Monday, October 9, 2017

A Dash of Whimsy

I was feeling tired and a bit out of sorts Thursday evening. Didn’t much want to go garaging on Friday. (I know – me, of all people!) I should know by now that whenever I feel that way, it just about always means I'll have one of the best days ever. I'm not sure if the Garage Sale Gods panic when I exhibit any reluctance (“who will take home all this stuff we have planned for her??”) or just want to prove me wrong. I ended up being quite glad we went out to see what we could see.

A lot of what we saw was…socks! First there was the pair of whimsical Millie socks at the nurse’s sale (the only yard sale ever where I could have bought suturing material…), 


and then the whimsical doggie socks at the senior center rummage sale

(schnauzer socks! corgi socks! and the brown pair on the right above, that looks like our Zoe!) and more. Picked up 9 pairs in all for a whopping $2.50. Now THAT is the way to buy socks!

There were two estate sales, both fairly close to home. The one that started at noon had nothing I wanted, but I loved the house and its yard. The pond in the back yard had koi among the water lilies.

See that big gold fish swimming away? A moment before it was swimming toward me, and when a fish that size and color is headed your way, you know you’ve been swum at!

The other estate sale was crowded when we were there first thing. KK and I both found stuff, and decided to come back later when things had thinned out a bit. (Her $4 raincoat that retails for almost $300 might have been a bit of an incentive to take another look.)

There was even more whimsy at this sale. On the first pass through I picked up this cutie for a dollar.


It was the eyelashes that did it.

Then I found this guy. Reminds me of a Nicol Sayre snowman I got a few years ago.





It's actually a box. 



KK spotted this kitty rug. They had a number of April Cornell tablecloths, and I'm wondering if this is from the same company.


In the kitchen, I grabbed a set of silicone lily pad lids as soon as I spied them. 


I've been wanting to try some, but not at store prices. These were two bucks for the whole set (KK got the 2 small ones that fit on a cup), versus about $50 on Amazon. Besides…lily pads! Whimsy in the kitchen!


Iin a box of kitchen gadgets I spied a little scoop (it's actually a coffee scoop) just about the size I've been looking for to use in a particular kitchen container. Fifty cents.


Turns out it's pewter and retails for $19. I get to be classy and cheap all at once!


All in all, we figured this sale would be worth a second look. Which is when I found a heavy mid-size skillet with a lid (no picture, but I'm sure you can imagine exactly what it looks like). And this guy. I've doubled my Halloween d├ęcor.



And then we found the big box of socks at a quarter each. Cashmere socks!


Floral socks!



Socks rock!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Negotiations

Saturday morning there was a neighborhood sale near our dog park, so I headed over there after the girls had their run. Not much to see until the last place, where I spotted a vintage metal plant stand, one of those midcentury hoop things with shelves. I liked it, and asked the price. 

Five dollars. I must have made a little face as I looked at the places where it’s a bit beat up. The lady came over and said, “It just needs a coat of spray paint. I used it in my bathroom to hold towels.” She looked down at it, then said, “How about three dollars?” Before I could open my mouth to say yes, she continued, “Two dollars.” Don’t you love it when the seller does both sides of the negotiation? I laughed and said I was going to keep standing there until she was down to fifty cents, but in truth I was fine with two bucks and brought it home.

I figured I'd use it outdoors, but I set it on the low bookshelf in my office and I love it there. A fun place to highlight pieces from my Museum de Me. The only caveat is, I can’t put anything breakable there…because of Millie.


There is no place in the house she won't go, and nothing she won't do. Wish I had a picture from the time she scaled our brick fireplace all the way up to the 14 foot high ceiling. There was a fly up there, and she was determined to get it.


I actually bought her a present on Friday. Found a fabric kitty-hidey-thing for a dollar that looked brand new. Brought it home and sprinkled some catnip inside. She really loves that ‘nip.




Since then she has ignored it, so I'm glad I only spent a buck. I'll try putting it in some different  locations around the house and if she’s still not interested, it’s off to the thrift store.

Fannie was also quite interested. But she is never, ever going to fit in there!


Yard sales are slowing down with the change in season (and the week of rain we just had), but that’s okay. It just means estate sale season will heat up. I'm still finding bits and pieces to bring home.  It’s fun to find little things to add to textile jewelry pieces.





This box of fabric samples has lots of possibilities.


Here’s the piece I finished a couple of days ago, made from half of the beaded coin purse I found last month.



I love the fabric in this child-size kimono, and it was only a dollar. I got it intending to part it out, but for now it’s decorating my half bath!




Couldn’t pass up a pair of Earth Shoes in my size for fifty cents.


I love these enamel pins from the Sixties. Fifty cents each!




I think they look even better together. Hmmm, pinned to the lapel of my black cashmere swing coat…now I can hardly wait for cold weather!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fresh

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

Kerfuffle

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!
 
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