Purses: A Multi-Part Love Story II

Oh, the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men.  I had planned to do several posts about purses, optimistically subtitling the first post A Multi-Part Love Story.  That was June 2011; five years is probably just too big of a gap to call this a series.  I’ll try to do better—maybe the next post in this series will be published in two years.  ;- )

I want to talk about vintage woven purses this time; the first post was about box purses.  This is the time of the year that we think about breaking out our summer purses and woven purses are the stars of the show.

For all of our bitching about sea shells, I seem to have several purses decorated with them:

Big Shell Bag

I think this purse has used shells in a fun way; it isn’t over the top or garish.  It’s a pretty big bag and is fun to take on tropical vacations because it’s awesome wherever you find yourself.  I end up carrying everyone’s sunglasses and sunblock, so I would rather not be squishing it all into a reasonably-sized bag.

Here’s a close up of the decoration:

Shell bag closeup

I like the green raffia leaves, too.  I kind of wish that the shells had a little more color to them, but that’s a picky complaint.

My next shell purse isn’t quite so attractive:

Shell bag Grandma style

The bag style is pretty much Queen of England—if she carried woven bags.  I haven’t carried this anywhere except home from a garage sale.  It’s such a crazy bag—what were they thinking as they glued the shells to the plastic oval?

Grandma shell bag details

It doesn’t make any sense at all!  The shells are okay, but not anything out of the ordinary.  I think it must be a purse kit and someone just decided to glue a bunch of random shells on it.  I would like it better if it were a pattern, which I’m imagining that a professional purse maker would.  I’m probably giving purse makers waaay too much credit.

I did feature this purse a couple of weeks ago, but I love it so much that you’re seeing it again:


Kathy pointed out that she bought me this purse and one for herself, too!  I had forgotten where I got it, which happens all the time.  I love the randomness of the decorations:

Shell bag twin closeup

Why are there three colors of velvet ribbon?  Did you notice the center green ribbon is also a pea pod?  There are pearl peas stuffed in there because of course there isn’t enough going on here.  The whole thing is covered with a piece of clear plastic for your protection.

This might be my favorite woven purse and is eminently carryable:

Monkey Business Purse

It’s got a lot going on, but it stays on theme.  I like the monkeys, but it’s the bananas that put it over the top for me.  They are so well done, except for hanging from a palm tree.  Maybe some nice person hung them up there to feed the monkeys.  This is another big purse, so it’s perfect for garage saling and vacationing.  I can stash lots of goodies in there and the handles are pretty sturdy, so I don’t have to worry about weighing it down.

Here’s a close up of the monkeys:

Monkey Bussiness Closeup

I carried this a lot when the summer intern was younger and he loved the monkeys.  I don’t blame him, I love them too.  I’m going to carry this more often; the key will be to not stuff it back into the closet I store purses in.

I wonder if this is really a lunch box, but I like it as a purse:

Bersin Products of LA purse   Inside the Bersin Purse

The outside kind of looks like a place mat, but the red top makes it snappy.  I’m not sure why the inside is pink and black plaid paper.  What a strange pairing—woven outside and plaid inside.  It is marked Bersin Products made in Los Angeles Calif:

Bersin Products mark

The bottom looks like pressed paperboard, so I had better keep it away from water.  I tried to Google Bersin Products, but nothing pursey came up.  That mark makes me think it was made in the 1960s sometime.

This next purse has such a fun shape:

Phillipines palm Purse   Inside the Palm bag

It was handmade in Philippines, so this qualifies as a GOOD souvenir!  We see so few, but that’s probably because people keep the good ones.  How can you not be cheerful carrying all that fun pink?  The flowers are made from raffia, I think:

Phillipines Palm Purse details

I think the purse itself is made from woven palm fronds that might be stained darker.  The handle makes it pretty easy to  carry, but I can’t even get my wallet in it easily.  When I carry it, I have to pare down the tonnage that I lug around every day.  How often do I need two Leatherman tools and a Swiss army knife?  Money, keys, lip gloss, and a hankie pretty much are the essentials.

I found this beauty at Savers, all those many years ago:

Blue Raffia made in italy purse  Blue Raffia made in italy purse

It was made in Italy, probably in the 1960s, and the material looks like blue raffia.  I’m pretty sure Jackie Kennedy would carry this purse with a blue pillbox hat.  The brass makes it pretty snappy.  It has little brass feet too.  I’m selling this on Etsy if anyone is interested.  It needs to go to a good home.

Hopefully, it won’t be two years before the next purse post.  I’ll leave you with a thought from Susan B. Anthony:

Susan B. Anthony says you need a purse

We agree!

Thanks for reading.  Please check out our Facebook page too.  A purse or two may show up there from time to time.

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Oh, Happy Garage Sale

We think we have finally arrived at full-on garage sale season.  Oh, Happy Day!  We are so easy to please.  Last week, we had just enough sales to keep us going along with a quick trip to Goodwill.  It was a perfect day, only slightly spoiled by knowing I had to go work the Summer Intern’s school fundraiser that evening.  Actually, the morning is what got me through the night!

First up, we know you love seeing flowers, and we wouldn’t want to disappoint.  Just try and imagine the scent wafting from these beauties:

Lovely French Lilacs at GoodwillThe French lilacs are in full flower around here.  Just yummy.  Even the hail that hit the town sporadically Saturday couldn’t dent these hardy specimens.

OK, on to the sales.  We have pointed out in times past that we are inherently cheap.  It’s not that we won’t spend money when it is necessary, but we are so much happier with a bargain.  Things like this offend us:

Really, $35 for that picture?The seriously tacky and outdated couch art priced at $35?  We know it’s vintage, but slap a $5 price tag on it, and hope someone takes it for the frame.

The prices at this sale were all over the place.  Deb did pick up a couple of fun things and they offered her a free Christmas item with her purchase.  She passed on this:

Pasta AngelsNot that we didn’t get a good chuckle out of the macaroni angels.  At first glance we didn’t even realize that they were made of pasta.  Someone did a pretty good job.  Too bad they were broken up a bit; that is the danger of food for ornaments.  We still like the pasta angels more than these:

Ribbon Candy BarbieYou know we are Barbie Collectors from waaaay back, but neither of us has EVER succumbed to the Ribbon Candy Monstrosity and her friend.  We are amazed at the number of times the Christmas dolls show up at sales with obscene price tags on them, and huge signs pointing out the “collector Barbies”  Give ’em to your five year old and let them have at them.  Just pass us those vintage bubblecut dolls for a buck.  (Don’t laugh, I have done it more than once!)

We spotted this little fellow at the same sale:

Crabby shell magnetGo ahead and chuckle, we know you want to.  This may be one of the best “use of shells” ever.  Too bad there is not an award for that.  Maybe we should come up with one.  We are even going to give this a passing grade as a souvenir.  If you tucked him into a tiny corner of your suitcase, and plopped him on the fridge when you got home, he would make you smile and remember the beach.  A+ all around.

We stopped at a series of sales in an area of small retirement condos.  Frequently, these are good foraging places for jewelry and vintage stuff that is the spice of life for us.  I did pick up an awesome handbag here (see our Facebook post this past Thursday for a photo of it), and we each found a couple of small fabric pieces that came home to reside in our stashes.  You really didn’t think we would get around to using them, did you?  But … we hit the mother lode for blog fodder.

Where to start?

Manatees, Angel Table, and Ugly Lamp, Oh MyI don’t know what is worse: the frolicking manatees, the god-awful lamp, or the table it is resting on.  The really scary thing?  The table was already sold!  Now if the first photo were not enough, here we have another offering from the same sale:

Which is worse?The ONLY thing we will allow for is the gemstone bonsai tree.  These amuse us, and one tastefully placed in the decor is OK.  The mind boggles at the lamps.  What sort of shade could conceivably compete with the gilded belles of the ball?  And were two of them really necessary?  I like cats, and that cat sculpture sort of creeps me out.  Those feet make you wonder if there is really a hobbit in disguise under there.  Now just imagine all of these items in the same house.  Must … Not … Think … Of … It.  Argh ………….. Wonder what she replaced them with?  Maybe we shouldn’t think about that either.

If I had a table and this lamp weren’t priced higher than I like, I might have succumbed:

Vintage LampI like twisty roots, just ask my family.  The summer intern once had to share a back seat with a particularly fine specimen all the way home from a vacation.  I even have a couple of large floor lamps made from the same.  I like this one, and the shade is just kitschy enough to appeal to me.  Alas, for lack of room and being too cheap to pay $20.

At least we weren’t toting around all this:

Extra Full CartWe thought we had a shopping problem.  You would not believe to what lengths we go to take these photos surreptitiously.  So far, we have never been confronted by an angry shopper demanding to know what we are doing.

A couple of weeks ago, we showed you something we had dug out of the $1.99 jewelry pile at the thrift.  We just thought we would give you a taste of just how bad it can get:

$1.99 Jewelry MessI only have one hand on this mess.  We are pretty sure every week, that there is nothing in there we want that badly, and woe betide you if there is.  It will take you till next year to release it from the spaghetti mess.

We will be attending a convention this summer, and for one of the meals, we are supposed to dress like a Faberge egg.  (Don’t ask me why.)  So, we have been keeping an eagle eye out for the appropriate gear.  We think we found the perfect thing, but it didn’t fit either of us, as it was an extra small, which we are not:

Faberge JacketSeriously, look closely, can you see the hand of a master goldsmith?

Faberge Jacket closeupOh well, the hunt continues.  I have a backup contingency plan, but it isn’t as perfect as the jacket.

I thought I would leave you with a fun item:

Meow!I adored the cat suit graphics on this fun case.  I couldn’t think of any earthly use I could put it to, or I would have bought it.  Please don’t come up with a really good one, and make me kick myself for not buying it.  I showed such restraint as it is.

Happy Friday everyone, may all your garage sale goodies be bargains.  Don’t forget to subscribe to our posts, or our Facebook page, or both!  Till next week.

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Kathy and Deb’s Excellent Estate Sale Adventures

Along with the garage sales and thrift stores, we’ve been to several estate sales over the last couple of weeks.  In fact, that’s all we did last week, since one of them was in a small town about 15 miles down the road.  Estate sales are my favorites, even more than garage sales because they are the whole shebang, not just those things that someone wants to get rid of.  I should probably warn you that in the middle of this post is a potentially NSFW set of pictures; I left empty spaces so you can sneak a peek and decide for yourself.

An interesting thing about estate sales is the glimpse you get into another person’s life.  For instance:

Fall Decorations   Fall Cappezios

I’ve never had a pair of shoes decorated just for the fall.  There is always the possibility that she had other ornaments for them and they got lost after she stopped wearing these sweet little vintage Capezio high heels.  Of course, I’m excited about the idea of jewelry for shoes; too bad that I never wear anything but Dansko or running shoes.  The 1950s and early ’60s seem like another lifetime with all the rules about being dressed up to leave the house.  I laugh all the time when I see people at the grocery store in their pj bottoms.

It’s a good day when you can combine two of your favorite things:

Faces in Places

Yay–estate sales and Faces in Places!  Look how happy that ?toothbrush holder? is.  He loves his job and isn’t afraid to show it.  Sort of like that song, err, earworm, Everything is Awesome from The LEGO Movie.

I’m back, and a little breathless after dancing around the living room to that darn happy song!

Am I the only one that is surprised that this picture wasn’t painted on velvet?

Golfing Dogs

It was an amusing variation on Dogs Playing Poker, but I think that dogs playing any ball sports would be problematic.  I can’t imagine how angry a golfer would be if one of your foursome just up and ran off with your ball, especially if it were on the green.

This next set of pictures is NSFW, depending on where you work.  I’m going to give you a little space so you can sneak a peek and not get in trouble:





Spencer's gifts has a lot to answer for   Spencer's gifts has a lot to answer for2

I’m not sure why you would give these “gag” gifts, but I’m sure there are some people that think they are a hoot.  My problem is keeping them for years and years.  As a side note, the people running the sale said that the homeowner kept everything, and they spent a long time just throwing things away.  They might have made a mistake by not giving these two things the old heave-ho.

For Pete’s sake, how hard is it to make an attractive lamp?

Conquistador lamp   Conquistador lamp base

The horrible lamps we see make it clear that there are so many things that can go wrong while trying to add a bulb and shade to a base.  The only possible use for this lamp is in a campy, fun, crazy decor, and even then I might paint some lipstick on it and add a huge feather to that hat.

Let’s look at something that’s more on the fun side of the scale:

Tropical gown  Tropical Gown close up

How could you feel sad in this dress?  I’m pretty sure that if you wore it on the patio after sundown, you would provide as much light as a tiki torch.  Even as I say this stuff about it, If this was my size, I would wear it.  You would be the belle of the luau.

There was lots of barware at the sales.  We didn’t buy any of it because it was mostly bad, or big.  That doesn’t work any more.

Bad before good:

vintage barware

What’s more offensive—the bow-legged caricature in front, or the little boy in the back peeing your drink out?  It would shock us if either of them sold, ick!

Vintage Barware2

Here are some bad 1960s bar things.  We don’t like hobo clowns, and the homeless problem is sad, so why would we want a sad, drunken homeless person/clown in our homes?  That might make us sad drunks too.  Then there is the W.C. Fields character leaning against a light pole; why would anyone want a light with someone else’s name painted on it?  The best thing is the car that you’re supposed to put a bottle in; I would have liked a snazzier car than that broken down jalopy.  This is just a collection of junky barware that has limited appeal.  Not good enough to be desirable; not bad enough to be good.

Here is something good:

More Vintage Barware

I love that the whole set is still together—all the glasses and the ice bucket.  I already have a big set of glasses and a shaker, and Kathy doesn’t really have room for this set.  The price was right, only $10, so hopefully it went home with someone who loved it.

I’m just going to throw in a couple of thrift store finds to round out the post:

Horse fighting rug

If you had a velvet Poker Dog painting hanging on the wall, you might want to add the fighting (??) horse decorative rug to the mix.  Might as well go for broke at that point.  ARC had this hanging behind the check out area, where they put all there most valuable items.  Surprisingly, it was gone the next time I went in.  Maybe someone bought it for their stable.

All I can think of when I see this toad, is Jabba the Hutt in lipstick and hat:

Toad Statue

It was one of those things that made us say, “Why?????” in unison.  Who would want this in their homes or gardens?  It makes me clench!  I guess it could work as a scarecrow in your garden; no self-respecting crow, rabbit, or deer would be caught dead in the scary lady toad’s company.

Thanks for reading; please don’t forget to take a look at our Facebook page and subscribe if you’re amused.  We actually put mostly good things there and share what we buy, both fun and crazy.

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In a State

Last week, we tiptoed through the tulips.  This week that would be an impossibility at my house.  I went to bed Saturday night knowing that I would have a lovely patch of tulips open in the morning.  This patch included some of my precious souvenirs of my trip to the Netherlands LAST April, so I was dying to see them.  I came out in the morning to find this:

20160428_081210.jpgAll neatly mowed off by the %#*@ deer!  I keep telling my husband, a salt lick, the garage door opener and a club, and we would have a freezer full of venison in no time.  Needless to say, I have been a “tiny” bit grumpier than usual this week.

Luckily, I can take my bad temper out on a few choice items, and share it with you.  First up:

Wyoming plateWhy O Why, Wyoming?  No state deserves to be memorialized in this fashion.  It’s pretty darn ugly, and so inaccurate.  I am positive the wind blows too hard up there to ever have trees as large as the ones by the Capitol building ( nor does the building look like that! )  That cowboy is riding a calf, not a bull, and no self respecting cowpoke would let himself be seen in a rodeo without the requisite hat!  We had to laugh, as according to the mark on the back:

Wyoming plate markThis sucker was vintage, so someone kept it an awfully long time considering it’s hideousness.  On top of that, if you want to remember WY from here in CO, hop in the car, it’s less than an hours drive away!

Moving on to the next aisle, we came across this:

Don't want Nebraska to feel left out2We didn’t want Nebraska to be left out!  No marks on this one, but in case the corn and covered wagon were not a dead give-a-way, they made sure you know the exact spot they were commemorating.

Don't want Nebraska to feel left outSince it was an ashtray, we can only assume it would be improved by being covered in cigarette ashes, just no where near our living rooms.  FYI, not much farther to drive to Nebraska than to Wyoming, so skip the souvenirs.

We came across a couple of funny signs.  These first two are magnets:

Kitty signsI started to turn the first one “right side up” then realized it was!  I actually have the second one on a cabinet near my desk.  This frequently characterizes my life.  Especially, when Thursday rolls around, and it hits me that it is my turn to write the blog.  Maybe, turning my head upside down would improve my outlook.  Nope, deer still ate my tulips.

We liked this one too:

Husband for sale signWe both live in a household where the hubby is in charge of the remote.  Around here he gives me grief because I have no idea how to turn on the TV, DVD, etc., but if I never get a chance to practice, how am I supposed to learn?  Of course, the TV would then always be tuned to Antiques Roadshow, or the like, and he would just be irritated about that, so probably more peaceful to just go about in ignorant bliss.

I spotted these two items on Saturday while garage saling with hubby:

20160423_103551.jpg  20160423_103559.jpg

Lady of Spain keeps playing in my head for some reason!  You have to admit that first one is pretty spectacular.  I think they just made them extra fancy, so no one would notice they were still listening to an accordion!  It sort of mesmerizes you, like a snake charmer.  The second one was pretty plain, although the inlay work was very nice.  Still hard to imagine one sale would have two of them.  In my misbegotten youth, I actually managed a tune or two on the “squawkbox”.  Luckily, the actual instrument lived at the neighbors, and I just took piano lessons.  My parents were pretty smart cookies.

Time for a “goody” just to give your eyes a rest.  Isn’t this pretty?

Estate sale Kimono  Poor Deb almost fell down the stairs getting far enough away to take a picture of it, but we did love it.  I adore clothes that are art.  It was nicely displayed too.  Hope someone purchased it that has a nice bit wall space to continue to show it off.

OK, back to the old grind.  This is a WTF thing for sure:

Owl has diamond eyes  As far as we could tell, this served no earthly purpose.  It wasn’t a bank, not heavy enough for a door stop, or a weapon.  It was made of some sort of heavyish plastic, so it wouldn’t make a good target.  You know, no satisfying shattering on impact.  All it did was stare at us with those over sized rhinestone eyes.  Why this particular shade of blue either?  Of course, I don’t know of too many blue owls anyway, unless they are depressed at the how the portrait sculpture came out.

We have up now another bad craft fail:

Yellow macrame plant hanger         Yellow macrame plant hanger decoration

It’s a plant hanger.  Thought I would get that vital piece of information out there first.  After that, all bets are off.  Instead of making it out of jute, they were thrifty and used bilious yellow yarn, and lots of it.  Not being satisfied with that, they plunked a dead bird in it.  It must be dead, it’s hanging upside down.  Sort of a Monty Python Parrot Sketch thing.  What kind of a plant would be caught dead in such a thing?  Come to think of it, a dead plant just might  improve it.  Probably not though.  We did notice that it continues to hang all by itself in shunned isolation.  Looks like no one is crazy enough to take it home.  Thank goodness!

We are undecided on this last item:

Bronze whatzit from Estate SaleBronze whatzit from Estate Sale2                                                                                                                                                                   This was at the same estate sale as the kimono, and we spent several minutes trying to decide what it was.  We think the round piece in front of the wagon was for a candle, and perhaps the bowl for fruit, but go ahead and mentally put those items in place; I’ll wait.  Now that you have that picture fixed in your mind, can you imagine putting it in the center of your table amidst your fine china?  I thought not.  Those Victorians were experts in useless frou-frous.  It was amusing in a “what the heck” sort of way.  I don’t think we even looked at the price, as we spent so much time trying to decide what to do with it.

Well, I am off to put out my new “scarecrow” sprinkler.  It is supposed to keep the deer out of your yard.  I am figuring I will just manage to soak myself on a regular basis with it, but I am going to try, either that, or we are having a Bar-B-Que; come on over!!

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Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips with Me

Well, we had just about every kind of weather last week, excluding tornadoes and hurricanes.  It did snow in our neck of Colorado, just lots less than Denver and the mountains.  Most of my yard was in bloom, but everything just shrugged off the snow and cold temperatures:

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

including the tulips and grape hyacinths.  I might even get apples this year because the apple blossom petals aren’t falling like brown-edged snow.  That’s a definite yay, since friends and family like applesauce bread for Christmas, and it tastes best with homemade applesauce from my apple tree.

I’m pretty sure I’m just procrastinating, so it’s time to get on with it:

Animal Tea pots

For a change we got to gaze on these two CUTE teapots—how weird is that—and they were right next to each other!  The law of averages has finally kicked in; instead of bigger awful things sucking smaller awful things into their orbits, good things made contact.

I’m on a roll because here’s another good thing, at least in my warped opinion:

Fancy Pink Plastic Box  Fancy Pink Plastic Box open

Wouldn’t it look perfect in your pink bathroom?  It’s plastic, of course, and made in the good old USA by Celebrity in New York, New York.  I have a thing for boxes, but vintage plastic tends to have some issues at this point in their life cycle.  This box is in pretty good shape, but not worth $6 to me.  It was gone the next week, so I’m happy someone snagged it.

Now we’re sort of slipping into the weird zone with this straw bag:

Crafty Summer Straw Bag  Crafty Summer Straw Bag closeup

We like it, but we’re both strange that way and have summer straw purses with equally oddball decorations.  I think I have one of those purses with shells under plastic, I’m running back to the purse closet right now to check:

Straw purse and shells  Straw purse and shells close up

Of course I do, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Kathy has something similar.  ( Deb has forgotten, but this purse is one of a matching pair that I purchased, so we each have EXACTLY the same bag! )  In fact I had to decide which peculiarly decorated straw purse I wanted to take a picture of—it’s that bad in my purse closet.  Now I know what I’m writing an emergency post about: Purses, Part Two.

Now I’m just spoiling you all because here’s another picture of interesting, nonhorrible things:

Pricey old tins

They were priced at $4 each, so we didn’t buy any of them.  The only one I really thought was worth it was the cylindrical one in the center containing black pepper.  Its condition is pretty rough, so we passed.  The pipe tin towards the right of the picture has nice graphics too, but the rest of them are kind of blah.

Now we’re back on track: a basket decorated with a duck:

Duck Basket

I’m not sure why there is that strange willow arch over the duck plaque—the plaque certainly doesn’t deserve to be featured.  That duck kind of looks like a cinnamon teal duck minus the teal mask, but really, if you have to go to all that effort to figure out what it is, it’s a fail.

This clock made us laugh:

Fishing Clock   Fishing Clock2

It has real fishing action and sounds—says so right on the front.  You know, if you want real fishing action and sounds, you don’t have to rely on a clock.  Go FISHING!!!  I feel confident saying that whatever that clock does, it’s not going to feel “reel” to a fisherman.

We saw this sitting on top of a bookcase in Goodwill:

4 foot golden plastic monstrosity

There was never anything good about this huge hunk of plastic.  Bad color on top of bad design; of course it was gone the next week.  I’m kind of hoping that a set decorator snagged it for a high school production involving a 1970s grandma.

Dang it, we’re back to something kind of good again:

Chalkware Piggy Bank  Chalkware Piggy Bank2

I’m not sure why this honking big chalkware piggy bank has a morning glory on its chest, but if you have arms of steel to lift it when it’s full, then you could certainly do worse.  I would put it on the floor since Porky was over two feet tall, and at least if it was on the floor, you probably wouldn’t drop it.

This bear has some definite snark to her:

Angry Bear

I totally get it—who wants to be dressed up in lace, net, and pearls all the time?  But there is even more going on to upset her:

Why Angry Bear is Angry

At least snarky bear has a reason to be snarky.  At this point, I’m obliged to admit that I made a couple of these kinds of bears, sans basket, back when I didn’t know better.  But, in my defense, I always dressed the small ones, and I stopped after a couple.  Oh, those crafty 1980s and ’90s have something to apologize for, too.

This picture was at an estate sale and it’s not going to sell for their price; check back on half-off day:

Fabric Chinese Pheasants

These kinds of embellished fabric pictures were moderately popular from the 1950s through the ’70s, which this example looks to represent, given its palette of browns.  Some are really well done, but these poor ?pheasants? have a couple of problems.  I’m wondering if that’s a crest or a beige halo on his head, and I hope he realizes how lucky he is that his mate’s branch is on the ground.  It would take some effort to drag that big-ass tail up into a tree.  I’m not a big fan of the colors, or the birds, but if your thing is quirky vintage decorations, this would be a unique addition to your home.

I’m leaving you with a picture of my redbud which also made it through the snow:

Still blooming

Have a wonderful weekend!



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Questions, Questions

Woo-hoo, there were garage sales last weekend.  Not sure we bought anything, but we were definitely in hog heaven looking.  It takes such small things to make us happy!  Of course, this weekend, we have a major winter storm moving in.  Snow, wind, rain, thunder.  I blame our local drive-in,  as they postponed their opening weekend a couple of weeks ago in favor of this one.  Yep, that’s it, all their fault.  I will be there supporting them anyway, just freezing my butt off.  That popcorn had better be good and hot.

Last week Deb posed our mysteries, and this week I am opening up with some more questions, both of taste and purpose.  We have no idea what this is:

It's a turkey, er sea gull, umm whatIs it a turkey on stilts?  A gull with a gland condition? A bad depiction of a passenger pigeon showing why it is extinct?  On top of that, what is it for?  Terrifying the children?  Propping open the shed door?  (You wouldn’t want it propping open a door in the house, would you?)  The world’s ugliest and biggest paperweight?  That poor little duck in the background is having to listen to music from the cellist to soothe his confusion.  One of our perennial questions is why anyone paid good money for items like this in the first place.  We have never come up with an even slightly sensible answer.

On my notes I called this a butterfly plate holder thingy:

Not sure what is going on hereThis one defies the explanation.  There was a tiny bit of space between the front and the back, but they mostly filled it with the plastic lace and flowers, so I am not sure that it really was for holding anything.  It’s not decorative no matter how hard you squint, (and who wants to come into a room squinting all the time to make your wall hangings better?)  Nobody should ever have produced lace in that color green.  I just don’t know, but that craft pamphlet had better been burned after this was completed.

You would not believe the trouble we went to to show you this next item.  Our local thrift has taken to flinging all their jewelry into bins and marking each at $1.99.  The Gordian Knot this engenders takes real dedication, if you want just one item out of the mess.  Our curiosity was such that we decided to take on the pile.  Twenty minutes later, this is what we got out of it:

belt, harness, whatsit2Deb put it on the floor next to her foot, so you could see the scale; here it is close up:

Belt harness, whatsit closeupIt was the plastic flowers and pompoms that got us.  I am sticking with some sort of elephant headgear.  It sounds romantic, even if it is just a cheap tourist belt instead.

Sometimes we do answer our own questions.  Take this for example:

Tiki ArmoireWe could not, for the life of us, figure out who would want something this crazy in their house.  It sort of looks like a refugee from Gilligan’s Island.  High decor at the Howells.  Then we decided if you had a pool, and a cabana, you would be set.  It would be cute with extra towels stored in it, so … mystery solved.

Maybe not so much with this piece of furniture:

Chair built for 3It looks pretty harmless in the photo, and appears MUCH smaller than it actually was.  You, and three of your closest friends, could rest comfortably in it.  It would take up the entire corner of your living room!  I guess it would be ideal if you had a Saint Bernard that liked to lounge on the furniture.  You both could have a comfy place to sit.  We tried to come up with a back story for it, but heading down that road led us to the swingin’ bachelor pad, and we just didn’t want to go there.

We thought this was pretty funny:

Barbie Sized Trojan HorseIt actually was a box, so you could hide something in it.  Not sure anyone is going to fall for it, as that story is pretty widely know these days.  If it hadn’t been missing a wheel, it probably would have made an awesome prop for Barbie, and we might have been tempted.

While we are talking fashion dolls, we found Francie’s prom dress in life size:

Francie's Prom dressIt was carefully stitched by hand in a yummy apricot velvet.  Check out the close-up:

Francie's Prom Dress closeupThis teen was probably the grooviest chick at her junior prom.  Mom worked so hard, and did an amazing job.  I always feel bad when dresses like this come through.  I hope they, at least, kept all the good memories.  Maybe someone will find it and make some new ones too!

Here is another cute thing:

Cool kettle and cute catWe spend so much time bashing the felines, that it was fun to find a cute one.  We loved the little grin and those big feet.  If he grows into them, he will probably be at least a bobcat!  We also liked the teapot in front.  It had a nice jazzy arc to the handle, and was surprisingly heavy for its size.  Probably would have kept your tea nice and hot, if the cat didn’t drink it first.  Maybe that is the reason for the grin–he already did!

Here is another “why?”:

Gold Plastic LionWhat did this king of beasts just eat that is causing those puckered cheeks?  Why is he painted gold, and why are those eyes bugging out?  Why would anyone keep this, and where was it for all the intervening years since its production?  What’s more, why couldn’t it just leap off the shelf and end it for all of us?  No answers, only questions.

We do understand this one:

Truthful TrivetSeems like a menu I would like to try once in a while.  They also had a sign that said the only reason they had a kitchen was it came with the house.  I know plenty of folks that this would be appropriate for.  Hubby would not be amused, but he doesn’t know what the kitchen is for, at least that must be the reason he is never in it, except to snatch food.

Well, there you have our questions for the week.  Got any answers?  Send them our way, or pose your own conundrums.  We love hearing from our readers.

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Mysterious Friday Finds

Gosh, last week we found lots of mysteries with few answers.  We also spent lots of time saying, “What … ?” and “Why … ?” to each other.  Maybe we need to invite the Scooby Gang to go with us on Fridays to help us solve these vexing puzzles, identify our mysterious finds, and finger those responsible.  Yeah, yeah, and unicorns are hiding in my backyard.

Goodwill had a shoe sale:

Shoe Sale at Goodwill

Although it’s next to impossible to even find a pair of shoes or boots in this mess.  It was also like that around the corner, plus there were giant blue bins full of footwear, too.  Honestly, how do they expect their shoppers to excavate through that mess to locate a PAIR of shoes the RIGHT size that they might want to buy?  A little organization goes a long way towards increasing sales.  Lest you think this picture was taken at the end of a crazy day, we got there within 15 minutes of their opening time.  Smh!

I want to know why these stuffed toys are all lined up when the shoes aren’t even on the racks:

Frightening lineup

Never mind, getting stuffed animals and toys organized is a much easier task than cleaning up the mess in Aisle 1.  It did make for a funny picture, so we should be grateful that someone in that thrift store enjoys a little order.

These two little sweet things were on a shelf together:

China Decals

I found it odd that the small bowl had a gilded pattern on the outside and inside was a fancy flower decal.  Someone’s kitchen wares had been disposed of or downsized, and there were lots of pretty glass serving pieces and some nice pieces of china on the shelves.  We didn’t buy any because we have rescued so many orphans that it takes something amazingly special to make the cut any more.

We saw these two vases and were surprised that they made it to the shelves intact:

Hey wait, these aren't vases

When looking for the inevitable Japan mark on the bottom, we discovered something surprising—they aren’t vases!  We’ve  wracked our brains, but can’t come up with a reason for those holes in the bottoms.  They can’t be lamps since there isn’t a second hole for cords to come through.  Does anyone know what they are, or have a theory?  I guess they could be some strange kind of vase with a plug stopping the hole, but the potential for disaster seems way too high.

[We have gotten an information about the “vases” since publishing this post: Vivianne says, “The vases did not require another hole for the cord because they most likely would have been affixed to a footed wooden stand. The cord would be passed through a hole in the stand then passed between the feet.

There is a tutorial showing the process athttp://betweennapsontheporch.net/make-a-lamp-from-a-beautiful-vase-or-figurine/  Thanks Vivianne!]

This Japanese wooden hamburger press caught our collective eye:

More honest Japanes hamburger press

Don’t they usually have roosters, or chubby Italian-looking chefs decorating them?  This seems more honest, but I can’t ever recall seeing a cow on one.  A friend describes her mother making paper-thin burgers with a hamburger press; I don’t think that my mom ever had one.

I guess it’s time for a guilty confession:

Fabric covered VHS cases

I have made a few fabric covered photo albums in my day, although in my defense, not a one had as much fru-fru as these VHS tape covers have.  I look at these covers now and just want to say, “Gak!!”.  But, in the 1980s, it was very fashionable to slap a fabric cover on lots of things; we know better now.  I’m very grateful that I haven’t seen one of these things in real life.

Now here is something that I wish I hadn’t seen in real life:

Kira we hardly knew ye   Peeking up Kira's skirts

Poor Kira, Barbie’s friend, has been ridden hard and put away wet, as the saying goes.  She really is a pretty doll, although you would never know from this particular sample.  Kira is supposed to be Asian; I’m not sure what Crocheting Grandma was going for here.  The dress is just plain ugly—that many ruffles should be a real crime, not just a fashion one.

This is the strangest dinosaur statue we’ve ever seen:

Dinosaur Prayers1    Dinosaur Prayers

What in the wide world of sports is it doing?  I have two theories: 1) it’s begging like a dog for some tasty treats (some triceratots and stegasoda?) or 2) it’s praying that the big asteroid heading towards Earth misses.  I imagine that T. rexes were embarrassed by their small arms and hands, but that pose is beyond weird.

So many questions, no answers:

Plastic Clock Horrors

Why are there stairs in this clock?  Why is there a spinning movement when it has batteries?  Why is it made from silver-colored plastic?  Why didn’t someone throw it in the trash?

Why did anyone think that this is decorative?

Clear Resin Rose hip hanging thingie

It’s that clear resin, with what look to be rose hips interred inside, shaped into a wreath.  It looks more like a toilet seat than something that should be hung on a door, or God help you, a wall.

The torture is over.  I want to share something so silly and fun, that it had us laughing all through the store:

Hat tipping piggy bank   Piggy Bank tipping his hat

He is a pretty strange-looking piggy bank at first glance, and he gets stranger and funnier the more you look at him.  That uncolored bow visible behind his hat is a strange feminine touch for a vintage something with a top hat.  I wondered if there are two different piggy banks made from this one mold, and they decided to just ignore the bow.  What makes this guy special is the lever in the coin slot that tips his hat whenever you put a coin in the bank.  It still works, as you can see in the rightmost picture.  I think he might have been made in Japan—he is that lightweight plastic, and his painted face sure looks made-in-Japan strange.  There isn’t a mark on him, so he remains a delightful mystery.  I haven’t made up my mind what to do with him, but until he stops making me laugh, he’s sitting on a shelf in my house.

Thank for coming along for the fun.  See you next week with more strange and wonderful stuff.

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