Tag Archives: garage sale

Crazy Cool Stuff

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funky purple earrings

Funky Purple Earrings

You would be styling in these Funky Purple earrings! Heads would turn (eyes would roll, whispers would abound) and you would be the talk of the party (and maybe the butt of some jokes)! This is just one of the groovy items I got while out doing garage sales.

random brooches and pins

Random Brooches and Pins

Check out the brooches and pins that were in a stash I bought. I love the little bird pin. The gold thin one is also super awesome.

anime watch

Anime Watch

This watch WILL BE a pendent. I love the watch band. The wheels are turning now. I will have to incorporate this band into something. It’s too cool not to have a second chance.

random earrings

Random Earrings

Earrings were not just a source of beauty in the past, they were also a source of pain! I have to admit, I can’t EVER imagine wearing a pair of those earrings. They are all clip-ons and heavy. OUCH! I find they make better necklace clasps or pendents than earrings. The silver cuff bracelet is perfect as-is. I’m just going to wear it. The other bracelets with be disassembled. They will all be recycled and re-purposed and live again as something totally rockin! The past is full of Crazy, Cool, Stuff, someone just has to take the time to find it and appreciate it.

random bracelets

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Some of My Favorite Things

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collage

From an Old House-Joseph Cornell

I love to make jewelry but it wasn’t my first love. I studied drawing and painting as an undergraduate. I attended grad school believing I would continue that path. In graduate school a huge part of the curriculum are Critique Classes in which artists of all genres are mixed together. We “show” our pieces several times during the semester and are showered with compliments or beaten to pulp with criticism. (I was the beneficiary of the latter.) It was in these classes that I discovered my affinity for tactile items and a fascination with 3 dimensional objects. I was very fortunate to find two professors who encouraged me to move in that direction.

I miss my studio. Most of my jewelry making is on the floor of my living room. Jewelry is wonderful because it doesn’t take a lot of space and you can easily put it all away when you are finished. Jewelry does give me the satisfaction of creating. I am thankful for that.

sculpture

Monogram – Robert Rauschenburg


Flag painting

Three Flags-Jasper Johnes

In the mean time, I collect objects that inspire me or remind me of long past memories. I paint on little pieces of wood and I gather wooden containers. Cigar boxes, ornate cabinets, wine boxes, anything that can hold other objects of my affection. I haven’t figured out how to make it all work together, but I know I will.
Joseph Cornell’s work had a profound influence on me as well as the work of Robert Rauschenburg and Jasper Johns. I will never forget the day I went to Houston to “just see art” and realized that there was a Robert Rauschenburg Retrospective going on at galleries all over the city. It was a religious experience! Seeing all of the work I loved and adored up close, I felt like I could smell the paint.

I will never forget that all consuming sense of being an artist and what I would be driven to do for the rest of my life .
Here are some of my favorite things.

frames, paintings

Frames, Cabinet and small paintings.

boxes

Boxes and things I’ve collected to use.

Copper Is The New Black

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Copper is my new black. Everything I’ve created recently involves using copper chain, wire, and findings. Usually I’m inspired by a theme or an object. Hearts, birds, watches and buttons have been a few of the items that have driven me to create. I can honestly say that a metal has never been at the center of my creative forces. This is part of growing and evolving as an artist.

leather rose necklace

Leather Rose Necklace

The rose necklace was a labor of love. I found the leather rose at a garage sale. It was stuck all by itself on a matching leather braided cord. It looked so sad and I knew I could give it new life. I struggled creating the pendent. I used leather cord to attach the rose to the wooden bead. The next hurdle was creating the leather bail and using the copper wire to hold it in place. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I have various types of copper chain but ultimately, the simple look of the beaded copper chain won. I think it places all the focus on the best part of the necklace, the leather rose.

The cluster ring came about because I wanted to use copper wire to make a ring. My “go tos” are usually silver and brass. I used neutral colored wooden beads (another first for me – I like high contrast). I love the sense of calm and balance the ring has and I also love that only two materials were used to make it, wood and copper.

wood and copper ring

Wood and Copper Ring

chandelier style earring

Chandelier Style Earring

The green beaded earrings were the first project I created with the copper earring wires. I had one copper chandelier earring that I was given at a garage sale because there was no match…I love it when that happens but that’s another blog…I simply cut the chandelier and freed the beautiful vintage green beads and attached them to the earring wire. I adore the simple look and the contrast of the copper with the emerald green beads.
vintage green beaded earrings

Vintage Green Beaded Earrings

celtic cross earrings

Celtic Cross Earrings

The Celtic cross earrings were a little more thought out. I found the Celtic metal charms at Bead It! and knew they would make a great pair. I continued to hunt for something else with copper and I found the awesome black beads with copper on them. At the time I didn’t plan to put the two together. I completed the earrings, the beads were on the table right next to me and I decided to add them.

I’ll be posting the pieces on etsy soon. If you have interest in any them or want more details, please send me a comment. Who knew copper could be so inspiring?

I think therefore I garage sale

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I haven’t been as regular on my blogs, but I have been a garage sale regular. I’ve acquired a lot of chain, some funky charms, some vintage pins and a seriously unusual girl pendent as well as a ray gun.

The Ray Gun

When I’m out and about hunting for strange and unique things, I have two modes of thinking. The first is looking for practical items such as chain, clasps, basic jewelry findings, and beads. I also buy all the cheap jewelry boxes I can find. I decorate or customize them and use them to store my completed pieces. I also plan to use them to display my jewelry when I make the leap to do shows. I find a lot of boxes from the 50’s and 60’s and they always have room for rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. The latest purchase has a musical box component that still works!

The other mode is looking for things that catch my eye and I fall in love with. I don’t always have an idea of how I will use the item. The rule is that if an object entices me to pick it up and ponder it, I buy it. I will spend more money on these finds, but I will also ask what’s the best price the seller can do. Remember to let them throw out the first price. Most of the time they give you a better deal than you would offer. The truth is, I’m probably the only person who has picked it up because it’s just that out of the ordinary and no one else has a use for it. People love their stuff and want it to go to a good home. If you show interest and inquire about a price, they will negotiate with you.

Love Me Do Bracelet

If possible, talk to the person holding the sale or running the table if it’s a flea market. You will be surprised at how much knowledge you can obtain by sharing what you plan to do with the stuff you buy from them. Sometimes it’s just fun to get a little history on the items you’ve purchased. My experience; people offer to help me get started selling my jewelry, give me advice on what I need to set-up a booth and even offer to give me things I could use for my jewelry. You are now a friend, who loves the same things they do and they want to help you succeed.

On a side note, I wore one of the necklaces I made while g-selling for the first time. I lost count on how many people wanted to see it close-up, asked where I sell my stuff and wanted a business card. HELLO! This little action, created an entire now marketing strategy and endeared me to the people I was purchasing from. It was exciting, inspiring and motivating. Why didn’t I do this before now?

Love It or Leave It Bracelet

All this positive energy invigorated me to create a couple of bracelets. I also wanted to share my girl pendent. I still don’t know what I will do with her but there’s no denying she’s special. BTW, the seller wanted $5 for her and I got her for $3. You have to buy the things you love, and you will find a purpose for it, but there’s nothing wrong with getting them at a discount 🙂

Strange Girl Pendent

How Daylight Savings Time knocked me off the wagon.

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Daylight Savings Time...or Death by Daylight?

WOW!!! It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. I wish I could say I’ve been busy making jewelry to sale, but I haven’t. I have started several pieces but I have had a serious bout of bad time management. Is it just me, or does everyone try to get more done when there is more light at the end of the day? It’s the same 24 hours but somehow, I’ve managed to add more things to get done just because it doesn’t get dark until 7:30 – 8:00 pm. Arrggg. I’m going to fix it this week. I will rule the Daylight Savings Time demon.

A few positive things have occurred in the past 10+ days despite my DST demon. I created a beautiful charm bracelet for my daughter’s friend Mazzy. Isabelle picked all of the pearls and the crystals and I put it together. I enjoyed collaborating with her.

Mazzy's Bracelet. Her favorite color is green.

I admit that because she is only 9, I don’t give her the credit she deserves for having a great eye for color and design. This experience has made me determined to work with her more and trust her judgement. This is what leads to great artists, someone taking the time to take notice of your abilities and encourage you.

Garage sale finds have also been on the up and up. At one sale I bought a bag of buttons and a bag of beads.

bag of buttons purchased for $1

I wasn’t sure about the beads until I saw the chicken, then I knew I had to have it.

random bag of glass beads

At one sale, I got a great bundle deal for $4. I’ve actually worn one of the necklaces and received several compliments. I wish I would have made it, but I love it none the less. My four dollars bought 4 necklaces, 1 pair of earrings, 2 bracelets, one a copper cuff, a silver decorative key, and a little wooden box with brass sides. I think she was still sleepy when she made the deal. A couple more sales and I acquired two small tackle boxes. They have the see-through top that divides all the little lures, one was 50 cents and I paid a whole dollar for another. Those things are great for storage and much more expensive in a craft store. Did I mention that I really love that chicken!

The infamous chicken charm

Other big news, big to me anyway. I ordered chain, brass, antiqued copper and gun metal from chaingallery.com. They are an awesome wholesaler of chain and I got some great deals. The chain prices are basically half of what you would pay retail. The more you order, the cheaper it gets. I hate to cheat on my beloved bead stores but, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’m super excited to get it and start creating. As much as I love my g-sales, finding good quality chain is probably the hardest thing to do. Many times people will realize they have sterling. They price it accordingly which is more expensive than I can purchase it from a store. Brass and copper are really hard to come by and they are my favorite to use in my designs. I have found a few nice brass and copper chains at sales, but it’s just not enough. I had to find another outlet for quality chain and that’s one of the things I accomplished.

I guess these 10+ days haven’t been wasted; they just unfolded in ways that I didn’t expect or plan. I’m sure this is a good lesson, but I need a little more order and planning in my life. So now I’m officially back on the creating jewelry and blogging wagon. I find myself armed with my new g-sale finds, chain, and the knowledge of my daughter’s creative abilities.

I will slay that DST demon and grasp just a bit more control over the daylight filled hours. DST lasts until November 4th so the sooner I get a hold of it the more time I will have, or something like that…..

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

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In my garage sale and estate sale adventures, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge. I garage sale/estate sale to get about 80% -90% of the items I use in my jewelry making, painting, sculpture and crafting. I would like to share some of my finds and the lessons I’ve learned.

There is an art to getting good stuff at a good price…Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

This past weekend, I bought approximately, 30 tubes of acrylic paint, including some of the larger tubes for $5.00. The seller wanted 25 cents per tube. I took the time to count them all, let him know the total and asked for a bulk discount. I got 33% off and a nice rubbermate container to take them away. Someone’s craft gone bad turned into my painting booty. SCORE!

Acrylic Paints

Lesson: Buy in bulk or bundle. The more you buy, the less the seller has to carry back into their house. When buying 5 or more items, always ask for a price break. On more than one occasion, after I paid for my purchase, the seller would remember another 1 or 2 items that went with what I was buying, find it for me, and give it to me.

A couple of weekends ago, I came across a honeyhole of jewelry. Unfortunately, the seller had lost his Mother and he was selling off all of the items the family did not want. I gathered several sterling charms, chains and complete necklaces along with some quality costume jewelry pieces. I asked him how much for everything and just when I was about to say a price, he said $3. OKAY!!! I was going to offer $5 and go up a bit if I had to.

Broken copper necklace

Broken copper necklace


Lesson: Let the seller offer the first price. You can always negotiate to get the price lower or accept the offer. By speaking first, you put a price in the seller’s head and worse, let them know how much it’s worth to you.

At a flea market, I picked up several necklaces and asked the seller how much? She quoted me anywhere from $5 – $10. I passed on them because all I really wanted was the chain. I kept searching and I came across a gorgeous brass linked chain, no pendent or findings. When I inquired about it, the seller said $1. That was the one piece I bought. I found a beautiful cooper chain with and ugly purse charm at another booth. The chain was broke. I asked the seller how much and when he noticed it was broke, he offered to give it to me. I gave him a quarter for the piece. I was just happy to get it. SMILE!

Brass chain

Lesson: Look for quality items that are broke and or missing a piece. Sellers will always make a deal on them or even give them to you. They feel a little guilty about broken items or items missing parts and this is your advantage. I ALWAYS buy single earrings. Most of the time, they will give it to me because there’s no match. If happens to be sterling or gold, I get it for fifty cents or less.

Sterling single earrings

I bought a perfect, unused wine bottle opener for ten cents last weekend. It was a garage/estate sale and the family members who were running the sale, had everything priced to go. Various candles and glass vases were 5 or 10 cents each.

Lesson: Carry change with you including dimes and nickles. People use the garage sale stickers and those packages includes 5 and 10 cent stickers. If you only have quarters, you are asking the seller to break a quarter or keep the change. The bad is that you buy additional items to use the entire quarter. It’s also good go carry ones and fives so that you can give exact change. It’s just bad karma to give someone a ten to pay when you bargained them down to seven. Twenties suck because you take all of the sellers change, making later sales harder when they have no ones or fives. Again, it’s a karma thing. DO NOT give someone a twenty when your purchase is less than $5.

Rule of Thumb: When you walk up to a sale in which clothing is on hangers and hung from sleeveless to long sleeves, every item including pencil erasers have tags on them, and items are organized on tables according to type and kind…BEWARE. This will be the sale with the highest prices (99% of time). You are buying their beloved items that they have decided to part with and are allowing you to have. There is a surcharge for them being so anal and taking the time to sort and price each perfectly intact individual item. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a deal, but it won’t be easy, proceed with caution.

Estate Sales: Put yourself on their mailing list so you know when they are happening. You also get to preview the items before the sale opens to the public. Keep a mental note of the items you are interested in when you do the walk-thru and only buy the ones you think are super duper special. Go the last day of the sale when everything is 50% – 75% off. That’s the deal day.

Chained, new earrings with brass, garnet and crystals

I wish you much luck and lots of fun when you go out and find your treasures. It doesn’t hurt to have a shopping list so you don’t get distracted by all of the deals you could make. When the sales aren’t all that great, don’t force it and buy something you may regret. Go to your local art supply, jewelry supply or craft store and check out what’s on sale. Window shop and gain inspiration to fuel your next g-sale outing!

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon!