Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Shenandoah Yard Crawl Time!

Yay! The annual Shenandoah County Yard Crawl is one of our "mark the calendar" events - hey, we're thrift-shopping pirates, what can I say?  It is a 43 mile long yard sale through several small country towns in the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia.  This year marked our 4th year in a row we have shopped the Yard Crawl.  It was a lot of fun, and we did find some neat treasures.  The day was overcast and in the mid-80's, which was nice.  In past Augusts, it's been so hot, we were pooped by 11AM.  This year we were still going by 1PM, and that's saying something, since we hit the road at 5:30 to be at northern end of the sale by 7AM.

On the hunt!
We usually make our best finds in the first hour or two since everything hasn't been picked over too much yet.  This year it didn't seem like there were as many crawlers and we were still able to make some good finds later in the day.  Of course, it all depends what people are looking for.  There is a little of everything at the yard crawl, from furniture to antiques, clothing and every kind of toy and household item you can imagine.  There are a few dealers selling, but it's more like just people who have sheds or barns along the Valley Pike pulling their stuff out alongside the road.

Got some treasures!
In our case, we collect old holiday decorations, toleware, pewter, Carnival glass, jewelry, and what have you. To be honest, we have started many collections just because we found 2 matching items. Thankfully, we've come to our senses and cleared a lot of those collections out over the years. We do have a little antique booth, so we have an outlet to keep things moving on to those who will appreciate them.

  A lot of the fun of the Yard Crawl is chatting with people and moving on down the road to the next potential treasure score. It's a nice drive out in the country too, and the scenery is pretty.  I have to admit, there could be a few more bathrooms! LOL. We had a lot of fun and came home with a lot of nice finds.

Vintage Christmas treasures
Here are some neat old Santas and Christmas decorations we were able to come up with.  The red deer and sleigh in the middle are an old flocked set from the 50's or 60's.  The santa in the box is a really nice set that looks like it may never have been used.  He has a cloth outfit and beard, I don't know what the vintage of that is.  The old santa in the front left may be the best find of the day at 25 cents!  He is an old old cardboard Father Christmas made in Japan.  His beard is cotton and he is holding a pine branch in his hand. These finds will make nice additions to our vintage Christmas display.   

Assorted fun finds
Here are some other assorted goodies.  For some reason I attract Whiting and Davis mesh evening bags as you know.  Here is a more recent one for $2. The brass dipper is pretty old, the frame on the old picture must be from the 1800's (50 cents), the tole painted bucket is a nice old country piece for $1, and there's a silver bracelet up front that was $1 also.  We liked the black cat pitcher since we have two black cats.  We had to wait for someone who promised to be back by noon to get him, but she never showed, so we took him home for $1 too.  The sellers helped us count down the seconds till noon.  It was a good time.

All in all we didn't spend a lot, had a great day, and found some neat treasures.  I'm sure we'll head back up into the Blue Ridge Mountains again next year for year 5!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Gold, Diamonds and Cash This Month

  July was a good month for treasure hunting as you can surmise from the title above. Gold, diamonds and cash, woo-hoo!  First of all, the moneywalking continues to impress me. I was able to find 81 coins and two dollar bills on the ground or in machines as I wrote about in a post on July 16.  That was good for a total of $10.32 - not too shabby! I try to walk a few miles per day, and this year I combined that with searching for coins along my walks.  In 7 months I have found almost $48 in coins and bills laying on the ground or in machines.  I have gotten to the point that I expect to find coins now and they continue to turn up.

I took the metal detector out seven times and was able to come up with 213 coins that way.  It has been hot, hot, hot this Summer, though, and the ground is pretty well baked dry, so I've had to hunt in playgrounds for the most part, and only for short periods due to the heat. I was able to hunt along an ocean beach last week, and was lucky enough to find a 3-stone diamond necklace in the dry sand. That was a nice find and made the hunt.  The Ace 250 detector is pretty limited on the beach, though, it gives a lot of false signals on the wet sand, so I had to stay up on the dry sand.  I still was able to find quite a few coins and clean up a lot of pulltabs off the beach. 

Of course we both continued to hit the yard sales to see what treasure is out there.  I found another gold mesh Whiting and Davis evening bag, strangely enough.  This one cost a dollar. I can't believe what people sell stuff for sometimes but the economy is tough and people seem to be clearing out a lot of unneeded clutter. There were some other good finds too, but I can't remember them all now. 

Next week is the annual Shenandoah County 43-mile long yard sale.  We will be attending for the 3rd year in a row.  It's a lot of fun and great treasure hunting.  I will take some pics and write a post here on our adventures. Keep hunting!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Treasure In The News

I've run across several treasure stories here lately.  Maybe stories about treasure just catch my eye, but it just goes to show that there are treasures of all types being found every day.  Here are a few from the last week or two:
Bronze Cannon From 1715 Shipwreck Found - A salvage company recovered a bronze swivel gun from the 1715 Plate Fleet that sank off the east coast of Florida in a storm 300 years ago. The gun had 63 gold and silver coins inside it.  The fleet took on a cargo of millions of silver coins in Veracruz, Mexico. Most of that is still waiting to be found.

Superman Comic Saves Family From Foreclosure - A family facing foreclosure found a Superman comic book in the basement as they were packing up their belongings.  The comic turned out to be Action Comics Issue Number 1, from June 1938.  It introduced Superman to the world, and could be worth more then $250,000.

An 1885 Pocket Spill - A man using a metal detector found 7 cents in one hole along an old trail through the woods.  The coins are dated 1865 to 1885.  While not enough to retire on, they still are a neat treasure to find, and make you wonder whose pocket the coins slipped out of on that spot almost 125 years ago.  There's tons of it still out there, all around us.