My new favorite collection.
One of my absolute favorite type of blogs or websites are ones dedicated to discarded and found photos. Black and white, color, Polaroid, blurry, damaged or off center, all found photos are magical to me. The questions that arise from each one. The stories that can be written. I recently bought a small stack of old black and whites at the flea market, they are curled at the edges but I love them all the same.
I wonder where they are, if it’s a lake or a small river. I imagine that it’s a summer cottage and this couple owns it. They spend the whole summer at the cottage and most weekends they have guests and they play bridge in the evenings. They drink black coffee and Sloe Gin Fizz. She has a passion for shooting targets while he aspires to be an accomplished apiarist.
Over the past few months I have been setting up at a local flea market and selling my treasures. It has been such a blast that I am ashamed that I have not done it sooner. Especially since the price of renting a space for the day is much cheaper than I expected.
For years and years I have been going to flea markets to hunt for bargains. Darting back and forth across the aisle, like a bird. Head jerking from left to right, up and down. You hone your skills, scan the booth quickly and bolt or hover depending on what they have to offer. My friends and I generally go to the market on the busiest days, when there is so much to see and so many people in our way that we just shop non-stop.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing the flea market from the seller’s point of view. Sitting back and watching people shop is cathartic. I’m learning the best way to set up the booth, utilize the space and lure people in for more. It’s always changing too!
Things I’ve learned;
* You could put an item in the same place for days with no luck. The morning you put it in a different spot it will sell within two hours.
*Anything related to making, recording or playing music will sell quickly and with minimal haggling.
* No matter how many signs or price tags you put out people will still ask, “How much ya’ want for this?”
* Shoppers will never be afraid to ask if you will take half of the asking price. Be it 25 cents or 25 dollars, they want it dirt cheap. (I cannot blame them. Knowing the buyer’s viewpoint, I relate to the dying hope that you can scoop up that treasure for mere pocket change.)
* There’s a small amount of people that come to the flea market not to shop but to talk your ear off.
As summer is coming to an end I hope to get a couple more market days in before the weather turns ugly because I’ve got stuff to sell!!!
I bet you were wondering where the party hats came in to play! Well it’s one of my passions. I first made party hats for New Years Eve 15 years ago. I’ve never made two alike.
My party hats aren’t just for New Years Eve or first birthday parties, they are perfect for any celebration. Graduations, baby showers, bachelor or bachelorette nights, weddings, adult birthday parties, Fourth of July are just a few of the special occasions calling out for special headgear. You don’t even have to be attending a party, you could wear one for a walk-a-thon or while weeding the garden. When I wear a party hat while working at home the creativity just flows!
Along with new craft supplies I re-purpose jewelry, buttons, fabric and any other special treasures I come across. Before I get rid of anything I think to myself, “Can this be used on a hat?” I have quite a collection of odd objects just waiting patiently to be used on a one of a kind creation.
I sell my original party hats in my etsy store and I also take requests. I’ve made large quantities for wedding receptions and birthday parties. People tell me they still have the party hats I gave them years ago hanging on the wall or sitting on a dresser. That makes me happy!
This past weekend was the annual Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale. I was not able to make it this year but I did go last year for the first time and it was such a blast that I have to share my experience. It is a multi-state yard sale that follows the Lincoln Highway (which was the first road across America,) originally connecting New York City and San Francisco. The Buy-Way starts in West Virginia and follows the road through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. All along the route are yard sales, garage sales and flea markets. It is a bargain shopper and treasure hunter’s dream.
There is another multi-state yard sale that happens the same weekend. It runs north to south and is called the 127 Sale or World’s Longest Yard Sale. The two sales meet in Van Wert, Ohio where Route 30 crosses Route 127. I plan on checking this one out next year and utilizing the things I learned from last year’s two day shopping spree between East Liverpool and East Canton, Ohio.
One important lesson I learned is to take more photos. Another is to not be lured by the signs for yard sales off the main road. This is a huge time waster. Unless the sign indicates how far down the side street the sale is or if you can actually see it with your own eyes, don’t bother. My shopping partner, Connie and I lost precious hunting time driving up to 5 miles down country roads only to find a garage full of kid’s clothes. What a letdown that can be.
One of the highlights include the consistent selection of quality items for less than one quarter. So many items were priced at a dime and a nickel…you just can’t beat that. I even encountered some free boxes!
My best finds include: 2 old Schlitz drinking glasses, one for 25¢ and one for 5¢; 2 1970′s Tiger Beats for a quarter; 1 oval plate that says “The Happy Steak” on it and 1 Ice-O-Mat vintage ice crusher.
Check out my score! This is just the first days treasures. Notice the yellow canister… it is and old picnic thermos. It’s closure is similar to vintage mason jars with glass lids. It is a very secure seal which I put to the test over the past year. I stored sugar in it last August and then left it on a boat that was dry docked on the shore of Lake Erie all winter. We opened it up two weeks ago and the sugar was still dry and untouched! Impressive.
Another highlight or lowlight was stopping to stay at The Moon Mist Motel. Connie had never stayed in an actual roadside motel before and I’m glad I got be there for her first experience. Actually, we didn’t stay….but 10 minutes was enough. Fortunately the desk clerk knew we weren’t the right customers
for this establishment, she gave us our money back with no problem and we hightailed it out of there. That large piece of wood in the above photo is covering a the hole from the original window which has been replaced with a much smaller one. The curtain was cut off at the bottom. But don’t worry, they didn’t waste it, they stapled over the bathroom window. Look out Martha Stewart, you’ve got nothing on The Moon Mist.
If you are a bargain hunter with stamina I would recommend trying this. I will be planning ahead for this next year and saving up my change!
I would like you to meet Jaco. The J is pronounced like a Y. You can also see him up there in the masthead with his friends. He’s one of my favorite possessions. Let me tell you about him and how he came into my life.
Several years ago, I was headed out in my truck to hit the local bike trail but it began raining and I wasn’t in the mood to ride in the rain. I took a leisurely route home through one of my favorite areas and spied a sign for an estate tag sale. I’d seen these sorts of signs before and would just rubber neck and be on my way. This day I drove slowly past the house that was having the sale. It was overflowing with people and treasures. I had to check this out!
I was fortunate to find a parking spot just one house down. The front porch had some furniture and boxes on it, which I passed by as I stepped into the bustling house. Every room was filled and it was the last day of the sale. I was in awe! I was happy! I had a new hobby! There was one room of just jigsaw puzzles and another of books. A whole corner of gift wrapping supplies. Even the bathroom, closets and backyard were stuffed with things to be sold. In one of the bedrooms there was a large table piled with dolls. All types of dolls, from Barbies to collectible souvenir dolls. Generally dolls don’t interest me but one of them stopped me in my tracks.
There he was, amongst crayon covered babies, topless Barbies with rat’s nest hair and sombrero wearing dolls, a lonely little matador with no arms! How tragic. A matador with no arms. I was drawn to him. He was in sad shape as his legs were just barely attached to his body. He was only $1.00. I scooped him up and continued searching the rest of the house.
He came home with me. I was fascinated by him. I re-attached his legs but left his faded matador outfit as it was. I took him places with me, just a few times, so I could share him with my friends. I was crushed when many of them recoiled slightly and told me he was creepy. How could they not love his long eyelashes and mustache? Fortunately my friend Mimi took to him like I did and together we gave him a name, a history and companions. We even named our fictitious band after him, “Jaco’s Belly”.
So, ever since I brought him home, he sits in my living room, always occupying a spot where I can see him. His proud little belly, shiny airbrushed hair and gold trimmed pants. His head that was obviously designed and painted to be a girl but then was pulled from the overstock bin and swished with a paintbrush to add facial hair. His empty sleeves. His legs have disconnected again, it happened during our last photo shoot. I’ll fix them soon. I think as a feature of my blog that I will occasionally post photos of Jaco. Oh, and he didn’t lose his arms in a bullfight.