Saturday Finds.

Oh, the weather this morning. Blissful. Gorgeous. A breezy 56 degrees when I walked out the door at 7 am and a still-very-mild 85 degrees when I pulled in my driveway at 3:30 pm. I could have shopped until midnight. I was telling my friend Barb today about yard saling in Chicago, pre-kids: I could very easily go from 9 until 5 or 6, and still be getting great stuff at 6. Ah, the days of 200 yard sales. Gone, but not forgotten.

Things didn’t look really promising in Fayetteville today. By the time I had hit my first yard sale, Barb had hit, probably, six — in Fayetteville and Springdale. I swear, I think that when we’re not looking at her, BARB CAN FLY. She’s like a scout for me. She told me which ones I could skip and we headed pretty quickly up to Springdale. BUT FIRST, I drove about ten miles south to Greenland, where an ad had promised vintage treasures. He had a ton of luscious, beautiful pottery that I had to tear my eyes away from because 1. I gathered he was asking pretty much for the pieces (he kept on talking about how much they were worth) and 2. pottery just doesn’t sell very well in the booth and I am not allowed to buy any more of it for my house. He did, however, have two gorgeous pieces of vintage Samsonite luggage.

The bottom one is huge. Luggage pretty well flies out of my booth so when he quoted me $20 for both, I went ahead and took them, even though it was hard to start out the morning paying that much for only two items. I did a quick eBay check and the small one sold for around $50 recently and the big one is up for auction right now with a buy-it-now price of $75. So I’m guessing I’ll be able to at least double my money by selling them in the booth or at the Barn sale.

I also bought a few vintage books at the same sale — this Maurice Sendak-illustrated music book that I had never seen before:

GORGEOUS. Also, this 1950s textbook:

I LOVE framing these — sometimes they sell pretty well, sometimes they don’t. What do you think about this: an Etsy store that’s exclusively framed prints for vintage nurseries and children’s rooms? Seems like fancy, well-decorated nurseries are all the rage now…I’m wondering if my prints would sell well on Etsy. The only thing is, the glass is such a pain to ship safely. Hm. I will think further on this venture. Meanwhile, I will continue to hoard beautifully illustrated children’s books.

On my way up to meet Barb, I stopped at a sale that did that sneaky thing where they advertise on Craigslist Saturday morning as though they’re just having a Saturday sale but then when you get to their sale it’s obvious both from their signs and the picked-over aspect of the sale itself that it’s been going on for at least a day or two. There was nothing there, but on my way back to the car, I spotted this roly poly mariachi band:

(They’re on one of those wooden Italian tole trays, which I found for a quarter at another sale. I am going a little crazy with trays and platters as they’re so nice to create vignettes on in the booth). They were marked $1, so I figured, what the heck, but when I handed her my dollar she said that they were EACH one dollar. Argh. I handed over two more dollars, but I’m not happy about it. They are really cute, I must say. I might keep them.

We hit a few sales in Springdale and Barb got some great stuff, but I was starting to think maybe that was going to be it for me this week. Then we hit a sale that had a ton of CRAP in the driveway and one of the most disgusting garages I have ever, ever, ever seen in my life. I was mesmerized. I couldn’t stop staring. And here’s the thing: I wanted to go into that garage and start rummaging in the piles and boxes because, despite the utter trashy nature of the hill of junk in there, I was SURE there were good things to be found. It is a sickness. I ended up getting these to Christmas polar bears:

I am kind of regretting this decision now. They were $10. They’re really pretty big, but the bigger one needs to be fixed — he doesn’t really sit up very well. The gift box is in pretty bad shape and the little one is missing his all together, so I’m thinking about taking the gift box off and putting wreaths in their hands. I’m not sure these were a good buy. They might be my regret of the day.

Barb knocked off around 11:30 and I went on alone, waaaaay out to a sale in Tontitown that had sounded really good. We had both seen it and had briefly discussed hitting it, but we stuck to sales that were more centrally located. That might have been a mistake. By the time I got there, around noon, it was pretty picked over, but I managed to pull some stuff out of boxes. It was clear that the person having the sale was an auction-goer because a lot of the merchandise had lot number stickers on them. I found these five glass cloches with stands:

This cute set of Santa’s Elves, stamped Made in Japan:

This Pyrex bowl and green wooden-handled sieve:

This adorable tea cup, which I love because its roses are inside instead of outside:

And these two glass jars:

…all for TWO DOLLARS. I probably should have done another sweep of the place after she gave me that price.  About the jars: I can’t stop buying old jars. Here’s the problem: they don’t have lids. I don’t think anyone is going to be interested in lid-less jars, no matter how interesting. I’ve been pricing lots of those zinc lids online and the prices they’re charging for them are just ridiculous — I finally found a lot that were about a buck a lid, which is really impractical because I can’t charge more than a buck or two for these jars anyway — but the shipping doubled the cost. Moral of the story: STOP BUYING LIDLESS JARS.

AND THEN: I drove to Bella Vista. I curse myself every time I do this, because it’s about 45 minutes away and the gas, GEEZ, THE GAS. But there was an ad on Craigslist for a sale being thrown by the same woman I had bought a few small furniture items from about a month ago. She had a ton of really great stuff, but her prices were pretty steep. Once I made a pile, they got a little more reasonable…and since I hadn’t picked up a stick of furniture thus far, I decided to go ahead and spend the gas money to see what she had.

She is a really, really nice woman and her father, who was also at the last sale, is as sweet as he can be. She’s got FOUR BOOTHS around the NWA area AND she holds down a full time job. What? How? When? So many questions. She’s moving to Washington, and liquidating her booth stock, one booth at a time. Her father said she and he are both hoarders and the booths were a way to justify the hoarding. JOIN THE CLUB, says I. I made a pile that was marked $35 and asked her if she would take $25, which was all I had left in my wallet, and she graciously accepted. I don’t usually bargain, but I literally didn’t have any more money than that and I really, really wanted what I had picked out.

She and her father fashioned this little table out of an old farm stool married to an old oak table top. What I love most about this is that it doesn’t need a speck of work from me.

THIS CHAIR FILLS ME WITH GLEE AND DELIGHT. It will be really, really, really, really, reallyreallyreallyreally hard for me to part with this. Such the perfect amount of chippiness. Such the perfect shade of blue. (The tractor was from another Bella Vista sale — only a dollar!)

I have big plans for this window pane. BIG PLANS! At first I was thinking a series of prints from an old school book but then I remembered there was no glass involved. Now I’m thinking a series of three miniature Christmas wreaths. WE’LL SEE.

I also got eight magazines — those really expensive kind like “Decorating Small Spaces” and then some Country Living as well.

She’s got two more booths to liquidate; she took my phone number and promised to call me when she was ready to go.

On my looooooong way back to Fayetteville, I stopped at a few more places in Springdale, including the Salvation Army, which is my new favorite thrift store. Listen. I have to tell you something. They have this thing that they do that has me absolutely MESMERIZED and FASCINATED. They sell huge, six-foot-tall, shrink-wrapped pallets of merchandise for one price. Like, today, there was a Bric Brac pallet for $35. You can only see tantalizing glimpses of what’s contained within the boxes and boxes of merchandise and it is SO TEMPTING. Remember my fascination with the plastic bags from Chicago thrift stores? Any kind of mystery bag at all is so attractive to me. And $35 just doesn’t sound like that much money. BUT. Do we think this is crap they go through, realize they won’t get any money for, stack it up on a pallet, put shrink wrap around it and wait for some poor sucker to pay $35? Or, is it as I dream it is: those boxes of stuff are untouched by human hands. No one checks to see if there’s anything valuable in there or, at most, it’s only given a cursory glance. There could be ANYTHING in that pallet, waiting for me to dig it out. Because I am SUCH a SUCKER, I think I would have bought that pallet if I thought I could have gotten it into my car. Thank goodness for my relatively low-capacity SUV.

What I did come home with:

$4 each. Also, a couple of frames for repurposing.

And this little guy, for $6.

Despite the poor choice of frame, I thought he was pretty cute. Very sixties in flavor. My plan was to paint the frame the same yellow as the mat and hang it in the kids’ room. UNTIL. I did a search for Glenn Heath on ebay and realized that, for some weird reason, his prints go for big bucks. This exact print in a far inferior frame sold for $75.  Sorry, kids, no cute 1960s owl for you. This, along with the vase I got two weekends ago, will be on ebay as of tomorrow. My friends Kristie and Bailey found the vase in one of their Fenton books; it’s from a line called Cased Lilac and it sells on eBay for anywhere from $65 to $95.

I had already priced it and put it on the shelf in my booth — I priced it at $16, which is really high for me! I immediately called and had them pull it off the shelf for me — along with the flower frog, which, with the internet sleuthing help of Sarah and Leilani, and, again, Kristie and Bailey, has been identified as a Haeger Art Nouveau flower frog.

This goes for between $40 and $50 on ebay, but as it turns out, Kristie collects flower frogs, so this one is going to her because she is one of the loveliest people I know (and because she saved me from making a huge pricing mistake on that Cased Lilac vase). I LOVE finding things for people that they collect and pine for. No amount of money from ebay is going to be better than the feeling that you gave someone something both hard to get and highly desirable to them! You might remember that these two items were from that stack of four or five things that ended up costing $25. As it turns out, I think I got a pretty good deal after all. I came home today feeling a little bummed that I spent so much money — I’m trying so hard to limit my spending to $40 every Saturday but when the pickings are hot, you’ve got to jump on it. I mean, this isn’t like grocery shopping. And when I did a little Internet research and realized that I had made some pretty good purchases, I felt a lot better. EXCEPT FOR THE POLAR BEARS. Still feeling the regret on those.

 

September 15, 2013 - 11:06 am

Shara Those suitcases! I have the smaller one, but I’ve never seen the bigger one.

Love the Look and Learn Book. I have the same quandary about framing things. If yo just sell the pages, will people see the value in them and the idea to frame them or will they just think you are trying to sell them a piece of paper. I have been framing some of my flash cards to sell, but leaving most unframed.

Somewhere in my stash, I have one of those fat little mariachi band members.

Those cloches are fantastic! So many ideas for those! And that trio of elves. Gah.

Now that little aqua chair is just divine. I would have to keep that one for sure. It matches my little yellow one. I bet you sell it FAST!

Two weeks from now we will be DONE. Woohoo.

PS – The polar Bears have potential, I think. Maybe a vintage wreath around one’s neck? Like silver aluminum? Or holding a giant ornament?

September 15, 2013 - 1:37 pm

Into Vintage I think I would have gotten those polar bears as well — they fit my criteria of chippy, unique and winter-y.

I wonder how a woman with 2 small children gets so much done let alone someone with 4 booths and a full-time job. I suspect the multi-generational hoarding makes that easier for her — just plucks some things from one of the hoarding piles at home and takes it into the antique mall?

No words for that amazing blue chair!

September 15, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Sarah Why dont you ask the people at Uncle Sal’s what the deal is with the pallets? I am sure they will tell you. I suspect it is stuff that sat for x number of days unsold – sort of like the goodwill outlet crap, err gems! (And there are gems there, but a lot of crap too.)

September 16, 2013 - 12:02 am

Shara I have always, always, always wanted to buy a pallet of Bric-a-brac! We should do it together someday. I was told that they just get more in than the sales floor can handle, so they box it up. The used to have these amazing yard sales on Saturday with all the stuff. You could just dig in all the boxes and then they would make a price up for it all. It was crazy – stuffed animals, a steak knife, some video tapes and a hammer in one box. Someone from the head of the SA told stopped the yard sales, so now they do the pallets.

September 17, 2013 - 8:48 am

Melissa Holy cow! You made out like a bandit. I love that owl print and I can’t believe it goes for so much! Isn’t it great when unexpected things like that are worth so much?!

September 17, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Tina-Marie Hamilton I LIKE the polar bears, really. Keep the present with one, and do something else with the other. Hmmm, maybe add bottles of coke to both of them, one popping out of the present and the other in his hand. Just get that one to sit. I think they will sell right away…bet you!

September 28, 2013 - 7:32 pm

Laurie Holy Moly! I’m going to be here all night, gorging on your photos!!! 🙂 I am interested in that lullaby book illustrated by Sendak if you still have it. My brother’s a children’s book author/illustrator, and a big fan of his. Also, I rescind my previous comment about not thrifting together. I’m all for becoming your new vintage hunting partner. Did I mention my sister moved to Oregon and I’m aaaalllll aloooooone…. 😉

September 29, 2013 - 9:54 pm

Lara Jo I am SO SORRY to tell you that I already took the Sendak book apart to frame. I am really sorry but it might make you feel better to hear it wasn’t in great shape (I can’t bring myself to destroy a book that’s in good shape). That is fascinating about your brother. Very cool! Ask him if he’s seen a pop-up book illustrated by Sendak called “Mother”. I found it a thrift store a week or two ago and it is so great — kind of darkly humorous.

I would love to go yard saling/thrifting with you! We can duke it out if we find something that we both want, WHICH WE WILL. I have recently decided S’dale has better thrift stores than F’ville. What do you think?

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