Monday, December 30, 2013

Awesome Eighties! Were you there?

Awesome eighties! Were you a child of the 80's? I think I may have only been half present during that decade (spiritually, at least, since I was born in the 70's). I did like all those 80's movies, but I think some of the music sucked. I also think the 80's fashion was way less cool/interesting than the 60's and 70's. I enjoyed some of the toys from that era, but I was never into anything girly/rainbow/dolly/pony etc. I never wanted anything to do with Strawberry Shortcake, Dazzle Dolls, Rainbow Brite, My Little Ponys...And definitely NOT Cabbage Patch dolls! My mom was a big doll lover/collector. When those dolls came out my mom HAD to have one. We got on some sort of secret list (My dad probably hooked her up through the Press Club/Knight Rider newspapers). So we were on this "secret list" which gave certain special people first dibs at the Cabbage Patch dolls when the shipment arrived at Toys R Us. I had to get up at 6am with my mom, hang out at the back loading zone of Toys R Us, in the middle of a Detroit winter, and wait for them to open that giant silver garage door. And when they did, there were thousands of those ugly things to choose from. There was also a 2 doll limit. So my mom spent the next couple of hours sifting through doll after doll until she finally decided on the 2 that she was going to buy. Ugh! What a nightmare and what a horrible time for me.
Some eighties stuff is kick ass, love me some Pac Man and Atari stuff. Good times! Loved all those Sunday funnies characters too.

I have had some sweet 80's finds! This metal Pac Man tray will be hard to part with! The Alf puzzle....well I got 4 different ones, all still in original cellophane wrap! Ziggy doll..... I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I used to like him. A lot. E.T.....can't go wrong with the 80's movies. (Well actually you can: Teen Wolf. Ugh!)
Alf, Ziggy and Pac Man available HERE

Gremlins and more!

Before there was Chuck E Cheese Pizza, there was Showbiz Pizza!
Pretty much the same thing, but more characters, such as Mitzi. There was some gorilla too, can't remember his name....or maybe don't want to. There were still video games and skeeball, but there were more animatronic animal variety shows and musicals. Yep, you could still trade in your 10,000 tickets to get a Tootsie Roll or plastic ring. Somethings never change.
The Sandra Boyton holiday ornaments did not sell for me this year. Maybe they wont next year. Maybe I don't really care, because I kinda want to keep them.
Mitzi Mouse, Sandra Boyton ornaments available
He-Man, Gremlins and ET books available
A Couple of months ago, I fell into the mother load of Garfield paraphernalia. The MOTHER LOAD, I tell ya! My son got first dibs. But I didn't make him meet me in the back alley with a silver ticket or anything seedy like that. I just said, "pick what you want, I know how much you love him!"
But ooohhh boy, I still got lots. Too much to list.
Want to own a piece of eighties history?
Garfield is available at both of my Etsy stores, and also plenty have found their way to STAINED MARKET PLACE in Ybor.
Sometimes things don't work out as they were supposed to have. Sometimes there are issues....disappointments...Failures.....
This Furby board game was a real heart breaker! Taped closed at the thrift store, so I knew I was taking my chances. But I take my chances all the time with things like this, and I have a pretty high success rate. Besides it wasn't going to break the bank. You win some, you lose some. Its part of the biz.
So of course this Furby game was missing, like, HALF of the pieces!
The Rainbow Brite game. Also a big fail! It was only missing one piece, but that's all it takes for a game to become unsellable. The two dirty mangy furbys are ones that my son has decided to keep. My daughter has two of the latest, newest Furbies. And this is what my son has. Two nasty dirty furbies. One doesn't work and the other may as well not work because it is so limited in its vocabulary.
Thankfully, a couple of fails won't stop me from seeking out fun eighties goods. I'm hunting for more old school Atari stuff, some Dungeons and Dragons, some old MTV advertising...that kind of stuff. I will scoff at any Cabbage Patch dolls. I am forever traumatized from hanging out in an alley on a cold Detroit morning while my mom spent hours searching through piles of the ugliest things known to mankind! ((shiver))
INDIE BIZ of the week.....Oh, its a good one, I tell ya!
Located in lovely St. Pete.
They collect and offer used (and new) art, fashion and craft supplies with pay-as-you-wish pricing.
Paints, markers, beads, ribbons.....

Insane amounts of fabrics and trims, specialty papers and every sort of artsy doo dad you can imagine. Plus, art classes and events!
Lots of goods to make upcycled mixed media art. Don't let your unused art supplies sit in a landfill. Bring them here, someone will want them.
I know that a lot of people in the crafting world tend to have supplies left over, crafts that went awry, unfinished projects etc. So what to do with all that leftover stuff? Bring it here! For donation, or store credit. Spend some time here, dig will find tons of goodies, I know I have!
What's on your agenda for the New Year?
Any cool eighties finds?
If your latest find is a Cabbage Patch doll, keep that to yourself, otherwise, I would love to hear about your eighties experience! Also, let me know about any independent biz that needs some love!



Monday, December 23, 2013

Things I Decided Not to Sell.....

One of the challenging things about the vintage/thrift biz is having to part with the merchandise. There are times I passionately debate with myself whether to keep or list. Realistically, if I kept everything I wanted to....well, you would be watching me on that "Hoarders" show. Besides, its part of the business, and I only hope that my buyers love and appreciate their purchase from me. It would be much tougher for me if I were a kitten reseller, I'd keep them all. Then you would definitely see me on "Hoarders".
Regardless, there are some things that I have decided to keep. Usually it is my children that have decided to keep the said item. Future hoarders?
This Power Puff Girls sheet didn't make it to be listed. Its actually not a sheet, but a former sheet that was made into a rod-pocket curtain panel for a girls room. Well, my daughter Avery who loves the Power Puff girls, decided that it WAS a sheet and she was keeping it. It was only $1.00 at a Storage unit thrift store, I couldn't say no.....
Owl cookie jar!
I loved this item and I did have it listed for almost a year. It was quite popular for people to view, but not purchase (even dirt cheap!) Know why? Because there is a teeny tiny chip on the graduation cap. See it? I didn't think so. Because it is teeny tiny! Instead of marking it down or practically giving it away, I decided to give it a loving home here with me. The minuscule chip doesn't bother me. No ones perfect anyways...
....And these cool mid century canisters.....
Nothing is wrong with them. I was washing them and getting them cleaned and prepared to take pics and list them, but then they just kind of stayed there in my kitchen. And they haven't moved since.
Sometimes my kids and I play some of the games before I list and sell them. If we really like the game, we keep it. We have kept quite a few, these are just some.
As far as "keeping stuff" my son, Evan is the worst!
First of all ANYTHING Garfield is a keeper. Homer is hanging out with the cats...Because, he keeps the Simpsons stuff too!
Also anything skulls he will insist we keep:

This skull necklace was in a box with a bunch of biker castoffs at that storage unit thrift store. My son also finagled me into buying the two gigantic rhinestone skull belt buckles and a skull key chain. I think I paid about $1.50 for everything.
Then he decided to start collecting these:
Old crappy Furbies. The white one only says 2 or 3 things and that's it. No dancing, no personality changes, just "night night" and "I love you" and "Hungry! Hungry!" and once you feed him he will say "tummy ache". That's it. And look how mangy and dirty he is!  The courtyard jester Furby doesn't even work. So that blank glaze is all you will get from him.

Now for my indie business of the week!
Artsy urban meeting place for friends, music and fun!
Located in Ybor's Historical cigar district.
Flea market/art gallery/events/fresh market...and so much more!
Not only is Stained Market a local and independent business, but it is owned and operated by women! All the more reason to support them.
Maria and Joy are two of the nicest people ever and they do a great job supporting local artists, musicians and the community.
Their store is filled with a plethora of unique and ever changing finds.
They also have a lot of events there, Yoga, Spanish classes, crazy ass face painting, art shows...just an insane variety of coolness!
When I mentioned "face painting" I wasn't talking about little girls with butterflies on their cheeks:


Always supporting the local artists!
And you know I love an independent business that is run by women and supports the arts! That's a trifecta of amazingness!
Go and check it out, because you never know what you may find, and whatever it is, you can guarantee its not something you will find at Walmart and the other big box stores.
Is there anything that you decided to keep? A lot? A little? We are all guilty of it, some more than others. Maybe you are more disciplined.....But I bet you have kept at least one thing, haven't you?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Art > Arson

As some of you may know, I have mentioned  The Heidelberg Project in Detroit before. And I am going to mention it again, this time with an important plea to help raise much needed funds. As of now, there has been 7 fires in 7 months. Actually, let me correct myself: 7 ARSONS in 7 months. Heidelberg Project has brought so much positive energy into this hurting city. And Tyree Guyton has bones of steel and a heart of gold. His resilience and determination is the epitome of Detroit. We need to help support, preserve and rebuild his vision!

My Favorite!

Why someone would want to burn down something so vibrant and full of life, that brings in so many visitors from all over the beyond me.
Please donate to help rebuild AND also to have some sort of security system implemented.
Donate HERE
My indie business of the week is also tied into Heidelberg, and that's how I become familiar with this awesome shop! They designed a shirt with the proceeds going The Heidelberg project. And amazingly enough, these shirts sold out! I hope possibly they will make some more, because it is a kick ass shirt, going to an important cause!
So, I saw this shirt and I thought, "who is this incredible company helping to raise money for Heidelberg?"
 I sent a message and received a response from Brad Hicks. He has a really great online shop with only a positive view of Detroit being portrayed. No guns and gangsta crapola on his shirts. He also supports local music and kinda guy! 
Check out his Facebook Page ("like" it while you are there):

Or follow him on

Respect Tee, One of my faves. 
You will not find his shirts at Walmart of any of those other big box stores. Why? Because they suck! Shop local and independent businesses for unique items and stellar customer service. This would make a perfect holiday present, especially for displaced Detroiters (like myself). Also, He is offering FREE shipping right now until Jan. 1st! Take advantage of this great deal, and support cool Brad's shop of kick ass positive Detroit goods.
His website will also give you more information about his business code and info about Heidelberg Project, and how important this movement is to the city.
Send him some love!
Speaking of art...My 10 year old son will be selling his art this Friday the 13th, from 5-8 at the Whole Foods in South Tampa. Please come and buy his art, because one day it will be worth millions. Support young artists, like Evan! He is the only child in this art show, and it is a major honor!
I originally planned on only featuring local and indie businesses for the holiday season, but I enjoy it so much and have met so many great people, that I think I may just stick with this theme year round. So if you know a indie biz that is worthy of some extra love, please let me know!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Five Minutes

Five minutes. That is how long I was late for the score of a lifetime. Just five minutes!
Last week, I went to one of my favorite thrift stores and I noticed some guy walking around with some kick ass mid century brass wall doohickey. I thought that was a pretty cool item, However, I would have passed on it because A: it was huge, I wouldn't want to ship that thing and B: it was huge, I wouldn't want to store that thing before it sold....but, hey, good for him. Then it dawned on me, he is still shopping, and he has an eye for cool things! As I watched him try to finagle that giant wall hanging into his significant other's cart, I saw the mother load of Pyrex in the cart. By mother load, I mean at least 20 pieces of vintage Pyrex. All the good ones too. The teal patterns, the orange ones...sets, all with lids...I managed to find a few in the back of the shelf that they must have missed.
I mean, don't get me wrong. I very much like the two Pyrex that I was able to get. I also like the fact that they were so busy grabbing all their cool stuff, that they didn't see these awesome mod soup bowls or the kitschy pig planter. Interested! Get them HERE ! By the way, these people didn't even look cool enough to be interested in vintage Pyrex. They looked like they should be at home, on their mauve velvet laz-e-Boy watching Rosanne reruns or Duck Dynasty. How dare them snatch all those fabulous things that were meant for me!....If only I was there 5 minutes earlier....  Well, at least I found this:

My son loves Chess and he loves the Simpsons. So at $3 this was a steal. All new, still wrapped. This is what my daughter will be giving my son for Christmas. Its in her price range and will be a great surprise. As I was strolling around the aisles, there was a boy, about 12 years old, following me around. He asked me if that was my cart...(D'uh, Im pushing it around, so what do you think?) He couldn't take his eyes of the Simpsons Chess set in my cart. He asked me if I was buying it. (Okay, another dumb question). So he proceeded to tell me how much he loves the Simpsons and how he has a Krusty the Clown doll at home and blah blah blah..... He should have got here 5 minutes earlier. Its mine now kid!
And now, this weeks independent/small business to support:
The owner Becky, is a friend of mine. We met when our daughters were in preschool together. We have a lot in common and our girls play together so well. Its great to have a buddy to go thrifting with!
Beckys love is vintage clothing, and she has some cool threads to check out!
How delicious is this number? Some Go Go boots and you are ready to go!
Smoking hot retro yum yum!
Stay away from all those big box stores full of boring crapola. Walmart won't be carrying this dress. (Why? Because they suck). And best of all, These dresses are unique! Pretty sure you won't show up at a party and someone else is wearing the same dress. So check out Pink Cheetah Vintage, you will thank me for introducing you to this retro delight.
Support local/ independent/family owned and operated business. Its so important. The Walton family doesn't need another yacht, but Becky's daughters would like to go to college. Supporting small businesses help make that happen!
I will continue to feature independent businesses this holiday shopping season! If you have a recommendation, let me know! If you have a business and are having any sales or promotions, let me know! Please comment! Share the love!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Many years ago, while browsing through books at the thrift store, I came across a book that just looked interesting to me. I can't explain why, exactly. I think it was because of the beautiful illustrations....I'm always a sucker for art! So I put it in my cart and then I saw another stack of the same style book, so I just decided to grab them all, something was special about them. That was my first encounter with Serendipity books. I didn't have an online book store at the time, I just wanted these books for myself. I did some research on them and came to find out that they have a huge following of fans. People bidding like crazy for them on Ebay! My kids and I couldn't help ourselves and we read each one and then we understood the love for these books. I have since then had a "Serendipity Radar" I seek these books out and try to always carry a large stock in my SHOP. They continue to be my best sellers.
The illustrations inside are just as charming!
They are written by Steven Cosgrove and illustrated by Robin James. And they always have a moral, such as Crickle Crackle (say no to drugs), because the Crickle Crackle berries make the squirrel go bonkers but he just wants one more....And in Fanny, finding friendship with the disabled....yea..yea...yea, the moral is great and all, but I really love these books for the illustrations, and unusual/creative outlook of life.
The Serendipity books are some of my personal faves. I will continue to blog about a few other favorites in the future, and if you can recommend some great books that I am overlooking, please let me know in the comments!  
Don't forget my coupon code ends in December, hurry up to save 15%! BOOKS4ME HERE
My kids are making me feature this beast. They have been bugging me to share her loveliness with the world.
Look at that ugly puss.
I actually love her because she is so odd, and she is quite a large size lady, about 1 foot tall. Statement piece! However my kids hate her.  Perhaps it is that frozen haunting stare, those gigantic starburst irises, that lipless tight  smile, maybe even that pig nose. When I had it placed her near my photo station for a couple of days, I noticed that my son placed a plastic bag over her head. He said it was to hide her catatonic glare, but I think he was trying to suffocate her. I have had sick mom fantasies about laying her in bed next to my sleeping son to get a hilarious Youtube video the next morning. But I know that would probably cause severe psychological trauma and make him hate me for life.  So for now, its just a fun but very, very wrong thought.
If you love "Graduation Girl" as much as I do, or you want to prank your kids or significant other.....get her HERE
Beauty is only skin deep.
Finally, as you know, I will be featuring a independent small business every week for the holiday season. This week I want to give a shout out to Ed at Zip StampZ. He sells custom stamps for all occasions, which are especially perfect for this time of year!
He can help you will any of your marketing needs to give your shop a nice personal touch. He can design a custom stamp for your wedding invites....and then hook you up for those baby shower invites that may soon  follow.
He has also helped me save money on packing and shipping supplies, which as you know in this business is a must!
So this week, my shout out is to Ed and Zip StampZ!  Just in time for those holiday cards....
Any small biz shout outs? Any sales and promos at your small biz? Share the love and comment!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What a Crazy Weekend!

So, my shops have been picking up traffic for the holidays and I have had to make the time to do more shopping. Friday, I headed out to one of my favorite Thrift Shops that I haven't been to in awhile. So as the elderly gentleman was ringing up my great purchases, I noticed there was a new lady working at the counter. I always do my best to be very friendly to the staff at these establishments for two reasons: 1) they are usually nice volunteers, and 2) makes it easier for me to get a deal.
This new lady working, I'm guessing about 80 years old, and she was all glammed up. She had her hair put in a bun, and had on shimmery blue eye shadow, orange lipstick, giant plastic earrings. She reminded me of Mrs. Roper. It was about 9:30am. So I said to her "My, don't you look lovely! So early too, I don't know how you find the time to get so beautified!" And she scowled at me, in a heavy Russian accent " Because I AM A WOMAN! WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?!" And then she proceeded to scold me in her heavy accent, waving her finger at me, " I live in a house with 11 family members, and 2 of them are disabled, and I make the time, because I am a woman!! I come to this country and I know who I am, I make the time for being a woman!....." and on and on, waving her finger at me the whole time. Mind you, I didn't even look particularly bad that day. I had on makeup, hair in a pony tail, jeans and a cute shirt. She then followed me out the door, yapping at me..."Next time I see you in here, I don't want to hear any excuses, because you are a woman!!" Seriously, wtf, Lady!? At least I don't have wrinkles!
So, the next day, as my family and I were coming home from our yearly fundraiser, FARE, (Food Allergy Research and Education), there was a church rummage sale. I remembered this one from the previous year as being pretty good. I asked my husband to stop and he begrudgingly did. We were all hot and tired and my daughter would stop asking for more food. And I only had $2 on me. So I go check it out. And holy crap, it was a bonanza of goods! Then I saw all this Garfield stuff (boxes and boxes full). My son, Evan is the worlds biggest Garfield fan, so I went back to the car and got him, and we walked to the corner ATM. Now I had money for his stuff and mine!
These are the only ones he kept, there were about 50 in the box!
These are just a few more...seriously, both my shops will be full of plush Garfields and collectibles.
This is only about a third of the loot! And the man who donated all the Garfield stuff wanted to meet my son. I think he was really happy to see his collection go to a good home. It was really cool to see his reaction, because he obviously was a huge fan!
Now remember, I mentioned that there was all sorts of other cool stuff there!
I love this mid century candy bowl!

The Sandra Boyton ornaments are my favorites! I was such a fan when I was in middle school. These ornaments are a rare find, and they have a different picture on the other side.
Love the mid century ashtrays too! Ashtrays don't always do so well for me, but I just can't resist them. If you have to smoke, do it in style! (or just throw some paper clips and loose change in them, its all good!)
Giant collection of Annual Best of Sci-Fi books from the 70s-80s. Drool!!
Read yourself silly HERE!
Narnia fans, brace yourself!
This is the highly collectible collection!
My weekend started off with a scolding from an elderly Russian Mrs. Roper wannabe, but ended quite well! I have so much listing to do, my head is spinning! I would like to add, my Evan was really good in dealing with the Garfield windfall. I told him that he could only take out some to keep, and the rest I will list. It took him an hour to decide which ones to keep, He selected 8, which I know was a difficult decision for him. Avery, my daughter who is not into Garfield, wanted to have one also. She selected one and she loves him so!
Any good finds roll in your way lately? Any Russian ladies scold you in recent times? Do tell!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whatcha Reading?

I am continuing to feature independent small businesses for the holiday season. Its very important to support the small fry, they will give you knowledge, customer service and variety that you will not find at the big box stores. Supporting small businesses also means that you will help their families put a meal on the table as opposed to helping the CEO of Walmart buy another vacation home.
So That being said, I am featuring a few author friends. Oddly enough they both have written Michigan/Detroit based books.....Hmmm...Okay, I'm from Detroit as many of you already know, and as well as supporting small biz, I also like to support Detroit, because I love her so.
First Author is Michael Jay. I came to know him through a Detroit Facebook group. We grew up on the same Street: Faust. We didn't live on the same block, but there is still that connection. His book is a pretty intense story of his life. And his story is a testament about how resilient Detroiters are. I, of course have purchased and read his book...FABULOUS!
Dog Water Free
A Memoir
A coming of age story about an improbable journey to find emotional truth
For further information: Dog Water Free
It will blow your mind!
My next author friend, J. Michael Joslin, has written a historical Michigan book. It sounds so interesting that I am just drooling thinking about it! Especially since it is Plymouth, Michigan history in particular. Plymouth is a city/town right outside Detroit. I had the pleasure of living there for a couple of years and would have never left if I had my choice. Its an old town full of beautiful Victorian homes and cute little coffee shops and art galleries that are a walk away. Its also where my career as an interior designer all began. I will be purchasing this book for family members for holiday gifts.
So Mr. Joslin has the inside scoop about Plymouth! Can't wait to read....

Thank God For Michigan
Company C of the 24th Michigan Infantry regiment of the Iron Brigade
 Available here: Thank God for Michigan
I will be reading it also during the holidays....can't wait!
I also want to add that J. Michael Joslin is multi talented. He also has an Etsy shop. Check out this craftsmanship!
Gorgeous, right?
Where else are you going to find this kind of craftsmanship nowadays? I know where you won't find it: Walmart
Check out his shop here: Ye Old Rebel Workshop
And speaking of Etsy...I can't end this blog without mentioning another shop, also another generous donater to FARE Food Allergy Walk raffle. Every dollar raised is a step towards a cure for my sons life threatening food allergies.
Monique has an Etsy shop called Unique Nique and she is a true artist. She works with glass. Which means extreme heat! Seriously, I cannot even take cookies out of the oven without burning myself. So clearly Monique has a lot of skill, to say the least!
How cool is this??

Perfect holiday gift for the person who has everything. Won't find this a the big box stores! And I would also like to add that Monique is a big cheerleader for all of us independent shop owners. She is about as positive and kind as a human can be without turning into a rainbow.
Get your glass on here: Unique Nique
Next week, I will have support my own business....because I got some cool new items to list in my stores. Be the first to preview the goods and use my coupon codes before they expire and vanish into thin air...poof!
Books4me will getcha 15% off at Vintage Book Market
Vintage4me will save you 10% at Circa Company
Happy Holidays and don't forget to support independent and local shops!
If you are an independent shop owner, please feel free to comment with any specials/promos/deals that you are having for the holiday shopping season. I support what you do, share the love!