Monday, June 24, 2019

Solo Fun

All my buddies were otherwise occupied Friday morning, but I always enjoy solo garaging. Sometimes it's nice to go at your own pace, blithely driving on by minimal sales as the spirit strikes you.

(Using that word ‘minimal’ makes me wonder, though – with the seemingly growing minimalist mindset among young folks [a new book on minimalism seems to be published about every 20 minutes], what will the yard sales of the future look like? Okay, there’s your writing assignment for the week – describe a minimalist’s estate sale!)

I saw what I considered to be the most ridiculous item of the day at my very first stop.

A board book version of Moby Dick. I believe it was actually a counting book using the Moby Dick reference as a gimmick, but come on. Board books are aimed at toddlers, Moby Dick is considered one of the milestones of American literature. Think how confused the kids who were exposed to this thing at an impressionable age are going to be when they get to high school or college and find out that Moby Dick is about something other than counting sea creatures.

Needless to say I did not bring this non-classic home with me, but I did find a few other items to add to my non-minimalist lifestyle. Like an ornate metal frame for a 1909 postcard Judy gave me recently

and a beautiful little Wedgewood demitasse. I don't drink coffee, but this will be perfect for sipping tea.

I didn’t think these painted shoes would actually fit, but they do. When KK saw them her comment was, “Those are SO you.”

I've been watching for a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, and have passed up several because the prices were too high. This one was fifty cents – the price was just right.

These aren't the greatest for scooping ice cream if it's very hard, but perfect for scooping muffin batter. Much neater than using a spoon.

My favorite find of the day came from the annual sale of a couple of ladies over on the posh side of town. (The governor’s mansion is a few blocks away; that kind of posh.) They always have interesting textiles, and one of them this year was an $8 king size quilt of probably hand-printed cotton from India. 

It's stuffed with thick cotton batting, and the fabric is very soft. And it's reversible, so twice the wear before needing washing.

But of course the important thing is, the girls love it!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Plates and Pups and Parts of Sweaters

Years ago I heard Garrison Keillor say something on Prairie Home Companion that I’ve been quoting ever since (sometimes with humor…sometimes in exasperation!):

“How can I miss you if you won't go away?”

Sorry I've been AWOL! Just been lazy about writing. But I’m touched beyond belief by comments that some of you have missed me. Gosh, you guys, you’re the best.

Actually, it's been slim pickings for several weeks. Judy and I have been out a few times and I've come home empty handed. When your very best find of the day is a five-cent staple puller you know that a) you are incredibly frugal; or b) sales have ridiculously high prices; or c) you’ve seen nothing worth bringing home; or d) all of the above. Yeah, choose d.

Of course, this is the best staple puller I've ever seen.

But Judy and I found our first full-fledged neighborhood sale of the summer today, hooray. I managed to navigate it with only a small outlay of cash ($8 in all) and bring home some goodies. I couldn’t resist this balance toy at our first stop (you know me and toys). He was fifty cents, which is my calling card, right?

I was happy to find a couple of pairs of those footie socks (purple, you can picture them) and this cute bottle. I'm going to try flavoring a small batch of olive oil with fresh basil and some of the preserved lemons I made, and this bottle seems perfect for it.

From a free box came a Ralph Lauren sweater – or what was left of it. The lady at that sale had cut it up to make a Christmas stocking, which she said came out very well. Since the sleeves are both still there, I can use them for arm warmers (or maybe leg warmers!). And maybe I can use the yoke and turtleneck for something. Hey, it was free, I can do anything I want with it!

Another free item was this little velvet bag. I was planning to make something like it to hold my new earbuds (my cat Millie chewed up the wires of my last pair!). I figured if this one was a dollar or less I'd get it and save the sewing time, and when I asked the price they said, “Just take it!” I had absolutely no problem with that.

Several years ago I found a Spode Archive Collection plate at a sale, and it's KK’s favorite whenever she eats at my house. I was thrilled today to find her one just like it (fifty cents! Twenty bucks from that replacements china place in case you need one!). AND another from the same collection, one for each of us!

(I got curious as I wrote that paragraph about the first one I found – how long ago, how much? My goodness, what a day that was! July 3, 2010, fifty cents – which was also the day I met a guy who made his own false tooth from an opal. Check it out if you’ve got a few minutes! )

My favorite finds today came from a sale of a lady who recently moved to Salem. Judy and I welcomed her to town and encouraged her to bring her three cute dogs to the dog park at Minto Brown Park. Can't remember if I've told you about our dog park, which is pretty special. It's on an island by the Willamette River, with only one road in. Most of the park is a wildlife area. The dog park section is a quarter of a mile long and wide. Big! Dogs can really run there. I estimate my Zoƫ runs at least 3 miles every morning retrieving balls. (Me & Fannie, not so much!) Now that I think about it, it's also where I first met Judy!

Besides three cute little dogs, this lady had some fun jewelry. I first succumbed to these ceramic owl earrings.

Judy and I were both admiring some bracelets, and I started thinking one of them might be really fun as a decoration on the pull string for one of my ceiling fans. Then the lady mentioned that she had made them, but that they had turned out too large. I'm sure my ears stood up and swiveled like a collie’s – because I rarely encounter bracelets that are large enough for my big-boned wrist. These both fit, and for a dollar each, they were mine. She did a beautiful job making them, and had to have spent way more than a buck each for the beads.

So it was a good morning, and hopefully the harbinger of more to come. I have just a few Fridays left between now and knee-replacement surgery at the end of July which will put me out of commission for probably several weeks. I'm stocking up on fun (and goodies!) now!

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