1. giraffe coat rack
I looked long and hard for this guy to complete the set I had and wanted to put in Violet's room before she was born. I've had the elephant toy box for a long time (and first saw it as a child when my cousins owned one), and I got the kangaroo hamper a few years back. The giraffe was incredibly elusive, and then about a week before Violet was born, I finally scored one! Every time I sit in her room giving her a bottle at night, I look at that long-necked sweetheart and I smile.
2. no parking sign
My antique funeral collection had some neat additions this year, starting with this heavy metal "funeral parking" sign. I was actually with my friend when he found this and bought it, and I was terribly jealous. He sold it to me when he found another more elaborate one that he liked better. I happily added it to our foyer, which looks like a closet-size funeral home.
3. little richard autograph
3. little richard autograph
When I first saw this autographed 8x10, I figured it had to be a reproduction because of the low price. Was it a fake? Possibly, but I compared the handwriting with other known signatures and found similar ones. Why so low? When I asked, the person selling it admitted that they weren't positive the signature was real and not a photocopy, so they priced it conservatively. They offered to refund my total amount if I decided I wasn't happy with it, but all it took was one look for me to know that it was, indeed, sharpie on a glossy old photo. It was originally from a serious collector who had many other authentic signatures, so there was no real reason to doubt it even though it had no COA. After all was said and done, I had scored this treasure (the day before his birthday, no less!) for under $15. SHUT UP!
4. strawberry toy box
My cousins with the elephant toy box also had this strawberry one growing up. It brought back fond memories of playing over their house in their playroom, and I was always on the lookout for one. I had seen them online over the years, but people always wanted too much for them. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon one by accident, and the person selling it insisted they wanted to get "$30 firm!" I tripped over myself rushing to give the money to her. Turns out she was the original owner and had it for her kids, who are now grown. It is in excellent shape and I can't wait to fill it up with Violet's toys.
5. funeral home guestbook podium
A few summers ago Josh admitted that he saw one of these while at a flea market without me, but it was out of his price range. When he finally told me, way after the fact, I continued to be haunted by it. When I ran into one myself, and it was actually marked down from its original price by almost half, I knew I would regret walking away from it. So home we went: husband, baby, funeral podium and me. In a morbid twist of fate, I already had someone's used guestbook to set on it. I found it while working in the back room of a thrift store and saved it from the dumpster. It belonged to a Mrs. Louisa K. of Cleveland, born in 1877.
*Runner up: Hasil's personal recorder*
Because this doesn't technically belong to me, I didn't feel like I should include it in my list. But this would definitely make the top 5 list of awesome things I've ever scored in my lifetime! For Christmas, I surprised my husband with a 4-track recorder that belonged to none other than one man band legend Hasil Adkins. It was his personal recorder that he used to tape hundreds of songs on. I had to keep the secret for well over a month and it was eating away at me because I was so excited. The best part? It still works. Josh tried it out the other day, and just needs to get a new microphone before he can use it to record on it.
So that's my recap for the year. 2015 is already off to a smashing start, as this is the newest piece to add to my vintage burlesque collection. It came from The Roxy, one of Cleveland's most popular burlesque clubs in the '50s and '60s. It is two-sided, hand-painted, nearly 4 feet tall and features one of the biggest names in burlesque history. I can't believe I own it. Isn't it a beauty?!