Month: January 2016

A few Saturday finds

After a couple of weeks of very little activity I finally got the chance to get out and hunt up a few new things.  Saturday morning saw me making a mid morning pick up from an online sale.  Most of my purchases were a variety of farm tools.  I did buy a wooden box of small hand tools mostly because there was a neat piece of advertising in the box.  A floating fillet knife with advertising for a Gulf Oil and Tire distributor caught my eye and realizing there were enough other pieces to pay for the lot I jumped at the opportunity.  No pics yet, but maybe in a later post.

I also was able to attend an auction.  It really wasn’t one of the better auctions I’ve ever  attended.  My preference for an auction is lots of vintage and antique smalls.  I will buy the occasional piece of furniture, but that’s not what I’m usually looking to find.  I did purchase a nice primitive farm table at this sale.IMG_2437

One of the things I often like, but seldom buy is clocks.  I’m always afraid that there will be mechanical problems and it is generally hard to test them.


I made an exception with this one.  I figured at $1 it was a no brainer.  Turns out it works great.

The rest of the best include a couple of old tobacco knives.  These have historic significance in the area and should be an easy sell.  A Bluegrass (formally Belknap) tack hammer and a Keen Kutter stone mason’s hammer were also good finds.



Thoughts on estate finds

Real or imagined all old things have a story.  Some stories are those passed down while others are nostalgic notions.  I have always had a pretty good imagination so it isn’t hard for me to picture a worn tool preforming its task in a calloused hand or a family sitting around an old farm table enjoying a meal served on old Blue Willow dishes.

Things passed down generation to generation carry with them the story of a family.  The family china, the set of silver passed down from Aunt Edna and of course the old photo album are great examples.  It is truly sad when there is no one to pass them to.

So many of the things I buy when I go to estate sales are items that once played a big part in who a family was.  The thing that I enjoy most about what I do is placing these items with new owners bringing back old memories.  One of my favorite finds and placements was an old miner’s lunch pail.  The lady who received it said that her father had carried one just like it when she was a child.

Recently I purchased (for resell) a dozen old photographs.  Once these photos where treasured by a mother and father, but now they are simply what the new owner imagines them to be.

Ready to trade the cold and snow for a good garage sale

I am not a fan of cold weather and it sure cramps my picking style.  Aside from a few auctions I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get out and search for the rusty junk that gets my blood pumping.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good auction, but somehow it’s not the same to win an item that someone else has found just by outbidding the other guy.  The real fun is when you have to dig for the good stuff.  Any significant garage sales are at least two or three months away so maybe I need a good barn to dig through.  The one advantage to the cold weather would be the absence of wasps.

They don’t make TV shows like they used to

I always enjoyed the TV show “The Waltons”.  I’m not sure if it’s the wholesome family fun or the nostalgia that does it for me.  Probably some of both.  Set during the time of the Great Depression and later WWII this TV family always seem to have a positive outlook even when things were hard.  They made the most of what they had.

As with most successful shows there were a number of merchandising opportunities and when our oldest daughter became a fan of the show we began to look for a gift to surprise her.

That was a number of years ago and today I ran across the items we found for her and wanted to share.


Garage sales good source for pottery finds

The central Kentucky area where I live is known for it’s pottery.  Numerous potteries sprang up in the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s and at least one (Bybee) continued to produce pieces until they recently closed their doors.

You can find contemporary pieces still made in the area by much newer potteries, most notably from the Tater Knob pottery near Berea Ky.

One of the neat things about pottery is it can be both utilitarian and beautiful artwork.  A variety of colors and glazes add to the appeal.

It is pretty easy to find bargains at garage sales for just a few dollars,  but it can be more expensive to buy pieces sold at auction.  There are lots of collectors willing to pay good prices and bidding wars can result in high prices.

Whether you are searching for a turn of the century pitcher or a colorful vase chances are you might find something to take home if your searching through the garages of central Kentucky.

Lunch break treasure hunt

My place of employment is located in an area rich with antique and high end consignment shops.  I often use a portion or all of my lunch break to wander through displays of pottery, primitive farm tools, vintage advertising, furniture, and any number of other items.


I don’t  often make purchases on these trips but occasionally I will find a great deal that I can’t pass up.  Mostly it’s therapy.


Because of the obvious time constants on these lunchtime jaunts I always have certain spaces I will search first, usually based on typical contents or past deals.  Dealers who have consistently good prices draw the most attention.

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There’s no better way to relieve the stress of a hectic work day and occasionally you find something really cool.

When junking worth isn’t always determined by monetary value

“Junking” is sometimes a family affair.  I have been bitten the hardest I think, but we all enjoy the occasional junking adventure as a family outing.  We each have our favorites.  We search high and low to find salt and pepper shakers, Elvis albums, vintage Fisher Price toys, and of course soda related items.

We also have a game of sorts.  My youngest daughter plays it most enthusiastically.  Of course there is a back story, so let’s begin there.

My wife’s grandmother (also a junker) gave us a punch bowl and cups shortly after we were married.  It was unique because of the square shape of the bowl and cups.  She told us that it was rare and that we wouldn’t see another like it and because we never had, we accepted this to be fact. After her death, the punch bowl meant much more to us and we found a place where we could display it.

Several years later we were at an outdoor flea market and discovered another exact bowl and a few cups and naturally we bought them.  I found two more that summer and it became a game to see who could find the first cup or bowl any time we were out.  Over the years we have accumulated fifteen or so of these “rare” punch bowls and probably two hundred cups.  Do we need them?  No, but the memories of a loved one past… yes we do.  Sometimes the rarity of an item isn’t where value is found but in the memories that it brings.