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 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, 

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!