the old switcheroo.

In the past I have always gone to the ECCO neighborhood sale the first weekend in June.  I’m not going to lie, I mainly go for the tacos.  There is a family in that neighborhood that makes authentic tacos and sells them out of their garage during the sale.  But early this past Saturday when I printed out their map just before heading out I discovered that ECCO had only 21 houses participating this year.  I’m not sure what happened with that, but when you’re used to sales with 80+ participants, 21 is a small number.

So I did a little googling and discovered that the Kenny/Armitage neighborhood had moved its sale from Memorial Day weekend to this past weekend instead.  I always wondered why they chose a holiday weekend in the past.  It can’t have been good timing for many.  It was obvious that more households were participating as a result.  There were 74 homes on their list.

So I pulled a last minute switcheroo.  Instead of ECCO, my sister and I headed to Kenny/Armitage.

The weather forecast was fairly dire.  The chance of rain starting by 9 a.m. was 80%, 100% chance of rain by noon.  So we went prepared with hats and rain jackets, but we actually stayed fairly dry until about 11 a.m.  We had a few things in the car by then but we were hardly full up.  Still we thought about packing it in at that point.  But then we saw just one more sign, and then just one more, and, well, you get the picture.  A little rain never hurt anyone, although it does make life difficult for those having a ‘yard sale’ rather than a ‘garage sale’.  Besides, I feel really sympathetic for those people who have gone to all the work of having a sale only to have it rain on their parade.

Some of our best bargains of the day were found after the rain started.  One plus to a rainy garage sale day is that it keeps the crowds down.  There were very few shoppers out and about in Kenny/Armitage.

Our very first purchases in the morning were hostas.

Probably not terribly exciting for you guys to see, but these were probably one of the best bargains of the day.  The small ones were $1 and the larger ones were $2.  The guy selling them had a gorgeously landscaped garden full of a variety of hostas.  He was just dividing off some of them to control their size.  I bought three, but my sister bought six!  These weren’t your run of the mill boring hostas either.  One of mine is a Sunpower, and my sister got a couple Guacamole’s.  I’m a big fan of ‘garage sale gardening‘, why pay $20 for a hosta when you can get it for $2?

It was a sort of garden-y themed day.  I also found this fab garden pedestal for $15 …

By the way, that is my own Guacamole hosta there on the right, and June on the left.

Another garden item I purchased was this clay pot brush.

I never knew they made such a thing, but it has a really stiff bristle that is designed to brush the dried dirt out of your clay pots.  How fab!  It was just $2.

I also purchased this vintage enamelware pitcher for $2.  You don’t normally see them with a flower design on them.

I thought this one would make a great vase for my peonies, which are just starting to open.

However, as is sometimes the case with vintage pieces like this, this one was not watertight.  So I thought I’d share my trick for dealing with that.  Just use a jar that fits inside to hold the water and the flowers.

I’ve learned the hard way to always test vintage containers for their water tightness before I fill them with flowers and place them on my table!

The last garden-ish find of the day was a box full of glass cloches.

OK, a couple of them look more like cake stand domes rather than cloches, but potato-potahto.

I love using these to bring more interest to a vignette.  Everything seems slightly more important when it’s under a glass cloche.

Even just a simple photograph.

You may have noticed that I used the largest one while staging the Bunker Hill Blue buffet that I shared on Monday.

A couple of you left comments about my luck in finding a mannequin at the Roseville sales last week, but you’ll never guess what.  I found a genuine dress form this time!

She’s wearing a rather unattractive and slightly holey grey jersey right now, but once I get that off you won’t even recognize her.  I’m saving that transformation for another post.

The guy I bought her from said he found her in the attic of his house.  Every time he went up to the attic to look for something he was freaked out by seeing a headless woman out of the corner of his eye, so he had to get rid of her.

As for the desk, it was such a good bargain that I couldn’t possibly not buy it.

It’s going to need just a little help from my handyman Ken in the form of some glue and clamps.  But aren’t those knobs kind of fantastic?

I’ve reserved ‘find of the day’ status for this amazing vintage portable typewriter.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

It’s quite small and even fits on the Colliers’ Atlas that I purchased last week.

The gal who sold it to me said that her grandmother used to type all of her letters on this typewriter!

All in all, my sister and I had a great time at the Kenny/Armitage sales despite the rain, although we did miss those tacos!


33 thoughts on “the old switcheroo.

  1. Dang Linda another mannequin I’m officially jealous. Got to start seriously pursuing one of those. Look forward to that transformation.
    I like your pot brush too. I didn’t realize there was such a tool either.
    I never met a cloche I didn’t want either. Nice haul even if you did have to brave the rain for it. I


    1. I did find an affordable dress form one other time at a garage sale, but usually they are priced way outside my budget. This one was $40, which is high in garage sale dollars … but in a shop it would be much higher. I’m having fun revamping it and can’t wait to share that with you guys!


    2. Victoria, I have a mannequin almost exactly like the one in the photo. My mom purchased it back in the late 1950’s or very early ‘60’s. I’m selling it for $48 if you are interested…I live about 18 miles from Stillwater. Ruth


      1. Victoria lives way down in South Carolina, so that may be a bit of a road trip for her. But if any of my other readers are interested in a dress form I’ll be happy to pass on your email address (readers: just leave me a comment if interested).


    1. We do have a pretty awesome garage sale culture here in Minnesota. A lot of these neighborhood sales have been taking place since the 1970’s.


  2. You have, once again, hit the yard sale bonanza. Aarrrghh… I am body form envious. Guess I need to step up my yard sale game. Most of what I see are cheap vases, mis-matched glasses and baby stuff. The glass cloches, the typewriter, the desk, the concrete stand – such vintage goodness! Was the pot scrubber brush labeled or did you see it and just know? Looks like something Smith & Hawken would sell. Did you miss the tacos?


    1. Trust me when I say that I pass up A LOT of mis-matched glasses, baby stuff and old exercise equipment! We utilize what I like to call the ‘db’ (drive by) when a sale looks like it has a lot of plastic toys and kid stuff from the street we just keep on driving. Of course, you never know what sort of treasures might be buried behind those piles of Fischer Price plastics, but I take my chances on that and move on.


    2. As for the pot scrubber, it was not labeled but it did come in a little pot so that was a clue (I tossed the pot because it was kind of ugly). I still wasn’t sure what it was intended for so I asked the proprietor at the sale and she confirmed it. It really does work well, I’m sure I’ll get a ton of use out of it.


  3. I am jealous for all of the things that you have been picking up at the sales that you have been going to. What great finds! Love cloches and cement garden things. What a great idea to sell hosta. I have so many that need to be divided. I will have to think about that. I have a pot scrubber. I have had it for years and it works great. 😊


    1. Yes, plant sales are definitely a thing around here and I love getting plants that way. They usually take hold better than nursery raised plants. Plus, if something is growing well enough for someone to divide, you know it’s going to be a plant that will grow well in our climate. Save up the cheap plastic pots that you buy annuals in, then divide your hostas, pot them up and have a quick sale!


  4. Wow, wish I was in your garage sale back pocket! I just finished the same style desk in a soft pink with dark stained top and handles.


  5. I have a similar desk and it’s just waiting for me to paint it…sooooo…I think I’ll wait even longer to see what you do with yours! 😉


    1. Or you could follow Laura’s tip and go with the soft pink and dark stain, which sounds very pretty. I’m currently thinking possibly green for mine.


  6. Oh what finds! The purchases that especially catch my fancy are the garden pedestal and the cloches. Rain certainly keeps the prices lower ( that old supply and demand economic theory). Combined with plants and dress form it was a great haul!


    1. I absolutely love that garden pedestal. I ended up putting it in the garden in a spot that I see as I pull in the driveway. So every day when I get home from work I am greeted by the sight of it. Love it!


  7. Oh boy, you hit the jackpot! I bought a dress form years ago and someone took an old vintage tablecloth that was made of a medium weight lace and glued it over the gray body of it. So now it is covered in lace. The lace is thick like a doily is made from.
    Just love it!


  8. Sounds like a fun day in the rain. You sure got lots of treasures! I didn’t know there were different types of hosta…I have a “regular” size and one group of “giant” sized. And that’s the extent of my gardening knowledge. Lol


    1. LOL … well, there are literally thousands of varieties of hostas. You need to revisit my hosta blog post. Hostas should be right up your alley Terri, they require very little maintenance. I like to remove the flowers because they tend to look messy, but otherwise I do nothing for them.


  9. I look forward every day to you blog! Such interesting/wonderful true treasures! I do wish we had those garage sale bonanzas here! Thanks again for all your inspiration and adventures!
    Smiles, Alice


  10. Darn, Linda!! I’m super jealous about the mannequin dress form. I’m on the hunt for one. I need it for my son’s accessories sales rep tradeshows! I got him one a couple of summers ago at a sale for $15. You don’t see those too often, lucky you.


  11. John says those old manual typewriters are handy for filling out forms that aren’t available online if you have to fill out a form with multiple carbons, he mentioned businesses that might need one or two w-2s. With electric typewriters you can’t hit the key extra hard hard to impress the carbon.


  12. I love old dress forms and I love re-doing them… I have always covered them with fabric. I have 3, Alice, Chantal and Claire. I would share pictures of them but don’t see how to do that here. Can’t wait to see your results!


  13. Quandie, I’ve been gone for a few weeks due to a death in the family and a terrible diagnosis for my husband. Coming here and reading back through your blog has raised my spirits more than you will ever know. Just know that seeing your makeovers reminds me someday life will be normal again, and I thank you so much for that. R/sharon


    1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother-in-law and the diagnosis for your husband. It sounds like you are going through a tough time. It’s so kind of you to let me know that my blog has lifted your spirits. Honestly, it’s comments like your’s that encourage me to continue with this blogging thing even though I have yet to achieve fame or fortune, and likely never will 😉 But knowing that I’ve helped someone through a difficult moment really means much more to me than popularity or money, so thank you so much for that! Hang in there!


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