Friday, May 30, 2008


Today I went to a rummage sale. I love these church sales. Lots of people donate all kinds of stuff, and if you go early enough, there's lots of really good and sometimes unusual items to choose from.

I bought a lamp with hand-painted ivy leaves (I wonder why?), but alas, no shade. I'll probably have to rewire the thing, too, as it looks like the cord is pretty brittle, but it's very cute. I'll look for a shade at other garage/tag sales before I succumb to buying a new one. (Heavens! The expense!) I bought two brand new purses (tags still on them) for a buck, a hand-painted light switch plate for 50 cents, and best of all...a carved swan. Isn't it adorable? Now how could someone have parted with that?

Swan1_2On the way home, I stopped at another sale and bought a pink lamp with a shade for 50 cents. (No need to rewire, either.)

I've got my Saturday garage sale route all planned. I hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Back in March, I gave up my booth at a local antique co-op. What with the economy and all, people just weren't buying antiques and collectibles--or at least enough of them for me to make my rent. This trend started more than a year ago and it just came time to give it up.


Of course, my booth was never as cool as I wanted it to be. First of all, I never had the money to invest in the kind of stock I wanted to sell. And there's no guarantee if I had better stock that I would have had better sales. (Many of my co-op neighbors had the kind of stock I wanted to sell, and they weren't doing any better than me.)

I bought most of my stock from garage/tag sales. I used to start shopping for stuff I could resell in early April, going to any and every garage sale. With the price of gas, I haven't been to many sales this year. But this weekend (with gas finally reaching $3.99 around these parts), we did make the rounds.

It's painful not to be able to buy the stuff I normally would. I saw so many vintage orange juice glasses in mint condition for a quarter (which were guaranteed to sell for $2.99 each...eventually), and jewelry, and dishware, and Pyrex and....

But now I'm "shopping" for other things. My family puts in requests and I go find them. My mother collects hankies with crocheted edges. Got two of them for her on Friday. Dad has broken a number of glasses. Got six of them for him. Hubby wanted a meat tenderizer. Got one of them. For myself, I'm looking for blue plates. (I'm decorating a bedroom and have chosen blue and white plates.) Found a really old one for a quarter and, even better, a bag of plate hangers (at least 15--they're a bit tangled) for $2.

A Little Princess A portion of my booth was devoted to used books. I can't stop looking at all the titles when I walk into a sale, and Saturday I found something I've been looking for for about a year: a beautiful hardcover edition of A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (illustrated by Tasha Tudor) for fifty cents. (I've already read half of it. I'd seen two movie versions of the story, but never read the book.)

And then the holy grail of my searches: 1950s "Made In Japan" Christmas figurines. First up, a Santa & Mrs. Claus sitting on a see-saw music box; wind it up and it plays "Jingle NOELSanta Bells" while the Santa and Mrs. bop up and down (for $2). And then at the North Rose Ladies Auxilery sale at the fire hall, a duplicate of what started my collection about 15 years ago: a Santa and reindeer "candleabra" that spells out NOEL. Now, do I really need a second one? Of course not, but it was only a buck. In mint condition--IN THE ORIGINAL BOX!!!!!!

In all, I spent less than $10, but boy, what cheap entertainment.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Dream House

One of my favorite TV shows is This Old House. I marvel at the amount of effort they go through with their rehab projects. Currently, PBS is airing reruns of a shingle-style home in Newton, Massachusetts. The couple outgrew their house and didn't want to spend a lot of money adding on to the house. Instead, they bought a HUGE home that just needed a little work.

Little? My god, for what they spent on that rehab, I could've bought five houses! Where do these people get that kind of money?

Stained glass door But I love the show anyway. I love the "hosts" (Kevin, Norm, Tom, Rich and women). I love the attention to detail. Last Saturday I watched a rerun of a show I'd missed. It concerned stained glass restoration. Wow. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. If I had some kind of crafty talent (which I don't), I'd be interested in trying stained glass. (Maybe I should take a class anyway?)

I love watching home renovations. This Old House takes months for these rehabs, unlike other rehab shows that take an entire house and fix it up in 30 minutes. I learned with my very first house that every home improvement project takes 6 million hours longer than you expect.

I live in a contemporary ranch and I would DEARLY love to add details like crown molding. My husband doesn't agree. Therefore, anything I want to do in that direction would need to be accomplished at our summer cottage. Unfortunately, I don't have any "building" skills, either. (Hmmm.)

TRex house Our entire neighborhood is nice, but pretty much...well, boring. And our neighbors to the south are making their house even MORE boring by ripping off all the cedar shingles and replacing them with vinyl siding. Beige vinyl siding. (Our house is unique to this street, which is at least a tad more interesting.)

Logans run I don't know about where you live, but here any time a new neighborhood goes up around here all the houses are ugly (do these builders ever hire real architects to design these houses--and if so did they graduate with mail-order degrees?), outfitted with white, beige or gray vinyl siding. All of the fronts of these houses are dominated by a double (or triple) garage. All the mature trees are ripped out and twigs are planted. (We call these developments "Sunny Acres," and there sure are a lot of them.)

When I first thought about owning a home, I wanted an old one. Preferably a farm house. All three of my homes have been one-story buildings--one a shotgun, two ranch houses. Don't get me wrong. I love my house. I just wish the details were more, well, girly. Hubby doesn't agree.

Maybe I should have married a woman.