Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Done Good

I was SO proud of myself on Friday! I did a great job of staying focused while we were out on the garaging trail, keeping my purchases to practical stuff I’ll use. More or less. I could certainly have lived without another whisk, but I've never seen one like this before.

I figure if it doesn’t work well I can take the little inner ball out for a cat toy! And using this pewter-handled spreader by Arthur Court to smear brie on a cracker is way fun.

Who can’t use a couple of pairs of socks for a quarter each?

My main search was for a dresser for the bedroom; at every sale I scanned for one I could use. We had a few estate sales on the list which are typically inside the house, and I made a beeline for the bedrooms with my fingers crossed. But no luck all morning.

I've been looking for a dresser for several weeks now, and let me tell you: there are a lot of hideously ugly dressers out there looking for new homes! I visited just about every thrift store in town, and saved a search on Craigslist so every new listing came to my email. Lordy, lordy. Maybe I'd have seen nicer things if I had been looking in a higher price range, but maybe not. My research indicates that dressers in this country lead a very hard life! They get beat up and painted and decorated with stickers and lose their handles. People try out treatments they’ve seen on Pinterest and end up with something that should go on a Pinterest-fail site. I was getting thoroughly discouraged.

The last sale on our list had a picture of a dresser, but the sale didn’t start until noon. We had lunch first and so didn’t get there till closer to 1:00. Made that beeline for the bedroom, and the dresser was still there. And I liked it! And it was marked $25! I tested the drawers (they all rolled in and out just fine), gave it a quick sniff test (no icky smells), and immediately bought it. And I like it a lot!

It's not a high end piece of furniture, but it’s exactly the size and shape I needed. Perhaps someday I'll find something better, but in the meantime this is just fine.

I spent Saturday switching my summer clothes for the cool weather stuff, and the dresser allowed me to remove all the clutter in my closet that’s been bugging me. I can't tell you how happy I am to have all my shoes off the floor!

So – Friday I was thrifty, Saturday I was industrious, and Sunday…I just went wild.

Earlier in the week, KK was asked by a friend of a friend to look over some art that would be in an estate sale over the weekend. (KK’s an artist as well as an architect.) We were regaled with stories about all the art in this woman’s house, as well as many other interesting items, but we also heard the prices were going to be high. I resisted checking it out on Saturday, but Sunday would be half price on many things, so I decided to see what was left. I just wish I could have known the lady who collected all this stuff (I heard she is quite elderly and has gone to Minnesota to live with her sister) because I think we would be simpatico. Yes, she had much fine art…but she also had a taste for whimsy to match mine.

There was something about that half-price thing that made me think I could buy everything I wanted. And I did. Some of it was indeed practical, like a lamp for the corner of the living room I've been watching for.

This molded glass table lamp is both whimsical and practical. The red cord was what made me buy it.

I was excited to find the laundry basket I've been wanting, something with a lid because Fannie loves to remove dirty socks from the basket and chew on them. 

This one fits in the closet and has a removable cloth bag. Perfect.

A little vintage drawer cabinet is just the thing for jewelry-making bits and bobs. I'm saving it for a rainy day activity to load all the drawers.

But…much of what I got was just for fun! Like an original framed watercolor. 

I love daffodils (I had hundreds in the front yard of my last house), 

but what really made me buy it was the two little birds in the corner.

This kinetic toy is so goofy when you roll it along I had to have it. The wings flap in a very erratic manner.

Who actually  needs more mugs, right? But for a quarter each I brought home two; I can always give them away when I get tired of them. I just liked the blue & white design,

and the colors on the large hand-painted one are luscious. It's the perfect size for soup. I think I'll make soup this week.

I'm certainly not short of fabric, but they had some bundles of high quality stuff that at half price were only $3.75. That bought me about 2 yards of the heavy cotton striped piece, and about 3 yards each of heavy natural linen and blue & white ikat. If you’ve been in a fabric store recently you know what a steal that is!

A couple of pairs of earrings came home with me. Everyone needs more earrings, right? (Even though I have so many I keep saying I need to grow more ears so I can wear them all more often.)

I probably got a little carried away with ornaments. This metal dog has washers for eyes, and look at his toes!

Another dog – how could I resist that crazed expression?

I'm a little surprised by how much I love this primitive angel, with her embroidered threadbare fabric and wooden wings. 

Maybe it's her finely-drawn face with the stern expression.

I'm ready for Hallowe’en with my handmade clay jack o’lantern.

This little cardinal carving is only about an inch high. Cardinals were my favorite birds growing up, but we don’t have them in Oregon.

I can't believe no one had snatched up this wonderful mouse with his umbrella.

And I almost resisted the paper mache bunny basket

 – but the carrot on the handle was too much. He’s perfect for holding pens and pencils in my kitchen.

Thank heavens for these sales, where we can indulge our whimsical souls without breaking the bank!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Schedule That Flew Out the Window

Usually my thrifting week is pretty predictable. Okay, completely predictable: I go out on Friday morning with friends to wherever Craigslist sends us to see what we can find. Occasionally KK and I will make a mid-week jaunt to the Goodwill Bins. I start glancing at Craigslist usually on Wednesday, because there’s now a feature where you can delete ads you don’t want to see again. I discard the ones from out of town or any area we probably won’t be visiting, as well as the ones that advertise themselves as “clearing out the man cave” or “tools, camping and baby items.”

But this week! My whole routine was upended. There was an estate sale that started on Wednesday afternoon near my house, so I went. Oh. My. Goodness. It was the estate of a woman who was a dealer in vintage textiles, and she had an unbelievable amount of antique clothing, quilts, and linens of all description. As well as all the other stuff she had collected. Among which were two mangles (those ironing machines for flat things like sheets) which explains why all the linens were heavily starched and pressed. Boxes and piles of towels and napkins and tablecloths and you name it. And a whole bunch of dealers there on the first day; I overheard three women exulting over all the hardanger pieces they were finding to resell.

I bought only two items that day, for a buck each. A sweet embroidered tea towel with bluebirds (BTW, those rust spots came out completely with an oxy soak!),

and what was probably intended as a pillow top.  It was made with a punch needle and possibly rayon thread, which creates an interesting texture, kind of like a miniature rug.

Love the colors, and when I got it home I realized it works really well with this fabric. I think the punch needle square will be the back of a kimono style jacket.

Millie likes it too.

Knowing that KK likes vintage linens, I took her over there on Thursday. I was confident that there would still be much to find, and that I would see things that had been buried the day before. True on both counts! Lots fewer people too, so we were able to take our time and enjoy sifting through. We both found a few things. My most practical score was this hanger thingie for drying hand wash.

I'm always a sucker for dog items. I guess these are coasters and a holder for them.

I really love the slightly grumpy expressions on the dogs!

Couldn’t resist three vintage lucite or maybe celluloid buttons.

And when I ran across this never-used heavy linen towel with my initial on it, I knew it had to be mine.

So now we come to Friday. Usually KK and Judy and I start out bright an early, but this week Judy was out of town, and KK had a meeting to attend mid-morning. And another friend needed to pick something up from me and could only do it Friday morning. So after she came by, I put together a short list of sales, and when KK’s meeting was over she picked me up and we made it to a few of them. I picked up a large pot for the garden and a pair of fleece gloves for this winter, as well as a couple of really beautiful scarves. The pink one is soft, soft lambswool from Nordstrom,

and the rayon & silk one is supple, gleaming velvet.

Wish my photography could capture the beautiful dark green color.

On Saturday I needed to show my face at the annual plant sale that my garden club puts on, so of course I mapped out a few sales to stop by along the way to the venue. I could hardly believe it when the first thing that caught my eye was this cute set of watering can lights. 

At the same stop I selected a small original watercolor

of a courtyard in Spain.

And although I resisted buying any plants at the garden club sale (too much planning to do in the new yard before I really invest in plants) I did pick up a potted bamboo at my last stop. Though it's not large now, this type gets about 15’ tall, and bamboo is expensive…and this was six bucks.

So, four days in a row of going to sales. I'm exhausted! But I wouldn’t have missed the fun or the good finds. And the icing on the cake was that I overheard a bit of conversation that has to go in my eavesdropping hall of fame: two women sitting in their garage minding a sale, and I heard one say to the other, “So, did you get all the snakes fed before you came over?”

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