Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quality Over Quantity

Another Saturday arrived and, for us, that always starts with saling. January has been very snowy here and we had the second large snowstorm of the month this past week. With a gift from Mother Nature of ten inches of freshly fallen snow and no real chance of significant melting (we have had wind chills below zero at times this week), we suspect that many estate sales are being delayed until the weather improves. We searched for potential sales and only came up with four. Two of them showed some real promise and the other two were just filler in case the other two sales did not pan out. The weather report for Saturday called for some more light snow. We decided to start the day a little earlier than usual and just target the two best sales on the list. Quality over quantity. That was the plan.

Our first stop was just five minutes from our house. The Tag Sale Company that ran this sale doesn't hold a lot of sales but, when they have them, they are usually pretty good. 

Our first stop was in the garage. Rob tried to make a new friend but she seemed rather cold. What we did find in the garage made us pretty anxious to get into the house. In searching through the few boxes that were in this garage, we found a knee hugger elf, a celluloid reindeer and some old cast Christmas decorations. Could there be more old Christmas decorations in the house? We set our goal...find the room with the Christmas stuff! 

And...we did. We found some more elves made in Japan, more deer, a great Christmas decanter set and some Christmas ornaments. We even found a few records in another room. Stop #1 was a success! 

As we were getting ready to drive away, the sky was starting to look like snow was not very far off but the two icicles we saw hanging on the wire looked like angel wings. Luck would be with us today.

Stop #2 was about a 35 minute drive and, when we got there, there were lots of signs to greet us amongst the dirty snow.

This second sale was advertised as being a mid-century modern house. Monica was anxious to get inside and see! 

The sale was run by a Tag Sale Company that we know and they also run some very good sales. They are very friendly and, while some things seem to be very overpriced, we usually find some hidden, low-priced treasures .

There were lots of rooms to search and there was a pencil sharpener in the basement. Even though it wasn't mounted, a house with a pencil sharpener in the basement is usually a good sign...and it was. We found lots of great things here at a bargain price. Two sales. Two successful sales. At this point, it was still early but we were ready to call it a day. Quality over quantity. We stopped for a relaxing breakfast, made a quick stop at the store to pick up some things we needed and went home before the snow. We only got another two inches but we were safely home by this point and it didn't matter. 

Here are some of the things we brought home with us today:
Some records

A garden book, the Christmas issue of Family Circle from 1962 and some cookbooks

A Lefton Santa Claus decanter with six Santa cordial mugs and some elves made in Japan

Christmas deer and some old cast Christmas decorations

More Christmas items

Pink kitchen drawer organizers, an unused Pyrex starburst decanter and more

A glass birthday candy dish, a pineapple ash tray and some cocktail stirrers

A Gertz hat box

This was the last weekend in January and we are hoping that February turns milder and reminds us that Spring is just around the corner but until then... 

...we will make the best of whatever Mother Nature brings us...

...and we'll keep smiling...amongst the snowflakes...and amongst the ducks.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hoping For That One Sale

It was Saturday again but, this week, we had all the time in the world. No commitments. No time constraints. We had the full day for saling. Plus, it was the start of a three day weekend for us. There is still lots of "de-Christmas-ing" to do around the house but we do have that extra day at the tail end of the weekend and we would not worry too much about making any progress on Saturday. Unfortunately, there still weren't a lot of sales out there. We suspect that there is a lot of preparation necessary to get these sales rolling and that the Tag Sale Companies not only take a break from having sales during the last few weeks in December but also take a break from preparing for their future sales. Still, we found four sales that we thought might have potential. None of them were sure things but all seemed worth a shot. We crossed our fingers and started our adventures, hoping for that one sale that would make our day!

Our first sale was an easy choice. It was two blocks away from our house and run by a Tag Sale Company that we know. The last time we saw them, we found a 60 piece Franciscan Starburst dish set at their sale and bought it for only $50 so we have had luck with them before. We did, however, encounter the dreaded line outside. Monica waited on line while Rob snapped this picture. The ladies behind us were talking about the next sale on our list (it started the day before) and that it was terrible and not worthwhile. That didn't discourage us too much. We have been to sales before where people have walked out after five minutes and warned us that there was nothing there...and then we spent hours uncovering things we love. One person's trash is another person's treasure. 

The weather was a little mild for January so the wait was not uncomfortable and we were inside the house in just 20 minutes. We did not have high expectations for this sale (or any other sale on our list) and did not find a lot. We left with three records but nothing else.

Our next stop was the "terrible" sale. Our expectations were not high but they weren't for any sale on our list anyway and even if we didn't find much today, we were going to have fun just spending the day together. Our first surprise was to see an old friend running the sale. He used to be part of a small two man Tag Sale Company whose sales we had visited in the past. They parted ways and we run into Frank's sales occasionally. His sales are not identified as his nor are they heavily advertised so our meetings are always by chance. The second surprise was that THIS WAS THAT ONE SALE! 

The gentleman who owned the house was elderly and was moving upstate to live near his son and was taking almost nothing with him. He had a lifetime of fun treasures...and a lifetime of fun stories. Rob likes to talk and so did he and we enjoyed his stories...and his house. There were three floors and we carefully searched them all, spending almost two hours here. Here's Monica holding up a monkey that we did not buy but we did get so much here! Lots of Christmas stuff, many records, some books and pamphlets, some vintage greeting cards and many other miscellaneous items. This was a fun and very productive stop!!!!  

After stopping for some lunch (yes, for the second week in a row, we missed breakfast so we had lunch instead), we went to the third sale on our list. It was about 30 minutes away and was run by a Tag Sale Company whose sale we frequent. It was the second day of this sale and the owner of the Tag Sale Company was not there. It was not a very productive stop. We loved some old vintage outdoor furniture but we really don't have room for it now and the price was a little steep. We did find three records and a pair of "rescue Santas". Both were pretty beat up and one was missing a leg but we will fix them up as best we can and find room for them. They need a home too!

We went to our final stop on the list, a sale run by a Tag Sale Company that we see a lot. 

The kitchen had a cool old stove. The knobs on it were great! 

There were two floors and the basement had a cool old floor. 

Unfortunately, the stove and the basement floor were the highlights of this stop and we just found two snowman candles and some glass cocktail stirrers. 

Before going home, we stopped at a Carvel down the street. It was not just any Carvel. It was a special one.

It was a Carvel with the original ice cream cone signs and an old neon sign! There just aren't a lot with the ice cream cones anymore! 

There was a neon sign on the side of the Carvel too!

And they had horseback riding!!!! Of course, we both had ice cream cones even though it was January

Here are some of the things we brought home with us:
Some records

Some more records

A few more records

Some Christmas records

Some books and pamplets

Girl scout membership cards from the early 1940's, some vintage guidebooks, a vintage postcard with a cool restaurant on its face and a 1964 World's Fair map

Lots of vintage cards

Some vintage wrapping paper

A Ballantine's beer tray, a ceramic squirrel made in Japan, a vintage bow tie, some old ash trays, a tin cigarette case and a troll doll cookie cutter set in its original shipping box. It was a Wrigley's Gum send away offer in 1965.

Vintage Tupperware (the tumbler on the right is from the 1954 Millionaire Line) and a vintage dip dish (which matches a bowl we have as well as our T.V. tables)

Some Christmas items. We have several old mistletoes but this is the first we have ever found in its original box

Some more Christmas stuff!

More Christmas stuff. The box on the left is a Gimbels Christmas box. The two Santas at the bottom are the "rescue Santas"

A pair of vintage stockings

A Christmas banner made in Japan. It has a scalloped bottom.

It was a great day out. We spent Sunday continuing our quest to pack away the Christmas stuff but, since we were off on Monday, we went out to dinner Sunday night.

We went to a Chinese restaurant near us that we visit a few times a year. It has a great "untouched" look inside, they have great food and they serve drinks in Tiki mugs. We try to have a different drink each time we go. This time, we had the Scorpion Bowl and the Ko-Ko Kiss. We actually share both so we are each trying two drinks each time we go! 

We will spend Monday trying to finish the "undecorating" but, if we don't finish, that will be okay. It was a great weekend and we had a lot of fun. We are together and that is always reason enough to smile....always! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beat The Clock

The holidays have passed even if the uncertainty of the weather has not. The snow of last Friday is a distant memory. Temperatures were in the 40-50 degree range last Sunday and Monday and that was enough to melt all but the largest of the snow piles. We did have very, VERY cold weather midweek with temperatures hovering in the single digits but the snow stayed away with the exception of some flurries on Friday. The number of sales being offered has increased slowly. This week, we had five sales on our list which is not normally a daunting task to accomplish but we had the clock against us. First of all, there were three distinct clusters of sales with three being in one area and the other two being in two separate and distinct areas with a little travel time involved. The fact that it was raining did not make traveling any easier...and we were supposed to have periods of torrential rain! Secondly, we had plans for the evening. Monica's uncle is in a physical rehabilitation facility following his recent hospitalization and we wanted to visit him. Monica's sister thought leaving at 5 pm to make the trip our east (a good one hour ride) was a good target time. We were determined to follow through on all of our plans. We just had to beat the clock.

We decided to tackle the "cluster of three" sales first. Although the other two sales seemed to hold the most promise, one of these had the earliest start time and we figued this would be the most efficient route. We arrived at the first sale which boasted a "lifetime of treasures". We recognized the people running the sale. We had been to one of their sales recently and Monica got a couple of beautiful vintage dresses then. While there were plenty of rooms, there was not much for us. We walked away with one vintage tablecloth. The next sale was only a few blocks away and its only attraction was that it said it was getting rid of some vintage furniture for free. When we pulled up, the house was cars around...not even in the driveway. We did not even get out of the car. 

The third stop was about 10 minutes away and the address did not come up on GPS but the directions in the ad gave us a pretty good idea of where to find the street. Not far from our destination, we saw a sign that said "Thrift Shop Open". We followed the sign.

This was a thrift shop that neither of us knew existed. It might be new. They were having a sale and the people who ran the thrift shop seemed really nice. The timing was perfect because they were moments away from packing up their Christmas items until next year. They were in bins ready to be boxed. We found some great old Christmas items made in Japan and, while going through the rest of the store, we found a great pair of squirrel salt and pepper shakers, a ceramic pixie case, an old vintage suit jacket for Rob and a sweater for Monica. We decided that this will be a regular stop on our thrifting circuit and that the next set of donations we have will go here. When we left, we went onto the planned third stop and it was a bust. There was nothing for us but we were glad we made the trip because we would not have found the thrift shop otherwise!

We made our way to planned stop #4 (about 30 minutes away) and stopped for lunch. We normally have breakfast out during our Saturday adventures but it was a little later and we thought it would be a nice change of pace. We were trying to beat the clock and Rob thought having Russian (rushing) dressing on his sandwich sounded like a good idea  ("Rob will appearing nightly...all week...two rotten tomatoes will be allowed in the door"). Anyway, while there, it started raining...torrentially. The rest of our travels would be slow but we were determined to beat the clock!

By the time we arrived, the rain had stopped for awhile which was good. The sale was run by a Tag Sale Company that we knew. 

The house had a downstairs bar which Rob thoroughly searched...

and the bar countertop wasn't quite boomerang but it was a really cool pattern nonetheless!

A search of the house found us carrying out a vintage outdoor patio table, some cookbooks and some very old unopened Good Humor wooden ice cream sticks.

Our last stop would normally have been 30 minutes away but it took us much longer to get there because the parkway, on which we traveled, had a major accident and we were stuck in traffic. We did arrive and, as we pulled up, it started to rain again. Monica was rushing ahead to make sure she stayed dry!

This last sale was also run by a Tag Sale Company we knew and they were glad to see us. Even though it was late in the day, we found a lot of great stuff buried here, most of which were vintage Christmas items made in Japan. We also found a few records and a few other things, all at a great price!

Here are some of the things we got today:
Two Christmas albums and a 7-inch record called "The Wedding Album"...we figured we may need this in the future. 

Some cookbooks and a book on dinosaurs that Rob had as a kid.

A vintage Christmas tablecloth

A vintage suit jacket for Rob. The label says "Robert Hall", a clothing retailer that went out of business in 1977. There was one in Rob's hometown and his earliest suits were bought here (and at Sears). The suit above is probably from the 1960's.

A vintage metal patio table. We will repaint it. We are leaning towards turquoise

A pineapple knife made in Japan, two plastic domos (for free) and a bunch of plastic photo viewers. Originally, we picked up a couple for Rob's brother-in-law but, since then, Monica has developed a passion for them so some of these will remain with us. 

Some Christmas ceramic decorations made in Japan

More Christmas decorations made in Japan. We already had two sets of the salt and pepper shakers on the right but, this time, we got them in the original box too!

A ceramic pixie case, a large rooster salt and pepper shaker (missing its mate), a set of squirrel sat and pepper shakers and some old Good Humor wooden spoons unopened. Based upon the lack of a zip code on the Good Humor packaging, we suspect that these are from the late 1950's or very early 1960's

By the time we left, it was raining pretty steadily and it took us an hour to get home. We were about 15 minutes late for meeting up with Monica's sister for the trip out east but we all piled into the van and braved the torrential rain, intense fog and dark roads. Monica's uncle was happy to see us and after the visit, we all stopped for dinner. Finally getting home after 11 pm, we sat down and breathed deep. It was a fun day spent together and with family and...we beat the clock!