Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Weekend Finds: Here and There Edition

Good morning!

All right, here we are with my weekend finds! Don't worry about that pinky swear I made about not bringing in as many things into the house-- you'd be amazed at how much ground I covered Saturday morning and STILL managed to whittle down my spoils-of-war to a few choice items. This coming weekend, my friend April is participating in a mile-long yard sale up in Gallatin, so I'm going to try to get a couple things together to add to her wares...guess what, maybe we won't have to pitch a tent in the yard and live in it for the sheer amount of vintage ephemera in the house! :) As usual, here's your day-late, dollar-short round up:

Here I am this morning (hi, it's me again) with a Liberty for Target sundress I picked up at Robinson Flea Market...ugh, I still can't decide if the colors, even being sixties'-authentic, are too Kmart-in-the-early-2000's-retro-floral for me, but we'll find out! Do you ever have similar on-the-fence feelings about clothes even after you've purchased them?  The big quandary facing my clothes situation, as the season change: I realized the other day that a number of sundresses I had stashed in my closet have just disappeared-- did I store them? Did I give them to Goodwill? This is what happens when you don't keep close tabs on your wardrobe (or have WAAAAAY too much stuff). At any rate, I was glad to find this one to at least test drive, because summer IS COMING. The purse is much more my speed, if you didn't notice...check out the crazy gold embellishment!

It looks exactly like a Russian seal or coat of arms from a distance, and then when you close up, you can see it's just gold leaves and tiny beads and a couple gold daisy pieces--- I think with good glitzy spray-paint and a hot glue gun, you could easily DIY this item at home! As suddenly I have 87 purses like this in my accessories arsenal and seed beads all over the house...Caron of Houston, Texas (hailing from the same place as Archie Bell and the Drells, if you're keeping score) makes the same kind of kitschy crazy stuff our Enid Collins, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, made...here's a mint looking clutch from the same line, and doesn't it look gorgeous! I'm going to have to keep an eye out for more of these.

Mine, which has seen better days (note disintegrating lining on the bottom left corner), was $5 at a sale in Belmont that Lauren T clued me in to. The house was missing walls here and there and in a pretty dusty/musty/neglected state of disrepair, but I did snap photos of the wallpaper that must have hearkened back to better days on the avenue. Could you just die? There was also a lipstick red club chair and love seat from the early fifties' I could have taken home gladly...but again, there are only so many couches a house can hold.

My favorite thing I bought this weekend, spoiler alert, is this Inuit baby doll from a sale in Goodletsville. 

The coat and pants are made from real rabbit fur, and the little boots are super detailed and beaded...but what I love is his grumpy face and the pair of jet glass beads that make up his pupils. I tried to find something similar online but kept running into the same fifties' celluloid Alaska souvenir dolls...this one is much more interesting! I couldn't tell you when it hails from, but I wish I could!

At the same sale, there was a lady in galoshes walking around with a huge armful of board games, who stopped dead in her tracks when she saw one of the sale attendants and another guy taking the drawers out of a large worktable in the garage. The following scene ensued [I can't format this to save my life, excuse the weird line breaks]:
Galoshes: What are you doing with those drawers?
Attendant: (thin, tall, older gentleman): We're removing the drawers so they can load this work table better, it's sold. (turns back around)
Galoshes: Well, doesn't that work table belong to the house?
Attendant: (turns again) No, I'm afraid we're supposed to sell everything in the house except the light fixtures and the drapes, so, since this isn't attached, it's for sale.
Galoshes: That would have been nice to know, seeing as I'm the one that bought the house.
Attendant: Oh. [uncomfortable pause] Have you got a contract on it?
Galoshes: YES. And from what I understood, that whole thing comes with the house. People could let people know if they're going to just remove permanent parts of the house-  
Attendant: It's not actually attached to the wall here- 
Galoshes: Are y'all gonna sell the kitchen cabinet too? I mean, it doesn't make any sense to sell something that's obviously part of the house! 
Attendant : I don't know what to tell you. You can talk to [estate sale major domo lady] if you want, but it's already sold...so...um...
Galoshes: [still clutching board games, stomps off ] [which is harder to do than you'd think in rubber boots] 
This whole exchange was very uncomfortable for the other people in the garage as well as the poor attendant dude who was just doing what he was supposed to be doing at the sale--- um, selling. What do you think? If I were the galoshes lady, I would have a) made sure the contract spelled out what stays and what doesn't stay before I signed it or b) just gone and talked to the estate sale lady in the first place about the sold cabinet. I bet she could have refunded the money of the guy who bought the table-- people rescind stuff out of "estate sale fair game" all the time! The whole weird, in public, passive-aggressiveness of it ("Well it woulda been NICE to KNOW" isn't really a very useful phrase in the service of getting people to help you do what you need done, fyi, says someone who works in customer service on a daily basis) was neither effective nor a good look on the galoshes lady. Plus she didn't end up getting her table, I don't think! She just got a bunch of people to think she was being nasty for no reason. I've been mad like that before about a perceived injustice, but I'm more of the internally seething until I can figure out a way to talk rational sense to someone in charge. Am I too sensitive?

Anyway, look at this face. It was worth the trouble:

At Phoenix Flea Market, I picked up this 8 x 10 photograph in a frame mainly because it was $1.25, but also owing to the fact that the strange colors and bleached out saturation of the photograph caught my eye.

Doesn't it almost look like a watercolor? And all those buttons on the one girl's dress! Sold.

Again defying my "no more framed pictures" rule, I found these stereoscope cards from WWI and about lost it. $9. INCLUDING FRAME. And some of the most interesting cards of their kind I've seen. The labels read (top to bottom) "Some Gallant Fighters", "Machine Gun Platoon Advancing", and "Hand Grenade Throwing". As usual, I can't tell you exactly what defines my "what I buy and why I buy it" junk matrix, but this squarely fits whatever vague criteria there is-- unusual, uncommon, and underpriced! 

Very Wings with Buddy Rogers, right?

Last but not least, my dad and I hit a sale on the way home simply because it was on the way home, near Cumberland Towers in a kind of sort of dodgy part of Madison. "You know that police precinct they named after that officer that was killed in the line of duty?" Pappy asked as we passed River Retreat Apartments, "That's where he was killed in the line of duty!" Always one to reassure you, my dad. Sure enough, the development was a little on the sketch side, but inside was obviously just some average grandma's house. EXCEPT! Owing to the location, I guess, there was a TON of Eastlake furniture (dresser, sideboard, bed frame, china cabinet) that had not sold and was now 50%. I struggled with my inner demons to not buy at least an 1880's side table that was like $60 with the discount, and instead, only bought this slightly superfluous candelabra for $12:

Folks, it is HEAVY! I picked up the candles at Dollar Tree after balking at the 2-for-$3 price of them at my neighborhood Deals (wth, it's the same parent company and a box of two tapers at Dollar Tree is, surprise, A DOLLAR). Wait, wait, here comes your Barry Lyndon, Interview with a Vampire, Dangerous Liasions 18th century realness:

Isn't that lovely? I am not usually one to go nuts over something so froufy, but I will say that Matthew and I enjoyed cocktails and watched tv by the candlelight the other day like the dorks we are. It was so spooky/novel! 

Last but not least, did you see the skull sitting next to the candelabra?

Matthew got it for Halloween for me. One thing I have learned-- you can't have too many decorative skulls to add eccentric gravitas to your home. Also, check the detail on the base of the candlestick. Gorgeous? GORGEOUS.

So! What do you think? Been any weird places this past weekend? Seen any weird exchanges between estate sale runners and the people who go to estate sales? Did YOU resist any great temptation at the sales? Let's talk!

That's all for today, but I will catch you on the flipside first thing tomorrow. Have a great Tuesday! Til then.


  1. 1. That Inuit doll is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.
    2. Was that not the best wallpaper EVER? Seriously, that is the wallpaper of my dreams. Both of them were so adorable. That house had to have been amazing, back in the day.
    3. People are seriously just 100% pure crazy at estate sales. Oh, the things that I have seen! I am a very nonconfrontational person, but I have had to get over some of that to survive in my job. I wish that I could blog about it...it would be VERY interesting reading, but yeah...can't. Galoshes lady is pretty par for the course, though.

    1. I love the little doll! We've kept him in the living room on the couch this past week, and it's so funny to be startled/charmed by him every time you walk by the room. I am so glad you told me about the sale! While I didn't get a lot, it was DEFINITELY one of those classic "go to see the weird house and stuff" sales, which I almost enjoy as much as buying things. I kept thinking about that wallpaper when it was new and freshly put up.

      You need to journal that estate sale experience and write a book some day! With pseudonyms to protect the guilty-as-sin. :)

  2. YES to the stereoscope cards. I have a big box of those puppies, including a set that was photographed in the immediate aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake! Considering those cameras weighed a metric ton (being double) just THINK about how hard this must have been. Distraught Gibson girls in shirtwaists and pompadour hairdos staring down streets at approaching flames! Crumpled landmarks and dead horses! Amazing. I alaso have the stereoscope to view the cards with. G-ma had one when I was a kid and was so territorial about it, SO NASTY, that I vowed I would have one of my own, and all the grubby little grandkids can look at hand tinted views of Japanese chrysanthemum gardens to their heart's content.

    1. Those earthquake cards sound INTENSE, I love the idea of that being as close, besides a film strip, to *real life reporting* as you could get. Dead horses, yeesh-- cinema verité. Props to getting a stereoscope to spite the grandma, what IS IT with some relatives being super stingy with heirlooms? I'm glad you got one of your own. I'm still trying to find one-- have seen several at the flea market, all a hunnert bucks (waah, waah).

  3. Oh Oh! that candle holder, too too! You do have a great eye for wonderful things.

    1. Thank you! It's a gift and a curse, because once I get this stuff home, where do I put it! :D I so love the hunt, though, it's totally worth it.

  4. I'm so happy to see another one of those dolls! I have on too, mine is a girl. I usually put her out during Christmas. And that candle holder!!! MARVELOUS!!


    1. AAAH! You have the girl version? Have you blogged about it before? I'd love to see her!

  5. Hi, I love that doll ! I've never seen one before but I tend to love all things cute ! I collect salt & pepper shakers, cookie jars, dolls and anything that has the cute factor. And now I've started to collect old photos after looking at the ones you collect. You've given me an interest in these vintage photos I never had before. I think I've started to look at them as you might. So thanks for giving me another interesting thing to collect. Have a great day ! Barbara

    1. Hi Barbara! It's always a thrill to hear from people out there who love the things I do, your collections sound great! And I'm always willing to lend a helping hand in telling people what else to collect, haha... I always try to STOP buying photos and I just can't. Little pieces of time! And so unique/one of a kind in many cases. Thanks again for reading and commenting!!

  6. 1. I am constantly reevaluating my clothing purchases--usually as a result of seeing myself in a full-length mirror.

    2. People are nuts. I bought an entire 12-place setting of Liberty Blue china at an estate sale for $75. As Paul was carrying the box out to the car, and old lady yelled after us, "Hey! You bought my china!" to which I replied, "Oh really? I promise to take good care of it." I just treated her as though she were the dead previous owner.

    3. No house is complete without a candelabrum.

    1. WHAT YOU SAID, haha, about mirrors. "Wait just a DADdurn minute...here...UGH!" And I agree about weirdos at sales, we need a separate blog just to talk about all the wingding experiences of hunting for treasures amongst the good, the bad, and the ugly of other collectors. Also, now I just need ONE MORE candelabrum so I can call it candelabra!! (I will never learn about plurals). :) Seriously, I'm on the lookout for about twenty more of these...THE DIVINE DECADENCE!

  7. Can I ask an estate etiquette question? I love old slides, and found a vintage slide projector. Do you think it is rude to ask if there are any old slides for sale? I asked at an estate sale several weeks ago, and they must have had to ask the son of the woman who had died. The impression I got was that he thought I was trying to steal his family mementos or something. I have been at enough sales to know that sometimes they are for sale, but I sure don't want to step on anyone's toes, you know?

    1. I have gotten into SO MUCH trouble about photographs at estate sales...people are either completely cool with it, or completely touchy. Did I tell you about the time I picked up some slides from loose plastic pages on the FLOOR. OF A BARN. full of stuff for sale ("Everything in that barn's for sale!" I was advised when I came to the house), and when I asked for a price on them, the woman snatched them from me, aghast. "Oh no, no, no, no. These are my PERSONAL photographs. I mean, they're my FAMILY. What on earth would you want with them?" I don't mind the sentiment (thank goodness someone cares about old photos other than me), but she really didn't have to act like I dug up her deceased grandmother over some dusty 70's polaroids she thought so much of she kept them IN THE BARN.

      In summation....nowadays I only buy photos clearly marked as for sale unless it's something insane I just have to ask about (and wouldn't mind getting my pride pinched for if the outcome is negative). But you know I feel your pain!

      Also, that is so cool you live in Alaska!!! I might have mentioned before, my friend Kelsey's family has some folks up there, the photographs she's taken on vacation to visit are GORGEOUS. I hope I can find out more about this little guy, I'll let you know if I do!

  8. Oh, I forgot to mention the doll! I've lived in Alaska for the last 23 years, so I am very interested where it came from. It is adorable!



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