throwback thursday no. 3

There are a few of you locals out there who have been coming to my occasional sales for years.  My friend Sue and I started hosting sales a long time ago.  Funny enough, neither of us really remembers how long we’ve been doing them.  I know it’s been more than 15 years.  We started out with just a very small ‘garage sale’.  Sue always had the most amazing stuff and rock bottom prices.  I just did my best to keep up with Sue.  Eventually our reputation started to grow.  In the early days we had an actual mailing list and would send out flyers via snail mail!  Imagine that!

2012 sale 1

Over time we gave our sale a name, the Carriage House sale, and we added an email notification list.  We experimented with adding various other partners, but somehow we always ended up back with just the two of us.

In recent years Sue and I have had so much inventory just between the two of us that we didn’t have room to add any more vendors!

2013 summer sale 1

At one point we had as many as three sales a year, then we scaled back to one, then we added one back and had two per year for a while.  We even had a Christmas sale a few years back.

xmas sale 1

For goodness sakes, why in the world did I part with this green scale?

xmas sale 4 Anyway, that sale was kind of a bust, so we never tried that again.

xmas sale 2

One problem with hosting a sale at my Carriage House is that there just isn’t enough space inside for all of the inventory, plus the shoppers, plus a check out area.  Obviously some stuff is going to be outside, including us.  That’s not a problem when it’s a beautiful sunny day.

2013 summer sale 3

But many of our customers still talk about the year that the tornado sirens went off and the sky unleashed a torrent of rain just as we were opening our doors.  Our flimsy tents helped a little, but when rain is coming down sideways things are bound to get wet.  It didn’t seem to discourage any of the shoppers, but some of the help (nnK in particular) were a little freaked out.

We’ve always had lots of great vintage stuff in our inventory.

2009 sale 1

vintage silver

super lectric fan

2014 Fall Carriage House Sale preview

And plenty of pretty china, although that doesn’t sell nearly as well anymore as it once did.

2013 summer sale 5

I ended up selling all of those pieces in a basket for some ridiculously low price.  I kind of wish I had kept a couple of those pretty tea cups now.

In addition to fun vintage pieces, both Sue and I also like to take cheap garage sale finds and add our own touches to them.

2012 sale 2

carriage house cutting board

Sue is also a very talented seamstress.  She made these pillow covers using an embroidered table runner (dresser scarf?)

pillows in a basket

Of course, I’ve always done furniture for the sale.

2013 summer sale 6

CH4 Summer 2014

And Sue does the occasional piece of furniture as well.

carriage house sues chairs

sue's settee 1

But sadly, historically furniture does not sell well (although Sue’s darling chairs did sell quickly). I generally end up having to put most of my furniture on craigslist after the sale is over.

We’ve always had a size-able garden section at our June sale.
CH5 Summer 2014

vintage sale

Both Sue and I are gardeners, and we often dig up and divide our own perennials before the sale.

CH11 Summer 2014

Last year we only had the June sale.  I found that after working a full time job, refurbishing vintage furniture and writing a blog, something has to give.  And after that June sale I was pretty burnt out.  I needed a break, so we decided not to have a fall sale last year.

Now this year, here it is the middle of April already and I don’t have any inventory accumulated for a June sale.  I have been focusing more on furniture rather than the small pieces that sell well at the Carriage House sale.  So, there will be no June sale.  We’re thinking about a fall sale though.  Maybe in the last half of September.  That gives us all summer to find and refurbish some amazing stuff.  My sister has agreed to be my garage sale wing man this summer and we’re already penciling in the neighborhood sales that we don’t want to miss.

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane for throwback thursday.  In case you are wondering, yes, every single photo used in this post is from one of our previous sales and shows items that we did indeed sell (including that vintage green scale!)

thank you

18 thoughts on “throwback thursday no. 3

  1. We love, love, love coming to your carriage house sales! For us it’s always a fun event with my girlfriends.
    I have so many special treasures, and they all remind me of you!
    Look forward to seeing you in the fall!


  2. What a sweet peek down the Q Memory Lane! A September sale is a treat to look forward to…crisp air, blue skies, beautiful sunshine….Can’t wait!


  3. There are so many lovely treasures here Linda. I just adore those plates with words on them. I can see a ton of inspiration and elbow grease goes into everything the two of you do. And by the way your lead off photo is a real attention grabber just love the pale aqua chair all staged against the red carriage house. Well done!


    1. Thanks Victoria! That photo was one I used for the sale ad (and by ad I really mean the email we send out to those on our mailing list). That chair was a little cutie. Looking back, I can see that I have certainly done my fair share of little chairs. Maybe that should be the focus of another throwback thursday 😉


  4. Thank you for your past sale photos and information on what’s to look forward to. I also have been having sales with found furniture for the last 3 years and some look forward to it. I’m semi-retired so i have the time and most of all enjoy and look forward to the projects and sale. I’m still using acrylic paint but have found some chalk paint I can afford (finally). I’m still learning and thanks to you for all your tips. DD

    On Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 7:01 AM, q is for quandie. wrote:

    > Quandie posted: “There are a few of you locals out there who have been > coming to my occasional sales for years. My friend Sue and I started > hosting sales a long time ago. Funny enough, neither of us really > remembers how long we’ve been doing them. I know it’s been more” >


    1. That sounds like the perfect combination to me; being semi-retired and hosting vintage sales! There are lots of chalk paints out there these days, even Home Depot carries a chalk paint now.


  5. I love your sales and look forward to them. I have purchased a great many things. The dresser yesterday. Funny story – when we got to my apartment building we got it stuck in the doorway. My sister says “Where are the strong men when you need them” Would you believe a very strong man pulled up and asked if we need help! He helped get it all the way to the 6th floor!. God sent an Angel!


    1. That’s funny, because after you left with the dresser my husband said “I hope they can get that unloaded!” He was thinking maybe he should have offered to follow you home and help unload it. And I said “I bet there will be some strong men nearby that they can call on.” Sure enough, there was! I’m glad you got it home safely!


  6. Beautiful things, Linda. I love Sue’s buffet and matching suitcase! Of course all of your little details and staging are always so enjoyable. Wishing you good weather and great sales. Wish I lived closer.


  7. Beautiful work as always ! I will be having my first vintage flea this coming June and I would like to know what you can you recommend me to have a more successful flea. The flea will be at a beautiful little town in the suburbs. Some of the things I have are refurbished vintage furniture, small vintage decorations, some up cycle pieces that my husband has made.



    1. How fun! Let’s see, my biggest piece of advice is to plan plenty of downtime for right after your event so that you can recover 😉 I think it would take a small book to share other general recommendations about having a vintage sale, maybe I need to put together an entire blog post just about that.


  8. So after Christmas, my favorite days on the calendar are, in this order: The Carriage House Sale, my birthday, the MN State Fair. From waiting behind the pink ribbon to enter, chattering excitedly with other box-toting regulars as we watch the minutes till 5pm tick by, to the frenzied mad dash toward the loveliness down the driveway, to the strategy, to the piles so kindly guarded by Sue on the lawn, to the aura of wine and calm emanating from the house juxtaposed against the kids-in-a-candy-store frenzy outside, to the friendly faces at checkout as Linda snips the tags on your treasures and you wonder whether you should take yet another walkthrough to make sure you didn’t miss a treasure (and hey, you still have $5 in your pocket, which can go much farther here than anywhere else), to the blissed-out haze on the walk back to the car… Minute-for-minute, it’s the most densely-packed-with-glee hour of my entire year. And walking around my house, I can fondly point out so much I’ve purchased at your sale – my house is seriously 30% Target, 20% Cub, 10% Marshall’s and 40% Carriage House Sale. I can’t wait to move to our next house for two reasons: more space for the kiddo — and more space to adorn with wild abandon from your sale. No joke! thanks for giving us something to look forward to in the fall!


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