Do Ladybug’s Bring Good Luck?

Now you may be wondering what this topic has to do with estate sales and vintage goods, however people who know me realize that I have a wanderlust sort of brain. Why am I talking about ladybugs and do they bring good luck?

My look-alike picka sista and I just attended an estate sale in Des Moines, WA run by  . . . drum roll please. Ladybug Estate Sales. As to the question of good luck and ladybugs. Indeed ladybugs are thought to bring good luck. I was sort of curious about this so I googled it. Wisegeek says: The most likely explanation for the general view that ladybugs are lucky is their dietary habits. Ladybugs eat harmful crop pests, so the appearance of ladybugs would have been welcomed by farmers and gardeners. This makes total sense to me and in fact we did have good luck at the Ladybug Estate Sale, though we didn’t see any flying polka dotted insects. We found a really cool Pachinko pin ball machine for a killer price. My picka sista is dang good at fixing just about anything. I still don’t get how she made the bells ring and the balls move because the wires were all in a jumble at the back of the heavy pinball machine. Anyway, I’d call that good luck :)Do Ladybugs Bring Good LuckSo Ladybugs Bring Good Luck?After Karen sorts the Pachinko out, it’s going to our store in Issaquah. Gilman Gallery Mall. (Opening in December 2014) UNLESS someone has a hankering for a pinball machine before then.

Friday Finds

I attended the MBA Auction in Renton, WA last night. I kinda love this auction. It’s pretty laid back and nobody ever wants what I want or it seems that way although there was that one giant reed basket I wanted but anyway I digress. There were a lot of toys at this auction. Nostalgia took over. Look. And then I have a thing about weapons. Any weapon. Not like an Ak-47  but the throw-back retro weapons. What girl wouldn’t want a sweet little jackknife? As luck would have it there was a knife collection for sale. Can you say #238 please :)

Mickey and CompanyFriday FindsFriday Finds

Are YOU A Hoarder?

My mom and I recently visited an estate of a hoarder. Craigslist advertised the sale as ‘HOARDERS ESTATE.’ For a picker this is a dream come true. I thought I knew about hoarders, I mean I’ve seen the television show: Hoarding: Buried Alive but nothing prepared me for this home.

This particular hoarder collected lots of odd ball things. Moving boxes of McDonald’s toys. Check. Retro board games piled 25 deep. Check. A bedroom full of M & M candy memorabilia. Three glass cases of Cowboy and Indian Johnny West dolls. Check. Maybe the items themselves aren’t so strange because some of this stuff is certainly collectible, it’s just that there were MOUNTAINS of stuff. AND the estate agents told me they carted away 4000 lbs of stuff BEFORE the sale. Whew! So are you a hoarder? Hmmm. I have my Barbie collection. One red case with Barbie, Midge and her friends and clothing. Every Barbie needs to be well-dressed :)

Vintage McDonalds toys. The Jetsons. An old TV fave.

Brief hoarder checklist:

Obsessive Compulsive

Hoarding is a disease connected to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Like obsessive compulsive sufferers, those that are deep in the grips of the disease are unable to break free from their compulsions.

The first part of a hoarding condition is the acquisition phase. A sufferer of the condition may suddenly have an overwhelming need to buy or possess certain items. He feels that he needs the item or will desperately need it at some point in the future. He may also feel a deep emotional connection to the item.



Once a hoarder has something in her possession, she is unlikely to ever let it go. The object takes on extreme levels of importance in the hoarder’s mind. The thought of throwing something away, selling it or giving it to someone else causes extreme discomfort and mental anguish.

Most hoarders have a difficult time making decisions regarding their possessions. This is related to the inability to throw things out. A hoarder who is unable to decide whether an item is useful will simply err on the side of keeping it. This inability to make decisions also reflects itself in the way that hoarders tend to amass piles of debris rather than having large, organized collections.

Read more :


It’s Back to School Time Gone Retro

Vintage School Record Keeper 60's

Vintage School Record Keeper 60’s

Vintage School Records book 1960s keepsake book K-12 Vintage School Records book 1960s keepsake book K-12
$22.00 USD

Vintage Monarch Paper Cutter.

Vintage Monarch Paper Cutter.

Vintage Monarch Paper Cutter by Milton Bradley Vintage Monarch Paper Cutter by Milton Bradley
$35.00 USD

Vintage Edwards School Wall Clock

Vintage Edwards School Wall Clock

Vintage Industrial Clock Schoolhouse Wall clock Vintage Industrial Clock Schoolhouse Wall clock
$125.00 USD

Vintage School Poster 'Letter P'

Vintage School Poster ‘Letter P’

Vintage Classroom Poster Elementry chart Vintage Classroom Poster Elementry chart
$39.00 USD

Vintage 'Twiggy' thermos

Vintage ‘Twiggy’ thermos

Vintage Childrens Thermos Twiggy Girls lunchbox thermos Vintage Childrens Thermos Twiggy Girls lunchbox thermos
$29.00 USD

Some of the linens I bought.

HATE IRONING? Try DOWNY for Wrinkled Linens

I just bought another lot of vintage embroidered tablecloths, napkins and pillowcases from my now dear friends, Arlene and Al. I just love driving down their grass driveway and coming upon the house tucked away below a grassy knoll. If the window is rolled down (and it is, its still hot here in eastern WA!) you can smell the peaches from the orchard of peach trees. It’s heaven on earth. But back to the linens. I bought some more. Once I get them pictured, I’ll upload but for now, check this out!

My partner, Karen hates to iron (strangely enough I like to iron but don’t have time) and we cannot display our pretty tablecloths and linens looking like an elephant sat on them. I’ve always laughed at Karen when she brings out her bottle of ‘de-wrinklizer’ but now I’m not laughing after I read this blog and saw the results.

Downy wrinkle remover for those on the go.

Downy wrinkle remover for those on the go.

The BEFORE picture . . .

The BEFORE picture . . .

HATE ironing?

The AFTER picture . . .

The AFTER picture . . .

I LOVE vintage embroidered linens

And guess what? I found THE women who used to sell beautifully pressed and cleaned vintage embroidered linens at the Manson Market in Manson Washington. Notice I wrote, ‘used to’. She retired due to health reasons for over two years leaving a big hole in the marketplace. Luckily my daughter and I came across some of her linens at a garage sale and I’d recognize those pressed cases anywhere. (I have a think for pressed cottons :) But anyway I met Arlene and her 92 year young, husband Al today on their farm.

I brought them homemade (not store-bought) no-bake cookies from La Tea Da in Chelan. Scarfed my cookie down as I drove in circles looking for the farm. Siri did not detect the many dead ends that I somehow found.

Entrance to the farm and land of embroidered pillowcases.

Entrance to the farm and land of embroidered pillowcases.

Arlene showed my to an outbuilding where husband Al had set up a large fan. Did I say it was 100+ degrees out? I incorrectly assumed I’d be digging through boxes on my own. Nope. Al set up two chairs while he and Arlene entertained me with a running commentary about small town happenings. I managed to actually do two things at the same time . .. it’s called multitasking and only women can do this. It’s true. I swear. I counted linens and listened to stories and wait did I hear Arlene say she has a peach tree?
‘Al go pick Shawn some peaches.’ Said Arlene.
OMG, Al is 92 and its over 100 degrees outside and I can pick my own peaches. Right?
Nope. Al took off on his tractor to fetch me some peaches.

Al fetches fresh peaches from the tree.

Al fetches fresh peaches from the tree.

I kind of feel like Al and I have a bond now. I mean he picked the peaches for me and all so I asked him if I could look in the barn. Just poke around. I thought I’d traipse over across the field by myself because like I said its hot and did I say its smokey? It is. We’ve had horrific fires in the area.

Look what I found in the barn! These skis are over 100 years old. I’m going to have a hard time selling these.

Antique mahogany skis and just a few of the linens. Peaches not for sale :)

Antique mahogany skis and just a few of the linens. Peaches not for sale :)

I have a return invite. Can’t wait to see my new friends again. The joy of picking is in meeting new friends.

BTW—the linens will be listed in our Etsy shop sooner than later.

Industrial-like lighting cages that work


Love these pics and article. Courtesy of design sponge—a great website with good decor ideas. I had three wire cages that I paired with red hooks and they were gone in a day. Image
Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 6.09.20 PM515fdc8552840204ace4d4a66f0f7f61



I have a love/hate relationship with cage lighting. When it’s done well, it’s beautiful and timeless, but when done poorly it can feel alternately too busy and too stark. A single cage light in a HUGE space can feel reminiscent of a construction sight, but when used in a simple row (like over a dining table or above a bar) they can be incredibly elegant. The key is to focus on high-quality materials and cages they have some visual interest. I prefer the thicker brass models to the super-colorful plastic models you can find in stores, but the thin cages painted white also have a nice simple feel. The bottom line is to stick to styles that have more substantial cage architecture and that are made of higher quality materials. Grouping too many together can feel busy, so stick to small numbers in a row or at staggered heights.

Images above, top to bottom: Mini-Pendant Light with Gold Cage Shade $320, Antique Brass Mini-Pendant Light $102, Gold Cage Pendant $79.95, Threshold Industrial Pendant $30, Room Essentials Industrial Pendant $18,
Atomic Topless Industrial Guard Pendant $125

Try Peek to review your website It’s free!!!

Check out this new (to me) tool I found for evaluating websites. Go here for a free 5-minute video evaluation of your website.  The evaluation is a real person talking through their navigation of your website or blog.

My video looks like this:

Peek a 5-minute video evaluation for your blog or website.

Peek a 5-minute video evaluation for your blog or website.

I submitted both my website and received a response almost immediately. I’m assuming the men who evaluated my websites were not my target customer but still they both did an admirable job. What I think of as ‘easy navigation’ on my website was not crystal clear to the evaluator. That response alone was useful.  I was so pleased that I emailed the company. Their response below:

You’re so very welcome! Thank you so much for writing in. Your appreciation for what we do makes our day. We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback, as well as helping to spread the word. =)


Subject: Follow up to your message

JUN 10, 2014  |  12:01PM PDT
Jennifer replied:

Hello Shawn,

Hope you’re having a great day. :-)

We’re following up to your message:

Just received reviews for both my etsy and wordpress site and I have to say I’m impressed. Both offered useful information. Thank you so much and I’ll most def spread the word!

You’re so very welcome! Thank you so much for writing in. Your appreciation for what we do makes our day. We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback, as well as helping to spread the word. =)

Again, thank you and have a wonderful day!


Customer Support
1-800-903-9493 | Twitter:

Vintage flapper dress gets new life

From rags to rich-looking dress!

From rags to rich-looking dress!

Who wouldn’t love this dress? As I wrote in the previous post this dress was in tatters. Maggie works miracles. Check out her site at Martin’s Original Dolls and click on her dress collection. She told me she is adding 100 more in the next few weeks!