Rain, Rummage and Results

It’s been raining a lot here on the West Coast, which has been good for easing our drought, but inconvenient and miserable at times. I was so happy when the sun peeked out Friday morning as I was heading out to my favorite rummage sale (hosted by volunteers of our local children’s hospital). I hadn’t bothered taking an umbrella and that turned out to be a mistake. A few minutes after I left it started raining again. Drat! Thankfully I had a bit of plastic sheeting in my car (from hauling plants, nothing “Dexterish”!) and used it as a rain bonnet to dash to the building.

Time to Rummage

When the sale opened I darted to the small “collectibles/antique” room where I was the only buyer in the room for 10 minutes…unheard of! Usually the room is packed. Even the volunteers commented on it. But I didn’t buy much. My best find was a heavy, signed (A. Lara) Mexican brass pot that had been used as a planter but I believe is an ice bucket. I’ll need to spend a bit of time removing the green corrosion inside. I was interested in other things, but the prices were a tad too high for resale.


I did buy a few things in other areas of the sale, like this cute printed tablecloth. It’s just 36″ by 34″ and could possibly work as a scarf too! This winsome girl with ducks and trees is printed all around the edges.


I also bought a small doily thing with lovely lace that really was a pointless purchase. I mean, who is going to buy this?  (Me apparently! I rarely resist lace.)


And do you see what I see? The lace features mermen!


Another silly purchase…a small vintage SIGG Swiss copper fondue pot that had a lot of cooked on grime. Well, the silly part is that I mistakenly thought the grime would come off easily with a little brass polish. fondue-pot1Au contraire. First I worked on a small section with my fabulous but chemically Weiman’s polish. After 20 minutes of much rubbing and wiping (and fume exposure) I managed to get 80% of the grime streaks off a small area! One small area. At this rate I would be here all day. So I decided to try and work smarter and more eco friendly and I’ve been soaking the pot in white vinegar (for 30 minutes) and then scrubbing it with baking soda. I’m on my second cycle of soaking and scrubbing. It’s coming off easier now, but still not done. It’s going to be another hour or so, but I’m taking a break as my hands are getting chapped. To be honest if I had known all the work it would take to restore this pot, I wouldn’t have bought it.

Afterwards I went grocery shopping as our fridge was looking woefully bare and on my way home I saw an estate sale sign that advertised a sale one block away. My car practically turned on its own accord! (Well, you know how it is.)

Alas the sale house was small and run down and rather sad. The furniture was mostly of the style you can’t give away (chunky brown ‘70s or faux Louis XIV). There were plenty of metal walkers and faded housecoats and the smaller bits and bobs were nothing special. There was a yellow McCoy vase with an applied flower, but it was $25…about the price I would sell it for. They also had a brass decorative plate of the type that people loved to hang on their den walls in the ‘60s/’70s (similar to the one below) but this one was huge!! At least 24” diameter. I’ve never seen one that big. It was so ridiculous and tacky and big that it was good, but they had it priced at $30. I would have considered it at $5 or even $10, but not $30. I mean, let’s face it, there are only so many folks in the world who would flip for a decoration like this. Maybe six!!


I almost walked away empty-handed (it happens) but then I saw this vintage coat… an I. Magnin, made in Italy, wool coat in navy blue with red trim. Jeez, this was nice. So Jackie O! This was a quality piece of clothing and definitely fell into the “fabulous vintage clothing” category that I set in my 2017 buying guidelines! And the cost…$5! Yes! I’ll get my daughter to model this and throw it in my store soon as it looks like a perfect coat for spring.


The estate sale lady was chatty and mentioned they’d be doing the sale again next weekend and would have more clothes. So I might swing by next weekend too, just to see. And if the huge brass plate thingy is still there, I’ll make an offer.

So no home runs in my picking today. In fact a few less-than-stellar buys (note to self: stop buying corroded/grimy stuff), but it was fun and took my mind off things!

P.S. ThredUp Results

In December I sent in eight items of newer clothing to ThredUp for their consideration and they finally processed my bag. Of the eight, they bought one top outright ($5.80) and put five of the jackets on “consignment” and rejected two.


Apparently that’s a better than average acceptance rate, but as it cost $9.99 to mail the bag of clothes, I’m still in the hole! We’ll see if any of the jackets sell. Probably won’t bother doing this again. But it was good as an experiment.

How about you…any good finds lately??


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