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!

fab finds.

Last week was an amazing week for garage sales.

It seemed to be the week for enamelware, I found it everywhere I went.

I’m not a huge fan of enamelware just for the sake of collecting it …

But I love these pieces as planters for flowering annuals.

I also love dressing them up with some Prima Marketing transfers like these from the Everyday Farmhouse set.

Or some of the old French Pots sets.

I also found an awesome vintage scale …

I purchased this rice sack pillow from a mother/daughter duo who were having a sale together.  The daughter came up with the idea, and her mom did the sewing.

I purchased two of these wood totes from a guy who made them himself too.  And how convenient that they already have a base coat of paint.

I plan to give them another layer or two of chippy milk paint color, and then add either a transfer or a stencil to dress them up.

I also found some great furniture at garage sales this week starting with this mid-century piece.

It was too big for my sister’s SUV so I had to send Mr. Q to Minneapolis with our van to pick it up, but it was such a bargain that it was worth the trip.  It’s going to look amazing in Park Bench green.

This little washstand came from another lunch time garage sale.

I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with this industrial stool …

Its feet are quite rusty, and you know I don’t mind a little rust, but I’m afraid these will leave marks on the floor.  So I’m going to see how well I can clean those up and then possibly seal them in some way.

I also purchased a 2nd washstand at the neighborhood sales last Saturday.  Somehow, despite my good intentions, I managed to forget to take a ‘before’ photo of it individually.

You can sort of see it there though.  It was already painted and really in rather good shape.  I’ve actually already re-fabbed it, but I can’t show it to you quite yet.  That’s because Prima Marketing has sent me an early shipment of their Summer 2019 release of new transfers and I used one of them on this washstand.  I’m not allowed to show it to you until next week and the suspense is killing me.  It turned out amazing.  You’re just going to have to be sure to check back next week to see how it turned out!

How about you?  Did you find any amazing garage sale or thrift store bargains over the weekend?

bryn mawr 2019.

My sister and I always kick off the neighborhood garage sale season with Bryn Mawr.  This sale is always held the first weekend in May and they seem to have incredibly good luck with the weather (which definitely can be dicey this time of year).

This past Saturday was glorious.  Ideal garage sale weather.  Sunny and in the 60’s.  And this year my niece was available to join us as well, so it was the perfect day.

I have to admit I don’t usually find much at Bryn Mawr.  It’s far too popular, and thus the competition for an amazing find is steep.  Check out some my past year’s finds here:  2015 and 2016.

Once again this year I didn’t find a lot, but I nabbed a few gems.

This rustic wooden crate with a handle was $4.   I didn’t love the muddy green color it was painted in, but I knew I could fix that.  And I already have.  I whipped out my Dixie Belle paint in Midnight Sky and quickly painted it.  It only took one coat to cover the green.  I added some stenciling, sanded lightly to distress and finished with black wax.

Ahhhh, so much better, right?  And so easy to do.  If it feels familiar, that’s because this is the same paint color and stencil that I used on my piano.

It was the handle that made me decide on black.  I definitely wanted to keep that ‘as is’ because it has the most deliciously aged patina.

I couldn’t fit the entire stencil on the front of the crate, so I used part of it on the sides.

I just love the delicate flowing font of this stencil.  So perfectly simple, yet it has a massive impact.

I also grabbed this antique child’s rocker.

It’s in great shape and the price was right.  The seller had lowered her price twice already because it just wasn’t moving.  It’s in great shape and will look amazing with some milk paint.

I couldn’t resist the vintage hardware apron from a lumber shop in Milwaukee.

These aprons were featured in the March issue of Country Living magazine.

So I snatched it up.  Not sure what I’ll do with it yet, potentially just clean it up and sell it.

I’m giving ‘find of the day’ status to an adorable collection of vintage handmade wooden pull toys.  One of the pieces is signed on the bottom and says it was made by Uncle Karl in 1943.

Believe it or not, I paid $1 for the set and it includes the horses and wagon shown above, an elephant whose head goes up and down as you pull him, and a truck with a trailer.  Those last two pieces have already headed over to my handyman/neighbor Ken’s workshop for some minor repairs.  Once that’s done I’m going to paint them.  I’m just not loving that dull red and green.  I have some fun ideas for turning these into gorgeous, unique decor pieces that would be perfect for a nursery.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see how they turn out.

In addition to a ‘find of the day’, it seems like I always have a garage sale regret too.  Maybe I need to add a ‘regret of the day’ category as well.

As I was lying in bed Saturday night trying to fall asleep, I couldn’t help but think that I was a fool for passing up another dress form.  It was marked $45, but when the seller offered to let it go for $40 I still passed on it.  Why didn’t I snatch that up?  What was I thinking?  I could have easily made another of these …

Have you had some garage sale regrets?  If so, be sure to share them in the comments so I don’t feel like I’m the only one who has walked away from a good deal!


it ain’t over til it’s over.

Here I was thinking that garage sale season was over.

We’ve had snow and everything.

What kind of crazy people are still having garage sales in this sort of weather?

Well, apparently the Minnesota kind.  We’re a hearty bunch.

Besides, last Thursday and Friday were sunny and in the low 60’s.  Perfect weather for a sale.  Never mind that we had flurries again by Saturday.  We seem to be on a weather roller-coaster.

Nonetheless, I made hay while the sun was shining.  In the last week I brought home five pieces of furniture.

First, another bed frame that Ken can turn into a bench.

Then a pair of dressers from an estate sale.  There were literally only 20 minutes left before the sale closed when my friend Sue (a.k.a. my picker) and I showed up and the sellers were definitely in the mood to slash prices.  I got these for 75% off the originally listed price.

Also, I have to mention here that sometimes the staff at estate sales are not the most helpful.  I had to send Mr. Q back to pick these up and none of the staff would help him load them.  He literally had to get these down a flight of stairs, out of the house and into the van by himself.  All the while the staff just stood around watching.  Earlier in the day when I paid for them and said I would have my husband come back later to pick them up, I wish they would have mentioned something along the lines of “oh, by the way, we don’t help load so he may want to bring a friend,” but no, they didn’t.

Had I not already paid for them, and taken a drawer from each piece as security, Mr. Q would have walked away from the whole deal.

I purchased the next two pieces at the thrift store (where they were more than happy to help us load them).  A week ago Sunday both Meggan (a.k.a. the thrift doctor) and Sue (a.k.a. my picker) texted me to say that I should head over there to look at a piece of furniture.

I figure if two of your best spotters tell you to head to the same thrift store within an hour of each other, it’s time to throw a coat over your painting clothes and get over there.

Sue gave me a heads up on this dresser …

And Meggan gave me a heads up on a sewing desk.  I didn’t actually buy the sewing desk, but purchased this waterfall desk that was sitting right next to it.

I’d actually seen this desk that last time I thrifted with Meggan, but I passed on it then.  But there is just something about those fab old cup pulls that kept drawing me in, so when I saw it again this time I bought it.  I’m planning a simple makeover for this one, something that will allow those handles to be the center of attention.

And while I’m doing this sort of ‘show and tell’ post, I thought I’d also share this amazing pair of kid sized vintage folding chairs that Sue found for me.

They are so adorable.  It’s a little hard to tell the scale from that photo but they are only about 22″ tall.

I’m not yet sure what I want to do with them.  Do I paint them?  Or leave them in their kinda fab original patina?  Do I keep them, or sell them?

I haven’t made up my mind, but in the meantime you’re going to see them again on Friday when I share the makeover of this dresser …

and there’s going to be a giveaway along with that post, so be sure to stay tuned!