a stop there to anyone going by Princeton! It was a couple of miles off the interstate, but worth the trip.
I wish I could have bought this entire collection of pink elephant Hazel Atlas at Four cool
South Charleston Antique Mall in Charleston, WV is the one were I found the most treasures. It's large and well laid out with lots of variety. Like most malls, some things were reasonable, a few were downright cheap and some were overpriced. Still, I found one booth of almost all Christmas and it was all 40% off! We'll definitely stop there on our next time through Charleston.
An idea for next Christmas -- a garland made of vintage cards
the bathroom door at South Charleston -- vintage snowman holding his nose
Mound Antique Mall is right next door to South Charleston. It's divided into booths, but each one is color blocked, which made me wonder if it was really mostly one owner. There were a few obviously separate sellers, but it seemed like most items belonged to one. The prices were high for the kitschy items that I looked at -- more than I see online or at other malls. There was a lot of colored glass and depression glass (which I don't look at much or buy), so if you're shopping for that, you may want to stop at Mound. I don't know if the pricing was high on the glass or not.
Across the street from South Charleston and Mound is T & P Antiques. It's a small, privately owned shop that was filled with lots of glassware and kitchenware. The owner was telling me that she and her husband have an auction company and that the items in the store are often in box lots and whole-lots that they buy from people. I wouldn't go to Charleston just to visit that little shop, but I'll stop in again when we're across the street.

Here's the wonderful farm set that started this 'one the road' post! It has 68 pieces -- lots of fences with separate posts so you can rearrange them, 2 barns (one large and one small) and so many sweet animals! Some need new stands (mostly chickens -- laying down on the job), but that will be easy to fix. The hard part will be giving it up, I think...I may have to 'foster' it for a while before it goes on Etsy. I know my granddaughter will love to play with it a little bit first!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Busy Shopping Week

This winter has been so LONG!  So has my time between posts.  Here's what's been going on...

Since New Year's, I've been working hard on reorganizing my work area, cleaning out things I don't love or will never sell and NOT buying anything new.  We only had 2 sunny days in all of January and into February here in SE Michigan and the weather really got to me this year.  I just wanted to stay in and I guess it brought out the 'nesting' instinct in me.
My 94-year-old great aunt moved into a full-nursing room from her 2-room assisted living apartment and my sister and I have been sorting through the 'leftovers'.   My aunt was a minimalist long before it had a name or was cool, so she didn't have much, but still there was a lot to go through.  It made me really mindful of how much stuff I have and how I need to get it whittled down before someone else has to.

Since I keep stock to sell, I can't exactly follow the 'if it doesn't bring you joy, get rid of it' plan, but I have modified it to work with an e-business.  If I don't like something, I'm not going to sell it.  No more selling a thing because I know other people like it and will buy it.  That's left me with a lot of 'leftovers' of my own, which are all going to a local resale shop or are donated.  It feels really good to get rid of things (See?  I'm NOT a hoarder)

My new motto:
Some day, I'll post pictures of my newly-organized and streamlined work area...but that will have to wait until it actually IS organized and streamlined.  Sigh...

Organization is fun (seriously, I love organizing things....weird, I know), but so is retail therapy.  This week I finally got to go shopping.  My friend Bargain Hunter had an unexpected day off of work -- thanks to high winds and power failure -- and we took a trip up to Bay City and Saginaw, where we hadn't shopped in years.
Does anyone else think this is creepy?
Sign in the bathroom in Bay City
Always one of my favorite booths
I still don't know why I didn't buy this phone!

I remember making hundreds of these daisies for an afghan

I have the square canisters, but had never seen round ones
On Friday, I made a last-minute trip to a family-run estate sale because there were some books there I've been searching for.  I was too late for the books, but got some great Christmas and kitsch.

A complete set of Branchell melmac!
Then today, we went to the local Masonic Lodge's antique show fundraiser.  Each year it gets a little bigger, with more dealers, so there was lots to see.  Not many bargains to be had, was mostly mall prices or even higher.  It was fun to see some of the dealers from my old antique mall and great to get out in the cold (20 degrees) sunshine.

Bargain Hunter and I always talk about who the winner is (sadly, that means who spent the most money).  I'm usually the winner because I buy not just for myself, but also to sell.  Today, though she was the clear winner, having struck the mother lode of linens...until I saw these draperies!  Four panels of red barkcloth wonderfulness in great condition...AND they go perfectly in my living room!  I took the lead with those and 'won' by a landslide.  
The panels go perfectly with the colors in the living room

This came home with me this week:
No shopping trip is complete without pennants!
I was super excited to see these pennants from my hometown, Cincinnati!  I'm definitely keeping the zoo pennant and might keep Coney Island, too
The little elf pincushion and Fisher Price chick & basket will have to live here for a while, I think
Cool cowboy chenille throw!

 Hope you're having a great weekend and that Spring is coming to where you live!