Monday, March 31, 2008

And the winner is...

... Amanda from Kiss My Aster!! Here was her awesome submission:

Here's what she had to say about her photos:

"Firstly, some of my wood shoe collection filled with my new swizzle stick collection, all 120 of them for $5 at a large indoor garage sale here in Indiana. I also bought these shadowboxes there for $5 each and filled the up with stuff from the local Salvation Army... About the little toy kitchen cabinet, the whole story is in my blog, but the short version, it was $8 but rattling around inside of it was some gorgeous vintage jewelry... so I got a real steal!"

What great stuff! And I can't believe 120 swizzle sticks for $5?!?! Awesome! So congrats to Amanda, and thanks to everyone who sent photos... I was getting worried for a minute that my little contest was a flop - but you guys just like to wait til the last second, that's all! ;)

Here are the rest of the entries, they are too good not to share! All of you will be getting a 10% off coupon to my Etsy shop in an email when I am done here... :)

From Lisa over at Lisa's Retro Style:

Here is what Lisa had to say about her photos:

"The area rug I got at a garage sale when I lived in Colorado. The lady selling it hated it. I paid $50 for it. She kept telling me she would take less... I had already decided I was getting it... just having a closer look at it.... She was afraid I would change my mind. No way it's awesome! I would have felt guilty paying her any less. I've had it for probably 10 years now. Still one of my favorite things.

Then there is this Nelson McCoy butterfly vase. I got it at a barn sale... $12. I really didn't know what it was worth at the time and had no idea what a huge deal I was getting. I've seen them in shops for around $125. My 2002 book lists it at $80-$100. I just love it... it's so purrdy!"

Gorgeous rug and vase (love McCoy!) - you are a better woman than me not coming down on the rug though! ;)

From Brooklynn over at Frisk The Figidaire:

Here is what Brooklynn said about her photos:

"I couldn't choose just one thing so I've included a couple. These are all things from the same yard sale I attended this morning. I must have had about 3 boxes full - all for $40!!"

That's one fantastic sale - I am appropriately jealous! ;)

From Beth:

Here is what Beth says about her photos:

"This coat is my favorite vintage find EVER. It was hidden among a bunch of hideous mumus on a rack I almost passed over. When I found it (or it found me), I gasped and squealed, then immediately looked for a size tag. It fits like it was made for me, and I knew I had to have it the minute I tried it on. Then I slipped my hands in the pockets, and found THE GLOVES. Oh my, the gloves, vintage and beaded, and so lovely I could die. I love to think about the life of my coat with its original owner.

I found it in Phoenix, but given its weight and the cashmere, I doubt that’s where it originated. I’m thinking east coast, maybe New York. It’s in perfect condition (check out the gold lining), and must have been reserved for special occasions. I paid $30 for it, including the gloves. Best vintage find EVER."

I know how you feel on this one Beth, I scored a similar coat for $1 at a church sale and wore it out! Great photos!

From Patricia:

Here is what Patricia had to say about her photo:

"I'm not sure if my entry qualifies for your contest because I found this sweet little towel in an antique store and not in a yard sale, but I got such a great deal for it! It's so sweet! I've attached a picture of it so you can see how adorable it is."

I agree - super cute!

From Abbie:

Here is what Abbie said about her photo:

"I scored 5 1/2 yards of this fabric for A QUARTER at a yard sale!"

Whatta deal - I love it!

From Courtney:

Here's what Courtney had to say about her photo:

"I had a hard time deciding what to send in, but opted finally for a picture of my prized possession, if only by virtue of dumb luck and freebie sidewalk salvaging. I found this teak Danish mid century modern chair abandoned on the street in front of my apartment building, in near perfect condition, with glittery, sturdy gold fabric cushions. Not a terribly unique score, but circumstance is everything.

The building I live in has it’s own kind of magic – it’s a 1930 old Hollywood residence hotel, complete with painted tin ceilings and Spanish chandeliers hanging with at least 50 years of spider webs. I love Los Angeles; it’s a special kind of time machine, full of history that we know by the sheer osmosis of being Americans, post Vietnam, post Kennedy; it is like an optimistic skeleton crawling with ants. I had been shopping around for Danes, and lo and behold, one landed on my front door. I thought I was going to puke, I was so excited."

Awesome score, and such a nice room!

And that's it - thanks to everyone for letting us peek into your vintage geek lives - I love it! :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's Finally Spring! Contest - It's almost over!

I know you have a photo of some cool retro thing that you found at a garage sale, estate sale, or at the thrift store. All vintage geeks have at least a few photos of their scores, right?

Send them over before Monday! You'll get a 10% off coupon for my Etsy shop, and you could win the Yard Sale Survival Kit:

Friday Night Musical Interlude - Jim Bianco

I got a new CD, and I love it so much I had to share:

I saw Jim Bianco open for Johnette Napolitano (from Concrete Blonde, one of my favorite bands ever) last October and he won me over completely about 2 songs into his set. Awesome voice, amazing lyrics, and, well, he's pretty darn cute. I talked to him for a couple of minutes after the show, he's a very nice and funny guy - a real character to say the least!

The CD I bought that night, Handsome Devil, has been on heavy rotation since then, and I just got his new release, Sing, and it is equally as good. Painkiller was my favorite song from the live set, and I was super excited that it is on the new disk... Keep up the good work Jim!

I hope you all enjoy, and visit his website to check out more songs and videos!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's Finally Spring! Contest - Submit & Win!

Friday Update - Someone suggested I open up the entries to vintage items scored at Thrift Stores and on Craig's List as well as at garage and estate sales, and I think it is a good idea - so send your photos in! I am extending the deadline to Monday also, so any submission I get this weekend will be eligible!

Whiny Update - Thursday - I only have one entry! Is everyone on spring break? Is finding a picture too much work? Does my prize just simply, well, suck? I don't know. What I do know is that if you enter before Saturday, it's looking like your chances are going to be pretty darn good...

I know a lot of you are like me, thanking their lucky stars that Spring is finally here, and yard sale season is right around the corner! To celebrate I've decided to do a little contest - the 1st annual It's Finally Spring! Contest. Original, I know, but that's what it is, so I'm going with it! ;)

If you want to be in the running, just email me a photo of one of your best yard sale, tag sale, or estate sale scores to If you have a blog, be sure to send the address, I will include it when I post the entries. Also, be sure to send your mailing address so I can send you the prize if you win! I know there is no way I will be able to choose the "best" score, so once I have all the entries I will draw names from a hat.

What is the prize? It's a little Yard Sale Survival Kit I put together (click the photo to see the large version):

I know it kind of looks like a random lot of vintage goodies, but each thing has its specific purpose:

First, a funky paisley print bag that is just the right size (around 15"x18") to carry with you to hold all the junk (oops, I mean treasures!) that you find.

Next is a pair of aqua blue coffee mugs by Corning, because coffee is a necessity if you are dragging yourself out of bed at the butt crack of dawn on a Saturday. I'm including two in case you have a partner in crime going out shopping with you!

Also included is a fun vintage hair scarf, because there is nothing worse than trying to dig through boxes and having to keep pushing your hair out of your face. (Or, if you have really long hair like I do, there's nothing worse than arriving at the cash table with price stickers and cobwebs in your hair!)

The rainbow zipper clutch is to hold your cash and other small must-haves. Trying to carry a real purse around while you shop is pretty much impossible, so a little bag like this one is a great thing to have!

The blank floral notebook is handy if you are like me and like to write things down that you pass on, so you can then research them when you get home, and kick yourself over and over for leaving them behind.

And last but not least, I'm including a 1940's romance novel so that you have something to read when you are waiting for a sale to start. It happens to me all the time - I show up 15 minutes before start time, and have to twiddle my thumbs until they open the doors... having a book helps pass the time beautifully!

I will also send along a coupon for 10% off an item in my Etsy store, so if there is ever a weekend where you just can't make it out of bed in the morning, you can still shop! I might even end up sending a coupon to everyone who enters, now that I think of it... so send me your photos! I'll accept entries through Saturday, March 29th.

If you want to post about this contest on your own blog too, that would be great - the more the merrier! :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Score! Gilligan's Island Transistor Radio

I went to a great estate sale this weekend, and sitting on top of a dresser was an old transistor radio that fired right up when I turned the knob. I know people collect transistor radios, so I scooped it up... When I got to the cash table, the guy said, "Hey, you got the Gilligan's Island radio!" and told me he thought it was the same model that they used on the show, except they added an antennae and handle to it.

So when I got it home I decided to see if he was right and started poking around for some info. Look at what I found!

This is actually a video from the pilot, so a few of the characters are different - but the radio is the same! I also found this website that talks about it, and I think I will link to that from my auction.

Speaking of auctions, I also found an auction that ended yesterday for the same radio - it is technically a Packard Bell AR-851 transistor radio - and you won't believe what it sold for!

Needless to say, I'm a little excited. I imagine that we will get it posted on Sunday night and see what happens!

I'll be back later to post the rest of my scores, and I have a couple of announcements to make too, so stay tuned! ;)

Monday, March 17, 2008

This Week's Estate Sale Scores

The snow all melted before the weekend, so I was able to get out to 3 different estate sales! I considered taking my camera with me to snap some photos while I was shopping like I have seen some of you do, but I am not quite brave enough yet. I am scared of being yelled at and/or kicked out of the sale, which is probably a pretty irrational fear, but there you have it.

I went to the start of 2 of the sales on Friday morning, and then hit them up again after noon on Saturday when everything went to half off. They were given by my favorite sale lady Holly, I try to never miss any of her sales, they never disappoint!

The other sale I went to on Saturday morning, which was the 3rd day of the sale, and everything was 25% off. I don't usually bother to go to this guy Michael's sales until Saturday, he prices everything so high. I also don't usually go the last day when things are half off, because by the 4th day everything is so picked over not much good stuff is left to be had!

Anyway, here's what I picked up:

I love vintage cookbooks, and they usually bring a good price, especially the Betty Crocker ones. They are a little beat up in spots - obviously they were actually used instead of just stuck on a shelf - but I have high hopes!

How's this for an assortment of stuff? One of the sales had several old games, but I just picked up Clue. I guess we will have to try and play it and see if all the pieces are there or not! The plastic coaster set next to it is too cute, I love finding them when they have a little stand like that.

The orange pitcher is Anchor Hocking I think, and the vase is Haeger. The patchwork purse from the 80's I think is real leather, and will surely sell to a girl in South Korea or Singapore - those girls can't get enough of the 80's purses, it's crazy! The coffee pot I made a rookie mistake on - I didn't realize the cord is missing! I have to research and see if I need to try to find one for it before I list it. :(

The crochet purse I just couldn't leave behind, I mean look at that huge wood handle! The tin is really interesting, it is from Japan and this is what is inside:

Inside the lid are little magnets that you can move around. Also included were a few flash cards, and written on the bottom of the tin is a nice note from the teacher - "Please take good care of this kit and return to Mrs. Chu."

It's funny that I was just talking about how often I find old kids books, here are several I was able to score at one sale. The Corning dish I was really excited about, then when I got home I discovered a chip on the inside edge of the lid. I don't know if it was there when I found it or if it happened on the way home. :(

I think I have mentioned before my love for all things made by Ransburg, and I always pick it up when I see it. I almost passed on this ceramic cookie jar - the price was a smidge high especially when it has a few chips, but I have never seen one of these before except on eBay, so I just couldn't leave it behind! I may list in on Etsy in the new category I created there this weekend called For The Love of Shabby.

I also bought a set of Tivoli White Johnson Bros. dishes from the 70's, and a set of Boutonniere Taylor Smith & Taylor dishes. I've had some of the TST pieces in my eBay store for a while now, so I am debating on if I need to try these new pieces on Etsy instead. They are too adorable:

See? How could you not fall in love with those little flowers, and the aqua blue inside the cups! Awesome.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Saga of the Vintage Paperbacks

I've spent the last day and a half or so typing up a list of vintage paperbacks that I am getting ready to put up at auction in lots on eBay this weekend. I bought most of them last spring in lots on eBay, with the idea that I would break them out individually and sell them in my brand spankin new eBay store.

It was a total case of me falling in love with something and jumping in head first. I mean, I've been a book lover all my life, and a vintage lover almost as long... these paperbacks from the 40's through the 60's are the best of both worlds! Amazing cover art, racy and fantastic stories... and a lot of the cover blurbs are just hilarious. So I poked around about them a little bit, and decided I was adding them to my inventory.

Fast forward to now, almost a year later. They have been socked away all this time, and I have found only a handful to add to them out at the sales. Looking around at my inventory I realized I have twice as many vintage children's books (which I also love dearly) waiting to be listed, all of which I found out at the sales or at the thrift stores, for way less than what I was able to buy the paperbacks for on eBay. And in better condition for the most part too, I might add. Now that I have gotten all the paperbacks out and really looked at them, I realize most of them were in too poor of condition for me to have been able to sell at much of a profit anyway.

I've always been one who liked to learn things the hard way.

So, off they go back in lots onto eBay. It's been fun looking them over though, even if typing out all the information for the listings was a nightmare. And it was.

Click the photos to see the enlarged versions so you can check out the covers. There is a good variety - adult "sleaze" (my favorites, I admit it!), sci-fi, murder mysteries, westerns... Very cool. Believe me the thought of keeping them did cross my mind a few times, but I just don't have room. If I had a house where I could put shelves around the top of a room and fill them with cool retro paperbacks... well, one can dream.

There are a couple of great websites you can visit that are devoted to vintage paperbacks too:
Vintage Paperbacks on the Web
Vintage Paperbacks - Good Girl Art
The Book Scans Database - My favorite, a goldmine with thousands of cover scans...

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Triumph! - My 1st Etsy sale & new stuff listed!

Not only did I make my first sale on Etsy last night, I made it in record time - about 5 minutes after I posted it!

I listed this great vintage Montgomery Ward coat, then I did another listing, then I saw that the coat had gone missing... So I looked around, and looked around, and was resigning myself to the fact that I would have to re-do it when I happened to see in my sidebar - 1 item sold!

All I can say is... halleluja!

That sale was just the little bit of encouragement I needed, and I spent a few hours happily adding new things:

Remember these? They got no love on eBay, so I moved them to Etsy (after a brief thought of, well, I could just keep them... but my more practical side won the battle this time!).

This is another piece that I tried on eBay with no luck, here's hoping some Etsian will appreciate it a bit more! It's a tin toleware silent butler - or, in layman's terms, a crumb catcher. I think it would be a great little trinket box or storage container, and I love it's shabby chic vibe!

I moved quite a bit of my clothing stash from eBay to Etsy also, and I think I may eventually move all of it there. My eBay store is so overloaded - there are like, a gazillion categories! - that I am trying to narrow it down a bit. I had already decided to move my jewelry to Etsy, so moving my clothing there also just makes sense. (If you are tiny - size 4 or 6 - it's your lucky day because most of what I listed is in that size range!)

So yeah, it's a happy day here, despite the big snowstorm that is rolling through. I was smart though and went to the store yesterday and stocked up, so we won't need to leave the house until sometime next week. :) Snow is always so much prettier when you don't have to worry about driving in it!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Featured Collectible - Fire-King Glass Shakers

Anchor Hocking's Fire-King is well loved by most vintage geeks, and rightly so! I especially love their glass shaker and grease jar range sets, and they were next on my list to do a post about when this auction caught my eye.

This grease jar is the rare Kitchen Aids pattern, and it sold on the 17th for $355.00 - $180.00 more than the value listed in the 2004 Florences' Glass Kitchen Shakers guide. My jaw hit the floor when I saw that final price!

But, apparently, we ain't seen nothin yet... Today I found this auction for the Kitchen Aids salt and pepper shakers:

With 1 day, 11 hours to go, the high bid is already $195.00 higher than the 2004 listed value. All I can say is, well, holy crap! I can't wait to see what the final bid is, and if it is already over $400 who knows how high it can go. I think that condition is playing a huge part in this one - these suckers look brand new!

Luckily more common patterns will hurt the pocketbook a bit less, but still expect to pay a decent amount when you are looking to buy a complete set. Like I mentioned in my other posts, you can sometimes get a better deal if you find the pieces individually over time. Let's go ahead and drool over a few of the complete sets that are available on eBay now though, shall we?

This Red Flower Pots pattern set from seller kremsem is at auction ending on Tuesday. It is at a great price right now, but who knows what it will end at... I would imagine someone out there is waiting to pounce right at the end, this is eBay after all!

I think my favorite is this Black Circle pattern set from seller Old Jefferson Highway Antiques (I linked to them in my McKee post - they are one of my favorite stores, the goodness available in that store is almost criminal!). This pattern also comes in red, blue, and green, but I think the black is the most striking. This set has a proud spot on the shelf in my dream black, white and aqua kitchen. ;)

There are ton of range set and glass shaker styles from Anchor Hocking (Jadeite, Tulips, Polka Dots, etc.), way more than I could ever cover here. If you are a vintage kitchenware junkie like me, it doesn't get much better!

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