Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Let's crack open that 40 year old bottle of good scotch you picked from that estate last spring!

Pour everyone a glass, and have a toast.....not too much, there are 30 followers to the blog, so ,make sure we all have a taste...and I am sure some of us are going out to see what antique shops are having new years days specials, and hitting flea markets, etc.,, we need to be coherent and alert to do some internet sales work done, auctions set up, etc......Sure we all still have lots of bills to pay!

*aruumppft-umm* (Clearing throat of 2010's attic dust)

 Here is to a  year of happy, successful, fun, safe, pickin' in 2011!

C'mon, slug it down!

*haackckkfff * WHEW * Good stuff! * I hope my throat doesn't have holes burnt in it... *

Ok, now the New Year's Day formalities are over with, back to business...

Well, lets make it Pickin' School, for you...

So, being the first day of school, I am just going to let you know sort of what you are in for.
I will be doing a few "How To" videos on YouTube, as well as a few others for entertainment. I'll show you a few tips, tricks, and methods for cleaning things, searching things out, do's and don'ts, stuff you might need when picking, etc.

I have picked (and still do) a variety of places, using a variety of methods, and styles, depending on the place,time, and others present.

 I scan thrift stores/junk shops/antique shops, attend antique/farm/weekly/surplus auctions, scan classifieds in the newspaper/online, buy directly out of old stores, clean "junk" out people's garages, attend yard/garage/estate/basement/porch/patio sales, pulled stuff out of dumpsters/trash cans/middens/ditches/garbage bags/trash trailers/outhouse holes/scrap piles/scrap yards/dump pits/demolished buildings/etc, bought items from online sellers' stores/auctions/ads/etc....and the list goes on.

Over 20 years in the business, and at least 10 years prior to that, being fascinated by the world of "junk".

Lots of experience. I've barely scratched the surface in revealing to you the things I know, have learned, and am still learning.  Odds are, there are things you know that I do not. Our paths in life teach us different things.

Keep that in mind. 

Oh, I said I'd only just let you know what you are in for, didn't I? Made it sound like there was no lesson plan for today.......and here I am already instructing....AH, ok, so I guess you will have to learn a little today....

And everyday for the rest of your natural life.

No, I am not kidding. You do learn everyday. If you think you haven't learned anything new, you either have been sitting on your butt with your eyes closed & ears plugged, sleeping, or, perhaps you are dead.

And, frankly, there are no zombies allowed in this class.....nothing personal, but you guys tend to be rotting corpses, and really stink up the place...makes it hard for other students to concentrate.....not to mention all the flies you attract.

Everyone can remove your the clothes pins from your noses...the place will air out in a few minutes...And just let them keep the vintage clothing on their backs, ok? Most of the stuff is in way too rough of condition, anyway, and, you'll never get that smell out.
You DO learn everyday. You need to take notice of this, and utilize it.  If you feel you haven't learned anything in a day, then TRY to learn something. Flip open a reference book. Get online and do a random search on something or some object you saw last month in a book, at a shop, or heard about. Read some history on someone, somewhere, someplace. 

You might be surprised how that little bit of knowledge turns out to be useful someday.  Out picking the countryside, and you are in some small town? Taking a lunch break? The bright orange vinyl on the booths is worn, torn, stitched, patched, and the wood grain arborite table top is worn to a plain beige in 4 spots...just tells you where to put your plate, that's all. Apparently they serve damn good food here. Yeah, the locals are giving you the once over, just ignore ''ll get used to it. Don't make a face, be polite, pleasant even, smile, nod...that is it. You may end up buying something from one of them today.

Hey, here is the bowl of stew you ordered. Smile and thank the waitress now...this isn't MacDonald's..and I believe her and her hubby own the place. Pretty sure I saw him in the kitchen. Plus, you might want to see if you can pick the basement here...the floor sounded a bit hollow when we walked in, and aside from the booths, the decor is decidedly authentic 1950s small town diner. Oh, and you can still see some of the marks on the old tile floor where the diner style counter was, and the stools were screwed down...maybe they are still in the back shed or basement.

Enjoying that home made stew? Pass it over here for a second, and meanwhile, look out the window of the cafe; at the buildings across the street. You found out that the building used to be a Masonic Hall. No, they had nothing left in it, it got hauled to the dump last year, but you have a chance to learn something that you won't get a chance to tomorrow.

 It is covered in that corrugated steel sheeting now, but examine the shape, form, some of the tell tale hints in its structure, window placement, etc, that identifies it as a former Masonic Hall.  The next one you pass in a town, that has been refaced/renovated you will suddenly see it as a Masonic Hall, and not a modern storefront, and prompt you to investigate further. But in that one, the basement and second floor are still FULL off great fraternal items...and the building owner is all too willing to sell you the stuff, and his prices are bargain basement...he's overjoyed to not have to clean the place out himself....he doesn't have to lift all that old heavy, chunky carved oak furniture. "Antiques? Pfffttt. OLD FRIGGIN' JUNK is what it is" he says (but uses a stronger F word.) He even seems to find it amusing you are paying him for it. Yeah, you could have gotten it for free, but you'd also likely have had to take out all that trash, too. We don't have that kind of time..would cost us 2 nights in a hotel, food, etc...and likely have to pay for a new change of clothes, too. I'm not keen on the overpriced polyester duds from the late 1990s the local clothing store had.

MMmm-mm...That was good stew...Here's your bowl need to wipe that gravy off your chin there, by the way.  Finish up your Coke, we need to hit the road....only so much daylight to work by. You get the check, ok? Oh, and don't forget the tip...say, 20% of the total, before tax.

Ok, now, hurry up...did you use the washroom? I won't want to have to stop 15 minutes down the road to let you out....

What? You are still hungry? Well, I think I have a half bag off chips in the van from a picking trip last week.   You can munch on them on the way to our next stop; I'll  continue the lesson after we get there.

Yeah, I know you forgot to ask about picking the basement of that cafe. Don't worry, I've been there, done that...found some cool stuff. We'll chat more later...and try to keep your crunching quiet....I wanna listen to this cool tune on the radio.  LET'S GET ON THE ROAD AND DO SOME MORE PICKIN'!

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