Friday, July 29, 2011

Grain Sack Totes - The Great American Fleabag

 Who could have imagined back in April that it would take this long to have a few bags to offer for sale? It's a long boring story, but we're slowly making progress toward having a steady supply, (at least until my stockpile of bags is depleted.)  
 Here, from my April post, is how the Great American Fleabag(c) was born: 'Since I acquired hundreds of grain sacks last year and began selling them, I've noticed that many of them have been shunned.  A few small stains or a flaw in the fabric and they get passed over.  Since we've previously established that I love 'gnarly', I decided to sew a few totes from some of the less than perfect sacks'
Our totes are larger than average and 'Brimfield' tested.  Margaret and I stuffed and overstuffed them on our trip to Brimfield in May and found them to be perfect for flea market shopping.  You can pack a whole passel of treasures into one bag.  (Of course you may feel free to use your bag for other uses - like when you need to pick up eighteen baguettes at the bakery, take your laundry home to Mom, or pack lunch for the entire family if your name is 'Duggar'.............)
No two totes are alike, since each grain sack is an authentic farm-used bit of American history and shows it's age in it's own way .  You may expect to find any of the following:  stains, mends, occasionally a tiny hole, patches, fabric flaws, faded graphics, discoloration, snags, wear......
Our first few bags are currently available on etsy; click on the photo of the one you like to be taken directly to that listing, or click here to see which ones are currently available. 
When more totes are added, we'll post it on our Facebook page

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Whale of A Sale - Antiques on Main Estate Sale in Wisconsin Dells

 Early last Friday morning, Kathy and I headed up to Wisconsin Dells to attend the second weekend of an estate sale conducted by Antiques on Main in Reedsburg.  (Wish we'd been there for part one!)  Things left from the first weekend were 25% off, while items that were making their first appearance were full price on Friday.
The yard surrounding the old farmhouse was loaded with furniture in the rough, while inside the house, every room was literally packed.  Sarah & Dale, proprietors of Antiques on Main do an excellent job of organizing & setting up a sale. They & their staff spent eight weeks getting ready for this one.  
I walked through the house over and over, gathering items and putting them in a holding place. Each time I re-visited a room I'd find something I'd missed before.
 One room was filled with lamp shades, toys & fabrics.  Another had tables full of books.  A small bedroom upstairs was devoted to frames & framed prints while a small porch held tables laden with lamps.  There was a room full of pottery.
China cabinets and shelves were filled with small decorative objects. 
Small cases held the tiniest treasures.
These photos were all taken mid-day Friday, week two, after loads of items had been purchased. Does this give you an idea of the scope of this sale?  Outside, my heart was captured by this gnarly dental cabinet.  The possibilities for decking this piece out for a show are amazing.
 Fortunately, I came to my senses and realized that I have nowhere to store it; CG just wouldn't 'get it'.  Thankfully, Kathy then bought it so I will get to see it again anyway!   I have a hunch that you'll get a chance to see it at Junk Bonanza in September.   I'll show you a few of the items that I did buy.
Five schoolhouse lights.  Awesome!
Sweet ephemera.
A pair of watercolors on paper. (sold)
Irresistible birds - oil on board...
...and several other interesting paintings. 
This Viccy doll settee... the cherub! 

Other purchases are still being unpacked and put away.  

It's such a pleasure to attend a sale that has an abundance of wonderful items. When you drive a long way to attend a sale it's great to find that the quality and quantity of items has been honestly represented in the ads.  Thanks for a fun sale Dale & Sarah.  We had a blast!  See you at Elkhorn!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oh! The Places You'll Go - Hobohemia

 The marvelous Dr. Seuss was talking to children, but he  might just as well have been talking to my little the past thirteen years I've shipped things all over the world:

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!......

...And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights...."

One of the cardinal rules of retail is 'never fall in love with your inventory'.  I think when it comes to vintage goodies that rule is balderdash.  I love most all of my items and it makes me happy when they find the the perfect home.

Last November I 'met' Mike from Australia via an etsy convo.  He was looking for sign letters to spell 'HOBOEHEMIA' for a shop that he & his wife were planning to open.  I had them, he bought them, I shipped forward to the end of June - HOBOHEMIA is open for business and 'my' letters are residing happily therein. (All photos in this post courtesy of Mike.)  Here they are:
...and again:
Now doesn't this look like the most fun shop ever?  I adore these mirrors; especially the Deco number at top right.
If I ever cross that big ol' pond you'll spot me shopping here!
You, my Aussie buds, will find Hobohemia at 
285A Given Tce, Paddington, Qld
If you stop in, tell 'em that Jan sent  you!
 Thanks Mike for sharing your marvy photos!
Big congrats to you & Liz on your new venture! 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Wrapping Up the Weekend

 At 3:30 on Friday I got up and headed toward Wisconsin Dells. Somewhere outside of Madison I met up with Kathy and we journeyed on, arriving early at a wonderful estate sale.  (More on that later this week.)  

SATURDAY:  With a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call, we took the short drive from our hotel to Baraboo. At least it should have been a short drive...the roads up there are unforgiving.  If your foggy brain causes you to miss a ramp it's a long ways to the next exit.  :)
 We loved our spot on the square in Baraboo.  We were by the curb for easy loading and shaded by two huge trees.  Baraboo is a charming historical city.  The antique flea market was surrounded by a Farmer's Market, Classic Car Show, and food vendors in the streets. 
My 'Evergreen Nursery' sign found a fine new home.  It's always great when some of the larger pieces sell, making load-out easier.  A huge bird cage, a chunky stool, Kathy's industrial parts cubby, plant stands and other mid-size items that sold left us room in our vans to return to the estate sale after the show to pick up our bulkier purchases from Friday. Whew!
The crowd seemed smaller and sales were down a bit from last year, but it was still worth the trip. I'm sure the excessive heat &  humidity had an effect on the crowd size. Along with the 'big stuff', our fun buyers walked away with a lot of quirky little  gizmos.  'THANK YOU' to each one that shopped our space.  Our first visitor of the day was Pamm from Fresh Eggs Antiques. (You can see more photos of our space on her blog - thanks Pamm!)
We chatted with some very fun peeps including two blog readers that we met for the first time; Nancy and Karen.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  It makes our day when we can meet you 'in person'...(even when we're dripping with sweat and looking rough!)
Yesterday we arrived in South Barrington early to set up for the Arboretum Show. We were welcomed by rain, lightning and wind. We set up Kathy's canopy, tables, and a few items...and waited...for two hours.  The forecast for the rest of the day showed potential for storms all day with high heat and humidity. 
 The wind blew a small heavy sawhorse right off the table.  Exhausted from the previous day, we decided that we weren't in the mood to do battle with the weather and headed home.  The rain stopped as we were packing up and I'm sure that the vendors who stuck it out had a hot, but successful day.  (Sorry, I didn't take any photos there.)  We hope to be back at the Arboretum sometime next year.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baraboo and Barrington Sneak Peek

It's was just past 8 a.m. and I ran out to pull items from the garage for the shows this weekend.  I was out there for all of 10 minutes...the sweat is dripping off my red face.  I don't do summer gracefully!  Kathy will be with me at both shows and of course you'll find our usual assortment of prims, shabby, industrial, ephemera, and just plain fun stuff.  Here are a few of the items that will be with me at Baraboo on Saturday or The Arboretum of S Barrington on Sunday.
 The little white cabinet was a Door County find, as was the sweet round lunch pail. The old bucket is a favorite of mine - it's lived!
This small canvas-covered foot locker would look great as a base for your suitcase collection; but there's more than meets the eye here...
Faintly stenciled on the lid is 'Greenfield Police'.  This was an evidence collection kit; all the small parts are gone, leaving a perfect case to repurpose into a 'secret' office or artist kit.
There's a place to stash everything you might need  here, from pencils & brushes to paper & laptop.

We've got a small collection of farm-stand signs...
To remind you to eat fresh home-grown foods!
Hope to see YOU this weekend!

We're linking up with Faded Charm for White Wednesday.  Put on your sunscreen, grab a lemonade and follow me over to see the inspirational posts this week!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Well, It's Hot...

 ...but it's still better than SNOW!  After a week off, we're back to work and there's plenty to do.  Some crazy person booked two shows this weekend.  Two. One on Saturday two hours Northwest of here...and one on Sunday, 2 hours South.  What was I thinking? We'll give you a sneak peek next post.  In the meantime, it's Tuesday and so it's Blogger's Bodega - head over there and see what everyone's been adding to their shops.  Here are some items we've recently added to Gracie's Cottage on etsy... 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Summer Break

 Nothing got done here last week. It was time to have fun with 'the girlies'.  I took the ferry to Michigan, picked up the 7 & 8 year blondies, brought them home, went to the Dells, rode the 'Ducks', played in the water at Kalahari, ate at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, came home, made cookies, went to the library, went shopping for 'dress-up' clothes.... Friday night their parents and little sister arrived.  Saturday morning their Aunt, Uncle & cousin came and we played the day away. Nothing exciting ever happened in this little town until the First Annual Waterford Balloon Festival yesterday.  We spent the morning at the festival grounds, the afternoon at the beach and the evening standing in the driveway gawking at the balloons flying over....

I think I could get used to doing 'nothing'.