Friday, February 28, 2014


Spring? Well, not quite but it was getting closer. After a few more inches of snow during the week, the mercury started to rise and we hit 50 degrees on Friday! Couple that with the rain we got the day before and the great, big snowpiles finally started to shrink. Here it was Saturday and the forecast called for sunny skies and more of that 50-degree weather! It may not be spring yet but there is hope that this long, cold winter may finally be nearing an end! 

Saturday morning arrived and we had our list of stops prepared.  We only saw two that we liked so we pointed our car to the east and off we drove!

We arrived at our first stop, a privately run sale by the new homeowner who had already applied for a permit to demo the house. He was going to build a new house on the property and everything inside was up for grabs.

No, Monica was not saying "Look what's behind door #1". She was merely pointing out how great the old screen door was! When we went inside, the floors of three rooms were soaked; the result of a steam pipe break that occurred overnight. The new homeowner did not seem that concerned. The plan was to demolish the house anyway! 

The bathroom was pink and virtually untouched since the 1950's! Look at the great vintage starburst hardware on the sink cabinets! 

The wallpaper was cool!

A close-up of the hardware on the sink cabinets...

...and a view of how they looked once removed from the cabinets. Rob asked the homeowner if these were for sale and he said yes. Screwdriver in hand, Rob removed all seven. He had to break two of the drawers in order to get the most stubborn of the knobs off but the homeowner did not care! They are now in our house, saved for the future.

Another picture of the bathroom. Even the toilet was pink! 

This was what the floors looked like in one of the drier rooms. The pink theme continues! 

There were many rooms to search and a shed and a garage. We moved them quickly as the house had a damp, moldy smell to it and we could see that there was not a lot here for us. Still, we took hard the old bathroom hardware, a nice leopard coat for Monica and  a few other small items.

After getting some breakfast, we drove to our other stop. It was about 40 minutes away but we were cautiously optimistic that this would be a good one. It was described as "vintage" , "packed" and a "picker's delight".  We like these descriptions. 

We arrived at our destination and really liked the look of the house...

...and by the number of signs out front, we knew we were at the right place! 

As we approached the house, we saw who our host would be at this sale and it made us pretty happy. It is a small Tag Sale Company that doesn't have sales every week but we have had success at his sales. Plus, he likes us and everything we find is usually dirt cheap for us. The last time we saw him, he told us he had finally chosen a name for his company and now he will advertise with this name included in the details. That's good!

There were several rooms to search and so much of the inside was old. Monica really liked that! 

The garage had some old Christmas decorations. We immediately chose to take home an old snowman blow mold but his companion, this poor Santa, had a break in the back of his head. Our host gave him to us for free so he is now ours and we will repair him as best as possible. 

 Amongst the items in the basement was a six pack of Schmidt's beer. Monica's grandfather used to drink this beer in this very same style of bottle when she was a little girl. It immediately reminded her of him and we knew we would take one bottle home to display on a shelf in the garage in his memory. We researched the company and discovered that they went out of business in 1987.

For the very same reason, we already had this old tab top can of Rheingold which reminded Rob of his dad whom he lost over ten years ago. The Schmidt's and the Rheingold can will sit beside each other; a tribute to two very important people in our lives. 

Aside from the Schmidt's Beer and the bathroom hardware, here are the other things we brought home:

Some records

Some Christmas records

A vintage (and very pretty) apron for Monica

A vintage Styrofoam Santa head and an old cellophane wreath. A few weeks ago, we bought two old boxes of cellophane wreaths at a sale and one of the wreaths had disintegrated inside. Looks like we found its replacement! 

A few more Christmas items

Some more Christmas items. The items in the foreground are vintage Christmas corsages. Rob was especially happy about the Christmas clown. He is marked Japan

Christmas blow molds

Vintage holiday candles

A wiggling hula girl (made in Japan), a New Year's Eve noisemaker, a squeak toy bunny for Easter and a small set of silverware. The silverware are additional pieces for the starburst patterned silverware that we currently use. 

An pink plastic vase. These look exactly like some lamps that we have

A colorful pole lamp

A cool hassock!

Monica modeling her new leopard coat

Our mannequin, Sharon, wears a similar coat all winter long!

Only two sales but they were productive and fun. A few items and a million smiles together and the weather was giving us hope that maybe spring would eventually arrive!

We know that March is just around the corner and the weather will get nicer soon. Our flamingo feels it too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Another weekend...another long weekend...and more snow. Not as much snow as last week but enough to necessitate cleaning off the cars...again. It seems like we have had snow every few days since the beginning of the year and the piles of snow in some parking lots have easily surpassed ten feet. Our flamingo has been buried for a couple of weeks now and, after briefly poking his head out on the afternoon of Groundhog Day, he has disappeared into a snowbank. Maybe our first sign of Spring won't be seeing a robin or seeing a crocus bloom. It just may be seeing our flamingo emerge from the snow!

We compared our lists of potential stops on Friday night and we had a few more to choose from than in recent weeks. One stood out above the rest. For there, amongst the pictures of a rather boring sale, was the one item that caught our amazing shadow box. We have a few shadow boxes already but that doesn't mean we don't have room for another,  especially this one. We really, really liked the looks of this one.  The sale began at 9 am and it was located about 30 minutes from our house. We knew we would have to get there before the sale opened and hope to be the first people interested in this piece. This meant beating the dealers to the prize. Of course, we also had to hope that it was in as good condition as it appeared to be in the picture...and that the price was right.

We set our alarms for 7 am. We normally never set an alarm for Saturday morning and just get up when we wake up (which is always by 8 am anyway) but we had to give this shadow box our best shot. Getting up by 7 am would give us each a chance to take a shower, get one cup of caffeine into our system, brush the overnight snow off the cars and still give us time to be near the front of the line.

 We arrived 30 minutes before the start of the sale and everything seemed to be going according to plan except for one thing...there was no line. Well, there was but the line consisted of just one person and we could tell that she had absolutely no interest in the one thing we coveted. By the time the door opened, there were about eight people behind us and we were told that there was quite a long line at another sale nearby (which was on our list for later). Were all the dealers at the other sale? Did they have no interest in this shadow box? Did anyone other than us have any interest in this shadow box? We would soon find out the answer to the last question. At 10 am, the door would open and all of us on line would enter the house. All we had was a few second head start on them. 

When the door opened, we moved in with one goal in get there first...and we did. Okay, well, we seemed to be the only ones there who were interested in the shadow box but look at all the dramatic effect we added to your reading! Anyway, there it was! It was as beautiful as it was in the picture and in perfect condition. The owner of the Tag Sale company presented his price. Rob, wearing his best "I'm sort of interested but I don't HAVE to have this" face, submitted a counter offer of one third of his asking price. The owner came back with one half of the original price and the deal was made. We got what we were after.

We searched the rest of the house and, although it had a mounted pencil sharpener in the basement (usually a good sign), there was nothing else for us here but that didn't matter because we came home with...

...a new shadow box! 

We went for a celebratory breakfast and then continued our journey to the other stops on our list. There were only three more stops and they were all in the general area.

Stops #2 and #3 were quick stops. Both were run by the family of the deceased and both advertised having a lifetime of "accumulation". The first of these had a few older items but none that interested us very much and the sale was "eBayed out". There were various printouts from eBay showing how much each item for sale had recently fetched on eBay. Their asking price was just a notch lower. The second of the these sales had even less of interest to us. Onward to our last stop!

Stop #4 had the dreaded line. This was the sale that we were told had the line in the morning. There was still a line. The sale was run by a Tag Sale company that has lines at all of their sales simply because they only let a few people in at a time. They don't have too many sales but, when they do, they are usually worthwhile. So...we waited. One of the people who left the house recognized us and remembered our passion for Christmas and told us that the basement should be our first target. After 30 minutes on line, we entered the house and made our way straight to the basement. 

Downstairs was this great old set of children's appliances. We did not get them but what we did get was lots of Christmas stuff! The basement had boxes of great Christmas stuff that looked like they had been completely overlooked by those who came before us. 

There was also a bar downstairs that Monica posed behind. It looked, based on the wood paneling, to have been added in the 1970's. We found some great cocktail swizzle sticks behind that bar and, when combined with the boxful of Christmas items we had already found, we were happy with our trip to the basement!

A search of the main floor helped us fill another box...many cookbooks, some glassware, some salt and pepper shakers and other miscellaneous items. It was a good stop and the brothers who run this Tag Sale company are always happy to see us and always give us a good price. 

In addition to the shadow box, here are some of the other items that found a new home in our house:
A record

Some cookbooks

Some more cookbooks

A few more cookbooks

Even a few more cookbooks!

A Christmas apron

A vintage chicken Top curtain? The world may never know! 

A Christmas stocking and a set of elves hanging from a "Noel" sign

Honeycomb Santas and angels and a pair of "sporting" Santas

Christmas candy dishes, a cardboard Santa and other miscellaneous Christmas items

A Napco Santa decanter, a knee hugger elf, a wind-up musical Santa (with balloons), a pair of plastic "treasure toy" candy containers from Rosen, a trio of ceramic Santas and some other Christmas stuff.

A tea rest, a sign for our lawn (if the snow ever disappears), cocktail swizzle sticks and a pile of unused Tupperware Party postcards from the 1950's

A pair of hillbilly elves, a ceramic flamingo, a pair of Hyena salt and pepper shakers, a pair of turkey salt and pepper shakers and a pair of old orange juice glasses (with smiling oranges)

It was a great day of saling in the midst of our second extended weekend in a row

Friday was Valentine's Day and while neither of us had the day off, we had Friday night to spend together....

 ...and Monday was President's Day which afforded us an extra day to our weekend.

We hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day and a great weekend; a wish coming from our heart!