Thursday, November 12, 2015

I Love Being Part of a Christmas Wish Come True!

I know I've told you before how much I enjoy being a 'matchmaker' and helping people find items that really make them happy.

This week I was blessed by a story that a buyer shared with me,  Actually, it brought me to tears, though that's not all that hard to do...I'm a real crier and even get weepy at commercials!

Back to the point...
A woman bought this Christmas stocking, shortly after I'd listed it.
Here's the message that she sent me about it:
"I just have to thank you for making an almost impossible Christmas wish come true!  Last November my parents were in the process of moving closer to home, closer to her grandbabies.  In the grueling process of moving, a Christmas tote was accidentally left behind at the storage unit.  Unfortunately, in a matter of minutes, the tote was stolen.  The only thing worth any sentimental value was my mother's 1960s Christmas stocking.  She's been devastated over it.  Her mother had written her name on it; it was one of the last things she had from her mom.  My grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's disease.  I plan on having her write my mother's name, to the best of her ability, on the top of the stocking.  I have been searching for this stocking for days now.  I never thought I'd find it!  Thank you so much for making a Christmas wish come true!!!!!"

I'm getting all teary again, just typing this (of course)  I'll never get rich selling vintage stuff, but I've been made richer by far for being a small part of someone else's happy experience!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Things Don't Always Work Out...

A year ago, I was busy fixing up a second booth at the antique mall, right next to my original booth.
The second booth on move in day.  Check out the ugly walls!
Week one, moved in -- trying to live with the green walls.  Bad idea
Two booths seemed like a great idea at the time!  I wanted to have more room for furniture and larger pieces, have one booth be more mid-century than the other, and (hopefully) clean out the barn and reduce inventory in the basement.
Week three, right after I painted the walls...with everything still in it, of course (why do it the easy way if you can make it more difficult?)
Things don't always turn out the way you expect them to, do they?
*The furniture moved very slowly -- even though the economy is better, most people seem hesitant to spend the bigger $$ and are more likely to buy smalls.  *No matter how popular mid-century is everywhere else, it's a slow mover in our little pocket of Michigan.  What sells well in Ann Arbor or Royal Oak just sits at the mall (I see this in the other mid-century booths, as well, so I know it's not just my stuff).  The only exception is kitchenware and Pyrex, in particular.  *The barn got a lot more empty, but the basement didn't.

Last weekend, I moved out and went back down to one...
One of the five car loads of junk merchandise leaving the mall...
It was much easier to move everything out than in...
I took out things from both booths that had been there a while, which are now destined for the resale shop or thrift donation (it's always funny to see my own items at Salvation Army!)  As much as could fit in the remaining booth was moved in.  Everything else was sorted into the right box for resale, future mall sale or donation.  5 car loads later, it's all back in the garage, barn and basement, so I'm right back where I started.  Except that I'm MUCH wiser!
Move out day.  (I think I left it looking better than when I got it)
It's hard not to feel a little bit defeated, though I'm choosing to take the 'Thomas Edison' point of I know what doesn't work, so I can concentrate on what does!
Everything that could fit in #165 is in there -- it's bursting at the seams!  I don't think I've ever had so much stuff on the walls.
Here's a funny thing, though...Just to show that I'm completely addicted to vintage, as I'm leaving the mall with car load #5, I see something I just have to have -- this very cool styrofoam sleigh!  My car was so full that it had to ride in the front seat, but it still came home with me.  I can't quite decide what to do with it.
I might fill this sleigh with wrapped boxes and put it on the front porch or to one side of the fireplace near the tree.  
I owe a HUGE thank you to Mr. KV, who took a day off of work on Friday and gave up his Saturday to help me move stuff, hauled tables, chests of drawers and bins around, kept me focused and on-task, and took several carloads back to the house.  Pretty nice for guy who wanted stuff to go away rather than come back.  That's true love!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Impulse Buy of the Year

For the past couple of years, I've been working hard at avoiding impulse buys -- they almost always turn out to be diappointments.  Last week, though, I gave in and bought this 1961-62 Barbie Dream House.  It's exactly like the one I got for Christmas back in the early 60s (and I'm NOT telling how old I was then...)

We had a baby grand piano in our living room that had been my grandfather's  -- it took up most of the floor space.  I remember that, after Christmas, I was allowed to set up the dream house and my Barbie dolls under the piano and could leave them up.  So the dream house was set up most of that winter and only was taken down when I packed it up to play barbies at a friend's house.

I've wanted one of these for years, but have always choked on the price -- it's so much money for a fold-up house with furniture made entirely of cardboard that you put together with tabs in slots!  (Now that I think about it, said like that it sounds a little bit like IKEA...)

I went to a flea market last Friday and there was this one on a table by two newer dream houses (pink plastic) and lots of tube socks and Nascar stuff.  It was priced lower than any of the others I've seen, so I didn't even hesitate!

I immediately had buyer's remorse (I do over most pricey buys) but when I got it home and really had a chance to check it out, I was pretty happy.  It has almost every piece and they're all in good shape (especially compared to some of the ones that are being offered for BIG money on Ebay and Etsy)!  It's only missing its cardboard throw pillows and 3 of the record albums.  Not bad for a 50-year-old cardboard toy!

Here's the house tour -- stylish 'Mad Men' furniture, including a tv-stereo unit, drum lamp and armless sofa and chair.  The orange chairs don't go with the dream house and I have no idea where they came from, but they are the right scale, so they'll stay.
Only 3 of the original 6 records are here -- the Lettermen, Vic Damone and the Kingston Trio --definitey a reflection on the early 60s!
It even has its books for the bookshelf, vanity mirror and the framed picture of Ken for the bedside table.
I can hardly wait to get out my Barbies (of course, I saved them all) and set it up.  If only my granddaughter was a few years older!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Two Days, Two Flea Markets -- Twice the Fun!

Last weekend was the big flea market in Midland, MI -- always a great shopping day!  It was chilly and rainy when my friend Bargain Hunter and I set out in the morning.  The sun would peek through to tease us and then the clouds would open up and it just poured!   Thankfully, I had a new pair of Sloggers I got from my sister for my birthday.  On their maiden voyage, they kept my feet warm and dry even though many of the booths were big puddles.
Pretty, cool, aren't they?
Maybe because of the rain, it seemed like there were less vendors there than usual.  And the prices seem to be going up, too.  More of the sellers are dealers selling stuff from their booths, often at mall prices.  I still found lots of cool things, though I bought less than usual -- maybe I'm FINALLY becoming a more discriminating shopper!

Vintage Christmas was the theme of the day (which often seems the case for me)....I think I'm officially addicted to it!  It's so hard to pass up mid-century kitsch, though -- how could I resist?  I laugh with Bargain Hunter and tell her that I'll stop buying Christmas when she stops buying tablecloths.  I hope she never stops!

One of the best buys was also one of the cheapest -- always a nice combo!  It's a tall plastic Christmas tree that looks like a ceramic one.  It needs many little bulbs replaced (fortunately, I've been stockpiling replacement bulbs and stars for these trees, so that's easy).
Not ceramic -- plastic!
The snowman is 'mom art' from the 1960s...a styrofoam shape covered with hundreds of sequins pinned on .  It had to take hours to do!  I was going to sell him, but just can't part with him.  
Napco candle holders, original box  |  Napco girl planter in mint condition
I love Japanese pose dolls and never pass them up -- the same with Bradford wise men.  The little elves are tied together and are (I think) ornaments
These glittered cardboard electric candles are mint -- the seller said she thought they'd never been taken out of their boxes
It wasn't all Christmas.  I got a few other goodies, too...
I'd never seen these Holt Howard chick salt and peppers before
Of course, there have to be linens.  The guest towel has a black poodle on it, too.  
Got these hankies for a tiny price.  I think the husband didn't charge me what the wife would have wanted him to.  My gain!  I really like the Grand Rapids hankie -- I've never seen a city one that wasn't New York City or Washington.
Bargain Hunter convinced me to get this Pyrex bowl.  I probably would have passed it by.  
Here are just a few of the cool things at the flea market...
Empty window frame stretched with lace.  I like the idea but the lace is too frou-frou for my taste
Liked the idea of decoupaging a long piece and leaving white space at the top and bottom on this table.
In that same shabby chic booth there was this low table that they'd turned into a chenille ottoman.  Again, I like the idea, but don't like the plain white chenille.  I think a vintage barkcloth would have been stunning
Assorted letters -- some were cut of blocks and magnets added to the back
I really liked this tray -- it's one I don't have.  I didn't like the high price or the rust, though
I spent a little money here!  She had great vintage Christmas
This little house & Santa was $75!  It goes with an old railroad set and gets wired to the track.  When the train goes by, Santa starts to climb down the chimney.
This fountain was really unusual -- I don't know when you'd use it.  The ballerina rotates the entire time it's on
I always want a round laundry cart, but choke on the prices
Lots of lovely Pyrex here....none came home with me
 On Sunday, Bargain Hunter and I went to Mega Mall Antiques' parking lot Flea Market.   There were lots of vendors there -- more than the other 2 times I've gone.  There were also lots of sales inside.  I bought several things, but forgot to take pictures of any of them!   In fact, I didn't take a single picture at Mega Mall.  If you go to Bargain Hunter's blog, you'll see lots of pics from Mega Mall & their flea market.

Of course, half of what I bought was (what else?) vintage Christmas!
I got a tree stand just like this (but in better condition)  I forgot to take a picture of it, so this one is borrowed from Pinterest.
I've been looking for a Santa on a mid-century!
On a less happy note, my carpal tunnel is coming back -- a clear sign that I've been doing too much computer work lately.  I've had to switch back to a left-handed mouse and am really trying to limit what I do.  I just can't type one handed, though, and photo editing left-handed is really slow.  That's NOT a good thing with the busy holiday shopping season coming on Etsy!  Hopefully, mousing with my left hand and wearing my brace as much as possible will make it go away.  I might even have to dig out the carpal tunnel exercise sheet I got from physical therapy 3 years ago.

That's it from Kitschy Vintage land...I hope you have a great week!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Updated Chest of Drawers with Desktop

I finished a project!   Sadly, that statement gets an exclamation point, because it hasn't happened for a while...

I've had a cool chest of drawers with built-in desk out in the barn for a few years.  I'd call it a secretary, but it doesn't have the sloped top like my grandmother's did.
It was badly in need of repair, gluing up and cosmetics -- the finish was really worn.  I had to almost take the innards apart in order to restore them, but it was pretty straightforward.
I painted it with a creamy white and painted the desktop green, then added green accents to the knobs to glam them a little.
I lined the drawers with some turquoise and white lined paper to make it look more 'finished'.  I learned this trick from a friend...I line my drawers at home, but had not thought of doing it for furniture I was selling.  
You'll see that I didn't use chalk paint or distress it....  I'm not a fan of chalk paint lately.  It's so expensive and my homemade version is never as nice as the commercially made stuff, no matter how careful I am with it.  And, yes, there's less prep work, but there's so much more work on the other end (I hate waxing)!  I like the way it looks when others do it but just don't have the patience (or money) for it right now.  

I finished a few more little painting jobs, too, as I'm trying to get furniture ready to take to the booth next week.  This little nightstand was structurally great, but badly needed new paint, too.  I forgot to take a 'before' picture of it, but just picture peeling, dirty UGLY paint!

I never get lonely working in the garage -- the whole time I'm out there, Turner -- my protector -- is on the job, watching the driveway to make sure the menacing mail truck, bike riders and runners don't come and get me!