The People You Meet

This gallery contains 8 photos.

We actually enjoy meeting folks on our travels through junk land.  Really we do! Although there are times we are just plain pissed off at them, most of the fans of junkdom are pretty nice.  We also spend a lot … Continue reading

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A Post From Mrs. Crankypants

While I really enjoyed Kathy’s “Little Boxes” post last week, I’ve been stuck with the earworm, “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds.  Please share my pain!  I like the song, but I’ve been singing it out loud for seven whole days now.  I may have to take extreme steps and listen to a Queen album as they’re supposed to the be earwormiest musical group.  Or I could just watch Mamma Mia again and sing ABBA for a week.  At least I will have lots of songs to choose from.  😉  I’m particularly susceptible to earworms for some reason.  The only cure is another catchy tune.

We ended up going to several thrift stores a couple of weeks ago because: A. the Goodwill Bins didn’t open until 10:20, and B. when we got in the backroom, we were so disgruntled that we didn’t stay all that long.  Worry not; the rift was mended last week and it’s all good.

These kinds of crafts give us mixed emotions:

Mixed emotions

Well, I should say when they are nicely done, not this one specifically.  We like the results and hope the makers used old dishes with problems.  This group only brings on one emotion—annoyance.  Did they have to use that lovely Jadeite plate in the topmost “flower”?  Maybe they should have used one of those countless meh pieces of porcelain that we see most weeks in thrift stores and leave the Jadeite to us.  Especially since they seem to have used a lot of modern china, that is nothing special, elsewhere.  Thank goodness we didn’t see a brooch/vintage jewelry Christmas tree at the same thrift or we might have exploded.  I just need to take a deep breath and get over it; it’s only one tiny piece of Jadeite for goodness’ sake.

Okay, I can see that this is going to be a cranky post since I’ve already mentioned a couple of our pet peeves.  This next picture isn’t going to lower the snark level much:


I had to look at it for a while before I could tell what it was supposed to be, besides a hot mess.  Those look like hummingbirds (!?) at the sides along with some very tangled greenery.  I think the flowers at the top are either roses or poppies, neither of which attract hummingbirds.  As to what it is, I think it’s a vase made from badly cut wood, or carved wax.  We didn’t touch it in case it was catching.  Why on Earth would Goodwill put this on a shelf instead of pitching it in the trash?

I think I was initially struck by the angry Native American inspired art:

These two things don't go togetherI hope it was made with the noblest of motives since it isn’t very successful on aesthetics alone.  After looking for a minute, it struck me how incongruous these two things are.  The nice old veneer dresser, in pretty good shape, and the less nice, fairly new pot on top.  They aren’t two things that I would ever put together in my head.

Time for something fun:

Tiny Chinese lanterns

We thought these were a hoot.  I’m not sure that they make effective decorations since they’re a little more than two inches tall.  I bought a big bag of these a while ago, and shared with Kathy, because we thought they would be fun in doll dioramas.  Mine are setting there looking at me—have you used yours yet, Kathy?  ( Kathy here, the answer is NO )  I was pretty tempted by these in the box, but resisted because how many tiny Chinese doll lanterns do I really need?

Does anyone else have memories of getting their hair fried under one of these instruments of torture?

Wow, I remember these

My long-ago beautician kept her hair dryer at roughly 1000º F and my ears were red from second-degree burns for a couple of days.  Luckily, the dryer chair that I’m familiar with had avocado green plastic upholstery, so I didn’t have to kick this poor innocent harvest gold chair.

We have a couple of random pictures hanging about from the bins, so I might as well end with them:

Typical pile at the bins

This is such a typical pile of things we dig through.  Nothing is related to anything else, but you never know what is under the top layer of junque.  That poor deer, however, is not even worth 99¢.  I think it was a greenware project, done by someone with paint-by-numbers level of artistic talent.  After his antler broke, he’s a white elephant gift waiting to happen.  The fabric mobile lying on the deer is pretty fun, as are the blue coffee pot and kitty pot on the bottom shelf.  The bins give you lots of opportunities for the good amongst the indifferent and bad.

Lastly, this crazy framing of an attractive print:Let me say, I really like “The Soul of a Rose” by John William Waterhouse (1908).  It’s a romantic tour-de-force.  But, oy vey, this framing doesn’t do it any favors!  Sometimes less is MORE; just stop already and let the art speak for itself!

Thanks for reading, and hopefully I’ll be singing ABBA while shopping Friday.

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Little Boxes

Deb got back last week from visiting her family, so we were all set to head out on our usual Friday rounds.  We found that our favorite garage sale started without us, so our Unitarian Church sale post is missing.  They had it earlier than usual, and scaled it back, so it was really sort of anti-climactic.  Oh well, we thought, there are always the bins.  We arrived at Goodwill at about ten minutes after nine, thinking, that should work, they open at nine.  We were greeted by a line in front of the doors.  Oh well, they are running late, so we wait, and wait, and wait.  After about 20 minutes we go round to the front, and take a gander through the regular store.  Come back, still not open.  We waited for over an hour for them to open the doors.  Can you imagine two grumpier Roses?  We found a few things, but nothing special.  They had better behave themselves this week!

After Deb’s adventure in Shirley’s Land of Scotties, I feel sort of guilty about owning this, but it is going to stay with me:

I have since lightly sanded it and put a finish on it to hide the water marks.  I don’t know what it is about boxes that make them come home with both Deb and me.  She actually likes wooden boxes a lot, but this one just refuses to leave me!  I think this example is from the ’30s or ’40s.  The veneer is incredibly thin; I could barely sand it without losing the design.

While Deb was gone, I dragged this box up from the bottom of a bin:

From the looks of the ladies’ gowns this is an early ’50s box.  The shirt is AMAZING:

Can you imagine a shirt with this fine work being available today?  It was in perfect condition other than some slight yellowing from the box and the small paper collar insert.  I am sure a quick bleaching would take care of it, but I liked the whole package just the way it was.  This was one of those shirts where you insert your own buttons and, of course, cuff links.  It would be difficult for someone to even wear it today.  (I could, because of course, I have a set of buttons!)

Here we have a fun thing for those tiny hands on a rainy day:

I am not sure which one I loved more, the tulip or the goat.  You can see how well-received it was by the said tiny hands, as it has never been touched.  I am pretty sure they were not playing on their phones, so who knows what these kiddies were up to, but it sure wasn’t needlework.

I have a hard time buying things “Never Removed From Box” as I really want to snatch them out of their prison and play with them, but there are some of them that really don’t cause this problem.  Take this 11 ½” doll fashion:

I had to laugh that they included a mannequin, just a partial 3-D dress form really, but they did add a stand for it, because you are sure to want to display that fashion.  In the box it looks like a uniform for a psych ward.  There is a photo on the back that shows what it is supposed to look like:

I actually think that is rather cute, but I am sure that the only way this outfit EVER looked like this, was on the prototype.  After that, it was how cheap can we make it and have it look vaguely like the photo?  I did some looking for Mel Appel (the maker) but there were only a couple more versions of these fashions and a few other cheap toys that came up in my search.  It was made in 1988 in China.  I like goofy clone things, so this will find a home with me for now.

I also picked up this Charly doll at a sale a while back for $1.00:

The doll was released in the ’70s by Durham Hong Kong.  They very carefully spelled it differently, but they were trying to capitalize on the popularity of the perfume of the similar name.  Check out the font used for both.  The illustration is way cuter than the doll, but it is actually one I have been looking for, as an odd clone.  She gets to stay in her cardboard prison, too.

Now this one would have to be taken out to play with, and luckily it wasn’t sealed in:

How cute is that?  We have a friend who loves Dachshunds, and we would have snapped this right up for him, but they thought it was worth $35.  Who knows, maybe it was, but I am ever the cheapskate.

This next item is still in its original packaging, too, but you can easily take it out.  I am just terrified to do so:

I have never taken the blue film off the mirror part, but normally that would be silver colored.  This claims to be a lighter for your cigarette.  I want to know how you keep it from setting the whole thing on fire?  There is nothing that points it just at one end.  I think this has the potential for a useful item for your backpack, providing you have sun, you might be able to make a fire, or maybe just burn your fingers.  I have not seem many of these, so I am thinking they were rather a failure.

This last item is not in a box, but it still hasn’t had a whole lot of wear.  I found this in a bunch of free sewing stuff at a yard sale last week.  I was intrigued enough to open it up:

It’s about three inches long, and made of lovely dressed leather.  Inside I found this:

It’s marked R.J. Roberts Patent Parabola Needles, Made in England.  I have no idea what a Parabola needle is, but here is a whole little book of them.  [Deb here: There is one curved needle at the bottom, but that hardly justifies the title parabola needles when the rest of them are regular straight needles.  However, B.H. discovered a lawsuit regarding Roberts Parabola needles and it turns out that the parabola is referring to the shape of the eye, not the needle.]  I love that these old things took the time to be pretty as well as useful.  Don’t you wish that still happened more?

We did get a few pix last week, so we still have blog fodder, and if the bins don’t open before 10:20 this week, we may throw ourselves on the ground and have a temper tantrum.  Stay tuned for photos!  Or maybe not, but do come back to read next week’s post!

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Bin There, Done That

I’m ashamed to say that I missed the Goodwill bins while visiting family in Michigan.  We had gotten the Norovirus from a young relative, so shopping was right out the first week.  The misty weather made garage saling difficult after we recovered, so I’m in serious second-hand retail withdrawal.  I’ll be getting a fix tomorrow, so no worries, and we have lots of pictures stored up–lucky you.

I call this picture: Alas, poor Yorkie:

I’m sure you can see why.  That is a pretty clunky snout for this petite breed, and why would you want a bad resin copy when you probably own the adorable real deal?  My mom always watches for the elderly lady who brings her tiny Yorkie to church in her handbag.  The purse is so big, that the Yorkie probably has a fully furnished apartment inside.

I’m hoping this clock had spent some serious time in the sun:

Elvis is pretty washed out, which makes him a tiny bit effeminate, and it’s not that great of a photo to begin with.  I’m not sure why there is a clock on the picture; probably just an excuse to have Elvis staring from the bedside table.

We’re wondering if the person who had the Elvis clock, owned this suit?


The first picture doesn’t do justice to its redness as you can see in the right picture.  The lining was an emerald-green, so the whole thing was eye-wateringly bright!  I would call it a bold fashion statement, just to be tactful.  It was a tiny suit, thank goodness.  A well-nourished woman would be a sight to see in this outfit.  What color blouse would you wear with it?  Might as well go for broke and wear a bright green; in for a penny, in for a pound.

Oh goodness, these flowers were so bright that I needed sunglasses:

They would work in a dark corner that needed some brightening, or maybe in a state where the weather is grey and dreary.  Or, maybe, I’m just so out of it and old, that I don’t know what the kids are decorating with these days.

While I’m not going to condemn bright flowers, this wreath does NOT get a pass:

I think it’s a waste of ribbon, if such a thing is possible.  The flowers don’t bother me anywhere near as much as that blue ribbon—must cover every bit of the straw wreath was her mantra.  It sure looks like a Pinterest fail to me.

Speaking of Pinterest fails:

This fabric collage is so very confusing and out of scale.  You really need to click on the picture to get the full, hypnotizing effect.  The fabric leaves look bigger than the trees.  I guess that could be a perspective problem, but it seems more like an execution problem to me.  Pinterest has lots to answer for—making people think that they can do tricky crafts that require some real skill.

We just couldn’t help laughing—she kept the box:

My mom had the avocado green one for parties, bridge, and days she felt really, really tired.  I had to pull the coffeemaker out to look at the color—it was Harvest Gold, to my surprise.  If it had been that orange color I might have bought it for me.  There are days where I feel like drinking 32 cups of coffee to get through what’s before me.

Thanks for reading this week.  Kathy says that she is working on something different for a post, so stay tuned to see what she is up to.

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Shirley’s Scotties

My sister took me to visit an old neighbor who wanted to show me her Scottie dog collection.  It was colossal, amazing, and scary.  Yes, scary.  She had things that she had forgotten that she owned, all boxed up in the garage.  Kathy and I both embrace collecting, but it can become an end unto itself and you forget why you’re collecting.  You lose sight of collecting to enjoy a thing, and you accumulate just to check a box.  Shirley realized this after 30 years of collecting her Scottie dogs, and is now looking to thin the herd (pack?), so to speak.  She has moved the things that really speak to her into the house, and is in the process of going through the garage to decide what to sell.  I thought it would be fun to show someone else’s collection to prove that we aren’t alone in the overenthusiastic collectors club.  I hope this doesn’t come across as all judgey about Shirley; I walk in her shoes frequently.

First stop was the garage, so I could look at all the Scotties that were going to be on the block:


If you can think of a class of Scottie item, Shirley has two or three of them.  We looked at the shelf of Scottie doorstops, the Scottie ashtrays, toys, and figures.  There were many out and still more to be unpacked:


I admire her ambition to get all this sorted through.  I might be tempted to just leave it for my executor and kids.  Not Shirley; she has an amazing amount of energy.

Then we went into the house to see the real treasures.  Shirley has been a patient collector through the years, hunting items through the internet, going to antique stores, attending auctions, and enlisting her friends to look for her.  She is so proud of this radio:

She looked for this for years and finally a friend got it at an auction.  It’s Bakelite, and as an added bonus, it works.  If she were collecting for investment, this is an excellent buy as it appeals to lots of different collectors—Scottie dog, Bakelite, and vintage radios.  Shirley only wanted it because it’s rare and has her favorite dog on the front.

Sorry that this next picture is kind of blurry.  As always, my poor photography skills are challenged by low-light situations:


This clock is from the Black Forest of Germany, and you tell time by the marks around the eyes.  It’s a pretty funny thing; I can’t imagine what it looks like when the eyes are moving to keep time.  I also like that Shirley wrote down what she knows about the clock on the back.  It’s helpful for family members when the time comes to go through the collection.  Of course they don’t have her expertise, and that makes evaluating a collection tough.

I’ve always wondered why all of Shirley’s Scotties were called Bonnie:

I think this might be a clue.  She really likes Scottie dog advertising and had lots of it all over the house.  This was one of my favorites.

I thought this child’s shoe box was pretty sweet, too:

You can see how complete this collection is.  She collected anything that had a Scottie on it.  I knew she was my kind of person when she found a BAG of plastic window shade pulls that were Scottie shaped.  I asked about Scottie buttons and jewelry, and she said she had tons of them, but we never got around to seeing them.  😦

The walls were covered in Scottie pictures, of course:

Again, I apologize for the quality of this photo.  There was a ton of glare, but I think you can get the gist.  The picture on the right is an Icart.  I have a teeny, tiny Icart and this one made me drool!

Speaking of drooling, Shirley showed me her Steiff Scotties:

Yes, she has more than one, but this guy stole my heart.  His collar says “Scotty” and he still has his button in his ear.  There were a couple of smaller ones, and some other dogs too.  I’m glad he made the cut to stay in the house.

This is one of two curio cabinets in the living room stuffed to the gills with Scotties:

I loved that Shirley could reach into this cabinet and pull out a piece and tell you all about it.  She remembers where she bought it, who was with her, and how much she spent.  That is real passion; I frequently can’t even remember if something is mine or Kathy’s.

I really liked the Art Deco lines on the cigarette case at the bottom left of the pictures:

She had several different cigarette cases, but this was my favorite.  The brown compact is interesting too because it was leather, not metal.  I kind of think the case on the top might be a calling card case.

Just when I thought we were winding down, Shirley would say, “Oh I gotta show you my (blank) collection.  I really loved that she had her Scotties divided up this way:

Here are some of her planters, all cleaned up and looking for a houseplant.  Even though she is thinking of selling them, she showed me her favorites, and couldn’t help touching them.  I hope she keeps the little dog on the barrel in the center.  That seemed to be special.

Another sign of collection completeness:

A Scottie smoking stand, with Scottie pipes.  There is no one in the house that smokes, but she saw this and then was sucked in.  I have to admit that the little Scotties forming the arch are pretty cute.  It’s great how complete the piece is with its original ashtray.

Let’s end here, even though I have lots more pictures:

This is an orange Scottie pie bird!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  It’s so specialized and crazy that it made me laugh.  To Shirley, getting it was a great triumph, and she has it in a cabinet where she can see it every day.  As a collector, life doesn’t get much better than that.

Thanks for reading!  If any of you have a collection that you would like to share, drop us a line.


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Big and Little

Whew, it’s been a wild week.  We spent the end of last week prepping for our Vintage Sale, and then two days having the sale, then each of us spent at least a day respectively packing and putting things away neatly.  I do have to say that Deb got a clean garage out of the deal, and we found the snack set.

What snack set, you ask?  Well, a couple of years ago we found one of those cute little glass snack sets for 12!  We both had clubs, (Bunko and Book Club) that would mean it would get used, and we could share it.  It was missing one plate, but was a fairly common pattern, so we knew we could find it.  I carried a picture of it around for a couple of months, and was able to score a plate for a dollar.  When Deb went to put it with the set, it was no where to be found.  She tore apart her cupboards, and looked everywhere.  She finally set the plate aside.  While we were cleaning up all the boxes in her garage, low and behold there was the snack set!  It had been so long, she didn’t even recognize it, and was trying to say it belonged to another friend that sold some things with us.  And yes, she did remember where the plate was, so it is together at long last!

On to our finds.  Since we are going large, how about a bear skin rug:

He was pretty old and little moth eaten, but I thanked my lucky stars hubby was not with me, or Bruin would probably be living in my family room.  I actually find these rather amusing, and if you have the right kind of antiques, (we do) they look OK.  I just didn’t want to handle the trauma the cat would probably have over this.

I think I could deal with these tiny pink slippers better:

These were still tucked into their tiny original box.  Are they cute or what?  Of course we have long ago decided that tiny shoes are adorable.  We both wear tug boats, so our shoes are NEVER adorable.  Sigh …

The same sale that produced those first two items yielded this as well:

We liked it, but my heaven’s that thing was massive. It was solid oak, so you would get your weightlifting in too.   It would probably cause a divorce in most families when the man of the house showed up to carry it home. “You want me to do what? and put it where?  Sorry, honey, I’m leaving you”.  It might be worth the hassle just to gain that much storage.  Just think how many snack sets you could lose in there.

And now back to mini.  Croquet anyone?:

It is so cute.  I am not sure whether you were supposed to set it up on a table, or just a postage stamp size lawn.  Sadly, it was too small to be a whole lot of fun, and too big for our dolls, so we left it be.

Speaking of dolls, you may be a Superstar, but it doesn’t keep you from being humiliated:

You have to hand it to Babs, she is wearing enough ruffles to trim a human size vanity table, and she is still grinning.  Somehow, I think if you look closely enough you can see her gritting her teeth.  Deb and I are both of a “certain” age, so these dolls don’t even say Barbie to us, so we left her to languish.  Maybe a pink loving little girl came along and took her home.  We hope so.

We liked this tiny little wooden sled:

It looked like a pretty snug place to take a ride on a snowy day.  And hey, if someone else is doing all the work, any place is a good place on a snowy day, especially if there is hot cocoa at the end of the ride.  Deb found the pile of decoys in a bag amusing too.  She obviously does not come from a hunting family, as that is how they come.  We have a bag-o-ducks and a bag-o-geese at our house.  Not sure why, as I don’t think they have been used in years.  I have thought about putting out the geese, and seeing if I could get them to stop by and mow the lawn, but they would probably just pull it up by the roots.

There’s good art and bad art.  How come most of it is bad?

I guess they liked cowboy stuff, but… ouch.  I would hate to have to look at these everyday.  I have a good cowboy art story for you in a week or two, but I can’t take a photo yet, as it is at the framers.  Anyway, the sheep wagon picture ( lower right ) really bothers me, as it seems they employ dwarves.  I am pretty sure that figure in the lower right is a dwarf, because if it is anyone else, they are pretty weird looking.  The pic on the left could probably be improved by a monster, or maybe not.  You should be glad the others are covered up.

Now for a couple of Whatsits.  One we know what it is, and one is anyone’s guess.  First up, what we know:

We stood there perplexed for a minute till the guy at the sale explained it.  It’s a marble making machine!  You rough out the stone or glass, then place it in the center of the whole contraption to be polished.  Sure wish we could have seen the set up in action.  Probably pretty cool.  If my Grandfather had still been alive, I would have had to buy it for him, as he made spheres and marbles out of stone quite a bit.

And now for this:

The only clue we have is that it was with a bunch of kitchen stuff. Here is another view:

The only thing I could think of was to grab people by the nose, when they criticize your cooking, and drag them out of the kitchen, but I suppose that is probably incorrect.  If you have an answer, send it our way.  We always love finding out about things like this.  Just don’t make it too cool, as we didn’t buy it, and we don’t want to have to find another one!

Deb is visiting family for a couple of weeks, so things may be a little odd, but I promise to try and keep up with Facebook, and of course I THINK I can keep up with shopping!

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This Week Garage Sales Are Us!

After several failed attempts due to just not feeling up to it, snow, and several other excuses, this week we are finally having another Second Hand Roses Vintage Sale.  We have spent two whole days getting ready for it.  Plus, Deb spent a day beginning the work on her garage, and both of us have spent time cleaning, researching, and pricing all our junk … er, I mean treasures.

We just thought we would give you a quick taste of a couple of things we will have, so you can see just what sort of nuts we are.  Here is a view of the jewelry table:

The scary thing about this, is that both of us could probably double the amount here with no trouble at all, if we would just get our rear in gear and price a bunch more stuff.  Never mind the amount of jewelry that lives permanently with both of us.

We also have toys, dolls and games; anyone up for a Chatty Cathy, or Thumbelina?

More toys, and vintage Barbie stuff:

Heck, a pile of that would be a pretty good vintage collection on its own.  We might just have a teeny problem, if we get rid of this much, and it barely makes a dent!

I am sorry to see this go, but I do hope it sells.  This is a rather fabulous antique Victorian hanging light fixture.  It was originally gas, and has been converted to electric:

Unfortunately, it is very pink and my hubby just can not live with it.  I tried to make him keep it in the bedroom of the house when we purchased it, but he was having none of it.  Just a bit too much for the ol’ testosterone level.

We have a rack full of vintage clothes and aprons:

And glassware and kitchenware galore:

I did want to highlight one vintage item.  For those who pay attention, you might remember I mentioned pulling a wonderful formal and a fur out of the 99¢ bins.  I was able to clean and repair the dress, and wanted to share it because of the unusual construction.  Here is the front:

It’s a lovely pale pink satin with flocked velvet roses scattered about on it.  Here is the rear view:

And here I thought it was only Mattel that skimped out on the expensive fabric on the back of a dress!!  This gown would have been worn with a crinoline to make it stand out, and then you really notice that the back is plain pink satin.  It is still a rather fantastic creation, and I am sure she looked stunning in it!  Here is the charming mink that went with it:

I know there is not a market for furs, but I think folks should honor the animal that gave the pelts already and take care of these vintage furs.  They come from a different time, and are still lovely.  Don’t make any more, just enjoy these!

There is still more stuff here:

Gloves and hats and Schiapperelli stockings, a better view of the lamp and more.  Oh my!  We just hope to have a whole lot less after this weekend, so if you happen by, just bring cash … and a truck!

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