Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stalking the Wily Punkin Heads

We pulled up to one of our early morning stops on Friday. Everyone at the yard sale appeared to be staring at us (always disconcerting). But then we realized they were looking past us at the deer across the street.  Look - deerWho were completely unconcerned by our presence. I almost expected them to come over and shop the sale, but they opted to continue their breakfast. Mmmmm, yummy hostas and roses.

Breakfast time

Judy tried on not just a hat, but a complete undercover disguise.

Judy goes undercover

And bought two cute plaid hats. This one and a blue one.

Judy's new hat

At the next sale I found something I’ve casually been hunting for a long time. I saw it lurking in the underbrush and using all my woodsman’s – er, woodswoman’s – guile and skill I stalked the wily potato ricer.RicerThese things are not really that hard to find, but I was holding out for the complete set (often the wooden pestle is missing) that didn’t cost too much. Passed on one for eight bucks a while back. This one was only a dollar. I win.

Vintage Ricer

The other item we were attempting to stalk was chalk. Regular old blackboard chalk. (And if you remember blackboards being black instead of green – or electronic – you must be my age.) Judy was going to buy some the other day. Don’t, I told her, I have a whole box at home, I’ll give you some. I was positive I knew exactly where it was. I was wrong. Still haven’t found it. And the little nubs of chalk I’ve been using on the grocery-list board in the kitchen

Keeper of the grocery listare almost too short to write with. So we started searching for chalk at every sale, but no luck. Until after I had dropped Judy off at her friend’s house so they could scoot up to Portland. Very next sale they happened to ask if I were looking for anything in particular. Chalk, I said. And danged if one of the ladies didn’t jump up and go search in her garage, coming back with three containers of chalk. “I forgot all about getting this in the sale,” she said. She seemed pleased to have fished it out. Only problem for me was, it was all honkin’ big sidewalk chalk, which is a little had to use for grocery lists. However, a few regular size pieces were lurking down in the bottom, so I scooped them up. And now we’ll probably find chalk at every sale.

Cheap chalk 

I also found another piece of glass for the kitchen window. Not the blue or green I’d asked the yard sale gods for, but a new shape. A glass creamer

  Glass creamer  or possibly a very stylized penguin. 

Creamer ...or penguin

Glass in window

Before I dropped her off, Judy picked up something for their dog Buddy. She bought him red devil horns last week, and this time she found this punkin for his furry head. (He’s all set for Hallowe’en.)


Of course as soon as we got in the car she had to try it on.

Punkin Judy

And everyone at my house had to try it on too. Edward

Punkin Edward

and Noll, who was convinced I just wanted him to play with the dangly string under his chin.

Punkin Noll

Zoe had gone back to bed. She raised her head for a moment,

Punki' Zoe

then went back to sleep.

Punkin Zoe sleeps

I even tried it on myself.

Punkin Queen of Fifty Cents

You’re right, I think the devil horns might be more me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Around the Course

We took a little mini-vacation this week to visit friends and their dogs in Roseburg (Hi, Sophie! Hi, Tootsie!). But we got back in time for Judy and me to go to the big community-wide sale in the golf course neighborhood. Last year was our first time there and it was pretty crazy, but we both agreed there were fewer people this year (and somewhat fewer sales, but we still didn’t see all of them). There were still enough sales and people and stuff to amuse us, and I managed to spend a little over $17.

Don’t think I saw a single vintage hat, but Judy did try out this one to see if she wanted it to keep her ears warm in the winter.

Extra warm ears

At the same sale I spotted a bear that is a cousin of one I used to own, back in my teddy bear collection days. This fellow had seen some use.

Big Bear

I was most amused by the note on his price tag.

Big Bear has a secret

Prices through the neighborhood ranged from the incredibly low (I bought some of those!) to the ridiculously high. Judy is on the lookout for an electric griddle, so we both noticed the non-electric one priced at fifty bucks. What the…? I looked it up when we got home and that’s only about $20 less than a new one of its brand. One of those sales where they thought they were running a boutique.

But at the other end, down in my price range, I spotted four woven placemats – at a dime apiece.

Woven placemat

Yes, thank you.

Finlayson placemat

And leaving that sale I noticed more textiles on a table, and picked up this quite nice cotton tablecloth for fifty cents

Fifty Cent table clothFifty Cents tablecloth 

and a set of coordinating napkins for a quarter. Now that’s more like it!

Cloth napkins

Zoe is still shredding cloth napkins when she gets hold of them (bad dog!) so I went ahead and shelled out a buck for the peach colored ones on another driveway.

Another fifty cent find was a set of coasters from the Metropolitan Museum.

 Bestiary Coasters

I love the illustrations, which come from an alphabet book by Alfred Van Loen. Especially the frog.

Frog Coaster

If anyone remembers my Disapproving Angel Kitty


you may be glad to know she has a new companion, Approving Angel Kitty.

 Approving Angel Kitty Disapproving Angel Kitty meets Approving Angel Kitty

AAK is much smaller than DAK but they will both be hanging out in the kitty section of my Museum de Me (i.e. all the bits and pieces with which I decorate my office).

Kitties in Museum de Me

When I asked the price of this DVD

Good Bad Wierd

the young guy said three bucks. I laid it down and explained I rarely spend more than a dollar for a used movie. He launched into an enthusiastic description of this flick, ending with his willingness to take one dollar for it. I told him we’d give it a good home.

Another dollar find was this racecar toy, which I have no excuse for getting other than I liked it

Alex Toys Rainbow Roller

and it goes well with the one I bought a few weeks ago.


I have something of a weakness for wind chimes, but it’s rare to find good ones on driveways. I was pretty excited to pick these up for three bucks.

Arias windchipmes Windchimes Arias windchime

My big splurge of the day ($6) was at our last stop, which also offered for sale this evil bunny cookie jar. Evil Bunny cookie jarWould you take food from this guy? Don’t think I would! (Though Disapproving Angel Kitty might have liked him.)

Evil Bunny

What I did bring home was another addition to my colorful midcentury vase collection

 Orange cylinder bubble vase 1 Orange cylinder bubble vase 2 Orange cylinder bubble vase 4

that’s growing on the kitchen window wall.

MCM vase collection

I’m hereby putting out a call to the garage sale gods to provide some glass in greens and blues. Hope they’re listening!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fishing for Hugs

Headed first thing on Friday to the sale of a friend of a friend (hi, Jeanne!). Where we took a picture of Judy in a hat

Judy rocks a black hat

and then broke our hearts over the perfect-for-Judy’s-house wooden screen door – that was the wrong size. Like six inches wrong, which means you can’t fudge it to fit. Dang!

Heading for our next stop through a residential neighborhood, we halted at a stop sign. A youngish man across the street immediately headed for us, carrying a fishing pole. We had the top down on my car and he came right up to the passenger side. “Hey,” he said. “I need some help.” He pointed to the handle of his fishing pole. “I need something sharp to cut this off.” I’m not sure what he was pointing at, but something about the scene made me nervous.

“Sorry, don’t have a thing,” I said brightly, and put the car in gear. “Nothing?” He seemed incredulous. “Nope, don’t have a pocket knife or anything.” I pressed the gas and slid around the corner, accelerating. Judy and I glanced at each other. “Yeah, right,” I said. “Let me hand you a knife, weird guy on a street corner. As if!”

At least he didn’t ask us for a gun. Sheesh! I know, he was probably harmless and actually concerned with his fishing pole, but no need to stay and find out for sure. Besides, I’m on the side of the fish.

The rest of the morning was just fun. We found the annual sale of some ladies at a posh house with posh stuff. It’s always one of those sales that even if the prices are higher than I will go, they have cool stuff that’s fun to look at. And I actually bought something I love, in fact I have it on right now – a shawl or wrap in two shades of green

soft wrap 

that is so soft and cushy I think it is probably a cashmere blend. It weighs about as much as a feather and is perfect for a cool morning or to throw on when I go someplace with over-enthusiastic air conditioning.

At our next stop I noticed several quilt books with patterns to be made “in a day.” I asked who the quilter was (nice older lady) and then inquired if you can really make one of these quilts in a day. “Sure,” she said, “if you work on it for 24 hours without stopping.” We both laughed. “Seriously, you probably could complete one in a weekend if that’s all you did.” We chatted about quilts as I looked around, and I was thrilled to find one she had pieced but never finished…for $1.50.

pieced quilt topquilt back side

I think with some simple finishing it will look swell on one of the guest room walls. Or I could always give it to that cat.

Her sale also yielded some movies and music

more DVDsmore music

and a Kitchenaid mixer bowl that I think I can resell.

old Kitchenaid bowl

“I had that mixer for forty years and it finally died. I still miss it. That bowl has seen hundreds of loaves of bread dough,” she told me. I’ve had my Kitchenaid for over thirty years and hope it will last sixty more!

One of the big Catholic churches in town had their annual rummage sale, and rummage we did. There are usually treasures at these sales but you do have to wade through uncountable pieces of utter crap. And this particular church doesn’t price anything; they want you to make a donation – and then every single person gets a guilt trip to try to get them to donate more. I really do prefer the other churches who price things and/or let you fill a bag for X dollars. But I did rummage and find some good stuff - and survived the guilt trip!

I picked up a cute linen shirt (Judy and I both are enamored of linen these days)

linen shirt

and a couple of visors to shield my aging eyes in the convertible


and a wonderful French tablecloth (my eyes bugged out when I researched how much these things go for in a store).French tableclothtablecloth detailI pulled this from under a pile of sewing notions -

Erica Wilson Owls in Tree

a completed Erica Wilson crewel design. Wasn’t she an amazing designer? Look at the personality in these faces!

an owlanother owl

And buried deep in a box of sweaters I saw a flash of color, so I dug, and I pulled, and out came this beauty (which I’ll be reselling in the winter).

Icelandic Designs sweater

It’s by Icelandic Designs, and if you don’t know their stuff, it’s absolutely wonderful. Fabulous materials and beautiful details. I don’t think this was ever worn.

sweater detail

When we left the church the day had grown hot. I looked at my GPS and realized we still had 11 sales on the list I’d programmed in – and there was no way I’d last through them all. So we headed for the street that was supposed to be having a neighborhood sale, which turned out to be all of two houses participating. But we had a great time at one of them. Two women, retired teachers who had team-taught second and third graders for many years. Lucky kids; these ladies were great. I was telling one of them about my search for a tiny shelf to go on the wall between the two windows in my office, and she gave me the exact thing I needed.

little shelf

And we even got it put up, and now my phone extension is off my desk, but still handy. There’s even room for a notepad. Hmmm, looks like I need to move Zoe’s baby picture up so it’s framed by the shelf.

a home for the phone

When she handed it to me, I was so pleased I commented, “I suppose you’d take it amiss if I kissed you?” and she said, “Yeah, but I’m Italian so we can hug!” And we did. It was a great end to a morning that started with a weird guy with a fishing pole!

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