Friday, November 5, 2010

Today one of my competitors asked me this:
I love this ring, I have one listed also! I just wanted to ask you a question: How do you find your info on your vintage flatware? I can find virtually nothing online. The only ones I get info on are the ones that belonged to someone I know. There's tons of info about sterling stuff, but I haven't been able to find much at all on silverplate. I was hoping you would share your knowledge. Thanks! Lorri

For awhile I didn't quite know how to handle the question. Then it sort of trickled in and I actually told her the truth. Here it is.

do lots of research with a small amount of reward. The best info I get on any pattern comes from real people. Some people who sell silver know tons about patterns and those would probably be your best bet. Look for collectors, I usually look for people who are selling parts of their collection and ask them. Some people know nothing and some are a wealth of info. The belonged to someone you know stuff will always sell better than the "pile I got at auction" stuff. Auctions are usually estate sales and people there know the person who died. I went to an auction last year about this time and I could tell just by the stuff there she was a wild eccentric. The stories are even better. Ask around, Dig deep, and be passionate about it! Some of this stuff has been cherished for over 100 years.
I just spent an hour researching the celtic pattern as well. Someone told me today that it was her grandmothers pattern and I became incredibly interested. Apparently the boy finds the snake that's dying because it's fighting with itself. He brings it home and it eats everything it eats the spirit guides, it eats the people. it eats everything in it's path and when it's done it goes back to find that there is nothing left to eat. It leaves the earth and goes for the moon and the sun. The boy meets it and shoots it with an arrow and all the souls are returned to earth.
I got an awesome set of silverware yesterday that's casted. The knives are hand forged. I suppose I can tell because I'm familiar with the process. Maybe that's part of it. Try to find some patterns that have story all ready. Seek out the rare or get your hands wet with collectors spoons, I used to sell a ton of the state spoons especially locally. People you sell to have stories too. Bring it out. We're in one of the few business settings where even really shy people can have a voice. I've sold wedding rings, promise rings, bereavement rings, graduation rings, engagement rings and more. It's all about being human, give some stuff to charity auctions, sell where you can hear your customers. Ask questions! you'll probably begin to realize that it takes a lot of work (besides bending) to sell a piece of silverware. I can make a bracelet in 20 minutes. After researching, sitting at auctions, buying Materials, driving, taking pictures, and uploading, I've got at least an hour in it. After Etsy, Paypal, advertising, and tools and equipment take their cut I'm left with just enough to pay my bills. It's really the stories, the laughter and the people that make all this worthwhile.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Possum in the Sack.

On Friday we went to bed at midnight so I could get to Market Day by 7am. Around 3am I woke up because I felt something rubbing the top of my head. I immediately melted off my pillow and flipped over to see a possum scrabbling towards beth. "Beth!" I said , no answer. Getting closer, I now gave a "BETH!" She opened her eyes and upon seeing the terror in my eyes followed them to the possum. She rolled over, aimed at it and screamed with at least 2 lung fulls of air and threw a pillow at it.
I kept my eyes on the pillow and sent Beth to find my welding gloves, a light, and a box. Once the tools arrived I slowly started peeling back pillows. Under the final pillow it was, back in the corner. As soon as I reached for it, it melted down the side of the bed. I looked down, there it still was, well, it's head at least teeth bared and apparently stuck. Whew! I sent Beth for a yard stick. I reached around and poked it and it immediately came up. I pounced on it, grabbed i, musky smell and all, and threw it in the box. We got dressed, I shot this picture and we drove off at 3:30am with the possum in a box on Beth's lap. We stopped by the haunted forest, Beth set the box down and gave it a healthy boot.
By this time We began to realize how hilarious this all was and laughed until we got back in bed. Neither of us slept.
The next day after the show we Beth put some water on the stove and we noted how the burner smelled like possum pee. She also showed me the empty bag of chocolate chips. Curiously we are also now missing the two tiny buttons to set the timer on the stove. They must have been eaten. We had seen the possum 2 days prior in the kitchen, it had caught sight of us in the living room and turned and ran. We chased it until it disappeared and I had figured it had gone through the tiny hole in the floor the chipmunks use to come in and out after we close the windows. I guess not.