Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Estate" Sale

There needs to be a law about what can be called an Estate Sale and what is just a yard/garage sale. I got up at 6:00 AM on Saturday to drive about 30 miles to an "Estate Sale" that I found on Craigslist. The photos looked promising, so I thought I'd take a chance. It started at 7:00, and Roger wanted to work outside before it got too hot, so I left the house at 6:30, so I could be home no later than 8:30.

What a disappointment! A lot of overpriced stuff drug out on the front lawn. In my opinion, an estate sale is when everything in the house is for sale. This was a yard sale. Perhaps a yard sale with some antiques, but a yard sale, nonetheless.

I found nothing. I drove down the road a bit, so I could turn around to head home and saw a sign for a garage sale just down the block and in a nice looking neighborhood. I figured it couldn't hurt to look, and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't earthshattering, but I found a handful of nice things.

I love the shape and color of this Haeger vase. The cookbook binder is one you can use to collect and organize your own recipes. There were a few recipes tucked into some of the envelopes inside, but overall, it looks unused. My favorite find was definitely this two yard cut of knit fabric. How cute are those little guys? For some reason, they remind me of Russian acrobats.

I was home shortly after 8:00. After that little taste of treasure hunting, I was in the mood for more, so we rounded up the kids and headed out for some more garage saling. Total waste of time. We spent 10 cents on a book for the kids, and that was it.

Thank goodness I have an auction to attend this Saturday! Assuming I can find a babysitter...

View others' finds at Thrift Share Monday!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Estate Sale Thursday

Normally, I don't get the chance to attend many estate sales, simply because I'm usually working during the week. Sure, I could go on Saturdays, but by Saturday, I figure most of the good stuff is gone, plus, Saturday is auction day. Last week, I took a few days off, because I had friends coming down from Canada for a visit, and I kind of thought we might try to squeeze a quick little mini-vacation in over the weekend. The vacation didn't happen, but that's okay. It's been a nice little break from work anyway.

So, Thursday, my plan was to clean my craft area! HA! Instead, I went over to Craigslist and found a couple estate sales down in Wichita that looked interesting. Driving down to Wichita is always a little scary for me. I don't have the best sense of direction, and I'm a nervous driver. But, I poured over the Google map and got it all sorted out in my brain.

The first stop was okay. Nothing that really got me excited but I picked up three salt dips and headed on to the next sale. The second sale was advertised as being the estate of a woman who used to own an antique store! Now, we're talking! There was so much stuff! It was overwhelming! I probably went through the house five or six times!

It was a little scary, because nothing was priced. There were price tags on some of the items, but they assured me that those were old store tags and everything was much lower. (Some of the price tags were downright terrifying, so I tended to steer clear of some of those items, because I was afraid that "much lower" would still be "too much".) So, I gathered up some things, took them to the front, and we discussed prices. I was pleasantly surprised! We seemed to be on the same page pricewise, and I didn't have to put anything back!

Roger and I have been wanting some colorful things for our booth, and this teapot was just perfect! The bright color is so fun. I am also completely in love with the picture frame, chippy paint and all! Roger thinks we should strip it. No, dear, it's perfect just the way it is!

The tray was the first item I picked up. I didn't even realize it was a Pepsi tray until I turned it over and read its old tag. I just liked the cute beach scene. When I looked at it closer, I realized that nearly every person is holding a Pepsi bottle!

The sunbonnet sue table set was too adorable to pass up. (Plus, it's red!) Now, I'm trying to get it cleaned up and silenting swearing at the person who thought it was a good idea to tape the napkins together...

That thing in the tube is a soap thermometer. That's all I know about it. I don't know why you need a special thermometer for soap.

These sewing cards were right up my alley! They're so bright and fun! And, they're flocked, so they're fuzzy, too!

I found these three sets of embroidered pillowcases. I'm pretty sure they are brand new, and the lace on them is probably handmade, too.

I found this birdcage in, um, questionable condition. It was a little hard to see what was underneath all the holly, ribbon and, well, birds. I am happy to say that once it was de-birded, it was quite the little cutie!

See more great vintage and thrift finds at Her Library Adventures!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Last week, I found a nearby estate sale that I was able to attend over my lunch hour. (I am loving this estate sale concept!) It was a little out in the country, only accepted cash and I had $19.65 in my wallet.

I eyeballed this tray for a while before I finally decided to snag it. It's HUGE! And red. It's one of my new favorites. I hope I'll be able to find a buyer that likes it as much as I do.

I'm always drawn to stuff with peacocks on it and this tray was just lovely! The frame and handles are quite sturdy. It is backed with velvet which is quite worn, but I can definitely see this hanging on someone's wall.

The last three little things I found were this cute ceramic scissors holder, a cake cutter with a green bakelite handle and a flower frog. When I got it home, I realized the scissors holder had quite a few chips on the back, so I don't feel comfortable selling it. Fortunately, I have a dear friend who is willing to give it a good home, so it will be moving to Wisconsin soon.

I had never even seen a cake cutter (or didn't know what I was looking at) until a couple weeks ago at an auction where they had about 50 of them for sale! I saw this one with its pretty handle and couldn't resist for the price.

So, five nice finds! Not bad work for one lunch hour!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why I Like Auctions

Roger and I headed up north to a couple of auctions on Saturday. We weren't sure which one we wanted to actually attend, so we arrived in town early so we could preview both of them. The first one was in a motel conference room. It was COLD and a little dark. It was full of all the vintage kitschy stuff that I like - stationery, kitchen stuff, Christmas decorations, that sort of thing. We were tempted, but decided we better check out the other one first.

We drove across town to the second auction. It was held indoors, too, and wasn't as cold! :) It was set up very nicely and there really wasn't any "junk". Everything was neat and clean and tidy. We decided to stay.

Within the first 15 minutes, I was pretty sure we were out of our league. Everything was going for big money and this one dude kept buying ALL the glassware. It was so weird, because he was paying at least retail, so we weren't sure if he was a collector or a dealer who would be happy if he was able to make a dollar profit on each item! After a little bit, it got downright annoying! All morning, we managed to buy about three things, and I felt like I'd overpaid for all of it.

Shortly after noon, I was feeling itchy, so I left Roger there and went back to the motel auction. Most of the good stuff had already been sold. I picked up a few good items and only spent $9.50. Unfortunately, one of my $2 purchases was a clean-up, and I managed to fill the back of the van with a bunch of CRAP! Seriously. I wanted one thing, and got a van load. (That's NOT what I love about auctions!)

I was bored and decided it would be more fun to hang out with Roger. When I got back, the auction was getting better. Crazy dude was still buying a ton of stuff, but other bidders were finally getting in on the action and winning a few things. We came away with a few more bargains. Probably my favorite purchase of the day was the Little Red Spinning Wheel. Cute, huh? (Sorry I don't have more pictures this week. We have company coming this week, so we had to get everything packed away, fast!)

And, this is what I love about auctions. When you go every weekend, you start to see the same people over and over again. You know what they bid on, you chat with them, you joke with them. Next thing you know, you have auction friends! I don't know their names, but I know their faces, and they're a fun group! Our little group on Saturday had a pretty good time watching in shock and bemusement as that guy bought all that glassware. I'm still wondering if his check will clear the bank this morning! One of my buddies said, "That's what you call 'stupid money'."

Oh yeah! And I got hit on. Twice. Once directly and once indirectly. A guy at the motel auction asked me if I'd ever been on tv. No. "Are you a movie star?" No. "Well, you look like one!"

A guy at the second auction told Roger that I have a great smile and that he has a beautiful wife. Okay, so both of these guys were probably in their 60s. So what? I can survive on compliments like those for a week!

I'm linking up with Her Library Adventures.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Family Support

Our 8 year old son is not nearly as enamored with the world of vintage and antiques as we are. He considers garage saling a unique form of child torture and grudgingly attends auctions where he likes to suddenly need attention when we are in the heat of bidding.

He does think it's kind of cool that we have a booth at an antique store, and he likes to help me come up with prices for items, although his criteria are a little questionable. "How old is it? Well, it is really shiny!"

Currently, our house looks like we're the ones trying to get ready for an auction. There is stuff everywhere. Last night I told our son that we needed to get the house cleaned up because we have company coming for the night next week. I was specifically talking about his bedroom and play area.

"It's embarrassing!" I said.

He replied, "What's embarrassing is 5 million antiques."

Supportive little punk, ain't he?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Estate Sale

I've attended a lot of auctions and gone to plenty of garage/yard sales, but I had never gone to an estate sale. I mean, the kind where you actually go into someone's house and everything is for sale. I found one advertised last week here in town, and decided to go check it out over my lunch hour.

At first, I was a little disappointed, because the dining room table was covered in all kinds of pretty glassware, but it was all more than I wanted to spend. Let's face it. I'm cheap. But then I thought, "Hey! I should go check out the kitchen!" And that's where the fun started! I just started gathering stuff up and taking it to the front table to wait for me!

I got a couple sapphire blue Fire King dishes, a salt and pepper shaker set (I realized later it had been repaired - a lot), a pretty china tray, an old red letter Pyrex liquid measuring cup, four vintage tablecloths, a cute travel alarm clock, a pretty blue plastic jewelry box, an aqua and cream pitcher and tumblers, and I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff! It sounds a little creepy, but I found it pretty stinkin' awesome to walk through someone's house and know that it was all for sale!

I spent a lot of the weekend trying to get some old stains out of the vintage tablecloths, but I think I did a pretty good job! One was already perfect, one will be staying with me, because I discovered a lot of tiny holes in it, and the other two are in fine vintage shape, so I feel comfortable selling them. I can certainly see how easy it would be to get addicted to vintage linens! If I entertained more, I'd probably start collecting them myself!

(Just so you know, the two items pictured above are available in our Etsy shop! :)

I'm linking up with Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One Saturday - Two Auctions

This weekend, Roger and I each took a kid and set out to separate auctions. They were both indoors, but mine was air-conditioned! :) I took Sally with me. I made sure to dress her cute, so if she decided to act monstrous, maybe her cuteness would balance it out. In the end, she was pretty darn good and made lots of new friends! She was the belle of the auction, I would say!

Here's what I came home with:

There were about 30 lady's head vases at this auction. I fell in love with the white and red one, because red is my favorite color. I'll probably be keeping her. The blue one will be going into the shop very soon. She is not only a vase, but can actually hang on the wall, as her back is flat.

There were also a ton of cookie jars. Most of them were in this style but in different colors and patterns. I just loved the bright colors on these two. One may stay with me. Maybe.

The highchair was one of those things that was selling for so cheap, I just snatched it up. It wasn't until much later that I really noticed the decal was of a bear with a sewing machine!

I also bought another Singer treadle machine. I had no intention of bidding on that machine when I got to the auction. It wasn't until I realized it was going to sell for nothing that I knew it needed to come home with me. Roger keeps asking what we're going to do with it. Storage, for now. It's a nice clean machine. It just needs to age for a bit.

Roger's auction was much pricier and not as much fun. The auctioneer was terrible. Just a note to any auctioneers out there who are listening. Don't be a jerk. Don't be rude to your buyers. And don't use your employees to run up the bids. Now, I don't have a problem with auction employees bidding on items when it's now and then and something they truly want to buy. It's when they're bidding on every. single. thing. that it gets annoying. Roger said he managed to drop a few items on them, but wasn't even sure they cared. We'll be avoiding this guy's autions in the future.

So, what did he manage to buy?

These playing card tiles. We're not at all sure how they were used, but he knew I would like them. They might be ivory backed with bamboo, but we're not at all sure. Maybe bone? They don't seem to be bake-lite. I couldn't get any kind of scent when I rubbed them. I'd love to hear from anyone with an idea on these!

He bought a flat of salt dips, because the owner of our antique store had told us that he has a collector who comes in regularly looking for these.

And, these little miniatures. Most of them are about 1 - 1 1/2 inches tall. They're made of brass, and adorable! I've always liked miniatures.

He also brought home a few other treasures, and three gold rings that I need to take to the jeweler to sell for scrap today. He better hope those rings make up for going over budget! And, for a couple of things I like to call "Roger's Follies". That'll be a special feature later on this week!

Today, I'm linking up with Her Library Adventures! Check out the other great finds from last week!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Salt & Peppers

I'm not usually a salt and pepper kind of girl. I just don't get the appeal. They're cute and all, but why in the world would you need hundreds of sets? Then I saw the salt and peppers at this auction! There were a lot of the regular ones you see all the time, but then there were some that were so clever, that I just couldn't resist! I may have gone a little overboard with a few of these. Now, remember, these photos were taken immediately after the auction, so they were still a bit grungy.

How cute is the toaster? You push down the lever and the little slices of toast pop up! White toast for the salt and brown toast for the pepper!

And, why wouldn't you want this on your picnic table?

A mixer salt and pepper shaker! And the beaters are the actual shakers! You just pull them off and add some salt and pepper to your food! (Not a lot of salt and pepper, obviously, but hey! we should all be watching our sodium intake, right?)

This fruit basket was pretty much my favorite. I love that the pineapple and lemon (apple?) are the shakers and the entire top comes off to reveal the sugar bowl underneath!

This one is to use with your tv dinner! (har har) When you turn the knob to "on" the shakers pop up from the top.

This one has a story to go with it. The first night of the auction we bought a flat of miscellaneous and mismatched shakers. We found the little tiny white salt shaker in the box, but no matching pepper. When we went back to the auction the next day, we found this little wringer washer shaker set missing its salt shaker! I immediately realized that I had the missing salt at home. I made sure to keep an eye on this box, so I could bid on it or at least offer to mail the salt shaker to the winning bidder. I won the box for almost nothing and was able to reunite the salt and pepper. I think this one is going to stay with me. It's red, you know, and I love red things.