Odder Ends

Oh my gosh, the holiday rush is upon us.  How did that happen?  I am actually not very “rushy” as, being the devoted thrifting fans we are, we shop all year.  Thank goodness most of my family has some sort of vintagey habit that I can feed in my weekly forays.  My gift list is pretty limited as well, so I really don’t panic much.  I still have decorating, wrapping, cards, baking … OK, better panic.  We will probably do one or two more regular posts before the holiday weirdness pops into the blog, so for now, here are some odds and ends that haven’t made it into posts before.

I am going to start with a “goodie”.  Well, I think it’s one:

far-out-tea-towelI absolutely adored this tea towel.  What’s not to love?  Antony and Cleopatra, mod colors and even cats.  I loved it a lot, but not enough to pay the $18 price tag on it.  Betting on others reluctance to pay that much, I came back the next day and was able to snag it for half price, but I had to stand in line for over an hour to pay for it.  I did want it bad.  Doing some research on it, I was able to find out about the artist.  Her name was Belinda Lyon, and she did many designs for Oxfam.  Here is a link to an article about her:  Belinda Lyon.  I have the towel hanging in my craft room.  Nope, not gonna use it.  It’s art.

Next up, a whatsis:

is-it-a-whisk?We are going with some sort of whisk, but not entirely sure.  Anyone with a definitive answer, just give us a shout out, and we will credit you with the info.  Whisks seem to come in all shapes and sizes, but we think it is just designers having some fun, as none of them seem to work as well as the plain old original design.

Now that I think of it, this is probably a whatsis too:

one-of-everything-but-tasteI wrote down in my notes, “pine cone Luau”, seems about as descriptive as anything.  It looks sort of Hawaiian, but not many pine cones come from there, so I am not sure why.  And I definitely have no clue what it is for.  We will bow to our readers on this one, as well.

We sort of liked this, too:

basement-artFor me, it is a love/hate thing. I rather like the lute and the music, but could totally live without old Comedy and Tragedy mucking up the design.  I don’t know why we are both attracted to the do-it-yourself pebble-strewn decor of the mid century, but there you are.  At least we have not started to drag them home.  If I ever find an undone kit though, all bets are off.

I will probably go off on a rant about this one:

all-ready-for-the-4th-of-julyWe both have a mad jewelry addiction.  We don’t even differentiate old from new, as long as it’s cool, a dog, a cat, enameled … the list could go on, we drag it home and wear it.  This junk should be banned on five continents.  Seriously.  They could be rather cool, but they are so poorly made, they fall apart the minute you put them on.  Probably full of lead and other nasty things as well.  For pity’s sake don’t make any more of these—I don’t care how in fashion they are.  Heck, the stones are plastic, and not even good for a Christmas tree out of junk jewelry.  Just say no.

At least this piece was honest:

funky-plastic-necklace-is-3-99Goofy, but honest.  This is the height of that “summer jewelry” which was so popular in the ’50s and ’60s.  The pieces were designed to wear for a season and with one specific outfit.  Lightweight and easy to wear.  Well, if you don’t mind being poked with little plastic spikes.  It’s still silly, but it made us smile, and no, we didn’t bring it home.  A girl has got to have some standards and we don’t have the right outfit.

We dug this out of a 99¢ bin.  Yet another souvenir gone bad:

does-it-play-"roadrunner-the-coyote's-after-you?"Actually, we don’t know if it is good or bad, as it was still hermetically sealed.  The recipient didn’t even care enough to open it.  The box is kinda fun though.  Deb wants to know if it plays the Roadrunner theme song.  If they could manage that, we probably would have had to fight for it!

We have a friend with a travel animal who goes to cons and stuff with her.  Imagine our surprise when we caught him sneaking around the 99¢ bins:

an-old-acquantance-at-the-99-cent-roomEither that or it is Casbah’s evil twin!  I used to know someone who went Geocaching with a travel animal.  There was never a photo of anything but the stuffed animal.  It took us years to find out whether the cacher was a man or woman.  Finally met them at an event and were proved wrong, as we had guessed a woman staying more anonymous.  Maybe the Second Hand Roses should find ourselves some mascots, as you are never going to see our mugs out there.  Our hands, our feet, but that is about it.  We threatened to take a photo of back sides dumpster diving, but figured you wouldn’t want to see that either!

Whether you see us or not, never fear, we are out there, shopping for the best, and the best of the worst.  Don’t forget to check out our Facebook feed, and our Pinterest boards for more fun stuff.  Right now Deb has been pinning some awesome mid century Christmas cards, so go take a peek, and stay tuned for future holiday madness.

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Crazy and Not-So-Crazy Craft Patterns VII

We usually don’t write a normal, well, normal for us, post on Black Friday.  It’s a day of madness, in our opinion.  Nothing is worth the cost of standing in long lines in bad weather only to find out that the store is out of what you wanted.  People are kind of crazy too—like the ordinary rules of decency aren’t enforced on the day after we give thanks for everything wonderful in our lives.  We would rather talk about bad craft book patterns; they are waaay more amusing.

The book in question was published in 1972 which explains a lot:

mccalls-handcrafts2

It actually contains a few pretty cool ideas, along with quite a few bad ones.  I scanned a couple of the good ones just to keep everyone from feeling suicidal.

They were very proud of this wood, nail, wire, brads, and tack creation:

Pinhead Rooster

Here’s the rooster’s description from the book, “With a variety of tacks and nails, plus thin wire, an opulent texture is created producing the effect of a richly plumed three-dimensional bird.”  I’m on the fence with this one.  I look at it and think it’s interesting, and then I look at it again and think it looks like Pinhead from the Hellraiser movie.

I’m absolutely not on the fence about this:

batik-cat

I love batik and have made and collected some cool pieces over the years.  This poor rickets kitty would not be one of them.  I love that he is so cheerful with what is going on with his back legs.  Come to think of it, his front legs don’t look so hot, either.

I don’t have too much love for this pebbled bear candle either:

bear-candle

In fact, all of those candles need to be burned immediately!  I read the directions on how to make these, but I’m not telling because you know there is someone out there who would make them.  Just say “NO” to crafts like this!

We’ve seen many a picture made of dried flowers, leaves, sticks, and grasses:

dried-vegetation-art

Most of them are not good for much besides starting a fire, and there were plenty of those examples the book.  I didn’t scan any of them because they were sooo godawful.  Every once in a while, you come across some interesting efforts like these two pictures.  I’m sure they aren’t great art, but I would hang either of them on my walls for as long as they held together.  The problem with projects like these is that much depends on the artistic ability of the creator.  Most of us aren’t that artistic, including me.

I have a love-hate relationship with this project:

face-vase

I like the face vase, but that flower arrangement has to go.  The problem is, what should go in her head?  I was thinking maybe some sweet alyssum:

Sweet Alyssum hair

Or even some fun succulents or a fern.  This seems to be a popular topic on Pinterest with many creative ideas.  I would definitely ditch the Seventies flower arrangement and go for a plant instead.

You know, macrame is useful for jewelry, some plant hangers, an occasional room divider or wall hanging:

macrame-people

What it isn’t good for is projects like this one.  McCall’s called it “Shadow Box Figures” which is a pretty bland description for a two foot by three-foot mess like this.  Hopefully a cat will help anyone misguided enough to hang this on the wall.

Here is another macrame mistake:

omg-necklace

I was unable to adequately describe this, but luckily, McCall’s came to my rescue.  “A long green-beaded fringe cascading from gold bib gives a dramatic finish to a simple outfit.” Dear God, I hadn’t even noticed the green plastic beads until the description.  This was never good—I don’t care what McCall’s says.

I would be hard pressed to choose between the gold bib and this project:

giant-jewelry

This paper craft is labeled “Giant Jewelry” and is described as baroque.  Somehow, I don’t put tissue paper and baroque in the same sentence.  What outfit would these necklaces provide a dramatic finish for?  I’m pretty sure these necklaces can only be worn ironically.

This is a busy time of the year, so I’ll end on this next project.  This one’s for Kathy:

seed-cat

The cat is made from poppy seeds and the cheeks are lima beans.  You glue the whole thing to cardboard covered with construction paper.  I actually think that these would be a fun kid’s (young or old) project.  They are just goofy enough to make me smile.

Hope you had a successful hunt if you ventured out on Black Friday.  Stay tuned … the Christmas posts are coming up and we were thinking of doing a Top Ten post to end the year.  Thanks for reading!

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We are Thankful for a Sense of Humor

It’s been a rough couple of weeks.  Busy lives and crazy news, but we made it through by diligent shopping and lunching.  I know that sounds sort of shallow, but for us, our friendships support us, so it is necessary.  Plus, any excuse to hit up the ninety-nine cent room at Goodwill is OK by us.  Deb’s sister was visiting, so we did it TWICE.  You never know what you will find there.  I kid you not, I watched a lady drag out a brand new bathroom sink for 99¢.  She was remodeling her bathroom.  Made her whole day!  We got a chuckle out of it too, so it was even more fun.  And really, that is all we ask for.  Something to smile about, and to share with you, so yeah, let’s hear it for a sense of humor.

So, it is time to trot out this year’s turkeys.  You know, we save them up all year.  I think Deb might have gotten the winner here with a honest-to-goodness real live (dead?) stuffed turkey:real-honest-to-god-turkey-side-view2I gotta say, they are rather interesting birds, and sort of pretty.  In my mind, I always think of just how stupid they are, although wild ones are better; it seems a waste not to have gotten some dark meat off this fellow.  Other than on a platter, a stuffed turkey seems sort of useless.  All those feathers are going to get messed up with the gravy!

She also caught this next bird at the same flea market in Texas.  (Have you noticed how much time we have spent milking that market?  It was a bonanza!):

large-die-cut-turkeyThat is a heck of a die cut.  It’s pretty realistic, and the bird has the appropriate expression for Thanksgiving.  I don’t know whether he is grumpy about having to do all those extra dishes for company, or that he might end up as the main dish.  Either way, I wouldn’t want to cross beaks with him in a dark alley.

Considering the size of the previous die cut, we are pretty sure this one went with it:

native-american-friend-to-die-cut-turkeySorry about the photo, the lighting was just terrible in this place, and good photos were difficult to take, but at least you get the idea.  I hope that these came from some teacher’s classroom, ’cause if you were using them to decorate the windows of your home, you are trying way too hard.

I spotted this yarn recycling project last summer:

2016-11-15-13.38.03.jpg.jpgI don’t mean that they recycled yarn to make it, I mean that you should take it apart and recycle it immediately, if not sooner.  OK, I am going to grudgingly admit it is sort of cute, but seriously, a turkey pillow?  Imagine what your face would look like when you woke up from that nap.

Could be worse, you could be sporting this Turkey Day earrings:

thanksgiving-jewelryMy ears hurt just looking at the size of these, and my eyes hurt ’cause, well, just look at them.  It’s like a bundle of click-clacks sprouted pilgrims.  I have a perfectly lovely pair of turkey earrings that I wear while cooking; these are not even close.  I can’t even think of a good use for them.  Guess that is why they continue to live on their retail card.  Bet they will still be hanging around the thrift store on Nov. 25th, and there is no Black Friday sale good enough to get them out the door.

We were on the fence with this one, but desperate for a turkey or two, so it got its photo snapped:

wp-1479228291867.jpgI guess it is a turkey with a boa.  It actually might be sort of cute, but who can tell with it hiding in the wispy feathers.  Perhaps it is trying to disguise itself as a bird of paradise in hopes of avoiding the hatchet.

For those that have not mastered the art of the turkey, we have some alternate food for the day:

2016-11-15-13.48.22.jpg.jpgOK, I was just desperate to get this in the blog, so that is my excuse.  The pamphlet is dated 1946.  Bet Cream of Wheat did not have to pay as much then as someone would now to get some fun artwork for their cooking leaflet.  Here are a few of the recipes inside:

2016-11-15-13.49.15.jpg.jpgI guess in a pinch you could use Cream of Wheat for these things, but I can’t think it would make meatloaf better, and who knows about the rest.  Still, I snapped this up, as I can’t resist a good pamphlet, and this was really fun.  The condition was great too, another telltale sign of not-so-good recipes!

Hope your turkey is perfect and you don’t have to resort to hot cereal for dinner!  We will be doing a crazy craft pattern post for Black Friday, so hold on to your sense of humor for that, too!

vintage-thanksgiving-turkey-pumpkin-postcard

 

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The Earth has Music for Those Who Listen

This election cycle has exhausted and drained me.  I’m not talking about the results, but rather how divided we are right now and how a large group of people were always going to end up feeling disenfranchised and angry, regardless of the outcome.

Wednesday morning I decided that I needed to go somewhere peaceful and far, far away from the maddening news cycle.  My sister is visiting, so we decided on a trip to the Pawnee National Grassland which is, according to Wikipedia, “an especially depopulated area of the Great Plains.”  That sounded like the perfect day trip.

The grasslands are in the northeast corner of Colorado—about an hour and a half away from Fort Collins.  There are some interesting buttes in the eastern portion of the grasslands, but we didn’t visit them this trip.  We mostly walked and drove through the western portion which seems to be a birding area.  Most of the birds are gone now, but I plan to return in the late spring to take a look at the beginning of the yearly cycle.

briggsdale-market

Before heading out, we stopped at the Briggsdale Market, above, for water and a snack.  The whole town has dirt roads, and it took a little bit of driving around to even find the shopping district (both stores!).

We just wanted to walk along and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the gentle breeze.  We traipsed along this road for a mile or two enjoying the empty vistas:

birdwatching-on-the-pawnee   road-to-nowhere-in-particular

Every barbed wire fence comes with complementary tumbleweeds and tattered plastic bags:

barbed-wire-fence  something-off-in-the-distance

There were clouds of dust visible off in the distance as trucks went on their noisy way along gravel roads.  They were far enough from us that they didn’t affect the serenity of the moment; the only evidence of their passing were those clouds of dust.

It was scenic, rustic, and ever so peaceful.  The only sounds we heard were the lowing of cattle and the breeze rattling the dried grasses:

ruins  windmill

We drove into the campground which has a picnic area and hiking trails.  There also was a small display of antique farming equipment which the settlers used to plow the prairie under for crops:

horse-drawn plow  Wagon and windmill

It’s a hard life farming out on the eastern plains—the weather is a fickle mistress.  Snow is the most reliable form of moisture, which isn’t all that useful except for winter wheat.

However, the blue skies were incredible:

Blue skies through a cottonwood tree

The last trail we walked wended through a grove planted in honor of a Colorado State University governing board member.  She must have loved cottonwood trees and birds:

Trees and grass

Watering hole

I don’t know if you can see it, but in the rightmost picture there is a tiny pumpkin near the tree.  I don’t know why the critters haven’t eaten it yet.

Seriously, I could have sat looking at the sky all day:

trees along a stream  gnarly tree

The gnarly trees also have their own stories to tell of endurance and success.  Every year the new leaves signal that another year was conquered and life continues.  That was a message of natural renewal that felt reassuring.

As the sun was heading towards the west, it felt like mission accomplished and time to head back home:

hazy-mountains

No matter how hazy the future may be, I felt my spirit lifted by the music of nature and the blue, blue skies.

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Puttin’ on the Brakes

Well, Halloween is over.  Sigh … I hate having to take down all the decorations, not only because it takes me DAYS, but I miss them.  Lucky for you, it is chilly this morning and the blowups are still damp, so I have plenty of time to write a post.  Now that Halloween is over, the retail establishments have come to the conclusion that Thanksgiving no longer exists and it is time for Xmas all the time.  We promise there will be no Christmas at our house, or on our blog, till after the turkey has trotted!  Our pledge to you!  Now if we could just get the rest of the world to put the brakes on it!

This next item has the right colors for fall, but that is where it stops:

old-piece-of-ironThere are a pair of these, and right now you may be saying that they don’t look too bad, well, except for that rather bilious pumpkin color, but see what they are made out of:

old-piece-of-iron2Yep, someone took a pair of perfectly innocent cast-iron trivets and turned them into wall sconces.  We are filing this under WTF?  We actually wasted a good long time trying to decide if this was the result of an over-zealous clever handyman, or if they were commercially produced.  We didn’t come to any concrete solution.  Although, to my mind, the absolute best solution would be to remove the candle holder parts, and paint what’s left black.  Oh look, then you would have trivets.  Hoo-ray!

Here is another thing that was not improved by paint:

painting-it-yellow-didnt-helpI can’t decide just how color-blind a person would have to be to think that nasty neon yellow color was a good idea.  I am not saying the underlying copper plate was any sort of a winner, but they took a bad thing and made it worse.  Who knew it was possible?  Thank goodness that copper could be recycled, as there is not much else you could do with it.  It was too heavy for a Frisbee, and too ugly for anything else.

We have another couple of entries in the bad lamp category.  What is it about lighting that makes designers bring out their worst?

We are sort of on the fence about this one, as it was almost so bad that it was good, but then again, maybe not:

funky-old-lampWe were, however, amazed that it was sold already and there was someone at the sale who was completely disappointed by that fact.  At least it went well with the starving artist prints in the background.  (I have always known why they were starving: get a day job!)

This lamp didn’t even pretend to have ANY redeeming qualities:

another-ugly-lampJust honking big and honking ugly.  We were relieved that the shade was missing.  It had to be just horrible, too.  There is no way that it could not have been objectionable.  Deb’s camera tried to blind itself with the light, but we forced it to take a photo.  How cruel are we?

I don’t remember if both of these were lamps:

bad-ceramic-project-badBut one of them does have a cord, and I am assuming that they both came from the same place.  Do you suppose they were one on each side of the bed, or did they pollute two bedrooms with these?  Both of these girls have some sort of head issue and don’t even get me started on the eyes.  Maybe an exorcism is in order?  Strike that, we are sure of it.

OK, time for a break.  We thought these were adorable:

his-and-hers-roller-skatesHis and hers roller-skates!!  There were his and hers bowling balls too, so we were pretty sure this was one very attached couple.  We liked them just from looking at their stuff.  I hope someone came along and took both pairs.  After all these years, it would be a shame to break them up.

We loved this pair of chairs as well:

awesome-old-chairsThey were so sweet and dainty.  Also a little on the rickety side, so I would hesitate to have them where someone who weighed over 90 pounds could sit on them, but they were lovely.  Here is a closeup of the inlay:

chair-marquetryWe are not big furniture buffs, so we have no idea when they were made.  Probably a job for the Keno Brothers.  Neither of us have so much as an inch of space for chairs that can not be sat upon, so there they stayed.

Back to business as usual.  Hummingbirds are cute, or not:

nasty-resin-hummingbird-statueOh good heavens, what doesn’t it have, well, other than taste?  It was just one big pile of nasty.  I guess it does make an interesting crossover for those who collect plates AND snow-globes, but was it really necessary?  I don’t expect any sort of answer about that, because, as we have said before, any and all resin stuff should be immediately chucked into the nearest dumpster, or better yet, never made.

This one appealed to us, but perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea:

cool-old-hat2We found it amusing, and I am pretty sure Queen Elizabeth would have added it to her hat collection in a jiffy when it was in fashion.  What better recommendation could you have?  It’s a good thing that most vintage hats are priced with rather ridiculous prices at thrift stores, or we would both have way too many.  As it is, we have more than we can ever wear, especially as we never wear any of them!  If we showed up at the thrifts in our hats and gloves, they really would cart us off to the loony bin.

We have some really fun photos of a cool estate sale that we attended coming up in the next couple of weeks, and I am sure we have some turkeys for Turkey Day, so stay tuned!

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More General Witchiness

Our fall has been fabulous so far with just a mild frost last week; I wish we could get a little rain since the fire danger is high and it’s been windy.  We’re still going to garage sales and tomorrow shouldn’t be any different since the forecast is calling for temperatures around 76ºF.  Hopefully, there are still a few households in town that procrastinated during summer and have goodies they need to sell.

Most of this week’s post is going to be vintage Halloween decorations that I use, since Kathy showed a few of her oldies last week.  I also threw in a few postcards from Pinterest.  But, before that, let’s look at an orphan or two that didn’t make it into last week’s post:

witch-with-flair

She’s just a standard soft sculpture witch, but you’ve got to admit that the orange feather boa adds a ton of flair!  Took her from ho-hum to “hey, look at that!” in our book.  I’m not sure that a feather boa would be practical for an outdoor decoration, but what the heck, it would be the only one on the block.

ARC has some very odd mannequins:

manequins-at-arc

and their Halloween mannequins are no different.  I’m not really sure what they’re dressed up as, but it’s weird.  I suspect that if it’s a cultural reference, I’m too old and slow to get it.

Before I forget, here’s a link to a fun article in Country Living on 100 years of vintage Halloween items.  It’s definitely worth a look.

Like Kathy, I’m very fond of honeycomb decorations.  I have a set given to me by my sister-in-law:

Beistle Co 1980 halloween-honecomb-decorations

They are Beistle Company from 1980, and are less than six inches wide.  The company started in the early 1900s in Pittsburgh, introduced tissue honeycomb decorations to the US in 1910, and hasn’t looked back.  Beistle are now making reproductions of their old patterns, so you need to be wary when buying “vintage” paper Halloween decorations.  I’m sure there is no intent from the company to deceive, but we’ve seen it with reproductions of vintage Barbies.  People selling them on the secondary market insist that their Barbies are old, even when we show them the new tags on the outfits.

Here is a Beistle Company paper witch cutout:

Beistle Co vintage witch cutout

That moon is such a giveaway for the company.  It’s printed on both sides and marked on one side “© Beistle Co  Made in the USA”.  The reproductions have Beistle Co and a date to differentiate them from the vintage decorations.  As kids, we taped this kind of decoration in the windows so you could see them on both sides.  That may explain why you frequently see these paper decorations torn with tape marks all over them.

Here is my 12-inch honeycomb tissue paper pumpkin:

honeycomb-pumpkin

I know this is from the ’60s or ’70s as it is marked “Made in USA” with no company name and shows appropriate wear.  It also has a metal tab to bend over to keep it expanded.  The 1980s honeycombs have paper tabs.  The little plastic skeleton is a Halloween noisemaker.  If you shake him, his head moves back and forth which produces a really strange sound.  My dog HATES him and I have to keep Noisy put up, or he would be chewed to pieces.

Here is a vintage noisemaker:

T Cohn Vintage metal Halloween noisemaker

This tin noisemaker has a litho design of a witch and pumpkin; it was probably made in the 1950s.  Earlier noisemakers were usually made from wood and there were tin clicker noisemakers from the 1940s with litho decorations.  The T. Cohn (their mark is a superimposed T C as can be seen in the picture) toy company made this witchy poo and I won’t let my husband shake her for fear of messing up the decoration:

noise-maker-side-view

I wanted to share some homemade costumes from a recent purchase:

McCalls Giant Golden Make-it Book

This poor book has been used a lot, but I can’t resist its awesome projects:

McCalls Giant Golden Make-it Book Halloween   McCalls Giant Golden Make-it Book Halloween

I would have made these as a kid if we had this book.  They are pretty cute, much better that what I usually dressed up as: a bum, a ghost, and an “Indian” maiden.  Poor Mom had to get five costumes together, and we weren’t the kind of family that went out and bought new costumes every year.  We mixed and matched, as you can see from this photo:

halloween-vv16

One kid is missing here, and you can see that the weather was rainy on Halloween 1969, but this was pretty representative of our Halloween costuming.

Well, let’s end on some goodness.  Here are some of my favorite Halloween postcards from our Pinterest Halloween board:

Some Halloween love:

halloween-love   miss-halloween

The girl with her kitty really floats my boat!  It’s a wonderful image, and I really like everything about it.  The colors are so rich.

Next up, you know us and our pets:

witch-pumpkin-and-cat   puppies-and-pumpkins

We have to have both cats and dogs even if dogs aren’t really a Halloween thing.

Finally, this might be my favorite way to celebrate Halloween:

witch-pumpkin-and-cider

Sharing some delicious cider with friends.  Hope she isn’t feeding Jack Pumpkinhead hard cider; there’s no knowing what he might get up to.  Doesn’t the little girl remind you of the old-timey Campbell Soup Kids?

Thanks for reading and we hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

cat-driving-a-pumpkin-coach

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Quit Your Witching

Hooray, it is that time of year of again.  For those readers who haven’t discovered it already, I am a total Halloween Geek.  I literally have enough decorations to do two or three houses, and I am not talking just slap some cutouts on the wall and call it good.  It took Hubby and me most of a day to set up 15 blowups in the yard.  This does not count the cemetery items, or the dripping blood lights etc.  Then I had to move on to the inside.  You get the picture.  I might not have done as good a job as usual this year, owning to having a cold with a 101ºF temperature, and having to try and finish laying the tile floor in my kitchen, but I got it done enough to still be impressive for my ladies’ Bunko group, whew!

So, for this post, we have some good and bad.  First up, today’s motto:

Sign of the TimesI thought this was quite funny.  I think I need to make my own version of this in some sort of more crafty way.  Of course, it is never going to work around my place—I witch all year long.  I do some other things, too, but we won’t talk about that.

Deb and I went to this outrageous sale a couple of weeks ago; take a look at the back yard:

crazy-backyard-saleEvery one of those bins was full to the brim with holiday stuff.  There was Halloween, Easter, and TONS of Christmas.  Most of it brand new, still in the box!  We are pretty sure this woman had a problem of some sort.  (Just a minor one, mind you, glass houses and all.)  We tried to help out the family by taking some stuff home, but it sure was hard.  By diligent digging, we were able to come up with a couple of small vintage Christmas things that we will share closer to the season.  I also found one measly Halloween item that is not even amusing enough to share here.

At least we didn’t run into anything like this:

fake-ear-ocornAre you kidding me?  Giant Styrofoam corn?  Come on, real charming Indian Corn can be had at any farmers’ market or even your local grocery store this time of year.  Pitch that thing in the trash (only thing you can do, can’t even recycle it) and get something worth having.  When you are done with it for decoration, put it out for the squirrels and everyone wins.  Much of the time, progress is just not worth it.

While we are pitching for the real thing, here is another fake that needs to go somewhere else:

wp-1476895653558.jpgWell, they made it themselves.  Used up some orange yarn, and wasted some felt.  It is not even cute.  Not good for pumpkin bowling, and the squirrels wouldn’t like it either.  Unravel it and make your dog a pumpkin costume.  Maybe that would work?  [Deb here:  I have seen some knitted pumpkins that were pretty cute; not saying this is one of them!]

We have to grudgingly admit that we liked this toad:

love-this-toadI don’t know why.  He just looks worried that the witch is on her way back.  He is clutching the broom and hoping she won’t find it to sweep him into a potion.  We were both able to resist, Deb because she is not a nutcase like me, and me because, well, see above, three houses worth of decorations!

I am going to share some fun things I did buy this past year.  I am even more enamored of vintage Halloween than just regular stuff, and it is rare enough that it is a wonder to come upon any of it, so I snap it up when able.

I like honeycomb decorations of any sort, so these were a slam dunk:

paper-pumpkinsThey are tiny: the witch is only about two inches tall, and made in Japan.  Storing things like this is difficult, as they have to live in their own box, so as not to get crushed.  That is why so few of them survive.  They all need to come to my house to be rescued!

Here is another really cool item:

noisemakerI should really put this out there as a “what is it”, as I would never have guessed.  I purchased this from a wonderful dealer called Don and Chris’ Old Stuff Only.  I can highly recommend them for great old unused stock.  I have bought things from them for years, and when these came up, had to have one.  I just looked and there are some still in stock, in case you need your own.  Have you guessed it yet?  No?  I would have had no clue either.  It was listed on the main box as a Halloween Noise maker.  The red balls clap against the metal, and you can bend the metal with your hand to change the pitch.  It comes out sort of sounding like a chiming saw.  It is wildly amusing and the summer intern and I have spent hours wandering around the house making odd noises.  I just wish this had some vintage graphics to liven it up, but it is still amusing.

At a sale this summer, I also picked up this darling paper napkin:

Napkin 1Again, paper items are too scarce to ever pass up.  This was one corner of it with everyone heading out in good company.  I am not sure what happened, but someone got irritated, and then it looked like this:

Napkin 2I guess witchy-poo just lost her temper, and let that old broom fly!  This is incredibly fragile, and I have to keep it tucked away in a plastic sleeve, so this may be the only time it is ever out to be photographed, or in this case scanned.

Next week, we are going to share a bunch of really fun postcards and vintage Halloween items from our Pinterest pages.  If you are not following us over there, you are missing out on some zany things.  We have terrific pages on Vintage Holidays Postcards and Jewelry we love that are well worth visiting.  Here is a cute preview post card that actually came from the same sale as the napkin:

Pumpkin CardI am not sure who is scaring whom, but that little princess in pink looks like she is coming out on the winning side.  I love that it wishes you luck for Halloween.  Like St. Paddy’s and Halloween combined!

Tune in next week to see what we have!  And if you know a Halloween Queen, pass this post along to them!

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Posted in Friday Finds, Holidays, Weird Collections | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments