Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Around Town

and all kinds of other places.

Last Wednesday I took you with me while I shopped for my antiques business in a Geodesic dome. These week I'm going to share some sights from last weekend's hunting..

Let's get started.

This is not the house where the first sale was. It is the neighbor, but isn't it lovely, steps away from the shores of Lake Michigan.

You can see why I couldn't get a picture of the house where the garage sale was. It is surrounded by trees, but you can glimpse all the shoppers. What was for sale was newish, but it was selling briskly.

I took a peek around the back of the house, and look at the lovely screen house I found. The landscaping was just beautiful. I didn't buy anything!

There I am counting a pile of galvanized buckets I forgot to buy. At this house, was the merchandise bonanza of the day. Lots of stuff for me to buy and then sell in my business. Loaded up the car and really got my hands dirty. Loved it!

Off for a handwashing, diet coke, lunch break. Sparky, was guarding his owner's antique electric Ford. We looked, but didn't touch.

The next Estate Sale was so crowded that my husband stayed in the car and waited (with his phone at the ready) for me to call for a pick-up. Lovely early home with 3 generations of stuff, but nothing much for me.

Almost at the end of the day we stopped at another Estate Sale where I could have gotten these pretty dishes for a luncheon party with my 36 closest friends. They were very nice, but their price was over $2000, I think.

I told the guys conducting the sale that I was on the hunt for the weird and cheap. They laughed!

Our buying/hunting trip took us up the lakeshore north of Chicago from Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, to Lake Forest where we ended the day at this Estate Sale.

This last photo is of a $4500 Thorne Room for sale at this house. The Art Institute of Chicago has an permanent exhibit of these miniature rooms, and they are very valuable.

Mrs. James Ward Thorne (1882-1966) who had a summer home in Lake Forest developed these rooms in the 1930's and 40's. It was nice, but I didn't buy it either.

I hope you enjoyed your Outdoor Wednesday excursion. And if you liked what you saw subscribe in a reader or become a follower>>>>>>>>>>>on the sidebar.

To see other participants visit A Southern Daydreamer.

P.S. I saw that black and white VW "bug" on my sidebar at the last sale. Can you imagine sale-ing in that?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The View: Revisited

Back in April when I first started blogging I shared a photo of my view from the couch. I invite you to take a look...

Then come back to see what a few months and very minimal dollars have done to the coffee table landscape.

First of all, you should know I pulled this pine coffee table (more than 3' by 4') out of the trash last spring. I can see why the old owners threw it out. A BIG empty space just begs to be filled.

Yes, that's a bowl of metal debris...

Yes, this is a jelly jar of glass debris...

And, yes, those are bottles and glass lids (aka: debris) in a wire basket...

A lot of locks are missing their keys...

And my favorite. A paperweight from a early Chicago business, J. H. Lesher & Co., Importers, Tailors' Trimmings. The total spent for all of this booty: $12.

A couch with an interesting view: PRICELESS!

I promise that next week I will share something other than debris.

Can't make the same promise about discards though. That's the nature of the antiques business. Happily going around, giving new life to discards.

If you want to come along on the journey become a follower>>>>>>>over there on the sidebar.

To see other THRIFTY TREASURES visit Southern Hospitality today.

Friday, June 26, 2009

People Throw Away the Best Things

Some thoughts to mull around while you're out thrifting, garage sale-ing, and flea-ing this weekend.

Remember when everyone needed/wanted sap buckets? They were the "in" thing. Now they're not.

When magazines and and cable say it's hot, it's hot...when it's not, it's not... You can think of lots of things over the years like that.. graniteware, yellowware, quilts, country, primitives, 1940's tableclothes, barkcloth, watering cans, coach bags ...

and on and on.

But, does the thing itself lose value when it is no longer hot? Not necessarily. Not, if YOU love it!

Do we always have to have the LATEST thing?

Maybe not!

Most everything we collect and are buying now was discarded by someone at sometime.

This spring someone threw away these cheery sap buckets because they were no longer wanted, and now they're mine. Are they any less valuable because they are no longer the "in" thing? I think not! How do you feel about following trends because someone else tells you it's ..... in?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting Thrifty: Clothespins

Continuing my clothespin theme from last Thursday, this is how I used vintage clothespins to "save" a nice "lamp-with-issues" that I bought at a local thrift shop.

The dark brown metal lamp with a nice shape had a broken neck, and it's shade was tattered and torn.

My husband took care of all the mechanical problems, then I tackled the shade issue. From last week you may remember that I love simple things ...so I created a canopy shade of vintage clothespins hanging on the "rings" of a old wreath form.

Now the lamp has a new life in the lovely home of one of my regular customers. My advise on repair is to be open to unexpected inspirations and use what you have. Often, a simple fix can be the best.

For other Trash to Treasures stories see the lovely blog Reinvented.

AND, if you like what you see, please become a follower or sign up in a reader...over there in the sidebar>>>>>>>> Looking forward to having you along!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Doomed Dome Home?

Today for Outdoor Wednesday we are finally leaving my garden and going on a road trip.

Often the hunt for junk/stuff/antiques takes me to interesting and unusual places. But, this was a first for me: an estate sale in a geodesic dome home. This house is only a few miles from my home. But being hidden off the main streets, I never knew it was there.

Unfortunately, the "dead end' sign pretty much says it all for the future of this untended and unloved home. The roof looks better in the photo than it did in person. Imagine that reroofing repair bill!

The geodesic dome was popularized by R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) who built his first geodesic dome in 1949. This isn't what he had in mind for his "house of the future."

I heard R. Buckminster Fuller speak in a lecture series in the late 1970's. I loved being in the room with one of our leading futurists and visionaries. I think he would be sad to see what has happened to one of his ideas.... because now in the present....

there's a shopping cart parked in the front yard. They're cutting the grass around it. At least they still ARE cutting the grass, right?

And dealers are waiting in line ready to rush the door at the stroke of 9am. Oh, wait...I guess they started shopping a little early...

They are doing exactly what you think they are! I guess they couldn't wait until they got inside.

Yes, that is an antenna inside the house surrounded by 1950's plastic flowers. Unfortunately, none of my other interior shots came out. Trust me it was an eclectic mix of Victorian, mid-century, funky and kitsch.

Bottom line, it was a "blast from the past" on an otherwise uneventful Thursday morning. I did find some things to sell ...including an original to the house 1950's yellow mesh kitchen table, but I left will mixed feelings about hope/future vs. reality/now. How about you?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How Time Flies


I bought these clock faces at a little ski-lift-parking-lot flea market that I attend occasionally in Wisconsin.

The seller, a clock repairman, was sad that they weren't going to be used repairing clocks. I thought, "Who would want THESE faces in their newly restored clock?'' I kept my mouth shut.

Did you know that the word "clock" comes from the French word "cloche" meaning bell. And look at that little "Gem" of a pencil sharpener.

Early clocks only showed hours. There wouldn't have been a song named "25 or 6 to 4."

It really is "Daylight Saving Time" and not "Daylight SavingS Time." And the wristwatch was invented in 1904 by Louis Cartier. I love that guy!!!

A "moment" is equal to one minute and thirty seconds. Take a moment to think about that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wire cloche: Another Way

Recently I posted about my upcycle CLOCHE creation (see post here): French Caged Glory, and today I'm showing it displayed with different contents.

The wire cloche is made from an old round gutter end cap, with a vintage lamp finial screwed on top, sitting on an well-used clay saucer.

A stack of discolored ironstone salt dishes...

support a tiny bisque doll, used long ago as a Christmas ornament!

No need to go to a fancy upscale store for your cloche, a trip to your local hardware store, garage sale, or flea market will do.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Ode To...

the lowly and lovely clothespin.

Monday was always washday for my grandmother, and then later, my mom. Clothes, bed linens, socks, wringer washer, clothesline, wicker washbasket...

and of course, the essential clothespin...

of unchanging design...homey, simple, basic, endlessly versatile and useful...costing pennies each, even now, and PRICELESS!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gray Gardens

Today let's take a walk around my garden looking for grays...

Here are old house corbels resting on a garden table in a quiet part of the garden. Imperfect fragments taking on the look of ancient ruins scattered amongst the greenery...

Galvanized tubs and buckets at the ready. To collect leaves and weeds, carry water, and stand in as "make do" flower pots.

A worn wood column top supporting a faux cement pot.. really, it's a cheap, tattered foam fake.

Tri-color Japanese painted ferns spreading ever-so-slowly along the edges of all the backyard flower beds.

What a strange and funny little plant this is! Oh, it's an upright shopping cart, bucket bush.

Gray, whether cement, stone, galvanized metal, or wire GLOWS at night adding twilight interest and sparkle!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On the road again...Okay, I know it's a song.

It stopped me in my tracks..or rather it stopped my car in it's tracks. Look at that SIGN!

And look at the cool white house with that cool white tent in front of it. I had to get a picture to share with you! (Yes, husband with new $15 camera really took the pictures.)

This garage sale seller knew how to get attention for her sale. She lives on a busy corner of a major cross street and made the most of it.

Even though I didn't know her, she knew who I was. I'm known as the dealer who sets up with the white screens around my show booths.

We are shooting the breeze (as my dad used to say) with some other customers, sharing stories, places to flea, business cards, and blog addresses.

At a local Estate Sale, I got many little odds and ends of life from an early local home (that would make the most beautiful restaurant). My favorite finds were these tiny, old French perfume bottles.

Pretty little trays, Borghese floral pictures, glittery gems, and insulators, of course. A girl can't have too many insulators. Just kidding.

Glass salt cellars, drafting tool in leather case, water faucet knobs, leather belt with copper buckle, measuring tape, and headless girl in chair.

You wouldn't want to be inside my head. Somehow, while choosing these things, I think they will all go together. Sometimes they do. And sometimes, not so much!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A walkabout my home...

Today I'm sharing some of the budget things I've collected over the years.

Iron star shooting gallery targets and handled biscuit pricker in old tote. Discarded and left behind by others...

Old "Garden City" soap; crock lid with acorn knob; wooden dragonfly, carved heart, and mortar; tiny bisque doll arms.
Bought from estate, garage, rubble sales and right off the hot asphalt at parking lot flea markets...

Crazed and stained ironstone mug, bone handled knives, scrap of cardboard, turned wood pepper mill in another compartment of that same tote.
Things that the old owners didn't want anymore. The castoffs and discards of other lives from other times...

Framed butterflies, folding ruler, leaves collected last autumn, starfish, iron doormat made of repeated hearts, the edge of an old dough bowl. All calling to me to take them home and give them a place amongst friends...

Imagine how humorous it would be to read these items on a home inventory list!
What they have in common for me is a sense of history, a weathered texture, interesting shapes. and a peacefulness.
How do they make you feel? Would you have chosen them to bring home?

All but a few of these things bought for just a few dollars or less. It wasn't just possible to do this in the past.
I see life's discards and castoffs everyday that would make cool new collections if I was starting again.

Just turn your mind off, use your good eye (I don't know which one mine is... Right or Left?). We all have one, and the follow your heart...