Friday, November 18, 2011

A Great Antique Mall and an 'Antique Capital' Joke

Last weekend we went on a road trip to DC to visit our son.   We stopped on the way at Medina Antique Mall in Medina, Ohio (near Cleveland).  I took lots of pictures, which unfortunately were accidentally deleted.  I wish they hadn't been, because it was one of the best malls I'd been to in years and I took lots of pictures of displays and booths that I wanted to remember!   I've borrowed a couple of pics from the internet to show you, though.
It's in a building that was originally a grocery store & it's really big, bright & open.  The staff were all super-friendly and there was a variety of merchandise -- high-end and inexpensive, 1800s to mid-century retro.  They do a couple of things there that I wish our mall did.  Right by the front doors was a display of the 'dealer of the month'.  It had her name & booth number and several pictures from her booth.  I don't know if she got some sort of bonus or reward (a rent or commission discount) for this, but it certainly got the shoppers' attention.  They also had framed 'Inaugural Dealer' signs in the booths of those dealers who had been with them from the beginning.

I found some real bargains and got quite a few things for not too much money.  Christmas was everywhere, which is always a good thing!  It inspired me to come back and plan Christmas for my booth (that's another day's post).

We stayed that night in Somerset, Pennsylvania and woke up to this happy surprise!  Mr. KV gets credit for being prepared -- the last thing he threw in the car before we left was the scraper. 
We ate breakfast in the Summit Diner in Somerset.  What a treasure!
It's a 50 year old diner, complete with lunch counter, boomerang formica tables and a pie case with mile-high pies! The food was wonderful and I was in 50s heaven.  I can't wait until our next trip to DC to visit Medina and the Summit Diner!
By the time we got to Maryland, the snow was gone and the day was sometimes cloudy and sometimes bright and sunny.
Our next stop was New Market, MD, the self-proclaimed 'Antique Capital of Maryland'.   If that's the case, Maryland is antique-deprived!
 Does this look like a bustling antiques district to you?
We were there on a Friday (a prime antique-shopping day) and, of the 8 shops, all but 2 were closed. The two we found open were REALLY high-end and expensive (think $200+ teapots) and small.  In the one, the owner told us that lots of the shops are closed on Fridays and that some are 'tax accountants and doctors' offices.'.  Really?  As though we couldn't tell the difference between a tax accountant's office and an antique shop!

What New Market IS the capital of, though, is expensive soup!  We ate in the only eatery to be found in the 'shop' area -- a pizzeria & deli.  We each had an iced tea (in styrofoam cups) and a bowl of soup (no crackers, no bread) served in a pottery bowl nested in a plastic basket.  We had to get our own small plastic spoons and napkins from the ice-cream bar.  The cost of that feast?  $15.50!

Oh well, at least we didn't waste much time there and got to DC even earlier to see our son.  He told us he would have recommended going to Hagerstown for antiques, which we'll do on our next road trip.  It may not be the 'Antiques Capital of Maryland', but at least it has a few malls!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A New Blog in the Family...

If you've been reading my blog for a few weeks (months) you might remember when my niece came to visit and we (she) fit much more than you would think possible into a Civic Hybrid (that's important because the big battery takes up alot of trunk room).  If you want to see it for yourself, you can read it here.

Since I have 3 sons and no daughters, Crit (the family derivative of Christy) has always been like a daughter to me.  Add to that her love of junking, sewing and creating and it's a match made in heaven!

Crit has launched a new blog about her creations and before-and-afters.  When you get a chance, go visit 'This is From That' and show her a little love (but don't love her more than me or I might get my feelings hurt!)  I think you'll enjoy it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Another bit of Happy News!

Just a quick post to tell you all about another bit of happy news I got this morning.  A cute little 1960s advertising ashtray I have listed was featured in the Etsy Vintage Team blog post about shopping for men.  You can check out the blog post here.  Thanks so much for including the doggy ashtray, Jeanne!
Now it's off to dinner with Mr. KV and my oldest son, who we're visiting in Washington DC.  I'll share more tomorrow about our road trip and the interesting (and NOT interesting) places we've visited over the past 2 days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three Bits of Happy News!

I've been so busy at my day job that I haven't had a minute to blog.  I'm going to take a day off tomorrow and had to get 4 days of work finished in 3, because I had to have all my usual tasks finished before I could go.  So I've been working until 6:30 or 7:00 every night this week and get home too tired to do much but the necessary at-home jobs.

Anyway, I have 3 happy things to tell you about:
I just got word that one of the items I have listed on Etsy (an old cookbook) was chosen as the Etsy Vintage Team's Facebook Item of the Day.  That's HUGE for me!   This cookbook is one of the most unusual and interesting things I've ever found (it may be the only one of its kind in existence, and how many of our vintage items are that?)  Think of it as an early version of the standard fundraising cookbook that many of us have bought  -- the kind where lots of people in the school, church or social club turn in recipes and then they all are compiled into a cookbook.  This one is lots of recipes from the ladies of Bath, Michigan back in the 1920s or 30s and it's completely handwritten!  Most of the ladies are listed only by their husbands' names, such as Mrs. John Smith.  It even has handwritten ads in it for places like the local pharmacy or grocery store.   Here's what it looks like:

 I'm really proud to be part of the Etsy Vintage Team.  It's a group of smart & creative sellers who all love vintage as much as I do, and one only gets into it after an application and review process.  That's cool all by itself, but to have my item chosen from all the items of the over 250 members is SWEET!  Here's the Facebook post.

The other happy thing is that my blog was nominated for a Liebster Award!  I'm counting it as 2 happy things because it was nominated twice -- by Bargain Hunter over at Bargain Hunting Treasure Seeker and by Emily at {thrifty nifty kitchen}.  I'm really thankful to have been nominated.  I found out from them that Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, loveliest, cutest....  The award is for an 'up & coming blog' with less than 200 followers.
Thank you so much, ladies!   I'll post more about this tomorrow when I have more time and I'll look through the very long  list of my favorite blogs for some that I can nominate, too.  Thanks again, SO MUCH, Bargain Hunter and Emily!

Well, that's it for now -- it's been another long day (but one with happy surprises) and it's time to shut down the computer for a while.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Happy Reason to Sell Things...

I just got back from 'Dealer Day'  -- the one Sunday a month when the mall owners open up at 10:00 so the dealers can work in their booths without customers there.  I brought in a new shelf unit and then spent hours (literally) rearranging everything.  It's alot like moving the furniture in your house -- you move just one thing and at the end of the domino-effect, you've moved everything in the room, including the stuff on the walls!

 It's lots of work, but also lots of fun.  I especially like talking to the customers as they come through when the mall opens at 12:00.  I've noticed that some  dealers ignore the customers who walk past or stop in while they're working.  I do the opposite -- I always say hello and ask them if they're having fun.  I think antique malls are fun, so why shouldn't they?  I have the best conversations with them, often about what I sell, how I find it and how I identify it.  I think customers are as naturally curious about the selling process as I used to be.  I've even had customers ask me why I sell and if it's hard to let things go.

Which brings me to the title of this post (I bet you thought I'd never get there, didn't you?)  I had a waterfall desk at the mall for months (here it is at the front of the booth). 
 I started out at $120, which I thought was reasonable -- especially since there was another one in the mall (identical but for the hardware) at $150.   No takers.  So I lowered it to $100, and STILL no takers.  Finally, a week ago , I lowered it to $80, marked it as SALE so that no further discount could be taken and made the price sign REALLY big.  I just wanted it gone -- I was sick of seeing it in my booth!

I sold it on Friday (FINALLY)!  Today, I was talking to one of my friends who works there and she told me how completely over-the-top thrilled the young woman was who bought it.   She was so excited to find a waterfall desk at that price, which she could afford.  That made me feel wonderful -- just like when the young couple bought my yellow formica table and were so happy to have it for their kitchen.
 Sure, I want to get rid of stuff around here (please don't mention how I keep buying more) and absolutely, I want to make a profit.  But knowing that someone else has found such pleasure in getting the thing I found, brought home and cleaned up reminds me of every beloved thing I've ever found at an antique mall.  I think most sellers are collectors at heart and true collectors love to share their collections with others (why else would we all spend the time blogging and reading each others' blogs?)   Selling a great find to someone and having it make them REALLY happy is just plain wonderful!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My head above water -- finally!

For the past three months, I've been working on the dinner reservations and seating arrangements for a fund-raising banquet for a charity I support.  They go into the local jail and counsel young men and women who are at one of the worst and lowest points in their lives.  You can read more about Forgotten Man Ministries here.

Anyway, the banquet was last night and we filled the local banquet facility to capacity -- 63 tables of 10 or more each!  There was great food, great music and the testimonies from 5 men and women who are fighting hard against their former lives and addictions.  I'm so thankful that the banquet went well and so thankful that it's OVER!  All I've done in my spare time for the past 2 weeks is juggle tables and reservations and follow-up with people who wanted to attend.

This morning I had planned to go to an estate sale that was only about 1/2 hour from home -- really close by the usual estate sale standards.  I decided to sleep in, though, and have a don't-leave-the-house day.  I don't know about you, but I love it when I don't have to go anywhere!  I worked in the basement (still reorganizing after the flood) and I took lots of pictures for etsy listings.  I'm really excited to get some new listings up for Christmas shoppers.

Tomorrow Bargain Hunter and I are going to an auction that is literally 10 minutes from my house.  How much fun is that! -- close to home AND an auction!  We haven't gone shopping together in a LONG TIME.  It should be lots of fun, though whether the auction will be any good is not so sure.  I'll let you know after tomorrow.

I'm anxious to read what everyone's been doing while I've been buried under table reservations.  I hope you all had a fun (and safe) Halloween and have been finding lots of great deals!