Sunday, October 20, 2013


I recently noticed a house on the next street has gone on the market, so I was interested when I saw there was an estate sale at that address this weekend. Wish I could have known the family who lived there, because they had very cool stuff. Lots of art, real art. Lots of decorative things made from metal. Lots of high priced stuff that I didn’t have a hope of bringing home! But we still did okay, and the house itself was certainly worth visiting. I’ve never seen a window like this one: Amazing MCM windowIsn’t that cantilevered glass amazing?

I headed straight for the bedrooms (still looking for another guest bed). But the only thing I wanted in there was a couple of Vera tablecloths, and the prices were prohibitive. But look at the paneling in one corner of the room.

Cool MCM paneling

Another room had mostly Christmas things and toys. I know we’d have been kindred spirits because of the toys! Almost the first thing I saw in there was something I’ve wanted for years.             Steiff bunny puppet Steiff rabbit puppetA Steiff bunny puppet. No button in his ear, but I took a close look and could see where the button had been removed. Definitely a Steiff. Six bucks, but hey, I wanted him. On another table I spotted a little rooster and realized he was made from mohair, and only a dollar.

Little Steiff rooster

He came along, and when I got home discovered he’s also a Steiff. I think an older one because of his metal feet. He’s having a good time now going for a ride with my Czech jester.

Riding rooster

Judy caught up with me then; she’d headed first to the garage. “I bought a lamp,” she told me, “but I want a second opinion.” How flattering when the second opinion desired is yours!

When we reached the garage and she showed me the lamp, I tried to break it to her gently. “No, you shouldn’t buy that lamp. I should buy that lamp!” Sorry, didn’t get a picture of it – cool midcentury teak floor lamp with three gold-shaded lights with the star cutouts from the period. But we have a rule – whoever sees it first gets it! So Judy has a new lamp to go with her MCM clock. Dang, I may have to start hitting garages first!

I did find a little something in the garage, some tiny wooden Christmas ornaments lurking in a box o’ junk. At a quarter apiece they fit my budget,

Tiny ornaments

and I love Santa in his pink roadster with the wheels that turn

Santa's pink roadster

and this little girl with her stars.

Star girl

We tried two or three garage sales and found nothing, then headed for the Methodist Church rummage sale downtown. On the way we saw that the Episcopalians were also having a sale this weekend, but didn’t open until noon. So the Methodists got us first. Those ladies were a hoot. We walked into a side room labeled “Collectibles” (it’s always interesting to see what is considered collectible) and I asked the lady keeping an eye on things how it was going. “Great!” she said. “I’ve only had one guy in here that I wanted to shoot.” Whoa, seriously? “Yup. He kept fingering this ring someone donated, and he waited until I was distracted and then made off with it.” He stole from a church rummage sale? Yikes. “It really annoyed me,” she admitted. “I coulda shot him.”

“Don’t mess with the church ladies!” I said, and all the church ladies chuckled. You could see they enjoyed the image of themselves as dangerous women.

There was another side room with ladies clothing, and right away I spotted a jacket I liked, of a brand I like.

Jacket detailBoiled wool jacket

Purple boiled wool, and comfy as heck. Mine. I think I’m going to change out the buttons to some vintage ones in my stash. Still trying to decide which.

Vintage buttons 2Vintage buttons 1

I also picked up some pots (nice heavy glazed ones for fifty cents each)

Glazed potsShallow pot

and a pair of socks that will be perfect for the dog park.

Big Dog socks

Finished the morning with the Episcopalian church ladies. I’m always impressed by the clothing at their sale. Nearly always really expensive brands! Alas, nothing to fit this year. But we each got a silicone pinch pot to try out

Pinch bowl

and I scored a hand/neckwarmer scarf thingie with barley inserts that you microwave. None of them knew what it was for, so I got that for a buck.

On Saturday there were very few sales advertised, and we had folks coming for dinner (house cleaning and cooking were on my do list) so I decided I would just run back by that first estate sale to see if there was anything else that looked attractive on half-price day. And waiting for me in the toy room was a little guy I hadn’t seen the day before. Hmmm, I thought, that looks like a Zotty bear, but he also looks like a Hermann, not a Steiff.

Hermann Zotty

I know, it’s a weird kind of expertise! What can I say, I just like vintage toys. But he was cute and affordable (especially at half price) so home he came. Started researching, and I’ll be danged – Hermann made Zotty bears as well as Steiff! The Steiffs have peach colored fur on their chests and the Hermanns are a single color, but I think the real giveaway for me is the ear placement. Anyway, he now gets to hang out with my other Hermann bear that I bought in Germany many years ago.

Hermann bears

I think there’s a real family resemblance, don’t you?


  1. I am so impressed by your knowledge of QUALITY bears. You really can spot a Steiff or whatever. I somehow just know if they want to come home with me or not. If they do I can't resist. I'm glad you found so many treasures..

    1. Your bears look awfully happy to be together, and I bet they really enjoy their tea parties with your lovely collection of cups!

  2. always find the best stuff!!! can hardly wait to see a photo of your tree this year with all the little cuties on it!

    1. Here's the secret to my success: I keep showing up! And hey, I always feel jealous at the cool stuff you find too!


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

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