Friday, May 30, 2014

Still More Vintage Garden Containers - Thinking Outside The Pot

The succulents planters I've done have been selling great this last week.  I should say -- all the $8 and under ones have sold great.  So, I am going to have to make sure that they are all in that range.

This is such a great grouping, but I did price them
individually.  I have another set of these canisters
to plant as soon as these sell.
More "hen and chicks".
Got these containers at a garage sale,
and the heads bob up and down!
I already sold the plain terra cotta pot inside
an upcycled candle holder.
I did put a plastic pot inside of the terra cotta one,
because terra cotta can even suck the life out of a succulent.
I dipped the spoons to use as plant markers.
They are chalk paint, so just use permanent marker.
I am also using some as price markers in plants
that I am selling.
This cute little guy was keeping an eye on me while
I was working in the yard.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tips On Organizing Estate & Garage Sales

I am helping two friends organize sales during the next two weeks - a moving sale and an estate sale.  More information on those two specific sales coming later.  I love helping friends organize and price estate / moving sales.  I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but once in awhile is great fun.  These tips are for helping friends, it gets more complicated when you are doing it as a business.

Here are a few important tips for estate / moving sales:
  • Definitely separate the keep vs sell piles first thing.  If you are iffy then don't sell it.  You can't get it back after it sells.
  • Everything needs to be on tables, or at least off the ground.  At a level customers can easily see and reach.
  • Organize and display everything BEFORE pricing.  Make it look inviting. Group "like" things together.  The cleaner the better (depends on amount of time you have.)
  • Price reasonably so that as much sells the first day as possible.  If you look up what an item is selling for on ebay -- mark price half of that or less.  This is not ebay.
  • $1 or more increments.  If something is not worth a dollar, throw it in with other things.  Coins are a hassle. 
  • Ideally the first day there are no discounts, second day 25% off, third day 50% off.  If it is only two day sale then some variation.  Know ahead of time what the plan is.  Let customers know what the plan is. 
  • Have lots of great signage -- preferably bringing people in to the sale from several different directions.
  • Advertise sale on Craigslist, flyers on public bulletin boards, Facebook as well as newspaper.
  • Have a "holding area" at the sale.  I always make sure mine is equipped with newspaper and boxes, so that people can wrap and pack their own items.
  • There has to be at least two people at the sale at all times.  One to stay at the checkout table.  One to run around and help customers.
  • Only one door for entry and exit.  Checkout table by the door. Keep small or valuable items close to the checkout table. 
  • Good lighting.  Every light on.  Every curtain/shade open.
  • If I am pricing it, I am not buying it.  I just can't figure out any other way to maintain integrity and help with a sale. 
  • If you advertise that you are opening at a certain time, do not open early.  If you advertise that you are going to be open until a certain time, make sure you are. 
  • If "experts" are called in to give opinions before the sale begins, they should have the option of shopping early (but not purchase anything they are pricing.)
  • Don't let anyone shop early, unless they are helping with the sale.
  • Have a "Bid Box" for people to leave bids on anything at the sale (along with their name and phone number).  Open it before the 50% off sale and call any winning bidders. 
  • Say there is no public restroom available at the house if people ask.  Tell them where the nearest one is.  Making the restroom available has never turned out well.  Enough said.
  • Have fun.  Bring brownies.  Stay hydrated.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Auction Finds From Sunday 5.18.14

I skipped church on Sunday (something I very rarely do) to attend TWO auctions.  Neither were awesome, but the weather was.  It was one of those rare spring days -- light breeze, sunny but not hot.  A great day to sit around and take in an outdoor auction.

The teal green table was a rare steal, with lots of age and character (like me;).  It was in great shape, all I had to do was touch up the "skirt" with paint.

I did a sample "color match" at Home Depot.  It turns out their sample sizes are on sale this week for $1.95!  So I picked up three other colors as well...

I am naming the table "Juniata".  I feel a teensy bit guilty claiming to resurrect a piece of furniture after only adding a little paint on the underside. 

My favorite find of the day was the Madonna figure.  I am not Catholic, but the Mary statue was so sweet.  I love the pair of pictures as well.

This chalkboard had some scratches --
nothing that a quick coat of chalkboard paint couldn't cure.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

On Selling Succulents

My outdoor antique booth is completely exposed to sun / heat / wind / and more wind.  So when I experimented with selling plants in vintage containers, I found out only the toughest survive.  The toughest being... (drumroll)...succulents!

 Succulents can take all the nature dishes out and still look fab.

Last year I sold several hundred dollars worth of succulents in old containers. They were the only plants that managed to survive last summer's furnace in the Midwest. These same little beauties survived last winter's brutal and prolonged low temps. 

 I have a pretty extensive succulent "nursery" but I am still looking for varieties that spread quickly and are easy to divide. Since there aren't many that flower (at least, not for very long) color and texture are  also very important.

And of course, cheap is uber important.  I try not to spend more than $1.00 for my vintage planter.  Rusty - crusty planters look great in a grouping.  I have my own compost pile, so I don't have to buy potting soil.  I almost wipe out the whole succulent "nursery" by the end of June, but it is very inexpensive compared to buying plants as needed.  I also maintain a big box of vintage planter accessories in case the whole thing needs a visual boost or there is a blank spot that needs filling.

Hen & Chicks.  (Gardening humor)
Already sold from the Outdoor Store.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Art Deco Flower Frog Scarf Dancer Figurine

I picked up this little dancer in Lincoln.  She will soon be featured on the ebay stage.
Like most women she has a mystique.
Where did she originate from?  Maybe Germany.
She can be modest...
or quite flamboyant.

Besides just being beautiful
and an elegant dancer,
she has a real day job - holding flowers.

Oh, and she has a beautiful porcelain complexion.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Glimpses Of Gardening With Junk

More images of this year's gardening efforts in my own yard:

Love the one-two punch of flowers + vintage items.

These little bulbs have naturalized and spring up
all over my yard.  Stunning at night.

Another great concrete piece.

Although I am kind of over the whole crock thing,
they still resonate with me as yard d├ęcor.
My favorite plant in the entire yard on the left,
a sweet forget-me-not which I was given years ago.
Now she has a friend on her right,
 a somewhat darker version of herself.

Monday, May 12, 2014

5.9.14 Fridays Vintage Garage Sale Finds

Went to three garage sales Friday. Here are a few of the items I scooped up:

This is why I am still earning a "C" in photography.
Cut off the top of the vase and shadowy picture.
The mesh stand has three shelves and
is very cute.

Bamboo planter and metal
stand for the Outdoor Store.

Funky little scroll lamp.
Great rust.

Hanging pot holder.
Little tobacco stand or side table.
It had a poor paint stripping job done to it.
But some yummy areas of green and red
hints of paint still peeking through.

So I sanded down all the clumps
of dried stripper.

And touched up with some drybrushing of my
own similar green and red chalk paint. And touches
of black here and there.  I'll have a blog later about
naming furniture that I work on.  She is "Ithaca".

Also got a newer (yet sturdy)
 recessed shelf.  I did the same paint
 job on it.  She is "Halsey".

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gardening With Vintage Treasures

This week I was finally brave enough to plant some flowers -- with hope that all threat of frost is finally over.  It gives my heart joy to dig in the earth, and an added joy-jolt if I can combine gardening and vintage treasures.

I added Japanese ferns, forget-me-nots and a
butterfly bush to my huge collection of perennials.

For annuals this year I primarily did yellow
marigolds, pink dianthus, and blue lobelia.

I used my cute little vintage wheelbarrow
to schlep everything around the yard.
Every year I plant some type of decorative vegetable to add variety -- this year I went crazy with "swiss chard bright lights".  I'm pretty sure that neither my husband or I will be eating any...but the colorful stalks were so appealing.

Tiny bright swiss chard plants about
 took over my herb washtubs.
I'll add more flower + junk picts on a different day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seeing White In My Antique Booth

I talk a good talk about loving color.  I have a confession.  There is a lot of white in my antique booth right now.  My focus has switched to my outdoor booth for the spring and summer and it is easier to haphazardly throw stuff inside if I don't have to think much about color. 

Great original chippy white finish
on this old door.

Love the stoneware planter that is still
wearing a bit of old white.
Looks like I need to take my own
advice and add a little color.

Desirable Fire-King Mugs

 I only went to one garage sale this weekend.  And I only spent $1.75, which is good because I am going to be laying out alot of money for...