Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Marie Terry was born in 1913. She was just a baby when Mother's Day was born, a mere child during the years of the first radio broadcast and a teen-ager when Charles Lindbergh took the first trans-Atlantic flight. She lived her early married years during the Great Depression, marrying Mervin in 1931. She never owned or drove a car and raised 9 children as the original "stay at home" Mom.

It is amazing to think back on her life and all the changes she saw during 96 years of life - radio, television, the Model-T, nylon stockings, antibiotics, frozen food, talking pictures, VCRs, Band-aids, an $.08 loaf of bread, remote controls, microwave ovens, computers, cell phones, credit cards, barcodes, Barbie. She lived through women's sufferage, the civil rights movement, free-love 60's, big-hair 80's, 9-1-1, and the loss of a good husband, as well as a few of her children.

The pictures I have of Grandma indicate a hard life - but one that valued God and family above all else. She found it funny that I like old things - she tossed such "junk" away - why would I want to keep a primitive frying pan when it only symbolized the hardships endured? For that very reason. Those hardships made her who she was, who then in turn helped make me who I am. Without that history - there would be no future. The connection is clear and dear.

To be absent from the body is to be with the Lord. Grandma went home to be with the Lord today. She was a kind and gentle soul - and will be remembered with love.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yard Sale Tips for Sellers

I am an avid "saler" (yard sale shopper) - much like those who enjoy Nascar races or Friday night football games, it is just an enjoyable hobby that allows my husband and I time to laugh together on the weekends. Treasure hunting for vintage is a blast - we get excited when we find a lid that matches Mom's dish that we've been saving for years or an old tool that reminds us of Grandpa. Because we treasure hunt frequently, we see a wide range of sale styles - from folks who are well organized that make you feel like you've walked into a shop, to those who decided that very morning to throw open the door and toss some things onto the driveway.
To maximize your sale, here are a few tips that could help:
1) If you have a large amount to sell, say you're emptying Grandma's house, you need to think in terms of an estate sale since prices are typically higher than at a yard sale. If you feel comfortable doing the pricing yourself, that's great, but most folks would need a professional to help with the pricing and logistics. If you don't know pricing, you could sell yourself short or price too high and not sell anything. Beware the company that has three day sales - the first day is typically too expensive and some folks won't take the time to visit again on the other days (we've all become too busy with life to waste time!).

2) So, you've decided a yard sale is best - so rule #1 is to plan ahead.

3) Post signs a week in advance so neighbors and local traffic will know of your sale. Use bright neon posters and WRITE BIG with 6" letters. Remember that drivers need to be able to read your sign while driving by so the letters should be bold, dark and big. Don't be too wordy - just the basics - it could be as simple as "Yard Sale Sat. 8 - 2" with a bold arrow pointing the way or a street name. Then be sure to post additional signs pointing the way from that first sign until you get to your house - especially if you live in a subdivision with multiple roads. If you live far from the main road, put the number of miles on the sign that the shopper would have to drive in order to reach your house.

4) Price and label all of your items in advance. Most shoppers don't want to track down the owner of the house to ask prices and if the sale gets busy, you may sell something for far less than you intended.

5) Open early. If your sign states the sale begins at 8:00, rest assured that there will be early birds waiting outside at 7:00. Plan on opening an hour prior to your advertised time for several reasons: A) the early birds are the most serious shoppers and will most likely spend the most money per person in your sale so you don't want them to leave without shopping, and B) you don't want a crowd gathering outside your house waiting for the sale as it could cause some unanticiapated problems (do you really want 30 people rushing into your garage at once??).

6) Be willing to haggle. Now occasionally you get a shopper who wants to offer $.10 for that $.25 item (sheesh) but offering $20 for a $25 item is not uncommon. You can always wait to take offers later in the day but keep in mind that once you pass 10:00, you're crowd will thin out drastically.

7) Have fun deciding how to spend that extra cash!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Antique or Vintage??

$599 at The Old Timey Shop in Milton, WV
$375 at The Old Timey Shop in Milton, WV

I recently answered an ad for an antique buffet only to find it to be a vintage model instead - imagine my disappointment to have missed the mark by about 50 years. A lot of folks get confused about whether or not something is actually "antique" or not - especially when most of us advertise our shops as "antique shops" but in reality, most of our inventory is vintage. The neon flashing "Vintage" sign just doesn't have the same draw as one that says "Antiques".

Technically, the serious collector expects an antique to be 100 years old or older and vintage means the item should be at least 25 years old.

I've posted two pictures as a comparison from The Old Timey Shop in Milton, WV. The top photo shows an antique jelly cabinet with wonderful peely paint that dates in the 1800's. The bottom photo is a 1950's painted oak china cabinet (one of my most recent restoration projects - I removed the solid panel door which gave it more visual appeal and painted it a creamy white that made the wonderful details pop).

I hope this has been of some interest and that you've learned something new - at the very least you may have just realized that you are not an antique person after all...you're Vintage!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I feel the prickle of anticipation as the temperature rises...my own personal call of the wild...my primary reason for Saturday mornings...yes, yard sale season is getting closer by the degree! O.K. you lovers of vintage (notice I don't say vintage lovers since that is an entirely different blog topic altogether), you know what I mean - tell me you haven't jumped out of the car before it stopped moving (from the passenger seat, of course) because you spotted an old wooden screen door with rusty hinges leaning against the yard sale's garage door with a $1 tag attached?? Or lunged into power walk mode when you spotted a fellow collector pull up to the sale?? Oh yeahhhh, if your pulse quickens and you go into hyper-alert mode - like me, you have vintage fever and it can only be cured by hours of searching until you find it - that great deal that makes your eyes sparkle and your husband ask "you actually PAID someone for that??"

Until next time, from one vintage soul to another...