And a good time was had by all.

Pickings have been somewhat slim for me lately in the vintage market when it comes to my yard sale Saturdays. I have filled my car with awesome things for the kiddies, true, but as for the older stuff…those finds have been more rare. Shannon and I must have been living right for the past week, though, because we were rewarded by an amazing Saturday haul yesterday. I don’t know what’s responsible for the magic; we didn’t set out particularly early — by the time I got out of the house, had my biscuit and diet coke from McDonald’s, and hit a quick sale a few blocks from my apartment, it was already quarter to 11 — yet at the very first sale we went to, which had been running since 9, I found this:

A 6-inch McCoy planter in perfect condition. I literally ran right into it when we walked into the yard — it was on the edge of the first table we came to and was yelling out to passers-by “HEY! STUPID! Why haven’t you purchased me yet??” No one but me answered. I picked it up, thinking it must be priced ridiculously high (nothing at this sale had price tags), but when I asked, the answer was my favorite answer in all of yard saledom: ONE DOLLAR. Those of you who are yard sale fanatics are familiar with the emotions that rushed through me at that point. A desperate need to see what else was in the yard. A rude impulse to push others out of the way. A frantic desire to grab everything I saw, regardless of whether I wanted it or not. To my credit, I behaved honorably, and wound up with the following items:

I need more jar sets like a need a second set of twins. But I couldn’t resist the detail on the lids.

Have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but the entire set was $4, so I snatched it up. Another impulse buy:

A cunning antique hinged wooden box that opens to show old drill bits.

Missing one drill bit.

Allow me to pause and say that this is just the sort of thing I should not be bringing home. We are considering a move and I am already purging the house for the neighborhood sale in two weeks. But when I see something like this I just have to buy it. I cannot explain the impulse. (There are several things you will see in this post that share the distinction of being utterly, absolutely useless to me.) It is a piece of history for $1 and I cannot resist it. What good it does me to have it sitting on my pantry shelf, I can’t tell you, but nonetheless…there it sits. This is why it was good for me to have a booth. I could indulge my desire to buy stuff like this, mark it $2, and put it on the booth shelf. What my psyche doesn’t seem to understand anymore is that I DON’T HAVE A BOOTH ANYMORE, just an overstuffed apartment bursting at the seams.

At this same sale, I inexplicably purchased two vintage ball peen hammers simply because I like the look of them. I kind of aimlessly researched them on eBay and it appears that some vintage hammers can fetch high prices, but I’m damned if I can figure out which ones and why. Mine have no identifying marks on them that I can see. So I might throw them up on eBay and see what happens.

Directly across the street from this sale was an indoor/outdoor sale given by two gentlemen who were moving out of their drool-worthy house. Seriously, this house was amazing. Even the garage was adorable — a chippy green that Martha couldn’t have chosen better. There, we found two matching etched mirrors, one of which had some damage to the frame. They were both marked $10, so I picked up the one that was in perfect condition and went to pay for it.

Just look at the sweet detail of the bird! I love this mirror.

When I tried to pay, the guy tried to get me to buy the other one as well, and when I declined, offered two for the price of one. These were motivated sellers. Only an idiot (or, you know, someone with a little more awareness of how much room they DON’T have to store stuff like this) would turn that deal down, so I own two of these now. I’ll probably try and sell the more damaged one at the neighborhood sale.

(I hate taking pictures of mirrors. I pushed the ugly plastic tunnel-toy thing out of the way so that it wouldn’t be reflected in the mirror and there was an overflowing trash bag behind it. Push that out of the way only to have the mirror reflect a pair of Justin’s dirty shoes. Push those out of the way only to find another pair of Justin’s dirty shoes. It looks clean now, but you should see the disorder lurking right at the edges of the reflection.)

At another very cool sale I found this 1856 Primer.

The color plates are stunning. I plan to frame them if I ever get another booth.

(Did you know they don’t teach cursive in school anymore? Well, I mean, most places don’t. None of my kids at school know how to sign their names.)

At this same sale, I got another what-the-hell-was-I-thinking item.

I call these my pink family. The guy who sold them to me said they were from some weird, stylized 1950s dollhouse set.  I’ve just done a cursory google search and haven’t found anything yet. I think they would be adorable lined up on a bookshelf, but if you read Zero to Twins (my other blog) you know that I am not allowed to have anything on bookshelves at all. Even books. Maybe when they’re 18.

Also at that sale: many, many interesting vintage photos. I managed to restrain myself to only a few.

This tattered, 8X10 became irresistible  to me when I read the title inscribed on the bottom — “The Doll and the Devil.” On the back is written: 6-9-08: Rose and Arthur Boylan in Classic Character Acrobatic Eccentric & Modern Dances. THAT, my friends, is an act I would give my right arm to see.

Couldn’t resist the dancing teenagers.

And, seriously, how could I have left this little dude there?

(Have I ever written about my idea for a project for old photographs? I wanted to write a short, short story about a bunch of them — like, an entire story in four sentences — then frame them in some creative way with the story incorporated in the picture. A collage-y thing, if you will. Hang them all together in a hallway or somewhere. It would be such an opportunity for creative outlet — exercise my creative writing as well as my crafty side. Alas, no time, no time.)

At a sale across the street from this one, I got this tole tray —

I’ve sold quite a few of these on eBay, but never one in this bad of shape. I don’t think I would want to even try and sell it. I just bought it because I had never found one with the blue background and had long admired them. I paid $5, which, on reflection, is too much for this…Shannon and I had a conversation about how I never try to talk anyone down. I used to NEVER buy anything without trying to knock something off the price but somewhere along the line I dropped that habit. Too much of a hassle, maybe. At that same sale, I found this lamp:

I only paid $3 for this, which I think is beyond reasonable, so maybe everything evened out. That base is glass — not a single chip. Wish I knew more about this lamp. Is it mid-century? The woman who I bought it from said art deco but I don’t think it’s the right shape for that, is it? Anyone have any ideas?

I am in love with this cake plate. I have filed divorce papers and the cake and I, who are planning our nuptials for late fall or, possibly, early spring, will share custody of the twins with my ex-husband. I thought it was vintage but now I don’t think it is. It’s big — 11 inches — and the only ones I can find on the Internet, new, are 6 inches. Best I can figure, it’s made by L.E. Smith, and they make them in several fun colors. Still don’t know if I’m going to keep it or not. I just culled my glass cake stands– am planning on selling around 7 of them at the neighborhood sale — and this one is PINK. Which I love, but, I don’t know, I don’t need to start another color for my collection. At this same sale, I got another pink cake plate — etched glass, shorter than this one — that I think might be Depression glass. I will probably end up putting these on Etsy or eBay, though I dread the ordeal of wrapping and shipping them. I hate shipping breakables. Makes me nervous. Also at the same sale, I got the pink Manhattan bowl that my mercury glass garlands are in:

I was so excited about it (this was another sale with RIDICULOUSLY low prices) that I didn’t do a chip test and didn’t realized until I got it home that it has some bad chipping around the inside of the rim. Oh, well. The mercury glass garlands — over 100 feet of them — came from that perpetual, ongoing estate sale at Damen and Giddings. If you’re a yard saler in Chicago, you’ve been there — it’s been at least 6 weeks now, maybe more, that a woman has been opening the doors of  what I think was her mom’s old Victorian house. She has a ton of stuff still, but most of it is too expensive for me. She only charged me $5 for all of these garlands, though. I’ve sold these on eBay before — they’re really easy to ship — and I think they will pretty much finance my entire shopping trip yesterday.


We went to a really fun estate sale in Logan Square — huge house, super old stuff. A guy got to an antique Mother Goose book RIGHT before I did — I was trying to peek over his shoulder and from what I could see, the illustrations were TO DIE FOR — and it was $5. Of course, he bought it. (Why is it that no matter how much good stuff I find, I can still remember The One That Got Away?) I found plenty of other goodies, though. This was the second day of the sale, and everything was half off — and I thought their prices were pretty good to begin with.

$5 for both, and they’re huge. I’m keeping these. I don’t know why, but I see them in a bathroom. No wall space in my current bathroom, though.

Munising wooden salad bowl set. This came with wooden utensils. I’ll probably list this on eBay — Munising is a pretty collectible bowl on eBay, though the primitive dough bowls are the most sought after. I won’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t sell — my kitchen is red, and my love for bowls of all kinds is well-documented on this blog.

Here’s a tip I learned yesterday: if you want a good price on something, wait until you hear the person running the estate sale hiss to one of her workers: “Clear this shit off of this couch! Do you want to drag it to the dumpster with me at 4 pm? No? Then clean this shit off so people can see  it!” then zoom in for the kill. Chances are, that’s an indication she’s a little frazzled about getting rid of stuff. She quoted me $2 for this gorgeous matte white pottery. Have no idea about a maker — it’s unmarked. Anyone know? Anyone? The internet always helps me out…

WHEW. WHAT a fun day. I suppose it’s a good thing every Saturday can’t be that good — my apartment would be condemned and I would be broke. And divorced. Still, all I can think of is WHAT WILL NEXT WEEKEND BRING?

Linking up with Her Library Adventures’ Flea Market Finds and Apron Thrift Girl’s Thrift Share Monday

July 22, 2012 - 4:29 pm

Jill I have been on the hunt for a cake stand for months – and you have seven!! I know one will appear someday…. Love the one you found this weekend!!

July 22, 2012 - 5:34 pm

Jem I could honestly tell you which of your finds is my favourite – the mirror is utterly stunning but I’m incredibly envious of those beautiful jars and can imagine them looking lovely all full of store cupboard ingredients.

The book fiend in me adores that stunning book!

Jem xXx

July 22, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Heather @ Tatter and Fray What an amazing haul! I love every single one of your finds, but the McCoy piece, the other white pottery (sorry…no clue on the maker), and the mirror are my faves. I’m also really digging the plastic people. 😉

July 22, 2012 - 6:19 pm

janie hightower The book is my very favorite, then in line comes the mirror and the matte white planter. It was almost as good as being there myself to read your account of your Saturday.

July 22, 2012 - 7:12 pm

Marty Ah, loving everything you found. Beautiful treasures!

July 23, 2012 - 2:51 am

the thrifty challenge wow , some absolutely incredible finds – I particularly like the mirror.

July 23, 2012 - 6:28 pm

Lara Jo Thank you! The mirror seems to be the clear favorite! I appreciate your visit.

July 23, 2012 - 6:31 pm

Lara Jo Thank you, Marty! Love your blog!

July 23, 2012 - 6:32 pm

Lara Jo Thank you, Heather! Those pink people are weird, but I just couldn’t resist…something about them…

I am a big fan of your blog, BTW!

July 23, 2012 - 6:34 pm

Lara Jo Thank you so much, Jem! I found your blog a couple of months ago and really love the gorgeous pictures and your writing. Thanks for visiting.

July 23, 2012 - 6:36 pm

Lara Jo If you lived close to us, Jill, I would set aside all 7 that I’m intending to sell at our yard sale…you could have first choice! Thanks for visiting.

July 23, 2012 - 11:10 pm

Shara You found so many fabulous treasures! The glaze on the last piece looks a lot like Frankoma – but that’s always marked, so I guess not.

I do hope you got my email thinking you for the wonderful gum wrapper chain. I love it so much and thank you for your generosity! I’m keeping my eye open for just the right thing for you – no cake plates, I assume. 🙂 But, maybe a Vintage Mother Goose book? Thanks again!

July 24, 2012 - 9:21 am

Lara Jo You’re right, it does kind of look like Frankoma. I DID get your e-mail — so sorry I haven’t answered — I have gotten terrible at answering e-mail this summer. I am so glad you liked it and I am more than happy to share! Still have to get that listed on eBay. Where does the time go? Hope you’re staying cool…

July 24, 2012 - 8:02 pm

Lisa Oh you found some wonderful things but I’ll be honest – I can’t think of anything except that stunning LE Smith PINK cake plate! OMGosh, I’m going to be stalking your Etsy until I see it 😉 GORGEOUS!

January 31, 2014 - 10:44 pm

michelle pruitt my friend needs that exact pink cake stand she wants it for her wedding im sur she will pay for shipping but she has been looking everywhere for one

April 20, 2014 - 8:20 pm

Lara Jo Michelle, I am so sorry to answer your e-mail so late — the pink cake stand sold sometime last year. I’m so sorry! I hope your friend finds one and has a lovely wedding! Thanks for writing.