Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pickles, Dogs & Cowboys

hmmmm hmmmm good!

Cool Hand Luke?
Could be in the movies!
What do these things have in common? Well, last Saturday, Cristy and I decided to check out Northside, in Ft. Worth. We have several projects in mind that could develop there and wanted to see the changes that had been made, the stores that had been added and how many shoppers were in attendance. Upon arriving at our destination, we parked close to Riscky's BBQ and immediately felt it was necessary to test their fried pickles......for research. They passed the test. Yes, shoppers will come to Northside to eat at Risckys! Good to know, we can check that off our list. Next, we checked out a lot of the interesting shops. Our favorite is called Maverick's. It's as cool as they come. It's full of beautiful things, very well displayed, smelled good and had lots of fun things to look at and buy! They have men's, women's and children's clothes, and not strickly western either. They also have boots and jewelry, hats and knicknacks and a very friendly staff.  Check it out next time you head down to Northside. It's close to the White Elephant Saloon and you can also check it out online at Speaking of the saloon. There were four men with their Harleys sitting outside the saloon having a beer. Their riding companion, who's not allowed to drink, was just chillin' while the guys finished their brews. He was sooooo cute! He had on his Harley t-shirt and riding goggles and seemed to be enjoying people watching. I was so thrilled to get to take his picture, that I forgot to ask his name. I hope he's down there next time so I can find out. I bet it's "Harley", or "Easy Rider" or how about "Killer"?!  Northside is so fun and very interesting. I hope we can do some business down there. There were a lot of locals, as well as, tourists out that day. They had several outdoor activities to enjoy, including a mechanical bull for everyone to ride, although Cristy and I did not feel so inclined to try it ourselves, maybe next time, no probably not. But if our ideas pan out, we will fill you in later. Right now they are just in the planning and dreaming stages....mostly dreaming about fried pickles and ranch dip!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

They Don't Have Jack For Sale!

Katlyn's boyfriend, Jesse!
Oh yes we do! This Jack in The Box head was handmade for a Halloween costume and yes it was for sale at the last esate sale we hosted!  Cristy and I find that each estate sale is uniquely different and always interesting! The items for sale differ in quantity, quality, age and style. We are always excited to meet with a new client! What will we find at this one? What piece of history is going to jog our memory and what will make us laugh? Sometimes other questions come up like, how dirty will it be, how bad will our allergies be and how big are the rats?  The owners and their reasons for having an estate sale vary tremendously. Some are down sizing, a few are moving into assisted living and the last lucky couple were moving to Australia! Most sales, as you might expect are in average size homes with a medium amount of treasures. But some are very surprising, like the one we hosted in a large log cabin in the country. The house was full, the screened in porch was full, the two car garage was full and three barns were full. It took two months to clean, process and organize that sale! But many tired backs, bumps and bruises later, it ended up being a very successful sale. My personal favorite estate sale was at a very fancy house and the owners were simply editing down many of their beautiful things. I definitely spent more than I made at that one! And then there was the precious french lady who worked at Marshall Fields for 30 years and collected beautiful sheets, towels, tablecloths and perfume (much of it still in the original packaging). The first person in line at the sale bought $3000 worth of perfume!  Cristy and I just stared at each other in amazement, of course after we accepted her money!  We always get the usual crock pots and china, treadmills and sofas, but we just had our very first golf cart for sale! And it was one of the first things to go! We could have sold ten of those things!! Who knew?  Cristy has already started organizing the next sale. This will be the first estate sale we've done for someone who has passed away. But the daughter said her parents led long happy and productive lives and are in Heaven enjoying themselves. So we will honor them by treating their treasures with tender loving care and finding good homes for their things. It's a small home with humble treasures, but treasures they are, and we will treat them as such. We know it will be a unique and special estate sale just like all the others we've hosted. And we look forward to seeing our repeat customers and meeting new treasure hunters along the way. It's always an adventure and we love it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cabinet in a Hummel Stack

On the inside door, a farm wife had written a diary.
Last Fall, Cristy and I decided to adventure into a new territory for us, auctions. Now before you jump to conclusions or make assumptions, it's not the fancy schmancy auction houses like on TV. We knew this ahead of time, but were still a little shocked at the, shall I say, disorganization of the place. We thought in auction houses, estates were brought into a nice building. Then an auction was held to dispose of the items and make the owner and auction house money. We pictured it very simple, cut and dry, clean and organized. We also thought it would be an empty room until they brought in the "lot" of items and if there was time, perhaps they would do more than one person's estate. Boy, were we wrong. First of all, the building was old and in need of renovation. Secondly it was brim full of .........stuff. There were boxes upon boxes full of miscellaneous items, tables lined the walls and every surface was loaded with treasures (and crap) underneath and on top. Furniture was all over the place, uncovered and unprotected. As diverse as the items were, so were the people attending the auction. The couple seated next to us packed their own snack of sandwiches and chips. But you could also buy food. like nachos, in the snack bar. I'm not sure it would pass a health department inspection, so we steered clear. But who knew you ate during auctions anyway? The auctioneer was a real character in looks and behavior. He had his own cadence, which sounded a lot like "hey dollar dollar, now nine dollar dollar, now ten dollar dollar ". You checked in the near the kitchen, gave your name and they gave you a number (but not a fancy printed number on a stick). People walked around looking at the crapola while the auctioneer was doing his thing, which seemed a little awkward and rude. But we soon joined in and scoped out a cabinet from the early 1900's. Cristy and I talked about what we were willing to pay and waited. We waited while they bid on about 40 Hummel figurines and one miscellaneous box of stuff after another. Finally, we asked someone when the cabinet would be up next. They explained that you have to tell the auctioneer that you plan to bid on something. Oh my goodness, you mean if we'd said something earlier, we wouldn't have had to sit through all those darn Hummels?! So we passed on to the auctioneer our interest in the cabinet and finally it came up for bid. A couple of other people bid on it as well. It's very exciting and we were nervous! It happens so fast. But we won the bid and the cabinet was ours. Oops, one small problem, how are we going to get it home? We didn't plan to buy a piece of furniture for heaven's sake! So, Cristy drove home and got her truck, while I sat through a few more Hummels. We will be more prepared next time for sure! We might even pack a lunch.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Pink Stage

What do you see when you look at this adorable pink vintage Cosco kitchen stool? A memory from grandma's house, a piece of 1950's history, a perfect display piece or cool retro seating? It is all of those things. But for a 3 year old, it's also a huge pink mountain, a big boat, a tall building and a great performance stage! My great niece, Raina Rose, used it for all those things when she visited this Christmas. She played for a solid hour on this giant pink skyscraper! And we had such a blast watching her. Up and down, down and up, over the side, sitting on top, standing on top, up and down again, over the other side and back up on top. And then a song, a beautiful performance, a masterpiece. And after each song,  Raina would demand "You guys! Clap!", and we would, gratefully. At the end of the night, she graciously told us "I really enjoyed putting on a show for you guys and I will do it again in a few years".  It was honestly better than a concert costing a hundred dollars. In fact, it was worth a million.

Ta Da!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thrifting With Grandad

My dad loved garage sales. He used to pick up the grandkids on Saturday and they would pile into his big red truck and off they would go. Their trip to the feed store was to see what new baby animals had been born; chicks, kittens, puppies and birds. I tried not to think about what germs were there. Then they'd hit whatever garage sale they passed and then off to Thrift Town. They learned to appreciate that used items still had value, broken items can be fixed, dirty things washed and that spare parts can be transformed into a cool homemade car! He always brought the kids home dirty, tired, happy and with a treasure in hand. I really appreciate that he took them treasure hunting instead of to Toys R Us. It made them who they are, which is very special indeed. And they have many very special memories of good times spent with their Grandad who loved them very much.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Recycle, Repurpose & Reuse

Two weekends ago, Cristy and I went to four estate sales. One didn't even have enough stuff to be considered a garage sale, let alone an estate sale. If we could give tickets for bad sales they would have definitely been fined! But the other three sales were average. One of the best things we bought was the cool vanity stool in one of the pictures earlier in the blog. But we also found a cool stash of leather belts at one of them. They belonged to "Smitty". We know this because his name was tooled on the back of every belt. We stopped at JoAnn's on the way home and proceeded to create the coolest bracelets, like the one above. Katlyn came by and loved them! She wanted one made from the actual name part of the belt, so her bracelet says "Smitty". She wore it home that night. We bought ten belts, so we have our work cut out for us. But it's our newest obsession. Let me know what you think. Are they cute? Will they sell? Do you love them as much as we do?