Saturday, May 27, 2017

Aftermath: Ripley on Sale

So, how was it?

It was grand! We had such a good time seeing friends and catching up with some we hadn't seen in forever as well as those we get to see more often. And we sold stuff. Lots of stuff! Our goals were to clear out some older merchandise, get rid of some "why-did-I-buy-this" stuff, and to have fun. We met all of those goals and then some.

The weather was iffy. Rain and storms were predicted for the entire weekend. I bought a canopy when I saw the long-range forecast and Thursday Larry and I practiced putting it up--good thing. I can imagine the stress if we'd tried it for the first time onsite as we tried to get everything unloaded and set up.

My friend Suzy shared the space with me, and I can't give her enough thanks for all her help. All three of us were kept hopping, and her being there also allowed us all to be able to roam around and shop from time to time.

I worked late the night before the sale, getting this chalk-painted table and chairs ready to go. We ended up bringing it home with us, but it got plenty of attention. A little boy loved the folding fan in the jug, so he got it for half price, a whole 50 cents! I sold several things like that to children, or just gave it to them, because I want to encourage another generation of vintage lovers.

Larry and Suzy hard to work!

Black on black. I had a half dozen or more woven seat chairs, all painted in bright colors. They all sold! The Mail Pouch mirror got lots of lookers but no sale.

This mirror sold to a young lady in college. Mirrors are a popular item, I've found. The quilt came back home, which didn't break my heart. I often use this one here!

The bike sold at the very end of the sale as storms threatened; the wheelbarrows and ladders came home, as did that fruit crusher thingie. It was awesome to have there, just for all the conversations about it!  The high-wheel cultivator sold earlier in the morning.

I painted this tray white and tried to sell it for a year or more with no luck. So I painted it aqua and sanded it back to reveal several layers of color, and it sold quickly.

The little tables were also last-minute projects and they sold today, The chair also sold as did the white compote.

The primitive looking items were great attention-getters, which was my plan--display them in view of the street where people could see them and maybe come on in to have a closer look.

I bought some marked-down geraniums and plunked them into coffee cans for display and color. And see the little table and set of balancing scales behind the chair? I bought them early Friday from another vendor, and sold them for more than double my money before the end of the day. I hadn't intended to sell them here but oh well!

Larry re-did these wheelbarrows and they look great, but both came home with us. They go to our booths.

Smalls attracted lots of attention, especially this table of 50-cent items. At the end of the sale all these cheaper items went either to Goodwill or to a lady who does glass art. I did NOT want to bring them home with me. We sold a lot of them though so that was good, and people loved getting a bargain.

Larry makes these ladders which sell pretty well on our booths. We sold one of them at this sale. The other will go to a booth.

It's interesting to watch people at such events. There are the "experts" who want to tell you all about your stuff and are looking for big bargains. Then there are those who say "I have no room in my house for anything else!" and yet here, they are, still shopping. There are the ones who pick up pieces and say, "I played with these as a child/I remember these coming in washing powder?I drank out of these when I was a youngster." There are the men looking for tools and loving the $1.00 bin of rusty stuff, the young girls decorating their homes or planning their wedding, the children who are looking for toys. (I had several things to give away to the latter, because I remember how it was to see things and not be able to have them.) Then there are the ones who loved the painted furniture and who take photos of it so they can do the same. I'm fine with that--sharing is what I am all about.

Amongst all of the above, there were plenty of buyers. It was a lot of work, but definitely worthwhile, and we'll do it again next year. Right now, I just want to put my feet up and celebrate the good time we had at Ripley On Sale!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Ripley On Sale

For the past several days (since we got home from family reunion) we've been preparing for the big annual sale on the courthouse lawn in Ripley, WV. I've been painting like a fiend, and Larry's been getting tools and such ready too. We worked until late last night, finishing up painting and other details. Today was the start of the sale, so we were up at 5:00am this morning to get into town and set up. To say I'm tired tonight is an understatement!

But we had a blast. We shared our space with my friend Suzy and we were like bees buzzing around until 8:00am when the sale officially began. I can't say sales were tremendous but they were steady and we met so many great people, and saw so many old friends and isn't that what it is really all about?

Here's a few pics of our booth.

Lots of lookers at the end tables and chairs, but no buyers...yet. The compote sold to a family planning a wedding.

Lots of lookers at this table and chairs set too, so maybe they'll sell tomorrow. This was done with Annie Sloan chalk paint and General Finishes milk paint.

Larry's stuff also drew lots of lookers--we had a great spot near the main drag so that was pretty cool.

I painted lots of "smalls" for this sale--mirrors and frames and porch chairs, as I call them--woven seat chairs that are questionable for seating but great for display or flowerpots.I sold the balancing scales and the small table behind the chair, as well as the swan planter holder on the ground to the right. The scales and the table were bought earlier in the day; I sold them for more than double what I bought them for! Location, location, location.

Refurbished wheelbarrows and blue quart jars drew lots of lookers but no buyers today.

Ditto with the boke, garden plow, and ladders. But maybe tomorrow!

A table of 50-cent items had lots of sales. This was stuff I just wanted rid of, and I hope to sell more of it tomorrow. If it doesn't sell, one of the local charity thrifts will benefit because I don't want to drag it home.

More pics tomorrow--these were taken with my phone but I should have better ones on my camera.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Turtle Tales for Turtle Day

Today is World Turtle Day! Who even knew there was such a day? It reminds me, though, of all the turtle tales, legends and superstitions I have heard over the years.

For example, we all know that turtles are the symbol often used for longevity, patience, and wisdom. There is also a belief in many indigenous cultures that a turtle is carrying the world on its back, as in this story from the Huron legends.  In another story, the continents were formed when turtle's shell was cracked.

The story of tortoise and hare is a well-known Aesop fable but turtle stars in many stories, usually in a starring role. In one Caribbean tale, turtle wants to fly, and persuades some geese to carry him on a stick which two geese carry in their beaks. Turtle grabs hold with his mouth, and is soon flying high with the geese. He is so proud that he shouts, "Look at me!" to his friends below--and of course the moment he opens his mouth, he falls back to the ground, cracking his shell. Which, they say, is how the turtle's shell was cracked.

In an Anansi story, Anansi invites turtle to dinner but turtle must clean his feet before eating. Of course, every time the turtle washes them in the river, his feet are dirty by the time he returns to Anansi's house, and Anansi ate all the food. Turtle returned the invitation, and Anansi decide to go to turtle's for dinner one day. But turtles home was under the water, and since Anansi was very light he could not get to turtle's house, and the smell of the delicious food only added to his distress.

Folklore and superstition does not overlook the turtle. Carrying a turtle bone is supposed to bring good luck, and some people say the thirteen sections of a turtle's shell are symbolic of the 13 lunar months. Turtles were believed to offer protection against evil, so keeping one around the house was a good idea.

Not all peoples viewed turtles kindly, however. Early Christians saw them as symbols of bad luck during war. Some believed their shells were the shelter for evil spirits, others that the shell harbored the souls of dead sinners. A few other beliefs: "The Thais believe that if you free a turtle, you will find relief from sadness and upset, while the Vietnamese believe that if you see a turtle crossing the street, your plans will be delayed. The Chinese believe patting the shell of a turtle or tortoise will bring you luck and in parts of Angola, it is believed that putting a tortoise shell underneath your door will help you warn off a rival." (from the website Reptile Expert)

One of my favorite turtle stories is from Margaret Read MacDonald's book, The Storyteller's Start-Up Book. I bought this book when I first began telling stories, and Turtle of Koka was the first story I learned from it. This Caribbean tale tells of a turtle that is captured and taken to a village to be cooked for dinner. The turtle manages to trick the people into believing their weapons and methods cannot kill him, and then fools them one last time and escapes safely, waving goodbye as he swims away. The story is perfect for audience participation, and offers opportunities for singing, call-and-response and creativity. It also teaches gentle lessons of courage in the face of adversity, and thinking instead of crying about bad luck. Of course, each listener takes from the story what speaks to them, and that is the very best a folktale has to offer.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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