Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm quoted on CNN!

Now there's something I never thought I would be able to say!

I got an email yesterday from a really sweet reporter named Katie who was writing a story on the changes eBay dumped on us Tuesday, which I am sure most of you have heard about. She said she loved my stuff, and would I mind talking to her for her story?

So we chatted on the phone and I tried not to be too negative, since all the poor woman had heard all day was ranting from angry sellers. It was hard though, there is plenty to be negative about! (More on that in another post, I am still figuring out how the changes will affect me and my business. There are numbers to be crunched, and strategies to be devised - it will probably take me a few days!)

Anyway, here is a link to the story. She gave not only my store address but my blog address also, which was way more than I expected. Thanks again Katie, if you are reading this! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New necklaces in the Etsy store!

(What do you think of these photos? More appealing or less appealing than the ones with the musical note background?)

This week's auction goodness...

I think we got a little bored over the last few weeks doing so many dish sets, because this week we ended up doing quite a variety of things!

Like what, you ask? Well... Curt Teich postcards, coffee mugs, Butterfly Gold Pyrex, burlap Melmac cups, a Lustro Ware cake carrier (part of a set I bought, I am keeping the bread box and canisters though... I'll have to post some pictures when my kitchen is clean!), a set of 8 silver leaf Libbey glasses in a carrying rack, some brown drip Hull dishes, several figural ceramic planters (great to use as pencil or paintbrush holders!)... the list goes on and on.

Click here to check it out!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Featured Collectible - McKee Glass Shakers

Are you ready for part 2 in my vintage glass kitchen shakers series? I talked about Tipp City last time, so today I'll show you some awesome shakers from the McKee Glass Company. I mentioned them in the last post because Tipp decorated a lot of McKee shakers, like so:

Aren't those just adorable? Click here to visit the listing from eBay seller Oregon Trail Collectibles.

McKee made shakers mostly in one of two shapes - Roman Arch or Square. Their Roman Arch shakers are very distinctive, but you have to look out for reproductions - they are rampant on eBay. The best indicator are the lids - a lid that looks shiny new is really hard to find on an old shaker!

Here is a really nice pair of white Roman Arch salt and pepper shakers, click here to see the listing from eBay seller Estate Treasure by Byrum. (I love their little wood blocks as stands idea - too cute!)

This is set of custard Square shakers. I really dig the lettering design! Click here to see the listing from eBay seller Old Jefferson Highway Antiques.

As you are probably starting to notice, prices can be pretty high on McKee shakers, especially if you are trying to get a complete range set like the one above, or like this one that includes the grease jar:

This set is Jadite, which is really popular and very collectible, as you probably already know. Thanks, Martha. Click here to see the listing from eBay seller Jadite Antiques and More.

Of course there is no way I could cover all the different colors and designs here, doing a search on McKee Shaker will bring up a huge variety. Like I mentioned before about the Tipp shakers, if you can't afford to buy a complete set, you can try to pick them up piece by piece, and be sure to search with keywords besides McKee to see if you might find some listed by people who don't know who made them. Sometimes you can get a better deal that way!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This week's scores...

The thrift gods didn't just send me Dr. Martens, oh no... they were in a giving mood (weird for mid-winter!) and offered up the goodness right and left this week!

Saturday I happened to look at Craig's List and saw an ad for an estate sale given by my favorite sale organizer, Holly. She always has great sales that are fairly priced, and at noon on Saturday everything goes to half off. So I headed out to see what kind of half off bargains were left to be had...

First off I got this strange suitcase type thing that is marked Baja and has these little dividers that only go halfway down. I asked Holly what she thought it was for and she said the guy was a rock scientist so maybe it held equipment? I don't know but it's cool. The bird guide I don't know if I will sell as it is, or if I will take it apart for the photos, I haven't researched it yet.

I had to grab the cool plastic tissue box, I am a sucker for that kind of thing! The handyman books underneath are from the 60's. The kids books I am a sucker for also, the puppy one is so cute and reminds me of Clifford the Big Red Dog... I haven't looked it up yet to see if it is by the same person or not...

Oh baby! An awesome Better Homes and Gardens hardcover baby book from the 50's! Behind it is a stack of vintage James Bond paperbacks.

I couldn't resist the super cheap tub 'o paper - the tub alone was worth the $1.50 I paid for all this! It has old stickers, paper, greeting cards, and the 2 kids books you see on top. The Baby's Book is actually fabric, from the 40's!

Ok, I should probably sell this, but I just can't. I think it is Lucite, and it is way cooler than the old wood clipboard we have been using to fill out inventory sheets for the business. So, it's a keeper!

This is the other keeper from the estate sale... 8 mint condition vintage songbird rocks glasses! I have a bit of a bird theme going on in my kitchen, and these look entirely too cute on my shelves for me to sell them, even though I should.

Look how awesome the graphics are! Robins, Cardinals, and Blue Jays are my favorites, they remind me of being a kid growing up in the country, I think that is why a bird theme has slowly developed in my kitchen. They feel like home!

I also picked up a few things at the thrift store where I got the Docs.

The lady was pushing her cart down the housewares isle unloading new things, and I saw this cookie jar in there and knew it was coming home with me if the price was right! So I followed her, and snatched it up as soon as she set it on the shelf. The price was more than right, and I could tell from the glaze it was an oldie but goodie. Research says it is McCoy Pottery - score!!

There was a TON of Christmas dishes there, but I showed a bit of restraint. I couldn't leave these tumblers behind, but only grabbed 8 out of the 15 or so that were there...

Cute, huh? They aren't marked unfortunately, maybe with some digging I will be able to find out who made them.

Of course I couldn't leave these Corning Ware mugs with matching Corelle plates behind, they look like they have never been used!

I also have a thing for Lustro Ware, and I am lucky to find it fairly often since they were based in Columbus. These little tumblers are super cute, and having their packaging still is a nice bonus.

Not a bad haul if I do say so myself - especially for January! Maybe if I feel industrious later I will get the bird glasses up on the shelf and take a few photos of the birds in my kitchen...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Marten Motherload

Oh, did the thrift gods ever smile upon me today! Just look:

Ok, let me start at the beginning. My friend Corey called this afternoon, and said its 50 Cent Monday at Village Thrift, I am coming to pick you up. How could I refuse? I wasn't too excited, having just been in there for the Virtual Thriftathon and not finding too much of interest. But, it is fun to try to find cool things with the 50 cent color tag, so off I went.

One of my favorite things to thrift are Docs. They are my favorite shoes ever (yes, I was a Lollapalooza freak chick back in the day), they can last for decades if you take care of them, and they are expensive as hell to buy new. So, when I find a pair in decent shape in my size, I snatch them up.

I have only been able to find brown ones in the past for some reason (I think I have 3 or 4 pairs in my closet, all acquired for under $5), so I have been on the lookout for a black pair. Today my prayers were answered, in the form of two pairs of shoes (one with an orange 50 cent tag!) and one pair of boots - yes BOOTS! - all in black.

Grand total for all three - $16.50. Do it with me now... *happy dance*

I got a few other things, but those will have to wait for another post...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Craig's List - Retro Patio Set

Wow, check these out! If only I had a porch... if you are in the Columbus area, click!

I got a bug up my butt.

This happens to me a lot. Luckily I have kind of gotten used to it at this point.

I really liked the old look of the blog a lot when I did it, but yesterday I decided I wanted something "cleaner" (this is a kick I have been on in general lately, I think it is a reaction to the horrific state of my house at the moment). I found this layout and was sold when I saw how neat the sidebar and posting area are, compared to the old layout where everything kind of ran together.

So I clicked, and *poof* all my hard work from the first time around was gone. And it didn't even hurt, really.

I fixed up the header to match, and now I just need to tweak the images in the sidebar and the transformation will be complete.

If only I could fix my house with a click!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another Etsy Update!

I am so pleased with myself... I bought some clear light bulbs yesterday, and decided to try taking some jewelry photos using them. It really helped! Much less of a yellow cast, and more contrast. I was also able to find some sheet music that wasn't so yellowed, I think that helped also.

Anyway, I added two more necklaces to the Etsy shop! Click on over and have a look!

A little off topic...

I have to share this video the John Edwards camp came out with today, it is priceless!

I am not an overly political person, and this is definitely not a political blog, but I have been supporting JE since the beginning because I think he is the only candidate who can't be bought!

He realizes the sweeping changes that need to be made in Washington, that the system is so flawed that there is no other choice but to get in there and take action. I believe him too - the word "change" is just another sound bite talking point for Hillary & Obama, while they pocket the money from the corporations and lobbyists that will prevent them from making any changes at all!

I am glad he has vowed to stick it out until the end! The race is so close (hello... he BEAT Hillary in Iowa!) I think it is totally unfair that the media has basically written him off. I love this little video they put together, proves the point perfectly!

More Curtain Photos =*sigh*

A buyer wrote and asked me for photos of an entire panel. Yep, I had to get the curtains out *again*.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The definition of re-seller angst.

Imagine wandering through a pretty junky estate sale early on a Saturday morning. You are groggy but determined. You climb some dingy stairs to a small upper level, and head into an impossibly tiny bedroom that at first glance has nothing of interest.

Lucky for you, you are the nosy type and you happen to lift up a couple of folded blankets that are on the bed. This is what you discover:

Hmmm, wonder what is in these boxes? Lets open one and have a look:

Curtains! Amazing, beautiful, unbelievable vintage fiberglass curtains! You thank your lucky stars that you were the one who found them, scoop them up, and make a bee-line for the cash table.

Now, what do you do once you get them home?

If you are me, you make no effort to look them over, or see how many panels are there, or anything of the sort. You just stick them on the incoming inventory table and try to forget they are there. Because you know, once you pull those suckers out and really look at them, it is going to kill you that you have to sell them.

KILL you. Like, literally make you feel sick to your stomach, and worry that you may be having a heart attack because it hurts so much that you can't keep them. Because they are so perfectly awesome.

But, of course, the day comes. It always does. You get an email that says, 20 cent listing day on eBay! So you scour your inventory waiting to be listed for things that you want to start at a high dollar amount.

Like those curtains. Those damn wonderful curtains. Out they come, and it is just like you thought it was going to be. There are TEN panels, all with hooks. They are all in amazing condition. And the pattern?

It's perfect. Of course. So you ooh, you ahh, you whine, and your boyfriend who is just trying to get some work done, rolls his eyes.

But, in the end, you list them. Because what good is an awesome set of curtains if you can't pay the rent?

This is what I like to call re-seller angst. The horrible catch-22 of being in business selling stuff you love. The only real consolation is remembering that whoever buys them is going to be really, really happy, and these curtains are going to look really, really awesome in their retro styled home.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Virtual Thriftathon! - Results

I wish I could report a ton of amazing finds from my thrifting trip this weekend, but, sad to say, I only managed to pick up a handful of things.

I went to two stores - Village Thrift, which has decent prices but didn't have much I was interested in, and Ohio Thrift, which had a ton of things I would have bought if they weren't ridiculously over priced. I mean really - a grand total of $18 for a set of three Fire-King casserole dishes with NO LIDS? (To quote the Professor from Futurama - Whaaa?) I got the same set, unused in its original box, for $4 at an estate sale this summer.

I could go on describing the other crimes against thrifting I saw there, but let's not dwell on the negative... let's look at what I did buy!

First off, from Ohio Thrift for 50 cents each - 3 oversized hardcover old school Disney picture books - Sleeping Beauty, The Great Mouse Detective, and one of my favorites, The Rescuers. I searched desperately for Cinderella, which was the story I knew by heart and tortured my parents with, but none was to be found.

Next, also from Ohio Thrift for 50 cents each - 2 hardcover Weekly Reader books, The Magic Whistle (1969) and McBroom and the Big Wind (1967). I can't help buying these old hardcover Weekly Readers, I just love them!

I have kids books and vintage paperbacks stuffed into drawers and stacked on shelves everywhere, waiting to be dealt with. Do I open another eBay store selling just books? Do I try them on Etsy, whole and/or taken apart for the artwork? I'll let you know when I figure it out! ;)

Finally, from Village Thrift - three unopened craft kits for 90 cents each. I have some more of these that I am going to list in the Etsy shop eventually, in hopes that the Crafty Craftersons over there might want to try them out! My favorite is the Bucilla Toaster Coaster kit - too cute! But then, I live on toast so I may be a little biased. ;)

And that's it! I hope the other virtual thrifters had more luck than I did, I am going to take a break from printing postage tonight to check out everyone else's finds!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mad Love for the 80's - Auction Promo

In addition to the Princess House dish set and Avon Cape Cod dish set, I also managed to list my entire backlog of 80's cartoon sheets and pillowcases. All the greats are here - Disney, Care Bears, Sesame Street (with no Elmo in sight - yay!) , Pac-Man, Puffalumps... the list goes on and on... Click to check it out!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The return of the casino ashtrays!

And you thought you had heard the last of them...

Two of them ended up having chips so we decided they weren't worth listing. (None of the others sold at auction - boo! - but I am hoping they will sell out of the store, which is where they are now!)

Will had the idea to see if they would fit in my ashtray stand. I had two Hazel Atlas ashtrays in it, which I really love:

Nice, huh? They fit perfectly too, which believe me is hard to find. I've looked and looked for something to fill the smaller holes! Of course originally the stand had a bunch of different accessories that fit in those holes - probably an electric lighter, an ashtray, a cigarette holder, and I don't know what else. When I got the stand it was empty, which is probably why it was only $15. $15!

Anyway, it turns out the casino ashtrays also fit nice and snug into the bigger holes. So I am giving them a test run. So far, I like them - they ad a bit of funky character! What do you think?



Thursday, January 10, 2008

Virtual Thriftathon!

Cindy from the blog Cindy Is Crafty has an awesome idea - a virtual thrift shopping trip! Here are the details:

This is what you need to do in order to participate:
  1. Thrift shop (and you thought it would be hard, right?) anytime between today and Sunday, January 13th.
  2. Leave a comment on this post to let me know that you will be playing and a link to your blog by Sunday, January 13th.
  3. Post the button above on your site to let everyone know that you are participating and to help spread the word.
  4. Post your treasures on your blog on Monday, January 14th. Be sure to link to (if available) the shop you found your item at, the cost of the item and what you will do with/to it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Featured Collectible - Tipp City Shakers

I'm obsessed with vintage glass kitchen shakers. I know, it's a slightly odd obsession - I can't help it! I actually sold a set of Tipp Black Leaf Flower spice shakers out of my store yesterday, see the photo above. I mean really, how could you not love them?

Several companies made glass shaker sets in the 30's, 40's, and 50's, there is no way I could cover them in one post. Wait, do I smell a series? I think I do!

Today I will just cover those made by the Tipp Novelty Company, Tipp City, Ohio. (Yep, Ohio comes through again! I love living here, my little state had so many great glass and pottery companies back in the day.)

From the way I understand it, Tipp didn't really produce their own shakers, they just decorated shakers made by other companies, especially McKee Glass Company. Here is what my well-worn book Florence's Glass Kitchen Shakers 1930-1950s: Identification & Value Guide says about them:

"The shakers shown in the catalogs are being listed as Tipp City shakers, although it is more likely only the decorations are Tipp. Tipp shakers may be embossed 'Tipp U.S.A.' or 'Made in U.S.A.' on the bottom, or, more likely, are unmarked altogether. The unmarked shakers generate the reasonable assumption that someone else made these unmarked versions for Tipp to decorate."

Confusing, I know. The only really important thing to know is that searching the word Tipp City on eBay is going to bring up a big variety of amazing retro designs, on milk glass shakers as well as grease jars. The most coveted are complete spice sets (known officially as Rangettes) on a stand, like this: (Click the photos to visit the actual listings!)

Also highly desirable are complete range sets that include salt, pepper, sugar, and flour shakers, or better yet the shakers plus the matching grease jar, like this:

There is no way I could show you all the different designs that are out there, the best way to see them is by getting the Florences' book that I mentioned above.

If you do decide that you want to buy, be ready to plunk down a decent chunk of money, especially for complete sets. It is possible though to build sets piece by piece, which will take some time, but might save you some money when it is all said and done!

Here's a tip (no pun intended!) - sometimes people list Tipp shakers on eBay and have no idea they are Tipp shakers. So doing a search for milk glass shaker, white glass shaker, or the design you are looking for, say, cherries shaker or flowers shaker, will bring them up. Sometimes these listings will go for significantly less than those that identify the shakers as Tipp simply because they are missing the Tipp keyword!

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