Friday, April 29, 2016

Top 5 Things to Look for at Yard Sales This Summer

Let's get the obvious out of the way first:

If you're a regular here, you already know what to expect--just about anything.  Except for dancing hippos.  I've been working with them for months and they still can't seem to get the routine down.  I may have to switch to pelicans.

However, if you're here from another blog due to Melissa's group blog thingie, you might need some easing in.  Think of this blog kind of like that odd cousin that you only see at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then only because the whole family has to gather at Grandma's for the holidays or you'll get cut out of the will and the old gal is loaded. 

In other words, things are a little different here.  I'm a yard saler and thrifter from way, way back.  For the longest time, it was just stuff for me, but in 2009, I became a re-seller by taking a booth in one of the Peddlers Malls here in Louisville.  Today, I have seven booths in the largest and busiest Peddlers Mall.  Don't go thinking that makes me some sort of an expert on this re-selling thing.  I'm not sure there really is an "expert" on something that covers so much territory.

No, I think it makes me crazy.  Totally.  Oh, and it keeps me off the streets at night, which makes the neighbors happy.  I have a tendency to howl at the moon when I get loose, and that wakes up the babies and old ladies.

Anyway, I love to share my finds and junking and selling stories at this here blog, plus rattle on about all kinds of other things like you see in the header.  If you have time, please poke around the post list and check out some of the stuff that happens here.  I hope you might find something to read and enjoy, or even disagree with.

I'll go ahead and state the obvious: I am not your typical junk blogger.  That's not just because I talk about comic books and post a lot of music videos.  It's not even because my pictures are so lousy.  (Seriously, look at them!  Ewww!)  You're just not going to find a lot of things here that you find in other blogs. What I like to do is hunt for cool stuff and sell it, so that's what I talk about here.  There are a lot of other folks who do other things incredibly well and blog about them for your enjoyment.  Many of them are also participating in this group blog.  I always hope that the weird little tidbits you can find here make up for the lack of the typical stuff.

Long story short, I'm very glad you've stopped by.  Please enjoy your visit to my odd little corner of the blogosphere.  Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line!

And for you all that are regulars, you know I love you and am glad each and every time you stop by.

Finally, if you haven't figured it out by now, I'll go ahead and confess to being rather wordy and long-winded.  It's not for nothing that my regular Monday post is called "Monday Rambles."

Okay, now let's actually get going on the topic I'm supposed to be writing about:


I have to confess that I feel a little odd doing this.  I'm not really the type that people turn to for suggestions on such matters.  I don't know that I can say:  "You should go look for these things because I think they're great!"  Instead, I feel more like I'm saying:  "These are the things I'm going to be looking for, and here's why."  Think of this as a snapshot of the reselling life in one particular flea market in one particular part of the country, as lived by one very peculiar junker.

Making lists like this is always hard, because there's always something that you reluctantly have to leave off in order to comply with the required list length.  Those choices can be difficult.  I decided to look at the things that I am selling pretty consistently right now and let that be my guide for this list.

In no particular order:


This was a curb find.  I cleaned it up before selling.

Let's face it.  This stuff is practically indestructible.  These toys tend to last long, long after the kids have outgrown them.  They're also pretty pricey when bought new.  Since they tend to be large and bulky and take up space when they're no longer needed, Little Tikes items can often be found cheaply at yard sales, because people want to get them out of the house.  I even find quite a few sitting on the curb for free.

In the booth, they sell pretty quickly, due to all of the factors listed above.  I love it when I can find Little Tikes!


Basically, manga are Japanese comics.  They are also really popular in this country, in English translations, of course.  The big manga boom of the early part of this century is long over, but if you go into the graphic novel section of any large bookstore, you'll still find twice as much manga as anything else.

I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to manga at my booths.  I try to keep it well-stocked at all times.  I sell several volumes every week, and, every so often, someone will come in and buy out half my stock in one fell swoop.

I'm always hoping to find someone who is getting rid of their entire collection at a yard sale!  Sometimes, it happens!


I love small shelves!  Everything from spice racks to nick nack racks to small wall-mounted shelves to short book shelves.  I love to use them in the booth for their versatility.  A bunch of solid, small shelves can be used to expand the storage capabilities of larger shelf units or to create visual interest.  My stock in trade is millions upon millions (I'm not kidding!) of smalls.  Anything I can find that will help me to keep them orderly is a must have.

I also have a hard and fast rule that everything in the booth is for sale.  That includes the shelving, large and small.  For the past several months, I have been selling the smaller shelves like they are going out of style!  This means I need more for my booth purposes and to keep my customers happy.


Doors.  Windows.  Rusty stuff.  Painted boards.  Even air ducts.  You all know the stuff.  People are into this stuff right now, and are buying it like crazy!  That means I am selling it like crazy!  Which also means I am looking for more!

I've done really well of late, haunting junk piles and construction dumpsters, but there are always a couple of yard sales throughout the summer where folks are selling their own excess supplies because they've created more projects for themselves than they can possibly complete.  I need a couple of those this year.


It it looks like a box or a cylinder, is made out of metal, wood or cardboard, and can be used to hold or sort stuff, I'm looking for it this year.  Since the first of the year, my stock of boxes, containers, tins, etc. has been wiped out at least three times.  I'm picking up every one that I can find for a good price right now. 

And that's my list!  I'd like to thank Melissa for inviting me to be a part of this little shin dig.  I hope I didn't embarrass her too much.  What are you looking for this year?  Leave your top five in the comments!  If you'd like to see some more lists, check out the other blogs in the group:

You're sure to find lots of fascinating finds and interesting reading! I'm looking forwarding to reading these lists myself.

If you're so inclined, stop back next week.  I'll have a couple of follow ups to this post.  Have a nice weekend and happy hunting!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I bought a basket at Goodwill the other day.  I thought I took a pic of the outside, but it seems that I did not.  Oh well.  You'll just have to imagine it.  It should not be too hard:  small, rectangular, varnished wicker, faux leather straps, hinged lid with one of those clasp thingies.  You know the type.

The real surprise came when I opened it up.



What's a Moomin?  Well, one of these little critters.


Cute, huh?

While not that well known in the United States, The Moomin Family has been a favorite for decades in Europe, especially Finland, their country of origin.  Their adventures have been translated into many different languages, including English.
The main characters are the Moominmamma, Moominpappa, and the Moomintroll, their son.  There are many other characters as well, including the Snork Maiden, my favorite.

Alt text
By Source, Fair use,
Moominmamma is on the far right.  You can see her wearing the same striped apron as on the basket.

Created by artist/author Tove Jansson in 1945, the Moomins began first as a series of kid's books, then a newspaper comic strip, and finally animation.

Personally, I adore the Moomin family.  The art style is simple and uncomplicated, yet rich and detailed.  It reminds me in places of the work of famed New Yorker artist James Thurber, especially in the design of the Moomins themselves.  The stories are wonderful fantasy tales where just about anything can happen.  The characters are just delightful!

By Comic book cover, Fair use,
There are English editions of the books, a couple of which I have.  They're fairly easy to find, and I recommend them as an introduction to the Moominworld.  A few years ago, one of my favorite comic publishers released several volumes of the comic in English.  I have one of them and would dearly love to get my hands on the others. There was also an English dub of the animation.  I have never seen it and would really love to.  Maybe a set will turn up at a flea market somewhere.  You never know.  I think I know what my next YouTube search will be.

One of the true joys of junking is the total unpredictability of the finds that you stumble across.  I would have given that basket a total pass, if I hadn't opened it up.  The unexpected surprises make the ups and downs of the re-selling field all worth while.

As far as I know, there really hasn't been that much Moomin merchandising in this country, so where did the basket come from?  Who bought it originally?  Was it a gift?  Had they been traveling?  I wonder if it held any Moomin-related contents? What is the story here?

It could even be as simple as someone ordering the basket online. You never really do get the whole story behind the things you find, but I do love it when I find something that taps into the odd store of knowledge that lives in my head.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Rambles

I had a terrible existential  crisis over the weekend.  I kept wandering around and wondering:

"Where am I?"

"Where am I?"

"Where am I?"

Suddenly, a sign!

Crisis resolved!

The contradictions of this junk thing get to me sometimes.  On the one hand, you just can't wait for the nicest weather so the yard sales will start in earnest.  On the other hand, as soon as that weather hits, you watch your booth sales take a serious dive.

Last week, we had one of the longest streak of the nicest days yet.  Folks are doing their yard work and spring cleaning and first cook-outs and such stuff as they do this time of year instead of going to the vendor malls.  Honestly, I can't blame them much.  Still, I got junk to sell!

As if to prove my point, last Thursday was rainy and cool.  My sales shot way back up--nearly a hundred bucks!  Overall, it's still a good month, but it's not going to set any records.  I can't complain too much.

Today will be the end of the never-ending booth update, even if I have to pile everything into a pyre and burn it!  Seriously, the madness stops today!  I got really close to finishing on Friday, but ran out of steam.  Last week was a treatment week, but I insisted on going to the booth instead of staying home and rested.  The progress I made did help, but I was moving too slow in the end to get all the way done.  Today for sure.  He said, optimistically.  If not, I'm going on the pyre too!

Oh yeah, I've been dumpster diving again. The really tall dumpster across the street got hauled away, but the other two are still here.  They put the old windows and doors from the house in the one down the hill, but I could only get to two of the windows.

I sliced the Dickens out of my thumb on one of them.  Thankfully, it wasn't very deep.  It was a clean slice, so I think it was on the glass, rather than a rusty nail.  Still, I am going to talk to my doctor about a tetanus shot.  Occupational hazards, you know.  I've been dousing the thumb in peroxide and slathering on the anti-bacterial ointment all weekend, and it seems to be okay.

I do have a nice pair of heavy gloves that I bought for this kind of thing.  I just keep forgetting to put them on. Back to the dumpsters, I discovered a new one at a house on the street that runs behind ours tonight.  It only comes to chest height on me, so checking it out is really easy.

Speaking of diving for freebies, we're only a couple of weeks away from our next junk set out period.  People are already starting to sneak their unwanted stuff to the curbs and alleys.  I don't know why they do it early, because the trash guys will not take it.  It seems to be something they do in this part of town, regardless.  I'm doing some spot checks, but nothing worthwhile yet.  It seems like it's mostly really broken down crap.

Back to the booth, the Derby Festival started on Saturday, so we're in for a couple of weeks of iffy sales, at best. I'm doing a 20% off sale on Derby Week to try and boost things a bit. We just got the ability to do sales in our booths, so I want to take advantage of it.  Mine will start this Saturday and run until Mother's Day, which is the day after Derby.

I won't be adding anything else to the booth (after today) until after the sale is over. I'm hoping it will give me more room to drag some more stuff in.

I guess that brings me around to my big, crazy news.  I'm getting another booth.  I figured out that if I really want to get serious about razing Mount Sorrow, then I need a way to get more stuff in the booth.  If I can get most of the large and small furniture that I have in storage out right now, plus all the tall shelves, then the unit would be half empty.  Seriously.  I'm only planning on keeping this extra booth until this stuff is off the Mountain and out the door to someone else's place.  I honestly don't want this new booth, but I want the mound of stuff even less.  It will also give me space to better display all this salvage stuff I keep dragging in.

This was a pretty junk-centric Ramble today, so let me break that up a little bit with some Monday Music.

Have a good week, folks!  Look for some, uhm, interesting posts here this week, with a special treat come Friday!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sometimes the Flea Market is a Scary Place!






Somehow, knowing that this is the name of this thing only makes it creepier.  I imagine some evil, floating entity waiting to feast of the still-beating hearts of sacrificial victims.

I'm sure this tagline is only a ploy to lure you close enough for it to eat your eyeballs.

RUN AWAY!!!!!!!

For the record, this scary-ass thing is not in my booth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

You Know You're a Junker When

You get to the mall, with all this to do:

And the first thing you do is make a purchase.

Two vintage metal cabinets, a bookshelf, and a primitive shelf

Close up of the metal cabinets.

I have no earthly idea where to put these.

And the other shelves.

I love that one on top!

I really did need that small bookshelf.  All I have left on Mount Sorrow are full-sized shelves, but I have a few small shelves in the booth that need something to be stacked on.  The other shelf will replace the small green shelf that I mentioned had sold in Monday's Ramble.  I am always looking for shelves of this size.

And I still got a lot of the work I needed to do done.

Now I just need to figure out where the hell to put the two metal cabinets.  Back to the drawing board!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

Does this hat....

....make me look Amish?

That would be Reformed Modernist Amish from Concentrate (RMAC) of course.  They can wear T-shirts and shorts.  The hat, however, is still mandatory.

My new comic is going to be called The Fabulous Junking Adventures of Amish Ed (RMAC).

Also starring Babs the Wonder Pricer and Super Mavis!

I could decide to go in another direction and form a rockabilly band called "Amish Ed and the Barn Raisers."

Or I could just go with the reality show, Junking Odysseys with a Junking Oddity.

My store would, of course, be called "Amish Ed's Honest Emporium of Junk and Wonderment."

So many choices!

The hat, by the way, is named Sampson, with a "P" in the middle.  I could not find my UV-rated hat, so I bought another one.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Rambles

Oh dear!

Absolutely nothing to ramble about.  I spent yet another week (third in a row!) on the great booth overhaul and redo.  I'm still slogging on and the task is still never ending.  Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be hindering sales, which are pretty strong.  This weekend was a bit of a dip, but I'll have more on that later.

Maybe we should have some fortune cookie wisdom before we move on.

Oh, stop!  You're making me blush.
Since it's the booth on my mind and in my time so much right now, let's do a tour of what I have done.  I'll go ahead and admit that these shots are all shitty.  I blame the lights at the mall.  Those glowing beams you see at the tops of some pics are not the Junk Gods showering my endeavors with their blessings, but glare from the lights.  Still, some of you are really wanting to see the spaces, and I don't think the pics are going to get any better.  Sorry about that.

Here we go!

We'll start with a new feature:  The Incredible Wall of Canisters and Containers!  I've been selling so many of these at the moment, I decided to group them together for a while.

Salt and pepper shakers, miniatures, tiny ceramics and pottery reside on this mirrored curio shelf.  You can also see my Things in Jars shelf.  Nothing sells junk like putting it in a jar!  I am contemplating swapping this stuff out with my vintage Christmas stuff, which is not working on the shelf where it lives at the moment.  (Hence no pic.)

I finally decided to make a barricade at the end of the shelf on the right to stop folks wandering through the tiny gap and making messes.  I wanted a junk blockade, rather than another shelf, because I wanted to keep it feeling a little open.

Here's the frontward aisle-facing display.  I spent a day and half working on it.  This is the spot where that wonderful, primitive cabinet sat, and it sold weeks ago!  I just shoved some crap there and put off actually making a new display, because I was totally bereft of ideas.  (Doesn't sound so dramatic?  I was bereft, I tell you!  Bereft!)

I think you can make it out as a unit a little better in this sidelong shot.  (Isn't my vocab getting fancy this time around?  First "bereft" and now "sidelong."  I just need to find a way to work "bodice" into this post and I'll be too fancy for my pantsies.  Or something like that.)

Another vendor, who is also a friend and extremely talented when it comes to staging and styling, complimented me so nicely on this one.  He actually told me that he had learned how to work better with smalls by looking at what I do.  I was totally floored, since I'm totally convinced that I have no talent for this sort of thing whatsoever.  All I know how to do is keep cramming stuff everywhere there's an empty spot.

My ode to dressing tables and vanities.  Anything that might be found on a lady's or gentleman's  grooming spot is here--Avon decanters, perfume bottles, watches, jewelry, even corn cob pipes.  It goes all the way the up those shelves you see here.

Aisle side view.  My Asian section is at the very end on the wicker shelves.  In the middle is my Americana section.  The light green shelf in the foreground of this shot just sold, which means that I am on the hunt for another small shelf.  Sigh!

 My new Salvage section.  I've been finding and moving so much of this lately, that I thought it would be good to go ahead and make it a new section.  I want to put up a sign calling this "The Salvage Land" but only the comic nerds would get the joke.  And they never come into this booth.

They spend their time in this booth!  Ignore the boxes blocking the way on the right side.  I took care of them the day after this pic was taken.

I added this shelf to the top of the end of the comic box table.  (Got that?)  It enabled me to move the nerd toys out to the aisle and has boosted those sales.

That's two booths down and one to go.  

Move along!  Nothing to see here!

Uhm, the tour for that one is going to have to wait a while.

I'm going to try and whip a little bit of organization into this one today.  I have treatment tomorrow and really want to take this week off from the booth and rest.

The sidewalk sale was practically a bust.  I only made about 35 bucks and didn't sell very much.  I'm bringing a lot of the stuff home to put in my own yard sale.  Some of it went into a Free Cart at the sale, which took it away and made me happy.

It was a slow day overall.  I think we fell victim to the start of the nice weekends.  It didn't rain this weekend and I think yard work won out over the Peddlers Mall.  Sales were down in the mall too.  This was the first weekend in forever that I didn't break a hundred in sales on either day.

That's about all for this week's Ramble.  Have some music for your Monday.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cue the Music!

Since I was at the Peddlers Mall sidewalk sale all day yesterday, that means there is no Mazda shot for today.  Instead, we are proud to present:


This post is dedicated to sweet Linda, who is always one of the first to comment here, due to her love of dishes, tablescapes and flowers.

First to come is this sweet Pansy cup.

Followed by these two floral beauties.

A cute pair of Winnie the Pooh cups.

A lovely yellow rose duo.

And last, but certainly not least, this trio of pretty rose cups.

My favorite is the Winnie the Pooh cups.  What about you?  Share yours in the comments!  And check out Linda's blog, if you don't already.