10 Tips For A Successful Yard Sale

musical notesIt’s the most wonderful time of the year ... Yard Sale Season!

If you’ve been following this blog for any time at all, you know that between the months of March and November of 2012 my weekly yard sale adventures were chronicled herein as the “Yard Sale Documentation Project.”

That was 33 weeks of very early mornings, many amazing bargains, a few price delusions, some tepid lemonade, and a lot of laughter. There will likely be the occasional blog installment when an amazing deal is scored this season, but a regular accounting during the 2013 season is not to be.

HOWEVER, I’m going to pass along some time-tested tips so that if you are inclined to embark on hosting a sale of your own, you will have some prime information to get you started.

Yes, one friend did say he’d rather have birds peck out his eyeballs than host a yard sale. And sorry to say, I’m not going to come over and help you clean out … unless you hire me as She’s NEAT, then I’m all yours!

Nonetheless, having a sale is a great way to clean out your house, get rid of some “old baggage,” and bring in a little tax-free cash in the Yard Sale Documentation Projectprocess.

Here you go — 10 Tips For A Successful Yard Sale

1. Plan ahead. Give yourself several weeks to clean out, gather your items and other material you’ll need (such as display tables and signage), and then organize and price your goods. Yes, things should be priced. Customers get nervous when it comes to asking about prices; let customers know the ballpark they’re playing in and then get ready to haggle.

2. Watch the weather report. Catch the 10-day forecast for your area and wait for the best weather on any given Saturday.  Saturday is still the preferred day for die-hard yard salers … and the earlier start in the day the better! A 7:00am start time is not unheard of.

3.  Be aware of other events going on that day. Is your home right down the street from an annual open-air art festival, church fair, parade, or other community event? If so, that’s a great day for a sale….. customers are already in your neighborhood! On the other hand, if you know that everyone heads out of town on July 4th weekend  … you should too.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 4. Advertise – Use the newspaper, and Craig’s list too, which has become an important resource for any yard sale event. Yard Sale pros check these listings out in the days prior to any given weekend. Also, don’t forget to work your own contacts: your email lists of friends and family, your social networks, and don’t be afraid to use work/school/local business bulletin boards.

5. Good signage on the day of the sale is a MUST. Even if people have seen your ad on Craig’s list or the newspaper, they can’t buy your stuff if they can’t find you. Put your signs up the night before if possible, and remember to get that permit from the city if your town requires it.  Large bright signs complete with arrows and street address will steer even those customers who had no intention of stopping by your sale right into your driveway.

6. Enlist your neighbors. Nothing says “STOP HERE” like a neighborhood full of yard sales. Even if you can rally a couple of dsc00256homes in your area to host sales on the same day, everyone will fare much better than going solo.

7. Be on time and ready to go. If your sale is scheduled to begin at 8:00, be ready by 7:45. Don’t get caught pulling stuff out of the basement while your sale is supposed to be happening. Nothing deters potential buyers from purchasing Grannies afghan quicker than having it sitting up on the deck under a pile of newspapers.

8. Suggest uses for some items at your sale. Sometimes customers just need a reason to buy something! For instance, place a sign on a used TV– “perfect for kitchen or student room” … or alongside a camera: “Give this to gramma for her weekend visits” … “Once-worn prom dress: Great for kid’s dress up.”

9. Price your items reasonably. Price items at what people will likely pay for them, not for what you think they’re worth. “Yard Sale dollars” are a different currency than “US dollars.” I like to work on the 10% rule: If something is $50 new, I’ll spend around $5 for it at a yard sale. Also, don’t sell anything you really don’t want to sell; nobody will feel good about that transaction. Those are “emotional dollars” and that’s slippery business.

10. Create a happy atmosphere and have fun! People will be glad to spend their money when they feel good about where they are. Light music, some cookies, a box of free give-aways … these things make customers feel welcome and more willing to like you and your stuff!

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.com

Jeanne Fiorini will not require a 10% cut of your yard sale proceeds for helping you have the best yard sale ever!  But you can visit the TarotWorks website and/or the She’s NEAT site, that’d be fine.

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2012 Yard Sale Documentation Project: Final Accounting

And so we say goodbye to another yard sale season. Although it is a sad aspect of the turning of the seasons, 2012’s yard sale scene was one of the best in recent memory!

The sale-ing season was stellar in part because it was an abundant and fruitful affair, but also due to the fact that this weekly report added a real measure of pleasure to the whole thing. THANK YOU for paying attention to these weekly escapades!

As promised  the beginning, here’s the final tally: a record of the kinds of items that were purchased, and the not-so-grand total expenditure. To tell you the truth, I was surprised at how little money was spent during a season that spans three-quarters of the calendar year.

We’ll start with the types of items that came home with me, and the number of “pieces” in each category:

Furniture: Chairs, tables, rugs …..  6
Holiday Items:
String lights, candles, décor …..  8
Prints and Paintings:
Real art!   …..   7
Things for Vera:
Books, toys, puzzles ….. 11
Utilitarian Goods:
Stationary, office supplies,  kitchen utensils, baskets, plates, vacuum cleaners, smoke alarms, and a Hamilton Beach food processor  …..  27
Decorative Goods:
Frames, mirrors, pottery, pillows, etc. …..   26
Clothing:
Jackets, scarves, sweaters, purses, shoes ….. 7
Lawn and Garden:
a mixed bag of garden ornaments, a barrel of straw,
and a free beach umbrella ….. 11
Jewelry:
necklaces, bracelets, earrings  ….. 11
Books:
including cook books …..  5

Total number of different items: 119. Where in this house did I put all this stuff?!

A few observations: I’m proud of the fact that Utilitarian purchases edged out my penchant for pretty things. That Hamilton Beach processor might be the single best buy of the season, especially if none of my paintings or pottery turn out to be valuable.

Clearly I’m not a book hound, with those items ranking last on the list. But my dear Ms. Vera did score pretty well from grammie’s little addiction. And that free beach umbrella, used on the back porch as well as the beach, was greatly appreciated for its form and function.

Now for the cash outlay for the entire season…..drum roll, please!

Care to make a stab at it? It might be fun to offer up a quiet personal guess before the big reveal….. scroll down a bit to see the final amount.

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$158.75. Total. For the whole season. For all that stuff. I am amazed and I lived through it!

Now who thinks I’m a crazy B with too much time on her hands?

Jeanne Fiorini is a crazy B, but not because she lives for yard sales. She’s just started a new local business in South Portland Maine called “She’s NEAT,” a personal organizing service creating orderly and efficient environments. With all this stuff she got at yard sales you have to be organized! Find us on Facebook: ShesNeatCreatingOrder

Yard Sale Documentation Project 8-25-12

Before

11:45 AM Saturday Morning

I can’t believe I’m still standing … and am awake … and have energy.

It’s nearly noon, and straggler salers are filtering in even though the morning’s high tide has come and gone. I’m feeling like I could probably hang around out here ’til mid-afternoon, but maybe that’s the coffee talking.

Hey — did you know that it’s pitch black out at 5am in late August? When the alarm went off this morning I called the Time and Temperature lady just to make sure my clock wasn’t on the fritz. I’d expected there to be at least a hint of daylight … but no.

As I look at the half-eaten pile of stuff in my driveway I wonder if it was worth three days of hard physical work and not much sleep. As is par for this course, some things which we thought most certainly would fly out of here have not yet sold. On the other hand, people took off with other things (such as the bare-assed gnome squatting in the grass) which made us look at one another with the “Say what?” face.

It does feel good to have cleared out the corners and to have let go of the experiences left like a thin film on some of the items. Plus, money was made through this cleansing process in addition to having saved $20-30 by not being “out there” buying even more stuff at the numerous sales that were being hosted today.

We heard tales of a neighborhood pow-wow, 8 sales clustered together a few streets over. It could be true, who knows; anything beyond the scope of my driveway was beyond my attention span today.

The day was rich and varied. Today I learned that the people who lived in this house, my house, during the 60’s and 70’s, “The Baldwins,” were very popular. During this morning’s comings and goings I heard stories about how the adolescent boys used to play night-time tag in the adjoining back yards; how a woman was friends with one of “the girls” and they all “grew up together in this house.” How, back in the day, this was the happenin’ neighborhood as far as the high school crowd was concerned.

It’s an odd but lovely experience to have perfect strangers gaze wistfully at your home, half-smiling, their eyes full of memories.

It has been a beautiful late-summer day to hang out in the side yard. A spectacled 8-year old girl, here with her parents, proclaimed, “This is a pretty nice place you got for yourself here.” I would have taken her picture but didn’t want to make her feel self-conscious.

Now comes the final chore of hosting a yard sale — sorting in reverse:

what goes to the Goodwill eventually to be resold, what goes to the Preble

After

Street Shelter where they need clothing, bedding, and personal maintenance sorts of things, and what SMALL PERCENTAGE of things make their way back into the recesses of the house. Reabsorption is never the goal for the yard sale host.

I’m going to need another hour of just being here and wandering around in circles before any of that is gonna happen.


6:30 PM Saturday

Most everything has now been put in its place: the car is loaded with boxes for both the Goodwill and Preble Street. I’ve collected the signs that, miraculously, 10 hours later, are still staked in place around the neighborhood. I’ve had my first substantial meal all day, plus two beers — I was SO thirsty! — so I’m a little fuzzy-brained. The final remains are being hauled into the basement, my tired, aching body is about to lauch a  coup, and I hear footsteps at the door.

Ding -Dong. Opening the door I see  a friendly-faced 70-ish year-old man on the porch with a red T-shirt stating, “I’m a Good Catch.” He’s wondering if he can take some of the things in the FREE pile at the end of the driveway.

These are things that didn’t make it into the Goodwill or the Preble Street boxes, items for which I have no longer have any use or on whose behalf I cannot justify the reabsorption process. Among these freebies is a box of three  hub caps which fit my old Saturn but which are the wrong size for the new Versa.

“My daughter had two of her hub caps stolen off her car last night and these will do the trick!” he explains, bright-eyed.

I’m just tired and buzzed enough to say, “Give me five!” This is the same thing I say to my 2 year-old granddaughter when she does something great.

He does, and leaves the porch smiling, tossing back that “if those green patio chairs are still here in the morning I’ll be by to picking those up too!”

All this makes me very happy. I’m still exhausted, but a purpose for my exhaustion has been revealed.


1
0 AM Sunday Morning

Hosting a yard sale is like having a baby: Something has left you in a physically strenuous manner, immediately after doing it you determine that “I’m never doing THAT again” and for days after the fact your body feels like it’s been run over by a truck.

I’m glad I did it, I’m glad it’s over, and I’m quite sure this experience will remind me to practice safe yard saleing in the future, being careful about what I allow into my Versa from now on.

And PS — the green patio chairs are gone.

Yard Sale Documentation Project Week of 8-25-12

Tuesday/4 Days Out

The race is on.

Placed flyers in the mailboxes of the neighbors, alerting them to the fact that there will a lot of people around on Saturday morning, in case they wanted to put some items out for sale. (If there was something like this happening around me on a Saturday I’d sure want a little advance notice.)

Needing to think about what size and color signage to post around the hood (you know how I feel about an effective yard sale sign!), where I can get enough tables on which to place my goods, and what sort of gizmo I can rig up on which to hang clothes, a gizmo that will efficiently display the lovelies in question without toppling and thereby smothering prospective buyers.

Too tired tonight to pull more stuff from the nooks, closets, and cupboards, but at this moment am sorely tempted to put most of what I own out on the street and see what happens.

Wednesday/3 Days Out

Wore many hats today: Radio Show host, babysitter, groundskeeper. No room for much else on this day beyond pricing a few items here and there.

Thursday/2 Days Out

In a moment of poor planning, I scheduled the annual “Pot Luck and Tarot Goods Swap” for tonight — like I didn’t have enough to do this week. At 11:00 last night I found myself in the kitchen marinating a turkey breast.

While in the shower this morning the thought dawned that I NEED to get to City Hall today and get a permit for the sale. The City of South Portland will send one of its representatives by for a friendly visit if you don’t have said permit visibly posted. That is a hassle you don’t need amidst the flurry of your opening hours.

There’s a lot to do today and none of it has to do with yard saleing: a 10:30 meeting, a Tarot reading session mid-afternoon, and the Tarot Soiree tonight.

Oh dear.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 8-20-12

Monday: Five Days Out
OK, the executive decision has been made to have a sale this coming Saturday. Since Kate starts a new teaching job in two weeks and doesn’t have the mental or physical energy to clear out the corners of her house, I’ll be the lone ranger on this one. The advanced weather report looks good, and while I’d much rather have a few partners in crime, I’m focused and ready to go.

With no clients on the books today and an open schedule, what started as a bit of house-puttering exploded into a   full-blown tear through the basement.

Items which I’d clung to retain a year ago are now easily jettisoned. I’d worried that without Kate’s cast-offs to add to the pile, mine might look like a runner-up for the “Worst Excuse for a Yard Sale” award; I needn’t have fretted.

My only problem at the moment is the sinus headache that’s been triggered by whatever has been growing in the basement during this hot and rainy summer.

The house is oozing unwanted items. Like when the aesthetician pulls the cleansing masque away from your face and you see what kind of gunk has been hiding in your pores … “Where did that come from? How long has that been there? Oh good lord I’m disgusting.”

This is what’s going on in the 1140 sq.ft. of my house.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 8-4-12

PEACHES, POTTERY, AND SPIEDIES

Have you ever even heard of a spiedie? Definition: a foodie’s delight indigenous to the southern tier of upstate New York, a tasty marinated meat sandwich that is in and of itself sufficient motivation to prompt the 7-hour ride to its locale.

My mom still lives in this area of New York state, this place where I grew up, so instead of yard saleing this weekend I hitched a ride with my brother’s family and we trucked our way to Endicott, NY.

Aside from the spiedies, this blue-collar town in upstate New York is home to Endicott-Johnson shoes, now-retired IBM-ers who helped send the first men to the moon, a pizza pie rivaling that found in metropolitan New York, and a series of authentic German carousels scattered throughout the county courtesy of Mr. Johnson.

I have a much greater appreciation for Endicott now that I don’t live there.

Despite the fact that I was far from my home turf, my yard sale itch did manage to get scratched this weekend. My mom likes a good treasure hunt as much as I do (maybe it’s genetic?), and so a visit to one of her favorite haunts was on our Saturday’s to-do list. “Charlie Brown’s” is one of these places:

You know the joint—rows of booths, tons of stuff, lots of junk, a few gems amidst the rubble. A yard sale on acid. And just like a yard sale, if you have a little luck and a lot of patience you’re sure to come home with something you couldn’t live without.

Such as pottery! This lovely piece of Haeger was had for $17, not yard sale pricing but still reasonable for art pottery in perfect condition with such an interesting glaze.

The effort spent on such a discriminating search works up an appetite. Thank goodness Lupo’s Char-Pit is right around the corner. A happy accident? I think not.

This place looks exactly like it did when I was in high school … 40 years ago… exactly. No money has been spent on frivolous remodeling here.

And why bother. This is one of those places where people would spend their last $5 to have their last meal. This is a place where, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, I’ve seen cars from several different states in the parking lot, expatriates having one last spiedie on their way out of town.

Does a place like this have a Facebook page I wonder?

During the 40 hours of being in Endicott I went to Lupo’s twice. Good as ever.
How many things in life are this consistently satisfying?

Another taste treat of the weekend were the Pennsylvania peaches. Mom and I drove about 15 minutes out of town to another of her sources, “The Country Wagon.” These peaches are honey fresh right off the tree, fruit the size of soft balls. Peach perfection. We don’t get peaches like this in Maine; I came home with a peck; I may or may not share.

Summer is an opportunity for a peek into my mom’s intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds her house. In some ways, she can’t help it because she lives in a 1940’s cottage on the edge of the woods. Here’s the view out her back door, what we call “the crick,” sometimes a roaring mass of chocolate milk but at the moment a mere trickle down the shale bed.

Here’s the bunny who appears to eat all his meals in her yard; Mom says he likes the clover. Not bothered by the sound of her car coming and going, he apparently didn’t like the visitors this weekend, hopping into the woods at the first sign of anyone else coming up the driveway.

Mom came eye-to-eye with a toad the other day as she was working in the garden, his eyes bugging out of his head, looking right at her. It was 30 seconds later that she realized he was half-swallowed by a snake and perhaps was pleading for her help. She went inside until that process was finished.

And then there’s Derek. Derek Jeter. He’s a robin who comes by two or three times a day singing his lilting song which for all the world sounds like “”Der-rik-jeee-ter, Der-rik-jeee-ter.”

Mom looks out the window and sees a robin in the grass, “Oh, there’s Derek.”

“How do you know it’s him?” I ask.

“I just know.”

I believe her.

The Disney bluebirds with their silken ribbons and bows are expected to make their appearance at any moment.

So while we’ll be resuming the usual saleing routine next Saturday, this first weekend in August was true to the Lughnasadh theme of abundance, fertility, harvest, and the peaking cycles of nature.

Bunnies, peaches, homemade pie, the charcoal grill, pottery, mom, robins, family, comfort, satisfaction.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 7-28-2012

Back in the saddle again this weekend.

Kate and I were in the same town for a change, the rain held off until later in the day, the tummy felt better, all we needed were a few good scores to make for a perfect day. For a Saturday at the height of the season there were fewer sales out there than would be expected, and Kate, who came home with only a book and a memory game for Vera, would say it was uninspired.

Even on this relatively pleasant summer morning, many of our usual yard sale peeps were nowhere to be seen. No Mary, not even Jack, although we did see Kathy who is now out saleing for her baby who busted out of womb-prison in June.

The real bummer was that, although I had my camera with me, I didn’t realize the battery was dead until I went to take a picture of a sofa with a large sign on it reading “The Best $20 You’ll Ever Spend.” Theirs was a fun yard sale.

Sometimes when you see the massive pile of stuff on someone’s lawn and driveway, you can’t help but wonder not only how they fit all this into their house in the first place without it all busting at the seams, but what else might remain inside not having making the yard sale cut. Scary.

But this group was enjoying themselves, a mom and a couple of 20-ish “kids.” Joking, drinking coffee and eating donuts, presiding over the 10′ banquet tables crammed with stuff; clearly the kids were there as muscle to help mom move it, literally and figuratively. Mom emerged from the house repeatedly with armfuls of used merchandise, wearing a weary but amused face of “Why did I think this was a good idea?”

Yard saleing is like quantum physics — the unified field allows for various and innumerable “outcomes” depending on the presence of the observer. In the same way that I had a certain experience a few weeks ago when Kate was absent from the event, an experience that would have been vastly different had we been traveling together on that day, this day’s outcomes were directly impacted by her keen powers of observation.

“Mom, you need this witch.”

Yeah, that’s just what I need.  I don’t do kitch. But truth be told, although I’d seen the thing — how could you miss it?– it didn’t captivate me until I really looked.

The colors are great, the expression on the cat’s face is priceless, her lamp really lights up, but it was her bosom that sold me. If you know anything about the Tarot you might recognize both Empress and Hermit aspects here. Standing about 30″ tall, her gaudy friendliness will  brighten my porch at Halloween and I’m totally in love with her.

And right there is part of what I love about yard saleing: you never know if the day will bring things of beauty, utilitarian things, things of monetary value, unique things or things that everyone has/needs that you just haven’t gotten around to buying, or no things worth buying at all.

As Geoffrey Rush muses in Shakespeare in Love: “It’s a mystery.”

On we go. Speaking of utilitarian, who doesn’t need nice hangers? Bag o’ hangers … $2.

The Egyptian gift wrapping paper seen below is another example of Kate’s prowess in seeing a thing that somehow escape me or whose usefulness I’ve overlooked. This is a full roll of that heavy-duty Sally Foster paper that kids sell for fundraisers; Josephine, if you lived nearby I’d be giving this to you!

The pottery addiction was satisfied today, as well as the never-ending search for interesting frames and the art to put inside them. This old wooden frame is a beauty, making part of my Sunday chores the finding of just the right piece (something less-beautifully framed already hanging in my home) to complete the combo.

This day’s tally:

Bag o’ hangers:   $2
Art Pottery:         $2
Green glass kitchen bowl  $2
Gift wrapping paper  $1
Witch    $2
Wooden frame $2

$11 out-of-pocket and a morning spent delving into the mysteries of the unexpected.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 7-7-12

 No, we didn’t buy a sad orphan at a yard sale this weekend.

As it turned out, this was Vera’s maiden voyage into yard sale world.  She usually stays home on Saturday mornings with her Dad while Mom and I are out being crazy; but with Dad away on a hiking trip, the little darlin’ was left to tag along with the big girls as they drove around town in random directions searching for large piles of stuff that belongs to other people.

Here she is getting strapped in for the day’s trek. Sweet ride she’s got there, huh? Kate would disown me if I got those cowprint seat covers for my new Versa, but I am sorely tempted.

We probably should have expected an ebb after last weekend’s rushing flow of fine quality items. Also to contend with was how the mid-week July 4th holiday messed with everyone’s minds causing us to wonder, on any give day recently, which one of the days of the week it actually was.

Whatever the reason, today was a relatively slow sale day.

My only interesting purchase for the day is the Aborn California Pottery planter seen in the photo below. Although — as has been documented–  I have a lot of pottery, this roughly textured style is unusual for my collection and so I was happy to find it.

The most interesting parts of this day involved watching Vera interact with the strangers and what was happening in their driveways and garages. Once she got used to the scene, she was unabashed about tottering around people’s yards, handling the merchandise, giving other children the Vulcan death stare (which is her modus operandi  when it comes to meeting other small humans for the first time), and throwing an occasional small fit when it was time to get back into the car … she is almost 2 after all, she’s entitled.

We saw numerous basketball hoops (with which she is enthralled and can spot from 100 yards away), the larger-than-life Red’s Dairy Freeze “eye-kee-koh” (fortunately at 10:30am CLOSED), and we even met a friendly dog named Tom Brady. (Maybe this guy has playmates who can catch balls.)

The best part of my day happened when, at one stop where Kate and Vera had already reached the car and were buckled in — I was still poking around in the stranger’s pile — Vera apparently, with a panicked look on her face, pointed out the window exclaiming, ” Gee-Gee-Gee!”

In case you don’t speak 2-year-old, that’s Vera-speak for “Grammie Jeanne,” which is a far cry from what she has called me up to this point: “Dah.”

So, as if often the case, today’s adventure was about the experiences rather than the purchases. But for the record, here they are:

Aborn California Pottery planter (sold on Ebay these days for around $20) : $1

Two sets of Christmas lights, 100 per string: $1

Lined wicker basket: 50 cents

New smoke alarm: $1

Total expenditure for the day: $3.50

Oh yes, and one cup of lemonade from those 7-year-old hypnotists.

Yard Sale Documentation Project 6-30-12

It’s likely that you’ve seen one or two of the Chevy Chase “Vacation” movies. In one scene, dim-witted Randy Quaid shows off a prized possession to his big-city in-laws and proclaims, “That’s a fine quality item, Clark.”

Today was “fine quality item day” in yard sale world.

Kate was away for the weekend, so I was left to my own devices for the morning’s activity. While it’s not as much fun going it alone, it does afford the absolute focus on personal goals, which in my mind are paintings, art pottery, and anything of use in the garden.

The first sale opened at 7am, which should have been my first clue that we were dealing with real Mainers here. And I must say, this one might qualify as the single best yard sale of the season. (See YSDP 4-21-12 for the complete list of categories.)

First of all, the pile was huge; spread out over an expansive driveway overlooking the Scarborough Marsh, which at 7:30 on a summer morning is worth the trip right there.  Visitors were greeted by two cheery deeply-tanned women, probably in their early 70’s, who looked like they should be cover girls for Downeast Magazine.

Not only was the vibe friendly and warm, these lovely ladies were serving up free coffee and donuts. Normally I’m all about coffee and flour and sugar, but in this moment was too distracted by the goodies that were not edible.

The first thing to catch my eye was a rolled up rug (seen in the photo above), which I could see from the label was 5′ X 8′ and 100% wool; the price tag said $5. I looked for more zeros but couldn’t find any.

The next thing to capture my attention were 4 wooden window panels, the kind that create divisions in the windows where there really aren’t any. These things are great for the garden, for staking peas, or as a background trellis for winding traveling vines. I was thrilled to be informed that these were in the FREE pile.

It’s only 7:45am and my day’s already been made.

I leave with the rug, a free pad for the rug, the 4 free window panes, and this fine quality stainless steel spatula. I figure it’s gotta be all downhill from here.

However, the next stop had me wondering if I’d hit upon a genuine treasure.

My name is Jeanne and I have a pottery addiction. I LOVE art pottery…mostly the matte green — McCoy or Roseville or Haeger or Rookwood or Floraline, but the white stuff is nice too, and I do have some brown pieces… and a few yellow.  I also have some Swedish Hoganas, a few English pieces, and some Japanese pottery. I like pottery. But I’m at the point where it really has to be something special for me to buy it, since as you might imagine, there are quite a few pieces in the current collection.    

The piece pictured here could be a mediocre find or it could be truly spectacular. it all hinges on the mark at the base. (It might not have come home with me had it not been stamped.) I did some research, but it’s as yet inconclusive. If it’s Van Briggle or Greuby, it’s worth a bundle. If it’s a Roseville or Rookwood that’s good too. Whatever it is, at $2 it was special enough to take a chance.

Dan StaroffAn artist friend Dan Staroff sent me a print of one of his works, a Tree of Life pictured here. The frame shown above is the first step toward getting the piece hung in my office; next step: mat and glass. BTW, that’s a Larson Juhl frame, probably out of my price range under usual circumstances.

Another fine quality item!

One more home decor find to report, this handsome foot rest. As you can see, it perfect matches a chair that already sits in my home, one of my favorite pieces.  Now– I’m wondering if it’s possible that they were made by the same person, the similarities are so striking.  

The chair is hand-hewn, which can be seen in a up-close inspection of the woodworking. The foot rest bought today is obviously hand made and is unmistakably signed by its crafter. While it seems unlikely, the materials and date and style and scale of both are so similar that it does make me wonder if Mr. Robinson (a local Mainer?) made both pieces.

That’s one more project for the research department.

Here goes with today’s tally:

* 8′ X 5′ wool rug: $5
* Art pottery: $2
* Wooden foot rest: $5
* Fancy frame: $5
* Stainless steel spatula: 50 cents
* English plate: $1
* 4 window panels and a large non-skid rug pad:  FREE

Total spent: $18.50

I must say I did an excellent job of not ” buying just to buy” so as to take advantage of the multitude of high quality items out there today.

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