Saturday, October 16, 2010


Yes, the Beverly Hillbillies were alive and well and shopping on Southern California driveways this morning. Here’s what my car looked like when I got home.IMG_9502All I lacked was some banjo music playing, though I can’t offhand think of any that would have expressed the right mid century vibe.

And that excited screaming you heard a few minutes past noon? That was me, when I figured out what I scored.

Until I hit the last couple of places it had been a low-key morning. Exchanged pleasantries a few places but no real conversations developed. There was a neighborhood sale with quite a few participants, but most of the sales were in the townhome part of that tract, where there is almost nowhere to park. And a couple of times when I did find a place to pull over, the sales were junky/too expensive/baby stuff—or all three. Headed on to the single-family-home part, where my big buys were some padded hangersIMG_9511a copy of Pleasantville, which I’ve been wanting to see again so I can drool over its Fifties decorIMG_9505and an unopened bag of color-coordinated M&Ms left over from someone’s recent party. (Digression: why in the world would you a) buy color coordinated M&Ms in the first place, and then b) not eat them yourself if you have some left?) I was ready for some chocolate by then, so I paid my quarter and took them with me. Besides, turquoise is the color of the year for 2010. ;o)IMG_9510When I finished this tract, I headed to another nearby sale I’d seen advertised in Craiglist. Two families who are leaving the country soon and selling everything. They did have quite a bit of stuff, and the first thing I noticed was a nice looking wooden daybed with a pull out trundle. It would work in one of our future guest rooms, so I asked the price. Ready? Five hundred bucks.

Okay, yes, it was a nice piece. I’m sure they paid a lot for it in some store, and it looked fairly new. But $500 on a driveway? Not.

I did find one thing there that I like, can’t wait to go through it. Is this not the perfect book for me?IMG_9506Every page looks like it has something interesting, and it’s all eye candy. The only text is a couple of pages of introduction.IMG_9508 IMG_9507By now some of you are asking, “Where’s the stuff that was in the car? And where are the DOGS?” I thought it was going to be a dogless morning, but finally came upon Opie.IMG_9488He’s a very fluffy long-haired dachshund. From the top is about the only way I can take a picture of these guys. I’m way too old to get down on the ground to catch a side view. Fortunately, this technique was not required for the other two dogs I met, Lucy and Shelbie. IMG_9489 IMG_9491Lucy, the brindle, has to be the tallest dog I have ever seen. Her back was at my waist. Her legs made me think she might be part giraffe. Her companion is only six months old, so no telling how tall she’ll be.

They were walking by the sale where I made my first furniture score. Yard sale activity ceased while we all met the dogs. When they continued their walk, I went back to buying this nice pair of teak mid century bedside tables.IMG_9514 They had three dressers that went with them, but I held myself to these two, knowing I’ll be able to use them—and that I could get them home. They fit nicely in the back seat of the convertible.The guy I bought them from had them all through his childhood, and his brother had them before him, and their sister had them first. I think a good polishing with lemon oil will shine them right up.

I was pretty satisfied once I found these and headed home. I almost didn’t pull over at the last sale I passed, but the parking was easy and there were a couple of chairs that looked interesting. More mid century. Not in perfect shape, and I could see that originally they would have had a seat cushion. I asked if they had the cushions for them but they didn’t. I almost didn’t buy them, I was afraid the finish on the arms might be damaged. But we negotiated a price of $7 for the pair, and I felt like I had to rescue them. They were unloved and forlorn. Somehow wrangled everything into the car, and I drove the rest of the way slowly so the trunk lid wouldn’t bang on the table I’d managed to stuff back there.

When I was taking the chairs out of the car, I spotted this on one. JK = Juul Kristensen of Denmark.

IMG_9523 So I knew at least that they are definitely Danish, and the wood looks like rosewood to me. I took a cloth and wiped a spot on the arm, and what I thought might be damaged finish is just dirt. Lots of dirt.

IMG_9524 Took them out on the patio to snap a few pics.

They’re in pretty darned good condition, considering the neglect they seem to have endured. Once I had their picture, I went online to see if I could figure out anything about them. Took about fifteen minutes (hey, I’m a librarian—we research) and when I realized what I have I started yelling. All the pets came rushing into my office. “Hans Olsen!” I shrieked. “They’re by Hans Olsen!” Lizzie and Edward looked at each other and shrugged. Okay, so dogs don’t get excited about vintage furniture designers. But when nearly every comparable piece you find online includes the word ‘rare’ in its description you get excited. I found one like mine on this blog. The closest match I found that’s for sale has simpler arms, and the price is $550. And I have two!

Woo hoo! Shopping on driveways is the best!


  1. The rate you are filling up your house now, you will have to have a yard sale of existing furnishings to fit in all the mid century treasures! You are on a roll, Queenie!

  2. $7 for those chairs! what a SCORE!!!

  3. How awesome is that, congrats on the big time find!!

  4. Awesome! Is it easier getting furniture into a convertible? I have a Mazda 6, so I always borrow my parent's truck whenever I plan to buy any furniture. Sweeeet on the Pleasantville find. It's the first movie that I watched in my junior year of high school english. :D

  5. Gorgeous chairs...this is the type of find that all thrifters dream of!


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

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