Looks like we made it.

Happy April, everyone! I can’t believe I haven’t checked in since February. Apologies. Were I in Chicago, I would be muttering about how lucky my relatives and friends in Arkansas were, what with Spring appearing around these parts in mid-to-late March and firmly and undeniably planting itself by the beginning of April. However, now that I am actually IN Arkansas, I have to admit that that is not the case thus far. It has been cool and rainy, conditions that are far from conducive to kicking off yard sale season. I do not really feel like it has been Spring yet, despite the days here and there where the weather has winked at the mid-60s. Now, I know, I have no right to complain, because there are many parts of the country that are still seeing snow…and looking forward, I’m seeing temps in the 70s for the rest of the week. I think my body just gets to a point where it demands that it be Spring RIGHT NOW, and when the environment refuses to cooperate, I become sullen and pouty. As Shara pointed out to me not too long ago, the first day we see temperatures in the 80s, we’ll all be muttering about how hot it is. The weather has just been so dadgum weird lately. Justin and I have talked a lot about getting one of those storm shelters put in — they dig up the garage floor and drop a steel box in the ground. I panic at the first word of tornado season so it would probably be worth it just for the peace of mind of having some place to go when the weather gets touchy. But we’ve had a lot of other expenses pop up lately and that will have to wait for a while.

Okay, so that is one long paragraph about the WEATHER, a subject I’m sure we’re all thoroughly tired of talking and hearing about. Moving on!

Yard sales have been sloooooowly but surely starting to rear their heads…the first really great sale I went to was in Rogers, about a 30 minute drive from my house. I was there to pick up an engineering print I was having printed at the closest location of Staples. A word about that. I LOVE Staples engineering prints. SO economical and cool. My local Staples, however, leaves MUCH to be desired. I have had engineering prints printed five times there and Every. Single. Time. there has been something wrong with the order (once they gave me someone else’s print; three times, they re-sized my print despite my explicit instructions not to, and the fifth time, the most recent, I called to make sure they had my file in the system and to reiterate NOT to re-size it, and the knucklehead who answered the phone confirmed that they had the order EVEN THOUGH THEY DID NOT); three times, it require an extra trip BACK to the store, 30 minutes away. The fourth time, my husband checked the print while he was in the store and then had to wait a half hour for them to print it out the correct size. This last time, I called ahead to confirm they had received my upload and instructed them not to resize the print. The guy I talked to said he would absolutely make a note of that so I happily set off the next day to pick up my order, only to be told at about 11:00 am in the store that they had never received my upload. But what about the guy who I had spoken to the night before? I asked. Yeah, he’s not working today, they answered. So Justin drove home and uploaded the file and I took my two impatient twins to run a few other errands, one of which was this sale that I thought I would hit while I was in the area. When I got back, no progress had been made. How much time do you think you need to complete the order? I asked. Twenty minutes, they said. Fine, I said, I’ll give you forty, and took the kids to get something to eat. Come back, order not ready. Still downloading, they said. It’s a big file! they said. How much more time? I asked, through gritted teeth, as my three-year-olds, who had now been in a holding pattern for over two hours, approached total meltdown status. Thirty more minutes to download the file then another 15-20 to print it out, they said. At that point, I had to admit defeat — I had another errand to run back in Fayetteville and had already spent nearly three hours waiting for this print. I was FURIOUS. I called Justin on the way home and he called the store to speak to the manager (I would have happily done that but with two toddlers in the back seat, it’s difficult to have a professional phone call) and asked that the prints be put in the mail (gratis) as soon as they were finished this afternoon. You know, to a city two cities over, which, with their contract with UPS and all, would have cost NOTHING, and this manager had the NERVE to tell my husband that the postage would cost more than the actual order and therefore they would not be doing that. Your wife could have waited another half an hour, the manager told him. Justin began to protest that this was the FIFTH time we had trouble with an order AND THE MANAGER HUNG UP ON HIM. OMG YOU GUYS I need to stop and take some deep breaths because this is making me mad all over again. Justin calls me to tell me he’s been hung up on and five minutes later I get a call from said manager who claims that they got “cut off.” Really, I said, because he was pretty sure you hung up on him. No, she assures me, she did not, and what’s more, they’ve had a change of heart and would be putting my prints in the mail free of charge. So that’s my Staples story. I have not been back since, and I’m sure the lack of my little $3 orders have not exactly sent them into a whirlwind financial uncertainty, which probably has a lot to do with the cavalier attitude of management. Still, I don’t think corporate would be that happy knowing that we were treated that way…I started to make a phone call to them but by that point was tired of the anger and just let it go.   I was once a big fan of their engineering prints but my love affair is over.

Geez, two long paragraphs and not a photo yet. Here are two things I got at that Rogers sale, where I spent $60 somehow (talk about starting the season off with a bang) but didn’t take photos of everything I got.

This is a cute old set of homemade drawers — the drawers are actually old fruit crates, one of which still has a label on the back.

One of my all-time favorite finds — this puppy oil painting is too cute.

My friend Laurie had a sale a couple of weekends ago — she has gotten out of the booth biz and has been slowly culling all of her merchandise. She’s had one other sale recently — it was amazing, so I wanted to be sure to hit this one as well. It did not disappoint.

She pulled this cute bird off of a vintage lamp. I am in the process of building him a cool base. The little cheese boxes will make ADORABLE storage opportunities in the craft room.

I had seen this project (scroll down to the bottom of the page) a week before and pinned it, so I was DEEEELIGHTED to find all of the materials I needed to give it a try at Laurie’s sale.

And I got this cute doll clothes trunk for just $5.

That same weekend I picked up another ladder…

Yikes, almost hard to see it among all that junk!

Another weekend, I hit another great sale in Springdale — it was in a warehouse, and as it turns out, it was a girl who has a booth in my flea market who was trying to downsize her merchandise a bit. She had a lot of fun stuff, including two mixing bowls that I was, of course, immediately drawn to.

I absolutely love this, have never seen anything like it. She also had this yellow ware bowl that was unpriced.

I brought it up to get a price and she asked me what I would offer her for it. I HATE that. I really do. I have no idea what I’m supposed to say. I hemmed and hawed and she asked me to just be honest and tell her how much it would cost if I found it at a flea market. She said, “just tell me the truth, and I promise I’ll give you a good deal.” This tickled me to death. I had never had anyone try this tack with me before! So I said between $20-$25 (it had several significant chips) which seemed to shock her (I don’t know how she has a booth and doesn’t know anything about mixing bowls, although, her specialty is 1950s-1970s clothing and jewelry and I certainly know nothing about those items) and she settled on $6, which, despite the chips, WAS a good deal. I asked her how she knew I was telling the truth and we ended up laughing about it — then we realized we were at the same flea market and I was REALLY glad I was honest with her. I also bought this from her, which, again, is one of my all-time favorite vintage buys:

She is a little planter/vase and was $7! Not a chip on her! Sigh.

The booth business is going…okay. February was pretty bad for all of use in the area because the snow caused the stores to have to be closed so often. That was probably the lowest check I have had in a while. March picked up a bit, but I’m still making just enough to fund my vintage shopping trips and maybe pay for the kids’ haircuts and buy them lunch out every now and then. I wish I could figure out how to step it up a notch and make more significant of an income off of what is, basically, my hobby. I fear that requires getting a bigger booth so that I can fit furniture into it, and that scares the crap out of me. I have also been mulling over the idea of getting a second booth at another location, here in Fayetteville, where my more mid-century, hipper items might sell for more because of the college kids. It’s hard to think about how I could do more than I am now, though, with these two kids underfoot…they’ll be starting a summer program two days a week for four hours a day in June, so I’ll have to see if I can get significantly more work done with that brief amount of time freed up somewhat.

When I visit my booth each week, the first thing I do is shop the booth directly behind me — it’s #2, for those of you who frequent Daisies and Olives. It’s run by the nicest couple who attend anywhere from 3-7 auctions a week and update their booth 2-3 times a week. Their prices are AMAZING. This is not the greatest picture but take a look at this amazing mid-century side table they had for $42:

I don’t know if you can tell how truly cool this thing was, but trust me, IT WAS COOL. And I’m not even a huge MCM fan. Last week, I picked up this framed photograph:

It’s pretty big, over two feet wide. I have since taken it apart, cleaned off the glass (it came completely clean and is lovely, wavy, bubbly old glass) and put it back together and hung it with my other group shots. It was $15. The frame alone is worth more than that! I love that booth. Visit it often! But don’t buy anything I may want.

At some point in the last month, I got this baby off of Craigslist for $50:

She is tall and thin, all the things I wish I could be. I just loved how she could fit just about anywhere. She was handmade by the man the woman had bought her house from. I think I’m going to paint her, change the hardware, give her some feet, and use her in our bedroom — there are cuphooks screwed into the top, the part with the glass doors, and I could display my vintage jewelry there and use the drawers for scarves and what not. Although I do not have that many scarves. Three, maybe. But I’m sure I can find SOMETHING to put in all those lovely drawers.

This is going to mean nothing to you, because I did not take before pictures, but I painted the frames on these prints I bought over a year ago and now they go perfectly on the new wall color in the kitchen/family room:

I always liked the prints but the original frames were not good — avocado green with gold trim. Would probably have looked lovely in a home in 1974. I love the paint color we went with, BTW — have I mentioned that? It’s Sherwin William’s Koi Pond.

Okay, now I’m just (w)racking my brain, trying to remember what else I need to tell you.

I’ve made a few new signs over the past month or so, but not many, since I haven’t wanted to venture out into the cold, cold garage. I am most proud of this one — I have three oars that I’ve been hanging on to, waiting for the right project. 

I had to hand-letter the oar itself, so I was pretty pleased with myself. This one sold pretty quickly.

These two I’m kind of “meh” about, which seems to be the general public’s feeling toward them as well, as they’re still in the booth after three weeks on the sales floor.

Aaaaand one more project to leave you with…

I got this in Little Rock last summer for $2.50. Its only faults were a tear in the leather of the seat. I love its MCM sleek lines. I recovered the seat, even figuring out how to tuft it, and I think it’s quite cute. However, it’s been in the booth for two weeks now without a nibble, so I may be the only one who likes it.

Okay, that’s it for now. I promise that now that yard sale season is starting up, I’ll post more often…I’ll finally have something to write about again! Hope all is well and warming up in your neck of the woods!

Linking up to The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space and Thriftasaurus at Sir-Thrift-A-Lot.


April 9, 2014 - 12:03 am

Shara Oh, I will be the FIRST to gripe when it hits 80, trust me! Last Wednesday it was in the 70’s and all humid and I was a complete grouch.

Staples. BOO.

Love that tall thin cabinet. You can buy scarves. Lots of scarves.

In that photo of the ladder, those two saucers in that stack of dishes is really troubling my OCD, please tell me you righted that pile and all is safe. Please? Even if you didn’t. Really, I can’t handle it. I think I might have to drive over there and make sure.

April 9, 2014 - 6:49 am

Chanelle Yea a post! I would totally have gone bananas on Staples. How very zen of you to let it go. I’m all worked up just reading about it.
You have some real beauties , especially that green bowl!
Jealous of that booth #2! I’d be all over it all the time. That MCM table would be 142 in Chicago.
Make more money from your hobby…been thinking on that myself. I think your signs would go over very well on Etsy. More flea markets?
Sent you an email.

April 9, 2014 - 9:32 am

Into Vintage I love that you said ‘dadgum.’ I may adopt that term. And I would appreciate it if you could drop that dadgum mcm table in the mail to me because I love it. Please don’t ask anyone at Staples to do it.

Did you receive your prints?

April 9, 2014 - 3:14 pm

Laurie Yaaaaarrrd saaaaaales! That is all.

On, and now that we aren’t “competitors”, I’m free to join you at those sales, right? 😉

April 9, 2014 - 3:42 pm

Eileen The first bowl, the blue one with the embossed trees, is one of a set of 5 (or more?) mixing bowls, early Homer Laughlin. I have a nesting set of 5, which I found at a flea market last year. I paid $65 for mine because I sweet-talked the dealer, but I have seen them go for $125 per set on ebay. They were made in the late 20’s into the 30’s. The dealer I bought my set from had rescued it from the attic of their neighbors, who were in their 90’s and had gotten the set as newlyweds. The pattern is often called “orange tree.” Enjoy!

April 10, 2014 - 7:11 am

Shannon Just reading that staples story makes my blood boil. I want to see how you’ve been decorating your house! A wall here and there isn’t enough! 🙂

April 11, 2014 - 9:18 am

Pam @ House of Hawthornes Wow! First of all. Screw Staples! That is ridiculous. I’ve had my own issues with their crack (or on crack?) printing department. Love, love, love that bowl with trees on it. And the girl planter in the flowy dress. You always find the best stuff.

April 20, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Lara Jo Thanks, Ms. Pam, and what a coincidence — I always think YOU find the best stuff! Glad I’m not the only one who has struggled with Staples’ printing departments. I guess it’s universal and not just limited to my little part of the world! Such a bummer because I sure do love having those gigantic prints made. Hope all is well with you!

April 20, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Lara Jo Shannon, I promise I’m going to take some pictures and post them! I have been working my way up to it. And soon…I will be seeing pictures of YOUR NEW PLACE!!!! WOO HOO!!!

April 20, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Lara Jo Eileen, you are why I love the Internet so much. Thanks SO MUCH for the info on the bowl. I have never seen such a thing and am delighted to know the name. You have FIVE! How WONDERFUL! That must be an amazing set. I think $65 is a steal for a set of 5! Thanks so much for the info — I really appreciate it! And thanks for reading.

April 20, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Lara Jo Laurie, I would LOVE to have you at sales with me. It’s so much more fun when there’s someone like-minded to gossip with. We can duke it out over things we both love.

April 20, 2014 - 8:11 pm

Lara Jo Amy — I DID receive my prints — they came on Tuesday of the next week, so they really got them in the mail pretty quickly. I haven’t been back since. It’s kind of killing me because I was on a roll of doing huge chalkboard prints with their engineering prints but it’s not worth the heart ache. I suspect they’re going to be phasing those prints out, anyway — they’re just too cheap to be making them any money, and EVERYONE is using them these days for photographs, which takes a heck of a lot of ink.

The MCM table was gone the next time I was at the booth, which was five days later. I’m sure it FLEW out the door. I should have purchased it — I was thinking that I should be buying cheap pieces like that that would sell for so much more in Chicago and fund a trip that way!

April 20, 2014 - 8:14 pm

Lara Jo Chanelle, I am really not zen IN THE LEAST. But this was just banging my head against a brick wall, so I figured for the sake of my blood pressure, I should just take deep breaths and move on.

I have thought about Etsy, but shipping some of these signs would be a pain and there are painted wooden signs ALL OVER the place there. Maybe more flea markets. Shara and I are doing one in June that I almost didn’t do but then I thought, not only is it a way to make a little extra money, but it’s also a way to publicize my booth as well. I need to get busy on it. Are you doing Randolph Street this summer?

Also need to answer your e-mail! Hope you have been looking for Candace sales…I want to hear about it if you go!

April 20, 2014 - 8:15 pm

Lara Jo Shara, HA!!!!! Those dishes were in my booth for eons, marked for next to nothing, and didn’t sell. My SIL is doing some mosaic projects so I pulled them to give to her to break into tiny pieces — I guess that’s why I was none-too-careful about where I put them. But thanks for worrying about me!