Listing Challenge 2017 ~ Turn That Stash Into Cash!

listing-challenge

There is just something about November.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have great things to list. But I keep buying more. I still have a backlog behind all the great RECENT stuff I found. I need to stop adding to the pile until I get more listed and sold. Which means LESS thrift store shopping. No, honestly, it should mean NO thrift store shopping. Ugh. So sad.

I started thinking about a challenge. A no (or less) thrift challenge. A listing challenge. With definite goals and projects. I went back in my blog to the last Listing Challenge I did…it was a year ago in November!! That blog post could be THIS blog post. Oh how things haven’t changed.

See? There is just something about November.

So, are you with me? Are you ready to turn that stash into cash? Remember, it can’t sell if it’s not listed.
So let’s dig into those boxes and bins and Rubbermaid totes. Find the bottom of that “death pile” and pull out a winner.


So here are my particular goals for this first week.

~ Shop my stash. Much like last year, I’ll be focusing on getting older items listed as well as the newer-ish stuff I’ve brought in. So for every one newer item…I will pull out TWO old “stash” items and get them listed too. I remember sometimes when you dig deep, you get surprised at what you find. It’s like thrifting all over again! I will thrift in my own bins which will help me with my second goal:

~ No thrifting this week. Gulp. Okay, I’m not sure how I’ll handle the fact that I have to return an item to a thrift store that I bought last week. I’ll double check how long I have and see if I can put it off ’til next week.


These are my two goals for this week. Feel free to use them as well, or find your own challenges that fit your situation. But try to push yourself a bit.

Let’s run this first week’s challenge from today, Wed Nov 1 until next Tuesday, Nov 7.

Comment below if you are up for the challenge!! You can also follow the action on my page on Facebook where I will share updates, photos and possibly a video or two!

D is for Decorated Tumblers ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

Welcome back to the fourth installment of our Selling Vintage A to Z series. To see previous posts in the series, click on the page at the top (or dropdown on mobile) where all the A to Z posts are handily gathered together! Today’s letter is the letter D and we’re discussing Decorated Tumblers.
This post has affiliate links.

DisforDecoratedTumblersLet’s face it. Vintage kitchenware is hot. It’s a fun category but can also be a fairly broad one so many collectors and resellers niche down. Vintage glassware is one way to go…specifically the decorated tumblers that started coming on the scene in the 1920s and 30s.
These are some of the decorated tumblers I spotted in a recent trip to an antique mall.

DecoratedTumblersSome of the companies that produced these fun and colorful pieces were:
Anchor Hocking, Bartlett Collins, Federal, Hazel Atlas, Jeannette, Libbey, West Virginia and more. In the early days, decorations were done by hand but during the 1930s, various automated methods were developed. The silkscreening method was perfected and is still the main way of decorating tumblers today. The stage was set for the production of the decorated tumbler to take off!

DecoratedTumbler2Green and white leaf tumblers by Federal Glass offered by Nanosdollectibles on Etsy (a great shop to see more examples of decorated glassware)

And the demand was there to meet it. The decorated tumblers were now more affordable because they were mass produced and they were colorful!! Such fun. People were eating them up.

Bartlett-Collins Rhythm Tumblers by AmbassadorGrooviness on Etsy

Kraft Foods had the inspiration in 1933 to offer their cheese spread with a “premium”: reusable 5 oz. glass “party glasses” in a variety of colors and designs. We know them as Swankyswigs. They continued being produced until 1958, first by Hazel Atlas, then by Bartlett-Collins. People loved having them to collect.

SwankySwig1Swankyswigs Kiddie Kup Set by Sidetracked Vintage on Etsy


SwankySwig2

Swankyswigs Tulip Set by RobertaGrove on Etsy

And people still do. Scouring thrift stores, antique shops and the internet, they look for that last one to complete their set.

A while back in one of my thrifting adventures, I found this book, “The Decorated Tumbler“.

DSC_0110

What a bunch of eye candy!! And a very helpful reference book. The author, Hazel Marie Weatherman, has compiled full color reproductions of actual catalog pages from the different makers, so we can see pattern names as well as glassware names assigned by that maker. It includes not just tumblers, but other items produced with these designs, such as pitchers and canisters.
Here is an example from page 52.

DSC_0112My book landed in my reference library but you can check ebay and Amazon for your own copy.

Just a few researching/collecting tips: If you’re interested in this niche for collecting or reselling, I’d suggest doing your research. Develop your eye to spot the more popular themes or subjects…anything atomic is a yes right now. Browse the book I mention above. Browse Etsy  listings. Search “Swankyswigs” and “Swanky swigs”. Use “Decorated glassware”. Search by makers. Go check out an antique mall.
Condition will be fairly important. Super faded pieces should probably be given a pass.

Let me know! Do you collect decorated tumblers? Have you sold any? Are you going to be on the lookout for them now? Leave a comment below.

C is for……Chalkware ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

Welcome back to the third installment of our Selling Vintage A to Z series. To see previous posts in the series, click on the page at the top (or dropdown on mobile) where all the A to Z posts are handily gathered together! Today’s letter is the letter C (whoa! Sesame Street flashback!) and we’re discussing Chalkware.
This post has affiliate links.

C-Selling Vintage

I think of chalkware items as having two peak phases of production and distribution and fairly different styles between those two phases.
The first phase was in the 19th century and pieces (often figurines) were made in Staffordshire and other molds and marketed to be an inexpensive version of more expensive porcelain pieces.
chalkwarebustChalkware bust found on Worthpoint. Latter half of 19th century.

ChalkwarecatEarly 19th century chalkware cat...found on Worthpoint.

The second phase was the first of half of the 20th century and pieces from this era have more of a kitsch feel. They were various items such as figurines and were given out as carnival prizes. Kewpie dolls were a popular product but there were also busts, small statues and wall hangings.
I just came across this beauty at an antique store.

IMG_6759The trend continued on into the 50s and 60s when more kitschy and anthropomorphic chalkware products were popular…wall plaques for the kitchen and bathroom for example. (love it when A to Z topics crossover!)

From the same antique store:
IMG_6758Value

We can’t talk about value of chalkware items for the reseller without discussing what chalkware is made of. Basically chalkware is made from Plaster of Paris and then painted with a water based paint. None of that spells durability. I took a couple pictures at a thrift store recently to show you what chalkware looks like on the inside. (This piece was already broken, I promise!)
ChalkwareThis wall plaque was actually from the 1970s I believe but by a company that is well known for their mid century chalkware. Miller Studio (as seen on earlier packaging). It’s a name to keep in mind for reselling.
Here’s what the piece looks like on the inside.

chalkware2Looks like chalk, right?

Chalkware items break, chip and fade very easily. When I was searching for examples of the early types of chalkware, I was having a hard time finding any for sale on Etsy or Ebay. “Early” was coming up as 1900s-1930s carnival pieces. I finally found some Victorian 19th century pieces by checking Worthpoint and they were from auction houses. Pieces from that long ago have not survived all that often. That cat up above? Over $9000. The bust? $2200+. So yes, rarity has a powerful effect on value. I found a nice article here that explains more about the 19th century chalkware and how to identify it.

That’s not to say the carnival pieces aren’t collectible. There is definitely still a market and prices vary widely based on subject matter and condition.
So yes, condition and subject matter affects saleability.
For example, I have had these 2 plaques in my Etsy shop for quite awhile.
ChalkwaredutchDo you want to see the backs?
ChalkwareBackProbably not the most desirable subject matter. I may give up on trying to sell them. Then again, I may edit the listing a bit with some of the information I learned writing this post and see what happens.

On the other hand, I had these Miller Studio rooster plaques in my shop that sold very quickly.

chalkwaremillerOf course, NOS (new old stock) and roosters! Plus mid century coloring and a cool box. It’s a win-win! I actually just picked up a single one of these last week that I need to list.
Here are a couple other examples of mid century chalkware pieces that I’m always on the look out for. Folks decorating their bathrooms 1950s style don’t feel the room is complete without something like this:

ChalkwarefishChalkware fish set by Chic Mouse Vintage on Etsy

Chalkwaremermaid

Chalkware Mermaid Set by Shake and Pass the Salt on Etsy

See more mid century chalkware here.

And a quick word about condition. Due to the composition and age of these pieces, some wear is to be expected. If your pieces are perfect…that’s great! Newer pieces (50s-70s) with major chips or breaks can probably be given a pass. Not worth picking up unless they can be repaired easily. The older the piece, the more wear and damage is forgiven.


Thanks for joining me in the letter C. Sign up for email updates on new posts over there on the side (or maybe down below on mobile)…and you can also sign up for our monthly newsletter where we discuss vintage and thrifting finds as well as reselling tips and tricks.


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B is for….Brutalist ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

I hope you enjoyed the first post in my new Selling Vintage A to Z series:  A is for…..Anthropomorphic. For this second post, I’m covering another topic that I touched on in the blog years ago: Brutalism or Brutalist style.
(This post contains affiliate links)

B-Selling Vintage

I’d seen the word “Brutalist” here and there on Etsy and it seemed to get a lot of attention. I decided to do research to make sure that A) I could identify the style myself and B) that I would be using the keyword correctly.
Brutalism began as an architectural style.

2017-05-14

(All photos above are from brutalism.online as shown in the watermark.) The buildings are: (clockwise from top) 1. Habitat 67 from the 1967 World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec, Canada 2. One Police Plaza in NYC and 3. Freeway Park in Seattle, WA.

The Brutalist architectural movement was a spin-off from the modernist movement of the first half of the 20th century and had its heydey from the 1950s to 1970s. The style had its fans…and its detractors. It was controversial.

Concrete was used a lot, often revealing the texture of the boards that were used in the forms. Le Corbusier used the French phrase “beton-brut” or ‘raw concrete’ to describe his work…and from this French phrase, the term “Brutalist” was coined.
There is much, much more to the architectural style and history. If this interests you, I found a great website called BRUTALISM:ONLINE

What fascinated me was how this style spilled over to smaller objects of the time. I’ve seen the word “brutalist” applied to jewelry, wall decor, furniture, sculptures and other home decor items. And this is where it gets interesting for us sellers of vintage.

Examples of Brutalist style

Let’s look at some examples because this is how I learned. Brutalism may be hard to describe in just a few sentences but you will soon begin to recognize it when you see it. Think repeated geometric forms yet often asymmetric and abstract. Rough texture. Earth tones. More organic and natural vs machine produced precision.

We’ll start big with furniture and then go smaller.

BrutalistCredenzaLane Brutalist style credenza or dresser from QuinnCASA on Etsy

BrutalistDiningTableSkyscraper Dining Table by Pasadena Antiques on Etsy

As you can see, there can be some big bucks involved if you find Brutalist style furniture, especially if there are designer names attached. But that top credenza or dresser is by Lane..a popular mid century furniture maker whose pieces are not ultra rare.

See more Brutalist style furniture here.

Wall decor, tabletop sculptures, lamps and clocks were also influenced by the movement.

BrutalistWallBrutalist Torch Cut Sailboat wall sculpture by VieuxFaireGoods on Etsy

BrutalistTreeBrutalist tabletop tree sculpture by ModHouseCA on Etsy

And this clock below is one of my favorites…I would die to find one in the wild. It’s by Syroco and it’s PLASTIC!
BrutalistClockSyroco Brutalist style wall clock by Vintage by Viola on Etsy

See more Brutalist style home decor here. Take a note of the prices.

One of my favorite categories that showcases the Brutalist style is jewelry. I have only found a handful of pieces myself. This was the most recent one. This pendant is not a high ticket item but it is signed by Napier and it definitely has that Brutalist influence. It went into my own jewelry box. 🙂

DSC_0015There are so many great Brutalist jewelry pieces. *sigh* Names to look for are Robert Larin and Guy Vidal. There are also many Scandinavian pieces.

BrutalistPendantBrutalist Pewter and Moss Agate Pendant by Vintage in Bloom (a familiar face!) on Etsy

BrutalistLarinRobert Larin Brutalist jewelry set by JanEleven on Etsy

BrutalistVidalGuy Vidal Statement Necklace by My New Discoveries on Etsy

See more Brutalist style jewelry here. Take a note of the prices.

Selling Tips

Okay, so keywords associated with this style would be:
brutalist, modernist, mid century, organic, torch cut, abstract, asymmetric, textured, burnished
You may have noticed that some sellers use Robert Larin-style or Guy Vidal-style. I don’t recommend that if the pieces are not signed by those makers. Technically it’s keyword spamming. And it’s not necessary. The word “brutalist” alone will get you the views and buyers you need if the style fits.


Now, I do understand this style is not for everyone. You may look at these pieces of decor or jewelry and think to yourself “who would pay that kind of money for that piece of ugly??”. But that’s the point of a vintage education.
You take the time to look at different styles and niches and you train your eye. You stop dismissing things as “ugly” and start seeing the value in them.

What do you think of the ‘brutalist’ style? Have you thrifted anything brutalist? Is it a new keyword for you?


Thanks for joining us on the latest installment of our series. Stay tuned for the Letter C!!

A is for…. Anthropomorphic ~ Selling Vintage A to Z

I thought I’d start the series off with a word we’ve discussed on the blog before, although it was about 2 years ago. But it’s still a good one!! Anthropomorphic collectibles are still very popular.
(This post contains affiliate links)

A-Selling Vintage

Anthropomorphic collectibles are all those fun things you’ve seen for years but maybe didn’t know the name for. Now you do.

According to the dictionary “anthropomorphism” means “ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things”.

It’s all around you. Really. Anything by Walt Disney. Yup. Mickey…he’s anthropomorphic.
Thomas the train? You got it.
Mr. Peanut? An anthropomorphic classic!

I will hold the teabag tea rests (Anthropomorphic tea rests from my personal collection.)

But really, anthropomorphic items are quite collectible! Kitschy and cute, these salt and pepper shakers, tea bag rests, planters, teapots, jam pots…the list goes on…were found in your local Five and Dime in the 40s and 50s. They were also given out as prizes for games such as Bingo.
Most of these novelty items took the form of vegetables, fruit, animals or utensils with smiling faces.

Anthropomorphic Planter

Or…maybe not so smiley. I think I narrowed this planter down to a turnip…but I’m still not sure if the headscarf is for a particular purpose, like a toothache. I was imagining this planter being given with a cheery plant as a Get Well gift. Hmm. I listed this cutie awhile back and she sold the same day for $24.
As shown earlier with the example of Mr. Peanut, sometimes the anthropomorphic item was for advertising purposes.

Handy Flame Salt and Pepper Shakers

These salt and pepper shakers depict “Handy Flame” and were used by the Indianapolis Gas Company (other companies, too, I believe) to promote and spread the word about cooking with Natural Gas. I had the creamer that matched the set but a buyer asked me to separate it out so they could buy it on its own. They sold for a combined total of $26.

So why is this good to know if you sell vintage? Well, because vintage anthropomorphic items sell..and sell quickly. Plus you’ll want to use “anthropomorphic” as a keyword in your listing or as a hashtag in your social media promoting. I’ve also seen #foodwithfaces as a tag on Instagram.
For kicks, I took a look at some of the highest priced kitschy anthropomorphic items and it seems that the maker to look out for is Py / Miyao. There is even a collectible guide I found that may be a bit hard to track down but I found a few copies on Google. The author is Belinda Evans.

PY-MiyaoSometimes the pieces are just marked “Japan” and may originally have had a Miyao sticker, so it pays to do your research. As you can see on that book cover above, one of the telltale signs of Py seems to be the shape of the eyes, with that triangular cutout in the black. Just a tip. Py made other designs as well and distributed to companies like UCAGCO and Lefton. You can read a bit more about them here.

Let’s finish up with a look at some items on Etsy that show the range of products that fit under the “anthropomorphic” umbrella.

AnthroWinkingCat

Enesco Winking Cat teapot by Bob’s Good Junk on Etsy. (One of the biggest shops on Etsy for anthropomorphic items!! Great stuff!)

AnthroLemonPlatesSnack Plate Set by Brooklyn Street Vintage on Etsy

Not just for the kitchen, anthropomorphic items can also be found in jewelry.

AnthroCatPin

Cat Playing the Accordion pin by Green Kitten Vintage on Etsy

And the anthropormorphic theme also extended to linens and tea towels.

AnthroTowelEmbroidered Tea Towel by Upswing Vintage on Etsy

And of course, you can DIY your own anthropomorphic items!

 

AnthroTransfer

Happy Fruits Transfer Pattern by Atomic Dog 67 on Etsy

So the next time you’re strolling the thrift store aisles or scanning the tables at a yard sale and you feel like someone is watching you…you might want to take a closer look!


What about you? Have you collected anthropomorphic items before? Have you bought and sold them? Any favorites?

Thanks for joining me on my first installment of Selling Vintage A to Z. Next up will be another term we’ve discussed here…although again, it was awhile ago.
B is for…..Brutalist