Archive | March, 2009

Paint on my hands, oily hair, a booger in my nose and yesterday’s clothes

26 Mar

That’s what I saw when I looked in the mirror before dinner.  (Good thing my husband’s out of town!) It’s been a crazy week.  I was supposed to go without junking this week, waiting patiently for Saturday in Warrenton.  But . . . first I was tempted with Tuesday’s auction.  Then today, one of my favorite estate sale companies was back in action after a 4-month break so I HAD to go to that sale.  Tomorrow there are a couple of community garage sales — one near my house and another near the shop — and an estate sale hosted by another one of my peeps.  The junk just keeps piling up.  After I returned from today’s sale, which was worth the drive, I started organizing and pricing my finds, some of which have been sitting in boxes in my TV room since spring break.  Then I got distracted and started painting a little toy piano.  (My attention span needs attention, don’t ya think?!)  So now I find myself blogging instead of putting together door prizes for the shop’s Saturday Easter egg hunt.  I need 48 hours in one day.  I did place a catalog order today.  The woman who answered the phone asked what state I was in, and I wanted to tell her I was in a disorganized state, but not to worry.  Instead I simply answered, “Texas.”  So maybe they’ll fill my order soon since I wasn’t a smarty pants.

I’d love to post pictures of some of my recent finds, but now that my internet seems to be relatively normal, my CPU isn’t registering my SD card, so I can’t upload any photos — until I locate the cables that connect my camera to the computer.  Did I mention I’m disorganized?  Therefore, I’m sharing some 100-year-old images I couldn’t resist.  The first image goes along with my mirror experience, only it’s sweeter and I’m guessing its writer had on clean underwear:


So now I’ll take you back to Tuesday’s auction.  It was a strange auction.  Usually there are too many beautiful pieces to keep up with.  This crate was from France, Italy and Spain, and I didn’t much care for it.  But I’ve never seen such a huge crowd!  I think maybe they came for the free champagne.  Things went pretty high.  I ended up buying a lot of iron stuff similar to Creative Co-op, but no shipping charges.  I always think it’s funny that they ship stuff from China on a crate from France.  The sad part is when auction goers can’t tell that the pieces aren’t old, and they pay way too much for them.  One of the things I purchased was a birdcage which is quite lovely, I must admit.  Hmmm . . . I’m sure there’s a bird image here somewhere . . .


And speaking of Easter, I better get to working on those door prizes.  Oh . . . but first I must share my fabulous finds from today.  I found a couple of black train cases with leather handles, a cheapo table that will be great once it’s painted, a couple of cheap old tins, some Spanish vocabulary cards, a beautiful sheer floral apron and some music books.  But by far the most exciting find of the day was $28 worth of watch parts.  This estate had belonged to a watch repairman, so I dug through tons of lens boxes and loaded up on parts for some steampunk collages and jewelry.  As soon as I got home today I put together a bunch of parts on a silverplate serving spork.  It’s way. too. cool.  Now . . . about those door prizes . . .



That’s the way the cookie crumbles . . .

25 Mar

cookieand believe me . . . after spotty internet access and a hectic kid schedule, I needed to feed more than my soul.  So . . . that cookie was consumed as soon as it was scanned.  And it was tasty.  Just hope that scanning it didn’t have some weird x-ray effect that tainted it.  It sure tasted fine! 

Tonight we’re going to do a little time traveling since I haven’t been able to post since Saturday.  We’ll go all the way back to Sunday morning, which was spent at the flea market.  Usually I’m there by about 7:45 a.m. and leave before 10:30.  But I ran into a friend this week, so I was still there after noon, which is way tooooo long, even for me.  I really don’t like to be there when it gets crowded.  And leaving the parking lot is always a nightmare.  It was a slow go this week, and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to find a single thing that floated my boat.  I came home with a few things, but still had money in my pocket, which is rare.  I bought a doll house, the second one in a week.  This one isn’t old at all and even has carpet in it.  But I’m thinking of putting together a vintage toys display in my NEW, expanded shop space (YAY!) — more on that later — and thought it would work well with the white doll house I’d purchased earlier in the week.  I also bought a display piece which my friend said was almost obscene since it’s mostly boobs and no head, but I think it’s perfect, although a little beat up. (or maybe because it’s beat up?!)  I haven’t taken any pictures to share, mostly because everything’s still in the minivan, which needs to be cleared out by the end of the week so the seats can be taken out for my trip to Warrenton!  But . . . I did take a picture of this:


And this photo brings us to Sunday afternoon and evening, which I spent at the Taste of Chaos concert with my 15-year-old son.  So what do I do?  I can’t junk . . . but then I spotted that cool T-shirt with the vintage typewriter!  Wow!!  I shopped!  The shirt was for the band Thursday, which is spelled out on the keys.  I think they should’ve put the letters in jumbled order like on a real typewriter, since they don’t have more than one of any letter.  I realize no one would know what the shirt was all about in that case, but no one can really tell anyway, right?!

And that about brings us up to date.  Oh, yeah!  I almost forgot my expansion news!!  Monday I met with the owner of our shop and told her I was interested in the huge space that is being vacated soon.  She’s letting me try the space for a couple of months while keeping my other space.  And I only have to pay rent on one space.  After two months, it’ll be business as usual, but I can give up one of the spaces if things don’t work out.  I can’t wait!  I think I’ll be able to move it May 1.  I’ve already started planning.  And tonight (Tuesday) was auction night, so I stocked up on a few things for the new space . . . but I’ll fill you in on that later, as I noticed it’s past midnight and I can’t be trusted up alone late at night with yummy cookies in the house.

Saturday Night Live . . .

21 Mar

Seriously.  This blog is coming to you from the big messy middle of charm-making for a show that’s two weeks from tomorrow.  I’m putting all those Etsy images to good use.  They’re all so beautiful!  I send all my files to a UPS store right up the street from my house for high output printing.  Today, however, their email was full and only one person was working, so I’ll have to wait till Monday to see all the new beauties I purchased last night!  Here’s some eye candy for your pleasure:




Hopefully some of my customers will appreciate these works of art as much as I do!

Tomorrow is flea market day.  I’ll be up and at it early, armed with only a bottle of water and a load of cash.  This could be my last shopping adventure before Warrenton.  I get weepy just imagining a week without junking!  Ha.  Today I returned to a sale that was going 75% off and picked up a few goodies, including a musical powder box (another obsession), antique photos ($10 regular price marked to 50 cents today, by my calculations, even though I thought they’d be $2.50 each), an umbrella, a 1920s framed print of a Dutch girl, quite a few more gnomes and elves (mostly for a friend of mine . . . that’s my story ; ), a little bin/shelf thing in dire need of contact paper removal, and a couple of other smalls.   I’m back to being overstocked at this point!  Hope today was busy at the shop.  I didn’t get around to checking on the big space I’m envying, but tomorrow’s another day, right?!

I just want to close my eyes. I just want to fall asleep . . .

20 Mar

Guess you could say I’m the opposite of the Aerosmith song.  After two full days following the scent of junk, it’s time for a rest.  My haul today was amazing:  vintage fur (probably fake) with the most beautiful monogrammed lining, vintage black velvet coat with a gorgeous tatted collar, tiles for some necklaces, a few pieces of ephemera, a little mirror, a doll house loaded with furniture, a globe, a feather pillow, some of the cutest bev naps around (yes, I bought the entire collection — but they were cheap!), a chippy window screen, a window, and nine suitcases (No, it wasn’t the entire collection!  But . . .if they’d all looked like the ones I bought, it would’ve been!!).  I know there’s more, but my brain is fried.  I finished off the evening at a charity dinner and silent auction, where I won a family membership to our local art museum and a private birding tour for 10 people.  It’s been a fantastic two days.

The dinner my husband and I attended was a fundraiser for scholarships, but it also honored women who made a difference in our community.  The keynote speaker and the stories of all the recipients were inspiring, in a “yes, we can” kind of way, to the point that I think I may be about to expand my business.  At our local shop, a big booth is about to be vacated, and I’ve been considering taking over the space.  It would be a risk for me.  My rent would more than double and so would my workload of picking and painting.  But I really think it’s time for me to step up to the plate and eat some real rent.  If I really want to open my own shop in the future, this would certainly be a good way to test the waters.  But . . . things are slow right now for so many people.  I’m still meeting and mostly exceeding my personal sales goals, but I know it’s risky.  Still . . . a booth this big may not come along again for a while.  So tomorrow I’m inquiring, just to make sure it’s still available.  Keep your fingers crossed.  But for tonight, I’ll let the pictures below tell the rest of the junking story.





My tootsies are toasted!

19 Mar

It’s been a long day, and I’ve yet to see the shower.  I was up way too late last night creating some little pieces of art, then I was too wired to sleep.  I still have on yesterday’s clothes since I spent the day JUNKING!!!  On estate sale days and flea market days, I usually roll out of bed, put on the clothes from the night before, brush my teeth, comb my hair, and head out the door as soon as the kids are tucked away neatly at school.  Today was no exception.  Usually I’ve washed away my vintageness by now, however.  But . . . the tub’s not going anywhere.  We’ll still have hot water once I finish blogging, right?! 

So this morning I had two sales from which to choose — a brand new sale being run by a company whose pricing is sometimes a little on the high side and part two of a sale I decided not to attend during the first weekend because there were no discounts.  Today, however, they started with a 50% discount on all items under $25.  Hmmmm . . . I chose the re-run sale, and it turned out to be a wise choice.  There were so many smalls that I had a hard time paying attention.  Every time I re-visited a room I’d see something that I hadn’t noticed before.  I ended up with a score too lengthy to list, but it included three metal trunks, two of which still had the tray insert; wooden shoes; a Victorian button-up boot (yes, just one); a couple of bed warmers from England; a couple of Victorian velvet photo albums (one of my addictions); a pink metal toy ironing board (I remember it from my childhood); a really cool vintage embroidery ring on a stand; a great fabric jewelry box, with a print of a Dutch girl on the top; old buttons on cards; some birds and nests (which I plan to work on ASAP); and lots of other goodies.  Probably the one buy I surprised myself with was a milk can that had been painted blue and had a tractor seat that was chippy red and silver attached to the top.  It was perfectly dinged up and a keeper at just $2.25.  Wow!

These people were quite the collectors and amassed collections of all types and quality!  My favorite of their collections was found in a corner in the sun room.  Gnomes and elves were everywhere!  They even had gnome Christmas lights!  I bought a couple of pieces of pottery and some big vintage wooden cutouts, but didn’t go hog wild.  (In case you didn’t read my first post, I’m a sucker when it comes to buying entire collections.)  I’m proud of my restraint today!

The sale was extremely fun, and I saw one of my favorite flea market vendors there.  He always greets me with a smile and a hug, so I enjoy running into him — especially when I beat him to a sale, like I did today, which is a rare occurrence!  But to balance the day out, I must admit there were some shoppers, as always, who got up on the wrong side of the bed.  One lady was dissing my gnomes, even though the only thing she seemed to be carrying was a plastic basket she could’ve purchased at Dollar Tree.  Blaaah.  And I tried to humor a grouchy old man (another one of my obsessions — talk to ’em till they smile) but he wasn’t having any of my cup of cheer.  Oh, well.  I had a blast and might go back Saturday afternoon when they really start discounting.  There was a photo album and two musical powder boxes that were way too expensive even if they had been 50% off, which they weren’t because they were over $25.  AND . . . the antique photos — cabinet cards or not — were $10 apiece!  Wow!!  I didn’t even look at them, though I certainly will if they’re still there Saturday. 

So now I’ll post photos, shower and settle in for the night with a couple of Sommerset Studio mags.  It all starts again in the morning with a sale being hosted by one of my favorite companies.  Wish me luck!

Here’s the milk can stool:


Here’s the junk in my trunk (ha!):


Who could resist this face?


One of the projects, a button collage on a celluloid powder lid, that kept me up last night:


I hit pay dirt after 3 hours at auction!

18 Mar

You just never know how high prices are going to be at auction.  Depends on who’s there.  Depends on whether the Spurs are playing or whether the Spurs are playing in town.  But you can count on seeing the regulars.  Though we alternate between auctions, you can count on running into at least a few regulars every Tuesday night. 

There was a fantastic piece of stained glass last night, and stained glass guy wasn’t even there.  So, I thought maybe I had a chance to score this beautiful piece instead of being my usual bottom feeder self.  I was wrong and outbid.  I also lost out on a couple of fireplace surrounds that had beautiful matching mirrors.  But that’s okay.  It’s not really fireplace season anymore.  I did score a five-foot-tall chimney from England.  It was shop-ready, and I’ve already found it a home amongst my other treasures. 

There’s another regular woman who tends to bid on the exact items my auction-going friend bids on.  And she always outbids my friend.  By like $5.  But my friend wasn’t there last night so, call me paranoid, I think she picked me as her target.  I thought she was gone, as I was happily winning a bid.  Suddenly, at the last moment, I was outbid and just happened to catch the reflection of the winning bidder in a mirror.  Guess who?  She’d already gotten up to pay, but just had to get in one more steal! Grrrr.  But all’s fair in love and bidding, right? 

I did manage to score some cool finds, but it took hours for my competitors to run out of money.  I ended up with nothing I intended to get, but all-in-all I’m happy with my haul.  Best find of the night by far was a Victorian dressing screen I won for a $10 bid.  Before I went to bed last night I sketched a new shop layout, I was so inspired by that silly screen.  I also got lucky on my bid for four watering cans.  If they had come up for bid earlier in the night, before the Round Top women left, I’m sure I would’ve been outbid.  When all was said and done, I had won bids on three mirrors, a dresser, a footstool, a vanity stool, two magazine racks (one’s already at the shop), two end tables with shelves and all the junk I’ve already mentioned.  I may have paid too much for the dresser, so I’m going to try to sell it on Craigslist.  Isn’t that pathetic?  I can probably get more for it there than at the shop.  If I take it to the shop, I’ll need to paint it.  It’s a beautiful oak piece, so I’m hoping to avoid having to paint it.  The mirror score made me giggle a bit, since I never bid on mirrors at auction.  Short story long, I left an early bid on mirrors once, and the auctioneer sold them to another bidder (after begging someone to please match the bid) for the same price which, you know, is unethical at best.  I know this because I ended up being able to go to the auction late.  I witnessed the entire fiasco;  caused a bit of a scene at the desk, I’m afraid; and haven’t left any bids since.  Oh, the hurt! 

So today I picked up what was left to be hauled from last night’s auction and purchased some shelves and a cute little cubby-bin thing from one of my favorite sources in town!  Those pieces are already hard at work at the shop. 

So here’s a little peek at what’s still at home:


nothing like my beautiful storeroom reflected in mirrors!

Here’s the dressing screen I can’t get over.


And one more photo before I go .  . . this little mosaic was done on a “wood” tray.  I just painted the tray white to bring out the colors in the tile.  Finished it today, but in the photo the painter’s tape is still attached.  It’s amazing what a little paint will do:


Tomorrow:  estate sales!!

St. Pat’s Pot o’ Gold

17 Mar

My mom and I both thought we found a pot of gold today.  One of us did. One of us wasn’t so lucky.  Maybe one of us is more Irish than the other?!  Let’s start with Mom:  She won a $250,000 sweepstakes and was notified today!  Yay, our team!!  Or so she thought.  Unfortunately, it was all some scam involving the names of legitimate businesses in the U.S. and in Canada.  I don’t know if the scammers were preying on senior citizens or if it was all random.  Luckily, we did a little research to prove to her that it was a scam.  And this comes at a time when the money could really come in handy. . . not that there’s a time where $250,000 wouldn’t be handy!  Duh!!  Okay . . . my Irish luck led me to a fantabulous dumpster dive find!  I rescued the table below from someone’s trash pile.  It’s a drop leaf, and the leaves actually work!  A little paint will make it just spiffy.  I know pots of gold are supposed to be at the end of rainbows, but we haven’t seen a rainbow in so long.  I think St. Patrick took pity on me!  Regardless, I think the table rescue proves how green I was today!


another view of the rescued table: