Tag Archives: shopping

To market, to market…

24 Jan

All I can say is WOW. Market. It wasn’t even old stuff, and I still managed to enjoy myself and to spend money!

What I discovered:

1. I want to sell candles

2. I want to sell bath and body products

3. I want to sell cards…postcards… notepads

4. I want to be a buyer for some huge company and just sit and write orders all. day. long.

5. In Dallas, there’s no such thing as hair that’s too high

6. In Dallas, there’s no such thing as too much makeup

7. Some sales reps need to be reminded that they are working at a wholesale market … go buy an attitude adjustment {I’m just the type to report you. In fact, I did.}

8. Most sales reps are extremely nice and helpful

9. Freebies rule, even if it’s a fingernail file or a slice of organic soap

10. Free food and drinks rule — especially pimento cheese and crackers that appear at just the right moment. And pink sparkly cake is an extra-special bonus. And a mashed potato bar is heaven

11. EVERYTHING  is being reproduced {duh}. NOTHING old is sacred. {with the exception of loving cups, which I KNOW are being reproduced, I just didn’t have any luck finding them.}

12. Vendors who shop in Paris for props won’t part with said props no matter how hard you beg. They expect you to buy the new stuff. Go figure

13. Original jewelry should never be swapped for a Justin Bieber rubber bracelet, no matter how cute the brace-faced kid is who makes the offer

14. The World Trade Center is big

15. 11,000 parking places may sound like a lot, but they fill up quickly {Note to buyers: please take the time to pull into only ONE space STRAIGHT, so that 11,000 vehicles will fit. If I can’t have two parking spaces, neither can you.}

16. Shopping is tiring

17. Writing orders is cool

18. Cash-n-carry is not for me

19. Inspiration is everywhere

20. At least one wholesaler carries Meloney Russell’s beautiful pillows. {I didn’t buy. I’ll go straight to the source in Warrenton.}

21. I miss Dallas

22. I’m ready to put Halloween in the shop. And Christmas

Orders are placed. Now is the time when I wait. I think you’ll like what I ordered. It all fits well with all the vintage junk I sell. It must be late {or early}. I’m rhyming.

Have an awesome week…

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Return of the Ouija meets return of the blogger

20 Sep

I’m such a slacker.  Don’t know what’s come over me.  Actually, that’s not true.  I’ve gotten a little carried away with the soldering iron.  It’s overtaken all my free time and most of my conversations.  And today I spent all my free time hauling junk for my space in Llano!  (Well, actually that was two days ago!  I’m just now finishing this post!!)

But…let me get to the point of this blog.  The alleged stolen Ouija has resurfaced.  It was stuffed behind a bunch of stuff somewhere else in the store.  The planchette has yet to be recovered.  And since I can’t think of ANY other use for such an item, I’m left believing it’s stashed somewhere in the shop as well.  The question that will never be answered remains … did someone hide the Ouija so they could be sure it was there when they had some available Ouija cash? Or … was it stolen, only to be returned due to the baaaaadddddd curse it was sure to bring to the thief?  Guess we’ll never know.  So, indeed, this little bit of information left me no other choice but to FINALLY sit down and blog.  The soldering iron has been put to bed for the evening, just like my entire family.  And I do have pictures from the shop to share tonight.  They were taken a couple of weeks ago, however, so some of the merch has already sold.  But at least you’ll get an idea of what I’ve been finding.  I didn’t go to many estate sales over the summer.  I’d read the listings, and everything sounded too new.  The couple of sales I did force myself to attend weren’t up to par.  So I’ve been relying mostly on my secret sources — HA!  Some secret — and the flea market.  I’ve always had a theory that there’s plenty of junk to go around.  But after a summer of slim pickins’, I’m left to wonder if, in fact, the world can run out of junk.  The love of old stuff seems to maybe skip a generation, so what if we’re approaching a change in generation, huh?  Pretty morbid thought, I know, but I honestly thought about it after seeing new crap everywhere I went over the summer.  But back to those secret sources… The source I stalked forever is, like, junk goddess to the masses.  I’ve run into a number of professional junkers on my visits to her.  In addition, she’s sold to Robin Brown of Magnolia Pearl and to the owner of a local store called Me & My House.  ::pressure::  I do have one anonymous source that I can’t reveal.  She’ll give me the boot if I do.  She said so.  Our meetings remain one big happy secret.  On my part, at least.  And any success that I’ve earned so far is a credit, in part, to her good eye.

I hope these photos are eye candy for you:

 

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spectacular metal table with glass top is still available.

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This is my favorite display space.  While I’d love the cabinet to sell, I’ll miss it when it does.  It holds everything!!

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Even with her missing arm, she was a keeper… just not for me.  She’s on layaway for some lucky customer!

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Radio is still available, along with 1914 yearbook and boy statue.  Sadly, the pair was split.

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Phone cubby only lasted a couple of days in the shop.  Loving cup is still available.

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One of my favorite finds ever:  a pair of leather boxing gloves for a child, with laces!  Still available…

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old urn is gone.  Book and chair are still in the shop, but have been moved from this empty space, that I kinda just filled to look like a lovely fall garden, to my own space.

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I love the colors — or lack thereof — in this photo.  Everything is still at Homestead, with the exception of the spools (which I have more of at home) and the really wonderful crazed and stained ironstone platter.

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Bowling balls … they’re not just for breakfast anymore…

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Steampunk.  Ahhhh.  Headed to Llano soon, since they haven’t sold.  And speaking of Steampunk, Sari Jane now has her steampunk jewelry at Homestead!  I’m a proud owner of earings and a necklace made from watch parts sans rubies. 

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The black book with the cross on it has sold.  It was a turn-of-the-century devotional written in a foreign language that looked a lot like Spanish.  But, according to a Spanish speaker, it was not Spanish.  So … I’m stumped.

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The mirror sold a couple of days ago.  The metal piece reflected in it, which is another one of my favorite things, is still there.  It’s an old table top that would be groovy above a fireplace.  Or over a bed.  Or in the middle of a big ol’ empty wall.  Or just about any place, really, since it’s so cool. 

That’s it for now.  It’s 1:08 according to my computer clock, so I must retire.  The flea bites early in the a.m.  Hope your dreams are sweet and junky!

O-v-e-r-p-r-i-c-e-d but Ouija friendly

13 Aug

Here we are nearing the middle of August and I’ve yet to blog once this month.  And there’s so much to tell!  But I have so little to show.  I just can’t seem to remember to get a new battery for my camera!  A few weeks ago, I remembered to take it along on a junket, but right in the middle of a lovely visit with Stephanie of The Chicken Coop in Floresville, my battery died.  So… here’s what I can show you from that trip.  Her business card:

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Just be sure to call for her hours before you hit the road.  I think she’s open Thursday through Saturday, but I’m not sure.  And I know Saturday’s a short day for her.  It’s a beautiful shop, and it’s all her very own junk.  I picked up a couple of really cute lampshades that she designed, and many, many mirrors.  Her prices are very reasonable, especially if you’re buying for yourself or for Warrenton!  Here are the very few shots of her shop:

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I took the photo above AFTER I’d created an empty space where a quirky plastic mirror used to be!  Now it’s all mine…SNAP!

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I really wanted the triple mirror that’s in the background of this photo, but one of its three mirrors was cracked, and it was, sadly, more than what I could pay taking that crack into consideration.  BUT  I did see another cracked mirror, just like it at my next stop… Glory B’s.  Hers wasn’t for sale.  It is rumored that Stephanie and Beverly picked up those mirrors at the same sale.  Great minds, and all… I did find an uncracked one at auction a few days later.  And it was right in my re-sale price range!  Yippeeee!

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Stephanie turns lampshade bones into works of art.  I’ll snap some pics of the ones I purchased once my camera’s operable again!

Next stop was the blog-famous Glory B’s:

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Just so you know… that music-lined violin case featured on the French Lique blog is no longer in the shop.  It hadn’t sold, but its owner took it back home.  Beverly always has a beautiful white shop that’s candy for the eyes and easy on the nose.  I almost feel guilty planting my sweaty self inside such a fluffy white haven.  You owe it to yourself to visit her shop. It’s more relaxing than yoga.

Beverly’s business card inspired me to seek some for myself, so … warm off the press, here’s my new card:

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The past couple of months have been outstanding in my junking world.  But apparently someone thinks I’m a bit pricey.  I was met with o-v-e-r-p-r-i-c-e-d spelled out of my very own scrabble letters a couple of days ago.  Once the shock wore off, I felt a bit of pity for the poor soul who left the message.  It’s hard to know if he or she was talking specifically about my stuff or the shop in general… you can’t get very detailed when working with scrabble messages.  I think my prices are reasonable.  For example, the mirror below sold recently for $46:

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Was it overpriced?  This is a business for me.  I love it, but at the end of the month I need to see a profit.  I don’t try to gouge anyone.  If I buy cheap, I’m able to sell cheaper.  The more I have to pay for something, the higher my prices will be.  That’s the way it goes.  I want my customers to be happy, but I’m not going to, as Alec Baldwin said on an SNL episode, “give my pie away.” 

But in happier news, I can report that my Ouija Board sales are up 200%.  And I just found another board hidden in my storage room!  It’ll go to the shop tomorrow afternoon.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get a battery for my camera pre-shop re-do and take a TON of photos tomorrow evening!  Miracles do happen…

Thanks for visiting… come back soon!

Loving Llano…again

29 Jul

As promised…more, more, more photos from Llano, Texas.  The following pictures were taken at the shop next door to Whimseys.  So … here we go again.  Starting with the business card:

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Now I’ll give you a peek at her porch:

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and another:

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And now we’ll go inside for a look-see and our white daily white fix:

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Binky’s one of the nicest people you could ever meet.  Unfortunately, she was out of town Monday.  Her displays are always spectacular.  Below is one of my favorites.  Simple, but oh so creative:

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More fun with Binky’s items of eld:

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This is Texas, after all.  What did you expect?!

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The entire wall of one room is covered in sheet music.

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This girl’s not quite as commanding as the corset-clad chick featured earlier.  And I really dig her jewelry.  It’s so dry in Texas, they’ve taken away all our outdoor faucet handles so we won’t waste any water on our lawns.  Here they’re re-purposed.  (Okay.  That’s a bit of an exaggeration. While we are in the midst of pretty tight water restrictions, rest assured our outdoor spigots remain intact.)

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Feel a road trip coming on?  Llano’s also home to a wonderful jewelry shop called Create/A Rosy Outlook;  A cool clothing store called Ruby Cowgirl; a non-profit coffee house called Fuel, which frequently features live music; world-famous Cooper’s BBQ; and a handful of other antiques shops across the street from Whimseys and Binky la Faye.  It’s a short drive to Austin, Fredericksburg, Comfort and Boerne, nestled in the Texas hill country.

For the Llove of Llano, Part I

28 Jul

As I’ve mentioned, I have shop space in San Antonio, where I live, but also in a lland far, far away — 104 miles to be exact.  The shop is called Whimseys, and it’s llocated in Llano, Texas. (That’s the end of the excessive double Ls, I promise.)  I made a trip there today to pick up a cabinet for Homestead in San Antonio and drop off a few items, including some really funky chairs.  And guess what?  I TOOK MY CAMERA!  So grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy your guided tour of Whimseys.

Let’s start with the business card, designed by Avalon Mackenzie of Create and A Rosy Outlook (Llano):

llano shopsThe back of the card has all the info, and is just as cute, but I only scanned the front!  The shop is at 305 Bessemer.

You can’t miss it:

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Let the games begin!

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Wall behind the counter with bike suspended from the ceiling…it’s a fun and funky place.

For all you lovers of white, so I won’t lose you straight away:

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Today was a big re-do day, so I was hard-pressed to find put-together displays.  And I can almost guarantee that most of what I did capture was rearranged later in the day! Most of the pictures are from the Queens of Funk and Junk space, though I did snap a couple in our space, including the one below:

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The bottle barely visible in the picture above sold today.  I think Stephanie from Georgetown’s Gatherings may have purchased it, as I heard tale that she was making the rounds in Llano today.  (As I was in a VERY vintage state, I wasn’t meeting anyone.)

Another one of the girls in our space:

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My silly little charms:

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More from the Queens of Funk and Junk:

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And that’s just a start… In my next post, I’ll take you next door to visit another great shop!  I can’t wait?  Can you?  I have met some really fabulous women through this blog, and I’d love to hear from all of you!  Feel free to give me a holler if you’re out there and let me know what you think!

Stained glass makes me giddy…

5 May

But why can’t I stop with just one beautiful piece?  Why did I have to bid on 13 pieces, most of which had cracks?  I guess that’s what happens when you go to auction and someone thwarts your plan to get all the cheap stuff at the end.  Someone who has mucho $$ to spend.  Someone who’ll outbid you at any price.  I couldn’t even be a proper bottom feeder tonight, because some newbie way overbid everyone at the end of the auction.  Guess no one bothered to tell him that if you put in a couple of hours, you expect to get SOMETHING dirt cheap.  Not tonight.  But I will say that I’m happy for the auctioneer, who finally got some decent cash for a shipment from England.  I’m just a pathetic loser.  I think I even rolled my eyes once as I was being outbid.  Not cool.

So…happy May!  I survived the moving-into-a-big-space week, and have taken a bit of a rest over the past couple of days.  No Sunday flea market for me.  I did manage to hit a couple of garage sales and an estate sale Saturday, but that’s all the junking I’ve done lately.  I had to keep the classifieds section of the paper closed so I wouldn’t be tempted to stray from my move in!  Now I’ll give you a peek into my new little world.  So far, so good…

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Day 1 of the move in, I think.  This great wrought iron table & four chairs sold the day after I brought it in, I think… to be replaced by:

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The wooden table is of the drop-leaf variety and was salvaged a couple of months ago.  The chairs were finished by my mom.  The table cover has already sold, but I still have that cool set of dishes.

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One of the lithographs to the left is gone, as is the angel statue that someone got for a song!  I don’t know what I was thinking when I priced that thing.  I need to pay closer attention to what I’m doing!!  Carol — that’s the garden cart on the left, full of floral chenille pillows.

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That little wind-up alarm clock is already sold, as is the little piece of silver-plate.  I adore the teapot lamp, and that black blob on the right is an old radio speaker.  Many people who should know better were holding it up to their mouths and being silly girls over the weekend, despite the swine flu scare.  It does make an excellent hearing aid…

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Frames were a HUGE seller last week.  When this picture was taken, three frames were already sold.  The two behind the dress form are now gone, too.  And I had the cutest christening outfit hung in the long black frame for about a half a second.  The iron table has sold.  The black urns are gone.  And two of my petticoats, the top hat and the wall pocket have sold, as well.

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I so love this display.  Both the photo/card holders sold quickly, but luckily I had replacements ready.

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I think all this merch is still in the store… 

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Someone is handling the merchandise!!  I think I told her I wouldn’t post this pic, but I just couldn’t resist…it’s too cute.  The “perfect womanhood” bust was atop the wicker stool by my dress forms before it was snagged at another crazy low price.  Su had a little fun with it before they parted ways…

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Another view of the flower bed area…

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Shared space pink display…

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More shared space…

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Not so mellow yellow display…

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More yellow that’s not selling well…

and lastly:

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One shop.  Three different spaces.  Have I become a space invader?  Can I handle the pressure?  Will anyone keep buying all my junk? Guess we’ll find out. All I know for sure is that what was shaping up to be one of my worst months ever, turned out to be among the top three.   Tomorrow is the start of the next pay period, so we’ll see how it goes.  I have lots of work ahead of me this week.  I need to get a chandelier painted and hung, finish up a dresser so I can move the sold table out of the big space, finish stocking the big space, do a massive re-haul of the space with the yellow stuff, find a home for all that stained glass, and of course…spend some time and money junking!!  If you’re one of my customers, I thank you immensely for your support.  If you’re Su…don’t be too mad over the photo…and I’m impressed you’re looking at this blog.  If you’re a junker, I’m so glad to get to know you.  We’re a unique group.  Don’t forget to support Baby Bella.  Buy your raffle tix now!!

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

27 Apr

Even though that Magic Kingdom ride included the word wild in the title, we still didn’t clue in.  So off we went… me in my prego state, my husband and our not quite three-year-old son.  Dude.  It twisted and turned and truly was a much wilder ride than we expected.  And that’s the ride I seemed to be on today, a day that included four– count ’em — trips to the shop, two trips to an estate sale, a trip across town to pick up from the Craigslister and a junk haul for a friend of mine whose car is entirely too small for her day’s booty o’ junk.  Oh, I also managed to pick up the boys from school.  And did I mention it actually rained today?  The one day it rains, I decide to move furniture.  Go figure.

The new shop space is shaping up nicely, I think.  I covered the blue carpet with my signature oilcloth today, so it’s starting to feel like home.  I also draped some cheeseclothish fabric over the rafters to soften things up a bit.  I can’t decide if it looks soothing or if it looks a bit Halloweenish.  We’ll see how it goes. 

The estate sale this morning was a small gold mind.  A junking friend met me there.  I was off to a good start when they offered me a Krispy Kreme donut, which I devoured instantly — after washing all the vintage off my hands, of course.  You never know where those Swine flu germs might be lurking.  My big buys today included an old iron patio set, an iron table that needs a top, a vintage chandelier, and the coolest and most complete set of dishes from the 50s.  Those dishes were calling my name, and I was completely sold when I learned that the set included salt and pepper shakers, a covered butter dish, sugar and creamer, two serving bowls and a big platter. 

I had to make my second trip to the shop to drop off my friend’s ladder, wheelbarrow and butcher block before heading east to meet the Craigslister.

One time I bought something from Craigslist, and met this man at a gate on a back road in the middle of who-knows-where.  He said I needed to follow him down a dirt road to get to his place.  Once we were inside the gate, he stopped and locked the gate behind us.  Hmmm.  That’s when I first realized that I can’t go off by myself to meet strangers without taking some precautions.  So I called a friend and told her where I had gone, just in case I came up missing.  Turned out the man was a gem.  And the buy was worth the few minutes of unfounded stress I put myself through.  Today the meeting was in the rain at a warehouse in a business park.  I went it alone.  His voice was very nice on the phone.  No red flags.  My instinct was correct.  He was there waiting for me, and  was as strong as he was nice, man-handling that bench right into the back of the minivan without a problem.  Then I ran into him later at the convenience store across the street.  He was buying gas.  I was buying funyuns and a coke — the lunch of champion junkers.  Then we ended up next to each other at a light.  When I looked over, he rolled his window down.  Okay.  That seemed a bit strange.  I just waved and looked ahead, wondering what more we could possibly have to say and why he would want to stalk me in my vintage state.  Turns out I was in the wrong lane and needed over quickly to get onto the highway.  That’s all he wanted:  to let me cut in front of him.  What a nice guy.  Note to self:  must keep paranoia in check.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch … I got that bench unloaded, wiped down and straight into the new space, covered it with pillows and was off to pick up my table and two chairs from the estate sale before fetching child number 1.  Mission accomplished.  Back to the shop one last time to drop off table and chairs. 

Things are really starting to shape up.  Tomorrow I’ll head back to the estate sale for a final time to pick up the rest of today’s haul.

Tonight’s been a mixture of buying the wrong size light bulbs for my chandeliers and then replacing them with the right size, but in retina-burning wattage.  Tomorrow’s a new day, right?  It’ll feel something like that Groundhog Daymovie, where they keep reliving the same day over and over.  Stepping in the same mud puddle.  Running into the same annoying acquaintances.   It’ll be all that and more.  So I ended my day on a pretty note, redesigning our sales tag, with a little altered photo:

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The queen hath spoken…’tis bedtime.  May all your dreams — and mine —  come true…