Glass Act

Summer seems to be winding down; I have no idea how that happened.  There is the usual flurry of back to school sales, and for the first time in 13 years, I don’t have to go out and buy pencils.  I sort of miss it.  The Summer Intern has decided to defer for a year, so who knows what this season will bring.  He finally got his driver’s license (at 18, mind you) so no matter what, I no longer have to drive him somewhere every morning.  I will not know what to do with myself.  Oh yeah, more time for garage sales!

We will travel just about anywhere for a thrill.  Well, maybe not that far, but heck, we have been known to go all the way to Las Vegas just to find a Savers!  OK, there might have been a doll convention there as well, but it makes a better story if we say it the other way.  So, when we got the email for an estate sale in Windsor (about 16 miles away) it seemed like a fun thing to do.  Bonus, another estate sale company was having one over there the same day, and they turned out to be only a couple miles apart.

We like glass, but found out that we were rank amateurs compared to these folks.  We were first greeted by this long table of glass:

Now for most sales this would be a pretty fair turnout for ALL the glass at a sale, but, oh no, there was case after case of it:

And more:

And more:

I think we counted at least six of these cases; each one was more stuffed than the last.  Not all of the glass was in a case by any stretch, either.  They were real fans of Murano glass from Italy, and the bulk of the collection was made up of that, although we also saw collections of glass shoes, light houses, bells, old advertising, tools, silhouettes, lighters, and he apparently made walking sticks, as there were dozens of those, too.

We didn’t even come close to showing you the scope of the collection.  I think I would have liked to talk to them about it, as talking to any enthusiast about their collection is a real kick.  Here are a couple of pieces that caught our eye, more for the weirdness than anything:

This mirror was decorated within an inch of its life and it was all in glass.  I have seen older versions of these that were prettier, and this one was marked at $60.00.  I just have visions of what would happen when old fumble fingers me dropped it.

If you don’t want to have to look at your shining face in glass, you could go for this cornucopia of weirdness:

It had some of the same frills and ruffles.  Here is the price tag, in case this floats your boat:

Yes, those were the prices we were seeing on all this stuff.  Most of the glass was priced in the $30 to $60 range for bowls and vases.  Unfortunately, there are not a lot of collectors of this type of thing, and even on the half price day there sure was a LOT left.  We might have picked up a piece for each of us, in a pretty color we liked, but not at that price.  Wonder what they ended up doing with all the leftovers, and I am sure there were lots.  I know on the last day the cabinet with all the glass shoes was gone, but all those shoes were still sitting in the corner waiting for their own Cinderella to come get them.

The most amazing thing I noticed on the second day was that all of these were gone:

Yes, there were multiple glass clowns, some even bigger than this and they were ALL gone.  I want to know where that sicko lives so I can send them some mental help, because they surely need it.

Now this bowl-0-glass-fruit was still there, unsurprisingly:

They had priced the fruit individually, so you could just have your lemon if that is what you wanted.  Why, we just don’t know.

There was one piece of glass we BOTH coveted:

This piece was over 18 inches across and strongly reminded us of a Dale Chihuly piece.  We would both kill for one of those.  Needless to say this was out of our price range, and gone the half price day, when it still would have been out of our price range!

We also got a kick out of this old radio:

There were a couple of them at the sale, but we really like the strong late Deco feel of this one.

Deb and I did each buy something.  I bought these for my MIL:

Only because she has started to collect little glass animals for some odd reason, and how often do you see lobsters?  They tried to charge me $3.00 for EACH one, so I decided to put the two babies back that were only about 3/4″ long, and they relented and came down to $5.00 for the set realizing that the others were unsaleable alone.

Deb did buy one really cute little silhouette, and would have purchased another one, but the other one was priced about double what she paid for the first, and was the same size.  Must have been different folks pricing, but it sure would have been nice if they had a clue.

We stopped up the road for the other sale on our way out of town.  It was not nearly as outrageous, but we did get a kick out of their apparent obsession with golden retrievers.  They showed up on numerous items like these wine glasses:

We were not sure what the connection was between the dogs and a teeny tiny hummingbird, but hey, we’ve heard of all sorts of weird animal friendships, and this one is now commemorated in glass.

This also made us laugh.  He is just daring you to touch that ice:

I wouldn’t.  I like my fingers and he looks pretty snarly to me.

After all that excitement, there really wasn’t much more to do, so we headed north to F.C. and went to lunch.  What a day!

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Chain Reaction

Do you ever buy something that triggers an avalanche of work?  Kathy found a cool mid-century modern cabinet in a local consignment shop, modestly priced at $140.  It’s light oak, made in Yugoslavia, and originally sold for $32.50!  Well, I live in a mid-century modern house, and don’t really have the furniture to go with such a pad.  This piece was a perfect fit of $$ to desire.  I bought it last week, and then moved the bookcase full of bric-a-brac (tchotchkies removed) to my husband’s office.  He has a huge collection of stuffed, ceramic, wooden, you-name-it beavers.  It’s really hard to buy him a beaver because he has so many.  Then I took the bookcase his beavers were in, and moved it to the library and filled all of the shelves with books that I want to read *someday*.  Then it was time to move the new cabinet in the house, clean it, and fill it up with said bric-a-brac.  I won’t bore you with all the cleaning the other two moves included, but my whole house now looks better, thanks to Kathy’s keen shopping eye.

Just to show what was involved, here is B.H.’s beaver collection:

    

I moved the upright shelf, and dusted all of those squishy beavers!

Here’s the bookcase and my neglected books from years and years:

If I live to be 125 I’ll get them all read, plus the hundreds of books on my Kindle app!

This is what all the moving drama was for:

 I absolutely love it!  Plus, with glass doors, fewer things to dust.  😎  Sorry about the catty wampus picture.  My dining room is kind of small, and I couldn’t get the whole thing AND a straight picture.

Sorry for the detour, but thought all of you book hoarders or weird collectors might take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone.

This trash pickup leaves us with several questions:

Where is her top?  Why are they throwing the bottom half away?  Why did they have a full-sized mannequin in their house?  Hmm …  We didn’t have the nerve to knock on the door and take names or ask questions.  Trash haulers must have some pretty interesting stories.

Wow, is this how the NFL thinks they are going to engage women and kids in American football?

“Oh honey, I would watch football with you if only the football itself were little more gussied up!  That brown leather just doesn’t work for me!!”  You know, that just might drive your man to the local sports bar, and then you could watch what you wanted on Saturday or Sunday.

Well, this is a WTF picture if I’ve ever saw one:

Obviously this is the afterlife if Elvis is driving Marilyn around at sunset, looking for a place to park.  How can anyone believe that they will get pulled over by the cops?  I’m pretty sure Elvis did almost anything he wanted to while alive (just ask Richard Nixon) and I’m sure he does the same now.

We think that this snack set is cute:

Even the cup in the bowl is kind of fun.  I’m pretty sure that no one ever expected us to say something nice about some yellow, orange, and rust-colored decorations from the 1970s.  The key is that they didn’t overdo, and there is a lot of white to balance out the colors.

This lineup of ceramic and pottery critters cracked us up:

Right after I took the pictures, a number of things were scooped up and marched up to the cashier at the sale.  We liked the pottery cockatoo, and there are a couple of super cute kitties.

Here are the owl pictures from the hoarders intervention estate sale that Kathy mentioned last week:

   

Kathy was right when she said we didn’t get many pictures.  The house was pretty small, and it was stuffed full of an inordinate number of owls and people.  I sure hope you can see the shell owl in the rightmost corner of the picture on the right.  It’s pretty freaky and funny.

This little pile has an interesting story to go along with it:

We were at a sale put on by these women who like vintage things and overaccumulate. (Sound familiar?)  At least we all know when enough is enough, and purge the extra.  The tiles underneath are those asbestos vinyl floor tiles that were used quite a bit in the past, especially the 1950s.  I have always thought that they were pretty cool looking, and if they don’t break, they aren’t really dangerous.  I have a closet with shelves that needs a floor.  I was thinking of lightly, just a dab, gluing them down in there where only I can see them.  If we ever sell the house, I can just pop them up, and no harm, no foul.

The thing on top of the tiles is a make-your-own baseball kit.  I’ve never seen an unsewn baseball before.  We didn’t see any round rubber or cork centers, and no yarn to wind around the center, so the kit is incomplete, to say the least.

Well, I guess this is one thing you could do with broken watches:

 

Personally, I would set them all to the same time, just because that’s the type of person I am.  We’ve never ran across a project like this, and I don’t think it came from Pinterest.

What do you do with your paperweight collection:

This is an innovative solution.  I love the look of sunlight shining through glass objects.  This is must be really bright and pretty on a sunny day.

Thanks for giving us a read.  This is our 496th post, so we’ll have to think of something fun for 500!

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Estate Sale Follies

Well, we finally seem to have had a break in the weather.  We are actually getting a bit of our typical monsoon, if you can call it that, for a state that gets an average of 16 inches of moisture for the entire year.  Whatever you call it, a nice afternoon thunderstorm is a welcome relief from the heat, as long as we can stay away from the hail.  We are already scheduled for a new roof.  Anyway, last week we were still fighting the heat, but we went to four, count ’em, four estate sales.  They ranged from the bizarre to the boring.  We will concentrate on the bizarre, of course, with a quick detour for some unfinished business from last week.

Deb showcased her print by Estes Park artist Lyman Byxby last week.  Thought I should take a moment to share my pair of prints by him.

At first I thought these were watercolors, but they turned out to be prints that he then hand painted.  I am a sucker for all things Colorado, so the columbine and wild roses spoke loudly to me.  Plus, how can you go wrong for a buck apiece?  Funny that we both should find works by him within a few weeks of each other, when neither of us had ever heard of him before.  It always amazes me when things work out that way.

This was probably one of the more boring estates, except for this fabulous umbrella:

I am not even enamored of the table, but that umbrella just begs for a martinis and pigs in a blanket hors d’oeuvres to be served under it.  The little chain details are especially nice.  I should have insisted that Deb buy it, as it is more her house than mine, but she is still reeling from me making her buy a new mid-century cabinet.  She got the last laugh though; I have to help her move it.

We were totally overwhelmed by this estate, and apparently so were the folks putting it on, as there was stuff everywhere, some priced some not.  By the next weekend they were selling stuff at fill a box for $5.00.  We did a buy a couple of things, but we almost had more fun looking at stuff.  I wished this had been something I wanted, because it was rather cool:

It was a lamp from somewhere in the Middle East a VERY long time ago. It had all the paper work and stuff for its authenticity.  I know they found these by the hundreds and you used to be able to buy them pretty inexpensively.  I couldn’t figure out what to do with it, so I left it for someone else, but as far as genuine antiques go, this might be the oldest we have ever seen.

We found these in the same room:

I would say this came from a time when folks had a whole lot more time to spend on a card, but I am guilty of spending hours making a simple birthday card, so who I am to judge.  Inside it looked more like your basic paint-by-number kit:

Still, it might have been fun, or maybe not, as no one seemed to have used it much.

There was no hope for the wall decor:

It wasn’t even worth the effort to hang it straight!  This was pretty much the quality of the entire houseful of stuff.  There was a lot of pretty glass, but it’s so sad that you can hardly give that stuff away these days.  We then went on to a sale put on by the family members of a genuine hoarder.

I realized that we didn’t even take any photos [Deb here: We do, but I didn’t download them because we had lots of pix already.  We’ll show them to you next week.]  I think it is because it was more than our little brains could process.  We gave kudos to the ladies putting it on, as almost everything was priced, and it would have been a monumental undertaking to get it that way.  Sadly, we barely lightened their load, and only purchased a couple of small things.  The sale had a lot of owls, so we will add in this photo which was taken at a thrift store:

I don’t know who pissed in their Wheaties, but have you ever seen such an angry crew?  Looks like they are just daring you to come into the kitchen, never mind actually touching their precious flour, sugar, coffee, or tea.  [Deb here: I think that they’re angry because everyone of them has a chipped beak!]

As far as birds go, this one at least is a little more jolly, if maybe a bit more melted?

This may be the flattest chicken I have ever seen.  I like chickens, I like baskets, still, NOPE.  It did open, so maybe for tortillas or something?  Like a broody hen keeping your flatbread warm?  Yeah, doesn’t do it for me either.

We spotted this next item at a regular old garage sale.  We have to say that it might have been the most interesting thing in the whole sale, and it wasn’t for sale:

When was the last time you saw an Edsel?  Seems a shame that they were using it as a table.  Probably hubby came home shortly and gave them a tongue lashing for scratching his fabulous car.  OK, maybe not so fabulous, it’s an Edsel, after all.

This last item came from a thrift store:

We were pretty sure it was someone’s absolute favorite chair, but I don’t think there is a darn thing you could do for it that would make it any more palatable.  It strongly reminded us of the episode of Big Bang Theory where Penny brings home a chair that something is living in.  God knows what has made their home in this one.  Maybe a trip to the dump is in order.

Luckily, our weather is still plenty warm for more estate sales and garage sales, so we will be hitting the streets again, ready to bring you the latest.  The sacrifices we make for our loyal readers!

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Baby, It’s Hot Outside!

I’m not going to complain about the weather, although we seem to give up on garage sales earlier if it’s over 90 °F.  The glare from the hot, hot sun makes even our snark go away.  Thank goodness we’ve had a bunch of estate sales in the last couple of weeks.  They are usually inside, and we’ll take all the shade we can get, even if it’s hot.

Recently, I’ve seen a couple of funny memes about the heat.  I’ll let you pick out your favorite:

     

This next little grouping brought back some bad memories.  I don’t play bridge, ever:

It’s not that no one has tried to teach me, but rather that it’s a serious game, and way too much work to be fun.  When the yelling starts, I’m out!  Goren here looks like he might be a hypnotist, which is what it would take to make me play bridge again.

This set of little chairs were in the basement at an estate sale:

Sorry for the blurry picture.  It was kind of dark, and there were people to dodge.  It doesn’t take much to mess up my picture game.  They had those cute vintage decals on their little heart-shaped backs.  Totally adorable.  The other cool thing about that basement was the shuffleboard court painted on the floor.  The discs are sitting right in front of the leftmost chair.

I couldn’t think of a justification to  buy this high chair, but I sure wanted to!

The fact that my house has no babies, no baby dolls, and no room weighed in on one side of the scale against the Art Deco awesomeness of the chair.  Sanity won, and I left it there for someone else.  I could have used it for a plant stand; good thing for my budget that idea didn’t occur to me until now.

We’re suckers for funny signs:

The sign was the weirdest thing about the sale.  First off, it was on the driveway, so it wasn’t a lawn sale.  Secondly, the stuff looked pretty normal to us.  But, the sign did its job because we were sucked into the sale.

We saw this little diorama in the yard next to a sale:

It’s really hard to say what’s going on here.  Everything looks so nautical, except for the zombie garden gnome.  And, what the heck is an ocean scene doing in a landlocked high-plains desert like Northern Colorado?  Someone is a long way from home and misses the ocean!

Here’s a Pinterest craft project if I’ve ever seen one:

You know, if you only have a couple of pairs of earrings, a small box would work, and you can leave Mom’s cheese grater alone!  What did it ever do to you?

This was at the same sale:

I’m not sure what these two things say about the family, but they are pretty strange items.  Why on earth would you want fabric donuts?  It was a couple of feet long, and someone obviously put a lot of work into recreating a baker’s dozen of donuts.  These are even worse than candle donuts, because candles might at least smell good.  Fabric donuts would only make me cranky every time I saw them!  Maybe this would make a good cat bed; you could put some catnip inside the donuts, and then watch the fun.  On the other hand, these people were selling their music CDs for 10¢ each.  That was fun!

We’re just hoping that this quilt is one of those everybody-embroiders-a-block things:

Because if the maker was that bad at embroidery, why the heck did they put their lack of skill on display with the quilt?  That baby block in the middle center is so shuddersome that it totally squinks me out.  There are also a couple of animals here that could be a dog, cat, rabbit, squirrel, you name it.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to sell, or if it does, it is going to be a trunk blanket for your car.  Although, I would put the back side up; who wants to picnic looking at that baby?

We did make it to a thrift store:

Obviously, these belonged to the same person.  I’m sure it’s good advice, but unless you’re one of those coordinated people, it’s hard to keep your head up and your heels high at the same time.  We’re totally down with the rightmost sign.  We love to be sassy AND smart assy!

I wanted to show you a print I got at an estate sale:

   

I got this at the same estate sale that Kathy got her coffeepot with the Bakelite handle that she talked about on Facebook.  The name Lyman Byxbe rang a bell, and I really love images of Longs Peak, a 14,259 foot tall mountain that I nearly got to the top of, long, long ago.  Turns out Lyman Byxbe lived in Estes Park, the small town on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park.  He was fairly famous in his lifetime, and got national attention from a showing at the Smithsonian in 1937–38.  This print has foxing, and has yellowed from contact with regular matting and paper in the frame.  But, these prints still sell from $60–$200 each, depending on subject and condition.  I’m pleased with my $5 investment.

We’re sending cool thoughts to everyone out there sweltering with us.  It looks like we might get some thunderstorms next week, hurrah!

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Cruisin’ on a Friday Morning

I am going to start off by saying that I am grouchy.  Colorado has been having a spate of near 100-degree temperatures this past week, and our house does NOT have air conditioning.  I feel that is probably an excuse for all sorts of things, so be glad no one is near me when I have a butcher knife in my hand and am hanging out by a hot stove cooking dinner.  We had a reprieve one night.  The power went out.  Didn’t bother us—no air conditioning to knock out—and I went outside and cooked dinner over a camp stove.  It might have been an improvement.

But heat will never keep us from garage sales.  We bravely don our sunscreen and hats and head out, so lucky you!

Caught an estate sale a couple of weeks ago that might have been the mother lode of crazy stuff.  The guy was a wood-carver and how:

And lest you think he only did animals, here are the people:

And there were more on the other side of the room! Deb and I couldn’t resist; we each picked out a critter, a moose for me and a beaver for her.   Here is my moose.  I love the look on his face, and let’s just say the anatomy in the rear was “all male”.  My husband thought it was hysterical:

They really were pretty well done, but I feel bad for a body of work that large being sold for a couple bucks a piece.  Hope lots of people adopted a carving.

Deb here with a pic of the beaver I bought:

My hubby has collected beavers for 40 plus years, and I’m always happy to find one that he doesn’t have!  I’m impressed with how much personality this little guy has crammed into his three inches.

The rest of the house was a little crazy, too.  Take this light fixture, for instance:

I suppose it could work, but man, has that thing been hanging around a long time.  It was not a genuine antique but a reproduction from the ’60s.  Probably the original light in the dining room.  There were a few other oddball things there too.  Check out the wall-hanging towel rack:

Well, I guess you have to hang your towels somewhere, but given the choice, I might have just driven a rusty old nail into the wall and called it a day.  When they replaced the towels, they obviously were not able to get that fashionable avocado green to match the macrame and had to settle for a slightly bilious mint green.  Too bad.  Might as well go all the way.

I don’t believe these were at the same sale, but they might as well have been:

At least there are his and hers.  No man should have to suffer these alone.  In a pinch, you could cut off the yarn and recycle the beer cans, but that is a lot of work for a few cents!  I have no other blessed idea for what to do with these.  A sunburned head would be a better choice than wearing them.

While we are in a crafting mood, these yarny animals seem to be starting a “thing” right before our eyes:

Can’t tell whether the pig is happy about it or not, but the crab is probably just debating how far up the leg he can inch before he gets a porcine slap in the face.  Sometimes I worry about the way our minds work, but then I ignore it and go happily about my business.

Take these poodles, for instance:

Deb and I both had to admit that we found them rather fun.  We only paused an instant to contemplate what this might mean about the state of our mental health before we moved on to something else.  Maybe that is the key.  Short attention spans.  Anyway, we thought they were rather clever.  I might have gone for a paint redo and made them black, so I could tie big pink and black polka-dotted ribbon around their necks, but since I am not a poodle person, I was off the hook for buying them and Deb didn’t have room.  Whew, dodged a bullet there.

I did succumb to one of these:

Only because I can’t resist awful Barbie-clone dolls, but in my defense, I only purchased one.  The gold outfit on the left was actually a pretty good Vanna dress.  These were hocked on The Home Shopping Chanel in the ’90s, and I am sure that Vanna took a stab at peddling these to the limited edition (of 2 million) buying public.  I wonder how she did it with a straight face, as the dolls are pretty dreadful.

On the other hand, there is no excuse for this doll:

My gosh, that child looks way too happy with a toy this horrendous.  Really bad cheap clone that probably flops all over the stand looking like she has some terrible nerve disorder.  Bet it only ever came out of the box ONCE, and no, I wasn’t even tempted.

I do have one leftover that I purchased in Vegas, just because it is pretty.  I love vintage tiles, and have collected them for years.  That sort of moves me over into the area of trivets, too.  I spotted this one in our old favorites, Savers:

It’s not super old, but I just loved the white rabbit.  I adore Alice in Wonderland, and this is definitely moving in that direction.  It was a grand total of $1.99, so what the heck.  I was tickled that even the back of it was pretty:

Nice to see some enchanting detail on a newish item.  Did I need it … NO, but what has that got to do with anything?  If we only bought what we need, our houses would be empty, and what is the fun in that?  No matter what those anti-clutter folks say.

We are supposed to get a couple of days of slightly cooler weather, so my family should be safe for a bit.  You might want to wish some arctic breezes this way, just to keep me sane, that is, if you have any to spare.  Some rain would be nice too, while we are wishing, and that number one Barbie had better show up this week as well.  OK, maybe going too far, but a girl’s got to dream!

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Viva Las Vegas

We’re back from the International Fashion Doll Convention safe and as sound as we ever are.  We had loads of fun, did some new things (slot tournament), met lots of nice people, shopped, and of course, bought lots of dolls and their accoutrements.

We drove to Las Vegas in the middle of an Earthly hot flash.  When we got to St. George, UT at about 6pm, it was 107 °F.  And yes, we could notice it, even though it was a dry heat.  We stopped about in the middle of Utah because Kathy had a doll picture in mind, set at the Black Dragon Canyon viewing area.  It’s a gorgeous place:

   

Kathy got her shot without too much difficulty.  We admired the rock formations, and felt a little sorry for the lady sitting in the parking lot, in the sun, selling souvenirs.  It was awfully hot, especially on the sidewalk and in the parking lot.  We didn’t do any more walking around than we needed to, and then beat a hasty retreat to the air-conditioned car.  After doing some more reading about the area, I wish it had been cooler so we could have visited the petroglyphs

After getting a room for the night, we went to supper in St. George, and passed through this fun traffic circle:

We love art in unexpected places, and traffic circles are the perfect place to see art in the round, so to speak.

Las Vegas is an easy drive from southwest Utah.  We arrived early and after trying to check in early, (no dice), we got supplies (coffee!) and headed to our favorite Vegas destination:

Obviously, we were expected as we found this space in the parking lot:

Kathy’s car is the one in the shade, a rare commodity in Las Vegas parking lots.  We knew it was going to be a good day since our parking karma was intact.

I wish I could think of something to frame in this poor thing:

Domed glass frames are kind of a cool way to display treasures.  If you painted the frame, added new backing, and then put an interesting piece of jewelry in there, wouldn’t it look better?  Of course, this only occurred to me as I write this, and the frame is 800 miles away in Nevada.

This cat bowl says it all:

The way some of them carry on about their empty food dishes, this is right on target.  I don’t exempt dogs from this behavior, or myself, for that matter, but this was obviously a cat dish.

Speaking of dogs:

OMG, the owner of this did the right thing bringing it to a thrift store.  Dachshunds are so cute; how could someone do this to them?  I think that background looks like someone crinkled up plastic wrap and poured some two-part resin compound on it and let the whole mess dry.  After tearing the plastic wrap off, they attempted to decorate it.  Kathy has a friend who loves doxies, but she never even considered buying this for him.

This confused us:

We were trying to figure out what the creature was, when it occurred to us that it probably was a Minion.  Seeing El Salvador written around the bottom clears up some of the confusion.  It’s a Central American Minion, and they obviously wear different colored overalls so no one confuses them with the other Minions. /s

No one could miss these giant flowers:

But, we still liked them—the vase, not so much.  The flowers look like they are made from some sort of paper or coarsely woven fabric.  We thought that they were decorations in a restaurant or someone’s house who smoked.  They had a bit of film on them.

We found a second Savers on Saturday.  There were different kinds of things there, including this purse:

Purses are something that neither of us are short of.  But, we still look at them everywhere we go.  This one is so cute, but we just didn’t need it.  Hope it found a good home.

This is a pretty terrifying decorative item:

I think it’s supposed to be one of those flying baby heads that you see in Renaissance art.  I’m not sure what they call them since putto and cherubs have chubby male bodies.  If anyone knows what art historians call them, drop us a comment.  No matter what it’s called, this one’s creepy with a capital C.

Kathy found this vintage drink shaker and pounced:

   

Her dad services and sells fire extinguishers, and collects vintage extinguishers.  This one is pretty cool and the rightmost picture admonishes hosts to put the “thirst extinguisher” in a convenient place.  It is pretty darn cool, and will make a great present for him.

Back at the convention, we did some workshops and built some fun doll things:

    

We made a tiki bar, and it was pretty complex.  Here is the demo without the roof which we will make at home.  It was a pretty involved project.  The second project was a record player (it was about two inches across) for Poppy Parker.  It’s made of paper with fabric fused on the outside.  It was very cleverly made by folding and gluing tabs to make the box.  It comes with records and their sleeves.

We also went to the strip one evening and walked around before going to the Cosmopolitan:

The water show at the Bellagio always grabs our attention.  We have gone to the Bellagio in the past to check out the flower and art exhibits, and ogle the Chihuly glass in the reception area.  This year we wanted to look for Art-o-mats ($5 art dispensed from converted cigarette vending machines) at the Cosmopolitan.  We found three Art-o-mats, but the machines hadn’t been stocked for a while, and we weren’t thrilled by what art was left.

While at the Cosmopolitan wandering around, we saw these dogs on the second floor.  There were six of them grouped in a loose circle, and they all looked a little different:

I stood next to one, and they were taller than me.  I thought they were charming and a little different from other statues you see in Vegas.

We always have fun in Vegas, but it doesn’t involve gambling, drinking, or carousing.  Our fun is shopping, crafting, and dolls, just like at home, and we don’t think that news has to stay in Vegas.

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Medieval Torture Device, or How Did I Ever Live Without It?

Thought we would take a little detour here, as I seemed to be gathering rather a pile of things that fit into this category, and were begging me to make a post of them.  I think we will have a little game here.  I will post the picture, and give you a chance to guess what it is before we move on the explanation.  Let’s start here:

Out of the box, these present some serious conundrums.  The posts on the sides of each of the three squares are retractable, and the long thing is vaguely needle-like, so what could it be?  Why a granny square loom, of course:

Now, looking at the instructions, there is absolutely NO WAY on God’s green earth that they are going to come out looking like the picture on the box.  I guess we are going to have to take their word for it, that it is magic.  I have used a similar loom that made round daisies in the ’60s and they came out pretty cute.  The jury is out on this one.  I haven’t tried it yet.  All those granny square patterns are probably safe from this.

These could be a set of fingernails?

Yet another needle thingy, and I have to let you know it is missing the “pure” latex bands that hold the wire parts in place.  This one may actually work:

These were for making rag rugs.  It says you can braid all weights of fabric because of the adjustable wires.  It would probably work.  I actually liked the box more than anything.  That is probably pretty warped on my part, so sue me.

By now, you can tell that we are playing with sewing items from the near and distant past.  The whole idea started with this book that showed up in a bag of sewing books and patterns.  Who can resist a bag of sewing books and patterns?  Not us!

I’m a Singer girl, two sewing machines and a serger, so I knew this would be useful, and what do you know, I did learn something.  First up, this:

No, seriously, is this not the most wicked-looking thing you have ever seen?  I own two of these (no really!).  One fits my old treadle Singer and I just got the other one, as it was low shank foot, and I knew it would fit my newer Singer machine, but once I had it, now what?  I did know what it was, but now I know what to do with it:

Yes, it’s a ruffler.  It even sounds fun doesn’t it?  Here is another page on how to use it:

I bravely attached it to my machine, and what do you know?  Ruffles:

It can do ruffles of varying  degrees and you can set it to do pleats as well.  Honest, it worked like a charm.  You can even set it up to do the ruffle or pleat, and attach it at the same time:

One seam!  Why do these things not come with new machines?  If you have a low shank machine go find yourself a Greist or Singer ruffler at once!

This next one was not so successful, at least in my book:

This little dohicky is made to attach binding.  Here is the info:

I tried it with some modern cotton binding and there was no way it was EVER going to work, but I found some rayon, or something like it, double-fold tape in my stash and it did attach it neatly:

It’s a little tricky to use, but I could see it working with practice, but only with finer materials and smaller sizes than modern bias tape comes in.

I learned to use one of these when I first started to sew, it’s another wicked-looking device, isn’t it?

These old buttonholers were a godsend, as before them, buttonholes were hand sewing at its most tedious.  These have cams that you drop in a spot in the back to set it up to do the correct size of buttonhole.  Along came the new machines with “built in buttonholers” and these went by the wayside.  Well, let me tell you, it’s worth going and finding one of these.  At least my machine just moves the needle from side to side: you have to tell it where it start, where to stop and where to do each end.  You attach this, put your foot down and instant buttonhole:

Clean and neat, and every one the same.  Oh Singer, are you listening?

Here we have another crazy miss:

My first guess was a tuning fork!  Not really.  I found the first one with instructions, so I knew what the second one was when it showed up in a sewing box.  Here we go:

Yes, a handy-dandy hemstitcher.  I have read the instructions from top to bottom, and other than the insistence that it is will make your life easier, I can see no evidence of this being a help.  Check out the closeup:

Just fold the fabric over and stitch between the bars.  Couldn’t you just fold the fabric over and stitch without messing with a piece of metal?  Imagine trying to keep your presser foot on top of the dratted thing.  On top of that you have to loosen your top tension on the machine to make it work, so you have a LOOSE hem.  The envelope says it cost a whole dollar, and we know that at least two people (well, make that three if you count me) purchased one.  I am pretty sure the total number of times it has been used is way less than that!  By the way, they even had the nerve to patent it!

I hope even the non sewers had a little fun looking at some of these, and for those who do sew, maybe you will be on the hunt for a new toy soon!

Posted in True Confessions, Unexpected Bonus | Tagged | 3 Comments