old bessie.

Even though today’s projects are really basic, I still wanted to share them with you guys.

Let’s start with a quick photo of a pile of some of the smaller items I found at last weekend’s sales …

I haven’t gotten to everything in this photo quite yet.  The sock stretcher that is underneath everything will be tucked away until the holiday season (in the meantime, check out these sock stretchers I upgraded last year).

I’m still on the fence about the little child’s pull toy with the yellow ducks on it.  I’m tempted to paint it sort of like I did with the elephant pull toy last year.  I’m just not fond of those original colors.  They seem a bit garish, what do you think?

The wooden recipe box is the perfect size to hold my recipe card scrapbook project unlike the last one that I found that was too small, so that will get a custom makeover especially themed for those cards.

The rolling pin wasn’t anything special, I just thought it would be fun to give it some green handles.  I painted them with Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.

Oh, the bucket above is another garage sale find from last weekend that I simply dressed up with another Classic Vintage Label transfer.

I did makeover the remaining two items though, starting with the wooden cow.

Sometimes you guys must really wonder what in the world I’m thinking.  I mean, seriously, why would I grab this old thing?  At some point someone must have thought this cow should have blue eyes because they blobbed a bit of blue paint on both sides of her face.

Honestly, I don’t know what it was, but something about old Bessie appealed to me.

After taking a closer look at her base, I realized that it screwed off so that made it easy to decide on a two tone paint job for her.  I started by painting the base with Dixie Belle’s Caviar, and then painted the cow with their Drop Cloth.  Once both were dry, I sanded them lightly to distress and then added a transfer from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels to the cow.

I finished everything off with a coat of clear wax and then just screwed the base back on.  That was it.

I think she’d be pretty cute on a kitchen counter, don’t you?

The shoe stretchers received a very similar makeover.  I simply painted them with Drop Cloth, sanded to distress and added some transfers.

How fun are those?  Once again I was torn about keeping one, or both of them.

But seriously you guys, I can’t keep everything!  I get a little twitchy if I have too much stuff in my house and I already have a buyer lined up for them so they didn’t stick around long.

Tomorrow is a holiday at the day job, so I’ll probably get up early and get some more painting done before the heat sets in.  We’re expecting lots of humidity and a high in the 90’s.  Yuck!  I’ll take 3′ of snow over heat and humidity any day.  I’ll also be posting one last daily post tomorrow featuring some restyled garage sale finds, so be sure to stay tuned.

there’s a hole in my bucket.

OK, so I promised a post every day this week, but I never said each post would be extensive, did I?

Today I’m sharing the quick and easy makeover of this pair of buckets.

You may remember that I picked these up at those back to back barn sales I found back at the end of May.  They have obviously been around the block a time or two.  I don’t think either one could actually hold water at this point.  But that makes them perfect to use as planters, or just as decor somewhere in your home.

I started with the smaller of the two buckets.  I rather liked the original patina on it, so I simply cleaned it well using Dawn dishwashing soap, and once dry I added a section from the Paris Valley transfer from re.design with prima.

It’s definitely a more subtle look, which I like personally, but fully realize would not be everyone’s cup of tea.

For bucket no. 2, I decided to paint it white first, thus allowing the transfer to take center stage.

Once again, I washed it well and this time I also sanded the outside lightly to give the surface more gripping power before painting.  Then I mixed up some of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Ironstone, which is her brightest white.  I ended up painting three coats on the bucket to get good, solid coverage.  Milk paint tends to be a little more sheer than other kinds of paint, so if you’re using the white or very pale shades it can take up to three coats.

Once fully dry, which happens pretty quickly with milk paint, I sanded the paint to distress the finish.  Then I added another section from the Paris Valley transfer to this bucket.

The milk paint worked perfectly.  It mostly adhered, but got chippy in just a couple of spots giving this an authentically aged look.  I find that milk paint will adhere to a dull metal finish (like galvanized metal), but it won’t adhere well to a shiny, smooth metal finish.

I filled the bucket with some Annabelle hydrangeas which have just started to bloom here in my Minnesota garden.

By the way, I added a coat of clear wax to each of the buckets after applying the transfers.

It’s so easy to add just a little something extra with some paint and a transfer!

Which one is your favorite?

la cage.

As promised, I’m back again today with another revamped garage sale find.

I purchased this metal cage at a sale being held by a woman who said she used to sell in a shop, but the shop has not been open due to COVID.  I wasn’t really clear on whether the shop has permanently gone out of business, or is just closed for the time being.

Either way, she had lots of goodies at her sale, including this cage, and they were priced to move.   So I was happy to help her out by buying quite a few things.

Initially I wasn’t planning to do anything more than clean this cage and re-sell it.  But once I washed it up I realized that the existing finish was rather tired looking, and not in a good, vintage, sort of way.

So once again I broke out the Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White.  It takes a while to spray paint something like this.  Mainly because you have to make sure that you’ve gotten to every angle.  So it’s a lot of spraying and waiting for it to dry, flipping it around, spray some more, waiting some more, etc.

In the end, I’m really glad I lightened this one up.  Going white gave me the opportunity to add some transfers to it.

The bee on the door is from re.design with prima’s Classic Vintage Labels, and the ‘1888.’ on the drawer is from IOD’s Classic Pots.

I used a vintage French invoice to line the drawer.

It’s from a packet of ephemera that my friend Terri gifted to me a while back.

You can see the paper even when the drawer is closed, so I definitely needed to use something pretty.

As pretty as this one turned out, I won’t be keeping it.  I already have a few birdcages, any more and I’m in danger of starting another non-collection.  So I’ll be bringing this one into the shop to sell.  If any of you locals are in need of la cage, be sure to head in and check it out.  Or if you want to call dibs on it in advance, let me know.

the button box.

It seems like there are wildly varying reactions to the COVID situation these days.  Some people are still wearing masks everywhere, avoiding social gatherings like the plague (can we use that expression anymore, or does it hit too close to home?), and continuing to work from home.  While others are having weddings with buffet style dinners (Mr. Q’s nephew, in Wisconsin) and heading to the casino for bingo night (my mom, in Nevada).

Here in Minnesota, I’m measuring the decreased vigilance against COVID based on the number of garage sales happening.  For most of May, garage sales were few and far between.  I happened upon a couple of barn sales out in the country at the end of May and that was about it.  Since then it seems like the number of sales each weekend has been growing steadily.

The weekend before last, my friend Sue texted me about a sale happening just a few blocks away from me.  I hopped in the car and headed over.  I ended up having to run back home and get the van to haul away my finds.

Then during this past week, the number of garage sale signs in my area seemed to explode.  I went to several sales on my lunch hour.  At one of them I had to once again go home and get the van and come back.  I came home with four sleds and several iron trellises.

I was especially excited to find the sleds.  I revamp them and they tend to sell really well as winter decor.  I usually find 3 or 4 at various sales each summer, but I did not have high hopes for this year.  So I was really tickled to find 4 of them in one go.

This past Saturday my sister and I drove around randomly looking for garage sale signs and I ended up coming home with lots of great vintage pieces.  Here’s just the big stuff.

I also brought home several boxes of smaller items that will get a quandie-style makeover.

I spent most of yesterday working on a few of them, so I thought it might be fun to share one per day for the rest of this week.  Yep, you read that right.  I’m planning to post every day until Friday.

I’m going to start with this adorable little button box.

I found it at an estate sale on my lunch break.  It was the only thing I purchased at that particular sale.

If you know me at all, you probably realize that the fact that it looks like a miniature dresser is what really appealed to me.  But I was also drawn to the pretty colors of all of the spools of thread.  Whoever owned this must have been fond of colorful things.

It was still full of old buttons and other sewing supplies.

I felt a little bit sad knowing that someone once used this button box when mending clothes or replacing a lost button.  Do people even do that anymore?

I also knew it would be adorable with a few little tweaks, and maybe someone will love it once again.

To begin with, I decided to spray paint it.  Painting around all of the little pegs for the spools of thread would have been putzy using a brush.  I had some Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White on hand, so I just used that.

Next I pulled out an IOD transfer that I recently ordered online.  Lest some of you get confused, IOD is no longer associated with re.design with prima.  I am a brand ambassador for re.design with prima, but that doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally check out the competition.  Back in the day when IOD and prima worked together, they had a series of transfers meant for clay pots.  I totally LOVED them and used them on pretty much anything that wasn’t nailed down.  So when I realized that IOD had re-issued them on their own in a collection called Classic Pots I simply had to have them.  They arrived in the mail on Saturday, and you’re going to see them on a couple of the things I share this week.

I cut apart one of the 14 different designs on the transfer to add to the front of the box.

I also added part of the transfer to the trim piece behind the spools …

Seriously, how cute is that?

The spools of thread that came with the box were the old fashioned wooden ones, not those darn new-fangled plastic ones.

I don’t know how much a spool of thread costs today, but I’m guessing it isn’t 15 cents.

And why does it say ‘fast to boiling’?  Why would you want your thread to boil quickly?  Oh … wait, I get it.  They mean the thread is color fast even if you boil it, don’t they?

I had the perfect paper for lining the drawers.

This paper is from October Afternoon’s Farmhouse collection and was called Button Box.  Sadly, they went out of business so you’ll have a hard time finding any of it.

The 12″ x 12″ sheet of paper has three rows of four different button package graphics.  One row of 3 fit perfectly in each drawer.


Now comes the hard part.  Do I keep this for myself, or do I sell it?

I’m planning to head in to Reclaiming Beautiful on Wednesday with a few things, so I guess I have until then to decide.

What would you do?

back to back barn sales.

I’m sure most of you have been hearing about the civil unrest that started in Minneapolis last week and has now spread to many other cities as well.  I’m not going to comment on that situation here on my blog because I like to keep this space positive.  Usually I’m a ‘glass half full’, ‘look on the bright side’ kind of person.  But I truly can’t find anything positive to say about what is happening in the Twin Cities.  The entire situation is simply heartbreaking.

After watching things go from bad to worse over several days, my sister, niece and I decided to literally put the city in the rear view mirror and head out into the country on Saturday.  It was a gorgeous, although a bit cool, sunny day.  We grabbed sweatshirts and hopped into my convertible VW bug and headed east.  We then drove north along the St. Croix River to Mr. Q’s home town, Marine on the St. Croix, where we stopped off to score some snacks at the general store.  Restaurants are still not open here in Minnesota, so we have to improvise.

Next up was The Garden Gate at Crabtree’s, a cute little shop with lots of garden ornaments.  From there we headed back west to the Gammelgården Museum in Scandia.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know how much I love open air museums.  I’ve visited them in Stockholm, Oslo, Aarhus and of course there was The Beamish, in County Durham, England.

The Gammelgården in Scandia doesn’t really hold a candle to any of those, but it’s still fun to check it out.  Unfortunately, although we escaped from rioting and looting, we couldn’t escape from COVID.

The giant Dala horses all wore masks, and none of the historic buildings were open.  We were able to wander around the grounds and admire them from the outside though.

The Präst Hus was built in 1868 and I find the construction fascinating.  Just look closely at the corner of the building …

It’s dovetailed, like a giant piece of furniture!

After leaving the Gammelgården, we stopped at another historic site, the Hay Lake School.

Once again, the site was not open due to COVID, but we did peek in the windows.

This one room schoolhouse was built in 1896 and was in use until 1963!

As we started to make our way back home, we spotted a sign for a barn sale.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that!  A barn sale!  Of course we had to stop.

We followed the signs, made our way down a dirt driveway, and behold …

A legit barn sale!

I found a few goodies to purchase including a set of 4 old cupboard doors that I’ll turn into signs …

Some old buckets that I’ll dress up with transfers to be used as planters …

And this fab old shoe form.

And then, as if that wasn’t good enough, the proprietors of this sale told us there was a 2nd barn sale just up the road.  Back to back barn sales!  It was our lucky day.

This 2nd sale was actually more of an occasional sale, although it was technically in a barn.  They were selling pieces that have already been given a face lift, lots of painted furniture and other goodies.  As the guy at the first barn sale put it, he was the K-mart of barn sales and they were the Macy’s of barn sales.

None the less, I found a few things to buy including a glass jar and an old coffee pot that will both get dressed up with transfers.

Also, I had been looking for something to perch my Lunch Menu planter on and this $10 stool looked just about right.

I know it won’t hold up well outdoors forever, but for $10 it’s OK if it just lasts a season or two.

Our escape to the country on Saturday provided a much needed getaway for all of us.  We were able to forget about the world’s problems for a while and just enjoy some peaceful scenery on a beautiful sunny day.

Capping it off with back to back barn sales was the cherry on the sundae.

While normally Debbie and Kris would have stayed at our place afterwards for a bonfire, or a game night, they had to get home before the 8 pm curfew that was in place over the weekend.  That being said, we are all safe and healthy and I hope you are all the same!

st. anthony park 2019.

This past Saturday my sister and I planned to go garage saling, but if it was as stormy as predicted we had a backup plan of heading to the mall instead.  Sure enough, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of thunder.  However by 7 a.m. the storms had passed leaving behind just overall dampness and overcast skies.

But I was especially motivated to get out there and garage sale because this was the last big neighborhood sale of the season (or at least that I know about, if you any of you locals know of more please leave a comment).  So clouds and occasional drizzle weren’t going to hold us back.  We threw rain jackets and hats in the car just in case and headed out.

This time we were in St. Paul’s St. Anthony Park neighborhood.  This neighborhood was developed in the late 19th century as a streetcar suburb (ie. you could commute to the city via streetcar) for the wealthier residents of Minneapolis/St. Paul (wikipedia).  It’s full of large 100 year old homes and each one is unique (unlike more modern developments).

Debbie and I decided this house was most definitely haunted …

This pretty yellow and white house had a charming farmhouse look with its wrap around porch.  Check out that chippy bench under the window.

And this next house had another of those gorgeous hydrangea trees.

I didn’t come home with any super amazing finds, but I really loved each thing that I threw into the car starting with this kid sized cupboard.

These tend to be a little more difficult to sell, but they are so fun to work on!  I’m hoping to come up with an adorable look for this one and I may use some vintage wallpaper to line the back of it.

Funny enough the tiny tea set came from a different sale a couple of blocks later.

As soon as I saw it I thought “that would be perfect for staging the little cupboard!”

And then, I found another little vintage tea set later in the day too.  It’s funny how often this happens, you find several of the same random items on any given day.

I’m planning to bring these sets to Reclaiming Beautiful for the Christmas season.  Wouldn’t they make a fabulous Christmas gift for some lucky little girl?

Yep, I’m already thinking Christmas.  I know, it’s way too early, but somehow it always manages to sneak up on me in the end, so this year I am planning ahead.

The foot board that is leaning in the back of my first photo is just that, a lone foot board.  The sellers said they are using the headboard but had no use for the foot board.  It was definitely priced to sell, they just wanted to quit storing it.

I may add a shelf to it or maybe turn it into a ‘sign’ of sorts.  I’ve done a few foot board makeovers in the past and you can see them here, here and here.

I found a couple of creamy white McCoy’s to add to my non-collection.  I have a little empty space on the shelves in my piano room so I need just a few more to fill in.

I’ll save that little aqua planter for spring and take it to the shop to sell.

My sister came home with a couple of items this time.

She’ll definitely use the old cast iron corn bread pan.  We all love her cornbread and with this pan every piece will be a crispy end piece.

There really wasn’t a stand-out choice for ‘find of the day’ this time, but I decided to give that status to this King Radio box.

I have no idea how a radio fit inside, or even if a radio fit inside, but it says King Radio inside the lid so I’m going with it.

As you can see, it has dividers inside.  Maybe those were added later?  No idea.  But this will be fun to paint and turn into some sort of keepsake box.

On the one hand I’m sad to see the 2019 neighborhood sale season coming to an end, but on the other hand I’m ready to have my Saturdays back for other things like actually painting furniture.  I’m working on a really fun piece currently that I hope to have done soon.  In the meantime, check back on Wednesday as I continue my house tour in the pantry.

tangletown 2019.

Temps have been cooling down here, the days are getting shorter and the leaves are starting to turn.  That can only mean one thing.  Neighborhood garage sale season is almost over.

But there are a couple of good ones still left, and this past Saturday Debbie and I headed out to the Tangletown neighborhood in Minneapolis for their sales.

Last year the Tangletown sales were held the first weekend in May, but this year they scheduled them for September.

Once again, Debbie and I got tangled up in Tangletown.  They provided a map for the sales, but you couldn’t read most of the street names on the map.  They also provided a listing of each address participating in the sale, but that was hard to follow too.  So we just drove around randomly looking for signs.  This was probably not the best strategy and might explain why we came home with a smaller than normal pile of goodies.

The pair of bistro pairs was my first buy of the day.  They aren’t vintage, so normally I would pass on them.  But I thought they might be a fun winter painting project, so I grabbed them.

Debbie purchased the pair of blue pots.

At only $1 each, they were a no-brainer.  She’s going to put them on her front stoop with some mums in them for fall.

Even though I’m not a huge fan of painting chairs, especially chairs with lots of spindles, I couldn’t resist this next chair.

To me this chair looks more authentic than the chunky 70’s & 80’s versions of the captain’s chair.  I like the cleaner lines of the spindles on this one and the way the back and arms are one solid piece that curves down to meet the seat.  This chair is going to look amazing once painted.

I snagged this trio of old gold picture frames for $2 total.

They are somewhat beat up, but I still think they look great.  I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do with them yet but I’m sure I’ll find a home for them somewhere in my house.

I was also drawn to this small black globe.

I’ll carry this one around the house trying to find a spot for it too.

I’ve saved ‘find of the day’ status for the bed.

Maybe not quite so much because it’s a pretty fab bed, but more because of the story that goes with it.

My sister and I had just pulled up in front of a garage sale when we saw a guy across the street carrying things out to the curb.  The bed was already leaning up against a tree and had a sign on it that I couldn’t read from the car.  Sure enough, as I got closer I could see that it said “FREE”.  Our timing could not have been more perfect.

Ironically we had just come from another sale that had a similar bed priced at $80, which was far too high a price for me.

I asked him if this was a twin sized bed (because sometimes these old pieces can be off sizes).  He didn’t know, but his wife popped her head out of an upstairs window and said ‘yes, it’s a twin!’  Then she also told me that she bought it at Hunt & Gather (you locals are probably familiar with this shop in Minneapolis).

Again, it’s another piece that will be totally transformed by paint.

So, not a huge haul, but still some great finds in Tangletown.  Be sure to stay tuned, Wednesday I’ll be continuing my house tour with a look at our kitchen!


mac-grove 2019.

We had the most beautiful day for garage saling on Saturday.  It was sunny with low humidity and cooler temps in the 70’s.

I didn’t come home with tons of treasures, but I found a few good things.  You might be surprised by the item I’ve chosen as my ‘find of the day’, but you’ll have to read to the end to find out what it is.

Before I get to the ‘finds’ though, I have to tell you guys that the garage sales themselves are really only part of the reason why I love these neighborhood garage sales.  The other part is getting to drive around these gorgeous neighborhoods and snoop.

This particular neighborhood is in St. Paul and is bordered on one side by the Mississippi River.  The homes along Mississippi River Boulevard are especially fab.  Isn’t that row of hydrangeas spectacular?

I was totally envious of the hydrangea tree (on left) in front of this next house.

Who wouldn’t love to live in a pretty little cottage like this next one?

But let’s get back to the finds.

First up, Shelly suggested I show you my sister Debbie’s finds this time.  I aim to please, so here they are.

She spent less than $10 and came home with some Scandinavian style Christmas linens, a cookbook and a piece of blue carnival glass, which she non-collects 😉

I think it’s fair to say that Debbie comes along for the sight-seeing and the scintillating company more so than the actual garage saling (right Deb?).  But she usually finds a couple of things to buy.

I came home with a couple of things to add to my own non-collections.

Including just one solitary Christmas ornament and some bluebird china.

I also purchased a gorgeous vintage tablecloth.  The colors in it were just so vibrant.

You may remember that I pared down my non-collection of these earlier this year, so it was silly to buy another … but at $10, I just couldn’t pass it up.

Somehow I also can’t seem to resist sweet painted china like this plate …

There’s really no market for these pieces right now and as a result they tend to be dirt cheap.  I paid $1 for this one.  I was thinking it would be pretty hung on the wall in my guest room.

I also picked up another enamelware coffee pot.

These have been selling well for me with the Prima Marketing transfers added to them, so I added some on this one too.

I also nabbed this mid-century glassware …

I think I’m going to use them as a prop for the mid-mod credenza that I’ll be sharing later this week.

Speaking of things one can’t resist, who can resist heading to a garage sale that uses the poop emoji on their sign?

I didn’t end up buying much from these ladies, just a pair of quail.

I’ve already given them a fresh new look with a coat of spray paint.  You’ll also see them again as props on that mid-century credenza, but here they are with their new paint job …

I also bought a few bigger pieces at Mac-Grove.

The three kid-sized wooden chairs will get makeovers eventually.  I have some ideas for those swimming around in my head.  Of course the washstand will also get a paint job and probably some new hardware since one pull is missing.

The bucket on the right would make a fantastic large planter, don’t you think?  It is really quite heavy and the seller told me that it’s an old ash bucket.  It would also be a great container for firewood if you’re lucky enough to have a wood burning fireplace.

Remember the secretary desk I shared last week with the Prima Marketing Parisian Letter transfer on it?  I mentioned that I couldn’t quite fit the entire transfer on the desk.  The remaining portion was perfect for this bucket.

It looks pretty awesome filled with Limelight hydrangeas, doesn’t it?

Now, you’re probably wondering, what about that ‘find of the day’?  Well, it’s actually not included in any of the photos so far but here it is …

Oh my gosh you guys, these cookies were so delicious that I just had to call them my find of the day.  The gal selling them is going to be opening a bakery in Northfield, MN.  She said that she uses a lot of old Swedish recipes for her baking.  These cookies might not look like much, but they had the most delicate crisp texture on the outside, with a chewy interior.  Plus they were the perfect almond flavor.  The gal also mentioned that she crushes the almonds by hand to make these.  If any of you are ever near Northfield, keep an eye out for this bakery.  You’ve got to try these cookies!

So, what’s your favorite among my finds this week?  Were you surprised that my ‘find of the day’ was a cookie?  Did you have your own fab finds last weekend?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

two times the fun.

On Saturday my sister Debbie, Sue (my picker), and another of my co-workers (Cathy) and I all met up at my house to go to an estate sale nearby.  The ad made it obvious that the owners of the ‘estate’ had been long time collectors.  I noticed that they had quite a lot of Disney stuff, which I knew would appeal to my sister, but they also had lots of vintage goodies for me too.

Oftentimes estate sale prices are just too high for me, but I found quite a few things at the sale on Saturday morning.

The sellers mentioned that they’d be open again on Sunday and everything under $100 would be half off.  Since the sale was only a few blocks from my house, Debbie and I went back again on Sunday and I found a few more fun things …

There were two things I specifically wanted to go back for and one of them was the black wooden box.

The day 1 price of $25 was a bit steep for me, but $12.50 was much more palatable.  I was happy to see that it was still there on Sunday morning.

The 2nd thing was a very lovely pink and white hand sewn quilt.  Unfortunately that was gone.  However, I did find this pretty blue and white one which I didn’t even see on day 1.

It has a few stains, but I’m hoping a good soak with some OxyClean will freshen it right up.

I’ve already given several of the items I purchased a little quandification.

The enamelware coffee pot now has a Prima Marketing Delicious Menu transfer added.

I also added a transfer from their Everyday Farmhouse set to this little pink enamelware pot.

Based on the shape, I would guess it was a chamber pot, but it’s so small.  Even for a child sized pottie, it’s pretty tiny.  Does anyone else have any guesses what this might have been meant for?  Could it have been meant as a toy, sort of a doll sized pottie?

Well, regardless, it’s perfect for a plant now.

This galvanized scoop also got an Everyday Farmhouse transfer …

Some of the finds don’t need any added embellishment like this fabulously chippy blue scale.

I love the shade of green on these Bobbsey Twins books.

And how about this large ironstone pitcher?

And who could resist this adorable little Spode creamer for only $2?

I’m giving ‘find of the day’ status for Saturday to this giant flour bin.

It’s a little hard to tell in that photo, but this thing is over 2′ tall.  It would make an awesome trash can for the kitchen or bathroom, but I plan to use it to hold all of my rolls of paper and vintage wallpaper.

Much more stylish than a plastic bin, don’t you agree?

For now I’ve got it out on the front porch next to my updated farmhouse table, but eventually I’ll probably move it into the q branch.

That photo does a better job of putting the size into perspective for you.  Isn’t it fab?

I have to say, it was two times the fun going to this estate sale on both Saturday and Sunday.  So tell me, which of the items I purchased is your favorite?


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!