Auction Action.

I was in the WORST mood on Monday. It had stormed all afternoon, the kids were restless, I had a somewhat distressing phone call regarding unfinished business in Chicago, and by the time Justin came home, I was ready to do something that would distract me from the noise going on inside AND outside my head. Luckily, there was an auction that sounded great scheduled for that afternoon. I got there about two hours in, and they were auctioning off stuff outside, in the pouring rain. Larry Williams is hardcore, people. That’s why he’s my favorite. There could have been treasures galore out there, but I didn’t care — it wasn’t worth it to me to stand out there in the rain. Me? Not as hardcore as we all originally thought, apparently.

Luckily, they were also auctioning off stuff inside as well, and my friend Kristie was waiting for me inside. She had had a bit of a yuck afternoon herself, and I was lucky enough to be able to tempt her to the auction with me. I do not have NEARLY as good a time by myself as I do with Kristie at an auction; I can usually count on three or four hours of non-stop laughing and buying. As usual, she did not disappoint. It wasn’t too terribly crowded, and after we found a seat — an awkward process in and of itself, as about half of the attendees were outside, leaving their seats unattended, and every time we tried to sit in a seat we were told “someone is sitting there.” I told Kristie I felt like the unpopular girl in the high school cafeteria NOT THAT I KNOW WHAT THAT WOULD FEEL LIKE. Ahem. Finally, we settled into our seats and tucked into the Popeye’s chicken Kristie had so graciously brought with her. Seriously, can you imagine a better recipe for a bad afternoon?

I got a carload full of stuff, and most of it will either be for re-sale or for display purposes, so I felt pretty happy with myself. I did buy a few things to keep, first and foremost being this cow print.

I have wanted one of the cow oil paintings that are really popular right now for a while, but they’re too pricey for me. So this knock-off will have to do for now. Shara pointed out that they’re TWIN COWS so they’re perfect for us. I really love this canvas.

The best buy of the evening came towards the end, which is the time you can ALWAYS find the best buy of the evening. I had spotted a flat of vintage handkerchiefs — all of them spotless, impeccably ironed, and packaged individually. Right at the end of the evening that flat ended up on a table with four or five other flats full of really bad linens — torn sheets, odd napkins, etc. — and they started auctioning choice of. I was completely shocked when I was the high bidder at $2. There were 48 hankies in that box! In perfect condition!

Of course, now the question is: will I be able to sell them? I have a tub upstairs of vintage handkerchiefs that I’m not doing a thing with, so I hope I can restrain myself from keeping 48 more.

Here are a couple of bigger things that I brought home.

I’m keeping the blue book rack for display purposes. I don’t know why I decided I needed that roll-y metal table. It looked charmingly industrial to me at the time.

I liked this little wicker cabinet and it went for $5. Will be in the booth later this week.

That lamp up there came from the Habitat store — they got a huge donation from a sorority house, because all the kids are moving out this week. You would not believe the stuff those girls left behind, just because it was too much trouble to pack up, I guess. Note to self: make sure my kids have a little more respect for how much things cost and how we try to keep things out of landfills.

I also got a few things at the end of the night for a buck that are going on eBay.

This sweet little made-in-Japan cupid sold for nearly $50 in a pair so I’m hoping I can get $15-20 for a single.

This Arabia of Finland pitcher sells for between $25-$40 on eBay. I used to only sell things that brought really big bucks on eBay but 1. nothing really brings big bucks on eBay these days and 2. if you sell 3-5 items for between $10-$20 a week, it can really add up — I need to stop being so lazy!

I told Kristie that the whole experience feels a lot like drinking, every time we go. The night gets later and later, we get more and more giddy, and our decisions get more and more questionable. I frequently wake up the next morning thinking, “what the hell did I buy??” but it is ALWAYS a good time. Case in point: I thought I bought an old coffee burlap for $1 and didn’t bother unfolding it until I got it home.

Lord, I laughed so hard when I unfolded this on my kitchen floor. But, hey, it sells for $15 on eBay! Sure, it’s in questionable (okay, not questionable, BAD) taste, but I suppose if I can turn one dollar into fifteen…

Already looking forward to the next one!

May 16, 2014 - 5:52 pm

Shara Oh my LORD That gave me SUCH a laugh. That is hilarious!!!!!!!! I’m surprised the auctioneer didn’t notice that!

That cow painting is really wonderful. It will look great in your house! I love that little blue shelf and I think it is the perfect color of blue.

I have a bunch of hankies in my booth. They just sit there, never selling for months, then I will sell about ten of them. I think there are serious collectors for them and when they see them, they buy them. But not just random people that just say – Oh a hankie and pick one up.

I’m sorry that you have had a rough week! ((hugs!)))))

May 16, 2014 - 6:29 pm

Chanelle Love that angel! I have never found an Arabia picture….on the hunt list. Got a zillion hankies going to Randolph…and keeping a zillion :)). I’ll let you know how that goes. I need to find an escape auction!

May 16, 2014 - 10:17 pm

jenny Just too funny that slick willie burlap bag!! Nothing like an auction fix to make a bad day better.. who needs slick willie!? lol!

You’d like that place I was at today where I bought all my goodies from. I see her at auctions all the time bidding on random box lots, filling up her big box truck with her helper and husband toting all her winnings. They end up at her shop, still in boxes. Diggers heaven! I like going to her because it’s like going to the auctions I missed out on, but not having to bid, just buy it! And she’s cheap, too. Everything you saw in those pictures cost me less than $20 and I know I’ll sell just a couple things and get all my money back and then some. You ever end up in West Virginia, come and visit, ya hear?!
(im 516vintage, in case you didn’t know)

May 17, 2014 - 12:03 am

Shara Me again – did you know that he University holds all the junk from the dorms and has a big sale in the summer? I’ve never been, but it sounds like fun. Back in the day (my days at the University) I would go dumpster diving at the dorms and bring home tons of CD’s and Video Tapes (showing my elderly-ness there). We even pulled out an old lawn jockey out of a dumpster that my Mom kept for years. I imagine that some college kids stole it as a prank then had to get rid of it. Anyway, now they tell the students to just leave it in the dorm and they gather it up and have a massive sale with the stuff. The wastefulness is terrible, I agree!

May 17, 2014 - 3:20 pm

Laurie I’ve never seen dorm leftovers at the surplus sales at UA, but they do have interesting stuff. Maybe I just didn’t realize they were dorm leftovers. 🙂
I used to haunt the dumpsters too – glad things have charities to go to now.

You should sell the hankies as craft/seeing supplies on etsy or eBay. Instead of individually as collectibles. Or make a shower curtain or bed coverlet out if them.

Good times! 🙂

May 17, 2014 - 3:35 pm

phyllis griggs After a pretty yucky day myself, I loved, loved your auction antics!! Lara Jo, laughed so hard my friend! Made my night! Bring that stuff to Daisies so it can fly out that door!

May 17, 2014 - 5:44 pm

Kris Hi! I read your blog regularly and really enjoy your finds. I have been looking on Ebay, Etsy, antique stores, etc. for a monogrammed hanky for my niece’s bridal shower I am having. I’m looking for the initial K in baby blue. Any chance you have one in your stash?
Thanks, Kris

May 17, 2014 - 11:46 pm

Heidi@TheMerryMagpieVintage I saw on the Pinterests one time where they made infinity scarves out of hankies and they were darling! I’m a poor excuse for a seamstress but even I think I could swing the few short straight seams it would take to sew a scarf’s worth of hankies together.

May 20, 2014 - 8:36 pm

Kathy Epley What a hoot, that burlap bag!! Hope you find someone who will love and appreciate it, or whatever…..haha Have a great summer!

May 24, 2014 - 5:54 am

Marci Oh that cart and that light blue mail thing are awesome! My son came home from Fayetteville last weekend, I said where is your tv table and the couch? The couch went back to the kid who gave it to him, the table he “left in case the maintenece men want it” Really? Kids. The Slick Willy bag is hilarious!

May 26, 2014 - 9:13 am

Judy Hoelzeman Lara, contact Agnes and Lee Bass about the Slick Willie Burlap bag. Tell them I want them to buy it for their porch. I LOVE it! Miss you so much. PLEASE come to Little Rock.

May 26, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Katie Love the story of the burlap bag!

June 3, 2014 - 9:30 am

Lara Jo Aunt Judy: we are trying to plan a trip. Miss you guys! Thanks for reading the blog!

June 3, 2014 - 9:31 am

Lara Jo Marci: I do remember that feeling of just being exhausted from moving and wanting to throw everything away, but it appears that these sorority girls left EVERYTHING — futons, microwaves, lamps. At least your son had an altruistic intention!!!!

June 3, 2014 - 9:32 am

Lara Jo Kathy! How are you? Haven’t heard from you in a while and I was just thinking of you a week or so ago. Hope life is dandy in your neck of the woods!

June 3, 2014 - 9:33 am

Lara Jo Heidi, I’ve seen shower curtains, bed skirts, valances…really, a lot of fun things can be done. I just need to get my butt in gear and think of something to do with them, because my tendency is always to hoard…

June 3, 2014 - 9:34 am

Lara Jo Kris, I am so sorry I didn’t answer you right away. I DID look and do not have a K hanky. I’m so sorry! If you weren’t looking for it, I would probably have five. Hope the shower goes (or went) well! Thanks so much for reading.

June 3, 2014 - 9:34 am

Lara Jo Hey, Pill! Thanks for visiting the blog! Sure am loving your new booth! Change is good, right??!!

June 3, 2014 - 9:35 am

Lara Jo Laurie, dumpster diving in Chicago was THE BEST. Seriously, I could have made an entire career out of it, if I had had the time. Sigh….there are so many things I miss about the big city and they almost all revolve around junking…

June 3, 2014 - 9:35 am

Lara Jo Shara, let’s look for that sale! Might be worth a visit!

June 3, 2014 - 9:39 am

Lara Jo Jenny: Oooooooooohhhhhh that woman’s booth sounds like HEAVEN. I think digger’s sales are the things I miss most about Chicago — LOVED those estate sales where you’d descend into the basement and spend hours picking through dust-covered mounds, pulling out the most amazing finds. There aren’t any like that around here. I would much rather find things like that rather than buy them off a spotless table, all cleaned up already. The thrill of hunt! I will definitely give you a call if I’m ever over WV way!

June 3, 2014 - 9:44 am

Lara Jo Chanelle, I just saw your CW post on Randolph. Sounds like it went pretty well, and your booth looked AMAZING. LOVE that you sold in bundles, what a dream. Get rid of a ton of stuff all at once! Wonder what’s going on with the art situation? I have also been drooling over your napkin scrapbook. AND I love the horse prints you found. Will you do more Randolph markets?

Have you ever been to Direct Auctions, on the North side on…Western, maybe? I went a few times, was always too timid to bid, and didn’t go enough to find out whether things were a good deal or not. But it might be worth trying out!