Monday, December 22, 2008


Sunday was our annual tea-and-cookies (among other things) open house. Everything we serve is homemade, so I didn’t go garaging Saturday. Really, I didn’t. I just took a rather, um, circuitous route to the grocery store to stock up on supplies I'd need for a lot of baking. Not my fault there were signs posted for several sales. I’ve spent too long training my car to turn in response to those signs, and it would be cruel to confuse it by ignoring them, right?

I stopped for at least half a dozen sales, but bought only two items. One was this little loom for one of my staff.
Cathy asked me to keep a lookout for one of those old looms that we used to make potholders with. Can’t think of the name. Jiffy loom? Anyway, she’s an artist and I'm hoping she’ll have fun with this modern version until a vintage one comes along.

She made me this fabulous pin, isn’t it beautiful? It's decoupaged onto her son’s old name badge from a store he worked at. Recycling at its best!

My other yard sale purchase was for myself, a beautiful mug to replace one I broke recently. Alas, I managed to break this one within three seconds of walking into my house with it. Dang!

At the same sale where I bought the mug, I chatted for a few minutes with a woman who bought a lovely piece of vintage crochet, a large doily of variegated pink roses, beautifully made. She said she didn’t know anything about it but just liked it, and I explained a little about crochet. We waved as we parted, and then about half an hour later as I left the 99 Cent Store, a pickup pulled up and paused. “Hey, that’s not a garage sale!” the driver hollered, and it was the lady who’d bought the doily.

The last sale I stopped at had mostly children’s toys, outgrown by their two boys. Isn’t this little stool adorable? Hope somebody bought him.

Another item on the driveway was some windup toy playing music that finally limped to a stop. When it ceased I realized I was still hearing the tune; it was the dad, softly whistling. “You do that better than the toy,” I told him, and he laughed. “I should, I've heard it enough.” I told him that was the kind of toy I think of as the grandparent’s revenge—you give it to the kid and send them home, so you don’t have to listen to it.

I probably will not go out for the next two Saturdays; our oldest friend is coming down from San Francisco next week. But that will be a good time to look back over the year’s finds and stories. And to start the process, I went around the house this morning looking at some of the Christmas decorations I've thrifted:
Two quilts adorn our entry this year. They’re probably imports, but I love their cheerful colors.

Last year I picked up a whole bunch of these glass ornaments, which made great party favors. Wish I'd remembered to take the picture before most of them left for new homes!

Our tree is full of ornaments we’ve collected over the past 35 years, many from yard sales:
A tiny wooden train with paper wheels

A wonderfully silly ram made of wool, with pipe cleaner horns

I have several of these painted metal cardinals—they were a broken set of wind chimes

Handmade cross stitch ornament

Woody enjoys helping to decorate the tree

Elsewhere around the house are more decorations…
The polar bear came from a store about 15 years ago, but his penguin friend is an old Steiff from a yard sale

My little collection of ‘smokers’ from Germany. These are incense burners, designed so that the smoke completes the image.
I bought my dumpling lady in Nuremburg, Germany many years ago; when the incense is lit her dumplings appear to be steaming! Her companions came from people’s driveways, along with a lifetime supply of incense cones that I picked up with the blue mail carrier.

I love the lines of this rusted metal deer.

My dress form wore a beautiful silk dress for the party. This dress fits me quite well, and I hope someday to have some fancy event to wear it to—knowing I’d probably be the only person there wearing a fifty cent dress!

I found both of these pieces this year—the chalkware snowman was still packaged (he’s not vintage, but I love him anyway) and the bottlebrush tree was given to me at a yard sale. The ‘snow’ at the tree’s base is cut from a thrifted white angora sweater that I felted.

Our party on Sunday was fun. I'm not much of a party person, but this was a good mix of colleagues and friends who came and went throughout the afternoon. I meant to take pictures before the party started but I was still prepping at the appointed hour. Thank heavens everyone was fashionably late! Several who came have read my blog and asked to see various items I've written about this year. I had a better time than a sane person should, showing off my Saturday morning treasures. One or two folks might even have been inspired to try driveway shopping themselves. Hope so—it's too much fun not to share!

I hope you have lovely holidays, and that the new year will bring us all good fortune.


  1. Happy holidays to you too, love to stop in and read your funny stories about garage saleing:)

  2. I wish my car was so well trained! Your home looks beautiful, so festive and colorful. It sounds like the party was great. I love your stories of thrifting and garage sales, especially the descriptions of the people you meet.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Have a Merry Christmas!
    BTW, I'm having a 200th post giveaway! Come visit!

  4. The toy store where I worked (my husband still works there) sells both the loom you bought and the potholder looms--so, they're still out there, shiny and new! People are always happy to see the potholder kits!

    Happy Holidays, and may 2009 be a great year for thrifting!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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