Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  Sorry it's been a bit - I guess I needed a break.  
Since my last post I have:
visited my Mom on her birthday
painted some tin tiles
did some house cleaning
laundered my linen living room curtains, and kitchen curtains
rehung the kitchen curtains
hung some 'winter' drapes in the living room
hand washed some vintage wool sweaters that I had listed on Etsy
priced a ton of hand knit scarves, and other knitted items
displayed them up at It's Bazaar
cut hydrangeas off of one of my bushes because it was going to snow
played in the snow
I know...... SNOW!!!amazing huh?
The hydrangeas have gotten some beautiful color from the cool nights we've had - but I knew they wouldn't last through the predicted snow that we were going to have this past Saturday.  I picked enough to fill this antique wicker hanging basket.

Here's my antique sideboard with my Halloween display.
On the left - a stoneware squirrel feasting from an antique tart pan filled with tiny cinnamon hearts and pumpkins
On the right 2 Gurley items - a hollow wax pumpkin - I've never seen one of these before, a Gurley witch candle, and a new - but too cute crepe paper, accordion pleated pumpkin.
                                  A Henn Workshops pumpkin basket with a cloth black cat.

A Halloween from long ago "Little Rascals" style.  Ginna is 'Darla', with our former neighbors, the Knisley boys - Dylan is 'Spanky', Hunter 'Alfafa'.  They won an award at the Michael's Shopping Center in Leesburg for best costumes!

                                Another wonky cat - I believe made by Ann Vaughn, who use to have a business called Christmas Creations, and now co-owns The Cottage in Leesburg.

                                         A hand made wool mat with some scary pumpkins.

                                        Two more 'gourd' baskets by the Henn Workshops.  
                              The larger is a mustard color, the smallest is a dark mossy green.

Sally the snake.  Made by a WVU Math professor who was also a blacksmith as a hobby.  I watched him fashion her from a piece of rebar.  She has been with me since 1985.  He was demonstrating his craft at Friendship Hill - the residence of Albert Gallatin.  I had to take her home with me - she had such a cute face - and I am not a snake person!

                                       So here is my total vignette, my tribute to Halloween!

                                                                 Cali says BOO!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ladies Board Rummage Sale Friday Sales

This little fellow was one of my finds at the Rummage Sale.  I just had to start with him because he is so darn CUTE!!!

The most delicious lunch in Loudoun county is served in this little building on the Morven Park property. 

These are just some of the women who do this for over 500 volunteers every day for almost a week.  We gave them a huge round of applause today during lunch.

Our one year old, deaf kitten Inkblot (aka Inky) is checking out his new crate.  Another great find at the Rummage Sale!  We had a larger one in our kitchen but it really had to go - it just took up too much room.  Inky was use to being tucked into the crate every night to go to bed.  After we took the crate down, he was inconsolable.  He cried every night.  Luckily I found this nice small one (I did have a small budget as well).  Now he feels nice and secure at night - no more crying.

This was the beginning crowd - the Early Birds at 7:25 am.  The 'doors' didn't open until 8:00 am.  Before the doors opened at 8:00 am, the crowd had completely filled the open space you see here in the photo.  There were also two other entrances where they could come in!

Sorry - the dryer just dinged!  New or not - anything I bring in the house immediately goes into the washer and dryer.  I had to go fold my brand new mattress pad ($4.00), and three brand new fitted sheets ($1.00).  We found one groovy vintage flat sheet that Ginna may use as a curtain in her dorm room next year :)

 I had to take some pictures of some hard core, but very happy shoppers.  This lady had an amazing armload of clothes - but remained smiling!

This woman had a great idea - load all your clothes in the wagon.  I think this might get a little unwieldy in some of our departments.
Enough pictures!  I had to get to work.  Socks .25 cents per pair, robes $3.00, new bras $2.00, new pantyhose $1.00, and so on.  We were adding numbers in our brains, making change, and bagging lingerie as fast as we could.  All of our customers were very patient, and we appreciated every dollar that came in.  I can't wait to hear what the sale brings in this year.  
We worked all morning long and then went off to an early (and delicious) lunch.  Ginna couldn't get over the three bean salad that one of the volunteers made.  It had water chestnuts and dill in it and was fabulous.  Afterwards we took some time to ourselves and went to The French Room.  This is where the designer and select clothes, shoes and purses are sold.  Ginna found a pair of loden green dressy cargo pants ($12.00), I found an acid lime short swing jacket ($20.00) -Jennifer Huffman seal of approval, and an adorable 1960s, groovy, long floral skirt (to be sold on Etsy).  
Then off to the Christmas barn - Jennifer says we are going to do 'flocking' - alrighty then!  Ginna is working on her next art project for Art 4.  It is a large 'A' from a commercial sign that she intends to fill with objects that begin with the letter 'A'.  Here we found 'apples', and an 'angel'.
Next stop, the Toy barn.  Here she found two 'arachnids', and two 'alligators', one 'army' man, and 5 Barbies. Wait - Barbies begin with a 'B'. - Sorry - already dismembered - 'arms' and 'asses' :0  !
I always know I am in trouble in the Book barn.  We did get CDs for $1.00 each - not bad, and she bought some classic paperbacks.  I tried to keep my book urge in check.
In the Sports barn I found a pair of men's ice skates, and  a ladies bowling ball (gray and pink!).  Don't even ask...
This is all for tonight.  6 am and my yard sale tomorrow will come awfully quick.  I leave you with my failed attempt at being "Pretty Dress Police" for Ginna - as you can see - I was absent on the job! ($6.00)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ladies Board Rummage Sale

Tractor Trailers being off loaded at Sorting Area #1
 Come with me on the adventure that is the 73rd Annual Ladies Board Rummage Sale.Go ahead, climb on board this is an amazing ride!   This sale is to benefit Inova Loudoun Hospital.  It all starts with people donating a few things to TWICE IS NICE the hospital thrift store...and grows from there!
Tractor Trailers being off loaded at Sorting area #2
I have attended the Rummage Sale since 1989.  At that time it was held at the 4H Fairgrounds just off of Dry Mill Road.  The different departments were all set up in the various animal buildings.  I don't remember what year they moved to Morven Park, but it was because a small tornado came through and destroyed some of the animal barns at the fairgrounds. Need I say they have grown to fill this new space and more!

Years ago - when I was donating items for my neighbors (I had the truck), I took all of my items to the Nichol's barn over in Purcellville.  Then they started having tractor trailers available in the back lot at the hospital - and you would make an appointment to off load your donations into one of the trailers.  

Sorting Area #1
I think volunteering is an important thing to do while we are on this earth.  When my daughter was in Elementary School I helped there in various capacities.  Then came a time when I was so busy with Bittersweet Design Studio that I didn't have much time to give.  I did manage to design a garden and get that established over at St. Francis De Sales Church in Purcellville,  but that was really it for a few years.  Then my friend Lesli asked if I would like to help at the Rummage Sale.  We try and take time to go thrifting together, although we haven't had a chance in some time.  Lesli was going to be working in the LINGERIE Department and they needed people there to help sort and hang everything.  OK - so this might sound a lot more glamorous than it really is.  But that's ok!  It needs to be done - and we do it!  
Lingerie is probably one of the smaller departments - and we have 12 boxes of categorized socks, 8 boxes of sized bras, 6 boxes of girdles, panties, briefs, and specialty items.  Then hanging racks 8 feet long each filled with robes, gowns, pj sets, tops only, bottoms only, swimsuits, cover ups, slips, camisoles, and scrubs.
With all of this - you can imagine if we are one of the smaller departments - what the other departments must be like!  Let's take a look:

Men's wear
Women's Sportswear

Women's Dresses, Suits and Coats

Children's Department
This was just the clothing area - and I didn't even show you Handbags and Scarves!

                                                         Gifts and Accessories Department

There are over 500 volunteers that spend 6 days organizing all of this and of course this doesn't include the countless hours spent gathering stuff throughout the year!  And the amazing thing here is that I have yet to include the remaining departments - Furniture; Frames, Pictures an Lamps; Electronics; Shoes; Antiques; Christmas; Toys; or the French Room!  MORE NEXT POST!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Beautiful Sunset Treasury on Artfire

Isn't this a lovely collection ?  My vintage leaf brooch is second row down, center!

AND what is even better - I just got this curated collection in MY email!!!!  This means that it was sent to thousands of people!!!   WOOT! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Curb Appeal - via Yard Sale Signs

So - do you want tons of people to come to your next estate/tag/yard/garage sale????  My friends David and Jennifer have a running joke about yard sale signs - and so they 'critique' everybody's signs.  And it's true! - is it legible - can you read it?, did the lettering run and drip because of rain or heavy dew?, is it too small?, is it flopping over because you didn't back it with something or use stiff enough cardboard?, is the contrast between the sign and the lettering strong enough for people to read it???? 
David always says that his sign is going to be HUGE, Neon and Purple :))  Not a bad choice if you want to attract attention!

This year at Purcellville's Town Wide Tag Sale - we had more people come to look at our treasures because of our great signs.  Did we think they were great? - sure - but even better - our customers thought they were great,  We kept them at our sale - buying, because we had a variety of great stuff at good prices - or because we were willing to negotiate.

This is 'Miss Directed'.  She is wearing a Mark Shale 1980s dress with a Peter Pan collar blouse, as an under layer for modesty.  She was in charge of getting everyone's attention and sending them down the street to our sale - which you could NOT see from the corner.  She is definitely attention grabbing, the words are legible, good contrast, concise, and tells you exactly where the sale is.  We only had one of her - but she was at the corner of Main and Maple and 'looking' towards where most of the sales were happening further in town.

This is my lady, 'Miss Bittersweet'.  She is wearing a sleeveless 1930s house dress with a 3/4 sleeve, round collared, 1980s eyelet blouse  - again modesty!  I added a ruffle at the bottom of the dress to make this a bit longer and actually wore this while pregnant at two different craft shows that I was juried into years ago - East Berlin Colonial Day in East Berlin, PA, and the Waterford Fair in Waterford, VA.  These two shows required 'period' costuming to exhibit and demonstrate there.  Hence wearing this 'get up'.

There is also Jennifer's lady, 'Miss Lucketts', who for some reason or another didn't want to come out of the barn this year :(  But here's her photo: She is on the left - wearing a very pretty, handmade, floral, floor length gown. 
Miss Directed got everyone to the sale, Miss Bittersweet caught their attention as they drove down the road, and the large sign 'Best Tag Sale in Town' just told it like it was!

We had used our 'ladies' and the large 'Best' sign three years ago when I did my first sale with Jennifer - and pulled them of 'mothballs' for this sale.  And yes - I made them - of course!  The large sign is an old piece of metal that I repainted.  The color and 'typography' on it matched the ladies signs that they held. For the ladies, Jennifer said she had some great 'blow ups' of old photographs, and wouldn't it be fun to use them somehow for the sale?  I cut them out, glued them to Luan (a thin plywood), and then used my jigsaw to cut out the shape once more.  Then I screwed their head and shoulders to a piece of wood I had around (really - you had wood hanging around?) and then screwed the signs to their chests.  Then of course I let them rummage around in my costume box so they could pick out their outfits.  They may like a change for next year - maybe Halloween costumes, if you don't think it's too early for that???

 And I end this post with two more photos - a Haphap happy customer in his NIB - [new in box] Stetson  :)  
 and a shot of our AWESOME customer service -  Jennifer and David delivering a lovely buffet down the street for the O'Connor family.

Many thanks to Jennifer and David Huffman for drinks, snacks, wake up coffee (a.m. and p.m.), their great location and fantastic front yard, and all of their help, unpacking, display, packing; my husband, Bob Pickett - who loads and unloads with nary a complaint; my daughter, Virginia Theerman, who helped through the weekend, and my 'sister' Jennifer Bowders, who came and pitched in all day Sunday.  It only took us an hour to pack up - Yes we almost sold it to 'the walls'.  
Was there a piece of jewelry, clothing, beanie baby, hankie, or antique that caught your eye - but you didn't pick up?  Google Bittersweet Design Studio for our location - our town Paeonian Springs - west of Leesburg, VA; east of Purcellville, VA, is having our own small town version this coming Saturday October 15th.  I will be set up in my yard next to my shop, and several other neighbors throughout town are combining forces and will have yard sales as well.   

Look for Miss Directed, as well as Miss Bittersweet.  Stop and say HI!
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