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Welcome to "The Country Schoolmarm"! Get yourself a cup of coffee (I take mine strong with vanilla creamer), grab a seat, and chat a while! Isn't that what country friends do? Now, all we need is a porch...

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Thrill of the Hunt...

Redware pie plate- I forget where I got it, but it was around $10.
      Shhhh.  Be verwy, verwy quiet.  I'm hunting bargains!  I don't know about y'all, but I can't afford to buy really nice antiques in really nice antique stores.  Being a primitives decorator, I don't know that I want the good stuff.  Give me your tired, your nicked, your discolored pieces. yearning for a home. Even the primitive pieces can be expensive!  You can go into primitive stores, and even the reproductions cost a pretty penny!  So, you want the look, but you can't spend a lot, so what is a gal or guy to do?  Go to thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales!
Quail- $3 at thrift shop.  Yellowware- eBay.  A lady sold me a lot of them which worked out to $4 each! Transferware plates- I look for them to be under $3.00.  One a lady gave me one for free!
It is the thrill of the hunt.  It is fun to poke around eBay and antique stores.  I see things I like, but then I see the price tag.  Ugh. However, when you fix items that you would like to collect in your mind, it is easier to spot them when you come across them at yard sales, thrift stores, and other holes-in-the-walls.  I find when I poke around eBay and antique stores, I look carefully at the information and pricing on the tag.  That way, if I spot a gem somewhere, I have an idea if I "struck gold" or not! 

The other thing about poking around the "cheap" places is that you can find stuff within the prices you can afford and make it into something that fits your decor.  You can repaint it, scuff it, sand it, create a "make-do", whatever!!!  That is the fun of Primitive Decorating.  We put the fun into "scratch and dent"!  
Scale- $10 at Flea Market- SOOO Prim!
So, to encourage you in your hunt, most of the things I am showing you I got around $10, give or take a few dollars.  Some I got from eBay, many from thrift stores, or antique flea markets (I like to visit the sellers who are packing up and getting ready to leave.  They may give you a bargain just so they don't have to load it up.  That is how I got a hog scraper for $2.50!).
TV shows have helped me also in identifying objects, determining worth, and learning bargaining techniques.  My husband and I always watch "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS.  We love to compete against each other to see who can get the closest to the appraised value of the item.  This summer, we were loving the episodes that were from the '90's.  They would show the appraisal from the past, and then they would show you what it would be worth today- did its value go up, stay the same, or go down?  Those were the episode that were the most fun in which to compete against my husband.  We learned a lot about current trends, what items retain value, and what items continue to appreciate.
Goodwill- Pair of punched tin sconces for $4.00.  They are big!
Another show I love, which many find controversial, is "American Pickers".  I love the camaraderie between Mike and Frank.  What I have learned from them is to not be afraid to haggle with the price (I do it politely.) and to try to "bundle" items for a better deal.  This summer, I was brave and tried both techniques, and it worked! Also, politeness and humbleness go a long way.  My husband says I am like Frank- he's the "bearded charmer". Except, I don't have a beard or a receding hairline. 
Something that made me bolder in haggling is when one weekend, my husband and I went to our favorite Antiques Flea Market, Shupp's Grove.  We scraped up $5 each from our wallets and change.  We didn't want to spend any other money because we were trying to be money conscious (THAT weekend.  Ugh.).  It was surprising how I was willing to talk to the person about price because I had a small budget.  I walked away with a iron match safe and a ironstone cup from around 1900.  The cup was $1 and then 50% off.  It has a beautiful brownish crazing to it!

So, get out there!  Educate yourself, dig, haggle, bundle, get the chipped stuff- whatever!  But, find those BARGAINS!!!

Antique Store Clearance Room- Talked the owner down to $12.  It is huge!
Barn Sale- $7
This picture, which I have seen sell for close to $100- $5 at a garage sale!  I have seen it in Country Sampler!

Antique store- $5- Hand-wrought iron
Goodwill- $1 (Seems similar to the other one!

Goodwill- Seems old and is hand-wrought iron.  Has corrosion from use- $3!
The large courting candle- $5 on eBay!
Heavy, iron, ornate candle holder- $3 at Goodwill
Williamsburg Pottery Salt-glazed candle stick holders-Goodwill $3 each- I gave one to my mom!
Old flashcard- $3 each at an antique store.  Framed with scrapbooking paper ($.10 each) and Dollar Store frames. I have 5 of them in my kitchen. "Warm", "Milk", and "Cow".

Coffee Talk for Today:  
  • What is the best bargain you ever found and where did you find it?  
  • What techniques do you use to get the best price?


  1. Hello from across the pond!

    Wow! and Wow! again! I'm mighty impressed with all those fab bargains AND your skilful haggling to bag so many gems!
    And 'Phew!' I was relieved when you said you didn't have a beard!! Ha ha! You're too funny!

    I'm just catching up on your previous posts and I really was blessed when considering God's 'dew drops of mercy'. We do become forgetful of the so-called little gifts so familiar to us.

    To go back to novels and such, I'd recommend 'The Professor' and 'Villette' by Charlotte Bronte and 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' by Anne Bronte.
    As you might have guessed I love all things Amish and I love that genre too for a light read.

    What historical novels have you enjoyed most?
    And BTW thanks for wishing Hubby and I a happy anniversary!
    Good to hear from you too!

  2. I so love hunting for things! It is so exciting when you find a gem or just something really grungy that no one wants! It is fun to just look. I do need to "thin the herd" a bit. If I add, then I need to get rid of stuff. That is what I have been using eBay for. :) We'll see how that goes! Do you have places to hunt where you live?

    I will write those novels down! It is hard to come up with books to read that are similar to Gaskell and Austen. With the Brontes, I don't know where to start. Thank you so much for your recommendations from someone who has read them! I do like other classic authors such as L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott (They aren't that classic compared to the others, I know).

    I really like Historical Fiction, Christian ones, usually with a little romance and adventure. With some of these, I have been reading more contemporary authors- Delia Parr (I loved her Candlewood Trilogy), I read a few of Abbey Gaines work, and I really enjoy Lawanna Blackwell. There was a trilogy set during WWII that I can't remember the author. Oh, and I like the Postcards from Pullman series by Judith Miller. She even puts recipes at the end. These are all Christian authors and easy reads.

    You crack me up!I am glad you are relieved about my lack of facial hair! :)

    I live among the Amish and Mennonites, so they are part of everyday life for me. But I understand the love for their simple lives! They have a tremendous work ethic. Funny, I have always wanted to visit your part of the pond!

    Here's an Amish story for you (I have lots). Once, when I was younger and subbing, before I was married, there was an Amish funeral. I pulled out of the driveway and, NO LIE, there were 30 or more buggies in a line! One or two buggies are hard enough to pass. I just cried. Oh, here's another one. This one cracks me up. I once saw a buggy pass another buggy. Oh, I have lots of stories to share. Do you read Janet Oake? What other authors do you read in the Amish Genre? Austen and such are more complex and deep. I do like an easy read now and then.

    I am glad that you enjoyed the "Dewdrops of Mercy". It was long, and I thank you for taking the time to read it. I am glad you didn't find my bagels and latte silly. Sharing it with my students, God really used it for them to look at the little things more closely. Thank you for your thoughts!

    So tell me about your teaching! What got you started with prim decorating? Questions, questions...

    As always, it is nice to chat with my friend across the pond! God bless!


  3. Hello Heather....Ha! I tracked you down!! After you left such a sweet comment on my post about the antique toy tops, I was going to respond, but yours was a "no reply" comment. So glad you enjoyed the "history lesson." I think the tops became so multi-cultural due to the fact that they really mimic nature....If you think about it, an acorn is really the purest form of a top. Probably, one day, someone just figured out "hey, it spins" and it went from there. As far as recommendations for collecting, just do what you love. I think the kind of tops I collect are the easiest to find (most common), and I like their small size ("space" is always at a premium here), but even those vary widely in price. I'm somewhat of a purest - I like wooden ones with metal tips, and the older the better. Others prefer advertising ones (e.g., that little blue one in my first photo is a Dutch potato chip advertising piece), etc. If you have additional questions, let me know - I'd be happy to try and answer.

    Looks like you have some fun collections going yourself! I do love the "thrill of the hunt" myself. Unfortunately, I'm running out of space and need to be able to talk myself into "parting with some things" before acquiring more. Also, the garage sales and thrift stores in this are are really slim pickings - unless you're into kids clothing and old Avon junk. ;o) Happy Tuesday! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  4. Thank you for taking the time to track me down and share!!!! It is nice to meet you!

    I like the ones that are your favorite too. I like the idea of displaying them in a bowl. I just love wood, and the patinas and rich colors on yours are beautiful!

    I hear you about the space. I bought this cute sampler that says "Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have." I tried to put this as something to spur me on in being more "controlled". My husband just laughed at me when I hung it up. I am trying the eBay thing to get rid of stuff.

    I loved the history of the tops that you added. I love history and learning about the origins and original usage of things. Our Goodwill stores are hit or miss. One time it is bargain city,and then next time- not so much. But what a thrill when you find something!!!!Thank you for taking the time to write and to also check out my blog!!! Blessings, Heather (P.S.- How do you I make it so you can comment on your own blog back to me? I am new at this blogging thing!)

  5. Hi again ~ Re the reply thing - there's a couple of ways of doing it. Obviously, if you set your blog up as you have it, with the "reply" feature, you can reply on your own blog to a comment that was left. However, the person leaving the original comment will not see it unless they return to that post and look for your reply comment or unless they choose the option to "subscribe by email." However, if you "subscribe by email," you end up getting every comment left by everyone and every reply on that post emailed to you. Sometimes that's good, but if you have someone who gets tons of comments, it's not always a good thing.

    My preference is to use the reply comment feature in the blogger profile. By doing this, if I leave a comment on someone's post (like yours), you can respond by simply replying to my email comment. In order to be able to allow someone to respond to you, though, you have to NOT be a "no-reply commenter." To change this, go to your Dashboard. In the upper right hand corner you should see your blog name, with a little drop down arrow. Click on that to bring up a slightly larger box that says "Blogger profile." Click on that. On the next screen, it will list the blogs you follow, etc. (or whatever you have chosen to share.....) Over on the upper right, there will be a small box that says "edit profile." Click on that. Under the "privacy" settings, make sure you check "Show my email address." Then enter your email address there, and click save. I know when I first started blogging, I thought this meant that my email address would be displayed on my blog for the whole world to see. It does not. It simply means that if you comment on someone's blog, THEY will be able to see your email and be able to reply to you. If that, too, makes you nervous, you can always set up a separate "special" account just for your blog stuff.

    Hope that helps - and if you have questions or problems, just give a yodel..... ;o) Robin

  6. PS - you might also want to consider taking off your word verification. Definitely YOUR choice (some people have problems getting tons of Spam without it - luckily, I haven't.....) - but it's sometimes a pain for those of us with failing eyesight. ;o) If you choose to remove it, and need help with that, let me know.....Robin

  7. Hello there,
    I wandered on over from The Rusty Thimble. Did you know that the candle holder that 'twists up' is a courting candle? The father would set it when a young courter came to get his daughter. If he didn't like the boy he would have it down towards the bottom, and if he liked him, would twist it up toward the top. The point was that the daughter had to be home by the time the flame came down to the metal. A rather primitive concept in itself:)
    Many Smiles,

  8. JoeyLea- Hi!!!!! I knew it was a courting candle, but the story behind it I didn't know. What a hoot! It is primitive. You couldn't stray far if you were watching a candle. That would have been good for me. I have ADD. I wouldn't have paid a lick of attention to my date because I would be so focused on the candle! Oh, man, I can just picture what a suitor might have to be to earn the bottom of the candle... LOL! Thank you for sharing that! The one with the funny top- its little handle to do the twisting is corroded from wax, I guess. Someone must have had a lot of dates... Poor dad...


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