Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sleep and Things

YAY! I slept in today...until 8 (, so programed).

I am officially on vacation starting today. The first one I've had this year (other than a day here and there taken for other reasons) and husband is coming down to Louisville, so this means no blessed four hour drive home. Instead, we are driving three hours to Nashville for a thrifty and thrifting stay (I used my bizillion hotel points for three free nights).

I have a list of places I want to visit: Cool Stuff Weird Things, Tennessee Antique Mall, Goodwill outlet (we don't have one in Lou or IN), Ernest Tubb's record store and several recommendation for the Loveless Cafe. I have the Thriftshopper list of stores as well. I have been briefly to one area in Nashville (for work) and saw several chain type stores I may find the time to try (however, I will be back for work in the area in a few months so may concentrate on other areas). We also hope to hit a honky tonk (old style), and Indie rock show and a museum. It is Halloween weekend (my favorite holiday!) and I probably should have made a costume. Time, for me, is the ultimate treasure (I, sadly, seem to have none). For the most part, when I travel for pleasure, I keep my options really open (no itineraries for me-I have enough of those for work!)


Meanwhile, before hitting the road, I need to clean up the teeny apartment (can't wait to move next spring), make my coffee, and do some more hunting for weird things to do in Nashville!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Keeping Up with the Etsians

(The orange stuff of thrift dreams...)

Here's my dilemma: I have wanted to open an Etsy shop for some time. I have made excuses, literally been the butt of my own excuses (i.e. no time, no time, no time). I have read all the posts, drop-downs and FAQs I can about it on reselling sites and blogs. A name for the shop has surfaced and burst in my thoughts more than once. And, I definitely have the stock.

Oh, and I have been a thrifter since I was 15! The other day I was sorting through some old boxes o' crap, items thrifted in the mid-nineties (yes, I know) and what do I find-Kitschy Deer. I'm not kidding, I was thrifting deer before they popped up everywhere in Vintage Modern Land (and I still love them).

The same goes for Made in Japan, animal planters, paint-by-numbers, Pyrex, owls, knitted toys, vintage sheets and other wonderful items we all covet. I am constantly amazed how similar all our tastes are out there.

Years ago, I was an active member of a Yahoo forum dedicated to thrifters. It was started by Al Hoff (or one of her 'zine* fans, but she participated as well) and we shared all our fun, vintage finds. Ebay was rather new (outside CA) and many of the participants were resellers, but the majority of us just liked kitsch. I think I knew then that thrifting was about to change (or had already begun to change). I am going to admit to you now that I was sad. I knew the world of thrift was about to become more challenging. See, in those days, at least in the Midwest, thrifting was a-mazing. Lots and lots of mid-century (1930-1970) stuff, general kitsch, vintage clothing, kitchenalia, religionalia...all of it at dirty, cheap prices. I can still remember being overwhelmed by the vintage dresses at the local Salvation Army (I couldn't afford all of them I wanted and not because they were expensive-there were just that many!) And the kitsch...wish I had possessed a (small) digital camera back then!

Over the years and three houses and one apartment later, I have purged the collection many times. I sold great, vintage things for dirt cheap at yard sales. I re-donated many items (and tried to resist buying them back). Then, I rebuilt my collections again and again.

Anyway, all of this pining and whining is just to say that I think I am ready to dip my toes in the world of Internet reselling. Should have done it back then, but didn't. Is the trend winding down? Perhaps (I'm still buying it both in person and online). Either way, I have three options: purge and redonate again, live with my hoarding tendencies, or find a way to share my great treasures with like minds. The last will at least combine a passion with something useful!

My one, big, over-analytical question is if I am too late. The reason I say this is there are so many resellers out there now who have put in the time to build up their shops and following. They were the inovative ones that started out on the proverbial basement floor. Now there are so many wonderful shops out of the basement, does anyone wonder back into it to see us newbies? I guess there is only one way to find out. Also, I buy things I like, not because I think it is worth a lot of money. I do not have time for extensive research (although, I suppose, the "real" gold diggers who know values could be customers of mine for resell as well, right?), so will not be offering many Picasso pieces for sale right now. ;)

This is one of my Lofty Goals. So, I am working on putting up a shop at Etsy. It is cheap to try and I hope I can learn to be more artful in putting it together. I really wanted to go the booth route at a flea market (or even better-start a flea market store in Indiana with other sellers; KY already has many fabulous chains), but this is what I can handle right now. By making this shop, I hope it will spill over into other goals (photography, Internet, blogging goals).

Here is where the goal part starts: Have this shop up and running by November 10 (wish I could make this shorter, but I have work travel again, but fortunately I will have a lot less this year). Give it a whirl for six months or so and then analyze if it is something I really want for my life. Fair enough? I think so!

*Remember the 'zine craze of the mid-nineties, Older Hipsters? Al Hoff had one I subscribed to called Thriftscore. She later published a book by the same title (it is out-of-print now, but check second hand sites-well worth reading if you love thrifting). Her
zine was hilarious and she would actually glue items from thrift stores in some of the copies (toothpick flags, pieces of vintage denim). I loved 'zines! I guess blogs are really just 'zines in disguise.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lofty Goals: Week One

Some of you may read here when I am not showcasing my lovely treasures (thank you). A few weeks ago I mentioned I was going to publish a list of goals for the new year on my birthday. Um, came and went.

I did create the list though on the day I said I was going to publish it and so, I do have a tentative list of 41 goals. Some are direct, others abstract or ongoing, but I hope to accomplish a good majority of them this year. I even left a 'TBD' slot. I will probably also tweak the list a bit as time marches on.

I am of the type I get rather obsessed with projects. I love research (a natural researcher!) and will read and study an interest until I am bored with it. Yes, I wish I could fix this part of my natural tendency towards curiosity, but, alas, I move on once I no longer have the quality of newness there to hold my interest. Of course, there are exceptions (my children and pets) and I am not lumping them into this quirk o' mine.

On the other hand, this quirk has been an asset to getting some things done. I've paid all our debts off because I challenged myself to do it. I decided I wanted to homestead and managed to buy us a farm. I finished college several times. I became bored with my job and found one with more excitement and income. Et cetera.

So, in my new year I plan to become "obsessed" with my goals. I want to see items crossed off, accomplished. I want to feel I can reach a finish line. The plan goes like this: each week I will concentrate on one goal. If I am able to do it, this means I will finish before the year is up. I will update each week. Mainly I am recording my progress for my own records and information; however, feedback and cheers are always nice too! :)

So, here they are, in no particular order, 41 goals:

1. Play with the boys more often
2. Record their lives (e.g. photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.)
3. Get out and make some friends (KY)
4. Be a tourist in my home place(s)
5. Plan a Nashville vacation with Hubby in Oct.
6. Plan to attend next year’s family reunion in VA (paternal side)
7. Pay down 25% of our debt
8. Purge at least 25% of our crap
9. Create an Etsy store or try selling (not buying!) on Ebay
10. …Or at least have a yard sale
11. Work out three times a week (my choice!)
12. Find the “choice” in things, not the chore
13. Prepare to move next summer to new apartment or house
14. Sell or keep renters in little house
15. Refinance little house
16. Attend one event in Louisville per month.
17. Take more photographs, print out these photographs
18. Learn to use the Camera (better)
19. Learn to artfully edit photographs
20. Walk/run a marathon next spring or summer
21. Finish the vintage camper by next summer
22. Read one new book per month (sad, I used to be such a reader)
23. Purge read, never-read-again books
24. Try listening to books in the car while traveling for work
25. Go to the dentist X2 (I’m late on my check-ups=friendly reminder to self)
26. Organize-leaving it vague on purpose (work and home)
27. Take lunch to work, eat at home more
28. Write again-anything!
29. Work on my blog, be diligent about posties, don’t pigeon hole your life
30. Don’t pigeon hole your life (warrants a repeating)
31. Learn a new craft
32. Hike KY state parks
33. Get the B12 injections as suggested by dr (maybe it would help the fatigue)
34. Get a new tattoo
35. Try a new recipe from thrifted Cookbook once a month (maybe even per week!)
36. Don’t let work pile up, be efficient
37. Take a class
38. Do yoga again
39. Donate blood regularly
40. Try growing cactus from seed
41. TBD

Weekly Thrift Feed: 16 Oct 2011

(Vintage MIJ Squirrel #2 found this year!)

Small report this week due to time, technical issues and other trivial reasons not worth delving into for the moment. This week, a decision was made by me to curb my thrifting for a small while. I am busy purging which means I really don't need to bring new things home. Also, I am busy saving for a major project and this means I need to find thrifty, not thrifting, things to do with my free time for a few weeks. In the end, the project (a refi on a rental) will be better for the pocketbook, but the bank wants to see assets (blah, blah, blah).

So, like the Made in Japan squirrel, I am gathering my pennies and hoping to get myself organized in more ways than one this fall. This is the second vintage, life-size squirrel I have found this year. I love them!

I also found this sweet (badly photographed) autograph booklet at a thrift store that is closing its doors (boo hoo!) in Lexington. I loved the store (great prices, lots of vintage crap, even vintage clothing which is really hard to come by now). The lady gave it to me for $1 (and threw in a bunch of free vintage tally cards which I will photograph and put up another day). They still have another location in Lex which I did not even know existed.

OK, this is it for this week's Thrift Feed. Internet not cooperating with me today and I have to get ready for my return trip to KY. Check out other linky, thrifty wonderfulness:

Her Library Adventures

Apron Thrift Girl

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WTF?! Tuesdays: Body Parts

This week's WTF?! Tuesdays items was actually purchased by me at the KY Flea Market. I think it is fabulous. It set me back a whopping $3! In line, a lady saw me carrying it and said, "I looked at that!" I replied, "I know! Isn't is cool?"

Maybe I have mentioned before, but I possess degrees in biology and chemistry. I even went to a school that churns out doctors. However, my expertise was in environmental biology (with a couple of sides in anthropology). I had to take a couple of medical-ish biology courses, including anatomy, but can't say I loved them much. I much prefered being wild out in nature. I do, however, love vintage teaching tools. I drooled over the model eye, the flowery uterus and the heart in my classes. I wanted them all just for the kitschy-ness of them.

So, I found this gem buried beneath a bunch of junk in a booth (I found the Made in Japan collie wall art in the same booth) and I gasped when I saw it. It has a weird brown gunk inside it (perhaps another topic for a future WTF?!) and the parts in front (or back?) move slightly. This brings us to why I chose this wonderful item for WTF?! Tuesdays. I need to know: WTF is it? Any budding anatomists out there want to help me out? I thought knee at first, but ruled it out. Maybe the back of the throat and those two projections are tonsils? I just cannot positively ID the model!

I am thinking I need to retake some of my classes, but meanwhile, this mysterious body part is joining my little collection of vintage classroom study aids. Check out other thrifty mysteries and creepy stuff over at Sir Thrift A Lot's great blog!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekly Thrift Feed: 9 October 2011

(Libra bank found in Alabama-so meant to be!)

Well, another year came and went for me on the 5th. I had a fabulous night: a Louisville friend took me to a restaurant 16 stories above the city and we watched a sunset from the terrace. Everywhere, I could see the explosion of crimson, yellow and burgundy of trees. Louisville is such a gorgeous city!

I splurged and bought myself this cross-stitch deer and fawn. I love them and it is huge (3' x 2') and framed in a great vintage frame. My photograph does not do it justice at all (I will post again once I get it up on a wall). It is signed Geo. Gahn and, I suppose, Geo. could be Georgina or Georgia, but I like to think it is actually George (note to self: Google later). It was an expensive purchase from one of those fabulous KY flea markets. Yeah, it set me back $11. :) I bought another item the same day, but I am saving it for WTF?! Tuesday.

(Temp gauge, wooden Cuban cigar box and a weird metal horse)

I found this cool Honeywell temp gauge for a buck. This was a new to me thrift store in Louisville and it is one of those really junky ones. The employees were so sweet and one of them told me a great story about how her adult son has a way with animals and sends her messages to tell her he's thinking about her via a flock of birds or some other creature. It was a fun day!

(Cute Charlotte Becker lithograph print)

(MiJ collie wall art, ceramic bird, and chemistry ring on top of a red chipped folding chair)

All of the above I snagged at a flea market. everything was less than $2 each (the bird and chemistry ring were around $1). The chairs I bought at an estate sale. I bought three for $10. I love how they look all chippy (despise that word) and old. The (cute) guy who helped me carry them to my car was saying over and over how much he loved the chairs.

Well, that's it for Flea Market Finds and Thrift Share this week. Check out the other wonderful discoveries out there this week! Thanks for all your comments last week!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thrift Share: $1 Bag Sale

"Elf, Glamor Elf, Jolly Snowman, and a Wooden Santa walk into a bar..."

I mentioned on Sunday that by happenstance, the boys and I wandered into a Salvation Army $1 a bag clean-up sale (cleaning up the old building they moved out of recently). I thought I would share a little more that made it into the bag. The elf on the left has a present for a body and is a 'Made in Japan" sort of elf (my favorite kind!)

Santa Face!
We had a bunch of these when I was a punk in the '70's. Not the cool type punk (that was retro 80's), but the brat type (I'm not that old, although the dreaded 1-step from 40 is tomorrow. I still feel, hmm, 33-I've raised it a bit from last year). My youngest (4) spotted this classic and said, "Can we get the noodle face Santa?"

(Alabama score!)

OK, this was one of those things where I looked at the box a couple of times before the second thrift spider sense kicked in and said, "Gina, open the box..." Ninety-nine cents later Box was mine!

Yep, a complete Trout Fly Tying kit! Everything, including feathers of all sorts, is included and never used. Did I hear you ask if I fly fish? Um, no, but like a lot of your super thrift sellers, I would love to have a booth at one of the fabulous KY junk malls and I think this would be a super seller!

Thanks for looking! Check out other wonderful scores over at Apron Thrift Girl (and a bit of a shout out at the Extreme Thrifter who hit Louisville this past weekend-apparently I need to stay in KY on the weekends a bit more!) Oh, and one more shout out to all the followers and commentors I have here at the blog. You all mean so much to me!

WTF?! Tuesdays: Weepy the Wee Wee

Oh, do I have a good one for WTF?! Tuesdays this week! Meet Weepy the Wee Wee (ah, the alliteration of it all!) I love the impish boy's smile as his sweet pee pee toy sprays all over you in line at the Krogers. Keep him occupied while you pay your debts at the bank. Thank the makers of Weepy for steppin' up the family fun on holidays.

I left the GW price sticker on it because I know you are going to ask why I didn't snatch Weepy right off the shelf. Yes, that would be $5 and some change. I call this the Expensive GW in Louisville (the one on E. Shelbyville for you locals) and I only stop in now and then to drool over great things for horrible prices.

I have made it a new challenge to look for the kooky items while thrifting for this fabulous linky party at Sir Thrift A Lot. It keeps the hoarding to a minimum.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Junk: My Swallow 10.02.11

Up first on my little thrifty show 'n' tell is this (horribly photographed) mid-century child's school chair. I found two of them at a yard sale for a couple of bucks each. I love them and the youngest boy has already placed them around his train table. It is hard to tell here, but they are pink with white atomic print and turquiose metal parts.

Next, the cute little church on the left was snagged for 50c at the same yard sale mentioned above. It lights up blue and is in perfect shape. The next day (Saturday) the boys and I had business in the closest big city. Driving by where the old Salvation Army used to be located (ah, a favorite past haunt of mine when I lived there), I saw boxes and scores of people in the parking lot. After taking care of the rental, I drove back and a guy with a sign screamed, "Only a dollar a bag!" Apparently, the SA was cleaning up the old store (they recently moved to a busier location). We had to stop. I had exactly $4 and only a 1/2 hour to spare (sadly), so we got busy. We managed to find lots of vintage items, mostly Xmas things, in our wee time and filled three bags. I actually only made it about a 1/3 of the way through the boxes and regret not going to get more money and just being late to our next appointment (isn't that what I have a cell phone for???) Oh, well...I also feel I am a bit of a hoarder in the making, so best to leave the rest. Anyway, long story, but the church with the sweet, red roof-a twin to the blue-light one jumped quietly into our bag. Its front steps were victim of an earthquake at some point (or sunlight), but I think we can repair her. I love them and think it is funny I am so drawn to the equivalent of dollar store items which were probably dime store items in the 1930's-50's.

I heart cookbooks that have little handwritten recipes and notes inside them.

It's Joy of Cooking, a classic CB and I snagged it at the dollar-a-bag SA sale (along with the ledger below it). Shortly after I took this photo I threw the nasty jacket away. I really like books to be naked (I know they say it devalues them), but this one is a wonderful aqua and in perfect shape under its ratty jacket. I put it with the two other copies I own. Maybe I am a hoarder.
Pocket book, pocket book...where did I put my pocket book? Oh, yea, it's on the back of the sofa! Found the red one in Alabama and the RWB one came from that dollar-a-bag holla sale.

I had to show you this recent acquisition. I actually purchased it from an antique dealer in Fairmont, IN (hometown of the infamous James Dean) for a great price. It came off the nursery wall of a Baptist church. I love it and it goes with the growing collection of religious ephemera*; However, I especially love the swallows (I so want a swallow tattoo-maybe for my birthday this week, tee hee).

So, imagine my HUGE SMILE when I discovered this little beauty at the $1/bag sale. I have always wanted one of these plastic swallows! I saw one on a blog not too long ago (I think an AU one from Flea Market Sundays) and I have been looking and looking ever since. I tried to hand it above the Cradle Roll print, but it won't lie right on the nail. I need to get velcro and try again. I may paint it too, but still not certain.

OK, long post today and I barely shared the $1/bag stuff. Oh, so much more yet to share...

Oh, and I am joining the fun at Her Library Adventures' Flea Market Finds. Go look at all the pretties!