Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What kind of a day was it?

Saturday's smalls tell the story.

It was an Asian day.

I love Asian decor!  Vintage or not, I move a lot of it.  Happy Buddhas make me very happy.

It was a Fisher-Price day.

Including Friday's estate sale purchases.  Not everything in the pic is FP, but old toys are cool regardless, right?  Sorry about the pic.  It was starting to get dark.  I think my favorite one is the wooden dump truck.  (Second step on the right side)  All the musical wind up toys still work.

It was a coal bucket day.

Plus a thermos and other doo-dads.  The box for that Lucky Slot bank says that it accepts "98% of world currencies."  I told Keith I wanted to know which countries were in the other 2%.

It was a bucket bucket day.

Along with a great tool box and an enamelware pitcher that is the most awesome shade of teal!

It was not a Hyacinth Bucket day.

It was a whatsit day.

Seriously, anyone know what this is.  It's solid metal and quite heavy.  I think it might have something to do with printing, because it reminds me of a desk blotter.  I actually bought four more similar pieces.

It was a graphic novel (!!!!!!) kind of day!

Good stuff, too!
More please!

Finally, it was a vintage Christmas day.

There are four shoe boxes like this full, plus a couple of bags.  I got them at a discount after another dealer got really crass with the seller over them. Crass people do not get discounts.   I haven't done anything with these other than open the boxes and look at them.  They'll need sorting out and cleaning.  Everything is really dusty and some of it is dirty.  How can I clean those old glass ornaments without damaging them?

And that's the kind of day it was!  What kind of day did you have?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Rambles

Well, so much for my moratorium on yard sales.  I didn't violate it by much, I promise.  It was only three sales.  Seriously.  In my mind, it was only going to be a few things and an hour or two.  Then I was going home and back to bed.

Shortly after I made my declaration, I found out that a church in our neighborhood was having a sale.  Oh dear.  Church sale.  In the neighborhood.  In a church that always has good sales.  A church that is also rumored to be closing.  I felt like I had to go, just in case they do close and there are no more sales.  Oh well, it's only one.

I found an estate sale on Friday that advertised lots of vintage Fisher Price toys and older Star Wars toys.  I'm expanding my vintage toy selection and the sale was run by a company I like that usually has good prices.  I was the last customer in on Friday, but there were still lots of the FP toys left and the prices were pretty good.  The Star Wars stuff was out of reach, but that was okay.  Since it was the end of the last day, I got a little bit of a deal.

I also got something I've been wanting for a while.

Vintage Our Lady of Lourdes figurine with St Bernadette in the Grotto.  It's safely ensconced in my religious collection!

As I was leaving, the workers called out and said "Be sure to come back tomorrow for half price day."  Half price?  Shit!  That makes two.  There were a few toys that were just a hair too high for me at their original prices.  I'd be sticking my head back in to see what was left for half price day.

Finally, I saw a listing for a sale that was going to be just down the street from the church sale.  Well, I was going to be passing it anyway.  That made three.

I figured three was pretty true to the spirit of a moratorium.  It would only take a couple of hours.  I'd only pick up a few things and that would be that.  I wasn't counting on lots of well-priced larger items.  Take a look.

I got two of these crafting cubby/organizer things and a small black bookcase at the church sale.  Cannot have too much display and storage.  The cubbies will be good for small toys and such.

Chippy pink cabinet with orange interior.  I need to brush it out a little.  It looks like it's been out in the barn for thirty years.  My favorite part is that sticker on the right hand door.

 This brings back memories!  When I was a small town Kentucky boy, Burger Queen was the only "fast food" place in our little town.  They changed their name to Druthers in the 80's, but went out of business ages ago.  When I moved to Louisville, their corporate HQ was not very far from where I lived.  I was kind of tickled to find this.  My father used to say that my mother would make him drive a half hour away so they could get BQ after they were married.  This was before my little town got one.  My mother always claimed she did not remember doing this. I do remember eating with each of my parents at both the one in our town and the one a half hour away.

Coolest find of the day.  This portable ironing board with storage baskets!  When you're through with that pesky ironing, just fold the sides down and roll it back into a corner!

There's chippy and then there's almost scary.  This chair kind of delicately treads the line between the two.  It's not child-sized.  Take a closer look.  The bottom of the legs have worn away!  I can see this one on a front porch, holding a large fern!

I like to use plant stands like this to hold small toys or bottles or other junk for display.  They're great for small books too.

I did buy some smalls, but those will have to wait until later.  We had to do a smalls drop off at the house so that I could fit some of the stuff in the van.  As for the tragically decapitated lady from yesterday, I'm going to try and save her.  The accident was totally my fault.  I should have laid the lamp down.  I had room for that, but I got lazy.  It's such a gaudily cool piece too.

This week is going to be totally insane!  Except for Tuesday, I'll be spending all day every day at the Peddlers Mall.  I'm completely redoing everything!  The manager finally decided which vendors get the new spots she opened up across from me in front of the store.

She was going to do a drawing, but she decided that she wanted to go with known quantities and good vendors, for those spots, which makes good retail sense.  They're the first things people will see as they come in the store.  There's going to be a certain standard look for these spaces too.  Walls and shelving will be a little more regulated than in other booths.  She wants vendors who will work with that.  Think you know anyone who meets all that criteria?

Well, I do!  And I got one of those coveted spots.  So it's all getting upended!  I'm moving all my books, comics, reading materials, ephemera, modern games, jigsaw puzzles, music and movie media, and nerd toys into the new spot.  

The end of the row spot will become furniture, home decor, art, vintage, primitive, rustic, classic, and vintage toys and games.  The spaces on the aisle will house the religious items, modern toys and stuffed animals, housewares, appliances and kitchenware, barware, glasses and dishes, and all that oddball stuff I like to pick up.

While I'm not really wild about the rent expense for the new spot, I do need to make this move.  My biggest sources of customer mess are books and comics, so getting them their own spot will make for easier maintenance.  The space gained by moving them out will allow me to move a bunch of my stash out and into the booths.  And I'm reshuffling all my shelving to new spots, so everything will look different.  I'll get some pics up as soon as it's all done.

I think that this is the step that will eventually move me up to the level I want.  It's just going to take a lot of work to get there.  Which is why this is an all week work thing.  I have to allow time for my breaks when I need them.  Keith is afraid that I'm pushing it a bit too much.  Honestly, I probably am, but I don't want this to take forever.  If things sit half-done for too long, then sales are going to suffer, so I want to get it wrapped up quickly.

My new spot will not be available for move in until Wednesday, which complicates things a bit.  There is some work that needs to be done for the new spaces that will not be finished before the first.  I picked up some nice industrial sized shelves from a vendor who is leaving, and they need to be out of her old spot before Wednesday, since that spot is already rented again.  I'm going to try and park them in another empty booth, but if I can't then I'll cram them in my space for a day.

Tuesday is treatments day (and also scan results day), which also means I'll be moving pretty slow the rest of the week. If I can just get the bulk of it done by Friday, I'll rest over the weekend.

And from here on out, for reals, honest to goodness, NO MORE YARD SALES until further notice.  I anticipate spending most of next week moving a lot of the stash over to fill in holes created by the new booth scheme.  After that, I'm going to start planning for my own yard sale at the end of the month.  I'm going on a cleaning/decluttering tear in the kitchen, the backyard shed, and the back porch with one mission:  toss, sell, donate.  Some will end up in the booth, but there's a lot of things I want to go quickly, so a yard sale is the better route, I think.

Come August, I'll reassess the moratorium.  If I can greatly bring the stash level down, I'll start thinking about laying in a winter stash.

Someone please remind me that I've said all of this in a public forum.  Thank you. 

PS Go send Lorraine some love.  She needs it!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What's in Mazda?

This is what happens after you declare a yard sale moratorium.

I had already made a drop off at home!

As you can see, there's been a bit of a tragedy


A too quick right turn, and a lovely lady was decapitated by a book case.  She looks kind of calm about the whole thing.

Not so for me.


But enough of drama!  What do you think is in Mazda?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

We pre-empt the regularly scheduled "Retro Y'all" post for a special announcement!





Retro Y'all will return next week at its regularly scheduled time!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Taking it to the streets! (Part I)

A few times a year, the city allows residents to set out large items for junk collection.  Our most recent set out period came the weekend after we got back from San Francisco.  Like everything else, it can be hit or miss.  Some years are veritable junk smorgasbords, while others are famines.  Since our last period was in January, when I was tied up with moving out of a closing store and had no time to go out and hunt junk, I was hoping that this one would be a good one.

Junk set out is an interesting time, at least in our neighborhood.   It's supposed to be a time when folks set out large items, like furniture and appliances, that the trucks can't handle during regular weekly trash pick up.  Of course, these items can be taken to the dump, but not everyone has the ability to haul them or pay the dump fees.

What really happens is that people start getting rid of anything in their houses that is broken or that they do not want, regardless of size.  Boxes and bags of stuff pile up alongside the furniture and appliances.  Usually, there are a lot of signs of recent remodeling--cabinets, trim, carpet, etc.--as well.  Keith and I have a running joke that it's not really junk set out until you see the first toilet.  This time around, there were a plethora of potties.  Dozens.

One of our across the street neighbors always has a HUGE pile every set out.  It's always the same kind of stuff, too!  Couches, beds, carpet, tables--all smashed and ruined.  I simply cannot imagine what goes on in that house.  I probably don't want to, either.

Residents are given a weekend to put things out.  Nothing is supposed to go out before the designated Friday or after Sunday evening.  Some time during the next week, the trucks will be by to haul everything off.  In reality, stuff starts appearing on the Wednesday before the designated Friday and the piles keep growing until the trucks pass through.  As long as it doesn't rain, there can be good picking all week.  If you can beat the scrappers, that is.

This shelf is upside down, but I have no way to hang it rightside up in the backyard.  I love the rope at the bottom.  Makes me think of horse barns.

The croquet set is modern and incomplete.  I had to toss one mallet because the handle had split all the way down.  The balls are just compressed wood particles and two of them had split open as well.  I still think it would make a fun porch decoration.  I kept the head for the mallet I tossed, because why not?  The wood parts has some kind of weird veneer or finish on them that was peeling off.  Underneath, the wood had a really nice patina, so I peeled it all off as much as I could.

I think lots of perfectly good stuff gets set out simply because the owner doesn't want to clean it up.  Case in point this outdoor chair, which still needs a hit or two of Oxyclean, but will be just fine when I am done.  Sometimes, things have sat outside like this one without being tended.  Other stuff comes right out of basements or attics and just needs wiping off to be perfectly useable.

Like this Minnie chair.  The only thing wrong with it was that stain in the seat, which wiped up in like five seconds.  For that, it had been consigned to the middle of a junk pile.

I found three of these hardware sorters/retail displays.  I think they are kind of cool and could have a lot of uses.  I found them after dark the first night and made three trips back to the house with them.  (I was on foot.)  I knew if I left them, the early Monday morning scrappers would get them and that would be that.

Table top white board/chalk board.  It still needs a heavy cleaning with a Magic Eraser, but it's in solid shape.  An industrious reseller would repaint this puppy, but an industrious reseller didn't find it.  I did.

Garment rack.  This was the only thing that was sitting in front of the house where I found it.  It's kind of like they said "It's set out time!  Where's something I don't need?  Here!  Take this!"  And out it went.

I have this thing about making a mess when I curb dive, so I never dig too deeply into boxes and bags. I usually skim the top boxes in a pile and go on, because I don't want to waste valuable time repacking and restacking things.  I figure that way, I'm leaving stuff for the next picker that comes along.  There's usually more than enough to share. 

Another reason to beat the scrappers is that most of them don't care about the mess they make and leave.  I don't want to be blamed for someone else's ways.

I don't want to tear open bags and leave them there with holes so I usually leave them alone.  Bags sometimes have icky stuff in them too and I don't like dealing with icky stuff.  Who does?  I always end up with some good stuff that isn't quite my "vibe" but I take it because it will sell and it's free.  If I'm paying for stuff, I like to kind of stick with stuff that fits my established groove for the most part.

These cups and saucers were still in the box that the whole set of dishes came in, like they just took out the plates and bowls and set the rest right outside.  There was a dude doing renovations on the house next door to the pile where I found them.  He kept carrying drywall and crap out to the big dumpster set in front of the house and giving me the evil eye while I was digging.

I think he was daring me to try and take something out of his dumpster, as if I would want any of that dusty stuff!  Besides, I had peeked in it the week before and there wasn't anything good.

I love these glasses!  There were a bunch of them in both sizes.  They're quite heavy, too.

Spice jars.  I sell lots of these.  I think I'll leave the labels on these and sell as is, instead of stripping them and putting something in them.  I found about ten of them.  It seems like there is a stash of them every set out.

Heavy vintage pottery planter.  It's got that cool feel that only older pottery seems to have.

Louisville Stoneware Christmas cup.  Sweet!  I think this is an older one.  Never can tell what you'll find in them boxes.

There were three glass light shades, but one was already broken when I found them.  Butterfingers here broke the other one, leaving just a sole survivor.

That milk crate in the background was a find too.  There were two of them, both with the same prohibition.

It seems to me that any stealing was done by the persons who originally acquired these crates for personal use way back when.  I just picked them up off a curb, not from behind a convenient.  That;'s my story and I am sticking to it.  Besides, God told me it was okay.  He doesn't want them to go to the landfill either.  After all, isn't "waste not, want not" also in the Bible?  No?  Well, the Puritans or some of them folks said it.  That has to count for something.

I always end up with kind of mixed feelings about junk set out.  On the one hand, it's a great source of free merch.  I'm also saving good, useable items from the landfill.  As far as I know, there's no ordinance that prohibits picking, but I'm not sure it would stop me if there were.  It just makes me a little sad when I see enough stuff to stock a decent yard sale or a thrift store donation just tossed out like folks couldn't be bothered with it any longer.

There's more to this junk set out story, but this post is long enough as it is.  I'll get part two up in a few days.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

About a Trip (Part One)

Finally finished with the San Francisco pics.  Take that off the list!  Yay!  Keith is still working on his, so there will be a part two when he is done.  Those will be the good pics.

My hubby hard at work!

Mine are the odd ones.  I've never been good at typical travelogues.  I'm too weird for that.

This was about the tenth or twelfth trip to SF for us.  It used to be our regular vacation spot.  We'd go there just about every Christmas for a couple of weeks up until we bought the house, when we started saying home for the holidays.  Because we've been there so much, we've already long since done the typical tourist stuff, which means there's not a lot of that kind of thing here.  We go there primarily to hang out, do a little shopping, and eat good food.  You will find a lot of that kind of thing here.

Let's start with the hotel  This was our room.  Right next to the street.  The wifi sucked and the free breakfast was a bit skimpy (but it worked), but the location was good and the rates were right.  We'd stay there again, so all in all, it wasn't bad.

San Francisco is a city of many wonderful murals.  I think I could have taken hundreds of pics of them.  Here are a few of my favorites.

This one was on the back of an adult theater (!) across from our hotel.

Chinatown is one of the places we like to go to because the shopping is fun and the food is great.  We had some wonderful hand-rolled egg rolls there.  Yummy!  I also got to meet Confucius.  He was friendly and even told my fortune.  (Which I cannot find at the moment.)

I also go just a bit nuts over all the fun details on the buildings.

Giant tooth on a restaurant sign

Close up

I love the windows on the second floor of this building!

Bear on a column

Back when we would go every year, we would stay at this place.  It was several blocks up the street from our current hotel, but we had to go see it.  We loved The Leland!  About ten or so years ago, there was a terrible fire there, and it was closed for several years for reconstruction.  Now it's senior living apartments.

I didn't get many pics in stores, because so many of them explicitly ban photography and selfies and such.  I did sneak this one in a thrift because it was so cute. I think the one on the right thinks the guy on the other end took his saucer.

Surely he doesn't think the gal in the middle did it!

Sadly, some of the places we used to love are gone, including several stores.  A couple of our long time favorites were still there, however.

Ephemera and more!

Super awesome music store!

Did you know that Hello Kitty has a bus?  Really!

I met a couple of odd women while we were out and about.

Some pretty strange dudes, too.

Say "Aaaaahhhh!"

We were lucky enough to find two excellent restaurants right across the street from our hotel.  We ate at both of them several times.

I kept intending to take pics of the food, but then forgetting about it until we were finished.  Put a plate of food in front of a fat dude, and all he will think about is eating it.

Signs in a store window in Haight-Ashbury.

One of the odd things that I do when traveling is visiting Catholic churches and taking pictures of the statues and stuff.  It's kind of an extension of my religion collection.

These are from Our Lady of Victory.

St Therese of Lisiuex

Our Lady of Victory


St Pierre Chanel (no relation to Coco)

St Joan of Arc
Can you tell it was originally a French-language church?  I've never seen an image of Joan of Arc in person before.

These are from the Basilica of Mission Dolores, the mission around which the city was founded.

First altar I've seen for them since they were canonized.

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of my favorites!

The original altar for the mission
I have to be honest and admit that I took a pic of this information post about building the Golden Gate Bridge because it had the term "pile butt" in it.

Yes, I am 12.

One of the more "touristy" things we did was visiting the sea lions at Pier 39 on Fisherman's Wharf.  Sea lions are cool.

The little dude in the foreground of this first pic was being quite the diva.  He just sat there, all by himself, posing.

They are so funny to watch.  They just pile up on each other and crash out.  Every so often, one pile will start wiggling and carrying on when the guy on the bottom gets tired of being on the bottom and makes his way noisily out.  "ORT!  ORT!  ORT!"  (That's sea lion for "Get your fat ass off my nose!")

We joked about bringing one home for Chiquito, but we were afraid it would sleep on him and smash him.  Chiquito would so not be well for that.

While I was watching this one particular pile, something, uhm, interesting happened.

The one on the left with the flipper sticking out?  See him?  Well, he rolled over...and popped this huge erection!  I am not kidding.  Everyone on the dock saw it and cracked up.  By the time I got the phone up for a pic, it had subsided somewhat, but it's still a little bulgy.

Sea lion chubby!
And...we've descended into sea mammal porn!  You only thought this blog was all about yard sales and comic books.  DON'T LOOK ETHEL!

We also managed to enjoy some special treats.  We went to the Ghiradelli chocolate shops in Ghiradelli Square for an ice cream creation.  Once again, the spoon was faster than the camera.


And it's not a trip to San Francisco without an It's It!  They are sooooooo good!

Well, that's the trip through my eyes.  I'll have Keith's view as soon as it's ready.  I'm pretty sure it doesn't have any walrus woody in it.  That kind of stuff only happens to me.  I also still have to talk about the thrifts.

That was such a fun trip, every bit as awesome as it used to be, except for one thing.

It's an awfully hard place to get change for a buck.