Sunday, June 18, 2017

Buddha's to Bonsai

Antique Buyers, Sellers, Pickers, and Collectors all have something in common. They love to find something unusual or different.

Whether cruising a Flea Market, waving at an Auction, or searching a Estate Sale residence. The unusual will catch their eye. Unrelated items are often "picked" at different times and different places. Those with the knack of putting their odd "finds" together are often rewarded with a totally different creation.

Here is a collection of several items. All unrelated when found.  All found at different times. Old Chinese Wooden Doors in the background, a yellow Decorative Metal Box, a Concrete Buddha, a odd pottery Dragon Bowl, and a concrete Asian Pagoda Garden Statue which we electrified with a light.

Using a diamond hole saw and water, a drain hole was bored through the bottom of the dragon. It became a pot.

A small Creeping Juniper was purchased to become a Bonsai Tree. Heavy copper wire was wrapped around the tree roots to form them and provide stability. The branches were trimmed to form the more traditional look of a Bonsai. This arrangement was set up in a section of a back yard garden area.

This combination of some rather plain and perhaps boring items, became a serenely peaceful meditation area.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Vintage Window French Decor


At the time of this writing old window panes are currently "hot" in the Antique/Flea Market trade.  At one time, you could pick up a single pane frame, for a dollar or two.  At times even snag them for free.  You are lucky to find them for under $10 now.  We normally pass on ones any higher.  But we have paid as high as $40.  We are talking wholesale pricing.

We still dig at sales and run into some in the lower price range though.  As with anything in this business, "Hot" can turn to "Cold" overnight.  We don't want stuck with something we overpaid on, or stock pile, to find they suddenly have no appeal to buyers.

On the retail side of things, old battered frames are commanding top dollar.  $75 is not unusual, and it seems the sky is the limit. depending on what you have.  Much depends on a buyers taste and motivation. 

It seems like the worse they look, the more people want them.  Social media is probably the influencing factor.  So many people are re-purposing and posting photos on Pinterest and the like.  It gives other people idea's to create something unique.

We bought a few the past week. We try to flip these and make a few dollars profit.  We also invest time and labor in some to increase their selling appeal.

The whole batch we picked up was filthy dirty.  It would have taken bottles of windex.  The dirt was so thick it would have become a muddy mess.  So we lined them up in the back yard and turned the power washer loose on them.  We were kind of cautious on some, thinking the glass might literally fall out.

On several the glazing compound was all but completely gone from the exterior side of the glass.  We powered off the coating of dirt and with it, half the paint, and putty, that was falling off.  One pane we had to re-glaze and set aside for that to cure.  Most had to have the wooden frames glued at the corner joints, then pin nailed to prevent them from falling apart.  So there is more labor and expense involved, than meets the eye.

We have several that will be held for projects to attempt to return a somewhat larger profit.  Others sold as is.  The more labor and expense you put into them, the higher the risk of getting no return on your investment.  That happens too.

This one shown was embellished with French signage artwork, and will soon be up for sale.  Check back to follow some other window projects.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

VINTAGE TRALER RALLY-Lake Havasu, AZ - November 2017


This is Vintage on a Big Boy/Gal level

Vintage Trailer Rally
Havasu Round Up
At the Rodeo Grounds
Sara Park
Lake Havasu City AZ 86496
November 2 to November 5, 2017

All vintage trailers welcome. Come join us at the fairgrounds.

Fee's for camping are $10.00 per night.

Meet and greet November 3rd at 6:00Pm in the large metal building just northwest of the arena area. Bring snacks to share, and your own beverages

Dogs are allowed but must be on leash at all times.

There are hiking trails around the immediate area. The City of Lake Havasu is just up the road. As is the lake.  Lots of weekend activities available in the area.  Tons of garage sales this time of year.  Lots of second hand shops and Antiques Shops.

The weather is normally hard to beat this time of year.

This is dry camping on a gravel parking area.  No tables or shade.  So bring your own.  The group has access to the main building to socialize out of any bad weather.  There are showers and toilets in a building next to the main metal building. You have to provide your own towels, soap, etc.

If you can't make the camp out be sure to come out for the day and check out the vintage trailers.  Gawkers most welcome. 

Contact: Cheri Aiken
(360) 595-2611 (Until Mid September)
(928) 505-2730 (After Mid September)
Email: jra@@cnw.com

Saturday, February 18, 2017

10,000 PAGE VIEWS - February 2017 - THANK YOU!

We wish to thank our associated vendors, sponsors, and those just browsing.  We hit our first milestone today.  We just scored our 10,000th page view.

We are always looking for new vendors.  We need your personally written Articles on Re-purposing and other Antique related subjects.  Photos of your finds.  Photos of your shop, photos of your booth, and photos of your unusual treasures.

Use our media for free advertising.  Send us clear photos and a short story or description to pique peoples interest.

We list you for free too.  All it costs you is the time to send us your info.  Get seen by people searching the internet for Antique Shops when they come into Las Vegas.  If you aren't advertising you stand little chance of being discovered by new people.

Email directly to:
info@toponautic.com

VINTAGE GLASS GARDEN FLOWERS

Winter is always too long no matter where you live.  February is certainly too early to plant flowers, or is it?  We have been looking through some of our vintage glass pieces to price, and put in the shop for sale.

We normally try to avoid selling anything with nicks or chips.  In fact some pieces are pulled off the shelf if they become chipped through customer handling.  We used to throw these away.

Applying some minor welding skills, and having the proper tools to drill glass, we turn trash pieces into beautiful additions to our garden.   Below is a 12 inch diameter glass flower.  They are beautiful and especially so when they catch the sunlight passing through them just right.

The stem is a piece of bent re-bar.  A 3/8 nut was welded on the end. 

The Stamen of the flower is 1/8 steel rod welded to a washer.  The rod was bent using a torch to heat the metal.  It was finished off with a coat of gold glitter paint.

The glass dish was drilled using a diamond bit in a drill press, with adequate cooling water, as well as lots of patience. 

A bolt threaded through everything and tightened into the welded nut completes the project. 

All that is left is "planting" it in the proper garden spot to catch the sunlight

Monday, January 9, 2017

ARTISAN BEER BREAD IN YOUR CAST IRON FINDS

Here is a great way to put your antique cast iron finds to good use.  Have you picked up a 8 inch Dutch Oven?  They are perfect for baking bread.
Mix the day before baking
Recipe and Images: Rick Beach

3 Cups    Flour
¼ Cup     Ground Flax Seed
1 ½ tsp   Salt
¼ tsp      Instant Yeast (bread machine yeast)
12 oz      Beer (Beer varieties change the flavor – Experiment)

·       * Add salt, yeast, and Ground Flax Seed to the Flour.
·        *Add beer to the dry ingredients.
·        *Stir together and completely mixed into a rough ball.
·        *Cover with plastic wrap 8-18 hours on the counter
·        *Sometime after 8 hrs, turn proofed dough out on floured board
·        *Pat dough flat.  Fold over on itself 4 or 5 times (no kneading required)
*Oil a bowl.  Place dough in oiled bowl.  Cover and reproof 1 2/3-3 hours to raise
·        *Preheat oven to 425°F and an empty Dutch Oven for 30 minutes.
·        *Dump the proofed dough into the hot Dutch Oven that has just been well greased.
·        *Bake in covered Dutch Oven 25-30 minutes with the lid on, 3 minutes longer with lid off.  
    Or bake with lid off for a hard crustier bread.
·         I use a 8 inch Dutch Oven with the lid off the entire time.   Mine is too low to use the lid.  If you have a deep 8 inch diameter perhaps the lid would work.

·        Shake it out and cool on rack.  For soft crust (As shown in photos) rub all surfaces with butter as soon as the loaf is shaken out of the cast iron.