Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Always a sure sale!

My husband, Greg, took the week off of work, a "staycation", if you will. He always has lots of vacation time, so he usually uses one week a year to "get stuff done" around the house. He is a real handy sort of guy and he probably saves us thousands of dollars a year! Fixing water heaters, air conditioning, drywall, water damage, installing French drains...the list goes on and on. Its sad that he even has to do any of that crap considering we live in a new construction home! Anyhow, I'm just satisfied that he will kill spiders in the house.

On Mondays, my son, Evan,  takes a two-hour stop motion animation class downtown. Usually, while he is in his class, Avery and I will hit two thrift shops in that area (while I am on that side of town). On Tuesdays, my daughter takes a yoga class, also downtown. So while she is in her class, my son and I will hit a different thrift store. (Its one that all the employees and I have become friends, we have been going there weekly for 4 years.)

This week, because dad is home all week, I just took the kid who had a class and the other kid stayed home with dad. So both Monday and Tuesday, I was shopping at the usual places, the usual days and times....but without a kid. I thought I would have liked it, but I missed having them around, and even the employees were asking where my kids were! And shopping ended up being sparse and disappointing!

However I did get a big lucky score!

Recipe card boxes! Whenever I find these, I snatch these up in a millisecond! In the past, they have sold for me in just a couple of days after listing! And I found three of them!!! I was so excited! One is Great American and the other two are Better Homes and Gardens. When my son and I went out to eat after his art class, we brought one of the boxes in, plopped it on the table and pulled out cards and laughed at the recipes while we ate our food! Good times! Who needs a kids menu with mazes when you have a box of vintage recipe cards!!!

Just starting to list them -------->HERE!

Vintage Pyrex can be very good, or very bad. Depends on the collection, of course, and I also find that sets sell better than random pieces. So, I found a set, maybe not the most sought after collection, Old Orchard. But it was a set, so that always excites me. I paid more than I wanted to, however my home store is becoming sparse and I have really been trying to stock it up! I think this set won't stay around for long. It will be listed this week....

Set of three mixing bowls arriving shortly. Look for them--->HERE!

Now, I don't know what to do about this guy?


Seriously, what the hell is this guy? I saw him and I had to have him, and now that I have him, I don't know what to do with him.

I have not been able to find out any info about him. Screaming sheriff, screaming Mexican sheriff, yawning sheriff....I have searched every combination...still clueless. I haven't listed him yet, because I don't know how to describe him. I like him though, he is kinda cool to look at. I like odd things. For now, he's keeping me company on my desk.

You never know what someone is going to buy. That is one thing I have learned over the years. Remember that vintage poodle grooming book I had on last weeks blog? Remember how I said that this is one of those items that will either sell immediately or sit in my store forever? Well, guess what went out in the mail today? Yep, poodle book sold immediately. Because you never know......

Use coupon code: Randomgoods to save 10% at either of my stores. Expires 4/14
Use it at Circa Company
Vintage Book Market

Don't forget to come and check out Evan's art!  Sunday, March 2, At Hyde Park Market from 10-2!
Support young artists!

This week, I do not have an Indie business of the week, because there is another place I want to give a shout out to:



Why you ask? Yea, yea, yea, I know, Krispy Kreme is not independent or a small business. But here is why I want to show them some love:
My son has life threatening peanut and tree nut allergies (along with all legumes, peas, lentils....) There is no bakery, besides my kitchen, that my son can eat at, or grab a quick treat or whatever. Even if it doesn't contain nuts, it cannot be made on the same equipment as nut products. Krispy Kreme is completely nut-free. I remember when I first heard about that, I called them to double check. They told me that they are nut free and will always be nut free. That is a big policy with their stores. They are not ever going to have a donut added in the future with nuts. They want to always remain a nut free establishment. That is huge for this family. Even though I am not a big donut eater (I'm more of a cookie girl), the rest of my family loves them, and I want to support a business that respects my sons allergies as well as all the other nut allergic people in the world who are unable to enjoy a simple visit to a bakery.
YAY for Krispy Kreme!
Show them some Facebook love --->HERE!
By the way, last year, they had a chocolate caramel salted pretzel donut that was to die for! Hope they bring it back this year!
So, what's new at your neck of the woods? Gotta any info about the screaming sheriff that you would like to share? Like donuts? Hear any good jokes lately?  Know a juicy secret? Spill the beans and comment. 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Finally, A Good Score!

I haven't had much luck lately on my thrift adventures. My shops have been crazy busy and I feel itchin' to get new and fresh stock listed. Unfortunately, my recent shopping sprees have been mediocre at best. Until last week.....
Got me some goodies! Yea, not a truck full or anything like that, but this time it was about quality. I felt pretty satisfied, much like how I feel after eating a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough batter, but without the guilt.

One special place that I frequent is in the heart of "oldsville". Not only does this place get donations from the elderly, but the elderly are also the shoppers. They are shopping for shorts, blouses and comfortable sneakers, sometime a little doo dad here and there, but nothing I would ever buy anyhow. Like a wreath with gingerbread men on it. When I go to this place, I am usually the youngest by 30 years or more. No competition there. Last year I bought a complete set of Pyrex Butterprint for just a few bucks. It was probably sitting there for a week. This time I had another victory:

Boy oh boy, did I ever fall in love with these! A set of French text books from the 50's. In the past I have had trouble selling any foreign language books, and text books. However...Just LOOK at these! Gorgeous mid century design! It is really hard for me not to keep these. I will use them as a picture prop, until they sell, which I believe won't take to long at all.
Find them------------------>HERE

Did you really expect me to pass by this pulp fiction lot full of the best cheesiest covers and titles ever? Confidential Secretary! Sorority Girl! There was no way I was coming home without them!
Get 'em while you can----------------->HERE

Then there is this. Yolanda Slaves of Space. I had to buy it because of the cover. Its about a sexologist who travels to another planet. I was just going to throw this into a lot of other vintage Sci-Fi books, (which typically are good sellers for me). For some reason I did a bit of research on this book. Apparently, its a rare a valuable find. There is only one other I found available online, and it was going for $100!
So, curiosity got the best of me and I took a looky inside. HOLY CRAP! This book is full of the most hardcore erotica you could imagine. Involving aliens and lots of other crazy shit!! So glad I didn't leave this book out for long, as my son tends to read whatever I have laying around.
Feeling kinky and indulgent? Satisfy your craving------>HERE

An oldie but a goodie here^. Gorgeous book from 1914. Hard to find books that old that are still in good condition. So this was a real delight! Insanely cool illustrations, as you can imagine from this cover.
Interested? Come and get it------>HERE

Now, this was an interesting find. Kind of a groundbreaking book, about a family that is raising their child as an X. Not a boy or a girl. And they treat it equally as a boy and girl and dress it in very gender neutral clothing as well. Kind of an experiment. I was originally drawn to the cover and page art. But upon reading it and  researching it, I realized that I came across something quite special!

Want to see why it's so special? Find out---->HERE

Okay, I'll be honest with you:
I don't know why the hell I bought this book. Really I am clueless about this decision. It may be in my shop for awhile (or sell immediately, you never know). The vintage pictures of these poodles being coiffed, was more than I could handle. I had to have this. Impulse purchase, couldn't control myself. I browsed these pages and had a good laugh! Poodle grooming is serious business!

Want to have a good laugh too? Do it----->HERE

This was an interesting find. Mostly because I saved its life. I overheard some thrift shop employees discussing this giant bin of really old antique books that they are going to have to toss because they are in crappy condition. One of the ladies was very upset and she felt you shouldn't throw away books, regardless of the condition. The other 2 ladies were insistent about it. They said that they were moldy and falling apart and they wouldn't feel right about selling them. The one lady kept saying to just put them out there, cheap, and people can look at them and decide. (I agree with this lady). Anyhow, I had to peek my head in the back and say "old books? I love old books! Can I take a peek?" The nice lady let me. I asked if there were any children's books and she handed this to me, right from the top of the pile. I thought, "how delightful!" And by the way, totally NOT in bad condition! Anyhow, the other two nasties told me that they were ditching the whole lot and I can't be in the back room. So I just left with this one goodie! If the others were in this kind of condition, those ladies made a terrible mistake!

Find the lone survivor--------->HERE

So it wasn't all about the books. I got some other sure sellers and a one that is questionable, but lovely just as well.

Starting with these:


Mid Century men's valets. I have always done well with these in the past. So whenever I come across them, I snatch them up! Two in one trip, what a treat!


And----------->HERE TOO

Lovely little mid century wire fruit bowl. (See, I'm using my French books as photo props).
I am usually successful with these sorts of items.

Need a place to store your apples? How about---->HERE

This owl needlepoint is an iffy. Will it sell or won't it? Your guess is as good as mine. Personally I love her! I sure don't mind her hanging around for a while. In the past, I have done quite well with wall hangings, and I have done quite well with needlepoint. However, I have not done well with owls. (Even though I love love owls). So  for this one, I'll just have to see what happens.

Lovin' owls too? Let her hang out with you---->HERE

Now to veer off topic. As you know, my son does art shows and sells his art at markets and other venues. On a whim, I decided to surprise him with this:

I had a custom shirt made for him to wear when he is selling his art. I took one of his illustrations, the only one with color, as he tends to stick with black ink, and I went to a place that does custom shirts. The font that they helped me find has little skulls in the "A" and the "R", (click image to enlarge). So this young fellow, who was the manager, spend a very long time, helping me pick out font and then spending an incredible amount of time getting this image to work on a black shirt (special request from me, because I know my son prefers to wear black, cost a bit extra and took a week, but well worth it). This guy, Tyler, had to go around every single hair and angle to clean it up. There was NO extra charge for his time and effort. When my son saw it, he was beyond words! I think it was the happiest he could possibly be at that moment.

So, where did I get this shirt, you ask?

Well, that brings me to the:

Tyler really helped me quite a bit in creating this surprise for my son, and I am very thankful. If I chose to get a white shirt, I would have been able to take it home on the spot. And if Evan chooses to sell shirts with one of his art images on it, this is the place we would have handle the job. Of course they would be white shirts. Not sure if that's what he wants to do at this point, but he definitely is considering it. We will see the feedback he gets at the next show, when he is wearing his shirt.
Next show will be March 1st, in Hyde Park. Come and say "hi!"
Comments, thoughts and ideas are always appreciated! Share your recent finds! Share a local business that needs a shout out, or share some random crap that will make me laugh, its all good!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mercer Mayer and More!

The thrift stores have been pretty stale this past week, I don't know why...last year after the holidays, the stores were filled with awesome finds. This year, not so much.

I did manage to come across some goodies. I have been majorly revamping my merchandise. Getting rid of things that haven't been selling, or stuff that I am just sick of looking at, sick of storing. Now that I have had the first year of Etsy under my belt, I feel much wiser. It is a constant learning process. I have made my fair share of mistakes and have been smart enough to learn from them (for the most part). Certain things just don't sell: Mugs, coffee pots, fondue pots (regardless of how funky retro they are), ashtrays (even cool mid century ones).  Books that don't sell: Golden Books, Hardy Boys, any sort of encyclopedia or reference book UNLESS you have the whole set, Choose your own adventure (vintage, original)There are lots more, too many things to list. Point is that I have trained myself to bypass these items when I see them. It was hard to do at first, but I believe that I have overcome this weakness. And the result so far is that my sales are more than doubling from last year. Even tripling. I have truly learned from my mistakes.

With that being said, I didn't walk away empty handed from hitting the thrift shops this past week. I rarely do. I found these cute little books!

Little golden guides. A whole mess of them! I have been successful with those small little golden guides in the past, and these are a bit different, they have a little quiz in the back. Because, what child doesn't love a quiz? Ha.

These fun little books are available ------>HERE!

I also came across a nice lot of these vintage Mercer Mayer books. Before Mr. Mayer was even thinking about Little Critter, he wrote and illustrated some really wacky kick ass monster books. They were some of my favorites as a child. Super creative and dark, yet not scary. He was a creative madman in the world of children's book illustrations.

Professor Wormbog and others available----->HERE!

I also found this fun set of math cards from the 60's. Back when they were trying to acclimate everyone to this crazy concept called "new math". The funny thing is that whatever math crap my kids are currently learning should be called "your parents can't help you with this math because they learned how to do it another way". Yea, I can't help my kids with the simplest of problems. I can get the answer, but I can't help them get the answer the new special way they are supposed to get the answer. I don't know why they had to change it. It was fine before. The answers all came out right. If I ever meet the person who made this change, I will kick them in the nuts. (Assuming its a man). If its a lady, I will pull her hair. Women hate that!

 Well these vintage flash cards are pretty cool and basic. Complete sets. It can help you teach your kids math in a way that they can no longer use.
Great teacher display item, the boxes are in pretty good condition and have delightful retro happy kids on them. Little do those kids know that when they grow up, they will be too confused to help their own kids with math.

Fun retro math cards available----->HERE!

I also found an awesome mod luggage set. At first I thought they were Pierre Cardin because there was a vintage leather Pierre Cardin travel tag on the handle. That would have been worth a pretty penny. Further inspection proved otherwise. I found no other evidence that these were Pierre Cardin luggage. Nothing on the zippers or lining...It doesn't matter, I would have bought them anyhow because they are just so delightful!

Meanwhile this picture is my worst picture ever. It has been raining practically every day for 2 weeks here in Tampa. I would have loved to take them outside, near the pool and palm trees (and bright sun) to get a pic, but Mother Nature decided otherwise. I wanted to get them listed ASAP, and once the rain and clouds go away, I will take them outside for a much better picture, but for now, you get the idea:

Clean as a whistle too. I am including the Pierre Cardin travel tag, that alone is worth the purchase.

They are so divine I promise you.
Traveling soon? Do it in style, available----->HERE!

Defiant jewelry with a purpose
Rebel Nell was created by two women (I love female business owners)....But listen to how kick ass cool these ladies are: they employ disadvantaged women in Detroit, educate them on business and life skills and empower them to transition to an independent life. (wow, that is just so amazing!)
Here is what they do:  They take broken graffiti pieces found on the ground and create incredible, one of a kind jewelry. I didn't even know that was possible, but it is, and it is beautiful!
I know! Who would have thunk it? Broken graffiti! Wow-za!

Rings and more! I love everything this company stands for!
They have just recently opened an Etsy store.

Check them out------>REBEL NELL

"Like" them on Facebook----->REBEL NELL FACEBOOK

Remember, its very important to support local and/or independent businesses! Especially ones who give so much back to the community.

So meanwhile, I am hoping next weeks thrifting extravaganza will reward me with a fabulous haul of vintage delights. I'll let you know. Heading out tomorrow, wish me luck! Any luck roll your way lately?
Any independent business you would like me to give a shout out to?
Share the love!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

This Week

   Just a quick blog post about some random crap. Its been a crazy busy week and I haven't been able to get out and do some shopping. My shops have both been insanely busy, which is wonderful,  but.... still wishing I had a little time this past week to squeeze in a thrift store run.

First of all, I had a guitar customized for my daughter. She is left handed, which makes some things tricky. I was able to find a sweet guitar at a music store at the flea market. The owner had it customized for a lefty and we picked it up on Saturday. It will be a birthday gift for Avery, who will be 7 in March. A guitar and lessons-she is so excited to start and I think she will love it!

Second of all, my 10 year old son just had another art show/sale at Hyde Park Market. Evan and I thought it was time for a small price increase.  Dad- Greg thought it was a bad idea, that people may not pay that much and he would lose some business. Evan and I ignored him (as usual) and the prices were increased....ended up being his best show ever! (In your face, Dad!). The price was increased because the value is increased and my son works hard and doesn't need to sell himself short!


Crappy pics because they were taken last minute with my phone. Click to enlarge.

So here is the quandary: Many people ask Evan for his website or Facebook page. Well, he is 10 and has neither. We have discussed selling some of his work on one of my Etsy shops, (yes to that!) and possibly start a Facebook page this summer. I am just not sure it is a good idea, considering his age, but I also don't want to do anything to hinder his growth and potential. Being 10 and a paid artist...such opportunity he has! I also don't want him to get overwhelmed....Many things to thing about.....

Until then, I will update his art shows/sales on my blog, because I don't know where else to do it besides giving total strangers my Facebook info.

Next show: Sunday, March 2nd Hyde Park 10-2

Look for Evan's art (coming soon)-----> HERE!

^"Coming soon", as in a month or so, when I find a place where I can purchase  glassine envelopes less than a box of 500! (I only want 50)

That's it for now folks! Its been a long day...after a long week...and the week ahead ain't looking to pretty either!

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**Expires April 30th!

10 year old: Facebook  page (business only)Yes or no?