Sunday, April 5, 2015

Round Topped Out

I'm having a very big day of rest today.  I went to Round Top this past Saturday.  Boy am I pooped.  My dogs are barking and my calves are mooing!  I ended up with 35 pictures, although I wanted 100.  Sometimes my mind wandered off and I forgot I was supposed to be taking photos.  Anyway, here's what I saw at Round Top...

Round Top is full of style.  In fact, it's full of many different styles and multiples of the same style.  It's also full of some interesting and stylish people.  Thousands and thousands of them.

I started in an area with a lot of metal work and large pieces.

Beautiful stained glass.  Thousands to choose from.

These would probably make a great table.

Or I could prop my feet up on this industrial coffee table.

A lot of old parts could surely be repurposed into an intriguing design element.

Some things don't require much imagination.  I'd have a hard time putting one of these in my yard but I enjoying seeing them here every time.

Perhaps a refreshing drink of water?

If you've ever had chickens, you can appreciate these lovely looking egg laying boxes.

Animals seem to reign supreme out here.

I definitely missed this.  The funny is just so subtle.  

Would you like a ride?  What you can't see is all the dishes.  I really don't know how this booth sets up or packs up.  I probably wouldn't be far off in saying they have at least 10,000 pieces of china and glassware.

I loved this old door, though I don't know what I would do with it.  Maybe it's something you would see in a restaurant?

Lovely rusted pieces.  I had one weird experience where an owner said not to buy from them, but go further down where it was cheaper.  Of course I never found the other vendor.

I definitely should have bought this.  I have had a lot of moments kicking myself for missing out on some items.

So much silverware.  Can you imagine having to wash all of these?

Some more loveable metal.  I didn't see as many old stoves as I thought I would.

These are so gorgeous.  I am too chicken to even ask how much they cost.

Lots of toys.  Fire engines and military airplanes are popular.

A lovely toy cabinet.  Not a lot of dollhouses.

These typewriters were so neat!  I can't think of ever seeing one before.  There is a dial you turn to the letter you want and then press the big thing that looks like a space bar.  And those phones?  There's no dial.  I'm guessing the operator would have to connect you to your number.

You never know what you'll come across.  This little lady was holding up this pillar and she wasn't complaining at all.  So quiet.

This clock comes as close to something I've been looking for, which is Swedish.  It's hard to see in the picture, but there is a picture of a ship at the bottom of the clock.  Just out of my price range.  Sad face.

Chandelier tree!  I will need a chandelier, but now is not the time to buy one.  I'll have to pass for now.  These are lovely to look at in the meantime.

I shouldn't have seen this.  I was not happy.  The chandelier is quite pretty, yes.  The mistake I made was crossing the street to this venue, walking all the way through it, and finding it had nothing I was interested in buying.  My husband asked what was the "theme" in this venue.  I called it "faux rustic."  It's nice but it's also manufactured, new, I can find it all day long on the internet.  When time is at a premium I don't want to end up in an area with mass produced items.  If I was buying things for myself I would absolutely buy that chandelier and stick it in my bathroom/laundry room/dining room.

This is my most favorite piece!  Of course it was sold.  How could it not sell?  I think if you have 12 foot ceilings there may be enough room in your house.  Absolutely gorgeous piece.  I hope they brought a lot of help to load it.

A smaller and still impressive piece.  All working drawers and bins.  If I get to a point I could sell bigger items, I would probably choose something like this.

An even smaller piece.  I can't remember why I didn't buy it.  Late in the day it becomes more difficult to figure out where something would go, how it could be used, and is it really authentic/original/able to sell.

Nice piece.  Is the color original?  Would it look better in a natural color?  Repurpose ideas?

I own a similar piece to this, which is probably why I thought, "Look at that piece, it's great.  You've got amazing taste."  I was also interested in the wooden boxes below and the gold wind.  Here was another big problem.  I would tell dealers PRICE YOUR STUFF.  If you have tons of customers, you don't have time to answer every question about how much something costs.  A lot of people are tired, too tired to ask you anything.  Or the dealer might want to bargain with you, just offer them a price.  I dunno...a dollar?  Well, now you're insulted.  See?  No one wins.  I walked away from more than 10 items because there was no pricing or not helpful at all in getting to a price.

Clever...price was good.  I didn't buy it.  Another miss.  I have a feeling I'll run into something similar, or even the complete actual machinery I can tear apart on my own.  This is a good piece for using in juxtaposition vignettes.

Fabulous display!  I love the banner.  Lots of draping.  A nice piece of furniture that looks shabby but is cleaned up enough to not have spider webs, etc.  Cute lights and little signs.  I was on the hunt all day long for a little sheep...or cow...bucolic country life.  No dice.  I did find one sheep but it had been painted with pastel polka dots......whut?

I think I need some relaxation.

I think I'll just go get in line and hopefully get home by dark.  This line extended both ways from horizon to horizon.

Overall, I had a great time, saw some original items, bought some sought after items for the shop, and came up with a plan for the Fall show.  Yes, I will be going back.

In my next post, I hope to share with you some of the items I did find.

Think I need a nap.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Thankyou Bloggers and Round Top Prep

Whatcha wanna do?  I don't t.v....

We are now in the last stages of selling and moving.  We're not quite ready to leave the house, so at this point furniture is optional.  About 90% of our things are in storage.  We still retain the washer/dryer, refridgerator, couch, and beds.  Also our necessaries for clothing.


With some time on my hands I get to work on something I dislike...getting things ready for the shop.  Here's a couple of things I found this week.   

 Once I bring an item home it has to be cleaned.  Most everything at estate sales comes in an "As Is" condition.  Things must be cleaned as there's always dirt and deficiencies not noticed at the sale in the poor lighting.  Hours can be spent on cleaning and finding the correct polish to give it just the right shine.  Once the items are cleaned they must be researched to find a fair price.  I'm pretty spot on in guessing what I think it can sell for, but there's a few times I have been made weak in the knees to find out what they are really worth.  I recommend sitting when finding out what items are worth. I still find researching time consuming and wish I didn't have to do it.

Aren't these shish-ka-bobs or skewers quaint?  They are pewter, made in Greece, and represent farm life.

Another thing that qualifies as "research" is reading blogs.  It's an essential part of having a shop space for me. It provides necessary clues as to what I need to shop for, what's trending, what's hot!  I also take design cues and display ideas from you ladies.  For all these things, I say, "Thank You!"  Without all your hard work, I couldn't do my job.  

This week will be wonderfully quiet as I get ready for a big day at my job...Shopping the last day of spring at Round Top. This is an incredible experience that I look forward to like a little child.  But it's business and boy howdy do I mean business when I'm there.  Giddy and laughing inside, but still business.  I feel like I should be doing stretches and squats or something to get ready for this.  Did I tell you where Hubby put my super-special shopping cart for this?  Yep, in the very back corner of a 9x10 storage unit.  Impossible to get to.  Luckily I still have the wagon.  I have visions of Scarlett O'Hara holding a wagon handle in one hand and a raised fist saying, "I shall never go cartless again!"

I'll be bringing you pictures from that adventure soon.  One thing I learned about pictures from Round Top last year is the more the better.  My goal is 100 pictures.  Can't wait to share with you.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Painting and Secretly Renting Shop Space

 One thing I've been doing and haven't told about is renting a shop space. I've been doing this for 4 months now, and 3 months at this particular shop.  It has kept me busy and my mind off of waiting for the sale of the house to go through.

Many weird and wonderful things happen at estate sales.  Some people really do fight over items...and break them.  There's people like me looking to resell, some buying for themselves, and some are collectors.  Above all there is "treasure" to be had.

Sometimes I find something and can't believe my eyes.  How did no one else buy this?  How did I get so lucky?  Most things end up in the shop but a few get to stick around, like this painting.  I considered it a total steal.  Most people wouldn't.  You see there's a problem with this painting in that it's been around so long the paint is starting to flake off on the bottom right.

Most people don't like flaky paintings.  I don't mind.  This painting is extremely vivid and I can't help but stare at it.  Even though it is signed I could eventually mix up some paint and blend it in.  You'll never know.  I've done it before.  It's called "restoration."  Either way, for now it's off to storage till after the big move.

This was another outstanding find.  Funny story.  This town has two streets named Button.  One is Button Drive and the other is Button Place...or circle...The point is that while everyone was waiting for the opening time at one street I was on the other, and first in the door on this sale.  Replacements has this tureen without the lid and there's a similar one on Ebay, but it's a mismatched tureen and lid.  I feel pretty good about it selling, and I'm a sucker for transferware if I have to keep it.  

I only buy things I would like to keep.  That's not completely true.  About 99% of the time I buy stuff I would like to keep.  I understand trends so if I know there's a very sought after item I may buy it, though it pains me to do so.  

When I go to the shop this week I'll take some more photos of things I have there.  I think it will make a nice addition for when I can get back to blogging regularly. 

Have a great week!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Living In Limbo

Way, way back a few months ago we put our house up for sale.  I meticulously cleaned every micro-crumb off every surface and having the house always ready to show is very stressful.  Always making sure the animals are put away so they don't attack the realtor while I just happen to be at the store. 

After a few months of this I relaxed.  The house stayed mostly clean but I wasn't mopping my floors every day.  I'd make the realtor wait or schedule a convenient time, giving me plenty of notice.  We had a few realtors who were perturbed when I said I couldn't show the house in the next 30 minutes.  The nerve of me!

Now we have an offer!  We were elated.  We didn't know what to do with ourselves.  We were quickly brought back down to earth.  There's the contract and stipulations.  Then there's the inspection and the option period.  I don't like this part.  I have no inkling if the inspection went well, yet, or if the buyer will back out.  I just have to keep telling myself out of all the houses they saw, they bid on ours.

One of the stipulations on the contract is the buyer wants to take possession of the property on April 1st.  Ha ha that's funny, April Fool's!  No?  You're not kidding?  Oh... So that leaves basically 4 weeks to get packed and get out.  Except we're in the option period for a few more days.  So there's no packing.  Just waiting.  It is an uncomfortable feeling.

This January I had started the whole backwards hanger thing for my clothes and was planning on taking out the unworn items in June.  I'm speeding that up to today.  I need to do this anyway.  In some ways I feel I'm slowly being forced into a minimalist existence. 

You see, we have made plans for temporary housing. In case we leave by April 1st, we have nowhere to go without that sale check in hand.  Our temporary housing will be in one of those big 5th wheel RV's.  They are actually roomier than a New York apartment.  But I obviously can't take a whole house worth of stuff.  Our goal is to only stay one or two months at most.  In the meantime everything goes into storage.

And this conversation always circles back around to the option period... One day this will all be past, right?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simple Ooey-Gooey Brownies

This morning I wanted to bake.  I wasn't quite in the mood to make cookies but I've been wanting to use these Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate chips. 

I decided to experiment.  I substituted the 1/3 cup of oil the brownie mix called for with 1/3 cup of melted peanut butter and chocolate chips.  I added a little extra water till I felt it had the right consistency.

Smells delicious!  Someone's little hand can hardly stay away.

I don't think I'm ever going to make brownies any other way again.  These were absolute perfection! 

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Round Top Antique Show

We have survived our first house showing.  Over the last month I was working hard on fixing the house up for sale, but for one of those weeks we took a vacation.  It took me awhile to get to this post but I wanted to do it right.  One place we stopped was in Round Top, Tx.  I've never been there for the antiques market and I'm not sure if I'll ever make it back since we're considering moving to far, far away land.

Round Top itself is an interesting little...hamlet.  Not sure I would call it a town.  The population is 90.  During the antiques market it can grow to 250,000.  If I was an actual resident I would probably rent my house out and just leave town.  The biggest business we saw was the bank, which  is pretty large for a town of this size.  I'm guessing they have a big vault for storing all the antique market cash those guys are raking in.

We were there one week before the mad rush.  We managed to snag one of the last hotel rooms, 30 miles away!

This is something I highly recommend.  Bring a wagon!  Or a cart.  There is so, so much walking.  Forever walking.  Having a wagon puller who works for cheap comes in handy.  For perspective, we were at about the midpoint for this section.  There's an equal amount of section behind me.  The red and white tent is a halfway point, so there's more past it.  Then there's at least 10 more of these rows.  This comprised half of one venue.  There are other venues stretching for 25 miles and on both sides of the road.  Every booth we saw was taken.

With only one full day spent here we barely even scratched the surface.  Maybe that's a good thing for our first time going.


Not everything here is actual antiques.  There a real mish-mash of everything from high end to I-know-you-brought-that-from-the-dollar-store.  So you have to be very discerning about your purchases. 

I'm taking a pic of the metal see-saw.  You might not be able to see it at first with all the other surrounding metal work.  If I wasn't moving I would have bought this.

Beautiful, beautiful dishes.  I thought it was a sure thing that I would come across some Homer Laughlin pieces, and I did, but it was the wrong design.  Otherwise, you can spend hours sorting through dishes.

Some people sold only silverware and others sold things they made out of silverware.

Many booths were jammed packed with every kind of knick knack and bauble you could think of.

Don't forget to bring your hat, or you'll be buying one.

Just not this one.

See what I mean?  Definitely not antique.  Very silly.  If you need a pole dancing frog in a bikini, I will not judge you.

 I'm not sure the seller even knew what this was.  I did.  It's an old piece of healthcare equipment.  It would have been used in caring for respiratory patients.

 There was also the creepy.  This booth won hands down as the creepiest.  We couldn't walk away fast enough.  Some times you just get a vibe.

So let's go back to my house, because I bought some things to show you.

 The number one reason I went was to buy quilts.  Actually I was hoping to buy quilts but I had no idea how much they would be.  I learned an inexpensive lesson on being patient.  The more we walked around the more we noticed there were several, if not lots of, opportunities to buy the same or similar thing.  I kid you not, I saw a quilt at one booth for $80 and we drove down the road and someone had it for $20.  This particular quilt above is a king size double wedding ring with some scalloped edges.  I could have left the whole market after buying this and been perfectly happy.  In fact, I did run a little because I was sure they made a mistake on the price and were going to come after me. 

I found this other quilt, which is full size, and has some hand stitching and scalloped edges.  It is the perfect couch quilt for pulling around you in the morning and drinking some coffee.


 This chair was my first purchase.  I have forever been needing a chair to go with our desk but couldn't find one which was narrow enough.  It can't be more than 17 inches wide.  I took my measuring tape and it was 16 1/2 inches!  It's a nice solid chair which I bargained down to $20.  This is definitely worth it since I've been looking for 6 months for a chair.

 Love the harp back design.  The seat fabric...meh



 Maybe covered in this fabric?  This is some vintage fabric I bought for my daughter, who loves all things Paris.  Except this Paris fabric.  She doesn't like it.

 I think making a skirt or apron would be nice.

Above, I mentioned not forgetting your hat.  Naturally, I forgot mine.  I searched high and low but nothing appealed to me till I saw this little beauty.  The seller was really nice and told me it was made with some vintage lace from an old wedding dress.  I thought this was a great idea.  She also bargained on her price.  

In fact, most sellers expect you to bargain.  If you don't, and I didn't a few times, it makes the whole sale go kind of awkward.  My daughter even bargained on a pair of little earrings from $2 to $1.  It was the cutest thing to watch.  She thought she was being a big business woman and the little old lady was just happy to have someone come by and talk to her for a little while.




I bargained a little on this.  There were some all metal washboards with no wood for a few dollars less, but I really wanted this one.  So I looked at it, held it, held the metal one, walked away.  I did this several times and the seller finally said, "Would you just make up your mind."  Not really, he gave me the cheaper price on the one I really wanted.

 Last but not least is a little everyday necklace.  Certainly not vintage but a lovely trinket with blue ribbon.

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of Round Top.  The next antique fair starts March 20th, 2015.  Some venues are not open during the whole fair, most are free (we even got free parking), some charge admission and parking.  Some venues, like Big Red Barn, have additional shows year round.  I'm posting some links below in case you're interested in more information or pictures.

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