Friday, July 29, 2011

Learning Something New

In the past week, I've bought two things that I knew absolutely nothing about -- just because they looked interesting. As I've researched them, I've learned a few new things.

The first is this very cool canister set. It has 4 ceramic canisters decorated with fruit and the name (coffee, tea, flour, sugar) written in cursive, sitting on a wooden lazy susan and having one wooden lid. I've found out that these were manufactured by the Watt Pottery Company, but they're often called Watt Esmond Purinton canisters because Watt made pottery under the other two names, too. Here's something else I learned: Watt was in Crooksville, Ohio, which is in the same area as Paden City and Newell, West Virginia and Wellsville, Roseville & East Liverpool, Ohio -- I guess this is like the 'fertile crescent' of American pottery!

When we're out thrift shopping, we see Napco (National Pottery Company), Hall, Roseville, RRPCo, Homer Laughlin, Paden City and they were all inter-related by either buying and selling, by their founders having worked for one of the others or by producing china under an acquired company's name (as Homer Laughlin now produces Hall China). They're like a big pottery family!

The other item I bought 'blind' was this large coin album. Other than collecting pennies and nickels in a blue cardboard book when I was a kid, and saving every wheat penny and buffalo nickel that I find, I never pay much attention to coins. I've seen how popular coins are, though, by helping customers with them at the antique mall. So when I saw this big album (about 9" x 14" with 2 coin boards inside) at a sale I bought it. It's a Wayte Raymond album, which meant absolutely nothing to me but is, apparently, a big deal and is really collectable. Yay!

Wayte Raymond was a famous American numismatist (coin collector) in the 1920s & 30s. He was well-known for grading the quality of coins and wrote several coin collecting guides. One site I found said that Wayte Raymond boards were the state of the art for coin collecting in their day and that all the coin boards we have now were copied off of them. That's pretty impressive! Isn't it fun to learn new things? I wonder if any of you have bought things lately that have taught you about a collectable that's new to you?

Recap of a Fun Roadtrip

Two weekends ago, Mr. KV and I went to Cincinnati, Ohio for a mini family reunion. We used to all gather here in Michigan during the week between Christmas & New Year's, but that hasn't happened for the past two years, so we were all looking forward to this seeing each other.

Mr. KV and I stopped at Jeffrey's Antiques in Findlay on the way down (a stop we try to make at least one way on every trip). If you've never had a chance to go to Jeffrey's, you'll want to shop there if you're ever traveling on I-75 through Ohio! It's huge -- allow at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cover the entire mall. My son Jim spent most of his time in the political booth, while I went hunting for vintage hardware for my many furniture projects.,

On Saturday, I spent the morning with my niece. First we had breakfast at her house, which is a sweet 1930s bungalow in Westwood. Like many of the houses built around that time in Cincinnati, it has a Rookwood tile fireplace (it's hard to imagine a time when Rookwood pottery was so common that it was used routinely in building!

She's got the cutest kitchen, all decorated in red and white. She refurbished this thrift shop chair and used an Anthropologie napkin to cover the seat. I love it! She gave me my birthday presents early -- a great slate she had made and a vintage switch plate surround. Just using this around a switch plate will simplify life and make housework a breeze -- just look at the happy housewife on the package!After that, we walked up to the community yard sale on the grounds of the Westwood Town Hall. This beautiful old building figures in some of my earliest memories -- I used to go to theatrical productions there, and ushered when I was in middle school. The bell tower you can see in this picture is supposed to be haunted! The yard sale was great, there were about 50 sellers there and they were really bargain priced! It was already very hot, but the big shade trees made it pretty comfortable. We bought so much that she had to walk back to her house and get the van to haul it all away. That evening, we all met for a cookout at my nephew's house. It was a wonderful weekend and so precious to get to see all of the family together and hang out! If you're interested in seeing a slideshow of the evening, you can check it out here.

And oh, by the way, we stopped at Jeffrey's on the way back north, too!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Bad-News, Good-News 24 Hours

What a bad-news, good-news 24 hours this has been! It started last night when Mr. KV and I went to the local thrift to pick up a bookshelf I had bought (and paid for) on Tuesday. Bad News: they'd sold it to someone else, so I'd have to take a refund (I was SO unhappy)! Good News: I found a chest of drawers that has a writing desk & pigeon holes in place of one of the drawers.Then today, I stopped at a family-run estate sale that had LOTS of good things! I started a little pile and had put a $2 box of old ornaments in it, along with some other stuff. Bad News: someone else picked the ornaments out of my pile and bought them. More Bad News, I drove away and left some cool starburst glasses and striped shot glasses I'd bought sitting on a table.

I went down the street and stopped at another sale and got a little toy cash register, a bag of 1950s toy farm pieces & animals and a little Singer 2 21K sewing machine.At that point I realized I'd left the glasses and drove back (and was SURE they'd be gone) ...

Good News: the glasses were still there AND the family had brought out a lot more stuff. They felt so bad about selling the ornaments that they let me cherry-pick some more that they found.
All together, I got some great assorted glassware, including some souvenir glasses and a 1969 mod traya Hall teapot, a Big Boy bank, an ice bucket and glass pitcherand 3 great suitcasesBy this time, the selling family was letting me root through boxes they were bringing out and were chatting with me like they knew me. They were close to my age and we were commiserating on how hard it is to lose our parent and she was telling me how she'd lost both of her parents (whose estate this was) AND her brother within 3 months of each other the year before. Needless to say, we were starting to bond. Then I saw this box......which was FULL of Wade animals. Now, being the shrewd shopper that I am, I managed to talk the lady out of selling for $2, as she'd planned, to selling it to me for considerably MORE (Bad News). I just couldn't take all those Wades for $2 -- it turned out there were 98 of them!
More Bad News: I came home and checked the Wades and found out they weren't worth as much as I'd thought. I probably can still get more than what I paid but, oh, what a dummy I felt like (though I still believe I did the right thing).

Then the final Good News: remember the sewing machine I bought? It turns out it's a featherweight (and I thought they were all old-fashioned black machines). They're selling on ebay for anywhere from $250-$350! That makes me a happy shopper!

So, in the end, I guess 'doing the right thing' was rewarded. On the bad-news, good-news score, the good news definitely won out!

How was your thrift shopping this week -- bad news or good news?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Project Finished

I'm finally finished working on the redo of the little vanity chair that I picked up at a sale a few months ago.

Just to refresh your memories, this is what it looked like:I painted the metal frame a creamy white and covered the seat with a piece from a 'cutter' vintage green chenille bedspread that I've had for a while, just waiting to put it to use. I managed to salvage the original leatherette center button and it adds exactly the right touch.I was sad to part with this cool little bench, but I just can't keep everything; so off to the booth it went!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The New Booth - Week Two

A few of you have asked me to post some updated pictures of the new booth. I worked on it a lot last week -- adjusting the power strips & electrical cords, hanging things up and rearranging. My friend Sandy (a seasoned seller & merchandiser) helped me out -- in just 15 minutes she had reworked the center 'island' and it looked great. Thanks for all of your advice and encouragement, Sandy! This is what it looked like after that: On Monday, I got to take my son's girlfriend, Sarah, with me and give her a look inside of the marvelous world of an antique dealer. She has very good taste -- she immediately liked these Syracuse china starburst plates (aren't they great?), so I couldn't wait to give them to her. We'll get her hooked on vintage yet!I had sold a few things over the weekend and had to rearrange the booth all by myself *gasp!* This is what it looks like now. It looks pretty good, but I still need to fill it up a little more.Every time I stop in, I love the black & white floor more! I think it makes everything in the booth look just a little classier. I can't believe that the former booth renters covered it up with carpet.

So that's it for the new booth -- I hope you enjoyed the mini-tour!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Fun Saturday!

After working on the new booth almost non-stop for two weeks, I took the day off on Saturday and visited a local antique market that was having a mall-wide sale and outdoor flea market.They even had complimentary hot dogs, chips, pop corn & beverages (who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?) In past years I'd gone with my friend & booth partner Bargain Hunter and some other ladies I work with, but this year BH was up north and no one else was going. So I ended up on my own on a beautiful sunny day. I found some great things at the outdoor market:

An Ohio Arts drum and a sheet of Meyercord vegetable decalsSome burlap & melmac tumblers and bowls (I never can pass these up) and a very cool aqua clip on overhead light shade from the 50sA Mexican burro tile (I thought of you with this one, Anna!)15 postcard folders from the 1930s through 1942. I always like looking through these postcard packs -- they give a look into the past, both what was at these tourist attractions (and what wasn't) and also what the publishers thought was worth looking at in the 30sI'm so happy that the booth is finally up and running and now I can catch up on reading your blogs and posting on my own!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Booth

Tonight I finally have a chance to sit down and update on my new booth!

Settling in on Friday was a much bigger job than I had anticipated. The booth had been 'decorated' years ago by a woman who sold only mid-century and retro. She hand-painted the walls with color block boxes, martini glasses (think Mad Men) and starbursts. The walls were very cool, but also very distracting. As one of my dealer friends said, "You're in business to sell your stuff, not to sell the walls". Anyway, when we got there, I hung up the first thing on the wall and it immediately disappeared into the design. So...the design had to go! We almost matched the paint perfectly and tried to just cover the blocks and pictures, but then it looked like something had been painted over. In the end, we repainted all the walls.

One of the best things about the booth is the black and white floor that the original person put down -- it looks just like my kitchen floor! Doesn't it look great? I think it will help people remember my booth, too.

The 12 x12 booth seems really big and all that empty space was more than a little overwhelming! After day 1, it looked really empty -- just like the ones where BH & I ask each other, "Who can afford to rent a booth and put so little stuff in?" Today we took lots more over and it's starting to come together. I'll continue to tweak it and rearrange, but I'm feeling pretty happy about it, and REALLY relieved to have this long couple of weeks behind me!Now I finally have time to check out everyone else's blogs and see what I've been missing!

Have a fun and safe Independence Day , fellow Americans. For my British friends, I hope your Monday is a good one.