garage sale regret.

Do any of you suffer from garage sale regret?

You get home from a day of garage saling and suddenly realize that the painted wooden chicken feeder you passed up on would have been awesome hung up somewhere in the garden and filled with plants.  It was only $6, why didn’t you buy it??

Or you wonder why in the world you refused that 3rd vintage sled.  Sure, it was priced higher than the other two that you did grab, but still …

And you really should have snatched up all of the Rocket Ligularia that were $1 each, why did you only take two (because it felt greedy to take them all?!).

For me, it’s inevitable that after a day spent at a fabulous neighborhood sale, I will realize there were things I should have grabbed but didn’t.

And on the opposite side of that coin, sometimes I regret the things that I did buy.  Like this toy cash register.

I mainly bought it because I thought the little note attached, ‘I bet your grandpa can fix it!’, was clever.

Sure, it’s adorable.  But red isn’t my color, so I don’t have anywhere to display it myself.  So I added a little transfer scrap to it and I’ll bring it in to the shop and hope someone else will give it a good home.

Garage sale regret is simply part of the deal, right?  That’s the difference between garage sales and shopping retail.  If you don’t grab something right away, it will likely be gone five minutes later.  And you also can’t go back and return something if you decide you shouldn’t have purchased it.

These items were all from the Linden Hills neighborhood sale last Saturday.  Linden Hills is such a pretty neighborhood, lots of old craftsman style bungalows and tudor style cottages.  And it feels as though nearly every house has a fabulous garden!  It’s really just a pleasure to drive around (especially when your sister is doing all of the driving, thanks again for that sis!).  It’s a bonus to also bring home some fabulous finds.

In addition to the two sleds, the plants and the toy cash register above, I also brought home a few more goodies like two vintage totes.

The green one is wood, the pink one is metal.  I wonder if it was originally red and had faded to that pink shade.  Or was it always pink?  A mechanic’s tool tote in pink?  What do you think?

I also purchased these bits of wrought iron salvage …

These are really fun to add to a planter in the garden.

I bought this headboard for $5.

It’s fairly non-descript, but I have a plan for turning it into a sign.  The price was right, so I grabbed it.

It’s basically an automatic reaction to pick up any ironstone pieces that I find, apparently even chamber pots.

This one is pretty filled with some lobelia though.

I don’t believe this casserole is actually ironstone, but it would still be lovely displayed with ironstone pieces.

I picked up this teapot as a gift for my m-i-l.

I think she’s going to love it.

I googled it and found a little more info about it online (here), and prices ranging from $67 on Mercari to $339.95 on replacements.com (yikes!).  I paid $3!  But, shhh, don’t tell my m-i-l it was only $3.

I picked up a pair of watering cans at Linden Hills.  Usually I’m thrilled to find just one watering can, so it was pretty exciting to find two.

This first one is pretty dinged up, has a broken plastic sleeve on the top handle and no rose on the spout.

In case you aren’t familiar, the ‘rose’ is the piece that fits on the end of the spout and allows you to sprinkle the water.

Vintage/antique watering cans are often missing their rose.  They tend to be more valuable with a rose, than without.  My personal theory is that it’s quicker to water a potted plant without the rose.  Also, the rose tends to get clogged up by debris.  So people often removed them, and then they were lost.

Funny enough though, my friend/picker Sue had recently found a rose that she gave to me.

This rose from Sue just happens to fit on this can.

So I added the rose, pounded out the dents a bit, removed the broken plastic sleeve on the handle and added a transfer.

This one will be heading into the shop as well.

And this brings me to my find of the day.

You’re probably wondering, what makes this watering can so special that it deserves find of the day status?  Well … as you know, I have a bit of a non-collection of watering cans.

And the truth of the matter is, most of them don’t actually hold water!  I’d say 99% of the time these old watering cans have rusted through in spots on the bottom and they are leaky.  So while they are great as décor, they don’t actually function.

As a result, I still use an ugly plastic watering can from IKEA when I apply water soluble fertilizer to my potted flowers.

But this watering can does hold water!  It also has a nice big spout (without a rose).  I’m looking forward to using it this year to feed my flowers.

So how about you?  Do you have any garage sale regrets that you still think about?  And what would you have chosen as the find of the day?  Leave a comment and let me know.

24 thoughts on “garage sale regret.

  1. You are not alone having regets from either buying or leaving items. What makes my addiction to garage sales even worse is that I am the ultimate procrastinator. “I could…wouldn’t this be nice if…blah, blah, etc.” My road to Hell is paved, has sign posts, curbing, and street lights. Sigh…So my friend, we all have regrets and if you procrastinate, as I do, you have reminders constantly. Today, a young woman is coming today to hopefully help me make some sense of this chaos and hopefully, when there isn’t as much chaos, I might even be able to accomplish some of my goals. Your posts continue to inspire me!

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    1. Your comment made me chuckle Susan. I can just picture that road 😉 On the bright sound, it sounds like you’re getting some much needed help!

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      1. So glad I have given you a laugh, your blog is my absolute favorite, must read posting. Thanks for all the inspiration, I don’t think you have ever, ever disappointed with your creative creations.

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  2. Your previous posts about this sale inspired me, albeit last minute, to finally attend for the first time. It was delightful; perfectly cool and sunny weather, apple trees and lilacs in full bloom – what a pretty neighborhood! Finding a few treasures was the bonus!

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  3. love seeing your treasures! and yes regrets happen on both sides! mostly i decline items because i have no more room, but later i do reminisce about those left behind!!

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  4. I usually have more garage sale envy than regret, I rarely come across the great finds I see my sister (or you) find. I never knew the sprinkle attachment was called a rose. Watering cans are a weakness for me also, and you are right, most leak. Mine came from my parents place and some bottom seams are split, they probably had water freeze in them.
    It is great when you research a buy and find that it has true “value”, that makes the find even better. For that reason, I think, the pitcher for your m-i-l is the find of the day.

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  5. Love all of your ideas! Thanks for sharing. I’m working on a collection of watering cans now and it goes well with our rain barrel. The barrel is part of our city eco program. Question: any ideas as to a design I could put on the barrel? Also, I just painted my old ice cream freezer bucket and could use transfer ideas for that. It is now black and goes with my red brick/ white trim house. I am one of those people who wish I had you nearby because I have a huge front porch that wraps around. Do wish your shop was closer, but our downtown town area has some good spots. If you ever make it to Texas give a shout! We are in McKinney. Again, thank you for sharing! Love those garage sales!

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    1. Hmmm. I like the gold transfers over black. You could potentially use the gold Flower Collector transfer. Not knowing the sizes of your items, it’s a little hard for me to come up with just the right thing 😉

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  6. Hi
    I have that cash register from my childhood but mine is much more beat up from playing store. When I found it in my mom’s basement, I opened the drawer and discovered it was filled with paper coupons for food item(remember those?) and paper money and the silvery opaque plant seed pod holder from the silver dollar plant. We were taking the silver dollar name literally and using it as money I guess.

    Funny thing is I saw a beautiful one with no dents in an antique store this weekend so it must be the season. I think it was priced at $25.

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  7. Great post. My favorite are the watering cans. FYI myhusband used a product on the interior of my watering can that is spray on rubber. You can purchase it at Home Depot and it comes in either black or white. He did it about 3 years ago and it no longer leaks.

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  8. I have an “almost” regret from last Friday – saw an old regular clock for $25 BUT the top glass was broken, was missing a piece of trim on the top, clock wasn’t complete, but I stood there parting it out in my head!! Clock face cool, could make the oak cabinet into something, etc. etc. then realized I already have way too many projects and walked away. I did think about it (still am). Oh well! Too many projects and not enough time. I love the little cash register! I would have bought it as well!

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    1. Oh my gosh Sue, I have done the exact same thing. Only in my case the clock came home with me. It’s been hanging out in the carriage house ever since, I still haven’t done anything with it! I think you may have made the right call on that one.

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  9. I’ve had a few regrets…but the best I think was when we donated some big solid baskets to the thrift store then had second thoughts…so we went back to the store the next day and bought them back…

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    1. That is so funny, sounds like something I would do. I had a tag sale years ago and still regret the items I sold. My late husband was pushing me to sell some of my collections and I did. Blue canning jars, a wooden Moxie box with bottles (eck!!) and a sweet green child’s rocker with acorn finials. I should have threatened to sell him instead!

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