Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thrift Haul 9-18-12


 I thought I'd start sharing what I have planned for the goodies I find because I'm sure there have been times when you've looked at something and thought, "For the love of all things holy, why did she buy THAT?" Last week's thrift haul wasn't the best I've had, but I managed to get a few cool things.We'll start with the umbrella and work our way around. 

1. Umbrella - it was a bit torn up, so I'm going to take off the nylon and use the frame. It will probably end up as a trellis outside or I'll hang it from the ceiling in the workroom and suspend odds and ends off of it. It  would probably be cool as display in the shop. 

2. Sifter - I've never seen one with a handle like this. But I'm planning on taking it apart, because the wire thingy inside that turns is pretty cool looking. It will eventually end up in a piece of art. The remainder will be a planter. 

3. Albums - Um...does Mary Poppins and Boris Karloff reading Just So Stories really need an explanation? It's the original Dick van Dyke and Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, too. 

4. Odd shaped pan - will be a planter for a Swedish Ivy I have that is not happy in its current habitat. 

5. Robinson Crusoe -  I bought this particular edition for a journal because the look on his face cracks me up He looks as though he's just seen his 92 year old neighbor naked. 

6. Fabric & Skirt - The fabric will be listed in Curious Crow Vintage on Etsy and the skirt is going to be an apron for me. I love this color blue and I love aprons. 

7. 1950s 45s - Will be framed and hung up at the shop for decoration. 

8. Rick Rack - I'll probably use it in an art piece. It's the tiniest rick rack I've ever seen. I'm not sure I could ever sew it onto anything. 

9. Lighthouse mirror - I have about 3 old prints on the kitchen wall that are all this style of art - they all have water in them. This will be hung up with the group. Of course, I'll have to do some rearranging first. 

10. Vintage ornament hooks - I just liked the packaging on these hooks. The hooks are so much stronger than the ones you buy now,too, so I may use them for some of my vintage ornaments. It's sad how we've allowed things to get so cheaply made, and how we've become such a throwaway society. 

11. Brass birdcage - I've had in mind to make a headless art doll and have a birdcage in the doll's hand with its head inside of it. Ta da! I'll just have to age the birdcage a bit. 

And that's the crop for last week. Yes, I'm behind, but I am heading into the busiest time of the year for me so I'll probably be in a perpetual state of catching up through March. Being busy sure beats the alternative, though. 

All the best, 
Rachel


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WTH, Facebook?

I normally keep my Facebook page and blog clear of any cursing, but Facebook has driven me to say...what the hell, Facebook? 


I posted a status update a couple of weeks ago about all of you needing to make sure that you had selected to make The Curious Crow page show in your newsfeed. But I didn't tell you why. 


The why is that Facebook has changed the way pages work and in order for my posts to get to everyone, Facebook wants me to pay anywhere from $5 - $15 dollars per post. What the hell, Facebook? 


Here is a screen shot of The Curious Crow's FB  page. This particular post reached 497 people. At the time, there were over 2000 fans, so it obviously only reached a small portion of you. I still don't know where the 20% comes into play. 

The thing that ticks me off is that I'm already giving FB a chunk of money every month for an ad. An ad that is used to bring in more page fans. An ad that I'M ALREADY PAYING FOR SO WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY MORE FOR MY FANS TO SEE MY POSTS?

It's as though FB has said, thanks for the money, but we're going to need a little lot more. So again I say, "what the hell, Facebook"? 

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that as an independent artist, I can't afford to pay 5-15 bucks every time I want a post to get to the majority of my fans - especially when I'm already paying for an ad. 

UGH! 

So, if you still want to see posts from The Curious Crow and other of your favorite FB pages, you need to make sure you're subscribed to their feed. You can do this by following the instructions in this pic: 



Please pass the info along to anyone you think might need to know. 

Thanks for reading! 

Rachel

Monday, April 30, 2012

Going Once...

Saturday was an amazing day for junking! We (Eric and I) got up and went to a few garage sales and an auction. We ended up getting a cash register for the shop for $25. We looked online and the cheapest we could find of the model we got was $190. Great deal! 

Then at at the auction we got all of this (not the cat, though). The auction was a close out of a flea market, and there was tons of stuff!



The prices at the auction were unbelievable. No one was bidding much on anything. It got to where the auctioneer just let us bring him whatever we wanted to bid on. 

So, here's the breakdown. 


The roll of tongue and groove boards was advertised as a Victorian room divider. I'm not sure I believe that's what it is. It is 5'3" tall and 9'6" long. I paid $25 for it, and don't have a clue what I'm going to use it for. Maybe it was the top to the world's largest roll top desk? There was a handle attached at one time, so I'm pretty sure it was a door to something, but I'm not sure what. That means I'm just going to make up a cool story to go with it.  If you had it, what would you use it for?



The metal milk crates were $5 each, and the wooden boxes and smaller metal crate were $2 each. 




The desk was $10 and has been refinished. Whoever did it, did a good job because they didn't sand out all of the carvings in the top that were made by various students over the years. So we still know that Trudy loves Dave forever, and that is very important information. 


The toy irons and metal plates are just adorable! I haven't decided if I'm going to sell them or keep them. 




Meet Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. If you lift the little flap that has the crest on it, there's a 1939 calender underneath it (I'm pretty sure if you don't lift it, the calendar is still there). This and some other small things were with the metal plates. I didn't purposely bid on the Duke, but I'm sure he was a lovely man. He's up for sale on eBay...just in case he was super lovely. :)



This is the top to a Paul Schulze biscuit box, and cost me a whole 2 dollars. I'm going to put some wood on the back and use it as a frame for an assemblage. 


This cookbook is from one of the garage sales. I bought some...um...something. Darnit! I can't remember what I bought, but the woman threw this cookbook in for free.. I am such a sucker for old, handwritten recipes! 


Not a bad day's work, huh? 

Until next time, 

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Junk, Therefore I am

Warm weather is here, and I'd venture to say that will mean more thrifting adventures! Garage sales, auctions, flea markets and thrift stores await us. I've been a hardcore junker most of my life and have learned through trial and error the best and not so best ways to tackle junking. I thought I'd pass along some of my junking tips. 

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. I mean super comfortable shoes. Wear gel insoles if you must, but sore feet are no fun when you're junking. 
  2. Dress in layers. Even in the summer, I take along a button up shirt to throw over a t-shirt if I need to. Thrift stores are often inexplicably sweltering hot or freezing cold. 
  3. Use your own cloth shopping bags. I have tons of bags that I use - some of them have even been given to me at thrift stores that I frequent regularly. Once I empty them when I get home, I immediately hang them on the front door handle, so I'll remember to put them back into the car. It's so much better than having plastic bags everywhere. 
  4. Save your old socks or those with a missing mate. They're great for wrapping around glassware and other breakables. Just make sure they're clean before you use them. Old sweater sleeves work well, too.
  5. Take along wet wipes. Your hands can get super gross when digging through piles of treasure, so having something to clean them with between trips is great. You can also use disinfectant gel. My oldest sister uses both - all the way up to her elbows. She's a bit of a germ freak. I happen to think a few germs once in awhile are healthy, and am convinced that by not disinfecting to the point of being ready for surgery between stops, I'm actually building  up my immune system. 
  6. Make a thrifting kit. I took everything out of a small sewing kit and added a magnifying card, a thin but powerful magnet and a paper measuring tape. The magnifier helps me see makers marks and the magnet is good for determining if things are pure brass, copper or sterling, or are merely plated nickel. The measuring tape is obviously for measuring things. :) In lieu of a measuring tape, a dollar bill is approximately 6 inches long. 
  7. Thoroughly examine the item you're wanting to buy. If there's tape on it, look under the tape. Look under the tag. I've made it home before with things that were broken and I didn't notice it because the broken piece was under the tape. GRRRRRRR!  <----I said that plus a few choice other words when I discovered a white, milk glass, hobnail lamp was broken after I was home with it. 
  8. Keep a junking notebook. It can be small enough to fit in your purse or back pocket. They're great for keeping measurements of tables, wall space, and other furniture you already own so you can buy the right size tablecloths, lamps, pics, etc. If you're a reader, you can keep a list of the books you own in a series so you won't buy repeats. 
  9. Don't be afraid to haggle when appropriate - just be nice about it. I never haggle at thrift stores, though - mostly because the majority of them donate their money to a charity, so I'm okay with paying their asking price. If I'm not, I just don't won't buy the item. 
  10. Remember that a little scrubbing and some spray paint can transform almost anything.  You may find a small table with great lines and shape, but you may be turned off from the dusty rose paint and blue geese that have been on it since 1987. Imagine it white, off white or black and gooseless.
  11. Look at an item and try to figure out if it can be used for something other than its original use. A lot of what I buy ends up getting used for something entirely different than it was meant to be used. Almost anything that will hold dirt makes a good planter. I've used kids cowboy boots for cactus and an upside down birdcage for annuals. 
  12. Have fun! 

If you have any junking tips, please leave them in the comments below. 


All the best, 
Rachel

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Thursday, April 5th 2012

The first, First Thursday in Fayetteville was fantastic! This is my third year participating, and last night was one of the best shows I've had there. Huge crowds and lots of fun! I even picked up an unofficial agent - yes, Donna, I'm talking about YOU!  Jill, thank you for your continued support! And to the darling women who are going to bring me doll parts - you are awesome!!! 


Here are some pics of my booth. I have a few improvements to make, but overall, I'm liking it! 


The Curious Crow is open and ready for business, but I need a sign. I'll have to put that on my to-do list. 

Who put the tablecloths on so crooked? I swear I hadn't been drinking.

My pennant banner is made mostly from pillow cases that I've been collecting for the past year. There's also some scrap fabric and even a pair of my old PJs in there. 

I'll have the new doll in the Curious Crow Art shop soon. Her name is Josephine Violet. She has a spoon skirt and a tart tin hat.
I had loads of fun and am looking forward to next month's show. 


I hope you all have a fabulous day! 
 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We Have a Winner!

Ichabod the Fantastic Feline has picked a winner! 




Hurray for Cher! Contact me at rabirdsell@gmail.com and we'll get you a gift certificate! 


Thanks everyone for entering. I think the next giveaway will be when I reach a random number...something like 784.  


All the best, 
Rachel

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's a Giveaway!!!

As promised, I am hosting a giveaway now that I've reached 400 fans on Facebook.  The prize is a $25 gift certificate to any of my Etsy shops. You have four to choose from:

Curious Crow Creative
Curious Crow Art
Curious Crow Vintage
Magpie Lane Supplies 

To enter, you must be a Facebook fan of The Curious Crow. Then, you just need to leave a comment on this post.

The giveaway will run through Tuesday, March 6th. You can enter up to three times by leaving a comment.

On Wednesday, I'll print out all of the comments, cut them in individual strips and let Ichabod the Wonder Cat pick the winner.

I think that's it! Thanks so much for being part of The Curious Crow. It means a lot to me. 

All the best, 
Rachel

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It May Be a TKO


This is my haul from yesterday's flea markets. We only went to two, so I think we did pretty good. I haven't cleaned anything, yet, so don't mind the grime. 


These jars were only $1.50 each and the rust doesn't really look that barnacle-like, but it is a bit chunky. I'll knock off the chunks, but keep the rest of the rust. One is an Atlas and the other is a Ball. They will live in the workroom to hold art supplies. 


How cute is this set? Seriously, I LOVE this and if I was wont to having tea parties, I'd totally use it. However, I am more wont to paying the bills, so this set will be going into Curious Crow Vintage as soon as I clean it up and get photos. Oh, what is it? It's a little porcelain menu board and 6 place cards. You can use a china marker or dry erase marker on them. Maybe they're not place cards. Maybe you set them in front of each of the menu items, so people won't have to guess what the green stuff is. 
SO DARN CUTE!



Set of four Houze Art Season's Greetings glasses in the original box that will make their way into the vintage shop closer to the holiday season. They are in perfect condition, and considering they're still in the original box, I'd guess that they've never been used. 



The two black wire wall hangings, the iron rest and the clipper's blade were all bought as art supplies. I have no idea what I'll do with any of them, but I liked them. I think the wall hangings might become skirts for dolls.

Here is a blurry close up of the wall hanging. The insert is covered with glass, so I can take it apart and use it, as well. 

1920's or 30's era waffle iron. The cord looks like it's in really good condition, so I'm going to plug it in and see if it works. Not really. I'm going to have Eric plug it in and see if it works.  The coolest part about this? It was only two dollars! I almost fell over! 


This is just adorable and almost fits on my huge head. If I used hat pins - like directly into my scalp, it would probably stay on. I tried wearing it today and it kept popping off. It was quite entertaining. It may end up in the shop, or I may keep forcing it on my head until it stretches enough to fit. 


I have wanted a hat block for years and years and years. They sell on eBay for around 60-70 bucks. This was marked $20 and then the flea market chick (marketeer?) gave us a discount on our entire purchase. I will not sell this. This will be my indulgent purchase for the year. Seriously, I rarely buy anything for $20 for myself. Besides this one is the same size as my head, so if I ever want to make a hat, I have the block for it. 


I collect aprons, but this will end up in the vintage shop. I have too many, so I'm now only keeping the ones that are predominantly aqua blue. The cool thing about this one is that it's wide for those of us who have some child-bearing hips. 



This is a 1935 home economics book from Kansas State University. It's VERY thorough and has lots of photos. I love reading books like this and this will be a nice addition to my collection. I may have to blog about some of the better excerpts. 


How cute is he? I'm assuming it's a he due to his Alfalfa like 'do. It's rare to see a subject smiling in old photos, so this one will be kept. However, I may scan the little guy and put a hippo head on him or maybe a dinosaur head. You never know.  For those of you who are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, this will explain. 


I got a brand new pair of roller skates. They'll be going in the vintage shop and will probably be more of a prop to draw people into the shop rather than something that will sell quickly. One of them is missing its toe piece, but I still think they're way groovy. 


A terrible pic, but it's the only one I have of the whole suitcase. It's a "Trip-Taker", and looks like it was made for teenagers. I'm going to repair the side and probably convert this into a medicine cabinet. It's supposed to have a mirror down the middle, so that will be replaced. Then I'll just have to add shelves.  I'm not sure what the date of the newspaper is that's in the bottom, but it was advertising prime rib for 98 cents a pound! 



I'm not sure what it is, and I'm positively sure I don't want to know what it is. Gloves will be required for its removal. 



I think this will be the find of the day, at least profit wise. This is John L Sullivan and he was a famous boxer in the late 1800s. I haven't completed my research on him, but what I've read is pretty cool. I hate boxing, but still found it very interesting. I wanted the picture because you don't often find vintage photos like this, I had no idea that this dude was as famous as he was. Love the pose. Love the tights!  This will go on eBay and hopefully there will be a plethora of bidders fighting over it. 

So there are my finds from yesterday. Not too shabby for only two flea markets in a podunk town in Arkansas. We're off today to another small town in Arkansas to hit some thrift stores. Hopefully, I'll snag some more great finds. 

I hope you all have a marvelous Thursday! 

Rachel


Friday, February 3, 2012

A Cameo Appearance

Last month Eric and I went junking in Bentonville. There is a pretty big thrift store there by the airport, so if you're a local you might want to check it out. Fair warning: they only accept debit/credit cards with a purchase of at least 30 bucks, so it's good to have cash on hand.

Anyway, I didn't find much. In fact, I haven't been finding much lately at all. But I did pick up this bag of crocheted flowers, trim and doilies.






I'll probably use the pieces on some dolls and I might try making a bowl out of the doilies. Have you seen the bowls made out of doilies? 


This one from Design Sponge incorporates bits and pieces of ephemera and buttons. I love it! And they seem like they're super easy to make. You drape a doily over an upside down bowl and paint it with fabric stiffener. 



But, back to my bag o' crochet. When I got home and started looking through the bag, to my surprise there was another little bag tucked in there that I didn't know was in there. And here is what was in the surprise bag: 

                         
I know they're just plastic cameos, but I love, love, love cameos and I was just thrilled to find such a sweet surprise in the bag. I think I'll take the paler orangish one and some other bobs and bits and make a found object necklace for me. I'll probably do that with one of the black ones, too. The blue might become a brooch and the pink and the other leftovers will probably be used as molds so I can make my own cameos out of paper clay. The pink ones look like they could be candy. Heeeeeeyyyyy...I have some food-grade mold putty, so I could make chocolate cameos! 

One of the other really cool things about my bag? It was only two bucks! 

It really doesn't take much to make me happy.  

Thanks for reading! 

Rachel

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It's Been a Long, Long Time

I haven't posted anything on here since the end of August. I see a lot of bloggers write the same thing - that they haven't blogged in forever. Then they make a promise to post more. I promise I'll post every day! And that doesn't happen. Then they feel the need to apologize to their readers, and they make more promises to write. I would imagine at that point they're just having a big ol' guilt fest about their blog.

Part of the reason I haven't blogged here is because I felt that my writing had to be at a certain level in order for me to post it. The other day, I realized that kind of thinking is ridiculous. It's just a blog. I'm not being graded. I'm not being paid to write this. I don't have to be witty or insightful. I can make mistakes on here. I can be wrong. I can simply post a photo one day and call it good. The next day, I may just post a quote. This is so completely freeing to me. As for the people who are going to judge me based on a blog, well, I don't really need them cluttering up my life.


I'm not going to promise anything about how often I'll post on here. I'll share things when I am able and have the mental energy to do so. I'll let all of you know via Facebook and Twitter when I've updated the blog. I hope you'll stop by once in awhile and read what I have to say. Please leave comments if you are so inclined.

All the best,
Rachel