Just Desserts, or Not

Whew, last week we had a break from the awesome estate sales, although we still have one more to share with you, but this week, we thought we ought to clear out some of the backlog of photos, so be prepared for random sh*t. First, for those who keep up on our gardening adventures, we really don’t know what to do with ourselves, as Colorado has had one of the nicest, coolest, wettest springs in ages, and we didn’t even have to dance naked in the yard to appease the rain gods.  (Actually, the rain gods would prefer we didn’t do that, as would the neighbors.)  The only downside is that all lawns need mowing every five days or so.  How are we supposed to have time to shop?  But, shop we did, and this week we found a whole lot of things that need to apologize to someone, or something.

First up, what did KLC do to deserve this?

Seriously, did they murder an entire batch of kittens, wear white after Labor Day, or just generally piss off Mother Nature?  I can’t think how bad their karma must be to have this presented to them.  Luckily, they took one look at it and sent it straight to the thrift store, so hopefully they have paid their dues.  We are just glad it didn’t say KLC  plus someone else, because this might break up even the strongest relationship.

How about this for just being mean?

Will Rogers may have never met a man he didn’t like, but we are positive that would not be his reaction to this mug.  I think it is the staring eyes, and ridiculously long eyelashes that send this right into the “NO, NO” category.  We also have some doubts about the positioning of that boot for the handle.  Is it suggesting you kick him in the chops or what?  Bet he wouldn’t like you then.

We also thought that Lladro should apologize for this:

This is usually a very fine porcelain company, but what is up with the creepy monks?  I’ve got to say they were way more disturbing in person.  The one in back looked like he had murder on his mind, and the single one was just going to close his eyes and ignore it.  We were floored when we picked these up and saw the mark:

I am sure someone snapped them up, but I wouldn’t have them anywhere near me.  Good marks or not, some things just should not be, nor should they be purchased for the princely sums that Lladro commands.

Here is something else that should never have been picked up:

First off, it has one of everything but taste applied to it.  Two, it was made of that nasty resin, which automatically puts it in our black books, and third, what the heck is it?  At first we thought it was a mirror, and in that case, no matter how hungover you were in the morning, you would look better than the front, but it turned out not to be the case.  Instead we think it just hung on the wall and looked depressing.  We know were depressed after looking at it.

Maybe these pissy bunnies had the same problem:

They are sort of melting into the cabbage patch, and they don’t look happy about it.  The only good thing is that they, like Will Rogers, have plenty going on in the eyelash department.  They could keep L’Oreal in business for a year.  Looking back on it, I am also not sure what sort of weird red base they are sitting on, either.  What is that cabbage floating in?  Ugh.  No wonder they look mad; they are going down any minute.

OK, too much negativity.  How about a bear?

All in all, it was sort of harmless, but that position on the shelf is how she always stood, and we want to know why a ballerina bear feels the need to flash the ENTIRE world.  What kind of message is that sending to little girls?  Just give her a pole and she would be thoroughly R-rated.

Maybe that is what this leopard saw:

We were blaming the scary strawberry beside it on the shelf, but maybe it was the teddy dancer.  Anyway, we were very troubled about how worried this feline was.  This cat has seen things, and it was not pretty.  Poor Pussy.  On a bright note, the next week the fruit was still there being eternally cheerful, while the cat was gone, hopefully to a nice quiet home.  There, he can peacefully live out the rest of his six or so lives—depending on how traumatic the first three were.

We also placed this purse in the Ah, Heck, No category:

Someone worked really hard to make something this ugly.  We don’t get it.  I suppose you could stuff the puffy parts with Styrofoam and make it a flotation device, or when the subway ride was super long, you could use it as a pillow, or beat people about the head and shoulders when you really didn’t want to do major damage.  No matter the use (and who would want to use it as a purse?) it was still hideous, and needs to be burned, preferably sooner rather than later.

I did save the best for last.  These practically made our whole day:

I don’t know what is better, the gilded macaroni frames or the liberties taken with the Mona Lisa and Tweety Bird.  We might have even drug these home, except we would have had to spend the rest of the time they lived with us explaining WHY we brought them into our lives.  It takes a special kind of strange to live with things like this, and while we both are that odd, our respective spouses (or DHs, which stands for Dear Husband; someone asked a couple of weeks ago.) are not that sort of folks.  We can only hide so many things in our private doll rooms before they spill out into the rest of the house.

We have a report from a pretty amazing country sale coming up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned, and you never know what will pop up in the meantime.

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Equality State Sale: Deb’s Part

You know it’s a good sale if you have to sit down and try to remember all of the things that you bought.  That estate sale in Cheyenne was up there in the top five all-time estate sales, and if I were on an unlimited budget, I would have bought a LOT more!

I thought this was a strange combo, and pretty odd framing, too:

Some of you aren’t old enough to remember the Northern Tissue American Beauty prints from the 1960s, but that little brunette on the right is one of the girls.  I’m not sure why she is paired up with a Victorian woman on the left.  They’re both dressed for snow, so maybe that’s the link.  I wish I had looked at the framing better; the background behind the prints is pretty crazy looking.  By the way, I was so focused on the pictures that I didn’t even notice the dress at the bottom of the picture with its fab beading!

Since we’re looking at decor, I know what I think about this chair:

Looks like a throne to me!  A 1960s throne, with mod fabric, to boot.  The lady who lived here, to put it mildly, must have been very theatrical.  I have no doubt that she received the cream of Cheyenne society in this chair.  If I were in the mood for statement furniture, I might have bought this behemoth!  That fabric alone makes it a conversation piece, and it was in pretty darn good condition.

If she were in the mood to dress for a 1960s chair, this might have been a good choice:

Oh, the fabulous chiffon with the empire waist details.  I’m pretty sure there is a vintage Barbie outfit that is similar (Lemon Kick, a pantsuit).  I really like this dress, and you would be the belle of the ball wearing it.  Maybe she wore those gold boots from last week’s post just to double down on the awesomeness.  It’s also interesting that she collected clothing from Victorian to Mod.  She was eclectic in her tastes.

I just loved the peach and blue smoking (?) long-tailed jacket:

If this belonged to the man of the house, he was just as flamboyant as she.  It’s not often that you see someone with the nerve to wear this in Wyoming—at least out in public.  The flapper dress has a cool hemline and the brocade inset is interesting.  I wonder if they wore these two together, as they look nice hanging next to each other.

I really included this picture because you can see Kathy in the rightmost picture wearing her fun hat and going through a trunk.  She is busy looking while I’m fooling around taking bad pictures!

I kept most of the flapper dresses for me, just because they’re easier to talk about:

This decorated silk sheath must have been very elegant, with all the flowers and beading.  It’s pretty amazing to think about going from Edwardian dresses just barely showing an ankle and still requiring corsets, to the nearly slip-like dresses the flappers wore.  And they say the 1960s generation was rebellious!  It seems pretty tame when compared to what was going on in the late 1910s and early 1920s.  This is another near picture of Kathy.  You can see the pink petticoat that she has in her arms—so pretty!

You could hardly enter a room without stumbling over a Victorian dress or two:

The one on the left had a bustle, as you can see all the extra fabric hanging down.  I love the jacket on the middle dress.  A very elegant ensemble to wear while making calls.  I think the dress on the right is much more modern, just from the cut and fabric, but it’s hard to tell from this picture.

This skirt has some mileage on it:

The tag says that it is an antique hand-embroidered wedding skirt.  I’m not quite sure why there is that strip of fabric at the waist.  I’m sure that there was a coat to go along with this, but surely, the blouse was tucked into the waistband.  Maybe the jacket was buttoned, and no one could see the waist area.  I guess it could just be a two-toned skirt that looks odd to modern eyes, but was stylish a hundred years ago.

What do you think of this picture?

I wonder if it alludes to the owner’s past?  If she were on the stage, that might explain why she liked to wear “costumes” from many eras.  The table on the front is nearly empty compared to what was on it right before this photo.  A young man was pulling a box out from under the table, the whole thing collapsed, and most of the stuff on top broke.  He didn’t knock into the legs, so I don’t really think it was his fault.  I hope the company didn’t make him pay for all the stuff that got broken.  It’s up to them to make sure their displays are stable.

Man, nothing ever got thrown out in this house:

it just got moved downstairs.  Those lights on the stand are pure 1960s magic.  I was looking at that piece of furniture, and it’s hard to tell what it is—a radio, a small bar, a wash stand??  Those holes in the ? drawers and the fabric down below are pretty mysterious.  Of course the tag is too small to read!  That purple fabric in the foreground is pretty fabulous.  I wonder if it’s a sari?

The last house picture is of the kitchen light fixture:

Isn’t it cool?  I love the basket form with the rose decorations.  It looked really pretty with the lights on and off.  I’m glad it’s still in good shape; I hope the new owners sell it if they don’t want to keep it.  It’s pretty unusual.

We wanted to tell a story from the sale, although there are no pictures.  We were standing near two women who were looking at a gorgeous 1920s silk shawl with beaded Art Deco decorations.  It was that 1920s orange with green and black.  It looked to be in perfect shape, and one of the women was lamenting that she couldn’t afford to buy it.  We were consoling her, when she added that she was a collage artist and wanted to cut it up for a collage project.  I’m sure our expressions were horrified because she asserted that she was “an artist!”.  We moved away before we said anything unforgivable, but I heard her later say that she was coming back on half-off day to buy it.  I hope that it was sold before then.  Our feeling is that if something is damaged, then it’s fair game to reuse any way you want to.  But, when it’s perfect, or nearly so, then there is an obligation to the future to preserve the piece as best as you can.  I’m not sure there are more than a handful of such silk shawls in existence.  It seems a shame to ruin something so rare and beautiful in the name of art.  Rant over.

Here are the clothing goodies that I bought:

There are two flapper hats, and the pink one in the bottom right corner seems more Edwardian in shape and decoration.  The black beaded piece is sort of like a collar that hangs down a good two feet, and is silk with hematite, or metal beads on it.  It weighs a ton!  My old purse is a reticule, and the strings loop through glass rings in a matching blue.  I adore it!  I might be selling two of the hats, but I’m still mulling it over.

I also bought some hard goods:

Sigh, the Art Deco multi-drawer box was sitting there waiting for me.  I really don’t need it, and don’t even have a place for it, but it came home with me.  Since I live in a 1950s ranch house, I surely needed this clock!  It has the short cord that you plug into a receptacle that hides behind the body of the clock.  It was ticking away when Kathy spotted it and I pulled it off the wall.  It has some extra paint on it, but that doesn’t matter.  I never mind that things I buy have had a life before they came into mine.

I hope you had as good of a time reading about the sale as we had going to it.  Keep tuned because who knows what we might run into next time!

Posted in Friday Finds, True Confessions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Equality State Sale

Being the smart-ass that I am, I decided to go with Wyoming’s nickname for this post, but I had to look it up.  Imagine my surprise that it was a pretty nice one.  Wyoming was the first state to grant women the right to vote, serve on juries, and hold public office—in 1869, no less.  Women made a big difference in everyday life in the rugged history of the state, so it was only fitting that they have a say in its running.  All that is to say that we went to an estate sale in Cheyenne, WY a couple of weeks ago.  Cheyenne is closer to where we live in CO than our own state capital of Denver, so this is not as crazy as it sounds.  The sale looked good, and Deb was up for it, so off we went.

We were able to see some things on the estate sale company’s ad, but there was ever so much more.  So much so, that we will be doing two posts just on this sale!  We got there in plenty of time to talk to a few folks beforehand.  The majority of the people waiting for the sale were much younger than the average estate sale attendee in CO.  Wonder why?  Anyway, not too many people, considering the scope of the sale, and we didn’t see a soul who had come up from CO.  Yippee, more for us.

When we stepped into the house, it looked like time had stopped at the ’70s.  Deb has a couple more house pix for next week, but let’s take a look at the sun-room:

That fountain was a sight to behold, and I don’t think I have ever seen so many plastic flowers in one place in my recent life!

Notice the pile of them off to the left of the amazing plant stand.  There were many more than that, too.  What doesn’t show in the photos is the 1970s style fireplace that was on the back wall of this room.  You could cozy up in front of the fire, and get your pseudo Roman fountain kick at the same time.  The rolled-up rug in the second photo was priced at $1300, and that sort of set the tone of the whole sale, leaving many of those WY cow-folks to take a quick look around and exit the sale.  But, being the crazy women we are, we kept digging for the deals.

They weren’t here:

I collect Dragon Ware, but I wasn’t tempted by the $135 price tag.  No one else was either, but I liked it.

Nor were the bargains here:

I love beaded bags, and these were some doozies, but at $300 to $400 or more, we sighed and left them be.  We headed into one of the bedrooms and found some reasonably priced ones:

We each snagged a couple from here.  I picked up a late Victorian one just because I don’t own a bag from the 1880s and for $3.00 how can you go wrong?  So there was a chance for us and we plowed on.

A little drooling followed:

I have wanted one of these since I was seven!  A 1959 Triumph TR3.  I can prove I have wanted one that long; here is a pic of my toys:

I’ve had the red one since I was a kid, and always said I was going to have a car just like that when I grew up.  I think I meant the toy one.  Actually, I do own one of these, it is just in like a million pieces and has been for 30 years.  I like the whole one better.  At 35 grand, it was not coming home with me, but I did make slobber marks all over it.

The main thrust of the whole sale was an AMAZING vintage clothes collection.  There were pieces like this all over the house:

Late Victorian dresses, coats, gloves and shoes, flapper dresses in multiples, groovy ’60s stuff scattered about; check out these boots:

If I could have gotten them on my fat feet, I might have purchased them, just to say I owned them!  Imagine the looks on people’s faces when I showed up at the grocery store in them!

We have never seen so many ties in one place:

Each of those hangers had hundreds on them, and the boxes below had even more!  I was overwhelmed just looking at them, and sort of passed them by.  There were lots still there on the second day, so I think it got others the same way.

This was by far one of our favorite pieces:

A late 1920’s ladies sports uniform.  Isn’t it just adorable?  I can’t imagine too many of these surviving, so it was fun to see.  Guess she was benched most of the time!

We did each come home with a pile of stuff.  Here is my day one gleanings:

The Yard of Kittens is in abysmal shape, but for the $12.00 they had on it, I am going to give a go at cleaning it.  Hats were only $6.00 each, so I bought two.  The fabulous ’40s one on the left and the black Victorian one with the long ribbon ties in the middle.  (I wore the ’40s one around the house for most of the sale, as I didn’t want to carry it; I looked marvelous!) The black teddy is from the 1920’s and has never been worn.  There is some lace, and beaded trim, an incredible blue ostrich feather, and a cool double layer sewing basket, some fabric, and the purses we could afford.  The Victorian one is in the front with the long tassel.  I think there might have been a couple more things, but I lost track of what I purchased on each day, as I was a nut and went back:

The second day included a flapper dress I could afford (the blue and yellow one on the left), more bags, an amazing baby dress, a Victorian man’s vest, a Victorian lady’s jacket with cut steel buttons and beading, a pink petticoat that is stunning, some late ’40s underwear (top left on the petticoat, it is a dress shield holder, how funny is that?) and more things that I have already dispersed around the house.  Deb would have been back the second day too, but she was leaving for Texas!

All in all, we had a great time.  Some of the excess is already listed in my Etsy shop, so if this is your kind of thing, please visit and watch in the next few weeks as more items get put up.  I have to sell some things, just to make up for what I kept!  Stay tuned next week, for Deb’s post on the sale and her hoard of purchases.

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Déjà Vu

B.H. and I have just returned from a visit to his sister in east Texas.  She reads the blog, and of course had lots of places picked out for shopping.  We were so busy looking that I didn’t take as many pictures as I could have—lucky for you!  Of course, we also saw a few good things and even bought one or two, as you shall see.

The trip started off with good omens and beautiful views:

This is our “local” fourteener, Longs Peak, which is in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it’s visible along the northern I-25 corridor, so I claim it!  It’s also the peak on the Colorado state quarter.  Obviously with all the rain we’ve had, it’s been snowing up there.  I know the skies don’t look great, but hey, we were leaving, so it must be better where we were heading, right?

Ah, that would be a big NOPE:

While we dodged all the hail, bad thunderstorms, and tornadoes through Kansas and Oklahoma, this was pretty much our view for 900 miles until we got to Texas.  I feel for all of the people in the plains states that have suffered through a record number of tornadoes, and storms with damaging winds and hail.  The aftermath of those storms is flooding and dealing with insurance companies, not to mention coming to grips with losing your home and community.

We were so giddy to make it through all of the weather chaos, that S-I-L Dorothy and I headed out to the local vintage mart the next day:

Oh dear, I wasn’t even sure at first glance if this was a squirrel or rabbit.  For a moment, I confused the big fluffy tail with ears coming out of the sides of the hat!  I also want to snark a bit about why this was even in the booth.  You can see from the cabinet behind, that the owner has pretty good taste, relatively, and then there is this thing!  It almost looks possessed in the picture, and those eyes are definitely demonic.  However, he is quasi-useful:

If I had ever put my precious pennies in this bank as a kid, I would never go near it to sneak money out!  Best to let some things sit undisturbed!

The next day, just to keep me from feeling lonesome, Dorothy took me to the local Goodwill:

What do you call this style—picture in picture?  It’s pretty dang hideous no matter what.  I am unmoved by the fact that the interior picture is chock-full of cherubs.  There isn’t anything good enough to make this mess palatable.

Dorothy was looking for fabric to recover her dining room chairs.  I suggested we go look at Goodwill, and it worked out:

She bought a whole roll of material for $8 and it was from the Henry Ford collection, don’t you know?  It’s amazing what you can find at thrift stores with hardly any looking.  The chairs look so nice and fresh all for eight bucks and a little work.

Friday we went to Ye Olde Antique Mall, the place where I took all the gruesome pics from my last trip to TX:

The first thing I noticed is that they have improved the lighting, dramatically.  It was bright and shiny inside.  So, no excuse for dark and muddy pictures.

These salt and peppers were kind of confusing:

I’m not exactly sure who would want tank shakers, and those are some bold color choices.  In real life, a tank might be less conspicuous if they painted a bull’s-eye on the top hatch!  They were marked Japan.  I don’t think we landed tanks in Japan in the aftermath of WWII, but I’m no military historian.  B.H. pointed out how short those barrels are; sort of like a sawed-off tank, if you will.  I’m pretty sure that’s illegal!  As soon as I say that I’ll never see another pair like that again, I sure as shootin’ will!  That is how these things work.  You go 60+ years without ever seeing a thing, and then you see it five times in the next six months.

The last time I was here, it was officially the House of a Thousand Lamps.  Some things never change:

I really liked this lamp with its modern look; the metal and teak gave it that Mid-century modern pizzazz.  I was trying to figure out where to put it, when I read a sign at the back of the booth.  This person assembles lamps from pieces of other lamps.  I find that interesting, but it kind of lessened my desire for the lamp.  If he had only Frankensteined it 60 years ago, I would have been all over it.  Weird, huh?

Talk about Frankensteining a lamp:

The shade looks like it’s a steamer from a big pot.  The body of the lamp is a pitcher of some sort.  It’s very strange, and I think that the light coming out from all of those holes would be weird.  It kind of makes the ’60s wood lamp with the milk glass shade seem desirable.  BTW, this is another booth, miles from the first one.  So, there are several mad tinkerers at work in this vintage mall.

If pitcher/steamer lamps aren’t your thing, how about this group?

The lamp on the left is just a regular lamp.  The one to the right started life as a wooden post on something, which had been drilled out and lampified.  I think I had a bed with a post like that when I was a kid.  The next lamp to the right is a tin of some Italian food, maybe pasta.  The lid still comes off.  I would also guess that shade was handmade and weird.  I keep thinking of a baseball when I look at it.  Finally, on the right end, that looks like a milk can, or some other sort of liquid-containing thing, with a metal basket (?) on top as a shade.  You tell me.  This person has a ton of creativity.  I just wish they used it for good, not bad!

I want to end on a couple of good things.  I have scraps of crazy quilts, but never quite knew what to do with them.  Now I do:

I like them on a footstool, and I probably would like one as a pillow if I could keep it away from my pillow-hating dog.  He knocks pillows off of the furniture all the time.  I will plump them all up and put them on the couch and big chair; five minutes later they are all on the floor.  Maybe I should make a dresser scarf out of my crazy quilt pieces and skip the pillows.

On the way back to CO, we went a different way to avoid all the weather mayhem still going on in Kansas and Oklahoma.  We went west to Amarillo, and then north through south-eastern Colorado.  We drove through the Comanche National Grassland and saw masses of these yellow flowers:

I’m not sure what they were, but they were bright and cheerful.  Looking on the internet, there are several kinds of yellow flowers that grow there.  I need to go back next spring and spend some time wandering around and enjoying, instead of speeding by in a car.  Grasslands have a subtle beauty that we might miss when spending too much time admiring the showier dogwoods and redbuds.  I was disappointed that I didn’t see any blue bonnets in Texas.  That, I hear, is a sight not to be missed.

We didn’t even make it to Friday for shopping.  Kathy swung by and picked me up this morning for an enormous estate sale in a small nearby town.  It was amazingly huge—a farm that the same family worked for over 100 years.  Same family who NEVER threw anything away!  So, we’ll show you pictures of that sale after we write a post about the fabulous sale we went to in Cheyenne with tons of old clothes.  If we keep going to estate sales all summer, we might never catch up!

Posted in Friday Finds, Uncategorized, Vacation Fun | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Jumble of Junk

We went to yet another fabulous estate sale last week, but we need to get some photos taken of all our “treasures” and then we will share.  We have been just inundated with sales, as one of the companies here in town has been averaging one a week.  If we are exhausted going to them, imagine how tired they are setting them up and having them?  Crazy people.  For this week, I have some random stuff that has not made the cut on previous weeks and is too good/bad to not share somehow.

Here is one from an estate sale a few weeks back:

I’ve got to say that striped sun hat was HUGE.  There is not a chance in hell of even the tiniest ray of sunshine falling on your lily-white skin with that on.  Of course, seeing where you are going is a slight problem, but hey, no sun cancer in your future.  We actually thought it was rather cute, just a little on the large size.  Imagine getting caught in the rain and having it go limp!

While we are at the beach, we have yet another entry into our parade of shell art:

We have a love/hate relationship with this one.  On the one hand, seahorses are cool, on the other, still seems like a waste of shells.  Not to mention it looks like a rather odd seahorse, but what can you say about a seashell seahorse that was sold down by the seashore?

We also can’t decide what to say about this, other than yuck:

This Pepto-pink bear seems to have been dipping his nose into the orange paint for no discernible reason, and it hasn’t improved his looks one iota.  Judging from the background, this was taken at an estate sale, and I really can’t remember what his original use was.  Probably just to sit around and make every other plastic bear in the known universe look his absolute best.

We tried to like some of these:

I know some of this sort of tableware is very collectible, but our general reaction matched the odd onion with the red hat in front.  It just made us scowl.  To top it off, some of it was actually quite modern, so it didn’t even have the excuse of being vintage for its crazy look.  I don’t know why something being old gives it a pass in my book.  Probably something like respecting your elders, plus once you start getting up there yourself, you start looking for any excuse for the odd aberrant behavior.  That’s our story and we are sticking to it.

At the same trip to the thrift store we spotted this sad doily:

You know how prone we are to rescuing doilies and vintage needlework.  Anything that someone worked that hard on deserves some respect, but this one is just too ugly to even care about.  You could practically have used it for a dolly afghan, it was so big, and made with big chunky yarn that gave it no charm at all.  We seriously considered lighting it on fire.  You know all that polyester yarn would go right up in flames.  We just didn’t want to have to explain it to the fire marshal, or the store manager for that matter; we might want to go to that thrift store again.  Who are we kidding—we will probably be there next week!

Deb does love her “Faces in Places”:

We tend to look at orange bags because Deb’s sister loves orange.  This one is kind of funny with that silver “tongue” sticking out of its mouth.  No matter how you look at it, it’s better than this bag:

Seriously?  You stood in front of St. Peters, arguably one of the loveliest churches in the world, and then you went and bought this as a souvenir?  I stand by my recommendation to most folks to just go buy a postcard.  If someone purchased this and brought it to me as a souvenir, I wouldn’t even keep my old tatty socks in it.  Maybe I could use it as a clothespin bag, and hope the sun and rain would render it obsolete in record time.

We were on the fence about these too:

While we applaud any way to learn about history, this Corps of Discovery crew looks like a bunch of rejects from the Muppets.  Probably some poor suffering child, who really wanted a Barbie or a Lego set, got these “educational” toys for Christmas and promptly hid them under the bed, never to be seen again till going off to college and Mom cleaned the room.  On the bright side, they are in perfect condition to give to the next poor sap, I mean bright tot.

Last time we hit up our favorite Creative Re-Use store, we came across these:

We were going to save them for Christmas, but why not torture you now?  Deb is pretty sure $1.00 each is vastly overpriced, unless they are paying you a dollar to take them away?  A box of matches might be a useful item in this instance as well.

We also saw the following two crafty projects:

And this one too:

There is an awful lot of work that went into both of these.  The apple basket even lights up, for heaven’s sake.  We love miniatures, as you can tell from our doll fetish, but we wouldn’t touch these with a ten-foot pole.  They take up a lot of space, and neither one of them was that well done.  This is another case of wanting to like something; we just didn’t want to have to work that hard at it!

I thought after all that I should leave you with a little something to cleanse your palate:

This was such a cool adjustable rocker.  Neither of us had ever seen anything quite like it before.  Kind of an early prototype La-Z-Boy, or Lazy Gal, as this piece still looks pretty feminine.  Think how much more comfy it would be to recline while rocking that teething toddler to sleep?  I have no idea why this didn’t catch on, other than it would have been up to men to make it, and they never worried about Junior’s fussiness.

Well, we will be off to more estate sales and other adventures this week, and you know we will find something to share with you, so tune in next week!  Plus, we have a really fun craft post coming up in a couple of weeks that will include some cool patterns.

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Mad for More Estate Sales!

What can we say?  When it rains, it pours and it’s been pouring estate sales this spring.  Along with pouring a little of everything else.  Has your spring weather been as goofy as ours?  It’s all over the map.  Last week it was snowing a little; this week it’s been in the mid 80s ºF  with some accompanying thunderstorms.  It’s supposed to cool down a little and rain some more, which is reassuring.  If it’s 86 ºF now, what’s going to happen in July?

I hate to complain about that rain, but it’s causing a few problems around here with our big old cottonwood trees.  Turns out that some non-native cultivars are getting a fungus that isn’t really treatable, so now all of these colossal trees are dying.  The good news is that native cottonwoods seem to be okay, so maybe we need to replant with those.  Cottonwoods are a pretty important part of our ecology.  Lots of critters live on them, and as they rot out in the center (normal part of their life cycle) lots of critters live in them, too.  Hopefully, the city will start replanting once all the infected trees are cut down.

Enough bibble babble, it’s time to get started!

I’m a sucker for kids’ puzzles, especially the ones from the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s:

My parents are jigsaw fanatics, so I’m sure we were started out early with puzzles of our own.  We had lots of nursery rhyme, maps, and foreign scenery puzzles to work on.  Every time I see kids’ puzzles at a sale, I’m drawn over like they were powerful magnets and I’m full of iron.  I try not to keep them, but I do buy them and then sell them after playing with them a bit.  I tell myself that I need to take pictures of them assembled, but that’s not really why I put them together.  I wonder if that’s just a normal thing—trying to recapture the joys of youth.

I don’t think these people ever got rid of any of their kids’ toys:

I’m mostly astonished by how nice everything looks.  After a toy had been through all five of us kids, they were mostly just trash.  Even our Barbies were in pretty bad shape after four girls played with them, and my brother tortured them.  The last sister had a bad habit of chewing on hands and noses.  It’s hard for a Barbie to come back from that!  Most of these look like they have only been played with nicely.  Even the boxes aren’t all torn with broken corners.  Kathy, being an only child, has toys like this.  I don’t think that she ever had to hear, “Let your sister play with ___!” and then watch said sister break ___ which you just KNEW would happen.  This rant probably belongs in the “let it go” pile, but every so often it rears its ugly head.

Do you remember those labeled rocks in boxes?  Turns out they could have been made here in Fort Collins:

Evidently, Geoscience Industries have been making these things for quite a while.  They probably didn’t make the ones I remember from visiting the planetarium as a kid, but Kathy remembers the local boxes from her youth.  I had several of these collections because rocks fascinated me.  Not that I remember much from Geology, but I still like looking at rocks, even if they aren’t diamonds.

Like I said earlier, these people did not get rid of things just because their kids grew up:

That is one of the strangest strollers I’ve seen.  I’m not sure what the point of the big half cylinder below the kid’s feet is—storage?  You don’t think that they put blankets down and put the baby in there, do you?  I think this thing must have weighed a ton, so getting it out of the house or car with a kid in tow must have been a feat of strength and coordination.  Ah, “modern” conveniences!

Of course we love this old felted vest:

It was red, embroidered, and funky!  What more could we want?  Well, honestly, we didn’t want to pay $20.  That’s what we might sell it for, if we had stumbled across it for $1.  It was pretty cute, but no one seemed to like it as much as we did.  Our cheapness saves us from ourselves from time to time.

On to another estate sale where we saw a couple of fun things in the basement.  How could you not like this:

Unless you were terrorized by The Birds and still haven’t gotten over it.  These are colorful wooden parrots, so no worries.  My main problem with the mobile would be the amount of room needed to hang it.  It was easily five feet tall and a couple of feet wide.  That equals quite a bit of floor space.  I think this mobile needs a tropical-style sun room.  A few bougainvillea, some rattan furniture, and a flock of birds then you can pretend you’re somewhere south of the border.

If your taste runs to Mid-century modern style instead of rattan, we have some chairs for you:

These chairs have a ton of style.  I’m not sure what kind of material was originally on the backs, but the jute/hemp/flax fibers look fine.  I really liked the saddle seats, too.  Kathy sat in one and said that they weren’t that comfortable because that metal bar hits the wrong part of your back, so some pillows might also be needed.

We weren’t quite sure what to think about this piece of Asian art:

I liked it because it’s Asian, but it had a couple of condition problems, and $30 seems a little steep for something with a more limited market.  I really liked the birds and the fish hanging off the line which are silly reasons for buying something you have no room for in the first place.  There, just talked myself out of buying it again!

Finally, we saw this big pot outside our bank:

I took this picture a month ago, at least, and this seems like an elegant solution to fluctuating weather conditions.  There were a pair of them, and they were striking in front of the mirrored windows.  Our city also plants lots of pansy pots at that time of the year because they don’t mind a bit of snow.  It’s the heat that does pansies in.

Thanks so much for reading.  I realized too late that we hadn’t said Happy Mother’s Day! to our readers.  It’s never too late to thank mothers for all they have done and continue to do.

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Estate Madness

Another week, another bit of snow.  Now it’s snowing on the tulips!  In Colorado the weather just progressively snows on different flowers.  That’s how you know it’s spring!  Our only complaint about the whole thing is when it puts a kink in our garage sale styling.  We had a fun time last week, but it’s still supposed to be chilly for Friday this week, so we will have to resort to estate sales and thrift stores.  Luckily, we need very little make us happy.  Some old used junk and we are as giddy as schoolgirls.  I am going to prove that to you with this post.  Almost everything in this post came from one sale that was about as nutty as you can get, and yet, we still had a good time!

The owner of the home was a doctor in town, but we still could not figure out what this chair was for:

If you turned the seat it was adjustable, rather like an old-fashioned piano stool, and there was a piano in the background, but as a piano player myself, I can tell you that arms just get in the way.  Perhaps it was a dining chair for the village dwarf?  I am hoping it is something benign and not some weirded-out medical thing.  If you have a clue, please drop us a comment, as everyone is probably going to want to know.  [Deb here.  My theory is that it’s medically related.  You could raise and lower the seat to put a patient at the correct height.  The doctor involved was an ophthalmologist, so he needed to look at eyes, young and old.]

We rather liked this little baby dish:

It was sweet, and any parent knows how long it takes to get a child fed.  Keeping the food warm while you are doing it is a boon.  That way when they throw it at your face, it is at least warm wet goo, instead of cold clammy goo.  We were tickled that they still had the box!

Good ol’ GE Still bringing “Good things to life”  Wow, wonder what commercial-ridden dark corner of the mind that came from!

On the other hand, what is up with this?

Normally these huge old deep frames are saved for those slightly creepy hair wreaths, but no, let’s not have something macabre like that, no, let’s have a wreath made of goofy pom-poms.  Look close:

I am going to give them an A+ for execution, as the quality of workmanship on this was amazing, but it still raises the question “Why?”  At least the hair wreaths had a good reason, and if you read the article, you will find they were not really morbid at all, just a Victorian remembrance thing.  Pom-poms, we would just like to forget.

Here we have another nifty appliance:

If you can’t tell, and it took us a bit, so I don’t blame you, it’s a humidifier.  Living in CO you get used to a humidity level of about 3%.  OK, sometimes it’s a bit higher, like when it is actually snowing, but all winter long you could probably power about three light bulbs at any one time due to the static shocks that course through your body on a regular basis.  Even back in the glory days of small appliances, you needed a bit of moisture, and this would have filled the bill.

You also need to keep warm in the winter, and I suppose that is what these were for:

We were just not sure about the added decoration,

I don’t care how many flowers you embroider back there, it is not going to make it smell any sweeter!  And pity poor Mom who might have gotten these as a gift and had to wear them!

In the same room with the long johns, we found a good portion of the pig collection:

That’s not to say there were not pigs all over the rest of the house.  Heck, next to the pictures of Jesus, porcine portraits were the order of the day.  Now I like pigs in small doses, but it never occurred to me to try and paper my wall with pictures of them.  This must have been one odd kid.  There should have been pictures of David Cassidy or Farrah Fawcett, or something else teenaged normal!

The house had had very little done to it.  Example A, take a peek down these stairs:

It was like descending into the pit of the ’70s hell.  That orange shag carpet needed a good raking (Remember having to do that?), and if that wallpaper didn’t ruin your eyeballs, nothing would, and you would be tough enough to be a marine!

If the basement didn’t ruin you, take exhibit B, the upstairs bath:

No one should have to face wallpaper like that first thing in the morning.  The man of the house probably left his glasses off on purpose, or he would have slit his throat while shaving just in self defense.  On top of that, they paired the wallpaper with this floor:

Between the two of them we were feeling a bit dizzy, and lest we forget, check out the pink toilet, tub and sink.  All in all it made a bathroom that NO ONE would want to spend too much time in.  Seeing as how they seemed to have had several kids, maybe this was on purpose!  Saves banging on the door and demanding your turn in the bath.  Make it somewhere they WANT to leave.

Not all pink is bad; we did like this vase:

It was absolutely covered in dirt, so they never had it out.  Here is a pic of the bottom:

All hand blown, and probably Italian—the nicest piece of glass in the whole house.

Almost everything else was as cheap as possible.  They never threw anything out, either.  You should have seen how much paper was in there, and not a bit of it worth dragging home.  We kept thinking that a big old bonfire might have been the best solution to the whole estate.  They tried for three days, and considering the prices they quoted us on the couple of things we did find, we are pretty sure they had most of the stuff on the last day too.

We still had a good time making fun of it all.  See, we are easy!  We did hit one other estate sale that day and found this:

My dad services fire extinguishers, so these tickle my funny bone, but I had already bought him a brass one last year, so didn’t need it.  Who knew there would be more than one style of these?  He has it in his shop, and it catches folks off guard all the time, as they look at it thinking it’s a real extinguisher!  I guess we are lucky he doesn’t keep it full of martinis.

Wish us luck on both the garage sale front and the snow front.  No matter what we will have a good time and report back as usual!

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment