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Something Old and Something New

Estate SaleI owe you some words. A lot of them. So grab a cup of coffee and cozy on up to your computer because I have so much to share with you this week!

So you know how much I love antiquing, right? Old things are wondrous. Breathing new life into old things by bringing them into my home makes me happy. That said, I don’t need anything more in my home. It’s pretty much decorated how I want it to be and bringing anything more into the house would just be clutter.

What does one do when they constantly see beautiful antiques sell for ridiculously low prices at auctions and thrift stores because people don’t know their market value, but said person doesn’t have room in their home to display it all? She leases a space at an antiques mall.

Yup, I did it. I leased a space and I’m stupid excited about it. Like SO excited. Not that this is going to be a career thing, because let’s face it, this is not a high profit venture unless you play with the big dogs and I’m not a big dog. I’m a little dog who likes midcentury everything which does not command the same price that a Victorian era piece of furniture would.

So this will be a little side pet project which I’m so looking forward to sharing with you. I’ve started amassing my stock by visiting local auctions and thrift stores because unfortunately this isn’t the time of year for flea markets and yard sales.

Estate Sales are another good source for antiques, but I have to be honest, they’ve always intimidated me. I’ve been told that it’s a cut-throat kind of world at estate sales with dealers jockeying for the very best stuff. And honestly, this isn’t too far from the truth. While that is rather intimidating, everyone has a fair shot at some good stuff if you get there early enough.

If you decide to try your hand at estate sales, you need to be an early bird. And this bird is a don’t wake me up before 7am kind of creature. That said, for the sale I attended last weekend I got up at three o’clock in the morning for an eight o’clock sale. The reason for this is because this sale was sort of a big deal.

There was a main house, a guest home and two garages packed with stuff. Dealers from all over the place had their eyes on this sale. And when I finally arrived at four o’clock, I was already number twenty-seven which means that there were twenty-six people crazier than me.

Estate SaleOnce we got our numbers, we were allowed to go back to our cars and catch some sleep. I brought along a blanket which was super smart because DANG was it cold. And I didn’t want to leave the car running because that’s just a waste of fuel. So I curled up and rested, waiting for the craziness to begin.

Tom and Jerry Egg Nog Set

And yes, it was crazy. As soon as the doors opened people flooded through, charging from room to room looking for items of interest. I didn’t have my heart set on anything other than a vintage Christmas punch bowl set that was marked for fifteen dollars which is a wonderfully fair price. Once I snagged that, the rest was sort of icing on the cake.

Vintage Green Stamp Books

One of my very favorite finds was a pile of pristine green stamp catalogs. I’m not sure if I’m going to sell these or keep them because they are a great visual guide for the things I hunt for. Knowing the names of all the different patterns and pieces will be immensely helpful when I fill out the price tags. And quite frankly, my living room which is currently housing all my stock, looks like a green stamp product redemption center.

Estate SaleAs much as I love midcentury everything, I also appreciate other eras. This piece of piano sheet music is from the early 1900’s and will make a lovely addition to my Valentine’s Day display in the booth. And for one dollar, it’s an affordable way to decorate!

Estate SaleI also found this box of old children’s chapter books in a corner closet. I bought the whole case for a whopping twenty bucks. All the books are in great shape and most have nifty cover art like you see in the Tom Swift book above. So fun! I plan on displaying these in a basket along with some other vintage toys I’ve found along the way.

Besides what I’ve shared with you in these pictures, I also picked up some linens, vintage office supplies, some depression glass and other odds and ends that caught my eye. So not a huge haul, but a fun way to dip my toes in the estate sales world.

While it was a little intense, I can see trying this again at some point. As long as you get there early enough, I do believe everyone has a fair chance at finding treasure.

Thrift ShoppingI’ve also found some interesting things at thrift shops. This jewelry box was shoved into a dusty corner at Goodwill and I rescued it. I’m not sure if it’s copper or brass on the top, but the base of the box is definitely brass. It has a signature, but unfortunately I can’t make heads or tails of it. All I know is that it’s a solid lovely piece of work and I’m not putting it into the booth until I know more about it. Striking, don’t you think?

Crystal BowlsI’ve read quite a bit about antique booth design and from what I’ve read, reflective items draw people in. So I’ve purchased some nice crystal bowls, vintage glass vanity trays and other lovely pretty things that I’ve found along the way.

Booth design is so very important and I’m reading everything I can find on the subject. Pinterest has been so helpful with inspiration.

Vintage ServewareHere’s some of my vintage serve ware that will be going into the booth. I spent an afternoon cleaning everything because it looked like it had been sitting in an attic for decades. It probably was.

Shiny BritesAnd I keep bumping into vintage ornaments everywhere I go. While it’s too late for me to sell them in January, next December my booth will be a holiday wonderland.

Groovy Owl PlanterOh, and I cannot forget this guy. While I don’t particularly love 70’s decor, this owl spoke to me. It’s a planter someone made back in the day. Sort of scary, right? I might incorporate him into a Halloween display. Or maybe I’ll make a 70’s corner in the booth. I’m not sure yet, but I love owls and he had to come home with me. Goodwill was no place for someone so fierce.

Once I get the booth all set and pretty, I’ll share some pictures. Right now it’s all about hunt, hunt, hunt. I open for business in two weeks which is pretty exciting, but I have so much work to do before that day comes.

How about you? Do you enjoy antique malls? Have you ever tried your hand at selling?

A Vintage Christmas Tree

White Christmas TreeIt all started on Thanksgiving day while the turkey was roasting in the oven. 50% off all Christmas inventory the email stated. The email came from Grandin Road, a company I’ve never ordered from before. This year I wasn’t cooking the holiday meal, so I had plenty of time to check out sales and of course 50% off lured me in.

I’ve always wanted a white Christmas tree, but the kids would have none of that silliness. They are traditionalists. But when I saw that Grandin Road was offering 50% off their trees, including a white one, I was determined to make my white Christmas tree dreams a reality. The kids could have their traditional tree, but for the first time mom would have her own. So I placed the order and hoped for the best.

Being  a lover of midcentury glass, I’ve always wanted a midcentury tree. Hence, my fixation on white trees. So once I realized that a white tree was finally coming to fruition, I hopped on eBay and snipe bid on several box lots of vintage ornaments. And if you aren’t familiar with snipe bidding, it means bidding on an auction at the very last minute to get the very best deals. I’m pretty stealth at snipe bidding…

Shiny BritesShiny Brite ornaments are my jam and the first auctions I honed in on. Shiny Brites were made in the 1940’s through 1962 when the factory closed for good. They are highly collectible and depending on the shape, can be rather costly. But I found several lots for under $20 which included shipping which is a pretty good deal all things considered. I mean, ornaments made today can cost you $2o a box in nicer department stores. I love that these have history.

Vintage Paragon OrnamentsShiny Brite is just one of the many ornament companies that were popular back in the day. I also found four complete sets of Paragon ornaments still in the box which are just as lovely as Shiny Brite. I’m amazed that they made it over fifty years with nary a chip.

Vintage Christmas OrnamentsCheck out the vintage clip on bird perched on the branch. Isn’t it splendid? I asked my boys that very question and they just rolled their eyes and asked when I was going to adopt the fifty cats because clearly I’m going senile or something.

Vintage Christmas OrnamentsAnd this little cardinal? I picked him up along with his eleven buddies at a thrift store for fifty cents. How’s that for crazy? Crazy good deal in my book.

What did I think of the Grandin Road tree? LOVE! Big puffy heart mad love for this tree. It’s all I hoped it would be and plenty more. Money so very well spent. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Vintage Christmas TreeAnd here it is my friends, in her splendid vintage glory. My white Christmas tree fully decorated. I’m smitten. The only things missing are the tree topper and the skirt. I’ve not found anything that’s struck my fancy as of yet, so that will have to wait.

How about you? Do you have multiple trees? Do you collect a certain kind of ornament? Let’s talk trees and ornaments. I want to know what you love!