Friday, April 29, 2016

Top Five Things to Look for at Yard Sales this Year

Yard sales, garage sales, estate sales.....  what do you call them?  Up north, around Chicago, we always call them garage sales because that's where most people pile their stuff for sale.  But down south, like Kentucky, everyone calls them yard sales, because that's where most people down there set out their stuff for everyone to pick through.   I also noticed that we have way more estate sales up north than what I see down south.  In fact, down south they tend to do auctions more than estate sales.  But no matter what you call them, or what part of the country you live in, they are great places to go poke through someone else's junk treasures.



Maybe you go with some specific items in mind, or, maybe you'll find something you never knew you were looking for.   Personally, I go with a combination of the two.  I usually peruse the items with an eye towards something specific that I need or want to re-do....  Like a breadbox that I can repaint and use, a desk to refinish, or my favorite - a trunk or chest to recreate!




Mostly I go because I'm on the look out for unusual items that I can list in my Etsy shop.   I like it when I can find something, list it, and it happens to be just the thing that someone across the country was looking for.  And I will admit, hearing that little Cha-ching on my phone when I sell something trips my triggers too.

This week I'm joining up with a bunch of great bloggers who also love the thrill of the hunt.  We're all listing the top five things we look for at the sales.  This should make for some interesting reading.  Plus, I'm really curious to see what sells good for other people.  Do you think some things sell better regionally?   I don't know.  At any rate, here's my top five items that I look for....

Vintage Hot and Cold Faucets.  We happened upon a whole box of these about 2 years ago and I'm sorry I didn't buy every single one.  We bought about 20 sets, but they are such good sellers for me that I'm still kicking myself for not buying the whole box.  Besides selling them in sets, I also attach them to painted boards and sell them as towel hangers so this gets a high five as a two-fer.  It's easily my best selling item.

Vintage Porcelain Hot & Cold Faucet Handles

Vintage Porcelain Hot & Cold Faucet Handles

Beachy Distressed Bathroom Towel Rack Hook

Beachy Distressed Bathroom Towel Rack Hook


Printers Trays.  I love printers trays and cherish the one that my good friend Moira gave to me.  I have it filled with all my beachy finds like sea shells, coral and mermaid's purses.  Don't ask me to sell it because I won't.  These are hard to find around Chicago and I snatch them up on the rare occasions when I see them because everyone from crafters to rock hounds, and marble collectors to shellers love them for organizing their treasures.....

Vintage Letter Press Hamilton Printers Tray

RESERVED FOR DELLA -Vintage Letter Press Thompson Printers Tray - Wood

Vintage Jugs and Thermos.  Here is one item that I wish I had the room to keep for myself.  I love these, especially the older ones and it tears me apart when I have to box one up and send it to it's new home....

King Seeley Thermos Picnic Camping Red Plaid Vintage Travel Trailer Decor


 I'm still sort of sobbing about selling these beauties.....

Woodland Thermos Jug Picnic Camping One Gallon- Vintage Travel Trailer Decor


Vintage PATIO PINK Therma A Jug Picnic Camping Jug Cooler with Spigot, Knapp Monarch, One Gallon - Vintage Travel Trailer Decor

Aluminum Cookie Press with attachments.  People love these.  I sell them as quickly as I list them...

Vintage Aluminum Cookie Press with 12 Disks and 3 Decorator Tips

Accordion wood folding racks.  Go figure.  I have no idea why, but this is another good seller.  They also sell quicker if painted white and distressed for some reason.....

Accordion Wood Folding Rack Hat Rack Coat Rack Towel Rack Vintage Repurposed

Accordion Wood Folding Rack Hat Rack Coat Rack Towel Rack Vintage Repurposed


So there you have it - the top 5 items that I will throw you to the ground for if you happen to pick them up before I do at a sale.  I know you're as anxious as I am to see what the top sellers are for everyone else, so go over and check out their posts.   I'll be taking notes, will you?



Monday, April 25, 2016

Estate Sale Finds April 23, 2106

Finally...... the estate sales are picking up again.  Everyone must be bored out of their minds because the lines to get into the ones we hit this weekend were long.   I don't know about you, but I hate standing in line and watching people come out of the house with things that I would have bought.  That drives me crazy.   But I also hate it when people keep walking out and nobody bought anything.  Because you know what that means - prices are too high and nobody is cutting any deals.

So let's take a look at what we got this weekend.  Not a lot of stuff, but some fun things.  First up is 2 sets of vintage salt and pepper shakers from 2 different years of the InterBev shows.


Louie found this adorable little lamp and picked it up for Chablis....


And I grabbed this lantern for Chablis to add to her growing lantern collection....


I think she may remove the glass because neither of us was too crazy about the Christmas scenes.  The lantern has a battery operated light but I think that may be removed as well....


Pyrex 501.  This is the first one I've found in this small size.  I may have to keep this one for myself...


I'm always drawn to colorful tins and this is the first one I've seen like this.  It was full of dry mustard, which I tossed out....


I picked up 2 different sets of silver plated napkin rings....



And 1 set of pewter napkin rings....


And finally, a Warner Brothers spoon and fork set from 1975....



Most items are headed for my Etsy shop.   See anything you like?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Review - Complete Guide to Camping and Wilderness Survival

The Complete Guide to Camping and Wilderness Survival by Vin Sparano contains 320 pages of in-depth coverage of tents, sleeping bags, footwear, camp kitchens, tools, backpacks boating and all-terrain vehicles.  It also features over 600 color photographs and illustrations that explain techniques for any camping/wilderness survival scenario.


The Complete Guide to Camping and Wilderness Survival is a fountain of information and is the third volume in the Complete Guide series by noted author Vin Sparano, who has been an outdoor editor and writer for more than fifty years.  To say that Vin knows his stuff is an understatement!

The book is broken down into 5 sections:
  • CAMPING
  • BOATING FOR CAMPERS
  • CAMPFIRE COOKING
  • WILDERNESS SURVIVAL
  • FIRST AID FOR CAMPERS AND SURVIVALISTS

Section one starts out with information on the different types of tents, as well as RV's.  It then moves on to snowmobiles and ATV's.  From there it goes in depth on camp bedding, foot gear, clothing, camp lighting and tools, backpacks, campfires, and knots.  I particularly enjoyed the "Leave no trace seven principles" page because it really drives home the importance of camp awareness and the impact made by the millions of people who spend their time in the outdoors.  I also really appreciated the section on campfires - it supplies a list of different types of wood, their heat value and ease of starting- along with illustrations of the different fire layouts you can learn to use.

Section two is full of wonderful information on boating, whether you favor a small boat, a family size boat, a kayak or a canoe.   I've been lucky enough to spend most of my life on one kind of a boat or another, so this section was really interesting to me.  When I was a kid my dad used to take our canoe out to the middle of the lake and purposely tip it over so we could swim underneath it into the air pockets.  Then he taught us how to get it tipped right side up, get back in and maneuver it to shore.  As kids this was fun to do and taught us valuable information.  The guidebook has some great illustrations on how to properly get in and out of a canoe.  Note to dad - you taught us the right way to do it!  This chapter really stresses the importance of boat safety as well as discussing Coast Guard approved equipment, personal flotation devices, and handling wind and weather conditions.  I also enjoyed learning how to forecast the weather based on conditions in the sky, watching the moon, birds, and clouds, paying attention to smells, or simply looking at leaves on the trees.


Ok, get ready to lick your lips because the section on campfire cooking will have you firing up your camp stove or the campfire.  Learn why a dutch oven is the campers best friend and the guidebook devotes one entire page to controlling the temperature of a dutch oven.  Where was this information when I was burning my biscuits??  The treasure trove of recipes includes mouth watering ideas like Buck and Bourbon, Moose Steak, Grilled Trout with Butter, and my personal favorite - Pan Fried Fish, which in my case is always Bluegill.

The section on Wilderness Survival is a must read for anyone who spends time out doors enjoying nature.  Survival lists for day pack, hiker and vehicle  kits will give you a good start on what you should always have with you.  Extra equipment such as guns and knives are also covered.  If you get lost in the woods it's always good to have basic knowledge on what you can safely eat or drink.  The guidebook shines in this chapter!  There is extensive information on edible plants, along with full color photos, complete descriptions, their range and habitat, edible parts and of course, how to prepare them.  I've always been fascinated by edible mushrooms and the book covers those as well.



And if you need to rely on animals and fish for your meal, you will also find complete descriptions of game birds, deer, moose, and even bear, along with suggestions on how to set traps and snares, field dress and then prepare a feast.


This chapter also covered what to do if you're lost, as well as surviving extreme hot or cold temperatures, and water submersion.  This section was so thorough and packed with information that it could easily be a guidebook in itself.

Finally, chapter 5 is dedicated to first aid, and it never hurts to brush up on your skills in case of an emergency.  This section covers basic first aid like nose bleeds, choking and artificial respiration.  However it also delves deeper into other scenario's such a poisonous plants, snake bites and bee stings.  I found the color photographs and descriptions on venomous snakes of particular interest.  The chapter finishes up with wonderful illustrations on setting bone fractures and transporting injured persons.

The last page of the guide contains a complete list of essential items for your first-aid kit.  Be sure to read it over and add necessary items to your personal kit before your next outing.

The Complete Guide to Camping and Wilderness Survival is just that - complete - as well as a must have for those who spend time in the outdoors whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro.  I always enjoy and appreciate a Vin Sparano Guidebook because they are full of useful and necessary information.  I never pick one up without learning something new.   Why don't you pick one up today?

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 



Friday, April 8, 2016

The Angry Bird Geocache Series

A couple of weeks ago Louie and I did a 10 cache series called "The Angry Bird."  These were a group of very clever caches all placed along The Gilman Nature Trail.  We liked this because we were able to park at one end and then walk the trail, grabbing the geocaches along the way.  We had the trail practically to ourselves...



I'm going to show you some of the caches.  Every cache was hidden in a bird house.  Each one had some sort of a twist and you had to figure out the secret to open each cache container to get to the log sheet.  They were all really clever and the cache owner put a lot of time and effort into the whole series.

The first one was Bridge Over Troubled Waters.    I have to admit I was stumped on the very first one, but fortunately Louie had an "ah ha" moment and we soon had the cache in hand.  I immediately knew we were in for some more good caches and we were not disappointed!




Nuts About You had a clever twist...



The Right Choice  required us to do something I've never seen before and I was glad I made the right choice....



Quarter to Three  required a coin and we made a mad dash into our pockets looking for a quarter.  Good thing Louie had one....



Sweet Sixteen  was another unusual cache, one I've never seen before, and again, Louie figured it out....

Turning Japanese     wasn't difficult to figure out.  Check out the chop sticks!!  Sushi anyone?



Come to Me  was cute and we figured it out pretty quickly....


The final cache was Amazing Grace .  It gave us a little trouble but I eventually figured it out....




The only cache we didn't get was The Key.  I hate not figuring out a cache and we tried everything we could think of trying.  Of course, when we got home and I looked at all the pictures of the cache, I think I might have figured it out.  We'll just have to go back sometime and see if I'm right.  I'll just show you 2 of the photos because I don't want to give too much away....



In all, it was a great series and we did it, plus 2 additional caches, in less than 3 hours.  Check them out if you're in the Aurora, Illinois area.  I'd like to thank cache owner and creator Poker70 for this excellent series.  It's geocachers like this who make the game fun for everyone.

On another note - have you signed up for EBATES yet?  If not, visit this link and start making money in your pocket now!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Geocaching March 2016

Last month we visited some interesting caches on the Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky. The LBL is a great place to visit, with over 170,000 acres of forest, wetlands and open land that spreads through Kentucky and Tennessee.  It has over 300 miles of shoreline and over 500 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and camping. A lot of the caches are hidden near old cemeteries back in the woods.  Did I mention that some of them are way back in the woods?

Bethlehem North Cemetery cache had these nice iron entry fences that I always enjoy seeing.


I always make sure to walk around and check out the old headstones.  This one was for a Civil War veteran...


World War 1 veteran....

And this one for a Spanish American War soldier....


The cache was quite a hike thru the woods but dad and I found it with no problem....


The Eddyville Ferry cache was hidden at the former site of the Eddyville Ferry. ...



The Lady Cemetery cache was named for the Lady family.  The really interesting thing about this cemetery was the graves for the family slaves, along with a marker....


The cache was an easy find....





The graves of the slaves were all tucked away a little further down the hill, in a circle, with a marker commemorating the slaves....





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