Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This is gonna be a quick post y'all...complete with misspelled words, dangling participles and incomplete sentences. But I really wanted to finish off my advice series with one last post before I head out the door to The Greatest Show On Dirt.
My job as an antique vendor is to do my darnedest to bring the best merchandise I can find and afford....your job is to try and negotiate the best price before purchasing it from me.
While none of us really like to discount our stuff, mainly because it's getting to where it's so cotton pickin' hard to replace with the same quality at a fair price...both for me and you...most of us do at least a little.  Basically, the more I have to will you. Factor in time (which BTW for me averages out to 50 cents an hour!), operating expenses, show fees, fuel etc., and you can see, I'm not exactly raking in the do-re-mi.
And...contrary to popular belief...the best things are seldom found on the side of the road or in dumpsters.  Unless, of course, a film crew happens to be following one around and then anything is possible in the world of "Reality" TV.
My point is, I understand haggling is part of the game and I like a good game as much as the next girl, but there's a fine line between getting a good deal and beating me up for a deal.
So for what it's's a few guidelines when you are, boots on the ground, out in the fields of any antique market.
1.  Know your price points. I know mine.  Know ahead of time what you can reasonably expect or are willing to pay for that one of a kind jack-a-lope trophy.  If it's out of your pocketbook range to begin with...chances are it still will be when trying to negotiate.  Save yourself some disappointment and keep looking.  You never know what will be just over yonder.
2.  If you come into my booth and immediately make a mad dash for a comfit I have perched on a table...that's a dead giveaway.  Think of bargaining as a poker hand.  If I see you salivating, chances are I'll give you the best price I can, but some will see this as an opportunity to stay firm.  Practice your poker face in the mirror before venturing out and for goodness sakes...don't blink!
3.  Speaking of poker, if you do make a dealer a fair offer, don't be bluffing. You've made your wager, they called it, now buy it.  Please don't say you'll have to think about it.  Chances are...
a. It will be gone when you've made up your mind and...
b. If it is still there when you return, chances are slim and none you'll get it for the price you wanted.
4.  A lot of dealers, myself included, tend to offer deeper discounts when a shopper is buying in piles.  I don't know about others, but I actually prefer this method for both buying and selling. It allows me to give you the very best price by reducing my margin.  Frank on American Pickers thinks this is his idea..."bundling"...but we've been doing it for nigh on 25 years. One caveat...if I give you a multi-discount and you decide you only want two or three things in the pile...that's okay, but the price will be different.  I give quotes based on the prices of the overall pile. Keep in mind, buying one or two items is not going to get you the same deal.
4.  When you are in a booth and looking at a certain item, please do not say loudly you can buy it across the road for a lot less...or worse that it is over priced.  No one know what a dealer had to pay initially for their product or the time and money put into it to get it ready for a show.  It's absolutely A-OK to ask the provenance of an item, but please, please, please...don't pick it apart and show me all the flaws in it.  It's old...just like me.  And just like's got the wrinkles to prove it.  Those well worn spots only add to the value.  And for the our business...rust is an expensive commodity.
5.  Lastly, but most importantly, don't bust out your velvet hammer and start beating me over the head with it.  I don't respond well to cruel and unusual punishment and chances are I'm only going to go up rather than down.  I'm not too terribly fond of pop knots on the top ofmy head...thank you very much.  And while we're at it...never beg. I've had folks do that and believe you ain't pretty and the only thing it accomplishes is to irritate the heck out of me.
I hope these buying tips help. They aren't carved in stone...or at least I don't think they are.  These are just a few of the things I myself practice when out shopping.
It's important for the vendor and the shopper to both remember two things.
1. Always be polite.
2. A smile and a friendly attitude...or as I like to say...CAT-titude...goes a long way in helping to arrive at a happy sale and maybe a new friend.
Now I've got to scoot, but if you do get out to Antique Week, please drop in to see me. I'll be in the Zapp Hall, just inside the front doors.
I promise you up and down, I won't try to sell you anything you really don't want...she says with her best poker face!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Guy

As I was taking a break from packing C.D.'s underroos, a thought occurred to me...did I mention we're setting up inside the hall at Zapp?
No. bad.
You'll find us just inside the porch of the hall...if you come looking for us!
Consider it mentioned and with that info update, I think I'll continue my spiel sharing of things you can expect while at the Greatest Show on Dirt.
Want to know an added fillip to the shows...besides great shopping?

Photo courtesy of Red.Neck chic.
Celebrity sightings...or as I like to call 'em...UCS...Unidentified Celebrity Sightings!
You just never know who you'll be shopping the fields with...shoulder to shoulder....cart to cart...eye to eye.
And speaking of eyes, it's best to keep them peepers open and focused.
These people travel incognito.
If you're thinking famous people shop the shows ball gown and Red Carpet ready...think again.
Trust me...Sandra Bullock does not look like Sandra Bullock when she's out in the middle of a cow pasture.  Neither does Miranda. I mean...c'mon folks, this ain't the Oscars or CMA's. This is where the cool kids come to shop and play and there ain't any cooler than these two.
Case in point...
A couple of shows ago, Matthew McConaughey was in my booth wearing a wife-beater and shades.  I hear a lot of whispering and giggling around me, but I don't pay it no never mind. With his whole fam-dam-ily in tow, I helped him like he was any ol' junker out for a day of pleasure in the Texas sun.
Did I notice all the gals around me foaming at the mouth? Nope.
I just went about my business doing what I love to do...talking.  It wasn't until he, his wife, kids and MIL stepped away did somebody bother to tell me.  Make that a whole lot of drooling somebodies!!!
Oy vey!
Not that I would have bothered him by asking for him to take his shirt off an autograph, a kiss photo-op or to take a look with me at what I had tucked behind the tent just for him anything like not me.  Nor would I have treated him any different...except maybe with a tad bit more muchness and a whole lotta eyelash batting while moistening my lips seductively.
Just because these folks make like a gazillion dollars doesn't mean they don't want to enjoy their privacy and the They are not out schlepping the fields to be hounded, but like the average person...looking for a unique treasure to take home...along with some memories. I doubt if being ogled is high on their lists of things they love...if at all!
It's just that it would have been so helpful to have gotten a heads up. A little fair warning so I could have run around behind him, discreetly licking everything he touched...that's all.  Nothing too obvious y'all!  I am, after all, the height of discretion.
'Course not all celebrities who venture out into our playground are reclusive.  There's always got to be a Tory Spelling, tramping the grounds with her entourage, camera crews, and release forms, filming.  Not that I'm criticizing.  A poor girl's gotta do what a poor girl's gotta do to make a living.  Besides...we can't pay for that kind of exposure and advertising!
But enough about that...she says while wiping the sweat from her brow while visualizing M.M. shirtless...yum! are not excluded from the costume party.
No sirree-bob.
I expect to see all you fellows dressed to the nines at least for one night...the Junk Gypsy Prom.
The night of nights.
Where even the sanest of the sane lose their minds and dance 'til the cows come home.
I've seen men...grown men mind you...arrive en masse as Elvis.  Or is a pack of 'em considered Elvi?  I forget.
I've seen Brave heart (sans underwear and don't ask me how I know that. It was a windy night is all I'm gonna say.), The Village People, women impersonators, doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs.  Heck...I've seen more than my share of half nekkid men...enough to last me a lifetime of nightmares.
FYI...All men are NOT created equal. Bare chests on men belong only on the Magic Mikes of the world and should never be accompanied by a beer belly or a vest of shoulder/back hair. I'm just ain't pretty.
My point is guys, do your part...and I don't mean parting your shoulder hair.
You can let your hair down (I repeat...but not the hair on your back) and perhaps meet your next wife while doing so.
Drag out those boots, dust off that cowboy hat, slip on a Scully...leaving just one or two snaps undone...speaking for women everywhere, we like that...and join the parade.
But more importantly...get yourselves on down to Zapp Hall...where I always say...
Come for the junk ...stay for the party!
No reservations needed...pun intended!
Just two more little things and I'll wrap this one up for the record books.
1.  I hope you come see us at Zapp Hall. The show opens Friday, September 27, prom night is October 3 and our show closes the following Saturday, October 5.  We'll be there from can 'til can't and hope to see you or some other equally famous VIP!  Bet your boots though...I'll be saving the best seat in the house for you.

2. Today is Cat Daddy's birthday...hence all the photos of my handsome man bedecked in his favorite finery. For those of y'all who wonder why I call him "Cat Daddy"...I think the photos speak for themselves!  Only a true Cat Daddy can pull off some of his get-ups with that much aplomb...and swagger-ease.

Happy Birthday my big ol' hunka hunka...
and as for the rest of y'all...
catch y'all after the bull riding with one more post before we head off into the sunset.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Falling Into Place or How To Fit a Square Peg...

This Sunday, the 22nd, marks the beginning of the Fall Equinox....although one would never know it here in the sun belt where temps are setting records for the month of September.

Here in my part of Texas, we rarely see a true "fall" where the leaves turn to beautiful shades of orange, yellow and burgundy.  To see those brilliant colors, y'all would have to travel to East Texas. What we do see in my neck o'the woods is a lot of in dead grass, plowed under crops and tans.

Fact is, here in Texas our four seasons consist of Football, Christmas, Summer and Show Time...all of which allow for the continual wearing of flip flops!
My personal favorite time of the year is Show Time when there is a plethora of fairs, festivals, and antique shows boiling up across the state like a mess of greens floating in pot-likker.
How do y'all like that 10 dollar word plethora? Just another fancy way of saying a "mess of"!
There isn't a town, city or metropolis that doesn't have some kinda festival.
We celebrate cotton, salt, yams, syrup, pecans, peanuts, wine and just about anything that gives us an excuse for a party. Heck, we even got ourselves a fire ant festival.
Come to think about it...there is even a festival planned in Mineola that will have Big Foot as a special guest.
Like I said...any reason to party is reason enough.
'Course for me...the biggest party is the one starting next week in the junker's Neverland...Round Top/Warrenton.
Can you hear the excitement in my voice...she says twitching like a Chihuahua!
I've got the suitcases out and I'm getting ready to head to my happiest place on earth, the Greatest Show on Dirt...Zapp Hall.

Before I do though, I thought I might impart some that "older than dirt"...advice to some of y'all that have never been down that red, dirt road to the most glorious cow pastures this side of the Brazos.
As you turn onto Hwy. 237 (which two lanes), prepared to be shocked and awed.
You are going to see more antiques, junk, people and boutique clothing in just a few days than would normally take at least two lifetimes to see...and that's just the start.
But today, what do you say we talk about the people and clothes...two things that are near and dear to my heart. So what say y'all we slap some red lipstick on, pull up a chair and start some backtalking?
This is probably one of the best people watching opportunities in the history of ever. From the corner of your eye you may spy Dale Evans and to your left Brave Heart.'s just that diverse.
So tighten up those bra straps before dismounting from your vehicle, slap on a smile and please...leave your inhibitions in the car with your three piece suit.
 This ain't the time to be stuffy...or bashful.  Y'all are here to relax, party and have a good time...remember?
Think of the shows as one long excuse to play dress up instead of playing it safe.  And by that I mean to dress the way you would if no one was looking.  You can be as gaudy or bold as you dare and the only thing limiting you is you.  Trust me...outlandish is the order of the day. It's all in the attitude.'ll stick out more in your normal attire rather than in a get-up.  I mean really...where's the fun in being "normal" and besides, aren't you here to break free of your routine...even for just one day?
Yes you are here to search for that one "find", but more importantly you're here to smile out loud.  Reimagine yourself as an archaeologist. Get yourself a fedora and a multi-pocketed vest or just pull on a pair of khaki shorts with grungy Doc Martens...and start digging. 
Getting gussied up doesn't mean you have to dress uncomfortably. Aw contrary mes amies. This is Texas and as you may or may not know, Texas in the fall can be quite...ahem...warm.
But just because it's cooler in jeans/shorts and a wife-beater doesn't mean you can't accessorize to the hilt.

~Don't exercise...accessorize!~Talking Trash
Throw on a pair of Jackie O shades, make that hat count, bring some leopard Converses,
fringe out your back pack, but for gosh sakes...never kick style to the curb over comfort.

And at night...throw caution to the wind.  'Cause that's when the call of the wild means putting on the dog.

Blow the cobwebs off those cowboy kicks and get 'em dusty with some genuine Texas dirt.
Now is the time to drag out those holey jeans you just thought needed patching.

Stack every bracelet you own clear up to you al-bows. Put a little jingle in your jangle to let 'em know you are ready to rumble rhumba.
I know...I know...all the etiquette books say never to wear white after Labor Day, but y'all...this is the Greatest Show on Dirt where we never say never.

You want to wear white?  Well guess does everyone else...24/7 twelve months a year!
Etiquette books?
We don't need no stinkin' books on propriety.
We just make up our own rules as the days roll on.
Wear white, wear black, wear red.  It's night time and under the Texas stars everyone is beautiful in their own way and anything goes.

Still don't know what to wear. Simple...wait 'til you get there and treat yourself to gorgeous, one of a kind creations.  Cowboy hats, gauzy feminine wearables, boots, jewels out the wazoo...all just waiting on you to come fall in love with.  You can always tell your accountant to  file it under business expenses!
Do y'all get what I'm laying down?
As the Nike ad says...
~Just do it!~
You can thank me after you get back home with your truck bed filled with junk, your head full of dreams and your suitcase stuffed with memories...all because for one brief moment in time you were a brave heart.

Next up...UCS!