Now is the perfect time to sit down and write a blog post since we’re in the middle of a blizzard. It is so eerily quiet when it’s snowing that hard and for that long. No one is on the roads or even the sidewalks. We had about a foot of snow by noon and 17″ by 6 pm. They’re predicting several more inches in the next 12 hours or so. Everyone is huddled indoors watching the Super Bowl but we’re not. Hubby had to work and our football team isn’t playing so we’re skipping it this year. Hubby just got home and is snowblowing the driveway and sidewalks. It’s windy so it’s drifting very badly. He’ll probably have to do it again tomorrow morning before he leaves for work. I got outside in the backyard a bit this morning to play with the dogs but it’s bitter cold too.
On Valentine’s Day, it will be 2 years that we’ve been actively going to estate sales. I know winter is the slowest time of the year for sales but this is the worst I’ve seen. We only hit one estate sale on Thurs. and one on Sat. Since we had a bit of free time on Thurs. and were in Chicago, we made a point to go to Andersonville (the neighborhood) to Woolly Mammoth. That’s an oddities shop that I found on Instagram. They have a lot of taxidermy animals and all around odd stuff. Basically, right up our alley! They’re open noon until 7 pm. We got there right at noon and the owner arrived right behind us ready to open the store.
We spent an hour walking around admiring everything and talking to Skye. She and her husband have owned it for 5 years and she also works full time and travels internationally for her job. I was as impressed with her as I was with the place. They are both artists and it shows. They have such a creative mindset. They’ve made use of every square inch of the building which is part museum, part curiosity shop. We didn’t end up buying anything because the prices were higher than we’re used to. I don’t begrudge them charging them though. They have unique items and sell to a niche market who will gladly pay to acquire pieces for their collections. Someday I’d like to go back, especially if they have a sale. 🙂 I encourage anyone who’s in the area to stop by and browse around like we did.
We had one more hour of paid street parking so I looked up (on Yelp) if there were any antique stores in the area. About 2 blocks away on Clark St., there were at least 6! We only made it to the first one. Brownstone Antiques has been around 20 years and it is the exact opposite of Woolly Mammoth. Everything looks like it has barely made it in the door and they put it in the first open spot they found. Usually on top of a several foot high pile of other things. There’s a path down the middle to walk and another path about halfway up another side and then it’s blocked by furniture. This is a digger’s dream. Nothing is grouped together, you have to search to find anything. If you’re a pirate, this is where the treasure is buried! 😉 Some things have price tags, a lot doesn’t. I found some jadeite bowls, a couple of hand vases and 2 crosses. If we’d had more time, we would’ve found more. There was a huge pile of ephemera that I simply love looking through. Like old postcards and photographs. I like to get a huge box or bag full for a cheap price (like $5-10) and “play with” them. I don’t even look at them until I get home. I’m not sorting them and picking out the good ones in the store. I would just grab a bunch or let the owner grab a bunch and shove them in a bag. I asked him about that and he said he’d have to go through each one individually and then he’d give me a price for the whole lot. I said I don’t have time to look through them myself so I had to pass. 😦 I especially love seeing someone’s whole life in pictures. You get an idea of what the person’s life was like and their personal history.
Now I’m excited to get back to Chicago and check out the other antique stores. This probably won’t happen for months but it’s fun to dream about on a snowy winter day. 😉