Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Happy Returns

My friend KK and I had breakfast the other morning at a local coffee shop, and during our conversation she mentioned that she had meant to go back to the estate sale we’d attended the previous Friday. “I was hoping there might still be some paints available, but I never got over there.” KK is a painter, paints are spendy. We always have our eyes peeled for art supplies.

Since it was a holiday weekend I had little hope for a decent number of sales, but the first one that popped up on Craigslist was the artist’s estate sale! It seems that the previous week the family had turned everything over to an estate sale company to handle, but there was so much left that the middle-aged brothers and sister decided they would handle another sale themselves. The house is on the market, their mother has moved to assisted living, and everything that was left in the house and studio needed to go.

When we arrived, KK headed straight to the studio at the back of the property, and I went in the house to see if anything was left. A nice man held the front door open for me to enter. Then I had to go back out again to read the hand-lettered sign on the door! Five bucks to fill a big paper bag, or two bucks for a plastic grocery sack. I overheard enough conversation among the sellers to know that if anyone showed the slightest interest in anything they were going to make sure it went home with them.

Of course a lot of stuff had already gone, but the back bedroom was still piled with a variety of linens. The estate sale company had tied things into bundles, which is not always a good strategy. I was happy with the bundle I bought last week (the kitty embroideries & the days-of-the-week towels) but there were matched pairs of items in separate bundles. I don’t know if it was carelessness or they figured they could get people to buy two bundles to complete a pair. As if.

I figured by now the bundles didn’t matter; clearly the family wanted stuff gone. So I pulled the two adorable poodle pillowcases from their bundles.

Last week KK bought a bundle with a plaid tablecloth, this week I found eight matching napkins in two other bundles.

This appliqued linen case is beautifully made, 

and has a felt insert inside. I wish I knew what it had been made to hold.

I might use it for a pocket on some upcycled piece of clothing.

In one corner of the room was a jumble of old sheets, a bedspread, and a plaid coverlet of some kind. I pulled out the coverlet, and my hands instantly proclaimed, “This is wool—nice wool!” I checked it over, and found this in one corner.

A Pendleton throw, in perfect condition!

By now it was clear I had at least a bag’s worth, so I went to the living room and got one of the two-dollar bags. Yes indeedy I can stuff a Pendleton throw into a plastic grocery bag! The only other thing I wanted in the house was another adorable vintage piece, this clothespin bag.

It was in a closet with a few aprons; into my bag it went. 

Happy with my finds, I went out to the studio, where KK had scored an oblong wooden box and filled it with tubes of paint. She said that all the oil paints (which she doesn’t use) had been cleared out, leaving the acrylics (which she does use) for her. I told her about the two dollar bags, so she went off to get one and check out the house. But when we were finished I realized we could get everything in one bag.

Okay, it was one really full bag, and I felt a little guilty. So when I went to pay I said, “We really stuffed this thing, so if—” The lady didn’t even let me finish the sentence. “That is FINE,” she smiled. I handed over two ones.

It's a wonderful thing when two bucks can make both parties happy!


  1. Nice bag filling!! Love the poodle pillowcases!

  2. I believe that your appliqued linen case is meant to hold scissors.

  3. Love the clothespin bag. My grandmother had one.

    1. It makes me want to go outside and hang some clothes on a line!

  4. I admire your bag stuffing skills. I think that linen case might be for eyeglasses.

  5. That is the kind of sale I love!

    1. Give me a bag to stuff and some vintage linens and I am one happy puppy!

  6. What a deal you got, almost free. Pretty linens and needed artist's paints.

  7. I recently toured the Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff. One of the bedrooms featured a bed cover of doilies & vintage linens pieced together, making a lovely coverlet. Could be an option for your children's literature room!


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

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