Hi, we’re Kathy and Deb. We’re old enough to know better, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun. We’ve been friends for a long time, and second-hand shopping is our activity of choice. As an introduction, here is a lightly edited version of our very first post from 2010 (I know!! We’ve been doing this for four years!). We pretty much still feel the same way as we did then: we blog because it’s fun! We’ll probably continue until we run out of things to say (unlikely), stop finding funny stuff (even more unlikely), or we aren’t having fun (hasn’t happened so far).
Howdy No Doody
Kathy: I can’t remember a time when our family didn’t go to garage sales or auctions. I can remember sitting under my folk’s feet at auctions with coloring books when I was probably only four or five years old. It was a weekly occurrence, and we considered it just part of life. My dad furnished our whole house with lovely American Golden Oak furniture that was picked out of dumpsters in alleys at a time when it wasn’t fashionable. He lovingly restored each piece, and several hold pride of place in my own home, as well as gracing Mom and Dad’s still. I began buying “stuff” at an early age, but I had good taste. The first piece of jewelry I ever bought was a lovely 1940s sterling silver deer pin that I purchased for the grand total of 10¢ at a school carnival thrift store. I still wear it regularly. That is not to say I have not had lapses in taste, as we all have. I also have a couple of absurd collections that I hide from most people, as I am sure they would think I was nuts. We hope to share some of our odd passions as well as our fun moments. We decided others might enjoy our amusement at those “what the heck” moments when we realized that people follow us around the thrift stores to laugh with us!
Deb: My family has always believed in reusing and recycling even before it was fashionable. It probably goes back to my mom being the youngest of ten children during the Depression, and/or that she and my dad had five kids of their own. It was a special thing when you got something new—and you took care of it! We certainly were not deprived, we had Barbies, bikes, and most everything a kid could want in those days. But I can remember stopping by someone’s trash and my mom picking up a bicycle and putting it in our car; it was lucky that my dad could fix anything. We also got lots of hand-me-downs from cousins and friends, which we wore and passed on in our turn. My parents swapped things with friends too—cars, pool tables, and even an old player piano. So, being a secondhand “Rose” runs in my blood, as well as first-class packrattery. That comes from my dad and grandpa–if you ever need something go see my dad, I’m sure he has one or two somewhere in his pole barn.
Why are we wasting time blogging when we could be shopping?
The next logical course in enjoying secondhand things is to laugh at horrible secondhand objects. It isn’t always hard to understand how things end up in a garage sale or at a thrift store—they are just so ugly that you question why they even exist. Of course we understand the concept of colors, patterns, and combinations thereof going in and out of vogue. Can anyone ever forget the love of harvest gold and avocado green of the 1970s, anything goes in the 1960s, pink & turquoise in the 1950s or even more recently the southwest color scheme of sage green and pink? So we get that things should be considered in the context of their origins. BUT there are objects out there that were never good, as we like to say to each other. Consider crocheted or knitted Afghans of whatever color Grandma had leftover from other projects—shudder visibly!
Having said all of that, we don’t have degrees in interior design or art. Kathy attended our local college and took art and art history classes—that’s as close as we come. However, we both are easily amused and highly opinionated, so that should count for something.
We would also like to it make perfectly clear that we aren’t laughing at your grandmother! We are poking fun at THINGS and the sensibility that created or paid for them. Everyone has a lapse now and then, or maybe all the time– it is conceivable that the most wonderful person in the world could have dreadful taste. We will be sure to show you the mind-boggling stuff we own– some things are just so awful that we have to drag them home because they make us laugh every time we see them. That is why we decided to blog about our adventures in secondhand shopping– we want everyone to laugh with us and at us. We sure hope that you share your own “what were they thinking” objects as you come across or recognize them.
OK, without further ado, here is the most horrible thing we have ever seen so far in 80+ years (that’s combined of course!) of going to garage sales, jumping into dumpsters, combing through estate sales, and visiting thrift stores:
People have argued that this isn’t the ugliest thing they have seen–our response is that they did not see it in person, a photo does not convey the full horror! The funny thing is that was gone the next week when we went back on our weekly trek—we wonder who dragged it home. It wasn’t us, we swear, although it did cross at least one of our minds 😉
Since that first post we’ve seen thousands of good and bad things, confessed to some of our crazy collections and purchases, and hopefully put a smile on at least one face per week. We’ve also started a Facebook page where we’ll put a picture, a confession, or a how-to post up, when we get around to it, about twice a week. We also have friends who post stuff on our page that obviously belongs there, only they saw it first! If you do Facebook, take a look at The Second Hand Roses page. If you find something bad or good, feel free to send us a picture so we can put it in the blog (you get full credit, however!) or you can throw it up (maybe literally) on the Facebook page.
We’re doing a giveaway associated with the Grow Your Blog event–it’s open to everyone who cares to enter, whether you’ve been with us from the beginning, or are a new friend. We’ll announce the winner on February 15th, so that would make the deadline for entering midnight Valentine’s Day. To enter, leave a comment here or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you leave a comment, please check back on the 15th or soon afterward to see if you won–then you can contact us with your information.
What are we giving away? Well, we are doing two good and one bad prize, AND you won’t know what’s coming until it arrives. The good prizes are:
Our next prize is something we found last week, and it literally stopped us in our tracks:
After we stopped laughing, we looked at each other and said, “Oh my God, have you ever seen anything like this?” It’s vintage, about six inches tall, the tag on the bottom says Japan, and my dog Koko wants to rip it to pieces. That’s all we know about it. If you have a yen for the booby prize and win, let us know when you give us your contact information; we’ll see what we can do.
Thanks for visiting us and, if you’re a blogger, we’ll try to swing by and visit you.