Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some new old stuff & April's Event

Some new old stuff - does that make sense? Hope so! 

One of my favorites is this display case table........

















Right after I took this picture and uploaded it to the computer, it sold. It's really cool - the stars you see in it are a reflection of magnet stars on a board behind the table. When you lift the top glass, there is a mirror inside. Love it!

















And how cool is this green bench! It seems to be pretty sturdy.






















Nothing fancy about this little stepladder, but I like the simple lines of it.






















I like the white stand/bookcase. Sometimes a skinny piece is just what you need for a small spot. Also new are the small shabby white shutters on top, and we picked up some more apple crates.





















Speaking of shutters - check out this trifold one.

















A few more wood boxes - we're always on the look-out for these.

















The stools have seen better days don't ya think? But they have potential. I've had these for a couple months, thinking I would give them a re-do. I just don't have time right now, but someone else might, so we'll see if anyone is interested in them as is.


















Another favorite - if you love quilts and cats like I do......then this is a winner!





















For now, I think I'll keep the black rack for a display piece.


















We've had this chicken crate for a good while, but it was rather hidden. After shifting things around, I was able to get it out where it can be seen. I've seen coffee tables made from these, by putting a large piece of glass on top, and/or attaching legs to the bottom.

And last, but not least.......a mystery photo.

















A springy thing and a funnelly thing. What were they used for? Is it really a funnel? Your guess is as good as ours.

We also picked up more windows that need the glass knocked out. What can I say, we're gluttons for punishment. An old hanging bell, a couple crock bowls, a laundry paddle, sewing cabinet boxes, a picnic basket and a few other odds and ends round out our latest junking trip.

And, some vintage baby clothes - I'm pricing them today. They get their own post, so stay tuned!

AND.......DON'T FORGET!!! (sorry for yelling)

April's First Friday & Saturday Event is this week!!!
20% off ALL regular prices!
Door prizes!
Earn EVENT BUCKS to use later in the month!

Just think Open House - you get the idea.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bows

Under the "ya never know what we'll pick up at an auction" category, comes something new.

Need a bow?

















We don't gift wrap for a few reasons:
  • It raises expenses, which raises prices.
  • It raises the need for more storage.
  • It raises the need for more help, which raises expenses, which raises prices.
  • It raises the knowledge that I'm a terrible gift wrapper
Seriously, I even have trouble with gift bags.
"Just stick it in the bag, stuff some tissue paper in, and voila!, you have a beautiful package"!

Uh-huh. YOU might have a beautiful package, I have a mess.

But I digress......I have a bit of a problem with that.
Sorry.........digressing again.

So..........since we don't gift wrap, I don't carry gift wrap...or bags...or bows.

But one night at an auction, 3 boxes of new bows came up on the auction block. I wasn't interested, but next thing I knew, my hand shot up with my bidding number. What did I do that for? And why didn't someone bid on them after me? Any other time they do, but right then, I might as well of been the only bidder in the room.

George had been carrying stuff to the car. He came back in, sat down beside me, then saw the bows in the chair in front of me. With no one else sitting beside them.

He looked at the bows, then at me, then at the bows, then at me.
"Did you buy those?"
"Yep."
"Why?"
"I have no idea.............let's go home!"
















And so, we have bows. They are all new, from a gift shop that had closed. They are in reasonably good shape, though they have been sitting in boxes for awhile.

Which made them slightly crushed here and there. Some of the curlies came a little uncurled. But overall, they look good. But since they are no longer the perfect little bows they were meant to be, I'm selling them for 50 cents apiece, which is well less than half the original retail price.

Need a bow?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Keep the dates

A month sure flies - April's First Friday & Saturday Event will be this coming weekend, featuring 20% off all regular prices, Event Bucks, and a door prize. I'll detail that more later in the week.

We have another date we hope you'll keep in mind - May 28, 2011.

That will be our big clearance sale - UPSTAIRS!

"Upstairs? You don't have an upstairs." says you.
"Yes we do!" says me!

"You don't have any steps." says you.
"Yes we do!" says me!''

"Where?" says you.
"It's a secret." says me.

Wait a minute, that won't work. If they're secret, how will anyone get up there?

Ok, are you ready? I'm about to reveal the secret you all have been dying to know..........

The steps are...........drum roll please............outside.

If you are standing on the sidewalk looking at our front door, let your eyes wander just to your left. You'll see a white door with a mail slot in it. That goes up to an apartment, where the sale will be. I'll post a photo of the door sometime, I wasn't prepared right now for the big reveal.

Anyway, during the last couple of months, I've been boxing stuff up..........

















Carrying it up the back stairs (also outside), and filling up several rooms.....
















These pictures are just a tiny peek at what will be up there.
Crafts ~ including Christmas and Fall.
Antiques and vintage treasures.
Extra stuff we find around our house.

Much of it will be stuff that's been in inventory too long.
Good stuff... it just wore out it's welcome.

Some of it will be stuff that just never made it out on the floor.

All of it will be cheap.
As in "REALLY CHEAP".
As in "DIRT CHEAP".

As in "WE DON"T WANT TO SEE THIS STUFF AGAIN CHEAP".

Seriously, mark your calendars.
Saturday morning.   9:00 to 1:00.   May 28, 2011.
Upstairs.

It's really neat up there, with the charm of the old woodwork.....






















Isn't that old built-in cupboard the coolest thing ever?

"Why don't you open the upstairs all the time?" says you.
"I would love too." says me.

But that would mean putting in steps inside. We think we have a way, but it will be a little pricey. And in this economy, pricey isn't an option we take lightly.

Apparently, "they" who say the economy is improving forgot to mention that to the folks who live in the upper Ohio Valley, because, we ain't feelin' it. Funny how "they" didn't forget to raise our gas prices though.

So, in order to open the upstairs for more than an occasional sale, we need more money.
As in more sales.
As in please shop with us, and encourage your friends to do the same.

How's that for a subtle hint?
;-)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Country Life = Spring peeps!

Kevin has been planning for a year or so to get chickens this spring. He's been working on a chicken coop, and though it's not quite done yet, he went ahead and got some peeps. Why now? His sister came home from the city for the weekend, and she loves to get her hands into something "country".

(that, and Tractor Supply had their peeps on sale).

So Jessica put away her dressy white "city coat", borrowed Kevin's camo coat, and off they went.

To get 25 chicks.

Maybe 30.

An hour or so later, here they came - big grins on their faces. Kevin was carrying a bag of feed. Jessica was carrying a box of baby chicks.
















40 baby chicks.

Ummm.

"But they're so cute!"

40 it is.

They are camping out in Kevin's basement for now, living the high life under a heat lamp. Eating all they want...drinking all they want...chirping all they want.
















But not sleeping all they want. Several will get tired, they will all lay down in a heap, and a few seconds later, the one on the bottom decides to move. The whole heap then shifts positions, they go back to sleep, then the new one on the bottom decides to move. It's quite comical watching this process over, and over, and over again.
   


But really, who needs to sleep? There's so much to do!



Pecking orders need to be learned.



Reflections must be admired in the water jar.



Introductions need to be made.



And hearts need to be won.



Oh yeah. That was an easy one.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

A new perspective

Any guesses as to what these are? Or what they used to be?
















I'll give you a hint..........when something doesn't sell as it originally was, we take it apart.

It started with 3 old pump organs we took apart. If they had been in working condition, we wouldn't have done that, but the first 2 we had were already falling apart, so we finished the job. Such cool architectural pieces in old organs! They sold quickly.

The next organ we bought was complete, though we didn't know if it worked or not. We tried selling it for several months, no one was interested. One day George happened to be here, and they had the street in front of the store shut down for repairs of some sort, so no one was coming in. He went to the back, got a crow bar, and started tearing apart the organ. The various wood pieces sold quickly.

Same with this vintage iron crib I had in the old days of 2006.
















At first, it was a display piece, but after a while, I decided to sell it. No takers. So, one day I took it apart. Yep, you guessed it, it sold quickly after that. As a whole, it was pretty, but no one had the room for it. In pieces, it became the backdrop for flower gardens.

We've cut down doors, took apart cupboards and tables, knocked the glass out of countless windows. We had an old record player that had gotten wet and was nasty, dirty and smelly. We burned most of it, but it had a couple pieces that could be salvaged and cleaned well. Yep, they sold.

We have learned to look at not just what something is as a whole, but what it can be when it's taken apart. It's given us a whole new perspective on every piece of junk we run across.

Back to these........







 








What do you think they used to be?

Does this help any?















It was a playpen. When I took the sides off, I realized they would fold, resembling a drying rack. They would be cute on a table, displaying some old linens, or in a bathroom with towels, or........

The bigger piece with the bunny and beads would look cute hung on the wall of a nursery, or leaning against the wall of your front porch with plants surrounding it, or.......

When you start looking at things as to what they could be once taken apart, the ideas are endless.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vintage cameras

I think there's a certain quaint charm about old cameras. My dad's old camera was tucked away in a closet for as long as I can remember. I used to get it out once and awhile just to admire it. I have it in my home now, with the intentions of creating a display with it and some old black and white snapshots.

The cameras in the photo below came from an auction.
















Nothing fancy here, but I think they are cool. Look closely at the bag of camera supplies on the far left of the photo. You might be able to make out the never opened box of Kodak film.

It expired in 1965! I almost threw it away, but something told me to look on ebay.

I found lots of old film like that, selling for around $3 a box.

Maybe I'm missing something obvious here, but why would anyone want film that expired in 1965? It can't still be used, can it? I'm sure there are lots of old cameras in working condition that would take that film, but could it really be developed when it's that old? My curiousity has certainly been aroused on this one!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Windows, windows, windows...and a cat

George and I spent much of this weekend cleaning windows. Not our house windows (though they do need it!) No, these windows are from an auction - where George bought almost 200 of them!!! We've been taking a few at a time into the store, and had the rest stashed under Kevin's deck. With summer coming, it's time to get them all out of there.

I wish I had a picture of when they were ALL there. It was an impressive sight, if not a little overwhelming. Make that a LOT overwhelming!


These windows had been stored for who knows how many years in an old barn. To say they got dirty there would be a severe understatement. It would simply be too much work to clean each window thoroughly, but we do get the worst of  the dirt off of them before we take them to the store. And, we knock the glass panes out of most of them. They sell better that way, and they are much easier to handle without the extra weight.

The one's below have been washed, and have the panes removed. The worst of the peeling paint has been knocked off, though they will keep chipping off more.
















There are 32 windows in the trailer, we took them into the store Saturday afternoon. I had to do some rearranging, but I got them all out on the floor.


Time to tackle another batch under Billy's careful supervision.


When we first brought the windows out, they would have completely filled the space in this photo, plus lots more. The stack of glass behind Billy is panes we have taken out. We're lucky when they come out in one piece. When they break, (and there's always a couple that do in each one), we have a mess to clean up.

Billy doesn't miss checking a single pile. He is very thorough.


He is also a multi-tasker. He can check the windows and keep an eye out for mice all at the same time.

One might be coming up behind him from this-away.



Or that-away.


One might sneak up from behind.



Or from below!


You just never know!

After 3 days of being Window Supervisor & Chief Mouse Patrol Officer, Billy was a little tired. When he finally decided to lay down, we thought the least we could do was turn the lights out for him so he could get a decent night's rest.


So, if you need an old window to decorate with, you know where to come.

 (Sorry - Billy's not for sale)

And hey! Happy Birthday to George today! I love you!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

 No Irish in me as far as I know.
(too bad, I could use some luck!)

Nor in George, as far as I know.
(too bad, he could use some luck too!)

So, that leave's Jessica & Kevin out of the Irish bloodline.

BUT.....

Jessica married an Irishman, so luck may just be comin' her way!


Kevin should have Irish blood in him - ever since he was a wee lad, he's been able to find 4 leaf clovers in the yard. He doesn't even have to be looking for them, he can just walk through the yard, glance down and see one. He's dried countless 4 leaf clovers through the years, even having a collection of them in a jar once.













I find that highly unfair. When I was a lass, I would sit in the yard in the middle of a clover patch, searching through the clover piece by piece. Not once did I find a 4 leaf clover.

Kevin finds several every summer, without any effort at all! My aunt (my mom's sister) was the same way.

Not fair. Not fair at all!

Oh well! Happy St. Pat's Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you all!
  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Uh-Oh

A friend came in today, looking for an old chair. As she was looking at one, I asked if it was to sit in, or as a decoration - because the one she was looking at was definitely not a sitting chair.

No problem she said, it was just going to be a display piece for her handmade pillows at a craft show.






















She liked the looks of it, and decided to get it. She carried it to the counter, paid for it, and started to pick it up to leave.

UH-OH!!!
















Our antiques are sold "as is", but this was a little toooooo "as is"! She hadn't taken 2 steps till it fell apart. Then fell apart some more. It's a good thing she's a friend. Thanks for laughing with me instead of yelling at me Debbie!

And yes, she got her money back. Well, actually, she bought something else instead, but I gave her credit for the chair. She said, "it's a good thing you told me not to sit on it!"

Then she said, "I think that one's a little TOO antique!"

It's in the back room now, licking it's open wounds, poor thing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Donations

Retail shops get asked for donations, and though you probably knew that, unless you have been a shop owner, you probably have no idea how frequently that happens.

When I first opened, it was a real eye opener for me.

"Our ball team needs new uniforms - can you help?"

"Our school trip is coming up, can we count on you to help?"

"Our club is having a card party, can you donate a door prize?"

"Our class reunion is coming up soon,  can you give us a little something  to put in gift baskets?"

"Our school/team/club/organization is putting together a poster/yearbook/program/calendar. Can you place an ad on it?

"Our charity really needs your help. Would you prefer to give us a cash donation, or a door prize for our event?"

Are all of these "good causes"? Sure.
Can I help all of them? I wish I could, but I can't.

In the early days of my retail shop, before my eyes were completely opened, I did help them all. And, the more of them I helped, the more of them came.

It reminded me of a story my dad used to tell. When he was a kid on a small country farm, hobo's were a common sight. They would frequently stop at his house, and my grandma would fix them something to eat. They would sit on the back porch and eat; dad's job was to sit out there with them, making sure they didn't steal the silverware! He said the hobo's knew which houses to stop at for a bite to eat, because they would mark a tree, fence post or something, showing other hobo's that this was a safe place, and the lady of the house would give you a good meal.

So, the more donations I gave, the more I was asked. I'm not exaggerating when I say there were days when I gave away more than I sold. Especially on bad weather days. For whatever reason, customers don't come out in bad weather, but terrible weather seems to bring out those seeking donations in full force.

It reached the point that I would get requests from schools in a neighboring state, schools that are close to 2  hours away! Clearly, something had to give.

I talked to some other shop owners, some here in our town, some scattered over the US and Canada. I realized we all had the same problem, and while we would have liked to help them all, we just couldn't. Different owners came up with different ways to handle the matter.

Some don't give to any at all, but they offer to have a "party night" for that particular club/school/group, donating a portion of the sales that night to the group. (Very few groups take them up on it).

Some give only to schools, or charities, or whatever their particular interest is.

That's the route I took. I decided to only give to those who are suffering unforeseen circumstances, and a benefit is being held to help them. Fire victims. Illness or accident victims. Funeral expenses for an unexpected death. I feel like these are the circumstances that could come upon any of us, and quickly spiral our lives out of control, and I am happy to help these folks who have been dealt a harsh blow by life.

I hardly ever buy an ad in a school paper or program. They are usually only 25 bucks or so, but multiply that by the number of schools in the area, and then multiply that again by all the different classes, clubs and sports teams in each one, and you can see how out of control that can quickly become!

I actually heard of a business in a nearby town who always helped the local school when it came knocking, even feeding the sports teams for free before the games. That's wonderful if you can do it, but more than once, while he was feeding the team, he couldn't meet his payroll.

It would be great to be able to help all those who ask, but, just as a household can't do that, neither can a small business, especially in this economy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

How I spent my weekend

What did you do over the weekend?
I painted. And painted. And painted some more.

I took most of these pictures in my basement workroom.
Believe me, there's nothing fancy about these photos.
And staging? In my basement workroom?
Uh, no.

But you can see what I worked on. And where I work.
No white glove test please, I'm telling you now, I'd fail miserably.

Everything I painted was of the trash to treasure variety.

These are barrel staves, from a wood barrel that fell apart.......


The next 2 photos are of plates I rescued from Goodwill. It was a set of 8 plain red and white plates, obviously not new, some are quite scratched up. They had them for a few weeks, and everytime I stopped in, I'd think about getting them. But, I had no idea what I'd do with them.

Finally, one day I decided to just go ahead and get them. As I stood in line with them, a couple different people mentioned how pretty they were, and how much they liked them. Funny, they didn't seem to notice them when they sat on the shelf for sale day after day after day!


They have been floating around my house for a few months, so I decided to lay them on my work table and let inspiration strike. And strike it did. I painted them with sheep, and apples, and roosters, and gingerbread, with berry borders on all of them. These are for decorative use only, unless you like the taste of paint and varnish.

Insert funny story here - one of my customers bought a crock I had painted gingerbread on. She had it in her kitchen, for DECORATIVE USE ONLY. Her husband decided to surprise her one evening, and do dishes while she was away. She got a surprise all right, he put the gingerbread crock in the dishwasher. The crock washed up very nicely - not a speck of paint or varnish left! Just a nice white crock! Oh well, he tried!

Speaking of gingerbread, I found this trio at Goodwill too.


A bit outdated, don't ya think?
I painted the top black, then crackled some dark paint over that, added a few details, and voila!


I did make a mistake with them though. When I ran my finger over the blue hearts you see in the first photo, I couldn't feel them at all, so I didn't take the time to sand them. Oops, should've taken the time. Now, if you hold them right in the light, you can see the heart outline. These guys are full of love, in a subliminal sort of way.

This old gas can was for sale in it's natural state, but didn't sell. I took it home, painted it light green, (thinking spring!) and spattered it with other colors.


George walked in as I was trying to decide what to do with it from there. He took one look at it, grinned, and said, "Paint GASOLINE 25 cents on it. So I did.


With our local gas averaging around $3.55, he found the thought of 25 cent gas extremely amusing.

I also got some more barnwood signs painted. These are shorter than usual, but I have a pile of longer ones lying in wait at home.


And, I drilled holes in another pile of rusty hearts and stars cut from old roofing (no pic, sorry!). I decided to put some of them on lightly painted barn wood. I like how these came out. Very primitive.

I brought all this with me today, and I'm in the process of getting them all out on the floor.

What did you do this weekend?

Broken Window

It started with a crack in the glass. Never a good thing when you are talking about plate glass. I called the wi...