Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tag…I’m it!

So Martha Stewart was telling the truth – they really are called tag sales in the East.

Tag Sale

Wasn’t it thoughtful of my niece Kim to move into a new place just before her mom and I arrived in New England, so we’d have an excuse for tag sales and thrift stores? It was perfect – we could drive around, ooh and aah over the beautiful fall colors, and hunt for bargains at the same time. A perfect weekend! Of course I did miss having Judy with me to try on all the hats. This is the only one I could get Kim to model.

Frog hat

We found a bunch of items on Kim’s list, including some furniture. This was my favorite piece – a little metal cabinet from the Fifties. (Ignore the dirt, it will be clean and probably painted soon.) If I’d been able to get it in my carry-on bag for the flight home, we might have had to arm wrestle over it.

cute midcentury metal cabinet

We felt right at home at tag sales. They have dogs at them.

Bailey the Lab mix

This is Bailey, isn’t she a beaut? Lab/Doberman mix. My favorite thing that happened at her sale was this: I had told my SIL Linda that she was NOT to allow me to buy any yarn as souvenirs on this trip. Not after that big score at the estate sale recently. So we bravely passed up every yarn shop in four states. The Linda spotted some great yarn at Bailey’s sale – and she bought it for me to knit!

yarn - but not my yarn! Yarn from Newfoundland Yarn

But that’s okay. The yarn had a great story – the lady bought it at the mill where it was made in Newfoundland and brought it home riding on the back of a motorcycle! (Her husband was rolling his eyes – but fondly - as  she told us this story.) And it came in handy for packing my souvenirs. Yes, I managed to come away with breakables. But how could I resist this wonderful addition to my midcentury coffee carafe collection

Douglas Flameproof meets PyrexDouglas Flameproof side

or this tiny one?

small Pyrex carafeP1070406

or a couple of Modern Star cups and saucers?

Homer Laughlin Modern Star teacup

I believe you used to be able to order these from the Quaker Oats company for two box tops and some cash.

Laughlin Modern Star cup & saucerLaughlin Modern Star

And how could I resist this cranberry glass vase for the skinny glass collection in the kitchen window?

cranberry glass vasecranberry base top

The handle is attached with a little leaf shape.

cranberry vase handle

At least none of it was very heavy, and packed in the yarn everything got home just fine in the bottom of my carry-on bag. I noticed though that the x-ray inspection of my bag went on quite a long time at the airport!

At another sale I picked up this wool throw. It’s so soft it might be cashmere.

wrap up in wool

I noticed a few little moth holes and asked the price. “Oh, just take it,” they said. One more thing to pack, but I love it. Might use it on a side table this winter. winter table coverbird bowl with yarnI think we had the most fun in the small town having a fall festival. On that side of the street were tents and booths with crafts and food and such. On this side of the street was a fair size rummage sale – and they really wanted to get rid of everything. The day was getting along when we arrived, and soon we heard the people working the sale calling out, “Two dollars a bag! Anything you can get in a bag for two dollars! Get your bag here!” A few minutes later they were offering bigger bags, then boxes, then “We’ll help you carry everything!” We started going through all the tables for the items on Kim’s list. Just the curtain rods she found would be worth $2 and she ended up with lots more – bowls and a vintage tablecloth and a hand-spun, hand-woven antique wool blanket – can’t remember most of it.

two bucks of loot

We found a plastic bin to pile things in. I added a few things of my own – the small carafe and the teacups, a linen tea towel, half a dozen CDs.

more cheap entertainment

By the time we finished spending two bucks, the festival was over and they were packing up the tents. But just think of all the money we saved starting on the two dollar side of the road!


  1. What a fun trip and the goodies you found are great. Love the yarn story.

    1. It really was a fun trip. Yarn was the icing on the cake!

  2. New England in the Fall AND loads of bargains? I call that the perfect trip!! Wish I'd have been there with you.

  3. The cabinet and wool are great finds, but the pine cone carafe is outstanding! I've seen a fifties china pattern that's very similar. What fun you all had. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I don't suppose your china is Winfield's Blue Spruce pattern is it? That's what I have.

  4. great finds! did you make it to king Arthur?

    1. No, dang it, didn't get that far. You never get to see everything!

  5. I live in Delaware and tag sales here are different than regular garage/yard sales. They are usually run by a company and most of the things for sale have a double tag on them. If you want a large item you tear off half of the tag and write your name on the half that stays with the item and take the other half with you to pay. The companies sort out all the merchandise ahead of time, advertise the sale, provide sales help during the sale,etc.

    1. Interesting. That's how most estate sales are handled here. I love words!


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

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