The Experiment

I woke up the other day (yeah…another day on this beautiful, crazy planet!) to find that three of my vintage ashtrays had sold. Sweet! So I packaged them up and dropped off all my orders at the post office. Now this little post office is next door to a small Indie food store. The store has fabulous produce and interesting items but I don’t buy much here because it’s a bit pricy. Every now and then I buy bread and cheese and sometimes treat myself to their deli prepared food (I adore their fried chicken).

But I went in to buy that bread I love because I wanted to try a new recipe–Mushroom and Fontina Crostini.

I had bought the mushrooms and cheese the day before so I was set there. Though I also needed coffee and they carry a good variety. So I had my two items and went to check out. That’s when I noticed a $20 bill on the floor. I picked it up and looked around. “Anyone lose some money?” I asked. The guy in front of me in line had just pulled out his wallet to pay for his stuff and he ignored me. The guy next to me in the other lane shook his head and said “Looks like your lucky day!”

Well, I guess it was my lucky day! Then I had an idea. How about I spend this $20 at the flea market tomorrow and then track the sales and profit I make from items I bought with it? It would be fun to see what I could turn this free $20 into. Of course it would be a very long-tail experiment. Things sometime take months and years to sell! But not all thank goodness. I’ll keep you posted.

Vintage Perry Mason with attentive jury.

I’m hoping my luck extends into next week. Potentially I could have jury duty. I don’t mind serving, but I really, really, really do not want to end up on a trial in the southern end of the county over an hour away. Jeez Louise, that commute would drive me crazy. And the thing is my city has a courthouse just a mile from my house. A mile. If I have to serve I hope I end up here. When I lived in a previous county I served on three short trials. It is an interesting experience!

Saturday, flea market day, is one of my favorites and I was in a good mood. Everyone else was too! I had some amazing conversations with vendors.

I went out looking for quirky, unusual things and did pretty well in that regard–from a Peruvian burial doll to a candlestick made out of a WWII artillery shell.

I am happy with everything I got. Here’s a closeup.

This is a Peruvian Chancay rag doll made from mummy/burial cloth. She was so sad looking that she drew me in. Her arms are bits of twig. According to the seller, the cloth is very old, but the face is newer.

This is a fabulous old brass post office box door. Love this sort of thing even though it’s not uncommon. The older gent who sold me this was quite a character. Turns out for decades he was a working cowboy.

This old framed photo of a smiling gent surrounded by young women appealed to me. Though I’m hoping these are all his daughters and not his wives! (Paid $5)

This little collection of vintage kitchen gadgets came from one of my favorite vendors. She doesn’t bring much each month, but I always love stopping by her table to see what she has and her prices are always reasonable. I think the green-handled item is an egg white separator and the wheeled tool a pastry crimper. The round gizmo punches out tart dough. (Paid $4)

Listed for $24.

I’m not sure what to make of this metal Christmas reindeer candle holder. It has no marks of any kind but is certainly quirky. But is it worth anything? I don’t know. I’ve been looking online for similar pieces (including an image search) and so far have come up bupkiss! Anyone recognize this? (Paid $3)

This vintage freshwater seed/rice pearl necklace with a fish hook clasp is just a nice, classy thing. (Paid $5)

This woven Asian basket with brass handles and latch possibly once held a tea set. Nowadays they make super cute purses or even storage. This one is in great condition. (Paid $10.)

There is a vendor who sells mainly militaria with some items dating from the U.S. civil war in the 1860s! He knows his stuff and it’s priced accordingly. I have never bought from him before, but I spotted this small candle holder made from a WWII-era artillery shell and was smitten. I’ll likely keep this for a bit! (Paid $10)

The small piece is surprisingly heavy. And it has a 1945 penny on the front.

This is my best find today. A very old vegetable ivory acorn thimble and needle case set. Inside was a sterling silver thimble engraved and dated for January 1,1928. I’ll sell the thimble separate from the acorns. (Paid $5) I should be able to make $100 profit on these lovelies. Though they will be hard to part with.

My last purchase was a quirky book for myself titled “The Doyle Diary” published in 1978 by Paddington Press. Most of the book shows illustrated pages of a fictional diary. (Paid $2)

I could have bought more, but this was a fine little haul.

For purposes of the experiment, the $20 I found in the grocery store was used for the purchases of the Peruvian doll and the Asian basket purse. I will list them each this weekend and we’ll see what happens in the months to come!

Jury wise, I don’t have to report anywhere on Monday. So far, so good. And tonight I have a free concert for a Heart tribute band…so let’s bring on a little “Barracuda” and “Crazy on You.”

Happy hunting friends,



  1. The basket looks just like the one my grandmother brought back from her travels, and it did contain a tea set. The interior was fitted to hold it though, not empty space. The exterior is exactly the same. That’s an interesting deer candle holder. Could it be one of a kind, hand-made?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa. It’s funny but right after I bought the basket another vendor admired it and told me that it likely held a tea set and she told me about the cloth padding it would have held! I was so appreciative to get that info.

      The reindeer candle holder is still a mystery!

      Hugs, Karen


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s