Monday, March 28, 2011

MCM swag clock. I love you.

I swear the last 3 estate sales I have been to, I have showed up on the last day when the prices were slashed to find that the stuff I wanted was still there. I find this happens on a lot of mid century or 50's pieces - the sellers see the potential value, they mark them up, and therefore no one buys them until the last day when things are marked down. In my neck of the woods, when an estate sale company is running the show, most of them won't even look at you if you try to haggle price. Luckily this one did. I got this beautiful hanging clock. I love it. I love how it lights up. You can see by the pics throughout my blog that our house is a mix of 1950's, and MCM. This clock fits in well with our little mix of styles. I love it above the 50's Kroehler furniture.
this was my only find this weekend (other than an extension cord). Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Megan's cool DIY vintage candles

My good friend Megan is so cool. She's crafty and loves vintage. Put the two together and you get her latest project, vintage candles from one-off glasses. She loves to pickup lonely Melmac, Federal and other glassware that has no pair. Take a look at her blog, it has a complete tutorial on how to make these candles yourself for any one-off vintage glasses or planters you have lying around. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Auction observations and estate sale finds

Well last Thursday's auction was defenately interesting (my first auction). I walked away with nothing. Why? Well I have a dollar amount in my head on what I am used to paying via thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales for MCM / 50's pieces that are in good condition. Welllllll, when MCM pieces at this auction went up for bid, dealers were snatching things up, like sideboards and Credenzas for around $400 - $600 dollars a piece. My piddly little $250 limit on what I am used to finding a great condition MCM credenza with matching end tables was blown out of the water in the first 5 seconds of bidding.
I have never seen anything like it! It was pretty much the same 10 people bidding on everything MCM, and then when beautiful 1920's pieces would come up for auction, they would sell for around $50. JEEEZ! What happened to the price of 'real' antiques? Anyways the whole thing was very interesting. MCM is hot right now, and dealers need to keep inventory coming in to their booths, so there is lots of competition. Dealers also have to haul the furniture, and pay for the space at the stores, so I can imagine the markup needed to make a decent profit. As an example, in my last post there is a picture of a credenza that sold at auction for around $600. The next morning, that same credenza was on Craigslist for $2200.00. WOW! So all in all it was a great experience. I know that I am going to stick with my current method of collecting.... thrifting, garage and estate sales. There is that thrill of hunting every weekend and looking for a buried treasure, or finding that beautiful piece of MCM furniture in someones garage that they think is tacky, but is beautiful to me. It seems that what I do is also a hobby as well. I will leave the auctions to my dealer friends that acquire lots of inventory at I understand it is a necessity in order for them to keep their booths stocked.
So, the day after the auction I was back to my normal method of collecting. And I was thrilled to find a pattern of 50's china that I have seen others have, but have not come across myself. It's the coffee mugs/creamer/sugar container in the first picture. Does anyone know who the maker was or the pattern? each piece was 10 cents at a garage sale.
Then it was off to an estate sale, where I FINALLY found a mens 1950s cooking apron!
it needs a good scrubbin'.
I also found a mint, unused 'Magic Hostess' ice crusher. I bought this mainly because I accidentally bought a bag of coffee beans that was not ground. I was hoping this thing would grind coffee as well. DUH, nope, doesn't grind fine enough. OH well, i have a vintage ice crusher whenever i need it. Finally, at the sale i snagged a large, gravel art piece. its on a wood backing and is about 4 feet tall! I love it!
All in all I would say that i enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and the results. Even on weekends where I come up empty handed I enjoyed driving around, and rummaging through someones vintage house.

So what is your method???
Thrifts/garage and estate sales?
All of the above?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My first time at an auction

I'm very excited about tonight. Over near where I work there is an auction full of mid-century stuff. I went today on my lunch break to check things out, and it was like being in a furniture store warehouse circa 1964. There was about 50 large mid century pieces, and in very good shape. I couldn't believe there was this much inventory, so I asked the lady at the front desk if they usually sell mid-century and she said yes, they have to have an auction every 3 weeks or so, they get too much merchandise. WHAT???? I asked from where, and she told me from England. Something about there being a lot of this type of furniture in England because during WW2 everyone had to burn their furniture to stay warm, so for the next few decades there was a large production of furniture. I feel some relief knowing that I don't HAVE to bid on stuff tonight, there will be more in a few weeks. So, I may just sit and take it all in and see how much these nice pieces really go for. I am sure there will be a ton of dealers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

it aint much, but I love it. My Hazel Atlas bowl.

The past couple of weeks have been blah when it came to thrifting and garage sailing. The one thing worth mentioning is this cool Hazel Atlas bowl. I really love the color of the pattern.
This bowl isn't a shelf sitter, its being put to work. Already being used for home made pizza sauce! YUMMmm. Cooking is always more fun when you use old stuff.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today's fun find, 1940's patio chair

I needed a day off from work. Its been real stressful. What better way to relax then to hit some estate sales. This morning I picked up this ultra-rusty vintage patio chair. I absolutely love old patio chairs. They are so easy to bring back to life. Megan was with me, and so we used today's great cool weather to do some good old fashioned restoration. I got to work on my chair, and Megan got to work on her old Cosco work table.

It looks like this chair had two previous colors, a jadeite green, and then a forest green. Coincidentally, I got the almost identical jadeite color from Walmart. This is my favorite "vintage" spray paint color. I did some major scrubbin' with a few steel wool pads to smooth out the old paint and rust. And a few hours later.... a beautify of a chair! Megan's table turned out super duper as well!