Sunday, December 25, 2011

A day at the Flea Market

The day was Tuesday and although I didn't really have the money to do so I needed a shopping fix, so off to the Flea Market I went.  Thank you to my wife Donna for kicking down some extra cash out of the kitty otherwise I would have been painting, gluing, or repurposing something that day instead.  Some days you can go out and find very little and other days tons of things, you just never know.  Question: why are the best flea markets in the worse part of town?  Here is a photos of my empty vehicle, not for long though.     
 In case you are wondering what these wirery things are they are called shopping carts.  My mother used one when we were kids and yes they have been referred to as grandma carts but call me a grandma if you must they work and I use one.  When I am out yes I do get some looks but who cares they are easy on the hands and if you shop as much as I do it is crucial that you own one. 
 Here I am paying to get into the Flea Market, I took this picture to show off my profile, as you can see my beer belly is coming back.  Even when I wear dark colored clothing (suppose to hide the fat) it still shines through.  I guess I should start eating better, no more McDonald's and Budweiser, it's bad for the waste line.   Maybe if I just suck it in for the photos no one would ever know.  Who cares?
 Here is a lady off the street she wandered into the photo.  Kidding she is my friend, shopping buddy, counselor, junk food buddy (McDonald's on Thursday), and a great cook.  Her name is Lonae and a great guidance counselor.  Doesn't charge much and if you mention this ad she will take off $10, really all kidding aside she has been a great inspiration and has shown me the ropes.  Here we are with our carts still empty but waiting to be filled.
 This is a snap shot of the Flea Market.  Hustle and bustle well for a Tuesday not a bad turn out.  Less shoppers and more for me, I mean us (Lonae).  Everyone is out looking for something, tools, t-shirts, socks, jewelry, bikes and who knows what else?  If you can imagine it, I am sure it has probably been sold here.  I think everyone should check out a Flea Market if you never have.  A piece of advice try going during the week instead.  Weekend markets are filled with newer merchandise that originated in some other country, not good. 
 Here is my first find of the day.  Not spectacular but worth the $1 I spent on it.  It appears to have been a wine box.  I think with a fresh coat of white paint a little sanding and something stenciled on it like "storage or misc." I can resell this neglected box.  It is still functional and would look quite nice on a shelf or a desk to remove clutter.  Either way it's mine to do with what I please.  Goodbye wine box hello storage box.
 Another great find I think I paid $2 for this not made in America photo frame with no glass to the left.  Really it's not a frame but a chalkboard in the making.  I will strip it down, repaint it and then add a wood insert and using chalk paint it will make a nice addition to someones home office, bedroom or just about anywhere you need a reminder or note. 
 Sometimes you have to look hard to find the small things.  Most people just glance and scan a vendors area.  You can really find some treasures in these boxes and tubs.  I said it before and I will say it again take a buddy to shop with.  It really forces you to slow down when you have to wait for them (sorry Lonae), that's when you find things like this, old vintage door knobs.  There were four of them and I took them all, a real treasure at $1 a piece.  I saw a project with these.  Someone made them into place card holders.  Maybe I will do the same or not they just look nice, old and chippy.  Thanks again Lonae.
 Another great piece I purchased was this wooden shelf in the background, and you thought it was the red purse not so.  I have since finished the piece and it did take a little extra effort on my part.  One of the spools was missing, one broken so I had to take it apart pull off some spools patch some holes sand and paint but worth the $7 I paid for it.  You should see it now it looks great and ready for purchase at my store at Restore & Rework, Castro Valley (had to plug it).
 Was a very windy and cold day, look out!  Their tent fell over, should have used weights.  I have noticed in this business of selling very few invest in there business.  There are basics, tents, weights, tables.  Yes it all costs money but you can find most items even here at the flea market.  So now their tent is ruined could have been worse I guess, fake luggage not ruined. 
 My best find by far was this rusty metal rolling cart.  The vendor who sold it to me was using it as a storage for the tiles he was selling.  Not really 100% sure he want to give it up but he did and I bought it.  It came in real handy for the rest of the day since I used it to continue my shopping adventure.  It would make a great serving cart for a bbq or outdoor party.  Are you thinking what I am thinking Margarita station, tequila, yes I can see it now.  On the other hand one could use it to repot plants, I can see clay pots on it with a bag of soil and garden tools hanging off of the handle.  I love it either way. 
 This is me at the end of the day with all of my purchases.  I picked up an old ladder and a vintage storage box (will need some work as well) by the way I filled it as well with other items you will have to wait and see at my upcoming Vintage Faire January 14, 2012 (plug). 
 My SUV now filled with items from Lonae and myself.  Great treasures to be found at the Flea Market.  Oh and some advice to all who have not been to a Flea Market.  Never leave any valuables in your trunk or your car when shopping at the Flea.  Always bring change dollars are best.  Once I had to walk on a $1 item when I only had a $20 in my pocket and the vendor had no change.  Bring water and good walking shoes.  Be respectful to the vendor it pays off, trust me on this one.
After a long day, well only 3 hours we were hungry so off the Nation's Burger we went.  Now I know where that belly of mine in coming from not McDonald's as I suspected it's must be Nation's.  Next time I'll get the salad.  Happy holidays.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Store opening For those of you that are still reading my posts I must apologize to you.  I have been extremely busy preparing for the opening of my workshop/shop.  All the hard work that goes into cleaning, painting, preparing, building, creating, and did I say painting (my arm was about to fall off and thank you Laura and Ingrid for all your help) it's really a wonder that it all got done in time for the opening.  By the way the first opening was October 8th for one day only.  I have decided to keep the theme and open once a month on the second Saturday of the month for now.  Once things get going I am thinking about having a featured artist, collector in addition to what I carry.  For now though it is just me, myself and I.  The first show was a great success as I was able to break my own one day record in sales so thank you to all who supported the first show.  Now the real work is at hand.  Trying to keep things going and getting the word out.  I am looking for any suggestions to help me promote my event.  I have advertised in our local paper, joined to chamber, passed out postcards, passed out posters to businesses I frequent, emailed everyone I know or have known (sorry for those who are getting bombarded).  I am up for any other suggestions.  Attached above you will find a Utube video a client did of my shop on the opening day.  It really came out quite good thank you Tess.  My next opening will be Saturday November 12th, from 9-6 hope you can make it out.  Cisco 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting my own shop

 So it has finally happened.  I have a place to call my own.  A shop.  14 months after building my first birdhouse and selling my wares at Farmers Markets, consignment shops, Antique and Vintage fairs and Flea Markets I am settling down.  Here a photo of the front of the store.  The place is about 1150 square feet of useable space for building, storing, painting and creating new items for the home and garden.  The place needs some work but if I can turn a twin size bedframe into a garden bench or a pile of lumber into a potting bench I think I can tackle this project.  When I am done I will update this blog with the transformation.
 This photo is of the back of the store lots of brick, too bad someone covered the inside of the building with plaster to hide the brick.  It would have given the place an aged feel and more character.  The window is a nice addition even on the back and it has handles to open and close them.  The fiberglass on the windows will have to come down and the windows cleaned.  Just to the left it looks as if there used to be a spot to burn trash.  It has been sealed up for years I am sure.  I can't wait to get in there and start the renovation process.
 The bathroom, quite small and lifeless.  For a commercial building I guess that says it all.  Probably didn't get much use but I have some ideas for it already.  Maybe a new sink and mirror.  A cubby to hide the essentials and I have this idea for the walls.  You'll have to wait.
 This is probably the main reason I got the place.  It has a roll up door.  The side of the door is a little tweeked I'll have to call the landlord on that.  But as far a roll up door goes it still opens and operates.  Just to the right of the door is my mail area.  Can't wait for all the bills to start rolling in, maybe I should seal it off.  Kidding.
 The inside of the place is primarily concrete.  I will have to clean and scrub the floors and maybe fill in a few cracks but that's it.  The previous tenant left the shelves.  They are perfect for storing my goods and creations.  Although 1150 square seems like alot of space it won't take me long to fill it.  My wife can't wait to get her house back I am sure.  Currently I have projects all over the place, garage, backyard, sideyard, storage shed, porch, patio and yes in the house.  Ok so it is a little overwheming for her but everything eventually gets worked on and sold.  Come on someone back me up on this one.    
Last but not least the showroom.  It has great potential and I will be hosting my wares in this spot.  It is about 250 square feet.  It is carpeted but it is heavily stained so it will have to be cleaned or go altogether.  This is where my items will be displayed for purchase or simply gazing.  I am not sure when I will be finished with the space hopefully by months end.  I am not sure how many days I will be open yet, when I will be done and when I can start selling so keep tuned in.  Wish me luck as this a big step for me.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

 I was out garage saleing today (Saturday).  Is that a word (saleing), probably not?  I figured I had a few hours to kill and I needed a break from painting this morning so I ventured out.  There were a ton of garage sales today not sure why.  Anyways here are some of my finds for today.  Vintage bottles boy do they need cleaning, cloche actually was from a clock but I left the clock behind, small vintage books and a flower frog, and wooden finials.
 This piece not sure what it was and really not sure why I bought it but it has great appeal.  I was thinking after I purchased it it would look great with a plant, one that falls over the side.  Or it could be used out in the garden to store garden tools and gloves.  I don't think it is old but it sure looks like it is so I bought it.  The faucet that is attached to it is vintage and rusty.   
 It seems like I hit the jackpot again and found more pint size Mason jars.  These ones are old.  Sometimes I run into the jars in bunches, then a dry spell and I can't find any.  Just got lucky, I guess.  The box is an old whisky box and still sturdy after all these years.  Great for storage or simply put some of your favorite plants in it.  It will look great on top of a table, box and plants.  To the left I found 2 vintage bank bags, for money I am guessing.
 Here is a closeup.
 Ditto, couldn't figure out how to delete this duplicate photo so here it is again.  Magic.
 These little black books needed to come home with me.  They were falling apart, old and beat up.  I think they look great though, the flower frog another find needs a vintage photo and these items could be sitting on ones dresser or on a side table.  I can never keep enough of these small books in my booth when I sell.  They move pretty quickly.
 I found some wire baskets, a shelf (it was still in the wrapping).  I put it together for the photo and it will get painted a dark brown and then white.  With a little sanding at the edges it will look great in any room.
Finally this desk.  Small and functional it may have seen better days.  I am thinking about tearing it apart and re purposing it.  I will show you in a future blog what will happen to this desk.  You will be surprised.  I also found a metal fishing box.  Still had the gear in it.  It will need cleaning but after can be used to store just about anything.  Photos, garden tools, office supplies just to name a few ideas.  Until next time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

 What a day it was yesterday so many treasures.  I spent the day searching through loads of stuff to come up with the following items like the galvanized watering can, it had the rose, most don't so I had to get it.  The tilting mirror with drawer another great find needs a fresh coat of paint and the glass door shelf great for storing small items or collectibles but also will get a fresh coat of paint.
 These other pieces were also waiting to be found.  Some will need some paint and some minor restoring and cleaning but overall minimal work and ready for sale at my next show.
 I was fortunately to find these pint size Mason Jars and 15 of them.  I have some zinc lids that would look great and maybe a few spools or a vintage picture inside.  Still functional as Mason jars however I think they look better when displayed or simply put a tea light in one as a candle holder.  They look great at night, don't forget to add some sand and the bottom.  The results will be magical at night.
 Love these little jars I think they might be vintage apothecary jars.  They could be reproductions not sure how to tell.  Maybe one of you can let me know.  Still they look great as a set for display or to store your small items.  Label them with some vintage stickers and you are good to go.  Would look great in the bathroom on a wooden shelf from RestoreandRework.
 After I purchase these little guys I thought they were a matching set but when I got home they were not.  Still for that special spot by themselves they will look great.  They are vintage in nature and all wood, finally.  No pressed wood here.  Going to paint them and I think they will look great.  Lots of detail in the wood.  Hey maybe a few of my jars above on one of these shelves.  I think I'll try it.
Lastly these vintage spice jars.  Only 5 to be had, still there was something about them that I could not resist.  I know there should be more of them but who cares.  They are brushed steel I think and with plastic tops.  I would use them for storage maybe for change, safety pins, office clutter, really anything small.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Room with a Past Set up

For those of you who love things that have had past then you are in for a treat.  I have decided to show some of my treasures at Room with a Past in Walnut Creek.  The store opens this Thursday July 21st and runs through Sunday the 24th.  The picture shows some of the pieces I have brought in for the show.  Wire crates, balls of string, candle sticks, mason jars and a grand mirror, oh and a bust that was decoupaged plus other one of kind pieces.  I wish I could tell you to buy only from my spot but there are so many other talented people that work out of there.  I am sure you will find something else you cannot live without.  Happy hunting.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Recent estate sale finds

Well, it has finally happened, I have created my Blog.  Not sure what all the fuss is about but now that it is done I can get the monkey off my back.  I am hoping with the Blog to update my recent finds, shows and other relavent information on repurposing and recycling and second use of items (my passion).  From time to time I would also like to profile some of my clients and their purchases.  In addition maybe show off some of my talents on repurposing and using reclaimed wood to build items for the home and garden.  Hopefully I can inspire some of you to take on a project yourself using a neglected item.  The picture above are some of my recent finds at an estate sale, vintage boxes, mason jars, clothes pins, bench and table, and of course the sign.  These were some of the treasures left behind by the masses.  Thank you Mary Lou for talking to the administator and letting me look over the items after the show was over.