The Roses’ Top 10 Garage Sale Tips

You betcha, we know how to have a garage sale.  Both of us have been attending and having them since we were knee-high to a grasshopper, so we have some tips for all you first timers, or maybe you are old hands that just need a reminder.  Lots of these tips fall into the “drive us crazy” category, so let’s just say pretty much all of your attendees wish you would do these things.

10.  Pick a time.  Depending on your location and the weather, you can sometimes really clean up by having a sale just slightly off-season.  Choose really early or late in the season when there are not a lot of sales to choose from.  Sometimes us salers are so desperate, we will try anything.  This also works well if you have an indoor warm place to have the sale.  Just make sure you don’t have it on a weekend when there are a lot of neighborhood sales.  We once made the mistake of trying to have one on the weekend of one of the largest HOA sales in town.  It was dead all day.  Yes, you are going to have to haul yourself out of bed.  Starting a sale at 11 is much too late.  Lots of folks are wrapping it up and heading for lunch by then—8 am is a great time.  Still pretty cool out, but be aware, if you are having to put out all your stuff, it takes way longer than you think.  Start early!

9.  Let’s get ready for a sale.  Gather all that stuff gathering dust in your basement, attic, etc.  Bet you have a whole lot of it, too.  While it is tempting to just toss those boxes of loot out on the driveway and let folks dig, you will sell a whole lot more if you try to display as much as possible.  Beg, borrow, or steal tables, find some tarps, or use those boxes wisely.  Set books and movies on their sides so the titles can be read.  Sort clothes by sexes and sizes.  If you have time, sort out kitchen, garage, crafts, whatever categories you have.  The woman digging through your yarn is probably not going to buy that pipe wrench.


              NO                               YES

8.  Time to price:

Yep, I know it is a pain, but price everything.  If you don’t have the time to make a tag for it all, put it on tables, and say everything here is a dollar, or whatever.  Take it from a long-time garage saler, we get tired of asking.  You might have a wonderful item for just a dollar, that might get snatched up, but if there is no tag, a lot of folks assume it is high and just don’t bother.  Plus, when you get busy (and you hope you do) you won’t have time to follow every customer around and tell them those prices.  If you have more than one person selling, consider different color tags, or initials to tell things apart.  Keep your eyes open if you’re planning a sale; sometimes you can find pricing stickers CHEAP online, at thrift stores, or at other garage sales.

7.  While pricing, remember, this is a garage sale and price accordingly. I don’t mean you have to give it away, but pricing things at half of retail means most of that junk is going back into the garage that you just found room in.  Do you want to get rid of it?

Make it worth someone’s while to drag it home.  If you have a few better things, fine, just don’t make the mistake of thinking someone wants that used blouse for $5.00.  Make it a quarter and be free of it.  Heck, if you really want something gone, have a big old free box.  It is a rare free item that doesn’t go away.  I’ve seen some folks say everything is free after a certain late afternoon time.  This works wonders, and saves a trip to the thrift store with the left overs.

6.  Go get change, lots of it.  The first 10 people are pretty much guaranteed to show up with twenties, ’cause that is what they just got out of the ATM.  You need lots of ones and fives and plenty of quarters.

If you price everything in 25 cent increments, you don’t need other coins.  You will have plenty of change as the day wears on, but you don’t want to miss those early sales because they want something for a dollar, and you have no way to change a twenty.

5.  This is something I like to do: wear your money.

Instead of being tied to a table, get yourself a fanny pack, or even a nail apron (They have them cheap at Home Depot and we love this apron from Zazzle.)  That way, you don’t have to spend any time worrying about who is minding the cash box, and you can go find a warm spot to stand in, if the weather is chilly in the morning!  You can still have a table, if you have a multi-person sale, to write down who sold what.  It’s more fun with a friend anyway.

4.  Head to the store and get some bright-colored poster board.  Make signs.

Not even close

Make as many signs as it takes to get from a main street to your humble sale.  A good tip is to make them all the same bright color.  It is easy to follow the orange signs right to you.  Write big and dark. Don’t add a lot of info, just Sale, the address, and an arrow.  Don’t bother with times.  I, and a lot of salers, feel that if the sign is up, you had better be open.  When we are driving, we don’t have time to read the fine print.  Do check with your community and make sure it is OK to post signs.  In some areas, it is illegal to put them on posts, so use a cardboard box with a rock in it to make free-standing signs, or if you know a Realtor, ask if you can borrow some of their open house signs and tape your sign on them.  Just be sure to return them clean.

3.  Pick a good location for your sale.

If you live on a busy street with no parking, consider asking a friend with a better location if you can use their driveway.  Unless you are having a mega sale, a lot of people won’t walk a block to get to you.  One exception is if your neighborhood is having a sale.  Check with your HOA and see if you have a yearly one.  You can get a whole lot more folks stopping by, and this works great if you don’t have a ton of stuff to sell.  You can also go in with your neighbors and have a mini neighborhood sale.  You might also want to check and make sure your HOA allows garage sales on other weekends.  Some are really picky about them.

2.  Don’t forget to advertise.

Most folks use Craigslist these days to advertise their sales.  Your community might also have other garage sale lists.  Google and see.  Most local papers will run ads, but they cost quite a bit.  Why waste your hard-earned money on a newspaper ad when you can spend it on a margarita instead?  Make sure when you put in your ad, you list the day, date, time to start and end, any interesting items and most importantly your address!  I can’t tell you the number of times I see a great sounding sale with no addy.  If you can include a few photos in the ad, do so, as it sparks interest in your items.  Also, take the time to map it on any sites that let you.  When there are a lot of sales, those with maps take precedence for me.  As an aside, you are having a HUGE sale, not a Hugh one.  Hugh (Grant) is an actor, and not very large.

1. Most importantly, have a sense of humor.

It is not life or death, it is just a sale.  Something will probably go wrong, and you will be hot/cold or tired, or cranky.  Have plenty of coffee, eat breakfast, and keep a smile on your face.  Make sure you get enough sleep the night before!  Some dealers are jerks; don’t let them get to you.  Feel free to haggle, and it is OK to even say no to an offer that is just silly.  Ask them to come back at the end of the day, and see if that item is still here.  Lots will up the ante and you get what you need.

Hope these tips help you out.  If your garage sale goes really well, please share it with us.  If you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments section.




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That’s the Way the Bunnies Shop

Oh my, it sure is beautiful here in sunny Colorado.  My trees are in bloom, even the red bud, the flowering shrubs are blooming, and the air smells so sweet.  My tulips are up and open, blooming next to the daffodils.  The best part is that there are no snowstorms on the horizon, which is what usually happens when everything is in bloom at once.  You have one beautiful day, and then everything is frozen.  The worst thing that has happened is the 40 mph wind that is blowing crab apple blossoms right off the trees as they open.

Since it’s the rejuvenation season, let’s have a look at our Easter finds.

Did your mom, or do you make an Easter cake?

Bunny cake pan

I’m not quite sure why there is so little frosting.  Seems like the baker could decorate on top of a white coconut-covered frosting!  My mom used to bake a bunny cake with coconut for the fur and jelly beans for the eyes, nose, and teeth and whiskers made from black licorice (the only yucky part of the cake).

We just went to a moving sale:

They loved EasterLooks like either they had so many Easter decorations they decided to part with some, or maybe they’re starting over with the move.  Any hoo, this accumulation puts my Easter decorating to shame.  None of it was awful, we just didn’t feel like dragging any of it home.

I saw this wreath at ARC:

Easter wreath

It looked pretty cheap. being all plastic ribbons and decorations.  I think if someone made this out of pink fabric strips, pink ribbon, or even pink pom-poms and decorated it with better eggs, it could be fun.  There are the seeds of an idea here, but the finished wreath doesn’t work for me.

Kathy titled this picture, “Ewe’s fat”:

Ewes Fat

and I have to agree.  Those are some fluffy bunnies.  I think that they’re resin, but their fur looks like it was applied with a decorative frosting nozzle.  Bunny fur is so soft and silky; this fur looks wet and clumpy.  I also think that they missed the boat on the ribbon color.  Given those colors, mauvey pink and country blue,  I’m guessing these were made in the 1980s or ’90s.  Seems like mint green and yellow are more Eastery; failing that, make the pink and blue colors brighter.  I suppose if I wanted these for my yard, I could always paint the ribbon and polyurethane the bodies.

I have the same complaint about this bunny as the wreath:

Pink N Plastic

Pink plastic is the cheapest way for a manufacturer to go.  He is cute, but how much more adorable and cuddly would he be if he were furry?  Who wants to snuggle with glittery Styrofoam-looking plastic?

I sure hope the maker of this bowl doesn’t think it’s decorative:

Easter bowl

Every year we seem to find a deranged bunny and here’s this year’s version.  I can’t quite put my finger on it—is it his expression, those mascara-darkened whiskers, or the eyes?  Wouldn’t you hate to be spooning your way to the bottom of the sweet potatoes and come face to face with this?  Might give Granny a heart attack!

I saved the cutest thing for last:

Cute Bunny Family

I like everything about these bunnies.  They’re minimalist in design, their shapes are pleasing, and they make me smile.  I probably should have bought them because I only have this bunny to decorate my table:

Cute Bunny Family

I tried to dye Easter eggs with some silk ties with middling success.  The egg behind the doll is an ostrich egg I bought for some crazy reason at a thrift store.

Happy Easter, everyone.  I’m sad to say that the Washington Post isn’t doing their Peep Diorama contest any more.  This makes us sad; we looked forward to the energy and artistry people put into their creations.  Plus, what else are Peeps good for?


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Signs of Spring

It’s happening!!!  Yes, Spring is creeping around the corner.  We had a dusting of snow this week just to prove it!  Well, that is Colorado in the Spring; it always snows on my daffodils.  Never fear, though, they are still holding up their cheerful yellow heads.  We have also noticed an uptick in garage sales, and we hope to be in full swing again before too long.  We also found a couple of signs of Spring in our digging the last couple of weeks.  Take a look!

It was opening day around the country this week, and we have just the bag for it:

I am thinking you are going to have to be a die-hard fan to carry a bag that ugly.  I think it gets worse when the bag is stuffed with the extra junk that we all are guilty of cramming into our purses.  Then you just have a lumpy baseball.  The whole idea had potential, but I am afraid they “dropped the ball”.

If this dress doesn’t make you think Spring, I don’t know what will:

We are happy to announce that this was a homemade job, so someone had to have been wildly creative to put all that color together.  I know it is a product of its time, but can you imagine a whole roomful of teens rocking this look?  Just makes my brain hurt to think of it.  I totally lived through all that, but we were pretty fashion backward in my home town.  Maybe that was a good thing.

On a road I have to go down most every day, just off to the side, there is an osprey nest:

My family and I  have watched these birds for years.  The same pair comes back every year and raises two or three chicks, weather willing.  They are a proud and majestic bird, and a sure sign of Spring for us.  This is none of those things:

What the heck?  A fur-covered eagle?  We were a trifle concerned about his neck muscles and his beak has taken off for parts unknown as well.  I guess we should be thankful that some idiot didn’t feel the need to cover it in real eagle feathers, but I am thinking that skipping the whole project would have been a much nicer tribute to the symbol of our country.

On the other hand, this furry whatsit tickled our funny bones no end:

He seems to have paws, and maybe feet, not much in the way of a tail.  There is plenty of head and neck to go around, a hint of ears, and tiny eyes.  We still don’t know what it is.  If we saw it scurrying around our kitchen, we would probably be screeching like a banshee and chasing it with a broom.  But, as a stuffed whatever, it is pretty darn giggle worthy.  It was quite the effort to pull it out of a bin, and when I did get it out, it seemed like something from the Fantastic Beasts movie had wiggled into the corner of a box, just lying in wait for some unwitting soul to set it free.

We adored this sign:

Seems reasonable to us.  Actually, if you spend a couple of hours hefting cr*p from one bin to another in the back of Goodwill, you really do get a workout.  Took us a couple of times to figure out why our shoulders hurt.  We probably need matching T-shirts with this on it, so we can justify heading to lunch every time we do that.  Oh heck, who are we kidding?  Who needs an excuse for lunch?

You remember how we talk about rescuing doilies all the time?  We were too late:

These were kidnapped, bound to a jacket and spray painted with gold paint.  They would have been so much better just left tucked into a drawer.  I know they tried, and I suppose it was a noble effort, but it depressed even them, as they chucked it right into the donation bin ASAP.

Deb found these unfinished aprons:

I rather like the fabric, and it seems too bad they were never finished.  I don’t usually feel the need to don an apron while heating up a can of soup.  I am hoping they were just encouraging you to let those creative juices flow and make a green bean casserole.

This last item really worried us:

It’s a bag of assorted body parts, as best we can tell. There was at least one ear, a nose, a mustache, a mask and a few other unidentifiable things.  Either Picasso lost all of his models for his latest still life, or someone had better call in CSI.  We sometimes play games trying to decide how items come to be where they are.  Go ahead; come up with one for this!

Here’s to Spring in all its many forms, and we hope it is heading your way, or already on your doorstep.  We will have some “hare” raising adventures next week with our Easter post, so stay tuned.




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Overjoyed About Estate Sales

Before we went to the estate sales in last week’s post, we’ve had a little drought as far as sales go.  Then we had a couple of good weeks going to estate sales.  That’s the way it works out, and if we found fabulous sales every week, we would be in trouble.  It’s good that it evens out over time so our wallets can recuperate.  We spent more than usual at the first estate sale in this post, and nothing at the second, but had fun looking and took some pictures.  That’s a win in our book.

The first estate sale was at a huge house—18 rooms in all.  We got there a little after 9 am and weren’t done until after 11 am.  There were so many people at this sale that we would get pinned in a corner by the press of humanity.  It was worth it, though.  This woman collected everything that we like: dolls, dishes, paper ephemera, crafts, sewing supplies, jewelry, vintage clothing, you name it!  There was so much to look at; we both came back for the half-off day and bought a few more things.

I’m not sure why she had this Edison Mimeograph machine:

Edison Mimeograph Machine   Edison Mimeograph Machine

It was still in its lovely box too.  The price was only $75, but in this digital age, we really don’t want to go back to messy mimeographs.  I can remember them from school, before Xerox became a household name.  The person in the school office frequently had purple fingers after making mimeograph copies for teachers.  On the other hand, we’re attracted to the cutting edge-technology of 100-plus years ago.  You’ll be happy to know that this was gone when I went back the last day.

We loved this traveling clock:

Very Nice Traveling Clock  nice clock, not so nice price

The leather traveling case had a few problems, and the clock wasn’t ticking when we looked at it.  We don’t know enough about clocks to make a guess as to its value; we just appreciate the aesthetic value.  We don’t usually take $75 flyers on things that we don’t know about; we’re way too cheap.

This is something that we DO know about:

We both said, “Ah, no!” $45 is way to much for a pile of filet crochet.  They could have been little doilies for under vases too!  Any more, it’s not easy selling piles of doilies; it’s mostly people our age and older who even look at them, and we have our own piles.  These would make great Barbie tablecloths, but not at that price.  The whole box was still there on the third day, and even at half off, they probably weren’t going anywhere.


The upstairs were chock-full of more things:

2 Childrens rockers

The ceiling upstairs was sloped, so people were hitting their heads all over the place.  Plus, one little closet had a very low opening, and I saw several men bonk their heads going in.  We knew there were kids in the family, so it wasn’t a surprise to see these adorable rocking chairs.  Everything was so smooshed that I couldn’t get a great picture of them from across the room.  😦   They were gone the third day, too.

In this same room was an enormous collection of vintage hats:

Ladies Hats

There were tubs of them, and they were draped all over the bed and dresser.  There were fancy ones, and these flower types, all for $5.  This next hat cracked us up:

Flying Nun Hat

Can you imagine wearing this on a windy day?  It reminded us both of Sister Bertrille’s habit.  If you wore a wig and this hat, you would probably watch your hair do a Flying Nun escape over the trees.

I did buy this hat:

Dior hat   Dior hat label

Kathy found it on the bed and said, “Here, buy this.”  When she says buy this, I do!  I feel kind of bad that the owner never even wore this fabulous turban.  It was only $5!  I think that the hats were gone on that third day too, or mostly gone.  Five bucks is a pretty good deal on vintage hats.

After paying for all of our goodies, we drove off to the next estate sale.  We knew it was going to be our kind of sale when we saw a woman walking out wearing an Asian conical hat, or as we called them in our less PC childhood, coolie hats.  We weren’t disappointed.  We walked in the front door to racks of great old clothing.  Nothing really tempted us to pull out our wallets, but we just enjoy looking, too.

Then we walked into the bedrooms of hats, shoes, and purses, oh my:

We absolutely loved this vintage beach hat.  All that crazy loose red fiber on top pushed it right over the edge.  The hats here were $5 too, but this lady’s hats were awfully big!  As you all know, storage is at a premium in our houses, so we took a picture and moved on.

Okay, we’re starting a theme here:

Fun Vintage shoes

These cute little, and I mean little, fabric shoes would have looked pretty darn cute with that hat.  While you’re at it, you should snag this purse:

Vintage Straw Purse

With a little white sundress and some jewelry, you would be all dolled up for your stroll along the boardwalk at a resort.  We heard one of the sellers say that this lady went to Hawaii every year, so the straw accessories make sense.

Then we saw these dishes:

Russell Wright dinner ware

It’s Russel Wright, the modern design icon, but I just couldn’t get over the color combination.  However, the shape of that pitcher in the back really floats my boat, no matter the color.  It was being sold as a set, so no snatching the piece you wanted.

You can see that we had a whee of a time at these estate sales.  Last week it was back to the bins, but that’s fun too.  If you want to see some of the other things I bought at the sale, head over to our Facebook page and scroll down a bit.  I got a 1964 Beatles magazine, and some unusual buttons, which I took pictures of.

Have a great week of shopping, and if you find anything Second Hand Rose worthy, just fling it our way and we’ll share for you.



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Estate Sale Overload

Well, that title may be a bit misleading, as we truly do not think there is such a thing, but we did have two really good ones in a row, and that does tend to overload our wallets.  So much so, that sometimes we have to tippy-toe past the husbands to hustle our treasures into the house.  I am going to handle the first one this week, and Deb will catch the other one next week.  Sound like a plan?

Our favorite thing about this sale were the Velveeta cheese boxes full of crazy things.  We each drug a few home.  In one of mine, there were six pairs of vintage Barbie shoes, so whatever happened, I felt OK.  We were able to leave the following goodie boxes alone:

Deb actually has a fondness for those metal flower pins in the center, so I don’t know how she resisted, other than the fact that she would have had to assemble them all again.  We weren’t sure why the owner felt the need to dismantle all those pins.  Some permanent “he loves me, loves me not” thing?  The box of quilling paper in the front was intriguing, but I already had several boxes of stuff, and if I owned it, I would have to quill, and who has the time?

This woman did every craft under the sun, and a few she shouldn’t have.  Check out the afghan closet:I bet she had this stash for any emergency gift-giving situation.  I am sure her entire family let her know weeks in advance when their birthdays were coming up, just to avoid getting one of these.  After you crochet all those afghans, what could you do with all those leftover scraps of yarn?  Why, cover every hanger in the house, of course:

Deb swears that clothes stay on those really well, but I just couldn’t face seeing that cacophony of colors in my closet.  I think they clash with EVERYTHING I own.  In fact, I am sure of it.

This at least made us laugh:

Frankly, I am glad to have been given permission to gobble down every cookie in the jar.  It is way better than making you feel guilty.  And no, seeing that piggy face does not slow me down.  Especially if the cookies are homemade!

We also liked these paper dolls:

You can see there are some regular-sized dolls in the front, so the two standing up were really large.  I don’t remember ever seeing any in this big of a format before.  There were no clothes for the large cuties in the photo, so we passed.  Deb got a vintage Barbie set, though, so we felt like we had gotten our paper doll fix.  I really did love paper dolls as a kid.  I don’t know how today’s children are going to fare missing out on some of these simple quiet pleasures we grew up with.

Looking at the above photo, I now notice that the corner shelves were adorned with pom-pom trim too.  Take a look at the window treatments:

I guess, now that I look closer, it was all shelving, but still, it made for a lot of pom-poms.  They go so well with the giant cabbage roses on the curtains:

Roses and pom-poms a ’60’s housewife decorating dream.

Sometimes when we are wandering thought the house grabbing all those silly things that we feel the need to drag home, we forget to look at the house, but this time we did notice the kitchen floor:

This “honest to goodness” linoleum was in near perfect shape.  The real deal wears like iron, and with just a little care can last for decades.  I sure hope that whoever buys the house has the good sense to mop this floor and keep it intact.  It’s good for at least one more owner.  They really don’t make them like they used to.  Actually, I believe you can still purchase real linoleum, but it is ungodly expensive!

Since we liked the flooring, how could we not take a shot of the bathroom scale:

More linoleum on the biggest,baddest, scale I have ever seen.  I would be terrified to gain even one ounce, as it might come to life like the vintage sci-fi robot it resembles and take me to task for eating all those cookies out of the piggy jar!

We are keeping things short for these next few weeks as many of you are enjoying spring breaks, and we don’t want you to have too much to catch up on!  Have a great week, and let us know if you find anything fabulous at an estate sale your area!


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The Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to us all.  May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long:St Patrick's Day

We’re having the luck of the Irish as far as our weather goes.  It’s been sunny and in the high 70ºs for a couple of days.  The wind has stopped blowing for the most part, too.  I’ve been looking at reports of the eastern part of the US and it looks like March is now all lion and no lamb.  Hope everyone has power and some help with the snow shoveling.

We actually have a couple of St. Patrick’s Day related finds, which is rare for us.  This first one is actually a twofer find and neither is terribly objectionable:

St Patrick's Day twofer

A little something for either sex and we aren’t saying who might like what.  We’ve been known to wear any hats that strike our fancy, and we know lots of guys who like dolls.  It’s a wonderful world when people can play with what they like.

We both thought this was objectionable:

Begorra, away with you now

It makes me mad that I didn’t capture the goofy shamrock bobbing off his (?) hat.  I’ve decided that this is a Pinterest fail; that’s the only way I can make sense of this beastly mess.  If I had made it, it would have been used to start a fire and no one would be the wiser.  And, to be truthful, this is how I paint—at a toddler level.

I’m not sure that this knitted wonder is really associated St. Paddy’s Day:

Scary toy

But it does have green on it.  That is the only kind thing I can say about it.  I just can’t imagine what Grandma was thinking about when she made this for a grandkid.  Why didn’t she knit a monster?  So much cuter:

Knitted monster dolls

We saw this pillow and endorsed its message:

Marshmallow pillow

Maybe not marshmallows per se, but s’mores are awesome!  We’re easy.  Speaking of marshmallows, we will check out the Peep Show at the Washington Post for Easter.  Who knows what crazy things people will build with Easter Peeps?

I have to say this describes me pretty well:

Resist temptation

Kathy has a little more discipline than I do, but just barely.  We buy things that we have tons of—witness our jewelry, linen, button, bead, purse, and doll collections.

Oh dear, where do I start?

Oh, Goddess save us

To me, this looks like a melancholy, possibly impoverished mom, holding her child, while looking at said child with big sad eyes.  How is this something you want to see regularly?  It’s depressing, and that doesn’t fly in my house any more.  If B.H. went insane and brought this home, I would have to borrow a shotgun to take care of the problem.

Let’s end on a CRAZY thing:

Toaster Cover

I think this is a toaster cover, or maybe a doorstop.  Kathy, do you remember?  (Kathy: for some reason tea cozy sticks in my mind ) It doesn’t matter what it is, just that it exists.  This might qualify as the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever seen, although it’s hard to be sure.  We laughed, loudly, for several minutes when it popped into view.  Can you imagine the proud crafter showing this to their friends and family expecting them to ooh and aahh?  I don’t think that I could be tactful, but might instead blurt out something like, “Are you feeling okay?” in a very worried tone.  Good thing no one can see me right now; I’m still giggling at the picture!

Thanks for reading.  I’m going outside to enjoy my blooming bulbs:





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Jewels that Jiggle or En Tremblant

Look how fancy I am.  You just got about half of my French.  OK, maybe not that bad, but I don’t know a lot.  Today we are going to talk about jewelry with a little wiggle in its walk.  Both Deb and I are really rabid jewelry collectors, but we don’t seem to talk a whole lot about it on the blog, so I though this might be fun.  Plus, I just found out about a really interesting piece of jewelry that I will highlight later on, and I really wanted an excuse to share it with you all!  So first a definition.  En Tremblant means to tremble, and it refers specifically to a type of jewelry with a separate piece attached with a spring that allows it to move when the wearer is moving.  Most of the time these early pieces were flowers where the stamens or petals move, but it has been adapted to a lot of other things as well.  I also decided while we were getting jiggy to show a few other ways that designers have allowed their pieces to move.  So get ready for some pieces from both of our collections.

We will start with my true tremblers:


The green grass-flocked wings on this insect are mounted on springs allowing them to flutter.  I have no idea why he has furry wings.  The collective weirdness of this fellow made me buy him.

Here is view of the back so you can see the springs better.  Notice them up against the body on each wing:


He is even a signed piece, but still too odd to be worth a whole lot, except to a nut like me who likes bug pins of any sort.

This bluebird has the same setup for the front wing:


This one is a little odder in that the spring goes through a hole in his body allowing the wing to flutter in front of the rest of his body.  The body is cold-paint enamel.  Both of these pins are about 2½ inches across.

Now here is a true trembler in every sense.  This pin dates to about the 1860s, and it is the one I wanted to show off:


The larger blossom in the center is mounted on a spring shown here:


You can see the flat metal coil that allows this blossom to move with the slightest touch.

The entire pin is made of mother of pearl, and covered in hundreds of minuscule natural pearls. The pearls are held in place with gut. The whole pin is well over four inches long, so it was quite a statement piece.  When I first got the pieces, I kept thinking this was fishing line, and it was messing up my dating of the piece.  I tripped over some pictures of similar ones on Pinterest of all places, and was finally able to date the pin.  I also purchased a second much smaller piece at the same time.  They are so incredibly fragile that they just live in a box in my jewelry box, but I love them.  Here is a nice shot of the back showing how the whole thing is put together.  You can also get a better idea of some of the damage already gathered after 140 years:


Now we move on to some other forms of movement.

Here is variation that we see now and again.  This mamma kangaroo’s little joey has a head that is able to bob due to being fastened on with a rivet.  The rivet is under the pin part, so I couldn’t get a very good shot of the back, but trust me, his little head moves.


These didn’t move so much on their own, but the wearer sure spent a lot of time playing with them!  Do kangaroos really have green eyes?

Lots of pins have suspended parts that swing with the wearers movement.  I highlighted this piece on our Facebook page a while back, but want to include it here, as it is just so darn cute:


This piece probably dates to the late ’30s.  The monkey’s tail is hooked over the branch, and he swings from the trees just like a monkey should.  Every time I see this piece I think of the old song Abba Dabba Honeymoon!  No, I am not THAT old, I just had a lot of my Grandmother’s records and that one was in there!

Here is a modern twist on the swinging theme:


This pin is marked J.J.  They make decorative pewter jewelry, and I think they are some the most inventive folks around.  I snap up their pieces whenever I see them, as they always have a lot of whimsy.  Since they are still in business, they are a bargain right now, but I truly think they will be more collectible as time goes on.  The little cat swings gently with the movement of the wearer.  Just makes you smile, doesn’t it?

Here is another style of made-to-move jewelry:


This tiger is hinged in many places allowing him to move with you.  Even more importantly he can drape over the wearers shoulder.  The pin is just under the front shoulders and he was made to be fastened there with the tail and lower body draped over the back of the shoulder.  Here he is full on, so you can see all the joints:


He is about 4 inches long.  I have actually never worn him, as he takes a pretty heavy sweater to support him, and then how do you wear a coat?  He still amuses me.

Deb here to finish off the post.  I have a few real tremblers too:

1940s Floral Broach

This might have been one of the first pieces of jewelry I bought from Kathy’s shop.  It’s a 1930s or ’40s cold-paint enamel and rhinestone brooch that’s three inches tall.  The trembler is the spray of red jewels in the top pink flower.  I should wear this more often.

Just like Kathy’s, not all of my trembling jewelry is elegant:

Dog, er squirrel,or bear pin

This little wood pin is marked Japan.  I’m not sure what creature this is supposed to be, but we decided it was a dog.  I got this as a gift from Kathy, but I would have bought it if I had seen it first.  You can see the spring right out in the open, but it’s stiff.  His head only moves if you flick it with a finger.

This lion isn’t really much better on the dignity scale:

Cowardly Lion  back of Lion's head

This little guy is just weird enough to ring my bell.  He makes me dizzy when I wear him on a sweater; that spring behind his head is really loose.  His head bobs around like a helium balloon on a string.

I have pins that move in all kinds of ways.  The next two get all their shimmy from the “jewels” being on jump rings.

First up is this poor fur clip:

LIlies of the Valley 2

It is in kind of rough shape, and a lot of the finish has worn off the metal and fake pearls.  I only wear it on big sweaters and coats because it’s heavy, and I don’t like to poke two big prongs through my shirts.

This dainty pin is a favorite:

Red flower boquet

It doesn’t have a mark but I love its simple Deco lines.  The flowers tremble delicately every time I take a step.

This next pin moves with a lever:

Warner New York closed   Warner New York open

A leaf is attached to a lever.  The flower starts out tight, and as you move the lever up, the flower opens up on little strap hinges.  I also bought this pin from Kathy’s shop.  It’s marked Warner New York, which is a mark for Diana Warner.  She seemed to make a lot of moving pieces using levers.  It is extremely wearable and an eye-catcher at nearly three inches across.

This pin is a no-brainer for me.  He is only 1.5 inches tall and is marked Napier:

Poodle pin  SMH

I am very careful with this pin.  The head is pretty shaky and I had another one that broke when I dared to move the head.  I do wear this for special occasions.

This little 1940s frog pin moves in another way:

Dancing Frog  Dancing Frog

His legs swing up and down on a rivet attached to the clasp.  He looks like he is dancing a jig.  He’s a little guy, measuring 1.25 inches.

Lastly, I have two pins with moving glasses:

The Eye Glasses Have it  Ahh, now we can see

They are both an inch tall, and marked.  The mouse is marked Avon, and the owl, Coventry.  Since I wear glasses, I’m partial to pins with glasses.  I noticed that the poor mouse is missing his eyes, so I’ll have to fix that.  The glasses pivot on rivets attached to the side of the critters’ heads.

Thanks for reading.  We hope you enjoyed another one of our strange collections.  We have been talking about doing a post on our plastic jewelry, which for the most part is really wild stuff, so stay tuned.



Posted in True Confessions, Weird Collections | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments