I wouldn't choose any other career at this point, but junking can be a tough job. Heat, cold, bugs, grease, dirt, cobwebs. Early morning, long days, late nights. Walking, driving, standing in line, dumpster diving. Fixing up, upcycling, recycling. Researching, pricing, penny-pinching. But it can have it's rewards:
I am not a pioneer woman. Sure, I can take an hour shopping outside in a flea market. But setting up shop at the same flea market, knowing the weather will not remain ideal is daunting. (Ideal for me is that thin area between 70-72 degrees).
The Rusty Chandelier has three parking lot sales per year and I decided to jump on board the June bandwagon, which was last Saturday. I have had a very crowded back porch, and do not have a lot of indoor booth space to put furniture in. I really needed to get rid of some stuff.
It wasn't a bad weather day. 85 degrees and sunny. But when you are sitting on blacktop --even with an EZ-UP tent-- it just is not for the faint of heart. (The faint of heart being ME.)
The crowd was very sparse all day -- probably owing to the fact that it wasn't raining for once.
Still I managed to make some money, visit with some fun people and get rid of some items. Some items I literally gave away, but the idea was to get rid of stuff.
Due to the fact that I do not like to sweat, I will not be participating in another flea market. But it did help me appreciate the vendors that I purchase from...
and the people who organize the flea markets. (Kate, pictured above with her son, did a great job organizing the event.)
Lastly, it certainly gave me fresh resolve to be selective in my purchases. Enough said.
Last winter I found a stained, slightly tattered lace tablecloth in a box I had won at an auction. I had this idea then, and got as far as cutting the tablecloth into long, thin strips.
I am participating in a flea market tomorrow (more about how I feel about this at a later post). I knew that the sun would be beating down on me from the south despite my EZ-UP tent. I tried to think of something that I could hang that would be sheer and let some breezes through -- then I remembered this brain burp I'd had last winter.
Dig out the tablecloth strips. Realize they aren't enough. Dig out another old tablecloth and cut it into strips. Find an old satin wedding dress (with holes, don't judge me) and cut that into strips. Assemble when I should be pricing and packing.
I like the way the garland turned out. I'll let you know how it worked out at the flea market.
These antique quilt blocks were from the really filthy basement estate sale that I bought some items from. They were in a box that was almost totally destroyed by mold, moisture and age. I wasn't sure I could save them, but they washed beautifully.
One thing about these old time quilt pieces,
they were made to stand up to some hard use.
Beautiful patriotic colors for this time of year.
And how about this Texas Lone Star centerpiece?
It is pretty patriotic as well.
I'm hoping to get these on ebay in the next day or two.
As I used various enamelware containers for gardening this year, I threw the corresponding lids beside the compost pile. I knew they wouldn't make good compost, but I wasn't ready to chuck them either. Then they moved to the "needs to be washed outside" pile. Then, to the "needs to be washed even better inside" pile. By this point, I had a pretty good idea what I was going to do with them.
So I went out to the magical shed which produced a piece of scrap wood wide and long enough for my vision. A quick coat of white for a base coat. A dry brush of chalked red over that. Then I simply pounded a hole through each lid. Then spaced them evenly across the red board and pounded in a nail. Attached a cool chain to the back.
I was tempted to write something cheesy under the lids:
Hang It All
I'm Hooked On You
Put A Lid On It
I think we are all thankful that I managed to control myself.
It's happened before -- it seems like there are periods of time when certain items seem to come to me in flocks, in droves. This week it was vintage suitcases. Which is fine with me, I love them. I ended up with five in four days.
Pretty cool ones at that!
Love me some colored vintage Samsonite suitcases. I grew up in a "tan Samsonite" household. I have a son that collects the blue. These are a gorgeous shade of green and the interior is in excellent condition. I had to scrub the tan trim with my "go to" magic eraser. It wasn't easy, but it got rid of the sticky residue that plagues the trim on these vintage beauties.
The name on the vintage TWA identification sticker matches the MJW initials on both suitcases. These things weigh a ton when they are empty, I can't imagine lugging them around an airport. I already took them into my Rusty Chandelier booth.
This guy is circa 1940s, with stickers from 1951-54.
(Even back then the parents sent the old suitcases to college with their kids.)
I imagine some KU fan doing the dance of joy when he receives this in the mail.
Here is the flip side. It is already listed on ebay.
I picked up this black leather one today.
I couldn't believe it was empty because it was
so freakishly heavy.
Another one that got hauled around an airport.
Last but not least.
Small leather one actually once held
toiletries. In outstanding condition inside and out.
I was invited to come purchase items of an estate. I never really know what to expect under those circumstances. We came home with some interesting items. (And wearing some interesting smells.)
It took a lot of digging under crowded, dark, hot and stinky conditions. I DO love my job:)
I may be posting in the future over some more of the items. But I wanted you to see what I was up against with the dishes.
This century-old beauty had some great
St. Joseph, MO advertising.
I had my husband clear out an old cabinet and just put the dishes in totes. It was dark and they were too dirty to really see what I was buying. I kind of purchased on faith.
You can see what I was up against. I think they had been around a house fire at some point because they were black. It took lots of elbow grease and Magic Eraser (love that product, you can generic for $1 at Dollar Tree) to make them look presentable. I sometimes use windex, and for the sticky - GooGone. Dishes are tough, do what you have to to clean them. I've soaked them in a 50/50 bleach water solution for a whole day in the past.
I thought they looked beautiful together since most of them had blue in them.
Any keepers? Maybe the Chase Candy Co (located in St. Joseph, MO for a century) plate. I already have one, but this one is a little different.
Our little town has it's citywide garage sale on the first Saturday of June (and many sales the days leading up to that.) My sister planned our family reunion on Saturday - Sunday of that weekend, so Friday was my only chance to catch a few of the sales.
It was a little slow going, but sometimes tenacious and steady wins the race.
I picked up some nicely rusted items
(including an iron bed which sold the same day) and...
There once was a very old giant urn. It had led a vibrant life holding gorgeous flowers for well-to-do people over a hundred years ago. But time and weather had aged the urn. An accident had caused it to break off of it's pedestal. It ended up half buried in a field, covered in weeds. Sigh.
A humble junk collector happened to go to a garage sale near the home of the urn. She asked about the urn and the owner had a dim recollection of seeing it near the driveway. Sure, he would sell it for a few bucks (and good luck loading it!)
The junk collector persuaded several burly men to help her load the urn, along with all of the broken pieces, into her van.
She had lofty plans of restoring the urn to it's original glory, but it was beyond her skills as a healer. So it just sat in her yard and continued to look sad.
Until one day a very brave prince and princess saw the poor urn as they were driving by in their carriage. They stopped at the house to ask if they could take the urn home with them. They knew that with patience and their special healing skills they could resurrect it to a new life.
Because of the prince and princess, the giant urn is beautiful and regal again.
(Special thanks to the princess for sending me these "after" photos of the urn.)