Monday, September 9, 2013

Playing Catch Up

I didn't run away or fall off the face of the earth – but my computer might has well have. It’s been on the fritz for at least a week. Something about the operating system, which of course takes a lot of time to figure out even that much. My long-suffering husband spent ALL DAY Saturday on the phone with a technician, and late in the afternoon, after we thought we were on the road to Wellville, he restarted the computer and got the “operating system not found” message. And the technician went home for the weekend.

I live in hope it will be fixed today, at which point I’ll find out if I have any files left. I had some stuff saved ‘in the cloud’ but not everything. And not the latest sections of my  new book. Grrrrr. But that’s my fault for not backing up stuff more often. My fingers are still crossed.

It’s been frustrating at least partly because the past two weekends have just been so much fun for garaging. I finally said I have GOT to blog. Which entailed installing software on two other computers in the house for getting the pictures off my two cameras. I tell  ya, this blogging thing is SO HARD! (You have to read that last bit in a whiney voice.) And of course all the funny conversations I had on driveways fade from my aging brain as time passes. Like two minutes time. As my friend Marcia says, “I can remember anything until I take a step. So, it’s not my brain that’s at fault – it’s my feet!” At least I can show you the stuff I found, ranging from the practical to the unique. Let’s start with a couple of things I didn’t buy. These were both at the same sale, supposed to be an estate sale. When we walked into the house, the first thing I spied on a luridly gold chest in the front hall was this: A bag o' bones

Yes. A bag o’ bones. I’m still scratching my head over this. They collected them? Saved them for the dog? Do you suppose anyone bought them? Then, when we headed into the bedroom, I stopped in my tracks at the sight of The World’s Ugliest Bed.Ugliest bed ever Do not doubt your eyes. That is a bookcase headboard and a footboard with tall posters topped by chrome finials. I had actually seen a picture of it in their Craigslist ad and sent it to my hubs because it was so strange. Turns out…someone did it on purpose. They glued the posts onto the footboard!

Ugly bed!

Nope. Didn’t buy anything there!

Got some great practical stuff though. A sturdy trowel and a bulb planter (I’ll be adding allium bulbs to the front yard this fall)

trowel bulb planter 

and for inspiration:

garden ideas

Though we’ve already reinvented our yard. I’ll show pics soon. It’s turned out so well that we like sitting on the front deck to enjoy it. Already had a small table and one chair, and at my neighbors sale I picked up two more of these ($3 each!).

porch chair let's sit a spell

For a little indoor gardening this winter, I got this nice little planter and saucer (for a quarter!)Pot & saucer

and some free coleus sprigs from a couple of folks to put in it.

Coleus sprigs 

At another estate sale there were no bags o’ bones, but I did score a bag o’ threads for a buck. A bag o' thread

When I counted them, I found 51 spools, many brand new, in a variety of colors. I was about to go buy white thread at a fabric store, and now I’m set for years!

51 spools for a buck! 

They threw in this cool vintage needle folder with a variety of needles

vintage needle casevintage needlesQueen Victoria Sharps needles

which I’ll soon be using to turn this pair of brand new double flat sheets ($1 each) into a fitted twin set.

 One-dollar sheets!  

My other sewing project involves this faux fur vest, quite nice quality, looks new.

furry vest Not fur real

I’m going to remodel it into a coat for our Zoe. Can’t wait to show you how it turns out. She’s going to look like the Flintstone’s dog!

Other useful finds included a bunny cookie cutter (perfect for dog biscuits)

Bunny cookie cutter

a colorful wine bottle stopper

colorful wine stoppersmall crockpot so I can try doing hot wax treatments on my hands (found a how-to on Youtube that of course I can’t locate now to share with you)

small crockpot

some cute votive candles in ‘eggshells’Egg candles a couple of nice wine glasses (twenty-five cents each).pair o' wineglassesFound some ‘crossover’ items – useful and decorative. Like these gorgeous etched drinking glassesetched glass with lotus

that throw a lovely shadow in the morning sun.etched shadow

I just love these vintage thread clippers in their little silk-covered hand decorated casevintage embroidery clippers they're sharp!Silk covered hand painted case

and I swooned over this lovely wooden acornacorn thimble holder

that turned out to be a little box – probably quite an old thimble case.

acorn box 

Of course what could be more practical than a midcentury candy dish for the holidays?midcentury Christmas candy dish midcentury dish detailI have to admit that, stirred by that holiday feeling last weekend, I also succumbed to the lure of some purely decorative items. Like more acorns (I guess I now officially have an acorn collection) – don’t these metal ornaments look real?

metal acorn ornaments

I find these laser-carved cubes just fascinating, and for fifty cents this cool frog and dragonfly scene came with a lighted stand frog laser cube 

that changes color!

laser cube bluelaser cube red

At the same sale I bought an antique teddy bear. Very antique.

Poor little teddyPoor antique teddyHe’s in quite sad condition, but I used to make teddy bears so I’m going to have a go at some restoration. I’d probably never dare if he’d cost more than a quarter! He’s spending a few days in the freezer to take care of any, um, unwanted visitors (wrapped safely in a sealed plastic bag!). I’ll keep you posted.

Finally, found two things I just absolutely love at a sale a couple of doors down from our house. Isn’t this little guy the cutest? But the doghouse roof is in sections, and it took us a minute to figure out his vintage purpose.vintage doghouse figurinethe tail o' the pup

He’s designed to hold cigarettes, and the roof sections are little individual ashtrays! Trust me, he’ll never be used for this purpose at our housevintage doghouse cigarette set

but he’ll be right at home with my other vintage dogs.hanging out with the other dogsAt the same sale, about three seconds after I walked in the house, I spotted this guy and grabbed him.

Miroslav Trejtnar riding jester

It was love at first sight, and it hasn’t faded yet.

Miroslav Trejtnar jester

Yes, he actually pedals his bike as it rolls. The bottom is stamped Czech and there’s an artist’s signature but it’s unreadable. But I got lucky. Did a Google image search and found another wooden toy with a very similar face, and was able to find the artist! He was made by Miroslav Trejtnar, a master puppet carver and puppeteer. You can see more of his art here. I’ll never know what road my riding jester took from Czechoslovakia to Salem, but from now on, we’re riding together!


  1. Ooooohhhh, I've missed you!

    Lovely finds, I especially like the pedal toy.



  2. First time commenter long time reader. Missed you and your clever observations.

    1. Hey, if it got you to comment, it's a good thing. Thank you kindly! Now, don't be a stranger!

  3. You always find the most amazing things. I checked the website and love the Czech artist's toys and puppets. The puppets remind me of ones in The Sound of Music of course that is the same part of the world.

    1. You're right, the do have a similar look! I wondered if my guy might have done them so I looked it up. The Sound of Music puppets were done by Bil & Cora Baird. You can find pics of them onine. Oh, and if I'd thought about puppet guy would have been a preschooler when the movie came out!

  4. So glad to know you haven't fallen off the earth. I've been checking back. I'm more into getting rid of stuff than accumulating it right now, so I follow your adventures for a vicarious sale-ing fix. You find such great stuff. I want that piece with the changing-light stand, really want it. Congratulations on your finds.

    1. If I ever decide to part with the frog laser cube I'll let you know! I see on your blog that you said you were born to be retired...ME TOO!!!

  5. love the toy clown! he looks very 50ish! checked out the site; some really cool stuff!

    1. I just went to his site again too. Would really love to find more some day! Wonder what the odds are?


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

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