Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sales and Swaps

This past weekend was full of a lot of vintage goodness. BJ and I had a lazy Saturday morning and didn't get going as early as we had planned. I had an appointment to get my color touched up in the afternoon so I had to wash my hair before we left to maximize shopping time. We weren't early birds, but I think we still caught a few worms! 

The first place we stopped was at the yard sale of Rockabilly shop owners who are moving to California next month. They didn't have everything out because he said there is a massive amount of stuff they want to get rid of before moving across country. There were some really great light fixtures that I'd have loved to take home, but I don't have anymore room to store things for the house we hopefully have in the future. I left with only a Cabbage Patch kids bank for my sister and a little moonstone Anchor Hocking dish.

Since we were in St. Paul, we went to a 2nd day estate sale not too far away. There was a snowflake 045 in the pictures which I never thought would still be there, but it was, and half off too! The lady of the house was obviously a talented maker. I picked up a handmade doily pillow and a knitted candy striped table runner. I also found a vintage santa/snowman hand towel, an original jelly tote, three honeycomb pumpkins, a spun head santa, and a flocked pumpkin pick. I'm still kicking myself for not buying one of the many pinup blotters.

There was a note left in the tote from the last time it was used. What am I going to to with this? I'm so ridiculous, I don't know if I can get rid of it. Annabelle really likes this tote. Every time she sees it, she jumps in it and immediately tips over because she's way too big for it. It doesn't stop her from trying, though! I'm really hoping I can get a video of her doing it because it's pretty funny.

An albino squirrel came up to us wanting food when we were leaving the estate sale. That's the heel of BJ's shoe to give you an idea of how close he got to us. We didn't have any food, so he must get fed a lot by the people in the neighborhood. We walked around the pond near our apartment Thursday night and a bunch of ducks got out of the water when they saw us coming in hopes that we'd throw food at them. A ways back we encountered a not so trusting mother duck and her babies. They crossed the path, but two of them stayed in the water on the other side instead of going along with the family. Mama was very upset and was frantically looking for them in the water on her side and they were squeaking on the other side trying to find a way out. She eventually got really mad, flew to the other side and yelled at her rebellious babies. Meanwhile, the large group of babies on the other side was wondering where she went and they ran as quick as they could across the path. The last one tripped on the grass before getting into the pond. It was so cute!

I found a cute little diorama with a vintage wooden Mrs. Claus cleaning her kitchen. It's so cute and the price was right. In addition to that, I found a really huge tomato pin cushion, a dark blue clear bottom 326 Pyrex bowl, and 3 Elvis records that were actually priced the same as all the other records (usually they want 4x as much for Elvis, if you can find one!) BJ brought the panda clock home for me on Wednesday night. He said that he was more excited about finding the clock than he was about his softball games he had after. I guess that means he caught the vintage bug!

Sunday was the Pyrex swap. I had lined up a trade, which I'm really grateful for because no one was really looking to swap Pyrex for Pyrex. Most people wanted to swap Pyrex for cash and weren't really leaving their tables to look around. That's not as fun, makes me more poor, and adds to the hoard instead of lightening it. It ended early because a huge storm rolled in. Luckily we had everything packed and in the car before it started to rain. The picture above is just my hoard of Pyrex. I seriously didn't know I had SO. MUCH. VERDE. I sold one piece and actually have another sale lined up so it wasn't a total loss of money. I didn't have all crappy stuff either; I'm disappointed that I didn't get rid of more. There's a huge road construction project starting in a couple of weeks that's going to hurt traffic into our shop so we may have to turn to the internet to sell off some of our stuff. The studio has become a non-walk-in closet. You can't even walk in it...

This is what I left with for my keeps pile. I finally completed my Gooseberry fridgie set!!! I traded for the black snowflake DD and bought the space saver for a decent price. It's dishwasher damaged, but tis my life... I couldn't remember if I needed the turquoise 402 or the 403 and stupidly didn't have my list. Obviously I bought a duplicate 402 because that's my luck. Anyone willing to trade a 402 in great shape for a 403?

Lastly, I just wanted to let you know, incase you don't follow me on Instagram (which you should!) that I have cut-and-sew pillows available in my Spoonflower shop! That's all for now. I'm going to go build a trellis for my butternut squash to grow on.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Junk Update #3 (Bag Day)

Bag day is my favorite! I'm really glad that we went to the sale on the first day this year because bag day wasn't as good as it has been in previous years. BJ had a music festival up north so I asked my mom and sister to come up. We were late for being early to the sale so who knows what good stuff we missed putting into our bags. I have found a handmade blanket on bag day every year I've been to this sale. I also found a cut-and-sew cat pillow, a vintage Christmas tree skirt, NIB vintage tinsel garland with super cute graphics, a 3D white cat stocking, souvenir Illinois drink tray, vintage beaded purse, and a beat up Santa head mug.

After that, the thrift finds started picking up slowly. The chipmunk salt and pepper set was overpriced at Arc's, but BJ liked it too much not to add it to his shaker collection. He also found the kangaroo set which was more reasonably priced. I picked up a made in Japan pumpkin dish, a creepy jewel-eyed bear made from a thick vintage plastic, a Corelle cradle, and a mug tree from Arc's another day. We went to Goodwill near our apartment afterward and found the Please Get Well dog planter and another Avon decanter. On  another trip to another Goodwill, I almost didn't even pick up the little scarecrow pumpkin planter because I thought it looked newer. It was made in Japan!

The same trip to Goodwill as the pumpkin planter, we found a grab bag of vintage shakers. The singing cat is my favorite! We decided to visit the GW next to us after we left the other one and it was a great decision. We found a set of pink gooseberry cinderella bowls, minus the 442. I was able to upgrade my 443!

Friday night at Arc's we I found a complete set of nesting dolls, a weird pink cat planter with three holes, a square mason jar with a raised cross hatch pattern, a poodle bank, and an unmarked milk glass bowl with a raised floral design. We made a trip to Goodwill later that night and I found a Toastmaster hair and nail dryer. It looks like it used to have a wall mount. I love the atomic design of it! Saturday we went thrifting after going to garage sales. I found a jadeite colored ice cream scooper that I don't think is food safe, but for .79 I wasn't going to leave it behind. I also picked up a recipe box and BJ found a cute rooster shaker. We went to the GW next to us and I found a Saltines tin and a huge plastic Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy) bank. I love it, but I just don't know if I should keep it. BJ found a Fenton silvercrest cake stand. It is really pretty and it's in the I-don't-know pile. I don't even like cake and Fenton has been our biggest seller at the shop, but it's so pretty!

I'll say it again. I love bag sales! The first sale that we went to on Saturday was in Northeast. We walked up not even knowing it was a bag sale, I just knew they had vintage shakers. They had a tented area in the backyard that I looked at before going into the garage. First I saw the Mid Century designed wolf with martini shaker and told myself I didn't need him and I picked up the little flocked Santa because those are my favorite and I'm always looking for them. Then I saw the Santa and Mrs. Claus shakers. I have no idea why it wasn't the first thing I saw, but I turned my head away from the Christmas smalls and saw a real aluminum tree. At first I thought, "my luck, it's just a cheap new tinsel tree," but then I touched it and it was solid! It was marked $30, but then I heard the seller inside the garage telling BJ about the bag sale and I knew that this had to fit into a bag and come live with me. So I took all my strength and pulled it together. I casually walked into the garage and looked at shakers with BJ. I'm regretting some of the ones we didn't put in our bag, but I was really thinking about that tree. We completed our sweep through the garage and I told BJ that he had to come out to the holiday tent and talk me out of some Halloween. Well, it turned out that he loved the wolf and one of the sellers was out there and told us she had a Dracula over on top of the grill that matched. He is really tall! He's got water and sun damage and didn't fit in the bag, but the graphics are way too cool to break up the pair. The tree fit. I made it fit. It's only a table top tree, so I'm still on the hunt for a 6 ft pom pom that rotates. I'm just really stoked that I finally have an aluminum tree. It is definitely my favorite find!

A close second is the creepy monkey with chenille limbs. I found him, the Scotch tape tin and dispenser, the boot shine tin, and vintage tooled leather wallet at a garage sale in Nokomis. I picked up the boot shine and wallet for my mom because she likes cowboy stuff. She didn't seem impressed when I sent her a picture of them...

Actually, the monkey is probably third. This bakelite bangle that BJ got me for $1 is my second favorite find of the day! A dollar! I couldn't get the smell from rubbing it, but he told me he thought he could smell it. I thought it was worth a shot either way. It passed the hot water test. It is probably my favorite bangle that I own. We found it at a private estate sale in North Minneapolis that I took a chance on because the ad said it had tons of glassware. Well, there was no glassware, but there were bangles! The seller told me it had been her mother's favorite bracelet that she wore all the time. I'll take over for her! 

I bought some bakelite bits and a some lucite leaves from different eBay sellers to make my own version of a cherry brooch since I won't be able to afford a real one anytime soon. I found just what I was looking for to use as the stems on clearance in the kids section at Joanns. I finally got a chance to put them all together on Sunday morning. It may not be authentic, but I love it. It was nice to get back into creating again.

  There was an estate sale by the company I hate (they do almost all of them...) that had a Krispy Can with the crackers made to look like flowers. I obviously didn't want to be in line for the sale. We got there an hour after it started and there was still a line!!! Not only that, but it was a shoes off sale, I hate that. I knew I was running the risk of it not being there or it being crazy expensive, but we waited in line anyway. The can wasn't there. All the Pyrex they had was high eBay prices per individual dish. The house was really small and there were too many people. The lady collected fancy glass that I'm just not into and it was all obviously overpriced. She also loved Clark Gable. When I saw the framed Honky Tonk poster, I grabbed it! It was done by Jacques Kapralik. I hope I can find the ones he did for Woman of the Year and Best Foot Forward. They're so crafty and creative! We didn't run into a ticket person so we just got into the cashier line because there were too many people everywhere. It was just one item so I didn't think it was a big deal. We paid cash and got a paid stamp on the receipt she gave us. The door guy (there was a door guy...) rudely barked at me, "ticket ma'am!" and put his arm out to block me from leaving the steps to get my shoes. (P.S. It had been raining that morning. Are wet, dirty socks better than shoes? No worries, I'll just stand here in a puddle while you go on your power trip...)  He didn't ask anyone else to show their receipts while we were waiting in line. Oh my lanta! You think I'm stealing a single $3 item from a sale where I have to find and put on my shoes in front of a long line of people waiting to get past me and that would really hurt your 40% bottom line from this sale! Not really. And "ma'am" makes me feel old. Why can't I stop going to their sales?!

After that we went to a vintage shop that is closing. The whole store was 40% off everything under $40. Not much of what was left interested me, but I did pick up two rubberized dish racks.

Sunday is the Minneapolis Pyrex swap. I don't know if I'll find much of anything to trade since I'm mostly looking for hard to find pieces and the same pink and turquoise everyone else wants, but hopefully I can sell some of my shop hoard so I can feel better about sales for the month! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Junk Update #2

Welcome back! I was able to cross three more pieces off my wishlist. Someone I follow on Instagram posted that these were for sale in her Etsy shop and they were a quarter of the price of eBay. Including shipping, I figured I would be paying nearly the same amount even if I was lucky enough to thrift all of them because thrifts are crazy here. They all seem to think they're antique stores now. Seeing as this is a promotional set in a highly sought after color/design, I popped! It was honestly the best packing I've ever received and they're beautiful. I hoard lids so it didn't even matter that they didn't come with them.

That weekend I decided to try my hand at an estate sale, despite it being put on by my least favorite company. I super over paid for this damaged battery operated pumpkin lantern from the 50's. It doesn't work, either. Ugh! I'm still regretting it. You know when you walk up to the cashier and she doesn't look you in the eye and she says, "That is really collectable!" that she is justifying charging too much. I was junk drunk and sweating from tiny house and huge crowd, which affected my judgement. The wifi wasn't working so I paid by check instead of card. I haven't bothered getting new checks since changing my name and moving apartments because my name is essentially the same and I don't use a lot of checks. I had just heard the cashier tell someone they don't check IDs for cards after someone tried to hand her an ID when she looked at my check and yelled in an almost demonic voice, "YOU CHANGED YOUR NAME?!?!?!?!?! LET ME SEE YOUR ID!!!!" I looked at her amazed and laughed while saying, "I just un-hyphenated my last name..." Between BJ and I, we have had 4 credit card numbers stolen over the past few years thanks to cyber thieves, but never our checks. Considering that, I feel confident that it would be more beneficial to check IDs for cards rather than becoming a total nutbag over a check. I don't have a common last name, so it is quite unlikely that someone with a slight derivative of my name is going to find my checkbook on my person, steal it, and go to estate sales. She didn't check the picture against my face, she just looked at the name and address on my license against what I crossed out and corrected on the check. Um, the license I'm showing you isn't going to give you the history you're searching for, Moron. Just another reason why I hate that company.

We actually picked up a Salem North Star gravy boat, creamer, two serving trays, a serving bowl, 7 dessert bowls, and a bread plate for only $25. They don't always get it right in their favor and I'm glad that it made the experience worthwhile. I also paid a dollar for a yummy in my tummy melmac Seseme Street plate that I had when I was a child, which promptly chipped because it fell out of the cupboard after BJ precariously placed it inside. At least the Hazel Atlas crinoline it hit didn't break, too.

I didn't find anything else worth buying that weekend, except for this celluloid brooch of westies with rotating heads. The heads are top heavy, so most of the time they are both upside down. It makes them look creepy and I like it!

After that, we didn't find anything for a week! We went to Arc's one day and the woman who practically lives there had just put a Fire King black dots splash proof bowl into her cart and was bragging about it being only 4.49. She doesn't usually buy the same things that I do, so I was extra disappointed. 

There is a church rummage sale in the next neighborhood over that I look forward to every year and we both took off to go to it the first day. Most everything in the main area was $1 and .50 for clothes. I picked up the table cloth for $4, cookbook for $2 and the miniature roosters and deer for $2 total from the stage area which is designated for things they consider vintage/antique. Everything else pictured was $1 each, except for the rooster tray and the electric warmer the pyrex is setting on, which were $2 each. The baby sweater has really cute early plastic dog faces glued onto it. For .50, I couldn't leave it behind! The little jadeite measuring cup has a chip on the handle, but I love dollar jadeite!

This little rooster cake decoration was also found on the stage for .50. Doesn't he look cute in the McCoy planter with my baby toes succulent? (I've already killed my second cobwebs succulent in the pumpkin planter next to it. I think it's time to try a fake one...)

I'll leave it there. Come back tomorrow for day three (bag day) of the rummage sale and this past weekend's bountiful harvest of vintage!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Junk Update #1

I've basically been feeling like sticking my head in the oven for the past month or so. Between feeling down and being exhausted from my daily bicycle commute, I haven't felt like being social. I'm feeling a little better now and I'm way behind on sharing my finds. I might find a lot of fun stuff, but that is never a substitute for a good friend. When I was a kid, I had always wished that the Friend of the Friendless group that picked Lucy up when she was down were real and would find me. Instead, I got needy cats.

We have to go way back to the end of May. I saw a picture on Craigslist with a snowflake open baker advertising a little vintage shop out in Hastings, which is kind of a drive from Minneapolis. Luckily they are open late one night a week and we were able to make our way over there after work. I had no idea if it would still be there two days later or if it was in my price range. It was a sweaty car ride and most of the downtown shops had closed for the day so I was really hoping that it wouldn't turn out to be a wasted trip. At first, we walked into the wrong shop and were disappointed to not find even one piece of Pyrex. Luckily the shop owner pointed us in the right direction and it was still there! Unfortunately, it is pretty dishwashered, but it wasn't a bad price, so it came home with me. Story of my life...

I decided to skip the estate sale line that weekend and opted for garage sales instead. People are lining up the day before and/or getting there at 1am or earlier for pre-numbers. I just can't. It's depressing to get there at a decent hour and get a high number. So ridiculous. I really think that if people stop showing up so early, the lines won't start so early. Also, if people refuse to pay crazy inflated prices for Pyrex, the prices will fall back to a normal range, but humans are greedy creatures so what are the chances of that happening? End rant. The garage sales weren't amazing, but we did okay. The first sale we went to, we got a cute chalkware cat set for .50 and a pair of plastic heart earrings that I'll convert to clips for a dollar. BJ has this weird thing about buying in whole dollar amounts at sales. I told him if they can't break a dollar for fifty cents, they shouldn't be having a garage sale. I was surprised when the lady running the sale actually had to reach into her pants pockets and pull out all of their contents and barely managed it. What? You used to be able to buy things with just coins at garage sales...

The next sale we went to was in Northeast, where I always seem to find really great stuff. If it weren't so far away from my comfort zone stores, it would make my short list of places to look for houses. I picked up an Early American 444 for 1.50, same for the pink elephant watering can, and $4 for the cool tiered table. It needs to be refinished, but for now the "music man" lamp is covering the worst water stains. Didn't the original owner's mother ever tell him/her to use a coaster?! 

(This is the lamp. I didn't realize that it was so suggestive until a few days after we'd brought it home. It was on the 1.99 tag sale at Goodwill in Hopkins. We got it for BJ's future music studio. I think it's hilarious!)

Then we went out to a sale in Eagan that was half off everything on it's third day. I wasn't hopeful that there would be anything awesome left, but figured it was worth a look. We walked away with two vintage bangles, a gold and turquoise Avon decanter, a cast iron rooster trivet, and a vintage candy jar with a bell on the lid (not pictured.) 

On Sunday, I found a garage sale that listed Pyrex as a keyword. I was working, but luckily it wasn't a day that I had to stay my whole shift because there wasn't anything to do. As soon as I was done, we drove up to North Minneapolis. This is considered "the hood" of the city, but I don't think it's really as bad as people suggest. Most of the houses and lawns are well maintained. Someone made a video recently about it. When we got to the sale it was towards the end of the day and they were packing up. That always makes me nervous and feel intrusive, but they said that the people in the area weren't really interested in vintage glassware so they were packing up because they weren't hopeful for more sales. They were really nice and let us go into their porch and look through the boxes they'd already packed up. It was a worthwhile stop because I found a few flameware sauce pans that I'd been wanting, Spring Blossom and apple tree carafes sans lids, a brown onion Pyrex with plastic cradle, and a cool Fire King casserole with lid. I also found a floral bubbles lid at the thrift store earlier that morning. It's such a lovely lid that I think I'll just display it rather than look for the bottom (which I'm not a huge fan of anyway.)

I think I'll leave off right there and continue with my finds in one or two more posts. This past weekend was extremely giving, so stay tuned throughout the week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Vegan 3 Bean Ranch Salad

Thursday afternoon I got home from work and was so hot I couldn't stand the thought of making spaghetti sauce and noodles as planned. Instead I made some banana ice cream and decided that it felt summery enough to want a burger picnic dinner. For budget's sake, I wanted to try to make dinner with whatever we had on hand already. Since we bought out the Hillary's veggie burgers when they went on clearance at Target, we had those in the freezer and I'm okay with using bread instead of buns. We also had some fakin bacon and Daiya shreds, so we were set for tasty vegan bacon cheeseburgers! I needed to come up with a side besides potato chips and knew I had some dry beans. I didn't have the right kind of beans or enough of some ingredients to make baked beans, so I had to come up with something else. Traditional 3 bean with Italian was out because I didn't have the dressing or the ingredients to make it. We had the ingredients for BJ's world famous (to me) ranch dressing. This dish was born. Obviously I didn't get out of a hot stove because I had to cook the beans, but whatever, spaghetti is boring.

For the ranch dressing, you'll benefit from having the dry ingredients prepared in a mason jar to keep on hand. I use this mix in my vegan Spanish pinwheels and to make ranch dressing in small batches so it doesn't go unused. I highly recommend buying herbs from the bulk section. It costs just pennies on the dollar and helps save the environment when you use your own reusable container. Just remember to tare the container before filling it!

Ranch Dressing Mix

  • ¼ cup dried parsley
  • 4 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Add all ingredients into a mason jar and stir together. You'll want to stir it around before using it because the heavier ingredients tend to settle at the bottom and the flavor isn't as good without even distribution of herbs and spices. I don't really care about expiration dates of herbs/spices, so if it doesn't look, smell, or taste bad, I'll eat it. Sorry I can't recommend how long this keeps. I'd say forever or until you eat it all. Go with whatever you feel comfortable with, but you'll probably finish it before you start worrying.

Ranch Dressing

  • 2 parts vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo by *Hampton Creek, sooo good!!!)
  • 1 part plant based milk (I have used unsweetened Soy and original Silk Cashew Milks)
  • 1 Tablespoon ranch dressing mix, or to taste
I use a Blender Ball gadget to make this dressing. Add all ingredients and shake shake shake! Taste test to see if you need more dressing mix. Resist drinking straight from bottle. I know it's hard. If you actually have self control, I recommend eating this within a week.

*Hampton Creek just came out with Just Ranch, but it isn't available in my area yet. I'll probably try it, but I really like the zero waste factor of making my own. It's probably cheaper to do so, too. And, by making it yourself, you control what's in it. Win, win, win.

3 Bean Salad
  • 1/3 cup kidney beans
  • 1/3 cup pinto beans
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1 (8 oz) can corn
I decided to make this very last minute so I didn't follow the ABS (always be soaking) rule. In fact, I didn't do any soaking of any kind. I read this article saying that soaking beans does nothing but make cooking a tad faster. Interesting and perfect since I had no time and was determined to make this for dinner. Full disclaimer, I actually hate beans. This recipe was simply because I've been really bored with life, BJ likes them, and we had them. I don't hate this recipe, it's good, but I just don't like beans. Sometimes I eat stuff I don't like to eat. I know that's weird, but if I didn't, my diet would consist mostly of buttered toast 10x a day, bananas, Tofutti pizza and ranch, Earth Balance mac&cheese, and copious amounts of Chinese food. Here we go!

Wash your beans and remove anything that you don't want to be eating later. Unless it's all the beans, then this is just a corn and cheese ranch salad. I'd prefer it that way. Minus the corn. Seriously, ranch and cheese salad is delicious!

Bring 3 cups of plain water to a boil then add your beans. Turn down heat, cover, and cook for 1.5-2 hours. Make sure to check on the water levels once in a while. I made the mistake of forgetting about it and my apartment still smells like burnt beans. Gross. Unless you love beans and burnt smells. Don't worry, the beans tasted fine according to BJ. Add more water as needed during cooking.

About halfway through, add some salt and cumin for flavor. If you like things Southwesty, go crazy and add whatever other spices you want.

Once cooked, drain and rinse. Add your beans into a dish, obviously Pyrex is best. I had a little Friendship 473 action happening for my salad. Drain the can of corn then add to beans. Throw in your cheese, more or less as desired. Mix it all together to distribute evenly. Pour some ranch dressing on top depending on your preference. I didn't want it to be too liquidy nor too dry so I added a bit at a time until I was happy. You'll have quite a bit of dressing left over to use with your Tofutti pizza or veggies. Refrigerate for a few hours to cool and meld flavors. Once chilled, stir and serve.