Saturday, August 28, 2010

What I bought at the longest yard sale

OK, a certain someone (I won't mention any names) has asked more than once for photos of the goods that I bought at the yard sale bonanza. So at the risk of boring you all to sleep, here we go.
First of all there are 3 things not pictured that I remembered after I had loaded all the photos. One is a set of three windows, each with six panes that I got for $10. NOT $10 each, but 3 for $10. They aren't real real old but they will work for some crafty projects.
Second is an old Samsonite suitcase, the brown ones that are popular for stacking to make a side table that is also storage. Third is a purchase that I took a chance on at an estate sale along the yard sale route. A minty green square compote dish that is stamped "Pfaltzgraff". My mom, my grandma, and I all have (had) Pfaltzgraff dishes and they are have the name written into the clay before firing so the stamping made me do a double take. I paid $10 for it and was assured that the lady who owned it had it "for years".
I researched when I got home and it is apparently made in the 1930's before Pfaltzgraff got into dishware. Might be worth $30---if I can find someone to pay that much for it.

OK so the photos.... above is a chippy white metal carrier meant for picnics to hold paper plates, napkins, plastic silverware, etc. I think it would be better used these days on a desk with pens, paper, envelopes, stamps, etc. I want to find some glass or ceramic inserts for the silverware parts so that pens and the like won't fall thru. $4

The giant polka dot is one of 2 hubcaps that I bought and got teased about the entire trip. I fell in love with the aqua color. The seller told me they are called baby moons and were not painted originally. I think they will look like a couple of giant polka dots on a wall. $5 each and I love them but my mom and sister pointed out every (ugly) hubcap along the way for sale. Which is jsut one of the many, many things that made us laugh along the way.
This camera came from a thrift shop we found north of Chattanooga. So do I remember how much I paid? Not sure, but I think $5.
Burgundy hat was .50. Gloves---four pair---were .50 each.
Counted cross stitch of Mary and Baby Jesus that I plan to to frame. $3.00 Yellow clutch purse is weird. It is like plastic beads that are melted together to form a stiff material. It looks 1960's to me. At this same sale I also got some vintage earrings that I now can't find!
These two bedposts are part of a set of four that my sister and I split. Hers are sitting near her front door. Mine are in the garage waiting for a trip to my mom's. After we bought them she mentioned that if they don't sell in the booth she would like to have them if anyone ever drives to IL to deliver them. We bought the set of 4 for $40 and they are HEAVY! Would I paint them or polyurethane them if I kept them, I just don't know. I think poly first and leave them that way for a time and then paint later if I still wanted to.
This pink and green metal wash basin is possibly the last thing I bought. $2, marked down from $4 because the handle on the left is rusted through. HUH? That makes it worth double, not half!
This is mini stuff for a doll house. This sale was a professional vendor who had his trailer all painted with "longest yard sale or bust" and other sayings to draw attention along the highway. He had stacks and stacks of sets that were all adorable. I don't have a doll house, don't want a doll house but I love doll house furniture. WHY? These were in the mismatched box 4 for $2.
Small bird cage that I got for a whopping .25. I will fill with a nest of aqua shredded paper and a little bird I bought awhile back knowing I would have a nest for her to sit in someday.
A bag of tatted and crocheted odds and ends. Don't know if I will sell as is or use them in projects, but I love love love hand made laces. I can't remember where I bought this or how much it cost!
This bird cage is NOT small and I paid $10 for it. It is not real old and had a made in Taiwan sticker on it that might have been on something else or might be from this bird cage. Doesn't matter to me. I think when this is cleaned and spray painted white or black it will look fabulous.

OK so now you know what I bought. All this plus....some baseballs for my kids, a bracelet and earrings set for one daughter, and the pedal car you can see in previous posts.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One more identification please

This is one picture I forgot to upload on the last posting. I bought it at Wal Mart in the perennial section. WOW! It has taken off like crazy and may overtake that whole spot of the garden. I think I will take some seeds from it and start one in the house next spring and plant it in front of the air conditioner to hide that ugly thing from the street. Maybe plant another one in front of some electrical things we also have in the front yard.
ID anyone???

gardening with junk

This post really doesn't have much to do with junk, unless you count the weeds in my flower bed and the junk that I add to the garden to make up for the lack of color. This series of pictures is our back yard. We bought a brand new home, something I thought we weren't going to do until we got here and looked at what was available. So I had to start from scratch to make a flower bed along the back fence. Months of digging, spreading mulch, getting bricks out of the construction trash and some plants. Viola! We have a garden!
The shed is on the far left of the back yard. I have window frames from Germany hanging on it. The wooden crate thing on legs I call a deer feeder. I found it in the trash in Germany and came home with it tied to the top of the van. My husband thought I was crazy until I mentioned that it would look good on a front porch filled with firewood. That's when he really knew I was even crazier than he ever imagined because that meant we were moving this piece of junk back to the USA. And he nearly had me committed when I told him of course it is going with us, all the junk I have been collecting is going with us. No front porch here so it is relegated to the back garden where I still think it looks really neat!
Note the very edge of the white shutter on the right side of the picture and then look below at the white shutter to mentally attach these pictures to get a continuing view.
All the bird houses have come from yard sales and thrift shops except for one mosaic one that was a gift in a Christmas gift exchange several years ago. That big giant rock is one I dug out of the yard when I was digging the garden. Gotta love the central TX terrain! The metal things hanging on the fence I bought at a yard sale in TX. They make great trellises but then the beauty of the metal scroll work gets covered.
This circle usually looks less lopsided but our daughter relaid the bricks the last time I mowed and edged and let's just say that her attention to detail when it comes to something important to MOM is less than stellar. Those little wispy green things in the circle are some sort of weed that grows right up thru the weed cloth. darn weeds!
Before I had any garden at all I had this shelf on the fence with all the watering cans sitting on it and one hanging from it. But they fell down every time the wind blew (which is everyday sometimes in central TX) so I put most of them on the ground, scattered among the flowers and left two hanging on the shelf brackets. Tomato plants grow under the shelf. That is TWO plants that are huge, have tons of flowers and have produced 2 small tomatoes so far with 3 green ones on the plants.
One of my pride and German hay wagon. I wanted one of these in the worst way when we lived in Germany. I finally went to a floh markt (flea market) and paid real money for it. It as wooden wheels with rubber tires. Most of them have plastic or metal wheels from bicycles as the wooden wheels have long ago rotted away. I love this thing.
One very lonely little bee balm plant to the right of the wagon. It was planted late in June this year and sort of died off. I clipped it pretty close to the ground and it has started to come back. Looking forward to some flowers next summer.
My helper!
OK, time for plant identification folks. The one on the left is a butterfly bush that is blooming in a sickly looking white. I think the strong sun could be bleaching the flowers. The bigger one on the right is????? A real plant or a weed? Anybody?
This is a close up of the vine that is growing to the right of the circle of bricks. Is it sweet potato vine? I wasn't sure for along time if it was a weed or not. But I put up a rope for it to climb on and enjoyed that it GREW. Now that it has started to bloom I know it is one I planted from seed from my mom, but the name of it??? I call it the dark green vine with the lilac flowers.
OK this one is to the left of the above vine. It is right under the two metal trellis looking things hanging on the fence. I know I planted seeds here but I thought they didn't come up for a good 6 weeks or more. Then one day as I was watering I saw little seedlings pushing their way up. Kept watering it and now I have this. It has buds on it so we will see if it is something real or a weed. No matter to me for now. It fills the space!
I think this vine is called cypress vine. It looks better in person than in this picture. You don't see the dead, yellow so much as it is the under layer. It is very very full at the top and gets just a few red trumpet shape flowers. It doesn't get loads of flowers on it so the color isn't very bright or full, but the feathery greenery is great. It is climbing up the one and only real trellis I had. Everything else is growing up clothes line rope that I tied to the fence. Why? Because that is what I had so I didn't have to spend any money on trellises.
This IS a weed, I know. But it grows like crazy. Reminds me a little bit of wandering jew, a houseplant my mom always had. It grows so fast and so thick I am thinking I should let it be a ground cover in the flower bed instead of fighting it and ripping it out all the time.
This little fellow, who isn't so little, has the coolest web. He, or a relative of his (hers?) was on the other side of the garden in June and now he is on the other side. They both had these extensive webs that are about 24" across and then in the center is this weaving that goes side to side on two strands of the web. Only this side to side part is white. Don't know the name of this. Don't know if it is poison but I do like the bright colors he has and the cool looking web.
There are a ton of grasshoppers this year. Didn't see a one of them last year. These aren't the cute "Jiminy Cricket" green grasshoppers that I knew growing up in southern IL. These are the large, mean yellow and tan ones that you see in all the movies where the pioneers' fields are eaten completely in a day or two right before harvest. The newspapers say that what the grasshoppers aren't getting this year the army worms are. Fat, juicy, Caterpiller looking worms that look like they are wearing camouflage. Bet that's how they got their name, huh?

OK, anybody want to help with names of plants/weeds/spiders???

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

what can I buy for you?

You have asked what did I buy at the longest yard sale. Well, I don't yet have good pics of my load, but I do have pics to share of what was available. We started on Weds, the day before the yard sale officially opened. But not to worry, we did more shopping that day, than the other 2 days that we went when everything was open. We started at the very southern tip of the sale in Gadsden, AL.
The sale follows the Lookout Mountain Parkway which is a 2 and 4 lane state highway, not anything even remotely close to an Interstate, but it does parallel I 59 to Chattanooga.
Mapquest says it is a 2 hour drive along the Interstate from Gadsden to Chattanooga and it took us about 10 hours. Of course we made a ton of yard sales, at porta potties, at the Juliet Low Camp, at scenic look outs, at lunch, at anything and everything that took our fancy. And one wrong turn that took us about 10 miles out of our way.
One of the first yard sale stops was a place with about 6 vendors set up. Only one looked (and was priced) like people cleaned out their old stuff. The rest were "professionals". So anyone want some KISS statues. My sister put this on her facebook as we continued driving along and our brother wanted, wouldn't you know, the duck phone to the far left.
Another stop found us looking at a gazilion salt and pepper shakers. We passed.

My most major purchase in terms of price and size was this pedal car ($95) for my kids. I was supposed to be going to buy stuff to sell in my booth, but of course the kids' wants took center stage. We had to really twist and turn some things and slide the seats in the van, but we got 'er in. Two middle aged men actually loaded this goody for us. (and then supplied us with free fresh peaches and tomatoes). The same seller had a wonderful Hoosier cabinet, painted white for TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. I don't really want a Hoosier cabinet. I have no place in my kitchen for a Hoosier cabinet. But it HURT to leave that beauty behind. All the other similar cabinets I looked at were priced between $500 and $750 which made me want that one even more.
One stop on day two, north of Chattanooga, was at a field that rented out spaces and there were about 50 vendors. The plus side to this kind of stop is that you get to shop a lot of different sales with one parking job. the downside is that these are usually the professionals and things are higher priced. Why? Because they have done half the work for you. They go out all year and find goodies at yard sales and auctions and clean it up and then sell it to you.
This picture is an example. Someone peruses tons of thrift shops, yard sales and auctions to find this collection of vintage textiles and purses. Wouldn't it be fun to collect these gems year round, enjoy them for awhile and then pass them on??? I could get into that since I LOVE LOVE LOVE vintage linens. Did I buy any? NO Because I have boxes of them in the garage that aren't selling at the booth so why do I need to buy any more?
I prefer the onesies and twosies sales where you have to dig thru a ton of real crap to find a gem or two. Of course, that doesn't guarantee good prices either.
OK, not officially a yard sale, we did stop at a pottery outlet in Chattanooga. Why? Because it looked neat and we wanted to and there was no one to tell us we couldn't/shouldn't/can't/won't/don't. We didn't buy any of these but all 3 of us loved them. Mushrooms made out of concrete. I just bet you this is the bottom of the cement mixer leftovers after a big job that they make into mushrooms. They are formed around metal spikes and rebar pieces to stick them in the ground. Also left overs I bet. Prices on these were around $15 each. Really cool and I gotta figure out how to make some. At another stop, or maybe the same one as the purses and linens my sister bought this teak chair for $20. It is in great shape and SOLID.
As we were unloading stuff to shift and move to make room for the chair, my mom decided it was time to take a picture of how full the van was. HUH? This ain't anywhere near full! She should have seen me when I junked in Germany! Or when I take a big load to the booth! Or when I drive kids to and from school!
Since my mom was flying to and from St Louis she didn't want to buy much. She did say that if she lived close enough she would have spent some serious money. But for her it was a great trip with her two oldest daughters. All she bought to take home was this leopard print tote bag. She bought a stack of .50 decorator magazines and then left them for my sister and I to read when we got back to Texas.
Didn't buy these but fell in love with them. The green and the blue one both. Each priced at $20 if I remember correctly. Pretty much these are the CHEAP colored glass you can find at any thrift store, but coordinated, stacked and epoxied to make a totem. They are really pretty with the bright sunshine outside in a garden. Think I need to start collecting some cheap colored glass now! Good, because I really need another project. You know I might run out of things to do if I don't keep filling the garage with projects!
OK so all those pictures and not a one of anything I actually bought. I might get those pictures taken and posted this year. Then again, maybe not.

Monday, August 9, 2010

anteces and more

Well, after a long hiatus from blogging I am back to show you the latest and greatest. I went on a journey to the World's Longest Yard Sale. I picked up my sister in Ft Worth and we drove to the Birmingham airport (mapquest directions: exit onto Interstate 20 for 610 miles!) to pick up our mom who flew in from St Louis. Next day was the beginning of Yard Sale overload.
We started at the very southern tip of the 650 + yard sale route in Gadsden, AL. We took all day and into the dark of night to get to Chattanooga and our hotel. Normally a 2 hours drive by Interstate, we wound our way up and down and round and round the Lookout Mountain Parkway thru AL, GA, and into TN.
Even though the yard sale officially opened on Thursday there were plenty of vendors setting up and selling on Wednesday. My first purchase was before we even got to Birmingham, a pair of aqua baby moons.....1950's hub caps bought at a general store in Mississippi. This place was old enough to warrant a brown "historical marker" on the Interstate. They look like giant aqua polka dots to me!
My first yard sale purchase was some vintage jewelry, 3 pair of earrings and a pin for $5.

Somewhere along the way the first day we saw this sign. Anteces and nike (or neke) naks. Gotta love that! I don't think we even stopped at this sale as their "cool things" didn't interest us. But we love the sign!

Yes the yard sales were fabulous. Some folks who were cleaning out the garage and attic but more "professionals" of all levels. One old guy in GA told us he collects all year to set up at three of these long yard sales, one in May, one in Oct and this one in August. (Next time we are definitely hitting the spring or fall one instead because it was H-O-T this year in August.) When my mom asked him how much he sells in a weekend he answered $5000-$6000. Not that is some serious booth sales, baby! And definitely some folks who thought their stuff was worth way more than it really was. But most prices were fair and most folks were willing to bargain.

But even better than the sales was the scenery. Some tour book calls the Lookout Mountain Parkway the most scenic in America and while I can hear all of you arguing this distinction (why not we debated it in the van) it is certainly ONE of the MOST scenic and worth the drive even on a non-yard sale weekend. Get off Interstate 59 and wind your way thru the parkway and enjoy!

And even better than the sales and the scenery were the people. One of the great ones was Laverne. We couldn't pass up this one with the tantalizing signs. jam, log cabin AND yard sale. WOW! The trifecta of junking!
Turns out Laverne is an 81 one year old sweetheart who makes all her own jam--blueberry, muscadine, pear, apple butter and more. I bought some blueberry and apple butter while my sister loaded up on blueberry jam and pear preserves. Laverne also makes quilt tops that she sells.
She was happy to tell us that she met her husband when they were both 18 and were married 59 years when he died at age 78. That was 3 years ago and now she is 81 and still living alone and canning and quilting and loving life. 6 of her 7 children all live on the same property with their driveways forming spokes of a wheel off of her lane. She was eager to tell us that her white hair came along when her oldest son died in Vietnam. God bless her!
Laverne and her daughter in front of Laverne's log cabin (or as my son says, a house made from Lincoln Logs)
Apparently Laverne also does some taxidermy as she also had this little gem for sale. My sister threatened to buy this for her sister-in-law for a Christmas gift but we left him behind for some other lucky buyer.
I know you are probably wondering what I bought. Well, those pictures will be coming in another blog down the road.
After 3 days of yard saling in 3 states I came home with some goodies to share in my booth.

back from long hiatus

Did you think I had fallen off the face of the blogging Earth?
Well, I sort of did. With a broken camera and then the chaos of summer and well, it became a decision to keep up the blog or keep up the booth.
But I am back now.