Monday, March 7, 2016

eating the dead

My sister and I go to estate sales on Thursdays or Fridays though we limit our area to about a 30 mile radius. Sometimes we find some neat stuff and sometimes we come away with nothing. They're all basically the same...all the accumulations of the deceased laid out on tables and counters...china and crystal and pottery, collectibles, books, decorations, pictures, jewelry, watches, records (I'm always curious what music they listened to), furniture, clothes, linens, whole kitchens, yard tools, tools, even down to their personal grooming items and cleaning supplies. Sometimes though, you come across a picker's dream. Last Friday we went to one in a blink of a little town, two houses, one of which used to be a church converted into a residence, full of gorgeous antiques and just all kinds of really neat stuff plus a shed, and a big barn. I could have done a whole post on just this one house if I had thought to take pictures. I spent about $40 and this is what I bought:

this very cool pitcher

and this juicer

4 glass knobs

this small wood printers tray

a tabletop table saw

and a wine bottle opener (I broke mine recently) and a putty knife. We had planned to go to a different one but my sister and our boss at the antique store went to this one on Thursday where Donna bought some gorgeous furniture for the store and Pam convinced me that this one was worth going back to. She was right.

I got a lot of the glassware I used in the totems at these sales. I have things I look for like wind chimes (they usually need a little bit of repair).

 especially like the one above. I had to completely restring it and come up with a substitute for the small glass tube 'ringer' as it was missing and I had to make new thin cardboard 'vanes' and paint them gold as the old ones were torn or missing. It hangs inside just inside the door to the garage and when it's open or the other back door is open, the air coming in will make it tinkle.

And birdhouses

and certain tools. I've picked up some nice wooden spoons and small kitchen knives and a really nice 10” cast iron skillet and I finally got a three tiered hanging wire basket set for the root vegetables. I've been looking out for one of those for a while. My sister was quicker and she got the first one we came across.

Occasionally I run across something that is too good to pass up like this antique lamp for $35 that I have no idea where I am going to put.


  1. Fantastic! That juicer is so charming I can hardly stand it. Wish I could hear your wind chimes...

  2. Great buys! Lovely things the tray and pitcher being my faves, I think. I am pretty much over "stuff", trying to eliminate my stash...but I would be so tempted! Love the stories that stuff tells. Our stuff would tell stories alright...madness and chaos...I don[t know of many who would want to venture there.

  3. I wish you weren't so far away. I'd love for you to shop my farm. I've been loading plastic containers today to take to my booth in the city. So tired. My kids tell me again and again not to leave it all for them to deal with. I should do it to spite em.

  4. I also like going to estate sales. It's where we got our jukebox a few years ago, and now I always glance around and see if there are any 45's for sale to play on it. Estate sales are strange though. Especially the inevitable shelf or room filled with creepy dolls.

  5. I do enjoy walking through a houseful of stuff, and see what catches my eye. So much beauty in the details and the workmanship of old things.

  6. You done stole it all! The antique dealer I sold my converted oil lamp to calls them "Gone with the Wind" lamps. That blue and white pitcher is extremely interesting. And Donna is right. I've done some serious divesting. I learned when mom died, the kids had no interest in her, some very valuable, collections. There is trouble in my brother's family, as he left sixty years of hoarding for his children to sort out. And if my sister goes first, there will be hell to pay among my brother-in-law's family, as he is a certified hoarder (and not in the good way.) However, if he leaves the planet first, my sister says the dumpsters will be staged on the road.

  7. Never went to a lot of sales but enjoy second hand shops

  8. The pitcher and the juicer are just fantastic!

    P.S. Your title made me giggle. ;-)

  9. Great finds! I love the wind chimes, and that pitcher at the top looks like an old Hall refrigerator pitcher (made to fit in the fridge to keep your water cold). Am I right?

  10. My favorite places to shop mare thrift stores!

  11. That's a great haul. I bet that pitcher is worth something. I don't do yard sales because I'd see too many things I can't live without. You have an eye for what to pick up and what to leave behind.


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