Sunday, September 10, 2017


So, last week we found this cool pot and planted it with wheat groats to sprout for kitty grass.

It sprouted! And grew!

And Millie loves it!

In fact she is crazy for it. I had to hold her (squirming) so I could grab a picture without her chowing down. Then I had to take it away from her after a few minutes and hide it under plastic again so she wouldn't eat the whole darned thing immediately. It's nice to know all my hard work, out chasing down the sales, is appreciated!

Sunday, September 3, 2017


Oh, the drama!

KK & I were waiting to pay for our bits and pieces at an estate sale Friday when we became aware that Something was going on. Loud voices, argumentative tones. The folks running the sale were asking a woman where the white bag she’d been carrying was and had it been paid for. She denied a white bag; someone said they saw her carry it to her car. No, no white bag in my car. One of the sale employees went with her to look. Found the white bag full of stuff in her car, brought it back.

Now, if this had been me carrying off unpaid goods and I’d been caught, I would have just gotten in my car and driven away at this point. But no, she returned with the employee and the bag, still protesting her innocence, claiming now that she had paid already. But this particular company has only one person who adds up your total, so she sees everything that goes by. And she knew she had not totaled up the items in the white bag, which as she pulled them out came to something in the neighborhood of a couple hundred bucks. She patiently totaled it all, and the wannabe-shoplifter said she had to go to her car and ask her boyfriend if he had paid. And off she went, this time to drive away.

Drama over, we paid for our stuff and got back in KK’s car. And realized we were both wiped out by the whole thing! We must be living awfully peaceful lives when just witnessing this contretemps was too much for us!

Being a holiday weekend the sales were pretty skimpy, and that estate sale was our biggie of the day. I managed to spend six bucks there; my loot included a baggie with a dozen prefilled bobbins (handy if you sew). I discovered when I got home not one of them fit my sewing machine. Dang.

More useful will be this fun pot. 

Previously employed to hold pens (I've deduced this from the large ink stain in the bottom), 

now destined to grow kitty grass for Millie. I've sown it with wheat berries, should be sprouting in a few days. She will be a happy kitty.

Less practical but most amusing is a new addition to the bird section of the Museum de Me: a marabou-feathered chick with a crown.

We stopped at half a dozen other sales; at one I found an addition to the vases-over-the-windows collection (which has now surged past the dining area and around a corner heading for the living room).

Our last stop netted a conversation about their lovely blooming roses and how they had been languishing, but after a severe pruning are better than ever. Plus I picked up a baggie full of bits and pieces of jewelry.

I figured that for a buck, there had to be enough here to play with. I’ve had fun this past week making  a couple of pieces of textile jewelry, including this necklace using some of last week’s swag 

(the gold disks are from the tangled necklace) and scraps of linen.

I want to do  more, and of course it's always a hoot to dig into one of these grab bags (grab baggies?). Some items, alas, will go straight into the box for the thrift store. 

Beads might inspire something interesting in combination with something I already have. 

At first I didn’t think I'd keep the pair of rhinestoned birds (two separate but identical pins), but I'm starting to get a glimmer of a way to use them. 

Possibly for something slightly macabre, because those red eyes make me think of cartoon vultures!

I'm sure this little pin has a story. 

It's pure gimcrack, with a guy’s name engraved on the hearts with one of those hand-engravers. I’m imagining it was a prize at the county fair that some boy won on the midway and gave to his sweetheart. They broke up a few months later, but she kept the little pin in her keepsake box for the next fifty-seven years, until her niece was helping her pack to move to assisted-living and stuffed a whole handful of what she considered junk into a baggie to sell at their next yard sale.

Could have been that way. What’s your idea for a back story?

Completely hidden among the other items was a necklace. When I pulled it out, I liked the spiral design of the chain. 

It was quite dirty, but I discerned printing on the clasp. My super-duper magnifying glass (the lens from an old filmstrip projector) allowed me to read that it was made in Milan, Italy and is sterling silver! 

So I tried the aluminum foil/baking soda/boiling water silver-cleaning method, and it got way shinier. 

Someone has a matching bracelet for sale on Etsy for $45…but I think I'll stick with my approximately 10¢ necklace!

Sunday, August 27, 2017


One of the best things that happens at busy neighborhood sales like the one Judy and I went to on Saturday is the overheard-snippet-of-conversation. You’re walking along to the next sale, and the two people walking in the other direction are in earnest conversation, and you get just one sentence as you pass by. My favorite: “And so that’s how we ended up at the fish camp.”

Struck me as funny, so I repeated it to Judy as we got to her car. She was puzzled about what fish camp could be. “I can just see all the fishes around the campfire in the evening, singing Kumbaya,” she said. “Or making little fishy lanyards in the craft hut.” By now I was laughing so hard I couldn’t climb into her Subaru. People gave us sidelong glances as they hurried by. Judy kept going with the fish camp description, then ended, “But I guess they’ll be leaving their fishing poles at home, don’t you think?”

It was a big weekend, two full days of garaging. With KK on Friday, Judy on Saturday. Found fun stuff. The first thrill was picking up this cool raincoat to try on, and it fit.

The thrill wasn’t so much that it fit, or even that it was one dollar. (Okay, yes, I was thrilled at that.) But the real kicker was that this evidently dates from the oversized-clothing Eighties, because it's a size 8. Trust me when I tell you there is nothing else that is a size 8 in my closet, including my shoes.

Nice socks from a free box are always welcome,

as were these other free box items – a wonderful fabric panel that may become a cross-back apron,

(here, let Millie give you a sense of its size)

and an adorable drawstring bag of Japanese fabrics. 

Why they were banished to the free box I'll never know, nor why no one had taken them before we arrived. Supposed to be mine!

I've been having fun playing around making fabric necklaces, and possibly even more fun picking up bits and pieces to embellish them with. Earrings and beads, for pennies. I'm sure these will spark some designs.

This necklace was so tangled that I think the lady sold it for 50¢ just so she wouldn’t have to deal with the snarl.

It's so oddly designed that it's not much better after teasing out the chain knots, but I plan to take it apart so no matter.

Possibly my favorite piece to play with was this little bead coin purse.

Handmade in China to sell in Canada.

It wasn’t too hard to take apart into two sections and then wash it.

Stay tuned for their transformation in some future post!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

One of a Kind

So there I am, sorting through a box of vintage linens. Hand towels, pillowcases, small tablecloths. You know the kind of box I'm talking about. I pick up a piece of pink linen, probably from the Fifties but still clean and starched and pressed. Obviously something that was never used (as is often the case with vintage linens).

I turn it over to see if it's decorated, expecting embroidery or pulled threads. This is what I see.

“Um, Bob,” I say to my friend on the other side of the table looking at books, “does this look like, um, boxing bunnies to you?”

He chuckles, as does the guy next to him. “Yup, boxing bunnies,” he agrees.

Oh. My. God. Boxing bunny rabbits appliqued with great skill 

on pink linen, with embroidered details.

Including red eyes.

And a boxing ring.

I am stunned.

This is why we go out week after week, isn’t it? Because somewhere out there in a box on a driveway are inexplicable hand towels.

A minute later, the guy who was on the other side of the table near Bob sidles up beside me.

“Say, is that part of a set? Are there any more boxing bunnies?” he wants to know.
I grin. “Sorry, there’s only one.”

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hot Fun

I was awfully glad for that church rummage sale on Thursday, since their air conditioning was working and mine was not (hottest week of the year, of course). The dentist’s office where I had to go after the sale was also air conditioned but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. Plus they took a LOT more money away from me than the church did, and my new filling isn’t nearly as interesting as my rummaging finds. 

The very first thing that went into my bag was pretty amazing, especially for $4: a 100% silk duvet cover.

Hand painted – see how the motifs go over the seams?

Bought two of these throw rugs for a quarter each. Zoƫ likes them.

Almost all the clothing was fifty cents, so I brought home a couple of linen shirts, some cashmere and merino for winter crafting, and a wonderful hand-spun, hand-woven silk scarf.

Cute earrings, another fifty cents.

Ditto the spring-green china bunny,

who now resides among the petunias.

Of course I had to bring home some yarn. Chatted with another gray haired lady with a lovely English accent over the yarn table about how neither of us can resist adding to our stash.

Friday morning saw KK and me out early (Judy was traveling); everyone wanted to beat the heat. Including this fellow, who ambled up to the bird feed in my front yard as I was waiting for KK. I wish my lens had been good enough to show the birdseed stuck to his nose!

Along with sales in my neighborhood, it was the annual tract-wide sale at one of the retirement places; we probably hit 25 sales there. (Can I admit we were pooped out by 11? An excellent time of day for pizza!) We had fun at the place with the party supplies.

Heck, we had fun all morning! I picked up a couple of fabulous vintage (50s, I think) felt & feather birds (the flamingo might be a gift…if I can convince myself to part with him!), 

a pair of mini tube cake pans,

a 25¢ bracelet to part out (I have an idea for those chunky Lucite beads), 

and a bunch o’ cheap entertainment.

I’ve always wanted one of these ‘pin art’ toys, and this one was a dime. I call this “Self Portrait in Orange Plastic.”

One sale had a bunch of kitchen stuff that the lady was selling for a friend. No one had any idea what this silicone thingie was for.

Our best guess was a funnel. It was a quarter. I bought it mainly so I could figure it out. The hubster took one look at it and declared it was for brewing coffee. (He’s something of a coffee geek. That’s where his mind runs.) I kept looking online and finally found it. We were all wrong! It's a lemon squeezer,

and you store the leftover half in it.

Another 25¢ mystery…solved!

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