Friday, August 28, 2015

A perfect day in RVA. A blue sky with a few puffy clouds; temps only going into the mid 80's. A gentle breeze.  I know we need rain, but today is truly just about perfect.

Today I drove out into Hanover County, the "country ", to shop at a friend's house.

I met Carol when she became one of my  Etsy customers. Since then, we have had tea together and visited each other's homes. Carol's daughter has recently married and moved out of the area, so Carol is ready to sell some of the treasures that she had hoped her daughter might want someday.

We caught up for a while, and I had a nice conversation with Carol's new man friend. I also met his dog. Not surprisingly, I liked the dog best. The dog's name was Baxter. Or Brewster. The man's name was Berkeley. Or Baxter. Or Brewster.

We finally got down to serious looking and selling. What fun!

I came home with a box of 60's through 80's vintage baby items; lots of sweet dresses and 3 pair of tiny patent leather shoes. Baby boy outfits too.

I also bought Carol's Raggedy Ann and Andy from the 1960's and a tiny bisque doll. Perhaps my greatest treasure was her wooden tricycle from her childhood. A faded blue wood seat with  white bunnies painted on it!

A great start to the weekend. Will do my very best to avoid yard sales tomorrow.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cute pattern from Saturday's yard sale!

Reminds me of a seersucker dress that I had at about age 6.

WHIle wearing the dress one summer day, I leaned over the outer fence of the bear exhibit at the National Zoo in Washington, DC and tore the seersucker most of the way down the bodice.

My mother was horrified, but I was too young  for modesty and I spent the rest of the day feeling cool and comfortable, with extra ventilation down my front.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Yard Sale Part #2

A gorgeous day in RVA! The morning temp was in the high 70's and the sun was glorious but not too strong. A respite from a hot, humid August.

A perfect morning to follow up on the lead from last week's yard sale where I met the flock of sisters and Zoe the cat. I followed the directions that the girls gave me last Saturday and found their mother's house on a country road only about 15 minutes from  my home.

A big two story house with a shady front yard full of old stuff piled on tarps and tablecloths. My cup of tea!

I moved one display of 25 cent stuffed animals to buy the printed Mid Century table cloth beneath.

I had a great time, but when I got home, many of the items I had bought had a paint stain or chip that I had missed.

Still the sale was great fun and the box I brought home only cost me $7.00.

Friday, August 21, 2015

No shopping this week! Amazing for me!

This lovely sugar bowl, made in Japan, is a find from last week's thrifting. 

Tomorrow is Saturday and I may take in a yard sale, part #2 of last Saturday's sale with the fun ladies and Zoe the cat.

Happy weekend, everyone! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cannot. Shop. Today. Absolutely not.

That was my plan for today as I drank my coffee on the screen porch this morning.

There was laundry to do, a vacuum to run. My parents needed some help. Plus, I had a grand day of thrifting with my friend Julie yesterday.

So... Absolutely not.

The day was clicking along according to plan until my son called about 1:00 and needed a ride to pick up his car from the service center.

No problem; grabbed my wallet and took off.

I could not be held accountable for the inviting array of yard sale signs around the Farmer's Market on Lakeside Avenue, another of my favorite shopping haunts.

Sadly, it was now after 1:00, and most of the sales were packed up, vanished except for their enticing signs.

Why would you stop anyway? I asked myself, You found everything you needed yesterday.

 Or did I?

I recalled that Julie had searched for a vintage syrup pitcher to hold her evaporated milk. Winter is coming and she will need milk for her tea. Thus, a syrup pitcher is vital.

I continued on my way home and then I saw it; some women loading the remains of their sale into tired cardboard boxes.

I stopped. After all, Julie needed her pitcher.

"Still open for shopping?" I asked. They were happy to have another shopper and ready to deal.

They were lovely girls.  We visited; I met a cat named Zoe; I arranged to shop with them at another yard sale next weekend at another sister's home.

I left with a white McCoy vase, an old aquarium castle, some amazing 1960's plastic toy brooches
 (original package!),an ironstone hen on a nest,  and yes, a syrup pitcher.

It's not as old or as fine as what I had in mind for Julie, but it will probably work for her.

And if not, it was worth the stop.

I could not make this stuff up. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

So my thrifting buddy and I started out early this morning and headed to Southside, the "other" side of RVA, thick with thrift stores.

We spent the morning at one of my luckiest venues, the Family Thrift Center, a dark barn of a building packed with great stuff.

I reluctantly left behind a Madame Alexander who seemed too dear at $25.00, but I did snag a Nippon rose china  sugar bowl , hand painted, and a Homer Laughlin turkey platter.

Not bad for a morning's work.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Today we cover a very specific style of vintage shopping which could be called, technically speaking, um...stealing.

The fabulous shabby green vases above are an example from my past.

My family spent many Sunday afternoons in my youth riding through Hanover County, Virginia. 

My mom and dad loved to stop at abandoned houses, dumps, any place where there might be TREASURE.

And we did find some wonderful treasures.

We often stopped at the church where my great grandparents and other ancient relations were buried in a lovely shady cemetery. I loved the place, reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of slaves and Thomas Nelson Page, an interesting combination. 

On one Sunday visit, my mother spied the trash pile, heaped high with inviting rusty green things. These turned out to be about 50 really cool spiked cemetery vases. The church had apparently bought a like number of sad looking plastic ones and called it progress.  

Mom  scooped the metal vases up with glee and instructed my father to pile them into the back of our Chevy station wagon.

Somehow, she never figured out what to do with them and last Christmas, I suggested that, after about 40 years, it might be time to clear the box out of the attic.

Numerous crafters have been thrilled to turn them into Christmas trees.

Why didn't we think of that? Probably we were too busy looking for more treasure. For us, that is the fun part. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

No shopping today; just wanted to share Dot's hat with everyone per my last post.

Next adventure will be a thrifting trip on Friday.

I was talking with a friend online last evening about Kestner dolls and had to show off my beautiful Kestner baby. She's not for sale, but I thought others might enjoy seeing her pretty face. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

One of my favorite shopping venues in recent years has been the home of my elderly  friend and neighbor, Dot.

Dot didn't need money, but she loved to play store. Frequent yard sales used to be her trademark and  when she became housebound, she moved on to house sales.

Her loyal housekeeper/ nurse would set up  folding tables , at Dot's direction, in her dining room. Then Dot would point and direct, and the nurse would fill the tables with possessions that Dot wanted to sell.

She always called me when this event was imminent, and we had great visits over those folding tables of treasures. I bought glass, pocket books; one time, a fudge box from a now defunct local department store, Thalhimers, with petrified fudge still inside.

Lots of Dot's possessions grace my home. In my bedroom, a pink purse of hers hangs on a wooden rack, next to a little sign that says "Do one thing every day that makes you happy."

Yesterday, I shopped in Dot's house for the last time. Dot died a couple of months ago at the age of 95. Her son invited me to  shop through what was left in her home.

Her son and I  had a great visit, reminiscing and laughing about his amazing mother.

We struck a deal on her large Karastan rug that I have coveted for years. Tomorrow I will redesign my dining room around it.

I also bought rhinestone shoe clips, a muslin bed jacket, a pink 1940s dress, a Mid Century clothes hamper, enamel flower pins, and gloves.

Perhaps best of all, I bought a showy flowered hat to hang in my bedroom next to her purse.

Buying the possessions of those who have died isn't creepy or sad. It continues that individual's legacy, tying the past to the future.

It is an even better experience when the individual is someone that you have known, and maybe even loved.

Rest in peace, sweet Dot.

Do one thing every day that makes you happy! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Here's an interesting doll! I received a phone call last month from a woman who had picked up my business card in the brick and mortar shop where I sell, OddBalls Antiques in Henrico, VA.

She chatted a while; then invited me to come to her home to view  items that she would like to sell. She enticed me with the promise of her Shirley Temple doll from her childhood. I would have gone to an axe murderer's house for a chance to see  and possibly buy a 1940's compo Shirley.

And as another teaser, she promised Mid Century printed tablecloths! 

With the help of my GPS, I arrived at her home in a well to do neighborhood. I found the woman to be a pleasant retired teacher who had actually sold at an antique mall where I once had a booth.

So... talking points!

Sadly, her formal taste did not jive with my own shabby lacy I just like it  taste, and neither Shirley nor any tablecloths were in sight. She promises to look for both and call me again.

But I did buy a few items: a hand cut silhouette of her daughter, now aged 60; a smocked baby dress, a much older silk baby dress, and... this pretty girl.

She is a mystery girl, but oh so pretty. She has the grace of a Madame Alexander, but she is unmarked.

I had hoped to refurbish her myself, but now I am thinking that I do not need yet another project.

Even without hair, she is hauntingly beautiful. 

So if anyone has any thoughts about who this doll is or who made her, I would love to hear them.

Meanwhile, I will probably trek back to my new friend's home soon, ever in search of Shirley. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

First listing from my Florida shopping. I found this little guy at Emiline's, the antique mall that I love in Palmetto.

Not sure if the work is hand done... but it is an amazingly detailed little dog. 3D and fuzzy, just like the real thing!