Monday, September 28, 2015


So what time did it start raining on Friday morning? Oh, about half past the third garage sale. Dang it! We had a lovely sunny day as we started out in the convertible.

The number of sales is decreasing with the change in seasons, so we headed a little further afield than usual. First two sales were on a country road, next door to each other. We didn’t spend much time at the first, but Judy and I both enjoyed chatting with the lady at the second place. She raises alpacas and spins and knits. I had noticed an interesting item in the pictures of their sale, and it was still there…and at a price I could live with.

A cool sculptural bird bath.

tall birdbath

I removed the metal flowers that were in it

metal flowers

and substituted a rusty metal crow silhouette I’ve had for years.

metal birdbath

I’m never sure how my husband will react to things like this. In this case he not only quite likes it, he wants to get it powder coated bright red to make it a focal point in the yard.

Since KK couldn’t be with us this weekend, we picked out a pair of earrings we thought she’d like at the next sale.

lacy earrings

The sale where it started raining. I hustled out of the garage to get the lid up on my car. I always wonder whether it might have stayed nice if I hadn’t put the top down. Being in charge of the weather as I am, you know.

One of our stops was an estate sale in a retirement community in the south end of town. We enjoyed looking around even though the person’s taste had clearly not been close to ours. I did pick out a couple of iced tea spoons for KK, since she collects them. I was sure she’d have bought them if she’d been with us, and at 50 cents each they were about the most reasonably priced item in the house.

spoons before

They responded quite nicely to some silver polish.

spoons duringspoons after

I did see one other item that interested me for possible resale, but couldn’t get myself to pay the marked price. But I did ascertain that prices would go to half on Saturday. Standing in line to pay for the spoons we enjoyed seeing the vintage hats another lady had found. I think she was a dealer from the number and variety of items she had. As we chatted about the hats, she pulled out a glass goblet to show us. “This is called a such-and-such piece,” she told us (sorry, I absolutely cannot remember what she called it!) “and it’s worth about $600.” We expressed amazement at her score. She shrugged a little. “No one can know everything, but I know glass.”

Saturday morning I put that sale back on my list to make a return visit, fingers crossed that the thing I’d been interested in would still be there for half price. My SIL Linda was visiting and we had a perfect sunny day. First stop was a church rummage sale. I spotted a set of eight of these vintage glasses for a quarter each and grabbed them.

Libby vintage leaf glasses

I don’t think they are rare; my family had some when I was young so they can’t have been expensive. But it’s fun to have midcentury glassware to use every day, and we split the set so we each have four. Linda found another vintage goodie, a Fire King peach luster casserole with lid. For 75¢!

fire king luster casserole

I was elated to find this bag of blue glass slubs

blue glass

to decorate our faux stream with faux water sparkles.

faux stream

We hit another sale or two, then headed for the estate sale. I dashed off to see if my item was still there. Took me a minute to find the right room, the floor plan of that house was not what I would call straightforward. But find it I did, and hooray, it was still there!

Now, just as the dealer lady the day before had said, no one can know everything. Sometimes you have special knowledge; hers is for glass, mine is for things that librarians and teachers use. Like a die-cutting machine.

A nearly new Accucut machine in fact, which I know retails for several hundred dollars. Plus a box of dies, the least expensive of which would cost you $50. A die cutter lets you cut out multiple sheets of paper at a time in your chosen shape, and they’re used in decorating bulletin boards, making bookmarks and nametags etc. I’d love to know why this person had her own. There was no indication she was a scrapbooker, and anyway they generally use small, much less expensive cutters.

I had checked eBay sales when I got home Friday to make sure there’s a market. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make a nice profit on this item. Which is so darned heavy that a nice man shopping in that room volunteered to carry it to the hold table. We put my stuff down and headed back into the house. “I’m looking for my wife,” he said. “I’m looking for my sister in law,” I said. “Maybe they’re together!” Eventually we both found our people. Mine was in the room with the vintage clothing, which I had glanced at on Friday but considered too expensive.

But now it was half price day. And we had a ball. The first thing I picked out was a vintage hat that the dealer had missed. Okay, confession time – I was going to give it to Judy but I’ve fallen in love with it! I put it on and kept wearing it while we went through the clothes.

vintage hat

Yes, of course it’s silly. Good silly!

vintage hat with feather

Linda ended up with a silk jacket, and I bought a winter-white Pendleton blazer

          Pendleton blazer     

and a handmade wool tabard, probably from the Sixties

vintage wool tabardvintage tabard

and – a tuxedo!

vintage tuxedo

Planning to resell this in the spring near Prom time. There was another piece we both just loved, a handmade brocade  Sixties coat with a matching purse. I think the woman who had these clothes must have had a seamstress to sew for her. Several pieces were handmade but had no tags which I think they would if they were from Hong Kong or some such. And there were no sewing supplies in the house.

The fabric of this coat wasn’t anything I would use so I passed on it, but we kept pointing it out to other shoppers. I told one lady it would look great on her, and she said, “But I only go to Home Depot!” We assured her it would look stunning in Home Depot. She kept shaking her head, but as we were standing in line to pay for my stuff, out she came with some items, including that coat! “I think my daughter may like it,” she explained. But I’m going to keep an eye out for really stunning ladies in Home Depot from now on.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Where Does It All Come From?

Huge sale, the Craigslist ad promised. Something about the address seemed familiar, but it wasn’t on my do-not-return list (yes, I keep a list of addresses where they have lame repeat sales). Judy and I headed out, planning to meet KK there since she could only garage for an hour on Friday.

Sure enough, we recognized the venue as soon as we reached the driveway. House set back from the road on several acres, tables set up on the drive and inside the nearby barn. The only thing that kept me from groaning aloud was that I usually find one thing at these people’s sales. It was not this hat.


Last time I scored an item from the free box.

knitted flamingo

This time, it was a party dress for Zoe.

party collar

Black velvet and diamonds (of a sort!). Just what every girl needs for retrieving a ball over and over (which is Zoe’s idea of a fun party).

Zoe's party dress

I can’t quite figure this place out. I checked my spreadsheet, and their last sale was the first weekend in June, only a few months ago. Do they just keep the leftovers for the next sale? Is it some group that supports itself with sales? If I go to another I may have to ask.

Our next stop was an estate sale, and OMG, I think there may have been more stuff in this little house than in that big barn. This is what we didn’t buy here.

old gas stove

How scary is that thing? A young woman was looking at it, and told me they’ve just bought an old farmhouse with a combination wood and gas stove, something along these lines. “I have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into,” she confessed.

I found many plastic trash bags full of folded clothing in the bedroom and looked through a few. There are not enough days on the calendar to wear all the clothes this lady had. Another shopper was looking in the closet and hung a shirt on the closet door. I asked if she had found something good, and she shook her head. “It’s so full I can’t squeeze it back in!” I saw she was right when I checked the closet, but I got lucky – the one piece I pulled out was one I wanted to keep. A vintage Pendleton jacket…in my size!

Pendleton jacket

This is the style of the very first pieces Pendleton produced especially for women, back in 1949. They made reproductions a few years ago, but now those are discontinued as well. I think the retail price of the ‘Nouveau’ version was about $150. Mine dates from I’m guessing late 50s/early 60s and cost $1. I win.

I’m not crazy about leather buttons,

leather button

so I went looking in my button stash for replacements. Candidates included gray shell,   shell button

gray embossed or textured

gray buttontextured button

brown incised,

incised button

and carved wood.

wood button

But the winning candidate is three dimensional green glass!

green glass buttonglass button

KK went on her way after that, and Judy and I continued garaging. Too bad KK couldn’t go to one more, because the next place had the funnest atmosphere and best free box ever. We both ended up with free bars of Zote soap


and I also came away with a beautiful merino sweater

merino sweater

which has an owie, but I’ll be refashioning it some way so no biggie.


And I could hardly believe it when the plaid throw I picked up from the free stuff turned out to be a Pendleton!

Pendleton throw

It has a little chunk missing from one corner. Gave it a bath, dried in the sun, and Mrs. Wilberforce thinks it’s just right for an elderly cat’s nap.

Mrs. Wilberforce

After such a prize from the free box, I was glad to be able to actually spend a few bucks there. When I saw her four dachshunds, I mentioned that our friends have two, and she said then you need to see the dachshund planter I’m selling. It is fabulous! A three-dog base,

dachshund planter base

topped with a two-dog holder and a planter with holes in the bottom.

dachshund planter

Looks great with a feathery grass

planter planted

or as a centerpiece with mint.

table planter

Sitting in the sun on our glass-topped table, it threw interesting reflection-shadows on the eaves.

Shadows on the eaves

So – Tootsie and Sophie, please tell your folks they must bring you for a visit. There’s a planter ready for your patio, as well as a couple of tiny doxies (also from the free box).

china dachshunds

Come soon before I get too attached!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Conversation Piece

I spent a few days this week in a cute little cabin near the Columbia River Gorge

Cute cabin

arriving home on Friday well after garaging had ended for the day. Judy and KK went without me and had a very good time (I know, how is that even possible?!). However, I have it on good authority that they have a new appreciation of my mapping skills, since I’m always the one who works out our garaging route ahead of time.

Luckily, our sport happens on Saturday too, and KK and I had our usual fun morning. Our first stop was a sale where they’ve just combined two households. I picked up a couple of linen pieces to upcycle (lavender shirt, bright red dress – they’re in the laundry so missed their photo op) as well as this fun carafe


which seems to be hand blown and cost but fifty cents.

As we were looking around, a couple came walking up and it was my friends Robin and Ken. They live nearby and were walking to breakfast and of course planned their route to take in some sales. Ken does a bit of reselling, with air conditioners and camping equipment being among his specialties, and sure enough he scored both at this sale. But I have to tell you, my respect for the guy really jumped when I got this email from Robin later in the day:

“…on the way back stopped at a sale where Ken picked up a manual mower for $5 and pushed it all the way home (about a mile). Just sold it for $29.”

I love it. The guy who sold Ken the mower was no doubt thrilled to get rid of it, and whoever bought it from him was equally thrilled by their good deal. Win-win-win!

We met some nice pets. Beau the black lab was every bit as friendly as the last time I saw him at a previous sale. He thought he’d like to go for a ride with us when we left, but quickly got over his disappointment by greeting new shoppers. Chloe the cat was just about as friendly.

Chloe the Cat

Apparently they had been fielding offers for her lovely self all morning, but as the guy said, “My daughter would KILL me if I sold her cat!”

Besides the carafe, I brought home a clip-on desk light, just right for lighting up the plants in one of my bullet planters.

Bullet lamp          

Also found a felting kit.

felting kit

It’s been opened but never used (no doubt it was a gift). Felting is one of those things I’ve wanted to try, but it’s probably not something I’ll take up in any serious way. I like to dabble, but hate to spend a lot on the equipment.

felting needles

Fifty cents for the roving and needles was just right.

My last fifty cents went for an object of sheer curiosity. I cannot even tell you what it’s called.

Mystery object 1

It had belonged to their grandma, who they said liked to try out all kinds of alternative medicines. They thought this had something to do with magnetic healing. The two little spiked metal balls

Mystery object 4

do seem to be magnetic. When you turn the handle, the plexiglass disk makes them spin around.

Mystery object 2

I tried to get an image match via Google but no luck. Anybody have any ideas?? I’d hate to magnetize the wrong part of my bod!

Ah well. For two quarters I got to bring home the very definition of a Conversation Piece. And it’s in perfect condition!

Mystery object 3

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