Saturday, June 30, 2012

Friday Night Auction Favor and a few Finds of my Own!

While collecting our finds at last Friday's auction, SpaBoy
and I peeked in on the items on deck for the next auction...
These items were to be sold to settle the estate of one, Pieter Hoekstra, a well-
traveled and fairly interesting man. You can read about him here. As SpaBoy
and I previewed what Uncle Pieter's beneficiaries had willed to us to own, we
very quickly decided that mid-century modern kitsch and Danish furniture
really wasn't our thing. However, there was one piece that caught his eye...
It was this massive quartz cluster!
Unfortunately, his schedule didn't allow SpaBoy to attend last night's Hoekstra
auction. Fortunately, he had a proxy bidder willing to attend for him... Me!
I'm happy to report the quartz cluster is now at home with SpaBoy and
that he is very pleased. And, I'm pleased that I only had to go $25 past
his limit because I anticipated much more competition! SpaBoy didn't
know it, but I was willing to double his limit to ensure he got it. When I
saw my competition struggling to raise his paddle to make his last bid,
I knew it was in the bag for me... One more little bid and it was mine!
There wasn't too much else at this auction I wanted
to take home... Except for this pair of crystal rose bowls!
I haven't even filled the one I picked up at last week's auction with
roses yet... And, I surely don't need another flower vase... But these are
marked Kate Spade, New York (Lenox) - And, the pattern, June Meadow
is discontinued... Put together, it equaled a solid mandate to grab them!
I didn't pay much attention to the collection of vintage Blenko glass until all
of it was put up together. Of course, I couldn't pass up the chance to pick up eight
pieces of vintage Blenko from the 70's for less than the cost of this hurricane!
In the 70's, it appear Mrs. Hoekstra paid $4.50 each. Today, these
cost just a bit more. But what I wonder the most is why she never
used them. I wondered the same thing at last week's auction when
they sold 2 Rolex watches, described as never worn. It started me
thinking... Why not use this stuff and enjoy it? I'm sure going to!
And to prove it, I've worn my Rolex twice this week and washed
 the stickers right off all the old but new-to-me Blenko pieces! Not
the foil labels though... Just the paper ones. Baby steps... Right?
The last things that caught my eye at the auction
last night were these puzzle-piece candle holders!
I almost didn't bid on them after I noticed a tiny chip
on the smaller one. But since the tall one is perfect, I
told myself to just think of the chip as a bent corner!
I love the way they play...
And fit together!
And, at just $20 for the pair... The bent corner becomes totally acceptable!
The way these rose bowls were displayed at the auction house, I thought
they were two different sizes... But they're not. They are exactly the same!
Everything cleaned up spectacularly well!
And, I have plans for all of it!
Big, Bold, Bright...
Happy plans!
I hear a lot after these posts I write about the goodies we drag home from
these estate auctions from readers wondering about how good the prices
really are... And, I don't mind telling you. Even though I know it might
increase the competition for me! For the Kate Spade rose bowls, I paid
$30 for the pair. For all eight pieces of Blenko, $80. And, you already
know the Libera puzzle-piece candle holders were mine for only $20
Which left plenty for jelly beans!
As you can see here, the bargain on the rose bowls is particularly swell!
So I splurged on two dozen roses this afternoon! 

southern hospitality

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Friday Night Auction, a whole lot of Worry, and a dash of Frustration!

There are many reasons I chase estate auctions and, this is one of them...
                                     photo credit here

I've been hunting the perfect antique Mora floor or wall clock for longer
than I care to admit. My darling mother has one in her kitchen, which also
chimes Westminster. Every time we're on the phone and I hear the clock, it
reminds me of one of the things still missing from my life. So when I receive
an alert from auctionzip letting me know of an upcoming estate sale that may
feature any sort of chiming clock, I go out of the way to ensure I get myself there!
Chiming clocks, vintage crystal and sterling, antique furniture and Rolex
watches were all part of this sale last Friday afternoon! This auction gallery
was new to us. We don't normally venture quite that far, mostly because there
are plenty of other terrific auction houses closer. Also, there's the matter of their
outrageous fees. Not only do they charge a 13% buyer-premium, they also ask for
an additional % for payments by check or charge. And, if you write a check, they
require a credit card to guarantee it. Crazy! I mean, I get passing along the 4% or
whatever it is today that MasterCard and Visa charge their vendors. However,
charging me to write a virtually local check is beyond. Especially when so many
other auction companies charge no buyer-premiums at all. Frankly, were it
not for the ridiculous fees, my buying would have been far less restricted!
Although I did not find my Mora this time, there were two vintage clocks with
the Westminster chime put up for bids. However, both clocks were in severe
shape. Much too severe to even be considered, regardless of the bargain they
might have been. Nonetheless, I managed to drag home a few other goodies...
First, these heavy, vintage American pressed glass plates
embossed, It is Pleasure to Labor for those we Love
I think they make a perfect serving dish for the little appetizer plates I put
together to enjoy by the pool. A little hummus, warm pitas, melons, salami...
You see it, don't you? I picked up both plates, plus a pressed glass pitcher in
a box-lot for only $15. After I won the bidding, the lady sitting in front of us
said she was after the pitcher for a friend. So before we left, I gifted it to her!
Most of the estate auctioned belonged to the former President of Duke University;
however, other pieces came from the estate of a couple who lived in Germany. This
was proved true by the AAFES price tags still on the bottom of many of the Goebel
figurines and some of the crystal. I keep fresh roses on the table in my living room,
so as soon as I spotted this cut crystal rose bowl, I knew it belonged home with me!
Especially for only $30! Unfortunately, the weekend got away from me and
I never made it over to my florist for roses to fill it... But this weekend, I will!
Army dad went a little nuts-o when the book collections came up for bid,
which earned him a trip to the ATM for cash because throwing away $100
for the privilege of writing my check wasn't happening! To thank me, he
snapped up this cute set of Shakespeare books to display under glass on
the console in my living room. Only $15 and, he got to take back the set of
little red books I originally nabbed from his library to create the display!
In the end, the auction was a good time. Especially after SpaBoy joined us and we
ended up goofing off until just past one o'clock in the morning. Unfortunately, the
next morning delivered a bit of frustration and a reminder of the worry that's always
bubbling, both in my heart and in my mind. You see, the Ranger's off to a four week
training course that will help better prepare them for the next deployment. This will
be deployment #4 in less than three years. Despite the worry, there's so much he's
accomplished in the short time he's been enlisted. Look at me saying, short time!
Good God, it feels like forever! Nevertheless, there is a major promotion he's just
earned... Faster than his father and much more quickly than anyone else I know
who has served this country. There's also a new job, which like his previous job,
you'll never catch me discussing. Because while there is tremendous pride that
comes with all he's achieved and for all our Ranger does... Fact is, when your
loved one works as an instrument of foreign policy, whatever bragging you
might feel compelled to do, ranks so very far behind keeping them safe!
So for those of you that have so kindly asked... First know how much I
love you for your appreciation of him and, especially for your prayers. And,
know too that our Ranger is amazing and continues to work as hard as ever!
So allow me to share a dash of frustration with you... After the accident
and because I added the Mini, we decided to replace the crashed F-150 with
a newer model with more interior space, which made keeping my Expedition
a little silly. I mean, I haven't driven it in three months and a few weeks ago,
after lifting the hood to add wiper fluid, I noticed the mud-daubers had
taken up residence and built creepy-looking nests near the battery!
So I cleaned it up and put it up for sale. The photos you see above and below are the
very ones I put in my listings placed with Craigslist and I priced it
fairly and quickly received calls! The first couple I met two weeks ago offered me a
thousand dollars less than I was asking so I dismissed those low-ballers... Because
no one here is desperate. Plus, to prepare my truck for sale I invested in a few items
I'd want a seller to do for me, if I were buying their vehicle. I had some rock-chip
damage on the windshield repaired and bought two PPI's, (pre-purchase vehicle
inspections) one with Ford, just to ensure there are no mechanical issues now or
that might pop up five minutes after I sell it. Lastly, I had the oil changed, put new
brake pads on and replaced all three windshield wipers as well. Not to mention the
fact that I washed and waxed the truck and got rid of the mud daubers under the
hood too! So last Tuesday, a guy calls and after I e-mailed the CarFax report, both
PPIs and the past 18-months worth of maintenance records, he called me back to
say he already loved my truck. Then, he asked if I, would ever accept $500 less
than I was asking, if I knew my SUV was going to a good home. I told him that
his offer was in my ballpark so we made arrangements to meet. Don't worry, no
axe-murderer story coming up... Of course, I arranged to meet in the parking
lot of our local police station and, I brought Army dad along with me too. But
what happened next floored me. I still can't be sure what the real reason was,
but the reason he gave for not wanting to test-drive it, even after examining
every inch of the interior of my truck and admitting that it was spotless, is the
tires/rims weren't clean enough. Really! Now, I am the Captain's Daughter...
My father has forever been meticulous about keeping his cars clean. Before I
could even drive, my dad had trained me in the fine arts of washing, waxing
and Q-tipping every inch of the family cars. I raised the young man you see
wrapping his own car in painter's tape to protect it from road debris during
long trips home too! As much as I believe I am not built for manual labor,
keeping my cars clean is something I find therapeutic and actually enjoy. So
to hear someone wearing remnants of lunch on his t-shirt tell me my rims
weren't up to his standards made me want to pound him into next week. But
instead, I politely declined his offer to buy my truck only if I agreed to have
it professionally detailed and sent him on his way back to Greensboro. After
the experience, I went home and broke out not the toothbrush or the Q-tips...
Nope. I broke out my camera to take a few new photos to update my ads...
Paying particular attention to the rims...
And, the mud-dauber nest-free engine compartment...
The rear end...
And of course, the interior as well!
Because apparently, the one thing I missed about showing a vehicle for sale
is how very important it is to spit-shine rims and, provide glamour-shots!
And clearly that's what it takes... Because today I sold my truck. And, for a tidy
little $500 more than dirty T-shirt guy offered! Which will come in handy for
paying those pesky bidder fees at this estate sale scheduled for this Friday!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Storage Wars with the Locals... Yup!

We enjoy A&E's Storage Wars so when I noticed a listing for a storage locker
auction nearby yesterday morning, we ventured over to see what we could see!
Several readers and Facebook friends have asked me how I find these auctions we
attend. Newspaper? No. Fliers? No. It's! Each week, I pop onto to check out the auctions according to distance from our zip code
or, if I'm looking for specific items, I search by keyword. Either way, the coolest
thing about is that you can preview items through the photo
galleries attached to each listing. This helps me target the sales worthy of
our time and keeps us out of sales that might otherwise be a total bust!
Having said that, there's no way to know whether or not a storage auction will
be worth our time since the contents are unknown to all until the doors roll up!
In this case, there wasn't another worthwhile auction, and this one was less
than five minutes from the house... So we landed here! There were 12 lockers
scheduled for auction; however, since they didn't have a lock cutter, only ten
units came up for sale. Just like in the show, you bid only on what you can see
and believe you might find based upon the condition of those items and the way
the balance of the locker is packed. Squishy garbage bags full of clothes or body
parts... You won't know unless you're the highest bidder! Sounds like fun, huh?
And, for the most part it was! Of all the lockers, this one had the most in it
and was picked up for $190 by two guys in their early twenties who told
me they do this for a living. We chatted a little about the dining set since
it looks identical to the one I have, except for that it hasn't been painted!
It was interesting to see what things people abandoned and to think
about why. I'm not sure we'll check out any more storage auctions
though. They seem better suited to those with shops and people
with the patience and stomach will to dig through what mostly
looked like other people's garbage. I wear surgical gloves when
I cook, which pretty much means this is NOT for me. Even if...
The spiders and fleas are free!