Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Last Adventure for 2011

Yesterday we had our Christmas celebration with Kevin's side of the family. We only exchanged white elephant gifts and it was pretty funny! We kept it simple and just ordered a bunch of pizzas-boy was that nice!!! No cooking and easy clean up!

Today, we left for another adventure-this time to the east. I wanted to visit a few antique shops that I've been to a few times before. Two were in Livonia, and the other, Knightsbridge, is in Northville. I have a special fondness for Knightsbridge-it's where I bought my oak curved glass china cabinet a few years ago.

We had a fun time hanging out together and searching for treasures. The first place we stopped was The Country Peddler. It is half antique mall, half craft mall. In every other visit to this mall, I've always skipped the craft side and only visited the antique side. I missed so much! There were antique booths mixed in with the crafts and some of the craft items were pretty cool!

One booth had Corian cutting boards. Some cut into the shape of the state of Michigan, some even had the shape of the U.P. too! I'm keeping that locked in my memory for Christmas presents for next year!!

I saw a lot of Pyrex and  lot of vintage goodness but nothing was begging to come home with me...until...I spotted a sign that said 90% off!! Really?!? It was just a couple of pictures and a bunch of reference books. I only found one that needed to come home with me (it had big colorful pictures-ha!), it was a whopping 95 cents!

Our next stop was Town and Country Antiques Mall-it was just a couple of miles down the road. The last time I was there, I ran into my cousin's wife and little daughter and her parents. I think it was between the holidays when I visited the last time too!

I didn't find anything that needed to come home with us, but I did find this really cool vintage kid's bike. How cool would it have been to have this when you were little?!?!

We drove past a Salvation Army Thrift Store and made a quick detour. I found one Amish Pyrex Cinderella bowl. It was only $4.99, but it had been put through the dishwasher too many times, so I left it there.

We only had about a 6 mile drive to Knightsbridge Antique Mall in Northville, and it went pretty quickly. It was really crowded there, not like the other two which had a few shoppers, but wasn't busy at all. I always skim through the front section to the left rather quickly. It is mostly display cases that are locked, and to my way of thinking, if it has to be locked up, it is probably too expensive for me, so I just skip on by.

I found some awesome vintage decals. I only bought a couple, but I think I might go back and get some more-they're pretty awesome!

Just a little way down the aisle, my heart skipped a beat when I saw a mauve blue Harlequin pitcher! I've been looking for this color for a lonnnnng time. It was in excellent condition-no chips or cracks and was very clean. I also had a gift card from my parents in my pocket-so Merry Christmas to me from mom and dad!!

I even asked for and got the little known discount! Did you know most antique malls will give you a 10% discount on items over $20 if you ask? I never knew that until I became a booth renter, and this is the first opportunity for me to ask for it. I'm still smiling! I feel like I won the lottery or something! ;)

All in all, it was a fun day! We finished up with lunch at A & W. Now we are watching #2 of 4 Red Box movies with full bellies of all kinds of yummy appetizers. Do we know how to party or what? LOL!

Happy New Year!!!

A New Year, A New Me?

I get a couple of emails every day from sites like Girlfriends in God, and Encouragement for Each Day. I've been  pondering what I read in one of them. It was meant to be a help for the Holidays. To slow you down, and put your focus back on the birth of Jesus, but I think it has great potential for a New Year's resolution/priority change for me all year round.

This is what they said:

  • Make time each day to be alone with God.
  • Pour out your dreams and desperation to Him.
  • Read Psalm 23 once a day. 
  • Invest at least 15 minutes in solitude each day, allowing your soul to “catch up.”
  • Make a list of the top five joy thieves in your life and make a plan to eliminate them. 
  • Prayerfully choose five verses of Scripture about peace.  Write these verses on a 3X5 card and carry it with you through the holidays, referring to it while you wait in line, while you are stuck in traffic, at every meal, etc.  Consider doing the same as a family project. 
  • After the holidays are over, evaluate the difference this preparation made in your holiday celebration.
I'm going to make these suggestions my New Year's resolution. I try really hard to have quiet time with God each day, but it ends up getting bumped too easily for other things-I'm going to really work on not letting other things bump my time with God this year! 

Instead of reading Psalm 23 every day for a year, I'm going to pick one Psalm per week to read and reflect on. I think I'll just start at the beginning and work my way through. Maybe 2 per week-I'll see how it goes.

I've never thought of pouring out my dreams to Him...I've poured out my desperation, and heartache in prayers for myself, my family and my friends, and for anyone who asks me to pray, but my dreams I've kept to myself.

Fifteen minutes a day of solitude sounds almost heavenly and actually very doable! I am going to consciously work very hard on this-to slow down, relax and rejuvenate. No TV, facebook, blog, texting, housework..."Come with my by yourselves  to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31 NIV.

I've been making a list in my head already of my top 5 joy thieves. I knew deep down that my joy was being zapped by some of them, but it never really made it to my thought process as something(s) I could eliminate or work on eliminating. This is very intriguing to me!

I LOVE the idea of finding 5 scripture verses on peace and carrying them with you! I'm also going to find 5 verses on Love, Joy, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, faithfulness and Self-control and print them out and carry them as well! 

I've ordered a couple of new Bible study books that will be here Wednesday, and they should keep me busy until the beginning of July. I am soo looking forward to doing this and refocusing my life!

I'll still be doing what I'm doing as far as sales, shops, adventures and the booth-just putting things in a better priority/focus for me. If you want to join me, I could use an accountability partner or partners! If not, no worries!

Happy New Year to you and your families! Best wishes to you all for a wonderful year, filled with lots of love, laughter and great memories!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What a difference a day makes!

I headed out this morning just as the sun was peeking out from the east. It was an amazing sunrise! All I had was my phone, so the pictures are awful-but I think you can see the gorgeous colors-even if it is blurry. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day-big change from yesterday's gloomy, soggy mess!

A little colder today too.

My trip today was to the south. Almost as many miles south as what I went north yesterday! The blue skies and bright sunshine in December were like a refreshing glass of iced tea in July-I Loved it!! I ended up going to two estate sales-run by the same company-nine miles apart! One was great, the other-eh-not so much.

I got to the first sale which had "(hoarder)" in the description about 10 minutes before it opened. It was very rural and there were about 40 people in line in front of me (no numbers). It was a ranch style house (not too big either) and I couldn't believe they let everyone in! There were probably about 15 or so people behind me too!

Everyone in front of me literally ran to the basement. I stopped and checked on a yellow vintage Fiesta vase in the living room-$85-wayyy too much for me, then I went to my favorite part of any estate sale...the KITCHEN! I found all kinds of treasures! The best one--a recipe box! With all kinds of hand written recipes! Why wouldn't her family want this? How sad! I'd give anything to have either of my grandmother's recipe boxes!! Even if the recipes were all nasty-I'd just like to have their handwriting.

Last year I came across a site that would screen print your loved one's recipe on a kitchen towel or apron, so you'd always have their recipe in their handwriting. I asked my mom for one of my grandma's recipes, but she didn't have time to look for it-I should ask her again...I hope she didn't throw them out-she isn't a saver-she's a tosser.

I found a really cool breadbox in the basement. Later, as I was checking out, a woman was asking the son of the guy running the sale about a breadbox, and did somebody take it upstairs for her because it was gone. He looked to be about 11 or 12 and had no clue as to what she was talking about. He said he thought his dad took it up.

 I bought it, but it didn't have her name on it, and she didn't pick it up from the spot where it was in the basement. I saw her looking at it (the same time I was looking at it) and heard her say she wanted it, so I left and explored the rest of the basement. When I made my second pass-it was still there and she was long gone-so I picked it up. I made a second pass through the whole house, then out to the garage to check out.

I've been feeling guilty ever since I bought it.She doesn't know who bought it, but I'm sure when she went to check out she was disappointed she didn't get it. I thought she changed her mind because it was still there-that is why I grabbed it. I'm wondering if I should have gone back and offered it to her. What do you think? I know when I've been at other sales and I've set something down and walked away -someone else has picked it up and bought's just kind of the nature of an estate sale-right? What would you have done? She seemed like she was from the area, should I call the estate sale company and tell them I'd be willing to give it to her? My boys say no. They said she walked away-therefore it was fair game-the nature of an estate sale...what do you think??

I wouldn't have classified this sale as a hoarder sale-yeah, the woman had a lot of stuff, but no where near the level of hoarder. My grandma had way more stuff (before her house fire) than this lady had. I would probably classify it as a saver's sale.

Pictured above: 9 vintage Pyrex pieces, 2 small vintage Fiesta bowls, 2 large newer Fiesta baking bowls, 9 vintage dish towels, 1 vintage tablecloth, 2 vintage aprons, 6 vintage crocheted hot pads, a vintage-never used- giant yellow Tupperware bowl, a drink shaker, a fired-on turquoise small vase, a vintage glass and an ice bowl, and a vintage syrup pitcher. These are from all the places I stopped, not just the estate sale.

Since it was in the same town as one of my all time favorite antiquing areas, I planned my route so I could stop at a couple of antique stores. I was very sad and very disappointed to find out that the shop I got a lot of my newer Fiesta at has closed!! It was empty! It was called "The Place" and I never walked away empty handed when I visited this store-I am so bummed it is gone!!

I walked down a little further and went into a huge antique mall, but even that had changed. It was very empty-not like it was a year ago when I shopped there! I'm wondering if it too will go out of business. Two days in a row of seeing shops that have been around for a long time closed, is really sad. I wonder if they just decided it was easier to sell on Ebay and not have the over-head of a shop...

As I was making my way back home, I had to stop at a candle/antique shop (another favorite) and I found some great deals! They looked to be well stocked, and there was a steady stream of shoppers, so I am hoping it will still be there next year!

I also stopped at Treasure Mart in Ann Arbor. I like Treasure Mart a LOT, but parking is always an issue, and it is hit or miss as to whether or not I find anything I can't live without-about 50/50. Today, there was a spot in the tiny lot behind the store (score!), and I found 2 of the larger (newer) Fiesta baking bowls (another score!)! I wouldn't have seen them if one of the workers hadn't grabbed a pitcher I was looking at before she realized I was looking at it, for the front display window. I wandered over to look at her display and got very excited when I saw the bowls!!

Shhhh! Don't tell Kevin!!! More bowls have made their way into our house! ;) They are already washed and sitting on a shelf in the sun room-he will never know! ;)
See how nice they look with the two smaller prep bowls I got at the Fiesta tent sale!?!?

Tomorrow I'm staying home to run the vacuum and dust-in laws are coming Friday. No cooking though-decided to order pizza instead-whew!! Kevin's brother is bringing a green bean casserole-even though we are getting pizza-guess he loves green bean casserole! I'd be willing to bet he won't show up anyway-he has bailed more times than he's shown up in the last 5 or 6 years.

The boys are done house-sitting and are back home...along with a week's worth of dirty laundry, and back to eating everything in site! It's quiet right now-they both had to work at 3 ;-). I'm glad they are home, I missed them, but the quiet is nice too.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve? We usually keep it very low-key. Pajamas, snacks and movies! Hope you have a nice night, whatever you decide to do!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Fun Day Exploring!

Since the boys are both still house sitting for my friend, and Kevin had to work, I decided to head out to wander and explore some antique shops and thrift stores that I haven't been to for a couple of years. It was AWESOME! I enjoyed it so much, I am thinking I will go in the opposite direction tomorrow!

It was a gloomy, rain/snow mix.

My first stop was at the Antique Warehouse in Saginaw. I try to get to this place once a year, but I think it's been 2 since the last time I was there. It wasn't crowded at all, so it was nice to wander around aimlessly. Some of the dealers were having sales, so I picked up a couple of things at amazing prices.

 I remember having this set when I was little! I didn't buy it, but it brought a smile to my face.

I've never seen a refrigerator dish this big in green before! I didn't buy it, but it was great to see it.

 I did buy this-needs a lid, but I've never seen this color in this size, and the price was awesome!

This vintage Fiesta Sugar dish was half off-the flash makes it look like there are chips, but there aren't any.

My next stop was Americana Antiques on Water Street in Bay City. I wasn't even in the store more than 10 feet when I found one of the newest things on my wish list-and it was half off!!!

$12.50 and it works!

There are a lot of great booths in this little mall!
 My heart skipped a beat when I saw all of this vintage Fiesta -too bad it was too much for my wallet!

 Aren't these shoes cool!?!?

I LOVE this cabinet!! Too bad my house is too small for any more cabinets! 

I drove about a block (it was rain mixed with snow and very wet out) and ended up at Bay Antique Center. This place is HUGE! It was pretty empty too, so it was nice to just wander and not worry about being in anyone's way or having someone else in my way.

 Too bad my budget is too tiny for this! This has been on my all time wishlist forever. I'd have to find it in the double digits, because I'd never be able to sleep if I spent that much!

 I liked this tree skirt, but it it wasn't exactly what I was looking for-so I passed on it.

 This is the ceiling in the basement! Isn't it AWESOME!?!?!

This is the Tree of Life Pyrex casserole-my only purchase from Bay Antiques.

After Bay Antiques, I tried to find a thrift store that I found out didn't exist any more, then I headed toward an antique shop that I think has been in business most of my life (R & J Needful Things-in Flushing)...but when I got there, I saw a big FOR SALE sign on the building, and a note on the door saying they were sorry but they were closing forever on November 30, 2011!!! That was a total shock! It was a really big antique mall! When I think back though, there were never any shoppers whenever I stopped and their prices were kind of high. I don't think I ever bought anything there in all the years that I've wandered through. 

I stopped at a couple of thrift stores in Fenton that I usually have good luck at. Didn't find anything at the first one, but I got a couple of plain red felt Christmas tree skirts and this pitcher at the second.

Since I was in Fenton, I thought I'd stop at another shop that wasn't really my favorite, but other people have said how much they like it.
They had an awesome set of 4 pink vintage Pyrex mixing bowls for only $60! I've seen them go for around $100-$225 on Ebay. Everything else that caught my eye was way above my price range. It was pretty busy inside, so I was glad to see that-especially since Needful Things was gone.

I stopped at my local Salvation Army since I had to drive past it on my way home and found a few more good deals.

 Funky napkin holder!

 A set of 4 glasses-I didn't get them out of the box yet.

 A Pyrex refrigerator dish-it's the larger rectangle size.

These are 4 curtain panels. There are a lot of possibilities with this much material! I'll let you know what I decide to make with them!

Tomorrow I'm going to my last estate sale of 2011 and a couple of my other favorite antique malls, to the south. Hopefully I'll have some fun adventures to share tomorrow night-and hopefully the weather will be better for driving!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Week off and nothing to do! YAYYY!

I've got this week off from work and I am so excited to catch up on some reading, some inventory spreadsheets for the booth, and I hope to visit a couple of antique shops that I love, but haven't had time to visit in a long time. The house got a thorough cleaning (cupboards, drawers, closets, etc.) for the party, so that's not hanging over my head.

We had a quick nice Christmas with my parents on Sunday and a quick extended family gathering of all of my cousins and uncles on my Dad's side on Saturday. We'll be getting together with Kevin's siblings and their kids this Friday-so for the next three days, I am going exploring!! I'll be sure to bring along my camera, so you can see what I saw!

Since I am almost done with my Fiesta and Pyrex collections, I am thinking about what my new wishlist will look like for 2012... I think the biggest thing I'll be searching for is a Grandmother's Garden quilt. I saw one late this summer at a garage sale and the seller changed her mind just as I was going to buy it-so I didn't get it. I just loved all of the bright colors-it kind of reminded me of my Fiesta and Pyrex.

I'd also LOVE to find a vintage color wheel for my aluminum Christmas tree! Other than those two things, I don't know that I'll be searching for anything for me any more, but I will still be searching for stuff for the booth. Can you believe that in just 36 days it will have been a year since I became a booth renter in an antiques and collectibles mall!?!? That time just flew by!

While it has been a lot of fun, it has also been a lot of work! The hardest thing I've dealt with (and I don't know why it even bothers me) is when I see other dealers buying my stuff and then marking it up and putting it for sale themselves. Why wouldn't they tell me that I goofed and priced something too low?

Kevin tells me to get over it. I know I need to get over it. I don't have anything to complain about, because I make a profit on the things I sell, and I don't try to grab the highest amount possible when I resell. If it came to me as a good deal, I pass that on to the customers. I should just think of the other dealers as "customers" and be glad that I sold something.

Looking forward to catching up on your blogs and to my adventures tomorrow!

Hope you had a wonderful time this Christmas with your family and friends!

Friday, December 23, 2011

No sales lately...

I haven't been to any sales, or shops this week-other than my booth to fluff and add in some stuff and vacuum. So I don't have any wonderful vintage treasures to share. I can't believe how fast this week has gone! We've been laying low and quiet this week- recovering from all the work we did for the party last Saturday-it's been so nice!

We did have to run out and shop for one big appliance that died-Saturday of all days-our washing machine. We shopped several places and they all said we couldn't get it until December 29 or January 3 and their prices were all the same. Then on our last stop, we found a place that we could get it within 2 days, and it was about $300 cheaper-and they offered 12 months same as cash!!

We got it yesterday and it looks amazing! It sounds like a jet engine taking off when it starts up and really spins the clothes dry! It tis so not the season to be buying appliances though!! We decided to not buy the dryer right now because it is still working-even though it is 10 years old too. They don't match at all, and it looks kind of like a Rolls Royce parked next to an Escort-but for now it's working, and hopefully by the time the dryer dies, we will have given our gasping bank accounts time to recover!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lots and Lots of Food!

The party was a big success! Although our numbers were much lower than we were expecting, I think everyone who came had a nice night! Last night was also the big Anesthesia department formal party, and the roads were a little slick, so that may be why we had less people. Two couples actually came in their formal clothes and left early to go to the other party afterward. Most of us were wearing our ugly sweaters and jeans but one guy had on a tux!

This is what I made...

 Meatballs in the crock pot-surprise-it's a purple crock pot-imagine that, me having a purple crock pot!

 Smoked turkey and roast beef roll up sandwiches.

 Sausage and cheese-there was a huge platter just as big of crackers too.

 Christmas tree shaped cheese ball and crackers.

 Spinach dip

 Cream cheese salsa dip.

 Veggies and dip

 Layered Greek dip-YUM! This recipe is a keeper!

 Ham roll ups with dill pickles and green onions.

 Baked Crab Rangoons-they didn't turn out as well as they usually do.

Little pigs in a blanket

A red velvet Christmas trifle-my mint leaves were really floppy and didn't make it look very appealing!

I forgot to take a picture of the swiss cheese dip and the bacon wrapped water chestnuts-they were a big hit! Others brought dishes to pass and we had a giant fruit platter, a fruit torte, fresh shrimp and cocktail sauce, a giant bowl of candy, some homemade oreo truffles-YUM! some crab dip, a couple of cheese cakes and some homemade candy! Every inch of counter space was taken up with food! No one went away hungry-that's for sure!!

One lady asked some questions about my Fiesta, but for the most part, no one was really interested in all of my vintage treasures. I'm surprised. How could you not love all the bright vintage goodness?!? Maybe if I would have put up the big 6' silver tree right in the middle of the sun room, I would have gotten more of a reaction.

Last night I got a facebook message from my brother in law-he is coming over today to help eat some leftovers! Hope he doesn't mind us not entertaining him today-we are all pooped and just planning to crash after I run some stuff to the booth and straighten it a bit!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! I plan to spend some serious couch time catching up on everyone's blogs as soon as I get home!!!

Have a Merry Christmas if I don't get a chance to say it later!!