Monday, December 9, 2019


Last summer, when my friend Marcia was here and we were waiting for my knee replacement surgery to happen, we naturally did a bit of garaging. We stopped at an estate sale in my old neighborhood, and it was a treasure trove. We had a great time on their driveway, chatting and roasting in the August heat and digging through the many boxes. The sale was lady’s parents’ belongings, and her mother was an extremely creative (and collecting!) person. Marcia came away with an armload of CDs, and I bought music and movies and craft supplies and whimsical doodads. I remember walking away with my arms full for a total of five bucks.

One of my favorite whimsies that day was this tiny vintage piece.

So you may only imagine how excited I was to see that they were having another sale this weekend. I don't usually go back to one I've already seen, but I knew they had only scratched the surface of the parents’ belongings.

Marcia is back in California now, so I took my friend Lonna along to see what we could see. Alas, her luck was not running well – she found a book she wanted that turned out wasn’t for sale. Then she saw something else she liked and had a somewhat unpleasant encounter with one of the pushy guys I think is a local dealer. (There are a handful of these folks who are consistently rude, and I generally try to arrive at sales when I think they will have left.) So sorry, Lonna, it’s not usually like that!

I fared better. On our way into the house we walked by a large Christmas wreath. I noticed it had a price tag. One dollar. Now mine. It's just faux greenery but you can't beat that price. I think I'll refurbish it for next year, but for now it's the total of my seasonal decorating.

The first thing I found inside was this trio of one-inch tall angels. Some of their wings have gotten broken, but I still love them.

My next find was a large framed embroidery for my studio.

You may remember that my focus word for this year is “Mend” – this seemed a perfect reminder. When I got home, I noticed a tag on the back from the framing shop. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was framed in Oklahoma City where I grew up!

Turns out the framers are still in business, and one of their shops is only a few blocks from where I lived. I'm sure I'll never know who the embroiderer was, but I wonder if our paths ever crossed? Whoever she was, the frame was carefully selected to color blend with the embroidery.

I found some cute cupcake papers. At three for a penny, home they came.

In one of the back bedrooms, I found this big (about 2’ tall) papier-mâché bunny who now resides at my house. He was one of the things the creative mother made.

In the other back bedroom, I noticed a really nice switch plate cover, and asked if it might be for sale. The answer was yes, in fact I could just have it, if a screw driver could be located to remove it from the wall. Alas, no screwdriver appeared. I first tried a dime (too big) and then the tip of a table knife (also too big) then they did locate some odd multi-purpose tool but it was too awkward to turn the screws. But I really loved it. So later in the day I went back – with my own screwdriver! Had it off the wall in no time, and made sure that the folks having the sale knew how much I love it.

Of course since I was there again I had to shop again. It was amazing how much had left the house in two or three hours, but much remained. I picked up some movies

including one that might be in Chinese.

I found a very small Yixing tea pot, too small to be practical for use. But a) it was only fifty cents, and b) it looks good with my other Yixing pots. ‘Nuff said.

My last find was another papier-mâché bunny, much smaller than the first. 

I absolutely fell for his hand painted face.

So sometimes you can go home again – even if it's to someone else’s home! Even better, they told me another sale is planned in January, because they hadn’t even started on clearing the garage.

I can hardly wait.


  1. Wonderful finds. You have quite an eye.

  2. I do SO love your posts. Almost as good as shopping myself!
    (It's Meredith Brody, from Northern California. One of your biggest fans -- and as Groucho said, "If it gets hot, I could USE a big fan!)


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

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