The Penny Pinching Pickers’ Picks 2013

So we had another Penny Pinching Picker’s event again this year. To refresh your memory from last year, the players are:


Below are the four items picked by Karen, Lynne and the two Erics at the Fryeburg Flea Market in Maine:


So the rules of the “pick” were… Well, there were no rules! Except no item could be more than $20. But you could pick anything… new, old, repro, antique. Didn’t matter. And then we were judged by our two brilliant judges, on what they thought was the “best pick” for the money spent.

They do no research and have limited information about each item. So it could be based on necessity, or perceived value or if it’s one of their favorite colors. Could be anything that strikes their fancy.

Brief info of each item:

Pick 1: 1950s military issue shower pail (or solar shower). Picker paid $13

Pick 2: A beautiful “slump glass” dish, signed by maker. Picker paid $5

Pick 3: Originally a “what’s it?” but we now know what it is — An alligator tool used for a conveyor belt. Technically, still a “what’s it?” since it’s unsure how this is used with a conveyor belt! Picker paid $5

Pick 4: Antique industrial blue-green enamel metal basket. Maybe a dipping basket of sorts? Picker paid $15

Do you know who won the “best pick”? I’ll let you know tomorrow, plus who bought what! (just like a soap opera… you’ll have to wait…)

(If you want to see last year’s picks, see post here, and who won the prior year, see post here.)

2nd Annual Penny Pinching Pickers

As I’ve written, last weekend was our 2nd Annual Penny Pinching Pickers up in Maine with our great friends Karen and Eric (a.k.a. “the sherpa”). So we each “picked” our items and have submitted them to our esteemed judges. While we wait for the results, I will share some pics from our penny pinching day.

fryeburg-fair-penny-pinching-pickers-1Not sure what Eric (Mr. Basketmaker) and Eric (“the sherpa”) are laughing about, but I wish I knew! And above is my dear friend Karen. I literally would not have survived my life up in Maine without Karen and her husband Eric.


Above are some snaps that Mr. Basketmaker took while we were looking for our picks. The kitties and the milking cow pic is plain weird. I expect him to be interested in that. But why did he shoot all these little, large-faced dolls? I find that even more weird.


Here’s Karen, giving me some pointers. When it comes to flea markets and yard sales, when Karen speaks, I tune in intently! Her knowledge of vintage items is absolutely amazing. She is a true creative, professional all the way.

Ahhh… and our rusty wheels. These are not one of our picks but it is our favorite. We will be using these for the bottom of the barn door we will be building to separate our kitchen and living area from our bedroom and the rest of the living space.


Here’s me whining to Eric (“the sherpa”) that I have yet to find my “pick.” I started to panic a little, however, I eventually found my item. Will post all four of our “picks” tomorrow! Hopefully, the judges will get busy judging and send us the results soon!



Redneck Has No Borders

I lived in Maine for seven years. Before that, I lived in Dallas, Texas for a few years. Both states are a culture shock between one and the other. I know Mainers don’t get Texans and Texans definitely don’t get Mainers. But growing up in New Hampshire, I have New England blood and completely understand Yankee ingenuity. And I proclaimed that this chair, pictured below, was a perfect example of this. However, Mr. Basketmaker was quick to point out that this was not any kind of “ingenuity” — it’s total redneck.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Look and see what I mean…


In preparation of our 2nd Annual Penny Pinching Pickers competition with our friends Karen and Eric (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see last year’s competition here), we decided to visit a few thrift stores on Saturday. And at one of my favorite thrift stores when I lived in Maine, a store operated by the Nine Lives animal shelter, we came upon this chair, sitting proudly outside, beside the road.

Only a Mainer would process that a broken arm rest can be repaired by drilling several holes into the plastic, placing a small log on the surface and tying it down with cable ties, threaded through the drilled holes.


I’m not sure if this solution is more comfortable. But, again, I will say that this unique chair, with a price tag of $3 I might add, is the perfect example of Yankee Ingenuity. However, Eric says it’s a redneck creation, and proves that a “hillbilly” has no borders. As Eric stated to me “I know I have embraced my inner redneck because Lynne and Karen walked right by this exquisite example of a country-bumpkin-inspired lawn chair without even a first glance”

He questioned how seasoned pickers like Karen and myself (but I am in no way on the same level as Karen — she is a true, expert picker) walk right by this one-of-a-kind piece? He was mighty proud of himself for grabbing my attention and pointing out my oversight. All I could say is “Why would someone do that?”

He quickly explained that the arm on the chair was broken, and it was a simple “solution to the problem”. Extending the life of an object using whatever means are available to you that given minute, is one important trait of a rural redneck collectible.

What do you think? (I apologize in advance for the haphazard writing of this post! We left Maine this morning, picked up Chance and had to pack some leftover belongings I left at my parent’s home, in the van, and It’s after 11 pm, and I’m sitting in a hotel room somewhere in Pennsylvania. I need some sleep!)