Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Big Splurge

What can I tell you…sometimes you just fall in love.

Friday we did our usual rounds, found some great deals. Like this little plate with the great glaze to hold the scrubbies by my kitchen sink

or a screaming-purple spatula for the spatula collection.

Got a whole box of fabric for a buck, just for the fun of finding out what was in there.

I confess: I literally gasped with delight when this piece came out of the box.

Surfing puppies and kitties! Too wonderful!

And how about this Curious George gumball dispenser. Cool, right?

It’s going to live in the children’s literature room, next to one of my prize possessions, the Curious George flashlight (like this one). I'm sure it tells you everything you need to know about me that a Curious George flashlight is one of my prize possessions.

And then there was the estate sale.

It was only two blocks from my house, but I could tell from the ad that it would attract every dealer in town, so we went to a couple other sales first to avoid them. It was still quite crowded when we arrived but the most obnoxious group had come and gone. The house had belonged to a man who collected pottery, and masks of all kinds, and paintings and lithographs. And chickens. The single most expensive thing at the sale was this giant chicken, which was priced at a whopping $450.

Why yes, I did find a few things there. A cherry pitter like the ones I’ve used for years – except this one has a suction base instead of the kind you screw to the edge of the counter. Big improvement!

I've never owned popover pans before. I got two so I can make popovers for a crowd.

I thought these glasses were fun enough to bring home,

and I've had on my watch-list a small stool for the closet.

Another shopper helped us pluck this piece off a storage shed in the back yard. It's called Bird Watcher.

We actually went back to this sale after lunch, when it was quieter. As I went through the house again, I saw several pieces of pottery I really liked. And a big metal bell on a stand that had the greatest tone when it was rung. Completely mellow.

I'm a sucker for mellow. But the bell cost a lot. I left it behind.

One reason to be frugal is so that when something comes along that is more expensive, you have some money saved. I thought about that bell all night. Saturday was their mark-down day, so I went back. I was third in line, waiting for them to open, chatting with the other ladies waiting with me. When the appointed hour came I headed straight down the stairs, heading for the room with the bell, right behind the woman who was in front of me in line. Who said as she went down, “I think the bell was in this room down here.”

What! No! MY bell! “That’s what I came back for,” I said. I'm sure there was a note of dismay in my voice. We reached the bell side by side. “Well, you were in front of me so of course you’re first, but I do really want this,” I said.

She carefully inspected the bell. Took a measuring tape out of her purse and measured. Engaged the guy running the sale in figuring out how much it would be since it was discount day. Got out her phone. Called someone. I said again I did really want it. The estate sale guy had his roll of masking tape and was writing sold on it, ready to slap it on the piece. She talked on the phone. I waited, holding my breath. Finally she got off and said, “She doesn’t want to pay that much, so it's yours.”

I cheered. The ‘sold’ tape went on the bell. Whew! It seemed so ironic that having decided to actually buy something spendy, it might have gone to someone else.
Having bitten the big one with the bell, I picked out a few pottery pieces. I love this teapot, the shape, the contrast of the rough glaze on the outside with the smooth interior. (Anyone know what this kind of glaze is called?)

This vessel was something else I thought about all night. I think it's large enough and heavy enough to be safe from Millie.

I own another piece by the potter who made these lidded jars.

So I fell in love, and splurged, and don’t regret it all. But interestingly, my very favorite piece of the weekend was free. Judy gave it to me after she rescued it from a neighbor who was putting it in the trash. (Yes, I am shuddering.) Isn’t this little tin box just wonderful?

Dated 1946, made in England by The Metal Box Company. 

The illustrations remind me very much of Garth Williams’ early books. Wish I knew if he’d done them!

So I had a big splurge and a no splurge. Does that change my big splurge to only half a splurge?


  1. Great finds and really nice bell.

    1. I think it keeps me 'young at heart' to go out every week and find fun stuff!

  2. It is a lovely bell. So glad you got it. I like the birdwatcher very much and the pots with the faces are fun. xx

    1. I'm kind of a sucker for faces. That's what I always doodle on the agenda at any meeting I go to!

  3. I agree about being frugal so you can splurge on something expensive now and then. Love the bell and I always love pottery (one of my weaknesses).

    1. So glad I'm not alone in my weaknesses...of which there are probably too many!

  4. Some wonderful finds! The bell is lovely and well worth splashing out a bit to get it. I can't believe the adorable little tin box was destined for the garbage. Thanks goodness it was rescued!

    1. I know, can you believe it was being thrown away? Judy & I both have a horror of anything good going to the landfill!

  5. We went to a sweet little estate sale Friday where my third-grade teacher daughter found great things for school – two chambered nautili (one whole, one sliced half), and a 72-bar percussion chime (think sound effect for magic wand). But when I went out into the charming backyard, there, hanging on the post of the pergola, was your bell! I was so excited, dashed over to ring it (and it was just like you described it), but ... "not for sale." 😟 But at least I got to hear it.

    1. Well, heck! That would have been SO cool if we both had one. We could synchronize times to ring them...


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

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