Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sidestep Interview

If you have a few minutes, bop on over to Lisa Haselton’s Reviews & Interviews for an interview with…moi! I’m sure you’ll want to find out how my writing career began, among other things.

And stay tuned: my end of the year statistics are on the way!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lost and Found

I was vexed on Sunday to realize I had lost a hand knit glove at the dog park. And have no more of the yarn to make a replacement. Grrrr. Then on Monday morning, I lost an earring. I never wear earrings to the park, but I was going to breakfast with KK and Judy and was trying to be efficient, getting dressed for that before I took the dogs out.

Normally I would just shrug and say oh, well over a lost earring, but this was one of the pair that was my sole souvenir from my trip to Chicago. A vintage piece from a thrift store, and way more spendy than the rest of my earrings.

When I got to breakfast I grumbled about losing it, and KK offered to help look. “I'm good at spotting things,” she said. Off to the park we went. When we got there, I remembered she had never seen Minto Brown Park before. Here’s a satellite view.

Yup, that first field is a quarter of a mile long, and we had been all over it. Looking for one earring was worse than a needle in a haystack. At least they stack the hay! So we tried, but had to give up.

The next day I made a Lost Earring sign to pin on the notice board down there. When I put it up, I glanced at the other items there (mostly lost name tags) – and there was my earring! Someone had found it and pinned it up! I could hardly believe it.

So I took down the Lost sign, and the next day returned with a Thank You sign. As I was pinning that one up, I glanced over – and there was my lost glove! Wet and muddy, but nothing a little bath wouldn’t fix. Too wet to put in my pocket though, so I took it back to the car – and right beside my car I found a dollar bill. (And no, I did not pin it on the board, because what are the chances its previous owner would be the one to remove it?)

It's always fun to find money. I admit there’s a bigger thrill in finding, say, a twenty, but we are thrifters, right? One dollar can buy us amazing things. I decided to go back through my spreadsheet of garaging finds to see some of the stuff I've bought for a buck over the years. The list was overwhelming! This year alone I've purchased 76 items for a dollar each, with an estimated retail value of $1120. Some favorites are these earrings 

a delightful dessert plate AND mug 

and the hedgehog dryer balls I gave to Judy. 

But my spreadsheet goes back for years, to 2006 in fact. What am I still using that cost a buck ten years ago? Hands down, best thing I bought that year was my apple peeler. It was from a newly-retired kindergarten teacher, who had used if for ages in her classroom every September for her Johnny Appleseed unit. Still peels and slices like a dream, and we use it year round. (A new one will run you about twenty bucks.)

Some others that have stood the test of time include my favorite dog figurine

a piece of ceramic art by Karen Howell (I found another tile by her a few years later, also for a dollar...and I see that a similar tray sold on eBay in September for $130, and had 26 bids!)

a set of bunny pot feet (you'd think I like bunnies or something)

and the vintage Pendleton that became ZoĆ«’s favorite coat.

My favorite line from the movie Pecker came from the mother, who runs a thrift store. “We know how to make a dollar holler here at the Bargain Barn,” she says. I can hardly wait to make my found dollar holler, someday soon!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Winners Are...

I remember now why I don't do giveaways more often...I want EVERYONE to win! Seriously, I loved your comments. I was cracking up over how many of us made little triangle scarves back in the Sixties to match our mini skirts. And also over how some other kitties lost their whiskers (ahem).

But alas, there are only four Veras seeking new homes at the moment. (Not the triangle of bees - at least not yet - and definitely not my Millie!) And here are the winners:

Scarf number one goes to Jamie, who plans to wear it to work at her library. How could I resist a fellow librarian?

Number to goes to pailsofpearls, a new addition to our readers. Hope you'll hang around with us for a while!

Number three is for Linda @ alacarte, who loves pink and wears her scarf knotted to the side. I'm picturing her as very dashing in this beauty.

And mod number four will go to sveltestuff, who collects Vera...but has never seen any of these designs. Seriously, don't you wonder if Vera ever slept? 

I have sent emails to the four of you, but if for some reason you don't get it I need your names and addresses so I can send these.

Thanks so much to everyone for entering. And just in case you're wondering, Millie's missing eye whiskers are starting to grow back in!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy Places

It's really ridiculous how happy it makes me to have not one, not two, but THREE estate sales to go to this time of year. Add in that at least two of them were run by family, not companies, and my day is made.

The first sale had something I really, really wanted but couldn’t have…because it was part of the house. A greenhouse, and not some flimsy little thing but a serious extension to the house. Here’s a snip from Google Map’s drive by.

I admit I was having an enjoyable fantasy while we were there. Some of our family plan to move to Salem one of these days, and this house would be perfect for them. So in my fantasy they bought the house, and I got to play in the greenhouse whenever I wanted. But alas, the place seems to be sold already. Dang it!

I was so glad we went to this sale first. Partly because all but one of the annoying dealers we try to avoid started with the others, so we didn’t have to put up with them. And also because of the stuff I found. Most of the prices were amazing. I did splash out a bit – ten bucks for a seriously nice jacket. Sorry, no picture. It's hard to take an exciting picture of black wool clothing! But it's a wonderfully drapey merino piece from the 80s, which I can state with some assurance, because if clothing is a size medium and fits me, that’s when it was made.

But I made out like a bandit back in the sewing room. This block of beeswax will be a gift,

and you have to admit the price was right!

This little brayer was a dime, and it looks like it was never used.

Spent a whole fifty cents on this kitty yard decoration but if you’ve been following Millie’s adventures you will understand the appeal of a cat that SITS STILL.

I may have mentioned a while back that one of her misadventures was pushing my pretty china pin dish off the desk and breaking it. (Bad girl, Millie!) Now I have a replacement, and a vintage one at that (at least if you consider the 80s vintage!).

Apparently they stuck a piece of tape on it and then wrote the price, so it is now incised forever into the plastic. Oh well! I'm never sorry to remember I got something for a dime.

A bag of rotary cutters was three bucks.

There was even some good free stuff, including this rather interesting book.

Some of the projects are quite creative.

Of course what I really love are the little sheep and their turtleneck sweaters!

Standing in line to pay I noticed a tray with jewelry, and picked out these fused glass earrings.

I was bemused that the gentleman helping with check out looked very much like Eric Carle, the picture book artist. When his wife called him Eric, I got a teensy bit excited, and actually asked if that’s who he was. He said no and seemed to have no idea who Eric Carle is, but the lady in front of me in line did, and she agreed that’s who he looks like!

We headed across the river to a fabulous midcentury modern house in West Salem. Another family sale, and another house already on its way to being sold. (On an acre with a fabulous view, for nearly half a million, which is very pricey for these parts. But a really terrific house.) KK and I ooh’d and ahh’d our way throughout.

We got there about an hour after the sale started, and the usual horde of dealers had clearly been through. But I was happy to find a big bag of interfacing for a buck (not the kind of thing to interest a dealer, but nice if you sew!)

and a lovely vintage linen towel. I'm getting quite a collection of these, but hey, it was fifty cents.

I must have used up all my powers of observation by the time we hit the third sale, because I didn’t buy anything there, and the only thing I really remember is that someone had spilled some perfume in the bathroom and the place absolutely reeked. We were both glad to get out into the fresh air and on to our favorite Thai place for lunch. But still, I was glad there were three sales!

This time of year I approach each weekend with trepidation, fearing there won't be a single sale to go to. But so far, so good!

A reminder that you still have time to enter my giveaway! Four vintage Vera silk scarves are going to four new homes. I’ll even extend the deadline a bit – leave a comment on last week’s post by noon tomorrow, Monday December 5, 2016, and I’ll add your name to the hat!
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