Sun, Fun Finds and Head-Smacking Mistakes

It’s been dreary here in Silicon Valley with cloud cover that hasn’t been burning off till late afternoon/early evening, but finally the clouds have started to dissipate sooner giving us a full afternoon of sun. I need that for my mental health! On Thursday by late morning there was sun and it motivated me to putter around in the garden, mostly pruning and deadheading plants. Tedious, but necessary work. And it’s worth it if I keep getting blooms like these!

My apple “twig” has fruit growing on it, but most I’ll need to remove because there are too many for this slender plant.

On Friday morning I decided to go to the Goodwill “down the road.” It is slightly bigger than my neighborhood one with more hard goods but I don’t go there often. While it’s only five miles away, it’s along a busy thoroughfare with tons of stop lights and can take 20 to 30 minutes to reach. Sometimes I just don’t have the patience for the traffic. I did go last month and left empty handed. This time I scored a few gems.

This is my favorite. I recognized the style as French, more specifically from Brittany. The Bretons were sea-faring folk and the ship wheel is a common motif in carvings from this area. This vintage carved wood box is a great example–a charming decorative box.

I also found two small antique English prints. Not on trend but for the person who likes English traditional decor they are perfect. Both are by George Pickering of scenes in Westmorland (Lake District), circa 1800s. (I’ll have to research his works to narrow down the date.) I will list this professionally framed pair for $60.

Total paid for three items: $10.07.

And Saturday was flea market day, my favorite day of the month. It was a gloriously beautiful morning and I had fun looking at everything and talking with a few of super nice vendors.

My first purchase was three vintage “mom” cookbooks. You know…the kind put together by an organization as a little fundraiser. I adore this kind of thing because it gives a snapshot of culinary delights from that era/culture. These are circa 1978 to 1994.

Lot listed for $30.

The huge 1968 Currier & Ives book (19″ by 14.25″) was nearly seven pounds, but the prints in it are just fabulous and bless her heart, the vendor only wanted $2 for it. Even with a slightly battered cover and no dust jacket, it sells for $40+

And who doesn’t need a 1906 illustrated book on plumbing?! Okay, I know it’s a bit of folly on my part, but I love this sort of book…even in its abysmal condition.

At first it looked like it was going to be just a book-haul day, but after I dropped these back at my car, I went back again and found a few more goodies…like this pretty filet lace grape-motif tablecloth. I had bought a similar one earlier this year in Napa, CA, at an antique store and it sold for $110. This one has a tiny bit of wear (one stain spotted so far) so I’ll price it lower.

I also liked this artisan-made pottery vase. It has an organic Art Nouveau style to it. The vendor is one I’ve bought from before. He brings great stuff and while not cheap, his prices tend to leave enough meat on the bone, though I did negotiate a little for this one. (Paid $20.)

Haven’t figured out the signature yet. Ideas??

But mistakes were made. One was this old WKC (“Weiss, Kuhnert and Co.”, a porcelain factory in Gräfenthal, Germany) bisque putti and deer. At home I realized the deer had once had antlers, the boy’s head had been decapitated and glued back on and frankly the black paint was sloppy. Plus it was dirty! I had been seduced by the WKC Germany mark but there were so many condition issues that I missed or downright ignored. I’m shaking my head. It was a $2 lesson. Not earth shattering, but disappointing. He’s going in the donate pile.

Bye, bye.

But all in all it’s been a few good days sourcing and I can’t complain!!

Wishing you happy hunting,



  1. I collect those comb-bound fundraiser cookbooks! I used to find a few a year, but lately the Goodwill Outlet (bins) has had loads of old books, and I’ve been finding SO many! They are a piece of Americana. I love how some have notes in them, like “This is like mine, but I add… so mine is a lot better!” So many molded gelatin salads, which my mother never made, even in the 60s! I don’t think they are as much of a CA thing, at least the Bay Area. A man at the bins likes to resell them, but says the post office won’t let them go media mail anymore, so he skips them. He kept finding more for me! At 25 cents each I take all I find!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, OMG, fundraiser cookbooks are fabulous. So glad you are saving them too. Growing up in NY in the 1960s/1970s gelatin salads featured heavily in our celebrations. But honestly can’t remember the last time I ate one!! Hugs, Karen


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