Sunday, May 25, 2014

Holiday on Holiday Drive

I promise I’ll write about this weekend’s garaging adventures…later. After Judy and I work out which of us gets the vintage desk chair we found.

The hubs and I just succeeded in repairing the cord on our deck umbrella (we are SO jazzed!)


and all the outdoor chair cushions have been newly slipcovered.

P1050692 Pots have been planted


and bunnies are on guard.

P1050702 I am now on holiday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

In Which I am Struck by Passion

Holding a sale is such a lot of work…can you imagine moving one to another location? An estate sale no less? That was our first stop on Friday, an estate sale at our local grange hall. It was rather nice to have plenty of room to move around, and the family members running the sale were a cheerful lot. But I can’t imagine moving all that stuff!

Judy and I both found some things we liked. She scored first with a little scroll-backed vintage vanity chair, perfect for the bathroom in her new 1949 home. Then she found some wonderful vintage drinking glasses, still in their original box. And then I looked across the room – and was struck by sudden passion.

He was standing in a corner by himself. Quite tall, over 6 feet, though most of his height was hat.

Vintage wooden Santa

I dithered for about two minutes over the $10 price tag, then caved. I have no regrets, especially since I got his story. Like me, he used to live in Southern California. “I was a teacher in the Anaheim School District,” the lady told me, “and one of my fellow teachers was married to a woodworker. He made these and sold them, back in the early Sixties.”

I’d be willing to bet there’s a pattern for this guy in some old woodworking magazine, or Better Homes & Gardens. I may change his nose for a red light bulb. Won’t that be festive?

Glowing Santa nose

Santa was the only thing I bought there, though I did find several items that amused me. How’s this for a diet?

Dieting can be fun!

And someone in the family must have suffered from a nervous disposition back in the Sixties. We have the massage pillow (lest you think it was something sexy, it was a cushion about a foot square covered with brown corduroy – but very chic corduroy) to ease nervous tension

Ease nervous tension

and the Relax-o-matic Back Scratcher, “for that wonderful feeling in relieving that nervous itch.”

Relax that itch

A young guy bought the back scratcher. Saw him again at the next estate sale and he told me it’s going to be a gift. Sure wish I were on his gift list!

Reach that spot

Judy scored again at that sale, a vintage brass hanging lamp with star perforations. (Clearly I’m going to have to start taking pictures of her loot as well as mine!) Then we found hats for Judy to try on.

Vintage hat with split brimVintage flowered hatDramatic vintage hatVintage Capezio hatWhile we were standing in line to pay for her lamp, a tall, lovely young woman got in line carrying a couple of the hats. We were glad to know they were going to a good home.

We stopped at another sale that according to its Craigslist ad was part of a neighborhood sale. They lied. Just the one, and my bet is these people had bought a storage unit and were selling the goods. Or maybe they own rentals and these were things left behind. Judy scored a pooper scooper (which you’re probably glad I did not photograph) and I picked up a decent iron for downstairs. (We keep an ironing board down there for guests.) A Rowenta for $3? Yes please. And it even works!

Rowenta ironRowenta Pro

On Saturday Toni made the rounds with me. We met a couple of lovely dogs. Handsome Beau is a mastiff mix. We both wanted to sneak off with him.

Big Beau

No one was quite sure what Roxie is, except for sweet.

Sweet Roxie

Pickings were slim, but I found a pair of seersucker gingham crop pants. I’ve been looking for some black and white fabric for a project I have in mind and this will be perfect.

Gingham crop pants

Gingham seersucker

And my other big purchase was a package of sticky notes. For five cents.

sticky puppy notes

I especially like the logo. “Accept no copycats!”

Accept No Copycats

When I handed over my nickel, the lady acted thrilled. “Oh good, now we can close up shop!”

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fifty Cents…it’s SUCH a good number!

I thought I had probably missed the big Episcopalian church rummage sale this year while I was in DC. But I got lucky – it was a week later than I thought. Thursday morning found me prowling about their church basement along with dozens and dozens of other bargain hunters. As far my own needs and wants were concerned, it was slim pickings, but I really enjoyed my conversation with one of the church ladies over the set of four avocado serving dishes and the relative uselessness thereof. As in a set of four individual avocado shaped bowls. (If you have some and love them, sorry, no offense intended.) I suspect they had never been used and we agreed they were most likely a gift. Which sent both of us down memory lane, recalling other gifts we’d received that were similarly rummage-sale-worthy.

I almost passed up this tablecloth, but then I saw it is a vintage Vera, her Shadowferns design from the 70s.  Vera Ferns tablecloth Vintage Vera  Noll likes it.

Noll appreciates a good tablecloth

Hoping this will resell, as well as a set of 6 new Pottery Barn chandelier shades. Fingers crossed.

Pottery Barn shades

That’s all I had in hand when I noticed how long the line was to pay, so I looked around again…and the line got longer! With a sigh I took my place at the end, behind a middle aged guy keeping an eye on his grandmother, who was still shopping. “She’s 92,” he said, “and she’s got more energy than I do.” Grandma joined him then and he said he’d been bragging on her being 92. She sniffed. “At least my memory is better than yours. I was 95 last August.”

Got into conversation with the nice lady behind me as the line inched forward. As these conversations sometimes do, we got onto the topic of dogs. I mentioned our Edward. “Edward,” she mused. “Edward. Do you go to Minto?” Minto-Brown is our local dog park. I said I did. “I remember Edward,” she said. Another of those small-Salem moments – I meet a total stranger who knows my dog.

Edward portrait

Friday was cold and wet, and (I hope you won’t be disappointed in me) I stayed home. I was still prepping for Saturday – I got to do my Shopping on Driveways program at the Sheridan Public Library! We had a small turnout but still it was way fun, and I may go garaging next month with a couple of the ladies when I go back up there wearing my author’s hat to meet with a writing group.

On the way up to Sheridan I hit a few sales. At the first I spied this quite nice wine carafe on a shelf with other glassware, none of it priced.

Fifty Cent Carafe

How much? Fifty cents, they said. Even I was surprised this time, but did not hesitate. “You speak my language,” I told them. Stopped at another sale in Dallas at a little farm where they had homegrown seedlings and handmade jewelry along with garage sale stuff. Didn’t buy anything, but really enjoyed their farm. Goats out in the pasture, and Dahlia and Maisie taking a nap.

Dahlia & Maisie take a nap

One more stop netted me a book and some videos.

Inside of a Dog  DVDs 1 DVDs 2

As I often do, I asked if they were having fun yet (sure-fire ice breaker at a yard sale). Which netted the story of how they had neglected to get the required permit for their sale…and the code enforcement guy had found their ad on Craigslist and stopped by. He just gave them a warning, but since the guy having the sale works for the city, I think he was pretty embarrassed!

Oops, almost forgot to mention my favorite little find. While the rummage sale line was slowly moving forward we had plenty of time to scrutinize the tables we were passing. Liz, the lady who remembered Edward, spotted a very nice little pine needle basket and snagged it. My find was this set of coasters, eight in all.

Midcentury Coasters

The starburst design in the center! The gold glitter embedded in the plastic! Definitely worth waiting in line for. And they cost but fifty cents!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

East to West

I have an excellent excuse reason for not posting last week. Nope, didn’t fall down again and break my arm or anything. I went to Washington, DC! My SIL Linda had a board meeting to attend, and we decided months ago that I’d go along and when her meeting was over we’d play tourists. Her daughter who lives on a farm in Maryland joined us and we had a ball. Linda and I are both completely pooped (Kim went right back to work on the farm without missing a beat) but we’re already making plans to head somewhere else within the year. We probably would anyway, but we got bumped from our first flight and they sweetened the deal with $200 flight credits for both of us. Ironically, we ended up on the nonstop flight we originally wanted to take…but that was too expensive!

As much as I enjoyed being out of my usual routine, I admit I’m awfully glad to slide back into it. We returned on Friday night, so after a blessed night’s sleep in MY OWN BED (ahhhhhh) you know exactly what I did on Saturday morning.

I went garaging!

First stop was a few blocks from home, and beautiful Tess was there to greet me.

 P1050497-001It didn’t take her long to realize that I had dog treats in my pocket. (I usually do.)


Permission granted from her owners, she was happy to crunch down a morsel. Then she donned her leash and went for a walk.


Had so much fun at this sale! Two nice ladies about my age with really fun and interesting stuff. One of them used to live on my street and went to the grade school on the corner. Perhaps since I didn’t get to do any thrifting last week I had to really restrain myself from buying a lot more than I did. This rooster just jumped into my hands. He might end up in the yard somewhere, but for now he’s on top of the coat closet in the front hall. (Wonder if my hubs will notice him there…)


I’m planning to use these hair picks to secure shawls or a scarf.


If these Nufoot slippers had been anything other than a Mary Jane – a POLKA DOTTED Mary Jane! – I might have resisted. But some things are too much to ask, right?


They are teensy until you put them on, but they really do stretch!


When I looked through the box of LPs I knew I was dealing with kindred spirits. They were selling several albums that I used to own! I resisted most of them, but did pick up this somewhat esoteric number.


Plus a couple of others I’m looking forward to hearing.


Found a few nice cards for those times that an e-card just won’t do.


And from the free stuff I brought home half a box of organic candles that actually smell good, and some magazines from the 90s.


When I’m done with them I’ll take them to the free table at the library and make someone else happy.

Finally tore myself away and headed to the next sale. At then end of the driveway a patio umbrella was set up, and the price was only $6. And my $5 market umbrella won’t go up and down now, the cord inside is broken. I figured replacing it my be better than figuring out how to fix it. Only trouble is I completely spaced out on the fact that I’ve been re-covering all our outside chairs…and the fabric totally clashes with the new umbrella!


So I may be finding a new home for this one and fixing the other after all. I hope my buying a giant umbrella isn’t the reason it’s been raining all day.

At the same sale I picked up this wonderful pot, and this is definitely a keeper!


She seems to have been made by Deborah Wolf of River Stone Pottery, a bit south of us.


I just love her. Can’t wait to get something planted. The lady having the sale said she bought her in Lincoln City several years ago, and that she planted something different every year for her ‘hair.’ You might be wondering how she could part with this lovely pot, but there’s a good reason. She and her husband are both retiring in a few months, and thinking it would take some time for their house to sell they went ahead and put it on the market. And then it sold in a week! So they’ll be living in an RV for a while, and it’s time to let go of some possessions.

I told her how much she is going to love being retired, that it’s scary ahead of time but just wonderful when you take the plunge. And she threw her arms around me in a hug, saying she’s been worried about the whole thing and it really helped to hear everything will be fine. I just know it will be!

At another sale in the same neighborhood I spotted this large planter. Figured from the size and appearance it would be a) heavy and b) expensive. But a) it’s made of foam and hardly weighs a thing, and b) I got it for a buck. Sometimes I love to be wrong.


My next purchase came from the sale where I was admiring some hand-carved printing blocks, and it turned out the lady I was talking to is an artist and these were from her print-making days. We talked about creativity and the fun of upcycling and reuse, and I bought this adorable vintage runner.


She told me this great story from when she used to buy and resell antiques. She was loading a set of books into a box at an estate sale, and this greedy guy reached over her shoulder and snatched Volume Two. She told him she was buying the set and he said so what and took that book. (She said it was that kind of rudeness that made her quit being a dealer – too embarrassing to be numbered among them.) She bought the rest of the set anyway and has been looking for Volume Two for over 20 years…and last week she found it!

I was starting to run out of steam (a single night in my own bed was not enough to restore full vigor), but one more stop was on my list. Turned out to be a block sale, but I only bought one thing. A hat for Judy!


Yes, after all those hats she’s modeled for me, I bought her one. It’s very similar to one that was tempting at the Methodist rummage sale a few weeks ago, but the price was a little high there.

Hand knitted of wool and then felted. Very cozy. And it was fifty cents! The young woman having the sale said it has never been worn, and yes, it was a gift. I think she wanted it gone before her mom, who gave it to her, stopped by and saw it.

I was happy to oblige.

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