Sunday, November 17, 2013

Splurge!

It’s getting late in the year (do you realize there are only 7 weekends left in 2013? Yikes!) and sales are dwindling. We are entering the season of the estate sale. There were only half a dozen sales on my list to check out over the two days. Who knew that this would end up being the weekend I’d spend over fifty bucks?
Yes, for me that is a major splurge! And half of it was for one item. A sudden fit of passion was all it took!
Judy and I headed out Friday for sales that were miles apart. There was still a short line waiting to get into the first estate sale, but we decided to wait. Everyone was chatting and having a nice time. I got into conversation with the lady behind us, and Judy suddenly left the line to talk to a gentleman 4 or 5 places back. When we got inside she explained he was her ex-brother in law! This happens all the time with her, the woman runs into someone she knows just about everywhere we go. Didn’t find anything I wanted to here, so we hopped back in the car and headed to the north end of town. (Chattering all the way – we never run out of conversation.)
This sale was better – I actually started picking up a few things. A pair of black angora gloves, a white Italian wool muffler that looks like it’s never been used (I like it with that black coat I got
 a can of mini Victorian twisted tinsel, just like I found at another sale last year.
 Could not resist this vintage wire letter holder – it looks too much like our friend Xanadu!

 A box held pieces of fabric of various sizes, and for one single dollar I scored this lovely, heavy silk. The front & back are completely different.
  
It’s only 36” wide but there’s over 3 yards of it. Any suggestions on how I should use it?

Then we walked into the living room, where we saw a mid century cabinet in one corner. Judy wondered what it was, and I said I bet it was a record player. The price wasn't marked, so we asked. Twenty-five bucks. Does it work? No one knew. Another shopper asked if it had a radio in it, and we all stood around inspecting it. Then one of the worker guys grabbed an album off the pile that was for sale, put it on the turntable, and gently lifted the needle onto the record.

Nat King Cole began to sing “Unforgettable.” Everyone in the room paused in what they were doing. And a moment later, over the lush music, I heard a voice saying, “Mine. It’s mine. I’ll take it.”
Yeah. My voice. What can I say…the sound was to die for; I could hardly believe the clarity. An RCA Victor Total Sound Stereophonic record player. It’s a wonderful piece of furniture, just the right period for my house. 
 
I love the legs, the font on the control panel.
    
Look at the embossed emblem on the arm. 
 Nipper, the RCA dog, always reminds me of our Zoe. Or vice versa.
These puppies were the bomb, back in the day.
 And yes, I bought the Nat King Cole album too, plus another blast from the past.
   
Luckily I was driving the Civic (knew it was too cold and rainy to put the top down on my convertible) and the RCA fit nicely into the back. We headed on to our last estate sale, where the first thing I saw was a piano. I have my weaknesses; I can never pass a wind chime without hearing what it sounds like, and I’m the same with a piano. So I stood and played it for a couple of minutes (that folk-sounding tune that Ken Burns used in his Civil War documentary). A nice looking piano but the sound left something to be desired. Left it to look at the stack of record albums (now that I have to collect them again!) and when I asked how much the records were, the lady said, “They’re a dollar each, and you get a free one because you played the piano!” First time I've ever been rewarded for my piano playing, which is at a pretty primitive level!

Saturday started with an estate sale with nothing for me, then a couple of moving sales. When I arrived at the first, they were loading the biggest Christmas wreath I've ever seen into the trunk of a car as a cute little dog watched. I went inside to shop, and a few minutes later the guy came in laughing. “While we loading that thing,” he told his wife, “Al climbed into the front seat of her car and was ready for a ride.” Al was the dog. He spends his days in a second grade classroom. Lucky kids!
 
There were some wine glasses for sale, and okay, that’s another sound I can’t resist. I never buy a wine glass without pinging it, and if it doesn't sound right I don’t buy it. These sounded fine.
 
When I got them home I noticed a brand name etched on the base and looked them up. 
Riedel. OMG. Did you know that just one of their best wine glasses can cost over $200? I imagine these two are from a less fancy line, but even the least expensive ones are over twenty bucks each. I’d say a buck for the pair is a win for me – and just think how good my pinot noir will taste!

My last stop was more downscale, but a nice family, getting ready to move. I noticed a little glass topped patio table and four chairs; they need repainting but hey, for $15 I can do that. And the chairs are fabulous. 
 
I discovered they were made by Homecrest, most likely in the early Sixties. I’ll be keeping an eye out for something like a heavy vinyl tablecloth to use for recovering the seats. This set will live on our downstairs deck. Any votes on what color to paint them?

So that’s the story of my third biggest splurge of 2013. Number two was the weekend that included a weight bench set for fifty bucks, which my husband uses regularly. (Better than monthly gym fees!) And the really biggie was back in May when I scored 31 items of quality clothing for a little over $70 – or about the price of just one of the Hawaiian shirts it included.

Seven more weekends…wonder if there are any more treasures out there waiting for me this year?
*************
When I wrote that last paragraph on Saturday evening, I figured that was the end of the story. But every time I woke up in the night I found I was thinking about something I’d seen at the first sale on Saturday, and I knew I had to go back.

For a bonsai.

This estate sale included a big collection of bonsai. I have to admit I can take or leave the usual evergreens, but these were mostly deciduous trees. Maples, a mimosa, a contorted filbert. 
I was tempted but resisted their price…but knew that Sunday would be half-price day. I admit I was kind of antsy driving over there, afraid they’d all be gone. I kept reminding myself of my belief that if we’re supposed to have something, we will. When I arrived at the house I hurried downstairs and out onto the patio – where there were two bonsai left. An evergreen, and an elm.
 

Of all the bonsai in the group picture, I do think this is about the prettiest! I love the double trunk. And when I got home I started reading about its care, and apparently the Chinese elm is considered perfect for beginners. (Whew!) And you know what? I bet my little tree will just love Nat King Cole.

30 comments:

  1. I am so glad you picked up the Nat King Cole record! I just love his voice. Great scores all around. I just moved to a small town so hopefully the garage sale prices here will be as good as the ones you find.

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    1. I'm afraid I'll probably wear Nat out - what a lush sound! Hope you love your new town and that it will bring you bargains galore.

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  2. Nice job on the stereo! My grandparents had one like that, shorter and longer than yours, with faux marble inlay. My grandmother loved that thing. It was the first thing she turned on in the morning and the last thing to go off at night. And you are so right about the sound; it is rich and amazing. Good for you!!

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  3. I meant squatter and longer, not shorter and longer:))

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  4. What a find!! Love the record player and your blog

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    1. Hey, thanks! You're off to a good start on yours too!

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  5. Oh I just love your stereo! Or should I call it a HiFi? My Mom had one like that! Great score, I would have bought it too. Gotta love a good Estate Sale! Good luck with the Bonsai. Great patio set too. Can't forget the doggie, adorable! :)

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    1. This RCA is way fancier than anything my family ever had. They were not inexpensive - I found a 1960 newspaper ad for a portable RCA record player, which was nearly $100 then. About the equivalent of $750 today. Zowie!

      And yes, I keep wanting to call it the HiFi!

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  6. BTW, everyone, we're linking this post to Thriftasaurus Thrift Haul Linkup sirthriftalot.blogspot.com/2013/11/thriftasaurus_16.html; Lucky Friday www.alivingspace.com/2013/11/the-nifty-thrifty-lucky-friday.html; & Mid Century Mondays http://www.remnantpdx.com/2013/11/mid-century-mondays-46.html

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  7. This was so much fun to read. You found such great treasures. I love the looks of that stereo. What a find. I bet I would really love that table and chairs - why didn't you show the table? Just curious. We have a major house repair, so no more shopping for me. sigh.

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    1. Couldn't figure out where to take a picture of the table! And it was raining so I wasn't all that interested in taking it outside to shoot. It's little and cute. Will aim for a picture later!

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  8. Look at pretty Zoe posed perfectly. Aw :) SO. DAMN. JELOUS OF YOUR STEREO FIND. I'm on thrift break but have to get back at it after witnessing that beau. I'm on the prowl for something just like that to play my records after I sold my ugly 80s one.

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    1. I have to admit Zoe's pose lasted only until my husband handed over the piece of food he was tempting her with! But she is a little beauty. She chases balls at the park an hour or two a day, and my goodness does that dog have muscles!

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  9. Zoe is so cute! & great piece of furniture indeed - love it.

    We found an RCA metal advertisement at a flea market & I made my BF ask when I was at another table & he came back & said, "it's only $7.50!" (or $9.50). I was shocked & he thought I was crazy that I wasn't going to buy it. He wanted to double check with the vendor if he meant $750 or $7.50.

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    1. Yeah, makes a huge difference where you put that decimel point! Now you've got me wondering which it was. At least when you shop on driveways rather than flea markets, you can be pretty sure they mean dollars, not hundreds!

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  10. OMG, so jealous of that stereo! If I had the room, I would totally have one in my house--would go really well with my 1961 Zenith black-and-white TV!

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  11. spent the day bombing about with vintage Johnny Cash blaring out , just love the look of horror when i pick my teens up

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  12. Great finds as always. Love the picture of Zoe!

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    1. Thanks! Hope your little fur-darlings are doing good!

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  13. Woot! Can't believe I found this post after 4 months, but here is a blog post on how to renovate an old wire patio set. http://www.scavengerhuntblog.com/2013/07/oilcloth-patio-set-makeover.html Hope this helps bring your gem of a patio set back to its former glory!

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    1. That is too cool. Can't wait to refurbish my set, and I hope it turns out at cute as hers. Love that oilcloth she found. I am in awe of your memory!

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  14. That stereo is an amazing find!

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    1. I love it. Can't wait to find more albums to play!

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  15. Did you used to live in California I think it was? I loved your posts about the dogs you met at garage sales. I read you for the longest time and have no idea why I stopped, weird! And now your in Oregon, what a small world it is!! I love your record player its divine and the Victorian tinsel, its super cool seeing what the package for those looked like.

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    1. Yup, c'est moi! Always good to hear from another Oregonian, especially one who rides a scooter (something I've always wanted to have). Still meeting dogs on driveways, but seems like there were more in California!

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  16. That record player is amazing. A really lovely piece

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    1. Every time I play it I love it more. Now to find more albums...

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  17. Hi - i'm wondering if you can tell me what kind of needle your RCA Victor player takes? I recently picked one up at a Goodwill store - it has no needle and I'm having a hard time figuring out what kind it takes. If you know, can you email me at kristen@peachtreelanephoto.com? Thank you so much! -Kristen

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

 
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