No, not Christmas, silly! I’m talking about the Unitarian Universalist Church jumble sale that we salivate over every year. I’m not kidding, we start looking forward to this sale in May, so when it gets here, we almost fall over ourselves to arrive on time. This year it was held before school started, so there wasn’t a drop-the-intern-off, nail-drumming delay before the shopping frenzy.
While waiting in line for the start of the sale, we looked up and saw this hat display:
I want you to understand that each one of those sections is probably eight feet long! That’s a lot of hats; Bartholomew Cubbins would be impressed—especially since they were hanging three deep. All along the other side of this was shoes, so there were almost a pair of shoes for every hat!
The first thing you notice is that this is the cleanest, most organized sale you have ever been to. Stuff is sorted into categories and placed in its own hallway or room. Prices and maps are posted all over the place, so you can find your way. We needed the maps this year because they reorganized, and it was hard to teach old shoppers new tricks.
The collectibles section was moved into a fairly constricted room, and you had to pay on the way out. Later on, that caused a bottleneck at the door, but since we headed there first, it didn’t bother us. Kathy bought her darling chintz cup and saucer in there, and I found some Tomy dollhouse furniture and five children’s hankies:
There are five darling fairy tale story hankies, which have a label saying hand rolled and made in Spain. The edges are rolled and hand stitched, which seems much too much work for a kid’s hanky. I think the animal with the big eyes up in the right-hand corner might be a dog, although the ears are sort of bunnyish. Judge for yourself:
Kind of a dog/bunny hybrid with a monkey tail!
We got split up for a minute so I ran over to check out the dolls looking for my Number 1 Barbie, but alas she wasn’t there. Kathy, more sensibly, went over to the linens which is where I found her. She was musing over this paper tablecloth from the psychedelic past:
I can just imagine what your bridge ladies would think about this, especially after you gave them some “special” brownies. Can you play bridge while you’re stoned? Would that make it fun? Even if you were sober as a judge, could you concentrate on your cards with this pattern two feet from your eyes?
From there, we headed over to the housewares section, which had a little bit of everything, including a scary clown (just mentioning it to fulfill our verbal contract with a couple of readers) and this mixed-up bird:
He’s supposed to cover a candle to provide just a tiny amount of light from between his leaves, err, feathers. Does his tail look a flower to you? Poor Birdie gets more confusing by the minute. His expression is sort of resigned, so he obviously knows he’s a fail. Unless … you give him a crazy orange and pink paint job and he can be the centerpiece for the psychedelic bridge experience!
I have to admit that we both had a soft spot for Ferdinand:
He no longer bobs, and he was pretty dang grubby. That doesn’t stop him from being cute—and he still has his flower!
We have been told by readers that they now also hate clowns. We don’t feel too guilty about that since there are roughly 200 bad clowns for every cute one. Or maybe 201:
I would never terrorize my tea bag by putting it on this clown tea bag holder. He doesn’t look too thrilled either. That expression says that, “I’m just one Tazo from going over the line!” Killer Klowns from Outer Space has a new crew member and he fits right in.
I find the velvet picture ad from Antiques Roadshow amusing. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a velvet horse picture hanging on a wall with the catch phrase, “It’s not easy on the eyes, but oh the fingers.” I think of that every time I see an oil on velvet painting:
This was a change from the tacky Elvis and matador paintings that abound at roadside stands. Believe it or not, there is a museum in L.A. that displays velvet paintings both good and bad. This one might not be an Edgar Leeteg, but it’s better than average.
The panther painting is nowhere near as good as these papercut pictures:
If they had been dogs or cats instead of horses, one of us would have bought them despite their gargantuan size. They were about three feet across, so that’s an amazing amount of paper cutting! Hopefully, a horsey person will snap both of these up and display them proudly. There were some amazing prints and woodcuts too, but just not in our style. I should have taken a picture, but it’s hard to remember your camera when looking for the next bargain.
This is some of my haul:
The plastic bag is full of doll hats just begging for embellishment. Sad to say even if we decorated all the hats, some of our dolls would have to go hatless There is only one thing that I don’t have a reason for buying—it’s the cloisonné red dragon in the upper right of both pictures. He is incredibly over-the-top and top-heavy at the same time. His head had broken off, but it was glued back on. The man checking me out (I know, at my age!) just gave me the rooster plate because he didn’t feel like adding in one more thing—I was suitably grateful. The round black box near the peacock tin is lacquered and in need of a good cleaning. Just what I need, another box!
Kathy found some goodies too of course! Here is her vintage pile:
Her chintz cup and saucer are awesome, as is the whole pile, really. Our friend Connie pulled the kitty dresser scarf out of a pile and made a beeline for Kathy, who loved it. My favorite part was the tassels on the cat’s cushion.
More Kathy buys:
She called this picture crafty crazies. The hamburger in the bottom corner is a telephone! She loves Halloween ever so much, so I’m sure the skull bags will get used.
Finally, we always search the free boxes on the way out. I got a shirt and a package of white tissue paper. Kathy got these pieces of clothing:
It’s a great place to search for fabric, and if you’re a felter, it’s heaven!, Plus Kathy is gathering props for a photography group, and funky old clothes work great.
Well, that’s it for our favorite sale this year. It felt a little smaller and more discombobulated than in previous years, but as you can see from the pictures there was plenty to amuse! Who are we to complain when we filled bags up to overflowing with our wonderful finds?
Have you been to a great garage sale recently? Did you buy something awesome? We would love to see what you found—just send us a picture and we’ll share it in a post.