Friday, July 31, 2015

Things I Didn't Buy

My main thrift store has decided that it is really an antique store. It makes me so mad! Here are couple of things that I recently didn't buy.

These awesome vintage salon hair dryers are marked $74.49 each! They apparently work, but I'm positive that someone looked at the sold listings on eBay (because there aren't any currently listed, I looked. I'm sure most of the time they just look at current listings to get the highest prices!) and picked a price near the highest sold. Most of them sold for much less and this is a place where resellers get their goods. I think the Internet should be banned from thrift store pricing areas.

The Internet strikes again! This adorable cookie jar was marked $34.49 which was much more than most of the ones like it that sold on eBay. The average sold price is around $19 and many of them sold for less than that. I would have loved to bring him home, but not at antique store prices! If he's still there during that color tag's half off week, I don't know that I'll even buy it then... Thrift stores are supposed to be a place to get deals, a place for low income people to shop comfortably. Not here!

I think this may become a series. What do you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Halloween 2015 At Gordmans

I LOVE Halloween at Gordmans! They have expanded a lot over the last few years and have just opened at store at Southdale. I used to have to drive all the way to Mankato (about 1.5 hours away) to visit a store (and I did because it's that good!), then they opened in Burnsville, which was still a bit of a drive since it's over the river and everything. Now it's right in my general location and I'm going to have to practice self control. I was going to buy the smaller version of the vintage inspired Happy Halloween thing, but decided on a nice faux leather jacket that said "vegan" right on its tag. They always have 20% coupons, so I don't like to buy things there at full price. The jacket came out to be $11 and change with a savings off suggested retail of almost $40! Woo-hoo!!!

If you aren't familiar, Gordmans is kind of like Marshalls and TJ Maxx. You have to be careful of the advertised savings on some things because they're going to tell you the high end retail price that most stores don't even sell the products at, but this place is awesome for seasonal and cheap decor in general.

I'm not so into the glittery stuff, but it's fun to look at nonetheless. The skeleton head has lights in his eyes that I'd love to see lit up, but the glitter prevents me from wanting to bring it home. I just really love the voodoo witch doctor feel he has. That whole second shelf from the bottom is spooky cute! (The pumpkins remind me that I need a Halloween Town marathon soon!)

This is only a portion of what they have in store already. That huge skeleton print has lights behind it, but the effect is pretty lame. Maybe it would look cooler in a dark room, but with all the lights on I was unimpressed. This used to be our secret place to get BJ's mom witchy/Halloweeny things because it is her favorite holiday, too. We walked into her house and saw the broomstick thing hanging on her permanent witch wall, so I guess the cat's out of the bag!

There are decorations for just about every Halloween style. Whether you like rustic, folksy, glittery, hipster, cute, vintage, and even a little spooky, this place will probably have something that catches your eye. This is truly a hidden gem for Halloween enthusiasts to get a fun fix. Happy haunting, Guys and Ghouls!

(I am not being compensated for this in any way. I just wanted to spread the word to my fellow Halloween lovers!)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sunday Funday

The thrift stores have been really boring here lately. It has also been miserably hot and humid. Going into air conditioned stores is a nice break from my third floor apartment that only has an ancient wall unit a/c that would cost a newborn Ragdoll to run all summer. So I almost die of heat stroke everyday, but have a nice reprieve during our daily thrift shop hop. The car doesn't have air either, so really just while we're in the stores... On Sunday the thrift gods were with us!

BJ walked right past the terra 401 and 404 Pyrex, but luckily I got to them before anyone else. They also had a 443 butterprint that was dishwashered almost past recognition for 3.99. It was almost a fauxpal. They are crazy. BJ made up for missing the Pyrex because he found me my very first faceted Bakelite bangle! It was only 50 cents! I also got a tiny pin with two owls sitting on a branch and an enamel flower brooch.

The main store that we go to wasn't great, as usual lately, but we did leave with a few things. I found an Enesco Japan Christmas teaup and saucer and paid more than I wanted to because it's "vintage," but had to have it anyway. I picked up a plastic turquoise garden basket/strainer that I'm excited to use. I also found the butterprint rooster on a felt calendar from 1970 and it was half off. As a bonus, the dates fall on the same days of the week this year, so I can actually use it! One of my Instagram friends pointed out to me that the design around the rooster also matches the rare red fleur-de-lis Pyrex so this is real OG Pyrex Love way before it become trendy!

In addition to those fun finds, I also bought a small vintage Philco radio that had all the electronics removed. It looks like it used to have a teeny tiny tv in it. I'm going to store it at my mom's until we get a house, but I can't wait to use the little window to set up miniature seasonal displays!

Speaking of seasonal, is it fall yet?! Come back soon and I'll have a mini post about a store's Halloween display! 93 days to go!!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Lesson Learned and Other Finds

Each time I go to an estate sale, it never ceases to surprise me how dramatic they are. The people who attend these professionally are extremely nutty. They take it way too seriously, are way too competitive, and are the definition of Minnesota Nice: mean as hell. The last one is a rant all its own from which I'll spare you presently. I haven't been attending a lot of sales since winter finally ended and have been spending my time garage sale-ing and thrift hopping instead. If you've read my previous posts, then you know my distaste for the largest estate sale company here. I try to steer clear of their brand of crazy because it makes the wait and the shopping more stressful than the joy that comes with treasure hunting. This week BJ and I encountered a new situation in which I learned a lesson that will be invaluable in the future. Always take a picture of your pre-number with the time for proof, and maybe even a picture of your parked car.

I found this sale in the middle of the week and told BJ not to make any late night plans for Friday because we would be waking up before dawn on Saturday. We woke up sometime during the 4 o'clock hour, had some toast, and headed out for the sale about a half hour away. We got there at 5:34 am CDT. The sale was in a house on a very small cul de sac that was open to the intersecting road. BJ grabbed numbers 2 and 3 from the plastic bag of numbers hanging from a car window with a man sleeping inside. Never have we ever woken the number person up to let him know we were grabbing numbers because it hasn't ever been a problem before. In fact, one of the people who does numbers actually sleeps overnight in a camper! We decided to not park in the cul de sac for ease of leaving after shopping. We didn't park far away, it was just on the intersecting block which every single person attending the sale had to drive on, thus past us. This includes the two men in a car who subsequently stole our numbers. The guy handing out the numbers "renumbered" us because he says that we came in the middle of the night and left. He practically yelled at us, "You can't do that!!!" I was outraged that we had woken up early and sat in the car from 5:30 until 8 am for real numbers and were being kicked to the back of the line. Luckily the numbers guy came to his senses and decided that since I told him when we got there and it was before the other two guys and I told him where we were parked and why we didn't park next to him that he would "take [us] at [our] word." He spoke down to us condescendingly that you always have to wake the number person up. His friends who tried to steal our numbers chimed in, "it comes with the job." I've been to a lot of sales and this has never been a problem. I didn't know there was an unwritten rule that you also had to park in number order. He told us we have to park within the sight of the number person. It was f-ing ridiculous and made my blood boil. What about the people who parked in front of us on the same street and the people who had to park around the block on the other side because so many people attend these sales?! I only went to this sale because there was a pink daisy space saver and a pink 501 and I would be damned if I didn't get those with my rightful place in line! On top of that I was hangry with low blood sugar. By the time I got into the sale, I was afraid of holding my precious glassware for fear of dropping it with my shaking hands.

The lady in the fabric/jewelry room was really nice and helpful which is rare at these sales. I appreciated her presence. She helped me find a match for the black cat Halloween earring I found and told me that a lot of the fabric was straight from the 50's and 60's. So fun! I only got 3 yards: 2 of a small floral pattern and 1 yard of a cheater quilt print. It was only $1/yard. I wish that I had been able to look more, but they let way too many people into the tiny house and I was shaking too bad to dig through the piles.

I found a little witch candy container that looks like a Gurley candle which I got for 50 cents. I thought about not going into the basement because that's where Crazy literally ran to when the door opened, so I knew that it would be the epicenter of insanity. There were a lot of model cars, toy tractors, and Tonka trucks there. That equaled a lot of grumpy old men. That's kind of a given because I'm telling you about an estate sale and that's the majority of who attend them here. Anyway, I had to awkwardly squeeze past two of said men to get to the snowman blowmold that I spotted down there. It's really grossly dirty and doesn't have a cord, but those things are easy enough to fix. I also got a couple NOS Aunt Martha's iron on embroidery patterns. They are both of cats, of course!

Sorry for the long winded post. I'll leave you with this picture of pink and turquoise bowls I found at the thrift store last week. That's all from last week, but wait until you see my finds from Sunday!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Friendliest Little Town

I spent this past weekend deep in the boondocks. My mom recently moved from the small town I grew up in to an even smaller town even farther away from where I currently live. It was only 15 or so minutes more of a drive, but man it felt like forever! This town has no access to landline telephones, thus no cable or cable internet. If they want internet, they have to pay per usage with satellite! Verizon is the cell tower down there and I don't have Verizon so I was without internet and phone from Wednesday night through Sunday afternoon, except when we made the trek to Redwood. My sister had this crazy idea of having a garage sale in this little town that has a population that I'm sure is under 100. It was the annual Polka Fest, and the last one forever apparently. The garage sale was not a success. I didn't even break $10, but I did find a lot of good junk.

On Thursday afternoon we went "to town" to the Redwood Museum thrift shop. I found all of the items on the bottom shelf there. 

I got all of these cake decorations for $1 and the little bluebirds were only $2 for the pair! I also found a single Hazel Atlas red topped shaker, a NOS evenflo suction bowl holder, a Japan dog shaker, and two Glasbake fruit dishes that match one I got at Goodwill a couple weeks ago.

On Saturday, my mom wanted to go to Habitat for Humanity ReStore for look for things to improve her new house. BJ and I also wanted to take advantage of small town values and go junking. So we headed to Marshall to start off our thrifty adventure. We couldn't find the store right away, we actually drove right past it because we were distracted by what looked like the preparation for a parade. We timed the mistake perfectly to have to sit and watch a parade of motorcycles that I believe had some military connection. When that was finally over, we discovered that had we been looking right instead of left, we could have already been where we were going! I found the Federal mug and the set of purple cows for under $3 total! After that we drove to the better of the thrift stores in town only to be yelled at that they were closed. Excuse me for living in a city where thrift stores don't close at noon on Saturdays! We set off towards home the long way in order to visit more places.

It was all sorts of festive in Southwest Minnesota. Marshall was having Crazy Days, Seaforth- Polka Fest, and Walnut Grove had the Laura Ingalls Wilder festival. I always intend on bringing BJ to the reenactment there, but never remember it in time to go. We didn't partake in any prairie life activities, but the shops in Walnut Grove had sales- 20% off storewide and I found some real treasures! I've been really good about not "needing" everything I like, so at first I didn't find anything that had to go into my shopping bag. Then I found a box of Shiny Brites with cardboard toppers. I've never seen them in person, so they had to come home with me! Then I spotted the black Holt Howard Santa tumbler. I didn't even see the other one until my mom pointed it out to me! I was so excited to finally find these at a decent price after not buying them last year from Pink Flamingo. Vintage holiday gets me every time. I found a black cat articulated die-cut that is unfortunately missing a leg, but he has three more so he'll be alright. There was a display of costume jewelry and I'm always looking for the bakelite bangle among the plastics. I told BJ to take the one I thought might be a contender off the rack and do a friction test while I perused the rest of the holiday stuff. It hardly took anything to get the smell and it was only $2 after discount!!! I LOVE cheap bakelite!

I also found this 3D Santa stocking. It was our first time visiting this antique store and I'm sure we'll be back.

We went to Lamberton to visit our old honey hole that has since dried up. I found a bag of vintage pipe cleaner bees, a bag of big Christmas bulbs, and a Cabbage Patch pincher doll in the clearance section in the basement. I also found a butterscotch bakelite bangle (not a steal of a deal like the previous one) and an ice cream cone planter upstairs. I can't wait to put pink mums in the cone! There was a butterprint 443 for $20 at the antique store. We walked to the thrift store next door and got a 441-443 for $20 total! That place is really hit or miss with Pyrex prices so that's all we got from that store.

We came home on Sunday and decided to see what there was to see at our local thrift haunts. We came home with this awesome red metal shelf for only $2.49, another butterprint 501 for $1.09, and the omnomnom looking guy I think is missing a hat. Then we found some Pyrex we didn't buy at the Goodwill, a butterfly gold sugar and creamer set, and a really cute tumbler I have no idea where I'll put.

Last week before I left, we found this really cool decanter. It says on the bottom that Federal law prohibits resale or reuse of this bottle. It made me want to buy it more. I'm going to put orange colored water in it so it is candy corn colored. I'm really excited to see Halloween starting to hit the stores! Gordmans just opened at Southdale so I don't have to drive all the way out to Burnsville to look anymore! I'm really holding back on the new holiday purchases unless I know I'll love it for life because I have run out of room here, but it is still fun to look!

Since the studio has cleared out a little after getting rid of all the garage sale junk, I'm hoping to start making stuff again soon. I've got my cut and sew pillows, a bag, and a table cloth on my list. Oh, and I got my package from Brighter Bakelite this weekend! It is phenomenal!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Junking for Our Anniversary

This past Friday was BJ and my 8th year anniversary. He gave me a bangle from Brigther Bakelite a couple of days early because that's when he received it and I guess he couldn't wait. It is so outstandingly beautiful! I sent him links to this one and another one that is orange and reminds me of a koi fish. I ended up ordering the orange one this weekend because I'm so impressed with this green/blue/turquoise/jadeite colored one. I'm a customer for life! I only wish I had more disposable income to buy it all!!!

The bangle might have been a good luck charm because we found a pink daisy divided dish in excellent condition and a red clear bottom bowl! The actual day of our anniversary, we spent most of the day going to all the thrift stores. We came home with a fetus bowl and an 043 golden rosettes (not pictured) from our first stop and the pepper shaker later in the day. Saturday morning we spent much the same way. At our first stop I only found a pair of vintage shoes, but they were half off! Then we decided to visit the Animal Ark and antique stores in St Paul. There was a 75% off sale on shoes and clothing at the thrift store. I walked away with two more pairs of shoes, a sewing notions brooch, and a little deer magnet that was broken so I got it for free.

After that we made our way to the antique mall. This is the same place that I found a Fire King Gazelle bowl for $125. I was astonished to see that it was no longer there. I also found, held, and put back a log slice bakelite cherry brooch! If it hadn't been so expensive, I would be wearing that thing right now. What we did buy was the Hazel Atlas pink elephants ice dish and three little HO scale plastic deer. I need to do some major cleaning before I leave to visit my mom and sister this weekend, so I have already glued them onto my Martha Stewart inspired wreath!

Yesterday was the hottest day so far this year. The humidity was oppressive. It didn't feel terrible when there was cloud coverage, but as soon as the sun came out, it was disgusting and extremely uncomfortable. Our air conditioner is really expensive to run and mostly inefficient since it has to cool too large of a space. Due to this, we spent most of the day out of the apartment. We went and saw Inside Out in the morning. Later we went to the thrift store again and found two Hazel Atlas tea cups, a pink bowl that was half priced which I believe is also HA, a Federal Glass mug, and BAKELITE!!! Damn whoever "appraises" crap at this thrift store. I wish they could have just thought, "oh this is just a plastic bangle, no big deal." But they have to over value every little thing that comes through they're donation door. I'm ashamed that I paid full price for it because I'm positive it would have still been there on half off day. But that would require me to wait 3 weeks. The white one is obviously not bakelite and I wouldn't have bought it had it not been part of the 4 pack. It does smell under hot water, but I'm not sure what it smells like. I don't know if it is Galalith or what. I do believe it is vintage because it looks exactly like the other slices it came with. At any rate, it wasn't a horrible deal, just not what I think of as thrift store price. I'm working on building candy/harvest corn stacks. Now I just need a yellow and two creamed corn!

I just have to throw this picture in here. We had a picnic on the balcony on our anniversary because it was much too hot to eat in the park. We finished off the meal with this most delicious vegan New York style cheezecake by Daiya. Don't be fooled, it is still a ton of calories! We had another picnic for dinner that night at Lake Harriet before movies in the park. Then we watched Saving Mr. Banks and I managed to only get one mosquito bite! 

I didn't post last week, so here's what I found then. The thrift stores have been light on the good vintage lately. We picked up an opal 023 with lid, a small rooster planter, and a single deer bookend from our most frequented thrift. I also picked up a non-vintage candy corn something. They don't usually put out off-season merchandise so I was surprised to see it. I don't know what it was made to hold because it certainly can't hold much. I just love candy corn and couldn't pass it up. We found a Glasbake casserole with turquoise fruit on it at a Goodwill we don't usually visit. We also picked up the cradle there. Lastly, we found pink dinner and bread plates at the Goodwill near us. Now we have almost complete place settings for one in both pink and turquoise! 

I'm off to clean the apartment on another hot day... I'll be in small town Minnesota starting Thursday, so I'm crossing my fingers I find a ton of good (cheap) junk! 

P.S. Free shipping today only on Spoonflower!!! Perfect time to get your cut-and-sew Pyrex pillows ;)