Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weekend Finds

Finds! And finds a-plenty! The fish were biting two weekends ago, when I found these items. And here they are, dragged off the (occasionally faulty) memory of my Kodak, for your viewing pleasure. Pardon the lighting conditions-- I assure you these were all taken at my home, at night, with a malfunctioning flash... and not, in fact, during a solar flare, or on Mars.

The half-price, first Saturday event at area Goodwills came and went last Saturday, but I managed to sneak in earlier in the week and snag this mega-ton of Pyrex for a song. (Expert tip: the week before the half-off sale is the week the staff wheel out all the items from the back! Avoid the half-price situation altogether, it's not worth it!) I saw the tiny condiment-sized containers first, and it was like that camera effect in the movies where the shot goes from a tight closeup (condiment containers) to a fast, zoom out wide shot (Pyrex! Everywhere!) with accompanying, moment-of-wonderment music on the soundtrack.

I wrestled with the idea of buying the whole kit and caboodle for several moments, fully cognizant of my almost clinical addiction to kitchenware and the toll it has taken on the amount of cabinet storage space in my ever seam bulging home. Seconds after putting the dish back on the shelf, it was in the hands of and being scrutinized by a woman in a pair of khaki shorts with a buggy-ful of kids clothes in tow. I had no beef with her until she tried to buy my Pyrex... and then it was as if we were on a field of battle. After several agonizing moments of small talk (Khakis:"Aren't these neeeat? You never see them with the lids anymore." Lisa, in the most mournfully dejected tone: "Uh-huh." Khakis: "You know my grandmother had a ton of these, I wonder what they're worth now?" Lisa: ((mentally)) Please please please decide not to get my Pyrexes, I promise the moment you set them down I'll buy them, omg). The showdown ended after some moments of my absent mindedly looking at tupperware until she put the piece back on the shelf, and whereupon I snatched all seven pieces up in a makeshift, extremely breakable pile and headed for the front of the store, gleeful. Total expenditure... around $18. Which, in the words of that guy in the real estate office in the beginning of Psycho, isn't exactly buying happiness, but buying off UNhappiness. As I would have been very depressed indeed if the lady ran off with my dishes, bound for her own home rather than mine.

Cow creamer set, from an estate sale where I also bought three matching home made dresses (one of which will show up in a clothing post sometime this week). I was knocked for a loop when I saw these little guys on a shelf full of not-very-old items. I love how the first one is full bodied, the second one cuts off at the neck, and the third one is just a head. JUST A HEAD! Not at all weird, right? But somehow still totally cute. I've been trying to think of ideas for a coffee klatch sometime just so I can USE these. Any excuse to throw a get together will do.

This doll was from an estate sale where she was the largest and most detailed of a number of cloth, 1920's dolls. The piece of paper pinned to her waist reads in a washed out, handwritten scrawl "Virgin Islands". I just love her. Look at her 20's clothes! And all the detail that went into her! I tried, REALLY HARD, not to buy this doll for about fifteen minutes of carrying it around the rest of the house and sale, but it finally made its way home with me. And I'm glad it did.

At the Goodwill in Clarksville, Tn.... what may be the holy grail of Goodwill finds. I try and try to explain to people that Goodwills, and junk/thrift stores in general, are not, as they seem to be in some people's conception, just stuffed to the gills with 50's prom dresses and Bee Gees lunchboxes. Maybe they were at some glorious, pre-ebay moment I was, due to my youth, not culturally aware enough to enjoy at the time, but no longer does the retail space look like Quentin Tarantino's house threw up in it.

I stress the idea that thrift store success is about 90% dogged persistence. I will look through a hundred 90's teacher-jumpers appliqued in school buses and bees before I will find ONE sixties dress that may or may not be in my size. Or I might go through five and have four of them be perfect, 1970's maxidresses. It's all luck of the draw, but you can of course up your chances by going two or three times a week to different locations, every week. In this case, the powers that be rewarded my tenacity with what I at first thought was a nurse's scrub top in the women's short sleeve blouses section.

Except. It. Wasn't. OMG.

This is an apparently handmade 1970's man's v-neck shirt, with front pocket, made out of licensced The Six-Million Dollar Man material. Dotting an overall pattern of Steve Austin's FACE are playing card sized tableaux of the kind of trouble a bionic man can get himself in and out of in the course of a 54 minute episode.

Let me just say, that it was one of my finest thrifting moments. I keep trying to decide if I'll wear it (it fits), make Matthew wear it (it fits, though it's tight), or hang/frame it as decor (it's really a priceless national treasure)

Some pretty amazing movie tie-in sheet music, including... oh, could that be my patron saint Joan Crawford?

The piece on the right is a Western she made in 1930, and at right, 1933's Dancing Lady, the third of eight movies Gable and Crawford made together.

My favorite movie title...ever? Also, I love anything to do with Marion Davies, so this was a triple coup...Gable, Marion Davies, and a 30's play-on-names that I love. The only way the sheet music on the right could be better would be if pre-The Awful Truth Cary Grant had made an appearance on the cover as well as in the movie.

Two more of my favorite movies. Whoever bought this sheet music in the 30's and 40's was obviously a kindred spirit.

And last but not least on this lot of music, two Astaire/Rogers pieces (eek!). Look at the Marmaduke dog on the right, to Astaire's left... a face after my own heart. The seller at this sale had two or three tables in his front yard, one of which was heaped with the sheet music you see before you. His mother taught music in the front room of their house throughout his childhood and up until she was well in her 80's. I bought maybe thirty pieces total and a package of novelty cocktail napkins from the 60's for $5. The less photogenic of these are all twenties' popular tunes, Boswell sisters kind of stuff. AND FANTASTIC. I can't wait to make my live-in piano player take a crack at these.

As if the next sale had read my mind, I found even MORE sheet music:

Killer, right? I felt bad for the gal in short shorts who was crouched at the bin next to me, a bin which apparently was completely filled with hymnals. The one I chose (again, luck of the draw) was nothing but pop hits. She watched, pie-eyed, as I flipped, pie-eyed, through the selection, piling them in my arms. Complete songbooks of "best ofs" comprising hits by Gordon Lightfoot, Bread, Elton John, Tom Jones... and then a few older selections with a colossal Judy Garland compilation (including sheet music from pretty much her entire filmography, movie by movie), a best of Frank Sinatra from the time he cut that record with Antonio Carlos Jobim (making it pretty much a collection of Antonio Carlos Jobim music plus a few Sinatras, but NO ONE IS COMPLAINING, I love Brazilian music and Jobim in particular), Duke Ellington, and Henry Mancini.

"Wow, you really found some good ones. Did you leave anything worthwhile in there?" she asked. Me, somewhat guiltily, "Um, there's some stuff left in there." Kind of. I mean, stuff you wouldn't want, but stuff. I can't tell you how many times I've been on the other side of this exchange, watching someone sweep away with all the best of a sale MOMENTS before I got to the hot spot. You win some, and you lose some.Total cost for all books shown? $5.

Dark Shadows SOUNTRACK ALBUM, OMG. In pretty decent shape!

WITH the double sided, fold out, album-sized poster? OMG. Bear with me as I go into a nostalgia induced coma for setting the VCR to tape episodes of this from the Sci-Fi channel in middle school so I could watch them when I got home. Will there ever be so un-sexy a middle aged sex symbol as Jonathan Frid somehow managed to be on this show? I had such the crush on him. And then Quentin came along and Barnabas was supplanted in my affections. I wonder how the Tim Burton remake will fare?

Last but not least, some record selections from Goodwill:

Michael Parks is the Sheriff Earl McGraw at the beginning and Esteban near the end of Kill Bill... and he has a record? Well, this platter is scratched to heck, but I think I'll try and play it on my portable record player to save my console the wear and tear and see how he sounds. Patsy, of course, sounds like an angel, as always, and don't you love her ensemble on the cover of this album?

I spoke earlier of Brazilian music, and here's some of the best instrumental summer music you could possibly imagine, courtesy of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd. This Flipper recording is SEALED! I haven't gotten up the gall to open it yet, but I will.

What's better than finding one Charles Aznavour record for 99 cents? FINDING FOUR CHARLES AZNAVOUR RECORDS FOR 99 CENTS APIECE.

I think my heart almost stopped when I found these. One of my favorite French singers, period, and some kind hearted, francophile like myself donated them so I could snatch them up at the Rivergate Goodwill.

My(second, as "Jezebel" 's embed feature on youtube is disabled) favorite song from the album in the upper right hand corner, "Je t'aime comme ├ža". Play us out, Aznavour! Did you guys beat anyone to the punch this last weekend on a fantastic estate sale/thrift store find? Make me feel less guilty about my snatcheroos by telling me about yours!


  1. Woo, quite a haul! That $6 Million Man shirt is wild. I have that Dark Shadows album. In my time/space continuum, the show was in it's first run, and my wife remembers hurrying home after school to watch it. You done good.

  2. Ok, just my thoughts here, but the cows look like a time lapse of poor Bossy sinking into quicksand....the first two mooing with all her might for help, the last, resigned to her fate. Still cute as all get out though!!! So kitschy and PERFECT!!!
    The SMDM shirt is AMAZING!! Well done, you on that little gem!! But it does leave the lingering question, "Just what kind of ADULT male of the 1970s would have worn Lee Majors on his bicep?" Nowadays, though I would say that any man lucky enough to wear that little piece of fabulous is, well, the most fabulously lucky guy in Tennessee! If Matthew wears it, you simply MUST post piccies!!!
    And I'm having the most serious attack of jealousy EVER at the Dark Shadows Album....especially that poster!!! Talk about gorgeous!!....and BTW, you're not the only one who recorded DS off Sci Fi!! Such a HUGE fan of the show! Even designed an outfit a couple of years ago based on it and The Fearless Vampire Killers! Of course no one else in my class had any idea what I was talking about when I was explaining my inspirations!
    Super finds! Wish I had that much luck!!

  3. Amazing haul! And your re-telling of events made me laugh. I was right there in the moment, battling it out psychologically with Khakis.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts (and thanks for your lovely comment on my blog). Glad to have found you!

  4. Wow! You must be living right. I think that the heavens are raining blessings right down into your lap! First off, I was on the edge of my seat over that Pyrex story. I hardly ever see Pyrex at the thrifts anymore and I was SO there in my mind. And secondly, it's so true about thrift stores being one of those things that take work. I can barely remember when they were much easier to do amazing sweeps in. It was right before George Bush Jr. but I'm not pointing any fingers. Oh wait..I think that I am.

    And those records! Wheee! That Six Million Dollar Man shirt is ah-mazing! Lately, when I find a vintage piece of clothing mixed in with the normal stuff, I'll get all excited only to find that it has huge sweat rings that have probably been locked in for thirty years. Bleh.

    Go get em, tigress.

  5. Aaaaaah! I'm freaking out over all the fabulous stuff you've found! I've been having crap luck lately; you've given me hope that there's still good junk out there. I love Charles Aznavour, too! I spent all those years studying French but I didn't know he existed until I watched Une Femme est une femme.

    P.S. I have the sheet music from Shall We Dance, too! I bought it at an antique store in Edmond, OK when I was in middle school. Because I was such a cool teenager.

  6. Oooo to the 3 cows! and yes weird but totally wonderful! and oo la la to Charles Aznavour - c'est belle...
    If i had a million £ i would fly over and buy the dollar man shirt! You must wear! xx

  7. Thanks for following me - for now I have found YOUR blog, and it's fabulous. I love it and everything on it, especially the vintage books. GORGEOUS stuff!

  8. Whadda sweep! You did really fabulous on all fronts. I'm glad you got the Pyrex, and saved them from Mrs. Khaki Bottoms McGee! I have never seen an earth tone set, I've only seen pastels & primaries. The fridge set is the best!

    The Six Million Dollar Man shirt is worth Six Million Dollars in my book! I think YOU should wear it. Find yourself (or host) a Tiki party and rock it there. Its too great!

    Everything else is faboo too. Good job & great post!

  9. Great finds on the Fred and Ginger music! Absolutly adore their films - they were the reason why I got into the 1930s and from there into vintage things! Reminds me I have some music sheets for some Doris Day films and My Fair Lady that I should do something with and get framed x

  10. @ Uncle Atom: I love that I can relate to the "running home after school" even in the 90's thanks to the wonders of home video recording and the level of suspense from the previous episode I'd taped! Isn't the music great, though? I love how the themes are used, and used, and USED in that show.

    @Dolly: Hilarious about the cow. I can totally see that now. I'm so wearing the shirt sometime next week, and if not me, indeed, Matthew. Did you post pic's of your Dark Shadows/FVH outfit? I love the 1960's meets 1790's look going on in all the parallel time episodes.

    @Marie: Thank you! And likewise!

    @Eartha: re: never seeing Pyrex anymore: I know, right? I've been too hard on myself about not picking up every little vintage thing I see to the point that I almost let a major score slip through my fingers! Couldn't believe my luck about the shirt not, as you said, having some massive blemish or stain. Did everyone in the 60's and 70's just run around sweating profusely and spilling chili dogs down their fronts and then bury their unlaundered clothes the back of the closet until recently donating them? Or what gives? Many a great, great clothing find has ended in me going "And what...IS THAT....!" and gingerly replacing the hanger.

  11. @ Lauren: Such the heartthrob, our Aznavour. I love "Shoot the Piano Player". Re: sheet music: Good taste starts early!

    @Miss Ginger: Oh, I'm so wearing it now. You guys have convinced me.

    @James: Love your blog! Thanks for visiting this one and leaving such kind words!

    @Amber: Thanks! I think my next shindig is probably going to be a Tiki party. The vintage/kitsch possibilities are endless, there!

    @Rachael: Hearing about your Doris Day sheet music makes me pea green with envy. Maybe I'll find some of hers next! You should by all means frame it!

  12. Wow, a huge haul Lisa! The sheet music alone will keep you both entertained for hours!

  13. Wonderful finds, congrats.

    "...thrift store success is about 90% dogged persistence." Couldn't agree more!

  14. Bestill my heart! I can't tel you how much I love antique refrigerator boxes, not to mention vintage pyrex! And the Flipper LP is awesome, you should frame the cover and put it on the wall. :)

  15. That Six Million Dollar Man shirt made my day. I hope you treasure that, my dear! :)

  16. I love all of your pictures on here - and some fab finds! :)

    Clare x

  17. Lisa, I have been following your blog for a while now, but not regularly. Your blog today made me go back in and check out all of them. You have so many similar loves to me! And I'm old enough to be your grandmother! HA! I have to tell you the story of finding the Pyrex made me laugh. It is hard to find the stuff, especially at a good price. Most of it is old, faded or scratched up. My hubby and I started collecting it about ten years was our first foray into the dizzying world of collecting and only frequenting thrift stores, flea markets, and such. We not only have almost all the patterns in different pieces, but we also make use of them. Nothing is more rewarding than to use a refrigerator dish to store leftovers. The glass makes it so much more palatable and I just love the feel and the colors and the grooved lids. Anyway, don't want to write a novel. Just thought I'd drop a line and let you know I will be tuning in daily. Good luck with your treasure hunts!



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