Sourcing in Our Creepy Garage

In a few weeks my street has its semi-annual “extra” garbage day. This is the day when you can put out big pieces (we got rid of an old mattress last fall), more bags of garbage, as well as items for charity. So I’ve been going through our stuffed, cobwebby, dark, jumbled garage looking for things to get rid of. (And yes, I’m embarrassed showing you this photo but decided to keep it real!)

Well gosh, there are quite a few bits that we’ve been holding onto that just need to go–old bedding, an old medicine chest my eldest daughter picked up from someone else’s garbage! and some textbooks that are never, ever, going to be looked at again! But in my search I’ve also found a few things I’d tucked in there that were quite good. What a delicious surprise.

I remember buying this WMF hammered brass drinks tray on eBay years ago. I bought it for myself but never did use it much so eventually I tucked it in our garage. Still this tray has a wonderful lineage. It’s from a German company “Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik” founded in 1853.

I’ve pictured it here with Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin,
a recent birthday gift for my husband who likes a good martini (“shaken not stirred”).

It’s a simple hammered tray with no embellishments. I think it’s design lends itself well to a mid-century-modern bar cart or party. The mark on the bottom dates it from 1906-1930.

It does show wear and the passage of time, but would polish up beautifully for those who like shiny brass.

And I found this 1959 wood sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta) paddle at a very scrappy estate sale three years. The house was run down and most of the items were of lower quality, still I put together a box load of odds and ends for $10. This was in my box.

I was going to list this around $30-35, but my youngest daughter came into the kitchen when I was photographing it and said she’d like it. So it’s already found a good home! (Of course she got the special daughter price of $0. 😁)

And I spotted this vintage (rather sad) wood card file with dovetailed corners. I bought this several years ago in my hometown in New York at a garage sale across the street from where my dad was living. I lugged it home in my suitcase and was intending on refinishing it, but never did.

The slide gizmo inside is rusty too and will need cleaning/oil to move freely again.

Because it has no label or maker’s mark and is made of lightweight wood, I’ve decided to add this to my donate pile. Yes, I could sell it, but at this point I’d rather donate it.

But this vintage silk kimono…oh gosh. I thought this was fabulous when I bought it seven years ago…and I think it’s fabulous today. Though it will look tons better once I iron it!

Not sure why I haven’t listed it yet. Possibly because it’s so out of my wheelhouse. But it does seem to be in good condition, is likely hand painted and even has remnants of basting stitches here and there so possibly has never been worn.

I remember this estate sale vividly. It was in a condo in a gated community and the sign-up sheet was done online. Only 20 people were allowed in. I was number eight on the list, but the two guys who are usually at the top of the lists for this estate sale company were at the bottom. And they were not happy. I’ve heard of their dishonesty with the physical lists in the past and personally knew them to be super aggressive shoppers.

Well, once the doors opened to the condo, it was bedlam. One lady was going around slapping her personal SOLD post-its on tons of stuff. I detest that sort of behavior. A lot of shoppers do that as a way to HOLD items until they can get around to inspecting them more closely and make their final decision to buy it or not. Still I found a few good things, including this kimono which no one seemed to care about.

From my initial research I should be able to sell this in the $100-150 range, but I need to give it a thorough going over to make sure there are no stains, rips or problems.

It’s just as well I am still finding things at home. Thrifting has been a bust. Went today to my neighborhood thrift store and didn’t buy a blessed thing. I spotted this Belleek porcelain leprechaun priced at $10.69, but since there are quite a few listed online and some starting as low as $27, this had to be a no. Plus Belleek rarely sells for me!

I adore Peter Rabbit porcelain, but at $6.49 each, again they were a little too rich for me.

It did make me realize that there were things I would have picked up even a couple of years ago but no longer. I’m glad I’ve grown and evolved as a vintage dealer.

As always, happy hunting,



      1. Go girl, you’re on a roll 🙂 I’ve also been listing bits although they might not sell for a while .
        Thanks again for the lovely old print – I look forward to it upon my return xx


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