Friday, February 28, 2014

WARNING!!! Serious Junk Shortage!!

Today was a super fun day-even though there was only one piece of junk treasure to be found. I started off the day at Town Peddler Antique and Craft Mall, then to Town & Country Antiques, a Salvation Army, and the last stop Yesterday's Antiques & Collectibles. Then it was on to the part of the day I was MOST excited about...meeting a very dear friend from way back (when I worked at Lenscrafters at the Briarwood Mall-I met her 23 years ago!).

While I was here, I found a Pyrex bowl marked $22 on the inside and a $2.99 thrift store price tag on the bottom-oops!!! 

 Interesting shop, really high prices (IMO) though. 

Nothing jumped out at me this time, but it's a regular stop for me!

We had a wonderful lunch! Chatting and catching up! I think it's probably been about 10 years since we've seen each other in person. We've kept up (as much as we can) on Facebook, but nothing is as good as face to face! What a great lunch date it was!!! I don't plan to wait another 10 years to see her again-that's just crazy-we only live about 45 minutes apart!

After lunch I took my friend's advice and tried a nearby Salvation Army and Goodwill. I was shocked at how low the inventory was! At the S.A. workers were actually spreading things out on the shelves to make them look fuller than they actually were!! All three thrift stores that I visited today had plenty of clothes, but the housewares areas were severely under-stocked. The furniture was really low too.

After that, I thought I'd take a quick stroll through Ikea since I was right there, and the last time we were in the area, I asked Mr BHTS if he wanted to stop and he said why would he want to go there!?!? Since I was by myself-I decided to stop. I picked up a really cool metal tray that comes completely flat and you bend the sides up and bend a little metal tab into a slot to hold the sides up. It's painted an old fashioned green color and I'm thinking of using one of my Meyercord decals to vintage-it-up.

You really can't take a quick trip through Ikea. They have it set up to draw you through the entire store. The last time I went they seemed to have a lot more vintage-y type things. This time, not so much.

On my way home, I stopped at a little antique shop in Ann Arbor. I've tried to shop at this store for a few years now, and every time I go, no matter what day/time of the week I've gone, it is closed! I got there today at 4:30 (their sign says they are open til 5), and it was locked up tight and not a single car in the parking lot. I was bummed!

I headed in the direction of home and decided to stop at a little place in Hamburg which also was supposed to be open until 5. I saw their neon "OPEN" signs lit up from the road and happily pulled into the parking lot, only to be disappointed! Someone had locked up and left early-forgetting to turn off the neon signs-booo!!!

With only one more possible junkin stop left before home, I decided to give it a try. I was half expecting that store to be closed early as well. I guess the single digit temps kept shoppers at home today-or maybe everyone is just sick of the cold and stayed home.

I was surprised that the consignment store was really bare too! I've never seen it so bare-I've been shopping there for years. It was very discouraging, and I was almost back around to the front door when I caught a glimpse of that much loved radio-active red color that I love so much!

I found a Harlequin pitcher, that was marked as "orange ceramic pitcher"! It was priced as low as a generic ceramic pitcher and not a piece of vintage Harlequin-I got a GREAT deal!!! The cashier recognized the style and she asked me if I knew about Fiesta. I told her I collect it, and this was actually Harlequin. She laughed and said she was sure I knew what I was getting. I think she was surprised it was priced so low.

Tomorrow I am going to an antiques show at the old Hartland High School. A friend and fellow junker is going to have a booth there, and I'll get to spend the morning hunting for treasures with my  junkin buddy Auntie from Kitschy Vintage.

Next Friday we are taking an adventure to the south-I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Sun is Out-Let's Go For a Ride!

We can't wait for the snow to melt away so we can be outside! We are all getting very tired of looking at the same walls and faces at our house-I guess you could call it cabin fever! Am I alone in this, or are you feeling it too?

After church yesterday we hopped in the car and headed to a new-to-me antique store in Fenton called The Treasure Shack. It's a small little place that is packed with a lot of good junk! There was a good mix of something for everyone. The prices seemed reasonable too. It is really small, so if you plan to make the trip, add a couple more stops to the route to make it worth the drive. We added in a couple places in Holly (Arcade Antiques, Water Tower Antiques, and Main Street Antiques. As well as a quick stop at Fratz Consignment).

It was a perfect day to be out and about in the sunshine-soaking it all up to be able to make it until next weekend. We saw some interesting things and some same old same old things-just like at every other antique shop or mall.

The things I'm looking for (Pink Gooseberry Pyrex refrigerator dishes, vintage Fiesta, and various other vintage kitchen items) seem to be hiding! That's o.k., it just makes me more determined to find them, and give me more of an excuse to hunt for them!

The whole trip took a little less than 3 hours and I only bought one thing:

I took a few shots of some things that jumped out at me...
 Why? Was someone really that bored that they had to make a fancy covering for the lid of their chamber pot? Seems mighty unsanitary to me-ewww!

 This creepy guy popped out at me as I came around the half open cabinet door. I think it would stop kids from stealing a cookie when mom isn't looking as well as cause nightmares!! 

 Mrs. Beasley! I remember having one of these when I was a kid, wish I still had her!

 I remember having one of these too!

Sometimes hunting for treasures can be kind of bitter-sweet. Like when you see something you had when you were a kid, or something your grandma had when you were a kid. I even have gotten choked up over seeing a toy my brother had when he was a kid! At first I choke up and get teary-eyed, then after that wave of emotion, I end up smiling, remembering that person or the good times associated with them.

So, even though I won't be a booth renter in an antique mall any more after April 30, I will still be an avid treasure seeker-the thrill of the hunt is what gets me the most-never knowing what you might find, or what price you might get it for. I do love selling, but not as much as hunting. I may still do a flea market here or there, or even try a different mall somewhere down the line. It's not carved in stone yet, but I'm looking forward to the new adventure, and I'll bring you along for the ride!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Take the Elevator to the Penthouse Floor...

I went to an interesting sale this morning. It was in a gated Apartment community and the entrance was off of the parking lot of a giant mall. You actually had to turn into the mall parking lot and drive around a ways to turn into the gated community's road.The sale was on the lower of 2 "penthouse" floors (or the 5th floor). The ad said you needed the apartment number to key in at the gatehouse to get in.

I tried and tried the apartment number, but it kept saying it was an invalid number. Finally, a lady who lives in the complex drove out and swiped her pass and we got in, along with the lady in the car behind us who was also going to the sale.

Once we parked, we waited in the airlock for about 20 minutes, then we were buzzed in. only the first 10 people fit on the elevator, so we waited for the second load to go up. I've never been to an estate sale where I've had to take an elevator to get to the sale-have you?? We were numbers 11 and 12.

Once we got to the floor, we had to wait outside of the sale for a few more minutes. It wasn't a really fancy place, and once you were in the apartment, it looked like the inside of a million other places I've been to before.

I was specifically going for some vintage Pyrex, a vintage rolling pin, and a glass grinder and stained glass supplies for my mom. There were a few old red and white spice jars and some green depression shakers, but those got snatched up really quickly-along with the vintage Pyrex-boo!

I did find a few things and according to my mom a smokin hot deal on the grinder and colored glass and supplies. I almost walked away from the glass stuff because to me, it seemed ridiculously high. I walked past it 3 or 4 times then I decided to send a picture text and the price. Her response- "Buy It"  "Buy It". I couldn't' believe she wanted it at the price they had it for, so I had to send her a text to confirm it!

After we left, I called her and she sounded so excited about it! I still can't believe it-I wouldn't have spent that much on it, but she would never dream of spending what I spend on vintage treasures. One mans' junk is another man's treasure!

Mr. BHTS wanted to stop at Gander Mountain, so I went to Home Goods. A very happy visit for me--I found a VERA tablecloth and dish towel!! We stopped at a couple of other places then had lunch and came home. We finally end up with a day with no commitments, and no volleyball in the evening to rush home for and we can't find enough to fill the day-go figure!

I went through the boxes of glass supplies that I got for my mom. It all cost $40, and I think she did pretty good, I stopped counting at about $55, so she at least got her money's worth.  I didn't pay the price marked on the VERA tablecloth, it was less than a third of the actual price.

Did you find any sales today??

Friday, February 21, 2014

Another Place to Check-Out!

I've gotten a few emails from my blog friends telling me I needed to check out another antique mall in Howell called the Bird Cage Antique Mall. I hadn't heard of it, so when I went online to find it, I was pleasantly surprised to find it is housed in the old Touch of Country building on M59 just east of Latson Road.

I found their facebook page and an ad on Craigslist for their Cabin Fever Sale, so I decided to head over and check it out. I used to visit quite often when it was Touch of Country, and even a few times when it was confused and barely had anything in it so I was familiar with the building.

I was afraid I would be disappointed like I was back in the days of when someone was trying to make a go of it, but it seemed to be confused as to what it really was. I wasn't disappointed at all! As soon as I walked in the door, the man behind the counter greeted me with a friendly smile, and I felt welcomed right away. That isn't always the case in antique malls or stores.

I wandered around and was very glad that my blog friends recommended that I check it out! I got some fun things at great prices! One ad that I saw said it was an antique mall with garage sale prices. I wouldn't go that far. The prices seemed reasonable, and some were cheap, but don't go there expecting garage sale prices.

I even inquired about booth space, and found that their fees are about 1/3 of what I am paying now. They also are much smaller and I don't imagine they get the kind of traffic the mall where I am at right now gets. They were full right now anyway. It's something to think about though.

This is what I brought home-everything in the picture was less than $20.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who Was Vera Neumann?

I have fallen in love with vintage tablecloths, napkins and scarfs that are marked with four simple letters       V E R A. I love the bright colors and the funky, sometimes abstract designs. I have a few scarves, but haven't been lucky enough to find a vintage tablecloth-- yet.

Here is what I learned:

Vera Salaff was born in Stanford, Connecticut on July 24, 1907 to Russian immigrants Fanny and Meyer Salaff. She was the third of four children. Her parents encouraged each of their children to find their passion and go with it. Vera's passion was drawing and painting. When she was a child, her father encouraged her passion with an offer of fifty cents for each sketchbook that she was able to fill with her drawings or doodles. He also took her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art every week on Sunday to further foster her interest in art.

She went on to study art and design at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where she was honored with their Outstanding Alumna award.  She graduated in 1928, and continued her studies by enrolling at Traphagen School of Design in Manhattan.  Her first job was in New York as a fashion illustrator. She then went onto be a textile designer and then on to design fabric and then murals in children's rooms. She was considered to be a shy and private person who once said, "color is the language that I speak best." She believed that art should be accessible to everyone, not just a select few and that it shouldn't be limited to just hanging on walls, but that people should surround themselves with it.

She married George Neumann, who was of Austrian descent, (I couldn't find any information on the year they married or if they had any kids. I checked several sources and a lot of them had the same type of information but some specifics (dates and addresses specifically) were different everywhere I looked) and they moved into a small studio apartment in New York.

They had a small silk-screening machine and started their business in 1947 on their kitchen table. They were limited in the beginning to place mats and napkins, (that they cured in their oven) because the silk screener was so small. They called their company Printex.  They had another partner, Werner Hamm, and they each put in $1000 to start the business. Werner personally carried their place mat and napkins (designs adapted from Vera's water color paintings) to the B. Altman department store on 5th Avenue and things really took off from there!

During World War II, they were finding it difficult to get the materials they needed to make place mats and napkins, so they tried surplus silk from parachutes and then launched into manufacturing scarves. When her artwork was transferred to place mats, napkins and scarves, she kept her signature that was on the original artwork. She was the first designer to ever put her signature on textiles and scarves (1947).  By the 1950's her signature evolved to include a tiny little lady bug. Vera said they hired a team of designers to take Vera's original designs and transfer them to other products.

Vera was very particular with making sure the colors she intended for her scarves were actually used. The printing of the scarves was done in Japan, and along with the design, she sent a completed scarf as well as specific instructions as the the colors and dye formulas. She

All of her designs were copyrighted. By her death, there were over 8,000 designs copyrighted by the library of congress. She was inducted into the Resident Associate Program at the Smithsonian in 1972 and she has been celebrated by many colleges and art schools for being such a driving/changing force in the industry.

Before long, her scarves were very popular among celebrities and women around the country because of their bright, colorful and cheerful designs. Her designs even hung in the white house and covered furniture (Jack in the Pulpit pattern) during Bess Truman's stay.

In the 1960's blouses and dresses in cotton and silk were added to the lines of scarves and household linens. Demand for Vera products was at an all time high when tragedy struck with the early death of George in 1962. Vera held on to the business for another 5 years, and then sold it to Manhattan Industries in 1967. She stayed on as their main designer, often working up to six days a week, only taking Tuesdays off to get her hair done and take time for board meetings. Her career spanned five decades, and boasts over 20,000 designs for scarves and thousands of pieces of art.

By the 1970's her products were being sold in over 1200 stores and her company was making over a hundred million in annual sales. In 1988 she sold her company called "Vera Licensing" to Salant Corporation and Printex was closed. She continued to paint and design until shortly before her death in 1993. In 1999 Vera Licensing was sold to The Tog Shop (a catalog company that had licensing rights from Vera). In 2005 Susan Seid, the former vice president of merchandising of The Tog Shop bought The Vera Company (the current name of the company.).

Susan also owns the extensive library of Vera prints and over the years, she has worked with many well known retailers to reintroduce vintage Vera artwork into new items available for consumers today. She has licensed the rites to the following companies so they can reproduce the vintage designs in new items; Anthropologie, Bed Bath and Beyond, Bindya New York, Bloomingdales, Crate and Barrel, Lord and Taylor, Macy's, Nordstrom's, Target and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I'm very excited to see that her designs are coming back and that I can go right out and get a tablecloth-I live about 5 minutes from Target and Bed Bath and Beyond! Guess where I'm going tomorrow!?! I've never found a Vera tablecloth at an estate sale. I think everyone in the house, shopping the sale will know by my whoops of excitement if I ever do!

I am hoping that some day Pyrex will catch on to the fervor and excitement of all of the collectors that crave finding vintage Pyrex to add to their collections, and reintroduce a new line that pays homage to the old designs, colors and styles. I've even written an email to them suggesting they consider it!

I hope you enjoyed reading about Vera as much as I enjoyed learning about her. I hope the next time I mention Vera that I'll be able to include some pictures of my find!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snuggle up with some Good Books!

If you've been looking for some good reading materials  pictures to drool over, I've recently checked out some books from the library that you might be interested in.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Just Until it Warms up Enough to Paint!

Once the weather warms up enough to paint outside, I plan to paint this white and the inside a light turquoise blue. For now, this is what I've done with it...

Feed sacks on the top shelf, tablecloths below-a happy sight on another cold day. At least the sun is out again and the skies are blue-that helps!!  Did you see the Spring countdown clock I put on the top right sidebar? I'm not anxious or anything.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bay City Adventure

Today my junkin buddy Auntie from Kitschy Vintage and I took off on an adventure to Bay City. We haven't been there together for a few years, so we decided we needed to plan a trip. We had a fun time catching up and chatting away. I think we solved all the world's problems, or at least we talked enough to solve them all!

We didn't have much luck in all of the shops in Bay City, and we both are pretty sure some of the things we saw on our last visit were still in the same shops with the same tags on them! We think we remember seeing the items there before, but we also noticed the price tags were so faded that you could hardly read what was written on them!

I was disappointed to see so many booths where the merchandise was just tossed here and there or wadded up in a big pile on the floor. How can any dealer expect shoppers to value and appreciate their items enough to buy them when the dealer doesn't value them enough to keep their booth clean and organized? It wasn't just a matter of shoppers leaving stuff out of place-nothing looked to have ever had a place in some of the booths.

See the signs on the display case in this booth? WOW! What do you think of this display technique Sandy?

I found a $198 quilt in a pile of quilts on the floor, under a table! On the floor! If it is so valuable, that it demands the price tag of $198, why is is in a pile on the floor? You may suggest that maybe a shopper just left it there, and I might agree with you, but it was with a bunch of other quilts and blankets and there wasn't any table room or hanging rack that it might have come from in the booth at all.

To me, seeing it laying on the floor devalued it and made it so not worth that price. I would never pay that much for a quilt anyway, but when I see a nice one, I can certainly appreciate it and the time and effort put into making it and can even appreciate a price like that if it is based on age, quality workmanship and condition-but not when it is on the floor.

Some of the booths had "Pre-Christmas Sale" Signs, one even had a "Fall Sale" sign still hanging in it. Those signs speak volumes to shoppers! If a dealer can't take the time to come in the remove an old sale sign, or update it to the season if they are still running the sale, it doesn't make me put much stock in their expertise as a dealer or much trust in them to be selling me what their tag says is truly what I am buying.

I kind of sound like an antique store snob, don't I? I don't mean to be. I just feel frustrated because I think it hurts the dealers who do work hard on keeping things fresh, clean, organized , neat and displayed nicely when others just throw stuff in piles. I'm really surprised the stores or malls allow that to happen. I guess you tend to see things in a new light, or differently when you've been on the other side and have been a seller and not just a shopper for a while.

We took a little break and ate lunch at a little diner that was packed! Rudy's Red Lion Diner...the portions were HUGE and the food was good. It wasn't anywhere near as fast as diners around my house, but it was a fun little place, and it was something different. It was made to order and not pre-packaged--good stuff!!  I would go there again!

I bet my boys could handle these challenges!!

On the way home, I realized we were pretty close to one of my all time favorite antique malls-The Antique Warehouse in Saginaw, so I suggested a quick stop. After the dismal failures at all the shops in Bay City, I don't think we were expecting much-even though I usually find things I can't live without when I stop.

Right away-the very first booth reeled us both in and we dug through a bin of vintage decals for quite a while. We both picked out some really fun designs. I can't wait to see what we end up using them for!

Then we started noticing signs here and there on some booths that individual dealers were having sales-JACKPOT! We both found a bunch of things that we couldn't live without! I really like that this mall allows dealers to hold their own sales-rather than mandate to them the days they are allowed to hold sales. I enjoy shopping in malls when out of the blue a booth here or there pops up unexpectedly having a sale-it makes me feel like I won a junkin lottery!

I got some great stuff at great prices, and we were both very glad that we decided to stop! Our next adventure is going to be south to the Toledo area and then on the Jeffrey's in Findlay.

Here is what came home with me today...


Red Harlequin pitcher (half off), gorgeous, bright tablecloth (20% off), three aprons (40% off-a little over a dollar each-at an antique mall!!! Saving them for cookie day next year!), vintage decals (can't wait to try out some projects with them!!) and a couple of bowls I picked up at an indoor flea market. If you go to Bay City, look up the indoor flea market-the prices were great and the guy working the counter was super friendly!!

Did you get to any sales today? What did you find? I found some things that didn't come home with me. I think I am obsessed with corner cabinets! I saw a couple today that were awesome! The price on the one I got was way better!

 Ever since I did some research on Flow Blue, I seem to see it everywhere!

I took a picture of this for my friend Christa. She loves Vera Bradley, but I think this might have gone just a little too far...would you wear it? It was in the Loft-inside of the Antique Warehouse, in the Vera Bradley section.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Learning About Flow Blue

Since I took a break from electronics on Sunday, I had plenty of time to catch up on some long-awaited reading. I really enjoyed stepping out of the fast lane for a while, but some people weren't happy it took me so long to get back to them. I might make an electronics fast a once a month habit-maybe more than once a month, we'll see!

I read up on Flow Blue china and wanted to share with you what I learned;

"Flow Blue" is a term that is used to describe semi-porcelain, stoneware or porcelain items that have been decorated with a smudged or blurred blue under-glaze. The blue glaze bleeds in the firing process in the kiln and it "flows" into the white or clear portion of the piece.

The Flow Blue method originated in Staffordshire, England in the 1820's. England went on to become the largest producer of Flow Blue. The way the Flow Blue technique came about is by combining under glaze, decoration and transfer printing. Under glazing stands up better to use and wear because the pattern is sealed or permanently affixed and doesn't wear off.

The Chinese have used blue under glazing for centuries because they found out that the blue glaze could stand up to very high temperatures. History shows that the Chinese were importing blue and white china to England as early as the 1600's. The color of the blue glaze comes from the mineral cobalt.

English potters tried to produce their own version of the Chinese blue and white pottery, but were unable to do so until the 1700's when they were able to finally get the cobalt color imported from Saxony. In the 1600's, all of the designs on pottery and china were hand painted, which was very labor intensive and very time consuming, It wasn't until the 1700's that transfer printing was invented. Transfer printing made the process much faster, but there was still the issue of wear. The patterns weren't holding up to everyday use.

In 1760 the Worcester factory was the first pottery to accomplish under glazing. Although, most records give credit to Thomas Turner from Caughley Works in 1780.

The peak years for Flow Blue production in England were from the mid 1800's until the early 1900's. Because the combination of transfer printing and under glazing created a product that could be produced quickly and inexpensively with attractive patterns that held up to everyday wear, Flow Blue was very appealing and affordable for the general population and not just the wealthy. Up until that point only the well to do were able to have china and dinnerware as fine as this.

The Flow Blue techniques came about as a way to hide imperfections in the transfer process. Sometimes the workers didn't get the patterns lined up properly and it would really through off the look of the finished product. By letting the blue color flow or bleed, it helped to cover the mistakes, and added another dimension to the beauty of the pieces.

By the time the demand for Flow Blue was diminishing in England, it was just starting to take of in America. England had a hard time keeping up with the export demand.

Even though England was the major producer of Flow, Blue, America has been the biggest collector and the driving force behind collecting it. Many in England just don't value it as highly because it was mass-produces, inexpensive and available everywhere.

The majority of the Flow Blue that is our there is over 100 years old, making it considered to be a true antique. Many collectors collect it not only for its beauty but because they get to hold a piece of history.

When Flow Blue china was produced, it was produced to be used everyday and not put on display as collectors do now. Since it was used everyday, it got chipped, cracked and broken. Many pieces have become very rare and hard to find.

The hardest to find are wash basins, toothbrush holders and chamber pots with lids, cheese dishes and tureens. The most produced items were plates and bowls, so they aren't as rare as some of the serve ware pieces.

There are four main factors that determine the value/price of Flow Blue pieces;
               1. Age
               2. Theme
               3. Color
               4. Flow
The most highly sought after and most valuable pieces are from the 1830's to the 1870's because of the scarce chance of them still being around and being intact.

Petra Williams was the first person to classify the patterns into theme categories;
                1. Oriental
                2. Scenic
                3. Floral
                4. Art Nouveau

Color affects value as well. The darker blues tend to be more valuable and more collectible than the lighter blues. Usually the oriental scenes with a darker blue color and deepest flow are the most valuable pieces to collectors.

I think I prefer the darker blue color and the floral patterns. I'm not that interested in the oriental or scenic patterns and I really don't care for the dishes with turkeys or animals on them. I think I prefer the flow to be somewhere in the middle Not so much that the pattern is blurred up (what I would call a) mess, and not so light that every thing has crisp lines.

I don't think I will ever become a collector of Flow Blue. I do appreciate it and enjoy the beauty of it-I just prefer the chunky, durability of Fiesta-not to mention all the bright colors! All of the pieces of Flow Blue that I've seen either in person or in a book seem to be very dainty and fragile looking. I guess I am of a more practical, utilitarian type user/collector.

These are the plates I picked up last summer. They are what sparked my interest to want to know more about Flow Blue.

The plate on the top is my favorite of the three.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cabin Fever!

Today was the first day of the Mega Mall Cabin Fever Days. Once Mr. BHTS found out I was going to Lansing, he decided he was going with me so he could stop in Mason at the Gun and Knife Show at the Ingham County Fairgrounds.

Since the Gun and Knife Show started before Mega Mall opened, we headed there first. It was finally not snowing for a change and it was a great day for a drive. I dropped him off and headed back to downtown Mason to try to re-find an antique shop we passed on the way to the fairgrounds.

I lucked out! I pulled up in front of the Maple Street Antiques Mall just as they were opening for the day. What a FUN shop!! If you are looking for vintage Pyrex, vintage Fiesta and vintage linens-this is the place for you!!! It's not a huge place, but there is plenty to look at and the prices seemed very reasonable. The ladies working there were very friendly, and I enjoyed chatting with them.

I picked up a couple of tablecloths and a couple of glasses. I might have to go back for a chenille bedspread and a couple of vintage Fiesta chop plates!

I can't believe I never found this place before! I've been coming to Mason for years, and I've only ever gone to the antiques district shops. When I was leaving, they recommended that I drive down the road a little ways and visit the Columbia Street Mall.

When I went out to my car, surprise, surprise---it was snowing again! Huge, fluffy flakes-it was so pretty, not so great for driving, but it felt like I was in a snow globe!

The main part of the Columbia Street Mall  is kind of small, but it branches out and the further you get from the front of the store, the colder it gets! As you are looking down a long hallway, it is kind of creepy because all the lights are off, but as you walk a little ways, the lights come on so you are never walking in the dark.

There is even another section called the Bargain Barn that is not heated at all! BOY was it COLD!!! My eyes felt like they were going to be frozen open! I went through it in record time-this time. I plan to go back when it warms up a bit. They had a lot of Post 86 Fiesta and vintage Pyrex.

Since I hadn't gotten the "pick me up, I'm done" text from Mr BHTS, I decided to head to Leslie to visit a little resale shop I found online called Friends. It was downtown and a cute little shop. I also visited another resale shop a couple of doors down. I didn't find anything I couldn't live without.

When we finally got to Mega Mall, it was really crowded! The parking lot was packed and the aisles were swarming with people. Almost every booth was participating in the sale. Some were as high as 50% off. I found a large Pyrex Friendship casserole dish, a white refrigerator dish, and a tablecloth. Then...I saw something that made my heart skip several beats!

Then when I saw it was 50% off...I was ready to swoon! I've been looking for a corner cabinet for a while now, but none have been in my price range, or near the size I've been looking for...until today!  It only cost me seventeen cents!!! The rest was my Christmas gift cart from my parents.

The guy that helped us load it in my car was funny and joking around with us. It really makes a difference when you shop somewhere and the workers are pleasant and not snarky. He didn't think it was going to fit in my car, but once we pushed and pulled and twisted and turned it a bit, it was a perfect fit. I think he was surprised.

This is what came home with me today...

Her are are a couple of things that I never knew existed. I didn't them because they were a little high-but since I've never seen them before, I would imagine if someone was collecting this pattern they might be willing to pay it.
Have you ever seen this in pink???

This is my new/old corner cupboard. I got a nod of approval from Mr BHTS, he said he couldn't even buy the materials to make me one for the price that I paid for it!

It's not a great fit in the sun room, Maybe in the spare bedroom? I'll make it work somewhere. I plan to paint it white and light turquoise on the inside. 

How was your Saturday? Did you find any fun treasures?

Tomorrow I am fasting from electronics. No phone, laptop, tablet, tv, etc.-- totally unplugged. I am hoping to have a nice, peaceful, restful day. So, if you call me, email me or text me, I won't be answering until Monday.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, February 7, 2014

WOW! What Customer Service!!!

A few weeks ago, I ordered a pair of earrings that I found on Etsy. I fell in love with the style, and they were really reasonable. The day they arrived, I was distracted with normal daily stuff, and I just opened the package, glanced at them and tossed them into my jewelry box. I didn't look them over at all, in fact, I left them in the tiny little baggie they came in.

About an hour after I got them, I got an email from the seller apologizing! She just realized that she sent me the wrong earrings! I didn't even look at them to notice! I probably would have, when I got around to wearing them, but I didn't notice that day.

She told me she was dropping the correct pair in the mail right away. I had already thrown away the packing materials, so I told her that I would mail them back as soon as I got the -ahem-right ones. She responded and told me to keep them! She said the cold weather must be causing brain freeze, and since it was her mistake, I could just keep them-and if I didn't like them-just give them away!

They are so similar to the pair I ordered, that I LOVE them! I feel guilty keeping them though. I will be watching her shop for new designs, I hope to shop her store again. I really appreciate sellers willing to go the extra mile and give good customer service. She went way above and beyond good customer service!

So, check out her shop, she has some really unique designs with a vintage flair-I'm sure you will fall in love with what she makes!

 These are the earrings I originally ordered. I can't wait to wear them-I just got them today!

 These are the earrings that I got first. Still very pretty!

 Little cardboard/cardstock box they came in. 

Just to show the Etsy shop name, in case you want to check out her jewelry

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Have you ever lost or misplaced something you listed for sale online?

Every once in a while, I get a gut feeling about things, and when I look back later, I should have heeded my gut! Do you ever have that happen to you? I had that happen on an item I was bidding on that was in an online auction. The description said 2 items plus lids. The picture only showed one item with a lid.  So, I sent the seller an email asking if it was in fact for 2 items with lids for a total of four pieces.

The seller responded with a yes, it is for 2 items with 2 lids. I won the auction on January 25th. I totally forgot about it because I've been so busy! Today, I got an email from the seller that said, I know you asked if there were two, and there were, but they got put away and now one can't be found, and did I want the one or want a refund.

I just had a hunch that something wasn't going to work out with this one. I am not disrespecting the seller in any way, so please don't read that into this. I know for a fact that when you sell online, and deal with a large volume of things, that things can get overwhelming and you lose track of them. I just had a conversation with a dealer friend on Sunday about this very issue.

It doesn't make me any less bummed that I'm not going to get my item though! I sent a reply asking for the price for the one and the shipping. Would you have done that? Or would you just ask for a refund and try to find your items elsewhere?  Depending on the response, I might ask them if they do find the other item and lid, if they will sell it to me with out the online auction.

So, now I guess I keep scouring for that elusive item, or items, depending on what ends up happening with the email conversation. Maybe I'd just be better off getting a refund and moving on.

Have you ever lost or misplaced something that you had listed for sale online? What did you do about it when someone bought it and you couldn't find it? My dealer friend, I think, went the extra mile and offered the buyer the item at half-price when she found it-and she DID find it!

I think if a seller was to make some sort of an effort to make it right, I'd probably make them a "favorite" and look for ways to shop from them again-wouldn't you?

Monday, February 3, 2014

All Set for February!

Dealer Day is here again! Time to restock, rearrange, clean and add new stuff to the booth. Since January wasn't a stellar month for me (first time in 3 years that I've actually had to pay, and not get a check!) I decided to redo just about everything! Most of the shelves got rearranged or the items moved from one shelf to another.

It was a lot of work! It took me almost 3 hours to get it all done. I'm happy with the outcome-I just hope the weather cooperates so that people can come in and shop! I was told by someone today that quite a few dealers didn't make their rent for January. One lady said it was the worst month she's had in the seven years that she's been there.

That helped to hear that I wasn't the only one! Hopefully, February will pick up again.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What is it???

I picked up something at the community sale on Friday that I've never seen before. It was  inexpensive, so I took a chance on it. I did some research and found a couple of pictures right away, but couldn't find anything on value, until I stumbled upon a completed online auction. Wow! Really? Maybe I will have to start selling online after all!!!