Last Friday night, I drove out to my parents’ house (about an hour away) to stay overnight and attend the Utica Antiques Market the next morning. I’ve been visiting this market since I was a teenager, and Timmy has taught me that it’s important to get there right when the place opens. [For new readers, here is pretty much all you need to know about Timmy, and that time he was on Cash & Cari.]
So Timmy, my sister Lindsay, and I got to the market bright and early, and it really felt like the world was our oyster.
Here is Lindsay scoping out the goods:
See those tiny fuzzy chicks in the bottom left corner of that case above? I loved them. But what are you supposed to do with a giant box of tiny fuzzy chicks?
Oh here’s a thing:
And another thing:
All jokes aside, this market had some GREAT stuff. And the prices were really reasonable. I zeroed in first on a booth that had a bunch of cast iron banks and molds. We all know about my love affair (and money-making extravaganza) with old chocolate molds.
The heavy mold with the two babies was really the best, but it was priced around $150. I stared at it for a good long while though. And see that little cast iron pig bank at the top of the photo? More on him later.
We moved through the show for a good 45 minutes or so, and I was yet to buy anything. That’s not to say I didn’t see lots of potential purchases.
Like this creature:
He was priced at $100 and carved out of solid wood. I WANTED HIM SO BAD. But alas, where am I going to put a giant wooden monster? Probably right next to a box of tiny fuzzy chicks.
There’s Timmy and one of his “peers.” They are probably reminiscing about the good old days.
I like to imagine that these Santas are all drowning in quicksand. Don’t they look distressed?
I probably should have bought this for llama-obsessed Sarah. Also, LOOK AT THAT TINY HEAD STRAPPED ON! I died laughing at this for a good 5 minutes.
Ok ok, so what did I buy? My first purchase was a Skookum doll. You might remember that I already own one Skookum doll, purchased last Christmas in Holly, MI.
The little one is my new guy, and the larger one was the one I already had. I paid a mere $18 for the new one:
I also went back to that booth with the cast iron stuff and bought a cast iron pig bank. I debated between the pig shown in the photo earlier, and the one I eventually bought. This was a little steep at $30, but he’s just too cute. And, he is full of old coins, so maybe there is a good one in there! I have yet to open him and check.
And my last purchase was another lead figurine for Zach. This time not a soldier, but a cool-looking Indian. I paid $10, and it was originally marked $15. In an ideal world, this would only be $5.
Timmy bought a Little League bobblehead to go with the rest of his collection. He hemmed and hawed over this purchase for a good hour. It was $35, which is kind of high for a later bobblehead (1970s?), and especially one that doesn’t have pro team markings. He negotiated down to $25. Here it is in the middle of some of his other nodders:
Tim seemed kind of bummed that he might have overpaid for the nodder, when all of a sudden he found this Tigers pin for $5! What a steal!
And what did Lindsay find? I know she bought a rhino statue (she is a zookeeper) and a ceramic pumpkin. Her best finds by far though were these little charms:
That man is giving some sassy face!
Update: So Sarah just texted me with the following:
I’m still skeptical that that carved thing is an alligator. Or a crocodile even. It seems like a pretty obvious, run-of-the-mill land monster to me.
First of all, HOLY SH*T. Thanks to all of the new followers and to the Tumblr staff for featuring us. We are glad that you are all here and hope you enjoy our adventures! If you do, then like us on Facebook. And if you don’t, well then, don’t.
Last Friday, Erin and I had a lot of sales on our list of prospects. There were actually quite a few near her house, but only one looked good. Erin really wanted to go because she spotted a Selmer saxophone in the pictures online. If you remember, we once saw a Selmer sax sell at auction for over $6,000, so I can see why she was excited.
When we arrived, however, the Selmer was gone. The guy running the sale said it went for $3,000 and the guy who bought it was first in line, waiting at 5 a.m.
There were some other instruments but none that seemed as valuable, I don’t think. So Erin passed on the rest.
This house was a typical “old person” house with not a lot of fabulous things, but some treasures here and there. I came away with a few of my own to both resell and keep. To keep, I found this cute strawberry bowl (my kitchen is green and red) for two bucks.
To sell, I found this adorable Holt Howard kitty pin box with a tape measure for a tongue!
I only bought this because it was $1 and super adorable, and I had never seen anything like it. I didn’t know that Holt Howard was a collectible brand but it appears that it really is!
The thing that I have is from his “cozy cats” line, but it looks like what sells best are his “pixieware” pieces, like the one above. Here’s a closer look at the pixieware:
Pretty cute! I can see why people collect these things. But they’re probably Erin’s worst nightmare because they’re so Mid Century/Retro looking.
Next up on our list was a sale in Dearborn that looked pretty good. I found some old Christmas cards right away, and Erin prevented me from buying this shirt:
I told her that it was so cute because it looked like something an elementary school art teacher would wear but she reminded me that that isn’t what I do for a living.
Erin spotted this portrait of me wearing my brown wig…
Right after that, she found that picture of herself that we posted on Friday.
I discovered these cool antique weights, but they had them marked $40 for the set:
I found some cool old records, including Disney’s Peter and the Wolf, which terrified me as a child. One of my earliest memories is of climbing out of my crib because the shotgun sounds on the record scared the sh*t out of me (I think my parents must have been listening to it with my brother, who is 5 years older than me.)
After we left this sale, it was lunch time, and Erin surprised me by having a craving for Mexican food. Let me tell you, ever since Erin’s had morning sickness, our food options on our adventures have been greatly limited. Normally, she only wants to eat somewhere if it has “family dining” in the name. We had some delicious food at Frida in downtown Dearborn, and then treated ourselves to some Yogurt Town. Here’s an action shot of me, delightfully planning my yogurt creation:
It did not disappoint.
Next up was a sale in Wyandotte, and on the way there were found ourselves at a completely different sale, which was where I found that Dave Grossman statue that Adam hates. To give you an idea of how these people overprice things, check out these book prices:
I’m not sure where a Reader’s Digest book is worth $15, but it’s not in this galaxy.
In the end, I also found some cute Christmas items at this sale, including a few knee hugger type guys, and a brand new vintage Holly Hobbie apron!
For the record, the woman tried to charge me $5 for each of those knee huggers. It didn’t work.
The last sale we hit was a doozie. These people had priced everything in the house as if it was a brand new item at a store, at 100% retail. They had a bunch of Jim Shore stuff that is Erin’s jam and not mine, but I did buy this beagle ornament because it was pretty cute.
Here’s a shot of all of it:
Nice stuff for sure, but not worth buying at an estate sale at its original retail price!
The only other thing I found here was a Zingerman’s book that was in great shape.
When I brought it up the lady looked super annoyed and/or confused. I said, “It’s supposed to be a dollar.” She said she knew, and then it occurred to me that she was probably upset because she thought she could get more than a dollar for it. COME ON!
Update from Erin: At the first sale, they were trying to sell opened food products, which is always so strange to me. I’ve come all the way to this estate sale, and ah yes, wonderful, a half used bag of sugar! Also, don’t any of you DARE touch the cake pop mix because it clearly belongs to Martina.
Look at that! THE SPAGHETTI BOX IS TAPED SHUT.
Anyway, at least there were some cute, non-edible items at the sale.
I found these little moccasins. One day I will force my baby to wear them, but for now I will just stare at them in admiration.
I also found this little trinket tray for $2. I gave it to Zach’s mom as part of her Mother’s Day present because she loves all things Mexico. This is from Juarez.
The second sale was kind of grody. I didn’t buy anything. You know what was NOT grody though? Yogurttown. I give a full endorsement to Yogurttown in Dearborn, MI. Hear that Yogurttown? If you are reading, I want some free froyo. And a t-shirt. Preferably one that says froYOLO.
After our froyo excursion, we hit a secret sale that happened to be really overpriced. I saw this rubber face reindeer as soon as we walked in:
Now, I previously sold a similar one of these guys on ebay for a hefty profit. I asked the guy how much this one was, and he started talking about how they are selling on ebay for $75, and how he’s not really sure, and on and on.
I wanted to say to him, “Are we on ebay right now? Is this ebay?” Seriously, we hear this all the time… “Well on ebay that’s sellin’ for blah and blah.” Cool. THEN SELL IT ON EBAY. I would have no problem if people running estate sales pulled the best stuff ahead of time and sold it on ebay for the best price. But once an item is in a sale, let’s be realistic.
In the end, we settled on $15 for this guy. And yes, I will be selling him on ebay.
Here is something I didn’t buy. Mostly because it has wings on the FRONT of its body, and a soulless face.
I wish I could have bought some of the Jim Shore stuff at the last sale, but it was all priced sooo high. I’m talking $25-$50 per piece. Here is one piece I took notice of. It appears to be Santa praying over the body of a dead child. Am I right? The child has a halo! Not Jim’s best work…
I did enjoy shopping this sale though because it was one of those times where peeking into someone’s house turns out super interesting. Usually we see messy hoarders, but this was the complete opposite. This person was so neat and clean that they kept all of the tags and plastic on the house lamps!
Anonymous asked: You look just like my mom! The resemblance is uncanny.
Since this is anonymous, we have no clue who asked this or which one of us looks like your mom. However, we can say that a) you made us both feel REALLY old (unless you’re a small child) and b) you made us both LOL. So thank you for that.
Two Saturdays ago, I noticed a listing on Auction Zip for a “Farm Fest” in Ann Arbor. Here’s the flyer:
Community garage sale, you say? Flea Market? And an auction? Sign me up! The cherry on top was the petting farm. If I didn’t find any treasures to buy, at least I could pet a sheep or something!
I arrived to Ann Arbor pretty early because the auction was happening first. When I walked into the auction barn, things were already in action.
People were buying these giant Barbies for $60 each.
In fact, Barbies were the hot commodity. There were hundreds of them, all being sold in giant box lots. A box of about 7-10 sealed Barbies would sell for $100. I was clearly in the company of some Barbie-loving high rollers.
Some of the other goods included Care Bears, Cabbage Patch dolls, Madame Alexanders, and Littlest Pet Shop Critters.
Did this all come out of one house? Please tell me this didn’t all come out of one house.
Anyway, so I’m looking through the aisles of goods, and…what’s this? A WHOLE BOX OF SASHA DOLLS?! Someone pinch me.
Sarah and I had a frantic text exchange about these dolls. You would have thought we were setting up a drug deal.
I was so nervous waiting for these dolls to go up for auction. Sarah and I want these so badly! You’ve all had to read about our Sasha doll obsession a few times now. And yet, these dolls keep eluding us! We especially wanted two of the dolls at this particular auction because they looked like us:
Here is mine:
And here is Sarah’s:
Oh whoops, sorry. That’s another doll that looked like Sarah. Ok, here is the Sasha doll that looked like Sarah:
So how did things turn out? Well, terrible actually. Heartbreakingly terrible. When the auctioneer got to the box of Sasha dolls, he decided to sell them as a lot! He really should have separated them out. I bet they would have gotten at least $100 per doll.
The whole box sold to a phone bidder for over $500. I couldn’t justify spending that much on a giant box of dolls, even if I could have sold them all on ebay. Imagine my husband’s face had I purchased these. Sarah, however, thought I was a fool for not splurging on them.
After that devastating loss, I headed over to the “community garage sale” and “flea market.”
It was disappointing to say the least.
I was definitely striking out. At least there were some animals awaiting me. I set out to find the petting farm area. On the way, I watched some guys pull tractors across a field of dirt.
Here’s my tractor:
Just kidding. I don’t have a tractor.
So as it turns out, the “petting farm” was just false advertising. The cow buddy above was the only animal at the place. Whomp whomp.
Despite the letdowns, I actually did have fun at the Farm Fest. It was a beautiful day outside. And I did end up with one treasure…some vinegar fries and root beer!
It’s been a while since we’ve had something to feature on Things That Freak Your Husband Out! I’m happy to report that I’ve broken the dry spell!
On Friday, Erin and I stopped by a sale that somehow wasn’t on our list, but was literally down the same street as another sale that WAS on our list. I realized as soon as we entered the house that the reason it wasn’t on our list was because it was being run by a company that overcharges for absolute junk. Anyway, we were there, so we figured we might as well look around.
When I entered the house, I saw this sculpture right away and really liked it because a) it’s from the 1970s and b) that guy looks like a mini hipster.
It’s fairly large. Just to give you some perspective, my cat is a big boy—15 lbs.
This little man was made by a guy named Dave Grossman who seems to have made a lot of figures like this in the late 1960s and early 1970s. And thanks to Google, it appears that I could have found a sculpture of his that is way creepier. Like this:
I also found some pics of some other cute ones, though. Such as these hipster little boy brothers:
Or this lil’ gal gettin’ her fitness on!
Judging by this other listings on eBay, these may or may not be garden sculptures. If they are, I’m cool with it, because I also have a collection of those (which I’m sure shocks all of you readers.)
For the record, Erin supported this purchase and also thought it was cute.
Adam’s only words were, “That is going to come to life and kill us while we’re sleeping.” Guess he’s not a fan.
Erin found a portrait of herself today at a sale.
She also wants me to remind all of you that she is 4 months pregnant, even though that’s fairly obvious if you ask me.
A few Fridays ago, there were a few sales that looked good, so Sarah and I were eager to head out. At the first sale, Sarah had her eye on an old stuffed cat, which I will let her tell you about. Here are some animals she passed on:
These guys are all like, “All I do is win win win, no matter what. Got money on my mind, I can never get enough. And every time I step up in the building…
EVERYBODY’S HANDS GO UP. AND THEY STAY THERE. AND THEY SAY YEAH.”
OK OK, so I’ve made that DJ Khaled joke before, but seriously, how many stuffed animals and dolls need to be made with their hands up in the air?
Sarah was interested in this stuffed animal, but I talked her out of it because he was mega grody.
I didn’t buy anything at this sale because the whole house was pretty much like this:
A lot of household stuff, but nothing really collectible or unique. The next sale was slightly better, and had a cool array of art:
There were some antiquities too, like this old medical unit:
I almost bought this rug, but I have no place to put it. It was only $30 though, which seemed like a good deal. It was really old.
Sarah found two sweaters she liked, and I have included them here to get everyone’s opinions on them. I contend that the sweater on the right, with the adorable racing horses, is THE BEST. The other sweater looks weird and sad. I think Sarah still bought it, and so if you see her, be sure to tell her how weird and sad she looks.
Speaking of weird and sad, here is me wearing a plastic hat that makes it look like you have a mohawk. I should have tucked my hair in, but it was too much effort.
When I pulled that off my giant head, it made a suction noise…just FYI.
So again, I didn’t buy anything at this sale, so I was bumming. But then we arrived at our final stop, and things looked really promising. The house was super interesting looking and everything seemed old and expensive.
So here I am, in the zone, walking around this cool house. When all of a sudden, I hear the loudest crash. It sounded like the world was ending. And then I hear, “HELP ME!! HEEELLLLPPPP ME! MY LEGS!!! MY LEGS!!”
This lady had totally biffed it off a step in the room next to me. She was laying on her back, all spread out, moaning and screaming. My first instinct was to barf a little in my mouth out of terror, but then I came to my senses and pulled my phone out to call 911. A million people surrounded her, and were helping her, but she continued to scream “HELP ME!” I was asking the surrounding helpers and the woman herself if I should call 911, and the consensus was no. The lady said she didn’t hit her head and didn’t want an ambulance.
She did, however, want to keep screaming “HELP ME” over and over, even though by this point, the entire estate sale was helping her. It was scary and sad, but also increasingly weird and confusing. A part of me wondered if she was fishing for a lawsuit or something. I mean, she totally did fall, but the aftermath was just so bizarre. Even after she was on a couch relaxing, she continued to moan and yell. And yet, she didn’t want any medical care. Who knows.
Anyway, I was pretty shaken up after this, and sort of breezed through the sale quickly. I did manage to find some cool things though. First off, I got this Pimm’s Cup mug for Zach, because he loves him some Pimm’s Cup.
I also got him some old lead soldiers, which they had marked $40, but I got them down to $15 because two were broken.
I also got his amazing carved folk art bear. He was a little pricey at $12, but I had to have him. He goes well with my folk art country singer and skiing rabbit.
Lastly, I got this old print of men wearing hats. I liked the art, and Zach has been talking lately about getting into hats. He read an article about Optimo Hats in Chicago, and has been obsessed ever since.
Update from Sarah: Ok, to start off, I am incredibly jealous of that carved wood bear. I loved it. But finders keepers!
At the first sale, I ended up buying an old stuffed cat for way too much money ($30) but really used, well-loved stuffed animals are irresistible to me. Here he is. Being so cute in awful lighting.
At the next sale, I did purchase those sweaters, along with this adorable squishy Snowman. Evidently I am 7 years old and only purchased stuffed animals.
Look, I know the sweater on the left in the picture Erin posted is weird looking in the photograph but it was made in Sweden and is really beautifully constructed and really baggy which comes in handy when you have “booty for days” like I do.
Here is something at that sale that I did not buy, but might need to soon if I don’t stop making fun of Erin and her unborn child:
The last sale was the coolest by far, and I found some neat stuff. I was in a nearby room when the falling tragedy happened, and all it sounded like from there was some sort of animal crying. I came out and found Erin and asked her what was up, and that was when I realized that an actual human being had taken a spill.
It was at this sale that I found the awesome book and illustration that I wrote about yesterday, and I also found some other cool books. Here’s one with a cool cover.
It looks like this one sells on eBay for a decent amount of money, so that’s good!
I also found some clothes at this sale that I love, but forgot to photograph. One final thing that I passed on was this grooming kit that I considered buying for my dad.
Hardy har har!
As planned, after the secret doll auction last week, we headed over to the Michigan Modernism Expo. Sarah already regaled us with a new obsession she cultivated at the expo, but this entry will share all of the other goods we saw.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m really not into modernism. That said, there were some pieces that really caught my eye. The more rustic pieces in particular were interesting to me.
These are old pommel horses. Not very practical, but very cool!
If I remember correctly, this woodcarving was by Leon Kroll, who was mostly a painter but dabbled in sculpture apparently. I loved this so much, but alas, it was $500.
I would put both of these in my house, and I would display them side-by-side as you see here:
I also loved this, but wasn’t sure what need I have for a REALLY EXPENSIVE shopping cart:
In fact, “really expensive” seemed to be the trend of the expo. I kind of expected this, but figured there would be at least some affordable jewelry or smalls. Not so much.
Even this thing was like $600:
Doesn’t that look like something I would make fun of Sarah for buying at an estate sale?
Now this is the kind of stuff we came to the expo for:
To me, this is a museum piece. And it was cool to look at pieces like this in person. I have to hand it to the exhibitors here, they really did haul in their best stuff.
Here is Sarah (napping?) in a chair. We call this a “statement piece.”
Another statement piece:
Ok, one more. This little turtle was the best. Both Sarah and I saw this and were all, “Look at that turtle!” I love his dumb little face. I would totally buy this if I was rich:
Update from Sarah: I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to go to this thing because I knew it was going to be expensive. Admission itself was $10 but we got in for free because “we’re both students.” Thankfully we both look younger than we are. I think I actually have the same disease as Benjamin Button. Anyway, once I knew I could go for free, I was game.
Right away, we saw those Charlie Harper prints, and they were also selling Charlie Harper decorative tiles. Even though Erin is the Bunny Master, I also am fond of rabbits and bought this cool tile:
There was a lot of neat stuff to look at, but like Erin said, sort of disappointing that there wasn’t much to purchase in our price range. I did find a cool vintage shirt for $15, but besides that, pickins were slim.
At one point, I went to find a bathroom indoors and found myself following a woman with a newborn baby in a 1950s Saks Fifth Avenue stroller. Really? You need your baby to ride in style?
If Erin does something like this to her child, I’ll walk about 10 feet behind her when we go out together.
After I got out of the bathroom, I was able to capture the buggy so y’all know I’m not makin’ this up.
I want to say I’d be less judgmental of this if the poor thing wasn’t screaming the whole time but really, regardless of how happy the baby is in that thing, it still looks ridiculous.
Here are some other cool things I saw that I’ll never be able to afford:
I don’t even really like peanuts… I just loved that watch!
And finally, here are some things of questionable “modern” creation that were for sale:
I will say, however, that that’s exactly what I look like when Erin and I watch scary movies together, so mad props to the artist!
I’m currently in Nashville for work and saw some really cool old stuff at the country music hall of fame. I’ll write more about that later, but in the meantime, check out this amazing outfit. Strange coincidence: Sugar Foot was Erin’s nickname in high school.