Thursday, May 23, 2013

So Many Sales, So Little Time

The sales are really starting now!
There were SO many yard sales and subdivision sales last weekend that it was really hard to choose which ones to go to.

I spent almost all my weekend's shopping money at one family-run estate sale on Thursday, but STILL went to a couple of sales on Friday.  It causes me to wonder (again) if thrift shopping is just shopping or an addiction... There's just always the feeling that the next sale will be the big one (and it almost never is).

One very cool conversation:  At a yard sale that was about a block away from my house, the mom running it told me that her 2-year-old LOVES my blow-mold Santa and starts talking about him as soon as they get in the car.  She said that she had to drive past it every time they went out and that her little girl cried for weeks after Santa was put away.  She just didn't understand why he couldn't stay out all year.  I didn't tell the mom that I feel the same way!

On Saturday, there were two little community garage sales very near our house.  The most amazing thing is that there wasn't a single piece of Pyrex at either sale -- I can't remember the last time that happened.  I found some nice things there, but one of the highlights was a reverse painted picture of the Statue of Liberty with convex 'bubble' glass and a faux wood frame.  I think it dates back to the 1910s and commemorates World War I.  It's in really good condition!  I forgot to take a picture of it, so this one is borrowed from the internet (mine is actully nicer, though, with mother-of-pearl inlay on the statue's base).  It should be in my booth soon.

Another really interesting thing I got was a box lot of old letters.  They're from the 1930s-1950s and are mostly to a woman in Ohio from her daughter who was married to an Air Force pilot and living in Arizona.  I wish I could find this family to give their letters back -- they make me feel a little sad reading them and knowing that the family has lost all of that history.

Here are some other things I found...
Glasbake soup mugs (they were a promotional giveaway by Lipton soup) and four Dairy Queen glasses
Burlap & melmac cups and bowls -- I can never resist these!  The bowls have plastic covers, which I haven't seen before.  That makes them great leftover containers
This long mid-century clock -- it's about 2 feet high!
I really like these pixie gravel mosaics -- so mid-century
A speckled plastic chip & dip
Lots of wooden skirt or pants hangers
All these tablecloths have stains, but at a dime each, how could I resist?  
A assortment of goodies.  I really like the little coffeepot with the bakelite handle & the tip tray is cool, too
A 1960s wedding hat
A white iron 'tea cart' planter
I'm going to paint this table -- you'll see more of this one...
These Little Golden Books were a great find -- some date back to the early 1940s
A little wall box with towel bar to paint -- you'll see more of this little guy, too
I thought it was 6 drawers, but it's really a cabinet
I love chalkware and these goldfish are almost mint!
There won't be any shopping for me this weekend -- my oldest son's getting married, so we'll be all caught up in that.  It should be a great day and we're thrilled to welcome another daughter to our family!  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Box Lots

Box lots:  who doesn't love them?  They're the junk equivilant of a wrapped gift!  You can root through them a little, but usually don't have the time (or space) to take everything out and examine it, so it's always a surprise.

I've gotten several box lots lately and have had mixed results.  By far the best buy was the one I had the least hopes for.  I could see a bunch of small picture frames, a bottle or two and a Prince Albert tobacco tin.

It was early in the buying day, so I went for it.  Here's what was in it:
Lots of little liqueur bottles
An ashtray from the old Copacabana in New York City!
Lots of little pictures and frames
An old metronome with a white bakelite case
 Here's one of the most interesting things in that box lot -- a receipt for the purchase of a used car in 1938!  If you zoom in on it, you can see all the details -- they bought the car for $835 and got $75 for the trade in of their 1928 model.  Love it!

The next one was a lot of barware that included a mid-century tray, some 1950s or 60s bar towels and glass stuff.  I was a little disappointed in what ended up being there, but that's okay -- as my friend Bargain Hunter says, it's the thrill of the hunt.

Here's what I found inside...
The Mr. Boston Bartender's Guide is from 1941.  The towels are pretty  cool and the stir-spoon has a bakelite knob.  I love plastic stir sticks, because they're often from restaurants and clubs that are long gone.
This was in an envelope in the tray -- it's a dial-a-drink-recipe  Christmas card.  That's  Christmas 'spirit' of a different kind!
 Finally -- on the same buying day -- I got a box lot that I didn't even know was a lot until I got it home!
This is what I thought I was buying...
I thought I was buying a bottle brush wreath in its box and got a bonus layer of stuff underneath (most of which is just junk (real junk, not cool junk).  Maybe a box lot you aren't expecting is even better than a wrapped's more like getting a gift bag that has 2 or 3 presents inside!
Bottle brush wreath (it needs a different bow)
Felt Christmas decorations
I remember my mom making sequined light switch covers like this for our house -- I think I still have a few of them
Odds and ends of ribbon, a knee hugger elf & a santa pick
One of the best parts of this is the box!
 Have you gotten any great box lots?  Have you ever been 'taken' and really disappointed with what you got?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The BIGGEST sale of the weekend?

I went to only one sale last week -- advertised as the 'biggest yard sale of the weekend'.   That's quite a lot to live up to!    It was big and had a mix of old and new.  Just as I got there, it started raining and the seller was covering most of the tables with plastic.  He didn't cover the old glass & dish ware, though, which was what I'd gone for.  He had 3 rows of tables the entire length of his very long driveway and each was full of flat boxes filled with junk merchandise -- most of it filthy and so crud-covered, you could hardly tell its condition.

I had planned to go to a few more sales and then out to the mall, but had such a bad migraine that I had to turn around and go home.  Since the headache lasted all weekend, that little sale -- the biggest sale of the weekend (ha!) -- was the only one I made it to.
Lots of really dirt- & crud-covered stuff!
I got pretty much for not much money, but wasn't sure if it was worth it until I cleaned it up.
Look at how dirty the Oven Serve custards are!  Yuk!
Look how good nice it is!  EVERYTHING looks better when it's clean!  I ended up with 17 Homer Laughline and Taylor, Smith & Taylor Oven Serve custards and handled bowls, 4 Napco & Lefton birthday angels, 6 Mardi Gras Festiveware aluminum cups, two mid-century salt & pepper sets and some great Pyrex.
All clean!
These birthday angels are sweet and, amazingly, have NO cracks or chips!
I know I should sell these three loaf pans, but I'm really thinking of keeping them and starting a collection of them in all the Pyrex colors.  Sweet!
Desert Dawn, Chartreuse and Flamingo Pink loaf pans

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In the Garden...

Spring always seems to come overnight here in Michigan.  One day the weather is just warming up but the trees are still naked, and the next everything is green & blooming.  It seems like you could just sit still and watch the leafs grow!

This has been the 'blossom week' and we've had 5 straight days of beautiful weather -- sunny, low humidity and 70s and no mosquitos (yet) -- just perfect for working outside.

I took my camera out while I worked because it was just so pretty.
Trillium in the woodland garden
Bluebells in the woodland garden
This forsythia was a Mother's Day gift several years ago
Ferns are growing next to the barn
Lilacs just ready to bloom
Apple trees have lots of blossoms this year...
Cherry tree -- not that we ever get any cherries...
Baby peas -- just coming up
Asparagus!  We'll start getting 1-2 pounds a day...YUM!
Potatoes aren't up yet 
This was one of my best ideas ever!  A $6 beach umbrella from IKEA that can be moved around to give me instant shade while I weed & plant.  It will be really great when it's in the 90s and weeding takes all day. 
Instant shade!
The whole time I work outside, Turner the protector sits by the side of the garden and watches the back of the property.  I think he's making sure attack-bunnies will get me...
Turner's in the shade, but 'on the job'
The girls enjoy scratching at the weeds & finding worms
Only the foolish (or those who can afford to plant twice) plant tender vegetables & annuals in Michigan before the last frost date of Memorial Day weekend.  The chances are that we'll get at least one more frost between now and then.
Most of the garden isn't planted yet
Flats of plants just waiting to be planted or put in hanging baskets
We're still going to get frost!