Friday, April 18, 2014

Stations of the Cross

Since it's Good Friday, I've got three to share with you this time.  First is another Liguori Stations, this time with a brilliant red cover.





The illustrations in both the first and second booklets remind me a lot of the style of art used in vintage Protestant religious materials I've seen.  When I was a kid, it was still pretty common to have posters and pictures from the 40's and 50's still in use in Sunday School.

I spent a summer in college working at a church in Miami with a couple of retired missionaries.  They had been retired by their agency, but insisted on continuing their work on their own.  It was a trip, let me tell you.  They had been there over 40 years, by that point.  One day, they asked me to take some stuff to their storage closet, which was actually a large room.  It was stuffed to the brim with every picture, book, Bible, hymnal, poster, magazine, flyer, leaflet and booklet they had ever used.  These ladies threw nothing away.

I ended up spending a half hour up there.  They thought I had left for the day, but I had to check stuff out.  The graphics and things were so amazing!  I slipped a couple of old church fans out to take with me.  (Shhh!)  I think about all of that stuff there days and wish for just one more chance to visit that room.

But I digress.  Back to the Stations of the Cross.

The cover to this second booklet is my favorite of the bunch.  I love the somber, moody feel.  The image is almost ethereal, like it's being projected by that little flame on the "W" in the word "Way."  Cool effect, that.






 This last booklet is not really a Way of the Cross, but rather a devotion for Good Friday itself.  There are no illustrations aside from the cover, but I wanted to include it, since the service may also include the Stations.  The church name stamped on the front is a local church that is still in operation.  I always love finding things with local connections, even if it's just a name stamp.



This series wraps up tomorrow!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yard Sale Wrap Up

So I owe you all a wrap up of my yard sale experience.  You might want to get a cup of coffee or beverage of choice for this one. I think it will be a little long.  I'm going to steal a trick from the always awesome We Are Clamco and separate this into sections with titles.  I think that will make it a little more bearable.

GENERAL STUFF

Thunder over Louisville day is not the best day for having a sale.  I knew that going in, but I didn't want to wait any further into the season, after getting stymied so much by the weather in previous weeks.  Since people don't tend to head out until the afternoon for Thunder, I thought that if I just ended early, I would have a decent sale and get lots of people by.

I did get lots of people by, but nowhere near what I'm used to.  There was no steady flow, only spurts and ebbs.  Believe it or not, I had no early birds, which kind of freaked me out.  I did have a fair share of dealers coming buy.  Most of them bought the best of Mom's books, but little else.  There were also those people who just like going to yard sales, and I was happy about that.

I kept my expectations modest, like I said in my prep post.  I was mainly looking to make some space in the shed and get rid of stuff.  The lowest amount I would have been happy with was a hundred bucks and I made about 120, including dropping off the last of the books to Half-Price Books.

On another day, I probably would have at least doubled that, but I got some extra cash for junk hunting (always nice), cleared out some room, took several large items to the booth (a couple of which have already sold) and made a small donation to Goodwill.  I also held the last of the anime and Batman stuff to take to the booth at another time.  I'm really happy with all that.

There was less stuff at the end than there was at the beginning.  That's what matters.  There will be more time to do it again and bring in some more cash in the future.

CONFUSION REIGNS

Since I do my sales in back of the house and not in the front, describing where they are is a bit challenging.  Our house faces one street and backs on another, but of course, there is no number for the street in the rear.  I have taken to advertising sales using the block number and street name in the back:  #### block of BLANK street.  I also throw in the intersecting street across from our backyard and the convenience store as landmarks.  Usually, there's no problem, but this time around I had a couple of doozies pass through.

The mildest was the grumpy lady who told me she thought this was supposed to be a block sale, even though nothing I wrote or posted said anything remotely close, except for the use of the word "block."  At least she bought something.

The real winner was the guy who actually asked me how to find my own sale!  "I've seen the signs, but I cannot find it."  I told him he was at the sale, and he told me that "couldn't be right."  Since the #### block of BLANK street starts down a little hill from us, he told me that the top of the hill couldn't still be that same block.  This was after I showed him the street sign across from my sale, which clearly indicates what block we were in.  He actually proceeded to try and argue with me about where my own house is located!  He kept telling me "It didn't make sense" for this to be that block.  I finally told him to take it up with the city.  He also didn't buy anything.

I FELL FOR IT!

So as the annoying guy above was leaving, I turned to sit down in my chair.  The chair in question was a lawn chair that we had bought at a recent yard sale for a buck.  We figured that for a buck, even if we got a little use out of it, it would be okay.  Earlier in the day, I had already sat in one of the chairs we got at the sale and the bottom gave way.

When I sat back down in this one, everything gave way.  Totally.  As in each leg went a different direction.  As in I went flat down to the ground.  As in pratfall.  As in this.  I wasn't hurt, but I was extremely embarrassed.  Seriously, two chairs in one day???  Diet starts right now!

That's not even the worst part.  After I got up, I took a look at my coffee cup, which had been behind the chair.  It seemed to be okay and intact, with just some coffee splashed out, so I picked it up and took a drink, only to have it dribble all over my shirt.  The damn cup was riddled with cracks, yet somehow holding it's shape.  I've had that cup for nearly 20 years!  It's been my morning companion all that time, and now it's gone, felled by the rickety yard sale lawn chair.  Curse you, rickety yard sale lawn chair!

I guess you get what you pay for sometimes.  Caveat emptor, and all that. 

SHE IS THE ONE NAMED SAILOR MOON

I sold a batch of my Sailor Moon stuff to one young couple who came specifically for it.  They told me that her six year old sister is autistic and is really, really into Sailor Moon.  She knows all the songs and all the characters and makes up stories about them and draws them and stuff.  I was kind of amazed about all of that, given that, at six years old, she wasn't even born in the 90's when the show was on TV.  They said they look for stuff for her all the time and hopped in the car when they saw my CL ad.  They bought a big batch of stuff, and then I threw in some extra for her because...well....you know me.  I'm all about the kids, especially when they're fans.  I honestly have never seen anyone more excited about a yard sale purchase than these two were.  They were debating whether to give it to the little girl right away or wait until her birthday. Nearly made me cry.

KIDS R US

Speaking of kids, one little boy bought three clocks from me.  One was a wind up alarm and I had to show him how it worked.  He had been going in the convenience store across the street, and ran across the street when he saw my sale.  He told me he was going to have a yard sale of his own and sell his old toys and books, as soon as his grandmother said it was warm enough.  He also said he was coming back with more money, because I had some other things he wanted.  I wasn't surprised when he didn't make it back.  I'm guessing his grandmother confined him to the house when he came home with three clocks.  Not everyone appreciates a junker.

I gave a little gourd to another boy who was walking his dog, because he was kind of fascinated with them.  Why not?  After all, I am trying to get rid of them.  One way is as good as another some times.

I'VE GOTTA HAVE IT!

I found a really big purse made out of a burlap-type of material with some fun stitching on it when I was going through my mother's last bits of stuff.  It was big enough that she would use it as an overnight bag when she came to visit. It went with her to the hospital a couple of times as well.  I don't really need it, so I priced it for a couple of bucks and threw it in the sale.

People kind of walked past it all day, until this one guy saw it, picked it up, clutched it to his chest like Shara with a Redmon basket, and literally dashed over to me to pay for it.  It's really odd to see some stranger do that to some totally ordinary something that used to belong to my mother.  Are burlappy bags the new Coach?  Who knew?

Afterwards, I pondered if that's the way I look to some people running sales.  If it is, then at least I'm entertaining.

GETTING IT OFF MY CHEST

The chest I had sold later in the day to a guy who just fell in love with it, despite the loose hinge.  He kept walking around it and looking at it, going away and coming back, but would not open it and look.  Finally, I opened it for him and that got him.  It was a love connection for sure.  I offered to help him get it into his truck, he just hefted it up and he was gone!  I like it when I can bring something together with someone who appreciates it.  I hope that I look that way to at least a few people running sales.

DRIVE BY STARING

There was a lot of traffic passing by, especially later in the day.  We had the usual "slow down and gawk, then speed away" type of people who drive me nuts at yard sales.  We also had one case of the "almost cause an accident by stopping in the street to decide if you want to get out or keep going" type. Annoying as these types are, every sale has them.

I discovered a new type during my sale:  "Drive right by because you are going to Thunder and not looking for yard sales at all, but slow down and gawk with an open mouth like you've never seen a yard sale before."   Seriously, car after car drifting by with everyone staring with their mouths hanging open.  I felt like I had two heads or something.  Uncouth, to say the least.

ALL IN ALL

I'm really glad I did the sale. I got rid of stuff and had a good time.  People are so fascinating, even when they're being annoying.  I think I'm going to do a book sale towards September, with one last yard sale in October.  Louisville lets you have three per year, so I'm going for it.  Still got a shedful!  There are a couple of community sales I'm thinking about setting up at too.  That way, I can sell and still shop!

Stations of the Cross

Today we have a children's Way of the Cross booklet from the 40's.  They use silhouettes to tell the story, maybe because the traditional images might be too intense for kids.  I don't know whether these are cut-outs or drawings, but they remind me a lot of the cut-outs of Sister Mary Jean Dorcy, who frequently illustrated children's books, often stories of the saints. She wrote many of the books she illustrated. I've always liked her work, because it has a kind of ethereal quality to it. These images don't quite have the gracefulness of her stuff, but they do have a power of their own that ius quite captivating.  Enjoy.



Kind of a gruesome image for children. huh?



The sixth station is my favorite.



The thirteenth and fourteenth stations are the most dramatic.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yard Sale Photo Parade!

I've decided to split my yard sale run down into two posts, one with pics and one with the stories.  I think it all would be too long for one post, plus it gives me an extra post for the week.

You have to get up pretty early to set up your yard sale!

Where the hell is the sun?

I have our yard sales in back of the house, because the parking is better and there is more room to set stuff up.  Plus, there's a busy convenience store across the street, so we get a lot of passers-by.  Of course, that requires making sure the sidewalk is neat and tidy.

Keith sweeping up in the background.

Getting everything set up, organized, and clearly priced is a must.  I used a lot of "one price" tables with signs.



Always lots of books!

And here are all the individually-priced items.  The blue bits are the painter's tape I used as price tags.

Nerd stuff

The chest and some other stuff.
 It was a very interesting day, to be sure.  I have a lot of stories about shoppers, lookers, and even my own antics!  You'll have to come back tomorrow for those.  (Yes, I'm a tease!)


Stations of the Cross

This is probably the oldest one out of my set.  I love the illustrations.



Awesome front cover!

Inside front cover.
The heading illustrations for the stations themselves look kind of like medieval wood-cuts.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quandries!

The yard sale post scheduled for today has been delayed due to circumstances which I will now explain.  I need to vent/ponder a bit, so I'm doing it here.  Please feel free to chime in if you have any words of wisdom to offer.

I got an email yesterday from the owner of the store where my second booth is.  He has decided to retire and is closing the store at the end of the month!  As in two weeks from now!  I've got until May 5 to get all my crap out of there, but the last day of business is April 30.  I'm really peeved about the totally unprofessional short notice, but I guess that's junking for you.

Rumors have been circulating for a couple of weeks that this was coming.  Supposedly, he's sold the building.  I don't know.  Junkers are a gossipy bunch.  A lot of things you have to let go in one ear and out the other.  Some of the same folks have been saying that the Peddlers Mall is also closing, and I know that ain't happening.

Already the rush has begun for space in the Peddlers Mall.  The two stores are only a couple of miles apart and have always been rivals.  Ironically, some of the vendors who have dissed PM for years and said they'd never rent there may find themselves in the position of calling for space.  I don't know.  Like I said, junkers are a gossipy bunch.  They're also pretty cantankerous.  I try to stay out of all that.  Still, vendors from the closing store started calling PM as soon as they got the email.  The next few days are going to be really chaotic.

As far as the closing goes, I really have no feelings one way or another, except for the short notice.  I have not done well there and won't be financially impacted that much.  I was giving it until the end of June to turn around and was planning to leave if I couldn't make it work by then.  This just moves my plan up a few weeks.

I do have some thinking to do, and it has to be done quickly.  Since I closed out of another store last fall, I've had too much extra stuff sitting around.  That was the whole point of this second store.  I'm not sure whether to just wait it out and run stuff through my current booth set-up (however long it may take) or grab another space in the Peddlers Mall, even if only for a short time.  I really don't need to sit on this much inventory.

April is a bad time to be expanding.  I could be looking at increased expenses with decreased revenue through the summer.  I don't know what to do.  On the other hand, having more stock out during those slow months may help increase the income.

What would you do?  If I don't put in a claim on some space in the next couple of days, I won't have the chance.

One thing is for sure.  The Peddlers Mall is going to be fuller with vendors than it has been in a while.  Hopefully the existing customer base will transfer too.

Give me your thoughts, please.  I'd appreciate it.

Stations of the Cross

This is a popular version of the Stations.  I actually have two or three different editions of the Liguori Stations.  I liked the images in this one a lot.  You can tell from the cover the use that this particular booklet has received throughout the years.



Traditional symbols of the Crucifixion from the back cover.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Rambles

Okay.  Saturday was the big fireworks show that kicks off the Derby Festival.  And tonight they're calling for...wait for it.....SNOW!

It shouldn't be much or stick around long, because it's going to be a tad too warm for that.  It's just the general principle of the thing.  Is it not supposed to be spring??  Is there a such thing as Winter PTSD?  If so, I think most of us may have it.

Keith keeps saying that this will be one of those years when there's snow on Derby day.  For the uninitiated, that's the first Saturday in May.  (Which is also Free Comic Book Day!)  I can remember one such Derby in my lifetime, although I can't recall the specific year. It was when Keith and I were living in our old apartment.  There wasn't a lot of snow, but, again, it's the principle of  the thing.

Enough about the weather already.

I'm putting off my yard sale post until tomorrow or Wednesday, because it's going to be a long one and I'm still working on it.  I ended up going to the booth on Sunday with some leftovers, which was unplanned, but became necessary when we realized that, given our schedules for this week, it was the only day available to do it.

I actually had decent booth sales on Saturday.  I nearly met my daily sales target, which is unheard of on Thunder day.  People tend to head straight to the Waterfront and spend the day there.  Unless you're someone like me and you realize that it's a great day to go shopping without the crowds.  (Derby day is like this too.)  Apparently, there were quite a few people like me at the Peddlers Mall yesterday.  I'll take it.

Overall, my April sales have not been as dire as they have been in the past.  I'm still lagging behind where I need to be, saleswise, but I have not had any days with no sales.  I've also had double digit sales every day.  No two or three dollar days, so far.  I've met or nearly met my daily target a couple of days and had one day that was flat out tremendous!  For April, I'm not doing too bad.  Now that Derby madness has started, I'm hoping that will hold.

It's Holy Week, so I'm featuring some vintage booklets on the Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross) in separate posts.  I'll double post on some days and let the booklet post stand on other days.  I found a nice batch of Catholic booklets in my stash a few weeks ago and decided to feature them.  I bought them a while back at a sale, but set them aside to read and flip through.  One of the hard parts of having a collector's interest in what you sell is getting them to the booth timely.  I've got a stack of manga that I want to read that proves it.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the booklets.  Some of them are quite charming and the graphics are really cool.  Many of them are quite battered and worn.  These were meant to be used over and over again and they were.  I think that adds to their charm, so I've only done minimal editing to the scans.

You can see the first one right below this post.   Have a good week!

 

Stations of the Cross

I decided to start this series of vintage Stations of the Cross prayer booklets with my very favorite one.  I love the purple color and the images that they use for each station, probably the most vivid black and white images I've ever seen.

I was a little thrown at first by the cover image with the crossed crucified arms, one bare and one clothed.  It finally dawned on me that this is a Franciscan booklet, so the two arms represent Christ (bare) and St. Francis (clothed).  St. Francis is supposed to have been the first person to bear the marks of the stigmata.




From the back cover.

Inside back cover.



By the way, it appears that the St Francis Bookshop is still in business in Cincinnati, but it's moved to a different location.  (This booklet is from the 30's.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Prep Time!

So this is how I spent my Friday.

The armaments:

Everything needed for an afternoon of cleaning and pricing!
The battlefield:

Patio table big enough to spread things out on!
The stronghold:

My much talked about shed, which really needs repainting!
The mission:

Get this organized into a yard sale!
YES, INDEED!  
IT'S YARD SALE PREP TIME!

(I kind of wish I had a theme song for this kind of thing.!)

Part of a successful yard sale is putting time into preparation and organization.  I had already selected the items to put in the sale, so now is the time to clean everything up and price it and organize it for easy set up.  

I decided to sort a lot of things out by table instead of pricing every individual item, since I have a lot of smalls in this sale.  I'll have a 25 cent table, a 50 cent table and a dollar table.  I wanted to sort it all into boxes for each table.  Plus, there were larger items to price.

I've come to the point in my life where I don't feel the need to have everything that I own.  I'm not changing who I am as a big old nerd dude who reads comics, loves cartoons, and likes cool toys and such.  I simply don't have the completist collector vibe any more.  The thought of moving all this stuff again makes me kind of queasy.  So much of this has not been out of the boxes in so long that I had forgotten I owned half of it.  I felt like I was discovering treasure!

What I've done is made myself pare down things to my absolute most favorite pieces.  I've set those aside (which amounted to about 1/3 of the overall lot).  My goal is to find a way to display the down-sized collection in the house once this is all over.  I'll probably end up paring it all down again before that happened.

I took a bunch of what I culled for the booth, but there was too much to funnel that way, so the rest is in my yard sale.  I figure that whatever doesn't sell can still head to the booth.  This is kind of like an overstock deal.  I'm not so much worried about the money I'll make as I am getting rid of this stuff.  If I can get a hundred bucks or so, I'll be pretty happy.

Some highlights:

Batman will always rock, as far as I'm concerned.

A lot of my anime stuff is Japanese merch.
I'm putting a lot of anime stuff in the sale, mostly Sailor Moon, which was always my favorite.  When I got into anime, I became a huge fan of shoujo stuff, especially magical girls.  I've always kind of liked the sweetness of the genre and its tendency towards campiness and kitsch.  I'm going to craft my Craiglist ad to try and draw in the nerds and hipsters who would be interested in this sort of thing.

There are a few Pokemon items.  The original series came out when I was really getting into anime, but it wasn't really a favorite of mine.  There was too much of a forced completism thing going on for my tastes.  Don't tell me I gotta catch 'em all.  I'll decide that for myself, thank you.  Still, I always thought Pikachu was really cute, and I do have some small Pika stuff, but that is the extent of my Poke-madness.  Well, except for Jigglypuff.


Pikachu, I see you!





I do have some vintage in the sale, like this snowmobile jacket. Yes, I know that spring is the wrong time to try and sell a leather jacket.  I'm an optimist.


I'm also putting this old chest in the sale, too.  I figure it will attract some interest.  We have a cedar chest that Keith's grandfather made in the bedroom, so I have no need for this one that I bought in a yard sale ages ago.  It has a loose hinge on the lid, so I'm selling it "as is."


Ooooo look!  I'm making progress!  Yay!

Organized things!

More organized things!

Priced things!
 I'm also putting a lot of books in the sale, mainly my mother's.  I was going to add some of mine as well, but I have three good sized tubs of Mom's, and I figure that's enough.  I'll save mine and have a book sale later on.  I actually figure I have enough stuff to have two more sales this season, which is the most you can have in one year in Louisville.  I've only cleaned out a third of the shed so far.  The rest of it will give me enough for two sales, a good sized Goodwill donation and enough extra stuff for the booth to keep me rolling on smalls well into fall.

With the small stuff covered like that, I'll be able to specifically hunt for furniture and vintage when I go saling and thrifting.

Finally, we're done!  I know that looks like the first pic, but trust me, it's not.  For one thing the angle is different, silly.  The real difference is on the inside of the tubs and boxes.  It's all sorted and organized, guaranteed to make set up a breeze!


Done!  Yay!

Happy by-product!

Empty boxes for recycling mean downsizing has occurred!  Yay!  It all took a lot less time that I thought.  I was even able to pull a few more items out of the shed for the sale.  By the time you read this, I'll be in throes of running the sale, so wish me luck!

I'll have pics and a report either tomorrow or (more likely) Monday!

By the way, I know those photos make it look like the shed is still packed to the gills, but it's not.  One side of it is nearly empty.  I just put everything back right inside the door to make it easier to get to in the morning,