Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's A Keeper

I love hand blown drinking glasses but in the retail stores they are out of my price range. I break drinking glasses often. I hand wash my dishes and use lots of dish soap and it's not unusual for a glass to slip out of my hands and break. I'm also picky about glasses. Because I don't have a dishwasher and hand wash my dishes I want my hand to fit in my drinking glasses when I wash them so I can get them perfectly clean (yes I'm a little weird about it). Lately I've broken a few too many of my drinking glasses and was on the hunt for cheap replacements whenever I went thrifting. I purchased a couple that are 'fine'. They meet the requirement to fit my hand but are nothing special. But the other day the thrifting gods looked on me with favor and I found two hand blown green (one of my favorite colors) drinking glasses for a dollar a piece!!!!! I love them and hope they live a long life.  See below one of my new beauties. It's prettier in real life. It has swirled ridges around it like an old coke bottle.  Don't you love when you find something at a thrift store that you want but would normally not purchase for yourself? Please let me know in the comments what gifts the thrift store gods have put in your cart just for you.

And here is a little lesson in identifying when a glass item is hand blown. You will see a rough circle at the bottom of the item called a pontil. That is where the glass item met the blow tube. Below is a not very good picture I have of one from another hand blown glass that I have for sale in my store. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BOLO Bandanas

A couple of months back I picked up some Oshkosh B Gosh bandanas. Three of them I think. They looked like the traditional red or blue bandana that many of our dad's carried to blow their nose.  I didn't notice until I got home that they weren't all the same. Two of them had a polka dot design but one had paisleys in place of the polka dots. I did some research and couldn't find any of this particular one on ebay, etsy or google so I priced it high with best offer $99.99. Well I didn't get any offers or sales so after a couple of months I marked it down to $39.99. A couple of days ago it sold! I paid $1.15 for this. You often can find these at estate sales. Here are solds on ebay. Look at that Carhartt! Below is a picture of the one I just sold. Pros. Usually cheap, easy to ship, easy to store and easy to photograph. The perfect small.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fun BOLO Little Tikes Manicure Set

I was doing some research on a vintage manicure set (not worth anything much). Often when doing research on something I find something else interesting to BOLO. This time was no exception. Today's BOLO is:

The Little Tikes Manicure Set

Check out the sold listings. I don't think I've ever seen this set but if I had I wouldn't have realized how good an item it was. Now I'll be keeping an eye out for it. It's cute isn't it? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Search of Smalls

I never used to think too much about the size or weight of things I was buying to sell. I bought what I liked, what caught my eye and what I thought I could make a profit. As a result I've got some large items that have been sitting for quite a while waiting to be listed. Staring at me. Lamps, vintage folding chairs, golf clubs, a vintage crib and more. What was I thinking?

Something finally clicked in my brain and lately I've been concentrating on finding good smalls. Why? Several reasons.
  • I've been trying to get my workspace more organized and every time I bring in a big bag of new purchases I think to myself where is all of that going to go? Of course I don't think of that when I'm buying the stuff. 
  • When I'm doing my shipping it becomes apparent how much harder it is to package up large, heavy, bulky or weird shaped items. First you have to find a box that fits. Often you have to cut it down to be the right size. 
  • When I"m carrying a haul from the thrift store to my car and then from my car up the stairs and into my house it's so much easier when it's a nice light bag. 
  • It is usually easier on the pocket book. 
  • And lastly taking pictures of small items is also super easy.  

I find it takes some more digging to find these items because good smalls are usually hidden under other smalls! But it's worth it when you find a hidden gem. Below are some recent small finds that I was happy to come across.

I bought this Beatrix Potter rubber stamp today for .50. I've got it listed for $21. It weighs just a few ounces. It will easily fit in a flat rate mailer or go first class.

I found this cute vintage scottie night light yesterday again for .50. I've got it listed for $25. Again it weighs a few ounces. 

I have this vision that I don't think is realistic but is just a cool dream of only selling smalls. Everything would be neatly tucked away into drawers and cabinets and you wouldn't even be able to tell it was a workroom! Hah! With 1100 items currently in my inventory I don't really think that is possible but it makes for a pleasant daydream. What are some of your favorite smalls? 

Edited to Add: So today I went to a rummage sale. Bought a few smalls that fit into a plastic grocery bag. And then I bought 4 vintage cast iron claw feet from a tub or stove……So starting tomorrow….

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mystery Item

I got this yesterday at an estate sale. It's a brass duck clip that measures about 4 3/4" in length. It appears to be made to hang on a wall. Ive never seen one and am wondering what it might be for. The duck's bill opens to clip something. Any ideas?

Edited to add: see the comments. Tony from Mississippi Pickers came in with some great information. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Scavenger Tip #3 and Recent Sales

Recently I wrote a post about using up my abundance of calcium supplements by putting them in water for plants.

Today while I was making my new favorite breakfast (fruit/veg/yogurt smoothie) I realized I could probably throw a calcium pill into the blender with the rest of the stuff and swallow those horse pills with no problem! And it worked. I figured if the blender could chop the ice up it could probably handle a calcium tablet.

Below is today's recipe (shown in a thrifted glass above).

  • 1 banana 
  • a handful of mini carrots
  • a couple of spoonfuls of organic vanilla yogurt
  • about a tablespoon of flaxseed (for omega 3 fatty acids and fiber)
  • water and ice
  • calcium 
This new habit is only a couple of weeks old. I've tried it before but I get tired of cleaning the blender (no dishwasher). So now I fill the sink with hot soapy water before I start the drink and throw the blender right in so it is easy to clean. So far so good. 

Sales have been pretty slow lately. I was happy though to have two recent sales on etsy. 

This chartola was given to me free. At first I thought maybe it was a Pier 1 imports faux antique. Then I saw all of the original paperwork for it. I got $100 plus shipping for it on etsy. 

I bought this lot of silver plate at a thrift store for $1.25. None of the pieces separately were worth much so I put them up as a lot for crafters. They sold pretty quickly for $19.99 plus shipping. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Scavenger Tip #2

I HATE throwing stuff out to eventually go into a landfill. My city recycles so I do put all my recyclables into the recycle container. Lately though I learned on a documentary that a lot of the US recyclables go to other countries to be sorted and processed. Waste of energy much? Regardless, the hard plastic caps are not recyclable so those go in the regular trash.

I save lots of unusual things for crafting but I don't have a current need for plastic bottle caps. I got to thinking is there a crafting market for bottle caps on ebay? Of course there is! Why did I waste the two seconds wondering :) Here are sold listings. It's not going to make me rich but it will make me feel good to send this resource on to someone else who will probably use it to craft. One year our art museum collected plastic lids and bottle caps and did a children's art project with them. It turned out really cool.  Do you have any other ideas for the caps and lids?

picture from an ebay listing

Here are a couple of ideas from Pinterest in case you want to reuse your caps instead of selling them :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Baseball & the 4th

Happy 4th of July :) I'm visiting my parents and taking them out for ice cream and a ride through the park. No special holiday plans. How about you?

Do you recognize the logo on this hat? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Scavenger Tip #1

I'm a hoarder scavenger in all areas of my life not just my business. I am not bad enough to be on a tv show but I do have a problem throwing out anything that could be of use or getting rid of anything (donating) anything that has the slightest sentimental value. So recently I realized I'd amassed quite a collection of vitamins that I had either purchased for myself and not taken or taken from my parents house when they moved out. I don't take vitamins anymore I try to get them from food. Regardless I had stopped taking the huge chalky calcium for a reason. They're hard to swallow! So I was trying to figure out what to do with these numerous bottles without just throwing them in the garbage. It's amazing what one thinks of when you put your mind to it. I wondered if I could give them to my plants! I googled it and sure enough you can use vitamins to feed your plants. So far I've just started using up the calcium. I throw a couple in a a jug of water and let them dissolve and then water my outdoor plants. I read that the plants will only use as much calcium as they need so it's okay for them to have more than they need in the soil (I'm no expert but I read that). So I'm happily making use of something that a lot of people would have chucked in the garbage. When the bottles are empty I'm saving those because people buy empty medicine bottles on ebay! See sold. Do you buy vitamins and then not take them?? Why do people do that? I've done it a million times.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mystery Item

This piece has a bakelite handle. It is about 8 12" long. The spoon part is about 3" long. I've tried to imagine what this is and searched ebay for anything similar but didn't find anything. The side is serrated and the spoon has holes so I imagine that it's purpose is to cut and strain something which isn't very large since the spoon part is only 3". Any ideas? Aspic?

I've sold some vintage bakelite utensils and they don't go for a whole lot with some exceptions but I just thought this was a cool tool and only 0.79 cents.

Edited to Add: 

After more searching on etsy I found a seller who called this a dumpling spoon. Anyone familiar with making dumplings? Would this be used to cut the uncooked dough and lower it into the soup? Google images had other similar spoons called the same thing.