Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weekend Finds


Good morning! And if it wasn't a banner weekend for "the most random picks in the most random places". Take a look at some of the things I took home with me this past weekend! In reverse order of acquisition, let's start with the puzzles. Yeeeeah, I said puzzles.

Oh. Mah. Gawd.

I spent probably a half hour dredging the Goodwill in Hendersonville for a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g I could buy. Do you ever have moments on shopping trips where you're like "I did NOT come ALL THE WAY OUT HERE to NOT EVEN BUY ANYTHING" and have a sudden mania come over you while glancing into your empty shopping cart? Feeling grouchy, I was looking through the board games as a last minute act of desperation and saw the S.W.A.T. box peeking out from behind a dog eaten box of Boggle. I'd never heard of the tv show, but the crazy hilarious cover had me, and I was curious to see if there were any more tv tie-in games. WERE THERE EVER! I saw CHiPs and almost let out a yelp, and then actually could not believe my eyes when I found the Welcome Back Kotter box. This kind of "stuff Quentin Tarantino would buy" is just NEVER AROUND in thrift stores, and if it is, it's in a special collectible case up front with a ridiculously high price tag. 99 cents apiece, people! These puzzles were 99 cents apiece!

Another "wow" moment came at the Rivergate Goodwill (sometimes I like to make a gauntlet of visiting all four Goodwills on Gallatin Road, from East to Gallatin, because I'm just that addicted to thrift store shopping). I was digging through the record bin, which again, I was only taking a second look at after being bested in housewares and clothing with absolute bupkis. Two middle aged guys were also going through the bins and commenting on this classical pianist doing a two album set of Scott Joplin songs, or that former member of that big band doing a rhumba record in the late fifties'... signifying to me that they were serious collectors; ergo, if there happened to be some Doris Day 78 from the forties', they probably have already picked it up, so there's not much sense in looking for myself. However! I have to tell myself sometimes that just because the person thumbing through the racks with you has taste, they might not have your specific taste. Case in point: HOW DID THEY MISS THIS DON AMECHE CO-STAR RECORD? In mint condition? With the script? For 99 cents? "Co-Star", for the curious, was a party record game where the recording features a major star reading half the album, with appropriate pauses for you to read along with the included script, so it feels like you're "acting" with them. We found a copy of Vincent Price's "Co-Star" record online and used it, with FANTASTIC RESULTS, at the Vincentennial party we threw for his 100th birthday last year. I was interested to find others in the series (which also included titles with Pearl Bailey, Tallulah Bankhead, and Cesar Romero as your costar), but they're really expensive on ebay, even without the scripts sometimes! You can see where my excitement was palpable. I can't wait to try this guy out!

As for estate sale finds:

Cue strings soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann
My initial thoughts from an email I sent Eartha earlier in the week, post-baby-in-basement-finding:

I found a framed picture this weekend composed of a 1940's magazine cut-out of a baby's head and hands, dressed up with ACTUAL HUMAN BABY HAIR CURLS and a blanket and bonnet! Kind of like the ribbon art thing, kind of like hair art, but somewhere in between. Wild, right? I dug it out of a hoarder-basement in a house near the airport and the sales guy was like "I thought that was just a magazine print! Does it have hair?" Me: ((simply nods vigorously, not wanting to be taken for Norman Bates)).

I knew nothing about baby hair portraits until I read this post over at Honey Hi Vintage. It is not often that I discover a new vintage thing to be into! At the time I thought, well, that's neat, bet I'll never see one of those out in the wild. Maybe at an antique mall for like $100, but no way I'll find one sitting on its lonesome in a box of empty picture frames in a dig-your-own-sale style basement.

I think the early morning light makes it creepier...I apologize for my photography.

I found this washboard a couple boxes over at the same sale:

Who wants to join my jug band?

This and the baby picture were two of the only really "old" things in the Avon-collectible-and-tools-heaven that was the sale. I've never felt the need to own a washboard, but it seemed like an opportunity I didn't want to pass up. After mentioning the hair part of the baby picture, the sales guy says, "Oh, cool graphics on this washboard! This is in really good shape!" in a very Mike Wolfe, American Pickers kind of way.

It's funny how I instantaneously become stoic/not particularly friendly at this point of the sales process, especially when the salesperson gets all "did you know this is a..." on me. I have been burned a million too many times by estate sale people seeing that I'm young and "into" this kind of stuff and assuming that I don't know how much the blamed thing is worth or, worse, that I'll pay an inflated price out of inexperience and naivete. My favorite conversation, while trying to pick up a red straw pillbox hat I'd dug out of a disused, terrifying attic in West Meade: "Oh, that's collectible." ((Me, in my head: Yes! I know! I'm trying to collect it here!)) "I'd have to have twenty on that." What split do the spiders I had to face in, again, a completely untagged, unorganized attic get on that twenty dollars? Also, are you high? I think I dickered her down to $15, but she did act like I must not have enough money and obviously didn't understand the value of vintage hats, which was $5 worth of pride I might have liked to have kept. IN ANY EVENT, I was sure the guy was going to say forty dollars after he'd seen how cool my items were, but he ended up asking eight for both the washboard and hair picture. RESUME FRIENDLINESS! I was happy as a lark.

So THAT'S what you are...

Last but not least, I've had this forever, but I thought I'd show it to you anyway as I recently re-appreciated when Matthew's mom, Deb, came over to the house and noticed it hanging in the den. "Oh, how cute! I love sand pipers!" she said, eyeing the needlework that went into their creation. "I used to love watching them run in the surf, you know,  when I lived in California." I've had this picture since 2003... it was one of the first things I bought in Knoxville when I went up to college, on a half off sticker at the Kingston Pike Goodwill, for $10. It hung in three successive dorm rooms before coming with me to the house we rented off campus for my senior year, then back to my folks house, and finally to the house where Matthew and I currently live, always displayed in a place of pride. IN ALL THAT TIME, I did not know these were sand pipers! Living my entire life in a landlocked state, I've always called them "partridges" or "quails", knowing full well they look like neither, but not knowing what else to call them. I hang my head a little while learn something every day!

Hope you guys had the luck of the Irish I did this past weekend, and if not, that you do this coming weekend! Find anything good? Any good/bad/hilarious experiences with snooty/friendly/off the wall sales people? Could you identify a sand piper with grace and aplomb? Do tell!

See you tomorrow for Photo Friday!!


  1. The baby hair portrait is amazing, and what a score with the Welcome Back Kotter puzzle!
    I haven't done any thrifting lately, or started going to estate sales. I plan to make that a priority next month :)

    What Lola Wants

    1. Isn't Barbarino just the living end? I still can't believe it was just sitting there.

  2. The baby hair portrait is awesome! I know for sure that my parents never loved me enough to save any of my hair for use in a stunning, multimedia assemblage. Funny enough, I just bought the same exact Maid-Rite washboard for the purposes of musical accompaniment; time alone will tell how that works out. Most importantly, I will be on the hunt for the co-star record as I have always wanted to star opposite Don Ameche in Henry V (I'm hoping it is one of the "other scenes"). GOOD STUFF!!!

    1. "Onward, my liege!" ---> Don Ameche. What a mental image! My grandma has some hair in an envelope from my mom's first haircut, but never put it to good use like this baby's parents. Can you see that the pillow and clothes and blanket are real, too? It's really just out of control. I want to hear about your jug band adventures with your twin board! :)

  3. Oh! The baby in the basement piece is even more amazing than I had imagined! I'm glad that you found it and that the Seller wasn't out of his mind with greed. I have never heard of the Co-Star records but they sound like a blast. And huh! Who knew about sandpipers? Not me. That's for sure. Really must leave Tennessee more often.

    I had an experience with a salesperson recently that was kind of the opposite - she couldn't imagine that I'd have ENOUGH money to buy what she had. It was at an antique store and it was this huge old sign. I'd been watching it for a long time and thinking about it and told myself that if I ever came into enough money, I'd buy it. Well, I did and I was at the store and decided it was time to buy it. The price was no longer on it but I had a good idea of what it had been. I asked the clerk and she said that it wasn't hers but she'd have to call the Seller. Normally no big deal. Well, she started in on me and made me feel like she had just met me in the bread line. She was saying, "Are you sure that you can afford it? Are you really serious about wanting it? I don't want to call her unless you really are." I mean, it was an old sign. Not a million dollar piece of art. Anyway, she was so rude to me that after she got the price, I told her I would come back soon and get it - but never did. She can bite my butt. And thanks to her, that money was spent somewhere else. I can't stand it when people make assumptions about people like she did.

    1. ...!! It's a mad, mad world out there! I think it's the very HEIGHT of rudeness, and not to mention a pretty horrible customer service policy, to in ANY way intimate that you, the person spending your hard earned money, even MIGHT "not be able to afford this". Is this the Dust Bowl? Is she looking at you and seeing an Okie? There's such a thing as credit cards! Who knows what all things I can afford with their help!

      I think you were right not to buy from that place. Ever so often my greed for whatever the item is outweighs my hurt pride, but I've got A LOT of pride to hurt. I just can't believe that lady's nerve.

  4. I definitely know the feeling. I always think "I have to dig deeper! DEEPER!" It's semi-pathological, I'm sure.

    Also: HUMAN HAIR. Holy shit. Irresistibly insane!

  5. oh goodness i don't even know what to comment on. that baby picture!!!! i 'm LOVE! and i've never heard of the co star records! i NEED a vincent price one.
    was it you that posted kind of recently with a pregnant granny salt shaker? if it was, i found one today!!! i was so thrilled when i saw it at an antique mall for 1 dollar! IF it wasn't you, i feel like you would like it anyway. i also got another knitted poodle bottle cover, and and old scrapbook full of pictures of a ladies pekinese, obituaries, seemingly random newspaper stories about murders, and cut out magazine cat pictures. yes, incredible i know.

  6. oh, and i HATE that "oh wll i'll have to have 20 bucks for that mess." I got an amazing aluminum tree at a sale and the woman pulled an attitude and told me she couldn't go lower than 20 bucks, even though I hadn't said a WORD. i rudely said "oh i'll GIVE You 20 dollars" then marched out with a tree that was selling for almost 200 bucks on ebay. serves her right.

  7. I love the baby picture I have never seen or heard of those. My parents did bronze my baby shoes and I have that but I almost wish tey had just left them in their original condition.

  8. I have a similar baby picture that my mother's friend made for me when I was born in 1948.



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