Friday, September 30, 2011

The Benefits of Taking an Early Lunch

If you've read my blog for a while, you know that I recently went back to work at my day job.  I have been really concerned about how I'd manage to keep my Etsy and antique business going when I have almost no time to shop and prep the things I sell.

Yesterday, I saw that there was an estate sale at an old farm right by the place where I work.  I asked my boss if I could take my lunch early (9:45 is a pretty early lunch) and, when she heard that it was to go shop, she asked if she could go along.  She'd never been to an estate sale before!

We got there about 15 minutes after they opened (though I heard that, being a family-run sale, they'd opened almost an hour early).  I found some really good stuff, but it certainly felt strange to be walking through the fields, the barn and the dirt & stone wall basement in my 'business casual' work clothes!  I think my boss had fun, though she didn't buy anything.  She lived not far from there and told me the history of the family -- at one time they'd owned 100s of acres of land all around and the earliest subdivisions had their name!

Here are some of the treasures I picked up at lunch:
An assortment of Gurley candles
A large clothespin bag FULL of vintage clothespins and 2 graniteware tubs
Look at the tiny plastic ornaments -- is that the angel's bottom that we see?!
This cute little child's umbrella has a bunny for the handle
3 inlaid USA puzzles from the 1950s and 60s
A big bag of old garland -- for .25, who could pass it up?
I love these toys from the 1950s -- I used to have a red cowboy hat just like this!
This is my favorite thing == a truly kitschy, 18" high K-mart Christmas tree with little ornaments
I'm including this pic because this is my entry in JunkerNewbie's 'Would You Buy It Wednesday.   So, would you buy it for $2?

This is a very cool 1950s 45 record carrier -- never used
 I'm submitting my kitschy Christmas tree and linking up to 'Would You Buy It Wednesday" at JunkerNewbie's blog.
 I just wish there were more estate sales close enough to go to on my lunch hour!

Monday, September 26, 2011

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Remember that famous quote from 'Jaws'?  That's exactly the way I feel every time I go on a major shopping trip with my tiny car and have to shoe-horn everything in.  OR every  time I buy something big and have to get my husband to drive the truck back to get it because I can't drive a stick.  OR every time I have to turn down a furniture bargain because I know I don't have room.
 Well, I've gotten a bigger boat!  We've been watching for an old (translate: cheap) SUV or minivan that I could use to go to sales, and we finally found one.  It's a 2001 Windstar, and it's actually very nice -- well cared for, road-worthy and clean.  Plus, it has all of my minimum requirements:  radio, air conditioning, cup holders (I know, I'm shallow).  And all the back seats fold down or can be removed to haul the REALLY big stuff.
 Watch out sales -- here comes the Kitschy Vintage Van!  From now on, I won't have to turn down that great bed, table or chest of drawers -- I'll just load it up.  Yay!

Miland Antiques Festival & a Busy Weekend!

Yesterday I went to Midland Antiques Festival.  My junquing buddy, Bargain Hunter, didn't want to go, so I enlisted my ever-encouraging and ever-patient husband, Mr. Kitschy Vintage (Mr. KV for short).  He likes to look at the man-tiques and sports stuff, but that's not something you can count on.  I think he understood that I was going primarily to look for things for Etsy and the booth and that he'd pretty much end up being a 'bearer' (or caddy, if you prefer).   Still, we had fun! 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day!  Rain threatened, but never materialized.  Instead the sky was deep blue with puffy white clouds and temps in the 60s -- perfect weather for a flea market.  It was very crowded, too (I think everyone wanted to get in on the last one of the year).
 I took my new (old) granny cart, complete with cup holder.   That really helped Mr. KV -- it made it easy for him to see where I'd stopped to shop.  I'd park the granny cart by a vendor and then wander a little, and he could always find me by my cart (the red cup holder was almost as good as a red flag!
 The prices were higher than they used to be when it was more of a flea market, but still not as high as a mall or high-priced sale, so I managed to get some bargains.  Here's some of what I got (notice that I didn't buy even one piece of Pyrex):
I'm most excited about this child-sized card table and chairs
Lots of great kitchen stuff, including a McCoy individual teapot and a pair of Holt Howard cats
The muffin pan in the front is all Statues of Liberty and the ones at the back are madeleines and leaves -- fairly unusual
 A little Christmas stuff, including a 1960s hanging (from a store?) and a BIG German tin from Nuremburg
The Little Golden Books, vintage souvenir pennants and skeleton keys were all great buys!
I really like these Scottish-theme dishtowels!
This beaded clutch purse is really cute
 My granny cart was 3/4 full and my wallet 3/4 empty and we still had the whole big field with rows and rows of vendors to go through when DISASTER STRUCK!  I realized that, though I was wearing my prescription sunglasses, my regular glasses were gone!  I had kept them in my pocket because the tents that vendors use can be pretty dark and I had to keep switching them back and forth.  I knew I'd either put them down or they'd fallen out of my pocket into the grass somewhere.  We had no choice but to backtrack to every place I'd been (and there were LOTS), checking the ground and the tables and asking each vendor.

I stayed calm, but I was really panicked!  I did some serious praying, even though I felt guilty for bothering the Lord about my glasses.  One of the vendors volunteered that she'd pray for me to find them (along with asking other people if they'd seen them) -- she was really helpful.  Happily, I found them at one of the places with a big tent -- the vendor had put them aside for me.  After that, though, we were near the beginning and I'd just lost the thrill of the hunt.  We decided to be thankful for what we had and head on home.  So, it was a fun day, but a short one.

 I spent most of this afternoon taking pictures for Etsy and getting the overflow of stuff organized -- two things I'd gotten way behind on.  I've been thinking about getting another shelving unit or store stuff.  When I told  Mr. KV this, he pointed out (very sweetly, I must admit) that our basement is starting to look like an episode of 'Hoarders' and that it might be time to lay off buying for a while.  Hmm , , , Maybe so.  But there's just so much great stuff out there and Bargain Hunter has been scoping out auctions for us to go to . . .

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Would You Have Bought This?

I bought this lucite ice bucket at the estate sale I went to on Saturday.  It has fake faux ice cubes on the lid, serving as the handle and an inner container to remove to fill with more ice.

Personally, I really like it -- it's cool in a kitschy way (and I'm all about kitsch)!  My niece didn't think much of it and neither did my 25 year old son -- they both thought it reminded them of this (see below) alien triangle thing from the old 1980s tv show, Out of This World.  
What do you think -- kitschy cool or alien junk?   Would you have bought it? 

Here's a link to 'Would You Buy it Wednesday' over at Junkernewbie's blog, so you can let us all know what you think -- you might even have a WYBIW item of your own!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Treasures from a Successful Sale

Yesterday I showed you the Harry Houdini-like job of packing a huge amount of stuff into a tiny car.  Now I'll show you some of the great stuff that I got at the sale...
A box lot of red-ware and asian cups plus some cool frosted glasses (the dealer threw in the 7 undecorated ones for just $1 more).  Of course, I had to buy the coronation plate, too!

A pyrex percolator, vintage toaster with a neat red cord, Hall Cactus ball pitcher (which I think MIGHT actually be worth something) and a lucite ice bucket.
An assortment of Christmas things -- you can't see them well, but there are a bunch of plastic snowflakes next to the ball of garland.  I think the pygmy cow that's smaller than baby Jesus is funny!
4 old photo albums (one had to instantly go onto the back porch because it was so moldy -- probably not my best buy).  I had one of the workers get the birdseed tin down from the garage ceiling -- I think it's interesting.  I also got two glass lamps with flowers etched on them.  I'm not sure they're vanity lamps -- they're so tall, they could almost go on a sideboard.
A large fruit picture in a nice frame
A picture of a girl looking at a bird.  I'd seen this in several other places, but could never afford it.  THIS is what I stood in front of and waited to grab. 
An old yellow card table and a large white picture frame
3 little bird pictures -- there were 4, but I gave one to Crit.  I also got a white framed Grandma Moses snow scene and a funny baby picture (look below)
No more kissing, 'cause you slobbers!
A wooden inlaid card table.  I've restored 1/2 of it so you could see the before and after
   This brings me to something I wanted to share about restoring old wood furniture.  I've worked on the right side of the table and left the other side alone so you could see the difference.  All I did was use a wood finish restoring product that we sell at the antique mall, but which you can get at most hardware stores.  It's called Restore-a-Finish and it's some of the best stuff around!  You choose a shade similar to what you have -- I've bought Dark Walnut (for really dark finishes) and Walnut (which I used on the table above).
You can see how it covered the scratches and dried out areas on the  right, as opposed to the left.  After it had soaked in for a while, I wiped off the excess and let it dry.  Then I used Howard's 'Feed and Wax' on it to add a final finish.  This is great stuff (I think they should put me on their payroll)!
This is all that I got from 3 sales that I went to Friday morning -- real frogs!  The butterfly apron was a sympathy-buy.  I was just looking at it and saw how stained it was and that it couldn't be laundered because of the flocking and glitter AND I saw that the ties were almost completely gone, when a little old lady (who looked like she was 90+) said, "Oh!  You found my apron!  Good for you!  I wore that for so many years!"  I had to buy it after that -- I couldn't tell her it wasn't good enough for me!
The flocked & glittered butterflies...
 Zootsuitmama asked yesterday about oilcloth and where I get it.  I buy mine at an fabric store in Royal Oak, Michigan.  It's good to find a local outlet for it so that you can really see what you're buying.   You can buy it online, too, at  They're one of my favorite online sources for it, since they have a really good selection and their prices per yard are the same as any fabric store.  You have to realize, though, that oilcloth is pretty wide (so you don't need as much if you aren't doing a tablecloth) and fairly heavy -- keep that in mind if you're having it shipped.  

 Thanks for looking at my junk treasures!  I'm going to share one of them tomorrow linking to 'Would You Buy it Wednesday' at Junkernewbie's blog.  The one I'll blog about is the one that caused the most discussion at my house when I brought it all home.  Do you think you can you guess which piece it is (Crit, you're not allowed to answer!)?

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Stop (Thrift) Shopping!

This past weekend, my niece came to visit for a girls' getaway. She loves vintage, thrift shopping and repurposing as much as I do, so we were looking forward to some shopping. She's always been musical, and recently has been hooked on the ukelele. When she saw this picture in a sale listing for Saturday, we just HAD TO GO (and try to be first in line)...
We weren't first, but we were close. Because the house was tiny, the dealers had put everything outside on long tables, all the furniture in the driveway and the bargains in the garage (everything that didn't have a price sticker on it in the garage was $1)!
This was taken after LOTS was gone...

This was also after lots was gone...
We had to wait on the sidewalk until the sale started -- all looking at the 'special' item we wanted and hoping the other people didn't want it, too (or at least were slower). Crit stood right in front of the ukelele, ready to pounce! Well, she got it! And I got all the things I wanted, too -- and lots more! Pretty soon, we had a mountain of things, including 2 card tables, several big pictures, a large mirror & picture frame, 2 chairs, a large cooking pot and lots of boxes. I wasn't sure how to get it all in my little car, but Crit promised that she could do it -- what do you think?
Can she do it?
She did most of the packing -- insists that I tell everyone she put 90% of it in the car (but who's counting) and got it all in.
Yes, she can!
But then, we decided to go through one more time -- and found another chair and 2 lamps. In they went.
And THEN, she saw a beat up retro step chair for only $1. She asked if she could try to get it in the car first and then pay for it if it fit. They laughed and told her that if she could get it in the car, she could have it for 50 cents! By now, most of the workers were starting to really enjoy watching us (her) squeeze all of this into a Civic! She did it, but there wasn't room for another thing in that car!

By the way, she's going to refurbish the step chair by painting the legs and covering it with oilcloth -- don't forget to take before & after shots, Crit!

I have to go watch 'American Pickers' now -- they visited Michigan back in April & we're on tonight! Tomorrow I'll post pictures of all the junk treasures that I got at the sale.