Monday, May 16, 2016

Going Back for More, More, More!

Our adventures this week started on Thursday. I've signed up for emails from, and when the listing arrived in my inbox for a sale with lots of midcentury stuff, I quickly sent a message to my posse. Judy couldn’t make it for our 7 a.m. start (she did go by later) but KK and I were there bright and early.

Big house (over 4,000 square feet) built in 1952, on almost half an acre. 
I’d love to see the place after it has been emptied. Because you really couldn’t see the house for all the stuff. It felt like a hoarder situation, except that everything was clean, nothing smelled musty (or worse), and things seemed to have been used and loved. They just really had a LOT of stuff. 

For instance, while waiting to go in on Thursday, we noticed the front porch was literally piled to the ceiling with vintage suitcases. Not only every room in the house but the front and back yards were full. It was incredible. We heard later that the estate sale company got rid of four of those huge dumpster trash boxes you rent before they could even start working on the sale.

Before we even entered the house I had picked out two things from the front yard. This piece of wooden art was made by Dave Criner, probably back in the Seventies.

A similar piece sold for over $400 on this site. Mine is missing one of the circles, so now I’m on a quest for something to fill in that space. But for a couple of bucks, I’m happy!

I spotted this game while we were waiting in line to go in.

Okay, I'm a sucker for toys! I just love it. 

But I need your help. What the heck are these things called?? I've tried every search term I can think of and the only thing that pulled up anything similar was “vintage five pin bowling toy.” As far as I know, the idea was to roll a ball and hit one of the pins and make it spin around to rest on top of the metal bar. Adding to the mystery, this one came with a handle that appears to be missing a piece from the end with a screw sticking out. 

The little tied-on whiffle ball is clearly an afterthought. Now I'm on the lookout for a suitable wooden ball.

Once we got into the house we ooh’d and ahh’d our way through the spendy stuff in the living room, including some MCM pole lamps and vintage metal art pieces on the walls. The lady of the house was evidently a notable seamstress, because there was a room full of sewing books and supplies, and downstairs was a room with thousands of yards of fabric. (Some of which was polyester double knit, so you know how long it had been there.) I picked out a few notions

and for a big splurge (five bucks!) I got this box

full of thread. G├╝termann thread (voted the best sewing thread in the UK last year). Over 120 spools of it! 

Not huge amounts but the color range is amazing, and it includes ombres and metallics.

If you bought these puppies one by one in a store this would easily be over $200. So five ain’t bad, and now I should be able to do any top stitching I need for a long time to come.

Downstairs I resisted the fabric, which wasn’t too hard because it was selling by the pound. Five bucks a pound, which with fabric can add up really fast! However, somehow ten skeins of mohair yarn made their way into my bag. I'm not sure how that happened. Oh wait, I put them there! Nice yarn, fifty cents each! And in my defense, I knit pretty much every day. 

We were there a couple of hours, and by the time we left were reeling with sensory overload. I know neither KK nor I could have seen a third of what was in that house. But…we knew that Sunday they would be having a bag sale!

So yes, first thing Sunday morning, there I was again. We didn’t go together, but KK was there too. 

Now here’s where I have to confess, I have Taker’s Remorse.

Taker’s Remorse is related to Buyer’s Remorse, except the item was free. Free, so you succumb because your better judgment deserted you at that four letter word. So what did I bring home? 

Remember the vintage suitcases I mentioned earlier?

I brought home FOUR of them. And they are orange.

All in pristine condition. They don’t even smell musty inside and that is pretty hard to do with vintage suitcases. But by the time I got them loaded into the convertible I realized just how big they are. Even the carry on bag is roomy. However, I'm still thinking about how I might use them for storage containers (except they are so big!) or resell them or go on Pinterest to look for suitcase upcycles. Or maybe I could lash them together and live in them. (Okay, maybe they’re not that big.) If none of that works, I will donate them to the kitty thrift store and let them worry about it. If no one bought them I’m sure numerous kitties could live in them.

So I put my name on the suitcases (Amanda, the estate sale lady, practically begged us to take them so she wouldn’t have to deal with them) then headed inside. My first aim was to go through the sewing room again, where I started stuffing my bag. A cute little desk lamp


some metallic gold yarn (for knitting Christmas ornaments)

a tea towel and an embroidered runner, both of linen

ribbon that I will use to make labels for my upcycled clothing (I'll use a Micron pen to write on them)

a large vintage tablecloth with dogwood blossoms (sorry about the wrinkles, haven't laundered any of this stuff yet) 

and an even larger linen tablecloth that I don’t think was ever used. It feels like it still has sizing in it. 

Downstairs I added a large piece of black wool fabric, and somewhere along the way I snagged a little poodle figurine because I remembered Judy saying she wants one for her midcentury house.

And finally, I picked up this vinyl tablecloth because I need to recover the seats on my front deck chairs. (Still deciding if the orange poppies work with the yellow chairs!) 

All that (and a set of LARGE suitcases!) for five bucks.

Hmmm, I'm hardly feeling that Taker’s Remorse at all now!


  1. I envy you! Would have loved to go that sale. Great finds!

  2. Oh a sale in a mid-century house is my favorite! You did well. Those suitcases are practically indestructible, so hope you find a good use for them.

    1. I'm still hoping to see the house someday without all the sale stuff - and people! in it.

  3. Wow, great stuff and the prices seemed decent. Love the poodle!!

    1. I've got to get him to Judy before I get too attached myself!

  4. Oh ah! Great finds! I love the tableclothshow and the suitcases.

  5. Oh I've actually never been to an estate sale. But looking at your awesome finds, I may just have to start!

    ~Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting

    1. I've gotten to like them more and more. Sometimes they are over priced, but it's always interesting to see the houses!

  6. Wow, that orange luggage is fabulous. I think we once had that very set in green!

    1. I bet you did. There might even have been a set in green on that porch with the other forty or more cases!

  7. My mom had that carry on bag. In avocado though :) That thread was a steal! Great finds!

    1. The hard part will be remembering that all that thread is here to be USED, not just admired!

  8. "Taker's Remorse"

    You may have just inspired a blog post from me.


  9. Mmm, that thread! You are the Queen!

  10. Found your blog via Eddie (Eddie-torial Comments)! I'll definitely be following along now. Love the suitcases!

    1. Welcome! Any friend of Eddie's can hang out here any time.

      I admit I'm still feeling a bit rueful about the suitcases, but dang, they are so cool. AND orange.


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

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