Sunday, July 27, 2014

She shoots! She scores!

I don’t think I’ll ever get Judy to start her own blog so she can show off her yard sale goodies, but this would have been the perfect week for her to start. Our first stop on Friday was right in our own neighborhood – two sisters who both had kids and both loved clothes and both were determined to “take back our attics and basements.”

Yeah. They had a LOT of stuff, and just about everything was priced at a buck. And if you wanted something for less, they tended to say yes. And the huge pile of ladies clothing? All kinds of very spendy brands…

…and all in Judy’s size.

I’m not even sure what all she ended up with. I know there was a pair of linen slacks, and two sundresses (one cotton, one linen with eyelet embroidery), and at least one cashmere sweater. She got three sweaters for her son (well, I found those but they wouldn’t fit my hubs so I tossed them to her). One was the softest merino wool with a Ralph Lauren label that you know had to be about $150 in the store. Jake loved that one, but didn’t like another with an argyle front. But Judy took a second look at that one and decided it will be a perfect around-the-house piece, and since it was cashmere and silk will probably be a great thing to sleep in. Cashmere and silk for PJs…for a buck.

So she made this huge pile of clothing and then went through it a second time to winnow out her favorites. She took off her own sweater to try some things on, and ended up with a stack of 22 items. And she had a twenty dollar bill and some change, which the lady was happy to take for the pile. She handed us a big garbage bag and we hauled everything off to my car.

Which is when Judy said, “Wait a minute. Where’s my black sweater I was wearing?”

So we checked the bagful of clothes, and sure enough there it was – and she had included it in her count. So yes. Judy bought her own sweater at someone else’s yard sale!

Lest you think she got all the good stuff, I did just fine too. I’ve always wanted to try one of these spoon rest thingies that clip on the side of the pot


but they cost around ten bucks in a kitchen store. So I was very pleased to find this one for a quarter! Found a nice shirt for the hubs


and a couple of cute hand towels (I like this size for toweling off my hair)


and a lime green wallet that cleaned up nicely.


It’s a pricey brand (Hobo) – but came from the dollar sale. Even their free stuff was good – I came home with a bunch of small Rubbermaid containers that I think will be great for freezer jam. Imagine my surprise when I saw these puppies are sold in a two-pack on Amazon for about $7.50. Sheesh.


Last week I scored a fun little glass vase


that is probably a ‘dog-bone vase’ made by Aseda in Sweden. I’ve been wanting some skinny colored vintage glass to display in the kitchen window (inspiration was a picture in Atomic Ranch magazine) and at last found the first piece. So imagine my surprise when the first thing I saw on Friday was a mate for it.


I’ve never noticed this kind of vase before, and I wonder what the odds are that I’d find two a week apart. Or if they’re really terribly common and I just never noticed them before? No matter. My collection is begun.


My other score from the dollar sale was this beautiful little handmade quilt, in the Orange Peel pattern.


Not an easy thing to piece together! I love the fabrics and colors. It’s the perfect size on my dining table to show off a big vase of flowers (the Queen Ann’s lace was purloined from the dog park, but don’t worry, I left plenty behind).


And a cat, of course.


Oh, that cat. Every time I tried to snap a picture of him by the flowers, he’d come toward me to be petted.


I finally set the camera on burst mode (where it takes a whole bunch of pics really fast) and rushed to the end of the table and started shooting as he came toward me. Then dashed to the other end of the table, cat following. He chased me around that table for several minutes, and I finally had to stop because I was laughing so hard the camera was shaking and couldn’t focus.


In all, I ended up with about two nice shots.


I really love digital cameras.

My last score was a splurge, but I love it. A big beautiful midcentury globe lamp of smoky gray glass.       P1060383P1060385P1060384I think it was a steal at $25. It will be even more gorgeous when we’ve cleaned the glass. Then all we’ll have to do is figure out where to put it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chipping Away

So there’s this pair of nice red French bowls, just the size we like for things like soup. Or ice cream. Plenty of room for the hot fudge sauce. And certainly the price was right.

Spiffy French bowls

When I got them home and peeled off the price tag…


it was covering up the chips. Can you believe someone would do that – for a quarter? Sheesh!

But not all chips are bad chips. We also met Chip and Belle.

Springer spaniels Chip & Belle

Yup, named for the Disney characters. Friday was a fun day and Judy and I both found good stuff, though the biggest stuff was hers.

How much can a convertible hold

We were rocking that Beverly Hillbillies look. Judy’s trellis and vaccuum and my vintage plant stand came from our first stop, and the rest of the morning we fielded comments about our need for a truck

A lot!or how Judy could hold that sofa they wanted to get rid of on her lap.

Happy hat

When we paused for a sandwich there was no way to put up the lid on the car so we parked where we could keep an eye on things from our table. But the place was chock full of sheriff’s deputies on some sort of outing so we felt pretty safe.

I found practical stuff

Batting Candle cubes

Sleep colorfully

and entertaining stuff

TonySweet sounds

and inspiration.

Cheap entertainment  Cool idea

Isn’t this clever? They made a cool midcentury bench from two coffee tables. Guess what’s on my look-for list now.

Picked up a couple of yard things – the aforementioned plant stand

Vintage wire plant stand

and something I’ve wanted for years but never before found on a driveway: a weathervane.Cat weathervaneThe irony is that at last I’ve found a weathervane…and I don’t think we can mount it on our metal roof. But he’ll look just find on a post in the yard.

Also picked up something that’s been on my list just a few weeks, since I rescued a warming stand from a free box that just needed the right dish to be complete.

Corning Ware

I’ve passed up a few that were too spendy, but this one was only a buck.

Corning Ware elevatedMy niece told me the other day to keep an eye out for a good food processor for her, so I was thrilled to spot this deal.

Great deal on a Cuisinart

Totally made her day, and she just emailed me to say she sold her old processor on Craiglist for the same $10 this Cuisinart cost. Score!

At the same sale I spotted a beat up old camera bag

Goodies inside  with what looks like some decent equipment inside

Vintage Pentax

that I’m hoping to resell. And since it came from the same sale as the chipped bowls, I hope I make a very large profit. The sellers seemed very happy to see it go, and I heard them talking about how they’d been going to throw that old stuff away. But a Pentax film camera is a workhorse and I know students like them.

In the photos of the loaded car you can’t see one of my favorite finds of the day – two happy African violets.

Happy violetOther happy violet

They were down on the floor getting a bit squished by all the other stuff, but came through just fine. Now we’ll see if I can keep them as happy.

Violets together

This kitty thought the day was too hot. Everyone at their sale had to step over or around her.   Hot kittySpeaking of cats, don’t you love this switchplate cover?

Singing on the switchplate

Reminded me of someone…

Noll Baxter, photo assistant Our last stop was at Judy’s friend Betsy’s house. There was a neighborhood sale going on. Her neighbor across the street had been by earlier with her seven-year-old granddaughter, who had looked at the purses Betsy had for sale. “Ohhhh, Grandma, look,” the child exclaimed…Purse heaven“I’m in purse heaven!”

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bangs for the Holiday Buck

With a national holiday falling on Friday, I had absolutely no expectation of there being any sales over the weekend. So on Thursday I picked up 20 pounds of beautiful dark ruby sweet cherries to work on. Started right in with freezing some, and tried my hand at drying them in the oven. I now know why dried cherries are so darned expensive – two full size cookie sheets produced a handful of dried nuggets. Delicious, but still.

On Friday I went to pick up sugar and pectin for making freezer jam. Of course I checked Craigslist before I went; imagine my delight when I found some sale ads! As it turned out they were almost entirely piles of kid stuff or what we call a “two bald tires and a candle stub” sale, but I didn’t care, I was out in my convertible on a beautiful Oregon summer day. And at the last sale I managed to spend two bucks on a DVD of Mystic Pizza and three tops:


the comfy Eddie Bauer knit shirt in cherry red


a gauzy knit thingie


and a cute hoodie that will be perfect for early morning trips to the dog park, with its appliqu├ęd pups


and paw prints.


Made some jam (which is the most gorgeous red), froze more cherries, then family arrived for the weekend. Our holiday traditions mainly revolve around eating and talking, and since it was the Fourth we fired up the Weber for a variety of grilled vegies with our parmesan cheesecake. We even grilled a foil packet of cherries for dessert!

Saturday morning I saw a couple of nearby sales that started early, so on the way back from the dog park I checked them out. At the first I got into conversation with the lady about the vintage chair she was minding her sale from. “My family had this set when we were kids, and it became my painting chair,” she told me. “It’s still so sturdy and comfortable I just love it.”


I suggested she might want to spiff it up. The seat and back are attached with screws, and the frame would be easy to clean and perhaps repaint. As we talked we both got more and more excited about the possibilities, perhaps using a mix of several fabrics. I gave her my card and told her she has to send me pictures when it’s done. Then as I was heading for the car, I spotted a couple of boxes of odds and ends that I’d missed and looked inside. And scored!


She does a lot of sewing and had made this adorable curtain panel with Dick and Jane fabric. Perfect for my children’s literature guest room, so home with me it came. Not only is the fabric perfect – the curtain is the perfect size. All I had to do was wash, iron, and hang.P1060149 P1060150I have a soft spot for Dick and Jane since they were my doorway to reading. No kid ever wanted to learn to read more than I did! And as politically incorrect as many consider them to be, I found the family in these books very soothing compared to my own family.

My children’s lit room is looking pretty good to my eyes. I’ve never been one for theme decorating (unless the theme is Cool Stuff I Found on Someone’s Driveway) but I had all these toys from my office when I retired.


A couple of weeks ago I finally found two Heywood Wakefield beds that look very nice with the Hey-Wake vanity I bought for $15.


The vintage bedspreads came from an estate sale last year.P1060153

And now Dick and Jane have arrived. Woo hoo!

After scoring the curtain, I made one more stop. They were still bringing stuff out, but when the 30-something guy noticed me looking at the wares on the ground he called out, “I’m selling my shoe collection!”


I laughed and told him I now had a real feel for his sense of style. Didn’t find anything I wanted, but before I left I asked if they just happened to have a twin box spring, since I need one for one of the Hey-Wake beds. The lady I asked, who was about my age, said no, that in fact she too is looking for one. She’s moving her 95 year old mother to an assisted living this week. “She’s going to *****, [names deleted for privacy!] and she’s really terrified,” she confided.

Another lady who was looking around perked up. “That’s where my mom lives! Tell her to say hello to *******. She’s in room 137.”

“My mom’s going to be in 114!”

As I left they were making plans to introduce their moms to each other. So the newcomer will have someone to look out for her as she settles in…all because I stopped at a yard sale!

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