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Friday, February 11, 2011

adventures in golden

I decided to hit an estate sale in Golden this morning. Unfortunately, Jeff couldn't go because one of our employees at the dog daycare called in sick, so he had to cover there. I hate waiting in line before estate sales open - not to mention all the elbowing that goes on in the first half hour or so after it opens, so I thought I'd get there about 45 minutes after it opened in hopes that the die hards would be finished by that time.

Old town Golden has narrow streets and apparently no one bothers to plow the side streets or shovel sidewalks. There was no parking close to the house, so I ended up about 1/4 mile away before I found a space that not only was empty, but that I could plow my car into enough to get it far enough out of the lane of traffic. Then, I start walking back to the house, which is downhill and, did I mention the snow pack in the streets? Well it was iced over. So, here's me, one of the klutziest people on the planet, walking downhill on ice. Amazingly, I made it without killing myself.

I finally reached the house and got inside, only to find the pay line went from the far side of the living room, through the whole room, through the foyer, and down a long hall and into the garage. So, I figured I would just take my time shopping and that it would be shorter when I was finally ready.

I found a few pieces of pink Pyrex in the kitchen along with a cute set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of acorns. Not much else caught my eye there or in the dining room, so I carefully made my way to the garage where I found a cool wire crate. I then found the basement and picked up a couple of things there. Then I heard some other people talking about a sub-basement, so I made my way there. Before today, I didn't even know there were such things as sub-basements in regular houses. The only thing that caught my interest there were some old crates that once held explosives. They weren't marked, so I asked the estate sale guy that was stationed there how much they were.  He told me they were sold. about marking them sold then?

I finally made my way upstairs where I found a cute apron and, in a bedroom being used as an office, I spotted a cool gooseneck desk lamp. The room was crowded - the lamp was in the far corner and there was a woman standing there looking at books. I started to make my way over there when a man who was looking at other stuff a few feet away told me he was waiting to get to that spot when the woman there vacated. Ugh. So, I stood there for a minute, trying to be patient and finally I just said "I really only want to know how much that gooseneck lamp is." The woman told me and I asked both her and the man if they wanted it. Both said no, so I got it and got out of there.

Making my way back downstairs, I checked the pay line. It was still out to the garage. But by that point, I was sick of the crowd and my stress level was through the roof, so I just got in line. Crowds make me tense and I'm a bit claustrophobic, so I just wanted out of there. Well, 22 minutes later, I got out. That's how long it took me to pay for the stuff I bought.

Back outside, I carefully climbed back up the hill I had come down, this time carrying about 10 pounds of stuff with me. I finally reached my car, stowed my stuff, and drove away. I had no idea where I was, not knowing Golden at all, but fortunately it's a pretty small town, so I eventually found my way back to the highway. Not before a cop pulled up behind me lights blazing though. I was in a roundabout circle at the time, so I just tried to pull to the center, but of course there was a foot of snow there. The cop, rather than going around me, pulled right behind me and laid on his horn (as if the sirens and flashing lights weren't enough already). So, I pulled out, drove up a little ways (still in the circle), and pulled over again. That time he went around me.  WTF??

Needless to say, I've had more adventure today than I had hoped for. I wish I could say I found that one big item at the sale that made it all worth it. But, I guess you win some and you lose some. If I didn't have to watch dogs this afternoon, I'd be really tempted to crack open a beer as soon as the clock strikes noon.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

decisions, decisions

I am SO happy to announce that I finally reached 100 sales! In fact, I'm now at 103. In a moment of desperation, I started a 20% off sale over the weekend on everything in my shop. I think it helped - my views have been way up ever since and I've made 4 sales. So, if there's anything you've had your eye on, be sure to get it before February 12 when the sale ends.

I decided to reward myself when I hit 100 sales by buying one of my favorites. Problem is, I can't figure out what to get. I want everything! After a lot of thought, I've managed to narrow it down to five things. Now I need your help. Here they are:

I just love this leather cuff bracelet. And it's made by a Denver artist, so it would be a bonus to support someone local.

As you might recall, my first "reward" was a crocheted hat, so I probably should get something different this time, but I LOVE this hat, so it made the top 5.

This necklace appeared in the treasury I made that was on the Front Page - I just love it. It's so pretty.

I admit it, I think fingerless gloves look cool. Plus I love fleece as well as brown and aqua together.

I probably don't NEED a new bag, but I haven't bought a new one in quite a while and it would be nice to have a big one to carry all my crap :)

So, what do you think? Which should I get?

Monday, January 31, 2011

what the heck is THAT?

First, as a quick reminder, I am offering 15% off in my Etsy shop to all loyal readers of this blog - just enter BLOG15 at checkout. I need three more sales to hit 100!

So, Jeff and I went sale-ing over the weekend. We hit three estate sales, one in a beautiful log mansion, where we bought very little since everything was VERY expensive. We also hit a sale in its last day that was 75% off. The place looked like it was owned by a hoarder - there was stuff everywhere, even on the last day, but I'm sorry to say not much of it was good. We did  manage to pick up quite a few things since everything was so cheap. Most of it is what we call "project stuff" - stuff that will probably sit around for much too long before we finally get around to up-cycling it. And we got stuff like a cool old wood palette on casters and an old wood sawhorse that we can use as photography props. The best thing was that we got everything for $7. We counted when we got home and we had 18 items!

We also decided to hit an architectural salvage place that is just a few blocks from us as they were advertising a sale of pieces recovered from a local mansion. I've never allowed myself to go in there despite its close proximity to our house because I knew I would fall in love with everything and not be able to afford anything. I wasn't wrong. I don't know how many square feet it is, but it has to be tens of thousands. There are enormous fountains in there that sell for $50,000! And amazingly huge wrought iron pieces that sell for $5k.

Just when I thought we were completely wasting our time, we spotted this interesting ... thing:

It was folded up just like that when we found it. Neither Jeff nor I had any idea what it was, but I LOVE industrial looking things and, finding that it was surprisingly in our price range, we decided then and there to get it.  While we were paying, a woman in line commented on how much she liked it and how jealous she was that we got it.

We brought it home and started messing with it and here's what it looks like fully extended.

It has a vice grip kinda thingy on the board that folds out.

Written on it is JS Tilley, Watervliet, NY, and it has a patent date of 1893. From the little bit of information I could find online, it appears that JS Tilley produces ladders and scaffolding (and maybe still does?). So, I think maybe this is part of some really old scaffolding.

Whatever it is, it's cool. And I think it would look great in a big loft holding a cool piece of artwork, since it stands a lot like an easel.

What do you think? Any thoughts on what this thing is?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

desperate to reach 100 sales!

My Etsy shop sits at 95 sales. I so want to reach 100 - and soon!  And my desperation can be to your advantage because I am offering a 15% off discount to the loyal readers of this blog. Just visit my shop, fill up your cart, and enter coupon code BLOG15 at checkout. It's that simple!

Happy hunting!

Friday, January 28, 2011


As I've mentioned here before, I was a bit obsessed with getting one of my treasuries on the front page of Etsy. Well, it finally happened! My "Wedding on the Farm" treasury was on the front page this morning! Unfortunately, I was sleeping while it was there, but I did get to see a screenshot of it. Strangely, the screenshot I saw didn't have the dress as part of the treasury. I'm not sure how that got left out - being a wedding treasury, it was a big part of it (even if it wasn't what you'd call a traditional dress). So, I'm sharing here a screenshot of the actual treasury instead of the one that I guess appeared:

And here's a link to it if you want to see it up close.

I've shied away from making wedding treasuries. I've never been married and I didn't spend a large amount of time (ok, any time) dreaming of my wedding growing up. I guess I just lack the marriage gene. So this was somewhat of a daunting task. And that's probably why it's not a conventional wedding treasury either. But, at the end of the day, I loved it!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

english pyrex

Just when I think I'm getting this Pyrex thing down, new stuff comes along. Well, not "new" - you know what I mean. New to me. A few months back, I found these great Pyrex bowls that were made in England. Through the wonderful people at the Pyrex Collective and Pyrex Love, I was able to find out that the pattern is called Spectrum and they were made in the 1980s. I ended up selling them in my Etsy shop. I really liked them but they weren't a great match for my kitchen, so I let them go.

Last weekend, Jeff and I were thrifting and I came across these beauties. I didn't recognize the pattern on the small bowl. The larger bowl has black snowflakes, but it's different from the other black snowflake pieces I've seen. So I flipped them over and found both marked JAJ Made in England. Of course, I had to have them - as a learning experience if nothing else. (Sorry for the picture quality, I just can't seem to get the right lighting these days.)

In doing some research, I found that JAJ stands for J A Jobling of England. Apparently this company licensed the Pyrex name from Corning and then was bought out by Corning in 1973. Therefore, any pieces bearing the JAJ mark are pre-1973. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the Spectrum pieces were made at the same place as my two new pieces, but since they didn't come along until the 1980s, they are simply marked Made in England as the JAJ mark was long gone by that time.

It's fun to think about the journey these pieces made from their native England to Colorado. And I have an over-whelming desire to fill them with bangers and mash :)

Happy hunting!

Monday, January 24, 2011

when i grow up....

Although I'm pushing the big 4-0, I still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I think that's why I finally got the nerve to leave my job - because I finally realized that it just wasn't my passion and life is way too short to spend too much time doing something you just don't care much about. No amount of money can change that feeling. Sure, life is easier when you aren't struggling financially, but, really, if you can pay the bills and save a little for old age, the rest is just gravy and, according to studies, doesn't make us any happier.

The experts always tell you to do what you love. Based on that advice, I've come up with the following short list of dream jobs:

1.  Chocolate taster. Apparently this is a real job. I LOVE chocolate. To me, it's not dessert if there's no chocolate in it. The darker the better. And I think I have a good palette. Now, just have to figure out how you go about it - is there a chocolate university? Is Willy Wonka the dean? Maybe it exists somewhere - with a chocolate stream running through campus and trees hanging heavy with chocolate covered caramels?

2. Travel writer. I love to travel. The only problem is that sometimes HAVING to do what you love to do makes it a chore instead of a pleasurable experience. I would hate not loving to travel. Also, I don't like leaving my pets. So, I'm thinking if I had a 40' RV, I could just load up the pets and Jeff and drive off into the sunset, writing about the whole experience along the way.

3. Owner of The Container Store. I love containers. I don't always love using them faithfully, but I love buying them and having them. I can't help it. It's that part of me that longs to be organized and super on top of things (alas, I'm not and probably never will be). But I can dream. Which, of course, is all this job title is - a dream. I'm sure it's actually owned by a million shareholders. And none of them probably have the perk I'm after - the ability to stroll through the aisles of any Container Store and just take whatever.

So, there you have it. My list of dream jobs. If you find out that any of these are open, let me know :)

Please share - what is your dream job? Are you fortunate enough to be doing it?