Sunday, July 27, 2008

Creeping Charlie Goes for a Tricycle Ride

I spent $11.27 cents yesterday in my morning of garaging. Twenty seven cents? This time the odd amount was not caused by my occasional practice of offering whatever change I have in my billfold. No, the odd amount came from paying someone to keep something.

The sale looked great. Tons of stuff—it was a fund raiser for a church group, attended by several ladies and teenage girls, mostly African American. When I pulled up in front I told the first lady I saw, “This is the most organized sale I've ever been to.” She beamed and explained the layout to me. They were set up in departments. “Here are ladies' clothes, and these are for toddlers. Over there is infant stuff, and more ladies' on the hanging rack, and then just all kinds of other things.” Lots of people just dump heaps of stuff on their driveway, but these folks had their merchandising down pat.

The woman at the infant area was still folding and laying out items. She had gorgeous cornrows, darker over the silver at the roots. I told her how much I loved her hair. She laughed and said someone had asked her how she got the lighter color at the base. I started laughing too as I fanned out my own graying hair. “I could tell them how that happens,” I said.

Another lady was still unpacking newspaper wrapped items from a bag. One was a music box that she wound up as I looked over the items on the table. “You could dance to it,” she said. “Tempo’s a bit slow,” I replied, but when she pulled out another and wound it, I obligingly did a couple of slow dance steps. She giggled and added a couple more steps. The teenage girl watching us refrained from rolling her eyes. Barely.

In her bag I noticed a vintage looking green china object.

“How much is this?” I asked. “Do you know what it is?” she wanted to know. “I think it’s for flower arranging, a vase,” I said. (When I got it home my husband said it must be a candle holder. Anyone else have a vote?) She looked pleased. “Okay, since you know what it is, you can have it for…two cents.”

I looked at her. Two cents? Even I am not that cheap. Or not always. I pulled out my wallet and looked in the coin purse. “Here,” I said grandly, handing her a nickel, “sometimes I just like to live large.” She laughed and held up another item. “For that you get a free bonus.”

The free bonus was a small misshapen bowl, probably the ugliest thing made of pink glass in America. It held one spent match. I pulled out two pennies. “Here, I'll pay you to keep it.”

She took the two cents, and she kept the pink bowl. And she laughed.

The rest of the $11.27 went for these:

A glass to replace the one in my husband’s bathroom, and this fabbo cobalt cut glass bowl from that same sale. They weren't quite two cents each, but pretty darned close!

Embroidered top and skirt by Ulla Popken and in my size. The tag says dry clean but I'm going to hand wash them and hope for the best—keep your fingers crossed that they’re still my size when I finish!

Fabulous black velvet (I think it's silk velvet, but it pre-dates content tags) vintage swing coat by Lilli Diamond of California.

Two brown transferware small bowls. I love the intricate designs, and these feel old. No maker’s marks on the back. Anyone know anything about these?

A whole stack o’ magazines.

Couple of vintage science fiction paperbacks. After I got them home I remembered I read this Andre Norton recently and it's not her best, but hey, it was a dime.

A huge box of craft sticks to give to my children’s librarians. There are stick puppets ahead in storytime!

A couple of coordinated frames from two different sales; these will be prizes in my reading program.

Some fun earrings.

A book of lovely boxes to punch out and fold. Hmmm, maybe I can put buttons in some of them.
Some clothing to remake, including a Liz Claiborne skirt, sunflower dress and beaded pink skirt for future aprons.

Speaking of aprons, I recently finished a couple. Last week’s cute little skirt made this cute little number (the lining became the bib and ties) and the dress I bought back in early May turned out quite well. Even my husband commented on it; he liked the fabric flower of black chiffon with a vintage button.

A Jones New York silk skirt that will fit once I shorten it from the waist. A little bit of hassle, yes, but comparing the dollar I paid to the $90 or so it would cost in a store, should be worth it. I love the fabric.

The last set of sales were in a tract-wide event. I was leaving one of the sales when an old lady on one of those adult tricycles with the big wire basket on back paused in her ride to ask, “Do you have any plants for sale?” No, no plants there. She rode on, stately in her trek down the middle of the lane. I had to carefully pull around her down the block, don’t think she heard my car at all. She turned up on the next street as well. “Did they have any plants there?” she asked me. Didn’t see any on this block, I told her, but you can always ask. A couple of streets on I noticed some plants for sale, seedlings that had been potted up by the look of them. When I saw the trike lady again, I pulled up beside her. “I saw some plants at the sale down that street,” I told her, then noticed she now had a large and flourishing plant—creeping Charlie, I think—in her basket.

“I already found this one and I'm completely satisfied,” she said. With a jaunty wave she rode off.

I knew just how she felt.


  1. Your green ceramic thing looks like some sort of Japanese Ikebana vase. Low, asymmetric, use with wire frogs to arrange all sorts of interesting things.
    bet you have something in your garden you can arrange in it.
    if not, use it for paper clips and stuff at your desk!

    some interesting examples here:

  2. You tell a great yard sale story!

    The blue bowls are ery pretty. Like the vase too, although it is an odd duck, isn't it? Maybe candles and a plant? Op candles and sugar packets? Or ?????

  3. yard sales, aprons, vintage this and that... I love it! This is my kinda blog...

  4. What lovely aprons! And I'll bet the clothes you bought to remake will be pretty aprons too.

  5. I look forward to reading your blog every Monday and it was well worth the wait. From reading your blog I have come to the conclusion that:

    1. I live at the wrong end of the state (Nor Cal) OR

    2. I am just not looking very well.

    My faves of your finds were:

    1.The black velvet coat...WOW what a BEAUTY

    2. The transferware cute!!

    3. That blue bowl.....BEAUTIFUL!!

    You want to come to Nor Cal and give me lessons?? :)

    Thanks again! You are killing me with envy but it's worth it!!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog:) I have just been reading through random posts on your blog and have thouroghly enjoyed reading your stories! You have a flair for story telling:)

  7. What size is the pink skirt? It is so cute!

  8. Wow. Fantastic buys! Super nice aprons you made! Love `em!!

  9. First time to your blog. Love it!
    I'll have to keep stopping by to see what you have found. I love a good garage sale find. Finding something fabulous at a garage sale is the same as a big chocolate cupcake to me!

  10. Thank you for commenting on my blog! i really appreciate it.

    i've been reading yours and it's really interesting and well-written. i share your love of garage saling and can't wait till my kid(s) are big enough to get out of their car seats themselves and i'll be able to garage sale more easily. It's almost not worth the hassle right now.

    i'm definitely subscribing to your blog. Thanks again!

  11. Amazing finds. I think my favorite are the cobolt blue bowls.

    I like your remake aprons, too. Geat job.


  12. Wow, that was a fabulous sale! Church charity sales are my absolute favorites.

  13. That is a strange piece of pottery, and I have no clue what it is for, but I am doubtful that candles are it.


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

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