Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rolling Christmas!

Saturday, December 28, 2013
Like many families, we are spread out all over everywhere. David has family from Louisiana to Ohio, and my family lives from San Francisco to North Carolina.

So this year, we're doing "Rolling Christmas."

We started out by driving 650 miles south to Charleston, South Carolina for Christmas itself, where we stayed with David's brother while his father journeyed up from Louisiana. As a Northerner, I found warm temperatures and a trip to the beach decidedly un-Christmas-like.

David's 91 year old father 
But a lovely evening Mass filled with Christmas carols, and precious little girls dressed up in their very best made things seem sufficiently festive.

But we confronted "Christmas in the South" again: Palm trees decorated for Christmas!

And if that didn't convince us, consider what's on special at the local Piggly Wiggly!

Too soon, it was time to head north again, but we did make some time to do some vintage treasure hunting!

Lovely Linens!

We couldn't pass up a stop at JR Outlets in Statesville, where the billboards promised "Everything from Brassieres to Chandeliers"!

But it wasn't until we hit this Flea Market that we discovered the best in fine lingerie shopping!

The best bra you can get for $1.50!
And finally, we are now home in Central Pennsylvania, getting ready for the second half of our Rolling Christmas with a houseful of my relatives!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Things to be Thankful For

Monday, November 25, 2013
I have much to be thankful for.

A wonderful husband who not only tolerates my junkin' obsession, but who encourages it.

Please? Can I keep him?
Just a man and his 10 foot chicken
Talented and loving children who are self-sufficient adults, leaving me with a little disposable income with which I fund that junkin' obsession.

The fact that there is a big wonderful world out there, full of boxes that are just begging to be explored!

This is a REAL place: Trader Jack's outside Pittsburgh

A PAIR of anorexic Art Deco floor lamps: Yes!
And finally, I am thankful there is a place in the world where you can find a Bison wearing TWO sombreros.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Flea Market Freeze Out

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
This morning, the weather app on my smart phone gave me the bad news: "A Wintery Mix" is expected across Central Pennsylvania.

And that can mean only one thing. Time for holiday shopping? Time for warm sweaters? Time to put out the electric blanket?

Surely you jest! It means that outdoor flea market season is ending!

Dear David (the "Grampa" in "Gramma's Linen Closet") and I made one more trip out to Western Pennsylvania for the Fleatique at Tour-Ed Mine. Lest the name confuse you, the Fleatique takes place on the grounds of an old coal mine that has been restored and is open to the public for tours.

The morning dawned cold, and there was mud from the previous day's rain, but we were undeterred! And rewarded!

LOTS of vintage Christmas!

As we headed home, we spied some "Antiques and Artisans" signs by the side of the road, and set off in hot pursuit. We discovered the Whispering Pines Antique and Art show after a long winding drive through the near barren corn fields. It was worth the drive. Although the vendors were all high-end dealers, and we didn't buy anything, the grounds of the Whispering Pines farm are just gorgeous.

And, taking advantage of the beautiful weather, we drove home via old Route 30, the Lincoln Highway. Once the primary East-West thoroughfare through Pennsylvania (before the Pennsylvania Turnpike), there are vestiges of another way of life: small, cottage-style roadside motels, abandoned gas stations, Mom and Pop diners, and...

An 18-foot Pied Piper! Once an early children's theme park, Storyland near Bedford, PA is now abandoned. The original owner's daughter maintains a charming gift shop just past the original entrance, but the park itself is off limits to the public. (The photos were all taken from the gift shop parking lot with the owner's permission.)

So what did we buy at the Fleatique?

Startex Tablecloth with Pink and Yellow Roses

A Canada Souvenir Tablecloth

A Carrie Wilson signed Bridge Cloth

A trio of unused Mid Century Tea Towels

A Leacock Tea Towel featuring a Butcher and a Shopping List
I DO have one Ace-in-the-hole: Our local flea market at Williams Grove is open ALL WINTER LONG! We'll bundle up and brave the colder weather in the name of vintage.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Box Lot BUST! or not?

Friday, July 19, 2013
I have written before of my love of the flea market or auction "box lot." The mystery. The surprise. The possibility of scoring something amazing.

I guess it's my version of playing the lottery.

Yesterday I played and I lost.

David and I went out to a local auction where they always have a huge number of box lots. I've done well with box lots there before.

With box lots, it's best not to advertise your interest too much, lest the other dealer/bidders get interested too. Of course you need to examine the box's content, but if you spy treasure, sometimes it's best to leave it at the bottom of the box and hope no one else notices. Pulling out each of the tablecloths or kitchen towels, spreading them out and examining them closely is kind of out of the question. Besides, the crush of people circling the box lot tables would make that impossible anyway.

Yesterday I caught sight of a fairly big box of linens and fabric. I rooted around in it and saw a number of things that really caught my eye. I was definitely interested, and I mentally set a fairly high limit on what I would bid for the box.

Others saw the same things I did and the bidding went all the way up to my limit--more than I ordinarily pay for a box lot.

When I got the box home, I had very high hopes for what I would uncover. 

And--thud. Bust. Bad box lot.

I saw a lovely aqua border on a tablecloth.

What I got was hopelessly faded--except the border.

I saw linens carefully folded, pressed, and starched, and I assumed they would be well cared for.

What I got was full of holes and stains.

I saw some great bold colors on a tablecloth.

What I got was a "do it yourself" tablecloth made with fabric paint.

I did get a few nice things, but most of them are "cutters" and I'll have to bundle them with other linens that are past their prime and sell them to crafters at a discount.

Those are soaking right now in an attempt to freshen them up.

But in the process, I came up with a new idea for my online shops: the "Virtual Box Lot!" I can pull together a bunch of things with similar characteristics, and sell them as a group. Except I'll let you see them, in their entirety, warts and all. That way, your virtual box lot won't be a bust like mine was!

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