Friday, May 29, 2009

Silly Scotsman

Scotch man2 We have a bar in our basement. In fact, we call it our "pub" because it's cozy with comfortable furniture, soft lights, a dart board, back bar, and you forget you're in a basement.

Hubby collects bar ware and has quite a spectacular collection of cocktail shakers. Although he's a LOT more restrained than I am when it comes to adding to his collections. But every now and then he indulges in something that's just plain silly, and this week it was someone's ceramics class project. Honestly, if this little guy hadn't been so well done, he would've never considered buying him, but -- well, we love Scotland, hubby drinks scotch, and it seemed a natural.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Garage Sale Sign In years past, the yard sales have been really slim come a holiday weekend, but for some reason, everyone in western New York seemed to be having one. Or at least their best friend or brother was. I didn't have time to make the circuit on Friday, but surprisingly, there were still plenty of bargains available come Saturday, when I must have hit about 20 sales. I think I spent about $10 in all. Where can you get that kind of entertainment for such a small price?

I ended up with lots of pretty things and lots of useful things. For useful (and therefore no pictures), I got a plate stand, a new-to-me popcorn bowl, "diamond" hair bows for my Mom's dog (they're cute, but she's cuter), a lawn chair, nice basket, three dresser scarfs, lightbulbs, a cork trivet, and a little kitty afghan (just enough to cover a chair and keep it "safe" from cat hair).

Shamrock cup My first "pretty" item was a bone china "Made in Ireland" shamrock teacup and saucer. (And in fact, I bought two of them. The thing is they had four, and I went back later to retrieve them, but of course they were gone. I mean, where are you going to find pretty bone china teacups and saucers for $1 each?) And keeping with the "tea" motif, I 2 new mugs also got two bone china mugs. They were at a porch sale where nothing was marked. There was a sign that said "EVERYTHING MUST GO--MAKE OFFER" so I did -- a quarter each. And the woman said, "Okay."

Cup & book Saturday as obviously a day for teacups. This little (and I'm not kidding, it's half the size of a regular teacup) beauty came with a rather dusty bag of potpourri, which was immediately tossed when I got home. And while I don't normally collect teacups that aren't made in England (or Ireland), this was so cute, I had to have it. And since it only cost a dime -- I'd be crazy to walk away from it. (It's now sitting in my green bedroom.) I got the little book on chocolate for a quarter. (Haven't had time to read it yet. Something to look forward to!)

Baby elephant One of the sales was held in an old dry cleaner's building, which hadn't been in business for many years. It smelled rather dank, and was heavy on old office supplies. (Like boxes and boxes of pads of paper for a nickel.) But there were some other oddities. I picked up two elephants (okay, I do collect them), both needing some TLC. This little baby elephant is just about the size of this picture. He's missing his tusks, a few toenails, and it looks like a lion might've nipped his ear. (I told you he needed some TLC.) Greek figurine Someone must've made a trip to Rome at one point, and I also got a bust of Emperor Trajan (and what the heck do I need that for?) and a plaster of Paris figurine of some Roman woman. She was kind of dirty, but a q-tip dipped in some watered-down bleach cleaned her up just fine. Not sure why she's yellow, though. They were both 50 cents. (I think old Trajan will end up with my husband, who is a real fan of Roman history -- or join the garage sale box for my next sale.)

Little glass jug1 I couldn't believe all the glassware that was available. If I collected it, I sure could've added a lot of pieces. We're talking pink depression glass for prices of 25-50 cents. I only bought one piece, and it's only because I never seem to have enough creamers. It's tiny, but isn't it cute? This was a quarter, too.

Rose chip Of course the weekend wouldn't be complete if I didn't find at least one "rose" item, and of course I did--in fact, two. I'm not sure what this little dish is for--salt? A butter pat? But it was very cute and only a dime. I have to see if I can find a plate hanger small enough for it. Rose print This sweet little rose print is now hanging over my computer so I can admire it. The picture is rather deceiving, since it's only 4 x 6 inches. I estimate it's at least 80 years old, based on the frame, which were popular in the 1920s and 1930s. And, as I think I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for a pretty little frame. (You can't see the details at that size, but trust me, it's cute!)

And what did you find this weekend?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Latest Rummage Sale Finds

Holy cow--is it Thursday already? I started this on Monday but didn't get my pictures out of the camera until now. My bad!

Anyway, I love church rummage sales. They usually have a lot of good stuff, but you have to get there just as they open. That’s why I showed up at 8:45 to a church sale last Friday. By the time to doors opened, I was No. 40 in a line that snaked out behind me.

Plateandmug The doors opened at precisely 9 a.m. and the orderly crowd filed in. Everyone else fanned out, but I stuck to the “expensive” table (We're talking $1 and up) and scored a nice rose dish, and a rose plate. I was tempted by a rose creamer, but was strong and resisted. I wasn't so resistant to the pretty little bone china cup for only a quarter. (I might have been had I noticed the little chip in the rim. I decided not to toss it, though, just because it is so pretty.)

There were at least four long rows of tables, filled with all kinds of cool stuff. I saw some teapots that interested me, but decided to pass them up on the first circuit. (They were gone five minutes later.)

Juiceandmuffin Trying to be selective, I bypassed a lot of nice things. Like six ivy juice glasses. I do collect ivy items, but I don’t drink juice. I also found a large pink shell. Since I’ve got a shell motif going in one room, I picked it up. (And only later noticed that all points had been broken off. Still haven't decided if I'll keep or toss that.) I had practicality on my mind, too, and picked up an old (prune) juice (now water) bottle for the fridge. Ahh...nothing like a cold drink of H20 on a hot day! And, since I've decided to make a batch of muffins, I went for the muffin tin, as well.

Shelfwstuff As I wandered the room, I came across a bunch of other stuff. A little pink swan, and a swan Christmas tree ornament (do you sense a collection is going to happen?) and I found the almost-perfect little shelf to display them on. Or it will be once I paint it white (or off-white--haven't decided which yet). The starched doily was tres chic and since it has a touch of pink, I decided it needed to go with the pink swan. Next I found the darling little pink shoe (and the price was just as nice--one thin dime). I'm sure I'll find a few more things to put on it and I'll post a picture once I paint and hang the shelf. (Hope the weather holds so I can spray paint it this weekend.)

Rosedish2 My hunt for roses continued, and I came up with this lovely little dish. I probably won't ever put anything in it -- it's too pretty. I wonder if I could hang it. That said, I seem to be running out of wall space. Oh well, it's pretty and that's about all that matters.

Goldshell Since I had the shell motif on my mind, I grabbed this little gold archetectual thingy. Okay, I'm attracted to stuff that's gold. So sue me! But I also figured it would look really good in my bathroom hung over the shower stall. (Trust me, it'll go great.) But I can't hang it because I'm having some work done on the ceiling and the repair guy might get caught on the nails, so I'll have to wait a week or so before I hang it. : (

Susie My big purchase of the day was a print of a little girl. I will admit that I saw copies of it at the antique co-op where I used to have a booth, and I always loved it because it reminds me of my friend Susie. In my not so humble opinion, it looks like Susie must have looked as a little girl. When I showed her a copy of the picture (I'd also seen it in a magazine), Susie was appalled. "It doesn't look a THING like me--or like I did as a kid." Too bad. I disagree! So when I saw the picture at the rummage sale, you better believe I snapped it up. It looks great in my girly guest room. Sorry about the angle of the photo, but because of the glass and the reflection, I took it standing to one side. Isn't she cute!!! Cost to me? Three dollars. (Sometimes waiting to buy something can pay off in the long run. Don't remind me of all the things I didn't buy and now regret.)

Cakeplate3 The last thing I found was a milk glass cake plate. I can't say I'm thrilled by the painted (and pretty worn) flowers, but I've been looking for a cake plate and figured the cake would hide them. (Or I'll put a paper doily to hide the flowers.) The price was certainly right at a buck. (Did I do well at this sale, or what?)

Okay, let's see those swans again.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I get so jealous reading some of the blogs and see the treasures that some of you ladies Tea set find on your junking forays. Silver trays, glorious old bird cages, and beautiful, hand-painted dishware. My local thrift stores seem to carry mostly old, broken, dirty item, tons of clothes, and smell of dead people. No one seems to care how messed up the shelves are, or how clean the floor. A lot of the items on their shelves are also new. Stuff that has been dumped by the likes of Target, with the original price tags still on them.

That’s why the Wesleyan Thrift Shop in North Rose, NY, run by the ladies of the Wesleyan Church) is such a treat. The clothes are all clean, hanging neatly by size (not color). They take up most of the retail space, while the walls are lined with shelves filled with household items. Everything is clean and priced to sell. Every time I go in the store, I know I’ll find something. It may not be a treasure, but I’ll spend a few dollars.

Two floral plates This past weekend, I found two floral plates, marked Eggshell Nautilus, dated 1945, a tiny white doily, and two CDs (The BeeGees Greatest Hits, and Christmas Reflections (Guitar)). Total cost: $3.51 (tax included).

My next spot was Alton Antique Center. It’s a pretty nice antique co-op, with some really wonderful things. (They also have free coffee and cookies for their customers.) But I have to admit I’m spoiled. I no longer wish to pay “retail” at antiques stores. I was in the business for 12 years and darnit, I’m just too cheap. So when I find something I really like, it’s a treat.

Floral platter I found a rectangular floral platter for a dollar. It had a hairline crack, but I think it’ll be fine for serving rolls or luncheon meats. I was tempted by some transferware butter pats, but at $9 each, I remained strong and kept my wallet closed.

What’s your favorite place to shop for goodies?

Monday, May 11, 2009


Maybe five or so years ago, I decided to collect theorem paintings. You know, little paintings, usually florals of fruit, done on off-white velvet. They aren’t exactly common, nor are they at all rare. There must have been a spate of them done in the 1980s and I seem to be the only one interested in obtaining them.

Oval theorem This oval floral one was painted by Sandy Honan. (How do I know? Because she added a sticker to the back of it.) I like that it has a swatch of wallpaper on the back, with little yellow flowers. Backside oval Growing up, my bedroom had similar wallpaper—so I’m not sure if I bought this for the actual painting or the wallpaper on the back.

Little theorem This little one (it measures 2 x 3 inches) was only a quarter at a sale not far from my house. Only it didn’t come with a frame. (Another yard sale find for yet another quarter.) It’s signed: J.M.

Fruit theorem This basket of fruit is probably my least favorite painting, but I so love the frame it’s in, and the wallpaper on the back is nice, too.Backside fruit

Little heart theorem This little heart painting (and its sister heart made of flowers) were $2 for the two. They were painted by Lynne M. Freeman. Oddly enough, ole Sandy (above) and Lynn are from the same town here in New York (Canandaigua). Big heart theorem Did they know each other? Was Sandy Lynn’s teacher (or vice versa)? Did they take a class together? Questions I’ll never know the answers to, I’m afraid.

Yellow poppy theorem I’m not sure what kind of flower this is—a yellow poppy perhaps? But those sure don’t look like poppy leaves. This one is sighed (I think—I even put my glasses on to read it but wasn’t sure) Jone L. Reid. It definitely doesn’t look like Jane—but I’ve never seen Joan spelled that way, either.

What’s kind of sad about this one is that it was a gift that was sold at a yard sale. How do I know? There’s a typewritten note on the back. It says:


Thank you so much for being my Maid of Honor. It is really great having a friend like you. You’re someone I can talk to and depend on.

I hope our friendship continues to grow in the years ahead.

Backside poppy I’m glad you were a part of Mike’s and my special day, and I hope that everytime you look at this picture it will remind you of how beautiful it was.

September 12, 1981

What made Hollie decide to part with the painting? Did her friendship with Laurie fall apart? Or, as usually happens, they just drift apart as the years mounted?

So far, I haven’t hung any of my little paintings. I’m waiting to find a few more and do a nice grouping. But I like to look at them sitting on my little green corner cabinet—and ponder where they came from.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

While traveling . . .

We went out of town for a few days--prime garage sale weather--and the HUGE multi-block sale with scores of homes involved. Can you say GRUMP really LOUD?

Sunbeam toaster
Still, we did manage to stop at one sale in Pennsylvania where I picked up a few treasures. The first was a 1950s Sunbeam chrome toaster in very good condition. Ever since I can remember, my parents have had a Sunbeam toaster either exactly the same as this one, or extremely close. So was it any wonder that when I got my first apartment, I wanted one just the same--and got one at a yard sale. This was 30 years ago and I paid $4. So when I saw this one, I jumped at the chance. I asked the man running the sale what the price was, because there was no tag. He thought about it for a few moments and came up with a price: $1.50. I said, "That sounds fine to me!" (BTW, inside my original Sunbeam toaster there's a date stamp: 1957.)

Veggie dish Next up, was a covered vegetable dish with little purple flowers. (Why is it so many dishes have unidentifiable flowers on them as decoration?) Now, I have no clue why I bought this--I really don't need yet another covered vegetable dish. (Okay, I didn't need another toaster, either--the one I bought all those years ago works just fine.) It was pretty and it was a dollar--that may have had a lot to do with my decision to buy it.

Bone dishes Lastly, I bought four rose-patterned bone dishes. I figured at least one of them would be chip free. Alas, I was wrong. Still, they're pretty. I'm going to use them to put earrings on/in. That will free up a larger, rectangular dish I have which I will now put my glasses in when I'm not wearing them. (Which is about 90% of the day.) Even if they are chipped, they sure are pretty. (And the cost for four? Fifty cents.) Too bad I'm not still in "the business," or else I could've come away from that sale with a lot more treasures.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Slim Pickings

The pickings were slim at this weeks sales. I don't want to just toss money away, and Lord knows my house is full of stuff already, so I do try to be careful about what I buy.

Roses round plate I got a lovely pink-rose plate from Austria. I think it's a cake or a sandwich plate, since it's not very large, and I like the unusual shape. When you find solitary pieces like this, it makes you wonder where the rest of the set went. Was it dispersed to family and friends? Did a jealous lover smash all but this one plate in a fit of rage? Or was the owner just careless and -- oops! -- dropped another one?

I love this little what-not box -- yet another place to put earrings! They had a hair brush that went with it, and now I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't buy it, too. Oh well. Maybe I'll find Heart box something to go with it some day -- something even prettier. One never knows.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More Blue Bedroom

The other day I blogged about the stuff in my blue guest bedroom. In it, I have a toy chest that I use to store linens. It's nothing special, just something my Mom picked up at a yard Blue bench sale. She wanted it to look like it had milk paint, so she rubbed some blue paint on and then immediately rubbed it off. We had a leak in the roof a few years ago, and it got a little wet on the lower left corner, but I think it kind of adds to the charm.

I was rummaging in my big linen closet the other day and found some old pillows. I saw a chest similar to this in a magazine and they had put three pillows on it. Hello! Can you say recycle?

I think it looks cute! Only maybe it needs a teddy bear resting against the pillows.

What do you think?