Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Bay City/Saginaw Roadtrip...

Today was the long awaited trip to the Bay City/Saginaw area! We had 12 places all mapped out to visit today and ended up visiting 6 of the 12. Three others were no longer in business and there were three more that we never even got to! We just ran out of day! Our day started out at 9 degrees.
Our first stop was the American Co. Antiques Mall. There was LOTS to see with decent prices, although neither of us bought anything. There were a couple things that we both gave a second glance, but in the end, nothing ended up leaving the store with us.

The next place, Bay Antique Center, was about a block away, and it was HUGE!! We had NO IDEA it was going to be so big! There are 3 levels in a block long building. Anne got some great deals, but nothing jumped into my hands that I couldn't live without. The staff was very friendly and helpful.

We were worn out when we were done and needed to take a break with a sit-down lunch. On the advice of the sales clerks at Bay Antique Center, we walked about a block away to a neat place called the Atrium.
I ordered the turkey club wrap and it came with a side of tuna macaroni salad, kettle chips and a dill pickle spear--and it was AWESOME! Their prices were pretty good, and the service was great! I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting the Water St. antiques stores. We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves! Their Sunday brunch buffet menu looks incredible! I'll have to make a mental note to remember that and try to make it back to try it!
After our leisurely lunch (that was delicious), we decided to drive to the next few places to check them out, and if they didn’t look like princes from the outside, we didn’t plan on going in. That was when we found out that one place had moved ((and when we found it, we decided to load the next address into the GPS ( a brand new GPS-thanks to my dear hubby), without going in)). The next three places were no longer antique stores. One was a chiropractor’s office, one was closed and vacant, and the other was a ceramics studio. That was it for the Bay City area. Our next stops were in Saginaw.

After looking at the clock, we realized we were never going to finish all of the stores on our itinerary, so we opted to go to a place that I had been to a couple of times before by myself- the Antiques Warehouse.

This place is part boutique part antique store with a small diner in the front. This was the place where I found a few things I couldn’t live without. I got a candlewick mayo spoon, a green, primary Pyrex mixing bowl (#403), and a clear refrigerator dish with veggies on the lid. Now I have a complete set of the vintage Pyrex mixing bowls!
Anne got some vintage, funky material to make pillows for her living room couch. It is funny how different we are in the things we look for and buy. It wasn’t my taste, but I have to admit, that I have learned a lot from her and now have a new appreciation for vintage linens (some linens, Anne--not all-LOL!), vintage Christmas candles, ornaments and decorations, as well as a whole host of things that a few years ago, I would have just walked by and not given a second glance at.
Look! The temperature as we were heading home got all the way up to 20-heat wave!

It was a fun day, but a very tiring one! Where to next? We'll have to figure that out. I did pick up a bunch of fliers from all of the places we visited today, as well as a copy of Great Lakes Trader (an antiques and collectibles publication) and I can't believe how many places are still out there to explore!
Stay tuned! :)

A "Prince" of an Estate Sale...

Yesterday, Anne and I took off bright and early to check out an estate sale in Farmington Hills. We got there a little later than we had expected because my GPS decided to have a mind all its own and got us turned around!
When we got there, a line of about 20 or so people were waiting at the front door. I was very glad I decided to wear a coat! It was a cold Michigan day with temperatures only in the teens. Most days, I don't wear a coat, even in winter, because I tend to have a pretty warm internal thermostat. I was even thankful that I had a little pair of stretchy gloves since we had to stand outside for about 20 minutes before we got to go in! We both decided that our cheeks got wind-burned while we were waiting-now that's die-hard estate sale shopping!!
We both found some fun items, and decided this sale was a "prince". That is our rating system for sales and shops...because sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince and going to antique stores, garage sales, & estate sales can be like kissing a lot of frogs (when you don't find anything you can't live without, or at a price you are willing to pay)-looking for your prince (when you find good things at good prices).
On the way home, my GPS decided to go off on its own trip and we got all turned around...but we ended up for a quick lunch at a Sonic that was close to where I play volleyball on Wednesdays, so I was able to get us home.

These were my "treasures" of the day. A couple of vintage ladies hankies, a couple of purple afghans (that look like they've never been used) and (not pictured) a clear etched glass platter.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Side Trip to the White Lake Salvation Army & Sonic...YUM!

Today there was no school for either of my boys, and it was my day off. Last Sunday on our trip East to visit family, we saw a Sonic Restaurant on the way that was right next door to the White Lake Salvation Army Thrift Store. Since I've been to this store before, and have found some great bargains, I mentioned to the boys that if they would go with me to the store sometime, I'd buy them lunch out at Sonic!

The pull of the banana cream pie milk shake proved to be really strong today, so we took a little road trip! My older son (who in 4 months will be 19) decided it wasn't cool to hang with mom and younger brother and stayed home. I was good, and didn't blow my diet, I only took 2 sips of his shake and didn't get my own, and boy was it YUM!

If course, we had to stop, and shop for bargains before we ate! After scouring the store, I found 2 candy dishes at $1.99 each and a vintage yellow Pyrex mixing bowl for $6. The mixing bowl was really nasty dirty, but it looked like it was just from years of not being washed properly, and nothing permanent. It has been soaking in hot sudsy water since we got home and most of the grime has washed away.

I have been giving the mixing bowl sets a second glance for about a year now, but I haven't been willing to pay the $50 or $75 prices that I've been seeing. So before Christmas, I mentioned to my friend Anne that I was going to start collecting them one bowl at a time, that way it would be cheaper (I hoped), and it would give us something to hunt for on our antiquing trips.

Shortly after that, I found a set listed as "excellent condition" on ebay and won them for $22.50! Let me tell you, I was really excited with my bargain, and couldn't wait for them to arrive! Unfortunately, when they arrived...the box tinkled when the mail lady handed it to my son at the door. I was sooo bummed!! The two larger bowls (green and yellow) were in pieces, while the red and blue bowls were intact. There was another problem...they weren't what I'd call "excellent condition" either. They were in good condition, but definitely not excellent.

I sent the seller an email and simply said that the two larger bowls arrived broken. I didn't ask for a refund or suggest anything. The seller responded immediately by giving me a full refund and apologizing, and telling me to keep the other two for my inconvenience! That is customer service!!! Although, I didn't agree with the description she gave the item, she went above and beyond as a seller taking care of a customer-so she is now on my saved seller list-and if I see that she has anything interesting, I will shop from her again.

For my Christmas present this year, my friend Anne gave me the small blue bowl filled with homemade chocolate covered pretzels! She remembered that I had said I was going to collect them one at a time, and found one that actually was in excellent condition and bought it for me! I LOVE it!! I have used it many times since, while the other two bowls are sitting on a shelf in my basement. What a thoughtful friend I have! She lets me drag her all over checking out all kinds of antique places, and we have such great times!! We give each other an ear that listens (without condemning or judging and confidence in knowing what we say to each other NEVER goes anywhere else), a shoulder to lean on, and encouragement to press on. She has been a true friend in deed!!

I like to shop the thrift stores. About one in every 6 or 7 trips is a winner!

Eric and I found our first Sonic when we were driving my grandparents car back from Florida for them so they could fly home. It was love at first taste of the banana cream pie shake! At that time, there weren't any in Michigan-the closest one was over 4 hours away. Now, we have 3 within a half an hour from us!! YAY!!!!

Not only do they have the cream pie shakes...they also have car hop service that is kinda fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dixieland Flea Market...

Today we took a trip over to Kevin's sister's house for a Sunday afternoon visit. She mentioned to me that she would be interested in visiting some antique stores with me, if I could find some out in her area. I searched and searched and seemed to only come up with places that were no longer in business, and the couple that I did find, that looked like they might still be in business, were a long way away.

We did try to go to downtown Rochester to check out a couple places, but one was closed, and one we found out from a resale store owner, was owned by the same lady who owned the closed shop, and she had consolidated the two shops into one.

We ended up going to the Dixieland Flea Market in Waterford. Kevin and I have been there a couple times before, but it has been years (our best guess is, that it's been about 7-10 years)! It was a pretty hopping place. There were lots of cars in the parking lot and lots of people roaming about inside. It is still kind of a creepy place in some areas, (at the entrance to one of the antique booths there was a taxidermy stuffed leopard that looked like it had mange because it was soo old and the fur was peeling off of the body form), and a a booth where you can buy a mouse for $3 or a rat for $6 so the owners can drop them into a glass display case holding what looked like a very hungry komodo dragon-so the purchaser can watch their mouse or rat get eaten! Ugh!

I did see lots of Fiesta and even bought a few pieces of my much loved chartreuse. I ran out of cash and now owe my sister-in-law $3-LOL! Too bad the seller didn't take credit cards...I would have probably bought a couple more pieces!

I was the big winner today-no one else bought anything!

Some shots of a January day in Michigan. We woke up to a beautiful morning with snow on all of the tree branches-what a winter wonderland!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trip to Grand Ledge and Lansing area...

Two days into the new year, my work buddy and antiquing buddy Anne and I mapped out a route and headed off to Grand Ledge. We started at Lamb's Gate Antiques, and it was definitely a "keeper" on our list of favorite antique shops! They had a great variety of items, nice staff and great prices! Can't wait to take some of my other antiquing friends there!

Still regretting not getting that retro chartreuse couch from Lamb's Gate!

This place was more like a kids resale shop, with tons of toys and kids stuff, and very few antique items -that were priced pretty high.

Believe it or not, this is where we both got some good finds! I got some of my much loved chartreuse Fiesta, and Anne got a couple of older Little Golden Books.

I've been to Mega Mall a few times now, and I enjoy being able to visit so many booths in one location. Even though I didn't find any treasures this time, I will definitely come back once or twice a year.

This is one of my favorites! They have great customer appreciation days in the summer and at Christmas time. My younger son loves the Christmas spread (tons of appetizers, punch and a chocolate fountain! Plus goodies at almost every booth). They have a lot of booths, with great variety, good prices, and it is all very well organized and comfortable. The summer open house is a fun time with dealers setting up outside under a tent and free hot dogs and popcorn.

It was a fun trip! We got to see lots of interesting things. We each bought a few things. We had lunch out, and we both got to talk, listen and encourage each other in our various life issues.

The next trip is on the 30th and we are heading to the Bay City/Saginaw area. The route is already mapped out...anyone wanna join us??? There is room for 2 more!! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

From Owosso to home and the stops in between...

After we left Owosso, we went to a few other places...

This is Yesterday's Treasures, located in Downtown Fenton.The day we went, 3 (I am assuming) staff members, were sitting at the counter (which is just to the left of the front door) and were eating a meal and visiting. It was REALLY awkward to walk in on their dinner/social hour. It kind of gave me a bad impression of the store. We didn't stay too long, and didn't buy anything. I have heard from friends that it usually is a good shop to visit...

This is Thimbleberry Antiques in Linden. Had a lot of new items as well as some antiques. It was a nice little shop, but not enough variety to make the drive very often.

This is Memories Antiques in Swartz Creek. It is a nice place to visit, I've been here a few times. It seems to have not changed since the last time I was there. I even pointed out to my husband several items that were there the last time I visited-a few years ago!

This is Carriagetown Antique Center in downtown Flint. Lots of things to see in this two story building. Friendly staff and pretty good prices.

This is R & J Needful Things in Flushing. I've visited here a few times. The building goes on and on and on. It is way bigger on the inside than what you expect when you pull up. There is an antique-looking, life-sized police officer mannequin toward the back of the building, sitting on a chair that, even though I know it is there, it always makes me jump!

This is IMN Antiques in Durand. The door said they weren't open on Tuesdays, but the sign said open, so we went in! Very small shop, but had some great prices. It seemed like they were liquidating or possibly going out of business-there was a lot of empty space.

All in all, it was a nice day to be out. You can't tell from the photos, but it was a sunny day, and a nice day to spend with my hubby. I think he had cabin fever too, to want to tag along with me for antiquing!! I don't know that I would go out of my way to visit any of these places again anytime soon. Not trying to be harsh-but there are just a lot of other places that I like better, and of course, there are way too many places I haven't visited yet!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Treasures Antiques in Owosso...

I live in a really great area! There are lots of antique stores and malls, all within a short drive. There are so many, I wonder if I'll be able to visit them all! I sure hope to give it a good try!

Some of my favorite places to wander through are: Livingston Antiques in Howell, Williamston Antiques in (you guessed it!) Williamston, Knightsbridge Antiques in Northville, and a new favorite...Lamb's Gate Antiques in Grand Ledge. All of these places have a great variety of items, nice displays and their prices are very reasonable.

My favorite booth at Williamston

Another shot of the same booth, who's owner has
a very informative, and fun blog Mitzi's Collectibles

Williamston Antiques

I fell in love with a couch that was at Lamb's Gate, that I am regretting not getting! It was chartreuse green and kinda nubby, 50's or 60's style, in great shape-no rips, tears or stains and it was only $60!! It would have been fun in our basement family room-and who could beat that price!!

My photography skills could use some work!
This is a new "Keeper" Lamb's Gate

My youngest son likes to tag along to Williamston when they have their open houses-because they have great food-and lots of it!

Over Christmas break, suffering from cabin fever, I went on line, searched out a bunch of antique shops, planned the route with Mapquest, and took off for a fun adventure! The first trip was with my husband to the Owosso/Flint/Fenton area.

Our first stop was Treasures in Downtown Owosso. I had read about it on a blog and thought I'd like to check it out. It is part restaurant and part antiques store. You enter the same door for both. In fact, you walk past people at their tables while they are eating (kind of off to the left side) while you are browsing the antiques! I'll have to go and check it out again sometime-the prices seemed pretty reasonable, but I just didn't find anything I couldn't live without. I did pay a visit to the ladies room, and it was an eye-popping hot pink-which I thought was really fun!

This will wake you up in a hurry!

This is just a funny shot to show how close this person parked! Of all the open spots, they had to park so closely that I had to really squeeze to get back into my car!

Neat clock in downtown Owosso.

Interesting historic building-it's twin (the Woodward Furniture Company) was right next door, but it was too hard to get a shot of it because there was a lot of workers doing remodeling work.

I was hoping to see the famous Curwood Castle in Owosso, but didn't find it (didn't really look very hard either though)...that will have to be for another trip...maybe this summer! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finally we made it to the World's Longest Yard Sale!

I had wanted to check out the World's Longest Yard Sale for a while after seeing a show about it on HGTV. If you have never heard of it, you can check it out on the official website ( It is always the first full weekend in August. This year it is August 5-8.

The first time I thought about going was for the 2007 sale, but couldn't find anyone to make the trek with me. So in 2008, my husband decided it would be fun for us to go as our anniversary present to each other (it was our 20th anniversary on June 4 of that year). Most people we know take exotic trips or cruises for a landmark anniversary-not us! I guess that does make us true "Bargain Hunting Treasure Seekers"!

After a lot of research and planning, we decided to start in Crossville, TN, which looked to us to be about the half way point. That way we could work our way north toward home along 127. Most everything I read said that you would never get to do the whole sale in the 4 days, so we figured that the halfway thing would work out pretty well. It actually worked too well! We were home by Friday night! I'll get back to that later though.

The desk clerk at the hotel we stayed at (just outside of Crossville) told us that it was too bad we didn't go further south. She said it is usually a lot better more towards the Alabama border.

On Wednesday morning when we woke up, the whole hotel was without power and without a back-up generator. Luckily, it came back on in time for us to shower before we left. We decided to check out the route a little bit to see where a good place to start would be-kind of scope it out and get a feel for what we were getting ourselves in for. We saw some vendors all set up on the side of the road, and people were already shopping! (I had read that most vendors will let you shop while they are setting up, or they will come early to set up to catch early shoppers). That began the fun!

We started out just stopping at every sale we saw big or little. Then we decided to skip the single sales (sales that were just one house per stop) and only stopped at areas where there were fields of vendors set up, or where there were a few houses right next to each other that we could stop at and walk to them all and take in at least 3 or 4 sales.

The best deals I got were... First, a dinner sized plate in the Miss America pattern from Anchor Hocking in clear or crystal (this pattern was produced from 1935-1938). It had a sticker of $2 on it-so trying to be a good bargain hunter, I offered the man ( who looked to be about 85 or older) $1. He said he couldn't take that, because that plate was really old, and his wife would have his hide if he just gave everything away! That was the first purchase of the trip and it was a good one! Second, was two place settings of Hazel Atlas Moroccan for a steal, and then a 4 piece set of Anchor Hocking Savannah bakeware (this isn't an antique, but it has been discontinued for several years now and I just love it). Other things I picked up were, a plum pyrex pie plate (to replace the one that dropped out of the fridge when someone opened the door too fast when it was full of taco dip for a party that day), a really old amethyst creamer ( I haven't figured out the maker or the pattern or the age of it yet), a set of salad plates ( to match some other pieces I've found at garage sales), and a Moroccan salad set.

Kevin got a neat antique ship's compass and an antique adz. The later he proudly displays in his woodshop.

Of course, we got a few of the souvenir t-shirts, and some unique treasures and lots of fun memories. I also got the bug to do it again someday--hopefully really soon! If you get a chance to go on the WLYS, make sure you stop at the Jeamestown Chamber of Commerce and buy your "official" t-shirt!

...Remember when I said starting at the halfway point might have been too good of an idea? Well...we kept on driving and stopping, and driving and stopping and before we knew it, we ran out of yard sales and decided that rather than stay another night in a hotel room, that we would just drive that last few hours of the journey and sleep in our own bed that night (that is how we ended up home on Friday). Even though we seemed to go at a pretty fast pace, I think we both were happy with the amount of things we got to see and purchase along the way! oh yeah, we never ended up needing the car top carrier-so it stayed in the car the whole trip-LOL!

The inside of this place was packed with more glassware!

All of my treasures from the trip (including the scarlet Fiesta for my friend).

I found my store!

Tobacco fields.

Neat General Store on the route est. 1892!

One of many stops along the way.

Yard Sale headquarters in Jamestown, TN.