On the Summer Solstice and--so far, at least--the hottest day of the year, I set up at Burlington with Dad for the first time in years and years. It wasn't a very profitable day for me. I didn't bring much and didn't sell anything big. I sold two copper colanders and the set of Crazy Daisy mixing bowls. Had an offer on the spinning wheel for $100, which was too low than I wanted to go, so it's still here.

However, it wasn't a bad day overall. I did make a few purchases, of course. I was afraid that by being there all day I'd make more purchases than usual, but in truth, since we had little room in the van, I just ignored all the really cool stuff that was too big to fit in the van on the way home. That eliminated a lot. Although the bright blue Schwinn bicycle kept calling my name, I didn't even ask how much it cost for fear that I would have had to attempt to find a way to bring it home. (Which would have been impossible.)

I counted violins yesterday--about 12--and unicycles (2) and dulcimers (also 2.) It's surprising how you frequently see stuff in pairs at Burlington. There were also two spinning wheels, although I didn't see the other one. Dad said he saw one on his walk around. There were no looms or weaving-related items.

Anyway. The first thing I actually bought was a small folding rack for the craft shows. That was $8. I'd seen these racks before, but all the others I've seen were pretty wobbly. This one isn't. It will do well for weavings at the craft show.

The second thing I bought wasn't for me--it was a large sized pack basket like my sister Emily got me for Christmas. She had said back then that she wanted one, and I found this one for $25, which was a nice price! So I gave that to her. And while walking around with it on my back, I got many a stare and quite a few comments.

The third thing I initially walked away from, but then figured it was worth $10 to see if I could fix it. It was a concertina made in Italy (no other markings) and the stops inside have come loose. Supposedly, this is a common malady for old concertinas and fairly easy fix. (A few years ago, I wanted to buy one to learn how to play it, and read up on the old ones. There are websites out there that show you what to do, and also a book, I think.) The bellows are in great condition; that why I figured it was worth a try to fix it.

Item #4 was a pair of fabric scissors--Edward Scissorhands scissors--with really long blades for $2. These will be useful in my sewing room. And they are very sharp.

Item #5 was a fan--an old Westinghouse fan--because well, we were hot. And it was worth $10 to get some air flowing in the booth. (Yes, thankfully we had electricity.) I will have to either put it up high to use it here or add wire to the frame so no kitty tails get caught in the blades. I do not want that to happen! (Edit, later because I never finished this post this morning: I put it up high and boy, does it move the air around in here! Quite nice.)

Item #6--well. I initially walked away from that, too. See, a few weeks back, I'd vaguely thought I would look into buying a guitar to learn to play. This is, of course, as a precursor to learning how to play the harps I already own. See, I am very right-hand centric. I can play any melody I hear more than once on the piano or the harp; that much isn't an issue. But I can't play the accompaniment. My left hand just will not work. I think this stems from playing the trumpet. My left hand did absolutely nothing; it was used to hold the trumpet while my right hand did all the work.

So I thought that maybe I could learn to play a fretted or non-fretted instrument, where my left hand has to do the work and my right hand doesn't do as much first, which would then get me used to both hands working on the harp. Or, that's the idea.

Only, years and years ago, I rented a video on how to play the guitar from the library, and tried to learn on Mom's guitar. But Mom's guitar, which is a standard sized acoustic guitar, was very uncomfortable for me to hold. I don't think my upper arms are long enough or something. So I started looking at parlor guitars, or small guitars. And I didn't want to just buy a cheap-o new guitar, because it might be a piece of junk. (I already did this for the Secret Project, and thankfully did not buy a piece of junk.) But the vintage parlor guitars on ebay--the ones that I liked, at least--kept going for too much money than I wanted to spend. And I couldn't inspect them in person, either. (I should have looked up travel guitars, now that I think about it; I may still do that, just to have something that I'm not paranoid about.)

So anyway, the seller had $125 on it, and brought the price down to $90, which was still too expensive for my pocketbook, but only by $10 or so. The guitar itself is unmarked, except for a few pencil marks inside--no. 450 and another number--and there is a small, non-structural crack in the back that looks like it happened a long time ago and doesn't seem to affect anything. I went back later and he dropped the price to $80, which was my limit, and I brought it home with me (and promptly broke one string while tuning it; I expected that to happen, since all the strings looked elderly.) So I have to get new strings, but I am now the proud owner of a really pretty parlor guitar with a spruce top and oak sides. It also has an inlaid stripe across the back and inlay on the front. It is beautiful. And it sounded good before I broke one string.

And that means it's probably time to talk about the Secret Project.

And that will be in a different post. If you're thinking it involves music, you are correct.


Jenny said…
You would have wanted new strings for the guitar anyway if you're buying it to play. The sets with three plastic and three metal strings will be easier on your hands while you're learning, but the all-metal are better later on when you've got the calluses and want it to sound nicer.

What was the price you wanted for the spinning wheel?
Jennifer said…
Yeah, I figured those strings were probably shot anyway, but I thought I'd give it a try. I'm going to stop at the music store sometime this week and buy new ones.

I had $200 on it, and was offered $100. People don't usually offer half of what it is listed for. I mean, one sold on ebay last week for $400 (of course mine has a small flaw.) My absolute lowest price was $150, but they didn't want to deal. (I wasn't there when the person offered $100.)

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