Friday, May 25, 2012

In the Eye of the Beholder

Tuesday was my daughter's last day of preschool for the summer. Neither one of us was too happy about that, because she just loves school, and I really enjoy my couple hours of free time! Not to mention all the thrifting I've been doing with that free time. But no school means more long-distance thrifting excursions for the both of us, and once my son is out I'll have a second set of practiced eyes to help.

Speaking of practiced eyes, last Tuesday, I was following my own advice and searching for anything and everything in particular. I really have no specific need right now, except for a 1950s media cabinet, but I just get the itch to go shopping about once a week. 

So I just looked through the whole store. I haven't found much clothing at the thrifts lately- which is OK, since I have a ton of stuff I need to list for the store anyway. Been doing pretty well at yard sales... so all I really wanted to do was scratch that itch. I was thinking I might find some Pyrex or pottery. (I did find some Butterprint mixing bowls, but they wanted $15 for the medium and $8 for the small, and that was more than I was willing to pay.)

I don't know what made me do it, but I started looking through one of the bins that had the large framed art pieces. I never look through these- mostly because I wasn't in the market for a ginormous painting, and I don't sell them in my shop. 

I am really glad I did, because this is what I found:

A 1940s airbrushed litho print. I fell in love with it immediately. It's really big- at least 2.5 x 3.5 ft. The frame was a bit chipped, so I repainted it white.

This is the signature on it- as far as I can make out, it is by Turner. Whether that is the studio or the artist, I don't know, but what I do know is that there are quite a few 'Turner' prints out there on ebay and Etsy. But all those that I've seen are airbrushed flowers, or fabulous flamingos. I haven't seen one like this with a woman's figure on it. I absolutely love it.

Thankfully, the colors on it were perfect for our bedroom, so that is where it will stay.

(Can you tell which side of the bed is mine? LOL)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

A big thank you to Dana over at Mid2Mod for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger award! I love her blog and I have learned so much about mid-century design from her posts. If you have a chance, stop on over and check it out! 

As a condition of the award, I am obligated to tell you seven things about myself, so here goes:

1) My "day job" is as a trumpet player and teacher. I went through school intending to be an orchestral musician and only after I graduated with a degree in Music did I realize that I wasn't good enough for that. But I still play and have fun.

2) Since that gig didn't work out as I anticipated, I went back and got a Master's in Museum Science. I was a museum curator for a while until deciding to stay at home with my kids.

3) I definitely do not like standard 9-5 office work, and really hate being told what to do. I am much happier being self-employed!

4) I take great pride in finding and using old versions of new objects. I do all my cooking and household chores with vintage items.

5) One of my first adult collections was vintage radios/phonos (I have at least 12 that I can think of off the top of my head- most work.

6) My favorite color is olive green.

7) If I had the money and a bigger garage I would buy my favorite car- a 1938 Buick Special, like this one:

But this one might be more practical for a family car:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

You had me at 'Giant Lamp'

It's funny how things happen sometimes. Late Saturday afternoon I was playing a band concert. I had been to a couple yard sales earlier in the day; hit some of my usual haunts and came home with only one item- a gorgeous 1940s rayon embroidered bedspread and set of shams:

They are in great condition except for one thing- unfortunately, the lady I bought them from had wrapped the set in masking tape (WTF?!) to keep them together, and now there are sticky tape spots on it. I don't know if I can hand wash it- I'll try one of the shams first- or dry clean it.  I was going to put it in the store, but once my daughter saw it, she fell in love with it (it's pink, mom!). If I can get the sticky parts clean, it can be on her bed- I think it will go nicely with her art deco bedroom suite. (I'll try to get a better photo once they're washed and ironed and on her bed ;)

So that was all I found in the morning- definitely a 'quality' over 'quantity' yard sale day.

....Until I got to talking to one of my band mates at intermission that afternoon, and she was mentioning about the yard sale she had going at her parent's house. She started to laugh when she was describing the 'giant orange lamp' her parents had from the 60s or 70s, and how no one in their right mind would probably want it.

And she went on to describe it, and then mentioned that her dad had been a pack rat and had boxes of shoes and clothing that had never been worn...Excuse me, I think I hear someone calling my name... :)

As soon as the concert was over, I was there.

I can't believe there was this much good stuff left late at the end of the 2nd say of the sale. Makes me really wish I had been there first thing Friday morning!

A men's Pendleton blazer.

A ladies' knit pant suit in orange.

A vintage pea coat, made by Fox & Knapp (maker of USN issue coats) something I've wanted for myself for a long time. Going to the cleaner's tomorrow!

This awesome 1970s boy's hot rod bedspread- never used. The other side has pictures of VW beetles!

A pair of vintage rockabilly style crepe-soled oxfords which fit me perfectly!

The first thing that caught my eye (other than the giant lamp, of course) was this Japanese robe. I have no idea what the characters mean, but it's very old and I have a sense that it is a 40s or 50s souvenir. It's printed cotton with origami birds that look like they're flying through the clouds. I'd like to find out more about it if anyone knows anything about them.

And of course the lamp. It's almost 4 feet high, orange fat lava pottery with a teak top, and that huge original shade. I love it- it's awesome. I just don't have a place for it in my house. I already called my brother and told him that he is the proud owner of a gigantic mod lamp ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What I hate about Etsy

First off, I love Etsy. I love having a shop there, I love the community surrounding it. I get it. But apparently some people do not.

In the past several months I have had some experiences with people in the Etsy world that really make me go hmmmm....

I mean, what is it about the internet that gives people the right to criticize, complain and be a general jerk?

I guess since my shop has grown and I've had some success, people feel like they should be able to get something for nothing or just feel free to express their opinion and think it matters. Well, to a point they are right- they do have the freedom to convo me virtually anonymously and tell me this or that. They're entitled to their opinion and all, but to actually believe that I care about it is another story entirely!

Yesterday I had the amazing luck to score a mint condition Cathrineholm fondue pot and all the accessories at a yard sale. You all are very knowledgeable about these things, most likely, so probably wouldn't bat an eye when I put it in my shop for $125. In fact, I did my research- I couldn't find another like it on ebay, and there was only one other (in not as good condition) on Etsy for $150. It think it's a fair price, and I am always willing to negotiate a bit, so I leave room for that. Additionally, I have a standing coupon code (PIT20OFF) of 20% off to all returning customers and blog/Twitter/facebook followers. You guys could buy it for $100, or even a little less and still get a great deal.

And this lady, who has a shop with nothing but frilly country kitsch, has the gall to convo me and complain that I'm "overpriced three-fold!" I'm sorry, I'm still laughing...what was that about? Do me a favor and stick to what you know, lady. This ain't your average thrift store fondue pot from Kmart.

The other week, I had someone convo me about an item I have listed. He has zero feedback; just registered that day- you know where this is going. He wanted to ask if I was negotiable on an item I have listed for $99. Of course, I replied; "What are you thinking on it?"

His response- "How low would you go?"

Dude- I can see right now you think you're going to get this for like $10- no chance. But I play along and say, "My bottom dollar would be $65" That's 1/3, off- not a bad deal for just asking. But I bet you're not surprised when I never heard back from him.

And I'm sure those of you on Etsy have all had those buyers that ask for a special price, have you create a reserved listing for them and never follow through on the purchase. Man, I wish there was a way you could leave feedback for that kind of non-buyer, don't you?

Another thing that I dislike is when another seller comes to you and says- "I don't have any money, but would you be willing to trade that dress for something in my shop?" This has happened to me on at least three occasions recently and, while I am definitely not opposed to the idea of trading, I usually never find anything in their shop that I want, or that fits. How do you politely say, 'I don't like anything in your shop- 80s dresses/quilts/scrapbooking supplies/etc. are not my thing?' LOL I usually just don't reply back and they must think I'm a jerk (so maybe I am?)  At least if you're suggesting a trade, have a similar shop to mine- obviously that is what I like!

Or my favorite- 'send me this dress for nothing and I will give you free add space for a month on my blog.'
I dunno- not exactly a win-win for everyone.

Well, thanks for letting me get some of that off my chest- leave me a comment and feel free to share your strange Etsy (or ebay) selling, or shopping experiences!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flea Market Friday: Upstate Estate sale!

The last couple of weekends we've been busy at our cabin upstate. Fortunately, I had a little time on Saturday to visit a local rummage sale and estate sale nearby.

This place is really in a rural area, so vintage aficionados are few and far between. Thankfully for me, that means great deals and lots of them!

The rummage sale is held at a nearby church and was Friday and Saturday until noon. Saturday is usually bag day- they give you a large trash bag when you walk in and you can fill it for -better sit down- 50 cents!

I had forgotten the sale ended at noon (I was thinking it was 2 pm) so I ran in at about 11:40 with my two kids just as they were packing up. They wanted some "new" toys, to I just told them to grab anything they wanted and put it in the bag and we'd take a close look at things later. It was so crazy, it was like we were on a TV shopping spree. I literally didn't know where to turn first. Anyway, I grabbed whatever I could and just stuffed it in my bag.

Yes, 50 cents for all!

I knew I wouldn't have much competition for the vintage clothing. I only wish I had more time to look through the men's stuff! I got these six 1960s dresses, all must have been from the same lady because they are all plus size. The 2nd and 6th from the left are really neat especially- a little too big for me at size 18-20 or I would keep them. Watch for them in the shop or send me an email if anyone is interested in purchasing. 
I also got a sweater, a shirt, two scarves and a set of the most incredible pinch pleat drapes ever:

These are in virtually mint condition. I have found several sets of drapes lately, but all in solid colors. I love these and thought hard about redesigning my living room to match them, but that's too much work. They'll be in the shop soon.

I also grabbed this old bail-top mason jar. It had been filled with potpourri (which met its demise immediately.) I have a collection of rustic farmhouse decor in the backgound (OK, except for the martini glass!) which eventually got put on a barnwood shelf later that day (another post on that coming).

After our whirlwind shopping spree was over and I paid my 50 cents, we stopped at an estate sale just outside the little town nearby. They, too were also winding down, and I wonder what I could have found if I had gotten there earlier.

Everything there was priced at $1 or less. The blue bowl is a marbled melamine (5 cents) the white milk glass bowl was 10 cents, the iron (working- they tested it there for me!) was 25 cents, the cute plastic S&P shakers were 10 cents, and the 60s lamp was 50 cents.

These are overhead light fixtures- $1 for both. I was actually looking for something cottage-y to replace the cheesy brass fixture above the sink up there and these fit the bill perfectly. I don't even have to bring something up from down home!

These plastic vacuum servers were 25 cents each. I love this style, but they don't go with 'farmhouse rustic', so they are coming home to reside in my brother's MCM bachelor pad. 

These books were the most expensive items of the day, at $3 for all. Since we don't have TV or internet up there, I'm sure I'll get to read them soon. They're all 1940s romance novels in their original dust jackets. I could have bought many more- the lady had hundreds of books- apparently she didn't have TV or internet either, LOL. The "Nature Crafts" book might also come in handy because it has all sorts of, well, nature crafts, to do with the kids. (Note to Eartha Kitsch- there is a section on making animals out of walnut shells.)

So if you're doing the math at home, I got all these things for $6 and change. Not a bad day! Now I just have to list them all in the shop and make my $50 in gas money back!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sweet Fern: Foraged Fiddleheads

Just a quick note that I have a new post up at my other blog, the1930sproject:

It's all about foraging for fiddlehead ferns. I'd really love it if all of my followers would check it out and help me get the ball rolling over there. I'll still be blogging here regularly, of course!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Make it from Scratch Monday: Homemade Butter

Ever wanted to try making your own butter? I did and now I can say that it is so easy anyone can do it.

Just buy a pint of heavy cream, and pour it into a clean mason jar with a lid. Shake it until it becomes whipped cream. (Take some of that out and eat it with fresh strawberries- yum!) Keep shaking and eventually it will separate into a ball of yellow butter and a milky liquid- buttermilk. Drain off the buttermilk to use in your pancakes and rinse the butterball under fresh cold water until it runs clear. Mix in a tiny bit of salt or some herbs and roasted garlic if you desire. 

Eat some immediately (with homemade English Muffins) and save the rest in a 501 Fridgie (Butterprint, of course!)

For more information, head over to my other blog about self-sufficiency and Depression-era living: