August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day

National Thrift Shop Day: a day to promote the ethical and economic opportunities of shopping at thrift stores. Why should collectors care? Because among the common secondhand goods, lie the uncommon treasures.

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Your Cash Is No Good Antiquing In Louisiana

This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.

I shared this link on Facebook, but I thought it was interesting enough to note here as well… Louisiana Bans Using Cash In Sales Of Second-hand Goods:

In a new law that could put every trading post, Goodwill, flea market, garage sale and Craigslist merchant in the state of Louisiana out of business, a bipartisan group of elected representatives has opted to ban all cash payments for the buying and selling of used goods.

Though House Bill 195 was intended to make it easier to track the sales of stolen goods by giving police a paper trail to follow, the unintended consequences could be much more widespread. Namely, the law requires second-hand sales be made paid for with credit cards, paper checks, electronic transfer or money orders. Cash is prohibited.

It was signed into law on July 1, but flew so far under the radar that practically nobody in the media noticed until this week, when Louisiana’s KLFY Eyewitness News 10 put a spotlight on the new rules and their likely impacts on local business.

The law also requires second-hand sellers to obtain personal information about each buyer — information like names, addresses, driver’s license number and even, if applicable, their license plate number — and turn it over to state officials.

The prohibition on cash sales is confusing on its face, and appears to contradict the very text on each Federal Reserve note in circulation. “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private,” U.S. dollars plainly state.

In a published opinion piece, attorney Thad D. Ackel, Jr. suggested that lawmakers have decided to sacrifice “individual privacy, economic, civil liberty and freedom” in the name of law and order.

My concerns are that this idea will travel to other states and be used to further sales tax collections, reporting, etc. as well. Thoughts, anyone?

Image Credits: Wikipedia.

Making A Tidbit Or Serving Tray Right Round Again

Two things that are always plentiful at thrift shoppes…

Partial tidbit trays or plate holders / servers…

And unwanted vinyl records. (And by “unwanted” I mean they are either badly scratched or recordings so common, they are only destined for recycling or worse.)

So why not put them together and make a retro-styled display piece?

I wouldn’t use them for serving food. And unless you firmly attach the records to the frame, there’s the danger of the records, and whatever light objects are placed upon them, sliding off. As I just played at the thrift store (yes, they looked at me oddly) I haven’t experimented with how to attach the pieces… But a glue gun would likely do the trick!

At the very least, this piece can one again hold stacked plates and other items at the buffet table — allowing your guests to talk about how clever and resourceful you are.

ANTIQUIPS GETS A REPLY TO OUR BLOG

ANTIQUIPS GETS A REPLY TO OUR BLOG

Our last article mentioned our frustration trying to find good antique shops while on the Carolinas’ coastal area. We drove down to Charleston, SC from North Carolina for sightseeing with our traveling companions with no time left that day for antique shopping. Our first break came in finding the Cottage Antiques in North Myrtle Beach and with the owner Malinda’s directions to other shops, we filled our day with antique shopping and suitcases with collectibles and antiques.

In a response to our article, Clyde from Charleston wrote to explain our great loss by not antiquing in his area. His website is dedicated to the wonderful experience of exploring the shops nearby. We wrote to ask for an interview and here is our correspondence.

Clyde’s inspiration for developing a website dedicated to Charleston’s antique shops was simply a lifelong passion for antiques, his knowledge of shops in the area and the great people involved in the antique business. He decided to become his own web designer, and learn the tricks of design from the bottom up. Clyde is at that point where he has designed for others as well. He also writes for Examiner.com on the topic of antique shopping in Charleston. All the the time and energy needed to publish his website on Charleston’s shops, is his own. From the time it takes to visit each place and photograph the antiques, to rewriting with the latest info, Clyde does it all.

Pick: “When did you start collecting?”

Clyde: “When I was 12, My great aunt took me antiques shopping.”

Grin: “ What’s your major collection?”

Clyde: “I collect mostly furniture. I like old book cases that I can restore and sell.”

Pick: “Where do you find your items?”

Clyde: “ Antique shops, newspaper ads, yard sales, thrift stores, antique shows and garbage piles.”

Grin: Well that sure runs the gambit. Can we come along to your next visit to our favorite, the garbage pile?”

Pick: “Leave me out.”

Grin: “Are there items you wish you had bought, but passed up?

Clyde: “That is a long list. The odd thing about antique shows, if you do not buy it, you can’t go back to get it. It’s just gone.”

Pick: And if you do buy it, odds are you’ll see a cheaper, better example next week.

Grin: Any words of wisdom for our readers?

Clyde: “You often have to have the time and resources to do the research to be sure the item is what you believe it to be.”

Pick: Thanks Clyde for visiting with us. And readers if you have suggestions on great shoppes in your area for antiques, crafts or collectibles, add a reply so others can share your good fortune in hunting while traveling on the road.

Whao, Nellie, Antique Horse Drawn Vehicle Bars

These two old wooden pieces with metal hardware, which I believe were used to hook horses or mules up to wagons, carts or some such, were found at a local thrift shop.

Finds like this here in Fargo continue to surprise this former city girl from Milwaukee. At farm auctions it’s de rigueur to find such rustic things (where they are quickly snatched-up), but finding them at thrift shops still surprises me. I’m more used to finding them displayed on walls.

Nostalgia Calling: Cute Vintage Pay Phone Bank

There’s lots to love about this vintage pay phone ceramic bank I spotted at a local thrift store.

To add money to the piggy bank, you drop the coins in the slot at the top — just like you did with those pay phones. This particular bank was missing the presumably rubber stopper sealing the hole in the bottom for coin retrieval, signaling that someone had spent their pennies earned.

This vintage ceramic bank is a real conversation piece. First, in terms of true style of old telephones. There’s a rotary dial to really confuse kids — other people’s kids; ours have been educated in the ways of earlier technology. Heck, with the popularity of cell phones some kids don’t even know what a “pay phone” is.

But what I love most about it is the coin return detail and the memories it brrrr-rings. Had that been how one actually retrieved their coins from the bank, I probably would have bought it because I have fond memories of checking the coin returns of public pay phones.

My sister and I would race to see who could check the coin return first — or, if there was a bank of pay phones, who could get the most money. My sister was far more determined (greedy?) than I, and she often pocketed the most winnings.

She did win the all-time best story about pay phones too. One time, she stuck her greedy fingers into a coin return and came out with some partially eaten and/or melted candy. (We dared not dwell on all the possibilities too long.)

That moment in “Eeeiiww” nostalgia now makes me wish I had bought this vintage bank. I could have set it out in my home; it’s mere existence a prompt to tell that story over and over again… Or maybe even mailed it to her, eagerly awaiting her phone call to discuss pay phones and other gross childhood memories.

If this bank is still at the thrift shop on my next visit, I think I’ll have to get it.

PS I wasn’t sure which room in the house to categorize this under… As a kid, my bank was always in my bedroom — but then, when you’re a kid everything goes in your bedroom. I suppose this piggy bank probably more suited mom, who likely kept it in the kitchen or wherever the telephone was. Maybe she even used it to threaten charging her teenage daughters for each phone call they had. Hey, moms had to get that “rainy day” money from somewhere.

Vintage Gay Fad Florals

A pretty pair of vintage glassware spotted at the thrift store. I believe the sweet pink flowers with unusual black leaves and stems was hand-painted onto clear glass creamer and handled sugar bowl at Fran Taylor’s Gay Fad Studios (located first in Detroit, Michigan, later in Lancaster, Ohio). Neither glass piece was marked, so I don’t know where the glass ‘blanks’ were from.

Had I deeper pockets, I would have bought them and really started a Gay Fad collection. (I have three pieces now; I do love the floral pieces and fruit designs — but there’s a lot to choose from!) Or maybe a pink and black glassware collection. (I have a few random single glasses with pink and black designs.) But you need to be more in the black to really start new collections, even at thrift store prices. *sigh*

Of Rusty Tools & Auction Fools

One of the things I find most interesting about collecting as a hobby in general is the vast differences in object availability and appeal by geographical area.

Having moved from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area to Fargo, North Dakota, you might not think (as I did) that there’d be so many differences. But there’s roughly a 100 year age difference as well as cultural differences — and the evidence of this is found in every rummage sale, antique shop, estate sale, flea market, and thrift store.

On Saturday, I found the sort of thing one typically does not find at thrift stores in Milwaukee: a rather large display of what I ignorantly yet affectionately call “rusty junk” at a Fargo city thrift shop.

Hubby, being both male and a former farm kid, can identify this sort of stuff. Not me.

But I am drawn to the sense of mystery of each piece and the artistic appeal of tools Vs. natural consequences (wear from use, nature, etc.). And I know from years of collecting just how popular such pieces are.

At farm auctions here, I’m never really sure if the (mostly) male bidders who gather around the old rusty tools and parts are buying solely for the sake of collecting (either for their own collections or as dealers who serve as middlemen to collectors or interior designers of T.G.I . Friday’s), if they intend to use the tools and parts to repair other collectibles, or if they simply want to use these old rusty tools “because they don’t make ’em like that anymore…” But I do know people want these old used and rusty tools.

And I know how they found their way to the thrift shop to — or at least I have a pretty good guess.

One old farmer moved to the city, and when he passed away (may he rest in peace), these things either didn’t sell at the estate sale or, because it’s too cold here to have a garage sale, were directly taken in for donation at the thrift shop. Because if these things had been available at a farm auction, they would have sold. And it’s rarely ever too cold for a farm auction here in Faro, North Dakota.

I know, because I’ve been to plenty of them. Even if I can’t identify half the things being sold in front of me.

Can You Catch The Vintage Gingerbread Man Cookie Jar?

Since I already have a topless vintage cookie jar (I use it to hold my vintage rolling pins and store it, along with other vintage kitchen collectibles, above my kitchen cupboards), I couldn’t justify purchasing this cookie jar without a lid when I spotted it Saturday at a thrift store — no matter how the bold blue or the charming old gingerbread cookie man beckoned…

I sure had second thoughts when I saw that the back of this vintage pottery cookie jar had Mrs. Gingerbread Cookie.

But if I bought it, I’d need more old rolling pins or something to put in it… Where would it end?! (I did briefly pick it up, just to look for maker marks; there weren’t any.)

If this cookie jar interests you, contact me and I’ll see if I can catch him — even if he is The Gingerbread Man.

Jessie Lee Had Great Penmanship, But…

The inscription on the first page of this vintage children’s book reads, “This Little Golden Book Belongs To: Jessie Lee.”

Only this vintage copy of Peter Rabbit Proves a Friend, like its friend, a copy of Young Flash The Deer (which, incidentally, does not have a similar inscription by the previous owner) is by Platt & Munk Co.

Poor Platt & Munk, still competing with Little Golden Books for recognition after all these years.