A Thrifting We Will Go

I’ve decided.  Winter needs to be over, so if we could just all get together and do the anti-snow dance, it would be much appreciated.  It was nine degrees this morning, for heaven’s sake.  They are predicting a high of 50 degrees for Saturday and then more snow for Monday.  Doesn’t Mother Nature have anything better to do?  Like maybe just a tiny bit of global warming for February?  All I can say is that groundhog had better have gotten it right, or mama’s coming after him with a baseball bat.  Luckily, we have our shopping to keep us warm, even if we are ready for something other than thrift store finds.  At least it keeps us amused, and hopefully, you too.

Our first entry is into the ever popular “shell art” category:

We actually tried for a couple of weeks NOT to take a picture of this, but we decided it needed to be documented.  Mostly because it was very vintage, probably from the ’40s or ’50s, so abusing sea creatures is not a new phenomenon.  If they had just carefully arranged all these shells in a little basket, think how cute it would have been, but nooooooo, they had to go and get out that gunky cement-based glue and paste them onto a plaster base.  We were wondering if a careful nudge off the shelf might have freed them all to go and live better lives on their own, but we resisted.

There was no doubt at all about taking this photo:

It’s hard to get the full effect of this, but honest it was HUGE.  We’re talking an entire cupboard just for it.  We were hoping it was a very dark cupboard, but who knows.  Honestly, what is this for?  Songbird Soup?  If this is a Christmas item, and it may have been, I want to know who gets a tureen for the turkey soup that is the dregs of the festive leftovers?  The only other option is a chamber pot, and we really don’t want to go there, in any sense of the word.

We did kinda like this:

It was behind the counter, so we couldn’t get a really good up close gander, but it still looks like fun.  I don’t know that we could see the price, but a quick look around the internet reveals they are worth a little bit, but not tons, as they made so many of them.  Still would be a fun addition to your game room, and would mystify the younger generation, as they tried to get that touch screen to work.

On the other hand, there is nothing that could make this any more likable:

Well, other than suddenly being struck blind.  A blindfold would probably work as well, and not be so drastic, but a person shouldn’t look at it too long, as permanent brain damage could result.  And of course, it was in the ever popular double-knit that promises to survive on our planet longer than the cockroach species.  We are just glad they quit making it.  Imagine what an environmental catastrophe it would be otherwise.  Enough polyester to ring the planet multiple times, and it never goes away!

What’s better than a jug?

Why a jug with a pair of jugs.  Sorry, we tried womanfully to resist, but hey, can you think of any other comment that would be appropriate?  We were so distracted by the ample bosom, that we sort of missed the fact that the poor woman has a pig nose.  Guess that is the reason for the decolletage.  Gotta distract those marriage prospects somehow.  I suppose this piece of pottery was for milk?  Again, sorry.

We were terribly upset that part of this was obviously missing:

You know it had to have a big ol’ Iowa-size corn candle that came with it, right?  Once the ear of candle was gone, all the shine seems to have worn off, and it made the sorry trip to the thrift store.  It just wouldn’t be the same with an apple, a pumpkin, or a Christmas red pillar candle.  We also wasted several seconds trying to decide if it was once part of a pair.  What do you think?  Either way, it was pretty corny.

Before I move on to this next item, I want to clarify something that someone called us on last week.  We frequently speak of our local used craft store, and several were wondering what sort of thing that could be.  Imagining half used balls of string, and pre-pasted paper, or crafts to be recycled into whatever.  Well, guess what, that is just what it is!  They take donations of anything that might be craft related, and I mean anything, and sell it at a fraction of the cost.  Their goal is to keep this stuff out of the landfill and make it useful again.  Imagine, yarn, paper, frames, paints, jewelry and jewelry findings, silk flowers, fabric, patterns, corks, cd’s, buttons, books, clay, vases, ribbon, yeah, you get the picture.  How cool is that?  Here is a link to their website, if you want to see the stats on just how much they have helped: Who Gives a Scrap.

All that is in aid of these next two items.  Deb snagged this fun child’s craft kit a couple of weeks ago:

Thinking that it was pretty fun, and just the sort of thing we like to sell in our Etsy shops.  She got it home and was looking through it, and did a double take when she saw the booklet for it:

Well, low and behold this same booklet made one of our crazy craft pattern posts.  I can’t believe it took us that long to notice.  For the previous post, see here.  I obviously didn’t notice the cat, as that one is burned indelibly into my memory, and maybe not in a good way.

The same week I picked up this little gem:

Your comment, “OK, I’ll bite, what is it? ”

This probably won’t help either:

I’ve got to say, I have never seen anything like it, but I did some digging after I got it home, and here is a link to video of it in use.  I don’t think there are whole lot of these Red Raven Magic Mirrors in the world, but how adorable is that?  After thinking about it a bit, I high tailed it back to the store to see if they got in any records with it, but I didn’t see a one, so I decided to list it on Etsy.  5 hours and over 45 favorites later it sold for a more than tidy profit. Whew, guess we were the only folks in the dark on this one.

Could be worse, could be like this:

A sign for any woman who has ever hidden a shopping bag in the trunk.  We wouldn’t do that, would we?

Well folks, if you get right on that dancing to clear up the weather, we will keep shopping.  Tune in next week and see what we found.

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The Power of Love

A bumper sticker in a parking lot inspired the title of this post.  It seemed pretty apt for Valentine’s Day.  It said: When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.  It’s by one of my favorite poets, Jimi Hendrix.  You just never know what kind of wisdom you’ll find on the bumper ahead of you.  Last election cycle this was my favorite and this sample is all updated to be current:

Okay, time to start meditating again and getting the old positive energy charged up!

Speaking of positive, we’re positively bowled over by the support from you all!  Be on the look out for our new snappy website.  It will probably take us middle-aged keyboard warriors a bit to get things transferred.  We’ll have to celebrate somehow; we’ll put our heads together and figure something out.

It’s the power of love that sends people out shopping for that perfect something to express their love for their partner, family, friends, or even pets.  I’m always astonished how something like this:

says, “I Love You!” to someone for their special somebody.  The face is cute, but those little plastic chip thingies are so hard to keep clean.  I guess you could keep it in your undie drawer to keep it dust free, unless your kids gave it to you!  Honestly, I hear all the disdain for grocery store flowers and have to say, “What’s wrong with you people?”  I was at the grocery store today, and there were some gorgeous bouquets and plants that would make me very happy.  The kicker was that they were lots cheaper than a dozen roses from the florist.  Some extra $$ in the pocket for a movie, dinner, put towards that snazzy bracelet you have your eye on … well you know.  B.H. and I have agreed to be extra nice to each other and exchange cards after a couple of young love V.D.s where expectations weren’t met.  Life isn’t always a romcom.

Just say no to bad Valentine’s Day decor:

Why on God’s green earth would you put sea shells into a wicker heart?  I know this probably wasn’t a Valentine’s Day decoration originally, but the thrift store was as confused as were were and shelved the wreath with “Holiday Decor”.  I have a little Valentine’s Day decoration up and I think that even B.H. smiled at it:

Okay, we had to laugh at this little plate:

I could see little Johnny/Suzy industriously making valentines for their class with this sentiment written on them.  Now, I wonder who bought this for their sweetie and didn’t notice when it mysteriously disappeared a month or two after February 14th.  I guess you could keep it and serve your love a sweet treat on it and then stick it in the cupboard until next year.  My problem would be remembering that I owned the plate, and then finding it the next year.

You know, you could do a lot worse than this:

A cute t-shirt or a snuggly sleep shirt isn’t a half-bad idea for a present that wouldn’t break the bank.  I would certainly think of my valentine while wearing it and who could want more than that?

So, I was at the grocery store and saw their Valentine’s Day candy aisle.  There were all the usual suspects, and then some wild and woolly ones:

If I could get past the big puckery lips on that toad, this would be great.  Small, consumable, and funny.  I was standing there laughing at how much this toad looks like the Hypnotoad from Futurama.  People were carefully giving me extra room in the aisle because it was clear that I was having a momentary thing.  No one made eye contact so I couldn’t explain what got me going in the first place!  Oh well, their loss.

I made the mistake of looking just to the side of Hypnotoad and saw his little buddy:

Oh goodness—he longs to be my valentine; how sweet.  It could never work, because every time you looked at me with those big brown eyes, and those big red lips, I would lose it.  But again, I would laugh at this, eat my chocolate, and hug the giver because it’s small, funny/grotesque, and consumable!

One last picture from the grocery store’s gift section:

I could totally be on board with several of these kinds of gifts.  My favorite is the wine glass in the middle  that tells us not to be judgy.  I would be happy with all the wine glasses, and really most of this stuff except the glow-in-the-dark shot glasses.  Is it glow in the dark so that you can find your shot of “medicine” at 2 am beside your bed?  If only everyone were as easy as me, Valentine’s Day shopping would be a snap—just go grocery shopping, pick up a card and a gift.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all of you dear people.  I’m loath to ruin the holiday vibe, but we’ve found TWO horrible craft pamphlets to share, very soon.  Stay tuned.

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Unfinished Business and a Pig in a Poke

First off I want to thank those awesome folks who have contributed to our cause by helping to pay for our blog upgrade.  You know who you are!  Thank you!  We still have a ways to go, so I am going to make one last pitch.  Just hoping a few more will throw the price of a cup of coffee, or a play line doll our way.  We don’t make any money from writing this—it’s a labor of love.  The ads you might see are put there by WordPress, and if we pay for a subscription, they will completely go away.  If each of our regular readers gave us just one dollar, we would be all the way there for over a year!  Here is the link again, if you can help, and we promise, this will be our last call for a year, unless we go way over and then you are off the hook for longer!  Thanks in advance!

Now onward and upwards, or maybe not.  For some reason an entire herd of pigs showed up last week at ARC.  OK, I just checked, it might be a passel of hogs, or a sounder of swine, or a drift of piglets, gosh I love collective terms, but not the objects attached to them:

Honestly, this was only the tip of the pigberg, if you get my drift.  These are plain hideous.  The dressed pigs are particularly repulsive, and that pig seduction scene is too much for my shocked old eyes.  We are hoping that the collector in question and has come to their senses and cleaned out the shelves.  If someone inherited all this, we know they must have been setting a land speed record getting them to the thrift store.

And of course there was more:

Seriously, a ribbon does nothing to make a pig’s butt cuter.  If that were the case, I might paste one on my behind and hope no one notices how big it really is.  With those flirty lashes and the flower in her hair, I sort of expect her to start dancing around a pole, and flinging the ribbon to the wind, and no one wants to see that.

I thought I passed biology, but maybe not:

Which came first, the pig or the egg?  It’s the eternal question, no?

We know why this porker is pissed:

He has had to live most of his life with the rest of the herd, and is heartily sick of it.  He seems to be curbing his enthusiasm easily and so are we.  Our relief at moving on from the barnyard was short lived, as the lamp section came up a bit too fast for comfort.

People should not be allowed to make their own lampshades:

This one looks like they forgot and left the dust rag hanging over the lamp.  Thank goodness it’s not on top; it could cause a conflagration of epic proportions.  One can only hope.  While we applaud the idea of using old lace in new and creative ways, the key word in that sentence is creative.  Of course the first one in no way compares to the sadness of this next example:

I am sure in the craft magazine they touted this as an amazing way to keep your lamps clean,  Just pull off the shade cover and toss it in the wash, then pop it back on, but in practice it just looks sort of droopy and sad.  Like a poorly pressed prom dress without a petticoat being worm by a sad wallflower.  The ghastliness of the shade does, at least, take away from the depressing sight of the lamp it adorns.

If that was not torture enough, we came upon this grouping:

At least they kept it all together, so we could be horrified all at once.  Really, the clock is worst of the group.  I kind of like twisty wood lamps (you should see my house) but again the shade choice is very suspect.  That poor innocent lamp on the right should find better company to hang out with.  Seems like the rest of the gang is a bad influence.  They will be keeping company with tacky ashtrays, and maybe even pigs, and before you know it their future will be doomed to back alleys by trash cans, or horrors, thrift stores!

After all that, you would think this would be a relief, but no matter how hard I try, I just cannot like this stuff:

Capodimonte it may be, but it is still ugly.  I remember many years ago when one of the home shopping channels was doing their best to convince folks to buy this stuff.  Apparently at least one schmuck fell for it.  I actually love the dainty little English pieces that are similar, but this just looks like a first grader effort without the charm.  Honestly, I’m looking at the photo and they don’t look that bad; but they really are.

We did like this:

We both try not to say this out loud often, as we would both like to stay married to our respective spouses, but I am pretty sure there is not a married woman in the entire world who has not thought this VERY loudly at their husband at one time or another.  A sign might be a bit obvious, but for some men, it might be the only way of getting through to them.

And for a bit of unfinished business:

I shared a pic of this exact same bunch of grapes a couple of weeks ago, just scroll down and you will see it.  Now it seems to have made its way into one of our antique booth type stores.  I didn’t look at the price the first go round to see how much more they have “improved”, but I am sure it is substantial, considering the rest of the prices I saw around there.  It just struck me as funny, that they were following me.  Maybe I should be concerned?

We are due for another round of snow today, so will skip the estate sale that is only letting 20 people in at once.  There is not much of anything out there that I feel the need to stand around in a blizzard for, and if I don’t know what is there, I won’t miss a thing.  Thrift stores, here we come.  See you all next week!

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We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Post

Before I start up the regular post there is something that Kathy and I want to talk to you about—there is a problem that’s come up with the blog.  We’ve been writing Second Hand Roses now for over ten years and our WordPress plan is a free one.  We’re coming up against the 3 gig picture storage limit.  We can try to restart the blog and link them together, maybe, and hopefully all the old posts well still be available.  Another solution is to stop writing when we hit the limit, but we don’t want to do that.  The last idea we had was to buy a plan that allows for unlimited pictures, embedded video, and other upgrades.  The plan costs about $7 a month or $84 per year which is more than we feel comfortable spending.  This is where you all come in; we are asking for donations.  It doesn’t have to be all of it; we would be grateful for any help.  Here is a link to our Paypal account for donations.  We just want enough for this expense; if we get more, we can save it for next year so we don’t have to do this again for a while.  We’ll keep you all up to date on how things go.

So now on to our regular business—snark!

We think this might be some decor for a wedding shower or bachelorette party:

Well, as usual, the bride has her part covered, but if that’s the bridesmaid dress then I’m out!  Now that I have taken another gander, both bottles are dressed to kill—all good taste, that is.  My favorite part is the bird on top of the left bottle; absolutely hilarious!  If that is an example of the decoration, this might have been a killer party.

Where did these wooden (?) decorative thingies come from?


I’m not sure that this type of decoration was ever really a popular thing, and these two examples are evidence for the prosecution.  I guess that they kind of resemble those Amish pictures without faces, but these are hardly “plain people” with all the lace and fripperies on the hats.  Without a decorative purpose, they look like kindling to me.  At least you could get some sort of use from them!

I should have taken a picture of this front on, but I was worried about my camera:


It’s one of those plastic pellet figures that is trying to look like a neon yellow dog.  Not great, but you only say that because there are no batteries in it to show how this canine could go from bad to horrendous with the flick of a switch!  I’m not sure anyone could even look at it with the naked eye while it was activated.  That’s a whole ’nother level of radioactive that most of us don’t want in our houses.  Instead of inflicting it on perfectly innocent thrift store shoppers, this light could be stopping crime in alleys, or keeping ships safe along treacherous shorelines.

We frequently whine about how shells are abused for fun and profit:

How is this even considered attractive enough to sell as jewelry?  The shell is pretty blah to begin with, and the chicken wire bondage used to create a bezel is not doing it any favors, either.  It’s a pretty big thing to have bouncing around on your chest all day since it isn’t adding to your look unless you’re a mermaid.  But wait, there’s another one:

Well, in its favor, it actually is a pretty pink color, and it’s small, yay!  They call these shells “high spired” and they belong to various sea snails.  On the other hand, instead of using a regular bead cap to hang it, the maker looks to have taken part of a bullet casing and wired/glued it in place with a mess of grey wire looped to make the bezel.  I would almost give this a pass if only they had used any kind of bead cap with the appropriately colored wire.  As is, I have to say a big ol’ “Nope, nopity, nope!”

Boy, people take their cornholing seriously:

Uh, that came out wrong!  Should have said, people take the game of cornhole very seriously—just look at that trophy!  I didn’t know that Hulk was a competitor, although he looks kind of mad about winning which isn’t a good thing.

I was thrilled to find this box at Who Gives a Scrap:


It’s kind of puzzling that it was at a secondhand craft supply store, but maybe Mom kept buttons, zippers, or some other sewing supplies in it.  I really wished that the original redheaded bubble cut was still in there, but hey for $1, I’m not complaining.  I only have a Midge box and a reproduction box, so it’s great to have an old Barbie one, too. ( Kathy here, and I don’t have any, but Deb saw it first! )

I bought a couple of things at an estate sale last week.  The first thing shouldn’t shock anyone since I’m a big fan of vintage Asian art:

This obi is gorgeous brocade with a crane and fans design.  It’s 12 feet long, about a foot wide, and weighs a ton.  I can’t imagine having that wound around your middle!  We’re being just a bit hypocritical, but we’re going to split it in half and use our pieces as runners.  Neither of us could display something this big, otherwise.

I have always thought these little Storybook dolls were cute, but have never bought an older one before:

I’m pretty sure she is a Nancy Ann because she’s bisque, has black painted shoes, a mohair wig, the right kind of face paint, and her little dress is tied in the back with a ribbon which was common in the 1940s.  I’m not going down a rabbit hole and start a new doll collection, although I have a few other Nancy Ann rescues in my collection.  I just thought she was adorable!

Well, I’ve rambled on for long enough, so it’s goodbye from NoCO and we’ll talk at you next week.

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The Winter Blues

Well, I am just feeling generally crabby today, so who knows what you are going to get.  It’s been sort of cloudy and windy for the last few days.  That sets off my allergies, and even though it is a bit warmer, and it hasn’t snowed for over a month, my street is still an ice skating rink.  To get to the mailbox, you have to put on cleats, and strap two pillows to your butt, in case you fall, and then the mail is just full of bills from Christmas.  What’s up with that?  The only bright spot in the whole thing are the seed catalogs that come fairly often.  I am pretty sure that means spring is right around the corner, or at least we can pretend.

Estate sales have been few and far between during the holidays. They are starting up again, but for now, we have some leftover finds to share.  Let’s start off easy with a bunch of grapes:

We went to a sale years ago that had dozens of these in all sizes and colors, and now we can’t walk by one without it intruding on our consciousness.  This one was very different with slightly shimmery grapes in various colors.  If I saw real grapes like this, I would be suspicious about eating them, but hey, if it matches your peach bathroom, go for it.  Though why they should be hanging out in the bathroom is beyond me.  Guess they didn’t match the kitchen.

Speaking of things that catch our eyes.  We once read a book with a story about someone who collected Last Supper items.  How lucky are they that we don’t know their address?

This was hanging out in the Christmas stuff on clearance, and while it is religious, I think they have their holidays mixed up.  And no matter what holiday you are going for, the only real solution to this is a hammer.  What would Leonardo think of this utterly hideous rendering of his famous subject?  I am pretty sure there is no artist on earth who has a sense of humor that well developed.  I just heard through the grapevine that they are opening one of those places you can pay to go and smash things in our town.  Wonder if they would let us make suggestions?  Of course we would go broke wanting to be the first to smash so many things.  [Deb here.  B.H. just announced that there are only 11 Apostles with Jesus.  So, it’s hideous and WRONG!]

This cracked us up:

Yes, it is a couple of cheap little tie ons for Christmas packages, and yes it is marked $49.00.  Bit optimistic don’t you think?  We often accuse the stores of pricing things for their half off days, but this might be taking it a bit too far.  We did take it up front for the clerks to get a laugh, and they did.  Bet it made the rounds of the back room too.  Gotta laugh, or you spend your life crying.

I think a call to the Child Labor Board is in order:

What are the Elks doing, setting up a sweatshop?  And really, if you must force children to make pottery for your Fraternal Order, couldn’t you invest some sort of colored glaze, or a flower decal or two?  And to top it off, an ashtray?  Pushing smoking, poor pottery skills, and somewhere behind it all they were probably pouring whiskey into shot glasses for the tiny tots, to keep them in line.  I would like to think the Elks do better work than that, but a quick Google search didn’t reveal a whole lot of use for them.  Apologies to the Elks in the world, feel free to set me straight, but you’d better search these out and destroy them first.

While the dishes are in the air, so to speak, at least we hope they are, the better to smash them, take a gander at this:

My goodness it has one of everything.  The design was gilded and raised in places, too, but the whole thing just looked off, and lo and behold, it was:

So besides being ugly, it could kill you, and no one even had to throw it at you to accomplish it.  There is no excuse for new, ugly, poisonous dishes.

On the other hand, it breaks our hearts that things like this go unpurchased:

No one will buy this lovely coffee set and take it home these days, and we just can’t rescue them all, but how pretty is this?  I think we should spend more of our time drinking out of things like this again.  Perhaps we all need to slow down, pour a cup of coffee (and I don’t mean get a paper cup full of sugar from Starbucks) or tea and just enjoy a pretty cup, some blue sky, and the light trill of a bird singing.  Oh wait, there is that spring fever creeping in again.  Enjoy what ever you like, but have a pretty cup while you do it!

OK, enough sappiness, on to silly.  Check out this pattern:

And if the front doesn’t get you then the back will:

If you get a chance, zoom in and see just what you can make with this pattern.  I particularly like the White Witchery Vest and the Mad Money Bag.  Someone was working overtime on too much caffeine to come up with those descriptions.  Maybe it was the gals on the front, as the one on the back already looks a little possessed.  Perhaps she is just overwhelmed at the damage she will be doing to her future child when she dresses them in that itchy sweater and bonnet.

Lastly, we come to a whatsis.  Taking any and all guesses:

This was well over four feet long, and there was a sort of loopy thing at one end:

And that funny tail at the other.  It was hollow.  I suggested it was for your pet snake, when he wants to stretch out.  Other than that, we are at a loss. Feel free to chime in, the goofier the better, you know us.

Well, that might have gotten a few bits of snarkiness out of my system.  Good enough to set off on a new adventure.  There is an estate sale today that might have our name on it, and hey, if it isn’t great, I bet there will be at least one funny thing there, so next week, you will be in luck!

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Go East, Middle-Aged Women

I’m writing two posts in a row because Kathy did more than her fair share while I was off traveling.  I’m home again with no excuses for not being productive besides driving 3000 miles!  I have I-80 memorized between Wyoming and Chicago; talk about a waste of brain cells!

Some time around the end of November and the beginning of December last year, we went to an estate sale that sounded amazing.  It was in Greeley, which is about 30 miles to the east of Fort Collins.  We don’t typically go that far for an estate sale, but lately we’ve been a bit more venturesome, and 45 minutes of driving didn’t seem that far for some interesting items.

Immediately upon walking into the kitchen, we noticed this shelf:

The kitchen was tight, and there were lots of folks in there, so I couldn’t get a straight on picture.  The picture on top of the shelves was a print of this famous bronze statue:

End of the Trail by James Earle Fraser is located in Waupun, WI.  There are many, many copies of this work of art.  In fact, I’ve seen the print numerous times without realizing that it was based on this bronze.  That seems like a really sad picture to be over a shelf full of goofy things; I’m looking at you, giant squirrel and silly owl.  This style of decoration was pretty much all the homeowner had.  It isn’t our thing, and really no one seemed to be putting this stuff in their baskets.

This sign confused us:

Why would anyone want to climb a prairie dog?  Is it okay to climb them outside?  Is this such a big problem in Greeley that a person would pay 25¢ for a misaligned second-hand sign?  We came up with a couple of scenarios where prairie dogs might be a problem.  If they were infected with bubonic plague, well, you might want to steer clear of the area.  If you were to get bitten by an infected flea, you could get the plague.  It is treatable with modern antibiotics, but why risk it?  The other problem might be if you were riding a horse through the area and the prairie dog town holes might lead to your horse being injured.

I couldn’t get my camera out in time to snap a photo of this suit:


Do yourself a favor and click on the picture.  On the hanger was a casual jacket and a pair of matching pants.  It was the wildest vintage outfit that we’ve seen in a while!  The man who bought the suit was really proud of it; I think he was planning on wearing it!  I apologize for the long distance picture through a screen, no less, but we were desperate to capture the craziness.  I’m hoping that Kathy can add some information; she got a better look at it in the house. ( note: it was a full suit done of faux leather, read Naugahyde, patchwork!  It was probably worth a small fortune, to clothing collectors, but we hope to never see one again! )

Not only was the house chock-full of stuff, so was the backyard:

It was all cheap junky kind of stuff that we aren’t all that interested in.  I think we picked up a few small things, and I did buy one bigger nice thing, but for the most part we just looked around stunned.  Usually when there is this much stuff, we can find a few things.  It was hard to look in the backyard since there was snow on the ground, and lots of unpacked tubs.  You don’t want to get things wet, and there was nowhere to safely sort though them.  Just bad planning and bad luck that the weather didn’t cooperate.

This was right up by the check out:

I’m not sure that anyone will buy that terrarium for $15.  As a fad, it’s sort of long gone, so you would need to find a crazy plant person.  They would have to start over because this is just a big ole mess.  I could see growing some tiny orchids or tropicals in there because it would be easier to manage the humidity.  It might also appeal to a fairy gardener to set up a little diorama, or even several dioramas.  Half price would make it a lot more attractive, but I wasn’t about to drive back over there on Saturday to see if it was still available.  This is big enough that I wouldn’t be able to hide it in the house, and I already have a bazillion house plants, to boot.

I did buy this teapot:

I really loved the color and shape of this old McCoy teapot—I’ve been finding and buying quite a bit of Art Deco stuff lately.  If this were the 1990s, this teapot would have been long gone, since McCoy just flew off the shelves.  But, being 2019, I bought this for only $10.  Antique Roadshow is right that no one wants old pottery, glassware, and dishes.  This ended up going to MI with me; my sister has an amazing teapot collection, but didn’t really have a good Art Deco one.  I still get to see it, but don’t have to find room in my crowded display cabinet.  Win-Win!

We went to the thrift store afterward, and continued to find the same style of things:

This tile-topped table would have fit right in at the estate sale house.  It needed work to make it a dull, but okay plant table for outside.  The wood needed some TLC—sanded, painted, stained, and sealed  and then it wobbled.  I think there are better options out there.

I think this is the ugliest tankard I’ve ever seen:

I’m not sure why anyone would bother saving this from the trash can.  It seems a fitting end for brown and yellow pirate!

That’s all for this week.  We will be shopping together tomorrow for the first time in about a month.  I’m sure we’ll come upon lots of mayhem and craziness; check in to see what we find!

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Howdy from Hawaii

This week, while visiting the family in Michigan for the holidays, B.H. and I went to Hawaii with friends.  It seems weird to be taking a trip within a trip, but that’s how the vacation crumbles.  The best thing is that my dog, Koko, is in seventh heaven with my sisters and their dog.  I’m pretty sure we won’t even get sad dog eyes when we return!

We’re staying near Kona, but have been driving all over the big island, bad colds not withstanding.  Yes, there were lots of people coughing on our flight over and it was certainly communicable!  I guess if you’re going to be sick, well, wouldn’t you rather be sick in paradise?

We went to the Hilo Farmers’ Market on Saturday.  The nice folks we are with made sure I had a little thrift time, and I even ducked into a vintage shop.

Thrift stores have some items that are constants:

Have we not seen little plastic dolls in crochet dresses nearly everywhere we’ve been?  She certainly is a duck-lipped version, but pretty easily recognizable.  I just had to laugh when I saw her with her Mae West confidence that she is the sexiest thing in the thrift shop.  You know what—she is.

Now this isn’t something you see at Colorado thrifts:

A lei display!  We will see one or two leis from time to time, mostly the ones made from individual silk flowers strung on cord.  This has a variety that you just don’t see on the mainland.  There were a lot of Asian-styled art and pottery in the store.  That seems to make sense given the population diversity here.  We saw signs written in Katakana with no English subtitles, so the Japanese-speaking population is significant.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures in the vintage store, but these wooden dolls caught my eye:


I have a number of these Japanese kokeshi dolls.  They have been made for a couple of hundred years in Japan, varying with the region.  Since WWII they have been popular with American tourists, and that seems to be the major market now.  They are very stylized with no arms or legs, just a cylindrical or ovoid body painted to simulate clothing.  It makes sense, that there would be a fair number of these dolls in Hawaii.  I was just looking at Etsy, and the vintage ones, in good condition, can be quite valuable.

We did go out to see the new black sand beach that appeared with the last eruption of Kilauea, which caused so much destruction, along with a bit of creation.  The beach is named Isaac Hale, and the latest lava flow changed the terrain quite a bit, but also enlarged it.  We went to the newest part:


The picture on the left shows the huge lava flow that went into the ocean and the blunt end gives the beach a little protection.  The rightmost picture looks northwest to the other end of the lava flow.  The waves were spectacular, as there was some high wind/wave warnings, along with the tricky current which is natural to this beach.  It was really interesting to walk along the beach and see the evolution of the sand:

As we walked onto the beach, the rocks were big, like a good-sized tomato with some like cantaloupes.  Walking along, the size changed to pea gravel, and then smaller, but still pretty coarse.  The beach is made of aa (ah-ah) lava and which is brittle and breaks up under compression from the water and human activity.  Walking towards the center of the beach, the lava started looking like this for large areas:

Which looks like sand to me.  I had my shoes on, so I didn’t test out the toe-appeal.  I think it still might feel a little coarse to the tender bottoms of feet, but much better than the larger stuff.  There are lots of footprints here so you can get an idea of the consistency.

The red arrow points to the lava flow that cut off this road:

It was about two cars tall more or less.  Our friend’s cousin who has lived on the island for about 40 years warned against climbing on this new flow.  She said that it’s almost like glass if you touch it, and you can even get slivers from it.  I appreciated the warning, because I had thought about getting up there to get a look at the flow—no thanks!

The road to the beach was pretty hairy in places, because it had to be dug out from this:

This picture isn’t totally clear, but it’s looking back towards Kilauea and you can see the path the lava made.  It was miles and miles of black, rocky terrain that covered everything in its path.  There were some really cool shaped rocks that happened where the lava met the ocean and abruptly cooled.  I just couldn’t get pictures with nowhere to pull over and the cars behind us.

We asked locals, and the people with the homes buried under the lava still own the land.  They can break up the lava and rebuild, or smooth it, if it’s the right kind of lava, and build on top.  I myself would be wary of building anything too elaborate on top of a recent lava flow, but then I’m afraid of earthquakes, too.

We stopped at a gas station and while looking at snacks, saw this:

There has to be a better name than “Wet Lemon”, don’t you think?  Then if you look at the ingredients, aspartame, sugar, Saccharine, honey, all I can think is that these are the sweetest lemons in existence!  We did not buy them; why let data ruin all of our theories?

Coming back from Hilo to Kona, we missed the sunset, but got this color show afterward:

Sorry about the traffic lights, but the sky and clouds were just so exotic looking to our high-plains desert eyes.  The view from the patio of our very basic but expensive condo is also a winner:

It’s right on the ocean so we’ve seen humpback whales, dolphins/porpoises, some sort of silvery big fish, like a swordfish, jumping out of the water, and lots of kayakers, outriggers, and snorklers in the water.  It’s a great way to jump start the day with a nice cup of coffee.  No, I don’t have any pictures of the oceanic wildlife; I see it and then grab the camera, but I do have a fun pic of slower land-based animals:

These small lizards were on the palms outside our condo.  I love that they each have their own trunk to laze on.  Hopefully, they’re being helpful and eating some bugs.

The flowers are also divine right now:


I’m especially fond of hibiscus, since I have a giant tree in my house, so I tend to notice them.  In the land of giant houseplants, what B.H. calls Hawaii, I could do a whole post on flowers, but then I would have to figure out all of their names!

Lastly, we have lots of bird friends while eating breakfast on the patio:

This little songbird is called a red headed cardinal, and they aren’t related to cardinals on the mainland.  There is another lovely yellow bird, that is much shyer, that flies away whenever I get my phone ready for a picture.

Well, be thankful that I didn’t inflict all of my pictures on you.  I tend to take way more pictures now that there isn’t film involved.  Oh, look at that pretty cloud/flower/sunset, let’s take a million pictures and hopefully get a good one.

Aloha from the big island.  We’ll be back to our regular content next week.

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