Friday, May 27, 2016

I didn't have any eye candy to add to that last post, so here is a bit of pretty for today:

This is the chenille bedspread that I bought for $2.00 at the church
megasale in Kilmarnock 2 weeks ago.  It cleaned up very nicely!

Unexpected treasure hunts! Sometimes they are the best. This morning, I reluctantly helped my husband Paul pick up his truck from a repair appointment. I would much rather  have stayed home, had another cup of coffee, and played with old stuff, but, grumbling a bit, I helped him out.

On the way to the repair place, I spied an estate sale sign; surprising on this Memorial Day weekend. I delivered Paul to pick up his truck and on  the way home, I decided to check the sale out. I drove into a residential neighborhood to find a modest home with a for sale sign in the yard and an estate sale sign beside it. I parked, called my husband and told him I would be a few minutes late getting home. He decided to join me. Trouble was, I hd no idea which  street I was on... I had just followed the estate sign. I brake for estate sales, as the bumper sticker says.

I approached a solemn looking elderly gentleman sitting under  his carport and asked what street I was on. He looked at me as if I might have a mental defect, but he did give me the info I needed for Paul.  With the ice broken, I began to talk to the man and his daughter.

By the time Paul arrived, I knew that the man's wife had died in April, that he had retired from driving a beer truck, and that he had been a committed golfer. His daughter was cool at first, but warmed up when she offered to sell me the entire contents of her mother's gardening shed for $1.00.

Forty five minutes later, Paul and I wished the golfer the best of luck for his move to Texas to live with the daughter on her goat farm. I had scored a Mattel Baby 1st Step in near mint condition, aqua  vintage glass, and a vegetable bowl in Homer Laughlin Virginia Rose, along with a boatload of potting soil from the shed.

Paul, my usually reluctant shopper, bought a leaf blower and a Calloway golf bag. We both went home smiling.

This afternoon, I took my elderly neighbor to the doctor. She often comes up with interesting treasures for me to  consign for her. Today, she  found more ivory which her mother brought back from Japan in the late 1940's, just after World War II. In previous blog posts, I have written about her amazing collection of treasures from the east, which she stores in drawers while displaying her Beanie Babies. No accounting for taste!

Today, I brought home an ivory cigarette holder, an ivory fan, and a pair of ivory hair pins. Beautiful stuff. Will have to do a bit of research before doing anything with these.

So... lots of treasure hunting today, all in a day's errands.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

After two  crummy weeks of weather, May has finally arrived in RVA. Gorgeous weather yesterday and this morning... flowers and birds... green grass... magnolia blossoms... all the stereotypes of Virginia in the spring time. All true!

I just arrived home from a short trip to Venice, Florida, one of my repeat shopping spots. All of my regular treasure spots did me proud once more!

At Emmeline's Antique Mall in Palmetto, I bought some beautiful china for beautiful prices.  My brother scored a walnut fern stand for $20.

At the Venice  Salvation Army, I bought some vintage pyrex, and my mom found a chocolate pot, Bavarian and beautifully painted. The lid has a crack but she has an attic full of lids, so that isn't a major problem.

I also brought home this pretty girl that I bought at Emmeline's    in the winter. Couldn't bring her home then because I was flying. Since this  time we made a road trip, she is now residing in my Etsy room. She has a new dress and shoes, and we are still shopping for socks, panties and a bonnet. Maybe a coat when she gets cold! Guess I will name her Emmeline.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Prologue to this post... Last week in Tidewater, Virginia, it rained. A lot. This explains my lack of enthusiasm last Saturday as we drove an hour and a half to Kilmarnock, Virginia to meet friends at an outdoor sale.

My friend Megan moved to Kilmarnock 2 years ago to accept an assistant rector position at Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock. Every year, the church has what Megan has described as a yard sale. Last year, we had another commitment on the day of the event, so this year we decided to make the sale priority in order to see our friends.

The trouble was that Kilmarnock had just had 5 days of tornado warnings, thunderstorms, and downpours. Could an outdoor sale be possible after all the rain?

Yes, it turned out, yes, yes , yes!

The sale, I learned, has outgrown the church parking lot, so it is held at a YMCA camp on the banks of the Rappahannock River. Grace Church collects , prices, and sorts donated goods all year. Church members donate warehouses and storage spaces. The man hours involved are enormous. But the church does not keep the fruits of their labors. All the money from the sale is poured into charities in the community.

Goods are divided into categories, and a team works on each category. For example, the Linen Sisters work all year to sort donated bedspreads, sheet sets, tablecloths, curtains, and so forth. Damaged linens are discarded.

It took us 45 minutes to get a mile down  muddy Boys' Camp Road into the sale. Finally we came in sight of a large field with camp cabins all around it and merchandise as far as the eye could see. And what merchandise it was! There is some affluence in the Kilmarnock community and it definitely showed up in the merchandise...high end appliances, designer shoes and handbags, antiques, Gullah baskets, quality sports gear. Treasure old and new.

In an hour and a half, I had accumulated a pink chenille bedspread, old embroidered hand  towels and pillowcases, a large Bagellini travel bag, $200 boots, shoes, and a load of books.

Our friends took home a recliner and a dishwasher.

We took a break watching the  river go by. Other than muddy shoes, we suffered no damage from the high water in the field.

When the sale was over, gleaners from local charities drove through the mud looking for leftovers that they could use or sell. I watched Boy Scouts load a golf cart onto a flatbed and shovel up old luggage with an earthmover.

And in two weeks, preparations for next year's' sale will begin.

I plan to be there, on Boys' Camp Road, rain or shine.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pics from my amazing treasure hunt today...check out those purses, the glasses case which I believe is lucite, my prized baby hangers, the antique crocheted baby dress, and that luggage!
Today was a memorable treasure hunt, memorable in a string of memorables. And it truly fell into my lap.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about visiting a yard sale where I bought old wicker. I talked to Heather, the girl who held the sale that day, and told her some things that I would be interested in buying if she found them.  My one knows what you love unless you tell them.

This girl called my cell last week to tell me that she had found many of the things I had asked about. Great news! Trouble was, I was visiting our grand daughter in New York. Bad news! Heather had to be out of the house she was selling before I was due home from New York, but she was motivated to sell. She was willing to haul all of the items she had found to the daycare center where she works and store them until I got home.

This created a tricky situation, because , by agreeing to this plan, I felt a moral obligation to do well by Heather. Only a rotten person would allow this girl to haul her stuff out of her home and then leave it all there. What to do if Heather's treasure turned out to be junk?

I need not have worried. I arrived at the daycare center while Heather was out making a bank deposit. Another employee ushered me into a room full of treasure. So much great stuff that I knew I would buy the lot without looking through it all. I knew a good thing when I saw it.

On the top of one box I spied 4 of my favorite items...1940's painted wooden baby hangers. I dug under those to find a box of old baby shoes, hangers, and clothes. Another box was full of vintage gloves, many still in their cello bags. There was a collection of old Life Magazines, old Fisher Price, a white wool coat, a white wool suit, and a 4 piece matched set of vintage ladies' Samsonite. Also 2 great fez hats from a Masonic lodge and a beautiful old army officer's coat.

Heather returned and we talked; she enjoyed telling me stories of her family. One that touched me the most was when she showed me a pink dotted Swiss baby dress. She told me that it had belonged to a handicapped sister who had died before she was born. Holding this, she told me, I feel like I am touching my sister! We shared stories for awhile, and then hugs before I loaded my car.

I kept digging through the treasure through the afternoon. One Christmas morning after another. My best surprise...after being home for an hour, I dug out a small dirty box which contained a Whiting and Davis metal mesh purse from the 1920's.

Such a great time today. Did I learn anything? If there is a lesson here, it is to listen to people who have family things to sell, to respect their stories, and to let them know that you value them and their experiences.