Sunday, January 22, 2017


I found this sled last year January at a fair distance from the house, so it was a bit of a hassle getting it home on my bike, but I managed and I thought it was a pretty good pick. But then the thing just didn’t sell. It wasn’t snowing or freezing here, but wasn’t anybody planning on a skiing holiday abroad anymore? I looked for my competition and found lots of sleds for sale, but all in rural areas, not around Amsterdam.

I waited for October to relist it and then it went quickly. Not the head prize of course but I was glad it was out. And I think it was for a skiing holiday. Right now Holland is slowly freezing over for the first time in years and shallow waters have thick enough ice already. I wonder if I should have postponed my relisting even longer to get more out of it, but I don’t regret my sale; the weather is unpredictable after all. Now if we can get some snow I like the thought that the child it was bought for can play with the sled at home too.

I’m just looking through my old photo’s now and shortly after the sled this comes up. I’m only showing this simple crude basket because there’s something time related to say about it as well. Found across the street it was an easy pick and though not worth a lot I couldn’t leave it.

It was previously used as a planter, sewing thread that held the plastic lining in place was still visible on top. Listing at only EUR 2 I thought it would sell soon enough. There's always somebody who needs a basket. But I had to relist it over and over again. I had at least seven inquiries about it, but none came to a sale.

Finally when December neared I threw in the keyword ‘St. Nicholas gift basket’. When celebrated in the traditional way, on our national gift-giving day December 5 the family sits in a circle around the packets presented in a large container and a basket is perfect for that. I guess it worked as I sold it a week later, just days before the party.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cricket Man And Hunter

Last year I sold some fun wooden wall decorations.

I’ve seen a lot of these signs in bars and restaurants in my days when I still frequented such places. But those were mostly food or drink themed. Actually my co-picker found it in November 2015. I doubted if it would go quickly. Cricket is not big in the Netherlands and mainly played by posh university folks.

However I liked my cricked man because his friendly face reminded me of a co-worker of many years ago who was a pleasant peer to hang out with.

My friend liked him simply because she is of British origin.

My real cricket player finally found his way to my board halfway February. Indeed he was from Leiden, renowned for its university and was going to hang it in the club house.

This smaller one is obviously a souvenir item, most likely from Germany. On top it was half cracked through the middle. But then, anything handmade is worth rescuing. Found across the street late February. This took until June to go. The buyer wrote in his email that is was to decorate his Alpine themed caravan. Sounded cool to me, though there aren’t any high mountains in the picture.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Three Nudes And A Still Live

Last year January my co-picker brought me two more paintings.

This large work looked the most interesting at first and I listed it soon after. I didn’t think it was great but the charm is in the hairdo of the girls, representing different style periods from around the 1940’s to the 1980’s. The year ’80 was on the back side. I thought it would go quickly but it took until September. I had to ship it so no clue no what type of person bought it or why, only that it was a guy.

But here's the proof that real art can still be found in the garbage:

Freek also brought this still live that I thought was quite nice but hesitated to list because of its poor condition, especially on the sides of the canvas. It was falling out of the frame which was very ugly anyway.

Painted over in grey and in terrible condition as well. I threw that back in the trash hoping someone would take it, but I didn't check.

I finally put it up in April without the frame and sold it within two days and I now know why! A very well dressed man came for it and I’m sure he was a trader. And I possibly gave it to him way too cheap.

At the time I couldn’t figure out the signature on the work and so I didn’t find the artist. Just looking at the photo’s now I had an insight and looked for A. Broekman, and found he was a Dutch painter who lived from 1874 to 1946 and was himself a trader as well. I read he often signed work of others, so we still don’t know if this was his own, but I found a comparable still live with poppy’s listed currently at EUR 300! But that is neatly framed and in good condition. And there are others around EUR 50. Mine certainly needed work and I’m just glad it ended in the right hands and is hopefully now restored in full glory and somewhere being appreciated.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with more of our favourite picks from 2016 soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Bouquets

I had a last minute request to make Christmas bouquets with my group at the mental health centre. As there wasn’t much time for shopping I collected all the smaller old once found flower and plant pots from my yard that had landed there over the years. I sprayed silver paint over the ugly plastic ones. I had a bag full of oasis from free pick-up centre and had to buy only two extra blocks. The organization promised to provide branches and decorations.

Then I quickly went to work to make an example, but not having the branches at hand I just cut off fresh shoots from my curb found trees in pots from last year. Unfortunately they turned a bit brown over summer, but the new growth was perfect for my goal. As you can see I used an old teapot as a container.

I had my decorations from cheap plastic wreaths I found in the trash a short while ago. The red flowers are from the bush I rescued years ago.

I took more branches from my little trees, some of the red flowers, holly from a bush behind the house and my trash decorations to the job. I’m glad I did. The thick branches they had would have made the pieces massive and the decorations were only partly usable. I advised them to leave open spaces and fill them with the holly and finer branches. They loved my second hand decorations too!

Results were a bit wilder then my example, but all very lively and tasteful.

I know I have neglected my blog for a long time. I hope to be back in the new year with new garbage find stories and sales.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

More Rubbish Out And Some Forgotten Things

I’m kind of glad the market season will end soon. Getting tired of the bags in my room, the repacking and resorting. Having to wonder what to bring next is actually a good thing. It means the mountain of junk is shrinking. I’m not sad taking some more expensive stuff now and get only half the money if it didn’t do anything on line. Getting fives or tens instead of ones or twos out of a sale saves the days results.

But that’s for later, here’s some more rescued ‘rubbish’ that found new owners on the parking lot earlier on.

This kitschy vase was gone in five minutes. Sold to a fellow vendor. My friend told me she saw it on her stall later on… I laughed and thought good luck with the cheap Chinese glass. Found by my co-picker in front of my door.

When I opened the door for him I peeked across and also saw this jar shaped vase. I flogged it but it was another euro extra on a slow day in July.

This mirror isn’t the best but it came with the Edwin name sign and it was a fairly long walk home. It went to a Moroccan guy who probably brought it to family in the home country. He wanted it for next to nothing but I thought of my effort and finally got the price that satisfied me. Did you notice my photography trick here? It was with one mirror before this one I finally got smart and shot it facing the sky to avoid reflections of junk in my yard.

These mugs are from a series issued by Douwe Egberts coffee. I wanted to list them but found them all over the site. It took forever but finally the bird-tree one found a lady who probably completed her collection with it. I may keep the cat-apple.

A tiny skirt found a tiny waist. Another thing out of my fall 2015 clothing haul.

This Mexx blouse almost sold on line up to three times I think. Got tired of that and was sure to sell it at first try in person. Can’t remember when I found it. It was stored over winter in my co-pickers warehouse.

Ikea ‘battery box’ vase, as we call them in Dutch. Surprised I sold a set of them on line in 2014 and again this one went at second try. Just glad glad glad not to have to pack up the heavy thing again.

I just looked them up and realized they hadn’t made it to the blog yet. They went after three weeks. I had forgotten that too. Maybe they are more popular than I think. But my market price was better!

The same day I shot this Ikea wall lamp. Had forgotten that as well, but I remember well selling it at the beach venue later that month. Picked up from across the street I’m sure too.

Another pair of cheap sneakers. I’ve got one pair to go now that nobody looked at so far. They are destined for free pick-up center I’m afraid.

A silly craft basket. I found it coming home from free pick-up center with yarn leftovers still in it. And a hook! I thought the thing looked ridiculous but my friend loved it. But then that’s her colour. To a neighbour vendor, but she bought it for herself. She had been looking at it all day before taking it while we were packing up.

Last for today: block candle holder. Parked neatly at the dump across the street, new in box. Probably from an employer’s Christmas gift box. The inedible things from them are invariably tasteless. I can understand they threw it out. I’ve done it in my days when I could afford to do so. Glad somebody liked it. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Rob & Coen’s Car Boot Sale

A week after our second sale at the mall we went to check out a new venue by the river IJ and had a great view over the water. Unfortunately the crowds failed to flock in. There was competition from two other markets in town, one that we used to love but was booked full and the IJ-hallen which is in the same part of town.

So we didn’t do well. I sold 11 items in total so imagine. Still want to show the unsuccessful listings I got rid of.

The only piece of clothing that went, one more H&M out of the big suitcase. To our neighbour’s wife, the owners of the stock of books and records in the first picture.

A souvenir bottle opener from Disney World. Out of the emigrant’s kitchen drawer. Obviously he visited the US before moving over definitively.

A funny name sign. To a guy who’s friend Edwin just moved to a new house.

But this necklace of semiprecious stones saved the day. I had intended to list it on Etsy but never did. It’s a kind of strange random collection of beads on a string and I doubted if anyone would fall fort it. It was my most valuable item, a man bought it for his son who was going to redo it.

Mainly thanks to this I came home with a little extra money in my pocket. Still we decided we like this place. We love the view. The man behind it is very nice. He gave all vendors a little discount for the lack of visitors. We don’t have to book in advance. So if it rains we just don’t go. There was a dj who played nice old music. 

It’s a shorter ride than the one we couldn’t book for and we’ve had very bad days there as well. I will also not miss the sand and uneven display surface of that place. This photo is from years ago and the water in the background has been turned to land and is now a building site.

If it's up to me we don't go back here. The mall though is the best place so far. More about that soon.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

More Fun At The Markets

Half June we went back to the mall. It was a lovely half cloudy day so we were on the rooftop and it brought in even bigger crowds.

Here are some unsuccessfully listed curb finds that I got rid off.

Thick polka dotted party candles, from a suitcase across the street.

If I remember well this handbag came from the same haul. Brand new just not too attractive.

As well as these cheap Victory sneakers. Can you see the original price?

More thick candles, from the emigrant's posessions.

And from the same loot, ergonomic Joseph & Joseph strainer.

A four liter plastic jug, made in Mexico. Found across the street last September.

Last but not least a set of handmade Mediterranean candlesticks. I'm not sure about the origins but I'm thinking Greece. Not my taste but I do like the little deer and bird. Brought home by the Man in December.

My focus is totally on the outdoor sales now. I love to see the stuff going and hope to sell out this summer, so I can start listing new things in September. We already did two more car boot sales, hope to come back on it soon.