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Sunday Estate Sale 50% Off: “Teddy Ruxpin, Snuggles & Saucy Walker”

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Since I was so amazed and enamored with a lot of the items at this Estate Sale on Friday, I thought it might be worth my while to return on Sunday, expecting that everything would be 50% off.  There were no signs as I entered saying that it was a discounted day, so I proceeded cautiously.  I finally asked about prices once my arms were piled high, and then I learned that yes, everything was half price.  So I bought all of the Ideal Snuggles Dolls from the 70’s at $2 for all three, $4 on the vintage teddy bear with the rubber snout, $10 for what I believe to be a Saucy Walker Doll from the 1950’s, two Teddy Ruxpins, one still in the box and his pal Grubby at $5-$7.50, and then several vintage children’s books at 50¢ each.  I spent about $50, but could make $500.

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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting

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2 Stops at the Church Rummage Sale & 2 Garage Sales

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Thursday night was Preview Night at the larger local Catholic Church’s Annual Rummage Sale.  I accidentally stumbled upon a listing for it under Toys on craigslist so I was figuring they forgot to list it under Garage Sales and therefore there would be fewer attendees.  No such luck.  The line was longer than I ever remember it and because it was a hot evening, it was crowded and somewhat unpleasant.  I tried to hurry through, initially finding the Annalee dolls at $2 each, the Small Small World Dolls at $1 each, the Cabbage Patch Kid Carrier at $2, the Halloween cat at $1, the vintage pose doll at $1, the Madame Alexander-kins at $3, the Madame Alexander Cissette for $6, the bags of stickers at 25¢ each and several bags of ornaments at $1 each.  I spent $19.75 that stop.
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The next morning there were two sales and I planned to return to the Rummage Sale for anything I might have missed.  The first sale was a doozy.  Amazing vintage stuff but also highly priced.  The 1975 Mattel Dancerella Ballerina doll I had to ask for her price.  The manager of the sale said $10, I asked $5 and she said she’d do it. The 1985 Playmates Crawling Doll I had a mini copy of as a kid, she was $1.  And a stack of vintage books including Roy Rogers, “Let’s Go to the Fair,” “Socks,” and “I Like Winter” by Lois Lenski at $1 each.

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On to the next sale I picked up the two Disney Magic Talk Royal Garden Playsets for $5 each.

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And then back to the Rummage Sale where I found the Raggedy Andy, the 1972 Meego Dinah-mite Doll and 1974 Ideal Derry Daring Doll each for $1, and the Hallmark Mitford Snowman Ornament Set for $3.

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About $45 spent.  Potential $555 gain.

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My New Favorite Album: “All That We Got” by Jethro Jeremiah

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One more time for the weekend: I’ve been a fan of Jethro Jeremiah’s for years, way back to the Pier 21 days. He recently put out a new album, “All That We Got,” with some very polished tunes, my favorites of which include “Back of the Line” which should be played on radio, “Baby Be Mine” and “Alright Tonight.”

You can also find him on Reverbnation.com:

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And on iTunes:

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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting, Music

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The Story of Lefton China

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Whenever I find a piece of Lefton China, like the two cats I recently found above, I snap it up because I find it to be of high quality and, of course, it is also vintage.  I’ve had quite a few pieces in my collection over the past years, and I especially enjoy their Christmas figurines:

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But it wasn’t until I researched the cats that I came across several articles about the company’s beginnings and George Zoltan Lefton who started it all:

Lefton China became the brain child of the Hungarian- born and bred sportswear manufacturer, George Zoltan Lefton.  In 1939 he left his native Hungary and moved to Chicago, Illinois.  His hobby was collecting fine porcelain, and his passion for collecting porcelain began to shape ideas for a new business. In early 1941, Lefton’s desire for quality ceramics overpowered any feelings he may have had for fabric and fashion.

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Mr. Lefton heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and without any fanfare, proceeded to board up the unprotected glass front of his Japanese friend’s business in Chicago. Just in time, in fact, because Chicago residents moved through the streets identifying Japanese citizens, threatening bodily harm and destroying every Japanese owned business they could reach until law and order was restored. This same friend helped Mr. Lefton to develop relationships with china producers of Japan and established the country as his major manufacturing source for some common and extremely rare items we collect which carry the Lefton paper label or fired-on mark.  The first pieces reached the US in 1946 and continued until the 1970s.  Production moved to Taiwan and Malaysia in the 1980s.  The family sold the company in 2001 but production continues today.

Many items made by Lefton were produced in several sizes with different colors, designs, poses, and styles. Tableware is also available in a variety of shades, shapes and sizes. Genuine Lefton items carry marks, identification numbers, and paper labels, although some were sold with only one of the three. Paper labels are most likely worn off by repeated washings, or other wear. The resale value of an item will be higher if all identifying marks are present, such as the fired-on ID number and fired -on Crown, other fired-on lettering. Until you become more familiar with the Lefton ‘look’ of quality and appearance, it is safe to buy the pieces with the fired- on trademarks. Be careful using paper labels as the only means of identification.

Many pieces of Lefton remain quite reasonable and it would be easy for anyone to start a collection.  But some pieces, especially the characters like the Bluebirds, Mermaids, Toodles and Miss Priss Kitty, can fetch even higher prices:

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Keep your eye out for pieces of Lefton, they may be worth more than you think!

 

Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting

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SF Bay Area Beer & Wine Events for August 2015 Weekends

Feel free to contact me to add your event to my other two websites that also have Facebook and Twitter feeds!

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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Beer, Events, Wine

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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “The Brighton Earrings, The Matelasse Bedspread & The Alfa Fuzzy Town House

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Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

Another fair day in garage sales, likely because I had contributed to my brother’s garage sale that day and knew I should be over there helping.  Or maybe it’s like everyone’s been saying, more people are on vacation this summer and therefore there aren’t as many customers or good sales around.  At the first sale where I was hoping to nab some American Girl Dolls and clothes, I was beaten by an earlier-comer, and only walked away with the Matelasse bedspread for $1 and the cute vintage fabric blankets for another couple of dollars.

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At a further sale, I picked up the very interesting plush house that I’ve found comes from Alfa’s Fuzzy Town.  It was 50¢.

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I’ve always wanted one of those strawberry planters that I could hopefully plant with succulents that would eventually hang down the sides.  I paid $3 for it, but got the bag of new paintbrushes for free.

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And finally at one of the last sales I found three pairs of Brighton earrings and one pair of Laurel Burch, each at $2.

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I spent all of $14.50.  I could make $300.

Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

 

Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Garage Sales

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Even Further North to Thrift: “The Coach Shopper, The Bucklers Frame & The Perlina Bag”

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I was up in the “far” North the other day and thought, you know, I should really see if there are any thrift stores in the area worth checking out.  Well, I tried to find one that didn’t appear to exist, and then headed out, expecting to pass the local Goodwill.  Which I did and eventually made it into the precarious parking lot.  The first thing I saw when I walked in was what looked like a Coach bag and sure enough, it was.  A #22904 Lime and Woven Shopper Tote in fantastic condition for $9.99.  Then, on the same rack, I found the black Perlina Brief Case for $4.99.  And further scouting uncovered the vintage Bucklers frame with teddy bears, a version I have never seen before, nor did I know they even made baby frames, $1.99.  Had I had more time, I could have uncovered more treasures. Maybe it’s worth a trip back. $17 spent, I could make $175.

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More Littlest Pet Shops

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I was lucky enough to stumble upon a fairly affordable listing for a grouping of Littlest Pet Shops as the early responder.  The lady was several miles away, but after researching what animals I could identify from the photos, the lot of 20 animals, some accessories and a little playset for $15 was worth the drive.  In fact, after I said I would pick them up the next day, she confirmed with me multiple times as she was receiving so many inquiries and had no idea they were so popular.

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So again, at $15 spent, I could make $300.

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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Bargain-Hunting

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Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “Vintage Kitty Surprise, North Face Jackets & Lululemon Skirt”

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Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

My list of sales was exhaustingly long to the point I just knew I was going to miss out, though I’d never know what I missed out on.  There was a neighborhood sale that hasn’t been that great in recent years, so I saved it for last and started at the complete opposite end of town.  At the second sale I picked up the two North Face jackets, the Lululemon skirt and the Fisher Price Airplane, all for $20.

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One of my best finds of the day was the vintage Hasbro Kitty Surprise with three kittens that I only had to pay a dollar for along with the toddler Disney Cinderella.

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Way up a hill I got the handful of Fisher Price Little People, the vintage Holly Hobbies and the vintage Hugga Bunch Taco Bell Clip-on dolls, all for $6.

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The porcelain cats I believe to be Lefton from the black numbers on their bases.  They were $1 for the two.

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That was pretty much it except for the doggie bags I can attach to my leash, the vintage German paper Easter eggs to add to my collection, the stack of German children’s books I may give to my niece, the 1944 Good Earth book whose version I can’t find online and the Lego Race game that is one type of Lego that doesn’t resale for a whole lot.

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All righty.  About $35 spent.  Potential $450 gain.

Find My Finds: Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ Ecrater ~ Poshmark ~ Threadflip

 

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Calphalon Pans: Nonstick Elite

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You know, you get a set of pans as a wedding gift and you think, that’s it, I’m set for life.  Especially when they’re stainless steel All-Clad, supposed to last forever, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.  Until the non-stick in your fry pans/skillets break down and you begin to worry about carcinogenic infestation possibilities.  Which is when you get to try some new Calphalon pans while on vacation.  And you’re amazed at how quickly everything cooks at lower temperatures, slides from the pan with ease, and clean-ups a breeze. Which is when you have to really consider: it is time for new pans?  Then you start thinking about the extensively long pan aisle at the Thrift Store and realize… yeah, I guess most people generally get rid of their pans more than once in a lifetime.  So you hunker down and try to decide where the best place to buy some new Calphalon Pans might be.  Williams Sonoma carries the Elite line which is the only one touted to work best with metal utensils.  Since I live for metal utensils (something about them, they’re thinner and to me just work better), the Elite line and not the Unison line was for me. Williams Sonoma is currently offering 20% their Calphalon pans and has some great deals online for sets.  My mistake was not realizing that I was going to need some larger pans rather than the smaller versions (though I did purchase an 8″ and 10″ for frying an egg, etc.).  Which is when, after purchasing one set and receiving a $10 coupon, I was able to get a 12″ Fry Pan for only $40.  Hopefully these deals are still available when you shop.  Isn’t it time for new pans?

 

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