Monday, September 24, 2012

Negligence, laziness, forgetfulness.....

Well, yet again I have reneged on one of my many not-so-lofty goals I set for myself, to post daily, even just fluff if need be. Actually, fluff is good, it makes things soft and happy and fluffy! And I just love saying that word, fluff, fluff, fluff!!
I can only blame one person for such unfluffy-like behavior and that is me. I take full responsibility for being irresponsible in keeping-up with my blog. I have been good, though, with adding to my feedback fanpage which if you have done so already, please like me, I mean the page. I am fine, I do not need that much, I mean any, pats on my backs via the way of the LIKE button.

But do please like the page, I need more likes as I love (I am so full this morning) doing my Sally Field's Oscar acceptance speech impression - you like me, you really like me!
So what has happened since I last posted? Not much except we finally lit a fire under our tooshes and have begun to declutter the house so I can work much easier on my eBay and getting things ready for our booths in the Grey Barn Antiques in Andover, NJ.

I had said when I finally leave the Rat Race of NYC and Corporate America and became a mompreneur working from my sunny computer room that we would finally tackle the mountains of shi...stuff in the house.

It began when I finally convinced Don to find out about the refinancing of our little messy split-level as we pay a rather high interest rate compared to what they have dropped down to in recent time. In order to do this, we needed the house appraised yet again. In order to allow someone to come into hoarders central, we needed to dig in and work. And we did and though for us it was a vast improvement, it still was bad.

I decided we needed more incentive to push ourselves, what better way than to host a party? We have lived here since December 2001 and have never had any party here, not even a small dinner. Our son turned six this past week so we went for it with a BBQ this past Saturday. Fingers were crossed, many requests to the powers that be were sent to make sure there was no rain on Saturday so we could keep everyone outside BUT in the event of needing to bring this shing ding indoors, we tackled more of the clutter. And the hard work paid off.

To anyone seeing our house inside for the first time, you will see much work needs to be done, flooring replaced, walls painted etc BUT the miracle hidden within this sentence is 'seeing our house inside' as prior to all this work, we could not invite anyone in without complete shame and a list of excuses longer than Arnold gave Maria for his indiscretion(s).

I now can sit in our living room or the man cave and actually relax! It is as if a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. And we are set on keeping it nice and neat which is much easier now that I am home most of the time.

So, the moral of this story is don't call in the wrecking ball to demolish your house. With some motivation and fear of total embarrassment, you too can work on removing yourself from the casting call of Hoarders.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Granda Moses - more than an artist

I have always loved Grandma Moses artwork so I purchased an older book of some of her artwork a few months ago. All the book did was make me want to read more about this amazing woman. This book was a fast read as it contained many wonderful full-color images of her work but in between the pictures as a brief autobiography and some actual copies of a few pages from her actual biography that she had written as well as a wonderful sampling of her writing from when she was a youth. I am now off to find the 1952 My Life's History which promises to have even more details of her life.

The book I just read was Otto Kallir's Grandma Moses ISBN 0-8109-2053-0 - it is as cheap as a penny on Amazon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bakelite - what is it & how to test

This is an old post from back-in-the day when eBay had blogs. Glad I saved it, apparently I had a lot to say on it!


Developed between 1907-1909 by Dr. Baekeland, Bakelite become popular in the 1920’s to make everything imaginable! It was even considered during WWII to be used for the penny as the copper casings were needed for bullets but steel was used instead and then recycled shell casings.

Bakelite became very popular for kitchen items, radios, Fender guitars, jewelry, pocketbook handles,anything you would find in and even outside your household! Bakelite has become a highly sought after collectible and due to this, is getting harder to find but you still can find it if you know what you are looking for!

Bakelite can be found in a variety of forms and colors. The most common colors are butterscotch and pea green and tend to cost the least. You should be able to find plain bangles at reasonable prices but expect to pay more (or make more) on highly detailed and carved pieces of jewelry. Look for the swirled or “end of day pieces”. To avoid wasting the plastic, at the end of the day, if small batches remained, they were mixed together for a unique look.

Watch out for “fake” vintage Bakelite items! These are items are often marriages of several pieces of old stock Bakelite. Some have even gone so far as to carve plain bangles to resemble older pieces. Granted they are actual Bakelite but these are not original designs. One item that is very often used to create new Bakelite designs are Mah Jong tiles – a lot of crafters collect these and make stunning bracelets and necklaces from them. Also, unused cubes of Bakelite can be purchased and those that are savvy with jewelry making have been making new Bakelite pieces from Old Stock.

Then there is the actual “Fakelite”, a product made to pass the 409/Simichrome tests! If there are carvings, look for a chalky appearance in the carvings. It appears to be dust but does not come off when washed. The other test is the familiar clunking sound when two pieces of Bakelite are gently tapped against each other.

So you found an item that you think might be Bakelite but you don’t know 100% for sure. There are several ways to test Bakelite and only you can determine which way works best for you. Also, you need to check with a dealer before running these tests. Most will have such items handy to stand behind their product. On eBay, watch for many items which are listed as Bakelite under plastic with a ? mark, these items usually are not such, it is keyword spamming. Most Bakelite sellers on eBay will back-up the claim in their listing that the item tested positive.

Simichrome or 409: apply a small amount of either to a soft white cloth (tissue, cotton swab). Touch a small area of the piece (the inside of a bangle, back of a brooch) with the cloth/swab. If the piece is vintage Bakelite, the white area of the cloth/swab will become yellow. This may not work on some black pieces and lacquered items. (if it is not real Bakelite, Simichrome will take the paint right off an item so be careful.)

Some people like the sniff test – either place the item in hot water or rub with your thumb to get some heat. If it smells like camphor or tobacco, it is Bakelite.

Sight, feel and the clunking sound – find a reputable Bakelite dealer and let them educate you! Touch the items, examine them, become familiar with the plastics look and feel. This costs nothing, most dealers love to share their knowledge so don’t be shy.

Want to know more? Check out The Bakelite Jewelry Book by Corrine Davidov or the more recent Bakelite Bangle by Karima Parry.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Negligent in Posting!

BUT that is about to change as I am retiring from the Rat Race and Friday is my last day in my cubihell.

So what does that mean for me? Well, apparently according to some people who shall not be named, I shall become bored and miss my job.

Okay, seriously, this was not a fly-by-night decision, I would have loved to have left back in 2006 after Donnie was born but we couldn't do it then. Now, I can! So Donnie will have me home with him all the time thus strengthening the already strong Oedipal bond, you know, the one that has your son proposing to you daily? Or is this just Donnie who finds rings I have to be listed on eBay and brings them to me while he hums Mendelsohn's Wedding March?

And that brings us as well to this long neglected but not yet dead blog I created with the best of intentions to post about collectibles from the huge collection of magazines and books we have on almost every sort of collectible as well as to be promote, of course, my ebay store. Hey, a girl has to make a living! And it has never been more true now that I jumped off the hamster wheel.

Ah, I cannot believe, I will be a SAHM and my own boss in but a few short days. I can pack away the work clothes and live out of my dresser drawers, amazing how much lounge wear you can pack in a drawer! And it doesn't require ironing or the dreaded DRY CLEAN ONLY!

So, what are my future plans for this blog? They will be mixed, it will be as the name implies, me babbling which, all modesty aside, I do quite well :)

And it will be a marketing tool as well.

Now that I will be a hermit and never leave the house unless I absolutely have to, expect more least more than once every 8 months.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kentucky Derby and sweet memories

bungalowWhen I used to work at Vail's Grove Golf Course in the early to mid-90's, there was still an air of nostalgia in that clubhouse. It was a cool, old bungalow style house with this gorgeous stone fireplace built in the early 1900's. The owners were all in their 60's and up and so were a few many of the members, it was nice because the ages were so diversified with people from all walks of life. Those members and owners were like a family to me but when I visited there this past August, it was under new ownership, the building had undergone some remodeling and modernization and many of the members I knew were no longer there. I don't know why but I still always think time will stand still and keep our favorite people and places and memories intact. Even though I loved to see the couple who remained and that Karen was still working there, the special feeling I used to get when I would go there was gone.

One of the things we used to do was a pool for the Kentucky Derby. If there was a reason to bet, there would be a pool! I would be given the instructions on how much to collect, how the selections would be made (draw the name from a hat, no picking your own horse) and I would fill-up the sheet before noon. The members would slowly trickle in after 18 holes and the bottles would come out of their lockers as they set-up in the TV room to watch the race. It was always fun and I remember I even 'showed' one time, my $5 got me $15 :)

Tonight's anticipated auction launch at 10:00 p.m. EST includes a 1990 Alabama Stakes glass. That is what got me feeling all nostalgic about today's big race.

Also, something else in tonight's batch that got me yearning for my past is a Hull mirror brown drip glaze creamer and sugar set. I spent a few summers at my Aunt and Uncle's huge farm in Denton, MD in my teens and this was the set my Aunt had. I still remember helping innoculate all the latest kittens that were born in the barn and feeding a newborwn bull from a bottle. Sure, I could do without the hundred's of pigs all oinking like mad at 4 a.m. to be fed but overall, the farm for a few weeks in the summer is something every kid should experience.

And, as usual, a slew of some souvenir items, plates, ashtray, cups, etc. for others who also want to remember days gone by.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Who would have thought to collect feet!

Guess I was born after the porcelain foot souvenir craze! Apparently, it was the same molded foot with two holes on the back for hanging to literally climb the wall and then the state name was added under the catch-phrase - WE GOT A KICK OUT OF ... These particular feet were from Japan and will be up for auction starting Wednesday, May 4th for Florida and South Carolina. They would be cute in a beach house or a guest room, if I ever have a home that actually has a guest room, I plan on filling it with quirky finds and whimsy! Sure, some guests may call it clutter but I am sure many would appreciate the variety of items which might spark some interesting conversations.

I tried to find out exactly who Lenox (the old green wreath mark and an incised mark I can not make out) made the ashtray with match holder for, it has a large schooner type ship and reads The Commodore - a few yacht clubs came up, which would make sense. I then tried to date it but wow, can anyone agree when the green wreath USA mark was actually used? No concrete answer on that but I know it is an older piece.

Then, for the well-dressed man, some vintage Anson bling! Or even for a lady, I saw some gorgeous blouses that had cufflink sleeves and you needed cufflinks for them. I was chatting with a colleague about this and she said when she worked in the banking industry in the 1970's down by Wall Street, she had several of these blouses and cufflinks. I am so for this style to come back in vogue, no woman can have too many accessories!! So we have here a lovely pair of silvertoned with faux onyx cufflinks and a matching tie tack by Anson with their original box, wonderful condition!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Its been several weeks since I have done a few things, post on my blog and list a lot on eBay. Pneumonia got me again (had it back in 2003 as well) so I took it a bit easy. It even got me out of jury duty (which I really didn't want to be excused from). Since last Tuesday night, I have been making my daily listing goals and am happy to say we have some fun vintage and collectible finds hitting the eBay auctions every night @ 10 p.m. EST except Friday's.

Tuesday night, May 3rd, we will be getting these items set for launching. A single serve restaurant ware Hall tea pot. I love restaurants that bring me my own little tea pot and let me keep filling my own cup. And we have a Holt Howard Santa boot. We have a personal large collection of Santa face mugs, including the winking Holt Howard pitcher with cups. One day I hope to display our close to or maybe over a 100 by now Santa mugs. Also coming is a sweet sailor and young lady salt and pepper set, a sweet embossed apple creamer and a little souvenir jug from Flemington, N.J.