Tuesday, June 30, 2015


                                "Change always comes bearing gifts."  Price Pritchitt

I've been going back and forth over the years in being undecided about whether I should begin another blog.  Hob Nobbers, the blog,  was started to keep our Hob Nobber friends informed about our next occasional sale. I also shared photos of items we purchased so they could see in advance what we would offer for sale. "Hob Nobbers" is what we ( Karen, Renee, and I ) call ourselves. We "hob nob" all over the country looking for vintage  treasures for you.

Because there was so much time between sales ( we have one over Memorial Day weekend and one over Labor Day weekend ), I started sharing other things I was interested in. Like personal development, simplifying, organizing, etc. So I've kind of been all over the place with this blog and feel rather disjointed at times. Yeah, I like "order". In the past I  started a couple of other blogs but discontinued them because it seemed like a lot of work trying to keep up with more than one blog. But again I've come full circle and have decided to start another blog. I'm banking on Price's quote above that says "change comes bearing gifts".

Hob Nobbers will remain about vintage and antique "finds", decorating with these treasures, and keeping everyone informed about our next event. Since I am also starting an Etsy store selling vintage treasures, Gwen and Alma's, I will keep a page designated to that shop.

Another page that will remain is "Plummer House". The Plummer House is an historic 1917 mansion that we live in and act as Resident Directors. Since we are helping to restore the home to its former 1917 grandeur, it fits in to the Hob Nobber antique and vintage themes.

There. I feel better already! I'll share more about my new blog in future posts when it's up and running! I hope you'll keep following along here to get your "antique and vintage fix". And also to see what great "finds" are coming to our next sales event!

There is one exception here: Since I have started a four week online "workshop" about Simplifying Your Life, I will finish that series on this blog. It will be posted on Fridays. I hope you'll follow along with this series. Ironically, it might seem that beginning another blog is not simplifying my life! Hah! More about that later!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well being that places harmony in one's life.         Peace Pilgrim

 Would you like to simplify your life? That's kind of a "buzzword" these days where we all seem to be searching for less complex lives.

Webster's dictionary defines "simplify" this way...to diminish in complexity, to reduce to basic essentials. The basic essentials to me are found in spending time with people I love and spending time in activities  that I value.

I've listed 7 ways to begin the process of simplifying your life. Because it is a process. This will continue to be a journey ( persistent simplification ) of clarifying, editing, and being intentional. Clarifying what you value, editing out what is not important, and being intentional with your relationships, activities, time, and money.

This post will begin a four week online workshop ( Every Friday ) of learning how to simplify your life. Summer may not seem like the time to do this but it will help prepare you ahead of time so when Fall begins you will be ready to begin life anew with a simplified and calmer life. Sound good? Then let's get started!

This week just read through the beginning steps to consider when simplifying your life. In the following weeks I will explain more in depth what to do in the different areas, giving out specific assignments.


1) List what is important to you and what you value. (  What relationships and activities? )

2) Describe in one page what a simplified lifestyle would look like to you. Consider your home ( do you need to downsize?); vehicles ( do you really need more than one?); do you need to declutter your home?; are you too busy with your time?; etc.  After describing your new "Simplified Life", does it bring a sense of relief in thinking about living your new simple version of life?


 3) Begin editing ( decluttering ) your "stuff ".  ( clothing, items in your home, maybe even downsizing your home, etc. )

4) Consider how you might discontinue those activities that are not on your list in #1.


5) Be intentional with new purchases, activities, etc., making sure they fit it with your new "Simplified Lifestyle".

6) Be intentional about organizing and planning. Having a place for everything helps organize your spaces. Planning the events and activities in your life helps organize your time. Both organizing and planning help simplify your life. 

7) Make a list of simple pleasures in which to engage.

If you are interested in following this workshop, I would love to know. Please leave a comment and send me an e-mail. I would love to know how it is working for you and what you have discovered. We can all work on this together!

See you next week!

The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed...it is a process of elimination.      Elbert Hubbard



Wednesday, June 17, 2015


                  Never get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life. Author Unknown

 If you read my post here on the top 20 vintage sellers on Etsy, you'll find that most of the top vintage sellers have some things in common. Most of the items that are selling are smaller items like jewelry, ephemera, and bits and bobs. Of course that is not all, but it surprised me to learn that while larger  decor items are big sellers in Occasional sales that I've been to, I didn't find one Etsy store in the top 20 whose main inventory was these items! Hmmmm.

The top seller list was based on number of items sold, not amount of money made. Since smaller items would cost less, that may be why they sell more of these items. Also the shipping costs may figure into that in that it costs more to ship a larger item than a smaller one so people might prefer to purchase these items in person. Of course, if they listed the top 20 shops that make the most money, maybe the list would include sellers of larger items. I'd like to see that list!

I also think that staging larger items in vignettes makes a big difference. So why not take photos of vignettes with your items for sale to enhance their look online? I think it is Country Living magazine that shows photos of decorated rooms and then breaks it down into individual pieces, listing where you can purchase them. I wonder if something like that could be done in my Etsy shop?

I've only done a little research into this but will continue to do more. So far it appears that:

1) Smaller items sell more often in Etsy shops than larger items

2) Jewelry and Ephemera are popular sellers

Since I'm just setting up my Etsy shop I'm going to keep this in mind. I'll still list larger items and see how they do, however. I also have found that  there is something for everybody and eventually even the larger pieces will sell, though maybe not quite as quickly.

So what are your top Etsy sellers? Have you found something that sells as soon as you list it so you hunt for more of the same? Have you done any research of your own? What have you found?

Monday, June 15, 2015


The power of finding beauty in the humblest things, makes home happy and life lovely.   Louisa May Alcott

 I've found the above statement to be so true as I look for creative ways to repurpose "humble" items like vintage ladders. I've gathered 10 creative ways to decorate with ladders that I found on Pinterest. Find one that makes you smile and then re-create it in your home. 

                              Enjoy books? Stack them in the corner on a ladder. I love this look!
                              Have a garden? Add potted plants in old galvanized containers.
                                       A bedside "table" with plenty of room for collectibles.
                                              On the porch for different Holiday decorating.
                               How about adding some baskets for added storage in your bath?


                                           Adding flowers to a painted ladder makes a lovely vignette.
                                         Use ladders in decorating for outdoor entertaining!
                                      Love this little ladder with a pretty bouquet of flowers!
                                       How clever is this for hanging jackets in a mudroom?
                                       And another outdoor decor vignette. The old shoes are so cute!


Inspired? Try one ( or more ) of these ideas for yourself! If you're local, I happen to have two big vintage ladders that I'm willing to sell right now...before our next sale! One is similar to the one just above and the other is painted a bright fun green! Leave a comment if you're interested!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.    Corita Kent



I'm setting up my Etsy shop, Gwen and Alma's, due to open in July. I thought I'd check out what other Etsy shops are offering and I came upon this list of top Etsy sellers in the Vintage category. It listed the top 100 but I decided to just list the top 20 here. The list was categorized by number of sales.

If you are a seller on Etsy it might interest you to know that the top shops sell a lot of jewelry and ephemera. That really surprised me! But good to know! Retro items were another biggie. I might have to change my "picking" strategy. I usually look for things that I like and jewelry, ephemera, and Retro are not on my list.  But, hey, I'm about giving people what they want so I'll be looking out for all of the above. I could probably check out my OWN closet for clothes from the 60's!

If you are an "Etsy Shopper" I'd love to know what other treasures you might be looking for. I love to shop on Etsy and I am often given Etsy gift certificates as gifts. I love them! I sit and shop while sipping a cup of coffee and then order what I want. When it shows up in the mail, it feels like Christmas! Actually the shopping itself fe
els like a gift of sorts! So I get two gifts in one.

So check out these shops by just clicking on the link. And come July, be sure to check out Gwen and Alma's! Let me know what you think! I would love the feedback! Now I gotta go out and find me some vintage jewelry!

1) inkpainter.etsy.com
2) ohmymilky.etsy.com
3) RogueRetro.etsy.com
4) VintagePennyLane.etsy.com
5) CoolVintage.etsy.com
6) grandmothersattic.etsy.com
7) estatesaletreasures.etsy.com
8) dirtybirdiesvintage.etsy.com
9) FOUNDLINGS.etsy.com
10) dawnandross.etsy.com
11) therpjasik.etsy.com
12) mintthreads.etsy.com
13) NKempantiques.etsy.com
14) cricketcapers.etsy.com
15) vintagewarehouse.etsy.com
16) DearGoldenVintage.etsy.com
17) bananastrudel.etsy.com
18) KnitsandPics.etsy.com
19) vintagefabulous.etsy.com
20) vintagealcove.etsy.com

These stats were taken from the site CraftCount.com on June 13th 2015.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


A few of my larger items didn't sell at the last sale. And while I sold a ton of stuff, I always know that not EVERYTHING sells. So I'm listing some things on Craigslist, Rochester, Mn under "Antiques". I am also going to show you a few of the items here. If you are local or within driving distance and would like to purchase something, you can leave a comment and I'll let you know how to contact me directly.
In addition, I'll be listing some new items in my new Etsy store, Gwen and Alma's, opening in July. I'll leave more information on how to find it on a later post. For now, here are the bigger items that are for sale! 

First of all, my favorite....This vintage rocking horse. More for decor than for a child's toy, this would be fun for horse lovers or in your vintage farmhouse. $275

Next, is this beautiful Jenny Lind Daybed...if the seat cushions are not your color, you can easily throw a coverlet over the cushions for a different look. $250

Another cute set is this very old rustic table and chair set. I set it up as a desk. I didn't paint it as the border has sweet little flowers.  ONLY $35 for the set.

 Next is this adorable antique sewing organizer. The little hinged shelf on the left sets up to set things on. It is wood around the edge with embroidered cloth. I could probably figure out how to mail this if someone outside the area is interested. It sells for $60.

This is a National Cash Register. I have hesitated to sell this because we had so much fun with it at our sale. We kept our cash in it and every time we hit a key, it "dinged", the number popped up, and the drawer opened. It is in great condition. We are selling this for $400.

Next up is this vintage red and white step ladder. It folds up to be used as a stool as well. I'm selling this for $32.

And last but not least is this fun pottery cooler, selling for $50.

If you are interested in any of these, I will send you more detailed photos and information about the piece.
Smaller pieces will be listed in my Etsy shop, Gwen and Alma's, opening soon...

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.  Henry David Thoreau

Previously I posted about how you can create multiple streams of income with vintage treasures (here).  Today I will share an example of how you can break it down into specific income streams.

Below are listed examples of four income streams. The amounts listed are just examples ( not our own ) of how you might break down the streams of income for a year's time. Though I have listed four income streams, you might have more or less. You might also choose different streams of income than I list here. Check my last post ( here ) to see a bigger list of possible income streams.

1) Two occasional sales a year...$6,000
2) Having a space in an Antique Sale/Flea-market...$2,000
3) Etsy Store....$2,400
4) Four ebooks a year....$1,600
Total Income Goals....$12,000/year

 I started out selling vintage and antique treasures in one sale a year with two friends. That grew into  bi-annual occasional sales. We started out filling one room and as it grew we added more rooms of treasures. We don't include other vendors. It is the three of us and our families. We hold it in the 49 room mansion we live in and work as Resident Directors so we are blessed to have that beautiful space to use. ( See the Plummer House page for information on this house) Currently we fill seven rooms full of treasures.  This is my first income stream.

Last year my husband and I started renting space at a large local Antique/Flea Market. The other Hob Nobbers didn't choose to participate so this was a personal endeavor of just my husband and I. We plan on continuing this to add to our income stream.

This summer I plan to open an Etsy store. I sold a few vintage treasures on eBay over the past year to see if I would enjoy the online sales and it was fun. So now I'm ready to commit to an online store which I will call, Gwen and Alma's, after my two grandmothers.

In addition to the sales of vintage and antique items, I am working on ebooks to sell in the future. The first ebook is almost finished and will be FREE for a few months in the beginning. It will be about how to make an income through your own occasional sales. Since I have found this to be the most lucrative way to sell vintage treasures I wanted to share our experience.

It is important to begin making an income in just one area. Once you have grown that into a successful business, you can begin the next stream of income. Sometimes this will just work out automatically, one stream leading into the next. I would love to hear your experiences and what income streams you might be interested in.

If you love collecting vintage and antique items, you will find that it will be fun and not even feel like a job! And while you are having fun, you are making a little income doing it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


The day after our Spring Sale we met to "divide up the tags" and count the money.

Renee brought a nice lunch for us. A gourmet salad with poppy seed dressing, beets, and open face beef and cheese sandwiches on brown bread. Yum!

We are still "old school" about how we do things. Everyone has their own style tags so that when a purchase is made, the tags are cut off and saved. So when we sort, we just put each persons tags in separate piles. Our family members have to use our 'family' tags and then distinguish their individual tags in some way. My family puts their initials on the back. Karen's family sometimes uses different punches in the tags. One of her daughters used a skull and crossbones punch this year. Apparently left over from Halloween. We're going to suggest a more " uplifting" punch for next year. However, Renee thought the skull and crossbones was an X and an O so maybe it was OK.

For Karen's tags she buys old cards and ribbon at garage sales. She then carefully cuts out the cute parts of the picture and MATCHES THE CARDS TO THE ITEM FOR SALE! For example, a card for a baby gift would go on one of the vintage toys. She then cuts a small piece of matching colored ribbon and pins or tapes them to the item for sale. They are adorable and everyone comments on them. But who has time for that? Well, apparently Karen does. Except she is just as busy as the rest of us so I'm not sure how she does it! She also manages to bring tons of homemade food to the sale to keep in the kitchen for lunches and break time for everybody! I need her energy!

Soon I'll be posting about some of the items I have left for sale. I'm going to list the furniture and larger items on Craigslist but I'll also show them on the blog here. I am also going to send some things onto an online auction.

If you have something you are wanting but don't have the time or desire to hunt as we do, let me know what you are looking for and what you'd be willing to pay and I'll try and scout it out for you in all our "hunts" and "picking".

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Thanks to all of you who came to our Spring Sale! The turnout was great despite the rain!

There was a" rainbow" of colorful umbrellas lined up an hour and 15 minutes before the door opened! Thanks for not letting the rain dampen your enthusiasm to get in and buy our treasures. I hope you all found many treasures to take home and enjoy or to give as gifts! And we all hope you had as much fun getting your treasures as we did finding them for you!

Everything went fairly well, but because of the rain we had to eliminate our outdoor checkout. So instead of having three places to check out we only had two.  And a couple of our helpers came a bit late so for a while we only had  one check out. Aaaakkk!!  I got a little panicky about that, especially as the line grew out of the foyer and began circling the living room! And there is always some confusion in the wrapping room! OK maybe it's just me that's confused since I can't do two things at once. We were scrambling the first two hours while people were piling up their treasures in the "Holding Room" and we were trying to wrap everything. Good thing we all have a sense of humor about things! Les was out with an umbrella talking to people and announcing how things would work, including that when they brought things to the holding room, we would begin wrapping them up so they should make their final decision before they brought it to the holding room. "If it's on hold, it's sold!" was his refrain.

 I found an old cash register at an Estate Sale that we used to keep our cash in during the sale. When you pushed one of the keys the "amount" would pop up, a bell would "ding", and the cash drawer would open! We were really having fun with this until the door got stuck and we couldn't get the money out! Thankfully, we found out what was wrong and were able to get it working again! We purchased it to sell but we're having so much fun with it, I kind of hate to part with it! Still, if you're interested in buying it, let us know. It didn't sell at the sale and I'm learning I can't keep everything!

 Robert Hignite won our Give-Away, winning a gift certificate to shop the sale, Mary Emmerling's Cottage Decorating book, a stoneware bowl, a little "bird", and the opportunity to shop before others came in. We allowed him to bring a guest also. So the two of them came in and went to town, rushing all over the place as if they were in a contest to see how much they could acquire in an allotted time! They were even reluctant to stop to have their photo taken because it was taking up part of their shopping time!  It was fun just watching them shop!

So remember that for our next Give-Away and enter for the chance to do the same! Robert didn't have to wait outside in the line holding an umbrella. He just called and said they were "here" and they came in and shopped! And that can be YOU!  Next fall... when we have another Give-Away! Getting first pick of everything without fighting the crowd or standing in line.

But still...we admire those of you who braved the rain, standing out in the cold, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting!  Several of you told us it was worth the wait so that made us feel better! Thanks for that!

Before the sale things started out like this...

 Les' golf cart trailer was loaded up with all of our goodies and we drove a few yards away from our garage to the living room in the "Big House" where our sale took place. We hired a couple of guys to help us with that!

At the end of the sale we had a light dinner of pulled chicken sandwiches, potato salad, calico beans, chips, and wedding cake ( don't ask ).  Then we got to work packing up  the leftovers.

We always have fun at our sales and even though we're absolutely wiped out, we can't wait to get out and look for great stuff for our next sale!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


"The best way to capture a moment is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing." Jon Kabat-Zinn

Just a few more "finds", treasures big and small, to share before our upcoming sale...

This stoneware casserole with lid is a favorite of mine...

A whimsical Scandinavian clothing brush...

An old bell on a leather strap...

This sweet vintage picture...

A vintage berry bowl set, with one large bowl and 6 individual bowls in which to serve your summer berries...

Two whimsical Norwegian egg cups...

Two Norwegian napkin rings...

 Kosta Boda candle holders and other Scandinavian glass pieces

Hand painted Scandinavian little bucket...

A small Pottery piece...

A four drawer catalog cabinet...

      You'll also find a  few Scandinavian primitive pieces, a beautiful vintage Annie Sloan painted Pennsylvania House Hutch with glass doors, a vintage washstand turned "Coffee Station", a lovely vintage Jenny Lind Daybed, and more... You'll have to come and see for yourself!
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