Monday, May 20, 2013

Rain or Shine…make that Rain AND Shine!

Went garaging with my friend Judy on Friday. We met at the dog park and I thought I’d try to talk her into going with me. “Hey Judy, want to go garaging?” “Yes!”

She’s SO hard to persuade!

Our first stop was an estate sale. I should have taken a picture of some of the shoes. Adorable – in size 4.  Everyone was stopping to look at them and exclaim over their cuteness. But no one seemed to have size 4 feet! Fortunately handbags are not size-dependent, and I succumbed to the lure of this vintage tapestry bag

Tapestry JR Miami bag

with a smooth lining of leather or vinyl, not sure which.

JR Miami bag interior

We wandered on to the family room where we found some linens, including these cheerful Vera napkins.

Vera Napkins Vera tag

I’m thinking they may be early Vera since they have a sewn-in tag rather than her signature on the print. Judy rather liked a leather sofa nearby, but needed to check with family members before buying something that major. And when she went back for it, someone else had bought it. Drat! But I assured her that if she keeps looking, she’ll find something just as good. It’s the Garage Sale Way.

There were several nice ladies working this sale, and when they saw someone with several items they would offer to make a pile of their stuff. An older gentleman gratefully surrendered his armful, and the sale lady asked what name to put on them. He hesitated for several seconds, to the point where everyone in the room was listening. He finally gave the name Tanya. We all blinked. “It’s my wife’s name,” he said when he caught my eye. I told him I thought maybe we were dealing with a “boy named Sue” situation and he laughed. Another shopper said she’d been thinking the same thing. (And if you remember that song, you’re probably my age!)

The laundry room had sheets and towels. Nice ones. I picked up a set of pleasant yellow bath towels, hand towel and washcloths

Yellow towels

as well as a couple of hand-embroidered cotton sheets. One of them has one embroidery design on the top edge and a different design on the bottom. Curious. Perhaps they liked to switch them around.

Embroidered Sheets Cross stitch sheets

Judy ended up with some lovely vintage embroidered pillowcases. I was glad to see them go to a good home…so I wouldn’t have to take them home with me. My stash of pillowcases and tablecloths is getting a embarrassingly large!

When we returned to the car the sun had come out, so we cranked the top down. Ahhhhh! However, a couple of sales later the clouds returned, so up it went again. (I’m awfully glad it works with a push button.) I found a pair of Nikes at one place. They’re stamped inside that they are samples. When we lived near the movie industry in Southern California I used to see “screener” DVDs. Now we live near Nike and it’s sample shoes.

Sample Nikes

White shoes are not really my faves, but I don’t care what shoes I wear to the dog park as long as they are comfy and keep my feet dry. These fit the bill. Tried them out Friday afternoon and they were fine…except that one shoelace came untied on the way down the field, and the other on the way back up. And I remembered why I like Velcro better than shoelaces. They now make shoelaces out of polyester, and they WILL NOT STAY TIED. (Do you ever play the “I’m so old” game? As in, I’m so old I remember when shoelaces used to stay tied!) So as I retied my laces (which were pale gray, not very attractive on a white shoe!) I vowed to make some better shoelaces. So I did.

Homemade shoelaces

I ripped some strips of cloth (left from making my family room draperies) and ironed them in half. Originally thought I would sew them but decided not to bother. I like the frayed edge look. And once these babies are tied, they stay tied. Maybe they look a little silly, but who cares. Certainly not the dogs at the park!

At the same sale I snagged this set of small cookie cutters, intended for future dog biscuit making.

Autumn mini cutters

Since I use pumpkin or squash in my dog bickies, these should be perfect shapes! One of them has me a little puzzled though. Logically I suppose it is intended to portray a leaf, but that’s not what it makes me think of!

Beet cookie cutter

We made it to one more sale after that, where I got to mark another item off my search list: a better desk chair than the one I’ve been using.

Smart desk chair

The previous owner told me this was the chair she sat in for hours and hours studying to be a nurse. Since she’s an ER nurse now I figure the chair must have soaked up some smart vibes. We had to put the top back down on the car to get it home, and it started sprinkling about six blocks from home. I decided not to take the scenic route!

Saturday was still rainy and I had a workshop to attend at the community college (on playing piano by ear – pretty fun). But (no surprise) I stopped by a sale on the way, advertised as 4 families and an art studio’s stuff. Found a few things among the jumble and went back after the workshop to see what else had been unearthed. Their pricing was obviously done by several people with quite divergent ideas about values. A number of things had just silly prices on them, but this midcentury (I think) stainless butter dish was a quarter.

MCM stainless butter dish

I’ve been wanting to find some shadow box frames for an art project I have in mind. When I saw these boxes with sliding lids I snagged them. The price was right!

Shadow boxes

Picked up this one when I went back. I’m thinking of putting artsy jumping jacks inside, with a hole drilled in the bottom for the strings. I’ll keep you posted.

Pressman vintage chalkboard box detail Pressman vintage chalkboard box

Also picked up a few books

Julie & RomeoPaper art book  Sunset Mosaics 1959

and what I’m calling a Yard Bird, made from a hunk of rock and some metal. He’s  currently hanging out in a pot of mint on the upper deck.

Yard Bird rock sculpture Bird Rock Sculpture tummy

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go practice my play-by-ear piano chords.



  1. Love your finds! The Vera napkins will look nice on your Christmas table. The dogs may not care what shapes their treats are, but the cookie cutters will make baking them more fun! Can't wait to see what you have in mind for the shadow boxes!

  2. what's your recipe for dog biscuits? I've been wanting to make some for Prince my cocker spaniel. Figure it would be cheaper than buying them.

    1. I riffed on the recipe here:
      I use whatever winter squash I have on hand (we bake these and keep packets in the freezer)and white flour if I'm out of whole wheat. And I roll them out with my pasta maker so they're nice and thin. Really, anything goes. My dogs eat whatever they can get in their mouths!

  3. that one cookie cutter looks like it may be in the shape of an acorn.
    I wish we were neighbors-would love to shop with you.

    1. Yes, there is an acorn in there. That was probably the deciding factor in buying it...not sure why I love acorns but I do! They're just so artistic.

  4. I love your "new" shoelaces. I can't wait to hear more about the play by ear workshop. That seems like an oxymoron to me.

    1. The workshop focused on learning chords. Once you really know how to form chords you can accompany any song and even classical pieces. I could already do that a bit, but the workshop gave a pretty plan for learning all the major and minor chords. Anyway, it's fun to play around with.

      As for those, do they stay tied! I can wear them all day and they never budge. I think I'm done with commercial shoelaces forever.

  5. Yea! I will be in Salem the entire holiday weekend! Maybe there will be some sales to visit?

    1. I just looked at Craigslist and it appears there will be at least a few! Since it's a holiday weekend you never know. Maybe we'll cross paths. I'll be the one in the green convertible!

  6. Just FYI for pesky shoelaces: when tying, if you wrap the loop TWICE instead of just once they hold better.


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

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