Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Are the Odds…

…that you would walk up to a sale, peek into a box of miscellaneous books – and see one by someone you once knew? Okay, I suppose if you are a literary agent or a publicist for Random House, the odds would be pretty fair. But I was a bit surprised when it happened to me!


This book was written by one of my grad school professors. In fact, I was her student assistant for a semester. There was nothing else in the box of a similar nature. Just seemed odd. Of course, if I someday spot one of my own books for sale at a yard sale, I will know I have arrived as an author! 

Perhaps it was the surprise that addled my brain enough that I picked up an item I thought maybe just might be something I could resell, even though I recently resolved NOT to buy anything else that I wasn’t positive I could use myself or definitely resell. Which turned out to have no resell value at all that I can see.


I’m not going to kick myself too hard though, since I only spent a dime! And my loss is the kitty thrift store’s gain.

I was rather guided by whim this weekend. It’s the only explanation for purchasing a Fisher Price chime ball.


Its chime is just delightful though. It rang merrily the whole time it was riding in my car. So many toys that make noise are jarring and annoying. This is what a noisy toy should sound like. Wish I could think of some way to make it into a garden chime.

Another whim was this springerle rolling pin.


Will I ever make springerle? No idea. I had a vision of imprinting shortbread dough, but I’m not sure the imprint wouldn’t bake out. Guess I was seduced by the cute carvings of a bunny


and a trio of mushrooms


and a little bunch of cherries.


Just for the record, I did not succumb to every whim. For about two seconds I thought these figures might be funny in my garden.

ninja nuns

We could go for that popular ninja-nun look. Then I saw the price tags. So much for that. But what really cracked me up was the juxtaposition of these guys next to another item for sale.


I did enjoy their cat.

talking cat

Found another wool blanket for a guest bed, same brand and similar to one from last year. When I tossed it on the bed to take a picture, I expected Zoe to remove herself. But she wouldn’t.


She really likes this blanket. Hopefully she will refrain from eating it.


I expect to have better luck reselling some other finds.

IMG_5823IMG_5824IMG_58171IMG_5818IMG_5819 copy

And one item turned out to be fairly rare.


I doubt that I’ll start building my own MCM furniture, though I kind of like this coffee table.


Apparently the author was Bauhaus-connected, and sold prefab furniture way before Ikea came along. But what I really like is the carpenter, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth in some pictures, and his stocking feet. Hope he didn’t step on those nails.


Lots of shots show his hair in disarray.


Kind of wanted to look for a disclaimer along the lines of “No professional models were used in the making of this book.”

Those were my Friday finds. On Saturday I headed off towards Molalla (about 35 miles away) for an event at one of the country nurseries out there, garaging as I went. Just before I headed out of Salem, I found a sale that didn’t look like much, but there were some bins of free stuff by the curb.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Not just free stuff. Free vintage linens. Some are not in the best condition, but might be good candidates for repurposing. I ended up spending a dollar for about a yard and a half of vintage-inspired fabric


and this arts & craft style vintage table runner.


Couldn’t figure out how they decided what to charge for, and what to put in the free stuff, because this was all free.


This bridge table cloth has some marks in the middle


but doesn’t it look like it could be used as the yoke and sleeves for something?


I haven’t embroidered anything for a long time, and I love this free pillowcase.


But here’s my question for you all: I think an oxy soak will take out most of the stains, but will it remove the embroidery pattern too?


And my question for me is, did I keep that stash of embroidery threads and hoops, or did I donate them to the thrift store in my last binge of purging?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stop & Go

Oops, I just realized I haven’t blogged this week! Terrible when your mind has gone, isn’t it. It’s not that I didn’t go garaging and have a good time, just got busy with other things when I got home. But now I’ve come to my senses, so here goes.

My SIL Linda and I just completed a massive decluttering project. I won’t tell you whose house it was at (to protect the innocent, as they say), but we are both very glad it’s done, and extremely impressed with ourselves for the results. An entire room has been returned to productive use! So to celebrate we decided we’d go on an outing in my convertible and really enjoy one of these crisp fall days. We picked the Canby Farm Loop for our destination and headed out Friday morning. Which (of course!) turned out to be cloudy, misty and chilly. As soon as the mist gave up we went ahead and cranked down the car roof and turned on the heater; a little weather can’t get us down. We were trying to navigate with a tiny map I’d printed off the web and were doing pretty well. At least until we spied a couple of garage sales and went to check them out. Didn’t find anything we could use, but I was bemused by the middle-aged guy who bought a whole bolt of red tulle left over from someone’s wedding. I heard him explaining he used it to make nets for fishing…but I have this mental image of this guy in full fishing regalia, including waders, topped off by a fluffy tutu of red tulle.

Perhaps it was this vision that clouded my sense of direction. (Friends who have driven places with me are now all saying, What sense of direction?) All I can tell you is, we were driving in northeast Canby, stopped at a couple of sales, got back onto the main road, and found ourselves in southwest Canby. Luckily we were just out for a good time and didn’t really care if we followed the actual farm loop or not. We did finally find one of the stops on the map, a nice nursery. But it will be quite all right if I someday decide to do the Canby Farm Loop again, since I didn’t see most of it. I’ll just make sure to have a bigger map…and not go on a garage sale day!

On Saturday I mapped out half a dozen sales to check out. The most tempting thing I saw was an adorable kitten about 4 months old. She let me pick her up and her little motor started running like a Mack truck. I was too busy petting her to take her picture. Turned out she didn’t live with the people having the sale. One of their neighbors’ cat had this litter of kittens, and they seemed a bit skeptical about these neighbors as good cat parents. In fact, they offered me the kitten! However, I resisted (see, I can be strong!) and kitty and I shopped the tables together. While we were looking around, another couple went to pay for some cake pans and a candy thermometer. “This is for our son,” the dad said. “He’s fifteen, and he loves to bake.” He went on to describe the breads this kid makes, and cakes, and on and on till we were begging him to either stop or let us borrow his kid.

There was another sale a couple of blocks away. They had marked the location with a biggish cardboard box with “Garage Sale” signs taped to it, sitting at the edge of the road in front of the house. Friendly couple, we got to talking about dogs since they have a rescue dog that was terrified of everyone when they got her. She’s made a lot of progress but it will still be a while before she has enough confidence for the dog park. While we talked another shopper arrived, came up behind me and looked at stuff on the table, then left without saying a word. I didn’t even notice her – until she took off in her car, running over that big cardboard box and dragging it halfway down the block. We all started laughing, and the guy having the sale said something like, “Guess she didn’t like us much.” He said she must have known the box was there because he saw her walk around it to get to her car. However, we all stopped laughing when she did a U-turn halfway down the block and came roaring back. If she was planning to run us down she thought better of it and just drove past and around the corner. Then the wife went out into the street and retrieved her box, taped it back together, and put it back in front of the house.

I was a little surprised when I got home and logged my finds to see that I had actually purchased 14 items. The cash outlay was $6.26; I done good! Found some vintage linen tea towels


and a couple of dish towels in autumn hues


and an embroidered piece that will be perfect for covering bread dough as it rises.


I’m sure I’ll find uses for this strainer


and I’ve never owned a pizza cutter…until now.


This Copco stainless tea kettle came along just in time.


The kettle my husband uses to make coffee recently lost its whistler, which is vital in this household of forgetful busy people. I didn’t notice until I got home that this new one was missing the knob from the lid. Hey, wonder if that’s why the price was only a quarter… But it was the work of a moment to screw the knob off the old kettle and onto this one.

These aren’t the greatest movies in the world, but at a quarter apiece I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth.


A couple other items are Projects – one intended, one not. The intentional project involves this cap


which I’m hoping to remodel into a visor. I don’t wear hats (hat hair, ig) but always wear visors (no hat hair, perfect in convertible). A certain young dog has chewed up two visors recently (bad dog! guess there were no sofa pillows handy) but I kept the plastic band from one of them to see if I can turn a hat into a clip-on visor. My fingers are crossed. The other project (should I choose to accept this assignment) is to make this awfully cute but slightly too small laptop case fit my computer.


I think I can make it work by taking out the bottom seam and inserting some felted wool. Maybe.

My last find was at the last sale I encountered, which wasn’t on my list, just chanced by it. Almost didn’t stop because it was the second day of an estate sale and pickings are usually slim. But I did stop, and there was this lovely mid-century Silex coffee warmer and stand.


Guess the moral of that story is – stop!

DAK honey

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