Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

Not too much going on in our neck of the woods. It’s been hot, garage sales have been so-so, and the local thrift store has lost its collective mind about pricing. They now price everything for the half-off weekend sale which we NEVER go to because we aren’t crazy. The place is usually packed on the weekend and you can wait a while to get checked out. So, it’s Summertime, but the saling ain’t easy. We persevere because we know that the thrift store prices will come down, we will hit that amazing garage sale, and the weather will eventually cool off, probably right into a snow storm! Then we can start our typical wonderful Autumn.

Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. I promise that it gets easier:

I swear to Bob that the seller was SAD about selling this thing! She had had it since she was a kid, and that was quite a while ago. We looked at it, I’m sure with alarmed faces, and she started telling us what a wonderful thing it was to have in the bedroom to hang your favorite treasures from. We both hope those are his feet. I’m pretty sure that one of us mumbled that we weren’t clown fans, and she then looked amazed. If this were in my bedroom, I would never close my eyes again!

See, we’ve ripped the Band-Aid off and have shown you the worst thing first so there is no need to worry about what else we have in store. In fact, here’s a cute puppy picture to soothe you further:

This is my boy, Kokopelli, snoozing in his girlfriend’s bed, which is big enough for me to sleep in, in a pinch. Koko weighs about 15 pounds, but thinks this is just the right size bed for him! Even worse, he has stolen two toys and has fixed it so no dog can steal the squirrel back; the llama is on its own. Some days I wish I were a dog.

This is someone’s wood shop project, probably:

It’s been lovingly kept, and really isn’t a bad thing at all. However, we have to wonder about the family when this is prominently labeled “Letters”. What the heck else are you going to keep in there? Spinach? Goldfish? We have questions—can you just put regular mail and bills in there or is only for letters? I can’t live by your rules, man!

Well, this giant pottery thingie sure caught our collective eye, and not in a good way:

This has to be a first project, right? If you actually knew what you were doing with pottery, wouldn’t you understand that there is a limit to what a tall stem will hold without support? This is the reason why people get sore necks—our heads are great big heavy pumpkins!! It would have been straighter with some support or a thicker stem, or something else that I don’t know about because I’m not a potter. Anyway, here is a goblet/candleholder with an E.D. problem, bad enough to be banished to the thrift store, but not so bad that it was consigned to the dumpster out back.

Looking at this picture, I can’t believe that I didn’t buy it:

Firstly, it’s a weird vacation tchotchke from Glenwood Springs, CO. I have a few weirdo vintage vacation souvenirs, especially if they are made from wood and are from Colorado or Michigan. It’s a strange collection, and mostly boxes, but there are some other oddities, too. This is an animal, which is also a plus, there is a funny saying, and a place for a pen and paper. I’ll have to see if it’s still there with its funny little turned legs and clothespin head. That clothespin looks too new; thank goodness I have some vintage ones!

We have remarked before that the Woman’s Day craft group must have had five martini lunches, or used LSD in the 1970s:

There is absolutely no other explanation for their craft projects and this granny-square poncho (?) is a prime example. I imagine this is what’s laughably billed as the “eye-catching fashions” on the front cover. Honestly, unless you’re going to drape yourself over your sofa, I cannot imagine ever finding another use for this poncho/afghan, and it had better not be those colors! I guess that the wearer could wrap herself around her family to keep them toasty warm on a snowy day. Worse than a helicopter mom, would be blanket mom. I would be afraid to wear this out of the house as it could be grounds for involuntary commitment to the nearest psychiatric unit. We did not drag this home; if they put this on the cover, what is inside?

I can see where this might be handy to have around:

There are times when someone is just too weak to make it to the bathroom, and at least this is an attractive chair. I really hope there is a plastic bucket hidden inside that lower wooden box. I haven’t ever seen a wooden adult potty chair, but it’s much nicer looking than the metal ones. On the other hand, they aren’t as easy to clean as the metal ones that you can take outside and hose off.

Looking at it more closely, I’m wondering if it it a modification done to a standard wooden chair. You would need to have a pillow on the seat if you were going to just use it as a chair. I think that lid might not be comfortable, along with not exactly matching the surrounding wood. Anyway, they had $200 on it, so they will just have to wait for the right person to come along and buy it. OMG, I just made the mistake of Googling Adult Wooden Potty Chair and was directed to someone’s Pinterest page full of Chamber Pots, Potty Chairs & Vintage Toilets. I guess if you wrote historical fiction, or just had a weird bathroom fetish, this would be a fascinating page. I have seen way too many outhouses in my life to ever go there again, willingly.

As an apology for the last set of pictures, I offer this Mid-century modern china pattern:

We have been enjoying looking at the china dishes more closely and selecting some unusual, or just plain wonderful patterns to show you. This one is pretty subtle with the greys, greens, blues, and black. We quite liked it, and were happy when it disappeared, despite each piece of china being priced individually! It used to be that they would put the whole set in a box, and price it at $30, $40, or $50 depending on how many pieces there were. Now, when people don’t want china that can’t go in the dishwasher, they are charging $5 for a cup and saucer. It seems crazy to me.

Hope you’re getting to do some fun summer stuff before school starts back up, or the weather cools off. We will be back next week with more strange and weird stuff that we find in our utterly normal town!

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Always and Forever

We are back to full on summer around here, but we have the odd shower here and there, so it is not as bad as it could be. We used to have monsoon weather every August. We had a festival that you had to plan to take an umbrella with you if you were attending any time after 2 p.m., but now not so much, so we enjoy the rain where we can.

If we don’t say it enough, we are very grateful for each and every one of our loyal readers. We love that you take the time out of your day to laugh along with us, and we are even more happy when you take :the time to send us something to make fun of. And here we have a worthy entry sent in just last week:

So according to our reader this little joy was 10 inches tall, and made of 70% polyfoam, 29% PE (whatever that is, but I think I remember hating that in school!) and 1% polyester. They forgot 100% crazy. Heck, you can’t even throw it out when it comes apart, as you luckily have that dratted repair kit. (Look at the last line in the last photo.) Our reader commented that these were supposed to be given to a loved one. I am with her. Hope no one ever loves me that much!

We have never been cosmetic type girls, and this is no exception:

The oh, so NOT decorative lipstick on glitter print. I don’t even think this is appropriate for a salon. It probably sheds too, so think of it as an ad for “Craft Herpes”, as in, once you have glitter, you have it forever, and in very weird places, too.

OK, you need a laugh right about now, correct? Here you go:

No, we don’t know what it is, but it’s funny. It was some sort of figurine thing, covered in fur. We think maybe an Alaska thing, or could be Australia, or perhaps Mars. It has seen a whole lot of things, and they must have been pretty shocking, judging from the expression in those eyes. I don’t know why we didn’t decide we needed it, but it might have had something to do with our respective pets and the probability of it becoming a toy. We don’t think it needs any more trauma in it’s life.

This one teeters on the edge:

I mean, I have seen much worse, and overall it is sort of cute, but not the most useful thing in the world. What do you keep in a pig jar? Candied bacon? Pork rinds? Miss Piggy’s ashes? There seemed to be an entire pig collection that hit this store in the last few weeks, and overall, we have just made fun of them to ourselves, but this one made the cut.

This did not make our nice list, and I think you can see why:

I dare anyone to have ever said this is pretty, so why does it even exist? Did they have five gallons of unused plaster at the end of the day, and a bet to see how hideous it could get? They being said, somewhere along the way, someone had to have made the mold for this. There must have been massive amounts of alcohol involved, didn’t there? Or maybe someone was just taking advantage of the fruit sale down the street to avoid having to mold anything new. Of course, if that were true, it was the oldest wrinkliest fruit ever seen. Probably why it was on sale. We hope this was a VERY limited edition, and they broke the mold after, say, one of them.

Pity the poor child that found these under the tree:

We know why theses were kept “Mint in Box”. Oh no, Granny these are much to nice to play with. I will just store them in the deepest darkest corner of the basement, over here where no light can get to them. EVER. We also have questions about the first two dolls that are marked Before and After. Before and after what? Drinking? Therapy? The murder for hire they committed? I don’t think these ladies are to be trusted, so back into the basement they should go, or just toss them in the landfill and run for your life.

We spend a lot of time wishing we were more talented and could paint some monsters in the various paintings we see. You can’t tell me this wouldn’t be improved by the Creature from the Black Lagoon:

It was fairly good size and in case you can’t tell the cabin was gloriously rendered in “real” logs.

We wish we knew an artist that had this calling, as we could keep them stocked with paintings for the next 500 years, and that is even if they were able to paint a monster a day! If I had even an once of spare time, I might even attempt it myself, but luckily you are all spared that.

Best if we leave you with something pretty:

Neither of us are angel fans, but we really felt the need to give a shout out to the artist on this one, as it was some of the prettiest painting we have seen in a long time. I wish the painting had been done on a little miniature canvas, or a bookmark or something, as I would have snapped it right up. Alas, the angel will have to fly off without us. Or maybe the artist can take up painting monsters?

We hope you are all having a great summer, and in your travels, should you happen upon something too awful for words, you know who to send it to! Thanks for playing along with us.

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What a Difference a Week Makes

Well, last week we were melting in the heat, and this week has been much more pleasant with lots of rain mixed in with lower temperatures. It’s crazy how a third of the world is on fire, another third is under water, and the last third is just right. Someone with more brains than us need to work on this problem; with all that’s going on in the world, being deathly hot or keeping your head, literally, above water shouldn’t be part of a person’s day.

I’m sitting by the window writing, and I have a new friend:

I couldn’t get a picture of her looking in the window at me, but she was happy to check out the feeder with fresh sugar water in it. I had a female hummingbird that came every year for quite a long time. I knew she was the same one because she always came to the kitchen window, hovered, and looked at me even when the feeder was full and fresh. I enjoyed watching her bring her babies to the feeder and to the plants around the yard, showing them what to eat. It seems like I have a new friend and supervisor to keep me on track during the summer. She’s going to be even happier when I plant the trumpet vine my sisters dug up for me.

We always seem to find the saddest of craft fails:

Honestly, where else should these things live other than the thrift store? We aren’t even sure what the heck this is supposed to be. I thought it might be a stack of crochet coasters, but then wondered how you got them off over the arms and head? Now I think it’s something that Granny crocheted for her little ones to remind them of how much she loves them. Unfortunately, I think it will scare them with those arms reaching out to smother them, not hug them. Granny has kind of a grim face; why wouldn’t she be wreathed in smiles instead of a stone-faced expression? No one in their right mind wants a hug from that!!

Well, things aren’t getting better on the crochet front:

Making the center of the face start at the inner circle, plus that pink color, gives this female a porcine look. If that’s the joke, well, shame on you! Pigs are awesomely smart and deserve better. Those eyelashes are just too Tammy Faye Bakkerish to have winking at me from a kitchen drawer. I’ve decided that this pot holder’s best move would be to embrace her fate and melt spectacularly all over the kitchen of her maker. It only seems fair and it would probably prevent another such abomination.

This is also yarn-based, but nowhere near as awful as its stringy companions:

We were at our newer (a couple of years, now) favorite church sale and had fun shopping through the tables of offerings. We saw this fibrous puppy looking mournfully at the shoppers from on top of its stuffed-animal peers. Who knows what kind of battle it took to make it to the top? We’ll never know because that kind of stuff only happens when we aren’t looking. Anyway, the poor thing knows that it will take just the right person, no not me!, to give it a home and that such a person may not make it to the sale. I hope some kid fell in love with it and dragged it home with them. The prices were right so hopefully the universe made it happen.

We are all-in on this church sale because the amazing Unitarian church sale hasn’t happened for a couple of years, even before Covid became a thing. Sales that big take a lot of energy and organization, so we know that things can fall apart when that one person loses interest or moves away. Fingers crossed that the Unitarians regain their garage sale mojo and that sale starts back up. Plus, it takes a while for folks to accumulate enough stuff to want to have a garage sale.

This is a tweener, too. Not awful, but not something I want hanging about:

If I’m honest, this might be one of the cutest planters we’ve seen made out of plastic canvas. I wonder if they made a bunch of them for wedding or quinceanera decorations and the guests took one home? Anyway, we make fun of plastic canvas, a lot, so we have to admit it when we see an okay piece.

We’ve been around the crafting block a time or two, but we’ve not seen this technique before:

They attached lace to a hankie with crochet and also put some crochet around the outside of the lace, too. It’s not awful, but it looks a bit clunky with the fine cotton hankie, and the lace. Maybe if they used a single color and really fine crochet thread it would be a pretty trim. I’m sure it took a bit of time to do this and it’s a shame it doesn’t look better.

We saw this angel food cake pan in a big tub awaiting placement on the shelf:

It looked a little strange with the clasps on the sides, but it was a nice size. When we flipped it over, imagine our surprise to see this:

It reminds me of a garbage can lid more than a cake pan. Angel food cake isn’t one of those desserts that you can leave in the pan and serve, unless you’re going to a party full of barbarians where everyone just reaches in and grabs a handful of food. So, why would you want a lid for your angel food pan? It has to cool before you can hope to get it out of the pan, so again, the lid isn’t a good idea. Maybe it has a removeable bottom, and they thought you could slide it back into the tube to carry it somewhere. I guess that’s why this is at the thrift store; the whole thing just doesn’t make a ton of sense. **Thanks to a faithful reader, Yvonne, we now know that this is a pudding steamer for the British puddings that are kind of cake-like.**

Last up, an apron pattern that was a gift from Kathy:

The apron is super cute, and I might even make one some day, but I was mesmerized by the patterns at the top of the page: matching mother daughter beach skirts! Yes, beach skirts, not cover ups, rompers or something sensible. Good god, look at them! Are you supposed to huddle under the skirts for shade? That material is like a tent awning, and sadly, the little girl looks pretty frumpy in that gathered skirt. Thanks, Mommy Dearest! I have to ask who goes to the beach in high heels or their good Mary Janes? Oh those 1950s when you had to dress up to have fun, no matter where you were going. I also enjoy pictures of old football games where all the men are wearing suits, ties, and hats; nothing says fun like being hot, choked, and worried about getting your clothes dirty.

Thanks for hanging with us for a bit; hope you enjoyed this week’s offerings. Be sure to check us out next week when you know we will have something horrifying, but entertaining.

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It’s Too Darn Hot

I know I am not the only person in the country, or the world for that matter, humming this tune under my breath. (As an aside, if it were as hot in the video as it is here there would be NO dancing around like that!) We hit 103° on Tuesday, and we have been in the upper 90s every day this week. I might not be so snarky about it, as I know others have it worse, but I have no air conditioning, and no sprinkler system, so I am running around like a mad woman as soon as I get home from work trying to water everything that is drooping from the heat. When I am done, the only relief is taking a shower and going to bed with my hair soaking wet, as a sort of personal swamp cooler. When it is this hot, folks here head to the mountains or off to the Poudre river; it’s wall-to-wall inner tubes on that stream this week, but I am too busy watering my plants for that relief.

Garage sales have been a bit off due to the heat too. Lots of folks posting ads, then chickening out. Wimps (like I should talk)! We did find some crazy things at the thrift store, as usual, so you are in luck, if you like to think of this drivel that way.

I always try to like these:

I mean what’s not to like about a good pair of long horns? Unfortunately, these were made out of some sort of weird plastic. At that point they are just ugly and not the least bit amusing. When they are real, you have that kitsch factor that makes them fun, plus if you have a Cadillac convertible, they may be required hood ornaments in the West. When they are made of plastic, you are just a rhinestone cowboy wanna be. Oh look, another song!

Here is another thing I wanted to like:

These are usually quilt blocks, and I am sure these were as well in a former life, and if they were charmingly worked into a quilt, I would have been enchanted by them, but honest, they are not good enough to frame. And, if you must frame them, can you at least get the whole thing in there instead of cutting off the poor birds’ beaks and feet? Hopefully they didn’t cut the quilt block, but I seriously doubt they were that smart. Probably lopped Grandma’s quilt into a bunch of pieces so everyone could have it, and now, no one has much of anything.

Now this we did like:

I do like these wild ’60s starving artist paintings. If it had been smaller, I might have snagged it for resale, but the thought of boxing it was too intimidating. Can’t you just see it with your harvest gold carpet and your nice avocado green sofa? Add a dripping oil lamp and Bob’s your Uncle.

We have no idea where they were going with this:

It was pretty large and pretty ugly and that is all the pretty that is available for it. To top it all off, the lily part was in semi 3D. It sort of stuck out here and there. Calla lily still life with wilty oranges anyone? And what were they thinking with that odd silver background? The perspective on the pot is a bit suspect as well. Not that I am saying I could do better, but I would have the good sense to toss this on a bonfire after I painted it.

We still see these pretty often :

I don’t think we have ever seen a multi-color one, though. Usually they are all pink or maybe a pale blue. Honestly, we were sort of pleased by the brighter colors, but since Deb and I are not “boudoir” kind of gals what would we do with it? It had been through some rough times too, as it was a little squished and the back was kind of sad:

If Ramses would sit on it regally, it could have been worth it, but he would just bat it around and snag the crochet, so we left it for someone else to find.

This was so awful that there was no way it was escaping our ridicule:

This tot has a whole lot prayers that NEED to be answered. Like please, let this whole plaque fall on the floor and break into a million pieces. Let me have a pet that doesn’t look like a naked mole rat. Can I please go to bed without wearing a giant hat? Save me from my doll coming alive in the middle of the night and eating me. All this is before we address the real culprit. Does God only love little girls, and could we talk about that? I don’t think we should be going there, and I have some doubts about the motivation of the person who designed this mess in the first place. Let’s not go too far to the dark side, but you get what I mean.

I think I saved the best for last, or maybe not, you decide:

I had to ask about the cute little Singer 99 in the wood case, like I need another sewing machine (did I mention I already bought my second Featherweight?), but they want $299 for it. Are they out of their minds? It will sit around for ages at that price. It may not even work, but the good thing about these is that you can pretty much fix them all yourself, should you feel the need for it.

Oh wait, you have questions about the pink thing at the top? Well, really, so did we. For some reason I can not see anything but two pink lions, but we are sure it is a bra for breast cancer awareness, and it might have been something really cool, as it has a plaque and everything but we just didn’t seem to want to head that way, so there is sits. Probably cost more than two of the sewing machines. Plus as a wall decoration, it really isn’t that attractive, unless you like lions.

Hope you are staying cool in your part of the country. Sending rainy thoughts to one and all.

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Rock Bottom

Don’t let the post title worry you; we haven’t hit rock bottom, yet. Every time we think we’ve seen the worst thing ever, something else comes along. Probably a good life lesson in there for us. No, the title refers to the strange rock crafts we saw that are as bad as they are peculiar.

Before we start all that, I wanted to share a pretty rare and cool plant picture from my neighbor’s yard:

This is a century plant (agave) which really doesn’t live a century. It usually only flowers once and then dies. This one is about 15 years old, according to my neighbor. If it only blooms once, at least its flowers are worth waiting for! This spike is taller than the ranch house behind it. From a distance, I thought it looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. If you can see the stem, it looks sort of like an asparagus stem from the Land of the Giants. Wikipedia lists the plant’s taxonomy, and here’s the pertinent parts:

Order: Asparagales Family: Asparagaceae

I had no idea that agave and asparagus were related at all!

Just look at these look at these flowers:

They were about the size of footballs, or slightly bigger, and the bees were going crazy. It’s been blooming for over a week now, and as long as we don’t have hail or a thunderstorm with wind (I might hang an evil eye bead on the plant), it will probably go for a couple more weeks. I plan to walk by there and enjoy the view while it lasts. I read an article that said the century plant could be a house plant. Could you imagine that huge stalk in your house? I’m impressed that my neighbors have had the agave in their yard through all the cold and snowy winters. It must like being near the wall and in the rock.

Well, hopefully those pictures will build up some goodwill about what I have to show you in the rest of the post. It’s all downhill from here. 😉

I think there is supposed to be another pot on this puppy’s head:

But, who knows? Maybe you’re supposed to plant a flower, or one of those corkscrew rushes in there and enjoy the madness. Even an alyssum would be kind of funny and you could pretend that your clay-pot dog is a poodle with a white top knot. The funniest thing about this dog is that the thrift store priced it at $12.99 and it was gone the next week. I suppose that there are $13 worth of pots in there if you could get them apart, or maybe someone just really liked it.

I sure hope a kid made this for his mommy’s desk:

A paperweight with a clip is always a handy thing to have around, even a strange one like this. I might have liked it more if they had just painted a fun thing on the rock and clothespin, and skipped the shells. It’s just a bit more than weird looking.

OMG, I just realized that this is a bad craft post! Shoot, I should have warned you:

Wow, just wow. Again, I hope a kid painted this for a parent/grandparent. Although the kid elephant looks a little disgruntled that Mama is cuddling a mouse instead of him. I just can’t get over the thick black lines; they are so distracting, which honestly, could be a good thing. These two look like an elephant messed around with a tiger and got mixed results.

I need to take a little craft-fail break here and look at something pretty:

Although my feet would literally make me want to kill myself if I tried to put them into something like this, I can admire the sparklies. They are Jewel Badgley Mischka which I saw advertised for just $109 at Macy’s, so whatever the garage sale seller wanted would probably be a deal. The only issue I can see is that the rhinestones around the ankle strap are gone. Put a slinky dress on, apply some fire-engine red toe nail polish, and you’re already for a night out on the town.

I love buttons and have never seen this set before:

They’re only 39¢ so they are pretty vintage, maybe the 1970s? When I tried to research them, I kept being directed to emergency buttons that you can stick onto your loved one so they can call for help. That tells you these were kind of a fail since Google didn’t know about them; I did wonder how well they worked. Imagine that you’re an office worker in the 1970s and the button pops off at a strategic part of your blouse. Would you trust a stik-on button to preserve your modesty? I think you would be just askin’ for trouble as my mom would say. It only takes a second to sew a button on, and if you’re pressed for time, just use a tiny safety pin until you get home. In a sit-com, the stik-on button would pop off during a meeting and land in front of the boss! Quelle embarrassing!!

There is no avoiding it; I have another rocky craft project:

Although I have to admit that this made us laugh. The idea that you could put a feather and beak on a rock, and voila—it’s a bird, is pretty funny. I can hear Bob Ross in my head talking about painting “happy little trees” while looking at the blobs of green obviously dabbed on with a sponge. Why they didn’t use the sponge for painting leaves is a mystery but I’m pretty amused by rock leaves, too. I really don’t understand the star-shaped holes on the sides. They lead B.H. theorize that they were caused by America Chavez traveling in the Multiverse.

Finally, we’re hoping that this was a required book for a Latin class, or a gag gift for an adult instead of an aspirational goal for a newborn:

It would be a fun book to read for a person taking Latin, along with Winnie the Pooh, but I’m all for not making every book a kid reads be “improving”. I love reading and always have, but if I was required to read when I wasn’t in the mood, say, during my summer vacation, it might have stunted my favorite hobby. I don’t know how parents draw that line between just enough and too much with their kids.

Thanks for reading along. As always, we would love to see what you find at garage sales or thrift stores. Send along a picture and we’ll make fun of it and give you all the credit! Way better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

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Hello Dali!

Last Friday, it poured! A solid half an inch of wet stuff fell from the sky. With our recent spate of drought, this was almost a miracle. I wouldn’t be the least surprised were I to hear reports of folks out dancing naked in it. I was tempted, but we were sitting in the car at the drive-in theater, and I think people would have looked at me funny. Not that strangers don’t look at me funny now and then, anyway!

It was so good to have Deb back last week. If we don’t get a certain amount of time for talking and venting, we go slightly insane, and that is not good for our respective husbands.

This week we present a mishmash or stuff that has caught our eyes in recent weeks. First up the Dali Elephant:

By itself, it is pretty weird, but notice the stack of matching legs beside it. There were more! When they finally got them all out, I think there were 10 or so of them. Must be unsold store stock to have that many. Gee, wonder why they didn’t sell? All the legs of the Dali, none of the grace. They might have been palatable with just the painted elephant, but then they had to go and armor plate the head. Maybe they work better as weapons with the mace-like appendage, then they can be sold as self-defense items. No home should be without one.

Apparently this moose got the memo:

The long leg look is in! Actually, we thought this guy was pretty cute. He has a goofy look on his face, that tells you he is totally aware of the outsize length of his legs, and is just making the best of it, and you should too. Our biggest question, was why waste this cuteness on a platter? It was a honking BIG platter too. It was pretty heavy and really no way to hang it, it was an odd shape, so no roast or turkey (or moose for that matter) was going to fit on it, so what do you do with it? Keep it in the cupboard for a few years and then send it to the thrift store I guess.

Would this really make you feel welcome?

The answer is a big fat no. Sad weird-eyed dogs just don’t say welcome. They say, “come on in, we won’t feed you”, and “the conversation around here is going to make your eyes pop.” But no, where does it say come in, put up your feet, have some coffee and stay a while? Although, if you are trying to keep the nosy neighbors away, this must might be the ticket.

We liked this:

A HUGE set of nice white Oven Serve Pyrex dishes. I think we did look at the bottom, and now I totally forgot what it said on it. It’s a testament to how fun it was that they had it priced individually at 99¢ and up, and it was all gone by the next week. This is a huge set, and so very useable. You could do far worse as a set of dishes for every day. Put it on a red and white checked tablecloth and smile your way through breakfast every morning. It amazes me that so much of it was still intact. Wonder if these were the “good” dishes for someone?

While we are taking about prices, what is up with the prices in thrift stores? Have they gone up a ton in your area? Ours seem to have lost their minds. Since prices are up everywhere and people have less money to spend, let’s make our prices higher. We’ll make lots of money that way, right? I can’t even begin to tell you how often we pick up something fun, and immediately put it back down after looking at the price. Here is a good example:

OK, maybe not fun, but kind of interesting. A couple of years ago, I took over my dad’s fire extinguisher servicing business, so this was vaguely amusing. Not the letter, as that just says they are sending someone some display samples for their business, but I kind of liked the header, and I thought dad would get a kick out if (Why they framed it, is a whole ‘nother set of questions, and something we could not fathom) I turned it over and ARC seemed to think it was worth $16.99? Even at half price, this a full on no. I am probably the only person in town that would even be slightly interested in it, and just because it is dated 1920, doesn’t make it worth a plugged nickel. Sigh.

We are not huge fans of hobnail glass, and these were no exception, but they were kind of odd:

Just a really weird shape, and not much grace to them. I will give them full marks for being sturdy, those candles are not going to tip over, even when great uncle Harry knocks the whole table askew. I actually kind of like the one on the right better that looks like it has a handle from the jug behind it. It would have balanced the bottom a bit more.

From the crafting department, because you know we can’t resist.

I like making mini Teddys, but I draw the line at scary clown bears, and honestly, the whole clan looks more like mice than bears. Change that tail and you are good to go. The teddy in the sweat suit is pretty funny too. Feel the burn.

Deb took exception to the butterfly necklace on here:

I am sort of on the fence on this one. It’s got a cool flower child vibe that I might be able to get into. On the other hand, not crazy about the plain white flowers underneath the tag, so who knows. We got sidetracked by something else (imagine that) and never took a look inside. As long as they didn’t make any clown bears to wear in your ears or something, I think we can give it a pass.

I want to thank all the folks who commented on the placemats for the drawing, and the winner is:

Ivy in MA

Contact us with your address, and I will get your placemats in the mail to you.

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Glad to be Garage Saling

I was in MI for my dad’s celebration of life, and one of the ways we celebrated him was to go to all the garage sales we could find! He loved to spend Friday and Saturday mornings picking through people’s garages and had a full-to-the-rafters pole barn to prove it. My mom gets rid of everything, but she never could keep up with Dad’s acquiring ways. I’m a chip off the old block and proud of it!

There is a mild clown warning for this post; nothing too egregious!

I’m afraid that this seller is going to still have a couch at the end of the day:

It was a forest green and cranberry red plaid which is a difficult enough design choice, but the seller put $80 on the tag. I know that furniture is expensive, but this is used, ugly, and you are selling it at a garage sale. You would be lucky to get $25 for it. There were not one, but two pianos with free signs on them, and I think that might be a good price for this beast. It’s so strange that she wanted so much for her couch when she was selling really nice shirts, in great condition, with good labels—Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Woolrich for $1. My mom probably bought ten shirts from her, but passed on the couch!

Now, this was just sad:

Not that I wanted any of them, but our thrift store thinks that these kinds of dolls are worth at least $10. Not only were these free, but when I went to the sales again the next day with my sister, no one had taken any of them! I did my part and rescued an old Tammy doll that needs some help. She is an easier size to display, and you can at least find different clothes for her. Plus, I think they are kind of cute; I have a couple and what’s one more?

These days even garage sales have marketing strategies:

This seller had signs all over telling shoppers what they could possibly do with the items on offer. The lavender thingie had me wondering if I could buy it for myself as a gift? Although, it’s a color that I just can’t wear successfully. I used to have a beloved lavender shirt that I finally got rid of after the nth person asked me if I was ill while I was wearing it. Nothing brings out the green in my olive complexion like lavender!

OMG it’s a clown kit!!

I was just idly poking though boxes when my eyes focused on this book. Yikes!! And yes, the box was full of clown accoutrements which leads me to believe that the garage sale host was a secret clown. It was amusing to watch my sister’s reaction to the clown book—she jumped and said, “I hate clowns!” so there is some forgotten clown incident that scarred us kids while growing up. Also, the bag of uninflated balloons had me wondering if they were secretly clown seeds. Just pop one into a pot of dirt, and up springs a tiny clown. You hardly ever see a clown without balloons being involved somehow.

Now, this is a garage sale picture, but it’s from a fun sale that Kathy and I went to in Colorado:

It was a garage sale/estate sale and their father was quite the traveler, while their mother was pretty glamorous, or at least her hats were. Kathy called the feather one a cat toy, and declined to buy it just to watch Ramses tear it to pieces. They were fairly priced, but not so cheap that we could buy them and resell them in our stores. Right next to the feather hat is a hat with the brim covered in flowers; it was absolutely wonderful in person!

In the lower left hand corner is a pass to visit the United States Sugar Corporation in Florida from the early 1960s. I didn’t even notice that until looking at the picture. That pass is the type of ephemera that Kathy and I love to look at. I did buy a letter (for 20 cents) from Delta Airlines telling their customers that the DC3 was being retired in 1960, and be sure to check out their new planes. The envelope and letter are together, it is a reminder of a time when travelers had an almost personal relationship with airlines.

Well, that’s it for garage sales, but no worries, I do have a few thrift store finds to round out the post.

We’ve had this picture forever, and haven’t used it. It’s kind of like now or never:

For some unknown reason, the thrift store had this in a locked display case because it’s worth a whole $2.99 and someone might steal it! I do have to admit that it’s a pretty cute bib (?), bootie, and dress set and wonders of wonders, the crocheter did a very nice job. I’m sorry that I’m not exactly sure what is in the box because we didn’t want to waste an employee’s time asking them to open the case so we could get a better picture. Especially for something that we just weren’t going to buy.

This is so ugly that I wouldn’t even put it on a scarecrow:

It’s a piece of polyester fabric that is printed to look like patched blue jeans. It was just horrendous in person, and as far as I know, it’s still hanging on the fabric rack begging someone to put it out of its misery. If you wanted to waste your time, you could sew it into an apron for your best frenemy and maybe they would use it while cleaning out a backed-up septic tank. Yes, it’s that ugly! What kind of sadist even designs this kind of fabric? You know that it will make the ugliest whatever you sew it into, and some poor victim will have to wear it because Grandma made it.

Okay, as an apology, I will show you something pretty:

We continue to find the prettiest orphan plates that no one wants any more. I will confess that when I was a teenager, I went to the thrift store and bought plates to go under my plants. I have African violets, yes 50 years old!, that still sit on Homer Laughlin, California pottery, and mid-century modern sheaf of wheat plates. I would hate to see this pretty plate go that route. Hopefully, someone will buy it to serve cookies to their coffee klatch, or even their grandkids.

If you haven’t yet, please enter the great placemat giveaway that Kathy is doing. All that is needed to enter is a comment here, on Facebook, or the dollboards. The winner will be drawn July 9th. All the details and a picture are at the end of this post.

Also, Beth in WV, could you send us an email so we can send you one of our addresses? Thank you!!

We hope that all of our U.S. readers have a safe 4th of July.

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How the Mighty Have Fallen

Deb has been off this past week visiting family again. I should never be left on my own, as who knows how much trouble I can get into. I had to go to garage sales last Friday all by my lonesome. Most of the morning was pretty blah and I was about to call it quits and go to work (Oh, the horror!) when I stopped at one last sale purported to be an estate sale. For once it panned out; it was a house full of stuff. I started dragging piles of things around with me, and was thankful when the lady working the sale sent her son for a box. It was a good-sized box and I stuffed a lot of things into it, and walked out with the whole box full for $10.00. My kind of day.

I did however, buy some stuff I probably shouldn’t have. Take these plates:

Did I need plates? Are they worth anything? Could I possibly sell them? The answer to all these questions is no, and yet, there they were in my box. For some reason the pattern just spoke to me. From the 1920s or so. The pattern doesn’t even have a name, according to Just JM and some number. I think it needs to be called Ode to a Peacock, Peacock Promenade, Blue Birds on a Rock, something. Feel free to come up with an alternative, and I will gladly call it that, when I get the plates out of the cupboard to have chocolate cake off them.

I also stuck these in my box:

Again, did I need an entire box of placemats? No, but how can you leave work like that sitting there to be touched by the hands of peons who don’t understand? The quality of these was out of this world, and they were taken care of so well. I guess I am going to have to put placemats under my peacock plates!

After the estate sale, I almost didn’t head over to the thrift store, but I decided I did need some more pix for this week, as our loyal readers count on some swill and there was bound to be some. First thing I spotted after hitting the door was this:

Woo Hoo, Barbie score. Nothing earth-shattering, but some things I didn’t have and some things for my Etsy shop, so hey, it was a good thing my thrifting radar was working.

After that, it was all blog all the way. Found this:

Seriously, how bad is that Wedgewood goes for $3.99? I bet it will still be there next week too. Or how ’bout this:

German Rosenthal china, a whole bunch at the thrift store. This one may end up getting bought, as it has a nice Mid-Century vibe to it. But who knows? There was a good portion of a complete set.

Less than 25 years ago, these would have been high dollar items, and now you can barely give them away. Sigh …

At first I thought this was a framed plate:

But it was a nice old Victorian print. Probably an advertising print of some sort, and some very industrious person had carefully painted the outside circle with blue paint. Wonder whose advertising slogan they covered up. It was kind of cute, but not really my style, and for some reason these days, folks would rather hang up a sign with words on it than art. Whose idea was that?

This one made me laugh:

I think this cat is trying to out-Ramses, Ramses. OK, it is just a spotted leopard, but hey. it could be a Bengal. I feel sorry for the artist, as it looks like they are now a bargain-basement commodity. I think it is funny to have that whole blurb about them and have it priced at $9.99. and even then, it headed to the thrift store. I forgot to look and see what sort of value ARC placed on it. Knowing them, it went up in value. Should have snapped it right up and replaced a Live, Laugh, Love sign.

Better that cat than this one:

There is sort of a fad right now for those big ceramic cats Grandma used to make and put around on the floor. At first I thought this was a really ugly example of that, but lo and behold she was a cookie jar. I think your cookies would be safe in there—would you put your hand into a possessed cat jar for the reward of a cookie? I think not. Honestly, the odd-looking bunny beside it was just as scary, but I was too mesmerized by the jar to even notice that.

If that doesn’t float your boat, how about “Space Cat”?

It’s either a space cat or a cat in a fishbowl on a donut. You decide. If I remember right, this was just a sign. It would have been so much better as a box. Better yet, a box of donuts. or a place to keep your glitter, or for cat treats. So many better ideas.

Forgot this score at the sale:

The thing I liked about this was its local history I posted it on a local group, and spent the next two days explaining what it is. Seriously folks, are we that far away from this? I finally settled on telling people it was an accessory for your solar clothes dryer. I thought it was fun that it was a present for the Missus, to make up for spending too much money at the lumberyard. Not that a piece of jewelry wouldn’t have been better, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Since I drug too many crazy things home, it is time to make you suffer, I mean reward you all, with a giveaway. I would like to share some of my pretty placemats, so I will be sending these to our winner:

You get a pretty set of four stunning vintage placemats. Use them as placemats, doilies, whatever, but use them and enjoy them. To enter, just leave a comment, here, on Facebook, or on either doll board. Bonus entries for naming my peacock china pattern! I will pick a winner on the 9th of July, so you have a couple of Fridays to enter. Winner will be drawn from all entries.

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I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind

We frequently are haunted by the scary things we see at garage sales and thrift stores. Heck, we still have a picture of one of the first “bad things” we found as our mascot (Ruffles the Ugly Bunny) along the side of the main page. With all that being said, this picture, still in its original packaging made us laugh:

Unlike us, this little person seems to think it’s a good thing to have “you” on their mind. Or maybe the company is ripping off the 1975 ELO song, Can’t Get it Out of My Head. We know this is old from the tag, plus it does say 1975 in the bottom right corner. How long ago did Woolco go out of business? A quick question to Mr. Google says 1983 in the US and 1986 in the UK. I was surprised that the store was started in the early 1960s; I thought that it was older than that.

A friend brought this tray over to show me:

No, it wasn’t Kathy, although that’s a good guess with all the cats pictured here. I have lots of kids’ books, in various stages of disintegration, with really adorable illustrations. I was going to look for likely trays at garage sales and try to make a couple of trays myself. All you need is some scissors, patience, and Mod Podge. If you have some especially beloved books, but don’t want to mess them up, you could always do a good scan and print out replica pages to use. I was thinking of Green Eggs and Ham for my youngest sister. I’ve read that book to her a two hundred times, at least, and can still recite parts of it even though the readings happened 50 years ago.

When I first saw this box, but didn’t read the label, I had a totally different idea of what was in it:

Although, those attachments were a cause for concern! Turns out this is a battery-powered manicure set—whew! I think that the Chadwick company got their hands on a bunch of cheap Dremel tools and repurposed them. They also made a battery-powered back scratcher that looks pretty hilarious. If someone were giving me a manicure with this appliance, I would hope that they had steady hands. Nothing like having your cuticles removed by a sanding disc. It’s awesome that the manicure set still has its box; that’s frequently 99% of the fun.

We saw the side of this and thought that it was probably a pretty floral serving dish:

Kathy and I see these kinds of china dishes in the hundreds because very few folks want them any more. We both own quite a few, but really there’s a limit even for us! I always like it when the handles are “fancy” and the edges are scalloped. Imagine our surprise when we took a closer look:

That was totally unexpected! I don’t remember if there was a mark, but even if there was one, it wasn’t that prestigious; when we see meh things with good marks, we take a picture of the mark, too, for proof. I’m not sure where this scene comes from, besides the artist’s imagination. That large hill/mini mountain behind the house is very convenient, with the surrounding area being rolling hills, at best, until you get to another mountain in the far distance. It’s a pretty strange decoration for vintage china.

I hope these pods of china dolphins were a close-out from Walmart:

Otherwise, we have to question why anyone would need so many bad statues of dolphins. There are at least eight in this picture, because a couple of sets lined up perfectly. I have a hard time seeing how dolphins relate to a wedding (both parties are marine biologists?), a quinceañera (a fifteen year-old marine biology prodigy?), or even a birthday party (Sea World enthusiast?). And don’t tell me they are just decorative; they aren’t. To be honest, we were kind of horrified that several were missing the next week. I’m hoping that they “accidently” got knocked off the shelf.

We both thought that this doll had the prettiest face:

You can actually see her silhouette in the serving dish picture—that hat is unmistakable! She’s a travel doll from somewhere south of the border, and maybe way, way south as in South America. It’s hard for bad geographers like us to recognize the colors she’s wearing as being the colors of a country’s flag, for instance. It’s interesting that her legs and hands are made from a natural string wrapped around wire, but that certainly would be easy to get and relatively cheap. All that being said, her face is very sweet, although she has an enormous head. You could do worse with what you drag home from a trip. Witness her dolphin friend decorating a china bell from Port St. Lucie (?). It is irredeemable!

Last up is an entry from my ongoing feature, What’s Blooming in Deb’s Garden?

My rhododendron, for the first time in a couple of years!! It’s had a hard time for several reasons. First, it’s pretty old as it was here when we bought the house in 1993. Rhododendrons have a hard time in Colorado because it’s not moist, the soil is alkaline, not acidic, and it’s HOT and windy or COLD and windy! I try to mitigate the poor dear’s unhappiness with a little extra drip watering, pine needles plus soil acidifiers, and shrub covers all winter. I think it really suffered last summer when I wasn’t home very much. But, it looks like all’s well that ends well. It’s not a plant that I probably would have planted, but I’m trying to keep it going. Hopefully, it will look better next year with a couple of doses of iron this summer.

Thanks for reading along. As always, please feel free to share your garage sale/thrift store horrors with us. Pain shared is pain lessened!

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Adventures in Buying

We had an honest-to-goodness thunderstorm yesterday. It was so fun to see the lightning and hear the thunder and get a bit of rain. We have been very short of these in recent years, so it was a nice change. For once it was not dry lightning that just sets the mountains on fire. We figure we will get there soon enough, but for now, some June? showers will hopefully bring July flowers.

We tend to focus on our shopping and sometimes forget to take pix of some of the crazy things we do buy, so this week, I thought I would get some photos of the things that have been cluttering up my craft room with the mental label of “I should take a picture of that”!

These have been hanging around for several months:

When we first found them in a bit at ARC, we only found two, and I was sure there had to be another one, and sure enough after a bit of digging, there it was. The fabric on these balls is mostly from the ’40s which would make sense. They were still in the middle of “making do” from the Depression and the war years, so of course you would save every bit of fabric. The cloth is all well faded and truly worn out, but not so much that a rag rug could not be cobbled together. I wonder what happened that it never got made? Hopefully something wonderful, like a fabulous new job, or a windfall of money somehow. I do feel like I owe it to the thrifty housewife to see this project through, so come winter, we will see how the rag rug goes. I will try to remember to post pix when it’s done.

This was a fun one:

Drat, it wasn’t Barbie size, more like a 16-inch doll. Gene Marshall could pull it off, but it was so odd, that I had to plunk down a couple of bucks at the garage sale. It opened up and everything:

The Summer Intern did a quick search and this was the Electrolux Quarter Keeper. I don’t know if you were supposed to save up your quarters for a new vacuum or not, but I don’t think this small roll of them was gong to cut it. Still it was so goofy, I had to own it. Now that I have it, I don’t know what I am going to do with it, but that is sadly the story of my junk, I mean craft room.

After I purchased my old Featherweight sewing machine, I realized that it was short a couple of the original presser feet, so being the crazy completist that I am, I had to go find them. I purchased the Multi-slot Binder on the right on Ebay for a reasonable price:

And not a week later, I was gifted a big lot of old sewing things on our local Buy Nothing List, and there was the binder on the left! The only difference is that the one on the left is from Great Britain. It’s a crazy enough foot, that I had never seen one, and here comes another one. It was supposed to apply a binding and a trim all at once, I will let you know how it goes when I get brave enough to try it.

In the same big lot of sewing stuff, I found these:

I will always rescue an homemade crochet hook, as I know how much love someone put into making something so utilitarian. The love is in the hook, and in all the items it made and I bet this one made a lot. It is so smooth and soft that it is just a joy to touch. The other hooks were pretty odd. They came with the cork handle and slipped through it to make a comfortable hook. You can see one installed and one out, as well as the packaging. I bet these were pretty comfortable to use.

I also found these, and they sent me to the internet to figure out what they were:

If you look closely, you can see a small screw that adjusts the amount the scissors are able to close. The whole thing had me scratching my head, till I found them listed as buttonhole scissors. They were designed to only cut to a certain depth, so you didn’t accidentally cut through the end of your buttonhole stitching. There are several different variations on these, and you sure don’t see them today, so they probably didn’t work as well as just cutting carefully. Still kind of a fun sewing item. I will clean them up and add to the stash, I mean collection.

You didn’t think I was going to let you off with no horrible things at all, did you? Of course not, so here:

Aren’t you sorry now? As far as African masks go it’s kind of cool, but I still say it would send you through the roof if you came around the corner and ran into someone wearing it. Even if you liked these, wouldn’t a postcard be a better choice? This just hangs on the wall and gets covered in dust. Talk about decorative allergies. Also, this does seem to look like a cat toy. Of course, to a cat, everything looks like a cat toy except for cat toys.

Elephants have been in season at the thrift store recently as well, but who ever heard of one covered with leopards, zebras, and lions?

At least the elephant and vase match each other, as we shudder to think of the décor they would fit into. I can’t remember if these were ceramic or some sort of paper-mache, but they were not the least bit useful, and we take exception to the idea of them being decorative. They were huge too, so there is no hiding them in a VERY dark corner and hoping for the best. On the bright side, my Bengal cat could stand in front of them on the mantel (where he is NOT supposed to be), and I would never notice. Yet another black mark for these.

Gotta finish up with a doll:

There is definitely some sort of possession going on here. Those eyes look like a gateway straight to hell, and the lack of neck is probably because her head has spun around so many times it is all wound up. Let it go and it will whirl like a top. Ewwww. Pity the poor tot who wanted a Barbie and got this. Thanks, Grandma. Even the photo-bombing jailbird hamster is inching away from her.

Hope you are enjoying your summer! Stay tuned for more garage sale fodder as we get into full swing.

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