Thursday, February 23, 2012

Festival Posters of the 1960’s: The Great Poster Trip

I’d like to share with you a pickin’ story that ended up landing me some fairly valuable 60’s memorabilia.
coverpageLast year while browsing the items up for auction at a local auction house, I came across a stack of books from the 1960’s.  I had been to this auction house before and knew that this type of item wouldn’t sell that well.  This auction house wasn’t exactly known for good quality antiques and collectibles, if you get my drift.
Needless to say, I stuck around and waited on these books to go up for bid. 
$5….$10….$15…$20…$25…$30…$40…and Sold to me for $40.
So what did I get exactly?
  • 1968 Newport Pop Festival program, the one they hand out to all festival attendees at the gate.
  • 1973 Grateful Dead guitar tab book.
  • “The Hippies” book that is a collection of black & white photographs of the hippies from the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco in 1967.
  • And last but not least, I got “The Great Poster Trip: Art Eureka”, a graphical listing of music and festival posters of the 1960’s.
I’d like to now focus on the posters of the 1960’s in “The Great Poster Trip”.  The artwork on these posters is absolutely incredible and inspiring.  Posters in the 60’s, much like the present day, were inspired by free thinking, open minds (hmmm), and political controversy.  I’m excited to own this book, so much that I thought I‘d share some of the posters and artwork with you in this short video. Enjoy!
A Walk Through the Posters of the 60s: The Great Poster Trip
All posters shown in this video are copyrighted and are the property of the owners. Harvest Moon Shoppes does not take any credit for the posters or artwork in this book and video.

What is Upcycling?

I can’t look at junk or trash now without thinking.. 
“How can I make that into something new?”
You may have seen us posting about upcycling and our upcycled projects.. and some of you may not even know what upcycling is.  In a nutshell it’s turning..
Trash into Treasure
You’re taking something that would have gone into the trash and giving it new life with a new purpose.  What could be more eco-friendly than that?!?

Our Own Upcycled Lights: &

For example.. our wine bottle torches and vases.  What would you normally do with that bottle after you finish it off?  Throw it in the trashcan…  or hopefully recycle it.  We take them and give them a new purpose.. what once was a bottle for holding your wine is now a decorative tiki torch or wall vase.
wine bottle torchWine Bottle Wall VaseWine Bottle Wall Vase Clear
A Little History..
The concept first appeared as the theme of the 1999 book with the same title written by Johannes F. Hartkemeyer. The concept was later incorporated by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle:  Remaking the Way we Make Things. They state that the goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. This reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.
You might be wondering how recycling plays a role.  Well upcycling is one half of the recycling process.  The other being the more well known downcycling which involves converting materials and products into new materials of lesser quality. Upcycling on the other hand converts them into new materials and products of higher quality.
Upcycling = The Cool Thing to Do
Upcycling is definitely gaining popularity.  Not only is it good for the earth.. but it lets people like us use their creativity to design new products.  We have a lot of fun with it..  and it makes it hard to throw away something without first exploring how it could be given new life.  Smile

Several businesses, blogs, shops, etc. have been created to serve this new concept. 
TerraCycle has created partnerships with major brands to upcycle their packing into new products all while donating money to schools and charities.  For example..  they take Capri Sun packaging and turn them into products such as this backpack.  So cool! 
Capri Sun Backpack

HipcycleHipcycle is an online retailer which offers a wide array of unique, durable, artistically appealing upcycled products like this clock made from reclaimed wood.
Hipcycle clock

Upcycled products have also become very popular on Etsy.  By searching “upcycled” you’re given a wide selection of handcrafted products, including our own.  The same goes for Pinterest.. search “upcycyled” and array of products and DIY projects for you to try on your own appear. 
Hopefully this gave you a little more insight into this fairly new concept and possibly even inspiration to try your own upcycled project!
A great resource for upcycled projects are blogs… here are a few of my favorites:

We are continuously posting upcycling project ideas on our Facebook page!  Like us to keep in touch!

Happy Upcycling!
Megan Signature

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Online Antique Appraisal

How much is your antique Coca Cola cooler worth?  What’s the value of  your antique grandfather clock?  What are people willing to pay for your set of 1960 Topps baseball cards?

We all have something valuable, and most of us are in one of three boats.  We have never known the value of our item, we think we know the value of our item, or we’ve had our item appraised. 

“The value of an item is what people are willing to pay for it right here, right now”

This article will enlighten you on the many ways to appraise your antiques online including how to use eBay to self-appraise your items,  how to use online appraisal tools to get the experts opinion and more.

First things first…..Condition is Everything (unless you have the only existing item of its kind known to man).  Don’t assume your item is as good or better than the items you find online.  Be realistic about the condition of your antique. Not fooling yourself will only lead to better piece of mind and a more genuine sale, if you do choose to sell your antique.

How many exist?
Find out how many of your item exist.  Use eBay to see how many listings show up when you search for your item.  Use Google or other search engines to search for your product to see how many people are actively trying to sell their item.  You certainly cannot know exactly how many of your item exists, but you can get a general sense of the rarity by using common sense.  If there are 2,500 eBay listings for your item, you likely don’t have a rare item, but on the other hand if you cannot find any eBay listings or Google’s search results are slim to none, then you may possibly have a rare antique, or at least you might be the only one trying to sell it, which is not a bad thing at all.

What is the condition?
Be realistic about the condition of your antique!  A nice piece of antique pottery with a crack in it will sell for a fraction of that same uncracked item. Each antique will have its own set of characteristics that need to be evaluated. Look for water damage and fading on paper based products, cracks on pottery, glass and ceramic pieces, and finish, cracks, and wear on furniture.  This article does not go into specifics on evaluating the condition of your item, but I do want to drive home the point that condition is everything.

How large is the target buying audience?
How many people are seeking your item?  How many bids did a similar item receive on eBay?  How accessible are the target audiences for your antique? 
All these questions need to be considered when appraising an antique.  You could ry to sell your Mickey Mantle Rookie card at a yardsale for $1,000, but you’d likely never make the sale.  Why you might ask…..because your audience, right here, right now, is too small.  If you have an item that is highly sought after, don’t try to sell it at a flea market or yardsale. Instead, try talking to auction houses in your area to see if they can draw in the correct crowd.  Pairing your antique with other similar antiques will have a huge impact on bidding crowd size.  The more people that are right here, right now, that are interested in your item, the higher the bid will be…..and the higher the value will be.

“Unfortunately, the only way to know the true value of an antique is to sell it”

Online Resources
The following online resources can assist you in appraising your antique, without selling it to someone else.

eBay Complete Listings (FREE)
ebayWhen using eBay to self-appraise your antique, be sure to use the advanced search options to check the “complete listings” box.  This will show search results of items that have sold in the past as well as items currently for sale.  Your best resource is too look at the condition and selling price of the items that did sell.  Do not pay any attention at all to the overpriced items, instead take an average of the items that did sell. ($$$)
Provides appraisals for decorative arts, fine art, furniture, porcelain, silver, collectibles, vintage autos, oriental rugs, books, and manuscripts and more.  This service, while at $100 per appraisal, is a high end appraisal service, not for the average customer. This service should be used for very valuable items, insurance reasons, estate planning, and donation values.

American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
Use this service to find antique appraisers in your area by entering your zip code.  While no results are provided online, this is the best resource for finding a local appraiser.

Kovels (FREE)
kovelslogoKovels is a household name for antiquers and collectors alike.  They produce the premire annual antiques price guide.  On their site, you can search for your item to see the value.  You must create a free account to see the actual value, but you can search for free.

WorthPoint (Free/$)

WorthPoint is a brokerage type system that scours the web for related listings.  You can sign up for the free 7 day membership to get a quote on just a few items, and its easy to cancel.  Search for your item first, to see if there are any results prior to signing up for a membership.


While this list of online resources is not exhaustive by any means, it does give you some tried and trued places to start.  Happy Pickin’!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Attending Your First Auction

auctionsignIf you’re on this page, then its safe for me to assume that your interested in attending your first auction.  Auctions are possibly the most unique and exciting ways to sell and buy stuff these days, but with this excitement comes quite a bit of confusion.  First-time auction goers can be overwhelmed and intimidated by the entire process, from checking in and bidding, to winning and paying for your purchases.  The auctions on TV shows like Auction Hunters and Storage Wars portray a “made-for-TV” type of auction while “real-life” auctions go much more quicker and are normally much more crowded. 
The remainder of this post will give you the information you need so you can survive your first auction including the types of auctions, how to find auctions, auction terminology, and auction etiquette.

Types of Auctions
Auction Houses are the most common type of auction location and normally occur on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.  These “houses” sell items on consignment from individuals, liquidated and surplus assets for companies, and estates for families of the deceased.  Auction houses normally have on-site concessions, bathrooms, and plenty of parking and seating.  Auction houses vary in size and could use as many as 4 auctioneers at one time, each one auctioning off items in a different area of the building. You might be surprised at how many auction houses are out there that may be closer than you think.  See “Finding an Auction” section below to find auction houses near you.
On-site Estate Auctions are held at the estate owners house.  An estate is basically the collection of a person’s property.  Estates normally include kitchen items, furniture, shed items, shop items, yard items, collectibles, knick knacks, whatnots, and whatchamacallits.  To draw a large crowd, estate auctions normally contain at least one of the following: automobiles, farm equipment, firearms, high end furniture, or the house and lot.  Parking is often tight while crowds will vary based on the types of items at the auction.  It’s not uncommon for an auctioneer to sell the contents of an entire shed with one bid.  Bid and win those if you like sorting through stuff and hunting for treasures.

How to Find Auctions

Finding auctions is the easiest part of the auction process.  Most auctions are posted and advertised at least 2 weeks in advance and sometimes as much as 2 months in advance for larger, high-profile auctions. Your 3 main ways to find auctions are as follows:
Newspapers are the standard method people use to advertise their auctions.  Browse the classified sections of the local newspapers and you’ll be sure to find more auctions than you’ll know what to do with.
Classified Print Papers are popular regionally.  My region has a weekly paper called the Valley Trader, and you may have one as well in your region.  Auction ads are normally spread out throughout the paper. is my personal favorite for 2 reasons, 1) they provide pictures of the items at the auction, and 2) you can quickly see all auctions for a given day, and get all the details you need with no space restrictions like in print ads.  This site allows you to enter your zip code and razlogoadius search(miles) and provides a calendar view of all the auctions that meet your criteria.  Auction ZIP also offers a keyword search in case your looking for a specific item like a canoe or a specific brand.
Auction Terms

Each auctioneer is different and will handle things in their own way, but there are a few concepts that are common to all auctions.
Bidder’s Choice is when the auctioneer decides to sell a group of items under one bid, where the highest bidder can choose to take 1, 2, 3 or all of the specified items.  If the highest bidder wants 3 items, their cost is 3* the bid amount, i.e., 3 * $20 = $60.  Any remaining items will be auctioned off again. This process continues until all items are won.  Common items that fall under bidder’s choice are: anytime there are more than 3 of an item and when there are 2 or more stacks/collections of items.
Absentee or Left Bids are bids left by persons that are not physically at the auction.  Bidding will start at the absentee bid.  Auction attendees can still win the item by outbidding the max bid left by the absentee bidder.  You can also leave an absentee bid with the auction staff if you are not able to physically be at the auction when a specific items sells.  Proper etiquette is to only leave absentee bids on items more than $40 and you should never leave more than 2 or 3 absentee bids.  Absentee bids slow down the overall process which irritates the other bidders.

Auction Etiquette

Step 1:  Check-in with the auction clerk as soon as you arrive at the auction.  New registrants usually need to provide a photo ID and sometimes a phone number.  The clerk will give you a bid card.
Step 2:  Scope out the auction’s items and find out how many and where auctioneers are selling.
Step 3:  Bid on items.  Your first bid may require you to raise your hand or bidding card in the air until you’re noticed.  Once you’re noticed, you simply need to nod, wink or make a strange noise to let the auctioneer know you are raising the bid.  If you want out of the bid, simply shake your head no and look away from the auctioneer to let him know you are finished.
Step 4:  Win an item.  If you do win an item, quickly show the auctioneer you bid number.  Auctioneer staff may bring the item directly to you.  Quickly scope out a spot near you where you can pile up your stuff, or simply push it under the table.  if the item is heavy, its ok to tell the auction staff to leave the item as it sits.
Step 5:  Paying for your items.  When you are finished bidding and are ready to leave, you’ll need to go back to the cashier to pay for your items.  Most auctions take credit cards, but always have a check just in case.  Most auctions also have a buyers premium that is applied to all sales, usually 4%.  This premium may be waived if you pay with check or cash.  It’s also OK to load up your items in your vehicle before you pay.


I’ve given you the rundown of the things you need to know to survive your first auction, now it’s up to you to find and grab the bargains.  Don’t be afraid to try out the different auction houses in your area, until you find one that fits you and the things you’re looking for.  Estate auctions always have an assortment of items and are my personal favorites.
Most of all, enjoy it.  Don’t get discouraged by being outbid.  You’ll win some and lose some, but you’ll live to bid another day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Living Room Wall Redo

After repainting our living room I put up the same clock and wall sconces I had on the wall before.. and was never satisfied.  After several auctions and other picks we had built up a supply of old windows and shutters.. and a weekend finally came around where we didn't have any plans so we dug into redesigning our living room wall.  Unfortunately at the time, I wasn't thinking in the future and didn't take before or process pics.. but hopefully you'll get the idea.  (I promise I'll get better about this...). 

We started by digging out all of the supplies we had built up.. shutters, windows, hardware, etc.  I loved the color of the yellow and red shutters.. 


So they they were definitely in.. I picked out one of our multi-pane windows.. 


and one of our longer yellow painted windows.  We stood out in our driveway laying out different arrangements and decided on a basic layout.. But knew it was missing something and had the idea of adding the wine bottle wall vases.  Then we added a chalk painted board to the long yellow window to make it into a shelf 


and our design was complete!  

This is where the hubby's job kicked in... hanging it all on the wall.  He did a great job!  I added a few old books and glass bottles and our new wall was complete!


On to the next project!





Welcome to our New Blog!

Welcome to The Harvest Moon!  Follow us as we show you how to upcycle, design, craft, pick, enjoy the outdoors, find good music and much more!  Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter (see upper right hand corner) and our website:  We’re also opening an antique and handcrafted goods shop and will post on our journey along the way!


Interesting and inspiring posts to follow…. smiley



Andy & Megan