Homemade Christmas is Best?

Well, it’s that time again when we look at Christmas crafts and laugh because the only other option is to totter over to the liquor cabinet.  Best to keep laughing—at least until it’s five o’clock somewhere.

Kathy was so proud of this craft book.  She knew it would be chock-full of blog fodder:

It was published in 1972, the year that Watergate started and the terrorist attack on Olympic athletes in Munich, Germany occurred.  I don’t think that any crafts could help folks deal with those two events, but McCall’s soldiered on at the craft front.  Maybe, the McCall’s folks thought that no one would notice the hilarious crafts inside because of all the trouble in the world.

We’re going to jump in with a big splash.  No easing in slowly:

Behold the Gingham Twins.  They are supposed to delight or terrify your toddlers, depending on who you ask.  The faces are drawn on with ball-point tube paints so good luck with making a recognizably human expression.  I like embroidery faces—nothing’s permanent until you put the scissors away.  The best thing about these babies is that they SIT UP!  Shut the front door!  They can really sit up?  Nothing like managing your toddler’s expectations.  You can not start too early.  All of those dolls below the twins are felt and can be attached to shelves.  I’m not sure why you would want to, since they all look like they’re living in a Charles Dickens novel.  Pretty grim stuff for toddlers.

Just in case you thought I was kidding with the Gingham Twins, may I introduce the Moppet Choirboy?

On second thought, maybe I was wrong about the embroidery faces.  Unless Moppet means unhinged psycho killer, there’s something else going on here.  I think he’s about five seconds away from using his guitar to go all Pete Townshend on those organ pipes (??) surrounding him.  I’m worried about the person who thought this was Christmas decor.

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath and try to forget the first two projects:

This scene is described as blue-robed kneeling angels in front of an elegant wreath.  “The quiet of blue enriched with silver and gold creates serene setting for Christmas.”  Most of the descriptions in the book are delightfully weird.  In what universe is a yarn wreath elegant?  And, that angel, with those wings, looks like an extra from Game of Thrones.  I would like to see her create a serene setting kneeling at the Iron Throne.

These are described as “fancy boots”:

I have to agree; those are some fancy boots, alright!  The book encourages us to make these boots, or this decorative hanger:

… “to use and enjoy for many holidays to come.  [The] festive hanging adds Christmas cheer to wall or door.”  Don’t believe me, just zoom in and read that little paragraph for yourself.  “The colorful Christmas boots from yesteryear will hold many little holiday surprises.”  Promises, promises.  Unless they’re filled with pirate booty, I’m going to be disappointed.

Just in case you want to terrorize teenagers as well as toddlers:

I was a freshman in high school in 1972 and I can guarantee that anyone who wore this get-up to school, would NEVER live it down.  The fine print tells us that the hot pink leotard is made by Danskin, just in case you were wondering.  Now, my dear mother made my sisters and me wear body suits because our hip hugger jeans showed way too much skin.  Thank goodness she didn’t know about Danskin leotards, or using the toilet would have been even worse!

Back to “cheerful” Christmas decor:

I call this Pink Santa, because, well otherwise it would be Red and Pink Checked Tablecloth Santa, which sounds even worse.  He looks to be made from felt, which is at least, cheap.  Maybe if you take enough mommy’s little helpers, you won’t shudder every time you walk by him.  I just can’t imagine the amount of side-eye a hostess would receive after her guests got a look at her table decorations.

Santa might distract your guests from what is going on with the “Magic” Christmas tree:

Is it my imagination, or is that clown eyeing little Jimmy?  I’m not sure which is worse, the clown or the cat, which is really saying something given how we feel about clowns.  That cat is ready to show everyone just what claws are for!  Santa is looking a little creepy, too, now that I’m keeping my eyes away from Mr. Clown.  Okay, just the dog and the candle; everyone else off the tree!

Another gift idea:

The owl and the pussy cat stuffed toys, also known as Story Hour Playmates.  I always liked the rhythm and words in the poem, but these two pedestrian toys just don’t look like they would go:

…  to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

As a kid, I would have made it work by duding the owl up with a collar and tie, and maybe adding some pearls and earrings to the cat.  Poor Pussycat looks like a middle linebacker more than, “O lovely Pussy!  O Pussy my love,”.

Finally, the last two pictures are probably why Kathy really bought the book:


Those little Francies are so cute and the Barbie isn’t too shabby either.  Now, that green outfit poor Barbie is saddled with is kind of wild.  I’m not sure why you would wear a knitted cape over a midriff top.  Aren’t you trying to show off your awesome abs?  Why cover up?  The green suit that Francie is wearing seems a little more Barbie-like.  I would happily dress my dollies up in these outfits just for the heck of it.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I have the poncho and bell-bottom pants somewhere.  Now, I know where they came from.

One more post after this one before Christmas.  Come back next week to see all the lumps of coal we have found!

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I’ll Have a Vintage Christmas

It may not be looking a lot like Christmas around here, but the temperature is sure making it feel like Christmas.  Our high today is around 30, so making cookies seems like the thing to do.  So, as soon as I finish typing, I’m heading for the kitchen and some cookie dough!  As you know, the reason for this blog is mostly love for all things vintage, so this post is dedicated to those wonderful, and maybe not so wonderful vintage Christmas things that we have come across in the last year.

I think I will start with this, as I was in hog heaven when I saw this display:

OK, yeah, I have a thing for aluminum trees.  I posted a video a few years ago on our Second Hand Roses Facebook page of my aluminum tree, with the color wheel, and the turning stand.  Last year I had a one large, one medium and one small aluminum tree and I thought I was living high.  This lady puts up 28 of them in her antique store in Cheyenne, WY.  She even had a green one:

Sorry, not the best picture, but it is better than the one of the PINK tree that I forgot to take.  Oh, I so want a pink aluminum tree, but I have yet to shell out the $500 to $800 for one on Ebay, and I haven’t tripped over one locally.  Put that on the “Some Day” list I guess.

Once you have an aluminum tree, you must have an angel tree topper.  Say, this one:

We have a soft spot for these little paper angels, but neither of us dragged this one home, though she would have been at ease on top of all that shiny silver.  She may be shutting her eyes to keep out the glare, or maybe she had a glimpse of some of the ornaments towards the end of the post.  I have several pretty little paper angel ornaments that are treasures in my collection.  A couple even belonged to my grandmother, so with a bit of care they can last a really long time.

If that one didn’t do it, this Noma Angel might have filled the bill:

She lit up and everything.  She does seem to have a bit of a case of bed head, but what do you expect after sleeping in that box for 50 years?  The side of the box was almost as much fun as the angel herself:

Just love the old graphics on the Noma boxes.  I am fairly sure she would still work too, as Noma products seemed to be built to last.  I am sometimes terrified of those old cords, but the lights still come on!

Here’s another cute little paper angel who wants a new home:

She has a real mod ’60s vibe going on with her.  Let’s call her the flower child angel.  At least she is cheerful and wide awake!

We also adored this whole selection of elves and pixies:

I don’t know what it is about these crazy little Japanese critters that we are so drawn too, but we are.  Deb is a huge pixie fan, and I can’t remember whether she picked up any of these or not.  Would depend mightily on the price; as you know we are cheap, especially when it comes to this sort of thing.  Although considering the numbers of them that have followed us home of the years, you wouldn’t know it.

We also liked these nutcrackers:

While not vintage, all those flashy sequins would be right at home on any vintage-style tree.  Gotta admire a soldier who is not afraid of a little bling.  All in the name of holiday spirit!

On the other hand, we have this:

While giving them credit (sort of) for what should be a charming idea, it just sort of fell flat.  The one good thing about the whole shebang is that it’s a lovely shade of green that, with any luck at all, your live Christmas tree should camouflage nicely.  Please don’t hang it on one of those glittery silver branches.  Better yet, toss that bit of seed out for a hungry bird and burn the rest of it!

We have another vintage craft that failed:

Again, giving full marks for one heck of a beading job, but then what?  It was pretty good-sized, as is sitting in the palm of my hand, so no shy retiring bear this, but I am still going to go with NOT decorative.  Maybe a big red bow would help.  I mean a REALLY big red bow, say two or three inches across?  [Deb here.  B.H. says that this is a cat, look at those pointy ears.  But, he agrees about the need for a gigantic bow!)

And yet another beaded problem:

We are going to insist this was done by a child, so we will give them full marks for a good job.  If it wasn’t, they really shouldn’t have.  This might work with seed beads in a super tiny size, but once it gets a little bigger, it’s just not much to look at.  Poor Santa.  We know why he was relegated to ornament dross at ARC.

I am sure that there will be more vintage things coming out of the woodwork soon.  We take Christmas pix all year, so you never know what will come along.  If you guys are good, I will take a picture of my poor showing with only three aluminum trees, once they are up.  If anyone sees a pink one that is an orphan, you know who to call!

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Busy is the New Happy

Buckle up, Peeps, it’s about to get busy!  Having Thanksgiving so early this year got me in a tizzy about Christmas.  Then I looked at the calendar and it’s all good; procrastination for another ten days or so, and then PANIC!  I have quite a few presents bought, but that’s only the opening salvo.  They have to be wrapped and shipped since my whole family, on both sides, lives several states away.  USPS flat-rate boxes are life savers.  I could save a whole bunch of aggravation and just give everyone a gift card, but that’s only for true emergencies like that impossibly picky person who we all have to buy a present for.  I’m too old to run all over town looking for the “perfect” gift.  Merry Christmas; buy your own damn gift or stop being so picky.

Well, now that that’s off my chest, and this isn’t even a Christmas post.  We’ll probably start up next week, so this is the calm before the storm of bad holiday finds.  We look for Christmas fodder all year long—just for you!

I like these pictures:

I titled this one: R.B.G.’s D.O.G.  I absolutely adore Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her iconic look.  If, she had a dog, I hope she would dress it this way.  In the meantime, I can dream.

Coming out of a thrift store, we noticed this vehicle across the street:

I cannot help it; whenever I see the Weinermobile I have to sing the Oscar Mayer song (I’m so sorry for the earworm) which is very annoying to all around me.  I love seeing the big hot dog driving on the expressway; a very surreal experience.

Then a week or two later, we saw this:

You really have to be a fan to keep a big old stuffed toy around.  It’s sitting on top of a microwave for some scale.  These crazy people thought it was worth $8, and there it sat.  It might make a good dog toy, for a bigger dog than my little guy.

Oh, dear God, why haven’t these been tossed many years ago:


We feel bad about making fun of homemade projects, but when things are this bad, all bets are off.  They weren’t very cute to begin with and the paint job isn’t doing them any favors.  That poor little thing with brown hair and burning eyes is absolutely terrifying.  I think she is pissed about how she is dressed and who can blame her?  Also, is there some rule about whenever there are three little girls, they must have blonde, brunette, and Titian hair?  Those little Charmin girl prints, and the Powerpuff Girls leap to mind.  Why not three brunettes?

Whatever these are:

they are horrible and useless!  One of the strawberries, and a banana appear to be divided, but the base is still one piece, so they can’t be bookends.  All those lamp necks are from lamps behind them.  That leaves just big, food-oriented, ceramic thingies.  I can see why they were remaindered from a local retail store.  Ugh!

Speaking of ceramic weirdness, we saw this:

Kathy adores cats, but she gave this a pass.  It kind of looks like Miss Kitty is seeing something unseemly over on the opposite shelf.  Those are some wide-open shocked eyes.  We should have turned her around to spare her some trauma.  I always feel sorry for figurines that live in the bathroom.  Just imagine what they have to put up with!

We have quite a few good things for this post, and this is one of them:

Boy, this would make housekeeping a lot more fun. Thinking about having a drink after getting the bathrooms scrubbed suddenly makes cleaning day just a little better.  Thank you, napkin, for the great idea.  In fact, drinking games would make the most tedious job suddenly rewarding.  I might even enjoy doing my income taxes, or polishing silverware if I drink a G & T at the same time.  Hmmm.

Oh, you relic of the 1980s:

I’m sure someone from Dynasty (1981) would wear this sweater to lunch, especially if the luncheon were on a yacht.  The original kit owner showed restraint and good taste by never breaking that disk out of the package and actually knitting this eyesore.

Speaking of yarn crimes:

We almost bought this to rescue those poor little chickens about to be crushed by that big horrible basket.  To be honest, the flowers aren’t all that bad; you wouldn’t be shocked to see this in your elderly auntie’s house, especially if she can’t see well and likes to crochet.  But, what in the hell are those tiny chickens doing in this mess?  The maker must have decided that the picture just needed something else and threw that flock in there.  Next time, put the chickens down and attach a few more fabric bees until the emptiness leaves your soul.

The rest of the post is mostly nice things; for example:

We like this plate.  It looks like Vincent van Gogh took up ceramics decoration and painted some sunflowers.  It’s so happy and cheerful, but doesn’t cross over to blindingly bright.  It’s a fine line, but this plate is on the right side of it.  If this were in my kitchen, it would make me smile every day.

She is pretty darn cute:

And, that dress is quite something.  She has the most flirtatious look on her face, which isn’t easy to do with a doll.  We both wished she wasn’t so huge, and expensive.  She obviously needs a home, but we stay away from the big girls.  Whoever made her was pretty skilled because there isn’t anything cheap about that dress.  The fabric was scrumptious.  I even like her wig.  She looks like she could have danced the night away in the mid to late 1700s.

Is this a kid’s barnyard set?

When I think of cast iron toys, what comes to mind are banks, vehicles, and play stoves.  I don’t think that I have ever seen anything like this.  It would be quite hard to play with being all iron-y and heavy.  A kid would have lots more fun with a wooden set, or maybe tin lithography, than this immovable object.  On the other hand, it would be nearly indestructible, which is a bonus.  I’m not liking the whiteness of it all.  I hope it had fun and bright paint when kids were playing with it.

Thanks for reading.  It’s best to just take a deep breath and plunge into the holidays.  Be sure to stop by for a laugh or two; it’s medicinal!

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Not Feeling Black Friday!

I’ll start off by reminding folks that we don’t “do” Black Friday.  While we have been known to stand in line for hours for the right estate sale, and to brave crowds at such, we refuse to even set foot out of the house on this particular day.  Never fear, though, we have a generous backlog of photos just waiting to horrify and delight our loyal readers.  Aren’t you glad you are hanging out with us instead of standing in line?  No offense to those who are reading this WHILE standing in line!

I am going to start with this, just to get it out of the way:

Sorry, no warning, I just sprang it on you.  I figured it was like pulling off a Band-Aid, it only hurts for a moment.  OK, maybe this will keep on hurting, but you can always scroll down quickly.  I am going to say that in general this tot looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but there is no way I am turning my back on her.  She is poised to slap that mask on her face, and take out those horses or anything else that gets in her way.  There is a Hollywood film in here somewhere, and it is already creeping me out.

We were having a hard time deciding what to make of this:

On the one hand, who doesn’t need more miracles in their life? On the other hand, are you really going to get one from an action figure?  The glow-in-the-dark hands sort of put you in mind of an alien invasion, and while turning water in to wine is one heck of a party trick, that tiny little amphora is not even going to give you a mini buzz.

The back of the box is no less mind-boggling than the front:

Thank goodness this is the Deluxe edition, as I really wouldn’t want to be saddled with that tawdry old standard edition.  I am not sure what you were supposed to do with this whole thing.  I don’t think that your average child is going to get religion from a jug of wine and a plastic figure.  Maybe just some vacation Bible school and call it good.

That last item may have driven us to drink:

Luckily we have just the sign for us.  Although neither of us is much of a beer drinker, we did get a chuckle out of this, and I am pretty sure I know a household or two that thinks  this is really what those drawers are for.

Some things just don’t know when to crawl off and die:

This is an example of that.  This silly jug has been sitting at the thrift store for weeks.  It’s not horrible enough to be funny and not good enough to get taken home, so it just sits there on the shelves and annoys us.  Maybe someone knocked it off this week  We pushed it closer to the edge just to help it along.  This is one hillbilly that needs to go lick his corn somewhere else.  Really, who ever bought this in the first place?  If you really want something to hide some hooch in, make it bigger, or just head to the crisper drawer!

Well, if it’s KNOT “Freddie”, WHO is it?

The name was pretty silly, but in the grand scheme of bad crafts, this barely ticks the meter.  Actually, in the right place, it could even be sort of cute.  The biggest problem with most of these crafts is that the actual execution isn’t nearly as good as the picture on the front.  Luckily, this crafter knew her limits and left it safely in the bag.

While we are looking at packaging, take a gander at this:

Lucky man, getting those warm buns presented to him.  Not those buns, get your mind out of the gutter.  OK, that might be what I really meant, and I don’t know why these strike us as funny.  Guess it’s just that whole ’70s presenting the food with your pearls in place to the man of the house.  She does look like she is pretty proud of those buns, so hopefully it made for a happy home life.  If he had the nerve to say one bad thing about that bread, she probably ripped off the necklace and headed out of the house to go burn her bra with her sister feminists.

We are hoping these were labeled with tongue firmly in cheek:

If any of our loyal readers are avid cockroach racing aficionados, please let us know if this is really a thing.  These were spotted at our local creative reuse center, so who knows what they really are.  We are definitely giving them kudos for imaginative labeling.

Here we have another example of someone sculpting an animal they have never seen before:

I’ve heard squirrels described as rats with better PR before, but I don’t think these even qualify as prairie dogs.  The only giveaway that they are squirrels are the fluffy tails.  Guess we can be eternally grateful that the fountain doesn’t work by them spitting or otherwise expelling bodily fluids in some fashion.  The whole darn thing probably leaks, too.  I am just hoping that is the case, so it will make its way to the dump forthwith.

We kind of have a soft spot for ’50s planters.  Well, we did till we saw this:

Seriously, I am thinking you have to hate someone pretty bad to foist this on them.  That is one creepy cherub/baby.  Maybe the florist mis-ordered these, so every time they had a long distance floral order for a new baby girl they snuck these in hoping they could rid of them to unsuspecting recipients.  This little tot might have a secret just like our opening clown.  In fact they may come from the same school of homicidal maniacs!  I wouldn’t trust either of them.

Here’s hoping your shopping trip was successful, if that is your thing, and if you are lucky enough to spend the day at home relaxing, here’s hoping that is successful, too.

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Oh dear, I totally forgot that Thanksgiving is next week here in the U.S.  I got a bunch of pictures ready to upload, but there was a tiny niggle in the back of my mind, so I didn’t actually upload them.  While walking this morning with my neighbor, she asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving—ding, ding, ding I finally knew what I was supposed to be writing about this week.  You would think that at my age I would know that when I think something is coming up, that means it’s already here!  Of course, being oblivious means that I didn’t check how many Thanksgiving pictures we had accumulated over the year.  Lucky you, there’s only a few.

These are so confusing:


I”m pretty sure they are supposed to be Indian corn for decoration, but they kind of look like crazy carrots to me.  Here is what real Indian corn looks like; it’s so beautiful and orderly.  Your first clue that this is not real Indian corn is how random the kernels are.  I think that these were made by pouring dry Orbeez over carrot-shaped thingies covered in glue.  I can see someone thinking, “Hey, I’ve made these and now I can decorate my door for Thanksgiving” never thinking that crazy corn might signal other horrors within to wary visitors.  Plus, you could have just gone to the grocery store, or the local farmer’s market and got some real Indian corn, which by the way will decompose, or be gobbled by squirrels and birds.  Maybe some considerate thrift shopper will buy these and throw them on their next bonfire.  It could be interesting, in a possibly toxic way, to watch them melt.

I think this is some sort of resin container or candle holder:

The expression on the turkey is kind of mindless, and yes I know domestic turkeys don’t usually qualify for avian Mensa.  This guy’s expression reminds me of the rooster from Moana, Heihei.  They both have that hypnotized expression that indicates that the lights are on, but no one’s home.  Maybe you should put the previous Indian corn in front of him.  He might even eat it.

These are kind of hard to see, and for that we are truly grateful:

The plastic bag is not helping.  They are glass turkeys sitting on a nest, covered dishes, ornamented with radioactive dye No. 2.  I guess you could put salt in them, or maybe some mints or nuts.  But, don’t be surprised when no one even touches them.

Why are these even a thing?

Can you see in the upper right corner of the box where it says, “We bounce”?  Of what possible use would bouncy place card holders be?  I think that it’s just mean that they would be hard to read when your hostess knows that it will take at least a gallon of wine to get through dinner with THOSE relatives.  I can just see poor Uncle Johnny swaying in front of a seat trying to read the damn thing.  No, neither Miss Manners nor The Second Hand Roses will allow you to torture your guests during the holidays, no matter how much fun it might sound.

We love turkey platters, usually:

The good ones are usually made by the great pottery/china makers like Johnson Brothers, Spode, Lenox, Noritake, etc.  I’m pretty sure that none of those makers would claim this platter.  The turkey is a little odd-looking, to be sure, but what in the world are bananas and other fruits doing around the rim?  I could see nuts, cranberries, and pumpkins, but bananas?  We’re pretty sure that this piece of ceramic is covered in lead paint, too, but the bananas should have been the clue that this isn’t safe to use.

This trivet made us laugh:

You know how we love to mock the 1970s, and this is a pretty typical example.  The frame is okay, although I don’t know if it’s necessary to paint it orange.  That tile is purely LSD fueled.  Why are the feathers avocado green with accents of white and yellow?  There is something wrong with the head, too.  Is the turkey wearing a red Mexican wrestler’s mask?  Finally, I’m a little disturbed that the pumpkin is the same size as the turkey.  B.H. is bothered by the yellow stem on the orange pumpkin, more than its size.  Good thing that the tile is covered by whatever hot dish comes out of the oven first!

We hope all of our readers in the U.S. have a wonderful Thanksgiving with their loved ones.


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Sew What?

If you know us, you know we LOVE a really good estate sale.  What makes a really good estate sale, you ask?  Many times, for us, it is getting to see what a really passionate collector managed to accumulate.  We love someone who is really committed to what they collect, and sometimes an estate sale is the only way that collection comes out of the closet. Heck, we don’t even have to buy much to have a really good time, just seeing what’s there is loads of fun.  BUT, if what they liked and what we like overlap, boy, do we do the happy dance!  Recently, we attended a sale of a lady who apparently REALLY liked sewing things, and I don’t mean just a tiny bit.  Take a look and enjoy with us!

We started in the garage:

And while this was not really a part of the collection, we had to laugh.  Just in case you can’t tell what it is, we did turn it over:

Who wouldn’t “Whistle While They Worked” with a duster like that?

OK, on to the meat of the sale.  This woman was really into sewing machines, and I mean REALLY:

Check out that oddball one in front!  There were many Singers; here is a nice old one in a case:

Weren’t things so much prettier back then?  Of course, you probably didn’t have time to notice as you were pumping away on that treadle!

Maybe this is more your style:

Still a treadle, but have you ever seen one like that?  Don’t miss the butterfly-looking treadle piece.  It was actually shaped like two footprints, but together they made a rather nifty butterfly.  This case had the older wooden cover instead of the machine folding down underneath.

For a really odd-looking beast, take a look at this one:

It was still a treadle, but worked front to back.  I kinda like the big sewing area to hold the fabric.  Here is the tag for this one:

At that price, no one was jumping too fast on it, but then again there were several spool cabinets, and they went so fast it made your head spin at prices in the $400 to $600 range!

If you think full-size machines just take up too much space, there was a Singer Featherweight (sorry, no pix of that one, Google it, they are cute) and plenty of toy ones!  Take a peek:

I really wanted the one with its original box, but was not feeling flush enough to shell out the 90 bucks they wanted for it.  I did succumb to this one in the $60 range:

Dang, it’s cute, isn’t it?  It’s about eight inches tall.  I haven’t had the time to thread it up and see how it sews, but I am sure it was supposed to, and everything seems to be there.  What a toy!  This was only the tip of the iceberg.  We didn’t take an exact count, but I am pretty sure there were over 50 sewing machines in this house!

As if that wasn’t enough, there were all sorts of sewing accouterments:

Including a plethora of pin cushions, needle books, spool cabinets, dozens of pairs of vintage scissors, sewing machine attachments, and much much more!  I picked up a couple of small things, but mostly behaved after plumping for the tiny machine.  I did buy a pretty pair of scissors, this fun 1920’s sewing book, and an old-fashioned scissor sharpener:

I actually was glad to find the sharpener, they really do work, and the scissors are pretty as well as nicely made.  They cut like a dream.

Deb found a few fun things, too:

The collector really liked needle books and had a bunch that I’ve never even seen before.  I think maybe the atomic one is more recent, since it’s 98¢, but the one above it has to be from the 1930–1940 range with the style and car.  Of course, they still had 90% to all of their needles inside.  I’ve got to stop buying these, but I keep finding them, and I really like the graphics.

I have lots of these, too:

The little traveling sewing kits are just so fun.  There is something about miniatures that I find appealing.  The long narrow sewing kit had never been used.  Can you see all the threads that are still woven in their cool original pattern?  The round kit had a cute flower cross-stitched on its lid, and inside had wooden spools, a thimble, scissors, and really old safety pins.  I love it when it’s still mostly intact.

This last thing was for my husband, and cost a whole dollar:

He reads and collects comics, but not really Archie, or ones primarily aimed at teenagers.  I thought he might like this one for the atomic bomb connection to the 1950s.  And, maybe he might identify with the bratty brother in the background.  He did like it, although he has never heard of that title before.

There were some other fun things in the sale, too.  At least she used some of her machines; there were some lovely quilts:

This was an extra darling Sun Bonnet Sue variation.  She also seemed drawn to old-fashioned linens.  There were some very elegant vintage fashions from the late 1800s.  Deb was particularly fond of this apron:

It was pretty unusual, I mean, who makes a corset apron? It was priced at more that she wanted to pay.  In general, this particular company prices things on the high side.  Gosh, we are cheap!  Even at those prices, you have to give in once in a while, and if we were made of money, we would probably do it a whole lot more often.  We also both fell in love with this awesome enameled kitchen table:

How pretty is that?  You would never even need a tablecloth to dress it up!  We enjoyed watching the eventual buyer fall madly in love with it too, so we know it will have a good home.

All in all, we had a blast and were there for a couple of hours.  Of course, part of that was standing in the never-ending line to pay, another drawback for this company, but we always get a chance to chat with some nice people, and see what treasures they found, so it isn’t too onerous.  We just thought that it would be fun to share some really great things this week, but don’t worry, I am sure we will be back to our regular old cranky selves by next time

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Kathy and Deb Can’t Stop Finding Weird Stuff!

You know it’s a good post when there are pictures of bad Seventies linens, crafts, and seashells.  It’s like we’re singing a top ten Second Hand Roses hit.  The good news is that this stuff is at the thrift stores, so even the owners know it isn’t good now.  Was it ever?  That question is still up for debate.

We saw this bust, and something was off:

It took a glance or two for us to notice that someone applied false eyelashes to this otherwise boring young lady.  You know it’s good art when the piece can bat its eyelashes at you!  This is one of those times where you wish people wrote the story of the item on its base.  We’re guessing avant-garde art project, or kids messing with their mom.  I guess it could have been decorating one of those clothing stores that repel women of a certain age; they don’t get us, and we don’t get them!

This is a meme that had been played out well over twenty years ago:

 Even the see-no-evil … trope featuring elephants isn’t all that interesting any more.  Plus, we all know this kind of head in the sand approach to life doesn’t work any more.  Ignoring evil doesn’t make it go away!  You will just go viral standing there with your hands over your eyes.

We advertised craft projects, and we will deliver:

I’m not sure what this was used for.  It was pretty big, more than two feet tall, with ugly gold fringe and a rod at the top with a rope hanging from it.  I don’t see how this could roll up, or really why you would want to do that, so what’s the rope for?  I would hang this over a window that looked out at my nudist neighbor’s bathroom window—that would improve the view.  It might work as a photography backdrop for fashion dolls, if you removed that butt-ugly trim at the bottom.

My question to the maker would be, “Why do you hate cats?”:

It’s gone the route of minimal effort=minimal outcome, and I can embrace that.  Why did they go against their first impulse and try to “fix” it with bead and sequin eyes, and white stitching around the edges?  This was never useful (pretty sure it would melt if introduced to the mildest of heats) and it isn’t decorative either, despite the optimistic hanger at the top.  You could probably slide it into a shoe to keep your foot warm.

This flower craft amused us:


If you were trying to decorate for a wedding on a budget, you could do worse than making plastic spoon flowers.  They even used a Cheerios box as the backing.  My only quibble would be spray-painting it a better color.  I might be tempted to use it for a candle holder instead of curled ribbon.  That pink was kind of a lazy fail.

I think we have seen that owl clock somewhere:

Do you suppose that there could be two such shell owls in our town?  I would hate to think that so much bad taste exists in an otherwise admirable place.  The duck is pretty funny, too.  I think that they should form a support group (a shelf-help group?) and collect other bad animal decor to live near them.  If it got too bad, we probably wouldn’t even look that way out of self-preservation and they could live happily together raising each others’ battered self-esteem.  Seems like a plan; I’ll let them know the next time I’m at ARC.

Gosh, I hate to do this to you:

This abomination is a twin bedspread and pillow sham set.  If I knew who brought this in after using it on an innocent and trusting child, I would call CPS.  Those people are inhuman and I’m pretty sure that kid was always complaining about the monsters ON the bed.

We were wondering why anyone would keep this drab piece of pottery:


Turns out it was a decanter; the hat comes off.  And not just any old decanter; it was full of Ballantine’s whisky at one point.  The whisky must have been awesome, because they kept this sitting around the house for fifty years.  I have a feeling it might sit at the thrift store for fifty more if they want $24.99 for it.

After all of that, we owe you guys something good:

How about an old oak rocker with beautiful wood and lines.  I’m not sure that the upholstery fabric goes with the style of the rocker, but it doesn’t look too hard to recover.  An even bigger shock was that the price wasn’t insane, and this could be a wonderful and comfortable addition to someone’s nursery or living room.

We wanted to write a post about a cool sewing estate sale we went to a couple of weeks ago.  I just couldn’t get going on it, so Kathy will have to write it next week.  We even took pictures of what we dragged home, so be on the lookout for that post.

Enjoy the fall, y’all; winter is coming!

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