DTT Best Moments of 2013
Happy New Year everyone! And goodbye to 2013! What a year it was. We had lots of fun this year, including some really fantastic "Fave Finds" and "Hard to Resist" items. Below are our top ten best DTT moments. Enjoy, and thanks for reading! We look forward to 2014 and all of the treasures it will bring!
10. That time DTT tried out garage sales: This is perhaps one of the most hilarious DTT moments of the entire year. Sarah’s garage sale assessments as we drove past them are some of the best comedy one-liners to date. We both crack up hearing the phrase “RY-O-BI TENT.” Also, Erin still stands by her amazement that a kid was selling nachos at a garage sale. Read (and watch) our garage sale tales in the entry "Nachos."
9. That time Erin got in a fight over moccasins: The heartbreaking part of treasure hunting is that you can’t always get what you want. For Erin, a pair of elusive moccasins led to her mouthing off, and to seeking vengeance a few weeks after the original offense. Check out the entry "2 Pop" for all of the drama, and the entry "Salted" for the follow-up.
8. That time we fell in love with Sasha dolls and they evaded our capture: In our entry "Mommy Dearest," Sarah spotted some cool old dolls that at the time seemed really pricey to us. Turns out they were Sasha dolls, and well worth the high price! After reading about Sashas, both Sarah and Erin fantasized about owning their own dolls in the entry "Sasha Fierce." Unfortunately, we are both still Sasha-less! Read about our missed opportunities at Sasha capture in the entries "Down on the Farm", "Baby Doll", and "Shake Rattle & Roll."
7. That time Erin got stalked by snowmen: There’s a saying that says, “First time is happenstance, second time is coincidence, and third time is seriously f#$%^&@ freaky as hell”…or something like that. Anyway, Erin got followed around all year by knit snowmen and it was SO WEIRD. The first encounter happened in our entry "Your Mom’s Buying a Bagpipe" and the second time here. The snowmen appeared again in our entries "Charlevoix Treasures Part One" and "Peeping Tom."
6. That time Herend gave away thousands of dollars of porcelain on our blog: Seriously you guys, so insane. I cannot believe that our big Herend giveaway ever happened, but we are so grateful that it did. Thanks to everyone who participated. Relive the glory in the entry "Huge Herend Giveaway."
5. That time Erin found a REAL DIAMOND at a sale: The lesson here ladies and gents is that if you find a vial that says “to be checked for diamonds,” then you get off your butt and check that g-damn vial for diamonds! Sarah’s commentary during this ordeal is particularly hilarious, so check out the entries "Diamond in the Rough Part One" and "Part Two."
4. That time Sarah decided to get into slides: No, not the playground type—the old undeveloped photograph type. In our entry "Surprise Find: Vintage Denny McLain Detroit Tigers Slides," Sarah discovered the insane value that slides can bring. After that, Erin was forever a slave to helping Sarah carry huge volumes of slides up stairs and to the car. Check out entries "Better than a Silver Spoon", “No Purses”, and "Peeping Tom." Hopefully in 2014 Sarah will get into buying super light things—like rare bird feathers or something.
3. That time we went to Gibralter Trade Center: In our entry "NSFW," it was as if someone dropped us off on Mars to go shopping. Seriously, Gibralter Trade Center should be its own planet, or at least country. They certainly seem to have their own laws there. And guns. They have a sh*tload of guns.
2. That time our DTT crew grew: Erin gave birth to Baby Everett in October and DTT was one more the larger. We got our first glimpse of Baby E here, and in the entry "Happy Holly-Days" he made his first trip out antiquing. In the entry "Shake Rattle & Roll," Everett visited his first auction.
So what on Earth could top this adorable baby? Well of course it is…
1. That time we went to Antiques Roadshow: Our blog was finally legitimized this year when Antiques Roadshow opened up their holy gates and let us bums stroll right in (and skip the lines). We will remember this day forever. Read all about the once in a lifetime adventure in entries "Antiques Roadshow Part One", "Part Two", and "Part Three."
We had so much fun this year and hope you did too! If you are interested in our best moments of 2012, you can read those here. See you next year!
Erin & Sarah
I was wondering about that weird horse figure handmade with hide and leather how much did you purchase it for? Carol from east haven CT — Anonymous
My taxidermy horse (below) was purchased for some insane price that I think was $70. The horse was later valued at Antiques Roadshow for a disappointing $45.
Sarah bought a tiny real fur horse at auction, but I am not sure what she paid. She ended up selling it on ebay for $14.99. Apparently the lesson in both of our cases is that these horses don’t have a lot of value.
Here is Sarah’s horse:
Feel free to share a photo of your horse on our Facebook page here.
I meant to post this before Christmas, but ran out of time! Better late than never, right?
These pictures show just a portion of Becky and Organ’s Christmas set-up. Back when we were just stalking them and didn’t know them yet, Becky’s Christmas pictures on Flickr were part of what made me know I had to meet them, even if it was just online.
Becky told me that many of the vintage and glass ornaments were her grandmother’s, but all of the Japan kitsch ones are hers. And for those interested in the story behind the tinsel tree, here you are:
“Well, I’d finally decided I was ready to give up on the whole conifer. I love the smells and the trees etc. But I was ready. Last year we’d seen like 3-4 aluminum trees in our local antique stores. We knew we had to hit up the stores before they put their xmas decor out. We hit our local store (What’s on 2nd in Crockett) just after Thanksgiving. Joann explained that she didn’t have any, she sold hers last year. We headed over to Martinez where we’d seen at least 2 last year…At the third store, Alley Cats in Martinez, the lovely lady behind the counter said ‘Oh yes! I haven’t put it out yet, but it’s all in the original box and comes with the rotating light.’ She took us to a storage closet and pulled down a cardboard box. The original $3 aluminum pom pom tree had been marked up as high as $395, down to $350 and now $299. I offered $260, fair even by eBay standards with the gel lights. It turns out the woman who had a booth at this antique store was from Crockett, so it was going back home!”
What a cool story! Many thanks to Becky and Organ for sharing their awesome decorations with us and our readers. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and are looking forward to a happy, healthy 2014. I know I am.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more badass Christmas setup. Have you? Brought to you by our friends Becky and Organ. I have a longer write-up coming in a bit about their cool old Christmas collections, but for now you will have to enjoy this teaser.
Merry Christmas to all! And if you don’t celebrate, I hope you had a nice, warm, relaxing day.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Merry Christmas Eve! These are my favorite vintage Christmas wrappings. Unearthed last night while wrapping Adam’s gifts.
Diamond in the Rough Part Two
Ok, so here is the conclusion to our epic saga of the “To Be Checked for Diamonds” vial. Let me begin by saying that I REALLY thought the joke was on us. No way in hell this container had any real diamonds in it.
Sarah and I rolled up to our favorite Cash 4 Gold joint, only to find out that it had moved. We both let out a really defeated “NOOO!” when we saw the empty building. Sarah decided to call them up so we could pinpoint their new location. This turned out to be THE BEST. The guy answering the phone explained that the new location wasn’t actually open for business yet, and he then asked us what we wanted….to which Sarah said totally nonchalantly:
"OH, WE HAVE SOME DIAMONDS TO SHOW YOU."
I died laughing when she said this. We have “some diamonds” to show you?!? Multiple diamonds?! No Sarah, what we have is a plastic vial of broken stainless steel earrings with CZ stones. I loved the idea of mega rich people just calling up pawn shops and being all, “Hello darling, may I schedule a visit today to show you my collection of diamonds?”
What was also insane is that the dude DIDN’T WANT TO SEE OUR DIAMONDS. WTF. So we drove to another pawn shop.
I told the guy at this pawn shop that the items came out of my grandmother’s house. I then proceeded to keep up this lie by repeatedly saying, “Come on Grandma, don’t let us down,” as the guy was looking at each piece of jewelry. I believe I was also chanting “Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds.”
We started to notice that the guy was sorting the jewelry into piles, and finally Sarah blurted out, “WHAT DO THE PILES MEAN?!” We were getting very excited.
As it turns out, most of the earrings in the lot were gold! They didn’t weigh much so I only got $17, but I was happy with this because my initial investment was $1.
And get this, there was TOTALLY a diamond in there! It was part of a tiny pendant. Sarah and I lost it when the dude said there actually was a diamond. This whole situation was supposed to be a big joke and here we were the proud owners of a real diamond.
I scrapped the gold part of the pendant and was left with the diamond as a keepsake. The pawn guy didn’t have any use for a loose diamond. He said he would need a whole pile of diamonds before he could sell them to a broker.
I am not sure yet what to do with my diamond. The pawn guy seemed to think it wasn’t actually worth that much. Sarah suggested I put it in the White Elephant gift exchange she is hosting this weekend, which would be hilarious. I’m considering it…
Update from Sarah: I don’t have much to add to this awesome tale except OF COURSE I told the first guy we had a bunch of diamonds—because at that point WE COULD HAVE!
Erin is truly an expert at giving things an extra dramatic flair—I almost burst out laughing when she started talking about “grandma” and how it was a shame she couldn’t wear any of of the family heirloom diamonds because none of them were matching pairs of studs.
A memorable afternoon, indeed!
Diamond in the Rough Part One
The sale we hit this past Friday looked packed full of vintage goodness. It was in Lincoln Park, about a half hour or so away. There were no other sales near it, so we were taking a risk by driving out. If the sale was a bust, we’d end up going home empty handed. Luckily, things turned out hilariously good for us…
The living room had tables and tables full of jewelry. That’s a photo above of Sarah perusing the goods. I haphazardly glanced and the moved on because it was clear that everything was costume jewelry, broken junk, or cheapy Avon-type stuff.
Things seemed like slim pickings elsewhere. I was starting to feel discouraged.
Check out the back leg of that horse. Someone stuck a pen cap or something on it. I was cracking up when I saw this. Total pirate/Robocop type sh*t right thurr.
In retrospect, I should have bought these sunglasses that said “To Hot.” They are kind of the best. I thought that people only confused to/too/two on the internet, but it just goes to show you that grammar has been long gone for awhile.
Things were looking pretty dire. Then we hit the basement and a guy working the sale started chatting my ear off. He was clearly lonely down there in the cellar and was looking for any company he could get. He started telling me about sales long past (we’re talking decades) and how some dude still owes him $25,000 for his share in a giant lot of gold coins he found. He then proceeded to share with me that this particular house we were at had its own hidden treasures. See this shelving:
That bottom shelf was actually a secret hiding spot that was filled with rare baseball cards and coins! The guy who owned the house had two giant safes, both of which were kept empty to fool robbers. All the real goods were hidden away in this cabinetry.
This seriously peaked my interest. There had to be treasures in this house! I just wasn’t looking hard enough! OK, time to work…
Ok, still not a good treasure. I returned to the upstairs and found this Nintendo magazine. I saw that the same one sells on ebay so I snatched it up for $1.
Sarah was still hard at work looking through jewelry, so I joined her.
And then I found this:
It was a vial filled with broken and mismatched earrings. I chuckled because what are the actual odds that this might contain a REAL diamond? I showed it to Sarah and jokingly mentioned how crazy it would be if in fact there WERE diamonds in here. Sarah told me to take my chances and buy the container, and at the very least, we would have a funny story about returning to that Cash 4 Gold place we visited once. The lady charged me $1 for the vial!
This entry is getting really long, so I will hold off on telling you about the contents of the vial until Part Two. In the meantime, check out my final purchase from this sale. This cool old automatic watch was still running just great, and will be an easy sell on ebay. They charged me a mere $2 for it! I had Zach put a new band on it so it might sell better.
Update from Sarah: That watch right there is a beaut! Maybe I’ll buy it if she puts it up on eBay.
So Erin summarized pretty well. The only thing I want to reinforce (if it wasn’t already crystal clear) is that there was not an abundance of really great treasures at this sale, even though the pictures online made it seem like there was. Here’s a basic summary of the sale:
So Diamond in the Rough is truly a perfect title for this post.
The one blog-worthy treasure I found I have to keep secret for now because it’s a gift. What I will say this sale had going for it was that the prices were insanely cheap. So cheap, in fact, that I felt sort of like I ripped these people off. When we got outside, I said to Erin, “Did we just rob them?” She answered in the affirmative.
Anyway, I ended up with some classics of children’s literature, and some cool costume jewelry.
Oh, and also this teeny tiny cow.
My total, including the really awesome cool find that I can’t blog about, was $6.50. WTF?!
Stay tuned for the second part of this story!
Shake Rattle & Roll
On Saturday, there was a mega snowpocalypse here in Michigan. The roads were pretty much a ghost town and the snow plows were mysteriously MIA. Zach and I stayed holed up all day watching the accumulation, until I went completely stir crazy and decided I had to get out.
Like a true crazy person, I decided to take the baby to the Plymouth auction nearby. I drove 5 mph all the way there and it wasn’t actually that bad. You could tell though that everyone at the auction was judging me hard. Sorry not sorry!
Everett usually sleeps anytime we go out into the world, but for some reason he was wide awake at the auction. I camped out near the door so that I could bolt in case he started screaming. Eventually he did fall asleep.
What I didn’t anticipate was that I had a baby in a giant car seat, and therefore it was impossible for me to go walk around the tables of items and see what was up for bidding. I figured I would just bid at random if something sounded good when it went up on the block.
After a million garbage-y items, I was getting frustrated…and bored. Finally, I grabbed the car seat and walked up to the front and started looking at the items. It was hard to negotiate the small area while holding a super bulky car seat, but it turned out to be worth it.
I saw an old silver rattle I wanted to buy for Everett, as well as a SASHA DOLL! Still in the box! Unfortunately it didn’t look like me (it was a boy doll) but I figured I could buy it to resell.
The rattle went up for auction first and it was in a lot of a bunch of other random items. I won all the items for $15. There was a knee brace in there that I gave away for free to some lady. There was also a set of old dominoes that I put on the ground and forgot about. If you have my dominoes, you’re welcome.
Everett loves the rattle. Also in the lot was an old sterling silver lipstick case.
There is a cool hidden mirror that opens on the side:
Only one dude was bidding against me for this lot, and after I won it, he came up to me and asked to buy the lipstick case. Knowing that he went up to $14 trying to win it, I told him he could buy it for $8. He scoffed so I then said, “Ok how about $5?” He looked at me like I was totally crazy! But really, he was the crazy one. I kept the lipstick case, obviously. It seems like these things sell on ebay, so it will end up there.
The last item in the lot was this pewter plane, which I might try to sell on ebay or just keep for Everett’s nursery. It is pretty adorable.
So after winning this lot, I was sticking around for the Sasha doll. And would you believe it? I MISSED OUT ON ANOTHER SASHA DOLL. This has happened SO MANY TIMES. Seriously, I am cursed. What happened was that some other dolls went up for auction and no one wanted them. So the auctioneer threw in another pile of stuff, which the Sasha doll was part of. I didn’t even notice. The whole lot sold for $20. I almost cried.
I went up to the woman who won all the dolls and asked if she wanted to sell the Sasha. She said she came to the auction specifically to buy it, so no she wouldn’t be giving it up. This led me to believe that even if I had noticed that the doll was up for bidding, that I would have lost it anyway.
Oh well! Maybe next time….but probably not!
You might remember my family’s trip to Holly, MI last year. It was full of Dickens characters, steampunks, and Skookum dolls. This year, we all returned to Holly and it was noticeably less full of all of the above. Despite being advertised as the annual Dickens festival, there were very few Tiny Tims and Jacob Marleys. It might’ve been because it was cold as, well, the Dickens.
Zach suited up in the Baby Bjorn because Holly isn’t suitable for strollers. All of the stores are mega cramped.
As it turns out, Zach didn’t really need the Bjorn, because he camped out in a bar with my mom and brother-in-law, drinking Christmas beers instead of shopping with the rest of us.
The baby seemed to love the bar, which is both adorable and unsettling.
I drank a fancy candy cane martini since Everett was eating formula this day. I was very pleased about this.
Timmy, Lindsay, and I did end up antique shopping. Holly really brings it hard when it comes to antiques. They have some of the coolest stuff around.
For some reason, there is a TON of Native American stuff. All of it high quality.
Those moccasins remind me of that time I got in a fight with an auctioneer over moccasins. Seriously, curse that dude.
I did buy a Native American item, but it is a Christmas gift for someone and therefore I cannot disclose it yet. I’ll be sure to blog about it after the holiday.
I really want one of these old German paper mache rabbits. One day I will pony up and buy one.
Ok, so you should also know that Holly is apparently haunted. So while I was shopping around for cool antiques, I kept running into this group of people who were ghost hunting. This was frustrating for many reasons. One, it was the middle of the day. Ghosts do not come out and say hello in the middle of the day. That is like Ghost Knowledge 101.
And like I mentioned, the shops in Holly are super tiny and hard to maneuver. I kept trying to look at things in glass cases inside the antique stores, and all of a sudden like 4 people are in the way trying to take photos of the cases because “you can see a ghost’s reflection in them!” No. That is a lie. There is no ghost face reflection in these cases, just old sh*t that I am trying to look at and possibly buy.
The crowds tired me out, so I didn’t buy much. I did get Timmy a baseball bank for Christmas, which I am disclosing here because he accidentally caught me buying it. It kind of looks like this (I forgot to photo it before wrapping).
Update from Sarah: First of all, Everett doesn’t EAT. He only drinks. Second, why did you not buy that Rasta Santa? He even has a sunburn from his most recent trip to Jamaica, mon.