I tell you, I hope I will never lose so much of my hearing that I can no longer eavesdrop on people at sales. I'd be getting fitted for a hearing aid before you could turn around. I could never make up the kind of stuff I overhear.
Best from Friday was at the sale in a house full of collector-quality comic books and rooms and rooms of movie-tie-in toys (superheroes, Star Wars, that sort of thing – not the whimsical sort of toy that comes to my house). One of the helpers at the sale was (or at least considered himself to be) an expert on comics. I heard him holding forth to a middle-aged woman on the hardships of his calling, how much work it is to catalog and wrap and prep for shows. She said something about having to treat comic books like babies, and he replied, “No, comics are way harder than babies. You can drop a baby on the ground and it will only get bruised, but if you drop a comic a corner could get bent and there goes half the value.”
I immediately scrambled in my purse for paper and pen, lest that line escape from my memory. Holy smokes. I sure hope the guy never has any kids if he thinks you can drop a baby with impunity. At the very least the baby will have something to say about it!
As far as I could tell without revealing that I was eavesdropping, the woman didn’t bat an eye at this theory. Sheesh.
Another family we chatted with was far more caring. They were having a sale of the elderly father’s stuff in preparation for him to move to one of the three daughter’s cattle ranch in eastern Oregon. The daughters have been taking turns staying with their dad in his house, each for two months at a time, but now it's time for a change. The old gent was sitting in the living room and I asked if he was ready for this new adventure as a cowboy. He gave me a huge smile and said he’s been a cowboy all his life, that he was born in Montana and grew up on a thousand-acre ranch in South Dakota. I think he’s going to feel right at home.
It was their sale where I picked up a ten-cent coffee mug solely because it is so very, very red.
Sometimes you just need to drink your tea from something red. Also got this fruit corer (for another dime)
to see if it will work as a cupcake corer. Which it does. I finally got to try this recipe for Boston cream pie cupcakes!
They are very like the delicious one I had in Chicago last year. Though admittedly a bit more lopsided.
Two or three sales seemed a bit odd, as though the merchandise had just been trucked in from a storage unit or something. Almost everything we saw all morning was overpriced (at least for my pocketbook). But then you spot the deal of the day, an item that the estate sale folks failed to recognize as valuable, and that miraculously no one else had picked up before you got there. In this case it was a Catherineholm enamelware plate from the Sixties.
These puppies are usually pricey and you almost never see them at sales around here. I was chuffed.
I also picked up a never-been-used tea kettle to replace the one that lost its whistler recently. (A sad story involving a certain young cat, who batted the whistler off the kitchen counter, and a young dog who assumed it was a chew toy. They both had fun…and I had no whistling kettle.)
This was the sale at which one of the helpers was wearing a fabulous hat.
Another estate sale yielded an eggshell mattress topper, destined to be cut up for a pad for Fannie’s crate,
plus a ziplock bag with a bunch of sewing stuff that proved to be 5 new packets of sewing machine needles (which I was just about to have to buy in a store), 4 sets of large and specialized needles (I've already used a curved one to repair a rug) and 6 packets of hand sewing needles in various styles and sizes.
One of the packets looks to have been printed during World War 2.
Also picked up one of their bundles of textiles, which included 4 cheerful linen napkins,
a toile tea towel from Colonial Williamsburg,
and (the piece I actually wanted) a large vintage tablecloth of absolutely the softest cotton you can imagine. Softer than silk. It's like stroking a cloud.
There were a couple of sales over in West Salem. The first was in one of those overly-large homes built in the Eighties, the kind of place you have to buy all new furniture when you move in because nothing you already own is the right scale for the high ceilings. I came away from there with an original watercolor painting (I think the signature is for Roy Hobdell, but I’m open to other suggestions!)
and a bag o’ googly eyes.
Don’t tell anyone, but I've been wanting to go ‘eyebombing.’ Especially now that I've been practicing on my new finds!
The second sale on the west side was actually in a warehouse. We’ve been to sales there before, apparently the owner will rent it out for a weekend. We think this sale included items from the grandmother’s estate (and she may have been a bit of a hoarder), a former business, and several family members. There was quite a large number of ladies clothes of excellent brands (Eileen Fisher, CP Shades), mostly in linen or silk. A number of them dated back to the 80s, which I can state with confidence because when I can put on anything that the label claims is a size small, it has to be from the Age of Oversized Clothing. (My favorite age!) I picked up three dresses, all too small for me as they stand but candidates for upcycling – two Flax dresses and a Hot Cotton linen jumper with a wrap skirt (lots of fabric in a wrap skirt!).
Guess I'd better get busy and do some sewing! After I make tea with the new kettle and try out the cupcakes, that is. Gosh, I hope I don’t drop one of those!