Monday, March 31, 2014

3.29.14 First Auction of the Year

Every junker looks forward to that first auction of the year.  They are usually a rare commodity in the winter.  I try to only go to local auctions, to save on gas and time.  Which explains why I stayed all day Saturday in a cold, dark building to bid on dirty and slightly mildewy items.  Any other time of year I would have taken one look and done a 180.  I picked up some items, but overall wasn't very excited.  Despite the condition of the items, everything went fairly high.  Here's a sampling of my purchases:

I bought the pool baskets in Topeka, everything else came
from Saturdays sale.  My mailman always peruses the items on the
porch waiting to be sorted, and he bought the carom board today.
He usually gets a good deal.

Lots of potential "planters".

Lots of cheapo cameras heading to Rusty Chandelier.

I snagged one box of newer, cheapo jewelry before
people realized we had moved on to the jewelry table.
These were the only truly fun things in the box.
Vintage Russian!  Going on ebay.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Buttons On Ebay

I  photographed my buttons for ebay, one step closer to actually getting them listed.  I buy vintage buttons whenever I can find them cheap.  I love the look of the in a jar, in an old coffee tin, or poured out all over the table.  I don't collect them myself, but appreciate being the conduit which passes them on to others. I usually just sell them in jars at the antique mall, but I do try to pull out really nice ones to list on ebay about once a year.

Art Deco



Love the vintage tennis racket button

Frosted glass

Metal Figural

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stacked Button Magnets

During some of the long, slow winter months I sorted through bags of buttons I had purchased. Most of them I put in decorative jars to sell.  I will be listing some of the better ones on ebay in the near future.  I had a few flat (not with convex top) buttons that were colorful and I knew I wanted to do something with stacking them. 

The rings they show on pinterest I wouldn't wish on anyone, they take up about half a hands width.  The stacked button "flowers" need quite a few to make a bouquet look full. I already had some plain magnets -- so decided to just add a little pizzazz to the fridge.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Photos of a Neighbors Booth at Topeka Show

Along with some of the good things about a slow show that I listed in my last entry (we are trying hard to put a positive spin on it) is being able to visit / buy with other dealers.  One of our neighbors was Tiffani Wallace of Vintage Gardens in Clay Center, Kansas.  Of course I always go crazy for vintage garden stuff and she always has cute displays.
Here is Tiffani with her perfect-in-pink daughter

Cute primitive wood signs.

Take note of her totally awesome corrugated tin banners.

I ordered one that says "SATURDAYS"
to put in my outdoor booth.
It won't fade or get damaged in the weather.

You can call her if you are interested in ordering
tin banners at 785-632-2187
or contact her at
Here is my husband purchasing 1930s
real photo postcards from our other neighbor Rich.
So much for profit.  Oops... thinking positive.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Topeka Antique Show 2014 Picts

Last year the Topeka Show was in February.  We had a great experience.  Good crowds.  Great sales.   This year was not so terrific.  Maybe 75% less sales.  Ouch.  March Madness definitely made a big dent.  The local Topeka Antique dealers have a show next weekend, which maybe also took a small bite.  Who knows.  Here a few photos.

Probably my favorite item I had for sale, first time out.
  This vintage lamp could be lit
 in the top or the bottom "face" section.
And who could resist that cute little face?
  Unbelievably still available after the first day.
Vintage Sunshine Biscuit bin.  Killer.
Only one real looker.

Stuck with my theme of pastels/ flowers / shutters. 

Got a lot of compliments on the center vignette.
Only sold the little Roseville piece in the center today.

Oh, and sold one pansy in vintage McCoy planter. 
On the up side:  I was ready for a road trip.
I had a chance to reprice my old merch.
Stayed at Baymont Inn and watched Food Channel.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Picts from 2013 Topeka Antique Show

Today is set up day for the Topeka Show.  I'll be heading out in about an hour, so I'm getting pumped.  Here are a few photos from last years show (which was wedged between two huge snowstorms, but still well attended).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Basket Bonanza

I had the itch to use the hot glue gun, make a mess, paint, stamp, drag out all my misc stash... and walah!  Spring Baskets!

I had about 40 peat pots, picked up with a peck of garden junk at an auction
 last year.  So I painted the exterior of all of them an ivory or turquoise.
  The rest is history.

Since I am trying to stick with vintage or vintage themed items for my booth;
that is basically what I tried to go with.  Vintage photos, buttons,
 "scraps", millinery flowers, jewelry, postcards, lace. 
Even the letter stamps I used were vintage.

Mostly stuck with neutral or pastel colors for spring.
 Decided to stay away from an Easter theme because I want to be able to
 sell them around Mother's Day too. I have a huge spool of wire
so the handles were no problem.

So I made 40 of them.  Each one very different.  One of a kind.
Filled with easter grass or shredded paper. 
The ones I am taking to the Topeka Antique Show will have eggs too.
   $4.00 each, which I know is cheap - but I want them to sell.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Vintage Easter Items To Sell

I try not to save a lot of seasonal items to sell from year to year.  And if I do keep something, try to "reinvent" it for the next year.  

So I had this glass egg left over from last year.  Someone had decorated it decades ago with old millinery flowers.  I thought it was stunning all by itself, but apparently I was the only one.  (How do you like my green chalk paint on my thumbnail?)

For the 2014 Easter season I put it and two additional unadorned
glass eggs into a metal basket with a sheer antique hankie.

Last year I was inspired by the little millinery egg.  I had this
large glass egg which I almost entirely covered with millinery,
jewelry and other misc.  I enjoyed it myself last year, and this year I will sell it.

Last year I was purchasing "Easter Egg Chicken" eggs by the dozens from a
local farmer.  They came in hues of aqua, olive (my favorite!), tan and blues. 
I would carve a dime size hole out of the bottom and use the yolks.  The empty eggs I simply washed, put back in the carton and sold.  I had one dozen left from last year, so I painted this basket a complimentary color and loaded them in. I'll be taking them in next week sometime.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Is -- And Isn't -- Selling

Just to lead off with this -- this is what is selling (or not) for ME.  My location in the Midwest, in an area that is still suffering economic decline, dictates that I sell a lot of $20 and under items.  If people aren't getting a great deal, they aren't going to open their pocketbooks.  So, I buy cheap and sell cheap.  A high percentage of my sales are to fellow dealers.  Fine with me, I want a quick turn around.  I have a relatively small indoor booth and an outdoor booth (yes, totally exposed to Midwestern snow and heat). 

  • painted frames for group wallhanging
  • blue ball jars
  • vintage floral plates (these are the plates that used to sell for $10-$18, now if I get them for a buck for two I can quickly resale for $5
  • jars of buttons -- or other small vintage items grouped in jars
  • vintage suitcases
  • wooden step ladders (I throw a coat of paint on them before selling)

 WHAT ISN'T SELLING:  (just a portion of my list that I must try to remember at auctions / sales)
  • rolling pins and vintage kitchen gadgets
  • mens hats and cowboy hats
  • clear OR colored glass
  • vintage children's dishes or toys
  • silverplate (everyone decorates their booths with it, I don't think it actually sells)
  • baby high chairs or carriages or cradles
  • vintage baby or children's clothing
  • printer block drawers
  • framed pictures, usually I can get more out of the frame than if I take the time to actually put a nice print in it.  I am talking about the average repro Victorian print that used to sell so well a few years ago.  The exception would be original artwork, numbered prints.  I am going to take an assortment of vintage floral pictures to the Topeka Show -- we'll see how they sell.
  • new items (I have my booth in a "decorator and vintage mall" so there are a lot of new items.  They don't work for me, and I vow to hearby stick to vintage and antique items.
  • Books.  Unless they fall into my lap, are incredible, or are in a 10 cent pile.  Forget it, they aren't worth the space.

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...