Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thinking Small

Another weekend was upon us and it would begin, as always, with plans to sale. Our week long search for something great resulted in a small list of sales that were all nothing but question marks. None of the bigger tag sale companies had any sales of interest to us and so it would be the small, privately run sales and garage sales that where we hoped to find some treasures. There would be no pictures to view. There would be no detailed description of what was for sale. Our intuition was our only guide. We made a list of six sales. We chose our starting point. Off we went! 

 Sale #1 was just five minutes from our house and was an easy choice as our first stop for that reason alone. The description of the sale listed "vintage handbags" "Christmas" and boasted that it was "loaded". We were cautiously optimistic.

On the first floor, we ran into this Christmas cow which was unusual but not our type of unusual. It is new as was every other Christmas item we encountered in the house. We didn't see a whole lot of vintage handbags nor did we see "loaded" anywhere. We did, however, buy a Peanuts paperback from 1968 and two boxes of bug lights for our house. We were off to a very modest start. It was time to see what sale #2 would bring us.

This sale was less than ten minutes away and its ad said...nothing. Well, almost nothing. It said "estate sale". That was pretty much it. Monica had a feeling about it. She called it a quiet sale. No one would notice it. If there was anything here, it would be ours. 

It was a sale run by the family. They were very nice. We were told that the lady whose items these were was 92 years old. There wasn't a lot to look through but we came up with a few great things...an old football book, a great vintage wastepaper basket and a few old Christmas things including a knee hugger elf, all for a very, very low price. We were telling the daughter-in-law how much we love Christmas things and she mentioned that they still had an attic to clean out and that she believed it to be mostly Christmas stuff. She promised to have her husband bring that stuff down at the end of the day and that it would be available for us to see on Sunday. We promised to return bright and early the next day!

Monica had a feeling about this sale and she was right! After a break for breakfast, we continued our Saturday saling.

Stop #3 was listed as a vintage yard sale and there was a crowd there. Although the description was accurate (there were some old things), there was nothing there for us. However, there was a very small garage sale across the street that turned out to be a winner. There were only a few tables there but, on those tables, we found three 1960's Hawaiian dresses for Monica (including one by Alfred Shaheen) and a great Christmas tree skirt, marked Japan. And all for $1 apiece! 

Now, we had a decision to make. We could go twenty minutes west to the sale described as "vintage stuff" or we could go to two sales that were thirty minutes to the east. The western sale really felt like a dealer's sale which meant high prices. We chose to go with the numbers...two chances to find more stuff.

On the way there, just five minutes into our trip, we decided to stop at a thrift shop that we visit when in the area. It is a nice thrift shop and we occasionally find things there. On this visit, we found a pair of salt and pepper shakers that we liked and that would come home with us.

The first of the two eastern stops was a sale run by the family of the deceased who, according to the ad, was 100 years old. It was well into the second day of this sale and we had no idea what we would find. 

The house was old and had very low ceilings upstairs. There were funny little rooms with windows set lower than you would expect. There was also this cool bathroom with an old pedestal sink and a dizzying black and white checkered floor.

There was also a closet filled with Christmas stuff and, while much of it was newer, we found some old Christmas in there too. Those things came home with us as did a turquoise drain board and an old metal stand for our coffee pot. 

Our last planned stop was at a sale described as "40 years of accumulation". It was an extremely quick stop. It was a big house with almost nothing inside. 

Just down the road, we saw a sign for a barn sale and, since we were already out this way, we decided to go. We were surprised to find that this was the home of the owner of a small tag sale company who we have not seen for some time and it was great seeing him. He had not run any sales in awhile and was looking to get rid of some of the things he had accumulated. The items were antiques and not our style. We did not get anything here either.

On Sunday morning at 9am, we returned to the scene of Saturday's second sale to see what was found in the attic. We saw the son as we got out of the car and he apologized that there would be very little new things. Of the nineteen boxes in the attic, eighteen were completely empty (saying this as he pointed to a pile of boxes now stacked up for the next garbage pick up). He said to go inside and take a look at what was there. We walked in and were greeted by the daughter-in-law who referred to us as "Mr. and Mrs. Christmas". There were actually four boxes to search and we did find another old football book, a knee hugger elf and an angel ornament. She then told us that she thought she had some old Christmas things and took down our phone number and she would ask us to come over to look some time next month. As we walked outside, again talking to the son, we showed him what we found. He led us to a side door where he pulled out three more elves just sitting alone and we bought them too. It was an interesting stop and a fun one!

Here are some of the things we brought home this weekend: 
A Peanuts paperback from 1968 and two football hard cover books from 1948

An old stand for our coffee pot, a vintage wastepaper basket, a pair of Long Island Game Farm salt and pepper shakers (marked Japan) and a turquoise drain board

Three Hawaiian dresses from the 1960's for Monica

A candy cane popcorn decoration, a small bottle brush wreath and some vintage wrapping paper

A Christmas tree skirt (marked Japan)

More Christmas...two Gurley candles, an old angel still in its box (marked Japan) , five elves (four from Japan and one marked Hong Kong), two pine cone elves (both marked Japan) , a light up angel, a plastic reindeer and a musical creepy Santa still in its box (marked Japan)

While we didn't know what we might find this weekend, we let our instinct kick in and we found a few great things. We have a phone call to look forward to in the future and we can look forward to all the time we get to spend together; now and forever. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Winging It

This post chronicles our adventures for the weekend of October 18th and 19th. We will catch up soon!

Another weekend arrived and our saling would begin early. There was a church sale on Friday night in Monica's hometown and she has been going here since she was small. We go every year, hoping to find something of interest. We usually do.

We always try to get there a few moments before it opens to beat the crowd. Even the horses seem to be in a rush to get there!

The door was open and the ladies were just about done setting up. Within moments we were inside. There were lots of tables to search and, while church sales are not what they used to be years ago, you can usually cover an item or two of interest...and we did. We left with an old plastic turkey (which we suspect may have been the cover for a light), an old ceramic Easter bunny and an old package of cookie cutters.

Since we rushed to get here after work, we did not have a chance to make dinner at home and we decided, the night before, that we would stop at one of our favorite quick stop restaurants on the way home.

All American Drive-In has been around since 1963 and very little has changed since then. The building is great, the neon lights are great, the atmosphere is great and, of course, the food is great! We try to get here several times per year

After we got home, we compiled our lists of sales for Saturday. After a few weeks of limited sales opportunities, we had a lot of choices this week. None were standouts. None were definite winners. There was no way we could go to every sale that we saved on our list of possibilities. Even if they were reasonably close to one another (and they weren't), there would never be enough time to make them all. We ruled out a few that stood alone; isolated in areas unto themselves. We wrote the rest down on our list of potentials. We even added one that neither of us saw advertised on the internet but knew about because of signs posted in the neighborhood. It was around the corner from our house. That one would clearly be on our list. We chose only our starting point. We would wing it the rest of the way, hoping quantity would yield us some treasures in the absence of any certain quality. 

Our first stop was supposed to be at a church sale in the next town. Nowadays, church sales are always hit or miss but, when not too inconvenient to attend, they are worth a shot! As we left our house, we saw a garage sale on the next street. We decided to stop there first.

We could tell, as we slowly passed by, that this had potential. Lots of tables. Lots to sell. One of the neighborhood estate sales signs was on the pole out in front of their house. It's too bad that the estate sale started at 10am. We could have really been productive having two consecutive stops on the same street but it was only 9am

One of the first things we saw was this old ventriloquist dummy missing its jaw. Fans of The Walking Dead know why jaws get removed. This guy must have either been dangerous or talked way too much! We didn't get this but we spent an hour here looking through all sorts of great stuff. By the time we left, we found two vintage Hawaiian shirts for Rob, a couple of records, a few ceramic items, a pair of salt and pepper shakers, a vintage Christmas book and some cookbooks, postcards, pamphlets and vintage greeting cards. It was a great first stop! 

We decided to drop our findings off back at home (since we were only moments away) when we realized it was 10am and the estate sale on the same street would be starting now. We drove up the street to look for it when we came to the realization that we were just there! This outside garage sale WAS the estate sale and they just opened up early. Our timing could not have been better!

After dropping our stuff off at home, we went to the next stop; a church sale. This stop was a 2 for 1 deal because they also have a thrift shop inside too. There were lots of tables inside but not much was old. We found a Halloween Pez dispenser and a Pyrex pie dish here. Inside of the thrift shop, we found three popcorn Halloween decorations. This wound up being a decent stop.

We were winging today with no specific itinerary the remainder of the day. We would go on gut feeling. Rob's gut told him that it was time for breakfast and so we went. Shortly thereafter, we chose our next sale 

The ad said "retro 50's" house and, although there were no pictures to support this claim, it was hard for us to ignore. It was nearby and it make sense to go here next. There was a main floor to walk through (not search...all that was here was furniture) and some tables outside. Many of the items were older but only one interested us...a bar musical "drunk guy on a pole" that played Auld Lang Syne. For $3, he could be ours...and he did!

We passed a new thrift shop a mile before the last sale and we decided we should check it out. Monica posed for a goofy photo outside! It was pretty big, well stocked and the ladies who were working here were very nice. This place definitely has potential! On this visit, we found a dress shirt for Rob and a vintage apron for Monica. We will be back!

At this point in the day, we decided just to stay close to home. We had been within ten miles of home all day and, since there was no standout sale in mind, it made sense. 

As we neared our next stop, we saw a sign for a tag sale and decided to follow the signs. Here is where it led.

This ancient warrior guarded the property and, unfortunately, it was the most interesting item we would see here. In five minutes, we were on our way to the next stop.

When we arrived at the next sale, it was clear that we were in the right place. The big wooden sign told us so. The sale was run by a tag sale company that is fairly new to us but getting very active with sales almost every week. There was nothing specific that made us add this sale to our list but the pictures in the ad showed us that there were old elements to this house.

There were many rooms to search and search we did! When we were done, some bamboo utensils (marked Japan), some Mica houses and a record came home with us. 

We considered calling it a day at this point but there was one other sale a few miles away which advertised vintage men's clothing and we decided to take a look. There were a few really nice shirts and jackets that were overpriced but Rob did find a great King Louie bowling shirt from the 1960's that was in his size. It came home with us.

It was a great day for saling and that should have been enough but...a funny thing happened Sunday morning. Instead of the normal Sunday routine of making a big breakfast at home, we both looked at each other and said "let's go saling again"...and so we did!

The most intriguing sale of the weekend was one we had spotted for Sunday. It was an hour west of us but I guess we were both thinking about it since Friday night. We decided to make the trip but not before stopping at the estate sale that was around the corner from us again. The woman who was having the sale told us that she might put more things out on Sunday. It was worth investigating and it, again, proved worthwhile. We picked up many more vintage greeting cards, some vintage pins for Monica and another vintage Christmas book. 

When we arrived at our second sale of the day, we had to park four blocks away and walk to the sale. We passed this little horse on the way

We arrived in front of the house which was set amongst commercial businesses. Evidently, the owners would not sell it when businesses starting occupying the street. Ron, the owner of one of our favorite tag sale companies, posed for a picture in front of the house. As we approached, he told us that we should go into the basement first. He knows that we love vintage Christmas stuff! 

In this room were boxes and boxes of Christmas things. We took this picture after spending thirty minutes inside picking what we wanted. 

The basement had many strange corridors and we explored them all! 

Inside one of the basement closets was this worn contact paper. A boomerang pattern. Whenever we see these, we always look for spare rolls that may have been left unused and stored in a crawl space or some forgotten corner of the room. To date, we have not found any but we will always keep looking!  

There were so many cool, old things in the house including this great refrigerator!

There was a cool old stove in this other section of the basement. There was also a main floor to search and we did. We spent about 90 minutes in this house and found lots of vintage Christmas things, an old thermos, an old clown kid's toy radio/music box, some cookbooks, some vintage greeting cards and more!

The second day of saling was a bonus but we realized, once we were back in the car, that we were hungry. We did sacrifice our big Sunday breakfast at home after all! It was now early afternoon and lunch was in order. We knew where we wanted to go and it was just forty minutes away.

The Mineola Diner has been around since 1948 and has maintained most of its original look. They have decorated much of the inside with a retro theme to match what has actually been there since the beginning. 

You can sit at the counter or in booths (as we did). They are open for breakfast and lunch and the food and atmosphere never disappoints. It was not our first time there. It will not be our last.

By the time we got home, it was 4pm and we still had much to do before Monday arrived. We managed to get in some relaxation and be productive in the remaining Sunday we had...and we found time to take a second look at everything we got this weekend. 

Here is a peek at our new stuff:
Some records

Some cookbooks

Some more cookbooks

Booklets, pamphlets and a free magic trick!

Plaid stamp and green stamp books with lots of stamps inside

Hawaiian themed books and booklets

Vintage Valentine's Day cards

Vintage Mother's Day and baby cards

Vintage anniversary cards

Vintage birthday cards

More vintage birthday cards

More vintage birthday cards

Vintage Christmas cards and gift tags

A vintage apron for Monica

Cocktail stirrers and picks

Two 1960's Hawaiian shirts for Rob

A 1960's King Louie bowling shirt for Rob

Vintage pins for Monica

An old honeycomb birthday cake

A bamboo handled utensil set (made in Japan), tiki salt and pepper shakers (made in Japan), a Mirro cookie cutter set, a vintage thermos and an old "chopper and specs" holder

An old plastic children's "radio", a plastic turkey (to cover a light), a Pyrex pie dish, a ceramic Easter bunny (made in Japan) and a New Year's Eve musical decanter

A gift tag, a deck of cards, a 1964 World's Fair coaster, Jan Murray joke cards, a souvenir from New York Municipal Airport, an old postcard and an ice cream bag from Bohack Supermarket (which Monica's family frequented when she was a kid)

Halloween popcorn decorations and a Halloween Pez dispenser

Christmas pamphlets, small die-cuts (many from banks) and a 1970 Wisconsin Cheeseman Christmas catalog

Christmas books. The one in the middle is from 1950 and the other two are from 1951

Vintage Christmas wrapping paper, an old Macy's Christmas box and some old Christmas stencils

Old Christmas stockings, some old plastic Christmas decorations and a pair of old die-cut Christmas decorations

Mica houses

Some old packages of Christmas icicles, bells, ornament hangers and bulbs

A plastic lion decoration, a Santa napkin holder, a set of Commodore Christmas tree people, a small Dakin dream pet reindeer and other Christmas stuff. The napkin holder, Christmas tree people and dream per are all marked Japan

It was a great weekend together. We love saling together and we had lots of fun but we still always have to find time for all of our weekend chores and to have some quiet time together too. We did. We will always find time for each other.

One more set of things joined our household this week. Monica's dad gave us all of the old appliance handbooks from the appliances that were in Monica's household as a kid. They really made her smile!