Friday, August 19, 2011

A Pickin' Diva....

I just spent three days traveling through Arkansas on Highway 64 with my dear friend Sherri, in a borrowed pick up truck - so fancy it shouldn't be called a truck, and pulling a little enclosed trailer - lots of change in my purse, snacks and cooler, packing material for breakables, and high hopes for treasures.  Touted to be a huge sales event, Bargains Galore on 64, with over 160 miles of sales, was our three day adventure weekend.

I must say I was a bit disappointed in the number of sales along the route.  In fairness, this part of the country had been experiencing record breaking heat for nearly two months, and bizarre thunderstorms broke out both Thursday afternoon and Friday night leaving giant mud pits almost everywhere you tried to stop along the way on Saturday.  So this may have dampened the selling spirit.  But not this picker, we stopped and shopped all along the way.

Hug kudos to Sherri who can back up a trailer with the best of them!  I was amazed....I'm a pull through picker.  If I'm toting a trailer, I only park where I can pull through, this farmgirl can't back up!

Although sales were sporadic along the highway, it’s important to note that you really have to watch for signs that take you down the side roads.  There are sales in the area neighborhoods too, and this narrow highway is very winding, so you can come upon a sale and pass it by before you know it.

We stayed Wednesday night in Ft. Smith, and headed out early Thursday morning looking for those "early worm" bargins....not much participation in Ft. Smith, in fact our first sales were in Aurora.  Let the shopping begin.....

Rain about 2:00 ended our day, so we headed to our next motel for the night.  Just because a motel is listed on Priceline doesn't mean you want to stay there.  Let me just say I slept on top of the covers with my clothes on!

Friday we back tracked a few miles to check out sales we might have missed. Not much, so we had a great home cooked breakfast at the Big M Diner and headed out to shop!  First stopped at the local Police Departments trailer where they had a rummage sale to help families for this coming Christmas.  I bought all of their hand-crocheted items.  I'm just sure some grandma made them with love!

A bit of Galore wisdom for those of you contemplating this sale for next year.

Things I learned along the way:
  • Fried pickles from the gas station are pretty darned good;
  • Just because there is stuff in the yard, doesn’t mean they’re having a yard sale;
  • Men selling hunting gear don’t like when you say you could turn their tree stand into a cute chair;
  • Little local dairy-marts have great food;
  • You might not want to follow spray painted arrows into the woods;
  • Don’t pass up the church rummage sales and always buy something from them;
  • Skip fast food stops and eat at the local eatery, they are a treat;
  • And always buy from the local Police or Firefighter’s sales, whatever they are selling it's always for a great cause.

We started in Ft. Smith and headed towards Conway and unlike the World's Longest Yardsale, you can cover great distances in a day. 

 I really do need to address the people we met along the way, both other shoppers and sellers alike.  We met some of the nicest people.  Wouldn’t trade that part of the trip for anything!

My traveling companion, and my best friend Sherri has now named me a Pickin’ Diva, altered from her first go round of Pickin’ Snob.  Hahahahaha.  Seems she feels I was a little too picky at my pickin’.

One thing for sure, shows like American Pickers and Pickin’ Sisters and the like, have ruined it for us local common pickers.  Seems most of the sellers we came across felt like everything thing they had strewn across their front lawn and stacked in the garage was the next great collectible or treasured antique.  Prices were a bit high, and the art of negotiating was lost on most sellers. 

However, with effort and perseverance, I managed to come home with a small trailer full of treasures.  I wonder if when I’m looking the items over and loading them into the trailer full of eclectic if not unique pieces of furniture, the sellers are wondering what the heck I buy that stuff for.

Here’s a peek at some the treasures that made their way home with me…….

One thing I thought was comical was how many of the sellers were intrigued by my Michigan accent.  An accent I don't hear or realize I still have.  One very nice young woman kept me talking for about 15 minutes just so she could here my accent. HA, and I was enjoying her's.  I think her tip off was my saying "we've been out and about since early this morning." HA
Here’s Jim surveying my bounty and wondering “what the heck is she going to do with this junk?”

Just remember these are the before photos, and a coffee table can become a wonderful foot of the bed bench complete with custom cushion, end tables take on a new life repainted in funky colors, sewing machine cabinets are a treasure, and chairs….well chairs in my hands become works of art - just sayin'.

Watch for before and the fabulous after pics on our newest facebook page – farmhouse chic.

And be sure to join us at our next Farmgirl Sisters Cottage and Barn Sale, Sept 29 - Oct 1, where we will all have wonderful treasures for you to do your own pickin'

'til we meet again!