the festival of garage sales.

The Bryn Mawr neighborhood garage sale in Minneapolis has traditionally been the one that kicks off the summer garage sale season for me.  I can’t even remember when I first started going to this sale, but I’ve been going to it for a long time.

Then, along came COVID in 2020 and of course Bryn Mawr was canceled.  I was hoping it would be back in 2021, but it wasn’t.  But this year, it was back!

This sale is officially called the ‘Festival of Garage Sales’ and with good reason.  It does feel like a festival.  Especially this year.  It was packed with party-goers, um, I mean garage salers.

It’s not just the crowds that make it feel like a festival.  It’s also the food truck, and the police officer directing traffic, and the people having a tailgate party with snacks and drinks, and definitely the guy serving margaritas.

I really typically don’t come home after Bryn Mawr with a ton of finds, but it’s just so much fun to go to this sale.  Really, it’s the people that make it so fantastic.  There was the guy who was drinking a glass of wine at 10 a.m. because he asked his wife to bring him a drink expecting water, but she brought him wine.  Why not?

And then there were the ladies who were explaining what a peach emoji represents, which drew us into an entire conversation about the not-so-secret meanings all of the various fruit and veg emojis.

My sister and I also ended up in a 15 minute discussion of the pros and cons of the various Disney World resorts with the guy wearing a Disney World t-shirt who admired the vintage Mickey t-shirt my sister was wearing (FYI fellow Disney fans, he swears that the Be Our Guest restaurant is well worth the money despite what everyone says online).

I purchased a vintage American flag on a pole from a guy for $5 and as I was handing over my money he explained that he had a hard time pricing it because how to you put a price on patriotism?  Well, apparently it’s worth about 5 bucks these days.  He told me not to use it as a weapon and I promised that storming the capitol wasn’t really my style.

All joking aside, I am calling this my ‘find of the day’.  Not because I’m all that into flying the American flag (and in fact will be selling this one), but simply because it has this beautiful vintage quality.  The soft cotton fabric is gently faded, but not torn or tattered.  And then there is also the fact that my friend Sue had found some vintage metal flag pole brackets for me recently, so now I have the vintage flag to go with one of them.

We don’t normally get to see inside any of the houses during the Festival of Garage Sales, but this year one house was having an estate sale and everything inside was for sale.

I just had to snap a few photos of the attic because it was like taking a step back in time.

It was tiny, but it was filled with vintage trunks.

You just have to wonder how long these trunks had been stored up there, untouched.

As well as what kinds of voyages they’d been on.

In addition to Bryn Mawr (which is a Saturday only sale), I also spent some time at a couple of other local neighborhood sales on Thursday and Friday.  Now that I’m retired I can scoop up some of the bargains I always missed out on as a working stiff.

Here are the majority of my finds from the weekend.

Runner up for find of the day is this adorable Scottie dog boot scraper.

The price was right on this set of 4 canisters …

and I recently purchased another set of the I.O.D. Traditional Pots transfers so I’d been looking for more white ceramic items for the blue ones.

I made quick work of washing these up and adding the transfers.

I have to admit I mainly was drawn to this Watkins Household Hints book because of the color.

I also have this idea of putting together a grouping of stuff that will include this book, but I’m still working on it.

I think I mentioned last week that I’m grabbing vintage books in red and green for the Christmas season.  Well, red and navy works for 4th of July too.

I just have to share the book on the top of that pile especially.  This is one that my friend Sue found for me …

This was published in 1920, and FYI, it’s not at all valuable.  I see it for sale online for $10.  I just think the title is amusing, wouldn’t it make a great gift for a farmer?

I really don’t know why I was drawn to these fish shaped pâté molds.

The guy selling them said he used them as Christmas tree ornaments one year.

I found a tackle box that I’ll eventually paint …

and I purchased that black oval tin because apparently I have a weakness for oval tins.

That stack resides in my pantry, but there isn’t room for a 4th one to be added to the stack where it is.  So now what?  Clearly I’m going to have to re-arrange the pantry again.  Or maybe I’ll part with that striped one on the bottom.  I’m not sure.

By the way, I painted the pink one in the middle (here’s that post if you’re curious about the process).

If you’re wondering about the 3 canning jars filled with a brown liquid in my first photo, that’s syrup.

The Lakedon’s from Lakedon Family Syrup had a table set up at Bryn Mawr to sell their pure maple syrup.  They had three grades available and were kind enough to let us test taste all three to see the difference.  I hadn’t realized that there were specific grades of maple syrup, or that you could easily taste the difference.

Both my sister and I ended up purchasing three different grades; golden, amber and dark.  The Lakedon’s pointed out that the dark version has a stronger taste similar to molasses and is perfect added to baked beans.  Yum!  Can’t wait to try that.

I did bring home a few larger pieces; a vintage dry sink, a pair of small wooden benches, and a huge pot that I’m going to use patina paint on.  But it was raining yesterday so I decided against hauling them out of the carriage house to get photos.  I’m sure I’ll be sharing all of those projects with you as they get completed though.

So, I’m curious, what would you choose as the find of the day from my weekend haul?  Leave a comment and let me know!

22 thoughts on “the festival of garage sales.

  1. Hmmm. It’s a toss up between Scottie and the book but the book just cracks me up so that gets the vote! I can’t wait to see the stuff you didn’t show. It all looks amazing g and I know you’ll do some fab staging with the flag and books.


  2. I would choose the flag. I love Americana decor. It was a great find. Then I would choose the syrup. I never new about grading syrup. Sounds like a great garage sale and a fun time. 😊


  3. Hi Linda! Well from the pictures I would definitely say the flag is the find of the day, however that is only because the furniture and the pot were not shown. Thank you for sharing your finds.


  4. OMG, your taste and mine are so similar, we could NOT go to garage sales together. I always look forward to your posts and lust after your treasures. If I must choose, the Scottie dog wins my heart, he is wonderful. Slowly, the sales are beginning here in Maine, thank goodness, because Goodwill is just insane!


  5. Having those annual NEIGHBORHOOD garage sales sounds so nice! I’d love to live around that kind of tradition! I can totally picture that day you guys had 🙂 Not having seen the other stuff that you brought home, I’d have to say that the Scottie is provisionally my favorite…..I’m wondering if you’ll Quandify it or leave it “as is”? And, your non-working-stiff status is really paying off for us subscribers!


  6. Bryn mawr used to be fabulous for years but not so much now. After selling their wares all of these years, they don’t have much left! I used to get a van full of treasures! I did find a few pieces of furniture though.


  7. Well, I’m behind the times, so I guess I need to figure out what the fruit and veggie emojis mean!! No clue!


  8. The scottie dog wins for me! Love seeing your selection of treasures and looking forward to seeing how you put the Quandie touch on them! Thanks for sharing your adventure.


  9. I love the maple syrup. I too just recently discovered there were different grades of maple syrup. I am now hooked on Finding Home Maple Syrup. I also loved the oval tin. Can’t wait to see your furniture finds.


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