Here Comes the Bridezilla

We have both been very busy recently tending to our respective yards, lawns, and gardens.  Just when you think all your spring work is done, here comes summer, and you have to move into heat proofing and watering.  On top of that, we are leaving for a trip to a convention in Las Vegas.  Yes, for those of you on the road between Colorado and Nevada, watch out, the Second Hand Roses will be on the loose.  All I am trying to do right now is make up a decent excuse as to why June is almost over, and we have just about managed to forget our annual tribute to wedded bliss.  Fear not, we did save some photos all year, and remembered in the nick of time to share them with you.  So here is a look at some not-so-fabulous wedding fails.

I think I will start with these:

Table Decorations?OK, I get the whole DIY wedding thing.  In fact I am a big fan of it.  I was doing DIY before it was a thing.  Oodles of things for my wedding came from my own hands, including making my veil and dying my own shoes.  But I did leave off torturing innocent Mason jars.  I honestly think you could have left the glitter in the bottle and just plopped a candle in the middle of each reception table and been farther ahead.  We are not sure if the glitter ones came from the same wedding as the lace and burlap ones, but if they did, maybe you should have given the bridesmaids more complete instructions rather than just decorate the jars to put candles in.  I still think I would rather see a jar liked this filled with pickles, but I guess I grew up canning, not wondering what to do with those old jars.

I am hoping this was a DIY thing, too:

20160419_103739.jpgI think it was supposed to be the guest book.  The only thing that made sense to me was that the bride drug two wedding cake toppers home for the groom to make a choice, and then decided that taking the reject back was too much work, so opted to decorate the wooden guest book with it.  I am not sure it even opened far enough, what with all the 3-D decorations, to even get your hand in there too sign it.  Probably why it ended up empty and unused at the thrift store.

These might have been DIY, but they are definite winners:

Bridal Party Wine GlassesIt might be a trifle difficult to take that first drink out of them, but think how cute they would look on the reception table.

We also thought that this was delightful:

Asian Wedding Photo albumIt was very elegant and way more tasteful than the bride-covered book.  I am not sure how well it would match most brides’ colors and themes, but maybe they should work on that.  Fewer burlap bedecked jars and more cranes.  Sadly, this also was unused.  Of course, if it had been like most of us, the bride in question had good intentions of filling out that wedding book, adding all the photos, and making a lifelong memory book to hand down to her grandchildren.  The divorce was final before that could happen.

We were a little on the fence about this one:

Honey comb bridal dressOn the one hand, hey, it is a honeycomb table decoration, so what’s not to like?  On the other hand, we are hoping they only used it for the shower, not with the cake or on the reception table.  Seems like a bit much, and not as formal as it could be.  We also hope the groom didn’t look as much like Barbie’s Ken as this one does.  At least he looks happy about the whole thing, so there is a win.

We can’t tell if this group is happy or not:

Wedding TrollsSeriously?  Wedding trolls?  I just don’t know where to go with this.   My dolls have been brides more times than I can count, but somehow the troll under the bridge doesn’t strike me as the marrying kind.  He will probably break your heart when the next goat clip-clops by.  As these were still in their boxes, we figure some poor “happy couple” got them as a gag gift.  We totally forgive the speed at which (we hope) they were deposited at the thrift store.

No bridal post would be complete without one of our pet peeves.  When children marry:

When Children MarryDeb hates these with a passion.  Maybe because there are so many of them.  Seriously, children: grow up.  I think they both look like they are asking a higher power how they got into this mess.  If you don’t know, sweetie, don’t stroll down that aisle, no matter how cute you think he is!  On the other hand, if you turned them back to back, it could look like they are both making a run for it.  Maybe we should do that the next time we see a pair in this predicament.

I have always worried about making your four year-old niece precede you and scatter rose petals.  Seems a lot to ask for a youngster.  It is even worse when you ask her to carry this:

When Doves CryThat is one HONKING big basket, so there must have been a whole lot of roses sacrificed, and it had to be pretty darn heavy.  We are also worried about the fact that the doves seems to be arguing over who gets to carry the rings:

When Doves Cry detailsI don’t know who has a better grip, but it looks to me like neither one is letting go soon.  Maybe we have this all wrong, and it was filled with delightful wedding favors.  I am holding out for candied almonds, or I am taking my gift and going home.  For the right item, I could probably pretend I don’t see the unlove birds.

I spotted these last two at a local thrift earlier in the month.  Just in time for the bride that forgot to order her bouquets.

20160616_143548.jpgAll they needed was a battery pack and a little bit of fiber optics to go as far over the top as you can get and still be within earth’s atmosphere.  Thank goodness they came in those wonderful plastic boxes to preserve them for posterity.  I was trying to decide if they came from the same wedding, as it seems like a rather odd combination of colors, but I suppose every brideazilla gets her say.

We send best wishes to any new brides out there this month, and we hope everything you did was tasteful, and decorative, or you know where you will see it next year!  Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, like us on Facebook, or just share what you see with your friends.  We love new readers!

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Deeper in the Heart of Texas

Time for round two of the Tyler TX juntique mart.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about all the weird and wonderful lamps and lights that we saw there—probably more instruments of illumination than I have ever noticed in my whole shopping career.  But, wait, my sister-in-law, her sister-in-law, and I saw much, much more than just lamps.

Sorry about the general badness of these pictures; it was dark and gloomy, and there were tons of lamps making small pools of light which caused all kinds of problems for my unobtrusive little point and click camera.

I would like to bet that 97% of you have never seen something like this before:

3 M VIntage Medical Display Lower Spine      3M Medical Display backside

I recognized it as a pelvis and lower spine (thank you four years of nursing school), but at first I thought it was some sort of macabre Halloween candle.  It turns out that it’s a vintage 3M medical display, at least according to its label.  The bones are in some yellowish acrylic cylinder that allows for study from all directions.  The same study could also be done using the classic hanging skeleton which also has the added bonus of being touchable.  This looks like one of those ideas that sounds better in the planning stages.  Unless you want to combine skeletal studies with plant display.

I can see that the maker of this was trying to be creative:

Angel shadow box should go back to the shadows

I have to wonder if they were just looking around a room and said, “Yes, I’ll use this, and this, and this!  It’ll be wonderful!”.  They started with one of those old wooden boxes that produce and canned goods used to be shipped in.  The flying baby head (putto, cherub, ?) isn’t anything special, in fact I really don’t like his expression, or the fact that he’s trying to look as if he were made from marble.  What does a glass serving dish have to do with anything?  Then the artist realized that the shadow box needed something and threw a bit of trim into the mix.  Might be time to rethink your whole plan, and go in a different direction.

I wonder how many people today know what this was used for:

Does anyone remember what this is

This relic of a less technical time is decorative while looking at it from above, but when loaded down with official stamps it was functional in the extreme for the busy accounts-receivable drudge.  Most official stamps that I see nowadays seem to be the self-inking types which seem to end up in messy piles in your desk drawer.

This Neatette cabinet is pretty neato:

Neatette Cabinet with Deco lines - Copy

I love the Art Deco decoration on the glass panels—that little bit of flair goes a long way on a practical item like this.  The ceramic top to the drawers must have been a nice work area in the old-fashioned kitchens with no counter space.  Marble would have been even better!

This funny silver server was labeled a milk pitcher:

Silver Milk Pitcher    Silver Milk Pitcher details

The spout was almost nonexistent, so I didn’t think it was a coffee or teapot.  I liked it a lot, but I really don’t serve milk in big pitchers, and I have a number of glass pitchers that meet my cold beverage serving needs, so I left it for the next shopper up.

I thought the two end stacking canisters were pretty fun:

Snacky Stackables

if useless.  Who buys potato chips, popcorn, or pretzels by the cup?  It’s our old complaint about flour and sugar canisters—they should hold the whole bag or what good are they?  Then there is the middle set of stackables in that 1970s avocado green.  Gee, I hope their kitchen had the matching appliances.

I liked this rose rug:

Red Rose Polyester Rug

It was made from folded pieces of polyester so it should be there with the cockroaches at the end of time.  That’s what you want from a rug though, endurance and resistance to staining.  It’s a bonus that it’s attractive.

Sadly, this picture might also be around at the end of time:

Yellow marigolds of TX

I’m pretty sure that the flowers were created using some long-lasting, manmade materials.  Why are all of the worst things usually the longest lasting?  Give me a picture of The Yellow Rose(s) of Texas any day.

Oh, so this is what you do with all those paint-by-number pictures:

What to do with those paint by numbers

Everything is better with rhinestones, right?  OMG, this made me laugh for far too long.  I’m embarrassed to say that I kind of like it now, in its new, blingier style.  It would be a hoot in a pink bathroom or in your pink boudoir.  If nothing else, you could put it in your giant walk-in closet and be amused by it in private.

Does this tin of bug dust look familiar?

McCormick Bee Brand Insect Powder

It should; it was distributed by McCormick and Co.  You know, the folks that put out the spices and herbs.  I kept looking at the tin thinking that it seemed like something I’ve seen before, then I saw the name McCormick and the nickel dropped.  They also made lubricating oils and household drugs.  I just hope the insect powder tin doesn’t look like Cream of Tartar!

Well thanks for hanging in there during the two Texas posts; everything IS bigger in Texas!  We’re going to try to keep our cool this week while garage saling; it’s only supposed to be 88°F Friday so we shouldn’t melt into a pile of goo like last week.  Please keep checking out our Facebook page as it has different things than the blog.



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Summer in Full Swing

Why does Mother Nature feel that we need to go from 65° and rainy to 95°  and sunny in the space of a week?  Oh well, just one of those Colorado things.  I do get the teeniest bit cranky at 95°, as our house is not equipped with AC.  I just try for a cool drink and hope for a breeze on the patio.  But … one thing summer does give us is full-on garage sale season.  There must have been a dozen neighborhood sales last weekend, and almost that many again this weekend.  We have a habit of skipping the big sales and heading out to all the poor schmucks who didn’t realize that this was NOT the weekend for a sale.  We do pretty well with that, and they are grateful for any business that comes their way.  I know this for a fact, as we made this mistake a few years ago when having a sale.

Of course, just because they have no people, does not mean they are full of winners.  Check this out:


Nobody can love violins that much, can they?  And now that you have a crocheted violin what are you supposed to do with?  It’s not playable; of course for some beginning players this could be a distinct advantage.  It’s certainly not decorative, no matter how you look at it.  I guess you just sell it at a garage sale.  At this same sale was a whopper of a crocheted turkey too, but you will just have to wait for Thanksgiving for that one.

Surprisingly, this was NOT at the above sale:

Granny used all the scrap yarn on this throwThat’s a whole lot of colors for the same afghan.  I am all for stash busting, but there has got to be a better way.  We are sincerely hoping that no one has a room that this would just be perfect for.  Unless it is a windowless cube with no lights, and then you might be forgiven.  Maybe just close up the flaps on that box and leave it that way … permanently.

I have decided that Deb just might be slipping.  We have been tracking the progress of this bizarre poodle for a few weeks:

Gray Pottery Poodle2We couldn’t decide if it had an ultra poodle cut, or maybe it had cacti for legs.  From the front you can see just how chunky those thighs are:

Gray Pottery PoodleIt definitely won’t fall over.  It has a nice wide base, and some vaguely jaunty flowers on its body.  They had it priced at some sort of ridiculous amount, so we took the photos and moved on.  It has now been several weeks of the poodle moving around to various spots on the shelves, but never leaving due to the overpricing.  This week it was half price, and Deb was beginning to feel sorry for it.  I took her temperature immediately.  Upon closer examination, we noticed it actually had one leg that had been broken and glued back, well, but still broken, and even at half price, a bit nutty.  She recovered and left it on the shelf.

This next item falls under the “why” category:

Battenburg Frog with Rhinestone EyeWe were OK, but maybe not thrilled, with the lace amphibian, it might be OK framed, but why gild the lily with the rhinestone eye?  When you put the whole thing together it’s just one big question mark.  Like, why buy it?  Why hang it?  Hang it where?  The list might be endless.

While we were “pond”ering the frog, we came upon his friend the duck:

Nail DuckMore questions.  Did they really have that many extra nails just lying around?  No chicken coop that needed building, or siding requiring mending that might put them to better use?  [Deb here: my theory is that when your only art supply is a hammer, all of your projects look like nails].  Is that duck smiling; and if so, what about?  Looks evil to me.  Plus the whole thing seemed like a lot of extra work just to do a piddly little amount of string art.  I think it needs tossed on the rubbish heap to rust in peace.

At least these made us smile:

You kids stop rough housing in there!I don’t know if they heard a really good joke, or maybe the grass has finally turned green and they are taking advantage of it to have a good long roll.  But, no matter the reason they look like they are having a rollicking good time.  I might have brought these home, given my fondness for bunnies, but there is no way I am dragging any of that cheap resin junk into my home.  I am trying to train them NOT to make it.

We also thought these were pretty:

Despite appearances, made in ChinaNot useful, of course, but kind of pretty in a decorative boudoir sort of way.  Imagine our surprise to find they were made in China.  Better than average, for there.  I find the dainty Irish Belleek versions of these impossible to resist.  Luckily most of them are broken in myriad places before they hit the garage sale/thrift store arena, so I only own one of them.

This was also a “good thing” (to quote Ms. Martha Stewart):

Hand VaseI don’t know why we find these hand things amusing, but we do.  I particularly liked the tiny little rose ring on this one.  I don’t remember which company manufactured this, but one of the nice Japan companies that made fun things in the ’50s and ’60s.  We managed to avoid this one too, as it was listed “as is” and over priced.  I remember when I was a kid that anything that was “Made in Japan” was considered cheap and shoddy.   Now we look for it.  Wonder if that will ever happen to China’s stuff.  Surely not.  I will have to stick with that to save my sanity.

These last items were about the weirdest things we had seen a loooooong time:

Burnt Velvet CandlesLet’s hear it for those flocked candles!!!  In their defense, you were not supposed to burn the velvet part, see:

Inside Burnt Velvet CandleYou notice that no one had the nerve to ever put a match to these things.  I think it might have given a new meaning to the fad of “burn-out velvet”.  On the other hand, just imagine these in the swingin’ bachelor pad with all the other flocked wallpaper and velvet furnishings.  The mind boggles.  I probably should apologize for that last mental image, or maybe I should have warned you.  Sorry.

We are still in the market for new readers, we love our loyal ones, but we would like to share with more folks.  If you like what you read, and it gives you a laugh, consider subscribing to our feed on WordPress, following our Facebook page (be sure and sign up for notifications, as Facebook is bad about getting everything in your newsfeed) or pass these posts along to a friend that might have a good time with them.

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

This post is about the trip B.H. and I  took to visit his sister in Tyler TX a couple of weeks ago.  She knows me well enough that the local antique mall was on the must-see list.  We saw tons of fun things, which I appreciated but didn’t necessarily take pictures of, and a ton of crazy lamps.  I’m sharing the lamps with you, just because I can.  To paraphrase the song:

The lamps we found,
they do confound,
deep in the heart of Texas.

I’m starting you out easy, like entering a frigid swimming pool.  This is you dipping your toe in the waters:

50s Black Panther Lamp    Black Panther Detail

First off, my apologies for the dark, fuzzy pictures in this whole post.  The place was poorly lit, it was raining outside, and most booths were using their lamps for lighting.  It made for a poor picture-taking environment.  So, this lamp is hard to see, but it’s one of those black panthers with a vintage lampshade.  I was wondering if the shade is fiberglass; I can’t remember since I saw so many lamps that day.  This isn’t the best panther I’ve ever seen; maybe I was distracted by all the gold lines.  I wasn’t even tempted to buy it for $125.

Staying with the animal genre lamp:

Pink Peacock TV Lamp

This rare pink peacock is what I call a TV lamp; meaning you set it on top of your honking big color TV’s wooden cabinet.  When I was a kid, we turned the lights off to watch TV and a light that went straight up would allow for movement without ruining your watching experience.  Again, $72 is way out of my lamp budget; $5 is more like it.

This little Bambi lamp screams 1950s:

Bambi TV lamp

It’s pretty cute; I might have liked it better without the deer since those leaves are kind of cool.  But, just leaves would have been too austere for that decade.

This light hits two of our buttons—seashells and flamingos:

Flamingo Shell Lamp

We still look at flamingos even though the Summer Intern is now a towering 16 year-old boy.  When he was little, he LOVED flamingos, which he called flingomes.  We still like to look for flingomes for him.  Plus, we are fascinated by things people make out of shells.  I think this might have been a homemade project, and that both the flingome and the shells deserve better.

Before we get into the people lamps, and created-from-found-items lamps, I have one more group of animals:

Animal TV lamps

The swan demonstrates the lighting capacity of these TV lamps.  All I can say is that I have NEVER seen this many TV lamps in one place.  They must have been extremely popular in Texas to judge from the multitude I noticed.  I usually think of swans as bathroom decor way back then; now thankfully, they seem to have disappeared from interior design.

Don’t mourn the end of animal lamps, I have a number of people ones too:

Debutant TV lamp   ebutant TV Lamp closeup

I wonder if instead of a TV lamp, this debutante was used as a dressing-table light.  She would encourage you to go higher with the hair and darker with the eyebrows.  I kind of like her in a strange way; she looks like an average woman who is wearing a pretty dress and got her hair done.  That is an achievable goal; I’m never going to look like Grace Kelly, but this girl, yeah I could have done that in my misspent youth.

This is sort of an upstairs downstairs lamp display:

Shelf of TV lamps2

I like the girl with the dogs on the bottom much better than the Regency couple in their matching white wigs on the top shelf.  What was up with the 1950s obsession with the Regency period?  We see infinite numbers of those bad figurines all duded up in their wigs, waistcoats, pantaloons, jackets, and gowns.  They’re on the clown and seashell level of bountiful bad; we don’t take a picture unless they’re truly dreadful.  I might have gotten the girl with the dogs lamp if it wasn’t the favorite price of this mart—$125.  I’ll have to look at estate and garage sales.  Maybe I’ll get lucky.

On the same shelf, tucked into a corner, was this lonely lady:

Regency Lady TV Lamp

Another member of the Regency aristocracy wearing a giant white wig—again, I just don’t get it and we can “get” most collections.  The most interesting thing about her is that she is chalkware and is sitting with a giant basket of greens, flowers, and apples (?) on her lap.  Her expression is dreamy or druggy, take your pick.  She is in good condition, but $95 seems overly optimistic.

This lamp is pretty odd:

Lady TV Lamp

I’m not sure if this is supposed to be an African-American woman; maybe the big gold hoops are a clue.  But, the hair looks like one of those 1940s rolled hairdos that often look like horns.  That giant conical shade coming right out of her head is the part I really don’t like.  I think it would look better if it had a cool fiberglass shade six inches over her head.

The next lamps have been made from strange items or with strange decorations;

One way to use up all of that trim

I want to like this lamp, I really do.  Someone used up a lot of their trim covering up a boring plaster or wood lamp.  It has so much going on; maybe I would have liked it better with a less busy shade.  However, it’s still loads better than this lamp:

Ricer Lamp     Ricer lamp2

This probably is an idea that should have been ignored by the maker.  If the body of the lamp had been some cool 1950s robot or rocket ship, that might have worked.  That standard lamp base just doesn’t do a thing for the ricer shade at all.

Still making lamps in the kitchen:

Silverware Lamp   Silverware Lamp2

I think that the silverware is attached to a fancy footed stand for a bowl.  I’m not opposed to this lamp, it just isn’t my kind of thing.  I could see it in someone’s kitchen or dining room if they’re into playful, fun, and busy decorations.

I am against this next lamp—vehemently:

Sewing Machine Lamp

Those old sewing machines aren’t that hard to fix, there weren’t that many moving parts on them.  I wonder if it even works with that awkward-looking shade on top of it.  This lamp just ain’t right!

I’m not crazy about this suitcase lamp either:

Suitcase Lamp with a fringy friend

I looked at it and I think that it’s a resin suitcase, not a real one.  But even so, I just don’t like the look of it, not even for your guest room.  I think its fringy friend in the back is a lot more fun.

Sigh, I think I saved the best for the last:

he Yellow and Orange Flowers of Texas

OMG where do I even start with this lamp?  This is the worst of 1970s style, both in the colors and composition.  How do you make flowers this ugly and are those green things around the flowers Brussels Sprouts? Ick—not the Brussels Sprouts, I like them on a plate!!!

Well, that’s it for part one.  I actually have enough nonlamp pictures for another Texas post.  Don’t be afraid, there are actually a couple of good things.  Please check out our Facebook page to see what goodies we don’t share here.

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Tales From the Sales

Talk to any avid garage saler, and you will begin to understand that we all see it as a sport!  Really.  We train by hitting the sales every week, we train our families to understand that this is not really an option, and passing by a sale is not OK.  We wait with bated breath for the season to start, and then hit the ground running.  There are times we strike out, and times we hit a home run.  This week I thought I would share a couple of fun stories before we get into regular “stuff”.

Considering how many years we have gone to sales, we have NEVER had this happen to us:

We did

The sign said “Hug a Garage Saler Day” and they weren’t kidding.  The gentleman of the house came up to us, wished us a Happy Hug a Garage Saler day, and gave us each a hug.  Now we are pretty sure he wasn’t into chasing around middle-aged hausfraus, so we are not sure what he got out of it.  We at least got a laugh.  There was also a sign at the same sale that said they were running a special: Buy the right shoe, get the left free.  They must have quite the sense of humor.

There is also an element of competition to saling.  We wouldn’t be happy if we didn’t get some bragging rights once in a while.  A fellow saler was telling me just last week about the gold watch he just got for fifty cents.  I know him well enough to know he was not kidding.  For me, I have a small ongoing match with a longtime friend.  I went to kindergarten with this woman’s daughter, so you know how long I have known her.  We have a bad habit of hitting the same sales and buying the same kind of things, but I scored on her last week.  I had been to one sale and picked up a darling little pine needle basket:

Dickerson Basket 1

Moved on to the next sale and lo and behold, there was my “rival”.  I happened on yet another pine needle basket, which is odd, as there aren’t that many around:

Pine Needle Basket

Picked this one up as well, and she caught up with me and asked if the basket was signed.  I said “no” but it was the second basket I had found that day, and I thought the other one was signed.  We walked over to my car trunk, and sure enough the first was signed and made by a fairly famous local pair of sisters in the 1930s.  There is even a book out on these two sisters.  I have ordered the book, but it hasn’t come yet, so I will have to let you know more about them later.  Needless to say, that the baskets are collected actively by my nemesis and I beat her to this one for only a buck, plus I adore baskets and collect old ones as well.

Here is the signature on both the lid and the bottom, so if you ever see any more, you know who to call.  Not her, me!

Alice and Helen Dickerson

OK, we have some sort of normal stuff now, well, normal for us.  These don’t seem normal no matter how hard you look at them:

Hot mess flopsI don’t know if these are hot flops like they say on the bottom, but I am pretty sure they are a hot mess.  They can’t be comfortable, can they?  I am also sure there is no way these are regulation baseball shoes, and if you are a fan, surely you know better?

Speaking of NOT normal, we had a loyal reader send us this photo:

horny chair Kari StackhouseHoly Cow (pun intended)!  That is some chair.  How did they resist upholstering it in cow hide?  These chairs were really popular around the 1910s, although I can’t tell from the photo if this one is vintage.  I have seen many an Arts and Crafts western interior graced with one, although not covered in what looks to be red velvet.  Must be straight off the set of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  I am going to have to confess to being down on my knees grateful that this was not seen by my hubby, as he has always wanted one of these.  Whatever you do, don’t tell me where you saw it!  Our reader said that the owner thought it was made from sheep horns and worth over $2000 according to Antiques Roadshow.  This chair was being offered for the bargain basement price of $1000.

We had a fixer-upper doll house on Facebook a few weeks ago.  Here is another one, but this comes with an outbuilding:

Fixer upper doll housesThe house wasn’t much, but the barn sure was cute.  Good thing the scale was much too small on these.  I wouldn’t want to get saddled with the house, and the barn would need horses, and then accessories, and who knows where it would stop.

We have found that sometimes it is not a good idea to look into boxes.  Who knows what you will see:

Giant Troll BabyThere are some pretty creepy troll dolls lurking in here.  I guess they are supposed to lurk somewhere, but someone had better find these plastic likenesses a convenient bridge.  I kinda like trolls, but I am not sure how they managed to make these look quite so sketchy, as the summer intern would say.  Maybe China doesn’t know what a troll is supposed to look like either.  Then again, who does, but cute would be a good start.  By the way, you know we really WILL continue to peek into boxes, cause that gold watch is probably lurking there.

Next up, a couple of pictures.  We rather liked this kitty cat:

Nice Kitty PictureI think it might have been a portrait of an actual cat, and I once had a tortoise shell kitty, so have a soft spot for those crazy colors.  The tulips were pretty nice too.  Way better than the cheap (but not priced cheaply) garage sale art of a couple of weeks ago.  These were only a couple of bucks each, so I hope someone with some wall space got to take them home.

This picture also made us giggle:

TRex loves youI don’t know what it means when a T. rex loves you this much. He really does care and he is doing his best, or he is really just indifferent and the arm spread is about normal?  We thought this would be cute as can be in the room of any child who has a dinosaur thing, in other words, ANY kiddo’s room!  We might take the time find a new mat and frame, but it was a laugh nonetheless.

After last week’s purse post, we thought we would show you this:

Same pursagendon, different viewThis is the purse mess at our local thrift store.  Here is a close up:

Goodwill PurseagendonWe love bags, and there wasn’t a single one in this pile of c**p that we would have even considered taking home.  Just goes to show that we aren’t complete pack rats.  No, what it really shows is that they sure make a lot of VASTLY ugly purses.  Come on, designers, step it up, we need a new pocketbook.  Not really, but a girl can dream.

Well, it’s time to hit the road again.  Got to get there first!!  Don’t forget to check out our Facebook posts, you never know what you will see there either!  And if you like what you see, consider subscribing, liking, or sharing with the rest of the world.

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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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