Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wooden It Be Nice

You can probably tell from the wide variety of items I bring home from my garaging forays that I have eclectic taste. But I admit that country and Early American don’t usually float my boat. I like those styles just fine in other people’s houses, but I’m usually on the prowl for midcentury goodies to go with my MCM house. (I’m getting semi-desperate to replace the fabric on the midcentury rocker I found last year. I just need to find the right fabric at the right price.)

Midcentury rocking chairSo I was a bit surprised by some of this week’s loot. Like the framed Warren Kimble print.

Warren Kimble Fall

What can I say, I just like the colors and the peacefulness of it. And that it looks like it’s painted on a slab of wood. And that I had a skinny spot to put it in.

Peaceful Fall

At the Baptist Church rummage sale, I spotted this baby.

Steve Strouse Shaker tray

Early American, yes, but classic lines and beautifully made. The wood is probably cherry. When I turned it over and saw it was a signed piece, I decided the $2 price tag wasn’t bad.

Steve Strouse

By the time I left I was chuckling. This rummage sale had been going for probably close to half an hour when I arrived, so plenty of people had perused the goods. As soon as I picked up this tray, other shoppers started admiring it, as did the ladies who were adding up sales and the cashier. Perhaps it was waiting for me and had made itself invisible when other people looked at it.

But my normal taste reasserted itself when I saw this trivet.

Dansk teak trivet

A beautiful little slab of teak. I wasn’t very surprised when I turned it over.       Dansk mark Getting it for fifty cents was the icing on the cake.

This collection of wooden birdhouses on a chandelier wasn’t for sale. When I admired it, the owner told me his neighbors made it for them, and even snuck over and hung it in the tree.

Birdhouse chandelier

This embroidery would fit well into country or Early American decor, and I confess I picked it up solely to resell. Eva Rosenstand bag  Eva Rosenstand designThough I have done some counted cross stitch in my checkered past, I doubt my skills are up to this baby.

Eva Rosenstand chartEva Rosenstand detail

I recognized the designer’s name and knew these kits are very, very expensive. This one has the original price tag on it from probably 20 or more years ago.

Eva Rosenstand is pricey!

If anyone is up to the challenge, let me know and we’ll make a deal. Otherwise it’s off to eBay. One of these days.

hope you're an expert!

The weekend’s garaging was not without loot more to my usual taste. I love this little magazine rack

Vintage magazine holder 

and it just fits in the guest bathroom.

Another treasure dates from about the same period, and it was free because Judy gave it to me. Of course, she got it from a free box a couple of weeks ago with a very sad aloe vera plant in it.  Vintage planterI took a couple of pieces of the aloe at the time and stuck them in dirt, and they seem to be reviving. I hope.


But Judy’s got more wilted so she abandoned it and gave me the planter. The curious thing is, we think this was probably a gift-with-purchase since the logos on the bottom are for Phillips 66 gasoline.

Phillips 66 garden pot

Ah, those were the days, weren’t they…when you could fill up for 29 cents a gallon, they pumped the gas and cleaned your windshield, and gave you a present besides.

And then you hurried home to try to fit it into your Early American decor!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Finding Feathers

It’s starting to feel like fall, but instead of a nip in the air we had temperatures in the high 90s this weekend. But neither rain nor sleet nor hot afternoons can keep us from our self-appointed rounds. Perhaps because school has started, Friday was pretty quiet. Not too many sales and not too many shoppers. And not too many bargains, though I’m happy with whatever I find. In this case it was what I believe is linen string

linen string

(I’m sure I can find something cool to use it for, and it cost a quarter) plus a pashmina-and-silk shawl that I will enjoy draping myself in (especially for 75 cents)

pashmina shawl

and a homemade cup cozy (also a quarter).

button on cozy

I just wanted the button!

Saturday morning I grabbed Judy, who was waiting at the foot of her driveway, and we sped to the sale where I’d seen something I really wanted in one of the pictures on their Craigslist ad. When we pulled up in front of the house, I just knew I’d been there before. “Do you work at the hospital?” I asked the lady minding the sale. “I remember you, you came to my last sale!” she exclaimed. “When was that, three or four years ago?” “Three,” I said with complete certainty. Are you wondering how I knew? Hers was the very first sale I went to after I retired and moved to Salem. I’d been here all of two days. We had a lovely conversation; she certainly couldn’t have remembered me for what I spent there, because it was one whole buck for some Lake Woebegone tapes.

I immediately asked about the item I was hoping to buy. And was heartbroken to hear it had gone the day before (didn’t even know about her sale on Friday or I would have been there first thing). It was the footstool that matches my beloved Siesta Chair, which was scooped up by some guy who grabbed it, paid the five bucks it was marked, and left. I have to keep telling myself it’s okay, it wasn’t meant to be, it’s only a footstool…but I really really wanted it!

But maybe the garage sale gods felt a little sorry for me, because I found great stuff all morning. From this first sale, I got two extremely warm wool sweaters for the hubs

wool sweaters

and some beautiful handknit sweaters

handknit sweaters

and a pair of down-filled slippers. No cold feet at my house this winter!

warm feet this winter

Even though I love the green billfold I found recently, I picked up this little painted one.

painted billfold

Just big enough for the basics. I think I’ll use it in my fanny pack to leave more room for the camera.

smaller billfold

So I can keep taking pictures like this one of Scruffy.

Scruffy sniffs

They found Scruffy at the shelter when he was about 6 months old (several years ago). “He was so peculiar looking I wasn’t sure I wanted him,” the lady told me. “But I kept thinking about him so I went to see him again.” “She called me and made me come look at him,” her husband chimed in. “And now we wouldn’t take anything for him.” They made sure his Mohawk on top of his head was standing up for his picture.

Once we’d finished with a few sales in our part of town, Judy and I crossed the river for the neighborhood sale in one of the local retirement neighborhoods. The first stop there had a large pink sign proclaiming theirs “The Best Sale of the Day.” And I did indeed find what turns out to be quite a bargain. There were some nice looking shoes, and I tried one on, and it fit perfectly.

blue Mary Janes

Tried on a couple others and one more pair was Just Right.

brown Waldlaufers

Both pairs are brand new, five bucks a pair. I’d never heard of the brands so I looked them up when I got home. The brown ones are German and the price tag I found on the shoe box was $159.95. The blue Mary Janes would run $140 or more in a store – and they’re fitted with after-market insoles that start at about $45. So five bucks each? Such a deal!

As we paid I asked the lady if we should just skip the rest of the sales in the neighborhood since her sign said theirs was the best. She thought we’d be safe doing that, but we kept going anyway. A little later we were at one of those ridiculously overpriced sales and Judy commented dryly, “They need a sign here that says ‘We just THINK we have the best sale.’”

At another sale Judy spotted something I’ve always kind of wanted.

pecking chickens

Yup, I’m the kind of person who’s always wanted a pecking chicken toy. I also found a couple of linen tea towels. Don’t you love this vintage one with the cheerful singing hen?

singing chicken towel

I’ve been wanting to make that pieced quilt top I found recently into a lap quilt. I don’t care much for regular quilt batting, so I was happy to find the perfect thing for the middle layer. Not sure if it was a tablecloth or a blanket, but it’s soft and cotton and will just give the right amount of weight.

lap quilttexture

Now I just have to score the perfect fabric for the ends and back and I’ll be ready to sew.

We all got a good chuckle over this vintage cookbook.

Well FedWell Fed author

In fact, the lady having the sale decided to keep it!

This instruction book may encourage me to expand my knitting projects to the dogs.

knit for dogs

One other sale was billed as ‘The Dollar Sale.’ Anything for a buck. I picked up some brown wool tweed fabric, about 3 yards, that probably won’t be right for the upholstery project I was thinking of. I’ll just hang onto it until some other inspiration strikes. Also bought this kit for adding appliqu├ęs to a shirt.

falling leaves kit

I’m not going to decorate any sweatshirts, but for a dollar, the two packets of buttons are a steal.

           autumn leaf buttons          

We drove away laughing over something else he had for sale.


I kind of think he didn’t want anyone to open the feathers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The True Oregonian

Got to go garaging Friday with both Judy and my SIL Linda. I always have fun with either one, and having both of them along was the icing on the cake. Being a holiday weekend I kept my expectations low, but we all found good stuff. Judy went home with more clothes and a hedge trimmer. Linda found a great lampshade. It was covered with an interesting variety of ribbons in blues, gray and yellow, and when I looked up on the Internet the name that was on the tag, I found this picture of it.

Lampshade by the Ribbon Jar

We’re pretty sure this is the exact same one, since the article it was in was about using a ribbon company’s wares to decorate a lampshade. So we think the ribbon company must be located around here somewhere.

And me? Well, I bought a chainsaw. So now I am a true Oregon Woman.

ultimate Oregon accessory

We were at our first stop, an estate sale, where I’d been chatting with a friend’s husband who’s also a die-hard thrifter. (Hi Ken! Hi Robin!) In the backyard, one of my companions pointed out this chainsaw marked $5. And I remembered my husband saying something about a chainsaw recently, and five bucks sounded pretty good – if it worked. So I grabbed Ken and asked him if he knew anything about chainsaws. I guess he knew at least something because he said if I wasn’t going to buy it he would! We got the folks running the sale to let us plug it in and Ken revved the engine. Sounded exactly like a chainsaw, so I said I’d take it.

The thing is, chainsaws terrify me. I’ve heard horror stories of what they can do to the human body, and I have no intention of ever wielding this one. My job will be to hover nearby, wittering nervously, and being ready to drive to the emergency room if needed.

When I took the thing up to pay for it, the young woman took my fiver and commented, “And it even matches your outfit.” I looked down and realized she was right, I was wearing green capris just about the same shade as the saw. Is that not the last word in accessorizing, a matching chainsaw?

You know me, always ready to go the extra mile when it comes to fashion!

Besides the chainsaw, I brought home a box of candles.

          Fifty Cent Candles

Fifty cents for the box. You speak my language, I told the lady having the sale. And I got suckered into buying a dork.

Grow a Dork for a dime

We were laughing over it and I put it back on the table, when the little girl said quietly, “It’s only a dime.” So I picked it back up and handed over the dime. What else could I do? But she also let me hold their baby kitten named Onion, and that was worth more than a dime. (Her mom stuck her head out the door to inquire if I might like a mama cat plus another kitten. We quickly left.)

Got more yarn for my stash

Mmmmm, yarn

and one of my fave movies. It will be raining here before we know it.

It's Oregon - we've got the rain

This brass and copper hoop is intended for carrying your best pie to a potluck

pie carrier

but I think I’m going to repurpose it. I have some obsidian needles to dangle inside it for a cool wind chime.

pie carrier to wind chime

At the end of the morning we dropped Judy off at her house, and Linda and I headed off to grab a sandwich. We passed one more sale on the way, and the first thing I saw was a great little MCM end table. Exactly what I needed between the chairs in the corner of my living room – for $4.

MCM end table

I keep thinking I can’t buy ANY more furniture for this house, and then I find one more piece that just fits!

MCM table & chairs

Sunday, August 24, 2014

You Never Forget

The gray-haired lady looked apprehensive but determined as she climbed onto the pretty turquoise blue bicycle. “I’m not sure I remember how to do this. I haven’t been on a bike in a long time,” she said.

“You’ll do fine, that’s something you never forget,” I assured her. “It’s easier if you go faster. Speed is your friend.” She took a deep breath and pushed off, wobbled a couple of times, and then sailed down the street. I cheered. In a minute she was back, smiling.

You never forget how to ride a bike

“My fourteen-year-old grandson is coming to live with me,” she said. “I thought maybe I could go bike riding with him. The last time I rode a bike was in Sweden, on a tandem with my husband. He crashed…and I went down with him!” We were both admiring the color of the bike when the gentleman having the yard sale walked up. “Did you find that bike at the sale next door?” he asked her. “No, it was at your sale!” she said. He shook his head. “This isn’t our bike.” He looked at it again. “Though that does look like my wife’s handwriting on the sign. I’ll go ask her.”

Who owns the bike           

He took the sign with him, and in a moment was back. “She says she’s never seen this bike before. We have no idea whose it is. Maybe one of the other neighbors brought it over when we weren’t looking.”

We all scratched our heads over the Mystery of the Unknown Bike Seller, and then the prospective purchaser took off again. I headed back to the car and caught up with her at the corner. We called goodbye to each other and I told her to have fun. Her big smile assured me she was.

I drove off to the next sale, musing over timing. If I had been a minute earlier or later getting to that sale I’d have missed the fun. But as it was I got it (as Goldilocks said) Just Right.

Judy and I were perusing another sale this weekend and chatting with the young man and woman sitting on the porch steps. A woman stepped out of the house and addressed me by name. (This is something that usually happens to Judy, not me, since she’s lived here about 30 years longer.) It was Ann, who works at the library…and from whom we bought our house! (Hi, Ann!) The pair on the steps grew up in my house and evidently have fond memories of it. And my favorite find of the weekend was here.

Vogue knitting magazines

A whole box o’ knitting magazines, dating from the Eighties to a couple of years ago. OMG, I am in knitter’s heaven. I am so looking forward to making may way through all this knitting wonderfulness. Thank you, Ann, you absolutely made my day! I sat down last night and had a great time pulling them all out of the box and sorting them by date. (Hey, I was a librarian and we like to organize things!) It reminded me of the fun I had when I scored a big jar of vintage buttons and got to sort and admire for hours. Though that time I did not have the somewhat odd experience of seeing my own address on the mailing labels. Wonder what the odds are of a bunch of magazines ending up years later in the house they were originally mailed to?

I think the issues from the Eighties look especially promising, with inspiring articles

Vogue sweaters

(I always wear a sweater over my bikini, don’t you?) and glimpses of hair styles of yesteryear.

Vogue sweater

My husband had a good score too. He’s been looking for an elliptical machine to replace the one I found nearly 3 years ago for $15. He’s certainly gotten his money’s worth from it! Judy and I stopped at a fundraiser sale for a boy scout group and the first thing I saw was a nice looking elliptical. Called the hubs and he came to look at it. But the batteries for the display were dead, so off he went to the dollar store to get some batteries. Came back, put in the batteries, tested the machine, liked it. So off he went to get enough cash to pay for it. Came back, paid the scout leader, and talked them into delivering it to our house. Which they did, a couple of the scouts wheeling it to the door. Their eyes got wide when we indicated the machine would be going downstairs, but we let them off the hook and took it down ourselves. About halfway down I was sorry, because that sucker is heavy! But we prevailed. And when he wears this machine out I’ll know better than to agree to help get its replacement down those stairs.


Found some other fun things as well. Another cute little Christmas ornament

Christmas snowman

and I couldn’t resist these glass bubbles for fifty cents.

Mouthblown glass bubbles

I’m thinking a loop of clear fishing line glued to each will turn them into fun ornaments. And while I didn’t find any glass vases for the kitchen window collection, I did score another midcentury coffee carafe.

Inland coffee carafe

We thought it would be good to get this collection in one place, so Steven redid the mantle on Saturday.

Carafes on the mantel

And the ballet corps that was there is now on the sideboard in the dining area

Sideboard Dance

performing that famous work The Dance of the Driveway Bargains. I’m looking forward to my front row seat!

Sideboard Dancers

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