prospecting for gold.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but the weekend before last was a total bust for garage sale finds.  My sister and I went to the Nokomis neighborhood sales.  Usually Nokomis is fabulous for us.  Not only have I found amazing things there, like this haul of vintage cameras from 2015 …

But Nokomis is also the neighborhood where our parents grew up, so it has some sentimental appeal.

This year it was a total bust though.  I came home with very little.  Most of the sales were really junky.  I’m always tempted to hand out flyers for a trash hauling service when the sales are that bad.

After that experience I was a little reluctant to head out again this past Saturday, especially when the forecast called for rain.  Plus the only neighborhood sale I could find was Prospect Park and there were only 26 sales (not the 80+ of my usual neighborhood sales).

However, this was the last weekend of sales before the July hiatus.  Neighborhood sales won’t pick up again until mid-August.  So I thought we should just go for it.  As an added bonus, not only was Prospect Park having their neighborhood garage sale but they combined it with a free garden tour (there was also a home tour, but you had to buy a ticket of some kind so we skipped that part).

Basically not only did we get to dig through people’s cast off items looking for treasures, but we also had free reign to snoop around in their gardens too.

I can’t even think of a better way to spend the morning, can you?

Especially when the neighborhood in question looks like this.

And as it turned out, it never did rain.  Instead it was sunny and the perfect temperature (around 70).

Our strategy was to hit all of the sales first, and then take the garden tour.  That did have us retracing our route for some parts of the garden tour, but the early bird gets the worm at garage sales so we couldn’t be lingering in any gardens until after the sales.

We mostly filled up my sister’s SUV.  Unfortunately I only have one bad, blurry photo to share of everything we found.

I accidentally switched off the Auto Focus on my camera without realizing it.  Oops.

But you can sort of see that I found a pair of old motel chairs, a pretty little walnut washstand and some fun galvanized pieces.

I also purchased a trio old canning jars …

They didn’t actually have any lids, but I just happened to buy a set of 5 zinc Ball jar lids at the junky Nokomis sales the prior week.  It’s as if it was meant to be.

I don’t know much about old Ball jars, but I’m pretty sure these are quite old based on the shape and the quality of the glass.  I found an online article on how to date a Ball jar, but it only helped with one of my jars.

Apparently the block letters for “BALL” were only used from 1895 to 1896.

If there are any mason jar experts out there and you know anything about these jars, I’d love for you to leave a comment!

I also purchased this Perfection Clothes Drier.

If you aren’t familiar with what this is, you hang it on the wall as shown and then when you want to dry clothes, the ‘arms’ lift up horizontally to the floor and you can hang wet clothes on them.

I’m going to clean it up and then carry it around my house looking for the perfect spot to hang it.  If I can’t find one, then I’ll take it to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.

I also couldn’t resist a random pile of pretty plates.  What can I say?  It’s a sickness.

I already have a stack of pretty plates that I don’t know what to do with out in the photo cottage.  Last year I sold quite a few plates with words on them at Reclaiming Beautiful, but this year they aren’t selling at all.  They look adorable tucked into a planter or window box, see …

This will be the 4th season that I’ve had this one in my copper boiler planter and it is holding up perfectly.

I may have to try coming up with some sort of marketing idea so people realize that these plates aren’t meant to display in a cabinet, but rather to stuff into a planter or hang outside in the garden.

I’ve already added words to one of them using Prima Marketing’s Words to Live By transfer set …

But I may just have to keep the platter with the simple blue edge.

Isn’t it pretty paired with some ironstone?

You may have noticed that oval framed photo on the chair in the first blurry photo of my haul from Prospect Park.  I’m generally not a huge fan of those typical old portraits that are framed like this, but take a closer look at this one.

Isn’t that awesome?  I kinda want to live there, don’t you?

I’m going to clean it up and possibly paint the frame and then we’ll see what happens with this one.  Will I find a spot for it, or will I have to let it go?

And more importantly, will I manage to avoid breaking that convex glass in the process?

After we filled up the SUV, we checked out the gardens and continued to admire this lovely neighborhood.

I also noticed that the map showed a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the neighborhood so we decided to check that out before heading home.

The Willey House was built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1934.  It’s a privately owned home, and unfortunately wasn’t participating in the garden tour so we couldn’t go snooping around like we wanted to.  It was still interesting to see just this much of it though and to read about it online.

My sister and I definitely had a great time prospecting for gold in Prospect Park.  We may not have found any actual gold, but we certainly came home with some fab finds.  This neighborhood is definitely going back on the list for next year!

27 thoughts on “prospecting for gold.

  1. It was fun to pair up the garage sales with the garden tours. I love just looking at all the houses too every weekend.


  2. Linda, I’m your Mason jar expert. I can date and value your jars if you email individual pics. If you want to learn more about jars you need the The Redbook of Fruit Jars. Version 12. There are actually over 5000 jars listed. I have a jar room with over 400 displayed.!


  3. Linda, if I found zinc jar lids at a garage sale I’d have to say it was a good day! But this neighborhood sale was amazing! Love your finds. The laundry hanger would be great in one of the bedrooms to display linens or vintage clothing. Or in a bathroom to put linen hand towels. One of my bucket list to find items. The neighborhood is beautiful and 70 degrees sounds like heaven. It’s a trade off for snow in May, isn’t it?


    1. I tell my mom that all the time (she lives in Las Vegas). We may have had a harsh winter, but the weather this summer has been just about perfect so far (if, like me, you like it a bit cooler).


  4. Love those jars! The dryer is so neat, hope you find a spot for it. I think if you add some snark to your plates they may sell better. Like Grow, dammit 😉 Just stopped in RB last week. I can spot the Q merch a mile away! I have had limited luck with the sales this year!


    1. Love all the houses you have pictured. Nice to see all the different styles. I grew up in Cottage Grove in a Thompson Grove home, and there was maybe 6 different styles of homes in a 350 plus home suburb…everything looked the same. Nice to see all the different styles and colors. Beautiful weather too!


  5. What a great turn (no rain) for you and sister. You mentioned old plates..yes they are a sickness,but You don’t need medication or a hospital stay!!Its a win win till you run out of space. I have a passion for old China,fast running out of space,as I abhor clutter,I am in a quandary,lol!!Enjoy your adventures.


    1. I’m also not a fan of clutter, and I try to keep my non-collections reined in a bit. But darn some of those plates are just so pretty and usually less than a dollar at garage sales!


  6. This is why I love this blog! So much variety and it’s all interesting. Loved seeing the neighborhoods and gardens !


  7. I love it all but especially the oval convex farm picture. How they must have loved their farm to have done that! I’ve taken apart one before and put it back together and they are pretty sturdy, so you should have no trouble cleaning it. Great haul!!


    1. I’ve taken the framed photo apart and so far, so good. And my gosh was it filthy! You should have seen the dirt coming off both the glass and the frame. Even the photo inside had a thick layer of dust on it. Yuck! I have to keep reminding myself to be especially careful with that piece of glass though, I tend to rush things and get careless sometimes 🙂


  8. Nice haul! The weather couldn’t have been better. Sounds like a great time, garage sales, garden tour’s , and I would have to then go out to lunch! I have had one of the clothes drying racks in my garage for years. I don’t have room in my laundry room, but one of your readers idea of hanging old vintage clothing on it gave me an idea. I have old white bloomers, christening gowns, petticoats, etc in a bathroom, I might be able and use it there! There are some beautiful homes in your area!


  9. Wish I could put into words how much you blogging inspires me! You take the ordinary and make it extrodinary. Even if I don’t have the talent to make any of your pieces, your blog is just beautiful!! Love finding you on my mailbox. Please don’t ever think of not sharing your beautiful mind.


  10. Well Miss Quandie, here I am in Shanghai and flying out tonight for home. In answer to your question: NO! I’d rather have bamboo shoved under my fingernails than be on a TOUR! We just booked our own flights and hotels and then took it from there. Oh and we booked a couple of trains from home, too. Super duper easy! The average Chinese “man on the street” speaks no English but the front desk and concierges at our hotels did. And Google translate can get you around for cabs and such. We are pretty seasoned travelers but definitely have to knuckle under when it comes eating here! There’s tons of food, street after street of eateries, mostly beautifully presented…….but literally REVOLTING to the Western mind and body! Flattened and grilled toads, whole stewed frog in noodle bowls, grilled chicken feet, grilled whole duck heads, fried chicken hearts on a stick, huge squased snails on a stick, pigs’ eyes……I could go on……and hardly ANYONE has a dog which makes you wonder! So with real humility and gratitude we’d hit the Pizza Hut……We chose destinations where their was either something to see or for its reputed beauty. Am I going on too long here? Sorry Miss Quandie!


    1. No too long at all. I am fascinated, and also incredibly impressed by your adventuresome spirit. I love to travel, but I am nowhere near as brave as you are! And I’d definitely have a problem with those food choices 😉 Do you see locals actually eating those foods? Yikes! Please feel free to go on as long as you like in your comments, I’d love to hear more about the places you visited!


  11. Sounds like a great day. Good finds and garden tours. I love your plates. I made some awhile ago after seeing yours and they look great in my garden. You come up with the best ideas!! 😊


  12. adirondackgirl@heart has a file / booklet / information on old green glass jars. Diana’s blog is a treasure trove of information. Check oot her site. Hope this information helps.


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