You Learn Something New Everyday BILLIKEN

In the auction this funny guy was advertised as “Buddha”. I bid on him and won, but thought this is a funny Buddha. A commenter on my instagram told me he was a Billiken. A marketing ploy at the turn of the 19th century, he is a good luck charm that gives the owner good luck, but even more good luck if you give one as a gift.

Now’s your chance to give one as a gift! For sale in the store.


Nashco Toleware Trays

Handpainted Floral Tin Trays, these seem to be very collectible.

The best info I found came from Country Living:

“During the Colonial Revival trend of the early to mid 20th century, Nashco, of New York City, mass-produced decorative, stenciled serving trays. These tin examples feature open handles (left) and scalloped rims (right). Nashco trays were hand painted in Wedgwood blue (above), Chinese red, sage green, tan, and black. Typical decorative motifs included flowers, leaves, and foliage. These two trays are in fine condition and are reproductions of 18th- and 19th-century English and French tea serving trays.

What is it?

The Nashco Products Co. of New York City produced serving trays from the 1920s through the 1950s. They were used for serving drinks or appetizers to guests or as wall decorations. Trays of the 18th and 19th centuries were painted black with hand-painted or stenciled motifs; French-made pieces are known as Toleware. Nashco made circular, square, and rectangular trays, as well as bowls and vanity trays.

What to Look For

Since many of the trays are still in existence, condition is the most important factor. They should not be scratched, faded, or have worn spots. The oval, silver-and-black paper label with its block lettering should be intact. Floral decorations need to be vibrant. Some Nashco trays are signed by the artists who painted them. Search flea markets and the Internet. Prices range from $20 to $50 each.

*The estimates provided are preliminary only and subject to change based on firsthand inspection and further research. Appraisal prices refer to an item’s fair market value, or what one might expect to pay for an object of similar age, size, color, and condition at auction.”


I have this one up for sale:


Toleware: In American collectibles and antiques, toleware refers to kitchen-related objects created from metal, typically tin or thin steel, and are often in decorative styles such as Arts and Crafts and Pennsylvania Dutch. Decorative painting on these items is common but not necessary. This style of decorative art spread from Europe to the United States in the 18th century,[3] and was popular in US kitchens in the 18th and 19th centuries.[4]

Tole Twins also for sale:


Nemadji Pottery – Marbled Wonderment


Nemadji Pottery seems to be everywhere. I coveted it, but could never get my hand on any. Then the other day it was just sitting on the Goodwill Shelf. At first I thought it wasn’t true Nemadji because the name isn’t all there, but on close examination, yes, it says Nemadji.


Hooray! But what is it? Etsy says it better than I could:

Nemadji Tile & Pottery Co. of Moose Lake, Minnesota, began producing their swirled pottery in 1929. A distinctive product and clever marketing were the roots of their success. The name “Nemadji” is an Ojibwe word meaning “left-handed,” but was easily misunderstood to be the name of a tribe. In the information sheet that accompanied their pots, Nemadji stressed that their wares were made with the same clays and shapes used by Native Americans. The connection of this marbled style of decoration with Native American production was more assumption than fact, but Nemadji was happy to encourage the idea. In reality, Eric Hellman, a Nemadji employee and Danish immigrant, came up with the idea to decorate the vases using simple house paint.



Nemadji Tile and Pottery started production in Moose Lake, Minnesota, in 1923. Originally producing Nemadji Tile from clay collected at the Nemadji River, the studio produced Nemadji Pottery during the Depression to fuel tourist markets, usually in the western and northeastern United States. The pottery was marketed as “resembling” ancient Indian artifacts, so Nemadji Pottery became known euphemistically as “Indian” pottery. As stated earlier, the pottery’s name, which roughly translates as “left-handed,” originates from the Ojibwa language; however, the craftsmen originated mostly from Scandinavia.

Nemadji Pottery has a very distinctive look. It is typified by its swirled paint look, which was developed by Eric Hellman in 1929. Hellman went on to work for Van Briggle Pottery before World War II and opened the Garden of the Gods Pottery in Colorado Springs in 1950. The last Nemadji Pottery was produced during 2002.



To clean: use dawn dish soap and a sponge. If they have a shellac interior just wipe them inside with a clean soft cloth as the shellac is delicate. For outside rubs and marks try an artists eracer and try a small area. These are fired pots with oil based paint.


This little cutie will be on my etsy store Gotchachacha@etsy soon.  Probably $10

Books and Book Grading

Today I am talking about grading books. I find a lot of fun and cool books and I put them for sale on etsy and eBay.

I found this great web site which has this lists grading qualities, and now I will be using this for describing condition of the books I am selling, and here it is:


Perfect–never opened or read

Some of these have been found in unopened boxed shipments of BLBs discovered in storage.

Near Mint

Near perfect–seldom, if ever, read

The book has: a tight binding; no missing pages; a bright glossy cover; unscuffed corners and edges; clean, unmarked pages.


Mild usage–read, but well-treated

The book has: a tight binding; no missing pages. The book may have: a cover that has lost its gloss but is otherwise bright; slight cracking along corners and edges (not fraying); clean pages; minimal light pencil markings; no defects in printing, binding, or cutting.

Very Good

Average usage–well read, but well-treated

The book has: no missing textual pages.

The book may have: a somewhat soiled or faded cover; slightly frayed corners and/or edges; minor tears (up to 1/2″) at spine corners; minimal markings, but may be in ink.


Average usage–well read

The book has: no missing textual pages; it may have a blank page missing.

The book may have: loose pages; a somewhat soiled or faded cover; worn corners and edges (frayed); minor tears (up to 2″) at spine corners (minor tape repairs are acceptable if done carefully); pages that show usage; minimal markings that are heavy or permanent; minor defects in printing, binding, or cutting; some bending or warping.


Harsh usage–well read

The book may have: a loose binding and/or pages; no more than three missing pages; a scuffed or heavily soiled or faded cover; well-worn corners and edges; major tears (longer than 2″) at spine corners; extensive taping; pages that are very browned; extensive permanent markings; minor defects in printing, binding, or cutting; been extensively bent or warped.


Effective immediately

There are no more refunds in my store.

None, nada, not for any reason.

Look carefully at what you are buying and buyer beware.

Too many petty complaints, FYI, most people who contact me are delighted with their purchases. I work very very hard to find, clean and sell these things, but I’m loosing my mojo by miserable people who don’t read the descriptions and scrutinize the pictures (because you gotta make sure its what you THINK/WANT IT TO BE, bro).

Truthfully it was one BIG REPUBLICAN Grandpa (I googled him).

So, No Refunds. For now. We will see if that helps, or destroys my business.



Shipping, it’s frustrating

At Gotchachacha, we use USPS shipping. I will always try to get the cheapest rates. For example, for big items, ground shipping is less expensive than priority. Books I can mail out media mail, which is usually under $4.

I wish I could send things cheap or free, like Amazon, but I can’t. So if it’s any consolation, these items are scoured and sourced, I am in the muck finding these pieces. I keep my prices realistic.

Having said that, overages shipping charges of more than $2 will be refunded. And whereas I don’t have a handling charge, because of the expense of all brand new shipping supplies; strong boxes, good bubble wrap, thick and sturdy envelopes, and recyclable brown butcher paper, I use the etsy shipping which has a small discount, depending on service. (Media mail is not discounted, and I use nice new boxes and envelopes for my shipping supplies.)

So that’s it. That is the best system I have come up with so far. I am always learning and promise to be honest and have really great and safe packaging.



Self-taught Artist Painting

I scour thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets for my treasures. It’s an addiction. I get a lot of gratification. Particularly when I come across paintings. Paintings that somebody lovingly, carefully painted. They’re thought out and coming from a place of passion and energy. If they’re good. I enjoy them more than slick reproduced art bought at a big store. Now, if I was loaded I’d be buying myself Picasso’s or Basquiat’s, but sadly I am not, so these are lovely acceptable substitutes. Check out my store to see what I have for sale right now. More will be coming in the near future.

Book pages

An affordable way to get great art is to frame a great illustration from a beloved book. I do it in my home and some pictures I have had up for years.

My store was started as a way to recycle, reuse beautiful old book illustrations from books that were damaged and unusable.

I had been framing them myself, but haven’t found a way to make that pay for itself, so now I mostly offer up the page, from a beautiful, damaged book, that you can frame yourself. It’s inexpensive and you can customize it.

Going Vintage

I have been stockpiling many treasures from my adventure shopping trips and wanted to add them to the store. Here are a few I just put up. Nothing here is worth a million dollars, but I’m not selling them for very much. These items are things that can help personalize a room. They have character and style and are unique. I love Target and Ikea and the other big stores, but you also need to inject something personal and distinctive. The puzzle has great graphics, and is in a sealed box. That would look cool in a bookcase. For the scissor fanatic collectors here are a pair, almost mint, in box. The globe looks distinguished in an office, and this puzzle would look super cute in a kids room. As would the tea set. I don’t think anything is listed over $10. More things to come, so check out my store if you are interested:

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes of the brain factory here at GotchaChaCha. First I am showing off my new soft light boxes, which hopefully will make my product photo’s look better.

Then you see a table of the journals I have put together in  search of ways to utilize old books. Nothing quite work, sadly. It has been a while since I have looked at them, so I wanted to see what I had done with fresh eyes. Back to the drawing board! Hope to get something figured out to put in the store.