In case you were wondering, the 2011 Yard Sale Season is officially on.
Once you've been yard saling in the same area for a few years, you end up going to the same church sales every year. Me, I love a good church sale more than most anything, but there are definitely some church sales that I look forward to more than others. On Saturday, there was a sale at a gigantic Presbyterian church in an older, richer part of Raleigh. This is a great combination - rich people have lots of nice stuff, and old, rich people have lots of interesting stuff. Just as I was walking in the door, I heard someone announcing that you could fill a box for $5. I went out and picked the biggest box I found. Then I proceeded to wander around and fill it up.
While walking around the sale with my giant box, I overheard a lady tell her friend, "I dunno, I guess all the good stuff is gone." I wanted to hit them. Maybe it's just a difference in style, but I had actually timed my arrival at the sale so that I would be there for the box sale. It's true that I did not find anything ¡¡¡SPECTACULAR!!!, just a huge box worth of small things, well worth five dollars. Books, stuffed animals for the dog, some handy kitchen items, a huge box of old stationery, movies. Stuff that you might buy after a day at the mall, or wherever the kids are going these days.
I did the most damage in the books section. There were three tables piled high with books, and I could have looked for two hours and not seen them all. Anything that was remotely interesting went right into my box. I think I ended up with at least twenty, some of which will be given to my local book-hoarder.
I picked up yet another ridiculous clock to add to my ridiculous clock collection. This one has a fireplace attached, which was apparently a specialty of the United Clock Company. I have to note that neither the clock nor the fireplace is in working order. When you plug the thing in, the clock makes a noise but does not run, and the fireplace does nothing at all. There is a bulb in back that is supposed to light up, which might just be burned out. I have plans to replace the plug with a battery-operated clock mechanism, probably one from some other yard sale clock. I'm not sure yet about the bulb. I could probably get away with a battery operated tealight or something similar.
The funny thing is, I bought this from a lady who was clearly just an older version of me. She said she'd bought that clock fifteen years ago because she thought it was so neat. She meant to fix it, and then never did. There were several other items that she was selling that were clearly in a similar situation. Crazy lady buying crazy things because they are cheap and cool.
I also got an egg basket shaped like a chicken. I've wanted one of these for a while, though I have no idea why. Sometimes, a secondhander develops a hankering for some random thing. In my case, it’s usually something shaped like a chicken. Two bucks. I would have preferred it to be a little rustier, but I guess I could just leave it out in the rain.
There were three estate sales this weekend. Sometimes at one of these sales, I can look through the possessions of the deceased and think that we would have gotten along famously. Such was this sale. I came away with this milk scale. Since I don't need to weigh any milk, it's completely ornamental, and I'm just going to hang it up on the wall like those people did. I paid the whopping sum of $10 for it, so you can tell that I really wanted it.
I think my best purchase of the day was an ironing board, of all things. I already have an ironing board. It's a avocado green metal number that I got at an estate sale for $3 a couple of years ago. We don't do a lot of ironing, just enough that we should have a board handy. So buying that one was a practical purchase.
This one was folded up in the corner of a bedroom. I missed it on my first pass through the house, and only saw it when another person mentioned a chair sitting next to it. I was just about to pass it by, but then I decided to see how it stood. So I maneuvered it out of the corner and set it up in the middle of the room. I was instantly hooked. It's so darn rustic. It's also really sturdy. I could not figure out how to fold it up again and had a friendly stranger help me figure it out. I think he wanted to buy it. Or pick me up. Maybe both? An old ironing board and an unshowered crazy lady, all at one sale? That’s the kind of day he could write about on his blog.
Three bucks. The former owners apparently didn't like to just throw away padding, so they just added on top. At the bottom level, you can see that there are pages from the May 1964 Philadelphia Inquirer sticking out. SO FREAKING COOL.
This ironing board is yet another illustration of what I love about shopping the way that I do. Sure, my house is full of unusual things - a sarcophagus, a WWII dummy cartridge, now a milk scale. And there are some things which are semi-valuable, like antique books or glassware. But even my most practical things are so much more interesting than their retail equivalents. When you buy secondhand, even your ironing board can be neat.