Monday, May 11, 2015

Rummaging for Irises

Oh, I had such a cool day planned for Thursday. Karen and Judy had never been to see the demonstration gardens at the local iris grower. Which are amazing.

IMG_4668 IMG_4733 

The website for the grower said the gardens are open ‘early May to early June.’ The weather forecast was sunny and a high of 70. Perfect. We decided we’d go out for a special breakfast at the restaurant that’s so good you always have to wait at least half an hour, then the garden, then lunch. A field trip!

So a few minutes before Karen picked me up, I double checked the garden website for opening time…and saw that opening day was now listed as Friday, May 8! Not open yet for our planned visit! Phooey! Now what?

A quick look at Craigslist saved the day. When we were all in the car heading for breakfast I told them I had some bad news and some good news. Groans all around when I told them about the garden not opening until the next day. (At least we found out before driving the several miles out there.) Then I said, “But the good news is…the Episcopalian rummage sale starts this morning!”

So after our yummy breakfast (mine included crème brûlée French toast) we headed for the sale, probably just as excited as we’d have been for the garden. We got there after the first frenzy of shoppers, but the gigantic room was still packed with stuff.

I headed straight for the household linens. I’m still refashioning using my duct tape dress form, and household linens can yield large amounts of fabric for great prices. In fact, that day I was wearing a shirt I recently made from a linen tablecloth. I love linen, and always look for it, and sure enough I spotted some pale pink linen right away.


A pair of pillowcases in real linen. When I checked the sign listing prices I saw that pillowcases were fifty cents per pair. So even though this pair had a couple of spots on them, they were too nice to pass up. And the spots came out in the first wash! The lovely embroidery was done by hand. I thought the flowers were in satin stitch, but when I looked at the close-up photo I realized they are actually done in buttonhole stitch.


So here’s my idea for this pair: a while back I ran across an ad for linen bath towels and I’ve wanted some ever since. But they are pretty darned pricey. I’m going to combine the two pillowcases into one larger piece; I can always return them to being pillowcases later. But for fifty cents - instead of the usual fifty bucks or so - I can try out a linen bath towel.

Next I wandered over to the tables and racks of clothing. I have to tell you, I’ve gotten spoiled by the other local churches that hand you a bag to stuff. I mentioned to one of the ladies working the sale how much the other churches like using the bag system. She thought about it for a moment, and then told me that might be okay for some churches but the clothing donated for her church’s sale was of a much higher quality. I was struggling to keep a straight face, thinking of the clothes I have stuffed into bags (100% cashmere coat! Geiger boiled wool jacket! Linen, silk, cashmere sweaters!). But you would have been proud of me; I just nodded and left her endlessly refolding shirts to keep the tables neat.

Even though I’m bravely trying not to bring home more decor, I couldn’t help a quick pass by those tables. And yes, I picked up some things I couldn’t resist. Not, I’m relieved to tell you, this cute but weird bird figurine.


We had quite a discussion about it. Dead bird? So happy he caught that worm that he fell on his back in ecstasy? The worm wrestled him to the ground??


But this little ladybug doll by Kathe Kruse (German dollmaker) did come home with me. It’s rather curious; I found nothing like it on the Web.

IMG_8576IMG_8572The face is like her Waldorf dolls, and it has a long tie as for tying around a child’s wrist, but it’s stuffed with excelsior like a vintage bear would be. Which seems a curious choice for something to give a young child, at least these days.

IMG_8574I think she’ll be part of my Funny Little People collection. Near her on the table I found a terribly cute Christmas ornament.           IMG_8583 IMG_8579I wouldn’t have spent the $10 listed on the original tag, but a quarter…yup.


And then one more piece of art jumped out at me.

IMG_8568I picked it up, put it down, then picked it up again. If it had been marked at more than a dollar I might have been able to resist…but it was only a buck.


I have no regrets, I really love this thing, the way it’s carved frame and all from a single piece of wood. It’s signed on the back but I couldn’t find anything about the carver on the Internet.


As you can imagine, looking up O.H. Hilton got me a zillion hits about hotels in Ohio. It’s amazing how many woodcarving events have been held at hotels in Ohio!


  1. Well, I ordered a couple of yards of linen! I've always loved linen kitchen towels, but never thought about bath towels. Thanks

  2. Love the ladybug and Christmas ornament.

    1. Aren't they adorable? I'm always surprised when stuff that cute is still there for me to find!

  3. The owl plaque is beautiful, & definitely worth a dollar!

    1. I really love it. Might even have been worth two bucks!


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

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